Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times and prevented thousands of incidents along the southern beaches of Dominical, Hermosa, Uvita and Ventanas. Today they desperately need a save of their own.
Due to a contract snafu with the Municipality of Osa, public funding for lifeguard salaries were suspended last April. Since then, the Southern Lifeguard Association has exhausted all of its reserves, covering the Municipality’s 50 percent portion of salaries, equipment and training.
There is no good time to lose lifeguards. Winter weather patterns cause strong rip currents and dangerous conditions. While seasonal rain helps reduce the number of visitors to the beach, tourism does not stop and high season is quickly approaching.
A one-year contract starting January 1 has already been vetted and awaits final approval by the Municipal council. Unfortunately, partial contracts are not permitted leaving the Association to solve the entire funding gap until the new year.
Please help us keep our residents and tourists safe. The Asociación de Guardavidas de la Zona Sur is a registered nonprofit and can issue tax-deductible receipts to U.S. residents through it’s association with Amigos of Costa Rica. Your contribution will go a long way to keeping lifeguards on the beach and preventing unnecessary deaths. You can donate
Perry Gladstone is president of the Asociación de Guardasvidas de la Zona Sur and co-founder of the SOMOS Foundation, committed to building resilient communities through sustainable development.
The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) and Amigos of Costa Rica, proud to work with outstanding Costa Rican nonprofits around the country. Learn more at amigosofcostarica.org.