At the Pacuare Lodge, we’ve always tried to have a positive impact on the environment and nearby communities. We recently expanded that commitment to include the largest town in our area, Turrialba, where we’ve joined the local government and business community in an initiative called Turrialba Sostenible, which is promoting sustainable practices and other improvements.
Turrialba Sostenible (Sustainable Turrialba) is a collaboration of the municipal government, the local chamber of commerce, the Pacuare Lodge and various other businesses and citizens’ groups. It will work through programs dedicated to environmental education, the reduction and reuse of waste, the establishment of cultural centers and natural areas, and other improvements.
Pacuare Lodge founder Roberto Fernández grew up in Turrialba, and he says that has long wanted to help improve the community. He explained that Turrialba Sostenible focuses on the Four C’s – Culture, Conservation, Commerce and Community – which the Pacuare Lodge has done for years.
“Turrialba is the cradle of adventure tourism in Costa Rica and it’s where our business began,” Fernández said. “We wanted to use Turrialba as a model to develop the concept of achieving sustainability using the 4Cs. We hope that Turrialba will become Costa Rica’s first Sustainable City.”
Turrialba Sostenible has already sponsored activities, such as a campaign to get shoppers to use cloth bags instead of plastic bags, but most of its interventions are planned for the coming years. They include the refurbishment of the city’s abandoned train station, the elimination of unsightly or excessive signage from the center of town, and facilitating the installation of solar panels on local homes and businesses. The initiative will also include an “Adventure Week” in October 2017, which will promote local participation in adventure sports such as mountain biking and white water rafting.
The Turrialba Chamber of Commerce is leading Turrialba Sostenible in coordination with the municipal government and local groups. Together, they’ve developed and Action Plan and will coordinate its implementation, monitoring and monthly reports to ensure that its programs are on track, and take corrective measures if they aren’t.
The Pacuare Lodge will remain an active partner in this process in the coming years in order to expand the adoption sustainable practices across the city and surrounding communities, and thereby facilitate improvements for the environment and local people.