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Refuge Protection

The La Marta Wildlife Refuge is under the ownership and administration of the Castro Carazo University, an institution of higher education committed and responsible for looking after the natural resources before the Costa Rican society. In La Marta, an area of ​​1520 hectares of forest or its equivalent to 70 times the La Sabana Metropolitan Park is protected, approximately 60% of the territory corresponds to primary forest and the remaining 40% is covered by secondary forest, in different stages of natural regeneration.

"Who but a University - a community of experts and academics - can turn La Marta into a place dedicated to education and all manifestations of culture?"
Manuel Víquez Carazo, Director of the Refuge

La Marta becomes a classroom-laboratory and as such is open to the world so that the best scientific, technological, philosophical and spiritual manifestations coincide there, to relate society to its natural environment, which results in greater awareness to the sustainability, eco-training, planetary awareness and everything that helps people reach the highest level of empathy with the world around them.

Our philosophy

Ecoeducation transforms our vision of the relationship of people with society, their context and the environment, in a process of constant learning that occurs throughout life. Moreover, all those actions that we must execute or avoid in order to achieve a harmonious coexistence, are part of the planetary awareness.

All the environmental education actions carried out by La Marta correspond to the CAM-Bio Program (Learning Center for Climate Change Mitigation), designed by the Castro Carazo University and open to the public. This program seeks to make people aware of the environmental reality of the world in which we live and learn how to act in order to improve.

"The effects of climate change are not only better appreciated in forests and rivers, but are becoming more unpredictable and intense."
Manuel Víquez Carazo, Director of the Refuge

La Marta´s friends

At the international level

Since 2018, a cooperation agreement was signed between La Marta and the British organization Raleigh International, thanks to which groups of 10 to 18 young people began to arrive every month, volunteers of both sexes from Europe, America and Asia.

In that same year, La Marta received a visit from a diplomatic delegation from the United Kingdom, headed by its Ambassador, Mr. Ross Denny, with the purpose of getting to know La Marta and making the relationship with Raleigh International official. During the visit, a donation was received from the Embassy of the United Kingdom for the construction of the "Rancho Raleigh" which was carried out in a symbolic way and jointly between the volunteers and the La Marta staff.

At the local level

One of the principles “set in stone” of the administration of a protected area anywhere in the world, establishes that the success of the conservation is directly proportional to the communal participation.In the particular case of La Marta, for many years the participation has been carried out with the communities of Pejibaye, Plaza Vieja, El Humo and Tucurrique mainly, with which we have mainly carried out:

  • Outreach work with schools, colleges, development associations and other organized groups, mainly in the area of environmental education.
  • Hiring of local staff and itinerant personnel.
  • Purchase of food and other supplies from local businesses.
  • Community development of the residents of Calle El Zapote (5 km road to La Marta) with the installation of electrical wiring and public lighting, and constant efforts to maintain the good condition of this same road.
  • Training of local youth as tourist guides.

The forest and its former farm now become the perfect place to do research and understand, among other things, the enormous power of nature, the causes and effects of climate change, practices for the restoration of the environment and how to achieve social development in balance with nature.

Additional information about the program: [email protected]