Monday, October 24, 2016

Community Initiatives & Empowerment!

Why is the Sustainability Demonstration Center an important part of the local community? 

How are we facilitating and encouraging sustainable community development? 

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS & SOCIAL SERVICES: The Center itself is housed in a large historic building that was used as the equivalent of a modern mall, but it had been shut down for over 35 years before Veronica and Alex acquired it. Over these past few years, it has become much more than a place to have meetings, but it has become a hub for locals and visitors.

People come to the Center to receive classes, workshops, and interact together in healthy and fun ways. There was a visiting artist at the farmer's market this past weekend who demonstrated how he makes art out of bone!

Here is an example of a fun, healthy, CREATIVE MOVEMENT workshop from this past Saturday!

RIVER PROTECTION: Water is one of the most vital resources on this planet and for all living things. Here at the Center and in the local community, people have been actively protesting large corporations who are trying to take the water from the pristine Veracruz River. The Center has been very involved in supporting the locals in this endeavor by coordinating with national and international institutions, writing letters and emails, traveling, and more.

Just this past week, Veronica, Alex, and many community members from Guacimal took action by protesting on the streets of San Jose, advocating for the protection of the river.

COMMUNITY INITIATIVES & ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: The Center also provides a free space for locals to hold a weekly farmer's market. The farmer's market takes place every Saturday from 12pm - 5pm and is available for anyone in the community who wishes to come and sell their products and food. In this way, we promote the sale of local products and entreprenuership. Come join us to enjoy some delicious veggies, eggs, tortillas, produce, and other traditional Costa Rican foods!

Part of sustainable community development is recognition of the resources that exist within the community and the empowerment and investment in people. We ALL have talents, ideas, and enthusiasm to share... please contact us at if you are interested in visiting the Sustainability Demonstration Center or have any ideas! We'd love to hear from YOU!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SDC Sustainability in a Nutshell

At the heart of sustainability is how we influence one another using thoughts, words and actions that match our vision, as the most powerful point of action is ourselves

We strive to focus on what we want to see flourish in our own lives and in the world and be that change we want to see happen, through our own learning and sharing with others.

At the Sustainability Demonstration Center, we aim to demonstrate different environmentally-friendly ways of reducing the footprints we leave behind each day. Learning about how to grow safe, delicious, and nutritious food brings together families and community members with an appreciation for the food we eat. By choosing to produce and eat organic food, we no longer eat food that is laden with chemicals that make us, our land, and our water unhealthy.

We have been actively supporting the community’s opposition to a plan to divert the water from the Veracruz River for a large-scale not sustainable and environmentally damaging agricultural project. With the help of university students and their professors, community members, and many others, we as a community prepared a legal appeal that made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Today, we continue to help organize to protect our river and to influence public policy.

Another way we promote sustainable relationships between people and the environment is through community-based rural tourism. We encourage tourists to engage with the places they visit in ways that are in harmony with the environment. Our guests have the opportunity to help feed chickens, pigs, and other farm animals, getting a hands-on perspective about why it is important to raise animals in a humane and healthy way. Hiking through the forest and swimming in the river help people to reconnect with the world they live in and reflect about how our day-to-day choices impact our planet.