Punta Islita's Community Efforts
Sponsored by: Punta Islita Hotel & Spa - www.hotelpuntaislita.com
Since 1994, Punta Islita hotel and Spa has been offering its guests a high standard of luxury in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The five star beachfront hotel is committed to low-impact, environmentallyfriendly practices, and maintains active links to local community development efforts and cultural revival projects.
The hotel has helped establish a public library, a composting station and a recycling program in local towns and villages, as well as highlighting local art and culture in visible ways that strengthen the community's enthusiasm for sustainable tourism in their backyards. All these measures are included within the We Care Responsible Tourism Model, pioneered by Punta Islita.
The Islita Art Museum
The Islita Art Museum is the flagship of Hotel Punta Islita’s sustainability model. This innovative program pairs established Costa Rican artists with local counterparts, transforming Islita village into a living museum featuring colorful murals, installations, and sculptures. Community art groups are led by Museum Curator and Artist Laureate, Loida Pretiz. The Islita Art Museum provides an open space where guests can visit art studios, purchase signature pieces, and enjoy local culture.
The Islita Creative Center and the Jon & Janie Mangus Children’s Center provide complimentary education opportunities to local children and teenagers with the goal of instilling critical thinking, healthy lifestyles, and environmental awareness in its youngest neighbors. Toddlers enjoy subsidized nutrition and early stimulation in the areas of motor skills, language, and socialization.
Older kids benefit from beginner’s English, arithmetic, reading & writing, science, and social studies. The Islita Creative Center hosts after school programs to encourage creative and critical thinking, self-esteem, and inquisitive drive. Attendance is voluntary and free for all participants. Art, creative play, and research are at the core of the Center’s curriculum and activities emphasizing the use of computers, high-speed Internet, and multi-media equipment.
Local Fauna Recovery
Our partnership with regional conservation NGO’s has made Hotel Punta Islita's eco-system more colorful and fascinating. The surrounding tropical dry forest is thriving, evidenced by the healthy numbers of howler monkeys, large iguanas, and exotic birds. Two standout projects have jumpstarted the recovery of sea turtles in nearby Camaronal Beach and red macaw populations in the Nicoya region.
The most recent program involves a full partnership with The Ara Project. Jumpstarted in the 1980's by a retired expat American couple The Ara Project is now staffed by a dedicated group of scientists, administrators, and volunteers who have successfully reintroduced close to a hundred red and green macaw specimens in three wildlife release sites in Costa Rica. Hotel Punta Islita is proud to host the program’s headquarters, donating a plot of land, a specialized aviary cage, living quarters for a biologist, and the biologist's wages. The recently- inaugurated Lapa Lookout is an education and viewing center where guests can learn and participate in the recovery and release efforts.
The Villafranca- Zurcher Foundation
The Villafranca- Zurcher Foundation is the executive arm of Hotel Punta Islita's community outreach programs. It has been instrumental in the creation, development, and growth of the Islita Art Museum, the Jon & Janie Mangus Islita Day Care Center, and related human betterment initiatives. As a fundraising entity, it has been able to leverage Hotel Punta Islita's contributions by enlisting the support of private individuals, NGO's, affiliates, and foundations including Holcim, Zurcher Arquitectos, Avina, Fundecooperacion, and the US based, Friends of Islita.