WHY PUNTA DESCARTES?
Punta Descartes is a remote peninsula, located between the Santa Rosa National Park and the border to Nicaragua. It is home to unique ecological processes and a vast diversity of habitats and species, many of which are migratory. For example, the peninsula’s sandy bays and reefs are inhabited year-round by different sea turtle species, sharks and rays, it’s waters by humpback whales of both poles, and the mangroves and dry forest by rare parrots, monkeys, and felines. Hence, their preservation for future generations concerns not only those with an interest in the area’s land and sea but also the wider region and everyone who cares about long-lasting and effective conservation programs.
The peninsula’s ecological richness contrasts with the low social-economic development status of its coastal communities. Fishing is the main income for most people and the recent initiatives of mass tourism and destructive developments threaten not only the area’s biodiversity but also the integrity of the local culture, customs, and knowledge. By supporting the community-based conservation projects of ETC, we not only protect our species and ecosystems, but also the people who defend a harmonious development of themselves and their environment. In Punta Descartes, we believe that truly sustainable development is possible.