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Isla Venado view

Isla Venado Aquacultural Cooperative

A local fishing community catches the attention of travelers in Costa Rica

Basic information

Project description

Isla Venado Arrival2

In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, the Isla Venado Aquacultural Cooperative focuses on using knowledge of nature to create sustainable solutions. Traditionally, the elders of this fishing village did not have sustainable practices, but this generation has found nature-based alternatives that will preserve the ecosystem for years to come. They have also discovered that tourism can help benefit the community, and now the local production of shrimp and fish is supplemented by offering accommodation, nature tours, and fishing experiences to visitors. Travelers can enjoy lunch at the floating restaurant, or take a tour of the beaches and mangrove ecosystem. They also learn about the importance of sustainable infrastructure in a genuine exchange with the fishermen and artisans who live in this picturesque area of Costa Rica.

Involvement of V Social

V Social began partnering with the Isla Venado Aquacultural Cooperative in 2023. By facilitating exchanges with local entrepreneurs from the Osa Peninsula, V Social aims to empower islanders to prepare for and construct infrastructure that will not only cater to the immediate surge in tourism but also lay the foundation for sustained growth and prosperity in the future. This holistic approach ensures that the impact of the project extends far beyond the initial influx of visitors, contributing to the long-term sustainability and development of Isla Venado.

Support for Isla Venado Coopeacuicultores

Hiking to La Leona Ecolodge
Exchange Isla Venado - Osa peninsula

Jan 2024

By facilitating the sharing of insights and lessons learned from local experienced entrepreneurs at the Osa Peninsula, the exchange aims to empower the invited islanders from Isla Venado to collectively envision and construct robust infrastructure that will not only cater to the immediate surge in tourism but also lay the foundation for sustained growth and prosperity in the future.

Your impact

Isla Venado

Country: Costa Rica

The project is organized by the community and administered through a cooperative. Along with members of the cooperative, around 50 families are directly impacted, and many other islanders are preparing for the influx of tourists by opening ice cream shops and lodging facilities and offering trail excursions and other activities. The local community now has many viable economic opportunities, meaning there is more reason to stay on the island rather than look for work elsewhere. The emphasis on sustainability and support from governmental agencies also means that this isolated region can preserve its incredible nature.

Their story

Isla Venado Arrival2
Isla Venado visit
Isla Venado Allan

Allan studied at the National Learning Institute and interned with a cruise company at Papagayo. His internship included fishing, and that made him realize he wanted to work for his community. He spontaneously decided to return home, Isla Venado. This had always felt like paradise to him. He wanted to contribute to his community, and a friend suggested that the best way to do so was through a registered cooperative. Allan applied his entrepreneurial spirit by holding raffles, selling empanadas, and organizing soccer games to raise the funds to start his project. Other people, and even universities, got involved to give him some economic support. For his cooperative, Allan included local fishermen and women in an aquaculture project to produce shrimp. None of them had previous experience in this area. With the help of a biologist, they presented the project to the government for approval. The first few years were very difficult. A storm destroyed much of their work. The shrimp were all stolen in their second year. All together, it took eight tries to make the perfect model for shrimp production. With each attempt, Allan and the cooperative members learned. They kept going, despite the setbacks. They didn’t want all the time and money they had put into the project to amount to nothing. Now the project is a huge success. They have grown from three cabins to 27. And while they were once excited about 300 visitors, there are now more than 7,000 a year. Allan and the members of the cooperative believe that the difficulties they once faced have given them a deeper appreciation of the project and the importance of their efforts. They have also come to recognize the strong connection they have to the natural resources that surround them. Once a humble fisherman, Allan is now a community leader, striving to create a better quality of life for his community.

2024 VSocial Foundation e.V.

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