Tierra de Suenos just organized our first charity effort. The flooding in November ended up displacing approximately 4,000 people and destroyed one of the largest banana plantations in the country which means loss of many jobs and security for a lot of people. This area is already one of the poorest in the country so damage like this is incredibly difficult to bounce back from. A few months ago we joined a group called AHCR (Adventure Hotels of Costa Rica). The goal of the organization is to work together to create more business for everybody in the group by recommending other AHCR hotels to people traveling to other places in the country. We have received 2 different couples sent by another member hotel so the membership has already paid for itself. This is a fairly new association which is nice because we are all, well the hotels interested, participating in how it’s going to work. Brendan and I signed up for the “charity committee” as each hotel was asked to join one of the 10 committees designed to help organize the members.

The damage done to our Talamancan neighbors deemed a perfect cause so we tried to inspire AHCR members to donate money, food, clothing and other supplies to the area. The awesome local association, ATEC (Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association) was quite helpful in giving us a direct place to send these items. It took some teeth pulling but eventually we managed to raise quite a bit of money as well as food and clothing from the other member hotels. I spoke with Alaine, co-founder of ATEC, the other day and she says that the majority of the money donations send to her by AHCR members is being used to purchase school supplies that were lost in the flood. I can’t imagine better spent money. Although this is just a start of the kind of work we would like to be doing, with and without the AHCR group, it’s a good start and we are excited about all the possibilities for community building and service. I do encourage any of you interested in traveling to CR to check out the AHCR website, www.adventurehotelsofcostarica.com, and look into staying at one of the hotels listed. You get 10% off if you tell them we sent you!

On a side note, much to our disappointment and horror, our laptop was stolen recently which is a major setback for us. It really couldn’t be worse timing since we have entered the busy season and are getting consistent reservation requests via email every day. Not to mention the fact that ALL my photos of our first year down here are gone. Anyway, lesson learned. On the up-side, we are super busy and everybody loves the place. This month will be our best by far.