On June 26th in the La Palma Community Hall, 23 rural tourism entrepreneurs from the Osa Peninsula received their graduation diplomas after successfully completing the "Personal and Tourism Service Development for Rural Tourism Entrepreneurs Program". This process has been carried out since May 2014 by RBA, CRUSA Foundation, Osa-Golfito Initiative (INOGO), and the National Conservation Areas System (SINAC), with the unconditional support of our mentors and other allied organizations.
These tourism entrepreneurs have changed their lives to become local promoters and defenders of the local natural capital. While in the beginning they were desperate and destitute, barely making a living and without a clear future, today they are brave and committed role models. You can read some of their stories at Juan Cubillo, Rocío Vargas and Mario Torres.
This first generation of entrepreneurs will continue to support and develop the sustainable rural tourism destination Caminos de Osa. Its visitors will travel through tourist trails made by the local people, where they will experience a journey through the world's most biologically diverse place.
The graduation ceremony started with the words of RBA's CEO, Daniel Villafranca, who highlighted the immense effort and commitment of the entrepreneurs and every entity that supported the project. The other attendees at the main table - William H. Durham from INOGO; Geiner Alvarado from CRUSA; Ms. Ana Helena Chacon, Vice-President of Costa Rica; and Ms. Patricia Madrigal, Vice-Minister of the Environment - also extended recognition and congratulations to the recent graduates.