Towards the end of 2019, everything was working perfectly. The sanctuary could not have been in a better state: Macaw Lodge was receiving a thriving amount of tourists that could sustain the private reserve and it’s workers. Makau Kakau was positioned in the Costa Rican market with some exports to USA and Switzerland. The organization was in a growing and stable point such that it proposed to extend it’s efforts of conservation and sustainable production beyond the borders of Macao Sanctuary.
Conscious of the social and environmental problems that are still latent in the biological corridar that we are positioned, we founded the ‘Center for Biodiversity and Restoration, or CBR’. Our mission is to promote and restore the biological diversity, the healthy ecosystems and the wellbeing of the local communities, thinking always of a sustainable future with a socially just economy.
No one was expecting the adversities to come a few months down the line. The COVID-19 pandemic collapses the world economy and Costa Rica is one of the countries that is most affected, due to the fact that most of it’s income comes from tourism. The borders are closed and the tourists are cancelling reservations, threatening the sustainability of Macao Sanctuary. Macaw Lodge is forced to close its doors temporarily and the sales of Macaw Kakau chocolate are decreased drastically, due to the tourists being it’s main buyer.
Despite the difficulties that we have faced in the past years, our resilient ecological sanctuary is still being driven by the effort of the people that are still dedicated to harvesting each cacao, the women working in the kitchen, and the hearts and minds of everyone that contributes to our higher cause. The environmental indicators of the reserve continue to better. At the beginning of 2020, for the first time we registered the spotting of a puma in our farm. All of this pushes us and inspires us to continue this task and this project. ‘We are going forward’, as Pablo Gordienko, our founder, would say.