Corona paralyzed the worldwide travel industry, and we, the people of STIBRAWPA, have lost our main source of income. We depend on food donations from the government until tourism comes back to normal. But for us, in every crisis, there lies an opportunity: We want to produce more food on our own again, just as our parents and grandparents did. That's where we need your support.
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Our village Yorkin is an idyllic and peaceful spot on the very edge of Costa Rica, alongside the border with Panama. It lies inside the Indigenous Bribri Territory of Talamanca and we are about 300 people living here.
It's here that 27 years ago, we founded the Stibrawpa Association, aiming to find ways to improve our living conditions. What started with the sales of handicrafts later turned into a community based tourism project. We invite foreigners to visit our village and to learn about our traditions and our way of life. Through the means of tourism we are able to create jobs for nearly 50 people, to protect our rainforest and to strengthen our indigenous culture. We managed to raise funds to build a college and basic health care facilities and support other projects in the community.
When corona paralyzed the worldwide travel industry, we lost our main source of income. As other sources of income are rare, we depend on food donations from the government until tourism goes back to normal. But, for us Bribri people, in every crisis there lies an opportunity:
Our current food shortages made us reflect on our food culture. Our grandparents used to produce all their food themselves, using traditional indigenous cultivation practices. Always in harmony with nature, as it is deeply rooted in the Bribris' value system. Nowadays we still cultivate bananas, cocoa and vegetables, but we buy around 50 % of our groceries in supermarkets outside of our territory.
Our plan: we want to strengthen our own organic agriculture, grow our own rice, beans, corn and sugarcane again; breed chickens, goats and pigs. With the help of your donations, we want to create a community-based farm!
The goal of this project is to increase our self-sufficiency and guarantee food security even in challenging times like these. Simultaneously, we want to preserve our agricultural traditions and bring back the potentials of our diverse local foods.
While there is no work from tourism, we will use our time to establish organic vegetable gardens and barns for animals. In addition, we will plant 5000 cocoa, fruit and other trees in an 40.000m² agroforestry system. Our traditional agroforestry system protects biodiversity, helps prevent erosion and contributes to climate protection.
Your donations will be used to buy materials, seeds and animals, and to pay a modest salary to the members of Stibrawpa, so they can maintain their families.
The project will directly benefit the 48 members of Stibrawpa and their families, and in the long run impact the economic situation of Yorkin and its neighboring communities. Additionally, it will make an important contribution to nature preservation.