Playas del Coco in Costa Rica has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as 80 percent of the community depends on tourism, but you can help – by sponsoring a lamp post.
This may sound bizarre, but bear with us as we explain…
Virtually overnight, as the pandemic struck, Playas del Coco turned into a ghost town – shop closed, people were left without jobs, and even the beach was shut down.
Rich Coast Diving was one of the shops that had to close down, however owner Brenda van Gestel was not a person to sit still, plus she felt for the community. Together with her friend Karri, they set up a Go fund me account to raise money – and then went shopping to feed the community.
After a few weeks, Brenda decided to start a non-profit named Colors Across Costa Rica and volunteers signed on. The project has been very successful, and every Thursday morning about 200 people line up to get a number, a garbage bag and a set of gloves. They then get sorted to either pick up garbage from the beach or streets, or they bring machetes and go cut the weeds. All this makes Coco look nice and clean, with a mission that the town is ready for tourism to return.
Donations started to slow down, so Brenda had to think of another plan to raise more money. The electricity company gave permission for them to paint all the lamp posts. So right now, you can sponsor a lamp post for $100 and then it gets painted by great artists, who do this on a volunteer basis. All the posts are designed with Costa Rica wildlife. So you donate $100 and pick your favorite animal, and it gets painted with your logo. Win win for everyone!
There are 50 posts, so all donations are welcome.
Brenda said: “This project is making Coco look nice, but also safe – there is no increase in crime as everybody who needs food can get it by helping out.
“We are hoping that tourism picks up slowly as the airports have opened up to certain countries. Keep us in mind if you are looking for a dive destination. Pura vida!”
She added: “Due to COVID-19 we are not fully operational as of yet, however we would love to take your reservation and we will take you diving. It seems the border is open for Europe, UK, Canada, and some US States, so we will be ready to welcome you if you are from those regions. If not, we hope to see you soon as well.