The first community investment project – Nuevo Colon

26 October 2021

Kasiiya has a program to invest in the infrastructure and facilities of the villages nearest to us. Most important to us is to improve the living conditions and level of education in the villages where our staff live.

This project first started in the first lockdown of 2020 when we invested in the local community of Nuevo Colon – a beautiful village of 50 families located in Guanacaste and the nearest village to Kasiiya.

Our relationship with local communities is vital to us so we worked with the people of Nuevo Colon to use the downtime to make aesthetic and structural improvements to the village, therefore, improving safety for the children and people as a whole. Subsequent to this we have created new sanitation and bathroom facilities in the village. This is an initiative that we will be rolling out to additional villages where our staff live and have families in the years ahead.

At the start of the first lockdown, once the last of our guests and staff had left Kasiiya, the entire world returned to their respective families to take care of those closest to us during what was a worrying time for health and financial reasons.

We first became associated with the village of Nuevo Colon in 2019 when one of the villagers came to help us fight a small fire in a forest near Kasiiya. Aware that a majority of the employment in the village is related to tourism and conservation, we were concerned about how the village would cope with the lockdown.

On contacting the village’s very well-organized committee we learnt the families were using the lockdown to help each other as much as they could. It was fascinating to us that, more than the crisis itself, the people of Nuevo Colon were most interested in talking about their dreams to improve the beauty of their village and so we jumped at the chance to be a part of a project to achieve this.

The rules of social distancing in 2020 meant there was a need to define improvements that could be done by individuals or single families rather than larger groups. The local committee was eager to start as soon as possible and the news quickly spread from house to house through WhatsApp. By the end of the day, the whole village had signed up to help realise this dream and work on individual aspects of the village renovation project.

Kasiiya helped by covering the cost of the required materials as well as some basic community needs where we were able. This inspirational project made us feel useful and gave us something to concentrate on when we were unable to be of service to our guests. It felt like we were part of something bigger than simply tourism, we were actually helping to improve the lives and homes of the community nearest to us.

You can watch a short video below that shows the first part of this project: the repainting of Nuevo Colon:

Following this, we have extended our commitment to CSR (corporate social responsibility and a commitment to the communities of our staff members. Kasiiya is now investing in five villages nearest to our property. These are the communities from which we hire our staff so our colleagues have children learning in the schools within these five villages. Starting with Nuevo Colon, in 2021 we built new separate restrooms facilities for boys, girls and adults with individual cubicles in each. In addition, we’ve created a shared hand-washing area to facilitate compliance with the enhanced hygiene practice required since Covid.

In the second half of 2022, we will be working on a similar project for two additional villages. Further information will be published soon.

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