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SHARE   Costa  Rica  and               Fossil Adventure Lodge


Click here to watch the SHARE Costa Rica and Fossil Adventure Lodge promo video. 

Scheduled to open in 2017-2018, SHARE Costa Rica and Fossil Adventure Lodge are now in the planning and design phases.  Like what you see ?
Email Jefferson Pepper to get involved.   
Contact Jefferson Pepper Now
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The southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful, ecologically diverse and peaceful places on the planet. Just a two and a half hour flight from Miami, Costa Rica is our close neighbor.  The southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, dominated by the Osa Peninsula, is a land of magnificent wild beaches, and impressive flora and fauna. While each beach is unique in its own way, they are all stunningly beautiful, with stretches of white sand and turquoise blue sea, glorious sunsets and virgin pristine primary rainforests. Long ago the Osa Peninsula was an island; species evolved there on their own and thus many are unique and only found here in this magical location. Indeed the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica is one of the most important regions in the world in terms of bio-diversity. Due to it’s deep water and abundant rivers delivering nutrients to the Pacific Ocean, Southern Costa Rica’s mirror like Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) is teeming with a large variety of abundant aquatic life and allows you to access endless beaches, stunning coastline, and cascading rivers and streams. The waters off the Osa Peninsula are a virtual marine wonderland, housing over twenty-five species of dolphins and whales that live here year round or migrate through, and also hosts four of the world’s eight species of sea turtles. In fact, Costa Rica enjoys one of the most biologically diverse ocean ecosystems in the world. All this rich biodiversity is found here on the Osa Peninsula, but yet, the marine area is almost entirely unprotected, except for small areas around the national parks. Commercial fishing techniques such as long lining, shrimping, gill netting and tuna fishing are wreaking havoc on this delicate and biologically diverse area and its marine inhabitants, and if urgent and drastic actions are not taken soon, the world will lose this treasure forever. With 60% of its land covered by preserves Southern Costa Rica’s virgin rainforests are home to over 10,000 species of plants, 240 mammals, 10% of the world’s butterflies, and 850 species of birds. National Geographic described the area as "one of the most biologically intense places on earth". It is, quite simply, a world treasure that needs to be protected.


The coastline of Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita, proposed site of SHARE Costa Rica and Fossil Adventure Lodge.

Eco-Tourism has been highly promoted in the areas of Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Uvita, Dominical, Tinamastes and San Isidro de General; this is indeed where you will find the largest concentration of ecological projects, in an effort to protect the vast virgin primary forests with their abundance of awesome trees, plants, animals and incredible coastline. There are a treasure trove of activities for nature lovers in the southern zone; the area is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, world class surfing, kayaking either in the Pacific Ocean, rivers, steams, through caves or in mangroves, whale and dolphin watching, whitewater rafting, boating, birding and animal watching, hiking, ziplining, horseback riding, canyoning, tours of local permaculture farms, waterfall hikes...the list goes on and on. Corcovado National Park, about two hours south of Uvita, is one of the world’s wonders while the Marino Ballena National Park is known around the world for the many species of whale that migrate through the area. Marino Ballena National Park also contains an interesting sand bar formation (the third largest in the world), which from the air looks like a whale's tail (see the photo above). Just 45 minutes north of Uvita is Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, the most visited National Park in Costa Rica. Inland about 30 minutes is Diamante Falls. At  over 600 feet high, it is the second highest waterfall in Costa Rica. Also within about an hour and a half drive is Mount Chirripo, the tallest mountain in Costa Rica at 12,533 feet above sea level. There are still a few Jaguars today in the southern zone; these awesome cats are just down to a few hundred in Costa Rica. The southern Pacific area of Costa Rica is a must for nature lovers and those who can appreciate the magical beauty of Planet Earth.

Scarlet Macaws are beginning to make a recovery in the southern zone of Costa Rica but they need our help.

The "Southern Zone" of Costa Rica includes the surfing meccas of Dominical, Playa Hermosa and Pavones and the country's highest mountain (Mt. Chirippo). In addition to the national parks Corcovado, Amistad, Piedras Blancas and Marino Ballena, there are many other protected areas and biological reserves in the region. Other notable towns of the southern zone include Uvita, Ojochal, Puerto Cortes, Drake Bay, San Isidro de General, Buenos Aires, Palmar Norte, Golfito and Puerto Jiminez. As much of the country continues to develop, the southern region remains largely untouched at it was long ago, but that is beginning to change.

The paving of the Costanera Sur highway from Dominical to Quepos between 2008-2012 means more cars and people are coming to this sensitive area. During the rainy season much of the southern region was inaccessible from the north due to flooding and washouts on the dirt road. What used to be a grueling 10 hour trip to Dominical (the northernmost limit of the southern zone) from the capital city of San Jose is now a leisurely three hour ride on smooth blacktop. In addition, the Costa Rican government has approved the construction of a new international airport at Palmar Norte, about 35 minutes south of Uvita, slated to begin construction in 2014. This means even more tourists, real estate investment and development in the area. Illegal poaching of endangered and threatened species as well as illegal logging continue to be a problem in the area. The Costa Rican government lacks the resources and manpower to sufficiently patrol and protect these vital areas, and this is one of the many areas in which non-governmental organizations (NGO's) can play a role.


 Magnificent trees like this one are under threat from illegal logging operations in the southern zone of Costa Rica.

How this all started

During a vacation to Costa Rica in 2012, Jeff Lebo (aka Jefferson Pepper) and Lauri Lebo (from York Haven, PA USA) fell in love with the southern zone of the country because of its incredible natural beauty, ideal climate, wealth of outdoor activities, intense biodiversity, friendly people, progressive society and environmentally-conscious, peaceful government. During a
return trip to southern Costa Rica in December 2013 and January 2014, the Lebos scouted a number of properties in and around the Uvita area and set up a Costa Rican SRL corporation called SHARE Costa Rica, with the idea of creating a sustainable, environmentally-friendly eco-community and eco-tourism destination.  SHARE Costa Rica tentatively has a number of goals, which may be expanded in the future:

 
 
1.  Purchase a 1.6 acre ocean view property located approximately 2 kilometers south of the town center of Uvita (centrally-located in the Southern Pacific Zone).
 
This property is located on a ridge with direct access to the Costanera Sur highway, the main road linking the southern region of the country with the Capital of San Jose to the north. The property is approximately a five minute bike ride to the beach (Marino Ballena National Park / Whale's Tail), and also within a five minute bike ride to the services of the town of Uvita, which includes two grocery stores, a Saturday farmers market, an indoor soccer stadium, more than twenty restaurants and bars,  medical clinics, banks, etc. There are also thirteen different Pacific beaches, all of which are protected, within a fifteen minute car ride. Uvita is also the location of the very popular Envision Music Festival, Best Fest and the Dome Music Festivals.  Many American, European and Canadian expats call the Uvita area home, with many talented artists and musicians performing at local venues. There is a brand new hospital in Cortez, approximately thirty minutes south. Additionally, the government has approved the construction of an international airport at Palmar Norte, approximately thirty-five minutes south. The airport is scheduled to begin construction in 2014. Lauri and Jeff Lebo will be using their own money to purchase the property. Additional funds will be needed for some of the construction and other improvements, utilities, maintenance, etc., and could be generated from grants, fundraising and donations, etc.

A view of the stunning coastline of the Uvita region. The proposed site of SHARE Costa Rica and Fossil Adventure Lodge can be seen on the ridge above the whales tail formation (the point). The property enjoys cool ocean breezes, an incredible ocean view, easy beach access and year-round sunsets.

2.  Design and construct a sustainable eco-tourism destination, eco-retirement community, a small permaculture farm and an environmental education center at SHARE Costa Rica.
 

The proposed site contains two separate flat areas (plantels) or tiers; a lower tier and an upper tier, with a sloped area in between. The lower tier of the property will serve as the SHARE Costa Rica offices and reception area, parking lot,  a small greenhouse for producing organic vegetables, a small permaculture farm area, eco-community center, bathrooms and showers and a tent camping area.  On the slope going up to the upper tier we will construct jungle villas and tree houses that will serve as vacation rentals or longer term rentals for use as retirement properties for community members. These areas will provide inexpensive accomodations for SHARE Costa Rica community members at discounted rates, as well as for short-term rental to others. 

A portion of the land will be set aside as a wildlife corridor and permaculture farm. Fruit trees to attract and nourish local wildlife, as well as human community members and guests, will be introduced. There will be a small orchard with oranges, papayas, pineapple, bananas, passion fruit, coconut, plantains, guanabana, avocado, starfruit, rambutan, lemons, limes, mangosteen, pomegranate, figs, breadfruit, cacao, noni fruit, mangos, etc.


The SHARE Costa Rica wildlife corridor and permaculture farm will help provide local animals with habitat and food.


The upper tier of the property will be the future site of Fossil Adventure Lodge, a Balinese style eco lodge, possible condo complex and vacation rental units as well as  gardens and walking trails. Fossil Adventure Lodge will be promoted internally through S.H.A.R.E. in Pennsylvania, SHARE Costa Rica and globaltopia.org as well as on websites such as Airbnb.com, HomeAway.com, Trip Advisor and VRBO, as well as others. Care will be taken to insure minimal impact on the environment and to utilize sustainable, natural building materials such as stone, concrete and bamboo, as well as using clean renewable energy sources such as solar, wind power, etc. Catch water from rain gutters will be utilized for toilets and wash water. Drinking water will be from the public source in Uvita. There will be a swimming pool at the lodge with a solar powered pool pump. The common area of the lodge will include a community kitchen, small library and an environmental education center. In the complex will also be an indoor / outdoor venue for community events and gatherings, concerts and performances, drum circles, visiting lecturers, yoga, film nights etc. Community members and guests will have the opportunity to take part in numerous nearby nature activities such as surfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, hiking, whale and dolphin watching, waterfall tours, horseback riding, snorkeling and diving, ziplining, canyoning, bird watching, etc. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to help develop and maintain the property and work in the permaculture farm, lending their skills to help to make the project a success. Community members and guests will also have the opportunity to volunteer with a number of environmental and conservation projects, including helping groups such as MPA for Osa, which is seeking to create a marine protected area off the Osa Peninsula. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to volunteer with a group in nearby Playa Tortuga (Turtle Beach) to take part in sea turtle research and monitoring, crocodile and caimen monitoring and research, mammal monitoring and river otter research, environmental education, butterfly garden projects and more. In addition, volunteers may choose to work in the local animal shelter in Uvita. There are many other volunteering opportunities in which community members  and guests will have the opportunity to take part.

Below are several preliminary concepts for Fossil Adventure Lodge










3.  Expand SHARE Costa Rica to other areas within Costa Rica.
 
As funds become available, additional tracts of land (including a large tract of land adjoining the proposed property) could be purchased for preservation, reforestation projects, additional permaculture farms, animal rescue projects, wildlife corridors and additional area to expand the SHARE Costa Rica eco-community.


Playa Ventanas, fifteen minutes south of Uvita.

There is a lot to love about Costa Rica. Consider these facts:
 
  • Costa Rica ranks #1 on the Happy Planet Index, a metric which measures happiness and well-being against environmental impact, carbon footprint, etc. (the US ranks #104). In the Gross Happiness Index (which does not factor in environmental factors), Costa Rica still comes out ahead of the US, even though the US is a much "wealthier" country.
  •  Costa Rica enjoys a strong middle class, stable democratic government and the highest standard of living in Central America.
  •  Close proximity to the US. The international airport in San Jose is only 2 1/2 hours from Miami, or a 4 1/2 hour flight from Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
  •  The southern zone of Costa Rica does not suffer from hurricanes like much of the Caribbean and central America.
  •  Beautiful climate. The temperature averages around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the area is green all year long. Ocean breezes help keep the area cool.
  •  Over 25% of the land area of Costa Rica is protected in National Parks and biological reserves. In the southern zone of Costa Rica, this figure is over 60% of the land area.
  •  After World War II, the government of Costa Rica stepped back and asked the question "Is war really the best way to deal with conflict?" In 1949 they abolished their military and ever since has had no army, navy, air force or marines. Instead, they put the money into health care and education for their citizens. The Costa Rican Coast Guard (purely defensive) is the only military presence in the country. The average Costa Rican pays about $30 per month for health insurance.
  •  The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica is one of only five "Blue Zones" worldwide, where people enjoy unusually long lives. Clean air, water, organic food, lower stress and a strong sense of community are factors in their longevity.
  •  Costa Rica derives over 93% of it's electricity from clean, renewable sources. In the US, we do under 10%.
  •  Costa Rica is the first country in the world to set the goal of being the first carbon-neutral country (by 2021).
  •  The Costa Rican airline Nature Air is the world's first carbon-neutral airline.
  •  Costa Rica elected a female president (Laura Chinchilla), who is currently serving her term.
  •  Costa Rican citizens, on average, are considerably healthier than people in the US.
  •  Southern Zone of Costa Rica described as "the most biologically intense place on earth" by National Geographic.
  •  Cocos Island, Costa Rica described by Jacques Cousteau as "the most beautiful island in the world".
  •  Cano Island, about a 45 minute boat ride from Uvita, has the best scuba diving and snorkeling off the mainland of Costa Rica.
  •  Costa RIca provides a plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers to enjoy.
  •  Within a 15 minute drive of Uvita there are thirteen different beaches. Some of these are world-class surfing destinations, others are better for swimming, snorkeling, or just hanging out. All of them are protected by the government of Costa Rica, so there will never be resorts built on these beaches. 
  •  Exotic wildlife like keel billed toucans, capuchin and howler monkeys, coatis, sloths and agoutis are seen in the jungle surrounding the proposed site of SHARE Costa Rica. in fact, one of the days we visited there we heard howler monkeys right behind the property and saw three toucans in the trees directly above us on the property. The view from the top of the property is simply stunning, providing an over 120 degree jungle view and an over 140 degree ocean view. The property enjoys year-round sunsets due to its southwest position. From the top tier of the property it is possible to see all the way out to Cano Island and as far up the coast as Manuel Antonio National Park. Directly below is a whitewater ocean view with the world famous Whale's Tail as the centerpiece. 

View from the upper tier of the proposed site of Fossil Adventure Lodge.


The famous Whale's Tail formation at Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita.


Strike a pose at Fossil Adventure Lodge.


Keel-billed toucans are commonly seen in the area.


Another view of the stunning Pacific coastline of southern Costa Rica.


Exploring one of the many rivers in the area.


Canyoning; An adventure sport involving rappelling down waterfalls.


World-class surfing at Dominical, just ten minutes north of Uvita.


Playa Tortuga, an important local nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles.


The ocelot; One of the inhabitants of Costa Rica's southern zone.


Whitewater rafting on the nearby Savegre, Baru, General and Coto Brus Rivers.


Horseback riding at Playa Hermosa, five minutes north of Uvita.


The incredible Blue Morpho butterfly.


Snorkeling and diving at Cano Island.


Map of the Uvita area. The proposed site of SHARE Costa Rica and Fossil Adventure Lodge is near # 14.



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This is your life. This is your world.
Love it.
Protect it.
Share it.


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SHARE   Costa  Rica
Live the dream.
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Write to Share Costa Rica c/o Jeff and Lauri Lebo
350 Roxberry Road
York Haven, PA USA 17370
or email jeffersonpepper(at)aol.com



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