Ocean Guardian Journey

Conserve and preserve Costa Rica’s oceans, seas and marine resources to support sustainability and biodiversity

With a marine surface that is 10 times bigger than the terrestrial surface, Costa Rica’s oceans are a true blue asset. Costa Rica has a total of 1,290 km of coastline (212 km on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km on the Pacific) and the surrounding oceans shelter at least 6,777 species, representing 3.5% of the known species on the planet. Ensure a “blue” future for Costa Rica by contributing to the development of ocean stewards.
The communities
 Bahía Ballena and Uvita are small towns located in Costa Ballena on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, roughly 3.5 hours away from the capital San José. While the area is gaining popularity among travelers, it still remains relatively undeveloped, maintaining the gorgeous scenery and the laid-back feel of pura vida.
These communities are housed within the county of Osa. The greater Osa area includes the peninsula of Osa and the neighboring Golfito area, a place that contains 3% of the world’s biodiversity, 50% of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and is declared by National Geographic as the “most biologically intense place on Earth.” However, the greater Osa area is also one of the poorest regions of Costa Rica, with social indicators placing the communities in the top decile of poverty in the country with a poverty rate of approximately 37%.


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Project Description

The Ocean Guardian program leverages the knowledge, skills and resources of three local non-profit organizations to increase the capacity of local youth between the ages of 6 -25 to manage their communities assets, including the Marino Ballena National Park. Created in 1989 to protect coral reefs and the visiting humpback whales, the park’s conservation area covers 110 land hectares and 5,385 ocean hectares, and is touted as being the first marine park in all of Latin America. It was listed by National Geographic as one of ten best destinations in the world for whale and dolphin watching.




Roles of program partners:


Bodhi Surf School

Co-develop Ocean Guaridan curriculum, donate financial and logistical support, provide meaningful ocean experiences and service-learning opportunities.

Forjando Alas

Develop youth resilency; mentor, train, and develop an array of human and carácter development services to children and youth.


Increase youth capacity to use and apply geospatial technologies to solve local issues and investigate community resources.


Provide cutting edge environmental education on topics such as watershed protection, biological corridors and biosphere reserves.


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