Local Economy in La Cruz

The project “Driving local economy through conservation: The model of La Cruz, its communities and protected areas” promotes a 5-year regional vision (2020-2024) with the support of the WAITT Foundation to position the canton of La Cruz, in Guanacaste, as a tourist destination, driving communal associativity, and environmental, social and economic sustainability.

This initiative is part of the Green and Blue Economy Program of Forever Costa Rica to reduce threats to biodiversity conservation.

The initiative in La Cruz, Guanacaste, was born in 2018 with the process of creating the Bahía Santa Elena Marine Management Area. This process was developed under a participatory governance model with government authorities, local organizations and coastal communities.

Marine Management Area (AMM) Bahia Santa Elena

Forever Costa Rica supported SINAC, organizations and communities in a participatory governance model for the creation of the Bahía Santa Elena Marine Management Area in La Cruz.

Project components

1. Investment and financial mechanisms

2. Business plans and skills

3. Marketing and innovation

4. Participation and strengthening of local stakeholders

Achievements 2021

1. Tourism to create opportunities

The canton of La Cruz, Guanacaste, has a Regional Business Plan to promote the creation of a local tourism business environment. With the support of the project, five business plans were prepared for local organizations and seed capital was provided to begin implementation.

2. Positioning of the La Cruz Coastal Tourism Corridor

The Coastal Tourism Corridor La Cruz (CTC) Is a route with natural, cultural, historical, experiential and geological attractions from La Cruz to Cuajiniquil. Among its options are rural tourism, marine tours, sport fishing, whale watching, and local gastronomy.

3. Community leadership

Training and exchange of experiences for organizations in La Cruz are a main component. In addition, a community fund for the canton has been created, an initiative of local leaders, the mayor’s office and the business sector.

4. Sustainable investment for the communities

The aim is to identify mechanisms for the concession of tourism and non-essential services associated with protected areas, as in the case of Asojunquillal, for example, which is working with the Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG) to manage tourism services in the Junquillal National Wildlife Reserve.


Local economy and conservation in La Cruz

Blue and Green Economy

The Local Economy in La Cruz project is part of our Blue and Green Economy Program. Learn more at: