Hotel Punta Leona and sustainability
Hotel Punta Leona has adopted corporate social responsibility in its business culture and vision to become a functional resort. Implementing a sustainable model, considering the communities and caring for the environment is at the core of our model.
Since our creation in august 1974, we have undertaken many actions in favor of the environment and the local communities. In addition of being one of the first sources of employment in the Garabito district, we make conservation and sustainable development a high priority in all our projects and strive to maintain, protect and promote ecological balance.
Actions and results in the field of sustainable development
1. Protection of Playa Blanca’s Marine Wetland: Playa Blanca is a special place, highly recognized for its beauty. Yet what many visitors may not know is that it is also a marine wetland protected under the 23148 MIRENEM Decree. Together with the marine biologist Victor Cespedes, Hotel Punta Leona has established specific monitoring, demarcation and environmental education programs. In addition, we seek to promote Playa Blanca’s marine wetland conservation and strengthen its protection through partnerships with government authorities.
2. Sea Turtle conservation program: Each year, a surveillance program is organized in times of spawning in Playa Blanca. Our team protects the nests and eggs from natural predators or egg thieves until the birth of the turtles.
3. Red Macaw Conservation Program: Human pressures have heavily impacted Red Macaws, causing a significant drop in their populations. To preserve these beautiful birds we created, together with Dr. Christopher Vaughan, a conservation program, which includes the implementation of natural and artificial nests, constant monitoring of the nests and the planting of optimal tree species for the birds’ diet such as the almond tree.
Relevant information on our conservation program are provided to our visitor, thanks to an informative mural in the Ceibo – an emblematic site of the complex which serves as habitat for the Red Macaw.
4. Punta Leona’s Butterfly farm: The Butterfly farm is one of our most important tools for environmental education. Through guided tours and training days for schools; children, teenagers and adults of all ages are able to learn about the role of the butterflies in the ecosystem and the importance of species conservation initiatives.
5. Nursery of Punta Leona: The nursery was created as a tool to pursue our reforestation program and preserve the local fauna.6. Private wildlife refuge of Punta Leona: At Hotel Punta Leona we understand the importance of primary and secondary forest for the local fauna, which is why we created the wildlife refuge. Not only do we monitor and protect natural resources and species, we also offer fascinating guided walks to raise awareness on the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable development..
The generation of solid waste is an inseparable part of the touristic activity of an organization such as ours. To sustain our vision of a sustainable business, we work to prevent and / or minimize debris that may have environmental impacts and collaborate with duly authorized partners.
Thanks to a cycle of waste management – from collection to transport, storage and separation at the Center for Collection and Disposal – regulated by strict rules of sanitation, we are able to ensure proper environmental management.
With the help of our partners, we are able to recycle all types of waste: aluminum, plastic, tetra brick, cardboard, paper, electronic waste, batteries and fluorescent, glass, empty cartridges and toners, cooking and engine oil as well as scrap.
We separate organic wastes (peel of fruits and vegetables) in our restaurants and bring them to a pig farm. In addition, we introduced an internal program to promote good environmental habits called “Recycling, everyone wins” for which each department is asked to collect waste in their offices or at home and sort them adequately.
Reforestation program and adopt a tree campaign: Reforestation in Punta Leona is undoubtedly the backbone of our Social Responsibility program. The objective is to raise awareness on the importance of reforestation through the creation of a space for reflection, valorization and participation dedicated to children and youth in general. Through this program, we hope to motivate local communities to take on responsibilities and help keeping the country sustainable.
Since the beginning of the campaign in 2006, the Punta Leona’s Committee has managed to plant more than 76’000 trees.
Our reforestation campaign is twofold: planting and donations. The first side includes the organization of numerous planting activities, ranging from massive reforestation actions undertaken by the staff of Hotel Punta Leona to smaller ones in partnership with local schools. As for the donations side, the “Adopt a tree” campaign seeks to promote reforestation and care for local species through their adoption by our partners, guests and collaborators.
Thanks to the contributions of institutions such as EARTH, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute and the National Water Laboratory (AYA), we are able to keep an efficient nursery, the stronghold of this campaign.
Campaign against dengue: for more than ten years, our company has worked hard to eradicate dengue in the Central Pacific. With the help of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health, we run a continuous campaign against the mosquito Aedes aeagypti. Our biggest efforts in this area are the cleaning and fumigation in neighboring communities.
Environmental awareness campaigns: We display information on environmental issues both in the common areas of the complex and in the rooms. In addition, we promote actions everyone can take in regard to the environment and encourage people to commit to true sustainable development. The goal of these actions is to reduce the consumption of water, energy and aerosols, and encourage proper waste management.
Code of Conduct: Hotel Punta Leona follows a Code of Conduct which aims at protecting children and teenagers against potential or suspected abuse..
Law 7600: Hotel Punta Leona embraces the spirit of law 7600, which objectives are to offer infrastructures and services to meet the needs of all people. Our organization works hard to give every visitor an equal access to the rooms and the hotel facilities.
Conferences and seminars have become a fundamental tool of our environmental education program. We address topics related to environmental protection, health care, disease prevention and sustainability in the tourism industry.
In an effort to become agents of change in the Garabito area, all the seminars and courses are shared with our neighboring communities as well as with members of our committee, staff, schools and colleges in the area, representatives of the nearby municipalities and associations such as Quebrada Ganado and Tarcoles Cooperativas.
Educational tours in Playa Blanca’s Marine Wetland: Destined to our guests, club members and students, these tours are given by Miguel Obando, our marine biologist, and aim at raising awareness on the importance of the wetland ecosystem. They offer a great opportunity to learn about the wildlife that inhabits the wetland, the sensitivity of the ecosystem and the threats to which it is exposed.
Educational day trips to the Butterfly farm and trails of Punta Leona: Every year, fourth graders of the public schools located in the Garabito district come to visit the Butterfly farm and trails of Punta Leona. The purpose of these educational day trips is to teach students about the life cycle of the butterflies, their metamorphosis process, the ecological role they play in the environment and the biological relationship they have with their surroundings.
Educational talks in Schools of the district: Each year we visit different schools of the district to talk about prevention against the Dengue mosquito, the importance and the proper way to wash hands, waste management and many other topics.
Celebration of the day of the Tree: The day of the tree is part of our environmental education program and is celebrated each year by our staff members and guests.
Special visits to schools, colleges and universities: Every year, groups of students come to Punta Leona to learn about our efforts regarding the environment. These visits are an opportunity to show students the work accomplished within the communities and on the beaches.
Students of the UCR and UNA regularly visit us as part of their research on marine wetland or private reserves. In addition to these visits, the James Madison University, in the United States, brings students every year to work on projects related the use of clean energy and conservation.
Painting Contest: Participation in this children’s art contest is open to every school in the district. The goal of this program is to help raising awareness on environmental issues through art. The young artist who wins the contest will receive a prize (made of school supplies).
Support and integration of civic committees: We are currently members of two cultural committees: Epicentro Civico por la Paz in Jacó and the Association for the development of Quebrada Ganado.
Employees Association of Punta Leona: This legal entity allows workers to create a community fund by sharing a percentage of their wages. The fund enables financial management on a scale that would not be possible otherwise and includes, among other benefits, the opportunity to apply for a loan.
Extracurricular training of employees: e offer continuous training to our employees, allowing them to expand their skills in various fields and offering them all the tools and support to work in the best way possible.
Health fair: Each year we organize a health fair destined to all our employees and during which they can take various medical tests at an affordable price.
Donationes: As part of the social vision of Hotel Punta Leona, various donations, both internal and external, are made throughout the year. These include: Gifts and food donation for Christmas (destined to employees with low-income and schools in need in the Garabito district), school supply donations (to schools in need in the Garabito district) as well as free accommodation and grants upon request (destined to Centro Diurno, Special Olympics, Palliative Care, Hospital, Universities and Schools).
Irrigation Water: At Hotel Punta Leona we understand that treated water is a valuable resource that, with correct measures in sanitation and the appropriate disinfection processes, can be reused for irrigation, thus avoiding draining rivers and oceans.
Wastewater treatment: Our wastewater treatment system is composed of the following components:
- Utility holes for microbiological pretreatment.
- Grease traps.
- TSeptic tanks.
- Upflow anaerobic filters, FAFA.
- Chlorination system.
- Elevated tanks of treated and chlorinated water used for the irrigation of green areas.
The quality of the water is monitored daily and a quarterly report is addressed to the Environmental Control Department of the Ministry of health. This document includes information on flow measurement, results of physic-chemical and microbiological analyzes among others.
SMART® TRAVEL is a twofold program designed to promote sustainable practices and local culture among our clients and staff. It promotes environmental, civic and social values among our staff (internal) and responsible tourism as well as the national culture to our visitors (external). The latest is done through scheduled activities where guests can discover local food; learn about local customs, Costa Rican art, dances and the country’s environmental culture.
Since August 2015, as part of our conservation program in Hotel and Club Punta Leona, we have placed cameras in three nests to monitor macaws in the privacy of their natural life. And now one of them is about to see her offspring being born, an event that you can witness in a live broadcast through this link:
Programs and awards
Thanks to the effort made in the harmonious development of the environment, we are the proud national leaders in the Ecological Blue Flag Program (PBAE). This program evaluates the efforts and growth of the communities in accordance with the environment. We participate in the following categories: beach, communities, protected areas and efforts facing climate change; and are our current awards are:
- Playa Blanca. Five Stars (maximum).
- Playa Mantas. One Star.
- Playa Limoncito. One Star.
- Communities of Punta Leona. Three Stars.
- Wildlife refuge of Punta Leona. Five Stars (maximum).
- Actions to address climate change. Four Stars (maximum in this category).
- Promoting Health within the community. Fours Stars.
The Blue Flag is a recognized label in Costa Rica and its presence on a beach inspires trust. It reminds visitors that the salt water is healthy for swimming and that drinking water is safe to consume. With its five star rating, Playa Blanca is not only a safe environment for swimmers because of the quality of its water, but also because of its attentive lifeguards, patrolling eight hours a day.
The Certificate for Sustainable Tourism was designed by the Tourism Institute of Costa Rica to differentiate tourism businesses based on the degree to which they meet a model of sustainable management of natural, cultural and social resources. The Hotel & Club Punta Leona has received four of the five stars attributed to businesses.
This program aims at promoting the health of the community (White Flag) and care of the environment (Green Flag). The Hotel and Club has been awarded with both of these flags for its efforts in providing drinking water, implementing an ecological model for its restaurant Carabelas and sustainable practices regarding the use of the Selvamar rooms.
This award evaluates the environmental efforts made by hospitality companies and restaurants. We have been awarded with the following distinctions:
- Five Stars (highest distinction) in Hotel & Club Punta Leona.
- Five Stars (highest distinction) in the Restaurant Carabelas.
The water supply system in Hotel & Club Punta Leona has been awarded with the white flag distinction known as the Sanitary Quality Seal. It is an award granted by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) to operators who are concerned with maintaining and improving their water supply system.