Archive for October, 2009

Bilingual Titis

October 30, 2009

The Titi Conservation Alliance website is now available in both English and Spanish!Titi Conservation Alliance Logo

…Please take a minute to check it out – www.monotiti.org.

Peeking Titi

A very happy Friday to all you Titi Supporters out there!

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Parador Pride in Planting

October 27, 2009

After a day of non-stop rain here in Aguirre County; last Friday started with clear blue skies, happy greenery, and bustling animals. 

Here at Titi Conservation Alliance, this made us wake with a smile, as we knew it would be an important day for our Rio Naranjo Biological Corridor.

One of our Member businesses, Hotel Parador, had planned a special Day of Reforestation for their employees that day, and tree planting conditions could not have been better.

Meeting at 7:30am, a group of 23 Parador employees and 10 additional family members, gathered to board the bus and head out to the community of Villa Nueva for a morning of planting.

What brought about this special trip?

The dedicated Managers of Hotel Parador recognized the importance of exposing their employees to the important work that we do, and that the hotel supports.  Day after day, hotel employees are faced with the task of telling guests about Titi Conservation Alliance, and why Hotel Parador feels moved to help support our projects.

Now, after a day of learning about the Biological Corridor, and having hands-on exposure to the work that we do, Parador employees can take that new knowledge back with them to share with their guests.

Hotel Parador Reforestation Day Participants

The 33 participants planted 318 trees in just one and a half hours!  With family members in tow, they were able to share this experience, laugh, and enjoy the important work that they accomplished.

It is so important that our Members not only hear about our projects, but that they feel moved to become more actively involved with them as well.  Thank you, Hotel Parador, for your amazing support and involvement!

We also want to send a special Thank You to Iguana Tours for once again providing transportation for this wonderful day.  And additionally, for coming out and planting trees yourselves!

Planet, People, Peace

October 23, 2009

The beginning of next week marks the start of “Planet, People, Peace” ; an international conference hosted by Costa Rica to share leadership practices for sustainable tourism.

3P Logo

Costa Rica will demonstrate to other countries the important leadership role that Costa Rica has assumed in sustainable tourism. Planet, People, Peace, the first International Conference will be a platform by which Costa Rica and its sustainable model will be used as a tool for changing the definition of sustainable tourism in the world. Costa Rica will provide leadership as the most advanced sustainable tourism destination; not just regionally, but also on an international level, acting as a model for any country that wants to implement real sustainable tourism development.

Insectivores-Frugivores…Mmm-Mmm Good!

October 20, 2009

Ever fancy the soft, juicy taste of a caterpillar?  Perhaps the delicate crunch of a fresh grasshopper?

For our Titi friends, these are a special delicacy.

Grasshopper in Costa Rica

As “insectivores-frugivores”, titi monkeys eat primarily insects and fruit, and are said to have a particular sweet tooth for caterpillars and grasshoppers.  Their caterpillar treat may be a bit easier to come by live, as they also prefer to capture stationary insects and rarely go after any in-motion.  For that reason, they can often be seen looking for their insectivore delights either a-top fresh leaves, or by opening crumpled dry leaves.

Searching for a treat...

A grub is found!

To satisfy their frugivore appetite, titis’ favorite seem to be guavas and mangoes; though their frugivore-insectivore diet is determined entirely by the season and abundance of each.  To supplement this diet, they also sometimes munch on small vertebrates, nectar, flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, and gum.

Tasty floral treat

The rainforest is full of delicious treats for the titis! 

(For more information about titis diets and more, click HERE and/or HERE.)

Expert Planter in the Works

October 16, 2009

Having started our Environmental Education Program in 2004, we have had the good fortune of being able to reach many local students through our classroom lessons, in-school organic tree nurseries, reforestation trips, and environmental field-trips.

In these past five years, we have met many amazing students.  And there is one in particular who sticks out among the crowd – 12-year-old Andres from the town of Naranjito. 

Through his good luck, (as well as particular interest and some good negotiating skills,) Andres has been able to join us for four out of five years of reforestation trips.

Andres learns for the first time about the trees to be planted along the corridor In 2004, Andres joined us for the first-ever student planting trip along our Rio Naranjo Biological Corridor.  He was in second grade at the time, and Juan Pablo remembers him being full of wonder, awe, and great interest for the planting tasks at hand.

 

 

 

Since then, Andres has been able to join the Alliance on three consecutive yearly planting trips.  He has been able to see the amazing progress achieved in those few years; and has watched how his first saplings have grown to form newly forested areas.

       Andres in 3rd gradeAndres in 4th grade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andres is a fabulous example of the affect that these activities can have on young students. 

Last year, as a sixth-grader, Andres’s class was not scheduled to plant trees.  The younger students would be travelling to the corridor that year.  But when Andres learned of this, he begged his Principle to let him go.  He said it was the most important thing he did each year; and pursued to tell his Principle all the lessons he had learned from the activity.  Impressed by both his knowledge and his passion for the trees and plantings, the principle made an exception and allowed one sixth-grader to accompany the younger students to the corridor.

Andres in 6th Grade

It was a happy day for Andres; and we were so glad to have his expert help!

FREE Environmental Inspections and Advice for Hoteliers!

October 8, 2009

We have a great announcement to make today … As a part of our partnership with Rainforest Alliance, we are able to bring FREE Environmental inspections for all hotels of the Quepos/Manuel Antonio community in pursuit of the Sustainable Tourism Certification (CST) at the end of this month!

Rainforest Alliance Logo

With these inspections, Rainforest Alliance is offering an extensive assessment of the current practices of each individual hotel.  They will then be able to provide a detailed report of all findings, with an environmental performance “score” and a plan of action for making all necessary improvements.

Titi Conservation Alliance logo

These inspections will be followed by a Seminar hosted by Titi Conservation Alliance and Rainforest Alliance for all participating hotels.  This Seminar will be focused on addressing the issues that arose from inspections with each hotel, and will offer further consultation on the best ways to improve upon those issues.

So Quepos/Manuel Antonio hoteliers….Mark your calendars! Rainforest Alliance representatives will be here October 23 – November 3 for inspections.  Please take advantage of this rare offer, and contact us to reserve a space today!  (Email ingrid@monotiti.org or call 506-2777-2306)

Simply Awesome Students

October 5, 2009

It’s not always easy to convince university students to wake up early on a Saturday morning…perhaps especially when physical labor is involved.

But Titi Conservation Alliance didn’t have to do a thing to convince these amazing students from North Central College to do just that.

North Central College Reforestation

This past Saturday, the students volunteered to devote their time (and energy and a whole lot of sweat) to an early morning of planting trees along our Rio Naranjo Biological Corridor.  In the intense heat, and on difficult, hilly terrain; the students planted over 200 trees!

And personally, I think the story behind their decision to help with this activity is well worth sharing…

After presenting a class to the students on “Eco-Tourism in Costa Rica” two weeks ago, and telling them a bit about the work that we do at Titi Conservation Alliance, all 17 students unanimously decided that they wanted to help.  So, in addition to dedicating a Saturday to helping us plant trees; they also specifically asked their professor if we could return for one more class presentation.

Why were they so eager?  Well, for one, they are simply just that cool.  They have big hearts, and feel a call to action after learning about the community in which they are now living.  They want to do more than just visit; they want to make a difference.

So when they learned that all of their donations from these activities with Titi Conservation Alliance would be devoted 100% to the environmental education program of Titi Conservation Alliance (something that we are able to guarantee because of our Membership donations); the students told their professor they wanted to be involved – they wanted their money to go towards a good cause.

This warmed my heart to hear, and made me so proud to know these wonderfully caring and active students from the United States.  I am happy our paths have crossed, that we have had the opportunity to share a bit of our work with them, and that they felt so moved to help.

Thank you for your awesome support, North Central College!!


Peeps, Twitters, Chucks, and Cackles

October 1, 2009

Did you know? Or better yet…Did you hear?

Titi (Squirrel) Monkeys have a language of their very own, with at least 25-30 different calls used for communication!

These calls are divided into six different descriptive groups:

  1. Peeps
  2. Twitters
  3. Chucks
  4. Cackles
  5. Pulsed calls
  6. Noisy calls

Each call is used to communicate something different – from greetings and feedings, to frustration and play.

Click HERE for in-depth information on the meaning of each call.

And the next time you see the titis coming through the trees…Listen closely…Which call do you hear?

It could tell you a lot about what those cute little titis are up to…

titi groupPhoto courtesy of Krespo 1