San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Matapalo Community Gets Organized

The sleepy little town of Playa Matapalo, Puntarenas, is coming alive and doing what many beach towns have only hoped to do: organize successfully. With the help of locals and extranjeros, the community is rallying to develop with integrity.

The last four years have produced the following advances:

–A creative arts/drug prevention program for kids called Grupo Creativo del Gran Futuro, or Creative Kids’ Group of the Grand Future.

–Security program to deter and prevent local crime.

–Renovated building at the soccer field at the beach for our community center.

–Money to buy a lawn mower to maintain the soccer field.

–Sunset Feria where locals come to sell and buy fruits and veggies, local art, breads and pastries, tamales, gifts, etc.

–A new playground.

–Computer lab and Internet café in the works.

The new playground, solicited by the informal community committee, built by Xilo of Cartago, paid for by the development group Hacienda Matapalo and used by local kids, is a pure reflection of our collaborations.

Such successes might seem basic to a community that already has these things, but the tangible products are huge for this village on the dirt road between Quepos and Dominical.

The Playa Matapalo community hopes to serve as a model for other growing villages in Costa Rica, and would love to hear about and learn from what other communities are doing as well.

To offer insight or to learn more about our story, please contact us at or 8889-2913.

–Shelley Workman


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