About Us

About Us

Environmental education is at the core of everything we do.

Who we are

Finca Cántaros Environmental Association is an environmental non-profit organization registered in British Columbia, Canada and based in San Vito de Coto Brus, Costa Rica.

We aim to work collaboratively with partners on environmental education and forest restoration initiatives in service of conserving, enhancing or creating biological corridors throughout the Western Hemisphere, starting with the AmistOsa Corridor here in the southern zone of Costa Rica and eventually expanding to conduct work from Canada to South America.

Location

The property of Finca Cántaros is located in the southern zone of Costa Rica on the Pacific slope, in Coto Brus county of the province of Puntarenas. The elevation is 1150-1200 meters (3770-3900 feet). It is a cool, comfortable, tropical highlands climate with temperatures ranging between 14-30° C (58-85° F) year round. The surrounding neighbourhood is called Linda Vista, and the nearest town is San Vito, which was settled by Italians in 1952. It is now the Coto Brus county seat, and has a population of about 15,000 in a regional population of about 55,000.

What is a biological corridor?

The property of Finca Cántaros is located in the southern zone of Costa Rica on the Pacific slope, in Coto Brus county of the province of Puntarenas.

A biological corridor (also referred to as a wildlife corridor or migration corridor) is defined as a territory that provides connectivity between protected wild areas as well as human-modified landscapes in order to conserve biodiversity and address community-based needs.

History

Group 9

360

Finca Cántaros acquires a property of three hectares called "360" that connects to the properties acquired in 2022 and 2021, upon which we have already initiated forest restoration projects.

2023

Finca Cántaros acquires more land

Bosque Mágico

Finca Cántaros acquires 40 hectares of cattle pasture, on which it initiates multiple forest restoration projects with the community and as part of global research efforts (which are detailed on the forest restoration page). These hectares connect with the properties acquired in 2021.

2022

Finca Cántaros acquires more land

Bosque Botania and Nacientes Encantadas

Finca Cántaros acquires 15 hectares that includes both secondary forest and cattle pasture that is not connected to the "main campus" where the office is based, but connects to the Las Cruces Biological Reserve, an important piece of the AmistOsa Biological Corridor.

2021

Finca Cántaros acquires more land

Finca Cántaros Environmental Association

With its transformation into the Finca Cántaros Environmental Association, the craft store was closed. The nature reserve remains open to the public by reservation and the majority of land will be converted into additional active and passive reforestation projects. We will continue to maintain the beautiful forest trails. We are fully dedicated to environmental education activities and forest restoration activities.

2020

Finca Cántaros becomes Finca Cántaros Environmental Association

Lilly Briggs purchases Finca Cántaros

When Lilly Briggs bought the property in 2019, Finca Cántaros was a well-regarded tourist destination of approximately 7.5 hectares of forest and gardens, found in international tourist guidebooks every year since 1997. It was a public nature reserve and housed an artisan craft store. Lilly added the adjacent 7.5 hectares of property that are currently undergoing active and passive reforestation as part of the organization’s mission.

2019

Finca Cántaros is purchased from Gail and Harry Hull by Lilly Briggs

Gail Hull purchases Finca Cántaros

1994

Coffee plants are cleared to make way for cattle

1990

Sansonetti family cultivates coffee

1952

Founding of Finca Cántaros

Staff

Lilly Briggs, PhD

Founder & Director

David Rodríguez

Wildlife Research Manager

Karla Esquivel

Environmental Art

Alisson Vargas

Biodiversity Projects

Roberth Chaves Leon

Head Of Infrastructure Maintenance

Ricardo Calderón Guzmán

Head Of Property Maintenance

Get Involved

Join our supporters

Participate in our environmental education programs and events.

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Our Partners

Finca Cántaros Environmental Association works with a diverse array of committed partners to achieve its goals of promoting environmental education, forest restoration and research.


San Vito Bird Club

The San Vito Bird Club is a community-based not-for-profit group in southern Costa Rica that engages all ages in activities aimed at inspiring interest in birds and supporting bird conservation, from bird walks to local youth-oriented environmental education programs. We partner with the San Vito Bird Club on multiple environmental education outreach initiatives.


Monteverde Bat Jungle

Monteverde Bat Jungle is a world class bat exhibit and research centre designed to introduce people to the incredible world of bats. We partner with the Monteverde Bat Jungle on a long-term research project investigating the bat diversity at Finca Cántaros, which includes a community-oriented environmental education component called “Bat Nights.”

Proyecto Cerúlea

Proyecto Cerúlea is dedicated to studying the Cerulean Warbler, particularly its natural history during important stopover points in Costa Rica on its migration route. It conducts annual surveys as well as public outreach events. We have a partnership with Proyecto Cerúlea through our co-managed Motus Station, detailed further in the Birds Canada/Motus Wildlife Tracking System partnership description.

 

Birds Canada / Motus Wildlife Tracking System

Birds Canada is a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to conserve wild birds through sound science, on-the-ground actions, innovative partnerships, public engagement, and science-based advocacy. It manages the Motus Wildlife Tracking System program, an international collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to facilitate research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. We partner with Birds Canada and Motus Wildlife Tracking System through our Motus Station, the second to be installed in Costa Rica.


Bateman Foundation / Nature Sketch Program

The Bateman Foundation’s mission is to promote the preservation and sustainability of the environment through both an art gallery and programs promoting nature-inspired artists, including world renowned Canadian artist and naturalist Robert Bateman. One of their programs, Nature Sketch, aims to inspire appreciation of the natural world using a pencil and a sketchbook. We partner with the Bateman Foundation to facilitate hands-on activities from the Nature Sketch curriculum with our local youth audiences. The Bateman Foundation adapted all of their materials for our use into Spanish, and we further adapt them to the local ecological and cultural context.


Osa Conservation

Osa Conservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the globally significant biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. They also lead multiple forest restoration projects throughout Coto Brus, including the creation and maintenance of tree nurseries that support the propagation of native tree species for planting along the AmistOsa Biological Corridor. We partner with Osa Conservation through the tree nursery based at Finca Cántaros, which creates a rich environmental education space for the multiple audiences that we work with through our various programs.


The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum and tree research center, committed to scientifically-informed action, locally and globally, and encouraging the planting and conservation of trees. It manages The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, the only global program to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. We partner with Morton Arboretum on forest restoration projects and Finca Cántaros is officially accredited as an arboretum.

National Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society 

Ebird 

Organización para Estudios Tropicales

Organización para Estudios Tropicales