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Sustainability at Las Cruces



Blue Flag

The Blue Flag Program was born in response to strengthening public health and tourism, currently has nine categories and is an interagency program, administered by various public sector institutions and some private organizations.

The Blue Flag program substantially improves the use of resources efficiently doing the work of each agency involved, which is reflected in:


  • Saving resources
  • Less pollution
  • Implementation of best environmental practices
  • Changes in the attitude of people


As an organization OTS participated since 2009 in two categories:

  • Protected Natural Areas
  • Actions to Address Climate Change-Mitigation

In which we obtained 5 and 2 stars respectively, this program is coordinated by resident biologist Rodolfo Quiroz together with the Environmental Sustainability Committee of the station.

For more information:
rodolfo.quiros @ tropicalstudies.org
diana.bermudez @ tropicalstudies.org


Certification for Sustainable Tourism

The Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program - CST - is a product of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT). The CST was designed to differentiate businesses of the tourism sector, based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.

CST is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 "levels" of sustainable tourism achievement.

In the year 2011 the JBW and EBLC obtained the first levels of tourist sustainability. With this we marked the beginning of recognition for our efforts for the tourism and environmental sustainability that we initiated 50 years ago.

Between the actions taken are:


  • Collect rainwater for reuse in toilets and laundry
  • Gray water oxidation pond project
  • Check for leakage and replace damage pipes
  • Monthly control of water consumption through the various gauges in station buildings
  • Education and training to save resources and lower consumption for visitors and workers using murals, workshops and other activities


Saving Energy


  • Use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy, cabin heaters project.
  • Education and training for saving resources and lowering consumption provided to visitors and workers with murals, signage and workshops inviting contribution to energy saving.
  • Monthly control of energy usage by measuring the different buildings at the station which monitor consumption and make the necessary adjustments.




  • There is a storage facility for solid waste recycling
  • Project-based composting kitchen scraps, fruit, vegetables, medicinal plants and yard waste. Bio-enzymes, bocashi and vermin culture compost are produced.
  • Monitoring and control of daily weight of all waste produced


Environmental Education Program

Within the five districts of the Coto Brus County, this program works with schools, colleges and public and private institutions. This program is directed by Ariadna Sánchez who has 6 years of experience working together with communities to develop successful projects such as:


  • Eco-Suitcase: a program for elementary school students that includes a practical guide for educators and all the associated materials for developing class activities found within the Eco-Suitcase. This project received support from the National Bank and HB Fuller who helped make it happen with their generous cooperation. • Eco-Cultural Festival: held annually in June in order to raise awareness surrounding communities about the importance of conservation while given the opportunity to see our facilities, services, projects and conservation activities . This community festival also provides a space for artistic expression such as theater, dance, local crafts and sale of environmentally friendly products.
  • Eco-Cup: This is a sport activity that began in 2012 to promote the sport and also to educate the community about the importance of conservation through exhibits by various public institutions and NGOs.


To learn more about environmental education projects contact:

Emilce Ramirez
emilce.ramirez @ tropicalstudies.org
Phone: (506) 27734004 Ext.3200

Our goal is to be a Sustainable Biological Station where our actions do not impact negatively on the environment, but to support the conservation, research and reduced utilization of resources.

Many sustainability efforts continue to be implemented, to learn more contact:

Diana Bermudez
diana.bermudez @ tropicalstudies.org
Phone: (506) 27734004 Ext: 3150


For information and reservations: visit.ots @ tropicalstudies.org


Biological Stations:
La Selva
Las Cruces
Palo Verde

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