On March 18th, 2020, Costa Rica declared a state of emergency and closed its borders to international visitors. Days later, the beaches and national parks also closed to the public. As a result of these factors, tourism (the economic driver of our coastal community), all but ground to a halt. This has put many of our community members in a very tenuous position as businesses shut down, and many workers have seen their hours greatly reduced or found themselves laid off indefinitely.
In the second term of 2020, Fundación SOMOS’ efforts and resources were largely directed towards mitigating the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the communities within Costa Ballena. The short term response was to provide food security in the form of emergency aid and assistance. That transitioned into working alongside community organizations to reopen the main driver of tourism in our community: the Marino Ballena National Park.