Villa Mills Forestry Producers
- Apartado 7170 CATIE
- Phone number:
- Executive director:
- Marvin Mena
- Year founded:
- Mission statement:
- Create alternatives for the generation of economic resources,
that would contribute to family sustenance and women's independence,
while developing these alternatives in harmony with the
| Annual budget: US
- CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación
y Enseñanza), Costa Rica
- Cooperación Suiza para el Desarrollo (COSUDE)
- Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE), Costa
Description of the area where organization works:
- Contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, water,
air quality, and scenic beauty of the protected wildlands
of the Macizo de la Muerte region of Costa Rica.
- Promote the value of the highland forests as strategic
providers of environmental services.
- Alert ecotourists about the issues of man-nature relationships
in mountainous zones and their implications for the people
of the lowlands, using environmental animation techniques.
- Locally promote an economic activity led by the people
that will help improve their quality of life, taking advantage
of a segment of the tourism demand that has not yet been
covered and strengthen an economic activity compatible with
the conservation of nature.
- Contribute to increasing the people's knowledge about
man-nature relationships and their importance in maintaining
environmental equilibrium with emphasis on highland mountain
- Contribute to the strengthening and independence of organized
woman, facilitating access to economic resources, expanding
employment and training opportunities.
- Implement an innovative alternative for raising environmental
Macizo de la Muerte is a mountainous
area above 1800 meters elevation that safeguards one of the
most extensive natural and semi-natural areas of the nation.
There are many microclimates and, thanks to this, it is a
region rich in biodiversity. It houses endemic and endangered
plant and animal species, in very reduced populations. It
is a complex, region, susceptible to human disturbance and
slow to recover. It protects important resources of public
interest fulfilling an essential role in air quality maintenance
and the availability and quality of fresh water.
The region is subjected
to strong prevention and conservation pressures, which enormously
restricts the production options of the people.
of members: 14 affiliates, 9 women and 5 men
and Commercialization of Vegetal Charcoal from Trees Dead
of Natural Causes or from Sustainability Managed Forests
Summary: Between 1993 and 1997, ASOPROFOR
developed a production and commercialization system of vegetal
charcoal in the Villa Mills, Piedra Alta, and Alto del Jaular
communities of Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica.
The project was executed by producers, packers, and a local
transporter who were seeking to commercialize charcoal produced
in harmony with nature, using wood dead from natural causes
or from sustainably managed forests. Traditional charcoal
production techniques were investigated and improved techniques
were proposed, gradually eliminating the outside intermediary
who paid very low prices and had income significantly higher
than the producers. It also created part-time employment
possibilities for women, who traditionally lacked job opportunities
of services to Scientific and Educational Tourism in the
Villa Mills-Siberia Research and Demonstration Area
Summary: In a search for new production
alternatives in 1998, a strategic alliance emerged between
the Proyecto Silviculura de Bosques Naturales (PROSIBONA-Natural
Forest Silvicultural Project) of the Centro Agronómico
Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE-Research
and Training Center for Tropical Agronomy) / Ministry of
the Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the Asociación
de Productores Forestales de Villa Mills ( ASOPROFOR—Villa
Mills Forestry Producers Association) for involvement in
the sale of services to scientific and educational tourism
(food, lodging, sanitation, talks, and guides) in the Área
de Investigación y Demostración Villa Mills-Siberia
(AID-VMS—Villa Mills-Siberia Research and Demonstration
Area), Macizo de la Muerte, Costa Rica. Lodging, talks,
and technical guide services were facilitated by the Project
and food, sanitation, and local guide services were provided
Mills Environmental Animation Center
animation is an activity that helps increase biological
knowledge through experiential recreational activities
in nature taking advantage of its various facets. A center
for this purpose will be put into operation in Villa Mills,
Peréz Zeledón that will be financially sustainable
thanks to the sale of services to nature-based tourism.
These services include lodging, food, laundry, guiding,
and others. This activity offers tourists the opportunity
to come into contact with nature and increase the possibilities
that they will become involved in the issues related to
natural resource conservation and very particularly with
those related to highland ecosystems. For the inhabitants
of the place, it helps complement their experiential knowledge
with more technical information, gradually increasing
their knowledge about man-nature relationships and their
importance to maintaining ecosystem equilibrium. Additionally,
it helps increase family income, particularly for women,
in a productive activity that is compatible with nature
- Acquisition of land, of approximately one hectare, where
the Villa Mills Environmental Animation Center is being
- Nine years of experience in different productive activities
related to the natural resources of the region.
- Establishment of important contacts with teaching and
training institutions that identify with the organization.
- The women now have a partial employment alternative that
allows them some economic independence.
- We have developed food service sales, local guiding,
clean-up, and tourism for research and teaching in the Villa
Mills-Siberia Research and Demonstration Area, Costa Rica.
- An increase in awareness about the importance of conserving
the environment is evident in the affiliates.
We promote the support of volunteer
researchers on environmental, socio-economic and artisan subjects.
Lodging costs $8/night, but a discount can be negotiated if
the stay is for a long period.