Las Nubes Project supports the protection of the biological, ecological and social values of the Las Nubes Biological Reserve and adjacent area in southern Costa Rica.
Under the direction of Dr. Felipe Montoya, the Las Nubes Project's mission is to contribute to community wellbeing in ways that are compatible and conducive to environmental conservation. Las Nubes does this through faculty and student research, environmental education, and community engagement initiatives.
Through the Project’s permanent and long-term presence and relationship with local communities and organizations, Las Nubes aims to develop a grounded theory and praxis around the sustainability of healthy and gratifying rural lifeways respectful of, and in harmony with the natural environment.
At the same time, working with educational institutions in Costa Rica (Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Universidad Técnica Nacional of Costa Rica, San Carlos Campus, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica), the Las Nubes Project has made significant achievements in research and conservation programs in biodiversity protection, rural sustainability, environmental education in local schools, and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing as decision-support tools for environmental management.
We also try and align all our work with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
Las Nubes Project has dedicated a great part of its efforts to educate Canadian and Costa Rican students, as well as local communities within the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (COBAS – Spanish Acronym), on environmental issues and sustainable practices.
By the mid-2000s, Las Nubes Project had established a field course focused on tropical ecology, sustainability and environmental education. The success of the field course led to the creation of the Summer Abroad program, which started in Summer 2017. In 2018, we also began to offer a course during Reading Week.
Through our programs, students can experience first-hand lessons on tropical ecology, sustainability, indigenous education, arts, health, and conservation through the courses now offered. Participants are given an unprecedented opportunity to interact with and learn from the local rural Costa Rican communities. If you are interested in registering in one (or more) of our courses, visit the Programs section of our website.
Additionally, the exchange of knowledge between rural communities and York University students and faculty contributes to the creation of educational programs for adults and children in local schools.
In Canada, Las Nubes Program presents a series of lectures exploring issues around Neotropical and environmental conservation, rural wellbeing, and Indigenous peoples. Students can get involved through the Las Nubes Students Association (LNSA), as several activities are carried out during the year to create awareness among consumers and to promote and raise funds to support research and local education and conservation activities in COBAS.
The permanent presence of Las Nubes in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor and its ongoing relationship with local and regional communities and stakeholders give us a privileged position to carry out long-term research.
Las Nubes supports student research through research grants and promotes Faculty research projects in collaboration with partners outside York University. Research emphasis has been interdisciplinary and often action-oriented, including on establishing the current status of the biological populations in the area, as well as promoting sustainable land management practices, exploring options of rural community tourism, arts-based research on social-environmental relations, and corroborating links between different land uses and biodiversity richness, such as the important link between a multilayered and diversified shade coffee canopy and avian migratory habitat, among others.
One of the pillars of our project is community engagement. For over two decades, Las Nubes Project has worked hard to create a space in which local concerns and initiatives are heard and addressed when possible. Our presence in the area was key to the creation of the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (ASBC) in 2006. This collective initiative involving local communities, NGOs, universities (including York), and other groups has provided an identity and pride to the communities.
Our EcoCampus, the Lillian Meighen Wright Centre, located across the Las Nubes Biological Reserve serves as a local, national, and international hub dedicated to promoting Neotropical conservation and livelihood improvement, and is open to all visitors. Access to all the conservation areas is free of charge. Visitors must contact Las Nubes to book a visit.
Get in Touch
Thank you for your interest in the Las Nubes Project!
For information concerning the Las Nubes Project or the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Las Nubes EcoCampus
Santa Elena, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica