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About Us

The Ecological Association of Paquera, Lepanto, Cóbano (ASEPALECO) is a non-profit conservationist and educational association. It was founded in 1991, and is located in the heart of the Nicoya Peninsula: Jicaral, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The Association is formed by 60 active members, who gather for a general assembly at the end of each year. The Board of Directors is elected every two years and it consists of 9 members and 1 fiscal.


Our mission is to protect and preserve the natural systems of the forest, including the water sources and wildlife upon which all life on the Nicoya Peninsula depends. We consider it an honor to be the stewards of such an important conservation project and contributing to a better future. Over the years ASEPALECO has received various awards and grants for nature conservation and community service. The six major projects managed by ASEPALECO include the Karen Mogensen Reserve, the ecolodge of “Cerro Escondido”, a research center, forest fire brigades, environmental education programs, and a recycling center. 

Our history

ASEPALECO was created with the initial energy of the DRIP initiative, a project by the Costa Rican and Dutch governments. Among the many activities that DRIP performed, they also developed a momentum for organizing the conservationist sector in the Nicoya Peninsula. In 1991, ASEPALECO was formally founded during an assembly of more than 100 members. Later, DRIP concluded its projects with ASEPALECO and today the organization continues its successful work independently.

Our Friends and Sponsors


In the past, in order to establish the first part of the reserve, initial sources of funding were provided by international organizations such as Gev Modena and Provincia de Ferrara.  Later contributors include Nepenthes of Denmark, the British Embassy and the Italian organizations, Impato Zero, Life Gate and Foreste Per Sempre. In recent years the reserve has received support from: Ylang Ylang Beach Resort and El Sano Banano in Montezuma, Pendragon of England, the Tempisque Area of SINAC (ACT), the GEF Small Grants Program by UNDP, FundeCoperación, ACTUAR Costa Rica and various other kindhearted organizations. Special thanks to late Albert Ingalls, Dario Sonetti, Paolo Petasoni, who have contributed enormously to ASEPALECO over the years. 

A big thank you to all the wonderful people and groups that have generously contributed to our conservation efforts!

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