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Guanacaste Howlers Community

Guanacaste is one of the provinces of Costa Rica characterized by its beautiful beaches, nature and culture. So it is sought after by many people and investors to develop their resorts, houses, residences or businesses.


Guanacaste is one of the provinces of Costa Rica characterized by its beautiful beaches, nature and culture. So it is sought after by many people and investors to develop their resorts, houses, residences or businesses. Tourism development is the activity that is generating economic income for coastal communities, but this development also comes parallel to the modification and fragmentation of the habitat of the species that make up this place’s natural beauty.

SalveMonos, an NGO that attends and mitigates electrocution in howler monkeys, reports that between 2011-2021 approximately 606 howler monkeys were electrocuted by the power lines that provide services for the development of coastal communities, 80% of these monkeys die from electric shock and the remaining 20% survive in their natural habitat or in captivity. Entire families are affected by a single electrical cable. There are reports of up to 6 animals electrocuted on the same cable.

We know that tourism development is booming in the area, and we know that the coastal communities of the North Pacific of Costa Rica are attractive, beautiful and have invaluable biological resources. We want to tell developers and all those new people who come to the country that you as a resident can make a difference when building and developing your property.

How to make your real estate project sustainable?

Howler Monkey Costa Rica

Howler Monkey Costa Rica

1. Make an evaluation of the land, what natural resources are present in the neighboring properties; water, trees, soil, and fauna. Check for the presence of howler monkeys, predominant trees, rivers, creeks or wells. This will allow you to measure the environmental impact that the building, that you as a developer, want to create. Based on this, then you can look for a design that protects the trees present, benefits the fauna and avoid risk of flooding or any other type of natural disaster due to the presence of aquifers.

2. Look for an architectural design that takes advantage of the climatic conditions of the site. Areas that capture the light so that you do not have to use electrical energy to illuminate your home. Take advantage of the wind direction to avoid using air conditioning or fans. That includes the presence of current and rainfall so that erosion is not generated in the land and thus prevent natural disasters.

3. Try to keep the predominant trees in your construction design, these trees will give better conditions to the land to face the change in land use. The trees are thermo-regulating, they generate cooler conditions, they filter the water so that floods are avoided, and their roots support the land in broken places. These trees add economic and ecological value to your property.

4. Identify if there is a presence of fauna that can range from howler monkeys, rodents, raccoon, snakes or birds. Try to consider within your design the disposal of organic waste and garbage in such a way that they are completely out of their reach. Try to interact as little as possible with the fauna so that it can move and inhabit peacefully and you as the owner can contemplate its beauty.

5. If you have domestic animals such as dogs, cats or others, try to contemplate within your architectural design a way so that your pets do not interact or put wildlife at risk because in the end, they can both be affected. Dogs and cats can live inside buildings in previously designed places, collars with bells can be placed on them so if they attack a wildlife animal you can be alerted by the sound of their collar and in this way the wild animal is saved.

6. If you do not want to deal with this type of situation, look for a lot that does not have influence with wooded areas or that does not have a forest cover. Currently, there are lots along the coast in urban areas that can be used for construction. But if you are looking for a lot with a wooded area of influence and do not contemplate the above, believe me that you will have many human and fauna conflicts.

7. Regarding the acquisition of permits, if you request power lines, consider an underground wiring design for your entire property, as well as the section of wiring surrounding your project. This will help the arboreal fauna not to be electrocuted and that you will not be affected by low frequency electromagnetic pollution caused mainly by electrical wiring of the house, transformers, etc.

Why is Sustainable Real Estate Development important?

Howler Monkey Costa Rica

Howler Monkey Costa Rica

1. We know that many people’s motives to move are the beauty and nature of coastal areas. But if we do not take care of these coastal areas and their resources, they will be depleted, and we will have degraded, modified and fragmented sites. Completely losing the beauty and creating conditions that are not pleasant for the people who already live here and for those who would eventually like to have a life in these communities.

2. Each natural resource present on your property gives it greater economic and ecological value. Imagine having the opportunity to live in a community with the presence of troops of monkeys, birds and trees that provide oxygen, shade and scenic beauty.

3. Contemplating within your real estate project sustainability, the presence of biological resources, contributes to avoid future damage to infrastructure due to natural disasters. Avoid having floods, runoff, erosion, landslides and even the degradation of your building due to humidity or inadequate climatic conditions.

Finally, if we respect the habitat of the existing species in the places where we want to live, we can make a change and improve the environmental conditions of the planet.


Find the Spanish version here. If you wish to help the organization, please contact Inés, her email is below.



She is the Field Director of SalveMonos Playa Hermosa. Voluntary work. She has a Bachelor's in Ecological Tourism and in Ecotourism Management, graduated from the Master's in Sustainable Development in Conservation of Biological Resources from the Universidad de Costa Rica. Ecotourism consultant in Garza del Sol Costa Rica.

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