MCEC Innoceana Costa Rica
Marine animals, Cleaning our oceans, and embracing education and conservation.
One of our favorite things about what we do is all the unexpected friends we make along the way.
The story of MCEC is no different. We had made the necessary arrangements to go from Seattle, our home base, to Uvita, Costa Rica for Christmas 2021. We had ventured over to meet Lordes and hear her incredible story, and we had done the Christmas shopping and prepping for the party.
We arrived in the village and it was all hands on deck! We noticed a group who was there with a VR headset, all the kids were taking turns wearing it. There faces each lit up every time they put it on. This group was MCEC. An education and conservation NGO operating out of Uvita. They had brought the VR to allow the children to experience the ocean and all the creatures in it without them having to leave their village. It's not often that they get the chance to go all the way down to the ocean from where they are nestled in the jungle hills of Boruca territory.
We learned that they were on the brink of opening the MCEC Innoceana Education Center and asked us to come by and take a tour. Happily we did! We learned about their goals ad dreams in education, toured the beautiful new center, and they also filled us in about their ecotourism program. Their program is incredible. Julia, the education and awareness lead, shared about her interactive digital books, Innotales, that she had written. A local artist painted the most stunning mural on their wall right as you come in, and on of Lordes' masks even hung on the wall. Everything about MCEC is inclusive for not only the tourists wanting to know more, but the local men, women, and children. Truly a phenomenal opportunity for 7 Wandering Backpacks to contribute to their amazing cause!
With the funds we provided along with their other donors, MCEC was able to get their education programs off the ground, take on interns, train a local to be a master diver, beach clean up, scientific expeditions, reef clean up, and rescue several marine animals in trouble. We are so very honored to be a part of their work even from far away! We continue to support their efforts and can't wait to see what they accomplish this year!