The Refugio Tinti is a conservation project in the south of Costa Rica.
Our mission is to restore and maintain ecosystems, to enhance biodiversity
and, within this framework, to create economic stability.
Closing natural cycles: from a contaminated swamp to a wildlife sanctuary of ever increasing biodiversity.
We pursue a systemic approach combining microorganisms, wildlife ponds, large numbers of mineral-fixing trees and shrubs, and many more methods inspired by the principles of systems ecology and permaculture.
By clicking on the bubbles, explore them on the interactive map below.
We support local communities in their efforts to raise their living standards.
Our integrated approach addresses social cohesion, education, food security and environmental protection which will lead to enhanced economic stability.
Read about our solutions below.
Our reforestation methods are grounded in the same principles as the Refugio itself: imitating strategies observed in nature and recombining them to allow habitats to recover as quickly as possible.
We envision the establishment of a permacultural education center in our community to inspire inhabitants growing their own food and keep their wealth circulating within the community.
We develop concepts to convert palm oil and other monocultures into biodiverse polycultures, so-called ‘food forests’, that are profitable, and which have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on the community.
Get involved and support our work.
Do you want to support our work from home? Or meet us in Costa Rica? Maybe even get involved on the ground through a research project or as a volunteer? All infos below.
Calle La Gamba, La Gamba
Puntarenas 60701, Costa Rica
(+506) 8945-4899 (Spanish or German)
(+506) 8816-1107 (English or German)
To get in touch, fill in the form below and indicate your area of interest. We will get back to you within 24 hours.
Ministry of the Environment and Energy
We work with national and local representatives of Costa Rica’s Ministry of the Environment and Energy.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
We work with national and local representatives of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Society for Ecological Restoration
Alexander Tinti was a guest speaker at the globally active Society for Ecological Restoration.
Osa Conservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
National Parks Foundation
The National Parks Foundation is the Costa Rica’s biggest organization protecting and developing wildlife areas.
We are proud to be supported by Permachange, a Swiss association founded to support the projects of the Refugio Tinti.
We are member of Restor, a data-science-driven network of restoration experts globally.
Lemu is a network connecting restoration experts and funders. Find the Refugio Tinti on the Lemu app!
We are certified with the Bandera Azul, a Costa Rican government award recognizing responsible ecosystem management.
What’s so problematic about monocultures?
The practice of growing only one crop on a piece of land has come to dominate modern industrial agriculture. Monocultures promise efficiency by lowering maintenance and harvesting costs, and the introduction of artificial fertilizer finally made the isolation of individual plants from their natural ecosystems possible. Over the last decades, if not centuries, this view…Read more
What is permaculture?
The word ‘permaculture’ was coined in the 1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren as a hybrid from ‘permanent’ and ‘agriculture’. ‘Permanence’ here refers to sustainability, to the cyclic nature of agriculture rather than the dependence on finite resources imported from outside. They soon realized though that this permanence was not achievable when dealing with…Read more
Transformation of the Refugio: from wasteland to wildlife sanctuary
In 2016, I came to Costa Rica in search of a land challenged by the methods of human activity. My goal was to restore it and create as many habitats for animals as possible while producing enough food for ourselves to become largely self-sufficient. I found this land in the South-West of the country: an…Read more
February 20, 2024
Rose apple (Syzygium malaccense) bearing lots of fruits
Being situated in a wetland, we need to pay extra attention to the species we plant: many trees, such as avocado, have a hard time surviving as soon as their roots reach the ground water. We are excited to see that our rose apple trees, spread across the Refugio, now bear a large number of…Read more
December 3, 2023
Rare boat-billed heron returned to the Refugio
We are excited that our conservation efforts bear fruits! The boat-billed heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) has returned to the Refugio Tinti and is now breeding at the pond in front of our volunteer bungalows.Read more
November 11, 2023
Refugio Tinti collaborates with biologist and illustrator Fiona Reid on palm oil diversification
We are proud to have kicked off our collaboration with the accomplished Canadian biologist and artist Fiona Reid with a visit to her plot of palm oil monocultures, which she plans to turn into vibrant natural habitats. Fiona Reid provides close to two hectares of her land for our pilot project to diversify this monoculture…Read more