Our guest blogger, Randy Gritz from Celebrations Costa Rica blogs about a new destination wedding trend. When Whitney & Daniel Pace got married at the Discovery Beach House they asked their guests to bring donations for Kids Saving the Rainforest.
I’m often asked about what should we give our guests as a favor to remember our wedding. I have a list that usually includes things like Costa Rican coffee, personalized mugs with a tropical animal as the handle and sarongs for the beach. These are great gifts but I want to focus on another trend by donating something meaningful to the community. A card is left at each guest’s place setting letting them know that in lieu of favors a donation to the community has been made.
You can make a difference in the lives of the people who live in the community where you’re having your wedding celebration. Let’s look at some possibilities. Evelyn Gallardo is the owner of Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio. She has been working with Pack for a Purpose. Her guests allocate space in their luggage to bring supplies to the local schools or nonprofit organizations.
Kids Saving the Rainforest was started by two young girls living in Manuel Antonio. These nine year olds were concerned about the impact that the disappearing rainforest was having on the animals. Initially their organization put up “monkey bridges” that spanned over the streets so the monkeys could cross safely. Their idea has grown and now there is a rescue center, sanctuary, and volunteer program.
ASEPALECO, founded in 1991, is a non-profit organization that promotes the protection and sustainable use of natural resources, whose ultimate goal is to improve socio-environmental quality of life through education, training and community organizations focusing on sustainable development projects.
Greentique Hotels have really stepped up and created various programs to represent sustainable practices. The Manuel Antonio Nature Park and Wildlife Refuge is an ongoing conservation project and nature exhibit. All proceeds remain with the operation of the refuge including the dormitory for the guides and student volunteers. The Santa Juana Rural Mountain Adventure and Conservation Projects focuses on reforestation and tree adoptions. Their tours help support many of the local families. At Villa Blanca the wedding couple and guests can adopt a tree or support school programs.