At Hotel Las Colinas we are committed to the environment, we are a sustainable establishment that has the Level 5 accreditation (the highest) of the program for the Certification for Tourism Sustainability or CTS.
In this section you can find both resources, such as history of the area and environmental legislation.
Download the Manual of Good Environmental Practices in Costa Rica
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The owners of Hotel Las Colinas, are the López Fernández family. His story in La Fortuna began in 1968, when the father of the family Mr. Aurelio López Calderón fled La Fortuna because of the strong eruption of the Arenal Volcano.
It took me more than 17 years to return and it was until 1985, when he was again chased by a misfortune, he arrived in La Fortuna, this time it was a terrible fire, leaving the family in ruins, burning his store of commerce located in Ciudad Quesada, which was ironically called ¨Store La Fortuna¨.
Here in La Fortuna, the family started again, it was a family of 5: Padre, Aurelio López Calderón, Madre, Flor Fernández Cubillo, Hijos, Ivette, Jocsan and Jetter of only 3 months of age. As good merchants, they started by opening a store that sold almost everything, from bicycle parts, glassware, fabrics, school supplies. Who attended most of the time was Doña Flor, because the father with the desire to raise the business was selling clothes in the towns around San Carlos and Guatuso.
However, as good visionaries, in 1988 construction began for a hotel, at that time the hotel offer was minimal, there were only the Hotel La Central, Cabinas San Bosco and Hotel La Fortuna. The Name of Las Colinas originates from the view we have from the third floor of the hotel, where Las Colinas del Cerro Chato and del Arenal meet.
The neighbors said that it was crazy to think of a three-level construction for a hotel in La Fortuna, because there was no need, however I remember that Don Aurelio said, one day “the males will come” and so it was … today Hotel Las Colinas has the power to say that he has received guests from almost all parts of the world !!
So it was, Tourism arrived and there were nights that tourists slept in the hall of the Catholic temple, there were nights that the family rented the rooms of the house and there were nights that took tourists to see lava, they were literally rivers of red rock going down a mountain called Arenal Volcano.
Jicson, the youngest son was born on the slopes of the Volcano, in 1993, and both the family and the company grew.
It was in 2006, the father of the family had already gone to rest, when the rest of the Family decided to start again, this time for a complete remodeling of Hotel Las Colinas, with a vision of Sustainable Hotel until reaching what is today! Currently, Doña Flor and Ivette run the hotel administration, Jetter is the chef of the hotel and Jocsan and Jicson help with the maintenance, and the family continues to grow.
We are pleased to know that today you are also part of our family, we thank you very much for choosing us!
Historical Review of the Maleku Indigenous Community
Pre-Columbian Stage – 10,000 to 2000 years A C
The CHIBCHA empire extended into everything that is now Central America, Panama and Colombia. Warrior tribes who used this entire region until they reached the domains of the Great Inca Empire. The MALEKUS, whose meaning is Our People, are direct descendants of this great indigenous race that located their territories from the Great Lake of Nicaragua, Solentiname Islands, San Juan River (border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica), the entire border area from Peñas Blancas, Los Chiles, San Rosa de Poco Sol, Guatuso, La Fortuna de San Carlos, La Fortuna de Bagaces, Tilarán.
With this great territory within which it covers a large part of the volcanic mountain range, Orosi volcano, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles, Tenorio and Cerro del Arenal (now Arenal Volcano). With the alignment of all these volcanoes, the Malekus traced what would be the trade and communication route between the 23 communities or palenques of that time.
We must keep in mind the great meaning that volcanoes represent for these tribes, since their power and majesty represented sacred sites and divine power because of their heights and magnetic power. This is how they traced the route that circled the skirts of the volcanoes. This route took them to the market center in Pataste, a communication center in what is now Aguas Zarcas and Pital, where the 23 different Malekus communities converged.
The Malekus maintained a scarce agriculture since their basic feeding was based on the hunting of mega fauna, mastodon, deer, dantas etc. Its agriculture was the planting of cassava, wild potato, pejibaye, cocoa.
His government was represented by the shaman and there was no social class. They practiced a monotheistic religion, TOKOISM, developed at the height of the volcanoes.
Post-Columbian Stage – 1500 to 2000
The Spanish presence during the time of the colony affected very little the natives of the time, except that some aborigines were taken to cities where the Spaniards such as Granda and León of Nicaragua settled, as slaves. The time of rubber exploitation in Nicaragua by the Goodrich company in early 1820, caused an unequal battle between the huleros employed by the American company with firearms and the natives with arrows, in the place that was later called Rio de La Death, because its waters became red with the blood of the aborigines. That was one of the causes of being a decimated race today.
Modern Stage of the Maleku – Race that refuses to die
The 23 communities that encompassed the vast Maleku territory were reduced to today to 3 Palenques, located in the Canton of Guatuso with a population of 650 individuals. These palenques are:
Palenque The Sun
Despite being already immersed in the world of whites, the true Maleku makes efforts to preserve their customs, they have a school where their children speak the dialect of their race, a radio with special programs for their people, they struggle to recreate their ancient dances and customs etc. Within their ceremonies, the Costa Rican government allows them to bury their loved ones inside their homes.
As tourism is one of the main sources of income in the country, the Maleku community has gradually been integrated into this activity. In Palenque Tonjibe the tourist can visit them, take a tour through the forest where they can appreciate how the inhabitants of that region lived before the colony.
This information was provided by Mr. KOREN VELA VELA. Member of Palenque Tonjibe, fighter for the rescue of indigenous traditions, and cultural spokesman.
La Fortuna before 1968
At the beginning of the 1900s, a citizen of Nicaraguan origin named Jarquín enters the mountain in what is now La Fortuna. Little by little, other Costa Ricans from Naranjo, Zarcero and Ciudad Quesada move to cut down mountains and exploit the rubber industry, which made manteados and capes for farmers in the northern region. This started dual-purpose livestock (meat and milk). With milk, they produced cheese, which they salted and dried and then taken to the market in Ciudad Quesada. With the cattle for slaughter they made great routes to take it harvested to the cattle square in Alajuela, for sale.
The people of La Fortuna, to obtain goods
Organic Law of the Environment: No. 7554
Art 1 Objectives: This law shall endeavor to provide Costa Ricans and the State with the necessary instruments to achieve a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.
Art 2 Principles: Everyone has the right to enjoy a healthy and ecologically sustainable environment. The State will ensure the rational use of environmental elements.
Art 8 Functions: Promote, through activities, programs and projects, greater citizen participation in the analysis and discussion of environmental policies that affect the region. Develop and implement education activities, programs and projects.
Art 17 Environmental impact assessment: Human activities that alter or destroy elements of the environment or generate waste, toxic or hazardous materials, will require an environmental impact assessment by the National Environmental Technical Secretariat.
Art 32 Classification of protected wild areas: You may establish protected wild areas, in any of the management categories established and in which are indicated below: Forest reserves, Protective areas, National parks, Biological reserves, National life shelters Wild, Wetlands, Natural monuments.
Art 39 Definition of marine and coastal resources: Marine and coastal resources are understood as sea waters, beaches, beaches and the coastal strip, bays, coastal lagoons, mangroves, coral reefs, pastures sailors
Art 40 Definition of wetlands: Wetlands are ecosystems that depend on aquatic, natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, slow or lotic, sweet, brackish or salty regimes.
Art 45 Prohibition: Activities aimed at interrupting the natural cycles of moisture ecosystems, such as the construction of dikes that prevent the flow of marine or continental waters, are prohibited.
Art 59 Pollution of the environment: Pollution means any alteration or modification of the environment that could harm human health, threaten natural resources or affect the environment.
Art 62 Air pollution: The presence in the atmosphere and in concentrations above the permissible levels of solid particles, dust, smoke, steam, gases, bad odors, radiation, noise, imperceptible acoustic waves and others are considered to be air pollution.
Law 7600: Law Equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
Art 2 Definitions: Equal opportunities: Principle that recognizes the importance of the diverse needs of the individual, which should constitute the basis of the planning of society Equalization of opportunities: Process of adjustment of the environment, services, activities, information , the documentation as well as the attitudes to the needs of the people, in particular of the disabled. Disability: Any physical, mental or sensory impairment that substantially limits the main activities of an individual.
Art 10 Community: People with disabilities will have the same opportunity to get involved in the definition and execution of the activities they carry out in the communities.
Art 11 Family: All family members must contribute to the person with disabilities to develop a decent life and fully exercise their rights and duties.
Art 23 Right to work: The State shall guarantee to persons with disabilities, both in rural and urban areas, the right to employment appropriate to their conditions and personal needs.
Art 31 Access: Health services must be offered, on equal terms, to all persons required.
Art 35 Adapted means of transport: Public institutions that provide rehabilitation services must have means of transport adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Art 41 Regulatory technical specifications: New constructions, extensions or remodeling of buildings, parks, sidewalks, gardens, squares, roads, sanitary services or other publicly owned spaces must be carried out in accordance with the regulatory technical specifications of the public and private agencies in charge Of the mattery.
Art 55 Discriminatory acts: A discriminatory act shall be considered that, due to disability, a person is denied participation in cultural, sports and recreational activities that promote or carry out public or private institutions.
7317: Wildlife Conservation Law
ART 1: The wildlife is made up of the continental and insular fauna that lives in natural, temporary or permanent conditions, in the national territory and the flora that lives in natural conditions in the country.
ART 2: It is understood as: Aquarium: Tank of artificial water where you have live aquatic animals and vegetables. Hunting and fishing: The action, for any purpose, of harassing, catching or killing wild animals. Hunting: Art of hunting allusive to any creature or creatures hunted for food or for sport. Commerce: Activity of buying, selling or bartering for profit. Reservoir: Accumulation of water that occurs as a result of man’s retention of them. Exotic species: Organism introduced in a certain country and which is not its own. Wildlife: Set of continental and insular fauna that lives in natural, temporary or permanent conditions. Breeding Zoo: Place where it is about propagating or preserving animals outside their natural habitat.
ART 4: The production, management, extraction, commercialization, industrialization and use of the genetic material of wild flora and fauna, its parts, products and by-products, are declared of public interest and national heritage.
ART 14: Hunting, fishing and the extraction of continental or insular fauna and flora of endangered species are prohibited, with the exception of reproduction carried out “sustainably”.
ART 28: The exercise of hunting, this is classified as: Sports: when done for fun, recreation or recreation. Scientific: when done for scientific study purposes. Subsistence: when done to meet food needs of people with limited economic resources.
ART 61: In order to regulate the exercise of inland and island fishing, it is classified as follows: Sports: when practiced for fun, recreation or recreation. Scientific or cultural: when done for study or teaching purposes. Subsistence: when it is done to meet the nutritional needs of people with limited economic resources, verified by means of the norms dictated by this law and its regulations.
ART 64: The fee to be paid for the sport, continental or island fishing license is as follows: Nationals and residents: one thousand colones (¢ 1,000.00). Foreigners without a residence card: the equivalent of thirty US dollars (US $ 30).
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common ideal for which all peoples and nations should strive, so that both individuals and institutions, constantly inspired by it, promote, through teaching and education, respect for these rights and freedoms, and ensure, by progressive national and international measures, their universal and effective recognition and application.
Art 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and, endowed as they are with reason and conscience, they must behave fraternally with one another. Everyone has the right to equal protection against any discrimination that violates this Declaration and against any provocation to such discrimination.
Art 25: Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living that assures him, as well as his family, health and well-being.
Art 26: Everyone has the right to education. Education must be free, at least as regards elementary and fundamental instruction.
Art 27: Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to participate in scientific progress and the benefits that result from it.
Art 29: Everyone has duties with respect to the community, since only in it can he freely and fully develop his personality.
Political Constitution of Costa Rica
Art 1: Costa Rica is a democratic, free and independent Republic.
Art 16: The quality of Costa Rica is not lost and is inalienable.
Art 18: Costa Ricans must observe the Constitution and laws, serve the country, defend it and contribute to public expenses.
Art 21: Human life is inviolable.
Art 27: The freedom of petition is guaranteed, individually or collectively, before any public official or official entity, and the right to obtain prompt resolution.
Art 56: Work is a right of the individual and an obligation to society. The State must ensure that everyone has an honest and useful occupation, duly remunerated, and prevent them from establishing conditions that in some way undermine the freedom or dignity of man or degrade his work to the condition of simple merchandise. The state guarantees the right to free choice of work.
Art 89: Among the cultural purposes of the Republic are: protect natural beauties, preserve and develop the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation, and support private initiative for scientific and artistic progress.
Art 93: Suffrage is a primary and obligatory civic function and is exercised before the Electoral Boards by direct and secret ballot, by citizens registered in the Civil Registry.
No. 7788: Biodiversity Law
Art 1 Purpose: The purpose of this law is to conserve biodiversity and the sustainable use of resources, as well as to fairly distribute the benefits and costs derived.
Art 2 Sovereignty: The state will exercise complete and exclusive sovereignty over the elements of biodiversity.
Art 3 Scope of application: This law will be applied to the elements of biodiversity that are under the sovereignty of the state, as well as to the processes and activities carried out under its jurisdiction or control.
Art 7 Definitions: Biodiversity: Variability of living organisms from any source, whether they are found in terrestrial, aerial, marine, aquatic ecosystems or in other ecological complexes. It includes diversity within each species, as well as among the species and ecosystems of which it is a part. Species: A group of organisms capable of reproducing each other.
Art 10 Objectives: Integrate conservation and sustainable use of the elements of
Biodiversity in the development of sociocultural, economic and environmental policies.
Art 58 Protected Wild Areas: Protected wild areas are defined geographical areas, consisting of land, wetlands and portions of the sea. They have been declared as such for representing special significance for their ecosystems, the existence of endangered species, the impact on reproduction and other needs and for their historical and cultural significance.
Law against Sexual Harassment: No. 7476
This Law is based on the constitutional principles of respect for freedom and human life, the right to work and the principle of equality before the law, which oblige the State to condemn discrimination based on sex and establish policies to eliminate discrimination against women, according to the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the Inter-American Convention to prevent, punish and eradicate violence against women.
ARTICLE 3: Sexual harassment or harassment is understood as any unwanted sexual conduct by the person who receives it, repeated and that causes harmful effects
Forest Law: N ° 7575
ARTICLE 1: This law establishes, as an essential and priority function of the State, to ensure the conservation, protection and administration of natural forests and the production, exploitation, industrialization and promotion of the country’s forest resources destined for that Finally, in accordance with the principle of adequate and sustainable use of renewable natural resources. In addition, it will ensure the generation of employment and the increase in the standard of living of the rural population, through its effective incorporation into forestry activities.
ARTICLE 3 Forest management plan: A set of technical standards that will regulate the actions to be carried out in a forest or forest plantation, on a site or part of it in order to take advantage, conserve and develop the tree vegetation that exists or is intended to be established, in accordance with the principle of the rational use of renewable natural resources that guarantee the sustainability of the resource.
ARTICLE 27 Authorization to cut down: Only up to a maximum of three trees per hectare may be cut annually on land for agricultural use and without forest, after obtaining authorization from the Regional Environmental Council. If the cut exceeds ten trees per property, the authorization of the State Forest Administration will be required.