Chacocente Wildlife Refuge protects Nicaragua’s largest remaining area of the tropical dry forest, which once covered the Pacific slope of Central America, from Mexico through Costa Rica.  Only 5% of this original ecosystem is left.  During the dry season, December to May, two-thirds of the trees in this deciduous forest shed their leaves, which grow again when the rains begin.


SCP has encouraged reforestation in areas of Chacocente Refuge deforested through agriculture.  Wells make it possible for trees, especially fruit and nut trees, to be planted near homes.  Some replanting of native dry forest tree species has also been done.


Environmental education

Interactive environmental workshops are given regularly in the five Chacocente elementary schools. SCP coordinator Alma Susana Chávez and MARENA rangers work together on this, with a new theme each year. Besides the sea turtles, they have focused on such themes as: our earth, a clean Chacocente, and recycling plastics.  SCP participates in Santa Teresa’s Earth Day celebration.



Clean-up and Recycling

SCP coordinator Alma Susana Chávez has led a campaign to clean up Chacocente’s environment.  The first trash cans have been placed by Chacocente schools.  Discarded plastic bags are collected to be used for materials in a women’s project that creates crocheted purses and other handicrafts from strips of the washed bags.  Alma heads this Fauna and Flora International initiative.  See a video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fWG7Zg0Ul4


Fire brigades

The dry forest is subject to the threat of wildfires. SCP recently received a grant to provide new equipment for the Chacocente community volunteer fire brigade.  The volunteers are proud that there has not been a major fire in the last five years.