¿What does natuwa mean?

The meaning of the word Natuwa


El significado de la palabra natuwa es de origen Chorotega! Los Chorotegas fueron una antigua población de humanos originales que utilizaba ese vocablo para hacer referencia a las aves de la familia de los psitácidos como son: loras, pericos, y lapas. Ya que dichas aves inspiraron la creación del proyecto en el año de 1994, y como el Santuario está localizado en la comunidad de Aranjuez de Puntarenas, donde aún hay vestigios de esta civilización precolombina. Decidimos orgullosamente representar la operación de nuestro proyecto con la palabra NATUWA.

EL significado de la palabra natuwa
Logo del Santuario de lapas NATUWA.


Palabra del isotipo formado por un círculo y la silueta de dos lapas, se tomaron en cuenta en la imagen corporativa porque marcaron la génesis del Santuario. La forma circular son los ciclos biológicos que existen en la naturaleza; gracias a la interacción de animales, plantas, hongos y elementos abióticos como las piedras, el agua, el aire, etc. Ciclos que debemos conservar ya que son vitales para que existe vida sobre el planeta.

Guacamayos que no pueden vivir en libertad a causa del hombre.

El Santuario de lapas, promueve la conservación de los guacamayos silvestres de Costa Rica, tanto de lapa roja (Ara macao), como lapa verde (Ara ambiguus) siendo la segunda el segundo loro más grande del mundo. Para ello, desarrolla un programa de manejo en cautiverio de guacamayos, con diferentes procesos. EL rescate, rehabilitación, investigación del comportamiento animal y la reintroducción experimental al medio.

Los individuos incorporados al programa, son los individuos decomisados por los funcionarios del Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía de Costa Rica (MINAE). Además, La Fuerza Pública y las entregas voluntarias por parte de la población civil. Aves que se utilizan como mascotas durante décadas en casas de personas que las compran. Además, rescatamos loros extraídos del hábitat por los cazadores; y lamentablemente, en el Santuario existen 120 individuos de Ara macao que no se pueden liberar debido a su domesticación y 72 de Ara ambiguus. Se incorpora además, al manejo de los loros, programas de restauración ecológica, educación ambiental y ecoturismo.

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World turtle day

World turtle day

World turtle day celebrates one of the oldest organisms on the planet, which can be found on land and in water. Among them, as the turtle drinks from the cover of this article, it is a land turtle that we can find in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica, in addition to other localities throughout the country. These animals and due to the ecological restoration carried out by the Sanctuary enjoy an ideal environment for turtles, with vegetation, bodies of water, and the necessary food. These beautiful turtles live wild, while we also provide shelter for exotic turtles.

How many years can a turtle live?

Who worries about turtles?

Where are the most turtles in the world?

Why these topics?

Why are turtles in danger of extinction?

This last week has been celebrated the World Turtle Day

On May 23, the International Turtle Day was celebrated. This day was chosen to increase respect and provide more knowledge to humanity about the oldest creatures in the world, present on land and at sea. After staying on the planet for millions of years, they are disappearing too easily due to numerous reasons.


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Corporate Volunteering with wild animals

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Many companies involved in the restoration of nature come to NATUWA to plant trees and work with animals.

Corporate volunteering with wildlife occurs in the companies most committed to the environment and the restoration of nature.

Costa Rica preserves a great diversity in both plants and animals. Natural resources are constantly threatened by urban planning, hunting, agriculture, and many more human-related factors (anthropogenic factors). For this reason, many companies are committed to the care of the environment by carrying out ecological practices within their facilities.
In order to preserve the Natural Capital of Costa Rica, many companies carry out activities that foster a green culture among their employees. In addition, recycling, proper management of wastewater, use of biodegradable products, among others are environmentally friendly initiatives that they carry out. Also, through corporate volunteering with wild animals.

Opportunities for business volunteers

Corporate volunteering with wildlife

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary is a leading voice for wildlife and nature. This is how, for more than 24 years, we have worked to protect, preserve and restore some of Costa Rica’s most emblematic habitats and species. With the desire to preserve the Natural Capital for future Costa Rican generations.

The actions of corporate volunteering with wild animals play an important role in our ecological restoration work. Every year, dozens of volunteers from companies around the country help wildlife and ecological restoration. They carry out activities in NATUWA by planting trees, rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing those animals that have the possibility of returning to their natural environments. And to those who do not, providing all the necessary attention so that they live with dignity in the sanctuary.

In addition, these companies committed to nature and their teams of Corporate Volunteers will partner with our staff and International Volunteers to carry out environmental enrichment activities with jaguars, tapirs, sloths, macaws, monkeys, and other animals species.

Corporate volunteering with wildlife

Corporate Volunteering with wildlife

Enriching human perception about nature by reconnecting today’s people outdoors, on the paths of the Sanctuary is where educators and students learn how to support local wildlife. The NATUWA trails are true wildlife habitats turned into outdoor classrooms where volunteers learn about species and ecosystems of Costa Rica, improve their academic skills, and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.

For more information about our Volunteer Program please follow this link (here!)

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Celebrating Arbor Day in NATUWA Costa Rica

Happy Tree Day!!

At NATUWA, with the help of the volunteer program, we have created a forest of native Costa Rican trees, such as cocobolo, jenízaro, guayacán, sota caballo, cristobal, rom rom, ceibos, guayabón and others.

The NATUWA Sanctuary has participated in reforestation activities since 2000, and there are still three more hectares to reforest.

Shelter and protection for wild animals and also for humans

Trees are vital for human beings; they provide the enjoyment of a healthy life, along with a lush landscape.

Besides, many animal species benefit from the shelter trees produce, protecting them from the climate elements, and providing food.

The beautiful green giants produce oxygen, purify the water, stop soil erosion, beautify the landscape, and prevent drought. At NATUWA, we love trees, and today is a special day to plant them …


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Celebration of World Environment Day

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Educación Ambiental

Happy World Environment Day!!

We started this morning celebrating together with the girls and boys of the Villa Brucelas School of Circuit 02, Pitahaya, Puntarenas, the World Environment Day!!.

We learned today, that ideally, when visiting a wildlife animal center, is to learn about the species that the center houses and the practices that help to conserve animals in their natural environment. This does NOT include: touching, talking, caressing or feeding the center’s animals. Above all, we learned that interaction with wild animals in these types of places is an inadequate use of biodiversity and promotes the extraction of many organisms from their natural habitats.

Special thanks: Director Cinthia Cascante Campos. Thank you for allowing so many children to participate in Environmental Education activities today, at NATUWA.

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Emerald toucan rescue

Aulacorhynchus prasinus or Emerald Toucan

Toucan emerald, last Sunday, May 27, we received a call from a neighbor of the Miramar community of Puntarenas; He said that a toucanet chick had fallen from its nest and that they had been in their home for a few days. People decided that the best future for the bird was to try to return it to the ecosystem. So, they decided to enter the bird into NATUWA to rehabilitate it for its future release.

Tucán esmeralda
Tucán esmeralda Aulacorhynchus prasinus.


The emerald toucan (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) is one of the most beautiful birds in the rain forests; they inhabit the part of the canopy and edges of the forest; They can also be seen in cocoa plantations and even lightly wooded areas. In Costa Rica, it distributed at intermediate elevations along the Caribbean and Pacific slopes.

NATUWA rehabilitates the bird so that it can return to its natural ecosystem. At this moment, it is in an enclosure full of vegetation that allows it to practice flight and even has the opportunity to search for food. The Aulacorhynchus is visited twice a day to be observed and to ensure that it is feeding and hydrating correctly.


Tucanete esmeralda en recuperación


Next, the bird will be under a process with as little human contact as possible to avoid imprinting. On the contrary, when the bird released, it will seek the company of someone and fall into the hands of someone who will not hesitate to subject it to conditions of captivity and food that are not very proper.

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Zaino (Pecari tajacu)

Officials of the SINAC, enter a female zaino that was confiscated next to a female tepezcuintle, both animals were ready to be consumed as food by the human being.

Now in the Sanctuary will receive all the necessary attention to live in environments full of vegetation and out of danger, away from those who want to use them as food.

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Tepescuintle Cuniculus paca

Officials of SINAC of the Carara National Park enter into the NATUWA Sanctuary a tepezcuintle (Cuniculus paca) female.

This was rescued from the hands of the hunters, was ready to be sold to the highest bidder to be used as food. The rodent has an injury on one of its hind legs and is being evaluated to rule out a possible fracture, waiting for x-rays.

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Breeding of scarlet macaws in artificial nests.

In this year 2016, the macaws (Ara macao) of the NATUWA Sanctuary perform a great breeding task, ten young chicks are almost ready to leave their artificial nests and take flight with their parents.

Unfortunately, deforestation contributes to the loss of natural nests. Artificial nests are installed on top of trees to be used by the limpets as an alternative, although they prefer to make use of the hollows provided by nature in palm trees, ash trees, guanacaste and others.

Environmental education in the community of Aranjuez, Pitahaya and others is vital for these young macaws to continue their natural process of adaptation to the environment. They are proudly being protected by these communities.

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Cotorra (Amazona albifrons)

A juvenile of Cotorra (Amazona albifrons) entered the sanctuary of NATUWA parrots. This one was found by a person in the Center of Puntarenas and taken to the Coast Guard, the same one transferred it to the Sanctuary where it will receive the attention necessary to be released.
It has the feathers of the wings cut, presents a very wild behavior, is not domesticated, which increases the possibilities of being able to integrate back to its natural environment, from which it never had to be extracted.


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