What We Do
We use community storytelling, digital archiving, and research and education to promote and support rights to land and culture.
We are dedicated to protecting the land rights and cultural heritage of the people of the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Our goal is to assist the community of Caribe Sur in growing a living public archive and making information about their history and rights more easily accessible both within and outside the community.
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From the Blog
About The Rich Coast Project
Our mission is to build a platform for the collection and dissemination of historical information relating to the identity and history of the area’s inhabitants and to improve access to the legal information necessary for securing local rights to property and natural resources.
Our vision is to create a replicable model of community-based human rights advocacy that uses storytelling and digital archiving to foster community resilience, empower citizen engagement, and increase access to information so that local communities may have a meaningful stake in their history and their future.
WHY WE EXIST
WE BELIEVE RESIDENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR HISTORY AND LANDS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
Our work is justified by the need to:
Confront a lack of access to information
React to an urgent threat of knowledge loss
Humanize issues related to tenure insecurity and sustainable development
Respond to an increase of poverty and inequality
Recognize the legal invisibility of a particularly vulnerable group within the community
WHO WE SERVE
The Rich Coast Project serves the coastal communities of southern Caribbean Costa Rica between Cahuita and Manzanillo. This region is inhabited by the descendants of Afro-Caribbean settlers, as well as indigenous Bribri and Cabecar tribes and multiethnic mix of new and long-term migrants from all over the world.
Photograph and Document Digitization
Access to Information
Cross-Cultural Interdisciplinary Service-based Learning
Through collaborations with local and international partners, we coordinate projects that investigate and document the history, identity, and human rights of the Afro-descendant and other communities of southern Caribbean Costa Rica (Caribe Sur).
SOuth Caribe Roots Archive
The South Caribe Roots Archive documents the people, places and events in southern Caribbean, Costa Rica, through family photographs and stories. The project aims to work with the community to develop a digital information platform that is reflective of local knowledge, experience, and social justice objectives. Our primary objectives are to create and mobilize knowledge about this history and identity of residents of the southern Caribbean zone of Costa Rica; to build bridges and dialogue between academic and non-academic stakeholders, and to create a community-based digital archive that preserves community-identified cultural heritage.
Service Learning program
Our team coordinates interdisciplinary service learning opportunities in collaboration with U.S. Universities and professionals that facilitate cross-cultural knowledge sharing, the collection of local stories through participatory community-based projects, and the production of multimedia archival content for the South Caribe Roots Archive. We have worked with students from Northeastern Law School, Santa Clara Law School, and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, as well as assorted short-term professional volunteers from various fields. This year we will also partner with the IU Media School.
Caribe Sur Wellness Traditions Documentation Project
The Caribe Sur Wellness Traditions Documentation Project is a multi-stakeholder effort to address a lack of documentation of the historic practices of the Afro-Caribbean communities living in the coastal lowlands of Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast. In collaboration with the Hidden Garden, our aim is to work in solidarity with local leaders and related groups to document the local use of natural resources for health and wellness and prepare community-legible resources to educate stakeholders on relevant health-related rights.