Preferred by Nature certification reaffirms commitments to sustainability of the Hotel Dreams Las Mareas
Since 2019, the Dreams Las Mareas Hotel has held the Preferred by Nature certification, which confirms good sustainability practices within its facilities. "The balance of three pillars has been essential to meet the goals: economic, social, and environmental" says Cinthia Jiménez Quality Manager of the hotel.
This certification evaluates good practices in sustainable development. It analyzes more than 200 criteria that guarantee the success of the business and the responsibility with the collaborators, the guests, the community, and the environment. On the latter, for example, aspects such as waste management, energy saving, water treatment, protection of biodiversity, conservation of natural areas are addressed.
“We can be successful by being sustainable”
Becoming the first hotel in Costa Rica with this international certification is an honor, but at the same time a great responsibility. We want to make Hotel Dreams an example that companies can be successful and sustainable at the same time.
“The shift towards a sustainable mentality is non-negotiable. The guest demands a greater commitment from everyone, it is not only taking care of nature, but also the sum of other aspects such as support in the development of the community and the treatment our collaborators receive”, emphasizes Jiménez.
The certification is valid for three years, however, to guarantee standards and commitment, reinspections are carried out annually. For this, the commitment of both the collaborators and the work with the community have been vital. For example, in collaboration with Costa Elena, an alliance has been established with the Recycling Center, which is run by a group of women entrepreneurs from the El Jobo community. There, they process most of the recoverable waste that is discarded from the hotel.
To achieve compliance with the objectives, constant measurement is important to know how we are doing and what variables we can improve. In addition, it is necessary to make investments in equipment and permanently train the staff so that the best sustainability practices are installed in the culture of the collaborators at all levels. This way, when tourists arrive at the hotel and when they are having contact with the community of La Cruz, they can make the connection with the “green country” and the reality of what Costa Rica represents and impacts.
About the certification
The Sustainable Tourism certification of Preferred by Nature accommodation services was known and granted until 2021 as the “Rainforest Alliance Seal”. The Preferred by Nature organization is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which in turn accredits its members and sets the foundation for international standards for sustainability in the travel and tourism industry. Currently, there are hotels certified by Preferred by Nature in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and America. In Costa Rica, Dreams Las Mareas is the only hotel to have this internationally recognized certification in Sustainable Tourism.
Through an alliance between Costa Elena and AsoJunquillal, the blueprints for eco-friendly toilets and showers were donated
Just 25 minutes away from the center of the Canton of La Cruz, and as part of the Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, is the paradisiacal and beautiful Junquillal Beach. Those who have visited it instantly fall in love with its crystalline and warm water.
Currently, the tourist services of this refuge are managed by the Association for the Support and Promotion of Tourism in Bahía Junquillal (AsoJunquillal), who make efforts hand in hand with the community to offer visitors recreational activities. These activities include marine and land tours, rental of kayaks and bicycles. In addition to a rich offer of traditional dishes and souvenirs at the Sustainable Beach Market.
As part of the commitment to take care of the environment and above all hand in hand with sustainability, AsoJunquillal, together with Costa Elena, created an alliance to design the plans for a new and modern area of sanitary services, showers, and sinks.
Gretel Vega, administrator of the tourist services of the Refuge, and on behalf of AsoJunquillal, affirms that, "currently, within the refuge we have an infrastructure in not so favorable conditions. This is why we are excited about the project that is taking its first steps so that the 230 tourists who enter daily can use top quality infrastructure and, above all, protecting the environment.
The design of the plans elaborated by the architects of Costa Elena is eco-friendly and includes 3 restrooms for men and 3 for women. In addition, they will have sinks for common use with access ramps and will be located 120 meters away from the camping area.
With this modern construction, 80 people will be able to stay in the camping area at night and 150 during the day on the beach.
The proposal, according to the designs, will make the most of natural resources. It will use natural light to illuminate the bathrooms and it will also provide responsible management of black and gray water generated by the use of the toilets.
“We continue to take steps to be increasingly sustainable. Now we need the support of private companies or organizations that can donate the material to finalize the construction of the project that we hope will be completed before the end of the year or next year.” Vega added.
Those who wish to join the project with donations can write to the email [email protected]
IMPORTANT: Playa Junquillal is the first in the entire canton of La Cruz to have an accessible walkway that reaches the sea and an amphibious chair for people with reduced mobility.
Women’s seal in the engineering department of Costa Elena inspires self-improvement
In Costa Elena there are many stories of improvement; Erika, Catalina, Sofía, Katerina and Michell are examples of this. Their talents and academic preparation made them reach the Costa Elena engineering department, made up 100% of these admirable women.
They agree that it has not been an easy task to face a society that for many years has segregated work areas based on gender, but that it is possible to break with established patterns. Today they seek to empower the neighbors of the canton of La Cruz so that through their stories of improvement they fight for a much more equitable society.
In depth with Erika, Michell and Catalina
Erika Hanon has been working for Costa Elena for 16 years. She works as Director of Development and Operations and leads the team of 4 engineers who monitor construction projects in Costa Elena.
“I feel very proud of the work I do with the team, each one of them with the essence of it brings an indisputable value. In addition, there is enormous satisfaction in knowing that we are creating a positive impact in the community of La Cruz and especially with its inhabitants”.
Michell Mora is one of the newest in the engineering department and her fighting spirit has led her to pursue the dream of being a civil engineer, she urges young women so that, when choosing a career, their skills and desires prevail in your decision.
“There are always barriers to break, personally, I think that this helps a lot in growth and in the formation of character. When I started, maybe, I was afraid to say no and lead the union of the male workforce. Today that lesson helps me to know that there are no stereotypes that stop us and the results of each project must be 100%.”
Added to the stories of these successful women is that of Catalina Torres, who graduated as a construction technologist, reaching 22 years of experience in the construction of luxury homes to date. Six years ago, she joined the Costa Elena family where she seeks to inspire both men and women to develop their potential.
“To that future generation, I say live one day at a time. Not every day brings the same brightness, but we must not give up and always continue forward.”
From Costa Elena there is a commitment so that both men and women work in areas that motivate them to excel and above all contribute to the development of the canton of La Cruz.
Definitely the seal of women that Erika, Catalina, Sofía, Katerina and Michell permeate in Costa Elena is reflected in each project and construction.