Project to help macaws could use a little help, too

Thanks for your article on the Ara Project and your continued support of this unique situation

As the article points out, The Ara Project is being evicted from it’s Alajuela home of three decades.  The population they house and breed at the Alajuela/Rio Segundo site (5 minutes from SJO airport) consists of about 180 rescued scarlet and the very rare great green macaws as well as the offspring of both species raised at the project in captivity.  Young macaws cannot be released till after two years old and before eight years old.  They can live to 70 years.  This is not a short-term project.

The project has found a new home at the excellent Hotel Punta Islita, south of Samara.  The move to Islita is being funded by support from various sources including Hotel Punta Islita itself, the British Embassy, a new donation from the German ambassador and funds raised through crowdfunding sourcesHERE. and HERE  as well as local support through visitor donations and a major local supporter.

But it is not enough. They need to build cages, plant food sources, build infrastructure on the raw land.  The British Embassy helped house the volunteers and get the basic infrastructure started along with Hotel Punta Islita support which has been amazing.

Back here in Alajuela, the original four hectare site has been sold and is now being carved up for construction.  The developer has given the project a bit more time but without the funds to finish the cages in Islita, they cannot move.  The large cages cost about $25,000 each. Macaws have terrible beaks (the only known living creature to be able to crack a mountain almond) and need strong cages as well as protection from predatory creatures.  They need three more of these cages.

If you’d like to visit the project in Alajuela, any day at 9 a.m. by appointment only (call either phone number below) – your donation will help keep this project the viable with the extraordinary service it has been to saving the great green macaw.

HERE is something Channel 7 just put out:
The Alajuela visit itself is fascinating and is the top rated tourist activity in Alajuela though not, unfortunately, for volume of visitors but for the quality of the experience.

If any of your readers want to get more involved, they should contact Chris Castles 8730-0890 or Jenny Pettigrew at 8662-2663.  Or The Ara Project at  If you need further information on this or would like to visit, I’d be happy to help explain.

Thanks again to AM Costa Rica for keeping this in the public eye.

Check out the Channel 7 video. After just a few months a few of the juveniles are now flying free where there have been none for over a generation.  Human or macaw, they are the same.

Berni Jubb
Pura Vida Hotel
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