OUR VISION

TO BE LEADERS AND STEWARDS LOCALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY IN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION THROUGH EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES AND PROGRAMS

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
DR. VANESSA BÉZY, Ph.D.
Founder & Scientific Director

Vanessa has been studying sea turtles and the arribada phenomenon at Ostional for over ten years. She is a National Geographic Explorer who strongly advocates for the protection of sea turtles at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Through her involvement with the local community, Vanessa has helped form alliances between the tourism sector and the Refuge, provided scientific data to support wildlife conservation policies, and established two non-profits dedicated to sea turtle and wildlife conservation in the area.

CARLOS CLEMENTE
Operations Director 

Carlos brings to the team his background in psychology and human resources and experience working with large, international corporations. Carlos’s first experience with a sea turtle was in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, and he recently made a life-change and moved to the country to work with sea turtles. Since witnessing the arribada for the first time, Carlos joined the cause and has been a proponent of the recognition of the Refuge worldwide as an important nesting beach for the arribada phenomenon.

STEVE MACK
Treasurer

Steve has lived and worked in Costa Rica since 1989, during which time he successfully raised millions of dollars for nature conservation in Costa Rica, co-founded the first organization in Latin America dedicated to the development of environmental law. Steve is the Executive Director of the Guanacaste Community Fund, a community foundation for the province of Guanacaste that links people investing in improving the quality of life in the area with people and organizations working in communities to make this a reality. 

OUR CORE TEAM
President
Vanessa Bézy, Ph.D. Conservation Biologist,
Wildlife Conservation 
Association
Vice President
Roberto Quirós
Professor,
Del Mar Academy
Secretary
Gerardo Brenes
Attorney,
Guiones Legal Services
Treasurer
Steve Mack
Executive Director, 
Guanacaste
Community Fund
Marketing Advisor
Franny Suarez
Account Associate, 
Brew Advisors
Stakeholder Analysis
Gabriel Coronado
Co-Founder and Manager, 
Synergy Action Consultants
Organizational Development
Nice Alterman
Organizational Development
Consulting, California Consortium of Education Foundations
Government Relations
Emel Rodriguez
Director of Forestry Programs and Biological Corridors, ACT, SINAC
Community Relations
Ethel Araya
Community Projection & Sustainability Manager,  Harmony Projects
Educational Programming
Jessica Sheffield
Co-founder and Director of 
Sustainability, Del Mar Academy
Educational Programming
Michelle Libby
Founder and President, 
Earth Equilibrium
Community Service and Tourism
Jennifer Simmons
Founder and President, Conocer Harmony Projects
Real Estate Advisor
Nathaniel Jackson
Realtor, Wanderlust Realty
FOUNDING MEMBERS & PARTNERS
Program Coordinator
Carlos Clemente
Founder and Director, 
Progresa Consultoria
Campaign Advisor
Jennifer Thurman
Director of Development,
Oklahoma Contemporary
Business Advisor
Michel Bézy, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Director, Carnegie Mellon University-Africa
FISCAL SPONSORS

THE HISTORY OF THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

TortuGuones: Our Legacy Organization
Fifteen years ago, our founder Vanessa Bézy came to Costa Rica for the first time on a study abroad experience that ignited her passion for wildlife conservation. Her work with various sea turtle conservation projects made her realize she wanted to devote her life to the protection of this species. Years later, when she was conducting her Ph.D. research on sea turtles at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, she founded our legacy organization TortuGuiones, for which she quickly became known as “the turtle lady” in town.

2015: Developing Sustainable Tourism and Wildlife Conservation Initiatives

The increasing interest the area gained as a tourism destination brought masses of tourists onto the beach in September 2015, disrupting nesting sea turtles in an event covered by international media. Something needed to be done on a broader scope to protect sea turtles at this site. After reaching out to colleagues and looking at examples of sustainable tourism and successful conservation initiatives around the world, Vanessa came up with a plan to develop programming and generate revenue for conservation in the area.

2018: Wildlife Conservation Association

As a result, TortuGuiones grew into a larger initiative to protect all wildlife by and for the community. The Wildlife Conservation Association was established in 2018 as a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring sustainable living through research, community engagement, and immersive educational experiences. Since then, many collaborating partners and individuals have joined the cause, making what was once only a dream a reality that many other community members and organizations have embraced.

Our Future: The Ostional Nosara Sustainability Campus

Our ambition goes further. The initiative to establish the Ostional Nosara Sustainability Campus is the result of a collaboration between the WCA, the Nosara Civic Association and the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Our goal is to create a campus of an integrated system of spaces that help make the refuge's natural capital profitable to promote the construction of a resilient community in balance with nature. Following many other successful examples around the world, we want to establish the Ostional Nosara Sustainability Campus which will fulfill the social, economic, and environmental needs of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding communities. This initiative will enable and strengthen the existing participatory conservation model by promoting collaborative initiatives for sustainable development in the area. The Ostional Nosara Sustainability Campus will provide shared space and facilities for research and local organizations; immersive educational and community programming; mobility solutions to connect Campus sites; sustainable design, construction, and operation. 

Tax-deductible donations can be made in Costa Rica, the United States, and Canada through our fiscal sponsorships with the Guanacaste Community Fund, Amigos of Costa Rica, and the International Canadian Fund for Conservation.
COLLABORATING
PARTNERS
The Wildlife Conservation Association works in close collaboration with individuals and organizations who share our mission and empower us by offering monetary or in-kind support.

Dr. Vanessa Bézy during her PhD research in 2017 with an Arribada at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.

Steve Mack, Executive Director of the Guanacaste Community Fund

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WCA 2020
ANNUAL REPORT
Read about our accomplishments and impact in 2020. Learn more about our big plans for 2021.
OUR MISSION

TO INSPIRE SUSTAINABLE LIVING THROUGH OUR RESEARCH, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, AND IMMERSIVE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES.

WCA PARTNERSHIPS & MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS
We are stronger together as we strive for a planet in balance. The Wildlife Conservation Association is dedicated to providing educational experiences that inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers for wildlife conservation and sustainable living. Find out more about our Community and Educational Partnerships. Learn about our Membership Program for individuals and families.
WCA PHOTOGRAPHY PARTNERSHIPS & CREDITS
WCA & ASA 50 PHOTOGRAPHY PARTNERSHIP
As a non-profit organization, the Wildlife Conservation Association is in partnership with ASA 50 Photographers Andrea Díaz-Perezache and Víctor Jaramillo. ASA 50 photography is used in the WCA website for non-profit and educational usage. View Andrea and Victor's beautiful photography at ASA 50 Photography's website, facebook page, instagram profile, and Flickr page.

WCA PHOTOGRAPHY SITE CREDITS
As a non-profit organization, the Wildlife Conservation Association additional website photography is credited to Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay photography platforms.

“ONLY IF WE UNDERSTAND,
CAN WE CARE.
ONLY IF WE CARE, WILL WE HELP.”

—JANE GOODALL

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

ENVIRONMENT • SUSTAINABILITY • EDUCATION

ESPAÑOL
OSTIONAL NOSARA
SUSTAINABILITY CAMPUS
Learn more about our future plans for the Ostional Nosara Sustainability Campus and master plan.
DONATE TO
OUR CAUSE

Our work is made possible by generous donors. Donate to the cause and help us ensure a sustainable future for the Ostional Refuge.

PARTNERSHIPS
& MEMBERSHIPS

Join us to make a difference through a individual or family membership or institutional partnership. Become a change maker now!

WCA AMAZON
WISH LIST

Donate with an in-kind donation from our amazon wishlist. Pack it in your suitcase. Contact us when you arrive. Donate locally too!

OUR SUSTAINABILITY MODEL

OUR WORK IS GUIDED BY THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY