Strategic Actor: Bruss Torres Leal

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Bruss Torres Leal has been living in Piedras Blancas for the past 9 years. He is one of the founding members and a partner at the Piedras Blancas Community Credit Enterprise and a member of Aguitur.

With Aguitur (local guide association), he is currently working on the issue of Rural Community Tourism in several ways. Bruss is engaging with the owners of farms surrounding the Piedras Blancas National Park, guiding them to see the benefit of utilizing their land for tourism rather than have the land sold off or planted with oil palm. Aguitur also promotes awareness and reforestation of green and public areas and provides environmental talks in local schools.

Bruss believes that all local projects need a greater counterpart support from entities such as the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the National Learning Institute (INA), the local municipality, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation. The projects that Bruss is working on are made possible by partnerships with the Hotel Esquinas Lodge, the National System of Conservation Areas, GAT SUR, and Osa Conservation (who will soon be joining the initiative).

He believes that the most important elements for the success of a community-based organization are objectivity, vision, perseverance, responsibility, competitiveness and a clear sense of direction.

Regarding the work INOGO has done in the region, he qualifies it as "very fruitful", since it monitors several projects and initiatives simultaneously. In his opinion, one of the best elements of the program is the fact that the leading team is composed of professionals and local representatives who recognize local needs because of their first-hand experience in the region.