At Tabacon, we have a clear mission statement to strengthen our relationship with the local community, defined as La Fortuna de San Carlos and its neighboring towns, the San Carlos County region, and Costa Rica. Our community outreach and development programs aim to improve vital aspects of the local economy covering education, environmental protection and childhood development.
Starting in 1993, Tabacon has been an integral part of economic development in the region, becoming a top revenue source for the San Carlos municipality. We recruit locally for all levels and departments, with over 80% of staff members coming from the community and the remaining 20% receiving housing support, making Tabacon the top residential renter within the area.
Buying locally is important to us. We put significant emphasis on supporting local producers. In addition, all tour and transportation services are hired from local small businesses and entrepreneurs, with Tabacon being a top client for these service providers. Tabacon generates between 250 and 300 direct jobs.
We understand that while the Fortuna de San Carlos / Arenal Volcano Region has been blessed with a vital tourism industry, other towns in the San Carlos County are not as lucky. The main thrust behind the Community Outreach Program is the improvement of the schools in areas outside Fortuna, with aid targeted to children with limited resources. Our assistance program for schools is focused mainly on enhancing infrastructure and on setting up computer lessons through donation of equipment. We provide all-important school supplies, uniforms and bicycles as well. Cash scholarships are given per school requests in coordination with the local offices of the Ministry of Education.
All proceeds from Tabacon's recycling programs are given to the local schools. The ongoing operations generate a substantial amount of recyclable and reusable byproducts that are given to these institutions to sort and sell to recycling companies. This is another way to give much needed funds to local schools while teaching children about the environment and sustainability.
Tabacon is in a constant state of refurbishment and renewal. Important assets such as furniture, television sets, linens, kitchen and restaurant equipment are changed periodically. Replaced items that are in good condition are donated to local institutions such as facilities for the elderly, children orphanages, schools and jails.
We are aware that we have an important role in the Arenal Volcano / San Carlos community. We understand that sustainable economic development for the local community brings prosperity and stability to the region, which, in turn, makes it safer and more appealing to international visitors. We provide a role model in our protection of the environment through reduced energy and water consumption, through recycling and through the preservation of important wildlife. We encourage all visitors to our community and resort to assist in our community outreach programs by visiting the area, buying locally, and donating to our Community Outreach fund.
We have recently donated the integral design for a waste water treatment system for the whole town of Fortuna and neighboring areas, working in conjunction with the local Development Association (Adifort) and the Israeli Embassy. Final design is scheduled for delivery to the local authorities in the Spring of 2013.