Giving back to the community.

It is important to me to give back to this community that warmly accepted me and continually inspired me since I arrived in 2000. I participate in as many ways as I can,both individually and with local groups. Our goal is to promote education and awareness about environmental issues and quality of life for children.

I regularly donate portrait sessions for silent auctions arranged by the groups, “Mano a Mano”, “Amigos de la Educacion” and “CEPIA” (a non­profit organization here in Costa Rica, that seeks to promote culture, health, sports and education for youth from low-income families in Guanacaste). I'm happy to say they're always a great success for everyone involved!

I enjoy giving my time to photograph events organized by the "Surfrider Foundations” and “The Raft Up” who work to raise money to keep our beaches clean and safe.

Children of the nearby pueblo (and me too!) look forward to the annual “Early Christmas Party” at Los Altos de Eros ­ a Luxury Inn, Spa & Yoga Retreat in Guanacaste where each child spends a colourful day of food and games then receives a personal gift. The images I take at these functions are used by the groups in promotion of their work and for press coverage of the events.

Additionally, I regularly donate a portion of my sales to the micro­credit lending website, KIVA, to assist people here in Costa Rica and Nicaragua to increase morale, confidence and quality of life by becoming financially independant through starting their own small- business ventures.

I hope you will check them out on the internet and while you are here in Costa Rica, to experience the good they do. I couldn’t imagine living here without giving back to these wonderful people and awe­inspring ecosystem.

Toh Gouttenoire