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EPI & Pacuare Reserve

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Preserve. Protect. Pacuare.

Once logged for timber, grazed by cattle, and threatened by encroaching plantations, Pacuare Reserve is now a protected haven for thousands of species, including the vulnerable nesting leatherback sea turtle, threatened jaguars, and the rare Agami heron.

Join us to protect this incredible biodiversity hotspot in collaboration with local Costa Ricans and the global conservation community.

Nestled on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, Pacuare Reserve is a 2,000 acre reserve and science station dedicated to protecting the thousands of species that call its jungles, beaches, and coastal waters home. Pacuare is also an integral part of EPI’s 16-year history.

EPI began in 2000, with just 61 Costa Rican students joining Co-founders Scott and Julie in the field for nightly turtle censuses at the Reserve. Like those first hatchlings the students protected, our partnership with Pacuare and its founder John Denham has only grown stronger in the years since that first course.

In 2016, John Denham and the Endangered Wildlife Trust entrusted Pacuare to EPI, with the shared vision of protecting the Reserve in perpetuity.

Our deep commitment to local community engagement and passion for conservation led Denham to think of EPI when looking for Pacuare's next stewards, and we plan to honor his legacy by protecting this biodiversity hotspot, increasing educational activities, and encouraging local community support and engagement in conservation.

In our first year as Pacuare's stewards:

  • Staff from EPI and Pacuare developed six aspirations for the future of Pacuare: Activities and Programs, Reputation, Community Relations, Organization, Finances, and Natural Resource Conservation
  • We began our 17th season of field science education programs, engaging Costa Rican and U.S. youth in making incredible conservation impacts at Pacuare
  • We honored our first ever John Denham Award for Community Engagement in Conservation winner, James Foley 

Pacuare's 2016 Sea Turtle Monitoring and Research Report outlines the current research happening at The Reserve. While scientists, students, and local communities remain committed to preserving an ecological sanctuary for leatherback and green turtles, jaguars, sloths, and birds of all kinds, data from the 2016 nesting season reminds us of the ongoing need for collective action and collaborative global solutions that lead to systemic, durable, and real change. 

Help Preserve the Reserve!

Donate today to help us sustain Pacuare's conservation initiatives and support scientific research, staffing, local involvement, and more – all of which helps protect the thousands of species of flora and fauna that call Pacuare home.

Protect Pacuare Today

Pacuare is an experience that you cannot put into words. You can only live it. It is a privilege to visit Pacuare and an opportunity you will never regret.

Yeudin, EPI Alumnus, Costa Rica

Impact Stories

Student Stories: Meet Shanil

Shanil, a local Costa Rican student, recently joined us on an EPI field course, and her experience at Pacuare had a profound impact. 

On course, her instructors described her as an enthusiastic and upbeat student, a great leader, and a positive motivator. Before the course, Shanil admits that she felt she was doing her part to help the environment; but her time volunteering at Pacuare Reserve with EPI opened her eyes. She says it was at Pacuare that she realized she could be more involved in conservation in her own community. 

The Current: EPI’s 2017 Spring Newsletter

Open publication - Free publishing... Learn More

News Stories: About EPI

All Impact Stories   All News Stories


At Pacuare Beach, where our students work in Costa Rica, 
the predation rate of nesting turtle sites dropped from
98% in 2000,
to less than 2% today