grantees » Soledad Castro

Soledad Castro, Costa Rica

As an ardent ecological leader, Soledad works as a consultant at the Environmental Law and Natural Resources Center (CEDARENA) in Costa Rica. CEDARENA’s mission is to promote sustainable management of water and land resources to maximize economic and social benefit without compromising fragile ecosystems. Soledad works on local management of water resources, promotion of environmental education, and advancement of sustainable pineapple farming techniques. Moreover, Soledad provides workshops to train other NGOs in areas of organization, leadership skills and political influence. These efforts are a prime example of her leadership capabilities.  

Her experience with CEDARENA  has taught her to never give up in improving the environment, even when the odds are against her. Pineapple plantations, for example, have been polluting the waters of many communities in Costa Rica for various years, and no action has been taken by the state even though the plantations are acting against Costa Rican Law.

Determined to improve her efficiency in dealing with water issues, Soledad used her JWH Initiative grant to attend a training course on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The international course not only focused on IWRM theory, but also helped participants apply the concepts to use in their home water basins and management plans. Furthermore, Soledad used her grant to coordinate four workshops in Costa Rica to address the concept of water as a basic human right, which helped her improve her training and communication skills.

Now with a new professional outlook, Soledad is looking forward to more effectively contribute in fighting environmental issues in Costa Rica. Soledad dreams of being able to “strengthen social organizations that are making a change and constructing a collective dream in which people can (have) access to water, forest and food and live with dignity”.

Nominated by

Rolando Castro:  Natural Resources and Environmental Law Center (ELRC):  Costa Rica.