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FAQ

Para la Naturaleza

  • What is Para la Naturaleza and what does it do?

    Para la Naturaleza is a nonprofit unit of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. Its goal is to integrate society at large in the conservation of natural ecosystems, in order to increase the amount of protected lands in Puerto Rico, from the actual 8 percent, to 33 percent by the year 2033. Para la Naturaleza seeks to provide each person and each community with transformative experiences that can inspire and motivate concrete actions for nature, such as doing volunteer work, donating money and land, or establishing conservation easements. The unit groups all of the Trust’s educational programming, volunteer and Citizen Science events, and all fundraising initiatives of the organization. Para la Naturaleza also manages all visitor centers and natural areas protected by the Trust, including Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, Hacienda La Esperanza in Manatí and Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, among others.

  • How can I participate in activities given at Para la Naturaleza’s special events?

    Participating in special events is easy! Use our reservation system in the Participate section of our website and verify all available dates for each special event before making your reservation.

  • How I can contribute to Para la Naturaleza’s mission?

    There are many ways to contribute to our goal of securing the protection of 33% of the lands in Puerto Rico by the year 2033. You can donate time, money, lands or become a member of AMIGOS Para la Naturaleza.

    To donate time, you just have to participate in any of the volunteer or Citizen Science events we offer. The former let you help in diverse management and maintenance jobs in the natural areas we protect, the latter let you work along with researchers in one of many scientific studies being carried out. We offer both types of events completely free of charge. Please visit the Participate section to see which volunteer and Citizen Science events are available at the moment.

    Donating money is easy! Visit the Donate now section of our website to make your donation online or through the mail. Your gift is an investment in nature and is tax-deductible, press here for more information.

    If you own lands of high ecological value, you can establish a conservation easement or donate your land. Under the Conservation Easement Law of Puerto Rico, both options entitle you to receive transferable tax credits on the value of your land. If you want to know more about this option to protect your land in perpetuity, please visit the Donate land section of our website, or call (787) 722-5834.

    If you live in Puerto Rico and you participate frequently in our events, you may consider becoming a member of AMIGOS Para la Naturaleza. Becoming a member entitles you to discounts for our events and in our stores, and you’ll also be invited to exclusive events for AMIGOS. We have several membership options for individuals, families or groups. Please visit the Membership section of our website to become a member today!

  • What species of trees are available for me through Para la Naturaleza?

    One of our conservation initiatives, Árboles más Árboles (Trees, More Trees), is dedicated to producing, distributing and planting native and endemic tree species. These are better adapted to local climate and soil conditions. Our native tree nurseries produce more than 60,000 trees annually, and they are all available for sale. You can visit these facilities if you are interested in acquiring native trees, and you can also participate in planting workshops or volunteer events that we offer along the year in our native tree nurseries, located in the Río Piedras Botanical Garden, Cañón San Cristóbal in Barranquitas, Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, and soon in Hacienda la Esperanza in Manatí.

  • What are Para la Naturaleza’s educational offerings?

    We lead and collaborate in a variety of educational initiatives and resources that are available to students, teachers, public or private organizations, professionals and individuals.

    Although all our events have an educational component, we also offer workshop that are exclusively tailored to teachers and environmental or community leaders. We offer these workshops completely free of charge, they focus on a single conservation topic and are available throughout the year in our visitor centers.

    If you are a teacher, community or environmental leader, please visit the Participate section of our website to see which teacher workshops are available at the moment.

    We also offer workshops to the general public that focus on a wide variety of topics, from organic bread-making to antiviral plants.

    Volunteer and Citizen Science events also give you the chance to have learning experiences, both in management activities of the natural areas we protect, and in scientific research projects. You can learn plenty about conservation and nature in both types of events. Please visit the Participate section of our website to see all volunteer and Citizen Science events available at the time.

    Through our Árboles más Árboles (Trees More Trees) initiative, we offer you all the information and guidance you need about native tree species and their use for reforestation, including planting workshops. You can visit any of our native tree nurseries for more information.

    Additionally, our Science, Education and Public Policy Department evaluates and coordinates research initiatives with students and scientists from different institutions that work in the natural areas we protect. They have facilities at their disposal for research and study of environmental topics emphasizing biodiversity conservation.

    During the summer, we also offer our Inmersión Para la Naturaleza (nature immersion) workshops in our visitor centers, which are geared to youngsters between 9 and 12 years old. An admission form must be filled for these after dates and availability are made public.

    Please visit the Participate section to see which related events are available at the momenrt, or call (787) 722-5834 for more information.

  • Where are Para la Naturaleza’s headquarters located?

    Our executive offices are located in the Ramon Power and Giralt House, on 155 Tetuán Street in Old San Juan. You can find more information there about all the natural areas we manage, make reservations for our events, and visit our gift shop, where you’ll find books, audiovisual material and environmentally friendly products. For more information, please call (787) 722-5834.

  • What are the permissible uses of the natural areas protected by Para la Naturaleza?

    We manage more than 42 natural areas whose main use is research and education. Many of these areas are currently used by both schools and local or international universities for scientific purposes, environmental workshops for students and teachers, and by environmental organizations and governmental or private organizations that organize special events like meetings and seminars. Some of the natural areas we protect feature facilities that are available for rent for both public and private organizations, like Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo, Hacienda la Esperanza Nature Reserve in Manatí, Cañón San Cristóbal Natural Protected Area in Barranquitas, and Casa Ramón Power y Giralt in Old San Juan. Subject to our authorization, we occasionally permit filming for educational and educational purposes compatible with the uses of each area. This requires a special permit and involves the signing of use agreements, liability waivers and proof of corresponding insurance policy.

    Individuals or organizations interested in applying for special use of the natural areas we protect must request and fill out a permit form by writing t0  info@paralanaturaleza.org.

  • How can I visit Para la Naturaleza’s Nature Reserves and protected natural areas?

    We offer tours, workshops, volunteer and Citizen Science events, together with special events year-round, throughout Puerto Rico. Much of these events are free of cost, you only have to make your reservation. Visit the Participate section of our website to see our complete event calendar and make your reservations today!

    We also have several visitor centers that you can visit at anytime, like Casa Ramón Power y Giralt in Old San Juan, Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, Hacienda La Esperanza in Manatí and Cañón San Cristóbal in Barranquitas.

  • What types of ecosystems and species can I expect to see?

    The natural areas we manage feature a significant diversity of ecosystems, such as mangroves, dry forests, coral reefs, a bioluminescent lagoon, beaches, karst hills (mogotes), coastal forests, subtropical forests, wetlands and freshwater swamps, among many others.

    Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, for example, boasts practically all coastal natural communities found in Puerto Rico, in a relatively small area. Because of their diverse ecosystems, these natural areas provide habitat for a large variety of endemic birds, like the múcaro and the Puerto Rican woodpecker, together with crustaceans, anthropods, amphibians, reptiles and plants.

    The estuaries, wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds we protect serve as nursery areas for fish, while some of our beaches provide nesting grounds for several species of marine turtles, in particular the leatherback sea turtle. Seagrass beds are also primary feeding grounds for both sea turtles and the Antillean Manatee.

    For more information on the ecosystems we protect, please visit the Natural Areas section of our website.

  • How did Para la Naturaleza acquire lands to protect and conserve them in perpetuity?

    Most of the natural areas we manage have been acquired by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico along its four decades in existence. Some of them have been donations to the Conservation Trust, while others are Conservation Easements still under the property of their respective owners, although they’re also managed by us.

    The acquisition of lands with high ecological value is another important tool at our disposal to achieve our common goal of protecting 33% by the year 2033. Please visit the Land Acquisition of our website for more details.

  • What areas are managed by Para la Naturaleza?

    We currently manage more than 42 natural areas throughout Puerto Rico. The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico owns most of them, while others were donations or are Conservation Easements still property of their owners. We have several visitor centers that you can visit at anytime, like Casa Ramón Power y Giralt in Old San Juan, Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, Hacienda La Esperanza in Manatí and Cañón San Cristóbal in Barranquitas.

  • Are there discounts for the disabled, AAA members or military personnel/veterans?

    Sorry, but we don’t offer discounts like these at the moment.

  • May I change the number of people in a group tour after paying for its reservation?

    We have limited spaces, that’s why you must make reservations! Because payment is due at the time of the reservation, we reserve the right to admit additional people to a previously reserved tour or visit. We appreciate being notified by phone and in advance about any such arrangement or situation that may arise.

    We reserve the right to cancel any event, and we’ll let you know about it ahead of time. We issue refunds or credit only in these cases. If one or several members of your group do not show up, we can neither give back reservation payments nor adjust any payment if it has already been made.

    Please make sure you check out our cancellation /rescheduling and absentee/no-show policies in our terms and conditions.

  • If I am unable to attend an event or activity, will I be refunded or may I reschedule?

    We issue refunds or apply credit to reservation payments only if we are forced to cancel an event for whatever reason. We’ll let you know if we have to. We can offer you another date to reschedule your visit only if you let us know about your situation three (3) days ahead of your scheduled visit. In the case of groups, any arrangement or circumstance must be notified two (2) weeks in advance of the scheduled date.

    Sorry, but if you or your group don’t show up for a tour or event at the scheduled day and time, we will not be able to issue a refund or reschedule your visit. Please make sure you check out our cancellation /rescheduling and absentee/no-show policies in our terms and conditions.

  • May I bring refreshments and food?

    No, sorry! We do recommend that you bring a reusable water bottle, which we can fill up for you at no cost in our visitor centers. Due to the delicate balance of the ecosystems in many of the natural areas we protect, we don’t allow coolers, food nor sound systems. If we recommend bringing a snack for one of our events, we’ll let you know. Smoking, bringing and/or drinking alcoholic beverages during our tours is strictly prohibited. Food or beverages are not allowed during any of our tours. For more information, please take a look at our general terms and conditions for events, or call us at (787) 722-5882.

  • What clothing should I wear?

    Only if we recommend boots or water shoes for a particular event, you should always wear closed, comfortable shoes for walking, breathable clothing and a hat or cap. We also recommend that you bring a reusable water bottle, which we can fill up for you at no cost in our visitor centers. If you use sunscreen or insect repellent, we suggest you use organic products, as they are friendlier to nature. Apart from your clothing, please remember to bring your prescription drugs if you need them.

    Each event has its own terms and conditions, depending on its difficulty level, so we advise you to please review specific information for the event you will be attending in our online calendar, in the Participate section of our website, or call us at (787) 722-5882.

  • May I visit Para la Naturaleza’s facilities without taking a tour?

    Only those natural areas with visitor centers can receive your visit without previous notice. Arrangements for special visits are sometimes possible. For more information, please call us at (787) 722-5882.

  • Is a reservation required for a nature tour?

    Yes. All tours that we currently offer are guided by nature interpreters, and thus have a limited capacity. We are currently working to offer you self-guided tours in the near future. For the time being, please use our reservation system by visiting the Participate section of our website, and take a look at all available tours and events.

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