Constructing Innoceana’s Marine Conservation and Education Center has been amazing but challenging work!
First of all, as a marine conservation center we wanted to reuse as much as possible. This building was already here and it wasn’t used anymore. The past owners left everything in: many storage boxes, diving equipment and hundreds of books, since the different rooms were used as a souvenir and liquor shop, a library, an office, a dive center and a greenhouse. It took us months to sort out everything and decide what to keep. We donated a lot of books and furniture to Uvita and Ojochal libraries. We also gave some food from the liquor shop to the local community. What still remained was used as decoration for the center!
The construction started in July 2021 with a low budget. We reused wood, metal and zinc from the greenhouse to create tables and storage for diving equipment. The structure of the greenhouse was perfect to build the cabins for our future volunteers.
The MCEC itself was designed to be a journey, from beginning to end. The main entrance leads you to the info center. If you are in Osa, in the long and narrow Puntarenas province, and you want to dive in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, and you have any questions about our expeditions or you need equipment to dive, this is the right place for you.
Then, you can find our diving room. This is where we meet for our beautiful expeditions. All our equipment is here and you can also buy some if you need. We really want to make a difference as a dive center, this is why, along with the dives we offer, we also teach about environmental issues and how to act. The most important thing for us is to involve you by doing citizen sciences.
If you’re getting a little bit hungry after intense expeditions in Sierpe, Isla del Caño or Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, you’ll be able to take some time to rest in our future restaurant. This area will sometimes serve as a pop-up store, where beautiful locally-sourced souvenirs will be on sale.
Right in front of the diving room is our education room. Here, you can find Julia, she can share with you all of her amazing anecdotes of underwater life. Julia is also the creator of the amazing project called Innotales: interactive audio-visual books to raise awareness amongst kids and families about the ocean threats.
Downstairs, you can head to our cabins. These spaces welcome our volunteers and expeditioners.
All around the center, you can find amazing artwork created —mostly— by people from the community. Feel free to take a photo in front of any of our beautiful murals and don’t forget to tag us on your social media accounts so we can repost your story.
Our Marine Conservation and Education Center is a dream come true. If you are looking to dive in Costa Rica, this is the right place. Be part of an active change in the world by joining our purposeful expeditions.