QCOSTARICA – The Guanacaste Airport began an information campaign to raise awareness among tourists who visit the country’s beaches, so that they do not take home the seashells as ‘souvenirs’.

Tortuga Lora. (Courtesy of Guanacaste Airport)

Between 2021 and 2002, airport police seized some 2 tons of seashells (conchas in Spanish) at the air terminal.

But it is not only tourists that do damage to the marine ecosystems

César Jaramillo, General Manager of the Guanacaste Airport, said that this practice has a negative environmental impact on the beaches, which is why national tourists are also part of the awareness campaign.

For this they created a new mascot, “Lora”, a female turtle known as “Lora o Verde” that seeks to protect the coasts of Guanacaste.

Through the “Be a shell hero” (Sé un héroe de las conchas) campaign, Lora has the environmental mission of educating tourists and avoiding serious damage to marine ecosystems.

“We want our passengers to fall in love with the destination and return later with their children and, above all, to protect the resources of our coasts,” said the manager of the Guanacaste Airport.

Jaramillo commented that while airport officials continue monitoring the situation, the goal is for the seizure to decrease in the coming months.

Messages that generate awareness among tourists can be seen on the airport networks.

Guanacaste received 1,443, 862 passengers in 2022; that is an increase of 43% more visitations than in 2021.

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