From the Toucan Rescue Ranch Pavilion on the outskirts of San Jose, Costa Rica, tourists can enjoy coffee and think of a hunt for abuse. These were the strong words opened by HuffPost earlier this summer, talking about the current (without pun) nature of Costa Rican wilflife.
Costa Rica’s response to nature’s cry was a global example of wildlife conservation, integrating the efforts of many government agencies, NGOs, private landowners and local communities.
“We hope to make a difference not only in people’s daily lives, but also by contributing and providing – supporting a cause we truly believe in. Our ultimate goal is to promote and raise awareness of the importance of Costa Rican wildlife and conservation of the rainforest. ”
Sabina Rivas, LUNI Costa Rica
Grit Daily spoke with Sabina Rivas, General Manager / Founder of LUNI Costa Rica, which aims to create new modern souvenirs and gifts that represent her beautiful country and culture.
Grit Daily: You had your own business adventures before the Luni. Share these.
Sabina Rivas: I was always a very artistic, creative person and even before LUNI, my goal was to have my own business that would allow me to incorporate this aspect. I had a photography business in Canada for a few years, but then came up with the idea of LUNI Costa Rica which I thought was an excellent opportunity to explore and moved with my family back to Costa Rica where my father is from.
GD: For those unfamiliar with Costa Rica or wildlife conservation efforts, explain how LUNI fits into the global picture.
SR: LUNI is proud to offer an exclusive collection of Costa Rican identity and cultural heritage products – primarily one of Costa Rica’s national symbols – oxcart.
Our goal was to create new, modern “souvenirs” and gifts that represent this beautiful country and its culture, while at the same time offering our customers modern and stylish products that can be used daily.
The oxcart represents much of Costa Rica’s history. They allow for the expansion and increase of exports of many goods, including Costa Rica’s main export coffee (declared by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2005). Promoting this symbol in a more modern way brings it closer to the younger generation and helps to “keep it alive”.
We hope to make a difference not only in people’s daily lives, but also by contributing and performing – supporting a hypothesis we truly believe in. Our ultimate goal is to promote and raise awareness of the importance of wildlife and the conservation of Costa Rica’s rainforest, and we are very pleased to sponsor The Kids Saving the Rainforest in Manuel Antonio, which rescues wildlife and works hard for reforestation and maintenance or the rainforest.
Related: Life in Costa Rica is an adventure filled with new friends
GD: Why deal with what a crowded market looks like?
SR: Although it seems quite congested and there are many options for consumers to choose from, there is a constant demand for “something new” – something no one else sells or what you can’t find so easily.
People who visit Costa Rica often want to bring home a more unique gift that would be functional at the same time as traditional souvenirs that usually have only decorative purposes. Therefore, our main goal is to innovate and create unique products of the highest quality.
GD: Would you consider that it’s the Costa Rican mark?
SR: Costa Rica has become very popular because of its natural beauty, unique biodiversity, endless beaches, volcanoes, rainforest, very different culture and cuisine and of course the “pura vida” lifestyle – very carefree, relaxed and optimistic approach LIFE.
It has something to offer everyone – whether you’re looking for some R&R from the Pacific or the Caribbean or for an adventure in the jungle. It is also important to note that Costa Rica has not had an army since 1948, so it is also known to be a very peaceful country.
Costa Rica has been working hard on environmental issues and recently received the United Nations’ Land Champions Award for its coal depletion plan, the use of clean and renewable electricity and the reversal of deforestation.
Luni’s “pura vida” designs are immediately recognized as “Costa Rican”.
GD: Why focus on entrepreneurship in a business that looks like a consumer-facing market?
SR: When we started, we discovered a hole in the market – many businesses in the tourism industry were looking for new high quality products that would be different from traditional souvenirs that they could offer to their customers.
Instead of souvenir shops, we focus primarily on the top five-star hotels, travel agencies and wedding agencies that offer our products to travel and VIP groups. Celebrating corporate events and travel motivations in Costa Rica is becoming very popular and we are very grateful to be able to be a part of this experience.