Back in 2002, a Latin American nation of Costa Rica became the first and only country in the world to implement the Certification for Sustainable Tourism program (CST). In 2009, the nations “carbon neutral” airline Nature Air became of the three winners officially awarded in the Geotourism Challenge 2009. Highlighting leaders in sustainable tourism throughout the global online community, the Geotourism Challenge is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Ashoka’s Changemakers.
Located mere minutes from San Jose Airport, the retailer is part museum, part vendor and focuses on popularizing sustainable design with its informative tours.
The strength of Verdes y Colores lies in its organized tours, which inform customers about responsible buying, sustainable design and fair trade practices. Considering Costa Rica’s position as a world leader in sustainable tourism, it’s unsurprising that founder and designer Melissa Jimenez forwards considerable money to local artisans and craftsmen so that they may continue practicing the skills that Verdes y Colores so diligently tries to protect.
The project, founded two years ago by young local designer Melissa Jimenez, production technician Karla Aguilar and manager Juan Jose Bolaos, also helps communities, artists and artisans develop their crafts, supports responsible manufacturers, and develops some products like a bamboo textiles line and a collection of preserved native plants for decoration.