On February 25th, the Costa Ballena Guardavidas hosted a unique fundraising event blending the protection of human life with that of ocean conservation. 

“An Evening with Andy Mann,” held at the home of Bruce Baird in Dominicalito, benefited and honored the heroic work of the lifeguards who serve and protect the local community and prevent ocean accidents on the beaches in the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The evening was highlighted by Emmy award nominated photographer, director and ocean conservationist Andy Mann, who brought his stories from the front lines of ocean conservation around the world. Having just returned from an assignment on Cocos Island, Andy was able to give a unique look into the specific challenges Costa Rica faces in their conservation efforts.

Andy Mann was joined by Marta Cambra, coordinator and research assistant from the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Linmology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica. She presented work that is being done through the “Vida Secreta de los Tiburones” project, which strives to strengthen the management and conservation efforts for sharks and rays on Caño Island and other marine protected areas of Costa Rica. 

Food and drinks were generously donated by local businesses Fuego Brewing Company, Mosaic Wine Bar & Café, Pizza Time, Villas Leanor, Restaurante Mamma e Papa, La Cusinga Lodge, Mama Toucans, and Sibu Café. Seating was provided by Villas Rio Mar and live original music was provided by singer-songwriter Noah Solt. 

The event raised critical funds for the Costa Ballena Guardavidas, a non-profit association fully sponsored by local businesses and individuals. “These funds will be directed toward salaries and critical equipment necessary for the guardavidas to perform their life-saving jobs,” said Greg Gordon, President of the Board for the Costa Ballena Guardavidas. The lifeguards are open water rescue certified, CPR and Wilderness First Aid certified individuals. Every year dozens of lives are saved by these highly trained and dedicated professionals.