Welcome to the Rivers and Forests Alliance - RAFA!

Our mission is to preserve, protect, and regenerate Costa Rica’s Pacuare river basin, its forests, and biodiversity together with our communities for a sustainable future. 

The Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) was created by Rafael Gallo, a leading conservationist, environmental activist, and adventure and ecotourism pioneer in Costa Rica, to ensure that his beloved Pacuare River would be protected and preserved for all time.

Flowing from high in Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains, past indigenous Cabecar communities, and through dense jungle populated with jaguars, the Pacuare River travels 85 miles to the Caribbean Sea. It is one of Costa Rica’s most acclaimed rivers for its scenic beauty and is revered by whitewater paddling enthusiasts.

Rafael, his family, staff, and partners of his renowned rafting and adventure travel company, Rios Tropicales, passionately worked to preserve and regenerate the Pacuare river basin for nearly four decades. From stopping dams to planting close to 31,000 trees to rallying travel clients and community members to save the river and rainforest, Rafael and his followers fought ardently to protect the Pacuare watershed and other rivers in Costa Rica.

Rafael (“Rafa”) passed away in March 2021, after a 14 month-long battle with cancer. In his final months, he outlined his conservation dreams of environmental stewardship and protection of the Pacuare river basin. His vision became RAFA – the Rivers and Forests Alliance.

He planted the seed, and his family and friends have united to honor his lifelong work and forward his dream.

If you would like to get involved in preserving the Pacuare River region and Rafael’s legacy, please contact us. You also can sign up to receive e-news alerts from the Rivers and Forests Alliance.

We thank you for your support and commitment to conservation for our planet that will benefit us all.

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Pacuare River Costa Rica

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