Our platform features bilingual listings from tourism-related businesses and nonprofits all over Costa Rica. They’re searchable by category, keyword, or location, or by using our Costa Rican map. We offer various levels including Free access; a Basic subscription that includes more features and training and support from El Colectivo 506’s editorial team; and a Premium level in which members have also more features, access to the benefits of a Basic subscription and also can create quality content for publication in the digital magazine. We have built our project by working with pilot members who are affiliates of the Chamber of Rural Experiences, and of Amigos of Costa Rica, an organization that represents more than 100 Costa Rican nonprofits. Pilot participants were given free access to our communications coaching and provided feedback that helped us refine our tools.
Members of our Directory are part of a searchable platform for Costa Rican and international travelers with a particular interest in rural tourism. They also join a network of fellow entrepreneurs and El Colectivo 506 journalists who are committed to covering the challenges and beauties of Costa Rica’s rural areas. Directory Members are a crucial source of information and opinions that help enrich our coverage and allow us all to work together to showcase Costa Rica’s communities. Basic and Premium Members also gain access to training to help generate higher-quality digital content to promote their work and strengthen relationships with current and potential customers.
Our journalists consistently draw on the images and information shared in the Directory to improve and enrich our coverage of rural Costa Rican communities. For example, we might feature a high-quality image from a Directory member in one of our daily posts, linking to the member’s Directory profile, or feature an upcoming event shared by a Directory member in the directory’s calendar. Readers of our digital magazine will consistently be exposed to the news and images being shared by Directory members. Basic and Premium members also receive training from our communications professionals to improve their own content and Premium members can expand their presence in the digital magazine.
Costa Rican businesses and nonprofits in rural areas were among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, with urgent social, economic, and environmental consequences. At El Colectivo 506, we’re on a mission to support rural communities’ recovery and growth by helping nonprofits and rural businesses share their stories and build relationships with national and international travelers.
Directory 506 is the only national traveler’s resource in Costa Rica to focus exclusively on rural community tourism; the only directory to include nonprofits and community organizations that offer tourism services; and the only directory linked to a media organization that draws from the directory for story ideas, images, and community news. We are also the only directory to offer communications training so that members can increase the quality of their storytelling and gain visibility in our digital magazine as a result.