Rios Lodge Hosts Costa Rica’s First Free Medical Training Program For Pacuare River Adventure Community

5 March 2024

Rios Lodge, an award-winning ecolodge remotely located in the rainforest in Costa Rica’s Limon Province, is making waves by hosting the first free CPR certification and wilderness basic first aid training program for remote lodges and adventure tourism operators in the Pacuare River region. 

In a pioneering move, Rios Lodge hosted a group of 21 participants from Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine. This group consisted of emergency medicine doctors, nurses, and fellows from Wake Forest University and Virginia Tech-Carilion medical centers and was a pilot for a week-long Wilderness Medical Society continuing medical education program. During this week-long educational retreat, the medical professionals volunteered two free days of bilingual training to the adventure community guides and staff along the Pacuare River that included CPR Certification, basic drowning treatment and prevention protocols, as well as basic first aid. This initiative was spearheaded by Dr. Chris Davis, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. 

A total of 40 staff and guides from five different lodges and adventure outfitters participated in the event. "This free, life-saving training training is a unique collaboration that goes beyond Rios Lodge. We are proud to be part of a strong adventure tourism industry of committed providers here in Costa Rica and to give back where we can”, said Arturo Oropeza, Rios Lodge Partner. 

The new owners are following in the footsteps of the late Rafael (Rafa) Gallo, co-founder of Rios Lodge and a leader in Costa Rica conservation and ecotourism. Rafa dedicated his life to advancing community-led conservation and white water recreation on the Pacuare River. The Rios Lodge Stewards are eager to support regional initiatives that protect the Pacuare region, support community sustainability, enhance visitor experiences, and prioritize the highest standards of safety and training. 

“We greatly appreciate Dr. Davis’ support in creating and teaching this unique medical training program at Rios Lodge for our extended adventure tourism community. It is the kind of event that the late Rafael Gallo, co-founder of the original Rios Tropicales Adventure Company and Lodge, wanted very much to offer,” said his son Roberto Gallo. “We believe this program could easily become a template for other remote ecoadventure operators and guides worldwide,” added Roberto.

About Rios Lodge
Rios Lodge is a remote private eco-lodge located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, on the riverbank of the Pacuare River in Limón Province. It was founded in 1989 as Rios Tropicales Lodge, as part of Rios Tropicales, an award-winning adventure company co-founded by Rafael (Rafa) Gallo, who was a pioneer in conservation and adventure tourism globally. The original lodge was sold to new eco-stewards after the founder’s passing in 2021 and now operates as Rios Lodge. It is fully off-the-grid, powered by micro hydropower, and with satellite WIFI services. The lodge offers 17 deluxe, classic and suite rooms in addition to a new eco-hostel lodging and dining center that can host groups of up to 64. It offers a rich adventure activities program founded on sustainability and conservation principles. 

Rios Lodge with its extensive private, protected Rainforest Reserve has received the Blue Ecological Flag for Protected Natural Spaces since 2007. Almost two decades ago, Rios Tropicales won the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth award by National Geographic Adventures (2006). It also won the first-ever National Geographic Geotourism Challenge: Celebrating People and Place, in 2008.

© Rios Lodge

© Rios Lodge

Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.