Costa Rica: N P & T F

Day 3 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - San Carlos; A Day in the Life of a Costa Rican Village; Home-Hosted Lunch; Soak in Thermal Pools

We were scheduled to go on a day-break bird hike, but when we woke up at 5:15, it was still raining like cats & dogs. It was clear the hike was not going to happen. We turned the alarm off and went back to bed until 7:00.

At 7:30 we went to the dining room for breakfast and then we left at 8:15 for our Day in the Life of a Costa Rican village and family. This is a specially organized OAT glimpse at the real culture of the country.

On our way, Eddie told us details of the opportunities given to poor farmers in the 1960’s and 70’s to have their own land. This was similar to our Homestead Act in the 1860’s, however the land in Costa Rica was owned by large corporations or land barons.

If the land was not being used for farming, the Agrarian Development Institute allowed settlers to improve the land by farming. After 15 years of farming on the land, the title was presented to the farmers. This is no longer the process as land in Costa Rica is now very valuable.

Our morning began by meeting one of the leading families of the Sonafluca Community. Sonia Rosales and her two daughters, Jasmine and Daniella, welcomed us to their home. Her husband, Rodrigo was working this morning even though it was Saturday.

Sonia taught us to make empanadas (stuffed with cheese) and Eddie taught us to make the traditional Costa Rican coffee using a ‘chorreador’ which is a rustic form of drip brewing. The coffee is put in a sock like filter and then boiling water is poured over the grounds.

Our visit to the Sonafluca Elementary School was a highlight. Even though it was Saturday, several families brought their children to dance folk dances of Costa Rica. The principal showed us the many improvement projects that have been completed that used funds from the Grand Circle Foundation.

Gennie brought a grocery bag of school supplies for the children and also some USA pens from our Post Office in Palmer Lake that Eddie presented to each of the children after their dancing. We also contributed to the school’s foundation to help enhance their learning environment.

Chico, one of the older students, invited five of us to come to his home and to have lunch with him and his family. The Castro family; Maria, Francisco, and Chico served us a simple lunch of rice, beans, fried green papaya, salad, and a specialty cheese they make on their little farm.

After lunch, Francisco went out into his orchard and cut down a green coconut so we could drink the milk and also offered us sweet tiny bananas. We are really eating healthy food on this trip.

We thanked our family and joined our OAT companions who also had stories to tell of their experiences with their host families. We left the community at 2:00 and drove back to the resort. One the way Samy spotted a three-toed sloth and we also saw a huge green iguana sleeping in a tree top.

Eddie had arranged for many of us to go horse-back riding, but because of the rain, we will postpone that adventure until tomorrow afternoon. Instead we changed our clothes and caught the shuttle to the hot pools located about a mile into the jungle on the property.

The springs are fed from the same underground geothermal activity as the nearby Arenal Volcano. There are a variety of temperatures to choose from, but in this jungle environment, the one at 41° C seemed to be the most popular.

At 5:00 we hurried back at our room, showered, began the journal and chose the five photos that were representative of our busy day. Dinner was served at 6:30 and as usual, we have many travel experiences to share with our companions. It is easy to sit and talk for hours with so many interesting people.

Eddie will try for a bird watching tour again at 6:00 tomorrow so we laid out our clothes and hoped for good weather in the morning.

Accommodations: Termales del Bosque --- Meal: B, L, & D

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Remembering our wonderful 2005 Oat trip to Costa Rica...our 1st. Say hi to Eddie for us. He is a fantastic guide and Naturalist. Hope you'll post a picture of him. We remember him fondly.

Andy and Jack Conine   December 16, 2012 - 3:43pm

Your descriptions certainly make me want to add Costa Rica to my list of places I want to visit. Glad you have a great time! Blessings!

Carolyn Barrett   December 16, 2012 - 2:20pm

We did some of the same things you are doing - but perhaps in a different order. I so loved the birds of Costa Rica. In San Gerardo de Dota we sat amongst the hummers - they were inches from our faces! I am hoping for bright sunshine for you!!

Cheryl Vieira   December 16, 2012 - 5:12am
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4th and 5th Graders, Traditional Costa Rican Dance, Sonafluca Elem. School

4th and 5th Graders, Traditional Costa Rican Dance, Sonafluca Elem. School (0:56)

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Jasmine, Daniella, and Sonia

Jasmine, Daniella, and Sonia

Birds Eating Papaya

Birds Eating Papaya

Sonafluca Elementary School

Sonafluca Elementary School

The Castro Family

The Castro Family

Three-toed Sloth

Three-toed Sloth

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