Saturday, August 15, 2015

Entrepreneurial Costa Ricans

The Costa Rican government has made a shift into focusing the countries efforts into education and tourism. The Tamarindo area where we stayed caters to tourists. Because of this we met a lot of people that have jobs that are directly tied to the tourist trade. We had Hugo a chef who runs Private Chef of Costa Rica. He prepared us some amazing meals when we stayed at Hacienda Panilla. If you ever go to to Costa Rica look into hiring him to prepare some meals for you. He is on Facebook. They were delicious and the price was in line with restaurants in the area. Part of our group hired Pablo to take them on a surfing safari. He was a former Peruvian big wave surfer who now makes a living taking surfers on tours along the Cost Rican coast. On one of our morning walks we ran into Coco. Coco was a Panamanian that makes artistic creations out of coconut leaves. He was making a hat that he said was going to pay for his breakfast. He made us a flower and a grasshopper. When I gave him some cash for it he responded that it would be used to buy him bread for his lunch. Later on we met Isabelle who was a morning fixture for many people in Tamarindo. She makes corn tortilla empanadas that are a hit for everyone. She sets up her stand beside the road selling nonstop to tourists and Cost Ricans alike. For lunch one day we purchased shish kabobs hot off the grill from a family that has a roadside bbq right on the road next to the beach. We took a tour of the Tamarindo estuary with the salty Gerardo who pointed out a crocodillo and a wide variety of birds. He runs a variety of tours with some business partners. We also met Marvin who sells leeche fruits for five dollars a kilo beside the road. He showed us how to plunge our thumbs into the top of the fruit to peel it back to get at the sweet nugget of fruit inside. One of the most common sights and sounds of Tamarindo are the bird whistle sellers. You can hear and see them warbling with there wares on both the beaches and streets of the town. We bought whistles from Francisco and a woman. They were great to talk to. All of the Costa Ricans we met were extremely helpful and friendly. What a wonderful country.

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