I think the most common question we get at Finca Rosa Blanca is how did we get here and what moved us to create our little resort. I always find myself eagerly telling the story I love so much, which is my first encounter with Costa Rica in 1984. My wife and partner, Teri and I decided to travel to Central America, where we were told by those who knew and those who had dreamed that there were oceans as warm as a bathtub, trees stuffed with monkeys, sloths and tropical birds and where the time would float by at its own lazy and prolonged pace, allowing one to immerse himself in the incredible visuals and soulful songs sung by the plethora of fauna that occupies the most bio-diverse nucleus on the planet.
Beautiful Costa Rica: Looking from our balcony at Finca Rosa Blanca toward the Central Valley and coffee farms below.
In those days, there was no technology as we know it today: no faxes, no emails, and information for travelers took weeks if not months to arrive and be updated. I decided as a result and through the only means I had available to me, to call the Consulate in New York City -where we were living- and make an appointment to talk to somebody about this seemingly miraculous place we had heard about from surfers, bird watchers and veteran travelers alike. Having no luck with getting somebody to answer the phone, I took the train down to the Wall street area, walked the frentic blocks of bumping and racing young ambitious traders, brokers and ladder climbers and found myself in front of an un assuming building where it listed the Consulate of Costa Rica, with the “C” missing from the plastic letters not so carefully placed on the black background on the building listings as being on the 11th floor. I, being sometimes the insufferable baby, was panicked that there would be no elevator. Thankfully, I was wrong about that.
I knocked on the door and like my telephone attempts earlier, I was met with a profound silence. Not to be turned away by the eloquence of nothingness, and with the typical NYC aplomb, i opened the door and let myself in. After presenting myself with a series of ascending “Hello?“s i was about to leave when the door to the Consul’;s office opened and a slightly disheveled but immaculately coiffed gentleman kindly asked me who or what I was searching for. Amazed to actually hear a response to my Costa Rican inquiries, I explained hurriedly what my motive was for the unexpected visit, and after patiently and attentively listening to my preamble, he informed me gleefully that he was indeed the Consul himself and invited me into his office, politely offering me a seat, after he personally pulled out the chair and made sure it was clean enough for a person of my importance (none in my mind) to sit.
He excitedly and with a great deal of flourish opened his top drawer of the desk and took out a large and extremely heavy photo album, and for the next hour or so, I was lost in the beaches, mountains and hideaways of Costa Rica, and by the end of that blissful journey through photographs, I knew every family member by name and age as they were in just about every image I perused with him, He proudly recounted the family trip to the beaches of Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio, to the cloud forest of the Barva Volcano, the western gateway to the Braulio Carillo National Park and of course, of the coffee farms in Heredia and Naranjo and the Quetzales in the high mountains of the Central range. When I was done, I felt like I had met with an old family member who had personally insisted that out of filial piety I had the obligation to visit his home and family and of course, his country.
On my way home from this significant and endearing meeting, I knew that there was a new world opening to me and I anxiously waited for Teri to return from work so I could blabber endlessly about how authentically charming and warm this Mr. Consul was, and we agreed, that if all the Costa Ricans were similar, it would be the most wonderful place we could imagine to visit and know. And it was and still is…