Tag Archives: Las Villas de San Buenas

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Cafe’ Rey Market: The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas

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The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas
By Ezekiel Tyrus

Sitting on a bench in front of Cafe’ Rey Market, and thinking this has the flavor of a general store in the Old American South, or even Old Florida.

Incredibly hot and the road is dirt. Chickens walk by freely. Down the street you can hear cows mooing.

And dogs, dogs everywhere. You assume they’re strays but the country folk of Costa Rica have a hands-off, lots of freedom attitude towards their canines.

They allow them to wander without collars to go explore the entire village with the faith they’ll eventually come home, and seemingly, they always do.

Each if fat, happy and curious, enjoying the freedom of strays with the bounty of food and affection of being beloved pets.

When a dog struts by Cae’ Rey Market, I will stick out my hand to pet the happy little creatures and one of the local Ticos will say, San Buenas dog“That’s Eduardo,” or “That’s Paco,” or “That’s Tito,” …

None are strays but rather beloved pets known and respected by the locals like little citizens. Can you imagine?

Never got close enough to pet a chicken.

Geraldo is the owner. There everyday, often outside in a rocking chair holding court among several Ticos. His son Abel and daughter Arlen are usually inside running the store. All good people whom I’ve grown to adore as they giggle at my broken Spanish and are so quick to introduce me to whatever local is standing around or inside the store.

I’ve gotten to know most of the village through them, and everybody here knows everybody. There are no strangers and few people simply walk past the market or drive by.

Most everybody stops to say hi, if bicycling or walking by, they usually stop to talk for about 15 minutes. If driving, they’ll roll down the window and shout pleasantries for about 5 minutes.

Yesterday, an old Ford F-150 pickup truck from the early 90s rolled by. The bed was filled with scrap metal and the truck was rather beat-up and missing paint, acned with rust stains.

Three guys came out from the front, each muscular in jeans and t-shirts well-worn, nearly threadbare and wearing black work boots that’ll outlive everybody. They swaggered and radiated a steely-eyed working-class toughness. If they were white dudes in America, we’d call them rednecks.

When they saw me sitting on the bench by the front door, every single one of them stuck out their hand, greeted me warmly and said, “Pura vida.”

They came outside afterwards and sat next to me on the bench drinking orange soda and eating ceviche in small green containers. Through my broken Spanish, I learned these gentlemen were from the larger and edgier community of Palmer Norte, and they were just as curious about me as I was them. Asking me if I had ever been to places like Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.

At break’s end, they threw their stuff in the trash, smiled as they waved me adios and, wished me ‘Pura vida.”

The market generally has most of the stuff I need.

Sometimes they feature homemade ceviche with the right amount of spica and tang. A dish I could eat with every meal 3 times a day every day for the rest of my life. I’ve been told Arlen makes the ceviche. It’s great and they run out of it quickly.

However, the best part of Cafe’ Rey Market?

It’s fun.

The family that owns it, that’s there daily, are laid back and fun.
The locals sitting outside on benches and chairs are having fun, laughter the most common sound.

Men, women, kids and the elderly come and hang out at various times, greet one another with familiar smiles and laughter.

They gossip, poke fun, and wave, always, without fail, they wave when somebody walks by.

Cafe’ Rey Market, the cultural hub of Downtown San Buenas, where everybody knows your name and they call me Ezequiel.

A few times a week, I go there to buy a few groceries, plus a drink, some juice or ice tea, and if available, Arlen’s homemade ceviche.

Then, I park it outside on the bench, drink my drink, eat my seafood and soak up the atmosphere the way you would a favorite bar, and always leave happier than I arrived.

#LasVIllasdeSanBuenas

#TheWritersRetreatofSanBuenas

#EzekielTyrus


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breakfast club fist up

The Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas was a success

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We recently completed planning and hosting the first ever Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas. Based on the feedback from all of the participants it was a great success!! Our featured author was Will Viharo, who has over ten books published (purchase one here on Amazon) and has a passion for writing pulp fiction, Hollywood history (his father was a B-movie actor) and vintage pop culture. In fact his book “Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me” has had the movie rights purchased by Christian Slater. Mr. Slater and Will are finishing up the screenplay and hope to have it filmed in the next five years.

waterfall writers retreat pavon

Will Viharo (center with hat), Ezekiel Tyrus (3rd from left), Nick Halverson (far right) with some of the participants at the Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas.

What exactly is a ‘writers’ retreat’? It involves daily sessions of writing, free time to think, write and be inspired, and times to relax and enjoy everything Costa Rica has to offer. The idea of The Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas came from author Ezekiel Tyrus (“Zeke”). Enjoy the short video at the end of this article (<1 min) to get a glimpse behind what the Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas is all about. From the Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas Website:

Who can attend?  Our guests have included, as described by one of our guests who is a successful Hollywood actor, The Lad from Long Beach, The Lady from Minnesota, The Poet from North Beach, The Pugnacious Floridian, The Seattle Searcher, My New Hero from Stockton, The Gentle Giant from Bloomfield Hills all with sinewy stories and sublime spirits. In short, anyone who has a passion for writing, whether you are an accomplished writer with a bookshelf filled with your byline, a famous novelist experiencing writer’s block, or a novice who has always dreamed of completing that book. This place is for you.

The Mission of The Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas is to create an intimate, luxurious, inspiration-filled environment for writers to write. You may want to pen some essays, complete pages upon your travel-journal, finish your novel, perfect your screenplay, collect some short-stories, write poetry, or perhaps you’ve never written before but feel the time is right to start your memoirs.

Zeke was a guest of ours back in 2016 and ended up staying longer than either he or his family had predicted. He became our Property Manager for a couple of months and during that time he wrote a novel that is to be published in mid-2017 (stay tuned!). Zeke returned to Florida last summer but he missed the beauty, the tranquility and the essence of Costa Rica. The urge to return resulted in him contacting us about setting up a writers retreat in Las Villas de San Buenas. We were excited to have Zeke back in Costa Rica, but we had never planned a writers’ retreat before (although we have had weddings, birthday parties, etc on the property) so we were cautiously optimistic.

Zeke took care of all the writing details and in securing pulp-noir author Will Viharo, and we took care of planning all of the details of lodging, transportation and meals. Collectively, it worked out wonderfully! The all inclusive element of the Writers’ Retreat makes it easy for participants to enjoy their time here. The feedback has been fantastic!! In fact, we already have our next Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas planned for June 10-17, 2017, with accomplished author Vi Khi Nao.

Here’s some testimonials from the retreat:

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Guest writers and attendee group were amazing. So much energy and creativity! I feel I did my best writing, ever, at the retreat. — Michelle H.

I was afraid that it would be a bunch of feel-good hippie crap, which frankly I do not need and doesn’t really fit my personality…As far as the writing workshop itself, I can truly say that it was life-changing…Probably the most valuable aspect of the retreat for me was the retreat itself: carving out the time to focus on my writing, and doing so surrounded by such an amazing group of writers who were also invested in taking their work seriously. — Ray A.

I am as surprised as you that I actually went on this adventure. A writer’s retreat? Absolutely in my comfort zone. In Costa Rica? Absolutely the farthest thing from my comfort zone outside of going shirtless in public or bullfighting. I guess my inner writer needed to get to the jungle. What a learning experience! — Dustin T

Please contact either us or through the Writers’ Retreat website if you’d like more information about this all-inclusive option.

 


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costa rica house san buenas

Our Newest Home is Complete

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We recently completed our newest home in the Vistas portion of our project. This beautiful home was designed and constructed by our crew through a partnership with a local engineering and architectural firm who has built our last five homes. The home was completed on-time and on-budget and the clients are thrilled! Don’t take our word for it, here’s their testimonial.

costa rica customers traynor

Emmanuel, the engineer, and the clients on the day their house was started.

Other Canadians and some Americans warned us about using Tico builders but this crew came highly recommended by Nick Halverson and we couldn’t be happier. People go into these type of projects with great trepidation. We were in Canada while much of our Costa Rican home was being built. However, the engineer gave us progress reports weekly, sometimes more than that. The workers worked long and hard and did a fabulous job. We were surprised how quickly it went. The entire process went by so smoothly. Emmanuel (the engineer) has a great eye for detail, very professional, very creative and flexible making sure we got exactly what we wanted. I’d say Emmanuel and the entire crew have a great understanding and idea of what North Americans want. We feel like we made friends with these builders. Seriously, if you ask, do we recommend these guys, the answer is ‘absolutely.’ 

This home has amazing 180 degree, unobstructed, Pacific Ocean views, views of the next door San Buenas Golf Resort and tantalizing views of the mountains to the north.

costa rica blue home san buenas


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will viharo costa rica beach

Will Viharo at the 2017 San Buenas Writer’s Retreat

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Will Viharo

Will viharo b&w

The dates for our premier retreat are January 29-February 4, 2017, and we at The Writer’s Retreat of San Buenas couldn’t be more pleased that Will Viharo is going to be our first guest author and instructor.

Will ‘the Thrill’ Viharo is a noted “gonzo pulp” fiction author, freelance writer, and B movie impresario. For many years he was best known as the producer, programmer and host of the long-running live “cult movie cabaret” called “Thrillville,” which he hosted for many years around the Bay Area and beyond as “Will the Thrill,” along with his wife, Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes-Viharo.

Now he has returned to his roots full-time as a freelance writer and pulp fiction author, contributing regular columns about vintage pop culture and the craft of writing to several publications.

His published bibliography includes the retrospective anthology series The Thrillville Pulp Fiction Collection featuring all of his standalone novels to date (A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, and Chumpy Walnut); as well as the definitive omnibus The Vic Valentine Classic Case Files: Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick. All are now available via his own imprint, Thrillville Press.

Gutter Books reissued the first Vic Valentine novel, Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me in 2013. It was originally published by Wild Card Press in 1995, and has been optioned for a film by Christian Slater. In December 2015, Gutter published the most recent entry in the series, Hard-boiled Heart.

Additionally, Will has written two sci-fi collaborations with Scott Fulks, It Came From Hangar 18 and The Space Needler’s Intergalactic Bar Guide.

For each day of this retreat, Mr. Viharo – now a resident of Seattle, WA – will lead a socially casual but intently focused group session wherein he will constructively critique participants’ writing, provide experiential insights into the “cut-throat” business of publishing (both independent and traditional), and share creative techniques of self-discovery to help aspiring authors achieve their full artistic potential.

Praise for Will Viharo from his peers:

“No human being has absorbed more pulp culture and its seamy sexploitation underbelly than Will Viharo. Thankfully, his warped synapses and calloused, compulsive fingertips are able to repurpose it all and blow it back onto the page–desperate, demented, delirious, D-cupped … and many other D words as well.” —Eddie Muller, Czar of Noir

“Besides the great style, plot, and characters, what I love so much about Will Viharo’s work is his willingness to really go there in his depictions of sex and violence. The dude’s not shy. At all.” – Mike Monson, author/publisher, All Due Respect Books

“Will Viharo has to be the most Chandleresque author I know that’s not actively trying to rip off the legend’s style or paradigm in his fiction. Viharo’s narrative voice is thunderous and commanding. One of the best kept secrets in contemporary hardboiled fiction.”

-Benoit Lelievre, Dead End Follies

“Will Viharo writes not just neo-noir but neon noir, his Vic Valentine novels brilliant paeans to Chandler, Hammett, and other aspects of pop culture that Viharo clearly loves, from old B-movies to Frank Sinatra. But his roots are only a backdrop for Viharo’s modernization of the detective genre. Vic Valentine is a detective who falls hard for his dreams, knowing full well that he shouldn’t.  For Valentine it seems that the greatest defeat would be to give in to the idea that he cannot win. In Will Viharo’s fast paced, witty and wise Vic Valentine novels, there is always hope, however hardboiled it may be.”–Rob Pierce, author of Uncle Dust  and Vern in the Heat

 “In a cookie-cutter literary world chock-full of imitation and repetition, Will Viharo carves out a thoroughly original ride…Think David Lynch and Raymond Chandler catching a matinee together as the world falls apart. Sexy, smart, surreal. Can’t recommend enough.” –Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation, December Boys, and Junkie Love, on A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge 

Visit Will’s website

 

 


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If You Love Somebody, Bring Them to Paradise

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Dusk san buenas dusk2 san buenas full moon san buenas Mountain san buenasI’m lonely in paradise.

Naively, I thought 3 months in Costa Rica would be like Hemingway’s ‘A Movable Feast’ or like any of the Beat Generation writers living in Mexico City or Morocco. Instead it was like ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau.

I’ve spent an incredible amount of time alone in communication with nature. Often I awake at sunrise or moments before, and always, without fail, I make sure I am outside during sunset.

I’ve never been an outdoorsy person and yet I love Costa Rica’s countryside. Everything is so beautiful here, the mountains, the jungles and the sky, sometimes I swear when I look up, the clouds are perfect, perfect sizes and perfect shapes, during the day when they’re white and puffy and at sunset when they reflect gold and pink.

Strangely, I grew up in Florida drinking orange juice and ice tea and yet, the best ice tea and orange juice I’ve ever had is in Costa Rica. Their milk shakes are great, too as is their ice cream. Coffee here is potent and delicious and their chocolate rivals the best in the world.

Like the quest of the Transcendentalist, I’ve ‘found myself’ in this beauty and solitude. I’m happy, and see my life with a newfound clarity. I’ve accepted every aspect of my past, happy with my present and have renewed enthusiasm for my future.

While here, I’ve meditated, I’ve prayed and I’ve written a novel. I’ve also lost weight and genuinely look the best I’ve looked in years.

Life is transformative in Las Villas de San Buenas de Osa and whatever it is that you are seeking, you will find in its natural beauty and pace of life. And I want you to come here and have the same experiences I have in regards to ‘finding yourself’ and being one with the world around you. (If that’s what you’re seeking.) (You can come here if you simply want to relax and have good time, too.)

However, there’s something I’ve lacked down here that I don’t want anyone to suffer from. Lack of companionship. All this beauty would be enhanced if I was here with somebody I love.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a great time here and have enjoyed my solitude but there have beenezekiel tyrus headphone so many moments that would’ve romantic with the right company.

A few nights ago, we had a full moon that hung over the villa, just a few clouds in the sky, even the dark, stone-filled dirt roads that are generally black as midnight by 7, were now illuminated by grey light bright enough to not use my flashlight, a necessity in a part of the country where there are very few street lights and the jungle’s protected by the government.

It felt like I was walking through a black & white movie. You can see everything clearly but it’s all dark and grey.

Walking into the beautiful night I thought first of Erskine Caldwell who once wrote, “At night, I saw how beautiful the day could never be,” and I thought about love.

I would’ve done anything to share that night with somebody I love.

To share the sunsets, the sunrise, the perfect clouds, the coffee, the chocolate, the food, the nearby beaches, the waterfall, and the multiple swimming pools here in the villas, with somebody you love, would make my here as romantic as it would be perfect.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy and think this time here has been exactly what the doctor ordered and I know you can have the same great, enriched, transformative experience that I have.

However, you can do one better than me by simply bringing somebody with you whom you love. And loves you back. Be it a spouse or a lover.

Come here alone, -I’m having a great time, or bring somebody you love and hold hands while walking during the full moon and pretend you’re in a black and white movie and kiss. Lay in the fresh cut fields pointing out which cloud is most perfect, admire the other’s skin when the sun sets, and open the bedroom windows, pull the curtains aside and snuggle when the sun rises.

My name is Ezekiel Tyrus. I am the gatekeeper to paradise. Contact me. Come down here. You’ll have an amazing time. Bring somebody you love and make it romantic.


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Meet our Customers

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Las Villas de San Buenas has a diverse set of owners from around the world (eight countries and counting). Come join us in paradise!! More information here

Customers San Buenas

Our customers come from around the world and have a variety of backgrounds.


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Lapa Photographed at Casa Lapa

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The photograph below was taken by Nick Halverson in May 2015 from the backyard of Casa Lapa using a Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-140 mm lens. It is of a scarlet macaw (or a lapa as they are known in Costa Rica).

There were four lapas eating the ripening almonds from the almond tree in the early morning. If you look closely at the photo you can see that this one has the almond between its beak. We planted those trees approximately three years ago and we now regularly have lapas flying in and eating.

Costa Rica lapa san buenas

Lapa (scarlet macaw) enjoying an almond behind Casa Lapas, Las Villas de San Buenas. (c) Nick Halverson


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Las Villas de San Buenas to Plant 2,000 trees in Partnership Agreement

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Las Villas de San Buenas to Plant 2,000 Trees

Las Villas de San Buenas recently purchased 2,000 trees from a non-profit division of Sembrada Agua logo2ICE (electricity provider) called Sembrada Agua. This project connects high schools and local communities to organizations looking to repopulate damage done decades ago by cattle farmers whom cleared some of the jungles in Costa Rica. The goal of Sembrada Agua is to plant one million trees by 2030 – and we wanted to do our part in helping out.

“We are committed to designing and planning our development in an eco-friendly manner and integrating native trees into the landscapes,” explained Hanz Cruz, General Manager of Las Villas de San Buenas.

Sembrado Agua ICE 1

Some of the 2,000 trees that have been delivered to Las Villas de San Buenas.

Las Villas de San Buenas will be spending the next month planting these trees. When we purchased the land that is now Las Villas de San Buenas there were thousands of gmelina trees that had been planted in the 1960s by local farmers. Gmelina is a non-indigenous, invasive species that chokes out the native trees. After several years, and approximately $85,000, we successfully cleared out the majority of the gmelina trees. We are now actively replanting the same area with fourteen tree species that are native to the Osa Peninsula, which will help bring the land back to its more natural state from 100 years ago.

“We will be planting a variety of fruit trees, hard woods and ornamental trees which will show our owners the beautiful mix of the wonderful bio-diversity found in this region of Costa Rica,” said Las Villas de San Buenas CEO Nick Halverson.

 


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Donation to LILA Non-Profit Organization

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LILA Lakes International Language AcademyDonation to LILA Non-profit

For the 5th year in a row, Las Villas de San Buenas donated a week of Casa Lapas to Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) foundation. Casa Lapas generated over $2,500 for the non-profit organization with 100% of the funds going directly to LILA.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

Mr. Chuck Phillips from Forest Lake, Minnesota, had the winning bid. Mr. Phillips owns a karate dojo and is looking forward to visiting Las Villas de San Buenas with his family later in 2015.

The funds will be used to further educate a classroom for an entire year with a licensed teacher from outside the USA who will bring their own experience, and language skills, into the classroom.

LILA 2015

Over 150 people attended the fund raiser.

Las Villas de San Buenas CEO Nick Halverson said, “We are proud to continue our commitment to helping LILA, and their International Baccalaureate program, which not only educates students in immersion learning (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at LILA) but also provides students learning from a global perspective.”

The LILA fund raiser had over 150 in attendance, including Miguel Ramos, from

LILA Miguel Ramos Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Ramos donating a banner for LILA

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Minnesota Twins’ front office who donated a banner to be hung in LILA’s office and also facilitate several game-ticket packages that were used for a silent auction. The function was attended primarily by parents of students at LILA and several local business owners.

Las Villas de San Buenas is proud to have customers from eight countries (and counting) who speak at least six languages, and continues to attract customers from around the world.

Mr. Halverson stated at the event, “Costa Rica and in particular, Las Villas de San IMG_7536Buenas, appeals to people from around the world due to its amazing wildlife, the spectacular views throughout the property and its diverse customer base. Add to that the world-class amenities nearby and it’s understandable why we continue to attract customers from around the globe.”

 


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Costa Rica is the Happiest Country in the World…again

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Costa Rica is the Happiest Country in the World

Costa Rica has once again been judged to be the “Happiest Country in the World” by the Happy Planet Index. The rankings are based on the following three components, and each is given a traffic-light score

based on thresholds for good (green), middling (amber) and bad (red) performance. – See more

1) Life expectancy

female surfer playa dominical smile

Costa Rica once again is named the Happiest Country in the World. 

2) Experienced well-being

3) Ecological Footprint

These scores are combined to an expanded six-colour traffic light for the overall HPI score, where, to achieve bright green – the best of the six colours, a country would have to perform well on all three individual components.

The Top 10 Happiest Countries are:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Vietnam
  3. Columbia
  4. Belize
  5. El Salvador

As one can see, interestingly, four of the top five happiest places are in Central or South America. By way of comparison, the USA ranked 105th, Canada ranked 65th and France 50th.

For more information, and a full ranking of 151 countries, please visit their website here.

Everyone here at Las Villas de San Buenas, and the town of San Buenaventura, understands the happiness lifestyle. People of Costa Rica tend to be more relaxed and proud of what they have – not envious and jealous of others who have “more”. Although many Costa Ricans may not have a lot of “stuff”, what many Costa Ricans do have more of than other countries is a commitment to family and friendship.

This focus and commitment to family and friends is why Costa Rica continues to be a destination for people from around the world (and why we have had customers from eight countries!).


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