If I don’t have the money and really want to help what can I do?
We invite everyone to have a conversation with us and we will do all we can, along with encouraging you to explore ways to raise funds, to come and participate here. We recommend filling out our scholarship application and look at crow-funding patron programs.
Is there a shuttle or van to get to your site?
Depending on the country, please check with your local embassy for exact requirements. In general, visitors from the USA/Europe only need proof of a return ticket to their departure (rarely asked for 1x visitors). If crossing by land, occasionally they may inquire to solvency by asking for credit card or proof of $500. Tourist visas are granted at the entry point usually for up to 90 days and can be renewed by leaving the country for 72 hours for another 90 days.
Do I need vaccinations?
In general, the only need is come healthy and with any supplements/ medications you may need for your stay. Malaria has been controlled for years. The other ‘super viruses’, it is our belief one is invited to ask them selves on the validity of sensational news. We have done all possible in harmonizing the natural surrounding to attract abundant predators of mosquitos. Generally we have less than in the coastal regions and in the urban areas. Check with your doctor for any concerns.
What do I need to bring? Clothing? Etc.?
We are in a coastal mountain range, and at times it can feel cool in the evenings and early morning, especially during the rains. Generally, we recommend bringing a loose fitting long sleeve shirt and pants. Socks are useful for those hypersensitive to no-see-ems. **Upon acceptance to our Center’s programs, you will be sent a full list of suggested items.
What about… Roommates?
If you have asked for a shared space, we will do our best to match personalities according to behaviors (light sleeper, non-smokers, late nighters, meditators, etc.) However, part of the magic of a shared space is to meet the challenges and wonders of a human mirror… an unknown look into the depths of our compassion and wisdom. Hence, we ask everyone to really integrate the term: mindfulness. We are an artist laboratory. If one hears laughter in the night, could it be elves? Faeries giggling? The muse can hit at anytime; we know that, we respect that. Several nights in a row of Madonna? Probably not. Vapassana silence everyday? Probably not—unless you come during the rainy season when it does tend to get quieter in general.
Do we have electricity?
Yes. We are currently suckin’ it up from the ‘holy grid’. We strive to use electricity wisely and carefully. Eventually, when the timing and resources are right, we will shift to a renewable ‘smart-energy’ system. The system is grounded as best we can; yet it is advisable to unplug all electronics if there is thunder and lightening.
Can I have a private bathroom?
Unfortunately, not at this time. If you have special needs, let us know and we will do our best to focus a facility for use. However, our bathrooms are all shared—even if next to a cabin. Two of our toilets are reasonably pleasant ‘dry toilets’ (no water used). Two of our toilets are rainwater flushed. We have three hot-water-on-demand showers to use wisely.
Is the water drinkable?
Yes. Our water comes from mountain spring water and is filtered. We also have backup connection to the municipal system as well. The name of our pueblos, suggest it all: Agua Buena y Copabuena. Good Water.
Can I use candles or incense?
Yes. Candles must be in approved containers and all must be extinguished every time one leaves a building (if none other present). (Think Scarecrow-wizard of Oz, our nearest fire department is over 30 minutes away.) Incense? Of course. If you are in shared situation, ask, compromise, try to research your aromas and seek those that are pure and not petro-chemical versions. Use them wisely, with intention and please care for the ashes.
Can I smoke?
Smoking is a fire hazard in the buildings. NO smoking tobacco in any building or near one. We ask that tobacco, be consumed only in designated areas, or in other areas on approval if staying in rainy season. Folks who come are extremely sensitive to tobacco smoke. ‘Other smoking’. Wise reverent behaviors with medicinal herbs are done with agreement with the community at the time. Ask. And we ask for ‘fox’ medicine. Camouflage, consideration.
Can I come to look around?
Yes. On invitation or agreement. We do aspire to create a community and container, yet we also understand folks want to ‘sniff’ us out or share in our magic. Send us a note and we’ll see what we can do. There may be a donation for an overnight look around…
In general we do our best to take care of our community. If you feel called to bring something for the ‘local’s ask first. If you feel compelled to offer a local on our site a gift, do so wisely. Ask.
When is Check in/out time?
We are not a hotel. Arrive when we agree. Leave when we agree.
Can I bring a guest or spouse?
We have strict guidelines on visitors who are not a registered participant. Please ask for those or they are included with our visitor guidelines upon acceptance to our program. Spouses? We are an involvement project; a spouse or partner needs to be ‘included’ in our community. An agreement for how this is done will be made upon acceptance. Guests from the community must be approved—we have our reasons for that. Overnight whimsies? Ask.
What are the payment methods?
We live in a modern world. We’ll take donations anyway we can. Wepay. PayPal. Checks. Cash. In-Kind gifts. Ask. Colones. Dollars. Euros. Sacks of gold especially welcome. If you need a tax-deductible certificate, please let us know to make the appropriate arrangements.
The holy question: Is there Cell phone, Wi-Fi or good Internet?
Yes. Within reason. Wi-Fi is only available in the main house. If you arrange to ‘open’ your phone before arrival, you can buy a rechargeable SIM chip for cheap and add money, as you need. This will increase your data availability o check social media as much as you need in the privacy of your room. Our service comes in through cell phone towers. We are hilly. Cell phone usage goes up 3-8pm and 12- 2pm and can slow Wi-Fi down, as can cloudy/stormy days. Take a break. Chillax. Right? Liberating one self to—be here. Now. Upon special request we may be able to get a dedicated, periodic Wi-Fi connection for special projects—ask. *(Note: In just six years we have seen our valley go from 1 cell phone tower to 6 and counting. The major company is doing all it can to speed the service up. We cannot put in a DSL line, as we are 1 kilometer short of the distance for fiber optic. Things change. The affect of Cell phone towers has a dual face. We love it and it has consequences. **And remember, the signal goes through the air, to a tower, to another tower and another and then satellite and down to another tower… a miracle. and …Dorothy? We’re not in Kansas anymore…you’re in the wilderness). If it’s too slow, go jump in the river and take a swim.
Is there a pharmacy, doctor or medical facility nearby?
Yes. We have a pharmacy and small clinic 5 minutes from the Center by auto. The nearest hospital is 20 minutes by car and has an ambulance service. Our neighbors have an herbal remedy for many things, such as bites, sour stomach, etc. There is a macrobiotic store in the nearest urban center… with some basics, including Ayurveda items.
Are there ATM’s, can I use my debit/credit card?
Yes. The nearest ATM is 20 minutes by car. There are ways to get small amounts of cash up to $40 or more for a fee in our pueblo. Banks have placed a limit of $200 at ATM’s per transaction. Debit cards can be used at most places, and likely with a surcharge by the banks. How much cash should you bring? Generally it’s good to have a few dollar bills on hand (airport tips), and Colones (local money) carry no more than $100/ 50,000 Colones. How does the money conversion work? 1000=$ 2000-$4 5000$-10. More or less.
What about herbal medicines/plant sacrament/bringing my stash?
Ask us. In general, we ask that one does not bring any ‘toxic’ white nose powders/speeds—instead why not drink yerba matte/coffee/exercise for endorphins. We also ask that one does NOT buy anything from anyone in our pueblo—if you don’t know what that means…. Want to know more? Ask. We’re neither tea-totallers nor party animals. We have reasons for asking everyone to be careful. Trust us.
Are the mosquitos bad? Are there jaguars, monkeys, sloths, or snakes?
The mosquitos are here. Dawn and dusk-cover up. Bring natural repellents use frequently if super sensitive. Close doors on buildings. Bats, dragonflies and frogs are abundant and help with the bugs. Wildlife? This and all areas in the country are very sensitive habitats. Some of them have been ‘loved nearly to death’. Ecotourism is a delicate compromise to protect areas from development… they are not islands as many treat them. Our area will get the passing sloth or the rare passing or jaguar in the rivers at night, or even the occasional breeding ocelot. Snakes are the indication of a healthy environment and invite in… attention to surroundings….NOT fear. Most snakes here are not venomous, though there are occasional sightings of poisonous varieties. We have found that visitors love to see one and if have a fear; it usually is reconditioned within time. Yes we have spiders. We have butterflies. Amazing birds. Isn’t part of coming here to experience what’s left of wild earth? Walk with intention and attention.
What does it mean leave no trace?
In general, we do not have a cute curbside trash pickup scene. We do ask that mindfulness occur as to bringing excess package and have a plant to either integrate it into your art, or ask what do with it. Unfortunately recycling is minimal here and is a modest solution to recouping the voracious packaging of our stuff… So. Use. Bring. With care. Please. Take out a bag when you leave and place it in receptacles in the pueblo. Do not leave cans or glass bottles thinking we will ‘use’ them for something. Ask, please. We have compost areas. On arrival you will be oriented on how.
Are there land pets? Can I bring one?
No. We have taken great consideration on caring for the wildlife that is threatened consistently by unruly dogs and cats. At some point, we may invite in a well-schooled canine to offset sinister behaviors.
Can I be naked?
In the shower, or your private habitat of course. In a remote area on the river with a towel nearby, yes. However, we ask that one consider cultural differences and refrain from running around the site naked or up and down the river. We love the body. They are lovely. Let’s share them in a harmonious courteous manner at our Center and within the community.
Is there a cancellation policy?
Yes. We will include it in your guidelines on acceptance. It may vary by person, but in general if we are holding a space for you and you don’t show up it creates a vacuum difficult to fill on short notice.
Are your facilities suitable for folks with physical differences, disabilities?
Unfortunately, at present no. As of yet, we have not been able to integrate pathways or facilities for wheelchair accessible areas. However, we are willing to open a space for that in the future.
How far are you from nearest airport? How do I get there?
A magic carpet, broomstick or wormhole would be best. However, there are airports, buses and taxis that will bring you here. Please see our visitor guidelines upon acceptance for exact location and details. San Jose International is at least 5-6 hours away by bus or automobile. Golfito, has a small regional airport approximately 1 hour by taxi or arrangement of our land vehicle. While the small airport is convenient, we invite one to consider that our area is under the threat of building a new international airport. We reside in a place, right now, with NO overhead jet traffic, chemtrails, nada. No sound of any plane. Think of that.