Progress?

I’ve shared this kind of photo from Atenas before and it continues as one by one a traditional house with front porch, front and back yards (called gardens or terraces here), and all the signs of having raised one or more families over the year – boom! The house is torn down and occasionally modern apartments or more often now a business is built in its place. Since Diacsa is a construction company here, I assume that this will be their offices with what looks like a drive-through and place to park construction equipment behind it?

On either side of this attractive modern office building still stand traditional, spanish-influenced single-family houses that will of course never be the same now. The price of progress? Maybe. Or just the modern world we live in wherever it may be world-wide. I can’t help but remember similar progress during those years in Serekunda, The Gambia and yes, even in Nashville, Tennessee where I for a while lived in a modern row house where old traditional houses used to stand. World-wide!

This new building here is on Calle 3, just two blocks from Central Park and already this old residential street has many businesses and offices of all kinds, so it is likely to continue to become more commercial while our little farming town of what was not long ago around 5,000 people now has more than 8,000 and is becoming a distant suburb of the big cities of Alajuela & San Jose (where some residents work) + a magnet for foreign retirees (like me) with its claim of “The best weather in the world!” (¡El Mejor clima del mundo!).

Even little, natural Costa Rica succumbs to progress and with mixed emotions for some of us. But yes, I’m glad I live in a modern house with all the modern conveniences in a very nice development on the edge of downtown Atenas (because I can still walk to town!). 🙂 But I also cherish being close to nature and away from the big city of San Jose (an hour+ away). And best of all for my retirement lifestyle, living in the center of the country means I can easily travel to nature reserves and national parks all over Costa Rica. Plus my garden and neighborhood still have a lot of nature, birds, butterflies, etc. And it is close enough to town that I walk and do not own a car! Doing my little part in fighting climate change! The best of both worlds for me! 🙂 I love it here, progress or not! 🙂

POSTSCRIPT: See the conversation with the building owner below in the COMMENTS. And how I now see that this “house replacement” building truly is progress as told by one who grew up as a child in that house! I jumped to conclusions on thinking about progress as negative and truly such changes can be very good.

My Atenas Galleries

¡Pura Vida!

3 Replies to “Progress?”

  1. Hello Mr. Dogget my huspand and I are the owners of the building and of course the land you are talking about. I thought you might like some information and that way the next time you write about it you have all of the facts. The house that was there belonged to my huspands grandparent don Alfredo Rodriguez and his wife doña Gladys Muñoz, they where wonderful people very kind and hard workers. They lived there for many years and so did lots of family members through out the years. The house was all made in wood and as everything in life it’s time came. The house was damaged by termites and by normal use, the pipes were old and the floors were cracked or they were dust. We bought the land a couple of years ago from a family member in order to prevent that someone that wasn’t family would own it but it was imposible to restore the house so in memory of the my huspands grandparent we decided to build and take our company there. A company that we started when we got married and we have worked very hard to make it grow. We know that the grandparents would be very proud of us and we are sure that they are taking care of us from heaven. So if you ask if this is progress, yes it is but conserving the lessons learned from our past. So please feel free next time to ask instead of making a judgement without knowing, beacuse as I asume your not from this town and you do not know us or our family .

  2. Señora Arlene Solis,

    Thank you very much for responding to my blog article and letting me know that your new structure is indeed a work of progress in multiple ways and I am sure your grandparents would be proud of what you have done.

    I apologize if I offended you with the blog post. That was certainly not my intention! The old is replaced by the new everywhere in the world and that is the way it should be. And that part of town will probably soon be all commercial which indeed is progress as Atenas grows!

    You are correct that I am not from here but chose Atenas as my new home 5 years ago as a retiree from Tennessee. I love everything about Atenas and I am pleased to see progress like your new office building. As one who is now 80 years old I realize more and more that even I am not permanent! 🙂

    Thank you again for writing and explaining your situation. I helps a lot to know “the whole story!” I am happy for you and your business and for what you contribute to this community! May God bless you.

    Sincerely, Charlie

  3. Hello Mr. Charlie thank you very much for your words we areciate it very much. I am glad that I told you our story and that you understud our reasons. I hope you continue to enjoy our town and every wonderful thing our country has. God bless you,
    Arlene Solis

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