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