Childhood Sweets

This trailer in front of the public primary school sells snacks to young children and it appears here to mothers too!     🙂

And I remember having sweets available for sale near my elementary school way back in the dark ages. A world-wide tradition?

All I really need is love, but a little candy now and then doesn’t hurt!

~Charles Schulz

Lunch with Mother

Around noon every day you see some of the elementary school children eating their lunch with their mothers in the park across the street from the school. Some grade levels only go a half day, morning or afternoon, meaning they eat lunch before or after school. But all ages of children are very close to their mothers making lunch with Mom very natural. Almuerzo con la madre.  

Selling Hot Dogs in Costa Rica

About the same way Oscar Meyer does in the states:

A weiner character at the Supermercado attracts a lot of attention & lots of families have hot dogs this week!
La Coope Supermercado, Atenas, Costa Rica

And having a bouncy house doesn’t hurt sales either!
Marketing through children seems to be world-wide!
La Coope Supermercado, Atenas, Costa Rica

See more of my photos of Atenas in those linked galleries or better yet in People & FiestasAnd if you like the Vistas from here, 4 of those linked galleries include Atenas vistas. 

And a Canadian Research just shows why people are happier living in small towns!  (Well, at least Canadians? But I’m thinking it is pretty much universal.)

I continue to be pleased with my “Costa Rica Decision Process” (the original name of this blog) that led me to retire in this charming small town in Central Costa Rica. I love it here and that along with the decision to not own a car in my latter years means walking a few miles every day and absorbing the tranquility of this little coffee farming town. (Driving through is not the same!) I regularly thank God for blessing me in my senior years. And for the tropical paradises nearby that I can visit every month for colorful birds and much more!

Retired in Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!

Jane Goodall reads about Costa Rica with ‘Guardian of Nature’

Article copied from The Tico Times online edition, April 19, 2018
Famous primatologist, anthropologist and chimpanzee specialist Jane Goodall posed this week with a copy of the book “Guardians of Nature and her Friends: Save the River,” written by Costa Rican marine biologist Jessica Sheffield Zamora and illustrated by artist Shannon McWhirter.
This is the first book in a series focused on environmental education for children; for each hardcover book sold, a softcover copy is donated to a Costa Rican public school student in a rural school as part of the Guardians of Nature environmental education program. Kids can follow the story of Lucía, a nine year-old who loves nature but doesn’t believe she’s big enough to protect it.
Stay tuned for more on Sheffield Zamora and Guardians of Nature. For more information, visit La Guardiana de la Naturaleza’s webpage.


Photo Gallery of Nashville Group at Hogar de Vida is now posted. Sorry for the delay, but I focused on the book first, then got busy! Just sorry you can’t see the children’s faces, but online security is important now! I like my real world in Costa Rica better than the online world!  🙂    ¡Pura Vida!

And tomorrow is Atenas’ Oxcart Parade, so expect photos of that tomorrow!  🙂

Last Day at Hogar de Vida

Letty “cutting in” along the floor as we continued painting the Baby House.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Finally a photo not showing children’s faces as we again played with the Toddler House.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Our “last supper” as a mission team to
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Then we celebrated Larry’s birthday with a Passion Fruit, Pineapple & Coconut Cake
inscribed with “Feliz Cumpleaños Larry” Happy Birthday in Spanish.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

The Gnuse family. Matt is missionary director of the home.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

You will hear more about this fantastic children’s home, what we did there and future mission trips to Hogar de Vida.     Or see their Facebook Page. 

A Fantastic Place!

First Full Day at Hogar

Sorry, but we are not allowed to show children’s faces on the internet! My best photos!

Sign at Entrance Gate
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Matt gives team tour of campus (3 team members not in photo)
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

8:30 AM Devotional for those not in school
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Rene painting in one of houses

Welcome sign for team at San Jose Airport  for Thursday.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

At Hogar de Vida Today

On Ruta 135 going north out of Atenas is this B&W Sign pointing to (maybe 500 meters on this road)
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

I failed to photograph the entrance sign because I’m attracted to the park-like atmosphere inside!
Next time I will include that attractive sign & more of the campus.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

One of the children’s’ cottages with a worker hanging out the laundry.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Another children’s cottage on campus.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

 Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Rancho, which is what we call a picnic pavilion or covered dining/meeting patio here.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

8:30 AM Prayer Meeting every morning with all children, staff and volunteers.
The table & chairs is for the children’s snack time after devotional. Breakfast is much earlier!
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica
After the prayer meeting or devotional time this morning I spent time with Matt, the director in black shirt in center right of above photo. It was good to get acquainted and learn more about how they love and care for their capacity of 35 children (always full). Most of the children have been abused and legally removed from their parents, some of which are in jail or dead. The kids are babies to younger elementary school children, most of which will be adopted within 6 months to a year, though some are not as fortunate and will stay here longer. Two siblings in today’s group will leave next week to live with their adopted new parents in the country of Italy. Wow! They go all over the world! 
I met two local American retiree men like me volunteering today and I filled out the paperwork to be a volunteer one day a week. I have eliminated some of my other volunteer jobs for now, so this will be my new one and a good preparation for welcoming my friends from Nashville in April who are coming on a “Mission Trip” here to work in the children’s home. So Nashville guys, keep reading the blog as I plan to share something about Hogar de Vida at least one day a week in my posts except for weeks I travel away from Atenas.   🙂
For more about Hogar de Vida, see their Facebook Page. 
Or the Costa Rica portion of their Homes of Life Website.  

Copied from their website:

Our Program

Homes of Life oversees two distinct homes for children: one in Costa Rica and one in Guatemala. The missionary work of each home has its own unique objectives and challenges, but both return abundant blessings to the children who are cared for there, as well as to those who generously support this important ministry.
Many of these children arrive completely destitute, without a family’s care or the basic provisions that so many people in the world take for granted.  Often the victims of abuse or neglect, the children’s needs are met by the patience and hard work of caring men and women at Hogar de Vida y Nutriciónin Guatemala and at Hogar de Vida para Los Niños in Costa Rica, and by the important support of the child sponsorship program.
We invite you to partner with Homes of Life as God’s loving compassion is demonstrated daily. Consider participating in our child sponsorship programs and spread the word about Homes of Life.
Or go to the website for more information. 

Happy Family Culture in Atenas

While waiting on a parade to start last year this Atenas father leads several waiting children in a game.
 As I did my daily walk through town today, not seeing a memorable photo op, I thought of this old one.
 It is so typical of the happiest people on earth right here in the center of Costa Rica!
Glad I live here!
Atenas, Costa Rica 

See also my photo gallery PEOPLE & FIESTAS.

Nashville Seniors to Help Children’s Home Here

One view of Hogar de Vida campusAtenas, Costa Rica

I was recently contacted by a fellow senior adult in the church I attended in Nashville, First Baptist Church, Nashville, TN USA. They were interested in doing a mission trip to Costa Rica and so I contacted the director of the Hogar De Vida children’s home here in Atenas and in short the group from Nashville will be coming in April 2018 for a week of assorted service activities at the children’s home. If you are in First Baptist Nashville and are interested, talk to anyone on the SAALT Council or to the project coordinator Fred Linkenhoker. 

If you would like to know more about the non-denominational private Christian children’s home, Hogar de Vida:

Facebook page of Hogar de Vida:  (See photos of others serving there in the past.) And be sure to see the featured video linked on their page:  What We Do… Video  (I can’t link it here.)

And their web page is actually a Costa Rica section inside the web page of their larger program of children’s homes in multiple countries: 
The work is being directed & coordinated by the children’s home and I am just serving as one of the team members and sort of a local host to my old friends in Nashville, especially if some decide to stay over for some Pura Vida tourism in Costa Rica. 

Speaking Spanish is not required, though very helpful if you do! 🙂

Learn through on-the-ground moments about the world beyond your zip code.   ~Samaritan’s Feet Website

First Afternoon in San Jose

Holiday Inn Downtown San Jose
My room is on the 16th floor, with only
the 17th floor Dining Room above me.
San Joe, Costa Rica
I mainly look south with fewer tall buildings, but parts of sunrise/sunset.
San Joe, Costa Rica

Temple of Music in Morazan Park across the street
San Joe, Costa Rica

“Kissing Statue”
Is another thing Morazan Park is known for.
San Joe, Costa Rica
1890 Escuelas Graduadas, famous metal school building
San Joe, Costa Rica

1890 Escuelas Graduadas, famous metal school building 
San Joe, Costa Rica
This is one block from hotel and my check-in desk clerk Javier
went to school here and was proud that I photographed it.

This metal school building of course reminded me of the metal church building in Grecia, Costa Rica I shared it back in 2015. See a photo of that equally unusual church building in my gallery. 

Museum of Modern Art??
Well, that was one name and there was some,
but it was mostly a children’s art museum
with a few adult works in one of 4 galleries.
San Jose, Costa Rica

I did like this adult installation, for
the color in Museum of Modern Art.
San Jose, Costa Rica

In the first gallery, there was a lot of clothing designed in CR, some book covers designed here, and a few other adult-made installations like the umbrellas above. The other three galleries were all work of school children interpreting life on other planets. Those galleries probably rotate or change and I suspect that some of the schools of design here display their work from time to time. So I will check their website before I go again to see what I’m getting into!

Children Play in Water Fountain
Plaza of Culture
San Jose, Costa Rica
NOTE: After I made this image, a security guard came up to me and said
something like, “I’m sorry sir but we do not allow making photos of
children here. Please stop.” I stopped and was amazed! Interesting!
The security of children here is very important!

Feeding Pigeons
Is an activity in every park in Costa Rica, by all ages.
San Jose, Costa Rica

The National Theater  or  Teatro Nacional
Beside the Plaza of Culture
San Jose, Costa Rica

Flutist Statue
at the National Theater
San Jose, Costa Rica

Clowns Sell Face-painting
Plaza of Culture
San Jose, Costa Rica

Indigenous People Music
On sidewalk across from Plaza of Culture
San Jose, Costa Rica

And You Can Buy CD of the Indigenous MusicOn sidewalk across from Plaza of Culture
San Jose, Costa Rica

Big city life is always colorful and interesting anywhere in the world. No exception here!

“Happy Hour”
By Holiday Inn in a 15th floor corner room watching the sunset.
Lots of free snack food and drinks was my dinner after a big lunch!
And that building above is Banco Nacional, my Costa Rica bank.
San Jose, Costa Rica

And I made loads of photos of interesting old buildings on the streets I walked today. I may eventually add them to my San Jose or other photo gallery at Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA. This city has lots of interesting things to photograph! Tomorrow I start with old historic churches and then see what happens after that. This is almost as much fun as the real jungles, though I like their animals better!  🙂