Setting Up for 10-Day Fiesta

The carnival people arrived in town yesterday and started setting up for the central Catholic Church’s Patron Saint (San Rafael) Fiesta which, with donated food and entertainment on a stage in church parking lot, plus daily Bingo will all raise a little bit of money for the church. And the cheap carnival rides? Well I can’t see how anyone makes money off those, but evidently they do! 🙂 One set-up shot here followed by a 6-shot gallery of the carnival people setting up things in the street in front of church.

Setting up carnival rides in the street in front of the church.
Continue reading “Setting Up for 10-Day Fiesta”

The Beautiful in Life

I always receive much inspiration from every walk up the hill behind my house . . .

Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel Church, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica seen from hill behind my house.

The Beautiful in Life

The beautiful in life…
Some talk of it in poetry,
Some grow it from the soil,
Some build it in a steeple,
Some show it through their toil.
Some breathe it into music,
Some mold it into art,
Some shape it into bread loaves…
Some hold it in their hearts.

~Bernard Meltzer

¡Pura Vida!

See my photo gallery of the main Catholic Church in Atenas.

And/or the WEBSITE of Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel

Note that I’m not a Roman Catholic but this church is the only one in Atenas that inspires me to seek God – whether photographing from a distance like above or up close from Central Park or going inside their beautiful sanctuary to just sit quietly and pray. I’m inspired by the architecture, the ambience, the tranquility, the beauty, their music and even the church bells ringing! I thank God for this Catholic Church!

Virgen de las Rosas

When on the hill, Ruta 3.

Back in 2017 I did a post titled Holy Week is Approaching in Atenas that included this photo (at left) of the locally made statue of the Virgen de las Rosas.

Until about a year ago it was sitting on this hill (photo below) east of Atenas along Ruta 3 but so far away you could hardly see it (the white spot on top of hill). At some point the property owner decided he did not want it on his property anymore with people climbing over his fence to see it, so the parish took it down, freshened it and added some color and installed it in the church yard by Central Park Atenas – the feature photo at top. Or for better photos:

On the Facebook page for Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel, Atenas, Costa Rica there is a photo album for the Virgen de las Rosas created after it was moved to the church with much better photos than mine!

The former location of the Virgen de las Rosas (white spot on top of hill)

¡Pura Vida!

Tempted to Become a Catholic?

Central Catholic Church in Atenas
“Iglesia Catolica San Rafael De Atenas”
I walk by often and sometimes go in for a few moments of quiet and prayer.
I think it is the most beautiful and worshipful space in town.
Atenas, Costa Rica

For more photos of Atenas in General see this gallery or many more photos in other theme galleries plus also my gallery Churches – Costa Rica for church building photos nationwide.

Architecture is the thoughtful making of space. 
~Louis Kahn

Chachalaca & Church

Gray-headed Chachalaca
Flying over and into my treetops for breakfast today.
 Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Central Catholic Church
Atenas, Costa Rica
Central Catholic Church
Atenas, Costa Rica
Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel Atenas

I walk by this beautiful, simple church building almost every day.

WEATHER: I doubt that it makes your news, but we have had some very heavy rains which is normal for late in the rainy season, but this year it has brought some serious flash flooding in parts of the Central Valley and the North Pacific with flooded homes, washed out roads and landslides. Atenas has not been affected. Most damage was in San Jose, Cartago, and parts of the North Pacific. As my photos show, nice weather here with afternoon or early evening showers. Just right for the gardens!  Mejor clima del mundo! The best weather in the world!   🙂   Fortunate!

Church Bingo, Stuffed Grapefruit, and Indian Village!

David invited estudiantes del español to the church bingo Sunday afternoon.
Not many of us showed up to practice our números in a fun way. Our table.
We were given corn kernels with our cards to lay on the numbers.
A card cost 1 mil colones ($2) as fundraiser for the church.
None on our table won a prize, though Corinna had a winning card.
Plus food was for sale! We shared tortillas with cream cheese.
Ticos use cream cheese instead of butter for lots of things.
Bingo & Lunch for sale was right after 11 AM Mass.
That is not when this older photo was made.
That Mass is a packed house!
Stuffed Grapefruit!
copied from web
I forgot to report the other day my experience eating a stuffed grapefruit, a Costa Rican specialty! The whole grapefruit is cooked and somehow candied and mine was stuffed with cream cheese, a dearly beloved by-product of milk or the cream here, which is why it is hard to find local butter. They use most of the cream for cream cheese! I told you that Ticos have more of a sweet tooth than me!  🙂

Here is one online recipe that doesn’t use cream cheese but a condensed milk and sugar filling. That is all I could find online. I guess it is just too local!”The place where I bought it used the name “Ronja Rellenos” for them, which I can’t find on the web. Another new experience!

copied from Google images

SERENDIPITY TRIP TOMORROW! Caribbean Coast and 3 nights in BriBri Indian Village.

The birding club had this trip planned for awhile with limited space in the humble lodging. I was on the waiting list. Well, last night there was a last minute cancellation and I decided to take it without any of my usual long range planning! Am I getting impulsive?

I have a 4W Drive vehicle reserved for in the morning. I’ll drive to the coast and to a hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca called Cariblue, very nice and on the beach! Meeting some club members for dinner there.

copied from Casa de Las Mujeres site

Then friday morning we caravan drive through the jungle through Bribri to Bambu on dirt and gravel roads, fording streams. At Bambu we pay someone to watch our cars and we take our “pack light” bags on a small boat for an hour floating trip to the village on Yorkin River in the Bribri Yorkin Reservation where we will stay 3 nights with no electricity at night (limited in day).

The Bribri are our hosts and will serve all meals, take us birding in the mornings and evenings with free time in the village and surrounding area with a waterfall and a hot springs. It will of course be a cultural experience with some of the few indigenous peoples left in Costa Rica. It is intentionally not promoted as a tourist destination. There’s only a half page in the Lonely Planet Costa Rica travel guide book about Yorkin. It is where people live and work and not equipped to handle tourists. Birders are different of course!  🙂

copied from Google images

The only websites on the village are by the various tour companies who take small groups there. I’m linking to Casa de Las Mujeres Yorkin because they have this good map. We are not using any tour company. Our birding guide has worked directly with the village elders and they are providing our boat transportation, meals, housing and guides into the forest in search of birds. So we are totally supporting the indigenous community.

A dream trip for me! How often do you have indigenous people taking you into an ancient forest looking for birds?

copied from Google images
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
― Augustine of Hippo

Iglesia La Soledad

Iglesia La Soledad, Alajuela
A Simple Elegance

And a young church for Costa Rica!
Many are dated to the 1500’s!

When I took Anthony for his going away lunch at his favorite restaurant in San Jose (Tin Jo), we saw this nearby church and made a brief visit. In Latin cities there is a church in almost every barrio or neighborhood. This is one of those. A simple beauty that I like and part of my “Costa Rica Churches” photo collection that is bound to begin soon!  🙂

I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Good Friday Mass

A cross draped in red and candles are
about to be brought into the Good Friday Mass
Atenas, Costa Rica

I love symbolism, ceremony, and beauty in worship and keep saying I will go to Mass and wish I had been dressed differently today for I would have enjoyed this probably more than the praise band I will hear Sunday morning at the Bible Church. But hey, I may surprise everyone and go to Mass instead. 

During Lent the cross in front of the Catholic Church has been draped in a purple cloth which was removed this week. 
Lent Purple at Catholic Church
Atenas, Costa Rica

Lent Purple

Atenas Catholic Church

Purple-draped crosses also
appear in front of many homes
in Atenas.

February 18 to April 2 is the Season of Lent this year and the color purple proclaims it in many places in Atenas, but none like the Catholic Church which also flies purple flags around the compound wall. The color of reconciliation is a fitting reminder of the mission of Christ we will celebrate on Easter Sunday, April 5.

Two Weeks from Today!

Yep, two weeks from today I fly to Costa Rica and spend my first night as a new resident! After going to a small church Christmas Eve Service. It doesn’t photograph like the Catholic Church on the Plaza which I hope to go pray in at times. Here’s two shots of it with part of our tour group crowding around.