cm by cm Progress

And you people in the states think I meant “Inch by Inch” as you forget that the rest of the whole world uses the metric system!   🙂   The renovation of Atenas Central Park slowly takes shape with the outer ring of two-level bench seats completed and the city workers focus on storm drains now with evidently a long way to go before new sidewalks, benches, picnic tables, playground, landscaping and artwork on the ceiling of the kiosko! But it will happen, poco a poco!    🙂   See my gallery Remodeling Central Park

¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes!   Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020  includes Costa Rica — of course!    🙂   In fact, the waterfall they feature is on my to-do list for 2020!   🙂

Christmas Celebrations in Atenas 2018

Here is the schedule of Christmas Festivities at Central Park Atenas with the stage being on government property across the street this year with park being remodeled. Lots of music and a lanterns parade at night plus more with vendor booths set up on the outer edges of the park  — remodeling not stopping the Christmas Spirit in Atenas! It will be HAPPY, HAPPY as always and I’m sorry I will miss it this year again as I am traveling for Christmas (Which is a very Tico thing to do!).     🙂

And they just added some more activities for Christmas:

If you click the above image it is larger in its original location

And that is the official Atenas Community fiestas. Every church has at least one Christmas Eve service and the big catholic church multiple masses both days. Many Tico families have 1 to 2 weeks vacation and travel to a beach, usually the week between Christmas and New Years (when most businesses are closed).

Expats vary a lot in what they do. Several always go home to the States, Canada or Europe for Christmas with family. Some have family come here. And the “Snow Birds” came here for  their Christmas or multi-months escape from snow and cold weather. Our Expat “Men’s Club” (misnamed) went yesterday (the 16th) to San Ramon for a Dinner Theatre Christmas Madrigal Old English Show or something like that. I went this year and reported yesterday.

Then there’s me – like a real Tico now, I’m going to the beach again but will spend most of my time in the forest at and near Manuel Antonio National Park in a private wildlife refuge and resort called Si Como No, which in español literally means “Yes, of course,” or “Yes, why not?”  indicative of the positive spirit of life here in Costa Rica! And I will photograph birds of course!   ¡Pura Vida!

¡Feliz Navidad!


Considering a move to Costa Rica? If so, and you find online research confusing or overwhelming, then read this Christopher Howard article on  All Over the Map Syndrome Although he is a little arrogant, he still has the best relocation tour of Costa Rica and his tour combined with the ARCR Seminar is one of the best ways to filter through the onslaught of information you may be finding. I credit those two events with properly preparing me for my successful move here along with a positive attitude and an already established love of the Costa Rica Culture and nature places. Before you move here, visit several times (consider the fun Costa Rica tour) and then go on his “Live In Costa Rica Combination Tour” coupled with the ARCR Seminar and you will be much better prepared. People who just come and try to figure it all out when they get here are usually in the 40% who end up going back to the states, Canada or wherever “home” was before. “Be Prepared!”     🙂

Park Remodeling Progresses Slowly

Earlier I posted on “Construction Begins on New Park” with photos of the construction screening and architect’s drawings – now it seems that they are going very slowly (Pura Vida!), but there is progress! In this photo they have cleared the central circle of the park of everything (trees, shrubs, benches, sidewalks) for construction of the Kiosk, Band Shelter or Gazebo which locals are calling “quiosco” o “kiosco.” It is the biggest item, so hopefully remodeling will go faster after that is completed but most expect it to be way into next year before finished. Everything is slow here.

¡Pura Vida!

Construction Begins on New Park

Last week they finally began the construction of the new remodeled Central Park Atenas with the shocking removal of several palm trees in the central circle which will be enlarged and a Kiosko built – that’s a Band Shell or Gazebo for most Americans. After the structure is built, new trees will be added, then they will work out through the four quadrants with new sidewalks, benches, recreational activities, gardens, etc.

Across the street from the park on city property in front of the University Extension Building (old high school) there is a presentation of 4 large signs depicting the designs for the remodeled park. See the photo gallery below for those signs and a couple of shots I made of the construction area from a distance.  Or they have a Facebook Page presenting the remodeling for more drawings and a slideshow.

Remodeling Atenas Central Park

Click any image to see enlarged and to begin slide show of larger images.

¡Pura Vida!

Central Park Squirrels

Variegated Squirrel – La ardilla centroamericana (Sciurus variegatoides)


Yeah, I know, that’s what old men do – watch squirrels in the park!  🙂  But I haven’t done that until recently and snapped a few shots with my phone camera. These are called Variegated Squirrels in English, the most common squirrel all over Costa Rica. I hope that in the future I will sit in the park more whether watching people or squirrels or just relaxing or reading. It is a good place to be! To be in nature and to be in community. And eventually we will have a newly remodeled park which will necessitate more photos!   🙂

Note that we also have a lot of birds in the park also with parrots coming to the tops of one group of palms at one particular time of year and we also have had some Montezuma Oropendola nests in another part of the small park. I’m hoping they keep the trees with the remodeling!

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

~John Muir

Rough translation of sign in park:  “Celebrate your life, take care of nature”

¡Pura Vida!

Atenas is 150 Years Old

The above photo is of the sign on the City Hall building (municipalidad). I was recovering from surgery and did not participate in the 5-day long weekend (Friday-Tuesday) celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Canton (County) Atenas with the Pueblo (town) of Atenas the same age. Central Park was full of tents with food, crafts and venders plus a stage to present music groups several times each day with even the American retiree’s oldies band “Flashback” performing one afternoon. And for awhile there was a sign with pictures of the plans for a remodeled Central Park. I didn’t get a pix.

Anniversary Project

On the final day a government program made the birthday official and on this auspicious birthday they presented their plans for a Remodeled Central Park that I have already presented in an earlier post where I referred you to the official Facebook presentation with 18 drawings and photos. They say it will be done this year, the anniversary year, but it is August and no work has started yet. Of course it rains every day now, so if they wait until dry season, it will be started in December!  🙂  And thus may be completed in 2019. Maybe! It is being done by government officials remember!  ¡Pura Vida!   🙂



More of Atenas in my Photo Galleries:

Atenas  and  People and Fiestas

Atenas for the rights of children and adolescents . . .

New Sign in Central Park  (UNICEF Project)
Atenas: In our canton we work together for the rights of children and adolescents.
Note that Canton is like a County in the states. We are both the town & county of Atenas.
We are in the Province of Alajuela which is like a state to folks in the U.S.
Atenas, Costa Rica

And today something was happening in the park with school children, but I never found out what.
Atenas, Costa Rica
“Mejor Clima del Mundo”
“The best weather in the world”
¡Pura Vida!

Started Registering Voters Today at Festival of Life

It took 6 of us to register 12 new absentee voters this morning and hopefully
the afternoon shift will do an ever better job!  🙂
Festiva de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Registering American Absentee Voters
Learn more at
Festiva de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

During just the first morning we had a guitar-playing singer, DJ, and this Red Cross group
drumming on exercise balls and dancing. Interesting! Along with many tables selling food, arts & crafts.
Festiva de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica
Festiva de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica
This is a fun fiesta in Central Park with lots of booths/tables for many purposes including the one I’m helping at to register Americans for Absentee Voting back in the states. There is live musical entertainment almost constantly all weekend and the big fundraiser is the International Food Festival on Sunday where people can taste samples of all the entries and vote on the best for only 3,000 Colones (about $5). One of the benefactors is Hogar de Vida, the local children’s home that my friends from Nashville are coming to serve in this April. 
It is interesting that the Tico Times article used old photos from past year’s Chili Cook Offs which this replaces. Quite a bit different this year! I’m starting a photo gallery on the 2018 Festival de Vida to which I will add photos each day. 
And those keeping up with Costa Rica might like Photos of Women’s Day March in San Jose
¡Pura Vida!