Parajeles Bridge Done Nicely By The Monkey Space

This street I cross almost every day in Atenas ended at one street and across the vacant lots you could see it continued on the other side of that block. I wondered why they didn’t just continue the street or connect the two ends. Then one day more than a year ago they started.

First they graded the land on either side of the creek running down the middle of the block. Then they brought in a bunch of huge concrete culverts, placing two rows of them down the stream. Then covered those with gravel and dirt and more on top of everything until they finally black-topped a street where there was none. I figured they were finished.

No, they then added sidewalks on both sides of the street which is unheard of in Atenas. Still not enough! They built these beautiful stone walls above where the culverts were placed to make it look like a bridge. Finally (I think), they added ornaments, a 150th Anniversary Logo and a Municipal Council sign on the stone walls and someone else painted a mural on the wall protecting a house with a little sign saying “The Monkey Space.”  I looked it up and found their Facebook Page as a gathering place for young adults wanting to volunteer in the community. Totally cool and another wonderful little spot in Atenas!  What a cool town I live in!

Mural on the wall by “The Monkey Space” next to new bridge





Photos of New Street & Bridge

Click images below to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:

The Making of a Bridge

First, to get over that stream, install two very large concrete culverts or pipes for the water. to go through.
Cover with gravel and dirt. This is a lot less trouble than anchoring a big steel bridge over the water!
Atenas, Costa Rica

Well, then you need concrete walls on each side to hold the dirt in!
At least another 2 or 3 months time.
Atenas, Costa Rica

And well, the wall needs to be high enough to keep pedestrians from falling in the stream.
Allowing enough room for a sidewalk on each side of the road!
Atenas, Costa Rica

After about 6 months it looks like you might actually extend this street over the stream!
I have been walking by this construction for what seems like forever!
Atenas, Costa Rica

With the wall nearly done, we need more dirt and gravel.
Atenas, Costa Rica

And Suddenly One Day! I come across a paved street, concrete gutter and concrete sidewalk on both sides!
Now why was I so impatient? See! It is beautiful and very useful! Our city at work!
Atenas, Costa Rica
My photo galleries of Atenas and Atenas is most of the gallery People & Fiestas.

Then you will benefit from this article:  
¡Pura Vida!

Atenas Central Gets Street Signs!

The center of town!
Corner of 0 & 0!

UNBELIEVABLE! Or at least “un-Tico” to have street signs! My goodness! What will they think of next? House numbers?

I have traveled all over Costa Rica and the only place with street signs so far is downtown San Jose that I have noticed. The Tico way to give directions is by using obvious landmarks with a number of meters from it to the next landmark or the destination. For example if you need to get to my house and are driving from Alajuela:

On Ruta 3 drive past La Coope Gasolinera to the first legal left turn or second street after the traffic light. Drive 500 meters to the end of road at Escuela Central and turn left. Go 100 meters to El Pinguino shop and turn right. Then in 100 meters, turn left and go 600 meters to the Roca Verde sign on the right. Inside the gate go 200 meters to the third black gate on left numbered 105. Only some developments like ours have house numbers.

Now read under the second photo the directions to my house from Central Atenas with street signs and it is not much shorter!

Of course that needs to be in Spanish. And if you don’t know, a city block is approximately 100 meters, but “blocks” are not generally used for directions here.

To get to my house from central,
take Calle 3 south to Avenida 8,
left 500 meters to the Roca Verde
sign and gate on the right, then
straight ahead 200 meters to 3rd
black gate on left with number 105.
Now say that in Spanish! 🙂

And I must add that I am glad my bank fees are at least partially going to help the community. The little logo at the bottom of each street sign is for Banco Nacional.

For those who still think I live in the jungle, see what modern progress we are making down here!? And this was a big surprise to everyone! Most did not know the names of the streets, so I figure 4 or 5 years to get used to the street names, then maybe house numbers!

And for anyone who cares, Calles run north-south and Avenidas east-west. East of Calle 0 are odd numbered Calles and west even numbered. North of Avenida 0 are odd numbered and south even numbered. I wonder how many have figured that out yet?  🙂

We’ve actually had these street names for awhile, though the only place I have seen them is on a paper map from a real estate company and on the Google Map. But it is a rare Tico who knows the name of any street in town! And the sign at right, 3rd & 8th is the last street sign before my house. They have signed what is generally called “Central Atenas” or the core of downtown.

The city is hard at work making improvements. In Central Park a children’s playground has been added with swings, slides and climbing things. Can the kids still climb the trees? Also, there are new brighter street lights in park for night events.

Car Paved Around in San Ramon & Theater Anniversary

A Lack of Communication?
I guess in the states the car would have been towed – maybe – but in San Ramon, Costa Rica this guy leaves his car parked on a street on paving day and the workers just pave around it. A little funny from Costa Rica!

See Tico Times article

It is exciting to see how Costa Rica is celebrating the 117th Birthday of the National Theater tomorrow. I look forward to hearing the national symphony or some other performance in that beautiful theater! And by the way, you did know that Nashville, Tennessee’s Symphony Director,  Giancarlo Guerrero, is from Costa Rica? Didn’t you?

Teatro Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica