Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Rancho Naturalista, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Photo by Charlie Doggett

These guys have been feeding a lot in my garden and at the hummingbird feeder I inherited from Anthony.

Watch One Feed on Porterweed Flowers – A VIDEO
You can see what it is like with this video another nature photographer (Steven Williams)  here in Costa Rica posted on an Expat Facebook page. He calls it a Berylline Hummingbird, but I disagree. Those live mainly in Mexico with a few as far south as Honduras, still a long way from Costa Rica! I think it is a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird which is what we have a lot of in Costa Rica. Either way, this is how they feed in my garden:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F2Hw_Zctoc   (Video is slow-motion, not real time!)
See also my Costa Rica Birds photo gallery

El Camino de Costa Rica – Coast to Coast Hiking Trail

Video including Charlie Doggett bird photos

Some of my bird photos appear in this first promotional video promoting a coast to coast hiking trail across Costa Rica through the rural areas and small towns where most tourists don’t go. When in Costa Rica hike this to get to know the poor working people of this great little country!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7euE5oQPC8


OVERVIEW

Contribute to building a trail from the Atlantic to the Pacific, bring prosperity to villages while exploring the ecosystems of Costa Rica. Asociación Mar a Mar aims to open a new international tourism opportunity that will offer an unparalleled hiking challenge and experience of the natural and cultural attractions of Costa Rica. This new 250 km trail, El Camino de Costa Rica: del Atlántico al Pacífico, will run from coast to coast, yet visitors can walk it in 15 days.

Summary

Our aim is to have every hiker in the world want to walk El Camino de Costa Rica, or part of it, at least once in their lifetime.  As travellers pass through rural towns along the Trail, they will stop for food, supplies, lodging, and to enjoy restaurants and cafes.  These towns and villages will grow economically in response to the establishment of the trail. This slow, socially inclusive economic development of rural towns is the fundamental objective of the effort.
Mar a Mar, with 23 Associates, including business leaders, tourism operators, local leaders and hikers, was established as a nonprofit association in Costa Rica in November of 2016 and has a strong volunteer Board representing varied expertise and a committed Executive Director. Six team leaders implement various aspects of the organization: Route Development; Community Engagement; Institutional Engagement; Communications and Public Relations; Fundraising; and Legal and Fiscal matters. With this disciplined and committed Board and volunteer team leaders, Mar a Mar has been able to accomplish a great deal in one year.
Mar a Mar has succeeded in becoming known in the world of hiking in Costa Rica, has presented its work to several gubernatorial entities where the ideas were well received and has established relationships with several lodges, community leaders and cooperatives such as Coopearruco in Orosi.   We have a digital version of the route available for guides to take groups. El Camino de Costa Rica travels through public roads as well as through the indigenous people’s lands. Of the 15 towns where hikers would sleep, all but 5 already have capacity for at least 20 tourists.  One of our accomplishments in 2016 was to establish the capacity to take day hikers on the route and to date we have walked seven of the fifteen sections with groups. A major accomplishment has been the establishment of relationships with experienced tour operators who plan to start leading hikers along the route in 2017. In fact, the first hiker completed walking the Trail in February!  We have a Board treasurer and a CPA on retainer.

What We Need

These are some key milestones that still need to be achieved. We can’t accomplish them without your generous support!
In order to fund our initiative, we seek seed money of  $50,000. Under the strong leadership of the Mar a Mar Board, the seed money would contract with program managers who would work on priority projects which will include:
  • Work with local associations to improve and maintain the trail.
  • Work with local associations to mark the trail.
  • Implement the Mar a Mar marketing plan which includes audience identification, developing content for advertising and publicity and the best media for the various publicity messages, and developing orientation and guide materials for hikers (maps, trip preparation information, lodging and dining guides, identifying nearby attractions along the trail, safety and first aid information, etc.)
  • Continue to engage with tour operators to take tourists along the route.

The Impact

Costa Rica’s GNP is driven by tourism, but rural towns do not benefit from this economic gold mine as tourists are commonly frequenting the coastal areas of Costa Rica, and neglecting the rural and indigenous areas of the country.  This trail will promote carbon neutral tourism, which is sustainable, affordable, and most importantly respects Costa Rica’s natural environment and cultural traditions.
Our strategy is that these projects would establish a flow of hikers and thus create a demand that would further engage the communities along the Trail.

Risks & Challenges

Some of the challenges that Mar a Mar faces in establishing El Camino de Costa Rica include unfavorable route conditions.  Some of the zones through which the trail passes have high levels of rain and flooding that impact the trail and bridges. Your contribution will assist in improving and maintaining safety along the route.

Ways You Can Help

A small amount of dollars will go a long way in this project to trigger entrepreneurial opportunities in rural villages
  • $10.00 would go towards developing materials for hikers
  • $20.00 would go towards engaging local entrepreneurs
  • $30.00 would go towards marking the trail
  • $50.00 would improve infrastructure on the trial
Even if you can’t contribute financially, you can certainly contribute in other ways:
  • Share our video and link with your friends
  • Come and hike the trail!
If you want to back it, go to this website and click the “Back It” button. They are in a campaign now to raise $50,000 by this summer. Go here:

Atenas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2mvaHgyGjQ  

Link to a video about Atenas, where I live, by CATUCA, the “Chamber of Commerce” type organization here.

I’m having computer problems and can’t post my trip photos right now. It may be a long time before I get it fixed, so don’t know when! I’ve never been happy with the ASUS Computer that Best Buy in Mt. Juliet TN sold me and I may have to look for another one here in Costa Rica – grrrr! 

“Doing Good” Video Interview of Me

Before leaving Nashville I was interviewed by a staff person with Fifty Forward Donelson and the “Doing Good” program that encourages retirees to volunteer in activities like the FLIP (Friends Learning in Pairs) reading tutor program of which I was a part. I’m always nervous on camera, but even with nervousness, I think it turned out okay and hope it helps motivate someone to volunteer. It was impromptu, no script, just her asking questions.

(Click title to see short video.)
Do good! It will make you happy! Volunteering in Costa Rica is on the horizon, but I’m still getting settled now and really need to learn the language to do much good locally. It will happen!  🙂
Me as a reading tutor at Tulip Grove Elementary School last year.
To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task.
-Sophocles


Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV

All Day with Church Folk! Wow!

Phone Shot of 10 AM Worship

Mark and Tina let me walk to church with them this morning around 9:30 for the 10 AM service. In the future I will probably go to the early service but this was good on the first Sunday, since every first Sunday the expats get together after church for a potluck lunch.

The worship was all in Spanish with an English interpreter for the sermon which was on submission to God and we had the Lord’s Supper which they call Communion. The praise band and music was similar to what we had at First Baptist Nashville in the alternative service in the chapel, EXCEPT the choruses were all in Spanish and were mostly different songs. My favorite was urging us to swim in the river of God. There were more Ticos than expats which is good! Gringos don’t need to take over! But more expats today because of the potluck lunch. Lunch was at one of the expat’s huge, beautiful house, maybe 15 miles away with a more gorgeous view than our apartments. They love to entertain and we had lunch outside by their pool in a covered outdoor kitchen area called a “rancho” here. After another hour or so of visiting on their big wrap-around veranda, most of the people left. But the four of us whom the host had to drive over stayed until evening when he went out to get pizza and we ate absolutely wonderful pizza around their long dining room table with four of their 6 kids included. Quite a day! We were brought home at about 8 PM.

This week I will try the 6 PM Wednesday expat English service. Then I will determine how much I’m going to be involved. It is a good group for networking and I got some leads on houses closer to the center of town, if I decide to move. One of the lady’s in the late group lives near the center of town.

Whew! I’m tired!

Nature Places

One of my favorite places is Luna Lodge at Corcovado National Park, Carate side. I just saw a ULTRA HD video on their site that I can’t link directly to on YouTube, so hope you find it on Luna’s site – beautiful! Even though he is more focused on snakes than me. I prefer the birds!  🙂