Costa Rican ecommerce, part II: The good stuff

Here are some of the ideas, websites and initiatives I talked about in yesterday’s Daily Boost Live – all ways you can connect with Costa Rican entrepreneurs who need our support!

Calling all kids to help promote local businesses!

One of my dreams is to create more meaningful opportunities for kids in Costa Rica to support and learn from nonprofit initiatives. Today through Saturday, you can help me take the first steps towards this idea by having your kids draw or paint a picture of the place in Costa Rica they love to visit (or a place they’d love to visit in the future!) and sharing it on Instagram.

Just tag three friends and @givingtuesdaycostarica, use #givingtuesdaynow and #givingtuesdaykids, and you’ll be entered in a May 12th raffle of five $50 prizes to be spent at any local Costa Rican business you please. (If you’re out of the country and win, I can help you figure out how to use it – you could donate it or buy a gift certificate, etc.) And if you’re NOT a kid or kid-adjacent, you can participate by simply sharing a favorite photo from Costa Rica on Instagram and using the same tags!

Ways to buy Costa Rican products online – within Costa Rica

So many Costa Rican farmers are finding new ways to connect with customers during this crisis. I truly believe this is part of a shift for a country where, fairly recently (for example, in my mother-in-law’s lifetime), most all foods, from dairy to produce, were delivered to your door. Friend and reader Shannon Farley told me about Enraizadas, a group of rural families now making their fresh cheeses, organic produce, free-range poultry and more products available throughout greater San José. National Geographic this week featured Econexiones, where Monteverde producers are selling. And El Mercadito, an entity that organizes in-person markets to showcase small businesses, is building El Mercadito En Línea, which looks poised to become a sort of fair-trade, small-business, all-Costa Rican Amazon. Stay tuned, because the ingenuity and online shift is clearly just getting started.

Ways to buy Costa Rican products online – anywhere

I bought my first products from Local Keeps, a startup that connects Costa Rican producers with online customers and ships their work anywhere, in February. I’m fully obsessed and am preparing my next order now (if I can just figure out how to get mail reliably without going to the post office). From Adriana García’s natural cosmetics to Rosa Montealegre’s fruit jewelry to spiced hot chocolate mix from Sibú, this is my new go-to for gifts. And for myself. It’s been a long year.

Finally, in yesterday’s Live I gave a shout-out to my nephew Joey in North Carolina, who took the initiative during his lockdown to contact the makers of Caribbean Sabooor hot sauce (the best I’ve ever tried: it turns the most humble dish of rice and beans into a trip to Limón) and order 12 bottles, which they shipped to his door! As I’ve mentioned before, Green Communities Coffee will do the same. If there’s a Costa Rican product you love but that’s never been available online, now’s a great time to check again. Chances are they’ve started shipping during this unprecedented crisis.

Thanks to all those who are helping small businesses get through these hard times! Keep the ideas, tags and links coming.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookIf you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.



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