Standing with the Northern Zone

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is struggling: partly because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the region, but arguably even more severely because of the effects of the suspension of tourism on this iconic destination.

A group of local business and community leaders have launched a fundraising campaign to help meet the needs of some 1,500 families who have lost their income because of the crisis. More on this in the coming days, but you can read more here. If you or someone you know loves La Fortuna, please let them know about this effort.

Wishing you as much peace as possible this Monday evening!

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.

Virtual Costa Rica; Daily Boost, Boosted

Now that I’ve got my COVID-19 page set up (and updated daily with ideas and links to help you connect with or support the many Costa Rican small businesses and nonprofits that are being brutally affected by the current crisis – check it out!) it’s time to blast out some Costa Rican spirit-lifters.

For the next few weeks as I work from home and try to entertain my daughter, I’ll focus on virtual slices of Costa Rican life that can bring you some comfort or entertainment if you’re stuck at home – and organizations/businesses you can follow, support, or visit after this is over. (There are many more of these popping up than I can fit into a daily post, so follow along on Facebook where I’m sharing everything I find.) Today’s example: a volcano cam.

That’s right. You know how you frequently stop and think, “If only there were a way for me to check in with Volcán Arenal anytime of the day or night and watch clouds floating across that iconic cone?” Yeah, me neither, but it’s the little moment of zen I never knew I needed. Whenever you get cabin fever, take a look at this Volcano Cam and breathe for awhile. It makes me think of the hot springs, peaks, lake and waterfalls of one of my favorite parts of the country, which is also home to one of the country’s best local development entities, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral La Fortuna. If you love La Fortuna, follow the ADI for updates – they’ll surely be having to think outside the box as the income from their tourism project gets demolished by cancellations, too.

Let me know if you check it out. I’m finding it strangely compelling. Yes, it’s Day 2 and things are already getting punchy. How are you doing? Wishing you health and calm during these crazy times.

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 Facebook! During the COVID-19 crisis I’m focusing on slices of Costa Rican life that people can enjoy virtually during these tough times. If you see a great Costa Rica cam, FB Live, online class, photo series or other gem being shared from Costa Rica, let me know!

 

Head for the highlands

Another place to visit while the sun is shining: Zarcero and the mountain roads that wind through its surroundings. A drive from San José (or coming the other way, from La Fortuna and the Zona Norte) to this highland region is spectacularly beautiful, and it’s nice to do it when you’re less likely to battle torrential roads next to a cliff face.

Zarcero is famous for its topiary garden, a great place for kids to explore and stretch their legs after sitting in the car. For eats, my family loves El Rancho de Ceci, about 10 minutes after the gardens when you’re driving from San José.

Do you love this region? Where do you like to stop, eat or stay?

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 Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter).