In 2020 I purchased a 242 acre farm from a family office which had planned to build several homes. The property had some internal roads and building sites cleared, but was otherwise vacant were it not for a single caretaker, Mariano.
Two months after purchasing the property, the caretaker asked if he could live on the property. He was having a hard time finding housing 20 minutes away in Jaco. I didn't know there were any structures on the property, but was told there was a utility shack. Not knowing the conditions of the shed I said yes, and then started asking questions.
The caretaker, Mariano, has worked the property for nearly 15 years. With nothing more than his boots, a machete, 3 cows and scooter, he has cared for the property and the trees with diligence.
I'm not a developer and have no intention of building spec homes. Mariano became the project!
Curious of the conditions, I asked for a picture of the shed. The truth is, you see a lot of people living in similar structures in the rural areas of Costa Rica and all throughout Central America. But not on my watch. One look at the above and it was game on. We were going to improve Mariano's life.
Every day, Mariano walked down a 300' embankment to the creek below and gathered water in a 5 gallon bucket for himself and his 3 cows. I walked it in the rain and almost killed myself. Project #1 - Water.
PROJECT #1: Pump water up the hill from the creek below. Introducing the Ram Water Pump, a 24/7/365 no power wonder of mechanical engineering. This pump is transporting water 3/4 a mile away up 500' of elevation and filling a 550 water container at the top of the property next to Mariano's cabin.
The next project was to select a build site. There was one other structure on the property, a picnic table under an shed overlooking the entire property. Perfect.
The cabin pictured is about 22 minutes from Jaco or 18 minutes down the mountain to Playa Hermosa (4 miles). It's an easy drive on a well maintained public road, except for the rainy season, when the road often washes out.
Mariano now lives happily with his cat and 3 cows on top of the world. Life's not fair, but every now and then, it takes a turn for the better. I owe a number of people for my good fortune and am thankful I can pay it forward and make a small difference in one persons life. With over 90 acres of Teak on the property, it's time for the next project, to turn Mariano into a Teak farmer and start him a savings account.
This entire project was managed by my new friend, Fernan Salazar and his beautiful wife Ani. Thank you both! We could not have achieved any of this without you.
Copyright © 2022 El Durancho - eldurancho.com, duranch.com All Rights Reserved.