Where to begin? I arrived to Costa Rica in 1994 from Santa Barbara, California while traveling aboard a small sailing vessel called 'Caribbee' - pleasure cruising. With no previous thought to making a home abroad, the cruise down the pacific coast was only meant to be a short escape - a season of fun on the ocean. But something happened to open my mind during those first weeks at anchor here in the little port town of Golfito. The beautifully calm natural harbor, the crazy green and fantastical sounds of the surrounding jungle, the welcoming bustle of a non-touristy quaint port town on the steamy shore, the easy going lifestyle.... One thing led to another and opportunities just kept presenting themselves. Next thing I knew, my life was settled here. With my partners professional marine skills and his love of sailing we established a small outpost on on the bay where cruising sailors could drop in for shore services. We enjoyed this buisiness for 24 years, when he finally decided this past year to make a switch and enjoy a retirement. Over the years I had used my organizational skills to work in property management and real estate sales. As the business prospered I progressively built a small collection of vacation rentals along the Golfito coast overlooking the bay in our marina area. It's all gone quite well and we have lots of stories, valuable hard earned experience and too many fun memories to fully recount along the way. Now, 26 years later, we are ready for a life transition. Time to decide how we can morph to 'part-time or retirees' and still keep the great lifestyle and vibe we enjoy offering our guests here upon our patch of "paradise". The idea of taking in partners is an option we are entertaining as well as this option of work trade help. Our homes for rent are primarily managed with a rental website leads and local referrals. We have 2 long standing employees who are wonderful, invaluable team members. We have a few others (Canadian, American and Swedish) who have learned our routines and enjoy the area as a 'second home'......coming seasonally for several years now to help out for the busy months. We pride ourselves on keeping the gardens and furnished homes impeccable so there is a lot to keep up on, even when the business slows. There are 8 units and the surrounding gardens, dock, houseboat, menagerie of pets......Never is there a time when the "to do list" is fully accomplished. Carpentry skills, marine skills, housekeeping skills, people skills, on-line and social media skills, clean eating cooking skills are all BONUS talents that could be embraced in our daily routines. Although not a necessity, if you have basic Spanish skills along with English proficiency there is a value added point for you ;) that opens up even more possibility. So if you are looking for an experience in Costa Rican ex-pat life, if you'd enjoy being surrounded by nature and a marina environment taking in the quaint hustle and activity a port town offers, this may be a perfect assignment. We are open to a single, independent explorer or a couple with the spirit and capacity to integrate into the community culture and "live like a local".
Types of help and learning opportunitiesArt ProjectsLanguage practiceGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseHospitality/TourismGeneral MaintenanceHelp with Computers/ Internet
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
Spanish practice opportunities are certain. This is a true immersion in the Costa Rican culture as our town is not your typical tourist center. An expat lifestyle is off beat here among a cross roads of tourists and sailors from around the world converging in a marina environment in the jungle - It's a fantastic blend of locals and other countries.... I should mention that this place is teaming with nature..... and we offer use of kayaks for exploring the waters and a bike to use around town. A bay on the jungle coast with protected wildlife areas surrounding it.... easily explored on foot or in short bus and boat excursions. More than anything else, I think work traders become "locals", departing with the fun of becoming a part of the true ex-pat lifestyle experience.
If you are looking with curiosity into the lifestyle of an expat this is a laid back little town worth investigating. If you simply want a change of pace you will find that here without a doubt. When you work away with us I think you will see us to be a unique mix of serious work ethics and dedication to meeting certain hospitality and service standards mixed in with a very casual communal atmosphere - You'll be working barefoot in an awesome corner of the world-a lively 'authentic' Costa Rican harbor town, one hour from the Panama border. Perhaps our environment is what you need to gain some comic relief and a break or perhaps to guide you into your life change adventure. Maybe this is a longer term opportunity you want to explore before making a decision to move here yourself? I'll look forward to hearing from you.
A true mom and pop style operation, volunteers must be flexible and up for jumping in to help with anything on an "as it comes" basis. It's typically bursts of activity and crisis management with periods of lull and tranquillo busywork on the waterfront deck . Your skills could include anything from boat maintenance, light carpentry, garden help and pet care to internet website work, help developing a social media presence, greeting and orienting guests in the rentals and general 'house sitting' while we take a break once in a while. Ready hands for rental cleaning and related laundry will be required...some kitchen help for meal prep of great international healthy cuisine would be great. Our small operation has a variety of needs and aspects to keep it humming- but it's basically a laid back "family affair".
Can I say here that our town has no resources for yoga instruction. I know, can you believe it? In the year 2020 and still no yoga in town? I for one would LOVE a work trader who makes a part of their offer to share a bit of yoga instruction with me and perhaps help me to start a practice. Hmmmmm. Maybe there's a nitch for someone to do something here with yoga teaching for the season...... just a thought.
You'll have your own nicely furnished private studio for retreat and rest as well as use of the shared spaces and a full kitchen. Depending on season and situation work traders have been upgraded to live aboard the houseboat, in a studio or in one of the fully furnished townhouses. We can negotiate that based on seasonal availability, your contribution and the length of the stay. We often cook lunches and dinners together, family style on our waterfront deck but small cash allowances are sometimes practical for those who prefer to enjoy some private meals. For single travelers we most often set up a private and secure studio room on the tropical hillside, across from our marina. 2 single beds, mini refri, microwave, toaster and coffee maker. Private bathroom. Shared use of the waterfront galley where we share many communal meals.
What else ...
Days off can be spent exploring using our kayaks on the bay to fish or paddle over to the rustic beach for a beer and fish lunch....or just hanging at the local bayfront marinas or lazing at your house. For a change of pace take off on a launch across the Golfo Dulce to the Osa Peninsula 30 minutes away....and see Puerto Jimenez or Cabo Matapalo beaches.....Nearby Pavones surf or Zancudo beach can be an overnight by bus.... hiking the rain forest reserve behind the house or biking riding over to Playa Cacao. Buses and taxis are economical and convenient. You can walk to most anything you need in this town. The border with Panama is a fun day trip for shopping and people watching.... It's all pretty "hang loose" around here and in reality, our own dock is one of the best places in town to hang out - even if it's in your free time.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
We do have decent wifi at our living quarters, apartments and work sites. Social media and streaming services work fine. All work traders have access to our passwords and options of 3 networks running.
How many Workawayers can stay?
Average 5 hours a day, 5 days a week