lot of work - a little bit of fun
in the photo above were collected locally for the new community
center after a recent storm blew the trees down.
It's really happening!!
We have been playing hard
on all of our trips. This time we did a lot of work.
We returned to the
finca for two weeks during March 09 and were able to see firsthand
our group’s vision taking shape in the form of structures and
systems within the Finca Las Brisas Community. Two and one half
years after the land was initially purchased, it was a very
rewarding trip for us as we oversaw the construction of the first platform guest cabina, the sourcing of materials for the community center
structure, and the securing of the building permit for this
construction project which began March 30th. The first
structure, a 45’ x 35’ elliptical shaped rancho is expected to
be erected by eight men within the next six weeks – all with
local materials from the finca and surrounding farms.
The first elevated platform
guest cabina has been built on the community lot just down from
the community center. It has ocean views that can soon be
enjoyed from rocking chairs on the front porch. An outdoor
shower down by the workshop and a nearby authentic “cagador” or
outhouse complete this authentic experience for visitors. The
entire structure is crafted from farm raised teak from the
adjacent Gomez farm, and the inner sleeping compartment will be
comprised of waterproof canvas and mosquito netting (probably
not really needed as we don’t seem to have many of those on the
farm due to breezes and a plentiful bat and swallow population).
This cabina and two others like it in more remote locations will
soon be available for visitors – please contact us for
Several prospective lot buyers also toured the farm and were
able to experience firsthand the new trail system
expertly weaved through the woods high up along the banks
overlooking the rivers and waterfalls. This trail now connects
from the upper falls (Cataratas de Don Rapha – in memory of our
neighbor who recently passed) all the way down to the entry
trail to the corral and orchard area. Credit for this extensive
trail system needs to be given to Antonio, Vidal, Rudolfo, and
Hector, who worked many long days establishing this wonderful
new feature at the finca.
Discovered along the way is
an amazing Guanacaste Tree (the national tree of CR). Also
located was a 500 year old Nispero tree on the hillside
overlooking our 60’ falls. In addition we found a solid massive
old pachote tree that has been down for several years along the
trail. The wood will be milled by chainsaw in place and then
hand carried up the hill. This is truly amazing wood for
furniture and cabinets – similar in appearance to mahogany.
Several large fruit bats
were spotted at dusk feeding on insects (apparently they’re
omnivores). A large Caracara bird (similar to an eagle, but with
longer legs) was also seen, as was a deer (rare these days in
CR), and an armadillo (common). A large population of howler
monkeys continues to frequent the finca, and many small babies
were spotted on this trip, so the population appears to continue
to be very healthy. Several Mot-mots, trogans, Baltimore orioles,
an indigo bunting, and of course many of the ever-present and
vocal white fronted parrots were also observed.
All permanent water mains
and lines are now installed to all lots, along with five
strategically placed fire hydrants. Below grade from the new
water tank, gravity is producing some serious water pressure to
the majority of the lots, and within just a few weeks the
remaining 10 lots will also have full water pressure once the
solar booster pump arrives. A massive new central water tank
replaced the smaller one as the primary storage tank, and the
initial tank was relocated to the community center location and
will be used for water storage for the community facility.
The nearby soccer field at
the school that was horribly sloped has been completely made
level with a bulldozer and was paid for by FLB. Some of the
extra soil was utilized to fix areas eroded by past over-grazing
on the finca and some has been stock-piled for use in earthen
plasters and earth bag retaining walls.
All internal roads and
drain culverts have now been completed, and the roads have been
graded and covered with lastre (gravel). Some rather steep
slopes were created in a handful of locations where these roads
were built, and our crews are now hard at work building
bio-degradable earth bag (re-claimed chicken feed sacks)
retaining walls/terraces and planting them to prevent erosion
when the rains come in late April.
Taking center stage will be
the construction of the Community Center, and two lot owners are
also planning the construction of homes in the coming months.
Two additional cabinas will also be constructed and will be
rented out to visitors. Guided hikes, yoga, horseback, and
authentic Tico-style meals will also be offered to visitors once
our project manager moves onto the farm in
the coming months.
The other primary focus
will be on gardens, landscaping, erosion control on the public
road, a tree/perennial plant nursery, and the build out of a
chicken/goat/sheep house. On-site food production will be ramped
up to provide food for the Kellys and visitors and also for
local restaurants and the planned nearby farmer’s market in
With the completion of our
Community Center now on the horizon, and with interest level
growing in the project as the community continues to take shape,
we expect that our remaining ten lots will not be around much
longer. We currently have strong interest from several parties
in specific lots, with quite a few more visitors planning to
come down in April and May to tour the property. Our
project manager is available to provide tours to visitors most
For more photos of this tour, please click here.
The FLB Team