2006 – Wayne McDonald
and Al Benner,
lifetime friends, take a trip to Costa Rica in
search of property and visit friend Jay in the
2006 – Jay’s neighbor, Greg Smith, had
generously extended the invitation to them to stay at
his guest villa to continue to look at properties,
and they take him up on his offer, bringing one of
Deena’s closest friend’s – Darlene Coker’s husband,
Ray along to see the area.
July, 2006 - The sustained push. At this
juncture there were seven friends (Deena, Victoria,
Keith and Darlene included) and a very large piece of
property with endless possibilities. But the dream
was far from being realized.
2006 - The deal almost doesn’t happen. Keith,
Al, Wayne, Ray and his son Benjamin travel to Costa Rica in anticipation of
signing the documents that would give them clear
title to the 150 acres of forest, pasture, and
rivers that make up the finca. Problem: the
additional section of land that had been added to
the property to provide access to the nearby dirt
road was much narrower than anticipated and did not
get around a gulch that would have required a 100’
bridge to span it – something completely out of the
question. At this juncture, the acquisition was
literally disintegrating before everyone's eyes. It was at this point in time
that eight year Benjamin suggests a road across
Rafa's land. No one really listens of course, but
what made the deal work in the end was a purchase of
an easement road across Rafa's land.
Property is purchased by seven friends (Keith, Wayne, Victoria,
Al, Deena, Ray & Darlene).
– December, 2006 - The new owners travel to
the site twice during this period and secure a
contractor and plan for construction for their 1.2
kilometer access road that takes them past Rapha’s
farmhouse, through a forested area and then back up
to high ground and into the Finca.
A trip was coordinated that brought close to
twenty people to the finca for a two day tour and
fiesta fundraiser we organized for the one-room
school house at the adjacent schoolhouse.
March, 2007 - San Jose engineering firm, Deppat
www.Deppat.com is retained by the partners to
conduct all site plans, surveying, lot divisions,
and engineering studies.
Season 2007 - The summer has been
busy working on the road, putting in our living
fences and planting over 500 fruit trees and 250
coffee bushes. We have had a crew on-site everyday
building trails, working on the water system and
improving area of the finca impacted during the
rainy season so that we can be prepared to make
progress during the dry season.
2008 - During the last part of 2007 and first
part of 2008 we conducted five Adventure Tours with
prospective lot owners (December, January, March,
April and July).
July 2008 - With the final
approval of all of our community lots from the
National Registry we are ready to move ahead with
our vision for Finca Las Brisas. Sally Richards, the
Cunningham family, Dave Modny, and Rich Quarantello purchased lots right away. The recently
hired architects and project manager / site managers
are also offered ownership in the community.
2009: Guest Cabina completed on community
lot. Construction begins on 45’ x 35’
elliptical shaped rancho and caretaker/guest
quarters/laundry/storage facility on community lot.
center constructed from all local materials,
the rancho has the final palm thatch added to the
peak of the roof three hours before the rainy season
begins with two days straight of torrential rains.
2009: Water lines go under pressure to
all lots via a 100% solar powered system. AC power
is hooked up from solar banks for workshop and
community center area. (photos of John hooking up
water from my May update and photo of water shooting
out from line on Sally’s lot). A fiesta with close
to 50 people attending is held at the main rancho to
celebrate its’ construction.
2010: Construction starts on Benner and
May 2010: Construction
on Phase 1 of the community center is completed.