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Following in their footsteps

First in a four-part series on education and the pandemic in Costa Rica. That grin: a mischievous flash under hair shaped into crocodile spikes. Curls that...

A national park protected by a giant

No national park can resist him. No national park can resist the calm and respectful step, the attentive and curious eyes and ears, and the...

La Niña Gladys, among maps and numbers

She was a teacher the way they used to be. Una niña de antes. La Niña Gladys de Durán (niña, or little girl, was...

Educating in a pandemic: a family tale 1, 2, and 3

What has pandemic education meant to you? Have you experienced it as a parent, teacher, grandparent, onlooker? In Costa Rica, or somewhere else in the...

Teaching on quicksand

In the final installment of our March series, we'll portray the classrooms and Zoom meetings where education is taking place in Costa Rica today,...

Bricks and mortar, wood and tin

In one of the three communities from our 2006 series, La Carpio, the local school has changed completely since we first reported there. What...

Inequality and the virus

This week, we'll share what we've learned from talking to teachers and students, principals and parents, analysts and community leaders about inequality in Costa...

In the shadows, a dazzling light

The birth of your child gives your life an arc. In fact: pregnancy. From the first strange soreness, sudden nausea, you begin to measure...

Eva is the seed

Eva Morera Ulloa died at the age of 19. She was murdered by her ex-partner and the father of her son, who was then...

Montserrat de Coronado, filled with surprises

Visiting Montserrat de Coronado means entering the cloud forested mountains of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. It is a magical and wonderful place that...

Our daughters and the poisoned apple

“I want to disappear,” my daughter said. “What?” My hand, resting on her shoulder, tightened its grip instinctively to match the squeeze of my heart. “It’s...

Sexual harassment and the University of Costa Rica

We couldn't close out our February edition, focused on some of the most serious issues that affect the life and death of women in...

Eyleen Vargas: The female power of Costa Rican canyoning

Here in the year 2021, we might think that all roads have been traveled, but they haven't. Some claim to be exploring parts of...

The story of La Llorona, but not the one you know

It’s such a small stone for such a big name. La Llorona: she who cries. A massive, creepy presence in our legends, in the minds...

Femicides can’t be predicted, but they can be prevented

During the last two years, Costa Rica buried 35 victims of femicide: 16 in 2019, and 19 in 2020. Those 35 cases occurred in...

Bajos del Toro, a photographer’s playground

Imagine yourself in the mountains. You hike along crystal clear streams while breathing in cool, clean air. Where do you imagine yourself to be?...

The faces of teenage pregnancy

"Before I had Gresley, I was so eager to meet her. What would she be like? Who would she be? How would she turn...

Woman, jaguar, Labrador: one biologist’s path to conservation

Who would not like to see a jaguar in its habitat? We'd all like to, right? Stephanny knows the feeling. She's dedicated more than a...

We played our hearts out, he and I

If only we'd come prepared, I thought when we came across the soccer field on the potato farm, seemingly by accident. But I was the...

A funeral by the sea

The men heaved the concrete blocks, placing them around the body of Heisel Badilla Barrias, lying in a plush-covered coffin. They mixed cement in...

Corcovado: synonymous with biodiversity

  Corcovado National Park is one of the places in Costa Rica with the greatest wildlife biodiversity. I've visited it several times in the past,...

Women from Guaitil find ways to preserve their art

Under the shadow of a roof that shelters her from the typical heat of the northwestern province of Guanacaste, Melesia Villafuerte, a 57-year-old artisan,...

My grandmother and the sea

  My grandmother named me, and from that moment she welcomed me as a daughter. When the fog came to her mind, I became the caretaker...

When birth and death come face to face

Costa Rica should remember the year 2015 with joy. That year, the country reported its lowest infant mortality of the decade. For every 1,000...

Poem from the road: For Lara

  There are thousands of women I admire. I admit that many leave a strong impression on me, even if I've never met them. But...

One day we took each other’s hand. We never let go

Have you ever had that feeling of enormous pressure on your heart, but somehow it feels nice? That's what I feel when I see...

‘One cup of coffee can make a difference’

A month spent focusing on the Costa Rican coffee industry and the financial struggles faced by small coffee growers would not be complete without...

The path ahead

The final installment in a six-part series. Read Part I, “A harvest turned upside down,” Part II, “The 48-hour journey,” Part III, “Second home...

Coffee micromills break new ground

“As long as producers are not aware of their position within the model, they will not be able to leave. Because the model is...

The coffee dream

Read Part I, “A harvest turned upside down,” Part II, “The 48-hour journey,” Part III, “Second home in a strange land,” and Part IV,...

Journey of a coffee bean: from farm to cup

Most people around the world savor a cup or more of coffee each day, but the incredible journey these beans take to your mug...

Los pasitos, a Costa Rican Christmas tradition.

I was 10 years old when I became part of the family tradition. My great-grandmother learned it from her dad, my grandmother officially introduced...

Arenal, the hill the became a volcano.

It was around 1 am on Monday, July 29th, 1968. Adita Vargas Pérez, then 21 years old, remembers how she was awoken by what...

Baile de los Diablitos, a Boruca tradition.

“Man, it is something that one carries in the blood. You are born, live and grow with that in your blood, your blood boils...

The Diquís spheres, a legacy of the indigenous people of Costa Rica.

In the southwestern Pacific zone of Costa Rica, specifically in the delta between the Térraba and Sierpe rivers known as the Delta del Diquís,...

Where have all the trapiches gone?

In the early 1900s, Costa Ricans sweetened their meals with tapa de dulce. There was no interest in granulated white sugar; instead, people would...

Costa Rica’s indigenous art

Whether you’re here on a short business trip or a long backpacking adventure, or you live here... you may want to bring home something...

Conqueror of our time, San Gerardo de Dota is born.

San Gerardo de Dota, a beautiful basin of oak forest and Quetzal birds, was baptized by Caridad Zúñiga after Saint Gerard, the patron saint...

Handy with cheese

“This machine that our hands are, is the only one that can do the job well,” said Reynaldo Villalobos, referring to the production of...

The story of olive-ridley turtle town, Ostional

I still remember, very clearly, the first time I got to Ostional, one of four places in the world that hosts the amazing, massive...

Barra Honda, wonders under the earth.

Butterflies, dragonflies and beetles of many colors and sizes flutter around the trails of the Barra Honda National Park. Their eye-catching colors make us...

The Typical Costa Rican Carreta, a symbol of work and tradition.

A loud metallic ring marks a slow and almost relaxing rhythm which is interrupted by sporadic cries and snoring. It is the harvest time...

Making ends meet

Read Part I, “A harvest turned upside down,” Part II, “The 48-hour journey,” and Part III, “Second home in a strange land.” It’s the moment...

What does it mean to be Ngöbe?

Being Ngöbe is a wide-ranging, ever-changing experience. The primary requirement for a person to be considered Ngöbe is that his or her parents identify...

Second home in a strange land

Read Part One, "A harvest turned upside down," and Part Two, "The 48-hour journey."   Sergio’s friends are laughing at him. As the lanky 22-year-old stands in...

The 48-hour journey

Máximo Palacios, 39, is a lean, quiet man with a slow smile. He doesn’t often show great emotion, but he does betray some when...

A harvest turned upside down

“Gracias a Dios, ya llegó Máximo.” Thank God. Máximo has arrived. Minor Jiménez has had a long day. Last night, he set his alarm clock...

Glossary of coffee terms

This is a list of terms related to the production and commercialization of coffee and their respective definitions. Cafeto Coffee plant. Cafetal Land planted with coffee plants for...

Welcome to Voices 506! We’d love to hear from you

When Mónica, Pippa and I joined forces to create a new, bilingual media organization, we wanted to build a space where professional journalists could...

New Year’s traditions and the world’s ‘happiest country’

One New Year’s Day a few years ago, I sat at the cement table, or pollito, in our little garden with my parents and...