Warmer than Canada

A Family Gap Year in the Era of Trump


Costa Rica

Comic Book Care Packages

Our family is composed of library junkies. In Maine, we visit our fabulous public library at least once a week and reliably stumble back home home under the weight of tote bags overloaded with books. Maybe it was the years... Continue Reading →

Fresh Perspectives: Climate Change

We're back in the States after our family's gap year, discovering the many ways in which life in Central America has offered us fresh perspectives. There have been some lifestyle changes--more on that in a few weeks--but today I want... Continue Reading →

Spanish in Monteverde

The other day I was chatting with a Tica friend about cultural adjustment. Though Costa Rican, this friend lived in California for decades. In her first months there, she cried every time a plane passed overhead, wishing she were in... Continue Reading →

Fútbol and Its Many Lessons

Sometimes being moved abroad by your parents for a year of "intercultural living and enrichment" is a drag. Gone are your Legos, your trusty bike and your favorite picture books; familiar friends and teachers are nowhere to be seen; and... Continue Reading →

Montezuma and Beach Hiking

My family has never excelled at sun bathing and beach sitting. I love the idea of stretching out in the sand and reading for hours, waves crashing right in front of us, but we have yet to actualize that dream.... Continue Reading →

Manzanillo and the Carribean Coast

Though famed Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey was Jamaican, his start with political organizing happened not only on his island home, but also in Costa Rica. In 1910 Garvey moved to Costa Rica to work as a timekeeper on a United Fruit... Continue Reading →

Bijagua and Rio Celeste

The most stunning turquoise water imaginable--that's how I'd describe Rio Celeste. Just a few months after we moved to Monteverde, a friend showed us pictures of the mineral-infused river located in Tenorio Volcano National Park. This last February we finally... Continue Reading →

Arenal and La Fortuna

Last month the dry season had fully arrived in Monteverde—dust from the roads coated everything, our azalea bush was covered in magenta blossoms, Monstera and banana leaves drooped from lack of water, and instead of being defined by clouds and... Continue Reading →

The Monteverde Friends School–Bilingualism, Community and Good Folks

This year Liam and Reid are attending the Quaker school in Monteverde. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a group of North American Quaker pacifists moved to Monteverde in the 1950s after some of them were imprisoned in Alabama... Continue Reading →

Los Migrantes

An American friend living here in Costa Rica recently pointed out that more U.S. citizens live in Costa Rica than Ticos live in the United States. In 2012, Americans and Spaniards tied as the third largest immigrant groups in Costa... Continue Reading →

Monteverde Sister March

Here's to all of the marchers around the world who gave us so much hope this last Saturday at women's marches around the world. In Monteverde, we also broke records--nearly 250 marchers of many nationalities, ages, and genders popped out... Continue Reading →

Monteverde, Beyond the Reserves

So, you've made it up the mountain to Monteverde and visited a cloud forest reserve or two, but now you're ready for something different. How about swimming in warm thermal pools, visiting an artist's workshop en route to fabulous views... Continue Reading →

Monteverde Reserves

During the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, tourism explodes here in Monteverde. For visitors looking for a tropical escape, the cloud forest offers a temperate, naturalist's wonderland, particularly ideal for those who want to be active outdoors but... Continue Reading →

Nationalism without Militarism, a Lesson from Costa Rica

This month Costa Rica observed a unique national holiday, Abolition of the Army Day. I will admit to some confusion about the celebration after I spotted a sign at my kids' school  announcing El Día de la Abolición del Ejército.... Continue Reading →

Wilson and Other Winged Neighbors

Back in March when we signed the lease for our new house, sight unseen, in Monteverde, Costa Rica, our manager assured me the previous tenants hadn't had any pets. Given my allergy to cats, I was relieved. But then she... Continue Reading →

American Political Dissent in Costa Rica

When we told friends back home we’d be living in Costa Rica for a year, many envisioned the beach and surfing (and probably rightly wondered exactly how many tubes of SPF 60 sunscreen my pale-skinned family would need to ward... Continue Reading →

Costa Rica’s Moto: Pura Vida

Literally translated into English, pura vida means “pure life,” but after only a few days in Costa Rica, you’ll notice the meaning of pura vida is multifaceted. Ticos, as Costa Ricans refer to themselves, use pura vida in all sorts... Continue Reading →

Choosing the Right Country

There are many financial and logistical questions involved in planning a family escape abroad, but there's also the difficult question of where. The following article explains how our family settled on Monteverde, Costa Rica. We hope this outline of our... Continue Reading →

Having Already Fled… to Costa Rica

In the summer of 2016, my family of four left the state of Maine and flew to Central America. Our tickets were one-way, and we each carried a single duffle bag and backpack. We were no strangers to international living:... Continue Reading →

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