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Irigaray, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Host: Alexandra W.
Published June 15, 2018

General description

  • Main home
This sit requires a commitment of four months. It is the rainy season: sometimes dramatic and always beautifully lush.

There are dozens of organic fruit trees on the property, and you can help yourself to anything that may be ripe. Depending on the season, there may be avocados, limes, oranges, coconuts, mangoes, bananas, cashew fruit, and a slew of other little-known fruits. The happy chickens are also quite generous in providing daily fresh eggs for you to eat or share.

The quinta is a great place to do some drawing, painting, writing or nature photography, or for just lying in a hammock with Lucas and reading or listening to music. You can help care for the trees, plant a garden of your own, or write your memoire. Most of the neighbours belong to the same two extended families, and are friendly and love to help when called upon.

Needs and Animals

  • My property
  • Big garden
  • A dog
  • Farm animals
I am looking ideally for a couple of vegetarians to care for my tropical fruit quinta (hobby farm) while I’m away in Canada. You must be reasonably hardy, able to speak Spanish at an intermediate-advanced level and have some experience in Latin America.

The quinta has many types of wildlife attracted by the huge, old hardwoods and the river that line the north side of the property: magnificent iguanas, birds, rodents, monkeys, crocodiles and impressive insects. I would ask that you help me to protect the trees, animals, water and soil. I have a great preference for vegetarians for ethical-environmental and practical reasons-- the wastewater from washing of pots and dishes in the kitchen sink drains right into a little garden!

My neighbor, Marleny, is the regular caretaker (she speaks only Spanish). Your job would be to support her in her work:
- caring for the quinta and its animals: Lucas, a sweet mutt, nine feather-footed chickens, outdoor patios and walkways, an orchard, and a few small gardens;
- helping Marleny welcome any B&B guests who may stay in the guest house (probably not frequent) by translating and interpreting into Spanish if needed;
- keeping me posted on how everything’s going, including how my storm water management techniques are working in the rainy season.
Lucas is young, healthy, loving and fun, but he sometimes hunts iguanas, or escapes and taunts the horse next door, which I've not yet been successful in stopping. He doesn't need to be walked, but enjoys leaving the quinta and going places. He is used to sleeping in the bed, and he's white, so he does need to be groomed regularly. He would benefit from some training, but is not motivated by food to learn.

Caring for the chickens involves letting them out of the coup at around 6am and feeding them, and closing them back in the coop at night. You have to change their water every day and put away their feed. In the event that they should get sick, you or Marleny might have to call the vet.

The current sitters say the work takes about 3-4 hours a day. Lucas can live with you (he sleeps in the bed), but Marleny can babysit or bring him home when you're away.

I have a farm hand who comes weekly (6am to noon) to do basic maintenance of the grounds, and a number of resource people and tradespeople to call on when needed.

Practical life

  • Village
  • Less than 50 m² (530 sq. ft.)
  • More than 1000 m² (1060 sq. ft.)
  • Bus stop
  • Airport
  • Market
  • Small shop / Minimarket
  • Supermarket
  • Shopping mall
  • Doctor
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital
  • Veterinarian
  • Internet
  • Washing machine
  • Enclosed garden
  • Ground floor
  • No disabled access
You will stay in my pretty, bright, open concept studio house, which is right next to the guest house. It has a double and a single bed, kitchen, bathroom and closet. There is no TV and no hot water (probably not needed), but there is Wifi, and air conditioning when necessary. There is a large, semi-outdoor laundry room and carpentry workshop which you are welcome to use for your own manual projects. There is also a tiny outdoor pool with a shower, a grassy lawn, hammocks and two terraces.

This is a rural area, and there are no convenience stores nearby, but Liberia is a 15-minute drive away, where you have access to modern services ranging from supermarkets and health clinics to good restaurants and plastic surgery. Bus service to Liberia runs about every 45 min and the bus stop is just a three-minute stroll from the house. I have no car to leave you, but you can hire my inexpensive driver friend to get around when you need wheels.
Although in the countryside, the quinta is not entirely peaceful: dogs bark, roosters crow, parrots screech, monkeys howl and you can sometimes hear trucks on the nearby highway.

It is a hot climate, and August through October have the heaviest, most dramatic tropical rains. September is very muggy. During downpours storm water rushes through the property, winds down branches and trees, and electricity blacks out briefly. Weather aside, there is always troubleshooting to do on something on a farm. We will solve problems together - you, Marleny and me, along with a range of people to call on.

The cost of living in Costa Rica is not as low as it is in other Central American countries. But there are farmers' markets in Liberia every week, where you can get a variety of fruits and vegetables at very low prices. In addition, it is possible to buy cheese and raw milk at a good price from a local lady who passes by weekly, and you can get fresh, handmade tortillas from a neighbour who delivers before breakfast on Saturdays.

Comfort and Luxury

  • One floor
  • One room of which one bedroom
  • Contemporary
  • Terrace / Balcony
  • Car parking available
  • Landscaped garden
  • Veranda
  • Air conditioning
  • Fitted kitchen

Tourism and Leisure

  • Countryside
  • Forest
  • Beach
If you Google “Irigaray, Liberia, Guanacaste” you will see that the quinta is close to several national parks and volcanoes with forests, rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, hiking trails, and wildlife to take in. The area has many great beaches, including famous surfing beaches. You can plan dog and chicken care with Marleny and take off for day trips or weekends.

Irigaray, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Irigaray, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Available

From Wednesday 2018

To Tuesday 2018

firm dates

The arriving date is negotiable. It would be good to do a handover for 1- 2 days, so most of the questions could be answered. The housesitters which are here at the moment will leave around the 29/30th of June.

Host

8

Alexandra W.

Registered since 22/04/2018

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