Farmer’s Market Rincon de Uvita, Costa Ballena, Costa Rica open Saturdays 8am – 1pm
My productivity as a writer is increasing, and when the writing helps those in need, that’s even better. In his book The Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner travels the world looking for the happiest place and/or people who have the essential ingredients of a ‘good life’. A foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) he is typically expected to discover breaking news, which usually involves death and destruction. As he says, “It’s rewarding work, but can be a real bummer.” So he takes a break from the negative to “turn journalism on its head and seek out the world’s unheralded positives.” One of the major criteria for happiness that keeps turning up for Weiner is feeling good, and a big chunk of that is feeling good about helping others in need.
I read Weiner’s book after spending time working for nonprofits Water for People and El Porvenir in Nicaragua and chronicling the experience here. It gave me the impetus to talk of my experience on my NPR station WSLR in Sarasota, FL, and write a perspective piece in the national English language newspaper in Costa Rica and Nicaragua -The Tico/Nica Times.
Since the Geography of Bliss was printed Costa Rica has been voted the “Happiest” places in the world, according to Nicholas Kristoff in a recent NY Times article, but disasters still occur. I have just returned to my second home on the Costa Ballena, Costa Rica to the aftermath another horrible accident on the dangerous Costanera highway. Juan Carlos Guadmuz, the brother of my caretaker Edgar, was driving home to Hermosa from Cortez with his family and two local women when a car tried to pass three semis on a curve, causing the Guadamuz car to swerve into the oncoming truck with disastrous results. Of the seven people in the car four died – the two women from Uvita, and a Guadamuz son and grandson. Juan Carlos, his wife Maria and another son survived, but with serious injuries. They are trying to put their lives back together and are recuperating slowly, but neither husband nor wife is able to work yet, and the car was totaled.
Again, I am writing this in the hope that you will join me in feeling good about helping some good people in dire need – the Guadmuz family. They are some of our local hardworking and proud pioneers. In fact, Juan Carlos’ father’s life was recently chronicled in one of our monthly magazines – Ballena Tales.
We will have a donation box for the next several weeks at the local farmer’s market, Feria – Rincon de Uvita at Diana’s ‘Made-from-Scratch’ booth. The Feria is open every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm. The family would appreciate any money or non-perishable food items to help them get through the next couple of months.