Description of Property:
The farm called Rain Ranch is about 10 km
from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, in the village of La Esperaza de Tahoe.
It is owned by David Gardella (US)
and his wife (Costa Rica). The property is about 70 hectares (175
acres) of which 45 are high graded primary forest and secondary rainforest,
another 10 are reforested with a mixture of native species and 15 are planted
with hybrid coconuts. Planted amongst the coconuts are 5 hectares
of vanilla and 1,500 almendro trees. The almendro trees, which are
the main source of food and nesting for the great green macaw, were planted
about a year ago and some are already a meter tall or more.
Accommodations are somewhat rustic. There is a 2-story wooden and
cinder block farm house. There are three single beds and one double
bed. There is a veranda and relaxation area on the second floor that overlooks
part of the farm. It has drinkable and running water from two separate
springs and solar electricity. Sorry, not enough electricity for a hairdryer.
There is a converter for 110 volt radios.You'll get used to the scorpions,
well maybe not. Just remember to check your clothes and shoes in
the morning before dressing. There is also a large vivero for germinating
trees and plants, etc.
Rubber boots and ponchos are a necessity in the rainy season and are cheap
and available in Puerto Viejo. Mosquitoes and other biting bugs
are a frequent but not constant problem. Mosquito nets can also
be purchased in Puerto Viejo for the first volunteers.
Over is the foreman of the farm and can help with introducing people to
the farm, and is a source of help and information. He will not be directing
you on any project but can help and give advice when needed. There are
a few other workers on the farm you will get to know and one of the neighbors
has a cell phone for emergencies, and can call a cab if need be.
Food runs can be made on foot or bike, with David, or his son when they
come in to the farm (about once a week), or a cab can be called for about