Costa Rica is the land of fauna, of forest, and of fruit.

There is an abundance de bananos,

De gente hermosa,

Of creepy, crawly critters,

With plenty of clean water for all.


And while this is true,

It is only one side of la teja,

As much is covered by the bushy jungle leaves,

That seem to perfectly drape their shapes

Over el fondo

Just in time for the next tourist to walk through.


En mis propios pies,

I set out to find

The behind the scenes

Of the beating

Every day life.



I watch the rush of the Nicaraguan street vendors,

Snatching up their medias, audifonos, o los animales de peluche,

Momentarily disappearing,

As the streets are combed by the Policia Municipal.


It’s like a movie set.

As the vendors know exactly when to come

Back onto the scene,

Open up their rain-resistant garbage bags and set out

Their daily goods.

Over and over

This plays out




Yo escucho a la voz del inmigrante.

Who lost their son,

Working as a guarda,

Gone in the night.

Or la hija who passed

Of cancer

Two days before La Navidad.


On the bus ride home,

The voices clamour.

Drown out mis pensamientos.


Like it all never happened.



Back to work.

“Toda mi familia vive en Nicaragua…”

“Ok…[hesitación]… ¿Y con que frecuencia habla con ellos?”

“Pue, es difícil para hablar porque trabajo todo el día, sei día por semana…entonce en domingo…[hesitación]…Les extraño mucho.”



My footsteps bring me back

Through Avenida Central

Yo veo la mujer

From the interview the day before,

Selling los artículos en la calle para vivir.

I pause,

Take some money out of my backpack

And walk over.


She opens her mouth para hablar

But nothing is able to come out

Except a faint voice that seems far away.

She motions con las manos

Con la boca

Sus ojos fill with a familiar sadness

But there is also una luz

Life should get better in Costa Rica.

Ella es determinada,

Su invalidez will never get in her way,

As she tries and tries

Every day.



Resiliency. The unfamiliar. Brokenness. Soledad. Hardworking sentiment. La familia. Hope. Xenofobia. Fear. Frustration. Confianza. Risk. Labor. Amor.


These are all words,

And with them

Pictures surface

De los nicaragüenses he conocido

And their stories weave together

And tell a tale that lies

Beneath the surface.


I am humbled,

And have lots left to learn

From these individuos valientes.

Who share their stories,


With a complete stranger.

Who knows nothing of their personal past,

Little of their history,

And can only imagine their pain.


Esta experiencía has been un gran regalo,

That has opened my eyes

To gente y cosas that I did not see before.


Los nicaragüenses son parte de Costa Rica,

Una parte muy rica.

Que todo el mundo tiene la oportunidad to learn from.

Pura vida.

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