CariBeans: Totally Organic Chocolate and Coffee

July 5th, 2011

Organic Coffee and Chocolate by Caribeans

The cacao bean  is fermented, dried, and ground to produce delicious chocolate. This Central American indigenous fruit has been traded along the Talamanca coast for decades meeting the world’s demand, drastic change in prices per kilo and fighting the threat of a fungus rotting the pods.

Part of CariBean’s dream is to educate local farmers in production techniques by teaching the concept of value-added to the raw fruit. This investment is especially important to the farmers that have given up on their cacoa trees. Caribeans is creating an educational opportunity to work their land more effectively and earn more of the profits. Caribeans is not focused on maximizing production and money by trading all over the world. They are apart of the Puerto Viejo community with interests of staying locally grown and distributed, and producing the finest chocolate totally organic.

Melts in your mouth, not in your hand? A blue and yellow M&M has been telling us this for years and it’s true! This affordable mass-produced candy is just that, a candy coated yummy fix to junk food munchers checking-out at the market. Real organic chocolate is what people are talking about when consuming healthy portions in a well balanced diet. CariBeans and a few others have brought chocolate back to Costa Rica recently, an image native to the area. Caribeans is one organization going above and beyond to invest awareness on potential cacoa farming rather than working as an export and import industrial trader. Caribeans enables the struggling farmer of Costa Rica to be more involved from bean to bar. Come to the southern Caribean coast of Costa Rica and visit a jungle of people producing real organic chocolate.

Chocolate tasting at CariBeans HQ

The story of chocolate in Puerto Viejo is being reborn as abondoned farms are rediscovered to harvest the cacoa fruit organically! The chocolate trade can jolt you to be an addict as you try all the world’s finest beans. Italian, German, Swiss, etc. are the land of well known chocolates producers. When I think of the story of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, the oompa-loompas came from a place similar to an environment in tropical climates where they produce raw sugarcane, cacao beans and exotic fruits and vegatables and worked for cacao beans. Willy Wonka explored the world for new chocolate ideas and creations, inspired by the authors childhood near the Cadbury factory in England. Caribeans, is an established contender producing totally organic chocolate in all different flavors all in ONE place! Their natural chocolate should be a staple in your daily consumption so try a piece and do not hesitate to ask for seconds.

Visit the CariBeans website for more information:

Animal Rescue part deux

June 10th, 2011
Playa Chiquita Costa Rica Puerto Viejo

We can hear this guy moving around at night just beside our house

There was some excitement at Tierra de Suenos this morning. I was coming down the stairs of our house and noticed that Cody, one of our big smelly dogs, was standing at attention pointing to something. Following his gaze there was an injured Kinkajou night monkey/bear/cat ) lying injured in the jungle not 15 feet from our house. It was moving around but clearly in very bad shape with what seemed to be a broken arm.

costa rican wildlife, puerto viejo tours

Joel holds injured kinkajou at Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Fortunately Jaguar Rescue Center is right down the road and is equipped to handle these situations so deciding what to do was fairly easy. I figured that if he were hurt enough to let me wrap him in a towel we would take him ourselves, otherwise we would call in the experts. Angie grabbed a towel and I stalked him through the bush. He was so hurt that all he wanted to do was lie down and after a few attempts to get away I was able to throw a towel on him, wrap him and pick him up. He hardly put up a fight so I tucked him into my arm like a baby and we quickly drove him to Jaguar Rescue Center.

costa rican martilla

we hope he makes a full recovery!!

Once there he was taken by Joel who said that we were lucky that he didn’t have much fight to him because they can be vicious and give nasty bites. The owner, Encar, who is a vet, gave him a tranquilizer and inspected him. He had torcelo (worms born after a fly bite) in his neck which they squeezed out. She said that the number of ticks on him was indication that he had been injured and on the ground for at least a couple nights which explains why he was so weak. There were some cuts on his tail and his arm seemed broken though she wasn’t able to find the fracture by touch.

They are going to do what they can and if he makes a recovery we will release him back in his home trees in the lovely and wild jungle of Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Wedding in Playa Chiquita!

May 29th, 2011

We just hosted our second wedding here at Tierra de Suenos. May seems to be a popular time for weddings in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica and it makes sense as the slow season kicks in with lower rates and secluded private beaches of Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva. The week was a total success with fabulous weather, lots of fun tours and happy friends and family of the bride and groom. Jungle Love Garden Cafe, our close neighbors here in Playa Chiquita,  hosted the ceremony as well as the reception. Jungle Love is a perfect location for an intimate destination wedding in Costa Rica with laid-back yet very professional owners.

We made the bride’s bouquet as well as a boutonniere for the groom with flowers picked right here on the property of Tierra de Suenos. Our bungalows are great for a small wedding group as each couple or family has their own private space but with plenty of common areas to hang out. Breakfast on the back patio of the reception house is a perfect time to chat about the day and get organized. This group spent lots of time on the second floor of Zen Garden using the kitchen area to make drinks and gaze at the sloth hanging in the tree right across from the balcony. Thanks Nicole and Caleb for bringing your friends and family here to share in this beautiful place for your special moment! And thanks to Matt for sharing with us Iowa’s finest “deer sticks” and jerky!

Nicole looked perfect in her tropical wedding dress!

An intimate destination wedding in Playa Chiquita

Jungle Love's reception was a big hit....and quite lovely!

Awesome tropical bouque for the bride made right here at Tierra.

Traveling Circus (flaming nunchucks)!

March 26th, 2011

Check out the traveling circus that made its way through Mexico and Central America stopping in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica for a few nights!

Costa Rican Monkey Rescue

March 18th, 2011

A new blog- by Mo (half of the newest addition to the Tierra staff)

I set off for a sunset jog from the Caribbean bungalows of Tierra de Suenos and headed away from the beautiful beaches of Playa Chiquita. Trying to distract myself from the actual act of jogging was easy to do since I was surrounded by beautiful Real Palms, Toucans, frogs and more. After reaching Punta Uva I recognized the familiar sounds of grunting howler monkeys in the distance. Although they are usually loud, they appeared to be more boisterous and plentiful then usual. I ran over Punta Uva bridge and noticed a group of tourists looking at the ground on the side of the road. Assuming it was the usual sloth crossing, I slowed down to take a look at the cute critter. Only, to my surprise, there was a badly hurt howler monkey who had fallen on the electric wires and had been severely burnt.

The boisterous sounds from earlier turned out to be his family, consisting of maybe 20 others, flanking the sides of the street and howling in concern. The monkey was shaking and I could observe burns on his arms and entire right side of his face, including his eye. Pamela, a local restaurant and cabinas owner, pulled up in her golf cart to inquire about the crowd. Together we decided to rush the monkey to the local rescue center in hopes to save him. We gathered him in a towel and I sat holding the little fella in the back of the cart. After one escape attempt and many potholes later, the crying and seizing monkey arrived at the Jaguar Rescue Center. Even after business hours, the workers were eager to help and whisked the monkey to the closest veterinarian for treatment.

The following day, a fellow Tierra de Suenos employee (Jake, the other half of the newest Tierra staff) and I decided to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center to check on my little friend. After an exciting tour observing snakes, monkeys, frogs, Caymens, sloths, and eagles, I was able to check on the monkey. We were unable to see him since he was sleeping in the recovery room, but we learned that he had third degree burns on his face, tail, body and had lost a finger from the electrocution. They had treated him with medicine and burn cream and the doctor stated he thought the monkey was likely to make a steady recovery. We thanked them for their work and the simple existence of such a center, because without it the monkey would have less than a fighting chance at survival. After this experience and my visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center I have decided to help these Costa Rican animals and my little monkey by volunteering at the center. More adventure stories to come!

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