The spirit of Osa is heavily influenced by the communities people who have long inhabited this region of South Pacific Costa Rica. The Boruca are historically the main tribe of Osa, whose highest status position, the Chief of Ocvsa, became the eponym of this South Pacific region of Costa Rica. Boruca elders continue to keep their oral culture alive today, telling myths and legends that point to the roots of their history, spirituality, identity and pride. Each story honors humanity’s connection to nature and no retelling of these stories is ever the same.
This naturally abundant region is a sacred place that is best represented by the myths of our local tribes and agricultural families. The ‘down to earth’ communities of Osa continue to practice self-sustaining lifestyles, paying respect to nature at every turn.
Indigenous people were the first wildlife experts in Osa. Through close observation of their frequent encounters with the flora and fauna, they built an extensive and useful mythology that is still well-preserved and used today. Costa Ricans in the South Pacific grow crops of rice, beans, cacao, corn, tomatoes and fruit trees up and down the mountainous landscape. They farm their own cows, chickens, sheep, and pigs. They harvest their own plant medicine and follow traditional healing practices and remedies. They grow enough food to feed their families and maybe a little bit extra to sell at a farmer’s market or roadside stall. Being surrounded by communities living this more natural way of life is what keeps Osa so clean and green.
The spectacular ecosystems in this region have evolved here for much longer than humans have been present. The Osa Peninsula, for instance, has a unique geological history that makes it home to a nearly unparalleled amount of biodiversity in a small, 700 square mile region. Our office is at ‘The Gateway to the Osa Peninsula,’ which was once an island that evolved in isolation and merged with Osa’s mainland around 2 million years ago. This small corner of Costa Rica is where you can find 2.5% of the world’s total biodiversity across less than 1/1000th of the world’s landmass. It is one of the last places in Costa Rica to have been settled and continues to be sparsely populated; covered almost entirely in magnificent virgin rainforest.
The Osa Peninsula is separated from the mainland by Golfo Dulce, one of only 4 tropical fjords on the planet. This is the only place in the world where pods of both Northern and Southern humpback whales come to birth their young. The marine environment of Osa contains the most significant wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests of Central America. On land, you will find the largest remaining tract of lowland forest in Pacific Mesoamerica. Around 2-3% of the flora in our backyards is found nowhere else in the world. And there are more species of trees in this region than in all of the Northern temperate regions combined.
My favourite thing about this natural wonderland called Osa is that it provides us with clean air, drinking water, food, jobs, a strong ecological culture and a stable climate (you only need one wardrobe to live here!) You can travel to a number of different environments in one day and experience a variety of transformative sensations, from swimming in crystal clean waterfalls to sunning on the soft sand of this region’s nearly vacant beaches. There is quite possibly no other place in the world that is this perfect to both live in and enjoy.
The masks of the Boruca depict the nature spirits of Osa in spectacular colors and detailed carvings. These masks have served as a protection from conquistadors for over 500 years and continue to be honored in the annual Boruca festival, Dia de los Diablitos. We feel that gifting Boruca masks to the people who choose to move to Osa is a special welcome that protects them from embodying the attitude of a conqueror. Instead, we want to encourage newcomers to accept this natural paradise for the captivating and life-changing place that it is.
If you long to be one of the lucky ones who calls Osa their home, I invite you to contact my office with any questions you have about how to make this irresistible urge for a better way to live work for you.