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Sustainability and Big News on the Way | The May 2022 Review

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Real Estate Update
Sustainability in Action
Living Young in the Longevity Lifestyle | We ? Tama
Welcoming New Team Members
Perdido en la Salsa | The Tamarindo Almanac

FINAL Inventory in Phase 2, and Las Crestas Coming!  | Real Estate Update

Valley views from Homesite 25-E. Home designed by WR Architects.

In a blink of an eye, we’re midway through the second quarter of 2022, and Phase 2, which will be known moving forward as the neighborhood of Las Verandas, is nearly sold out! But don’t worry, we’ll have big news about Las Crestas, the next phase of Senderos, in early June.. 

And as we step forward into this next phase, we’re excited to share that we’re continuing to improve the way we do things, not only from a design and homebuilding perspective but from an ecological one as well. More on that below.

The Final Prime Opportunities in Phase 2

In the past several weeks, Home 4-E, Homesite 6-E, Homesite 9-E, Homesite 11-C, Home 14-E, Homesite 16-E, and Home 17-E have all either closed or have gone into contract to close, which only leaves a few choice homesites and homes left. 

There is Ocean Base on Homesite 2-E, a 4 Bedroom, 4 and 2 Half-Bath “Luxury Lookout” with all eyes on the surf breaks at Playa Grande and the natural wonders of Las Baulas Estuary National Park.

On Homesite 19-E, Horizon Luxe is also available, a 5 Bedroom, 5 Bath, and 2 Half Bath that positions itself to overlook the river mouth, the waves of Playa Grande, and the Las Baulas Estuary winding its way through the jungle.

On Homesite 22-E, Casa Tres Vistas has just been released, a 5 bedroom, 5 Bath and 1 Half Bath home with forever-preserved, commanding views of not only Tamarindo Bay, but Playa Grande, the Las Baulas Estuary, and the mountains to the north.

And finally, the Valley Haven on Homesite 25-E, a 4 Bedroom, 4 Bath overlook with expansive valley and mountain views surrounded by nature and perfectly situated to inspire and delight as you live your best life in our coastal paradise.

Las Crestas on the Horizon

But alongside the last few opportunities in Phase 2, we’re excited to tease some news about the launch of Las Crestas, our upcoming neighborhood for Senderos. 

The release date is set and there will be more communications on this exciting new neighborhood coming soon, so we can’t share too much, but we can share this: 

Las Crestas will be the premier residential enclave in Senderos. Named for the dramatic ridgelines of its varied topography, its gate leads to winding streets, large homesites, lush vegetation, and spectacular, long coastal and jungle views. Las Crestas is serene, buffered from the main road to town and the entrance to Senderos, but is still only minutes from the beach, amenities, and attractions that make Tamarindo famous the world over.

Progress Towards a Better Senderos

And equally important, though slightly less glamorous, are the building blocks that are slowly coming into place. For example, earlier this month, our Infrastructure Team was delighted to report that the wastewater system was 95% complete in phase 2, and that we are midway through installing a potable water system and the first stages of electrical lines.

And as we put this infrastructure into place, we’re taking important steps in our role as stewards of the ecological value and natural wealth of the land Senderos will occupy. 

Those steps started with bringing in partners, Green Roots Consultants from Earth University, who we mentioned briefly last month and will cover in greater depth later in this newsletter. We’ve also brought in new members of the team to consult on environmental activities on-site, including ex-MINAE director Emel Rodriguez. 

The most important of our learnings is that creating a sustainable community isn’t just a simple checklist to tick off. There’s no “one size fits all solution”. Instead, true sustainability requires a mindset of adaptability and creativity, finding ways to preserve and enhance the natural value. 

For example, we’ve begun on-site milling of fallen trees to sustainably re-use any cleared timber. Here in the photo, we are creating rough-hewn planks out of fallen pochote trees to be used for fencing and viewing platforms, and we’ll get into further depth about these new processes in our article on sustainability.

Stay Tuned for Las Crestas

If you’d like to learn more about the last opportunities in Phase 2 and the upcoming ones with Las Crestas on the horizon, you can reach out to us at info@senderos-cr.com. And stay tuned for more news on this important launch this month!

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From the Ground Up | Sustainability in Action at Senderos

“Humans are more comfortable in nature. We love fresh air, the cool shade of a grove of trees, the sound of birds and wildlife. Many developers feel like you have to pick between human comfort or a connection to nature, but we think that creating a place where nature thrives can make people more comfortable, not less.

Curtis Peart, Managing Partner at Senderos

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Green Roots Consultants from Earth University, and the guidance of local sustainability experts, we’ve had the opportunity to look at Senderos from the ground up (literally) to understand what it really means to develop sustainably. Here’s a look at how those learnings guide the Senderos process.

The Contract We Sign With Ourselves

The land that we call Senderos has value far beyond the homes that will one day stand here. It represents a highway to the water for traveling wildlife. It is a massive source of carbon capture and air purification. And thanks to its dramatic and varied terrain from mountainside to sea, from forest to estuary, it is a snapshot of many of Guanacaste’s microbiomes. 

That’s why when we add value to the land in the form of new homes, roads, infrastructure, lighting, and amenities, we make sure that it enhances or preserves the value that was here before. In fact, starting in 2022, all homes in Senderos come with the promise that the ecological value — of carbon capture, biodiversity, and importance to the local ecosystem — has been preserved. 

Careful Cataloging is Key

This “eco-contract” process starts with careful cataloging of key factors throughout the project  — tracking water flow and reservoirs, mapping soil quality and depth, scanning topography, and surveying trees, plant, and animal life. 

This data, and the guidance of our expert partners, helps us quantify and understand the ecological value — of carbon capture, biodiversity, and wildlife hotspots — not only of Senderos in general but of each lot and home within the project.

And more importantly, it informs the actions we can take to support, shape, and “lifescape” the area to prepare it for new homes and preserve its natural value.

“Lifescaping,” not Landscaping

Coined by the minds at Earth University, lifescaping is a term that encompasses this vision for development. Lifescaping isn’t about refusing to interact with nature — after all, nature constantly changes, grows, and shifts. Instead, it is a set of principles and practices to follow to support nature as you prepare an area to welcome human life. Here are just a few examples.

Preserving Topsoil

We may walk over it every day and not notice, but natural topsoil is a hugely important resource, one which is full of millions of microorganisms and takes hundreds of years to create. 

We preserve natural topsoil in two ways. First, we take steps to guide rainwater, to encourage it to soak into the ground or penetrate into aquifers, rather than causing erosion. On the rugged terrain of the Guanacaste coast, this can be a difficult task, but it’s one that we take seriously and is a constant area of research and innovation. 

Second, as we prepare any area for construction of any kind – roads, homes, parks – we preserve the top layer of soil and store it in our “Soil Bank”. Once all work is done, we replenish the site with this valuable topsoil. 

Being Purposeful With Plant Life

Trees, shrubs, bushes, grasses, vines, flowers — plants are one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox.

They can provide shade and comfort, privacy and beauty, structure to slopes, and defense against runoff. They can provide a home, rest stop, food source, or natural highway for birds and animals, and can even repel pests, all on top of their role in carbon capture.

Because plants serve multiple functions, this gives our design team some flexibility to create a lifescape in each lot that not only preserves its ecological value but enhances the home’s beauty and homeowner experience.

Shifting From Recycling to Life-Cycling

Dedicated composting, waste management, and water treatment plans designed in tandem with our expert partners, we work to keep nutrients and water, which are the lifeblood of any ecosystem, right here on site. As our friends at Earth University say, “in nature, there is no waste.”

This extends to life-cycling our plant life as well. When trees fall, when old branches are trimmed, and when fruit-bearing or carbon-capturing trees start to decay, they can be turned into biochar, a carbon-dense, natural fertilizer created through underground baking called pyrolysis.

The carbon returns to the ground, vital nutrients fuel new plant life, and the life cycle continues.

Learnings That Last

It’s one thing to create systems that maintain the health and value of a community, but even more important is the work to ensure that they continue. 

That work starts with educating ourselves and the members of our teams, to be knowledgeable stewards as Senderos grows. And it continues in the different ways we educate and engage both our homeowners and all who visit. 

Thought-provoking art, subtle teaching points throughout the senderos, an inviting community-run garden, the cultivation of different spaces and types of natural beauty — are all ways to instill that the lifescape here is unique, inherently valuable, and worth preserving. 

A Worthwhile Challenge

The complexity of both the natural resources and terrain in Senderos provides challenges to both homebuilding and building a sustainable community. But that complexity also provides a canvas for breathtaking beauty, stunning creativity, and an incredible richness of life.

“It’s hard because you have so much to understand, and so much to try to protect on a site like this one. But that is also why it is so worth it to care. Not everyone can see that, but the people who do in fact see this end up creating a place that is good for all life — human or otherwise.”

  • Dr. B.K. Singh

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Living Young in the Longevity Lifestyle | We ? Tama

Tamarindo is on the Nicoya peninsula, which is home to the town of Nicoya, which is a Blue Zone, one of the 5 places in the world where people regularly live long and happy lives over the age of 100. 

Researchers have spent decades trying to decipher the learnings and lessons of these areas, to try to figure out the secrets of this longevity lifestyle, and perhaps most well known are the so-called Power 9 habits

These habits are the 9 unifying characteristics shared between Nicoyans and the other Blue Zones (Sardinia, Okinawa, Ikaria, and Loma Linda), and include:

  1. Move Naturally
  2. Downshift
  3. Plant Slant
  4. The 80% Rule
  5. Wine @ 5
  6. Have purpose
  7. Belong
  8. Loved Ones First
  9. Right Tribe

Now, Tamarindo is just a short way away from Nicoya, and if you look closely at the lifestyle here there are certainly some similarities. But there are also some differences between our lively town and the quieter blue zones, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

So for this edition of We ? Tama, we’re exploring which of those building blocks of longevity are in Tamarindo, even though life may burn a little brighter here than in other parts of the world. 

The Community Factors

Two aspects of Tamarindo immediately jump to mind from the list of power 9 habits — naturally active and downshift.

Tamarindo is bursting at the seams with the opportunity to be naturally active. There are the obvious options — surfing, biking, hiking, sailing — and growing communities of fitness, pickleball, tennis, golf, and a dozen other activities. 

More importantly, though, are the ways to be active throughout daily life. Whether it’s a stroll through the hills around town, a walk along trails with the dogs, or getting out to play with the kids, activity is imbued into every part of life here. 

Taking time to downshift is a massive part of the culture here too. Whether it’s choosing to de-stress through those outdoor activities, or simply moving through life with an attitude of Pura Vida, the slower, more easy-going way of life here awaits if you seek it. 

An unmentioned part of being able to downshift that all of those Blue Zone communities have is a close connection to nature. They’re not overdeveloped, don’t suffer from urban sprawl, and nature is easily accessible, which makes sense — as numerous studies show that living close to nature is better for your health.

And the Chance to Pursue the Rest

As you continue down the list of power 9 habits, the factors shift slightly from more community-based to more based on the self and your own decisions. And while you can make some generalizations about the Tamarindo lifestyle, one of the best parts about living here is the sheer variety of people. 

Can you enjoy a glass or two of Wine at 5? Certainly, as a stroll down the beach at sunset will always remind you, though a stroll back through town in the evening reminds you that the allure of the evening can certainly be a tempting one.

Can you take a plant slant with fresh, diverse whole foods in your diet? The tropical climate, incredible farmer’s markets, and local providers of fresh fish, poultry, and other protein say yes, though the delicious restaurants and creative cuisine certainly make it hard to follow the 80% rule.

Less time commuting, more time with family and plenty of available intergenerational activities make it easy to put loved ones first, and there is a youthful spirit here that can keep anyone engaged. But at the same time, Tamarindo’s wild side isn’t for everyone all the time. 

Still, no matter your age, or how you like to spend your time, it is easy to find the right tribe here in Tamarindo. This community came together from people who built this lifestyle and the people who fell in love with it, so there is a common thread between all people who choose to put down roots here. 

Is that the recipe to have purpose (also known as a plan de vida in Nicoya), and to truly belong? We think so.

A Young Town With the Building Blocks of Longevity

Tamarindo is a young town not only by population but in the grand scheme of towns as well. Each of the Blue Zones has been around for centuries, and only time will tell if the Tamarindo lifestyle will grow to reflect those tremendously long-lived regions despite the fact that life burns bright here. 

You certainly have the building blocks of a community that can support a longevity lifestyle, and the opportunity to do so is there. But there is also a spirit of never-say-die adventure and living in the moment that is vital to the heartbeat of this lively beach town, one that pulls so many of us to sing, dance, surf, and live life just a little bit closer to the edge. 

Are those the steps to the best of both worlds? Of a long life that is still full of adventure? Only time will tell.

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New Faces for the Projects to Come | Welcome to Senderos

And as we gear up for a new neighborhood and the many projects that will come alongside it, we’re happy to introduce some new members of the team as well, including Mau Varela, Rolando Castro, Raúl Talavera, and Teresita Alfaro. 

Mau Varela | Procurement Supervisor

Mau Varela joins the Senderos team from San José, where he has 25 years of expertise in construction and procurement. He’s excited to face the challenge of designing luxury homes, especially at the prospect of finding new ways to source materials and finishes for the natural modern design style here.

“I have been working in construction for 25 years, I really like supply because it is an area where you learn in each construction, thanks to the different designs, and also because new and better products come out every day. You also get to know many people, and besides, I just enjoy searching for new products in the most efficient way.”

Mau is also excited by the team being built at Senderos, and says that even in his short time here, he’s found “friendly colleagues and a great vibe!”

In his spare time, you can find Mau out hiking, mountain biking, or doing pretty much anything in nature.

Rolando Castro | Project Manager

Rolando joins the Senderos team after more than a decade of living in Tibás, San José, where he has worked for over a decade first on logistics and then as a project manager for the construction sector, both in public and private projects.

As an avid outdoorsman, he’s excited to take his experience to Senderos, with the opportunity to help create truly impressive dream homes in a town of Tamarindo that he calls “incomparable.”

“I am definitely very excited about the possibility of helping our clients build the house of their dreams in a place like Tamarindo. I love being able to be closer to nature, and to do so many things I couldn’t do in San José!”

In his spare time, you can find Rolando hiking, biking, mountaineering, diving… anything to do outside!

Raúl Talavera | Resident Engineer in Training

Raúl was born in Nicaragua, but moved to Costa Rica when he was young, and has lived in Costa Rica for 27 years. His experience is primarily in civil engineering, having worked in budgets, purchasing, and as the director of public infrastructure projects as well as luxury real estate. 

Raúl sees his work at Senderos as a chance to learn from talented colleagues, and contribute to an exciting project.

“I’m super excited to be able to contribute to the Senderos team in everything that is necessary, I always consider myself a team player, and we’re working on some amazing things here!”

In his spare time, you can often catch Raúl at his local gym, where he’s an avid Crossfitter and trains upwards of 4x per week.

Teresita Alfaro | Customer Advocate

Teresita grew up in Escazu, San Jose, but used to spend most of her school vacations and free time in Guanacaste with her mother’s side of the family. 

She brings more than 15 years of experience to her role as a customer advocate, including experience at numerous international companies and as a project manager at the British Embassy. For Teresita, her new role at Senderos is an exciting one. 

“I like working at Senderos as it is a customer-oriented company with a great working culture. This company understands that the best way to take care of their customer is taking care of their employees first.”

In her free time, Teresita loves spending time with her 14-year-old son and with friends, whether that’s going out to the movies, hiking, or just enjoying time at home.

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Perdido en la Salsa | The Tamarindo Almanac

There is a wild side to Tamarindo, a wide-eyed beauty, a decadent joy that you can only know if you’ve let it sweep you off your feet on a night of food and drink, of song and dance, of music and magic, those nights when the stars shine bright and the sun races around the earth to come up again before you even realize it was getting late. 

You could try to learn about the soul of Tamarindo in the quiet hallways of a museum, between the pages of a book. You could watch it on your screen, listen to it in the stories of friends, even ride through the town with the breeze washing through your hair and try to pick it out among the smells and sounds. But it is never more real and more powerful than when you are eating, drinking, and dancing the night away.

Try to look too closely and tease out all the strands that make up the nightlife in Tamarindo and your head will spin. There are Guanecastecans, there are the Tamarindo locals, there are the chepeños from the capital, and the carribeños from the opposite coast. Surfers flow up from the central and Nicoyan Pacific, and visitors fly in from Los Estados and all of Latin America, jump the puddle from Europe, and pop over the border from Nicaragua, all pilgrims to the restaurants, the bars, the nightclubs, the dance halls, the fiestas, the ranchos

They come together over merengue and bachata and salsa and cumbia and reggaeton and perreo and electrónica and pop and rap and reggae and calypso and rock latino and that grand amorphous mass that is pop/rock americano. On special days they dance Punto Guanacasteco, or solo tradicional, y tal y tal y tal y tal…

Tico, Guanacasteco, Chorotega, Español, Boruqueño, Nicaragüense, Argentino, Chileno, Africano, Caribeño, Mexicano, Gringo, Europeo. Add in the food and you have eleven different nations of influencias Asiatico, and los lugares veganos y típicos y saludable, all the way down to the vendors selling chicken on a stick that you heard from a friend used to be iguana way back in the day…

That many different ingredients have no right to flow together so well. Or maybe the fact that they do says something. All of those people, those chefs, the mixers and mixologists and the musicians and the masses who join them in celebration… Among every unique story, dance, and dish of those pilgrims there’s a shared language of love, adventure, escape, and heightened emotion. 

Somewhere between the traditional and the traditionless, between the songs of the decade and the songs that have been here for decades, between the Tamarindo-born and the Tamarindo-bound and the Tamarindo-borrowed, there’s something truly universal that comes to life and grabs a hold of you, makes you want to dance and sing and celebrate, and leaves you bleary-eyed and exhausted at the end of the evening wondering exactly what just came over you. 

You can call it being overcome by some holy spirit, or swept up in collective humanity. You can say you lost yourself in the music, or danced till you dropped, or just let loose and felt all your worries wash away.

But our favorite way to describe it is this: you stepped onto the evening streets of Tamarindo, and like everyone else willing to listen, taste, and join in, you became perdido en la salsa.

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