Venado, Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a small rural village of about 330 people. This quiet fishing town lies on the Pacific Coast and includes a large wildlife reserve surrounding the Nandamojo River and estuary. Like most rural villages, Venado has central plaza with a soccer field, school and pulpería. Interestingly, churches in Venado aren’t in the main plaza making soccer the center of attention.
Being just outside of the current tourism belt in Guanacaste, a higher level of poverty is noticed in comparison to other local towns. Historically, transportation out of Venado is restricted and most of its’ population has lived there for many generations resulting in many large extended families. Generally, most people have a couple little wooden shacks on their property for different branches of their family, or their family lives just next door. Because of this, Venado is almost seen as one big family – everyone knows each other and looks out for one another. In our Local Foods Community Survey families were asked if they sell their produce – most responded that it was only for their family and they gifted the rest to other families and friends in Venado. Companionship is also demonstrated in Venado’s friendly soccer games held four times a week. Anyone can play in these games no matter what their age or gender.