Immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture while supporting local families!
Clara Vista works with local community members to create their own businesses and support their families. In 2017, we hosted a 6-week training program on entrepreneurship led by Aprende y Emprende. During the course, 15 women created business plans for their own initiatives. Since then, the Municipality of Santa Cruz has hosted monthly meetings with the women to check in on their projects and provide a forum to discuss their challenges. In addition, we support local initiatives through grant-writing and providing microloans.
This year, we’ve started to host tours of Venado where you can experience the typical Costa Rican life ; not only you get to learn about the culture but you are also invited to be part of the locals’ lives and share a unique moment with them. Learn about our tours and local entrepreneurs below!
Tours of Venado
Venado is counting more and more entrepreneurs everyday, especially women. Some of them -such as Maribel, Patricia, and Chayul- are the main actors of the tours of Venado that we organize. All of these entrepreneurs will be delighted to interact with you and offer their services. If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry! Send us an email or come to the Community Center and we’ll be happy to help you.
Maribel’s Bakery – Learn how to make empanadas!
Clara Vista helped several women in Venado apply for a grant to start their own business with support from the Santa Cruz Municipality. Out of hundreds of applicants, Maribel was one of the three grant winners in the Guanacaste region! With the grant, she was able to purchase a new oven and flour mill to start her own bakery. She now sells delicious baked goods to nearby markets – you can buy them right at Juanita’s pulperia on the Venado soccer field or order them directly from her!
Learn how to make empanadas with Maribel! Book one of our tours to visit Maribel’s house and learn how to make bread Tico style in her traditional adobe oven.
- Location: Maribel’s house – CLICK HERE for Google Map. We can also arrange someone to meet you at the Community Center on the Venado soccer field
Patricia’s typical food – Eat like a local!
We call Patricia the “Mother Hen” of Venado – she has been cooking for community events for decades. On top of this, Patricia has been the Secretary of the Venado’s Neighbors Association and has donated countless hours to community projects. Place your order and stop by her house to get food to take away! Patricia’s menu is much more than just gallo pinto (typical Costan Rican rice and beans). It features many local favorites like ceviche, shrimp, roasted chicken, and even hamburgers!
Come enjoy lunch or dinner!
- Cost: Approx $10 a plate
- Location: Near Venado Plaza (Soccer Field)
Ox Cart Tour – Get around Venado in style!
Join Gerardo (locally known as Chayul) on an authentic ox cart ride and enjoy a truly local experience. Book your tour of Venado and Chayul will take you on a cultural experience unlike any other! Whether you go through the luscious jungle or to the serene beach of Venado, you’ll definitively have some stories to tell when you go back home.
Rent surfboards hand-made from local surfers
Who knew surfboards could promote community, environment, health, and small business?? The Surf Mentor Program does just that. In January 2015, Gary Stone (an affiliate and co-founder of Clara Vista) taught 15 surfers how to build and repair surfboards. The boards are available at our community center for the community to share and to rent to tourists.
Please note you will be liable for any board repairs!
- Cost: $20/day per board
- Location: Inquire at Juanita’s market on the Venado Plaza (Soccer Field), or at the Community Center. They will walk you over to the Community Center right next door to get your boards. CLICK HERE for Google Map.
Rachel’s Salon – Get a haircut!
After sitting classes to become a professional hairdresser, Rachel decided to open her own Hairdressing Salon! Talented and kind, she now offers her services to Venado and the surroundings. Whether you want a simple haircut or something more fancy, she will be happy to attend you.
Silvia’s beauty business – Get your nails painted!
Mother of 4 daughters, Silvia has been painting nails for many years. Whether you want to come to her house or have her come to yours, she will make herself available. Silvia has completed nail courses in Santa Cruz and has many different choices of quality paint!
- Cost: $5