Support local Costa Rican 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. Learn about our local entrepreneurs below!

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.

Learn how to make empanadas with Maribel! Visit Maribel’s house and learn how to make bread Tico style in her traditional adobe oven.

  • Cost: $20 per person. Group rates available.
  • Duration: Allow about 2 hours for the tour.
  • 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 Restaurant – 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. This year she finally received her permit to open an official restaurant. Right on the Venado Plaza, this is a great way to get in your rice and beans while also spending time in the local community. Patricia’s menu is much more than just gallo pinto though. It features many local favorites like ceviche, shrimp, roasted chicken, and even hamburgers!

Come enjoy lunch or dinner! Reservations are definitely not required but please let us know if you have a larger group using the button below.

  • Cost: Approx $10 a plate
  • Location: Venado Plaza (Soccer Field) – CLICK HERE for Google Map.

Ox Cart Tour – Get to the beach in style!

Join Gerardo (locally known as Chayul) on an authentic ox cart ride and enjoy a truly local experience. From Venado’s plaza, through the luscious jungle, and ending at the serene beach of Venado, Chayul will take you on a cultural experience unlike any other. Bring a cooler of beer, surfboards, food – whatever will fit! Make sure to also bring plenty of sun protection and water.

  • Cost: $20/person, 6 People Max. Not recommended for children under 5.
  • Location: Starts from Venado Plaza (Soccer Field) – CLICK HERE for Google Map. Goes down to the Venado beach and returns to the plaza.
  • Duration: 4 hours. If you would like to leave early from the beach, just let Chayul know. It takes about 35 minutes to get from the plaza to the beach. The tour must happen at low tide to safely get around the rising swell.

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). They will walk you over to the community center right next door to get your boards. CLICK HERE for Google Map.