July of 2019 was the first visitation to the property after making the decision to purchase the land and the house. The situation that immediately confronted us was the continuous torrential rains of the summer wet season, and never-ending mud and erosion around the house, driveway and just about everywhere.
With the assistance of Randy Miller, we were able to establish a working relationship with Jairon and the crew of guys that would be able to assist us with the purchasing of materials, digging pits and trenches, moving rocks, mixing and pouring concrete, etc…
A few useful definitions;
- Cuneta These are pre-cast concrete forms that have a U-Shape and are used to capture and channel water flows. For Casa Armonía, typically the 8-inch version of cuneta is the most practical size and therefore the most commonly used throughout the property.
- Alcanteria These are pre-cast concrete forms that are a full concrete pipe. Alcanterias come in many sizes, and are used when water needs to be channeled under the ground surface. On the property we typically use the 6-inch, 8-inch or 12-inch versions depending upon the situation.
Costa Rica Work Crew (July 2019)
- Jairon (crew leader)
- Jonathan (big Jonathan)
- Stepson of Big Jonathan (forgot the guy’s name – good kid)
- Jonathan (“the younger” – our steady regular who has been with us through all major events so far)
- Austin (a really nice kid about 20 years old at the time. Typically works with his family as a bread maker in the city of Cartago).
- Luis Piojo – technically not part of the work crew, but operates the backhoe/bulldozer machine. We are very grateful to have a working relationship with Luis Piojo.
Some notable achievements for the July 2019 trip
- Purchase of Shipping Container (Dimension 20 Feet in length) and the construction of four cement pillars to hold the container off of the ground
- Construction of a concrete platform under the house to be used to store the propane gas tanks that provide hot water for the kitchen and shower. Previously both tanks were under the house and propped up with a rock or a little mound of dirt, or just kind of laying around haphazard.
- With the assistance of Luis Piojo, the parking lot behind the house was significantly expanded to allow for sufficient space for two cars to be parked securely, which also freed up space to allow for more easy access in and out of the parking lot. This action in itself required a cost, but has paid dividends ever since. Large trucks that are full of materials can now bring shipments directly to the top of the hill where the house is located. These large trucks now have room to maneuver and turn around if necessary. Something that just becomes so important as the rains and associated mud can just turn everything into a slippery mushy goo of a mess.
- On the southside of the house, began construction of a stone walkway that leads to the front entrance and a water drainage system with 6-inch and 8-inch cunetas and several 6-inch alcanterias.
- Installation of three ceiling fans, one in each bedroom and a larger unit in the main living space
- Installation of safety deposit boxes in both bedrooms