One of the highlights of the recent Rose Charities Conference in San Gerardo de Rivas was the book launch of “Senderos Campesinos” a local history written in the form of spoken word from countless interviews with the older folks from around here. Originally from the famous coffee-growing region of Los Santos they travelled here beginning in the 1930’s to seek out suitable land for coffee-growing. Attracted no doubt by Chirripo and the surrounding high terrain many stayed here and the book describes their first years, the way of life and endless anecdotes of their times as settlers in this fertile region.
The book was written by Melissa Rojas who holds a Master’s in sustainable tourism and is herself from Perez Zeledon, and now is an adopted resident in San Gerardo (see her at the office of the Aguas Eternas!). She carried on the job of interviewing the oldest members of the community from Amelia Garita who started the project in 2011 with Jenny Moss. The idea is to collect and preserve the story of those who settled here going on a century ago, and remember how people lived and invented before civilization arrived in these parts.
The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs donated by Don Rogelio Fonseca and Don Beto Elizondo as well as the art of Carmen Monge which can also be viewed at Arte Mia in Los Angeles.
You can get a copy of the book at the village store: Abastecedor Las Nubes, at Café Bambu on the weekends or at various hotels. Price: 5,000 colones.