What’s in a name? In the case of our company, I’ve heard comments about the name “Guys in the Zone” that range from: “not professional” to “that’s cool”. It all came about quite innocently. Spend any time at all in The Zone, and you’ll hear the term “The Zone” somewhere. We are a string of small towns and neighborhoods all along the southern pacific coastline of Costa Rica. From just north of Dominical, let’s say from Portalon south to Palmar Norte.
The area around Dominical (named after a type of short banana called a dominico) caters to a large degree to tourism. Dominical beach is world famous for its consistent break and is a challenge for the best of surfers. So in Dominical you’ll find lots of surf shops, surf camps, surf schools and surfers from all over the world. There are a few restaurants and gift shops as well.
There is a rather large-ish flat area around Dominical that is currently undefined. I suspect that in time it will house various services and shops for the tourism industry: restaurants, hotels, shops, tours etc… But the area really isn’t that large. And, the area is finite. It has the Baru river on one side, and it has the coastal mountain range running at an angle that pinches the usable flat area down to a configuration of a slice of pizza. There is room for growth there in Dominical, but not much.
The room for growth is in Uvita (meaning- little grape). The coastal mountain range that snugs up against the beach at Dominical, runs parallel to the ocean along the zone between Dominical and Uvita. At Uvita, the coastal mountain range angles inland and then comes back toward the ocean. This results in a triangular rim of mountains creating a bowl-like configuration around the flats that are Uvita. But that’s not all.
Right at about that point, where the ridge runs inland forming a triangle, there is a complimentary triangle of land jutting out into the ocean that is then adorned by Uvita’s famous Whale’s Tail. These two triangles of land, laying as they are, side by side, form a diamond, well – loosely speaking. But the point is (no pun intended) that the area around Uvita is vast in comparison to the flat usable area around Dominical, which leads us to the point (eh…) that Uvita gives all indicators of being the area where commercial, social and cultural happenings will be centered in the future.
This is important to the topic of real estate and investment concerns. Early recognition of a trend can help to position oneself well for future payoffs.
Uvita is an interesting study in the melding of several cultures. European, Canadian and United States-ian cultures converge here with the existing Costa Rican culture. I can’t say the existing “indigenous” culture since even the Ticos (Costa Rican’s) are European transplants, much like North Americans.
The Ticos seem to have an amazing tolerance for noise. Our Guys in the Zone office is located right in the heart of Uvita, on the coastal highway. The coastal highway is the main artery through Costa Rica now, connecting Nicaragua to the north, with Panama to the south. Consequently there are lots of trucks using this highway. Some trucks use the Panamericana Highway (which runs through the middle of the country), but most use the coastal highway through the main center of Uvita. The trucks themselves are not the problem. What causes the problem is the fact that the drivers like to use their jake breaks as they pass through town, often at a higher than desired speed.
Now, to any civilized member of the human family, this borders on the ridiculous. These guys know that they are passing through an area of business, families going about their day and life in general going on – all of which is interrupted as we wait for them to pass through town with their truck blazing out the most obnoxious of noises. This is what it sounds like:
There’s even a “No Jake Brakes” sign hanging across the highway in Dominical, but truck drivers either can’t read it or don’t care.
Now, I’ll grant you that some of the more professional minded Ticos, such as the restaurant owners, will roll their eyes in frustration at the racket, but for every one of them that responds this way, there is someone whooping and waving to the truck drivers in greeting.
From where Rod & I sit in our front row office, Uvita could be one of the most beautiful little coastal hamlets in the world. Everything grows here, especially the truly exotic varieties of flora that the Earth has to offer. Why the town resembles more of a strip mall than an exotic tropical oasis is a bit difficult to understand. So, we weren’t surprised today when we received the request to post this announcement in our window:
“United We Can Achieve” – The Development Association of Uvita invites you to the Community Center of Uvita Costa Rica. Important issues on the agenda:
- Local control of ocean park entrances
- The Boulevard – control truck speed & beautify the Costanera in Uvita
“The Boulevard” idea for the Coastal Highway is something that has got me a bit excited. There is enough room to run a center area down the highway that can be planted with Almendra trees, that produce a type of almond. These are the type of trees that make lots of shade and are the main, if not the only, food for Scarlet McCaws.
One of the strengths of The Zone is there are many people from different parts of the world. We talk to most of them on a regularly basis, and to an individual, they want to create an active, beautiful life here. Whatever growth Uvita experiences, moving forward, it’s nice to know that industrialization will be met with a vibrant and educated counter force. That’s just some of the latest news for Uvita, Costa Rica. If you want to know about all of the latest gossip and goings on, you have to take the plunge and make Uvita your home.