SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA 🇨🇷: MAN & BEAST

“Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” 
 Leo Tolstoy

9mar19. San Jose, Costa Rica 🇨🇷

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SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: EN EL PARQUE

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8mar19. San Jose, Costa Rica.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: A SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE

Sunday morning scenes at a street market

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A school built in 1890.

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My own mind is my own church. ~ Thomas Paine
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“A sense of humor is essentially a sense of perspective. It is an understanding that comes from a true sense of proportion. Humor is not a matter of laughing at things, but of understanding them. At its highest it is a part of understanding life. It is an ability to see ourselves as we are, and to smile at the comic figure that the biggest of us cuts in strutting across life’s stage.”
Nivard Kinsella
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Hall of Justice
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In hotels we are invisible to our neighbors. 
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“Monsanto Kills.” ~ The worst company on Earth.

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On a skate ramp.

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The lives that lurk within…

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“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Jungle in the city. Was lost, then I was found.

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3mar19. San Jose, Costa Rica.

DAY TRIPS FROM SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: DAY TRIP TO Irazú VOLCANO

They say it’s hit or miss when you take the trip to see the main crater of the Irazú Volcano ~ some days it’s clear, and other days, it isn’t. Sad to say that on the day I went, it was invisible to the human eye. Nothing but clouds as far as my eye could see. The cool thing is that it is the tallest volcano in Costa Rica standing at 11,260 feet (3,432 meters,) so it was a good feeling no matter what to ‘have my head in the clouds.’

Regardless of my experience, I am going to provide you with up-to-date travel and cost information for a day trip from San Jose to the volcano. I’ll also post photos I took to give you a good laugh, and also, at the bottom, I’ll show you  a pic borrowed from wikipedia that shows you what you should see, and what you want to see, when you plan this trip.

Public Transportation: Daily from San Jose and Cartago. Catch the bus across Avenida 2 from the National Theater (Teatro Nacional) at 8:00am (only ONE departure per day!) or at 8:30am at the Tierra Blanca stop in Cartago. Bus leaves the volcano at 12:30pm. About $5 pp round trip (2,515 colones is what I paid for a one-way from SJ) + $15 park admission. I paid that in colones (about 9,125). 

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For perspective, between the sign and the front bus door, you can faintly see the National Theater. Also, on the actual sign, you can see in faded red lettering: “Volcan Irazu.” This bus departs one time daily from San Jose at 8am.

The bus ride made the whole trip worth it for me as I was able to get some cool shots out of the bus window with my camera, and I was able to see more of what surrounds San Jose. The bus stops a few times on the way, the main one being in Cartago, and the stops are quite seamless and not troublesome at all. The volcano is about 53kms from San Jose, so if you travel by car, you’d probably make it in about an hour. The bus takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

*Important Note! Getting on the bus to return at 12:30pm, you pay less than you do for the first ticket you buy to come to the volcano (the return ticket is about 2,000 colones, I think.) I didn’t know why, until…The bus didn’t return us to San Jose. Rather, it dropped us in Cartago and we had to walk a few blocks to a bus terminal and catch another bus that would take us on the final leg back to San Jose. This cost 625 colones (just over $1 usd). 

Once you arrive at the park, the bus driver has you disembark to pay the man in the ‘tollbooth’ for your admission ticket, and then you get back on the bus, ticket in hand, and the bus takes you to your final stop. This is where the bus will remain for the duration of your time there, so, at 12:15pm, try to get back to the bus because it departs at 12:30pm sharp. 

It’s a very short walk to the path that takes you to the crater. No hiking is involved on this route at all, and within 5 minutes, you are there:IMG_4719

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Somewhere in there is a beautiful crater. Just trust me. 
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I mean, could I have picked a worse day to try to see the crater?! Answer: No.
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On the way to the main crater, there is volcanic ash everywhere. Looks like an alien surface.
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Sorry, I’ve got nothing for you…Just F O G .
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It’s tough to look at this photo, realizing that this beautiful scene was covered by clouds and fog on the day I was there. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry. This photo is from wikipedia, photog unknown.

General Information:                                                                                                                        

Public restrooms: Yes, and they are maintained quite well.
Shopping: Gift shop with coffee, snacks, and every type of souvenir.
ATMs: No, not that I saw.
Gas stations: No (nearest is in Potrero Cerrado 20 mins from crater)
Cell Phone Reception: Yes, reliable.
Restaurants: No
Nearest medical facilities: Hospital in Cartago (1 hour)                                                           Best Time to Visit: December through May, but can be visited all year round, *except February 25, 2019*, obviously)                                                                           Wear: The change in temperature from first stepping onto the bus in San Jose to arriving at the peak, is real. Wear pants, shoes (no sandals), a hat, and a windbreaker or sweatshirt. At least have them on hand, or you’ll be tempted to waste about $60 on gear in the gift shop. (I didn’t do it, but I definitely stared longingly at a nice windbreaker with a hood.)

So, you could say my trip was a bit of a bust, BUT, as I mentioned earlier, I did get some nice shots along the way. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Have a look below:

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It’s something special to feel this high above it all, in the clouds.
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Quaint villages mark the route from Cartago to Irazú.
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A ‘farm store’ in Cartago.
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In the clouds.
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Field workers.
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Charming Red House of Worship in Cartago.
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Sufficiently immersed in clouds as we ascend towards our final destination.

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25feb19. Cartago & Irazú Volcano, Costa Rica. 

I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I’ll be hanging around San Jose for a little while longer…

 

 

 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA POLITIKS & GRAFFITI: “REBELLION”

My journey to becoming a global documenter of graffiti and street art began back in Bogota, Colombia in 2012. It was all of the words scrawled and stenciled on the walls all over the city that prompted a keen interest within me. Two things happened: My Spanish improved quickly (because I had to go home and translate the words into English) and secondly, I got a sense almost overnight of the political issues of the disenfranchised elements of society within the country.

Realizing that graffiti had the power to communicate important messages and concerns of ordinary citizens, I began to pay close attention to the writings on the walls all over the world. It’s amazing what you can see when you look. It’s amazing what you can hear when you listen. It’s amazing what you can understand when you open your heart.  

Once the foundation of my passion was set, my documentation progressed to all genres of street art including murals, stickers, sculptures, wheat pastes, everything and anything, that I judged to be making a statement of some kind in a public arena. 

Since 2012, this blog has grown exponentially and one series in particular, the “Politiks of Graffiti” series featuring street art images I’ve collected around the world, combined with the weekly list covering the current state of the U.S. government compiled by activist Amy Siskind, has garnered a lot of interest and has a bit of a following on Twitter. It’s important to note that I cover all forms of political statements I discover in public art. It’s unfortunate that it just so happens, the current “P.O.G” is heavily laden with visual commentary of ’45.’ I would love for it to be something else, or something more, and I believe it will be, eventually. 

In the future, I plan to do a book of “Graffiti and Global Politics,” or something like that, using the images I’ve collected around the world in the past decade. 

That being said, I am currently in San Jose, Costa Rica and the walls are rife with political statements. 

Please check them out below: 

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On the very first day I arrived in San Jose, I saw this stencil on walls, on roads (literally, I was crossing the street, looked down, and this image was stenciled on the road!), and here at a bus stop. I researched to find out that this man is Oscar Arias. He is a former President of Costa Rica and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He’s been accused of sexual assault by a nuclear disarmament activist. VIOLADOR is RAPIST in Spanish. 
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These two stencils are about domestic violence and oppression of the poor. On the left: “If he insults you, he doesn’t love you. If he hits you, don’t stay.” On the right: “The rich abort the dying poor.” 
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“The revolution will be feminist or it will not be.” I take it to mean that the revolution must be run by women, because if it isn’t. then there won’t be one at all. 
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“There are bullets and good decisions.”
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“They infuse terror and want forgiveness.”
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“Welcome Migrants”
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“My body does not want your opinion.”
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“The rich abort the dying poor.”
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“Against patriarchal and capitalist violence, our deep rebellion.”
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“The earth is feminist.”
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I’m not sure about this translation: “Outside rosaries of our ovaries.” It definitely has something to do with telling men that they don’t make decisions for women and their bodies. 

11/12/13/14/15FEB2019 San Jose, Costa Rica.