Ever wonder about the origins of the people living here in Costa Rica?
Do you want to learn more of the folklore and traditions?
Do you want a crafted souvenir that's NOT "MADE IN CHINA"?
Well you can! A visit to the village of the indigenous Boruca is a very do-able day trip. You can see weaving and dyeing demonstrations as well as mask carving. There are 2 routes. Both require a 4 WD vehicle, go south from Costa Ballena (Dominical/Uvita) on the Costanera to Palmar Norte. Turn left on Hwy. 2, head north about 25 minutes /25 km., passing 4 bridges (the fourth is a long bridge over Rio Puerto Nuevo). A few minutes later, there is the sign “Territorio Indigena Boruca” 8 km. (In January 2020, I noticed the sign was knocked down, and there is a painted TV satellite dish on the left hand side. So just keep a eye out for the first turning on the left after you cross that large, long bridge). In the dry season, turn left here, this will take about 20 minutes and has beautiful ridge views.
At the T junction, turn on the lower left and go 50 meters to the museum and park there. Marina, who does the demonstrations, (in Spanish only), is in the rancho between the museum and the Civic Center. You can purchase woven and carved goods.
During the wet season, do not turn off at the first sign, but continue north about 15 -20 minutes/23km more, having passed the right turn to San Vito, turn left at 'Territorio Indigena Terraba'. After 10 minutes on this road, there is a Y junction, with Flaco’s Bar on the right. Take the left fork, then bear right at the white church. Continue on this road about 20 minutes passing villages, you will come to a T junction with a very small blue grocery store on the right. Turn left and follow this road 5 min. until you come to the museum with the stone sphere in front to the left, then Marina’s rancho.
See the photos below, times have changed in the village, the road in the town center is now paved, and the environmental branch of the government will not longer let them cut palm leaves for the roofs of the houses. Marinas is now shiny metal, but still has the thatched roof over her gift shop. The second row of photos show the stone sphere at the museum , the sign at the parking area on the right, and Marina's house with new roof.
It’s best to call before if you are wanting mask carving and/or weaving and dyeing demonstration and lunch. The demonstrations each are $20 per group and lunch is available for $10 per person. A guide (Spanish) to see the village is $20. Call Marina (Spanish only) at 8704-8179 or Susie (English) 8381-4369. Susie is now doing guided tours in English, see the tab "TOURS".
***Click on photo's to enlarge.
Center of town, new changes, road is paved just this small section and roofs are changing from thatch to metal. Marina's house with its new look !
Photo's taken January 2020.
Museum Car Park Next door to Museum Marina's
If you cannot make the long drive to Boruca-land, you can shop at the Boruca Gallery Gift Shop, located at Pacific Edge Eco Lodge, just south of Playa Dominical. 4 kms. south of Dominical you pass over the small bridge of Dominicalito, another 100 meters on the left hand side is the turning to Pacific Edge Cabins. The turning is just before the restaurant 'La Parcela' on the right and 'La Macha' on the left. When you turn at the large yellow painted rocks with the signage for Pacific Edge, continue up this steep road only one kilometer, they are the first place on the left hand side
Best to call or text before you come as there are now new managers that are not always there. That number is +506 8624 6116 (Kristi). Gallery Hours are Monday thru Saturday (no Sundays, please)
10 AM - 4 PM.
The Borucan’s, are very proud to have survived the struggles between the native tribes and Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s with their village and sense of identity intact. While many indigenous tribes consider themselves to have been defeated by the Spanish, Boruca demonstrates that a tribe cannot be defeated if its culture is still alive today. Boruca is very much alive and fighting to preserve their identity.
Don Ismael, one of the elders, was the only living person to have been declared a 'cultural patron of the country'. In the early 70's he revived mask carving, as it was a dying art. Don (an esteemed title similar to 'sir') Ismael devoted his life to keeping the cultural heritage of their ancestors alive and also developing a means to generate income for the community.
Boruca is built on faith in the wisdom of elders and the Borucan legends they tell, passed down for centuries. The identity of Boruca reflects a deep respect for the stories told, the nature that surrounds them, and the community they share. Thru their crafts, daily life in Boruca is focused on cultural preservation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:
SUSAN ATKINSON (ENGLISH)..011-506-8381 4369 (COSTA RICA)
OR.... MARINA LAZARO (SPANISH)..011-506-8704 8179 (BORUCA DE COSTA RICA)
BOTH NUMBERS ARE ON WHATSAPP +506