~ by Dagmar Reinhard
Darrel Simonson is from Saskatoon in western Canada.
There he was raised, married very young, and had three boys. At times he held 3 jobs to make ends meet. After working in various fields, he joined a multinational trucking group specializing in Moving & Storage Management. 20 years later he culminated his career as the VP of Sales and Marketing in Toronto.
Stressed by the workload, he realized a change was needed. In 1995 Randy Burns, his friend and longtime Dominical resident, invited him to Costa Rica. Both bought motorcycles and explored the South. The Coastal Highway did not yet exist, making it more adventurous. When Darrel met Jack Ewing (the current owner of Hacienda Barú), he was introduced to the real estate business and started working at South Coast Realty.
Communication meant driving to San Isidro to send faxes, since at that time there were no phones.
San Clemente (today Patrons) had a satellite dish and was the only place to get news. Darrel especially remembers Hurricane Cesar July 1996. The storm cut off the South and took many lives. His office was used as a medical center and medicines were flown in. A young pregnant woman from Hatillo came by horseback to give birth. There were complications, and like a miracle a helicopter landed in the soccer field with a doctor on board.
Darrel spent years in San Jose building affordable housing projects, but never lost sight of his roots on the Ballena Coast and continued selling property there. Not all was “Pura Vida”. Darrel became very ill and spent 4 months hospitalized in San Jose. There, he experienced a Costa Rican policy “Fix first – pay later.”
He was given a 20% chance of survival:
“They saved my life”. He was amazed by the great people he met. Darrel now lives in Ojochal where he is happy to bring a lifetime of experiences to one of the most recognized names in Real Estate, Century 21 Ballena Properties.
He will be your best advisor on what to “buy” and how to “build” on the Ballena Coast.
INFO: Darrel Simonson – C21 & Ballena Homes