"You have to be into it or you won’t last.” This is certainly correct in the case of Overton Pratt and Michelle DiCogno, an expat couple living in Cinco Ventanas. After seeing the discovery show “Edible Adventures”, filmed in Costa Rica, they felt a call to come and volunteer at the Permaculture Farm called Punta Mona. Thinking that they wouldn’t last a week, they stayed over six weeks. Both have a lot in common, a huge interest in plants and interestingly, both of their grandparents owned nurseries. Later on, visiting a friend in Uvita, they recognized that this was the place they had dreamt of and 10 years later relocated here. The adventure in Costa Rica
Overton is passionate about snakes and has created a Facebook page called “Snake Identification Costa Rica” with over 3,300 members. He has participated in local snake education programs and distributed handouts, in Spanish and English. He even does house calls for snake relocation.
Michelle keeps busy transforming their upper yard from lawn to medicinal and culinary herb gardens, and the lower part into gardens for large medicinal plants, medicinal trees and fruit trees, pineapple, and banana groupings. She spends time making herbal teas, concoctions and decoctions, tinctures, essential oils, drying herbs and splitting herbal plants to share, and created a collection of over 100 orchids purchased from local vendors. Michelle says, “I have met some of my best friends through plants”.
They volunteer with beach cleanups, the Family Support Center of Ojochal, and after Hurricane Nate’s great flood they cleaned up fincas and houses. Both help with the annual local “Spelling Bee” and Michelle tutors English once a week at Escuela Tortuga. She continues with Spanish lessons to improve her communication with locals. They love to purchase local produce at the weekly farmers markets.
Expats can find so many activities in this tropical paradise, Costa Rica offers a lot of landscapes and opportunities for shaping your own adventure.
By Annie Drake
CONTACT: Michelle DiCogno Facebook – Overton Pratt Facebook Group Snake Identification Costa Rica