Death and snorkeling in Costa Rica

Brahman cattle in Costa RIca

Humped Brahman cattle

In this part of Costa Rica, you see new beasts. New to a North Carolina lad, anyway.

It’s Don from Piedmont Pine Coffins checking in. I’m on a sojourn at the jungle tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. While I’m away, my design partner John Jull will be making and delivering the coffins. Thank you, John!

Nicoya is northern Pacific Costa Rica. Here, the rural small town of Cobano — “only two generations old,” one resident told me — has the feel of a work in progress.

“What happens when you die here?” I’ve been asking around. People aren’t certain. The doctors at the clinic arrange things, one man told me. Another said there is a man who transports bodies on the ferry to the nearest city. (Have to meet him!) But there is no funeral home in Cobano, and definitely not in Montezuma, the tourist beach down the mountain.

army ants in Costa Rica

“They clean in the corners, and then they leave.”

For now, I’m keeping my eyes open for new beasts, like the brahman cattle that have the fortitude to last through the dry season. Or the army ants with their ferocious sting. “When they come,” says one woman from Pochote, “open all the doors and get out of the way. They clean up the floor and in the corners, and then they leave.”

Death and snorkeling in Costa Rica

This trip to Costa Rica follows on another from last year to Belize. Damned if making coffins doesn’t put you in mind to “Do All The Things Now,” as death-positive friend Alisa Esposito from Pittsboro, NC puts it in a post on Facebook.

She says she waited 20 years to have a certain experience. The wait was too long.

“Long time coming! I snorkeled this morning and later today and again tomorrow and as often as possible and as long as I have a body that is able. Life ends, and at any minute. DO ALL THE THINGS NOW.”

Thank you, Alisa! I aim to snorkel.

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