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Colors of Sepecue

AS I ride on the bus on a two hr ride from San Jose, Costa Rica to the Caribbean side of Limón. I´m excited to get to my destination. Is still very early in the morning, the ride will go through Guapiles, Siquirres and to Central Limon… Rural areas full of prairies and cattle start to change once the City is closer; Limon was one of the main provinces in CR to have tons of job opportunities with Banana Companies and such during the 80´s and 90´s. But when the company moved out all did with it, wood houses in those bright colors tell you is a different part from Costa Rica kinda of a mini Jamaica indeed. But my trip this time wasn´t to the beach to those white sand coast, coconut smells and Rastas everywhere. My trip was to another part of this province far enough almost meeting Panama. From Limon- Bríbrí and to Surekta that’s the coast of the Telire River…this river divided Panama and Cr.

It had been a long long ride on bus from Bríbrí and now we were almost on the shores of the river…Old roads that once had been the only way to get there…old train trails and still the main tunnel..this bus was an old 80´s type of school bus, on it families all from Suretka, Bríbrí and areas of Talamanca. Sounds of Chickens, the weather was hot so hot that you felt your face melting. Body odors that you wished didn’t exist lol. But as soon as we reached the River the breeze brought with it that refreshing feeling, it’s a wide river, on the coasts Banana plants on them blue bags to ripe the Fruit.

Our ride had arrived a long wood boat waiting to get full of people at least 20. The ride wasn´t that long we had to cross down river to sepecue.

Our 6 day stay will be at our friend’s house a little far from the main street of the town. Walking through a little forest and prairie to get to the house. And there It was, 2 houses placed together on high foundations, the floor of wood would sound with the steps on one side the wood kitchen and the other the rooms…restroom well it was outdoor, making it interesting. It was late already and the long trip made us look for a place to put our sleeping bags and mosquito nets not much for the mosquitos but yes for the bats. Morning came and the smell of coffee filled the house… the diet in Talamanca is the same in every house: Plantains, rice and beans and whatever else that is in season. My goal on this trip was to teach some kids art, I took materials such as paints, brushes and paper in my back pack, that thing weight tons but it was all for a good cause.

As we waited for the day to teach the kids my friends and I wonder through the areas, walking through cocoa trees, praries, mountains and rivers. The wide Variety of nature was incredible; Virgin Forest with more than a 100 year old trees gave the perfect shade for those hot days. Smiles from people greet it you all the time, they are a little shy but more than welcome to help at any time. At night since some areas still didn´t have light, trails through the forest turned bright, looking closer you will thing bugs made it shiny but no they were roots, shiny bright roots, No explanation for that.

The day had arrived to teach the kids a few showed up by the church and were so happy. Some had never touched a brush before, and the mixing of colors begun. At their school a few were taught how to paint but never to mix colors to create a new one. Imagination pop and indeed the day after some parents were telling me how their kids painted their walls and such.

Exploring around town was the last day spent there, Saying good bye to a few faces and making promises to go back and indeed will. My inspiration my gift was those little smiles telling me thank you for the time. I left learning from how a turkey can change color to tell you rain is coming to how simple things with no cost can make such a difference. Talamanca doesn’t let many people in, you have to get invited to the town and their people. Being a Indian Reservation is close to many but I will take advantage of each opportunity I get to go back and take my art.



Profile photo of Barbara Montero Siegele

Born in Costa Rica but lived in Texas almost 10 years. I´m a western artist and with my family we own a texas style restaurant here in CR.

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