San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sounds From Sámara

Sámara Info Center, near the town entrance and across from Giada Hotel, is a welcome addition. Stop by and meet Brenda Dragonne, who offers both visitors and locals free, reliable community information such as bus schedules, volunteer opportunities, tours, places to eat, sleep, surf, find live music or a doctor, and walking or biking routes. Brenda is fluent in English and Spanish and will make reservations for hotels, tours, hair or doctor appointments or trips to airports, and also offers translation services. See her community calendar and website,, with job board, upcoming events and new services available. Brenda feels she can help Sámara become a more cohesive community by bringing people together, so she encourages local business owners to bring information for distribution.

The multifaceted Café Carola is a pleasant change from the norm, with an international menu, deli and bakery offering predominantly German breads and pastries, baked daily by Carola Kurth. It’s a nice, casual atmosphere to relax in, play dominos, use the wireless Internet, visit or read in the hammock and listen to live music Wednesdays from 4-9 p.m. On Friday mornings an organic farmers market is added with a wonderful variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. Ask Carola in German, Dutch, English, Spanish or Swahili about large orders and catering. Café Carola is next to the Pulpería Delfín and, at breakfast time, on the beach in front of La Vela Latina. 

When the bridge near the gas station collapsed under the weight of a heavy truck, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) crew worked long hours every day to finish the new bridge before the river flowed again. Despite some setbacks, they made it. Thank you, MOPT, from Sámara! 

Look for Pablito or Carmen holding their 6-month-old granddaughter when you stop by Pablito’s for the popular “beer ‘n’ a boca” special: with every ice-cold beer comes a free boca, a cup of delicious stew. 

Froggie’s Video Lounge has moved a few doors beyond Pablito’s to a larger space with a terrace. Somehow, owner Katie Steele continued smiling while pregnant, stumping along in a sweltering leg cast and remodeling the new location as well as running the other. Now she has a 6-month-old baby girl named Bridget, no cast and a comfortable home-like atmosphere in the new setting. Froggie’s has large screens and the most popular video games, rents videos, sells used books and offers inside or outside use of a Skype phone and Internet. Katie can also fix computer software problems. Contact her at 2656-2410 until 10 p.m., or at

–Ann Brinson

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