San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sarapiquí Stories

Coopesarapiquí started with coffee production and processing more than 40 years ago. In recent years, it expanded to grocery stores, a hardware store and a plantation tour/restaurant near San Miguel de Sarapiquí. The co-op’s most recent addition is a small business, NaturTico, run by 20+ female members.   

After the tragic 2009 Cinchona earthquake, it has been difficult to find jobs. Much of the area was damaged and cut off from the rest of the country. With the reconstruction of Route 126, many people are looking for a fresh start. Among them, a unique group of women envisioned a small, sustainable business making natural handmade products that celebrate the diversity and natural beauty of the area.

Their business, NaturTico, produces herbal shampoo and natural soap made with local ingredients, some of which come from the women’s gardens and nearby fields. Through their creative spirit and natural leadership, they have been able to achieve membership status in Coopesarapiquí and are already entertaining buyers from Costa Rica, Europe and the U.S.  

San Miguel celebrates its “Blue Christmas” on Sat., Dec. 8. It’s the perfect time to discover this hidden gem located at the base of the northern skirts of Volcán Poás. 

-Tina Wiltsee

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