San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Entrepreneur makes hemp-based fuel in Costa Rica

Transforming hemp into the surfboard beneath your feet or the plane that takes you skyward: That’s the mission of the Canadian company Hempearth, which has made Costa Rica a key player in its operations. Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, and is often used for industrial reasons because of its strength and versatility.

Hempearth’s founder, Derek Kesek, a Canadian internet marketer, musician, chef and former organic restaurant owner, says he is working to create of the world’s first hemp airplane, its biofuel and a series of hemp surfboards.

While his company is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Kesek has also been working out of La Guácima, Alajuela, where the company has been producing hemp biofuel. He anticipates that within a month, Hempearth’s surfboards will be released in Costa Rica as well.

The Tico Times spoke with Kesek about his project. Excerpts follow.

Can you tell me more about the hemp airplane?

About three years ago I started a company solely based on hemp. I contacted several plane manufacturing companies and asked them if this idea was possible. I sent them some hemp, did some testing and then I got a contract signed by one of the companies. The rest was history. Then I started getting help from some newspapers and so on. We’ve been on Kickstarter, but we’ll probably have to do it again. I was recently in Costa Rica for about eight months, producing the hemp biofuel for the plane. … I put my heart and soul into this project, just one day at a time.

Why did you choose to use hemp?

Because it’s eco, it’s green, it’s sustainable and we all want a better future. It’s lighter, it’s stronger and it’s becoming legalized all over the world.

What is the process to produce the biofuel here in Costa Rica?

We had some hemp seed oil shipped in from Canada. I had a chemist make the fuel and he has his own processing plant located just outside of San José, so he produces the fuel for us. Once the hemp plane is ready, we’ll fuel it with this particular hemp fuel.


Hempearth’s airplane plans to use biofuel made out of hemp for a more sustainable design.



Have you tried out the surfboards? When are you releasing them?

They’re coming out soon. I just found the shaper. Probably within the next month you’ll see some hemp surfboards surfacing from the company. I’ve met some pro surfers in Costa Rica who are going to ride the boards, including Marcela García and Valeria Soto.

Why did you choose to distribute them in Costa Rica?

It’s a big industry there. I learned how to surf when I was there, so I love it. Hemp can also grow very well in Costa Rica. They’re about to legalize that kind of stuff. It’s a great industry; it can replace coffee and sugar cane.

Basically, by building these boards, producing biofuel in Costa Rica made from hemp and producing hemp surfboards there, we just want to get a head start on a really big industry that’s coming. It’s going to benefit the country and it will create jobs.

CORRECTION: The Kickstarter campaign we linked to in the original version of this article is no longer active; the campaign was discontinued because the fundraising target was not met. We apologize for the error. For more information on Hempearth, visit the company’s Facebook page.

Contact Elizabeth Lang at

Comments are closed.

Derek Kesek

Hemp is here to stay folks. “Hemp is not marijuana”, it is the male plant and produces little or no THC. Canada has been growing Hemp since 1998 and has generated millions of dollars in revenue for farmers and has created countless jobs. It can make over 25,000 products, including surf boards, airplanes, fuel and much more. It makes a material that is eco, green and sustainable. Hemp is also a super food and you can eat it. It has a compound in it called Cannabidiol, which is found in breastmilk. It is good for the country, and all of humanity . It is already creating jobs.

Derek Kesek

Ceo and Founder Of Hempearth

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Andy Snyder

Hemp has been used as line for decades before synthetics came along. George Washington, on his plantation, in Mt. Vernon, grew the stuff. This isn’t dope farming. Get educated.

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Adam Gower

how much Hemp do you own?

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Same scenario, different time.
I say something negative about the Tico-Times and marijuana, and I get a rant from Hamme or Janman. Hmmm?

Secondly I will assume cl stands for Craigslist, I have never made a post on craigslist. But I do thank you for the idea, it had not crossed my mind till now that I might find more of Costa Rican day to day news on craigslist than I can here on the Tico-Times website.

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Would the one in charge please delete CCDAGP account asap.

He can go back to posting on rant and raves with CL.

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Why don’t y’all just change your name from Tico-Times to High-Times.

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Y’all fail to provide us day to day news, but find time to provide us with news on anything related to marijuana wether it be hemp airplanes, outdoor gardens, medical use.

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Rob Burton

start your own news site if this one isn’t good enough for you.

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Or I could just smoke some marijuana, then I would think the paper is as good as it use to be!

Its a terrible thing when one can say it use to be good, but will not be able to in the future when speaking about the present day and time.

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Adam Gower

That the “HempPlane” (which was basically a scam) only got a little over $3k of the $500k it was seeking shows just how ready America and the World is for Industrial Hemp still today.

I was at the point of flash when Derek came up with the “HempPlane” and then the other ideas he pushes today so i can attest to the fact of how his attempts to build “brand” come at a heavy cost and much wasted time, $, and energy which creates little more than waste and false sense of forward motion… (many others have spoken out against Derek)

On this idea of “HempFuel”:
This is an idea that has been around since 1990 and even sooner and if it were possible it would already be done.
*where was Derek when the “HempBiodeselMercedes” was touring around so long ago?

Sure it can be made, but the bottom line is cost of production vs cost to consumer as well as location of crops.
*Viable Hemp Seed costs will rise keeping Hemp out of the final race for fuel production (get it?)

There are many plant oils which can be used for fuel and when any country is ready to delve into plant fuels there are numerous other candidates for success.

Derek is trying to be the “Richard Branson” and build the “Coca Cola” of Industrial Hemp and my perspective allows me to say he is half stepping and could do and have done much much more rather than puff up false pretenses in too many people with unrealistic and over the top projects.

This path of B.S. is not new for Derek. I went back on his FB page long ago to find the exact moment he found Hemp (about 2011) and the Kickstarter project he threw up seeking $10,000,000 to build something like HempUtopia

Until Folks stop blindly following some silly, ignorant crap like this we will NEVER see proper Industrial Hemp in any County. Get wise and get moving on the important aspects and conversation about what is probable rather than what is possible as we know fully that almost anything can be done with Hemp, but what are we actually going to do with Hemp?

Ya, sure, i know the way. I’ve been in Industrial Hemp and Eco Commerce since 1992 and just been waiting for others to get actually serious. Just as soon as we start being serious we can move in serious ways…

Remember one thing.
Governments and Corporations do not care about bullet points or news stories. They want to see Viablity and proper proposals and numbers before they allow Industrial Hemp. Yelling that we “need” it will not work either, so in the midst of ALL the talk and years we are not moving forward much, we could already be Hemp nation.
Thing is that Citizens will not do the proper work or even purchase more and more Hemp Goods.
(Hemp will simply not fulfill all the raw material needs for most of the buzz things that people like to promote, again mostly due to cost of seed and production/transportation)

When someone is really and actually serious about Industrial Hemp they should get with me
Phone 442 269 9001 anytime

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Derek Kesek

Oh poor Adam. lol

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You do realize Elizabeth Lang is a female? I’m just wondering because you just kicked her in the teeth, not to mention the fact that it appears that on your way out you backed up over her, before driving away with any future possibility of her retaining a career in journalism outside of the Tico-Times.

P.s. I’m not anti-marijuana, I am sold on medical-marijuana. In my opinion this article amounts to nothing more than “marijuana-spam,” just my opinion but I believe this article was more suited for the National Enqiurer. They still report on UFO’s? Correct?

You want to sell me Hemp? I say ok, but don’t try and sell me water flavored as water.

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Kristine Cringle

HEMP HEMP HOORAY! got hemp?® Follow @HempVodka on social media.

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Zev Paiss

This is a great project and I hope it succeeds beyond all our wildest dreams. One small correction. Hemp is the low THC part of the Cannabis family. It consists of both male, female and dual-sex plants.

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Derek Kesek

It Is already succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. ~ DK

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