By Grainne Duggan

Blink and you just might miss it, is the best way to describe the village of Guadalupe La Palma. Nestled cosily in the Osa Peninsula, this sleepy village is more deceiving than it looks. It’s rural and remote charm is backdropped against a tropical jungle. I made the nine hour bus journey from San José. Arriving in the dark didn’t give much indication has to what this village would be like, but once I awoke the next morning and had a look around I knew I was surrounded by magic. The village of Guadalupe is centered around its local primary school and soccer field, or La Plaza as it’s known locally. This is where the heart of the community lies. Whether it be to educate the younger population of the village or a friendly five-a-side, the community’s heart beats here. The locals are warm and friendly and embody the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle. Time moves slowly here but in a good way. The children bring a vibrancy to the village. They harvest their energy from the raw nature around them and release it creating sparks that could keep the village alight for a week if not more. But it’s not just the children that keep Guadalupe on it’s toes. The animals provide the soundtrack to this otherwise quiet village. Dogs, frogs, crickets, birds and if you listen closely you can hear the army ants hard at work (they bite and sting like hell so do not disturb them ;)) The locals and the animals understand the true meaning of sharing as they coexist harmoniously in this unique environment. It is refreshing to have found a village so small yet filled with what many spend their whole lives searching for – peace.