Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Do Visitors Think About Osa Mountain Village?

What do people visiting Osa Mountain Village for the first time have to say…

From Garo and Arlene Paroonagian :

“For the past year, Arlene and I have been researching retiring in Costa Rica. We heard about OSA Mountain Village (OMV) and decided to participate in a Webinar. After listening to Jim Gale, we were convinced that we needed to visit OMV and see for ourselves what this was all about, as it sounded too good to be true. After a week there, one that we will never forget, we are convinced beyond any doubt that this is the real “Pura Vida” of Costa Rica It is also hard to imagine that one can become attached to people you have only known for a few days.
We are in process of buying Lot #14 and can’t wait to go back to visit our newly found family. What a phenomenal place and what great people. This also included interacting with some of the local pets; Flaca and Miso.
Special thanks to Jim, the visionary, Ricardo, a gentleman and the perfect host, Lisa & Blake, wealth of information, Eric & Bill, perfect accommodations.
Finally we look forward to seeing again, all the wonderful people we met; Jim’s Dad, Duane, Catherine & Lindsay, Jarret, Leigha & Robin, Charlene, Stephanie & Christian.
We are excited about being a part of this unique community.”

Isn’t it time you came down to visit and see first hand what everyone is talking about?

How To Make A Decision About Buying At Osa Mountain Village

The email below was received early today from Mitchell Geller who has been doing his due diligence regarding buying at Osa Mountain Village. I have posted it here with his permission for several reasons. I think it captures the essence of what everyone goes through when they are trying to make a decision about whether or not to become a part of our community. No doubt it is a big step for nearly everyone. As you read his very humorous but real account of the thought process he has gone through keep in mind that Mitchell has never visited Osa Mountain Village…


I hope you have your coffee handy…. For some reason I felt you should know a little about our decision-making process. You must lend yourself to having people open up to you. If you ever get out of the “creating-a-perfect-environment” business, you might make a good bartender, dude. My apologies in advance for getting into this little missive. You only really need to read the last few paragraphs.

In everyone’s life some risk must fall, apparently. After working in this country for over 40 years, all I have is what was left me by my hard-working grandfather, and my father, who maintained that legacy until his death seven months ago. After 40 years, and now without a job or insurance, I’m skeptical about the health care I’ll get providing I don’t have a massive, lethal heart attack first. After 40 years of paying into social security, suddenly they can’t find my money and talk about curbing “subsidies” (wait, I thought it was the money I earned!), and raising the retirement age. Apparently it isn’t illegal to take my money, tell me I’ll get it later, then change the deal.

So maybe I didn’t make the best decisions as I went along until, suddenly, holy shit I’m 55! My chosen profession (the printing trade) has been shrinking since computers entered the scene. I got to witness a once proud and venerable trade (a brotherhood, really) get reduced to back-stabbing each other in the panic of trying to survive.

And by the way, you’re laid off…. don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.


Meanwhile, there’s a near-depression. Since then, very little has been put forward to change the financial system. Most economists (and any sane thinking person) agree that if we (the US) keep the status quo, we’ll get the same result. I’m sitting on my grandfather’s lifetime efforts, which his son treated wisely and left to me to keep going, and it sits in a market that’s no less than a time bomb.

…and along comes OMV. The concept is pure, reminding me of how things may have been, somewhere, sometime on this planet. A community gets together and focuses on their self-suffiency in an eco-friendly way. But it’s more than that. It’s as if the stars have aligned in the form of a new airport, a new lake, a new road, in a place described as “Hawaii fifty years ago”— where land values have quadrupled up north, in a similar environment of infrastructure, in three years—and one last lot in this emerging, southern market for $115k. Can’t you hear the neon arrows, buzzing and blinking as they point to a little-known place called Balzar?

Hmm… How can I not have a “duh” moment?

True to my nature (having grown up on the cynical streets of NYC) I was certain there was a way to fail in this venture. How safe is my grandfather’s hard-earned money?

Wait, how safe is it now? What is it’s future in it’s current location? What would it be worth as real estate in CR after 4 years? Which is safer? That’s the question!

(Insert another “duh” moment.)

Yeah, but there must be another way for me to fail at this…..

What if I buy the lot and end up not being able to build? I don’t know, maybe the house in OR catches fire or something…. whatever… maybe a flock of wild turkeys eat the place, I don’t know. If I have to sell the lot in CR, I shouldn’t be any worse off than I am now. One angel on my shoulder says: It could quadruple in value! The other angel, the cynic from NYC, admits that I’d probably at least break even, maybe even make 5000 bucks.

The optimistic angel (in my case, the female—although, technically, they’re genderless, but forget about that for now) says: What if it’s all true?

That’s a damn good question, and one that my other, “sensible, logical” (male) angel can’t address.

Optimistic angel: Can you imagine yourselves living there, in the house you designed, on the rooftop deck with a mango margarita in your hand?

Oh yes, I have to say.

But what will you do? the cynic asks.
She reminds me: What will you do in the US? You’ll have to find a job…. a union one, if you want benefits. In the eyes of employers of bartenders around here, you’re just another highly replaceable Mexican in their eyes. You’re part of the bottom line—no more, no less. You are, in a few words, subject to a P&L statement.

Can you imagine yourself pulling out your father’s easel, setting it up on the roof, and dabbling in acrylics again? You’ve got your fruity drink, the music going, the breezes are clean and fresh… such that the hammock sways like a hula girl in a grass skirt. Then my dreamer angel asks: Can you imagine the market failing and you suddenly haven’t got the means to this dream anymore?

(insert record-scratching noise)

Oh god, yes, I have to admit. Very easily.

She presses: Can you imagine the market failing but you’ve already got your land, house, lifestyle, food and even some activities, probable new friendships, maybe even some exercise in a tropical paradise that, frankly, my dear, doesn’t give a damn if the market goes to hell? (We all care, of course, but that’s what Rhett Butler would have said to Scarlett.) You’re standing on your roof at sunset in the most bio-diverse place on the planet and a Fruit Loops bird wonders out loud: “Who do you think is going to last longer, the stock market or jungle perfection?”

That’s another damn good question. Which do I support?

When I imagine the mango margarita on my rooftop, my heart is thrilled. We might even have something worthwhile to leave our daughter.

Speaking of death, says the cynical one, do you want to die in Costa Rica?

Do you want to die in the US? she, the enabler of dreams, asks.

(Hmm… paradise, or Sunnyvale?)

But you’ve never even been to Costa Rica, or seen the lot! the cynic reminds me, almost scolding for such irresponsibility. And the dreamer reminds me about the people I know who’ve been there, and my brother and his wife, who went to CR on their honeymoon and ended up staying for 8 months, and the large ex-pat population there…. Further, she reminds me about the organic food, the pristine air quality, the view, the temperature, the health insurance, until the cynic says: Shut up already!

So what’s the bottom line? Which list is longer, the potential pros or potential cons? Ultimately, the optimistic angel, the dreamer, the one who tries to believe in “the magic of thinking big” but never really had the traction to put it to use, leans back and folds her arms. The pessimist has nothing to add, or take away from the argument. Everything in question equals out.

What if the gov’t sucks?
Hey, take a hard look at the US gov’t, pal. Have they spent your taxes the way you’d like them to?

But it’s Latin America. That place can go out of it’s freakin’ mind sometimes!
Other parts maybe, but not so much Costa Rica. You started with wikipedia and researched Costa Rica, where you found out about their political and social culture. For god’s sake, they disbanded their military in favor of improving their standard of living. Surprise, it worked! How do you like the practices of the US military. (I have to admit, not so much….) How do you like having a terrorist target on your back? Remember a little thing referred to as 9/11? You watched them build those towers from the rooftops of 30-story apartment buildings in Queens. And btw, how about that recent report that says 2 out of 3 people killed in the Iraq war were civilians? How do you feel about that?

It abhors and scares me.

But can you trust these OMV guys? What if it’s all an elaborate scam and Jim’s sincerity is just a really, really, really good latex mask under which is the real Bernie Madoff—not the surgically altered homeless guy they sent to prison? (It could happen.)
Her: You’ve seen the presentation materials—the videos, the webinar, the websites, the youtube testimonials, the developer and builder… not to mention the fact that the developer is moving into his own development. What if they’re sincere? How will you feel in 5 years, working some hick bar in Tennessee (no offense to hicks, we like hicks), where you can afford to live on cat food with your social security and medicare “entitlements,” and you visit the OMV website and learn your 115k lot is now worth a quarter mil? And btw, Poker Stars is filming down there.

(Strangely, an image of Hunter Thompson comes to mind, with the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth and the stock between his feet, trying to figure out how to blow his brains out with his toes.)

I assure you, all this went through my head during this process. But mainly, How do I feel about how the US has treated me since I started my paper route at age 13? How will it treat me as an unemployed, pre-retirement aged, uninsured baby boomer? Like a leech, that’s how. I’m a drain on society here, even if it’s my own money.

All that being said, we’d like to commit. We’ll sign the contract and get it in the mail Monday. I hope that’s enough to secure the lot. All other terms are ok with us.

There’s a lot of responsibility on you, Mr. Jim Gale, creator of what could, should, and hopefully will be as perfect a living environment as can possibly be attained in our time. My grandfather has his arms crossed, awaiting the verdict of what will become of his legacy. My father, bless his soul, has his heavenly fingers crossed, and my Ma is shouting Hallelulah! The kid has some sense after all!

Pop told me before he died that I was more like my mother.

In all good faith and hope, wishing for the best for everyone, everywhere,

Mitch & Charlene Geller

PS: Can we make Triple Sec down there?

Where Did The Concept Of Osa Mountain Village Come From?

In case you haven’t yet read this article about Osa Mountain Village I am going to post a link to it right here…

The article will answer all of your questions about where the idea for Osa Mountain Village came from and I believe you will be impressed once you do.

But that’s yesterday’s news.

What’s exciting today are the people that have been buying at Osa Mountain Village this past year. They are a mix of people from varying backgrounds and locations, each with special talents that are lending their expertise to the Osa Mountain Village development and in some cases starting businesses in the Osa Mountain Village Business Network. Most recently two buyers each decided to start businesses. One will be operating a storage business and the other will be operating a kayaking adventure tours business.

Whatever you desire to do their is probably a way to do it at Osa Mountain Village and live a simple life of abundance in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.