A Cozy and Rustic Wood Cabin in the Heart of Costa Rica

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By Maddie W.
Jan. 17, 2020

Reporting from the dairy producing region of Costa Rica, PCV Maddie shares her #PeaceCorpsHome experience.

Describe your neighborhood: We live right on the side of the “highway” (really busy main road) on the slant of the mountain. All along the street are other houses and businesses, like the "lubricentro" next to our house owned by my host dad, and a shop where they sell artisan candy and cheese.

Square footage: Roughly 1,000 sq ft

How long have you lived here? 4 months

Who do you share your home with? With my host dad, mom, sister, and brother

Describe your house’s style in 5 words or less: A cozy, rustic wood cabin

What’s the most functional thing in your house? (Mosquito net, wood fire stove, etc.): The coffee maker. I couldn’t live without it.

What’s your favorite bargain find in your home? The books, we found a store selling used books for 50 cents a piece and now I have about 15.

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The "sala", or family room.

Whether or not you stay with a host family or live on your own, in my opinion, less is more. As long as you have the basics that you need (and maybe a couple of indulgences) you’ll be just fine, because it’s not too hard to find the essentials you may have missed once you’re in country.

Who was your most interesting house guest? The priest of the neighboring church came by for cafecito one day.

Proudest DIY: Almost all of the art in our house is made by my host mom from reclaimed materials. She uses old pizza boxes, newspaper, and just about anything else.

Biggest indulgence: I bought a nice memory foam travel pillow. A good pillow is ESSENTIAL here because more often than not they’re hard as a rock.

What advice do you have for PCVs looking to create a home they love? Whether or not you stay with a host family or live on your own, in my opinion, less is more. As long as you have the basics that you need (and maybe a couple of indulgences) you’ll be just fine, because it’s not too hard to find the essentials you may have missed once you’re in country. One easy way to decorate and fight off homesickness is to pack physical photos of your loved ones. I really love waking up every morning to the happy faces of my friends, family, and cat.

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Washing Room

I really love waking up every morning to the happy faces of my friends, family, and cat.


How does your home compare to your expectations before service? It’s honestly nicer than I could have hoped. Having wifi has been a major plus, although one thing I miss, especially living in a cold climate, is hot water. I’d say pack some fuzzy socks and a couple of sweaters because you never know.

What are other homes in your community like? How do they differ from yours? A lot of homes are pretty similar. Most don’t have 2 floors like this one and aren’t made out of wood, which is the traditional style, but other than that they’re around the same average size, and have similar amenities.

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