Village of houses in the trees
Finca Bellavista – Village of houses in the trees.
When, in 2006 Erica and Matt Hogan decided to buy land in Costa Rica, they could not even imagine to settle on 600 acres of wild rainforest. In the process of seeking a suitable site, they stumbled upon this piece of wood – it was sold under cutting. “We felt that in this land, there is something sacred, and decided not to cut anything here – says Eric. – But one night I thought that trees could be a great advantage. Why not build a house right in the tree?” With this idea began really a big deal – an entire village of houses in the trees, where people go to each other’s home jumping from branch to branch, and in the backyard of each house there’s an own kitchen garden.
“It’s more than just a matter of our lives. This is our life.” Since 2007, the couple sold 51 lands and constructed 25 buildings, including the club, the base camp and five of these houses in the trees. The work does not stop now. Unfortunately, the rainy season severely limit their work. Building is possible maximum four-six months a year.
There is a farm club, where the locals meet in the evenings, a cafe, playground for outdoor games, the Wi-Fi area, sauna, fireplace and garden.
As soon as the rumor of the miracle spread through the village of the district, the interest began to grow exponentially. “For the first two years we have done as much as was originally planned for five years. We worked like crazy. This is the story of any startup. We like to do what we do. This is not just a business – this is our life.”
The real work begins when a homeowner buys a regular part of the future – usually one-half to four acres (from 20 to 160 acres, approx.). “This is a tropical forest and dynamic environment. We have to adapt and make changes in design.”
“Most new residents are willing to participate in the design and construction of their homes – said Hogan. – So far we have not seen any customer who’d just paid the check and waited for his house on a tree will be ready for occupancy.”
The construction of each house takes from several months to a year. And the skill required here is truly extraordinary. “A home in the trees is like snowflakes. None of them is similar”.
This house is intended for U.S. residents, Leo Burns and Lori Bernardt. He – steel worker in retirement, she is – also a pensioner, a former nurse. “We are very pleased with the result” – said Burns. They gave their home the name “Turtle”.
“Of course, not all trees are suitable for construction – explains Hogan. A professional botanist studying the trees on the site and mark the ones that can become the basis for one’s home.
Therefore, homeowners can choose – their homes can be built in trees and on stilts. In some cases, it’s better a combination of two types. This is a full house, with water supply, sewerage and fully equipped kitchens.
Water supply is designed as a system for collecting spring water and feeding it by gravity. “We were extremely fortunate – said Hogan. – The highest mountain is the highest point of our land, so we were able to water down the hill to our house. ”
The nearest town is rather far from the village – about 1.5 miles. The town has a school, church, shop, bus stop, a few houses, and (of course), a football field. That’s all. There are no souvenir shops, shopping malls and bustling bars.
Typical villager Hogan describes: “Generally, people who live here, love the style of easier life, at the same time extraordinary, these people love nature, and carefully treat the world around them. ”
This place attracts not only young people, also many retired people. And there are many parents who want to spend the summer, and then, planning to return to settle down for good.
Corinne says “I think the tree house is suitable for any age. My father even expressed a desire to lay the pipeline through the village.”
Across the country stretched a complex network of ropes (called “air path”). Residents use it as transport to move from house to house. Equipment can be rented at the main office.
“In essence, we get all from this mobile 3G, – says Hogan. – This became possible by the tower, built about two years ago. Currently access to the Internet and mobile phones have many of our residents. ”
Initially, the natives react to a bunch of foreigners who have settled in the neighborhood with a large grain of salt. “Many of them said – it’s just refugees, probably.” Therefore, the newcomers have tried to treat the earth with all possible reverence, to earn the trust of the indigenous population. “Local start to show more interest in our lifestyle.”
“There is growing number of fruit trees, cocoa, mango, and more. In addition to common garden, the villagers have built something like a coffee shop, where they can meet and share with each other the fruits of their labor, who have grown in their own kitchen garden.
“We have our own catering. Cafeteria almost works as a restaurant. People pay for food, but all of it grown right here in the place (they have four hired workers, who grow vegetables).
Village of houses in the trees