Retreat Center in Costa Rica

The StarWheel Foundation and Aya are called to establish a retreat center located in the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica, as a future branch (or maybe the main campus) of the StarWheel School of Celebratory Arts.
This center, conceived as an organic eco-village, will offer educational programs taking advantage of the pura vida tropical environment: yogas, meditation, mandala arts, rain forest safaris, dolphin encounters, organic gardening, integrative life-styles, raw & vegetarian diets, massage arts, creative relaxation... the basic arts for the CELEBRATION of LIFE...

We named the coming Retreat Center: Purna Vida.
("Purna" is Sanskrit for "perfection" and "vida" Spanish for "life".)


Why Costa Rica?



Costa Rica Ecological Commitment & Success

Once a backwater colony, since attaining independence in the 19th century, Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America, and a world leader in green sustainability. Costa Rica is at the forefront of environmental stewardship in Central America.

• It permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming the first of a few sovereign nations without a standing army. On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer abolished the military of Costa Rica. In a ceremony in the Cuartel Bellavista, Figueres broke a wall with a mallet symbolizing the end of Costa Rica's military spirit. In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican constitution. In 1986, President Oscar Arias Sánchez declared December 1 as the Día de la Abolición del Ejército (Military Abolition Day). The country maintains Police Guard forces.
• The budget previously dedicated to the military now is dedicated to security, education and culture. The museum Museo Nacional de Costa Rica was placed in the Cuartel Bellavista as a symbol of commitment to culture.
• Unlike its neighbours, Costa Rica has not endured a civil war since 1948.
• Costa Rica has consistently been among the top-ranking Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI).
• In 2010 Costa Rica was cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, while in 2011, the UNDP also identified it as a good performer in environmental sustainability, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region.
• Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies, being the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It ranks 5th in the world, and 1st among the Americas, in the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.
• In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021.
• The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica 1st in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012.
• The NEF also ranked Costa Rica in 2009 as the greenest country in the world.
• Although a tiny country, Costa Rica possesses the greatest density of species in the world.
• In 2012, Costa Rica became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting after the country’s legislature approved the popular measure by a wide margin.
• 90 % of electric power in Costa Rica is generated by renewable sources, such as hydro-electric, wind, and geo-thermal.
• Over 27% of Costa Rica's national territory is protected by SINAC (the National System of Conservation Areas), which oversees all of the country's protected areas. In addition to national parks, land & marine reserves, forest preserves, there are many private eco sancturies helping to preserve the magnificence of the natural resources. The National Park of Corcovado, in the Osa peninsula, is known world-wide for its amazing rain forest safaris and educational tours.
• Costa Rica demonstrates biodiversity conservation for developing countries. The Costa Rican government is active in protecting its biodiversity for the ecological services they provide. The government imposes a five percent tax on gasoline to generate revenue to pay landowners to refrain from clear-cutting on their land and instead to create tree plantations. This provides Costa Ricans  (“Ticos”)  incentive to become active tree farmers instead of cattle ranchers.

Costa Rica is now known throughout the world as an eco-friendly country with a spectacular nature, whose wildlife thrives, whose national parks are treasure troves of tropical fauna & flora, and whose jungles are the only ones in Central America that are actually expanding in area every year, due to careful stewardship of the country’s natural resources. Costa Rica is showcasing for the world the multiple benefits of intelligent sustainability on a national scale.




Stone sphere created by the indigenous Diquis culture.
Courtyard of the National Museum of Costa Rica.
The sphere is the icon of the country's cultural identity.

We find quite auspicious to bring the StarWheel mandalas and their spherical vorticity to a country honoring the sacred geometry of the sphere, a world-wide symbol of perfection and oneness.

 The Nicoya Peninsula