Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espaņol English
     
Archives
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
 
Media
Partners
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
connect
FaceBook
Twitter
 
CLASSIFIEDS
 
community
  Nosara Animal Care
   
  Nosara Info
   
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
   
  Nosara Civic Association
  Nosara
Wildlife

Finding Happiness with Coconuts

By Arianna McKinney
03/17/13


Photo by Arianna McKinney

Carlos Caiceda Perlaza comes from a coconut plantation family on the Pacific in Colombia where they cultivated and sold coconuts. There, they processed the coconut for its juice and used it to cook shrimp, Carlos recounted. But it was when he came to Costa Rica that coconuts created a nostalgia in him, reminding him of his feelings for his family, and he became curious about what else coconut could be used for besides consumption.

He was renting a small house in Montezuma facing the ocean when rainy season hit. Stuck inside with time on his hands, he found tools that were left behind by a Mexican artist and decided to try making things out of coconut, practicing “without any particular orientation.” Later a friend gave him advice on how to not break his tools so often and showed him some techniques, but Carlos was developing his own style. 

For Carlos, experimenting with coconuts has become both his hobby and his work. “I think that since I discovered it, I am happy,” he said. 

He has been crafting things out of coconut for 10 years now, and three years ago started a business in Samara called Cocotales, the name for coconut plantations in Colombia.  Aside from jewelry, bowls and cord made from coconut, he and his companions have been experimenting lately with even more ways to use coconuts, from fiber to oil. They even tried making paper, but it turned out more like cardboard, so Carlos considers it “a failure.”

Alonso Lopez Perez, who began working with Carlos about six months ago, has also been charmed by the nut. “It’s cool, like alchemy,” he said. “We are producing something from nothing, something that is difficult to do and has its process.” 

Alonso explained that it’s better to work with coconuts in winter when they are soft like a sponge.  In the summer, they soak the coconuts in a barrel of water to soften them.

When the coconut is moist, Carlos said they hit it hard with a hammer to release the fibers. They extract three types of fibers— a long thread that is good for things like bracelets, a short one that they use to make a rough fabric for covering lamps, and a cotton-like fiber that they can spin like wool to form a strong rope. Carlos is contemplating making a type of spinning wheel to work with the fiber.

Their latest venture is extracting coconut oil. Carlos explained the process: first they peel the coconut and extract it with a drill or a metal device; then they place the coconut meat in water in a plastic bin and let it ferment for a couple of days. The coconut oil separates from the water.  They collect the coconut fat and cook it in a frying pan to separate the impurities from the oil and then filter it.  After letting it sit for a couple of days the oil becomes more clear and is ready for bottling and use.
 
The process takes a lot of time and labor, according to Carlos, but they are enjoying learning new ways to use coconut. 

 
Photo by Pinar Istek  



 

More nature news

Big Illegal Harvest of Sea Cucumbers in Samara and Garza

Sea cucumbers are being illegally harvested amongst the rocks of Samara beach and other nearby beaches like Garza. The Public Force of Samara and INCOPESCA (the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Agriculture) have been decommissioning an increased amount of sea cucumbers during the past month. 



Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara