The main entrance to the Escuela de Serapio Lopez, located in downtown Nosara, was recently given a much needed makeover. “Only a month ago, all that stood between the jail cell and the second grade school house was some dilapidated, crumbling wall. That was what you saw when you entered the school grounds.” explains Jeff Little, a community member involved in the project. “You looked at it and just kind of thought, hmm, there’s a huge hole in the wall between the jail and the school - that doesn’t seem too good.”
When plans for a new wall and entrance were proposed to local school officials in mid December, they were quick to voice their support. Thanks to a prompt fundraising effort through the Ski Town USA Rotary Club in Colorado, the necessary funds were quickly in order.
A pair of local businesses immediately donated their time, equipment, and finances, wasting no time in getting the project off the ground. Just before Christmas, Sol Mar y Tierra brought in the heavy machinery, tearing down the old wall and hauling away the debris. With the space nicely prepared, Su Casa Construction built a new 2.5 meter wall and an adjacent column, finishing the construction end of the project in a matter of three days.
“It’s really nice to see a community wide effort,” said John Ermatinger of Su Casa Construction. “Juan Diego helped us out with materials at the Ferreteria, Linda (Bristol) came in with her backhoe and dumptrucks - it makes you think about what’s possible. When everyone gets involved it doesn’t take much.”
With the renovation complete, the finishing touch arrived in the form of Nichole Blackburn, a professional muralist and painter from Los Angeles, California. Blackburn, who founded a non profit donation mural organization called Big Sky Countries, traveled to Nosara solely for the purpose of this project. In a matter of five days, she transformed the entrance into a spirited and colorful rendition of Guanacaste life, painted onto a background inspired by the local Malanoche waterfall. On her final day, Blackburn was also able to team up with local school children and the Surfing Nosara Foundation to paint the interior wall of the new cafeteria.
“It doesn’t take much to brighten the life of a kid,” Blackburn commented, adding some finishing strokes to the mural. “Hopefully this project only serves to inspire more creative initiative among the local community.”