If you spend enough time among the locals of the sleepy village of Barco Quebrado, you will no doubt hear Yolanda's loud piropos and accompanying laughter around someone's homemade rustic wooden stove. On a good day, she will usually be fixing fresh fish caught earlier by some member of her family who has just walked in from the beach with the days' haul. As you approach the flowing sounds of life in the campo, the music will seal your suspicions that you've found Yolanda.
Despite her humble home, with nothing but dirt floors and darkened rooms, you'll be greeted with food and a stool. The exquisiteness of her cooking and the authentic surroundings that make up Yolanda's reality will draw you into rural pacific Costa Rica. It is this experience with Yolanda, seeing her smile and tasting her food, that will give you a touch of that authenticity, reminding you of where you are. Her home style cooking will assure that your needs will be taken care of.
Yolanda has lived a life that most will only read about in books or learn about through documentaries, the kind that make you teary eyed. Scraping by walking miles of coast line under the hot sun, picking what ever bit of sea life she could find to fix and sell, was what often sustained her and her children. This however, never stopped her from putting on a smile every morning and facing the uncertainty of her day. She knows that somehow, even if only rice, her children will always have something to eat that day. This is when we met Yolanda, when her reality was day to day.
After a quick conversation by phone, she traveled by foot for the interview, which, without a ride, is a 2 hour long hot and dusty journey. She has often walked this far in search of work, willing to make the round trip everyday if it meant she could buy some food. As soon as I saw her, I knew we'd found our chef. I could tell she was tired, thirsty and nervous. But her first words were: "Thank you for inviting me, I am available all day and I can learn."
Nosara Paddlesurf is fortunate to have Yolanda as part of the team. Even if you're coming back from a not so stellar SUP surf session, know that when you walk into Yolanda's kitchen everything will be okay. She might even share a bit of rum with you to lift your spirits!