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The Commune of Pacha Mama

The commune is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the northwest of Costa Rica, close to the Pacific Ocean. The area is sparsely populated, with a few villages and small farms. The land is wide with rolling hills and running streams which in the rainy season become big rivers. The dominant colour is green, trees are in abundance and the forest supplies a home for plenty of wildlife. Yet there are also open fields that are mainly used for cattle farming. From the hilltops there is a beautiful view across the land and down to the Pacific Ocean… a setting for magnificent sunsets. Gravel roads connect Pacha Mama to the surrounding villages and towns, the main form of transportation is by commune vehicles, motorbikes and by foot.

To allow yourself to appreciate and melt into Pacha Mama, Tyohar recommends that you plan to stay at least 6 weeks. Meditations and Satsang are happening regularly in the Conga and as well in the form of daily life.

TRAVEL AND VISAS To get to Costa Rica you will need a flight to San Jose. On arrival you might be asked to present a ticket for leaving the country.

For all German friends: Ella Travel in Munich is familiar with Pacha Mama and can help to organize your flight. Contact Uri Chwolles, tel 0049-089-202-2220, fax 0049-089-202-1705, email info@ellatravel.de, website www.ellatravel.de

Visitors from the following countries can stay 90 days without applying for a visa: Most western European countries, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Panama, Romania, South Korea, UK, USA, and Uruguay.

Visitors from these countries can stay 30 days without a visa: most Eastern European countries, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Eire, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, and Venezuela.

After 30 days it is possible to get a visa extension in the local immigration office.

To be certain of your Visa status, contact the Costa Rican Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

CURRENCY In Costa Rica the currency is Colones-the conversion rate is around 315 colones to one US dollar. US dollars (cash or traveleris cheques) is the easiest to change and receives the best rate. Other currencies are difficult to change and get very poor rates. There are some banking machines in San Jose that are connected to the international networks, and credit cards are accepted in major stores and hotels.

In Costa Rica it is easy to open your own bank account, either in Colones or Dollars, without charge.

LANGUAGE Ticos (Costa Ricans) speak very little English, it is recommended to learn some Spanish at home. Whatever you can learn before you come will be very helpful. Speaking the local language can open many doors and help you in this friendly country.

CULTURE Ticos are warm hearted people, but please remember that the country is strongly Catholic, and there are some cultural taboos that need to be respected. Nudity (including women being topless) is very inappropriate.

The villages around Pacha Mama are very small, and our presence is strongly felt by the people around. Please be sensitive and discrete.

The local greeting is 'Pura Vida!' which means Pure Life.

ELECTRICITY If you bring anything electrical, Costa Rica runs on 110 Volts, 60Hz. If you want to bring 220V equipment, a converter is needed. The television format is NTSC (same as North America) so most video equipment from other parts of the world won't work here.

There is a battery recharging station which runs on 220V.

TROPICAL WEATHER Costa Rica is a tropical country with a dry season and a wet season.

The dry season is from December to May.

WHAT TO BRING Some Essentials:

. Camping gear: tent, sleeping bag, camping mattressOe

. Your own bed sheets (and a light blanket if you don't have a sleeping bag).

. Lightweight raincoat.

. A good flashlight.

. A battery charger and rechargeable batteries.

. Sunscreen (natural if possible), SPF 20 or higher-the sun here is strong.

. 100% biodegradable soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, shaving and body creams ONLY (also available here).

. Insect repellent (natural if possible).

. Warm clothes for the San Jose area.

. Hot-weather clothes and beach wear.

. Some Party Gear… ;

. Passport-size photos for registration.

. Photocopy of your passport

. Drivers license

Nice To Have:

. A good pocketknife.

. Film, if you bring a camera (itis expensive here).

. Meditation chair.

. A set of white clothes.

. Hammock (you can also buy one here).

. Tea-tree oil, Tiger Balm

. Travel Insurance

Journey From San Jose to Pacha Mama It is recommended to stay two nights in San Jose before leaving to Pacha Mama to allow yourself to arrive smoothly in this new country and climate.

To get to Nosara, the closest town to Pacha Mama, there are two ways to travel:

1. By bus: the cost is $7 and leaves every morning, it takes 6 hours.

2. By plane: the cost is $55 to $77 (depending on the airline), and there are flights daily.

If you wish to fly, let us know and it can be organised from San Jose.

ECOLOGICAL LIVING Only 100% biodegradable soaps, shampoos and toothpastes are used in Pacha Mama. All products you bring should be natural. This includes skin and hair products, deodorants, insect repellents, sunscreens, etc.

Please also bring only rechargeable batteries with a recharger for your flashlight, walkman, etc. n alkaline batteries cannot be disposed of ecologically.

COSTS There is an $900 initial payment. This covers a two-month stay in the commune, three vegetarian meals per day, camping on the land and applies whether you stay only for a few weeks or for the full two months. For the third month on, the cost is $450 per month.

Casitas are available for rent, for the price of $20/per night.

COMMUNICATION Villa Floresta is the main communication center, located in San Jose. E-mail: pachamama@tyohar.org Phone: +506-289-7081

Once you are in Pacha Mama, you can receive mail through the following addresses:

Post Office: Apartado 110, Boca de Nosara 5233, Nicoya-Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The mailing address of Casa Floresta is: Apartado 670-1260, Plaza Colonial, Escazu, San-Jose, Costa Rica.