Challenges and Triumphs of Homesteading in Costa Rica


Homesteading in a new country brings about its own unique set of challenges and triumphs. In this blog, we follow the journey of Ginger who moved to Costa Rica to start a homestead. From dealing with food security to learning new skills like welding, they share their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

Food Security

Food security is a primary concern for the family, especially considering past experiences of being homeless and going without food. The stress of not knowing where the next meal will come from can be overwhelming. To combat this, she have meticulously planned their property to ensure food security even in the face of challenges like food chain disruptions.

Having a property where they can grow their own food has given them a sense of security and peace of mind. From growing tomatoes, salad greens, peppers, onions, potatoes, to having fruit trees like pineapples, coffee plants, bananas, and papayas, they are working towards self-sufficiency in terms of food production.

Learning Spanish

One of the major challenges faced by the family in Costa Rica has been learning Spanish. With a poor memory, picking up a new language has been a slow process for Ginger. However, she is determined to integrate into the local community and have been working hard to improve her language skills.

Dealing with Water Challenges

While managing cold was a primary concern in their previous location in Canada, in Costa Rica, dealing with water challenges has become a new focus. With heavy rainfall, the family has had to learn how to prevent flooding, ensure proper drainage, and protect their property from water damage. From maintaining septic systems to safeguarding livestock and crops from excess water, water management has been a significant learning curve.

Welding Skills and Construction Materials

Building structures in Costa Rica comes with its own set of challenges. The family found that using wood for construction wasn’t as straightforward as expected. The lack of dried wood, availability of only wet wood, and the prioritization of wood for coffee roasting beneficios posed challenges for their construction projects. Learning to weld and work with metal became a necessity, and the family turned to experienced friends for guidance and support in acquiring new skills.

Native Wildlife and Livestock Challenges

Living in close proximity to native wildlife has been both rewarding and challenging for the family. While they enjoy the beauty of the environment and the abundance of wildlife, they have also had to deal with predators like jungle cats that pose a threat to their livestock, especially turkeys. Learning to protect their animals from predators and ensuring their safety has been an ongoing challenge.

Despite the challenges faced, the family remains committed to their homesteading journey in Costa Rica. Through perseverance, resourcefulness, and a willingness to learn, they continue to adapt to their new environment and overcome obstacles along the way.