Monday, February 13, 2012


This butterfly has transparent wings and is one of my favorites!
I coached this butterfly onto my finger!
Friday, Feb 10 I visited the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden with a group of friends. The garden was fairly small but there were many different types of butterflies.  There were also green tree frogs and turtles as well in the garden.  I took a lot of pictures. We were also able to hold a couple of butterflies which made the trip worth it!
Ruins of the temple for Saint Santiago
 On Saturday, I went to Cartago which is a small town 30 minutes southeast of San Jose.  Cartago was the capital city of Costa Rica until 1823.  I visited the “Ruins” of Ujarras.  The “ruins” are actually an unfinished church for Saint Santiago, the saint of Costa Rica.  The building was destroyed multiple times by earthquakes and was never fully rebuilt after construction ended in 1910 after the Santa Monica earthquake.

Then I visited the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles.  The Basilica is built on the site of where the small stature of The Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus was found on a rock.  The statue is made from a black rock and is also called “Negrita”.  The history of the statue is that a young Indian girl found the statue while she was collecting wood.  She took the statue home and put it in a box under her bed.  The next day the statue was gone, but when the girl went to collect wood, she found the statue sitting on the rock again!  The little girl took the statue back home, and once again the next morning, the statue was gone.  She found the statue back on the rock!  The girl took the statue to the local priest and told him the story.  The priest didn’t think much about the story until the next day when he went to examine the statue, and the statue was gone!  He went to the rock, and he found the statue on the rock.  They took the statue back to the church and placed her in the locked tabernacle.  The next day during communion, the priest noticed the statue was gone.  This time he took the other priests with him to the rock.  The priests decided that the spot was holy, and a church was built around the rock.  Today people come from all over the country to the Basilica in order to be healed.  They process down the center aisles on their knees praying to the Virgin Mary of Los Angeles.
 The Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus on the rock where she was found under the Basilica.
After spending some more time exploring the city and listening to a group of musicians in the park, I decided to find the bus stop back to San Jose.  Twenty minutes and three people later, I finally found the bus stop!  Getting directions in Costa Rica can be challenging because they generally go something like 100m left and then 200m right.  In the states we would say 1 block left and 2 blocks right.  However, everyone seems to have a different opinion of a block.  Regardless, I made it home safe and sound and very tired from my day of walking the streets!  Pura Vida!

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