Mari welcomes you into her arty wooden home, built on the side of the river in the beautiful valley of Bijagua. Spend a couple hours with her where she will guide you in painting local birds. Take a glimpse into the rainforest from her window where you are likely to catch a glimpse of a mot mot, toucan de watson, red foot, quetzal, or rainbow toucan. Mari will explain how to prepare the wood, where it comes from and then show you how to draw and paint the birds. Sit in her cozy home and explore the biodiversity of Costa Rica's amazing birds through your paintbrush.
"When you paint these birds you discover how beautiful they are and you will want to care for their home: the forest."
Painting is Mari's primary source of income. She is helping to support a household of 4 along with her husband who works in agriculture. Mari has been officially painting as a business for three years, selling at many local and national fairs. She is often invited to participate in various markets across the country. Painting birds is Mari's passion and she would do it day and night if she could. As part of her studies, she spent hours walking through the mountains watching birds in silence. This is how she fell in love with the mountains, forests, landscapes and birds. As a child, Mari remembers that her Grandma used to put bananas in the trees to feed all the animals that came around so she has always been surrounded with admiration for wildlife.
Mari has been painting for many, many years. It has been her official business for the past four, however, she has a long history of experience getting to know the wildlife of Bijagua and of Costa Rica in general. This is the real heart of her work. She can help you identify the birds that are local to the region and those that are national. Ask her to help you recognize the song of the national bird of Costa Rica!
Mari’s dream is to have her own sustainable business. She would love to be able to sell her artwork and products from home. Ideally, she would like to build her own storefront, where she wouldn’t have to travel as much and could work in her own community. It is important for her to be able to take care of her home, while simultaneously generating income for her kids to finish school. In the future, Mari would like to invest in the creation of her own bamboo farm, where she can sustainably source bamboo to use for her artwork. Additionally, she would like to learn to work with recycled paper.