As in many parts of rural Costa Rica, women's work often focuses on domestic duties. The Colonia Libertad Women's Group was formed in 2010 to create opportunity for women and their families. With all of the knowledge these women have about farming, construction, arts and crafts, and cooking, the group has a lot of potential. The group enjoys hosting travelers in their village to share their stories and learn from others. When there are opportunities to collaborate with other groups in the community, the women's group always does. Also, the group is always selling food or arts and crafts to the community so the relationships are very open.
Colonia Libertad is located in the beautiful rain forest between the volcanoes La Miravalles and Rincon de la Vieja. The area is used to a heavy rainfall which leads the eye to a land full of a luscious green display. The population rests at about 200 and has been dropping every year due to the lack of employment in the area. Of course you can find a central plaza where a "mehenga" (pick up soccer match) goes on every afternoon - rain of shine. With one escuela (no high school) that prides itself in its contribution to the environment of the community, you can hear all 35 kids shouting with joy most days. For a small town, the village is rich with culture. The main culture, however, is that of an agriculturer - farm land, cows, horses, and most people surviving off of what they are able to produce in these rainy parts. La Colonia may not be a place rich with economy like some other parts of the country - but the village is rich with the tranquil attitudes of "pura vida" and the "esparanza" (hope) that survival is possible in a rural, small, and isolated location.
Colonia Libertad is rural, small and isolated. It is located about 3 1/2 hours from Liberia and about 2 hours from Upala (both by bus). A traveler would want to go to the Pulmitan Bus transit in San Jose city (not the capital) and take a direct bus to Aguas Claras (only leaves at 5:30am) and then the bus from Aguas Claras to the last stop - Colonia Libertad. If unable to take the 5:30am bus out of San Jose, there are busses that leave every hour to Liberia from San Jose, where the traveler would get off in Bagaces, then wait for a bus to Aguas Claras (pass at 7:30am, 11:30, & 4pm). Then the traveler would arrive in Aguas Claras and take the bus to La Colonia. If coming by car, traveler would take the Pan American Freeway following to Bagaces then go north east towards Guyabo/Aguas Claras where the traveler would follow the signs to "Finca La Anita." It is 14km of a non-paved road and Colonia Libertad is the last town. It's possible to arrange - by phone - for someone from the community to meet the travelers in Aguas Claras and accompany them on the drive through the mountains to La Colonia. If you do, please tip in cash accordingly.
The only amentity that exists in the community is La Anita Rain Forest Ranch. It is a beautiful lodge / ranch with a cacao plantation and offers beautiful cabins. The owners, Pablo and Anita, help tremendously with providing support and tourists to the women's group.