Samara is the kind of place you fall in love with. It is still very much a Tico town into which expats have been welcomed and integrated, a real community of people who care about each other, the environment and the arts. The latter was particularly important to me. I am a painter, who also writes and plays the ukelele. I love all of the arts and need to be around other creative people.
A little over a year ago, Davina Pritchard had the idea to start a writers group in Samara and I was one of the founding members. I had no idea at the time how much the group would come to mean to me. The members change with the seasons and include published authors, artists from other disciplines and other community members who love to write. We do quick exercises and have weekly challenges that have inspired some very fine work. We have shared favorite books and quotes and learned about publishing and about each other in a meaningful way. Groups like this not only inspire and offer a creative outlet, they build a community with a heart and a soul.
Professional city planners learned long ago that one of the best ways to build or rebuild a neighborhood is to start with artists. Many small towns and urban areas have been been given a positive boost by creating an arts district. All this really means is that the community makes a conscious effort to support the needs of artists, musicians and writers, encouraging them to live and work there. Change and growth in the area is inevitable. My hope is that Samara will choose to build on a foundation of the arts and education. We have a good start with many artists settling here and groups like the writers forming on their own. CREAR, the language school, the massage school, the Werner Sauter Biological Preserve with its Samara Trails program, offering environmental education, all contribute to a community that attracts a very special and desirable type of visitor and resident.
This blog may be under my name, but you can expect contributions from the other members of the Samara Writers Group that I hope will challenge and inspire its readers. I hope it will be a forum for discussion of the arts and education and I want to hear your thoughts on how we can encourage these facets of our community to grow and prosper.