Reading is an exercise of the mind. Many of the folks traveling to Barra de Navidad/Melaque area find themselves engrossed in, and usually sharing great local literary discoveries. Special cafés, book exchanges, even simple libraries abound in the area. Here are but a few:
Beer Bob’s – This book exchange has been visited by many over the years and while the covers may look old, there are always new discoveries to be shared. Calle Tampico 8, Barra de Navidad.
La Brujah Coffee Bar, Art Gallery and Surf Shop – A gathering place for locals who love to discuss reading, politics, tales and tall stories. The café offers books for sale or exchange, including a study on surfing by La Brujah’s own Doug Grootveld. Av. Veracruz, Barra de Navidad.
Cuba Libro Book Exchange – Calle Primavera 8, Villa Obregon. 315-355-7044.
Bubalu’s Café & Books – Calle Gordiano Guzman 29, Melaque. 315-355-6223.
Creating your own book exchange is as simple as a box being placed strategically on the roadside, offering your collection of gems to be shared – a phenomenon gathering much momentum in the United States and Canada.
Barra de Navidad’s Linda Bello Ruiz is a tireless advocate for the community, its expats and locals. Anyone who has spent any length of time in Barra has met Linda, but do they know her?
Here’s a synopsis: Author, publisher, community leader, masters degree in Psychology, founding member of Becas for Barra Scholarship Initiative, renowned international speaker, community advocate, member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, leader of the United for Barra Organization helping to make Barra de Navidad a better place to visit and live, and recently named one of the 25 Women Changing the World in Conversations Magazine, 2016.
Bello Ruiz’s autobiographical book, “From Tears to Triumph,” depicts an individual whose life road unfolds in this compelling memoir sharing her experience as a “street kid” in a cruel inner city in Costa Rica. It chronicles her hippy days as a not so street-wise runaway: a young girl easily influenced and traveling roads of darkened uncertainty – drugs, promiscuity and aimless wandering. Caught up on a path of corruption, Bello Ruiz makes the discovery of a lifetime, which brings her to one of life’s greatest realizations.
Her second book, “Love thy Neighbor, Omar,” is now in the hands of her New York editor, with plans to debut in 2017.
For those who may be interested in self-publishing, Bello Ruiz assists aspiring writers in navigating the path to publishing without the notorious red tape and crippling costs.
Linda Bello Ruiz’s book is available in both English and Spanish from Amazon.com. She also keeps a few copies on hand, should you run into her in the town that she loves, Barra de Navidad.
An author, a painter, a poet and storyteller who lives a life of true artistic freedom, Russell Rosander is self published and not concerned about commercial gain. He lives off the grid in the outback barrio of Barra de Navidad in a small, sustainable home. He sits by the firelight, crafting stories of every day life and offering his heart to the world with selfless motivation. You will find the writings of this most life-sensitive artist in blogs online, or you may be fortunate to see him distributing his works on the streets of Barra – small, short stories or poetry booklets presenting life through the eyes of a true prophet.
An artist who came to Barra de Navidad some seven years ago from the back hills of northern Idaho, Rosander is known to year-round locals as being a visionary writing with perspectives as diverse as “Life through the eyes of Bob the Dog,” to his poetry which catapults the reader into the dreams of the outer limits of time. See: russellrosandershortstories.wordpress.com.
Barra de Navidad/Villa Obregon
Cabo Blanco Hotel by the Pool: Thurs. 1 p.m., Hermanos Pettigrew con Paul.
El Marino, Villa Obregón: Tues. 6 p.m., Bandidos.
La Oficina, Villa Obregón: Tues., 8 p.m., Rabi Hernandez; Thurs. 8 p.m., Open Stage; Fri. 8 p.m., Lalo Neltner.
La Salamander, Villa Obregón: Thurs. 7 p.m., Jorge; Fri. 7 p.m., Latin Blue (Ian Hoffman and Friends); Sat 7 p.m., Lalo (Dr. Edwardo Woo); Sun. 7 p.m., Luis Fernando Pérez & Julio Islas.
Marlene’s Restaurant and Bar: Thurs. 7 p.m., Sim.one & Mike Lamers; Mon. Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Emerson Magaña.
Time Out Bar: (all 9 p.m.) Wed, Los Otras; Thurs, RC and the Pacemakers; Fridays, Pineapple Express; Saturdays, Chido Rivera Band; Sundays, Bandidos
Seamaster: Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Hermanos Pettigrew con Paul.
Albatros Bar, San Patricio: Wed. 8 p.m., H&R Rock; Fri. 8 p.m., Chido Rivera Band; Sat. 8 p.m., Pineapple Express; Sun. 7 p.m., Open Mic.
Antigo Bar Social, San Patricio: Tues. 8 p.m., Mario Montalbo.
El Dorado Club Nàutico: Tues. & Fri. 5 p.m., Jesús (Chuy) Dominguez.
Esmeraldas Restaurant, San Patricio: Sat. Jan. 7, 2 p.m., Open Mic.
Esquina Paraíso Bar (Styx): Tues. 9 p.m., Chido Rivera Band; Wed. 8 p.m., Simone & Mike Lamers; Thurs. 9 p.m., Bandidos; Fri. 9 p.m. Vagabundos; Sat 9 p.m., Sangre Latina.
Garcia’s Restaurant: Tues. 9 p.m., Francisco de Léon; Sun. 3 p.m., Open Mic.
Tito’s Restaurant Bar: Tues. & Fri. 5 & 8 p.m., Jesús (Chuy) Dominguez.
Vanilla Pimienta Restaurant, San Patricio: Fri. 7 p.m., Simone & Mike Lamers; Sat. 7 p.m., V.P. Band.
Viva Maria 1910 Restaurant: Mon. 7 p.m., Rafael & Gil; Tues. 7 p.m., Pineapple Express; Wed. 2 p.m., Open Mic; Thurs 7 p.m., Rafael & Gil; Fri 7 p.m., Francisco de Léon & David; Sat. 7 p.m., H&R Rock; Sun. 2 p.m., Karaoke.