IMAGINE. NO MILITARY SINCE 1948. Plus, beaches galore . . . Costa Rica (Rich Coast) flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, boasts nearly 300 distinctly different beaches along its stunning coastlines.
We at ODYSSEYS are only a 45-minute drive by car or about twice that by local bus from Puntarenas Beach in the Gulf of Nicoya. This terrific day or overnight beach trip is perfect for a quick fix of sun, palm trees, sand, and surf, not to mention cocktails overlooking the waves at sunset (or sunup?) --and check out the other amazing beaches you can get to from Puntarenas by Ferry!
Have we mentioned Costa Rica's over thirty islands, more than a dozen volcanoes, and nature reserves (over 25% of Costa Rica's national territory is protected by SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas)?
Or that Costa Rica also possesses the greatest density of species in the world--over 10,000 identified species of plants, 850 species of birds, 800 species of butterflies, and 500 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians combined? (Greenspan, 1997)
Royce spent his childhood in a railroad town deep in the Colorado Rockies.
A lifelong lover of the arts, he declared himself a poet at age five and was from his earliest years a voracious reader of world literature.
His other passions even then included drawing, painting, and photography, as well as singing and playing guitar, piano, and various other instruments by ear.
Meanwhile, he dreamed of running away with the circus.
An early memory: spinning the globe in a Social Studies class, stopping it where his finger landed, frustrating his USA-focused teacher with questions, like, "Who lives there? What language do they speak?"
And indeed, there was adventure in the cards, as he would spend his teens on a homestead in the Alaskan outback.
As a young adult Royce settled in Portland, Oregon for his college and early workforce years as a medical social worker.
Over time his Spanish has gotten quite good, his French is improving, and his love of travel has so far taken him to upwards of a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, and the Northern and Central Americas.
In 2002 Royce was invited to Costa Rica for a yearlong internship with the Director of what was then Costa Rica's only artist-in-residence program.
Upon successful completion, Royce was offered a full-time live-in position as Director and Writer-in-Residence, which he held for the next four years.
When that program floundered after the passing of its founder, Royce left in 2007, to found Intercultural Odysseys Costa Rica, S.A.
Accepting new applications beginning June 1, 2024.
No application fee will be required; a $2 USD processing fee, only.
Click on Photos of featured
artists to enlarge and link directly
to their social media.
FIND US BY BUS One hour northwest of the capital city of San José, 45-minutes from San Jose's International Airport, 1-1/2 hours from Arenal Volcano and volcanic hot springs, 45 minutes from Puntarenas, a lovely beach that attracts surfers and beachcombers from abroad, and is also the casting off point for Ferry departures to the Nicoya Peninsula and other spectacular Costa Rican beaches and nature reserves. CLIMATE
San Ramón de Alajuela, "City of Poets"
Average temperatures in San Ramón run in the mid-70sF (25 degrees C) year-round. Yet, on even the sunniest days, as if to remind us that we are indeed in a tropical cloud forest, a soothing mist rolls in, bathing the surrounding mountains, including the nearby hills of Las Musas (The Muses), with an impression worthy of the finest Monet. San Ramón runs dry, warm, and sunny half the year and green the other half. The green season is known for sunny mornings with showers at night and heavy downpours for about two hours on some afternoons
THINGS OF WHICH WE ARE ESPECIALLY PROUD Costa Rica has no army, abolished by José María Hipólito Figueres Ferrer (25 September 1906 – 8 June 1990) in his first term in office, along with nationalizing the country's banking sector, granting previously marginalized minorities the right to vote, and guaranteeing public education for all. "Don Pepe," as he was affectionately known, is also famous for a phrase we love: "Why tractors without violins?" The Figueres Museum and Cultural Center of San Ramón honors his memory with all manner of concerts, exhibitions, workshops, and contests covering the gammet of literature, visual art, and of course, music and dance. Our local institute of SiNEM (government-sponsored National System of Musical Education). And perhaps our favorite venue for our own events that combine readings, music in concert, and visual art when possible, is the Costa Rica Regional Museum of San Ramón.
Holistic Wellness Center
Meals are on your own with space designated onsite for your food's storage and preparation. Meals can also be purchased at cafeterias or restaurants within walking distance of your accommodations. Or delivered, usually for less than one U.S. dollar per delivery.
Private bedroom in 2BR suite with shared bathroom. Entire 2BR suite available for one person or one couple, upon request. Shared mini fridge and small, comfortable sitting area.
Access to the Center's ample common areas, workspaces, comfortable sitting rooms and indoor garden spots. Plus, two spacious salons for yoga and/or dance/ choreography practice.
Weekly laundry services, house-cleaning, and change of bed & bath linens.
While Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south often struggle to achieve peace and economic stability, Costa Rica has enjoyed a stable democracy for more than 100 years, with an international reputation for peace--a neutral country since 1987.
We're on the map!
San Ramon de Alajuela, COSTA RICA
Our Founder and Program Director
Royce Clay Slape Seiger is a dual citizen, the U.S.A. by birth and Costa Rica for love. A proud moment was being invited to lunch in the home of José León Sánchez, Costa Rican novelist and author of "Isla de Los Hombres Solos" ("Island of Lonely Men") also translated into English as "God Was Looking The Other Way." (Hint: in photos, Royce isn't wearing white.)
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS: President: Royce Clay Slape Seiger Secretary: Roberto Quirós Coronado Treasurer: Jesús Salvador
Fiscal: Olga López Flores
Attorney: Juan José Briceño Benavides
Welcome to Costa Rica's premier Artist Residency since 2007.
Accepting new applications beginning January 2024.
A FEW OF OUR PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS OVER THE YEARS:
© Royce Clay Slape Seiger
Please bear with us as we reevaluate and reinvent our funding program. Please check back with us in the coming year.
Home Stay with Host Family
Three meals daily, Monday through Friday. Special diet requests can often be accommodated but must be arranged for during the application process.
A private bedroom and shared bathroom (a private bathroom is sometimes available upon request).
The home's kitchen is available for you to store/prepare/cook your own food if you like.
Mi casa es tu casa: You have free access to all of your Home Stay's common spaces, including indoor and outdoor areas, for workspace and leisure.
Workspaces and salons within the Holistic Wellness Center can be made available. Please request this need during the application process.
Weekly laundry services, house-cleaning, and change of bed & bath linens.
Both options are within a 10-minute walk from San Ramon Center.
Intercultural ODYSSEYS Costa Rica is a civic, social, and non-governmental organization (NGO) founded by Royce Clay Slape Seiger, himself a lifelong artist.
In the belief that creating and sharing art across borders is one of our most powerful tools for opening up human hearts and challenging the barriers that separate them.
We couldn't be prouder that between 60 and 75% of our proceeds go directly to the local community we serve.
"Apart from sentiment, quite as a matter of simple realistic fact,
art outlasts all other forms of human endeavor.
Kingdoms, empires and civilizations rise and fall;
their laws, their political organizations, their religions vanish.
Their customs and all their ways of life disappear from the face of the earth;
but the art that they have managed to create remains." -- Ernest Sutherland Bates