Gadabout Gringa

An experienced freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Alexandra seeks out the stories that speak to the best parts of  music, travel, relationships, and culture.

Meeting Maynor : Finding Silence in Costa Rica

Meeting Maynor : Finding Silence in Costa Rica


I can still summon the taste of my wayward tears blended with sips of Imperial as Maynor and I chain smoked in unison on a porch in Guanacaste, Costa Rica last summer. He announced, “When you grow up without roots, you end up constantly searching for them.”


I didn’t seem to notice the weathered plastic chairs, the yapping chihuahua, or the vampiric mosquitoes the way I did when I’d first arrived. On this night, I felt seen - reflected in the eyes of the loving Nicaraguan man who sat across from me. Maynor is meaty. Meaty people are the ones that allow you access to their guts with little emotional tugging. An hour into meeting one another, we were sprawled out on the living room floor sharing fragile memories and exchanging wisdom we’d had to suffer to receive.



Initially, it felt contrary to opt for a Nicaraguan Couchsurfing host in Costa Rica, but Maynor presented Coco Beach with the wisdom and care of a resident who’d long explored its people and natural riches. One day he said, “I’d like to show you Penca Beach.”


Penca beach wasn’t commercially groomed, it was nearly deserted and perfect in its feral quality.


Maynor was open but left a lot of space where words weren’t needed. This perplexed me because I've become accustomed to a society that fills silences with empty banter. I’d learn to appreciate the wordless conversations we shared on these little voyages.


Maynor looked at me and said, “You can take a bath now,” and silently sat on a log far from shore. I knew he meant I could take a swim, but what confused me was that he didn’t attempt to join me or give me any instruction. There was no, “You have 20 minutes until dinner,” or some timely declaration of purpose. He didn’t have phone service or anything to distract himself.



It hit me - he only brought me there so I could experience something beautiful. There were no strings or romantic motivations.


I don’t know how long I was in that water, but it remains one of the most meditative experiences in my memory. Maynor would take me diving, show me hidden waterfalls, cook for me, he was the best tour guide I've ever hadbut it was his silent offerings that moved me the most.



On that final night, he shared the pained story of his life, a story of suffering that is his to tell, a biography in stark contrast to love he continues to give to others. I sobbed that night, sad to leave his peaceful presence, angered by what he’s had to endure in this life, but so indebted for the reminder that individuals like him survive in this world. So grateful to call him my friend. 



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