Hi, we're Sara & Johel.

Nice to meet you.

Casitas Joys & Leo was a long time coming, and we are excited they are finally here.  An acronym for our family (Johel - Oliver - Yorela - Sara - Leo), these were a project envisioned by Johel years ago with the dream of bringing people to his hometown of La Flor.

Johel is originally from La Flor and spent the first half of his life in this small, tight-knit community.  At a young age, he began to work, much like all his siblings, in agriculture that thrived in this area: everything from coffee picking to macadamia nut preparing to poultry processing.  After coming to the states at age 19, Johel continued to work outdoors while earning a GED and Associate's Degree.  His love of his community, nature, and the Costa Rican way of life never ceased.  After starting Go Tico! Costa Rica in their hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, a small-group tourism business that immerses travelers in Costa Rican Culture, he & Sara decided it was time to go back and work to make these cabins a reality.

Sara is originally from the Midwest and grew up in an entrepreneurial family.  She, too, grew up developing a love for nature, travel and living and learning from other cultures.  As a long-standing English as a Second Language teacher who has taught students from over 30 countries, she developed a passion for experiencing the world and hoped to share this passion with not only their children, but anyone looking for an opportunity to experience under-explored, genuine reflections of a country.  After a year of volunteering in rural Costa Rica, she too fell in love with the way of life and the richness of nature around her and worked with Johel to establish Go Tico! Costa Rica.  In September of 2020, they moved their family to La Flor to begin work on the cabins.

See the Casita Progress

The Casitas were a seven month project, from land preparation (built on a former privately-owned pineapple farm) to final landscaping.  See some of the process below.

Step 1: Land Prep ~ it's a lot of work to convert an overgrown pineapple field into a beautiful rural residence


Step 2: Prep for construction ~ trench digging (by hand!) and concrete baldosa raising


Step 3: Roof raising, tile laying & initial painting


Step 4: Mural painting, sodding & tree planting

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Step 5: Yet another round of sod, boulder install and landscaping


Step 6: Furniture & kitchen install and final cleaning