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The Guaria de Osa Story from All Walks of Life

* Tico Times of Costa Rica
April 28, 2006

Note: Click the image to view the full article as a large JPG image.

Click here for the PDF file version.

Reprinted with permission of The Tico Times.

"Thank you to the amazing staff of Guaria de Osa for serving in the highest way!" — ABBY TUCKER, yoga teacher in Berkeley, California

"It's a family operation (Ladna, Dahlia, Jonathon, and David) and what a family! I have worked with all three and they do a wonderful job. The retreat participants just need to get a flight to San Jose and the rest is taken care of. They will arrange for the hotel in San Jose, the transfer from the hotel to the domestic airport, the flight to the Osa Peninsula, and the boat to Guaria. It's a real adventure and everything goes like clockwork. Once at Guaria, all meals are provided and the yoga/meditation space is wonderful. The participants can spend their free time on the beach or in the jungle, or Jonathon provides some really interesting trips for the more energetic and adventurous. In addition, our tuition supports rainforest conservation." — DAVID MOORE, geological eco-engineer, Yoga New Year's Retreat, Dec. 09

"Thank you for everything you did to make our trip so perfect." — BARBARA FLEWELLING

"Guaria de Osa is where the Spirit of the Rainforest is alive and well… where the vibration of healing and awakening gets into your dreams and makes you feel like anything is possible on this Earth. As if that were not enough Jonathon Miller-Weisberger - a 'young Schultes' - is a master with the plants and they speak to him. He helps you listen to their myriad voices, each a wise voice singing a different part in Nature's chorus. Come to this place and you will be forever changed." — BILL PFEIFFER, Sacred Earth Network

"I felt as if I were on my own private South Pacific Island! Everyone is so kind, knowledgeable and helpful! Food is amazing! The orthopedic mattresses were well worth all the trouble it must have caused to get them here. Thank you for helping to make me conscious of my impulses and the power of my intuition. You are a treasure that I will always keep in my heart." — BOBBY SAGER, Sager Family Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts

"My experience at Guaria de Osa was amazing and soul transforming. Not only did I surf, relax and enjoy reading under a beautiful pagoda style roof while Toucans lurked in the trees near by and beautiful Scarlet Macaws flew from tree top to tree top, but I learned a tremendous amount about the rainforest and its inhabitants from the talks and hikes led by founder and trail guide Jonathon Miller. My trip included a yoga retreat that kept us busy mornings and evenings, yet we looked forward to our daily outings and every meal was a cherished event! In spite of the heat I slept like a baby most nights only to be wakened by the beautiful sounds of a plethora of birds chirping and singing at sunrise. That was my daily alarm clock to which I arose to meditate under the pagoda. We were isolated from all mainland forms of amusement, distraction, communication and entertainment, and I did not miss a thing. I know I will be back." — BONNIE CARDELL Computer Administrator, Artist, Yoga Student

"Guaria de Osa is not a tourist lodge. This is a different place. Its mystical landscape and its sense of uniqueness, isolated from the hustle and bustle of humanity, gives one plenty of quality time to access self-reflection. This is a calm and gentle place where one can be safe and feel loved by Nature. Moreover, being with Jonathon you can feel he deeply cares about humanity, the vision of Guaria de Osa and its non-profit aspect. He does his best to allow people to come to their own being. Folks like to hang out with him. This is what he's all about. Guaria de Osa also has a wonderful village-type atmosphere … a great place for a family time-out. At Guaria de Osa I feel wholeness there. I have a sense of identity of place and self. I feel renewed … to go back home … do good … and make change." — BRUCE HARLOW, Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center, Ashland, Oregon

"Thank you so much to the wonderful Guaria de Osa Community for making my stay in Costa Rica so serene & memorable. Always in my heart will be

  • don Pablo Amaringo – one of the most highly evolved, spiritual individuals I've ever met
  • don Victorio Villareal Villareal – one of a kind; a priceless tesoro nacional.
  • Jonathon Miller W. – a visionary whose profound love for the Earth moves mountains
  • Ladna Miller W. – a lovely young woman who effortlessly embodies the spiritual path
  • Monica Serrano – quiet & unassuming, a rock of Gibralter in disguise
  • Dahlia Miller – who 'buttons up' our journey before we arrive!
What a wonderful sanctuary you are all building here; the beautiful buildings, the fecund grounds, the relaxing beach front, the dear animals, the plants, the Earth. Thank you for making it happen and sharing your loving energy with me." — CATHLEEN McGUIRE, New York, City

"As far as the trip, it was fantastic! My view of the world is changed and I am doing my best to go slow. I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with Ladna and Jonathon. It was far more beautiful and wondrous than anything I might have expected. I miss it. Thank you." — CHRISTIAN BROOKS, yoga student, computer software technician/manager

"Dear Dahlia, We had a great time at Guariad de Osa. The water was beautiful, warm and the plants and vegetation were breath taking. We loved the simple healthful food. The getting there was an adventure and I learned many things. I am so impressed with Jonathon and all the work he has done over the last 5 years. It is amazing. I so appreciate your support of him. I can tell you really believe in what he is doing! All in all, the trip was beautiful. We saw so many stunning birds and animals. Jonathon helped modify things for us so my husband could participate. We just so loved the staff and people and Guaria De Osa. Thanks so much for all your help in arranging our vacation - all the connections with boats and cars went perfectly." — CINDY and JEFFREY SINGER, vocational rehabilitation counselor and librarian

"Our warmest wishes for many years of success ahead in all your ventures both here at Guaria and in Ecuador. We deeply appreciate the experience you offered us here – meeting all your plant friends, don Victorio, Corcovado, and Isla del Caño; horseback riding with Demis, massage, yoga, tai chi, delicious meals and warm companionship. You've created a beautiful world here. Many thanks for letting us be part of it." — CLAUDIA & TIM, geologists

"Jonathon! What good magic here at Guaria de Osa! Presided over by a most benevolent array of plant energies and animal intelligences, leafing and leaping spirits, laughing under a gazillion gleaming stars, accompanied by the steady drumbeat, like a dark heart of the wave on the sloping strand in wilderness and wonder." — DAVID ABRAM, author of "The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World"

"Jonathon – Brother – Guaria de Osa is magic! A powerful place. Thank you for your work and vision and thank you for helping me rest, renew & healed. I'm ready to go – yet will be back. It's an honor knowing you as a friend and ally. I look forward to the many experiences and collaboration we'll share in the future." — DAVID TUCKER, Pachamama Alliance, San Francisco

"Very much enjoyed our Guaria experience! We did a 'Mr. & Mrs. Fish' performance at the local school to celebrate Earth Day. Being here was a most special adventure, one we will always remember. Thanks to Jonathon and Monica and the entire staff! You've created a marvelous space to relax and enjoy the Rainforest and the Ocean. Muchas gracias." — DEB & JEFF SANDLER - 'Mr. & Mrs. Fish' – marine biologists and educators; internally acclaimed, award winning marine educational program, Maine.

"Thank you for being here and for all you are doing for the Rainforest and the Indigenous People who know it so well. I shall return." — DICKSON WATTS, Virginia

"It's been a pleasure staying here. A home away from home. I feel healed and ready to go out into the world with sincere gratitude." — DIETER GLOECKLER, Austria

"Guaria de Osa's mission is a mindful and courageous one. As a Yoga teacher, it was amazing to be a part of and witness such transformation as what took place among the group of people that came down for our weeklong retreat. Each person was moved and inspired in a way I could not have imagined, in a way that humbled and, in turn, inspired me. At Guaria de Osa we found a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with the elements of life, to charge ourselves. The staff was wonderful and accommodating and made everything possible. It is a gift to teach when and where you and your students are truly relaxed, open, and focused on an intention of healing and learning. I found an easy flow in the comfort of our massage classes. My students were fascinated and are making plans to return. So are we, as Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage Instructors." — FELICIA DESROSIERS, Yoga Instructor and JOSELO GUTIERREZ, LMT and Thai Yoga Massage Instructor (Tropical Yoga Retreat)

"Love, Love, Potency. Fabulous eco journey in the jewel of Central America." — GANGA WHITE, founder of White Lotus Foundation, Santa Barbara, California

"Ladna, thanks a gazillion for all your help. What a shame we will not be able to meet you! If you decide to move to New York, I'm always looking for uniquely outstanding people to work for my company. Our success is directly due to excellence in customer service – so no need for an interview, you're hired!" — GEORGE M. BRTALIK, general manager, Vistas of North America

"I fell in love with this place the moment I walked up the path. I don't know if it was the ylang ylang blossoms making every breath more blissful, or the hypnotic tranquility that radiates from the land or the simple elegance of architecture welcoming you here or your kind smiles and generous hearts. Thank you for creating and sharing this magical place. Here I found sanctuary, friendship, inspiration, whole being nourishment, and an enhanced ability to heal. Deepest gratitude from my heart to yours." — GRACE WICKER SCHLOSSER, White Dog Café, Philadelphia

"For Jonathon! Thanks for your work in the world! With best wishes." — JEREMY NARBY, author of "The Cosmic Serpent, DNA, and The Origins of Knowledge"

"I had a very rewarding experience at Guaria de Osa in Costa Rica and feel good about supporting the work there." — JOHN DAVID SAFAY, artist

"Without Dahlia Miller's crucial assistance I think we would never have been able to accomplish such a splendid task - a place where people can come to renew themselves in Nature. Her essence is engrained in the Centre we have built. She has not only been a guiding light but a true source of inspiration, love, and solidarity." — JONATHON SPARROW MILLER-WEISBERGER, Ethnobotanist, founder and steward of Guaria de Osa, and the director of The Osa Foundation/Grupo Osanimi

"Beautiful spot! Awesome activities! Thanks!" — JORDAN HESS

"What a wonderful week of great adventure, beautiful scenery, and a great staff! Certainly a venture to look forward to doing again." — JUNE OUELLETTE, New York, North Coast Yoga Retreat

"Feeling that I was already wandering one of the most beautiful areas of the world, nothing could have prepared me for the intensity of the Osa Peninsula. It was there that I found the fabled flocks of Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, 4 species of Monkeys, crystalline rivers, and an abundance of wildlife all which were nestled in a Rainforest protected by the "crown jewel" of Costa Rica's National Parks, the Corcovado. After hiking the Park, I wandered onto the "postcard" that is Playa San Josecito for some beach time. While exploring the surroundings, I stumbled, quite by accident, into Guaria de Osa. It was 6 weeks before I regretfully departed. Jonathon Miller Weisberger is one of the most selfless, caring, bright, passionate voices for the preservation of this beautiful Planet's natural places that we have. Fortunately for us, his vision has led him to delicately construct a unique and extraordinary lodge. Utilizing inspired design, environmentally friendly sustainable materials, solar power, talented friends, and just plain, hard labor, Jonathon has created a tranquil, comfortable Centre that blends perfectly with the surrounding Rainforest. The accommodations, however, are only a fraction of this paradise. Jonathon's extensive knowledge of the Forest, his love of Nature, his passion for preservation, gentle manner, the adjacent Ocean, and of course the Rainforest itself combine to make this experience a vacation like no other. You will leave relaxed, renewed, with an enhanced understanding of this complex Forest and the important link between It and the rest of the Planet." — LAWSON PAUL BARNES --working to preserve the Planets' beautiful places

"Beautiful spot, great gardens, fantastic buildings, wonderful forest, very rich people. Thanks for the help, hospitality, generosity, honest, and all around good vibe. And the presence of the plants is palpable." — LINCOLN STOLLER, physicist

"Here at Guaria de Osa there are so many extraordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. Guaria moved our yoga group very deeply, from surf to ridge top, from the simplicity of rice and beans to the complexity of marimba music. Viva Guaria de Osa!" — LINDA HJORTSHOJ and HOWARD BARTLE, Co-founders of North Coast Yoga, New York

"Dahlia, Dahlia: We have returned from Guaria well rested and restored by the beauty and power of the sea and Rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. We had a FABULOUS time and a very positive experience. So much to tell you. WE LOVE JONATH0N ......... he is so awesome. The entire staff was so warm and attentive. The group loved the whole experience. Thank you Dahlia for all of your hard work and caring that you extended to our whole group. We all want to meet you! I will be sending out an e-mail blast to my yoga students and the rest of the Long Island Yoga Community to spread the word about Guaria de Osa and the wonderful work that you are doing there to preserve the rainforest of Costa Rica. It is so wonderful to know that places like the Osa Peninsula still exist on the planet and can be preserved for all future generations." — LORRAINE AGUILAR, Yoga Flow Studio, Glen Head, New York

"Our stay at Guaria was memorable and life changing." — MARTHA DESROSIERS, Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner; Tropical Yoga Retreat

"Jonathon has been working very hard, humbly and diligently on the project to help make Guaria de Osa bloom the bloom that it can. He has been spending all of his time and attention and energy on it. He is selfless and ego-less in his endeavors and in his daily interactions. His integrity has brought him solidarity with workers, neighbors, and government officials. I feel blessed to have been able to come to Costa Rica in its birthing stage to help work on this awesome project." — MARTY MASKILL, master carpenter

"Jonathon is an ambassador of Gaian consciousness. He is one of the jewels of the planet." — MICHAEL COTTINGHAM, Ethnobotanist, co-founder of The Herbal Medicine Program at The New Mexico College of Natural Healing

"The yoga retreat at the Guaria de Osa was the best vacation I've ever taken. The natural setting was sublime – warm ocean at our doorstep, towering rainforest at our back. We saw whales, sea turtles, and creatures I didn't even imagine existed! I watched scarlet macaws and toucans interacting in their natural habitat. Jonathon's stewardship and vision of a better world is admirable and inspiring. You can't help but be changed by the experience!" — NANCY SHANTEAU, Manager of Sales Operations, Yoga student

"Many thanks for sharing the beauty and wisdom, shining the deep listening and the natural healing vibrations. What an inspiring and uplifting, magical and amazing meeting place. And the sounds … the music …" — NERUPA HOFFMAN-PAISS, Yoga teacher, mother, and wife; and AMIR PAISS, Musician, father, and husband

"Don Victorio Villareal Villareal is a wise, warm, and sensitive elder filled with knowledge of the plants, nature, the history and customs of the Osa, and humor which he readily shares. He cast a spell in the evening as he shared his heart through his singing and guitar playing. It was hard to say goodbye." — PATRICIA HARTIGAN BLOOM, Reg. Nurse/Attorney at Law, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Vibrational Healer, Founder of A Healing Alternative, Mill Valley, California

"Guaria de Osa is a delightful lodge in the crown jewel of Costa Rica – the Osa Peninsula. This is our second visit. We hope to return many many more times." — PETER GALVIN, biologist, Center for Biological Diversity, California

"Guaria de Osa is exquisite. We had a wonderful time. I have zero complaints as a group retreat teacher and a heart that is completely full of love for all of it. I am passionate about Guaria's vision! All was exciting and challenging and just as it should be." — PRUE BERRY current hostess at Rowe Conference Center, Massachusetts, US and former co-director; music therapist and professional landscape designer

"My trip to Guaria de Osa was a psychospiritual journey that opened up possibilities in my personal and professional life that I had only dreamed of before. And it was exotically beautiful, rejuvenating and fun!" — RACHEL HARRIS, Ph.D., psychologist & author

"My time at Guaria was beyond my wildest dreams... I can't thank you enough for all your help in coordinating the details. Jonathan was the MOST gracious host, and the staff so warm and welcoming." — SARAH SMITH-LEVINE

"Well Jonathon Sparrow, you've done yourself proud – big dreams require big beautiful places to happen. See you next time." — SCOTT PITTMAN, Permaculture Institute, New Mexico

"Guaria de Osa is a rare jewel, a most beautiful and pristine place to encounter Nature and to explore our inner selves. Go!" — SERGIO LUB, &

"I came here as one and left as another. Thank you." — SIMON ASTAIRE, London, England

"Ladna is a rare pleasure to work with -- professional, caring, and attentive to every detail. Organizing our retreat in Costa Rica seemed a daunting task, but she made the entire process run smoothly. I am hugely thankful for her indispensable help, and I consider her a true friend." — STEPHEN THOMAS, Reality Sandwich Retreat Organizer

"My experience with Jonathon at Guaria de Osa was unique and uplifting. After spending such quality time in the lush tropical forests of the beautiful Osa Peninsula I feel refreshed and invigorated, and I now see why they call it "The little Amazon." Jonathon's energy and knowledge are truly amazing, and hiking with him as guide provided me with countless animal sightings and medicinal plant encounters. He is very at home in the Costa Rican Forest, for much of the bio-diversity he has come to know from the Ecuadorian Amazon is present here as well. The food was healthy and very tasty, and the positive energy of the locals and Jonathon and his team left every cell in my body saying "Pura Vida!" — STEVE PETRI

"Sacred Love." — STING, England

"Our trip to Osa was an amazing experience. I hope you can keep it as lovely and innocent as it is over the years." — SUZANNE SNYDER

"Dear Dahlia, What a beautiful place you have in Guaria! It was such a fantastic trip and so nourishing in so many ways!! Your dear, sweet son was the most patient of hosts and always made you feel like you were his top priority. Guaria is a blissfully sweet pace of Guaria!" — TERRY

"The personal service and love at Guaria de Osa was like nothing I had ever experiences. The staff treated me wonderful and took extra care of me. I won't forget your kindness and deep sense of joy at living here. Muchas Gracias por todo." — TIMOTHY DUDA, Spanish Professor, San Antonio, Texas

"Jonathon was the most wonderful of hosts, and a pure treasure...we all fell in love with his pure heart, and his beautiful Guaria de Osa." — TRISH MEDLING

"I'm continually inspired by my trip to Guaria de Osa." — ZOE HARRIS, Artist and Spanish Teacher

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