Catching Up: Harley Schneider

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Published on: March 15, 2012

Hola Amigos,

The following is a narrative about where we are, what we are doing, and how we got here.

My wife Sherry and I began planning our retirement about 6 or 7 years ago.  After 30+ years of working in freezing and blistering temperatures,  we wanted a mild climate YEAR ‘ROUND.  We started going to Costa Rica in 2005.  The country is beautiful and the people warm and friendly.  Our first trip was to an eco-lodge on the Golfo Dulce.  There was inshore fishing, ocean kayaking tours of a monkey rescue, and a botanical garden.  However, it was HOT and humid…nice place to visit, not to live.

Subsequent trips took us to the mountains (beautiful and COLD with a lot of rain) and the beach resort area of Guanacaste (TOO HOT and TOO expensive).

In 2008 we took a due diligence tour based out of Puriscal.  This allowed us to see different areas of the country, a hospital (run by Baylor), a dentist (I A.I. some cattle for him) and a pharmacy.  We also toured newly constructed houses available to rent or own. Visiting with expats gave us  insight into the Costa Rican way of life.  For us, Costa Rica was the place to retire.

In 2010, we built a house in the mountains of Costa Rica, about 30 miles west and south of San Jose. Our house in Texas was sold in September of 2010 and Sherry packed  and left, with our five dogs, for Costa Rica in October.

I retired in December and joined Sherry in January 2011.  Sherry, searching for dog food, met Dr. Laura Villegas, a young veterinarian in Puriscal.  Long story short, Sherry learned that Laura’s husband Dr. Esteban Mesen directed the IVF lab in San Antonio de Belen.  After meeting Esteban, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with him and helping whenever needed.  My travels with Esteban have taken me throughout the country.  I have seen numerous ranches and met some fabulous cattle people.

Now retired, I can do the things I’ve always wanted to do.  Between fishing and traveling with Esteban, I still have time to work on restoring my 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser.

Cattle shows have become a real treat for us.  We have only missed one or two since being in the country.  They are a little different than in the US.  The breeds are “eared,” so fitting is minimal.  The quality of the cattle is good.  Besides the eared cattle, nearly all breeds of dairy cattle are represented in Costa Rica.  The purebred dairy cattle are found in the mountains where it’s cooler.  In the more tropical areas,  dairy breeds are crossed with Bos indicus.  Angus and Simmental are prominent beef breeds usually represented as Bos indicus crosses.

Our days are full and we still have lots of places to visit.  We are learning the language and have made many Costa Rican friends.

Y’all come visit!


Harley and Sherry Schneider

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