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For years we have lived near and drove by an interesting looking roadside bank, you may have also seen it as you travel from the Pan American highway into the community of San Pedro.

What a surprise I had when a few months ago I decided to stop and take a look at what they are digging for in that bank! What an interesting man I found in don Manuel as he took me through all those rooms and tunnels he is carving for himself and his family. Mr. Manuel is literally digging his way through, to a place they now call home! We have all heard of the expression “building their dream home,” well, that is exactly what Manuel’s family is doing!

When Manuel was a young man of 18 years he was determined to explore the world. So how does a young Costa Rican without much education and not much $ get to venture very far? That is what I am fixing to share with you! I am so blessed every time I listen to stories like this!


Mr. Manuel knew that his options were few so he must select very wisely. He chose to bus his way through Panama, paid an inexpensive airline ticket to Colombia and from there he bussed his way on South, touring and working to pay for his travels as he went. One thing led to another and before he knew it he was working on cargo ships transporting supplies from South America to ports all along the U.S. coasts on the Pacific and Atlantic. This was probably the most eventful and exciting periods of his youthful work and world travels.


Although the pay was neither that great nor the job as adventurous, another job he really enjoyed during that time was working in the coal mines in South America. During this period of his life he dreamed of building his own home underground which is now taking shape! But besides a place to reside with his family, lots of other folks are enjoying the architecture, inspiration and passion that Mr. Manuel is putting into this underground palace! Now there are hotels from San Isidro bringing people out by the bus load to tour the place and probably the most interesting part is to see and listen to all of the creative ideas that come to Manuel as he digs his way through life!

Among the beautiful carvings on the side of the walls of this underground palace you will find the basket of abundance, wild animals and all kinds of Indian characters etc.

In this underground palace as Manuel fondly calls it you will find 3 bedrooms, a bathroom (as Manuel shows you in the photo:) shower, several sitting rooms, a meditation or meeting room and presently under construction is a chapel, complete with a crystal clear pool for baptism.

If you are from the area or are planning to come soon you need to drop by and take a tour and listen to the passion of a man pursuing his dream. All for only $5 per person! Contact Manuel at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nat Yoder


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