Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948 and is the only country in the world with no army and no defense arrangement with a larger country.
Costa Rica’s peace story has continued to unfold. Inspired by the poem, Rasur or Week of Splendor, Rita Marie founded the Rasur Foundation in 1997 to make the vision of the poem real in our time. It is headquartered at Quizur, which is named after the village in the poem that is transformed into a culture of peace.
The foundation implemented the Connection Practice in Costa Rican schools and initiated a Ministry for Peace bill in Costa Rica that passed in 2009. Quizur hosts Connection Practice tours and courses while US headquarters are near San Jose, CA. and are focused on global expansion. All proceeds from Rasur Foundation activities support our mission to empower more youth faster through the Connection Practice.
Rita Marie Johnson has lived off and on in Costa Rica for almost 30 years. She created the Connection Practice, a wellness habit that transforms turmoil into caring connection with self and others. It won the Ashoka Changemaker’s Innovation Award: Building a More Ethical Society, chosen from 32 projects in 79 countries. She is the author of Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, an Amazon Bestseller and Nautilus Award Winner in Psychology. Rita Marie taught the Connection Practice at the United Nations University for Peace, a graduate school for international leaders. Now Connection Practice trainers and educators offer it in countries around the world and have taught over 100,000 adults and children.
Ricardo Balderas was born in Mexico and grew up in San Jose, CA where he met Rita Marie and they married in 2019. Ricardo received his Ed.D in Multicultural Education. In his career, he served as a bilingual elementary school principal in Bay Area schools for over 30 years. He published a children’s book, The Dragon that Wanted To Play in the Snow. He plays the guitar and writes songs that inspire inclusion and connection among people. Ricardo has also played racquet ball for 52 years and won gold medals at the Senior Olympics.
Ricardo supports logistics at Connection Practice headquarters each day, whether in California or in Costa Rica. He enjoys making old things look new again through his carpentry, landscaping and other skills which played a major role in renovating Quizur. His bilingual ability and love of history, philosophy and beauty make him an excellent guide in Costa Rica.
Through the Connection Practice, he and Rita Marie have created a deep foundation of emotional safety in their marriage that frees them to serve others at the highest level.
Josue Rivera is a 25 year old, bilingual Costa Rican who owns a taxi business. He impressed Rita Marie when he shared, "I was lost in life and was being controlled by outside situations. I finally realized if I didn't change, nothing would change, so I started reading books and taking courses on self-knowledge. I came to see that managing my emotions was the first change I needed to make and I discovered that the way to happiness is love. The greatest act of love I can do is to find my true self and let love guide my life." Josue's presence on the tour adds an authentic touch that will warm your heart.
You will arrive at the airport in San José and travel by taxi to Aranjuez Lofts. There is a grocery store a 10 minute walk away where you can buy any supplies that you’d need. We will gather in the evening for dinner at Quizur and an orientation with Rita Marie Johnson, creator of the Connection Practice and Executive Director of Rasur Foundation International.
We will visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a nature wonderland of butterflies, animals and the most amazing series of waterfalls where we'll eat a scrumptious buffet lunch. Afterwards, you can rest or swim at the Lofts and then we will have dinner at Taco Bar.
We will travel to Quizur, the Rasur Foundation International Headquarters, for a day to learn the Connection Practice (CP) or participate in an advanced group if you're experienced in the CP. We will have lunch at Quizur. That evening, we will enjoy dinner at Distrito 80, a restaurant that has taken Costa Rican cuisine to a new level.
We will travel to Cartago to visit La Basilica de Los Ángeles. We will head to an outlook of the Orosi Valley and have lunch at Rinconcito Azul. Then we will travel to the central market in Downtown San José, an incredible maze of shops. Afterwards, we will rest at the Lofts and have dinner later on at Restaurante Gaudí.
We take a day for fun in the sun as we rise early in the morning for a Pacific Island Cruise. We will travel down a scenic highway to a yacht, which will take us to Tortuga Island’s white sand beach for swimming and optional snorkeling. There we will savor a feast of gourmet cuisine and relax until it’s time to return home.
Upon returning to the Lofts, dinner is on your own — if you can eat one more bite!
We will head by bus for the live Arenal Volcano, stopping in Zarcero, a village with a charming topiary and quaint Catholic Church. We’ll arrive in Fortuna for lunch at Choza de Laurel. Then on to the Volcano Lodge where you will have a view of the volcano and choice of optional activities: canopy zip line, hanging bridge tour, hot springs, hiking, sloth tour, and more! Enjoy dinner at the hotel and spend the night.
Enjoy soaking at the hot springs or any of the other optional activities at the Volcano Lodge. Breakfast is included and you are on your own for lunch. Then we will come together again for dinner.
After breakfast, we will be transported back to San José. On the way, we’ll enjoy lunch and a tour at Café Britt.
Café Britt is an organic fair trade coffee plantation. The owners have created an entertaining way to experience gourmet coffee along with their Costa Rican heritage. We will complete the tour with a closing program by an influential Costa Rican and a celebration dinner.
Check out of the Aranjuez Lofts and head for the airport. You will go home with more peace and a heart that is filled with Pura Vida (pure life)!
Airfare and airport exit fee are not included; there is a maximum of 20 people on the tour.
Option 1: $2,339/person (single occupancy)
Option 2: $1,979/person (double occupancy)