Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen


“Honestly, I might have said that but I meant something else.” Confusing yes­? There is a situation happening in Manuel Antonio that makes me sick to my stomach. Integrity of a person or a group is often found in actions, not words. Like a politician or a street hustler, words can be manipulated to paint a picture that is completely untrue. Advertisement agencies, political special interest groups, developers and some realtors specialize in this type of façade. Say something positive, stretch the truth, and then act in one’s self–interest which is always greed. At what point does buyer beware morph into a direct lie. Let’s just say to a person, consumer, or a community? If I offered to create let’s just say 2000 high-paying jobs, would I be held accountable or can I write fiction combined with non-fiction to produce the image I want. It’s artistry of word play, a creative false endeavor not what will actually happen. If someone said that statement here in MA I would say produce the job list and the salaries. Perhaps I would even trade in my 25 years of bodywork because of the high pay. Does actual reality matter when one produces a website or a press release with all great intentions or is it entertainment, something to be half believed. Does the reality actually matter? In my short 52 years I have always needed family or friends to earn my trust, not just to talk about it. For example a blanket statement stating positive impacts for a community reads to me like it depends on whose side you are on, it’s a very relative concept. When I have read a prediction that building a skyscraper in the jungle benefits local tourist eco systems extremely loud alarm bells start screaming in my head. Next I wonder if I understand English, or if am I losing my mind when I put these words together? A BA in English must mean something? I have a very hard time nodding my head yes while reading about this tragic fantasy happening a stones throw from our sacred pubic beach and park.

Let’s continue…Environmental Compensation Plan. I try to break down these three words and I sink into my own frustrations again. Speaking of compensation I took the liberty to look up the definition so I can be exact, so my words mean something. Compensation is defined as something, particularly money, awarded to someone in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury. In my layman words if I injure something, or cause loss, lets say by clear cutting a mountain, I can pay money and all is forgotten. It’s like a dollar sign penance in the Catholic church. The creatures (the entire eco systems jungle habitat) do not use money so who gets the compensation, the cash? Am I supposed to accept the notion that if I donate money before, during, and after my wrong doings, to every organization that will accept my money, my dirty deeds get absolved? This is great news! Money really is the answer not honesty and integrity. I’ve had it wrong for 52 years and feel like an imbecile. Sacred natural untouched jungle isn’t perfect as it is, it must be completely devastated and built into a vision for a select few. A city vision of high density, minus everything natural that used to live there is better for our community. The old growth rainforest that I personally used to walk through when I hiked down to surf Playitas, our famous local surf spot, has been buzzing with Sunday Chainsaw Fiestas for years. Ironically, stranger then fiction, this skyscraper also is claiming control of the public beach with its own private beach club…their Environmental Compensation Plan must be enormous! These beautiful word play manipulators clearly have my interests and everyone in the community in mind. I feel so silly to not have known this.

I was reading a manifesto of a perfect destructive profitable plan spun into a heavenly utopia. At first solidarity was assured, however then I was slapped with female empowerment as the main the focus a few paragraphs later. That is exactly what I have been missing in my life, oh my, they will bring it to me. The destructive profitable plan is insulting if you understand the way they are spinning the truth. I’ve had amazing experiences in my life but none of them are ULTRA-Luxury. Apparently, this is what all of Manuel Antonio is missing. Our future depends on it. Surely that is what I’ve been missing while vacationing to other natural and beautiful parts of the world. Condos in Rwanda near the mountain gorillas. Condos near the elephant rehabilitation center I worked in India. Condos in the Grand Canyon. Condos out on Isla de CoCos here in Costa Rica, for all the world to enjoy in ULTRA-luxury. Let’s have a parade to announce the paradox of biophilic construction in a conservation zone. These guys want you to believe their skyscraper is within the 683 hectares of Manuel Antonio Park. Their words! We are told to believe that we need more “celebrities and powerhouse business executives” because what we now have is not enough. They say nature created it and YOU the condo owner deserves it. As a simple hard working massage therapist of 25 years I apparently have set my life work in the basement of this skyscraper. I never knew I needed such an eco/tower near me. Respect and conservation of wildlife can only be found after destroying it. I am beginning to understand what words mean.

To exploit a community you need to present a story of how great and beneficial it is for everyone. Funny how they came to us, I used to marvel at the beauty of what was there before the clear-cut it. Funny how respectable realtors have turned their back on this perfect addition to our community. Two years ago they blocked our view with huge barricade billboards, it was stolen from us then. An armed guard as well to protect the community from this monster! Signifying its upcoming destruction. Perhaps respect for this project could be re-gained if we saw a carefully written press release on what the community will have to sacrifice for this skyscraper. Construction traffic on a two lane road which is already a problem, water shortages, complete demolition of the rainforest (in February), sewage from a high density skyscraper running onto our beach and bay, construction run off for years as our rainy season is about to kick in, animals, insects, birds, reptiles obliterated, bribes disguised as donations, the list goes on. My suggestion is try some honesty. Stop using the word eco for starters because your Pinocchio nose has grown so large that your ULTRA-Luxury condo idea is a common joke here in the real community. Sneaky and shameful actions speaking louder than words. The sanctity of our amazing Manuel Antonio environment is becoming a twin of Jaco with this project. Everything and everyone will suffer from it…mark my words.

Todd Pequeen is a local of 24 years and was Manuel Antonio’s first masseur. He can be reached on WhatsApp at 506 8830-7727 or at [email protected]. He spends most of his free time outdoors enjoying the natural beauty in life.