Percy and Mayra are people I got to know recently at the beach in Tamarindo. Percy grew up in the San Jose ghetto and would’ve been a gangster, he said, and probably dead, if not for a surfing vacation to Tamarindo in 1990. He became one of Costa Rica’s first professional surfers until injuring his leg; now he manages a hotel. Mayra is an illiterate woman who lives in a hovel along the alleyway that I walked through when going down to the beach. She was out every morning at 6.15 a.m., sprinkling down the dust.