JERRY, 43 – Surfer
“This is the real place, this is Costa Rica”
We just spent one night and one day in ‘Casa Jerry’ at Manzanilla Beach, a bit north of Santa Teresa on Peninsula Nicoya, Costa Rica, where Jerry is renting out a room. A quiet little village, no tourists, with roads that sent clouds of dust through the veranda every time a car passed.
Jerry grew up in Florida. When he was 21 he was sentenced to 9 years in prison for causing a car accident that killed the son of the police chief. The accident also put him in a wheelchair. A blood test was presented that showed his blood alcohol level was three times higher than allowed, although all his friends testified he wasn’t drinking that night. During the trial, when the judge allowed a genetic test on the blood, in order to ascertain wether it was Jerry’s or not, the evidence had disappeared.
After 3 years of rehabilitation, he served six of the nine years in prison. He was released from prison when he was 30, but he couldn’t stand staying in the US, just not feeling free. He started traveling, working in shipyards and on yachts, ‘entertaining the rich’ for two or three month a year to make enough money to spend the rest of the year surfing and enjoying life in Costa Rica. He has lived in his cabina in Manzanillo beach for 7 years now.
“Look, I just want to enjoy life…”
“Money runs out, laughter lasts for a lifetime”