It’s that time of year in Costa Rica where the weather is perfect; dry and sunny. The annual festivals are in full swing. Traditional “topes” are everywhere, with Palmares leading the way.

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Here in Atenas, February brings another great event, the annual chili cook off to support the Hogar de Vida de Ninez in Atenas ( This year will be the 6th Annual Atenas Charity Chili Cook-off, which was started and hosted by Kay and Tom Costello of Kay’s Gringo Postres.

Mary Cook, a great friend and client of ours, somehow wrangled Gerardo and me into entering the contest as chili cooks last year (we usually take a more behind the scenes approach by a monetary donation). In the end, we decided it would be a lot of fun and we love the feeling of being able to be proactive and do something for the community!

About The 2013 Chili Cook-Off.

Six years ago, Tom and Kay Costello wanted a way to help the local children’s home. The idea of a chili cook-off was born with the idea of getting the community involved as well.

Since its inception, the annual chili cook-off has grown into a full blown event. Last year there were dozens of chili cooking teams, the Atenas Charity Chili Cook-off is not child’s play, it’s serious business! The contestants are judged on the following criteria:

  1. Aroma
  2. Color
  3. Taste
  4. After taste
  5. Consistency

The judges cannot make faces or commentaries. In the end, they will pick the top three chilis. In addition to the panel of judges, the public gets to vote and there will be a People’s Choice Award. For the contestants there are very specific rules and regulations that must be followed.

If the rules are not followed, you will be eliminated!

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This year’s chili cook-off will take place on the 10th February 2013 at Quinta Romavista, in the Barrio Mercedes of Atenas. The event is open from 11 am until 4 pm. The entry fee is 2,000 colones per person (about $4). In addition to the chili cook-off/tasting, the event features live music, a silent auction, raffles with prizes, contests, games, a beer and wine garden, hot dogs, wings, pies, cakes, and many other things to keep the senses happy!

The AARP Ranks Atenas as…
One of “The Best Places to Retire Abroad.”

For a map and more details, please check out the website here.

If you have any questions on how you can get involved or learn more about the event, go to the contacts page and fill out the form online, or mail one of the event coordinators directly.

About The Hogar De Vida de Niñez

We learned about the Hogar de Vida de Ninez and Tim and Dena’s wonderful work via Tom and Kay and many of our amazing clients-turned-friends, like Doug and Kathy Case, who have volunteered at the “Hogar” over the years. It is always a privilege to be asked to work with an organization that provides an invaluable service to our community, especially to little ones who otherwise would have no place to go. Directly from their website, the mission of Hogar de Vida is:

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Come Visit The 10th February 2013 Chili Cook-Off.
11am – 4pm

“Homes of Life is a Christian mission dedicated to caring for orphaned children through mission work in Costa Rican and Guatemalan missions. In partnership with Children of Promise International, Homes of Life provides a safe, loving environment where children can thrive. We count on the generosity of volunteers, donors and other organizations who share our dedication to the well-being of children around the world.”

To find out more about the Hogar and how you can help, please check out their website at: Please remember, “helping” is not just about money… volunteering is just as valuable.

About Tom and Kay.

Everyone who knows Tom and Kay can see from the moment you meet them what big hearts they have. Over the years, they have not only lived in Atenas, but have both made a concerted effort to become part of the community that is Atenas.

Having a soft spot for children, they wanted to find a way to help support the local children’s home, Hogar de Vida de Ninez. Thus, the Atenas Charity Chili Cook-off was born. The small dessert business they started over 7 years ago has blossomed into a great little diner (Kay’s Gringo Postres) where expats and locals can meet and have coffee, something sweet or a great meal.

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Sunday brings the breakfast buffet with goodies such as eggs, bacon, sausage, gallo pinto, biscuits and sausage gravy, fresh fruit and sweet rolls! You will always be greeted with a big smile and hello….and more often than not, a hug and kiss.

Come on, you’re at home, so don’t be shy! You can enjoy Kay’s Gringo Postres Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 – 6:00, Saturday 8:00 to 4:00, and Sunday 8:00 to 1:00. Kay’s Gringo Postres is located just past the Red Cross in Atenas, on Calle Guiesero.

Gerardo and I want to ask all of our friends, family, and clients to come out and support us on February 12th. Your support will do amazing things for some very deserving children. Not only will you be supporting a worthwhile cause, you will have a great time in a positive atmosphere while socializing and enjoying the great entertainment and tasty food! We look forward to seeing you all!

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The 2013 Atenas Chili Cook-Off Supports Local Children’s Home. Come and have some fun with us on Sunday 10th February 2013
Article ID Number 4019

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