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Edwin Tavarez

United States
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Edwin Tavarez, Costa Rica resident, works at Surf Side Burger Barn.

When it came to a time in to relocate, there was only one place that sounded like an option for Edwin Tavarez: Costa Rica. He is currently a chef at Surf Side Burger Barn but when he is not in the kitchen, he can be found running his parasailing business. While he enjoys all the time he gets to spend in the sun on his boat with tourists, he always is cautious about his trips and runs through all the important safety procedures before getting started.

There are no licenses or certifications required to be in the parasailing industry, says Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica has many parasailing companies that run unsafely, but he is sure to provide the safest environment for tourists and locals alike. He refuses to take off if the weather is not right and will never put anyone in danger for the sake of a dollar.

He educates all of his passengers on the proper safety techniques before taking off. He runs through the list of hand signals they can use since they cannot verbally communicate. He says the most important thing to remember is not to panic. Some people get nervous and start yelling that they want to come down because they forgot the hand signal, but it is nearly impossible to hear someone hundreds of feet up while traveling on the water.

All in all, though, Tavarez has the life he has always wanted. Growing up in the United States was fine, but he’s plenty happy spending his time on the beaches of Costa Rica.

Edwin Tavarez, Costa Rica resident, was born in a small town in Arkansas and continued to travel south as he grew up. There was really only one thing he could think about after graduating high school: Costa Rica. Arkansas is a while away from the beaches, but he grew up watching tons of movies and TV shows where people hit the beach and had the time of their lives every single day. That was enough to motivate him to save up some cash so he could move to what he considered paradise.

With no intentions of going to college, he worked odd jobs here and there in construction and cooked meals for family and friends at parties to help him get some cash. Eventually, he came up with enough cash to buy a place in Jaco. The dream finally happened for Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica was his new home and he had nothing to do but relax.

Well, relax and work, of course. He picked up the job at Surf Side Burger Barn when he first got down there and they pay him more than he needs to get buy while he does what he loves best: cook and chill out in the sun and sand. Between the Surf Side Burger Barn and his parasailing business, Edwin Tavarez, Costa Rica resident, considers his life much more play oriented than work.

A few years ago, he met his best friend while checking out an animal shelter local to Jaco. He went in with no expectations but walked out with his puppy, Henry, that was a bundle of energy and always ready to play. Just a year ago, another big moment occurred in the life of Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica was also the destination for Emily Hughes after she had enough of the United States and she just happened to walk into the Surf Side Burger Barn on a day when Tavarez was taking orders. Since the spring of 2012, Edward, Henry and Emily have been living happily in their surfside paradise in Jaco.

Through raising Henry, many of the residents in Jaco know where to turn when looking for help training a dog: Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica is a very laid-back place, and a dog that barks frantically and bothers the owner’s neighbors will not make anyone happy. Henry is a black Labrador, so even though he was very smart he had a lot of pent up energy that needed to be worked out. He knew how to take a command, but did not always have the patience to follow through completely.

Tavarez needed to first figure out what kind of dog Henry was. Dogs typically fall into three categories, alpha, beta or omega, with alphas being the leaders that are not aggressive, betas usually ready to fight and gain power over anyone else and omegas being very passive and timid. With Henry being alpha dog, it took a while for him to learn that Tavarez was the leader in the house and not him.

With alphas, it is important to know that patience is key. These dogs are used to being the one to call the shots so when they are put into a scenario where they are being told what to do it can be a tad bit confusing. Alpha dogs are never fearful or mean, so training them is more about persistence than anything. As Tavarez found out, all it took was a bit of determination to break Henry of his leader ways before he was the perfect best friend.

Betas can be difficult to train because not only do they want to be the one in charge, they’re willing to fight for the spot. Betas can and most likely will respond negatively to training and might act out when they are commanded to do something they are unhappy about.

Omegas can take a little while to get used to their new surroundings and might get bullied by other animals in the house. They are passive and kind animals, though, and will likely be a faithful companion who will do anything to please their master.

He always tells people the various ways to train their dogs after the people learn their dog’s type. Alpha dogs are smart and are good listeners, so as long as their owner asserts their dominance they will be loyal companions. Omegas need a lot of socialization with other dogs so they can get used to standing up for themselves and acting normally, especially if there are other dogs in the house. They are likely to listen to orders, however, so training should not be difficult.

Betas might need a professional, however, especially if they are being overly aggressive. Edwin Tavarez, Costa Rica resident, has always explained to people that there is no shame in getting professional help to get a dog to calm down. Instead, the shame would come in having to pay for someone’s medical bills if the dog got out of hand and bit someone.

When arriving on the island, there were plenty of new hobbies awaiting Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica is a wonderful place for tourists to spend vacation, so naturally there are plenty of opportunities for people to do fun things while spending their money. Though he tried many things, he finally found something that was able to hold his attention: rock climbing.

He took an appreciation to the sport because there is so much more that goes into it than simply climbing a wall. The climber has to be in peak physical condition to fight through the pain of climbing a difficult wall. Once a climber gets higher, they need to be flexible and able to stretch and get into position to grab those hard-to-reach handles. Rock climbing is also a mental game. The best climbers know how to stay focused no matter how high up they are. The mind needs to be on the next step and the next hold instead of everything else going on.

Overall, Tavarez does not regret his decision at all to move away from the United States. As soon as he stepped foot on the beaches it was clear that Edwin Tavarez, Costa Rica and all that it had to offer were made for each other.

Life is good right now for Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica has brought him his wife and best friend, so there is not much more that he is looking for at the moment. However, he does believe that with all the money he has been able to save over the past few years from living simply, he could eventually open up his own restaurant. While cooking at the Surf Side Burger Barn has been easing living since he’s been down there, owning his own restaurant and eventually turning a profit big enough where he wouldn’t have to work anymore would be even nicer.

As far as owning a restaurant goes, the basics are already obvious to Edwin Tavarez. Costa Rica is made up of very kind people by nature, so customer service is the thing he would focus on first and foremost. He knows that the customer always has to be right even when they are not, and he will work hard to ensure that everyone is treated with the proper respect they deserve when they walk through the doors of his restaurant.

He’s also looking forward to the different dishes he would be able to serve at his own restaurant. There is only so much that can be done with burgers and fries, after all. He is looking forward to cooking more dishes that are native to the island as well as bringing a couple of American favorites to the table as well. He hopes that within the next 10 years, he, Emily and Henry will be relaxing by the beach with no more worries.


No Education Specified

Career History
  • 03/2011 to 12/2099
    : Chef
    : not defined
  • N/A to N/A
    : E Street LLC d/b/a
    : Zamboni Driver
    : Hyde Park
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No Core Competencies Specified

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Worst Failures in Business

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