• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

How a Costa Rican coconut can turn you into a ‘beautiful Barbie’

December 1, 2017

When I chat with journalist and Tico Times columnist Alvaro Murillo, it’s usually about politics – but this photo in his Facebook feed, published here with his permission, couldn’t help but catch my eye.

“Slim down with these pipas, cleaning your floors, giving it all you’ve got and reducing your belly,” says this sign, hand-lettered by a vendor at San José’s Mercado Central and photographed in November. “Transform yourself into a beautiful Barbie.”

A careless glance might lead a shopper to think the sign refers to the benefits of coconut water, but in fact, it refers to a Costa Rican house-cleaning hack. One traditional method of polishing the floor is to chop a pipa in half and let it dry out. (Green pipas are immature coconuts that still have their outer husk attached.) The cut surface of the coconut shell can then be used, ideally with a broom handle stuck into the top of the pipa, to polish a floor to a high sheen, au natural.

Or so I hear. If you clean your floors with a pipa, I want to hear some expert tips from you.

At any rate, would-be Barbies and Kens alike should keep this merchant’s method in mind for shedding those Christmas pounds after a few too many tamales this year: just apply a little elbow grease and you’ll burn those calories right off.

Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to [email protected]. We’d love to see the sights with you.

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus driving, business restrictions for July 2021 (updated)
Costa Rica
461 views
Costa Rica
461 views

Costa Rica coronavirus driving, business restrictions for July 2021 (updated)

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 1, 2021

The Costa Rican government will maintain driving restrictions in response to continued highs in coronavirus cases. Below are Costa Rica’s…

Route 36 bridge not expected until Wednesday
Costa Rica
286 views
Costa Rica
286 views

Route 36 bridge not expected until Wednesday

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 26, 2021

A bridge reestablishing transit on Route 36 near Penshurst, Limón, isn't expected to be ready until Wednesday, authorities now say.…

Brisa Hennessy reaches quarterfinals in Olympic surfing
Costa Rica
123 views
Costa Rica
123 views

Brisa Hennessy reaches quarterfinals in Olympic surfing

The Tico Times - July 26, 2021

Costa Rican surfer Brisa Hennessy has reached the quarterfinals of the women's shortboard at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The…

Costa Rica out of Gold Cup as Canada & USA reach semifinals
Costa Rica
248 views
Costa Rica
248 views

Costa Rica out of Gold Cup as Canada & USA reach semifinals

AFP - July 26, 2021

The United States earned the final spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals on Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0 win…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports