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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Costa Rica Entrepreneur SpicyLife Building Community in Dominical

You might have heard of 1% for the Planet, a charitable organization that makes it easy for your company to support environmental projects or seen chocolate makers that give 10% to protect endangered species or other causes. But here in Costa Rica, Spicey Life, a young chile sauce company inspired by the Pura Vida spirit, gives 20% of its profits to support kids and their families in the Dominical area. 

Spicey Life was founded in 2018 by Pepe Lopez, 30, who was born and raised in Dominical where his vegan hot sauce product is now made. Pepe’s heart is in his home community where the company supports outreach programs, especially for youth. The funds allow twice monthly events such as beach clean-ups, music education, art and technology workshops and surf events. 

Saturday on Playa Dominical saw Pepe, microphone in hand, enthusiastically welcoming dozens of families with kids at the playground space where he kicked off the 2nd Surf Kids Event, “Repeat after me: We love community, we love family, we love Spicey Life. Pura Vida” 

The surf contest, officially sponsored by Spicy Life & Osa Hora, included contributions from at least a dozen local businesses and community organizations including Sunset Surf, CR Surf Travel Company, PizzaTime, Bageltime, and VisitDominical. com. 

“This is the 2nd Surf event for kids. We are making one event per month to bring the community and families because we believe that community is powerful and love is all,” Pepe told me between rounds of the surf competition. 

Close to a dozen surfers competed for cash prizes and though the surf was modest, managed to make the most of the waves. 

The morning event included free surf lessons to kids, free arroz con pollo and even put out a call for old clothes to give away to those in need. 

The company has grown from three kids in 2018 to over a 100 who now participate in various aspects of the company from producing their signature hot sauce to community outreach events and workshops. Pepe has his sights on creating the biggest chile sauce company in the world to as he said, “help the kids and humanity; this is my priority.” 

The SpicyLife label featuring a sombrero wearing chile surfing a wave in the form of the Costa Rican flag lives up to the company name. 

You can find Spicey Life Chile sauce on the shelves at BM supermarkets throughout Costa Rica and will soon be available online. In the meantime you can follow Pepe, his tribe of kids and learn more about Spicey Life on Instagram and Facebook

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