Bocas News

Treasure Hunting during CV 19

Treasure Hunting during CV 19

July 23, 2020

When thinking of hidden treasure, we think of the time of pirates hiding their cache of golden treasure to be forgotten, lost in time, and then later being discovered unexpectedly. This was not an uncommon event of English Privateers in the 16th century to attack Spanish ships and settlements in the Caribbean. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I gave permission for these attacks in return these privateers shared a portion of their spoils with the crown. To hold more wealth these Caribbean Pirates would bury part of their stolen treasures on deserted islands in the Caribbean to be retrieved later.

During this time of quarantine, there are not many activities people and families can do, since all social gatherings have been discontinued and there is only so much Netflix and videos games a family can tolerate. Eventually we all want to get out, explore, and seek new adventures……and just maybe find hidden treasures ourselves.

Denise DeVine and her husband, Jay, found a way to pay-it-forward to the Bocas community with giving her art of painting rocks and hiding them throughout the community for people to find. We had the pleasure of meeting Denise and Jay to learn more about their story and why they gave this wonderful gift to Bocas.

Denise is a retired Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, as well as a former pre-school teacher. Jay is a retired elementary school teacher from northern California. While living in California, Denise started to suffer from severe barometric pressure migraines, which prevented Denise to lead a quality life. After many failed attempts with a variety of traditional and holistic medicine, as well as other forms of therapy, it was suggested to Denise that she should look into possibly relocating to Central America, some place closer to the equator, a place where the barometric pressure is more stable and consistent.

Both Denise and Jay then took an extensive vacation to Costa Rica to explore the country and what it would take to relocate to Costa Rica. What they discovered was the cost of living was much higher than expected and the visa relocation was really not beneficial. Then they discovered a Panamá relocation tour service. They loved the service and the valuable information that they received, they liked some of the locations they visited, but these locations were not exactly what Denise and Jay were looking for. When Denise and Jay heard about Bocas del Toro, they were curious, but Bocas was not on the list of locations to visit on their relocation tour. Denise and Jay trusted their intuition and took their own trip to Bocas, and after their first visit they just fell in love with the town, the people, the water, the weather, and of course, the vibe that is only found in Bocas del Toro.

After being here for a short period of time they found the perfect house for them that is close enough to town, the beach, and the new hospital. Six months later, after moving in their new home, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.

While being in full quarantine with nothing to do Denise had to find something to occupy her time. She remembered when she was taking care of her mother how much they both enjoyed painting together. Now Denise had to find the right art medium, she could not find the canvas she wanted nor did she want a stack of paintings in her home either. Then Denise noticed all of the round smooth river rock on her property and remembered how people around the world created rocks with a message and would leave these rocks for people to discover in random places.

It was at this point that Denise found her gift that she could give to the community of Bocas del Toro. During the full quarantine, Denise started painting rocks of a variety of art that would include funky designs, Mexican skull, farm animals, wild jungle animals, sea life, and mythical creatures.

By the time that the full quarantine was relaxed, Jay took these painted treasures and started to hide them in special locations from Bocas town all the way up to Bluff Beach. Jay did not hide them so they could not be found, but placed them in locations that encouraged individuals to slow down, enjoy their surroundings as well as to pay more attention to what is around us in this beautiful tropical island.

Children are now looking for these hidden treasures and finding them in special locations where only a child would look. One lady went to hang her laundry on the clothing line to find a painted rock of clothes on a clothes line. A doctor found a small stone of doctor painted on it, that is now placed on his desk.

These little treasures have no monetary value but they have strong emotional value to the people that live in our community in Bocas. These treasures make a bleak day into a bright day, they put smiles on people’s faces. These treasures now give us purpose to leave our homes and give us a mission to do something, to look for something.

Thank you, Denise, for your gifts. Thank you, Jay, for hiding these treasures for us to find. Both of you have brighten our days in these times of lock-down.