Tengo Sed Writers' Retreat
Tengo Sed ("I Am Thirsty") Writing Retreats in Costa Rica have flourished into an intentionally curated sacred space for global BIPOC who want a “time-out of place” to rest, unplug, and be in a writing community. Tengo Sed is also intentionally situated at a wellness retreat so that the white-glove boutique services (including the spa) remind each participant that beauty and self-care are a priority as much as writing and workshopping.
Tengo Sed started as an idea that Natasha Gordon-Chipembere manifested when she moved to Costa Rica from Brooklyn with her family in June 2014. Part of the intentionality around this move was to be more active in her creative life. Selfishly, Natasha wanted to share the natural resources and beauty of Costa Rica with her writing community in the USA who could use a “retreat” to gather, break bread, write and workshop. Natasha's first Tengo Sed gathering was located on a private farm in La Alegria, Siquirres on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in January 2015. The response was so positive that she held the second retreat shortly after in June 2015. The 3rd Tengo Sed saw the return of some “veterans” and new members in January 2016. Natasha decided to move to an all-inclusive wellness retreat (self-sustaining) venue in Atenas, Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast for Tengo Sed IV and V in January 2019 and 2020. Due to Covid, Tengo Sed VI was postponed. Tengo Sed Writers' Retreat will be on hiatus for Jan 2023. Details about Tengo Sed 2024 will be available in the spring of 2023.
LOCATION & AMENITIES
Atenas Costa Rica is about 40 minutes from the Juan SantaMaria International Airport SJO. The Retreat is located high in the mountains on an exclusive property which boasts shared and single rooms, a stunning view of the Pacific ocean, a yoga studio, gym, rooftop patio, fire pit, and several pools. Writers can drink coffee on their balconies or commune at tables in the common areas. Water and natural juices are served throughout the day. Meals are exquisite concoctions of live, locally sourced veggies, beans, and salads with protein added based on personal choice. The highlight of each day is sharing breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the writing community to catch up on work, dreams, stories, and life.
• Tengo Sed VI, The Retreat Atenas, January 4-9, 2022
• Tengo Sed V, The Retreat Atenas, January 6-10, 2020
• Tengo Sed IV, The Retreat, Atenas, January 9-12, 2018
• Tengo Sed III, La Alegria Siquirres, January 7-12, 2016
• Tengo Sed II, La Alegria Siquirres, June 18-22, 2015
• Tengo Sed I, La Alegria Siquirres, January 9-17, 2015
"Unlike many other writers’ retreats, Tengo Sed is specifically for African descendant creatives and is designed thoughtfully in ways that attend to both “work” and “play” goals of its participants: workshops and presentations; chef-prepared fresh organic meals daily; activities and excursions that highlight African descendants locally; and opportunities for rest as an act of resistance. Being in community with other Tengo Sed scholars, artists, professors, documentarians, and other creatives and having the safe space to fully “show up” in my own Black excellence has been critical to my publishing books and completing other digital projects. I look forward to the experience every year!"
—Yndia Lorick-Wilmot, PhD, digital creator and podcast host of Talking Journeys of Belonging 2 Blackness, and author of Stories of Identity Among Black, Middle Class Second Generation Caribbeans: We, Too, Sing America.