Burnside works out
in her jungle gym
named her jungle compound “the enchanted forest”
Brenda Burnside: a jungle gym
Where and what Brenda was BCR (Before Costa Rica)
Brenda was a professional boxer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Known
as the Tigress, she had a film made about her called A Tiger
by Her Stripes. (She has tiger-stripe tattoos on her arms and
How Brenda came to be in Costa Rica and what she's doing
Her first visit to Samara (on the Nicoya Peninsula), in 1999, coincided
with an enormous arrivada, when sea turtles arrive on
the beaches by the hundreds, scrambling up the sand to lay their
eggs. Brenda had never seen anything like it, and she went to sleep
that night with images of the vast army still in her head.
On the remaining days of her vacation, she looked into real estate,
and learned that a nearby piece of land was available. She bought
it, and began to fashion the jungle compound that would become
the Enchanted Forest, the centerpiece of which is a boxing ring
where she trains local kids.
Brenda jokes that it's her Flintstone gym--along with the regulation
heavy bags are sand-filled inner tubes, and some of her weights
are Coke bottles filled with sand. The local boys love it, but
she wants especially to encourage the girls. Brenda's dream was
to be an Olympic athlete, and though she was good at many things--fencing
got her closest, she thinks--she never quite made it. Women's boxing
has become an Olympic sport, and Brenda would love to see a girl
from Costa Rica make it to the Olympic ring.
Brenda, do you have any advice for people thinking of
moving to Costa Rica?
"Look around. Ask questions. But in the end, you need to follow your dream.
If the turtles tell you to stay, you stay."
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