A Tamarindo tourism pioneer died Saturday in California. She was Julia Boogaard, who moved to the popular beach resort when it still
was undiscovered, said her family. That was in 1979.
Ms. Boogaard and her husband, Koen, bought a house on a quiet beach in a part of Tamarindo that would not have electricity for a year, but made it work, said her daughter, Ilka, who added:
“Ever the entrepreneur Julia opened Tamarindo’s very first tourist office, video store and rental business, and was landlady to her daughter’s bookstore in the same building.
“Always looking for adventure, she bought a house in Mexico a few years later and also opened up a vacation rental business. Eventually she would spend more time in Mexico, sold her business in Costa Rica and would come back to Costa Rica only to visit her family. Traveling was her passion and she circumnavigated the world several times.
“In 2013 she decided to spend six months of the year closer to her family now in California. Three months later she had a stroke, and a year and a half later she passed away. She was a very intelligent woman, passionate about traveling and her family. She was a people person, a very good businesswoman and well remembered as a pioneer of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.”
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her son-in-law Warren, grandchildren Martin and Renee and her brother Pim. Mrs. Boogaard was born in the Netherlands. Her father was a well-known flower exporter, and she had two older siblings. She had a good childhood and traveled a lot with her father on business throughout Europe.
“She was a popular girl, and living in a university town, her dance card was always full,” her daughter said. “At age 24 while working as a receptionist in Noordwijk, she met her future husband. They married and very shortly thereafter had a daughter. After a few lean years, they started a cosmetics wholesale business which became very successful.”
The couple separated in 1986.
Mrs. Boogaard was an avid supporter of World Animal Protection, and her family requested that any donations be made there in her memory.