Our Story

Santuario Hibiscus – an idea that was created in the minds and the hearts of two people – Daniel and Franziska.

Long before these two individuals met they each had the idea to one day own a house and a piece of land in a southern country. A very unique place where people could rejuvenate, leave behind their daily lives with all its preoccupations. A place based on respect for our planet and a passion to serve and make an impact.

Dan being American and Franziska calling Switzerland her home – no doubt fate was at work to have these two people meet. The way their backgrounds complemented each other was another added plus – or proof for what was happening? Dan works in anything to do with construction and Fran is very fond of her work in the hospitality industry.

Standing on the corner of the plaza on that warm January morning waiting for the school bus to pick him up, Dan had no idea about the girl that was already sitting in the bus nor did he know that this day would forever change his life. Their first encounter was short and cool – cleary expressing their disinterest in meeting someone more than a classmate or travel buddy.

The Spanish language school was very small with only a handful of students. Coffee breaks were spent together and over the course of the next two weeks they realized talking to each other – how much similarity their concepts of life had. After school was out at the end of January they headed to Cahuita on the caribbean side of Costa Rica. The cabins they stayed at were called Hibiscus…

They spent countless hours talking about life and the effect humans have on each other and their surroundings.

But their time was short – Dan was scheduled to fly back to the US the second week of February. Saying their good byes, they didn’t know what would become of the seed that had been planted.

At the end of March 2004 Franziska too returned home. Tied up and overwhelmed with work she found very little time to answer Dan’s emails that kept coming at regular intervals and their contact became less and less. It was not until the end of 2005 she decided to get back in touch with Dan. Why? We like to think it was just one of those things in life that can’t be explained!

In May of 2006 Dan came to Europe – his first time on the other side of the big water – and their talks continued. This time they had a whole month and the seed grew into a small plant… Dan was scheduled to work in San Francisco for about 10 months on the renovation of the Hotel Ritz.

After spending some time in the US, visiting Dan at his house in Evans, WA., Fran followed him to San Francisco where he had moved in February 2007.

They were married in February 2008 in Berne, Switzerland where they lived for the next 1 ½ years. Many hours were spent searching the internet for that special place – finally narrowing it down to Mexico and Ecuador. After returning to the US they visited Ecuador in late 2009. Curious and apprehensive but ready for the adventure they found their future home and business venture after two months of travel, research and frustruation in the Yunguilla Valley of southern Ecuador.

The Hibiscus blossom is like a life. It is beautiful for a very short time and then fades away. Life is like a Hibiscus blossom wonderful, fulfilling and short. We feel that people need to live life to its fullest, see and experience things that are foreign and new – learn new ways. This is why we want to share Santuario Hibiscus with others, to show and to learn how we can all live a better, more sustainable life here on earth.