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Maria Valera

Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Accepting Guests

50% response rate · Last login 6 days ago

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Overview

  • 88 Positive References1 Neutral1 Negative
  • Fluent in Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish; learning Japanese, Russian
  • 28, Female
  • Member since 2006
  • Tour guide, teacher
  • University degree
  • From San José, Costa Rica
  • Profile 65% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

Too many missions to fit them into one phrase....

ABOUT ME

I like: traveling, dancing, music, exercising (running, yoga,pilates), foreign languages, Islam, cooking and tasting new foods,learning anthropological and ethnological facts, nature, hiking, Bollywood movies, etc...I dislike: any kind of drug, fast-food, shopping malls, flies, working...

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I have surfed many couches and hosted a little (in the process of changing that!). I've got involved in a couple of CS groups as well.I have had too many perfect CS-experiences in several countries!As part of my gratitude for their hospitality, people from the following countries are most probably going to be instantly accepted: IRAN, PAKISTAN, GREECE, MEXICO, BULGARIA, MALAYSIA, SYRIA, PERU, GUATEMALA.Everybody from these countries will have extra priority when sending a request to and they will get all the help I can possibly offer.CS has allowed me to travel more than I thought I ever would and thanks to this community I have met some of my most important and beloved friends.It's just soooo much fun!

Interests

In order of importance:1- FOOD!!!2-Languages3-Exercise (mainly running and yoga)4-Dance (especially latin rythms such as salsa, merengue, bolero, cumbia, bachata, etc etc)5-Nature (I love the outdoors, Costa Rica is a paradise for hikers as well as for beach lovers, so I looove both! We are very fortunate here)5-Music (I am currently going through a big Bollywood and Arabic music obsession)6-Literature, especially Latin American, French and Ancient (Greek and Roman)

Music, Movies & Books

Music: Latin folkloric, Latin: salsa, merengue and bolero, Arabic, Hindi/Bollywood, Opera, Samba & Bossa Nova, Mariachis/Rancheras, Bolero and Trio Music, I also like reggaeton, etc etc etc...I don't like any kind of rock, punk, ska, techno or any similar music...

Books: The Odyssey by Homer The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga The Myth of Sysiphus by Albert Camus Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Mal de amores by Angeles Mastretta Pantaleón y las visitadoras, Mario Vargas Llosa Del amor y otros demonios by Gabriel García Márquez

One Amazing Thing I've Done

-Being paid to swim with whale sharks -Working at RIO SECRETO! -Iran, India, Mexico and Peru, my four favorite countries in the world. -The festival of Guelaguetza 2008 in Oaxaca -The fairy-tale city of Guanajuato and its rare mommies -Tikal ruins from dawn till dusk and the view from temple V -The kaluts in the Kermani desert -Hiking up to the youngest volcano in the world, the Paricutín in Michoacán, Mexico -Snorkeling in the out-of-this world cenotes in Yucatán -Iran's many gardens, flowers and greenery in the middle of the harsh desert. -The most beautiful city I have ever seen, Esfahan in Iran. -Turkey's Cappadocia and Iran's Kandovan, UNBELIEVABLE -Eating in the fanciest restaurant I have ever been in my life in Damascus, spending less than $US5 for 2 people and getting free dessert of chocolate crepes, ice cream and fruit. -Aleppo's 25 SYP ice creams and pistachio sweets, the absolute best best best in the world. -Eating the dirtiest food cooked with cowshit and drinking the riskiest shakes in India and never getting sick. -Walking the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu -Being blinded by the mighty reflections of the white Uyuni Salar in Bolivia and seeing the tallest cactai ever. -The GORGEOUS island of Bali, Indonesia -Borneo's gorgeous nature, caves and beaches -Feeling what paradise is all about at these beaches: >The beach at the back of Pandan island in Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines >Tulum beach on the Mayan Riviera >Playa Norte on isla Mujeres also in Mexico >Balos Lagoon, Gramvoussa Island and Elafonissi in Creta (WOOOOOW) the only three times I have really felt in absolute paradise. >Long Beach on Ko Phi Phi Island, Thailand -Being less than a meter away from blazing hot lava up on Pacaya volcano in Guatemala. -Angkor Wat, cliché of course, but how incredibly beautiful it is. -I guess eating a giant cockroach and beetles in Thailand, ant-eggs in Mexico, tamiloc and balut in the Philippines and saffron milk cooked and smoked in cow shit in Jaisalmer, India. -Turkey's peaches, Bulgaria's cherries, Syria's pistachios and grapes, Iran's doogh, pomegranates and blossom jam, Bali's SALAKS!, Thailand's mangosteens and lychees, Kosovo's cheap cheese and joghurt, Germany's cheap müsli, Malaysia's hokkien mee, and Thai Tom Yam! -Montenegro's Moracha canyon with the most beautiful turquoise river I have ever seen in my life. -Cretan sunsets, how can the sky turn in one giant rainbow?! -Seeing quetzales and hear them sing, they are my favorite bird and their chant is like no other

In COSTA RICA: -Hiked to the summit of Mount Chirripó, our highest peak. -Explored Rincón de la Vieja National Park -Went on a 750m long zip line upside down -I have seen the beautiful jungle in Corcovado National Park -The turquoise river appropriately named Río Celeste

And there is still a lot to see!

Teach, Learn, Share

Teach:SPANISH and any language knowledge I can share...Dance: salsa, merengue, bolero, samba etc...any kind of Latin dance basicallyI want to learn:Dances:anything Indian and Arabic, flamenco, tango, Languages: at the moment ARABIC, Russian, Chinese and Dutch are my priorities for professional reasons, but also Farsi,Turkish, Hindi, Urdu, Greek are hight on my list and just about any other language in the world...I am also very interested in Latin and Ancient GreekNew cooking techniques and recipesAncient, African, Middle East & Asian History

Countries I've Visited

Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Plurinational State of, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Republic of, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, State of, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I've Lived In

China, Costa Rica, Mexico

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