The Mother of Montezuma: Doña Neri

Dona Neri: The Mother of Montezuma

Neri Vargas Villalobos is widely known as the Mother of Montezuma.  At 91 years old, her beautiful life of marriage, child-raising, and healing is an inspiration to us all.


Originally from Zarcero, a small town close to San José, Neri landed with her parents on the beach of Montezuma one afternoon in 1943, when she was only 13 years old.  As she recounts, it was a wonderful 4-hour journey from Puntarenas to a very charming beach, framed by a solid mountain of lush vegetation.


The town was tiny. There was only one “sodita”.  Due to the scarcity of jobs, the economy was impoverished. The only way to get to Delicias or Cobano was by horse.  These were the areas of cattle ranching and banana production.


Doña Neri married Juan Jose Delgado Lobo, at the age of 19, and gave birth to 12 children alone in her house. Their home, located in front of the beach where today is the bus stop, was always full of children and laughter, and she always had the doors open for those who needed a plate of food or were in misery.


Doña Neri treasured and deepened her mother’s wisdom about natural medicine, and her ointments and infusions of medicinal plants relieved everyone who consulted her for many years, and for which she was nicknamed “Doctora Corazón”, which means Doctor of the Heart.


Even today, at 91 years old, she continues to surprise the neighbors with her vitality and good humor. Without a doubt, a wonderful person who is a fundamental part of the origins of Montezuma.

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