A meteorite fell from the sky as money on the night of April 23. It landed between Aguas Zarcas and La Palmera. Residents reported seeing a green flash similar to fireworks and then hearing something like a heavy truck over an unpaved road. Then something like hail happened. Pieces of the meteorite were found over an area of six kilometers long and three kilometers wide.
The event attracted meteorite hunters to the small, usually unvisited, towns. Wealthy foreigners appeared speaking languages previously unheard in the area. They came from Belgium, Russia, the United States, France and China. They had locals lining up to show off the pieces they found and make a sale. One reported that kids came too, with ordinary rocks, and he paid them $5 so they didn’t leave empty handed.
Roger Jay Piatek is a renowned doctor from the U.S. who has a hobby of meteorite collecting. He came to Costa Rica the day after the meteorite shower. He already had specimens from Namibia, Nigeria, and the Sahara desert. He now has at least a pound and a half from Costa Rica. He paid between $50 and $100 per gram, depending on the quality.
Hunters made money and collectors added to their sets. Some locals had their lives changed, having made enough money to buy land or pay bills they were struggling with. One buyer spent $25,000.