A true socially responsible entrepreneur at heart, Harlow has more than 20 years of experience as a business owner, from opening the first Reggae club on the island of Guam back in the early 90s, to being one of the founding partners at SF Station, to
starting a successful travel services company and an eco-adventure rainforest retreat center.
Harlow was born on a US base in Landstuhl, Germany. His father was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and his mother was born in New York City. During 1970s & early 80s, Harlow was raised in El Salvador from the age of 3 to 14, learning the language and Latin American lifestyle, and most importantly, falling in love with the people, customs and Latin culture, all while living through a brutal civil war and being detained by the FMLN when he was 14.
The experience gave him a deep appreciation for life and exposed him to the real struggles most people face regarding poverty, inequality and political and social oppression.
At the age of 15, Harlow moved to the United States to live with his mother and attended high school. Shortly after graduating from high school, he sold most of his belongings and bought a one-way ticket to the island of Guam, one of the Micronesia islands in the Pacific Ocean. His passion for travel and exploration led him to Guam, using the island as a travel base to destinations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and some of the neighboring Micronesian islands.
A year and half later, he set his sights on San Francisco, a place he knew he could attend college, while at the same time knowing that if he wasn't traveling the world, the world would come to him.
In the fall of 1996, after a two-month "soul searching" trip from Mexico to Costa Rica, he return to San Francisco with the opportunity of starting up SF Station, a local city guide and new media company with a group of friends he had met in Guam and San Francisco. He knew that if he worked hard enough to grow it into a profitable business, he could fund his dream of buying the land and developing Buenaventura, an eco-adventure lodge & rainforest retreat center he envisioned in Costa Rica someday.
After building one of the very first online city guides in the San Francisco Bay Area from the ground up with his 4 partners from 1996 to 2005, Harlow and his partners sold SF Station to Boulevards New Media in 2005. Boulevards is the largest operator of online city guides under high-ranking, deeply intuitive "cityname.com" URLs including LosAngeles.com, SanFrancisco.com, Seattle.com, Denver.com, Houston.com, and WashingtonDC.com.
During his 3.5 year earn-out with Boulevards, Harlow took on the role as the National Sales & Marketing Director for Boulevards. During his 10 years with SF Station, Harlow built and established long-term business relationships and strategic partnerships with local businesses, event promoters/producers, media companies, and community and public organizations.
With a rolodex of over 8,000 contacts, Harlow developed unique and innovative client revenue-generating business partnerships, brand awareness campaigns and digital marketing programs for his clients and strategic partners, including working with some of the top advertising and event marketing agencies like Avenue A/Razorfish, Carat, OMD, Blitz Media, CENTRO, and Wieden + Kennedy, and ad networks like Casale Media, Advertising.com, and 24/7 Real Media. Some of the client accounts Harlow managed included web campaigns and digital marketing services for Virgin America Airlines, Another Planet Entertainment, Live Nation, Scale Ventures, TCV Venture Partners, Starbucks, Armani, Zipcar, Toyota, GAP and Zagat, as well as dozens of local San Francisco businesses and event promoters.
At the same time that he was building SF Station, his passion for travel and sharing travel information lead him to pursue one of his personal dreams and start Tico Guide Travel, a travel services company specializing in Costa Rica & Latin America Eco-Tourism Adventure & Leisure Trips to Real Estate Discovery Guided Trips.
Having visited Costa Rica & other Latin American countries on more than 60 research trips, his extensive personal knowledge of Costa Rica & other destinations in Latin America allows him to provide his clients with turn-key experiences for eco-tourism and sustainable investments in Latin America.
His most recent projects include Buenaventura, his eco-adventure rainforest retreat located on his 160 acre river-front property in Costa Rica.
With a small amount of personal savings to initially start purchasing land in Costa Rica back in 2002, and with the good fortune of having some capital from the sale of SF Station starting in 2005 to further fund Buenaventura, Harlow has been organically building Buenaventura, from tractoring in new roads, landscaping, planting hundreds of fruit and hardwood trees, to fixing up several of the river-front cabins and river-front lodge in Pueblo Nuevo Eco-Village.
And in August of 2008 he accomplished and completed the unthinkable, he funded, produced, co-managed (and physically worked on) the construction of a new 250 foot long steel-and-cable suspension bridge over Rio Division called "Puente Alma", which many of his guests have now coined as "Costa Rica's Golden Gate Bridge"... and its fitting since he's been living in San Francisco for almost 20 years, so its become a little piece of San Francisco in paradise!
In January 2009, he founded and began working on BuenaTierra, a sustainable and socially responsible eco-realty & land management company, with a focus on investment properties, sustainable community development projects, and property management & relocation services in Costa Rica, Uruguay, Ecuador and Argentina and other Latin American countries.
Harlow studied business, public relations and psychology at San Francisco State University through an interdisciplinary studies program, leaving academia behind in his senior year to start up SF Station and ultimately get his "tenure" through real-life working experiences.
Harlow loves to travel, collect antiquities, spend time with his family, host guests at his rainforest retreat in Costa Rica, and inspire others to follow their dreams...
Five Generations in Costa Rica
The Newton family has been living and doing business in Costa Rica & Latin America for five generations. In the early 1900's, great-grandfather Harlow Arthur Newton Sr. worked in the copper mines of Chile as a consultant for Eternal Westinghouse.
Thirty years later, his son, Harlow Franklin Newton Sr. (pictured on the right on a CAT) arrived in Costa Rica in the late 1930's, an entrepreneur and businessman who introduced and imported some of the very first commercial Caterpillar tractors and heavy equipment machinery into Costa Rica and other countries in Central America.
Having partnered with Caterpillar and other machinery companies back in the U.S., grandfather Harlow Sr. opened and operated dealerships and equipment rentals in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras, with the names Costa Rica Machinery, Salvador Machinery, and Honduras Machinery.
Harlow Jr. was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and raised in Florida and Central America, and returned to El Salvador to manage an ALCOA company and served two terms as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce of El Salvador, and one term as the Vice-President for all of Latin America before he retired back to Costa Rica.
Now Harlow III (Salvador) is taking the Newton Legacy to greener pastures with a more sustainable and socially responsible approach to tourism, hospitality and real estate/land development with his Latin American companies and projects.