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In Pursuit of Modern Part 2

Tropical ModernismDesign Wise

By Shelagh Duncan

Last month we looked at the basic differences between Modern and Contemporary design, and now let’s explore the world of Tropical Modernism. That’s a little closer to home…

Tropical Modernism

Tropical Modernism

We saw that this movement was born out of the need to incorporate the Modern aesthetic into a tropical environment. Geoffrey Bawa was a leader in this field in Sri Lanka and understood that in a tropical climate the forces of nature are a thing to be reckoned with and you cannot build a beautiful structure and ignore its environment, so he began to incorporate them.

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That’s Fishin’- January 2017

The sailfish are coming

The sailfish are coming!

By Sarah Munro

As you’ve seen from other parts of Quepolandia, high season is upon us. It’s the transition from rainy to dry weather, and also the return of North American tourists fleeing the cold and dark. You will also find that the waters off of Quepos are transitioning too. It’s time to welcome back sailfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, and much more. Most people welcome back the sailfish and marlin bite because that’s what’s driving our sport fishing industry here now.

Why? How? Well, it’s like this. We have a WORLD CLASS bite and boats here; people come from all over the world to fish. Numbers for the past few years have been insane, with charter boats regularly posting numbers of 30+ bites in a day. When professional anglers go out, it’s a completely different story. I’ve been on boats where they released 30+ fish. I’ve heard of boats releasing 77 fish and running out of bait so they had to go in. There really is nowhere else that you can go and get those numbers, so fishing freaks come here regularly. It’s awesome.

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Golden Silence

memoirs of a massuer header
Is there a game more treacherous than life? Trying to balance our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives with cultural, religious, and family values can become overwhelming. Curses and blessings are often one in the same. Next we intermingle human factors such as desires and mistakes coupled with unanswered issues from childhood or trauma, it’s a wonder we get through our days at all. To further compound this equation add in some drugs, alcohol, and a lack of exercise and restful sleep, now we are truly climbing up a mountain of challenges. Whether it is our caffeine fix in the morning, a glass of wine at the end of the day, or a bit of herb passed casually from friend to friend, how can anyone not fall from grace from time to time? One of the first lessons our children learn is that it is alright to make a mistake as long as one learns from it. Every elder I know has told me some of their greatest revelations were spurred on by consequential failures. Is there anyone alive that can say they have never wronged somebody? Hopefully the values of forgiveness, compassion, and charity are a part of our daily lives. To quiet all the noise I know of a simple yet often overlooked friend that can help us succeed in this arduous journey called life….silence. Seeking out silence at least once a day can help everyone improve their lives and their health.

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KSTR – January 2017

KSTR logo
Happy New Year, Kids Saving the Rainforest Hopes That All Your Wishes Come True​!

Hello again! It’s me Lexi, KSTR spokeskid, here with another article. This time we’re going to talk about a subject that I have talked about before, but that I believe deserves another chance to be in the spotlight: Feeding the Monkeys. As I mentioned in a previous article, my family didn’t know any better when we arrived years ago in Costa Rica either. We were encouraged by tour guides to reach out with seeds and get the monkeys to come onto our kayaks in the mangroves. We have since educated ourselves and others, but there is much more work to be done.

Lexi at Kids Saving the RainforestThe fact that people are still feeding monkeys saddens me, as KSTR has tried their best for years to stop people from doing so. I was just at a favorite restaurant yesterday, and one of the staff pulled out a banana and entertained some tourists by feeding the Squirrel (Titi) monkeys visiting the balcony.  My mom and I of course said something, but the staff member didn’t see anything wrong with doing it. We followed up and sent the restaurant manager KSTR’s reasons not to feed the monkeys, and we will have to watch developments since our family doesn’t support businesses who feed monkeys. Here is the link to the list of reasons so you can always have it handy!


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Advice on How to Approach the National Park

Manuel Antonio National ParkBy Rodolfo Guzman
Local Tour Guide and nature lover. Phone: 8735-2645

The Manuel Antonio region is a natural gem, amongst others in Costa Rica, blessed by possessing a hyper rich Biodiversity.

Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer, whose futile search for the Fountain of Youth became his signature expedition, is rarely recognized for one of his greatest discoveries—Quepos and Manuel Antonio—which he put on the charts in 1519.

Surrounded by African Palm plantations, this area beholds one of the country’s most enriched ecosystems. Sloth, monkeys, birds, deer, frogs, raccoons and many more popular characters are found here. It’s a transition Jungle in between the harsh Tropical Dry Forest, and the evergreen Extreme Wet Forest.

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Spanish Sucks – January 2017

Spanish Sucks by Os¿Did you: ¡Hola amigos!  ¿How were your holidays?  I hope you had great times and lots of fun.  I wish you lots of health and the best desires for this 2017 J

I know you are sick and tired of me telling you to study the 12 Time Tables, those TWELVE verbs (hablar, comer, vivir, ser, estar, tener, hacer, ir, poder, gustar, llamarSE, haber) I keep telling you to observe, to learn, to memorize and to master…

So this year I am gonna give you 70 VERBOS, not any seventy, I am gonna give the 70 MOST  ESSENTIAL  SPANISH  VERBS.  Off course the 12 super important ones are inside that list 😉

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Quepos Bridge Opens

The new Quepos bridge

What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – January 2017

WELCOME to 2017 at Marina Pez Vela!!!! The new year brings a new chapter to Marina Pez Vela as well as the continuation of some of the more popular and iconic events which have become a part of our community culture and our team is committed to ensure your experience with each visit to the project improves each year.


As anyone who has visited the project can see, we have completed the expansion of our slip facilities and are officially open for business with a total of 91 new slips at Marina Pez Vela. The expansion was led and built by a team of Costa Rican engineers, technicians and building crew (many from right here in Quepos) and was delivered on time and to the highest global levels of quality. We are incredibly proud of the work that was completed and even more excited about the enormous positive impact this is going to have on the Marina and our community. The marina has more than doubled in total linear feet of dockage and now has the capacity to welcome more full time and transient boats, which will bring more tourists, jobs, investment and visits to our community.


WE are VERY excited for another season of outdoor Friday Night Movie Nights on our giant, inflatable screen. Our line-up for January is included in this month’s Quepolandia, and you can always get the latest news about the movie of the week, special events and happenings at the project, by visiting our Marina Pez Vela website and Facebook page.

Marina Pez Vela logo

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Happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo! from Titi Conservation Alliance

Titi Conservation Alliance logoWe would like to again sincerely thank everyone who supported The Titi Conservation Alliance Annual Online Auction in November. We were so fortunate to have many generous donors and buyers and truly appreciate the support. Proceeds from the auction will be earmarked to strengthen our Environmental Education program that has provided free environmental education to 4th and 5th graders in our area since 2003.

Highlights 2016

The Alliance is proud to report that with close to 3,000 trees planted this year, we surpassed our goal of 70,000 total trees planted since our founding 15 years ago. We are so grateful to the landowners who participated with us in 2016-Sr. Carlos Mora and family in Pocares, the Gamboa family and Lic Manuel Solano and the Hogar de Ancianos in Naranjito, and the Gannon family in Anita. We now have reached a great milestone with over 40 landowners who have collaborated with our habitat reforestation program in the Naranjo River Biological Corridor..
Titi Conservation Alliance continued to grow this year, with the addition of several new members-Mid World Costa Rica Adventure Tours, Capris S.A., and 2 Costa Rica Real Estate became members and we urge you to support their businesses. Our new website at www.monotiti.org came on line in early May along with enhanced social media presence for the organization and its members. We also established new alliances with St Judes School in Lindora Santa Ana, and Best Adventure Travel, ground operator for Road Scholar travel groups to Costa Rica.

Titi Conservation Alliance

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2017

January 2017 cover

Bienvenidos…Welcome 2017, we hope you had a wonderful Holiday. High season is upon us in Costa Rica and we are glad you are here to be part of it with us. Green season has provided us a beautiful backdrop to begin this new year of adventure. Our magazine is filled with the best of the best that the Southern Pacific Zone has to offer and should help your stay here be a trip you never forget.

Try something new this year like sport fishing for a record marlin (Marina Pez Vela). Zip Lining thru the tree tops (Titi Canopy). Paddling thru the mangroves (Tucanes Tours or Kayak Lodge). Hiking thru one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world. Just chillin on the beach? Try parasailing (Aquas Azles) or learn to surf (Blue Horizon or Marco) they will have you hanging ten in no time. So let the “Pura Vida” lifestyle set the pace for your 2017. Life is short….GO LIVE IT!

We want to thank Sarah Yunker Photography for the incredible waterfall cover. We are always looking for great new covers so please send your best shots to info@quepolandia.com for future consideration.
Looking for great food, great drinks, and NFL Football. Stop in to Hawg n Bill or El Sol at the beach, Sanchos or Byblos on the mountain, or Double Hook at the Marina to catch all the games.

We would like to welcome our new advertisers this month……. Arbol, Cafe Mono Congo/Phat Noodle, Funky Town Photography, Jackpot Sport Fishing, La Langosta Feliz, La Mansion, & Marco Surf School.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you thru this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us on Facebook. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D

KSTR, Columbia & USA

KSTR met with Columbia & USAKids Saving the Rainforest met with the government of Colombia and the USA to teach them about the KSTR Monkey Bridge Program initiated in 2000, and the first in Costa Rica. The meeting was held with ICE, who have been helping us with the monkey bridges for over 10 years. KSTR has also planted over 7000 trees and is currently reforesting 94,000 rainforest trees on land donated to them. Plus the KSTR rescue center has rescued over 220 wildlife so far this year.

It is amazing to see that two girls had such a vision in Manuel Antonio 17 years ago and that it could come this far! Go kid power!

Soba Noodle Bowl

Soba Noodle BowlBy Desiree Brassert

This recipe is vegetarian, but you could also easily add flavored strips of meat or seafood to complete this one-bowl meal.
Soba noodles are a true Japanese delicacy. Thin like spaghetti, they are made with buckwheat flour and their nutty flavor makes an excellent base for stir fries and salads, hot or cold.

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In Pursuit of Modern Part 1

Modern or Contemporary?

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

When we moved down here I was probably more drawn to the Tommy Bahama living room more than any Modern one.  How can our casual and laid-back lifestyle in Costa Rica relate to the cold, clinical steel and concrete interiors that are called Modern?

However, things change… Oscar Wilde penned “With age comes wisdom” and perhaps my new-found appreciation for the modern aesthetic is proof of that. The clean lines and minimalist approach do have a certain appeal, and I must admit, I have always admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water

What can be confusing is that the concept of ‘Modern’ for many people also encompasses what we call ‘Contemporary’ design. These are actually two quite different styles, but the terms are often used interchangeably. Simply put, ‘Modern’ design has an historical reference: ‘Contemporary’ style reflects the current trends.

Iconic Modern DesignsSo what exactly is the difference? Modern design has its own specific place in history. It was born out of the Modernism era in the first half of the 20th century, and is in stark contrast to the previously ornate, hand-made furniture of the Victorian and Art Nouveau eras. Factories could produce more items, faster and cheaper, and this movement perfectly reflects the 2nd industrial age – and change. Poet Ezra Pound’s battle cry was “Make it new!” – and they did.

Modern design was functionally motivated, and followed the same principles as modern architecture – machine-like simplicity, smoothness of surface and an absence of ornament. Modern furniture embraced the new materials – steel  in its many forms, glass, molded plywood and of course plastics. The goal of modern design was to capture timeless beauty in spare precision. It gave us iconic and enduring designs, and names like Eames,  Saarinen, Le Corbusier, Breuer and Mies van de Rohe.

White living room with blue accentsWhite was the perfect backdrop for these new pieces:  it showed their form in the purest way. These modern rooms made liberal use of windows and light – again in complete contrast to Victorian homes, where the “Window Tax” produced those gloomy interiors!  However, it was the Englishwoman Syrie Maugham who gave us the first all white room way back in the 1920’s. Her white room was not in the Modern style, but this revolutionary concept helped change the way Modern designers thought about space. Airy interior spaces with sparsely furnished rooms, clean lines and asymmetrical balance characterized the modern look – and the rooms were white.

Modern is a design style attributed to a specific period of time, Contemporary is not.

Contemporary designThe word contemporary by definition means “existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time. And that is exactly the same for the use of the term in interior design.

Contemporary design is ever changing – it is of this moment. It is a living, morphing entity and will display itself in a very different form 10, or 50 years from now depending on the trending styles at that time.

Contemporary style refers to what is popular right now, and can be very eclectic for that very reason. It borrows pieces and styles from different eras. For example, furniture and art from the Modern era are often used in contemporary design, and we know that the mid-century modern look is very popular right now. However, traditional details and trim can also be incorporated into these designed spaces as well as industrial and rustic pieces.

The only caveat with this style is that, because it is ever-changing, it can look great today – but start to look dated after a while. So I guess we just have to keep buying new pieces to keep it updated!

So, you can decide whether your style is Modern or Contemporary, and really, unless you are a purist the terminology is not as important as the finished look.  Well designed homes and interiors can have the essence of the modern style with the openness and materials that reflect that time, but by including pieces that show your personality and taste you can enjoy a contemporary, and modern home.

Tropical modern homeTropical Modernism is something different again. As an architect in Sri Lanka, Geoffrey Bawa was one of the original proponents of Tropical Modernism – a design movement that, amongst other things began the integration of buildings and the landscape. This is when the blurring of lines between indoor and outdoor living began, and which we still enjoy today.

He built for the tropical climate. He recognized its special needs and combined those needs with the basic principles of Modern design. Bawa’s legacy was some beautifully designed hotels, a university campus and many public and government buildings, as well as many private residences.

What does Tropical Modernism look like today? This is the area that perhaps would be most relevant to us living where we do, so let’s look at this in detail next time. We will talk about the architecture, the furniture, the materials and the overall style.

Embrace the differences and enjoy the results!

Until next time,
Royal Palm Interiors – around the corner from BCR in Uvita – 2743-8323
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/RoyalPalmInteriors

Memoirs or a Massuer – December 2016

memoirs of a massuer headerI am not a musician but if I was I would write a song about Manuel Antonio. My song would have community and fun as the refrain with lots of poetic verses of laughter and friendship and health. The base line would be gnarly yet bright, it would clearly make everyone want to get up and dance for joy. A positive base, picks up your feet while kissing your face. My Manuel Antonio song would have four beautiful back up singers, two male, two female. They would sound similar to Bob Marley’s backup singers the I threes, Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths. Their buttery doo wap’s would transport listeners into a comfortable make believe spot on the beach, with an ocean breeze caressing their face. The lead singer would make us feel at home. Not just lyrically, but we would be vibrant and glowing and ready for just about anything. My Manuel Antonio song would feel like the right amount of vacation days and that post massage body high. Everyone would listen to it and have the same reaction….play it again and this round is on me!!!

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – December 2016

KSTR logo

Happy Holidays to all!

By Lexi Baca, age 12, KSTR spokeskid

Mr. Sloth got stuck in our neighbor's yard

Mr. Sloth got stuck in our neighbor’s yard

Why did the sloth cross the road? Because there were no tree branches or monkey bridges! Hi, it’s Lexi again, Kids Saving the Rainforest spokeskid. As a KSTR volunteer, I get to learn about certain things that KSTR does to help the welfare of their animals, or just animals in Costa Rica in general. There are a lot of things they’ve done to try and make sure that the animals who live here are safe, and this month I’m going to talk about the monkey bridges along with a personal story of a sloth who could have used one.

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