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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April-May-June 2020

April 2020 coverTo all our advertisers, loyal readers, and staff: our prayers and best wishes go to you and your families through this pandemic we are all facing together.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has forced us to discontinue the April printing of our magazine. We will be uploading the issue here for your enjoyment and to help our advertisers through this period of self-isolation.

We will be back to a newsstand near you as soon as possible. The economy before this unprecedented event was strong and with all the stimulus money being fed into the economy I am expecting a very quick return to normalcy to the world.

So let’s do our part to help the process by remembering to wash our hands often, to respect social distancing, and doing what we can to help those in need.

We are all in this together let’s get through it stronger than ever…PURA VIDA.

Peace and Love…D


Morrocan Chicken Tagine

Chef's Corner logoHere is show stopping dish that will transport you right down the spice roads. The conical clay “tagine” can be replaced by a Dutch oven or any heavy-bottomed pot with a fitted lid. The long list of ingredients will guide you to endless possibilities of layered flavors. Don’t worry if you cannot find some of these spices because this fall-off-the bone tender chicken stew with olives and dried fruit is always amazing.

For 6 to 8 portions

  • 1 whole chicken cut into legs, thighs, and breasts. The wings and backbone can be used to enhance the stock.
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely choppedMorrocan Chicken Tagine
  • 1 small knob of ginger, finely shredded
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Small packet of saffron threads or 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon or 2 whole sticks
  • A small pinch of any of these components of Ras el Hanout will enhance the deep flavors: mace, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cayenne, cardamon, cayenne
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit such as apricots or raisins
  • 1/2 cup of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of olives
  • For garnish: toasted slivered almonds, chopped parsley or cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in olive oil in the pan or tagine.
  2. Remove chicken and some of the rendered fat.
  3. In same pan, fry garlic, onion, ginger until fragrant.
  4. Add spices, chicken and chicken stock, dried fruit, and simmer slowly for 45 minutes to one hour. Check often and add a little stock if necessary.Add lime juice and olives; check seasonings.
  5. Serve with couscous or Basmati rice.

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Happy 21st Anniversary to KSTR!

KSTR LogoBaby toucanBy Mckenzie Wing, Volunteer Coordinator & Biologist

Kids Saving the Rainforest turns 21 this month. This means that, as an organization, we are growing up. We’ve moved out of Mom and Dad’s place and are probably a few years into college. We’re now old enough to order a drink in the US, although with a name like ours we’re still likely to get carded.

But in serious terms, it’s impressive how far we’ve come from a simple family reforestation project that rescued the occasional local sloth orphan. We are now one of the main points of contact for animal rescue in the area, admitting around 150 animals per year into our rescue center. We get nearly that number of humans admitted, too, into our volunteer program, giving passionate people—young and old—an opportunity to work with wildlife and promote conservation. We’ve planted tens of thousands of trees as part of our reforestation program in the area.

Kids Saving the Rainforest header

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That’s Fishin’ – March 2020

Man releasing a sailfish

Welcome to March edition of That’s Fishin! March is an excellent time to fish here in Quepos with both our Offshore and Inshore fishery providing some special opportunities to wet a line and who knows, possibly catch that fish of a lifetime!

Man holding a tunaOFFSHORE FISHING

When Offshore fishing, we typically fish 20-40 miles Offshore range where huge numbers of Pacific Sailfish congregate at this time of year as part of their annual migration and breeding ritual. At this time of year it is not uncommon to experience double digit bites from Sailfish when the bite is on, which makes for one action packed day on the water with jumping Sailfish and flashing cameras at the ready! Marlin, Tuna, Dorado and the odd Wahoo can also be caught whilst trolling Offshore. Talking about Wahoo, regular visitor Elise Furlin-Parker caught a stunning Wahoo of more than 40lbs during her February trip aboard GOOD DAY, a special fish for sure and capped off a great couple of days fishing where they caught Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo. An estimated 60lb Wahoo was also landed by another boat in the fleet just a few days before, another fantastic fish!

There were some very nice sized Tuna caught throughout February with many Yellowfin Tuna topping 100lbs, expect more of the same throughout March. To fish for Tuna in Costa Rica is something that has to be experienced to be believed and appreciated. Photos, videos, and stories at the bar might add to the excitement but they do not do it the justice it deserves. We catch Tuna alongside mega pods of literally hundreds of Spinner Dolphins which travel together with the Tuna and form a huge feeding frenzy as they attack the bait balls lurking below as birds dive kamikaze style from the air and come crashing into the water to join the feast too. Seeing this first hand is something that might stay with you forever and is one thing that keeps many of our guests returning year after year. When you have nature at its best playing out before your eyes like this, catching a fish is just a bonus.

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Sins of the Past

Aerials photos comparing 1972 and 1997

nature and Local history logoBy Jack Ewing

Today the Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica south of the Savegre River is covered with forests, wetlands, mangroves, and other natural wonders. Biodiversity is increasing in much of the area, especially the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor (PTBC). National parks, wildlife refuges, and private reserves abound, as do other attractions of interest to ecological tourism. It has been called “The Land of Big Parks and Small Hotels”. But it hasn’t always been that way. Beginning in the 1940s a major deforestation of the area took place. Trees were felled and burned, land was cleared, and crops and cattle pasture were planted. The destruction continued for four and a half decades, until about 1985, which marked the beginning of a period of restoration that has persisted to the present day, and hopefully will continue for many years to come.

You may ask, “Why would the government allow such devastation of the rainforest”? The truth is that the government encouraged the deforestation. I came to this region in the early 1970s, 12 years prior to the peak of the clearing of land. In those days the forestry department was part of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of the Environment didn’t exist. What little tourism that came to Costa Rica was centered around night clubs and museums in San Jose, with an occasional trip to a volcano. The national income from foreign visitors was insignificant. The mainstays of the economy were beef, bananas, and coffee, and you can’t grow beef, bananas, and coffee in a rainforest. So this fascinating habitat, which harbors more biomass and biodiversity than any other on the planet, was viewed as an unproductive wasteland. “Cut it down, and make the land produce”, was the message the government sent to any who were hardy and willing enough to brave the wild, tame Mother Nature, and work the land.

Hacienda Baru

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Where the River Meets the Sea

By Jim Parisi

Costa Rica is blessed with a sturdy backbone, the Cordillera Central Mountain Range that runs north and south through the center of the country. Being close to the equator, Costa Rica receives a lot of rainfall. This “backbone” helps distribute this vast amount of fresh water to the east, where it eventually empties into either the Caribbean Ocean, or to the west and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The result is a veritable spider web of waterways that meander throughout this country before ultimately converging with the salty oceanic waters, where the rivers meet the sea.

Webster’s dictionary defines estuary quite simply as “an arm of the sea that ebbs at the lower end of a river”. The unique estuaries at the mouth of many Costa Rica rivers have been relegated as refuge areas included in the National Parklands. The Sixaola River creates part of the border between Costa Rica and Panama, originating in the Cordillera and emptying into the Caribbean Ocean. The river is also the southern boundary of the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, twenty-three thousand acres classified as “humid tropical rainforest” that accommodates a ten kilometer strip of Caribbean beachfront. The refuge houses the only known orey and jolillo pond swamps in Costa Rica as well as the only natural oyster beds in the Caribbean reefs that extend all the way to Cahuita. This small village is the historic birthplace of Walter Ferguson, Father of Calypso, who still performs there on occasion. The park is a natural habitat for the harpy eagle, mot-mots, and toucans; the marine life in the crystal-clear reefs includes anemones, blue parrot fish, sea cucumber, and angel fish, a dream come true for snorkelers.

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When Bigger is Better

When bigger is better header

Chair on large tilef loorWith stately presence and fewer grout lines, this versatile material brings elegance and style to walls and floors.

Large-format tiles were originally limited to commercial venues like hotels and restaurants but they have crossed over and are now being widely used in residential settings. Thanks to their large size and minimal grout lines, they create a smooth look and a feeling of spaciousness, bringing unexpected drama to your home. Side perk: less grout to clean!

What Are Large-Format Tiles, Exactly?

Kitchen and dining roomLarge-format tiles offer a clean, sleek, modern aesthetic, but they can also work well with traditional decor. They are available in a variety of materials, including natural stone, glass and porcelain. Thanks to advances in digital printing, porcelain tiles can be made to look like natural stone, concrete, metal, wood and even fabric.

Large-format tiles can be installed on both walls and floors. When used on a wall, they can be a durable alternative to paint or wallpaper. There’s no repainting or worrying about staining the wallpaper in your future. Since it is tile, you can just wipe it clean.

Tiles are considered large format when one edge is greater than 15 inches. In the past, 12-by-24-inch rectangular tiles were the most popular large-format size. Today, 18 by 36 inches is common, though, thanks to new technology, tiles can be manufactured as large as 5 by 10 feet.  The most popular size here according to Porceramica in San Jose is the 60 x 120 cm (24 x 48 inch), but they offer sizes up to 120 x 240 cm and have a wide variety of designs.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Kids & Talent

Girl playing violin

No more goofing off! It’s the time of year when kids here go back to school and I go into teacher mode with a whole new batch of potential violinists to mess with! We’ve all been on vacation, and it’s always interesting to me to see which kids have returned, which ones clearly have been practicing, who the new kids are, and who switched over to saxophone while I wasn’t looking. There is an inevitable question that parents or other interested folks are just dying to ask me, and which I dread having to answer. “Does this kid have any talent?”

Sometimes the answer is so obvious that I can’t believe they even bother to ask it, but that is usually when the answer is a firm NO. If a kid can’t hear the difference between low or high notes, or shows no interest in understanding rhythm or doesn’t even like any songs, well, the answer is probably a firm NO. I understand fully the parental need to validate the expenses involved, and to justify their high hopes for their kids’ musical future, and who the heck am I anyway to put some judgment on a child’s potential or innate ability? What kind of jerk would I be if I casually dashed the hopes of a family who have scrimped and sacrificed to buy their child a violin and the accompanying lessons? I’ve found it is pretty difficult to predict how far a focused and determined child can take their talent. Parents want someone to tell them whether their kid is freaky because they are super talented or whether they are just freaky… Thinking about the elusive term ‘talent’ started me wondering what it really is, and what the difference is between a talented kid and a musical prodigy.

Violinist Available Read More…


Memoirs of a Masseur – March 2020

Alone is the place to be. Almost an extinct location now it juxtaposes the benefits and value of being present versus real time knowledge. Once, not so long ago, alone was much easier to come by. Simply by leaving our home, taking a drive, or turning off our computers we were free to have the sanctity and knowledge that being alone provides. Tech and social media has bullied “alone” away by bringing the ease of the web, and literally all forms of communication, to the palm of our hand with just a few clicks or swipes. It has infiltrated social abilities, head space, and our very humanity twisting human kind into zombie-like imprisoned souls. Take a good look around the next time you are in public domain and take notice of who is and who isn’t in the precious present. Simply finding an hour or two of freedom in each twenty-four hour day is an almost impossible task for most. When an individual habitually begins and ends their days with a device it is an addiction. The illusion and “fix” being that it is literally necessary to attempt to know what the world is doing or saying. This self-enslavement is insurmountable for the weak minded of this world. The dismal fact is that cell phones are the master and the wisdom of alone time is being drowned out of existence.


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Support a Local Surfer!

Surf CR logoDominical hosted the first contest on the Costa Rica national surf tour on January 25th-26th. There are seven events in 2020—Playa Cocles on the Caribbean coast, Playa Guiones, Santa Teresa, Playa Avellanas, Playa Hermosa, and Jaco. The champions in the Mens, Womens, and Juniors’ divisions may go on to represent Costa Rica in the ISA World Surfing Games to be held this year in El Salvador. And based on their performance they may even get to go to the Olympics in Japan.
 
The winner of the Open Division in the first contest was Oscar Urbina. He does not have a major sponsor, but with the support of the local businesses and the Caribe Surf Team, he was able to travel over all the way from Puerto Viejo and enter the event. Each event costs $45 US, and there is an annual membership of $45 to be a part of the Federation of Surf. This does not include the costs for lodging and food for the weekend, either. Coral Wiggins took first place for the women. Her main sponsor is the surf brand Hurley, but she also gets funding from J&J Fitness, a gym located in Tamarindo.

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Quepolandia has gained 200,000 visitors in 2 years!

I was scrolling through my old FaceBook posts and found this screen capture of our visitor count reaching 250,000 in February 2018 from it’s launch in 2009. I was thrilled that day.
Hit count 2018

2 years later our visitor count is approaching 450,000! That’s 200,000 in 2 years! 
Hit count 2020

That’s more than 8,000 visitors per month. Advertise online with us. GET INFO HERE.


Let’s Talk About the Great Potoo

Great PotooMuch like owls, this species is nocturnal. They prey on large insects and small vertebrates, which they capture in sallies from high perches.

Possibly its most well-known characteristic is its unique moaning growl that the Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis) vocalizes throughout the night, creating an unsettling atmosphere in the Neotropics with its nocturnal sounds. This nocturnal predator is usually seen perched high above the ground while foraging; hawking when prey is spotted. After the pounce, the Potoo almost always returns to its previous perch. Normally, during the day it perches upright on a tree stump, and is overlooked because it resembles part of the stump; this is a camouflage, not just by coloration, but also camouflage by the setting. The Great Potoo can be located at night by the reflection of light from its eyes as it sits vertical on a post, roost, or angled-tree trunk.


Quepos Fishing Fleet Recognized as Top Captains of 2019!

FishingBooker logoBy Rebecca Johnson, PR Manager FishingBooker

FishingBooker, the world’s largest platform for booking fishing trips, works with over 5,500 captains all over the world. Some of these captains often go the extra mile to make the fishing trip a success. This year, we decided to honor the stories that stood out and give them a bit more spotlight. Jackpot Sportfishing from Quepos made it to our Captain Spotlight list: Heroes of 2019! 

Here’s their story:

The Good DayJackpot Sportfishing caught our eye twice last year, on two of their different boats. Back in February, they took part in the first-ever all ladies tournament here at the Marina Pez Vela in Costa Rica.

Despite being the underdog with the smallest boat in the fleet, the 31’ Good Day took home the honors for the biggest Tuna of the weekend. But it wasn’t all about the Tuna:

“Over the weekend we released 8 Sailfish & caught 3 nice Tuna. Marbely & Cathy Gilmour in our team caught their first-ever Billfish, well-done girls! Stella Humphreys, Iby, & Marbely caught their first-ever Tuna, Marbely’s fight being an epic 45 minute battle on a light spinning rod!”

While this event was all about the ladies, Jackpot Sportfishing didn’t do badly when their tournament crew was all-male, either. They proved this in March when they competed in two tournaments in one weekend. 

Taking home the Dorado and Tuna Jackpots on both day one and day two of the Quepos Billfish Cup, they put their good luck down to their lucky fishing shirts… but we think there might be something more to it than that! 

Aerial of Marina Pez Vela

 

 


Spanish Sucks – March 2020

Spanish sucks March 2020

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo


The Secret Formula for Human Happiness

A Healthier You headerHappiness.
What everyone is searching for.

How can it ever be fully reached or achieved?

And how does meditation affect your happiness?

The more you search for happiness in meditation, the less it will come.

We’re programmed to believe something is only working when it feels good. When you’re sitting down to meditate and waiting to get high, that means you’re coming from a place of lack and deficiency.

You must meditate on compassion.

Widen out this energy of meditation into something to do with helping people. Then it starts to change because compassion takes the mediation journey from a self-centered, graspy, addictive type of reality into something that is of service to the world. And then you can simply let go and just do your best. Your meditation is giving you the fuel and energy to be kind. It changes the whole picture from a desperate search for internal happiness into a feeling that happiness is a shared experience because the world is a shared experience. So surely the whole concept of happiness has to be connected to that Oneness, that community.

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