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Blues Cruise

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Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

“Keeping the blues alive at sea!” That was our mantra–our mission–our goal—our obsession for a week or so in February when 9 of us music lovers from Dominical got on a big ole’ ocean liner in Miami and floated away to the sounds of the Blues. I’m not gushing about this cruise because I bought stock in the damn boat or anything, and I am kind of amazed at my own enthusiasm for the whole trip, but it was SERIOUSLY BIG FUN!! Guitarist, singer and songwriter Joe Bonamassa is the driving force behind not only the Blues Cruises, but the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the next generation of young, talented musicians.

At a time when school music programs are being cancelled, the NEA is being de-funded by Trump, and people don’t have health insurance, it’s a breath of fresh air to know that there are still people out there raising money to offset the loss of arts funding in America. Mental and physical health is always improved by exposure to music, and there are so many benefits to music education—I harp about this subject all the time. Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation was created in 2011 and since then they have funded over 350 music projects, affecting over 60,000 students, and they have donated over $400,000 to educators, festivals, scholarships and Blues related events.

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Colour Me Confused

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4 Easy Ways to Choose a Colour Scheme For Any Room or Your Whole House

Design wise logoBuilding a new house in Costa Rica is an exciting venture for many of us. Sometimes it is our first custom home—our dream home.

There are always so many details to think about and many decisions to be made it can be confusing. One of the first decisions will be the floor colour. What size and what colour tile do I use? This is hard if you have not selected your whole house colours yet. Selecting items piece by piece does not make for a cohesive flow through a home.

Choosing an interior designer is an obvious choice. They can work with you on just your colour scheme and you do the rest, but they can also help you to coordinate all your furnishings, art and décor to work together beautifully. This is especially helpful if you are not here all the time.

If you prefer to take the reins and try doing it yourself here are some helpful ideas.

There are different options for the way this can be done:

  1. Traditionally, the colour palette would be selected by using the designer’s “Colour Wheel”.
  2. You can look at artwork and fabric you like to find pleasing combinations.
  3. You can look to nature – there you will find beautiful colours and no end of inspiration.
  4. You can also look at other rooms online or in a friend’s home to get ideas, or you can just choose your favourite colours and go from there.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Take a Surf Trip to Esterillos Oeste

Surf CR logoIf you are a surfer and either are living in Quepos or Manuel Antonio, or just traveling through, sometimes you may want a different wave to ride. You could go south to Dominical if you want bigger waves at a beach break, or check out any one of the beaches from Isla Damas north to Bejuco. But Esterillos Oeste, the last major exit before Playa Hermosa, has two things the rest don’t—a rocky point break and a giant mermaid statue.
 
Esterillos OesteThis rocky point is at the far north end of the beach. It is actually a patch of rocky ‘fingers’ that stretch out into the ocean. The rocks make the wave break more evenly and also increase the power of the wave in some spots. The best part is when the waves are double overhead or bigger, they can break REALLY far out—like 300-400 meters out—and although they are huge and lumpy, with a bigger board a surfer can ride the wave almost all the way in. The point set up also offers a way for the surfer to dodge the bigger waves that come in while they are trying to paddle out. 

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Spanish Sucks – April/May/June 2020

Spanish Sucks lesson

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Awaken Your Inner Warrior

A Heathier You headerBy Manda and Meleah Manning

There are times in life when we are called to show up as our biggest and best selves—experiences where we must travel to the depths of our life force and bring everything we have to the table for a moment, a day, or an extended mission.

These challenges require us to tap into a strength that isn’t always at the surface and readily available in our day-to-day lives. But we are all born powerful, bold, and fearless—we simply have to find it within.

Our voice, our truth, our courage, our confidence, our center point and our healthy boundaries are all aspects of our Inner Warrior. They play a VITAL role in our lives; giving us the strength, discernment and courage to be who we are truly meant to be in the world.

Your Inner Warrior is powerful, potent, discerning, focused and determined. When we harness our warrior energy we’re confident, clear and have the ability to express our truest, most authentic selves in the world.

When we reclaim our warrior energy, we live in love-filled self-acceptance, compassion, and we have the ability to both hear and act on our innermost knowings.

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Payments for Environmental Services

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Incentives for People Who Plant Trees and Protect Forests

Primary forest

Primary forest

Many years ago, when I was still in the cattle business, I visited the San Carlos ranch of a cattleman I knew. “We’ve cut all the trees”, he proudly declared. “Trees attract bot flies, so we cut them all down. Every single one”. His ranch was a totally desolate landscape. At that time I didn’t yet consider myself to be an environmentalist, but even so, just driving through his property and seeing those barren pastures gave me an uneasy feeling. Hacienda Barú was a cattle ranch too, but we still had trees on some of the fence lines and small copses within our pastures as well as a mangrove forest in the estuary near the mouth of the Barù River, and primary forest in the highlands. When I left that treeless ranch, the uneasy feeling stayed with me all the way home.

Hacienda Baru

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños

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Move over deep fryer! Here is a keto-friendly version where these baked peppers retain a mellow bite and steal the show at your next happy hour.Ingredients

For 24 poppers

  • 12 green jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 cup of cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of shredded taco cheese
  • 24 mini hot dog smokies
  • 24 strips of good quality bacon

Before cooking

Instructions

  1. Split jalapeños in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and membranes in order to make hollow little green canoes.
  2. Mix cream cheese, onion powder, shredded cheese and place a small dollup inside each jalapeño canoe.
  3. Press a little hot dog smokie into each pepper and wrap with bacon strip.
  4. Place into baking pan with the seam on the bottom. Be generous with the overlapping bacon—it is crucial for holding these bites together.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, drain and then bake for a final 5 minutes before serving.

Jalepeno poppers

 


The Untold Challenges of Wildlife Rescue

KSTR LogoBy Mckenzie Wing
Volunteer Coordinator & Biologist

Coati on a picnic tableHow do you receive animal calls with no internet or cell service? How do you drive an animal ambulance down a road washed out by floods? How do you perform complicated surgery on a monkey during a power outage, when the clinic equipment and AC don’t work?

These are the kinds of challenges that have been faced by KSTR staff and volunteers over the years. Technical, environmental, animal—we’ve seen it all. Our remote location puts us at a good distance from human activity for animal rehabilitation, but creates myriad difficulties for running a working rescue center, public sanctuary, and staff/volunteer residence with many, many moving parts.

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Ocean Awareness Art in Quepos

Ocean awareness Art in Quepos

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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.

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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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