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Camera Trap

Camera Trap

A Fun New Way of Monitoring Wildlife

by Jack Ewing

“Oh my God”, I blurted out to no one in particular. “Absolutely incredible”. A full grown puma was walking straight toward me on the computer screen. The two receptionists who were in office and heard my exclamation hurried over to see what I was so excited about.  I restarted the 15-second video so everyone could see. An adult puma came walking straight at the camera, its eyes glowing from the infrared illumination. It looked like it was stalking the camera. At the last moment the large carnivore veered to the right and walked out of the field of view. It was a very exciting day. The presence of large carnivores in the Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge was a clear indication of a healthy ecosystem. Since that first video in December of 2012 we have captured 87 more of pumas at four different locations within the refuge.

Hacienda Baru

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Blue Flags are Cool!

Blue flagIn September, Costa Rica celebrated its Independence and you were sure to see the colorful red white and blue flags all around the country. But if you looked closely, you may have also noticed another flag next to the national flag – a dark blue one with one or several stars. This flag means the school or institution is participating in one of the great conservation programs of Costa Rica, known as the Blue Flag or Bandera Azul. This program was originally started by the Costa Rica Water Institute in 1996 as a way to foster community involvement in cleanup of the nation’s beaches.

Blue Flag Beaches is a joint program with the Costa Rica Tourist Institute (ICT). Every year dozens of local citizen committees (110 in 2015 to be exact) are formed and agree to adopt a local beach to care for during the year. The participating beach is inspected 3 times during the year and rated on progress towards improvement in several different aspects: a) Ocean and potable water quality b) Waste collection and treatment c) Environmental education  d) Security and signage. If the beach qualifies then Blue Flags are given at different levels from1 star to a maximum 5 stars. Manuel Antonio National Park and its famed beaches has been the proud recipient of the Blue Flag since the programs inception, quite a feat!

Titi Conservation Alliance

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Fiddlin’ Around September/October

Fiddlin'AroundThe Hollywood Hoopla and show biz aspects of the American political election process are often embarrassing, and music is almost always part of the staged background. By the time this goes to print there will probably be radical changes in the political landscape, but ‘ya gotta admit it’s certainly been a banner year for comedy writers, impersonators and late night talk shows. I’m going to try to stay away from personal ranting and raving, though anyone who knows me probably knows I’m way out in left field. So let’s talk about how and why songs get used by the guys and gals trying to win our votes. Apparently politicians of all kinds think they are entitled to chop up and claim as their own the songs that musicians and writers have labored over and which often have a completely different intention than how they are used.

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Potato Latkes with Smoked Trout

Potato Latkes with Smoked SalmonBy Desiree Brassert

The locally farmed and cured smoked trout is a great substitute for smoked salmon that only comes from distant and colder waters.
Here’s a little spin on this classic bite-size appetizer.

Note: Vegetarian options are applesauce and cinnamon, or sour cream.

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I Need a New Signature

shambling through paradiseAnyone who has lived here long enough remembers the old days of going to the bank. There were no numbers to take, and few chairs in which to sit. Everyone stood patiently in line because the ability to stand patiently in line was in the DNA of most all Ticos. I have heard that the original Himno Nacional of Costa Rica even included a line that went ‘’esperando en fila con la paciencia de un santo’’ (waiting in line with the patience of a saint), before it was edited out for the sake of brevity.

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¿What to do during the rainy season?


Four years ago we learned how to play with verbs in present and three years ago we learned how to play with verbs in past.  ¿Remember the endings?

Let’s review both endings using boxes…

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KSTR’s Challenge of Growing 94,000 Trees​!

_2003841_origBy Jennifer Rice

After CR Tree Plantation harvested their teak last April 18, 2016, they donated the land–277 acres (112 hectares) to the organization Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR). KSTR is known for its rescue and release of wildlife, but also works to earn its moniker, buying and restoring the rainforest of Costa Rica.

This beautiful rainforest property is in the hills of Parrita, Costa Rica and will reconnect the corridor on 3 sides when finished reforesting.

KSTR met with the Costa Rican Government (FONOFIFO) to plant 30,000 native trees on the newly acquired land. The organization will create a nursery on the property and subsequently plant 40,000 native seeds.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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