Quepolandia logo

Cuchá Cuchá at Jolly Roger and La Colina

Cucha Cucha

The Festival Investing in Recycling, Schools, and Water in Costa Rica

Envision Festival logoEnvision Festival, February 22 – 25, 2018 in Uvita

For the last eight years, the deforested cattle pasture that is used at the site of Envision Festival was a mecca for international music lovers and a cathedral to the beauty of Costa Rica, built almost entirely out of sustainable bamboo, in the thick of the jungle by Playa Hermosa beach. Each year the festival has been reforesting the site, planting one tree at a time, using the proceeds from the year before to reinvest in the land. As stewards of multiculturalism and environmentalism, the event even expressly forbids single use plastic products so guests in Costa Rica learn about the importance of minimizing pollution and our impact on the environment. Along with passing along this ethos and a deep appreciation for Costa Rica in its own community, Envision also is engaged in philanthropic efforts all over the country — proving that festivals can have a positive impact on both the land they occupy as well as the local neighbors. “We are working hard to find ways that we can give back to the charming community of Uvita that has been so welcoming.” says Terra Entheos, Community Relations Manager at Envision Festival. “Every year we do our best to improve this community and this year we are taking it to a whole other level this year!”

People on the beach at sunsetGive Back Days and Beach Cleanups

At the close of 2017, Envision hosted Beach its first ever Cleanup Day to restore a local shoreline. Speaking on Envision’s first cleanup for 2018, Entheos said “We had 20 people come out to the first clean-up and 15 to today’s clean-up.” To further get the word out and engage locals in cleanup efforts, Envision is working with a team to put together Spanish information packets with tips on reducing plastic consumption, upcycling and recycling. The packets are designed to help any environmentalist evangelize the truth of recycling in the local community. The campaign will even include a short documentary on Andres Vargas’ journey from Envision to action and his story in the long fight for plastic reduction here in the Osa region of Costa Rica. Naturally, the whole feature will be shot in Spanish.

Group of childrenBuilding a Future for Children

This isn’t the first time Envision Festival has set out to make a splash in the community that makes the event possible either. On another Give Back Day in 2015, Envision donated to local schools and Youth Centers in Uvita, planting gardens & fruit trees and painting murals. In 2015, Envision also donated ¢3,000,000 to Asociacion para la Prevencion y Alerta del Crimen in order to promote safety and a crime free community in Uvita.

In February of 2016, El Centro de la Juvenil Envision (The Envision Youth Center) was founded as a space for positive development, education and entrepreneurship. The center operates in Uvita and is dedicated to a fruitful future for the children of the local community. “We are super excited about this new development of Envision’s history in Uvita” Entheon explained. “And we are confident that the Center will have a long lasting positive effect on the area.”


250,000 visitors!

Quepolandia has had 250,000 visitorsI can’t believe I missed it! I so wanted to watch it turn over. Sometime today Quepolandia.com hit 250,000 visitors. We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. THANK YOU to everyone for supporting Quepolandia all these years!


Proposed Osa Marine Reserve

By Jim Chambers
Marine Biologist

Osa Marine Reserve BoundaryMany independent studies have confirmed that the area of the proposed Reserva Marina Álvaro Ugalde Víquez is essential habitat for a great variety of both resident and migratory marine species. This includes charismatic species such as whales, dolphins, and sea turtles as well as other species which together have high biological, commercial, recreational and economic value. They are being threatened by indiscriminate and unsustainable commercial fishing – specifically shrimp bottom trawls, purse seines, gillnets and longlines. Recovery of this important area will generate significantly increased marine productivity that is especially important to both pelagic (billfishes, tuna, dolphin) and demersal (e.g., snapper, grouper) fish populations along this coast which make this part of Costa Rica a world-famous sport fishing destination.

The proposed Bill is supported by many independent studies including that contracted by the Tropical Science Center, which provided justification for the decision to propose creation of this new protected area. The Bill, No. 20.333, for the creation of the Marine Reserve is now before the Congress’s Environment Commission prior to its submission to the full Congress for a vote. It is now requesting public comment to be received prior to mid-November. Eco-tourism is permitted since it is very important to the country and ecologically benign. Sport and artisanal fishing is also to be permitted, especially catch-and-release, for the same reason. The main goal is to provide protection from damaging activities and to promote those that are relatively harmless.

As the Reserve matures, bottom habitats will quickly recover allowing young fish and invertebrates to hide from predators; they are now being fully exposed by shrimp bottom trawls that are effectively “clear-cutting” bottom habitats that should look like a miniature forest. This will produce an explosion of all forms of marine life. Sport fishing will benefit tremendously and that will draw many more resident and traveling sport fishermen to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast thus benefitting the hotels, restaurants, bars, tourist activities, etc. surrounding each marina community as well as the rest of the coast.

Donate to Hurricane Nate Recovery

Hurricane Nate floodingThe recent flooding of the communities surrounding Manuel Antonio and Quepos has been devastating for many people and families. The flood relief effort has been hugely successful, with many individuals and business owners helping out directly to bring food, supplies and basic needs to those who were hit the hardest. Yet there is still a desperate need for aid out there, and many families who lost most of their humble possessions—or who lost their homes completely.

Along with dozens of other community members, we’ve banded together in an effort to organize and bolster the flood relief and aid these families are receiving.

Julie from Castillo de la Riviera has created a Facebook page called ‘Costa Rica Unidos’ specifically for the effort, facebook.com/groups/122005531812843/.

Matty Ruggs, from Paddle 9, has also created a GoFundMe campaign which people can use to make online donations, gofundme.com/costa-rica-disaster-relief.

We also have a community Google sheet which we’re using to keep track of the affected communities, families, what they’ve lost, what they’ve received, and what they still need. Through donations from home owners, businesses, and past visitors to Manuel Antonio, we’re raised a fund of over $25,000, and worked through wholesalers and manufacturers to get the best prices for mattresses, bedding, towels, and other domestic supplies.

But more is needed! There were literally thousands of homes and families affected, and those who were hit the worst were those who could least afford a disaster. We still need help in raising funds, distributing supplies, and gathering information—so if you would like to get involved, please contact Adrienne Pellizzari at Adrienne@CafeMilagro.com.

Lastly, Marina Pez Vela has been gracious in providing a center for storage and distribution for the donated supplies. If you have a donation you would simply like to drop off, please contact the Pez Vela reception at 2774-9000 or Arlene Alfaro at 8842-4942 to coordinate.

A huge thank you to everyone who has been involved—from those in the light to those in the shadows! It is great to be a part of a community that shines with compassion when needed! Go Manuel Antonio!

Kent Thompson

Peter Vineberg

Peter Vineberg obit

Heartworm Disease

(en español)

Heartworm cycleHeartworm infection, caused by Dirofilaria immitis parasite, through a mosquito bite (mosquitoes can bite your neighbour´s pets and then yours), it affects both cats and dogs. Although prevalence is higher in some areas than in others, the disease has been widespread, it was diagnosed in Quepos and in almost the whole Pacific area in Costa Rica. Dogs and cats that are heartworm infected may or may not be symptomatic.

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Gusano del corazón

(In English)
Heartworm cycleLa infección del gusano del corazón es causada por un parasito Dirofilaria immitis, y se transmite por la picadura de un mosquito (este pude picar a varios perros e infectarlos), es un gran problema que afecta tanto a perros como gatos. También hay ciertas zonas que son más afectadas que otras, aquí en Quepos se ha diagnosticado y es un problema así como en casi toda la región del Pacifico en Costa Rica. Los perros y gatos afectados pueden o no tener síntomas y usualmente son detectados en los controles de rutina que realizamos los veterinarios.

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Stan Astrachan

Stan Obituary


Brew houseFuego Brew Co is a hidden jewel ready to be discovered by beer loving travelers and local Ticos alike. A craft brewery located on the southern pacific coast of Costa Rica in the tiny bohemian beach town of Dominical, just a quick 30 minute drive south of Quepos. Built using beautiful local and sustainable materials, Fuego is a sight to behold. A giant bamboo ramp leads up through the jungle to the second floor where beautiful breezes and views of the river, ocean and jungle await. A glass bottom floor looks down upon the brew house, where top-notch brewing equipment ensures the beer is always fresh and delicious. Toucans, Scarlett Macaws and a huge variety of other jungle creatures call the land surrounding Fuego home and are frequent visitors.

Fuego Brew Co interiorFuego’s resident brew master, Alan Struck, honed his brewing skills at San Francisco’s Anchor Steam Brewery and Maui Brew Co before bringing his knowledge and passion about craft beer to Costa Rica. The result? Fuego makes the best craft beer in Costa Rica, hands down. An ever-evolving menu chock full of organic vegetables, local chicken, house- made sauces and sustainably sourced seafood matches well with the 6 different varieties of house-made brews. Fuego’s most popular brew is the Guanbana Hefeweizen and should not be missed. Especially when paired with some home-made beer battered onion rings and seared tuna.

ExteriorSo take the adventure and experience Dominical and Fuego Brew Co for yourself. Look for it on the banks of the Barú River, a stone’s throw away from playa Dominical’s powerful waves. Across from the schoolhouse there’s a big wooden gate and believe us when we say once you’ve been to Fuego, you’ll never forget it.

Lance, Letty & Niven: the Rest of the Story: UPDATED

Lance, Niven, & Letty at Dos Locos

Lance, Niven, & Letty at Dos Locos

Click the PLAY button to listen to Letty, Lance, Niven & Ed.

My name is Ed Hooven. For decades my late wife Maya (who died on Feb. 3rd, 2017) and I were good friends with Lance, Letty and Niven. Our friendship was in part based on our mutual interests in playing and listening to live music.

I write this with tears in my eyes as I am the last survivor of this group (born one month after Letty) and have recently been lost in my memories while listening to the hours of recordings we made in our Toronto music room and on gigs (many with Lance, Letty and Niven) since my wife’s recent death from a second bout with cancer.

But let me go back to the beginning: It all started in 1968 (as I learned from Maya) that a new Canadian named Lance Bennett arrived in Toronto’s Yorkville (the then hip area of the city). They immediately struck up a friendship with Maya hiring Lance to work at her club the “Penny Farthing” coffee house. While the club closed shortly after that Maya took Lance with her to the several other Yorkville venues she worked at in those years. They stayed in touch over the next 15 or so years while Lance traveled intermittently to places like South America and England.

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Envision Festival Costa Rica, Feb 23-26

Envision Festival logoBy Lane Undjhem

Envision Festival is a conscious festival dedicated to awakening human potential and re-establishing our fundamental connection with nature. Taking place February 23rd-26th 2017 in beautiful Uvita, Envision has grown to become one of the most progressive festivals in Latin America. In its seventh year, Envision continues to flip the traditional festival model on its head. Four days of yoga, surfing, performance, music, educational workshops, and community building will continue to elevate this gathering to one of the premiere festivals in the world.

Envision embodies the ethos of the most recognizable transformational festivals, while also taking huge steps in the direction of sustainability. Partnering with Costa Rican based non-profits like Community Carbon Trees, festival organizers have systematically reduced the carbon footprint of the event, working hard toward the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality. In 2016, more than 200 trees were planted on-site at Rancho La Merced by attendees and volunteers in an effort to offset the carbon footprint of international travel. Envision is also one of the only events on the globe that has created system to deal with human waste. Instead of continuing the portable toilet model used by most high-attendance events, the Envision green team has built and implemented over fifty semi-permanent compost toilets on site. The saves an estimated 28,000 gallons of water and generates enough compost to fertilize the plethora of fruit trees at Rancho La Merced for most of the year.

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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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Quepos Bridge Opens

The new Quepos bridge

Quepos IS Safe & Friendly

Downtown QueposBy Vera Jones

The people of Quepos look forward to serving you and telling you about our town, a typical Costa Rican pueblo. Quepos provides access to all amenities, such as Supermarkets, ATMs, Post Office, Doctors, Dentists, Taxis, Buses, Souvineers, Shopping, Restaurants, a Casino and much more.

Quepos is safe and friendly. The people living here go out of their ways to be helpful, often speaking English as well as Spanish. So spend some time and enjoy shopping, dining and having a drink.

The streets have been recently repaved so walking and driving are easy. Quepos is on the ocean front and the boardwalk is the perfect place to sit and relax. There is an open-air market on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings with lots of exotic local fruits and vegetables.