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Technology For The Win: The Rise of Smart Kitchens

Design Wise logoBy Karoline Gore

Kitchens are often renowned as the heart of the Costa Rican home, but these days, that heart might need some TLC. Traditional foods like casado and the morning batch of pinto de gallo are still being served in Costa Rica, but something might be missing from this tradition: a sit-down style family meal. Eating together as a family has been found to have a plethora of benefits. Unfortunately, life today is very fast-paced, and your family time might be paying the price. After a long, hard day, it’s quite a challenge to make a home cooked meal and rally the troops to have a family dinner. Of course, you can’t cut corners in life, but what you can do is let technology help you out!

Royal Palm Interiors

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‘Pura Vida’ Changed My Life

Envision Fest logoEnvision Festival Co-Founder, Sarah Wu

Why does one decide to up and leave their life? To place distance between yourself and your blood family or to leave the place you were born? I imagine some do it to find new roots, while others do it to seize a chance to grow them. For others, it’s about creating the life that we think we should have, but the business class rigmarole and Whole Foods style marketing have got our heads spinning around about who we are in the world. Constantly questioning what niche do we fill or what value we have. When I lived in America, I frequently wondered how human potential might be stymied under the weight of our own expectations of who we should be. Costa Rica, on the other hand, has business casual, organic food, cultural expectations and hardship, but it also has an untouched rawness, a unifying element that draws people in and holds them to place. It isn’t a country for wanderers. Costa Rica is a place for migrators, for unique species and the naturally weird. It’s a place where integration and co-evolution are a part of the culture. For many, the Pure Life of Costa Rica is sort of beacon. A siren calling you home.

When I first heard the song and came to Costa Rica in 2001, studying Tropical Ecology and Environmentalism in my sophomore year in college, I was seeking to see beyond the default options and expectations I grew up with and Costa Rica offered me redirection, a lifestyle close to nature, a lifestyle that’s… Pura Vida. From the mists of Monteverde to the warm Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica had my heart the moment I touched her soil. As the years passed, I met more people, picked up more Spanish and ‘Pura Vida’ sprouted like a seed in my heart and my roots in Costa Rica grew deeper.

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Sea Shepherd: The Heroes of the Sea

Sea Shepherd header

According to the United Nations, 7% of global fish stocks are depleted, 52% are fully exploited and 17% are over exploited. This leaves only an estimated 20% of worldwide fish stocks that aren’t already at capacity. In addition, 90% of large predatory fish are already gone. Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year. Recent estimates also say that the global by-catch (untargeted marine species caught during commercial fishing and returned to the sea dead) rate may amount to 40% of the world’s catch.

The Brigitte Bardo sails past a Chinese squid boat

The Brigitte Bardo sails past a Chinese squid boat

These dire statistics may seem discouraging, but not to everyone. Founded in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization. They’re active on the ground, on the high seas, and inside the world’s highest courtrooms, dedicated to “ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”

The Interceptor Vessel

Over December and January, the Marina Pez Vela played host to the M/V Brigitte Bardot, the Sea Shepherd’s interceptor vessel. This crew belongs to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society chapter, which means they patrol the oceans and take direct action to investigate, document, expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas.
They are currently working on Operation Mamacocha. This campaign covers roughly two million square kilometers (770 000 square miles) of ocean, and addresses Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Biodiversity Corridor. These waters are rich in nutrients and play host to 88 species of sharks, giant oceanic manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, and blue whales among others. We had a chance to chat with their campaign leader Rebecca Benjamin-Carey about what life is like on board.

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Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits and Uses

Turmeric Curcuma header

Are you looking for a way to boost every facet of your health with a single spice? It sounds crazy, but turmeric curcumin with BioPerine may be the magic supplement we’ve been seeking. Turmeric benefits the body and mind in more ways than you can imagine. Similar to bone broth, turmeric impacts almost every facet of life. Over 10,000 peer-reviewed and clinical studies support using turmeric for better health.

What is turmeric good for? Almost everything. Regardless of your health goals, turmeric can help you reach them. Some benefits include helping with weight loss, inflammation, arthritis, skin, and pain relief. Turmeric can even help prevent acne, cancer, allergies, diabetes, joint pain, and depression. We will cover all the health benefits and turmeric uses in detail below.

Read more HERE.


Pescadora Billfish Championship

Pescadora logoBy Nicky Branciforte

Fishing is no longer a man’s sport. Over 17 million women went fishing in the USA in 2017. The days of hunters and gatherers being men are long gone and women have set up shop (no pun intended) right alongside them. Our skill in the sport has been proven and shines through every day, be it on ponds, lakes or the deep blue sea. The Pescadora Billfish Championship was put together by Samantha Mumford, loving wife and mother, first-class business owner and easily one of the best anglers to ever hold a rod. Samantha wanted to give women who love to fish the opportunity to compete for a title with the same prestige and class as their male counterparts. The uniqueness of the “hook and hand” rules of the tournament allows for anglers of all skill levels to compete for the two top lady angler awards along with overall boat team awards. The women participating in this tournament don’t care which bikini might just land them on the next hot social media post but instead are focused on landing the next fish of the desired species. February 21-23 will bring together women from around the world to have a chance to share in this amazing experience and compete at a chance to be THE PESCADORA!!! Come join them…


Pierre E. Tremblay


Enjoy Your Retirement: How to Find an Affordable Vacation Home

Deck chairs facing beachBy Jim McKinley

You worked hard much of your life and now you are ready to kick back and enjoy your retirement. Perhaps a vacation home sounds like just the ticket, but how do you find an affordable property? And are you really ready to make the investment?

Finding an affordable property

You need to weigh several factors to find an affordable vacation home, including:

Establishing a budget

Decide what you can afford and determine the additional costs involved with purchasing a second home. Include property taxes, travel to and from the location, utilities, maintenance and repairs, and the costs involved if you hire a property management service.

Getting funding

Unless you can purchase the property outright, you will need a mortgage for your vacation spot. Consider reaching out to smaller, regional lenders for financing. Another option is to seek investment from family members and friends, or splitting a purchase into shares.

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Transformation in Barrio San Francisco

By Len Homan

A mural being painted in Manuel Antonio by local artist Juan Calderon is energizing the residents of barrio San Francisco. The mural and the newly paved road surrounding the U shaped neighborhood are inspiring the residents to remodel and beautify their own properties.

Artist Juan with the mural

Wall before the muralArtist Juan is donating his time and talent after park guide Dagoberto and the staff of Peace of Paradise converted the close-by concrete utility wall left standing by the road crew into a smooth, inviting artist canvas. “There is so much hidden talent in this neighborhood” said Len Homan, retired educator and partner at Peace of Paradise. Local volunteers for preparing the wall and painting the mural are bringing those talents to the surface.”

Dagoberto secured support and endorsement from the municipality for supplies and to encourage the face-lift and progress of San Francisco. Plans for more projects are spreading around the neighborhood.

Community working together


TICK-BORN DISEASE IN DOGS/ ENFERMEDAD TRANSMITIDA POR GARRAPATAS EN PERROS

Dra. Fabiola Quesada, VET HOUSE CALLS
Domicilios Pacífico Sur
Tel: 88 48 01 03 fabiquesada07@yahoo.com

The age range for dogs with clinical ehrlichiosis is 2 months to 14 years and the signs vary with the phase of infection ( fever, hemorrhage, nose bleeding, pale mucous, eye problems, kidney and liver, etc) also the nervous system (depression, pain, seizures, etc) and even death in our dogs.

The definitive diagnosis requires a blood test by a veterinarian.

With a treatment, the vet will provide you with the correct antibiotics for no less than 28 days to kill the infection.

Prevention includes environmental tick control and dog tick control ( pills, oil drops for the skin, baths, etc).

Dog and tick

 

La enfermedad de las garrapatas es llamada Ehrlichia, su principal transmisión es a través de las garrapatas, aunque también puede transmitirse mediante una transfusión sanguínea, el organismo no sobrevive fuera del huésped.

El rango de edad puede ir desde los 2 meses hasta los 14 años en perros con ehrlichiosis clínica.

Los síntomas van a variar de acuerdo a la fase de infección (fiebre, sangrados, sangrado por la nariz, palidez, problemas en los ojos,hígado, riñones e incluso puede afectar el sistema nervioso con depresión, dolor , convulsiones, etc), incluso si no es tratada a tiempo puede ocasionar la muerte.

El diagnóstico definitivo se realiza mediante exámenes de sangre realizados por el veterinario. El doctor le recetará los antibióticos necesarios no menos de 28 días, para eliminar la infección.

Cómo prevenimos: controlando el ambiente libre de garrapatas, así como protegido a nuestras mascotas podemos utilizar pastillas, aceites para la piel, baños, etc.

 


Surfing Quepos – Manuel Antonio

If you are a surfer or want to learn to surf while you are here, then you should know a little about the surf breaks in the area. Here is a quick guide from north to south:

 

2 surfers

photo: Paul Gerace

Playa Bejuco

A beach break that has hollow waves and works best at two hours before high tide going up to high tide. It has strong rip currents and no lifeguards so it is only for advanced surfers. 

Isla Damas

Another beach break but you need a boat to get to it. It works best right around high tide, but at lower tides on bigger swells can produce heaving barrels—definitely an expert break when there is swell. 

Quepos River Mouth

The jetty from the marina blocks a lot of swell so when it’s too big everywhere else, this break can produce long lefts and some rights that go up into the river mouth. It works at low and mid tides, but at high tide it can be mushy and polluted at times from the outfall in town. Not a beginner break due to the rip currents produced by the river mouth, but it can be fun for long boarders.

SurferManuel Antonio (Playitas)

At the far north end of the beach this stretch of sand has better formed waves and is a foot or two bigger than the rest of the coast. It is best an hour before to an hour after high tide. Watch out for boulders that stick up in the shore break. It also is a favorite spot for locals, so respect them in the lineup. Intermediate or advanced only.

Manuel Antonio

The rest of the beach works well around high tide, and there are lifeguards at the southern end. There are lots of guys on the beach giving lessons and renting boards, . This is most often a beginner break, but if there is swell watch out for heavy rip currents.


Electronic Invoices Are Now an Obligation in Costa Rica for Individuals and Companies

Tecsa AdThe electronic invoice will be mandatory for all taxpayers in November 2018. This is established by a resolution of Costa Rican Treasury (Ministerio de Hacienda). The electronic invoice is automatically send to Ministerio de Hacienda and to your email, so every electronic invoice will contain a PDF document and XML file that is used for the computers to read the information.

All individuals or companies that have a card ending in 1, 2, or 3 are required to submit electronic invoices as of September 1, those that end in 4, 5, and 6 enter on October 1, and 7, 8, 9, and 0 begin on November 1.

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Retiring – Dos Locos Doors Close September 15

 

Dos Locos logo 

Dos Locos exteriorI don’t know the exact date Dos Locos first opened in downtown Quepos, but the perfect location and atmosphere made it popular beyond belief—especially with gringos living in the area and visiting tourists. Dos Locos became the meeting place in Quepos…right in the middle of downtown and across from the bus station—and a place where you could enjoy some great food and refreshing libations. Possibly the main reason for its popularity was that lovely lady, Vera Jones who could almost always be seen sitting at the bar in the far right corner. She waved at folks in the buses as they were coming into town and she welcomed everyone with a big beautiful smile!

Vera She was also the person in the know…having the most information about everything going on and all the different places and activities in the area during a time when almost no information was available. And even after the advent of the internet, people would still go to her for information. She no doubt was very instrumental in helping me create the English language guide to the area, Quepolandia which just celebrated a 20 year anniversary in July.

While I’m happy that Vera will now have lots of free time for travel, tennis, family and friends’ visits, and many new adventures, I’m deeply saddened that there will no longer be that special place to meet old friends, make new friends, hear great local music and entertainment, eat some delicious Mexican food, have an ice cold beer, margarita or other drink and just enjoy the fellowship at the best meeting place in town… (and I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention, the best kitchen and wait staff). Adios Dos Locos…thanks for the wonderful memories that will be cherished forever!   Ana Lyons

Farewell Dos Locos—my “Cheers” bar where everyone knows your name, where friends became family. So many great times full of laughter, magical music moments, awesome Halloween parties and more…. too many times when we came together in great sadness at the loss of our friends. Always seeing Vera happy to welcome newcomers and tourists (wave at the bus as it passes!) alike and to offer help when needed. I will truly miss our chats at that bar but time moves on and change is always just a step behind so here’s to the new future! Enjoy yourself and keep hitting that tennis ball—no worries as I’ll still catch up with you to chat! Thanks for the memories dear friend.   Pat Cheek

Dos Locos—That cute little bar/restaurant on the corner in Quepos was our first and only hang out, for over 17 years. It was always the place to go. Friendly faces, Vera at her corner of the bar, large portioned plates, always cold beer, and the best location in town for people watching was the obvious draw. We met people, made great friends, played bridge on Tuesdays, celebrated holidays, and in time said too many goodbyes at memorials generously hosted by Vera and the girls.

I realized in time that the magic of Dos Locos was Vera. She fostered all of us as a new kind of family, building a community center that served food, beer, fun and interesting conversation.

Dos Locos was the heartbeat of Quepos. A hangout for fun loving people, without judgement.
All kinds of characters thrived in Dos Locos’ shade.

DL was also the best musical haunt around. That was no secret, or accident. Wednesday’s with Ben and the Howlers were always a rock’n’roll circus, and who doesn’t love a circus? Saturday’s with Lance, Letty, Jim and Niven, and so many others that came to be the Pura Vida Social Club was a family Saturday afternoon festival. Robbie, Ralph Simms, Ralph McDonald, Nancy, Jimmy C, Johnny Bench, Javier, Alvin, Terry, the player list goes on and on.

I feel like part of the family when I walk through those doors. It’s hard to imagine Quepos without Dos Locos, the heartbeat of Quepos. Love and miss you already.
Jack Wozniak


Salon de Cacao

Salon de Cacao groupBy Julieta, Mamá Cacaomamacacaochocolate@gmail.com

On the 7th July, the Salon de Cacao took place at Cafe Milagro. In its second year, this free to attend, mini-festival sets out to raise the profile and celebrate our local cacao and artisanal chocolate-makers. 

The Puntarenas Province and Southern Zones used to produce large amounts of cacao, mostly for export. Some sources cite that cacao was the number one export of Costa Rica before coffee and bananas took over. But cacao was hit hard by a fungal disease called monilia in the late 70’s. By 1983 Costa Rican cacao exports had declined by 96%. 

Salon de Cacao groupCacao is back and thriving. We are now making some seriously good chocolate here
12 regionally-based artisanal chocolate makers brought their products on Saturday. There were also cacao-inspired talks—educating us on the cultural and historical relevance of cacao and on healthy & environmentally-friendly growing practices.

If you are looking to grow cacao and need advice, are interested in sourcing great chocolate, or would like to attend a chocolate-making workshop, please contact me and I will point you in the right direction. 

If this inspires you to support the development of delicious chocolate forests here in CR with small farmers, please also consider sponsoring trees through Community Carbon Trees.
communitycarbontrees.org/plant-a-tree

 


Happy 20th Anniversary Quepolandia!!

Cover January 1999Ana Lyons
anadematapalo@gmail.com

When I chose Costa Rica to be my adopted home back in the early 90’s, there was very little information available. What I learned about the country came from a subscription to the Tico Times… (printed version—no internet available back then). I was sure I wanted to be here, and my first drive from San Jose to the Central Pacific coast cemented that feeling. Stopping in the quaint little fishing village of Quepos and seeing the lush, immense beauty of Manuel Antonio Park, I couldn’t wait to make the area my home. I bought a small cabin/bar/restaurant business a few kilometers south on the beach in Matapalo and thus began my wonderful pura vida adventure!

Multiple challenges running that business (another story for another time, or maybe a book) was the inspiration to search for another way to survive. I was already using my computer, printer, a “store-bought” software program and limited skills to create a small flyer providing information about Matapalo (named Viva Matapalo by the late and great Michel Trottier, owner of La Terraza del Sol—RIP Michel). Having made friends with owner Vera Jones at Dos Locos, I was also creating a one-page flyer for her restaurant clientele called Que Pasa en Quepos. The internet was just beginning to be available, so with my one old computer, and Vera’s extra phone line, we created the first “internet café” upstairs in Dos Locos, called Cyber Loco.

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My 100th Issue!

Full cover July 2018July 2018 is my 100th Quepolandia layout! Thank You Ana, Pat, & Dave for giving me the opportunity to work at such a fun & satisfying job. Thank You to all the Readers, Advertisers, and Contributors for keeping the Quepolandia alive & growing for 20 years. Looking forward to issue #200!

Paul XOXOX