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What’s common between the United Fruit Co. & ancient Costa Rican stone spheres?

Stone spheresBy Donielle Fish
Costa Rica First Class Villas

The United Fruit Company was a large American corporation formed in 1899 that traded in tropical fruit (primarily bananas), grown on Central and South American plantations, and exported to the United States and Europe.

The company had a great influence on economic and political development of a number of Latin American countries, including Costa Rica. People have accused the company of operational neocolonialism and this can be a sore spot in the memories of older generations in Costa Rica. United Fruit was a typical example of the influence of transnational corporations on the internal politics of the so-called “banana republics”.
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Jane Goodall at the Osa Field Institute: The Woman Who Redefined Man

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

By Evelyn Gallardo

Kudos go to the Osa Field Institute (OFI) for its standing room only grand opening in Uvita and for bringing Dr. Jane Goodall in as its keynote speaker.

Executive Director, Dr. Julie Reyes, made a brief opening statement under a rancho setting about OFI being established as a field school where students, faculty, tourists and life long learners could team up to experience Costa Rica and conduct research together in the heart of a primary rain forest. She then introduced her hero, Dr. Jane Goodall, who was greeted with a standing ovation. She stood on a step stool throughout her talk explaining that she wanted to see each of the 200 attendees.

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Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days And it’s mostly thanks to heavy rains and geothermal energy.

Geothermal plant in foothills of Volcan Rincon de la Vieja

Geothermal plant in foothills of Volcan Rincon de la Vieja

By Myles Gough

(Originally published on www.sciencealert.com March 20, 2015)

Well done Costa Rica, well done.

The Central American country has achieved a major clean energy milestone, meeting 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy for 75 straight days.

“The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a press release.

The ICE says the country’s zero-emission milestone was enabled thanks to heavy rainfalls at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015. These downpours have meant that, for the months of January, February and so far March, there has been no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.

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ALBERT OPPEL  (1944-2015)

AlbertNació en Alemania en 1944. En su natal país fue marino y conductor de trens, llegó a su segunda patria Costa Rica en 1991, hombre afable, noble, amable, educado, filántropo, todo un caballero y amigo de todos. Vino a Quepos en busca de un clima que le asentara a su salud, e hizo de este pueblo su hogar, se resistía a aprender el español y fue feliz cuando un año antes de su partida obtuvo la residencia costarricense. Gastrónomo y excelente cocinero, amante de las comida alemana y fue en su última navidad cuando probó y le gustaron los tamales ticos. En sus buenos años fue un bohemio empedernido, disfrutaba de sus jornadas de tertulia con sus amigos en los bares, a los cuales era asido visitante, Wacky Wanda’s y Dos Locos. Hombre emprendedor, en busca siempre de algún negocio para llevar adelante. Celebraba con ahínco los constantes  triunfos del equipo de sus amores el Bayer Múnich, como celebró la campeonización de su selección y los triunfos de Costa Rica en la mundial. Aquejado por graves dolencias desde hace dos años estaba al cuidado de su esposa Yiniser, aunque no perdonaba las visitas de los sábados a Dos Locos, las cuales realizó aún en los momentos más difíciles de su enfermedad. El descanso eterno le llegó el pasada 25 de marzo, al lado de su familia tica, y siempre con el apoyo de su amigo Marcel Rodhe. Su cuerpo descansa en el cementario loca, conforme su voluntad.  Le sobrevive aquí su hijo Albert. Alerohiti. Cu-cu.

Descanse en paz Papi.


What is Vida Autentica?

Vida AutenticaVida Autentica as two words translates into Authentic Life or Life Authentic. I personally think I prefer the latter though I do not know which is technically correct. Those two words, if thought of long enough, could mean so many things to the myriad different people who would try to define them that they could never be given a proper definition. I think that there is great power in the combination of those two words. Together they create possibility. All who try to define them as a whole will no doubt bring new meaning to them. They are an idea that somehow exists outside of you, without you and at the same time they are you, they are something that grows from within you. It is your personal attention to those words that takes them out of the realm of the abstract and turns them into ideas and action that bloom into things of love and beauty. I have had some time to think of what they mean to me, so please, take a minute and think of what they could mean to you. Vida Autentica, Authentic Life, Life Authentic.

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Support Skate Park Project Parrita!

Parrita skateboarderDear Quepos,

We are your friendly neighbors Parrita!

We are writing you to tell you about a skate park project we would like to build for the youth of Parrita in a place called La Loma, Parrita. As you may have noticed, Parrita is still very much a developing canton that focuses on agriculture. There isn’t much for youth to do here in their spare time. In the past 3 years the adolescents of Parrita have been asking for a skate park where they can practice this sport that they love and have a safe place to hang out.

The Associacion of Desarrollo Integral de La Loma is very excited to be working alongside a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer and we are working hard to help see this dream become a reality.

Boys with skateboardsOur Skate Park project for Parrita will offer a safe place for kids to hang out, a healthy alternative to delinquency and drug use and the perfect place to practice skateboarding, bike tricks, and roller skating.

We are asking for your support in this project. Please consider making a monetary or material donation. Every dollar or colon counts!

ADI Las Lomas, Cedula Jurídica 3-002-078247
Account for accepting donations: Banco Costa Rica 100-01-079-002115-3

Please do not hesitate to contact: jessica.skeesick@gmail.com 8523-9734


Jumpstart 2015 in Inmaculada, Costa Rica

Jumpstart 2015By Katherine Stanley Obando, Academic Director, JumpStart Costa Rica
kstanley@crmultilingue.org

La Inmaculada is a community located just outside of Quepos Center along the southwestern coast of Costa Rica. Along with its surrounding neighborhoods, La Inmaculada houses close to 3,000 residents whom work within the Quepos community. While there are small business throughout that have historically generated income for the community, tourism is now crucial to the survival of families, located just 20 minutes away from Manuel Antonio National Park. In a town that suffers with social problems such as drug use – 50% of the elementary school student population reports witnessing drug use daily – and prostitution, along with child sexual exploitation running awry, La Inmaculada is a community that could tremendously benefit from English speaking opportunities like JumpStart Costa Rica for its youth.

Jumpstart logo

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Anthony (“Tony”) St. Aubyn Reid

Anthony (“Tony”) St. Aubyn ReidWe mourn the passing of Anthony (“Tony”) St. Aubyn Reid, a great friend, father, brother husband and son.

Tony traveled the world many times, and had friends in all corners of the planet. Though he spent his formative years in the radically outrageous Ibiza, Spain, when he arrived in Quepos, Costa Rica, he knew he had found his new home.

He is survived by his mother Felicity, father Robert, daughters Melissa, Michelle and Sarah, brother Quincy, and life partner Deidree. Tony and his late brother Nicky, made their mark on Quepos in the hospitality and real estate/construction industries. They started in the beautiful area of Manuel Antonio, and then spread to the outer areas. Tony could always be seen with a smile on his face, and a laugh in his heart. Singing along to songs of the 60’s and 70’s, Tony infused joy and mirth to anyone who crossed his trail.

Tony will be sorely missed by all. The world will be a lonelier and sadder place without Tony’s sparkling face, fast-talking stories, and hilarious jokes and puns.

Rest in peace, Tony as you find the pura vida in the great beyond.


ROGER FRANCIS CONNOR  –   September 4, 1944  –  November 24, 2014

Roger & Isolde

Roger & Isolde

Although born in San Luis Obispo, Roger grew up in Chicago, later attending Stanford University, where he studied linguistics and life and nurtured his very inquisitive and nimble mind.  He had four siblings, two of whom still live in the States.  Roger traveled a lot when he was younger, lived in Nepal for a while and eventually made his way to Costa Rica in the early 70s, where he later met the love of his life, Isolde Schmidt.  Together they transformed Isolde’s small inn on the road to Manuel Antonio into the successful restaurant and hotel, Plinio,  which for many years was a wonderful  place to gather with friends at the bar, and which tourists returned to year after year for the friendly owners, the GREAT food and the beautiful setting.  They worked hard – carved out nature trails, built a pool, hauled lumber up a hill to erect a tower from which the entire Quepos area was visible, built more rooms, hosted many great parties and food celebrations, and Roger was a fierce advocate for the preservation of this beautiful area and for the Ticos who live here.

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Sofie’s Solitaires

Sofie's Solitaires coverBy Richard Benson

On my weekly meander through the Quepos Feria I spot something new amidst the unique jewelry offerings at Parroquia’s display. It turns out to be the colorful cover of a children’s picture book, Sofie’s Solitaires, written by local author Helen M. Woodhouse.

Parroquia hands me a poster, which includes a glowing Amazon review and a brief description of the story: “Sofie brings home a cage full of Costa Rican songbirds that are too sad to sing. What will she do to restore their magic song?”

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JUMPSTART: Innovative English Camp to Benefit Quepos Students

By Katherine Stanley Obando, Academic Director, JumpStart Costa Rica
kstanley@crmultilingue.org

Jumpstart team & studentsSome students and teachers relish the year-end vacations as a time to kick back and relax – but not the participants in the upcoming JumpStart English Camp, to be held from January 5-30, 2015 in La Inmaculada de Quepos. Twenty students, led by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Ramona Dowdell and local Ministry of Public Education (MEP) teacher Isabel Guillén, will spend the month practicing English and preparing for the crucial transition to high school, a difficult time for many Costa Rican teenagers. The camp will rely entirely on donations and sponsorships to cover its costs, and the program is seeking support in the Quepos area to make this year’s camp a reality.

Jumpstart logo

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Apoye a nuestro seleccionados nacionales de Bodyboard Mundial ISA CHILE 2014

In English

Por Angélica Sancho

Quepos Bodyboard/Asociación Deportiva Body Board Aguirre, creación Setiembre 2012

Gracias al apoyo de Quepos, hemos logrado enviar a los seleccionados quepeños a los Mundiales ISA del 2012 y 2013. En ambas ocasiones con excelentes participaciones.

Participaciones destacadas:

  • Neydalie Vasquez, sexto lugar Mundial ISA Venezuela sub18 femenino 2012
  • Emilio Vargas, medalla bronce Mundial ISA Venezuela sub18 2012
  • Jefferson Bustos, medalla oro Mundial ISA Venezuela sub18 2013
  • Jefferson Bustos, Campeón Centroaméricano 2013 categoria open
  • Yazdanny Castro, Subcampeón Centroaméricano 2013 categoría open

Quepos Bodyboard

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Support our Bodyboard National Team ISA World Championship Chile 2014

En Español

By Angélica Sancho

Quepos Bodyboard/Aguirre Bodyboard Sports Association, since September 2012

With the support of Quepos, we managed to send the selected quepeños ISA World 2012 and 2013. Both times with excellent performances.

Previous Achievments:

  • Neydalie Vasquez, sixth place ISA World sub18 female Venezuela 2012
  • Emilio Vargas, World bronze medal, Venezuela sub18 ISA 2012
  • Jefferson Bustos, ISA gold medal World Venezuela 2013 sub18
  • Jefferson Bustos, Central Champion 2013 open category
  • Castro Yazdanny, Central Sub 2013 open category

Quepos Bodyboard

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What I’ll Tell My Daughter about La Sele, 2014

Daughter with flagBy Katherine Stanley Obando – July 6, 2014
Many Costa Ricans and their most fervent fans have been sitting in the eye of a storm for the past few weeks, struck dumb by amazement, watching wide-eyed as accolades all over the world for “the little team that could” have whirled around us in dizzying splendor. But today, as Costa Rica was eliminated, words returned. Here’s why this matters so much to me, what I want to tell my baby daughter someday about everything she’s seen and not understood these past few weeks:

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Day In The Life Of A Billfish

By Daniel Auberson  (Translation by Martin)

SailfishIt’s eight in the morning. I’m fast asleep in the middle of the pacific, 50km from the shore of Manuel Antonio, and 100m below the surface. I wake up refreshed after a night’s hunting, where I ate what must have been 20kg of small fish. I can hear the noise of a motor far away; nothing strange about that, there are always these things like big trees buzzing about overhead.

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