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Welcome Popcorn and Simba!

The Sloth InstituteWe have two new sloths we rescued receiving medical care and rehabilitation at The Sloth Institute. Welcome Popcorn and Simba!

Popcorn is a juvenile female two-fingered sloth that fell out of a tree because she was sick and weak due to a bad mange infection. After a few months of treatment at TSI, she is feeling much better. She just needs to gain some more weight and then she’ll be ready to be released back to the wild.

Simba is a juvenile male three-fingered sloth who we found on the ground at a nearby hotel in poor health. We discovered he had a bacterial infection and parasites. He has been recovering smoothly and responding well to his treatments. We anticipate he will also be ready to go back to the wild as soon as he puts on a little more weight.

Read updates on all of the sloths in care at TSI at TheSlothInstitute.org.

popcorn and simba

Watch Out For Other Surfers!

Surf CR logoI’ve seen it happen too many times. Beginner surfers out in the lineup where the waves are too big or fast for them. Intermediate surfers who think they know what they are doing, but do not have good control of their board. Even the advanced surfers who think they are invincible can get injured. I’ll explain each group, the hazards, and how to limit them. 

Beginner surfers are those surfing for the first few times. They can be picked out since they are most often on longboards, and those are often soft tops. They have trouble sitting upright on the board, and take extra time popping up. The hazards are when they lose control their boards after a big wave hits them, when they try to catch a wave but shoot the board out, when they fall, and when they do catch the wave but head right for you. To avoid them, be aware of where they are sitting and stay at least 20 feet away (the length of the board and the leash plus a few extra for safety).

surfing too close to other surfers

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Spanish Sucks – September/October 2019

Spanish Lesson Image


Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo

Speedy the Sloth, Free At Last

KSTR LogoBy Karma Casey

baby speedyGreetings Quepolandia readers! Its Karma, the Kids Saving the Rainforest spokeskid. This month’s article is about a VERY special someone. Have you ever heard of a sloth named Speedy?! (Some of you may know him by his nickname, Jorge.) Well, Speedy is a very unique two toed sloth who has just graduated from Boot Camp, KSTR’s pre-release area where sloths like Speedy learn how to climb trees and forage on their own to get ready for their release back into the wild. After a long journey here at KSTR, Speedy was just triumphantly set free back into his rainforest home! Let me tell you his story.

Speedy was rescued when he was only a few months old. He was tiny, only a kilogram! He had fallen from a tree near the Makanda Hotel in Manuel Antonio. Poor Speedy! The people at the hotel quickly called in the KSTR team. After a checkup by the veterinarian, KSTR attempted to reunite Speedy with his mother.

But sadly, while the hopeful team waited and waited while Speedy hung at a low branch in the tree where the mother was, and called out to his mother, she ignored him. Really mom sloth!? The mother sloth never came down for her son, so the team was forced to bring him back to KSTR. This is quite common in sloths and one of the reasons why it’s so important to have wildlife rescue efforts like Kids Saving the Rainforest. The KSTR nursery is often busy with orphans, like Speedy, and that’s where he was headed to next. A generous KSTR supporter named Nivea sponsored him, and that’s where he got his name!

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Bathrooms – Fabulous and Functional

contemporary bathroom with tubMaking Your Dream Bathroom a Reality, and How it All Began.

Design Wise logoHaven’t we all imagined soaking in a bubble-filled tub, champagne glass in hand and looking out to a glorious view or to birds flying overhead?

Every home has a bathroom, usually two or more in reality. Since the inception of indoor plumbing, bathrooms in homes have transitioned from a luxury, to a necessity and back to luxury in the custom homes we see everywhere.

Starting in ancient cultures, bathing rituals were mainly for the wealthy and influential, and for those seeking purification. Public bath-houses came along and these were very social places. In the 1800’s personal bathtubs of cast iron started showing up in homes, and portable ones made from wood or tin at last became accessible for the masses – the great unwashed! The attitude was that people could now have a bath once a week – whether they needed one or not!

person drawing plansToday we consider the bathroom as our personal sanctuary, and of course we want it to reflect that. It is so much more than a place to get clean – it has become the place where you can really make a decorating statement. There are simple Japanese style bathrooms, elegant traditional bathrooms, rustic bathrooms, and almost any style you can imagine.

If you are designing your own bathroom, plan first for the layout as you will need to consider what you want to include in there. Smaller bathrooms are always more of a challenge, but with planning and some careful thought, you can usually include everything you want.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Fire Chicken with Mozzarella

Chef's Corner logocompleted dishThis is a fun party dish that’s inspired by a Korean recipe named buldak. The spicy grilled chicken is covered with melted mozzarella and served with fresh lettuce leaves. You can replace the “gojujang” chili paste with red curry paste.


  • 1 lb or 500 grams of boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey 
  • 1 tablespoon of gojujang or red curry paste
  • 1 chopped chili pepper (optional) 
  • 1 dash of black pepper
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of shredded ginger
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced green onion tops and sesame seeds for garnish

Cooked chickenDirections

  1. Marinate the chicken with the first 6 ingredients for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill or broil over low heat until done.
  3. Cut into bite size pieces and place in an oven pan, cover with cheese, and broil until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
  4. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, enjoy with friends and cold drinks!

Memoirs of a Masseur – September/October 2019

The best is yet to come” is something I remind myself of every day. Our life stories never stop happening. Sometimes our actions may seem repetitive or boring yet our lives are in constant change, evolving us into who we are becoming next. Like day to night, like seasons or swell in the ocean, like our very cells time marches on and we are helpless against it. Optimism is in fact something we can adopt into our nature. A few amigos of mine who have had much misfortune and pain are some of the most pleasurable to be around, they take and hug the passing of the hours like it is a friend, not a foe. I seek out good company because somehow something transfers from them to me. The exact same feeling I project when I massage clients. Smiles are infectious, happiness can be addicting, and it is my job as a body worker to not bring my problems to the massage table (literally). That is why optimism is my middle name.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – September/October2019

September/October coverBienvenidos…Welcome to the rain forest, green season has arrived. So enjoy the peace of it and all the lushness it provides. Our mornings are normally beautiful and the rain comes later in the day, so get moving early and enjoy your adventures, maybe have an afternoon nap (guilt-free in the rain). Our restaurants and tour companies are in full swing to make your stay here an unforgettable one. Without the crowds and with cooler weather much more enjoyable. We recommend calling ahead to our fine restaurants beforehand because some will be closing briefly for a quick vacation for themselves and their staff. Being from the US I always enjoy this time of year. I look forward to start of the NFL season. You can catch all the action at Casino Kamuk in Quepos or Sanchos and Jolly Roger on the hill. 

Marina Pez Vela offers outstanding restaurants, tours, great shopping, and most importantly this time of year, underground parking and shuttle service. September and October are some of the best months for whale watching here in Manuel Antonio so make sure to book your tour with them and enjoy the spectacular humpback whales frolicking just offshore. October 31 is Halloween so start thinking of a costume and get ready for fright night in the jungle. Marina Pez Vela will be having their annual Halloween Bash complete with trick or treating for the kids and a haunted house. Always a great time for the entire family.

Costa Rica will be celebrating their 197th year of Independence on September 15th. Quepos will be having its annual parade in traditional dress, floats, and marching bands. So if you are in the area come celebrate with a country that truly appreciates their Independence…Viva Costa Rica!!!

We want to thank Paul Gerace for another spectacular cover.

September/October is a double month issue so we will be back to guide you in November. We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us at Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D

Spanish Sucks – August 2019

Spanish Sucks


Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo


Chef's Corner logoA fantastic way to experience the local flavors of Costa Rica, is with a cold drink and a “boca*” in a typical cantina. This particular boca recipe is said to have originated from a bar in Tibas. It is a tasty layered dip that combines soft and crunchy textures—a perfect foundation for soaking up more cold beverages.

Bocas were traditionally made from whatever offerings were present in the kitchen, and served as little free appetizers. Now they will most likely cost a small amount of colones.

This layered dip combines soft and crunchy textures where the chicharrones (the fried pork can be substituted with shredded chicken) are placed between beans and diced tomatoes. 

Completed ChifrijoIngredients

  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked red or black beans with liquid
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of diced cooked chicharrones (recipe at the end).
  • 1 whole tomato, diced
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • Salt, pepper, hot peppers to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Fried tortilla chips for scooping


Find a medium sized bowl to begin layering:

  1. The warm cooked rice.
  2. The beans with liquid.
  3. The diced chicharrones or shredded chicken.
  4. The diced tomato.
  5. The cubed avocado.
  6. The sliced onion.
  7. Sprinkle with lime juice, salt, pepper, hot peppers, to taste.
  8. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Best enjoyed with crispy tortilla chips

Raw pork bellyCooked chicharronesHomemade chicharrones

I like to start with one kilo of pork belly—panzada

Cook bite-size squares and sprinkle with baking soda. Rest for a few hours or overnight. Rinse off the meat and place into non-stick wok with 2 cups of water. Bring to a slow boil on low flame and cook for 1 hour or until the water has evaporated. Raise the heat slightly and fry the meat until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. You can simply enjoy them with tortillas and squeezed orange-lime juice.


Fiddlin’ Around – August 2019

Fiddlin'Around headerAll songwriters start out with a scary blank page, and most of them have their own particular approach for filling it up. Everybody’s got to find the muse and method that works for them, but like most artistic endeavors there is no one ‘right’ way to go about writing a song. There are lots of different reasons for writing a song—to tell a story, to make a buck, to give yourself or another singer a vehicle for showing what they are capable of, to influence others, or because that’s just what songwriters do! There are books written on the subject, and plenty of folks with advice about how to write a hit song, but eventually it’s all gonna boil down to HONESTY and HEART. Of course it is useful to learn how to read music and to understand keys and scales and harmony—but somehow the listener can always tell when music is fake or contrived and it just doesn’t work.

Violinist Available Read More…

That’s Fishin’- August 2019

That's Fishin' header

Welcome to the August edition of Quepolandia and what a fantastic couple of months of fishing we have experienced here in paradise with some great action taking place and lots of happy visitors from all corners of the world getting to experience it for themselves.

2 men holding large tunaTUNA TUNA TUNA!!

The Tuna fishing during June & July was simply world class with lots of fish in the 30-100lb class being caught by the Quepos fleet. Some lucky Anglers managed really special fish in the 100-150 lb category, back breaking work for sure with fights lasting 1-2 hours on occasions depending on the tackle used. Congratulations to Stephen Dudra from Jacksonville, Florida who caught a Yellow Fin Tuna in the 120 lb class during his recent trip to Quepos, an epic fish for sure! Countless more 100+ pounders have been caught creating bragging rights for the lucky anglers and there have been some fishy tales exchanged at the Quepos bars about these monsters for sure!

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Hazards to Watch Out for when Surfing in Costa Rica

Surf CR logoIt’s called the Domi-shuffle for a reason. You shuffle your feet when walking out to the waves because at certain times of year there are sting rays that lay in the shallow waters and if you step on one, they can use barbed tail to stab you in the foot, which causes extreme pain for a few hours. The way to heal it is to sink your foot in really hot water, which allows the barb to loosen up the stingers. Then pull them out with tweezers, clean with soap and water, and then do not cover the wound.
Sharks should always be respected in the water as they are called top predators for a reason. However, in 20+ years of surfing in Costa Rica, I have yet to see a shark while I was surfing. I did see a few at the Sierpe Rivermouth and imagine there will be one or two chasing fish migrations or larger rivermouths. Most of them are looking for fish, not humans, to chomp on so don’t get alarmed if you see one. Keep eye contact with it, and slowly back away. If it does try to bite you, hit it in the eye or the gills.  

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How Old Are The Rainforest Giants?


When I was in junior high school, now called middle school, I was fortunate to have an exceptional science teacher who’s lectures were so interesting that I still remember much of what I learned in that class. I still remember the day we learned about determining the age of trees by counting the growth rings. In a temperate climate, metabolic activity is dormant during the cold winter months, and the tree doesn’t grow. Then when summer comes along the trunk will increase in girth by adding another ring. Since there is a new ring each year, counting the rings will tell us how old the tree was. Today this can be done on a living tree without cutting it down. A small core is cut from the trunk and the rings counted on the core.

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Sloth Rescue Training With ICE

The Sloth InstituteInstituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s government-run electricity and telecommunications services provider, often gets calls or is the first responder when people report a sloth in danger. Because ICE workers aren’t wildlife handlers, The Sloth Institute provides training to teach them how to properly handle the sloths for the workers’ safety and for the safety of the sloths.

Toy sloth in an ICE truckWe also discuss TSI’s research and rehabilitation and release program, educate about general sloth facts and give hands-on training on how to safely remove sloths from wires. It’s not as easy it may look! The education instills the workers with confidence in their abilities to handle and help sloths.

What To Do If You See A Sloth In Danger

If you see a sloth who is in need of help, please call or send a message via WhatsApp to The Sloth Institute’s Sloth Response Team at +506 87SLOTHS. Ideally it is best to send photos or a video of the sloth in need of rescue. The TSI Sloth Response Team can then properly assess the situation. There are times we get a call about a sloth in danger when they aren’t in need of rescue.

You can also call your local Bomberos (Fire Department). If a sloth is on the electric wires you can also call ICE.


The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please visit TheSlothInstitute.org or email us: info@theslothinstitute.org. If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS 7 5 6 8 4 7.