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Fiddlin’ Around – February 2019

Fiddlin'Around headerEnvision festivalEnvision Fest time is rolling around again, and most of us here in Dominical are happy for the diversion and happy to witness the folks attending the fest’s commitment to global and spiritual ideals and progress. Over the years I have met many young people with lofty goals who came here hoping to meet others with the same interests, and clearly this festival is not just about the music. Actually, it’s not even mainly about the music—it’s about yoga and meditation and healing arts and dance and permaculture and visual art and global awareness and eco-consciousness and alternative lifestyles. But browsing through the bios of some of the live musicians, I must confess that I do not understand a lot of the labels that are used now to describe different types of music. I have nothing but vague ideas of what global bass is, or glitch hop, or psydub, or what makes it sacred drumming as opposed to plain old drumming.

2 guys playing drums and fluteIt’s hard for me to relate to relentless rhythms and electronically produced sounds. I’m not going to apologize for that—I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of melodies and meaningful lyrics and harmonies and exploration of sounds produced by actual people, not machines. To me much of the techno stuff is just taking a cheesy 60s style drum machine from the mediocre band at the local Hotel Notell and elaborating on it. But I will defend anyone’s right to listen to what they want, and truth be told I can sometimes be found dancing along…

There are several stages at Envision, and the beautiful yet functional designs used to showcase what is happening on them is inspiring. Outstanding artistry and imagination goes into their making. You’re gonna have to go to the Envision 2019 website and read up on the different acts and which stages are used for techno or dance or acoustic or reggae so you can find the musical medium you like. The Sol stage is described as having big band music, but I am pretty sure they aren’t talking about Tommy Dorsey or Benny Goodman. But I’m clueless about what it is. It’s hard for me to tell by the names whether it is a DJ or a band or a combination of both. I am happy that reggae music still has a place at this festival—I like reggae and over the years it has been an important genre both musically and politically. There will be plenty of jamming going on—especially with drums and flutes and homemade instruments. To me, sitting on the beach with a bunch of others banging on stuff and being mesmerized by a bonfire is time well spent!

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – February 2019

What's Shaking headerAfter and AMAZING New Year’s CELEBRATION and a January PACKED FULL of activities, Rock Star Fishing Tournament and all the energy it feels more like the 63rd day of December vs the start of February, but who are we to complain for a celebration that lasts a few months instead of a few days! The good news, for those of you who enjoy a great time, is that February keeps the action going all month long here at MPV with a full slate of activities and big events! Let’s get to it and mark your calendars to join us here at MPV!

LA PESCADORA: February 21-23

The first annual Pescadora Fishing Tournament is the first women’s only fishing tournament here at MPV and is lining up to be one of the most successful and well attended tournaments to date. Anglers from all over Costa Rica and the world are coming to the area to enjoy some healthy competition and a WHOLE LOT OF FUN. MPV is home to some of the top female anglers in the world, and as is evidenced by the amazing performance in the open tournaments, female anglers are quickly taking their positions as some of the finest “fisherwomen” in the world. The Pescadora is welcoming anglers of all levels, but is certainly not your typical gimmicky female angler event. Organized by our local legend Samantha Mumford, La Pescadora promises to be a huge success, more fun than we can imagine and a great opportunity to expose and encourage more women and girls to get involved in this amazing sport. Come and join in the fun and support this first annual event.


Ahh, the day where lovers love to be in love. We want to invite everyone to join us for a Iive concert with Roger Morales, our local talent who always amazes us with his stunning voice and traditional Musica de Plancha. Whether you are coming with your significant other, spouse or just with friends and family to celebrate a day for friendship and love, there is no better spot to celebrate than MPV. While we can sometimes lose the importance of this holiday, love and friendship is at the core of everything we do at MPV, where a community and our visitors celebrate and share in a magical space. Join us and make reservations at one of our restaurants for a special dinner and a beautiful concert.Marina Pez Vela logo
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SLOTH SPEEDWAYS ARE SAVING LIVES and you can help to create more!

The Sloth Institute
Sloth crossing the roadDeforestation in the rainforest is causing sloths to lose vital connections to their homes, food, and safety. When trees are cut down, sloths try to find other ways to travel—they climb on to electrical wires or they try to cross the road. They end up being killed or badly maimed. The Sloth Institute has treated sloths who survived, but some have lost eyes and limbs after being electrocuted or hit by cars.

SLOTH SPEEDWAYS are rope bridges that sloths and other wildlife utilize to travel throughout the rainforest. Today, they have become more important than ever. SLOTH SPEEDWAYS reconnect the
rainforest so that sloths and all wildlife can continue to access their known resources to food and safety. The animals need many more SLOTH SPEEDWAYS, and we need your help.


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.

Dolly was rescued after being electrocuted. Luckily, TSI was able to save her injured eye.

Dolly was rescued after being electrocuted. Luckily, TSI was able to save her injured eye.

If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS (756847)

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

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2019

February 2019 coverBienvevidos/Welcome to our little part of paradise. Shed those jackets and forget about those snow shovels and let your adventure begin. High season is here and February is the month of Love and Costa Rica will provide the Peace And Happiness.

Kicking off the Happiness is the 2nd Annual Eco Beer Fest (same concept just better) at Fuego Brew Co. in Dominical on February 2nd. Followed by more Happiness with the Super Bowl LIII on the 3rd. Jolly Roger (MA) will be throwing a Tailgate party in the parking lot of Byblos Casino. Marina Pez Vela will be rocking the docks with the game on the BIG screen. Also on the big screen is Movie night under the stars a fantastic Friday night for the entire family and it’s free.

For all you lovers here, Valentines Day is upon us so don’t forget to make your special dinner reservations at our many exceptional restaurants Arbol, Victoria’s, Mira Olas just to mention a few. How about a family portrait? Sarah Yunker Photography. Maybe a massage, get it booked.

Bring the Peace is Jordan Todd with this months cover photo of the Garden Of Eden. No it’s just our Mangroves. Give Tucanes Tours a call and kayak the mangroves and experience the tranquility of the totally unique environment. For a little more adrenaline “The Chorro” is now rolling for all you river rafters.

Marina Pez Vela is continuing the festivities with the Pescadora Fishing Tournament, the first women’s only fishing tournament February 21-23. So come join us and enjoy this tournament and show the women our support.

Closing out the month and bringing more Peace, Love, and Happiness is the 9th Annual Envision Festival February 28 – March 3rd. Held on the beach in Uvita Envision provides four days of art, education, yoga, music, and incredible people from all over the world. Get tickets now (Envisionfestival.com) you won’t want to miss it.

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 with at here or Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D

New Year, New Look

Design Wise logo

10 Ways To Update Your Interior Without Breaking The Bank

by Shelagh Duncan

You might be quite happy with your current interior decor, but like any solid, long-term relationship, it can get a bit stale. With the New Year upon us why not try a few simple ideas to reinvigorate your space and make it look fresh and new – so you can fall in love with your home all over again!

Monstera leaves in a vaseYou don’t need to buy a bunch of new stuff to give your home a fresh look. Just take what you’ve already got, and mix it up! That’s what interior designers do. First we look through what clients already own, because treasures may be hidden in a cupboard or closet or sitting on a shelf that no one ever notices. Have a look around your own home, open the drawers, clear some shelves and counter tops and start fresh. Swap out mirrors, table lamps, throw blankets and pillows. Rotate artwork into different positions, rearrange the books and try out new objects on the coffee and dining table. Here are some ideas to get you going.



Change the wall art to a mirror – or vice-versa, change up the lamp or the table. Painting a wall in the entrance will give completely new first impression of your home. Just making a small change can make a big difference.

Royal Palm Interiors

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6 Benefits to Walking Barefoot

A Healthier You headerDid you know only 20 percent of the world’s population wears shoes? There are actually many benefits to walking barefoot that you may not realize. When our bare skin comes in direct contact with the earth, the ions in the earth help balance the ions in our bodies and can provide many benefits to our health.

1 Releases toxins

There are reflex points in our feet that directly affect our organs and bones. Walking on the bumps and rocks on the ground help to stimulate these reflex points in your feet. It may hurt at first, but this means your feet need the stimulation they are receiving. The pressure on your foot acts as acupuncture which can improve your energy.

Walking barefoot2 Strengthens and stretches muscles

Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles and tendons in your feet, ankles and calves which helps prevent injury and strain. It also works different muscles than when you’re wearing shoes and can help improve your posture and balance.

3 Boosts your mood

Spending time with Mother Nature is proven to improve your mood and mental state. These benefits are boosted when your body comes in direct contact with the earth beneath you.
Immersing yourself in nature and receiving the higher frequencies it emits increases your own energy levels.

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The First Gringo in Dominical

by Jack Ewing

Thomas beside old tractor

My swamper, cat & I on the road to Dominical

When Thomas J. Brower first came to Costa Rica World War II was raging, and the US was worried about the Panama Canal. If it were to fall into enemy hands allied naval capacity would be severely crippled, and in the late 1930’s a land route, imperative for the defense of the canal, did not exist. Building one became top priority, and the Pan-American highway was the result. The US government contracted with the Charles E. Mills Construction Company to build the 300 km stretch of road from Cartago to the Panamanian border.

Tommy Brower landed in Dominicalito with the construction company in 1940. A crude dock was built and heavy machinery unloaded. Part of the crew, with the help of local labor, built a camp for the company workers, and the rest started building a road to San Isidro. Once the trocha, as the rough cut road was called, reached San Isidro the workers split into two groups with one working toward Palmar Norte and the other toward Cartago where they would eventually meet up with other crews working from those locations toward San Isidro. It was a major operation, the magnitude of which had never been seen in Costa Rica.

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Let’s talk about the Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed hummingbirdBy Paul Gerace

The Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird is one of the most common hummingbirds seen here in Costa Rica.

It is named after its very distinct rufous colored tail. It has a very pink bill and a bright green body that appears to glitter when the sunlight hits it just right.

The Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird is very territorial. When other hummingbirds try to feed on its area of flowers it will make an aggressive dive towards them which results in their retreat.

Their wings flap at an impressive 60 beats per second and they like to feed on nectar and small insects. They are typically found in gardens and particularly like the colorful flowers on the rabo leon bushes.

Even though they are very common I still look forward to photographing them to capture their beautiful colors in the right light.

You can see more of my images at www.photosofcostarica.com

Memoirs of a Masseur – January 2019

Fugacious is a word that isn’t commonly used. It is an adjective and by definition it means lasting a short time. More importantly it is used to describe immaterial things such as emotions, because they can come and go and often do not leave a lasting effect. Botanists, for example, use the word fugacious to describe plant parts that whither or falls off before the usual time. Things that are fugacious are fleeting and do not contain substance.

I recently returned to Costa Rica after my annual two months away. I am fortunate to have massage clients in the Niagara Frontier region of New York as well as a humble family cottage on the eastern shore of Lake Erie in Canada. I spend September and October enjoying family and lifelong friends as well as reflecting on the year that has passed. My personal New Year begins in November with my return to the jungle and also coincides with another high season in beloved Manuel Antonio. While stateside I spend many of my days mountain biking to Niagara Falls and along the mighty Niagara river. The cooler temperatures persuade the elm, oak, and maple trees leaves to turn red, orange, and yellow, all signaling me to slow down and reflect. For I know that autumn is a fugacious friend that will leave me soon.

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What to Check for When Renting a Surfboard

Surfboard rentalsBy Greg Gordon,  CR Surf Travel Company
www.CRsurf.com   @crsurf

This article is mostly for beginner surfers or those taking a surfboard out for the first time. You see a lot of options on the beach for board rentals, in both sizes and prices. So which is the best for you? Well that depends on the size and type you need, the condition of the board, leash, and fins, and the price you want to pay.

Size and Type

If you are beginner you are going to want a longer board. An official ‘longboard’ is 9 feet long, and most anyone under 200 lbs can easily float on it. Bigger surfers should look for wider or longer boards, but not too long. Really long boards can get heavy and hard to control in waves over knee to waist high. If you are a smaller or lighter person, you can choose a board as small as 7’6” but smaller boards are generally thinner and will not float you as well. They also turn quickly so are less stable. Even kids should get longer boards (7’6” to 8’) since the goal is being able to stand up easily, that is the fun part. Kids get frustrated and lose interest if they keep falling down.

The two main types of boards are solid or soft-top. Solid boards are harder and float a person a little better. The down side is you want to have a good coat of wax on the board so your feet and stomach don’t slip. Also it can hurt should it hit you in the head or body. Soft-top boards are the same weight, but they have a spongy top. For most of them you do not need wax to grip the top of the board. However, the sponge like surface can cause some painful rashes on your chest, stomach, and the insides of your thighs when sitting on it.
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Kids Saving the Rainforest – January 2019

Baby sea turtlesKSTR LogoBy Karma Casey

Happy New Year Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma from Kids Saving the Rainforest again. If you haven’t heard of us, we are a wildlife sanctuary and rescue center in Quepos, Costa Rica and we also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, and help educate people on respecting wildlife! I’m the spokes-kid here. I moved all the way to Costa Rica to help animals!

This month I will be telling you about new beginnings. Not too long ago, my school, Life Project Education, and I took a field trip to Reserva Playa Tortuga, a great project in Ojachal that works very hard to help little baby sea turtles with their own new beginnings, and make their way safely out into the ocean where they belong! We learned all about sea turtles, did a beach clean-up, and much more!

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Fiddlin’ Around – January 2019

Fiddlin'Around headerHallelujah brothers and sisters—we have survived another trip around the sun, so HAPPY NEW YEAR to us all! Despite global uncertainty, intolerance and animosity, the manipulation of information, wildfires, floods, earthquakes and personal frustrations, a bunch of us are still here! What we need to do now is to notice the optimistic new beginnings around us! Like a kid’s first piano or flute or violin recital. Little girls in their finest frilly dresses, nervously tuning up and looking for their friends in the audience. Little guys squirming in their new duds and shiny shoes. Proud families, turning out in herds to applaud and cheer for everyone. Gawky teen-agers, walking onstage with newfound poise and purpose. That first glimpse that the hours spent in focused practice actually turns into MUSIC—something that makes everyone feel closer and happier. That thrill—that pride—that awareness of being part of a human artistic brotherhood—it never goes away, and every musician remembers their first experiences and new beginnings.

Boy playing violinI see the transformation that happens with my students at the Escuela de Musica Sinfonica in San Isidro. At the beginning of the year many of them are shy or maybe intimidated by the amount and power of the new experiences they are having, but once they settle in they eagerly look forward to the new and exciting paths they can take musically. An incredible spirit dwells in our school—it’s full of inspiration and wonder and laughter and noise and wonderful chaos. I have literally ‘seen’ that proverbial light bulb go on over their heads when they master a little bit of Bach, or finally get comfortable enough with the posture of holding a cello to actually become one with it. As adults and mentors, we need to nurture and nourish these kids to follow their musical dreams, ‘cause a whole world of ‘new beginnings’ will be opened up for them. Different cultures and history—pride and discipline—art and beauty—love and compassion.

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That’s Fishin’- January 2019

That's Fishin' header

By Benn Gilmour

Man holding roosterfishA huge happy new year to you all, may all your fishing dreams come true in 2019! After some epic fishing during December, Quepos captains are hopeful for an even better January which is typically the start of our peak Sailfish season. Large numbers of big Pacific Sailfish averaging 70-80lbs gather just a short run from our coastline and Anglers flock from all around the world to experience our incredible fishing for themselves. Double digit Sailfish release days are not uncommon during full day Offshore charters out of Quepos when the bite is on. Blue, Black and Striped Marlin are all possible during January also and Anglers can expect some Dorado and Yellow Fin Tuna to be in the mix also. We enjoyed some spectacular Dorado fishing during November and December, numbers will likely reduce during January as water temperatures rise during the dry season but you should still expect to see a Dorado or two on most Offshore trips. Yellow Fin Tuna will be found with the Spinner Dolphin schools, we get lots of Tuna in the 30-40lb range with plenty over 80lbs and some real 100-200lb plus monsters also. There was a 245lb Tuna caught out of Zancudo lodge in southern Costa Rica during December, an amazing fish demonstrating the potential we have here.
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