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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.

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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.

Volunteer at KSTR

KSTR LogoYoung and old volunteersBy Karma Imagine Casey

Hello fellow Quepolandia readers! This is Karma Casey, the Kids Saving the Rainforest spokes kid. If you’re not familiar with KSTR, it’s a nonprofit rescue, rehabilitation, and release program for all of the majestic wildlife of the Costa Rican jungle in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area. They also plant trees, put up life saving wildlife bridges, and have a wildlife sanctuary that offers educational tours.

Have you ever wished you could do your part to help save the rainforest? Well, today I’m going to tell you about lots of ways that you can join Kids Saving Rainforest in their important work. Whether you’re a local, in town for a visit, or reading from far away, everyone can help make a difference!

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The Simple Secret to True Health

A Healthier You logoWant to know the simple secret to true health, to a life of fulfillment and joy?⁣

Respect and care for the vehicle through which you experience it.⁣

Taking care of yourself goes far beyond just counting calories and working out in the gym every day. We so often judge health by looks, when in reality someone can look fit on the outside and still be unhealthy on a cellular level. ⁣

It doesn’t matter what fitness level you are at right now, it only matters how much you are willing to put into transforming your beliefs and mindset.

True health is the result of consistent physical AND mental habits that create happy cells. ⁣It’s a mindset that allows you to open your eyes in the morning with passion, purpose and excitement. You are one decision away from making major changes in your life, your mindset, and how you show up for yourself every day. ⁣

Most people have no idea how GOOD their body is designed to feel or the things it’s capable of. ⁣

Instead of trying to improve how you feel by only working towards external goals, shift your focus to internal goals. True health starts with YOU. The way you talk to yourself. The way you care for yourself. The way you are choosing to fuel your body. The boundaries you set. ⁣

YOU are in control of your own life. Start taking responsibility for your decisions and your behaviors, and decide today to start showing up for yourself. ⁣

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Great Ideas for Lighting your Bathroom and Kitchen

Design Header

“Light is the first element of design; without it there is no color, form, or texture.”
Thomas E. Farin—educator, lighting consultant, entrepreneur

Design Wise logoBathroom Lighting

When it comes to lighting, an often ignored area of our homes is the bathroom. We’ll choose great tiles and faucets, but lighting usually plays a supporting role. Whether we opt for that minimalist Spa look, luxurious opulence, or just a serene place of refuge, lighting can make or break the effect.

bathroomLet’s face it, the strip light above the mirror is the cheap and easy fix. A well thought-out lighting plan takes time and money, but makes the world of difference in any room. Basically you should have the three main types of lighting present—Task Lighting, Ambient Lighting, and Accent Lighting.

Royal Palm Interiors

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – August 2019

What's Shaking headerAugust is a very special time here in at Marina Pez Vela and in Costa Rica as it is the month of MOTHERS DAY! While most of our monthly schedules revolve around fishing tournaments, massive events, movies under the stars, etc. in August we have a month dedicated to allowing our local community to enjoy the space of Marina Pez Vela, focus on families and the last days before the more intense seasonal rains tend to visit in September and October. Marina Pez Vela has and will continue to dedicate a great deal of our time, energy and resources in to creating a year round tourism destination with dynamic activities for those who are visiting us regionally and internationally but we also have a very firm commitment to our local community and creating time and space for locals and expats alike to enjoy this marvelous public space. August is one of those months and we will highlight some of the events taking place, special dates and activities to enjoy.


As mentioned above, August is about celebrating the amazing women who give us life, sustain us all guide us with their love, wisdom and unwaivering support. Mothers Day in Costa Rica, August 15, is actually a NATIONAL HOLIDAY in Costa Rica with everything and everyone in the nation stopping to pay tribute. This year, Mothers Day falls on a Friday so you can bet that many will be taking a long weekend and treating Moms all over the country to some love and attention,. While there is no planned event at the marina, due to the inability to count on a starry evening for Mothers Day, all of our restaurants and shops will have specials running well before the big day so you can plan a special dinner, sweet dessert, family tour or pick up something at one of our boutiques to show your appreciation. Start your planning now and make reservations at Z Gastro, Gabriellas, Runaway Grill, Mercato del Porto, Sunrice or Double Hook for the best seating and specials.

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Memoirs of a Masseur

Time is a great truth teller. The months turn into years and slowly veritable truths are revealed. How I wish that everyone grasped on to a dream and fought to achieve it, no matter how senseless it may seem. As I go through my day to day life I find it crucial to set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals…often prompted by nothing more than my heart and soul. To this day I still write my ambitions down in my journal, I reread them often and sometimes adjust them appropriately. When I find myself being unproductive and stagnant I also feel my negative habits escalate. Things that I know I should not do, that don’t help me further myself, take priority. This is always a clear signal that I may be on the wrong path. Goals vary for me as I have always broken them down into three categories: physical, financial (career), and emotional (spiritual). Once I have a clear definition of what I am shooting for the small steps turn into big strides and in most cases have materialized. Not so oddly some of my failures are my biggest lessons turned into strengths. Much of my angst and fears arise when I am not being honest with myself, when I choose to blur the truth instead of keeping with discipline and direction.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – August 2019

August 2019 coverBienvenidos…Welcome to our piece of paradise. We are sure you are going to have a great time here. There are so many wonderful things Costa Rica has to offer and we have them right here for you to enjoy and explore. Amazing beaches to surf, stroll, or just tranquilo.

For an over the top view of Manuel Antonio National Park try parasailing with Aquas Azules. There is world class sport fishing and a fleet of boats waiting for you at Marina Pez Vela. We have tours from skydiving (Skydive Costa Rica) to snorkeling (Sunset Sails) and everything in between. Whether you want to relax and enjoy our nature in the mangroves or for a little more adrenaline try white water rafting with Tucanes Tours. Our mangroves and rivers are as magical as our coastline. To experience our jungle canopy there is nothing like zip lining (Titi Canopy Tours). Or check out the first of its kind Eco Tram at Hacienda Barú, tell Jack we sent you. August is also whale season so while you are enjoying a cocktail at our many fine restaurants with a view pay attention to the coastline. You never know when a pod of whales will go swimming past.

We want to thank Caesar J. Garcia for the mommy sloth cover. We would like to wish all you ladies a very Happy Mother’s Day (August 15th). We would not be here if not for you. So don’t make mom cook. Take advantage of our incredible selection of of fine restaurants Arbol, Mira Olas at the Best Western, Sunrice, or Victoria’s just to mention a few. She probably would not mind a massage either.

Need more reason to celebrate? August 3rd is International Beer Day check out Fuego in Dominical and their microbrewery. August 16th is International Rum Day…Cheers, Salud. August 24th is National Parks Day so don’t forget all the Parks Costa Rica has to enjoy.

We would also like to welcome our new advertisers this month, Alta Vista Vacation Rentals, Grafix del Mar, Marina Pez Vela Whale Watching, Ocean’s 5, and Tulemar Bungalow.

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