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How and Why You Should Start Meditating

A Healthier You header

yoga on the beach at sunsetMeditation is an approach to training your mind that can bring peace and fulfillment to all aspects of your life. Many people don’t know what they should be thinking about when meditating—a common myth is that meditation is all about stopping your thoughts, when it’s actually about learning to step back and observe them. It can be difficult for beginners to sit for an extended amount of time with an “empty mind,” so here are some tips to starting your own mediation practice and how it can benefit your life.

Tips to Starting Your Own Meditation Practice

  • Start with a guided meditation. Headspace and Insight Timer are both excellent apps with a variety of guided meditations and calming music.
  • Try meditating for 5-10 minutes a day, and then increase the amount of time slowly but consistently. Example: Increase 2 minutes a day or increase 5 minutes a week.
  • Close your eyes. This helps reduce distractions and direct your focus inwards.
  • Find a comfortable seated position where you feel supported and relaxed.
  • Breathe naturally but focus on each inhale and exhale.
  • Set an intention for your meditation, whether it’s simply clearing your mind or using a guided meditation on attracting abundance or finding inner peace.
  • There is no right or wrong time of day to meditate. Don’t worry if you miss your meditation in the morning—just try to fit it in at another time throughout the day, maybe on your lunch break or before bed.
  • Put your phone in another room, or set it on silent if you’re using a meditation app.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Less anxiety and stress: Meditation provides an overall better feeling of well-being and connection to yourself and the world.
  • Better focus: Meditation can help you stay on task longer, switch between tasks less frequently and enjoy your tasks more.
  • Deeper relaxation and sleep: Guided meditations use sound and visualization to create an atmosphere for healthy, restful sleep.

Remember, life is short. We can live it lost in thought, or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.


What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – April 2019

What's Shaking header
March Madness may be over, but April is going to include celebrations of all shapes and sizes here at Marina Pez Vela, as we embrace the last month of our peak travel season, dry season under the stars, and get ready to welcome the cooling first rains of May! It seems like every month is action packed here at MPV, but with each passing year, the team at the project, along with our guests and tenants find new ways to reinvent this space and build on the synergy between the community fo Quepos/Manuel Antonio and the marina. April 2019 will be another fun filled time as we forge another stitch in the fabric of our community.

Last month of MOVIE NIGHTS

With the end of the typical dry season we also have our last series of FREE MOVIE NIGHTS here at Marina Pez Vela. It is so common for families, couples, and friends to be looking for something to do on Friday nights and this is a great way to share under the stars, enjoy some of the great food and shopping at MPV, and relax with some great cinema on Costa Rica’s largest outdoor screen

Friday, April 5th: Aquaman
Friday, April 12: Spiderman – Un Nuevo Universo
THURSDAY, April 18th: Marco Ramirez
Friday, April 19: Hombre de Fe

NOTE: We have a special Thursday night movie, a Costa Rican film based on one of the nation’s most iconic pieces of literature, Marco Ramirez during Semana Santa, and Friday, April 19th will be our LAST movie night as on the 26th of April we will be hosting the final leg of the Marina Pez Vela Championship Series of Fishing that weekend.

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Pescadora Billfish Championship

Pescadora logoBy Samantha Mumford
Photos Tony Cadorin pelagicfinder.com

“To tell a woman everything she cannot do, is to tell her what she can.”

Many moons ago, I had an enlightening conversation with Captain Don Dingman who has a TV show on ESPN called “Hook the Future.” He told me a story about a 13-year-old girl who was featured on one of their shows. This young woman explained to Captain Don that one day she wanted to be a boat captain, but she was upset that she couldn’t be one. He asked “Why?”. She answered, “Because my Dad won’t let me fish in a bikini”. This 13-year-old girl assumed that you had to have a million followers on social media and dress scantly in order to be successful in this industry.

Sam Mumford and award winnerOn February 21, 2019, at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica that stigmata was changed and HISTORY WAS MADE! The Pescadora Billfish Championship crowned the World’s Top Lady Anglers! 81 female anglers aboard 22 boats from 7 different countries released 517 billfish, an average of 23 fish per boat. THE MOST FISH RELEASED IN ANY LADIES TOURNAMENT IN HISTORY!!

19 countries followed the leaderboard as women started racking up their releases and making a run to be Female Angler of the Year. On the morning of Day One, assisted by good luck mimosas, Team Uno Mas took an early lead with 28 sailfish releases, and just managed to hang on as Team Big Oh made an incredible push on Day 2 releasing 31 sailfish! The Cinderella story goes to the ladies of Team Game Plan, three of which had NEVER fished before, releasing 40 billfish for the tournament landing them in 3rd place overall. What an awesome accomplishment! Congratulations to Team Uno Mas, who took home 1st Place Overall with 49 billfish, 2nd place winners Big Oh with 44 billfish, and Game Plan with 40 billfish releases. Each angler on these teams were awarded an awesome custom-made trophy created by local artist, Adrian Valli.

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Tuna Poke Salad with Mango and Avocado

Chef's Corner logoIn this town, we can almost always find the freshest tuna. This colorful salad is so quick and easy; it is a perfect cool lunch dish or a stunning 1st course.

Tuna steakTuna Instructions

Start with a slab of tuna like this in the photo.
Cube about 200 grams or 1/2 pound of the tuna, and toss with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of honey (or brown sugar), and 1 tablespoon of good quality soy sauce.

Salad ingredients

A bed of salad greens
A handful of ripe and flavorful mango cubes
A handful of ripe avocado cubes
A small amount of thinly sliced scallion greens (too much will overpower)
Finished saladToasted sesame seeds
A small amount of Japanese sweet bbq sauce or eel sauce to drizzle for finish ( can be substituted with a mixture of soy and honey)
Sesame oil to drizzle
Sliced red chili (optional)

Salad Instructions

Build the salad by layering the greens, the tuna cubes, mango cubes, avocado cubes.
Drizzle with Japanese sweet sauce or homemade mixture of soy and honey.
Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

The seasonings can be adjusted to taste where the main flavors are from the soy sauce, the honey or brown sugar, and the sesame oil. 


Freddy Hilbbert

Freddy Hilbbert


¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April 2019

April 2019 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to the land of Pura Vida. We are here to help you have an incredible vacation. April is a very busy month here in paradise with Semana Santa being one of the busiest weeks of the year. So have patience, relax, and enjoy the celebration.

April should bring a little rain finally to help cool things down a little and provide some incredible sunsets. So get to one of our many great restaurants such Burû on the beach, Agua Azul or Ronny’s Place on the hill, or Mira Olas or Marina Pez Vela in Quepos for spectacular sunset views and delicious cocktails and food.

In Dominical check out the river views and great beers at Fuego Brewery. Bring your camera we are always looking for great covers. Thanks to Benn Gilmour for this month’s cover.

Marina Pez Vela will be in full swing this April They are holding an Art Exhibition for World Art Day April 13-14. They will be hosting back to back Epic fishing tournaments MPV Open, April 25-27. Followed by the Offshore World Championships, April 29-May 3, with teams from all over the world competing for the World Championship. Don’t forget Movie Night Under the Stars a great night for the entire family and it’s FREE.

The Earth is an incredibly complex and vibrant ecosystem. Where living organisms interact with each other and their environment to create the ideal conditions for Life. Earth Day is April 21. So in the words of Bob Marley, “Let’s get together and feel alright”.

Be careful this time of year the rip tides can be strong and sudden. If caught in one swim parallel to shore till out of it. Not into the current, and don’t forget the SUNBLOCK.

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

Happy Semana Santa
Peace and Enjoy…D


Nightlife in Manuel Antonio

Nightlife headerBy Sisters that Stray

We are in the midst of high season in Manuel Antonio and as the temperatures rise, so does the nightlife. You can find something fun to do every night of the week in our lively town of Manuel Antonio, whether it be salsa dancing, karaoke, live music, or a wine and painting class.

Group photo in a barBar Jolly Roger has live music almost every night of the week along with other entertainment and events. On Monday nights, they host a Ladies Night with free drinks for the ladies from 8-11pm. Tuesday nights are Karaoke Night which always fills up the bar with a lew. Catch the Classy Pirates, Ixneloa, Somos Latinos, and Benjammin and The Howlers on the weekends for live music. Bar Jolly Roger has a pool tables, giant jenga, and a casino – so there’s something for everyone to get into!

Selina is one of the main hot spots on the weekends if you are looking for reggaeton and hip hop, a dance floor, and a mix of travellers and locals. During the weekdays Selina offers nightly events such as salsa dance lessons on Monday nights, wine and painting night on Tuesdays, karaoke night on Thursdays, and DJs or live music every other night of the week!

Marina Pez Vela is the perfect place to take the kids to see the boats and get dinner, catch the sunset during happy hour, or go out for drinks on the weekend.

Karma is a popular gay club. They have salsa lessons, live DJs on the weekends, and throw fun, themed events.

MoGamBo Bar is another popular LGBT, straight friendly bar and is especially well-known for its amazing view. MoGamBo Bar has Latin dancing on Wednesday nights, karaoke on Thursday nights, and music video request night on Fridays.


Memoirs of a Masseur – March 2019

Every day I ask people when they received their last massage. For me, it is a prerequisite question before I begin my work. I listen attentively and have come to the conclusion that very few people give back to themselves enough. For some reason guilt exists about maintaining our own bodies. There is no need to wait. No need to have a back out of whack, a tight neck, a migraine, today is the day to loosen up and get yourself a massage. Let experienced hands put you into a trance where the mind and body can heal, can change, can grow. Massage is no longer a relaxing luxury. Therapeutic massage is an effective healthcare approach; a combination of art and science that true professionals in the field have spent years combining technical and academic information along with developing subtleties of palpation and technique. My twenty years of massaging defines my life more so than just my job. Working in my chosen field you could say, has massaged me into a man that goes through life caring about the mental, physical, and spiritual direction of other humans.


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Stage It to Sell It

Design Wise logo

Getting your home to say “Buy Me!” to prospective buyers.

by Shelagh Duncan

So, you have decided that you are going to sell your home. It could be that you have seen a fabulous property elsewhere, or for any number of other reasons. The bottom line is that you want it to sell, and to sell quickly!

Front of house and gardenThere are some very important things that you will need to think about before getting the realtor in.

You will want the prospective buyers to feel at home there. You want them to be able to imagine themselves living and enjoying what you have. But remember, they are not you. They will have their own tastes and lifestyle so you have to be ruthless at removing as much personal memorabilia as possible. De-personalize the house—it is just a house now, not your home, and your job is to get that house ready to hand over to the next owners.

Firstly you will need to emotionally detach yourself: not easy I know. Now, think of yourself as a stranger visiting your home for the first time—the scratched cabinets and chipped tile that you no longer notice will be seen! If it is easier, ask a trusted friend to be that critical eye and point out the areas that need attention.

There are some tried and true rules for getting a house ready to sell.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken

Chef's Corner logoSometimes nicknamed “Chindu” cuisine, it’s the result of Chinese immigrants in India who adapted their recipes to local flavors and produced some of the happiest accidents of Asian-fusion.

This sauce combines sweet soy, garlic, ginger, and spicy peppers. Ask your butcher for “muslos deshuesados,” or boneless chicken thighs. They will remain juicy and delicious throughout the cooking and reheating of this dish. 

Ingredients for about 6 servings

  • 500 grams of boneless chicken thighs
  • oil for frying
Finished dish

Finished dish

For the batter

  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of water

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or more to taste
  • 8 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded ginger
  • 1/2 small red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of good quality soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cold water mixed with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
Chicken in batter before frying

Chicken in batter before frying

Directions

  1. Cut the boneless thighs in 1 inch pieces and prepare batter ingredients.
  2. Coat the chicken as seen in picture.
  3. Fry in batches in a shallow pan with the vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Prepare sauce. Heat oil in a pan and fry the green onion, garlic, bell pepper, ginger, and jalapeno until fragrant.
  5. Add the sriracha ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar.
  6. Add the water/cornstarch mixture and heat until the sauce thickens.
  7. Mix in the fried chicken pieces, garnish with cilantro leaves or sliced green onion tops, serve with rice or noodles.

Let’s talk about the Lineated Woodpecker

Lineated WoodpeckerBy Paul Gerace

The Lineated Woodpecker is a large woodpecker with a very distinctive red crest.

It is found all throughout our area and it’s habitat ranges from Mexico down to South America. You can often hear it pecking away at old trees as it looks for ants and other insects. They also eat fruit and seeds from heliconias.

When I see them the crest reminds me of punk rockers with tall red hair. They can also be recognized by the white stripes running down their faces and sides of their necks. A streaked chin also helps to identify it.

Just another one of the many colorful birds that are found here in Quepolandia. See more bird photos HERE.


A Passel of Jacks, Jills, and Joeys

Opossum header

I have seen lots of Jacks and Jills and even a few Jills with bunches of Joeys, but I have never seen a passel. In fact I just recently learned what one was. I know you have heard of a pride of lions, a herd of elk, and a troop of monkeys, but how about a passel of opossums. Since these mammals are solitary by nature and don’t hang out in groups, I doubt if the word sees much use. Jacks, of course, are the males, Jills the females, and Joeys the babies. I don’t know if a Jill with a bunch of Joeys on her back is considered to be a passel or not. If so then I guess I have seen a passel.

The common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is a nocturnal, marsupial mammal found throughout this part of Costa Rica. They are not the least bit charismatic, and certainly won’t win any beauty contests. Being stinky when up close doesn’t win them any fans either. The Bribri Indians even consider them to be messengers of death. Not being picky about their food often gets them into trouble with urban dwelling humans for invading garbage cans. Rural families despise them for raiding chicken coops, killing chickens, and eating eggs. They will eat almost anything from fruit and grass to birds, insects, small reptiles and even carrion. With a diet as diverse as that they need lots of teeth of many different kinds. Opossums have more teeth than any other mammal. There are 50 in total including incisors, premolars, molars, and canines.

In spite of their bad reputation opossums are really pretty interesting. Let’s take, for example, the fact that they are immune to snake bite. Scientists have been searching for the source of this immunity for some time and have recently discovered a chain of amino acids in their blood serum that appears to neutralize snake venom. The really good news is that they have been able to pass this form of immunity on to mice in a laboratory, and there is hope that someday soon it will be available for snake bite treatment in humans.

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TSI HOPES ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP AN INJURED SLOTH NAMED DOLLY

The Sloth InstituteAn electrocuted 2-fingered sloth rescued by The Sloth Institute undergoes experimental acupuncture treatment, thanks to Rafiki Chiropractic Care. For humans and some domestic animals, acupuncture has commonly been used to treat a variety of health issues, from physical disabilities to neurological issues. In the special case of Dolly, an adult female 2-fingered sloth, an electrocution from a power line left her severely injured. Her left eye was damaged and her right arm had lost some of its mobility. The Sloth Institute came to the rescue and gave her immediate critical care.

Dolly receiving acupunctureFortunately, her eye healed and regained full functionality. But Dolly showed signs that she had lost some motor skills in her right arm. Acupuncture has successfully treated humans, dogs and cats. Could this treatment help sloths? Dr. Constant Boshoff, BSc D.C., who practices at Rafiki Chiropractic Care in Manuel Antonio, is willing to find out. He has generously donated several treatment sessions of acupuncture with electrical stimulation, which, according to Dr. Boshoff, “reinforces the acupuncture stimulation. We will see how she responds after six weeks.” Dr. Boshoff loves animals. “The little I can do is only a pleasure,” he added.

Follow Dolly’s story! Visit TheSlothInstitute.org or facebook.com/TheSlothInstitute and check out “Sloth Diaries.”

ABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE

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.


Escape Room

Escape RoomWhen visiting paradise, the last thing that may be on your mind is to escape!

But, really…trust me, this should be on your list of the “must do’s” while visiting Manual Antonio.

Pirate roomYou may have noticed over the past few months a rather large old prison type bus sitting roadside on top of the hill. This is Manuel Antonio’s latest attraction, El Escape Bus!
What is an Escape Room? An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is an interactive adventure themed game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategic thinking to complete the objective at hand. Players are given a set time limit to solve the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.

The two fully air-conditioned escape room themes offered by El Escape Bus are the Crimson Storm and the Cartel Murders. Depending on your flare for fantasy, you and your friends can join the thieves of the high seas while being imprisoned in the hull of a ship, only to find yourselves looking for treasure and trying to escape! If pirates and lost treasure don’t get you excited, then perhaps joining an elite group of global crime investigators who have been summoned to examine evidence and name a suspect in a Cartel related crime here in Manuel Antonio will peak your interest!

Cartel roomBoth themes are one hour long and can accommodate 2-6 people, depending on the game. The new permanent home for the bus it is located across the street from the Barba Roja and operates from 3-8 pm or VIP hours upon request at no additional fee.

For more information, simply visit www.costaricaescapebus.com or call/msg 8524-7658.


My Favorite Waves – Playitas in Manuel Antonio 

Surf CR logoIf you are a surfer and are visiting the area, be sure to check out Playitas in Manuel Antonio. I will tell you how to get there and when to surf it.
 
As you drive from Quepos to Manuel Antonio, there will be a plateau about half way over the hills. When you get to the plateau look on the right for the Barba Roja Restaurant and just past that signs pointing to Arenas del Mar Resort. Take a right at the sign and then go all the way down the hill. Four wheel drive is recommended since some parts are a little rocky and the road back up is steep. You will end up right on the beach and can either park right there or drive a short distance back north. Do NOT do this if you think your car will get stuck in the sand or you think the tide is coming in. Check the link above or crsurf.com/costa-rica-surf-report/costa-rica-tide-charts-2019 for the tides.

PlayitasOnce you get there, be careful to not leave anything of value in your car because if you are out surfing you can’t watch it. Then as you walk out towards the break, you will see a big rock 2 meters high that makes for the southern end of Playitas and a rocky point, which is the northern end. There are peaks on both ends, plus another two peaks in between. My favorite time to surf it is one hour before high tide and in the morning before 9 a.m. while the winds are still offshore. Be careful of the smaller rock boulders that jut out at lower tides in the middle of the break. 
 
The wave can get crowded with locals who are good surfers, so the earlier you go the better. The beginners end up surfing farther to the south as there are 2 kilometers of open beach between Playitas and Manuel Antonio National Park. The best angles for swell are from the South to Southwest, and the perfect size is chest high to a foot overhead. More size than that and 90% of the waves are closeouts. 
 
Be sure to check back next issue to hear about my other favorite wave in the area—The Quepos Rivermouth.