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Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad

Chef's Corner logoBy Desiree Brassert

This salad is sold as a refreshing snack in the street stalls of Saigon and goes well with beer.


  • One small green papaya—I just ask a neighbor if I can pluck one off their tree!
  • One packet of beef jerky, finely cut with scissors –Jack links have finally arrived in Quepos, but other brands are fine
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts or other nut of your preference
  • Handful of chopped cilantro leaves

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From Rocks to Recliners  –  The History of Upholstery

By Shelagh Duncan

Egyptian couch

Egyptian couch

One of the things we learn early on in CR is that Tico chairs and sofas leave a lot to be desired in the comfort department. The mattress, chair and sofa are the most important pieces in your home. They are where you will spend most of your time typically, and so they need to provide good quality and comfort. But a comfortable, upholstered piece of furniture wasn’t always an option.

When did we humans stop sitting around in the dirt or on a convenient rock and start wanting the comfort of something better? Well, nothing happened fast in the  history of mankind but about the time Stonehenge was being erected and we were just beginning to work with bronze, the people of ancient  Egypt were already enjoying their leisure time with semi-comfortable furniture.  If you had the prestige, power and ‘purse’ to allow some leisure, then there were animal hair-stuffed cushions, fine fabrics draped across daybeds and gilded and decorated chairs to offer relaxation.
Royal Palm Interiors

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Spanish Pocket Dictionary (Published by Larousse)

Larousse Spanish Pocket DictionaryBy Gary Garrett

You’re saying to yourself “Really? He’s reviewing a dictionary? Alrighty, then.” But seriously folks, a Spanish-English Dictionary can be an invaluable tool for our local English-speaking tourists and those residents that have not honed their Spanish skills as yet. To be sure, there are many available in the US and other English-speaking countries but finding one locally might be a challenge. Here at Jaime Peligro Books and Adventure, we chose what is considered by many to be the best-selling version available today. Published by a 150 year old French publishing company, Larousse, the dictionary comes in 2 handy sizes for pockets, handbags, and backpacks.

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The Sloth Institute Release Project: Ellen & Kermie

Kermit sleeping in vines

Kermie sleeping in vines

By Sam Trull, TSI Co-Founder/Sloth Director

The past few months have been a whirlwind—so many exciting new project ideas and so many projects that have been underway for a long time…finally showing the fruits of our labor! I am very excited to report that Ellen and Kermie’s release is underway! (For those of you who haven’t read about Ellen and Kermie, they are a pair of 2-toed sloths that were brought to KSTR within days of each other, at the time they were barely a week old, and had been orphaned by their mothers. I hand-raised the pair and last September, they were brought to the soft release cage).

The Sloth Institute Logo

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Manuel & Nancy in Jaco

Manuel & Nancy in Jaco

How do you make the transition from reading the notated music in front of you on a piece of paper to closing your eyes and just playing the music that somehow occurs to you? I’ve been asked this question a lot, especially from classically trained violinists who for some reason can’t make the jump from reading music to playing without written music and improvising. In my case, in order to get heard around my house you had to start improvising. Everyone in my family played music—usually written music, but when the whole family got together, unless you could ‘wing’ it, you wouldn’t be able to join in the fun. There were too many people crowding around the piano to see the music anyway. But I was lucky in having this background, because it was normal for us to play without written music and it wasn’t really a big deal. It was just what we did.
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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – April 2016

By Scott Cutter, Sales Director

The high season here at Marina Pez Vela is packed with energy and activities both for the anglers who are flocking to the finest sport fishing waters in the world as well as tourists and locals alike who are seeking unique experiences in the areas most spectacular setting.  April will be no exception for the Marina with everything from the nation’s most popular radio show to the world’s most important sport fishing tournament descending on Marina Pez Vela. Here are just some of the highlights of what is to come here in the coming weeks.

Award winning anglers

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO SAMANTHA MUMFORD and the team from Miss Judy who won the Amateur Fishing Club tournament held at Marina Pez Vela last month.  With 80 total sailfish released over the short weekend tournament, the team took first place and our local female angler won the award for the top angler in the entire tournament. A huge honor for anyone in the tournament and an inspiration to a growing female angler population here in the area.

80’s Block Party

Leg warmers….. check, acid washed jeans….check, big hair/mullet… check…Duran Duran tapes… check… thats right.. you guessed it..mark your calendars for April 2nd and the 80’s Block Party at Marina Pez Vela.  No excuses not to come out and celebrate the best and worst decade in a millennium with live music from the band Ladek. We will have live music, food and drink specials at all our restaurants and a great vibe with horribly dressed friends with big hair.. What’s not to love???? Go watch Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, or the Ghostbusters and find your inspiration for the party!

Marina Pez Vela logo

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April 2016

April 2016 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to Paradise…we turned on the heat for you! There’s  always a chance for a little rain in April …no worries it certainly won’t be enough to rain out any plans that you might have and we really need it as we are “cooked” …you may even want to dance in the rain to cool off a little…………hopefully we have all survived and enjoyed Semana Santa and we can catch our breath as we welcome all the anglers and their family and friends to the 2016 Offshore World Championship with teams literally from all over the world competing for top honors hosted by Marina Pez Vela—Fishing on Apr.16-21st…the public is welcome to watch the boats go out early and watch the weigh in as they return around 4pm…all billfish are protected by catch and release here…only meat fish(dorado & tuna) are brought in to weigh… We have everything you need from all the best tours that Costa Rica has to offer as not everyone fishes!.. to all the best restaurants every type for your enjoymentwe have tons of top notch live music almost every night of the week so check the schedule on  pg 58 for what’s happening…we would like to thank David for the great marlin photo – our cover shot this month  (sorry we don’t have David’s last name or where he’s from but hopefully he will see that once again he made the cover)… Just a reminder as to the power of the ocean – we at times have a pretty strong riptide so take care when swimming or body surfing  and  keep an eye on those little ones…enjoy our beautiful area , tell your friends about us and when you get home you can stay in touch here or on facebook.com/Quepolandia …we welcome your comments and hope to see you around….please mention to our advertisers that you found them in Quepolandia…ciao for now……P

That’s Fishin’ – March 2016

Winning Team, FISH TANK

Winning Team, FISH TANK

By Sarah Munro

The fishin’ is HOT out there, and so are the anglers.  Summer is here, and the first tournaments of the season have happened. Officially opening the tournament season, Leg I of the Signature Triple Crown in Los Sueños, was January 20-23. Local boat, Tranquilo took top spot with 8100 points, Agitator with 7600, and Fish Tank with 7300. Total catch over three days was 1946 Sailfish and 15 Marlin. Leg II of the Signature Triple Crown takes place this February 24-27, and expect the competition to start boiling over.

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Girl Scout to Earn her Gold Award at Kids Saving the Rainforest

Slippery path before the project

Slippery path before the project.

By Delilah Barnfield

Hi, my name is Delilah Barnfield and I am 14 years old in the 9th grade. I have been a Girl Scout since I was in 1st grade in troop 6805 from Redondo Beach, CA. I love what I have learned being a Girl Scout. To me it is about friendship, giving back to the community and being a good citizen. In Girl Scouts we earn Bronze, Silver and the Gold Award. The Gold Award is equivalent to an Eagle Scout rank for Boy Scouts.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Fiddlin’ Around – March, 2016

Envision/Beach signLike an insistent, chattering monkey, I am always telling folks to get out and listen to live music. Now clearly that is somewhat self-serving, since as a working musician it is always more fun for me to play when there is an audience. I want people to listen, and re-act and hopefully enjoy when the band is cooking and the muse is with us. The coolest thing about a bunch of musicians playing together live and in person is that the music will only be like that once. One time only–unique. And the audience is part of the vibe and inspiration of that particular performance. Lots of recordings are called ‘live’–so and so band ‘live’ at some venue…. Well, it is obviously a recording of a live performance, and as such, it has been altered, enhanced, and changed in subtle or sometimes drastic ways. Modern recording and mixing technology is so sophisticated now that once you have recorded something it can be manipulated in a kzillion different ways. If the singer goes out of tune for a second–isolate the track and alter the pitch. If the drummer hits a cymbal in the wrong place–isolate the track and get rid of the offensive sound. If the guitar player’s solo isn’t great, well just delete it and have him play it over again in the studio. If the violin sound sucks, add some reverb or change the tone of the instrument to something you like. My point is that no matter how true to reality a recording may be, it is still just an electronic attempt at duplicating the sound and performance and ‘feel’ of the original. Course, since we can’t travel around or live our lives with a bunch of tiny musicians in our pockets, recorded music is the next best thing.

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The Joy of Boredom

By Todd Pequeen

I recently lived out of a camper van for two months. My first time in forty years to actually have my bed, kitchen, and living area in five meters of space. For the bathroom I had to exit, besides that everything I needed was in that van. Upon my return to Manuel Antonio my house, car, and possessions weighed me down. I don’t mean they bummed me out, I am thankful for what the things I have. Rather, I feel my time spent dealing with everything, organizing stuff, requires time away from something I grew fond of while on the road…boredom. Amazing boredom. I mean exactly that, boredom became a comfort and with luck, will be a friend for life after this trip.

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The most important sounds of Spanish.  AGAIN

Spanish Sucks by Os¡Hola gente!  ¿Did you watch the Super Bowl 50?  Go Broncos!!!!!  Last month we empathized the most important sounds of español: A – E – I – O – U.

This month I am going to share some words that begin with those letters, with those vowels.  I am gonna tell you a name of a woman, a name of a man, a place, an animal and a thing.

Just remember:  The Spanish vowels each have only one sound, regardless of what letters they precede or follow, or accent marks on the vowels.

Spanish Pura Vida

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Quest for the Silky Anteater

Silky anteaterThe Golden Tennis Ball

By Jack Ewing

Back in the 1980s the economy in this part of Costa Rica was still driven by rice farming and cattle ranching. Tourism was something we all knew would come later, but nobody had a clear picture of how it would work. In 1986 the government paved the road between San Isidro and Dominical, and the bridge across the Barú River was completed. Work on the Coastal Highway south of Dominical was in progress and proceeding slowly. A few tourists started filtering into the area, and cabins to accommodate them started appearing here and there. It was the very beginning of a new way of life for the rural community. In a few years it would come to replace farming and ranching as the most important economic activity in the area.
Hacienda Baru

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Apple Crumble Pie

Chef's Corner logoBy Desiree Brassert

These little Costa Rican apples can be very flavorful. Usually in bags of 6, their colors are reddish yellow. They are soooo much better than the bigger, imported, pricey, and bland varieties also found on those same shelves at the produce counter.

Desiree's Apple Crumble Pie


  • 1¼  cups flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbs manteca (shortening) chilled
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (preferably unsalted) chilled
  • 4 to 6 tbs water
  • ½ shot vodka

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How to keep your house cool and comfortable this summer.

Modern ceiling fanBy Shelagh Duncan

This seems to be have been one of our warmer summers and it gets harder to keep our homes cool. A/C is expensive and we all know it is better to breathe in the wonderful, oxygen-rich air that surrounds us than any ‘processed’ air.

I was just up in San Jose for a few days, and it was a fair bit cooler up there. There were some big breezes passing through—which were great—and helped make up for all the other stuff I don’t really love about big cities! Coming home, I was reminded just how humid and warm our little part of Paradise can be. This is not a bad thing—but we do need to be able to be as comfortable as we can in the heat, and maximize our enjoyment while living here.

Royal Palm Interiors

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