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Technology For The Win: The Rise of Smart Kitchens

Design Wise logoBy Karoline Gore

Kitchens are often renowned as the heart of the Costa Rican home, but these days, that heart might need some TLC. Traditional foods like casado and the morning batch of pinto de gallo are still being served in Costa Rica, but something might be missing from this tradition: a sit-down style family meal. Eating together as a family has been found to have a plethora of benefits. Unfortunately, life today is very fast-paced, and your family time might be paying the price. After a long, hard day, it’s quite a challenge to make a home cooked meal and rally the troops to have a family dinner. Of course, you can’t cut corners in life, but what you can do is let technology help you out!

Royal Palm Interiors

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – March 2019

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SO MANY TOURNEYS, SO LITTLE TIME!

More than just the temperatures are hot this time of year, the recreational and competitive angling going on at MPV is at an all-time high and March kicks off the first leg of the Marina Pez Vela Championship series this year! In addition to all the public tournaments, MPV is also hosting private tournaments organized by groups of friends, professionals and anglers and whether you are looking to compete at the highest levels or want to create a new and fun way to share with friends and family, our team at IFISH Quepos can help you organize and create a memorable tournament experience. While the high season brings the world’s finest anglers to the project, Marina Pez Vela is MUCH MORE than just an anglers marina and our community events, movie nights, gastronomic offerings and services continue to play a prominent role in the lifestyle of the area and our visiting tourists!

Marina Pez Vela Tournament Series

2019 is on inaugural year linking our two signature tournaments, the Quepos BillFish Cup and the Marina Pez Vela open into a series of tournaments with prizes and Offshore World Championship qualification among the most coveted of opportunities. The MPV Tournament series uses a video release verification format with release points awarded to both teams and anglers. Each of the two tournaments are 2 day events, which have both the scoring ability for sailfish, blue and black marlin, as well as exciting game fish divisions for Dorado and Tuna, along with daily jackpots to raise the stakes even more. The first of the two events is the Quepos Billfish Cup scheduled for March 15-17th and the series wraps up with the MPV Open, which runs April 26-28th.
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MUJADERA

Chef's Corner logoThis dish called Mujadara makes me think of a middle eastern version of “gallo pinto.” The caramelized onions are the key and they should cook until they reach the darkest brown without burning. Don’t forget the fun toppings listed below that will add panache to these humble ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cracked peppercorns 
  • 3 medium red onions thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup of basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 small knob of ginger (approx 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • A few teaspoons of lime juice to taste

MujaderaDirections

  1. Place lentils in a pot with knob of ginger and cinnamon stick. Cover with water by 1 inch and set to boil. When reaches a boil, lower the temperature so the lentils stay whole and simmer for about 20 minutes. They should be cooked but not mushy. Drain in colander.
  2. Heat 1/2 of oil in a frying pan and add cumin seeds, peppercorns and onions. Cook onions until they are dark brown and some are turning crispy. This may take 10-15 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Remove half of the onions and save them for the very end.
  4. Wash and drain the basmati rice and fry in the onion-cumin-pepper oil for a few minutes then add 3/4 cups of water and let the rice cook.
  5. To assemble the dish, heat 3 tablespoons of oil, add lentils, ground cumin and ground cinnamon, stir in the cooked rice, and finish by topping with the reserved onions, lime juice and any of the following options.

Options

Chopped nuts such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashews.
Chopped dried fruit such as apricots or craisins
Chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, or dill


‘Pura Vida’ Changed My Life

Envision Fest logoEnvision Festival Co-Founder, Sarah Wu

Why does one decide to up and leave their life? To place distance between yourself and your blood family or to leave the place you were born? I imagine some do it to find new roots, while others do it to seize a chance to grow them. For others, it’s about creating the life that we think we should have, but the business class rigmarole and Whole Foods style marketing have got our heads spinning around about who we are in the world. Constantly questioning what niche do we fill or what value we have. When I lived in America, I frequently wondered how human potential might be stymied under the weight of our own expectations of who we should be. Costa Rica, on the other hand, has business casual, organic food, cultural expectations and hardship, but it also has an untouched rawness, a unifying element that draws people in and holds them to place. It isn’t a country for wanderers. Costa Rica is a place for migrators, for unique species and the naturally weird. It’s a place where integration and co-evolution are a part of the culture. For many, the Pure Life of Costa Rica is sort of beacon. A siren calling you home.

When I first heard the song and came to Costa Rica in 2001, studying Tropical Ecology and Environmentalism in my sophomore year in college, I was seeking to see beyond the default options and expectations I grew up with and Costa Rica offered me redirection, a lifestyle close to nature, a lifestyle that’s… Pura Vida. From the mists of Monteverde to the warm Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica had my heart the moment I touched her soil. As the years passed, I met more people, picked up more Spanish and ‘Pura Vida’ sprouted like a seed in my heart and my roots in Costa Rica grew deeper.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2019

March 2019 coverBienvenidos/ Welcome to Quepolandia, we are here to make sure you have an unforgettable adventure. So get out and enjoy being away from those freezing temperatures. So whether you are here for Envision Festival, hiking one of our incredible National Parks, or just chilling on the beach don’t forget to hydrate (not cervesas) and sunblock, sunBLOCK SUNBLOCK!!!

The 9th Annual Envision Festival is underway in Uvita (Feb. 28- March 3). This four day event is filled with music, yoga, art, and workshops to help open our minds to making this a better planet…..TOGETHER. Spreading peace, love, and knowledge not footprints and waste (100% plastic free event). We want to thank Eric Allen for sharing some love and an incredible sunset from Envision 2018 with this month’s cover shot.

A lot is happening here in March as the action continues. Marina Pez Vela is hosting the 8th Annual Quepos Billfish Cup (March 15-17) Always a great time. In addition to a fleet of boats, fantastic tours, spectacular restaurants, air conditioned shopping, the Marina is also the home of Gelateria Amorosi. So come and cool down with the area’s most delicious Italian Gelato and treats. Tell them we sent you; our advertisers love to hear it. Don’t miss movie night under the stars every Friday night on the big screen. It’s a wonderful night out for the entire family.

March Madness is upon us so all you college basketball fans can catch all the action and great food at Jolly Roger or Sancho’s on the mountain, or Kamuk Casino in Quepos.

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.

Peace and Enjoy…D


Yoga for Beginners

A Healthier You headerWoman sitting on yoga platform in jungleYoga is for everybody—but it can be intimidating if you’re a beginner. As we often say in class, “the hardest part is showing up to your mat.” Even if you’re already fit and healthy, there are so many benefits to yoga, including stress management, mood enhancement, better sleep, and increased flexibility, strength and balance.

The best way to learn yoga is by doing it. If you’re preparing to take your first class, here are some tips to take into consideration before your first flow.

Begin Where You Are

Research the studio and class type. Look into the studio and read up on their philosophy, teacher backgrounds and the class types they offer. As a beginner, you may want to start with a non-heated class and look for a hatha or vinyasa style class.

Try a beginner yoga video at home. There are countless online resources for yoga now—just search “beginner yoga flow” on YouTube and follow along from home.* Knowing the basic poses will help you to feel more confident going into your first class.

Touch base with the instructor. If you let the instructor know before class that you’re new to yoga, they will be aware to offer additional cuing and hands-on adjustments for poses as needed. It’s also important to let your instructor know if you have any injuries or are pregnant, and how you feel about receiving hands-on corrections.

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Let’s talk about the Red-Headed Barbet

Male and Female Red-Headed Barbet

Male and Female Red-Headed Barbet

The Red-Headed Barbet is a very colorful bird found in the humid mountainous forests of Costa Rica. It has a wide range that also includes Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

This is another one of those bird species that shows a very different color pattern between the male and female. The male is on the left and the female is on the right.

The face reminds me of the angry bird video games.

The Red-Headed Barbets’ diet consists of insects and fruits and will often come down to feeders if offered bananas and papayas.

If you see one you will usually see the other as they do travel in pairs. I photographed this pair just outside of San Isidro at Bosque del Tolomuco Lodge. They are one more example of the beautiful birds that can be found here in Costa Rica.


That’s Fishin’- February 2019

That's Fishin' headerWelcome to the February installment of That’s Fishin’ and what incredible fishing we have experienced here in Quepos the past few months folks! With blue skies, hardly any rain for the past two months, calm seas and a great bite, what is not to love! The fishing both Offshore and Inshore has been fantastic during much of November, December and January with visitors travelling from literally all over the world to see what all the fuss is about!

Close up of fish headOFFSHORE FISHING

The Offshore fishing headlines during January are all about the Sailfish and some consistent bites have developed 20-35 miles Offshore in areas such as Furuno, The Pocket, & The Corner in recent weeks producing good numbers of Sailfish. Many boats in the Quepos fleet got into the double-digit Sailfish release days in January that Costa Rica has become famous for and these opportunities should continue through February. After an insane Blue Marlin bite in November and December, good numbers of Blues continued to be caught in January with a few Striped Marlin & Black Marlin mixed in also. A big shout out to the guys on Double Nickle who kicked off 2019 in style with a Grand Slam on January 4th! They had one of the best fishing days of their lives catching several Sailfish, a 350lb Black Marlin, a 500lb Blue Marlin plus a few Dorado for good measure! That is one incredible day of fishing wherever you are in the world!

There were some HUGE Tuna caught during December and January also. One lucky Angler aboard GOOD DAY had the fight of his life when he battled a Tuna estimated between 160-200lb for 4 HOURS single handed! That is one determined young man and a very big fish to catch on 30lb class tackle, congrats! January continued to produce plenty of Dorado Offshore and it was great to see plenty of Big 30lb plus Bull Dorados keeping Anglers busy. February should produce more of the same, a solid Sailfish bite, Blue and Striped Marlin out deep and a chance at Black Marlin over the Offshore Reefs. Water temps will be hot which may thin Dorado numbers out a little but there should still be a few Dorado around plus Yellow fin Tuna together with the Spinner Dolphin mega pods.

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Sea Shepherd: The Heroes of the Sea

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According to the United Nations, 7% of global fish stocks are depleted, 52% are fully exploited and 17% are over exploited. This leaves only an estimated 20% of worldwide fish stocks that aren’t already at capacity. In addition, 90% of large predatory fish are already gone. Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year. Recent estimates also say that the global by-catch (untargeted marine species caught during commercial fishing and returned to the sea dead) rate may amount to 40% of the world’s catch.

The Brigitte Bardo sails past a Chinese squid boat

The Brigitte Bardo sails past a Chinese squid boat

These dire statistics may seem discouraging, but not to everyone. Founded in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization. They’re active on the ground, on the high seas, and inside the world’s highest courtrooms, dedicated to “ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”

The Interceptor Vessel

Over December and January, the Marina Pez Vela played host to the M/V Brigitte Bardot, the Sea Shepherd’s interceptor vessel. This crew belongs to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society chapter, which means they patrol the oceans and take direct action to investigate, document, expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas.
They are currently working on Operation Mamacocha. This campaign covers roughly two million square kilometers (770 000 square miles) of ocean, and addresses Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Biodiversity Corridor. These waters are rich in nutrients and play host to 88 species of sharks, giant oceanic manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, and blue whales among others. We had a chance to chat with their campaign leader Rebecca Benjamin-Carey about what life is like on board.

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Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits and Uses

Turmeric Curcuma header

Are you looking for a way to boost every facet of your health with a single spice? It sounds crazy, but turmeric curcumin with BioPerine may be the magic supplement we’ve been seeking. Turmeric benefits the body and mind in more ways than you can imagine. Similar to bone broth, turmeric impacts almost every facet of life. Over 10,000 peer-reviewed and clinical studies support using turmeric for better health.

What is turmeric good for? Almost everything. Regardless of your health goals, turmeric can help you reach them. Some benefits include helping with weight loss, inflammation, arthritis, skin, and pain relief. Turmeric can even help prevent acne, cancer, allergies, diabetes, joint pain, and depression. We will cover all the health benefits and turmeric uses in detail below.

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10 Ways Not to Get Your Stuff Stolen on a Surf Trip

Surf CR logoIt happens to a lot of tourists. You stop to get a bite to eat. You lock your car with all your stuff in it, except maybe your phone or purse, and you’ve parked it close by in a well-lit area. Then you get back and someone has keyed into the car and taken everything right under your nose. Don’t let it happen to you. Here are some tips. Overall, when traveling, unless you know you are completely surrounded by nature for miles, is ‘EVER VIGILANT’.

1. Leave the TV or radio on when you leave your room. 

Yes, it uses up some electricity, but either that, or the crooks will be sure that no one is home or awake. With the noise, they can’t be 100% certain, so they will often go to the next quieter room.

2. Don’t leave stuff near windows.

Many thieves will use sticks or hooks to grab on to your bags and pull them towards the window. They don’t have to get inside to steal your stuff.

3. Don’t invite strangers into your room.

That new friend, who seemed cool, may just be scoping out your stuff. They are happy showing you a fun bar or scenic location, and meanwhile their friends are cleaning out your closet.

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – February 2019

KSTR Logo

Gonzo

Gonzo

By Kerri Conrad

Hello Quepolandia readers. Every month you hear from Karma Casey, the spokeskid at KSTR, an extraordinary young girl I am extremely proud to call my daughter. This month, Karma is out of the country visiting friends and family in the United States. She asked that I write to you this month in her place until she can get back to Costa Rica and continue doing her part to save the rainforest.

Karma and I moved to this beautiful country over a year ago to pursue her dreams of helping wildlife. Through volunteering with Kids Saving the Rainforest, Karma has had the extraordinary pleasure of being able to make her dreams come true. If you’d like to volunteer with KSTR, families with kids 12 and up are welcome to join the Day Volunteer program!

When we came to this country, Karma’s biggest dream of all was to one day grow up and become the Nursery Mom, the surrogate mother who cares for all the orphaned and injured baby wildlife at KSTR. While she has now also developed the aspiration to become a wildlife veterinarian, gaining the skills she needs to be the one who can really save an animal’s life in those critical rescue moments, the care of baby wildlife is still something that is near and dear to Karma’s heart.

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Are Insect Populations Really Decreasing?

Bugs Bugs Bugs header

By Jack Ewing

Cockroach

Cockroach

We didn’t have cockroaches in Colorado where I grew up. At least I never saw any. The first time I heard of them was on television. For those of you who are old enough to remember it was on the Jackie Gleason Show. Every week there was a skit called “The Honeymooners” in which a couple named Ralph and Alice lived in a rundown apartment somewhere in New York City, One day Alice was complaining that she had seen a cockroach in the apartment. I asked my mom what a cockroach is and was told that they are horrible bugs that are only found in slums. Later in life I found out that in the tropics they live everywhere.

In the 1970s Diane and I and our kids, Natalie and Chris, all moved to Hacienda Barú to live. Our lighting was from kerosene lanterns and was pretty dim. Cockroaches love dim light and would come out at night and climb all over the walls. We played a lot of different card and board games for evening entertainment, but our favorite game was cockroach hunting. We had a fly swatter that consisted of a plastic pistol with a spring that shot a plastic disk at the flies. Once a month we would roll the dice to see who got to go first. If you killed a cockroach you got to shoot again. If you missed, the pistol passed on the next person. We kept going until there were no more cockroaches to be found. Each game wiped out the entire population, and we would have to wait a month for them to replenish their numbers before we could have another hunt. We didn’t worry about controlling the roaches with insecticide or anything else, because it was so much fun hunting them.

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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.

VALENTINE’S DAY

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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