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Let’s talk about the Montezuma Oropendula

By Paul Gerace

One of the more interesting birds found in our area is the Montezuma Oropendola. When you hear its call there will be no doubt about what it is. The sound is a very strange kind of gurgling.

This class of bird is aptly named for the golden (oro) yellow color of its tail feathers and for the pendulum (pendola) type of movement that it makes when courting. It actually swings by its feet, dips down, and then back up again in repeated sequences.

It has chestnut colored body feathers and an orange cone shaped bill. I think that shaped bill gives it an aerodynamic advantage during flight which is evidenced by the smooth sound it makes when flying overhead.

They nest in colonies. The nests look like hanging baskets and hang delicately from very tall tress as protection from predators.

Montezuma Oropedula

The Montezuma Oropendolas are one of 3 types of Oropendolas found here in Costa Rica. The others are the Chestnut-Headed and the much less common Crested Oropendolas.

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


Land of the Fat Cats

But There Aren’t Any Sloths

By Jack Ewing

I have always wanted to see a jaguar in its natural habitat, but had resigned myself to the reality that it wasn’t going to happen in Costa Rica. From the moment I heard of the Pantanal, the best jaguar viewing location in the world, it became number one on my bucket list, and it finally came to be.

jaguar

With an area of 355,000 square kilometers, a little over seven times the land area of Costa Rica, the Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world. Parts of it are found in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and the largest portion in Brazil. In August of 2018 my daughter Natalie, and I spent eight days in the Pantanal National Park. It was definitely the most incredible eight days of my entire life. Our main reason for going was to see jaguars, but we also had giant anteaters, giant river otters, tapirs, and capybaras on our wish list. We saw more than we had ever imagined: fifteen jaguars, two giant anteaters, nine families of giant river otters, five tapirs, approximately 200 capybaras, 3000 to 5000 black caimans, and 128 species of birds including about 200 jabiru storks.
Hacienda Baru

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Enjoy Your Retirement: How to Find an Affordable Vacation Home

Deck chairs facing beachBy Jim McKinley

You worked hard much of your life and now you are ready to kick back and enjoy your retirement. Perhaps a vacation home sounds like just the ticket, but how do you find an affordable property? And are you really ready to make the investment?

Finding an affordable property

You need to weigh several factors to find an affordable vacation home, including:

Establishing a budget

Decide what you can afford and determine the additional costs involved with purchasing a second home. Include property taxes, travel to and from the location, utilities, maintenance and repairs, and the costs involved if you hire a property management service.

Getting funding

Unless you can purchase the property outright, you will need a mortgage for your vacation spot. Consider reaching out to smaller, regional lenders for financing. Another option is to seek investment from family members and friends, or splitting a purchase into shares.

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Transformation in Barrio San Francisco

By Len Homan

A mural being painted in Manuel Antonio by local artist Juan Calderon is energizing the residents of barrio San Francisco. The mural and the newly paved road surrounding the U shaped neighborhood are inspiring the residents to remodel and beautify their own properties.

Artist Juan with the mural

Wall before the muralArtist Juan is donating his time and talent after park guide Dagoberto and the staff of Peace of Paradise converted the close-by concrete utility wall left standing by the road crew into a smooth, inviting artist canvas. “There is so much hidden talent in this neighborhood” said Len Homan, retired educator and partner at Peace of Paradise. Local volunteers for preparing the wall and painting the mural are bringing those talents to the surface.”

Dagoberto secured support and endorsement from the municipality for supplies and to encourage the face-lift and progress of San Francisco. Plans for more projects are spreading around the neighborhood.

Community working together


TICK-BORN DISEASE IN DOGS/ ENFERMEDAD TRANSMITIDA POR GARRAPATAS EN PERROS

Dra. Fabiola Quesada, VET HOUSE CALLS
Domicilios Pacífico Sur
Tel: 88 48 01 03 fabiquesada07@yahoo.com

The age range for dogs with clinical ehrlichiosis is 2 months to 14 years and the signs vary with the phase of infection ( fever, hemorrhage, nose bleeding, pale mucous, eye problems, kidney and liver, etc) also the nervous system (depression, pain, seizures, etc) and even death in our dogs.

The definitive diagnosis requires a blood test by a veterinarian.

With a treatment, the vet will provide you with the correct antibiotics for no less than 28 days to kill the infection.

Prevention includes environmental tick control and dog tick control ( pills, oil drops for the skin, baths, etc).

Dog and tick

 

La enfermedad de las garrapatas es llamada Ehrlichia, su principal transmisión es a través de las garrapatas, aunque también puede transmitirse mediante una transfusión sanguínea, el organismo no sobrevive fuera del huésped.

El rango de edad puede ir desde los 2 meses hasta los 14 años en perros con ehrlichiosis clínica.

Los síntomas van a variar de acuerdo a la fase de infección (fiebre, sangrados, sangrado por la nariz, palidez, problemas en los ojos,hígado, riñones e incluso puede afectar el sistema nervioso con depresión, dolor , convulsiones, etc), incluso si no es tratada a tiempo puede ocasionar la muerte.

El diagnóstico definitivo se realiza mediante exámenes de sangre realizados por el veterinario. El doctor le recetará los antibióticos necesarios no menos de 28 días, para eliminar la infección.

Cómo prevenimos: controlando el ambiente libre de garrapatas, así como protegido a nuestras mascotas podemos utilizar pastillas, aceites para la piel, baños, etc.

 


Memoirs of a Masseur – November 2018


I am tired of this world of appearances. Everywhere I look there is a masquerade vying for my time, my energy. From million dollar advertisement agencies to a quick browse on Facebook I feel everything around me is trying to be original. Authenticity however, serves a purpose, it actually provides something of quality and always has results, it is durable and will last the test of time. I am on the never ending search for this state of being. From my family and friends, to my massage work and my travels, all I want is the situation or the person in front of me to be compelling and intriguing. I need excitement in the current moment and it must be permeated with positivity, everything else is the easy way out. This is a lifestyle choice that requires work and is magnetically endearing. Once in that state of being it is hard to look back, it can be quite a struggle to pretend to be enthused when one is utterly bored.
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Shrimp in Tamarind Sauce (Goong ma kham)

Chef's Corner logoThe compressed fruit pulp of the tamarindus indica tree is available in any produce store. Ask for “tamarindo,” pronounced just like the beach town in Guanacaste, or look for the brown packet as shown in photo.

It is a popular ingredient in south Asian recipes; it has an incomparable blend of sweet and sour best described as a full flavored and complex lime juice. It is packed with anti-oxidants, digestive aids, and vitamins that cover the entire alphabet.

Locally, ticos turn these tasty fruits into refreshing drinks—fresco de tamarindo.

This sauce is excellent with shrimp, fish, or chicken. Crispy garlic and cilantro leaves add the finishing touch that is so popular in Thai dishes.

Tamarind pasteIngredients (4 servings)

  • 1 kilo of medium to large shrimp, peeled and veined (can be replaced by boneless fish or chicken)
  • 1 cup of cornstarch for dredging
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 200 grams or ½ packet of solid tamarind pulp
  • ½ liter of hot water
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • ½ medium size white onion
  • 2 green onions finely sliced
  • ½ small carrot cut into thin julienne strips
  • ½ small red bell pepper (chile dulce rojo) cut into thin julienne strips
  • 1 red hot pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Small amount of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Shrimp in Tamarind SauceDirections

  1. Mix tamarind pulp with hot water so that it becomes loose. Strain with fine sieve. You will need 1/3 cup of the thick liquid, free of seeds and fibers.
  2. Take 5 garlic cloves and thinly slice to deep fry.
  3. Finely chop the other 5 cloves or use a garlic press.
  4. Pour ½ cup of vegetable oil in a small frying pan and fry the garlic slices until they begin to brown. Quickly strain the oil into a larger frying pan with a metal strainer. Be careful because garlic can burn easily.
  5. Dry the shrimp, fish, or chicken before dredging into the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  6. Add the rest of the cooking oil to the strained garlic oil to pan fry the shrimp. Fry until golden and set aside on paper towels. Keep warm while making sauce.
  7. In a saucepan, heat a small amount of cooking oil, add the garlic, the carrots, the onions, the green onions, the bell peppers until the vegetables are fragrant. Add tamarind, sugar, and fish sauce.
  8. Pour sauce preparation over the crispy shrimp and garnish with crispy garlic and cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Surfing Quepos – Manuel Antonio

If you are a surfer or want to learn to surf while you are here, then you should know a little about the surf breaks in the area. Here is a quick guide from north to south:

 

2 surfers

photo: Paul Gerace

Playa Bejuco

A beach break that has hollow waves and works best at two hours before high tide going up to high tide. It has strong rip currents and no lifeguards so it is only for advanced surfers. 

Isla Damas

Another beach break but you need a boat to get to it. It works best right around high tide, but at lower tides on bigger swells can produce heaving barrels—definitely an expert break when there is swell. 

Quepos River Mouth

The jetty from the marina blocks a lot of swell so when it’s too big everywhere else, this break can produce long lefts and some rights that go up into the river mouth. It works at low and mid tides, but at high tide it can be mushy and polluted at times from the outfall in town. Not a beginner break due to the rip currents produced by the river mouth, but it can be fun for long boarders.

SurferManuel Antonio (Playitas)

At the far north end of the beach this stretch of sand has better formed waves and is a foot or two bigger than the rest of the coast. It is best an hour before to an hour after high tide. Watch out for boulders that stick up in the shore break. It also is a favorite spot for locals, so respect them in the lineup. Intermediate or advanced only.

Manuel Antonio

The rest of the beach works well around high tide, and there are lifeguards at the southern end. There are lots of guys on the beach giving lessons and renting boards, . This is most often a beginner break, but if there is swell watch out for heavy rip currents.


What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – November 2018

What's Shaking headerSeptember and October were a wild ride for us all, with some of our first real intense rains and storms of the year, as well as a month of national strikes which made for some interesting experiences for both our local community and nation as a whole. November brings with it the final days of our green season and the annual rains, along with it the first big events and energy for the coming high season of 2018 and 2019. Marina Pez Vela, as usual, is doing things bigger and better than ever and November is when all the activities start to roll out in full force. It is such an amazing experience to see how MPV has become a part of our community with locals, expats and tourists alike making the project a home base for dining, shopping, services and special events and our team and family here have already begun full planning to insure that we have even more to share with you all in the coming months!

For November here are a few highlights of what we have to come!

Dorado Derby, November 17

This is our first annual Dorado Derby Fishing Tournament which has been designed to be the MOST FUN TOURNAMENT in all of Costa Rica. This one day event, scheduled for November 17th, is all about anglers of all abilities and experience, friends, families and businesses coming together to enjoy a day on the water, some good times, great laughs and fun way to participate in an fishing tournament at MPV. There are amazing packages here for $1,750 which includes the boat, tips, entry fee for the team and participation in the pool for biggest Dorados of the day and it is a great way to get your business, family or friends out on the water and experiencing one of the big draws and magical parts of our area. The day will culminate with a live weigh in for all the teams in the plaza, awesome DJ, and a fish fry part to celebrate the winners, the losers, new friends and old. There is still time to sign up and join the party of the first annual DORADO DERBY. Contact the team at IFish to make your reservation now!

Marina Pez Vela logo
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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – November 2018

November 2018 coverBienvenidos….Welcome to the Rain Forest—can’t say the brochure did not warn you. It will probably rain a little while you are here, but don’t let that stop you. Manuel Antonio National Park is in full bloom which attracts frogs, hummingbirds, and butterflies. It is also baby season here in the jungle so look closely as a lot of monkeys and sloths are carrying babies on their backs. The Humpback whales and their calves are still here so get to Marina Pez Vela for many options to view them, as well as world class sport fishing. The Marina will also be hosting the first Fishing Tournament of the season open to all ages. The Dorado Open will be held Nov 17 so get out and enjoy all the festivities. Don’t forget the 7th Annual Quepos Open Tennis Tournament being held November 3-4 with finals on Novemember 10-11 at the Tennis Club Quepos. Our rivers are also flowing so check out Quepoa Expeditions or Tucanes Tours for some thrilling rafting.

We want to wish the Costa Rica Rafting Team good luck and success in the World Rafting Championships being held in Argentina this November 4-10th. “Viva Costa Rica”

Our many fine restaurants are serving up your favorite culinary delights. It is a good idea to call ahead this time of year. We would like to wish everyone a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving. La Colina will be hosting their annual Turkey dinner.

Toys for tots will have their collection boxes around the area. so let us help the children by dropping an unwrapped gift to help brighten someone’s holiday… Santa Clause can always use our support.

Thanks to Jack Ewing for the amazing Jaguar cover photo. 

We would like to welcome our new advertisers this month, Buena Vista Beach Villas & Uvita Law Firm.

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. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D 


That’s Fishin’ – September/October 2018

That's Fishin' headerWelcome to our Dorado special edition of That’s Fishin! Dorado, Mahi Mahi, Dolphin Fish, three names but yes guys, it really is just one type of fish! No matter what you choose to call it, this magical fish has been capturing the attention of Sports Fishing enthusiasts around the world for a long long time. In fact, Costa Rica is home to the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) World Record Dorado, a huge fish measuring 69.5 inches and tipping the scales to 87lbs! The fish was caught in the Papagayo area of Guanacaste in northern Costa Rica back in September 1976! So we are no strangers to large Dorado here in Costa Rica and in fact in recent months there have been some pretty special Dorado landed by the Quepos fleet.

man with dorado

In July 2018 a 70lb Dorado was caught aboard the 31’ GOOD DAY by Charlie Rogers from ‘Against the Grain Charters’ (check them out!) in Key Largo Florida, whilst vacationing in Costa Rica. This was the largest Dorado caught aboard GOOD DAY for some years. Just 2 weeks later on August 8th, Jordan Gilchrist from Texas caught another HUGE Bull (male) Dorado measuring 65 inches which also tipped the scales to 70lbs! Jordan had also caught a 50lb Cow (female) Dorado the day earlier! These are just huge fish by Dorado standards. Many of the Quepos captains have caught 50lb plus Dorado in recent weeks which is just fantastic fishing.

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Thai-Style Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Basil, and Cilantro

Chef's Corner logo
This is a refreshing salad with contrasting colors and textures. Try adding cooked meats, seafood, or roasted veggies for a perfect lunch bowl, or serve it alongside a composed meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers, partially peeled (little spaces between the peeled strips), sliced lengthwise and then crosswise into little half moons
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • 1 thinly sliced red hot pepper (optional)
  • A few thin slices of red onion, not too much
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, and mint
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce (soy sauce for vegan)
  • 1 clove of finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts
Thai-Style Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Basil, and Cilantro

Phot0: Sarah Yunker

Directions

  1. Make dressing by mixing lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and garlic.
  2. Place cucumber and tomato slices in a bowl, toss with dressing and herbs. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and serve.

The Sloth Institute – September/October 2018

Sloth Institute header

Sad Face icon1. Depression

Wild sloths held in captivity become stressed and unhappy.

Leaf icon2. Destruction of Forests

Forests need sloths to be healthy and balanced.

Medical icon3. Diseases

Sloths may host different parasites, viruses, and infections that can pass to humans with one touch!

Graph icon4. Depletion

The wild sloth population suffers with each sloth taken from the wild.

X icon5. Death

Many captive sloths die due to the stress of transport and an improper diet.

Don’t Be Selfi(e)sh … #SayNOtoSlothSelfies

The Sloth InstituteThe 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 email info@theslothinstitute.org.

If you see a sloth who needs help: ALL or WHATSAPP +506 87756847/87SLOTHS.


Pura Vida From a Day-Volunteer

KSTR logoBy Maddie Abene

KinkajouSoothing sounds, beautiful views, diverse wildlife, and only a week to take it all in? Costa Rica is unlike any place I’ve ever been. Upon my arrival, my mind was racing with ideas of how I was going to get the very most out of my trip. As an Environmental Studies Major at University of California Santa Cruz, I’m typically curious about different ecosystems and eager to interact with wildlife wherever I am in the world. The two-hour drive from San Jose Airport gave me plenty of time to take in the scenery of the mountainous jungle and ask my driver Oscar any and all questions I had about Costa Rica. I learned everything from the economic/environmental effects of Costa Rica’s biggest industry (Palm Oil) to what species of tree leaves I should use to make henna-like face paint (Teak).

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Electronic Invoices Are Now an Obligation in Costa Rica for Individuals and Companies

Tecsa AdThe electronic invoice will be mandatory for all taxpayers in November 2018. This is established by a resolution of Costa Rican Treasury (Ministerio de Hacienda). The electronic invoice is automatically send to Ministerio de Hacienda and to your email, so every electronic invoice will contain a PDF document and XML file that is used for the computers to read the information.

All individuals or companies that have a card ending in 1, 2, or 3 are required to submit electronic invoices as of September 1, those that end in 4, 5, and 6 enter on October 1, and 7, 8, 9, and 0 begin on November 1.

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