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Fiddlin'AroundMusic lovers and certainly most musicians, whether they are singers or sidemen or drummers, love and value our songwriters. I give them all respect and thank them for educating us and for telling our stories and history. And for giving me something to play along to… They enunciate the dreams and hopes and fears and sorrows and happiness we all go through, and they help us realize we are not alone in those feelings. It’s impossible to say where the first snippet of a melody came from—maybe it was inspired by a lone and anonymous bird singing away up in a tree. Or from a chorus of frogs croaking after a rain, or the sound of coyotes talking to each other over a valley. When you put that most personal of instruments, the human voice, on top of a melody—you’ve got a song.

Songwriting header

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Memoirs of a Masseur – August 2017

The ebb and flow of the ocean, moon phases, and our days to nights it seems as if everything around us has a rhythm and a tempo. The world works in patterns as does energy, ying and yang, and the seasons. As humans why are many of us not in touch with our own natural cycles? How many among us let someone else set the rhythm of our lives and why? I spend much of my time observing people trying to understand them because nothing is more fascinating to me. As a body worker I have learned that tension lies not just in our flesh, but in the mind, heart, and soul as well. It is my job, if I am the best at what I do, to be able to understand peoples’ actions and behaviors and how that incorporates into their chosen lifestyle. I must physically feel as well as sense which parts of a body needs more or less work. A quality professional massage in itself has rhythm and tempo changes, high pressures and lows. This can only be possible with the ability to listen and to respond accordingly.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chef's Corner logoWhen bananas become old and mushy, they are perfect for this recipe. You will love how quickly and easily these loaves are prepared.
Makes two 8 X 4 inch pans.


  • 6 tablespoons of soft butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


  1. Prepare the pans and preheat the oven to 350 F (197 C)
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar, add eggs, continue to blend while adding vanilla and bananas. Mix together dry ingredients before incorporating them into the batter. Lastly add the chocolate chips and pour into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Contact Chef Desiree at costadezz@gmail.com.

Pets Are People Too?

How do we share our homes with our four legged friends?

Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

We love our homes: we want them to be stylish and comfortable, inviting and cosy. We love our pets too, and as they are very much a part of our lives we incorporate things into our homes to make them more comfortable. They are a part of our family after all!

However, these particular family members can be a little more work than usual. They don’t pick up after themselves and can be messy eaters. They often shed and are not too good at wiping their feet after a walk. They also think they are actually human so like to enjoy the furniture as much as we do!

That’s all fine, but they do add a considerable amount of extra wear and tear to our furniture and homes. So, looking for ways to help minimise this impact can be challenging. Tiles are the perfect solution for all floor areas, and microfiber upholstery fabric for our sofa and chairs. This about the best thing to use on furniture in our climate anyway. A good quality, thick microfiber will stand up to a great deal of use—and misuse, especially from heavier dogs with big claws. It cleans up very easily and can be vacuumed and brushed to look good as new. There are solid-colour microfiber fabrics, but now we also have many great textures and prints available in the same type of fabric. If your pet arrives after the sofa, one easy solution is to add a pet blanket over the chairs or sofas they like to sleep on. These are easily washed and will reduce stains and fur build-up on your sofa—and you! Or…. you can give them their own bed. This can be something to fit style-wise into your own interior, a trendy designer bed, or be practical and creative like incorporating it into a coffee or end table. The latter pure inspiration for those who may be short on space but big on design!

Dog bedsRoyal Palm Interiors

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Spanish Sucks – August 2017

¡Happy New 70 Verbs!

¡Happy New Flashcards!

Parte VII

¡Hola amigos!  How did you do filling the previous seven verbs?  Remember to check your answer on thins link:  oscostarica.com/printable-spanish-flashcards/.

This month there are seven new verbs.  Fill the boxes with the conjugations of the verbs in present tense…

Remember that I chose those 70 verbs based on the frequency of use, the importance of complexity and the pattern of conjugation…  Every month I will give you seven flashcards to feel!  Go to my website and compare your fillings with mine:  oscostarica.com/printable-spanish-flashcards/.

Spanish Sucks

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KSTR – August 2017

KSTR logo

By Lexi Baca

Hello my dear readers! I am back, yet again, with another article. Last month, I spent a few weeks traveling around Central America, visiting Guatemala (More like Guatebueno!), Belize, and Honduras. While each place was beautiful in its own way, I did feel a longing for a comfort that I had allowed myself to be used to: clean water! As shocking as it is, in many places there is not a fresh and constant supply of water that you can drink…even in places with lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and ocean all around. We had to drink only out of water bottles and spend much more money than we usually would on water…and don’t get me started on the plastic waste. And that was only for a few weeks! So, this is your reminder about how lucky we are in Costa Rica, that clean water mustn’t be taken for granted!

My sister and me under a 400 year old ceiba tree in Tikal, Guatemala

My sister and me under a
400 year old ceiba tree in
Tikal, Guatemala

And while we’re talking about things that we need every day in life that we shouldn’t take for granted, let’s talk about air! Or what gives us the clean and fresh air we breathe, trees! It’s rainy season in the rainforest, and this time of year is great for KSTR because it’s when we get to plant trees. This year, we have a new challenge: reforesting 94,000 trees! KSTR was donated 117 hectares to reforest a teak farm. So far this year, we have planted 2,950 trees (not including our July effort), and we will keep going until the rainy season stops. If you have saplings to donate or can provide transport so that we can plant, email me at spokeskid@kstr.org for more information. If you can’t make it to one of our plantings and would like to plant trees yourselves, below are some great tips!

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Peter Vineberg

Peter Vineberg obit


International Recognition of our Natural Treasures

By Jack Ewing

Those of us who live in this area and have been active in the environmental movement are proud to inform our visitors, friends, and the general public that on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Paris, France, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program declared the Savegre River basin and much of the surrounding area “The Savegre Biosphere Reserve”. On Saturday, July 8, 2017 in San Gerardo de Dota, with the presence of Luis Guillermo Solis, president of Costa Rica, and representatives of local governments, community and environmental organizations the reserve became official. The president and the minister of the environment signed a decree officially recognizing all four biosphere reserves in Costa Rica and declaring November 3 annual biosphere reserve day. The newly signed decree creates the organizational structure with which locally entities will promote the sustainable use of our biodiversity. It is truly an honor to live and work in such a special place.

Paramo to Pacific Beach. Photo: Lautjie Boshoff

Paramo to Pacific Beach. Photo: Lautjie Boshoff

The MAB program designates certain areas of the planet that are well conserved and representative of a variety of natural habitats as biosphere reserves. The program is unique in that it not only promotes the protection of natural areas but also values human activities within those areas.Hacienda Baru

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Sloth Speedways: Race to Freedom

Three fingered sloth mom & baby crossing via Sloth Speedway

By Seda Sejud, Chief Sloth Ambassador, The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

At The Sloth Institute, we are excited to begin progress, slow as it may seem (but how appropriate!) towards the 3rd tenet of our mission statement: CONSERVATION.  As we help negate human encroachment issues that impact sloths’ welfare and habitats.

We all witness the expansion of development projects everywhere. Our world is getting more crowded and many of us are seeking less developed places to escape to and live. The downside of this is that in so many places, like Costa Rica, there is a large negative impact on wildlife created by human encroachment. A single tree removed can create a life-threatening situation for a sloth and can prevent them from getting to much needed food or shelter.  Unable to reach the next tree, sloths are forced to come down to the ground, where they are most exposed to danger, to travel across. Once on the ground, sloth’s encounter dogs, snakes, ocelots, and cars, all a certain threat to the safety and livelihood of the individual. While monkeys can easily jump to another tree, a sloth has no choice but to go to the ground to travel where gaps in the trees are present.

The Sloth Institute logo

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Heartworm Disease

(en español)

Heartworm cycleHeartworm infection, caused by Dirofilaria immitis parasite, through a mosquito bite (mosquitoes can bite your neighbour´s pets and then yours), it affects both cats and dogs. Although prevalence is higher in some areas than in others, the disease has been widespread, it was diagnosed in Quepos and in almost the whole Pacific area in Costa Rica. Dogs and cats that are heartworm infected may or may not be symptomatic.

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Gusano del corazón

(In English)
Heartworm cycleLa infección del gusano del corazón es causada por un parasito Dirofilaria immitis, y se transmite por la picadura de un mosquito (este pude picar a varios perros e infectarlos), es un gran problema que afecta tanto a perros como gatos. También hay ciertas zonas que son más afectadas que otras, aquí en Quepos se ha diagnosticado y es un problema así como en casi toda la región del Pacifico en Costa Rica. Los perros y gatos afectados pueden o no tener síntomas y usualmente son detectados en los controles de rutina que realizamos los veterinarios.

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – August 2017


While there is a lot to report and update everyone for here at Marina Pez Vela, nothing is more important than extending our thanks, congratulations and love for all the Mothers out there in our community. We have a fantastic month of activities in the project and in the waters just outside and we hope that everyone can share and create some memories with their mothers here at Marina Pez Vela.


Saturday, August 12 at 6:00 pm in the amphitheater at Marina Pez Vela we will have a live concert with Roger Morales and company. Roger made national news with his amazing run on a program on Teletica, Cantando por un Sueno, and his amazing voice and personality which exemplifies the best our community and has blessed our community ever since. Access is FREE and we encourage you to reserve in advance for seating at our restaurants which will have a great view and setting so you can have a special dinner with your Mom and listen to the best voices from our community.

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That’s Fishin’ – August 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour

Welcome to the fishing promised land, a.k.a. Quepos, Costa Rica. If you’re new or just visiting, make sure to go down to Marina Pez Vela and check out all your fishing choices. There’s plenty there. We’ve got a world record bite, world record holding anglers and captains—the only thing missing is you, and unfortunately me. That’s why after 3 years of writing the fishing article for Quepolandia, I am stepping down and handing over my fishing article to Benn Gilmour. It’s one hard thing to do, but I feel happy that my readers will be entertained now by a close friend and very well respected fisherman in our community. I love you all and greatly miss the good friends that I’ve made while living in Quepos. Don’t get too upset though, because Sarah has big plans for the fish and otherwise. You’ll be seeing me sooner than you think! Until then, I leave you in Benn’s most capable hands. Tight lines friends. See you on the water! Sarah Munro


Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin

If catching a Marlin is on your bucket list…do not stop reading! Some years ago around 100 miles Offshore from Quepos, the BEST BLUE MARLIN FISHING ON THE PLANET was discovered at the area known as the Seamounts/FADs. The area possesses an incredible series of underwater mountains where the Sport Fishing Industry has worked together to deploy FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) on top of these underwater Seamounts creating artificial structure to attract baitfish, which in turn attracts the big predators…namely, Blue Marlin!

I got to experience a FAD trip for myself just a few weeks ago aboard CARIBSEA, a 46’ Guthrie and a real classic Sportfisher based here at the Marina Pez Vela. We did a 2 night trip which included one full day (around 13 hours!) of fishing at the FADs, non-stop from the moment it was light, until the sun dipped over the horizon. And wow, those sunsets when you are bobbing around 100 miles off the coast, simply breath-taking!

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – August 2017

August 2017 coverBienvenidos… Welcome and let the fun begin.

Our amazing beaches to stroll, surf or just tranquilo await you. For an over the top view of Manuel Antonio National Park try parasailing with Aquas Azules. World class sport fishing and a fleet of boats to get you there are waiting 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 the nature with Kayak Lodge or Tucanes mangrove tours, or for a little more adrenaline try white water rafting with Quepoa Expeditions. Our mangroves and rivers are as magical as our coastlines. To experience the jungle canopy try zip lining with Titi Canopy Tours. Or the first of its kind the Eco-Tram at Hacienda Baru (tell Jack we sent you) where you can get up close and personal with nature. August is the beginning of whale season so while enjoying your cocktail at our many fine restaurants with a view, pay attention off the coast. You never know when a pod of Humpbacks will swim by.

We want to thank Gaia Hotel & Reserve for the mommy Sloth cover. We also want to wish all you ladies a wonderful Mother’s Day (Aug 15). We would not be possible without you. So don’t make mom cook take advantage of our incredible selection of restaurants in the area. I am sure she would also love a massage or a family portrait (Sarah Yunker Photography). Moms… ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!

We would like to welcome our new advertisers that help make this magazine possible: E&T Escrow and Trust, Manuel Antonio Estates/Palmas Pacifica, & Get It Here Jerry.

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 and on facebook.com/quepolandia. We appreciate your comments and photos.

Peace and Enjoy…D

The Sloth Freedom Project®

Female three-fingered sloth

Female three-fingered sloth

By Sam Trull, Co-Founder and Sloth Director at The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

Definition of Freedom—”the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

One of the main tenants—of The Sloth Institute is to improve the welfare of sloths. Providing proper enrichment and wild foods are a great way to improve the lives of captive sloths on their journey through rehabilitation. But ultimately, there is no greater way to enhance a sloth’s welfare (or really any creature’s welfare) than by giving them their freedom. As humans, we are sometimes so arrogant to assume that other creatures aren’t smart enough or aware enough to have desires beyond being well fed and safe but in reality the ability to make your own decisions creates feelings of relief that pass species boundaries. From a scientific perspective, the assets of freedom can be explained by detailing the benefits of a life in their natural environment. For example, with sloths it is stressful to not live in a habitat where they can climb high and find adequate hiding locations. This behavioral desire can be explained by a need to avoid predators and find shelter in a storm, but what if it also just ‘feels right’? What if they have an ‘unexplainable’ urge to make decisions for themselves and there’s no scientific proof to make it valid? What is curiosity and why do so many creatures have this drive to explore? Sloths are curious and enjoy exploration and only freedom in a natural jungle environment can satisfy those needs.

The Sloth Institute logo

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