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Karma Saving the Rainforest – February 2018

KSTR logoBy Karma Casey

Hi! This is Karma, from Kids Saving The Rainforest again! Last month, I talked to you about how you can help collect leaves for hungry sloths and anteaters in our rescue center. Our friends at Hostel Plinio have offered to be a drop-off spot for all those yummy leaves you collect for us. Thanks guys! If you missed last month’s LEAF-let, you can contact my mom at volunteer@kstr.org to learn more.

Jeff Corwin and slothThis month, I am going to tell you about a very special visitor who came to Kids Saving the Rainforest. Jeff Corwin! Jeff is a biologist and conservationist who travels all over the world filming with wildlife! He visited us with his film crew for his show on ABC, called Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin.

While filming, Jeff focused on our wildlife rescue and relief work. He even met a very special animal from our nursery, Peanut the anteater! Jeff and his crew arrived on a very exciting day! They went with our veterinarian Dr. Sofia Bernal to release a Grey Crowned Squirrel Monkey, Cocorita.

Jeff Corwin and PeanutCoco came into Kids Saving the Rainforest showing possible signs of neurological damage. Our clinic staff worked hard to nurse Coco back to health. Jeff’s crew looked on as Coco had her final check, and was released back with her troop! Another animal back in the wild where they belong!

We invite you to come visit Kids Saving the Rainforest, too! We give tours at 9 am every day except for Tuesday. You might even see me there! Until next month, Quepolandia readers. Have a wonderful February!


That’s Fishin’- February 2018

That's Fishin'header

Sailfish By Benn Gilmour

February can only be described as a HOT HOT HOT time for Offshore fishing here in Quepos. It is perhaps the Number 1 month in the calendar for Sailfish and is why thousands of Anglers from around the world descend on Quepos to hook up with one of our great captains and experience our amazing fishery. If you have always dreamt of catching a Billfish then you have come to the right place and you could not have timed it better than coming here in February. Big Pacific Sailfish in the 70-140lb range will be available 20+ miles off our coastline. Blue, Black and Striped Marlin will be in the mix also, as well as Yellow Fin Tuna and Dorado. If you want to target the big Pelagic’s such as Sailfish & Marlin, a full day (8-9 hour) Offshore trip is the best option to give you adequate time on the water and increase your chances of landing a dream catch. Check out some of the photos of our happy Anglers from the past month or so releasing their trophy Marlin & Sailfish catches. They will not be forgetting their experience in a hurry!

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Big Ideas for Small Spaces

Decorating Tips to Maximize Small-Space Living

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

Bigger is not always better. Lovely as they are, we know that large homes are more expensive to furnish and maintain, and as we spend so much of our time outdoors do we really need all that interior space?

Whatever size home you have the key is always to make the most appropriate choices for the space you are living in. This month we will be looking at maximizing small-space living. There are decorating challenges of course, but here are a few tips you can try to help your condo, house or room appear larger and more spacious.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Stuffed tofu bites

Chef's Corner logoI am often asked: what is tofu, and how is it used?

Tofu is a bland looking and bland tasting hunk of soy cheese that nobody should consider a pantry staple unless you’re vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant. But let’s reconsider for a moment. Tofu is actually a magical ingredient that is a shape shifter, a rich protein, a product of coagulated soy milk that can embrace any sauce or flavor, sweet or savory, a vehicle for endless creations… Here is a surprisingly simple appetizer that makes everyone smile before they fall in love with tofu.

Fried TofuIngredients

  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup of roughly chopped peanuts
  • Soy sauce mixed with a little brown sugar for serving

Stuffed TofuDirections

  1. Place tofu on a few paper towels to air-dry for a couple hours so that the moisture doesn’t make the oil splatter.
  2. Quickly blanche the bean sprouts in boiling water in order to keep their white color. Drain and combine with carrots, cilantro, and peanuts.
  3. Cut tofu carefully into 6 rectangles and deep fry on all sides.
  4. Cut the cubes in half and scoop out a small amount of the soft middle.
  5. Stuff the halves with the bean sprout mixture.
  6. Serve with slightly sweetened soy sauce and you will have a fun appetizer for your vegetarian and vegan friends.

Mr. Green

Shambling through paradise headerI was caretaking the mansion of my friend Carlton while he accompanied his obscenely wealthy family on another jaunt around the world. The mansion was amazing — high on a mountaintop, with a view of the Pacific that stretched from the Whale’s tail in Uvita all the way north to Playa Herradura. There were enough bedrooms and bathrooms to house a soccer team and the kitchen looked like chef Gordon Ramsay’s wet dream.

Carlton and I had met over drinks — we were sitting next to each other in a Quepos bar, watching college basketball, and we bonded because we both had a bet going on the same game. One thing that for me set the international community of Costa Rica apart from say, anywhere I had ever lived in the United States, was the absence of economic class distinctions. Working stiffs like myself rubbed elbows with rich kids like Carlton on a regular basis. In the states the only way I would have met someone like him would have been serving him drinks while I was bartending at some exclusive catered function. Here I might hang out with Carlton over beers, and then pay a night time visit to one of my gringo friends here on the other end of the economic spectrum — for example Vinny, who was camping on the beach in a tent, living on coconut water, bananas, and whatever he could pull in while shore fishing with his homemade line spooler.
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Stronger Together

Dory taste tastingBy Sam Trull, Wildlife/Sloth Director The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

Protecting wild animals and wild spaces is a battle. In some corners of the world it is an actual war zone, and I cannot adequately express how much I respect and admire everyone on the front lines of those conflicts. But even in less personally life threatening scenarios, we struggle to make sense of how this world can sometimes be so cruel. From actual disregard for the environment and animal life, to genuine accidents that highlight the tragic consequences associated with human encroachment on wild environments; every day presents a new challenge. Regardless of what battle you enter into…it’s always better to lock arms with an ally and fight together to accomplish bigger and better goals. In the fight to save sloths and return them to their jungle homes, we have decided to lock arms with the amazing staff at Toucan Rescue Ranch. Hearing the name…you may wonder what a toucan center and a sloth center have in common? But don’t let the name fool you! Toucan Rescue Ranch started with Toucans, but has actually been working with sloths for over 15 years. We work together, every day, to rescue, rehabilitate and release sloths that have been negatively affected by devastation to their environment. We make a great team combing excellent medical care, scientific research, field work and unwavering dedication to saving these animals and getting them back where they belong. Our partnership means that every sloth we care for receives the very best rehabilitation team and the very best scientific team to heal them and get them back to the wild where they belong. In addition we are able to learn from each patient and add to our ever growing data base on sloth behavioral ecology which ultimately helps entire populations survive in this ever changing world. As the next year begins, it is important that we all focus on what we can do to make this world a better place. By working together to save sloths and assure their conservation, we predict 2018 will be a very productive year!
The Sloth Institute logo

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Elusive Wildlife

Elusive Wildlife header

By Jack Ewing

The tropical rainforest contains more biodiversity and more biomass than any other habitat on our planet. The amount of life in the forest is overwhelming. The rainforests of the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica are home to many animals that are seldom observed by humans. We are going to have a brief look at 12 of these species. All of them have either been captured by trail cameras or seen on rare occasions by Hacienda Barú guests, guides, park rangers, and researchers. I first came to Hacienda Barú in February of 1972. During the 46 years from then until today I have never seen a puma, ocelot, margay cat, or false vampire bat, and have sighted each of the other 8 species less than 10 times.

Puma

Puma (Puma concolor) The first sighting on Hacienda Barú was in the year 2010 by two of our guests. Since that time there have been about a half dozen sightings per year and many photos and videos taken by trail cameras. The fact that the ecosystem is robust enough to sustain a large predator speaks highly of the biological health of the region. This photo of a young puma was taken by a trail camera.

Ocelot

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) – These are the second largest feline in the area, with mature adults weighing about 15 kg (33 pounds). I have never seen a live one in the wild, but my wife Diane has seen two during the time we have lived here. One of the workers at Hacienda Barú killed one in the early 1970s because it was eating his wife’s chickens. The sight of the dead body of the magnificent spotted cat affected me deeply, and set me on a path that led away from cattle ranching and toward the restoration and protection of natural habitat and the wildlife that it harbors. This photo was taken with a trail camera.
Hacienda Baru

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Planting Yourself

I spend a lot of time outside. Particularly in my garden around plants and trees. Although I have no formal training I had landscaping jobs as a teen and into my twenty’s; in college my work study job was in the university greenhouse, growing plants for science experiments and observations. I’ve always enjoyed herbs and find the cycle of life very rewarding…even the year when I lost 4 mature coconut trees to a nasty beetle. I was emotional about that for months. Toucans and parrots of all sorts frequent the tallest of trees on my property and wake me most mornings. Once my land was a barren dirt hill that used to be cow pasture, now I am surrounded by five fruit trees, lipstick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spotting’s occur almost daily and I never knew I would become a bird watcher, professional sunrise/sunset observer, and can identify our slight change of seasons with the best of them.


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Cuchá Cuchá at Jolly Roger and La Colina

Cucha Cucha


The Festival Investing in Recycling, Schools, and Water in Costa Rica

Envision Festival logoEnvision Festival, February 22 – 25, 2018 in Uvita

For the last eight years, the deforested cattle pasture that is used at the site of Envision Festival was a mecca for international music lovers and a cathedral to the beauty of Costa Rica, built almost entirely out of sustainable bamboo, in the thick of the jungle by Playa Hermosa beach. Each year the festival has been reforesting the site, planting one tree at a time, using the proceeds from the year before to reinvest in the land. As stewards of multiculturalism and environmentalism, the event even expressly forbids single use plastic products so guests in Costa Rica learn about the importance of minimizing pollution and our impact on the environment. Along with passing along this ethos and a deep appreciation for Costa Rica in its own community, Envision also is engaged in philanthropic efforts all over the country — proving that festivals can have a positive impact on both the land they occupy as well as the local neighbors. “We are working hard to find ways that we can give back to the charming community of Uvita that has been so welcoming.” says Terra Entheos, Community Relations Manager at Envision Festival. “Every year we do our best to improve this community and this year we are taking it to a whole other level this year!”

People on the beach at sunsetGive Back Days and Beach Cleanups

At the close of 2017, Envision hosted Beach its first ever Cleanup Day to restore a local shoreline. Speaking on Envision’s first cleanup for 2018, Entheos said “We had 20 people come out to the first clean-up and 15 to today’s clean-up.” To further get the word out and engage locals in cleanup efforts, Envision is working with a team to put together Spanish information packets with tips on reducing plastic consumption, upcycling and recycling. The packets are designed to help any environmentalist evangelize the truth of recycling in the local community. The campaign will even include a short documentary on Andres Vargas’ journey from Envision to action and his story in the long fight for plastic reduction here in the Osa region of Costa Rica. Naturally, the whole feature will be shot in Spanish.

Group of childrenBuilding a Future for Children

This isn’t the first time Envision Festival has set out to make a splash in the community that makes the event possible either. On another Give Back Day in 2015, Envision donated to local schools and Youth Centers in Uvita, planting gardens & fruit trees and painting murals. In 2015, Envision also donated ¢3,000,000 to Asociacion para la Prevencion y Alerta del Crimen in order to promote safety and a crime free community in Uvita.

In February of 2016, El Centro de la Juvenil Envision (The Envision Youth Center) was founded as a space for positive development, education and entrepreneurship. The center operates in Uvita and is dedicated to a fruitful future for the children of the local community. “We are super excited about this new development of Envision’s history in Uvita” Entheon explained. “And we are confident that the Center will have a long lasting positive effect on the area.”

 


Fiddlin’ Around – February 2018

Fiddlin'Around headerTo the intrepid and adventurous travelers who have found their way to our lovely and diverse little part of the planet, welcome! This is a great time of the year to be in the southern zone of Costa Rica. It is officially the dry season, but Mother Nature is a fickle parent, and she has been known to sneak into our happy dry lives and unleash a deluge of rain upon us, her unsuspecting children. Even in February. Since I claim New Orleans and Dominical to be the homes of my heart, I must admit it’s also a fine time to be in steamy and sultry New Orleans…

Mardi GrasWe know all about celebrating weirdness and wildness in New Orleans — it is called Mardi Gras! This year the last day of Carnival season, also called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, falls on February 13th — the day before Ash Wednesday, when all the good (and bad) Catholics go to church and the priest smears ashes on our foreheads and we all pledge to give up something we love for Lent. So for weeks before, we drink a lot and eat delicious rich food to get ourselves in the proper mind set to fast. Christians celebrate Easter on a Sunday, as it was the day Jesus rose from the deaad, after being crucified on the Friday two days before. This was determined centuries ago in 325 AD, by a council of bishops who declared that Easter would always be on a Sunday, based on the lunar calendar.

In New Orleans we throw parties and parades to send off our friends who have passed on. We charge drinks on their bar tabs and hope the bartender hasn’t heard the news yet. We make elaborate costumes to wear during the several weeks of parades and partying leading up to Fat Tuesday. Sometimes our costumes make clever political and satirical statements, sometimes they just show a lot of skin. Some have feathers or beads or mechanical parts, but it is big fun and there are many local traditions that are kept every year.

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The 20/80 Rule.  Most Common Words. AGAIN

Imagine that with only 20% of vocabulary you could be able to handle 80% of normal conversations.  Imagine that instead of trying to memorize 1000 words; 200 would be enough.  Imagine that instead of learning and conjugating 100 verbs; 20 would be sufficient.

Well, that’s what the experts call the 20/80 Rule.

Today, I am going to give you again a list of words with the most common words in Spanish.

This list has been generated from subtitles of movies and television series with a total of about 27.4 million words.  So, take it seriously 😉
Spanish Sucks

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250,000 visitors!

Quepolandia has had 250,000 visitorsI can’t believe I missed it! I so wanted to watch it turn over. Sometime today Quepolandia.com hit 250,000 visitors. We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. THANK YOU to everyone for supporting Quepolandia all these years!


What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – February 2018

What's Shaking header

BACK TO THE NORMAL HIGH SEASON MADNESS!!!

It seems like the Christmas and New Year celebrations just run right through January and with all of the tourism and events here at Marina Pez Vela, February has appeared in the blink of an eye! With the blue summer skies, flat ocean waters and billfish bite back on, it feels like things are back to “normal” here at the marina with a vibrant schedule for the month and what seem like masterpieces painted each night with our live “SUNSET SHOWS”. The energy here at the project is palpable and growing each day and whether you are a local reading this monthly publication for the updates on the area or just picked up this magazine on your first visit to the area, do NOT miss out on the chance to come down and share in the essence of MPV where our local community, travelers from around the world and the finest project on the Pacific Coast all blend effortlessly into the tropical backdrop. February is another packed month with everything from smash mouth Football of the Super Bowl to a romantic Valentine’s Day concert…

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

February 2018 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. Whether hiking a national park or sitting on our wonderful beaches don’t forget to hydrate (NOT cervezas) and sunblock sunblock sunblock.

A lot is happening here in February. For all you rafters El Chorro is now open so have Quepoa Expeditions guide you to a spectacular trip. Our rivers are as magical as our beaches and should not be missed. Catch the Super Bowl Feb. 4th at Jolly Roger or Sancho’s on the mountain, and Marina Pez Vela will have it on the big screen in Quepos. Don’t forget movie night under the stars at the marina. A great night out for the whole family and it’s free. 

Time to start thinking of that “special” person, Valentine’s Day is almost here. So make reservations at one of our many fantastic restaurants: Arbol, Fuego, Gabriella’s, or OSA Thyme…just to mention a few. 

We also want to welcome back the eighth annual Envision Festival on the 22nd-25th in Uvita. Four days of music, yoga, artists, and workshops to help open our minds to making this a better planet…TOGETHER. Spreading peace, love, and knowledge not footprints and waste. Thanks to Eric Allen for sharing some love on the cover

We would like to welcome our new advertisers that help make this magazine possible, Aguahara, Crocodile Man Tours, El Faro Restaurant, Ennio Afilador de Cuchillos, and Las Cascadas.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you thru this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here and facebook.com/quepolandia..

Peace and Love…D