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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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Reiki treatmentUniversal Life Energy

By Danni Coyote

You have probably heard the term reiki at some point, andperhaps your immediate reaction was, Yeah, whatever, as you rolled your third eye to dispel images of healers laying hands on terminally ill patients. Admittedly, it
does sound preposterous and illogical when you consider that we live in a time in which we are so conditioned to disconnect the body from the spirit. So, what exactly is reiki, anyway? The truth is actually a lot less magical and more simple than you would imagine.

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Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

The two most important areas in any home are the kitchens and the bathrooms—especially to potential home buyers. Those two rooms will have a biggest influence on any purchaser. You know that feeling when you walk into a friends’ kitchen that is fabulous—you just stand there, and experience it. Then you lust after it!

We would all love to have huge fully tricked out kitchens, but often we are not that lucky. We don’t have the space, the money or sometimes even the ideas on how to make that happen.

Including some “must haves” into our kitchens can greatly increase its functionality, beauty and of course its value.

These are some of my must-haves:

Appliance GarageAppliance Garage

These are great for storing small appliances and can fit into corners or at the end of your work space. Add an electrical outlet too if possible, to add to the convenience. Think about what you want to go in there and you will have an idea of the size you will need. If you have lots of counter space—or lots of small appliances—you could have two!

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Stan Astrachan

Stan Obituary


Fiddlin'AroundLike many of us, I watched the sickening images from the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, then I watched the benefit concert that she and other musicians played after the dust had settled a bit. The spunk and attitude from the mostly young girls who are Grande’s fan base was inspiring, and I was moved by her closing rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’. I’ve played or heard that song being played a million times, usually in positive and happy settings, but the sweet and kind of naïve lyrics will never be the same for me. It is, of course, from the 1939 movie “Wizard of Oz”, and was sung by a young Judy Garland about 5 minutes into the film when she’s trying to tell her aunt and uncle about a bad experience she had with the local mean old spinster.
Judy Garland, Over the Rainbow LPShe’s told to “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” So Dorothy says to her little dog, “Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…..somewhere over the rainbow…..” A lovely song full of youthful innocence, is now an anthem because of an ugly thing. A profound and sad loss of innocence. It did get me thinking about how songs become anthems—and I figure I should fess up to my anthem experience.

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H2O  Escuela Villa Nueva Tree Planting

H2O Escuela Villa Nueva Tree Planting

The Titi Conservation Alliance was founded over 15 years ago to promote the sustainable habitat of the Squirrel Monkey, or Mono Titi, and other species as well, by focusing on 2 major areas-reforestation of lands within the Naranjo River Biological Corridor and environmental education of school children in the area.  Every year since 2001, we have planted between 3000 to 5000 trees on properties owned by more than 40 collaborating local landowners. The trees are planted by school children as part of the education program and by our member volunteers. TCA also donates trees to individuals and partner organizations who are interested in reforesting areas of their private properties.

This year we started our planting program for 2017 in early May with a celebration of Earth Day at the Escuela Villa Nueva. Villa Nueva is a small community located outside of Quepos, at the base of Cerro Nara where the watershed for Quepos and Manuel Antonio is located. This school has received the Blue Flag award for several years and also has an active nursery greenhouse for teaching plant biology to the kids. The school planted 200 trees on property owned by Guillermo Rodriguez.

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