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The Second Half-Century Club

Shambling through paradise headerI promise this entire article is not going to be a bummer, but—I have reached the age where the death of a contemporary no longer elicits a response of ”O my god, What happened?” No, it’s more like “What was it she had again’’? Or “Yeah, no great shock, last time I saw him he looked like garbage wrapped in skin”.

When I arrived in CR almost 30 years ago, the core of expats I first got to know were primarily 2nd half century club members. Not too long ago I ran into one on the street. Back in the day we called him “Memo Loco’’. His real name was William. I had not seen him in at least 20 years. My last recollection of him was a rainy Sunday morning at the San Clemente in Dominical. I was having breakfast when Memo Loco entered. He was in the middle of an extended coke and alcohol-fueled party. On a dare, in front of all the customers, he stood in the middle of the restaurant, tilted his head to one side and poured his beer into his ear.

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Spanish Sucks – December 2017

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

This month there are seven new verbs.  THE LAST SEVEN ONES.  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 fill!  Go to my website and compare your fillings with mine:  http://www.oscostarica.com/printable-spanish-flashcards/

Spanish Sucks

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Surrender the Selfies

The way we portray ourselves to the public is never how it seems. The lexicon of internet usage that has just appeared this century has a word that spurs on many thoughts for me. Selfie. This unique noun, brought to us from technology has gone beyond a picture, it is a word that has changed how people experience moments in time and brings a “mirror” to every situation that has a cell phone. Like anything, there are varied opinions on what a selfie is actually showing. A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone has an opinion, and very easily images can be misconstrued. Health, happiness, beauty, and achievement all are on a sliding scale and a matter of opinion. A projected public picture can translate to egocentric, self-involved, or pompous…for it is a very fine line indeed. The phenomenon of woman pursing their lips (duck face) with an ever so mystic look in their eyes to me is downright idiotic. Sickening when it is a young girl just doing what she’s seen hundreds of times before. We are bombarded daily by television, magazines, and internet often saying that we are not good enough, that we just don’t measure up. Culture, trends, and the ever so popular cosmetic surgery all help to shape opinions on who is beautiful and what the “in thing” is…Hollywood reigns supreme. With Go-Pro cameras making everyone think they are heroes (or not) body image is a major player in how we go about our work, play, and our very lives.

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Ocelot Factory


Photo: Daniel Allen

By Jack Ewing

On September 14, 2016, one of the Hacienda Barú guides sent me a photo of an ocelot killed on the coastal highway in front of the Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge. From the spot pattern on its neck and shoulders I was able to identify it as a young male, about two years old, who I had previously named “Frodo”. His identification was made possible by comparing the photo of the dead ocelot with photos and videos of Frodo taken by our trail cameras. Every individual ocelot’s spot pattern is unique, and this facilitates identification. There are tunnels under the highway at Hacienda Barú, and most of the ocelots use them. I assume Frodo had never crossed the highway before and didn’t know about the tunnels.

Dead ocelot on the roadA couple of months earlier a new mature male, an enormous individual who I named “Brutus”, had ousted the male who had reigned for at least three years. I would imagine that Frodo, who was probably a son of the ousted alpha male, and who was approaching reproductive age, felt threatened by Brutus and was forced to leave the territory where he was born and raised. The death of the beautiful, young spotted cat was saddening, but not cause for alarm. There was at least one producing adult female and an immature female, “Tinkerbell”, about a year from reproductive age. There was also quite possibly a second mature producing female within Brutus’ territory. So the death of Frodo wouldn’t have a major impact on the population. We thought.
Hacienda Baru

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That’s Fishin’ – December 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour

Our November Fishing here in Quepos was a blast with lots of big Dorado (Mahi Mahi) keeping Anglers busy during their Offshore trips. The bite has been super close to Quepos with great Dorado fishing only 10 or so miles from the Marina. Dorado will continue to be caught in December, however, boats will be pushing out further and deeper as most visiting Anglers will be here with one thing on their mind, Billfish!

Blue Marlin ready for release

Blue Marlin ready for release

December is one of the top months of the year to catch Marlin and our Sailfish bite will be heating up as the month progresses before it peaks between January & March. With good numbers of Sailfish about and the opportunity of catching Blue, Black & Striped Marlin, December holds great potential for Anglers that would love to try and catch a grand slam of three different Billfish species in a day. No easy feat anywhere in the world, however, Quepos holds that potential.

There will be some great Yellow Fin Tuna fishing Offshore whilst our Inshore fleet will be focusing on Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, Jacks & Mackerel whilst fishing the rocks, islands and river mouths close to Quepos. With the water temperature warming as we enter the summer, we will see more bait inshore around Quepos than we have for six months bringing the predatory fish hot on their heels.

Check out those dentures!

Check out those dentures!

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Transitional Design

A Harmony of the Classic and the Clean

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

If you appreciate the classic shapes and silhouettes of traditional interiors, but also enjoy the minimalism and open concepts of contemporary and modern interiors—then the transitional style is probably right for you!

Transitional interior design is a perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary styles. It borrows from the best of both worlds to create a balanced and sophisticated space. As the name probably suggests, transitional design came about by combining two opposite styles. It’s sometimes referred to as “an updated take on the classics”.

Transitional DesignOn the one hand, you have the warmth, comfort and balance that comes from a traditional aesthetic. But refusing to be bogged down by the ornate details that can sometimes make traditional spaces feel outdated, the transitional look pares it down and incorporates the clean lines and simplistic nature that defines contemporary design. At its best, this style feels timeless with a modern twist.

Royal Palm Interiors

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The Harmful Effects of the Wildlife Selfie Craze

Young slothBy Sam Trull, Sloth Director/Co-Founder The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

Recently there has been a proliferation of wildlife selfies being posted on social media sites, with Instagram alone reporting an increase of 300%. And thankfully, there has been a huge response from the global community on the harm these selfies impose on wildlife. We get that some people just don’t realize that taking selfies with wildlife is simply not only harmful but unethical.

A recent video uncovered by the investigative work of “World Animal Protection” tells a horrific story. Trees are being chopped down and sloths are being ripped out of trees and are passed around from tourist to tourist as if they were a toy. These sloths are wild animals and show all the signs of being in stress when taken from their environment. An average tourist thinks that the sloths outstretched arms are a sign of the sloths posing when in fact it means they are in high stress mode.The Sloth Institute logo

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Orange and Sesame Chicken with Thai-style Chayote Slaw

This is an American-Chinese favorite, Asian fusion at it´s finest.

For 8 to 10 servings

Orange and Sesame Chicken with Thai-style Chayote SlawThai-style Chayote Slaw


  • 1 Chayote
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 tbs Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 2tbs lime juice
  • Peanuts
  • Cilantro


  • Slice chayote & carrot into small matchsticks.
  • Make a dressing with Thai fish sauce, white sugar, and lime juice.
  • Pour dressing over matchsticks and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.



  • 1 kg of chicken thigh fillets, cut into nice chunks
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs cornstarch (maizena)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water


  1. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and powder, soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, and water until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a shallow pan, heat 2 cups of cooking oil and fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden. Keep warm.

Orange and Sesame Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons of finely shredded fresh ginger
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 grams of orange marmelade, or a small jar
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a saucepan, fry the garlic and ginger in a little bit of cooking oil until fragrant.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1 cup of water and mix well before adding it to thicken sauce.
  4. Pour over warm chicken nuggets and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and Thai-style chayote slaw.

Karma Saving the Rainforest

KSTR logoBy Karma Casey

Greetings! Karma Casey here, a spokes-kid for Kids Saving the Rainforest! You may remember me from my interview with Lexi Bacca a couple of issues ago. I moved to Costa Rica to help KSTR, and I’m 9 years old, just like Janine & Aislin when they started our organization way back in 1999.

Baby sloth on stuffed toyIt’s that time of year again: The holidays! If you are looking for a unique gift that makes a difference, you might consider sponsoring a sloth at Kids Saving The Rainforest! For a donation of at least $30, you will get a plush sloth, a photo and a story of a real live sloth saved by KSTR, a certificate, and fun facts about sloths!

To learn more, visit sponsorasloth.wordpress.com.

Although plush sloths are good to snuggle and hold, real sloths are not! They will become so stressed out they may even die. Also, it is very illegal to hold or touch wild animals. When an orphaned baby sloth comes into Kids Saving The Rainforest, they are given a plush animal to hold onto very much like the one you will receive. They cling to it like they would their mother.
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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – December 2017

The cooling rains subside, the warm breezes and magical sunsets of the Costa Rica summer season begin lightingup the evening skies, we get ready for what is likely to be a record setting season here in Costa Rica and especially at Marina Pez Vela! We are incredibly excited to share some of the events we have planned for the coming months, many of which are community celebrations which have become part of our culture here at Marina Pez Vela. Given some of the obstacles and heart-warming manner in which our families and community responded during this past rainy season, we hope that Marina Pez Vela can continue to support this wonderful area and to create public spaces where we can all share and celebrate the beauty of this region, the spectacular ocean which embraces the project and the families who make this area so special.

Friday Night Outdoor Movie Nights are back!

Out with the rain, IN WITH FRIDAY NIGHT FREE MOVIES UNDER THE STARS AT MPV. This has become one of our favorite dry season traditions. Families, tourists, anglers all relaxing under the stars, enjoying all the restaurants, shops and services here at the project and free outdoor movies on the GIANT inflatable screen, every Friday at 7 pm.

Marina Pez Vela logo
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Titi Conservation Alliance – December 2017

School children going to tree planting

School children going to tree planting

Tropical Storm Nate

The Quepos-Manuel Antonio area, and the entire country of Costa Rica is just beginning to recover from the ravages of Tropical Storm Nate. It is apparent that it will take many years to repair and rebuild homes and infrastructure which were destroyed due to the heavy flooding and landslides. We would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers in our area, who have given so generously their time and support to those people in our community who have lost everything. Many others living outside the country have also expressed their concern and have donated funds to purchase needed food and clothing for those in need. Thank you all!

Members of Costa Rican Coast Guard & Ministry of Environment at tree planting.

Members of Costa Rican Coast Guard & Ministry of Environment at tree planting.

TCA Tree plantings

TCA continued to plant more trees during this very rainy season! In September, students from Escuela Finca Mona and Escuela Portin de Naranjo joined together to plant 250 trees on Marcia Bennetts farm in Naranjito, located on the outskirts of Quepos. Also in September, our TCA employees assisted the Barahona family in planting over 800 trees on their farm located near the village of Londres, also in the heart of the Naranjo River Biological Corridor. Finally, our Titi Conservation Alliance tree crew, led by Ing. Juan Pablo Aguero, planted an additional 250 trees on the Gamboa family farm located in Tocori, near the village of Villa Nueva, assisted by members of the Costa Rica Coast Guard and Ministry of the Environment. We sincerely thank these new landowners who participated in our conservation efforts this year!

You can find more info on our website www.monotiti.org. For questions or to make a donation please contact Russ Jensen at director@monotiti.org or cell phone 506-8502-2034.

Happy Holidays to all from the Titi Conservation Alliance!

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – December 2017

December 2017 coverBienvenidos/ Welcome to paradise, we are glad you have arrived. The rains are slowing, the sun is shining, and the jungle is alive… so let the fun begin. Our pages are full of awesome restaurants of every flavor. Sunrice, Victoria’s, or Z Gastro Bar just to mention a few. Tour companies to take your vacation to the next level like Quepoa Expeditions or Titi Canopy. Transportation companies (Monkey Ride and the Marina Pez Vela shuttle) that will get you where you are going. Not to mention great articles to enjoy while chillin’ at the beach or by the pool.

The fish are jumping and so is Marina Pez Vela. The annual Bright Lights Boat Parade is December 9th. What a great way to kick off the holiday season and wrapping it up with a spectacular firework show to light up the skies of Quepos for New Year’s Eve so make sure not to miss it. Great time to feel the Pura Vida this country has to offer.

Our shops are great for your holiday shopping. Check out Mot Mot Gallery or The Captain’s Booty for that one of a kind gift. Also let us not forget the Toys for Tots boxes in the area and help brighten someone’s holiday.
We would like to welcome our new advertisers: Fuhgeddaboudit, Pat’s Pottery, & Rasta Adventure.

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 at facebook.com/quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

We at Quepolandia would like to wish our advertisers, writers, staff, and readers a Wonderful Holiday Season and an Incredible 2018!!!

Peace on Earth & Enjoy… D

Pest or Pal

Procyon cancrivorus headerWhy raccoons are important and what to do when they invade your home.

By Paola Alvarado, SINAC officer and Sam Trull, Sloth Director of TSI

This may seem like a strange article to appear in the TSI Quepolandia slot, but this month we have teamed up with local SINAC officer, Paola Alvarado, to remind you that even the least popular animals play an important role in our ecosystem. Your first, and maybe only impression of a raccoon may be that of a ‘thief’ in the night. Raccoons seem to be masters at getting exactly where we don’t want them to be: inside roofs, walls, trash bins and even outdoor kitchens! They are so smart, that once they have figured out how to get into an area, it can be very difficult to get them out. They are able to unzip bags, open lids, if you handed them a key, they would probably even unlock doors (ok, maybe that’s a stretch)! But raccoons can actually benefit people by eating mice, rats and unwanted insects. It is always important to remember that ultimately, we have invaded their jungle home and it’s our responsibility to make the relationship work.

The Sloth Institute logo

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Spanish Sucks – November 2017

¡Happy New 70 Verbs!

¡Happy New Flashcards!

Parte IX

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

Spanish Sucks

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Osa Gold

Osa Gold HeaderIf you saw a small Irish man with a beard and bushy eyebrows who lives in the forest, loves the color green, and has a passion for gold you might think he was a “Leprechaun”. But if that forest happened to be on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, more than likely it would be my good friend Patrick J. O’Connell, commonly known as “The Goldwalker”. Unlike the Leprechaun he is not the keeper of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but he has lived the most extraordinary life of anyone I have ever known, walking from one end of the Osa to the other for 26 years buying gold.

Jack and Patrick

Jack and Patrick

In 1964 Patrick and three friends drove to Costa Rica in a 1958 Dodge panel truck. All were veterans of the Korean war and out for adventure. They came to Costa Rica for the hunting. For three years he stayed in the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica near a place called Potrero Grande. Then Patrick moved to the Osa Peninsula where the hunting was spectacular.

As it is today the Osa of the 1960s was one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet but that is where the similarity ends. At that time there was no national park, no tourism, no roads, and most of the residents were fugitives from the law. After the civil war of 1948 many of the soldiers from the losing side fled to the Osa to escape execution. Additionally criminals of all sorts took advantage of the remoteness of the peninsula and went there to escape punishment. It was a place of exile. No criminal act was terrible enough to bring the police to the peninsula. If someone was killed in a barroom brawl the others just dragged the body outside, and in the morning someone would bury it. The government didn’t care.
Hacienda Baru

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