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Marantaceae – One Shady Family


By Donna Porter

Allow me to introduce you to one of the shadiest families I know of – the Marantaceae Family.  They love dark, damp, hummusy places….. but, are actually a fine and honorable group of plants that have even been known to pray.  These bold beauties exult and thrive in the shade, where their colors are more pronounced, rich and vibrant.  There simply could not be a lovelier selection of shade- loving plants than those that are found in the Marantaceae Family.  It is commonly known as the Prayer Plant Family due to the fact that a few of the species of this family (mainly Maranta leuconeura, commonly called “Prayer Plant”) rolls together its leaf edges and slants upward, like praying hands, in response to darkness.  This lengthwise cupping of the leaf is made possible due to a specialized joint on the leaf’s petiole (seen at the base of the leaf) called the pulvinus. The pulvinus allows this movement in the leaf and also makes for easy identification of this family.

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What do Carbon Footprint and Carbon Neutral mean?

There’s a whole new world of terms out there that may be confusing to you, such as Carbon Footprint and Carbon Neutral.  We are going to explain them and hopefully teach you to reduce your carbon footprint! 

So, just what does Carbon Footprint mean?  Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide given out through the use of fossil fuels by a person on a daily basis.

Do you want to know how much carbon do you emit?  There are lots of websites on the internet to calculate your footprint, but the one listed below is one that seems to work easily. www.zerofootprintoffsets.com   (Please note that you have to say that you live in the US or Canada to get your calculations).

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Marcel, the White Faced Monkey

Written by Melissa Ellenburg, Volunteer

This is one of 3 children’s stories written by the 16 year old Ellenburg Triplets.  Their 3 stories will become a a book to be sold by KSTR to teach children the importance of saving the rainforest.  It will be available next year.  

There once was a monkey named Marcel. He lived in a beautiful rainforest filled with perky parrots and colorful flowers. Marcel was very happy here. He swung in the trees and ate fruit and bugs all day long. 

One, day big monsters made out of metal came to the rainforest and started cutting trees down. They made loud roars and scared Marcel and all his friends and family. The people driving the machines said, “We need these trees to make paper and all kinds of things.” 

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Tiempos Verbaleses


Escriba tres oraciones en cada tiempo o estructura verbal con los verbos que se le presenten:


  1. Ver:  __________________________________________________________
  2. Extrañar: _______________________________________________________
  3. Quebrada: ______________________________________________________ 


  1. Independizar: ___________________________________________________
  2. Deducir: _______________________________________________________
  3. Tener: _________________________________________________________ 
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Refreshing Cold Soups #3: GAZPACHO

By Bill Dwyer

The soup that evolved into Gazpacho originated in medieval Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost province, when it was ruled by Moorish caliphs. The original dish bore hardly any resemblance to the soup we now know as Gazpacho. It consisted of a loaf of bread that had been soaked in water and wrung out, then ground with garlic in a mortar and pestle. Olive oil vinegar and water were then added to complete the soup. No doubt this filled the belly, but it doesn’t sound very palatable to me! I’m not surprised that, after Spain re-conquered Andalusia and Columbus brought new fruits and vegetables from the new world, Spaniards soon replaced the water with tomato juice and started adding other ingredients. Read More…

Sleepwalking to a Funky Beat

sonambuloBy Jim Parisi

What do you get when you combine eleven musicians from Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia and El Salvador who create a fusion sound of reggae, cumbia and funk, then let them tour Europe? If you ask the musicians of Sonambulo, they will tell you that the result is a new style of music that they call “psicotropical”, a catchy phrase for their very infectious music. The band’s first album, “A Puro Peluche”, was released in January 2009 with a lot of positive acclaim and little distribution. It was reissued in 2010 and promptly won the ACAM Best Tropical Album award.
Jaime Peligro Books and Music
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Are your swimming pool and spa tiles falling off?

By Costa Rica Pools & Construction

Tiles, whether ceramic tiles or natural stone or glass tiles, should not fall off.  There are all-tiled pools that go back over 100 years and they are still performing well today.  Tile when installed correctly is a great pool or spa tile that not only looks great and prestigious, but should last the life of the pool.

Chances are when the tile was installed it was not installed per industry standards and it has several compounding defects.  Generally speaking when there is a problem it is not due to one single factor, but due to compounding defects.  Keep in mind that most installers do not learn their trade from a college or trade school, but rather learn on the job, so quite often they are not familiar with industry standards or the complexity of high risk applications such as swimming pools and spas that needs to be properly waterproofed.  We have repaired hundreds of swimming pools with improper installation. The most common thing we find is that the previous installer did not use the proper thin-set to attach the tile and/or tried to use a grout not designed for under water application, we have even seen where they used either the thin-set or a homemade concrete mix as a grout. When they cut corners to save money it is a sure way to have a failure or problem in a very short time. Another issue we see with tile falling off is the improper water chemistry. Your pool water must maintain calcium hardness levels of 200-400 PPM to stop the water from being corrosive and attacking the new grout and any metals including your equipment. We offer free water test to see how your calcium levels are in your pool and we can repair any pool problems you may have.

Information provide by: Costa Rica Pools & Construction-located in Quepos-2777-1700 (across the street from the futball field next to Sansa) and in Uvita-2743-8200 (in the Dome Plaza across from Bridgestone),  costaricapools@hotmail.com

Warrior Pose

warrior 1

Warrior 1

By Mark Goldstein

It’s November now, and hopefully the rainy season is behind us. Now is the time for those of us that live here in Manuel Antonio to get ready for our upcoming busy season. There are moldy things to air out, supplies to gather, and people to welcome right around the corner. It’s time to climb out of the mud and charge forward!

This month’s pose of the month: Warrior Pose.

Playa Yoga

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International Analog Forestry Network opens in Quepos

International Analog Forestry NetworkBy Milo Bekins Faries, Chair IAFN-RIFA, 2777-7259

The International Analog Forestry Network  (IAFN), with a donation from the Government of Netherlands and Cordaid.org, has recently opened its worldwide secretariat office in Quepos, located in the new office building facing la Escuela de Corea. The IAFN network (www.analogforestrynetwork.org) is comprised of 27 CBO’s (Community Based Organizations) and several individual members in six continents; all working independently on biodiversity restoration through Analog Forestry (AF).   Founded in 1996, the IAFN has three Costa Rican members, CATIE in Turrialba, ARBOFILIA in Carára, and the Centro de Capacitación de Bosques Analogos of Milo Bekins Faries, in Londres de Aguirre.

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A Quick Pause for PAWS – Nov 2011

PAWS - Pets of Aguirre Animal Welfare Shelter

By Sandy Franz

PAWS Clinic on September 25  castrated 28 more animals in Quepos. So, to add to the calculations of the Animal & Home Society, we have eliminated potentially 5,880,000 more cats and 644,000 more dogs.  Another small step for “animal kind”. Thank you to the volunteers and Dr. Martinez and Dr. Cordoba for making this difference for our community.

PAWS ACQUIRES NEW STATUS  In the U. S. , Pets of Aguirre Welfare Shelter (PAWS) is now listed as a Public Charity and has the status of 501(c) 3. This will now allow donations to be tax deductible and will open doors to many possibilities for tax exempt items and grants.

The PAWS Mobile Unit is ready for business, and will be travelling to the first mobile clinic in November.The exact date and location will be announced early in the month, so keep your eye out for our advertisements about the castration clinic.

Changing of the Guards At the last board of directors meeting, new officers were elected and they are:

  • President-Jan Blackwell
  • Vice President-Sandy Franz
  • Secretary-Holly Myers
  • Treasurer-Louise Zobrist
  • Vocal-Pat Cheek
  • Fiscal-Valerie Phillips

Volunteers needed for animal foster care, please call Sandy Franz, 2779-1412, 8376-0632.

Visit the PAWS tent at the feria each Saturday to see puppies, kittens, & adult animals ready for adoption.

For more information, call 2777-1113, 2777-1489, and see  the PAWS animals ready for adoption published here on Face Book.


“The Best of Manuel Antonio & Quepos 2012” eBook poll

There’s a new guidebook in the works by local nonfiction author Evelyn Gallardo, best known for her book, Among the Orangutans, which was set in the exotic location of Borneo.

Evelyn’s new book will be set in another exotic location but this time much closer to home. The working title is The Best of Manuel Antonio & Quepos 2012, which will feature the best restaurants, tours, activities, services, artists, musicians, etc. Evelyn and her husband David have lived in Manuel Antonio since 2004 and own two vacation rental homes here. In a former corporate life in California Evelyn was the marketing director for an international firm, an experience that has served her well in the marketing of her vacation rental homes. The goal of this guidebook is to attract tourism to all the businesses in Manuel Antonio & Quepos and to create buzz on the Internet about traveling to our dynamic destination.

But who’s going to read a guidebook about our little piece of paradise? The intended audience is potential and returning tourists. In addition, local businesses are welcomed to use the book as a marketing tool. Winners in each category will be given access to a “Best of…2012” seal designed by local artist Adrian Valle to use on their web sites, business cards and other advertising material. This eBook will be downloadable from Amazon.com giving instant access to an international audience at an affordable price. The beauty of an eBook is that it can be easily updated online so that the information will remain current as opposed to guidebooks in print that run the risk of having outdated information by the time they become available to the public. Who knows? The Best of Manuel Antonio & Quepos 2012 may even become an annual publication.

So, who decides what the “best” is? That’s where you come in. Who knows Manuel Antonio & Quepos better than its residents? Nobody! So, cast your votes in the poll below and be a part of it. Don’t worry about filling in every single blank. Just vote on what you know. As an option you may add your name and/or business contact information if you’d like to be included as a contributor. The projected publication date is January 15, 2012 but be sure and check for the final publication announcement right here in Quepolandia.

The deadline date is now. Go ahead. Cast your votes before you get sidetracked by something else. Who knows? If we have enough contributors there may even be a publication party.

Complete the Poll after the jump.

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Nice to Meet You – Mucho Gusto

Spanish Sucks

By Os

Yes, I have found myself saying it, saying that Spanish sucks; even in my lessons when I noticed how many action words (verbos) and different endings (conjugaciones) we need to know to make it perfect.  But this column is not about perfection it is not about grammar or rules.  It´s about how español works and the way it is (and remember this:  It is what it is).   It is NOT about grammar nor exercises…

And I think (and I hope you do too) it’s interesting and useful in order to present some ideas on how to handle, understand, enjoy, and learn some español………..And as you can read, it is in inglés.

Before continuing let me introduce myself and this column: I call myself OS, I teach español around here and I named this column “SPANISH SUCKS” because everything I am gonna tell you will be 99% (noventa y nueve por ciento) true according to my background or the point I want to express.

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La Pobrecita

By Matt Casseday

We live in a sort of throwback time here. Things taken for granted in the “developed” world–uninterrupted electricity, watching your favorite team play online, well-lit thoroughfares, mandatory high school education—are still considered a luxury—at least to those living in rural Costa Rica. Recently I was driving from Dominical to Quepos, on the “new “ road, the paved road, remembering how absolutely giddy I felt the first time I drove the new 40 kmstretch, grinning nonstop now that the bone-jarring 2 hour travail had been transformed into a 25 minute breeze. As was my custom when the road was bad,  I stopped for a break at the Savegre River bridge. There is a space with a ledge, right as you turn in toward the mountains, and it is a good place to sit, maybe have a long drink and a short smoke, and watch the river. At that spot, the Rio Savegre is bottoming out from its long savage run down the mountain. In the late afternoon grayness that followed the day’s rains I saw that the river, even here, was swollen and rushing and mud brown, carrying branches and small pieces of zinc and wood. Something had been destroyed upriver, possibly somebody’s rancho, another lean-to built too close to the riverbank.

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Cosmic Confetti’s Horoscopes – November 2011

These Horoscopes are meant to be fun and enjoyed. They should not be taken too seriously.

scorpioSCORPIO – October 23-November 21

A hive of naked mole rats will move in with you today. You will find that they are relatively tidy creatures, but that its a trifle difficult to explain their presence to your friends.


sagittariusSAGITTARIUS – November 22-December 21

Be playful at heart and you will reap the reward of having more friends under the age of 10. Beware of tour guides walking backwards in their guide commentary’s.


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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – November 2011

Cover November 2011Bienvenidos/Welcome to our slightly soggy Paradise….rain- that necessary evil/good for the rainforest has been paying us a visit, but soon will be moving  on – as we try to enjoy the cooler weather and hope that it won’t wash out your vacation or cause any damage to the area or country.  We would like to announce the winners for the annual Chili Cook Off held at La Hacienda….1st  Cody Whitmire, 2nd Daniel, and 3rd Papa—People’s Choice went to Louise Zobrist – congrats to all! This month brings the re-opening of many of our wonderful restaurants & those of us that live here are happy to have them back!…………if you are here over Thanksgiving – no worries- a Turkey dinner will be available….check with La Hacienda, Barba Roja, El Gran Escape & possibly Agua Azul  & Kapi Kapi– we promise you won’t go hungry. We would like to thank  Bernard Solco of NY & Holger Holstien for our great cover shot – Playa Matapalo with Manuel Antonio in the distance – very cool shot!

While visiting with our advertisers– please let them know you found them in Quepolandia – enjoy yourselves and check back with us right here and of course come back soon……..ciao……P