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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2010

Bienvenidos/Welcome to sunny Costa Rica! We are into the heart of our summer with little or no rain and lots of SOL – so don’t forget the sunblock especially at the beach..and while you’re there you can always cool off with a tasty ice cream at GNAM Gelateria & other Italian goodies….or go up, up and away with Costa Rica Parasailing… a great way to see how we look from the air! If by chance you’re still a little stressed from pre-vacation mode or you need to cool down after Beach Body Bootcamp with Pamela –  wander on down the beach to relax with ”Masaje Mistico” Katreena for Reiki & a massage from Pauline- their located in front of Hotel Arboleda…we also welcome Katreena as a new writer to Quepolandia with her “Life’s a Beach” column…..speaking of new additions to Quepolandia -welcome comic strip creator “Luciano” ..you can also pick up autographed copies of his work at Jaime Peligro’s book store next door to Century 21..as you can tell this has been a plug for our beautiful beach, but don’t forget to take a walk through Quepos to enjoy our drinking establishments (always fun on St. Patrick’s Day!) & great restaurants…we have the best – check out our live music listings in the left column – and please tell our advertisers that you saw them in Quepolandia — whatever you do—have fun and enjoy our “Paradise”—hope to see you back here soon…………………..caio……..P


Important Alliance to Help The Environment

By Pia Martin DVM

Costa Rican national authorities along with the United States signed a symbiotic alliance in January to create the Energy Efficient Center (Centro de Energía Eficiente).

This center will promote research, development, and use of cleaner and more efficient energy that will allow this country to reach its objective of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2021. In other words, Costa Rica wants to mitigate the carbon that is created here.

“This is just the beginning. A committee of eight people will have to identify priorities and the best method to operate”, Gloria Villa, of the Energy Department at MINAET said. She is also very enthusiastic as it is an alliance with the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE).

The building to house the project will be located at the University of Costa Rica and the Dean of the University, Yamileth González, stated that this institution will reinforce research on more efficient energy but above all, it will teach the community what is learned.

“This center will also train professionals on efficient energy and clean technologies. Their experiences will help other countries in the region,” said Peter Brennan, in charge of business at the US embassy.

This idea was born last year in Trinidad & Tobago during the Cumbre de las Américas, when US president, Barack Obama, proposed the initiative. Then the regional countries applied with their own projects. “Costa Rica was chosen due to its leadership in environmental issues,” Brennan stated.

The US Department of Energy donated $100,000 as part of a Low Carbon Community Initiative in the Americas, the Presidential House said.

This is great news for Costa Rica, Kids Saving The Rainforest, and the environmental community!

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo


Soon to be Seen on You Tube?

by Matt Casseday

When last seen, my old friend Dedson was leaving the area in a battered Range Rover, bound for a ‘tour’ of Latin America. This was years back and the ‘tour’ he had planned revolved around the dented left rear hubcap that he swore bore an image of the Virgin Mary when the angle and lighting was right. “People will pay good money to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a dented hubcap,” he assured me. “Especially humble God-fearing Latinos always on the lookout for the latest Our Lady of Fatima.”

I had studied the hubcap at length, from all angles and at various hours of the day, straight and sober, unstraight and unsober, but the alleged vision never materialized. There was one occasion when I caught a fleeting glimpse of an image that strikingly resembled Moe of the Three Stooges, but it turned out I was staring at the hubcap of a different Range Rover. I wrote off my friend as another hopeless expat lunatic, brains fried from too many hours in the equatorial sun. My last sighting of Dedson was of him behind the wheel of the Virgin Mary Express, heading north on the highway toward San Jose, plumes of dark diesel smoke streaming from the tailpipe.

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Everybody Loves Toucan Sam the Fruitloop Bird…Or do They?

Maybe We Should Ask Woody Woodpecker
By Jack Ewing

Guiding visitors on ecological tours can be very rewarding. Showing guests their first monkey, sloth or toucan is as gratifying for the guide as it is for the visitor. Birds and animals aren’t usually obvious to the untrained eye, and it is often difficult to explain or point out to people the exact position of wildlife within the dense vegetation of the rainforest. A typical conversation might go something like this: “See him? He’s right over there.” “Right over where?” “Look, just follow that trunk up to where it forks off to the left…” “Wait a minute, which trunk?” “That big one just to the right of the one with the vine.” “Oh yeah, that one. Okay now, I follow that up to the fork, right? Then where?” And so on, and so on. Once the bird or animal has been spotted with the naked eye, the next step is to find it with binoculars. Some visitors are practiced in the use of optical equipment, but many are not, and it is sometimes difficult for them to locate the wildlife. I have noticed that visitors will sometimes say they see something even if they don’t. However, there is never any doubt when the person encounters their first toucan. When the large yellow, black and red bird with the enormous beak comes into their field of vision, the visitor’s reaction can range from a simple, “Oh, my god,” to something resembling a low-level orgasm. Nowadays all of our guides have telescopes which they can quickly focus on the wildlife, eliminating all that foreplay and getting right down to the nitty-gritty.

Hacienda Baru

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Watering

By Donna Porter

Summertime is upon us in the tropics and that means hotter temperatures and weeks and/or months void of the cooling, refreshing, life-giving rains.  To any gardener, be they home-gardener or professional, this can only mean one thing – water, water, water. Visitors who have spent time in Costa Rica in our rainy season, may find it hard to believe that watering is a necessity here, but the natural cycle of the rainforest does include a dry period for flower and seed formation of the natural vegetation. This is why the native vegetation/indigenous plants can withstand these dry times, moreso, than the imported, exotic species.

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A Hero In Manuel Antonio

All he wanted was a cigarette and a rum & coke – and to catch his next plane to Miami.

I recently got to meet with a hero enjoying a hot dog and a cold beer at El Wagon –home of the BEST HOT DOG in MA as the guest of Alan Templeton of Costa Verde. He was here visiting his sister who lives in Jaco with his friend Karina from Miami. This was a trip he had been waiting 5 years to make and if circumstances had been different on December 25th it might never have taken place, but happily for about 270+ people, he turned out to be a hero and made it to Costa Rica……. it happened like this: Read More…


TURTLE PROJECT – MATAPALO BEACH

By Katherine Richardson

The ASVO (Association of Volunteers) has been in Matapalo Beach for 5 years and patrols 5.4 KM of the beach. Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea)turtles nest on Matapaplo Beach from June to November. This year according to Mr. Roberto Solano, the scientist in charge of the project, they have had 180 Olive Ridley turtle nests and on 1 leatherback nest as of the 10th of Dec. This is the first leatherback nest in the past 5 years of monitoring according to Mr. Solano. The Volunteers conduct night patrols, monitor the turtle hatchery 24 hours a day and clean up the beach in Matapalo. Night  patrols continued until mid December  to protect the nests from poachers and retrieve the eggs to the safety of the hatchery. Hatchings will continue through January.

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Touching Yourself

by Todd Pequeen

“I know that touching was and still is and always will be the true revolution.” – Nikki Giovanni

We should all touch ourselves. I often fantasize with my clients on how wonderful it would be to get a massage every day. Imagine having your favorite masseur at your beck and call to get your fix whenever needed…how glorious would that be? Well, we all do have this available, we can utilize ourselves. While sitting on my board surfing, waiting for waves, I massage with both my hands my head and temporal regions. Just a minute of small circular strokes helps to further relax and loosen me up. Every day I massage my own hands and forearms, it has become a routine, it allows me to know where my aches and pains are as well as flushing out stagnate blood revitalizing my tools of the trade. We are all socialized into the language of the senses and in my opinion have become impoverished with hands-on nonverbal forms of communication, relying instead on disengagement and so called sophistication with each other. Sight and hearing (distance senses) rule our days while taste, smell, and touch (proximity senses) are almost a taboo. A shame in my opinion but adopting a philosophy of touching oneself can help bring us into the light.

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Barry Biesanz

By Carol Vlassoff

Barry Biesanz pulls into my driveway, hops out of his car and wastes no time settling onto a patio chair for our interview. He does not need any prompting: he clearly has a message to share.

“People ask me,” he says, “I bet you’ve seen a lot of changes here over the last 40 years. They assume they have all been for the worse – but they haven’t. Sure, there are some ill-conceived projects, drugs, prostitution and corruption. But there are far more monkeys than there were in 1971, and much more prosperity.” Most of Manuel Antonio, he continues, was being converted to pasture and crops, even much of what is now the park, and all the mangroves near town were cut to make charcoal.

“The United Fruit Company was the only employer aside from two huge and many small cattle farms. With the switch to tourism, forest cover increased and species that were been gone for decades have returned. Living standards are very much better for Quepeños.”

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The World Discovers Walter Ferguson

By Jim Parisi

The essence of Calypso is in its rhythm and its humor, not necessarily in that order. The seed of this musical style sprouted around Barbados, Trinidad and Ciudad Colon, Panama. It spread, literally by word of mouth, to other Caribbean ports, including Kingston, Jamaica, where it spawned the nucleus of reggae music.

Walter Ferguson is probably the last Calypsonian to learn his craft in this traditional, organic manner. Born in Guabito, Panama in 1919, he moved to Cahuita, Costa Rica at an early age with his father, Melsh, who was a cook for the Banana Company there. For years, Ferguson, or “Gavitt” as he is affectionately referred to by his wife and family, plied his trade with an old Martin guitar, creating songs and exchanging them with other wandering Calypso minstrels up and down the Caribbean coast of Central America. Walter even recorded a vinyl album of original songs in the early 1970s, which quickly slipped into obscurity along with its composer.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music

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NO MORE ‘GREEN WASHING’

By Marina Ocampo

One of the main focus areas of the work of the Titi Conservation Alliance is assistance to our members to introduce more sustainable practices in their work and, as a tangible proof of their commitment to the sustainable development, to get certified by the Costa Rica Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) Program.

The program evaluates four categories: The interaction between the company and its surrounding natural habitat, the management policies and the operational systems within the company and its infrastructure, the interaction of the company with its clients in terms of how much it allows and invites the client to be an active contributor to the company’s policies of sustainability, and the interaction of the company with the local communities and the population in general.

Titi Conservation Alliance

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The Founding of Kids Saving The Rainforest

By Janine Lacare

I write to you today to let you know, not so much about the organization, Kids Saving The Rainforest, (KSTR) but more on how it got started.  KSTR is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit organization that was founded 11 years ago in 1999 by my best friend Aislin and me.

Here is our story:

Being the young kids that we were, we decided that we wanted to start making money all on our own. We started out by making paper-Mache bottles and painted rocks as paper weights.  We set up our little (but crazy-cute) roadside stand on a “recyclable” cardboard box, selling our items to passing strangers.  Although we made a couple of bucks of some random passerby’s, our intentions to save the rainforest had not yet begun.
Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo
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Capuchin Capers

By Jack EwingBubba-and-Friend

The troop of 28 monkeys was strung out over about 100 meters, moving through the forest. The lead monkey, a mature female, came to an area where the tree cover was broken by an open swamp with only a narrow corridor two trees wide going around it. About half way across the corridor the leader abruptly leapt back and let out an excited yelp, one of several different alarm barks the two observers had heard them use. This initial bark was followed by a series of short barks in a slightly calmer voice. Flor Vallet scanned the foliage with her binoculars near where the lead monkey had been when when it jumped back. Finally she saw the source of alarm, a non venomous bird-eating snake. It wasn’t large enough to harm a full grown monkey, or even a juvenile, but it was a snake nevertheless, and they instinctively disliked it. The troop kept moving forward, but as they arrived at the point where the snake was coiled each monkey veered over into a neighboring tree, staying well out of its reach. They didn’t need any further signals. Every monkey in the troop knew exactly where the snake was coiled. Was this communicated to them via the alarm call followed by the short series of barks emitted by the lead monkey when it first saw the snake?

Hacienda Baru

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El año nuevo

tico-talk-headerSoy el Año Nuevo, vengo a ti puro e inmaculado; acabo de salir de las manos de Dios. Cada día es una perla de gran precio que te es concedida para que la ensartes en el hilo de plata de la vida.

Una vez ensartada, ya no puede desenhebrarse jamás; queda allí como un testimonio inmortal de tu fe y de tu destreza. Debes fundir entonces, cada minuto, como eslabón dorado a la cadena eterna de las horas.
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Greg Anderson

By Charlie Berghammer

How exciting to begin the year by sharing the story of a recently migrated expat to Costa Rica who knew from the start that his coming to Costa Rica was more than just to live a comfortable lifestyle in the tropics.  His story is that of many of us who have come looking for ways to INTEGRATE into our local Costa Rican communities.  What Greg Anderson and many others have discovered is that the catalyst for this integration can come through engagement in local community service.

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