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Bad Plant, Good Plant

Wonderful World of Hemp header

One of the main reasons that many people are apprehensive or flatly opposed to trying a hemp-derived product—such as a CBD sublingual oil—is because they are worried that it will get them “high”, and for one reason or another this is an effect they do not desire. Most of the time their reluctance is based on fear of the unknown or fear from antiquated misinformation.

Americans, along with citizens of other countries that take their lead from the U.S., can pin-the-tail on the “ass” by the name of Henry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S Federal Bureau of Narcotics who served in this position under six presidential administrations beginning in the 30’s. His string of lies regarding cannabis resulted in misinformation that has lingered in the minds of Americans for decades. Anslinger used racial prejudice as his number one platform, along with his own professional ambitions, to make cannabis a newly-discovered threat to (white) America. In the world according to Anslinger, and with no substantiated evidence, cannabis was a deadly, addictive drug. He enthusiastically instilled baseless fear into the minds of the American public by demonizing the plant and in 1938 released Reefer Madness, a ludicrous propaganda film. His ignorance was so profound that that he never made a distinction between the ancient, multi-use, utilitarian, industrial hemp and the recreational marijuana. It was all lumped together as one evil plant.

Differences between hemp and marijuana

Through decades of fictitious narratives, the one fact remains—that NO ONE has ever died from a marijuana overdose. But people love to hate this plant and continue to wage a war on an incredibly friendly, misconstrued, green neighbor of our planet. Cannabis has now finally been differentiated into either hemp or marijuana, has triumphantly emerged from the dungeons of shame and has proven to possess more benefit to humankind and our planet than anyone can ever imagine.

Nevertheless, it remains a challenge for those of us in the freshly, re-emerged hemp industry to get people to comprehend the major differences between Hemp—the serious, hard-working, innocent bystander—and its fun-loving cousin with its blemished reputation—Marijuana—who has now turned academic. Since both plants are scientifically classified as species of Cannabis—Cannabis sativa, C. indica or hybrids of the two—they inevitably possess numerous genetic similarities as well.

HelloHemp! is here to offer CR some of the best hemp-derived products from the U.S. market, and more importantly, to help heighten the appreciation, increase public knowledge and remove the stigma surrounding cannabis through the sharing of current news, information and research.

Donna is a Horticulturist and Hemp advocate. She transplanted her business HelloHemp! to Quepos, which offers top-quality, full-lab tested CBD products.
For more info: hellohempar.com, follow us on hellohempar.com, donnaporter@hellohempar.com or call/text/WhatsApp 6007-7779.

Liberación de Tortugas

Carrying turtles to the surfTortugas de Isla Damas is a turtle conservation project near Quepos. Isla Damas, a small island of beach and mangroves, is where one of the seven species of sea turtles comes up to nest… the Olive Ridley turtle. Turtles nest nearly year-round here and the hatching is truly a beautiful event to witness. However, the turtle nests are at risk to egg poachers and other threats if left unprotected outside the nursery.

Here are some fascinating facts and current statistics on sea turtles.

  • Sea turtles are ancient species, having been around since the time of the dinosaurs – about 110 million years!
  • It takes 20-30 years for a sea turtle to reach sexual maturity. When a female is ready to lay eggs, she returns to the nesting beach where she was born even if she has not been there for 30 years! Some females nest every year until the age of 80.
  • On the beach, hatchlings must avoid natural predators like birds, crabs, raccoons, etc. to make it to the sea. Once in the water, hatchlings can be consumed by seabirds and fish or subjected to things such as drift nets. Few survive to adulthood, with estimates ranging from one in 1000 to one in 10,000.
  • Sea turtles’ natural lifespan is estimated to be 50-100 years.

Releasing the turtlesThe Tortugas de Isla Damas is a registered non-profit in Costa Rica, their mission is to conserve the turtle population through educating the public about these gentle creatures and acting as a hatchery for the turtle eggs.

Turtles heading toward surfThroughout the year, the turtles return to the beach to lay their eggs. This is when the eggs are collected to protect and incubate them in the hatchery, therefore raising their chances of survival. When the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are then released back into the sea

Contact FB @tortugasdeisladamas, 506 8777 8880.

Turtles reaching surf

Three Surfers from Costa Rica Qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo

Surf CR logoLet’s do the math. There are 7.6 billion people on the planet and 35 million of them are surfers. Out of everyone who surfs, out of thousands that surf at the competitive level, only 40 surfers will be invited for the first time to the 2021 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. And three of those surfers are from Costa Rica! That’s 7.5% of the field from a country that only has 0.07% of the world’s population. It’s amazing!

Brisa Hennessy

BRISA HENNESSY photo: Pablo Jimenez

So, who are these three soon-to-be superstars? The first is the most ‘famous’—Brisa Hennessy. Brisa is currently ranked #16 on Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), the most elite group of surfers on the planet. Due to her ranking, she had qualified for the Olympics first. Her surfing skills came from growing up near the tropical right hand point breaks of Matapalo, on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. When she was 9 her family moved to Hawaii and later travelled to Fiji often to surf some of the most beautiful and dangerous waves on the planet.

Leilani McGonagle


The second athlete is Leilani McGonagle. Her path to the Olympics was different. In order to qualify, she had to earn a 7th place or better in the ISA World Surfing Games, held this June in El Salvador. 121 women were competing in this event, some of them already qualified through their WCT status. With her powerful frontside attack, honed sharp by years of growing up surfing Pavones, she passed through the first heats easily. But each round had tougher competitors, and with little sleep each night and running only on desire and determination, she battled through to the final rounds of the event—earning her ticket to Tokyo.

Leon Glatzer

LEON GLATZER photo: Pablo Jimenez

Our third surfer from Costa Rica is Leon Glatzer. He also grew up in Pavones, surfing the long, left hand point break to perfection. And his path would be the same—he would have to qualify through the ISA World Surfing Games by placing in one of the top five positions. Five spots for 136 surfers, some of them already competing on the elite level, but not guaranteed a spot unless they had a good result here. Since Leon’s family is from Germany he was accepted on to their national team and received the best preparation possible for an Olympic athlete. He trained relentlessly for three years and it showed as he wowed the judges with huge airs and powerful carves in El Salvador. He barely lost an early heat, but then powered through the repechage heats all the way to the semifinals. With his 5th place finish, he earned one of the final coveted spots and will represent Team Germany (and ‘Pavones, Costa Rica’) in the Olympics.   
This will be the first time ever that surfing is in the Olympics. It was a dream started by an Olympic swimmer from Hawaii, the Godfather of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku. And now three surfers from Costa Rica will be able to live out that dream. Vamos Ticos!

What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – July/August 2021

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WE ARE BACK!!! Not that we ever really went anywhere but this July and August are a real celebration of a lot more than just US Independence Day. It is amazing to be welcoming all the families, US and global travelers who are coming back to discover or rediscovery this amazing destination. For so many of us who live and work in the tourism industry, the past 14-15 months felt desolate and eerily quiet. The Summer of 2021 will be remembered as our official COMEBACK season and it is something to celebrate. The joy in those fortunate to be visiting this Costa Rica, this magical area and our installations at the marina is matched only by the warmth, enthusiasm and gratitude in which the hotels, restaurants, tour operators and community in general are extending to the returning tourists and investors alike. Costa Rica has always been the land of Pura Vida, but now, more than ever, the family at Marina Pez Vela and this nation as a whole is ready to roll out the red carpet!

July 4th

This years July 4th Celebration here at Marina Pez Vela is going to be about a celebration of the return of visitors from the USA and all the demand for the rest of the year. While we will not have any large special events, out of respect and caution to insure we are respectful and responsible in our leadership to curb any potential contagion of the Covid virus, our restaurants, tour operators, and staff will be providing specials and promotions to make everyone feel at home and have a taste of a traditional 4th of July. Come by for a burger, bbq ribs, a hot dog, and some smiles as we celebrate another 4th in paradise.

August 15th, Mothers Day

This is one of the most special holidays in Costa Rica and it is a national holiday here for all the right reasons. Never has a celebration of our beloved mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers been more important than on the tailwinds of the stress the past year has inflicted on all corners of the globe and our society. Marina Pez Vela will be offering mothers day specials and a safe and warm environment from which to celebrate those amazing women who are the backbone of our lives, families and communities. Can’t hurt that we also get to celebrate our MOM’s surrounding by the breathtaking beauty of Mother Earth in all her glory here in Manuel Antonio.

Get ready for the Whales

Reminder that August is actually the official start of our whale watching season. While the bulk of this majestic migration is during September and October, we are already seeing the first of the Whales in August and the team at the Marina has a bigger and better offering than every before to allow anyone and everyone to experience this majestic creature. Reserve your visit now and have your camera ready,

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – July/August 2021

July coverBienvenidos, Welcome to our piece of paradise, we are sure your going to enjoy it. There are so many wonderful things Costa Rica has to offer and we are here to guide you to your best vacation possible. The summer rains have brought the greenness. The rain normally rolls in late in the afternoon so get out early and enjoy the beautiful day.

Have a great Canada Day on July 1st for all you Canadians and a wonderful Independence Day on July 4th. Costa Rica celebrates Guanacaste Day on the July 24th, remember these holidays commemorate freedom and peace that so many people fought for. It is not all about fireworks and fiestas…they are just what make it fun. In Costa Rica, Mothers Day is August 15 so don’t forget to make those dinner reservations for that special woman. Moms should not have to cook. She probably would not mind a massage either.

Whale season begins this time of year and Marina Pez Vela has many options to take advantage of it. Check out Sunset Tours for a great time and a chance to get close to the whales along with snorkeling and incredible sunsets. So while enjoying a drink at one of our many restaurants with a view (Aqua Azul, Buena Vista Restaurant, or Ronnie’s Place) keep a watch out for whales swimming past.

We want to thank Frank Schulz for the cover shot. We also want to welcome our new advertisers Palma Tica and Ojala’.

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 or Facebook/Quepolandia.

Peace and enjoy…D

Strange Creeper Cats

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When I first laid eyes on the two black “kittens” a quote from a Robert Heinlein novel popped into my mind. It has been so many years ago since I read it that I can’t even remember which of his novels it was, but I remember the quote. In referring to a complex subject Heinlein said that making sense of it was, “… like searching in a dark cellar at midnight on a moonless night for a black cat that isn’t there.” These two kittens were that black without a hint of any other color. Even their eyes were black. In addition to their extreme blackness there was always an air of mysteriousness about them. They didn’t walk like ordinary cats, rather they walked all crouched down, more of a creep than a walk, like they were constantly stalking something. They never made any noises other than purring; they never clawed the furniture; they were never underfoot, and never got into trouble of any kind. There was always something strange about them. We named them Hocus and Pocus.

Hacienda Baru

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Where to Surf Around Manuel Antonio and Quepos

Surf CR logoIf you are reading this, I hope you are already at your hotel in Quepos or Manuel Antonio and wondering where to find the best waves for your level of surfing. For April, May, and June, these months are some of the best of the year for swells and quality wave conditions. The reason is the Southern Hemisphere is going towards their winter, when powerful South and Southwest swells plow across the Pacific and send big long period swells to the Costa Rica coastline. Meanwhile it is still ‘summer’ here, when the winds are offshore for a longer part of the day and the rains are limited to the afternoons or evenings.

Ocean surfAbout two thirds of the time the waves will be big, so where do you go? If you are a beginner or intermediate surfer, you should check out the Quepos river mouth, a long left breaking wave that works best at lower tides. Also, you could drive about 80 minutes north to Boca Barranca, another long left that works at low tide. Or you can drive an hour south past Dominical to Dominicalito, which has a protected bay and the waves are smaller. This break works at lower tide.

If you want the bigger waves, then the closest spot is Playitas, at the north end of the beach in Manuel Antonio. This wave breaks best at high tide and has rights and lefts. Or, another great high tide break is Dominical, which has some great sand bars near its river mouth. And Isla Damas ten minutes north of Quepos is known to have an amazing barreling left, but takes a boat or jetski to get there. One of my favorite spots is Esterillos Oeste 40 minutes north, which has big, more slopey waves that can break up to a half mile from shore. This spot is amazing for SUPs and longboarders who want big surf, and works at both high and low tide. And it does offer a more hollow inside break for shortboarders at high tide when there is some size.

There are a few secret spots, too, and of course other perfect peaks that take longer than an hour to reach. But to find quality waves when it is either big or small, you don’t have to travel that far. Check CRsurf.com for the latest forecasts and tide charts for the whole year.


Living in the jungle is an experience like no other, waking to the sounds of monkeys and exotic birds, surrounded by plush green jungle. But there are also some challenges living in a tropical environment. There’s no such thing as indestructible furniture, but there are steps to help your home and everything in it stand up to life in the jungle.

Design wise logoLiving room overlooking pool and oceanBy Shelagh Duncan

My guess is that none of us came to Costa Rica to live a high maintenance lifestyle in high maintenance homes. We’ve come here to slow down and smell the ylang-ylang in a relaxing, beautiful location. We want to enjoy our surroundings, including our tropical home and everything in it. Furniture, just like our home is an investment, and we carefully select exactly what we want and plan to enjoy it for many years to come.

However, living in the tropics has its challenges, and keeping one step ahead of what life and Mother Nature hands us is a constant battle. Furniture disintegration being one of them! It’s not even just furniture actually, almost everything here falls apart way sooner than it would back home.

Some products are very durable—steel, porcelain tile and granite for example. But who wants to sit on a granite sofa?
Royal Palm Interiors

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Kids Saving The Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary Diet

KSTR LogoDaniFor this Quepolandia issue, our KSTR President, Jennifer, met with KSTR Spokeskid, Dani, and her parents in San Francisco, where they all live part time, to discuss Dani’s articles. Dani already had about 10 articles in her head, all of which her dad will type up while Dani dictates. Dani is all of 7 years old!

Take it away Dani!

Hi, my name is Dani, and I am the spokeskid for KSTR. Today I want to talk about what the animals eat, and why we feed them what we feed them.

Jennifer and DaniFirst, we have the monkeys. Usually, for the monkeys, in the morning, we give them a fruit salad with Watermelon, Papaya, and other good fruit. In the afternoon, we mix the same fruit salad, but add some vegetables—for example we add sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans. We give them these foods because all the animals in our sanctuary were at one point in the wild, and the food we’re giving them is like the diet they would have had in the wild. In case you haven’t noticed, monkeys spend a lot of time jumping from tree to tree, across branches. One of the reasons they are doing that, is to look for food—many of the fruits in their diet at KSTR grow in trees in Costa Rica! At the sanctuary, we had 3 squirrel monkeys who needed medicine. They did NOT like the flavor of the medicine. So, we used a syringe to squirt the medicine into a marshmallow, which everybody knows monkeys love! (We normally try to only feed our animals natural food that comes from their habitats, but when we need to get medicine into them, we sometimes use small treats.)
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The American Arrival

Wonderful World of Hemp header
USS ConstitutionIt is hard to believe that there were times in history when hemp was such a significant economic crop that farmers were punished for NOT cultivating it. Its highly regarded status in England and Europe was a most influencing factor for its arrival into the Americas, along with its continued cultivation throughout Colonial America.

During the reign of England’s King Henry VIII in 1535, hemp cultivation was the law of the land and farmers had to set a portion of their acreage for hemp, otherwise, they would be fined. Henry mandated hemp cultivation to make rope, sails, nets and other naval equipment because it was the fiber of choice for maritime uses due to its natural decay and salt resistance and its adaptability to cultivation. Each warship and merchant vessel required miles of hemp line and tons of hemp canvas, which meant the Crown’s hunger for the commodity was great. Ship captains were ordered to disseminate hemp seed far and wide to provide fiber wherever repairs might be needed in distant lands.

At that time in history, England was a black sheep among European countries because of the Reformation – England’s split from the Catholic Church (the Brexit of today). To prevent another European kingdom from forcing England back into the fold, Henry assembled one of the world’s first professional navies.

The threat of invasion slowly became a reality under the reign of Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I, who faced war with Spain—the global superpower of the 16th century, so Elizabeth ordered even more hemp to be grown and made the penalties for breaking that law even stiffer. Henry’s and Elizabeth’s preparations paid off in 1588, when England’s hemp-outfitted ships destroyed the Spanish Armada. So, in an alternate history, Spanish might be the official language throughout North America if it were not for the hemp plant.

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Easy Morrocan Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chef's corner headerWhen our local limes (limones messinos) turn yellow, preserving them in salt will deepen the flavors of this recipe. Just cut them in half lengthwise, rub with abundant sea salt and store in a jar in the fridge. You can also omit this step and use fresh, ripe limes and the results will be equally delicious.

Ingredients for 4-6 portions

  • 1½ kilos of boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Peel of 3 preserved lemons or of 1 fresh one
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 medium size yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • ½ cup of chicken stock
  • Handful of pitted olives with a little brine
  • Fresh parsley or coriander for garnish
  • Toasted slivered almonds for garnish

Morrocan chicken with lemon and olivesDirections

  1. Marinate the thighs for a few hours in the paprika, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger.
  2. In a large pan, brown the thighs in batches and set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, fry the garlic and onion.
  4. Cut the thighs into large chunks and return to pan with lemon peel and juice.
  5. Stir for a few minutes before adding the stock and the olives.
  6. Allow the gravy to thicken and garnish with parsley and slivered almonds.

    Good accompaniments are rice or couscous. In the photograph, I used Israeli couscous and braised fennel.

John Prine

John Prine Header

There are many reasons to hate what this pandemic has brought to our planet, but to me the cruelest blow to the music world was that we lost John Prine. Thousands of musicians have lost their incomes, their identity as creative artists and have been forced to find new ways to teach, play, or record music. Normally music would provide us with a unique way of looking at life and would help to soothe our souls. Everything about it has now changed, but the worst was that the voice of John Prine has been silenced. His humor and wisdom were unequaled and we shall not see his like again. Mr. Prine filled his songs with imagery we could all understand. I’ve always loved his music and respected his ability to construct such classic songs, but it has been astounding to me to realize how diverse his audience was and how much he was loved by so many people. He had the ability to say things that immediately clicked with people from all walks of life. If you do not already know his work, search it out and you will be rewarded. He understood the importance of a good belly laugh. His themes were often humorous, but John could cause us to feel loneliness and had an affinity with the sad folks who go through life wondering where the happiness has gone…

Violinist Available
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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – April/May/June 2021

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Hard to believe we are already here in April and have just completed our second Semana Santa while dealing with the CoVid crisis and its impact on our community, our beloved Costa Rica and the world at large. While so much of the world has been focused on the countless obstacles and hardships which we have collectively endured, the team and family at Marina Pez Vela is incredibly proud to be a beacon of light, hope and resiliency as we cross over the year anniversary from the closing of our borders in 2020.

This April -and the months ahead- there is a lot to celebrate, highlight and share with our community and including the ongoing tournament series for 2021 and some new additions to our commercial plaza.

Emilio’s Cafe and Faxas Cuban Cigars are both open for business here at Marina Pez Vela!

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April/May/June 2021

April 2021 coverBienvenidos… Welcome to the land of Pura Vida. We are here to help you have a incredible vacation. April is a very busy month here in paradise with Semana Santa being one of the busiest weeks of the year. So have patience, relax, and enjoy the celebration.

April should bring a little rain to cool things off and provide some amazing sunsets. So get to one of our many restaurants such as Burû or Buena Vista on the beach, or Ronnie’s Place on the mountain and enjoy delicious food and cocktails with a spectacular views.

The fishing has been remarkable at Marina Pez Vela and so have the tournament’s. MPV will be hosting the Marina Pez Vela Open (April 9-10). Leading up to the Offshore World Championships (April 11-16) with teams from around the world competing for the championship. We want to thank writer Benn Gilmour (That’s Fishin’ pg. 26) for the awesome cover shot.

The Earth is an incredibly complex and vibrant ecosystem. Where living organisms interact with each other and their environment to create the ideal conditions for life. After the year we had this has never been more clear to respect her and to do what we can to make it a better world. Celebrate, Appreciate and Respect Earth Day April 22.

May and June bring the beginning of the green season and turtle season. MPV will host another exciting fishing tournament the Summer Solstice Shootout (June 19). World Ocean Day is June 8th so while enjoying our miles of beautiful coastline make a habit of bringing something in which to collect some trash and leave the beach better than when you arrived.

We want to wish everyone a wonderful Easter, Happy Mother’s Day and Fathers Day. And welcome to our newest advertiser, Costa Rica Dive & Surf.

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 or Facebook/Quepolandia.

Peace and Enjoy…D

Happy 22 Years Strong from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

From KSTR’s very humble beginnings in 1999, when two 9 year old girls with a passion to save the rainforest, we have grown so much and become stronger – always finding new ways to help wildlife and the environments they call home.

We have evolved from selling painted rocks and trinkets to buy land to protect, to educational kids’ camps, to education campaigns like “11 Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys”, to planting thousands of trees with our Reforestation program, to installing and maintaining Wildlife Bridges, and working with the Costa Rican electric company, ICE, to prioritize dangerous electric wires to be insulated, to providing a safe Sanctuary for wildlife that can’t survive on their own, to offering educational Tours and Volunteer and Internship programs, to Rescuing, treating, rehabilitating and releasing hundreds of animals!  Nobody said it would be easy, but we know it’s worth it – and there have certainly been many trials along the way – especially in this last year!
We continue to work hard and keep fighting to protect and improve the environment and make this world better for all the amazing animals within it!

Happy 22 Years Strong from Kids Saving the Rainforest!