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What is it? – By Jack Ewing

I have a system for predicting the weather. I watch the weather forecast on TV and predict the exact opposite. I am right about 50% of the time. You may think I’m joking, but it really works. Try it for yourself, and you’ll see that coming up with a valid weather forecast is not easy even for professionals. It won’t be exactly 50%, but it will be close enough to make the point that there are so many factors that influence the weather that it is nearly impossible to predict rain or shine for tomorrow or next week and consistently get it right.

High Tech Weather Station

A friend of mine recently wrote on Facebook, “You don’t know what the weather is going to do anymore. It is no longer normal”. If the weather is no longer normal, please tell me what is normal. How do you identify it? And when was the last time the weather was normal?

In the year 1981, I decided that it would be nice to have a record of the precipitation at Hacienda Barú, so I started measuring the daily rainfall and writing it down in my agenda. My first rain gauge was a tin can setting on top of a post, and a six-inch plastic ruler. Every morning at 07:00 am I would measure the water in the can, write it down in my agenda, and empty the can. After ten years the Costa Rica weather bureau heard about my rain gauge and came to see me. They asked if I would give them a copy of my precipitation record and if I would be willing to manage a more sophisticated system of measuring and recording the rainfall and the high and low temperatures. I agreed to both, and they brought a very nice rain gauge and two thermometers, one to measure the highest temperature of the last 24 hours and the other to measure the lowest temperature. About 15 years later they brought us an electronic weather station that sends all that information and more to the Costa Rica weather bureau daily via the internet.

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Have you ever wondered how it is to look at the animals from up in the trees? Our speedway camera project aims to study wildlife and the usage of animal bridges by installing cameras high above the ground.

So far, we have filmed 11 different mammal species crossing. Tamanduas, porcupines, kinkajous, squirrel monkeys, white face monkeys, howler monkeys, three fingered sloths, two fingered sloths, woolly possums, common possums and squirrels. Birds have also been caught using the ropes for perching and even one time a member of our team saw a snake crossing!

With these videos we can collect ecological and behavioral data about the animals. In addition, getting to know which species are using the ropes give us an idea of how essential these are and can also help us make better decisions about what areas are more important to connect.

Did you know that animals not only use horizontal ropes but also vertical and diagonal ones? Besides the canopy connectivity needed for the animals to move from the tree tops, a healthy forest is composed by a diversity of vines and lianas that are easier to use than thick trunks. These ropes will help animals to move in other directions. For that reason, we are also placing and studying the suitability of ropes in different angles.

To make the project even more interesting, we partner with our friends in the Caribbean, The Sloth Conservation Foundation, who are carrying out similar camera studies so we can share our findings. As we know that different areas of the country have different species and different forest compositions.

Would you like to learn more about our work and watch some of the cool videos that our cameras are filming? Follow us on social media!


Del Silencio a la Libertad

DSL’s mission is to combat the pervasive and accepted occurrences of Rape and Incest in Latin America and the damage caused by them. Using therapy/12-step meetings, education campaigns, and social media, we hope to bring this secret out into the open and promote healing to the victims, and awareness and cultural change in the societies that condone these criminal offenses.

Del Silencio a la Libertad, through meetings in different places in Costa Rica, has been utilizing a 12 steps program (by  Survivors of Incest Anonymous) for healing and recovery from sexual abuse. These meetings have had a genuinely positive effect on the lives of the victims who decided to come out of their silence toward freedom.

We have created different programs where information, counseling, support, and healing are available to every individual survivor and are the keys to success. We work with victims and survivors of all ages, all genders, of all forms of sexual violence and sexual abuse; and we also work alongside schools, churches, organizations, etc., where awareness and prevention can be taught to stop sexual abuse from happening.


To be able to assist the victims of sexual abuse from the legal side and thus be able to counteract the chaos that the process entails for the victim. It is well known that the legal system against the abuser has not been optimal in Latin countries. Del Silencio a la Libertad longs to bring justice to the victim.

Del Silencio a la Libertad understands the need for a safe place for victims of sexual abuse. The need to find freedom outside the home, away from their abuser, is critical. In the future, The House of Freedom will be that refuge for many victims seeking freedom.

Weekly recovery and healing meetings:

Thursday at 6:00 pm at Uvita Christian Academy in Uvita
Sundays at 5:00 pm at Rio de Gracia Church in Hatillo, Quepos.

Contact info:

[email protected]
WhatsApp +50687490040
Facebook and Instagram/Del Silencio a la Libertad

What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – September/October 2023


The world’s longest mammal migration with humpback whales from both hemispheres coming to our pristine waters to have their young, teach them the art of survival, breaching and feeding and begin the migration to the colder waters of both hemispheres. The Humpbacks are the main attraction and can be found just off the coast of Manuel Antonio and during these two months the whale watching tours are jaw dropping experiences with these majestic giants. Costa Rica has become so well known for “once in a lifetime experiences” and the experience of seeing these mammals up close, marveling when they breach with the dramatic background of Manuel Antonio is unforgettable. The Marina Pez Vela Guest Center has created opportunities for every budget and every style traveler so do NOT miss out on this opportunity to create memories with friends and family and also to support the local tour operators and economy during what are traditionally the most challenging months of the year.


Come by the Marina as we will have events, typical foods, traditional folk dances and music popping up in and around the month-long celebration of our Independence.

HALLOWEEN, October 31st

What was once an expat holiday, hidden in the bars of the area, has become one of the most enjoyable family evenings and cultural fusion of the entire year. The Marina, with easy and safe trick or treating has become the PLACE to be for Halloween. Seeing both the expat and local families come together with their kids and extended families to celebrate everything that is so special to our community, and this project is one of the highlights of the year. As the dates approach, stay tuned for restaurant specials and details on the schedule and security measures to insure a safe and enjoyable Halloween here at Marina Pez Vela.


Get ready for the iconic Dorado Derby which is coming soon on November 11th & Dorado Derby Dos on November 18th. These are super-fun tournaments, ideal for families, friends, first time anglers, and anyone just looking to experience a day on the water, the fun of fishing at a great price in a great environment. Inquire now at the Marina Pez Vela Guest Center for your reservation and more details, +506 2774-9006.

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – September/October 2023

Bienvenidos… Welcome to the rainforest. Green season has arrived, so enjoy the peace and all the lushness it provides. Our mornings are normally sunny and beautiful and the rain rolls through late afternoons. So, get out early and enjoy your adventures and plan a late afternoon nap or maybe a massage. Our restaurants and tour companies are in full swing to make your time here unforgettable. With less crowds and perfect weather, it is a perfect time to hike one of the incredible National Parks that Costa Rica has to offer. We recommend calling ahead to our fine restaurants beforehand because some will be closed briefly this time of year for a quick vacation for themselves and their staff.

Marina Pez Vela keeps the action going with the best fleet of boats to experience the migration of Humpback whales that vacation here just offshore this time of year (check Brisa Elegante and Sunset Sails). The sport fishing fleet at MPV is off the hook (pun intended) so book your trips and get out there, onshore or offshore you can’t go wrong (Jackpot Sportfishing).

Costa Rica celebrates 202 years of Independence on September 15th so be sure to get out to the sea wall in Quepos and enjoy music, dancing, and celebrate Pura Vida with a country that truly appreciates their freedom. Viva Costa Rica!!!

MPV will be hosting their annual Halloween Festivities in October. They will be handing out candy for the trick or treaters and the restaurants will be providing dining specials for all to enjoy. Always a great time for the entire family, so start thinking of your costume and enjoy fright night in the jungle.

We want to thank Jason May for this month’s turtle cover photo. We also want to welcome Del Silencio a la Libertad and Metropolitanos.

September/ October is a double month issue so we will be back in November to guide you. You can always follow us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia.

Peace and Enjoy… D

That’s Fishin’ – August 2023

The Summer Shootout fishing tournament came to a thrilling conclusion with an impressive display of angling prowess. Teams from far and wide gathered to compete for the top honors, making it an exhilarating event for both participants and spectators alike.

Taking home the coveted first-place trophy was Team Zapatas Sky, whose exceptional fishing skills and teamwork propelled them to victory. Their dedication and strategic approach to the tournament paid off, securing them a well-deserved win.

Coming in a close second was Team Zapata Family, who showcased their family bond and shared passion for fishing throughout the competition. Their remarkable performance demonstrated the strength of unity and collaboration.

In an impressive display of skill, Team Hatta Dream Ladies claimed the third-place position. These talented anglers showcased their talent and determination, making their mark in the tournament and earning them a well-earned spot on the winners’ podium.
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Mitigating Domestic Dog-Wildlife Conflict in Costa Rica: Responsible Dog Ownership Practices

Costa Rica is a country known for its stunning natural beauty, from sparkling oceans to lush rainforests. However, the rapid development of suburban areas is causing human activities to become closely intertwined with domestic dog-wildlife conflict. This conflict is characterized by urban development within, or effacing, natural wildlife habitats, and the presence of dogs in rural, peri-urban, and bordering forests in protected areas, which has been well documented.

The impact of domestic dogs on wildlife

Domestic dogs threaten native fauna through both direct and indirect routes. Indirect threats include disease transmission, competition and hybridization of wildlife. Although these indirect effects are non-negligible, predation continues to be the predominant threat imposed by dogs, and the prevalence of attacks on wildlife continues to rise. This predation is often recreational as it does not involve consumption of prey.

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Jamaican Red Snapper Escovitch

Chef's corner headerA flavorsome combo of crispy fried fish topped with a sweet and spicy pickle.

For the Escovitch pickle

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small chayote, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 scotch bonnet or Panamanian peppers, to taste, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 10 sprigs of thyme, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil


  1. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add peppers, chayote, carrots and onion.
  2. Fry for a few minutes and add garlic, scotch bonnet peppers. allspice, and thyme.
  3. Mix well and add the vinegar and sugar.
  4. Once dissolved remove from heat and allow to cool down and let flavors mellow.
  5. This can be done in advance and can be kept refrigerated for one week.

For the fish

  • 1 whole fresh caught red snapper or 2 lbs of boneless filet.
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of corn flour or masa rica
  • Oil for frying


  1. Clean the fish and season with salt, pepper and a little lime juice.
  2. Sprinkle with a small amount of corn flour or masa and fry in oil until crispy.
  3. Once done, remove and dry on paper towels.
  4. Finally, top the fish with the Escovitch pickle and serve with beachy reggae music.

The Amazing Octopus

Photos: Gina Lusandi

It’s time to give you all an insight into another of our local residents. One that, at this time of year, is very frequently spotted, either squished into a hole or traveling across a reef, looking for its next target. One of the most fascinating creatures you may find is the Octopus. We have an abundance of them here in Manuel Antonio and they are spotted, this time of year, on many of the dives, but they are masters of camouflage and unless you know what you are looking for, you may miss them. With their ability to change color, it may look like a white blob on the reef, or if you’ve annoyed it and got too close, it may be flashing red. Not a good sign and not something we want to see as divers, as we like to interact with everything passively. So, to hopefully inspire you a little more, here are some interesting facts about the octopus.

Octopuses or octopi?

It is an ongoing debate about its official plural name as there are three choices in the world that you may have heard. Octopuses, Octopi, and Octopodes. What team are you on? Well, the correct plural is Octopuses. Octopuses may sound peculiar to some, but this is the preferred plural as stated in the English dictionary. If you want to know why exactly Octopi is not used, then hold onto your hats, here is the official explanation:

While “octopi” has become more popular and used, it’s wrong. This is because the letter “i” as a suffix to indicate a plural noun only applies to words with Latin roots. An example of this is Cactus, or “cacti” for more than one cactus. However, the word octopus has a Greek origin. This means actually, that the proper pluralization in this case would be “Octopodes”.

However, have you heard anyone using that? So, this particular word happens to employ a classic English way of pluralizing, and affixing a simple “es” at the end of octopus. Okay, wipe the sweat off your brow on that one. And Go Team Octopuses.

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – August 2023

Whale Season is an eagerly anticipated time of the year that brings excitement and wonder to Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. The arrival of the humpback whales marks a special time for locals and visitors alike. These magnificent creatures, known for their acrobatic displays and haunting songs, travel thousands of miles from their feeding grounds in the Southern Hemisphere to the warmer waters of Costa Rica to breed and give birth. Marina Pez Vela offers an ideal vantage point to witness these majestic marine mammals up close as they frolic, breach, and tail-slap in the ocean.

Whale watching tours are readily available at Marina Pez Vela, allowing visitors to embark on unforgettable journeys to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat, Brisa Elegante or Sunset Sails.

The Marina Pez Vela itself serves as a hub of activity during Whale Season. Its state-of-the-art facilities and vibrant atmosphere create the perfect setting for visitors to relax and soak up the coastal ambiance. The marina boasts a variety of amenities, including restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and a lively promenade, ensuring that there is always something to enjoy after a day of whale watching.

The 1st Annual Gringo Independence Day Raft Race and Festival

Surf CR logoPhotos: Sarah Wohlford, Toni Carter, & Helen Evans

On Sunday July 2nd, the 1st Annual Gringo Independence Day Raft Race and Festival took place in Playa Dominical. The entire community showed up to cheer on the rafters and celebrate both the United States and Canada’s independence. The purpose was to raise money for the Costa Ballena Lifeguard Association and the non-profit Arbol Generoso, who donate funds to community projects like the beachfront playground.

It started at 10 a.m. with nine raft teams floating down the Rio Baru. It was not just a race to see who could reach the finish line first, each time was judged on the creativity of their rafts as well. There was a VW bus, a group of ‘Aquamen’, Team Canada, The Flintstones cast, a pirate raft, a Viking raft, and many other inventive forms of watercraft. They all shared one requirement, four 90 gallon water barrels used for floatation.

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Spanish Sucks – August 2023


Changing Attitudes Towards Wild Animals When Attitudes Don’t Want to Change

By Ryan Meczkowski, Tour and Education Coordinator

Standing in front of the classroom, with 25 young faces watching and hanging on my every word, I knew this was the opportunity for a breakthrough. As the Education Coordinator at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, addressing a group of local students about protecting sea turtles, I was about to highlight why poaching turtle nests was wrong. I presented the class with a question: Why do some people in Costa Rica eat turtle eggs? The response came from the teacher observing from her desk. “Because they’re delicious! With lemon juice and Tabasco, they go down smoothly.” Momentum gone. I could almost hear the record scratch. Here was a person in charge of forming the minds of young people, not only advocating the consumption of turtle eggs, but gleefully doing so. This experience illustrates one of the biggest challenges in teaching sustainability. With a growing human population, the pressures on wildlife and ecosystems are increasing and we need to change our lifestyles in order to preserve our natural places for future generations. However, cultural norms are often resistant to the changes that need to be made.

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Memoirs of a Masseur – August 2023

“The best is yet to come” is something I remind myself of every day. Our life stories never stop happening. Sometimes our actions may seem repetitive or boring yet our lives are in constant change, evolving us into who we are becoming next. Like day to night, like seasons or swell in the ocean, like our very cells time marches on and we are helpless against it. Optimism is in fact something we can adopt into our nature. A few amigos of mine who have had much misfortune and pain are some of the most pleasurable to be around, they take and hug the passing of the hours like it is a friend, not a foe. I seek out good company because somehow something transfers from them to me. The exact same feeling I project when I massage clients. Smiles are infectious, happiness can be addicting, and it is my job as a body worker to not bring my problems to the massage table (literally). That is why optimism is my middle name.

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By Jack Ewing

Mature Tiger Heron

For those of you who are too young to have known the cartoon character “Baby Huey”, he was an overgrown duckling created by Martin Taras for Paramount Pictures Famous Studios and was in vogue when I was growing up during the 1950s. Currently, Diane and I have the good fortune to live where we see Bare-throated Tiger Herons every day and nests every year. As you may have guessed from the title, one of the chicks turned out to be exceptionally large thus earning itself the nickname “Baby Huey”.

The species doesn’t mate at any particular time of year, but we know it’s time be on the lookout for tiger herons carrying thin sticks for nest building and pay close attention to which tree they take them to when we start hearing the loud, booming courtship roar of the male in the early morning and late evening. After seeing my first bare-throated tiger heron I surmised that the name “Tiger Heron” came about because of the stripes, but once I heard the roar, the source of the name became obvious.

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