Guest Writer

Happy 20th Anniversary Quepolandia!!

Cover January 1999Ana Lyons
[email protected]

When I chose Costa Rica to be my adopted home back in the early 90’s, there was very little information available. What I learned about the country came from a subscription to the Tico Times… (printed version—no internet available back then). I was sure I wanted to be here, and my first drive from San Jose to the Central Pacific coast cemented that feeling. Stopping in the quaint little fishing village of Quepos and seeing the lush, immense beauty of Manuel Antonio Park, I couldn’t wait to make the area my home. I bought a small cabin/bar/restaurant business a few kilometers south on the beach in Matapalo and thus began my wonderful pura vida adventure!

Multiple challenges running that business (another story for another time, or maybe a book) was the inspiration to search for another way to survive. I was already using my computer, printer, a “store-bought” software program and limited skills to create a small flyer providing information about Matapalo (named Viva Matapalo by the late and great Michel Trottier, owner of La Terraza del Sol—RIP Michel). Having made friends with owner Vera Jones at Dos Locos, I was also creating a one-page flyer for her restaurant clientele called Que Pasa en Quepos. The internet was just beginning to be available, so with my one old computer, and Vera’s extra phone line, we created the first “internet café” upstairs in Dos Locos, called Cyber Loco.

At the same time, the idea came to create a way for people to buy, rent and sell, thus Coastal Classifieds came to be. Another friend, Bill, who was managing Bahia Azul back then suggested creating a more comprehensive publication, and since he and Vera both agreed to place ads that would provide sufficient funds for printing, the search for other advertisers began. A few other businesses joined in to help create this new publication in English which would include tide charts, bus schedules, classified ads, and much more information for tourists and locals. The main objectives were to provide information that was not readily available and offer an avenue for even the smallest local business to advertise…and hopefully have fun while being able to survive.

I wasn’t sure what to call the publication, but the name came about in a strange way. I was a constant bus traveler back then, and the bus to Quepos from San Jose had a fare collector in addition to the driver. He was quite a funny and friendly guy, and as the bus was arriving in Quepos, he would shout out, “Bienvenidos a Quepolandia!” And so in July 1998, Quepolandia was born—an 8 page publication, created on my ancient computer using $20 software, printed (black & white only) on my equally old printer, carried to Asoproquepos to make copies, taken back to my desk for stapling and folding…and finally distributing.

Luis Lacayo, an attorney from San Jose who had opened an office in Quepos and become a good friend, helped set up the legal entity and official accounting. Eventually the Cyber Loco/Quepolandia office moved, first to a small downstairs room rented from good friend, Luis Bolaños, where now is located the Garza shopping center and later to an office next to Cabinas Alicia rented from Don Alfredo Delgado and his lovely wife, Doña Alicia. It was an awesome journey and fun-filled adventure publishing Quepolandia, and growing it for almost 11 years.

After the 10th anniversary, I felt it was time to pass on the torch in order for the business to grow and to have new energy, but it took a while to find the right person. I’m so thankful that Pat Cheek came along when she did…the perfect fit. And having Paul Rees along with her to assist with the graphics and designing a beautiful website was absolutely awesome. Their work and improvements for 7+ years have been amazing.

When I heard Pat was considering passing the torch again around the 18th anniversary, I was a little concerned that “my baby” might not survive. After all, these are tough times, especially for printed publications. Having observed Dave Bolger, still with Paul on board, take the helm, and move forward these past 2 years, doing such a beautiful job has filled my heart with joy!

Thank you Pat, Paul and Dave for all the improvements, fresh ideas, and positive energy you brought to the printed and digital versions of Quepolandia! And as a final, but very important note: Along with all the hard work that has gone into Quepolandia, the years of success happened thanks to all our wonderful supporters, advertisers and friends sharing the pura vida with us!


One thought on “Happy 20th Anniversary Quepolandia!!

  • This was my all time favorite reading when I lived in Quepos and still is today 11 years later. Ann and Pat did such a great thing for the community and I am glad it continues today. I will always be a fan.

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