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El Residente Costa Rica’s English language newsle�er

May/June 2014

May/June 2014

Published by ARCR Administracion S.A. Apdo. 1191-1007 Centro Colon San José, Costa Rica (www.arcr.net) 1


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Contents: President’s Message ................ 4 My Costa Rican Experience ..... 6 - W. Peter Vanderhaak

Ask ACS .................................. 11 - American Ci�zens Services

Costa Rica on the Globe ......... 12 A Day in the Life ..................... 14 - Allen Dickinson

Paradise, We Have a Problem ... 18 - Tony Johnson

Club Corner ........................... 21 Connec�on ............................. 23 - WCCR

Wild Side of Costa Rica ........... 24

Editorial Note Once again rainy season has finally arrived, but as they say, into each life a li�le rain must fall. And so it was for the author of this months contest winner. Not all of our most memorable accounts are necessarily happy ones. But if you are having problems coping, we happily bring you a new slant on coping with Paradise from Tony Johnson. This �me Tony helps us take a look at our posi�ve feelings in order to focus on them more clearly. But of course that happiness can o�en be elusive because things are o�en different here. But if we analyze those differences, some�mes it helps us to deal with them more easily, and accept them in a more posi�ve light. Different does not mean bad, and Allen Dickinson takes another look at some of those things that are not the same. Of course we also bring you a number of other topics to help put a smile on your face. Whether you like wildlife, art, or news, we have a li�le for every taste.

- Ryan Piercy

Ryan Piercy

Business Directory ................. 26

Contact Informa�on: This magazine has been published every two months since 1995 as the official communica�ons media of the ARCR. Our organiza�on provides service to thousands of foreigners who have chosen Costa Rica to reside for short periods or for permanent residence. Since 1984 the ARCR has been offering reliable SERVICES, INFORMATION and ADVOCACY to Costa Rica’s foreign residents. We have the experience and ability to help you with your residency applica�on, immigra�on, business and financial management, real estate purchases and rentals, property management, insurance, pet importa�on and much more. If you wish to place an ad in El Residente, please contact the ARCR main office. Goods & services offered are paid adver�sements. Neither ARCR Administracion nor El Residente research the companies and take no responsibility for the quality of such goods and services.

May/June 2014

Published by: Email:

ARCR Administra�on info@arcr.net www.arcr.net Ed�tor in Chief: Ryan Piercy Adver�sing, Publicity: Cindy Solano Office Hours:

Monday- Friday, 9 am to 5 pm CRC �me GMT-6

Address:

#101 Casa Canada, Av 4 Calle 40 San José, Costa Rica Tel: 506-2233-8068 Fax: 506-2255-0061

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1191-1007 Centro Colon San José, Costa Rica

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President’s Message

by Terry Wise

Keeping You Informed! Time for another President’s Le�er. As you have learned by now, I try to use my le�ers to inform and update ARCR members. I hope you find the informa�on useful. First, an update. In the last issue I wrote about the confusion concerning the exit tax (departure tax) everyone must pay to cross into Panama or Nicaragua by land. I have since received an advisory from the U. S. Embassy that even more confusion is being caused by the way the tax is presented to those who a�empt to pay it, either at the border or in advance at Banco Credito Agricola. Here’s more informa�on which I hope helps reduce the confusion: There are two separate taxes to be paid: one is the exit tax ($5.00) and the other is for luggage inspec�on, a fee of $2.00. Both MUST be paid, even though you may not have any luggage. Some travelers who an�cipate crossing the border without luggage have gone to the bank in advance and only paid the $5.00 exit tax. When they arrive at the border, however, they learn they need to pay both. This creates a difficulty because the equipment at the border has not yet been installed or is not opera�ng correctly. The ARCR and the U. S. Embassy both recommend that you pay BOTH taxes at the bank before you leave, even if you are not taking any luggage. An associated issue is the exit tax assessed those who leave the county by air. It is always a hassle paying at the airport, but you can avoid that by paying it in advance. Several of the travel agencies and banks, like BCR, will accept payment and issue you a receipt. As an aside, you can also get your boarding pass by visi�ng your airline carrier’s office 24 hours in advance of departure. Speaking of departures, this is an excellent �me to remind all of you to register with your respec�ve embassy. For U. S. Ci�zens, go online at www.travel.state.gov and look for the SMART Traveler bu�on. Other embassies have different ways of doing the same thing, so check with them on how to register. The embassies are there to help their ci�zens, so it makes good sense to register. You never know when or where an emergency may occur and they cannot help you if they can’t find you. Most of you know that things have been a changing at the Caja (Costarricense del Seguro Social). During the first months of the year it was almost weekly. As a result of these changes, unfortunately, ARCR can no longer assist its new members in joining. What the office can do is submit your monthly payments for you (via credit card payment or other arrangements) AFTER you have joined and received your Carnet.

Many members want to obtain residency status and joining the Caja is one of the requirements. To join the Caja you first need to make an appointment with them. You can do this in person or go online at ccss.sa.cr. The website allows you to make the appointment plus gives you the list of items you will need to take to the appointment. Note, the website is in Spanish. If you need help, check at the office to see if they can refer you to someone who can help you translate. Once you have joined, the Caja requires payments be made EVERY month, even if you are not in the country, for the insurance to remain in force. This may create a difficulty for those who plan to live in Costa Rica part �me. To overcome that difficulty, you can arrange to have the monthly payments made for you by the ARCR office. There is a $10.00 monthly fee for this service. The office will keep your receipts for you to pick up when you return. Some of the many other benefits ARCR members have are the discounts available at several restaurants, hotels, shops, etc. Another of the benefits that are some�mes overlooked are the discounts available at medical clinics. There are fliers from medical groups in the office, some offering services at appealing prices. If you are like me and use a private doctor for rou�ne issues, here’s a good example of how you can take advantage of those discounts: During a visit the doctor orders a test for you. You decide that, rather than pay for it out of pocket, you will u�lize your Caja membership to get the test done. However, when you make the appointment with the Caja for the test, you learn that the next available date may be several weeks, or even months, away. What I and many others do is use a private hospital or clinic or lab for the test, then take the results to the Caja doctor. Don’t worry the Caja doctors are very recep�ve and accustomed to their pa�ents doing this, they may even suggest it. Now, a note about the book library in the office. We thank all of you for using it. Normally the policy has been that exchanges are two for one. However, so many have been using the library that it’s overflowing! So, from now �ll the end of October, the exchange will be one for one! Or, if you just want to buy a book you can purchase as many as you want for 500 coloes each. Please don’t forget the First Friday of the month lunch. We meet at K C Hotels and Resorts located in Sabana sur. Call the office for direc�ons. Mee�ngs like the FFL are a great source of informa�on; there is a lot experience in a�endance. In April the head of Ci�zens Services from the U. S. Embassy a�ended. She came prepared with handouts and was pleased to answer all our ques�ons. Check us out on our Facebook page. You can use it to get answers to your ques�ons or send me your sugges�ons on how I can make this le�er more useful or interes�ng. Terry Wise

Contest Update: My Costa Rican Experience Regardless where you may be, generally nobody wants to have a run in with the local authori�es, no ma�er what the reason, as it’s usually not a nice thing. This month’s contest winner, Mr. Vanderhaak, relates his not so-so-great experience involving the police back when he arrived in Costa Rica to live.

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El Residente


May/June 2014

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My Costa Rican Experience Police Interroga�on Several lessons were learned on this Friday June 16th (I thought for sure it was the 13th). The first, yet not the most important was that you don’t rely very much on plans in Costa Rica, as things change direc�on quickly but nothing else happens quickly. To plan necessitates that you have control of over �me and circumstances and that is never the case here if anyone else besides your self is involved. Kind of the philosophy that you should not worry about the things you cannot control, go with the flow and do the best with what you have been given. Our day began early with big plans. We were headed back to SJ (the second trip this week) because in our phone conversa�ons on Thursday with the Associa�on of Residents in Costa Rica (ARCR) it became evident that if we were to seek residency status it would be prudent to meet the July 1st deadline, because of the rules change in August which make it more stringent to -qualify. To do this we needed a face-to-face with a legal advisor. In addi�on we had a flat spare �re to replace, purchases to return, car dealers to visit, and a commitment to get home early to avoid the Friday rush to the beach and darkness.

We loaded the back seat with Lisa’s laptop (always the op�mist that we can steal a wireless connec�on somewhere), my glasses (which these days I cannot read anything except street signs without), the dishes we were to return and, as always, my electric shaver. You

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by W. Peter Vanderhaak see, in the humidity I can’t shave in the house so I save my personal hygiene items for the car (only shaving). Note: important detail contained in this paragraph. We were out the door by 6:30 AM and up the hill to our favorite mountain look-out restaurant for breakfast. $6 including �p and were full and ready to tackle what lay ahead…or so we thought. In SJ we made our first stop at AVIS to turn in the �re and get a fresh spare. We had the rest of the �res pressure checked and the car washed (carefully removing all personal items from the car) while we filled out claim papers and spoke with the American Express agent about coverage and claims processing. The mechanics came back and indicated two rims had to be repaired and the �re we drove on was not repairable. No payments to be made today, maybe manana! As we waited I sent Lisa in to see if AVIS had a used car sale program and she came back indica�ng a nega�ve response. We no�ced that AVIS was using Nissan and Mitsubishi models that we had looked at during our shopping trip, so no harm to ask. Moments later the agent came out and said while they have no sales program they do rou�nely return the cars to the dealer who in turn refurbishes and sells the cars. It has been known to happen that AVIS employees and others of interest have known when cars were being returned, inves�gated their repair history and directly contacted Nissan as soon as the cars have been transferred – ge�ng a jump on any other interested buyer. The agent was able to iden�fy a handful of cars that were scheduled to be returned within a week or so. We looked at them and spoke with the mechanic for recommenda�ons. I think we found the exact car we wanted, color style etc. with only 33,000 kilometers (roughly 25,000 miles). As we drove away Lisa and I commented on how this seemed to be another one of those �mes where we seemed to be led in a direc�on by a higher authority. On to Nissan where we had an appointment to buy a new car - change of plans and instead we advised the sales execu�ve of our desire to buy a car they did not even know they were ge�ng. Confusing in any language, but I think we got our desires across. Out of Nissan (a�er watching Netherlands win their World cup match) and on to the third of four legs we intended to El Residente


complete this day. The ARCR offices were rela�vely easy to find and close to the Nissan Dealer but, not knowing the area, parking was difficult to figure out. It seems like most curbs are painted yellow but everyone parks there. We found a half of block away space pulled in, locked up and went into the offices. Just being me (skep�cal, suspicious and yet gullible) I had many reserva�on of sending my $100 membership fee to this CR company for the promise of expatriate knowledge of the workings and dealings of the CR culture, so when we entered a two-story home style business in a nicer part of San Jose I was impressed. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and made us feel very welcome. We met with Anna regarding general membership benefits, Franklin regarding home, health and car insurance (all CR monopolies) and had an appointment to return a�er lunch to meet with George who would go over residency and banking issues. Out for a bite to eat, return the dishes and back again by 1:30. Or maybe not! We get to the car and Lisa exclaims ‘oh no’! I knew the car was there as I was ge�ng ready to put the key in the door so of course the first thing that came to mind was that we had a flat �re. I only wish that were the case, when I got around to the passenger side of the car I could clearly see the small window in the back smashed and glass all around. Lisa had already registered the bigger loss – the items we had in the car were gone including her laptop, my glasses, my shaver and the dishes we were on the way to return.

Biggest lesson learned – do not leave valuables in the car within view either in LA, San Jose, or Temecula! Also, listen to your spouse when he/she suggests pu�ng items in the trunk. Boy, did our plans change from there! Looking for pity and whatever assistance we could get we headed back to the ARCR office. On the way I saw a gentleman that had what appeared to be in an official uniform on so I asked if he were “policia” to which he responded “si”. It turned out that he was a hired security guard by ARCR to watch members’ cars while they were in the office (a service we were unaware was offered or needed). Since we had parked so far away (half block) and not made him aware of our presence he ‘saw, heard and said nothing’. The office staff was far more helpful. First the recep�onist said she was calling the INS and I thought we were going to be deported for crea�ng crime in CR, but it turns out that is the name of the country sponsored insurance company, and they do inves�ga�ons of poten�al claims. Whether ARCR was protec�ng itself since it happened outside their offices or were just following procedure I am not sure, but almost 2 hours later we had given our report to an official looking inves�gator who advised that we would s�ll need to file a police report. While wai�ng for the INS the staff had called AVIS to report the damage and arranged for us to get a replacement car (a�er filing the second loss report of the day with AVIS). More helpful was the fact that included in the services offered (for fees of course) are legal services on the premises. They house several lawyers in the building. One of these fine gentlemen (note my reverence to the legal profession :) ) noted that we would have to go to the police inves�ga�on unit down town and give a statement as to the crime and our loss for both AVIS and any insurance we might have through travel and credit cards. He proceeded to explain in Ingles how to get there (unfortunately not where to park) and wrote out in Spanish our complaint for it was not likely that any of the staff we approached would habla Ingles. All free of charge. With our map, Spanish cheat sheet and broken car we headed through the heart of SJ (a place we had not been before). A descrip�on of SJ is deserving, but misplaced at this point, other than to say we saw

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He printed off the report in triplicate (two for us – Avis and our records) on an old pin fed printer that he had to go to another desk to access. He got it signed by the lead detec�ve then stamped each page officially by hand before sending us on our way. I was wai�ng for either a lecture or explana�on that it was unlikely that we would ever see the laptop again but we got neither. Adios and don’t let the door hit you in the posterior – gringo!

no parking, lots of one way streets (none of which went in a straight line) and lots of people shopping in regular stores and small market areas. We found our target mostly because it was described as a 10-story building with lady jus�ce on the side (not many 10 story buildings and fewer with lady jus�ce on the side). We parked in the first open space we could find and headed in doors. There were metal detectors and security at each door we approached but as we were directed from one building to another and one entrance to another we found that our innocence showed as we were never asked to go through a detector or search. We asked each other if we just looked too stupid to do something wrong or what? Note: we did dress up for the trip to the big city – jeans and a full golf shirt. As we sat wai�ng to be called by number I commented to Lisa that I was glad I did not just wear my boxers and tank top as has been known to happen when traveling to Jaco or nearby stores. It would be a li�le in�mida�ng facing the policia in your underwear!!! All in all it was a sa�sfying exchange. The lead detec�ve spoke very li�le Ingles but was only there to assign an underling to take the report and sign off on it when it was complete. The underling was about my age, same height and twice the weight (mostly in the belly). He wore a white shirt (not quite big enough to conceal his belly peeking out) rolled up at the sleeves and a neck�e loose at the collar. While he typed the report on the computer you could imagine that he would have been perfect in an old-fashioned detec�ve novel or black and white television series. Just the facts and nothing but the facts… as he looked up every once in a while and asked for clarifica�on of the Spanish version in Ingles (as though he was trying to catch me in a lie).

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It was now nearly 4:30 with s�ll a stop at AVIS to change cars before we got on the road (not as early as we had planned) for the trip home. Having accomplished yet another report of the loss we exchanged cars, stopped at Denny’s for dinner, and headed home stunned but not beaten by the events of the day.

I did say a prayer asking for help on the way home, as it was now dark, wet in spots, and I had to get by that monster of a pothole that ate up my �res two days earlier with at least a 2 hour ride ahead. Turns out my prayers were answered. We followed an ambulance the en�re way home. He was not on a run but probably returning to a clinic in the Jaco area. It provided the lead going up and down the hill and providing advance no�ce of road hazards while traveling at a constant speed and passing slower vehicles only when there was adequate space for both of us. We were home again with plenty of pillow talk adventures to share while falling asleep with my love. Adios amigos! Oh yeah, we also got a parking �cket outside the police sta�on!!!!!!

El Residente


May/June 2014

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Ask ACS by American Ci�zen Services Dear Abby, Dear US Embassy The American Ci�zen Services Sec�on of the U.S. Embassy, in collabora�on with El Residente magazine, is launching in 2014 a new column “Ask ACS” which provides an opportunity for U.S. ci�zens interested in living or visi�ng Costa Rica to ask ques�ons about services available at the U.S. Embassy to assist American ci�zens when they are abroad. Dear ACS, My passport is about to expire, but I am a resident in Costa Rica, and I have no plans for interna�onal travel. Do I need to renew my passport before it expires? --Se�led in Sarchi. Se�led in Sarchi: The Embassy recommends that all U.S. ci�zens maintain a valid passport while overseas. You can make an appointment for passport renewal at this web address: h�p://costarica.usembassy.gov/passports.html The ques�on of when to renew an expiring passport is one of convenience. It is more convenient to renew a passport while your current passport is s�ll valid because there are fewer steps involved and thus it is generally quicker. However, we are happy to serve you even if your passport has expired The process generally will take only a li�le longer if the passport has recently expired, as that passport serves as sufficient proof of iden�ty. However, if the passport expired more than five years ago or if the applicant’s appearance has changed significantly, a second form of iden�fica�on may be required, such as a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued iden�fica�on card. In addi�on, a person renewing a long-expired passport o�en must provide documenta�on as if they were applying for the very first �me. In case of a crisis or natural disaster, the Embassy works hard to locate American ci�zens and to provide informa�on on condi�ons in the country, such as how and where to seek help, and other useful advice. In very serious situa�ons, we may recommend that U.S. ci�zens leave the affected country. Ci�zens can be be�er served in such instances when they have a valid passport. We recommend that American ci�zens register in the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program - h�ps:// step.state.gov/step/). By signing up for this free service, you will stay connected to all the news and alerts the Embassy has for ci�zens here in Costa Rica. Enrolling in STEP will make it easier for consular officers at the Embassy to contact you and your loved ones should there be an emergency. May/June 2014

Finally, we are prepared to issue emergency passports when Americans are in need, and we are happy to assist those even without an appointment. The ACS unit can o�en issue emergency passports within a few hours given a genuine emergency. However, emergency passports are only generally valid for three months, so if your passport is lost, stolen, or destroyed, we recommend that you make an appointment to apply for a full-validity passport. We are happy that you have se�led comfortably in Costa Rica, and we look forward to serving you. PRESS: NEW BOOK RELEASES BY LOCAL AUTHORS Meet them at the Interna�onal Book Fair in August. A small, bou�que publisher has tapped into the Costa Rican writers’ community and has begun publishing the works of local authors. Kamel Press has just released Even in Eden by Albert A. Correia, the first of a trilogy about the clash between two powerful Costa Rican families. Set in this lush, tropical country, it tells a story of ambi�on, poli�cs, and romance that follows its characters as one sets out to improve the country’s healthcare and the other follows blind ambi�on for power and control. Previously released as a self published book, it has now been revised and professionally edited. Kamel Press has previously released Avalon, the Retreat, by L. Michael Rusin, a resident of Rosario de Naranjo near Atenas, and will soon be publishing the sequel, Avalon: Beyond the Retreat. Both are stories of the survival of a small, dedicated group who were prepared for the cataclysmic events which ended civiliza�on as we know it. Later in the year Mr. Rusin’s autobiographical tale of growing up an orphan in Southern California in the 1950s, California’s Child, will be released. The publisher has also accepted a book by Fred Holmes of Puriscal. Return to Sender is set in modern �mes and the U.S. Civil War, and chronicles what would happen if man were able to go back in �me and change the outcome of the Great American Conflict. Smoothly wri�en and skillfully interwoven with actual historical events, it is a fascina�ng story of what the world might be like if two minor points of history were changed. Return to Sender will be available in fall, 2014. All of these books and more are, or will soon be, available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites. To get more informa�on on Kamel Press, visit their Facebook page or website at: www.kamelpress.com. You can meet and speak with the authors at the upcoming Interna�onal Book Fair being sponsored by the Costa Rica Ministry of Culture. The event is scheduled to take place August 22-31, 2014, in San Jose. Works by writers, ar�sts, photographers, poets, and others involved in the arts from the United States living here, will be featured. For more informa�on on how to a�end or par�cipate, contact Ligia Alpizar at the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Sec�on. (506) 25192022.

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Costa Rica On The Globe by Ryan Piercy A Legacy Of Culture One does not need to speak the same language in order to express opinion, history, and lifestyle; o�en art transcends cultural and physical boundaries, both as a means of communica�on and an expression of culture. Perhaps Costa Rica’s most well known ar�st, Francisco Amighe�’s works have spoken to the world more than any other in the country’s history. “I began drawing with chalk, making circles in the air and learning to draw naturally… my companions, the teachers, people in the street, at the parks, in wai�ng rooms, and with volunteer models.” – F. Amighe� Born in San Jose in 1907 to parents of Italian origin, Francisco “Paco” Amighe� was a self-taught ar�st who expressed himself in many fields as a surrealist. Over his 60 year career he created drawings, oil pain�ngs, watercolors, and engravings, becoming possibly the most famous ar�st from the country. He graduated in 1924 from the Liceo de Costa Rica and by that �me had already made his decision to become an ar�st. In 1926 he entered the Academia de Bellas Artes, but only remained there for one year. From that point on he remained wholly self-directed in his art. At the Na�onal

Library he studied from the book L’Art Japonaise by Louis Gonse, where he picked up his interest in caricatures and cubism. Amighe�’s works were already being published locally by 1927, and interna�onally by 1929. Through his friendship with Joaquin Garcia Monge, publisher of the “Repertorio Americano”, which was available throughout La�n America, his fame spread. He met Garcia through ar�st Emilia Prieto, whom he married that same year. From the 1930’s he, along with other local ar�sts, had begun to reject the teachings of the classical Europeans and turned to surrealis�c techniques as well as alterna�ve types of art. Joaquin Garcia published some of Amighe�’s first xylographs, an area in which he had taken a par�cular interest while studying the works of the German Impressionists as well as Mexican ar�sts. These would become among his most renowned works alongside his oil and watercolor pain�ngs, and he is certainly the country’s most famous xylographic ar�st. Over the years Francisco worked on magazines, newspapers, and a number of books, publishing his xylographs and drawings, par�cipa�ng in art exhibits, and gaining wider recogni�on interna�onally. He lived for a short �me in Argen�na and Bolivia but, despite the limita�on of opportuni�es in his na�ve country, he remained living in Costa Rica over his life�me. His works primarily reflect the lifestyle and culture of the country. Amighe� also taught art throughout his life, first at the Normal School in Heredia, then in 1940 at the Liceo de

La Agricultura (mural)

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Costa Rica. In 1944 he became a Professor of History and Art at the University of Costa Rica, where he remained for over twenty years. He produced a number of large murals which were created for various sectors of the government, with his works at the CCSS, and the Casa Presiden�al being among the most widely recognized.

Arreo (xylograph)

A�er leaving the UCR, he entered a period of making chromo xylographs. As the years passed Amighe� had also begun to show his works on an increasing basis, not only locally but also overseas, including the Unites States, Mexico, Europe, Israel, and Japan. Franciso Amighe� remained ac�ve and con�nued to create art right up un�l his passing in 1998, with over 500 pieces credited to his name. He said, “In all my pain�ngs, whether prints, oils, watercolors or drawings, I leave a li�le piece of my life.” In addi�on to his art he is also known for his ability as a poet, with several books he wrote and illustrated published as well. Amighe� is most definitely an icon of the Costa Rican art world and is s�ll, even in death, one of the country’s greatest ambassadors.

May/June 2014

La niña y el viento (chromoxylograph)

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A Day In The Life

by Allen Dickinson

Things That Are Different, Part 3 Some months ago I compiled a list of a few of the differences expats may encounter upon visi�ng or living in Costa Rica. Of course the list barely scratched the surface, so a few months later I created Part II. Before I finished that second list, however, it had grown far too large for a single column and so Part III was put under construc�on. I present it here. My apprecia�on goes out to those who contributed items for inclusion.

a banana leaf. (And tacos are more like small, oriental egg rolls than a U-shaped tor�lla shell – except at Taco Bell.) Most Costa Rica brand hot dogs have a clear, nearly invisible, wrapper (tube) that is inedible and must be removed before cooking or ea�ng.

A universal area we all encounter is food. So I’ll begin with some food related items. Sliced bread, both white and brown (as well as hamburger and hot dog buns) are significantly ‘dryer’, even when very fresh. Therefore, bread slices do not have the ‘structural integrity’ needed for making a good sandwich; the bread o�en crumbles when trying to spread anything thick, like peanut bu�er, on it. Generally, the beef in Costa Rica is tougher than what’s available back home (wherever that may be.) It is, therefore, sliced thinner at the supermarket, or served as thinner cuts at restaurants. (There are excep�ons to this, but expect to pay premium prices.)

Fruit from trees or bushes growing near roadways are considered “public property” and passers by will o�en help themselves to the bounty. Most bars and bar restaurants do not have an ice maker and / or freezer, but will have a cooler with ice they get delivered from somewhere. The quality of the ice is frequently poor and contains a lot of air, so it melts quickly. One last food related item: When ea�ng in a fast food restaurant, many Ticos do not clear their places when done, but leave used cups, wrappers, serving trays, etc. on the table for an employee to clean up. In many stores, men’s pants are o�en found in only one length, o�en 32. (Seems like a long length to have as standard in C.R.)

Tamales are not long and round and filled with spiced ground meat. Most o�en seen around Christmas �me, Costa Rican tamales are about three- to four-inches square and made up of lots of dough with a small piece of pork or other meat, and maybe a green bean or two, inside. They are cooked and served wrapped in

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If you buy a set of dinner plates, cups, etc., be sure to buy an extra set, or all that you will EVER want, because in all but a very few stores you won’t see that pa�ern again a�er the current inventory is sold. Supermarkets rou�nely completely change the loca�on of many items. Don’t plan on being able to find something in the same place in a store one or two months later. Some�mes the move is done weekly. El Residente


Payment for a job means the job IS done. It is not usual to pay before a job is finished. Ticos don’t expect or understand down payments either. Costa Rica is a dumping ground for seconds of all types of goods. An example is plumbing fixtures, which may require rou�ne, periodic replacement. It is seldom a good idea to interfere or a�empt to help a Costa Rican when they are doing something their way. It’s of no consequence how unusual, counterintui�ve, or strange their way of doing it may seem, advice, no ma�er how well meant or logical it may be, it will usually be ignored. Auto repair (and other areas too) are specialized and compartmentalized. For example, when taking a vehicle to a radiator shop for a coolant leak and it is determined the leak is in the water pump, they can’t help; they don’t do water pumps. And, if you ask where a water pump might be changed, they o�en can’t refer you to

May/June 2014

someone who can do the job. Don’t try to stop someone at a farmer’s market from securely tying the bags closed. Everyone has a nickname. O�en Gringos are not told what their’s is, but there likely is one. (According to my wife, mine is “Estupido viejo Gringo” – always said with love.) Don’t play “I’ve got your nose” with li�le children. To Ticos, pu�ng the thumb between the first and second fingers results in an obscene gesture, one which is equivalent to the one finger salute Gringos o�en use. Purchasing anything in a store can be a complicated process. First, it will usually involve the help of an ubiquitous sale clerk who tries to help you find what you want, even if you don’t need help. Next, once an item is selected, the clerk will take you and it to a counter where they, or most likely another employee, will enter

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the item informa�on into a computer. You may be asked for your name, which is a�ached to the computer entry. The first clerk then leaves you and takes the item to another counter, probably one near the entrance, a�er direc�ng you to yet another counter or window where a third person will ask your name, look in their computer, find your name and the item’s informa�on, tell you the amount to be paid, and take your money. A�er stamping three copies of an invoice with one or more rubber stamps, they will hand you two of them. You then take the copies to the counter near the entrance where another employee will scru�nize them, take your item from those being purchased on the counter, check it against the invoice, apply a different stamp to both copies, keeping one and handing you the other, along with the purchased item. A�er all that you can leave the store with the item. (There are several varia�ons to this procedure but the one described above is common. And, if you are thinking this procedure is for control of high value items, that is NOT the goal. This procedure is used for items whose price is less than USD $0.50. It’s a process that Ticos, who love process over efficiency or results, favor.) An alterna�ve to the above procedure, seen in the more modern style stores where the customer themselves takes the selected item(s) to the checkout counter, is that the bag with the items purchased and the sales slip will be compared and checked against each other by a person at the business’ exit. If the purchase is some electrical item, the clerk at the register may open the carton and plug the device in to make sure it works, before comple�ng the sale. Costa Rican dogs are either very brave or very stupid. They seem to have no respect for the dangers of approaching vehicles and will lie in the roadway, never moving for on-coming vehicles. Although we expats are usually diligent about refrigera�ng cooked foods to prevent them from becoming contaminated, Ticos rou�nely leave pots of cooked rice, beans, and other food items out on the counter overnight (and never seem to have any illeffects from the prac�ce.) Central hot water supply systems are not common in older Tico houses. Generally, there is only one, ambient

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temperature, water line which supplies everything including the bathroom showers. The most common solu�on for obtaining warm / hot water for a shower is the “suicide shower” head. This is a device that a�aches to the water supply line and hangs above the shower area. It is loosely wired to a 110 volt electrical supply line. The water passing through the shower head is heated by direct contact with a hea�ng coil inside and emerges as warm / hot water. Opera�on is opposite of what appears logical: reducing the water pressure increases temperature (the more the water is turned ‘up’, the cooler it gets.) And the final entry: When some one of the local popula�on dies the funeral is usually held within twenty-four to forty-eight hours as there’s no rou�ne embalming in Costa Rica. A�er the services the coffin is loaded in to, or on top of, a hearse (frequently an older, American sta�on wagon) and is thus slowly transported to the cemetery. Mourners follow on foot, walking behind the hearse, o�en taking up all of the streets traffic lanes during their procession. Regular traffic slowly follows the group and doesn’t pass un�l the roadway is cleared, possibly by the procession turning on to a side street. Allen Dickinson is a member of ARCR. In 2006 he re�red and relocated to Costa Rica. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New York and a Master’s Degree from the University of West Florida. He can be reached via email at: allen@humphree.net. El Residente


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May/June 2014

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Paradise, We Have A Problem What Are Feelings And How Do I Have More Of The Good Ones? Living in paradise is so much harder than visi�ng. There’s a tremendous amount to learn and adapt to, so it’s natural to wonder, where is the happiness during the difficult transi�on? An�cipa�ng something different, we might unexpectedly find ourselves very frustrated and disappointed by our move. Not joyful and fulfilled as we expected. Happiness is what we feel when our life is thriving. It is nature’s way of saying “You’re on the right track! Keep up the good work!!” Posi�ve feelings are certainly a crucial part of feeling happy about our overall life. So important, that it’s hard to even imagine feeling happy when we’re frequently feeling bad. So, when we encounter those feelings, is there some way to develop those more posi�ve emo�ons while we create a new life in Costa Rica? The P.E.R.M.A. guidelines to happiness (Posi�ve emo�ons, Engagement, Rela�onships, Meaning, Achievement) put “Posi�ve feelings” first on the list of the sources of happiness. So let’s start by exploring the nature of feelings. What are feelings? Do we have any choice in what we feel? Do emo�ons just happen? Can we choose to feel good? Or bad? Although we o�en experience feelings as caused by outside condi�ons, beyond our control, we actually have a degree of influence over what we feel. That Influence grows in strength with our understanding of emo�ons and with prac�ce in managing them. We can best grasp the nature of emo�ons by stepping back to the moment of our birth. We have decades, a life�me, of learning and adap�ng ahead of us. We are not born totally unprepared for life. We come with many emo�onal “aps”’: “programs” which are pre-installed to improve our chances of survival. For example, imagine the doctors, nurses, and parents trying to teach a newborn to breathe! “O.K. li�le baby. Take a DEEP breath…” How well would that work when the baby doesn’t understand words yet and needs to breathe immediately to live? So, some “skills” necessary for survival are “built in”: breathing, sneezing, sucking, swallowing, etc. Also innate are some basic emo�ons, emo�ons which enhance our survival by “moving” us to act in certain

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by Tony Johnson

universal situa�ons. For instance, fear alerts us to danger and moves us to protect ourselves, hunger evokes a feeling of need to obtain sustenance, anger empowers us to fight for our wellbeing, and joy rewards us for making the right choices. It’s believed that the basic emo�ons are: Glad, Sad, Mad, Frightened, Surprised, and Disgusted. The hundreds of other emo�ons we feel are all varia�ons in intensity or combina�ons of these six basics. And each of the six “moves” us in a certain way, each communicates an important survival message: posi�ve emo�ons tell us to “do more of that” and nega�ve ones say to “avoid that.” Let’s look at what those six are: FEAR the most basic, communicates that “You’re in danger, protect yourself.” ANGER says, “Take ac�on to make this pain stop.” SADNESS tells us, “You’ve suffered a loss, find a replacement.” JOY/GLAD says, “Life is worth the struggle, keep going.” SURPRISE means, “There’s a lot to learn here, don’t get complacent.” DISGUST says, “Stay away from this. It will make you sick.” Every emo�on has a rough and ready pa�ern of responses to help us navigate through the bewildering experiences of life-reac�ons that, as infants, we don’t have �me to learn. So, emo�ons CAN just happen and we do gradually learn WHAT to respond to and HOW: we compile an extensive por�olio of ways we respond to our emo�ons which guide our reac�ons. We learn that we can impact and direct our emo�ons; to be afraid of the neighbor’s dog and how to not be afraid when fear is unnecessary. Does that mean we must be totally ra�onal? All Holmes and no Watson to respond effec�vely to life’s challenges? No! But we can be TOO EMOTIONAL, too frenzied to react effec�vely, or we can be TOO RATIONAL, all thought and no feelings. In the case of both extremes we are rendered helpless. We need reason to decide what the most effec�ve response should be. Our past experiences with people leave emo�onal lessons that can help us make big decisions. Fury may be the right El Residente


response in one situa�on and a catastrophic overreac�on in another. Likewise we need the guidance of emo�ons when reason is inadequate. Imagine choosing a spouse without any feelings involved! Or imagine the awesome beauty of Costa Rica as an en�rely intellectual exercise, no feelings. It would be like a meal without taste, a world without color. Feelings are not just a pesky annoyance, best kept under reason’s thumb. They’re essen�al to a rich and full life. So how can we have more of the “good ones”? Well, first they’re all good, if they help us. Pain, for example, tells us something needs a�en�on, something must be avoided, or treated. And if it moves us to make the necessary responses, it’s good even if it feels nega�ve. Be�er to ask, “How can we have more POSITIVE feelings”?

2) Are you facing catastrophic SITUATIONS, or catastrophic THOUGHTS about situa�ons? Losing a spouse is catastrophic. CR’s immigra�on service losing our file can be THOUGHT OF as catastrophic: “I’ll NEVER get residency. They’ll deport me. Everything I’ve invested here will be lost.” And on and on. Such thoughts can make a bad situa�on SEEM disastrous - when it CAN be fixed with a new approach, pa�ence, and persistence.. 3) Are you inclined toward pessimism? We seem to be born to focus on the nega�ve - that’s where the danger is! Some of us refuse to see the posi�ve, proudly declaring “I WON’T get fooled again!” But by doing so we can cause harm to ourselves by refusing to see the posi�ve that’s actually there. Pessimism reduces the “possibili�es” of life, lowering our “horizon” about what CAN be. Not a very encouraging or happy outlook. 4) Given that emo�ons are both innate reac�ons and a “library” of lessons learned, might the situa�ons that brings you down remind you of the past? Does that cringe-inducing neighbor who’s always having a pityparty for herself remind you of someone from your past? Are you really at the mercy of her nega�vity like when you were a kid? Don’t you have op�ons now that were absent in your past? 5) What are you feeling? (We’re not always clear about that.) And what are those feelings “saying” about your situa�on? Does your disgust and anger with your selfcentered neighbor say to you, “Here we go again! I’m going to be blamed for her problems?” Are you really to blame? Will she really blame YOU? And IF she does, do you have to listen to and accept her delusions?

First, let’s explore why someone might be having so many nega�ve emo�ons: sadness, loneliness, feeling overwhelmed, lost, confused, or angry, for example? Here are some ques�ons to ask yourself, and some sugges�ons for solu�ons: 1) Are you truly facing con�nuous, nega�ve, unsolvable experiences? Have you given up too soon to resolve them? Are you really sure that you have “tried everything”? We may encounter repeated problems and setbacks and conclude “there’s nothing to be done”, and some�mes that’s true. But some�mes we may have overlooked other solu�ons. May/June 2014

6) Are you using all the emo�onal tools at your disposal? For example, you can distract yourself from the FEELINGS part of the problem. Have you ever felt really upset about some unsolved problem, then watch a compelling movie and a�erward feel be�er even though the problem remains unchanged? Did you then discover that in this new, calm state that you are a be�er problem solver? Denial is a mistake, but distrac�on can be calming. Allowing yourself to then return to the problem can be an effec�ve way toward a new approach in problem solving. Second, how can we have more posi�ve emo�ons: joy, delight, surprise, playfulness, gra�tude, etc? Here’s some ques�ons to ask yourself: 1) Have you disconnected yourself from the Rela�onships and ac�vi�es that make you feel good?

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Have you le� them behind in the “old country”, neglec�ng to replace them here? Have you tried to establish new rela�onships here? 2) Do you need an “encore career”? Some way to exercise your signature strengths? Some way to feel capable, Engaged, Accomplished, useful and needed again and that life is Meaningful? 3) Do you minimize the value of the “small things”? “BFD...another toucan?” Or do you say, “Wow! I never saw any bird that beau�ful back in… It’s amazing how well it can fly with that banana on its face.” Are you grateful for what you have/experience? Do you find humor in life? 4) Do you feel that only the extreme posi�ves count? “O.K.” is not good enough. I go�a feel ECSTATIC! All the �me, or what was the point of moving here?” 5) Do you seek out new experiences, or do you play it safe and s�ck with the known and the familiar? Maybe the challenges of adjus�ng to life here will help you discover new strengths and sources of happiness? It’s all in how you see it. Is adjustment an odious burden, or

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is it a chance for growth and beneficial change? 6) Is Meaning missing from your life? Might mentoring be a way to help restore purpose to your life by giving guidance to another life? There are a lot of kids here that need the wisdom of someone who has been a professional. As you can see, the P.E.R.M.A.s can add posi�ve Feelings to your life. While a “package” of them can bring you overall happiness. You CAN impact your feelings. You can reduce the nega�ves and increase the posi�ves, but it won’t “just happen.” You have to make it happen on a daily basis. None of these sugges�ons are one-shot, cure-alls. Life has the “habit” of bringing us pain and, to offset that pain, we must develop the “habits of happiness” and use them daily. Next �me: Engagement. The sa�sfac�ons of full involvement in some part of your life. Ques�ons and comments are always welcome at: paradise.we.have.a.problem@gmail.com

El Residente


Alcoholics Anonymous Groups meet daily throughout the country; �mes and places change frequently. Call for up-to-date informa�on. San José 2222-1880 (Anchor club, also serves Narco�cs Anonymous) Av 6 Calle 1, 2nd floor Maryland Building. Heredia (Laura) 2267-7466, Puerto Viejo Limon 2750-0080, Zancudo 2776-0012, Tamarindo 2653-0897, Flamingo (Don) 2654- 4902, Manuel Antonio (Jennifer) 2777-1548, Jacó (Nancy) 2637-8824, Zoo Group Escazu 2293-4322. Grecia (Jay) 2494-0578. Southern Zone, mee�ngs in English & Spanish, 8634-9241. Puriscal, Fred 8866-0128.

of four produc�ons a year offering a choice of modern, classic, serious, and farcical plays. The group’s monthly social mee�ngs are held in the theatre on the first Monday of the month from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. and everyone is welcome. Membership: Student C2,500, Adult: C5000, Family: C8000. Also, earn your Wings, become an LTG Angel. For more informa�on Call the LTG Box Office 8858-1446 or www.li�letheatregroup.org

Al-Anon Mee�ngs English language Al-anon mee�ngs are open to anyone whose life has been/is affected by someone else’s problem with alcohol. Mee�ngs are one hour long and held twice each week in Escazu centro, above the Buena Tierra Restaurant, 25 meters south of the San Miguel Catholic Church. Tuesdays at noon and Thursdays at 10: 30 a.m. Tel: 89 93 17 62 (Rosemary) and/or 22 28 10 49 (Barbara) email: rosemaryzitek@yahoo.com. Also in Grecia on Tuesdays at noon (English), contact Cheryl at 2444-1515.

Newcomer’s Club Newcomers Club of Costa Rica (for women) meets the first Tuesday of every month, September through May. September mee�ng will be an interest fair. Contact: 2416-1111 costaricaporo@yahoo.com or h�p://www.newcomersclubofcostarica.com

American Legion Post 10- Escazu The A L Post 10 has relocated the monthly mee�ngs to Casa de España in Sabana norte. The next mee�ng will be March 5th beginning at 12:00 noon on the second floor. There is an elevator so those with a handicap will not have a problem entering the building or reaching the mee�ng area. If you wish to a�end please e-mail or call for direc�ons. Terry Wise, Cell#: 8893-4021, Outside CR: 011-506-8893-4021, U S # to C R: 904-352-7043. Claudio Pacheco, Cell#: 8876 1394, Home#: 2225 4239. American Legion Post 12- Golfito Mee�ngs are held 4 p.m. 1st Tuesday every month at Banana Bay Marina. The Golfito GOVETS have been helping Southern Costa Rica for over 20 years. Contact Pat O’Connell at walkergold@yahoo.com or 8919-8947, or Mel Goldberg at 8870-6756. American Legion Auxiliary The Legion Auxiliary meets the Second Saturday of each month, at 1300 hours in Moravia. Contact Doris Murillo 2240-2947. Bird Watching Club The Birding Club of Costa Rica sponsors monthly trips to observe local and migrant birds in various areas of the country. For more informa�on contact us at costaricabirding@hotmail.com Canadian Club The Canadian Club of Costa Rica welcomes everyone to join us for our monthly luncheons, and at our special annual events, like our Canada Day Celebra�on, no passport required. As of this year there is no fee or dues to pay, just sign up with your email address and we will keep you informed of Canadian Events, so you can par�cipate whenever its convenient for you! For informa�on visit our website: www.canadianclubcr.com or email Pat at canadianclubcr@yahoo.com to sign up. Democrats Abroad Democrats Abroad meets on the last Saturday of every month at the Aurola Holiday Inn, San Jose. Contact Nelleke Bruyn, 22793553, e-mail cr.democratsabroad@yahoo.com. Join Democrats Abroad at www.democratsabroad.org. Register to vote absentee at VoteFromAbroad.org! Li�le Theatre Group LTG is the oldest con�nuously running English-language theatre in Central or South America. The group currently puts on a minimum

May/June 2014

Marine Corps League Meets at 11 a.m. the 2nd Saturday of every month, at Tres Hermanas Rest. big bull statue in front. On service road opposite Hospital Mexico on the autopista. Call Bill Enell at 8812-0126.

PC Club of Costa Rica This computer Club meets on the third Saturday of each month at Pan American school, in Belen, 830 to 11:30 a.m. Two months Free Trial for newcomers. For informa�on call Chuck Jennings. Phone 2266-0123 www.pcclub.net Radio control Sailing Club Meets at Sabana Park Lake. For informa�on contact Walter Bibb. Wwbbsurf40@yahoo.com Wine Club of Costa Rica Please mark your calendars. The wine club usually meets at 1 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month. Join us to tantalize your taste buds and expand your educa�on. For more informa�on on upcoming events please contact us. Phone 2279-8927, 2257-2223 Women’s Club of Costa Rica The Women’s Club of Costa Rica is the oldest, con�nuously opera�ng, philanthropic organiza�on for English-speaking women in Costa Rica. Founded in 1940, WCCR now includes over 250 members represen�ng 25 countries worldwide, drawn together by the mo�o: Friendship through Service. The Club a�racts fascina�ng women who are interested in serving community needs in Costa Rica, par�cularly focused on children’s educa�on while, at the same �me, making deep, meaningful, personal rela�onships. Along with its philanthropic fundraising ac�vi�es, WCCR also hosts regular lunches, teas and many special interest groups, including a Professional Women’s Group. Guests are welcome and further informa�on and a calendar of planned events can be found at www.wccr.org Women’s Interna�onal League for Peace and Freedom Open to men too. English language group in Cariari de Belen, English-Spanish group in Heredia, Spanish language group in San Jose. We work on peace and human rights issues. Call Mitzi, 24337078 or write peacewomen@gmail.com. Veterans of Foreign Wars: Post 11207 No-host lunch at 12 noon in the Club Colonial Casino dining area, mee�ng at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor. All members are welcome plus veterans who served overseas may join. Call Bob Sempell at 2588-1475. Young Expats of Costa Rica Some Expatriates under the age of 40, and currently living in Costa Rica, have formed a new social club to be coordinated through their website This club will help younger expatriates living in, or moving to, Costa Rica meet other expats in their age group for: friendship, romance, travel and ac�vity partners, and professional networking. www.YoungExpatsOfCostaRica.org

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El Residente


Connec�on

by The Womens Club of Costa Rica

Interest Groups The Women’s Club of Costa Rica (WCCR) is one of the oldest philanthropic and social organiza�ons in Costa Rica. Our mission includes empowerment through educa�on and self-awareness, and promotes intercultural friendship and expanded educa�onal opportuni�es for Costa Ricans. WCCR’s slogan is Friendship through Service! March was an excep�onally busy month for WCCR and for several members who volunteered many hours to ensure that our fundraising event, Dancing in the Rain, was a success. Our twenty-three post-secondary full �me and part �me students, who a�end all five of the public universi�es and INA (Na�onal Learning Ins�tute) in many parts of the country, have completed the enrollment process for the 2014 school year and are receiving their scholarships. In partnership with ASOBITICO (Associa�on of Interna�onal Baccalaureate High Schools of Costa Rica) WCCR will sponsor four students. They are all students at Liceo Gregorio José Ramírez in Alajuela, a very good public school that was a�ended by several former beneficiaries of our Colegio Becas (High School) Program. These scholarships provide the special equipment, supplies and books that the IB (Interna�onal Baccalaureate) students need to complete the rigorous two-year program. Interested in learning more about the Scholarship program, contact scholarship@wccr.org.

WCCR’s interest group PWG (Professional Women’s Group) was formed for women whose work prevents them from a�ending other WCCR mee�ngs. PWG encourages personal and professional development by networking with other professional women. The group holds monthly mee�ngs with the format of guest speakers, workshops or a monthly Meet and Greet social hour. On Saturday, June 21st at 9:30 their mee�ng will focus on Marke�ng through Story Telling: Tips and Lessons Learned In the Fine Art of Communica�on. Michale Gabriel, through her company Story by Design, has shared her finely-honed skills around the world. In this presenta�on a�endees will receive some prac�cal guidance on: Iden�fying and developing your own story material; How to deliver with inten�onality, power and impact; and How to connect and build trust by listening for values. Interested non-members are welcome. For more informa�on, contact pwg.wccr@gmail.com. WCCR’s other Interest Groups are: English is Fun; Theater Arts and Lunch; Amantes del Libro Español; West Side Stories Book Club; Paraiso Book Club; Crea�ve Cooking; and Le Cercle Francophone. For informa�on on any of WCCR’s interest groups, contact interests@wccr.ogr. Jeannine Hurd President president@wccr.org

All the 2014 text books have now been delivered and we are very proud to announce that, with the help of our many donors, we have been able to supply a set of four textbooks to 1,176 children covering thirty-one rural schools. This is a big increase from the 678 children that we helped in 2013. WCCR members made several of the deliveries and received nothing but thankfulness and praise from all the teaching staff. First of all, thanking us for our help, but also because this year La Nación (the publisher) made totally new books, in accordance with the MEP (Ministry of Educa�on) specifica�ons. Every teacher was extremely enthusias�c. Interested in learning more about the Text Book program, contact textbooks@wccr.org.

May/June 2014

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Wild Side LXXIX

by Ryan Piercy

A Lot Of Oz Costa Rica is known to have several species of the smaller wild cats and for this ar�cle we will be taking a look at the Ocelot, largest of the small cats. Locally known in Costa Rica and Panama as the Manigordo, the Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is extensively distributed from Mexico to South America. Also known as a Dwarf Leopard, they were once highly coveted for their fur, which resembles that of a jaguar, and they were endangered from 1972 through 1996. Now, however, they are considered Least Concern due to a recupera�on of the species. The name ocelot comes from the Nahuatl word ôcçlôtl or tlalocelotl, meaning “field �ger”, and is the largest of nine species classified in the genus Leopardus. The Ocelot itself is distributed in a number of subspecies based on area, and is known by many different names from country to country. Ocelots have spo�ed smooth fur, rounded ears, and rela�vely large front paws (hence manigordo, or fathand). They are similar in appearance to the Margay cat but are quite a bit larger in size, ranging from 68 to 100 cm, plus the length of the tail from 26 to 45 cm, and weighing eight to eighteen kilos. Addi�onally the ocelot will remain mostly on the ground, while the Margay spends most of its �me in trees.

The Ocelot is nocturnal and diurnal, and is usually found in primary or secondary dry forested areas. They are highly territorial creatures, and will fight fiercely, some�mes to the death, in territorial disputes. They are primarily solitary, mee�ng only for ma�ng purposes, though at rest they may occasionally share a spot with one other of the species of the same sex. A male’s territory may be up to 46 square kilometers, while a female’s domain is o�en smaller and not overlapping, covering up to 15 square kilometers. When these felines do meet for purposes of ma�ng, it is generally only every second year. This can occur at any �me of the year and ma�ng lasts from seven to ten days. Following this the female will go off to den in a cave or hollow tree. One ki�en is the norm, but occasionally a li�er will have two or three ki�ens. This slow rate of birth is one of the main reasons why it takes so long for the species to recover popula�on following poaching issues. Prior to the US ban on their pelts in 1972, over 100,000 pelts were imported each year for the making of fur coats, each one requiring at least 13 skins. S�ll, tens of thousands of pelts con�nued to be traded un�l the ‘80s, which greatly affected the recovery of the popula�on. While demand for their skins has finally diminished, in Costa Rica they are s�ll threatened by farmers and game hunters. Ocelots themselves will hunt over about an 18 km2 area, taking mainly small animals for its prey. These can include small mammals, lizards, turtles, frogs, fish, birds and crabs. Most of its prey will be smaller than itself, and its diet consists mainly of rodents, rabbits and opossums. Studies in many areas, including Corcovado, show rodents, especially spiny rats, are the staple. Though studies show they hunt greatly by smell, these cats also have excellent vision and night sight. In Costa Rica the Manigordo can be found throughout the country and up to at least 3000 meters al�tude. These cats tend to occupy remote regions away from mankind, and stay hidden in forested areas, like Corcovado and Braulio Carillo, or in open environments with extensive cover. These traits, besides being mostly nocturnal, makes them very difficult to find and uncommon to see. In effect, they are as elusive as the Land of Oz, and it is indeed a lucky soul who sees one in the wild.

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El Residente


May/June 2014

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Exchange rate of the Costa Rican ¢ to the US Dollar October November December January February March

506.02 505.13 507.80 519.63 553.54 553.63

Basic Interest Rate October November December January February March

6.55 % 6.55 % 6.50 % 6.55 % 6.50 % 6.60 %

Exchange rate of other currencies to the US Dollar Giro Canadian Dollar Euro Swiss Franc Nicaraguan Cordoba Danish Krone Norwegian Kroner Swedish Krona Honduran Lempira Bri�sh Pound Argen�ne Peso Columbian Peso Mexican Peso Dominican Peso Brazilian Real Guatemalan Quetzal Korean Won Japanese Yen Venezuelan Bolívar Hong Kong Dollar Taiwan Dollar Bolivian Peso Chilean Peso Russian Rouble Peruvian Sol Polish Zloty Australian Dollar Chinese Yuan

1.54563 1.10210 1.38000 0.88330 25.62700 5.40990 5.98550 6.49040 19.22000 1.66490 8.00470 1,968.24000 13.04350 43.02500 2.26440 7.72950 1,064.70000 103.20000 6.29210 7.75830 30.48700 6.91000 551.09000 35.15940 2.80950 3.01980 0.92520 6.21710

Libor Rate 1 month 3 month 6 month 12 month Prime Rate

26

0.15200 % 0.23060 % 0.32890 % 0.55810 % 3.25 %

El Residente


Holidays of Costa Rica Thursday, May 1st Labor Day - Na�onal holiday (ARCR Closed 1st & 2nd)

Friday, July 25th Annexa�on of Guanacaste - Na�onal holiday

Atlántica Medical Supply Company

���������������������������������������������������� Ostomy �������������������������������������������������������������������������� Wound Care �������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������� Incontinence ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Dermacosmetics ���������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

(ARCR Closed)

A Touch of Wisdom “One hand for yourself and one for the ship.” (Nau�cal proverb which means literally hold on with one hand and work with the other.) - unknown (1799) “The wise and the brave dares own that he was wrong.” - Ben Franklin (1706-1790) “Two heads are be�er than one.” - John Heywood (c.1497-1580) Funniest One Liners...

If you don’t like the news, go out and make some. For every ac�on there is an equal and opposite cri�cism. IRS: We’ve got what it takes to take what you have got. I’m out of bed and dressed. What more do you want? I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not too sure.

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I can handle pain un�l it hurts. No ma�er where you go, you’re there. If everything is coming your way, then you’re in the wrong lane.

May/June 2014

27


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El Residente

Residente 2014 05  

Once again rainy season has finally arrived, but as they say, into each life a little rain must fall. And so it was for the author of this m...

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