Simple Life in San Buenas Soothes Complicated Soul

It’s called the Urban Scowl for men and Resting Bitch Face for women.

Surely, my female friends would argue this is not fair. That it ought to be RBF for everybody or Urban Scowl for both genders.

And my more ‘Snowflake-y’ friends would get upset assuming RBF is sexist and the other phrase must be racist because it has the word ‘urban’ in it.

Often referred to as the Urban Scowl because it’s easy to develop one living in big cities in The United States where you don’t want to be bothered by aggressive panhandlers and or potential muggers so you simply adopt a tough looking face hoping others will leave you alone. Eventually, it sticks.

No spring chicken, am I.

At 45, there’s been no election uglier in my lifetime than 2016. It felt like everybody was at each other’s throat.

I no longer discuss politics with anybody. Not because I no longer have opinions but because I’m tired of friendships and relationships and even careers ruined because of somebody’s difference of opinion. Thought Crime is no longer science-fiction, Mr. Orwell. It’s a real thing and both sides are enforcing it.

When listening to the most outspoken Liberals and the most outspoken Conservatives is like listening to schizophrenics. They will vacillate between insightful clarity and moments of pure insanity. Try explaining to either one when they’re wrong about a particular issue. It’s never pretty.

In January, I arrived to San Buenas overweight, stressed-out, carrying the ugliest Resting Bitch Face\Urban Scowl you’ve ever seen, and felt genuinely exasperated with The United States and concerned for its future.

If you are not a little concerned, you are not paying attention.

In San Buenas for over a month and the permanent scowl has disappeared. I sleep soundly every night. It’s harder to scowl when feeling so well-rested and everybody I walk pass in San Buenas smiles and waves. If you meet another North American expatriate, they’ll get so excited, welcoming you with personal invites to dinners and field trips.

The natural rural beauty of this village will cause you to slow down, walk outside and reflect. You will observe clouds floating atop mountains while you float in a swimming pool. Or as you explore outside loving nature, your body will sweat, your natural cooling off process. The local food is high protein, low fat. In other words, through nature walks and quality food, you will lose weight with little effort. Bonus, too, for seafood lovers which Costa Rica excels.

Beauty relaxes you, nourishes your soul as sunsets reflect vibrant, intense colors you’ve never seen in the sky before.

Recently, I swam in the Pacific Ocean at around 4:30 pm and watched a pair of toucans fly along the shore, the setting sun reflecting their multi-colored wing span. The person I was with, another American and former city dweller, could not believe his eyes, as we both bobbed in the water in meditative silence. Only now do I realize how much healing we both needed.

Having a group chat online with several friends back in The States this morning, one volunteered that he is currently taking Zoloft. Another added that he took Xanax. The joker of our crowd said, “I’m old school. I still take Lithium.”

Me? I replied to all, “I take San Buenas. I sleep well every night. I eat well. I look the best I’ve looked in years. I smile all the time and make friends wherever I go. This place may be God’s antidepressant. Everybody should get a prescription.”

Are you ready for yours?

I am the gatekeeper of paradise.

Come see me.

Will Viharo at the 2017 San Buenas Writer’s Retreat

Will Viharo

Will viharo b&w

The dates for our premier retreat are January 29-February 4, 2017, and we at The Writer’s Retreat of San Buenas couldn’t be more pleased that Will Viharo is going to be our first guest author and instructor.

Will ‘the Thrill’ Viharo is a noted “gonzo pulp” fiction author, freelance writer, and B movie impresario. For many years he was best known as the producer, programmer and host of the long-running live “cult movie cabaret” called “Thrillville,” which he hosted for many years around the Bay Area and beyond as “Will the Thrill,” along with his wife, Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes-Viharo.

Now he has returned to his roots full-time as a freelance writer and pulp fiction author, contributing regular columns about vintage pop culture and the craft of writing to several publications.

His published bibliography includes the retrospective anthology series The Thrillville Pulp Fiction Collection featuring all of his standalone novels to date (A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, and Chumpy Walnut); as well as the definitive omnibus The Vic Valentine Classic Case Files: Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick. All are now available via his own imprint, Thrillville Press.

Gutter Books reissued the first Vic Valentine novel, Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me in 2013. It was originally published by Wild Card Press in 1995, and has been optioned for a film by Christian Slater. In December 2015, Gutter published the most recent entry in the series, Hard-boiled Heart.

Additionally, Will has written two sci-fi collaborations with Scott Fulks, It Came From Hangar 18 and The Space Needler’s Intergalactic Bar Guide.

For each day of this retreat, Mr. Viharo – now a resident of Seattle, WA – will lead a socially casual but intently focused group session wherein he will constructively critique participants’ writing, provide experiential insights into the “cut-throat” business of publishing (both independent and traditional), and share creative techniques of self-discovery to help aspiring authors achieve their full artistic potential.

Praise for Will Viharo from his peers:

“No human being has absorbed more pulp culture and its seamy sexploitation underbelly than Will Viharo. Thankfully, his warped synapses and calloused, compulsive fingertips are able to repurpose it all and blow it back onto the page–desperate, demented, delirious, D-cupped … and many other D words as well.” —Eddie Muller, Czar of Noir

“Besides the great style, plot, and characters, what I love so much about Will Viharo’s work is his willingness to really go there in his depictions of sex and violence. The dude’s not shy. At all.” – Mike Monson, author/publisher, All Due Respect Books

“Will Viharo has to be the most Chandleresque author I know that’s not actively trying to rip off the legend’s style or paradigm in his fiction. Viharo’s narrative voice is thunderous and commanding. One of the best kept secrets in contemporary hardboiled fiction.”

-Benoit Lelievre, Dead End Follies

“Will Viharo writes not just neo-noir but neon noir, his Vic Valentine novels brilliant paeans to Chandler, Hammett, and other aspects of pop culture that Viharo clearly loves, from old B-movies to Frank Sinatra. But his roots are only a backdrop for Viharo’s modernization of the detective genre. Vic Valentine is a detective who falls hard for his dreams, knowing full well that he shouldn’t.  For Valentine it seems that the greatest defeat would be to give in to the idea that he cannot win. In Will Viharo’s fast paced, witty and wise Vic Valentine novels, there is always hope, however hardboiled it may be.”–Rob Pierce, author of Uncle Dust  and Vern in the Heat

 “In a cookie-cutter literary world chock-full of imitation and repetition, Will Viharo carves out a thoroughly original ride…Think David Lynch and Raymond Chandler catching a matinee together as the world falls apart. Sexy, smart, surreal. Can’t recommend enough.” –Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation, December Boys, and Junkie Love, on A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge 

Visit Will’s website

 

 

Costa Rica Pejibayes

There is a great fruit stand near the entrance to San Buenaventura, at KM 187 from the Costanera Highway. It is where all sorts of great fruit that is grown in the nearby region. When you buy a villa in the area you will be able to get all kinds of locally grown food. We envision having a local farmers market weekly on the property in the not to distant future. We believe sustainability comes from working together and want to work with local farmers in trading for things they grow with things we grow as well as eating much of what we grow in the community.

The fruit pictured below is a bunch of pejibayes. Pejibayes are boiled and then eaten. They are starchy and similar to a potato. Ticos eat them with mayonnaise flavoured with lemon or plain mayonnaise. When they come into season they are at stands everywhere. You will even see them sold in local sodas ready to eat.

There is a town called Pejibaye not too far from Las Villas De San Buenas where they grow a lot of Pejibayes and ship them around the local region. The homes at Las Villas will be surrounded by fruit trees and other edible landscapes and ornamentals chosen by each individual owner. Park areas will also have various fruit trees and Pejibayes will most likely be one of the fruits grown on the property.

Pejibayes for sale at a local fruit stand near Las Villas de San Buenas

Costa Rica Internet Usage Facts and Figures

Source: Tico Times

By Adam Williams
Tico Times Staff | awilliams@ticotimes.net
A recent study conducted by Internet provider Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA) and market research firm CID Gallup revealed that 53 percent of Costa Ricans (2.4 million people) actively use the Internet. This percentage has increased each year since 2004, when an estimated 20 percent of Ticos used the Internet. In 2009, RACSA and CID Gallup found that 45 percent of Costa Ricans had online access.

The study also discovered that 52 percent of Costa Rican homes have a computer, up from 46 percent in 2009. Of the estimated 648,000 computerized homes, 367,000 had Internet access. The study also found that Ticos’ average Internet visit is three hours, and the average user age 29 years.

The most common uses for the Internet were e-mail, online searches, research, chatting and social networking, while use of the Internet by Costa Ricans for work, music, videos, bank transactions and online purchases grew considerably in the past year.

According to a study by the Education Ministry, of Costa Rica’s 9,246 educational institutions, 2,369 (25.6 percent) had Internet access as of Jan. 1, 2010. The ministry also reported that 133 schools were in the process of having an Internet connection installed, and that a feasibility study for potential Internet installation was being conducted for 2,077 other schools.

According to the 2009-2010 World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report, Costa Rica is ranked 49th among the world’s nations in terms of the percentage of its citizens who use the Internet, up seven spots from the previous year. Costa Rica also exports the ninth largest amount of high-technology products. Most of these exports are Intel Pentium computer processors manufactured here.

Pablo Picasso Artwork on Display in Costa Rica

Source: www.TicoTimes.net

Twenty-nine lithographs of works by iconic Spanish artist Pablo Picasso are now on display in a free exhibit at Avenida Escazú shopping mall, west of San José.

Unable to resist the blank surfaces on the sheets of corrugated cardboard piled up in his studio on the French Riviera, Picasso, at age 88, used them as canvases for his “Retratos Imaginarios” (“Imaginary Portraits”), and then personally supervised the process of transforming them into lithographs.

The works display all the whimsical humor and cubist vision of the famed master. The Avenida Escazú exhibit opened Aug. 27 and will be on display through Oct. 25.

Costa Rica Beef to Improve

Costa Rica Beef to Improve.

via Costa Rica Beef to Improve.

New Palmar Sur Airport

Palmar Sur regional airport now has a new terminal. The old blue one is no longer being used.

Nature Air and Sansa both have daily flights in/out of Palmar Sur, located in Costa Rica’s Osa peninsula.

Beautification Process in Place in San Jose

There are several things that making traveling in/around San Jose a bit frustrating. One is the lack of street signs (which is being fixed) and the second is the amount of garbage that can be found in certain neighborhoods of San Jose. I always find it amazing that a country as beautiful as Costa Rica has too few garbage receptacles in its capital city. Well, that is about to change.

Banco de Costa Rica logo

BCR is funding the 2,000 garbage cans in San Jose

Banco de Costa Rica has agreed to fund the installation of approximately 2,000 garbage cans in the San Jose metro area – to all 11 districts.

That is something that we all can look forward to!

Full flight

Full flight tonight from atlanta to san jose costa rica flight 413

North American Anglers: $600 million to Costa Rica economy

Tourism is Costa Rica’s top industry and new research shows North Americans traveling there in 2008 to fish generated $599 million – or about two percent of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product.

The study, conducted in 2009 by The Billfish Foundation, Southwick Associates and the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), revealed 283,790 anglers visited Costa Rica and their economic impact even overshadowed commercial fishing. It was estimated 22 percent of those tourists visited the country for the exclusive purpose of fishing.

From that $599 million the study also showed sportfishing generated almost $78 million in tax revenues for Costa Rica and 63,000 jobs. In comparison, the effect of commercial fishing for the same species sought by anglers generated approximately $528 million to Costa Rica’s gross domestic product. Commercial fishing contributed $68.6 million in tax revenue and created 57,000 jobs.

“We have already had the opportunity to present the results of this study to the incoming vice president and minister of tourism,” said Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation. “And we will be making a formal presentation to a wider cross sector of government and business leaders this summer. The leadership in Costa Rica had no idea that their country receives more benefits from a sustainable recreational harvest than from the subsidized excessive effort in the commercial fishery.”

The comprehensive study included interviewing tourists at Costa Rica’s major airports to estimate the percentage who fished while visiting. The research focused on the expenditures and economic impacts of marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado; species that are the most frequent targets of commercial fisherman and recreational anglers.

It was estimated the 283,790 North Americans visiting Costa Rica in 2008 spent a total of $467 million. The survey revealed $329 million was spent on travel including lodging ($119 million), restaurants ($15.6 million), flights and fishing guides ($88 million) and land transportation ($6 million). These dollars then change hands multiple times in Costa Rica, creating significant benefits for the nation’s gross domestic product. In addition, visitors spent approximately $105 million outside of Costa Rica prior to arrival for airfare or other travel expenses, though these dollars are not included in the economic analyses.

About 3,700 of those visiting Costa Rica have their own boats in the country, whether permanently or temporarily, and they spent approximately $138 million for items such as fuel ($45.6 million), maintenance and repairs ($25 million), furniture and accessories for their vessels ($48 million), staff and crews ($2.8 million), marina fees ($16.6 million), and taxes and insurance ($1.8 million).

“TBF believes that only when decision makers understand the economic importance of good fishing opportunities for tourist anglers will billfish conservation get on the radar screen of government leaders charged with economic development as well as fisheries management,“ said Dr. Russell Nelson chief scientist for TBF. “And now thanks to the dedication of TBF members and generous donors who have supported our socio-economic research, we are making the point.”

Additional work conducted in the U.S. by Southwick Associates, Inc. estimated 7.5 million Americans fished outside of their country in 2009 with 3.6 percent of them traveling to Costa Rica. Among anglers vacationing in Costa Rica, 40 percent said they would not have visited the country if they could not fish. Those anglers, who represent 116,000 visitors per year and about $135 million in tourism income for Costa Rica, said the main factor in determining their satisfaction is “quality of fishing” followed by “relative peace and quiet,” and “fishing services, boat and crew quality.” The majority of anglers reported they visited Costa Rica to catch billfish including sailfish, marlin along with dorado. Inshore species such as snook and tarpon were less frequent targets.

“This was the first study done in Central America that compares the economic contributions of recreational and commercial fishing for the same species,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, who coordinated design and methodology, management and monitoring of this research and generated information regarding U.S. anglers’ international travel activities. “We’ve completed similar work for Los Cabos, Mexico, and the results produced almost immediate benefits to fisheries management and conservation.”

That study found the Los Cabos area benefited by $1.1 billion to the economy.

Based on the success of socio-economic research in Mexico and Costa Rica, TBF already has entered into discussions with the new administration in Panama to conduct similar studies in that country.

There is great offshore fishing 20 minutes away from The Village of San Buenas. Let us know when you are visiting and we can line up a trip for you!
Complete reports are available at: www.billfish.org