Daily Archives: June 13, 2014

Four Paws Fair in Santa Ana Costa Rica

Sólo un recordatorio de que mañana de 11:00 a 17:00, el FOUR PAWS FAIR se llevará a cabo en el Forum 1, en el Edificio J (CITI), Santa Ana. Habrá stand up comedy, comida, caricaturistas, rifas, venta de ropa y más. Si pudieras traer donaciones de comida para gatos, comida para perros o toallas Lysol, será muy apreciada. UNCLE EARL’s es muy orgulloso de ser uno de los patrocinadores de este evento y el propio UNCLE EARL estarán allí cocinar nuestras deliciosas hamburguesas y salchichas todos naturales. Todos los ingresos irán a ayudar REFUGIOS DE ANIMALES EN NECESIDAD

Just a reminder that tomorrow from 11:00 to 17:00, the FOUR PAWS FAIR will be held in the Forum 1, in Building J (CITI), Santa Ana will be stand up comedy, food, cartoonists, raffles, selling clothes and more. If you could bring donations of cat food, dog food or towels Lysol, will be greatly appreciated. UNCLE EARL’s is very proud to be a sponsor of this event and will be there own UNCLE EARL cook our delicious burgers and all natural sausage. All proceeds go to help ANIMAL SHELTERS IN NEED

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Fernando Carballo exhibit showcases 40 years of technique

“Cazando Mariposas” (“Hunting Butterflies”) shows Carballo’s peculiar mingling of realistic portraiture with a surreal twist. Courtesy RedCultura

It’s one of the miracles of art: If you know what you’re doing, you can skip the brush and just dribble paint directly onto paper. The paint plops into lines and curves, drips and splotches, until – voila! – a woman’s face emerges, as human and alive as a painting can be.

Such freeform painting is just one of the techniques Fernando Carballo has used over the past four decades, along with drawing and traditional brushwork. Now 72 years old, Carballo is a revered artist in Costa Rica, where he has won awards for his canvases. This month, Casa del Artista has dedicated its gallery to a Carballo retrospective; simply titled “Graphic Exposition,” the display showcases 15 of his works.

If you happen to be passing through the neighborhood of Guadalupe anyway, the Carballo collection is worth a visit, especially if you have never heard his name. What’s striking about Carballo is that he has tried a variety of styles and media: “Muchacha Bonita” is the portrait of a young woman, a kind of line drawing made from dripped paint. In contrast, “Espalda Masculina” (“Masculine Back”) shows a shirtless man’s shoulder blades. His musculature is richly colored and shaded with colored pencils. The two portraits seem completely dissimilar, as if created by two very different artists.

Yet all of Carballo’s work shares a single trait: it seems slightly unreal. Even his most realistic figures, like the one in “Personaje” (“Character”), is somehow warped or exaggerated. The bald, naked man in “Personaje” is realistically rendered overall, but he has a huge, beckoning hand, like a homunculus in a bad dream. “Madre” (“Mother”) is the haunting image of a woman, drawn in stark pen-and-ink, with a stoic face and bulbous lower belly. Carballo imaginatively renders her curvature, from sharp nose to baby bump, with the anatomical freedom of Frank Frazetta. Many of the other figures look like Freudian doodles, playfully sexual though never exactly erotic.

The Carballo exhibit is the perfect excuse to visit Casa del Artista, an art school operated by the Museum of Costa Rican Art. With a name like “Artist’s House,” you might expect a rundown potting studio in a converted mill, the kind of dusty little workshop you find in quaint U.S. towns. But Casa del Artista is headquartered in a spacious, spotless, super-modern building. The school hosts hands-on classes in every kind of medium. If you have artistic aspirations and you speak even a lick of Spanish, the course catalogue is worth a gander.

In this sense, Carballo’s work is the perfect installation for the school’s lobby. He demonstrates the range of draftsmanship a single artist can attempt. Try everything, he seems to suggest. Something’s bound to turn out right.

“Exposición Gráfica de Fernando Carballo” continues through June 30 at Casa del Artista, Guadalupe. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum of Costa Rican Art website.

Originally posted on the Tico Times


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Costa Rica Ranked #1 vacation destination!

Selvatura Adventure Park, Monteverde Ronald Reyes/The Tico Times

Rain forests, volcanoes, world-class beaches, great weather, sloths, what’s not to like? A new global survey confirmed that tourists love Costa Rica, naming the country most recommended tourism destination in the world.

The Global Tourism Monitor Survey asked 23,000 globetrotters from 26 countries where they had traveled during the previous 12 months and which destination they would more recommend based on their experience there. The report, released Monday, ranked the top 65 most recommended destinations.

Austria came in second, followed by Israel, New Zealand and Italy.

Ukraine, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and Tunisia were the five least recommended destinations, according to the survey conducted by BDRC Continental.

While Costa Rica placed atop the list of most recommended destination, no other Latin American country made the top 10.

Latin America and the Caribbean placed among the least popular regions with only 6 percent of respondents saying they were “seriously” planning to travel to the region. Europe ranked the highest among potential travelers with 43 percent planning to travel there, followed by 27 percent in the Asian Pacific. Only 4 percent said they planned to take their holiday in Africa or the Middle East.

Costa Rica received a record-breaking 2.4 million tourists during 2013, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board.

Here’s the list of the top 10 most recommended destinations (with a three-way tie for 10th place):

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Austria
  3. Israel
  4. New Zealand
  5. Italy
  6. Japan
  7. Croatia
  8. USA
  9. Norway
  10. Canada
  11. Greece
  12. United Kingdom

…and the 10 least recommended:

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Russia
  3. Albania
  4. Cambodia
  5. India
  6. Ukraine
  7. Malaysia
  8. China
  9. Indonesia
  10. Tunisia

Originally posted to the Tico Times

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Check out our Shop!

Ok so instead of doing ads I have added a Cafepress Shop to help fund the site and give to charity. $3 of every item sold will go to local animal and human Charities here in Costa Rica. Check at the page. We will be adding more designs over time. Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for shopping at our site in advance! Click the link below! Cafepress will ship to Costa Rica and just about anywhere else in the world. You will not be able to pay with US paypal if you are shipping outside of the US. I’m sure that applies for almost any country.

cropped-bestofcostarica21.jpg Best of Costa Rica Swag Shop


Pura Vida!


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YouTube video of the day

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List of the Festivals and Celebrations throughout Costa Rica.

Here is a comprehensive list of the Festivals and Celebrations throughout Costa Rica.

New Year’s Day
—Revelers who were partying in the clubs the night before gather in San José’s Parque Central and Buenos Aires, and Puntarenas to continue the festivities.  It’s a wild time.
Fiesta Palmares —Traditional (no bloodshed) bullfights, live music, folk dancing, carnival with rides and games take place the first two week of the year in Palmares
Fiesta Santa Cruz—The fiesta in Santa Cruz on the Nicoya peninsula takes place the second week in January and has a western flair with bullfights and a parade followed by a party with food, concerts and fireworks.
Día de Santo Cristo de Esquipulas—Popular religious festival celebrated with fiestas and dancing in Alajuelita.

Fiesta de los Diablitos—The festival of the little devils takes place in the second half of February. This celebration is a re-enactment of a battle between the toro (Spanish troops) and the diablitos (Boruca Indians).  The Baruka mask is beautifully hand carved.  You will see traditional costumes, great food and fireworks complete the scene in Rey Curre south of San Isidro.
Ash Wednesday—Again, given the Costa Rica’s Catholic faith, this is a very sacred day across all areas of the country
Carnival and Festival del Mar—A week of local celebrations in Puntarenas and Quepos including street fairs and fiestas, dancing and sporting events.

Día de los Boyeros
— Get you cameras ready in San Antonio in Escazú on the second Sunday in March! The  parade of beautifully handmade and painted oxcarts are surrounded by traditional costumes, food and dancing. There also is a driving competition.
Día de San José—Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the capital city, San José, and is a national holiday where banks, schools and businesses are typically closed. Special masses are said across the entire country in celebration of Saint Joseph.

Semana Santa
—Holy week is one of the biggest observed times in Costa Rica. Holy Thursday and Good Friday prior to Easter Sunday are celebrated with masses and processions.  There is NO Public transportation on Thursday and Friday and NO alcohol sales Thursday and Friday.  This is a very busy and crowded week to come to Costa Rica.
Fiesta San Vincente de Moravia—Another toro a la Tica (Bulls without bloodshed) street fair with music, dancing, and traditional food.
Easter—Family and religious observations are held throughout the country.
Día de Juan Santamaría—Although this is a national holiday the majority of activities are held in Alajuela.  The day honors a young fighter from Alajuela who defended Costa Rica to the death against William Walkers forces at the battle of Rivas in 1856.
Fiesta San Rafael de Santa Ana—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).
Fiesta Tarrazu—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).

Día de los Trabajadores
—This is Costa Rican Labor Day which is filled with parades, marches and traditional food.  This is also the day for  the “state of the union” address from the President to Congress and the people of Costa Rica. Costa Rica does NOT have an Army.

Fiesta Pattronale Desamparados—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed)
Día de San Isidro Labrador— This holiday is celebrated all over Costa Rica honoring the patron saint of farmers with blessings of animals and crops. There are street fairs and parades with music, dancing and traditional food.

Fiestas Pattronales San Marcos de Tarrazu, and Coronado—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).

Fiestas Pattronales Trinidad de Moravia, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, Leon Cortes, and San Jeronimo—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).
Día de los Padres—This is the traditional Father’s Day in Costa Rica
Fiesta San Juan de Tibas—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed)
Día de San Pedro y San Pablo—Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s are marked by a day with processions and masses.

Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar—The Fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea on the Saturday closest to the 16th is marked in Puntarenas by a procession of decorated fishing boats carrying the city’s patron Saint the statue of La Virgen del Monte Carmelo There’s also a celebratory mass. The secular celebrations include a week of parades, dances, regattas, parades and fireworks. Playas del Coco also celebrates the Virgin of the Sea.
Día de Guanacaste—Guanacaste Day celebrates the annexation of Guancaste from Nicaragua in 1824. Street fiestas, folk dancing, topes (horse show/parade), traditional bullfights, rodeos and cattle shows are colorful and great photo opportunities

Virgen de Los Angeles
— This National holiday celebrates the patron saint of Costa Rica; La Negrita. Pilgrims come from all over the country for the special mass at Cartago and a religious procession from San José to La Basilica de Cartago.  The sick come to her year round for she is said to have healing powers.
Fiesta Ciudad Colon (San Carlos)—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).
Día de la Madre, Feast of the Assumption—Mother’s day is a National holiday.  All banks, school and most businesses are closed. Fiesta Pattronale Aserri—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).

Independence Day—Costa Rica gained independence from Spain on the same day as the rest of Central America in 1821. The nationwide celebration starts with parades, traditional dancers, and street parties and culminates with the arrival of the Freedom Torch in Cartago (delivered from Nicaragua by relay runners) when everyone in the country stops and simultaneously sings the national anthem. Later in the day, children carry small lanterns through their towns.  This is one of Costa Rica’s biggest celebrations.

Fiesta Pattronale San Francisco de Dos Ríos
—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).
Carnival/ Día de la Raza —Think Río on the streets of Límon, Costa Rica. This celebration of Columbus’ arrival in the new world culminates on October 12.  It caps off several days of Carnival on the Caribbean coast. Although it is the rainy season, it is a must see event!
Fiesta Pattronale Escazú—One of the wealthiest areas of Costa Rica, this street fair has music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).

Día de los Muertos—(All Soul’s Day) A very religious and sad day observed across all of Costa Rica with Catholic masses and pilgrimages to visit dead loved ones.
El Desfile de Carretas—One of the largest parades of ox-carts takes place in San José.  Definitely a colorful celebration.

Festival de la Luz—(Festival of Lights) This is San José’s weeklong event is marked by lighting displays, concerts and fireworks.
Fiesta Pattronale Pavas—Street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed).
Fiesta de la Yeguita—Bullfights and a parade followed by a party in the parque central of Nicoya with food, concerts and fireworks.
Misa de Gallo—(Mass of the Rooster)This is traditional Christmas eve.
Christmas Week—Not an official holiday but the week of Christmas is so commonly observed throughout the country.Christmas Day—Family get togethers after Christmas mass
Tope Caballos—The horses parade throughout downtown San José proudly displays the equine traditions and unique Criollo breed of horses.

Originally post here: AllthingsCostaRica

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Photo of the Day


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U.S. Dollar vs Colon

Costa Rica News – Costa Rica’s currency needs to weaken further against the dollar to aid exporters as the country courts investors in the wake of firings by Intel Corp. and Bank of America Corp., President Luis Guillermo Solis said.

costa rica colonThe 9.5 percent decline in the colon this year is the most among 18 Latin American and Caribbean currencies after the Argentine peso. The central bank has sold dollars on 13 of the past 15 trading days, totaling about $122 million, its longest streak since 2008. Solis said he’s “happy” with the bank’s efforts to limit volatility since he took office May 8.

“The trend toward devaluation needs to be kept,” Solis said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “There’s no way we could keep the colon strong. Exporters and tourism investors were going crazy.”

The currency weakened 0.3 percent, the most in three weeks, to 554.04 per dollar at 12:57 p.m. local time. Solis said he doesn’t have a target for the colon and that the rate should be set by the market. A devaluation could aid the economy by making exports cheaper and luring more tourists to a country known for its tropical rain forests and beach resorts.

Solis, 56, is seeking to bolster the Central American nation’s economy after Intel (INTC) and Bank of America announced 3,000 firings in April, days after the former history professor won a runoff with 79 percent support. Citigroup Inc. cut its 2015 growth forecast for gross domestic product to 2.2 percent from 4 percent after the layoffs were announced.

Intel Lab

Intel accounted for about 21 percent of the country’s exports of goods, or 14 percent of total exports, according to Costa Rica’s investment promotion agency, known as CINDE. The Santa Clara, California-based company had said it was cutting its workforce in the country as part of an effort to consolidate operations. Intel later announced plans to invest $6 billion to upgrade a chip factory in southern Israel.

Intel said yesterday it would expand a testing laboratory in Costa Rica that will employ 350 people. Solis, who met with company officials this week in California, said his government will seek to improve infrastructure and education, lure more high-technology investors and expand the domestic market.

Those measures could help raise economic growth to 5 percent per year, he said. Growth this year could reach 3.5 percent, he added. Expansion will help tackle poverty in a country ranked 102nd in the World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report this year, behind China, Vietnam and Namibia.

Poverty Fight

“I’m not willing to leave behind a significant part of the population of Costa Rica that has not had access to the benefits of the open economy,” Solis said. “I want to reduce poverty rates. The only way to do that is to make the economy larger.”

The central bank today raised the basic interest rate to 6.95 percent from 6.90 percent. Inflation in the country reached 4.2 percent in May from a year earlier, the fastest pace since September.

Chinese investment in Costa Rica is increasing, Solis said, and the government is backing efforts to improve roads linking the border region near Nicaragua to the port of Moin, near the city of Limon. The Hague-based APM Terminals BV is upgrading the port.

Solis reaffirmed his commitment not to raise taxes before 2016, saying he would seek to bring down income tax evasion of about 50 percent and fight the trade in contraband. The budget deficit estimated at 6 percent of GDP this year could be reduced by 1.5 percentage points by the end of his term, he said.

“If we are able to cut down expenses and make them better, in all likelihood we could probably lower the deficit at least a point and a half,” he said. “That would be a very good expectation.”

By Bill Faries and Jose Enrique Arrioja, From Bloomberg, bloomberg.com

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