Copyright? What does that mean?

The copyright laws are probably broken against Disney more than anyone here. They freely advertise with Disney costumes like this, Disney characters painted on signs, in store windows, etc. One sign painter even advertised that he did “Disney-like Signs.”  🙂

This Mickey Mouse was walking around Central Park Alajuela the other day talking to people in Spanish about something – but I doubt it was about Disney World or a Disney movie!

DiosArte

Translation of the above art:  “Give Jesus more room in your life.”   And my post title “DiosArte” is simply Spanish for “GodArt.”

My young friend Jason Quesada liked this FB page (DiosArte) and I liked the interesting and youthful art made by a Catholic young person here. Creativity is used in many ways in Costa Rica! Check out his colorful Facebook Page:

DiosArte

 

 

¡Pura Vida! 

La Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit / Pitaya

“Pitahaya” is not a Spanish word but rather a word from the indigenous people of Costa Rica and what everyone calls this unusual fruit or flower growing on a cactus plant. It is used most popularly in bebidas or fruit drinks like American Smoothies and the fruit is called “Dragon Fruit” or “Pitaya” in the states. The inside is gelatin like and pink in color with tiny black seeds and very sweet.

The photo is of one David brought to Spanish class the other day and I thought I would share another one of out unusual foods here in Costa Rica (and all over Latin America and in Asia). Read about it on Wikipedia (en español) or  in English as pitaya/dragon fruit.

¡Pura Vida!

Breakdancers in Alajuela

While in Alajuela the other day I heard music in the gazebo of Central Park and found local teens breakdancing with a boombox in the gazebo. I tried to get a couple of shots with my phone and they aren’t very good, but an interesting part of culture here as especially the young adapt cultural activities and music from other cultures & countries around the world.  Truly, it’s a small world!   ¡Es un mundo pequeño!

Central Park Alajuela with the big white gazebo on the other side.

 

Breakdancing in Alajuela

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

~Mahatma Gandhi

P.S.   World Surfing League in Costa Rica This Week

Central Park Squirrels

Variegated Squirrel – La ardilla centroamericana (Sciurus variegatoides)

 

Yeah, I know, that’s what old men do – watch squirrels in the park!  🙂  But I haven’t done that until recently and snapped a few shots with my phone camera. These are called Variegated Squirrels in English, the most common squirrel all over Costa Rica. I hope that in the future I will sit in the park more whether watching people or squirrels or just relaxing or reading. It is a good place to be! To be in nature and to be in community. And eventually we will have a newly remodeled park which will necessitate more photos!   🙂

Note that we also have a lot of birds in the park also with parrots coming to the tops of one group of palms at one particular time of year and we also have had some Montezuma Oropendola nests in another part of the small park. I’m hoping they keep the trees with the remodeling!

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

~John Muir

Rough translation of sign in park:  “Celebrate your life, take care of nature”

¡Pura Vida!

New Wall Mural Atenas Central

This vacant lot looks like it is being made into a parking lot and if so, parkers will have the colorful mural on one side of where they park. We don’t have a lot of parking lots in Atenas with the old-fashion expectation of parking on the street, but as we grow and more people get cars, parking lots are becoming a necessity. I’m repeating the image here since the use in the large header crops too much off the ends of my panorama shot, plus with photos inside the article you can click to see fullscreen:

And the meaning of the mural? I don’t try to interpret art. I just like that it is bright and colorful – representative of the spirit of Atenas!  🙂

-o-

And here is another positive article for retiring in Costa Rica from Christopher Howard:   Costa Rica is Still One of the Best Countries in the World for Seniors

¡Pura Vida!

Will Costa Rica Become the only Chocolate Grower?

Will Costa Rica become the only source of chocolate by 2050?

Roasting cocoa seeds

The above link is a really interesting article in one of our online English newspapers. Chocolate comes from the cacao tree which will only grow 20 ° north or south of the equator and in the correct amount of humidity. Central America and particularly Costa Rica are perfect for that. West Africa has been good for cocoa, but global warming, higher temperatures and the desertification of West Africa along with some plant diseases there may someday, possibly by 2050, eliminate all cocoa farming in West Africa. They are experimenting with hybrid plants there says this month’s National Geographic magazine, but already people are saying the resulting chocolate is not as good.

Cacao is grown all over Costa Rica as small family farm businesses and by some of the indigenous peoples as I described in my recent visit to the Bribri Watsi village and earlier from my visit to Bribri Yorkin as we watched their children suck the sweet white stuff from around the cacao beans and we tried it ourselves.

If you ever visit Costa Rica there are many chocolate tours you can take to learn the complicated process for making one of the world’s favorite sweets.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

¡Pura Vida!

Newest Book is Now Out! Caribe Tuanis

Here’s the LINK to the photo book of my trip two weeks ago: Caribe Tuanis    Click title to REVIEW the book electronically in my bookstore, all pages for free!  Best seen at Full Screen!

Jumping at Bribri Watsi Waterfall

The title is my fusion of two Costa Rica slang words and is not grammatically   correct Spanish! One Tico tried to get me to add “El” like “The” in English. No. “Caribe” is CR slang or short for Caribbean which I think is used in English some also and the slang word “Tuanis” is like the American slang of earlier years “Cool.” So my English translation of the title would be “Caribbean Cool.” 

Three-toed Sloth this year – Rare face shot

Since my last year’s book on the Caribbean was all birds and nature, I wanted to do something different this year, featuring teens jumping off a waterfall and surfers riding the waves plus Bribri Indigenous People, and of course the Rastas of all Caribbean Culture.  Enjoy!

¡Pura Vida!

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

The Atenas Expats Men’s Club had another trip Saturday and I participated, the first time in several months. A bus load of us traveled to San Jose for a lunch stop at El Rodeo and then the afternoon at a portion of the two-day International 2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest, an annual event and contest (like “Dancing With the Stars”) that attracts contestants from most of the Latin American countries and the United States. We saw just a small portion or about 3 hours worth.

This time I’m asking you to go to my photo gallery on the event:

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

It was colorful and high energy with all ages of dancers. Go browse a few photos of children, teens or adults! You’ll be glad you did!   🙂

 

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.        – Martha Graham

 

2018 Costa Rica Open Dance Fest

Above for more of my photos or

below for Facebook Videos:

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=2018%20costa%20rica%20open%20dance%20fest

And MORE VIDEOS on the Dance Fest official Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/cropendancefest/

¡Pura Vida!

 

Independence Day Parade – Audience

Sometimes the people watching the parade are the most interesting thing seen! 🙂 The family portrait above tells a story, I think! And of course the children are always the most photogenic! This slideshow is my last on this year’s Independence Day Parade. See if you can find the 4 people with eyes glued to their device screens (2 are above). Cell phones dominate people around the world!  🙂

And next year I’m adding a new parade by going to the Caribe during Carnival! I’ll photograph the smaller one in Puerto Viejo and not the big one in Limon where I’ve heard it can be dangerous. I don’t want to lose my cameras again! (I was at the Puntarenas Carnival Parade my first year here when my camera bag was snatched from a sidewalk cafe.) But anyway, more parades coming!

¡Larga vida a Costa Rica!

Slideshow: Independence Day Parade Atenas – Audience

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

 

All holidays can be good times.    ~John Clayton