My Most Memorable Semana Santa

Semana Santa is Spanish for “Holy Week” or “Easter Week” if you prefer and my most memorable and colorful one since moving to Costa Rica was 8 years ago (2016, my 2nd year here) while on a birding tour of Nicaragua and during Semana Santa I was for 3 days in the historical colonial town of Grenada where from my old hotel across from the oldest church I could watch the nightly processionals that along with architecture and the later 87 species of birds photographed made it my most colorful and memorable Easter Week here! (Linked to my photo gallery of that week.)

Easter Week Pageantry, 2016, Granada, Nicaragua
Sunset over Granada, Nicaragua 2016.

He is Risen!

¡Pura Vida!

A Blessed Easter from Costa Rica

A quiet morning walk, a special breakfast, the songs of birds in my trees, and a bouquet of lilies in my house replace my old traditions of Easter Eggs for the children and a “dressed up” Easter Worship in a Baptist Church for most of my life. That old tradition is not me now.

Easter Flowers in my Home.

This majority Catholic country has both traditions and superstitions that I explored those first few years here. This week’s Tico Times online article Processions and Superstition Mark Easter Week in Costa Rica describe only some of those and my blog posts & galleries linked below describe even more.

Continue reading “A Blessed Easter from Costa Rica”

FAVE BIRDS – Crimson-collared Tanager

Beginning with this post the birds are being presented alphabetically by name and I never intended for them to be in order of my favorites, though the first two, Quetzal and Sunbittern, were chosen specifically to begin the series as maybe the two most dramatic of my bird photos! 🙂

This Crimson-collared Tanager (eBird description) was actually photographed in Nicaragua on one of my two birding trips to this next door neighbor of Costa Rica, though I do have photos of this bird made in Costa Rica with one included below, just not as strong an image as this featured photo. Read The Backstory below for where and how I photographed this seldom-seen bird in three different locations.

Crimson-collared Tanager on Coffee Plant
Continue reading “FAVE BIRDS – Crimson-collared Tanager”

STREET ART: Granada, Nicaragua

The fear of the Police probably stops most graffiti and street art in Nicaragua, especially in Manaus, but in the little tourist town of Colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua I found these two works of street art on the sides of buildings. See my Gallery of other shots in Granada, a beautiful, photogenic, colonial town or at bottom of post, links to all of my two trips photos.

Granada, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua

DISCLAIMER: “Street Art” for this series is paintings and tile work along streets, usually on buildings, that may or may not have been commissioned or done “illegally” without permission. I have no way of knowing. I purposefully did not include public statues, fountains, etc. obviously sanctioned by the government.

“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint.”

— Banksy

If interested in Nicaragua, see all of my photos from two trips there in 2016, mostly for birding, but other local photography included:

¡Pura Vida!

Adventure by Chicken Bus

Members of the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica), an organization formed to help expats get to and live better in Costa Rica get a subscription to the bimonthly magazine El Residente and I hope this link to the March/April 21 issue works for non-members! 🙂

The first main article in this issue is titled “Adventure by Chicken Bus” which is actually one chapter of a book by the same title, this chapter about the Canadian family traveling Central America while homeschooling is specifically about their efforts at helping Costa Rica save the endangered sea turtles on our east coast. A great story for nature lovers and wildlife preservers that will make you want to visit Costa Rica.

At the end of the story is a link to the book by this family’s mother and school teacher, Janet La Sole, Adventures by Chicken Bus, An Unschooling Odyssey Through Central America. Be sure to check out the tab “Chapters Gallery” which summarizes the chapters and where all they traveled through pretty much every country of Central America. Amazing! And they were backpacking with two young girls! That’s her book website. If you want to purchase, go directly to Adventures by Chicken Bus.

And in case you don’t know, “Chicken Bus” is the nickname for the small, rural, cheap buses (Used U.S. school buses painted bright colors) found all over Central America for cheap rural or out of the way places of travel. We do have big, modern buses in Costa Rica between major cities and towns and major tourist attractions, but these are common all over rural Central America and yes, they do carry their chickens on these buses. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Effects of Eta Rain on Costa Rica


For 4 days and nights it has been raining almost constantly in my Central Valley town of Atenas, while some lowland areas that typically flood or have landslides are being effected much more than we and our just wetness.

For example, see this related Tico Times article: Indirect effects of Eta lead to at least 500 evacuated in Costa Rica   (my feature photo by Tico Times from this article)

Most of us in Costa Rica are fine with no landfall of Hurricane Eta here, it has made landfall in Nicaragua and Honduras and I understand will just scrape Guatemala and Mexico as it heads for Western Florida and Alabama.

And the rain just makes us greener and more beautiful for when you tourists come here in the next few months!  🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Travel Photos – Central America

“To Travel is to Live”

– Hans Christian Andersen

Granada, Nicaragua

Yes, this blog and my connected Gallery are both much about my travel photos, mostly in my retirement home of Costa Rica with an occasional foray into neighboring countries. But hey!  I lived a life before Costa Rica and the “static pages” (non-blog) of this website and gallery continue to grow as I tell that past story, slowly, one page at a time. And the feature photo is of Sayaxche, Guatemala. 

Pre-Costa Rica Travel

You might remember that in this fairly new Photo Gallery a few months back I added galleries for the photos I have from trips to Africa, Canada & Mexico and the TRAVEL web pages that tie the photos together are on the Africa, Canada  &  Mexico pages, with a narrative of some of my earliest international travel adventures – not far from home, but international nonetheless! And as I soon add pages on my U.S. travels it will complete my NORTH AMERICA section of travel pages, though there are really a lot of travel galleries to make for that!

IMG_3940 -A-WEB
Embera Indigenous Dancers, Panama


Black-throated Trogon
Black-throated Trogon

In the last two weeks I have basically finished this travel page with links to all of my Central America travel galleries included, most in Costa Rica of course!   🙂  That will continue to be the biggest part of my photo gallery.

There are sub-pages for the four countries within which I have traveled in Central America with narrative and links to the photo galleries:

  • Costa Rica   (68 trip galleries and growing!)
  • Guatemala  (3 trip galleries)
  • Nicaragua  (6 trip galleries counting 1-day “Visa Runs.”)
  • Panama  (4 trip galleries)

1st day in Guatemala enroute to and at Ceibal Ruins and Chiminos Island, December 11, 2006

Monkey in Nicaragua

The 2006 11-day trip to Guatemala was one of my biggest adventure yet at the time and it just continues as I travel more here in Costa Rica and Latin America. Then since moving here the side trips to Nicaragua and Panama were both spectacular experiences! As the quotation above says, “To Travel is to Live.” The linked pages above take you to the various trip photo galleries OR if you prefer to just browse galleries, go to Pre-Costa Rica Travels where I intend to continue adding galleries of older trips when not traveling here!  🙂   Next up is South America and the Caribbean Islands trips, then I work on the good ol’ USA!  🙂

Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA – Home base of all my galleries

Happy Travels!

¡Feliz viaje!

¡Pura Vida!

Granada, Nicaragua

Managua, Nicaragua

Between airport and downtown, a patriotic billboard and the electric trees.


A closer shot of another presidential sign.
Reminded me of similar signs in Havana
with Castro telling how good it is!


The different colored art trees are lit up at night. First Lady’s idea I was told.


My Nature Air plane this time had a frog on it! Easy 55 minute flight.


The international passengers entrance to the Managua Airport. Nice & modern!

And don’t miss my Nicaragua Birds photo gallery for 98 different species!

And remember that both my trips to Nicaragua were provided by Tours Nicaragua!  Check out what they offer! I’m very happy with them!

And that is all the photos I’m going to share from my 2 night trip to Nicaragua June 28-30.

Scenery Shots from Lost Canyon Nature Reserve

My favorite view from the mountain trail in Lost Canyon Nature Reserve. There are volcanoes way over there!

The new reserve’s nice, small sign at the farm house where we ate lunch.
Like most private reserves it is operated by a foreigner.
Our van driver finds the hammock at Lost Canyon!

From the reserve and enroute there we saw several volcanoes.

One volcano from the van window.
Yep, I had a whole van! Me, a driver and my guide.
That is the transportation for all tours with Tours Nicaragua.
By the way, I highly recommend them if going to Nicaragua for any reason!

And don’t miss my Nicaragua Birds photo gallery for 98 different species!
And remember that both my trips to Nicaragua were provided by Tours Nicaragua!  Check out what they offer! I’m happy with them!

Pura Vida!

Names for León Colonial Churches

My earlier post did not include names plus I have added one more for 6 out of 9 colonial churches in León. I think the names are important! 

Recolección Church
León, Nicaragua
Cathedra Basilica of the Assumption of León
León, Nicaragua

San Juan Church
León, Nicaragua
El Calvario Church
León, Nicaragua

San Francisco Church
León, Nicaragua

La Merced Church
León, Nicaragua

I walked to the ones I could find within walking distance of the town center where I stayed. The other 3 colonial churches might have been within walking distance, but I could not find them. The San Juan Church our van stopped by on the way out is how I got it. León is a much larger city than Granada with many more people and churches. It is a nitty gritty working city much more alive than Granada and much less tourist-looking. Next time I hope for more time to explore it further.