Monday, August 30, 2010

David Gimelfarb- MY last Post

David Gimelfarb has been MISSing in Costa Rica for a little over a year now but family members believe he is still ALIVE. WTF?

The folks at CNN, specifically, Nancy Grace's 'Cold Case' published the story of David Gimelfarb today and this blog has been getting HIT big time since I've written about David's disappearance numerous times and obviously, I coming up in GOOGLE searches for 'David Gimelfarb'.

For what I'm about to say, I mean NO disrespect, I swear. And nothing would make me happier if at the end of it all, David Gimelfarb is found ALIVE. I would love to have to apologize for being a complete A-HOLE (wouldn't be the first time). But I've been following this story and it hasn't made sense, at least to me, for quite some time. *Before you judge me and if you care, read what I had to say and WHY, in sequence, FIRST, then you can give me shit.

* David Gimelfarb MISSING in Costa Rica
* David Gimelfarb- the search CONTINUES
* Red Cross pull OUT of Search
* David Gimelfarb- MISSING or NOT?
*David Gimelfarb- What's the STORY?
*David Gimelfarb and Michael Dixon- MY THOUGHTS
*David Gimelfarb and Michael Dixon- the DIFFERENCE


Here's ALL I KNOW. If I truly, TRULY believed my son was ALIVE, roaming Costa Rica dazed and CONFUSED, I would be there, scouring the country and doing whatever it TOOK... am I wrong, wouldn't you? I'd criss-cross the fuckin country 10 times over, that is, if I truly believed he was ALIVE.

The 'Help Find David Gimelfarb' Facebook page is the most telling. Just read the posts in sequence. I don't blame them for wanting answers, HELLO, who wouldn't and I understand denial. But.....

David is dead.... but damn it, I'd rather apologize for being a A-HOLE.

Friday, August 27, 2010

AM Costa Rica hath no SHAME

AM Costa Rica is NOT primarily a NEWS source, it's first and foremost a paid Costa Rica referral site.

AM Costa Rica is actually getting worse, much WORSE (maybe Jay Brodell, the editor-in-chief, is thinking about retiring soon and grabbing all the advertisement revenue he can before he goes- who knows?). Go to their front page on ANY day, advertisements everywhere, so jammed packed in fact, they're now placing ads above their own AM Costa Rica 'header'. 'One' main story pretty much surrounded in a sea of blinking lawyers, brothels and casino ads. Looks like a cheap, 'What happens in Vegas' brochure.

*I've written about AM Costa Rica before- links to the right under 'Stuff I've written'

BUT, I know the advertisers are happy, very HAPPY because AM Costa Rica gets a lot of 'clicks'- thousands, everyday. But why so many clicks if AM Costa Rica SUCKS? Seriously, if Jay Brodell started AM Costa Rica today, it would be just one MORE in the zillions of below-average, 'aggregate' blog (news) sites created for the sole purpose of making a couple bucks utilizing google adsense. He wouldn't make enough to pay his cable bill.

But he didn't. Jay Brodell started AM Costa Rica about 9 years ago... gotta give him props for that but think of it this way, AM Costa Rica is like the 'OLDEST' and 'ONLY' liquor store in a town of 50,000. Their might not be a great selection, but when the pickins are slim, believe me, any ol' beer will do- and that's AM Costa Rica.

The other reason they're popular is, well, like I said, they're a GREAT referral site... sorta like a Costa Rica yellow pages for expats and people thinking about living here. A 'Yellow Pages' wrapped in a thin veneer of "journalism" and that my
friends is why the advertisers are HAPPY. If you absolutely don't know where to start your Costa Rica INFO search, they're FRONT page has most of the bases covered, in ads: residency lawyers, accountants and tax people, cosmetic surgery doctors and dentists, shipping containers businesses and of course, real estate folks etc. But here's the beauty, which Jay Brodell obviously knows. AM Costa Rica does well in 'keyword' searches, so, when you come across an AM Costa Rica 'news story', it's got all that great "How to live, move and re-locate etc" advertisements to go with it. You may not end up using any of the advertised people or businesses, but you can bet advertisers love the fact there's also a good chance you WILL.

You might want to consider the businesses or people who advertise on AM Costa Rica as well. Personally, I'd rather link to 'quality', which AM Costa Rica clearly isn't. If I were a potential advertiser on AM Costa Rica I would demand Jay Brodell UPDATE his pathetic excuse for a website, hire more experienced writers who can produce quality content and report the who, what, why, where and how without throwing in their not so subtle, 2 cents worth, before I even considered advertising on AM Costa Rica. I guess with AM Costa Rica and its advertisers, it's more like, 'Birds of a feather'.

I wish I had the resources to start something like, 'AM Costa Rica ALTERNATIVE, the REAL news source Monday thru Friday.' Hey, I'm not stupid, those are good 'keywords'... gotta give Mr. Brodell is due but I sure wish I could use them against him.

The following song is dedicated to Jay Brodell:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crime in Costa Rica one woman's VIEW

For many, ONE trip to Costa Rica just isn't enough.

Believe me, it's NOT just hype- Costa Rica really is ALL that... and MORE. It's why D'Angelo and I live here and why many people return to Costa Rica time and time again. Like Elaine.

We met Elaine through TWITTER. She's been coming to Costa Rica for the last 10 years or so and loves the country as much as D'Angelo and I do. She's traveled all around Costa Rica by herself... pretty impressive if you ask me. Now, she brings people down to Costa Rica but I'll get back to that in a minute. I had a chance to sit down and talk to Elaine about her experiences in Costa Rica and what she felt about the whole, "Crime is running rampant in Costa Rica..." bullshit. Here's what she had to say:

*Again, we're not saying crime isn't somewhat of a problem, we're just saying about 98% can be AVOIDED with common sense.

Like I mentioned above, Elaine has taken her passion for Costa Rica and turned it into a little side business by bringing people here and showing them around, kinda like a personal travel companion/guide. After spending quite a bit of time with Elaine it was evident that she's not in it for the money, she just wants to spread the LOVE for Costa Rica to others... I like that. Reminds me of me.

Elaine gave me permission to pass along her website, so if you have any questions about traveling in Costa Rica, by all means: Costa Rica in Nature

Just in case you missed it, what I had to say about crime in Costa Rica:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shipping Container or NO Shipping Container

Shipping container or NO shipping container, that is the question when moving to Costa Rica.
*I updated this POST on August of 2012- Go HERE If you're making the move to Costa Rica then you'll have to decide on whether you want to use a shipping container or NOT. In other words, bring your SHIT, or leave EVERYTHING behind and buy the stuff you need when you get here.

We recently interviewed 'Bill', who's been coming to Costa Rica for 25 years but has just recently moved here. I asked him what he thought of shipping containers. This is HIS perspective, although I couldn't agree MORE.

*I would also encourage you to bring your own computers, cameras and other electronics- much cheaper in the States.

But I understand, their can be any number of reasons why someone may want to ship their stuff, so here's a few things you should know.

It could cost upwards of $10 grand to ship your stuff. You're going to need two movers, one in the States and another one here in Costa Rica.

Personally, I would find the Costa Rica mover first. They can be a GREAT resource on how to do things RIGHT the first time to avoid problems when your stuff reaches Costa Rica. For example, they can provide tips on how you can minimize the tax bill in Costa Rica by properly valuing your things.

Want a positive EXPERIENCE in Costa Rica... it's all related to doing your HOMEWORK.

You're going to want to choose your Costa Rica mover very carefully. Your choice can be the variable whether the experience is good or bad, fast or slow, reasonable or costly and tolerable or a living NIGHTMARE.

Here's a GREAT place to start your homework: Association of Residents of Costa Rica. ARCR for short.

For me, I might use a container one day,,,,,for this....hehe

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

F me once, then SHAME on you, but F me twice...

FIRST, the farming company, Agropecuaria Caletas S.A, told 'the powers that be' in Costa Rica to F-OFF, and now, THIS.

Here's what's going on. Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. is a farming company in Costa Rica. It owns land next or close to, Caletas-Arío National Wildlife Refuge. Agropecuaria Caletas S.A is owned by Sylvestre Feichtinger or is it Sylvester Feichtinger, a US-Austrian citizen. He's rich, he owns other things as well, but we'll get to that in a minute.

We'll call this guy, Sylvestre (Sylvester) Feichtinger.

Last year, Pretoma , an organization that PROTECTS the oceans resources and especially the sharks and sea turtles, took issue with Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. and it's owner Sylvester Feichtinger and this happened:

Last April, responding to a lawsuit filed by Pretoma against Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. for draining the wetlands of the Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge, the Environmental Tribune ordered the farming company to halt all of its activities in and around this sensitive wetland. Last June, the Environmental Tribune ordered the company to pay $21,200 for damages caused therein (Resolución N° 390-09-TAA). The resolution came after officials observed how the company is, by design, draining, burning and thereby sucking the biological diversity out of a 150 hectare wetland that boarders Playa Caletas on the southern Nicoya Peninsula.

After being ordered to fix the problem and pay the fine, the 'fucks' at Agropecuaria Caletas told the 'powers that be' in Costa Rica basically to F-OFF and IGNORED the penalties and mandates.

*If you're interested in the 'nitty-gritty' of this story, I wrote about it a few times about a year ago (read in order):

* Another Company tells Costa Rica to F-OFF

* time to SPEAK-UP and do SOMETHING

* Casa Caletas Hotel- tell me it's NOT true

* Don't STAY at Casa Caletas Hotel, but WHY?

Now, a year later, just a couple weeks ago, Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. is doing THIS and the volunteers at Pretoma caught them:

Yup, spraying chemicals all 'willy-nilly' with devastating consequences to the area. Here's the FULL STORY from Pretoma's website. But you can be SURE, Pretoma will be taking Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. to court, yet AGAIN.

Let's just assume the 'powers that be' in Costa Rica don't give a RIP about this. Doesn't matter, that's not really the point ANYMORE. This is ALL about perception and Costa Rica is looking like a complete BITCH on this one. You can't on one hand market yourself as one of the most eco-friendly places on the planet, packed with spectacular flora and fauna- a TRUE naturalists PARADISE, and on the other hand let these atrocities go unpunished. This story is OUT there, people are WATCHING. Perception is EVERYTHING. Agropecuaria Caletas S.A has IGNORED the 'powers that be' once with little consequence and now THIS. Something needs to be done.

HEY Costa Rica, you tried this the FIRST time, it didn't work...

On principle, Costa Rica has to do something OVER-the-TOP to set a precedent and make an example of Agropecuaria Caletas S.A., something that SCREAMS- You BREAK the environmental laws in Costa Rica and you pay the PRICE.

"I got something for you Mr. Crop Duster plane... that's right, a little closer..."

I kid, but you get the point.

Oh, and btw, in an IRONIC and very hypocritical twist, guess who owns a hotel by the wetlands of the Caletas-Ario Wildlife Refuge and markets it as an eco lodge where the highlight is its natural surroundings... that's right, our friend and owner of Agropecuaria Caletas S.A., Sylvester Feichtinger. It's called Casa Caletas, give'em a ring and tell them why you WON'T stay there. It's the least you could do.

To find out how you can HELP and other great INFO:

Tel (506) 2241 5227
Fax (506) 2236 6017

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sharks have a few ALLIES in Costa Rica

"The cruel practice of 'shark finning' is threatening Costa Rica’s eco-friendly image", said Ethical Traveler, one of the organizations trying to alter the practice of shark finning in Costa Rica.

Don't know what shark finning IS? This is a pretty good description:
Shark finning is the act of chopping the fins off of live sharks and dumping the then-helpless sharks back into the sea to drown. The fins are exported to Asia where they are used in an expensive delicacy: shark fin soup—or as journalist John Platt calls it, “Extinction in a Bowl.”

Fuckin' Asian tradition.

Oh, and the IMPACT of shark finning:
A 2007 study published by Science magazine showed a 90-percent decline in global shark populations in recent decades.
Here's the GOOD NEWS as reported in AM Costa Rica just yesterday:
" has partnered with nonprofit groups and Costa Rica’s to stop shark finning in the Central American nation. In April, Pretoma founder Randall Arauz received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Award for his work to pass a Costa Rican law requiring that sharks be “landed” with their fins attached — a major victory for the sharks. But the work is not finished, said Ethical Traveler."

And as this article pointed out, my HERO, Randall Arauz, received the 'Goldman Environmental Award' a few months back and it's always nice to see worthy folks getting recognized for their efforts, especially when they speak up for those who have no VOICE.

Shark finning is a HUGE problem, and especially here in Costa Rica and especially, especially in Puntarenas, where the Taiwanese and CHINESE influence in Costa Rica is growing. Ironically, Costa Rica has some of the BEST laws on the BOOKS in regards to shark finning and longline fishing but like many laws here, ENFORCEMENT is a totally different matter. Money talks....especially when they, (the Chinese) build you a SOCCER STADIUM.

I was fortunate enough to sit down and interview Randall Arauz a couple years ago, matter of fact, one of the FIRST videos we ever did, which I POST whenever I get the CHANCE. Tell your friends, EMBED this video, re-TWEET this post, Facebook it, DIGG it, Link-it, do whatever it takes to get the word out about shark finning, longline fishing etc. It’s really the LEAST we could do.

Without further ado:

There's a wealth of information out there, so get educated and REMEMBER this isn't just about SHARKS, it's much BIGGER than that, this is about the food chain, the Circle of Life and how it affects us ALL.

Seriously, how bad does it have to get BEFORE we do something?

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Friday, August 6, 2010

San Juan del Sur Nicaragua

Doin' Costa Rica DOES San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

San Juan del Sur is located approximately a 45 minute taxi ride from the Penas Blancas Border Crossing with Costa Rica. *We paid $20. at the border for a taxi. NOT $20/person, $20- TOTAL, just so you know.

Hey EVERYONE! As you may or many not know, D'Angelo and myself venture into Nicaragua quite frequently but usually we go to our favorite city in Nicaragua- Granada. We haven't been back to San Juan del Sur for about 4 years, so we thought we go back and check it out and of course, do a video. (Scroll down for the video).

Like Costa Rica, Nicaragua is also a friendly country.

San Juan del Sur is a beach/surf town and one of the top 3 travel destinations in Nicaragua. Actually, the beach at San Juan del Sur is NOT all that and definitely of know relevance to serious surfers but most people seem to use San Juan as a sort of 'base camp', since the better surfing and more beautiful beaches are located to the north and south of San Juan del Sur.

I suppose if you're a BEGINNER, San Juan del Sur just might work.

Their are TONS of hostels, hotels, B&B's etc etc in San Juan del Sur and since the town is small, you can easily walk around and find something in your price range and do a little comparison shopping. *TIP- Check out the room and make sure everything works before putting your money down.

I love, Love, LOVE to read, and believe me, it can often be difficult to find decent books when traveling around, so running across the 'El Gato Negro' was a serious SCORE for me. We show the inside of 'El Gato Negro' in our video.

I knew I loved 'El Gato Negro' when I found the book THERE that started it all for me way back when, 'The Fountainhead'.

Beaches worth CHECKING OUT to the North & South of San Juan del Sur:

To the SOUTH of San Juan del Sur: Playa El Coco- a really nice beach, great for swimmng and fishing. La Flor- One of the two Pacific turtle nesting beaches in Nicaragua. Ostional- Picturesque fishing town.

To the NORTH of San Juan del Sur: Playa Marsella- Good beach for snorkeling. Playa Madera- One of the most consistent and easy-to-access surf breaks. Bahia Majagual- A seriously BEAUTIFUL beach.

San Juan del Sur may not be the BEST beach, but they do have beautiful sunsets.

Just an FYI: I've gotten sick in San Juan del Sur the BOTH times I've been there. Read that as, diarrhea/vomiting ALL night, kinda sick. I've been in Costa Rica almost 5 years and NEVER... I'm not saying that everyone gets sick who visits San Juan del Sur, I'm just sayin.

Here's our VIDEO of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moving OUT of your COMFORT Zone

Chances are, if you're over 40 years old you already understand that LIFE is indeed SHORT. Us older folks also realize that LIFE, ANYONE'S life, is quite precarious and can be severely altered in the blink of an eYe. Nothing teaches us this more than an untimely DEATH of a loved one or friend . Precious and Fragile is the Circle of Life.

So, the question is, if we know this, then why don't we LIVE the LIFE we actually want to live?

Have we become so comfortable and complacent with our predictable little lives that we're afraid to venture outside the box? Personally, I think this is EXACTLY what it is. But ANYWAY,

Since moving to Costa Rica 5 years ago I've learned more about myself than I've learned in the last 25 years. Do you realize how much living outside our 'comfort zone' teaches us about ourselves... and NO, it's not always pretty, and as a matter of fact, it's sometimes a little too much in-your-face TRUTH.

My point of this post is not to tell you what I've learned but I can tell you living outside 'the box' has been the most uncomfortable yet exhilarating thing I've ever done. 'Uncomfortable' has never felt so good.

The point of this post is to encourage YOU, to crawl out of your comfort zone and follow the PASSION you had when you were 21 and the possibilities were endLESS or perhaps those times when you were having a few beers with friends and talking about 'simplifying your life.'

DO IT DAMN IT! What are you waiting for? Write your novel. Paint your picture. Explore other parts of the world. Volunteer. Live off the land (or not). Immerse yourself in a different culture. Whatever your passion IS, follow it and don't let anything get in the way.

Tell the kids you're going on an adventure. It's time you LIVE for yourself. Actually, you'll TEACH your kids more by living YOUR life rather than living through THEIRS. Let them THINK and WORRY about YOU for awhile... wouldn't that be a nice CHANGE? Hell, start a blog.

Need HELP with the first step? SELL YOUR SHIT- you don't need it, and really, it is SHIT. Once you realize 'THINGS' don't define YOU, it's EASY. Start with the small stuff and work your way UP to the leather couches and mahogany dresser drawers. Funny, my wife and I separated and had the opposite discussion, we tried to give each other 'the stuff' and neither one of us wanted it. We literally SOLD or gave AWAY just about everything we had.

The Clock is ticking... and much faster than you think.

From one of my favorite movies:

Get Busy Livin' or Get Busy Dyin'

Which ONE are you doin?

Another FAVORITE movie- a little motivational music message to get you OFF your ASS.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!