Friday, December 25, 2009

MORE Boruca Indian Masks

Okay, I LOVE the Boruca Indian masks what can I say and a few more just ARRIVED. I actually bought the mask to the left and it's NOW my personal favorite.... until the next batch comes in....hehe

I mentioned this before, but the pics just don't do these masks justice. I wish I could fly each and every one of you out to Costa Rica so you could view them PERSONALLY.

But FIRST, I would like to wish everyone the BEST during this holiday season regardless of how you happen to CELEBRATE (or in my case, you don't)... and I HOPE next year is the BEST one EVER.

Just want to show you some more Boruca masks, but if you missed my last posting about the Boruca Indians, there's a more INFO and other masks HERE.

Boruca (or Brunka) Indian masks:

The 2 below can actually run a little more money as they're made out of cedar and carved by the patriarch himself, Ismael Gonzalez.

Have a GOOD one.

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 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

La Fortuna Waterfall and Salto

La Fortuna, Costa Rica is home to NOT only the Arenal Volcano, but I pretty cool waterfall as well.

Obviously we LOVE La Fortuna Costa Rica or we wouldn't LIVE here... YOU wouldn't live somewhere YOU didn't care for, would YOU? I've written numerous times about La Fortuna and what it has to OFFER and believe me, it's much more than just HOME to the ever-erupting Arenal Volcano.

So besides doing the famous Arenal volcano hike, I would suggest a visit to the La Fortuna waterfall (La Catarata) as well. The waterfall is located only about 3 miles from the center of town and nestled in the hills over looking La Fortuna.

The hike down to the waterfall is a little steep, but rather nice. Here's D'Angelo and Christopher taking a little break.

Me, chillin in a small pool just a little down stream from the waterfall.

Why read what I gotta say about Fortuna Falls, we did a VIDEO, complete with INFO and GREAT footage:

Unless you're walking 'to' and 'from' the Fortuna Waterfall, you only need about an hour and a half to ENjoY the area. (The times for visiting the waterfall are from 8:00am to 4:00pm).

So, since you're in the area anyway, you should also visit Salto, and here's the VIDEO if you're not sure what I'm talking about (it's DEFINITELY worth a look).

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 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flying into the San Jose Airport

The soon to be defuncted, 'official' taxi of the Juan Santamaria International Airport.

It appears the ubiquitous orange taxi's (all 75 of them), that provide service only from the Juan Santamaria International Airport aka San Jose Airport, to the surrounding San Jose area, are being 'kicked to the curb'.

Doesn't really matter WHY, but in about 3 months it looks like their licenses will be REVOKED- figuratively and literally.

So, here's our NEW video, combined with the old yet still pertinent footage about flying into the San Jose Airport- Hope it Helps.

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 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sexually Exploited Children in Costa Rica

The sexual exploitation of children is a TOP concern in Costa Rica...."OH REALLY?"

Prostitution is LEGAL in Costa Rica but that's not to imply there's not a seedier underbelly of underage sex, sexual slavery, drugs and crime lurking just below the surface of the legalities. In particular, Costa Rican officials have been battling the sexual exploitation of minors for YEARS and they absolutely LOATHE the thought that foreigners group Costa Rica with the likes of Taiwan as one of the TOP tourist destinations for every conceivable pedophile and 'Chester the Molester' type seeking SEX with a minor.

Obviously, they still believe it's a problem (it is), because this just came out:
"The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) and the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) announced that members of the tourism sector have signed a Code of Conduct that ensures that hotels, tour operators, rent-a-cars and taxi services will monitor tourists and report potential sexual exploitation of minors and adolescents."
FULL STORY if you feel the need.

I don't know about YOU, but this is problem SOLVED! Children can now sleep safe at night knowing hotels, tour operators, rent-a-car establishments and taxi drivers got their BACK.....SWEET!

I promise NOT to get on my soapbox about how Costa Rica is more worried about how they are 'perceived' than the actual TRUTH of things or how their BARK is MUCH WORSE than their BITE. I have TONS of examples on this BLOG, here's ONE, but I digress.

* FOR THE RECORD: It's a given I appreciate Costa Rica's efforts to deter the sexual exploitation of minors... and in my opinion, the ADULTS doing so SHOULD have their genitals cut OFF. BUT....

Let's BREAK this down:

First, 'NIX' the taxi drivers. With few exceptions would any of them make a call to report a potential 'Chester'. Unless:

"Mr. Taxi Driver, I love tying up little girls and torturing them before I fuck them, do you know where I could find something like that?"

...and UNFORTUNATELY, even in this scenario it's not a given they'd make the CALL.

Taxi drivers make good money pointing people in certain directions, so PLEASE, they will NOT be on board, although I'm sure there's a few with a CONSCIOUS out there and of course they'll all say they support the cause.

So they want tour operators, rent-a-car people and hotels to, 'report potential sexual exploitation of minors and adolescents'.

Here's the short-list of problems:

* What EXACTLY is a 'potential sexual exploitation of a minor?' Who defines it and WHO'S qualified to make the 'call'?

* Tico's in general are non-confrontational and don't really want to be 'involved'.

* Who decides if someones a 'Chester'... an 18-year old desk clerk? Is an in-service on 'Chester' profiling involved?

* Most Costa Rican boys and girls under the age of 18, particularly 15-17 years old engaging in SEX, may in FACT be being exploited, but that doesn't mean THEY think they're being exploited- Can you say, 'hostile witness' and hostile witness for a myriad of reasons- personal safety and money being the 2 main reasons.

"This is my friend, 'Chester', he's like my adopted father from the States, what the FUCK are you talking about, he's JUST a friend?"

* Similarly, wanting to protect a 17-year old as opposed to a 9-year old from sexual exploitation are entirely 2 different things...just sayin,,, it is.

* When someone points the finger, like a hotel desk clerk, taxi driver, tour operator- they run the RISK of being WRONG, and EVEN if they're NOT, they also run the risk of being sued.

* 'Chester' unfortunately, doesn't USUALLY look like a 'Molester' or a pedophile, only in the movies.

* Organized crime DOES play a part in this to some degree, do you really think a taxi driver, hotel etc. wants any part of THAT?

* I just can't see hotels making a CALL as they wouldn't want 'their' hotel associated with that kind of behavior and any hotels known for the seedier side of SEX tend to handle their problems internally, if you know what I mean.

* Tour operators? Rent-a-car establishments? Come on, it would have to be something pretty blatant for them to make a 'call'- they don't want any part of this. I can hear it now:

"Yes, this is Joe Schmo rent-a-car, there's semen stains on the back seat and the guy returning the car looks a little sketchy, thought you'd like to know, would you like me to try and detain him?"

This 'Code of Conduct' merely looks good on paper, sounds GOOD, gives the perception Costa Rica is proactively fighting against the sexual exploitation of minors... and of course, ALL the above, taxi drivers included, will applaud this 'CODE' and tell you they support it. (it's to protect the kids for God sake). But in REALITY, to actually apply this 'Code of Conduct', WELL,,,, it's MUCH to subjective to be put in the hands of inexperienced workers merely trying to make a living, but also creates a very, VERY, 'BIG BROTHERish' kind of slippery slope. Very few of the above will make the 'call' unless it is blatant, in your face, exploitation.

Personally, I almost think this would put these 'people' at RISK.

I really, really HATE to say this but I almost think this is a marketing ploy, like saying you're eco-friendly. The below quote with the exception of the name, Joe Schmo Hotel, is taken word for word from an advertisement for a hotel in Costa Rica.

"We at the 'Joe Schmo Hotel' are 100% committed to protecting our children against sexual exploitation and invite you to join us! Thank you for your cooperation and participation."

Who wouldn't say this? Makes you want to book a room NOW... you know, to help save the exploited children.

Hey Costa Rica, you really want to SOLVE this problem? Here's a few tips: Payed informants who 'know' the underbelly of the sex world here, (yeah, it could be a taxi driver), undercover agents posing as 'Chesters', RAIDS on some of the more known, seedier, SEX establishments. Go after organized crime, they're KEY players in this. Weed out bad cops. Then report the NUMBERS, write stories of the GRINGO who came down here looking for underage sex but instead got a 50 year vacation.... and talk and WRITE about it a LOT. Funny, I know you know this, but here you are trying to have other people do YOUR job. Yeah, it would be great if people would get more involved and MAYBE when they actually see YOU doing something, you will then get the hotels, rent-a-cars, taxi drivers and tour operators on-board and they will be more apt to HELP you. BUT until you BITE, they're NOT going to feel obligated to BARK....know what I mean?


- Legal AGE to do STUFF in Costa Rica

- OUR VIDEO about Prostitution in Costa Rica

- Drugs in Costa Rica

- Prostitution / Gambling in Costa Rica

- Sex and Strip Clubs 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 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Moving to Costa Rica? THINK AGAIN

Thinking of moving or re-locating to Costa Rica, then consider CULTURE SHOCK.

Culture Shock EXISTS- in various degrees, depending on the person. Culture Shock is REAL- ask anyone that's moved abroad. Culture Shock should NOT be taken lightly or underestimated- or you'll be moving back HOME within a year. So when you decide to uproot your LIFE and move to Costa Rica for a little slice of paradise, realize even the Garden of Eden had it's downside (F'in snake), and vacationing in Costa Rica is NOT the SAME as living in Costa Rica.

Official definition of Culture Shock taken from the folks at WIKI:

"Culture shock refers to the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown cultural or social environment, such as a foreign country. It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not. This is often combined with a dislike for or even disgust (moral or aesthetical) with certain aspects of the new or different culture."
Here's our video about Culture Shock, it's a MUST SEE if you're considering the move to Costa Rica:

The video really ONLY covers the 'BASE' of things to consider about Costa Rican Culture before making the move, then there's more practical EVERY DAY considerations such as; transportation issues, the language barrier, money matters, differences in sense of humor, etc.

To minimize Culture Shock and increase the ODDS of staying longer than a few months:

* First, do your HOMEWORK: Learn/Read/Study/Ask about Costa Rica


* Learn to ADJUST and ADAPT to any given situation.

* Be OPEN with a healthy dose of Curiosity

* Keep whining and complaining down to the bare minimum


A personal favorite to some of the more arrogant Gringo's amongst us: When a Tico tells you you're pronouncing it wrong, then YOU'RE PRONOUNCING IT WRONG, so quit arguing just because you passed Rosetta Stone with flying colors.

More on Culture Shock on our TravelCostaRicaNOW site- HERE.

My experience with Costa Rica and Culture Shock.
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 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!