Female Shamans and Art in San Jose, Costa Rica by da-AL

San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is a constant hustle bustle of strollers, musicians, shops, and street vendors. Museums feature local artists, past and present. It’s the rare place where you’ll find ancient sculptures of female shamans.

Great facts about Costa Rica

  • Literacy there is 96.3%, among the highest in Latin America. When Costa Ricans abolished their army in 1949, they vowed to replace it, “with an army of teachers.”
  • They elected their first female president in 2010. In Latin America, female presidents are common.

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Learn more about Costa Rica here and here.

Sloths and Surfing at Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo Beach, Manzanillo: videos included! by da-AL

Costa Ricans are among the happiest people in the world, according to scientific studies.

That explains how pura vida (pure life or good life) has come to be used by all Costa Ricans to greet, to encourage, and to convey all around friendliness.

Some other interesting facts about Costa Rica:

  • Just about everyone there speaks English.
  • The country has only two seasons – rainy and not as rainy.
  • Temps are 80’s and 90s Fahrenheit year ’round.
  • Every day of the year, sunrise and sunset are at 5:30.
  • It’s easy to get sunburned due to its being closer to the equator.
  • My husband and I used citronella wristbands and natural bug repellent, yet received fewer bug bites than many of our fellow travelers.

Take it from me — seeing a happy sloth close up definitely contributes to my sense of wellbeing!

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L.A. Iconic Artist Frank Romero and Frida Kahlo at Museum of Latin American Art by da-AL

Iconic Los Angeles artist Frank Romero has helped define Los Angeles.

Los Angeles beauty and grit are common themes in Romero's paintings.
Los Angeles beauty and injustice are common themes in Romero’s paintings.

It’s about time that he has a solo show at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA, located in Long Beach).

Now well into his 70s, Romero continues to paints every day.
Now well into his 70s, Romero still paints daily.

A long time activist, he’s a self-described visual historian and storyteller.

“Death of Rubén Salazar,” 1986, depicts the night the Los Angeles Times' first Chicano journalist was killed.
“Death of Rubén Salazar,” 1986, depicts the night the Los Angeles Times’ first Chicano journalist was killed.

I say he’s also a journalist and a feminist.

A woman shaman by Frank Romero.
A woman shaman by Frank Romero.

The fabulous museum opened in the mid-90s. Up until a few years ago, it only displayed art by Central American and South American artists. No North American art.

Los Angeles' car culture is another of Romero's frequent subjects.
Los Angeles’ car culture is another of Romero’s frequent subjects.

After decades of community pressure, a few years ago it let Latin North American art in.

Romero's reworking of artist Edward Kienholz's installation, "Back Seat Dodge '38."
Romero’s reworking of artist Edward Kienholz’s installation, “Back Seat Dodge ’38.”
Romero's depictions of old and present Los Angeles have helped define it.
Romero’s depictions of old and present Los Angeles have helped define it.

Only now has it gotten around to featuring a Chicano in a solo show. Romero is a great choice.

A more recent depiction of Los Angeles shows how Romero's style is changing. These days, he even paints in France.
A more recent depiction of Los Angeles shows how Romero’s style is changing. These days, he even paints in France.

Great things are alway going on at MOLAA. Sundays are free admission.

Just one of the many Frida Kahlo photos in MOLAA's latest ode to her.
Just one of the many Frida Kahlo photos in MOLAA’s latest ode to her.

Right now, in addition to Romero’s art, hurry over to enjoy a wonderful Frida Kahlo collection of photos and correspondence.

Museum of Latin American Art

Frank Romero in Wiki

Frank Romero in Los Angeles Times

Frida Kahlo in Wiki

A second Frida link and third Frida link.

Costa Rica: Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna, Plus Videos by da-AL

Volcanos, waterfalls, and sheer fun abound in Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

Hum a little tune as you watch these fast motion photos.

Learn more about Costa Rica here and here.

Costa Rica animals, food, money, and plants. Some videos too by da-AL

A mere 0.1% of Earth’s landmass, Costa Rica harbors 5% of Earth’s biodiversity. Environmental protection is Costa Rica’s middle name. Ecotourism rewards Ticos (Costa Ricans) with jobs and commerce. Other countries take note: caring for Mother Nature pays off in $mucho$ $dinero$.

25% of its land is nationally protected. Compare that to the developing world’s average of 13% and the developed world’s average of 8%. Each Costa Rican drains the Earth a third less than each North American does.

Crops include coffee and sugar cane.

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What do you think about when you think of butterflies?

Learn more about Costa Rica here and here.

Costa Rica: Jungle Hiking, Indigenous Abodes, and Rafting the Pacuare River by da-AL

A popular medical tourism destination, Costa Ricans live longer than Northern Americans. How? Thanks to their socialized medicine system, strict anti-smoking laws, overall healthy focus, and low sugar consumption in.

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Learn more about Costa Rica here and here.

I Love Costa Rica: Ziplining and Tarzan Swing Videos by da-AL

My beloved and I have yet to come down from the serious high of the Costa Rica vacation we took some months ago.

Here we are, hanging out in the rainforest of Monte Verde, in the northern part of Costa Rica.

Stay tuned for more Costa Rica posts.

Learn more about Costa Rica here and here.