San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Jacó Happenings

Hometown Jacó surfer residents took the first leg of the National Surf Circuit, which took place Dec. 19 to 20 here in Jacó. Jair Pérez won the men’s division ahead of Gilbert Brown and Anderson Tasco. Reigning national champion Lisbeth Vindas, another Jacó native, won the women’s division ahead of Nataly Bernold, Jordan Hundley and Ericka Valverde. In the junior division, Jacó’s Maykol Torres won ahead of Jordan Hernández, Anthony Fillingim and Noe Mar McGonagle. The next date of the circuit is set for Jan. 16 and 17 in Palo Seco de Parrita, south of Jacó. For more information, see

Miró’s Most Excellent Student Award was well received by six lucky students in the district of Garabito: Diana Castillo of Escuela de Quebrada Ganado, Vidian Pérez of Colegio Técnico Profesional de Jacó, Pamela Castro of Liceo de Quebrada Ganado, Jhoel Naranjo of Escuela Inmaculada, Carlos Muñoz of Colegio Inmaculada and Anthony Josué Cascante of Escuela Central de Jacó. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship for outstanding achievements in school.

January is all about new-year resolutions, and the Central Pacific offers everything you need to fulfill your goals. For those who want to try something new, many novel tours are being offered in the region. Eric Holzgang of Jacó 360 (2643-5901) is offering a new tour to TortugaIsland. King Tours (2643-2441) now offers a Discover Scuba Diving Tour with PADI, and also has a new 60-foot catamaran that is perfect for checking out the central Pacific coast.

Daystar’s Jacó Canopy Tour (2643-1290) is also now open across from the gas station on the south end of town, offering awesome canopy tours with ziplines, rock climbing and rappelling. TropicalBeach Sports (2643-1005) is offering Jet Ski rentals and Banana Boat tours out of the Copacabana Hotel.

Those who want to get fit and stay in shape might check out Corpus Gym or Platinum Gym. And if you don’t want to go to the gym, call Speedy at 8373-9635 for personal training sessions that will whip you into shape. If you just want to tame the bulge and eat healthy, be sure to do some shopping at the Friday local feria next to the Multiuso, or at Eco Tica Feria, Saturdays at Cabinas Las Olas in Playa Hermosa.

Or stop in and see Sergio at Vegetales Jacó, next to the INS office, for the freshest vegetables in town.

To stress less and relax more, yoga classes are offered at Docelunas (9 a.m. Monday to Wednesday and 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday) and Vida Asana in Playa Hermosa (8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday).

Those who want assistance kicking their vices may call local psychologist María Soledad Giacobbe for guidance. Her office is 300 meters east of Pops, and she can be reached at 8927-3148 or She also offers online therapy for patients residing in distant areas. Also, Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday; Narcotics Anonymous meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday and at 8:30 p.m. all other days of the week. Both meet in the building next to Panchi’s Pan in Jacó.

If you are looking for something for your kids to do while on break, you might encourage them to enter the Spay-Neuter Competition to be held Jan. 18 to 23 at the Jacó clinic. Spay-neuter procedures will be offered for a special price of ¢5,000 (about $8.80), which must be paid by the student  who brings the animal in. The first 25 studentsto bring in an animal will receive a back-to-school kit. Also, Carmen Blumenthal offers tennis lessons for children of all ages, from beginner to advanced, hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. To sign up, contact Carmen at 2643-6015. And María Del Mar of Del Mar Surf Camp has weekly surf lessons for kids in the south end of Jacó; for more information, call 2643-3197.

Despite the weak economy, the McKee Project Jacó is doing well in all three areas of its activities: castration, education and adoption. Veterinarians Wendy Villalobos and Esteban Soto in Jacó, Yesenia Alpízar in Herradura, Carlos Morales, Maurizio Jiménez and Nancy Astorga in Heredia, and Blas Rivas in Alajuela consistently provided excellent service to McKee animals throughout last year. Also, the biannual Golden Paw Award honoring community members for their compassion and service toward animals was presented to Rossy Quesada, the popular owner of Café del Mar in front of the new park on Jacó’s main street.

December was a busy month for McKee volunteers. More than 47 castrations were performed, bringing the year-end total to 800. Dr. Sean Beck and Dr. Lee Wilson donated a significant amount of medicines for the projects this past year, and countless others helped out with their support. Linda Look and Cynthia Lizano have been very active with the education programs under McKee, working directly with teachers from Jacó’s Colegio Técnico Profesional and Escuela Central. Volunteers were the backbone of the project this year, with standouts including Trish Johnson, Doris Schluckebier, Sylvia van Baekel, Arusha Pabisch, Andrea and Chris Wady, Leo Hogan and family, Elisabeth Lubbers, Rusti Banagas and Angela Airey.

Finally, thanks go out to the following businesses for helping to make Jacó a better place to live for all, both humans and animals: Ikon Print and Design, El Chunche, TV Jacó, Chuck WOW Surf, Servicios Transmundiales, Hotel Mar de Luz, Hotel Docelunas, Wishbone Restaurant, TCBY Jacó, Hotel Tucán Calvo, Hotel Los Ranchos, Soleil Soleil Shop, Las Orquídeas, Maverick Sportfishing Yachts, Cityplaya Language School, Tropical Garden, Sun Seekers Productions, Palm Coast Interiors, Heliconia Gallery, Pets y Más and Mucho Gusto.

For more information on McKee and how to help, visit

–Christina Truitt

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