San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Lake Arenal is bracketed by two animal rescue centers. One of them, Las Pumas, is better known as it is located just about two kilometers north of Cañas on the Inter-American Highway, the route to the Liberia airport and the beaches. The other, Proyecto Asis ( is near the southern end of the lake on the east side of La Fortuna, on the route to Ciudad Quesada. Wendy Holt, owner of The Villa Hermosa bed-and-breakfast in the hills above La Fortuna, on July 18 led a trip of the recently formed Fortuna Social Club to Proyecto Asis, where Wendy has been volunteering for over a year and a half. Club members enjoyed holding hands with spider monkeys, having a white-faced capuchin monkey curl up in their laps, touching a tame white-lipped peccary and hand-feeding a kinkajou, Wendy reports. The nonprofit Proyecto Asis has volunteer programs in animal care, recycling, reforestation, community construction and English instruction. Highly regarded, it gets lot of positive commentary on

Turning to domestic animals, both owned and stray, Judy Reisman of G-PAW has scheduled a spay clinic in Tilarán on Aug. 21 and is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of tasks. Her email address is She also plans one or two clinics in area villages on Aug. 20. Surgeries will be performed by Dr. Cristian Elizondo. Judy again encourages people to sponsor animals of owners who may not be able to afford the small fee.

La Fortuna is seeing some commercial growth, though some of its 100 or so hostelries may not be doing so well. Nearly completed is a building that will house a miniature golf course and family fun center, roofing over some rainy-day activities.

Also going up, according to Wendy, is a “huge structure” near Arenal Paraíso Hotel. Associated with the Arenal Paraíso, the building will be a conference center, bringing a new sort of tourism to the famous volcano area.

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