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Costa Rica Mermaid Promotes Marine Sanctuaries in Nosara
By Ashley Steyaert

In the midst of a 3-month, one thousand kilometer swim along the entire Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, marine conversationalist and swimming enthusiast Renate Herberger will be basing her current expedition in Nosara from February 7th-14th, 2010. During this week she will volunteer what precious little time she has out of the water (she’ll be swimming approximately 8 hours and 20 km a day, in to two 4-hour sections, eating lunch on her support boat) giving workshops with the objective of “foster[ing] the view that the sea is not to be feared, polluted and exploited, but defended, protected and celebrated”.

A truly multifaceted and inspirational figure, Herberger has traveled the globe and learned to speak 6 languages (German, English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese) all “because of love” for the different places, people and phenomena she has experienced thus far in life. It is for this same reason that she is coming to our community to share with us her knowledge of marine life, the effect we humans are having on it, and most importantly, how we can save it. Her story is one of great challenges and triumphs, and her mission proof that what some may consider life’s injustices could be an opportunity to serve a greater purpose.

In 2005 Herberger suffered a torn meniscus in her knee, the long term effects of which has resulted in a massive thrombosis in her leg, causing her unrelenting agony whenever on land, and changing her life forever. Since the injury, the now 54-year-old woman finds her only refuge from perpetual pain while in constant motion in the water, leading her to spend countless hours swimming in the sea and gaining invaluable knowledge of and appreciation for the ocean world.

She has committed to do “as many workshops they can put together” while she is in the area, and is currently scheduled to present at The Yoga House in Nosara on February 9th at 7:30pm (although this workshop is in English, Renate speaks fluid Spanish so everybody is welcome to assist and make questions). In her workshops Herberger strives to show us “that each person can make a difference” in marine conservation, and “that it’s really now or never when it comes to the ocean” and saving it. The workshops are free for the public to attend, and donations to support the expedition and promote further environmental awareness and preservation are accepted and appreciated.

All people regardless of age, nationality or other societal facets are invited and encouraged to unite together as citizens of the Earth to learn more about the current state of the marine ecosystems on which all life, including ours, so vitally depends. Renate is making herself available (either on her personal Costa Rican cell phone line at 506-8319-1579, or on her website www.costaricamermaid.net) to anyone who would like to communicate or collaborate with her, in hopes that with increased dedication and exposure will come greater support and success in her mission to preserve marine ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide.

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‘Casado’, ‘Gallo Pinto’, ‘Sopa Negra’…what do these three dishes have in common? Yep, you guessed it! Beans.

Whether black, red, or white; thick, thin or fresh; dried, refried, or ground; with rice or with peppers; there are many ways for beans to be prepared and there’s no doubt that they form the basic part of the Costa Rican diet. However, have you ever asked yourself how industrial producers always keep beans so shinny and insect free? More >


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