John Quam Editor in Chief Howler Magazine Costa Rica

Living in “Paradise” sometimes has a side that we don’t want to address, or maybe we feel that skirting issues to not offend a group is best. Should we say something? Should we act? Or are we just here for Pura Vida? It will never be our intent as a publication to single out and point fingers of blame, and we will not discuss political matters unless they have begun to affect us in a way that we cannot ignore. It is not our intent to be controversial. Many of us chose to escape the rat race and live Pura Vida. At times, we must act to keep the life we have chosen.

As with any society, there are social issues that surround us here in Costa Rica. The Howler sometimes needs to cover them, even though they might not be popular or someone might not like it. I feel in some situations we cannot turn a blind eye and ignore just for fear we might offend. Even though this magazine is not a hardcore journalistic endeavor, certain things that affect the expat community, the tourists and the locals need to be brought to light. Sometimes being popular is not the proper stance. We will occasionally discuss things that are not popular or could offend some. It is certainly not our intent to single out or demean, but we might have to expose. We understand, that with people from as many different cultures as are represented here, there is also a wide variety of opinions among us. It is the responsibility of the media to present topics that we find relevant and compelling to the people here, and start dialogs that can be productive and cause change or bring awareness.

We live in a very active area. Many adventures put us close to nature and many facets of the environment. I have been so impressed with the number of locals that are so concerned with the wildlife and how we respect their space and protect them. I have also witnessed the ugly side of the disrespect that causes long-term damage to environmental features and encourages the once abundant migratory or native creatures to diminish by either dying off or finding other places to be. There is a balance that we can and must achieve. Walk softly, listen to your surroundings, and impact things you encounter in a way that leaves a positive trace, like picking up trash or helping a wounded critter, or no trace at all.

I hope that you are reading and enjoying our publication. I would love to encourage interaction and comments as well as suggestions that we can explore and write about. I think it is important that we have a wide variety of articles about our local community and the country that we choose to be in, showing off nature, with both funny stories that entertain as well as informative ones. Well-rounded is our goal. Your participation can help us greatly improve what you as readers want to see. Please visit our website at and comment.

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