John Quam Editor in Chief Howler Magazine Costa Rica

The past year and a half of my Howler ownership has sure been a whirlwind. There have been many ups and downs in developing the magazine into what I originally envisioned. I want to thank my dedicated staff for working so hard and diligently to make this happen.

Thanks also go out to all the readers and advertisers who have supported our efforts and grown with us. You have made the daunting task of producing a monthly publication a pleasure. We’ve received many kind notes and comments from those who have enjoyed Howler articles so much. Advertisers have let us know about clients who sought them out in response to their ad or other information in our magazine.
We make our best effort to support the community and make sure that we publicize events from schools, charitable/non-profit groups and the community in general. We feel that this is very important as they are a big part of this community. This is only possible due to the businesses that support our efforts and see the importance of being part of the community.

You may have noticed the page called Howl It, where readers contribute suggestions and comments, or share personal experiences brought to mind by a recent article. Please take a moment and send us a quick email if you are moved to do so.
We have big plans for 2018, so keep watching for new magazine issues coming out.

In a few weeks, we will be saying goodbye to 2017, and welcoming what is poised to be a monumental year for growth and tourism in Costa Rica.

Green season this year was amazing. There were times when we had more rain in the space of a few weeks than had occurred during entire past years.

The storm we experienced in early October brought so much rain and flooding in Guanacaste that many businesses and communities were shut down. Some families lost everything, their homes and the contents washed away.

Many more people were relatively fortunate in being spared such devastation, while trying to function without electricity and water for an extended period. It was an experience that makes you feel alone. Being cut off from all communications, you have no idea what’s actually going on or if anyone is out there to help. Sitting in pitch blackness with only the sound of relentless pounding rain certainly gives you time to think.

The storm lasted three days. When it stopped, and the sun broke through the clouds, many in our community jumped into action and began outreach to those in need. Medical clinics, with help from our expat and local residents, came together in urgent response to so many families who had been hard hit. Communities in other parts of Costa Rica sent food, clothing and dog food to our area, where they knew it was needed.

A few weeks later, relief efforts were continuing. Communities were still dealing with the aftermath of fallen trees, impassable roads and washed-out bridges. The storm crisis brought all together for a cause. It strengthened bonds between neighbors and communities needing assistance and others who reached out.

As we close this year and enter 2018, reflect on how we can make our world a better place. Be kind to people. A smile and hello go a long way. We don’t live in a bubble here; we are all affected by what happens around us. Seize the new year and new opportunities to make this your community.