TORONTO — The 2018 YellowBird Charity Golf Classic will take place on June 1 at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville.All spaces for golfers are already completely sold out but there are still three great options left for those who wish to attend the event.First, there’s a lunch and spa package going for $180 per person that offers three spa treatments in the ‘spa bus’ before joining the lunch reception. Treatments start at 10 a.m. and options include manicures, keratin foot massages, full body massages and back and shoulder massages.The second option comes with lunch and golf lessons for $220 per person. Prior to joining the lunch reception, there are two hours of golf instruction with Glen Abbey golf instructors. The third option, for $75, is to join the lunch reception.As always there will be live and silent auctions with a wide range of items up for bid.A few sponsorship opportunities still remain. This year’s title sponsors are WestJet and WestJet Vacations.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaAnyone looking for more information about the YellowBird Charity Golf Classic can contact Susan Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-258-2311) or Patrice Bell (Patrice.email@example.com, 416-579-0022). The YellowBird Charitable Foundation website is yellowbirdfoundation.com.The YellowBird Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to provide aid and opportunities for children in the Caribbean and Latin America. The idea is to give back to the communities that provide such amazing vacations experiences for the travel industry’s clients.YellowBird currently has a project underway installing solar panels at the Hatfield Community Centre in Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica.YellowBird has also teamed up with the Sandals Foundation to rebuild a school in Turks and Caicos suffered significant damage during last fall’s hurricanes. Enid Capron Primary School has 586 children ages three to 11 in full-time attendance. The school suffered major structural damage and many classrooms had to be closed off, with students relocated to the community centre across the road.YellowBird, the Sandals Foundation and partners including the island’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Works are refurbishing the entire school building block, which houses the school kitchen, the nurse station, the computer lab and the teacher resource room. The scope of work will include re-roofing the building, new ceilings, power washing tile floors, complete electrical work, interior and exterior painting and replacing and installing damaged windows and doors. Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Yellowbird Get ready, the YellowBird Charity Golf Classic is just around the corner Thursday, April 26, 2018 Posted by
Monday, April 1, 2019 TORONTO — TravelBrands’ newly released brochure dedicated to all things travel in Europe is now available. The brochure highlights multiple Europe and Great Britain destinations, hotel options, unique activities and more. “In our latest edition, we make it even easier for travellers to get away, their way,” says Nathalie Tanious, Senior Vice President, TravelBrands. “We want clients to experience Europe however they want to. Whether it’s having a local beer in Germany, touring a castle in England or laying on a beach in Greece, TravelBrands can make it happen.” Clients can take advantage of multi-destination trips, long or short stays and flexible travel options. Tanious notes that TravelBrands has hundreds of property choices, tours and excursions, airline options, car rentals and more in cities and towns all over Europe. Destinations include Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, plus European cruises. To learn more about TravelBrands’ dynamic Europe packaging see www.travelbrandsaccess.com. Agencies will receive copies of the brochure in the weeks ahead. Hundreds of itineraries featured in TravelBrands’ latest Europe program Share Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, July 12, 2019 Air Canada Foundation golf tournament raises record-breaking $1.2 million Tags: Air Canada Foundation, Giving Back, Golf tournament MONTREAL — The Air Canada Foundation hosted its eighth annual golf tournament earlier this week, raising a record-breaking $1.2 million. The golf tournament took place at the Saint-Raphaël Golf Club just outside of Montreal with some 350 attendees from 100+ Canadian, U.S. and international corporations and organizations. Funds raised go to support charitable organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of children and youth in Canada. Two young boys who previously benefited from support of the foundation, Stone and Kaleb, operated the lemonade stand and raising a record-breaking $14,630.Priscille LeBlanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation, said: “The tireless work of several Air Canada employee volunteers who helped organize and facilitate the event was once again key to ensuring the tournament’s great success. Over the past eight years, and with the unwavering support of Air Canada, its employees and its partners, the Foundation has made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children across Canada. I extend a heartfelt thank you on behalf of all the children and families whose lives are touched by the Foundation.”This is the fifth consecutive year that the Air Canada Foundation has raised over $1 million in support of charities. In 2018 alone Air Canada granted over $5.4 million in financial and in-kind support to 275 Canadian registered charities and helped over 450 fundraising events and initiatives. Dreams Take Flight, an employee-led charity, benefited from Air Canada Foundation’s support last year and has been supported by Air Canada since over 30 years ago. Each year, the airline provides flights from Saint-John’s, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver to bring 1,000 challenged children to Disney for a fun-filled day. In addition to the annual golf tournament, the Air Canada Foundation raises funds through various initiatives, including the Wanderluxe Gala and Every Bit Counts, an onboard collection program that facilitates the donation of currency of any denomination or through containers at Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. All proceeds collected in 2019 will be distributed to all 14 pediatric member hospitals of the Children’s Miracle Network. Travelweek Group Share
No related posts. PANAMA CITY – Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli denied his government received bribes from a fugitive linked to a sex and corruption case involving former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.Newspaper editor Valter Lavitola, arrested in Naples, Italy, this week upon his arrival from Argentina, is under investigation for allegedly having bribed Panama officials, Italy’s Corriere della Sera reported.Lavitola, who was arrested in connection with a ring accused of supplying prostitutes to Berlusconi, allegedly handed members of the Panamanian government suitcases full of cash to secure construction contracts for third parties.Martinelli adamantly denied the accusations, calling them a “journalistic invention aimed at tarnishing my image and the image of Panama,” during a press conference late Thursday.“I am sure this soap opera will end soon, and at the end of soap operas, good always wins out and the truth is known,” he said.Lavitola allegedly took part in a blackmail plot against Berlusconi, and police had issued a warrant for his arrest in September last year.Eight people, including businessman Giampaolo Tarantini and German starlet Sabina Began, were charged in September for allegedly supplying Berlusconi with prostitutes in the hope of gaining jobs, contracts or favors in exchange.Tarantini is accused of then blackmailing the billionaire premier to the tune of $1 million.Lavitola is suspected of having been the middleman for these payments, according to prosecutors.He had reportedly called Berlusconi from South America asking whether he should return and “clear everything up” but was told to stay put until the scandal had blown over, according to wiretaps published in the Italian media. Facebook Comments
From the print editionGUATEMALA CITY – Retired Guatemalan Col. Byron Disrael Lima Estrada was released from prison Monday after serving more than half of a 20-year sentence for participating in the murder of Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi on April 26, 1998. Lima, 77, arrived in court Monday in a wheelchair to sign paperwork preceding his release. During the process, the retired military official criticized his country’s justice system and said he was innocent of the charges that landed him in jail for more than a decade. Last Friday, Judge Javier Sotomora ordered Lima’s early release for good behavior during his prison stint, although in 2008, Lima was hospitalized in the Military Medical Center for heart complications. The retired colonel was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2000, along with his son, Byron Lima Oliva, also a former member of the military. Both men were convicted of plotting and carrying out the bishop’s murder, along with catholic priest Mario Orantes, who is also serving a 20-year sentence. A third military man, specialist Obdulio Villanueva, also was convicted and sent to prison for the crime. He was later killed during a prison riot. “I am innocent of these charges, just like my son,” Lima Estrada told journalists before leaving the courtroom in downtown Guatemala City. Gerardi, founder of the Guatemalan Archbishop’s Human Rights Office, was bludgeoned to death in the garage of his parish residence at San Sebastián Church, just 200 meters from the Presidential Palace in the capital. His murder occurred just three days after he published a report, “Recovering Guatemala’s Historical Memory: Never Again,” which documented more than 50,000 human rights violations committed during the Guatemalan armed conflict from 1960-1996. Most of the crimes were attributed to the armed forces. Guatemala signed peace accords in 1996 that ended the civil conflict, which claimed a quarter of a million lives. Facebook Comments No related posts.
From the print editionA party of seven gastronomy connoisseurs who take great pleasure in eating, but also in the surroundings and service that come with it, recently took lunch at Sabor y Arte in Central Escazú. Housed in what looks like a restored home – the cream-colored restaurant is actually brand new, equipped with wood paneling, plenty of windows and a welcoming front porch.Entering the downstairs chamber, we were greeted with an elegant indoor dining room and dark wood furnishings, enhanced by cream and dark green linens. In contrast, the glassed-in patio with light green fabrics overlooked a manicured garden – a cool spot for either lunch or dinner. Upstairs, the lounge and bar serve finger food plus a full menu and offer a combination of comfort and luxury. The bar is decorated in warm shades of brown with bar stools, comfy armchairs, sofas and heavy velvet curtains, plus replicas of French Provincial furniture. The VIP lounge, with its own kitchen, accommodates 25 guests for private events. Throughout the restaurant, an eclectic collection of mostly unidentified art covers the walls. At the rear of the garden, there’s an unfinished art gallery with a collection of David Cedeño’s work.Lunch was a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, and one of our group suggested that Sabor y Arte should be given more time to iron out the teething problems before being reviewed. I disagreed, as I had spoken to the charming Venezuelan owner, Andreina Ramos, and she said the place had been open 11 months. Therefore, I felt the problems indicated a need for improvement in some areas.For example, it took 20 minutes for three beers, three fruit drinks and a glass of house wine to arrive. The Chilean Bouchon Chardonnay was pleasant enough, but gone in a few sips, as it only half-filled an extremely small glass. The waiters poured beer with three quarters foam, and then left the can on the table among elegant place settings. Our young waiters were charming and trying very hard, but they need more training.The menu offered a choice of starters, including fusion dishes as well as Italian, Spanish, French and Pacific Rim, all served with an array of local fruits and veggies.We ordered the melted Brie on a bed of lettuce dressed with grapes, walnuts and fruity vinaigrette, but unfortunately the cheese was rather bland. The Portobello mushrooms stuffed with mozzarella and crowned with caramelized onions were mouth-watering. The prosciutto served with green apple, macadamia praliné and gorgonzola vinaigrette was very good, as was the tuna tataki, but the liver paté was totally tasteless. The salad greens served with the dishes above are all organic. The main courses had their ups and downs. The big complaint was we weren’t told that the Flambé menu was only available in the evening. We saw the station where specialist Flambé Chef Sergio Maritano creates his works of culinary art. Two of our party ordered the steak Woronoff flambé with cognac, white wine and Dijon mustard. The fish flambé with vodka was smothered with fresh tomato, olives and capers. We were surprised when they appeared already cooked from the kitchen. The steaks were very tender and cooked to order, and the fish was delicious, but we were let down that we hadn’t been told the truth about the Flambé situation. The corvina (sea bass) was cooked to perfection, moist and flaky, but the ravioli stuffed with cas pesto was very strange and didn’t have the fruit’s typically tangy flavor.The paella was disappointing and bland, requiring hot pepper sauce to cheer it up. The Corderito Borracho (drunken lamb) must have been too inebriated to make it to the kitchen. A shredded dollop of mystery meat that didn’t taste the slightest bit like lamb was enjoyed by the diners’ dog, although he couldn’t face the heap of mashed green plantains that the drunken whatever-it-was sat on. The rosemary potatoes were the only tasty item in this pricy disaster.The coffee, chocolate mousse and cheesecake were very good, but trying to pay the bill at the cash register was interminable. Maybe we should have asked for separate checks?Prices including tax: range from ₡3,900-7,800 ($8-16) for starters and ₡10,000-14,800 ($20-30) for main courses. Facebook Comments No related posts.
As many as 1,200 people came out in support of the “March for the Motherland” in Nicoya, Guanacaste, on Thursday, according to a National Police estimate. Related posts:Annexation of Guanacaste celebration, protesting come around again Costa Rica celebrates Annexation of Guanacaste Day Annexation of Guanacaste: Moments of Celebration Unions, social actors pledge their support to protesters in Guanacaste Alberto Font While the City of Nicoya announced the event on Aug. 14, days after Ortega’s statements, the “spontaneous demonstration” in Chinchilla’s words was stacked with Cabinet members from her administration, including Carlos Roverssi, Carlos Benavides, Mario Zamora and Roberto Gallardo, the ministers of communications, presidency, pubic security and development, respectively.Representatives from Nicoya’s municipal council, as well as the mayor, also spoke.When asked about the about-face nature of the patriotic march after demonstrations in July highlighted the province’s frustrations with Costa Rica’s central government, the mayor rebuffed the comparison. Jiménez argued that there were more people attending the official event on the evening of July 25 than those protesting that morning. Facebook Comments NICOYA, Guanacaste – The people of Nicoya saw an aggressive side of their leaders late Thursday morning as national and local politicians vehemently asserted the northwestern province of Guanacaste’s sovereignty and decision to join Costa Rica 189 years ago.The patriotic fervor of the event contrasted with the scene last month during the celebration of the Annexation of Nicoya on July 25, when more than 500 protesters converged on the same city to express their grievances with the San José government’s alleged mistreatment of the province. Hymns blared and marchers yelped as several hundred rallied in front of the Nicoya Court of Justice for the short march to the Plaza de San Blás, waving the Costa Rican tri-color, and red, white, blue and green flag of Guanacaste province as the crowd wended through the provincial capital’s streets.Authorities estimated the crowd at 1,200, according to National Police representative Commander Francisco Cordero Jiménez.In front of Nicoya’s iconic Church of San Blás under a blistering Guanacaste sun, all the province’s 11 mayors signed a ceremonial reaffirmation of the 1824 annexation of Nicoya.Leaders were passionate, if not bellicose, in their denouncement of Ortega’s statements. A couple marching in the “March for the Motherland” on Thursday pauses to sing the hymn of Guanacaste. Alberto Font The president of the Legislative Assembly, Fernando Mendoza, a lawmaker for the ruling National Liberation Party from Cañas, Guancaste, told the crowd that they would defend their sovereignty with kicks and punches.“We Guanacastecans defend the province’s sovereignty every day, no matter the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; we defend our sovereignty!” he cried.Chinchilla responded to a question about the aggressive delivery of some of the speakers, saying it was a “call for respect,” but reminded reporters the event was not a “war cry” against Nicaragua.On Aug. 13, Ortega told a crowd that sometime in the future Nicaragua could sue Costa Rica in the International Court of Justice at The Hague to “reclaim” the province of Guanacaste, which joined Costa Rica in 1824.Municipal and national leaders present at the march said that the “threat” from Ortega was real, echoing Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo’s statement during an event in Washington, D.C., where he said Nicaragua has “expansionist” intentions for the isthmus.“President Ortega did the same thing with Colombia and Honduras and has fights over territories with three countries. So as, Costa Ricans, especially Guanacastecans, it hurts our soul, touches our heart that he can make a claim on a piece of land that doesn’t belong to him,” Mendoza said.The mayor of Nicoya, Marco Antonio Jiménez Muñoz, equated Ortega’s statements with Nicaragua’s decision to occupy Isla Calero, a small piece of wetlands along the border near the Caribbean coast. Costa Rica viewed the act as an invasion and the dispute is currently under review by the International Court of Justice.“For those who think this is unimportant, it is. The only way to truly raise a strong defense is if he [Ortega] understands this doesn’t just pertain to one government, it has to be the entire population who says with one voice, ‘enough!’” Chinchilla told reporters after the speech, referring to the Nicaraguan leader.
Related posts:Wild myths: Costa Rican animal legends 6 Costa Rican animal names decoded The secret lives of leaf-cutting ants Urban flocks (Part 1): 5 common birds of San José Facebook Comments Long before hordes of tourists and biologists began flocking to Costa Rica for its amazing biodiversity, the country’s native peoples were the area’s first wildlife experts. Through close observation during frequent close encounters with animals, Costa Rica’s indigenous populations built up extensive mythologies surrounding the country’s wildlife. These beliefs are best preserved among Costa Rica’s Bribrí and Boruca; animals feature prominently in their legends, healing ceremonies and even their dreams.Creature clairvoyanceShamans use the appearance of certain animals in dreams to predict the possible fate of the dreamer. A vulture (Cathartidae) in a dream signals that the dreamer is sick with a parasite, while a child who dreams of parrots (Psittacidae) will likely grow up to become a healer. A pregnant woman who dreams of a motmot (Momotidae) is likely to have a miscarriage.Another traditional belief is that the traits of certain revered animals can be bestowed on children while they are still in the womb. Placing the right foot of a water opossum (Chironectes minimus) in the hut of a pregnant woman can ensure that the child will be born with greater fishing skills; doing the same with the claws of a northern tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) can endow a new baby with resilience.Animals also play a significant role in beliefs about death. Both the common opossum (Didelphis marsupials) and the naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous centralis) are seen by the the Bribrí people as harbingers of death. This belief is still embodied in the modern Spanish name of the naked-tailed armadillo, madillo zopilote, which means vulture armadillo. Another animal, the silky anteater (Cyclopes didactylus), is believed to carry the Bribrí’s souls to heaven. Boruca painter Marvin González uses jaguars and other animals in many of his paintings due to their importance in the myths and culture of the Boruca people. (Courtesy of Marvin González)CreationUsually depicted as scary and violent, a vampire bat (Phyllostomidae) is the unlikely hero of the Bribrí’s creation myth.The story begins on an earth without soil or plants. Only rock and gravel covered the planet’s surface until a vampire bat flew into the center of the earth to feed off the blood of a baby jaguar (Panthera onca). With that nourishment, the bat was able to return to the earth’s surface and fertilize it. Using the guano left behind by the bat, the Bribrí god Sibú was able to plant the world’s first tree.Spirit animalsThough many of the Boruca traditions have been lost over time, every year since the Spanish conquest, the Boruca have put on the Juego de los Diablitos (Little Devils’ Game), where the performers often dress in animal masks. Usually depicting strong animals, like the jaguar, or wise animals, like an owl or parrot, the masks represent the inner traits of the wearer.Both Boruca and Bribrí legends also include the belief that certain animals on earth carry the spirit of gods.In Boruca legends, quetzals (Pharomachrus mocinno) carry the spirit of the great warrior Satú. According to the legend, Satú was born to a great chief; on the day of his birth, a quetzal came down to the village to sing. As a tribute, the villagers made Satú a medallion shaped like a quetzal that would protect him. Satú was never hurt in battle while he wore the medallion; in battle, quetzals protect the Bocura. But one day in a fit of jealousy, Satú’s uncle stole the medallion while he slept. The next day, while Satú was unprotected, his uncle killed him in the forest, but a quetzal flew down and sat over Satú’s body, it then flew away to live in the mountains where it stayed forever, carrying Satú’s spirit.The Bribrí people believe that all the world’s tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) are spirits of a tapir god, the sister of Sibú. Legend has it that Sibú planned to marry off his sister in exchange for a wife of his own, but because she can tell the future, Tapir could see her brother’s intentions and could also see that if she married, it would end unhappily. Tapir refused to get married, so her brother sent some of her spirit to earth for the Bribrí to hunt.Because of their beliefs, Bribrís have extensive ceremonies surrounding tapir hunting. Only certain sects of Bribrís can hunt tapirs, and only one woman per village is trained to cook the animal properly. Any violations of the ritual will incur the wrath of the Tapir god.Read more “Into the Wild” columns here“Into the Wild” is a monthly wildlife column from photojournalist Lindsay Fendt. Stay tuned each month for more glimpses into Costa Rica’s extraordinary biodiversity.
The deadline has expired for Costa Rica to respond to a claim at the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for allegedly denying a therapeutic abortion to a woman in 2007, according to the pro-choice group “Colectiva por el Derecho a Decidir.” But Costa Rican officials say the deadline is in April.In a statement the group said the deadline ended Thursday, but Costa Rica’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alejandro Solano Ortiz told The Tico Times in an email that “the deadline is not today [Thursday]. The official deadline to respond to the Inter-American Commision is in April.”Solano said the government had formed a commission with representatives from the Social Security System, or Caja, the National Women’s Institute, the Health Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to study this and a second case.“We currently are in the process of gathering all technical information to submit our response to the IACHR according to Costa Rica’s legislation,” he added.The first case involves a woman identified by the pseudonym “Ana,” who was 26 when she requested the termination of her pregnancy after medical evaluations concluded her 6-week-old fetus had severe malformations that made it impossible to survive outside the uterus. Caja doctors allegedly told her she must continue the pregnancy to term, denying her a therapeutic abortion by claiming her health and life were not endangered, the complaint states.In her fifth month of pregnancy, Ana was hospitalized due to severe deterioration of her physical and mental health. She was fully aware that her pregnancy would end in stillbirth. At the time a psychiatrist concluded the pregnancy exposed Ana to a “severe risk of death by suicide,” and recommended Caja officials terminate the pregnancy.But Caja officials rejected the request again, arguing that her life was not at risk. Ana then filed a complaint with the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, where justices rejected her petition by citing Caja evaluations.According to the complaint at the IACHR, Ana was forced to continue her pregnancy to term and was in labor for seven hours. Doctors concluded her son had died in utero as a direct result of severe malformation.Colectiva members joined Ana in her repeated requests to the Caja for the termination of her pregnancy. Following the failed delivery, the group assisted her in filing a complaint at the IACHR in 2008 with support from the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, according to Colectiva member Larissa Arroyo Navarrete.“As a result of her experience Ana still struggles with severe depression and suffers anxiety attacks, chronic diarrhea and social inhibition,” the complaint states.Arroyo said the petition does not seek changes to current laws or the drafting of new ones.“We are only asking for a correct interpretation of Article 121 of Costa Rica’s Penal Code,” she said.That article states that it is legal to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy in cases where a woman’s health or life is at risk.“Currently an administrative procedure or a protocol on how to interpret this provision of the law does not exist, therefore access to this procedure is not clearly defined by law; for that reason doctors in most cases refuse to perform a therapeutic abortion,” she said.The other case currently under study at the IACHR involves a woman known as “Aurora” who filed her complaint in 2011.Aurora, 32 at the time, repeatedly requested a therapeutic abortion because medical tests showed her fetus had no chance of survival. She was denied the procedure by doctors who claimed it would be illegal because Aurora’s life was not at risk.The deceased baby was born with his heart, liver and intestines exposed. He also had severe scoliosis, cysts, short ribs and no legs.During her pregnancy Aurora experienced tachycardia, severe pain and emotional distress caused by the fetus’ condition.Both complaints at the IACHR highlight a lack of expedited access in Costa Rica for therapeutic abortions, a violation of human rights, Arroyo said.She added that the complaints “seek to expose the government’s systematic failures in providing women with a protocol to handle therapeutic abortion requests when the health and lives of women are endangered.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Abortion and politics on the campaign trail Anti-abortion parade brings 200,000 Catholics to San José Activists Mobilize Against Abortion Ban Costa Rica priests to forgive abortion
Related posts:‘Happy Fashion’ – a famed designer’s way of life Christmas cheer, oxcart parades, and other happenings around Costa Rica After three-year hiatus, Blues Festival plays in Guanacaste Artist Justin Griffin-Zúñiga receives first solo show in Costa Rica A blast of creativity, innovation, and inspiration filled San José last week, turning the city into an international design capital for a few days. The fifth edition of the International Design Festival (FID), held at the Antigua Aduana, welcomed 15 of the most prestigious designers and hundreds of people from all around the world who came to take part.Festival organizers Alfredo Enciso, Cynthia Bonilla, Paco Cervilla, Monserrat Ramírez and Mario Sánchez first dreamed of the festival in 2009, but the project seemed so impossible to pull off that they called off their plans. Later, however, they read an article in which the Canadian designer Hélén Godin – one of the speakers in this past weekend’s festival – was asked what it takes to build a creative city. She answered that sharing and celebrating design with the community was the most important step. Inspired by her words, the organizers started planning in earnest in 2010, carrying out the first edition of the FID in 2011.According to Enciso, they were originally motivated by “the desire and impotence of not being able to go to another design festival because of the expensive cost of these. We decided to create the FID so we could listen to the different designers for free – and at this time we haven’t [have had time to listen] to any of the 60 speakers we have invited,” Alfredo told The Tico Times with an ironic smile during this year’s festival.Be that as it may, they have certainly made headway toward their ambitious goal of putting Costa Rica onto the international design map. Throughout the Americas, there are only two other design festivals of this size: the C2-MTL in Montréal and Gravity Free in San Francisco. What makes the FID different from these two other festivals is its accessibility: The price is notably cheaper than the others, which is why the FID, whose principal allies are the Museum of Art and Contemporary Design and the Culture Ministry, draws hundreds of tourists to Costa Rica for every edition.“It’s hard to manage the financing of the festival, but we must limit the ticket price. We want to keep it cheap and approachable so everybody who wants to come will be able to attend,” Enciso said.San José was chosen as the heart of the festival in order to help build the city’s reputation as a cultural city, leading to connections with the Art City Tour, the Paseo Gastronómico La Luz, and many different museums and galleries to expand access to the festival’s offerings to an even broader audience. The FID and the related events it inspires have become a place to make connections, friends and soak up culture. The FID also provides opportunities for Costa Rican designers to showcase and sell their products: at the first FID in 2011, there were only 12 “Espacios FID” (“FID Spaces”) for this purpose, but this year organizers received 90 proposals and chose 70 to be part of the bustling exhibition at the Antigua Aduana’s “Casa del Cuño” building.Here are a few highlights from this year’s festival:On the first day, assigned the theme of Creativity, renowned Spanish illustrator and strip cartoonist Joan Cornellà kicked off the proceedings by explaining what goes into his work, characterized by depicting dark humor and absurdity with a bright palette: “In order to be involved with humor you have to play with things that are considered politically incorrect. Being called psycho is my mantra.”Brooklyn-based designers Anton Repponen and Irene Pereyra from design studio Anton & Irene showed the passion, devotion and discipline that go into their projects. Pereyra said that at the beginning, she think of her projects as her children, but in the end she thinks of them as ex-husbands; she does not want to see them ever again.Costa Rican photographers Sergio and Giancarlo Pucci discussed the personal journeys behind their most recent project, Costa Rica Aérea, a book of aerial photographs of the country. Sergio said he confronted one of his biggest fears – flying – while Giancarlo explained that he gave up a stable life to accomplish a dream with his brother. Fear is nothing if you truly believe in your dreams and in what you are doing, the brothers told their audience.Another Costa Rican artist, Gerardo Picado, commonly known as Mr. Masking, spoke about his work on the streets of San José creating typography with masking tape. Picado, whose typography was used all the titles in the FID program, proved to be a humble man, yet very inspiring and passionate about his work.Day two, Innovation, got off to an unusual start when Peruvian butcher Renzo Garibaldi talked about his restaurant, OSSO. While not a designer like the rest of the Festival’s speakers, Garibaldi inspired the crowd by telling them how he started off with no knowledge of butchery, opened a family butcher shop and eventually created a renowned restaurant in a sector of Peru where such an achievement is rare. He inspired his listeners to take on challenges and get out of their comfort zone.Jeff Semenchuk, a corporate innovator from the United States, discussed the design of experience, using as an example his recent project, the Andaz Hotel in Costa Rica’s Papagayo Peninsula.Edson Matsuo, Brazilian product designer, began his speech by saying, “I consider myself a CMO; chief mistake officer.” Matsuo went on to explain that making mistakes is the best path to innovation. His shoe line, Melissa, is a very innovative product line: no shoe has a pair and you can create as many combinations as you like.French industrial designer Matali Crasset enlightened the audience with her practical, yet very functional designs, which seek to help people spend quality time together. “I don’t care about products. I care about people,” Crasset told the audience.Costa Rican sound designer and musician Andrés Cervilla gave a marvelous performance playing a shell before explaining the process of coming up with the music used for the FID.Digital animator Bradley Munkowitz, commonly known as Gmunk, discussed his renowned projects, including creating the holograms for movies such as Tron and Oblivion, and the modification of Adobe’s logo. He mentioned he loves to work with the refraction and reflection of lights and infrared lights.Day three – Inspiration – arrived with Peruvian artist Christian Bendayán explaining how the Amazonian context in which he was born deeply influences his work. He sees to create some of the most realistic paintings in existence to depict the society in which he lives.Canadian designer, Hélène Godin – the same designer whose words helped inspire the FID back in 2010 – asked one of the most important questions: “Is it time for design to take over?” She argued that while people tend to think of design as art alone, as an aesthetic element, it is actually a tool that everyone needs.Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada told her audience that she despises the color black because it reminds her of death. Therefore, she only wears vibrant, happy colors.With a closing presentation by U.S. digital designer Joshua Davis, the FID came to an end on Saturday night after three days full of cultural activities that incentivized the appreciation of design as a tool for our everyday life. Jewellery by Mariana Simeone was one of many design elements visitors could take home with them. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Photographer brothers Giancarlo and Sergio Pucci give their presentation on aerial photography at the 2015 FID. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments