Boquete – Home of the Resplendent Quetzal!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

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From time to time we have some guests who stay with us at Casa de Montaña that get an opportunity to find and enjoy viewing an indigenous bird called the Quetzal without actually searching for it. Others do come in search of these birds on their trek through the trees as they are hiking. The guests are not always lucky enough to find this elusive bird. The bird only shows itself to a chosen few!

Gorgeously plumed Quetzals live in the mountains of Central America. The bird was sacred to the ancient Maya and Aztec peoples, and royalty and priests wore its feathers during ceremonies.

The resplendent Quetzal is an aptly named bird that many consider among the world’s most beautiful. These vibrantly colored animals live in the mountainous, tropical forests of Central America where they eat fruit, insects, lizards, and other small creatures.

During mating season, male Quetzals grow twin tail feathers that form an amazing train up to three feet (one meter) long. Females do not have long trains, but they do share the brilliant blue, green, and red coloring of their mates. Male colors tend to be more vibrant.

Resplendent Quetzal pairs use their powerful beaks to hollow holes as nests in rotted trees or stumps. Inside, they take turns incubating two or three eggs—though males have such long tails that they sometimes stick outside the nest.

Young Quetzals can fly at about three weeks of age, but males do not begin to grow their long tail plumes for three years.

Manzar and Terry spotted two iridescent blue Quetzals their first time in Boquete and have never seen another one since. At the time, they felt that this was a sign that they were both supposed to move to Boquete, Panama, to start a new chapter in their lives.

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Recently we had some guests who stayed with us that were on the Quetzal tour and hike. They went without and guide and felt very disappointed that they did not encounter this amazing bird on their hike. During a small resting period, a man came passing by and they spoke to the man about their disappointment. So, the man looked at them then looked up in the tree above them and then told them to look up! Right there above their heads was the resplendent Quetzal that they were looking for the whole time!!!

So, if you are ever here in Boquete, Panama. Try to get a tour guide if you are bird watching and would like to see this beautiful bird. At Casa de Montaña, we can assist you in giving you a map to the Quetzal Trail, or set you up with a tour guide as well. If you want to venture out on your own, remember, you may need to just look up into the camouflage of the trees and spot “The Resplendent Quetzal”!

 

 

Helping Others!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Helph OtherYes, our main job is to take care of you while you are staying here at Casa de Montaña. We want to make sure that you have the best experience possible and that includes the people that we partner with to set up tours, breakfast and our social hour.

And, with that said, we also want you to know that we are involved in our community as well. Our entire team is dedicated to spending our time, talents and money working with different non-profit organizations. If you are interested in volunteering for a day or two (or more?) while you are visiting Boquete, please let us know. Here is a current list of what we are involved with:

1 Amigos de Animales (Friends of the Animals). This program raises money that is used to spay and neuter dogs and cats in Boquete and the surrounding Chiriquí regions. With many of the animals, they do not have homes or owners and are still a part of our surroundings and neighborhoods. Amigos de Animales has a staff of veterinarians who will volunteer their time to spay and neuter these animals. They also provide this service for furry friends of our local Panamanians and Ex-Pats alike. When possible, they ask for a $10.00 donation to cover the costs of supplies, anesthesia and all other expenses. Over the past several years, the quality of life for our four legged friends has increased dramatically! We have attached the website here to learn more: http://www.fadab.org/

2. A partner to Amigos de Animales, ARF (Adopt, Rescue, and Foster), it does an amazing job in finding the owners of their new pets. We witnessed a motherless kitten that was less than three weeks old that was rescued and fed every two hours for several days straight. The end results were astonishing! We’ve attached their website to learn more: http://www.arf-boquete.com/

3. Another area that we are involved in is Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (Good Neighbors of Boquete). This program is similar to a food bank. Money is raised to buy food from a local vendor at a largely reduced price. This food consists of very basic staples such as rice, beans, oil etc. Several of the locals do not have a stove to cook on and will cook on an open wood fire. Others are handicapped and are in need of more support from the outside community. This program connects with another program called “The Handicapped Foundation of Boquete” (which also receives donated food from Buenos Vecinos de Boquete). Casa de Montaña has volunteered to fill bags of food and our staff has helped deliver the food donations to the people who are in need of it. Many of our staff, being raised in Boquete, are familiar with the families and feel that this is a great way that they can support their community. Casa de Montaña is also going to be part of the efforts to raise money for supporting Buenos Vecinos de Boquete. The cost for providing monthly food rations is currently at $360.00 per family per year. Here is the website for Buenos Vecinos de Boquete with more information: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com.pa/

Side Note: Here is an article of thanks that goes out to those who support the Handicapped Foundation of Boquete. http://vive-boquete.blogspot.com/2014/05/news-boquete-fwd-thank-you-from.html

There are many more volunteer opportunities in Boquete and as Casa de Montaña strives to deliver an even better experience for you during your stay, we could help arrange for some volunteer opportunities for you if you have an interest. Our community would welcome your support and you could become a part of our community during your visit, leading to a much richer and fuller experience of Boquete!

Surrendering the Stray Dogs

Ok, so, when we first purchased the property, we stood on the land for a good long time, the very first thing that I noticed was a stray dog walking across the sidewalk in front of our home, lifting his leg and marking the rock in front of the original driveway. I knew right away that there were blessings going to happening for this land.

Although it took a couple of years to get the Architect drawings, money, permits and all that was needed to begin construction, we finally were under way.

Unfortunately, we were still in the US and had to remain working during the construction. I wanted to be there from the beginning; however, it was not in the cards for that. So, we spoke to our builder on Skype every Friday and were sent pictures of the progress that same Friday every week.

Stray DogsI noticed right away in the pictures that there were two young dogs, one a German Shepherd and the other a mixed dog. They were playing in the rocks and the cement mix.

Then the next week, I noticed that they were following the construction workers around. This went on and on. In each week’s pictures, they both were there.

During our twenty sixth week, we made a trip down to Boquete and again, the dogs were there. We stepped onto our property and both dogs came to greet us with loud barking! “What are you doing on our property” seemed to be what they were barking.

Then again, in week 40, we had to head down again. Of course, the same thing happened. We had to get permission from the dogs to get onto our own property. Once we were allowed into our house, the dogs were friendly as can be. As if they were showing us around their home. I noticed that the German Shepherd was limping around and our neighbor let us know that he (the German Shepherd) stepped on a nail and injured his foot. My heart sank.

Manzar and I know that we cannot take care of these two dogs and run a clean bed and breakfast. We know that they have never been trained as inside dogs. We are getting to the point that they are going to have to be re-located before the finishing’s and the tile go in. Although we’ve purchased food for them and gave it to our neighbors to feed them, we also know that these dogs are finding food on their own.

It is my hope here, with this Blog, to find out a safe, proper and positive way of re-locating these two wonderful animals. Anyone have any ideas?

–Terry

Stray dog in the house!

Update #1: Our neighbor is working on the construction of our home. He is currently taking care of the two dogs by feeding them and giving them water. A couple of months back, the German Shepherd had stepped on a nail in the cement and is limping from it. The neighbor has been working with the wound to heal it as best he can without the ability to take the dog to the vet. The German Shepherd seems to be happy and energetic at this point so that a great thing so far. It’s been very exciting to know that they are there for the dogs, but they still need a forever home!

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