Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Charity, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 229

As you know a huge part of our commitment to our community is to give back.  Between Tank Tops Flip Flops and Tres Amigos Realty Group we give back tens of thousands of dollars every year to great causes in our area. 

Our good friend Priscilla Solano, a local attorney and businesswoman is the Vice President of the She Is Foundation and the Director of the ‘SHE IS ASTRONAUT’ program in Costa Rica.

Last year Tres Amigos Realty Group donated $5,000 to help 16 girls to participate in the SHE IS ASTRONAUT program.  

These are young women between 11 and 16 years old who come from situations of extreme poverty, disabilities and violence from Guanacaste and other rural areas of Costa Rica.

This year we have again donated $5,000 so 10 girls will have the privilege to participate. As it stands today, the program needs an additional $20,000 to pay for the costs of the program that will take place December 3rd through the 9th

We hope that you can help with any donation.  If you would like to make a donation please send it via Pay Pal or Zelle using  Please put ASTRONAUT in the description so we know where to direct it.  THANK YOU!

In 2019, the She Is Foundation established a pioneering Spanish-speaking program for Latin America in collaboration with NASA’s Space Center Houston, Texas called ‘SHE IS ASTRONAUT’.  The main mission of the program is to positively impact the lives of adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 11 and 16 years old in vulnerable conditions to empower, motivate, and inspire these young women to become national role models, through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education.  The program works hand in hand with NASA providing 4 months of intensive online virtual training and learning classes on robotics, programming, teen pregnancy prevention, cyberbullying, entrepreneurship and more.  The student ‘Crew’ then has the privilege to attend an incredible 5 Day on-site academic immersion program at the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, where the students fly high, interact with astronauts, receive workshops and classes on programming, robotics and develop skills such as teamwork and leadership.  The student Crew culminates their hard work and dedication with the presentation of their graduation project.  As Alumni of the SHE IS ASTRONAUT platform the students have the opportunity to continue with their educational process and potentially receive a university scholarship.

211 Girls have entered the Program since inception out of 18,790 girls that applied.  6 Countries participate: Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic and Panama.  70 STEAM entrepreneurship projects have been supported by NASA.  So far 7 Missions have gone to NASA.  16 Student Scholarships have resuted from participation in the program and 38 Scholarships have been given out in robotics and programming.

The donation covers the following items:  Participation in Outreach Sessions.  Participation in the online virtual methodological program for 4 months.  Payment of NASA fee, virtual and in-person immersion (includes meals, accommodation, internal transport to and from Houston Airport.  Per-diems for 5-day immersion methodological program.  Delivery of technological tools.  Complete documentation and  administrative procedures for the student crew members.  Clothing, kits, and apparel.  Support from program coordinators.  Guidance from professionals throughout the program.  Audiovisual materials and stationery.  Management and promotion of the program.  Recognition of entrepreneurship projects and graduation.  Scholarship management.  Replicability process in projects and post immersion conferences.  Participation of student crew members in the She Is Global Forum.  Participation of student crew members in 1 or 2 events chosen by the organization.


RIP Big Mike Tesluk

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters, Playa Hermosa

Please join us at El Velero Hotel on January 27, 2024 from 12-4pm for a memorial celebration for our good friend Mike Tesluk.  We want to take a moment to reflect on Big Mike’s life and share all the memories that you have from over the years.  It should be as great a time as when Mike and the El Velero were in full party mode back in the day.  Hope to see everyone there to spread some love!

RIP Big Mike Tesluk

Sad news from paradise. Big Mike Tesluk passed away October 27 2023. Mike was an Iconic part of this community and a fixture from the early days in Playa Hermosa, known as the Wild West. He was part madman, part Teddy Bear, but was as loyal as a dog. If you were lucky enough to be his friend, you knew that he would take a bullet or lie in front of a train for you. My best memories from my very beginnings here in the land of Pura Vida, involved sitting with Mike, drinking vodka, and watching the sunset. I can honestly say that I would never have been as successful as I have become without his support. The guidance and encouragement he gave me along with the introductions that he made; I will never forget. His laugh was classic, and his energy filled the room. Everyone who had ever met him, came away knowing that they had crossed the path of a one-of-a-kind human being. He was not only a friend, but he was my brother. I love you Mike, and I will miss you more than I could ever put into words. Thank you for being such a huge part of my life, for the last 24 years. RIP pal. Enjoy the Big Harley Davidson Rally in the sky.

Your friend always.

Tank Tops Flip Flops News Letter edition no. 228

April 2024
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