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Cocal for Jan. 20
(506) 2223-1327                        Published Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 14                                Email us
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;ale Arenal

Many in tourism exempted from 2% credit card bite
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism operators and travel agencies will not be subject to the 2 percent retention on credit and debit card transactions.

That was a decision of the Dirección General de Tributación that said average taxes paid by these sectors were far lower than 2 percent of their gross.

However, hotel operators will have credit and debit card transactions reduced by about 1.76 percent. The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles sent out a message Tuesday that said hotels were exempt from the deduction, but the tax agency quickly said that hotels were not exempt.

The Ministerio de Hacienda activated an older law to decree that every credit card transaction would be reduced by 2 percent and that the card processors would remit that percentage to the tax agency. There were negotiations. The money is advanced payments on income taxes.

For example, the Asociación Costarricense de Operadoras de Turismo sought an exemption for its sector last Nov. 24. That prompted an internal study, said
 Tributación. The result was that the agency found that the average income tax payment by tourism operators and travel agencies was about 0.75 per cent, far lower than the 2 percent that would be withheld.

The tax agency said that to impose the surcharge would be a burden for the sectors.

The original 2 percent was reduced to about 1.76 percent to avoid withholding a percentage of sales tax that might be levied on the transaction. Sales tax is now 13 percent.

Only what the tax agency calls tourism operators and travel agencies are exempt, and other tourism activities still are subject to the retention. However, that difference is yet to be defined.

Some services, such as public transportation providers and taxis already were exempted by the original decree.

A lot of tourism operators and other businesses in Costa Rica use credit card processing services outside the country.

One such service is Pay Pal, which is in wide use here. These are unlikely to be affected by the decree.

Ministerio de Seguridad photo
Knives were confiscated in Batán and the revolver in León XIII.
Finding illicit firearms and knives is a daily event
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The number of hidden weapons being carried in the streets must be immense because police confiscated 1,960 firearms, including those that were homemade, last year.

Typically police do not encounter weapons until they are responding to an emergency call or making an arrest.

Knives also are subject to confiscation. Fuerza Pública officers detained three
persons in Barbilla de Batán Monday evening after a man was robbed of his bike and his cell phone.

When officers caught up with the suspects, they confiscated two very threatening knives.
Also Monday Fuerza Pública officers confiscated a 9-mm. pistol during a domestic violence call in Tibás.

Other officers approached a man in Leon XIII only to see him throw away a weapon and run. It was a pistol with six cartridges.

In Alajuelita officers responding to a neighborhood dispute confiscated a .25-caliber pistol from a man who did not have a possession permit.

The firearms confiscated just by the Fuerza Pública last year included 174 homemade devices. Most of these are a couple of tubes or pipes designed to fire a shotgun shell. There also were 76 shotguns, 869 pistols and 663 revolvers.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 14

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

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Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Remodelling and Construction

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Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356

CR Beach
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear-titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute photo             
A mosquito vector for chikungunya.

Panamá study shows how virus spreads

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute news staff

The tropical disease chikungunya began twisting Western tongues last July when the first locally transmitted case was reported in Florida. Spotted in the Caribbean in 2013, the disease spread explosively throughout the Americas last year. Chikungunya’s arrival in Panamá prompted Smithsonian scientists to examine how human activity spreads its mosquito vector and the serious implications this has for disease ecology everywhere.

Chikungunya causes fever, fatigue and joint swelling and is transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. The tiger mosquito also spreads dengue, so the study published as a viewpoint piece in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Jan. 8 also holds a cautionary tale for dengue-eradication programs that primarily target another mosquito, the virus’s main vector, A. aegypti.

Panamánian health authorities first detected the tiger mosquito in the Central American nation in 2002 and kept tabs on its spread from Panamá City. This comprehensive data — uncommon in many tropical nations — coupled with years of mosquito surveys by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute post-doctoral fellow and co-author José Loaiza, showed that the tiger mosquito relies on road networks to disperse. Loaiza is also a researcher at INDICASAT, a leading Panamánian scientific research institute.

“The vector is not moving organically across the landscape,” said Matthew Miller, the lead author of the study and a research fellow at the institute. To stem the vector’s spread, the authors recommend that health authorities fumigate vehicles at checkpoints already set up throughout Panamá to prevent screwworms, flesh-eating fly larvae that attack cattle, from spreading from Colombia to North America. Checkpoint fumigation could prevent the tiger mosquito from reaching the Azuero Peninsula and Bocas Del Toro in Panamá, where it has not been detected.

In May 2014, A. aegypti genetically modified by the British firm Oxitec to render offspring unviable — at least in laboratory conditions — were released in a Panamá City suburb by Panamá’s Gorgas Institute. The modified mosquitoes are expected to greatly reduce A. aegypti populations.

But the experiment may have unwittingly launched a game of ecological whack-a-mole. Given Aedes's ability to disperse through road networks, populations of A. aegypti could reestablish without continuous release of modified mosquitos. Another possibility is that the tiger mosquito could fill the niche that A. aegypti occupied. Coincidentally, the first locally transmitted case of chikungunya appeared in Panamá that same month.

“The two mosquito species are so ecologically similar that, by depressing A. aegypti populations, the chances that A. albopictus is going to competitively displace it may increase,” said Miller. “This research is relevant to the study of introduced disease vectors everywhere.”

Major highway maintenance urged

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción said Tuesday that it was concerned by the lack of maintenance on major highways. The chamber cited Ruta 32, Ruta 1 from San José to San Ramón and other key stretches.

Coincidentally, there was another landslide on Ruta 32 north of San José Tuesday, but the debris was cleared by noon, said the Consejo de Vialidad.

The construction chamber, of course, has some self interest because its members would do the maintenance.

The government is trying to figure out how it will do a major reconstruction job on Ruta 32, the main highway to the north and Limón. Frequent landslides make the road dangerous. Then there is the plan to widen the road from Moín and Río Frio.

What the chamber seeks now is just repair of the driving surface.

Our reader's opinion:
Remaining silent indicates support

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Why does the news media always blame President Obama or his administration when discussing controversial issues such as: a) Release of Islamic terrorist prisoners from Gitmo, b) Job site violence (Fort Hood), c) Trade of five high-level Islamic terrorists from Gitmo for a U.S. Army deserter, d) Illegal immigrant traffic, e) Health care lies, and not place the blame where it belongs, the Democratic Party.

Statements made by the president and other high ranking Democrat officials promoting and justifying protest of lawful police activity should be addressed. Remaining SILENT indicates you support this outrageous protest and statements made by high level government officials promoting this protest.
Al Almeida
Nuevo Arenal


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 14
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Rey Curré prepares to host another Juego de los Diablitos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Boruca residents of  Rey Curré present their version of  Juego de los Diablitos from late Thursday, Jan. 29, to Sunday, Feb. 1.

This is the centuries old drama that pits the native residents of the country against the Spanish invaders. There are several such presentations at the beginning of each year, and Rey Curré is, by far, the most accessible location. The community is right on the Interamericana Sur.

The three-day drama could be much older than the Spanish. Rey Curré itself is said to be at least 3,000 years old. That some ancient festival morphed itself into a mock battle against Europeans is likely.

After all, the festival provides a lot of food and chicha de maíz that fuels the nighttime dancing. The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said that a typical meal is smoked pork, rice tamales and the homemade booze, chicha.

The characters in the three-day event are a bull representing the Spanish. Usually this is someone covered with rough cloth and wearing a mask and horns. The diablitos, wearing traditional masks, represent the native population.

The confrontation between the diablitos and the bull begins before midnight Jan. 29. Those playing the diablitos will go to a nearby hill and sound a rude horn. They descend

dressed in the famous Boruca masks and cloths covered with banana leaves. They go to the local houses seeking food and the chicha.
mother and child
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Youngster gets an early start on being a diablito.

At dawn the bull appears and begins to gore the diablitos. For three days there is back and forth and a resurrection of the slain diablitos. Sunday the culmination of the event is the death of the bull.

Rey Curré is a friendly community that is fighting against the loss of land due to construction of a hydro project on the Río Térraba.

Visitors probably should stop by the community center to learn about the local objections.

The community is about 29 kilometers (18 miles) south of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas

Still no clarification from executive branch on procuradora general
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The three principal figures in the ambassadorgate scandal that is undermining the current administration have dates to appear before lawmakers.

They are the former vice minister of the Presidencia, Daniel Soley, his ex-boss, Melvin Jiménez, and Ana Lorena Brenes, the procuradora general.

Jiménez walked out of a press conference Tuesday without answering questions about the situation. Soley approached Ms. Brenes Jan. 6 and offered her an ambassadorship if she quit her job as the executive branch lawyer. She has differed with President Luis Guillermo Solís on key issues.

Many lawmakers doubt that Soley would do this on his own, and there were some calls Tuesday for whoever orchestrated the meeting to resign. Soley resigned Saturday.

What may have been an impropriety has grown into a full-fledged scandal because no one in the administration will say if Soley acted on his own or who sent him to the meeting. The president has said he did not know about the meeting, but Ms. Brenes disputes that claim.

Even the political party of the president in the legislature, the Partido Acción Ciudadana, issued a statement Tuesday asking for more information.

Jiménez is expected to meet lawmakers Thursday.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Del Rey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 14
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Moderate alcohol consumption may protect heart, European study says
By the European Heart Journal news staff

Drinking up to seven times a week in early to middle age is associated with a 20 percent lower risk of men developing heart failure in the future when compared to people who did not drink at all, and the lower risk is a more modest 16 percent for women.

Evidence already exists for the beneficial effects of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol on the risk of developing a number of heart conditions. However, the role it plays in the risk of developing heart failure has been under-researched with conflicting results.

Now, a large study of nearly 15,000 men and women, published online in the European Heart Journal, shows that ingesting up to seven drinks a week in early to middle age is associated with a  lower risk.

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump blood around the body as well as it used to. The most common reason is that the heart muscle has been damaged, for instance by a heart attack. High blood pressure, heart muscle disease, heart valve problems, an irregular heart beat, viral infections, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, consuming recreational drugs and the side-effects of radiotherapy treatment for cancer can all contribute to heart failure developing. Heart failure is a major public health problem with over 23 million people living with it worldwide.

Scott Solomon, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Alexandra Gonçalves, a research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and colleagues analyzed data from 14,629 people aged between 45 and 64 years who had been recruited to the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study between 1987 and 1989 in four U.S. communities. They followed the participants for 24 to 25 years to the end of 2011, and they questioned them about their alcohol consumption at the start and at each of three subsequent visits.

They defined a drink as one that contains 14 grams of alcohol, equivalent to approximately one small glass of wine, just over
half a pint or a third of a liter of beer, and less than one shot of liquor such as whisky or vodka. The study participants were divided into six categories: abstainers (people who recorded having drunk no alcohol at every visit by the researchers), former drinkers, people who drank up to seven drinks a week, or between 7 to 14 drinks, 14 to 21 drinks, or 21 or more drinks a week.

During the follow-up period 1,271 men and 1,237 women developed heart failure. The lowest rate of heart failures occurred in those drinking up to seven drinks per week and the highest rate was seen among former drinkers.

After taking account of various factors that could affect the results such as age, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or heart attacks, body mass index, cholesterol levels, physical activity, education and smoking, men who consumed up to seven drinks a week had a 20 percent reduced risk of developing heart failure compared to abstainers, while the risk was reduced by 16 percent in women consuming the same amount.

Former drinkers had the highest risk of developing heart failure – a 19% and 17% increased risk among men and women respectively compared to abstainers. Interestingly, among both men and women consuming the most amount of alcohol (14 or more drinks a week), the risk of heart failure was not significantly different compared to the risk for abstainers. The number of very heavy drinkers in the study was small, which could have limited its power to detect any association.

However, when the researchers looked at death from any cause, there was an increased risk of death of 47 percent for men and 89 percent of women who reported consuming 21 or more drinks a week at the start of the study.

Professor Solomon said: “These findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective.

No level of alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of heart failure. However, heavy alcohol use is certainly a risk factor for deaths from any cause.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
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La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
Every Saturday - Vendor Fair!

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Two houses for rent inside Sarchí working coffee farm. We will be renting out only one of them, so choose which suits you best.

Casita - Roomy, fully furnished 1 bedroom/1 bath/ 1 guest room, office or storage room. Hi-speed     WiFi, private phone line, hot water, balcony with lovely view across the Central Valley. Includes
linens, dishes, etc and washing machine. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities for 6 months or longer, $625 all inclusive for less than 6 months. Sorry, no pets.

Main house - Spacious 2 bedrooms/1 bath/ and an office w/Wifi. Fully furnished 
(except for TV), Sky satellite, private phone line, washer and dryer, alarm system.  There are lovely verandas with views of Poás and Central Valley, raised beds for gardening and lots of fruit trees. A well-behaved pet MAY be negotiable. Rent is $750 plus utilities for long term tenant.

Our farm is in a small, quiet and very safe neighborhood in Sarchí Sur and is gated and guarded 24/7 and we live on-site. It's totally private and quiet, but less than a 5-minute drive to Sarchí central and 15 minutes to Grecia.  There are great places to walk as well. More info and photos at

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 14
Real Estate
About us


White House photo
Obama begins his speech to Congress
Obama vows to strengthen
national and global security

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As he enters his seventh year at the nation’s helm, U.S. President Barack Obama put forward an agenda he said will strengthen national and global security and will expand economic security to poor and middle-income Americans.

"We are 15 years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world," Obama said in his annual State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

"It has been, and still is, a hard time for many. But tonight, we turn the page," he said. "… The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong."

Speaking from the U.S. Capitol, Obama addressed the nation and a Congress in which Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives after winning sweeping victories in the November elections.

The president touted the rebounding U.S. economy, with its  "shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production," and a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since 2008.

But while incomes have been rising among well-to-do Americans, wages have not kept pace. In past weeks, Obama has promoted policies he said would spread the economic benefits to those who have largely been shut out of the recovery.

Improving middle-class economics "means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change,” the president said. "That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement. ..."

The budget he's submitting to Congress in two weeks "will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year."

He called for higher wages to help families make ends meet.

To enable those higher wages and ensure a U.S. workforce competitive, the United States should "do more to help Americans upgrade their skills," Obama said, repeating his call for free tuition for community college.

He also said he would work with Congress to ease student loan burdens.

To offset tuition costs and tax breaks for middle-income Americans, Obama has proposed raising taxes on profits that individuals make from selling such assets as stocks, bonds and real estate, ending tax breaks for inherited estates worth millions of dollars, and imposing a fee on the country's biggest financial firms. Those measures would generate revenues estimated at $320 billion.

"Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America," the president said. "Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home."

He also called for simplifying and adjusting the tax code, which now allows "the top 1 percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth."

As Obama has unveiled some of his proposals in recent days, Republicans have sharply attacked them as too costly. Opposition lawmakers say higher taxes would derail improvement in the U.S. economy, the world's largest.

Congress is unlikely to enact Obama's tax plan. But, by making the proposal, Obama is likely setting the stage for a major debate as the United States heads into next year's presidential election to pick his successor.

For his part, Obama has vowed to veto a number of Republican priorities. These include congressional approval of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the central U.S., as well as changes to undercut the health care reform law and Wall Street financial restrictions.

Obama acknowledged his first duty, as commander-in-chief, is defending the country.

"We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy, when we leverage our power with coalition building, when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents," the president said.

American leadership is stopping the advance of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, the president said, citing a broad coalition, including Arab nations working to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group."

Obama called on Congress "to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL," he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

As for the almost yearlong turmoil in eastern Ukraine, Obama reiterated that America was "upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small." The United States is "opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy and reassuring our NATO allies," he said, adding that sanctions have left Russia's economy in tatters.

Obama emphasized the persistent, steady resolve of the United States and its allies.

But he brought up Cuba and the recent U.S. policy switch after 50 years.

"It’s time to try something new," he said. "Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba, stands up for democratic values and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people."

Today a U.S. delegation will be in Havana to open the first round of talks aimed at restoring diplomatic ties. The three-day session follows up on last month’s surprise announcement by Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro to normalize relations with the Communist-led island.

Obama acknowledged one of his guests in the audience: Alan Gross. The American contractor spent five years in a Cuban jail before his release Dec, 17, which coincided with the historic announcement. Since then, Cuba has freed 53 other political prisoners. 

Obama urged increasing cybersecurity to repel invaders, like those who recently attacked Sony Pictures and others who hacked a Pentagon Twitter feed.

"No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids," the president said.

He said the U.S. government had taken steps to integrate "intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism." Obama urged Congress to pass legislation "to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft and protect our children’s information."

Obama also called for strong demonstrations of American values. He cited his adminstration's prohibition on torture, the country's defense of free speech and a rejection of "offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace."

The country's first biracial president said that, "as Americans, we cherish our civil liberties and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks."

He praised the American melting pot and "a nation that gave someone like me a chance."

In an oblique reference to the recent deaths of several young black men at the hands of police, Obama called for demonstrating to "every child, in every neighborhood: Your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids."

In giving the opposition party's traditional response to the Democratic president, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst said the new GOP-led Congress would give renewed emphasis to initiatives targeting job creation and repealing Obama's health care law.

She reiterated a Republican desire to cut federal spending and balance the nation's budget, while also expanding America's economic engagement with the world.

"Let's tear down trade barriers in places like Europe and the Pacific," the first-term senator said. "Let's sell more of what we make and grow in America over there so we can boost manufacturing, wages and jobs right here at home."

Sen. Ernst also said Congress will discuss ways to confront terrorism, by individuals and groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

"The forces of violence and oppression don't care about the innocent," she said. "We need a comprehensive plan to defeat them."

The senator, a war veteran elected in November, said the new Congress also will work on ways to prevent cyberattacks and to "confront Iran's nuclear ambitions."

Some speech spectators
unhappy with Cuban thaw

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When President Barack Obama took the podium Tuesday night for his first State of the Union address since reestablishing a diplomatic dialogue with Havana, at least five people in the audience were listening intently to what he said about Cuba.  And they were not U.S. lawmakers.

At the invitation of the White House, former detainee and government contractor Alan Gross and wife, Judy, were in attendance, one month after his release from a Cuban prison.

On the other side of the partisan divide were Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner's invitees, dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez and his wife, Yris Pérez Aguilera.

García Pérez spent nearly two decades as a political prisoner in Cuba and came to Washington with a message. "We feel cheated. We feel hurt, greatly betrayed, by the government that should have been our primary ally," he told reporters Tuesday.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, another Republican, also had a guest, Marlene Alejandre Triana, whose father, Armando Alejandre Jr., was killed when his plane was shot down by the Cuban military in 1996.

"What they've told us is that they want a hard line against the dictatorship, and not this gift of lifting the embargo and lifting sanctions," said Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, part of a core group of lawmakers who oppose the government of Fidel and Raúl Castro, and who disagree with the U.S. president's new policy of diplomatic rapprochement that ended decades of isolationism toward the Communist-run country.

Although the decision to renew ties between Havana and Washington was unilateral, Obama needs congressional support to end a U.S. trade embargo on the island.

"Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere, removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba, stands up for democratic values, and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people," President Obama said in his State of the Union address.

Despite support from Democrats and some Republicans on the decision, the fiercely anti-Castro isolationists spearheaded by Ms. Ros-Lehtinen have dug in their heels to oppose the president.

But Carl Meacham, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that partisan divide does not necessarily mean Congress will be at an impasse over the issue.

"I think we're going to see more change than what we think. I don't know if they are going to lift the embargo, but I think that there will be change insofar as how the Congress looks at this bilateral policy," Meacham said.

Formal talks are set to begin between U.S. envoys and Cuban officials in Havana today.

Both governments need to listen to those affected by their diplomatic decisions, said the Freedom House director for Latin America, Carlos Ponce.

"The Cuban has been suspicious about the whole negotiation process," he said. "The dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba needs to incorporate Cubans."

AirAsia flight climb rate
considered as crash cause

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Indonesia's transport minister said Tuesday that the AirAsia flight that crashed into the Java Sea last month stalled because it was climbing too fast for the wings to generate lift.

Ignasius Jonan told Indonesian lawmakers that radar data indicated the Airbus A320 was climbing at a rate of about 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) per minute just before the crash Dec. 28. He said the normal rate for commercial planes is only about 300 to 600 meters (980 to 1970 feet) per minute.

None of the 162 people on board the jet survived.

The plane went down in stormy weather on what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. Indonesia's meteorological agency has suggested the bad weather may have played a role in the crash.

The pilot did seek permission to climb to avoid big storm clouds just before the accident, but air traffic controllers denied the request because of heavy air traffic.

Man held in New York
on possession of toxic ricin

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Justice Department said a New York man has been charged with trying to obtain and distribute the highly potent and potentially fatal toxin known as ricin. He was caught by an uncover FBI agent in an online forum.

U.S. officials announced Tuesday that Cheng Le has been indicted on two counts and faces life in prison for his attempt to have ricin sent to him last month by U.S. mail.  According to a Justice Department statement, he wanted to resell the ricin to at least one buyer.

The FBI arranged a sham shipment that the defendant collected at a U.S. Post Office box wearing latex gloves. The 21-year-old Le took the package back to his Manhattan apartment where he was arrested Dec. 23.

He faces two counts. The first charges Le with attempting to possess a biological toxin for use as a weapon and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The second charges him with using a fictitious name in furtherance of unlawful business involving the mail. It carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.

German rabbit breeders
defend bunny sex habits

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

German rabbit breeders have expressed dismay over Pope Francis' recent comment that Catholics do not have to breed like rabbits.

On his flight back to Rome Monday from his trip to the Philippines, Francis reminded his followers that they should practice responsible parenthood and natural methods of birth control.

The pope elaborated by saying that new life was part of the sacrament of marriage. While in Manila, the pontiff had strongly defended the church’s stance on outlawing artificial contraception for Catholics.

Speaking Tuesday with Deutsche Presse Agentur, Erwin Leowsky, president of the central council of the Association of German Rabbit Breeders, took issue with the pope’s analogy, saying that only rabbits that live in the wild are sexually overactive. He said those in captivity have tamer reproductive habits.

Leowsky also said he thought Francis should skip the misleading cliches about rabbits and allow Catholics to use contraceptives.

Voice of America photo
James Chen demonstrated one of the adjustable glasses

Cheap, adjustable glasses
designed for Rwandans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ninety-five percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who need glasses don't own a pair, according to the Britain-based charity foundation Vision for a Nation.

Its founder, British philanthropist James Chen, says Rwanda, whose 11-million residents are served by 14 ophthalmologists, is just one nation where the need for the glasses is great, especially among schoolchildren.

“We expect that perhaps a million people in Rwanda will need some form of vision correction, and out of that probably 900,000 people will just need a simple reading glass, and we would be able to supply that," he says of his company, Adlens, which manufactures two types of adjustable glasses based on technology developed at Oxford University.

The glasses, he says, are easy to use and offer a wide range of magnification.

“You have two lenses. As they move against each other, the part of the eye you can see out the power changes with the two lenses moving against each other," he says. "The other technology we have is the fluid-filled, which is a chamber. On the one side you have a plastic kind of a sheet, and as you put in the fluid; which is a silicone oil, it changes the curvature of that and so that's what's changing the power.”

Adlens ophthalmologist Graham Mackenzie says the glasses are especially suitable for people with variable eyesight.

“If your eyesight does fluctuate from day to day, or even minute to minute, you can just readjust the lens power to meet your needs," MacKenzie says. "The technology as it currently stands has a very high power range — so high, in fact, that we can capture 90 percent of all the sorts of refractive errors that are out in the world.”

With a subsidy from the World Bank, Rwandans will pay only about $1.50 for the adjustable glasses, which is roughly equal to three-days' wages in the country.

The Vision for a Nation foundation has trained some 1200 nurses to help the vision-impaired learn how to use the product.

If everything goes well with the distribution and adoption of adjustable lenses in Rwanda, Vision for a Nation plans to distribute them in other countries, too.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498,000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135,000. Click
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

Photo one
photo two
Tambor three for jan. 15
Total area of the property is 23 hectares at $425,000. There's an option to buy 2 sub lots, the first one is land with no construction of 890 sqm at $19,900. The second, 1,700 sqm including a small house, for the price of $65,000
Located 300 meters from the south Jacó . First house is 110 sqm with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,  private pool, A/C, kitchen and separate laundry. Second is a 120m, two-story house with 2 bedrooms, There's a small lot has its own entrance and is perfect for building  $280,000.
This 115 sqm condo is located four blocks from the heart of Santa Ana. It is a corner unit with a view of the green area from your living room. Two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchen is clean and modern. Home is in good condition, and ready to move into. $132.000.
Contact Jo-Anne  Cell phone number: 506 8310-2915
or through email:

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

Real estate services
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Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

call center
Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 14
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disbled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
cattle car
Ministerio de Seguridad photo
   The Fuerza Pública said officers intercepted this cattle truck in La
   Cruz, Guanacaste.  Instead of cows, the truck held 42 illegal
   immigrants, they said.

Rights called priority in Cuban talks

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

In anticipation of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson’s visit to Havana from today through Saturday, Freedom House urged attention to human rights

“As Roberta Jacobson begins historic talks with Cuban officials, the first of their kind in over 30 years, it is essential to keep progress on democratic reform and respect for human rights at the top of the agenda,” said Robert Herman, vice president for regional programs.

“Freedom House encourages Ms. Jacobson and her delegation to raise concerns over recent crackdowns on universal human rights, including freedom of expression and engage in meaningful conversation with members of Cuban civil society and dissidents, who will be instrumental in balancing discourse while diplomatic relations are being restored.”

Attacks on Afghan journalists condemned

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S.-based human rights group has called on Afghanistan's leadership to condemn attacks on journalists and media freedom, in order to protect the right to free speech.

Human Rights Watch released a report today describing ways it says the Afghan government has failed to investigate and prosecute allegations of harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists. It said the failure to investigate and prosecute such incidents has emboldened parties determined to suppress criticism of the government, its security forces, and other powerful entities in Afghan society.

The report said Afghanistan's Taliban insurgency has greatly contributed to the climate of fear by explicitly targeting journalists whose reporting it deems unfavorable. Journalists report that the behavior often influences them to self-censor on sensitive issues such as corruption, violence against women, and other human rights abuses.

The rights group's deputy Asia director, Phelim Kine, said Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani needs to back up campaign promises to protect media freedom by prosecuting and bringing to justice anyone who abuses members of the press.

Afghan media advocacy organization Nai has reported that 2014 was the most violent year on record for journalists in Afghanistan, with attacks up from 2013 by 64 percent. It says government and foreign support for press freedom will be particularly important this year and in following ones, now that most foreign forces have withdrawn from the country.

The Taliban on Dec. 13 explicitly threatened members of the media, saying journalists seen as supporting so-called Western values would be targeted for attack.

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From Page 7:

new plant
Zollner Elektronik AG graphic              
Rendering of the German firm's Cartago facility.

German electronics firm chooses Cartago

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The German electronics firm Zollner Elektronik AG says it expects to hire up to 200 persons and invest $10 million at its new Cartago facility over the next three years.

The firm will be the first occupant in the new Parque Industrial La Lima free zone.

Headquartered in Zandt, Germany, Zollner Elektronik AG has successfully grown to become one of the largest electronic manufacturing service providers in the world, the firm said. Zollner offers a range of services: from research and development, through production, and all the way to after-sales service, it added.

The new Cartago facility has been established to serve customers throughout the Americas and Canada, as well as support existing production facilities, particularly in the United States, the firm said.

Zollner’s global presence includes 8,700 employees at 17 sites in Germany, Hungary, Romania, China, Tunisia, the United States, Switzerland and now Costa Rica, it added.

The firm's funder, Manfred Zollner, is expected to be at the 8:30 a.m. inauguration ceremony today.