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A.M. Costa Rica
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Cocal for Jan. 20
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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 24                                Email us
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Hacienda's bite beginning to snag consumers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This was bound to happen.

Reporters are receiving reports of merchants jacking up prices by 1.78 to 2 percent to compensate for the bite the tax agency is taking from credit and debit card transactions.

The Minsterio de Hacienda issued the regulation last year in order to get advanced income tax payments from those in business. The credit card processing companies are suppose to remit the money to the ministry when they process transactions.

Credit card sales already cost merchants some 4 to 6 percent, depending on the processing company. That is why some offer discounts for cash.

Some expats have dismissed the percentage as trivial even though 2 percent may be half the net profit of a firm with a high-ticket transaction.

A.M. Costa Rica received one report of a private school increasing the amount of tuition because of the bite from Hacienda.

If a product is subject to the 13 percent sales tax, Hacienda wants 1.78 percent so that it is not taking tax on sales tax.

Theoretically Hacienda will apply the money collected to a company's income tax payment at the end of the year. That assumed that there is income tax owed.  There does not seem to be any provision for the devaluation of the colon over the course of the year.

And there does not seem to be any way the consumer will get back the 1 percent surcharge.

Continued high winds prompt official alert for seas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission has issued an alert for small boats and bathers for the Pacific from Playas del Coco and further north and for the Caribbean.

The commission said that it was basing its alert on information provided by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

More high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico is ramping up the winds that have been raking the country for two weeks, said the commission, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y
Atención de Emergencias
Tuesday there were winds of from 45 kph to 80 kph in the country, the commission noted. That is 28 to about 50 mph. The winds cause choppy seas in the northern Pacific, including the gulfs of Nicoya and Papagayo, said the commission. Lake Arenal is included in the alert.

The heavy seas are likely to help create rip tides that are dangerous to bathers, said the commission.

Such alerts by the emergency commission are unusual, although there may be more official concern due to the sinking of a large catamaran with loss of three lives and accidents in which several small boats have overturned. Wind and choppy seas were factors in all incidents.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 24

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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.

Insurance professionals

Mr. Donato
Lidio J. Donato
Lidio J. Donato Calderón
Insurance Agent
Code # 110-888
Experience since 1980

Insurance for: Vehicles, fire, medical expenses, workplace hazards,  machinery, properties and natural disasters. Visit and we handle all the  paperwork for your insurance.
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Phone ( 506 ) : 2226-9919
   Cell ( 506 ) :  8384-7597
e-mail :
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next to Supermarket Pali.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
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Tel: (323) 255-6116


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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Legal services

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Lic Matta

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Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services
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Plunge in fuel prices hold down inflation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thanks to a decrease in the price of gasoline, the cost of living in January rose just 0.04 percent.

The figure comes from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos that surveys prices of  292 goods and services.

The steep decline in motor fuel masked the fact that the actual increase in the cost of living was greater.

Some 59 percent of the goods and services surveyed showed increases, the institute said.

By comparison, the inflation rate for 2014 was 5.13 percent. The rate from February 2014 to last month is 4.39 percent, said the institute.

Lawmakers OK San Ramón financing plan

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers have approved a trust arrangement to provide financing for the proposed San José- San Ramón highway. There were no negative votes.

The measure authorizes the executive branch to create the trust, called a fideicomiso in Spanish, to capture financing from any sources available.

The proposal also calls for the reconstruction of the General Cañas and Bernardo Soto highways from the current six to eight lanes to Juan Santamaría airport. After that the highway will be six lanes where it is now two lanes in some parts.

The road project originally was granted as a concession, but residents along the route protested vigorously that the proposed tolls would be too high. The Laura Chinchilla administration payed off the concession holder.

The new design is around $440 million, although the agreement approved Tuesday does not give a number.

The measure needs one more positive vote to go to the president for signatures.

Florencio del Castillo project advances

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative committee has approved and sent to the full body a proposal to link the Autopista Florencio del Castillo with the Zapote traffic circle. The 2.9 kilometer stretch would be from Curridabat.

The proposal also envisions widening the highway to six lanes for some 17.6 kilometers. The highway is the one that runs from Curridabat to Cartago.

The committee said that the way to finance the project was with a trust, a  fideicomiso.

The stretch from Curridabat to Zapote would relieve pressure on the main highway through San Pedro and Curridabat.

Police prepared for new school year

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública has a new emphasis on prevention when public schools open Monday for the new year.

The director of the police agency, Juan José Andrade, said that officers will be on the alert for the usual crimes and violations, but they also will be watching out for bullying. There also will be stepped up efforts against drug use, he said.

More than a million youngsters are expected to start school, and police will be stationed in key areas to keep watch.

Also involved with the the traffic police.

Meanwhile there is a last-minute rush to obtain certification for school transports. These have to be renewed each year.  Transport ministry officials usually ask parents to be on the alert to make sure that vehicles transporting their children have all the approvals.

Stepfather held in child's death

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 2 year old died from what appears to be injuries to his face, back and chest. Investigators have detained the stepfather, who has been remanded to jail for investigation.

The death happened in La Virgen de los Chiles near the Nicaraguan border Monday.

The Fuerza Pública said that the mother made the complaint.

N.Y. commuter train-SUV crash kills 7

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Seven people are dead after a crowded commuter train traveling from New York City struck a vehicle that was stuck on the tracks.

The collision occurred Tuesday evening about 20 kilometers north of New York as the Metro-North Railroad train was headed to the small town of Wassaic.

Authorities say the sport utility vehicle had gotten stuck on the tracks after going through a railway crossing. The train pushed the car about 10 train lengths before both vehicles caught fire.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the driver of the SUV and six passengers were killed in the collision. At least a dozen passengers were injured.

The Metro-North Railroad has been plagued by a series of crashes in recent years, including a derailment in 2013 that left four commuters dead. A report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board last year was highly critical of the rail line, which carries hundreds of thousands of commuters daily between New York and Connecticut. 

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 24
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 Name change to Quepos gets final approval in legislature
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers passed for the second and final time Tuesday a bill that changes the name of the canton of Aguirre to Quepos. The city of Quepos is the major community in the canton.

The central Pacific canton now bears the name of a casualty in the 1948 civil war. The word Quepos is believed to be the

name of a native tribe that inhabited the area before the Spanish arrival.

The measure got first approval Thursday. Now it goes to President Luis Guillermo Solís for his signature.

Lawmakers said that the name change was supported by business and tourism groups in the canton.

Security minister named to high position in the prosecutorial agency
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security minister,  Celso Gamboa Sánchez, is going to
become the No. 2 person in the  Ministerio Público, the independent prosecutorial agency.

Gamboa has a good reputation as a crime fighter, and the change puts him on the inside track to become fiscal general, the boss of all the prosecutors.

Prosecutors have been under fire, in part because of what a trial court said was poor police work that led to the acquittal of seven men accused of murdering an environmentalist.

Celso Gamboa

Jorge Chavarría Guzmán,
the fiscal general confirmed in an
email that Gamboa would be joining the agency Feb. 16.

In the Costa Rican system, the prosecutors and the judicial investigators are within the court system.

Gamboa has been in the Ministerio de Seguridad since 2011, although not all that time as minister.  He is an expert at public relations and maintains an active twitter account that is consulted by reporters.

He also has been director of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional.

President Luis Guillermo Solís praised him Tuesday for the work he has done.

As security minister, Gamboa supervised the Fuerza Pública and other similar police agencies, including frontier police, airport police and anti-drug agents. His office produced a detailed list Tuesday of successes during his tenure. He has a degree in criminology as well as a law degree and has served as a prosecutor in the past.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Execution by fire of Jordanian pilot generates outrage and revulsion
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jordan executed two militants at dawn today because the Islamic State killed one of its pilots. The militants included Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who was on death row for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing in Amman. The Islamic State had demanded she be released.

Jordanian authorities executed her a day after a video emerged online appearing to show the militant group burning Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh alive while he was locked in a cage.

He was captured after his plane went down in Syria in late December while flying as part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting air strikes against the Islamic State group.  He was apparently killed on Jan. 3.

Late Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said U.S. officials have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the video.

Jordan had insisted the militants provide evidence al-Kaseasbeh was alive before they released the al-Rishawi woman in a prisoner exchange.

A grim-looking Jordanian King Abdullah addressed the nation from Washington, where he had been meeting with U.S. leaders.

The king was reported to be cutting his U.S. visit short to return to Amman, where people were taking to the streets in protest after learning of the pilot's death, shouting angrily and chanting his name as they called for revenge on Islamic State militants.

"This is cowardly terror by a criminal group that has no

relation to Islam," the king told his people. "The brave pilot
gave his life defending his faith, country and nation and joined other Jordanian martyrs."

Jordan's participation in coalition air strikes against fellow Muslims has been unpopular within the country.

Kaseasbeh was captured in December after his fighter jet crashed near Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the extremist militant organization's proclaimed Islamic caliphate.

President Barack Obama, who met with King Abdullah Tuesday, called the video just one more indication of the Islamic State's viciousness and barbarity.

"And it, I think, will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated," the president told reporters. "Whatever ideology they're operating off of, it's bankrupt."

Vice President Joseph Biden hosted Jordan's King Abdullah at the Naval Observatory Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where he offered condolences to Kasasbeh's family and all Jordanians before condemning the killings and calling for the release of all prisoners held by Islamic State militants.

Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the campaign against the militants, issued a statement Tuesday saying Kaseasbeh served his country courageously and honorably and was an important member of the anti-Islamic State team.

U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the pilot's murder and said Islamic State is a terrorist group with no regard for human life.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!

1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
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Written by Christopher Howard,
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with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!

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
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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.

Real Estate
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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 24
Real Estate
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Senate subcommittee hears
divergent views on Cuba

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration has defended its diplomatic opening with Cuba before U.S. lawmakers who are deeply divided on the issue. It remains unclear whether the new, Republican-led Congress will assist or hinder the president’s initiative to normalize relations with Havana.

Congress has been abuzz about Cuba since President Obama’s December announcement restoring official diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana with congressional delegations jetting to and from the island.

Fully normalizing relations, however, is far from a done deal, as Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee.

“We have only just begun the official talks on normalizing relations, which will take considerably longer than the first step of the reestablishment of relations, "said Ms. Jacobson.

Lawmakers fiercely debate the wisdom of this effort. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat and a Cuban-American, said he doubts diplomacy and trade will bring change to the island.

“I do not want to relive 50 years of engagement with China that has brought forced abortions, prison camp labor, ethnic cleansing in Tibet, the exile of the Dalai Lama.  If that is what we hope for the Cuban people, it is a sad day," said Menendez.

Fellow Cuban-American Marco Rubio, a Republican, says no ties should be restored until the Castro government agrees to democratic reform.

“The Cuban people are the only people in this hemisphere that have not had a free and fair election in the last decade-and-a-half.  And the notion that we should be more patient with Cuba than all these other societies is unfair and offensive," said Rubio.

By contrast, Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, noted that restoring ties with Havana does not confer an American seal of approval on the Cuban government.  Fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer agreed.

“We know this policy is not going to change Cuba overnight, but we have spent the past five decades pursuing a policy that has not worked," said Sen. Boxer.

Tomasz Malinowski sought to assure senators that U.S. officials in talks with the Castro government are not blind to realities in Cuba. He is the assistant secretary of State for democracy and human rights.

“We have no illusions about the current leadership’s desire to keep things just as they are," said Malinowski.

But Malinowski predicted that boosting diplomacy and trade with the island will force the Cuban government to reckon with its failures.

“Every citizen of Cuba knows that the U.S. is willing to have normal relations with their country and help them connect with the world. These steps have raised the Cuban people’s expectations and shifted the burden for meeting those expectations to the Cuban state," he said.

Ending the longstanding U.S. trade embargo on Cuba would require an act of Congress, something that is viewed as unlikely in the foreseeable future.  Of more immediate concern is whether Congress will approve funds to maintain a full U.S. embassy in Havana, if and when relations are normalized.

Senators also heard from prominent Cuban human rights activists.  Miriam Leiva, a journalist and wife of the late Cuban dissident Oscar Espinosa Chepe, said the United States has a unique opportunity to push Cuba towards a brighter future, something that can only be accomplished by being there.

Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the late Cuban pro-democracy activist Oswaldo Paya, said, “Engagement will only be real if it occurs between free peoples.” 

U.S. 2016 budget considered
to be unrealistic and pricey

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Coming in at 2,000 pages, the 2016 federal budget is a fiscal road map for President Barack Obama’s remaining two years and beyond. Its aim: to bolster the U.S. recovery, keep America safe and invest in the middle class.

But at nearly $4 trillion, it carries a hefty price tag. It includes $561 billion in military spending, $478 billion for public works projects, $526 billion in nonmilitary spending, plus assorted tax cuts for the middle class and free community college for students.

Economist Diane Lim at the Committee for Economic Development in Washington said that although the plan is commendable, it's also unrealistic.

“I have no problem with the investment, and I think, in fact, our nation does not invest enough in things that will promote longer term economic growth," she said. "It’s just that we have to come up with realistic ways to pay for it. Otherwise, those investments are never going to happen.”

The budget proposes more than $2 trillion in tax hikes over the next 10 years, mostly on corporations and the wealthy to help pay for these initiatives. But Republican majorities in both houses of Congress are unlikely to accept them.

As it stands, the budget would also add another $6 trillion to the national debt by 2026. 

"So if you go out a decade later or two decades later, after the end of the 10-year budget window, we still haven’t done anything to figure out how are we going to keep health care costs down so that Medicare spending as a share of GDP doesn’t keep rising so dramatically,” Ms. Lim said.

That should worry investors, Ms. Lim said, because the world's largest economy is only as good as its financial health.

But in testimony before Congress Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that not only is the U.S. economy growing at a sustainable level, it's also doing better than those of most other countries.

"The fact is our businesses created nearly 3 million jobs last year, the most jobs since the late '90s," he said. "From a global perspective, we continue to outperform our trading partners, many of whom are still trying to climb out of the vast hole created by the global economic crisis."

Congress and the president must still agree on the budget before it can become law, and unless the two sides have the political will to deal with the nation’s expensive health care and retirement programs and its unsustainable high debt, Ms. Lim said, the spending plan isn't going anywhere.

"Very, very little of it will pass," she said. "I can guarantee you that.”

Falling oil prices hitting
some Texas workers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Oil rig workers, known as roughnecks, face unemployment as oil prices fall, but the impact is greater in regions like Alaska and North Dakota, where production costs are higher than they are in the Eagle Ford shale area of south-central Texas.

Business has even picked up at Rooster Safety in Pleasanton, Texas, where roughnecks buy gloves, helmets and protective gear.

Store owner James Strange said he'd been getting orders from company purchasing agents who were content with paying more to established suppliers when oil prices were high.

“Now that oil prices are dropping and people want to watch their budgets, they are willing to take an extra 30 minutes to create an account with us so that they can start purchasing and save some money,” he said.

By keeping costs low, some projects in south-central Texas can remain profitable as long as the price of oil stays above $40 a barrel.

Economist Adam Perdue at the University of Houston's Institute for Regional Forecasting, who studies the impact of the slowdown on Texas, said that “exploration and production budgets are being cut anywhere from 10 to 50 percent, with most of them being about 30 percent.”

He said Houston's economy, which experienced 5 percent growth in recent years, would be affected by the lower spending.

“We are predicting there will be 20,000 fewer jobs than there would have been otherwise," Perdue said. "So, we are still predicting growth in the Houston area. It is just going to slow down to a more reasonable rate of just under 2 percent.”

The slowdown will also affect companies that make pipes and fittings for oil exploration and production, as well as trucking companies that supply sand and chemicals for hydraulic fracturing and many other small businesses that serve the energy industry.

But low oil prices are a stimulus to chemical producers that use hydrocarbons to make everything from solvents to fertilizer and plastics. Perdue said new chemical plant construction near Houston would keep many skilled workers employed.

“A lot of these roughnecks that are going to lose their jobs out there in the field are going to be able to come home and get a welding job or a construction job,” he said.

Perdue said oil company analysts see prices rising again in six months or so as the market glut from expanded production decreases.

But, he said, if those assumptions are wrong and oil prices continue to fall, the impact on Houston and Texas in general will be much worse.

China takes more steps
to insulate Web population

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A recent move by Beijing to block access to several VPN services has angered some Chinese free speech activists who use the tools to get around China’s formidable Internet firewalls.

But now some analysts worry the move may signal a much larger and longer-lasting crackdown that could seriously cramp the Communist nation’s struggling economy.

Users in China of several VPN services, among them VyprVPN, Astrill and StrongVPN, began reporting they were being blocked from accessing those services on the Internet.

VPN’s, or virtual private networks, are used to bypass Internet censorship and filtering. In recent years, VPNs have proven very popular in China, not just among free speech activists but with many firms conducting international business from China.

In a Twitter message to its users, Astrill confirmed the blocks, but said only iOS devices, such as iPads and iPhones, appeared to be targeted.

Over at its company blog, Golden Frog, the firm behind VyprVPN, also confirmed the new blocks, saying that it "appears that China is using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to analyze plain-text Web traffic through the Great Firewall."

In response, the company is now using the encrypted HTTPS protocol to help bypass China’s DPI filters.

"The authorities have been doing this for a long time," writes the pseudonymous Charlie Smith of the censorship monitoring site in an email. "But they have never done it as extensively as they are doing it now."

Smith said his group has been monitoring a rapid ramping up of Internet controls in China since June of 2014, and that blocking VPNs -- which the government has mostly ignored up to this point -- is just the next logical step to tighten control.

"Google got blocked completely last June for the first time. Gmail got blocked completely for the first time in December," he wrote. "Since October, the authorities have launched attacks on Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Apple, putting sensitive user information at risk and, in turn, making Chinese netizens suspicious of using foreign services.

"All of that activity drives Internet users to adopt circumvention tools," he wrote. "By blocking these tools, the authorities are leaving people no option but to use domestic services."

Services, he adds, that can easily be monitored, filtered or cut off entirely.

In a written statement, the U.S. State Department urged authorities in Beijing to lift the blocks and open up a freer Internet.

"We remain deeply concerned by Chinese government efforts to restrict the free flow of information both offline and online, including the continued blocking of foreign media Web sites and search engines," the statement said. "Such actions run counter to China’s international commitments to protect freedom of expression."

However, the South China Morning Post reports that at a Beijing news conference Jan. 27, Wen Ku, communication development director at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that new technologies, such as VPNs, make it entirely appropriate for the government to take whatever steps deemed necessary to filter out inappropriate information from reaching those online in China.

There are hundreds of VPN services, but overall they all work the same way. A VPN creates what’s commonly called a tunnel -- a point-to-point, encrypted connection between a user's computer and a particular set of servers associated with that VPN service. This tunnel allows users to generally access the sites they wish while hiding their location and identity. 

VPNs are effective but not foolproof, and generally can be blocked in two ways.

First, governments can block access to the servers associated with a VPN, which is why some VPNs use a constantly shifting set of servers across different continents.

Second, as happened at Golden Frog, the Web sites of VPN companies can simply be blocked, preventing users from ever downloading a service in the first place.

Internet censorship in China is nothing new, dating back as far as 1998 and the introduction of what’s often termed "The Great Firewall of China."

What’s of concern to some analysts now is not only that VPNs are being targeted, but more and more Web sites are being blocked long-term.

"The government in China has consistently attempted to monitor the Internet and restrict social media in China, which is growing by leaps and bounds," said Michael Auslin, scholar in residence at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on Asian politics and security.

"This is a particularly sensitive time for the government, one in which the consolidation of power by Xi Jinping is taking on some very sensitive sacred cows, at low and high levels," Auslin said.

"This is not a time when the government wants to lose control of the national debate. They long ago learned the lesson of the Soviet Union. China wants to maintain political and social control and allow economic reform. That’s the opposite of what the Soviets did and, of course, they collapsed," he added.

Internet and social media use in China is exploding. The micro-blogging site Sina Weibo alone has over 500 million users.

As authorities have broadened the number of sites being blocked, Chinese netizens have found new ways around the firewall, including using cloud services like Amazon S3, which have become critical for many Chinese businesses to make money.

Blocking those services, said GreatFire's Smith, creates economic collateral damage for Chinese business, which in turn increases pressure on China’s leaders to loosen their grip on the Web.

A few analysts have begun raising the possibility that China may eventually follow Iran’s lead and try to build its own intranet, walling off nearly the entire global Internet to all but a select few in that nation.

Security expert Auslin agrees that might actually happen someday but probably not anytime soon.

"One of the biggest problems is it would be disruptive, and that’s not something the government right now wants," he said. "There’s already an economic slowdown, so the government clearly does not want any economic uncertainty or instability."

That said, Auslin agrees with Smith and others that this most recent action blocking VPNs further reinforces China’s apparent desire to seize as much control of the Internet as possible, and that officials may be seriously considering creating a de facto intranet through heavy filtering and censorship.

“There certainly is the potential that if they felt they could get away with it, and they felt it would not harm business, they would probably go ahead and do it,” he said.

British Parliament gives OK
to blocking inherited diseases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Britain could become the first country in the world to allow the creation of babies with DNA from three people.

The House of Commons voted 382 to 128 to approve the controversial type of in-vitro fertilization that could prevent mothers from passing inherited health problems such as serious heart and brain disorders and muscular dystrophy. But critics see it as a step toward creation of designer babies.

The treatment is known as three-parent in vitro fertilization because the babies, born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a female donor.

It is designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases, incurable conditions passed down the maternal line that affect around one in 6,500 children worldwide.

After an emotionally charged 90-minute debate that some lawmakers criticized as being too short for such a serious matter, parliament voted 382 to 128 in favor of the technique, called mitochondrial donation.

The vote paves the way for a medical world first for Britain, but one that is fiercely disputed by some religious groups and other critics.

The process involves intervening in the fertilization process to remove mitochondria, which act as tiny energy-generating batteries inside cells, and which, if faulty, can cause inherited conditions such as fatal heart problems, liver failure, brain disorders, blindness and muscular dystrophy.

Mitochondrial DNA is separate from DNA found in the cell nucleus and does not affect human characteristics such as hair or eye color, appearance or personality traits.

"I for one would be absolutely certain I wouldn't stand here and defend the concept of designer babies — choosing the color of the eyes and all the rest of it. This is about purely dealing with those terrible, terrible illnesses," opposition Labor lawmaker Andrew Miller, chair of parliament's science and technology committee, said during the debate.

The Roman Catholic Church, which is opposed to any artificial reproductive techniques, opposes the British proposal, as does the Church of England, which said last week there has not been enough scientific study of the medical techniques involved.

International charities, advocacy groups and scientists had urged Britain to pass laws to allow the treatment, saying it brought a first glimmer of hope for some families of having a baby who could live without suffering.

"We have finally reached a milestone in giving women an invaluable choice, the choice to become a mother without fear of passing on a lifetime under the shadow of mitochondrial disease to their child," Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said following the vote.

In an open letter to lawmakers, 11 international campaign groups, including the U.S. United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, described the condition as unimaginably cruel.

"It strips our children of the skills they have learned, inflicts pain that cannot be managed and tires their organs one by one until their little bodies cannot go on any more," they wrote.

Lawmakers were given a free vote on the issue, and Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said the British leader had voted to support it, adding it was not about playing God.

"He has a particular sympathy with those parents whose children are born with very serious illnesses, that in nearly all cases end their lives prematurely," the spokesman said, referring to Cameron's son Ivan who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy and died aged 6 in 2009.

Critics, however, say the technique will lead to the creation of genetically modified designer babies, with Conservative lawmaker Fiona Bruce saying it would amount to letting the genie out of the bottle.

"Where will it lead? The answer has to be that we stop here. The answer has to be that we say this is a red line in our country, as in every other country in the world, that we will not cross," she said during the debate.

Proposed new laws allowing the treatments to be carried out in Britain still have to be approved by the upper house, which commentators expect to endorse parliament's support.
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.

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

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
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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)

Playas del Coco home
Playas del Coco  Unique opportunity, multiple possible uses, project property! i.e. large home, b&b, hostel, rooming house, retreat, or business?

The property consists of 2,200 sf of construction, pool, bodega, garage, 1,126 m2 lot (adjacent 550M2 vacant lot available to purchase), and is only a 3-minute walk to the beach. Google @: 10˚54’23.80”N  85˚70’41.40”W There is a well for irrigation, in ground sprinkler system, 5,000 liter in ground reserve water tank, fruit trees, palm trees, shrubs, and many flowers. The property is walled on 4 sides with 2 entrances. There is hot water throughout the house. The property has municipal water, telephone line, Internet, and cable. The property is in a clean & up to date LLC for easy transfer. The property taxes are less than $600. on a valuation of approximately $196,000.
Price $159999. Less than replacement. Contact for more info & pictures: 6283-1172 CR  or 00507 6620 3201  Panamá.

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Fortuna view
Sometimes “distress sale” is a come-on.  Sadly, for this bruised North American ex-wife it is not.  She has a very nice modern- construction 2-br home on 1129 m2 intended for up to a couple dozen apartments with superb volcano view, short walk to downtown, all the amenities.  The existing 1st loan can be assumed but the 2nd has to be paid off, as do her other debts here, so that’s the distress part.  The irony is that their business plan was perfect, the place rents extremely well today, but she can’t manage it from a distance and doesn’t plan on returning to Costa Rica.  Asking $140k but her Costa Rica dream property is going to go to the first best offer with enough cash to clear her debts as well as clear her mind.  Her own personal bad experience provides an unusual opportunity at this time.  For interior pix: phone 506-8377-8402 or E-mail

1-acre beautiful beachfront lot
Power and water on the property A very nice tropical setting in Puerto Viejo, Limón. Choice location. 9 beautiful lots for sale. Each lot is $69,000 or offer. Please call Peter: 7122-3754 or e mail:

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:

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.

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:

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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.

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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:

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, Feb. 4, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 24
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Murdered archbishop declared martyr

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero has been declared a
martyr, opening the way for his beatification, Vatican Radio said today.

Following a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Tuesday, Pope Francis officially approved a decree saying that Romero had been killed out of hatred for his faith, rather than just a political assassination.

The step means Romero can be beatified without a miracle being attributed to him. The archbishop of San Salvador was shot by a right-wing death squad March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass in a hospital chapel, Vatican radio said.

His beatification is expected to take place in San Salvador but no date has yet been announced.

The papal decree also designated two
Archbishop Romero
Archbishop Romero
Polish friars and an Italian priest as martyrs, according to the official Vatican news site. They are Michal Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strazalkowski and Alessandro Dordi, diocesan priests, who were killed in Peru in 1991. They were victims of the Sendero Luminoso Marxist rebels there.

Romero died the day after he gave a sermon calling on Salvadoran soldiers to stop carrying out orders of the leaders. This was at the height of the civil war in that country in which the U.S. backed government set up death squads and engaged in many human rights abuses.

Press group condemns disrespect of paper

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has condemned an act of aggression by the chief of staff of Argentine’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who tore up pages of the newspaper Clarín during a public meeting held at the government headquarters in protest at articles written by three of the paper’s journalists.

Association President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, said he regretted that “the President Kirchner’s government involves the press in an alleged political confrontation, discrediting the media as political opponents, instead of regarding them as an instrument watching over those in power as occurs in democratic societies.”

Monday during a press conference in which he complained of a political confrontation by opposition media Chief of Staff Jorge Capitanich in front of television cameras tore up two pages of Clarín which on Sunday had published articles about the death of public prosecutor Alberto Nisman written by reporters Nicolás Wiñazki and Daniel Santoro and columnist Eduardo van de Kooy in which there was a reference to alleged statements made by Capitanich about the coverage by the press of Nisman’s death.

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, declared, “It is a disgrace that President Kirchner and her closest collaborators fall into the despicable practice that is frequently and enthusiastically engaged in by Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, one of the worst predators of freedom of expression in the Americas.”

He added that the Argentine government “should not fall into the temptation of accusing and discrediting journalists in public acts of sarcasm, as bellicose and confrontational speeches tend to incite violence.”

Mohme and Paolillo said that this act of disrespect of the press “cannot be taken lightly, when in Argentina regrettably journalists have exposed to other governmental actions that go against freedom of the press, such as cases of spying on the media, symbolic trials of journalists and acts of violence.”

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From Page 7:

Salaries for bank employees under study

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The executive branch wants a report from state banks on how they pay their employees.

The request, in the form of a directive, comes after the Contraloría General de la República, reported that bank employees were getting salary incentives that were disproportionate.

The directive asked the banks to provide within a month the criteria being used to evaluate managers and to outline how salary incentives are determined.

The executive branch, the Ministerio de Hacienda and the Banco Central will study these responses to determine the impact they have on development, according to the directive.