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Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published Friday, Feb. 7, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 27                          Email us
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
Anti aging

Residents association will seek better rates from Caja
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Association of Residents of Costa Rica, the expat organization, will seek to negotiate lower health insurance rates for its members.

Ryan Piercy, the executive director, said that a petition drive is possible. The association has more than 1,000 members that are being affected by a plan by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social to raise rates, some of them dramatically high. The increases are expected to affect all legal residents here even if they are not members of Piercy's association.

The residents association has had an agreement with the Caja that covered those members that sought the services. Membership in the Caja now is obligatory for those foreigners who have legal residency here. The association's agreement predates this requirement.

Piercy also pointed out in a telephone talk Thursday that the Caja change is not only a concern for foreigners. The government agency also is targeting Costa Ricans and professionals in lucrative positions like lawyers and doctors.

In the past, resident association members who chose to affiliate with the Caja paid a flat fee between $50 and $67 for a family. Now the Caja wants to key the premium to the individual's income and age.

Since those who acquire residency as pensionados
must demonstrate to immigration officials an income of at least $1,000 a month, the Caja is using that figure.  These monthly rates are $75 for those over 55 years and $139 for those younger than 55.

Rentistas who must show a monthly income of $2,500 will be charged $252 for those over 55 and $442 for those under 55.

Permanent residents over 55 years of age will pay $63 a month. The monthly amount is $114 for permanent residents under 55 years, the association has said.

The Caja now established a monthly income of $3,300 per month, for inversionistas or investors with a monthly premium consistent with that amount.

These rates already have gone into effect.

The Caja changes transcend the agreement that the association has with it. The new rates will be applied to all who have residency status in Costa Rica because the cash-strapped Caja is seeking money wherever it can raise it.

Typically when a new resident seeks to join the Caja health plan, a condition of residency, they have an interview with a worker there. 

The worker determines the individual's monthly income and establishes a monthly premium consistent with the amount.

Good idea,
bad outcome

Motorists continue to be creative in finding ways to smuggle alcohol from Panamá. The most recent was inside a mobile sound truck or  discomóvil in Spanish. The Fuerza Pública near Corredores found 814 boxes of bottles, some hidden within speakers.

A police officer (right) carries beer.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

That was a power surge that darkened us Monday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A major electrical surge in downtown Los Angeles Monday cut electric power to much of the area, but those who run networks of Internet servers in that area were not concerned. They have backup power with generators and devices that have handled such problems repeatedly.

Not so Monday. Blue Who, a major provider that hosts A.M. Costa Rica's Web pages, said that a second surge took out a number of breakers that provide power to the large server computers. The result was a blackout at 3:20 p.m. Costa Rican time. Consequently there were no pages of A.M. Cost Rica
visible around the world and emails did not go through.
The company has extensive backup devices and runs power outage simulations frequently. But this time, circumstances overpowered the planning.

In about an hour, the company said it had most of its customers running normally. But it took another hour before all systems were working, the firm said. And the servers were on generators until 10:25 p.m. Costa Rican time.

Several other hosting companies in the area suffered the same fate.

This is the second time that an emergency has darkened A.M. Costa Rica's Web site. The last was eight years ago when a major fire took place, also in Los Angeles.

Television station apologizes for incorrect report
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government is accepting the apology of the TeleSur television station, but it wants a correction aired.

This is the dispute over an incorrect segment on a station program Sunday that said Costa Rica was hosting a large U.S. Navy base.

Casa Presidencial said that Carlos Roverssi Rojas,
the minister of  Comunicación, received an apology Thursday from the president of the station, Patricia Villegas.  She also said that the television station founded by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and others would be sending a crew to do videos in Costa Rica, according to Casa Presidencial.

The minister also said that he was sending a reply seeking that the television station air its correction in the same space that it transmitted the incorrect information.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 27

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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Real estate agents and services

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
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Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, 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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Travel firm may not be a fraud,
but it sure has its troubles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The economics ministry's consumer division came out Thursday with a warning about a Florida travel firm that is making telephone calls into Costa Rica.

The firm offers trip packages to Florida's South Beach and also cruise deals that may range up to several thousand dollars.

The Oficina de Apoyo al Consumidor said that the firm is not registered with the ministry and that the Internet suggested that the travel offer is fraudulent. The consumer office said that callers were seeking credit card numbers and security codes.

The firm is Millennium International, which has at least three attractive videos on YouTube. There also are a few negative postings, including one from a man in Argentina who said he was trying to get his money back without success.

The CEO of the firm has a different story. He is Carlos Rodriguez, who said on his Facebook page that he is the founder of the company. He reports a tale that would ring true to anyone in the travel business whether it is true or not.

Rodríguez said that an employee absconded with the confidential data of the firm, went into business for himself and had employees call customers and brand the former employer as a fraud.

But it gets worse. The ex-employee, according to Rodriguez, urged customers to dispute charges already posted to credit cards. This resulted in credit card companies reversing some $300,000 in payments and nearly bankrupting Millennium, said the CEO.

The company operates on a margin of about 20 percent for the travel deals and commissions already had been paid on the transactions being disputed, said the CEO. Instead of closing the door, the firm decided to move its reservation operation to México to save money, he said.

But it gets worse. Through lack of leadership, the Mexican reservation operations had serious problems and about 2 percent of the reservations had not been processed, he said.

Rodriguez said that the firm has been hammered on the social networks and that he is struggling to maintain the firm's name and goodwill.  His explanation was undated.

The warning from the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio and the travails of the Florida firm provide good reasons to seek tour packages and tickets from local agencies.

Our readers' opinions
Farming is expensive here,
and income isn't great either

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I thought I would give my opinion to Robert Woodrow's comments.  First I think the title you gave it was misleading “Drop food subsidies to help poor reduce grocery outlay.”  I, as one of the “rich farmers,” want to see food subsidies dropped. 

Most farmers here in Costa Rica (with some exceptions) don’t get subsidies, but we have to compete with farmers in other countries, especially the U.S.A., who do or countries that have very low labor costs.  We also have higher costs here for many things such as fuel, vehicles, tractors and those who farm conventionally, fertilizers and agrochemicals. 

The terrain in many parts of Costa Rica doesn’t allow the large farms that they have in other areas, and much of the work has to be done by manual labor.

Getting rid of the tariffs on the food items that Robert mentioned would open the farmers here to subsidized competition from other countries and make it impossible for them to make a living. So we would be helping those now poor by making another larger group poor. It would also make Costa Rica more reliant on other countries to feed itself and open to the dangers that brings.

As far as the tariffs making the rich farmers richer, I have a small farm that I’ve invested over $200,000 in and several years of work before even starting to see any type of income.  At the present time I’m lucky to make a few dollars per hour for the 70 or 80 hours a week I work.  In the farming community where I live, this is very much the norm not the exception.  I invite Robert to come and work in my community for a few weeks and see if he still feels the same way.

I would love to see the poor be able to have food security but not at making another hard working group poor.  And not at the expense of making Costa Rica less food secure.  Another answer needs to be found.

Those who find food expensive here in Costa Rica may wish to visit more farmers markets, eat more of the local foods and stay away from much of the imported processed food.  It always amazes me when I leave the Zapote farmers market on Sundays just how full the mall next door is, usually with lines of cars waiting to get in, many heading to the food courts there.

Robert Anthony Warren Hainline
La Cima de Dota

Cuba blockade is failure
and also hypocritical

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Aside from being an abject failure that has done nothing to affect the Cuban government and only punishes innocent Cubans, the Cuban embargo is an insult to American people's intelligence, a roadblock to our economic growth, and an international embarrassment.

What could be more hypocritical than this half century of punitive action against a tiny, island nation, when China, one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet and an ongoing threat to America's national security, is a monster trading partner to the U.S.?

We have even reestablished trade with Vietnam, (another Communist country), where the war cost 58,000 Americans their lives and where 300,000 of our troops were wounded? If we can trade with China and Vietnam, and if tourists can go to both countries freely, why can't we have the same kind of relationship with Cuba? We look stupid and petty in the extreme!

The Cuban American community in south Florida represents a miniscule fraction of the United States population, but their virulent hatred of Fidel Castro combined with their ability to influence the outcome of presidential voting in the state, has given them 800-pound gorilla status when their opinions should carry no more weight than the proverbial flea on an elephant's backside.

Both political parties need to drop their perennial cowardice on this issue and end the embargo that benefits nobody in this country, but continues to be a gift to America's international competitors who freely and successfully trade with Cuba.

Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 27
Real Estate
About us

Fire fighters honor comrades
killed in Argentine blaze

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The camaraderie of being a fire fighter transcends national boundaries, and those in this profession take it seriously when tragedy befalls comrades elsewhere.

That is why the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica presented a flora; offering Thursday in honor of the nine fire fighters in Argentina who died in a blaze there.  The scene was at the Argentine Embassy here. Participating were Costa Rican bomberos including Héctor Chaves, director of the agency, and Martín Antonio Balza, the ambassador.

The fire fighters came from the central station in San José, and the department band was there, too.

Long-time expats will remember the line of fire fighters and trucks that rendered the same honors in 2001 at the U.S. Embassy two days after many in the New York City department died in the collapse of the twin towers.
Cuerpo de Bomberos photo
Fire fighter and ambassador render honors

This weekend is for surfing, chili and even a BMX contest
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats need not become bored this weekend.

In Atenas the Atenas Charity Chili Cook Off will be held in the Quinta Roma Vista park Sunday. The event benefits a local children's shelter called Hogar de Vida, and visitors get to sample the chili entries. More information is available here:

At Playa Garza de Nosara on the far Pacific coast, there is the
Triple Corona de Surf de Nosara and a masters tournament. The events start at 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

At the Polideportivo de Nicoya Sunday, some 60 cyclists from five countries will be engaged in BMX WAR 2014. 

They will jump, spin, surmount obstacles and do any number of bicycle tricks.

This weekend is the last before public school starts, so the parks will be full. The weather is expected to be warm during the day.

Food is getting much too expensive to just throw away
My Italian grandmother was what I used to call a dumpster shopper.  Occasionally I would go with her to the local A&P, and she would lead me around back.  I asked her once why she did that when we could shop inside.  She said that the store threw away food, especially fruits and vegetables, which were perfectly good but just “not pretty.” Today there are people who, as dumpster divers, find still good food thrown out by supermarkets.

Recently in the news and public service ads we are learning that one third of the food grown and made is wasted.  And a large percentage of that is wasted merely because of the sale dates on packaged and canned goods and a few blemishes on the produce that customers won’t buy. 

In the United States, Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, a food market that everyone loves, is starting something that I hope becomes a trend and is very possible in Costa Rica.  He is calling it Daily Table, a different kind of supermarket and restaurant that will buy the produce and out-of-date packaged and canned goods discarded by first line supermarkets and sell them at prices within the reach of the poor in whose neighborhoods he will establish these stores. He plans to have cooks on hand to prepare healthy dish starters so people can take home half-ready meals (like tomato sauce) and even finished dishes. These are perfectly good products. 

In downtown San José, on the corner of Seventh Avenue and the street that goes north to the Children’s Museum, there used to be an indoor feria.  Eventually it closed, but it could be set up as a daily table, a place to sell still edible and nutritious produce and canned goods greatly marked down.  The feria on 10th Avenue could do the same.  Or perhaps they already do. It has been a while since I have visited there.  My feria is in Pavas, but even there it gets more and more expensive. Perhaps it is because of the tariffs added to so many basic foods that a writer mentioned in a letter to the editor this week.

Meanwhile, I had lunch this week with Deborah, a visitor from Oregon and a pen pal whom I met through my column.  I suggested Il Ritorno.  It has been a while since I have been
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

to this Italian restaurant, one of my favorites, which is in Casa Italia.  Like just about every restaurant in town, instead of a nice little menu, they now have what I call a magazine with their, I suppose, expanded menu, and the prices, even there, where they once were so reasonable, have gone up.  As visitors have said, Costa Rica is becoming one of the most expensive places in the world to eat out.

I wondered what the restaurants here do with their leftovers still on the stove at the end of the day? Have any of them formed a daily table where they can give to the hungry what they needlessly throw away?  Just wondering.

This little country has more than one harvest season every year and can grow just about anything.  What is happening to the food here?  Is this the result of globalization?  Are there many countries exporting their home-grown produce and importing that from another country, much of it carefully sealed in plastic bags, and quick to spoil once it is out of the bag?

On the one hand, the news is full of people who are going hungry, from the victims of war to young children going to school without breakfast.  And we continue to waste food, which seldom makes headlines. 

And while I am going on about the habits of supermarkets and restaurants, I cannot escape my own participation in wasting food.  I let leftovers sit in the refrigerator until they qualify as spoiled, and then I throw them out with a clear conscience.  Before I cast the next stone, I think I better think about how I can change my own habits.

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 27
Real Estate
About us

Native property rights seem to be under more pressure from development
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two new reports say there’s been a dramatic slowdown in recognizing the rights of native people to tropical forest land and resources. The Rights and Resources Initiative says it’s happening despite favorable court rulings and statements by corporations and governments.

The Rights and Resources Initiative says the slowdown comes “as the global hunger for food, fuel, water and mineral wealth continues.”

“Our main concern is that there are indigenous peoples and local communities around the world who have customary rights before us – but often those rights are not recognized legally by governments. And we have seen some progress over time in the legal recognition of those rights, but in fact our most recent research is showing that there’s been a slowdown in the recognition of rights since about 2008,” said Jenny Springer, the group’s director of global programs.

The reports find that land tenure laws passed since 2008 are “weaker and recognize fewer rights than those passed before.”

Ms. Springer said over the last 20 years or so, Latin America has led the way in recognizing native land rights in tropical forest nations. “At this point, about 39-percent of the forests in Latin America are either owned or designated for use by indigenous peoples and local communities.”

Native people have not fared as well in some other regions.

“A couple of the areas that our analysis shows where the forests are still largely controlled and administered directly by governments are Central Africa," Ms. Springer said. "About 99 percent of the forests are directly administered by government and also peninsular Southeast Asia.”

More countries are discovering they’re rich in natural resources, such as oil and minerals. But Ms. Springer said that does not mean those countries automatically will be exploited. In some cases, she says, there’s been a positive effect, adding:
“Local communities, including in Africa, are often the best stewards of their forests and the wildlife in them. So, for example, I spent some time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There’s an area around a place called Malabo where there are still very well functioning and traditional governance systems of the local communities. They have done a very good job in conserving the forests in their area and also a species of bonobos – a primate species that at this point is only found in DRC.”

But the global demand for resources, she said, does increase pressure on tropical forest land.

“So we see a lot of corporations, a lot of investors, moving into rural areas in developing countries -- and the governments want to encourage foreign investment. They want to have revenues and have a means for economic development. But often these large-scale land acquisitions – these industrial concessions – are overlaid right on top of indigenous peoples and community lands.”

The Rights and Resources Initiative reports that “At least one out of every three hectares licensed to natural resource development overlaps with land inhabited by indigenous peoples and local communities.”

Ms. Springer is encouraged, though, that some corporations are making statements about protecting rights:

“We think it’s really just the beginning – that there’s a lot more that needs to be done. There’s more that needs to be done in terms of turning verbal commitments into real action – into implementation. And there’s more that needs to be done in terms of spreading these kinds of approaches more broadly across global and local private sector actors.”

The issue of land rights is expected to be addressed in September at the World Conference on Indigenous People at the U.N. Also, the next climate change conference, COP 20, will be held in December in Perú, where there are disputes over land rights in the eastern Amazon.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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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.
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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.
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CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

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 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
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at  night with
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 the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

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Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details:

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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.

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 
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 27
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U.S. officials are irked now
because they are being bugged

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. State Department is firing back at Russia for its role in the alleged leak of an apparently bugged telephone conversation, about Ukraine, between two senior American diplomats, in which they are said to make disparaging comments about the European Union.

A recording has been posted to YouTube of voices resembling those of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.  The people on the alleged call discuss international efforts to resolve Ukraine's ongoing political crisis, and at one point, the voice resembling Nuland's uses vulgar wording to suggest the European Union's position should be ignored.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke Thursday in Washington:

"This is a new low in Russian trade craft in terms of publicizing, posting.  I don't have any other independent details about the origin of the YouTube video, you're right.  This has clearly happened overnight and is relatively new.  But this is something they've been actively promoting, posting on, tweeting about, and certainly we feel that represents a new low," said Ms. Psaki.

Both Ms. Psaki and White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed to a tweet by an aide to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, which Ms. Psaki says was the first to promote the video.

Carney said Thursday the official's tweet, some seven hours before the video was publicly noticed, "says something about Russia's role'' in the matter.

The YouTube video is subtitled in Russian, raising suspicions that it was posted by a Russia-friendly source.  Neither U.S. official would comment on the source of the audio.

Ms. Nuland arrived in Kyiv Thursday to meet with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych amid ongoing protests in the capital.

Ms. Psaki says Ms. Nuland has contacted her EU counterparts and apologized.

Cyberspace becomes category
for evaluating press freedom

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For the first time, the Committee to Protect Journalists has added cyberspace as a category on its yearly risk list, which highlights places where press freedom is on the decline. The committee says while violence and repression continue to threaten the work of journalists worldwide, online censorship and surveillance are also starting to affect the flow of information.

The committee's list of countries with the biggest decline in media freedom includes Egypt, Bangladesh, Syria, Ecuador, Liberia, Zambia, Russia, Vietnam and Turkey where hundreds recently protested against planned new restrictions on the Internet. 

“Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world.  People have been shot with less lethal rounds and tear-gassed around and sprayed with high-pressure water cannon in the streets in protest of this bill," said Geoffrey King of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

King is the Internet advocacy coordinator for the organization. King says new amendments to Turkey's restrictive Internet law, which the parliament passed Thursday, will make it even worse.
“It would make it much easier for the government to block URLs in some cases without court authorization," he said.

Responding to the allegations, Turkish officials said the amendments were made to improve the law and strike a balance between freedom of expression, individual rights and privacy protections.

In Egypt, the committee says that, since the military takeover last year, five journalists have been killed, 30 assaulted and 11 news outlets raided.  20 journalists have recently been arrested, including four from Al Jazeera. Anna Therese Day, a freelance journalist, says via Skype that the situation in Egypt today is very different from what it was during the revolution.

“I worked there freely. I worked by myself. I worked with short sleeves on; I didn’t cover my hair most of the time. Now, that would be unheard of for someone like me," said Ms. Day.

She said she left Egypt because it was no longer safe.

Wars remain the biggest threat to journalists' lives, but the committee warns that governments' efforts to monitor digital communications could become more damaging to their work.

“Not just targeted surveillance of individual suspects but mass surveillance across society in many countries. That’s why it’s cyberspace and not one particular country being named. Different countries do it with varying levels of rule of law and due process, but it’s quickly becoming very easy for governments to spy on their critics," said King.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that recent revelations by former security contractor Edward Snowden about U.S. cyberspace surveillance could chill news gathering, by frightening away news sources who need to be protected from retribution.

A.M. Costa Rica archive photo   
Chronic pain is more than just a headache

Power of mind begin used
to treat chronic pain victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Utah researchers say they’ve developed a technique that allows patients to use the power of their minds to help treat chronic pain.

One in five people worldwide suffers from daily chronic pain, according to a 2004 report. A 2011 paper from the Institute of Medicine showed that one in three U.S. adults is affected by this condition.

The University of Utah’s Eric Garland said his team’s technique not only helps relieve pain, but can also decrease prescription misuse among chronic pain patients.

A variety of therapies are used to treat chronic pain including over-the-counter pain relievers, exercise and diet, alternative medical therapies such as acupuncture and prescription opiate-based pain medications, which can have serious side effects and lead to dependency.

Garland calls his new intervention technique Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement and said it is designed to train people to react differently to pain, stress and opioid-related cues.

“Mental interventions can address physical problems, like pain, on both psychological and biological levels because the mind and body are interconnected,” Garland said. “Anything that happens in the brain happens in the body — so by changing brain functioning, you alter the functioning of the body.”

In a study published online in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Garland said the new treatment method led to a 63- percent reduction in the misuse of opioids, as compared to a 32-percent decrease among those who took part in a conventional support group.

Patients who were a part of the new treatment group also reported a 22 percent drop in pain-related impairment, something that the researchers said continued for three months after the end of their treatment period.

According to Garland, the technique zeroes in on the basic processes involved in both chronic pain and the abuse of opioids, by combining three therapeutic components: mindfulness training, reappraisal and savoring.

The mindfulness training component consists of training the patient’s mind to increase its awareness, gain control over their attention, and learn to control automatic habits.

The reappraisal module is the process of taking the meaning of a stressful or negative experience and turning it around in such a way that it is seen as something positive and promotes growth.

Savoring is a method of learning that teaches patients to center their attention on positive events in their lives, heightening their sensitivity to naturally occurring positive experiences, such as enjoying a beautiful sunset or the special feeling of closeness with a loved one.

Right now, Garland’s technique is being tested in a preliminary brain imaging trial as a way to help smokers quit the habit.

Plans for further testing include working with those who have mental health problems or are addicted to alcohol. If these trials are successful, the research team plans to work with active-duty soldiers suffering with chronic pain while also conducting a larger trial among the general population.

Garland and his team envision the technique as something that could be prescribed by doctors as an addition to traditional pain management methods.

Advocates for illegals seek
to pressure Congress, president

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Advocates for immigrant rights are calling on President Barack Obama to suspend deportations of otherwise law-abiding residents who are illegal while Congress considers reforming the nation's immigration laws.

Allies of the president are criticizing the Obama administration for deporting more than 1.9 million illegal immigrants.

Immigrant rights groups are increasingly frustrated by the Obama administration's crackdown.

Two of those groups hosted an event on Capitol Hill, calling on Congress and the president to suspend deportations they say are tearing families apart.

Maria Perez is a U.S. citizen who never thought she would see her husband deported to México. She came to the event. 

"Even though my husband was undocumented, I always believed President Obama that the focus of deportations were violent criminals and felons," she said. "My husband is neither. He’s a good father, a good husband who provided for his family. But on October 16, three officers came to our house . . ."

Perez says the arrest traumatized their children.

"They handcuffed him, they arrested him, in front of my children," she said. "To this day, my son goes white when he sees officers."

Many families face the same fate, including U.S. citizen Seleste Wisniewski, whose husband has been granted a one-year reprieve from deportation.  He's the primary caregiver of four American children, including her adult son who has cerebral palsy.

"I can speak firsthand that the family life is not taken into consideration," she said. "What goes on in the home — if they would have just listened and seen, I was begging them – put two ankle bracelets on every member of my household, don’t take this man, please. Don’t take my husband!"

Advocates for reform say the Republican-controlled House of Representatives should act.  The Senate passed immigration reform last year.

"Too many voices on the other side of the aisle are saying ‘go slow’ or ‘not now’ and it’s up to all of us who know that reform is urgent to say that’s not good enough," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat. "The time is now to move forward."
But Speaker of the House John Boehner was pessimistic about immigration reform passing this year. He said Republicans don't trust the president.

"... I think the president is going to have to demonstrate to the American people and to my colleagues that he can be trusted to enforce the law as it is written," he said.

Republicans say border security should be the priority before any talk of legalizing the illegals.    

Immigration rights activists vow to keep up the pressure on the president and Congress.

Sniper attack at power site
has been industry wake-up call

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An unsolved sniper attack last year on an electrical power substation in California that knocked out 17 giant transformers has mobilized industry leaders to beef up physical security at these vital installations. The incident also has some experts worried that parts of the U.S. power grid are similarly vulnerable.

On April 16, 2013, attackers cut fiber optic cables in an underground vault and then fired more than 100 rounds from at least two high-powered rifles on Pacific Gas and Electric's Metcalf power transmission station near San Jose, California.

The attack did not cause major power disruptions because officials were able to reroute electricity remotely during the 27 days it took to repair the installation and get it back on line, according to PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson.

The California power utility had never previously experienced such a large-scale act of aggression.

"Ever since, we've been working very aggressively to improve substation security, not just at Metcalf but throughout our system," Swanson said.

"Its not just PG&E acting alone. The utility industry as a whole is working with stakeholders like the Edison Electric Institute, with policy makers, with government and law enforcement officials at all levels," he added.

An FBI investigation is ongoing, but has so far resulted in no arrests. Swanson declined to speculate on the perpetrators' identity or possible motive.

Security experts said the incident was most likely either a criminal act committed by a disgruntled employee or a far more dangerous example of domestic terrorism.

"This was likely either a former, or even a current employee, possibly an insider, someone that's left who's disgruntled, on the criminal side," said Daryl Johnson, a consultant with DT Analytics, a Washington, DC-based security firm.

A disparate array of domestic groups ranging from green anarchists and environmental extremists that oppose the use of fossil fuels to anti-government militias hoping to sow terror and undermine federal authority could have been responsible, said Johnson.

"We've seen chatter on both of those movements that indicate they're interested in targeting infrastructure," he said.

"And we've actually had cases where people in both the militia-anti-government movements as well as the anarchist-environmental extremist movements have been arrested for targeting critical infrastructure or actually sabotaging the electrical grid," Johnson said.

In December, Rep. Henry Waxman  a California Democrat, told a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oversight hearing that the April incident was hardly the only threat facing America’s electricity grid.

"A few months ago in Arkansas, there were multiple attacks on power lines and grid infrastructure that led to millions of dollars in damage and brief power outages. Independent engineers recently discovered a new cyber vulnerability in the software used by many electric grid control systems," Waxman said.

As part of its detailed investigation of the Metcalf attack published Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal quoted former Federal Energy Regulatory chairman Jon Wellinghoff as saying it was "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the United States.

The event has received little public attention until now, although as word of the attack spread through the utility industry, some companies moved to review their security policies.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also has initiated an unusual public awareness campaign, holding briefings on the physical security of electricity substations in cities throughout the U.S.

Obama praises Haitian progress
after meeting with Martelly

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has praised Haiti's progress toward long-delayed elections, and pledged renewed American help on the continuing cleanup from the 2010 earthquake.

Obama said he was encouraged about Haiti's future after a meeting Thursday with Haitian President Michel Martelly at the White House.

Obama said the good news' is that because of international aid that flowed to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, "We've begun to see progress,'' with security improving, infrastructure being repaired, and schools and businesses reopening.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake, centered just west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, killed an estimated 300,000 people and left 1.5 million others without permanent homes.

Boehner pledges no default
but does not give details

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives said the United States will not default on its $17-trillion national debt, but he is declining comment on legislation needed to raise the U.S. borrowing limit. Uncertainty is mounting weeks before the U.S. Treasury is expected to exhaust its ability to meet federal obligations.

At a news conference, House Speaker John Boehner sought to reassure Americans and global investors that the United States will remain financially solvent. “Listen, we do not want to default on our debt, and we are not going to default on our debt,” he said.

But to avert default, both houses of Congress will have to approve an increase in the federal borrowing limit by the end of the month.

“We have got time to do this. We are going to continue to work at it,” said Boehner.

The speaker is attempting to manage a widely reported rift among Republican legislators as to whether to demand concessions from Democrats on Republican agenda items from amending the new health care law and approving a controversial pipeline for Canadian oil, to federal spending cuts. News reports say Republicans have abandoned most of these ideas, but that some retain a desire to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip with Democrats in some still-undefined fashion.

President Barack Obama repeatedly has stated he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling, and that Congress must fulfill its duty to allow the federal government to pay its bills. Democrats in Congress are backing the president, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“This is not a matter of negotiation. This is the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” she said.

Ms. Pelosi compared Republicans to diners demanding “a cookie in their lunch. And that is just not right.”

During President Obama’s first term, Republicans succeeded in extracting budgetary concessions from Democrats in return for continued federal spending authority and debt ceiling increases. Last year, however, the president and congressional Democrats announced an end to such negotiations, triggering a partisan stand-off and a 16-day partial government shutdown that ended with Republicans dropping nearly all demands.

Americans mostly blamed Republicans for the shutdown, and Boehner is not eager for another stand-off on the debt ceiling today. At Thursday’s news conference, though, he gave no hints on a path forward.

“No decisions have been made. We are continuing to talk to our members,” he said.

One of those members, Rep. Raul Labrador, recently made headlines when he urged fellow Republicans to acknowledge that the debt ceiling would yield no concessions from Democrats.

Big changes are predicted
with rapid tech developments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Technology is permeating everyday life like never before.  Computers, smartphones, 3D printers, new medical devices, sophisticated software, electric cars are now accessible, not only to residents of industrialized nations but to almost everybody else. Will these rapid changes make people’s lives overall better or worse? 

Internet giant Google says it is in the final stages of the development of autonomous vehicles.

Technology giant IBM is developing a computer called Watson, capable not only of processing raw data but of learning.

Retail firm Amazon has already automated several of its giant warehouses and is making plans to deliver packages with flying drones.

As the machines get better in what they can do and how they think, what effect will it have on the lives of humans? 

Andrew McAfee, co-author of ‘The Second Machine Age,’ says this technological progress will have two main economic consequences.

First, new possibilities:

“More options, higher quality, more variety, lower prices, not just for consumer goods but for health care, for entertainment, for communication, for food, for leisure, for everything that we want to do with our lives," said McAfee.

McAfee admits that the other major consequence will be much less positive.  In the not-too-distant-future, intelligent machines may start replacing people in more types of jobs, displacing many less-skilled workers.

“Technology tends to favor some kinds of winners and they are pulling ahead and leaving a lot of people behind. So we see inequality in income, inequality in wealth, inequality in opportunity, in mobility, and these are very serious challenges that we have to confront," he said.

McAfee says people who feel threatened by these challenges should take advantage of new opportunities technology provides, such as connectivity and accessibility to quality education.

“The educational resources available via the Internet, via technology, these days are absolutely fantastic. We have some of the best teachers in the world giving their courses away for free for anybody who wants to take them. This is a very positive development," he said.

Besides individual initiative, McAfee says governments could help the transition by creating not just new training programs, but an environment receptive to entrepreneurship, innovation and the creation of new opportunities.

A.M. Costa Rica file photo 
"I am not the playful type!'

Fangs make cat bites bad,
Mayo Clinic data confirms

By the Mayo Clinic news staff

Dogs aren’t the only pets who sometimes bite the hands that feed them. Cats do too, and when they strike a hand, can inject bacteria deep into joints and tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection.

Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous that one in three patients with such wounds had to be hospitalized, a Mayo Clinic study covering three years showed. Two-thirds of those hospitalized needed surgery. Middle-aged women were the most common bite victims, according to the research, published in the Journal of Hand Surgery.

Why are cat bites to the hand so dangerous? It’s not that their mouths have more germs than dogs’ mouths or people’s, for that matter. Actually, it’s all in the fangs.

“The dogs’ teeth are blunter, so they don’t tend to penetrate as deeply and they tend to leave a larger wound after they bite. The cats’ teeth are sharp and they can penetrate very deeply, they can seed bacteria in the joint and tendon sheaths,” says senior author Brian Carlsen, a Mayo Clinic plastic surgeon and orthopedic hand surgeon.

“It can be just a pinpoint bite mark that can cause a real problem, because the bacteria get into the tendon sheath or into the joint where they can grow with relative protection from the blood and immune system,” Carlsen adds.

The bacteria injected by a cat bite can include a strain common in animals and particularly hard to fight with antibiotics, he says.

In the study, researchers identified 193 Mayo Clinic patients with cat bites to the hand from Jan. 1, 2009, through 2011. Of those, 57 were hospitalized. On average, they were in the hospital three days. Of those hospitalized, 38 needed to have their wounds surgically irrigated or flushed out and infected tissue removed, a procedure known as debridement.  Eight patients needed more than one operation, and some needed reconstructive surgery.

Of the 193 patients, 69 percent were female, and the mean age was 49. About half of the patients first went to the emergency room, and the others went to primary care. The mean time between the bite and medical care was 27 hours. Patients with bites directly over the wrist or any joint in the hand had a higher risk of hospitalization than people with bites over soft tissue, the study found.

Thirty-six of the 193 patients were hospitalized immediately when they sought medical care, while 154 were treated with oral antibiotics as outpatients and three weren’t treated. The outpatient antibiotic treatment failed in 21 patients, a 14 percent failure rate, and those patients needed to be hospitalized.

The bottom line: Physicians and victims of cat bites to the hand need to take the wounds seriously and carefully evaluate them, Carlsen says. When patients have inflamed skin and swelling, aggressive treatment should be pursued, he and the other researchers say.

People tend to be more dismissive of cat bites than dog bites, in part because cat bites often look like a pinprick, and dog bites look much worse, Carlsen says.

That’s a mistake, he says: “Cat bites look very benign, but as we know and as the study shows, they are not. They can be very serious.”

Sense of being in control helps
some to live longer, study says

By the University of Rochester news staff

The less education you have, the more your attitude counts when it comes to staying alive and well.

That’s the finding of a new study conducted by personality researchers from the University of Rochester and Brandeis University.  They found that adults without college degrees live longer if they feel like they’re in control of their lives.  Those who feel little control are three times as likely to die.

“Being uneducated and poor doesn’t mean you’re doomed, despite all of the studies showing people with less education are more likely to experience disease, disability, and premature death,” says lead author Nicholas Turiano, a postdoctoral-fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Rochester.

The study, published by the American Psychological Association’s Health Psychology journal, followed 6,135 people, ages 25 to 75, for 14 years.   The respondents were part of an ongoing, national questionnaire called the National Survey of Midlife in the United States.  It collects a variety of data, including an assessment of each subject’s perceived ability to exert influence over life circumstances. 

Researchers adjusted for socioeconomic factors such as income and the education level of the subjects’ parents. Turiano says that even after these other variables are taken into account, the findings held.  Sense of control did not have the same affect on mortality rates for people who have higher levels of education.

Turiano cautions more research is needed to find out why or how people develop a strong sense of control, or when this development occurs.  Researchers suspect numerous innate and external factors contribute to perceived control.  Turiano says further study could lead to interventions that help this population feel more positive and, ultimately, live longer.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

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:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email for more information!

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high \[speed internet.

Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to: Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.

Esparza home
Esparza, Puntarenas
Stunning open concept contemporary home 1800 square feet, high end finishing set in tranquil rural 1.3 acres of fruit trees and tropical flowers. Separate guest suite, artist studio, workshop, carport, electric gate.  Close to two international airports, surfing, fishing, golfing and shopping. More photos here:
Sale for $239.000 Contact:

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  for more photos/information or go here:

Located in Jacó 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 guacamayas (we have three birds) 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, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances. 
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.


ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $175,000.
QQuietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577 C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  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:

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at: Asking price  $3.9 million. Email or call: 8899-9870.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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:

Real estate services
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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 27
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Heredia educational facility
now offers technical courses

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Applications from prospective students are piling up for the country's first private technological school. Centro Educativo Nueva Esperanza in San Juan de Santa Bárbara in Heredia will soon begin its first year of offering courses and the program consists of 105 students and 17 teachers.

The School administration said high priority will be placed on preparing its students for the competitive job market. General director Jeanette Cortés García said that a Nueva Esperanza education should allow graduates to fluidly transition to a highly-skilled labor position.

“We are the first private school to offer a technical discipline in the education system of Costa Rica with the objective of preparing successful youth with values, skills, knowledge, and ability,” Ms. Cortés said. “We are motivated in having our students achieve effective job placement and with a strong desire to have them obtain professional career success or be managers of their own businesses.”

Those wanting to apply must have already passed their ninth year. Students will be able to graduate with two degrees: bachelor's of secondary education and bachelor's of technical studies. These studies can include focuses of accounting, computer science in software development and telecommunications electronics.

Keilor Rojas, the vice minister of the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología said the school provides a crucial opportunity for the economy's most valuable assets: its workers.

“Congratulations to all of those apart of this pioneering team that usher in a new type of education today,” said  Rojas. “We have always aspired to have more technically trained workers, and we have positioned our principal resource within all of you and your capabilities.”

As part of their schooling, the students will go through more than just workshops and seminars. Major emphasis is placed on bilingual ability and core values that involve leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation. All of these are stated with the ultimate purpose of securing a job and succeeding in the workplace. The school's allure represents an increase of Costa Rican youth who are looking for high-ranking jobs right out of high school.

The institute has offered schooling for students in preschool, primary, and secondary school since 1993.

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From Page 7:

Country charts its route steps to Pacific alliance

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country is charting the way it must take to become a member of the Pacific Alliance. This is a goal
Alliance logo
of the Laura Chinchilla administration, and the president signed off on documents Thursday that will provide a roadmap of sorts for entry into the alliance.

The president will travel to Cartagena, Colombia, for a meeting of the alliance Monday. Full and founding members are Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Perú. Costa Rica has been in observer status since 2012.

The country's integration into the organization depends on the opinions of whoever is elected president April 6. Luís Guillermo Solís, one of two candidates in the runoff, opposed the free trade treaty with the United States and the Caribbean.

The alliance is much more than a trade agreement, because Costa Rica already has this type of pact with  México, Chile and Perú. An agreement with Colombia is awaiting legislative approval.

The alliance wants to have visa-free travel among members, a common exchange for stocks and other joint operations that may not find agreement by all Costa Ricans