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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, Feb. 10, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 28                          Email us
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Jo Stuart
Anti aging

Infinito seeks arbitration but for lesser amount
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted at 1:45 p.m.

Infinito Gold Ltd. has filed an arbitration request with the World Bank's arbitration organization and seeks $94 million from Costa Rica, the local subsidiary said today.

This is the long-running dispute over the Las Crucitas mine in Cutris de San Carlos. Infinito had threatened a claim of $1 billion.

The initial amount does not include interest and legal costs which the company seeks, too, it said.

The case is being filed under the Costa Rica-Canadian treaty, which includes protection for investors, said the local firm, Industrias Infinito S.A., which had been trying to open a  pit mine since 1993.

The mining concession was supported by the Óscar
Arias Sánchez administration, but a panel of the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo annulled the concession after a hearing, the last in a lengthy legal process.  Environmentalists opposed the project.

The company said the action was taken because the government declined to negotiate. The local spokesperson, Yokebec Soto, said the company still hoped for a friendly resolution.

The vast reduction in the amount demanded appears to stem from the company's decision to seek compensation for actual expenses and not the estimated value of the gold that would have been extracted.  The company earlier had placed its lost investment in Costa Rica at $92 million.

The project site holds an estimated 800,000 ounces of recoverable gold, the company has estimated. The case is in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Tourism institute bets a bundle on Winter Olympics
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's tourism institute is investing nearly $700,000 in advertising related to the Winter Olympics.

The campaign calls for 267 commercials for $500,000 on NBC Universal networks between last Friday and Feb. 23.

A second campaign, a digital one, includes advertising in search engines such as Google and Yahoo|Bing, said the institute. The ads direct viewers to the Web site of the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The budget for these digital, social media and pay-per-click ads is $193,000 for an expected 62 million impressions, the institute said.

At least the television ads will be using the new Essential Costa Rica trademark, according to the announcement.

The institute quoted a statistic from Forbes Magazine that said 158 million Americans will see the Olympic events. That is 65 percent of adults in the United States, said the announcement,

The digital effort also will once again involve Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest with interactive opportunities for viewers, said the agency. The tourism institute last used Facebook when it
promoted the country with a talking sloth and a trip giveaway. It also said that photos and banners promoting Costa Rica also would appear on  TripAdvisor and Expedia, the travel sites.

The ministry also put in a plug for its last campaign, that of placing ads in movie theaters. However, it gave no data.

Forbes also noted in its article that Facebook and NBC were involved in a content-sharing deal and that the Olympic events would be delayed for showing in prime time in the United States. Sochi is nine hours ahead of New York. The magazine also said that the media firm will have 5,500 minutes of ads during the Olympics on its various networks.

One goal of the digital campaign, according to the tourism institute, is to enhance the viewer ranking of the agency's Web site.

Alexa, the, site ranking organization, reported Sunday night that the institute Web site was 155,605th in the world. Costa Rican residents and those involved in tourism can follow the ranking of the site to determine the success of the digital advertising effort. By contrast, the A.M. Costa Rica Web site is in 64,249th place worldwide.

The delayed NBC broadcast has competition from Dish Network and other pay-per-view sites, including some that are pirated. There also appears to be a Russian network selling feeds worldwide.

Chili contest judges gave the showmanship award to Pirate's Island for the elaborate theme and costumes.

Pirate theme
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz

Chili for a charity grows and prospers in Atenas
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

People kept bringing gifts to the man who was trying to eat his bowl of chili under the small tent by the stairs.

One woman brought a plastic bag with new clothes for girls. A Tico couple donated 4,000 colons for a pair of bracelets. A U. S. Embassy worker dropped off her business card and suggested that she can help coordinate more support with her contacts.

In a way, the entire crowd of approximately 2,000 have come because of this man, Tim Stromstad. Or at least they are here for the 35 abandoned or abused children he fosters at Hogar de Vida. After all, the proceeds of this 7th annual Atenas Charity Chili Cook Off go to the children's home, as they have every year. That means every cent from each food transaction, voluntary donation, and ticket sale. Before the event, fundraisers had already garnered $12,000 and confidently expected to reach a festival record, $30,000.

When asked Sunday about all these gifts coming not only from long-time neighbors but also from complete strangers with no ties to Atenas, Stromstad leaned back and said how easy it is to be overwhelmed.

"If you want to see a grown man bawl, just keep asking me questions like that."

Stromstad founded Hogar de Vida with his wife, Dena, in January 1995 without much money and a responsibility to their first branch in Guatemala. After monthly donations from Joyce Meyer and her son, the Christian shelter had a base to work with. Now, it's the Atenas community and fundraisers like Sunday's chili cook off that take care of much of the operating costs.

"We're the fruit of good-hearted, good-willed people," Stromstad said.

No better indication is provided than this annual festival at Quinta Romavista park where the  community of Gringos and Ticos gather. The park is tucked behind a sloping gravel road and between whispering trees in a town that boasts as having "the best climate in the world."

More so than another sun-laden afternoon, it was an atmosphere of both celebration and purpose that surrounds the cook off. Howard Purdy  saw this first hand when he moved to Atenas two years ago from Colorado. Almost immediately he became one of the lead organizers for the festival. Once he saw where the money was going, he said he knew he was on board for the long haul:

"All it took was a trip to Hogar de Vida, and now I'm hooked."
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Tim Stromstad chats between bites of chili.

As the kids splashed in a narrow pool or ran through mounting crowds, the festival goers and judges took to the chili tables. Twenty five teams competed for first prize awards in categories under people's choice, showmanship, and the overall best chili.

A gamut of diverse bowls lined the long tables, ranging from brisket-based to spicy thai, or from chili with coffee beans to chili with Fritos and cheese. Each trip up to a competitors table wound up in an embrace and good conversation. In most other public settings it may be frowned upon to take one's spoon around the room and demand for more. Not here.

Nearly a third of the contestants were Costa Rican natives and a Tico team won gold for the first time in the cook off's short history. Marcela Sánchez and Mercedes Pérez of team Costa Rica Chica's Chili earned the judge's highest honor for overall best chili. The ladies work as cooks at Kay's Gringo Postres under the direction of festival founder, Kay Costello.

Dragonfly Thai from Manuel Antonio won the people's choice award, while team Pirate's Island came away with the showmanship prize.

After the awards ceremony, another oldies cover song played and dancers fueled with nostalgic swung along the basketball court turned outdoor ballroom. Argentinean wine poured into plastic cups. Some were rendered immoveable with chili hangovers. And as the end neared, all the energy expended from the record amount of attendees and volunteers made up a whopping five-figure gift.

As he talked with one of the many donors, Stromstad's words spoke not just to his encouraging non-profit, but to the power a community like Atenas shares through solidarity and spirit.

"We work hard, and we love hard, and we see kids lives changed in the process," he said.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 28

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Those bailey bridges cost
$350,000 apiece for washouts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Those modular or bailey bridges that the road crews put up when there are slides or washouts cost $350,000 each, according to figures released Friday by the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

The Consejo is buying 10 more for $3.5 million, it said. In addition, eight more are on the shopping list for later this year.

The new bridges will go over the rivers Arenal in Muelle de San Carlos, over the Poás in San Pedro de Poás, over the Virilla, in Piedras Negras de Puriscal, over the Venado in San Carlos and over the Tárcoles on Ruta 707. Two bridges will go over the Río Ora in Guanacaste.

Each bridge is about 55 meters long, some 180 feet, but they can be disassembled to become shorter.

The bridges are supposed to be temporary, but sometimes they are onsite for years.

However, workmen soon will be removing one of the temporary bridges at the point between Hatillo and the Pavas turnoff on the Circunvalación where the road washed out.  They have to reduce the lanes so that the permanent bridge can begin to take shape.

This means there will be more tie-ups and traffic restrictions. Eventually all four of the bridges have to be removed to make way for the permanent structure.

New Art City Tour planned
Wednesday in San José

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new season of the Art City Tour begins Wednesday. This is the fifth year.

The tour is when anyone can visit the area's cultural sites for free. These include the public museums, culture centers, galleries and historic buildings.

Sponsors, which include the various museums and the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud even provide transportation, although visitors can walk or use bikes, too. Visitors can join any of the bus routes at the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, the Museos del Banco Central, Museo Nacional or the Museo de Arte Costarricense in Parque la Sabana.

Another tour is scheduled for March 12.

Archaeological site expert
plans to speak Tuesday here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional reported Friday that three more sites near the Finca 6 in Sierpe de Osa will be opened to the public soon.

Finca 6 is the ancestral home of the emblematic stone spheres that now are spread all over the country.

The development of this museum and associated sites presents a problem, museum workers said.

Until now the only archaeological site open to the public was Guayabo de Turrialba, so museum officials have little experience managing sites that are open to visitors. That is why they have invited the Mexican expert Isabel Medina González to speak Tuesday. She is with the Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía de México.

She will be speaking at 7:30 p.m. in the Instituto de México in San Pedro on the conservation of archaeological sites.

Trio captured after chase
punctuated by bullets

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three robbery suspects led police on a five-kilometer running gun battle in San Carlos Thursday night.

The Fuerza Pública managed to capture the trio at a rural intersection after police bullets shattered their windshield.

Police said one of the men had just been released from prison where he was serving a murder sentence.

The suspects face allegations stemming from a robbery wave in the area over the last 15 days. Victims described a red car, which is how police became aware of the suspects.

The robberies that police know about happened in Muelle, Aguas Zarcas, San Francisco de la Palmera, Caimital and Platanar de Florencia, said police.  Some were home invasions.

The other suspects have criminal records for robbery, police said.

Trade winds get the blame
for stall in temperature increase

By the University of New South Wales news service

Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years.

New research published in the journal Nature Climate Change indicates that the dramatic acceleration in winds has invigorated the circulation of the Pacific Ocean, causing more heat to be taken out of the atmosphere and transferred into the subsurface ocean, while bringing cooler waters to the surface

The strengthening of the Pacific trade winds began during the 1990s and continues today. Previously, no climate models have incorporated a trade wind strengthening of the magnitude observed, and these models failed to capture the hiatus in warming. Once the trade winds were added by the researchers, the global average temperatures very closely resembled the observations during the hiatus, they said.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 28
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Casa Presidencial photo
This is the job site where the new sewage treatment plant is being built adjacent to the river.
Price of Central Valley sewer project is now put at $344 million
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The metro areas new sewage treatment plant is going up in the Los Tajos section of La Uruca, and the price also has gone up.

When it was envisioned originally in 2005, the first stage of the valley sewer project was $250 million. The price today is $344 million. Some $45 million will be for the construction of the treatment plant.

The central government managed to obtain an additional $40 million from the Japanese Agency for International Development, bringing that country's contribution to $175 million. Banco Nacional is putting in $75 million, and the InterAmerican Development Bank is putting up $53 million. The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the water and sewer agency known as AyA, is putting in $45 million.

Eventually the project will mean higher rates for residents. In 2005 the then-head of the water agency, Heibel Rodríguez, estimated the increase to be $8 a month.

President Laura Chinchilla, as part of her farewell tours, visited the construction site of the sewer plant three miles west of Hospital México Friday. She is visiting most of the government projects before she leaves office May 8.

The sewer project has been on the table through the administrations of at least three presidents.

The legislature stalled for months when the Japanese contribution was $135 million. The catch was that the government had to put up millions more. In the latest accounting of the financing, it appears that the central government has ducked the need to put the sewer plant project in its budget. AyA has its own budget financed by users of the services.

Just 10 years ago the site was supposed to be in Escazú. Then the site was somewhere in Tibás. The site now is at a low point in the valley adjacent to the Río Tiribí. There have been some protests by the neighbors in La Carpio.

The plant is expected to serve the cantons of  San José, Tibás, Moravia, Vásquez de Coronado, Goicoechea, Montes de Oca, Curridabat, Desamparados, Escazú, Alajuelita and La Unión. Users are estimated to be some 65 percent of the population of the Central Valley.

The sewer plant is just a start. The first stage of the project called for an extensive network of sewers and even a tunnel to carry the waste water to the plant. These jobs have not started.

The sewage situation in the valley always has been an embarrassment for a country that promotes its green image.
Untreated sewage flows via tributaries into the Río Grande de Tárcoles and then into the gulf of Nicoya. That's where a lot of the country's sea food originates.

Many of the pipes are leaking and rusted out, and many residents use septic tanks because they are not connected to any line.

Hero of war against William Walker receives recognition
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Saturday was the 200th anniversary of Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the president who led the country against the filibusters
headed by William Walker in what is called the Campaña Nacional.

The military campaign was in 1856 and 1857. 

President Laura Chinchilla inaugurated a plaque for Mora and declared Avenida Secunda to be  Avenida del Libertador Juan Rafael Mora.

The Universidad Nacional opened
Juan Rafael Mora Porra
an exhibit over the weekend that runs until November addressing the life of Mora.
The three-time president is considered a hero now, but he did not serve out his third term. He was deposed. Ms. Chinchilla referred to the dedication of the street as part of the recognition and justice that Mora did not get in life.

When he returned from exile in El Salvador in 1860, his forces were defeated near Puntarenas, and both he and his brother-in-law, Gen. José María Cañas Escamilla, were executed by firing squads.

The president noted that when Mora was in his last year as president he declared eduction to be obligatory in Costa Rica for all classes of society. Mora has been declared a national hero by the legislature. But his presidential tenure was controversial.

When his troops returned from their victory in Nicaragua against the forces of Walker, they brought back cholera that killed about 10 percent of the Costa Rican population.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 28
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World Bank says it's still too early to tell impact of U.S. trade treaty
By The CAFTA Report news staff*

A World Bank study says that the jury still is out on the impact in Costa Rica of the free trade treaty with the United States and other Central American nations.

The report said that this is due to the relatively short time that has elapsed since ratification and the difficulty to identify the impact of the free trade treaty relative to the impact of the international financial crisis and the role of previous and successive trade agreements.

The treaty is called the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement. Although it was signed in 2004, Costa Rica did not approve it in full until 2009.

The 109-page World Bank report said that for Costa Rica the treaty is more than a trade agreement. Besides eliminating tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers between member countries, the treaty also brought serious changes to the legal framework of member countries, reducing barriers to services, promoting transparency and ensuring a secure and predictable environment for U.S. investors.

The most substantial transformation was breaking down the government monopolies in the telecommunications and insurance sectors, the report noted.

The World Bank effort was based on interviews, surveys and the use of third-party data to assess what has happened over five years.

What has not happened is a big jump in exports from the United States to Costa Rica. The report said any change was insignificant while there is some indication that in the case of exports some of the increase in trade to the U.S. can be linked to the treaty.

The report focused on the insurance, telecom and intellectual property aspects of the agreement.

It made these points:

•  A major shift in recent years has been the increase in foreign investment inflows into the services sectors, which have surged since the signing and ratification of the treaty.

• In spite of the adverse effects of the global financial crisis on world economies, the number of total multinational corporations and the total amount of foreign direct investment to Costa Rica increased significantly following the ratification of the treaty in 2004 and its implementation in 2009.

• The liberalization of trade was marginal because Costa Rica already benefited from the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative.

• The foreign direct investment share of the electronics sector has been stagnating since 2004, while the share of medical devices and business services has been on an impressive upward path, especially after the treaty came into force in 2009.

• One of the most important benefits of the treaty for foreign investors was to reinforce the governments’ commitment to liberal trade and investor-friendly policies and to strengthen the legal framework on the rights
of foreign investors, according to the responses to the bank's survey.

• The treaty is still new, and because it came into force in the middle of the global financial crisis, many of its anticipated effects will take longer to be realized.

• Implementing the treaty required Costa Rica to approve three additional international treaties, approve or amend almost 20 laws, 29 regulations and approximately 15 rules or decisions in all areas.

• The insurance sector, which was open to private firms, is showing benefits through improved operating performance, solid growth, product innovation, and improved efficiency. Expense rates have reduced by 10 percent during 2010.

•The former state monopoly, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, still has about 90 percent of the insurance market.

• There are some areas that would be useful for policy makers to consider for the future. First, the liberalization of compulsory automobile and occupational risk business will likely require specific attention from the regulating authority.

• Even though telelcom market penetration was on the rise before liberalization, the market has showed extraordinary growth in access and price reductions. The forces of competition by private firms provided an abundant supply of services, prices for Internet access were reduced dramatically, and Costa Ricans have responded by subscribing massively to the new services.

• Four important telecom challenges remain regarding tariffs, investment needs, the availability of spectrum for private investors, infrastructure sharing and municipal permits for cell towers and the development of the Fondo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones.

• Despite the debates on the impact that intellectual property provisions would have on the the financial results or the national health provider's access to generics, the treaty did not diminish the state´s ability to fulfill its obligations in relation to the right to health of the Costa Rican population. Some were concerned that the higher prices for patented drugs would be budget busters for the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social's hospitals.

• Most of the drugs that are developed every year and registered in the world by pharmaceutical companies are new presentations or formulations of preexisting medicine doses, and only a small portion of these products are actually new chemical entities that could receive patent protection according to Costa Rica´s definitions.

• After the approval of the treaty, Costa Rice entered into a number of other trade pacts with other countries.

The treaty was a major political issue, and opponents held a number of marches and protests. The opposition was so great that then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez was forced to call the public referendum. The vote was in October 2007 with 50.6 percent of the participants in favor. Opposition came mainly from public employee unions, students and opportunistic political parties.

* This article was published originally in The CAFTA Report., an A.M. Costa Rica Ltda. publication.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to
Christ Howard with Max
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

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Experience You Can Trust is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today:
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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.


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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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Real estate for rent (paid category)
                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306

100 houses

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.

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.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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.
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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
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:

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
coffee retreat
 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

Test Drive Costa Rica
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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We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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 
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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 28
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Congress again is wrestling
with raising the debt ceiling

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week will see a return to fiscal drama in the U.S. Capitol with lawmakers scrambling to raise the federal borrowing limit before they adjourn for a week-long recess.

Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on a formula to boost the debt ceiling, and failure to act would leave the U.S. government unable to pay all its bills by the end of the month.

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are demanding a conditions-free increase in the government's debt ceiling.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says prompt action is needed to keep the U.S. solvent.

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

Republicans control the House of Representatives and are debating whether to attach items to a debt ceiling bill.

“We are still looking for the pieces to this puzzle," said House Speaker John Boehner. "But listen, we do not want to default on our debt, and we are not going to default on our debt.”

Republicans are endangering America’s fragile economic recovery, said Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat.

“They are once again putting our credit rating at risk. It is time for House Republicans to find their way out of this mess," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says time is of the essence.

“The longer we wait, the greater the risks become," he said. "Whether it is the economic recovery, the financial markets, or the dependability of Social Security payments and military salaries, these are not things to put at risk.”

China and other creditor nations hold substantial amounts of U.S. debt. And the global financial community is taking note of the looming deadline.

“The U.S. economy has a lot of things going in its favor right now," said International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice. "Growth is strengthening, job creation has been relatively strong, and there is a new budget agreement. The last thing the U.S. economy needs is another confidence shock, such as a debate about whether the U.S. will honor its debt obligations.”

The U.S. national debt exceeds $17 trillion. The pace of debt accumulation has slowed over the last two years. But as long as debt continues to rise, Congress will periodically have to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, as it has done dozens of times in recent decades.

Same-sex marriage recognition
is being expanded by Holder

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department is expanding federal recognition of same sex marriages even in states where such marriages are illegal.

Attorney General Eric Holder says that the Justice Department will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages get the same rights, protections, and privileges as heterosexual unions in every federal courthouse.

This includes such matters as bankruptcy proceedings and visitation rights at federal prisons.

Holder plans to formally introduce the policy today.

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the government's Defense of Marriage Act last year. That measure defined marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

Erin Brockovich in real life
uses her life to inspire students

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The activist Erin Brockovich was the subject of a film starring Julia Roberts about a town that rallied against a power company for leaking a chemical into their drinking water.  The environmental crusader remains an activist and is using her personal story to inspire students.

Standing at the front of a lecture hall, Ms. Brockovich told students she had no science background and only learned about law while working for a lawyer.  The story was recounted in the film from 2000 called "Erin Brockovich."  Julia Roberts won an Oscar for the title role as the single mother who went to work for a law firm.

In 1996, Ms. Brockovich helped win a $333-million settlement with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for leaking the chemical hexavalent chromium into the drinking water of the town of Hinkley, California.

Today, the environmental campaigner still pursues reports of pollution and problems with medical devices, which some believe are linked to their health problems.  She is not without critics, who question her use of data, but even they say she is a force to be reckoned with.  Ms. Brockovich explained her work to several hundred high school students who were visiting the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, to learn more about science.

“It was difficult for me growing up because I have a learning disability.  I was very often told that I couldn’t do this and I couldn’t be that.  And I bought everyone’s party line.  It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that, by seeing myself, trusting myself, believing in myself, that that became the real game-changer,” she said.

For 15-year-old student Samantha Magallanes, the story of pollution struck close to home.

“In our community, it was kind of the same, what she’s talking about.  Our soil was kind of poisoned as well,” she said.

Some of these kids hope for careers in science or related fields, like Seleni Rivas, who wants to become a midwife and help deliver babies.

“Right now, I’m taking chemistry and I already took biology.  So hopefully next year, I’ll take more science classes,” said Ms. Rivas.

Computer science teacher Steve Scanlan wanted the students to hear from Ms. Brockovich, who has made an impact on her community.

“Somebody who is so important in pushing environmental issues, and really kind of a common person that brought herself up by her boot straps, a real inspiration for the kids.  So it’s a very good story,” he said.

The message inspired student Jerome Caco. “Do what you like to do best, and one person can make a difference,” he said.

Ms. Brockovich said she was also suggesting that students ask difficult questions and look for the answers themselves.

Beatles first trip to U.S.
marked at JFK after 50 years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

On Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their U.S. television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Millions of viewers rocked to the performance that sparked a musical revolution. In fact, Nielsen ratings say nearly half of all U.S. television sets in use at the time were tuned in to the broadcast of the variety show.

Fifty years after Beatlemania began, tributes to the band can be seen from the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles to JFK International Airport in New York, where the band first landed on American soil.

Karen Gromada, a teenager when the Beatles hit it big, showed up at JFK Airport with a poster of band member Paul McCartney in hand to celebrate the anniversary.

"I was watching the TV that night on the 9th and taking pictures of the TV as a 13-year-old just rapt," Ms. Gromada said. "I've been a fan always."

Others at the JFK anniversary celebration included John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, and Jillian L'Eplatenier, one of the Pan Am flight attendants on the Beatles' first flight to New York.

"The guys were nice, very pleasant and mannerly," Ms. L'Eplatenier recalls of the flight, "but we didn't get a chance to talk to them much because they were up running around taking pictures of the crew and everyone else. And it was like, 'Would you please sit down because we have a cart service to do!'"

Changes in farm subsidies
may violate trade regulations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. farmers will no longer get automatic checks from the government under new agriculture legislation President Barack Obama signed into law Friday.  But critics say the new farm bill simply replaces the old subsidies with new ones that may violate international trade rules.  The bill also includes reforms in how the U.S. helps the hungry around the world.

The farm bill Obama signed ended $5 billion per year in automatic payments to farmers.

"This bill helps to clamp down on loopholes that allowed people to receive benefits whether they were planting crops or not. And it saves taxpayers hard-earned dollars by making sure that we only support farmers when disaster strikes or prices drop. It's not just automatic," the president said.

The new farm bill expands programs that buffer growers from bad weather or bad markets.

It raises the minimum price growers are guaranteed for certain crops. And it offers subsidized insurance that guarantees farmers’ incomes do not drop much from year to year.

Those programs could create problems says University of California at Davis economist Dan Sumner.

“That’s the kind of assurances that the U.S. government is willing to provide that most farmers in the world, in fact, don’t have access to,” he said.

With the backing of the government, Sumner says U.S. farmers can produce more and export more.

“Ultimately, that drives down world prices and it’s a little tougher for farmers in developing countries to compete with that,” Sumner said.

Subsidies pushed down world cotton prices in the early 2000s, and the U.S. lost a trade dispute over them.

Sumner says the new farm bill could re-open that dispute.

But growers’ groups note that trade rules do allow governments to pay a limited amount of subsidies.

“We’re pretty confident that it would take an extremely bad situation for us to even come close to violating those particular limits, something the United States hasn’t come close to in years,” said Dale Moore, policy chief at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Elsewhere in the farm bill, changes should help food aid get to more needy people around the world.

Aid groups can spend more of the funding they receive buying food from markets near where it will be used, rather than from the United States.

“Not only will that save money, but it will reach people faster," said Oxfam America's Eric Munoz.  "The actual program of buying locally is a much quicker response than buying food from the United States and shipping it.”

Munoz says with the same funding, help can now reach hundreds of thousands more hungry people.

Electronics seem to trump sex
in survey of life necessities

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More Americans would rather go without sex than without their mobile phone, laptop or Internet access, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, a market research firm, showed that 20 percent of American adults polled said they could not do without sex. That’s compared to 28 percent who said they could not live without Internet access, 26 percent who said they could not live without their cell phone and 24 percent who said they could not live without their computer.

Rob Weiss, an expert on the relationship between digital technology and human sexuality, said it was hard to interpret the numbers without knowing the ages of the respondents.

“Most folks I know who are 40 or 45 think sex is important, but there are things that are more important like kids or careers.” he said. “You’d have a different answer from someone who’s 20 than from someone who's 50.”

He also thought the poll’s definition of sex was too vague, adding that people define sex differently.  Weiss says for some people sex means intercourse, while for others it can simply be intimate contact. 

Weiss said polls like the Harris poll show there is a deep desire to find meaning as people shift from an analog generation to a digital one.

“We want to say this is going to mean this or that, or this is happening to the culture,” he said, adding that we don’t yet have enough data about the digital generation.

The survey showed that 71 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “technology has improved the overall quality of my life,” and 65 percent said it encouraged people to be more creative.

On the negative side, 76 percent of respondents agreed that technology is creating a lazy society, and only 41 percent said technology had made them happier.

But technology is not at the top of the list of what Americans can’t live without. The survey showed 45 percent of people could not live without their spouse, 42 could not live without their car, and somewhat surprisingly, only 73 percent said they could not live without food.

Voice of America photo  
Nick Ashton surveys the human-like tracks on the beach.

Million-year-old footprints
found on east Britain beach

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

British scientists, exploring a beach on the country's east coast, discovered what they believe are the oldest human footprints outside of Africa. They are estimated to be close to one million years old and are believed to be the oldest evidence of humans in northern Europe.

Footprints of what appears to be a group of ancient humans were discovered on a beach in Norfolk in eastern Britain. They may be about 500,000 years older than the earliest footprints previously found in the country.  

The 3-D images and a model of one of the imprints were unveiled Friday at a news conference at the British Museum, in London.

The museum’s archaeologist Nick Ashton described the moment last May when he realized the footprints were left by a prehistoric man.

“It was only when the overhead views were emailed through to me back in my office and I suddenly looked at it and opened up the file and I thought, 'This is absolutely amazing, you know, there is no doubt this really is human footprints,” he said.

Ashton said the new discovery will alter the understanding of early human history in Europe.

Liverpool John Moores University researcher Isabelle de Groote analyzed the prints. “The spread of the footprint size gives us an indication that we have children, a number of children and then probably some adults there with at least one, probably one male,” she said.

It is not known how the early humans survived in the cold environment of ancient northern Europe.

Scientists say a million years ago, Britain was joined to continental Europe and they believe that the individuals who left the footprints were related to Homo sapiens’ ancestors called the Pioneer Man, known to have inhabited a warmer climate.

Scientists continue to explore the Norfolk coastline looking for human fossils.

Stock exchange is looking
to world for investment cash

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The New York Stock Exchange is turning to foreign markets for capital and growth.

The exchange has been at the heart of the American financial system for over 200 years.  It once had a monopoly on the trading of shares in firms listed on it, but regulators did away with that in 2000.

But with the stiff competition, it has turned to foreign markets for expansion in the form of Initial public offerings of stock, called IPO’s.
The IPO process allows companies to raise money and gives investors a chance to buy part ownership of the company and benefit from the firm’s possible future profits.

David A. Ethridge, senior vice president and head of the Capital Markets Group at NYSE Euronext, said the Exchange “has been able to steadily perform and allow companies to come public in a very, very programmed style that is really terrific about the U.S. capital markets because we are disclosure based.”

Ethridge said the Exchange is continuing to see a lot of investment money flow from around the world.

The Exchange had 10 IPO’s in January that raised $4.7 billion dollars in capital continuing what Ethridge says is the leading international role in raising IPO capital.

“For a couple of years China was putting out a lot of IPO capital in their local markets of Shanghai, Shenzhen and then Hong Kong as well,” he said. “So when you looked at those three destinations they were actually leading the IPO market in aggregate versus the United States.”

Ethridge predicts continued growth in IPO’s.

“Right now I think companies are doing well,” he said. “I think when you are looking at them and their performance year over year that looks strong, and, I think, that’s going to be good for the capital markets and IPO markets near term.” 

For now, traders and analysts say the world economy is responsible for the markets recent pullback. The market is undergoing a long awaited correction, said Ben Willis, managing director of the Albert Fried Company at the Exchange. 

"The trigger seems to be the central banks throughout the world readjusting their stimulus packages that have devalued their currencies,” he said.  “We are now seeing currencies revalued and that’s having a direct impact on stocks."

Willis advises investors not to worry.  He said the market correction is healthy.

“It’s like a rose bush,” he said.  “While you don’t really want to prune it, you need to keep it healthy if you want to continue to benefit from that rose bush.  And, that’s all the stock market is doing.”

Protesters in Brazil riot
over transportation fare hikes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of protesters in Brazil have clashed with police in the main transport station of Rio de Janiero, protesting a sizable hike in fares for buses and trains.

Riot police used batons and tear gas to try to regain control inside the Central do Brasil station, where protesters blocked turnstiles Thursday, allowing some rush-hour commuters to ride free. The fare hike, which went into effect Saturday, raises prices nearly 10 percent.

A cameraman for a local television station was hit in the head by an explosive device and is reported to be hospitalized in serious condition. It is not clear whether the protesters or the police are responsible for the blow.

Local media say some 20 people were arrested during the protest.

The protesters say they are indignant not just because transportation costs are rising, but because they say despite high taxes, public services such as transportation, health care and education are of poor quality.

Some are also angered by the billions of dollars Brazil is spending to host this year's World Cup soccer competition.

While the riots resulted in some injuries and fire damage to the station, reports say the gathering is nowhere near as large as a similar transportation demonstration last year that resulted in officials backing off of a proposed fare hike.

Short-term stock movements
predictable, Iowa study says

By the University of Iowa news service

A new study from the University of Iowa shows evidence that stock price movements are, in fact, predictable during short windows.

The study by researchers in the Tippie College of Business suggests that price movements can be predicted with a better than 50-50 accuracy for anywhere up to one minute after the stock leaves the confines of its bid-ask spread. Probabilities continue to be significant until about five minutes after it leaves the spread. By 30 minutes, the predictability window has closed.

The researchers, Nick Street, professor of management sciences, and doctoral student Michael Rechenthin, say the work questions the generally held belief that stock prices cannot be predicted. While factors like news or financial reports can move stock prices, the thinking holds, nothing inherent in a price’s trend line can be used to predict where the price goes next.

“This study is the first step in showing that there is predictability, and that once a price escapes the confines of the bid-ask spread, it’s showing a trend,” says Rechenthin, a former Chicago Stock Exchange floor trader whose dissertation looks at building models for predicting future stock price direction. “In other words, it’s more than just a coin flip where the price goes.”

The study examined price movements of a single stock, the S&P 500 exchange-traded stock fund (SPY), during 2005. The stock holds all 500 Standard and Poor’s stocks and is considered representative of the overall U.S. market. It’s also one of the most heavily traded equities on the market, with an average of more than 90,000 transactions a day during the study period, so it provides a wealth of study data.

Their analysis found no predictability of the stock’s price within the bid-ask spread, that is, the space between the price that buyers are willing to pay for a stock (the bid) and the price sellers are willing to sell it for (the ask), as the market tries to set the value of an asset. The key to their study is what happens once traders did set a value and the price escaped that spread. Once it did escape, the study tracked the stock’s price at 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 seconds, and 1, 5, and 30 minutes.

The study found the stock price typically broke the spread after five to 10 seconds, and the predictability of its subsequent movements depended on the pattern of its most recent trades. For instance, if the stock’s two most recent trades were an uptick followed by a downtick, there was a 52 percent probability the trend reversed itself within five seconds. Within 20 seconds, it had a 43 percent probability of reversal.

Rechenthin says these trends are driven only by previous trade prices because other factors that drive price — news or financial statements — cannot be incorporated into a price in such a short window.

While a 52 percent probability may not seem like much of a better probability than 50 percent, Street points out that in the ocean of data that is stock trading, it is a notable increase, and something that can be exploited. The next step is to develop a working model that takes advantage of these probabilities for more efficient trading.

Google Earth now contains
worldwide temperature access

By the University of East Anglia news service

Climate researchers at the University of East Anglia have made the world's temperature records available via Google Earth.

The Climatic Research Unit Temperature Version 4 land-surface air temperature dataset is one of the most widely used records of the climate system.

The new Google Earth format allows users to scroll around the world, zoom in on 6,000 weather stations, and view monthly, seasonal and annual temperature data more easily than ever before.

Users can drill down to see some 20,000 graphs, some of which show temperature records dating back to 1850.

The move is part of an effort to make data about past climate and climate change as accessible and transparent as possible.

Dr Tim Osborn from the university's Climatic Research Unit said: “The beauty of using Google Earth is that you can instantly see where the weather stations are, zoom in on specific countries, and see station datasets much more clearly.

“The data itself comes from the latest CRUTEM4 figures, which have been freely available on our Web site and via the Met Office. But we wanted to make this key temperature dataset as interactive and user-friendly as possible.”

The Google Earth interface shows how the globe has been split into 5-degree latitude and longitude grid boxes. The boxes are about 550 kilometers wide along the Equator, narrowing towards the North and South poles. This red and green checkerboard covers most of the Earth and indicates areas of land where station data are available. Clicking on a grid box reveals the area’s annual temperatures, as well as links to more detailed downloadable station data.

But while the new initiative does allow greater accessibility, the research team do expect to find errors.

Osborn said: “This dataset combines monthly records from 6,000 weather stations around the world – some of which date back more than 150 years. That’s a lot of data, so we would expect to see a few errors. We very much encourage people to alert us to any records that seem unusual.

“There are some gaps in the grid. This is because there are no weather stations in remote areas such as the Sahara. Users may also spot that the location of some weather stations is not exact. This is because the information we have about the latitude and longitude of each station is limited to one decimal place, so the station markers could be a few kilometres from the actual location.

“This isn’t a problem scientifically because the temperature records do not depend on the precise location of each station. But it is something which will improve over time as more detailed location information becomes available.”

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
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A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
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Dominican Republic

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 28
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Researchers take key step
en route to dengue vaccine

By the University of Michigan news service

Dengue fever and West Nile fever are mosquito-borne diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year, but there is no vaccine against either of the related viruses.

A team of scientists at the University of Michigan and Purdue University has discovered a key aspect both to how the viruses replicate in the cells of their host and how they manipulate the immune system as they spread.

In a study scheduled for online publication in the journal Science, researchers led by Janet Smith of the University of Michigan's Life Sciences Institute describe for the first time the structure of a protein that helps the viruses replicate and spread infection.

"Seeing the design of this key protein provides a target for a potential vaccine or even a therapeutic drug," Ms. Smith said.

The protein, NS1, is produced inside infected cells where it plays a key role in replication of the virus. NS1 is also released into the bloodstream, where it may help disguise the infection from the patient's immune system and may play a role in the hemorrhage that is seen in severe dengue virus infections.

Dengue and West Nile viruses are members of the flavivirus family, which includes yellow fever and several encephalitis viruses. Dengue, which emerged as a public health problem in the 1950s, is endemic in the majority of countries along the equatorial belt and has been reported in the southern United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile virus first appeared in North America in 1999 and rapidly spread to all 48 contiguous states, with nearly 3,000 cases reported in 2013. Dengue fever affects as many as 400 million people worldwide each year. Last year about 13,000 persons in Costa Rica contracted the disease and there were a few deaths attributed to it.

Ms. Smith and her colleagues created images of the protein using X-ray crystallography, a technique that uses X-ray beams to map the positions of atoms in a crystal.

"Isolating the protein in order to study it has been a challenge for researchers," Ms. Smith said. "Once we discovered how to do that, it crystallized beautifully."

Researchers have pursued this protein for years because both its role in replication and its unique release into the bloodstream mark it as a target for treatment of infection, said Richard Kuhn, professor and department head of biological sciences at Purdue University.

"Having the structure of NS1 is a huge advance in understanding, and using, the protein to our advantage," said Kuhn, who led the Purdue team involved in the work. "Understanding how the protein is designed provides an easier pathway to understanding its roles in the virus life cycle. We now know which portions of the protein to target in drug development to shut it down and stop the progression of infection."

The researchers discovered that NS1 has a 3-D structure with two distinct sides, one facing the replication system of the virus inside cells it infects and the other facing the immune system outside infected cells.

"The two faces of NS1 define the regions responsible for its two major functions," Smith said. "This understanding will guide future research into dissecting and targeting these regions in disease treatment or prevention."

Dengue presents specific challenges for researchers working on developing a vaccine. The illness is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. People infected by one type usually develop mild flu-like symptoms, although severe muscle and joint pain is common.

However, if subsequently bitten by a mosquito carrying another of the four types, the second exposure can lead to serious illness and death. This one-two punch greatly complicates development of a vaccine, Smith said.

"We don't want to prime people for severe dengue disease by delivering their first exposure to the virus in the form of a vaccine," she said.

Developing a clearer picture of how the NS1 protein interacts with the immune system and influences disease may pave the way for researchers to develop a vaccine that protects people — without inadvertently increasing their risk.

"Now that we understand the structure of the protein, we can manipulate it to probe specific functions," Kuhn said. "This could lead to a way to prevent any harmful priming of the immune system."

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7:

U.S. unemployment reported at five-year low

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Unemployment in the United States dropped slightly in January, falling one-tenth of a percent to 6.6 percent.  That is the lowest jobless rate since 2008. 

Friday's report from the Labor Department also says there was a net gain of 113,000 jobs in the economy, which is well below the average monthly gain over the past year. 

Employment grew in construction and manufacturing, but fell in retail and government.

The new data shows that 10.2 million Americans are still officially counted as unemployed.  The number of people who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks declined by more than 200,000, but that still leaves 3.6 million people stuck in long-term unemployment.

The new jobs report comes one day after a failed attempt to revive a program that keeps unemployment benefits flowing to people who have been out of work for extended periods in the U.S. Senate. 

Congress is also haggling over when and how to raise the limit on U. S. debt.