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A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 31                            Email us
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New statistics show employment picture is complex
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A report that said unemployment has increased in the last four months of 2014 brought quick government responses.

However, the employment situation with 220,000 persons reported out of work is only represented partly by these numbers.

And additional statistic is that there are 931,000 persons working in the informal economy.

The numbers came from the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos, which said the unemployment rate in the last third of 2014 was 9.7 percent, compared to 8.3 for the previous year.

Welmer Ramos, the minister of Economía, Industria y Comercio, quickly issued a statement saying that the government and private enterprise both hope for a reactivation of the economy.

Víctor Morales Mora, minister of Trabajo, blamed structural causes and said 60 percent of first-time job seekers have not completed secondary education. He added that cuts by the Banco Central in key interest rates would help promote consumption.

According to the statistics, women were more likely to be unemployed than men. The rate for women was 11.8 percent compared to the 8.2 for men. 

Another big problem was the number of individuals who are underemployed, meaning that they are working at a job for

less hours or at a lower position than they would like. That was estimated to be 18.8 percent.

In human terms the higher unemployment statistic means that there were 31,000 more persons without jobs at the end of 2014 when compared to the previous year.

The number of those employed informally confounds precise discussions of unemployment. These would be the self-employed and others who are not party to social security benefits.

Large numbers of sports book employees fall into this category because they are paid off the books. So are a large number of foreign agricultural workers.

A statement said officials expect 35 new projects using foreign investments to do this along with increases in exportation, tourism and the development of small and medium enterprises.

The government also said it would accelerate the execution of public works projects.

Private industry, however, has said economic constrictions come from the higher cost of electrical energy, taxes and social security payments for employees.

The new statistics are troubling because they reflect employment over the Christmas season, which is supposed to provide many temporary jobs. But in the last four months of 2014, the commercial sector showed fewer jobs, according to the report that was issued Thursday.

Barrier job seeks to make Cartago highway safer
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Workers are about to start on a project that eventually will put a barrier between east and westbound lanes of the Carretera Florencio del Castillo to prevent head-on crashes.

The firm of  Constructora Hernán Solís has won a contract to begin eliminating anything that protrudes above ground level. Eventually the barrier will be built in the central median of the highway. There also are plans for barriers along the outside of the lanes to prevent vehicles from going off the highway.

The highway is the main road between Curridabat and Cartago.

Workers also will be covering the gutters with rebar so vehicles will not overturn.

The project is in several contracts that

highway work
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Utility poles are among the obstacles being removed under the contract.

amount to more than $2 million. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad has been ordered by the court to do some of the work in a decision that stemmed from an accident.

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

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
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Puntarenas carnival OK expected

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone trying to follow the on-again, off-again Carnavales Puntarenas 2015 is sure to get motion sickness.

There is a good chance, but not certain, that the carnival is on. Organizers began the event last weekend without approval from the health ministry.

The regional health inspectors closed the carnival and applied the appropriate seals.

Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Seguridad Público has a separate issue. Just 50 private security guards had been hired for a major concert Saturday. That issue was resolved Thursday when two security companies promised 150 guards would be on duty.

That approval from the security ministry is expected to carry weight with the health ministry in a meeting today. Carnival organizers are expecting to be allowed to function, but they still face possible sanctions for beginning the event last weekend without approval.

Maritime zone meeting today at 2 p.m.

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Playas del Coco development association has a meeting scheduled today at 2 p.m. in the communal hall in Filadelfia to study, hear opinions and to consider adjustments to a proposed plan to regulate the maritime zone in the  Municipalidad de Carrillo.

The maritime zone is that 150-meter strip along the mean high tide line that is closely regulated by the government.

An approved zone is necessary for future maritime zone concessions.

The association said that its opinions on the proposed plan will be presented to a committee next week.

The committee is to be composed of representatives from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, the municipality and the Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo.

Officials want to raise the marriage age

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial said that it will try to expedite two bills that are designed to provide protection for children. One raises the marriage age to 18.

Melvin Jiménez, minister of the Presidencia, said one measure reformed the criminal code and family code to provide harsher punishments for those who harm children if the criminal is a family member or someone in a position of confidence or authority.

Casa Presidencial was acting in response to a Feb. 2 case in which a 2 year old died from injuries investigators say were inflicted by a stepfather. The young mother is just 16.

Marriage in Costa Rica is possible with parental approvals of women as young as 15.

Jiménez said that during the month of January, the Hospital de Niños attended an average of eight youngsters a day who had suffered from physical aggression.

The Feb. 2 case also has generated outrage, and a march is planned for 9 a.m. Sunday against injuries to children.

Readers who forgot a card can print out and customize
this St. Valentine's Day message. We'll never tell.

Concerts planned for St. Valentine's Day

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de Montes de Oca will mark St. Valentine's Day Saturday with a free concert in the Barrio Pinto Catholic church. This is the XV Recital de Música de Cámara.

The 7 p.m. chamber music recital has been offered since 2000 with professional musicians

Among those performing will be John Miailovich of the United States on his saxophone.

Elsewhere, the Banda de Conciertos de Guanacaste performs in Playa del Coco at 10 a.m. and the Banda de Conciertos de San José performs at 5 p.m. in the Plaza de la Democracia.

Being fat can be genetic! Honest!

By the University of Michigan news service

There are many reasons why people gain different amounts of weight and why fat becomes stored in different parts of their bodies. Now, researchers point to a genetic reason for a tendency to put on weight.

Their findings, part of the largest genome wide study, were published in two papers in the journal Nature.

By analyzing genetic samples for over half a million individuals as part of the research project, which aims to identify genes that regulate human body and size, researchers found more than 100 locations across the genome that play roles in various obesity traits.

Learning more about the genes and biological processes may guide the development of weight-loss therapies, and help doctors tailor the health advice they give to patients.

“Our work clearly shows that predisposition to obesity and increased body mass index is not due to a single gene or genetic change,” says senior study author Elizabeth Speliotes, assistant professor of internal medicine and computational medicine and bioinformatics at the University of Michigan Health System.

“The large number of genes makes it less likely that one solution to beat obesity will work for everyone and opens the door to possible ways we could use genetic clues to help defeat obesity,” she says.

Speliotes and colleagues investigated the genetic basis of body mass index, a common measure of overall obesity, in up to 339,224 individuals.

Across the genome, which is the full set of a person’s genes, they found 97 sites associated with obesity. The number triples the previously known regions.

Once better understood, these genetic mechanisms may not only help to explain why not all of those who are obese develop related metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, but could lead to possible ways to treat obesity or prevent metabolic diseases in those who are already obese.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 31
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New dock and grain-handling facility goes into operation at Caldera
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Since 2001 the government has been working steadily to improve the condition of the port at Caldera.

The success there is in contrast to strikes, walkouts and continual unpleasantness that have marked the ports at Limón and Moín during this time.

At Caldera on the Pacific government workers agreed to a buyout to allow a private consortium to take over the docks and make improvements.

The success of these policies could be seen in the inauguration of a new terminal at the docks Thursday. This was a job that took three years.

The project includes an investment of $36.5 million and a dock 180 meters long, nearly 600 feet. The project is expected to reduce the expensive waiting time for cargo ships at the dock. The new terminal is 6,000 square meters.

The dock is operated by the Sociedad Portuaria Granelera de Caldera S.A. The new facility doubles the size of dock space. Although the dock is primarily for grain ships, there is equipment to handle other types of cargo including a 450-ton mobil crane.

Workers on the Caribbean also were offered a buyout, but the union there rejected the plan.

Caldera port
Sociedad Portuaria Granelera de Caldera S.A. photo
The new dock at Caldera

APM Terminals is about to start work on a new $1 billion container handling facility at Moín, a concession project that has been opposed vigorously by union workers.

The government has agreed to make an investment in the public docks, too. Another firm also says it will put in a port facility at Moín.

In both sides of the country, the ports are considered key elements in the economic health of the areas.

Lawmakers want to change canton name to that of Sarchí
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is another name-change movement in the legislature. This time lawmakers are seeking to change the name of the canton of Valverde Vega to that of its principal town, Sarchí.

That change has been proposed by Franklin Corella Vargas, Javier Cambronero Arguedas and Nidia Jiménez Vásquez, all  of the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

Lawmakers recently took final action on changing the name of the Canton of Aguirre to Quepos on the central Pacific coast.
The argument is about the same for Sarchí: More recognition from tourists.
The town of Sarchí is famous for it furniture and oxcarts. Many of the nation's provinces and cantons bear the name of the principal administrative center.

San José is the central canton of the province of San José. Limón is the administrative center of the province of Limón.

And Alajuela is the central canton of the province of Alajuela, not to mention Heredia, Cartago and Puntarenas.

The one problem is that lawmakers are in a period when the executive branch sets the agenda, so Corella Vargas said in a statement he would like Casa Presidencial to put the name-change bill on the list.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Researchers show that dogs can recognize human moods from faces
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Can the dog tell by simply looking at someone whether the person has a happy or an angry expression?   Researchers have taught pet dogs to know the difference. 

Dogs are very attuned to sound.  When they yell or speak harshly, many owners claim their dogs act guilty and slink away.  But researchers in Austria have discovered that dogs can look at faces, and tell the difference between a smile and a scowl.

In a series of experiments, researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna taught dogs to recognize facial expressions by training them with two pictures of either the upper or lower half of a person's face, one happy, the other angry.

Then, the canines were shown images of the eyes or mouths of people they had never seen before, as well as the left half of the faces used in training.

Corsin Muller led the study.

“We were asking essentially, do they realize that smiling eyes have the same meaning as a smiling mouth, or angry eyes have the same meaning as an angry mouth?  And it turned out that they really did perform very well in these probe trials.  So, once they had learned the initial discrimination, they could spontaneously, immediately choose the correct one in the probe trials with the normal stimuli," said Muller.

In other words, once the dogs learned to recognize which image was happy or angry, they could easily identify the same expressions in pictures of any faces.

Muller says future work will try to determine whether dogs can learn the meaning of certain expressions, for example, whether a scowl indicates a person is angry.

Dog in training
Messerli Research Institute/ Anjuli Barber
A dog considers which face is happy, and which is angry.

“What we can say with our study is that they can discriminate them, that they can tell these ones are different.  What we cannot be sure of at this point is what exact meaning they are associating with these different expressions. It seems of course likely that they would associate some positive meaning with the smiley face and they would associate some rather negative meaning with the angry face.  But what exactly they are associating with these expressions we cannot know at this point," he said.

In the training trials, researchers found the dogs were slower to associate a reward with recognition of the angry face, suggesting they had an idea people with angry faces were best avoided.

Muller says canine investigators are also interested in finding out whether wild wolves can be trained to recognize human facial expressions. 

The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, provide the first solid evidence that humans are not the only species that can read another species' body language.  

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Coco condo
Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 31
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Death of Muslim trio called
hate crime in North Carolina

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police continued to investigate the slaying of three Muslims in North Carolina Thursday.

The victims' family and friends insist it was a hate crime and are urging police to fully investigate.

A neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killings of Deah Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Abu-Salha.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue issued a statement saying investigators are exploring what could have motivated Hicks to commit such a "senseless and tragic act."

"We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case," Blue said.

Police said Wednesday they believe a long-simmering dispute over a parking space at the complex sparked the shootings, but Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the slain women, said he believed the shootings to be a hate crime.

He said Hicks had confronted his daughter and her husband a few times while carrying a gun on his belt.

Thursday the FBI said it was opening its own preliminary inquiry, separate from local police investigations. A statement by FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch did not specify if the inquiry would include whether the shooting was a hate crime.

The case has garnered international attention and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday for not speaking about the incident.

"If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, and don't make a statement, the world will stay silent toward you," Erdogan said during a visit to Mexico.

The Turkish president, a devout Muslim who has been outspoken about what he sees as rising Islamophobia in the West, has strained relations with Obama on issues such as the war in Syria.

The White House said Wednesday that it would wait for the results of the police investigation before commenting on the killings in North Carolina.

A Twitter campaign, #MuslimLivesMatter, launched to draw national media attention to the tragedy, has attracted supporters from across the globe, many angrily claiming it was being ignored because the victims were Muslim.

One poster tweeted, "Muslims only newsworthy when behind the gun, not in front."

The triple homicide has rocked the nearby University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where one of the victims, Barakat, was a student.

A spokesman for the school, Rick White, said there was pain and worry on campus.

"As I talk to Muslim students and as I speak with leaders, as I have over the past few days from the Muslim community, I realize there is concern, there is fear about this, 'Could this attack happen again?  Could this happen to me and my family?' " he said.

Thousands of people gathered for a candlelight memorial at the university on Wednesday night to honor the victims.

"It was a good experience for people to be able to mourn, and to be able to share their stories, and then to be able to say, 'OK, move on. How can we make this a better place,?' " White added. "Because one of the things that came through loudly and very clearly during the vigil last night was: Don’t fight fire with fire. Don’t fight ignorance with ignorance. Go out and make the world a better place. That’s what we try to do every day here on campus.  And, I think that’s what we’re taking away from this right now."

Groups including the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Raleigh-based Muslims for Social Justice have called for a federal investigation into possible hate crimes.

"I hope this terrible tragedy will be a turning point that brings the reality home that if we keep demonizing Muslims and equating their religion to terrorism, it will lead to more attacks," Manzoor Cheema, co-founder of Muslims for Social Justice, said.

Ripley Rand, a federal prosecutor whose district includes Chapel Hill, said Wednesday the shootings appeared to be an isolated incident, and not part of a campaign against the Muslim community.

Hicks, who was studying to become a paralegal, had posted anti-religious statements on his Facebook page, and recently posted a picture of a handgun.

But his wife, Karen, insisted during a news conference Wednesday the killings had nothing to do with religion or the victims’ faith, adding that her husband was a strong supporter of gay and abortion rights.

Barakat, 23, was a second-year dentistry student at the university, while his wife was scheduled to join her husband as a dental student in the fall.

The sister was a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and was visiting the newlywed couple.

Liban Abdikarim, a Somali-American student who attended school with Barakat, said the trio were leaders in the Chapel Hill and Raleigh communities.

Barakat worked with a charity that provided dental supplies to the poor, and had launched a campaign to raise money for a humanitarian trip to Turkey to provide dental care to refugees from the civil war in Syria.

Liban H. Abdikarim, a Somali-American who knew Bakarat well and attended school with him, said news of the slayings came as a surprise.

"We were all shocked to hear the news of the passing of him and his wife and her sister — not only because they are innocent people and Muslims as well in the community but also because they were leaders in the community and they did a lot for Chapel Hill and Raleigh and the surrounding areas," Abdikarim said. "So it came as a shock to us because they were our leaders and now we have to look for someone else to look up to."

Tiny worm may help NASA
learn about zero gravity

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Astronauts on future missions to Mars may stay healthier thanks to experiments on Earth with a tiny, almost microscopic worm.

Long-term space travel in low or zero gravity changes how the blood circulates, weakens the immune system, and causes motion sickness, muscle loss and fatigue.  It can also trigger bone loss. So scientists at the University of Delaware’s Biotechnology Institute are testing the effects of weightlessness on C. elegans, a transparent invertebrate that is often used in biomedical studies because of its short two-week lifespan. Plus, 70 percent of the worm's DNA is the same as humans.

With funding from NASA, the U.S. space agency, Chandran Sabanayagam and his team built a microgravity simulator in their lab to see how C. elegans would perform in the actual zero gravity of space. The worms are placed in a container of liquid, and as they start to sink to the bottom, the container is flipped upside down, again and again, and the worms never hit the bottom.

"So essentially it’s in free fall, similar to a satellite orbiting the Earth,” Sabanayagam said.

As the worms are spun in free fall, scientists observe them under a microscope. “After about a week of rotation in that environment," Sabanayagam said, "we’ll take the animals out, and what you see us doing with the test tubes is basically biochemical preparation to analyze its genetic material.”

The scientists are looking for changes in the worms' epigenome, the chemical markers that tell the DNA in the cells how to behave. The epigenome can be altered by the environment, and the changes can be passed from one generation to the next.

“When the worms are in a liquid environment, some epigenomic marks persist even when we take the animal out of the liquid environment and put it back into normal ground conditions. So its offspring retains this epigenomic memory of the parents’ liquid environment or microgravity environment,” Sabanayagam said.

So far, the data suggest that the epigenomic marks passed on to future generations are acquired during embryo development. Sabanayagam said identifying that genetic marker is critical to human studies in the future.

“Our work with the worm speeds up this process," he said. "We think that we can find similar genes that responded to microgravity in the worms. We think that we can find them in the human genome and possibly closely monitor those when astronauts go in the space station, travel to the moon or potentially Mars.”

Sabanayagam expects C. elegans to fly on the International Space Station within two years.  He hopes in the long term the data can be used to develop simple, cheap and quick tests to assess an astronaut's health.

The work was presented this week at the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, Maryland.

Farmers are in the forefront
seeking more Cuban trade

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Pew Research poll conducted in January shows that more than 60 percent of Americans support President Barack Obama’s decision in December to establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba and move towards ending the economic embargo in place since the Kennedy Administration in the 1960s.  Among the strongest supporters for ending the embargo are American farmers, who see Cuba as a relatively new market for exports. 

The planting season is still several months away for Illinois farmer Thomas Marten, but he’s excited about the future… a future that could see more of his products available to the once off-limits island nation of Cuba.

“Here on our farm, we actually grow a lot of specialty corn, a lot of non-GMO and hard endosperm corn, which goes almost exclusively into export markets.  So we would see a benefit for our own operation in additional exports to Cuba," said Marten.

Lifting the embargo, Marten says, could help him increase his profits by 15 percent.  

Sending his products to Cuba, which imports about 80 percent of its food, would have been unheard of for his father.

“The entire time my father and my uncles would have been farming we’ve actually had an embargo in place.  It’s been over 54 years that we’ve had that market not open to us in the United States," said Marten.

Marten is among a group of farmers pushing lawmakers to lift the embargo.

But even before President Obama announced the opening to Cuba, products from Illinois fields were already reaching the Cuban people.  Mark Albertson is with the Illinois Soybean Association.

“Agriculture’s been exempt from the trade embargo thanks to the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act under President Clinton.  But we still have to jump through a lot of hoops," said Albertson.

One of the hoops is that the U.S. can not extend credit to Cuba.  The Cubans have to pay in cash, up front.

“And that makes us very un-competitive, and we’ve seen a dramatic decline in our ag exports to Cuba in recent years," said Albertson.

“We feel that economic development is freedom," said Paul Johnson.

Johnson is the vice chairman of the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba.

“What we do is represent U.S. agriculture in our trade relations with Cuba," he said.

Johnson says by ending the embargo and extending credit to Cuba, the United States becomes more competitive, especially because of its proximity to the island. 

“I think businesses are excited about those opportunities," he said.

So excited in fact that spaces on a trip to Cuba Johnson is leading filled up quickly. 

Farmer Thomas Marten is one of about 75 agriculture and business representatives traveling with Johnson to the island nation in March.  It will be Marten’s second trip to Cuba, and while he is optimistic about future trade, he is also realistic about the challenges.

“There’s definitely a lot of issues we have to work through with human rights.  As both a farmer and a Catholic, I definitely saw that there are a lot of churches closed there, and that’s something that definitely concerns me in Cuba, their human rights record.  That said, 54 years of our embargo has done very, very little in improving the human rights conditions in Cuba," he said.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on Congress to begin the work of ending the embargo, and Marten hopes when it comes time to drive his corn and soy to grain elevators next year, more of it will eventually find its way to Cuba.

Deaths linked to smoking
might be underreported

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly a half million Americans die every year from diseases directly attributable to cigarette smoking, such as lung cancer and heart disease, but a new study indicates thousands more deaths should be included in the annual tally.

"We think, if our results stand up, that we should add about 60,000 extra deaths a year," said Brian Carter, an American Cancer Society epidemiologist and lead author of the study. "For perspective, that's more than deaths that come from other common causes of death, like influenza or motor vehicle accidents."

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were based on a new, 10-year study that followed nearly 1 million people. An analysis of data collected between 2000 and 2011 found that smokers, compared with people who had never smoked, were two times more likely to die of a number of diseases not usually thought to be related to cigarettes.

Carter said the diseases included infections, kidney disease, and prostate and breast cancer.

"There's one good hypothesis that women that start smoking when they are young, before their first birth, that might affect the breast more adversely than people that smoke after their first birth, because the breast doesn't fully mature until pregnancy," he said. "With prostate cancer, there's also a lot of good evidence that smoking might increase the proliferation of cancer in the prostate."

The study also found that smokers were six times more likely to die of blood insufficiency to the intestines, a rare cause of mortality.

Researchers were careful to caution that the findings were based on observations and did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between cigarette smoking and previously unreported diseases.

Percentage of U.S. liberals
is up a point, Gallup says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

They still trail their conservative-minded counterparts but a record number of Americans now consider themselves to be liberals.

Conservatives outnumber liberals 38 percent to 24 percent, but, according to Gallup, the 14 percent gap between the two is the smallest it’s been since 1992.

The percentage of U.S. adults who consider themselves liberal rose one percentage point for the third straight year, while the percentage for people who consider themselves politically conservative or moderate remained unchanged from 2013 to 2014.

The increase in the number of  liberals could be the natural settling of the electorate after the high-point of conservatism in the 1990s, which included the Reagan-Bush era and the 1994 Republican Revolution, when the GOP picked up 54 seats in the House of Representatives and eight seats in the Senate during the 1994 midterm elections.

But George Mason University political analyst Mark Rozell thinks there’s more going on.

“Young people today are overwhelmingly socially liberal and tolerant,” he said. “As you have generational replacement, the older generations who are more socially conservative leaving the population, and then younger people are much more socially progressive than their parents and grandparents, you’re naturally going to see some shifting in the overall numbers.”

Meanwhile, a record number of Americans now see themselves as political independents. The percentage of political independents climbed from 35 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in 2014.

Yet, even Americans who self-identify as independents tend to be partisan voters.

“Even though there are more independents in the electorate, there are more people who are voting predominantly for one political party in elections,” Rozell said. “So it raises the question of whether the rising percentage of independents is all that important when we look at the actually voting patterns of Americans which seem to be separating out as either, almost exclusively Democrat or exclusively Republican for most people.”

This suggests that the political middle is disappearing in the United States, which threatens the American tradition of political adversaries sitting together to reach a compromise for the good of the nation.

“Now it seems the ethic is more to defeat and vanquish one’s enemies on the other side of the aisle and there’s little ground for negotiation or compromise,” Rozell said. “I don’t know at what point the American public understands how damaging these developments have been to democratic processes in the country and begins to demand that political leaders shift back to a different method of operation where it was OK to sit down with opponents on the other side and work out reasonable compromises and make good public policies.”

Resistant malaria seen
defeating all treatments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Options are running out in the race to eliminate malaria before the parasite responsible for the deadly disease completely outsmarts man's last line of resistance, an herbal drug known as artemisinin.

“There are very few options and indeed there are very few drugs in the pipeline. So, really, we have one shot eliminating this disease," said Benjamin Rolfe, executive secretary of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.  "If we don’t eliminate in the next 15 years we will lose our tools, lose our armory and we are very likely indeed, almost certain, to see a resurgence of this disease in the Asia Pacific region and then, subsequently, in the African region.”

Rolfe called the situation a global public health emergency.

He spoke during a break in the two-day meeting in Bangkok of his alliance and the Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance.

Public health officials are alarmed that the drugs most utilized to combat the most dangerous form of malaria are becoming ineffective in the Greater Mekong sub-region.

"We saw this happen with previous drugs, chloroquine," explains Rolfe. "The resistance spread from this region through India into Africa. And we’re very concerned that that may happen again.”  

An area of particular concern is the long India-Myanmar border.

"India has its own very high burden of malaria that has been stubborn in recent years," said Rolfe. "And if resistance spreads through India to Africa we risk seeing many millions of deaths.” 

The governments of Australia and Vietnam, in particular, were praised by participants of the Bangkok meeting for showing leadership in the battle to eliminate malaria, but there is concern of a lack of a similar level of commitment from other heads of state.

"Without the investment, without the cash to make this happen, we will fail," Rolfe warned. 

The alliance was formed during the East Asia Summit held in Brunei in 2013 amid concern among leaders about the risks of malaria's resurgence, in particular due to increasing drug-resistance in the Greater Mekong area.

Isolated from the sweet wormwood plant, artemisinin and its derivatives have been able to swiftly reduce the number of Plasmodium parasites in the blood of malaria patients.

But the parasite has been found to be resistant to the drug, considered the last line of defense against malaria, in parts of five Southeast Asian countries: Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar (also known as Burma). 

In one area of western Cambodia, near the Thai border, three distinct groups of malaria falciparum parasites resistant to artemisinin have been identified, according to research published in 2013 in the journal Nature Genetics.

There were an estimated 198 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2013, and an estimated 584,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Ninety percent of all malaria deaths occur in Africa where an estimated 437,000 African children died before their fifth birthday due to malaria in 2013.

Between 2000 and 2013 (the latest year for which figures are available) the incidences of malaria were cut by 30 percent globally. And during the same period, malaria mortality rates decreased by an estimated 47 percent worldwide and by 54 percent in Africa.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


CoopeAgri Real Estate

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

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaco hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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Jaco hotel

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 31
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Smart insulin self-regulates dosage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers have developed a smart insulin that automatically regulates the amount of blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes. This would be a breakthrough for patients, who struggle every day to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Insulin is a hormone that helps metabolize glucose from food, which cells use for fuel.

People with type 1 diabetes must frequently check their glucose levels and inject themselves with insulin, sometimes many times a day.  But the routine is imprecise.

Too little insulin causes a rise in blood sugar levels that over time can lead to serious complications, including heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.  But if type 1 diabetics accidentally take too much insulin, they risk falling into a dangerous coma.

“The idea, I think, the kind of the pie in the sky vision so to speak, would be to have something that is completely autonomous.  So, if a patient didn’t have to check their blood glucose level, if they could take a shot in the morning and know that they are covered for the day, that would be the best case scenario.  I don’t think what we have now is there yet. But I think that’s where the generation of a truly smart glucose response insulin would go," said Matthew Webber.

Webber is a biomedical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped develop a smart insulin that self-activates when blood sugar levels rise.

A single injection of the long-acting agent binds to glucose molecules circulating in the blood, automatically bringing blood sugar levels down when they soar.

Webber says researchers conducted tests using laboratory animals.

“We can inject it in mice and when we simulate a meal three hours following insulin administration, blood glucose levels in our treated group goes up and comes right back down the way you would expect in a healthy animal.  If we give the animals regular insulin, the kind of stuff a diabetic patient might take, the blood glucose level goes up and stays up.  So, it has a longer lasting effect and it also has a very rapid reversal of blood glucose," he said.

The test showed that the smart insulin worked for at least 14 hours, repeatedly and automatically lowering blood sugar levels in the mice.

The work was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers are hoping next to conduct human clinical trials of what would be the first glucose-response insulin. 

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From Page 7:

Bus depreciation rules may be revised

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ever notice that some buses appear to be well worn.

The nation's regulating agency says that after seven years, a bus is paid off fully, but the vehicle may remain in service for 15 more years. And after that it can still be used for what is called transporte especial.

That is why the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos is considering making some changes. The age and value of buses enters into computations of bus fares.

Some consideration is being given to accelerated depreciation schedules that will spread the value of a bus out over more years. This was one of the topics discussed at a forum the agency held at the Colegio de Profesionales en Ciencias Económicas in Mercedes de Montes de Oca.