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Published Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 31
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Waves beat against the southern shore of Parque Nacional Corcovado at sunset. The park includes pristine areas that hardly have been explored as well as puma and other large animals.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo

Some at Corcovado unhappy with limits on visitors
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

New rules are causing headaches among some residents on the Osa Peninsula who want greater and more efficient access to Parque Nacional Corcovado.

The Dirección del Área de Conservación Osa issued clarifications in regards to a December policy towards visitors, tourists, and businesses at the park. Under these rules, food is not permitted inside the boundaries of the park.

That means that it also cannot be cooked or prepared inside the preserve either.

The Sistema Nacional de Áreas De Conservación created this statute under reasoning of protecting the plants and animals within from exposure in addition to maintaining the park’s cleanliness, according to officials.

There are exemptions to this rule, however. Park officials will allow people who travel between the trail stations at Leona, Sirena, and Los Patos to carry cookies, candies, energy bars, water and non-alcoholic beverages.

Park officials also admit lodging and camping services are extremely high, however they note that the cost of operating within the park is exceptional as well. The result is higher prices in lodging are the cost one must pay for operating within the area. This cost comes in the form of a permit granted sparingly to a few businesses.

These permits of use have been on the books since Dec. 15, but the new rates and conditions have applied since last month, officials said.

Yens Steller, a resident of the Osa peninsula where the reserve is located and business owner at Drake Bay, expressed concerns of the negative consequences these rules have on the region. He listed concerns in four categories:

tourism capacity, food regulation, transparency of the reservation system and park use permit hurting local businesses.

The number of visitors allowed to Sirena and San Pedrillo does not support the demand for tourism on the peninsula, according to Steller. The main industry is tourism and the local economy relies on hotels and guided tour services within the park for people, he said in an email statement. Steller claimed that if people cannot rely on tourism due to these limitations, then residents may turn to logging or hunting within the preserve in order to survive. His recommendation would be to increase the number of allowed visitors to 200 each day instead of the current 120.

The food regulation is a drawback due to health concerns such as visiting diabetics who need frequent snacks to keep their blood sugar levels high, he said.  Steller said that buying a lunch in Sirena costs a staggering $25. He also has problems regarding what happens to those who have special diets or allergies or if someone gets sick inside the preserve as a result of the cooking within. His solution, she said, would be to allow the hotels and lodging groups to bring food in and those businesses take responsibility for the consequences.

Steller said he represents other businesses and that he believes that not all reservations are made equally by the park service or is the system efficient. The new permit needed to use the reserve was granted to an association made up of a few people for private gain, he said. The community wonders as to the legality and principle behind the permit in general, he said.

The Parque Nacional Corcovado is a reserve on the Osa Peninsula in the southwestern section of Costa Rica. It is considered one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions. It was established as a Costa Rican protected nature preserve in 1975.

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Parque Cahuita gets $1.8 million upgrade

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cahuita national park has received an extensive makeover of basic improvements that were presented Friday.

The administration of Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo constructed toilets and showers in the Puerto Vargas section of the park. The government also improved access to electricity and water along with the addition of two paths hacked out of a wooded area.

The community of Cahuita also received some improvements in tourist facilities. An operating center and health services were added. Outdoor waiting areas were created for better access to the marine sector of the park. The sustainable tourism program of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación along with the Inter-American Development Bank provided the financing for these projects. Funds amounting to $1.8 million provided so that construction could begin back in April 2016.

Since 2000, the Cahuita preserve has been under a system of co-management between the national government and local community associations. This system of shared governance created a council called the Consejo Local del Parque Nacional Cahuita. Its members include a representative from various associations such as fishing, guides, tourist entrepreneurs, senior citizens, and development, Casa Presidencial said.

The Parque Nacional Cahuita is the fifth most visited nature reserve in the country, according to officials, with around 100,000 people each year. It is located in the southern Caribbean region of Limón. It gained its status as a protected nature reserve back in 1970 and was proclaimed a national park eight years later.

The preserve is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse areas of Costa Rica.
In addition to these government projects, investments from the European Union and the Proeduca project of the Ministerio de Educación created eight new kiosks including the Liceo Rural de Cahuita. The cost of construction was 39 million colons and the kiosk capacity is for around 120 students, officials said.

The project is a cooperation agreement between the two government entities and benefits around 55,000 students in Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Limon, the southern zone and greater San José area, according to officials. The program specifically targets areas considered highly vulnerable and poor.


Citizen oversight proposed in bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new bill would create the ground rules for citizen oversight committees.

Even if passed immediately, the idea would need at least a year to become a reality.

The proposal is in bill No. 20.252. It would designate the Defensoría de los Habitantes as the agency which would create, accredit and train the committees. In addition, any committees finding any irregularities would convey this information to the Defensoría under terms of the bill.

The bill also would create a network to provide aid to the individual citizen committees.

Each committee would be created in a specific government agency and oversee the activities of that entity and issue reports to the public. The position would be a voluntary one with no pay.

Monetary Fund urges passage of taxes again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials including Helio Fallas, the finance minister, met with officials of the International Monetary Fund last week in Washington.

The fund reported later that the country had made savings this year by cutting expenses and increasing tax collections. Once again the fund urged passage of two tax bills and a tax on corporations to further reduce the gap between expenses and income.

News from the Spanish-language press
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The Policía de Fronteras confiscated these 179 pairs of shoes and sandals over the weekend. Other seizures included vegetables, alcohol, crackers, perfumes, even onions.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Government bans Dan Fowlie again because of Pavones complaints
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Once again immigration officials and the minister of security have barred Daniel Fowlie from entering the country based on the complaints of residents of the Pavones area. This is the second time Fowlie, now 83, has been barred, ostensibly because he served an 18-year sentence in a U.S. prison on a marijuana charge. The man, who lived for years on southwestern Costa Rica, was in the country and is believed continuing his efforts to recover extensive tracts of land and other properties that have been taken by squatters.

Fowlie, then 41, arrived there in 1974 and began purchasing beach concessions until he had accumulated a 15-mile stretch of oceanfront. The locals got jobs, and he helped teach them construction, heavy machinery operation and even gardening.

Fowlie had plenty of money when he arrived with his family. Some was inherited. The rest he made as a real estate speculator and from a leather goods business that supplied high-end department stores. He even had enough money to purchase the San José mansion of U.S. fugitive Robert Vesco of Watergate fame. That may have been why he came to the attention of U.S. anti-drug agents, perhaps with justification.

When he was detained in México in 1985, California investigators found there the evidence, an ounce of marijuana, that eventually resulted in a federal conspiracy trial. Fowlie spent 18 years in federal prison. And his land holdings began to

deteriorate under pressure from locals who doubted that he would come back. He has called them sharks.

When he got out of prison, he returned in 2005 to learn the state of his holdings. Fowlie says his trip was peaceful and uneventful. But locals said they feared him, and the immigration director at the time, Marco Badilla, banned him from the country for 10 years based on a La Nación newspaper article.

The earlier entry prohibition appears to have been overkill because Fowlie notes that he was accompanied by an off-duty Costa Rica police officer, and he was shadowed by two on-duty officers. A Web site constructed by friends said that the encounters where locals claimed they were threatened were taped and rebutted the claims.

Of course, the worthless jungle land that only interested a surf-crazy Gringo is now one of the most valuable tracts in Costa Rica.

The land manipulations there have frequently broken into the news with a fatal shooting in 1997 and the 2011 arson fire of the legendary Bar and Restaurant La Esquina del Mar that Fowlie built.

Fowlie appears to have purchased legally all the concessions that he holds and also has been paying the municipal taxes. He was in Costa Rica a year ago, too, but that visit seems to have passed unnoticed in official circles.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 31
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Government lawyer says bus company can raise rates on its own
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Procuraduría General de la República found that the increase in one bus service’s fares due to the closing of the Río Virilla bridge was not an illegal action.

The bridge, commonly known as the platina, has been closed since Jan. 21 for the addition of two new lanes. The platina represents one of the most direct routes between San José and Alajuela on the General Cañas autopista.

Its closing has caused numerous delays and traffic congestion as well as a public transportation service pushed to its limits.

The Procuraduría General, the government’s chief civil lawyer, said that, due to the absence of any regulation for these so-called special services, the bus company called Tuasa could raise or lower its fares as it pleased.

The office also made clear that the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, an entity established in 1996 by the public works ministry, must establish the rate for Tuasa and similar transportation services. This move comes in contrast to prior legal tradition that the Consejo de Transportes Públicos was the one to grant the contracts for

transportation services. The consejo also had the tradition of establishing fare rates as well.

The government takes the claim that this legal confusion was a mistake made in good faith. The consejo’s attempts to offer alternative means of transport due to the bridge closing was because the public service authority had never defined tariffs for special services in the past, officials said.

“Faced with this ambiguity, which led us to the mistake, we respect and give the right of all transporters in the country to provide the special service they request as long as they comply with other requirements established by law,” Carlos Villalta, the minister for public works said.

This complementary service was authorized with an understanding of catering to a specific consumer base, officials said. The trip from San José to Alajuela, usually 30 to 40 minutes or less, can now be two hours depending on the time of day and the route.

The General Cañas highway is reduced to one lane in either direction at the Río Virilla because of construction. This Alajuela-based bus uses the alternate route through Heredia, called Ruta 3.

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Mass march in México staged
perceived attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An estimated 20,000 protesters staged a mass march through Mexico City Sunday against U.S. President Donald Trump’s perceived attacks on immigrants and hostility towards México.

The march calling itself the la Marcha Ciudadana por el Respeto para México gathered at the Auditorio Nacional around noon Sunday where it moved to the statue of the Angel de la Independencia. Protest organizers made arrangements to sing the Mexican national anthem at 2 p.m. As announced by the Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad, the marchers were encouraged to come dressed in white as an expression of peace.

“President Trump has launched an onslaught against a plural, diverse, inclusive and cooperative world,” the institute stated in an earlier press release, “Their discriminatory and protectionist actions against Mexico will seriously affect our economy and threaten the rights and security of Mexicans here and there. It is time for the citizens to join forces and voices to express our rejection and indignation at the pretensions of President Trump.”

Some of the demands the institute made were: a defense of the country against perceived threats by Trump’s administration, require the Mexican government to permanently report on all negotiations with the U.S., and reversing the vulnerability of México. The group also was marching to combat poverty, inequality, and corruption that have become rampant in recent years in the torn country.

“The call to this march is for and for the citizens, regardless of ideology, political affiliation, sexual preference or religion,” organizers said prior to the march, “It is an expression nonpartisan, peaceful and respectful to defend the rights of all, to demand a good government and to celebrate the pride of being Mexican.”

The institute claims it is a non-profit research center focusing on what it defines as the most important challenges facing México. The group proposes public policy and actions within the Mexican government using hard data to improve awareness and achieve a more inclusive country, the institution’s website said.

protest gathering
Voice of America photo  
North Carolina protesters were for several causes.

Pro-choice, pro-life backers
hold protests on Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Anti-abortion activists and abortion supporters staged demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities Saturday, with the nonprofit group Planned Parenthood at the center of the discussion.

Anti-abortion activists organized rallies in more than 200 locations Saturday, according to one of the national organizers, Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. The activists are calling for the federal government to stop providing funds to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions. It is something U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants to do.

Meanwhile, pro-abortion activists organized in many of the same locations to express support for the nonprofit, which provides a number of reproductive health services such as pregnancy testing, birth control and breast exams at hundreds of locations across the United States.

Planned Parenthood does not get federal funding for abortions, but Medicaid, a government health care subsidy for low-income families, pays into Planned Parenthood’s other services. Critics say those funds help subsidize the more than 300,000 abortions the organization provides each year.

In some cities the protesters lined up on opposite sides of a major roadway and held up their signs to passing motorists. Many of the Planned Parenthood supporters wore pink knitted caps that have become their symbol of solidarity.

In some cities, such as Evansville, Indiana, turnout was small on both sides. Karen Meacham, a Planned Parenthood supporter who brought her 11-year-old daughter to the protest, notes that Indiana is the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, a longtime abortion opponent.

Still, Ms. Meacham said, there were as many as 130 Planned Parenthood supporters at the Evansville event, as opposed to about 60 against.

The anti-abortion activists, she said, “were mostly older people and they didn’t stay out as long as we did. The pro-choice turnout was actually really good for our small, conservative city.”

In Fort Collins, Colorado, about 1,000 people turned out in Old Town Square, far from the local Planned Parenthood facility. Supporter Lauren Farley said the measure was taken to avoid disturbing people seeking services at the clinic.

Colorado Sen. John Kefalas and Rep. Joann Ginal both spoke at the rally. Ms. Ginal said that voices of support for women’s reproductive rights are more important now than ever.

Ms. Farley, who came to the rally with her mother and sister, said the dueling demonstrators were largely peaceful.

“One solitary guy shouted ‘baby killers’ at us a few times,” she said. “He was largely ignored.”

Meanwhile, several dozen anti-abortion activists gathered directly outside the Planned Parenthood clinic, several kilometers away. The demonstrators held signs saying choose life and stop abortion now.

Anti-abortion activist Kevin Williams, who organized the protest at the Fort Collins clinic, told the local newspaper, “We’re here to help these girls. We’re not here to judge them or condemn. We are here to help and to let them know that there’s alternatives to abortion.”

The pro-choice/anti-abortion issues that the rallies settled into, however, distressed Charsey Prose, who attended a rally in Sacramento, California. The Sacramento Bee reported about 15 anti-abortion activists faced off with some 200 Planned Parenthood supporters.

Ms. Prose said she fears the subtler issues of federal funding got lost in the argument over whether abortion should be legal at all.

“I think a lot of us that recognize all that Planned Parenthood does and the funding they need were a bit uncomfortable with it being turned into an ‘our body, our choice’ protest,” she said.

In 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, Planned Parenthood said it provided 324,000 abortions. But it also said the majority of its clients are seeking birth control, being tested for sexually transmitted diseases or other services.

California evacuation ordered
in face of damaged spillway

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in northern California ordered tens of thousands of people to evacuate Sunday, warning that a spillway at the tallest dam in the United States could fail.

The focus of their concern is the Oroville Dam, where damage to the main spillway last week has been followed by weakness in an emergency spillway.

The dam is 235 meters high and holds back Lake Oroville, playing a role in both California's water and power systems. The spillways allow water to drain from behind the dam in a controlled manner, but the damage at the Oroville Dam has come as snow and rainfall rapidly pushed up the water level.

Authorities said there was no threat of the dam itself failing, but warned that the substantial flow of water that would come if the spillways gave way would be extremely dangerous to those living in valley towns below.

Efforts were under way to release water from the lake and lessen the pressure on the spillways, while also dropping containers of rocks into the damaged areas in order to try to stabilize them.

Adele takes the top three
categories in the Grammies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Adele won the trifecta, album of the year, record of the year, and song of the year, at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles Sunday night, beating out Beyonce in all three categories. When she won the record of the year, Adele said, "My dream and my idol is Queen B, and I want you to be my mommy."

Earlier in the show, Beyonce delivered a performance that was an ode to motherhood with her twin-carrying baby bump featured prominently. Beyonce won the Grammy for best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade.”

Adele also won in the best pop solo performance and best pop vocal album categories.

The annual music awards show is known as music's biggest night and Sunday's show did not disappoint. It was loaded with show-stopping performances and tributes. Lady Gaga performed with Metallica, while Bruno Mars sounded eerily like the late Prince. Adele sang a tribute to the late George Michael, stopping her performance near the beginning because of a technical issue. She began again after telling the audience, "I can't mess this up for him," referring to Michael.

Chance the Rapper won in three categories, including best new artist, without selling a single CD or download. The 23-year-old rapper released his music only through streaming.

The late David Bowie's performance on his song “Blackstar” won him Grammys for best rock performance and best rock song.

Solange, Beyonce's little sister, won the best rhythm and blues performance for “Cranes in the Sky.”

The best country song performance nod went to Maren Morris for “My Church.” Ms. Morris said in her acceptance speech that 11 years ago, she was a participant in the first Grammy Camp, which teaches young people about the music business.

This year's show was hosted by James Corden.

Unlike the Golden Globes earlier in the year, the Grammys generally avoided political statements for most of the show, until A Tribe Called Quest took the stage late in the evening.

Busta Rhymes repeatedly called President Donald Trump "President Agent Orange'' as the group sharply criticized Trump's recent executive order attempting to freeze immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, and Busta Rhymes called it a Muslim ban.'

The rappers repeatedly chanted, "We the people'' and ended their performance shouting "Resist! Resist! Resist!'' -- something that's become a rallying cry for those protesting Trump's policies.

Trump had been referenced but rarely mentioned earlier in the show.

Katy Perry's performance did include several political messages and the displaying of the preamble of the Constitution.

But unlike last month's Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, Trump wasn't a fixture of acceptance speeches.

Perú takes harsher stance
after Odebrecht scandal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
and staff reports

The Peruvian president announced Sunday that companies who are found guilty of crimes in Perú will no longer be able to transfer its resources out of the country until all obligations resulting from the sentence have been fulfilled.

Companies that have accepted guilty or have been sentenced will not be able to transfer their resources outside the country, without first fulfilling all their obligations, including payments to workers, suppliers and reparation to the Peruvian State, the president of the Republic announced tonight.

In his annual Mensaje a la Nación, Peruvian President Pedro Kuczynski said that such companies must ask the state for authorization to sell assets, and that the money from the sales will go to a fund to make sure it will pay the corresponding fines.

The president also announced that, as of Sunday, all concession contracts of the Peruvian State will obligatorily incorporate the anti-corruption clause in order to protect the interests of the country.

"My government is working so that all the works are completed properly, but with contracts tendered in an ethical and transparent framework," Kuczynski said.

Kuczynski said that in recent weeks Peruvians have witnessed very regrettable situations and accusations of corruption, including grave accusations against former president Alejandro Toledo.

Prosecutors in Perú allege Toledo took $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht. A judge ruled that he must be jailed for up to 18 months while charges against him are prepared. Toledo has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged or convicted of any crimes. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Perú issued an international arrest warrant for Toledo Thursday, and the government offered around $30,000 as reward for any information leading to his capture.

"The most serious thing is that this has led many to believe that in order to do works, we have to steal, that in order to get ahead we must cheat, as I said in the electoral campaign, we need a radical change." Kuczynski said.

The president said that in order to achieve this legislation prohibiting companies convicted of corruption to contract with the government is necessary. Officials who commit acts of corruption must no longer be allowed to work in the public sector. He said that these measures were accompanied by an increase in the budget of the Office of the Prosecutor, dedicated to investigate and catch the corrupt.

In his message, Kuczynski also announced the creation of a system to reward honest officials and citizens who report acts of corruption.

The head of state reported that he and his ministers have published their affidavits and all personal information, in compliance with a recommendation of the Comisión de Integridad.

IMF predicts Trump’s policy
will boost the U.S. economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said that U.S. President Donald Trump's planned tax cuts and construction spending would boost the American economy, but said they could cause trouble for the economies around the globe.

Major U.S. stock indexes are near record highs, with the new U.S. leader promising to unveil a tax cut plan in the next two to three weeks, while also pledging to launch $1 trillion in major infrastructure spending to fix the country's deteriorating roads and bridges and expand airports.

Both measures would need approval by Congress, where the controlling Republican lawmakers have voiced skepticism about any changes that would add to the country's nearly $20 trillion in long-term debt.

Ms. Lagarde warned that advances by the U.S. economy, the world's largest, could hurt economies elsewhere because of the strength of the dollar against other currencies and expected action by the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, to gradually boost its benchmark interest rate to keep the American economy from overheating.

She said U.S. gains are good, but that the more worrying news is that it will have consequences on the rest of the world. She said the Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy will be difficult on the global economy and for which economies will have to prepare.

The International Monetary Fund last month boosted its U.S. growth estimate a tenth of a point this year to 2.3 percent, and four-tenths of a point to 2.5 percent for 2018. The IMF predicted an increase in global growth to 3.4 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018, up from the 2016 figure of 3.1 percent.

Trump has already revoked U.S. participation in the planned 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade in favor of American deals with individual countries.

Weight-loss surgeries start
for 500 kilogram woman

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 36-year-old Egyptian woman, believed to be the world’s heaviest woman at 500 kilograms, has been brought to an Indian hospital to undergo surgical procedures aimed at drastically reducing her weight and giving her a chance of a normal life.

For Eman Ahmed, the journey to Mumbai was her first outside her home in Alexandria in 25 years. And it involved complex logistics on many fronts: The Indian foreign minister’s intervention to get her a visa, an Airbus modified to equip it with a special bed, a truck at the Indian airport to whisk her to the hospital where a crane lifted her bed into a special unit for her treatment.

Born a heavy baby at 5 kilograms, her family has said she began putting on weight by the age of 11 and stopped going to school by fifth grade when it became difficult for her to move.

Her condition worsened two years ago when Ms. Ahmed suffered a stroke, which not only left her bedridden, but also affected her speech.

The reason for her abnormal weight is not clear. Her family has said she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, in which limbs swell because of a parasitic infection. In Mumbai, she will undergo a series of tests to identify her ailment.

Last October, a Mumbai doctor, Muffazal Lakdawala, who specializes in weight reduction surgeries, responded to a plea for help from the woman’s sister.

But the going was not smooth. Initially the Indian embassy in Cairo turned down her visa request because she could not travel to the city for the interview.

However, a tweet by Lakdawala in December to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who was herself in the hospital at the time, drew an immediate response and a visa was promptly granted.

After that, preparations to get her to Mumbai got into full swing. But it took time to arrange her travel because no airline was willing to carry her because of her health complications and the special arrangements that would have to be made. Eventually she took the seven-hour flight on an Egypt Air plane.

Before she arrived in Mumbai Saturday, Indian doctors prepared her for the journey.

“A team of doctors has been in Egypt for the last 10 days to optimize the conditions for her travel,” a statement by her doctor said.

Egyptian Consul General in Mumbai Ahmad Khalil, who met her briefly at the airport, said she was happy to be in Mumbai and expressed hope her suffering would be over.

Her treatment in Mumbai could take two to three months. She will undergo bariatric, or weight loss surgery, which is a stomach-shrinking procedure.

At the moment, the Guinness Book of Records lists Pauline Potter from the United States, who weighs 291.6 kilograms as the world’s heaviest woman. If Ms. Ahmed’s family has her weight correct, she is much heavier at 500 kilograms.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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                                  Tamarindo 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. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

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Colinas del Sol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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                                  Farm rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

San Rmon
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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 31
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
You do not have to give up growing roses

When you move to the tropics, you bump into new flowers every day. You will see giant heliconia, tiny rain flowers, jade vines, and orchid trees. And
Victoria Torley
there are things you have to give up, things like violets, daffodils, and, I thought, roses.

Roses like temperate climates. They can stand the heat of the day, but they like things to cool down a bit at night. Fortunately for us, there are many places in Costa Rica where roses will not only

grow, but thrive, at least, if you do it correctly. So, the first question is, how are my roses doing? The answer? Well, they could be doing better, so a lot of research was necessary, but at least I planted them in the right place.

The right place is an open sunny location with good shelter from winds but good air circulation. Roses like good air movement through their branches, but not so much as to ruffle the blooms. Planting them in front of the house or with a windbreak of taller plants, shade cloth or in front of a loose fence will work. Then there is the issue of the soil.

Roses are fussy about soil. Clay soils are o-u-t! And although they need a lot of water, roses do not like waterlogged soil, they want good drainage. Testing your drainage is fairly easy. Dig a hole 15 cm wide and 30 cm deep and fill it with water. In well-drained soil, the water will be gone in 12 hours and drainage is adequate if the water is gone in 24 hours. After that, start removing your dirt (can’t call it soil) and get ready to replace it. As an alternative, dig out part of the dirt and make a mounded, bermed, or raised bed. Make that soil a 50/50 mix of dirt and compost. Roses love compost, but they also love micronutrients, so give them an occasional prepared fertilizer to keep them happy.

Here in the tropics, plant your roses with the bud union just above ground level. Plants should be about 1 meter apart for good air circulation. Top dress your roses to a depth of 10-15 cm. Top dressing will hold moisture in the dry season and keep roots from heat and wind stress in both seasons. Immediately after planting, prune your roses back to about 30 cm.

So all that is fine, but many rose varieties don’t do well in humid climates. Here are some of the best for Costa Rica:

   Reds: Kardinal, Roundelay, Aruba, Samantha, Mr. Lincoln, Chrysler
   Yellows: Kabuki, Fressia, Gold Bunny.
   Pinks: Queen Elizabeth, Peter Frankenfeld, Royal Highness,
   Multicolored: Double Delight.
   Cream: Vanilla.
   Lavender: Blue Moon.

Need more on roses? The University of Hawaii has a great site HERE!
Tropcal rose
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant for the Week

Naturally, this week’s plant is the rose. This lovely little red is, unfortunately, not one of the best to grow in Costa Rica, but it does fairly well and has a good scent. The biggest hazard to my roses is leaf cutter ants. We are using Bimbo white bread near the nests. and I am going to experiment with a spray of garlic and jalapeño peppers which is supposed to make the leaves taste terrible to the ants. Wish me luck!

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!
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From Page 7:

Author's first book recounts a year on the road

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new book by a motorcycle enthusiast-turned-expat takes readers on a soul-searching ride during a trip back in 1973. 

The novel, called “A Bohemian Road Trip,” is the first book by Paul Furlong. The author is no stranger to writing. He reports he has written for many motorcycle magazines over the years. The book will be released on Feb. 26.

According to the official Facebook page, the book tells the story of a professional motorcycle racer who quits one day and spends a year out on the road in search of himself. “It is a wild ride in 1973 when moral conduct was defined more by truth than political correctness,” the page said.

The book is being sold for $14.95 with an additional $3.95 in shipping fees. 

Road Trip

After years of traveling and a stint for two years in the Dominican Republic, Furlong left for Costa Rica in the late 1990s. He started a motorcycle touring business in 2005 called Motorcycle Tours Central America with his wife.