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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 32                            Email us
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Pacific beach zoning plan was long time in coming
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Once upon a time, long ago, there were zoning plans up and down the coast of Guanacaste for the Zona Maritimo Terrestre. This area is known to most as Costa Rica’s ZMT or the maritime zone.  Most plans originated in the 80s. There have been some modifications to them throughout the years, but not many.

The maritime zone contains two parts: The first 50 meters inland measured from high tide is the public zone and the next 150 meters concession property. The total of the two areas or 200 meters is public land and considered owned by all Costa Ricans. There are some exceptions where the land is titled or part of a special government program like the area in Papagayo, Guanacaste.

Costa Rica mean rich coast for a reason. It is beautiful and very important to tourism. However, 11 cantons have been without viable zoning for years. Government officials say new zoning is just around the corner. They have been saying this for years. Most people believe it is all just talk and political rhetoric and nothing more than a fairy tale.

The Municipalidad de Carrillo had another public meeting Friday for the canton's zoning plan. Shortly after the last one some years ago, a Carrillo resident filed a Sala IV case against it that was not resolved until last year. The concerned citizen said the public audience regarding the plan was too technical for common people to understand. The person also complained the zoning did not contemplate the migration habits of the turtles common to the area.

Carrillo contains some of the country's premier beaches, including Playa Hermosa, Playa Panama, Playa Ocotal and Playas del Coco.

Two Costa Rican businesspersons who sell fish in Playas del Coco were happy about the meeting, but said in an interview, many locals want no new development at all in the area. “It is impossible to make everyone happy,” they said.

Linda Gray, owner of Coldwell Banker, said a new zoning plan would not do much for coastal development if there were no solution to the water problem. “Without water permits, there will be no building. This is a serious problem and the water board, AyA, is not doing anything about the situation,” said Ms. Gray, speaking of the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados.

Michael Simons with RE/MAX said he is tired of the same old talk. Nothing ever seems to get accomplish, referring to the coastal plan. Some clients of his have just given up and packed their bags and went home tired of waiting for permits.

No one was wowed by the presentation Friday. Almost everyone had doubts the canton has the ability to get a workable plan in place. However, the chit-chat between people seemed upbeat and positive.

A special commission appointed by the legislature in 2014 was shocked to learn some of Costa Rica's most beautiful coastal areas belong in these cantons with no new zoning plan. They want to know the whereabouts of money given by the Inter‑American Development Bank for the mapping of the cantons and aiding in making new plats.

They believe the municipalities have been negligent in getting their jobs done. They also accuse the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (the tourism institute), the Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo (housing and urbanization institute), the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental (environmental

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What the plan covers

agency), and the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Mares (ministry of environment, energy and oceans) for sitting on their hands.

They noted big bucks were budgeted to get the job done, $92 million in fact. The Inter-American Development Bank, the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, put in $65 million.

The commission concluded that Costa Rica is in a planning crisis. It just cannot get things done. They noted only 31 zoning plans out of 114 have been completed in 10 years by the environmental agency. The investigators felt they are nitpicking projects to death. Literally, most end up closed and put in the historical archive.

Things really got messed up years back when President Abel Pacheco started an internal governmental civil war with his Executive Decree No. 31750-MINAE-TUR published May 14, 2004, in La Gaceta. Also involved in the action was the minister of Turismo, Rodrigo Castro, and the environmental minister, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez.

At stake was the definition of ecotourism.  The workers union and many environmentalists did not agree with the definition expressed in the decree. It modified the definition of ecotourism, saying the word meant something that contributes to the welfare of residents nearby and encouraged exploitation of the natural and cultural heritage. The discourse was all about cutting down trees.

Construction of beach developments in Costa Rica was flash-frozen. All work on zoning plans was tabled. The Sala VI began considering the complex case that pit the central government against its own employees and environmentalists. The court combined two cases together considering the same matter into the one now famous file 04-005607-0007-CO.

This case was finally resolved with resolution 16975 in November of 2008. It found Decree 31750-MINAE-TUR unconstitutional. This set the framework for the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Mares to set up no-cutting zones for trees seriously limiting where developers could build in the maritime zone. Some concession property was determined 100% percent forest reserve with no building permitted at all.

All least with the decision, work on maritime zoning plans started again. However, most of the ones in process at the time had to be dumped or modified extensively.

Eleven of the most important cantons in Costa Rica have no viable zoning plans. A legislative commission concluding the country is in a planning crisis and is unable to get organized.

Hopefully, the Municipalidad de Carrillo is setting a positive example with its new plan. Fifteen days of public review started Friday.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 45-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2015, use without permission prohibited.

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Casa Presidencial photo          
     Hundreds took to the streets Sunday morning in a march against
     violence to children. The march is expected to lend support for
     measures in the legislature to increase penalties for injuries to

Chinchilla defamation case back to court

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Of all the bad things said, true or false, about politicians, Alberto Rodríguez Baldí clearly is not unusual.

But he is a man who must stand trial again because former president Laura Chinchilla said he has defamed her with a Facebook posting.

The case also shows up the convoluted nature of Costa Rican law.  Rodríguez was acquitted last year by a trial court in a decision that seemed to give citizens plenty of slack in talking about elected officials.

Rodríguez claimed that Ms. Chinchilla has land holdings in Guanacaste and has an interest in a power generating operation. Both appear to be false statements.

An appeals court just threw out the acquittal and ordered a new trial. Ms. Chinchilla is seeking 100 million colons, some $190,000. And the loser probably will face ample lawyer fees.

Ms. Chinchilla had a rough four years as president, and perhaps this is why she is among the few heads of state that would seek to carry a defamation case forward. That she chooses to do so certainly chills public comments.

Unlike newspapers, voters are not required to be letter perfect in their presentation of the facts. Neither are politicians, who certainly have a better platform than Facebook to respond to criticism.

The new defamation trial's verdict could have a significant impact on free speech here.

Climate draft balloons during discussion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Negotiators drafting a climate change agreement have doubled the size of the text they began with. Some of the nearly 200 delegates who attended the week-long session are concerned that the expanded text may complicate efforts to combat global warming.

The delegates began this round of talks with the aim of streamlining the 39-page text. Instead, the draft of this climate change agreement has ballooned to 86 pages.

Ilze Pruse, the head of the Latvian delegation to the European Union who actively pushed for a pruned-down version of the text, put a brave face on the results.

"We are happy that it is owned by and reflects the views of parties," she said. "It will be a guide for our negotiations in the coming months and in this respect, I think we can consider Geneva as an important step forward. …

"We have to move forward in a practical and collaborative way involving all parties as well as a broad range of other stakeholders. We are all working for the same end, an international, legally binding global climate agreement applicable to all parties that keeps us on track to our below-2-degrees target and helps us to avoid dangerous climate change.”

For this to be achieved, scientists say nations must cut greenhouse gas emissions to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial warming. But time is running out. In just 10 months, world leaders will gather in Paris to sign a climate change agreement. The road ahead is bound to prove rocky.

An end-of-March deadline has been set for governments to declare their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for June in Bonn.

Elina Bardram, head of the European Commission delegation, put a diplomatic spin on the week’s events, saying the negotiators had laid down some good ground for further work this year. Despite this, she was barely able to contain her disappointment.

She said the proceedings gave delegates little opportunity to talk about the many changes needed to tackle global warming. She said time was wasted and opportunities lost for making progress.

“Between now and June, we do hope that there will be a very clear view between and among the parties about the working method, about how we are going to speed up things and how we are going to be able to also identify what actually belongs into the core agreement. … So we need to really start working on the substance of the agreement,” Ms. Bardram said.

The substance of the agreement essentially focuses on the lifestyle changes that will have to be made to make life on Earth sustainable.

Scientists warn that continued global warming will uproot millions of people from low-lying islands as sea levels rise. They predict serious consequences will accrue as a result of more frequent, extreme weather events, including food and water shortages, health problems and growing conflicts as people fight over dwindling resources.

Ruta 32 job designated the top priority

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The executive branch has designated the widening of Ruta 32 from Limón to Río Frio as its top priority. That means that lawmakers will have to consider the measure.

There is a deadline of Feb. 28 that has been imposed by the People's Republic of China, which is providing the financing. A Chinese firm has been tapped to do the job.

The idea has been in the works for more than a year. A lawmaker from the same political party as President Luis Guillermo Solís was a major obstacle for the project during the presidency of Laura Chinchilla. He pointed out a number of contradictions in the proposed agreement, including that any problems would be adjudicated under Chinese law. He also pointed out that the proposed contract has had ethical problems elsewhere.

The Solís administration has worked to address these issues. However, there still is the fact that no design work has been done, and the Chinese firm would agree to a deal without knowing exactly what has to be done.

The proposal in the legislature is for $485 million, about $50 million more than the earlier proposal. However, some of the money for obtaining right-of-way will be put up by Costa Rica.

The highway is to be widened to four lanes with overpasses at key intersections. The length is about 100 kilometers or about 62 miles. The highway is a key element in the expansion of the Limón ports. The government is even opening a second crossing at the Nicaragua border in anticipation of heavy truck traffic from Limón to the country to the north.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 32
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Wednesday begins the countdown to Semana Santa and Easter
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Wednesday begins the period of Lent, and in Costa Rica that means a 46-day run-up to Easter Sunday.

Here most of the activity comes before Easter. March 27 is a Friday, and the likely start of Semana Santa for those lucky enough to have the entire week off. Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3, are legal holidays as well as holy days, but plenty of Costa Ricans ignore the religious implications and spend the week at the beach or in the mountains.

Tourism operators will not be taking a vacation. Semana Santa is one of the big tourism periods of the year, and the various religious spectacles and processions attract foreigners.

Wednesday is the day that the faithful are anointed by ash at

 a church service. The weekend and days leading up to Ash
Wednesday are celebrated in many countries as a time for carnival. Brazil and New Orleans are well-known for these street parties. This is not the tradition in Costa Rica.

This is, however, a time for tourism operators to check their marketing and begin making preparations for Semana Santa. For expats it is a time to consider how they will celebrate the period and to make reservations early if required.

For everyone this is a time to check the food storage and begin making purchases for the holiday. Merchants usually jack up the prices on traditional foods in the three weeks or so in advance of Easter. Costa Ricans usually eat a lot of sardines, imported cod and jellies made from that industrial-strength squash the chiverre.

There also is a special pastry called Rosca de Pascua.

So many drivers fail to reclaim their cars that there's a giveaway
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The traffic police practice of confiscating vehicles for certain reasons creates a storage problem. To solve the problem, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes has begun donating the junk vehicles to charities, which then receive cash for the metal.

Last week some 2,300 vehicles met this fate. They may not have been junk when police confiscated them, but the donated vehicles all have been in impound lots since at least 2010.

Drivers never try to reclaim the vehicles for a number of reasons. There may be a stack of traffic violations and fines that the owner cannot pay. Or there may be irregularities in the title that cannot be solved.

For whatever reason, the owners have walked away. The ministry workers then have the job of clearing the titles so the vehicles can be junked. The ministry maintains impound lots all over the country.

The donations were to the Asociación Divino Niño Alajuelense con Esperanza y Superación Social, the Fundación Ministerio de Fuerzas Especiales in San Sebastián, Asociación Casa Diurna del Adulto Mayor Esperanza in Zurquí, San Miguel and Santo Domingo de Heredia and the Fundación Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José.
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
Eventually this junk car and others will be off to the melting pot.

Weather prediction calls for a slow reduction in high winds
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The weather forecasters are promising a slow falling off of the windy conditions today and through the rest of the week.  The forecast follows a day that saw gusts in the Central valley and on the Pacific coast of up to 100 kph, or a bit more than 60 mph.

The wind knocked down several utility poles and even a cell tower. Commercial signs were smashed all over the country.

 Sunday morning appears to be the most windy period this year.
The forecast for today from the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional calls for gusts at times up to 80 kph (nearly 50 mph) with light rain on the Caribbean, the northern zone and the northern section of the Central Valley.

Winds are normal at this time of year as high pressure in the north drives the weather system.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 32
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Aggressive AIDS adds more danger to those Cuban sex tourism trips
By the A.M. Costa Rica news staff
and wire services

Expats here who are sex tourists to Cuba have an additional worry.

An aggressive form of the human immunodeficiency virus has been discovered in Cuba. It develops into full-blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome within just three years. Researchers said the progression happens so fast that treatment with antiretroviral drugs may come too late.

Cuba has become the sex tourism location of choice for some foreign residents here due to the relatively low cost of travel there. There also are suggestions that a few islands in the Communist country are not closely watched by the puritans in Havana.

Anne-Mieke Vandamme said Cuban health officials first alerted her about the aggressive form of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. They asked for help in finding out what was happening.

“We have a collaborative project with Cuba and the Cuban clinicians had noticed that they recently had more and more patients who were progressing much faster to AIDS than they were used to. In this case, most of these patients had AIDS even at diagnosis already,” she said.

Professor Vandamme is a full medical professor at the University of Leuvan in Belgium. She and her team studied more than 70 patients and divided them into various groups. One group was made up of those who developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome quickly.

“So this group of patients that progressed very fast, they were all recently infected. And we know that because they had

been HIV negative tested one or a maximum two years before,” she said.

She said that on average, without treatment, human immunodeficiency virus infection takes 5 to 10 years to become full-blown AIDS. That’s determined by the scarcity of CD-4 immune cells and the number of opportunistic infections a patient has.

Usually, she said, a fast progression of HIV to AIDS is more a result of the patient’s weak immune system rather than the particular subtype of HIV involved. What’s happening in Cuba is different.

“Here we had a variant of HIV that we found only in the group that was progressing fast. Not in the other two groups. We focused in on this variant, tried to find out what was different. And we saw it was a recombinant of three different subtypes,” she said.

Professor Vandamme said, “Another thing was that they had much more virus in their blood than the other patients. So, what we call the viral load was higher in these patients. “

The good news is that the aggressive form of human immunodeficiency virus responds to most antiretroviral drugs. The bad news is people may not realize they have full-blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome until it’s too late for therapy to do any good.

Professor Vandamme said the variant has been seen before in Africa, but there were very few such patients and it does not appear to be spreading there. However, it is in wide circulation now in Cuba and now can be easily studied. So, there may be an African link, but further study is needed.

She said it’s vital for people having unprotected sex with multiple partners to be tested early and often.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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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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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 32
Real Estate
About us


Danish shootings called
a cynical act of terror

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Danish police shot and killed a suspect early Sunday in the slayings of two people in Copenhagen since Saturday, in what the country's prime minister calls a cynical act of terror against Denmark.

Authorities said the Denmark-born 22-year-old alleged gunman was fatally shot after he opened fire on officers near a train station.

His previous criminal record included violence and weapons offenses, according to police.

Officials said no evidence suggests other gunmen were involved in the shootings, one at a free-speech event and the other outside a Copenhagen synagogue.

Police investigator Joegen Skov said Sunday, "We are still faced with a huge investigation. We need to make sure that our theory is, in fact, correct.

"A number of things indicate that we did get the right man, but we still have to investigate whether he acted alone, but at the moment there is nothing to suggest that any other perpetrators were involved," Skov said.

In the first attack, a gunman with an automatic weapon killed one person and wounded three police officers at a cafe. Danish media identified the deceased as film director Finn Norgaard, 55.

The free-speech event was also attended by Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who is known for provocative drawings, including a 2007 cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that led to threats against the 68 year old.

The French ambassador to Denmark, Francois Zimeray, also attended the discussion. Both were unharmed in the shooting.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attacks.

The United States condemned the attack at the cafe, calling it deplorable.

We remain in communication with Danish authorities and have offered to be of assistance in any way needed," State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Hours later, volunteer Dan Uzan was guarding a bat mitzvah ceremony when he was killed and two police officers wounded in the synagogue shooting.

Standing in front of the temple, Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt offered condolences on Sunday.

"Our thoughts go to the whole of the Jewish community today. They belong in Denmark, they are strong part of our community. And we will do everything we can to protect the Jewish community in our country," Thorning-Schmidt said.

In light of the violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Jewish people in Europe to immigrate to Israel, as he did following a deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris last month.

Zimeray was expected to talk about the impact of last month's attacks in France on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and the kosher grocery.

Those earlier attacks by Muslim extremists left 20 people dead, including the attackers. The French magazine was known for mocking religion and had published several cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Speaking from the Danish capital on Sunday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve observed the similar reactions in both countries.

"I saw this morning the same sadness I saw in the terrified gaze of Parisians in the month of January. The same sadness, the same fright, the same dignity, the same contemplation and the same sorrow," Cazeneuve said at a news conference.

Threats and attacks against cartoonists whose work has angered Muslims began with the publication of 12 editorial cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. The paper said the cartoons, most of which depicted the Prophet Muhammad, were part of an attempt to contribute to the debate about criticism of Islam and self-censorship.

The cartoons eventually led to protests around the world, including violent demonstrations and riots in some Muslim countries.

Between October 2005 and early January 2006, examples of the cartoons were reprinted in major European newspapers from the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Romania, and Switzerland. After major international protests, they were re-published around the globe, but primarily in continental Europe.

Numerous violent plots related to the cartoons have been discovered in the years since.

Artists other than cartoonists have also been the targets of Muslims for their work. British-Indian author Salman Rushdie's novel "Satanic Verses" led to death threats made against him, including a fatwa calling for his assassination issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, in 1989.

Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was killed in November 2004 by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim angered by Van Gogh's short film "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women in Islam.

In neighboring Germany Sunday, a carnival parade was canceled on short notice in the town of Braunschweig due to what authorities called a concrete threat of an Islamist attack.

Police did not reveal the nature of the threat.

European Union countries want to boost security and intelligence sharing amid mounting fears of radical Islam and more attacks to come. But Anne Giudicelli, founder of Paris analysis group Terr(o)risc, said these measures only address part of the problem.

"The debate is: How we can produce such people who are our children? And how it comes that they want to kill people who are their own citizens?" she asked.

Obama to host summit
without mentioning Islam

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama on Wednesday will host a summit bringing together police, religious leaders and others to confront extremism in American neighborhoods.

The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism will look at domestic and international efforts to go after the root causes of extremism and find ways to stop young people in America and elsewhere from joining terrorist groups like the Islamic State.

The January terrorist attacks in Paris raised concerns enough for Obama to schedule the long-postponed summit. In recent statements condemning extremism, he has been careful not to name Islam, but rather religious intolerance in general, as a culprit.

“One of the best antidotes to the hateful ideologies that try to recruit and radicalize people to violent extremism is our own example as diverse and tolerant societies that welcome the contributions of all people, including people of all faiths,” he said.

It is sometimes in America’s tough, gang-infested neighborhoods that this vision seems endangered.

A YouTube video put out by the FBI showing an Islamic State fighter speaking in North American English has heightened U.S. officials' concerns that marginalized young Americans may be vulnerable to recruitment. 

Anti-gang and outreach efforts by forces like the Los Angeles Police Department are serving as a model for ways to stop radicalization among American youths, and police from Los Angeles and other urban areas will be part of the discussion.

“There are communities in this country where law enforcement officials have worked successfully with community leaders, many in the Muslim community, to counteract those efforts to radicalize vulnerable young people, in most cases," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "And so this would be an opportunity, a forum where the president could discuss those efforts with community leaders and law enforcement officials from across the country so they can share those kinds of best practices with leaders in other communities.”

But critics say the topic is so general and the issues so complex that it will be difficult to come up with effective programs to address the causes of extremism.

Security analyst Philip Lohaus of the American Enterprise Institute said a discussion on Islamic extremism would eventually be necessary.

“It’s important to keep a very particular focus here," he said. "I would agree they need to make sure they’re focusing specifically on mechanisms and reasons why people would be involved in Islamic extremism, for example, rather than extremism at large, but I do think it’s a good first step, and perhaps there can be some follow-on conversations that are more targeted toward Islamic extremism specifically.”

Fire at Islamic center
might be an act of arson

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Investigators in the southern U.S. state of Texas are looking at whether a fire that destroyed part of an Islamic center was intentionally set.

The blaze began early Friday at the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, which includes a mosque and school. No one was injured.

According to a statement by the center's staff on Facebook, "The investigators have made clear that the fire was not accidental."

"Let us be clear: the investigation is ongoing," the institute added. "Please do not spread hate; spread love, tolerance, and harmony, just as Prophet Muhammad did."

The space where the fire began was being used to store computer equipment and other material for a renovation project, the center said.

The Texas investigation comes amid increased scrutiny on attacks on Muslim communities.

Police in the state of North Carolina are looking into whether the fatal shootings of three young Muslims near a university campus last week were religiously motivated.

Authorities in Chapel Hill said the killings stemmed from a long-standing parking dispute, however friends and family of the victims have called the attack a hate crime.

One man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Islamic State beheads
21 Coptic Christians

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A video has emerged that purports to show militants of the Islamic State terrorist group beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya.

The video, released late Sunday, shows men in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant.  The men are made to kneel and one militant addresses the camera in English before the men are simultaneously beheaded.

The brutal murders were portrayed as retaliation against what a masked fighter described as the hostile Egyptian church. Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the Egyptian population and suffer widespread discrimination and persecution.

In a televised speech following the killings, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi announced that he was banning all Egyptians from entering Libya and that Egypt reserved the right to respond to the murders, which he called an abhorrent act of terrorism, in a suitable way and at the right time.

Before his address to the nation, Sissi called an emergency meeting with the national defense council, the country’s top security body, to discuss a possible response.

News of the killings first broke on social media on Feb. 12, but the Egyptian government did not comment.

The release of the video brought swift responses by religious institutions in Egypt. The Coptic Church in a statement called on its followers to have "confidence that their great nation won't rest without retribution for the evil criminals.''
Al Azhar, the prestigious Cairo-based seat of Islamic learning, said no religion would accept such barbaric acts.

The video follows others last month from the extremist group that showed the immolation death of a Jordanian pilot shot down over Syria and videos showing the execution of two Japanese hostages. 

Since 2014, a number of persons from countries around the world have been beheaded by the Islamic State.  Some of the beheadings have apparently been conducted by an individual who appears in several videos speaking English with a British accent. He is known by the pseudonym Jihadi John.

The group has beheaded three Americans -- journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig.  They have also killed Britons David Haines, a former Royal Air Force engineer; Alan Henning, a taxi driver from northwest England; and British photojournalist John Cantlie.

Earlier this month the Islamic State group announced the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, but blamed her demise on airstrikes by the Jordanian military.  The 26-year-old woman had been held by the Islamists for 18 months.  Jordan and the United States have denied she was killed in a coalition airstrike.

Two senators begin trip
to generate Cuban trade

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A day after the U.S. announced it was loosening restrictions on Cuban imports, two U.S. senators began a four-day trade mission to the island.

Sens. Claire McCaskill from the Midwestern state of Missouri and Amy Klobuchar from the north central state of Minnesota, both Democrats, went to Cuba Saturday to explore the new opportunities with Cuba.

The U.S. announced Friday it was allowing small private Cuban businesses to sell goods and services to the U.S., except for food and agricultural products, alcohol, tobacco products and some textiles.

Sen. McCaskill said she was interested in finding out what the farmers in Missouri could sell to Cubans.

"I come from a very big agricultural state. We would love to sell the Cuban people more rice. We would love to sell them more chicken. And more beans and more corn. So hopefully this trip will also help my farmers at home," Sen. McCaskill said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Klobuchar talked about what other changes the U.S. and Cuba could see with the lifting of restrictions, including the opening of a U.S. embassy in Cuba.

"President Obama has been working to bring an embassy here, and that's why we're looking at making changes to that first. I think that's really important. And then the next thing would be looking at travel restrictions. We've made some changes there -- relatives have been able to come in, but I think it's really important to lift that," Sen. Klobuchar said.

Not all U.S. lawmakers have been pleased with the prospect of normalizing relations with Cuba. Some Cuban-American lawmakers strongly oppose Barack Obama's shift in policy toward Cuba, while others say it is past time to end the more than five-decades-old U.S. embargo against the island country.

Obama announced late last year that he and Cuban President Raúl Castro were working together to normalize relations between the two countries.

U.S. aviation regulator
publishes drone rule draft

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. aviation agency published a draft of new rules that would regulate the use of small, commercial drones, if approved.

The document, nearly 10 years in the making, requires in part that the unmanned aircraft stay away from bystanders, only fly during the day, and fly at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

Special certification for drone operators would also be necessary under the Federal Aviation Administration's regulations. 

Public comment and revision are required to finalize the document, a process expected to take at least a year.

The draft publication comes as the White House Sunday issued a memorandum to federal agencies detailing safeguards against civil rights and privacy violations in drone use.

It includes an order to keep personally identifiable information collected in drone flights no longer than 180 days with some exceptions.

Earlier this year, a small drone crashed onto the grounds of the White House, prompting a lockdown of the complex while authorities examined it.

A man later came forward to say he was responsible, telling authorities he was flying the drone recreationally and accidentally lost control of the craft.  Officials said the man is a Washington resident and is cooperating with law enforcement officials.

The Secret Service described the drone as a 61-centimeter quadcopter, a small, unmanned aircraft that is lifted by four propellers.

Populist wave in India
elevates new party in Delhi

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Aam Aadmi or Common Man’s Party won by a landslide in local Delhi elections this week after promising to clean up India's politics. Its challenge to mainstream parties with its brand of alternative politics will be tested as it rules the capital city for the next five years.

On the streets of Delhi, hawkers, vendors, auto rickshaw drivers and rickshaw pullers are all smiles after Aam Aadmi's astonishing victory.

They recall how they had become free when the party briefly ruled Delhi for 49 days last year. They say policemen stopped asking for bribes and they were not harassed by officials when they tried to get licenses or ration cards.

Aam Aadmi, which rose out of a street movement to combat corruption two years ago, decimated both India’s national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress Party, winning a historic 67 out of 70 sets in the Delhi Assembly.

The bedrock of its support was the city’s underclass, which makes up nearly two-thirds of the city’s 17 million people. To these residents struggling on less than $225 a month in vast slums or cramped homes, the prospect of not having to hand out petty bribes spells massive relief.

Founded by Arvind Kejriwal, a former tax inspector turned activist, the party made its political debut last year in Delhi, but quit after a brief spell because it lacked a majority. He was dismissed as an agitator with no stomach for governance. The party’s efforts to make a national presence flopped. Most thought it had no future.

But Kejriwal’s stunning comeback is being seen as a yearning for the promise he holds out,  a much stronger focus on the underprivileged and cleaner politics. His party’s many promises include free water, cheaper electricity, more schools, affordable housing and free wifi.

Bus-train collision kills
at least 16 in México

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A collision between a bus and a train has killed 16 people in northern México.

Another 30 people were injured Friday when the train slammed into the bus in the city of Anahuace, Nuevo León state emergency officials say.

Witnesses say the bus failed to stop at a railroad crossing, despite a warning light.

The death toll for the accident that happened near Mexico's border with Texas is expected to rise, authorities say.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Enphase-Micro-Inverters: Simple, reliable, installation without batteries or complicated central inverters that limit expansion and downgrade your system with one shady panel.
Enphase-Micro-Inverters: so flexible; you can begin saving with a third of a system, then add as you go with your savings!

Think of it this way: cash in a CD paying 7% and get 15% to 25% from the Sun!  What better way to lower your electric bill than with a Quality Solar System from CR Solar?    Ask about our BEST HI END Solar Hot Water Heaters. 
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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
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English 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, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 32
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
 A little nut that is a real challenge

I really like the cashew nut tree; it’s absolutely lovely.  First, it gets its new leaves in a dark red, really pretty against the shiny green of the old leaves.  Then it gets an inflorescence of fragrant pink flowers – the scent is powerful and can fill an entire yard with perfume.  Then come
Victoria torley
the cashew apples – crisp and tangy – with a funny little half-circle at the bottom:  the cashew nut.

No other nut lives outside the enclosure of the fruit. The cashew is an oddity of nature.  How man ever decided to try this nut is beyond me.  The only thing we can think of is that a forest fire devastated an
  area and left the husk of the nut open.  After enjoying his first ever roasted cashew nut, man (more likely woman) decided that roasting the nut would yield food.  Because, believe me, you don’t want to try to open that husk without first either heating or freezing it (hence the forest fire scenario, since we seldom get freezing temperatures in Costa Rica).

I tried to de-husk a nut once – only once – by hitting it with a hammer. I thought I had protected myself adequately, but I ended up with what looked like small burns up my arm.  I learned that lesson very quickly: do not try to open the nut without preparation.  What preparation?  One Web site I visited suggested freezing the nut first.  Another said that you should fry the whole nut in oil, and another said that the oven was the best place for the cashew.  A long, slow bake to defuse the toxins and then you could crack it open.

Well, the ones I froze turned to mush, and I was afraid of the frying method since a friend said she had tried it and ended up with burns.  Hmmmm.  Sounds like the oven method next.   Unfortunately, I have no more nuts to try this with . . . have to wait for a harvest. 

All that aside, I still think the cashew is a lovely tree.  The foliage is shiny, the new foliage is a great contrast, and the apples, although tart, are delightfully crisp and tangy.  Plus, the toucans can tolerate the toxic husk and seeds and will visit you to enjoy the cashew that you find too much trouble to harvest.  If you have chickens, you might find them feasting on fallen cashew apples. They are quite content with them. 

As for me, until the next harvest period, I will enjoy my cashew nuts, shelled, roasted, and salted by somebody else – anybody but me.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley     
Plant of the Day
What else but the cashew?  The flowers are only a centimeter or so across (less than ½ inch) and hang in multiples from the inflorescence.   So far, I have only had one or two cashew apples for each inflorescence, but, with a little fertilizer, I have hope for more.  And look at those leaves!

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit

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From Page 7:

Hijacking plagues exporters and importers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hijackings are a continual problem for merchants, farmers and manufacturers.

The latest is that of a container of new tires being sent to Panamá. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that three men jumped a driver when he stopped for a break in Jacó. They tied him up and put him in the sleeper compartment.

The tires, manufactured in Alajuela, and the container carrying them were removed from the trailer. The judicial report said the tires had a value of  $78,000.

Prime targets for hijackers are trucks loaded with merchandise coming from the Moín docks. Flat screen televisions have been hijacked several times. Earlier this month, crooks hijacked a load of coffee headed for export.