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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 34                            Email us
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;ale Arenal

Building plan highlights government rental woes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Much has been written about government salaries, but less known are the expenses needed to keep employees at work.

The Ministerio de Hacienda has a plan to buy a giant office building north of San Pedro in San Francisco de Goicoechea. In doing so, the ministry shed some light on its rental expenses.

Most expats know about the former Banco Anglo building that houses Hacienda's executive offices across Avenida 2 from the Teatro Nacional. Many also know that the real customer service by the ministry and its Dirección General de Tributación is done at an eight-story office tower in Barrio Don Bosco.

However, the ministry had disclosed that it maintains 17 buildings for its 2,000 workers, and 13 of them are rented.

The agency wants to buy the Centro Corporativo El Tobogán for $121.7 million. This is a building containing 32,000 square meters (344,445 square feet), and it even has a heliport.

The Contraloría General de la República Tuesday rejected the plan to buy the building without competitive bidding.

The ministry immediately issued a press release saying that the purchase was necessary to save money. The statement said that the ministry in the last six years paid $90 million in rents and also paid $41.7 million in operating expenses in the Central Valley.  The Contraloria said the annual rental costs to the ministry is $11 million.

The estimated $10.1 million a year to buy the building would be less, the ministry said.

The Contraloria's main objection was that Hacienda had no money to make the purchase and that such sums had not been put in the national budget. The ministry suggests it will present a revised budget and use the rent money to effect the purchase. There also is a lien on the structure, and the government is not supposed to buy property that has an existing mortgage.

The Tobogán is supposed to be highly efficient in energy.

The ministry said that the building is the only one suitable in the area and that it would take years to draw up the specifications for a bidding process. The Contraloría outlined a series of options for rental and purchases involving property in San Pedro and on Paseo Colón.

Not clear is who actually owns the Tobogán. The Registro Nacional lists the owner as Banco Improsa S. A., said the Contraloría. But the bank is serving as a trustee.

The ministry appears ready for a fight to get the building it wants. A revised budget certainly will be presented to counter one
of the chief criticisms by the Contraloría.
Centro Corporativo El Tobogán photo
Centro Corporativo El Tobogán

Con Bosco office tower
Ministerio de Hacienda photo
Don Bosco office tower

Main office of Hacienda at night
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Main office of Hacienda at night

Other government entities also are having building problems. The Asamblea Legislativa wants to erect a new tower, but the culture ministry is objecting for heritage reasons.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo has the opposite problem. It purchased the current structure in 2004 from the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo.
The sprawling  5,200 square meter (55,972 square foot) building cost $2.5 million at the time and the Coalition held the mortgage.
The space is nearly double what the institute was paying the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social for four floors in its headquarters building.

Those who work there say there is plenty of space.

An interesting side note is that Casa Presidencial in Zapote is rented by the government.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 34

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

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
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Work expected to begin in Moín March 8

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A ceremony is planned Sunday, March 8, when APM Terminals is scheduled to begin work on its $1 billion container-handling facility in Moín.

Casa Presidencial said Tuesday that President Luis Guillermo Solís and cabinet members will conduct an official visit that day to verify the start of work.

Of course, that will only take place if there are no more court cases or violence on the part of Limón dockworker union members and supporters.

The container facility is expected to greatly increase the efficiency of the docks. APM, a Dutch firm, is building it as a concession. Control of the facility eventually will revert to the government.

The firm has to obtain environmental approval because the container docks will be on an artificial island in the harbor.

Environmentalists cite Ruta 32 concerns

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An environmental group has presented a litany of complaints against the proposed widening of Ruta 32 from Limón to Río Frio.  This is the project that has the highest priority of the government.

The organization, Federación Conservacionista de Costa Rica, questioned why a bill approving the job calls for expediting the environmental studies.

The president, Mauricio Álvarez M. a Universidad de Costa Rica professor, called this a constitutional violation.

He said the route runs through areas that are major water sources and mangroves.

Álvarez called for a cleaner project and suggested an electric train instead of widening the highway to four lanes. Much of the electricity would be produced at hydro plants, he noted.

Plans call for approval by the end of the month of the bill authorizing the project. However, court actions are likely, and that might cause problems with the government of the People's Republic of China, which would finance the $475 million job. Costa Rica has gotten one extension on the project.

Court says prisoner count is not secret

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has upheld the public's right to obtain information about the prison population.

In a brief note Tuesday afternoon, the Poder Judicial said that the court upheld an appeal filed by David Delgado, a reporter for La Nación, the Spanish-language daily.

Delgado had asked the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz for a breakdown of prisoner populations in each facility. It is no secret that the country's prisons are overcrowded.

He was denied his request by the minister, Cristina Ramírez Chavarría, who said that the numbers were state secrets.

The court obviously did not agree, and the Poder Judicial note suggests the decision was unanimous.

Almost immediately, the Ministerio de  Justicia y Paz said that the minister would hold a press conference today, presumably to amplify her side of the story.

Winds give away to hot and sticky

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The winds are dying down, and there is a chance that humid air will again invade the country from the oceans.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that bochornosa is the word for the north Pacific and the Central Valley. That translates to hot and sticky.

The Caribbean and the northern zone is likely to see rain today, the institute said.

Drought brings desalination efforts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The drought in California and the predictions of even drier times are generating efforts to desalinate water.

The technology might eventually help Costa Ricans on the Pacific coast of Guanacaste where there is a continual water shortage. In fact, water is one of the key brakes on development there.

Desalination has made headlines in recent months as a possible solution to  California's water shortage. But in addition to being expensive, its byproduct — salty brine — can harm marine life once it’s reintroduced into the ocean, according to a report from Humboldt State University.

A team of researchers from Humboldt and the University of Southern California is hoping to address those concerns with a new process called reverse osmosis-pressure retarded osmosis.

The team recently received a $600,000 grant from the California Department of Water Resources to develop a portable system in Samoa, California, which could lower the cost of desalination and reduce its impact on the environment, according to a university release.

“The high cost and environmental impact of desalination are major issues preventing it from becoming a reliable, drought-resistant water supply,” said Andrea Achilli, an environmental resources engineering professor at Humboldt State, who holds a patent on the technology with researchers from the University of Southern California and Colorado School of Mines.

Our reader's opinion
Zoning mandate puts squeeze on some

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read Garland Baker's article about the municipalities without zoning plans on beach areas.

Last June 9, it appeared in the official La Gazeta Law #9242 named Law to Legalize Illegal Constructions on the Maritime Terrestrial Zone, which gives the municipalities the ability to allow the existence of constructions considered illegal, suggest modifications to them or even order the demolition if there is any danger or environmental damage is caused.

This law also says that municipalities that do not have an approved zoning plan must approve a plan within two years, which is going to be complicated especially for small cantons where such local governments usually are poorly funded.

Or in order to comply with the deadline they might approve some crazy stuff . . . .
Allan Garro N.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 34
Real Estate
About us
bridge locations
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad graphic
Map shows the five locations where officials say bridges will be installed.
Five bridges planned for route along south side of Osa peninsula
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials plan to make the route from Puerto Jiménez to Carate in the Osa peninsula an all-weather road. This is about 43 kilometers, and the job will take five of those metal bailey bridges.

The bridges are going in at the ríos Sombrerito and Piro and the Carbonera, Bijagual and Camañín waterways. The work will provide access to a small airfield at Carate, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

The job is estimated to be about $2.5 million, which includes
 improvement and gravel for the entire stretch, said officials.

The work is expected to begin after approval comes from the Contraloría General de la República and environmental authorities. That is estimated to take about three months. The job, itself, is expected to last four months. Some of the work will be to install concrete footings for the bridges as well as retaining walls, according to the plans.

The improved road is expected to provide better access to the Parque Nacional Corcovado.

Lack of bridges closed the route during times of high water.

Blaze that fatally injured homeless man could become a murder
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

First investigators have to determine if a fire in a vacant lot Sunday morning was set with criminal motives. Was the blaze an accident or murder?

A short time later a 40-year-old man with the last name of Mora showed up at Hospital San Juan de Dios.

Physicians concluded that he was burned over 80 percent of his body, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Mora died Monday. Investigators said that Mora, a habitué of a section of Alajuelita, was sleeping in the lot when the fire

broke out. Eventually he managed to flee but not before facing flames.

Aggression against the homeless and the vagrants in the Central Valley takes place from time to time, but the cases seldom make the newspapers.

Unlike elsewhere, there does not seem to be individuals systematically trying to inflict harm on vagrants.

Plenty of vacant lots harbor rough construction that houses the homeless. The sites are well known to social service workers and police. Investigators will have to figure out if the person who started the Alajuelita fire knew Mora was there.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Ex-investigator ran burglary and robber gang, Poder Judicial says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said Tuesday that a gang of crooks led by a former judicial investigator specialized in nighttime burglaries at businesses.

In addition, the gang is accused of nine aggravated robberies at clothing stores, jewelry outlets and shoe stores in San Ramón, Heredia, Grecia, San José, Ciudad Colón and Cartago.
In seven raids Tuesday law enforcement officers detained four men and two women. They identified the former investigator by the last name of Alpizar. He was detained at his home in Ciudad Colón, official said. They added that he left the judicial police in 2000 due to a disability.

The gang was precise in its crimes because it spent a lot of time casing the store, sometimes acting as customers, said the Poder Judicial. If the gang chose to visit the location at night, crooks had tools to cut the chains and easily gain access to the metal security curtain in front.

Then when they left, they replaced the chain and lock with one of their own so that police passing by might not suspect a burglary had been committed, said the Poder Judicial and the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The crimes attributed to the gang run from August to December, the Poder Judicial said.

Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Some of the clothing and tools confiscated Tuesday.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 908
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,850. See more photos HERE!
Grecia  909
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,500 . See more photos HERE!
Grecia 907
Beautiful house for rent, near to Puente Piedra street . Very secure. Price $1,000 . More photos HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 34
Real Estate
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U.S. judge puts a hold
on Obama immigration plan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's effort to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, a day before its first phase was to begin.

Late Monday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of 26 states, including Texas, that had sued to stop Obama's order.

Obama had said in November that he would use prosecutorial discretion to protect some undocumented immigrants from deportation. The states that sued argued that he had exceeded his constitutional authority and would impose financial burdens on them.

Hanen's temporary injunction was not a ruling on the merits of the executive action, but it did block the first phase of the president’s program from going into effect as planned.  The initiative would have expanded a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson said that he strongly disagreed with the ruling and that the administration would appeal.  Johnson, however, said federal employees would comply with the injunction.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Tuesday that he was proud to report Hanen's ruling. "In Texas, we will not sit idly by while the president ignores the law and fails to secure the border.”

Others also welcomed the ruling, including a number of  Republican lawmakers and activists. 

Roy Beck, president and CEO of an organization called NumbersUSA that wants to reduce the number of immigrants to the United States, said undocumented immigrants should not count on directives issued by Obama.

“The same government that takes your information and gives out the documents can potentially change and look for you to round you up and deport you,” he said.

Immigrant-rights activists condemned the decision, saying that Hanen was just one judge in a long process and that he was known for issuing immigration rulings thought by some to be outside the mainstream of legal thought.

“Immigrants, their families and our communities should not despair or be afraid," said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. "In fact, that is a part of the intention behind this political lawsuit.  The intention is to create confusion and fear in our communities.”

Debbie Smith of the Service Employees International Union had a similar message for immigrant families directly affected by the ruling: “Don’t panic; keep preparing; keep gathering documentation. We think that this is a timeout, a bump in the road.”

While the states' lawsuit against the executive order plays out in court, the issue is also the focus of a bitter partisan fight in Congress.

Republican lawmakers linked funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which expires at the end of this month, to measures blocking the president’s deferred deportations. The bill has not been able to clear a procedural hurdle in the Republican-led Senate because of Democratic opposition. It is not yet clear what impact the Texas ruling will have on what is shaping up to be another high-stakes showdown in Congress.

U.S. investor residency
questioned as infiltration

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. immigration investment program is coming under new scrutiny after an investigative report questioned the desirability of some who have used it to come to America. 

The report by the ABC News program "Nightline" shed light on the national security implications of the EB-5 program, in which wealthy foreigners can get U.S. residency in exchange for $500,000 in investments.

Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, said the investigation had found some people who used the program were suspected of involvement in child pornography, narcotics trafficking, fraud or espionage.

The report also said authorities were investigating whether Iran might have used the program as a means to infiltrate the United States as well as engage in smuggling and terrorism.

Charles Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa who raised national security concerns about the immigration program, has asked for further investigation. “If this program is being used to undercut our national security, it is something that's got to be exposed,” Grassley told ABC.

But Ronald Klasko, a Philadelphia immigration attorney, argued that the EB-5 program was less likely to bring terrorists or criminals into the U.S. than any other immigration program.

“There are about seven or eight different levels of review within Citizenship and Immigration Services, within the Department of Homeland Security and within the U.S. Department of State that EB-5 investors have to go through," he said in an interview. "So you have the best chance of making certain that you are not bringing terrorists or criminals to the U.S., more chance of being certain on that for EB-5 than there is any other U.S. immigration program."

The issue of undesirable immigrants isn’t the only complaint about the program.

The EB-5 visa for immigrant investors was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 to help stimulate the U.S. economy.  The program allows foreign investors to obtain U.S. permanent residency, spouse and unmarried children under 21 included, if they invest $500,000 in targeted employment areas that will create at least 10 full-time jobs.

But David North of the Center for Immigration Studies said he strongly opposed the link between green cards, which attest to an immigrant's permanent resident status, and large sums of money.

“First, as a matter of principle, the United States and no other countries should sell visas. Secondly, lots of people who do the buying, the investors are being cheated. That is inappropriate. That is a blight on the United States if we allow that sort of thing to go on," he said.

But others called the program a win-win-win situation. Peter Joseph, executive director of Invest in the USA, said the program benefited foreign investors, American workers and the economy.

“The investor is able to get immigration benefits based on their investment," he said. "The American economy benefits from that investment, watching it travel through different businesses that grow as a result. And of course the American worker who now is able to be employed, thanks to that capital investment."

Joseph said that since its inception, the EB-5 program had created 57,000 full-time employment opportunities and that the U.S. economy had received $8.6 billion in benefits.

Winter weather dealing
another bad hand to U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States woke up without power Tuesday and federal government offices in Washington were closed after a band of snow and ice sliced across the South.

The storm left up to 15 centimeters (almost 6 inches) of snow in Washington, the first significant snowfall of the season for the nation's capital.

At least eight weather-related highway deaths were reported in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Police worked through the night and into Tuesday morning to clear a backup of vehicles stretching 19 kilometers (almost 12 miles) on icy Interstate Highway 40 near Nashville.

The northern edge of the storm brought even more snow to the Northeast. The National Weather Service said the eastern state of Massachusetts has now received more than 2.54 meters (8 feet, 4 inches) of snow this season.

While most people shivered, some found ways to enjoy themselves. In New Orleans, where the annual Mardi Gras celebration is underway, revelers were forced to bundle up as temperatures hovered near freezing.

In Washington, about 150 people gathered for a snowball fight in a city park.

The National Weather Service says unusually cold weather is expected to continue through much of the coming week for the eastern U.S.  

Another arctic front will arrive on the East Coast by tonight, bringing with it some of the coldest temperatures seen in the region for 20 years.

Danish attack suspect
pledged allegiance to IS

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Danish media report the Copenhagen man who attacked a free-speech seminar and a synagogue last weekend swore allegiance to the Islamic State leader just six minutes before he unleashed his deadly barrage of gunfire.

The reports Tuesday said 22-year-old gunman, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, made a Facebook post pledging fealty to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The gunman said he was committed to "Abu Bakr in full obedience in the good and bad things.  And I will not dispute with him unless it is an outrageous belief."
Meanwhile, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service said it had been warned last September by the country’s prison service that Hussein, who had been serving time for a vicious stabbing of a passenger on a train, was at risk of radicalization.

But the security service, known as PET, said it “had, against the background of the alert from the Prison and Probation Service, no reason to believe the now deceased was planning attacks.” 
Hussein was released from prison two weeks before he killed one person and wounded three police officers at a café where the free speech seminar was being  held, and hours later killed a guard at a bat mitzvah ceremony at the synagogue.  Still later, Hussein was killed by police in a shootout.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Monday authorities were investigating Hussein’s background and connections, but had no indication he carried out the attacks as part of an Islamic terror cell.
The Danish premier said the gunman was born in Denmark, and police knew him for several criminal acts and gang connections.  But she said investigators have not linked the suspect to an Islamic cell "that took him to where he was now."
Ms. Thorning-Schmidt and the Danish crown prince joined about 30,000 people in Copenhagen in the bitter Monday cold at a solemn memorial for the shooting victims outside the Krudttoenden cultural center.

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 cartoonist, said he thought he was probably the target of the attack at the cafe.  The French ambassador to Denmark, Francois Zimeray, also attended the discussion.  Both were unharmed in the shooting. 

Anti-extremism meeting
draws many to Washington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A conference bringing together spiritual leaders, police and representatives from more than 60 countries got underway Tuesday in Washington, where President Obama hoped to come up with ways to counter violent extremism.

At a White House roundtable that included officials from Belgium and The Netherlands and local police from across the U.S., Vice President Joe Biden called for an approach that goes beyond air strikes and invasions.

“We’re here today because we all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, we need answers that go beyond a military answer. We need answers that go beyond force,” he said.

Obama administration officials said reaching into America’s toughest neighborhoods was key to discrediting the appeal that terrorists might have, and to preventing young people who want to escape marginalization and isolation from turning to extremist ideologies. 

To that end, the White House invited police from Los Angeles, Boston and Minneapolis, whose youth outreach programs are models for ones Obama would like to set up nationwide.

Biden noted Minneapolis’ efforts to engage members of the city’s Somali-born population. In a light remark, Biden compared the inclusion efforts to those of his home city of Wilmington, Delaware, which also has a community of Somali immigrants.

"If you ever come to the train station with me, you'll notice that I have great relationships with them because there's an awful lot of them driving cabs and are friends of mine — for real," he said.

To some analysts, the remark illustrated the goodwill that exists, but also the work that needs to be done in assimilating America’s recent Muslim immigrants.
While the question of how to prevent extremism at its roots is too large to answer in a three-day summit, analysts said the meeting was an important first step in finding a solution that goes beyond leading wars on terrorists.

Parade tragedy causes
Haiti to cut carnival short

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Haiti's government canceled the last day of carnival and announced three days of mourning Tuesday after 15 people were killed and at least 60 injured after a carnival float hit a power line in the capital, Port-au-Prince, setting off a stampede by bystanders, officials said.

According to witnesses, someone on the float used a pole to move a power line out of the way so the float could pass under it.  Some victims were instantly electrocuted in a flash of sparks.  Amateur video of the incident posted on YouTube appeared to show the electric cable catch the head of a singer from the hip-hop band Barikad Crew as it passed near the presidential stand packed with spectators.

The group's star singer, who goes by the name "Fantom," is in critical condition, the Web site Haiti Press Network reported.

Claude Surena, president of the emergency response unit for carnival said some of the injured were treated at the scene and later transfered to local hospitals.

President Michel Martelly expressed his sincerest sympathies' to the victims in a Twitter message. His wife visited the hospitals that were treating the injured.

Haiti's three-day carnival festivities, the largest in the Caribbean featuring dancing and singing, began Sunday under the theme "Nou Tout Se Ayiti" (we are all Haiti).

The high-spirited annual street parade coincides with other Mardi Gras carnivals around the world and attracts large night-time crowds eager to witness competing bands atop highly-decorated floats.

Synthetic polio vaccine
touted for absent virus

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The development of the oral polio vaccine more than 50 years ago is credited with virtually eradicating the illness worldwide. Now, researchers are looking ahead to the day when the disease no longer exists, even outside the laboratory.

To hasten that day, researchers in Britain are developing a synthetic polio vaccine. It works like one made from live, weakened virus, except it contains synthetic particles inside a viral shell. 

The man-made vaccine mimics the structure of the polio virus, so it would be able to raise a strong immune response in humans. And because it does not contain the pathogen, there would be no risk of exposure, even in the case of an accidental release during the manufacture process.

Dave Stuart is a professor of structural biology at Oxford University and life sciences director at Diamond Light Source, a high-tech light science facility in which X-rays and spectroscopy techniques are used to make synthetic vaccines.

Stuart said the man-made polio vaccine could eventually eliminate pockets of infection in nature as the microbe dies out.

"What we are trying to sort of think through is how do we get to the point where we can stop vaccinating," he said.

"If the vaccine is not a virus, then you have got the chance of not producing virus and not have virus circulating in the environment. It will be very difficult, but one would hope that eventually you would be able to eradicate the virus.  And then one could stop vaccination, because then the virus would have gone completely," Stuart added.

The synthetic polio vaccine is modeled on a similar innovation, an effective, man-made vaccine to combat foot-and-mouth disease.

Stuart said researchers have assembled the components of the new polio vaccine, which is awaiting effectiveness studies. The vaccine would be easy to make quickly and to store, he added.

The work, funded by the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was presented Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in California.

Beagle takes the honors
at Westminster dog show

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 4-year-old beagle named Miss P was awarded the top prize at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City Tuesday night.

The Canadian-born Miss P won the best in show ribbon over six other competitors, including a black standard poodle named Flame, an Old English sheepdog named Swagger, and a Portuguese water dog named Matisse, a cousin of President Barack Obama's dog Sunny, who has won a record 238 titles in his show dog career.

This year's winner of the 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the grandniece to 2008 best in show winner Uno, the first beagle to win the best in show ribbon.

Nearly 200 breeds and varieties of dogs from across the United States and more than a dozen countries took part in this year's show at Madison Square Garden.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


CoopeAgri Real Estate

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

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Arenal home
LAKE ARENAL - Like new 3-bedroom, 3-bath, furnished, super views of lake, volcano, ranches, forests, mountains, 1 mile from town, gated. $195K. Contact Joe, Phone number 506-2694-4538. Email: Web:

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:

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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, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 34
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo    
   Highway officials have kicked off two weeks of marking highways along the
   Caribbean coast. This job is at the location known as the Puente Ferroviario.

Decline in Latin poverty rate stalls

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Poverty affected 28 percent of Latin America’s population in 2014, revealing that its decline has stalled at around that level since 2012, while extreme poverty rose to 12 percent from 11.3 percent during the same two-year period in an overall context of economic deceleration, according to the projections from a study presented by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile.

The document "Social Panorama of Latin America 2014" indicates that the poverty situation in the region remained stable between 2012 and 2013, when it affected 28.1 percent of the population. It is estimated for 2014 that in percentage terms poverty should stay at around 28 percent, which, given demographic growth, would translate into an increase in absolute figures to 167 million people.

Meanwhile, extreme poverty rose to 11.7 percent in 2013 from 11.3 percent in 2012, which supposes an increase of three million people that raised the total to 69 million. Projections indicate that in 2014 that figure likely increased to 12 percent, which means that of the 167 million people who were poor that year, 71 million suffered extreme poverty or indigence.

“The recovery from the international financial crisis does not seem to have been taken advantage of sufficiently to strengthen social protection policies that reduce vulnerability in the face of economic cycles. Now, in a scenario of a possible reduction in available fiscal resources, more efforts are needed to fortify these policies, establishing solid foundations with the aim of fulfilling the commitments of the post-2015 development agenda,” said Alicia Bárcena, the organization's executive secretary.

Despite the lack of progress seen in the regional average, five of the 12 countries with available information through 2013 showed declines in poverty as measured by income that exceeded 1 percentage point per year. The countries that showed the biggest reductions were Paraguay (to 40.7 percent in 2013 from 49.6 percent in 2011), followed by El Salvador (to 40.9 percent in 2013 from 45.3 percent in 2012), Colombia (to 30.7 percent in 2013 from 32.9 percent in 2012), Peru (to 23.9 percent in 2013 from 25.8 percent in 2012) and Chile (to 7.8 percent in 2013 from 10.9 percent in 2011).

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From Page 7:

Sixth center for business operators opened

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio has opened a sixth center for business operators, and this one is in the ministry's main office in la Sabana.

The facility is called the Centro Integral de Desarrollo Empresarial. The ministry said that it was opened because a large majority of businesses are in the central area.

At the center business operators and potential operators can receive advice on opening a business, various required paperwork, registering trademarks and bar codes, sales, financial orientation and other aspects of commerce.

More than 50 persons have visited the center already, the ministry said.

Other centers are on the Caribbean, in the northern zone,  in Guanacaste, in the central Pacific and the southern zone. Appointments are required, the ministry said.