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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35                            Email us
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Bill would make cultural participation a human right
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are considering a proposed law that would regulate culture. The proposal goes far beyond simply reforming the government culture organizations. It imposes obligations on members of the public.

Those who own what are considered cultural goods would be required to register them with the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and take good care of them.

The 62-page, 120-section law seems to run into trouble trying to adjudicate both cultural goods, like stamp collections, and intangible cultural expressions, such as dances.

The measure includes both heavy civil penalties and up to six years in prison for violations in the possession of cultural goods, such as export.

The law also established 11 rights of citizens to participate in culture and tells the state to promote such activity.

The measure is in the news because the former culture minister appeared before a legislative committee to promote passage of the bill.

He is Manuel Obregón López, and the committee is the Comisión Permanente Especial de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnología. The measure is No. 19.054, Ley General de Derechos Culturales. Also appearing was Giancarlo Protti Ramírez, who was identified as coordinator of the Comisión de la Política Nacional y Ley General de Derechos Culturales.

Both men told the committee that the measure sees culture as a right and that the state ought to guarantee culture to the citizens.

The bill also is about money. A short section in a summary says that the culture agency should get 1 percent of the national budget instead of the current half percent.

The culture ministry supervises a vast number of other agencies and facilities, such as museums, the Archivo Nacional, the Sistema Nacional de Educación Música, the Comisión Nacional de Defensa del Idioma, two major theaters, the Sistema Nacional de Radio y Televisión Cultural and the Editorial de Costa Rica. There also are cinema facilities,
bands, a dance troupe
What is culture?

Tangible culture: Includes all tangible or material cultural goods or groups, from movable to unmovable, that are expressions of human work and possess a special interest or historical, artistic or scientific value.

Intangible culture: Includes the uses, traditions, representations, expressions, knowledge and techniques as well as instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural space that the communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as an integral part of their cultural heritage and that are transmitted from generation to generation.

Source: No. 19.054

and even the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and other orchestras.

The summary of the bill says that the goals of the ministry are to promote the production and diffusion of culture and artistic works, to rescue, conserve and protect tangible and intangible culture and to create space and opportunities for participation by youth

There is a heavy emphasis on the cultural rights of the native population. But the bill also says urban art, including graffiti, should be encouraged and supported.

Effective participation in cultural life is a right of all persons and groups, said the bill. Also rights are freedom of cultural expression, the right to receive stimulation to create and protection of the created works.

However, the bill makes clear early that protected culture does not include anything that encourages hatred, racism, other forms of discrimination or subjugation of women.

The law has a vision of culture that is respectful of the dignity of humans in their harmony with nature, says the summary.

The bill also provides for a right of information and communication that calls on the state to avoid the monopoly of communication and the inequalities in access to information. This is not explained further.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35

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

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
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Lawmakers have some Ruta 32 doubts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ruta 32 highway proposal seems to be running into troubles on the floor of the legislature. Lawmakers from Frente Amplio expressed what they said were additional doubts Wednesday on the job that will go to a Chinese construction firm.

Frente Amplio said it wants to hear one more time from Carlos Segnini, the minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes. That drew criticism from other lawmakers who are steamrolling the bill through the legislative process.

The executive branch said that the bill has the highest priority. The administration hopes to have the bill approved by the end of the month to meet a deadline imposed by the government of China.

The Chinese government is providing $395 million, and Costa Rica is putting up $90 million for the job.  A condition of the Chinese loan is that the China Harbour Engineering Co. do the job. That requirement does not sit well with Costa Rican construction firm operators.  Legal action may follow that will set back the government's plan.

The job is from Limón to Río Frio, some 107 kilometers. This also is the main road into the Central Valley.

The Auk: Ornithological Advances/B. McKelvey           
A kea wearing a GPS logger on a backpack harness.

Parrot finally fitted for GPS devices

By Central Ornithology Publication Office.

Yes, it is possible to study parrots with GPS trackers. The devices just have to be beak-proof.

For a new paper in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, Erin Kennedy, George Perry, and Todd Dennis of the University of Auckland and Joshua Kemp and Corey Mosen of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation tested the feasibility of tracking parrots with GPS dataloggers in Arthur’s Pass National Park in New Zealand.

Their parrot of choice was the kea (Nestor notabilis), a large, intelligent, mountain-dwelling bird perhaps best known for its fearless interactions with tourists and their cars.

While GPS telemetry is one of the best methods for tracking the movements of wild birds, researchers have hesitated to apply it to parrots, concerned that the dataloggers may not stand up to their large crushing beaks, high manual dexterity, and curiosity. To make their tracking devices as parrot-proof as possible, Ms. Kennedy and her colleagues encased them in tough polymer and attached them to backpack harnesses before placing them on captured keas. After a week, the researchers recaptured the study birds to remove the harnesses and assess how they were affected by wearing the devices and how well the devices performed.

Of the 14 birds that were outfitted with the devices, two managed to remove the dataloggers within an hour, and two birds were never recaptured. For the remaining 10, however, the method worked. The parrots showed no signs of feather or skin damage from carrying the GPS loggers, the loggers and harnesses had only minor damage from the parrots chewing on them, and researchers were able to follow the movements of the parrots over the course of the week.

They could tell when the birds were flying or walking, where they foraged and roosted, and when they visited a scenic overlook to interact with tourists. The secret to success is careful consideration of the housing of the GPS units, the method of attachment, and the technique for recovery of the data, the researchers said.

“Tracking the movement of parrots with electronic devices has been hindered due to the lack of suitable methods attaching the devices to the birds,” says wildlife telemetry expert Hamish Campbell of the University of New England, who was not affiliated with the study.

“Kennedy et al. have made a significant advancement for parrot research by developing a backpack, which can be attached long-term with no observable impact upon the individual.”

GPS data can help identify essential habitats, migratory pathways, potential hotspots for human–wildlife conflict, and more, which can be critical for developing effective conservation and management strategies.

As co-author Todd Dennis puts it, “The sky is the limit for GPS telemetry and its use for bird conservation, and our paper hopefully is the first of a long line of publications relying on this technology to study the movement patterns of parrots for both applied and theoretical research questions.”

Guantanamo figure found innocent

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. military appeals court has overturned the conviction of an Australian man who was held in Guantanamo Bay and found guilty years ago of material support for a terrorist organization. The man, David Hicks, has told a news conference in Sydney that he did not intend to seek an official apology or compensation for his five-and-a-half year ordeal in the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.

Hicks was the first person to be convicted at a U.S. war crimes trial since World War II.

The former kangaroo hunter was captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan in late 2001. He was held at Guantanamo Bay from January 2002 until May 2007, when he pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorism. In a plea bargain, all but nine months of his sentence were suspended and he was allowed to return home to Australia, where he was imprisoned until the end of his term behind bars.

Wednesday, a U.S. military appeals court threw out his conviction because the activity for which he was found guilty did not become a crime until years after he was captured in Afghanistan.

The 39-year old Hicks spoke to the media at a news conference in Sydney today.

“I am sure no one is surprised by today's long-awaited acknowledgement by the government of the United States of America of my innocence. Even the Australian government has admitted that I committed no crime. It is just unfortunate that because of politics I was subjected to five-and-a-half years of physical and psychological torture that I will now live with always,” said Hicks.

In 2000, Hicks was in Pakistan, where he trained with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was later designated by Washington as a foreign terrorist organization. Hicks traveled to Afghanistan in early 2001 and attended a training camp run by al-Qaida. Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, he was captured in Baghlan, Afghanistan.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35
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Caja bosses are telling local offices not to charge expat spouses extra
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's public health provider appears to be respecting a ruling from the Sala IV constitutional court. The court told the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social that it should not force expat spouses to enroll for services at an additional expense.

The Caja's medical and financial managers issued a memo that is being distributed to local Caja offices.

Expats are required to enroll for Caja services even if they do not plan on using them. The Caja is plagued by long waits and other problems.

The Sala IV ruled Jan. 6 that foreign spouses should be treated the same as Costa Ricans. A.M. Costa Rica reported this Jan. 15 based on a posting at the Caja Web site.

The news today is that the Caja is distributing the message to

its local offices. Research has shown that not all the Sala IV rulings have been obeyed.

The Caja faced a flurry of threats of constitutional court cases in which expats would claim they were entitled to the same rights as citizens.

The Caja characterized as and error its efforts to charge expat spouses more.

Javier Zavaleta, who operates Residency in Costa Rica, received a copy of the memo from a client.

"The last paragraph of the Caja memo is clear and concise: Caja offices were ordered, and are under the obligation, to locate those newly-approved married residents who were required by Caja to join the health system individually, and in many cases at an additional expense," he said. "That is the fair approach for the Caja to take. Alas, the word 'refund' is nowhere in the memo."

Costa Rica faces stiff competition from Thailand for Chinese tourists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Costa Rican tourism officials are seeking to attract Chinese visitors. They're not alone.

Thailand also is making moves to attract more upscale visitors from China.

A wire service report said that Thailand suffered bad publicity about martial law, backpacker killings and police shakedowns of foreigners.

Martial law remains in effect. That, and publicity overseas about tourists being victims of serious crimes on resort islands, police shaking down foreigners in the capital and taxi drivers overcharging fares, have combined to give many potential tourists second thoughts about visiting, said the news reports.

Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand hopes to put a happy face on the sector again this year and greet 28 million visitors, which was the numerical goal last year, said the wire service report. In 2014, the total number of actual visitors was 26 million.

It's still a stunning total from the turn of the 21st century, when Thailand struggled to attract more than 10 million visitors annually, the report said. The total exceeded 15 million for the first time in 2010 and surged above 20 million in 2012. But the country also is trying to shed its reputation as a backpacker haven. The government is behind the push.

China is now the largest single source of visitors to Thailand. The Chinese are considered the best spenders per capita on a daily basis. But their growing influence is not without controversy.

During this week's Chinese New Year period with 90,000 visitors from China expected -- many are receiving etiquette guides.

Tourism Authority of Thailand photo
Tourism officials in Thailand are promoting Chinese New Year that begins today with this graphic.

The brochures explain how to behave in museums and at temples, encourage proper rules for driving and warn against using public property as toilets.

By contrast, Costa Rica received 7,017 Chinese visitors in 2014, according to figures provided by the Instituto Costarricensee de Turismo. That number was about a 6 percent dip from 2013.

Meanwhile, Costa Rican officials are lobbying for direct airline flights from China and have opened up a new consulate to process visa requests.

Thailand is also popular with Malaysian, Japanese, Russian and South Korean visitors. But there has been a notable drop-off in Russian tourists with the ruble's recent plunge in value.

A weakening euro against the Thai baht is blamed for a decline in visitors from European countries.

To make up for that slump, a special push is being made by the Association of Thai Travel Agents to boost the number of visitors from Indonesia, as well as from China.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35
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How can expats not gloat? The choices are to enjoy a great Central Valley sunset or shovel snow in the U.S. Northeast.
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Vacation, travel and hospitality

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!

1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
and time-tested tips
700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
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with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Real estate rentals
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Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English 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, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35
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U.S. not at war with Islam,
Obama says at his summit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says the United States is not at war with Islam. The U.S. leader told a White House summit on combating violent extremism he wants to discredit the belief that Americans and Westerners in general are at odds with Muslims. He said this narrative helps extremists radicalize and recruit young Americans and others.

Until now, the United States has focused on its military fight against Islamic militants. Now, President Obama said, it’s time to get at the ideological aspect, and what causes young people to become vulnerable to radicalization.

After being criticized for not mentioning the word Islamic when referring to extremists, he called for confronting the threat squarely and honestly.

“We are not at war with Islam,” he said.

Americans have been horrified by images of atrocities committed by Islamic State extremists, some of whom have been recruited from America’s Muslim immigrant communities in cities like Minneapolis, home to a large Somali population.

It is in communities like these that grievances over discrimination, poverty, lack of education, and corruption, make it easy for terrorists to exploit young people, often through social media.

Obama brought together religious leaders, police, and others at the White House summit Wednesday to tackle the root causes.

“If we’re going address the challenge of their efforts to recruit our young people, if we’re going to lift up the voices of tolerance and pluralism within the Muslim community, then we’ve got to acknowledge that their job is made harder by a broader narrative that does exist in many Muslim communities around the world that suggests the West is at odds with Islam in some fashion,” said Obama.

The aim is to come up with programs that will change this perception on the streets.  In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, pilot programs are already under way with the input of moderate Muslim religious leaders, including some attending the summit.

“We believe in the right of all people to live in peace and security. Muslim imams have condemned and continued to denounce anyone who tries to use the religion of Islam to support terrorism,” said Abdisalam Adam, a Minneapolis imam.

After discussions like these, the question is whether government programs will succeed in steering vulnerable young people toward those who espouse a moderate view of Islam, and help negate the lure of extremists.

Long legal battle seen
for immigration amnesty

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama’s executive order shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation was supposed to go into effect this week, but it is on hold after a U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked the initiative. The legal battle is far from over, and while it proceeds, backers and opponents of the president’s unilateral order show no signs of wavering on their positions.

In immigrant communities, seminars to help the undocumented seek relief under the president’s executive order turned somber as expectations were dashed. The initiative is on hold. In Arizona, Idalia Cervantes had hoped her Mexican-born parents would be protected from deportation.

“We are heartbroken. We heard about this at midnight, and it was tears,” she said.

Hours later, confirmation from the White House. “We are not going to disregard this federal court ruling. So, we are not going to be taking applications in until this case is settled,” said Obama.

A definitive resolution will take time, according to the University of Massachusetts director of legal studies, Paul Collins.

“The law really is not black or white on this one. If it went to the Supreme Court and they ruled on the merits of this case, it probably wouldn’t come down for half a year to a year," said Collins.

Until then, there is uncertainty for undocumented aliens like Steven Rodriguez, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico as a baby, and he cannot work legally as a young adult.

“I would go out looking for a job and no one would hire me,” he said.

Congress has been unable to agree on a plan to reform an immigration system almost everyone agrees needs to change. But legislative inaction does not excuse executive over-reach, according to Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican.

“The president said, ‘I am going to give them work permits. I’m going to allow them to stay, I am going to allow them to get federal benefits.’ That is where he went beyond what I think he can do,” said Smith.

While some protest, officials in states that brought the lawsuit say they are defending constitutional order.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said, “This is an important constitutional principle. This isn’t even just about immigration. It is about if the president of the U.S. can act unilaterally on any legal issue.”

The president is undeterred. “I think the law is on our side, and history is on our side. And we are going to appeal it. And we will be prepared to implement this fully as soon as the legal issues get resolved.”

Until this week, judicial history would seem to favor Obama’s position.

“The federal courts have been fairly deferential to the federal government’s policies on immigration, particularly when those challenges are being brought by states. So the states have a tough row to hoe,” said Collins.

The immediate task for immigrant groups: convincing the undocumented to remain engaged and not retreat into the shadows.

“I will fight, and I know I have the whole community backing me up that will make sure my parents stay in this country,” said Cervantes.

U.S. embassies to install
air monitoring equipment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

How bad is the air? The U.S. embassy may soon have the answer.

The State Department has announced plans to install air quality monitors at diplomatic posts and make the data publicly available. The program will begin in India, Vietnam and Mongolia.

The aim is to provide important health information for U.S. government employees overseas, as well as for locals. And U.S. officials said, it may help inspire citizens to call for change.

When an air quality monitor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing began reporting toxic pollution levels several years ago, “our hosts didn’t like it particularly,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.

In fact, China’s vice environmental minister called it an illegal and unacceptable interference in the country’s internal affairs.

But the information is available online, and after seeing how bad the problem is, Kerry said, Chinese “citizens are increasingly demanding action.”

Speaking at a ceremony in Washington Wednesday, Kerry noted that the Chinese government is responding. Last year Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution,  Kerry said.

Outdoor air pollution is responsible for 3.7 million annual deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization. 

The program builds on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency system that provides real-time air quality data on pollutants linked to a number of health problems.

“That information is so important,” agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said at the ceremony. “There are elderly people who should not be outside on certain days taking a walk. It threatens their ability to breathe. It threatens their ability to protect themselves if they’ve had cardiac problems. They want to know what air quality is outside.”

And that information is lacking in much of the world.

For example, a University of Texas at Austin environmental engineering professor, Joshua Apte, said that on a major global air quality monitoring site, “there are nearly 2,000 monitors in China that are connected to the Web, and only about 30 in India, for countries of very similar population and with similar pollution problems.”

And there is a lot of room to expand the program, he added. “There may not be more than three or four  in all of Africa that have got air pollution data available. And we know that there are air pollution problems in many African cities as well.”

Ms. McCarthy said U.S. officials “are not going to provide this information and walk away.” She said the U.S. has struggled with air pollution, and will offer technical help so “they can do what we have done to reduce the kind of air pollution that at one time was choking our cities,” and which still causes problems, she added.

In India, where the first monitor will be installed, Apte said awareness of the scale of problem is growing. But, he added, “there’s a saying in our field, which is, ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure.’ You need to have a baseline to see how much you’ve improved.”

And that data can inform the public as well, he added. “They can demand change even when politicians don’t necessarily see it as in their own interest to do so.”

Spit test can give clues
for autism, researchers say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A spit test may someday be used to help diagnose children with autism. Children with the complex neuro-developmental disorder often have trouble communicating, and a saliva test, which detects the levels of various proteins, could offer an objective way to identify youngsters with autism.

Children with autism spectrum disorder have differences in protein levels, compared to those who do not have autism, and those differences may be detected in their saliva.

Researchers at Clarkson University and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh found that nine proteins were elevated in the saliva of the six autistic children who were studied, and three proteins were lower or even absent.

Alisa Woods of the SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Neurobehavioral Health helped lead the study. She says youngsters suspected of having the disorder, which is marked by interpersonal communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors, are currently diagnosed after being observed by psychologists.

"They rely on behavior, they are complicated, there might be some subjectivity to them.  Even though they are very, very good, a saliva test could be simpler; it might be a simple screening method and a more objective one," says Dr. Woods.

An estimated one in every 68 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder and experts say that number is growing. Similar prevalences are likely around the world.

Woods says one of the dozen proteins that is altered in autistic children is linked to gastrointestinal problems.

"Because gastrointestinal distress is so common in people with autism, maybe this could be a biomarker for people with that problem.  People with autism sometimes have difficulties communicating their symptoms because it's a social communication disorder.  So, this biomarker could be useful for seeing if people have this type of problem... and it might direct treatment," says Dr. Woods.

Another protein in the complex involves immune function.

Dr. Woods says researchers gravitated toward a saliva test because it is quick and easy to perform.  It could identify the disorder earlier than waiting for behaviors to develop, so treatment could begin sooner.

She says the results of study, published in the journal Autism Research, need to be repeated by scientists, in larger groups of children, to determine whether a saliva test for autism could become a reality.

Swiss prosecutors raid
local office of HSBC bank

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Geneva prosecutors have raided the Swiss office of the British banking giant HSBC and announced a criminal investigation into accusations it was laundering money.

The raid was taking place at the offices of HSBC Private Bank Switzerland, according to a statement released Wednesday by Geneva's prosecutor.

Prosecutors said they were investigating criminal charges of aggravated money laundering against the bank, but stressed the probe could be broadened to include "physical persons suspected of committing or participating in acts of money laundering."

Earlier this month, the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organizations found that the Swiss arm of HSBC, Europe's largest bank, helped clients in more than 200 countries avoid taxes and hide hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. Those clients included drug traffickers, arms dealers and celebrities.

The reports were based on documents stolen by a former HSBC employee in 2007 and given to French authorities who shared them with other countries. The leaked documents contain details about more than 100,000 clients from around the world, both individuals and legal entities.

According to the report, academic studies estimate that $7.6 trillion is held in overseas tax havens, preventing governments from collecting about $200 billion a year in tax revenues.

HSBC responded to the report by saying its compliance efforts have been insufficient. The bank said it has undergone a radical transformation in recent years and now enforces more stringent reporting requirements.

The new revelations may trigger calls for closer oversight of sophisticated tax avoidance by the wealthy and multinational companies, a key political issue in Britain and across Europe.

According to Paris-based economist Tomasz Michalski, the latest allegations against HSBC's Swiss unit in particular, which is already facing probes by French and Argentinian authorities, are of unprecedented magnitude.

"It is not only passive tax evasion, that they kept money for people on their accounts without asking any questions, it was actually active encouragement of tax evasion, active money laundering and also related, for example, arms traders, drug dealers, dictators," he said. "So the affair is potentially much more serious."

In a statement Wednesday, HSBC Private Bank said it has cooperated with Swiss authorities since the data theft. In response to the reports last week, its CEO Franco Morra said it had shut down accounts of clients who did not meet its high standards.

HSBC is not the first bank to come under scrutiny in recent years. U.S. authorities have fined several financial institutions, including Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse, for helping U.S. citizens evade taxes.

"I think this is also going to happen to HSBC, in a sense they are going to have to pay a lot of fines, a lot of people are going to be fired, probably some may face criminal investigation," Michalski said, adding that the 2008 financial crisis has led to a tougher regulatory environment, and that cash-strapped countries are paying greater attention to individual and corporate tax evaders.

Women in Turkey rally
against continuing violence

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Women and activists in Turkey have taken to the streets in nationwide protests, coupled with a massive Twitter campaign, in response to the murder of a 20-year-old student in an attempted rape.

Rallying around a case that is highlighting the wider problem of violence against women in Turkey, around 15,000 people gathered to protest the murder of Ozgecan Aslan in her home city of Mersin on the country's Mediterranean coast.

According to police, Ms. Aslan was murdered in a failed rape attempt while returning home.  Her body was found mutilated and burned.

Rights groups claim as many as five women a day are murdered in Turkey.

Political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Istanbul’s Suleyman Sah University says this latest murder could prove to be a tipping point for many in Turkish society over the scourge of violence against women.

"It created a huge wave of protests in the country, probably due to the overdose of violence against women.  One noticeable reaction through the campaign in social media was triggered by an associate professor in Istanbul who called upon female citizens of this country to tell their stories on harassment.  As we are talking now, it has reached one million accounts and stories," says Aktar.

Under the Twitter hashtag #sendanlat, or #tellyourstory, women across Turkey have been expressing their experiences of violence and harassment. 

Women’s rights campaigner and sociologist at Istanbul’s Bosphorus University, Nukhet Sirman, says the social media campaign is an important breakthrough in exposing the scale of the problem of violence against women.

"There is not a single woman in Turkey who has not experienced or has not feared the experience of being harassed by men.  In that sense it has been very important for women to come out with their experiences.  Very well known actresses, professors, everybody came out with these kinds of stories.  In fact, I was interviewed by another newsgroup and basically I asked the woman who was interviewing me whether she actually has been harassed she said, 'of course,' and this is how widespread it is," says Ms. Sirman.

The latest available official figures, show between 2002 and 2009 the murder rate of women increased by 1,400 percent in Turkey.  The last figures for assaults on women in 2013 is estimated at 28,000.

Senior researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch, Emma Sinclair Webb, says the government’s commitment to tackling the problem is questionable.

"There is an endemic problem of violence against women.  A couple of years ago, Turkey signed up for a big Council of Europe Convention on violence against women.  Then Turkey changed its law on protection of women and family and produced a good law.  There is a wide variety, different types of measures that can be taken to combat violence against women.  Now the big problem is the law was never implemented properly," says she.

Ms. Webb says in the past few years there has been an increase in conviction rates for men murdering women, along with more severe penalties.  Three men have been charged with Ms. Aslan’s murder.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been quick to condemn the killing and promised he will press for the heaviest penalties against anyone convicted.

But Erdogan has a troubled history with women’s rights and advocacy in Turkey.  Shortly after winning the presidency, after 12 years as prime minister, he sparked outrage by saying women and men could not be equal because it “goes against the laws of nature”.

He has also proposed limits on abortion and caesarean sections, and his deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, made comments suggesting women should not laugh in public, which prompted a social media explosion of women sharing images of themselves laughing.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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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!
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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:

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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:

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, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 35
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
nig pipe
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo      
  Highway officials say this 42-inch pipe is big enough to handle the
   runoff that has caused damage in the past at Ruta 239 in San
   Antonio de Puriscal. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said it
   hopes to have the job done this week.

Ancestor of English pinpointed to steppe

By the Linguistic Society of America news staff

Linguists have long agreed that languages from English to Greek to Hindi, known as Indo-European languages, are part of a language family which first emerged from a common ancestor spoken thousands of years ago. Now, a new study gives more information on when and where it was most likely used.

Using data from over 150 languages, linguists at the University of California, Berkeley provide evidence that this ancestor language originated 5,500 to 6,500 years ago, on the Pontic-Caspian steppe stretching from Moldova and Ukraine to Russia and western Kazakhstan.

"Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis" by Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall and Andrew Garrett, will appear in the March issue of the academic journal Language.

This article provides new support for the steppe hypothesis or Kurgan hypothesis, which proposes that Indo-European languages first spread with cultural developments in animal husbandry around 4500 to 3500 B.C.. An alternate theory proposes that they spread much earlier, around 7500 to 6000 B.C., in Anatolia in modern-day Turkey.

Chang and colleagues examined over 200 sets of words from living and historical Indo-European languages. After determining how quickly these words changed over time through statistical modeling, they concluded that the rate of change indicated that the languages which first used these words began to diverge approximately 6,500 years ago, in accordance with the steppe hypothesis.

This is one of the first quantitatively-based academic papers in support of the steppe hypothesis, and the first to use a model with ancestry constraints, which more directly incorporate previously discovered relationships between languages. Discussion of prior studies in favor of and against the steppe hypothesis can be found in the paper.

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From Page 7:

Speeding up paperwork called priority

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The economics minister, Welmer Ramos, has told lawmakers that his priority is to reduce the complexity of paperwork for business operators.

Ramos was talking to lawmakers interested in the economic development of the province of Puntarenas. He said that the goal is to reduce the paperwork so that small businesses can be created easily. This promotes development, he said.

He is minister of  Economía Industria y Comercio.

Ramos noted that a directive had been issued to that effect. He said that 55 government entities are entering into an agreement that will speed the presentation of 140 separate pieces of paperwork. A handful of these are vital to starting a new business, he noted.