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A.M. Costa Rica
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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 37                          Email us
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Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Anti aging

This is the Trópika being built by 36 students from Tecnológico de Costa Rica, one of the country's public universities. The structure will be disassembled and shipped to France to be an entry into an international contest.

contest home
Tecnológico de Costa Rica

Solar in spotlight because of soaring electrical rates
By Michael Krumholtz
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rising electric costs are hampering opportunities for budgeted businesses and making homeowners nervous to open the next month's bill. After last year's 28 percent hike in energy costs and another increase expected this year, residents and companies may be searching for reasonably cost alternatives to powering their homes or buildings.

Is solar energy the solution? At the ExpoConstrucción y Vivienda in Belén, representatives from a number of solar energy-based businesses like to think so. They said they've seen a spike in business following the increased rates. By installing panels that take the sun's rays and use them to heat water or generate electricity, users can save themselves from falling victim to such expensive energy charges. And during the cloudy days that come with the rainy season, the products are promised to soak in energy from the non-visible part of the solar spectrum.

Esteban Solís Chávas, the general manager of Rilesa, said that using just one of the company's high-tech panels for a family of four would significantly cut in kilowatt-hour consumption. The electricity bill is usually reduced by 40 percent each month, and the panels have a guaranteed lifespan of 25 years, he said.

Other brands like Green Energy, Solare and Solar Star are some of the major firms offering alternative energy in Costa Rica. They serve clients with private homes or pools, as well as the bigger investments into hotels or industries. Still, according to most of the solar-energy representatives on hand at the expo, the potential Gringo market has yet to be tapped.

Energy costs are projected to rise another 12 percent in 2014, according to Prodex, which advises that potential homebuilders take time to make sure their house will be as energy efficient as possible to avoid mounting costs or repairs in the future.

The expo, which continues on into the weekend at the Centro de Eventos de Pedregal in Belén, houses more than 600 stands that feature 230 different businesses. There are also 13 different financial institutions on hand to encourage
exoi crowd
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Even Thursday afternoon, the expo has a crowd.

prospective buyers to take out loans or set up payment plans.

Times for the remaining days are: Today from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Though entrance is free today, there is a 2,000-colon charge for visitors on Saturday and Sunday.

One aspect of the expo is the construction of a home that will be entered in an international contest in June. The home is called Trópika, and it is being built by 36 students from Tecnológico de Costa Rica, one of the country's public universities.

Students will finish the job here and then disassemble the home and ship it to Versailles, France for reassembly. There the project will compete with 19 others from around the globe. Judges will be looking at the architecture, engineering, energy efficiency, functionality and many other factors. Students from 13 different majors designed and are building the project. The effort has been declared in the public interest by President Laura Chinchilla.

The event in France is called the Solar Decathlon 2014.

Costa Rica's design is focused on senior citizens, a growing segment of the population, and is said to be environmentally friendly.

Time has come to not take water supply for granted
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's regulatory agency said Thursday that water customers who will be rationed have a right to know that in advance unless the cutoff or reduction is a problem of infrastructure.

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados is getting ready to reduce water flow to some areas in the higher elevations of the metro area. This is typical during the end of the dry season when water supply has been reduced. Most of the individuals who live in these areas know about the situation and have storage tanks.

However, the regulatory agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the water company also has the obligation to truck in water if there will be rationing or a cutoff.

Some residents north of San José endured a 24-hour cutoff this week because water employees were making repairs. During rationing,
the companies usually enforce rolling cutoffs so that each resident has water part of the time each day, usually peak hours.

The Autoridad said that customers should recognize the problem imposed by the weather and keep the use of water at moderate levels.

The agency also gave a number of tips, such as reducing the water flow in bathrooms, checking the household system for leaks and to water gardens and lawns at night to reduce evaporation.

The agency also reminded water customers to refrain from running the tap when brushing teeth and to try to recycle laundry water.

Most residents keep quantities of water on hand because cutoffs are always possible.

The agency made a distinction between water for drinking and that for other uses. It suggested refrigerating drinking water and to keep it  sanitary.

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U.S. court decision opens
doors to shoddy tax work

By Randall Lindner, enrolled agent
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

It may seem safe to assume that if somebody hangs a shingle on their building that says "Tax Preparer," that person is educated and competent. After all, wouldn't the Internal Revenue Service regulate this to make sure anyone who charges money to prepare a tax return has certain education and competency requirements?

In one of the few positive steps that organization has ever made, they did, in fact, try to regulate the practice of tax preparation. In 2011, the IRS required all tax preparers to register with it and obtain a unique preparer identification number called a PTIN. The IRS later instituted requirements that in order to maintain the PTIN, the preparers must also pass a small competency exam, pay annual dues, and complete a scant 15 hours of annual tax education.

In 2012, three unlicensed tax preparers brought suit in Federal District Court to overturn the IRS's new regulatory agenda. In 2013 the district court agreed with the unlicensed preparers, finding that Congress never gave the IRS the authority to create the regulations. The IRS appealed the decision, and last Feb. 11 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the lower court.

The IRS could potentially petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, and it may ask Congress to expand its regulatory power. However, for now, anybody can call him or herself a tax preparer and charge unsuspecting clients a significant fee without having any expertise or competence.

With almost 30 years of experience doing battle with the IRS, I am typically the last person who would advocate giving that organization more power. However, in this case, it makes sense. Unlicensed preparers hurt taxpayers because they often do not do a good job. This is going to be especially important for U.S. taxpayers living overseas. The IRS requirements for Americans abroad are more complex than they are for people who reside in the States, and the penalties for making mistakes can be quite steep. I've seen time and time again locally licensed foreign CPAs, who may know the laws of their country very well, dip their toes into the IRS pool with disastrous results.  This decision by the D.C. Circuit opens the door to this happening on a wider scale.

To protect themselves, expats should make sure that when they hire a tax preparer he or she has some credentials from the United States. Certified public accountants and tax attorneys are licensed by individual states. Enrolled Agents are licensed directly by the Treasury Department. Expats should avoid preparers with no credentials or those who are credentialed by a foreign jurisdiction. A Costa Rica licensed CPA is unlikely to understand the IRS regulations as well as a CPA or attorney from any one of the United States, or a treasury licensed enrolled agent.

Lindner is an enrolled agent with 20 years of practice in Costa Rica assisting Americans living abroad. For more information, please visit or e-mail 

Rights groups say Venezuela
should end its violent attacks

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The government of Venezuela should immediately end its violent attacks against demonstrators, invite the opposition to join an open dialogue to end the country’s political crisis, and seek help from the international community in defusing the tensions, Freedom House said Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Caracas, student protesters and security forces faced off again.

Freedom House, the Latin America and Caribbean Network for Democracy, and the World Movement for Democracy co-signed a letter sent to the secretary general of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, requesting the organization's  “good offices” mission to Venezuela.

Former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias has expressed willingness to lead such a delegation.

“Given the violence this week involving the National Guard and police, the government has crossed the line of behavior acceptable in a democracy, and the international community should speak up,” said Robert Herman, vice president for regional programs for Freedom House. “Conditions in Venezuela are reminders of the darkest periods of Latin American dictatorships. It is no longer possible to justify the government’s human rights violations on the grounds that it was elected democratically.”

Wednesday the national guard and police indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters in at least four major cities, in some cases aiming directly at protesters or inside residential buildings and homes in search of student protesters. Government-supported colectivos or paramilitary groups accompanied government forces, and fired live ammunition.  Though the government has sought to impose a media blackout, online videos show several civilian casualties lying on the streets.

There have been at least five deaths.

Freedom House said it also calls on the government to immediately release opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was arrested this week. A court convened on a military base has extended his detention for another 45 days, in violation of due process.

High-living hospital residents
now on their way to the wilds

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The life-saving efforts at Hospital Monseñor Sanabria in Puntarenas include the lives of owls.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said that workers found three young owls on the sixth floor of the hospital's tower. The young owls have been placed in a foster home for eventual release, said the Caja.

The Cuerpo Bomberos and the Servicio de Salud Animal also were involved in the project.

Eventually the young owls will be taken to the Santuario de Lapas El Manantial, in Aranjuez, Puntarenas, for quarantine and eventual release.

Our reader's opinion
U.S.A. charges higher fees
to tourists than to locals

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In your readers opinions, Michael Connolly mentioned that he felt it was illogical to charge tourists more than locals for entrance into tourist destinations.

It is true that in the national parks it is quite a bit more for foreign tourists to enter then locals, but this same “illogical” thinking is very prevalent in state parks and other tourist destinations in the U.S.A., where residents of a state can enter at reduced prices or get seasonal passes that non-residents can not.

I believe the thinking there as here is that the residents pay more taxes and have an inherent right to access the land.  And as a whole, tourists do have more ability to pay than many local residents.  It would be a shame to see the national parks and other attractions to become only affordable for tourists and those who actually live here and own the land (this is a democratic country) are kept out. 

In a perfect world it would be free for everyone, but here as in the U.S.A. and most other countries around the world the parks need to be maintained and those fees, when everything goes as it should, go to maintain those parks.

Robert Anthony Warren H.
La Cima de Dota

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 37
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Measure to reinstate shrimp trawling immediately draws criticism
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative committee approved and sent to the full legislature Thursday a measure to reinstate shrimp trawling in Costa Rican waters. Immediately, an environmental organization said that the proposal does not agree with a constitutional court ruling.

Last August the Sala IV constitutional court unexpectedly ordered a halt to the use of trawler nets to catch shrimp. The court said the fishing technique does serious damage to the marine environment because of the other creatures that are captured and not used. The court said that those with shrimp trawling license could use them until they expired. The first one did this week.

However, the legislature said that it was making three changes in the existing law to meet constitutional requirements and to promote sustainable trawling.

The criticism of the legislative action came from the Programa Restauración de Tiburones y Torgugas Marinas. One of the organization leaders, Randall Arauz, said that lawmakers were responding to the desires of commercial shrimpers.

The main criticisms of trawling are that the nets capture and kill turtles and that they also destroy coral on the floor of the sea.

The measure found unusual support from four different political parties in the Comisión Especial Investigadora de la Provincia de Puntarenas.

Agnes Gómez Franceschi, a lawmaker who supported the bill, said that the measure establishes an equilibrium between the protection of the marine resources and the many fishing families in Puntarenas.

"It is indispensable that we guarantee the social security and the employment of the families of fishermen and the development of the fishing activity in a sustainable manner . . ," she was quoted as saying by the Partidio Liberación Nacional.

"The decision is political and functions in detriment of the public interest, but the deputies took it to benefit the members of the board of directors of Incopesca who are shrimp businessmen with whom they have agreements," said Arauz.  Incopesca is the Instituto
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Loggerhead turtle escaping a net equipped with turtle excluder.

Costarricense de Pesca y Acucultura, which regulates the industry.

Arauz said that the action demonstrates that the law needs to be changed to put others without self interest on the institute board.

The organization, which is known as Pretoma, said it would challenge the legislative action.

The constitutional court did not order an immediate halt. It told the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura not to renew permits for this type of fishing and not to activate any inactive permits. Those fishing operations that have active permits could continue using their same equipment under close official supervision until the permit expires, said the court.

The decision, released in a summary by the Poder Judicial, said that there may come a time when the permits are reinstated but the technology does not now exist that are sufficiently effective. The court mentioned turtle excluders that are attached to the nets to let air-breathing turtles go free instead of being drowned.

From time to time the United States has prohibited the import of Costa Rican shrimp because of the impact on turtles.

Six years shows the more things change, the more they stay the same
Six years ago today my dear friend Mavis Biesanz died. We talked almost daily on the phone, and she and I would probably have a discussion about what is happening today as compared to 2008.  I miss our visits and telephone conversations. So this is for you, Mavis. I am afraid the situation in the world continues to look bleak.

The Olympics in Russia are almost over.  So far the negatives and the ridiculous that have been the subject of the media, including the social media, have not resulted in predicted possible disaster.  Looking back to the time of the last summer Olympics, I noted again that the French are right, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In July 2008:

The Olympic Torch is making its wobbly way around the world on its journey to China.  Along the way people have been trying to block its progress because they are protesting China’s repression of the people of Tibet.  Some protesters have other axes to grind and have joined the fray. There have been, perhaps as many as one million people marching and blocking this symbolic journey. 

The media coverage has been remarkable.  CNN and other stations covered the aborted run through San Francisco hour after hour.  Coverage has been maintained in every country where there has been an objection.  Leaders of some countries have decided not to attend the opening ceremonies and a number of companies have removed their sponsorship of the games.  Once again I find the power of the press amazing.   It makes me wonder what might have happened had the media covered so enthusiastically the 30 million people who marched against the Iraq war before it started. 

What makes it all so ironic is that when the Olympics took place in ancient Greece, it was the custom that countries at war had to declare a cease fire while the games were in progress if they wished to participate.  Internal strife was not a problem.  Outright war was.

Lately I seem to be attracted to the ironic.  Thus I have been following the news story of the unfortunate 437 children and their mothers of the San Angelo religious compound. (A compound is an enclosed space containing buildings.)

It all seems to be about sex with underage girls.  The girls are not prostitutes, so they are not guilty of breaking any laws, their mothers may be guilty of being part of a polygamous family and possibly knowingly allowing their daughters to be married to much older men.  But many of them know no other way to live – they have been brainwashed.  So it leaves the men who are in charge of the compound who are the wrongdoers. 

But who is being punished?  Does anyone think that even if these men are put on trial and sent to prison they are going to suffer any more than these children and their mothers?  They are being torn from each other and the children are being placed with strange        
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

foster parents, who, I will bet, are not prepared to help them emotionally.

We won’t even talk about the fact that there are probably just as many pregnancies and/or rapes of underage children in any comparable population not in a compound. We have to admit if we are honest that girls under the age of 18 are having sex.

On the frivolous side, there have been many comments about the uniform frontier dresses the women wear and the fact that they are not allowed to cut their hair.  I’ve just noticed recently that the low slung jeans and half blouses are disappearing from the city scene.  Talk about uniforms!  Also part of the current fashion are hair lengtheners one can buy to make their long straight hair even longer. 

The difference, of course, is the freedom to choose. Free choice makes all the difference. The women and the children of the compound had no choice.  The men ruled.  And now, with the government involved, they still have no choice.  Either way they are the losers.  All in all, it is a strange sort of justice.

Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, I received an e-mail from Kevin, who is concerned about the big, old and spectacularly beautiful trees along Ruta 7 between Ciudad Colon and Piedades. He feels they are in danger of being cut down to make room for condominiums.  I haven’t seen them, but I love trees.  I understand why they were once worshiped.  Is there anything to be done to preemptively save these trees?  They are certainly better for the environment than condos. 

And another e-mail asked me about the story of the artist who, if the news is correct, tied up a stray dog and let him starve in his studio as an art display.  This took place in Nicaragua, but the artist has his work hanging in a gallery in San José.  There is a petition protesting this.

Is there a petition protesting what is happening to the women and children of San Angelo?  An ongoing petition protesting the daily deaths of the people of Iraq, the death of life-giving trees or the starving children in Latin America, not to mention Darfur and soon, other parts of the world?  Even if there were petitions, would the Media cover these topics endlessly? 

I am beginning to think that blushing is not the only thing humans do that other animals do not, I think we are also the only animal able to accept living in the midst of so much irony.  Maybe that is why we blush.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 37
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Sedentary seniors have much higher risk of being disabled, study shows
By the Northwestern University news staff

If you’re 60 and older, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to a 50 percent greater risk of being disabled, regardless of how much moderate exercise you get, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The study is the first to show sedentary behavior is its own risk factor for disability, separate from lack of moderate vigorous physical activity. In fact, sedentary behavior is almost as strong a risk factor for disability as lack of moderate exercise.

If there are two 65-year-old women, one sedentary for 12 hours a day and another sedentary for 13 hours a day, the second one is 50 percent more likely to be disabled, the study found.

"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

"Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity," she added.

Disability affects more than 56 million Americans. It's defined by limitations in being able to do basic activities such as eating, dressing or bathing oneself, getting in and out of bed and walking across a room. Disability increases the risk of hospitalization and institutionalization and is a leading source of health care costs, accounting for $1 in $4 spent.

The study will be published this week in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

The finding -- that being sedentary was almost as strong a risk factor
for disability as lack of moderate vigorous activity -- surprised Ms. Dunlop.

"It means older adults need to reduce the amount of time they spend sitting, whether in front of the TV or at the computer, regardless of their participation in moderate or vigorous activity," she said.

The study focused on a sample of 2,286 adults aged 60 and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It compared people in similar health with the same amount of moderate vigorous activity. Moderate activity is walking briskly,

The participants wore accelerometers from 2002 to 2005 to measure their sedentary time and moderate vigorous physical activity. The accelerometer monitoring is significant because it is objective. The older and heavier people are, the more they tend to overestimate their physical activity. Previous research indicated a relationship between sedentary behavior and disability but it was based on self-reports and, thus, couldn't be verified.

Because the study examines data at one point in time, it doesn't definitively determine sedentary behavior causes disability. "It draws attention to the fact that this is a potential problem," said Ms. Dunlop, who is doing a longitudinal study on sedentary behavior and disability risk.

Studies with animals have shown immobility is a separate risk factor for negative effects on health. "This is the first piece of objective evidence that corroborates the animal data," Ms. Dunlop said.

Ms. Dunlop wears a device on her wrist that tracks her steps and is synced to her smartphone and computer. She's created a social circle with her friends and family, so they can keep track of each other's progress.

"It's great reinforcement to keep moving," Ms. Dunlop said.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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.

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the
Christ Howard with Max
author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

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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.


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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully
coffee retreat
equipped kitchen, phone line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per 
month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

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We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

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.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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:

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially 
coffee retreat
at  night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details:

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.

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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 37
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Obama and Dalai Lama plan
to meet today at White House

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama will meet the Dalai Lama today at the White House, prompting a statement of serious concern from China.
The White House said late Thursday that Obama is meeting the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a respected religious and cultural leader.
A statement said the U.S. supports the Dalai Lama's so-called middle way approach of neither assimilation nor independence for Tibetans in China.
China's foreign ministry quickly urged the U.S. to cancel the meeting, calling it gross interference that will seriously damage U.S.-China ties.
Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous splittist who has encouraged a wave of self-immolations by Tibetans. He denies the charge.
The U.S. recognizes Tibet to be a part of China. While Washington does not back Tibetan independence, it is concerned over what it says is the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China.
The White House has called on China to reopen talks with the Dalai Lama or his representatives with no preconditions.
Obama has met with the Dalai Lama twice before, in 2010 and 2011.
Since February 2009, more than 126 people have self-immolated in traditionally Tibetan areas of China to protest Beijing's policy in their homeland.
The Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Authority, located in India, are outspoken critics of China's policies, but have discouraged the suicide protests.
Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of a campaign of religious and cultural persecution, as the country's majority Han ethnic group continues to move into historically Tibetan areas.
China rejects that, and claims Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing also points to huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernization and an increased standard of living to Tibet.

Voice of America photo
This is the braided artificial muscle.

Cheap materials used to make
braided artificial muscles

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

By tightly coiling high-strength polymer fishing line and basic sewing thread, an international team of researchers have created artificial muscles of superhuman strength that can be made on the cheap.

“In terms of comparison, if you had a muscle made from our material that was the same length and weight as a natural muscle, in general it could lift about a hundred times more force than a natural muscle can,” said Carter Haines, a doctoral student at the University of Texas Nanotech Institute in Dallas, which led the international research team.

For heavy lifting, researchers say a single artificial muscle of bundled, twisted fishing line can lift 7.25 kilograms. Writing in the journal Science, Haines, the report's lead author, says the synthetic muscles could be used to power human-like robots, prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons for people whose muscles have atrophied. 

“One of the simpler things to do, as opposed to, let's say, replace a missing limb, is to see if we can create something like a glove that would fit over" a hand or limb that has lost function, he said.

According to the report, the scientists say twisted sewing thread of a diameter less than human hair works just as well and could be used for applications requiring less force. For example, a synthetic muscle used to power mechanical robots that perform minimally invasive microsurgery, Haines says.

When heated, the muscles twist along their length, contracting to produce the force, and, when cooled, the muscles relax. They can be powered by temperature changes or a simple battery.

When threaded through fabric, Haines says the invention could open pores in clothing when it is hot to let in cool air and tighten fabric when it is cold.

The muscles are easy to make, says Haines, because they require materials that can be purchased at any store. Students learning about the technology are making the synthetic muscles for school science projects.

Top U.S. military leader meets with his counterparts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Army's top officer pledged more dialogue on common objectives as he met Chinese generals in Beijing.

Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno was greeted Friday with full military honors at China's Defense Ministry.

His visit comes amid U.S. criticism of China's policies toward its neighbors over territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.

However, before holding closed-door meetings, Odierno said he would focus on concerns that both sides share.

"We have many common objectives about our countries so I think it's important to have this kind of dialogue. We both have incredibly professional armies so I look forward to the substantive discussions that we will have on both regional and international issues," said Odierno.

Chinese Lt. Gen. Wang Ning also said military-to-military dialogue is an important part of the U.S.-China relationship.

"We look forward to a continuous development of the new type of relationship between the militaries of China and the U.S. In the meantime, we also look forward to a continuous development of the exchanges and cooperation between the armies of our two nations," said Wang.

Though both sides have stressed cooperation in public bilateral meetings, tensions and mistrust appear to be increasing.

A top U.S. diplomat earlier this month called on Beijing to clarify or amend its vast claims to the South China Sea, where many of China's neighbors accuse Beijing of acting aggressively.

The U.S. has refused to acknowledge China's recently declared Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, which overlaps with areas also claimed by Japan.

The U.S. military, along with its allies Japan and South Korea, has continued to fly planes through the region, ignoring China's call to first file flight plans with the defense ministry.

One senior U.S. Navy official last week said Beijing was preparing for a short, sharp war with Japan during which it would seize disputed islands. Pentagon officials Thursday distanced themselves from the comments, saying Capt. James Fanell was expressing his personal views.

Many in China, meanwhile, view the White House's military and economic focus on Asia as an attempt to contain its rise and regional influence, a charge U.S. officials deny.

Brazil ready to fight U.S.
over new farm bills subsidies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The ink is barely dry on the new law governing U.S. farm subsidies, but already the measure faces a legal challenge on the grounds that it violates international trade rules.

Brazil says farmers in other countries will suffer as a result of unfair protection given to U.S. producers in the new Farm Bill that U.S. President Barack Obama signed Feb. 7.

Brasilia has announced plans to reopen a case before the World Trade Organization, a case that the new agriculture legislation was supposed to resolve.

The United States has been paying Brazil $147 million per year to ward off harsher measures that the organization authorized when the U.S. lost the last of its appeals in a long-running dispute over cotton subsidies.

That dispute began in the early 2000s.  Global cotton prices had been sinking through the late 1990s, and farmers in Brazil and other developing countries were struggling.

Meanwhile, American farmers were receiving substantial subsidies.

“There were times when U.S. cotton growers were getting more than half their revenue from the U.S. government,” said University of California at Davis agricultural economist Daniel Sumner.  “These other countries said, ‘Gee, how can we compete with that?’”

So in 2002, Brazil brought the United States before the World Trade Organization.  Sumner helped make the economic case.

The U.S. lost. On appeal, the U.S. lost again.  Twice.

Since the U.S. had failed to fix its subsidy program, the World Trade Organization said Brazil could retaliate.  That usually means raising tariffs on imported goods.

“Brazil looked at this and said, ‘We don’t actually want to put tariffs on products coming in from the U.S. That actually hurts our economy,’” Sumner said.  Higher tariffs mean higher prices for Brazilian consumers.

“But we need to find some way to get the attention of the U.S. government,” Sumner said.

Instead, Brasilia threatened to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of intellectual property protections on U.S. companies' software, pharmaceuticals, movies and more.

That brought the U.S. to the negotiating table.

In 2010, the two sides reached an agreement.  The Farm Bill would be up for renewal soon, and the U.S. promised the new version would fix the subsidy problems.  Until then, U.S. taxpayers would pay $147 million in subsidies to the Brazilian cotton industry.

The new Farm Bill does change the subsidies.  Under the old system, U.S. farmers received payments when cotton prices fell below a certain level.  Under the new law, farmers buy insurance that protects most of their income when crops fail or when markets drop.  U.S. taxpayers cover most of the cost of the insurance policies.

The U.S. stopped its payments to Brazil last September as the new Farm Bill neared completion.

Brazil’s cotton producers association, ABRAPA, says the legislation has resolved nothing.

In a statement, ABRAPA said, “More than not paying what you owe to Brazilian producers for subsidies deemed illegal by WTO judges, the United States passed a new farm bill that is likely to cause major distortions in international cotton prices.”

ABRAPA said retaliation is in order, but Brazilian ministers decided to take the case back to the World Trade Organization first.

The U.S. growers’ association, the National Cotton Council, responded in a statement saying the insurance plan “was developed specifically to bring the United States into compliance with the decision.”

Insurance programs are allowed under World Trade Organization rules, the cotton council says, adding that this and other changes "are significant, and we believe the matter is resolved.”

Even if the matter is resolved, there may be others.  The new Farm Bill offers similar protections to other agricultural products.  In addition, for some crops, Congress strengthened programs that pay farmers when prices fall below a certain point.  That’s one type of support that put the U.S. in trouble with the World Trade Organization in the first place.

Farm groups note that the World Trade Organization permits governments to pay their farmers limited amounts of subsidies, and say that under the new law, the U.S. is unlikely to exceed those limits.

Intellectual property industries are assuming the best at this point.  One industry source, Mark Grayson, said he expects Congress knew what's at stake, and he hopes the Farm Bill is in compliance with World Trade Organization rules. He is with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Economists describe the new Farm Bill as a step backward, potentially inflicting more harm on developing world farmers than the old bill did.

floor of congress
Voice of America photo
Economic arguments make it to the floor of Congress.

Immigration reform moves
onto economic battlefield

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite near unanimous agreement that the U.S. immigration system is broken, it appears doubtful that Congress will take up the issue this year.  Republicans say they don’t trust the president to enforce new rules, a charge many Democrats say is simply a political excuse to deny a Democratic president a legislative victory in an election year.  But some say lawmakers are missing the bigger point that immigration reform is not a political issue but an economic one.

Experts said communities paid a heavy price when 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows.  And for a country that prides itself in its humanitarian beliefs fixing a broken immigration system should be a high priority.

“I think that each day that Congress delays this decision people are getting hurt, are getting hurt by the deportation machine, that is as I said before, separating families every day," said Guillermo Cantor, a senior analyst at the Immigration Policy Center.

Cantor said there were other reasons why Congress should act.

“And one of them that sometimes gets overlooked is that it would result in enormous economic benefits for this country,” he said.

But critics of immigration reform said the government’s own studies suggested otherwise.

Sen, Jeff Sessions, a Republican, said, “How can we vote for a bill that our own Congressional Budget Office says will reduce average wages in America for 12 years?”

Sessions is only half right.  The budget office report said reforms would reduce average wages one-tenth of one percent (0.1 percent) by 2023 but that's because the estimate included wages from lower-skilled workers who would become legal residents.  After 10 years, the report said wages would rise about half of a percent, more than they would without reforms.

But that's just part of the story said Marc Rosenberg at the Migration Policy Institute

“Legalization is probably going to help the U.S. economy.  It’s also going to bring more people into the tax system, so it probably has a net fiscal benefit of people paying more taxes," he said. "In the long run however, unauthorized immigrants who become legal will also be eligible for additional services, so the fiscal impact has pluses and minuses.”

As it stands, the Center for Immigration Policy said the negatives outweighed the positives.

Spokesperson Marguerite Telford said their studies showed economic gains quickly diminished by the larger demand for social programs.

She said, “and when you look at 36 percent of immigrants are on at least one welfare program and you look at how much it’s costing, you know, how long can we keep affording it?,"

With so many Americans looking for work, Ms. Telford said annual admissions of about 1.1 million legal immigrants were too generous and should be cut in half.

One solution is to take a more selective approach to immigration. Chinese student Ting Gong said expanding work permit programs for foreign students who graduated from American universities was an excellent place to start.

“Because you know the students who work here are highly educated and we can contribute our skills and everything to this country” Ting said.

Despite disagreement on how, the majority of economists agree reforms would expand the U.S. economy.  Critics said it did so at a heavy price while others said the cost of doing nothing would be worse.

Native American tribal office
is scene of multiple killings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in northern California announced that an attack on a Native American tribal headquarters has killed four people and injured two others.

Police said a woman opened fire on the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office and Community Center Thursday afternoon.

Authorities say the woman launched the shooting spree during an eviction hearing being held at the center in Alturas, along the Oregon border.

The tribe's Web site says the Cedarville Rancheria is a small federally recognized tribe comprised of 35 tribal members.

lathe work
Voice of America photo
Juan Fernandez at his lathe

Behind the scenes machinist
does key medical work

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many people who would have died from common ailments a few decades back are alive today thanks to advances in medical technology, including devices created by researchers in laboratories.  But getting from a design sketch to an actual approved product can take years.

His coworkers are lathes and drills rather than doctors, nurses and medical technicians, but Juan Fernandez is a highly regarded collaborator at Houston Methodist Hospital.

He made a valve for operating room technicians who wanted a better way to monitor oxygen flow.

"The oxygen goes in and out this way and the sensor will tell how much oxygen is going to the patient," said Fernandez.

These kinds of innovations are sometimes so successful that the companies manufacturing the equipment sometimes incorporate them into new designs.

Biomedical engineer Matthew Jackson worked with Fernandez to develop parts for this cardiovascular simulator.

"The payoff of having the machine shop here is that you can create unique solutions to problems in a simple way, where you are just removing and adding material to create something," said Jackson.

Fernandez, who has worked more than 25 years in Houston's Texas Medical Center, says that experience pays off when someone shows him a sketch for a part they want made.

"On paper you can make anything, but once you try to make it into a part, it is hard," he said.

Fernandez produced many of the parts for a cardiovascular simulator. It uses a plastic reproduction of a patient's aorta to test blood flow.

Matthew Jackson says he needed a device made of plastic, rather than metal, because it has to be inserted into the highly magnetic ring of an MRI machine.

"This is something Juan created for us and it helped with a lot of the initial work we were doing on this project.  You sandwich that valve between the two, the left side acts as the ventricle and this side acts as the atrium and you can put this in the MRI magnet because it is all made out of plastic," he said.

Some of the earliest advances in treating heart disease were made in Houston by Michael DeBakey, who, in 1991, called on Fernandez to make the prototype for a ventricular assist device.

For Fernandez this was personal.  He was just 10-years-old when his father died in front of him.

"He started snoring and I thought he was playing with me and I called my mom and they called the paramedics, but he was gone.  The doctor said it was a heart attack," said Fernandez.

The researchers who design new devices gain prestige and money from patents, and the doctors who use them gain status in the medical community.

Fernandez shuns attention and prefers to work alone.

"I know deep down that I helped mankind and that is all that matters to me," he said.

Fernandez is now 65 and could retire.  But he continues to work and do his part for medical science.

Former congressman finds
trouble again in Zimbabwe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former U.S. congressman Mel Reynolds has denied charges of possessing pornographic images and videos two days after his arrest at a hotel in Zimbabwe. This is not the first time the congressman has had run-ins with the law. He was forced to resign his seat in 1995 after being convicted on charges of having sex with a minor.
Wednesday, Reynolds smiled as he walked past journalists and into Zimbabwe's Harare courthouse. There he entered a plea of not guilty to two charges, including possessing pornography.
His lawyer, Arthur Gurira, said Reynolds overstayed his visa which expired in December. The second charge is possession of articles and it’s being alleged they found nude pictures in his phone,” said Gurira.
The former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives was born in 1952 in Mississippi, but he grew up in Illinois.
Lorenzo Morris teaches political science at Howard University and is familiar with Reynolds' career.
“Well, it’s a sad story, but it’s not all that surprising because very often when we are overwhelmed at an early period, as he was when he started his career. Having come from a relatively disadvantaged situation and becoming a Rhodes scholar and then being elected to Congress in a competitive city like Chicago, we forget they have to leave a great deal behind," said Morris.
Reynolds was once a rising star in the Democratic Party but was forced to resign his seat in 1995 for having sex with an underage campaign worker. He also spent time in prison on fraud charges, but his sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton in 2001.
“He was someone who can deal with the black power community and the civil rights community without being a part of it, because he’s been in the elite part of the dominant society’s educational system. But that very separation also brings with it a degree of insularity and vulnerability,” said Morris.
Morris also said that personal weaknesses can remain, whether in Africa or not.  Reynolds has been to Zimbabwe many times, apparently on business.
Last year, he made an unsuccessful bid to return to Congress. That was his second attempt at a political comeback.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
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A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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

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

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Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
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Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

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Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Spectacular 79-acre view property in Guanacaste overlooking tens of miles of pristine coastline with sunset over the Pacific. Own water, electricity, hi-speed internet, property roads, huge building view sites, terraced landscape perfect for growing trees, fruits and vegetables or run horses or cattle, hidden access and high-level security. 169,000 USD. Contact:   or text messages to  8916-5550.

Excazu montage
Trejos  Montealegre, Escazú.
Two bedrooms and two baths.  220 m2 construction on  289 m2 of land. Beautiful contemporary house across from a small park, easy walk to Avenida Escazú.
Great views. Only 7 years old. Two patios and a balcony. In a quiet and secure neighborhood with guard shack across the street. Nice landscaped garden. Sale includes all furniture.  Price: $275,000.    Phone  Ron Eaton  at 8997-1799. Email:

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additonal bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony   and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

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:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email for more information!

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high \[speed internet.

Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to: Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  for more photos/information or go here:

Located in Jacó 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 guacamayas (we have three birds) 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, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

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:

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at: Asking price  $3.9 million. Email or call: 8899-9870.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36
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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
flipped taxi
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policia y Seguridad Pública photo
Taxi ended on its roof at climax of a police chase.

Taxi containing suspects
flips, ending police chase

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two men who had been in a taxi approached a woman at a Curridabat commercial center and robbed her of her possessions, said the Fuerza Pública. A few minutes later police got a report of two men who pulled up in a taxi at another commercial center and broke into a parked car. They put out an alert.

Officers on patrol spotted a taxi that met the description in  San Antonio de Desamparados a short time later Wednesday night and gave chase. The men in the taxi fled until they approached the Rancho de Guanacaste traffic circle on the Circunvalación. that's where the taxi went out of control and flipped.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policia y Seguridad Pública photo
This is the haul the Fuerza Pública made at a checkpoint on the Interamericana Sur. The Policía Fiscal confiscated another load of alcohol Thursday in the Central Valley.

Bilingual job fair opens
today at Antiguo Aduana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo plans a job fair starting today and running through the weekend at the Antiguo Aduana in east San José.

The investment promotional agency known as CINDE  has held nine previous annual job fairs for bilingual and multilingual applicants.

An announcement said that 57 employers will attend.  The agency said that employers hope to fill 3,000 jobs. Hours today and Saturday are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Antiguo Aduana is on Calle 23.

The agency put up a Web page especially for the fair.  It is HERE!

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From Page 7:

Hard winter increases energy costs in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans paid higher energy costs last month as they coped with an unusually cold winter in much of the United States.

The government's Labor Department says consumer prices edged up just one-tenth of a percentage point in January, but the cost of electricity and fuels to heat homes surged.

The monthly report said electricity prices rose 1.8 percent last month, the biggest increase in nearly four years. Natural gas prices jumped 3.6 percent and heating fuel by 3.7 percent. But for the 12 months ending in January, consumer prices advanced only 1.6 percent.

In a separate report, the Labor Department said the number of unemployed workers making first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped by 3,000 to 336,000 last week, an indication that employers are cutting few jobs.

But hiring has been sluggish, with only 188,000 jobs during the past two months combined, even as the jobless rate dropped to 6.6 percent, a five-year low.