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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, Feb. 24, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 38                          Email us
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Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Anti aging

Dengue cases greatly reduced this year over 2013
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A year after a nationwide dengue epidemic, the Ministerio de Salud reported greatly reduced numbers for 2014. Confirmed dengue afflictions have dropped by 67 percent from last year's peak, although there are still more than 1,000 people affected.

Through the Mi Comunidad Sin Dengue campaign, ministry officials claim the agency is headed on the right path in efforts to eliminate dengue from Costa Rica and said they expect these statistics to remain low throughout the year. Numbers remain highest in the northwest region of Chorotega, specifically the Cañas and Bagaces cantons in Guanacasate.

Over all, the 1,062 cases reported this year are about 34 percent of the cases reported by this time last year.

The decrease in dengue's prevalence comes after a concerted attack on its root causes, primarily mosquitos carrying the disease and the standing waters that become compromised. In Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, the ministry is coordinating with community members and leaders on plans to build four biogardens that will treat non-sanitary waters for neighborhood homes. Models like this one will allow families access to clean water,  while also not contaminating local rivers and streams.
According to the ministry, nearly 100 people will directly benefit from this new infrastructure of alternative water sources. And indirectly, the report said, it will lead to a healthier and better off community by initializing an environmentally sound future.

The ministry has also been working with the Unión Nacional de Gobiernos Locales since last August to conduct more field work and research in the most affected areas.

They immediately helped to prevent and battle dengue in 10 cantons, contributing to the disease's rapid decline. Zeidy Morales Pérez said that Unión Nacional has been able to give the ministry a different vantage point by working closely with the communities.

"I believe last year lacked greater citizen participation in the communities," said Ms. Morales. "The ministry took advantage of social media but did not have the view from the ground that Unión Nacional has been able to bring."

Dengue is also referred to as the breakbone fever and is transmitted by mosquitos, most commonly the A. aegypti species.  The tropical-based virus causes fever and muscle or joint problems and is characterized by a rash that appears on the skin. Currently no specific vaccine has been found to battle dengue.

400 officers clamp down on stadium violence
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública flooded the Estadio Nacional with 400 officers Sunday to prevent violence among fans.

The action came in the wake of a new decree that sets up administrative courts at the stadium to receive complaints of violence. The decree by President Laura Chinchilla and relevant ministers went into effect Friday with its publication in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

Officials seemed to be caught short-handed Feb. 16 when violence broke out among members of soccer fan clubs and other spectators at a first division contest in the Estadio Nacional.  Police eventually detained 53 persons, but only two who are suspected of robbery were placed in preventative detention.

The president cannot pass criminal laws, so Ms. Chinchilla set up an administrative system apart from criminal or civil courts. Among other measures, the decree prohibits the entry of potential troublemakers into the stadium. A system is being set up with photos and identifications that will be used to screen spectators.

Juan José Andrade Morales, the director general of the Fuerza Pública, said that 18 persons were apprehended outside the stadium Sunday as suspects in the events that took place a week earlier.  Mario Zamora Cordero, the security minister, said that so called salas de denuncias have been set up staffed with lawyers from his ministry. They are available for denuncias or "complaints."

Clearly the system of keeping certain persons out of the stadium will end up being a constitutional court case.

The game Sunday was between arch-rivals Deportivo Saprissa and Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Officials hammered together the decree last week because a proposed law regulating conduct at sporting events has not yet been passed.  However, the measures seem more than temporary.

First, the decree creates a committee with representatives from ministries and the sports organizations, including the Federación Costarricense de Fútbol. The measure also orders the various ministries, including Educacíon Pública, to give courses about peace and non-violence at sports events.

The decree sets up the scheme in which photos of potential troublemakers will be available to police to screen those who are entering the  stadium.

Those who do violent acts in the stadium will be hustled into the administrative sessions with
cops on
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía  
y Seguridad Pública photo  
Two of 400 officers at the tadium Sunday

lawyers from the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

The decree outlines the various rights afforded to the suspects, including the right to a lawyer. The administrative session will determine the period for which the person will be barred from the stadium.

The decree also said that the period could be cut in half if the individual agreed to take a class on peace and non-violence.

The decree also gives the administrative apparatus the power to impose community service on those brought before it.

In part, the decree is a way to protect the lucrative sports industry from growing violence. The fan groups, called barras, are really little more than street gangs who root for a favored professional team. The decree also seems to recognize the inability of the regular court system to handle these problems.

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Our reader's opinion
His monthly home electric bill
was less than 4,000 colons

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read with interest your article in today's A.M. Costa Rica about photovoltaic (solar) electricity production. We have had a grid-tied system installed for about three years and would never go back.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad permits homeowners to grid-tie their systems to ICE's electrical system in a way that allows the panels to provide the owners with power when there is sufficient sunlight and to use ICE's electricity when there isn't. When the panels produce more electricity than the home's occupants are using, the electricity meter runs backwards creating, in effect, a credit against the bill for the month.

A grid-tied system does not involve a bank of batteries. That makes the initial installation much less costly and maintenance is reduced to virtually zero. A drawback is that when ICE's service is interrupted, the photovoltaic system goes down, too, so that no electricity is introduced into ICE's system while linemen are making repairs.

Ours is an all-electric home. We use the electric range and dryer as needed. We have solar water heating with an electrical element for backup, but if we were doing it again, we would invest in more photovoltaic panels and heat our water with the energy they produced. Both initial installation and operating costs would be cheaper.

Last month (admittedly, a sunny one), our net bill from ICE was ¢3,905 (yup, less than four thousand colons).

The payback on a grid-tied installation will vary from one home to another, but every time that the electricity utility is granted a rate increase, that payback time is shortened.

David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía       
y Seguridad Pública photo      
After the arrest, police created this display of drugs

Osa landlord leads police
to cache of crack and pot

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A dispute with a tenant led a landlord to contact police. The result was the confiscation of presumed drugs, including crack.

The case happened in La Palma de Puerto Jiménez on the Osa peninsula. The landlord wanted to get rid of the tenant, but claimed he was threatened.

When police arrived, they were able to confiscate 55 crack rocks, marijuana seeds and some of the plant material, they said.

Press advocacy missing lists
areas of concern in Honduras

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has expressed concern at a flare-up in violence unleashed against journalists and news media in Guatemala, particularly in the interior of the Central American country.

Members of the association staged a two-day visit in which they consulted representatives of the various branches of government, of civil groups and journalists.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, who headed the international delegation, enumerated three recurring aspects on which the mission consulted, analyzed and observed during its meetings, among them with Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti.

1. The association following 13 missions to Guatemala in the last 15 years, and after having submitted several cases of unpunished murders of Guatemalan journalists to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, voiced its concern at the worsening of violence against journalists in the interior of the country, especially at a climate of impunity and lack of institutional protection, which is giving rise to a vicious circle that is generating greater violence and self-censorship among media and journalists.

The association is calling upon and urging the executive authorities and the attorney general’s office to show greater effort, diligence and speed in the final creation of a journalist protection program, which should have the procedures and necessary resources to protect and prevent violent acts against journalists, through joint actions of the attorney general’s office and civil and press associations. It also calls for greater resources and a more decisive role for the public prosecutor’s office for crimes against journalists set up in 2001 at the direct request of the association following an amicable agreement with the government over the case of Irma Flaquer, kidnapped and gone missing in 1980.

In this regard, the delegation asked for information about the state of the investigations into the murders committed in 2013 of Carlos Orellana Chávez, Luis de Jesús Lima, Luis Alberto Lemus Ruano and José Napoleón Jarquín Duarte, and recent attacks on Nery Morales.

2. Concerning the conflict that is of public knowledge of President Pérez Molina and Vice President Baldetti with the newspaper el Periódico and its editor, José Rubén Zamora, the delegation voiced concern at the various actions taken by the executive branch of government against that news media outlet.

The association acknowledges as a positive development that the president and vice president have dropped criminal charges against Zamora. The visiting newspeople said they were disappointed, however, at the decision of the two stated to the delegation that they will have recourse established by the constitution and the law on expression of thought.

3. The delegation showed special concern at the monopoly of on-air television stations affecting the country, renewing its demand of years concerning the most decisive role that the government should play to encourage a climate of greater diversity and plurality of voices, essential for the greatest respect and enjoyment of citizen’s rights in a democracy.

The delegation said that governments cannot have excuses for inappropriate handling of distribution of electronic media operational licenses, considering these to be finite resources that belong to society. The delegation reported it was unpleasantly surprised by the fact that there has been adopted a system of 25-year extension of licenses.

Ministers to address rustling
in announcing rule changes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cattle rustling or cattle butchering is reaching epidemic proportions, particularly in the northern zone, according to some producers.

The minister of agriculture, Gloria Abraham Peralta, and the security minster, Mario Zamora Codero, are expected to address the issue this afternoon when they announce changes in the regulations relating to exiting laws.

Representatives of both the Coorporación Ganadera Nacional and the Cámara de Productores de Leche are expected to attend.

In addition to the continual stealing of cattle, there are more and more slaughter of single animals in the field, which presumably is done for the meat.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 38
Real Estate
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                  Tax and
Residents association continues to dispute medical rates with the Caja
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Disputes continue between the Association of Residents of Costa Rica and the persistent Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social that has started to charge higher rates for association members.

According to the association general manager, Ryan Piercy, the rising rates and additional requirements have caused much concern from members who are signing petition letters. Piercy said that if the Caja denies any requested changes then the argument will likely head to the constitutional court, Sala IV.

The association that assists foreigners in transitioning to residency in Costa Rica has been involved with this latest dispute since last October, and lawyers for both sides have met to try to reach some settlement.

Piercy and association members are claiming that the Caja's new health insurance figures are arbitrary numbers that have no bearing on regular methods for coming up with such numbers. "Where did these figures come from?" he said. "That's all we're trying to find out from them."

If a court case proves necessary, Piercy estimated the potential proceedings would last at least six months. The association would be
asking for individual case examples and testimonies from its members as part of its legal action.

The new rates for members provided by the association's legal department are:

Pensionados over 55 years old must pay $75 per month. Those under 55 are charged $139 monthly.

Permanent residents over 55 would pay $63 per month. Those under 55 would pay $114. Rentistas over 55 would pay $252 per month, and those under 55 would pay $442 each month.

The legal department said it did not want to publish the figures for investors because the numbers were so high. It is estimated that investors are being asked to pay more than $600 every month to the Caja. Investors are also asked to declare a $3,300 per month income when they were never before required to prove any stream of income. 

Affiliation in the Caja is a requirement for those foreigners who have been awarded residency by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. The association has about 1,000 foreigners who were members of its group plan with the Caja. Many other foreigners have other arrangements with the Caja and make payments based on their monthly income or with some other arrangement.

Dogs prowl through backpacks
to ferret out marijuana and pipes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One technique police officers use to keep drugs out of schools is to have a trained dog inspect the exterior of backpacks.

That is what happened Friday at two high schools where students had to line up while the drug-sniffing dog wandered among their backpacks. The dogs belong to the security ministry's Unidad Canina.

In Heredia a dog managed to sniff out two marijuana pipes and six small quantities of the drug. The items were within a student's lunch, and Fuerza Pública officers said they thought the student put them there when he became aware of the police presence.

In Santa Bárbara de Heredia, a dog encountered more pipes, more quantities of marijuana and cigarette paper for making marijuana cigarettes, said police. All of this was in one backpack, officers said.

Such dog searches are routine, and they sometimes are done during night classes with better results.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública
Police dog checks out a suspect backpack

Government tries to undercut union calls for general strike Tuesday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government is trying to counter public employee unhappiness with a six-month pay raise of less than half a percent.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados has joined with the Asociación Nacional de Educadores and the Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñanza in planning a general strike Tuesday. They are expected to be joined by other groups of public employees who are unhappy about something.

In an effort to defuse the strike, the Ministerio de Educación Pública said Friday that the salaries of teachers have gone up an average of
154 percent over the last few years, and even correct for inflation the increase has been about 90 percent. The ministry also said that fiscal reform was indispensable for an annual average of 8 percent increase in salaries.

The minister, Leonardo Garnier Rímolo, included graphs with his statements that showed a steady increase in base salary and also extra payments to teachers for various reasons.

The unions call for a general strike has focused attention on the public employee salaries with some commentators saying that those in government service are making as much as 50 percent more than those with the same job in the private sector.

DelRey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 38
Real Estate
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Another week of anguish planned for motorists on the Circunvalación
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Circunvalación is being reduced to a single lane east and a single lane west at the site of the August washout.

The Consejo de Vialidad said that the second of four bailey bridges is being taken down so that a permanent bridge can be built.

Traffic for the last week has been over three temporary bridges with police using the middle lane as traffic demands. The backups extended into Hatillo proper even on the weekend.

Traffic on the Circunvalación should be even worse this week as traffic from the six- to four-lane highway will be able to pass over just two single-lane bridges. Transport officials said they expect this situation to last for a week until the first permanent bridge goes into service.

The washout has cost motorists, the government and private firms millions in lost work hours, fuel costs and other expenses.

Workers at this point are installing pre-fabricated concrete beams that will be the base on the new bridges over the Río Aguilar. The location is between the most westward traffic light in Hatillo and the turnoffs to the Ruta 27 Caldera highway.

Consejo de Vialidad photo 
More beams go into place at the site of the first bridge.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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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Real estate for rent (paid category)
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.

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

prime properties
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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 38
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U.S. hopes to lay its hands
on Sinaloa drug cartel leader

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. prosecutors say they plan to seek the extradition of a Mexican drug lord to stand trial in the United States, but it was not immediately clear which country will try him first.
The United States had a $5 million bounty on the head of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, the world's most wanted drug kingpin who was arrested Saturday in Mexico after 13 years on the run. He faces numerous charges in the U.S., and prosecutors in New York said Sunday they want him returned there to stand trial.
But the 56-year-old Guzmán also faces charges in Mexico, and an unfinished term there after his 2001 escape from a prison in a laundry cart. He spent Sunday in a Mexican maximum security prison.
Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested him in a dawn raid Saturday without a shot being fired at a condominium in Mazatlan, a Pacific seaside resort in his home state of Sinaloa.
Later, he was flown in a police helicopter to the prison.
Authorities said they had tracked him for weeks and came close to capturing him a week ago.
But Mexican Attorney General Jesúsillo Karam said the drug kingpin managed to escape then in a specially built tunnel linked to the drainage system in Culiacan, Sinaloa's largest city.  He said police were slowed as they broke down steel-reinforced doors in one of the seven homes he was using.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hailed the arrest as a landmark achievement for Mexico and the United States. Guzman's global drug organization was the leading U.S. cocaine supplier.
The U.S city of Chicago, where drug-related gang violence is a major problem, has declared Guzmán Public Enemy Number One.  He is the first criminal to earn that label since the legendary organized crime boss and prohibition magnate Al Capone in the 1920s.

Surviving von Trapp member
reported to have died at 99

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the singing family whose story was told in "The Sound of Music," has died at 99.

A spokeswoman at the family's lodge in the U.S. state of Vermont says she died Tuesday.

Maria was a member of the Trapp Family Singers. They toured Europe before fleeing their native Austria when the Nazis marched into the country in 1938.

The family settled in Vermont, where in 1942 they opened an inn.

Maria von Trapp chronicled her family's story in a 1949 book, which was adapted into a Broadway musical called "The Sound of Music."

The show was made into an internationally beloved film starring Julie Andrews. Maria was represented in the film as the character Louisa.

Congress returns to work
but with concern for elections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress gets back to work today after a week-long break. Despite recent action to pass a federal budget and raise the nation’s debt ceiling, expectations are low that the politically-divided legislature will tackle momentous and contentious   legislation to reform America’s immigration system and facilitate new international trade pacts.
In last month’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama once again urged Congress to enact immigration reform.
“Immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades.  And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, invent, and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone.  So let us get immigration reform done this year,” said Obama.

Many Republican lawmakers remain opposed to any bill that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.  Others, like House Speaker John Boehner, say the Obama administration cannot be trusted to enforce the law.

“The American people, including many of my members, do not trust that the reform we are talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be,” said the speaker.
On the other hand, Boehner is urging bipartisan backing to boost the administration’s ability to negotiate free trade agreements across the globe.
“The president says he wants to make this a year of action.  That sounds good, but if he wants to make it a year of action, let us work together to pass trade promotion authority that would expand exports and create more jobs in America,” said Boehner.
Under the authority, trade pacts would be subject to an up-or-down vote in Congress without amendment.  President Obama has endorsed expanding trade, but has not named negotiating authority as a top economic priority.
Many congressional Democrats say free trade will ship American jobs overseas.  In the Democratic-led Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid says trade promotion authority is unlikely to get a vote.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says opposition runs high in her caucus.
"I do not think that would have very many votes among Democrats in the House."
Instead, Ms. Pelosi is urging Congress to raise the U.S. minimum wage and to extend jobless benefits for the unemployed, which most Republicans oppose.
All House seats and one-third of the Senate will be contested in midterm elections in November.  During an election year, Congress usually shies away from politically-contentious votes, a tendency that could be repeated in 2014.

Obama backs higher wage
in his weekly national talk

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says restoring the idea of opportunity for everyone requires a year of action from every American, and 2014 is that year.

Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, his recent action included a new requirement that federal contractors paid their employees at least $10.10 an hour.

President Obama said in the year since he asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs, and more states were working on it.

The U.S. leader said there was a bill before Congress that would boost America's minimum wage without requiring any new taxes.

The president said even though Democrats, Independents and many Republicans supported raising the minimum wage, Republicans in Congress did not want to give it a vote.

In the Republican address, Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama's policies spend too much money and concentrate power in Washington. He also said Republicans wanted to repair the damage he said the president has inflicted on the country.

Coalition emerges to oppose
political movement of gays

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Leaders of a new U.S. organization say the group will combat what they call a global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender agenda. Scott Lively of Defend the Family International and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality unveiled the Coalition for Family Values at the National Press Club in Washington.

Lively said the Coalition for Family Values wants what it calls family friendly nations to block efforts to end discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. “The LGBT agenda has already gone too far, but it’s still advancing,” he said.

Among those nations he applauded is Russia. “As the 2014 winter Olympics come to a close in Sochi, Russia, we want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy, and to encourage the governments of the world to follow the excellent example of what the Russian government has said in 2013 and 2014 by banning LGBT propaganda to children and limiting the adoption of children to natural families only,” said Lively.

At Friday's news conference in Washington, he said about 70 anti-gay activists and religious leaders from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Brazil have so far joined the coalition.

“Let us pray for healing for those who choose the LGBT path and within reason respect their rights to be wrong and their private lives, but let us not allow the LGBT political movement to transform the world in its own distorted image,” he said.

Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said American liberals do not care about religious teachings against homosexuality or protecting children from what the group says are efforts to normalize homosexual behavior and gender confusion. 

“Children need a mom and a dad, and a homosexual partner cannot substitute for what a mom or a dad brings to a natural family,” said LaBarbera.

Gay rights activists with the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance heckled the speakers. Ellen Sturtz was one of them.

“I would like to stand for equality and stop the killing that’s going on in your name in Uganda and Russia,” said Ms. Sturtz.

Lively has campaigned in the United States, Europe and Africa for laws against the gay rights movement.

U.S. drug chief says India
will cooperate with safety

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says her agency is not targeting India, though officials plan to impose more U.S. regulations on Indian drug manufacturers.

Margaret Hamburg spoke to reporters Friday after her first official trip to India. She said products sold in the United States and used by American consumers, no matter where they come from, must meet U.S. standards. She spent nine days in the subcontinent.

Ms. Hamburg announced plans to send more U.S. inspectors to India to monitor the safety and quality of Indian pharmaceuticals.

She also signed an agreement with the Indian health ministry pledging cooperation in safety standards.

India has become the second largest provider of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines to the United States, next to Canada.

As the Indian drug industry comes under greater scrutiny for quality lapses, U.S. regulators have called for better compliance with production standards. India is a huge supplier of prescription drugs to the U.S.
Concerns about the quality of medicines exported by India came to the forefront last year after a leading Indian drug company, Ranbaxy, pleaded guilty to falsifying clinical data and distributing adulterated medicines in the United States.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned drug imports from Ranbaxy’s Indian plants and some drugs from another company, Wockhardt.
Although the concerns have been triggered by a handful of companies, it has affected the image of the Indian pharmaceutical industry. India’s industry has boomed on the back of the low-cost drugs it makes and exports to both developing and developed countries. In total, Indian drug exports are worth about $15 billion.   
The secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, D.G. Shah, said drug companies are taking steps to comply with U.S. standards. 
“We are sensitizing organizations and CEO’s themselves have to be alert about the culture change they have to bring in organizations. Jointly with U.S. FDA we will organize seminars in India where Indian companies will be exposed to standards and requirements, how to achieve those,” said Shah.  
Ms. Hamburg has called on Indian regulators to join the U.S. in ensuring more rigorous oversight of drug manufacturing facilities. Hamburg said the industry plays an important role in the global marketplace.
For its part, the U.S. will increase the number of FDA inspectors in India from 11 to 19 as it intensifies inspections of drug factories. India also plans to increase its staff of inspectors from 1,500 to 5,000 over the next five years.
However, Shah said, while some problems have been identified by the U.S. regulator, most Indian drug manufacturing facilities are world class. He said the issue should not be blown out of proportion.  
“We need to put our house in order first and this is something which is being addressed. Media should not be alarmist about what happens to one or two companies out of 300 companies which are exporting to U.S.,” said Shah.
Even as fingers are pointed at a lax approach to quality control by some drug-makers in India, the U.S. concerns are likely to serve as a wake-up call.
Some 40 percent of prescription and over the counter drugs sold in the United States come from India. Most of them are cheaper versions of medicines whose patents have expired.

$2.2 billion given as amount
to help world's needy in 2014

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.N. Children’s Fund is announcing a record $2.2 billion appeal to provide emergency assistance this year for 85 million people, including 59 million children in 50 countries.   While almost 40 percent of the appeal is for Syria and the nearby region, Africa remains the continent with the largest number of emergencies in the world.

The lion’s share of the money, $845 million, would pay for life-saving aid for some 10 million people, half of them children, in Syria and neighboring countries of refuge.  Priority needs include immunization, water and sanitation, education and protection.

While Africa has many emergencies, UNICEF said two in particular stand out. 

UNICEF’s director of emergency programs, Ted Chaiban, said it is urgent to position essential supplies in the Central African Republic and South Sudan before the rainy season begins in six to eight weeks. 

"We are in a race against time,” Chaiban said. He has just returned from a week-long visit to conflict-ridden South Sudan.

“In the case of South Sudan, the whole place becomes swamped, or most of the place becomes swamped.  If you do not move now to pre-position supplies, to strengthen the services, have the resources in place to be able to address issues like malaria, issues like diarrheal diseases and the risk of cholera, issues like severe acute malnutrition, and food and security generally -- then we could be facing a catastrophe in 45 to 60 days,” said Chaiban

Fighting between the government and rebels in South Sudan broke out in mid-December.  The U.N. estimates more than 730,000 people are internally displaced and another 130,000 have fled to neighboring countries.  The majority of those affected are women and children.

While in South Sudan, Chaiban looked at the condition of displaced people in Minkaman and around the capital Juba.  He was also able to visit some of the 38,000 people who have taken refuge in the U.N. compound in Malakal.

He said he was impressed by the work U.N. agencies are doing in providing essential services for these displaced populations. 

“What is important is to be able to access that population and to do so quickly because the more time elapses, the worse the condition of the children that you reach, the more difficult it is to recover  from either malnutrition or diarrheal diseases or upper respiratory infections,” he stated.

Chaiban said $62 million is needed for emergency programs in Central African Republic this year and $75 million for South Sudan.

While those countries and Syria are in the headlines, he urged donors to remember other emergencies, such as Burma, Yemen and Afghanistan, where the desperate humanitarian needs of people are crying out for help.

Chinese are biggest smokers,
and tobacco controls urged

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 13 million deaths could be prevented in China over the next 40 years if the country fully implements global anti-smoking measures. Beijing has not taken many steps, however, to improve tobacco control.

China signed onto the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003, but it has only half-heartedly enforced the world body's strict recommendations to curtail smoking. Experts say that following the guidelines could cut smoking rates 40 percent by the year 2050. Without stronger measures, they estimate 50 million tobacco-related deaths could occur in China over that time.

The authors of a new study based their predictions on a computer model called SimSmoke. 

David Levy of Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington said China, the world’s most populous nation, accounts for about one-third of the world's cigarette smokers. More than half the men in China smoke. 

Levy said people often take up the deadly habit unaware of the long-term health consequences. “Smoking, you know, once it gets established and in many of the low- and middle-income countries, you know there’s kind of a prestige initially to smoking,” he said.

The World Health convention calls for anti-smoking campaigns and bans on smoking in all public places. To discourage smoking, it also calls for health warnings on cigarette packages, programs to help people kick the habit and stiff tobacco taxes.  Experts say a 75 percent increase on cigarette taxes would save about 3.5 million lives, and a marketing ban would save about another 2 million.

Since signing the convention, the Chinese imposed a 12-percent tax on cigarettes, but the higher price was not passed on to consumers.

Teh-we Hu, a professor of public policy economics at the University of California Berkeley, is co-author of the study published in the British Medical Journal.

Hu is optimistic that cultural and social norms in China are changing. He noted that President Hu Jintao is advocating the adoption of a ban on smoking in public and bestowing cigarettes as gifts to officials and employers.

“So, that’s the promising part of it. But we have yet to see whether legislation will be implemented, will be compliant, whether there’s a penalty on it just like we do in the U.S. or in Hong Kong, in Taiwan or in other countries,” he said.

Hu concedes the most effective anti-smoking measure, a major increase in the cigarette tax, is probably a long way off.

Scientist would link DNA
to its species classification

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

All living organisms on Earth could soon have a new name if a Virginia Tech professor has his way.

Boris Vinatzer has developed a system that classifies and names organisms based on their genome sequence.

His study was published in PLoS One.

Vinatzer says his new system would provide scientists and others with a much more precise and clear universal language that could make communicating about all life on Earth easier.

Adopting his system would provide each of Earth’s organisms, whether it’s a bacterium, plant, fungus or animal, with a heartier, more detailed and useful name, according to Vinatzer.

The naming system is based on the one devised in the 18th century by Carl Linnaeus (a/k/a/ Carl von Linné), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who is often referred to godfather of genus (taxonomic rank). The Linnaeus classification system has been used by scientists worldwide for more than 200 years.

“Genome sequencing technology has progressed immensely in recent years and it now allows us to distinguish between any bacteria, plant, or animal at a very low cost,” said Vinatzer, who is with Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute. “The limitation of the Linnaeus system is the absence of a method to name the sequenced organisms with precision.”

Rather than completely change the current naming convention of biological classification, Vinatzer sees his system more as a way to add more specific defining data to the classification of every organism within its already named species.

Since the naming system would depend on an organism’s specific genetic code, he says it would allow for a much quicker and more universal way of identifying new life forms.

The system begins with the sampling and sequencing of an organism’s DNA.

The sequenced DNA is then used to produce unique code that is specific to that individual organism, but is also based on its similarity to other like organisms that have already been sequenced.

Unlike the current method of biological classification where the names of organisms may change and vary over time, Vinatzer says the code system would make names permanent and standardized.

He also says that naming life forms based on his proposed code system would be faster than today’s long and detailed process that requires analyzing one organism’s physical characteristics compared to another’s.

Back in 2009, Vinatzer and a colleague had success with using genome sequencing to trace a pathogen that was devastating kiwifruit crops around the world back to China.

Brazil pleased that stadium
will continue being built

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many in Brazil sighed with relief after international football officials this week approved a construction delay for a Curitiba city stadium.  Last month, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association threatened to remove Curitiba from the 2014 World Cup for failing to meet a series of construction deadlines.  The stadium is now due for completion in mid-May, about a month before the start of the world's most important football event.

Nearly 1,400 workers are now working around the clock to finish the stadium on time.  Electrician Francisco Santos said the federation ultimatum was a wake-up call for Brazilian organizers. “They have now opened their eyes and they are employing enough people," he said. "Now it will work.”

The Geneva-based football federation determined Tuesday that Curitiba is capable of finishing on time the infrastructure necessary for the matches it will host.  Lawyer Nelsson Gomez said the decision saves Brazil's national pride. “It would have been a humiliation if Curitiba had been dropped.”

The country's vice minister of sports, Luis Fernandes, was more concerned about preventing the financial loss Brazil would have suffered if Curitiba had lost its status as a World Cup venue.  

"It's a victory, in quotation marks.  It is a victory as we turned around a situation which was heading towards the axing of a host city.  And we think it's very important that the World Cup takes place in Brazil's 12 host cities.  Because beyond the joy of the competition, it brings development and economic potential to the country's 12 regional centers.  So on this aspect, yes, it was a victory," explained Fernandes. "Ideally, it would not have come to this with Curitiba and the stadium would be already ready."

Others want the construction to end for a different reason.

“We want them to put back in order everything that they got dirty.  That’s what I want,” said Deshanine Dominone who lives near the stadium.

Many Brazilians are not happy about the multi-billion-dollar cost of hosting the World Cup and two years later the Olympic Games.

But former player Ronaldo, a member of the local World Cup organizing committee, said the benefits will be worth it. "It's our job to show to this small minority against the World Cup, that the World Cup will be a big celebration, a big business, leaving hundreds of legacies to our people," he said.

Curitiba venue Arena da Baixada will seat 41,000 spectators.  Officials have promised non-stop parties throughout Brazil during the World Cup.

Malaria detectives trace parasite to African jungle

By the Perelman School of Medicine,
University of Pennsylvania, news service

An international team of scientists has traced the origin of Plasmodium vivax, the second-worst malaria parasite of humans, to Africa, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. Until recently, the closest genetic relatives of human P. vivax were found only in Asian macaques, leading researchers to believe that P. vivax originated in Asia.

The study, led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found that wild-living apes in central Africa are widely infected with parasites that, genetically, are nearly identical to human P. vivax.

This finding overturns the dogma that P. vivax originated in Asia, despite being most prevalent in humans there now, and also solves other vexing questions about P. vivax infection: how a mutation conferring resistance to P. vivax occurs at high frequency in the very region where this parasite seems absent and how travelers returning from regions where almost all humans lack the receptor for P. vivax can be infected with this parasite.

Members of the labs of Beatrice Hahn and George Shaw, both professors of medicine and microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with others tested over 5,000 ape fecal samples from dozens of field stations and sanctuaries in Africa for P. vivax DNA. They found P. vivax-like sequences in chimpanzees, in western and eastern gorillas, but not in bonobos. Ape P. vivax was highly prevalent in wild communities, exhibiting infection rates consistent with stable transmission of the parasite within the wild apes.

Ape P. vivax infects both gorillas and chimpanzees, unlike the ape precursor of P. falciparum, the deadliest human malaria parasite, which only infects gorillas. The origin of P. falciparum in gorillas was discovered several years ago by the same international group of investigators. The team continued its widespread screen of malaria parasite DNA in wild-living primates, and noted that P. vivax was also endemic in gorillas and chimpanzees in central Africa.

To examine the evolutionary relationships between ape and human parasites, the team generated parasite DNA sequences from wild and sanctuary apes, as well as from a global sampling of human P. vivax infections. They constructed a family tree of the sequences and found that ape and human parasites were very closely related. But ape parasites were more diverse than the human parasites and did not group according to their host species. In contrast, the human parasites formed a single lineage that fell within the branches of ape parasite sequences.

From these evolutionary relationships, the team concluded that P. vivax is of African -- not Asian -- origin, and that all existing human P. vivax parasites evolved from a single ancestor that spread out of Africa. The high prevalence of P. vivax in wild-living apes, along with the recent finding of ape P. vivax in a European traveler, indicates the existence of a substantial natural reservoir of P. vivax in Africa.

Of the five Plasmodium species known to cause malaria in humans, P. vivax is the most widespread. Although highly prevalent in Asia and Latin America, P. vivax was thought to be absent from west and central Africa due to a mutation in most indigenous African people.

P. vivax parasites enter human red blood cells via a protein receptor. Because the absence of the receptor on the surface of these cells confers protection against P. vivax malaria, this parasite has long been suspected to be the agent that selected for this mutation. However, this hypothesis had been difficult to reconcile with the belief that P. vivax originated in Asia.

“Our finding that wild-living apes in central Africa show widespread infection with diverse strains of P. vivax provides new insight into the evolutionary history of human P. vivax and resolves the paradox that a mutation conferring resistance to P. vivax occurs with high frequency in the very region where this parasite is absent in humans,” says Ms. Hahn.

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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:

Real estate services
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 38
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Competing Caracas marches
outline divisions in nation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Supporters and opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held rival marches Saturday in Caracas as he summoned all sides to what he described as a peace conference in the coming days.

Opponents of Maduro began marching earlier this month against his government. They say they are tired of out-of-control crime and shortages in supermarkets in an oil-rich nation.

Thousands of Maduro backers held a counter-demonstration, saying he is the democratically-elected leader. His wife, Cilia Flores, described the opposition as fascists.

Meanwhile, Maduro is calling on all sides to join him for peace talks Wednesday.

Late Friday, Maduro invited U.S. President Barack Obama to meet him for talks and condemned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as arrogant and insolent for criticizing the Venezuelan government's use of force against opposition protesters.

In a statement Friday, Secretary Kerry called on the Maduro government to step back from its efforts to stifle dissent through force and respect basic human rights. He also said every government has a duty to maintain public order, and all sides, including the opposition protesters, must refrain from violence.

Protest-related violence has killed 10 people and injured more than 100 others.

President Maduro says the demonstrations are part of a right-wing attempt to topple his socialist government. He accuses the United States and international media outlets of supporting the opposition — a charge the State Department denies. He also revoked the accreditation of CNN reporters covering protests and ordered them to leave the country.

The protests began Feb. 2 in the western city of San Cristobal, led by students angry over the soaring crime rate. Protests quickly spread to Caracas and other major cities, and intensified over the past two weeks.

Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves, but under Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, the economy has declined, street crime is common, and corruption is widespread.

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7:

Here are ways to improve a bad boss

By Elizabeth Morales Coto*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Let´s remember the seven main features of a BAD BOSS:

• Bad or lack of communication or expectation for mind reader abilities from the employees
• Avoiding responsibility for a team`s fault or taking credit for someone else`s findings
 • Different attitudes when the boss is in and out
• Bullying: Yelling, exaggeration or constant violent reprimands
• Overly friendly situations
• Small or no healthy eye contact
• Severe negativity and critique

Now let´s try to find positive turns to make these go away.  Here are some options to try and
 Ms. Morales
Elizabeth Morales Coto
turn each one of the above weaknesses (that`s what they are) into a managerial strength:

1. Communication skills can be improved by deciding on different and constant communication methods: maybe early 10-minute meetings every day to educate your team on what the boss has in mind, or the company`s ideals, memos, or even P2P monthly meetings for feedback.

2. Avoiding responsibility means fear from failure, and taking credit for others' efforts means lack of self-confidence. This can be solved if the boss is fully involved into guiding the team and knowing the productivity and efficiency. This is easily arranged by following step 1 and maybe adding a productivity or goal-reaching monthly report

3. To avoid the employees showing off different attitudes when the boss is present or not, the easiest thing to do is to make up teams and have them
compete in reaching goals. This way, there will always be someone in charge when the boss is gone and the boss will not only get there to put out fires or hang the infidels.

4. When points 1 and 3 are applied, bullying will go away naturally, there will be no need for harsh reactions to obtain positive environment and productivity out of the employees.

5. Overly friendly situations often turn into harassment or lack of respect towards and from the boss, so keeping a positive friendship with the employees, keeping it professional, and staying in that area is the best way to proceed. One or more talks will be necessary with a few workers if the friend zone has been established, but a good worker will always understand, if a proper explanation is given. Talking resolves pretty much everything here.

6. The lack of eye contact represents fear, but if the bullying part is gone, then there will be good business family communication, and this will translate into group chemistry for positive results, therefore, eye contact will be related to attention, interest and the intrinsic need to help the coworkers and boss reach the company goals.

7. When steps 1 and 6 have been put into the picture, then negativity and critique will banish and turn into positive and constructive critique. However, a boss and employees should always think before they talk and always refer to others and to problems in a positive and extra human way. That means that the problem should never be personal, but a situation or conflict external to the persons involved. This way, any conflict will have a fast and proper solution.

Remember that one can only manage those things that can be measured. Any information to be used in decision-making needs to be accurate, functional, representative and realistic. Never hesitate to ask a professional for help or guidance and, better yet, before big fires need to be put out. Remember that problems exist to be solved, and always be a part of the solution. Stay dynamic and flexible to change and adapt positively.

* Ms. Morales is an engineer with a master's of business administration specializing in business strategy and development. She is a principal in CEDAD Asesores and can be reached at