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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published  Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 40                          Email us
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Anti aging

A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz

Unions march
over tiny raise

Public employees unhappy with a pay raise of less than a half a percent took to the streets Tuesday. And this will not be the last protest.

Our story is

Medical crisis reaffirms trust in beach town care
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One hour after undergoing routine throat surgery at Hospital CIMA, Brad Sanson started to bleed uncontrollably. Six hours later, back in a hospital bed, the bleeding had subsided. By then he had lost a third of his blood. The week following his release and return to his home in Jacó, the real estate developer said he noticed he was only feeling worse.

What followed was difficult, but both Sanson and his wife attribute the welcomed outcome to the fact that quality health care is available in the beach community.

Sanson's wife, Kimberly Laferriere, saw her husband getting paler, weaker, and more exhausted after he returned home. Sanson said to her that he felt like a smart phone with 2 percent battery life left. That Thursday they had doctors Masiel Nájera and Orlando Quesada at the nearby Ocean Medical Center take further blood tests to check if the condition was more than just a prolonged recovery.

The results came back two days later, and Ms. Nájera made an in-home visit with Sanson, whose kidneys had shut down so toxins normally filtered out by the organs were being released into his blood. "We made the general check-up and discovered he had a complication with his initial bleeding," Ms. Nájera said. "We saw that his kidneys were really failing."

Sanson’s hemoglobin level reached a mark of 10, when the normal adult male is supposed to have a level between 14 and 18.

Ms. Nájera called Quesada once she received the discouraging test results and told him to double check them. Still wearing his board shorts and sandals from a day of surfing, Quesada rushed over and brought an internal medicine specialist from Puntarenas. After 45 minutes the tests confirmed that Sanson had acute renal insufficiency, according to Quesada. “That is something that if it doesn't get treated immediately, it is life-threatening,” he said.

Ms. Laferriere drove her husband two hours to Clínica Bíblica in San José. There Quesada had already arranged a kidney specialist to take Sanson into immediate surgery. Doctors were able to get his kidneys to function again. He spent three days at the hospital and was then able to return home again. After seeing his initial condition, doctors at Biblica were astonished at the fact that there would be no lingering health issues for Sanson.

"They were able to restart the kidneys, and they look like they're not going to have any long-term effects," he said.

Originally working with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, Ms. Majera and Quesada started Ocean Medical Center in September 2012. The doctors try to see each patient for 40
Sansons at home
Brad Sanson photo
Brad Sanson and his wife, Kimberly, at home.

minutes to an hour, personalizing each plan of attack to assist him or her. Quesada said if a doctor can discover more about someone's background and tendencies they can dictate whether its appropriate to prescribe medicine or merely suggest alternative habits and diets. He still works part-time with the Caja, but said he enjoys the ability of his private practice to give patients attentive treatment options.

“With the Caja you have about 12 minutes per patient, and that is not enough,” he said. “We're trying to give time to each of our patients.”

In all, it will take Sanson a month to recover before he can get back to work for his company, Vista CR. He and his wife agreed they’ve taken it as a well-received result when compared to what could have happened.

The couple used to live in Ontario under the publicly funded Canadian medical care system. “Here they are more passionate, and they are quicker,” Sanson said. “We prefer the Costa Rican system. It's much more personal.”

Though Clínica Bíblica and Ocean Medical are private institutions, many of the doctors, like Quesada, spend time at public hospitals. Some friends and neighbors in the community had told Ms. Laferriere after hearing about her husband's near-fatal incident that Ms. Nájera and Quesada had helped save lives before.

“A lot of people think that Jacó is nothing but a little beach town,” she said. “But we have very sophisticated doctors here.”

Ms. Laferriere and her husband credit the doctors for keeping him alive. But when asked about Ocean Medical’s budding importance to a small community, Ms. Nájera insisted they are just there to help.
“We’re just trying to take care of the people,” she said. “We try to have a good relationship with the patients.”

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Woman chains self to post
seeking justice from courts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Limón woman chained herself to a pole outside the court building in Goicoechea Tuesday because she wanted to draw attention to her case. The Poder Judicial identified the woman by the last names of  Morales Serrano. The Poder Judicial also said that a hearing in a case in which she is the victim is scheduled March 5.

The woman lives in Cieneguita, a section of Limón that is basically ruled by gangs. However, the situation may be a neighborhood dispute.

The Poder Judicial said that last June 16 someone pumped at least 17 shots into the home occupied by Ms. Morales. On another occasion someone tried to burn down an unoccupied home on property owned by the Morales family, said the Poder Judicial.

A woman has been detained as the suspect in the shooting incident, and the Poder Judicial said that a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 5 and that the prosecutor is going to ask that the case go to trial.

Goicoechea is where the courts of the  II Circuito Judicial de San José are located.

Two climate change measures
get first legislative OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature passed on first reading two measures Tuesday that relate to climate change. The first is a ratification of an agreement between the Global Green Growth Institute and Costa Rica.

The second is a law that established a framework for the development of public policies related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Global Green Growth Institute says on its Web site that it is "dedicated to pioneering and diffusing a new model of economic growth in developing and emerging countries, known as 'green growth,' that simultaneously targets key aspects of economic performance, such as poverty reduction, job creation and social inclusion, and those of environmental sustainability, such as mitigation of climate change and biodiversity loss and security of access to clean energy and water."

The organization also reports that it has obtained observer status at the U.N. General Assembly.

Both measures require a second affirmative vote, perhaps Thursday.

National Astronomy Week/David Arditti        
Jupiter is obvious in the night sky.

Jupiter will be the star
of nighttime sky show

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Astronomers, both professional and amateur, are touting the fantastic opportunities that star gazers have to see Jupiter up close and personal. Well, at least nearer than most of the time.

Chris Arridge, an astronomer from University College, London, said that someone with binoculars ought to be able to see some of the big planet's moon. He was quoted in a release for National Astronomy Week in Britain.

The best time will be about midnight. The planet was the closest to the earth Jan. 5,  but now Jupiter is moving higher in the night sky and will be at 23.3 degrees March 11, according to David Dickinson  on the Universe Today Web site.

The Central Valley is having clear skies these days with low humidity, so the planet should be easy to spot.

Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo        
Traffic officer removes plates from a racer's car.

Three law enforcement units
are on a drag racing mission

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police and judicial agents were out in force last week to crack down on drag racing in the Central Valley.

In most cases they said they were acting on citizen complaints, mainly about the noise.

The Policía de Tránsito, the Fuerza Pública and agents from the Judicial Investigating Organization confiscated four automobiles and 11 motorcycles. They also issued a number of traffic tickets and confiscated license plates.

Traffic engineers are planning to install warning strips that cause vibration in vehicles at spots where there is a lot of drag racing.

These places include Ruta 32, just north of San José, near Parque Okayama in San Francisco de Dos Ríos, at Loma Linda in Pavas, and at Hacienda Vieja on the Autopista Florencio del Castillo.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that it is developing an integrated response to the problem. That means the police probably will be out this weekend, too.

Insurance firm planning
day of recycling in city

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the state insurance company, will be accepting material for recycling today at Parque España opposite the company's headquarters. The event is the first of four planned this year, the company said.

Accepted will be paper, plastic, glass, cans and even unwanted electronic equipment, an announcement said. The Municipalidad de San José is involved in the effort, and the material collected will be taken to the municipal recycling center in Hatillo, said the announcement.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 40
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Poás sends up another column of ash to enhance its attraction to tourists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just when the country's tourism could use a little help, the Volcán Poás is clearing its throat.

The volcano issued a column of ash 400 meters high Tuesday, and emergency officials noted that the mountain has long been the subject of a low-level alert.

The national emergency commission said that the volcano has been showing this type of activity since March 2006. The latest activity began Sunday with ash being ejected from the lagoon in the crater. The volcano has one of the largest craters in the world, so no tourists on the rim were endangered.

Volcano scientists from both the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro and Universidad Nacional in Heredia have been keeping an eye on the activity.

The material that was ejected upwards consisted of gas, water and mud, said the emergency commission, which is correctly called the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias. There was no lava, it added. The distance that the volcanic column rose is a bit more than 1,300 feet.

Signs are being posted at access points, including the one to the visitor overlook. These give suggested evacuation routes in the event the volcano becomes more active, said the commission.

Park guards are at the volcano 24 hours a day, and they can advise
Poas tourists
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias photo
Tourists check out a sign that outlines an evacuation route.

tourists if the need arises. The volcano still is open for visitors. Because of its location close to the Central Valley, Poás is one of the country's most-visited tourism sites. It is a feature on most one-day tours. The volcano also is the only active one where visitors can look into the crater easily.

A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Marchers line up on Avenida Segunda for a hike in the blazing sun.
Public employee unions take to the streets to show their displeasure
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the middle of Avenida Segunda and Calle Central, the first wave of marchers stopped. The microphone was passed off between an array of public workers to voice their displeasures with the state. The municipality worker who was sweeping Parque Central took the microphone before the meat packer who was making his morning round of deliveries.

Public employees from the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Acueductos y Alcantarillados started off Tuesday’s strikes by calling San Jose’s workers to join them on the street. Together they decried a government mandated .43 percent raise in base salaries while pointing out that simultaneously some of the population is without water, light, and proper food.

Around noon public workers marched through Avenida Segunda from Sabana to the front of the Ministerio de Hacienda. A variety of workers groups joined the demonstration, including those from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Banco Popular and the Sindicato Trabajadores Petroleros químicos y Afines.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados
coordinated the strike to show that the nation’s workers believe they should be awarded more compensation for their jobs.

Early on the crowd chanted and clapped while repeating, Doña Laura ya se va. In celebrating the eventual departure of President Chinchilla, they also put on notice the two candidates vying to succeed her that workers and their families demand to share an even playing field with the nation’s elites.

Nurses and employees from state-run hospitals also took to the streets. Both Calderón Guardia and Hospital Nacional de Niños each lost 28 members of their staff to join the strikes. Directors from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said that these absences did not cause any serious effects on normal operations.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that 56 percent of its electrical agencies were closed mainly in Alajuela, Turrialba, the central pacific and the south Pacific.

The telecommunications section of the state company had about 70 percent of its office staff and technicians absent, it added.

Union officials said that there were as many as 5,000 persons in the protest in San José.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 40
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Griffin, the grey parrot, appears to understand benefits of sharing
By the University of Lincoln news staff

A study into whether grey parrots understand the notion of sharing suggests that they can learn the benefits of reciprocity.

The research involved a grey parrot called Griffin, who consistently favored the option of sharing with two different human partners.

Griffin was presented with a choice of four different colored cups. A green cup (the sharing option) meant he and his partner each got treats. A pink cup represented the selfish choice as only Griffin got a treat, an orange cup was the giving option as only his partner got a treat, and a violet cup denoted the spiteful selection as no one got treats.

With few exceptions he consistently favored green for each human partner, indicating he understood the benefits of choosing the sharing option.

The results of this study, carried out by Franck Péron, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom with colleagues at Harvard University and Brandeis University,  have now been published in the journal Animal Cognition.

The question under investigation was whether Griffin would learn the human partner’s actions, understand that the human was replicating his own behavior by acting in a reciprocal manner, and that by choosing the green sharing cup, he could maximize the overall payoff, because then each would receive a reward on each turn.

It followed a previous study conducted by the same team, which focused on grey parrots and used a similar token-based system, demonstrating a limited understanding of reciprocity in grey parrots.

When the pairs involved several different human-parrot pairings with each human playing a specific role, such as being selfish, giving, or copying the bird’s behavior, the  birds’ responses only tended towards consistency with human behavior.

It was theorized that the birds’ inability to understand the copycat condition fully - that they could potentially maximize reward by choosing to share - was a consequence of their viewing the copycat’s behavior as erratic, compared with the consistently selfish or giving humans and therefore not realizing that they were being mirrored.

Péron said: “This follow-up experiment has shown that at least one grey parrot, the dominant in this case, responded in a manner suggesting that he deduced the appropriate eventualities.

“With few exceptions, Griffin chose the green sharing cup. He seemed to understand the parameters of the study; that is, that each person was mirroring Griffin’s own behavior and not acting erratically. Although choosing pink (selfish) would have presented the same immediate reward as choosing green (sharing), Griffin did  not act in that manner. He seemed to figure out fairly quickly that
University of Lincoln photo
Griffin, the parrot who believes in sharing.

his choice of pink meant that he would miss a reward when the human subsequently made the choice.”

A possible explanation for Griffin’s behavior may be derived from two papers on primates, which argue that various forms of reciprocal behavior in non-human primates can be explained as either a balancing act between fairness and empathy, or fairness and welfare.

The basic idea in both papers is that the choice of group members to reciprocate in kind derives from the interplay among selfishness, some level of concern for the well-being of others, and some sense of fairness.

The new data suggests that some level of reciprocity can be demonstrated in at least one avian species, whatever the underlying mechanisms. The basis for such behavior may be a consequence of the same evolutionary pressures that were exerted to develop advanced cognitive and communicative abilities in both avian and primate lineages.

The team suggested that copycat trials should be performed as a separate experiment, without being contrasted with trials in which humans acted consistently, in order to determine if results might have differed.

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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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.
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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
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 40
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Future of drones in U.S.
hinges on new regulations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Commercial drones, unmanned planes doing regular tasks, are being used more and more around the world. Some assignments for these unmanned aircraft are surprising and others are amazing. A drone can be a flying camera, capturing pictures impossible for human pilots in large aircraft. But they do more than just take pretty pictures, and are cruising the skies in many countries with few restrictions.

In England, a drone delivers sushi to restaurant tables. It is, in effect, a flying waiter.

In South Africa, drones are conducting wildlife research on elephants, impalas, giraffes and other wild animals.

Over the Pacific Ocean, drones take graceful video of whales at play.

In Indonesia and China, drones will soon transport gold from mines.  

Producer Chris Kippenberger, who creates TV commercials in Germany for high-end cars, says drones open up all kinds of possibilities.  "You can now keep the principal, keep the natural action that they are doing and start the shot from the top of a building and have the drone fly down to the person."

Drones have also attracted unwanted attention. Two Canadians were jailed for more than two months in Egypt for filming with a drone. And Turkish police shot down a drone taking pictures of anti-government protesters last year.

The use of drones has raised privacy issues. At a recent U.S. Senate hearing about regulating commercial or private drone use, Henio Arcangeli of Yamaha USA testified about his company's experience with a drone model called the RMax. "During its more than two decades of flight, the RMax logged 1.8 million hours of flight, and to our knowledge had not a single complaint of  privacy."

Mary Cummings, who heads the human and autonomy lab at Duke University, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that the United States is not "leading the drone industry - it is lagging."

Currently, drones can only fly in the U.S. on a limited basis, and typically for research.
David Kirstein, who works on airline regulatory law, says there are good reasons for these limitations. "These technologies are new. They are not proven. Particularly, there are lots of issues mixing them in with other air traffic.”

Privacy advocates such as Leslie Harris, former head of the Center for Democracy & Technology, say laws are needed to protect civil liberties in the face of technological advances. “Technology outstrips law over and over again and it takes years to catch up," Harris said. "We are expanding it off the Internet to devices, to drones, to cars, to refrigerators, and we are going to have to finally make a decision as a country whether we value privacy or not, and if we do, then we have to get some basic laws in place."

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates 7,500 drones will fill American skies within five years, but only after it publishes regulations about their use. Those rules are due next year, but experts doubt the deadline will be met.

German energy costs soar
as nation adopts wind, solar

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Germany is one of the top producers of renewable energy in the world. Since the year 2000 the country’s production of clean electricity jumped from a modest 6 percent to 25 percent last year in an effort to shift the German economy from nuclear power and fossil fuels towards wind and solar energy. Despite the progress, German consumers pay among the highest electricity prices in the European Union. 

Lissy Ishang started turning off appliances to save energy when she moved away from home a decade ago. Back then, her family was paying half the price Germans pay today for electricity and this year German consumers are expected to pay even more.
Today an average family of four in Germany spends about $107 a month for electricity. This year, their monthly bill will be $129, almost three times more than a family in the United States.
“I always make sure that things are turned off when I leave home. I pull plugs and shut down appliances. I am trying to be careful how much we use because electricity is really, really expensive,” Ms. Ishang said.

The price hike is due to an increase in the renewable energy surcharge. The surcharge is one of many government fees, taxes and subsidies that are passed on to average consumers and fund Germany’s renewable energy sector.
Niels Schnoor is a policy officer with the Federation of German Consumer Organizations in Berlin. He said Germany’s aggressive expansion into green energy, expensive off shore wind farms and generous subsidies will continue to drive up energy prices.
“Partly, the high energy prices are due to mistakes made by the government. If we had focused from the very beginning on the cheap technologies maybe the energy prices would not be as high as they are at the moment,” said Schnoor.
A recent government study found that 8 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from wind farms, mostly in northern Germany and the North Sea where winds are strong. Over 4 percent comes from solar energy, especially from southern Germany and Bavaria where many homes and public buildings are covered with solar panels. The rest of the renewable energy is generated by hydropower, biofuels and biomass plants.

Paul Hockenos is an energy expert and journalist based in Berlin. He said building a green energy infrastructure like wind and solar parks, is expensive but once in place, Germans can expect not just lower prices but also greater energy independence.
"Don’t forget, what Germany is doing right now. It’s changing its power supply. The last time when an energy supply was changed was the industrial revolution; this is something that has never been done before. And Germany is not any country when it comes to heavy industry and exports power. Yes, there are price increases but Germany is still competitive on the international market," he explained. "Last year it exported more goods than it did in its history. It also exports electricity.”
In the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima disaster in 2011, Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed Germany’s pledge to abandon nuclear power and shut down eight of its 17 nuclear reactors. Germany plans to completely phase out its nuclear energy production in the next decade.

The government’s goal is that by 2050, 80 percent of electricity will come from renewable sources. Schnoor said that will be possible only if Germany abandons its costly approach for a more cost effective green energy industry.
“We need a new start, we have to focus on the very cost effective technologies which in my opinion are wind power and solar power. We don’t need other technologies, other renewable in order to achieve the goals of the energy transition in Germany,” Schnoor stated.
Some would say Germany’s transformation from a fossil fuel to a green economy is a success. But consumers and industries have found the transition to an alternative source of energy has come at a hefty price. Peter Altmaier, the German minister of the environment, says the total cost of the energy transition in Germany will eventually amount to $1.3 trillion.

U.S. home prices increase
but less steeply recently

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. home prices rose at the fastest rate in eight years in 2013, but the gains have slowed recently.

Tuesday's Case-Shiller report showed housing prices rose more than 11 percent during the year. The report also showed prices falling slightly in recent months, however, as rising interest rates and foul winter weather slowed home sales.

Many economists expect home prices to rise more slowly this year than last.

Investors and economists watch housing closely because severe problems in this sector played a key role in the financial crisis.

The crisis also hit the job market hard, driving up the unemployment rate.

Recent college graduates still complain it is hard for some of them to find work.

Tuesday's study from Gallup shows that prospective employers say knowledge in a relevant field and applied skills are more important than a candidate's college or major.

Bitcoin takes a beating
as one exchange closes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The value of bitcoin virtual currency was down sharply Tuesday, after a major online exchange for the currency abruptly closed its Web site.

At the same time, rumors circulating through the Internet suggested that hackers had stolen as much as 6 percent of all bitcoins from the Mt. Gox exchange.

The Japan-based digital currency operator closed its Web site Tuesday and its offices did not respond to requests for comment. Later, Mt. Gox posted a brief notice saying it closed all transactions to protect the site and its users.

Earlier this month, Mt.Gox halted withdrawals of bitcoins, citing unusual activity, prompting angry protests from investors.

Internet reports say that hackers have been secretly stealing bitcoins for years and that Mt. Gox lost 744,000 bitcoins out of 12.4 million currently in circulation.

One of the Web sites that follow the price of bitcoin,, places its current value at less than $500, down from above $1,200 in November.

Bitcoin is one of several so-called cryptocurrencies circulating around the world allowing individuals and companies to make digitally coded payments without fees usually charged by financial companies.

Since its introduction in 2009, bitcoin has seen several sharp rises and drops in its value.

Three Venezuelan diplomats
sent home from posts in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has expelled three Venezuelan diplomats, a week after Venezuela expelled three U.S. diplomats it accused of conspiring with student protesters.

The State Department said Tuesday the envoys have 48 hours to leave the U.S.

Venezuela and the United States have not had ambassadors in each other's countries since 2010, although they have maintained embassies.

Despite the latest tensions, Venezuela is expected to name a new ambassador to the U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Monday he is selecting an ambassador to improve dialogue with the United States and because Americans think Venezuelans are killing each other.

Three weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela have left at least 14 people dead and about 150 injured. The demonstrations are the biggest challenge to Maduro since he took power last April.

Venezuela has accused the United States of meddling in its internal affairs, while the U.S. has expressed its own concerns about the leftist government of Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, including its ties to countries such as Iran, Russia and Cuba.

The anti-Maduro protesters say the president's socialist-inspired policies have led to shortages of basic goods and inflation above 50 percent, despite the country's vast oil reserves.

Maduro, meanwhile, accuses opponents of trying to stage a U.S.-backed coup.

Everyone in Venezuela
wants to blame someone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Continuing anti-government protests in Venezuela are posing the greatest threat to the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro since the handpicked successor to the late Hugo Chávez narrowly won election to office last year.  In this oil-rich country nearly everyone is angry about food shortages, soaring inflation, and the high crime rate, but there are sharp divisions over who is to blame and how to fix the problems.

The student-led protests in Venezuela, that began weeks ago, have led to some violent and deadly confrontations with police, and have sharpened the political divisions in the country.

All Venezuelans are frustrated with near hyper inflation rates, chronic shortages of basic goods, and violent crime.  But Eric Olsen, a Latin America analyst with the Woodrow Wilson Center, says they are divided over who to blame.

“People who are protesting are trying to hold the government accountable for this, pointing the finger at mismanagement or policy problems on the part of the government," he said. "The government itself is blaming agitators, it's blaming the United States.”

Olsen says President Maduro’s recent expulsion of three U.S. diplomats for allegedly helping the student protests bolsters his popularity among his supporters.

Meanwhile, Maduro says he wants to directly engage the U.S. on these charges and will send an ambassador to Washington to fill the long-vacant post.

“I call for the dialogue now, I accept this challenge," he said. "Let's initiate a high-level dialogue and let's put the truth out on the table.”

For its part, the United States has denied any involvement in the Venezuelan protests and has reciprocated by expelling three Venezuelan diplomats. 

“When President Maduro calls for a dialogue with the U.S. president and an exchange of ambassadors, he should focus instead on a dialogue with the Venezuelan people, because that is what is at issue here," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "This is not about the United States.”

Despite having the world's largest oil reserves, spending for the socialist programs providing free housing, health care and other services to the poor have burdened the economy.  Olsen says Venezuela has to find a way to live within its means while preserving these popular programs.

"So the question is can you continue those kinds of programs but have a better and more reformed economic policy that doesn’t create such a crisis and I think that’s the challenge for both the government and for the opposition to some extent,” he said.

But so far the country remains divided over what to do and who to blame.

Korean airline assessed fine
for weak crash response

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government is ordering South Korea's Asiana Airlines to pay a $500,000 fine for failing to adequately assist the families of passengers on a plane that crash landed last year at San Francisco International Airport.

This is the first time the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued such a fine.

Three people died and about 180 were injured when Asiana Flight 214 hit a seawall while landing on July 6 of last year.

Announcing the fine Tuesday, transportation officials said in a statement that Asiana's response to the crash indicates the carrier failed to commit sufficient resources to carry out its family assistance plan.

The statement said Asiana took two days to successfully contact the families of 75 percent of the plane's 291 passengers. It said several passengers' families were not contacted until five days after the crash.

Transportation officials found that, for days, Asiana lacked the interpreters and personnel needed to carry out its responsibilities under the 1997 Foreign Air Carrier Family Support Act. The department said the airline also failed to establish a crisis phone line until a day after the crash.

Asiana is South Korea's second largest airline after Korean Air.

Sinaloa boss will remain
in México for his trial

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Mexican federal judge has ruled that drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán must remain in Mexico to face drug trafficking charges.
Mexican officials have made increasing clear that they want Guzmán to face all local charges as well as interrogation by Mexican investigators looking to dismantle his cartel before they consider extraditing him to the United States.
Guzmán has been indicted in at least seven U.S. jurisdictions for crimes committed while head of the Sinaloa cartel, which stretches across North America and as far away as Europe and Australia.
Guzmán was captured Saturday in the Pacific coast city of Mazatlan after 13 years on the run.
About 80,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since the early 2000's, including murders and beheadings.  Former president Felipe Calderón sent in the army to try and quell the violence.
Forbes magazine lists Guzmán among the world's most powerful people, saying he is worth more than $1 billion.

Fired newspaper editor
stabbed in Hong Kong

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A former newspaper editor in Hong Kong, whose recent removal prompted anti-Beijing protests, is fighting for his life after being stabbed by unknown attackers.

Hong Kong police said Kevin Lau was walking to his car early today in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood when he was attacked by assailants who escaped on a motorcycle. He is in critical condition.

Lau was fired last month as the editor of the Ming Pao newspaper, which is known for its investigative journalism and hard-hitting coverage of Chinese politics. He was replaced by a pro-Beijing editor.

The removal, along with several similar cases, has raised fresh concerns over deteriorating press freedom and mainland China's rising influence in the semi-autonomous territory.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association condemned the attack on Lau "in the strongest terms" and urged authorities to bring the attackers to justice "as quickly as possible to allay public fears."

In a statement, Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung said he was outraged and indignant over the attack. He said the territory will not tolerate this kind of violence and will bring the assailants to justice.

In recent weeks, thousands have turned out at various protests outside the office of the mainland-friendly Leung, urging him to keep his promises to uphold freedom of the press.

Journalists have said they are increasingly pressured, often directly by Hong Kong officials, to write only positive articles about the Chinese Communist Party. They claim that those who comply are rewarded, and those who do not are often fired.

The former British colony, which was returned to China in 1997, has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and its citizens are still able to exercise political rights not allowed on the mainland.

New data may shine light
on when volcanos erupt

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research by scientists from the University of California-Davis and Oregon State University may make it easier to predict when a volcano is ready to erupt.

A new study published recently in the journal Nature says that before an eruption, the volcanic magma or the molten/semi molten rock under the volcano must first be in a state where it is fluid enough to erupt.

“People think about there being this big reservoir of liquid magma under a volcano, but we don’t think it’s in that state all the time,” said Kari Cooper, lead author of the study and an associate professor at the University of California-Davis.

They’ve also found that the time it takes for magma to liquefy takes less time than previously thought, making a dormant volcano an active one in as little as a couple of months.

The researchers made their findings after studying Mount Hood, a dormant volcano near the Oregon/Washington border.

The magma that would supply an eruption of Mt. Hood lies between four to five kilometers beneath the volcano.

“The question is, ‘what percentage of time is the magma in an eruptible state?”’ Cooper asked.

The California/Oregon research team found that the magma tucked beneath Mt. Hood has been stored for at least 20,000 to 100,000 years. It has been in a cold or immobile state for between 88 percent and 99 percent of those years.

For the magma to liquefy to eruption levels, the researchers said that its temperature will need to be more than 750 degrees centigrade.

“If the temperature of the rock is too cold, the magma is like peanut butter in a refrigerator,” said the co-author of the study, Adam Kent, from Oregon State University. “It just isn’t very mobile. For Mount Hood, the threshold seems to be about 750 degrees centigrade. If it warms up just 50 to 75 degrees above that, it greatly increases the viscosity of the magma and makes it easier to mobilize.”

This boost in temperature is caused when hot magma located much deeper beneath the Earth’s crust pushes its way to the surface and mixes with the cooler more solid volcanic rock.

Kent said that the mixing of the hot and colder types of magma is what set off Mount Hood’s last two eruptions about 220 and 1,500 years ago.

Fortunately, according to the researchers, when Mt. Hood did erupt, they weren’t very violent in nature.  The magma oozed out of the top of the volcano, instead of exploding like other volcanic eruptions.

“What happens when they mix is what happens when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste in the middle,” Kent said.  ”A big glob kind of plops out the top, but in the case of Mount Hood it doesn’t blow the mountain to pieces.”

Kent and his colleague Alison Koleszar found in a previously conducted study, that mixing magma from two different sources, that may also have different compositions, not only could trigger an eruption, but also adds a constraining factor that determines just how violent the eruption could be.

The researchers said that crystals form within the magma as it cools.  The ability for the magma to be mobile depends on the amount of crystallization.  When the volcanic rock is more than 50 percent crystalline it’s pretty much immobile and not really in a state for eruption.

As the magma grows colder, the scientists added, the crystallization process itself also slows down.

Studying volcanic rock from previous Mount Hood eruptions the researchers were able to determine the age of the crystals by observing the rate of decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements.

According to the study, calculating a combination of the magma crystal’s age along with its rate of growth can provide scientists with a geologic fingerprint to help them determine just when the magma becomes heated enough to cause an eruption.

“What is encouraging from another standpoint is that modern technology should be able to detect when magma is beginning to liquefy, or mobilize,” Kent said, “and that may give us warning of a potential eruption. Monitoring gases, utilizing seismic waves and studying ground deformation through GPS are a few of the techniques that could tell us that things are warming.”

Japanese seek suspects
in Anne Frank book

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japanese authorities are looking for suspects responsible for defacing almost 300 copies of books by and about Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose famous diary is considered one of the best-known testimonies about the Holocaust.

News of pages being torn from the books in 31 public libraries in Tokyo has left Jewish scholars shocked.   

“We know that there are scores of libraries and at least hundreds and maybe more copies of the diary of Anne Frank and other books that deal with Anne Frank, that have been vandalized, ripped apart, desecrated,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

Miss Frank’s "Diary of a Young Girl" was written in World War II by the Jewish teenager as she lived in hiding with her family in Amsterdam, then occupied by Nazi Germany.

The family was discovered and sent to concentration camps.  Anne died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.  Her father Otto was the only member of the immediate family to survive the war.  He published Anne’s diary in 1947 and it has sold millions of copies, becoming a symbol of the Holocaust.

The Wiesenthal Center issued a statement expressing its concern about the book’s destruction in libraries in the Tokyo area.

“Obviously, you’re not talking about one or two incidents, you’re talking about a wide geographic location, and we’re talking about some sort of organized effort,” Cooper said.

Cooper is a frequent visitor to Japan, and after the news of the vandalizing broke, he contacted a member of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s staff to air his organization’s concerns.

Cooper said the recent defacing campaign emerged earlier this month when Tokyo librarians noticed that numerous copies of the diary were damaged.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga condemned the destruction of the books.

Rotem Kowner, professor of Japanese history and culture at the University of Haifa in Israel, said "Diary of a Young Girl" has been popular in Japan since its publication there in 1952.

“The popularity has not dwindled during all those years, I think by now more than five million copies have been sold, so this is probably one of the most popular books for youth in Japan throughout the postwar years,” Kowner said.

The development also comes at a time when tensions concerning atrocities committed by Japan during World War II have risen, with critics in China and South Korea calling on Tokyo to do more to atone for its past. 

Abe recently visited the Yasukuni Shrine, a monument to the country’s war dead that also includes the remains of 14 convicted war criminals, an action that caused immediate condemnation from Bejing and Seoul.

“There is a huge internal debate and struggle within Japan, and of course across Asia, of coming to grips with what happened in the era of Imperial Japan and the atrocities that took place in Asia, and the current tensions between China and Japan,” Cooper said.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
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:

                      • Building completion services
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                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

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.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

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.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

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

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
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 home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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. Owner will work with real estate sales people.   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
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 40
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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
Drought exposes gold
hidden in California rivers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The severe drought in southern California has created lots of hardship, but it also has created a new California gold rush.

Rapidly receding water levels in rivers and creeks are exposing gold under rocks and in crevices that used to be inaccessible.

Golddiggers are turning out with pans and other equipment, often with entire families, hoping to strike it rich as long as they stay on public land and do not dig in someone else's claim.

Most people are finding small nuggets and slivers that make good conversation pieces. A few lucky amateurs are digging up as much as $200 in gold.

The original California Gold Rush of 1849 is one of the great stories of U.S. history. The discovery of the precious metal in northern California brought hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to California with the dreams of great wealth.

Only a handful of people found enough gold to get rich, but the Gold Rush led to statehood for California and the growth of large cities, including San Francisco.

This time around, it was a true gold rush for one northern California couple right in their own backyard.

While walking their dog on their property, they stumbled on some decaying tin cans poking up from the ground under a tree. The cans held $10 million in rare gold coins from the late 1800s.

Coin experts said the money is in mint condition and dates between 1847 and 1894, in denominations of $5, $10 and $20. They say it is extremely rare to find such coins in perfect condition.

No one knows who buried the treasure, and the couple who found it wish to remain anonymous. Some of the coins go on public display this week.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

State telecom firm to launch its 4G LTE system

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the state-run power and telecom company, will be launching its 4G LTE service today.

The increase up in mobil telephone speed is considered a step to true 4G standards. LTE means long-term evolution, and the system is considered the first world standard for mobil networks. It has been used in other countries starting nearly five years ago.

The state company faced some legal challenges to market this system. A court decision last week affirmed the company's right to use the system.

Although the 4G LTE is not quite true 4G, the system is close enough so that it will be marketed under that name. The state company has called its product Ultra. Either a chip or a datacard will be available. Speeds are supposed to be between six and 10 megabits per second. Capacity is supposed to be from one gigabyte to five gigabytes, according to the company.

Actual speeds depend on the customer's equipment and the locations where the company has the system in operation, it said.