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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                               Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 42                                          Email us
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Anti aging

Land exit tax likely to be enforced starting Monday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica is expected to begin requiring proof of payment of an exit tax Monday at land border crossings.

This is the tax that went into effect Dec. 2 and was abruptly ignored the same day because there was no way for travelers to pay the tax at the borders.

The amount is $5 a person plus $2 for baggage
inspection even if there is no baggage.

A reader who crossed into Nicaragua Thursday said that there are signs at the border saying that proof of payment will be required Monday.

John Koger, who runs a business called A Safe Passage, agreed Thursday and cited a legal notice published Tuesday in the La Gaceta official newspaper that said the agents of the  Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería will be obligated to confirm that the tax has been paid.
It is strongly  
This will be popular
recommende that you purchase your exit tax in advance, and Bancredito is the only bank that sells the tax, said Koger. He is an agent for Tica Bus. He noted that the bus company is the only one that collects the tax and provides proof of payment at its terminal.

"However with the hundreds of people traveling daily, and with the occasional loss of Internet
connection, it is strongly recommended by management that you have your tax paid for before going to the station," he said

A.M. Costa Rica published a list of locations where the payment may be made. That list is HERE! However, there may have been changes since Christmas.

Koger said that he would be putting up a current list in a few days. That link will be HERE!

The original launch of the tax was a disaster because the Ministerio de Hacienda appeared to have serious trouble in communicating with the immigration authorities. Spokespersons for the ministry insisted for weeks that travelers had to show proof of payment of the tax. But those who actually crossed the border said this was not true.

"Hopefully things will run smoothly the second time around," said Koger. "However if history is a teacher, travelers should expect that it will take more time to cross the border and be prepared for possible confusion and chaos."

Koger said he crossed the border this week, and that as of Tuesday there was just one machine to collect the tax payment and issue a receipt at the Peñas Blancas crossing.

Thousands of persons cross there every day, he noted, and said that the machine only takes debit or credit cards, thus people without one will be out of luck.

Tica Bus is working on a system in which passengers boarding at places other than the main terminal will be able to get a slip showing payment. 

"The system is not in place yet, but when it is we will post it on our site," he said.

Orchids, bikes and actors are on weekend agenda
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A two-day recreational bike hike, a three-day exhibition of orchids and another edition of Enamorate de tu Ciudad are on the agenda this weekend. There also are play presentations in Quepos and a feria put on by environmentalist in San Jose's Barrio Lujan.

In San Rafael de Heredia the Asociación Humanitaria Para la Protección Animal de Costa Rica hosts a benefit event called Mutt’s Party Saturday.

Vuelta al Lago Arenal

The largest mountain biking event in Costa Rica, the Vuelta al Lago Arenal, returns for its 22nd year. This weekend's non-competitive bike ride circles riders around the Lake Arenal in a two-day journey.

Event organizers again expect over 4,000 bikers to participate this year. This recreational cycling adventure, sponsored by the Asociación de Ciclismo Recreative de Tilarán, has grown since the inaugural 1992 ride that hosted 75 persons. Men, women, and children of all riding levels have been encouraged to join the journey along Lake Arenal and more than 2,000 have signed up early.

The roundabout route starts Saturday in Tilarán and takes riders 71 kilometers on the lake's south side to La Fortuna. Then bikers wake up Sunday and trek 74 kilometers back to the park in Tilarán, enjoying the lake's view from the north. The first day's path is made on rough gravel and the second day is all on paved roads.

Participants, who usually come from all over the world, are able to stay at a variety of available hotels in La Fortuna after the first day.

Animal benefit

The Asociación Humanitaria Para la Protección Animal de Costa Rica said the rational for calling the benefit Mutt's Party is that “we’re into the cross breeds. "We’re not into breeding purebreds and selling them when so many great dogs are looking for loving homes," according to a spokesperson.

Tickets are $100, and all proceeds go to the organization’s spay and neuter program which sterilizes both stray dogs and cats and the pets of those who can’t afford it. “It’s all for a good cause! You can pay by cash or credit card at the door, just make a reservation.” said a spokesperson. The ticket includes a 2014 membership in the organization and lunch at Rancho de Salud Pura Vida north of Heredia

The event begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in San
Rafael de Heredia. For directions and more information readers can contact Leigh Monahan at  or Lilian Schnog at

Tango night

Tango professionals Nicolas Artin and Pamela Camacho dance and Julie Masiel signs Saturday at 8 p.m, in Sofia Mediterraneo, a local restaurant in Barrio Escalante. There is an admission.


"Alevosía," a drama that brings a bit of the Teatro Nacional to Quepos will be presented both Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 5 p.m. at the Teatro Copaza in Quepos.  The shows are part of the culture ministry's extension efforts for areas with limited access to live theater.

Enamorate de tu Ciudad

This is the program that brings all sorts of activities to San José parks. There is a concert Saturday at 4 p.m. in Parque Morazán by the group known as Sr. Tijeras en vivo. There are dramatic presentations in the same place at 2 and 3 p.m.

Parque España is hosting living statutes, while in Parque la Merced on Avenida Segunda the Circo Malparavariar performs at 2 p.m.

At the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, the old liquor factory on Avenida 7, there are modern and urban dance workshops starting at noon. There also are many games and booths selling all sorts of craft items.

Hall full of orchids

The Asociación Costarricense de Orquideología presents its annual show starting today in the Antigua Aduana on Calle 23 in east San José. Admission is 2,400 colons, about $5.

The exhibition runs through Sunday starting at 8 a.m. each day.

Healthful feria

Ecologists are promising a feria in Barrio Lujan at  Avenida 12 and Calle 13, starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. This is the first of the year for the consortium of several organizations. They promise organic products, and there probably will not be a single genetically modified organism in sight.

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Poster for the event

Date set for spheres festival
in the southern Pacific coast

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ninth festival of the spheres will be in Osa de Puntarenas March 26 to 39.

This is the event that combines the archaeology of the country with modern diversions.

The festival is in Palmar Sur, Palmar Norte and Sierpe. The museum on famous Finca 6 where sphere research is centered also in involved.

The museum of the spheres is a satellite of the Museo Nacional.

Over the three days there will be 14 cultural and artistic workshops including dance and drawing. The festival also works in many environmental themes.

Shows will be put on by many groups, including local Borucas, whose ancestors are credited with having made the spheres.

Also planned is a mountain bike recreational race of some 47 kilometers. Bikers will travel over historic routes including through some pre-Columbian communities and also properties of the former banana companies. There also is an 8-kilometer foot race.

Foreign ministry praises
U.S. death penalty suspension

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said it commends the recent death penalty moratorium enacted by the state of Washington. Earlier this month the Gov. Jay Inslee issued the term-long suspension.

“I trust that this moratorium represents a gradual advance and progress towards the abolition of this penalty, which has irrevocable consequences that eliminate the possible correction of judicial error,” said Chancellor Enrique Castillo. A bill is currently going through the state senate that could overturn the governor’s decision and prevent any future Washington governor from doling out capital punishment suspensions.

Last June, Castillo and a French counterpart said publicly that they seek a universal end to capital punishment. Costa Rica abolished its death penalty in 1871. The ban was ratified later by the Constitution of 1948.

Abduction ends successfully
with arrest of four suspects

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Kidnappers abducted a man Wednesday morning in San José, carried him to a Desamparados home, burned his skin with flammable liquids, beat him and threatened to kill him, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents said they received a tip and surrounded the home in San Juan de Dios de Desamparados where they heard the man's cries.

Agents managed to detain four of the estimated six men who were present and presented them to a court Thursday. They said one of the suspects is a 17-year-old.

Agents credited the case to personal problems and said they confiscated a pistol and flammable liquids as well as some drugs. The victim has first and second degree burns on his body, they said.

The man was abducted about 8 a.m., and agents did not circle the home until about noon, so the victim experienced at least four hours at the hands of his abductors.

Russia seeks image repair,
but Crimea may halt plans

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire services reports

The Russian Federation's plans to establish permanent military bases outside of its own country are a way to project the Russian image abroad and to protect its national interests around the globe, according to the official  RIA Novosti press agency.

The country's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, named Nicaragua as one of a number of locations where Russia wants to open a base. Venezuela also was named. Both countries are friendly to Russia, and a Russian navel squadron visited Venezuela in 2008.

The country appears to be seeking to take advantage of the uncertain U.S. foreign policy. However, some analysts wonder if Russia has the financial capability to maintain overseas bases.

Some of the capital ships are known to be in disrepair, and one, the nuclear-powered Peter the Great cruiser, is considered to be dangerous. Russia closed up a radar base in Cuba for financial reasons.

Shoigu spoke before the Ukrainian situation came to a head.  Deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled his country for Russia Thursday, and early today the interim Ukrainian government accuses Russia of invading the Crimea. The Ukrainians are worried that Russia will try to annex the peninsula, where many of the residents identify with Russia.

Russia has a major navy base in Sevastopol for its Black Sea Fleet. Some Russian soldiers are believed to have taken up positions at the city's airport, but no shots have been fired, said reports from the area.

Major nations are moving to seek a diplomatic situation. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government accuses the former president of stealing millions while in office. He will meet the media today in Russia.

Two die in Orotina crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two persons died and four suffered injuries when a passenger car collided head-on with a truck Thursday on the Caldera highway in Orotina.

Judicial agents blamed the crash on a driver who tried to pass another vehicle and ran his car into the oncoming truck. The dead were two men in their 20s.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 42
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                  Tax and

Try not to go
on this road

Work crews are knocking down potential slides and rebuilding the asphalt on Ruta 126 at Cinchona with the result seen at right. The road will be closed periodically between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. as the work progresses, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

Delays are likely, and the work will go on for two more weeks, the agency said. The location is north of the Central Valley.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

Caja begins its major 2014 campaign against dengue mosquitoes today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dengue is about 35 percent of the level it was a year ago, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said Thursday.

In January and February, there were 1,462 persons who sought treatment for the mosquito-born disease. The number for the same period in 2013 was  4,149, the Caja said.

The most serious case of dengue this year, what the Caja called a grave case, was in Alajuelita, a San José suburb.  However, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts remain the areas where there is more of the disease.
Today the Caja kicks off a major national effort in advance of the
arrival of the rainy season. Health experts are calling on citizens to spend 10 minutes a week to look over their homes to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding places.

The Caja said it already sent out 30,000 text messages cautioning the population about the disease.

The Caja will do what it asks others to do. The major push starting today will be to survey all the health facilities in the country for possible mosquito breeding places.

Expats and tourists in the areas with high infection rates can avoid the disease by using bed nets for sleeping or doing so in mosquito-tight rooms. They also should use repellent during the day. The mosquito vector for dengue is usually a day biter.

Members of the Bad Food Gang are being vindicated by science
At long last, the mighty egg has been vindicated. As probably too many of my readers are aware, I have been defending (read ranting about) one of my favorite foods and a food that is a life saver for many older adults.  Now the experts agree that the egg is a nearly perfect food and so easy to prepare in so many ways.

Their research also has shown that eggs do not contribute at all to heart disease or stroke in healthy people (who, today, qualifies as healthy?)  Eggs actually raise good HDL and mitigate bad cholesterol.  The English have had a reputation for bad food habits, but their one-time custom of a poached egg on toast at supper is a great idea.

Eggs are among seven foods various news media have been informing us that once were considered bad for our health but now are recognized for their health benefits. The list will grow, I am sure.

Ticos should be delighted since almost all of these foods are native to Costa Rica.  Eggs, of course, are available anywhere chickens live.

There is also coffee. Gee, those of us who think coffee wakes us up and makes us more alert are right.  It seems that caffeine has antioxidants, boosts energy and improves memory and even reduces the risk of diabetes. A long time ago a friend of mine insisted that a cup of coffee and a cigarette in the morning kept him regular.  Perhaps one day (after more research) he can substitute a joint and keep the coffee for a healthier and happier beginning to his day.

Whole milk, it seems, also has had a bad rap.  Studies (I don’t know how extensive) have shown that youngsters who drink skim milk are more inclined to eat junk food and sugar instead of fat, which is having its reputation repaired. 

Speaking of fat, coconut oil, once banned in many countries with the enthusiasm of vampire hunters, has emerged as good for just about everything that ails us.. It is practically magical.  It even is a good mouthwash. It is the hydrogenated coconut oil that is bad for us.

I have heard that the coconut water one sees so many people drinking fresh from a coconut at the ferias, is excellent for our health, too.

And chocolate!  Dark chocolate, we know, is loaded with anti-oxidants.  Cambridge University studies support the possibility that chocolate probably lowers stroke and coronary heart disease rates, and lowers blood pressure. 

The Aztecs, Mayas and Toltecs knew the benefits of chocolate long before Europeans discovered the New World. The Aztecs called it the food of the gods, and besides its other properties, was considered an aphrodisiac.

Beware, though, chemically laden sugar-filled milk chocolate is still bad for us.
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

And finally, that once present-in-everything-we-eat villain, SALT! Salt was one of the most valuable commodities sold by the traders around the Mediterranean in ancient times. Roman soldiers were given an allowance, or salarium, to buy salt. And from that comes the word salary.

Unrefined salt and raw sea salt have more than 60 valuable minerals. And it is a natural antihistamine.  Dr. Andrew Weil might argue with this.  I recall in his book, “The Natural Mind,” he claimed that eating with South American tribes who did not have salt, he became accustomed to enjoying food without it.  I think at the time he thought that was a good thing. But now they say that salt actually helps us digest our food.

It is the high sodium processed foods where salt becomes a member of the Bad Food Gang.

Which brings me to popcorn.  I didn’t know it was thought bad for you. My siblings and I grew up and eating homemade popcorn and fudge while listening to our favorite radio programs in the evening.

Movie and microwave popcorn are still considered bad because most have chemicals and artificial flavorings, but homemade popcorn is still good.

I am sure in the near future more so-called unhealthy foods, as well as alternative treatments used in the past for what ails us will be appreciated.  I actually heard a doctor, being interviewed about the current epidemic of addiction to prescription pain killers, say, “We are trying something new to treat pain – acupuncture and yoga – and having good results.”

In a very short time medical researchers will take off the straight jacket of their discipline and their disdain for all that was learned and known about health and treatments before modern times.  We continue to be blinded by what I call “the myth of Progress.”  I hope we all regain our senses before it hardens into “the god of Progress.”

Some may argue that it is progress in medical science that has uncovered the foods that are really healthy.  Maybe my big concern is the assumptions that even scientists have that influence how they view whatever they are investigating. One great assumption we humans have is that we can improve upon nature.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 42
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Bridge and fencing
will help pedestrians

This is a new pedestrian bridge over Ruta 32 in Barrio Tournón. north San José. The $475.000 bridge is now in service as officials try to counter pedestrian errors. They said this is the second highest cause of vehicle deaths.

Last year 59 pedestrians died in a way officials attributed some of the blame to the victim.

Consejo Nacional de vialidad photo

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

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

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


Here's reasonable medical care
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Real estate for rent (paid category)
Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Call 8375-6838. Email:

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
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Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 42
Real Estate
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reburbishing art
Voice of America photo
Ann Hoenigswald retouches El Grego's 'Saint Martin and the Beggar.'

Hi-tech tools let art restorers
get a good preview of work

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the late 16th century, the Spanish artist El Greco created a huge painting, 1 meter by 2 meters, titled "Saint Martin and the Beggar." In the first half of the 20th century, the canvas was covered with protective varnish that over the course of decades caused discoloration. Conservators at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., are now restoring the painting in preparation for a series of exhibitions marking the 400th anniversary of the famous painter’s death.
Often changing the cotton tip on her wooden pick, the National Gallery of Art's senior conservator of paintings, Ann Hoenigswald, patiently cleans the canvas, millimeter by millimeter.
She said the painting by the famous Renaissance artist, best known by his nickname El Greco, needed conservation treatment because the aged varnish started turning yellow, altering the colors.
“The whites turn yellow, the blues turn green. It really dulls down the vibrancy of the tones the artist intended,” said Ms. Hoenigswald.
Before starting the conservation, the scientists closely examined the painting, looking for possible damage and alterations to the original. Imaging tools such as microscopes, infrared cameras and x-rays allowed them to penetrate the outer layer of paint.
This analysis clearly showed how El Greco altered certain parts of his work.
“Initially you can see the bridle was a little bit higher and most likely because some of the paints become more transparent as they age that’s why we’re seeing this line under here," said Ms. Hoenigswald.
Technology helps analyze the artwork, but the actual restoration must be done by hand. Ms. Hoenigswald said she has been working on "Saint Martin and the Beggar" for about a year, slowly revealing its original beauty.
“All of a sudden the depth of the painting, the background seems to recede even more and the foreground comes forward and, as you can see in this picture, the whites become so dramatic, and so dominant, and the contrast between this gorgeous blue and the white becomes much more forceful than it was before,” said Ms. Hoenigswald.
After cleaning the painting, the conservators applied another product of modern technology, synthetic varnish that mimics the natural resin but will not alter with age.
The canvas is now about to be packed up and sent off to Toledo, Spain, the city from which it came, to be part of an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death.

Human rights report gives
summary of a hard world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States says too many governments are tightening their grasp on basic human freedoms.  The finding comes from the State Department's release of its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Those named as the worst actors in the world come as no surprise.

The United States says nowhere was the disregard for human rights more blatant or horrible than Syria, where on April 21, 2013, the government dropped sarin gas on a suburb of Damascus.  More than 1,400 Syrians died, including 426 children.

"We know that countries that deny human rights and human dignity challenge our interests as well as human interests," said Secretary of State John Kerry.

The State Department reports also targeted other well-known human rights violators, like North Korea, slammed earlier this month by the United Nation's for what is described as Nazi-like crimes.

And despite ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, Acting Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Uzra Zeya says problems remain there, too.

"Torture, political imprisonment, executions in the absence of due process which have gone up under this government, harassment of ethnic and religious minorities and limits on free expression," said Zeya.

In many places, the report said hopes for improvement were dashed by stubborn repression, like in China, where the government announced the end of its re-education camps, but cracked down on dissent on the Internet and on basic freedoms in Tibet, where 26 people set themselves on fire in protest.

In Egypt, where hopes had risen with the Arab Spring, the State Department criticized the killings and torture that came with the military's continued crackdown on protesters.

In Africa, officials noted grave concerns in South Sudan and in the Central African Republic, where Muslims and Christians engaged in a cycle of killings, disappearances, rape and torture.

There is also alarm at the rate of sexual violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians in places like Uganda and Russia, where new laws make harassment easier and more dangerous.

"We join with many other nations in reaffirming our commitment where speaking one’s mind does not lead to prosecution and where professing one’s love does not lead to persecution, a world where practicing one’s faith does not lead to imprisonment," said John Kerry.

The State Department reports even raise concerns about worker's rights, noting the garment factory fire in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people.

"Despite documenting so much abuse and repression, U.S. officials insist there is hope pointing to the bravery of people in a place like Ukraine, who took to the streets to stand up for change."

As for places where standing up remains a challenge, like Venezuela, Secretary Kerry said those who struggle will not be alone.

“The United States of America will continue to speak out, without a hint of arrogance or apology, on behalf of people who stand up for their universal rights," he said.

The diplomat saying reports like these on human rights abuses will help ensure those responsible will be held accountable.

Cuban spy leaves prison
to return to island nation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A second member of the so-called Cuban Five spy ring was released from a United States prison after being jailed for more than 15 years.

Officials say 50-year-old Fernando González completed his sentence Thursday at a prison in Safford, Arizona. González was turned over immediately to immigration officials to be deported to Cuba.

González, who also goes by the name "Ruben Campa," was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents.  All were convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government.

Trial testimony showed the five sought to infiltrate military bases, including the U.S. Southern Command's headquarters. They also spied on Cuban exiles opposed to the communist government of then-president Fidel Castro. Havana says the agents did not threaten U.S. sovereignty and were only monitoring militant exiles to prevent terrorist attacks in Cuba.
Another agent, Rene González, was released in 2011 and returned to Cuba after serving more than 13 years in a U.S. prison. He renounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid serving the mandatory three-year parole in Florida.

One of the three remaining agents, Gerardo Hernández, is serving a double life sentence after being convicted of involvement in shooting down two small U.S. planes off the Cuban coast in 1996.

The two other agents are still in jail: Antonio Guerrero is serving 21 years and 10 months and is due for release in September 2017, while Ramon Labanino is serving 30 years and is due for release in October 2024.

Malware targets mobil,
security professionals agree

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The amount of malicious software targeting mobile devices is exploding, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky said that in 2013 nearly 100,000 new malicious programs for mobile devices were detected. That’s more than two times the number detected the previous year, the company said.

As of Jan. 1, Kaspersky Lab says it collected 143,211 mobile malware samples.

Rolf von Roessing, the former international vice president of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, told information security professionals at the 2013 EuroCACS information security and risk management conference in London that a tidal wave of threats was emerging against mobile devices.

Android users are particularly vulnerable, with over 91 percent of the malware detected targeting the popular mobile operating system, according to Kaspersky.

“Android is currently more of a target than iOS, but attacks are happening against Apple mobile devices and, when they are breached, it is usually fairly serious,” said von Roessing.

Russia leads the world, claiming 40 percent of attacks. India was second with 8 percent of attacks, and Vietnam and Ukraine were tied for third with 4 percent of attacks.

“Kaspersky's findings are consistent with the numbers being reported by other security vendors in their annual threat reports," said Christopher Burgess, CEO of Prevendra, a security, privacy and intelligence company. “The message? If you are using a mobile device, keep your operating system up to date, only download apps from trusted sources, and have in place security software to protect the content of your mobile device."

Kaspersky said the vast majority of mobile malware was made with the aim of stealing people’s money. This kind of malware increased by a factor of 20, they said. Most of the malware was designed to phish, steal bank card information or to take money from bank accounts.

“Today, the majority of banking Trojan attacks target users in Russia and the CIS,” said Victor Chebyshev, a virus analyst at Kaspersky in a statement. “However, that is unlikely to last for long. Given cybercriminals’ keen interest in consumer bank accounts, the activity of mobile banking Trojans is expected to grow in other countries in 2014.”

Emotional spin is effective
even in health marketing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

To get kids and moms to wash their hands, aim for their hearts.

That is the lesson from a new study that focused on emotional appeals over hard facts to encourage handwashing, one of the best and most underutilized ways to prevent disease.

Diarrheal and respiratory diseases are the two leading causes of child death worldwide.  Research shows that just washing hands with soap and water before eating and after using the bathroom can cut rates of some of these illnesses by a third.

But handwashing rates are low worldwide, despite years of public education campaigns.

At the start of this study, published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, villagers in Andhra Pradesh, India, washed less than 3 percent of the time.

“If you ask people, should they wash their hands with soap?  Almost everybody says, of course they should,” said Hygiene Center chief Val Curtis at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  “The problem is, everyone says it, but hardly anybody actually does it.”

But rather than telling people that washing their hands is good for them, Ms. Curtis and her colleagues took a tip from the world of advertising.

“Nobody sells fizzy drinks on the fact that it’s good nutrition,” she said. “They’re all sold on emotional benefits.”

So they laid down ground rules for messaging: “No diarrhea, no death and no doctors," and developed a handwashing campaign that used emotional drivers like disgust and the desire to nurture.

Ms. Curtis describes herself as a disgustologist.  It’s a more powerful motivator than information, she adds.

Children watched a skit featuring a character who makes sweets out of mud and snot, and never washes his hands.  The kids recoiled in mock horror when he offered them his treats.

“The emotion would be what taught them about dirty hands, not lecturing them,” Ms. Curtis said.

The campaign took a different tack with mothers.

“Mothers care deeply about teaching their child good manners,” she noted. “And handwashing is part of good manners.”

So a local ad agency worked with them to produce SuperAmma, or "SuperMom," a cartoon character who is the hardworking, nurturing mother every mom aspires to be.

SuperAmma teaches her son to always be polite, be clean, comb his hair, and wash his hands.

In the cartoon’s final, tearjerking montage, all her hard work has paid off: her son has grown up to be a doctor.  It closes with the two of them in a loving embrace.

“We had to pass the hankies around at the screenings in the villages,” Ms. Curtis said.

It worked.  Handwashing rates went from 1 or 2 percent at the start of the study to nearly a third a year after the campaign ended.

It is not enough, Ms. Curtis said, but it is “a step in the right direction,” and it suggests a way forward for future campaigns.

Emotions were probably not the only factor at work, notes international health professor Elli Leontsini at Johns Hopkins University.   They likely helped to change people’s behavior at the start. 

But other parts of the campaign may have been more important for sustaining it.  For example, villagers made a public pledge to wash their hands with soap before eating and after using the bathroom.  That creates peer pressure and changes community expectations.

“It’s a whole package, not just emotions,” Leontsini said.

Expect more public health campaigns to get emotional.  Ms. Curtis plans to bring her approach to efforts aimed at raising breastfeeding rates and improving food preparation habits.

British snoops got shots
of Yahoo message users

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A published report say Britain's communications spy agency intercepted and stored screenshots from hundreds of thousands of webcams, and says the multi-year operation yielded a huge trove of intimate photographs of unsuspecting users.

The Guardian says GCHQ intercepted video chats of 1.8 million users in a six-month period of 2008, and that the program was still active in 2012.  The report said the project, code-named Optic Nerve, targeted video chats such as those offered by the Yahoo Messenger service.

The Guardian report is based on data leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

In a written statement Thursday, Yahoo said the report represents "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy"  The California-based company also said it was not aware of the snooping and would never condone it.

The newspaper said the spy agency refused to answer a series of questions about the reported program.  It said the snooping was at least in part aimed at identifying targets using automatic facial recognition software.

The report also said the British agency eventually excluded images in which software had not detected any faces from search results, as part of an effort to prevent staff from viewing explicit images.

Previous disclosures from Snowden, who faces criminal charges in the United States and lives in exile in Russia, show the NSA was actively exploring the surveillance potential of video game consoles.  NSA analysts also are thought to have infiltrated virtual games like World of Warcraft to spy on targets.

Another bird flu strain
has made leap to humans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the past 10 years, a deadly strain of bird flu has killed more than half of the people who got it. Now, there's a new strain of bird flu circulating that can kill about a third of the humans who contract it. Whenever there's a virus this lethal, there are always fears of a pandemic.
Several years ago, men in protective suits decontaminating poultry farms and  destroying chickens infected with a deadly bird flu was a scene witnessed throughout Asia. The virus killed birds, and although it rarely infected people, those who got it were more likely to die than to recover.
That virus was H5N1. There's now a vaccine against it for poultry.
But a new strain of bird virus has emerged and is causing alarm. This one is called H7N9. H7N9 doesn't kill poultry or even make them sick, but it can be deadly when it is transmitted from a chicken to a person.
One concern that's been raised is that every time a human gets the H7N9 virus, the world is closer to a pandemic.
"That’s not correct," said Anthony Fauci, who heads the infectious diseases division at the National Institutes of Health.
"Microbes continue to emerge and re-emerge. The concern about this is that these viruses have jumped into humans and have been lethal. The news that is somewhat comforting is that it hasn’t had sustained transmissibility," Fauci continued.
Because of the genetic makeup of these strains of bird flu, it is difficult for them to spread from person to person. Since the H7N9 virus emerged a year ago, some 350 people have caught it. Thirty percent have died. Most had contact with poultry.
"There’s always the danger when you have influenzas that infect chickens, that when you have the close quarters of chickens spreading from one to another and occasionally a human coming into close contact, that there will be the jumping of species from a chicken to a human. This is not something new," said Fauci.
Fauci said any time a new virus emerges, health officials have to watch it carefully.  The U.S. has developed a vaccine for H5N1 and is working on one for the newer strain of bird flu, but he doesn't think this new strain is any more threatening than H5N1. This virus has been circulating since 2003 and still doesn't spread easily from person to person.

Former Castro colleague
dies in his Florida home

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Huber Matos, a top Cuban revolutionary who was sent to prison for 20 years for turning against Fidel Castro, died Thursday in Miami. His family says Matos suffered a heart attack. He was 95.

Matos was a teacher and farmer when he joined the Castro-led rebels plotting to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Matos rode side-by-side with a triumphant Castro as they entered Havana on New Year's Day, 1959.

But Matos wrote in his autobiography that he quickly became disenchanted with Castro. He said it became clear that the new Cuban government was moving away from democracy and heading toward a Marxist dictatorship.

Castro ordered Matos imprisoned when he tried to leave the government.

Matos was freed in 1979, and eventually settled in Miami, where he became a Cuban opposition leader.

Experts have different views
of future of bitcoin currency

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There are troubling questions about the future of the digital currency known as bitcoin.  The value of the virtual currency has fluctuated wildly in recent months, plummeting from an all-time high of $1,100 last December to just under $600.  The latest worry comes after the sudden closure of one of the largest bitcoin exchanges this week. 

Is Bitcoin dead?  That’s a question many investors are asking after the abrupt closure of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchange sites. 

Currency trader Kolin Burges flew in from London to get answers, when he found himself locked out of his own account.

“I had 311 bitcoins in there, which at the time was worth around $300,000.  So it looks like that has disappeared," said Burges.

No one really knows why the bitcoin broker shut down.  But economics professor Arun Sundararajan says signs point to a security flaw. 

“It seems to have been a security breach more than anything else where a lot of the bitcoin was stolen by hackers.  And as a consequence, Mt. Gox had to stop trading.  And of course this has sort of lowered the value of the bitcoin traded at Mt. Gox considerably," said Sundararajan.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles declined to answer questions.  He resigned earlier this month.  But Karpeles has never shied from talking about the risks involved.

Here’s what he said last year.

“Bitcoin would quite qualify as a high risk investment.  If you buy bitcoins you should buy keeping in mind that the value could be zero the day after," said Karpeles.

Although the recent cyber problems may have damaged public confidence, Bitcoin enthusiasts say that's because many still see virtual currency as a commodity.  Bitcoin miner Erick Watson spoke via Skype.

“I would encourage people not to speculate on Bitcoin as a store of value.  I would encourage them to look for opportunities to employ bitcoin as means of transacting," said Watson.

Despite its slow adoption rate, Watson says bitcoin is far from dead.  In fact, he sees a bright future ahead for bitcoin and other virtual currencies as consumers discover practical advantages for private transactions. 

“We’ll continue to creep along as businesses adapt bitcoin rather slowly, and then we’ll hit some inflection point in the relatively near future, beyond which people will really begin to adopt it heavily," he said.

That may happen sooner not later.  Today the first bitcoin counter opens in Hong Kong allowing people to buy the virtual currency without going online.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
Casa del Pacifico logo
Pacific living
“We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
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:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
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 the Region for 11 years”

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)


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Price asking $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

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:

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

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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

Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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

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

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

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

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

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

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 42
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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
Older father linked to ills
in child's development

By the University of Indiana news service

An Indiana University study in collaboration with medical researchers from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has found that advancing paternal age at childbearing can lead to higher rates of psychiatric and academic problems in offspring than previously estimated.

Examining an immense data set, everyone born in Sweden from 1973 until 2001, the researchers documented a compelling association between advancing paternal age at childbearing and numerous psychiatric disorders and educational problems in their children, including autism, attention deficit syndrome, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempts and substance abuse problems. Academic problems included failing grades, low educational attainment and low IQ scores.

Among the findings: When compared to a child born to a 24-year-old father, a child born to a 45-year-old father is 3.5 times more likely to have autism, 13 times more likely to have ADHD, two times more likely to have a psychotic disorder, 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder and 2.5 times more likely to have suicidal behavior or a substance abuse problem. For most of these problems, the likelihood of the disorder increased steadily with advancing paternal age, suggesting there is no particular paternal age at childbearing that suddenly becomes problematic.

"We were shocked by the findings," said Brian D'Onofrio, lead author and associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. "The specific associations with paternal age were much, much larger than in previous studies. In fact, we found that advancing paternal age was associated with greater risk for several problems, such as ADHD, suicide attempts and substance use problems, whereas traditional research designs suggested advancing paternal age may have diminished the rate at which these problems occur."

The study, "Parental Age at Childbearing and Offspring Psychiatric and Academic Morbidity," was published this week in JAMA Psychiatry.

“While the findings do not indicate that every child born to an older father will have these problems, they add to a growing body of research indicating that advancing paternal age is associated with increased risk for serious problems. As such, the entire body of research can help to inform individuals in their personal and medical decision-making, said D'Onofrio.

The working hypothesis for D'Onofrio and his colleagues who study this phenomenon is that unlike women, who are born with all their eggs, men continue to produce new sperm throughout their lives. Each time sperm replicates, there is a chance for a mutation in the DNA to occur. As men age, they are also exposed to numerous environmental toxins, which have been shown to cause mutations in the DNA found in sperm. Molecular genetic studies have, in fact, shown that sperm of older men have more genetic mutations.

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From Page 7:

Winter weather gets blame for slower economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the U.S. central bank says recent foul winter weather may be the reason for some signs that economic growth is slowing.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke to a key Senate committee on Thursday. She said Fed officials will watch new economic data closely as they decide how quickly they should reduce efforts to stimulate the economy.
Snow and frigid weather are blamed for slowing sales of homes, cars, and other goods as consumers stayed home to stay warm.
Another economic report published Thursday showed the number of Americans signing up for unemployment assistance rose 14,000 to a nationwide total of 348,000. While the increase was more than economists had predicted, the total is still low enough to indicate a gradually improving job market.
The job market is still recovering from the financial crisis that pushed up unemployment.
One sign of that recovery is a decline in the number of home foreclosures during the past year. Research firm CoreLogic says the number of homes foreclosed in January was down by 19 percent from the same period a year earlier.