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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, March 3, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 44                          Email us
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Rock Constructors

unhappy with
                taxes

Tax agency throws another expensive curve ball
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

This year the tax department, known officially as Dirección General de Tributación, and loosely as Tributación Directa, had a surprise for many expats and Ticos alike. The government institution changed inactive companies that pay the lower company tax assessment created by Law 9024 to active without any warning.

Active companies pay twice as much as inactive ones, a matter of some $200.  This has outraged the affected. One expat in La Garita is downright furious. He said in a telephone interview, “My company has been inactive for 10 years. It has never had an activity. What gives the tax authority the right to double my taxes without reason or notification?”

Attorney Allan Garro of Garro Law is mad too. His expat and Tico clients have called him outraged and wanting answers. He had none to give them, so he sent staffers to the tax department and Registro Nacional to ask questions. They got to the bottom of the problem, and the result is a shock.

“An update to our computer system and general reorganization of things in 2013, included inputting old tax declarations from as far back as 2006, could have kicked some companies in to an active status,” workers at Tributacion Directa said to Garro’s legal assistant.

To clean up old paperwork, probably found in some forgotten building, the tax people have created a nightmare for budget strapped people who want to pay their taxes.

Of course, there is no notice of this anywhere in the press. More outraging is there is nothing published that is easy to find on how to fix the over assessment. 

“I contacted the tax department personally, and they assured me a mistake like this does not happen,” said Kevin Chavarria of KCPATAX in a telephone interview.  Well, it does happen. Studying some companies affected by this assault on their tax integrity, a reporter discover old tax forms showing up when they did not show up before 2013. 

Dirección General de Tributación tidied up their mess. Now, what do good tax-paying people do to fix the pickle this cleanup has caused for them? Is there a fix? Yes, there is, but it takes time. Remember, living in Costa Rica takes patience. Lots of it.

Option 1: Grit teeth, pay the over assessment and file the D-140 form with the tax department and the tax will return to normal – maybe - next year. No one really likes this option.

The form D-140 is the document one files to register or unregister a company, and make it or change it to active or inactive status.  Active entities produce revenue of a commercial nature. Inactive ones do not. Holding assets like property in a company is not a commercial endeavor in Costa Rica. Companies doing so should be inactive and pay the lower tax.

Option 2. Do not pay the tax. In an obscure section of the Registro Nacional’s Web site in Spanish is directive D.R.P.J. 001-2013. This explains how to change a company from active back to inactive and pay the lower tax. This is the procedure:

Step 1. File a D-140 form with Dirección General de Tributación as an inactive company. It is very
All about corporate tax

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here are some previous articles about corporation tax that cover the ins and outs of Law 9024 in depth:

Five months left to dump company without charge HERE!

Registro to auction goods of firms that do not pay tax HERE!

Short time remains to avoid ugly corporate tax trap HERE!



important to indicate on this form the company requesting relief never had any commercial activity or it ended such activity on a specific date.

Step 2. Write a written request to the Dirección del Registro de Personas Jurídicas department of the Registro Nacional to include: A. Full name, address, occupation, and marital status of petitioner. B. Full name, identification number and petitioner’s legal authority in the company requesting consideration. C. Attach a copy of the D-140 form from Step 1 and a letter from the Registro Único Tributario department at the tax office stating their computers were in error. This is located in the Don Bosco office next to Jardines del Recuerdo.

Step 3. Sign the letter in Step 2 and have it notarized by a Costa Rican notary.

Step 4. File the petition with the Dirección del Registro de Personas Jurídicas at the Registro Nacional.

Option 3. Pay the tax and fight to get the over payment returned as indicated in circular DGRN-0008-2012.

Steps. The same as in Option 2 but request the return of the money instead of the reduction of the tax.  This must be done within three years of paying the tax.

Here is an interesting question. Computers are not to blame for this blunder but their programmers. These workers take orders from managers and other higher ups. The local press recently stated the countries expenses are up 11 percent while revenue is up only 4 percent. Costa Rica spends much more than it makes. Is this really an error or did someone make a conscious decision to input the very old paperwork to cause this hassle so taxpayers owning companies pay more tax.

Based on the numbers obtained from the Registro Nacional by the La Nacion newspaper in a recent article, the tax is a total failure. The country is collecting only a small percentage of the amounts forecasted. More than half of the registered companies owning the assessment are dead.

Is this really a mistake and everyone should grin and bear it, or is there more to the story?


Garland M. Baker is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2014. Use without permission prohibited.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 43

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

Legal services
Arcelio logo
Serving the English-speaking community for over a

decade with offices in San Jose, Alajuela and Jaco
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         RESIDENCY
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          TRANSFERS
You deserve to communicate fluently with your lawyer.
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Email:  lawyer@crtitle.com
Notice: The registration with Sugef is not an authorization to operate. It is solely to prevent money laundering as ordered by law 8204. People who contract with the company do so at their own risk.
8255/14/14


Dentistry

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Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
7969-5/9/14


Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
 
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U.S. Phone: 310-827-4241
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8221-7/17/14

Architects

Organe
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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
Arenal (servicing Guanacaste/Nicoya Peninsula)

Contact Information:
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Orange
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Quickbooks consulting

Kathy
                                                    Rothschild
Kathy Rothschild
QuickBooks Consultant
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Phones: 8572-2984  or 2244-2247
8192-4/2/15

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
Carmichael
For more information please contact Claudia Villegas at 8996-5581 or email HERE!
 
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Real estate agents and services

Colinas
Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.

Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
You can see more on our Web site: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
 Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa
and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
Please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
8251-8/27/14

CR Beach

Jaco Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 OR  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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Translators

Jorge Desanti
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Instant Interpreter/Translator
for Expats.

Jorge Desanti is fluent in English and Spanish. 3-way phone conversation. You call him first. He does the rest. Or he will translate English text for you.
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Translations and legal Services
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Simultaneous translator
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Accountants

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Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
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Uncle Sam's
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95,100 in 2012}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
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• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13

unicycles
A.M. Costa Rica/Roxana Ramírez Sánchez          
They only needed one wheel to participate in the weekend
Vuelta al Lago Arenal, the two-day recreational bike trip
around the lake.



Nicaraguan quake sensed
in some parts of country

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 6.2 magnitude quake off the northwestern coast of Nicaragua was felt in the Central Valley at 3:37 a.m. Sunday. Instruments showed that the quake was felt in the western half of Costa Rica and most strongly in Paquera, San Ramón and Grecia, said the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The Earthquake Information Center of the U.S. Geological Survey placed the epicenter some 23 kilometers west southwest of Jiquillo, Nicaragua.

The Laboratorio here said that due to the estimated depth of about 70 kilometers the quake probably was the result of internal deformations in the Cocos tectonic plate. The Laboratorio said that the depth and distance reduced the force of the earthquake as it reached Costa Rica.

Perhaps in response to the Nicaraguan event, a 4.4 magnitude quake took place at 9:37 a.m. Sunday about 13.5 kilometers south southeast of Nosara on the far Pacific coast. The quake was registered as moderate on instruments in Nosara.


Some showers predicted
as seasonable change nears

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Weather experts have predicted a reduction in the northern winds today.

Because the morning skies will be clear and the temperature hot, cloudy conditions will develop during the afternoon.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that this is typical of weather in March. The country is headed to a resumption of the rainy season.

The cloudy condition is expected to generate showers in the central and south Pacific as well as possible brief showers in the west and south of the Central Valley, said the institute.


Weekend motorcycle toll:
Two drivers and passenger


 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two men driving motorcycles and the passenger on a third died Saturday night in separate one-vehicle accidents.

A man with the last name of Lobo died when his motorcycle left the road in Palmichal de Acosta and plunged down an embankment about 8 p.m.. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that he swerved to avoid hitting someone on a bicycle. He was 50.

The passenger, identified by the last name of Hernández died when the motorcycle on which he was riding struck a wall. That happened in Damas-Fátima in Desamparados, also Saturday night. The driver was hospitalized.

In the area known as Curó de Paquera on the Nicoya peninsula,  48-year-old man identified by the last name of Peralta died a few minutes before midnight Saturday when his motorcycle struck posts alongside the roadway. A passenger was hurt critically and taken to Hospital Monseñor Sanabria in Puntarenas, said agents.


U.S. visitors face allegations
of importing undeclared cash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican branch of the International Police Agency arrested a group of Americans for suspected money laundering on Thursday. According to the Judicial Investigating Organization. The suspects were coming from the United States with $45,820 in undeclared cash. They have been identified as Caridad Leiva Maité, 41, Angélica Figueroa, 20, and Pedro Humberto Figueroa, 18.

A 17-year-old who was also traveling with the trio was sent to the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia for care.

Authorities from the police agency reported that they received an anonymous tip that allowed them to make the arrest as soon as the three suspects entered the Juan Santamaría airport after their Miami arrival.  The agents work at the new INTERPOL office set up in the airport.

Bulging envelopes of cash were hidden inside suitcases stuffed with clothes. The money was only in denominations of 100-, 50- and 20-dollar bills, said agents.


bridge
Consejo de Vilaidad photo         
First of two bridges is nearly finished.

Circunvalación returning
to four lanes Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials think that a new eastbound bridge on the Circunvalación will be ready for traffic Wednesday morning.

The pre-fabricated concrete and steel beams are in, and workmen were supposed to be pouring concrete over the weekend. The concrete is supposed to fill in the spaces between the pre-fabricated beams that are 75 meters long. That is about 246 feet.

Officials said that the concrete needs three days to cure.

Work soon will begin on a second-two-lane bridge, but transport official say that this will not affect the existing two temporary bridges that carry the eastbound traffic.

Eventually the temporary bridges will be replaced but there will be a second new bridge in place, they said. The timetable calls for both bridges to be in service in May.

The washout in August put this section at Hatillo out of service for a time and with restricted traffic since. The cost to businesses and ordinary citizens has been in the millions.

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From A.M. Costa Rica











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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 43
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
The saga of the $5 + $2 land exit tax is very much typical pura vida
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Note to expats:

You folks are on your own when it comes to the land exit tax.

A.M. Costa Rica wrote about the tax in December, when an attempt to enforce it led to chaos at the border crossings. The problem was not the $5 fee (plus $2 more for baggage search even if the traveler has none).

The government created a tax and did not provide an easy way to pay it. Only now are a few credit/debit card machines appearing at the major land crossing points. Officials expected travelers to visit Bancredito before going to the border.

The mystery is why did the Dirección General de Tributación pick the least known state bank to handle the tax instead of Banco Nacional or Banco de Costa Rica.  Even today Bancredito does not even mention the land exit tax on its Web site. Maybe that is because bank officials and tax agency officials have not figured out how to accept the tax online.

So from Dec. 23 until Friday expats were in the dark as to whether they need to pay the tax before crossing the border. A helpful lady at Tributación insisted strongly in early January that the tax was being collected. Her story ran counter to the reports from expats who actually crossed the border.
When the finance minister, Edgar Ayala, returned from a heart operation in the United States, a reporter asked him in mid-January about the tax. He really did not know but he said he had heard of some complaints.   That probably was the chaos just before Christmas.

He immediately instructed an aide to investigate and report to the newsman the results of the inquiries. The aide never did.

But the Ministerio de Hacienda, the parent agency of Tributación, announced Thursday that the tax would go into effect today, Monday, March 3. A.M. Costa Rica wrote a news story. That is HERE!

Then the electrons were hardly dry on the news story when the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería sent out a press release saying the agency would be collecting the tax starting in the first minutes of Saturday, March 1.

Saturday, John Koger, who operates A Safe Passage, a Tica Bus agency, reported that he was told by bus company officials that the tax has been suspended again.  The bus company ought to know because it is ready to provide the tax receipts for its passengers. No one in government was available to confirm the suspension.

Hacienda is the same ministry that draws up the nation's budget.


bikers
Photo courtesy of Tommy Peters.
Heinrich Flaig, Isaac Manobla, Bradie Kozera, and Tommy Peters in Baja California, Mexico.
An adventure of a lifetime ends for Colorado bikers in Escazú
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pair of tired cyclists slowly climb up a hill on Ruta 27 outside Escazú. A stranger driving the other way in traffic points his head out the window and yells, "You're almost there." After four months and roughly 5,000 kilometers of biking through México and Central America, cousins Bradie Kozera and Tommy Peters are indeed close to the end.

"I got kind of emotional, thinking, man, you have no idea what you just said," Peters said. "I really am almost there. We started this trip four months ago and now I'm within five kilometers of finishing the greatest accomplishment of my life."

Their journey partly stemmed from a shared desire to prove the worth of sustainable travel and eco-tourism. The cousins began riding from San Diego, California, Oct. 29 with two friends, Isaac Manobla and Heinrich Flaig, who branched off in Guatemala and are still biking to Brazil for the World Cup.

Originally Kozera and Peters had planned to cross the equator in Ecuador, but the Colorado natives said they had to change their plans to return back to the U.S. to start working again.

They said they realized that they wanted their trip to be less of a timed race and more of a cultural adventure where they could have opportunities to soak up hospitality offered by towns and their people.

"We figured out you just can't give yourself deadlines or expectations," Kozera said. "We finally just figured out, well, we really like it here so let's stay for two or three nights instead of biking every single day."

Most nights the pair would have to knock on doors for shelter or plots of land where they could set up their hammocks and tents. Though locals were opening their doors to two sweat-coated and smelling Americans, the bikers said that almost every family they met let them stay at their houses and even fed them dinner and offered them hot showers.

From the outset the two said they had a goal to see life from the perspective of poorer populations, away from too many cities or tourist hubs. Their bikes became tools to travel to some of the unseen coves and tucked-away corners that lifelong travelers on mapped-out itineraries may never see.

"We got to experience these small communities where no one really goes to travel," Peters said. "We got to interact with these families and have dinner with them and stay at their house."

Before they started the long trek, family and friends had warned Kozera and Peters to stay safe. In reflecting on their trip, they said that not only did they never experience a truly threatening situation, they really only ran into people who loved their story and wanted to help.

“The hospitality we’ve seen in a variety of places has been unreal,” Peters said, as Kozera echoed his words. He said they would  
border bikes
Photo courtesy of Tommy Peters.
Finally, Costa Rica

sometimes help the families with chores like pulling water out of a well in return for these poorer agrarian people providing roofs or plates of food.

On the rare occasions when they would ride into touristy or backpacking hotspots, other travelers immediately became curious to hear about this active and green way to see the world.

“We would just start talking to people about our adventure, and I think it’s really opened up the door,” Kozera said. “I hope that its education towards opening up this new avenue towards tourism.”

Kozera and Peters are staying with a local couple in Escazú who they met through Peters’ grandmother and plan to box up their bikes and fly home Wednesday.

They have been updating their blog called "Ranger Rides' along the away to chronicle their story.

They agreed that it feels bittersweet to finally be here in Costa Rica, at the end of their road. As they stopped atop that steep hill coming into town, Kozera looked at his cousin and said, “I’m kind of sad, man. The grass is always greener on the other side.”

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 43
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Experience narrowly defeats youth in cricket season opener in Limón
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The San José cricket team, the Corsairs, defeated the Limón Cricket Club Sunday at Earth University.

In a well-attended game, the Corsairs won by 17 runs over their younger opponents. The score was 79 runs for 8 wickets. Limon were all out for 62 runs, so the game was close.

Limon's elder batsman Anderson scored 17 runs while Corsairs Zain Ul-Tashnoni took three wickets for one run. Corsairs captain Lofty took three wickets for 14 runs.  Man of the match was Zain. Also in attendance was Tom Humphries of the International Cricket Council.

The Corsairs, elder statesmen of cricket in Costa  Rica, did well to win by such a slim margin. Their opposing team whose average age was in their 20s and made up of nationals and Hondurans, Guatemalans and Mexicans played with unexpected finesse and only lost by the smallest of margins.

Anyone interested in the game of cricket can log onto www.costaricacricket.org for details of how to either join or participate.
Cricket
Sheldon Haseltine photo
Cricket season is off with a closely fought match for the 2014 season.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


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

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

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

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

* DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
8272-3/4/14

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8201-1/22/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
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7880-3/13/14


Blues
                          video
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8158-3/1/13

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


Payless Car Rental
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at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

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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: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8271-3/31/14

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.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8267-8/17/14

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 jogya345@yahoo.com
8261-3/14/14

house
                                                photo
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: jlayne1933@aol.com or yo@nehemiascr.com
8258-3/18/14

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8239-2/24/14

chalet
                                                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  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8242-3/10/14

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
8241-3/7/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14

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:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8248-2/24/14

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 jogya345@yahoo.com
8214-2/11/14

Belen
                                                home
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: rafa@rafacr.com.
8198-2/9/14




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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 43
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Cafetales



U.N.'s Ban will meet Jaua
on Venezuela's violence

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

United Nations officials say Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will meet with Venezuela's foreign minister in Geneva Tuesday to discuss violent street protests against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua will also speak to the U.N. Human Rights Council about the student-led protests.

Venezuela's U.N. ambassador, Jorge Valero, said in a radio interview Saturday that the talks would be an opportunity for Jaua to explain how his government has been advancing the peace process and what measures are being taken to recover from the disturbances.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Maduro because of the country's high crime rate, inflation and shortages of staples such as milk and flour.

The Maduro government, which succeeded that of the late Hugo Chávez, blames the violence on right-wing opponents of his government, accusing them of receiving support from the United States. The U.S. government denies involvement in the unrest.

Anti-government protesters continued to clash with Venezuela's security forces, as violent street demonstrations dragged into the third day Saturday of a national holiday.

Scattered barricades blocked streets in the capital, Caracas, as student demonstrators threw stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails at security forces, who responded with tear gas and water cannons.

One national guardsman was shot dead as he tried to remove a barricade, bringing the death toll in three weeks of clashes to at least 18. Another guardsman was wounded.

Venezuelans began a week-long national holiday Thursday. People traditionally abandon cities and head for Caribbean beaches to relax and party for the Carnival holiday.

Maduro says there will be an extra day off  Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of Chavez's death from cancer. Officials hope the long break will dampen the student-led protests.


orchids
Voice of America/J. Taboh
The most famous edible orchid is the vanilla, a vine-form orchid native to Central and South America.

New orchid exhibition gives
stimulation to the senses

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington features a vibrant collection of orchids from all over the world. This elegant flower is not solely ornamental, its uses also extend to medicine and cooking.

To walk into the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington is to encounter a feast for the senses.

Johann Strauss’s classic "Blue Danube" waltz fills the air as does the sweet aroma of hundreds of fragrant orchids. This sensory orchestra is part of a new exhibit fittingly called Orchid Symphony, an annual collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens.

The garden chose Orchid Symphony as a theme so it could display a wide variety of orchids, while the symphony “suggested a feeling of elegance and grandeur that we thought was fitting with orchids and also the architecture of our conservatory,” said Nick Nelson, the landscape architect at the U.S. Botanic Garden. “We have fountains that we have computer programmed and synchronized with classical music, a lovely elegant orchid chandelier in the center of the garden."

In keeping with the musical theme, there are also topiaries in the shape of a violin, a cello and other musical instruments “to add a bit of whimsy to the garden,” he said.

Nelson added that while the garden has a permanent orchid room within the conservatory, this time of year they have thousands of orchids coming into bloom, which provides a great opportunity to get the message of orchids across to the public.  

Orchids are found in almost every eco-system in the world.

Jungle orchids thrive in various tropical climates and there are desert orchids blooming in arid environments, according to the garden's deputy executive director Ari Novy.

“The orchids that you’re likely to find growing either in a greenhouse such as this, or that you can buy at a garden center, are probably what we call epiphytic or tropical orchids, meaning they are orchids that in nature are found growing on other plants, especially forest trees,” he said. "But there are many other kinds of orchids as well.” 

He pointed to a flower that he identified as a Mexipedium orchid.

“It’s an orchid found in Mexico, that loves growing on rocks,” he said. “It’s therefore called a lithophyte, meaning a plant that grows on rocks.”

Just like a cactus or any other desert-adapted plant, this orchid can store moisture so that it can handle the long periods of drought in the arid environment.

Novy also pointed to a batch of lovely purple flowers with elongated green leaves called Bletilla striata, or the Chinese ground orchid.

“Not only is it sold because it’s so beautiful,” he said, “but it’s also used in traditional Chinese medicine where it’s ground up into a powder and used to stop excessive bleeding.”
 
In addition to using orchids for medicinal purposes, many cultures eat them in food products, often unknowingly.

The most famous edible orchid is the vanilla, said Novy.  “Vanilla is a vine-form orchid that’s native to Central and South America, although vanilla production today is most famous in Madagascar.”

Madagascar is the largest producer of vanilla beans, but since the island lacks the plant's pollinating bee species, the flowers must be hand-pollinated.

Orchids, as with roses, are often created to honor someone famous. A large painting of a Cattleya Michelle Obama orchid, by artist Patricia Laspino, is on display in the entry foyer of the Garden. It is the latest in a line of First Lady orchids that began in 1929 with the pink bloom named for Lou Henry Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover.

Novy said, as a plant scientist, orchids occupy a very special place in his heart. “Orchids are absolutely gorgeous. They capture our imaginations. They showcase all of the colors of the rainbow in a way that’s just wonderful for us to see.”

“And so at the end of the day," he said, "what we’re trying to do here at the United States Botanic Garden is we’re trying to educate. But we know that we can educate best if we first put a smile on your face.”


Good, bad of Bracero project
outlined in traveling exhibit


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When hundreds of thousands of American men went to combat during World War II, they left behind a labor shortage on farms and factories. One answer to the shortage was the 1942 Emergency Farm Labor Supply Program, an agreement between the United States and Mexico, more commonly known as the Bracero program. It allowed 4.5 million Mexicans to work in the U.S. over the program's 22-year existence. The benefits and pitfalls are now part of a traveling Smithsonian exhibit that comes as some U.S. lawmakers consider a new Bracero worker program as part of immigration reform.

The idea to come and work in the United States was something Saturnino Gonzáles Diaz's father planted in him early.

"When I was born, my father was in Chicago. And he put in my mind, Chicago, Chicago," he said.

Gonzáles's father was one of the first workers to take advantage of the Bracero program.  In 1943, he found work on the railroad in Chicago. The experience and the money he earned allowed Gonzáles and his family to live a good life in Mexico.
 
"He bought a house and everything at the time. He all the time talk to me about the Braceros, and I want to go to the Braceros," he said.

When Gonzáles was accepted into the Bracero program in the early 1960s, he left for California to pick fruits and vegetables.

"Before I come to the United States I was a boxer, I do a lot of exercise," he said.  "Fields don't do nothing to me!  I'm a champion at picking strawberries!"

While Gonzáles's experience was positive, Lorenzo Cano painted a different picture of working the fields in Texas.

He said they would only pay him less than a dollar a day and because of that some of the experiences that he and others had weren't the greatest.

"I think the experience of Bracero workers really depended on the place, the type of work they were doing, and the proclivities of particular employers," said Geraldo Cadava, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, which is hosting the Smithsonian exhibit "Bittersweet Harvest."

It looks at the best and the worst of the Bracero program. "Some states, like Texas, for example, even had their ability to participate in the Bracero program revoked from them because exploitation was more widespread in Texas than in other places," said Cadava.

When the program ended, many Braceros eventually immigrated to the United States to start lives in places where they worked.

Amid the current immigration reform debate in Congress, some lawmakers want to start a new Bracero program.

"I think that those who are simply saying that we need a new Bracero program today are not paying attention to the full complexity of the program and the conditions of exploitation under which Bracero workers labored," he said.

Gonzáles, who now lives in Chicago where his father worked, thinks a new Bracero program could curb illegal immigration and costly deportations.

"If you are illegal, they treat you like a dog. Send you back to Mexico. Crippled or whatever. It's better, I think, to get the Braceros, again," he said.

But proposals for a new program face stiff opposition from labor unions and are one reason lawmakers have not been able to move immigration reform forward.


Wind installations reported
to diminish hurricane forces

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of new electricity around the world. In 2012, global wind energy capacity grew by 19 percent, with more than 150,000 turbines operating in 90 countries.

Now a new study suggests offshore turbines could have an additional environmental benefit: weakening the power of hurricanes.

Over several decades, Stanford University's Mark Jacobson has developed a complex computer model to study air pollution, energy, weather and climate. The engineering professor recently used it to address a nagging question facing the renewable energy industry: could hurricane force winds destroy offshore windmills?

“The first thought I had was, well maybe the turbines would extract enough power from the hurricane to diminish the hurricane, but I couldn’t prove that yet, unless I ran some numerical simulations,” he said.

So, Jacobson, co-author of the study in Nature Climate Change, ran the numbers on three of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the U.S. East and Gulf coasts in recent years. The model simulated what would happen if large wind farms with tens of thousands of turbines had been in the path of those storms.

“We found that the hurricanes would be dissipated quite a bit if you have large arrays of offshore wind turbines," Jacobson said. "The storm surge could be reduced by up to 79 percent and wind speeds by 50 percent or even more.”

The resulting milder winds would also prevent damage to the turbines. Jacobson explains that as the hurricane approaches, the spinning blades remove energy from the storm’s edge and slow down the wind behind it. That slowdown in turn would lower wave height and reduce the winds that push those waves toward the coast.

“So by the time the hurricane gets to shore, it’s significantly weakened," he said. "And storm surge is due to winds going long distance over the water, and the storm surge is reduced quite a bit as well," Jacobsen said. "So these two benefits, reduced wind and reduced storm surge, due to the large arrays of offshore turbines.”

New research shows that an offshore wind farm could have weakened Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, which devastated New Orleans.

Storm surge leads to flooding and death, says University of Delaware Professor Cristina Archer, a co-author of the study. She says barrier walls or islands buffer storm surge, but, the study shows turbines can also play a role.

“We thought we could actually act on the wind, which is the driving force of the storm surge," she said. "So by reducing the wind, you are actually reducing the storm surge dramatically.”
 
Archer suggests locating wind farms in offshore hot spots where they could tap the wind for electricity, offsetting fossil fuel use and its resulting emissions and pollution. They could also act as insurance against storm damage, as the study simulations demonstrate.

“If you can be smart about it, then you can have still very, very high benefits and locally. So, for example, for Katrina, we placed the turbines just up wind of New Orleans," she said. "And, so we protected New Orleans by taking action in New Orleans. So local actions had actual local benefits.”

That 2005 hurricane on the Gulf Coast was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, with a death toll in the thousands.

The study suggests that while there has been political and social resistance in the United States to installing even a few hundred offshore wind turbines, let alone tens of thousands, a wind farm would pay for itself in the long term by generating power and helping to reduce hurricane damage.

Ms. Archer sees partnerships developing among policy makers, emergency managers and the wind industry that could lead to new strategies for coastal power and protection that can also save lives.


Beefing up building strength
seen as severe weather fix

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Climate change is making it harder than usual for scientists to figure out what the future will bring and what impact weather changes will have on society and the economy.  Severe weather events destroy homes, businesses and lives. Some fairly simple changes may reduce the toll.

In a laboratory test, a house built with conventional techniques falls apart in hurricane-force winds.
 
The survivor has stronger shingles, thicker roof boards, and metal straps holding floors together.

Wind tunnel tests were done by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.  It says stronger construction costs a little more, but holds up much better to extreme weather.  

Unusually strong storms, like Typhoon Haiyan, have convinced the chairman of the U. S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, Tom Carper, that extreme weather is the “new norm.”

"Extreme weather events have increased in frequency over the past 50 years and are expected to become even more common, more intense, and more costly," said Carper.

Hurricane Sandy hit beachfront businesses along the U.S. East Coast, including Carper's home state.   Insurance companies had to pay out huge claims.  To limit such losses, the insurance industry can raise premiums for businesses in vulnerable locations and offer discounts to clients who make their buildings more resilient with upgraded construction techniques.

Managing risks is the job of insurance brokers like Kevin Connelly of the Graham Co., who spoke via Skype.

“We are either going to price your insurance at a huge markup, or we are not going to write it at all, which is just as bad obviously," said Connelly.

Drought is another suspected consequence of climate change, and dry ground means more wildfires in California.  Current mathematical models of climate change do a poor job of predicting the economic impact of drought and other weather events, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Robert Pindyck, who spoke via Skype.  

“I think all we can do, taking all of that into account, is come up with some very rough numbers, very rough estimates, "said Pindyck. "Consensus estimates that maybe experts provide, that give us a view of what would the catastrophic outcome look like if we don’t do anything?”

To help deal with this serious problem, Pindyck says policy makers should take actions such as imposing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.  A carbon tax would encourage companies and families to use less energy and generate fewer of the gases thought to be driving changes in the climate.  But other analysts say it is unlikely a new tax will get approval in the U.S. Congress any time soon.


Hong Kong rally protests
slashing attack on editor


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least 10,000 people rallied in Hong Kong Sunday to support press freedom. The demonstration was organized by journalists' associations concerned about violence against the media after unknown thugs brutally attacked one of the city's most influential editors.
 
People wore black and shouted slogans in support of Kevin Lau, the former editor in chief of one of the city's most respected newspapers. Lau was attacked by thugs Wednesday.
 
Wing Liu and Kyley Shek work at Ming Pao, the paper Lau edited till last January.
 
“Hong Kong does not allow this kind of violence, we need freedom,” said Ms. Liu.
 
Kevin Lau was ambushed by unidentified thugs who slashed him six times on his legs and back, then fled on a motorbike.
 
Ms. Wang, an accountant, also came out to show her support.
 
“I was heart-broken when I heard.  Why can Hong Kong be in a situation like this?” asked Ms. Wang.
 
Police are reviewing Ming Pao's recent reporting, looking for coverage that might have angered someone and made him a target.
 
Over the years, similar attacks against journalists have remained unsolved in Hong Kong and Joyce Ng, a former reporter at Ming Pao, said she fears Lau's attackers will not be caught either.
 
But she said it is important to take to the streets.
 
“We are just hoping to give pressure to the police, and to raise public awareness,” said Ms. Ng.
 
The attack against Lau comes at a sensitive time for Hong Kong.
 
This year Beijing will decide over the details on universal suffrage, which the former British colony was promised for 2017.
 
There are also mounting fears that Beijing is increasing its influence over the media in Hong Kong. Ming Pao's decision to dismiss Lau in January was seen as a sign of such interference.
 
Staff at Ming Pao blamed the management for having removed the outspoken editor in an attempt to tone down the paper's critical voice.
 
Hong Kong Journalists Association vice-chairwoman Shirley Yam said in recent years Hong Kong and the mainland have become financially and economically interconnected.  Journalists in Hong Kong are increasingly touching on mainland's interests in their reporting.
 
“We actually do not know who we are meddling with.  We are in a situation where we do what we think it is right. We just report what we have seen as the facts, without taking into much consideration or without much knowledge on how those people will react,” said Ms. Yam.
 
Days after Lau's attack, several groups have launched signature campaigns, which like Sunday's rally aim at putting pressure on the executive and the police to protect journalists.
 
Lau left the intensive care unit on Saturday, and his wife says he is facing a long recovery.


Berigia
University of Utah graphic
This map shows the outlines of modern Siberia (left) and Alaska (right) with dashed lines. The broader area in darker green, now covered by ocean, represents the Bering land bridge from 28,000 to 18,000 years ago
   
Those en route to America
spent years isolated, study says


University of Utah news service

Genetic and environmental evidence indicates that after the ancestors of Native Americans left Asia, they spent 10,000 years in shrubby lowlands on a broad land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska. Archaeological evidence is lacking because it drowned beneath the Bering Sea when levels rose.

University of Utah anthropologist Dennis O’Rourke and two colleagues make that argument in the Friday issue of the journal Science. They seek to reconcile existing genetic and paleoenvironmental evidence for human habitation on the Bering land bridge, also called Beringia, with an absence of archaeological evidence.

O’Rourke says cumulative evidence indicates the ancestors of Native Americans lived on the Bering land bridge “in the neighborhood of 10,000 years,” from roughly 25,000 years ago until they began moving into the Americas about 15,000 years ago once glacial ice sheets melted and opened migration routes.

O’Rourke co-authored the Science Perspective column – titled “Out of Beringia?” – with archaeologist John Hoffecker of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Scott Elias, a paleoecologist at the University of London. Perspective columns in Science don’t feature research by the authors, but instead are meant to highlight and provide context for exciting new research in a field or across fields.

“Nobody disputes that the ancestors of Native American peoples came from Asia over the coast and interior of the land bridge” during an ice age called the last glacial maximum, which lasted from 28,000 to at least 18,000 years ago, O’Rourke says,

The ice sheets extended south into the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Ohio. Large expanses of Siberia and Beringia were cold but lacked glaciers.

The absence of archaeological sites and the inhospitable nature of open, treeless landscape known as tundra steppe mean that “archaeologists have not given much credence to the idea there was a population that lived on the Bering land bridge for thousands of years,” he adds.

O’Rourke and colleagues say that in recent years, paleoecologists, scientists who study ancient environments, drilled sediment cores from the Bering Sea and Alaskan bogs. Those sediments contain pollen, plant and insect fossils, suggesting the Bering land bridge wasn’t just barren, grassy tundra steppe but was dotted by areas where there were brushy shrubs and even trees such as spruce, birch, willow and alder.

“We’re putting it together with the archaeology and genetics that speak to American origins and saying, look, there was an environment with trees and shrubs that was very different than the open, grassy steppe. It was an area where people could have had resources, lived and persisted through the last glacial maximum in Beringia,” O’Rourke says. “That may have been critical for the people to subsist because they would have had wood for construction and for fires. Otherwise, they would have had to use bone, which is difficult to burn.”

During the last glacial maximum, thick glacial ice sheets extended south into what now is the northern United States, sea levels dropped some 400 feet, O’Rourke says. As the glaciers melted, sea levels began to rise, reaching current levels 6,000 years ago.

During the long glacial period, Siberia and Alaska were linked by the Bering land bridge, which contrary to the name’s implication, really was a huge swath of land north, between and south of Siberia and Alaska, at the present sites of the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Strait and the Bering Sea.

At its largest extent, Beringia measured as much as 1,000 miles from north to south and as much as 3,000 miles from Siberia’s Verkoyansk Range east to the Mackenzie River in Canada.

The theory that humans inhabited the Bering land bridge for some 10,000 years “helps explain how a Native American genome  became separate from its Asian ancestor,” O’Rourke says.

“At some point, the genetic blueprint that defines Native American populations had to become distinct from that Asian ancestry,” he explains. “The only way to do that was for the population to be isolated. Most of us don’t believe that isolation took place in Siberia because we don’t see a place where a population could be sufficiently isolated. It would always have been in contact with other Asian groups on its periphery.”

“But if there were these shrub-tundra refugia in central Beringia, that provided a place where isolation could occur” due to distance from Siberia, O’Rourke says.

O’Rourke and colleagues point to a study of mitochondrial DNA, genetic information passed by mothers, sampled from Native Americans throughout the Americas. The study found that the unique genome or genetic blueprint of Native Americans arose sometime before 25,000 years ago but didn’t spread through the Americas until about 15,000 years ago.

“This result indicated that a substantial population existed somewhere, in isolation from the rest of Asia, while its genome differentiated from the parental Asian genome,” O’Rourke says. “The researchers suggested Beringia as the location for this isolated population and suggested it existed there for several thousand years before members of the population migrated southward into the rest of North and, ultimately, South America as retreating glaciers provided routes for southern migration.”

“Several other genetic-genomic analyses of Native American populations have resulted in similar conclusions,” he adds.

For a long time, many scientists thought the land bridge was a uniform tundra-steppe environment, a broad windswept grassland devoid of shrubs and trees, O’Rourke says. But in recent years, sediment cores drilled in the Bering Sea and along the Alaskan coast, the now-submerged lowlands of Beringia, found pollens of trees and shrubs.

That “suggests Beringia was not a uniform tundra-steppe environment, but a patchwork of environments, including substantial areas of lowland shrub tundra,” O’Rourke says. “These shrub-tundra areas were likely refugia for a population that would be invisible archaeologically, since the former Beringian lowlands are now submerged.”

“Large herd animals like bison or mammoths likely lived on the highland steppe tundra because they graze. Many smaller animals, birds, elk and moose would have been in the shrub tundra,” he adds.  Moose browse shrubs instead of grazing on grass.

Other research indicates “that much of Beringia. particularly the lowlands, appears to have had average summer temperatures nearly identical or only slightly cooler in some regions to those in the region today,” O’Rourke says. “The local environments likely were not as daunting as many have assumed for years. They probably hunkered down pretty good in the winter though. It would have been cold.”

The idea that rising sea levels covered evidence of human migration to the Americas has long been cited by researchers studying how early Native Americans moved south along the Pacific coast as the glaciers receded and sea levels rose. O’Rourke says the idea hasn’t been used before to explain the scarcity of archaeological sites in Alaska and Siberia, which were highlands when the land bridge was exposed.

But O’Rourke and his colleagues say archaeological sites must be found in Beringia if the long human layover there is to be confirmed. Although most such sites are underwater, some evidence of human habitation in shrub tundra might remain above sea level in low-lying portions of Alaska and eastern Chukotkam,” which is in Russia.
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”

Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com



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. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8179-3/11/14

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.
8206-5/18/14

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 www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




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: info@greciarealestate.com
8245-5/12/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

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  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

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 tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/14

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:   axelspecial@gmail.com   or text messages to  8916-5550.
8255-3/17/14

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: ronaldeaton95@yahoo.com
8251-3/14/14

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: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8253-5/12/14

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: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8230-3/13/14

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8223-2/21/14

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 bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!
8218-2/17/14

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.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

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:
scottlandtodd@live.com. Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.
8207-3/8/14

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:  sjwiens@gmail.com  for more photos/information or go here:
www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/land/photogallery.htm
8197-2/6/14

complex
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: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

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!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


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: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14


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 www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

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. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

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: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  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  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

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, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
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 bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx


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  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  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: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

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 galanses@hotmail.com for an appointment. For a preview www.facebook.com/FantasiaTropicalCR
8232-2/24/14

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 aha_jm@yahoo.com.
8213-2/13/14

71
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:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

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, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 43
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News from the BBC up to the minute












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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
gecko foot
University of Massachusetts at Amherst photo
The much-studied foot of a gecko that resulted in a sticky use.

Biologists defend research
that might warrant chuckle

By the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
news staff


Scoffing at or cutting funds for basic biological research on unusual animal adaptations from gila monster venom to snail sex, though politically appealing to some, is short-sighted and only makes it more likely that important economic and social benefits will be missed in the long run, say a group of evolutionary biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Writing in a recent issue of BioScience, researchers Patricia Brennan, Duncan Irschick, Norman Johnson and Craig Albertson argue that “innovations often arise from unlikely sources” and “reducing our ability to creatively examine unique biological phenomena will ultimately harm not only education and health but also the ability to innovate, a major driver of the global economy.”

First author Ms. Brennan, known for her duck genitalia studies that could eventually aid human medical science, points out, “Basic science has increasingly come under attack, and there is a growing perception that studying odd science ideas with no clear societal benefits should be stopped. But we feel that these are the precise sorts of investigations that may lead to major innovations in biomedicine, technology and military applications.”

She and colleagues point to several specific examples where advances in understanding basic biological evolutionary adaptations led to successful technological applications, sometimes decades after the original work. Without basic work first published in 1967 on the enzyme Taq polymerase, for example, science wouldn’t have the immensely powerful DNA replication technique known as polymerase chain reaction, now providing vast benefits in medicine, agriculture and criminal justice.  

A recent invention from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst underscores the value of basic science, the authors add. Benefitting from more than 50 years of basic research on gecko ecology and the remarkable anatomy that allows these lizards to walk up smooth walls and across the ceiling, a research team invented Geckskin, an adhesive that can attach a 700-pound weight to a smooth surface on an index-card-sized pad.

Functional morphologist Duncan Irschick, a member of that team, says, “Gecko adhesion stands as a classic example where long-term research on a seemingly frivolous topic has led to a major innovation with enormous potential for making an economic contribution.” He and colleagues say experts have identified more than 2,000 instances of technology inspired by evolutionary innovations, including highly efficient solar panels, insulated glass, and body armor inspired by mantis shrimp appendages.

The public is already interested in oddball science and related success stories, the authors add, and “the abundance of organismal biology science stories in the news shows that studies have mass appeal. This suggests they can play a role in education,” particularly in a nation where only 40 percent of the public acknowledges evolution.

Evolutionary developmental biologist Craig Albertson notes, “It’s easy to assume that innovation happens from well-planned research, but the history of innovation does not tell that story.” Norman Johnson adds, “We are not suggesting that applied science is unimportant, far from it. We are merely pointing out the long-term value and innovations that arise from what is commonly viewed as wasteful spending.”

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From Page 7:

Wednesday begins countdown to Semana Santa

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday in Christian tradition. The day represents the start of Lent, a period of reflection, fasting and prayer leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Easter is April 20 this year.

Aside from the religious significance, business people have to adjust their schedule because at least the Thursday and Friday before Easter are holidays. And for many in government and private industry, the entire week, Semana Santa, is a holiday.

That means business will not be as usual. In fact, it might not be at all.

For the tourist industry, this is a big season, although many Costa Ricans have a way of finding either a relative or a place to pitch a tent at the beaches.

Costa Rica does not have the carnival tradition of other Latin countries. Brazil, Venezuela and even New Orleans are celebrating in anticipation of the restrictions of the 40 days of Lent.