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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 43                            Email us
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Expats need to be on guard for fake or illegal drugs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats frequently face the problem of counterfeit products, be it razor blades or even kitchen appliances.

But even more dangerous to the health are counterfeit drugs that may not even contain any of the chemicals needed for an ailment.

Expats may be confused by the many confiscations of drugs coming from Nicaragua. Each year on buses and on trucks customs officials and police find thousands of cosmetics and pills. Could the appetite for products from home be so strong among the Nicaraguans here?

In most cases the best bet is that Nicaraguans will never see the products that are smuggled successfully. An international sweep there in 2013 found 200 Web sites dedicated to distributing suspect drugs.

The sweep was sponsored by the International Police Agency and involved Nicaraguan officials.

So there is a high probability that cheap drugs being smuggled from Nicaragua enter normal commerce. An estimate by the Colegio de Farmacéuticos was that from 20 to 40 percent of the drugs here are either fake or at least lack approval from the Ministerio de Salud.

The same 2013 sweep found 8,828 pharmaceutical products coming illegally into Costa Rica, a Colegio de Farmacéuticos report said. Not all were shipped by land from Nicaragua.

The report said some drugs came in express mail envelopes labeled documents and some even came inside diplomatic packages.

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Expats need to know the origin of drugs.

The Colegio de Farmacéuticos is the professional association of pharmacists.

The colegio said Monday that the Ministerio de Salud has embarked on a survey of retail outlets to check the drug products on sale. The surveyors are taking samples to be submitted for chemical analysis.

The colegio urged its members to cooperate.

The professional organization has said it would like to see tougher laws regarding unregistered and fake drugs.

Expats may also find that drugs obtained from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social may not be exactly what the doctor ordered.

The Caja has had problems with drug purchases from Third World suppliers and drugs simply going out of date because they were stored too long.

And drugs may not be the only concern facing expats.  A dozen or more persons claiming to be physicians obtained their alleged medical degree from a U.S. outlet that is nothing more than a Web site.

The Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos de Costa Rica keeps an up-to-date list of members.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Vol. 15, 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.


Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry
in  San Isidro de El General

March 2015 Special Offer
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Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry has been a leader provider of advanced eye care services, eyewear, contact lenses, low vision devices and professional attention.  The preferred provider of quality vision care products and personalized optometric services to our patients in Pérez Zeledón in a comfortable and friendly environment since 2007.
Centro Comercial Pedro Pérez, south side of the park, San Isidro del General, Pérez Zeledón,
San José, Costa Rica.
Contact: Dr. Allan Mora Vargas
Phone Number: (506) 2772-0349


Dr. Gray

Dr. Lucinda Gray

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Insurance professionals

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Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
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Remodelling and Construction

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Police seek to reduce drug gang murders

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Publica said that 73 persons were murder victims already this year. Some 40 died in January, and 33 were victims in February.

Police officials attribute many of the killings to drug gangs. There are continual territorial wars and there is lethal punishment for violating gang rules.

The totals are not unusual. Police said that Judicial Investigating Organization figures show that 453 persons were murdered in 2014 and 411 died in 2013.

The Fuerza Pública said that what it can do best to stem the murder totals is to concentrate on interdicting shipments of drugs. The Fuerza Pública is not an investigative organization, but the sister agency, the anti-drug police, are investigators.

Still most of the investigating is done by the judicial police.

hbby stuff
Ministerio de Sguridad Públca photo              
    The Fuerza Pública confiscated this lot of watches and costume
     jewelry from a
bus driver at a checkpoint on the Interamericana
     Sur Monday. Police said there
was about $2,000 worth of items here.

 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute photo           
This is one of the Bocas del Toro caterpillar

Caterpillar outbreak is a mystery in Bocas

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute news staff

Earlier this month, bloggers in Bocas del Toro drew attention to an island in Dolphin Bay near Bocatorito where red mangrove trees are drying out.

“I watched this particular mangrove go from green to brown in a matter of two weeks,” wrote sailboat captain Steven Guling in a note to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute staff scientist Andrew Altieri. “One local kid who often comes to my boat while in Dolphin Bay was describing a worm with teeth but at the time it wasn't quite that clear and I thought he was referring to something in the water.”

Altieri has studied crabs that defoliate coastal habitats. “The first question is what is causing the outbreak, and the next question is how the area will recover, which will depend on what is eating the trees and other local environmental factors,” he said.

The trees were festooned with spikey, neon-green caterpillars. Based on a couple of photographs, Ilka Feller, a mangrove expert and senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland, identified the suspect as a member of the moth genus Automeris, in the same insect family as the Saturniidae.

“I believe that the caterpillar is Automeris io. I’ve found it on the mangroves at a number of locations at Bocas, but never in such large numbers,” Ms. Feller wrote. “Outbreaks like this are difficult to explain because they happen so infrequently. I'm pretty sure this guy only eats leaves. I haven't seen it eating the apical buds. So, if the apical bud is not damaged, after the caterpillars are gone, the trees will leaf out again.”

There are more than 125 species in the genus Automeris. And it is a challenge to identify plants and animals based on photos. Distinguishing different species may require counting the number of hairs on a body part or some other detail that is not visible in images.

Annette Aiello, a research institute staff scientist whose specialty is the lepidopterans, butterflies and moths, said: “A. io is a good match, though a few more photographs, especially one of the head would be helpful. One has several black marks that lead me to suspect that this individual has been parasitized by wasps.”

Wasps parasitize the caterpillars, injecting their eggs into their soft bodies, where they feed and eventually kill their hosts.

Another set of photos with close-ups of the head and better photographs of the body brought a different response. “Based on photograph 3047, which shows the dotted pattern between body segments, I will change my diagnosis to either Automeris jucunda or A. tridens,” said Ms. Aiello.

“Whatever these guys are, the females lay lots of eggs, and all you need is a few of them to produce an outbreak such as the one you describe, especially if, at the outset, their parasitoids are temporarily in short supply. An outbreak would not be surprising given that mangroves tend to be relatively isolated from other habitats. Mommy Nature will bring them back under control,” she said.

Cruz Roja locates drowning victim

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja said staffers found the body of a man missing in the Tortuguero Canal when his boat overturned Saturday. That was Monday.

The man was identified as Adelino Muñoz.

Another crew in the province of Limón is seeking a man identified as Keneth Baldeespada. He disappeared in heavy surf over the weekend. He is 25. Four  rescue workers were seeking him Monday without success.

In Cantagallo de Cariari the rescue workers were seeking a youth who fell into a local river while fishing, the Cruz Roja said.

Pediatricians report pressure over vaccines

By the University of Colorado School of Medicine news staff

Pediatricians are facing increasing pressure from some parents who want to spread out the recommended vaccine schedule for their children by postponing vaccines, pointing to a need for improved programs that support timely vaccinations, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study, published in the April 2015 issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that almost all pediatricians and health care providers encounter requests to spread out vaccines and that, despite risks, increasing numbers of physicians are agreeing to do so.

"Many physicians reported tension between the need to build trust with families by being willing to compromise on the schedule while simultaneously feeling they were putting children at risk and causing them unnecessary pain by spreading out vaccines on multiple visits," writes Allison Kempe, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado.

In the study, "Pediatrician Response to Parental Requests to Spread Out the Recommended Vaccine Schedule," published online March 2, pediatricians and family physicians responded to email and mail surveys between June through October 2012 on the frequency of requests to spread out the recommended vaccine schedule from parents with children under 2 years of age.

In an average month, 93 percent of respondents reported requests from parents to spread out vaccinations and roughly one-fifth of respondents reported that 10 percent or more of parents made such requests. The majority of providers report agreeing to do so either often/always or sometimes, even though the majority (87 percent) of respondents also said those delays put children at risk for contracting vaccine preventable diseases and thought it was more painful for children to bring them back repeatedly for separate injections (84 percent).

The majority of respondents also felt that they would build trust with families if they agreed to spread out the vaccines, and if they did not agree, families might leave their practice. Physicians reported a wide variety of reasons that parents reported for wanting to spread out the vaccines, including short- and long-term complications, belief that their child is unlikely to get a vaccine-preventable disease and concern that their child would develop autism.

Most physicians reported using many different strategies to convince parents to stick with the recommended vaccine schedule, but few of those were considered effective.

Dr. Kempe and her co-authors write that delaying or spreading out vaccines results in higher rates of under-vaccination and puts children and other vulnerable people in the population at risk for vaccine preventable diseases with potentially severe outcomes.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 43
Real Estate
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After nearly a year, Casa Presidencial vehicles still are missing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Shortly after Luis Guillermo Solís took office nearly a year ago, aides noticed that there were fewer vehicles at Casa Presidencial than records said there should be.

Solís even mentioned this during his 100-day speech.

Now Casa Presidencial has completed a study that finds officials are short 115 vehicles. All that are available are 43 vehicles, said a report.

Aides are blaming inadequate controls by previous administrations. A complaint has been filed with the prosecutor's office.

Casa Presidencial also said Monday that a decree had been issued asking other government offices to keep an eye out for the missing vehicles.

A summary said that aides do not assume that anything illegal happened, but they do not have any evidence that the vehicles were legally transferred.

Neighbors object to search
and shower agents with rocks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A policeman's lot is not a happy one especially when a search is required of a León XIII property.

That section of Tibás is well known as a problem area.

Agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization went to a home there Monday for a search. The neighbors do not like law enforcement, so the judicial agents were showered with rocks. When Fuerza Pública officers arrived in force, they, too, were greeted with rocks and other thrown objects.

In all, 11 persons were detained. Five face allegations of throwing rocks at police officers, known in the penal code as aggression against a public official. Six others were held for disorderly conduct.

police presence
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Fuerza Pública officers arrived in force.

Environmentalists seek names on a petition to stop shark finning
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most expats and Costa Ricans thought that the prohibition against shark fining was settled.

The landing of shark fins and their export were prohibited, it appeared. But now environmentalists are conducting an Internet campaign to prevent the export of 2,000 shark fins.

The fins are a premium item in China where the shark product ends up as soup. The Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación has granted a permit for exporting the shark fins.

The environmentalists note that the hammerhead shark is endangered.
In addition, Costa Rica exported 411 kilos of hammerhead shark fins last December, said the Programa Restauracion de Tortugas Marinas, known as PRETOMA.

That shipment stemmed from what the conservation organization called an irregular effort by the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura, the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Mares and representatives of the  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

That shipment represented the fins of some 59 sharks the organization said.

The organization has posted a petition on shark finning on its Web site in English HERE!.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 43
Real Estate
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Two climate studies cite danger of California and Syrian droughts
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It's the kind of scenario that climate scientists have long predicted.

According to a new study, climate change helped set off a chain of events leading to the Syrian civil war.

Another study in the same issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the record-breaking drought crippling the most populous and most productive state in the U.S. bears the same hallmark of climate change.

The two studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future.

From 2007 to 2010, Syria was devastated by the worst drought in the country’s recorded history. Crops failed and livestock died, driving an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes.

“These people picked up their families and en masse migrated to the urban areas to try and survive,” said climatologist and lead study author Colin Kelley. “They weren’t thinking about the future. They were thinking about the present.”

The new arrivals came on the heels of as many as 1.5 million refugees who fled Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003. The exodus of internally displaced people “was a very large population shock for these urban areas in Syria that you could argue were on the margin of sustainability in their stress for food and water even before this occurred,” Kelley added.

Neglected by the government, these overcrowded and underserved settlements became breeding grounds of discontent that erupted in April of 2011, the study said.

Working at Columbia University, Kelley and colleagues studied temperature and precipitation trends since 1931 and climate models of greenhouse gas impacts. They found that the warming and drying the region has experienced since the mid-20th century fits well with the models of climate change. They calculate that global warming has raised the odds of a devastating drought in the region two- to three-fold over natural variation.

“We’re not saying that global warming or climate change triggered or caused the uprising,” Kelley said. “What we are saying is that it basically exacerbated the drought that occurred, made it more severe -- the most severe in the observed record. And that this set about a chain of events that ultimately led to the uprising.”

“But,” he added, “this was also due to Syria’s acute vulnerability when the drought hit.” He noted that

government policies had encouraged farmers to drain groundwater reserves, leaving them exposed when drought hit. And the country’s population had been growing rapidly before the uprising, putting more strain on resources.

Meanwhile, another study suggests climate change has made more likely the kind of crippling drought facing the U.S. state of California.

One in eight Americans lives in California. The state produces 12 percent of the nation’s GDP, and more than 10 percent of its farm income.

A recent study did not find climate change had altered the state’s precipitation patterns. It concluded that the drought is mostly due to natural weather variations.

But precipitation is only half the equation, according to study author Noah Diffenbaugh, climate scientist at Stanford University.

California has wet years and dry years, Diffenbaugh said, but “we do know from looking at the historical record that low precipitation years have been much more likely — greater than two times more likely — to produce drought if they co-occur with warm conditions. And what we’ve found in California is that there’s been a very clear long-term warming.”

That has raised the odds that a year will be both warm and dry, which makes drought much more likely.

“That increase in probability doesn’t occur without the human contribution of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere,” he added.

And in both California and Syria, the future looks to be warmer and drier still.

Diffenbaugh said when global climate reaches 2 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures, which the U.N. has set as the limit of tolerable warming, every year will be warm or exceptionally warm in California.

That means that regardless of whether precipitation patterns change, drought will be very likely in those years with little rain.

Climate models also predict that Syria and the surrounding region will get drier in the coming decades.

“From a farmer’s point of view, it doesn’t bode well for the future if what the climate models are predicting is true,” he said.

And, he added, it raises questions about future civil stability if the trends continue.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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beach view
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Costa Rica,

Central America
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western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 908
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,850. See more photos HERE!
Grecia  909
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,500 . See more photos HERE!
Grecia 907
Beautiful house for rent, near to Puente Piedra street . Very secure. Price $1,000 . More photos HERE!
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House near Pops
House for rent by Pops in Sabana
Conveniently located on the main road in Sabana 250 meters west from Pops Sabana. Alarm installed and fenced. Outside parking for 7 cars and 2 additional. Two story house, each 200m2, total of 400 m2. All services. Indoor garage for 4 cars. Large areas and patio. Roofed terraces. Rent $2,800. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño, 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

Paseo Colon tower
Torres Paseo Colon
Common areas of entertainment and internal parking. Office on the 5th floor reception, storage and monthly maintenance included, 2 parking spaces per office. Area 60 m2 per office (I have 2 offices)
Security building with reception 1st floor. Rent $900 without remodeling Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253-3613 Email:

Honeymoon cottage overlooking river.
Near mountain town of San Isidro del General, elegantly furnished, orthopaedic bed, big kitchen, nice deck, WIFI, cable TV. Rare birds
Honeymoon cottage
in abundance. 10 minutes to town. 40 minutes to beach. Perfect  weather.  $45 per day.  Discount to 40 percent for month.  To see more please click HERE!  and enter #969365.   For more information, contact James. Email:

Coco condo
Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

Two houses for rent inside Sarchí working coffee farm. We will be renting out only one of them, so choose which suits you best.

Casita - Roomy, fully furnished 1 bedroom/1 bath/ 1 guest room, office or storage room. Hi-speed     WiFi, private phone line, hot water, balcony with lovely view across the Central Valley. Includes
linens, dishes, etc and washing machine. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities for 6 months or longer, $625 all inclusive for less than 6 months. Sorry, no pets.

Main house - Spacious 2 bedrooms/1 bath/ and an office w/Wifi. Fully furnished 
(except for TV), Sky satellite, private phone line, washer and dryer, alarm system.  There are lovely verandas with views of Poás and Central Valley, raised beds for gardening and lots of fruit trees. A well-behaved pet MAY be negotiable. Rent is $750 plus utilities for long term tenant.

Our farm is in a small, quiet and very safe neighborhood in Sarchí Sur and is gated and guarded 24/7 and we live on-site. It's totally private and quiet, but less than a 5-minute drive to Sarchí central and 15 minutes to Grecia.  There are great places to walk as well. More info and photos at

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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:

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.

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.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 43
Real Estate
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Netanyahu has deep roots
in U.S. and many friends

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a deep bond with the United States and Americans.

And as he prepares to give a controversial speech to the U.S. Congress in Washington today, he knows the halls of political power in America as well as many home-bred U.S. politicos.

The man nicknamed “Bibi” was born in Tel Aviv in 1949. But seven years later, his father brought the family to the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Professor Ben-Zion Netanyahu, a Jewish historian and staunch Zionist, was no stranger to the U.S.

During the 1940s, the elder Netanyahu had spent eight years in the U.S. as the executive director of the New Zionist Organization, lobbying for the creation of an Israeli state and the rescue of Europe’s Jews.

Ben-Zion is credited for having convinced the Republican Party to adopt into the GOP platform a call for “refuge for millions of distressed Jewish men, women, and children driven from their homes by tyranny” and establishment of a "free and democratic" Jewish state. The Democrats followed suit a month later.

The Israeli state that the elder Netanyahu envisioned did not include dividing then-Palestine, but creating a single Israel that would include present-day Jordan. Ben-Zion’s views were uncompromising.

“The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert,” Time magazine quoted him in a 2009 interview. “And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as he pleases … His existence is one of perpetual war.”

Observers say the younger Netanyahu was raised on a fear of the enemy. It was almost inevitable, they say, that the son would cling to his father’s ideology.

“To a considerable degree, Bibi Netanyahu’s internal struggle as prime minister is a struggle between an inherited ideology and the tug of political contingencies,” columnist David Remick wrote in the New Yorker in May, 1998. “His dilemma is always to what degree he can, or should, remain true to the ideals, the stubbornness, of his father.”

Just as his father had, the younger Netanyahu seemed to split his time between the U.S. and Israel.

In 1967, he returned home to join the Sayeret Matkal, the Israeli Defense Force's elite special forces unit.

In 1972, he was discharged from the Israeli Defense Force and returned to the U.S. to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In October 1973, he returned to Israel for 40 days to fight in the Yom Kippur War.

He then returned to the U.S. and spent the next four years studying at MIT, where he earned two degrees, in architecture and management. A former professor, Leon B. Groisser, would later remember Netanyahu as bright, organized, strong and powerful.

“He knew what he wanted to do and how to get it done,” the professor said in June 1996. “He's not the flippant, superficial person I keep reading about in the newspapers. He was organized and committed.”

In May 1976, he began work on his doctorate in political science, but left the U.S. abruptly after his brother Yonatan was killed in June 1976 during an Israeli rescue operation to free passengers of an Air France airliner being held in Uganda.

Upon another return to the U.S., he was recruited as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Massachusetts, working at the company between 1976 and 1978.

He developed a good friendship with one of his colleagues there, future U.S. presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Romney later said Netanyahu had a strong personality with a distinct point of view.

It was during the 1970s that Netanyahu, now in his 20s, changed his name to Benjamin Ben Nitay, after a Talmudic sage by the same name. 

Netanyahu said he changed his name so that it could be more easily pronounced by Americans, but critics in Israel later said that he was more American than Israeli.

He was only 28 when he appeared in a debate on Boston public television about the Middle East. Introduced as a “graduate of MIT, an Israeli, and a man who has written widely about the Palestinian issue,” Netanyahu said he thought the U.S. should oppose the creation of a Palestinian state:  

“It is unjust to demand the creation of a 22nd Arab state and a second Palestinian state at the expense of the only Jewish state,” he said. “I believe we should fight for our survival. If I have to, I will fight again, but I hope not to.”

Devastated over the loss of his brother in Uganda, Netanyahu helped form the Jerusalem-based Jonathan Institute of Peace with a purpose, he later wrote, “to educate free societies as to the nature of terrorism and the methods needed to fight it.”  

He organized two international conferences on terror in Jerusalem, which were attended by a number of leading U.S. political figures, including George P. Schultz, former FBI director William Webster and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick.

In those conferences, Netanyahu detailed how, he believed, the Soviets were training Muslim terrorists, and, it is said, strongly influenced the way the U.S. crafted its war on terror.

When former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Moshe Arens came to Washington, he appointed Netanyahu as his information minister. From this point on, the young diplomat’s rise was meteoric.

In 1984, Netanyahu was appointed Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.

Returning to Israel in 1988, he was elected to the Knesset on the Likud Party list and was appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs.

He became one of Israel’s most effective and recognizable spokesmen.  During the first three days of the 1991 Gulf War, he gave 50 television and radio interviews to international media.

“With Netanyahu, the American television viewer was provided with someone who looks and sounds like us and who markets a tried-and-true product: Israel, the American ally, securing Washington's interests in the Middle East against radical Soviet-Arab-Muslim terrorist bogeymen,” commented political analyst and journalist Leon T. Hadar that year.

Netanyahu has given many speeches in Washington. But two stand out in particular.

In January 1998 during his first premiership, Netanyahu addressed hundreds of Christian and Jewish supporters at a Washington, D.C., hotel. He also met with  Christian evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, an avowed Bill Clinton-hater who had accused the U.S. president of drug peddling and even murder.

“By stressing his alliance with some of the administration's fiercest critics, Netanyahu steered the pro-Israel effort — traditionally and obsessively bipartisan — in the direction of the partisan wars,” read one commentary at the time.

In a speech to the U.S. Congress in 2011, Netanyahu got 20 standing ovations for his comments.

“Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” he said. It was clear, the Christian Science Monitor noted, that Congress stood with Israel, not with U.S. President Barack Obama. 

Today Netanyahu will address Congress once again, this time to try to block a nuclear deal with Iran. News reports say more than 30 Democrats plan to boycott the event.

One poll shows that almost half of all American voters say that Congress should not have invited Netanyahu to speak without first notifying the President Obama.

“It’s important for us to maintain these protocols, because the U.S.-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party,” Obama said, explaining why he would not be meeting with Netanyahu this time around. “The way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn’t get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics.”

But in a Monday morning speech in Washington to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, Netanyahu expressed boundless gratitude to both parties in the U.S. Congress for their long-term support of the Jewish state.

Islamic State losing allies
over brutality, top spy says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top U.S. intelligence official says the Islamic State’s penchant for publicizing beheadings and other brutal forms of punishment is hurting the terror group’s bottom line.

“These brutalities, publicized brutalities by ISIL, beheading and immolations and the like, have really had a galvanizing effect even in the Mideast,” The U.S. director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said at an appearance Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Clapper said intelligence officials have seen a big decline in donations to the Islamic State, saying donations were reduced to “less than one percent of their total revenue from last year.”

He said some of the decline in donations was also due to increased oversight from governments, especially in the Middle East, sometimes with help from the United States.

U.S. officials have said previously most of the Islamic State’s money has come from robbery and extortion, oil sales and ransom payments for kidnapping victims. But just last month, a top U.S. Treasury official said Washington had been having some important successes in denying the Islamic State access to revenue and in limiting its ability to use the money it did have.

Profits from selling oil on the black market, once estimated to net the Islamic State several million dollars per week, has been especially hurt by targeted air strikes by U.S. and coalition warplanes, the officials said.

Still, Clapper said the effort to defeat the Islamic State still faces numerous challenges, none more difficult than finding ways to counter the group’s narrative in the Muslim world, “given the general lack of popularity of the United States in many of these countries.”

“In the end, our ability to do that and to really influence change in attitudes and change in worldview is only going to come about when the people there, themselves, do that,” he said.

Clapper also noted difficulties in countering the Islamic State in Syria, which he said is “compounded by the fact that we're actually not there."

Death penalty is possible
in Boston bombing trial

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With opening arguments scheduled to begin Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, prosecutors have made a strong case in pre-trial evidentiary filings tying the lone survivor, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to the blasts that killed three and maimed scores.

If prosecutors can persuade a jury that Tsarnaev is guilty, however, it’s an open question whether jurors can be convinced that he deserves death, experts said.

“Executions are hard to get at because of a lot of related issues. Because the length of appeals, lethal injection is causing a lot of problems now,” said Richard Dieter, of the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center in Washington D.C. “We have a lot of states that don’t have the death penalty, so it is not a consensus in our country.”

The jury selection process alone, which took two months to complete, underscores the difficulties of a death penalty trial. Prosecutors and defense lawyers sparred repeatedly in front of U.S. District Judge George O’Toole trying to winnow the initial pool of more than 1,300 down to 18: 12 jurors plus six alternates.

Citing public opinion in Massachusetts, defense lawyers argued that it was impossible to seat an impartial jury, never mind one that would not be automatically committed to executing Tsarnaev. Last week, the court finished up the selection process, and set opening arguments for Wednesday.

Defense lawyers have also sought to have the trial moved out of state, arguing again that the jury in Massachusetts will not be impartial. A federal appeals court on Friday rejected that request.

The legal skirmishing is being held at Boston’s federal courthouse, just a few miles from the finish line of the Marathon, where two pressure-cooker bombs exploded on April 15, 2013.

A massive manhunt four days later shut down many towns in the greater Boston area before police captured a wounded Tsarnaev. His older brother, Tamerlan, was killed in the hunt.

Federal prosecutors petitioned U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for the death penalty. Holder, who openly opposes capital punishment, last year agreed, stating: “The nature of the conduct and the resultant harm compel this decision.”

Capital punishment resumed in the United States in 1976, after a Supreme Court-ordered hiatus. While many states have executed inmates since that time, the federal government has tried and executed only three people: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, drug smuggler Juan Raul Garza, and kidnapper Louis Jones.

Currently, 61 federal prisoners are on death row in the United States; some have been on for more than 15 years, as various appeals make their way through the courts.

By contrast, the state of Texas, one of 32 states that allows for capital punishment, has executed 72 people since 2010 alone. Massachusetts state law does not allow for the death penalty.

“This was aimed at this symbolic national event,” Dieter said. “And then of course there are some international potential to -- you know, who are the defendants? Where are they from? Why did they do this— that I think evoke federal concerns.”

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the 30 charges he faces, and his lead lawyer, Judy Clarke, has made a name for herself in federal death penalty cases -- gaining life in prison for her clients instead of execution. Clark is known for masterfully humanizing her clients in the courtroom and softening up the jury during the guilt or innocence phase, experts said.

“Mr. Tsarnaev has hit a gold mine by having Judy on his side,” said Jon Katz, a criminal defense lawyer who has met and admired Ms. Clarke for many years. “I doubt he could do any better.”

“When a jury remembers that every single criminal defendant starts as an innocent baby, has a beating heart, has blood running through their veins, the jury has less trouble realizing this is not a monster,” Katz said.

Once underway, the trial should unfold in two phases. The first will determine guilt or innocence for Tsarnaev for the 30 charges, not all of which mandate the death penalty. During the second phase, the same jury will decide whether he should be executed or face lesser punishment.

The death penalty requires a unanimous vote from all 12 jurors.

“The country I guess was waiting for a response from Washington. What are you going to do so that this never happens again?” Dieter said. “I am not sure that the death penalty succeeds in accomplishing that, but it is a response.”

Bill Gates still richest man
in Forbes annual listing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates kept his spot as the world's richest man, a rank he has held for 16 of the past 21 years, Forbes magazine said Monday.

The Microsoft co-founder's fortune increased $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, the business magazine said, despite a $1.5 billion gift of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November.

In second place is Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $77.1 billion.

Forbes said a record 290 newcomers joined the billionaires list in the last year.  Nearly 25 percent of this year’s first-time billionaires hail from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57, followed by India with 28 and Germany with 23.

Of the record 197 women, the highest-ranked was Wal-Mart Stores heiress Christy Walton, who was eighth at $41.7 billion. France's Liliane Bettencourt, who got much of her wealth from cosmetics company L'Oreal SA, was 10th at $40.1 billion.

The most famous to join the list is U.S. basketball superstar Michael Jordan, thanks to his ownership of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and payouts from his Nike brand. Jordan had a net worth of $1 billion, the magazine said.

The world's youngest billionaire was 24-year-old Evan Spiegel, the CEO and co-founder of mobile messaging company Snapchat, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Snapchat's other co-founder, 25-year-old Bobby Murphy, had the same net worth as Spiegel. Other tech billionaire newcomers were two co-founders of taxi ordering app Uber and one of its executives. Three co-founders of Airbnb, the vacation home rental Web site, also made the list.

Of the 1,826 members of the Forbes billionaires ranking, 46 are under the age of 40, and just under half of them owe their fortunes to technology.

The average fortune of this year’s newcomers is $1.8 billion. Altogether, they are worth $518 billion, another record.

U.S. has to cut its staff
at its Venezuelan embassy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuela's government has given the U.S. two weeks to slash the size of its embassy staff in Caracas to 17 diplomats as tensions between the two nations rise.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez made the announcement Monday after a meeting with the top American diplomats in Caracas. She said it is up to the U.S. to decide which of an estimated 100 diplomats it wishes to send home.

The move came after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lashed out Saturday at what he called U.S. conspiracies against his socialist government and ordered the foreign ministry to reduce the number of officials at the American embassy from 100 to 17.  He also imposed a visa requirements for American tourists.

Maduro claimed that Venezuela has detained American spies, including one he said was a U.S. pilot of Latino origin. 

The Venezuelan president often criticizes the United States for what he says is meddling in his country's affairs.  The United States has not exchanged ambassadors with the South American country since 2010.

Meanwhile, four American missionaries from North Dakota, detained and deported from Venezuela last week, are recovering on the nearby island of Aruba.  It is unclear whether the missionaries were the Americans Maduro was referring to when he said the government had arrested U.S. citizens engaged in espionage.

Loud music's danger to teens
draws World Health warning

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization says more than 1 billion teenagers and young adults risk losing their hearing by listening to loud music. To mark International Ear Care Day today, the U.N. agency is urging young people to turn down the volume to prevent irreversible damage to their hearing.

Few things get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing like a Bruce Springsteen concert. The Boss’ dynamic rendition of “Born in the U.S.A.” gets his teenage audience thumping and swaying like nothing else. 

This joyous experience can have serious consequences for young people, however, as World Health specialist on hearing impairment Shelley Chadha explained.

“When this exposure is particularly loud, prolonged or habitual, the sensory cells are damaged permanently leading to irreversible hearing loss,” said Dr. Chadha.

Studies in middle-and high-income countries show nearly 50 percent of teenagers and young adults aged 12 to 35 years are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from personal audio devices, and around 40 percent are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at concerts, nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

The World Health Organization says unsafe levels of sound vary.  It can mean noise levels of 85 decibels for eight hours a day or 100 decibels for 15 minutes.

Dr. Chadha said when the intensity of sound increases by three decibels, safe listening time goes down by half.

“If a person takes a subway to go from one place to the other for half an hour in the morning and a half an hour in the evening, and every day has to turn up the volume on his device because there is so much of noise of the train and everything around, and is listening to -- let us say 100 decibels for one hour every day, his hearing is going to get irreversibly damaged in a few years, in a couple of years time for sure,” said Dr. Chadha.

Dr. Chadha said there are simple measures to protect people from unsafe sound levels. She said young people who wear earplugs during concerts can feel as much of a rush from the music at 90 decibels as they can at 110 decibels.

“The fact that earplugs may look uncool may be true today, but if there is a change in behavior that may not necessarily be true in the future and wearing earplugs may actually be cool rather than not," she said.

The World Health Organization advises young people to keep the volume down on personal audio devices and limiting use to less than one hour a day. It says smart phone apps can help monitor safe listening levels. 

The U.N. agency estimates 360 million people suffer hearing loss due to various causes, including noise, genetic conditions, infectious diseases and aging. It noted half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica

Visit our Web Page:

If you do not find you are looking for in our page, contact us, WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.

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or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000

Send us your request to our
Mafri one
Beautiful house in Santa Ana, Valley and mountain view. Price: $1,300,000. Single story, bedrooms. 5 baths. Double-size garage: 360 m2. Lot: 4,487 m2. 
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Mafri two
San Isidro de Heredia. Great lot with 3 houses. $3,200,000 single story. 1,505 m2 Lot: 37,419m2  Click HERE!
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Finca Las Trufas, San Ramon-Esparza, Price: $3,900,000 Farm and ranch. Single story 1,500 m2. on 25 hectares Click HERE!


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The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
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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
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Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Barrio Peralta
Barrio Francisco Peralta
Grom Casa Italia, 200m south and 200m east, dead end, last property on the left side. Land size 461.15 m2, construction 340 m2 Part of the existing furniture can be negotiated by separate of the purchase. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253 3613. Email:

Escazu house
Residential area. 5 minutes from center of Escazú
Lot 489 m2 (5,166 sq ft). Building 220 m2 (2,368 sq ft + 50 m2) Living room, kitchen 2 full baths, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closets bedroom for domestic, laundry, hot water tanks, maid’s room, 2-car garage, additional parking space All services. Financing available. Sale $275,000. Rent $1,500 Contact: Gerardo Ortuñ,o 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

cndo rollover

In Alajuela , Penthouse in best location with views from all rooms. Quiet and private. Cheap to run. Extra large kitchen and balcony. Financing possible. Completely well furnished with $20,000 cost, including custom large kitchen and many cabinets. 10 minutes to Multiplaza, airport and close to highway 27, beach 45 minutes. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms + office. Open plan granite kitchen to living room. Wheelchair accessible, covered parking place by entrance. Large pool, jacuzzi, gym and tennis. Areas for walking and running. The best location in the complex. Close to all and only $127/month maintenance. Price $125,000. Write or call at:  8391-2080, 2220-2243.

Arenal home
LAKE ARENAL - Like new 3-bedroom, 3-bath, furnished, super views of lake, volcano, ranches, forests, mountains, 1 mile from town, gated. $195K. Contact Joe, Phone number 506-2694-4538. Email: Web:

Playas del Coco home
Playas del Coco  Unique opportunity, multiple possible uses, project property! i.e. large home, b&b, hostel, rooming house, retreat, or business?

The property consists of 2,200 sf of construction, pool, bodega, garage, 1,126 m2 lot (adjacent 550M2 vacant lot available to purchase), and is only a 3-minute walk to the beach. Google @: 10˚54’23.80”N  85˚70’41.40”W There is a well for irrigation, in ground sprinkler system, 5,000 liter in ground reserve water tank, fruit trees, palm trees, shrubs, and many flowers. The property is walled on 4 sides with 2 entrances. There is hot water throughout the house. The property has municipal water, telephone line, Internet, and cable. The property is in a clean & up to date LLC for easy transfer. The property taxes are less than $600. on a valuation of approximately $196,000.
Price $159999. Less than replacement. Contact for more info & pictures: 6283-1172 CR  or 00507 6620 3201  Panamá.

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, 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 birds and other animals. 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, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Fortuna view
Sometimes “distress sale” is a come-on.  Sadly, for this bruised North American ex-wife it is not.  She has a very nice modern- construction 2-br home on 1129 m2 intended for up to a couple dozen apartments with superb volcano view, short walk to downtown, all the amenities.  The existing 1st loan can be assumed but the 2nd has to be paid off, as do her other debts here, so that’s the distress part.  The irony is that their business plan was perfect, the place rents extremely well today, but she can’t manage it from a distance and doesn’t plan on returning to Costa Rica.  Asking $140k but her Costa Rica dream property is going to go to the first best offer with enough cash to clear her debts as well as clear her mind.  Her own personal bad experience provides an unusual opportunity at this time.  For interior pix: phone 506-8377-8402 or E-mail

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email:   Web:

Photo one
photo two
Tambor three for jan. 15
Total area of the property is 23 hectares at $425,000. There's an option to buy 2 sub lots, the first one is land with no construction of 890 sqm at $19,900. The second, 1,700 sqm including a small house, for the price of $65,000
Located 300 meters from the south Jacó . First house is 110 sqm with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,  private pool, A/C, kitchen and separate laundry. Second is a 120m, two-story house with 2 bedrooms, There's a small lot has its own entrance and is perfect for building  $280,000.
This 115 sqm condo is located four blocks from the heart of Santa Ana. It is a corner unit with a view of the green area from your living room. Two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchen is clean and modern. Home is in good condition, and ready to move into. $132.000.
Contact Jo-Anne  Cell phone number: 506 8310-2915
or through email:

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:

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!


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:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 43
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
dancing artist
Hidden Garden Art Gallery photo                        
Rebeca Alvarado Soto and one of her works.

Dancing painter's expo opens Saturday

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Artist Rebeca Alvarado Soto opens her newest exhibit "Tropics" Saturday at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery in Liberia.

"Tropics," presents the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, with the colors demonstrative of Guanacaste.  More information is available from the gallery at 2667-0592 / 8386-6872, or by email at  Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Delicate combinations of textures and colors on canvas are focal points of the vivid and pulsating artworks created by Ms. Alvarado, the gallery said in a release.

Much of her focus includes activities relating to her ballet, having most recently performed in "Desde de Sur" at the Teatro Nacional in San Jose.

The artist was born in Costa Rica and formally educated as a psychologist. She has had careers in psychology, dance and choreography as well as art.

"Ballet makes me see the human body in special way, because dancers use body language to communicate special things to the world that maybe can't be defined with words or writings," she was quoted as saying in a gallery release. "Dancers have a sensibility to share and feel strong emotions, as to painters: each has a special connection with their souls and minds.  Dancing allows me to transfer all of that to the canvas … in colors and textures.  Each discipline influences the other."

"Every time I am in front of a canvas, it invades and transforms me, and it's amazing," she said. "I don’t think when I paint; I let myself be carried away, and my thoughts and feelings appear on the canvas."

When she paints, she dances, and when she dances, she paints. They are interrelated, and cannot be separated, she said.

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From Page 7:

Proposed U.S. tax system described in video
By the American Citizens Abroad news staff

American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation released Monday a new video aimed at breaking down the merits of residence-based taxation in a clear and simple way for key decision makers and the public.

The video, entitled "21st Century Taxation of Americans Abroad: Citizenship-based Taxation vs. Residence-based Taxation" is timely and important as the issue of how to tax Americans living and working overseas is gaining attention during congressional review of comprehensive U.S. tax reform.  The video is available for viewing on the ACA Global Foundation’s home page.
“Having a rational discussion of our outdated and uncompetitive current tax policy versus sound alternatives such as residence-based taxation will help inform congress in their development of new tax legislation,” said Charles Bruce, chairman of the foundation.

In the video Michael Kirsch of Notre Dame University presents the rationale for citizenship-based taxation while Bernard Schneider, teaching fellow at Queen Mary University of London School of Law presents recommendations for residence-based taxation.

“Significant research and education is needed to bring these issues to the attention of the American public and Congress,” said Jackie Bugnion, tax team director of American Citizens Abroad, “and our organizations have taken the lead in sponsoring informed debate and better understanding of these issues.”