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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, March 6, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 46                          Email us
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Solis and campaign team
Partido Acción Ciudadana photo  
Luis Guillermo Solís and his campaign team watch Johnny Araya's announcement.
Unique surprise in the race to be the president
Wednesday was an exciting day politically. Johnny Araya Monge suspended his presidential campaign in the face of discouraging opinion poll numbers, and Luis Guillermo Solís of the
Partido Acción Ciudadana appears to be headed for a decisive win April 6. Michael Krumholtz reports on what took place. His stories are:

U.S. plan seeks to double foreign students numbers
 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An organization that is expert in sending American students overseas to study says it has launched a five-year initiative to double the number.

The organization, The Institute of International Education, also reported that Costa Rica is in eighth place worldwide in the number of U.S. students who come here. It said that 7,900 students visited the country in the 2011 to 2012  year.

The country attracted more U.S. students than Ireland or Japan, which were ninth and tenth. The only countries that exceeded the number of U.S. students were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, China, Germany and Australia.

The initiative is being called Generation Study Abroad. More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions, said the organization.

The Institute of International Education is not a new arrival. It has a 100-year history of helping students study abroad as well as providing help for foreigners who want to study in the United States. It manages the U.S. Fulbright programs for the federal government.

The result of the program will be thousands more American students graduating with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world, the organization said. The initiative seeks to have 600,000 U.S. students studying abroad, more than twice current numbers.
The Institute of International Education graphic
Top 10 recipients of U.S. students.

With 2.6 million students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees each year, it is clear that major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy, or to work together across borders to address global issues. the organization said in its announcement.

The Institute of International Education will be working closely with U.S. educational institutions and also plans on creating a scholarship fund. It said it already has committed $2 million of its own money to scholarships.

The initiative plans to mobilize 1,000 high school teachers and engage 10,000 alumni and students and make agreements with at least 500 U.S. colleges and universities.

A meeting is set up for Wednesday in New York to determine what it takes to double study abroad numbers, the organization said.

As the dollar goes, so go the gasoline prices
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Motor fuel prices are going up because of the increased value of the dollar. Expats better fill up because the regulatory agency setting the price only used a rate of exchange of 526,89 colons to the dollar. That was the rate Feb. 13. The rate today is 564.17 colons, according to the Banco Central de Costa Rica.

Super gasoline will go up 26 colons to 711 colons
a liter. Plus gasoline will go up 24 colons to 687 colons a liter. Diesel is going up 19 colons to 650 colons a liter. With a U.S. gallon holding 3.785 liters, the dollar price of a gallon will be $5.11, based on the rate of exchange used by the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos. There also is an increase in liquid petroleum gas of 45 colons a liter to 396 colons.

These increases have been expected when the U.S. dollar began to show strength in February.

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confiscated beer
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo        
Not even Coors Lite.

What would you do with it
when you brought the beer in?

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats going into the smuggling business have lots of options.  Some expats are smuggling gasoline from Panamá, police have said.

Clothing is another product that almost never results in police confiscation.

But Milwaukee's Best? Admittedly Costa Rica has some high beer prices, and the local beers are not exactly top of the line. But Milwaukee's Best?

Nevertheless there seems to be a run on the brand.  Two persons have been nabbed in the last few days with cases of beer brought in from Panamá. The customs warehouse in Paso Canoas has some 240 cans of cheap beer as a result of confiscations. And that includes at least 168 cans of Milwaukee's Best.

Consejo de Vialidad graphic        
Blue lines show the route still not started.

Contract awarded for two jobs
for Circunvalación in north

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes has issued a contract for the first of two projects that will complete the highway loop around the metro area.

The job has been awarded to a Costa Rican-Dominican consortium called La Estrella-Hernán Solís for $141.16 million.  The consortium will design 5.4 kilometers from the La Uruca intersection to Ruta 32 and also build a second stretch from Ruta 32 to Calle Blancos and the current eastern end of the highway.

Two other firms, one from China and one from Mexico, submitted bids, said the ministry.

The construction phase will take 18 months, and the design job is expected to take six months, the ministry said.

When completed, both sections will close the circle around the metro area.

The Circunvalación now is a four- and sometimes six-lane highway from San Pedro in the east along the south side of the metro area to La Uruca. This is the same route that has been partly closed due to a washout near Hatillo. The highway is back to four lanes at that point as of Wednesday morning.

The contract has to be approved by the Contraloría General de la República.

Twin earthquakes rattle
the area around Nosara

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Nosara area was the scene of two earthquakes Wednesday. The first took place at 3:16 p.m., and the magnitude was 4.9, said the Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica. The epicenter was estimated to be about 7.6 kilometers west southwest of Buenavista  de Samara on the far Pacific coast of  Nicoya.

The second was about 9.5 kilometers south of Nosara at 4:57 p.m. In both cases, sensing instruments at Nosara reported moderate movement. The magnitude of the second quake was estimated to be 3.9, the Laboratorio said.

Missing woman turns up

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that a 25-year-old American woman, who has been reported missing, has turned up. The woman was identified as Jessica Jana Johnson. Agents said she disappeared Feb. 20. She contacted police herself Tuesday afternoon, the judicial police said.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 46
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Luís Guillermo Solís now campaigns to get people to come out to vote
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As he walked under the red and yellow flags into the backyard of his party's headquarters, Luís Guillermo Solís put a pin over the left side of his chest that read "Salí a votar." The Partido Acción Ciudadana candidate then sat down with his family and campaign team in front of reporters, every now and then allowing for a few quick moments to point to and repeat those three words on his lapel.

After his opponent Johnny Araya suspended his campaign earlier Wednesday, Solís had basically been given Costa Rica's next presidency one month before the official runoff election. Just don't tell him that. Solís insisted he is not yet the president and that he will continue his normal campaign process until the April 6 vote.

"We're going to plan with great detail the rest of the campaign," Solís said. "The next few days will be devoted to organizing and introducing more communities to our plans."

He urged his faithful in attendance and those watching from live television feeds to still attend the polls for the runoff vote. The integrity of the country's political system, he said, depends on voting and participation. "The main enemy of democracy is called abstentionism," Solís said. Hence the lapel pin that means "gone to vote"

Survey numbers released Wednesday by the Centro de Investigación y Estudio Políticos at the Universidad de Costa Rica had shown a widened gap between Solís and Araya.

One press member probed Solís on a comment made earlier by Araya that alluded to a national deal that had been made as part of his decision to drop out. The former Oscar Arias adviser denied any behind-the-scenes deal with Liberación Nacional.

"We are looking for the best people to fill our cabinet positions," he said. "We want changes to be made."

Though he was reluctant to label it a formality, Solís still confronted the basic ideas of his future presidency. He assured those watching that he would do his best to uphold the standards of democracy set in place long before him.

"I want to make a call for the calm, for the serene," he said. "I want to ask you all to not be afraid. The country is much bigger than I am. We have the confidence and ability to steer the country the right way."

President Laura Chinchilla made a phone call to the man who seems to be her eventual successor Wednesday afternoon. Solís recalled the 10-minute phone conversation and said Ms. Chinchilla expressed her concerns of a transition and its immediate effects on the nation's economy. She also wanted to guarantee an easy transition between administrations.

Ms. Chinchilla released a statement after Araya's campaign
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Presidential candidate Luís Guillermo Solís and his lapel pin.

announcement in which she shared the stance of Solis that people still have an obligation to vote on the upcoming election day.

"Costa Ricans should still go to the ballot boxes," she said. "The government maintains this attitude and will continue to ensure the support that our elected authorities require."

                             Our opinion can be found HERE!

Johnny Araya Monge said that he put himself in the hands of God
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On the night of the Feb. 2 general election, Partido Liberación Nacional supporters sang and danced after an optimistic speech from presidential candidate Johnny Araya Monge. A month later in the same ballroom at the Hotel Corobicí, Araya told his faithful that his campaign was concluded.

He said that he decided to put the future into the hands of God, when the polls showed a second round of voting would be needed. The man long thought of as the frontrunner had let his lead slip so opponent Luís Guillermo Solís actually finished in first place but not with enough votes to win. Solís of Partido Acción Ciudadana has since seemed to gain even more momentum.

"I asked a lot of God, and he showed me important signs that I have received to be able to make this decision," Araya said. "I feel certain about this decision."

The election's second round is still slated for April 6, as it must according to the Constitution and the Liberación candidate will still have his name on the ballot. But Araya's campaign manager, Antonio Álvarez Desanti, confirmed that the now-inactive presidential candidate will no longer do debates, place ads, or visit schools and churches for election purposes.

"We will not call on the people to vote, nor will we stop them from voting," Álvarez said.

Early Wednesday a Universidad de Costa Rica survey came out in which 64.4 percent of participants said they would vote for Solís. Only 20.9 percent said they would choose Araya. Nearly 15 percent of those 1,200 adults polled via telephone said they would not vote.

Araya noted that Liberación leaders have heard those calls for administrative change from the people.

"I have heard their reasons. I have paid attention to their judgements, and I have consulted the polls that measure the profound currents of public opinion," he said. "And I have realized the existence of a collective willpower wanting to be relieved of the current party in charge."

Now that it looks certain there will not be a third consecutive Partido Liberación Nacional member residing in Casa Presidencial, the party said it is planning for a commitment to public services and to rebound with an influential leader in the 2018 elections.
ARay and hs wife
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Johnny Araya and his wife, Sandra, arrive at the Corobici.

Álvarez, who spoke once Araya and his wife, Sandra, left the podium, said that the campaign team had realized the nation's voters truly do want a change from the Liberación standard. He said the polling was not the only cause for the party's retreat, but that it was a major consideration.

"Effectively there's been a strike by the people of Costa Rica against Liberación Nacional," he said. "It would have been hard to imagine a victory given our analysis of the electoral map."

The statistics and surveys that had initially favored Araya and his party plummeted over the past month. Álvarez blamed this sharp turn on the narrative most commonly used against Liberación Nacional that says no changes can come with another liberationista in office.

"In this country there is a sentiment that continuity is bad."

An earlier story is HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 46
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Satellite tags open window onto the lost years of young loggerheads
By University of Central Florida news service

Small satellite-tracking devices attached to sea turtles swimming off Florida’s coast have delivered first-of-its-kind data that could help unlock the mystery of what endangered turtles do during the lost years.

The lost years refer to the time after turtles hatch and head to sea where they remain for many years before returning to near-shore waters as large juveniles. The time period is often referred to as the lost years because not much has been known about where the young turtles go and how they interact with their oceanic environment. Until now.

“What is exciting is that we provide the first look at the early behavior and movements of young sea turtles in the wild,” said University of Central Florida biologist Kate Mansfield, who led the team. “Before this study, most of the scientific information about the early life history of sea turtles was inferred through genetics studies, opportunistic sightings offshore, or laboratory-based studies. With real observations of turtles in their natural environment, we are able to examine and reevaluate existing hypotheses about the turtles’ early life history. This knowledge may help managers provide better protection for these threatened and endangered species.”

Findings from the study appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

A team of scientists from University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and University of Wisconsin tracked 17 loggerhead turtles for 27 to 220 days in the open ocean using small, solar-powered satellite tags. The goal was to better understand the turtles’ movements, habitat preferences and what role temperature may play in early sea turtle life history.

Some of the findings challenge previously held beliefs.

While the turtles remain in oceanic waters traveling between 124 miles to 2,672 miles off the continental shelf and the loggerhead turtles sought the surface of the water as predicted, the study found that the turtles do not necessarily remain within the currents associated with the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. It was historically thought that loggerhead turtles hatching from Florida’s east coast complete a long, developmental migration in a large circle around the Atlantic entrained in these currents. But the team’s data suggest that turtles may drop out of these currents into the middle of the Atlantic or the Sargasso Sea.

The team also found that while the turtles mostly stayed at the sea surface, where they were exposed to the sun’s energy, the turtles’ shells registered more heat than anticipated as recorded by sensors in the satellite tags, leading the team to consider a new hypothesis about why the turtles seek refuge in Sargassum. It is a type of seaweed found on the surface of the water in the deep ocean long associated with young sea turtles.
Professor and turtle
University of Central Florida/Jim Abernethy
Kate Mansfield with tagged  lagggerhead about to be released.

“We propose that young turtles remain at the sea surface to gain a thermal benefit,” Mansfield said. “This makes sense because the turtles are cold blooded animals. By remaining at the sea surface, and by associating with Sargassum habitat, turtles gain a thermal refuge of sorts that may help enhance growth and feeding rates, among other physiological benefits.”

More research will be needed, but it’s a start at cracking the lost years mystery.

The findings are important because the loggerhead turtles, along with other sea turtles, are threatened or endangered species. Florida beaches are important to their survival because they provide important nesting grounds in North America. More than 80 percent of Atlantic loggerheads nest along Florida’s coast.  There are other important nesting grounds and nursing areas for sea turtles in the western hemisphere found from as far north as Virginia to South America and the Caribbean.

“From the time they leave our shores, we don’t hear anything about them until they surface near the Canary Islands, which is like their primary school years,” said a Florida Atlantic University professor, Jeannette Wyneken, the study’s co-leader and author. “There’s a whole lot that happens during the Atlantic crossing that we knew nothing about. Our work helps to redefine Atlantic loggerhead nursery grounds and early loggerhead habitat use.”

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully
coffee retreat
equipped kitchen, phone line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per 
month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially 
coffee retreat
at  night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 46
Real Estate
About us


Venezuela recalls Chávez
but conditions are bad for all

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One year ago, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced the death of Hugo Chávez, the socialist leader who had governed the country for 14 years, and vowed to preserve his mentor’s legacy.

Today, worsening economic conditions, soaring crime and growing protests nationwide have many questioning whether Maduro can keep the Chavista coalition together absent the late president's charismatic leadership.

Followers of the late Venezuelan leader took to the streets Wednesday to mark the anniversary of his death. Among Chávez supporters, affection for the charismatic leader still runs high. 

But there is also growing anger and frustration about the direction the country is heading.

Inflation hit 56 percent last year. There are shortages of basic commodities such as cooking oil and flour and one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Student-led anti-government demonstrations are heading into their second month and have in some cases turned deadly as protesters clashed with national guard officers and police.

Ronn Pineo, a Latin America analyst with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs who admired Chávez, says many people are losing faith in his successor, President Maduro.

“Maduro is not that man," he said. "And part of what we are seeing now is an individual who just doesn’t have the same level of charisma. He’s not as savvy politically.”

Still, Venezuela's worsening conditions have not changed the country's political dynamics, says analyst Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue.

“A lot of the discontent extends to the people who supported Chávez," he said. "What hasn’t happened is that many of those people have come over to the opposition.”

In the most recent municipal elections in December, the ruling socialist parties bested the opposition.

Support for the social programs that Chávez initiated that greatly reduced poverty and improved health care remain popular.

But Pineo says Maduro has been unwilling or unable to make needed reforms to protect the sustainability of these programs, as his mentor had done in the past. 

“Chávez went too soon," he said. He wasn’t given enough of an opportunity to finally cement into place some of the things that he had built, he added.

While Maduro has called for dialogue to deal with the nation’s problems, observers say his inaction so far has tarnished the legacy of Hugo Chávez.

Budget is campaign ploy,
Republicans say of Obama

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republicans in the U.S. Congress Wednesday criticized President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal.  The president’s spending plan raises taxes on the wealthy, creates new tax breaks for the poor and middle class and increases spending on domestic programs. This likely sets up a year-long battle with congressional Republicans.

The president sent his $3.9 trillion budget proposal to Congress Tuesday.  On Wednesday, Republicans responded.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan called the 2015 budget a campaign document.

“Spending is out of control. We have to take back the reins. We have to address this before it gets too late," said Ryan.

The budget, which requires congressional approval, includes $56 billion in new spending for military and domestic programs.  The proposal reflects the president's goal of reducing income inequality, the gap between the wealthiest and poorest in America.  It would eliminate tax cuts on the wealthy to pay for tax credits for childless workers and families with young children. 

Sylvia Burwell is the director of the government office that develops the budget.  She spoke to the House Budget Committee.

“It includes fully paid for investments in infrastructure, job training, preschool and pro-work tax cuts.  At the same, it reduces deficits and strengthens our long-term fiscal outlook through additional health care reforms, tax reforms and by fixing our broken immigration system," said Ms. Burwell.

Again, Chairman Ryan:

“More tax increases, more spending and more debt aren’t going to get people back to work.  They’re not going to increase take home pay.  They’re not going to grow the economy," he said.

Republicans will counter with a budget that will include welfare reform, an alternative to the president’s health care reform, and the party's own proposals to create upward mobility for the working class.  Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, said:

“As Republicans we continue to be focused on those policies that are going to help people get jobs and also those policies that are going to help address the middle class squeeze - the struggle that people are facing in their day to day lives," said Ms. Rodgers.

The budget battle is a forerunner of the November election.

Republicans hope to hold on to the House of Representatives while Democrats are protecting a narrow majority in the Senate.  Democrats are expected to point to what the president calls choices and values involving income inequality while Republicans are expected to push for lower spending and support for the middle class.

Dalai Lama to give prayer
to open U.S. Senate session

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will lead the traditional opening prayer this morning in the U.S. Senate.

This is the first time the Dalai Lama has led the prayer, even though he has visited the Capitol many times.

The Dalai Lama has been touring the United States and met with President Barack Obama in the White House last month despite China's objections.

The president repeated his strong support for Tibet's religious, cultural and linguistic traditions. The Dalai Lama said he is not seeking Tibetan independence from China and wants to resume a dialogue with Chinese leaders.

China warned the United States there would be serious diplomatic consequences if the meeting took place, but nothing has happened.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of using religion as a cloak to engage in separatist activities. It also has accused him of encouraging Tibetan separatists to set themselves on fire as a protest. The Dalai Lama has always denied the charge.

Oregon State University/ Steve O'Connell
Wristbands can sample an individual's exposure to environmental toxins.

Wristbands can keep track
of exposure to toxic fumes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People around the world proclaim support for various causes by wearing colored wristbands, yellow for cancer research, pink for breast cancer, purple for animal welfare.

But Oregon State University researchers have decided to use flexible silicone bracelets to support a different cause: measuring an individual's exposure to toxins.

People are constantly exposed to all sorts of low level pollutants, from industrial compounds used in disinfectants and upholstery to fragrances and nicotine in consumer products to pesticides.

Research suggests there is a link between some of these chemicals and health problems, but long-term measurements to confirm that are difficult to make.

While monitoring exposure is typically done with bulky and expensive equipment, university researcher Kim Anderson notes that the silicone used to make the wristbands absorbs a wide variety of compounds.

She and her colleagues had volunteers wear wristbands for various periods of time. They then measured levels of 49 different substances that had been absorbed.

She says that it is possible to screen for more than 1,000 chemicals.

Writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the team concludes the widely-available wristbands could be a valuable tool for determining individual exposure and potential disease risk.

diving suit
Voice of America photo
American Museum of Natural History workers present the super suit.

Diving super suit allows
going much deeper, longer

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new diving suit will allow oceanographers to explore the underwater world up to four times deeper than today’s most advanced compressed air gear. In addition, the new suit will allow divers to stay underwater for hours, so they can explore marine life up close as never before.

The so-called Exosuit is made of aluminum alloy, stands about two meters tall and weighs more than 240 kilograms. It is designed to protect divers below 300 meters, where the pressure is 30 times greater than on the surface.

The Exosuit, unveiled at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has 18 rotary joints, providing better freedom of movement than similar suits.

Still, says Michael Lombardi, the museum's diving safety officer who tested the suit, it takes some time to get used to.

“It takes an effort to find a comfortable spot in the suit, but at the same time you don't feel claustrophobic. I get that question all the time because it's so tight," said Lombardi.

The Exosuit has four 1.6-horsepower water-jet thrusters, controlled by pressure-sensitive pads in the boots. The oxygen supply allows the diver to stay underwater for hours, with up to 50 hours of life support.

A special tether will provide contact with the surface and send high-quality video of underwater organisms.

Scientists are especially excited about the possibility of studying bioluminescent and biofluorescent animals in their own habitat.

Curator of the museum’s Department of Ichthyology, John Sparks, says that people are amazed to learn that there are a lot of undiscovered species in the ocean depths.

“Because everyone thinks everything is described, but you hit an area like a deep coral reef or this open water environment and can collect out there, we're going to find hundreds of new species," said Sparks.

It took 14 years for the Canadian firm Nuytco Research Ltd. to design and construct a single Exosuit, at the cost of more than $1 million.  It is scheduled to be tested in July, about 160 kilometers off the coast of New England.

Northwestern University photo
Northwestern University biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser holds an intravaginal ring.

Contraceptive ring gives
protection from disease, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An intravaginal ring that slowly releases an antiretroviral drug and a contraceptive has the potential to protect women from HIV, herpes and unwanted pregnancy.

The ring is designed to remain in place for three months, delivering controlled doses of the medicines, which are already used for contraception and preventing HIV infection. By replacing high-dose pills that must be taken daily, researchers hope the device will increase adherence to the medical regimen.

The intravaginal ring was developed over five years at Northwestern University by biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser and his colleagues. Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, Kiser said the team expected that women would use the ring primarily for contraception, but noted that they would also benefit from protection against sexually transmitted diseases. 

The easy-to-use device is being manufactured now and will soon be tested in women.

Marijuana possession draws
a small fine in Washington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Washington DC city council has decriminalized marijuana possession, making a violation no worse than a parking ticket.

The measure now goes to Mayor Vincent Gray, who says he will sign it. The U.S. Congress, which oversees many affairs in Washington, is not expected to intervene.

Anyone caught with 28 grams of marijuana or less will be fined $25, less than most city parking tickets.

Supporters of the bill note that more than 90 percent of suspects arrested for marijuana possession in Washington are African-American. They point out that the drug is widely available on college campuses in the city, which are attended by students of many races.

Opponents say the law is inconsistent because while possession is a no longer criminal, selling and smoking is still illegal.

A number of cities and states have decriminalized pot, but it is still illegal under federal law.

Study says that a hangover
does not affect future drinks

By the Brown University School
of Public Health news service

Many if not most people during their lives have experienced a hangover. Some people believe that hangovers might delay subsequent drinking through pain and discomfort or perhaps hasten drinking to relieve hangover symptoms, known as "the hair of the dog." A new study has investigated if a hangover following a drinking episode can influence the time to a future drink, finding that the influence is minimal.

Results will be published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"If hangovers motivate hair of the dog drinking to alleviate hangover symptoms, perhaps they play a direct role in the escalation of problematic drinking," explained Thomas M. Piasecki, a professor in the department of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri, as well as corresponding author for the study. "On the other hand, if hangovers punish or discourage drinking, why wouldn't we find that the people at highest risk of problem drinking are those who actually experience the fewest hangovers?"

Piasecki cited two previous studies of hangover experiences that both suggested hangovers have implications for future drinking problems. "However, one found frequent hangover was risky while the other found that resistance to hangover is risky," he said. "In fact, the two findings may be compatible. For example, we have found that drinkers who reported being relatively insensitive to the intoxicating effects of alcohol … were actually more likely than their 'lightweight' peers to report having one or more hangovers during the study period. This is consistent with other research suggesting that being less sensitive to alcohol promotes heavy drinking. People who don't experience as much intoxication when drinking may have difficulty learning their limits and therefore may be more prone to drink to hangover-inducing levels."

"It is well known in psychology that immediate positive or negative effects of a behavior are far more powerful than delayed effects in affecting whether people engage in that behavior again," added Damaris J. Rohsenow, a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health. "People who drink heavily generally experience pleasurable effects while drinking, and that is what drives the decision to drink heavily again. The pain of hangover is temporary and may be considered a nuisance rather than an important negative consequence. Some studies show that younger drinkers do not consider hangovers to be a negative experience and that many drinkers are willing to experience hangovers time after time."

Piasecki and his colleagues recruited 386 community-based frequent drinkers, oversampling for current smokers, to carry electronic diaries for 21 days while reporting on drinking behaviors and other experiences. Analysis was performed on data culled from 2,276 drinking episodes, including 463 episodes that were followed by self-reported hangovers in the morning-diary entries.

"Our main finding is that hangovers appear to have a very modest effect on subsequent drinking," said Piasecki. "On average, the time between drinking episodes was extended by only a few hours after a hangover. We looked to see whether there were particular subgroups of drinkers who might show distinctive patterns like hair of the dog use, but we didn't find clear evidence for that. Participants made a diary entry each morning, and they were asked to rate their likelihood of drinking later the same day. It was striking that ratings made on hangover and non-hangover mornings did not differ. Even when the drinkers were acutely suffering a hangover, it didn't seem to affect their conscious drinking intentions. No doubt this reflects the fact that drinking behavior is determined by a host of factors, like day of the week, opportunity, and social plans."

"There were some complicated interactions that indicated that if you stopped drinking while you still wanted to drink more, or if you had financial troubles, then you delayed drinking a few hours more if you also had a hangover in the morning than if you had no hangover," noted Rohsenow. "However, these effects were short-lived and hard to interpret. Furthermore, the people who experienced hangover also tended to experience more pleasure from drinking the night before, and those immediate pleasurable effects are likely to drive drinking decisions more than expecting an unpleasant hangover would."

"Our findings fill in a basic piece of the puzzle concerning hangovers and alcoholism," said Piasecki. "If hangovers don't strongly discourage or punish drinking, links between current problem drinking and frequent hangover seem less incongruent. If hangovers don't generally hasten drinking, we can rule out a direct causal role of hangovers in the acceleration of problem drinking. Instead, the findings encourage us to think about alternate hypotheses linking hangovers and alcoholism, such as the possibility that hangovers are good markers for other risk factors, such as a propensity to lose control over drinking or individual differences in alcohol sensitivity. More broadly, I hope this kind of work will attract more research attention to alcohol hangover. It has been sort of a neglected topic in alcohol research. I find it surprising that the alcohol field hasn't shown a lot of interest in this constellation of physical and psychological post-drinking symptoms that have been known to people since antiquity. Studying hangovers may provide new clues that help us better understand the effects of alcohol on health and behavior."

"The message here for clinicians is that it is probably a waste of time to discuss hangovers when trying to motivate a problem drinker to drink less or drink less often," said Rohsenow. "Drinkers do not seem to be bothered that much by the temporary discomfort of a hangover, since it does not get them to delay their drinking in any meaningful way, and since other studies show that young drinkers often perceive hangovers to be neutral or positive experiences."

"Remember that hangovers are 100 percent preventable by abstaining from alcohol or drinking responsibly," advised Piasecki. "Of course, experiencing frequent hangovers is a warning sign that should probably prompt you to reflect upon your drinking, and to consider seeking help if you are having difficulty drinking within safe limits."

The Grande Naine, the export banana par excellence also known as the Chiquita.

Banana variety destroys
damaging root nematodes

By the KU Leuven news service

The banana variety Yangambi km5 produces toxic substances that kill the nematode Radopholus similis, a roundworm that infects the root tissue of banana plants to the frustration of farmers worldwide.

The finding by an international team of researchers bodes well for the Grande Naine, the export banana par excellence, which is very susceptible to the roundworms.

The parasitic nematode Radopholus similis is the invisible nemesis of the banana plant, says Dirk De Waele, one of the researchers. “This roundworm infects banana crops worldwide," he said. "The nematodes are invisible to the naked eye, but they can penetrate the roots of banana plants by the thousands. Once infected, these plants absorb less water and nutrients, resulting in yield losses of up to 75 percent. Lesions in the roots also make the plant more susceptible to other diseases. Eventually, the roots begin to rot. In the final stage of the disease, the plant topples over, its fruit bunch inexorably lost.”

Combating nematodes isn’t easy, adds colleague Rony Swennen: “Synthetic pesticides are toxic and expensive. Moreover, pesticides usually do not actually kill the nematodes, they just temporarily paralyze them. Nematodes can also build up resistance to pesticides.”

"We have always wondered how the Yangambi km5 fights off roundworms. This study offers an answer."

While the Grande Naine is very susceptible to nematodes, other varieties are known to be resistant to them. Enter the Yangambi km5, a variety first grown in the 1950s at a Belgian research station in Yangambi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The researchers compared the two banana varieties and studied their defense responses to Radopholus similis. “Researchers have always wondered how the Yangambi km5 manages to fight off roundworms," says De Waele. “This study goes a long way in answering that.”

With colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology  in Germany, the KU Leuven researchers identified the metabolites that kill the nematodes. “We found nine different nematode-killing metabolites in Yangambi km5. These metabolites are also produced in the Grande Naine, but much more slowly and in lesser quantities. In that banana variety, the nematodes win the fight.” The researchers' findings were published in a recent issue of the journal PNAS.

The new insights into metabolites will be helpful in developing edible and pest-resistant banana varieties, says Swennen. “The next step is to screen other banana varieties for metabolites. This method could also be applied to other crops and other species of nematode. Nematodes pose a growing threat to rice production in Asia, for example. Our findings also provide the industry with perspectives to develop a generation of new pesticides against nematodes.”

Senator confirms claim
CIA snooped on aides

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has launched an internal review into allegations that its officers had improperly monitored congressional staffers assigned to investigate the agency's interrogation program.

Sen. Diane Feinstein told reporters Wednesday about the investigation by the CIA's inspector general , confirming earlier reports by The New York Times and McClatchy Newspapers.

ms. Feinstein is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which conducted a four-year investigation into the CIA's now-defunct terrorist detention and interrogation program, which began under former president George W. Bush. Under an agreement between the committee and the spy agency, the CIA provided computers for the committee's staff members so they could review millions of pages of classified documents.

CIA officers allegedly conducted unauthorized searches of those computers to monitor the staffers' activities, which lawmakers say violated the agreement.

CIA Director John Brennan issued a statement late Wednesday saying he was deeply dismayed over what he called spurious allegations made by lawmakers.

Both the Times and McClatchy said the CIA's inspector general, who is handling the internal probe, has referred the matter to the Justice Department.

Some lawmakers have suggested the alleged monitoring may have also violated federal law that prohibits unauthorized access to a computer.

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a 6,000-page report in December 2012 that concluded the CIA's detention and interrogation program, which held suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons and engaged in harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, yielded little or no significant intelligence.

The committee sent the report to the CIA so the agency could review it and add its own comments before it was released to the public.

Another scrap metal load
was used to hide cocaine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug agents said they confiscated 554 kilos of cocaine Wednesday morning at the Peñas Blancas. The drugs were in steel boxes hidden under scrap metal.  This is the second time in a week that anti-drug agents found cocaine being smuggled this way. They confiscated 740 kilos last Thursday.

The truck involved in the latest case was headed to Guatemala, agents said.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
Casa del
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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
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Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Spectacular 79-acre view property in Guanacaste overlooking tens of miles of pristine coastline with sunset over the Pacific. Own water, electricity, hi-speed internet, property roads, huge building view sites, terraced landscape perfect for growing trees, fruits and vegetables or run horses or cattle, hidden access and high-level security. 169,000 USD. Contact:   or text messages to  8916-5550.

Excazu montage
Trejos  Montealegre, Escazú.
Two bedrooms and two baths.  220 m2 construction on  289 m2 of land. Beautiful contemporary house across from a small park, easy walk to Avenida Escazú.
Great views. Only 7 years old. Two patios and a balcony. In a quiet and secure neighborhood with guard shack across the street. Nice landscaped garden. Sale includes all furniture.  Price: $275,000. Owner will work with real estate sales people.   Phone  Ron Eaton  at 8997-1799. Email:

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additonal bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony   and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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

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

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 46
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
U.S. lawmakers hear tales
of forced childhood sex

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers are exploring ways to combat child sex trafficking, a crime that child safety advocates estimate is affecting several hundred thousand American children each year.

Law enforcement officials, child safety groups and a victim shared their views on the problem with members of a House Appropriations subcommittee at a recent hearing.

Lawmakers heard from Stephanie Vu, a human trafficking survivor who now works with the Shared Hope International and Youth for Tomorrow anti-trafficking groups.

Vu told lawmakers that at the age of 12, she was chosen.

She said an older boy that she met at a party lured her away from her family and into a life that included stripping at a club.

Vu said that later, the boy threw her out of his house on a bitterly cold night after she refused his demand to sell herself for sex. She said she spent several hours outdoors shivering and pacing the streets before finally deciding to climb into a buyer's car.

"That moment changed my life forever," said Vu.  "There were three men that night and at the end of it, I couldn't stop vomiting," she said.

The Polaris Project, a Washington-based group that fights global human trafficking, said U.S. sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues, including residential brothels, fake massage businesses and online escort services.

In a statement, the group said the average entry age into the commercial sex industry is between 12 and 14. It said children who become victims of sex trafficking sometimes encounter challenges that include isolation, criminalization and a lack of social services to help them recover from their trauma.

Cindy McCain is co-chairwoman of the Arizona Governor's Task Force on Human Trafficking. She cited figures from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as she told lawmakers that child sex trafficking is a low risk, high reward enterprise.

"NCMEC also estimates that a pimp can make between $150,000 and $200,000 per child per year," said McCain.  "The average pimp has four to six little girls," she said.

The perception of the prostitute walking the streets persists. However, Fairfax County, Virginia police detective William Woolf told lawmakers more and more child sex traffickers are actually using online tools.

"They commonly exploit social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and things of that nature to be able to target their recruitment efforts, making them a lot more effective and efficient," he said.

Woolf also said his department has seen an increase in trafficking activity, largely because of the Internet.

"We see other Internet-based companies, like, that is openly and, in some senses, legally advertising commercial sex," said Woolf.  "It gives these traffickers opportunities to advertise to the general public, these sexual services and to advertise, essentially, our children online," he said.

However, Backpage said it cooperates with law enforcement efforts to find child sex traffickers.  In an interview, Backpage Attorney Elizabeth McDougall said the Web site is not the root of the problem with child sex trafficking.

"If Backpage shut down, the content wouldn't go away. It would go to an underground or offshore Web site," she said.

Urban Institute Research Associate Colleen Owens said law enforcement officers have had some success in curbing online trafficking by moving to shut down Web sites and, in some cases, by posing as potential clients to catch traffickers. 

But she said in an interview that a broader approach is needed to fully address the problem.

"To really tackle this issue, it involves a lot more than just using online sites to further investigate tactics," said Ms. Owens. "I think really trafficking requires a more comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach than maybe some other forms of crime or similar to some other forms of crime," she said.

Lois Lee is president of Children of the Night, a California-based organization that helps youth who have been victims of sex trafficking.  She said law enforcement efforts alone won't resolve these problems.

"We need people to really do something, to develop programs. Homes for kids. Schools for kids," said Ms. Lee.

Ms. Lee also said there should be more emphasis on helping young children in unstable homes, a problem that she said could make them more vulnerable to trafficking as they get older.

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From Page 7:

Some bad gasoline cases still are pending

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nearly two years after motor vehicles were damaged by excessive amounts of an additive in gasoline, some 69 cases are still pending, said the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos Wednesday.

So far 56 cases have been resolved through conciliation, 32 cases were rejected and 24 motorists failed to follow up, the agency said. Other cases were resolved through administrative procedures, said the agency.

In all, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, the petroleum monopoly, has had to pay 100,274,511 colons, about $185,000 for the damages.

The Autoridad received 192 complaints in 2012.

The additive is methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, known as MMT.