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A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 50                          Email us
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San Carlos
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Road officials say that the long-awaited stretch of new highway between Sifón de San Ramón y la Abundancia de San Carlos is about 77 percent finished. Asphalt is being put down in this section, and the base
is being prepared for the blacktop elsewhere. Building the 30-kilometer stretch and six bridges is a $190 million job, officials said, and the project has been planned for more than two decades.

Liberación wants budget cuts before new taxes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Not only Costa Rican business operators and investors are concerned about plans for new taxes. The major opposition party in the legislature spoke out against the plans Wednesday.

Antonio Álvarez Desanti, a leader in the Partido Liberación Nacional, said that his party is not going to permit the country to continue paying more and more taxes without budget cuts by the central government.

Borrowing the title of a famous 1981 book by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez,  Álvarez said the proposed government package of new taxes was a <Crónica de una muerte anunciada,> the "Chronicle of a Death Foretold."

The Ministerio de Hacienda Tuesday posted two separate proposed bills that it said it would submit to the legislature in April. One provides higher tax brackets for wage earners and the other is the long-awaited plan for a 15 percent value-added tax.

The government hopes to raise 600 billion colons or about $1.34 billion more with the new taxes.

The proposals come on the heels of a proposed decree to tax money leaving the country for foreign locations by 15 precent. This tax already appears to have been approved by the legislature when it voted in November for the Banca para el Desarrollo, an entity to finance small business. The proposed decree just implements the tax and blatantly says foreigners will pay to finance the bank.

President Luis Guillermo Solís and his first vice president, Helio Fallas, shocked some lawmakers when they presented a budget for 2015 that was 19 percent higher than the previous year. A lot of voters expected Solís to crack down on corruption and excessive spending.

The government deficit, the total of repeated shortfalls by the central government, is approaching $6 billion, and nearly 50 percent of the annual budget is debt service.

This fact has not been lost on international rating agencies, such as Moody's and Fitch.


The economic situation also has not been lost on business operators. Those who contacted A.M. Costa Rica this week were particularly concerned about plans to put a tax on cash flow out of the country. The proposed decree also says the 15 percent would be assessed on imports.

Fallas, who also is finance minister, has said his agency is attacking evasion as a way to generate more income. But then he announced in mid-February plans to purchase a 5,200-square meter office building for $121.7 million. That plan is on hold temporarily for technical reasons.

Álvarez in his talk before lawmakers Wednesday said that reforms in employment and pensions were needed before lawmakers considered new taxes.

Liberación, of course, held the presidency for the eight years before Solís and did little to eliminate the annual deficit.

Still, business leaders already are talking about who will take the office when Solís leaves in little more than three years. Some already say they support former president José María Figueres Olsen, who served from 1994 to 1998.

Some expats feel they have been blindsided. They purchased luxury homes or condos only to be hit with a special tax. Then there was the tax on corporations that cost many expats an additional amount approaching $400 a year.

Tourism operators are facing an additional tax on most of their operations, thanks to a revision in the current tax law.  The proposed value-added tax would apply a 5 percent tax the first year, but the percent would quickly grow to 15. Some fear the country is taxing visitors too much.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 50

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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
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Remodelling and Construction

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electrical truck
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
This is the truck that bore the electrical company's sign

The electricians were packing firearms

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators are trying to figure out exactly what three men were doing when they were working on an electrical meter in Villas de Ayarco, Cartago.

A woman said that she called for an electrician, but three men arrived in a white truck that bore a sign of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz. They began to work on the home's electrical meter in the garage, said police.

When officers arrived they said they found that two of the men had criminal records and that a bag they carried contained firearms.  One of the weapons had its serial number obliterated.

Police speculated that the men were trying in some way to rig the meter to steal electricity, but exactly how is still unknown.

March over shark fins sales is at noon

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who hope to protect sharks are marching today at noon from the environmental ministry with plans to arrive at the legislature at 2 p.m.

Environmentalists and others are irked that the government fisheries agency has been allowing the export of shark fins.

The march organizers said that many of the boats involved in the shark trade have been spotted within the boundaries of the Isla del Coco protected area. They gave a list in a news release. The area around the island is known for its many hammerhead sharks

They said that since January 2013 to last September some 120 boats have been seen intruding into the protected area, according to data from the Área de Conservación de Isla del Coco.

The Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura is in charge of permitting the sale of shark fins, a practice that was believed by many to have been halted. Government officials said that the fins were taken legally from sharks that were then destined for food. They insist that they did not allow the practice of simply finning the sharks and dumping the living carcass back into the water to die.

Another scandal for U.S. Secret Service

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two high-ranking U.S. Secret Service agents are under investigation due to allegations they drove a government car into a security barricade at the White House after drinking at a late-night party.

In a story first reported Wednesday by The Washington Post, local police and Secret Service officers were investigating the discovery of a suspicious package near the White House when the agents drove through an entrance that had been closed off.

Officers on the scene wanted to arrest the agents and put them through sobriety tests, according to the Post, but they were ordered by a supervisor to release the pair.

One of the agents has been identified as the second-ranking commander on President Barack Obama's personal security detail. The investigation is being conducted by the Homeland Security department, which oversees the Secret Service.

"If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations," said Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary.

"The fact that this event involved senior-level agents is not only embarrassing but exhibits a clear lack of judgment in a potentially dangerous situation," said a joint statement issued by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee's top Democrat.

This is the latest embarrassing incident for the Secret Service, which is tasked to protect the president and vice president and their families.  The most recent incident occurred last September, when a man armed with a knife jumped the White House fence and ran all the way into the mansion before he was stopped. The incident led to the resignation of then-director Julia Pierson.

An independent review conducted after the September incident described an agency that was too insular and starved for leadership.  The report called for an outsider to lead the Secret Service, but Obama named Joseph Clancy, a veteran Secret Service agent, to the post. Clancy, who headed the president's detail early in his administration before retiring from the agency, was named interim director after Ms. Pierson's resignation.

Technology called only part of the solution

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bomb attacks typically grab news headlines. But there are almost invisible activities occurring every day that could create a more widespread and devastating calamity — cyber intrusions into government and corporate information and control systems that could cripple vital services and bring normal commerce to a halt.

When Hurricane Sandy struck the New York City area in 2012, thousands of people were stranded without vital services like electricity and transportation as repair crews struggled to get systems back up and running. Daily malicious hackers threaten a similar disaster as they probe the computers that control those systems.

Concern over such threats as well as criminal intrusions brought representatives from government and the private sector together at the Chertoff Group’s cyber security conference, "What's Next: Protecting Our Critical Energy Infrastructure from Cyber Threats."

A particular concern in Houston where the conference was held is the threat to energy systems.

“We have found malicious code, malware, on energy systems. Whether that was there to steal information or was reconnaissance for attacks is more a matter of speculation," said former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, executive chairman of the sponsoring organization.

"Saudia Aramco was attacked," he added. "That is an energy company. And while it did not succeed in knocking them offline, it certainly indicated that energy companies are a target for this.”

Chertoff said there will likely be more threats to energy industry control systems by terrorists and some hostile foreign governments.

Stuart McClure, CEO of Cylance, said his company’s software protects clients from most threats, although Cylance itself is often a target of sophisticated intrusions.

“The only ones who can do that are very large nation states with big budgets, a lot of people, a lot of eyeballs that take a look at what we have done and try to bypass it,” he said.

Experts say technology offers only part of the solution and that constant vigilance is needed to maintain cyber security.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 50
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Readers and others may have been swept up by U.S. monitoring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Readers may or may not be involved in the National Security Agency’s mass interception of online communications between individuals in the United States and abroad.

Wikimedia Foundation has filed suit against the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice of the agency's surveillance.

The lawsuit challenges the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as upstream surveillance, said Wikimedia Foundation.

"Our aim in filing this suit is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world," it added. "We are joined by eight other organizations and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The National Security Agency conducts its broad surveillance based on a 2008 law.

The Wikimedia Foundation said that disclosure in 2013 exposed the vast scope of the program, and it was alarmed.

Upstream surveillance taps the internet’s backbone to capture communications with what are called non-U.S. persons, said Wikimedia. 

The law authorizes the collection of these communications if they fall into the broad category of foreign intelligence information that includes nearly any information that could be construed as relating to national security or foreign affairs, it said.

Readers who write to A.M. Costa Rica are not writing to a foreign person. The emails are collected at the newspaper's server, which is in the United States. Reporters and editors download these messages from the server and not in real time from the sender.

However, those who subscribe to the daily digest, receive
the message from a special server in Belgium, a county not usually considered a hotbed of anti-U.S. sentiment.
National Security Agency at work
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
National Security Agency at work

Those who receive email messages directly from the A.M. Costa Rica staff certainly are in communication with a non-U.S. person.

Although some staffers here are U.S. citizens, the newspaper's corporation is clearly Costa Rican.

News stories in the past have warned that the U.S. government could be capturing emails between readers, news sources and the newspaper staff.

However, the extent of the spying was not known until 2013.

Abangares mayor, council president detained in case involving contract
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained the mayor of Abangares and the president of the canton's municipal council Wednesday on an allegation that the council president's husband benefited from a municipal contract.

Judicial investigators made the arrests at the municipal hall.

The contract, nearly 3 million colons, was to make 84 trips in

2015 to bring certain citizens and council members to municipal meetings.

The route was from Peñas Blancas.  The judicial agency said that the council president's husband negotiated the job of driving the vehicle.

The mayor, Jorge Eduardo Calvo Calvo, is accused of knowing about the deal and doing nothing, judicial agents said. The council president is Graciela Serrano Anchía.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 50
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Museum drawer yields specimens of a new species of mountain bird
By the Central Ornithology Publication Office news staff

After being misidentified and sitting in a museum drawer for more than 70 years, a group of bird specimens collected in Colombia and Venezuela has been determined to represent a previously unknown species, now dubbed the Perijá tapaculo (Scytalopus perijanus).

In a new paper in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, Jorge Avendaño of the Universidad de los Llanos and his colleagues describe how the Perijá tapaculo differs from the other birds in its genus in its genetics, appearance, ecology, and vocalizations.

Tapaculos are a family of mostly small black or brown songbirds found in South and Central America, which forage for insects in grasslands and forest undergrowth. In 1941 and 1942, ornithologist Melbourne Carriker, Jr. explored the western slope of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range on the Colombian–Venezuelan border, where he collected 27 tapaculo specimens and sent them to the Smithsonian.

At the time, they were mistakenly identified as Scytalopus atratus nigricans, a similar bird found at lower elevations, and in the following decades these upper montane tapaculos remained overlooked and unstudied.

In 2008 and 2009, however, a new set of specimens and sound recordings were collected in the same region visited by Carriker, and Avendaño and his colleagues were able to conduct a genetic analysis as well as analyzing the birds’ appearance and calls.

The newly-named Perijá tapaculo is a small bird with a buffy belly, gray back, and brown nape, and its song and calls are distinctly different from those of other tapaculos. Its high level of genetic divergence from its closest relatives suggests that its high mountain habitat has isolated it from its cousins for a significant amount of time.

“While it was known that two species occurred in the Perijá mountains, it was a distinct surprise that the upper elevational form differs as much as 8 to 9 percent from its 

new bird
Central Ornithology Publication Office/J. Fjeldså
Perijá tapaculos female (left), male (right) and fledgling.

closest relatives,” says tapaculo expert Niels Krabbe. “This emphasizes the importance of the Perijá mountains as an evolutionary center and calls for further studies of its flora and fauna.”

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss in the region, this new species is already in trouble. “The species is more seriously threatened on the Colombian slope than on the Venezuelan slope because its habitat is protected by a large National Park in Venezuela,” explained Avendaño. “So, we recommend establishing a new national park or a network of reserves in Colombia connected to the Sierra de Perijá National Park of Venezuela. This binational park is necessary in order to effectively preserve the high species diversity and endemism of birds and other biological groups of the region.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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
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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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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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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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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.
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
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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!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Jaco condo
Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

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Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

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, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 50
Real Estate
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California schools conducted
immigration scam, feds say

 Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Three Los Angeles-area residents responsible for operating a network of four schools were arrested Wednesday morning on federal charges for allegedly helping hundreds of foreign nationals remain in the United States as foreign students, even though they never attended classes.

The three defendants allegedly ran a pay-to-stay scheme through three schools in Koreatown.

The three defendants are named in a 21-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges a conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, a host of immigration offenses and money laundering.

The indictment also contains an allegation that would require the defendants to forfeit property and proceeds derived from the fraud scheme, which investigators estimate took in as much as $6 million a year in tuition payments.

“Immigration fraud schemes potentially compromise national security and cheat foreign nationals who play by the rules,” said Acting U. S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “In this case, officials at several schools allegedly abused their responsibility to ensure that only legitimate foreign students were allowed to the stay in the country. This type of fraud against the United States will be thoroughly examined to bring those responsible to justice and to protect the integrity of our immigration system.”

Those named in the indictment unsealed today are:

* Hee Sun Shim (also known as Leonard Shim and Leo Shim), 51, of Beverly Hills, the owner and manager of the schools;

* Hyung Chan Moon (also known as Steve Moon), 39, of Los Angeles, who assisted with the operation and management of the schools; and

* Eun Young Choi (also known as Jamie Choi), 35, of Los Angeles, a former employee who assisted with the operation and management of the schools.

The defendants, who were taken into custody by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations,
are expected to be arraigned on the indictment today in U. S. District Court.

“Given the implications for national security and public safety, we will move aggressively to target individuals who compromise the integrity of our nation’s immigration system out of greed and self-interest,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles. “Simply put, those who exploit the benefits of the student visa program can expect to get a lesson in criminal justice.”

The investigation in this case began in 2011 after a compliance team from Homeland Security Investigations’ Student and Exchange Visitor Program  paid an unannounced visit to Prodee University’s main campus on Wilshire Boulevard. During the visit, the team observed only one English language class with three students in attendance, even though records for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System showed more than 900 foreign students were enrolled at Prodee’s two campuses. That same day, the team made an unannounced visit to another school where they found only one religion class in session with a single student present. At the time, records indicated that the school had more than 300 foreign students in active status.
During the ensuing investigation, special agents identified several dozen foreign nationals, primarily from South Korea and China, who originally entered the United States as non-immigrant students to attend other authorized schools, but subsequently transferred to schools in the suspect network. These students lived across the nation, indicating that they were not actually attending classes.

The indictment alleges that the schools issued immigration forms to foreign nationals who were not bona fide students, had no intention of attending the schools and lived outside of California.

As part of the conspiracy, Shim and Choi allegedly were involved in the creation of bogus student records, including transcripts, for some of the students for the purpose of deceiving immigration authorities. The indictment further alleges that Shim would transfer a purported student from one school to another to avoid arousing the suspicion of immigration authorities about students who had been in the United States for lengthy periods of time.

In exchange for the student designation, a foreigner would make tuition payments of as much as $1,800 to enroll for six months in one of the schools, according to the indictment.

The indictment charges Shim, Moon and Choi with conspiring to commit immigration fraud. Shim is charged with 13 counts of use or possession of an immigration document procured by fraud, and Moon and Choi are each charged with one count of the same offense. Shim is charged with three counts of encouraging illegal residence, as well as two counts of money laundering.

The conspiracy count carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. The substantive immigration fraud charges each carry up to 10 years in prison. The money laundering charges carry a potential penalty of 20 years.
Kerry urges senators to act
on Obama's war powers bid

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Congress Wednesday to approve President Barack Obama's war powers request for the authority to use military force against Islamic State militants.

"We simply cannot allow this collection of murderers and thugs to achieve its ambitions," Kerry told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noting that Islamic State had captured large portions of land in Iraq and Syria, threatening "the death or submission of all who oppose it" and "the incitement of terrorist acts across the globe."

Interrupted at one point by the shouts of anti-war protesters in the hearing room, Kerry went on to tell lawmakers that the United States has to present a united front against Islamic State.

“They have to understand that they can’t divide us," he said. "Don’t let them.”

In addition to Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, addressed the Foreign Relations Committee.

The meeting was part of a long process toward any authorization, which would need to clear both the full Senate and House of Representatives.

Obama last month proposed an authorization of force that would last three years with limits on the use of ground troops, barring them from sustained, long-term, offensive combat.

There has been pushback against the president's plan from Republicans who disagree with limiting the use of ground troops, as well as from Democrats who do not want to see the use of any forces on the ground.

The panel's top Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, said Obama's proposal was vague and lacked a clear exit strategy.

“What Democrats are not willing to do is to give this or any other president an open-ended authorization for war, a blank check,” he said.

Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said the authorization, as written, probably does not go far enough.

“The authorization for the use of military force that has been sent up is one that is limited in some ways, both in duration and relative to the activities that the commander in chief, through you, can carry out,” he said.

Corker, who was recently in Baghdad and Irbil, said everything Washington has done to combat Islamic State is benefiting Iran.

Carter, the secretary of Defense, argued that the proposed authorization would provide the authority and flexibility needed to go after Islamic State fighters and their affiliates beyond the Iraqi and Syrian borders.

The Islamic State group "is likely to evolve strategically, morphing, rebranding and associating with other terrorist groups while continuing to threaten the United States and our allies,” he said.

Wednesday’s hearing took place as U.S. air strikes continued to pound Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, and while Iraqi security forces and Shia militias were fighting to regain control of Tikrit. At the same time, Islamic State fighters launched a major offensive along the Syrian-Turkish border.

The U.S. military has been carrying out air strikes since August in Iraq and since September in Syria as the lead in an international coalition against the militant group.

So far, according to Pentagon data, the coalition has conducted more than 2,700 air strikes against targets such as artillery and fighting positions, vehicles and storage facilities used by the militants.

The president has said those operations do not need any new authorization and are instead covered by a measure passed following the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.

Man and boy who murdered
linked to radicals in France

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French authorities are investigating whether a man and a boy featured in an Islamic State video that shows the shooting death of an Arab Israeli have connections to an extremist who attacked a Jewish school in southern France in 2012.

A French official said Wednesday that the pair were French citizens.

The video released online this week shows an interview with 19-year-old Muhammad Musallam, accused of being an Israeli spy. Wearing an orange jumpsuit, he is sitting in a room and talking about how he had been recruited and trained by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.

After the interview, Musallam is shown with the man and the boy. The man speaks in French, referring to the boy as a "young lion of the caliphate." The boy then leads Musallam to a field and shoots him in the head.

Police are assessing whether the boy and French-speaking man are related to gunman Mohamed Merah, who killed three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in a 10-day, religiously motivated terror spree that began March 11, 2013, in the Toulouse region of southwestern France.

A French police source said that the intelligence service believes the French-speaking fighter is Merah's half brother, Sabri Essid.

The source said the service was also trying to determine whether the child was Essid's son.

The Interior Ministry declined to comment on the video. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in May that Merah's sister, Souad, was likely to have traveled to Syria with her children.

More than 400 French citizens have traveled to fight with militants in Syria and Iraq. More than 100 have returned home after fighting there, according to French officials.

White Christian reported
as minorities in 19 states

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

White Christian men have long been the primary movers and shakers in American politics and culture.  All 43 U.S. presidents, with the exception of Barack Obama, who was born to a white mother and a black father, were white Christians.

However, the American landscape is changing. White Christians, once the majority virtually everywhere in the United States, are now a minority in 19 states, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

States where white Christians are no longer the majority (Percentages of white Christians in each state)

    1. Hawaii – 20%
    2. California – 25%
    3. New Mexico – 33%
    4. Nevada – 36%
    5. New York – 37%
    6. Alaska – 37%
    7. Texas – 37%
    8. Maryland – 38%
    9. Arizona – 38%
    10. Washington – 42%
    11. Florida – 42%
    12. Oregon – 43%
    13. New Jersey – 43%
    14. Colorado – 44%
    15. Illinois – 46%
    16. Georgia – 46%
    17. Vermont – 47%
    18. Delaware – 48%
    19. Louisiana – 49%

The survey defines “white Christian” as evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians who describe themselves as “white, non-Hispanic.”

The survey also found that the United States is no longer a majority Protestant nation. In 2014, only 47 percent of Americans identified as Protestant.

“There’s more people who were raised Protestant now unaffiliated, and you combine that with the ethnic shifts, and that gives you this decline in Protestants across the country,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the  Public Religion Research Institute.

Those ethnic shifts include the rising number of non-white Catholics. American Catholicism is becoming increasingly Hispanic, and evangelicals are seeing more non-white churchgoers.

While 76 percent of Americans continue to identify with the Christian faith, there is a growing population of non-Christian and non-Jewish religions. Five percent of the country is either Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or some other religion.

“Going toward the future, the kind of 1950s way of thinking about America as Protestant, Catholic and Jewish is really no longer going to be sufficient,” said Jones. “It really is a much more complex landscape.”

Adding to that complexity is the rising number of Americans who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated. There’s a so-called unchurch belt stretching from up in the Pacific Northwest and into Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State. There are so many people who don’t identify with a particular religion that religiously unaffiliated is the largest religious group in 13 states, including Vermont and New Hampshire.

It is this rising number of religiously unaffiliated Americans that can be expected to flex its muscle in the coming years. While much of the political debate in the 1980s and 1990s involved the religious versus the non-religious, that might be about to change.

“I think we’re going to see the fault lines shifting a little bit differently so that we have the religiously unaffiliated really weighing in,” said Jones. “This very large group of religiously unaffiliated Americans, I think, has the real potential to change the equation in terms of politics, in terms of culture, and I think we’re just beginning to see that impact.”

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, it derived its information from 50,000 annual telephone interviews.

Ferguson police chief quits
in wake of U.S. investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The embattled police chief of the Midwestern city of Ferguson, Missouri, resigned Wednesday after a highly critical U.S. Justice Department report called the city's police biased against African-Americans.

Chief Thomas Jackson became the focus of bitter complaints of racial discrimination aimed at his department after one of his white officers fatally shot an unarmed black teenager during a street confrontation in August. The criticism and anger touched off protests in cities across the country.

Tuesday, City Manager John Shaw, responsible for municipal operations, resigned.

A day earlier, the Missouri Supreme Court announced it was taking over all cases in Ferguson's city court. Afterward, Municipal Court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer resigned.

The federal report said officials operated city courts as a moneymaking venture.

Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, is still reeling from the shooting, which set off days of violence in the city.

The officer was not charged with violating any federal civil rights laws. But the Justice Department investigated allegations that Ferguson's nearly all-white police force was biased against the city's black majority and targeted blacks for traffic stops and arrests.

President Barack Obama announced last week that he fully stood behind the report, saying Ferguson's black residents had been harassed and abused.

Fruit fly brains give clues
to defeating human jet lag

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A plane ride across time zones can throw off a traveler's biological clock, sometimes for days. Fruit flies can suffer from jet lag, too. A new study of their brains reveals why, and suggests ways humans can avoid it.

In lab experiments, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, removed the brains of genetically-engineered fruit flies and kept the brains alive in petri dishes. They off-set their circadian rhythm by two hours using pulses of light. Light is the most powerful environmental cue for re-setting our biological clock.

They used a highly sensitive camera to make movies of the activity of individual neural circuits of the jet lagged brains.

“The study marks the first time we’ve seen this in real time,” according to Logan Roberts, a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of the study in the journal Current Biology.

"The activity is measured by the amount of light these single neurons emit,” he explained. “They have a firefly gene engineered into these flies, so that when these cells are active, they literally light up in the brain, and we can measure that activity."

The study describes how specific neurons react to light cues that simulate rapid travel across time zones.

“And we can see that some of these cells change their activity when light is shown directly on them. They actually become desynchronized among the groups and within the groups.”

“That sense of de-synchronization, what you experience in jet lag,” Roberts said, “is your nervous system becoming de-synchronized within itself.”

Roberts said in that state communication between certain neurons weakens. That is not necessarily a bad thing. He said using light therapy to temporarily reset the biological clock ahead of travel could help reduce symptoms when a traveler arrives at the destination.

“We believe that if we can harness that and actually use that to actually induce this de-synchronization, this weakening of communications between these cells before jet lag, before you would travel rapidly across time zones, we believe that could actually accelerate recovery from jet lag,” he said.

Roberts said the model used to study jet lag in fruit flies could be applied in human conditions.

“When our body clock is disrupted,” he added, “We are put at greater risk for diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.”

U.S. interest rates, gas prices
expected to move higher

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers who track business activities and survey economists say U.S. interest rates, stock market gyrations, and the price of oil are all likely to increase later this year.  The uncertain future is causing many companies to take cautious measures with their business strategies.

Home Depot, a major hardware retailer, is one of many companies that all together spent $104 billion buying back their own stock in February.

The investment research firm Trimtabs says that is a record-high. 

Retailers Foot Locker and Gap were among the firms doing buybacks, along with information technology firms.  Buybacks reduce the number of shares outstanding and tend to raise their value. 

While this pleases company shareholders, it is a more cautious move than expanding by putting money into new equipment and employees, according to Trimtabs head David Santschi, who spoke via Skype.

"It is a moderate vote of confidence in the economy, but it would certainly be better to see companies doing other things with their money if they really were gung-ho bullish," said Santschi.

Investing in new buildings and equipment is more likely to increase the number of jobs.

Those jobs are on the way, as the U.S. economy recovers, says the head of the National Association for Business Economics, John Silvia.

"The current economic environment is positive for more hiring going forward," said Silvia.

Retail sales are among the activities affected by interest rates, which were cut nearly to zero to help the economy during the recession.

Silvia says hundreds of economists surveyed by the national association say interest rates are about right for now, and should rise later this year, because the recovering economy no longer needs help from the record-low interest rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve. 
"Overall thinking is by the end of this year it will go up a modest amount.  So it won’t be 25 basis points every meeting," he said.

Stock markets have been more stable in recent years because of the Fed's efforts to boost the economy, according to's Mike Hamrick.  He says as the Fed cuts back its emergency measures, stock markets could be more volatile.

Hamrick also says Bankrate's survey of 25 economists found a consensus that oil prices are headed upward this year.

"Roughly a 30 percent increase from the current level, so that may tell us that, for consumers in the United States at least, the best news on gasoline prices may be behind," said Hamrick.

Oil prices and other issues will be considered by Federal Reserve officials next Tuesday and Wednesday when they debate interest rate policy and other economic issues.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

CR SOLAR gives you…
Enphase-Micro-Inverters: Simple, reliable, installation without batteries or complicated central inverters that limit expansion and downgrade your system with one shady panel.
Enphase-Micro-Inverters: so flexible; you can begin saving with a third of a system, then add as you go with your savings!

Think of it this way: cash in a CD paying 7% and get 15% to 25% from the Sun!  What better way to lower your electric bill than with a Quality Solar System from CR Solar?    Ask about our BEST HI END Solar Hot Water Heaters. 
2446-0543           8898-9398                8314-8090

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.

English Calls:
Miguel Fiatt Sauma 
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. 
Click HERE!

Mafri two
San Isidro de Heredia. Great lot with 3 houses. $3,200,000 single story. 1,505 m2 Lot: 37,419m2  Click HERE!
Mafri three
Finca Las Trufas, San Ramon-Esparza, Price: $3,900,000 Farm and ranch. Single story 1,500 m2. on 25 hectares Click HERE!


CoopeAgri Real Estate

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!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

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 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

The price is right!  Asking only $140,000 with terms, but your cash offer will buy it for less in this distress sale.  This clean and modern two-bedroom, one-bath home wastes none of its 102 m2 and the very large 1,129 m2 lot was intended for an apartment project that divorce terminated prematurely.  The emotionally-bruised owner has returned to the U.S., never to return to Costa Rica, has no heart to manage even this very desirable rental property from a distance, just wants out.  Her plan was excellent, but now someone else gets to benefit instead.  Only a three-minute walk to central park in La Fortuna yet quiet and private, the property features a superb volcano view.  Perfect for the future retiree who wants to buy now and have the property carry itself until that time comes while earning perhaps 6%-12% on their investment in the meantime, or for today’s retiree who wants to build the apartments and retire on a very comfortable income.  Not everyone’s cup of tea but money to be made for the right person.  For interior pix email or phone 8377-8402.

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos.  We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515

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.

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.

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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Fantastic location for condo/ hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot. incredible views. Flexible zoning $2.3 M 
Easy to get liquor license.
Low interest financing
Call Bruce at: (506) 8307-0164.

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:

Real estate services
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

SSan José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 50
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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
Press group deplores more murders

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Just days after winding up its membership meeting in Panamá in which it denounced the murder of eight Latin American journalists in the last three months, the Inter American Press Association Wednesday condemned a new attack in Guatemala in which two reporters were killed and one other was seriously injured.

Association President Gustavo Mohme expressed outrage at the seriousness of the attack and recalled that “we have been insisting that many journalists in the interior of their countries are carrying out their work under a mantle of lack of safety and protection, so we insist that the authorities investigate in-depth and immediately apply protective measures.”

Journalists Danilo López, 38, correspondent of the newspaper Prensa Libre, and Federico Salazar, 32, correspondent of radio station Radio Nuevo Mundo, were murdered in the city of Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez province, in the south of the country. Marvín Israel Túnchez, 28, host of the Canal 30 television newscasts, was seriously injured in the same attack.

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, said, “Frankly, the promises of those in charge of government to put an end to impunity seem to us to be increasingly useless and, at this stage, one could say that they sound even aggravating. It is as if they are laughing in our faces, while our press colleagues continue to die for exercising the human right to receive, gather and disseminate news and opinions.”

He recalled that at the membership meeting that ended Monday the organization condemned the murder of eight journalists (two each in Colombia, Honduras and Mexico, one in Paraguay and one in Peru) but also denounced the high level of impunity noted in all the countries of the Americas. ”The lack of justice,” he declared, “prompts many journalists and media, particularly in inland areas, where they are less protected, to opt for self-censorship as a means of protection.”

The crime was committed around 11 a.m. in the city’s central park opposite the building of the provincial government where a local governmental ceremony was being held. According to witnesses two people riding a motorcycle approached the journalists and shot at them. Some hours later a man identified as one of the alleged attackers was arrested.

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From Page 7:

Expotur this year will be two days in May

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expotur 2015, the big tourism marketplace, is May 7 and 8 this year.

The expo, organized by the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo, brings together tourism operators and wholesalers who purchase tourism packages.

The expo will be at the Hotel Wyndham, San José-Herradura, and this is the 31st annual edition.

Before and after the expo, foreign tourism buyers generally visit other parts of the country.

The Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo estimates that there will be 200 firms showing their wares at the event this year, according to an announcement.