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Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                     San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 52                Email us
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Jo Stuart

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50 years ago Volcán Irazú began to blow its top
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just 50 years ago Costa Ricans and visitors in Cartago and the metro area were surprised when the Volcán Irazú awakened.

The eruption started March 13, 1963, and lasted until February two years later. The economic impact was massive. The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica described the impact as chaos.

Ash and other material thrown out by the volcano buried large areas of rich farmland and cattle pasture. But perhaps what was worse was the ash that continued to fall within 50 kilometers mostly to the west of the volcano, including in San José, Heredia and Alajuela. When the rains came, the ash turned to an abrasive mud. Small communities were all but buried.

Central Valley residents shoveled the ash. School kids played in it as if it were sand. Homeowners blocked their windows and doors.
The Observatorio has produced two videos about the volcano. One is a commemorative, and the second is historic footage of the impact.

The volcano has been emitting acidic gases for the last three years. Much of the farmland there now shows the deadly effects of the gas. Brush has died and trees are stripped of their leaves. The same is true of the nearby sister volcano Turrialba, which also is in an active phase. Both are east of San José, and Irazú can be seen from the downtown 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away.

Five days after the mountain began its eruption, then-U.S. president John F. Kennedy came to San José for a meeting with heads of Latin states. Videos of Kennedy's arrival by helicopter in what is now Parque la Sabana and a motorcade up Paseo Colón do not show a lot of ash. Most of the capital's 250,000 residents lined the streets to greet him, and the day appeared to be sunny, Most wore white.

That also was true two days later when Kennedy spoke to a massive crowd at the newly inaugurated Universidad de Costa Rica. The crowd seemed unaffected by ash. But a reporter who was with the president said that by day's end the ash had soiled shirt collars and other parts of the clothing.

The big question in the minds of most residents is can the same type of eruption happen again. 

The Red Sismológica Nacional at the Universidad de Costa Rica has anticipated this question on its Web page. The volcano scientists say that it is unlikely that the country could be taken by surprise the way it was 50 years ago. Technology has created a number of monitoring devices that keep close watch on this mountain and the other active volcanoes in the country, it said. In addition, the Red added, the signals that are coming from the volcano now do not indicate that there will be an eruption in the  near future.

The volcano eruption had a lot of unanticipated consequences. For example, a study of insects
A.M. Costa Rica file photo by Francisco Coto
Tourists are seen near the erupting volcano.

A.M. Costa Rica file photo by Francisco Coto
 John Kennedy enters the Teatro Nacional in a day
 that seems to be free of ash.

showed that honey bees were decimated by ash being in the nectar that they collected. That wasthe result of a study published in 1975 by Alvaro Wille and Gilbert Fuentes, entomologists at the Universidad de Costa Rica. They also found that certain insects with waxy exteriors thrived and even became economic pests because their natural enemies had been eliminated.

At times the erupting mountain was a tourist attraction, and a photo by long-time San José photographer  Francisco Coto shows visitors to the volcano with a gigantic eruption in the background.

The photo was part of a show at the Museo Nacional in 2011.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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Red Sismológica Nacional graphic 
Red dot show the estimated epicenter

Sharp jolt takes place
south of Osa peninsula

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 5.1 magnitude quake took place in the Pacific south of the Osa peninsula Wednesday night, and the communities of Laurel de Corredores and Puerto Jiménez felt the strongest impact, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The Laboratorio placed the epicenter at 59.5 kilometers south southeast of Puerto Jiménez. That's about 37 miles.

The Red Sismológica Nacional put the epicenter much closer to the Osa peninsula community. It said the epicenter was 15 kilometers south of Puerto Jiménez. That is just a bit more than nine miles. It also said that the magnitude was 5.5.

The quake appears to have been felt as far north as the Central Valley, according to sensor reports from the Laboratorio.

International strategy summit
scheduled here June 14 to 16

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Diplomats gathered Wednesday at the foreign ministry for a preview of what Costa Rica will present at a major international conference that will be held here in June.

Costa Rica's foreign minster Enrique Castillo, told the diplomats that the meeting would call attention to the industrialized countries and international organization about the particular circumstances of middle-income countries.

Expected are official representatives of some 70 countries.

The session, which is June 12 to 14, is designed to develop strategy for the period after the millennium development goals expire in 2015.

Castillo announced in November that Costa Rica would host the session.  One goal is to create networks for prosperity and concentrate on the role and position of middle-income countries in regional and global development issues, said the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, which is a sponsor.

The conference will also look at inclusive growth and prosperity, sustainability and green industry and financing for sustainable economic development, said the U.N. agency, adding that these three topics are believed to be at the core of the interests of middle-income countries.

The objective of the conference is to create a platform for knowledge exchange and connection of middle-income countries and to develop a joint action plan as well as a declaration. The outcome of the conference should inspire further discussions on the trends and scenarios in a possible post-2015 development agenda, and facilitate the establishment and improvement of related network governance structures for knowledge sharing, including among middle-income countries, said the U.N.'s Networks for Prosperity initiative.

Japan donates $900,000
for national broadcasting

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Japanese government has contributed the equivalents of $900,000 to the national broadcasting company, the Sistema Nacional de Radio y Televisión.

The money will be used to improve transmission, said the foreign ministry.

Japan has a program to support cultural activities worldwide.

The Sistema Nacional considers that it has a social and educational role that is not always consistent with high viewership.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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Semana Santa survey again shows wide differences in prices
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is nothing sacred about Semana Santa as far as supermarkets are concerned.

At least that is the suspicion generated by a survey of food prices from the economic ministry.

The ministry said Wednesday that its survey showed that independent supermarkets sell products at a more reasonable price. It also said that shoppers could pay double for foods traditional during the Easter season.

The surveyors from the ministry checked prices on 29 items in 28 supermarkets in the metro area during the first six days of March.
According to a survey report by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio a shopper would pay 615 colons or about $1.25 for an 88-gram can of sardines at Super Plaza in San José. This is a very traditional Semana Santa food. Over at Mas x Menos in Hatillo the price was 1,925 colons, about $3.90, for the same brand.

There were similar differences in prices for other products.

Of course, the survey does not show that supermarket chains are lining their pockets. Larger companies have to pay social security charges and otherwise comply with Costa Rican labor laws. Small firms might be family-run. And imported products frequently are less expensive than Costa Rican products because foreign firms do not have all the labor costs that are required in Costa Rica.

The first stage will have two kilometers of an elevated highway like this, according to current plans

Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Trasnportes graphic.

At last bids will be sought for the northern Circunvalación
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The transport ministry in publishing a bid request to the northern loop of the Circunvalacion.

Road officials said they hope to have the long-awaited project started by September 2014.

The Circunvalación now runs from La Uruca and the General Cañas Autopista to San Pedro. It is a four- to six-lane divided highway.
 The government will put up $50 million and borrow the remainder from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica,

The announcement Wednesday was just that the bid request would be published in the La Gazeta official newspaper.

The second stage is still being designed, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The second stage will be just 1.2 kilometers.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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University of Gothenburg/Gertje König
Mesocosms are seen in the Gullmar Fjord in Sweden.

Large plastic containers
will help in acidity study

By the University of Gothenburg news service

To study the effects of ocean acidification, 10 huge plastic containers called mesocosms are placed in the Gullmar Fjord in Sweden. The project is unique: mesocosms of this size have never been used for such a long period of time. The experiment is part of a worldwide research project, and includes researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

This is the largest and longest experiment on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems that have been carried out to this date. A team of 60 international researchers are for five months now based at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The research project in the Gullmar Fjord will run from January to June, under the leadership of top German researcher Ulf Riebesell.

The mesocosms has been lowered into the fjord with the help of divers from the research vessel Alkor. Each mesocosm will now enclose 55,000 litres of seawater, containing organisms from the winter waters of the Gullmar Fjord.

Carbon dioxide is added to half of the mesocosms and the researchers are going to observe the effect of different acidity levels on marine plants and animal plankton by monitoring the plankton over many generations and measuring the chemistry of the water every day. They are also going to add herring and cod larvae to see how they develop in the enclosed seawater.

Similar studies have been carried out previously on a smaller scale in Polar environments, off the coast of Hawaii and off the Finnish and Norwegian coasts. However, mesocosms of this size have never been used for such a long period of time.

Social media is shaking up
old order of politics as usual

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Italian comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo drew the largest vote for a single party in Italy's election last month despite shunning traditional campaign platforms such as TV, in favor of using social media like Facebook to spread his message. Analysts say it's the latest example of how new media and social media are changing politics building on recent phenomena like the Arab Spring.

By his own admission, Grillo tries hard not to look like a politician. But his 5-star Movement took 25 percent of the vote at the Italian elections last month, the highest share for a single party.

​​Addressing his supporters, he said: "We have entered another phase; I don't know what it will lead to. It is incredible," he said. "We have changed. We are not only a movement, but we are a community."

Analysts say it is a community built in cyberspace. Grillo shunned traditional campaign platforms such as television and newspapers - instead relying on social media like Facebook and Twitter, where he has over a million followers.

Graham Meikle is professor of social media at the University of Westminster in London.

"Where social media have become implicated in high profile political events in the last few years such as the Italian elections, such as the Iranian elections in 2009, such as Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, what we're often seeing is not just dissatisfaction and rebellion against politics as usual, but also against the way politics is covered," he said.

Meikle said Grillo's success is the most high profile example of the power of new media in politics.

"People are using social media to express points of view which aren't getting onto TV, which aren't being aired in the newspaper, to share those ideas with others and to connect with others who they can then see through networks, and share their point of view," he added.

The difference with social media is that it is a two-way conversation, said Matt Freckelton. He is the founder of the Web site Yatterbox, which follows the social media activity of every lawmaker in Britain giving the electorate a real-time commentary on politicians' activities in Parliament, and even often in private. Freckleton cited what happened during the recent parliamentary debate on legalizing gay marriage.

"What we saw were lots of politicians in the chambers or outside the chambers during the debate tweeting about it," he said. "And during that we saw many policymakers and people who would like to influence those people, and the general public getting in on that debate and trying to influence how those politicians would vote, which would directly affect the laws that are passed in this country."

Douglas Carswell is a Conservative Party lawmaker with an active online presence. He's author of the book "The End of Politics and the Birth of Democracy." "The Internet is changing politics. It's changing the way we do democracy fairly profoundly," he said.

"It's allowing us to aggregate opinion; it's allowing us to bring ideas together," said Carswell. "It's allowing us to do many of the things that previously political parties did. And I think this is a challenge both for the people in the building behind me, but I think it's a challenge also for citizens because they're discovering new ways that they can get things done."
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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Cardinals make quick decision
to pick the first Latin pope

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After only two days of voting, Roman Catholic cardinals elected Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.  He has chosen the name Francis and is the first pope from Latin America in the Catholic Church's 2,000-year history. 

The mood was electric in St. Peter's Square Wednesday evening when Pope Francis emerged onto the basilica's balcony for the first time in his new papal vestments.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world had endured rain and cold temperatures to greet their new spiritual leader.

Pope Francis, who less than an hour earlier was known as Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first pope to come from the Americas, a fact he acknowledged with a smile as he addressed the crowd.

"As you know, the duty of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop," said Pope Francis. "It seems to me that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world.  Here I am."

It took five rounds of voting for the 115 cardinals, cut off from the outside world since Tuesday in the Vatican, to reach at least a two-thirds majority in selecting a new pope.

The 76-year-old Francis takes over from Pope Benedict XVI, who now has the title pope emeritus.  Benedict, who is 85, resigned last month, saying he did not have the strength to carry out his papal duties.  He was the first pontiff to voluntarily step down in 600 years.

Francis urged his fellow Catholics to pray for his predecessor and for their new journey together.

"It is a journey of friendship, of love, of trust, and faith," he said. "Let us pray always for one another.  Let us pray for the whole world.  Let us have a big brotherhood."

When white smoke started billowing out of a Vatican chimney announcing Francis' election, the crowd reacted with joy.

British man: "Very beautiful, this is the first time of my life to watch this.  Fantastic."

Unidentified woman: "So emotional.  It's white.  I'm so happy."

Venezuelan woman: "This is a historical moment, and we're very lucky to be here."

Reactions also came from people for the first time on social media Web sites like Twitter, which had the keywords "whitesmoke" and "HabemusPapam" trending worldwide.

Prior to Pope Francis' election, many analysts had speculated that the cardinals would decide it was time to elect a pontiff who was not European.  Like their new pope, more than 40 percent of the world's Catholics are from Latin America.  And as the number of Catholics has decreased in Europe in recent years, Africa and Asia have seen more followers filling the pews.

Francis inherits the reins of a bureaucracy that is still struggling to overcome scandal, including child sex abuse cases involving the clergy that date back decades and the theft and release of documents from the papal residence revealing alleged corruption in the Vatican administration.

World leaders congratulate
the new Latin American pope

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Leaders from around the world are sending their congratulations to the newly elected leader of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis, who is the first ever Latin American to become bishop of Rome.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina on Wednesday also became the first Jesuit to become a pontiff and the first to be named Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi, protector of the poor.

U.S. President Barack Obama praised the selection of the first pope from the Americas, saying that it speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that he said is increasingly shaping our world. He was among the first to extend best wishes to the new pontiff, whom he called the champion of the poor and vulnerable.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is a Roman Catholic, will lead the U.S. delegation to attend the new pope's inauguration mass in the Vatican next Tuesday.

In Costa Rica, the Asamblea Legislativa also sent a congratulatory message to the new pope.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement Wednesday saying that the United States is committed to working with the Holy See to advance a shared belief in peace and humanity.

Pope Francis, like the saint whose name he has chosen, is noted for his humility and commitment to social issues.

He has also been criticized for his firm opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, and for his absence of criticism against the atrocities committed by Argentina's military regime between 1976 and 1983.

U.S. retail spending jumps
despite an increase in taxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. retail spending rose at the fastest pace in five months in February, even though a tax hike crimped some family budgets.
Wednesday's Commerce Department report said outside the volatile areas of auto sales and fuel prices, sales in the overall economy advanced four-tenths of a percent for the month. Economists and investors watch retail sales closely because consumer demand drives most U.S. economic activity.
Experts say the improving U.S. job market helped boost sales, as the economy had a net gain of 236,000 jobs and the jobless rate improved slightly.
Other indicators paint a mixed picture of the economy. Freight traffic rose more than 1 percent between December and January, an indication of expansion and growth. But oil futures prices eased somewhat in mid-February as investors worried that slowing growth in China and problems in Europe could hurt demand.
The heads of many major U.S. companies say they expect economic growth to increase slightly during the next six months. Wednesday's Business Roundtable survey of Chief Executive Officers shows most expect sales and investment to grow, but less than one-third plan to increase hiring.

Cyber attacks from Chinese
generate concern in Congress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee has expressed concern about the threat of cyber attacks from China, Iran and other countries. He spoke at a Wednesday committee hearing as President Barack Obama met with corporate leaders to discuss the issue. 

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul compared the threat from cyber attacks to the terrorist threat the United States faced on September 11, 2001, but he said this time the U.S. is aware of the threat and is taking steps to counter it.

"We know that foreign nations are conducting reconnaissance on our utilities - they are penetrating our gas and water systems and also our energy grids - and if the ability to send a silent attack through our digital networks falls into our enemies’ hands, this country could be the victim of a devastating attack," McCaul said. "Yet, while threats are imminent, no major cyber security legislation has been enacted since 2002."

Several lawmakers at the hearing expressed concern about recent reports that the majority of cyber attacks against the United States are emanating from China. Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Jane Lute said the Obama administration considers the attacks extraordinarily significant.

"We have raised this issue of the attacks that are emanating from actors in China, with Chinese authorities. We have called on them to acknowledge it, take it seriously, understand it, to investigate it and stop it, and to work with us in creating broad norms of responsible cyber behavior," Lute said.

In an ABC News interview Tuesday, President Obama said there has been a steady ramping up of the threat to cyber security from other nations and from criminals.  He said the United States already has engaged in some "tough talk" with China and other countries. 

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Tuesday said Beijing is open to talks, but insisted that China is a victim, and not a perpetrator of computer crimes.

President Obama signed an executive order a month ago directing U.S. agencies to improve information sharing on cyber threats, but such orders do not carry the weight of law.

A Senate bill on cyber security last year failed to get enough votes to pass and was opposed by some business groups and some privacy rights advocates.  A new cyber security bill has been introduced in the House, but has not been brought to the floor yet.

Obama fails to convince
Republicans he was courting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama continued his outreach efforts to lawmakers Wednesday with a visit to Republicans in the House of Representatives.  The president was received warmly, but sharp policy differences remain.
The Republican House speaker, John Boehner, who is often Obama’s chief political opponent, called the meeting a good start. 

“I want to thank the president for coming to the Capitol today to visit with all of our members," said Boehner. "I thought that we had a very frank and candid exchange of ideas, and frankly, I think it was productive.”

A White House statement called the meeting “a good substantive exchange.”

Still, Republicans and Democrats disagree on a number of issues, including immigration reform, gun control and relations with Israel.

Their main dispute is over how to reduce the deficit.  The administration wants to cut the deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, while Republicans are against higher taxes.

After the meeting, Boehner said that disagreement remains.

“The president understands, yeah, we have got some long-term spending that we need to deal with, but he is going to hold hostage the fact that he wants to raise taxes on the American people again.  That is not going to get us very far," he said.

Earlier, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the president believes bipartisan cooperation is possible, and hopes for a compromise.

“He has put forward proposals that demonstrate his commitment to making tough choices, to meeting Republicans halfway in the arena of common ground," said Carney. "And he certainly hopes Republicans will similarly come forward with proposals that demonstrate that kind of spirit.”

Obama has had a number of one-on-one meetings with Speaker Boehner, but Wednesday’s get-together with House Republicans as a group was his first since late 2010.

It was the latest in a recent series of meetings the president has held with Republican lawmakers, in an apparent effort to bridge the partisan divide.

Obama treated 12 Republican senators to dinner last week.  The next day, he invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the committee’s top Democrat to lunch at the White House.

Carney said President Obama sees value in the meetings.

“The president is absolutely committed to engaging with members of Congress," he said. "He has enjoyed his engagement so far.  He believes it has been productive and constructive, and has led to positive conversations, both with Senate Republicans and House Republicans, and that includes his lunch with Chairman Ryan last week.”

Despite the bipartisan outreach on Capitol Hill, the president was set to speak later in the day to Organizing For Action, a nonprofit group which seeks to mobilize Obama supporters in favor of his legislative priorities.

Obama returns to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

Argentine government aims
to hit newspaper finances

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Freedom House and Argentina’s Foundation for Freedom of Expression and Democracy have expressed deep concern over the recent directives by the Argentinean government to prohibit private companies to place advertisement in independent media outlets. By targeting media groups that do not share the national government’s viewpoints, this policy threatens freedom of expression, and represents a troubling escalation of the ongoing confrontation with independent media, said the organizations.

Freedom House and the foundation called on Argentina’s leadership to abandon their campaign of economic pressure on the country’s free press and rescind these latest restrictions on private retailers.

According to some reports, beginning in February , the minister of commerce of Argentina, Guillermo Moreno, delivered verbal instructions to the country’s largest retailers –including WalMart from the United States, Carrefour from France and others – prohibiting them from continuing to place newspaper or television ads while a freeze in the price of grocery stores products and others is in effect. This prohibition constitutes a crisis for private media that depend on advertising revenue, including the largest independent outlets – La Nacion, Clarin, and Perfil.

These actions fit the government’s broader pattern of using state advertising funds to reward loyal media while withholding funds from others, leading to a dangerous dynamic of self-censorship and conflict of interest, said the two organizations. The Argentine government has waged a drawn out campaign against private media, attacking journalists and attempting to break up major press companies.

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View from Orosi home

Majestically situated overlooking the Orosi Valley and the tropical rain forest, this 2-bedroom, 2½-bath home with a separate office is offered at $550,000.  From the extensive use of glass windows visitors are easily captivated by the unbelievably 7 acres of pure, natural Costa Rican landscape.   The property is located 15 minutes from the Cartago metropolitan area, an hour from San José, 1¼ hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, 2 hours to the beaches of the Pacific West Coast, or 3 ½  hours to the beaches of the southern Caribbean coast.
USA 678-799-8803
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You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to

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:

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Morazan building for sale
Building for sale by owner
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Larger than it appears from outside. Call. (506) 8847-1822
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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.

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
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Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
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Rich Coast Montage
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
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Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details:
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email:

Luxurious new beach home for sale
Top of the line construction!
This titled property is located on a dead end road only 300 meters from the beach at Esterillos Este. It's a ''one of a kind'' construction with natural diamond Brite pool!
Top of Line construction
1st master bedroom with full bath and loft area. 2nd master bedroom with full bath and outdoor shower. Sells completely furnished with front-loading washer-dryer, commercial refri/freezer and deluxe furniture. Storage area and carport. $289,000.00 USD Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037 or email

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58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

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ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
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- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
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Brokers Welcome
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891

Retirement/vacation/hobby farm lots for sale
Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa,
20 minutes to Liberia airport. Project is Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A. 125-acre project with beautiful mountain and valley views. 70 clear-titled lots remaining for sale with water and electric to each lot. Lots are 5,000 sq. meters and larger. Fenced and gated project. Ready to build. Lots start at $30,000.    Guanacaste tree
See Prices listed have been reduced from those shown on the Web site.  For all general inquiries please contact Jim Day at or 001 517 484-3675.

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Costa Azul view
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Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

Would you like to start a chain of pizzerias  in Costa Rica?
If you have the money,   I have the ideas and the basis to start. Buy the place,
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Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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Ministerio Público photo
Some of the plants that were confiscated.

Marijuana hydroponic setup
raided in organized crime case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Organized crime prosecutors have taken on a case of marijuana growing.

Agents raided a home in León XIII early Wednesday to detain two men who are suspected of maintaining a marijuana growing operation at a three-bedroom home in La Uruca. The plants were being raised with a hydroponic system that increases the potency of the marijuana by manipulating the ph level, said prosecutors.

At the La Uruca location, agents found nearly 200 plants growing under artificial light.

Dark forces getting the blame
for death of Venezuelan leader

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuela will set up a formal inquiry into suspicions that the late President Hugo Chavez's cancer was the result of poisoning by his enemies abroad, the government said.

The accusation has been derided by critics of the government, who view it as a typical Chávez-style conspiracy theory intended to feed fears of imperialist' threats to Venezuela's socialist system and distract people from daily problems.

Still, acting President Nicolas Maduro vowed to push through a serious investigation into the claim, which was first raised by Chávez himself after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2011.

"We will seek the truth,'' Maduro told regional TV network Telesur. "We have the intuition that our commander Chávez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way.''

Foreign scientists will be invited to join a government commission, the nation's acting leader said.  

Maduro, 50, is Chavez's handpicked successor and is running as the government's candidate in a snap presidential election on April 14 that was triggered by his boss's death last week. He is trying to keep voters' attention firmly focused on Chávez to benefit from the outpouring of grief among his millions of supporters.

The opposition is centering its campaign on portraying Maduro, a former bus driver, as an incompetent who, they say, is morbidly exploiting Chavez's demise. 

Running for the opposition's Democratic Unity coalition is a business-friendly state governor, Henrique Capriles, 40, who lost to Chavez in a presidential vote last year.

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A.M. Costa Rica
Seventh Newspage

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 14, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 52
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A.M. Costa Rica file photo
The best known butterfly.

Fires and drought reduce monarchs

By the Texas A&M University news staff

Bad news again for the monarch butterfly: Drought conditions and historic wildfires the past few years continue to decrease their numbers as they wing across Texas this spring. Worse news: milkweed plants – the only kind they need to survive – are also not in plentiful supply, says a Texas A&M University monarch watcher.

Craig Wilson, a senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and a longtime butterfly enthusiast, says reports coming from Mexico where the monarchs have their breeding grounds show their numbers are significantly down, a disturbing trend during much of the past decade.

“The severe drought in Texas and much of the Southwest continues to wreak havoc with the number of Monarchs,” Wilson explains.

“The conditions have been dry both here and in Mexico in recent years. It takes four generations of the insects to make it all of the way up to Canada, and because of lack of milkweed along the way, a lot of them just don’t make it.”

The dry conditions and changing farming practices are hampering the growth of milkweed, the only type of plant the monarch will digest as it makes its trip north. Texas has had dozens of wildfires in the past few years that have hampered milkweed growth, and even though there are more than 30 types of milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) in the state, the numbers are not there to sustain the Monarchs as they start their 2,000-mile migration trip to Canada. Increased use of pesticides is also adversely affecting milkweed production, he notes.

“But if people want to help, they can pick up some milkweed plants right now at local farmer’s cooperative stores,” he says, “and this would no doubt be a big boost to help in their migration journey.”

The monarch reserves are in the Mexican state of Michoacan. It’s an area where tens of millions of Monarchs spend the winter and mate before heading north, Wilson points out.

“On a recent visit to the monarch overwintering sites in Michoacan, former president Jimmy Carter said: ‘The monarch butterfly unites the three countries of North America in peace.

It is an ambassador of peace which requires protected areas and ecosystems that are preserved through sustainable agricultural and forestry practices. We need to work together to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem for all North America,” Wilson adds.

“It is important to have a national priority of planting milkweed to assure there will be monarchs in the future,” Wilson believes. “If we could get several states to collaborate, we might be able to provide a feeding corridor right up to Canada for the monarchs.”

Wilson is currently adding a variety of milkweed plants on the Texas A&M campus.

University of California, Berkeley graphic
Percentage who say they have no religion by year.

One in five say they have no religion

By the University of California, Berkeley, news staff

Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. Last year, one in five Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.

Berkeley sociologists Mike Hout and Claude Fischer, along with Mark Chaves of Duke University, analyzed data on religious attitudes as part of the General Social Survey, a highly cited biannual poll conducted by an independent research institute at the University of Chicago.

Results of the survey – which looked at numerous issues, including attitudes about gun ownership and how tax dollars should be spent, and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation – are being released now and in coming weeks.

On American attitudes toward religion, Berkeley researchers found that 20 percent of a nationally representative group reported no religious preference. That’s a jump from 1990 when all but 8 percent of Americans polled identified with an organized faith.

”This continues a trend of Americans disavowing a specific religious affiliation that has accelerated greatly since 1990,” said Hout, lead author of the study.

Hout and Fischer are authors of the General Social Survey study that in 2002 first identified a rise in the number of “unchurched.” They are careful to distinguish the survey category of “no religion,” which means individuals who are not part of an organized religion, from “atheists,” who do not believe in God and made up just 3 percent of those interviewed last year. Meanwhile, just 8 percent of those surveyed said they were raised with no religion.

Responses in the survey were to the question, “What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, some other religion, or no religion?”

An analysis of the results suggests the following:

* Liberals are far more likely to claim “no religion” (40 percent) than conservatives (9 percent)

* Men are more likely than women to claim “no religion” (24 percent of men versus 16 percent of women).

* More whites claimed “no religion” (21 percent) compared to African Americans (17 percent) and Mexican Americans (14 percent).

* More than one-third of 18-to-24-year-olds claimed “no religion” compared to just 7 percent of those 75 and older.

* Residents of the Midwestern and Southern states were least likely to claim “no religion” compared to respondents in the Western, Mountain and Northeastern states. But Midwesterners and Southerners are catching up, Hout said.

* Educational differences among those claiming “no religion” are small compared to other demographic differences.

* About one-third of Americans identify with a conservative Protestant denomination, one-quarter are Catholics (although 35 percent were raised Catholic) and 1.5 percent are Jewish.

The General Social Survey has been tracking major social and cultural trends in American society since 1972, when only 5 percent of those polled claimed no religion. Since 1990, an uptick in those identifying themselves as following no particular religion has progressed steadily with 18 percent identifying as such in 2010 and 20 percent in 2012.

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