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(506) 2223-1327                          San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 17, 2014,  Vol. 14, No. 53                          Email us
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Registro in court for blocking company resignations
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

One Costa Rican woman had a rude awakening in 2012 when she tried to resign her position as secretary of a local company as allowed by Transitorio IV of Ley 9024.  The Registro Nacional said she could not quit because the company owed money to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, known to most as the Caja. 

She immediately filed suit in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, the administrative law court, for relief arguing the transitorio gave her the right to leave her office as secretary.
There were no exceptions outlined in Law 9024.

A transitorio to a law in Costa Rica is a transition element providing special rules during a limited period.  Transitorio IV is the provision that allows anyone with judicial and extrajudicial authority in a company to relinquish their post.  It also allows anyone with a full power of attorney to resign.  One can get out now without paying any current company taxes due. 

The administrative court agreed with her in ruling number 11-2014-VII.  The court ordered the Registro de Personas Juridicas del Registro Nacional to immediately record her resignation.

Articles in A.M. Costa Rica on Oct. 29, Nov. 12, Feb. 17, and March 3 have covered the ins and outs of Law 9024 in depth.  There are only 11 business days remaining to vacate a position in a Costa Rican company and not be liable for the company assessment tax.  An individual does not need to pay the tax to bail out. This opportunity ends on March 31. There will be no others. The law will be in full force on April 1, and the Registro can start collection actions against all those in default.

The women’s court case may mean other company debts can be avoided too.  The corporate veil of a company in Costa Rica protects directors and stockholders in most cases. However, there are certain debts, like ones to the Caja social security agency and Law 9024 taxes that follow an individual personally.

One expat in San José found himself in the same boat. He was given a full power of attorney in 2008 in a company in Quepos.  Come to find out, the company owes Law 9024 taxes as well as money to the  Caja. He wants out of the problems. He did not even know he had a full power of attorney. They can be given to someone without their consent or knowledge.

An investigation into the women’s case and looking up a current literal certification of her company at the national registry found she originally filed her resignation on May 4, 2012.  She filed her court case shortly after being rejected by the national registry in the same year. She has refiled her resignation Feb. 27 to see if it will be accepted. Registro documents consulted over the weekend show it still has not been approved.

Allan Garro, of GarroLaw, in an interview, said he knew of the woman’s case and had reviewed it extensively. He said he was at a legal meeting with other lawyers last week and that one said he pasted the woman’s decree to one of his client resignations and the Registro Nacional registered the document with no problem.

However, another attorney said she had heard an appeal has been filed and all further resignations where the companies owe money to the Caja will be frozen until the case goes through the appeal process.  Garro believes 
frozen Registro
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Freeze could take some time.

there is a good chance the decision will be left as is due to the short life left in the transitorio.

Expats and Ticos who find themselves in the same predicament as the foreigner who found himself liable for debts that were not his should rush to their attorney to file their resignations, too. This also must be done by the deadline of March 31. If, in fact, an appeal has been filed to the woman’s case, the Registro will freeze all similar documents until the case goes through the courts. This could take another couple of years.

Normally, all documents filed with the national registry are voided within one year of presentation if they are not recorded.  Hundreds of escrituras, legal writings by notaries, are filed every business day. Many are rejected initially because they have some administrative or procedural error in them. Once declined, they are sent back to the author for fixing. There is a one-year limit to meet all the qualifications for proper registration. However, if they are frozen, they will not expire. They will remain in limbo.

The woman’s legal case is a good one. She is right. The transitory section in Law 9024 did not make any exceptions.  It is also a newer law, so it should supersede older ones. She has a very good chance in winning her argument. If she does, the case could also benefit others in the same situation.

A non-official survey showed most expats still do not know much about the tax assessment law. Others do not care, even ones with liability. One expat who has lived here for over 30 years and has legal representation in many companies owing thousands of dollars in tax, said he does not think the country will do much to collect them.

The facts are that the Registro Nacional is buzzing with talk about how best to proceed for quick collection of Law 9024 taxes. The country needs the extra money.

Garland M. Baker is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2004-2013, use without permission prohibited.

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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.

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Costa Rica hosts world cup
for under-17 female players

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 16 national teams are competing here in the world cup for female players under 17 years of age.

This is an official tournament of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Costa Rican officials express pleasure that the country was hosting its first world cup.

The inauguration of the tournament was Saturday complete with fireworks at the Estadio Nacional. Venezuela beat Costa Rica, 3-0, in the opener, and the soccer federation estimated that some 34,000 persons attended.

The team will compete over 22 days for the championship. Games are being played at major stadiums in Liberia, Alajuela and Tibás, as well as San José.

Renowned U.S. newsman joins
A.M. Costa Rica as consultant

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Renowned U.S. and international newsman Lou Kilzer has agreed to serve as senior editorial consultant for A.M. Costa Rica and its related newspapers.

Kilzer, who now lives in Escazú, has twice won the Pulitzer
Prize, the most prestigious American journalism award.

He is the former editor-in-chief of the English-language JoongAng Daily in Seoul, South Korea, which is published with the International New York Times.

In his advisory role, Kilzer will provide access to many more reporting resources for editors, reporters and interns. He is an expert in the news coverage of  corruption and of Asia.
Lou Kilzer
Lou Kilzer

Kilzer's background includes the May 1985 series in The Denver, Colorado, Post,  “The Truth about Missing Children,” which provided an in-depth study of missing children. The articles revealed that most were involved in custody disputes or runaways. At the time it helped to mitigate national fears stirred by exaggerated statistics. The reporting won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1986.

Kilzer won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting while working at the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune.

He and a colleague exposed a network of local citizens who had links to members of the St. Paul Fire Department and who profited from fires, including some described by the fire department itself as being of suspicious origin, according to the citation.

More recently in 2012, while he was working at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers named Kilzer a winner in its 17th Best of Business competition, which honors excellence in business and financial journalism. He was the winner in the category of explanatory journalism for ongoing coverage of China's drive to gain America's technology.

Kilzer also worked at the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and several smaller newspapers at the beginning of his career. He is a 1973 graduate of Yale University where he earned a bachelor's degree cum laude in philosophy.

Kilzer also has written two books on World War II for which he gained unprecedented access to the archives of the Russian spy apparatus, the KGB.

The first was the 1994 book "Churchill's Deception: The Dark Secret That Destroyed Nazi Germany." The book says that Winston Churchill tricked Adolf Hitler into invading the Soviet Union by creating a phony peace party, contrived and fostered by the British Secret Service.

The book "Hitler's Traitor: Martin Bormann and the Defeat of the Reich" came out in 2000. In it Kilzer identified Bormann, secretary and second in command to Hitler and head of the Nazi chancellery, and Heinrich Müller, commandant of the Gestapo, as Soviet agents.

Kilzer said he moved to Costa Rica so he could continue writing books and novels and to consider the country as a future retirement location for him and his wife, Elizabeth.

Our reader's opinion
Fossil salt has all the minerals
that humans need to live well

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In response to James Marshall's letter about salt and fluoride.

Table salt is toxic. I tend to say extremely toxic not only behind the added fluoride (also iodine in non-colloidal form which is an insane requirement) but also the anti-caking ingredients like aluminum silica, sodium ferrocyanide or potassium ferrocyanide plus - last but certainly not least - the total absence of minerals and trace elements, the real goodness of fossil salts.

Since childhood we were told that fluoride was good for our teeth, which is a total myth, but by design. As in other realms of medicine, among other things, if we are healthy the medical professionals shall starve.

Dentists the world over parroted what the dentistry honchos dictated. As a matter of fact, fluoride is said to actually promote osteoporosis.  Moreover, fluoride is not only part of a rat poison cocktail but was allegedly used by the fascists in the last century to render prison inmates docile.

But our body needs salt although it requires the fossil salt that still has all the minerals and trace elements that were meant to be in it. Not even today's sea salt (sal marina) we see in supermarkets reaches an adequate dietary level.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In Costa Rica, Finn Alexander is a distributor of pink mineral salt from Pakistan's huge Khewra mines in the Punjab Province (often mistakenly labeled Himalayan Salt). The age of this natural salt deposit dates back to the Permian Period about 250 to 300 million years ago, and we may rightfully assume that this natural product from the depth of the Earth is completely uncontaminated. It has 84 minerals and trace elements in colloidal form which enables the body's cells to easily absorb the goodness. There is nothing artificial in fossil salt while its varying color depends on the quantity of different minerals.

Alexander the Great was credited with discovering these very salt deposits in what today is Pakistan. But the kudos should actually go to his horses which, after stressful times of war and conquest while chilling out, began to lick stones when grazing around the encampment.

Mineral salt, an enormously valuable fossil substance, became a mode of payment for soldiers and mercenaries and gave rise to the word salary.

Natural salt is absolutely non-toxic and has many benefits for our health which are simply too many to list here.

If anyone is interested in this product I'm gladly leaving the email contact of this fine gentleman who also may be CR's youngest entrepreneur, having started his enterprise at the age of 16.  (
Axel Marquardt
Hamburg, Germany

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 52
Real Estate
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                  Tax and
No snow is required
for this sport at Arenal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The sport has been around for years, and wakeboarding seems to be a combination of water skiing and snowboarding.

As residents around Lake Arenal know, surf is not required. The participants are towed behind a boat, and the more advanced can do tricks and flips. Instead of water skis, the sport requires a board similar to a snowboard.

The sport is among the lesser known.  Flyzone Costa Rica decided to do something about that. The firm at Lake Arenal sells water skiing and wakeboard equipment and also runs a school.

The company put on what was called totally unofficial Costa Rican Wakeboarding Championship, which attracted 34 competitors in four categories. The location was at Puerto San Luis on Lake Arenal.
The company managed to get corporate sponsors, including Red Bull energy drink.

FlyZone’s Sander Werink said that the number of participants was more than had been expected. Some had never had a chance to do this sort of water sport, the company said.

The company reported that Sergio Barquero was declared the winner in the advanced men's category. Other winners were: Tomás Echandi, juniors: Melissa Liscano, women, and Arturo Echandi, men. Guiliano Doninelli won what was called the crash of the day award, and Matías Arriola received an encouragement award.

Photo by David Miranda
Melissa Liscano, one of the winners, is airborne behind a speedboat

What to do with all those scruffy immigrants to America?
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Can a country like the United States survive with a flood of immigrants with very different traditions?

They come group after group of uneducated, perhaps even dirty individuals who worship false gods and are excessively prolific enough to eventually overwhelm the existing hard working population.

They stick to themselves and desperately try to avoid being drafted into U.S. military service. Some try to use their numbers to enforce their religiously inspired views on the existing population.

The general feeling is that they report to a foreign religious leader. And many speak a strange language and cannot understand simple English.

Can the United State survive a flood of persons like this?

Well, ask the folks marking in the various St. Patrick's Day parades today. The histories of the Irish in America and that of present day immigrant groups are very similar.

The mostly Protestant Irish were early arrivals in what is now the United States. Some fought in the Revolutionary War. But it was the potato famine in the 1840s that brought floods of poor Catholic Irish to the New World. They were not generally welcomed.

They were the uneducated who fled their own country. They clustered in the cities and became fertile ground for exploitive political leaders.

Many rejected service in the Union Army during the Civil War. Some were scammers who accepted bonuses for enrolling in military units and then vanishing, probably to spend their cash winning in the most favorite of Irish pastimes, drinking. When Union troop ships left New York harbor for the South, marine snipers were in the riggings to pick off the Irish and others who jumped into the water in an effort to swim ashore.

The subsequent generations of those who dug the canals ended up in the mines, the police forces and, curiously, in the publishing business and politics where many practiced their above-average ability with words.
The history of the New World was kind of a cold war between Protestant England and and Catholic Spain. Trade was prohibited, although much took place. So the Irish were regarded as a fifth column in Protestant America.

Sometimes they were. The St. Patrick's Batallion switched sides during the Mexican-American war to become the Batallón de San Patricio. Many may have done so because they shared the same religion as the Mexicans. Dozens were hung as traitors at the end of the conflict. This is why México marks March 17.

The Catholic Irish in America were strong supporters of the Irish independence movements, and the United States sheltered many of the future Irish heroes. The Irish-Americans provided a significant amount of the funds to fight the British.

The British were not graceful rulers in Ireland, and even at the height of the potato famine, many food products were exported to England. Irish Catholics were offered soup if they agreed to change religions.

The British even sent Irish to the Caribbean as slaves. Then there were the deportations to Australia.

The payback for this treatment fueled more than a century of unrest. Even today in some St. Patrick's Day parades there will be banners urging the English to get out of Ireland. This time the banners mean northern Ireland.

Generally, though, the parades are not political, and serve as a celebration of Irish rebirth in America. There is the practice of coloring beer green and those who become temporary Irish each March 17 to worship at the porcelain throne early the next morning.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but the most successful faux Irishmen has to be John Kerry, secretary of  State.  The name was a good one to have when he was successfully running for Senate in the U.S. state of Massachusetts where many Irish-Americans live. But Kerry's roots actually are in what is now the Czech Republic where ancestors changed their name to the Irish country before the end of the 19th century.

The question remains if current U.S. immigrants will Americanize as well as did the Irish. Some worry about the Mexicans. Others express concerns about the closed Muslim societies. Integration into the U.S. society is at the heart of the country's immigration debate.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 53
Real Estate
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Weekend sweep nets eight illegal firearms and results in eight arrests
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement agencies had support from a helicopter when they swept high-crime areas of the capital Friday night and Saturday morning.

Targeted were Parque Central, Parque la Merced and the Plaza de la Democracia in downtown San Jusé, the Los Guido section of Desamparados,  Los Cuadros, Purral, Ipís, Rincón Grande in Pavas and León XIII.
Searches turned up eight illegal firearms, said the security ministry.

Participating in the sweep were members of the Grupo de Apoyo Operacional of the Fuerza Pública, the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea in the helicopter, the Policía Municipal in San José, the Unidad Canina, the Judicial Investigating Organization and the Policía de Tránsito.

The ministry said that 17 motorcycles and a car were impounded. In all, eight persons were detained, the ministry said.

One was a 16 year old who faces allegations of resisting police and attempted robbery. He had to be taken out of a private home where officers confiscated two firearms.

Four persons were detained for robbery of a minor. The ministry said they used a choke hold to effect the crime. This is known as the
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguriad Pública photo
Youngsters await questioning and searches by police.

candado chino in Costa Rica where the assailant cuts off the blood flow at the neck until the victim passes out.

The new helicopter is of a type that creates less noise, and it was purchased to provide support for such sweeps, the ministry said.

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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.
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Guanacaste rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705,

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

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.

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

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

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

100 houses

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 53
Real Estate
About us


Plane search expanding
to include 25 countries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Malaysia says 25 countries are involved in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines passenger jet that disappeared from radar more than a week ago.  Analysts are calling for greater regional cooperation in air safety and security.

Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said Sunday the search for the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 aircraft has increased to 25 countries and a focus on two key flight corridors, one to the Indian Ocean and another extending as far north as Central Asia.

Hishammuddin told a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur the extended search areas raised fresh challenges as hopes of finding the aircraft increasingly lay with satellite data.
"The search area has been significantly expanded and the nature of the search has changed," said Hishammuddin.  "From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracks of land crossing 11 countries as well as deep and remote oceans.  The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25 which brings new challenges of coordination and diplomacy."
Hishammuddin also called for the United States, China and France, among others, to provide further satellite details in the search for the aircraft.

Senior Malaysian police officers say a formal investigation into the captain and the co-pilot of flight MH370 is under way with raids on their residences in upscale suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.  But families and friends of the men have vouched for their good character.
The aircraft left Kuala Lumpur on a regular flight to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew, but never reached its scheduled destination. 

Saturday, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said deliberate action on board led to the flight to change its course and fly due west.  Investigations say the flight may have carried on for several hours.  Transponders attached to the aircraft's engines were sending data.  Analysis of data indicates the aircraft may have at some time been on the ground.

Sunday it was revealed that prior to a final exchange of good night to Kuala Lumpur air traffic control, the aircraft's vital communications addressing and reporting system was shut down.  This came as the plane's identification transponder had also been turned off deliberately.
Analysts say only persons knowledgeable of aircraft would have taken such steps to shut down such communication and tracking systems.         

United States officials say the missing aircraft is likely to have been an act of piracy as the search focuses on two corridors northwest from Thailand to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, and another extending to the southern Indian Ocean.

Defense analyst Carl Thayer, with Australia's University of New South Wales, says problems in the search point to the need for greater regional cooperation in air safety, especially between key powers such as the United States and China.  Chinese authorities have also been critical of Malaysia's efforts to reveal information, as most passengers on board were Chinese nationals.
"The lesson is that the major powers have got to learn how to cooperate," Thayer said. ". . .  the prime responsibility when the plane supposedly went down in the South China Sea - Gulf of Thailand - is with Malaysia.  From my reading at the beginning Malaysia was very even-handed.  But once you have the plane turning west, China was just left standing there.  Then it moved to areas where India and the United States were better able to respond."
Thayer says regional bodies such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and regional partners need to apply earlier agreements on security and safety reached after the Sept.11, 2001 attacks in the United Sates.  He also pointed to operational complacency as a factor that can undermine air security and passenger safety.

Tiny T. Rex roamed Alaska,
new fossil demonstrates

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Paleontologists have unearthed the fossilized remains of a pygmy Tyrannosaurus rex in northern Alaska. The prehistoric creature, which roamed the Arctic some 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period, was about half the size of its fearsome first cousin farther to the south.

Most cars weigh more than Nanuqsaurus, whose name means polar bear lizard in the Alaskan Inupiat language.

When fully grown, scientists estimate the size of the dinosaur formally known as Nanuqsaurus hoglundi to have been around six meters long, weighing a mere 450 kilograms. Paleontologists say the pygmy T. rex was the spitting image of its enormous first cousin, the giant tyrannosaur, which was twice the size of Nanuqsaurus.

A skull section and upper and lower jaw bones belonging to the pygmy T. rex were discovered by paleontologists with the Perot Museum in Dallas, Texas in the southeastern U.S. They found fossils of the mini tyrannosaur while unearthing the remains of another previously unknown, tiny, horned dinosaur.

Anthony Fiorillo spotted the bones of Nanuqsaurus in a four-by-four meter excavation site in the Prince Creek Formation in Alaska’s North Slope above the Arctic Circle.

“I am absolutely thrilled by this discovery. And the fact that we found not one, but two brand new animals in the very same hole in the ground is absolutely mind-boggling to me,” he said.

The discovery of Nanuqsaurus did not come as a total surprise to paleontologists. They had suspected the existence of a carnivorous predator in the Arctic because of teeth marks on the bones of the horned dinosaur, which was probably a rare treat for the pygmy T. Rex.

Matt Lamanna is assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Because the Arctic region is cloaked in darkness for half the year, Lamanna says there probably was not much for the tiny Nanuqsaurus to eat.

“There was evolutionary pressure on it to develop small size because the environment it was living in probably would have had less food, consistently available food, than environments further south that were far less seasonal that ... didn’t have long periods of darkness and long periods of light,” said Lamanna.

Experts say Nanuqsaurus was not the only prehistoric animal that adapted to isolated environments; On a remote Russian Arctic coast island, mammoths the size of cows wandered around.

Anthony Fiorillo and colleagues describe their discovery of the pygmy Tyrannosaur in the journal PLoS ONE.

Obama says he seeks review
of overtime regulations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says he has ordered a review of the nation's overtime rules because too many Americans are working overtime and are not being paid for all the hours they work.

Obama said in his weekly address Saturday an overtime exception that was originally meant for highly paid employees now applies to workers who earn as little as $23,660 a year, making it possible for salaried workers to be paid less than the minimum wage.

The president said his administration was going to update those overtime rules to restore the basic principle "that if you have to work more, you should be able to earn more."

President Obama said the country must "build an economy that works for everybody, not just a fortunate few."

U.S. ready to punish Russia
for referendum in Crimea

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Voters in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula have cast ballots in a referendum endorsing joining Russia.  The United States and the European Union strongly objected to the vote, and could announce punitive steps against Russia and additional support for Ukraine.
Voter turnout was high and dominated by pro-Russian Crimeans, including retired Soviet sailor Vladimir Lozovoy.
“I want to cry.  Finally I have returned to my motherland.  It is an incredible feeling.  I have been waiting for this for 23 years,” said Lozovoy.
In the Ukrainian capital, some prayed for peace while bracing for open conflict with Russia.
“It is difficult to predict what will happen, but Putin will not stop in Crimea, he will want all of Ukraine,” said one churchgoer in Kyiv, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, just returned from a trip to Kyiv. Speaking on ABC’s This Week, he did not rule out a showdown.
“Ukrainians are not going to go down without a fight. If Russia really does decide to move beyond Crimea, it is going to be bloody and the fight may be long." said Murphy.
The White House has promised a swift response to the referendum and any additional Russian advances into Ukraine.
“There most definitely will be additional costs if Russia escalates this conflict rather than de-escalates.  And they will be imposed by the United States, but also by our European partners,” said spokesman Jay Carney.
Sen. Murphy concedes the United States and the European Union have limited options.
“I do not think there is anything we can do militarily. Clearly, this is a longer term effort to build up the Ukrainian military.  But if Monday we announce, with the EU, a set of crippling sanctions against individuals and Russian business entities, that sends a strong message to Putin,” said Murphy.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a package of assistance for Ukraine and punitive steps against Moscow when lawmakers return from a recess next week.  The House of Representatives approved a similar package earlier this month.

Greenland ice sheet reported
thinner than was expected

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study finds dramatic new thinning in the Greenland ice sheet in a region that was considered stable until now.

Last July, Kurt Kjaer was collecting sample sediment cores from a lake bed in southeastern Greenland when his science team witnessed a dramatic event.

“We landed and suddenly you could feel that the ground was starting to shake," he remembers. 

The research director of the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen is co-author of the new study about the Greenland ice sheet.

“We turned around and we could see, ‘Oh, there’s a calving event.' Two huge icebergs that are 700 meters deep that are coming out of there, that has been released from the glacier and that is turning around," Kjaer said. "And you can actually pick up the signal from seismic space due to the shaking of the earth all the way down to Japan.” 

Ice sheets, like those in Greenland and Antarctica, are constantly in motion. Calving at the ocean’s edge is part of that natural cycle as the ice mass flows downhill under its own weight, moving through ice streams, glaciers and ice shelves. The sheet remains stable as long as it accumulates the same mass of snow that it loses at sea. 

For their study in Nature Climate Change, the scientists collected surface elevation from the entire ice sheet using satellite data. While they knew that the southeast and northwest were already losing mass at accelerated rates, Kjaer says they hadn’t expected to see sustained loss in northeastern Greenland, which was considered stable.

“It’s a new area that started to react to a warmer climate," he said. "And it’s warming in the sense that it’s a warmer summer temperatures and warmer ocean temperatures.” 

Reduced sea ice where the glacier meets the warmer ocean allows icebergs to break off from the edge of the shelf. That causes the ice stream to accelerate toward the sea. The northeastern ice stream drains almost 16 percent of Greenland.

Kjaer's findings will likely affect the models of future sea level rise.

“Of course it’s a concern," he said. "If you have an area in Greenland like the northeastern section that has been considered stable and not contributing to any significant sea level rise, it's somewhat a bigger surprise you can say.”

He adds that scientists will look back at the history of the ice sheet, to put the more recent observations in perspective.

“But my feeling is that we will see that mass lost that we are seeing over the last ten years is something out of the ordinary.” 

Kjaer says the new data will improve predictions of changes in a warmer world.

NATO says some Web sites
were hacked over Crimea

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

NATO says several of its Web sites were targeted by cyber attacks in what appeared to be the latest development in cyberspace reflecting the growing tensions over Crimea.

A spokeswoman for the military coalition, Oana Lungescu, said the attack had no operational impact on the alliance.

NATO did not say who was responsible for taking down its Web sites in a distributed denial of services attack, but a group calling itself cyber berkut said the effort had been carried out by patriotic Ukrainians angry over what they see as NATO interference in their country.

Occupied by Russian forces, the largely Russian-speaking Crimea held a referendum Sunday on seceding from Ukraine to join Russia. NATO member states have opposed the move, calling it unconstitutional and effectively an annexation of Ukraine's sovereign territory.

Ukraine has been shaken by turmoil that saw pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych ousted as anger exploded over his rejection of closer ties with the European Union in favor of Moscow.

Cyber berkut is a reference to the riot police used by the ousted leader.

Wearable cameras reducing
incidents involving police

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As the American public debates the ethics of wearable cameras, such as the one incorporated in Google Glass, police in several cities are already testing their usefulness.
The Los Angeles Police Department recently equipped a number of its police officers with body mounted cameras that must be turned on whenever officers interact with citizens.
Cities like Forth Worth, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, have been testing them for more than a year.
A year after the cameras were introduced in Rialto, California, the town’s police reported a record drop of more than 50 percent in incidents involving force.
Observers, however, say the wider usage of wearable cameras should be accompanied by laws.
Supporters of the measure say the video footage helps gather the evidence and keeps officers in check against possible abuse of power, but the American Civil Liberties Union is calling for stricter regulations.
Rialto police say they have received inquiries from police in other countries, including Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Fed chief Yellen will meet
reporters on Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is busy trying to bolster the economy, cut unemployment and watch out for inflation.  Wednesday she will face reporters for the first time as Fed chief, a job that makes her one of the world's most powerful bankers and most important women.  She says better communication about economic issues and policies will help the economy.

The Federal Reserve chairwoman has been briefing congressional committees about efforts to speed up the economic recovery and improve the job market without sparking inflation.

She said a Fed program using bond purchases to push down long-term interest rates was not being cut back too slowly or too quickly.

It’s an example of the economics professor putting her teaching and communications skills to work.

“I strongly believe that monetary policy is most effective when the public understands what the Fed is trying to do and how it plans to do it,” she said.

President Barack Obama picked Ms. Yellen to be the first woman to head the Fed, in part because she could relate to ordinary people.

“Too many Americans still can’t find a job and worry how they will pay their bills and provide for their families," she said.

Obama said Ms. Yellen was also tough, effective, and skillful.

“She sounded the alarm early about the housing bubble, about excesses in the financial sector and about the risks of a major recession,” he said.

Besides her experience in dealing with Congress, Ms. Yellen has also been second-in-command at the Fed, head of the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, and a presidential economic advisor.

She is an economics professor, a researcher, and teacher at the University of California at Berkeley and other top schools.

An academic colleague, who has known Ms. Yellen for decades, says she will do well leading the Fed because she listens to the opinions of others, is good at putting people at ease, and even learned from her students who come to Berkeley from all over the world.

In a Skype interview, Berkeley Professor Jim Wilcox said Ms. Yellen could also use humor to defuse a tense meeting, but was probably not the one in the middle of the room telling a joke.

"She does have a good sense of humor.  She is more likely to be on the demand side than the supply side when it comes to jokes, she appreciates a good joke," he said.

Economics is a family affair for Ms. Yellen, who is married to a Nobel-prize winning economist and their son is an economics professor.

furniture shopVoice of America photo
Festus  Kamara works at the Virginia shop

Quality work helps shop
survive in the lean years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Craftsmen at a furniture manufacturing shop in Virginia are still making and selling one-of-a-kind products despite a sluggish economy and competition from discount furniture stores.

Festus Kamara has been a woodworker almost all of his adult life. He currently works with about 40 other craftsmen at Hardwood Artisans in rural Virginia.

“It pretty much makes me feel good knowing that I’m making things that customers get to appreciate when they get to the house,” he said. “And it’s a lifetime thing for them to always come in their room and see it and love it.”

That feeling of pride is at the heart of this American company which has been in business since 1976.

The craftsmen and women can build anything out of any wood but they typically use birch, maple, cherry and walnut primarily from the United States, and mahogany from overseas, all from sustainably grown trees.

They use solid wood to make one-of-a-kind products the old-fashioned way -- by hand, often using traditional tools. The company offers everything from simple plant stands to elaborate, custom-installed wall systems, to complete kitchens.

Mark Gatterdam is one of six partners, all craftsmen, who own and operate Hardwood Artisans. The company makes more than 500 items to sell in its four showrooms in the Washington, D.C. area.

Although the products are expensive, Gatterdan says they still sell.

“How do you survive a recession? When the phone rings, you answer it. And you do exactly what you say you’re going to do,” he said.

That often means creating a custom piece, which Gatterdam said is about half of what they build.

"I’ll visit with a customer, go to the home, pull measurements and design something and work it up from there,” he said.

Gene Rossidivito is a craftsman who now works at Hardwood Artisans in an administrative capacity, literally dealing with the nuts and bolts of the business.

What Rossidivito said he likes best about working at the furniture-making facility is working with the customers directly.

“There is no middle man,” he said, and added that he feels a personal sense of accomplishment “seeing that everybody gets what they’re supposed to get when they’re supposed to get it.”

“We talk with the customers, we find out what they want, if they have questions we give them answers so we really have the opportunity to make sure they’re satisfied.”

Part of that dedicated customer service is adapting to changing demographics.

Gatterdam noted that their customer base is getting younger.

“Our customer used to be in the 45-65-year range,” he said. “But I’m seeing a lot of 30-something year-olds coming in.”

And, with the growing trend of telecommuting, more and more clients are spending money on home offices.

“People have spent a considerable amount of money modifying their homes to make their home office just like their work office,” he said.

But whether it's a desk or a dresser, Gatterdam says quality craftsmanship is what keeps customers coming back.

“Nobody needs a $4,000 dresser. Nobody. But we sell them every week,” he said. “If you buy one from an importer . . . nobody really goes in there and expects something to last a lifetime. You come in and buy a dining room set from us . . . there’s an understanding that this will be the last time you have to do this.”

Gatterdam says he has high hopes for the future of Hardwood Artisans.

“We’re still here because we didn’t compromise. And maybe 90 percent of the furniture businesses are out, because they did. People are always amazed, but I don’t consider what I do any different than say a doctor. A doctor works under a certain code of ethics,” he said. “Well why wouldn’t a furniture maker be the same? It’s no different. I want to go home at night knowing that I did the best job I could.”

Third-hand smoke residue
said to create health hazard

By the American Chemical Society news staff

Leftover cigarette smoke that clings to walls and furniture is a smelly nuisance, but now research suggests that it could pose a far more serious threat, especially to children who put toys and other smoke-affected items into their mouths. Scientists reported that one compound from this third-hand smoke, which forms when second-hand smoke reacts with indoor air, damages DNA and sticks to it in a way that could potentially cause cancer.

Their talk was one of more than 10,000 presentations at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, taking place through Thursday.

Bo Hang, who presented the research, said that although the idea of third-hand smoke made its debut in research circles just a few years ago in 2009, evidence already strongly suggests it could threaten human health.

“The best argument for instituting a ban on smoking indoors is actually third-hand smoke,” said Hang, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Researchers have found that many of the more than 4,000 compounds in second-hand smoke, which wafts through the air as a cigarette is smoked, can linger indoors long after a cigarette is stubbed out. Based on studies led by Hugo Destaillats, also at Berkeley National Laboratory, these substances can go on to react with indoor pollutants such as ozone and nitrous acid, creating brand-new compounds, some of which may be carcinogenic.

One of those compounds goes by the acronym NNA. Hang’s research has shown that NNA, a tobacco-specific nitrosamine, locks onto DNA to form a bulky adduct (a piece of DNA bound to a cancer-causing chemical), as well as other adducts, in lab test tubes. Other large compounds that attach to DNA tend to cause genetic mutations. NNA also breaks the DNA about as often as a related compound called NNK, which is a well-studied byproduct of nicotine and a known potent carcinogen. This kind of DNA damage can lead to uncontrolled cell growth and the formation of cancerous tumors.

Just as it took years to establish the cancer-causing effects of first-hand smoke that is inhaled as a person breathes in directly from the cigarette, making the connection between third-hand smoke or NNA and cancer could take a long time, Hang said. But early research into its nature, exposure and health effects is compelling enough that a research consortium dedicated to investigating third-hand smoke was formed in California in 2010. That consortium helped fund Hang’s work on NNA-induced DNA damage, which he said could eventually be used as biomarkers to identify people who have been exposed to third-hand smoke.

The biggest potential health risk is for babies and toddlers, he noted. As they crawl and put their hands or toys in their mouths, they could touch, swallow or inhale compounds from third-hand smoke. Their small size and early developmental stage make them more vulnerable than adults to the effects of environmental hazards.

Although many public places prohibit smoking, Hang noted that people can still smoke in most rental apartments and private residences and smoking remains a huge public health issue. In 2011, nearly 44 million American adults reported smoking cigarettes, which ranks as the leading cause of preventable death in this country. And 34 million people smoke every day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

So far, the best way to get rid of third-hand smoke is by removing affected items, such as sofas and carpeting, as well as sealing and repainting walls, and sometimes even replacing contaminated wallboard, he explained. Replacing furniture can be pricey, but Hang said vacuuming and washing clothes, curtains and bedding can also help.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail for more information!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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

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

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 53
Real Estate
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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
Sanctions aimed at Caracas
seen as really targeting Cuba

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the United States, Cuban American politicians are some of the most vocal critics of the Venezuelan government for what they say has been its violent repression of ongoing anti-government demonstrations across the country. While these staunch anti-Communist lawmakers have led efforts to punish the Venezuelan leadership with sanctions, some say their goal may be to destabilize Cuba.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida are Cuban Americans who have led efforts in Congress to impose sanctions on Venezuela.

The limited sanctions that include banning visas and freezing the U.S. assets of Venezuela's leaders will send a message, they say, condemning the use of force against anti-government protesters there. 

Their motivation is in part strategic, though, according to William LeoGrande, professor of Latin American politics at American University. The goal, he said, is to break up Venezuela’s close alliance with Cuba and end the flow of cheap oil the Venezuelan government provides to Castro’s Communist regime.

“If the current government of Venezuela were to be overthrown, a conservative government would probably cut that assistance to Cuba and thereby destabilize the situation in Cuba. That, I think, is what conservative Cuban Americans are after,” said LeoGrande.

There is public anger in Venezuela about basic food and supply shortages, rampant inflation and the high crime rate, fueling sometimes violent demonstrations in this oil-rich country.

Venezuela’s leaders blame the United States for inciting and supporting the demonstrations. The U.S. has denied any such involvement.

Cuban American leaders like Rubio blame Cuba for orchestrating Venezuela’s use of force against the protesters.

“… the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela,” said Rubio.

Carl Meacham, the director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said this assertion mischaracterizes the longstanding socialist alliance that began during the presidency of the late Hugo Chávez.

“So I think that even though that relationship is clear and that partnership is beneficial to both countries, I think the Venezuelans are in the driver’s seat of the developments we are seeing,” said Meacham.

While the Cuba connection may be a motivating factor for some, these analysts say broad support for sanctions in the U.S. Congress is driven by a desire to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Venezuela and to avert any potential for instability in the region.

Former Beatle planning
show in San José May 1

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Paul McCartney is set to play live at Estadio Nacional May 1 as the last stop on his anticipated Out There tour. It marks the rock superstar's first trip to Costa Rica.

The former Beatle released his latest album, "New," last October. The 12-track collection received great critical praise and, not surprisingly, reached the third spot on the official UK album chart during its debut week.

After the Beatles broke up in 1975, McCartney carried the fame to a successful and productive solo career as he has released another 24 studio albums. Many of those discs have earned platinum and multi-platinum distinctions.

Tickets for the show at Estadio Nacional, which are made available this week, are ranged in price between 30,000 to 345,000 colons. McCartney's tour also stops in the capital cities of Chile, Peru, and Ecuador before coming to San José.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Personalized service is key at Escazú facility

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Kim Ampie of Hogar Bello Horizonte likened the new medical recovery center to a mixture between resort and wellness center.

"One patient who stayed said that it didn't feel like a hospital at all but that it felt like a house,"
she said.

The wellness center opened its doors last October in Escazú. It invites those recovering from surgeries or undergoing other medical transitions. The center with eight available rooms gives patients physical therapy, psychiatric treatment, and a comfortable and active atmosphere. Hogar Bello Horizonte also has a nursing home on site.

Part of the focus on comfort comes from an appetizing plate of food. Hospital patients usually think of the food as something synonymous with gruel. But Ms. Ampie said the in-house nutritionist provides those recovering with healthy and exciting  meals.
Typical room
 Hogar Bello Horizonte photo
 A typical room features a full electric  
 hospital bed, desk and chair; armoire and
 a plasma television with U.S. programs.

"We had a patient who came from open-heart surgery, so when he came over he was worried that the diet was going to be really bad," she said. "We managed to provide him with a delicious low-sodium diet."

As opposed to a standard hotel that offers complimentary breakfast, patients of Hogar Bello Horizonte receive three included meals each day. But like a fine hotel, the center offers comfortable and homey rooms with plasma TVs and free WiFi. There is also a pool and one-acre garden.

As medical tourism continues to attract international visitors, a place like Hogar Bello Horizonte can ease the transition and relieve the stress involved in getting medical care in a foreign country, workers said.

Ms. Ampie came to the medical center as a concierge worker from the five-star Gaia Boutique Hotel in Manuel Antonio. She said the team at Hogar Bello Horizonte is small but well-equipped to provide the best service.

"We're just starting, but we have a very professional staff with young, passionate people," she said. "More than the experience it's the people that work here and the project itself that we focus on. It's a very personalized service."