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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Friday, March 21, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 57                          Email us
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Rock Constructors

Ministerio de Educación Pública photo

Some 600 students, including these performers, marked the Battle of Santa Rosa Thursday at the national park of the same name. The day was the 158th anniversary of Costa Rica's victory over Nicaraguan invaders.
The students came from La Cruz and Liberia, Guanacaste, schools. Elsewhere, public school children also marked the day.

Policy on immigration to be presented today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government presents today what is being called an integrated policy of immigration.

The project has involved many government agencies and was directed by the new Consejo Nacional de Migración that was formed by the last immigration rewrite that took effect in 2010.

The policy has been reduced to an 82-page document. The goal is to promote the effective management by the state of the realities of immigration, it says.

The topics are very broad, ranging from refugees to trafficking in persons to involvement of the native groups that do not recognize national borders. Like the law itself, there is an emphasis on respecting human rights.

The government considers this important because Vice President Alfio Piva Mesén will be there, and the foreign diplomats accredited to
immigration logo
Costa Rica also have been invited.

Of interest expats are concerned about enrolling legal residents in the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. The document also cites the last national census to report that there are 15,000 persons born in the United States living in Costa Rica.

No major changes are expected from this document, which is described as an overview and a first step to outline the immigration situation.

The goals and objectives are in abstract terms, such as to promote the management of immigration for the benefit of national development.

Price regulator rejects requests for train fare hikes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national price regulating agency has rejected a request for increases in the valley train fares. The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles wanted an additional 70 colons on top of the existing 330-colon fare for the San José – San Antonio de Belén route. It also sought a 130-colon increase in the San José – Cartago route. The fare now is 550 colons.

The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the requests were rejected because the railway agency did not
provide all the information that was required. The Autoridad said that a summary of the complaints and how they were handled for the last half of 2013 were missing.

There also was a lack of financial information and detailed statistics of passengers carried, said the agency.

Rejecting a price increase because of the way information was presented is not unusual. But in this case, the price regulating agency said that the deadline had passed for the rail institute to amend its submission for the first half of the year.

Confusion still reigns over the country's land exit tax
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Conflicting accounts continue to swirl around the ever-evasive subject of the land exit tax. The law's many interpretations have long confounded expats and now seem to be confusing government officials, whose responses remain inconsistent.

Wednesday the finance minister, Edgar Ayales, said the $5 exit tax was in effect and that agents at the borders are enforcing the payment.

However, reports from those close to the borders say the regulation may be there on paper, but not in practice.

Leonardo Brenes of Tica Bus said that the tariff has been suspended since December and border agents do not have a uniform method of collection. “Our buses go everyday to Panama and Nicaragua,” he said. “They haven't been collecting it.”

According to Artículo 33 of Ley 8764, travelers shall pay $5 upon exiting the country.
The only exemptions, as stated in Artículo 232 of the same law, are for government officials traveling for work, those working with or as border control agents, and those who have permission from an appropriate ministry. Ayales said Wednesday that he believes there is pending legislation designed to soon allow those who live by the borders to cross for free.

Resolution DGT-R-05-2014, which was passed on Feb. 24, officially reiterates the law and expands upon the process to receive the payment back if the exit pass is not used.

A representative from Migración y Extranjería, Lisseth Ramirez, said her agency is reporting that tax will be enforced starting April 1. The initial law was supposed to go into effect Dec. 23 but has been temporarily suspended in intervals since its adoption. Immigration agents have the responsibility to make sure the tax is paid, according to the law.

Ministerio de Hacienda representatives said the exit tax was an obligation and that they would investigate any sources of confusion.

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A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz        
Marchers are off to the president's office.

Public employees carry gripes
to door of Casa Presidencial

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hundreds of teachers, bankers, and medical workers marched to the gates of Casa Presidencial Thursday to voice their complaints. The workers' unions gathered at the Fuente de Hispanidad in San Pedro before they walked south down the highway towards Laura Chinchilla's offices in Zapote.

United through grievances with government salaries and diminished work opportunities, the collective unions waved their respective flags and chanted for a desired change.

Tobias Monge Mata, a schoolteacher in Coronado, said he was protesting because of his concern for increasing privatization in government services. He also expressed concern for financial-based coverups and corruptions happening within the private sector.

“The amount of government salaries is a worry, too,” Monge said. “Meanwhile they are cutting off specialty teachers in subjects like music, art, and physical education.”

Another teacher, Marianela Román Solano with the well-represented Asociación Nacional de Educadores said she worried about the nation's educational future. As school staff are given very little support in underfunded classrooms, she said she was joining the strike to represent all her fellow hardworking teachers.

“In this country with all the education issues that exist, we have the right for decent salaries,” she said. “This is why we're here. We demand the government listen to the workers' conditions.”

Rigoberto Mora Rodriguez, who works at Banco de Costa Rica, said the working class has unfairly shouldered blame for the economic missteps of the elite.

“The politicians and rulers tell the workers that we're responsible for the crisis,” he said. “Those responsible for this crisis are the people who have a lot of money and don't want to pay their taxes or workers' salaries.”

Other represented unions included Sindicato de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores de la Educación de Costarricense, Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñaza, and the Unión Nacional de Empleados de la Caja y la Seguridad Social.

Hiring scandal in Naranjo
results in office search

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents and prosecutors searched the municipal offices in Naranjo Thursday in an investigation of nepotism in the hiring of employees.

The Poder Judicial confirmed the action and said that the offices searched included human resources and the one belonging to the mayor. By midday 22 computers had been confiscated.

The Poder Judicial said that the investigation was sparked by the municipal auditors who said in January that individuals may have been appointed to jobs illegally.

The Poder Judicial said that the allegations are the employees of the municipality had not received pay raises for three years because there were extra persons on the payroll illegally. The municipality also has a major budget deficit.

The investigation will seek to determine if the suspect employees are family members or persons who received their positions as political favors, said the Poder Judicial. No arrests have been made.

Chili cook-off raises $35,500
for local foster home for kids

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Atenas Chili Cook-Off generated $33,500 for Hogar de Vida, the organization reported Thursday.

The money will allow Hogar de Vida to make security upgrades including an electric gate and a wall, it said.

The cook-off was Feb. 9. Kay Costello of Kay's Gringo Postres is the festival founder. It was the benefit's seventh year.

Last year the benefit event raised $20,000 Hogar de Vida said. The facility houses 35 abandoned or abused children, according to Tim Stromstad, the Hogar de Vida founder.

Language fair starts today
at Moravia shopping center

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lincoln Plaza, the Moravia shopping center, is presenting a language fair and a promotion of studying abroad today and Saturday. The event is called Globalizate, which translates as "Globalize yourself."

Some 21 exhibitors are expected, the commercial center said. The emphasis will be on a foreign language to contact directly another culture. The event runs both days from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Universities such as EARTH and the Universidad Técnica Nacional will be there as will promoters of foreign languages such as Alianza Francesa, American Field Service and the Centro de Estudios Brasileños, said the commercial center.

Also there are expected to be representatives from the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, the Canadian Embassy and government academic officials.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 57
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Less rain with fewer tropical storms predicted by weather institute
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The rainy season, the time Costa Ricans call winter, is almost here.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said Thursday that the season will arrive in the south Pacific between April 1 and 5. Then the season will move north and into the central Pacific between April 26 and 30. The Central Valley will undergo the seasonal change sometime between May 6 and 10, which the north Pacific will see this happen between May 15 and 20.

Rains are expected to be a little bit above average until June and then there will be less until the whole country experiences below average amounts, said the weather institute.

Over all rainfall is expected to be about 15 to 20 percent below average in the north Pacific, the Central Valley and the southern Caribbean.  In the rest of the country, the weather institute expected totals to be about 10 percent less than average.

This may sound good for those who enjoy afternoons without thunderstorms, but Guanacaste and the Caribbean have been getting less than average rain for at least two years, and the impact on agriculture and the water table has been significant. In addition, much of the country's electricity comes from hydro plants. Without rain, more expensive oil fired generators will have to be used.

As with all weather predictions, these are tentative estimates. The institute also said that the number of  tropical storms and hurricanes would be less than average. From 1995 to last year, the country averaged about 15 such storms a year. This year the prediction is for from 10 to 13 storms, said the institute. Last year also saw below average Atlantic storms.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. In the Pacific the starting date is considered to be May 15.

The predictions from the prestigious Colorado State University are not due until April 10, the hurricane center there said.
A lot depends on the water conditions in the far Pacific. When the water is warmer, the condition is called El Niño.  Cooler conditions are called La Niña. Right now, the conditions are neutral.

The institute predicted a slow progression to the El Niño state as the year progresses.

The Atlantic Ocean, which also has a heavy influence on the weather is about a degree cooler than it was at this time last year. That suggests lower storm activity, the institute said.
When does rainy season start?

North Pacific: May 15 to 20
Central Valley: May 6 to 10
Central Pacific: April 26 to 30
Valle de El General: April 26 to 30
South Pacific: April 1 to 5.

Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional

rainy season
Instituto Meteorológico Nacional/A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Here are the rainfall predictions for the rest of the year.

Although hurricanes almost never pass over Costa Rica, the backlash can be devastating. So the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said Thursday that it is investing about $89 million to prepare for disasters.

Among other efforts, monitoring systems for rivers are being improved. And there are more warehouses being built to hold emergency supplies in parts of the country distant from the Central Valley. The commission usually is charged with providing immediate aid in case of flooding and also in repairing whatever damage takes place.

The city streets are not nearly as mean as some visitors claim
I was sitting on my balcony the other morning concentrating on my breathing  A bird singing somewhat frantically caught my attention, and I sang to myself:  “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta sing.  No, that’s wrong.  Birds gotta breathe.  We all have to breathe.  Some fish maybe not.”  Don’t the people in the world realize we all must breathe good air to survive – then we can fly and sing. 

Obviously there is a time of the year when Ticos ignore that truth.  Willy-nilly they burn, well, I am not sure what they burn, perhaps left over crops or weeds, but the sky over Sabana Park has darkened with smoke, and the smell is so forbidding and invasive I closed all of the windows in my apartment. The only comfort was that I knew it would end soon.

I am amazed so often at how little we humans have learned in our long evolution.  Case in point:  Lately, with spring and summer on its way up north, everywhere: in print, on signs, on the radio, on TV, people and companies involved in anything related to tourism and travel are advertising their offerings or talking about tourism and traveler-related activities, whether it is building more hotels, adding new routes to cruises or touting adventures in exotic countries. 

At the same time, the world governments are considering taking up arms against other countries, talking about cold war tactics, lines not to be crossed without “consequences.”  And although they are not saying much, the so-called military-industrial complex is probably breathing a sigh of relief that they are not obsolete

I wish at least one economist would tally the profitability of tourism to a country and to people and compare it with the profitability of war.  Who profits? Who loses?  What is learned? What is taught? What is built? what is destroyed? Who is hurt?

I ponder this as the civil war in Syria continues and the crisis in Ukraine grows, and Semana Santa, sometimes known as Spring Break, approaches. 

I also ponder this thinking about my day zipping, or crawling around San José in taxis the other day.  My dentist is in Guadalupe, so I get the opportunity to drive around and through San José.  To get there, my taxista went via curvaceous and hilly Barrio Mexico and two outlying barrios, the names of which I was pleased to learn, but have forgotten.

After my appointment, a taxi from Guadalupe to AutoMercado downtown gave me a glimpse of the parks I love so much: the Parque Nacional, Parque España and Parque Morazán. As I stepped out of this taxi, a nice lady on the corner told me my purse was open and stood there making sure I zipped every compartment, which I dutifully did, thanking her for saving me.

The second taxista took me to the post office in the Colón building near the end of Paseo Colón, once the street of mansions.  We chatted a lot (you have time to do that if you take Avenida 1 to Paseo Colón.)  We both thought it a shame that tourists were led away from visiting the city. It’s a very interesting city besides
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

having museums, music and the mercado, there are bustling, happy pedestrians.  This taxista complained about the heat. I loved it and told him he should move to Cartago, knowing he would reply, “I live in Cartago!”

In Costa Rica you can drive 35 kilometers and find a new climate. I would be shivering all the time in Cartago.

I was at the correo (post office) to pick up my new cédula, my old one having expired. This was my second renewal.  The last time was frustrating and time consuming.  This time it was a simple trip to the Banco de Costa Rica on Paseo Colón.  After doing the paperwork, I was given a date to pick up my cédula at the post office, so here I was, on the very date, not expecting to get it on the first try.  But the attractive lady behind the counter leafed through a small stack of envelopes . . . and found one with my name!  My lucky day.  I had to sign a couple of proper papers, so I put my bag of groceries on a handy chair behind the door. I carefully put the envelope with my new cédula in my purse and zipped it up.  I walked to the corner to hail a taxi and a nice looking taxista pulled up.  “Sabana Norte,” I said, quite pleased with myself.

We had almost reached the ICE Building when I realized my bag of groceries was not with me. It was, I hoped, on that chair.  I told the kind taxista my plight, and he kindly turned at the next street and back we went.  He waited for me as I, knowing all hope was lost, went back to the window.

The pretty brunette was busy at her typewriter. I found my bag of groceries and held it up to show her why I had come back, explaining I had forgotten it. 

¡Que milagro!” she cried.  Two customers had come in, she said, and yet my bag was still there!  A miracle, indeed.

I climbed back into the taxi, and the kind taxista congratulated me on my good luck and off we went to my apartment.  I had been through the whole city and arrived safely at home without having to dodge a crossfire. I hadn’t stepped on a mine. I had met some kind people. I had a tour of the city. My taxi arrived safely, and I had some food, which no one took away from me.  The air was clear, and the sun was shining.

The only invasion San José has to prepare for is the festival of yoga teachers, this weekend, among them some Kundalini yogis to teach controlled breathing.  Just what that little bird and I need.
In Costa Rica they know what profits a country.  

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 57
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Study in Sri Lanka blames Monsanto's weed killer for kidney ills
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Monsanto, the powerful agriculture company familiar with controversial headlines, is involved in another international health dispute. A study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has claimed that a spike in kidney disease is directly related to widespread use of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide.

The report's lead author, Channa Jayasumana, took her research from the Sri Lankan paddy farms and their farmers who have been stricken with abnormally high rates of chronic kidney disease in recent years. Her team hypothesizes that this dangerous trend correlates back to glyphosate, the ingredient in the company's weed-killer.

“Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them have concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy,” the study says.

A member of the company's public affairs department responded to these claims Thursday with a prepared statement.

“We are aware of the Jayasumana paper,” it reads. “While speculative theories have a place in science, they need to be investigated and proven to be of practical use. No new data are provided to support this theory, and there are many alternative hypotheses .”

When research was made, glyphosate was the most common herbicide used in

 Sri Lanka. It is the principal ingredient in Monsanto's popular weed killing product Round-Up.

The Jayasumana study mentions that there has been an epidemic of acute tubular necrosis found among workers along the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In El Salvador, where glyphosate is the most frequently used pesticide, chronic kidney disease has become the leading culprit of hospitalized deaths, according to the report.

“There are no epidemiologic studies suggesting that exposures to glyphosate-based products are associated with renal disorders either in Sri Lanka or elsewhere,” read Monsonto's rebuttal. “Glyphosate does not cause renal injury in long term animal studies.”

Sara Miller, the Monsanto representative, cited a study from the CKDu National Research Team in Sri Lanka that concludes there are a variety of other factors that contribute to the farmers' growing rate of kidney disease.
Ms. Jayasumana and her colleagues hinted that the lack of extensive research and literature on the subject could stem from corporate interference.

“Huge advertising campaigns by glyphosate as the best ever herbicide discovered by mankind may have been the reasons for this delay,” the study says.

Monsanto also produces genetically modified crops that are not affected by the weed killer.

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George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 57
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Some worry that plane tales
will instruct young terrorists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For nearly two weeks, every form of media and many conversations around the world have discussed possible scenarios in the Malaysia plane disappearance.  But some experts think news reports and discussions are unconsciously releasing previously unknown information to potential terrorists. 

Theory after theory has surfaced in the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370.  The information discussed has been compared to a basic aviation class with details on radar, satellites, passport security, 777 capabilities and international communications.

Terrorists have also been taking notes.  That’s according to John Goglia, who spent 40 years in aviation, many of those with the National Transportation Safety Board.  

“That’s been my fear from the very beginning that there’s been a lot of information out that they may or may not have known.  But they are getting very sophisticated, very educated - the terrorists. They know the system," said Goglia.

Organized terror groups have proven they know the system.  They can locate the transponders, find gaps in radar coverage and exploit lax security.   Some experts worry more about amateur terrorists.

Jonah Blank is a counterterrorism expert with the Rand Corp.

"These are things that professional groups like al-Qaida already know.  These are things that, however, not every 23-year-old malcontent knows.  And now, many more do," said Blank.

But Blank says a lot of that information is already available on the Internet or in a flight manual.  Other experts don’t give terrorists that much credit. 

Max Abrahms, a professor of terrorism at Northeastern University, spoke on Skype.

“If you look at data sets on terrorist tactical decisions, the tactics that they use, you’ll see that they’re really not actually that innovative. They tend to use the same very basic tactics over and over again, the same ones they’ve used for decades," said Abrahms.

Abrahms says al-Qaida isn’t as great a threat anymore since it set aside widescale attacks and is now focusing on individual acts of local terrorism.

While the Malaysia search could have revealed some previously unknown information to terrorist groups, it also exposed many security breaches, giving governments a chance to improve procedures and avoid these oversights in the future.

U.S. embarks on program
to help female abuse victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. State Department has unveiled a new initiative to respond quickly to gender-based violence. It will address the urgent needs of survivors of severe gender-based violence, as well as individuals under credible threat of imminent attack.
“Working with our local partners, we’ll be able to provide funding, medical expenses, emergency shelter, psycho-socio support and legal assistance to survivors,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary William Burns as he introduced the program Thursday.
A consortium of aid groups, including the Avon Foundation, will run the program. Vital Voices is the international organization that is leading the effort.
Cindy Dyer, Vital Voices’ vice president, said violence against women occurs in every country and the only way to stop it is to hold perpetrators accountable. She said the new program will help do that.
“The initial seed money is over $1 million, and the support of the Avon Foundation for women is allowing us to provide the second component of this initiative, which is to provide multi-disciplinary training for criminal justice professionals and the direct service providers that are on the ground in countries,” said Ms. Dyer.
South Africa, India, Nepal and Mexico are the first countries to take part in the program. Nishi Kant, who runs Shakti Vahini, an organization in India fighting violence against women, hopes more victims will seek help.
“It’s very difficult in a country like India for a woman to come out and speak about such kinds of issues like this has happened… As a service provider, we are trying to reach out to as much to community women group as possible,” said Ms. Kant.
Singer Fergie, a member of the Black Eyed Peas and the Avon Foundation for Women Global ambassador, said she is shocked by the statistics: one in three women in the world suffers from gender-based violence.
“There are laws to protect women and punish their abusers in many countries, but they aren’t applied effectively and consistently, leaving women unprotected,” said Fergie.
This new initiative, she said, will help countries better enforce their laws and stop the violence.

Aggressively anti-gay pastor
reported to have died at 84

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fred Phelps has died. He was the founding pastor of a small American church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals.

A spokesman for the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, Thursday said the 84-year-old Phelps died of natural causes late Wednesday. He did not provide the cause of death.

Phelps founded the church in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.

Under Phelps' leadership, Westboro members have preached that every calamity to befall the United States, from natural disasters to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is God's punishment for the country's acceptance of homosexuality.

Phelps and his followers traveled the country, protesting at the funerals for victims of AIDS and soldiers slain in Iraq and Afghanistan, picketing outside music concerts and even the Academy Awards.

Typically, a dozen or so church members, including young children, brandish signs that say "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

The church won a major legal victory in 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Westboro's right to picket military funerals on free speech grounds. The court also ruled that the church could not be sued for inflicting pain on grieving families.

Phelps' final weeks were shrouded in mystery. A long-estranged son, Nate Phelps, said earlier this month that his father had been voted out of the congregation in 2013 "after some sort of falling out.'' But the church refused to discuss the matter.

Conspiracy theories alive
in U.S. public, survey shows

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Conspiracy theories abound in many places around the world, including the United States. And while many deal with space aliens or assassination plots, health issues are also the focus of concern.

After surveying more than 1,300 adult Americans, scientists at the University of Chicago report that 49 percent of them believe in at least one of the six best known medical conspiracy theories.

Those include that childhood vaccines cause autism, that authorities intentionally hide the benefits of natural cures and that the government secretly infected a large number of African Americans with the virus that causes AIDS.

Writing in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers said 69 percent of those polled had heard about a link between vaccination and autism. 20 percent believed it and only 44 percent actively disagreed.

Are U.S. authorities intentionally hiding the benefits of natural remedies? Thirty-seven percent of the respondents said yes, while less than a third said they do not believe that at all.

The data also showed that those who believe in medical conspiracies are more likely to avoid conventional medicines in favor of alternative approaches to health care.

Overall, the biggest suspects in the conspiracy theories are the government and drug companies.

Lead scientist J. Eric Oliver, of the University of Chicago, said the belief in conspiracies may stem from the fact that they were much easier to understand than complex medical information. Oliver said doctors and public health officials should find better ways to inform the public about health and science.

big bird
Carnegie Museum of Natural History photo
Full scale model of an oviraptorosaur

Big Bird's early relative
roamed North America

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Paleontologists have identified the remains of a previously unknown, bird-like species of dinosaur that roamed North America nearly 70 million years ago.  The giant feathered creature belongs to a group of plant- and meat-eaters found in Central and East Asia. 

It looked like a cross between an enormous chicken and a giant lizard, producing what one paleontologist described as a stretched out chicken.  The dinosaur, now called Anzu wyliei, had a beak but no teeth, a long neck, a bony crest on the top of its head and razor-sharp claws.
"So you basically had this great big, bird-like creature with a long tail, long arms ending in huge claws, feathers over all of its body," said Hans-Dieter Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.
"Even though we have not gotten the actual feather fossils from Anzu, we have closely related animals from China which are actually preserved with beautiful feather impressions," he said.

The new species was identified from three sets of fossils unearthed from the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation in North and South Dakota, giving it the nickname, The Chicken from Hell.  It stood more than three-and-a-half meters tall and weighed between 200 and 300 kilograms.
An almost complete skeleton resides at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Smithsonian paleontologists discovered one of the fossils and helped describe the findings, which are reported in the journal PLOS One.
Sues says the giant, feathered species belongs to a family of omnivorous dinosaurs called Oviraptorosauria. 
He says Anzu, named for a mythological winged creature from Mesopotamia, ate both plants and animals, preferring to live in swampy areas.
One of the very last dinosaurs to inhabit the United States, Sues says Anzu existed alongside the horned triceratops and ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex.  But with its long, powerful legs and clawed wing-tips, this dinosaur was not easy prey.
"Anyone who has tried to corner an ostrich today has lived to regret this because these animals, when they are cornered, they will certainly defend themselves very effectively; particularly this animal with its huge hand claws would certainly shredded an attacker," he said.
The dinosaur family to which A. wyliei and its Asian cousins belong was extremely diverse, including species as small as turkeys and as large as Anzu.
For almost a hundred years, scientists have suspected the existence of giant oviraptosaurs in North America.  The latest fossil evidence confirms that.  Sues says there may be bones in other collections that will help paleontologists paint a more detailed picture of Anzu.

Messed up sleep schedule
reported to kill brain cells

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Those who sleep longer on weekends to try to make up for the time they didn't get enough sleep during the week may actually be losing some brain cells.

According to University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Sigrid Veasey, the common idea that the sleep debt can be replenished by getting extra sleep days later may be a myth.

After putting a bunch of laboratory mice on a schedule similar to  people doing shift work experience, Veasey and her team discovered that the mice brains lost up to 25 percent of the neurons associated with alertness and cognitive functioning.

Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience, she explains that when mice lose a little sleep, their brains respond by creating more of a protein called sirtuin type 3, which energizes and protects the neurons. But when the loss of sleep became habitual, release of the protein stopped and depletion of neurons accelerated.

Veasey and her group now plan to study the brains of deceased shift workers to see whether the same damage can be detected in humans.

Prominent scientists seek
more flexibility in funding

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A group of 30 prominent British and American scientists says the current process for approving scientific studies is counterproductive and needs to be changed.

In an open letter to London’s The Guardian newspaper, the scientists point out that almost all of the 500 major discoveries of the 20th century were initiated before 1970, and that many of those discoveries challenged the accepted science of the time and would probably not be funded today.

They say that since then, researchers have had to convince their academic peers the work would have enough benefits to justify the investment of time and money, restricting opportunities for open-ended research.

The scientists note that before the '70's, the available funds were more modest, but researchers were free to use the money however they saw fit. Nowadays, their proposals must include convincing evidence that the results would be beneficial for national policies.

The 30 signatories are calling for a new effort to support independent-thinking researchers like the ones who made major discoveries in electronics, nuclear power, biotechnology and medicine.

Japanese fund is targeting
world's neglected diseases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Japanese global health fund has earmarked $12 million to develop tools to fight some of the world’s most neglected diseases. An estimated one billion of the world’s poorest people are afflicted with diseases like schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and parasitic roundworms, and another three billion are at risk of becoming infected.  Many of the diseases, while not fatal, can cause malnutrition, delay children’s growth and impair their cognitive development.

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, based in Tokyo, announced that $3.8 million will go Switzerland’s Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and Eisai of Japan for the development of a combination therapy for Chagas disease. The infection, transmitted by insects known as kissing bugs because they tend to bite the face, kills more people in Latin America than any parasitic illness. 

The fund is granting $1.8 million for the development of a pediatric formulation of a drug used to treat schistosomiasis, a disease that’s endemic in 78 countries and affects more than 230 million people, including 100 million children.

And more than $1 million will be devoted to researchers investigating new drug compounds against the bacteria which play a role in the transmission of parasitic diseases including elephantiasis and river blindness (onchocerciasis).  Together, these illnesses afflict more than 150 million people.

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund of Japan also announced additional funding of more than $5 million for work on a novel tuberculosis vaccine.  The experimental vaccine is designed to enhance the immunity of mucosal tissue inside the nose to keep TB from infecting the lungs.

Voice of America photo
Anne Akiko Meyers plays her $16 million-plus violin.

Nearly perfect violin gives
its own unique sounds

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When many persons think of precious objects, the largest gems or the most famous paintings may come to mind.  But certain rare violins inspire the same awe and command the same astronomical prices as these other treasures.

The Vieuxtemps violin played by American virtuoso Anne Akiko Meyers is worth well over $16 million.  It was made in Italy in 1741 by Guarneri del Gesu and represents the pinnacle of violinmaking’s Golden Age.

Ms. Meyers says it is unlike any instrument she’s ever played.

“The G string is so dark and rich. It really can sound like a cello…. the E string sounds like you are in a really sky high cathedral listening to music pouring out," she said.

The violin is dubbed The Vieuxtemps after Henri Vieuxtemps, the great 19th century violinist who once owned and cherished it.  It is only one of the ultra-rare antique instruments that pass through Paolo Alberghini’s showroom in Manhattan.

As he opens a safe which stores anywhere from $5 million to $50 million worth of instruments “depending on what we have for sale at the moment,” he explains that the Vieuxtemps, which was a nearly perfect violin when it was made, has been nearly perfectly preserved.

In Alberghini’s view, those who possess this treasure are more like stewards than owners.

“And to be able to be part of the life of this instrument in a meaningful way, and to share it with the world or to preserve it so that somebody else can share it in the future is something that attracts many wealthy collectors around the world,” he said.

Science has come to the aid of the luthier, or violinmaker’s craft. Ultraviolet lamps and endoscopes can detect cracks and other flaws invisible to the naked eye.

But in a nearby workshop, highly-skilled craftspeople repair, restore and even create these four-stringed wonders all by hand.
Master Restorer Julie Reed-Yaboah maintains the Vieuxtemps. She says even the so-called imperfections in del Gesu’s masterworks add something wonderful to their sound.

“As he got older, his F-hole styling became much different, longer and more eccentric as well as his heads became much more eccentric. They are a very distinctive style of that period," she said.

Many of the world’s rarest cellos and violins lie silently in museums and private collections.  But some, like the Vieuxtemps, continue to provide musical pleasure.

Ms. Meyers, for example, regularly thrills audiences with it at Carnegie Hall and other venues.  She has owned two Stradivari violins, which approach the Vieuxtemps in quality. Still, she calls this particular violin her soulmate.

She remembers when an anonymous donor offered it to her for her lifetime use.

“I cried like a baby. As an artist, you are dreaming of that moment your whole life. I couldn’t believe it," she said.

Ms. Meyers likes to quote Vieuxtemps, who famously was supposed to have said that “anyone can actually play the notes, but you have to let it sing."

“And now I am playing on the Vieuxtemps and thinking like a singer that needs to sing,” Ms. Meyers said.

Titanium alloy golf clubs
suspected in big field fires

By the University of California at Irvine news service

Titanium alloy golf clubs can cause dangerous wildfires, according to scientists. When a club coated with the lightweight metal is swung and strikes a rock, it creates sparks that can heat to more than 3,000 degrees F for long enough to ignite dry foliage, according to findings published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Fire and Materials.

Orange County, California, fire investigators asked the University of  California at Irvine to determine whether such clubs could have caused blazes at Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine and Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo a few years ago.

“One fire almost reached homes before they stopped it. This unintended hazard could potentially lead to someone’s death,” said a chemical engineering & materials science professor, James Earthman, lead author on the paper. “A very real danger exists, particularly in the Southwest, as long as certain golf clubs remain in use.”

He suspected that the titanium heads on some clubs designed for use in the rough, the natural areas off irrigated fairways, could be to blame for the fires. Most golf clubs have stainless steel heads. However, a significant number being manufactured or in circulation have a titanium alloy component in the head. Such alloys are 40 percent lighter, which can make the club easier to swing, including when chipping errant balls out of tough spots. In Southern California, those spots are often in flammable scrub brush.

The researchers painstakingly re-created in the lab course conditions on the days of the fires. Using high-speed video cameras and powerful scanning electron microscope analysis, they found that when titanium clubs were abraded by striking or grazing hard surfaces, intensely hot sparks flew out of them. In contrast, when standard stainless steel clubs were used, there was no reaction.

“Rocks are often embedded in the ground in these rough areas of dry foliage,” Earthman noted. “When the club strikes a ball, nearby rocks can tear particles of titanium from the sole of the head. Bits of the particle surfaces will react violently with oxygen or nitrogen in the air, and a tremendous amount of heat is produced. The foliage ignites in flames.”

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
Comfortable in 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 at 8309-2000 for details or email

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 additional 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 bedrooms, 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, Friday, March 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 57
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
Casa Presidencial photo
President Laura Chinchilla holds aloft the decree after signing it.

President signs a decree
to help Caribbean coast

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Laura Chinchilla went to the Caribbean coast Thursday to sign a decree that established the limits of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo and excludes the urban areas adjacent to the park.

Casa Presidencial claimed that the decree would benefit 400,000 persons on the Caribbean coast.

The decree basically spares residents of having their homes demolished because they are inside the park boundaries. The president said she hoped the decree would generate economic development in the area.

The president had signed a freeze on demolition in the area in anticipation of laws to protect the residents. That was in September 2012.

Administration officials said that the problem was when the built-up areas were included in the park in the first place.

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 :

Tech pioneer will head business chamber

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ronald Jiménez Lara, who is considered a pioneer in the Costa Rican technology sector, has been named president of the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado, the organization that represents business interests.

Jiménez is president of  Codisa Software Corp. and is a businessman with 25 years of experience. He has been president of the Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación. He also has been president of the Asociación Costarricense de Grandes Consumidores de Electricidad.

His election to the three-year term is considered a recognition of the importance of digital technology to the economy of Costa Rica.