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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 61                         Email us
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New book describes local miracle attributed to pope
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pope John Paul II's canonization in Rome has great local significance for Costa Ricans. On April 27 the former pope, who died in 2005, will be put into sainthood by Pope Francis at a Mass in St. Peter's Square.

In anticipation of the ceremony, a book released this week details the sudden recovery of Floribeth Mora Días from what doctors told her was an irreversible condition. "El Milagro Costarricense de Juan Pablo II" by Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki recounts the purported medical miracle that cured Ms. Mora of a brain aneurysm and has now been recognized by the Vatican.

The cure is one of two miracles that are required for someone to be declared a saint.

When Ms. Mora was diagnosed with the aneurysm, doctors told her an operation was too dangerous for risk of paralyzing her or putting her into a long coma. She was given a prescription and told to return home.

Upon seeing a picture of the late pope in 2011, she prayed to him to relieve her constant pain. In a matter of days, Ms. Mora claimed she felt like the aneurysm was gone. When she went to the doctor at Hospital Calderón Guardia her seemingly outlandish suspicion was proven true by magnetic resonance results that showed the enlarged portion of a vessel in her brain had returned to normal size for the first time in years.

The book, which further describes Ms. Mora's story, is currently available in Librería Internacional for 9,900 colons. She is expected to make the journey to Italy with her family for the Mass.

The former pope's introduction into sainthood is also drawing many other Costa Ricans to the Vatican City. A number of Costa Rican travel agencies are offering big travel packages to take a trip through Rome and other select European destinations, like John Paul II's home country of Poland.

Randall Mora, who is heading the canonization package for Terra Nova travel agency, said that 36 people are traveling through his group. The 21-day trip includes stops in Madrid, Florence, Italy, and Krakow, Poland, on top of four days in Rome. The inclusive vacation costs travelers $7,650.

Another local travel agency, Dandeleon, is also  doing an 18-day travel package with a large group that costs $4,662 per person.
Pope John Paul
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
This is the statue of Pope John Paul II outside the Catedral Metropolitana. It is a work by Costa Rican Jorge Jiménez Deredia.

Pope John XXIII, who served as pope from 1958 to 1968, will also be canonized in the same procession.

John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla before he became the first Polish pope, visited Costa Rica in 1983. A bridge on a major highway bears his name. A greater than life-sized marble statue of the pope stands outside the Catedral Metropolitana.

Coincidentally the miracle happened at the time that the beatification of John Paul was taking place. That is the initial step to sainthood.

John Paul was put on a fast track to sainthood when the Vatican quickly removed the five-year waiting period shortly after his death. One miracle is required for beatification according to Vatican rules.

The miracles are studied in detail by a Vatican department set up just for that purpose.

Sala IV sets strict rule for secret legislative sessions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV in a seven-part ruling said that a general legislative rule that allows lawmakers to meet in secret is unconstitutional.

The case came to the constitutional court in an action by the Colegio de Periodistas, the journalism professional organization. Lawmakers met in secret to discuss and eventually lift legislative immunity from Jorge Angulo, a lawmaker facing criminal charges.

Although the constitutional court threw out a general rule for secret session, it did say that lawmakers, with a two-thirds vote, could hold secret session for specific and concrete matters.

The court said that the legislature should be transparent with great intensity. The court cited an article in the Costa Rican Constitution that requires open sessions unless a two-thirds vote is taken. The Sala IV, of course, made the judicial decision in secret.

The legislative vote on Angulo turns out to be moot. Due to his illness and other delays, the man and 11 others accused in the case will not take place until he leaves office April 30. At that time he would have lost his legislative immunity anyway.

The allegations are influence peddling, extortion and bribery. Angulo is a lawmaker for the Partio Liberación Nacional, and the allegations stem form activities in the south Pacific coast.

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Presdient with gun
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo           
President Laura Chinchilla displays a rifle she cut up at
an event Wednesday where security workers destroyed
21,318 confiscated weapons and 800,000 rounds of

Emergency agencies prepare
for major coastal tsunami

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Costa Rica joined neighboring Caribbean countries in carrying out a multinational tsunami simulation. The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias led the emergency test situation Wednesday in the port city of Limón.

Led in part by the U.N. International Oceanographic Commission, the emergency response simulation marked the third event in the large-scale tsunami alert exercise, Caribe Wave 2014. The scenario was based on a tsunami that hit the coast of Portugal in 1755 stemming from an earthquake that reached 8.5 on the Richter scale. Tens of thousands were killed by the natural disaster.

Local government groups also participated in the exercise that tested the effectiveness of the nation's communication channels and emergency response capabilities. The Cruz Roja, fire departments, police units, and the national guard all took part in the tsunami risk assessment session held at the Limón fire station.

Only 23 tsunamis of the estimated 100 that have hit the Americas have made contact with nearby shorelines, according to historical records. They are mainly due to underwater volcanoes and shifting sheer ridges in the deep sea.

Though major tsunamis have not recently hit the coasts of any Caribbean countries, Nicaragua was affected 20 years ago by a tsunami on its Pacific side that killed more than 100 people.

The deadliest tsunami in human history occurred 10 years ago in the Indian Ocean, killing more than 230,000 people in numerous countries. It was triggered by an earthquake that exceeded a magnitude of 9.1.

Trio arrested on allegations
of nine property fraud cases

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents said that they detained three men, including two lawyers, Wednesday in a property fraud case. There are nine victims, agents said. Arrests were made in San José and one in Cartago.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the allegation is that the men engaged in creating legal documents that stripped individuals of their possessions and allowed the properties to be transferred to third parties who either mortgaged them or sold them.

The investigation began in September. In a twist to the usual fraud by notaries and lawyers, agents said that when the victims caught on that they had lost legal possession of their properties, they were presented with fake documents that showed the situation had been cleared up.

Searches took place in 12 locations Wednesday, including  La Uruca, Desamparados, Zapote, San José Centro, Escazú, Tibas and Cartago. Other arrests are anticipated.

Parties will debate issues
in advance of runoff vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Johnny Araya Monge, the candidate of Partido Liberación Nacional, may have stalled his presidential campaign, but the party has not.

Both Liberación and Partido Acción Ciudadana said that they would meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. in a debate on economic issues and Tuesday at the same time for a debate on social issue.  Bernal Jiménez Monge, president of Liberación confirmed the debates.

Luis Guillermo Solís of Acción Ciudadana is generally seen as the front runner for the April 6 runoff vote, mainly because of Araya's actions.

He has been campaigning vigorously. The presidential candidates are not expected to be involved in the two evenings of debates.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo         
Workers have dug into a bank along the Interamericana
 highway to create another lane at a point where the road
 collapsed into a ravine Saturday. The highway was
 expected to be back to two lanes early today.

Detention sought for pair
on trafficking allegation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said prosecutors are seeking preventative detention for two persons facing allegations of trafficking migrants.

There are a woman with the last name of Rubí and a man with the last name of García, said the Poder Judicial. One was detained in an Avenida 10 apartment in San José, and the other was detained in La Pitahaya in Cartago.

The Poder Judicial said that the allegations are that the pair collected between $8,000 and $10,000 from each illegal migrant to hide them here and to provide them with false papers so they could continue their trip into the United States or Canada. The immigrants are from the Dominican Republic, the Poder Judicial said.

School guard held in abuse case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 52-year-old man who was a school guard has been detained on two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The man was detained Tuesday at the Heredia school, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.
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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 61
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There's something fishy about the traditonal Lenten meals here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is not a good time to be a fish. Expats can see them in cans stacked 10 high in the nation's supermarkets.

There is no law that says Catholics have to eat tuna or sardines during the religious period before Easter, Lent. But the culture says they do.

Consequently merchandisers of canned fish products consider this the high season. The demand is so good that the economics ministry has found in past years that store operators jack up the prices.

Even some city buses are promoting fish in the form of a tuna topping to pasta depicted on the back panel.

Alimentos por Salud S.A. in Robledal de Puntarenas cans a lot of fish products under the Sardimar label. Sardines in particular come in many forms: in tomato sauce, in spicy tomato sauce, in vegetable oil and in olive oil. The little 150-gram Sardimar cans show their content with different colors.

All is not well with the Pacific sardines. They have shown a dramatic decline, in part because of colder waters and perhaps due to overfishing.  So a lot of the sardines on sale in Costa Rica come from Morocco. Prices range from about 800 colons for the local Sardimar can up to 1,300 colons or about $3.85 for an imported flat can that has a drained weight of 125 grams with a fish content of a little over three ounces.

In most parts of the world, Catholics over 14 and members of some other Christian religions practice fasting and abstinence from meat during some of the 44 days before Easter, which is commemorated as Resurrection Sunday.

Fish is the logical choice in place of meat, but sardines seem to have become synonymous with Lent. In Spain there are strange ceremonies with uncertain origins, such as the burial of the sardine at the beginning of Lent or the burning of the sardine. Even those who practice these  rituals are uncertain of the origins. But they make great tourist attractions.
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Some of the local brands of sardines

Good Catholics also are supposed to eat fewer meals at certain times during Lent as an expression of penance and reflection on sin. So the high-protein fish, hot or cold, is a logical choice.

The Internet is full of recipes for Lent and Holy Week, Semana Santa.

Costa Ricans, of course, are not restricted to canned fish. The supermarkets are full of the fresh variety, and a trip to San Jose's Mercado Central is an education in the local species from shark to red snapper to octopus and squid.

Yet fresh fish is a little pricey. And the little cans are convenient.

To ask why Costa Ricans are so involved with sardines and tuna at this time of year really is a cultural question, like why turkey for Americans at Thanksgiving?  The dish probably is what Grandma used to make.

World Bank ranks country in 87th place of 160 in trade logistics
By the World Bank news staff
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country is in 87th place in an index of trade logistics, according to the World Bank, which created the index.

The gap between the countries that perform best and worst in trade logistics is still quite large, despite a slow convergence since 2007, according to the World Bank Group report. This gap persists because of the complexity of logistics-related reforms and investment in developing countries, and despite the almost universal recognition that poor supply-chain efficiency is the main barrier to trade integration in the modern world.

The report, Connecting to Compete 2014: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy, ranks 160 countries on a number of dimensions of trade -- including customs performance, infrastructure quality, and timeliness of shipments -- that have increasingly been recognized as important to development. The data comes from a survey of more than 1,000  logistics professionals. The World Bank Group’s
International Trade Unit has produced the Logistics Performance Index about every two years since 2007.

In the 2014 report, Germany showed the world’s best overall logistics performance. Somalia had the lowest score. As with previous editions, the 2014 report finds that high-income countries dominate the world’s top-ten performers. Among low-income countries, Malawi, Kenya, and Rwanda showed the highest performance. In general, the trend across past reports has been that countries are improving and low-performing countries are improving their overall scores faster than high-performing countries.

The 2014 report finds that low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries will need to take different strategies to improve their standings in logistics performance. In low-income countries, the biggest gains typically come from improvements to infrastructure and basic border management. This might mean reforming a customs agency, but, increasingly, it means improving efficiency in other agencies present at the border, including those responsible for sanitary and phyto-sanitary controls. Often, multiple approaches are required.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 61
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Study shows pool bathroom break can generate dangerous chemicals
By the American Chemical Society news staff

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach “no peeing in the pool,” despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems. Their study appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology of the American Chemical Society.

Jing Li, Ernest Blatchley, III, and colleagues note that adding chlorine to pool water is the most common way to kill disease-causing microbes and prevent swimmers from getting sick. But as people swim, splash, play — and pee — in the pool, chlorine mixes with sweat and urine and makes other substances. Two of these compounds, including trichloramine  and cyanogen chloride, are ubiquitous in swimming pools. The first one is associated with lung problems, and the second one can also affect the lungs, as well as the heart and central nervous system. But scientists have not yet identified all of the specific ingredients in sweat and urine that could cause these potentially harmful compounds to form. So Li’s team looked at how chlorine interacts with uric acid, a component of sweat and urine.

They mixed uric acid and chlorine, and within an hour, both trichloramine and cyanogen chloride formed. Though some uric
pool party
A.M. Costa Rica archives
No one wants toxic substances in the pool.

acid comes from sweat, the scientists calculated that more than 90 percent of the compound in pools comes from urine. They conclude that swimmers can improve pool conditions by simply urinating where they’re supposed to — in the bathrooms.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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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.
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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

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

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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
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 61
Real Estate
About us


Bad weather again delays
search for missing aircraft

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bad weather has again delayed the search for the wreckage of the missing Malaysia jetliner, a day after fresh satellite images revealed a possible debris field.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said today that poor conditions forced all search planes and ships to leave the remote region of the southern Indian Ocean.

Eleven airplanes and five ships had scrambled to the area, 2,500 kilometers off the southwest coast of Australia, in an effort to reach the possible debris before the bad weather hit.

It is the second time this week that poor conditions have delayed the search, which is taking place in one of the most isolated and treacherous bodies of water on Earth.

The planes are trying to reach the location where 122 possible objects were seen in satellite photos taken Sunday. Some of the objects appeared to be shiny and ranged in size from one to 23 meters.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stressed Wednesday the objects may not be parts of the missing aircraft, but said the development represents another new lead in the investigation.

The possible debris was spotted not far from where other potential objects related to the plane were also seen in Chinese and Australian satellite photographs.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is helping coordinate the search, said Wednesday its planes spotted three objects, including a likely rope and a blue object, in the area.

Malaysian officials said satellite data shows the aircraft almost certainly crashed into the sea, far from any land.

The plane, which was carrying 239 people, went missing without a distress call on March 8, hours after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

Once wreckage is found, the search effort will then focus on finding the plane's flight data recorder, or black box, which should provide clues about what went wrong.

Many persons still missing
at slide location near Seattle

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The death toll from a large landslide in the western U.S. state of Washington has reached 24, and rescue workers are continuing their search for about 90 people who are still missing. The prospects of finding more survivors are slim.
Relatives of the missing have come from all over the country to help in the search. The state of Washington has sent members of the national guard to help, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has dispatched rescue experts to the slide area near the town of Oso, about 90 kilometers northeast of Seattle.
Local police and fire departments have used sniffer dogs, helicopters and technical equipment such as sonar to reinforce search and rescue efforts. Travis Hots, a local fire chief, said on Wednesday there were about 200 people searching.
"We had a very challenging day today with the rain and whole the complicated things. We continue our search and recovery operation on the entire slide area. Unfortunately we didn't find signs of life, we didn't locate anybody alive, and that is a very disappointing part," said Hots.
"It's hard to see your house in pieces this big, and that's what it is," said Jerry Farnes, a survivor.
The landslide hit without warning Saturday, when a hillside near Oso collapsed after several weeks of heavy rains. In some places of the soupy terrain, the mud is 4.5 meters deep. The landslide is considered one of the worst ever in the United States.

House Democrats attempt
end run on immigration vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a petition to try to force a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate last year, legislation that remains stalled in the Republican-controlled House. Republican House leaders, who hold the majority, say they prefer a step-by-step approach to a massive immigration reform bill, leading even Democrats to conclude their maneuver today has little chance of success.

Braving strong winds and snow showers, some Democratic lawmakers and immigrants’ rights activists gathered Wednesday on the East Front steps of the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Javier Becerra, a Democrat, said nothing could stop them from asking Republican House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on immigration reform.

“Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, right?” said Becerra.

Later, Democrats staged a procedural maneuver on the floor of the House of Representatives to try to force a vote on the immigration package. The Republican leadership has said it is not planning a vote, in part, because they say they don't trust President Barack Obama to enforce immigration laws.

One Democratic member after another asked the Republican who held the floor to hold a vote on immigration. Here is one exchange between Rep. Janice Schakowksi and Rep. Doug Collins:

“I ask unanimous consent to bring up HR 15 to demand a vote on the bipartisan immigration reform bill that unites our families,” said Rep. Schakowski. "The chair understands that the gentlemen from Utah has not yielded for that purpose, and therefore unanimous consent requests cannot be entertained," said Collins.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, conceded that the so-called discharge petition to force a vote is highly unlikely to get the 218 required signatures.

“You know and it works every once in a while, there is no question that it is a tough thing to do, it is not an easy process. But you know, we are hoping on this, where there is so much public support, and where we know by the numbers that if you put a bill on the floor today, there are enough folks who support it that it would pass,” said Castro.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, is one of a bipartisan group that has been working to craft some form of immigration compromise, which would include Republican demands for stricter border controls and Democratic demands that an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who are already living in the United States gain legal status. Diaz-Balart said the action on the House floor was political theater.

“The reality is this, that there is a number of us who have been working and trying to get immigration reform. If we are going to get it done, and I think we will, it has to be done in a bipartisan way,” said Diaz-Balart.

In a statement, the president said he “applauds the efforts of Democrats in the House to give immigration reform the yes-or-no vote it deserves.” The president has come under increasing pressure from immigrant families to provide relief to undocumented people who fear deportation. Analysts say any substantial legislative action on immigration reform is unlikely ahead of midterm congressional elections this November.


Cheese maker fights to keep
his family farm in business

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American consumers have begun to take a closer look at the food they eat, and are hungry for more knowledge about food.  They want to know where their food comes from, what’s in it, and what nutritional benefit it offers.  It's a trend away from mass-produced, processed foods, in favor of food that is organic, sustainably-produced, green, and locally grown.  The result has been a growth in small family farms that produce this kind of food.  

Wayne Cullen breeds show goats on his 24-hectare Cherry Glen farm in Boyds, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C.

For years he’s had a steady supply of goat milk from his herd.  So much, he didn’t know what to do with it all.  Then someone suggested he use the milk to make goat cheese.

“Somebody mentioned to us that we could make bulk chevre pretty easily.  And there was a strong market for it.  And they said we could make about $1,000 a goat a year.  And so that is what we decided to do," said Cullen.

Thinking he could take advantage of strong demand for locally-produced food products, Cullen invested half a million dollars to build a cheese making plant.  Eight years later he produces 68 kilograms of goat cheese a day in seven different varieties. 

Although award-winning Cherry Glen goat cheese is sold in more than 50 stores and restaurants around the Washington D.C. area, Cullen has yet to turn a profit.

“There is a lot of competition.  It is hard to educate the store, cheese buyers in the stores.  It is hard to educate the public," he said.

Agricultural experts say Cullen is not alone.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 6.8 million farms in the U.S. in 1935. Today farmers are producing more than ever on about two million large mechanized farms.

Sarah Hackney, with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, says food distribution markets are no longer set up to serve small family farmers.

“Like a large production company, you know, it's easier for them to get distribution access." she said. "They can lock-in a sweetheart deal with a grocery chain at a really low price.  And so one of the challenges is that, if you are a smaller grower, you don't have those advantages coming in."

Undeterred, Cullen is constantly looking for ways to cut costs and raise profits, and survive.

When he built the cheese-making plant, his electric bill went from $500 a month to $3,500. So he installed this array of solar panels which now produces all the electricity for the farm.

“For electricity with fossil fuels it is expensive.  It is depleting the resources.  It is digging up and destroying the land," said Cullen.

He also has some ideas to sell more cheese.  And grow into new markets.

“I think to do that we need to develop some additional varieties.  And we have to have some strong marketing people," he said.

An advocate for small family farming, his goal is to become profitable within the next few years.  So one day, if they choose, his children and grandchildren can enjoy the pleasures of farming he has come to love.

Mass transit said capturing
imagination of younger set

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A record number of Americans are moving into cities and, at the same time, are curbing their driving habits.  No better example than New York City.

Some 3.4 billion riders take New York City subways and buses a year.   This amazing number equals one-third of all mass transit trips in the United States.  Ridership is at its highest in almost 60 years in almost every American city.

A commuter advocacy group, Straphangers Campaign, attributes it to younger Americans, said Gene Russianoff. 

“Millenials, those people born around the turn of the past century are much less car-oriented," he said. "They are urban.  They like not owning cars, they like less responsibility and there are a lot of them."

In addition to millenials, many people believe public transit is economical and eco-friendly. In 2012 across America, people took 10.7 billion trips. 

“When we talk about insurance rates going up, price of automobiles going up, then people are waking up and realizing: wait, here’s this huge asset that has been underutilized," said Richard Rudolph, chairman of the Rail Users Network. "Why not take advantage of this particular opportunity.  It certainly makes more sense to get people out of automobiles into subways and into commuter and passenger railroads.”

New York is not standing still as passenger demand requires several major expansion projects.  A new $4.5 billion subway line on New York’s Second Avenue -- which was recently excavated underneath businesses and apartment houses -- will take an overload of passengers off of other subway lines.  Its first phase completion is scheduled in 2016.

People who work in New York’s financial district will soon be using a new transit subway transfer center.  Almost all lines converge in lower Manhattan and the new center will give riders an easier way to get around the city and into New Jersey.  

And, probably the most controversial and costly project is a $7 billion tunnel connection from Long Island into Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.  Trains from there will have access to New York’s midtown business district. 
Andrew Albert, a board member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, said there were many other reasons the public was riding in increasing numbers.

“The system has gotten a lot more dependable. We have new cars. We have countdown clocks to tell you when the next train is coming.  We have expanded facilities in places," he said.

New York’s  24-hour, 7-day-a-week, transit system costs a $1.5 billion a year to maintain.  It is one of the world’s oldest, with its first subway line having opened in 1904.

Voice of American photo
Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan and Chris on a television show.

Mom of disabled tot shows
her love via YouTube video

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A young mother in the U.S. state of Tennessee used a cell phone to shoot video of her first-born son at home and then posted it on the Internet. Since then, the video has gone viral and caused quite a stir in the disabilities community.

It has also led to some remarkable opportunities for the family to deliver a message of love and acceptance.

Christian Buchanan, 4, has severe facial birth defects from a rare condition that afflicts only a few dozen other children in the world. He has a cleft lip and palate and no eyes.
When his parents first took him out in public, people stared, whispered behind their backs, and sometimes asked mean-spirited questions. One person even suggested they should have had an abortion.
His mother says she tried a variety of responses, even being rude.
“And I kind of figured out that rudeness was never the way to go," Lacey Buchanan said. "It didn’t win anybody over."

Instead, when Christian was about a year old, she propped her cell phone up on her kitchen table and sat down in front of the camera to make a YouTube video.

In the video, Mrs. Buchanan uses handwritten notes to tell Christian's story, and, as she does, different emotions chase across her face: love, grief, joy and even anger.

The video has been viewed more than 11 million times.
That has given Mrs. Buchanan and her husband Chris a global platform to advocate for children with disabilities and against abortion.

They've appeared on local and national television and before huge crowds about their choice to keep their child after learning he would have disabilities.

“Every single tear that we’ve shed has been worth it, and every single difficulty that we’ve had has been so worth it," Mrs. Buchanan said. "So that’s what I would tell somebody who’s facing that decision. Don’t let that disability even be a factor.”

At home in Woodbury, Tennessee, life goes on for the Buchanans. Chris works for an insurance company. Mrs. Buchanan is a homemaker studying to be an attorney. 

Christian has a new baby brother, and a series of surgeries is slowly transforming his face.

“He doesn’t act like he’s disabled whatsoever," said his father. "He doesn’t let his vision take away from his life. He loves music. He loves the piano. He plays the piano daily. So, I don’t think he’s ever going to let his disability tell him he can’t do anything.”

Mrs. Buchanan expects Christian to live a full and rich life.
“He’s blind. He’s not, you know, paralyzed from the neck down and unable to move and unable to think and unable to do anything for himself," she said. "He just has to do things a little bit differently.”

The Buchanans say attitudes toward individuals with disabilities are changing worldwide, and they believe Christian - and their efforts to tell his story - helped with that transformation.
“It’s just been very cool, and I just love how everybody has reacted to our story,” Buchanan said.
It's the story, they say, of a miracle.

Legal medical marijuana
reported neutral to crime

By University of Texas at Dallas news staff

The legalization of medical marijuana has sparked debate across the nation for decades.

Some have argued that medical marijuana’s legalization will lead to higher crime rates. But according to a new study at the University of Texas at Dallas, legalization of medical cannabis is not an indicator of increased crime.

It actually may be related to reductions in certain types of crime, said Robert Morris, associate professor of criminology and lead author of the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“We’re cautious about saying, ‘Medical marijuana laws definitely reduce homicide.’ That’s not what we’re saying,” Morris said. “The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization. In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault.”

The Dallas team began its work in summer 2012 after repeatedly hearing claims that medical marijuana legalization posed a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crime.

The study tracked crime rates across all 50 states between 1990 and 2006, when 11 states legalized marijuana for medical use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Since the time period the study covered, 20 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for medical use.

Using crime data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the researchers studied rates for homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft, teasing out an effect for the passing of medical marijuana laws.

“This new information, along with continued education of the public on the realities of the negative aspects of smoking marijuana — which there are considerable negative attributes — will make the dialogue between those opposed and in favor of legalization on more of an even playing field. It takes away the subjective comments about the link between marijuana laws and crime so the dialogue can be more in tune with reality.”

None of the seven crime types increased with the legalization of medical marijuana.

Robbery and burglary rates were unaffected by medical marijuana legalization, according to the study. These findings run counter to the claim that marijuana dispensaries and grow houses lead to an increase in victimization because of the opportunities for crime linked to the amount of drugs and cash that are present.

Morris said the models accounted for an exhaustive list of sociodemographic and econometric variables that are well-established links to changes in crime rates, including statistics on poverty, unemployment, college education, prison inmates and even the amount of beer consumed per person per year. Data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The results are remarkable,” Morris said. “It’s pretty telling. It will be interesting to see what future studies hold.”

Once data are available, the researchers plan to investigate the relationship between recreational marijuana legalization and crime in Washington and Colorado, where the legalized marijuana marketplace is taking shape.

While it’s too soon to say if there are definitive drawbacks to legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, Morris said, the study shows that legalization does not pose a serious crime problem, at least at the state level.

“This new information, along with continued education of the public on the realities of the negative aspects of smoking marijuana — which there are considerable negative attributes — will make the dialogue between those opposed and in favor of legalization on more of an even playing field,” Morris said. “It takes away the subjective comments about the link between marijuana laws and crime so the dialogue can be more in tune with reality.”

sleep app
University of Hertfordshire photo
This is the iPhone application

iPhone, ay, there's the rub;
you will need special app

By the University of Hertfordshire news staff

A two-year study into dream control shows that it is now possible for people to create their perfect dream, and so wake up feeling especially happy and refreshed.

In 2010, psychologist Professor Richard  Wiseman teamed-up with app developers YUZA to create 'Dream:ON,' an iPhone app that monitors a person during sleep and plays a carefully crafted soundscape when they dream.  Each soundscape was carefully designed to evoke a pleasant scenario, such as a walk in the woods, or lying on a beach, and the team hoped that these sounds would influence people's dreams.  At the end of the dream, the app sounded a gentle alarm and prompted the person to submit a description of their dream.

The app was downloaded over 500,000 times and the researchers collected millions of dream reports.  After studying the data, Wiseman discovered that the soundscapes did indeed influence people's dreams.

"If someone chose the nature landscape then they were more likely to have a dream about greenery and flowers," said Wiseman. "In contrast, if they selected the beach soundscape, then they were more likely to dream about the sun beating down on their skin."

In addition, the researchers discovered that people's dreams were especially bizarre around the time of a full moon. 

"In 2013, neuroscientists from the University of Basel discovered that people experience more disturbed sleeping patterns around the time of a full moon," said Wiseman.  "We have seen a similar pattern, with more bizarre dreams being associated with a full moon."

Finally, the team also found that certain soundscapes produced far more pleasant dreams.

"Having positive dreams helps people wake-up in a good mood, and boosts their productivity.  We have now discovered a way of giving people sweet dreams, and this may also form the basis for a new type of therapy to help those suffering from certain psychological problems, such as depression," said Wiseman.

The findings are described in Professor Wiseman’s book on sleep and dreaming, "Night School."  The Dream:ON app and all of the soundscapes are currently available free of charge.

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
Moran logo

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)

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

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:

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

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

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.

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

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 61
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC newsfeeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Soft censorship described
controlling Mexican media

By the World Association of Newspapers
and News Publishers

Press freedom in Mexico faces widespread and growing threats from soft censorship that includes government use of financial incentives and penalties to pressure news media, punish critical reporting, and reward favorable coverage, according to a new report released Wednesday by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

While Mexican journalists are frequently targets of physical attack, soft censorship is another more subtle and very significant danger to press freedom, the report warns.

“Buying Compliance: Governmental Advertising and Soft Censorship in Mexico” demonstrates how Mexico’s federal and state governments deploy financial power to pressure media outlets and penalize critical reporting.

The report was produced by the World Association of Newspapers and the Center for International Media Assistance, in cooperation with the Mexico-based human rights organization, Fundar Center for Analysis and Research, and the Mexico office of ARTICLE 19.

“Although less visible than the terrible violence directed against journalists in Mexico, soft censorship is highly insidious and must be recognized for the very serious threat it poses to media independence and press freedom, in Mexico and around the world,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of the World Association of Newspapers. “Unlike direct assaults on press freedom, soft censorship is far more subtle and rarely generates similar levels of international outrage.”

The Mexico report is the third of a series of reports that the World Association of Newspapers and its partners, supported by the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Justice Initiative, have launched to investigate the practice of soft censorship worldwide. The first two soft censorship reports, released in January, focused on Hungary and Serbia.

The practice of soft censorship, or indirect government censorship, includes a variety of actions intended to influence media, short of closures, imprisonments, direct censorship of specific content, or physical attacks on media outlets or journalists.

The report reveals that allocation of government advertising in Mexico is the most widely applied method of soft censorship. Without clear and precise rules, it is used as a means to influence or even blackmail media owners and journalists. Detailed research and extensive interviewing expose how federal and local governments use official advertising to shape editorial lines as well as to push partisan agendas, selectively funding media outlets that support certain officials and their policies.

The report calls for fair and transparent rules to promote development of an independent media sector. Its nine recommendations are designed as a launching point for wider reforms that are urgently needed to help the Mexican press fulfill their essential role in promoting democracy, pluralism and accountability.

"Mexico cannot reach a level of effective accountability or succeed in democratizing its media landscape without addressing the arbitrary multi-million dollar allocation of official advertising that constrains pluralism, freedom of expression, and access to information,” said Fundar’s lead researcher, Justine Dupuy.

Darío Ramírez, executive director of ARTICLE 19's Mexico and Central America Office, warned: "The lack of criteria for allocation of government advertising strongly influences information Mexican media outlets provide and distorts public debate. This threatens free speech, and adds quietly but powerfully to the chilling effect of impunity for violence against journalists.”

Despite the great challenges it identifies, the report offers some encouraging signs. A few states and some media outlets are working to instill new integrity in official and journalistic practice. And Mexico’s president and legislators remain officially committed to enacting change.

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:

Rules outlined for those who sell food at schools
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Representatives of some 40 firms that hold food concessions at public schools were briefed on the rules and given a demonstration of healthy preparation.

The session at the Museo de los Niños was sponsored by Dos Pinos and featured well-known chef Doris Goldgewicht, who prepared a burrito and some other dishes.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública has issued rules that are designed to provide better foods for school children. Food representatives came from Liceo de Alajuelita, Liceo San José, Escuela La Isla, CTP de Santa Ana, San Juan Sur, Escazú, Escuela José Martí, Liceo de Pavas, Escuela Cristóbal Colón, and from Coronado, Acosta, José María Zeledón, Vuelta de Jorco and Fernando Volio, among others.

The ministry also says it is fighting against obesity in school children. Those who hold the food concessions at the various schools are obligated to follow the ministry's rules.

Ministerio de Educación Pública photo
Doris Goldgewicht addresses meeting.