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(506) 2223-1327                                Published Friday, March 27, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 61                      Email us
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Solís admistration begins major anti-poverty push
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Solís administration announced a plan Thursday to reduce extreme poverty.

One innovation is to assign social workers to supervise poor families and their use of government services.

The program is called Puente al Desarrollo, "Bridge to Development."  Over the remainder of the term of President Luis Gullermo Solís, the government plans to include some 54,600 families.

The financial stipend is not a lot, just 75,000 colons or about $142 a month. But the selected families will have priority access to other government services, including health insurance with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the announcement said.

The program is being run by the Orwellian-sounding  Ministro de Desarrollo

Humano e Inclusión Social.

The government said that the families will be guaranteed access to social protection, connected with possible employment, given job training, a dignified dwelling and the advantages of technology.

The families will be found in the 75 poorest districts of the country. The government is using census data and online mapping to define the areas. A number of other government agencies are involved.

Each social worker involved will seek out and oversee some 175 families and create individual plans to lift them from extreme poverty, the government said.

The government announcement said that this program will not cost any extra money because it would be a process of moving existing budgets around to make them more efficient.

Korean pianist is the featured performer tonight
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The second Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional concert of the season is tonight and Sunday with famed Korean pianist Kun Woo Paik playing Chopin.

John Nelson is once again the invited conductor.

A highlight will be the performance of  "El Duelo de la Patria." composed by Costa Rican Rafael Chávez Torres.

The program begins at 8 o'clock tonight in the Teatro Nacional.

A repeat performance is Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The program also includes "Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11," by Frédéric Chopin and Antonín Dvořák's "Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70."  Both were composed in the 19th century.

Ministerio de Cutura y Juventud photo
World famous pianist Kun Woo Paik

Chávez Torres was mostly a 19th century figure, too. He was director general of the country's military bands.  When former president Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez died, Chávez Torres composed his mournful work. This is the funeral march that bands usually play in the Good Friday processions.

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Discussion set on child support changes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican men who fail to pay required child support can be slapped in jail. A growing sentiment among legal scholars thinks this is wrong. They are urging that the men be allowed to work during the day and return to their cell at night.

The male support group, Asociación Igualdad de derechos para los hombres, has set up a forum for April 9 at 5 p.m. to discuss the issue. A former judge, a judicial representative and others will talk. The location is the auditorium of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones.

The association has conducted marches spotlighting what members say are discriminatory practices against men. Nearly all child support payment cases involve men.

Police treat those who fail to pay the same way they treat anyone who is the subject of an arrest warrant. Police will show up at a home or workplace, put the individual in handcuffs and then escort him to one of those trucks designed to carry prisoners.

The association said that the matter of child support payments, called  pensiones alimentarias in Spanish, affects thousands of households.

The organization said that it has presented ballot initiative to change the current law. The association said that a specific goal is the protection of children. It noted that when men are jailed for failing to pay child support, they are unable to see their children as well.

Trio held in motorcycle murder

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man and twin brothers in Goicoechea has been detained on the allegation that they were the motorcycle killers that were involved in one murder and one attempt.

The Fiscalía Adjunta contra la Delincuencia Organizada supervised the arrest at two homes in Ipís de Goicoechea, said the Poder Judicial.

There have been so many murders by persons riding double on motorcycles that the head of the judicial police wants to prohibit the motorcyclists from carrying passengers.

The announcement of the arrest said that the twins are the nephews of the detained man. The Poder Judicial attributed the murder of a man in  Metrópolis II de Pavas Monday to the man and one of the nephews.

The trio are accused of taking prisoner a man last Nov. 16 in Rincón Grande de Pavas. The victim was tortured but managed to escape, the Poder Judicial said.

Judicial police reported that they confiscated marijuana and cocaine when they made the arrests.

Women journalists suffering harassment

Special to A.M. Cost Rica

Women journalists in Trinidad and Tobago have become targets of social media harassment, and the Inter American Press Association condemned these defamatory attacks.

The Association of Caribbean Media Workers also protested the continuous defamatory attacks, declaring that this is a concerted attempt to intimidate and smear the characters of the women journalists who are investigating wrongdoing in the public administration.

Among those concerned are Asha Javeed, Denyse Renne and Anika Gumbs of the newspaper Trinidad Express and Sunity Maharaj, columnist of the Sunday Express.

According to local media, the harassment, mainly carried out on Facebook, was understood to have come from users supporting the People’s Partnership, the governing political alliance.

In the Inter American Press Association report on press freedom presented at the organization’s membership meeting in Panamá it was stated that in Trinidad and Tobago, due to the imminence of general elections, threats to journalists have increased, as have disclosures and denunciations of corruption in government.

More talks between U.S. and Cuba

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago.

The delegation, led by Daniel Sepulveda, the U.S. State Department's coordinator for international communications, held talks with Cuban officials led by Jose Luis Perdomo, the island nation's deputy communications minister. A statement by Havana says the Cuban side offered the U.S. delegation information about the country's computer systems and cybersecurity policy.

Earlier this month, Cuba's state-owned telephone company ETECSA announced it had signed a deal with New Jersey-based IDT to restore direct telephone connections between the U.S. and Cuba.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday it had removed dozens of Cuban companies and individuals from its list of specially designated nationals who are banned from doing business in the United States.

Motorcyclist dies from crash injuries on Caribbean coast

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 19-year-old motorcyclist with the last name of  Camacho died in Limon's  Hospital Tony Facio Wednesday night after his vehicle collided with the rear of a larger one in Hone Creek on the Caribbean coast. The accident was about 8 p.m., said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Semana Santa information

Banco Nacional gives Semana Santa hours

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional said that it would close Holy Thursday, April 2, and reopen Monday, April 6. The reason is the Semana Santa holidays.

In addition, the bank said that it would not provide evening services on Wednesday, April 1. The bank will close at 3:45 p.m. that day.

There may be some variations at individual bank offices outside the metro area. For example, the office at the Depósito Libre de Golfito will be open Saturday, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5.

The closing in the evening of April 2 might be a hardship to workers who are paid by check. But the automatic tellers will be in service all days.

The Municipalidad de Palmares said that it would enforce the dry law next Thursday and Friday, April 2 and April 3.

The  Municipalidad de Montes de Oca will be open Monday, March 30, and Tuesday, March 31. Then the municipal offices close until April 6.

The canton also will enforce the Easter dry law April 2 and April 3, Holy Thursday and Friday.
The Municipalidad de Nicoya will not enforce the dry law.

A.M. Costa Rica will not be published Friday, April 3.

The  Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will only offer hospital and emergency services April 2 and 3. Employees in many areas that re not directlyinvolved with the public will be closed all of Semna Santa, but financial and adminstraive officers will be open Monday, March 30, through Wednesday, April 1.

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church lists services

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Good Shepherd Episcopal (Anglican) Church has announced Holy Week services. All services are bilingual, an announcement said.

The special services begin Palm Sunday, March 29, at 9 a.m.

The Holy Wednesday services April 1 also is at 9 a.m. The service Holy Thursday, April 2, is at 6 p.m.

The Good Friday service April 3 is from noon to 3 p.m., and the Great Vigil of Easter is Saturday, April 4, at 6 p.m. The Easter Sunday service April 5 is at 9 a.m. The church is on Avenida 4 at Calle 5 next to McDonald's.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 61
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International Baptist Church

Municipalidad de Nicoya photo
This beach at Tamarindo will be a likely destination for many vacationers starting today.
The Semana Santa vacation rush begins today, as do religious events
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though the central government is supposed to work through Wednesday next week, a number of independent agencies are taking off all of Semana Santa.

Still, traffic police will be enforcing the license plate restrictions in the metro area through Wednesday, the agency announced.

Plenty of private firms are letting their employees go today for a full week of vacation. This does not include retailers who will be working through Semana Santa.

At various churches, the faithful are preparing for processions, depending on the size of the congregation. There may be one or more times when they take to the streets.

At the San José cathedral some half dozen such events are
 planned leading up to the much-photographed, funeral procession of Jesus late Friday afternoon.

Sunday is Palm Sunday for Costa Rican Catholics, and there will be a procession on Avenida 6 from the La Merced church to the cathedral that morning representing the biblical account of the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. This, too, is highly photogenic.

The Semana Santa dry law that forbids alcohol sales next Thursday and Friday resembles a checkerboard over the country. Some cantons are enforcing the law, and others are not.

Even in the face of the law, many tourism operations serve alcohol anyway with local police turning a blind eye.

Merchants may agree to use plastic cups instead of more traditional glasses.

10 involved in migrant smuggling admit guilt and get prison time
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said that 10 persons have admitted their roll in a human smuggling operation and have been sentenced to prison terms of from four to seven years.

Five of the accused were members of the Fuerza Pública. The Poder Judicial said that 10 other persons are awaiting trial.

This is the case that resulted in 17 raids last April 26 in

Liberia, La Cruz, Cañas, Bagaces and San José Centro.

The case involved the smuggling and housing of illegal Nicaraguans. The group had a sophisticated system of moving the illegal migrants around the country to avoid detection. The police officers were paid to warn of road checkpoints set up by their colleagues.

The group even had contacts with bus drivers who made unscheduled stops for the migrants, said the Poder Judicial.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 61
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Genetic engineering for better photosynthesis studied to feed world
By the University of Illinois news staff

Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.

There has never been a better time to try this, said a University of Illinois plant biology professor, Stephen P. Long, who wrote the report with colleagues from Illinois and the Institute of Computational Biology in Shanghai, China.

“We now know every step in the processes that drive photosynthesis in C3 crop plants such as soybeans and C4 plants such as maize,” Long said. “We have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and determine where the bottlenecks are, and advances in genetic engineering will help us augment or circumvent those steps that impede efficiency.” C3 and C4 refer to the processes the plants use for carbon fixation.

Substantial progress has already been made in the lab and in computer models of photosynthesis, Long said.

“Our lab and others have put a gene from cyanobacteria into crop plants and found that it boosts the photosynthetic rate by 30 percent,” he said.

Photosynthetic microbes offer other clues to improving photosynthesis in plants, the researchers report. For example, some bacteria and algae contain pigments that utilize more of the solar spectrum than plant pigments do. If added to plants, those pigments could bolster the plants’ access to solar energy.

Some scientists are trying to engineer C4 photosynthesis in C3 plants, but this means altering plant anatomy, changing the expression of many genes and inserting new genes from C4 plants, Long said.

“Another, possibly simpler approach is to add to the C3 chloroplast the system used by blue-green algae,” he said. This would increase the activity of rubisco, an enzyme that catalyzes a vital step of the conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant biomass. Computer models suggest adding this system would increase photosynthesis as much as 60 percent, Long said.

Computer analyses of the way plant leaves intercept sunlight have revealed other ways to improve photosynthesis. Many plants intercept too much light in their topmost leaves and

A.M. Costa Rica graphic

too little in lower leaves; this probably allows them to outcompete their neighbors, but in a farmer’s field such competition is counterproductive, Long said.

Studies headed by Illinois plant biology professor Donald Ort aim to make plants’ upper leaves lighter, allowing more sunlight to penetrate to the light-starved lower leaves.

Computer modeling of photosynthesis also shows researchers where the traffic jams occur, the steps that slow the process down and reduce efficiency.

“The computer model predicts that by altering this system by up-regulating some genes and down-regulating others, a 60 percent improvement could be achieved without any additional resource – so 60 percent more carbon could be assimilated for no more nitrogen,” Long said.

“The next step is to create an in silico plant to virtually simulate the amazingly complex interactions among biological scales,” said Illinois plant biology Professor Amy Marshall-Colon, a co-author on the report. The phrase in silico means a computer simulation. “This type of model is essential to fill current gaps in knowledge and better direct our engineering efforts.”

While many scientific, political and regulatory hurdles remain for plants engineered to do a better job of converting the sun’s energy into biomass, the work should be undertaken now, Long said.

“If we have a success today, it won’t appear in farmers’ fields for 15 years at the very earliest,” he said. “We have to be doing today what we may need in 30 years.”

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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
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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.
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Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
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Real estate for rent (paid category)
Jaco condo
Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

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Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

House near Pops
House for rent by Pops in Sabana
Conveniently located on the main road in Sabana 250 meters west from Pops Sabana. Alarm installed and fenced. Outside parking for 7 cars and 2 additional. Two story house, each 200m2, total of 400 m2. All services. Indoor garage for 4 cars. Large areas and patio. Roofed terraces. Rent $2,800. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño, 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

Paseo Colon tower
Torres Paseo Colon
Common areas of entertainment and internal parking. Office on the 5th floor reception, storage and monthly maintenance included, 2 parking spaces per office. Area 60 m2 per office (I have 2 offices)
Security building with reception 1st floor. Rent $900 without remodeling Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253-3613 Email:

Coco condo
Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

Two houses for rent inside Sarchí working coffee farm. We will be renting out only one of them, so choose which suits you best.

Casita - Roomy, fully furnished 1 bedroom/1 bath/ 1 guest room, office or storage room. Hi-speed     WiFi, private phone line, hot water, balcony with lovely view across the Central Valley. Includes
linens, dishes, etc and washing machine. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities for 6 months or longer, $625 all inclusive for less than 6 months. Sorry, no pets.

Main house - Spacious 2 bedrooms/1 bath/ and an office w/Wifi. Fully furnished 
(except for TV), Sky satellite, private phone line, washer and dryer, alarm system.  There are lovely verandas with views of Poás and Central Valley, raised beds for gardening and lots of fruit trees. A well-behaved pet MAY be negotiable. Rent is $750 plus utilities for long term tenant.

Our farm is in a small, quiet and very safe neighborhood in Sarchí Sur and is gated and guarded 24/7 and we live on-site. It's totally private and quiet, but less than a 5-minute drive to Sarchí central and 15 minutes to Grecia.  There are great places to walk as well. More info and photos at

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 61
Real Estate
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Army National Guard soldier
held as terror support suspect

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A soldier in the U.S. Army National Guard and his cousin have been charged with forming a plan to fight for the Islamic State terrorist group in the Middle East and kill dozens at a U.S. military installation.

The soldier, Hasan Edmonds, 22, was taken into custody at Chicago's Midway Airport late Wednesday before boarding a flight to Egypt, and Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home.  Both men are U.S. citizens from the Midwestern city of Aurora, Illinois.

The alleged plan was for Jonas Edmonds to wear his cousin's uniforms and to carry out an attack in the U.S. after Hasan Edmonds left the country to join the Islamic State. Jonas Edmonds would attack a U.S. military installation in northern Illinois where his cousin had trained.

In Internet messages to an undercover FBI agent in January, Hasan Edmonds said that if he was unable to make it to the Middle East, he would help bring "the flames of war to the heart'' of America and "cause as much damage and mayhem as possible,'' a federal complaint says.

The two men were charged with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Their lawyers did not comment after an initial appearance in federal court on Thursday afternoon.

Putin blames foreign agents
for destabilizing Russia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Vladimir Putin said Western intelligence services have set it as their goal to destabilize Russia especially during upcoming elections, according to the Kremlin’s Web site.

In a speech Thursday in Moscow before top officials of the Federal Security Service, he said non-governmental organizations and politicized groups will take the lead in this effort.

" . . . to attain their goals, Western intelligence services are unceasingly using civic non-governmental organizations and politicized associations, above all to discredit the government and destabilize the domestic situation in Russia, whereby operations are already planned for the upcoming 2016-12018 election campaigns,” Putin told officials of the KGB successor agency, according to a transcript of his speech posted by the Kremlin.

Russia is scheduled to hold parliamentary election in 2016, followed by a presidential poll in 2018, in which Putin could seek a fourth term as president.

Putin added that for these reasons, “the Russian government will continue to monitor NGOs for their sources of foreign financing, ascertaining that their activities are in line with their statutory objectives, so that we can take steps in response to any violations.”

Lauding the efforts of Russian counter-intelligence services, Putin said that last year alone they helped uncover and thwart the activities of more than 300 spies and agents.

But he said the government is always open to constructive criticism.

“We always listen to constructive criticism of the authorities' action or lack of action at any level and this dialogue is always useful and simply necessary,” he said. "But it would be pointless to have debates with those who take orders from an outsider, in the interest of . . .  another country,” he added.

Following protests against his rule in 2012, Putin approved a law requiring non-government organizations engaged in political activity to register as foreign agents, and provide regular reports on their work and funding sources.

Putin claimed that a variety of tools are being used to contain Russia, ranging from "attempts at political isolation and economic pressure" to a large-scale information war and the tools of special services.

He also cited NATO's decision to ramp up its infrastructure on Russia's borders, pointing specifically to the Western military alliance's creation of a rapid reaction force in Europe.

Putin also condemned what he called attempts to disrupt nuclear parity, pointing to U.S. plans to create or expand missile defense systems and a worldwide global strike system based on precision-guided weapons, and to deploy space-based weapons systems.

He told the security service that attempts to frighten the country will never succeed, adding that it has always had and will always have an adequate response to all external and internal threats.

The Russian president has more than once expressed concern about the West attempting to orchestrate in Russia a color revolution, a reference to popular uprisings akin to those that occurred in Ukraine and Georgia.

Thailand takes legal action
against trafficking violators

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thailand’s National Assembly has passed amendments to anti-trafficking laws with harsh penalties.  The legislation comes as American media reports put spotlight on slave-like conditions on Thai fishing vessels triggering calls for Thailand to crack down on labor exploitation, especially in the seafood industry.

Thailand’s tough new measures to combat human trafficking were passed overwhelmingly Thursday by the military-backed national legislative assembly, allowing prosecutors to seek life prison terms for those convicted of human trafficking.

The amendments to the anti-trafficking laws will open the way for more robust factory and industry inspections, especially in the fishing and seafood industry, which could lead to suspension of operating licenses.

Thailand is under intense international pressure, especially from the United States, to curb human trafficking and abusive labor practices for migrant workers.

Thai Deputy Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai says the government is serious about a crackdown on the multi-million dollar human trafficking and smuggling networks.

“We are very, very confident that from December until now we have done a very good job, a good enough job. Not just structural change but also the new act, the legislation with the new measures could take care of the concerns of all parties,” he said.

Thailand’s migrant worker population numbers around three million, especially in construction, agriculture and manufacturing, many of whom are undocumented workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The international spotlight has been thrust back on Thailand this week with publication of a detailed report by the U.S.-based news agency, The Associated Press.

In the report, The AP says hundreds of men are working in slave-like conditions in the fishing industry and trapped on a remote Indonesian island.  The news agency later tracked seafood caught by the men to Thai exporters and fish processing plants.
Following the report, Thailand’s largest seafood company, Thai Union Frozen Products, with annual sales of $3.5 billion, announced it had severed ties with a supplier named in The AP story.

But rights groups say there are some doubts whether the new measures will succeed in addressing the problems.

Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network coordinator Anoop Sukumaran says human trafficking legislation is more likely to affect those being smuggled.

The U.S. State Department and U.S. industry groups such as the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association and National Fisheries Institute criticized Thailand over its labor practices.

In 2014, the United States dropped Thailand’s rating in its Trafficking in Person’s  report to the lowest rating of Tier 3, after the country was seen as failing to show signs of progress in its record on human trafficking and illegal labor.  At this level, Thailand faces the threat of a range of sanctions.

Other groups, such as the Thailand-based Migrant Working Group, say the problem is beyond an individual country and see the need for greater regional cooperation.

The Association of South East Asian Nations has taken up the issue of human smuggling and trafficking, but international observers say greater political will is needed for a broad based regional solution to address the problem. 

Austin festival featured
visitors from all over

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many of the people who come to Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest film, music and technology festival each year come mainly for the parties and the music, and some of them come from very far away.

The city of Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World and during South by Southwest visitors can find music from all over the world.

The annual South by Southwest conference ended this weekend, but tens of thousands of music fans, film buffs and high-tech entrepreneurs have crowded downtown Austin streets since the event started March 13, meeting up, networking and partying.

Among the 500 international acts there are plenty who play hard rock, but there are also musicians playing ancient Chinese instruments and a woman from Pakistan who sings in traditional folkloric style.

Austin resident Neena Nguyen, whose parents are Vietnamese and Russian, likes the cosmopolitan atmosphere.

“There have been a lot of people coming from different states and different countries and I just like the feel when you walk down the street you can see this different variety of people," Ms. Nguyen said.

She grew up in Russia and enjoys seeing Russian groups like Mumiy Troll from Vladivostok.

Groups often gain valuable exposure at South by Southwest and Mumiy Troll lead singer Ilya Laguntenko has such hopes.

“There are a few bands who made it successful commercial, and I hope we are one of them. That is why we saved enough money to get to Austin," Ms. Laguntenko said.

The international flavor of South by Southwest is also evident in the interactive and film events and quite often they draw the same people.

Carlos Adriano de Lima Santana, who represents a film company in Sao Paulo, Brazil, said, "We came to enjoy the festival, to listen to some music, and to learn about some new things here."

Brazil was well-represented this year with 59 companies, more than double the number from last year.

Companies from around the world set up displays to show their products and enhance their brands.

Event organizers said more than 72,000 people registered for this year’s conference.

Local residents complain about the crowds and the traffic, but the city estimates this year’s economic impact at $315 million.

Austin, with its booming economy and vibrant cultural scene, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, but South by Southwest enhances the city’s standing on the world stage.

Co-pilot is getting blame
for Germanwings crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A French prosecutor says the co-pilot of the Germanwings passenger jet that crashed in the French Alps this week made a deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft.

Marseilles prosecutor Brice Robin said Thursday the co-pilot, 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz, locked the pilot out of the cockpit, leaving himself alone in control of the Airbus A320.

The prosecutor said Lubitz then accelerated the descent of the aircraft, flying it at 700 kilometers an hour and crashing it into the mountains in southeastern France, killing all 150 people aboard.

At a press conference in Marseille, Robin said that the most plausible explanation was the copilot wanted to deliberately destroy the plane.

"The descent could only have been done deliberately," Robin said. "In all circumstances, it is deliberate. There is nothing to suggest a terrorist attack, but we will see the circumstances of that person."

He added the co-pilot, a German national, crashed the plane "for a reason we cannot fathom right now."

The prosecutor said investigators, after listening to sounds in the aircraft from the flight's last moments that were recorded on the plane's cockpit voice recorder, heard increasingly desperate knocks on the cockpit's locked door from the captain, whose name has not been disclosed, as he tried to get back into the cockpit.

But Robin said Lubitz refused to open the door and had no contact with air traffic controllers in the final minutes of the flight.

It was bound from Barcelona, Spain, to the German city of Dusseldorf, with 144 passengers on board and six crew members.

Robin said that based on the sounds on the cockpit voice recorder, passengers only realized at the very end that the plane was about to crash.

"We hear some screams only at the last moment," he said.  "Death was instant."

The prosecutor declined to call Lubitz's actions a suicide.

"I do not call it a suicide when you have 150 people behind you," he said.

The prosecutor said Lubitz had flown the A320 a few months, about 100 hours on this type of plane.  Lufthansa, the corporate parent of its budget carrier Germanwings, said that overall the pilot had 6,000 hours of flight experience and Lubitz 630.

Robin said he met with families of the victims before disclosing his conclusions about the flight's demise.

"The families were in shock," he said. "They found it difficult to believe."

At a later press conference on Thursday, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said he was stunned by the French prosecutor's conclusion that Lubitz deliberately crashed the jet.

He described Lubitz as "100 percent fit to fly without any restrictions" and said he had passed all of the airline's technical and medical examinations, although the medical oversight did not include psychological testing.  Spohr said the airline chooses its staff "very, very carefully."

Lufthansa said co-pilot Lubitz was accepted in 2008 into a pilot training program that normally lasts from a year and a-half to two years.  Lubitz is said to have interrupted his training at one point, for reasons not immediately clear on Thursday.

One source familiar with the cockpit voice recording said the pilot "is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer.  And then he hits the door stronger and no answer.  There is never an answer.''

One investigator said the pilot could be heard trying to break the cockpit door down.

While recovery teams probe the wreckage for victims' remains, the second black box and for other clues to the cause of the crash, family and friends of the passengers and crew are making their way to the crash site.

Lufthansa has said it will provide counselors at the site and ask for help identifying remains.

In the small German town of Haltern, home to 16 teenage students and two teachers presumed dead in the crash, students at their school gathered around a makeshift memorial of candles, flowers, and signed messages for a moment of silence Thursday.

People from at least 18 countries were aboard the flight, with 72 Germans and at least 35 Spaniards among the casualties. 

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "Something like this goes beyond the realms of the imaginable.  This is a terrible burden for the relatives of the victims."

The investigation has broadened to look at Lubitz's background.

The picture on his Facebook page shows Andreas Lubitz wearing a jacket and a smile as his sits on a rocky ledge over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. He looks carefree and happy, not the kind of person who would deliberately crash a plane into a mountain, killing himself and the other 149 people on board.

The first media reports into Lubitz background offer few clues about a possible motive. He lived in the town of Montabaur, near Frankfurt, and apparently had many friends. A member of the glider club to which he belonged told The Associated Press he was happy with his Germanwings job and was doing well.

But aviation experts suggest a pilot's job can be mentally and emotionally stressful. The book "Anxiety at 35,000 Feet" notes that pilots must juggle complex tasks, are closely scrutinized, and live with the fear of losing their job if they do not meet the mark. Some have problems with substance abuse and relationships because of their difficult and transient lifestyles.

There have been previous plane crashes that investigators believe to have been deliberate. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the company's pilots underwent yearly medical exams.

In 1999, an EgyptAir plane crashed en route from New York to Cairo under what appears to be eerily similar circumstances.

A report by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board concluded it was because of a co-pilot manipulation of the airplane controls, but did not use the word suicide.

CPJ graphic

Campaign will spotlight
nine imprisoned journalists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two international organizations launched campaigns Thursday to raise public awareness about journalists around the world who are jailed because of their work or are killed in the line of duty.

The Committee to Protect Journalists launched the "Press Uncuffed: Free the Press" campaign at the Newseum in Washington.

A joint partnership with students at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the committee campaign highlights nine cases of imprisoned journalists and calls for their release.

"These journalists were imprisoned for doing their jobs by governments fearful of a free press," the organization's advocacy director, Courtney Radsch, said in a news release.  "By recognizing these nine intrepid journalists ... we hope to increase public pressure for their release and draw attention to the hundreds of others who have been silenced by their governments."

The journalists are from China (Ilham Tohti, jailed in 2014), Swaziland (Bheki Makhubu, 2014), Ethiopia (Reeyot Alemu, 2011), Azerbaijan (Khadija Ismayilova, 2014), Iran (Jason Rezaian, 2014), Uzbekistan (Yusuf Ruzimuradov, 1999), Egypt (Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known professionally as Shawkan, 2013), Vietnam (Ta Phong Tan, 2011) and Bahrain (Ammar Abdulrasool, 2014).

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nine journalists face anti-state or retaliatory charges in connection with their coverage of news in the public interest.  Two are being held without charges.

The University of Maryland journalism students, under the leadership of their professor, Dana Priest, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist, came up with the idea of designing, producing and selling bracelets with names of the jailed journalists.  They have launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to produce the bracelets.  The campaign funds will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is holding a two-day conference on protecting the safety and integrity of journalists.

The chairperson, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, said at the opening of the talks Thursday that “violence against journalists is unacceptable and must be treated like violence against society as a whole.”

“The OSCE and Serbia's OSCE chairmanship continually put journalists’ safety high on the agenda,” a press release quoted Dačić as saying. The organization cannot ignore “the problems and dangers journalists face on a daily basis,” he said, adding that member states “must discuss ways to improve the current legislative framework concerning the protection of journalists.”

"Journalists’ safety is a more relevant topic today than ever before,” said Dunja Mijatović, the organization representative on freedom of the media.  She said the increasing number of attacks on journalists across the OSCE region was deeply worrying, and she called on all 57 participating states to do their utmost "to ensure that journalists can do their work in a free and safe manner.”

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 19 journalists have been killed worldwide this year, including the eight killed in the January attack on the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.  As of December 2014, when the Committee to Protect Journalists conducted its last prison census, 221 journalists were in jail worldwide.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Enphase-Micro-Inverters: so flexible; you can begin saving with a third of a system, then add as you go with your savings!

Think of it this way: cash in a CD paying 7% and get 15% to 25% from the Sun!  What better way to lower your electric bill than with a Quality Solar System from CR Solar?    Ask about our BEST HI END Solar Hot Water Heaters. 
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica

Visit our Web Page:

If you do not find you are looking for in our page, contact us, WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.

English Calls:
Miguel Fiatt Sauma 
or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000

Send us your request to our
Mafri one
Beautiful house in Santa Ana, Valley and mountain view. Price: $1,300,000. Single story, bedrooms. 5 baths. Double-size garage: 360 m2. Lot: 4,487 m2. 
Click HERE!

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


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

ARenal home
Lake Arenal near San Luis and Tilarán

2 bedrooms & 2.5 baths - $279,000

Lake Arenal home (90 yards from lake) in a private 17-home gated community named Buena Vista 1 with full-time guards and views of Tenorio Volcano, Miravalles Volcano, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and of course, Lake Arenal. This Lake Arenal climate zone provides temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees (23 to 29 C) year round, so there is NO need for heating or air conditioning and the $100's per month for fuel and energy costs !!!!! This is our property and you can see other Lake Arenal Properties at

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

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

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

Barrio Peralta
Barrio Francisco Peralta
Grom Casa Italia, 200m south and 200m east, dead end, last property on the left side. Land size 461.15 m2, construction 340 m2 Part of the existing furniture can be negotiated by separate of the purchase. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253 3613. Email:

Escazu house
Residential area. 5 minutes from center of Escazú
Lot 489 m2 (5,166 sq ft). Building 220 m2 (2,368 sq ft + 50 m2) Living room, kitchen 2 full baths, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closets bedroom for domestic, laundry, hot water tanks, maid’s room, 2-car garage, additional parking space All services. Financing available. Sale $275,000. Rent $1,500 Contact: Gerardo Ortuñ,o 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

cndo rollover

In Alajuela , Penthouse in best location with views from all rooms. Quiet and private. Cheap to run. Extra large kitchen and balcony. Financing possible. Completely well furnished with $20,000 cost, including custom large kitchen and many cabinets. 10 minutes to Multiplaza, airport and close to highway 27, beach 45 minutes. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms + office. Open plan granite kitchen to living room. Wheelchair accessible, covered parking place by entrance. Large pool, jacuzzi, gym and tennis. Areas for walking and running. The best location in the complex. Close to all and only $127/month maintenance. Price $125,000. Write or call at:  8391-2080, 2220-2243.

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email:   Web:

Photo one
photo two
Tambor three for jan. 15
Total area of the property is 23 hectares at $425,000. There's an option to buy 2 sub lots, the first one is land with no construction of 890 sqm at $19,900. The second, 1,700 sqm including a small house, for the price of $65,000
Located 300 meters from the south Jacó . First house is 110 sqm with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,  private pool, A/C, kitchen and separate laundry. Second is a 120m, two-story house with 2 bedrooms, There's a small lot has its own entrance and is perfect for building  $280,000.
This 115 sqm condo is located four blocks from the heart of Santa Ana. It is a corner unit with a view of the green area from your living room. Two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchen is clean and modern. Home is in good condition, and ready to move into. $132.000.
Contact Jo-Anne  Cell phone number: 506 8310-2915
or through email:

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

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

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

Real estate services
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 61
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
It's march madness with bats and ball

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There’s another kind of March Madness going on thousands of miles away from the U.S. basketball courts. Except this one involves hundreds of millions of passionate viewers cheering on four continents across at least 14 time zones.

Cricket hits its high point Saturday when six weeks of tournament play and four years of qualifying play culminates in the final match and bragging rights to be the world’s best team.

The showdown between Australia and New Zealand at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground will be witnessed by more than 100,000 fans. Hundreds of millions are expected to watch live on TV.

“Global viewership will be bigger than the Superbowl, but since India is not playing in the finals, viewership and interest will take a huge hit,” said Atul Huckoo, assistant vice president for advertising and sales at Willow TV, a U.S-based, 24/7 cricket channel. Still, “it will be a good story as both hosts are meeting in the finals”​

While soccer has long been the dominant global sport, in terms of participation, money, viewership, cricket is a close second with an audience that often watches with religious fervor from Harare to Wellington, London to Islamabad. The sport is a launch pad for prosperity, fame and even political careers in places like Pakistan and India.

This year’s tournament for the first time featured war-torn Afghanistan, which upset Scotland early on behind the gritty batting of Sami Shenwari.

England, considered the birthplace of the game, lost to Bangladesh in preliminary round in what many thought was a shocking defeat. And South Africa suffered heartbreak when the team lost in the semifinals to New Zealand, which went on to reach the final after six previous failures.

Among compelling personalities, South African bowler (the equivalent of a pitcher) Imran Tahir may top the list. Known for his unique style of celebrations after getting a wicket (getting a batsman out), Tahir, who was born and raised in Pakistan and later became South African by marriage, made his debut for the rainbow nation four years ago and is a large reason why the team made it so far.

Perennial powerhouse India, meanwhile, was decisively defeated in the semifinals by Australia. Team captain Michael Clark had to urge home team fans to turn up so the stadium wasn’t entirely cheering on India.

The sport’s organizing body, the International Cricket Council, said viewership grew markedly in this year’s tournament, with the council’s Web site hitting new records— more than 26 million unique visitors— and over 225 million page views.

That includes a growing audience in the United States, where cricket is gaining in notoriety, even while competing with basketball, American football and ice hockey. And baseball. Costa Rica has a cricket league, too.

Cricket shares similarities with baseball: both are played with a bat and a ball, for example, and there are batters, outs and pitches, though pitchers in cricket are known as bowler. Some historians say that baseball’s earliest pioneers honed their batting playing cricket.

But the rest of the sport is much different. Unlike baseball when a batsman hits a home run, they don’t have to go back and sit in the dugout. They continue to bat until they are out or until a set number of pitches are completed. Like baseball, whichever team scores the most runs wins.

Commonly associated with starchy dress whites and days-long matches, the sport has evolved to a one-day format. In India, a condensed version known as Twenty20, which usually lasts for about four hours, is also popular.

In a sign of the sport’s economic potential, last year ESPN acquired the rights for the 2015 World Cup along with rights to Twenty20 matches. ESPN refused to say how much it paid.

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From Page 7:

Mercado Central plans fish festival

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Mercado Central de San José generally has not been known for its marketing efforts.

Until now.

The merchants who sell fish at the 135-year-old market have announced a promotion complete with mascaradas, music and face-painting for the kids.

The event begins Saturday and runs through next Wednesday. The merchants, members of the Union de Comerciantes Pesqueros del Mercado Central say that a recent economics ministry survey verified that they have low prices.

Sea food is a traditional meal during Semana Santa.

The central market is a place where shoppers can find about anything. There are a number of butcher shops and fish merchants as well as tourism stores, flower shops, coffee vendors and small restaurants. The market is a tourism stop, too.

The market is on the pedestrian walkway in San José that used to be Avenida Central, between calles 6 and 8.

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