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Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
(506) 2223-1327                        Pubished Friday, March 28, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 62                         Email us
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Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Expats have a full weekend of diverse activities
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The weekend will be an active one with concerts, a benefit auction, the festival of the spheres in Osa and even a protest march against hydro projects.

Anyone who cannot find an event where they can participate, can go to Parque la Sabana where kites are for sale because the winds are expected to continue through the weekend.

Orquesta Sinfónica

The second Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional concert of the season is tonight and Sunday morning. Guest conductor Christoph Campestrini of Austria will debut here.

An invited violinist is Andrés Cárdenes of Cuba. He will interpret "First Concierto for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 26" by the German composer Max Bruch.

One of the works is “Vals Leda” by Costa Rican composer Julio Fonseca. Also on the program is "Concierto for Orchestra" by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók

The concert tonight is at 8 p.m., and the Sunday performance is at 10:30 a.m., both in the Teatro Popular Melico Salazar on Avenida Segunda north of San Jose's Parque Central. Tickets range from 5,000 colons to 15,000 colons, about $10 to $30, with 50 percent discounts for students and seniors.

The orchestra and guests will have an open rehearsal today at 9 a.m.. Also planned is a performance for the Festival Internacional de las Artes 2014 Thursday in the Teatro Nacional. Other performances are next Friday in Cartago and April 10 in Palmares.

Campestrini, the invited conductor, studied in the Juilliard School of Music and Yale University. He directed the Vancouver Symphonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, both in Canada, and the Rochester, New York, Philharmonic, as well as orchestras in Europe.

Cárdenes, the violinist, has appeared with more than 100 orchestras and played with the orchestra here in November.

Coranado performance

Also tonight is a performance of the Banda de Conciertos de San José under the direction of U.S. conductor Thomas Verrier. at 7 p.m. in the Coronado Catholic church.  Fergus McWilliam, a native of Scotland who now is with the Berlin, Germany, Philharmonic, is the French horn soloist.

McWilliams also will be presenting master classes to students in the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical.

Black Sabbath auction

Although the event has not been well promoted, the British Embassy is sponsoring an auction of musical instruments used by the group Black Sabbath as well as art work by 15 Costa Ricans. The auction is tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Hard Rock Cafe, Heredia.

The Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical will

French horn
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Fergus McWilliam on the horn.
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Christoph Campestrini  at rehearsal

 benefit from the auction, and young rock musicians from the public program will accompany the auction.

The musical articles have been autographed by such musicians as Tony Iommi, the Black Sabbath guitarist,  Terence “Geezer” Butler, the band's bassist, and John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne, the band's vocalist.

Festival of the spheres

In Osa de Puntarenas the annual Festival de las 
Esferas is taking place through Sunday. The festival has an archaeological theme centered around the giant stone balls that date from pre-Columbian times.

But there are modern activities, too, like  skateboarding, clowns,
theater, movies, mountain bike races and vendor booths. Events are in Parque Central in Palmar Sur, Sierpe and at the Finca 6 archaeological museum. More information is HERE!

Barva festival

Barva de Heredia is having a festival through Sunday featuring mascaradas, those giant papier mâché figures, and brass bands. Dancing, and all sorts of entertainment are promised.

Folklore in Cartago

The Centro de las Artes de Tecnológico de Costa Rica begins the three-day XXI Festival Nacional de Folclor Tierra y Cosecha tonight.  The event is dedicated to the memory of Rafael Elizondo, an associate of the folklore company for 25 years.

The free event that features a number of folklore
groups is at the university's campus in Cartago. The festival opens with a street parade at 4:30 p.m. today. There also will be workshops for swing, flamenco and Afro-Limonesnse dances. Also planned are marimba concerts.

Capital park events continue

Enamorate de tu Ciudad is back in the capital's parks Saturday, as it is every week. Vendor booths, tables for games, music, art, guided tours of the museums, art and dance workshops, circus art and even poems are featured from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  See

Hydro power protest

For the politically involved, the organization  Movimiento Ríos Vivos will stage a hike along the Río Chirripó-Pacífico Sunday beginning at the Catholic church in Miraflores

The group organized in the Valle de El General, which includes Buenos Aires and Pérez Zeledón, to express concern over the estimated 14 private hydro power projects that are planned for local rivers.  The hike will terminate at one of the power plant sites.

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New Caribbean land law
is a dream for developers

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Excuse me, Costa Rica, but you broke your word. 

I did everything that you asked of me to move here as a pensionado.  I started my resident application before I came.  I gathered all the documents and signatures.  I followed the rules.  I left every 90 days until I had my cédula.  I have my Social Security check direct deposited here.  I spend my money locally.  I pay into the Caja.  I got all the legal inspection and tax stickers for vehicles and the driver’s licenses and health insurance. 

I researched Costa Rica before I retired.  I was so impressed by some of the very progressive and forward looking laws made to preserve the environment and provide a living for the inhabitants here.  I love that people can move into vacant homes and use them for shelter.  I loved that there was no standing army that over 25 percent of the land was in parks or preserves, that from the sea you were not supposed to be able to see any lights or homes.

I especially loved the Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo area.  The Caribbean sea was more gentle than the Pacific side.  There were trees like huge old growth forest trees and giant wetland trees that you could circle with six people holding hands.  The crossroads of Puerto Viejo were dotted with an eclectic variety of foods (Chinese, Thai, pizza, fish, barbeque…) and surfer/hippie/Bob Marley music and tie-dyed merchandise came out of many beachfront grass shack stalls. 

Five miles away, nestled between the maritime zone and the Gandoca Preserve, I found a paradise of nature and wildlife.  I built my home here.  

Gradually, with time, some of the magic was diminished.  When I first walked on the beach I had to mark certain trees or outcroppings so I could find the path off the beach.  Now there are cars on the beach, benches, walkways lights, etc.  Little by little that feeling of being back in time has been eroded.

Now greed and corruption has managed to put forward a new law that is the developers' dream.  It eliminates from the preserve the strip of land by the coast from Cocles to Manzanillo, thereby opening up to be another “US Highway 1 - Key West Annex”!

If this law remains unchallenged, the natural beauty that I and many others have come here for will be replaced by manicured lawns and mono cultures of coconut palms.  The “poor” people that the law was supposed to protect will be driven out by expensive requirements to come into environmental compliance. 

I suggest that this is not why I came here.  Already overdevelopment has stressed the available water source.   If I wanted a hot, unshaded beach with no natural vegetation, no wildlife, no peace, no solitude, I could have stayed in Palm Beach County, Florida.  The people here are acting as though this law will be unchallenged.  Local property owners all of a sudden are wearing suits and carrying brief cases.  The undergrowth has been cleared for a view in so many areas.  Trees mysteriously die.  Crabs disappear.  Sloths and iguanas are eaten by dogs, coastal wetlands are ditched, drained and used for vegetative dumping grounds.   Raw sewage is trickled into the canals that go into the beach.  You have heard it before, but you really are “killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”  And you are breaking trust with me! 

Carol Meeds
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Rental market for condos
has changed since Jan. 1

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Since the start of this year, we are noticing a major change in the condo apartment rental business in Costa Rica.

It appears there are only two types of North Americans coming to reside here now: The ones who have lots of funds to spend monthly on luxury units $1,500 to $3,000, and those who want to spend $500.  In the last few days we have received several requests per day for $500 to $600 units in Escazú and Santa Ana.  It started me trying to compare rates for a U. S. city which we consider not too expensive.  We searched garden apartments in Atlanta and found most complexes comparable to one of our upper middle class condo complexes like Avalon Country Club to run from $850 to $2500 in Atlanta for one- or two-bedroom units.  Of course in the U. S. most garden apartments are not furnished.
So for all the complaints about Costa Rica being too expensive, a typical furnished garden condo complex here runs $850 to $1,000 for one bedroom and $1,000 to $1,500 for two bedrooms.  Most condos Gringos are seeking are furnished, so the price is no more than Atlanta but the difference is that most here are furnished.  Now there is a major advantage to Costa Rica as the utility bills are much less.
The complaints you publish so often about Costa Rica being expensive for Gringos we agree about restaurant prices and imported food in our upscale grocery markets, but there are much less expensive alternatives like the farmers markets in almost all areas on the weekends.  The other saving is you really do not need to have a car here like so many places in the U. S.
So why are we receiving so many Gringos who ask for $500 apartments.  We can only guess the middle class in the U. S. is really in trouble, and they want out.  We continue to wonder why they think they can find safe, secure, gated, guarded condo complexes for $500, but they are coming every day more than ever.
Santa Ana is overbuilt at this time, and we doubt rental prices will go down since most investors here prefer to keep them empty rather than lower rents.  We recently rented a two-bedroom furnished unit to the auditor for a fortune 500 company at $1,100, but this one had been vacant for one year.  The investors face two problems in our opinion: They have ever increasing maintenance/HOA and the vacancy rate is high.
For the next couple of years until the market absorbs the oversupply we do not think real estate values will rise and perhaps will fall.  We hope the new government will understand we need all the new expats possible, but we wonder what the new policies will be.
Angela Jiménez Rocha

Was miracle heavenly
or product of thought?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Was this so called miracle of a physical healing actually made by the pope or was it Ms. Mora's own thoughts changing her own physical reality or condition?  There are many that believe in miracles from God.  There are others that believe the power of thought can cause what we might refer to as miracles.  There have been thousands of healings that have happened over the millennia.  Was it an act by an outside force or the actual ability of what our thoughts can create or change?  At this moment there is still much skepticism on both sides of the aisle.

I have personally seen people have physical healings that would be considered miracles performed by alternative therapies.  One such therapy is called neuro-linguistic programing and time-line therapy.  These therapies change your neuro pathways to think differently and thus can also heal or make physical changes in your body as well.

A good example of this is stress.  What is stress?  It is our thoughts that cause this stress.  These thoughts that produce mental stress can cause a number of negative physical conditions.  Such conditions as high blood pressure, heart problems, eczema, and the list goes on.  So, if we are able to cause these diseases through our thoughts, we can also cure diseases through our thoughts.  In the case of the woman who prayed to the pope, she may have been so intense in her thoughts that she was able to heal herself as so many have done in other alternative methods.

There are many books regarding this subject.  Three come to mind.  One book is called "Evolve Your Brain" by Joe Dispensza.  The book" by Louise Hay, "You Can Heal Your Life," is a great read about thoughts and dealing with health issues.  Another good quick read in regards to this way of making changes in your life is a book called "Spience."  It brings science and spirituality together and how to make positive changes in your life whether physical or mental.

I guess I will leave it up to what you believe.  But until you have researched thoroughly the power of thoughts, I wouldn't come to any quick negative judgment in regards to our thoughts being able to change our health for the better.

Henry Kantrowitz
Punta Leona

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 62
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                  Tax and
Those wishing to resign from corporations creating a crush at Registro
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The rush generated by individuals who wish to resign from Costa Rican corporations has created a people jam at the Registro Nacional.

Monday is the last day that someone who is a responsible party in a corporation can remove him or herself without penalty. Many are doing so to duck the annual corporate tax. Some individuals have not paid the tax for three years, and they do not want to be the target of official collection efforts.

The tax is about $380 for an active corporation, and the tax has been in effect for three years. The law creating the tax also allowed the resignations, so many persons who hold corporations and have not paid the tax are using the escape clause in the law.

One of those is an expat who wrote in a letter to A.M. Costa Rica earlier in the month that she was thrilled to find out that the corporation had been eliminated by the Registro Nacional.

"Last week the Ministerio de Hacienda said my S.A. doesn't exist, and so I must not owe taxes!  They gave me a stamped computer printout saying the S.A. didn't exist," she said Thursday.

"Now I am unhappy!  Today I looked online at the Registro 
Nacional, and I found out the S.A. does exist and I owe $430, including interest!

"I don't know why the Ministerio de Hacienda didn't know this.  And, according to an attorney, it must exist if the Registro Nacional says it does!"

She said she is not sure she can get the paperwork together to resign from the empty corporation by Monday. She said she has been told that the tax may never be collected even if she fails to resign due to what she said was the inefficiencies and lack of sophistication of the systems here.

That may be incorrect. The Registro Nacional and the Ministerio de Hacienda now have sophisticated computer systems. And they have said they plan to use them as soon as court challenges to the law are resolved.

The law empowers government workers to bypass the protection afforded by a corporation and go directly to the personal assets of those who hold the responsibility. If the corporation has assets, they are prepared to auction them off.

The wait at the Registro is being compounded by lawyers and notaries who are arriving with stacks of resignation documents. Each has to be handled separately and required fees paid individually. One expat said he had to wait two hours Wednesday to get his turn to present the papers of resignation.

Baby left accidentally in sweltering car dies from heat-induced injuries
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A seven-month-old baby left by accident in his father's sweltering car died Thursday in the Hospital de Niños. The case has attracted widespread emotions over the tragedy.

The father, a bank employee in Alajuela, was reported to have been distracted by a cell call while driving the child to a day care center. Eventually the father parked the car in Alajuela Centro and went to work.

The man appears to have believed he had dropped his only child in the day care center as he normally did.
The child was strapped into a car seat and may have remained in the vehicle for up to three hours beneath the blazing sun.

Hospital attendants estimated that the child may have been exposed to temperatures of up to 50 degree C/ (122 F).  Wednesday was mostly partly cloudy. Attendants said the child had a temperature of 44 degrees C. (111 F.).

The child underwent emergency treatment at the Alajuela Hospital and then was taken to the hospital that specializes in children.

Judicial investigators are awaiting the report of a medical examiner before developing a case. One said negligent homicide was a possible charge.

Time is now to look for causes of unusual diseases that are cropping up
I was happy to read in this week’s A.M. Costa Rica that scientists have finally found that mild electrical shocks to the brain can improve the thinking abilities of individuals and may even help with some mental problems.

When we were kids, my brother spent hours experimenting with electricity and radio.  I was his greatest fan and loved to watch him at work, half thinking he was the reincarnation of Thomas Edison.  But he was less than daring when it came to getting shocked, so I was also his guinea pig.  He would simply touch my elbow with a wire, and if I jumped, he knew it was hot.  It never did me any harm (my belief, not others).

Years later when the movie “The Snake Pit,” came out and there was much negative thinking about electric shock therapy, I wondered why they did not experiment with milder doses.  Our brains, after all, have electrical chemical neurons, so electricity is not an alien element.  Electric shock treatments are still being used in cases of severe depression or bipolar conditions.

Now, finally some researchers are looking into it and discovering that mild shocks to the brain actually enhance the learning abilities of normal people.

There are many things in the world that in large doses can be lethal or harmful, but in measured amounts are beneficial.  It is similar to the products of nature, when left with their original contents and not extracted or modified by chemicals, and overdosed, can be a boon to humans not a threat.

The coca leaf comes to mind.  It could be a powerful addition to our pharmacopeia if we used it as nature intended and as the Incas and their ancestors used it.  And once again we are back to that dangerous egocentric thought that we humans can improve upon nature.  Isolating the mind altering or appetite suppressing aspects of the leaf also removes the modifying and necessary vitamins and minerals that have for centuries helped the people of the Andes to work long hours and survive the high altitudes without becoming addicted.  They chewed the leaf.

Because tampering with this leaf has created serious social and personal problems, governments have acted to outlaw its cultivation. In short, once again they throw out the baby with the bath water.

Another case in point is the opium poppy. It has many useful natural
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

 chemicals that can benefit humankind.  Isolating certain properties of a plant deprives the final solution of what are vital minerals and vitamins necessary for its beneficial effects.  

If I seem to be concentrating on what have been labeled illegal drugs, it is to make a point.  We are learning that the same thing is happening to the food we grow and eat. Vital ingredients are removed and replaced by chemicals with an end product that is often harmful to those who consume it, but that fulfills the outcomes that goal-seeking individuals (including corporations in the United States) are after.  That outcome is profit, whether legal or illegal.

This week at lunch with some friends I heard a litany of sad tales of people and relatives, some of them toddlers who are suffering from some rare or uncommon disease, everything from strange cancers to lung and stomach ailments to babies being born with heart defects.  These are illnesses I never even heard of when I was a child, or even a young adult.

It has been the custom of the medical profession to put the responsibility on the individual and their personal bad eating or behavioral habits.  Since more and more people are eating the same food (because that is all that is available), it is time for researchers to look into other possibilities.

Billions are being made on expensive medications and treatments that often have serious side effects that need further treatment with more medications.  Medical researchers keep talking about finding a cure for this or that.

It is time to not just look for a cure for all of these ailments. It is time to seriously look for the causes. I realize that the rewards for that are about the same reward a whistleblower gets.

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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
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

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.


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

Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

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

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

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

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

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

100 houses

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 62
Real Estate
About us


Venezuela's Maduro agrees
to seek mediation of conflict

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has accepted the idea of third-party mediation in talks with the opposition.

The recommendation for a third party came after two days of meetings in Caracas that included Venezuelan officials, the opposition, and South American foreign ministers.

Details of the planned talks and who the third party mediator would be were not announced. Other attempts at Venezuelan peace talks have failed.

In Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said Thursday that sanctions could be an important tool against the Maduro government.

She said Washington would consult with its allies if the opposition is not given any democratic space.

Months of street protests against President Maduro and his socialist government have killed at least 32 people.

Protesters say they are tired of food shortages and out-of-control crime.

North Korean boat officers
getting humanitarian visits

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The captain and two other officers of a North Korean freighter detained in Panamá are receiving regular visits by officials of international organizations while waiting for trial.

In an e-mail, Prosecutor Roberto Moreno of the Panamanian attorney general’s office said the three members of the Chong Chon Gang crew are being treated in the best way possible at the La Joya Penitentiary.

In addition to visits by officials from the United Nations and the Red Cross, Moreno said the sailors also have access to their lawyers.

However, he declined to comment on whether he has received Pyongyang’s response regarding the scheduled trial for the three men.

Most of the crew has been released. But North Korea has demanded the release of the remaining three, saying the commandeered arms shipment was part of a legitimate deal.

The captain and 34 other crew members were detained last July when the ship was caught smuggling Soviet-era arms from Cuba, including surface-to-air missile and fighter jet parts, in direct violation of U.N. resolutions.

Earlier this month, a U.N. panel said North Korea is using sophisticated means to avoid international sanctions imposed by the Security Council.

The report said Pyongyang's embassies in Cuba and Singapore are suspected of facilitating banned arms trades.

U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea prohibit a range of weapons imports from and exports to North Korea, such as combat aircraft and missile systems.

Search for missing jet shifts
again due to new information

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Australian authorities said the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner has shifted over a thousand kilometers northeast following the emergence of a new, credible lead.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said international investigators have determined the plane was traveling faster and expending fuel quicker than previously estimated, reducing the possible distance it flew.

In a statement Friday, the authority said the new search area is about 319,000 kilometers. It is 1,850 kilometers west of the southwestern Australian city of Perth.

Authority General Manager John Young said the information is the most credible lead so far in the search for the wreckage, but warned there is a long way to go yet.

"This is the normal business of search and rescue operations - that new information comes to light, refined analysis take you to a different place. I don't count the original work a waste of time," said Young.

The extremely remote search location along with bad weather have hampered the search for the Boeing 777, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.

The AMSA said weather conditions have improved from Thursday, when search planes were forced to fly back to Australia. It said 10 aircraft are involved in Friday's mission. Six boats are also relocating to the area.

The planes and ships are trying to locate and identify hundreds of floating objects that have appeared in recent satellite photos.

On Thursday, the Thai space agency said one of its satellites spotted about 300 floating objects ranging from two to 15 meters in size in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

Earlier, 122 possible objects, some of them shiny and up to 23 meters long, were seen in French satellite photos near the same area.

Officials stress the objects may not be parts of the missing aircraft, but the news is the most promising lead yet in the 19-day old search for the plane.

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

The plane 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.

Much higher mudslide toll
predicted by those on scene

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The death toll from a devastating U.S. mudslide is already 25, but a rescue leader says the number of victims is likely to soon increase substantially.

A fire chief in the western state of Washington, Travis Hots, said Thursday that he expects the list of victims to lengthen considerably within the next two days as a medical examiner works to identify bodies already found in the mass of mud, trees and debris.

Authorities say that 90 people are unaccounted for and some may never be found. Saturday's sudden landslide cascaded through the rural enclave of Oso, north of the city of Seattle.

More than 200 rescue workers have been sifting through the quicksand-like mud littered with the remnants of 49 houses, twisted cars and the personal belongings of people who lived there.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, who represents the area, visited the site Wednesday and described the devastation.

"This disaster is so enormous, I sometimes think that even pictures don't always do it justice," she said. "The number of families that have been impacted, the number of people that they've lost, the number of people who are still missing. It's truly, truly heartbreaking."

Crews are using heavy equipment, high-tech cameras, search dogs and their bare hands to search and dig through the rubble in the search for possible survivors and victims. No one has been found alive since Saturday.

Nine top Air Force officers
sacked in cheating scandal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nine top officers at one of the premier nuclear missile bases in the United States are being stripped of their duties while another has resigned as the result of a cheating scandal regarding training tests. 

Following its investigation, the Air Force came down hard on senior leaders at Malmstrom Air Force Base in the U.S. state of Montana, even though none was directly tied to the scandal.

“Nine officers in leadership positions at Malmstrom were recommended for removal.  One officer submitted his resignation and will retire,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

The officers fired include the commanders of three missile squadrons that are each responsible for 50 nuclear missiles.  The commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom, Col. Robert Stanley, is the officer stepping down.

The head of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, says they bear responsibility for an environment that allowed cheating to flourish.

“There’s been an unhealthy overemphasis on perfection and a marked fear of failure which kept airmen from identifying their weaknesses and working to correct them,” he said.

Military investigators blame the scandal on a group of lower level officers gone bad.  Three of them were implicated in an illegal drug investigation that first uncovered evidence of the cheating.

Wilson says the subsequent investigation showed as many as 100 lower grade officers involved, either actively cheating on the training tests or having knowledge of the cheating and not speaking up.

“These were all bright officers, and as we’ve said before, none of these needed the information to pass the test.  They felt compelled to cheat to get a perfect score,” said Wilson.

As many of 40 officers will be eligible to return to duty.  The others could face a range of penalties, including court-martial. 

U.S. military officials insist that despite systemic problems of low morale and micromanagement at all of the country’s missile bases, their investigation did not turn up any evidence of cheating outside of Malmstrom.

French railway seeking deal
involved in Holocaust claims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

During World War II, France’s state-run railway the Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais, or SNCF, transported thousands of Jews to their deaths in Nazi prison camps.  Today, the same rail company is the majority stockholder bidding on a light rail project in the U.S. state of Maryland.  Some Maryland lawmakers are pushing for SNCF to pay reparations to Holocaust victims and their families before participating in the project. 

The proposed rail line, called the Purple Line, would connect to the Silver Spring stop on its path through the Maryland suburbs. But 70-year-old actions are affecting today’s decisions, and it’s anything but business as usual.

“The suffering didn’t end in the gas chambers and the crematoria of Auschwitz," said Ellen Lightman. who cherishes keepsakes of her family lost in the Holocaust.

During World War II, France was overrun by German troops, and French trains and rail employees were placed under Nazi control.

Ms. Lightman's family members were among 76,000 people, mostly Jews, transported by SNCF rail to Nazi death camps.

“They were paid per head, per kilometer to transport people. Human beings! They were complicit and they need to be held accountable," she said.

“SNCF did not do it. The Nazis did it," said Alain Leray, president of SNCF America. He said that the company also paid a heavy toll.

“Eight hundred were executed because they had disobeyed orders," he said. "Another 1,200 were deported and murdered in deportation, so when I hear that we were somehow complicit, were we really complicit with more than 2,100 of our employees being murdered by the Nazis?”

International agreements between France, which controls SNCF, and other countries have already provided remedies for Holocaust victims.

“It is actually the French government that needs to get off the dime and provide for the U.S. what it has for four other countries," said international law professor Mark Lagon.

Some worry that pushing SNCF to pay reparations now could damage current French-American negotiations.

“I feel the opposite. It’s, in a sense, the bad cop that allows negotiations to take place successfully with a good cop in the executive branch," said Lagon.

For SNCF, billions are at stake ahead of fast approaching bidding deadlines.

For Ms. Lightman, justice has no expiration date. She vows to fight on.

“There is no cut off for forgetting or not remembering," said Ms. Lightman.

Officials involved in the negotiations say they hope to settle the dispute on Holocaust reparations for U.S. citizens by the end of summer.  That is well within the time frame for building the new line here, since the winning bid will be selected in 2015.

Half of Americans anticipate
new cold war with Russians

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new poll shows half of Americans believe the United States is entering another Cold War with Russia.

A Gallup poll released Thursday shows 50 percent of those surveyed believe another Cold War is coming, while 43 percent disagree.

The same pollster found in 1991, at the very end of the Cold War, only 25 percent thought U.S. and Russia would again head down the same path.

Older Americans, those who experienced the Cold War, were much more likely to predict the coming of another conflict. Sixty-four percent of those polled aged 65 and older thought so, compared to 36 percent of those between the age of 18 and 29. Most in the younger age group were not alive during the Cold War.

Politics also played a role in how people responded. Fewer than half of Democrats and independents feel the United States is headed back to the conflict of the super powers, compared with more than two-thirds of Republicans who say the same.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews on March 22 to 23 of 1,012 Americans, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

University team creates
yeast chromosome copy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In what is being called a major step forward in genetic engineering, scientists have built a customized copy of an entire yeast chromosome.  Experts say it may lead to a better understanding of how the thousands of genes contained in these packages of genetic material work together in everything from yeast to humans.  And it may make it easier to make designer yeast, creating living factories that churn out everything from antibiotics to biofuels. 

Johns Hopkins University Professor Jef Boeke says it started with a coffee shop conversation with a colleague.

“I mentioned casually to him that, of course we could make the yeast chromosome if we wanted to, but why on earth would we want to do that? And he practically literally started jumping up and down with excitement when I told him that,” he said.

So Boeke, the colleague, Srinivasan Chandrasegaran and a third partner, Joel Bader, spent the next year discussing how they could engineer the chromosome to make it worth the enormous investment of time and money it would take.

They decided to create an artificial version of chromosome III, one of the smallest of yeast’s 16 chromosomes. It carries about 100 genes.  Boeke says scientists have studied it for years, adding “It is the sentimental favorite of yeast geneticists.”

Boeke and his colleagues recreated their favorite chromosome, gene by gene, with synthetic chemical building blocks.  They included molecular seams, so they could cut the chromosome apart, take some genes out, add others, rearrange them and stitch it back together in ways that would help them understand how different combinations of genes work together.

Since yeast genes are a lot like human ones, Boeke says the research could lead to a better understanding of human genetics.

“And perhaps most interesting of all, we think it will be useful for actually improving the strain under certain conditions of growth or production of some useful product,” he said.

Different strains of yeast are already used to produce antibiotics, antimalarial drugs, vaccines, biofuels and much more.  The ability to custom-tailor chromosomes could give the biotech industry a boost.

And Boeke says the same process his group used to build a new yeast chromosome could be used in plants and animals and even humans as well.

He says they are all aware of the ethical issues that possibility raises.

“We have a card-carrying bioethicist who is part of our team,” he pointed out, adding, “And we think a lot about these things.  In fact, our whole field is infused with a passion for doing the right thing.”

He says every member working on the project has to sign an agreement not to do what he calls bad things with it.

Experts note that this is not the first time researchers have built a big chunk of genome from scratch.  A group at the J. Craig Venter Institute synthesized an entire bacterial genome in 2008.

Ventner’s group was funded entirely with private money.  Boeke’s group relied on a single, relatively small government grant.  Virginia Tech Professor Jean Peccoud notes that undergraduate students did much of the actual work.

“There is a lot of significance in terms of engaging students and using a research project like this as a training opportunity," he said. "But in terms of the kind of infrastructure and the kind of intensity you need for a project like this, is it really something that is fundable through public sources, or is it something that is going to be in the hands of commercial interests?”

Peccoud notes that Craig Venter also used private money to sequence the human genome faster than the public-funded project.

Meanwhile, researchers have 15 more chromosomes to build in order to reach their goal of constructing an entirely custom-made yeast genome.

Turkey cuts off YouTube
after discussion is leaked

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Turkey has blocked access to YouTube, after the video-sharing Web site circulated what is thought to be an audio recording of senior Turkish officials discussing plans for possible military intervention in Syria's civil war.

The audio was leaked Thursday.  It is purported to be of Turkey's foreign minister discussing options with the country's intelligence chief and another top official for staging bogus attacks on Turkey from Syrian soil to create a pretext for war.

The Sunni-dominated government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has supported elements of the Syrian opposition fighting to unseat the Iran-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad.  Analysts say Turkey is also a key entry point for military supplies bound for rebels.

Erdogan drew international condemnation last week when he banned Twitter, after the micro-blogging service was used to circulate other audio files implicating the prime minister and his son in corruption.  A Turkish court on Wednesday ruled that ban illegal.

Thursday's audio prompted Erdogan to describe the leaks as villainous.  He also called them an attempt to discredit him and his Justice and Development party ahead of key local elections set for Sunday.

The United Nations refugee agency says more than 600,000 Syrian refugees are encamped inside Turkish territory. The Syrian uprising entered its fourth year earlier this month.

New dengue medication found to be highly effective

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Results of a two-year phase three human clinical trial into 98alive’s efficacy in treating dengue fever have been so positive that experts are now suggesting the drug be adopted as the standard treatment for the deadly virus in Indonesia.

Conducted by 12 leading scientists at Indonesia’s Airlangga University, the trial found the active ingredient in 98alive decreased the viral load of all four strains of dengue fever at a rate of 96.67 percent.

It’s a significant breakthrough in treating one of the world’s most prevalent communicable diseases, with the trial’s Principal Investigator Professor Nasronudin stating it’s achieved what many international health organizations have been trying for decades to do.

“This finding is an innovation in treating dengue fever which up until now has had no vaccine or treatment therapy available,” Nasronudin said. “Not only did it show 98alive has antiviral activity against the dengue virus, but results also indicate that it strengthens the immune system."

Privately funded by the product’s discoverer and developer, Australian-based company 98 Alive Pty Ltd, the double-blind, randomized and placebo controlled trial involved 530 patients who had dengue.

The experiment showed that at a dosage of 300 milligrams twice daily, 98alive significantly reduced the symptoms of dengue fever by day three, with symptoms having disappeared by day five.

A patented formulation of Melaleuca alternifolia leaf extract that uniquely contains 98 separate molecular structures, 98alive was developed by 98 Alive to strengthen the immune system against a number of diseases.

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)

Pursical home
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$173,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 62
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on arhived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Costa Rica speaks out
on Crimea at U.N. session

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has raised its voice in the debate against Russia's recent annexation of Crimea. Eduardo Ulibarri, the country's ambassador to the United Nations, took part in the Thursday vote in the General Assembly that declared Russia's actions as illegal.

In response to the resolution on hand, he spoke to the importance of maintaining the well-being of smaller nations like Costa Rica. “We only have international law to protect our sovereignty, defend our integrity, strengthen our security, and consolidate our peace,” Ulibarri said.

Ulibarri, the former La Nación editor-in-chief, stressed that U.N. principles and bylaws must be followed by member nations. If they are repeatedly ignored, he said, smaller countries are susceptible to potential abuse from larger powers.

“Costa Rica has no such powers nor means to defend itself against external aggressions,” he said. “Our weapon is international law. We see in this resolution a way to reaffirm and defend that. If we don't protest these serious actions now, we create the conditions for more, and possibly worse, violations in the future.”

He alluded to the fact that U.N. members, including Russia, agreed to not invade Ukraine in 1994 after the country renounced chemical weaponry. He added that countries too often deploy their troops into foreign territory without first opening up the doors for stronger dialogue or mediation.

Proposed by Ukraine, the resolution received 100 votes in favor and only 11 against, further adding to the already pervasive disapproval of President Vladimir Putin's actions.

Large quantity of marijuana
confiscated in Limón area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents, Fuerza Pública officers, the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea and members of the Servicio Nacional de  Guardacostas confiscated perhaps as much as a ton of marijuana in a series of actions in the Limoncito section of Limón. Four vehicles were confiscated and arrests were made.

Agents have been tracking the illegal importation of marijuana on the Caribbean coast.

Thursday they found a large quantity of marijuana on the second floor of a dwelling, and Fuerza Pública officers found 20 sacks of marijuana when they stopped a vehicle.

The coordinated operation counted on air support from the security ministry aircraft, the law enforcement agencies said.

Prisoner murdered

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 29-year-old prisoner with the last name of Morales died at the Hospital de Alajuela Thursday morning after being involved in a fight at the nearby prison, judicial agents said. The man suffered a knife wound and died about 8 a.m. after being taken to the hospital.

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:

Info firm is first business in Grecia tech park

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica is opening its doors to an international leader in information technology, UST Global, and, in turn, the company promises to open up increased economic opportunities for the country. The service company is bringing 500 jobs and $2 million worth of investments to its center at the new CR Green Valley Business and Technology Park in Grecía.

UST Global's Latin American president, John Gustafson, said that the company is relying on Costa Rican workers for leadership at the new center and to interact with a global clientele through high-quality service.

“UST Global has always been a leader and pioneer in the worldwide marketplace,” he said. “The opening of this new center is another positive step in strengthening our international network, differentiating our services, and visualizing an exponential growth in Costa Rica in the short term.”

The new location here joins a global network of company branches in Panamá, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, England, the United States, and numerous other countries.

According to the lead developer of Grecía's new technology park, UST Global is the first country investing in the space. The UST building will be 5,000 square meters.

“We are building a high-tech model project for the country,” said José Antonio Herrero, president of the development group. “This will further allow Grecía to position itself as a place offering tons of potential for global businesses that are looking for a headquarters with top-notch facilities.”

UST Global's eventual decision to choose Costa Rica had begun with talks in 2013 but was confirmed following a January meeting. Executives were met by Second Vice President Luis Liberman and representatives from the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarollo on that deciding visit.

Government officials are optimistic that these large investments and partnerships can set off chain reactions for many local economies. The minister of Comercio Exterior said it has always been one of this administration's goals to attract the development of industrial parks and multinational buildings in places that historically haven't received much investment.

“The joint arrival of UST Global and the new development of CR Green Valley Business and Technology Park are of great value to Grecía and other cantons who are looking to become competitive with high-tech companies and manufacturing,” said Anabel González, the minister.

UST Global is accepting applications immediately and the company said its looking for professionally trained technicians and those with experience working in information technology and network systems. The company was founded in 1998 in Aliso Viejo, Calif.  Following a stated model of “fewer clients, more attention,” the company has grown rapidly and now employes around 14,000 employees worldwide.

The CR Green Valley Park is slated to include a section of technological industry buildings, a science park for research and university use, support offices, and housing.