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(506) 2223-1327                             Published  Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 64                    Email us
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Credit card debt grows in an unsustainable way
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An economics ministry report earlier this week showed that Costa Ricans owe 933 billion colons or about $1.77 billion on their 5 million-plus credit cards.

A check of a similar report June 10, 2013, shows that the debt has increased some $293 million from 729 billion colons.

The ministry, correctly called the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, also reported that the consumer credit card interest rates range from 24 percent, mostly at state banks, to 65 percent.

At these rates, considering the growth in debt over less than two years,  credit card dent does not seem sustainable.

Some expats in the rental business also are pointing to the decline on average rents. They note that rents determine the value of rental properties and that banks have made loans based on values indicated by higher rents.

These apartment owners also say that the availability of good tenants also has declined.

The rental situation and the massive credit card debt is a double whammy for financial institutions.

One reader said Tuesday that the consumer debt mirrors the debt the central government has accumulated with a national budget that is nearly half borrowed money.

The economics ministry estimated that the increase in credit card debt was 7.24 percent from a previous study. The current study includes figures as of Jan. 31.

Of course, these numbers do not reflect other types of debt, such as mortgage loans or other consumer agreements..

Some 7.31 percent of the credit users were behind from zero to 90 days, said the ministry. Some 4.27 percent were behind greater than 90 days. That would be about 39.8 billion colons.


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Professional Directory
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.


Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry
in  San Isidro de El General

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Contact: Dr. Allan Mora Vargas
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Insurance professionals

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Legal services

Real Estate Closing Services
Lic Matta

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
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Remodelling and Construction

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Ministerio de Cutura y Juventud              
This was the procession in Liberia this week on Palm Sunday.

Bands have big roles this week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banda de San José will present a concert of religious music tonight at 6:30 in the Catedral Metropolitana.

The Banda de Guanacaste also will perform tonight at 7 o'clock in the Nicoya Catholic church.

The municipal bands have major roles during Semana Santa, the Ministerio de Cutura y Juventud noted.

The local bands participate in many of the religious processions. Residents of  Alajuela, Heredia, Liberia and Puntarenas will see their local concert bands participating in the traditional procession for the burial of Jesus Christ Friday afternoon.

There also are processions in some communities Friday morning, and every parish will participate in a procession of resurrection Sunday morning. The  Banda de Guanacaste will march in Liberia that day, the ministry said.

Costa Rica has its own funeral march that was composed in 1882. It is “El duelo de la Patria,” written by Rafael Chaves. Most bands play this during the religious processions Friday.

Money allocated for Chorotega farmers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission is allocating 653 million colons to purchase agricultural supplies in the Chorotega region of Guanacaste. The money is suppose to benefit 3,300 persons, mostly farmers and fishermen who have been affected by a prolonged drought.

The amount is about $1.24 million.

The commission said it expects to use the money for seeds, herbicides and fertilizer for producers of sugar, rice, onions, coffee, sugar cane and ornamental plants.

The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderí sought the funds.

The El Niño phenomenon is expected to strengthen during the second half of the year bringing more drought to the region.

A second plan is in the works for producers in the central Pacific, the agency said.

Cruz Roja planning benefit run/walk

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja will benefit from an April 12 walk and run at La Sabana.

The rescue agency receives the 10,000-colon registration fee. Participants have a choice of a five-kilometer or 10-kilometer run or just a walk.

The rescue agency is celebrating 130 years of existence, and the walk and run is part of the scheduled events.

Signups can be done online HERE!

There's no AAA in the Gulf of Nicoya

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Having a vehicle breakdown on the Interamericana is bad enough, but how about a boat?

That happened to one private operator Monday in the Gulf of Nicoya  near an island called Pan de Azúcar. The pleasure craft, "El Gibor," had suffered mechanical trouble, said the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas. There were nine persons from children to seniors aboard, said crewmen.

The craft had to be towed to nearby Caldera for repairs, said the Servicio Nacional.

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.

Escazú Christian Fellowship

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Escazú Christian Fellowship plans a Maundy Thursday service that includes voluntary foot washing following the details in the Gospel of John.

The congregation also plans a Good Friday liturgy starting at noon and what is being described as a Stations of the Forest Saturday at 9 a.m. at a rural location.

There also is an Easter Sunday 7 a.m. service at Parque La Sabana and one at 5 p.m. at the church.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 64
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Teens held in separate cases of armed robbery and a murder in Aserrí
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two more juveniles have been detained in the investigation of separate major crimes.

In multiple raids Tuesday morning in Agua Caliente y Cartago Centro a 17 year old came into police custody. He is suspected of being a member of a band of robbers who may have stuck up some 29 locations in the area, mainly Cartago. A 27 year old also was detained.

In Aserrí judicial investigators detained a 15 year old who is involved in a murder case stemming from a Sunday robbery.

The robbery victim did not stop when bandits ordered him to do so, and he was shot fatally in the back. A 23 year old also was detained in the 4 a.m. raids, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The youth and the man detained in Cartago are suspected of being members of a larger gang that preyed on all sorts of businesses.

The gang worked from 3 p.m. to midnight and would burst into shops and stores wearing masks. Agents said that the raids involved six stickups, but that many more were under investigation.

Swarm of quakes keeps the ground shaking near Vara Blanca
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Quake experts say that the Vara Blanca region in Heredia experienced an even dozen seismic events Tuesday morning between 2:51 and 6:08 a.m.

The most significant was one at 3:09 a.m. that was felt in much of the central part of the country.

The Red Sismológica Nacional said that the quakes ranged from that 5.0 magnitude quake at 3:09 a.m. to one at 2.3 magnitude at 6:09 a.m. The Red called 10 of the quakes aftershocks. The cause was believed to be a local fault system.

A.M. Costa Rica reported the 3:09 a.m. quake to be 4.7 magnitude in Tuesday's newspaper based on an estimate from the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmic at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Several agencies having slightly different estimates is not unusual.

The Laboratorio also reported another quake at 11:05 a.m. This was estimated at 4.5 magnitude. The epicenter was reported to be 10.4 kilometers northeast of Zapotal de San Ramón. There also were several moderate quakes in the 4.5-magnitude range off the northwestern coast of Costa Rica Tuesday.

Red Sismológica Nacional map
Orange dots are the locations of the Tuesday quakes, and the blue dots are estimated epicenters of quakes over the last two weeks.

The Red reported 353 quakes in March, but most were not strong enough to be felt by humans. One was March 18 just seven kilometers east of Vara Blanca. That was estimated at 3.7 magnitude.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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New Facebook app lets users start to track their genetic past
By the University of Michigan news staff

Have you ever wondered if your dad's fight with prostate cancer means you could face the same reality? Perhaps your family has several members who have struggled with obesity and you wonder if it's something you inherited or if it's caused by the environment.

Maybe you have always wanted to learn where your ancestors came from beyond the basic paper trail.

Good news: researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health have an app for that.

A new project that officially launched Tuesday called Genes for Good gives participants the chance to learn more about their health, behavior and ancestors. In return, those who fully participate provide genetics researchers with valuable data that can be used to better understand the origins of disease, which could lead one day to better treatments, prevention and cures.

"It's really a research study that offers us a chance to engage with lots of people and get better information on behavior, environment and so on," said Goncalo Abecasis, chairman of the School of Public Health's Department of Biostatistics.

Genes for Good uses a Facebook app. Users fill out various health and behavior surveys. Once a certain amount of data is submitted each participant is sent a spit kit to use to provide a saliva sample for genetic analysis.

"Facebook is a place where people already spend considerable time," Abecasis said. "We put a very short question in Facebook streams to remind people to submit information. We hope people will find it engaging and stick with it."

Scott Vrieze, a co-investigator at the university before becoming an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, said this approach to providing genetic information to people is different from the commercial products.

"We're a research group, not a company, so our goals involve scientific understanding, not profit," he said. "More concretely, participants can have their DNA analyzed, with

the results of that analysis, their genotype, returned to them free of cost. Participants can also track components of their health and activity over time and compare themselves to others in the study."

The data collected through various questionnaires and results from the saliva samples will give genetic researchers more information to build on existing data. Abecasis and his lab have been involved in numerous genetic studies, and their work has contributed to a better understanding of diabetes, heart disease, addiction, obesity, macular degeneration, psoriasis and more.

Vrieze said that even though they are using a very public program, the user's personal data is secure.

"While Genes for Good is available through Facebook, it's important to note that Facebook or any other social media platform does not have access to the information participants provide," he said. "Everything is done through encryption directly with a secure University of Michigan server.

"Science has always been a social endeavor, but traditionally only for researchers. Facebook and other social media platforms are simple ways to engage large numbers of people and, if those people like it, they can immediately share with friends and families."

Like all apps in Facebook, however, privacy settings within the program determine if friends or the public are aware that the participant is using the app.

Vrieze said "understanding the genetics of complex behaviors and diseases will benefit immensely from massive samples of dedicated participants."

An eventual goal is to make the platform and resulting data widely available to the scientific community at no cost, so that others may develop new measures or new analyses. Personal identifiers, such as names and phone numbers, will not be shared.

Participants can choose to do the profile only, but those who provide a saliva sample will get information on ancestry and their genetic profile.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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

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beach view
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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western Central Valley.
Great climate
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Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Offer of the month !!  Great opportunity to get this beautiful house. 3 hectares land (equal to 30.000 meters), 750 square meters construction, modern security technology, three floors, internal street, elevator. $ 1.1 million  Click HERE!
Grecia  909
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,500 . See more photos HERE!
Grecia 907
Beautiful house for rent, near to Puente Piedra street . Very secure. Price $1,000 . More photos HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 64
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New Indiana law reflects
cultural changes in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America has experienced a sea of change in attitudes in the last decade, to the point where more than two-thirds of U.S. states now allow homosexuals to get married.

And so the focus of the fight has shifted, from whether gays and lesbians have the right to marry to whether businesses, such as wedding photographers and caterers, that are owned by dissenters should be required to serve same-sex couples.

“It stems in part from opponents of same-sex marriage realizing the trajectory that marriage equality is on right now,” said Sarah Posner of the online magazine Religion Dispatches, “and they’re looking for ways to, in their words, maintain their own religious beliefs, practices, in the face of a changing culture.”

Indiana’s state government triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Indiana Senate Bill 101 was signed into law March 26 by Gov. Mike Pence, in the presence of leaders from different faiths.

The bill was promoted mainly by conservative Christian groups and was based on a 1993 federal statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was initially meant to protect religious minorities. It grew out of the desire to safeguard a Native American ritual involving an outlawed psychedelic substance, the peyote plant.

The act initially was meant to shield religious practices from government intrusion, but critics say Indiana lawmakers expanded it in a way that will allow businesses to turn away same-sex couples.

Pence called a news conference Tuesday to deny the allegation. “Clearly, there’s been misunderstanding and confusion and mischaracterization of this law,” he said.

But he added that if the law does “create the impression that businesses have the right to turn away customers for sexual orientation or any other reason, we're going to fix that."

The religious-freedom argument also has been employed by conservatives to roll back a part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that private companies don’t have to provide coverage for contraceptives as required under Obamacare, in a case brought by the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, which is owned by an evangelical Christian family, as well as a Mennonite woodworking factory.

That case was argued by the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a law firm that also has represented clients under religious freedom laws, which have been adopted in 20 states.

The firm’s executive director, Kristina Arriaga, said that so far, all of the cases that have been brought by wedding photographers and bakers not wanting to serve same-sex couples have lost in court.

“So this idea that for some reason the Indiana law is a magic wand where religious people would automatically be in the right, and would win the case, is just not true,” she said. 

But the Indiana controversy underscores that in America, religious liberty can mean different things to different people.

Conservatives like Ms. Arriaga say it’s about practicing your faith anytime and anywhere.

“You should be able to live according to your deeply held convictions whether you’re at work or at home, not only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but also on Wednesdays,” she said.

The other view is that sometimes people have to be protected from religion.

“Liberals are in favor of protecting religious freedom robustly, when people’s religious freedom is infringed upon by government action,” said Ms. Posner, the journalist. “They are not in favor of expanding that type of protection when it has a negative impact on third parties.”

On April 28, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on whether state governments can ban same-sex marriage. Thirteen states have passed such bans.

If the court strikes them down, the line between one American’s religious freedom and another’s civil rights may get even harder to define.

Coming U.S. diversity
seen as positive change

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s demographics are changing like never before.  In less than 30 years, whites will no longer be the racial majority in the United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2045, the United States will have a population of some 389 million people.  And for the first time in the nation’s history, the majority of people living in the U.S. will be non-white.

“This new diversity boom that we’re seeing right now will be every bit as important for our country in the decades ahead as the baby boom was in the last half of the 20th century,” said demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.

“We know that the baby boom has changed the country in lots of ways, popular culture, changing values about all kinds of social issues, families, women’s roles and politics.  And I think this diversity boom is going to have just as big of an impact.  We’ll be a very different country and we’re only just beginning to see the start of it,” said Frey.

Hispanics, who now total some 52 million people, are expected to remain the largest minority group in the United States for decades to come.  Despite an influx of undocumented immigrants from Latin America to the United States during the past 20 years, the rise in the number of Hispanics is driven mainly by birth.  Latinos account for much of the population growth in major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  But they also are moving into rural areas, where currently there are relatively few Hispanics.

There are more than 16 million Asians in the United States.  America’s fast growing minority group, Asians live largely in major metropolitan areas.  By 2045, this growth is expected to be due to U.S. births rather than immigration.  And as with all of the nation’s ethnic minorities, many middle-class Asians are moving to the suburbs of major cities.

The more than 40 million African Americans in the U.S. make up the nation’s oldest ethnic minority group.

“We’ve seen now in the last 20 years a black migration back to the South,” said demographer Frey.  “Blacks left the South 100 years ago during the days of high discrimination and the decline of the cotton industry, and the growth of jobs in the Northeast and Midwest.”

“But that’s all turned around as the South has become more prosperous.  So states like Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Florida are big gainers of African Americans.  In the future, I think, the South will still be predominated by African Americans as the major group, even though the South is getting more Hispanics and Asians.  On the West Coast, it will be more of a Hispanic and Asian confluence.  And in the Midwest and Northeast, it will be some mix of all of those groups,” said Frey.

By 2045, Hispanics, Asians and African Americans are expected to grow from more than a third of the population to a little more than half of the people living in the United States.

“The degree of cultural diversity that this introduces to this country is rather like the cultural diversity we had in the 19th century, and for that matter in the 18th century at the time of founding,” observed American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray.  In many ways, according to Murray, diversity has been a positive force throughout America history.

“We used to have radically different ways of life among different groups in this country.  And the 20th century was something of an anomaly in this regard as we saw an increasingly homogeneous culture with the rise of mass media,” Murray said.  “In many ways, I think the America of the 21st century with its increased cultural diversity is going to look familiar to historians of America.  And in that respect, it’s as American as apple pie.”

A few decades ago, many analysts warned that these demographic trends would lead to a balkanization of America.  However, most experts now agree that U.S. culture and assimilation will reinforce America’s national character, particularly as the rate of interracial marriage grows.

In 1960, multiracial marriages accounted for only 0.4 percent of all marriages in the United States.  By 2010, that figure rose to 8.4 percent, with interracial couples accounting for 15 percent of all new marriages, a trend that experts say will only continue.

“To some degree, immigrants change America.  But America also changes immigrants,” said Pitzer College political scientist Adrian Pantoja.

“The strengths of the English language, American culture and symbols and history and values – those are adopted very quickly among immigrant populations,” said Pantoja, who is an expert on immigrant and Hispanic politics in the United States.  “There’s overwhelming data that shows that by the second generation, the Spanish language is practically gone. The children of immigrants are English-dominant.  By the third generation, the Spanish language is essentially nonexistent.  So those assimilationist forces have been alive and well since the founding of this country.”

“We have a nation that’s built not on blood ties, but that’s built on ideas and ideals,” added Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners working to promote better immigration laws.

“Those ideals are freedom, the individual, democracy, equality and opportunity.  And those are pretty powerful things.  And we’ve come to live in ways that exemplify those ideals, and people find that way of living very attractive.  And that’s why people want to come here.  People come, and they succeed, and they like it.”

Black America is called
a tale of two nations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a tale of two nations.   The group's annual report, released in March, found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72 percent parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement.  It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close.

Medgar Evers College, whose student body is nearly 90 percent black, is filled with hard-working students fulfilling their degree requirements.  But unlike their white peers, African Americans overall are statistically much more likely to be unemployed, according to findings from the 2015 "State of Black America" report by the National Urban League. 
Despite annual increases in high school graduation and college attendance rates, unemployment figures for blacks are as high as 20 percent in seven of the country's largest cities.  The current national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent.
"The recession is, over, except that the recession is still raging in many urban communities," said Urban League President Marc Morial.
The study links education and joblessness, says Morial.  He points to the 36 percent national proficiency gap between blacks and whites in math and reading as a major indicator of future inequality. 
“The United States must close the gaps, must close the achievement gap, must close the jobs gap. It is essential to America’s economic competitiveness in the 21st Century," he said.
Medgar Evers College, which hosted the report’s release, is taking proactive steps to make sure graduates are ready for the workplace. 

“More and more we’re having everything from career days to a real focus on the network, if you will, that it takes not just to enter your chosen career but to really get the job that you want," said Medgar Evers College President Rudy Crew.

College senior Shemroy Primo interned with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office to make himself a more attractive candidate for law schools.

He says he was disappointed but not surprised by the study’s findings.
“But as a black man, it’s really hard out there in the job market.  I went to high school in Brooklyn, East New York, so I have a lot of friends who are really looking up to me and really proud of me because I’ve taken a different route, I’ve gone to college. I’m a senior, I’m a rising senior, and I plan to go to law school," said Primo.

However, the Urban League study indicates there is still employment bias.
“One thing that was troubling was that even when a black person had the same academic background, the unemployment rates seems to be still higher for black Americans.  People ask me why and I think it is the presence still of exclusion and discrimination in the work force to some extent," said Morial.

Because of this, Primo says he must work twice as hard to earn a spot in the workplace.

Blogger in Bangladesh
murdered for his atheism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The stabbing death of an atheist Bangladeshi blogger in Dhaka a month after the killing of a prominent Bangladeshi-American author highlights the growing threat facing critics of religious fundamentalism in the South Asian nation.

Three men attacked Washiqur Rahman Babu, 27, with meat cleavers in front of his house Monday in Dhaka.

Two people caught two of the assailants as they fled and handed them over to the police. Passersby rushed Babu to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where he was declared dead.

Police, who said the two captured suspects are students at religious schools, are searching for the third attacker.

The two suspects told police that they had not read exactly what Babu had written against Islam, but that they had attacked him because their religious teacher had told them that he was anti-Islam in his writing.

The online news portal Bangladesh Pratidin quoted police officials as saying the suspects said it was their responsibility as Muslim believers to kill him.

Police believe Babu, who worked with a travel agency in Dhaka as an information technology trainer, was killed because of his Facebook posts.

Babu was a member of at least eight Facebook groups, including "Atheist Bangladesh," "Banglar Charlie" ("Charlie Hebdo of Bangladesh" in Bangla) and the online discussion site "Logical Forum."

Imran H. Sarker, who leads the Blogger and Online Activist Network in Bangladesh, said Babu was a secular and progressive free thinker who criticized extremist and irrational beliefs in his writing.

Now, he says, people like Babu are the targets of many religious militants.

"By increasing killer attacks on the bloggers and other free thinkers, they have launched a war against secular forces and are promoting political Islam with an aim to turn Bangladesh into a theocratic state," Sarker said. "It is indeed worrying the way militant Islamist groups are growing in our country day by day.

"They know the government will not bother to address the issue of the attacks on the secular bloggers and writers," he added. "So, the militants have been out to kill the defenseless community with impunity. They want to create fear among the bloggers. They are aiming to frighten them into silence."

The attack on Babu comes as Bangladesh has been reeling through a political stalemate. The leading opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party continues its nationwide transportation blockade, demanding immediate national elections. The government rejects the demand.

The standoff that began in January has fueled political violence leading to more than 100 deaths, with a sense of insecurity growing across the country.

After the murders of some bloggers and authors in Bangladesh, some Islamists said in social media they had been punished because they had humiliated and ridiculed Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

On Feb. 26, the day Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger and author Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka, Babu paid tribute to him by taking the hashtag “#IamAvijit” as his Facebook profile picture with a slogan “words cannot be killed” on it.

In a part of his Facebook posting after Roy’s killing, Babu wrote that Islam should be destroyed.

"Killing of one Avijit Roy will lead to the birth of 100,000 Avijit Roys," Babu wrote. "We will not stop writing until your blind faith is dead."

Using the name Bismay Balak (Amazing Boy), one writer responded with a warning, "You will be killed."

Mohammad Zim Nawaz, a follower of Bangladeshi blogs, said he believes Babu’s display of solidarity with Roy and call for destruction of Islam last month might have led to Monday’s fatal attack.

It "might have led some crazy Islamists to engineer his murder. But, you can never kill someone just because his view hurts you," said India-based Nawaz, who professes to be religious. "Sadly, in Bangladesh some fanatics are misinterpreting the tenets of Islam and resorting to activities which are simply un-Islamic."

Abbas Faiz, a Bangladesh researcher at Amnesty International, said the attacks on bloggers will not stop unless authorities convince perpetrators that they will be caught and punished. No one as yet has been arrested for Roy's murder.

"The lack of prosecutions on these types of cases, even after investigations are carried out, sends a message that these barbaric actions are tolerated," Faiz said.

"The despicable murder of Avijit Roy last month should have led authorities to step up protection measures for bloggers and others at risk," he said. "The killing of Washiqur Rahman … is another clear example of the Bangladeshi government’s utter failure to ensure the safety of those at risk.

"How many more bloggers will have to be attacked before action is taken?"

Asian demand for wheat
likely to continue for years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Asia’s growing middle class is stimulating demand for grains, especially wheat-based foods. The increase in demand is a consequence of changes in the tastes and diets of this segment of the Asian economy and marks a boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States. Recent analysis indicates the demand for wheat-based food will continue in the years ahead, posing challenges for the global food industry.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says by 2030 two thirds of the global middle class, or 3.3 billion people, will be living in Asia, with China accounting for the largest share from just 1.8 billion now.

Major changes are already afoot in the food industry. The higher incomes offer the growing middle class greater choices from traditional food staples such as rice. And a marked increase in demand for wheat-based foods comes as demand for rice, appears to be flattening on a per capita basis.
Australian Greg Harvey, managing director of Singapore-based flour miller, Interflour Group, says the outlook is positive for wheat and grain-based food products across Asia.

“You have a growing middle class population with high disposable income driving the demand for grain-based food products, more red meat protein and dairy products growth," he explained. ". . . the middle class in Asia estimated to grow six times over the next 20 years and Africa, Middle East is to grow one and half to two times over the next 20 years.”

The change in consumption patterns is apparent in malls and supermarkets. Nick Reitmeier, a vice president at Thailand’s Central Food Retail group, says changes in tastes are evident amid greater demand for what he calls Westernized food.

“Bread is one of the key factors. We are selling a lot of sour dough bread today," he said. "And most Asian people have really liked the taste of it. In the bakery even specialty bread where they use different flour from Austria, purple wheat flour, Japanese flour, a huge demand for flour as well as bread mixes.”

The International Grains Council's latest forecast is for global wheat production to rise to 719 million metric tons over 2014-15.

Australia is a leader in wheat exports to Asia, with competition from the United States, Canada and countries of the Black Sea, including Turkey and the Ukraine.

In its annual forecasts released in March, The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences forecast Australia’s grain and oilseed production to rise over the next five years to over 42 million tons. The current national wheat crop is likely to be more than 24 million tons, with 18 million tons worth $4.5 billion bound for export.

Ron Storey, a consultant with Australian Crop Forecasters, says changing food tastes are driving the demand.

“That shift from the bowl of rice across to chicken and pork and more dairy products is what’s happening and that appears to be what’s driving the demand," he said. "One of the real questions from a supply side is the capacity of the different origins of grain production to be able to meet that demand over the next 10 to 20 year period.”

Wheat traders say Australia’s exports will be unable to meet the rising demand, leaving the way open for increased sales from the Black Sea region into Asia.

Currently in Asia, pasta occupies a major portion of the milled flour market, especially in regions such as Indonesia, but bread is the fastest growing segment. In China, more coarse grain imports are targeting rising demand for malting barley for beer production. Feed grain sales also to China are increasing for the meat industry.

Australia’s wheat export industry was deregulated in 2008, leaving individual wheat exporters greater capacity to target changing market demands in Asia, says Rosemary Richards, the executive officer for the Australian Grain Exporters Association.

"Take Indonesia, which is Australia’s biggest wheat market. There used to be six to 10 major mills in that market. Today there’s I think 160 mills. So the market has become more fragmented," she said. "There’s a lot more customers. There’s new customers. So just as our industry has changed in terms of being deregulated and having more exporters operating in the market, so have our customers.”

In Asia changing patterns of consumption are being mirrored in the food processing industries, as millers and food producers move to tailor support to meet the middle classes’ increasing and changing food demands.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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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

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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
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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.

Choice 4.5 hectaares. Waterfront, titled property. Financing available for motel or hotel. Water and power on the property. $35 a  m2. In Tropical Paradise Resort. Buy all or Part at  Puerto Viejo, Limón. Call Andy at

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.

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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 64
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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
dog in car
A.M. Costa Rica/Gladys Montealegre
  A motorist who might not have wanted to get dog hair inside the car
   put his pet in a happy face bag and strapped it to the vehicle's spare

Call center will field tax questions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's tax agency said Tuesday that its call center service soon would cover all of Costa Rica.

The call center has been in operation since February 2014, and services Cartago, the southern zone, San José and Limón.

The Dirección General de Tributación said the center handles calls, text messages and emails. Selected questions are posted on the agency's Web site, an announcement said.

Telephone numbers for the agency and regional offices are HERE!

The email for tax questions is

The system is modeled after a similar one in Spain, and the Agencia Española de Administración Tributaria has provided help here, Tributación said.

Operators at the call center are reported to have been trained in working with the various computer programs that the agency is now requiring taxpayers to use.

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Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Ad Astra receives contract from NASA
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ad Astra Rocket Co. and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space administration have announced a $10 million agreement.

Ad Astra is developing a plasma rocket for space flight.  The Costa Rican-U.S. astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz heads the 10-year-old company, which has offices in Texas and a lab in Liberia.

The agreement was one of 12 that were awarded after a competitive process, said the space agency.

Ad Astra will continue development of its rocket to the point where it can run for at least 100 hours, the firm said. The rocket has been tested thousands of times but for a minute or less, the firm said.

Plasma rockets feature exhaust velocities far above those achievable by their chemical cousins, so their fuel consumption is extremely low, the firm said.

Plasma, an electrically charged gas, can be heated to extreme temperatures by radio waves and controlled and guided by strong magnetic fields, said the firm. The magnetic field also insulates nearby structures so exhaust temperatures well beyond the melting point of materials can be achieved, it added.

Ad Astra has been operating on some $30 million of private capital, the firm said.

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