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(506) 2223-1327                                 Published Tuesday, April 7, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 67                    Email us
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Government tightens rules on so-called 'fiscal value'
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican lawmakers have moved to crack down on a long-running practice that has cost the country untold millions in property transfer taxes.

For years lawyers who process real estate transfers have been declaring a fake lower value of the transaction to reduce taxes and fees before a property deal is filed at the Registro Nacional.

The transfer tax is supposed to be 1.5 percent, and many lawyer-notaries have been declaring a much lower value to reduce the tax and stamp fees for their clients at the expense of the municipality, the Registro Nacional and a host of other entities that benefit from the tax. 

In some cases the difference between the so-called fiscal value and the real price of the property sale has been large.

In one court dispute, a transaction's value was listed at about $2,000, yet the owner insisted that he should be compensated for the real value, some $765,000.

Law  No. 9069 has been on the books since Sept. 28, 2012, but there does not seem to have been any high-profile cases resulting from it. A new batch of tax proposals are expected to be filed in the next three weeks, and there may be an effort to beef up even more this aspect of the law.

The measure in Artículo 92 sets penalties for omission or fraud of the government with up to five to 10 years of prison.
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Let's hope no one checks the paperwork!

As the World Bank's Doing Business
survey noted, the transfer tax and stamp duties are calculated on the basis of the highest of the stated purchase price and the property value appearing on the national property registry, and the price is updated when the property is sold or mortgaged.

A curious twist are those would-be expats who inflate deliberately the price of a property that they purchased. The goal is to show immigration officials that at least $200,000 has been invested, enough to qualify for residency as an inversionista.

U.S. Navy divers visit to investigate sunken ship
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A team of seven U.S. Navy divers are working this week to help Costa Rican officials investigate the wreck of the sunken tourist catamaran EcoQuest.

This is the three-deck vessel that sunk Jan. 8 with the loss of three lives, a U.S. man, a Canadian woman and a British man.

Some 106 persons survived after being dumped into the Gulf of Nicoya

The boat was owned by Global Trust Firm S.A. The boat was believed to have been operated by the firm Pura Vida Princess.

The U.S. Navy team includes divers with special equipment for operating at depths of more than 60 meters, said the U.S. Embassy in announcing the visit. Costa Rican officials asked for the help because of the depth.

The boat capsized in strong winds, and the assumption is that one of the two pontoons on which the hull was built collapsed.

Survivors also reported that the lower row of windows on the boat were open and allowed water to enter.

"The result of this collaboration will be a joint marine vessel casualty safety investigation report, issued within five to seven months, which will be given to the Costa Rican authorities to help improve the safety of all passengers and passenger vessels in Costa Rica," said the U.S. Embassy.

The trip was a common one to Isla Tortuga, also in the Gulf of Nicoya. The mishap took place some seven miles off Punta Leona in the Central Pacific. The boat was built in 2007.

The captain is under investigation by the judiciary.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 67

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


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museum drama
Museo Juan Santamaría photo        
This is a scene from a past year's performance.

Museum to mark April 11 with drama

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Juan Santamaría will mark the anniversary of the Battle of Rivas by once again staging “A la calle con el 56.”

As in 2012 and 2013, the dramatic performance will make the rounds over the rest of the month with shows in San José Centro, Golfito, Pérez Zeledón, Limón Centro, Barva de Heredia and Puntarenas Centro.

The Alajuela museum appropriately plans for the first performance Saturday at 1 p.m. at the museum. Saturday is a legal holiday, although some workers may have Friday off.

The Battle of Rivas took place when Costa Rican troops confronted the filibusters forces at that Nicaraguan town.  The military operation was called the Campaña Nacional, and 1856 marked the beginning of several years of conflict against the forces of William Walker.

The museum noted that the Costa Rican forces were under the command of  José María Cañas and José Joaquín Mora, the brother of the president.

Ironically Cañas and Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the president, were executed just four years later after returning from a forced exile.

The Battle of Rivas was where Juan Santamaría, a soldier, distinguished himself by putting a torch to an enemy stronghold. He died in the effort.

Alajuela, Santamaría's home, will be the center of celebrations Saturday with events planned all day.

Shark fin shipment via U.S. claimed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two conservation groups said Monday that at least two lots of shark fins have been exported from Costa Rican to Hong Kong with a stopover on U.S. soil.

The export and trade of endangered species shark fins violates U.S. environmental law, which bans shipments of endangered species products, including in transit hammerhead shark fins, the organizations said.

The organizations are the Costa Rican-based Programa Restauración de Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas and the Turtle Island Restoration Network of California.
Eastern Pacific scalloped hammerhead sharks are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they said in a release.

 "We warned the Costa Rican officials that these exports would occur in violation of the ESA, but the higher authorities of the ministry of environment decided to proceed with the exports anyway," said Randall Arauz of the Programa. "We blew the whistle and alerted the U.S. authorities as well, with no positive response either."

"Costa Rica's disregard for international laws designed to protect endangered wildlife coupled with the U.S. government's failure to enforce prohibitions on illegal shark fin shipments spells disaster for scalloped hammerhead populations," said Doug Karpa in release. He is the legal program director with Turtle Island Restoration Network. "These unique sharks could go extinct in our lifetime if we don't end this illegal trade," he added.

The Programa and Turtle Island said they learned that Costa Rica exported hammerhead shark fins in December and again in February. Given the routing of cargo shipments to China from Costa Rica, these shipments clearly touched down in the U.S., where they should have been confiscated under the Endangered Species Act and thus been prevented from further trade and sale, they said. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to enforce the Endangered Species Act, and allowed the shipments to continue on to Hong Kong, they added.

Dec. 24 Costa Rica exported 906 pounds (411 kilograms) of two species of hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini and Sphyrna zygaena), and on Feb. 20 Costa Rica exported a second batch of 1,003 pounds (455 kilograms), they said.

"All scalloped hammerhead fins exported from Costa Rica derive from the endangered Eastern Pacific population that is protected under the ESA. The fact that the U.S. failed to interrupt the shipments the moment they touched down on U.S. soil, makes them an accomplice in the unregulated, international trade of shark fins," said Maike Heidemeyer, a biologist with the Programa who investigated the shipments.

The two organizations did not say what firm or individual actually did the shipping. The Programa has waged an intensive battle for years to eliminate the practice of shark finning whereby fishermen simply cut off the valuable fins and throw the living fish back in the water to die.

Banco Nacional photo          
Participants launch blue balloons to herald the bank illumination.

Bank building is blue for autism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The downtown office tower of the Banco Nacional will be illuminated in blue for April to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

The illumination is designed to be a symbol of hope for sufferers and family members, said the bank.

The Asociación Autismo Costa Rica prevailed on the bank to devise the illumination, the bank said in a release.

The association said that one person in 54 is afflicted with autism, something that cannot be cured. Counting family members, the association estimated that nearly 400,000 persons were affected.

The day, April 2 each year, is sponsored internationally by the United Nations, which said that 80 percent of adults with autism are unemployed. Research suggests that employers are missing out on abilities that that people on the autism spectrum have in greater abundance than “neurotypical” workers do – such as, heightened abilities in pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail, said the U.N.

Said the U.N.: Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children and adults in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. It is characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behavior, interests and activities.

140 student guitarists will take the stage

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The symphony will not play this Friday at the Teatro Nacional, but some 140 students from the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical will be on the stage.

The event is the I Encuentro de Orquestas de Guitarras that unites guitar orchestras from Limón, San Ramón, Cartago, Heredia, Santa Ana, Pacayas and San Vito.

The concert will recognize the famous Costa Rican composer Héctor Zúñiga Rovira by playing three of  his estimated 100 compositions.

The 8 p.m. concert has a 2,000-colon admission with half off for seniors and students.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 67
Real Estate
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Despite parasite danger, dogs running loose are common, survey finds
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A study recently released by the Universidad Nacional’s veterinary school found evidence of dog parasites in all parks surveyed around the San José metropolitan area. Fully 84 percent of dog fecal samples tested had signs. Blood samples from leashed dogs showed high prevalence of antibodies though those remain even after successful treatment in both dogs and people.

The dog roundworm Toxocara is the most dangerous for people and can be picked up by children when the larvae are viable in soil where dogs have defecated. The eggs take a few weeks to develop the earliest stage larvae and then can wait long periods for the opportunity to infect another dog. Humans are incidental hosts, and the larvae do not develop into adult worms to reproduce. However, the larvae can do significant damage either by colonizing the liver or, if one works its way into an eye, it can damage vision and even result in blindness.

Ancylostoma hookworms make up the largest part of the dog parasite load but are rarely able to infect humans. They can however cause severe itching and secondary infections while burrowing into the skin.

Responsible pet owners clean up after their dogs and reduce the presence of parasites. But that is not the case with dogs that run free, either all the time or just when owners let them outside.

As part of data collection for an eventual study, a population survey of free-range dogs is underway. Starting near San Isidro de Heredia, observers travel 10 kilometers most mornings to Los Angeles, to central Santo Domingo and to Santo Tomas de Santo Domingo.

They count the number of loose dogs and note the conditions.

Data are for 62 days from Sept. 2, 2014, through March 27, 2015, interrupted by vacations, weekends and other unplanned developments. Over that period the average per day is 11.4 dogs sighted, or slightly more than one loose animal per kilometer. The range of three to 24 for the same route indicates there is a circulating population and that surveying from a moving car is not the most precise 
methodology. For example, the two-kilometer segment 
free-range dog
A.M. Costa Rica/Steven Rogers
An example of a free-range dog in Heredia.

through  Los Angeles where observation is the easiest can produce zero to six in any visit, suggesting that a fair number are inside at any moment or otherwise out of view.

This is mostly a well-off area, and obviously sick or parasite-ridden individuals are noted and registered as such but are not common. Ripped open garbage bags are also recorded, but while a nuisance for solid waste collection, these are not much of a health hazard. Speculation by workers at the Servicio Nacional de Salud Anima that there are a million stray dogs in the country and that their situation as individuals is dire would not seem to be supported here.

Anecdotally, that appears not to be the situation. Most of these dogs are at least loosely associated with one or more households and are not stray. Males outnumber females at least 10 to one, as Costa Ricans think males make better watchdogs. Obviously lactating females are a rare sight.

Officials will make yet another effort to paste down metal on bridge
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials are trying a number of methods to fasten the loose metal plate on the Río Virilla bridge.

Monday workmen applied a path of asphalt, but that began to break up under the weight of traffic.

Now officials are closing the eastbound lane in order to solder

the metal. There even are plans to glue it with epoxy.

The expansion joint on the Autopista General Cañas bridge has been a problem for six years. There have been problems with the loose metal on both the eastbound and westbound lanes.

Officials have said that the bridge is too flexible and that this causes the metal to come loose. There are plans to remodel and widen the bridge.

Final holiday toll is 82 with 20 listed as traffic accident victims
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judicial morgue reported Monday that 82 persons died over the Semana Santa holidays.

The morgue is where the best count of deaths and violent

mishaps can be made because all who die in such circumstances go there. The morgue is part of the judiciary.

The report listed 20 deaths from traffic accidents, 10 from water accidents, 12 murders, 10 suicides and 10 natural deaths. It also said that 20 deaths were under investigation.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 67
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Regional health agency is stressing the need to keep food safe
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or harmful chemicals causes over 200 diseases, from diarrhea to cancer. To raise awareness and promote preventive action throughout the food chain, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization is focusing its 2015 World Health Day campaign on the issue of food safety.

"From farm to plate, keep it safe" is this year's slogan for World Health Day, observed annually to mark the anniversary of World Health's founding in 1948.

"Diseases caused by contaminated food are a serious problem for people's health and can jeopardize our countries' development, trade and tourism," said Carissa F. Etienne.

"In the Americas, with our abundant food production, we can prevent most of these illnesses with strong food safety systems," she said. She is director of the  Pan American Health Organization.

Globally, over 582 million people fall ill and more than 350,000 die annually from food borne illnesses including salmonellosis, gastrointestinal disease, Escherichia coli infection, said the organization. These illnesses result from eating unsafe foods such as undercooked meat, fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces or pesticides, and raw seafood containing marine biotoxins, it added.

Globalization has increased the interconnectedness of the world's food chains and, in parallel, the number, frequency and sites of food borne illnesses, aid the organization. Rapid urbanization has also magnified the risks, as people eat more food prepared outside the home, which is not always properly prepared and handled, it added.

In the Americas, about one in four people suffers an episode of food borne illness each year, the organization said, adding that children, pregnant women, immunosuppressed persons, and older adults are the most vulnerable.

"Rapid identification of outbreaks of food borne diseases and timely and coordinated response are crucial for minimizing the impact of these outbreaks on the population's health and on countries' economies," said Enrique Pérez, the organization's senior advisor on Food borne diseases.

While there are no estimates of the total costs (including medical care, drugs and lost work hours) of these diseases at the regional level, the available data indicate $700,000 to $19 million in annual health costs in Caribbean countries and more than $77 million in the United States, the organization estimated.

Food can become contaminated at any point in the food chain, so everyone along that chain must take measures to keep food safe, from producers to processors, retailers and consumers, the organization said.

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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.

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


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

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The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
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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

Palmares graphic

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, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 67
Real Estate
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Turkish court issues ban
on some social media sites

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Turkish court banned access to popular social media sites that posted images last week showing a prosecutor being held hostage by gunmen.  The restrictions are the latest crackdown on social media, just two months before a general election.

A Turkish court blocked access to popular social media sites Twitter, Facebook and the Internet site YouTube. The ban is in response to the failure of the sites to remove images posted of a Turkish prosecutor being held at gunpoint last week after being kidnapped by two members of a banned radical left-wing group. The prosecutor was later killed as police were attempting to rescue him.

Twitter and Facebook saw the ban lifted after they complied with the court order and removed the images. You Tube currently remains banned. The Google Web site is now also reportedly facing the threat of closure over access to the images.
Turkish authorities claim the images of the prosecutor, which were widely broadcast on Turkish media and the Internet, support terrorism and have caused distress to his family. According to a Turkish media report, a court also has banned over 150 local Internet sites for showing the offending images. But the banning of Twitter and You Tube, which are hugely popular in Turkey, has caused anger and concern in the country.
Yaman Akdeniz, an expert on cyber freedom at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, says the timing of the ban, just before June's general election, is worrying.
"To be honest, I am not surprised or shocked at all. This was expected, expected prior to the elections. And the only thing we weren’t sure was when and why it was going to happen, and now it happened. Despite two major constitutional court decisions last year involving Twitter and You Tube, they still blocked access to social media platforms," said Akdeniz.

In 2014, a similar ban was imposed just before local elections for postings accusing the government of corruption, drawing national and international condemnation just before local elections. The constitutional court eventually overturned that ban, citing the constitutional right to access social media, which are used extensively by opponents of the government.
Concern about Internet freedom in Turkey has grown since the government passed legislation last month empowering ministers to remove Web sites within two hours without a court order.

Human rights groups also have voiced alarm at what they say is a marked increase in prosecutions of people who have posted criticisms of the government and, in particular, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A 16-year-old school boy is currently on trial for insulting a public official after he used social media to criticize the president. If convicted, he could face a jail sentence. In March, police removed a 13-year-old boy from his class for a similar posting critical of the president.

U.S. demographic shift
to have impact on politics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At the turn of the 20th century, political parties in the United States were strong institutions that mobilized immigrant groups around core issues.  The political machines of both major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, made sure that voters turned out on election day.

Sometimes party workers even took immigrants to the polls and, on occasion, illegally paid them to vote.  But with the rise of mass communications, radio, television and the Internet, candidates themselves have been able to reach out to voters directly, weakening the role of parties in the United States.

As this trend continues, analysts say, minorities increasingly will need to be self-motivated to cast their ballots.

“Democrats are not going to be able to continue to rely on the votes of African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans without being more explicit in their voter outreach and, more importantly, in their issue outreach in terms of their advocacy of the issues that matter to African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans,” said University of California, Berkeley political scientist Taeku Lee.

Lee, an expert on racial and ethnic politics and political participation in the United States, said candidates of both parties should not be complacent when it comes to winning minority votes.

“Even though Latinos and Asian Americans are quite likely to be very religious, and those religious values and their social conservatism that attaches to that are really important to them, it doesn’t quite connect to politics in the same way that it does for the traditional white Republican base, for whom a high level of religiosity and social conservativism in some ways become the defining issue of their politics,” said Lee.

“So I think bread and butter issues matter quite a lot.  And when forced to choose between bread and butter issues like immigration policy, education reform, healthcare reform and social conservatism, Latinos and Asian Americans are going to pick the party that advances those bread and butter issues.”

Many analysts say that the expansion of government social welfare programs tied to these issues will shape U.S. politics in the long term.

“The political center of the country is driven not by ethnicity, but it’s driven by benefits,” said American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray, who noted that America’s changing demographics will likely play a subordinate role to more general trends in national politics.

“Even people who vote Republican who are receiving Medicare and Social Security are going to be reluctant to vote for Republican candidates who threaten those programs in any way,” said Murray.  “That’s equally true of people who receive major benefits from welfare and Medicaid.

“So I see the political center constantly moving leftward with the Republican center moving leftward along with the Democrats.  Republicans don’t have to sit down and have strategy meetings about that.  I think political survival will just drive them that way.  If I were a liberal Democrat, I would be looking with great complacency on the prospects for the next 30 or 40 years,” he said.

Despite a significant rise in minority Democratic voters in recent decades, many analysts expect Hispanics, Asians and African Americans to vote increasingly along economic lines.  As more minority voters enter the nation’s middle and upper classes, they say the Republican Party will have an opportunity to replenish its base of largely aging white voters, particularly if the GOP can effectively address illegal immigration, a key gateway issue for Hispanics.

“It’s better for minorities when the two parties are competing for them,” said Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners working to promote better immigration laws.  “The worst situation is what was true for African Americans for years, when Republicans ignored them and Democrats took them for granted.”

That, analysts say, is a mistake that politicians of both parties cannot afford to repeat with the nation’s burgeoning majority minority.

Californians struggle to cut
their daily use of water

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California Gov. Jerry Brown says residents of the state must reduce their water consumption by 25 percent to cope with a major drought, and local communities are drawing up new restrictions.  Residents, businesses and water agencies are already making changes.

This is the fourth year in a row of below average rainfall, which has created moderate to extreme drought conditions.  Bill McDonald of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says new restrictions should save a precious resource that is drying up.

“Right now, we rely on a lot of snow and rain, and that is not happening," said McDonald.

Some of the state's water comes from northern California and moves through aqueducts to the farm rich Central Valley and water-hungry cities in the south. 

Farms uses 80 percent of the state's water to produce much of the nation's fruit, vegetables and nuts.  Farming is largely exempt from the new restrictions, but many farms have seen their water allocations cut to zero. 

They use groundwater for crops, and new rules for pumping it may help preserve the water table, which is being depleted quickly in some places.

Analyst Caitrin Chappelle of the Public Policy Institute of California says the public wants stronger conservation measures.

“Our recent survey asked the question, do you think local and state government is doing enough about the drought.  And we saw the majority said no," said Chappelle.

Among new rules already in place, restaurants will face fines if they offer water to customers who have not asked for it.  At a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, owner Gilberto Cetina says the rule will save more than just drinking water.

“It is the water, it is the ice, the electricity you use to make the ice, the cut when you give the water, or if you use glasses, the water you use to wash the glass," said Cetina.

Californians say they want to help.

“We can just do what we can, turn off the water in between brushing our teeth," said one.

Major water users, such as golf courses, will face new restrictions, and local communities are drawing up rules to meet the target of a 25 percent reduction by next year.

Some homeowners are being paid to tear out grass and to landscape with drought-tolerant native plants. 

McDonald says more homeowners are installing efficient drip irrigation systems.

“And that is the future.  That is where we are going, because putting drinking water on a landscape that is ornamental is not a good use of resources," he said.

Other new restrictions will be coming for businesses and public agencies, as well as to residents.  Restaurateur Cetina says he is doing his part, and has already tried charging his customers for water.

“I got 10 customers mad, and I stopped it.  But I think we can do it now.  I think now is the right time to do it," he said.

Analysts say there is no single solution to California's water shortage, but education, better planning and conservation will help the state get through its periodic droughts. 

They say long-term solutions include recycling waste water and strengthening the distribution system, using pricing to encourage more efficient water use and using technology to reduce waste. 

Documentary puts focus
on Mexican drug gangs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Drug-related violence in Mexico has claimed tens of thousands of lives in recent years as rival gangs compete for the millions of dollars they can make smuggling marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs across the U.S. border.

But the violence and turmoil have also taken a toll on society, especially in northern Mexico where drug cartels are also involved in kidnapping, extortion and other crimes.

A new documentary film examines the situation through the eyes of three people with different perspectives.

The film "Kingdom of Shadows," which premiered at the recent South by Southwest Film Festival, takes a hard look at violence and lawlessness in northern Mexico.  It was directed by Bernardo Ruiz, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen.

“In the film we see Sister Consuelo Morales, she is a Catholic nun and a human rights defender in the city of Monterey, Mexico, and what she does and continues to do every day, is work with families whose loved ones have disappeared,” he said.

“One of the worst tragedies is to have a loved one disappear," Sister Morales said in the film. "Although we may not know the total truth right now, we are on the path to finding it.”

But Ruiz says human rights activists like her are up against corruption and a dysfunctional judicial system in Mexico.

“It is a very small percentage of crimes that are successfully prosecuted when you are talking about homicide, you are talking about kidnapping, so the real problem is in the judicial system," he said.  "Whatever is happening is aided and abetted by this culture of impunity.”

U.S. government agent Oscar Hagelsieb, who has worked undercover in Mexico, provides a different view.  He blames much of the violence on the rise of the Zetas, a former Mexican army unit that turned into a drug trafficking organization.

“In the military you learn that if someone attacks you, takes something from you, you attack them back," he said. "So, definitely the fact that the Zetas came into the drug game spiked up the violence considerably.”

The third point of view in the film comes from Texas rancher Don Henry Ford, who was involved in drug smuggling a couple of decades ago, when violence was not as widespread.

“I decided to go to Mexico and buy some marijuana, and I successfully smuggled my first load. It was terribly amateurish, but I got away with it,” he said.

Eventually, he was caught and served time in a U.S. federal prison.  He says the violence in Mexico was far less when larger criminal organizations controlled the border area.

“They had territories assigned, and there wasn’t near as much conflict,” Ford said.

Ford credits the film for showing the tragedy of innocent people, who are trapped in a world of violence and crime.

“My wife would be the better judge because she is impartial and she was moved by it, moved to tears by it,” he said.

Director Ruiz hopes his film will give the people in Mexico's violence-racked communities a voice on the world stage.

Russia pins expectations
on giant technology park

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian authorities are describing the country's economic downturn and Western sanctions against it as opportunities to reduce its reliance on energy exports by developing domestic, innovative industries.  To spur the growth of high-tech industries, one technology park developed by Moscow city authorities is attracting Western companies that have their eyes on the Russian market.

The Moscow city government converted a defunct, Soviet-era car factory into Technopolis, a technology park attracting many high-tech companies that want to get a foothold in the Russian market.

Technopolis CEO Igor Ischenko said foreign companies are lining up to invest.

“That’s not, to be honest, not only because we are the best.  We’re only one, maybe lonely one, in this kind of scale, in this kind of greatness, I would say. But I strongly believe that this is only the start point for development of new solution in terms of technical zone, special economical zone, to be prepared to welcome high technology,” said Ischenko.

Ischenko said the number of occupants this year will reach 50 companies, nearly double what it is now, but about half of what was originally expected.

Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine have caused some companies to back off investments and joint ventures.

Elina Belevskaya is head of public relations for Holding Company Composite, a state-owned firm producing advanced materials like carbon fiber.

“When we were in talks with Dow Chemical and Dow Aksa we counted on opening doors to access the world auto industry and, more concretely, the U.S Ford Motor company, as our company is still rather new and we cannot do it on our own.  In Russia, it is not that easy to be heard by the auto giants.  The weight of Dow Chemical would have allowed us to offer our production in the U.S market, but, it was impossible to do as our cooperation was frozen,” said Ms.  Belevskaya.

More fundamental problems include accessing raw materials needed for production and developing markets in Russia.

Holding Company Composite's affiliate company, Nanotechnology Center for Composites, maintains cooperation with Dow Aksa but still has to rely on Europe for its supplies and customers.

The Russian authorities' push for developing and diversifying local industries raises hopes that could change, says technical director Peter Molnar.

“This situation is somehow developing the local market and the local production.  And we hope that we can be a part of this local production.  And, yeah, I hope that we can show that it is possible to produce here, even high-end products and products which are quite new and innovative,” said Molnar.

Technopolis CEO Ischenko said there are plans to open an even larger industrial park using Technopolis management.

Underscoring the economic uncertainty, however, he acknowledged there are concerns the tax breaks, free power and water that Moscow provides the high-tech park could be reduced if city budgets continue to suffer.

Voice of America photo     
An adult puff adder contributes venom.

New universal anti-venom
seen as cheaper and safer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa die or are disabled each year due to poisonous snake bites.  Scientists in Britain are working to develop a serum that will counteract the venom from all sub-Saharan poisonous snake bites.

The puff adder is only one of many venomous snakes native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Robert Harrison of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine says every year, puff adders and the other snakes kill about 32,000 people.

“It's not only that. Other people who survive the bite, about 100,000 of them, are living with severe disabled limbs or legs, just really very disabling conditions,” he said.

The current method of producing anti-venom starting with the venom itself is time-consuming and costly, and the serum must be refrigerated.  Victims have to be treated multiple times and there are possible side-effects.  With the price of about $140 per single dose, the full treatment may cost more than $500, which makes it unaffordable for most rural Africans.

In addition, because of the way they're produced, current serums counteract poison from only one species, or a few related ones, so doctors must determine what snake bit the victim.

The anti-venom developed by scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine specifically for Nigeria, proved to be cheap, safe and effective.

Harrison says his team is using it as a basis for developing universal anti-venom applicable to all venomous snakes in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We're going to do that by identifying the proteins that are unique to all the other species," he said. "And taking these unique proteins. i.e. different from the source scale viper, the puff adder or the spitting cobra, and add that to the venoms of the original three.”

For this purpose the lab is regularly extracting venom from 450 snakes belonging to 21 of the most deadly species of sub-Saharan African snakes.

Scientists say the universal anti-venom will be more affordable than current serums and will be effective much longer.

Target date for the ultimate test after a year of storage at room temperature is set for July 2018.

Obama's Defense secretary
pushes Pacific trade pact

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration is opening a new phase of its strategic rebalance toward Asia and the Pacific by investing in high-end weapons, such as a new long-range stealth bomber, refreshing its defense alliance with Japan and expanding trade partnerships, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Monday.

"I am personally committed to overseeing the next phase of the rebalance, which will deepen and diversify our engagement in the region," Carter said in a speech outlining the administration's rationale for trying to devote more attention to Asia.

At a time of increasing conflict and uncertainty across the Middle East, as well as growing worry about Russian intervention in Ukraine, Carter's remarks seemed designed to convince Americans, and perhaps, more importantly, the country's Asian allies of the American commitment to the so-called Asia pivot.

His speech at Arizona State University's McCain Institute touched on themes he expects to raise on a week-long trip to Asia, his first since becoming Pentagon chief in February. He will visit Japan and South Korea for meetings with top government officials, and he also will spend time with U.S. troops.

Twelve Asia-Pacific nations have been trying to conclude a trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Delays in the U.S. Congress, however, in finalizing the trade promotion authority that President Barack Obama needs to streamline its passage through Congress have raised doubts about whether it can be achieved.

He called on Congress to pass the presidential trade authority, saying the Trans-Pacific Partnership was one of the most important parts of the Obama administration's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and made strong strategic sense.

He said it is expected to increase U.S. exports by $123.5 billion in the next decade.
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

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

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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)

Costa Rica Villas For Sale
*In 2009 this property appraisal for $240,000  (two hundred forty thousand).
*Located in Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica.
*We spent over $70,000 in renovating the villa.
*The first floor has renters with a year lease. They pay $200 a month.
*Health reasons need to return to the U.S.A.
*One of Costa Rica famous waterfalls, 100 yards in front of the villa.
*I'll sell this property for $189,000.
*Visit my Web site
Contact in Costa Rica:  Cray phone (506) 8977-2777
Contact in USA: Billy phone  001 (678) 576-5107

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

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.

Real estate services
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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, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 67
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Notorious fishing boat scuttled

By the Sea Shepherd Media
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After a four-month pursuit, the fishing vessel Thunder appears to have been scuttled.

This is one of a handful of ships that Sea Shepherd characterizes as a poaching vessel. The boat crew seek toothfish, a form of cod, in the  Southern Ocean.  Sea Shepherd said that the crew did so illegally.

The Thunder, sank off  Sao Tome, the environmental organization said.

The Sea Shepherd ships Bob Barker and Sam Simon were in the process of rescuing the entire crew of 40, including the captain, officers, and deck crew, who were all able to disembark to life rafts from the Thunder before it sank, the organization said.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “When my chief engineer boarded the Thunder in the hours leading up to the sinking, he was able to confirm that there were clear signs that the vessel was intentionally scuttled. Usually when a vessel is sinking, the captain will close all hatches so as to maintain buoyancy. However, on the Thunder, the reverse was done, doors and hatches were tied open and the fish hold was opened. It is an incredibly suspicious situation, to say the least.”

Sea Shepherd said it has been able to confirm that, at this time, there have been no reported injuries.

The crew of the Thunder have been supplied with food and water, and will now be received by the Sam Simon, it said.

Captain of the Sam Simon, Sid Chakravarty, said, “With the safety of my own crew also in mind, we will now take every precaution to ensure that the crew of the Thunder is retrieved from the lifeboats safely.”

The Thunder is one of six vessels that Sea Shepherd calls the Bandit 6 that are known to engage in illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing of vulnerable toothfish.

The Bob Barker has been engaged in a four-month pursuit of the vessel, which has gone from the Southern, to the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans.

On Dec. 25 the Sam Simon commenced retrieval operations to remove the illegal fishing gear abandoned by the Thunder when it first fled from the Bob Barker. More than 72 kilometers of illegal gill net was recovered over a three week period and over 1,400 fish, weighing a total of 45,000 kilograms, were returned to the ocean.

On Feb. 25, the Sam Simon handed over the confiscated fishing gear as evidence of the Thunder's illegal fishing activity to authorities in Mauritius.

In March, another two of the Bandit 6, the Viking and Kunlun, were detained by authorities in Southeast Asia. The captains of both vessels were arrested for fisheries related crimes.

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From Page 7:

Pre-schoolers have a place in Escazú

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A space to provide creative experiences for youngsters from 1 to 7 years has opened in Plaza Tempo in San Rafael de Escazú.

The location, called Little Monsters, is described as a club to provide learning and development programs with the use of art, music, construction, language, science, movement and innovation.

The director, Silvia Hidalgo Mora, said in a release that she has assembled a professional team in the various creative areas.  She said that she was responding to a lack of these types of programs in the country, according to the release.

More information is available on the Little Monsters Web site.

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