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(506) 2223-1327       Published Thursday, April 16, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 74     E-mail us
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traditional foods
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Have you
tried these?

Who says Costa Rica is a little short in the food department? Those who claim they haven't been to the Mercado Central or other places where traditional foods are served.

Our story today, as an inauguration of our expanded entertainment and food page, features gallitos, the little treats that range from tortas de huevo con cebollin to chile relleno.
See the story HERE! ¡Provecho!



Government pardons 10 drug dealers and traffickers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even if you do the crime in Costa Rica, you may not have to do all the time.

The Consejo de Gobierno, the president's cabinet, has pardoned 10 persons. All of them were in prison for drug crimes, including two who were convicted of trying to smuggle drugs into a penitentiary.

President Óscar Arias Sánchez presided at the tearful session in the Buen Pastor women's prison in San Rafael de Desamparados Wednesday. Only  God is perfect, he said, explaining why the 10 persons should be given a second chance.
Casa Presidencial said that four of the persons pardoned, all women, are suffering from terminal diseases.

Most of the drug criminals have been in prison since 2007 or 2008, although one women had been there since 2002.

The cases of those who were pardoned had been studied by the Instituto de Criminología, officials said.

The drug crimes ranged from sales to transporting, as well as smuggling drugs into the prisons.

Most had been sentenced from 5 1/2 to 8 years.


New tourism campaign will encourage Ticos to stay in Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism institute says it soon will embark on a new promotional campaign to encourage Costa Ricans to vacation inside the country.

The announcement comes a few days after the end of one of the year's two major vacation seasons.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo will spend
194 million colons on newspaper, radio, television and bus advertising, an announcement said. That's about $344,000. The institute said that some of the bus advertising will be done in rural areas.

The campaign will run through October, according to Carlos Ricardo Benevides, tourism minister. The second big vacation period is the last two weeks of December and the month of January when students are not attending school.


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Second newspage
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts


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.


Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5055-8/26/09

Psychiatrists
Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho Torres
  bilingual psychiatrist (UCR)
Dr. Sancho
• consulting • depression  • schizophrenia 
• psychiatric disability VA Affairs

• evaluations for gun permits 
 
• bipolar disorders  • addictions 

• methadone

• Transmagnetic stimulation
for depression and stroke

Available 24-hour a day

office: 2246-3458 or 2246-3459
soon: www.psiquiatriacostarica.com
 lucasancho@yahoo.com
5128-7/14/09

Physicians and surgeons

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.
5068-4/19/09

Dental Clinics
Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
Dr. cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 10,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction,
Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. 
For more information,
visit us today at: www.aestheticdentistrycr.com
5067-5/17/09

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant 
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA. We are affiliated with Widex hearing instruments because of their quality, natural sound and intelligibility over background noise. That means  no more echoing, feedback or interference. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5127-5/13/09
Allan Weinberg
Allan Weinberg


Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
4954-5/12/09

Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
4906-7/5/09

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A Name You Trust & Professional Service


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www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v

Appraiser

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction management

www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
4865-6/11/09

7Legal services

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A.
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
4827-5/31/09

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com - ForeverCostaRica.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).

4815-5/24/09


KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007
Leave your guns at home,
Arias will tell Obama


By the A. M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial said Wednesday that President Óscar Arias Sánchez will ask Barack Obama to stop sending weapons to Latin America.

Arias was to do this at an 8 a.m. Sunday meeting with the U.S. president at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Casa Presidencial said.

Arias recognized that Obama is not involved in weapons trafficking, so Casa Presidencial said he will ask the U.S. president to use his moral authority.
 
Arias, who now has little more than a year left in his term of office, has pushed for a treaty to control weapons in discussions at the United Nations and also has sought a program of payments from developed nations to Third World countries that do not invest money in armament.

Ironically, the insecurity of the country has resulted in a steady market for gun permits and guns among citizens.

Casa Presidencial also said Wednesday that Costa Rica has been rated No. 47 in security among the 209 nations of the world by the World Bank Institute. Costa Rica is ranked higher than any other Central American country in security.

The rating uses the number and availability of police agents, training, the role of judges and types of regulations to assign a number, said Casa Presidencial.


Three held as robbers
who terrorized Curridabat


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police agents grabbed three suspects who face up to 50 allegations that they robbed pedestrians and those waiting for a bus in the community of Tirrases de Curridabat.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the robbers have terrorized the community.

The suspects range in age from 24 to 35.  Agents said that the robbers would simply approach persons waiting for a bus or walking on the street in the morning hours and either level a gun at them or display a knife. Then they would take belongings.

Investigators said that these suspects are linked to three other men detained two weeks ago.


Woman cleared way
to home invaders


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators detained two men, 20 and 26, and a 30 year-old woman Wednesday in Tejarcillos de Alajuelita and said they were involved in invading homes.

Agents said that the trio are suspects of being the robbers who used a woman as a decoy or lure. The woman would strike up a friendship with a homeowner, study the habits and brief the two men so they could pull off the crime with minimal risk.

The crimes took place in San José and in Heredia, agents said. In two cases the woman in custody was a personal friend of victims.


President of Uruguay
will make a state visit


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, will conduct a state visit to Costa Rica a week from day and meet with President Óscar Arias Sánchez, legislators and supreme court magistrates.

Vázquez is making a private visit to Costa Rica starting Sunday, said Casa Presidencial.

Vázquez is a physician and will visit the Universidad de Costa Rica for a conference on tobacco a week from tomorrow as well as meet with Costa Rican business operators. and business operators from his country, said Casa Presidencial.


Our reader's opinion
Support bank privacy
and end war on drugs


Dear A.M. Costa Rica;
 
Last week, Dean Barbour seemed to be under the sorry illusion that Switzerland was maintaining their banking customers' privacy. Sorry, Dean, Switzerland capitulated to the IRS' demands. The noble Swiss are even changing their constitution to do away with those pesky privacy guarantees.
 
The little bit of money I have left is out of all banks except what I absolutely have to keep in there. And I'm working on doing away with the last of that. My investments are in precious metals in other countries. Inconvenient but safe. Sadly, Costa Rica does not allow the buying and selling of precious metals.
 
History confirms that governments want to know your secrets not to protect you. They want to know your secrets so they can own you.
 
The U.S. carrot is money, mostly to fight the WOD (War On Drugs). But the WOD is lost, only the facade continues, allowing the U.S. to spread newly minted dollars around to gain influence. They teach other countries how to control their people because it makes a government more powerful and richer. The funny thing is the U.S. is going bankrupt. Actually, they are already bankrupt, just nobody's copping to it out loud.
 
Why do other countries follow a bankrupt nation in a failed drug policy? Because the dollar has infiltrated so many economies, it behooves everyone to keep propping it up. But fail it will, there is no happy ending. Smart countries are making contingency plans and quietly getting out of the dollar.
 
If there is justice in the world, in a year or two, other countries will wake up and wish they hadn't turned their backs on their customers to support a failed superpower.
 
The first country to allow its banks to offer customers real privacy will see the money flow in because even people with nothing to hide want privacy. The first country to end the war on drugs and tax and regulate the stuff instead will be far ahead of the game.
Sally O'Boyle
Escazú

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74


Workers try to fix gap in Autopista General Cañas bridge
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expansion joint in the bridge over the Río Virilla has lost part of its steel covering, and motorists on the Autopista General Cañas are cutting their speed to slowly roll over the gap.

As a result traffic jams have become the order of the day on the section of road west of San José. This is the main highway between San José and Alajuela as well as the Juan Santamaría airport.

A contractor hired by the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad shut down the westbound lane at 10 p.m. Wednesday and
began inserting quick-drying concrete in some of the gaps. Workmen also were planning to try to tack down the metal sheets over the expansion joint. Some are missing.

The problem does not seem to present a danger to vehicles. The gaps are not wide enough to accommodate vehicle tires, although some unexpected wear might occur.

The work is being done by the Procom company, said the Minsterio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

If the crews cannot repair the bridge completely, they likely will return Thursday night. The Policía de Tránsito was detouring westbound traffic to alternate routes.


Sala IV, Patronato at odds over who should protect child
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial issued a summary of an unusual decision by the Sala IV constitutional court Wednesday morning. The decision said that the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia was responsible for protecting a youngster who is being threatened by gangs.

By midday a spokesman for the Poder Judicial asked newspapers not to publish the story because a juvenile was involved.

But then several hours later, the Patronato issued its own news statement that said it was concerned by the decision. The youngster involved has been the witness to a crime in the neighborhood where he lives. The court decision said that gang members have been firing bullets at his home.
The court said that the Patronato should put the youth in a shelter. The Patronato said that removing the youth from his home goes against much of what the institution stands for and would break up the family.

It also said that to comply with the court decision would place the family and some of its employees at risk.

The Patronato said there was a difference between police protection and social protection as when a child is left without parents to care for him.

The Patronato also noted that the new law for the protection of victims and witnesses puts the responsibility for protection on the Ministerio Público, that is the prosecutor's office which is a dependency of the Corte Suprema de la Justicia.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74


Vocabulary is a byproduct of this language training show
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

WordWorld is an Emmy-award-winning animated TV series that helps 3- to 5-year-olds develop early literacy skills. A new study, funded by the Department of Education, found that watching it for just 15 minutes a day improved a child's vocabulary and readiness to read. The show is now seen in nearly two dozen countries.

WordWorld creator Don Moody says he got the idea for the television show when he was working on a computer program to promote literacy

"WordWorld is basically a world where objects are made up of the letters that spell what they are," he says.

WordWorld is a colorful animated world where letters become words and come to life.

"Dog - spelled d-o-g. When you push the letters 'd, o, g' together, they magically morph into a dog, who is a fun-loving puppy with a clever personality," he explains.

Moody says the idea for the show was born a couple of years ago, as he worked on a computer-based learn-to-read program that relied on letters and text on the screen.

"While trying to do that, I realized it doesn't work," he says. "Children want to see animated characters. They really don't want to see the text on the screen. So one day, I was working with the word 'shark' on the screen, and I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if the letters 's-h-a-r-k' turn into a shark and just scare the children?' And that dramatic moment would help them remember the word 'shark' forever and how to spell it."

The stories and jokes are all told by a group of three-dimensional animated characters, called WordFriends. They include Dog, Duck, Sheep, Frog and Pig. Each of the characters has a distinctive personality that young viewers can relate to.

"Pig is the chef in WordWorld," he says. "He's always cooking something. So, if we're trying to teach letters, he might be cooking alphabet soup. If we're trying to teach compound letters, he might be cooking meatballs and pancakes and popcorn."

Duck is the star of the show.

"The children at home associate themselves with Duck," he says. "And Duck goes on adventures. He learns. So, if Duck goes out, and he's on an adventure and he needs to cross the river, he might find the letters to spell the word
world world and the animals
Characters from WordWorld
 
bridge, 'b-r-i-d-g-e,' put them together and boink! They morph into a bridge over the river, and then he can get across the river."

WordWorld is now reaching 9 million viewers a month. It airs in 22 countries and in three languages: English, Cantonese and French.

Moody says the feedback the show has been drawing is overwhelmingly positive, and he thinks he knows why.

"You really need to entertain a child and let the byproduct of your entertainment be the literacy," he says. "I think if you can make them laugh, if you can take them on a story with you and bring the literacy in through a plot line or even in a joke line, I think that's the way to keep a child's attention."
 
While WordWorld exists on television, Moody says computers can be an equally important tool for teaching children to read.

"It used to be that you wouldn't think of a preschooler on a computer, but now you're seeing 3-year-olds on computers," he says. "So, I think that's a platform that we can do a lot of teaching on. I certainly hope that other people are out there thinking that they should make reading shows, too, because I think the more shows reach the more children in the more countries in the world, the more literate our societies will be, and, eventually, I think the more peaceful our planet will be.

"So I hope, if anybody needs any help, they can call me. I'll help anybody that wants to make a reading show, because I think that's the best thing you can do for children."

Moody says reading is one of the most important skills children need to develop early on.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74



A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Statistics

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.



Three Mexican cartels put
on U.S. asset freeze list


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States is taking action against three Mexican drug cartels. The news comes as President Barack Obama prepares to travel to Mexico today for talks with President Felipe Calderón.

The drug-related violence plaguing Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, is likely to dominate the discussions in Mexico City.

Obama has praised efforts by the Mexican government to stand up to the drug cartels. And on the eve of the talks, he showed America's commitment to do the same.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs made the official announcement.

"Earlier today, the president designated three Mexican organizations under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. The three organizations are the Sinaloa cartel, Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana," he announced.

Gibbs said the move underscores America's intent to attack the financial underpinnings of the Mexican drug cartels, which generate billions of dollars in revenue each year.

He said the Treasury Department now has the authority to block or seize any assets, accounts or securities under U.S. jurisdiction held by these organizations or anyone acting on their behalf.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has picked a former federal prosecutor to coordinate efforts to end drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and slow the tide of illegal immigration. The former prosecutor, Alan Bersin, worked at the Justice Department in the 1990s and led a government crackdown on illegal immigrants at the California-Mexico border, known as Operation Gatekeeper.


Most wanted drug trafficker
captured by Colombian police


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombia has announced the capture of the man listed as the country's most wanted drug lord, Daniel Rendon. A presidential spokesman made the announcement Wednesday.

The government had offered a reward of up to $2 million for the capture of Rendon, an alleged paramilitary drug trafficker also known as "Don Mario." Rendon is alleged to have offered $1,000 for each police officer his gunmen killed.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74


Latin American news digest
Pimp promoted minor girl
on Craigslist, feds claim

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A Florida man, arrested Tuesday night by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, faces a federal charge that he prostituted a 17-year-old girl he solicited through her page on the MySpace website and then offered her services on Craigslist.

The suspect, Christopher Tyrone Young, also known as “Staydown,” 28, of Orlando, Florida, was arrested in San Diego after being named in a criminal complaint filed Monday in United States District Court in Santa Ana.

The complaint charges Young with one count of sex trafficking of children.

The investigation into Young began March 24 after investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department arrested a 17-year-old girl on prostitution charges.

After it was learned that the girl was a runaway minor from Florida, investigators determined that she was working for a pimp that the girl later identified as Young, according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

Young allegedly contacted the girl last October and, after promising to make her a “star,” gave her a bus ticket from Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada. Following a three-day bus trip from Florida to Las Vegas, Young brought the girl to Orange County, where he had her work as a prostitute.

Using sexually explicit photos he took of the girl, Young placed an ad on the Craigslist Web site for Orange County that offered sexual services, the affidavit alleges.

Young later had the girl working as a prostitute by walking streets in the California cities of Anaheim, Pomona and Montclair, as well as in Las Vegas, according to the indictment.

The affidavit also alleges that Young had sex with the girl and provided her with the drug ecstasy.

The charge of sex trafficking of children carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.



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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 16, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 74


chile relleno
Chile relleno envuelto en huevo: Pepper stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat rolled up in an egg omelette.
scallon omlette
Torta de Huevo con cebollin:
scallion omelette.
canelone
Canelones de carne envueltos en huevo. Cannelloni stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat rolled up in an egg omellete
yucca balls
Enyucada de carne: This is a yucca ball stuffed with meat and then fried until crunchy.
Yes, there is good typical food
on the Costa Rican menu

By Saray Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When visitors to Costa Rica turn up their nose at the concept of Tico food, its because they have not looked hard enough.

Those who come to San José can find a wide assortment of great typical food at a place like the Central Market or Mercado Central.

At one time this was where most food transactions took place. The building itself is an historic site. The structure is on the Avenida Central pedestrian mall not far west of the Banco de Costa Rica. Tourists and locals alike will find that gallitos, a typical Tico canape or snack, is available here at the several sodas or inside lunch counters.

Around the eating spots, daily commerce takes place. The smell of leather goods, flowers and all kinds of foods and plants fill the air.

Inside, the gallito you can get a chile relleno (a filled pepper), an almuerzito de repollo (cabbage), tortas de huevo con cebollin (a scallion omelette) a barbudos (string bean omelette), a canellone ticos rellenos de carne (pasta stuffed with meat) or an enyucada with beef as well as cheese. The last is meat or cheese wrapped in yucca and deep fried.

There also are empanadas, pastry stuffed with meat, chicken, beans, potatoes with meat and/or cheese, all good food anytime of the day.

The word soda has a unique Costa Rica usage for a luncheon spot or snack bar.  The stands are small with some inside tables surrounded by a counter with stools. As you eat, you can see the food being prepared. The Mercado Central is operated by the municipality, so proper food preparation can be expected.

One well-known place is the Soda San Bosco at the western part of the Mercado Central. It is run by Luis Garcia Campos and his family. They have had the location for at least 30 years. Even though the place is small, it is very popular with locals. Garcia said the reason for the popularity is the freshness of the food, the friendly and quick service and the prices. 

You can drink the juice of different kinds of fruits for 350 colons (62 U.S. cents),  a coffee for 400 colons (71 cents), a gallito of chile relleno, canelloni or barbudos just for 600 colons ($1.06), the gallo de salchichon (sausage) with salad and tortillas for 500 colons (89 cents) as well the similarly priced empanadas, enyucadas and torta de huevo.

Soda San bosco and Luis Garcia Campos
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas  
Luis Garcia Campos at his Soda San Bosco

Playas del Coco Lions plan
international food festival


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Playas del Coco is getting ready for the Third Annual International Food Festival, to be held Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m, at Zi Lounge in the middle of town. This event is organized by the Lion’s Club of Playas del Coco, which this year celebrates 15 years of service in the community.

Participants can be a part of a meeting of cultures, sharing with the Canadian, Cuban, Costa Rican, American, French, Italian, Mexican, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian Communities, among others, organizers said. The event will feature cuisine from these countries, a guaro tasting, a dance to the live music and an opportunity to get to know more about the wealth of Costa Rica.

All proceeds from this event will go to equip the local public high school with a computer lab, where both students and local adults will benefit, said a Lions Club spokesperson.

Donations for the project are being accepted at Banco Nacional in the Asociación Club de Leones Account: 0150004747-5.

For additional information, individuals can e-mail:  sandye84@gmail.com.
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