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Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 76
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Special day honors country's tiny native minority
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is called the Día del Aborigen Costarricense, which will be marked mainly in public schools.

The day is designed to honor the native peoples who live in Costa Rica. The formal ceremony will be at the Colegio Indígena de Ujarrás, en Buenos Aires de Puntarenas where the national anthem will be sung in Bribri. In addition to the Bribri, the Cabécar and the Boruca live in southern Costa Rica, as do the Térraba. Also there are the Guaymí or Ngöbe who migrated across the board from their ancestral lands in Panamá.

There are 24 native reserves in Costa Rica, and perhaps the easiest to visit from the Central Valley is that of the Quitirrisí, that is
just off the highway to Puriscal. The Maleku are in northern Alajuela province. In Guanacaste are the Matambú or Chorotega.

The Bribri are perhaps the most populous with estimates ranging higher than 10,000. But other native groups number in the hundred.

Columbus and the Spanish who followed him brought diseases
that greatly reduced the native numbers 
Pablo Presbere
that once may have been 200,000. Exact numbers are difficult to determine because some of the native peoples live far from modern Costa Rica. One estimate is that 73 percent of the native peoples still live on the reserves. The government estimates that natives living on reserves make up less than 2 percent of the country’s population.

Only some retain traditional ways. At other reserves the daily language is Spanish and the problems of the day are identical to anywhere else in Costa Rica. An exception might be days when there are traditional celebrations.

Preservation of the languages is a challenge, and the public school system has its own challenge in finding qualified teachers who speak the native languages. Many natives who live in remote areas remain unable to read or write. Many children are monolingual in their traditional language.

There also is the threat of land thefts by non-natives.

Many with native blood live all over Costa Rica and have intermarried with the rest of the population. Those who remain on the reserves usually are poorer and less healthier than the average Costa Rica. The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública helicopters frequently transport ill individuals and pregnant women from the various reserves, including the high Talamancas.

At villages high in the mountains or far from modern life, smoke from wood fires takes a toll.

There are a number of medical missionary efforts to help the native residents.
Project Talamanca, founded in 1996 by dentist Peter Aborn, has received international recognition. And there are many others. Sometimes U.S. Service members visit as part of their medical or construction training.

Although most of what is known about the pre-contact residents comes from Spanish reports, anthropologists are certain that the existing populations either came from somewhere else or were greatly influenced by other civilizations. Human occupation of

stone balls
Wikimedia Commons/Matthew O’Brien  
 Stone balls in Palmar Sur along with an
 antique train engine.

A.M. Costa Rica archives
Children in a remote Cabècar village

Costa Rica dates back at least to 10,000 B.C.
The Matambú or Chorotega in Guanacaste are believed to have fled from slavery from the Olmec or early Maya cultures. Today their descendants continue to make ceramics in the same style and sometimes with the same molds that use to make their way to Aztec markets.

Cultures on the Caribbean side show great influence from South America.

Much of the early history is hidden because sea levels have risen perhaps 120 meters, nearly 400 feet, since the end of the Ice Age.  Many great pre-Columbian settlements are hidden below the Caribbean and Pacific waters.

One that is not is Guayabo, which is on the slope of the Volcán Turrialba. This was a thriving city for thousands of years but was abandoned before Columbus arrived for reasons still unknown. The drainage system to handle the heavy tropical rains has won international awards.

Archaeologists say that pre-Columbian cultures here frequently are overlooked because they built with perishable materials and did not make giant stone structures as in Guatemala and Mexico. An exception are the stone balls in southern Costa Rica where a new museum has been installed. Still no one really knows who made the balls or for what use. The spheres are attributed to the Diquís culture.

An interesting side note is that the Bribri in Talamanca say they have never made peace with the central government. A revolution in 1709 created Pabrú or Pablo Presbere as the native hero. He was executed by the Spanish, but the Asamblea Legislativa gave him the title of the defender of liberty of the Indigenous people in 1997.

An archived news story of a reporter’s visit to a remote Cabécar village is HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 76
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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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Trejos stamp
Correos de Costa Rica/Marisol Castro
This is an example of the stamp honoring the past president.

New stamp honors a former president

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Correos de Costa Rica officially presented Monday a new commemorative stamp that honors former president José Joaquín Trejos Fernández on his
100th birthday. Trejos was president from 1966 to 1970. He died in 2010.

Trejos had no political experience when he ran under the banner of the Partido Unificacion Nacional led by Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, and the new party was strong enough to elect a number of legislators, too.

He defeated Daniel Oduber Quirós by just 4,000
light company postmark
votes, but Oduber won the presidency eight years later. A summary online said that the nation’s sales tax was passed during his administration and the country’s debt was wiped out.

Correos also is honoring the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz on its 75th anniversary with a commemorative postmark. The postmark is on sale with an envelope commemorating Franklin Chang’s space walk that was issued in 2007.

vice minister
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Vice Mininster  Bernardita Marín Salazar gets her chance to chop up a firearm as the Dirección General de Armamento destroys 556 weapons Monday. Officials from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública always make a big show of destroying weapons that have been confiscated or involved in some sort of crime.

Isthmus volcano a suspect in big chill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

European researchers are looking at Central American volcanoes as possible suspects in the mystery cloud that dimmed the light of the sun above the Mediterranean in the years 536 and 537.

They also are looking at volcanoes in Indonesia and North America, they said.

The report was a joint one from the University of Oslo and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany.

Contemporary chroniclers wrote about the mystery cloud, according to the report. Tree rings testify to poor growing conditions over the whole Northern Hemisphere. The years from 536 onward seem to have been overshadowed by an unusual natural phenomenon. Social crises including the first European plague pandemic beginning in 541, are associated with this phenomenon, it said.

Only recently have researchers found conclusive proof of a volcanic origin of the 536 solar dimming, based on traces of volcanic sulfur from two major eruptions newly dated to 536 and 540 in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, the report said.

An international team led by Matthew Toohey at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre and Kirstin Krüger of the University of Oslo have investigated the time period using the new ice core data, historical evidence and climate models. As they write in the international journal Climatic Change, the impact of the volcanic double event of 536/540 on Northern Hemisphere climate was stronger than any other documented or reconstructed event of the past 1,200 years, according to the report.

“One of the eruptions would have led to a significant cooling of the Earth’s surface. Two of them, so close in time, caused what is probably the coldest decade of the past 2000 years,” Toohey was quoted as saying.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 76
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Builders capitalizing on home buyers who can live with less
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Real estate development firms are turning to lower middle class clients in an attempt to benefit from the lack of low-cost housing opportunities, according to José Miguel Porras, president of the Cámara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raíces.

These developments are located close to low income neighborhoods, such as Alajuelita and San Sebastián. In these places land is cheaper so it makes it possible for companies to offer houses with prices ranging from  $65,000 to $80,000, said Porras.

“In order to protect future residents from potential crime, houses are designed to be bubbles where groceries and basic services are offered to the people, so they don´t have to get out of the neighborhood.” he explained.

This market niche is supposed to grow in the years to come, and more developers are figuring out a way to reach it. However, their main challenge is how to keep prices low.

“Usually their low cost is achieved by building smaller units with simpler details.” said Porras.

This trend has increased since 2013 and it offers an affordable way for people to buy their first property, specially younger people who are either single or married without kids, according to data from the real estate chamber.

“Usually these people are granted two years to save their down payment, which is a great advantage for those who do not have a big cash flow. After that, bankers are waiting to finance the remainder of the cost.” added Porras.

Dagoberto Hidalgo, president of the social housing committee from the Cámara Nacional de la Construcción, explained this 

trend has become more visible in the last three years, partly because selling higher priced properties is now more difficult .

“That places a lot of pressure in the market, so businesses are now exploring new opportunities.” he said.

Hidalgo also points out that much of the social housing developments has increased thanks to government grants delivered by the Banco Hipotecario de la Vivivienda and Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo.

According to Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos, as of 2013, 63 percent of houses in the country were already paid off, 18 percent were rented and 9 percent still have a mortgage.

Luis Javier Chavarría is the business manager of Rock Construction, a company that developed Málaga City, one of these lower priced projects. He explained that new markets imply changes on how people afford a house.

“Part of the reason we are into this kind of construction is our social commitment as a company. Our duty to find a way to serve people and keep the business profitable.” he said. “The idea is that mortgage payments be the same as rent prices. That´s what we tell the bankers. Look, if a person is not granted a loan, then they will go ahead and rent for the same amount of money if not higher.  It´s a expense people will have to go through anyway.”

In the case of Málaga, the project will have 1,600 houses. Chavarría explained that, in order to keep it profitable, it needs to be huge. That way, the financial gain will come from high volume sales.

“We believe that little by little this type of housing will become more popular because gone are the days when people aspired to own big properties. Somehow we`ve learned to live with less,” Chavarría adds.

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Survey shows high use of prayers for health and laying on of hands
By the Baylor University news staff

Nearly nine of 10 Americans have relied upon healing prayer at some point in their lives, praying for others even more than for themselves, according to a study by a Baylor University epidemiologist.

“The most surprising finding is that more than a quarter of all Americans have practiced laying on of hands and nearly one in five has done so on multiple occasions,” said Jeff Levin, at the Texas university.

“Outside of belief in God, there may be no more ubiquitous religious expression in the U.S. than use of healing prayer,” Levin said.

The findings also suggest that prayer may be among the most widely used forms of treatment for medical problems, rather than a fringe activity as many people might believe, he said.

The study is published in the Journal of Religion and Health. Findings are based on analyses of data from the third round of the Baylor Religion Survey, a nationally representative population survey conducted in partnership with the Gallup Organization in 2010.

More than three-fourths of Americans have prayed for their own healing, and nearly a third do so often, Levin said. Nearly 90 percent have prayed for the healing of others, and more than half report doing so often. More than half of Americans have asked for healing prayer and have taken part in prayer groups.

“Interestingly, most people who use prayer for healing do so alongside regular medical care, rather than as a substitution, as has been presumed up to now,” Levin said. “Healing prayer is being used more as a complementary treatment rather than as an alternative one.”

The practice of laying on of hands is found in the Bible and has long been used by Christians and Jews as a means to ordain clergy and to bless people, but also to transmit physical healing, Levin said.

“For many of us, the image that might come to mind is the faith healer. But these findings show that the practice is much more widespread, as is healing prayer in general,” he said.

Statistical analysis of the survey of 1,714 U.S. adults showed:

* 78.8 percent of participants have prayed for healing for themselves at some point in their lives, and 32.4 percent do so often

* 87.4 percent have prayed for healing for others, and 51.1 percent do so often

* 54.1 percent have asked for prayers for their health

* 26.1 percent have given a laying on of hands for healing

* 53 percent have participated in a prayer group, prayer circle or prayer chain

While certain factors, such as frequent religious attendance, reading Scripture or meditation, were predictive of at least one form of healing prayer, the one most consistent predictor was a

Baylor University graphic
An example of laying on of hands.

loving relationship with God, the study found.

“People who feel a close connection to God, who love God and feel loved by God, are the very people most likely to pray for healing: for themselves or others, alone or in a group, and verbally or through laying on of hands,” Levin said.

“These people are taking to heart the biblical call to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ something found in both the Old and New Testaments,” he said.

Whether the prayers work is beyond the scope of his research, Levin said.

“So much has been written in the medical literature in the past several years about the possibility that prayer heals,” he said. “There have even been a series of controversial and inconclusive clinical trials.

“But with so much attention paid to the efficacy of prayer — something science may not ever be capable of proving one way or another to everyone’s satisfaction — almost no attention has been given to simply documenting the practice. How many people pray for healing? How often? Who are these folks? That’s why this study was done.”

The next step will be to investigate whether there are differences in rates of healing prayer across religions and denominations, Levin said. But “preliminary analysis suggests that the practice is widespread, regardless of one’s religious background or beliefs,” he added.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Puriscal rental
A peaceful place near Puriscal.
Property is a small house on a 16-acre farm in Desamparaditos, a small village located 5K NW of Santiago de Puriscal. 15 minutes to Puriscal, 1 hour to San José and the airport, all paved roads. House has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, large  open kitchen/dining/living area and is fully furnished. Nice veranda with great views. Many fruit trees. Private but not isolated with all utilities. Rent $550/month long term, short term negotiable. Tenant pays for electricity and phone. Landlord pays water. No pets, please. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 7187-8577, in the USA call Pete Todd at 970-221-1457 or 720-951-7928.
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 76
Real Estate
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Feds in California arrest 22
in Social Security frauds

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Federal authorities in Los Angeles, California, have charged 22 defendants with defrauding the Social Security Administration by illegally receiving cash benefits and causing a cumulative loss of $2.6 million. Most of the defendants are charged with taking Social Security benefits for relatives after the family members had died and failing to alert the agency of the death.

Federal grand juries in Los Angeles returned 21 indictments last week, cases that were announced today after one defendant, an employee of the Social Security Administration, was arrested for allegedly diverting benefits to herself, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Those charged last week include the federal government employee, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and a San Fernando Valley man who is accused of illegally receiving more than $400,000.

All of the defendants are charged with theft of government property, a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Some of the defendants are charged with additional offenses, including aggravated identity theft and defrauding the Social Security Administration.

Voice of America/E. Cherneff  
Protesters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

Demonstrators rally in D.C.
As court hears illegals case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court chanting "Yes We Can," while inside the court justices considered a key phrase that could decide a landmark case debating the legality of President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.

The court appeared to be divided over the meaning of the phrase "lawful presence" in Obama's 2014 executive order deferring deportations for some undocumented immigrants and whether it effectively created a new immigration law.

The justices’ decision will have far-reaching implications on executive actions by future presidential administrations and comes at a time when the nation’s flawed immigration system is a constant focus of election-year debate.

Obama's 2014 executive action expanded and created programs deferring deportation for the undocumented parents of legal U.S. citizens and residents and for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. The programs open up the opportunity for legal work permits, but do not give applicants a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

The U.S. v. Texas  lawsuit before the court argues the president exceeded his constitutional authority by effectively making new immigration laws through the programs.

A decision in the Texas lawsuit will affect pending lawsuits in 25 other states opposing the president’s immigration actions.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., arguing the government's case, said the phrase "lawful presence" could be removed from the language ordering the programs without changing their impact.

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, arguing for the lawsuit, called the president's order one of the largest immigration changes in American history. Keller said the programs not only defer deportations, they change immigration status because they allow undocumented immigrants to obtain work authorizations.

Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared to agree when he said, "The president is setting policy, and Congress is executing it. It seems upside down."

Opponents say the Obama administration has not made a convincing constitutional argument for its actions.

Obama has said his 2014 executive order directing immigration enforcement priorities was a result of Congress' failure to act on immigration reform.

A representative for Republicans in the House of Representatives argued Monday that only the U.S. Congress can create a pathway for immigrants in the U.S. to obtain lawful presence, and said the president's programs are far outside the federal government's enforcement discretion over immigration.

Earlier in the year, Congressional Republicans filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the lawsuits, writing "neither any immigration law now on the books, nor the Constitution empowers the executive to authorize, let alone facilitate, the prospective violation of those laws on a massive class-wide scale."

The absence of a ninth Supreme Court justice, after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, could result in a split 4-4 decision on the Texas lawsuit. Only a majority decision of the Supreme Court can set a precedent, so the other 25 lawsuits would work their way through lower state courts for individual decisions.

The Supreme Court will announce the decision in June.

Obama said to be against bill
that exposes Saudis to suits

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite calls from victims’ families, the White House says President Barack Obama likely would not sign legislation that could allow countries like Saudi Arabia to be sued for any role officials may have played in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
“The whole notion of sovereign immunity is at stake. And it is one that has more significant consequences for the United States than any other country,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would allow 9/11 families to sue foreign states and financial partners of terrorism.
The legislation is receiving increased scrutiny following a report in The New York Times that quoted Saudi officials who said the Arab kingdom would sell off billions of dollars in U.S. assets if Congress passes such a measure.
When asked about the bill during Monday’s briefing, White House spokesman Earnest said given the list of concerns about the legislation, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the president would sign it as it is currently drafted.
“This question of sovereign immunity is something that protects the ability of the United States to work closely with countries all around the world,” the press secretary noted. “Walking back that principle would put the United States, our taxpayers and our service members and diplomats at risk.”

The comments come just a day before Obama travels to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Thursday, with talks expected to focus on the fight against the Islamic State militant group, the Iran nuclear agreement and its destabilizing activities in the region.
Earnest called Saudi Arabia an important U.S. counterterrorism partner. He acknowledged that while the two countries do not agree on everything, differences should be resolved through diplomacy.
The White House spokesman also downplayed Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir's comments that the kingdom would be forced to sell off some $750 billion in U.S. assets before U.S. courts potentially freeze them.
“The Saudi government recognizes that both our countries and our economies benefit from the smooth functioning of the global financial system. And it’s not in their interests to destabilize it,” Earnest told reporters.

Senate Democrats want
more money for zika fight

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 40 U.S. Senate Democrats sent a letter Monday to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, demanding immediate passage of $1.9 billion in emergency funds to fight the zika virus.

The Democratic lawmakers accuse Republicans of failing to act even after 800 Americans, including 89 pregnant women, have been infected.

"It would be shortsighted and dangerous for Congress not to act quickly to give the administration the resources it needs to fully fight the zika virus and protect Americans," according to the letter.

The Obama administration said last week it will use $510 million in unspent funds for fighting ebola to tackle zika.

But Democrats say public health officials should not have to choose between the two diseases, noting that 13 new ebola cases have cropped up in West Africa over the last month.

Republican leaders say they want more information about the president's emergency request for zika, and that they plan to approve some funding. However, they have been vague on when and how much.

U.S. health officials confirmed last week that zika is a cause of birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.

Experts warn pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant to avoid travel to Latin American countries with large zika outbreaks.

Pentagon is inviting hackers
to probe sites for weakness

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Every year, the Pentagon spends hundreds of millions of dollars protecting its computer systems from hackers. But for the next few weeks, U.S. defense officials are changing their strategy. They're inviting hackers to attack the Pentagon.

The Hack the Pentagon pilot program, which began Monday and lasts until May 12, allows hackers to attack certain Department of Defense public Web sites as a way to identify cyber security weaknesses.

U.S. officials stress no sensitive computer systems will be involved in the program. They also say that all hackers must undergo a background check and meet other qualifications.

But if they succeed in exposing security flaws, the hackers could receive cash rewards.

Large companies have for years used such bug bounty programs as a way to boost cyber security. But this is the first time the U.S. federal government has ever used such a program. Many experts say the move was long overdue.

"Hackers will look at your systems anyway," says Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer at F-Secure, an online security and privacy company. "And once they find vulnerabilities, do you want them to tell you or do you want them to do something bad, or maybe sell them to someone else?"

And it's true. U.S. Department of Defense Web sites are already subject to a dizzying number of cyber attacks. In 2012 alone, the department’s public Web sites had four billion visits, according to Christopher Lynch, who heads the Pentagon's new U.S. Digital Service. He says 25 percent of the visits were nefarious in some way.

"Think about that, a billion attempts to undermine security. And that’s just a couple of Web sites," Lynch said in a recent article published on TechCrunch. "It’s a mind-numbing challenge that we have to step up to."

Katie Moussouris, a consultant who helped the Pentagon launch the bug bounty, calls the program a significant shift in cyber security strategy from punishing hackers to attempting to work with them.

"Before this pilot, there was really no legal way for a hacker to report to the U.S. government, because essentially all of the activities that are allowed in this pilot are technically illegal under U.S. Law," she said.

Ms. Moussouris says the program could also help improve relations between the U.S. government and the tech industry, a relationship that has suffered after the fallout over the intelligence leaks by ex-security contractor Edward Snowden.

In recent years, top U.S. officials have warned of the danger of a cyber attack that could disrupt the country's critical infrastructure. Most notably, ex-Defense secretary Leon Panetta warned in 2012 of the possibility of a cyber-Pearl Harbor, referring to the Japanese attack on a U.S. naval base in 1941.

Those security risks were underscored more recently by a cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management, the U.S. federal government's human resources agency. The attack, discovered in 2015, resulted in the theft of personnel data on millions of U.S. federal employees and their families.

Hypponen, the cyber security expert, also points to other recent examples of cyber attacks, including an attack last year that originated in Russia that resulted in widespread power outages in Ukraine.

"Cyber warfare and cyber attacks are not just theory," he says, adding that the U.S. is particularly vulnerable. "The United States is arguably the most technologically dependent nation on the planet. It brings you great benefits but it does open you up for new kinds of risks."

Given the risks, he says it is an obvious step to employ bug bounty programs. "You want the hackers to be on your side. You don't want to fight them. You want to work with them," he said.

Cyborg heart patch treats
ills and regenerates tissue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Have you ever had a broken heart? Now there’s a way to fix that, but perhaps not in the way you think.

Scientists in Israel have created a life-saving heart patch that can monitor and treat cardiac problems. Researchers at Tel Aviv University developed a revolutionary 3D printed patch, consisting of nano-electronics and live heart tissue grown in a lab. The device, which is applied to a damaged heart, can actually regenerate the cardiac muscle by building up cells in the part with a defect.

Co-inventor Tal Dvir, a professor in the Department of Biotechnogy, explained that “the role of the electronics is to sense the function of the tissue and then to activate the tissue when needed."

The device can also release medication for heart problems relating to inflammation or a lack of oxygen. And because the patch can expand like the heart but is also a self-regulating machine, a doctor can treat his patient from afar.

“The patient is sitting in his house and not feeling well, and the physician immediately sees the condition of the heart on his computer, and can remotely activate the heart, provide electrical stimulation, and release drugs,” said Dvir.

For a heart permanently damaged by disease or a heart attack, the patch could become an alternative to a heart transplant. And it may lead to even more promising discoveries.

“We are trying to 3D print the whole heart, with the electronics within,” Dvir said. "And I believe that in the future, in 10 to 20 years, there would be such bionic organs in the market or in hospitals to be transplanted."

This cyborg heart patch still needs to be tested and it could be years before it’s available. But in the future, it may provide an alternative for people with heart disease.

Ecuadorian toll in quake
expected to rise some more

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rescuers in Ecuador Monday pulled three people out alive after being trapped for more than 32 hours in the rubble of a shopping center that was flattened by Saturday's powerful earthquake.

Televised images of the dramatic rescue in the port city of Manta gave Ecuadorians hope that scores of people still unaccounted for may yet be found, even as the death toll from Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake, which struck the country's northwest coast, climbed above 410.

The quake, Ecuador's worst natural disaster in more than half a century, injured more than 2,500 people and left thousands homeless.

The cities of Manta, Portoviejo and the tourist city of Pedernales were among the worst affected, although damage was widespread throughout the country.

"Many people remain buried under the rubble," Ecuadorian Red Cross spokesman Diego Castellanos said Monday from the capital, Quito.

In Washington Monday, a State Department spokesman said one American is among those killed in the Ecuador quake. He did not provide further details.

Spokesman John Kirby said Washington has offered assistance and stands ready to work with the Ecuadorian government in the relief.

Thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed, and have begun providing temporary shelters, although many have spent two nights camped outside their flattened homes.

Hundreds of aftershocks have followed, and authorities warn many could be severe. Most of the aftershocks Monday were ranging from 3.1- to 5.7-magnitude, according to the Twitter page of Ecuador's Geophysics Institute.

President Rafael Correa, who cut short a visit to Italy to oversee relief efforts, visited the disaster area Sunday.  He said the death toll will certainly rise and probably in a considerable way, as rescuers continue to search through the rubble.

U.S. Supreme Court declines
to overturn Google ruling

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a challenge to Google's online book library from a group of authors who maintain the library hinders their ability to sell their books.

The justices let stand lower court rulings and dismissed a claim by The Authors Guild and individual authors that Google's digitizing of more than 20 million books amounts to copyright infringement on an epic scale.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed in October with a lower court that Google was not violating copyright laws as digitized and published online portions of books that amounted to no more than 16 percent of a book.

The appeals court said Google Books "does not threaten the rights of holders with any significant harm to the value of their copyrights or diminish their harvest of copyright revenue."

AP wins Pulitzer for slavery
stories about seafood industry

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An exposé of slave labor in the Asian seafood industry and breaking news coverage of the San Bernardino terrorist shootings are among the winners of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

This is the 100th year the prizes for journalism, books, drama and music have been awarded.

The Associated Press was given the public service award for its investigation of how shrimp and fish processors in Indonesia used slave labor from Myanmar to produce food eaten across the United States and Europe.

The series resulted in freedom for about 2,000 men.

The Los Angeles Times won for breaking news coverage of last year's massacre of 14 people by husband and wife terrorists in San Bernardino, California.

Other prizes went to The New York Times for reports on the lives of misery suffered by Afghan women and the Thomson Reuters news agency for its photographs of refugees.

Author Joby Warrick won the non-fiction prize for his book “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” and the prize for fiction went to Vietnamese-born Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Sympathizer,” an acclaimed novel set after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.

The Pulitzer Prizes were founded by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer in 1917 and are awarded every year by Columbia University in New York.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Axiom three
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    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Dorn Home
Beverly Hills Style House for Sale on Pacific Coast, Guanacaste

Lot of 2,866.33 square meters with three terraces, inside luxury house  property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000.   We have another extra large lot (next to the main property)  priced at $75,000.  For more information, please contact us: Emails:   or    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


San Rmon
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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. $50,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 76
Real Estate
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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
Most of Florida’s orange acreage infected
by greening, university survey shows

By the University of Florida news staff

Florida’s citrus growers say as much as 90 percent of their acreage and 80 percent of their trees are infected by the deadly greening disease, which is making a huge dent in the state’s $10.7 billion citrus industry, a new University of Florida survey shows.

The survey, conducted in March 2015, shows the first grower-based estimates of both the level of citrus greening in Florida and the impact of greening on citrus operations in Florida.

Costa Rican citrus growers also are fighting the disease.

“Even though the industry acknowledges that greening has reached epidemic proportions across the state, estimates of the level of infection and its impact on citrus operations are scarce,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

Faculty members Ariel Singerman and Pilar Useche surveyed about 200 growers to estimate their losses from the disease. They obtained about 76 completed surveys. Those growers operate approximately 30 percent of Florida’s citrus acreage. They also estimate greening has reduced their yield by 41 percent.

Surveyed growers said, on average, 90 percent of citrus acreage and 80 percent of trees in their operations had been infected, on average, in any given operation in Florida.

Greening was first detected in Florida in 2005 and threatens to destroy Florida’s citrus industry. Florida has lost about $7.8 billion in revenue, 162,200 citrus acres and 7,513 jobs to citrus greening since 2007, according to researchers. Orange production dropped from 242 million to 104 million boxes in 2014, university researchers say.

The greening disease bacterium first enters a citrus tree via the tiny Asian Citrus Psyllid. When introduced into the plant by leaf feeding, the bacteria then move through the tree via the veins of the tree. The disease starves the tree of nutrients and damages its roots, and the tree produces fruits that are small and misshapen and have reduced quality, making it unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or, for the most part, juice.

Residents protest for new housing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents of the Triángulo de la Solidaridad community protested Monday and said they plan to march on Casa Presidencial today.

The complaint is the lack of speed with which the government is handling their housing needs. More than 250 families are being evicted for construction of the Circunvalación Norte. This is the highway loop from La Uruca to Ruta 32.

The residents were on Ruta 32 with signs Monday shouting in Spanish that they want houses.

Triángulo de la Solidaridad is what is known as a  precario, that is basically a squatters’ village.

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From Page 7:

U.S. stock markets post yearly records

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose back above 18,000 during Monday's trading for the first time this year, a level not seen since July 2015. Both the Dow and S&P 500 touched new 2016 highs in Monday trading, despite no agreement on a crude oil production freeze among the 16 major petroleum producers meeting in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend.

The big winner was Hasbro as it reported an 83 percent increase in first quarter earnings due to the strength in its Star Wars, Disney Princess and Disney Frozen merchandise. Shares were trading almost 6 percent higher on the stellar results. Consumer Discretionary was the strongest of the 10 S&P 500 sectors followed by healthcare.

The major U.S. indices have soared since the Feb. 11 low.

There are a few factors contributing to the bullish argument for crude: Kuwait strike, U.S. production down 700,000 barrels per day, demand is improving and the June Organization of Oil Exporting Countries meeting. The key questions are when will global supply peak, and where does oil go from here?

Jason Bennett, co-head of international global projects at Baker Botts, a global law firm specializing in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors, believes that the global oil supply has already peaked.

“At this price, I think the oil supply has probably peaked. There is plenty of spare production capacity that could be brought on-line, but there is also a fair amount of current production that is likely not economic at today’s prices,” Bennett said. “Those two effects likely offset one another going forward. That being said, the real story is demand, oil supply has plenty of room to grow as demand increases and prices respond.”