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(506) 2223-1327                                 Published Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 78                        Email us
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Sweet potatoes naturally modified, researchers says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The battle by Costa Rican opponents to genetically modified crops took a surprising turn Tuesday.

Researchers from Ghent University and the International Potato Institute said they discovered that sweet potatoes naturally contain genes from a bacterium, according to a summary from the university.

Unexpected, foreign genes have been seen in other crops, but in the case of sweet potatoes, researchers said that DNA sequences of Agrobacterium were very likely to be genetic transfers instead of just contamination, said the university.

The sequences attributed to the bacterium appeared to be present in each of the 291 tested sweet potato cultivars and even in some wild related species, said the summary.

"The natural presence of Agrobacterium demonstrates that genetic modification also happens in nature," said the university. "In comparison to natural GMOs, that are beyond our control, human-made GMOs have the advantage that we know exactly 
which characteristic we add to the plant," said researchers.

The bacterium must provide some desirable quality to sweet potatoes because the traits were selected by farmers for domestication, the summary added.

It is not the first time that researchers
sweet potatoes
Ghent University photo
Sweet potatoes are a major world crop.

found bacterial, fungal or viral DNA in the genome of plants or animals, said the university.

Genome analyses in recent years find more and more examples of possible horizontal gene transfers in which there is exchange of genes between different species.  In contrast. normal gene transfer takes place from parents to progeny and occurs within one species, it added.

Genetic modification has been a controversy in Costa Rica, in part because the U.S. giant Monsanto Corp. wants to grow a patch of modified corn for seed.

There is a bill in the legislature that proponents are urging President Luis Guillermo Solís to support and eventually sign. The bill's wording is such that, if passed, growing sweet potatoes in Costa Rica would be prohibited, based on the findings of the Belgian university.

Refurbished Alajuelita cross to open arts festival
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The famous cross on Cerro San Miguel above Alajuelita has been restored and will be illuminated for the opening Thursday of the Festival Internacional de las Artes 2015.

The 83-year-old cross has been a landmark. It is 26 meters high and 22 wide.  

That's 85 feet by 36 feet.

The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, the Santuario Nacional Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, and two local firms did the work with the support of the Alajuelita community said the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. Workers replaced corroded metal, and electricians installed 10.500 watts of lighting, said the ministry.
The inauguration of the illuminated cross will coincide with the inauguration of the arts festival at 6 p.m. in the Parque Central de Alajuelita. The community is one of four that will host festival events.

This year the ministry decided to disperse the events outside the San José central canton to bring cultural events to Acosta, Aserrí and Desamparados, as well as Alajuelita.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The famous Alajuelita cross.

Víctor Hugo Echavarría, mayor of  Alajuelita, was quoted saying that the canton was about to initiate a project for rural tourism. The cross will be the icon for that project.

The cross originally was designed to mark the 1900th anniversary of the founding of Christianity.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 78

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


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Consejo Nacional de Vialidad graphic
Here is the alternate route through Heredia for westbound traffic.

More work on that stubborn bridge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Workmen will be back on the bridge over the Río Virilla starting at 9 p.m. tonight. They expect to finish the work by 5 a.m. Thursday.

The problem continues to be the metal plate. This time the work is in the westbound lane. The plate is what has given the bridge the informal name of platina.

For years, workers have tried to tack down the metal over an expansion joint. For years, the efforts have failed.

In the past, road officials have not erected detour signs along the Heredia alternate route.

Investigators take more hospital files

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police continued to remove patient files from Hospital México in the investigation of deaths of those on a waiting list there.

The number of dead has been reduced to 138 persons from 141 because two persons on a list provided by the head of cardiology still are alive and one name was repeated, said the Poder Judicial.

Judicial police and prosecutors began accumulating files Friday when they took 123 from the Jefatura de Cardiología and the Archivo Médico at Hospital México in La Uruca. They began at 5 p.m. and ended work at 1 a.m. Saturday, the Poder Judicial said.

Prosecutors and police were back at work in the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social Monday where complaints and document from an internal audit were confiscated.

Eventually the files will go to the judiciary's medical experts for assessments, said the Poder Judicial.

Sofía Bogantes Ledezma, the cardiologist, went public with her criticism a week ago.

Hospital México in La Uruca handles delicate heart procedures for much of the country. One such procedure is inserting catheters into a vein to open up passages for blood flow. These procedures are what the cardiologist said were delayed and caused the deaths.

The hospital has been undergoing remodeling for the last year, and there have been many postponements of operations in all areas.

Dr. Bogantes said she had been complaining about the lengthy waiting list for two years. Lengthy waiting lists are the norm for the public hospitals operated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. However, hardly ever does someone with the stature of Dr. Bogantes link the waiting lists with deaths.

Ministerio de Seguridad Púbicaphoto              
Anti-drug agent shows off some of the confiscated cargo.

Another boat load of cocaine seized

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Yet another boat containing cocaine has been stopped in the Pacific, said the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.

The Golfito-registered craft yielded 638 kilos of cocaine, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. The fishing boat was boarded at 5:30 p.m. Monday some 30 miles west of  Cabo Matapalo. The Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea participated in locating the craft.

One of the crew members, a Colombian, had been convicted in 2012 of carrying excessive amounts of fuel at sea, said the ministry.

The capture illuminated another aspect of drug smuggling. The boat carried four radio buoys. The ministry said that sometimes drug boat crews dump their illicit cargo into the sea and attach a radio locating device so that another craft can find the merchandise.

Ministerio de Seguridad Púbicaphoto       
    Fuerza Pública officers caught these 17 Bangladesh nationals trying to leave
    the country Sunday at the northern border. They were in woods just a few
    yards from the border, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

Study confirms coffee as cancer fighter

By the Lund University news staff

A number of research studies have shown that coffee helps to protect against breast cancer. A new study led by Lund University, has confirmed that coffee inhibits the growth of tumors and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen.

The study, which is a follow-up of the results the researchers obtained two years ago, was carried out at Lund University and Skåne University Hospital, in collaboration with researchers in the United Kingdom

“Now, unlike in the previous study, we have combined information about the patients’ lifestyle and clinical data from 1,090 breast cancer patients with studies on breast cancer cells. The study shows that among the over 500 women treated with tamoxifen, those who had drunk at least two cups of coffee a day had only half the risk of recurrence of those who drank less coffee or none at all”, explain researchers Ann Rosendahl and Helena Jernström, who obtained the results in collaboration with Jeff Holly and his research team at University of Bristol.

“The study also shows that those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had smaller tumors and a lower proportion of hormone-dependent tumors. We saw that this was already the case at the time of diagnosis.”

In the cell study, the researchers looked more closely at two substances that usually occur in the coffee drunk in Sweden, caffeine and caffeic acid.

“The breast cancer cells reacted to these substances, especially caffeine, with reduced cell division and increased cell death, especially in combination with tamoxifen. This shows that these substances have an effect on the breast cancer cells and turn off signaling pathways that the cancer cells require to grow.”

The researchers have demonstrated both in breast cancer patients and at cell level that coffee appears to reinforce the effect of treatment with tamoxifen, but emphasize the importance of taking prescribed medication.

“They are incredibly important, but if you like coffee and are also taking tamoxifen, there is no reason to stop drinking it. Just two cups a day is sufficient to make a difference.”

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 78
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Estado de Justicia report is heavy on history and replete with old data
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The report on the state of Costa Rican justice reads more like a history text and does not address current problems.

The Estado de Nación report, released Tuesday, came to the obvious conclusion that the Poder Judicial is a political actor and that it has influenced health care by accepting and ruling on appeals by citizens.

The emphasis for much of the report was the safeguarding of rights of those involved in the criminal process.

The report concluded that in about a third of the cases, the rights were in jeopardy.

The report was replete with academic style citations, and the section on criminal justice, that which probably is of most interest to expats, used old data.

The statistics reflected cases in 2000 and from 2007 to 2009. Still the authors said of 1,550 criminal cases 33.4 percent were rejected by the prosecutors and 31.9 percent were just filed away.  Of these, 15.2 percent went to trial, and just 8.7 percent resulted in a conviction.

Just 1.3 percent were handled in an alternative way, such as conciliation, it said.

Researchers concluded that the more serious crimes, such as murder, have a higher probability of going to trial.

The report also said that the chances of a dismissal were higher when the suspect is a woman.
The research was hampered because a lot of the data was on paper, said the report.

Criminal cases were highlighted in just one chapter. Another chapter treated labor cases, and one even reported on a detailed content analysis of newspaper reporting on the judicial branch. It found most of the reporting in four major newspapers to be accurate.

The report said that the Poder Judicial has many mechanisms to influence political decisions. Among these is the process whereby the court can rule on the constitutionality of a pending bill.

The report also traced the development of the court from 1905 and some waves of reform that brought changes. One chapter emphasizes the 20 years from 1992 and the various laws that made changes in the judicial system. However, the report noted that there was little evaluation of the effects and impact of these reforms.

The report noted that the Sala IV constitutional court resolved 4,386 appeals based on health between 2006 and 2013. About a third were from persons who sought some type of medication and had been denied it by the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social. Some 58 percent of these were upheld by the court.

The most historic and the first of these decisions was the one in 1997 when the court held that a patient should be given antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV, the report noted.

The report is available on the Programa Estado de Nación Web site.

The museum resembles what is thought to be a typical pre-Columbian dwelling with those stone balls placed in front.

precolumbian housing
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo/Museo Comunitario Yimba/J. Callejas

Rey Curré opens its community museum to the public with fiesta Friday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats have the chance to step back into time Friday when the Boruca residents of  Rey Curré inaugurate their community museum.

The celebration begins at 8 a.m. and ends with a traditional Juego de los Diablitos. starting at 2 p.m.
Rey Curré is the most accessible Boruca community because it is located directly on the Interamericana Sur 35 kilometers south of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas.

The Museo Comunitario Yimba has been in planning and construction since 2011. The Museo Nacional supports the museum as a community venture.

The museum itself is constructed along the lines of a pre-Columbian dwelling with a thatched roof. In front are two of those iconic stone balls that researchers believe were used as status symbols
The interior displays the history of the people and the lengthy fight to remain independent.

The celebration coincides with the Festival Estudiantil Indígena.

The slogan for the event, loosely translated into English is "Corn: Different colors, the same essence, nourishment of life, uniting cultures, blessed grain of our land." It reads Maíz: Diferentes colores, la misma esencia, alimento de vida, uniendo culturas, granos benditos de nuestra tierra.

In keeping with the slogan there are dances and even contests involving corn grains, such as shucking and grinding corn at 9 a.m.. There also is an exposition of local foods. The afternoon includes a tour of the new museum.

The Juego de los Diablitos is a traditional Boruca event, although it usually lasts for three to four days. The ritualized encounter pits a bull representing the Spanish against little Devils, representing the resident Boruca. 

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, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 78
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Researchers say better long-range predictions possible for Pacific
By the University of Hawaii news staff

Tropical Pacific climate variations and their global weather impacts may be predicted much further in advance than previously thought, according to research by an international team of climate scientists from the United States, Australia, and Japan. The source of this predictability lies in the tight interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere and among the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. Such long-term tropical climate forecasts are useful to the public and policy makers.

At present computer simulations can predict the occurrence of an El Niño event at best three seasons in advance. Climate modeling centers worldwide generate and disseminate these forecasts. Scientists have assumed that the skill and reliability of such tropical climate forecasts drop rapidly for lead times longer than one year.

The new findings of predictable climate variations up to three years in advance are based on a series of hindcast computer modeling experiments, which included observed ocean temperature and salinity data. The results are presented in the online issue of Nature Communications.

"We found that, even three to four years after starting the prediction, the model was still tracking the observations well," says Yoshimitsu Chikamoto at the University of Hawaii. "This implies that central Pacific climate conditions can be predicted over several years ahead."

"The mechanism is simple," states co-author Shang-Ping Xie from the University of California San Diego. "Warmer water in the Atlantic heats up the atmosphere. Rising air and increased precipitation drive a large atmospheric circulation cell, which then sinks over the Central Pacific. The relatively dry air feeds surface winds back into the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. These winds cool the Central Pacific leading to conditions, which are similar to a La Niña Modoki event. The central Pacific cooling then strengthens the global atmospheric circulation anomalies."

"Our results present a paradigm shift," explains co-author Axel Timmermann, climate scientist and professor at the University of Hawaii. "Whereas the Pacific was previously considered the main driver of tropical climate variability and the Atlantic and Indian Ocean its slaves, our results document a much more active role for the Atlantic Ocean in determining conditions in the other two ocean basins. The
University of Hawaii graphic/Yoshimitsu Chikamoto
This image shows inter-basin coupling as a cause of multi-year tropical Pacific climate predictability: Impact of Atlantic warming on global atmospheric Walker Circulation (arrows). Rising air over the Atlantic subsides over the equatorial Pacific, causing central Pacific sea surface cooling, which in turn reinforces the large-scale wind anomalies.

coupling between the oceans is established by a massive reorganization of the atmospheric circulation."

The impacts of the findings are wide-ranging. "Central Pacific temperature changes have a remote effect on rainfall in California and Australia. Seeing the Atlantic as an important contributor to these rainfall shifts, which happen as far away as Australia, came to us as a great surprise. It highlights the fact that on multi-year timescales we have to view climate variability in a global perspective, rather than through a basin-wide lens," says Jing-Jia Luo, co-author of the study and climate scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia.

"Our study fills the gap between the well-established seasonal predictions and internationally ongoing decadal forecasting efforts. We anticipate that the main results will soon be corroborated by other climate computer models," concludes co-author Masahide Kimoto from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
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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
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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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(506) 6154-1940 

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

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:

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:

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:

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

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.

                                                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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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 78
Real Estate
About us

Duke study says warming
over estimated by U.N. panel

By the Duke University news staff

A new study based on 1,000 years of temperature records suggests global warming is not progressing as fast as it would under the most severe emissions scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

“Based on our analysis, a middle-of-the-road warming scenario is more likely, at least for now,” said Patrick T. Brown, a doctoral student in climatology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “But this could change.”

The Duke-led study shows that natural variability in surface temperatures caused by interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, and other natural factors can account for observed changes in the recent rates of warming from decade to decade.  

The researchers say these climate wiggles can slow or speed the rate of warming from decade to decade, and accentuate or offset the effects of increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. If not properly explained and accounted for, they may skew the reliability of climate models and lead to over-interpretation of short-term temperature trends.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, uses empirical data, rather than the more commonly used climate models, to estimate  decade-to-decade variability.

“At any given time, we could start warming at a faster rate if greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere increase without any offsetting changes in aerosol concentrations or natural variability,” said Wenhong Li, assistant professor of climate at Duke, who conducted the study with Brown.

The team examined whether climate models, such as those used by the Intergovernmental Panel, accurately account for natural chaotic variability that can occur in the rate of global warming as a result of interactions between the ocean and atmosphere and other natural factors.

To test how accurate climate models are at accounting for variations in the rate of warming, Brown and Li, along with colleagues from San Jose State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, created a new statistical model based on reconstructed empirical records of surface temperatures over the last 1,000 years.

“By comparing our model against theirs, we found that climate models largely get the big picture right but seem to underestimate the magnitude of natural decade-to-decade climate wiggles,” Brown said. “Our model shows these wiggles can be big enough that they could have accounted for a reasonable portion of the accelerated warming we experienced from 1975 to 2000, as well as the reduced rate in warming that occurred from 2002 to 2013.” 

Further comparative analysis of the models revealed another intriguing insight.

“Statistically, it’s pretty unlikely that an 11-year hiatus in warming, like the one we saw at the start of this century, would occur if the underlying human-caused warming was progressing at a rate as fast as the most severe IPCC projections,” Brown said. “Hiatus periods of 11 years or longer are more likely to occur under a middle-of-the-road scenario.”

Under the Intergovernmental Panel’s middle-of-the-road scenario, there was a 70 percent likelihood that at least one hiatus lasting 11 years or longer would occur between 1993 and 2050, Brown said.  “That matches up well with what we’re seeing.”

There’s no guarantee, however, that this rate of warming will remain steady in coming years, Li stressed. “Our analysis clearly shows that we shouldn’t expect the observed rates of warming to be constant. They can and do change.” 

Cash money will not vanish
in the short-term, study says

By the Inderscience news staff

We will still be using real money for at least the next five to 10 years, but financial transactions carried out using mobile electronic devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers, will increasingly become the norm during that time period, according to research published in the International Journal of Electronic Business.

Key Pousttchi and Josef Felten of the University of Augsburg and Jürgen Moormann of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany, explain how social media and mobile devices are being utilized increasingly by banks while the power of the individual customer is being augmented by the same technologies.

Moreover, those technologies are also leading to novel financial services such as online bartering systems and virtual currencies, crowd funding and online social borrowing and lending. Given that the banking sector was among the first industries to widely adopt information technology, everything from financial planning and credit-decision systems to automated teller machines, none of this is any surprise.

However, in order to understand future trends, the team has carried out a systematic and interactive forecasting study, the results of which suggest that mobile finance will continue to grow during the next decade in retail banking, but conventional transactions will remain largely predominant for at least another five to 10 years. Underpinning the evolution of finance is the perhaps too slow recognition by financial institutions that the relationship between customer and bank remains important and especially so in the age of social media and networking. In that era, everyone's opinion can count and a simple mistake or disinterest on the part of a corporation can become today's viral news story and a possible step down the road to ruin for the unwary company.

The team's study demonstrates that complex issues will continue to be dealt with through direct, personal communication while standard processes will be replaced by new media tools providing customer and bank with the new typical form of access.

Experiments give new hints
to developers of Web sites

By the Pennsylvania State University news staff

Before web developers add the newest bells and the latest whistles to their Web site designs, a team of researchers suggests they zoom in on the tools that click with the right users and for the right tasks.

"When designers create sites, they have to make decisions on what tools and features they use and where they put them, which takes a lot of planning," said S. Shyam Sundar, co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. "You not only have to plan where the feature will be, you also have to design what will go underneath that layer, then create the content for it, so we wanted to know if these new, more sophisticated ways of interacting with a site are actually better than just clicking."

The researchers, who presented their findings Tuesday at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Seoul, South Korea, suggest that interactive tools can not only affect how people use a Web site, but also how they feel about the site, what they think about its content and what information they retain after they use it.

In a series of studies, the researchers examined how people interacted with content using several web navigation tools, including clicking, sliding, zooming, hovering, dragging and flipping, along with combinations of those tools, according to Sundar. They also measured how much information they retained during the sessions as a way to test how absorbed the users were during the task.

Participants indicated that the slider, which allowed them to scroll along a timeline to view images and text about a historical event, was better at aiding memory than other tools, including a more recent navigational innovation, the 3-D carousel, which allows users to rotate images.          

Sundar said that users spent more time on the carousel and interacted frequently with the tool, but that the number of interactions and length of time on the tool did not necessarily mean they found the carousel mentally engaging. Looks do not lead to better usability, he added.

"The 3-D carousel looks attractive, but in terms of encoding information, it was not effective," said Sundar.

This discrepancy between the high level of interaction and low level of satisfaction may also mean that a commonly used metric, how long a person has remained on a site, does not necessarily suggest a positive user experience.

"We used to think that the more time a user spent on a page or feature, or how sticky it is, was a good thing and that it meant they were more interested in the page," said Sundar. "However, it could also mean they are confused and having trouble navigating."

Clicking, one of the web's early navigational tools, continues to be a popular choice for users, according to the researchers, who also found that the level of a user's web experience influenced the effect tools had on users' attitudes toward site content. For example, expert-level web users liked the content more and thought it was more credible when the site used simple clicking and mouse-over tools compared to less intuitive tools like the 3-D carousel and drag. The reverse is true for those who have limited expertise with technology.

"These techniques may be less natural to use, but they are seen as fancy by lay users," said Sundar. "They have a 'halo effect' on content."

Regardless of the differences across users, finding that these interactive tools can shape how users think and feel about media content is an important discovery, he added.

In the first study, the researchers recruited 128 college students and assigned them one of 20 different Web sites that were designed to test the interaction techniques. The content was the same on all the Web sites. The researchers then recruited 127 college students for a study that examined a combination of Web site tools. These participants were assigned one of six different Web site versions designed to test their reaction to those combinations.

Feds join Baltimore probe
in death of police prisoner

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department says it is investigating the death of an African-American man who suffered spinal injuries while in police custody in the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland.

The federal investigation will look for civil rights violations in the case of Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested April 12.

Tuesday hundreds of protesters gathered at the site of Gray's arrest. Protesters marched to a police station a couple of blocks away, chanting and holding signs that read "Black Lives Matter'' and "No Justice, No Peace," slogans that have come to embody what demonstrators believe is mistreatment of blacks by police across the United States.

Among the crowd were members of Gray's family, including his mother, Gloria Darden, who was overcome with grief, writhing and sobbing uncontrollably, her face obscured by a hood and dark glasses.

Earlier in the day, six Baltimore police officers were suspended with pay while authorities investigate why Gray was stopped and what led to his injury. They were identified as Lt. Brian Rice, 41; Officer Caesar Goodson, 45; Sgt. Alicia White, 30; Officer William Porter, 25; Officer Garrett Miller, 26; and Officer Edward Nero, 29. Their specific roles in the arrest weren't disclosed.

Details about what happened to Gray are scarce. Baltimore authorities said he was arrested without force or incident after police made eye contact with him and another man in an area known for drug activity and the two started running.

According to court documents, one of the arresting officers accused Gray of carrying a switchblade, which was discovered in Gray's pocket after he was stopped.

Harold Perry, 73, a retired businessman who is nearly blind, said he heard the arrest through his bedroom window. A young man was screaming, "You're hurting me! Get your knee off my back!" Perry said.

He said he also heard the young man say, "I'm an asthmatic."

In video of the event taken by a bystander, Gray is screaming, but it's not clear what he is saying.

Gray was handcuffed and put into a transport van. What remains unclear is what happened in the van that led the police to rush him to the hospital in critical condition about 30 minutes later.

At some point during the ride, the van was stopped and Gray's legs were shackled when an officer felt he was becoming irate, police said.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said Gray asked for an inhaler, and then several times asked for medical care.

Gray died Sunday of what police described as a significant spinal injury.

The lawyer for Gray's family said he thought police had no reason to stop him.

"They've made concessions on lack of probable cause," attorney Billy Murphy said. "Running while black is not probable cause. Felony running doesn't exist, and you can't arrest someone for looking you in the eye."

Batts said the reason for Gray's stop was a question we have to dig into.

At a news conference Monday, Baltimore officials vowed transparency and pledged to hold those found responsible accountable. Batts said that the investigation would be completed by May 1 and that the results would be sent to the state attorney's office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed.

Batts also said he was ordering that police review and rewrite effective immediately policies on moving prisoners and providing them with medical attention.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she welcomed the Justice Department probe. "Whenever a police force conducts an internal investigation, there are always appropriate questions of transparency and impartiality,'' she said. "My goal has always been to get answers to the questions so many of us are still asking with regards to Mr. Gray's death.''

It's not uncommon for federal investigators to look into allegations of excessive police force. Justice Department investigations in the last year include probes into the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a case that resulted in no charges against the officer, and an ongoing review of a police chokehold death of a New York City man.

There's a high threshold for bringing federal civil rights charges against police officers in such cases. Federal investigators must show an officer willfully deprived a person of his or her civil rights by using more force than the law allows, a standard that's challenging in rapidly unfolding confrontations in which snap judgments are made.

Stock trader given blame
for major plunge in market

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

British authorities arrested a stock trader Tuesday for allegedly manipulating the U.S. stock market and causing a major index to plummet 600 points in just five minutes in 2010.

The U.S. Justice Department has charged Navinder Singh Sarao of London with fraud and commodities manipulation and has asked Britain to extradite him.

Sarao is accused of using an automated stock trading program to do something the Justice Department called dynamic layering. It involved placing many large-volume sell orders at different price points to create the appearance of a large supply. When this tactic caused prices to fall, Sarao is accused of selling futures contracts and buying them back at the lower price.

Sarao's alleged manipulation caused the Dow Jones industrial average in New York to plunge about 600 points in just minutes on May 6, 2010, before bouncing back. Such a quick, sharp drop could have caused a global financial panic.

U.S. investigators initially blamed the crash on computerized trading. They're now saying, for the first time, that the drop was caused by someone manipulating the market.

Labor and business clash
over fast track authority   

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s top business advocate and its biggest labor boss sparred over proposed fast track legislation to facilitate the formation and approval of a mammoth 12-nation Pacific trading bloc.

“Congress must approve TPA ,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, testifying Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee. “Nearly 40 million American jobs depend on trade. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would open the Asia-Pacific dynamic markets to American goods and services.” He referred to trade promotion authority.

Trade promotion authority or fast track, subjects trade pacts to up-or-down congressional votes with no amendments allowed and has been used to approve major accords such as the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated in the 1990s.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the mechanism “cedes important and long-lasting decisions about our economy to a few negotiators in a small room in the middle of the night. This is undemocratic. It’s wrong. And it has led to disastrous policies for America’s workers and producers.”

Last week, the Finance Committee’s chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a Republican, and its top Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, unveiled a bipartisan proposal that, if approved, would significantly boost prospects for completing and launching the Trans-Pacific Partnership of 12 nations that, combined, account for about 40 percent of global gross domestic product.

“Trade is an essential element of a healthy economy,” said Hatch. “We should be doing all we can to advance a trade agenda that works for America and advances our interests on the world stage.”

Trumka said the current proposal is weak on workers’ rights, environmental standards and other key areas. He expressed a strong desire to work with Congress to improve it.

Donohue spoke out against delays. “Tomorrow is too late. Today is the time to move on these issues,” he said.

Congressional debate on Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership promises to be the most raucous and polarizing on any issue likely to be taken up by U.S. lawmakers this year.

Russia low rating again
in world opinion polling

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For the eighth consecutive year, Russia has earned the lowest approval ratings among major world powers in a survey of people in more than 130 countries, with Moscow's ranking falling sharply in Western nations after its intervention last year in Ukraine.

The Gallup survey of about 1,000 adults in each of the countries showed the United States with the highest ratings, followed by Germany, the European Union, China and then Russia.

The international pollster said the results are similar to those recorded for the last six years. But Gallup said countries affiliated with the West, particularly those belonging to the NATO military alliance, have soured on Russia dramatically.

Meanwhile, Gallup said Russians and people in many of its former republics, chiefly Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan, all felt much more negatively about leadership in the U.S., the EU and Germany.

Gallup said support for Russia dropped by 10 percentage points or more in 21 countries and a majority of residents in 41 countries disapproved of Russian policies, nearly three times the number of countries where majorities voiced their displeasure about U.S. leadership.

With the Ukrainian conflict and the standoff  between Russia and the West over Moscow's involvement  commanding wide attention through much of 2014, Russian support for the United States and the EU plunged, according to the survey. Russians' disapproval of the United States nearly doubled from 42 percent in 2013 to 82 percent last year, and more than doubled for the EU, from 26 to 70 percent in the same period.

Gallup called the emerging gulf between attitudes in Russia and Western countries troubling. It said the "growing attitudinal divide between the former Cold War adversaries does not bode well for future negotiations," noting that public attitudes "can actually affect foreign policy."


Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Enphase-Micro-Inverters: Simple, reliable, installation without batteries or complicated central inverters that limit expansion and downgrade your system with one shady panel.
Enphase-Micro-Inverters: so flexible; you can begin saving with a third of a system, then add as you go with your savings!

Think of it this way: cash in a CD paying 7% and get 15% to 25% from the Sun!  What better way to lower your electric bill than with a Quality Solar System from CR Solar?    Ask about our BEST HI END Solar Hot Water Heaters. 
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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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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Real estate for sale (paid category)

They say a stock market crash is overdue.  Is your money in the bank earning only pennies in interest?  Is it time to get some of your assets out of the United States and into a wonderful retirement location?  That was this owner’s plan.  Gross ROI for this property was 11% most recent 5 months with 1,129 m2 lot crying for development of more rentals.  Build two or even three inexpensive fourplexes and live off of the income the rest of your life.  But current owner is unable to stay in Costa Rica (divorce, health reasons) so must sacrifice retirement dream property.  Offered at only $140,000 by extremely motivated seller and cash talks!  Very desirable location only a short 5-minute walk to central La Fortuna, clean and modern construction 2 bedroom 1 bath home is 102 m2 with no wasted space, very livable.  THIS ABSOLUTELY MUST BE SOLD!  For interior pix email
or phone (506) 8377-8402.

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 back yard 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 $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  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:

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

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

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:

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Fantastic location for condo/ hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot. incredible views. Flexible zoning $2.3 M 
Easy to get liquor license.
Low interest financing
Call Bruce at: (506) 8307-0164.

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 78
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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
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo    
    Laura Porras Murillo from the Universidad Nacional in Heredia,
    an expert on wild animals, shares information on crocodiles.

How about a short course in crocodiles?

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The mean streets might be challenging for police officers, but in Jacó and Tárcoles de Garabito officers sometimes run into crocodiles or their relatives.

So the security ministry invited Laura Porras Murillo of the Instituto Internacional en Conservación y Manejo de la Vida Silvestre at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, to share her knowledge.

As might be expected, her principal advice was prudence, said the ministry in a summary.

Dr. Porras said that there is not a big upswing in the croc population, but the ministry said that more and more police officers are called upon to handle the critters on the Pacific coast and on the Caribbean.

During heavy rains, such animals can be seen crossing roadways on the Pacific coast.

Police have been called upon to trap and remove crocodiles up to 4.5 meters in length. That's nearly 15 feet.

Tourism minister lost a few battles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When he was named, tourism leaders were thrilled that the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo would be headed by a person from the industry.

That expectation soured, and now Wilhelm von Breymann will be leaving the job, which is part of the presidential cabinet.

Von Breymann held the job when through no fault of his own, the central government seemed to be leaning on the industry. At the end of the Laura Chinchilla administration, a decree imposed five years of back taxes on a number of tourism operations. No one expected that, and there is some question as to the validity of the decree. But members of the new administration gleefully pledged to collect the tax. As it turned out a bill is in the legislature to void the back taxes and stage in the 13 to 15 percent taxes on tourism activities.

Then there were some budget battles that the minister did not win. So the industry turned against him.  Luis Guillermo Solís most likely will select a seasoned politician to replace him.

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From Page 7:

Newspaper director tapped by president

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Mauricio Herrera Ulloa, director del Semanario Universidad, has been named minister of Comunicación  by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Casa Presidencial described him as a fighter for freedom of the press and a promoter of democratic journalism.

The university weekly at the Universidad de Costa Rica has a reputation for investigative journalism related to the political sector.

Solís has taken a beating when a proposed draft of a radio and television law would have given the government the right to shut down publications and stations over content.

In addition, the president's approval ratings have declined.