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Company operators may get a second chance
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The legislature is cooking up a new tax law on companies. Of course, they are. The country does not want to lose any tax revenue.

The Sala IV’s ruling of Jan. 28 found articles 1, 3 and 5 of Law 9024 unconstitutional. This sent a serious shock to the officials in charge of the government’s coffers. Many company operators just stopped paying the tax after the decision. These articles were the heart of the legislation.

Article 1, created the tax.  Article 3, set the tax amount and divided the payment into two types, one for active and another for inactive companies. Inactive entities pay 50 percent less than active ones. Article 5, set the sanctions and fines for not paying the tax.
The Registro Nacional reports delinquencies rose to almost 60 percent in 2015 from around 40 percent in 2014 for active companies. Inactive companies rose to a whopping estimated 78 percent from last year’s 58 percent.
For those unfamiliar with the tax, it is the Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas or Ley 9024. The tax started on April 1, 2012. It is now 3 years old, but four years of taxes are due at this time because as of Jan. 1 of each year, the whole year is due and payable.

The Sala IV said the creation, the amount and the sanctions to enforce it were illegal, but the country could still collect the illegal taxes due from April 1, 2012 to this Dec. 31.

Apparently, most understood the first part, that the tax was illegal, but missed or ignored the fact that the collection part of the law is still very much alive. The Registro Nacional still has the right to dissolve any company with three consecutive periods in arrears. The agency has the power to assess any past due amounts against any assets of a company behind on the tax.

Now the good news:

The proposed new law is exactly like the original. Right down to the transitorio clauses. Some of which imparted certain invaluable benefits. This is what they were and why they are important if they are part of the new law.

Transitorio I: This clause prorated the payment for 2012. If the legislature does not approve the new law by the end of the year, it will need a similar bridge to prorate the tax again next year.

Transitorio II: Many people did not take advantage of this option after the approval of the first law. It allowed people to dissolve companies without paying the tax. If it is in the new law, as it was in the first, people can dump unwanted entities.

Transitorio III: This required the Registro Nacional to provide a list of representatives to everyone who wanted

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one so anyone could see if he or she is part of a company. Some people do not realize or have forgotten about being involved in an entity required to pay the tax.

Transitorio IV: This clause was a bridging mechanism to give those not interested in being part of a company anymore the ability to get out and not be liable. 
The fact is everyone with legal authority and/or a full power of attorney is liable personally for this tax assessment. Many people did not resign when they could. The last date to do so was April 1 of last year. They will have another chance if this part is in the new law.

Transitorio V: The best for last. This transition clause allowed people to move property into another entity completely exempt from transfer taxes and registration fees. Most expats and Ticos know it is very expensive to move property. Transfer taxes are 1.5 percent of asset value. Registration fees are around 1.05 percent. This totals to 2.55 percent. This is a huge savings for those with a property in a company they do not want.

Attorney Allan Garro, an expert on the law, explained many people did not take advantage of the transitorios or bridges in the law the first time around. He said they provided excellent remedies for those stuck with companies owing the tax.  If the new law has similar benefits, expats and Ticos alike would have a second chance to act.

The new tax law published in Gaceta No. 74, April 17 is identical to the one published on Dec. 27, 2011, except for changes to dates. There is no guarantee it will become law as such, but there is a very good chance it will. The legislature is very anxious to get this law fixed and back on the books.

A new law with the same bridging mechanisms as in the first will be a great opportunity for those who missed them the first time around.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 45-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2004-2015, use without permission prohibited.

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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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race photo
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
     Here are some of the 1,500 adults and children who participated in
     Saturday's La ruta de los sueños, organized by the Museo de los
    Niños and the Fuerza Pública. The name of the race also is part of
    the slogan for the children's museum, which calls itself the castle of

Minds of GMO opponents explored

By the Cell Press news staff

A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms has become so widespread, despite positive contributions such crops have made to sustainable agriculture.

Genetically modified organisms is a highly controversial issue in Costa Rica too.

In a paper published in Trends in Plant Science, they argue that the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of genetically modified organisms. The researchers urge the general public to form opinions on such products on a case-by-case basis, thereby not focusing on the technology but on the results.

"The popularity and typical features of the opposition to GMOs can be explained in terms of underlying cognitive processes. Anti-GMO messages strongly appeal to particular intuitions and emotions," said lead author Stefaan Blancke, a philosopher with the Ghent University Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences. "Negative representations of GMOs, for instance, like claims that GMOs cause diseases and contaminate the environment, tap into our feelings of disgust and this sticks to the mind. These emotions are very difficult to counter, in particular because the science of GMOs is complex to communicate."

Examples of anti- genetically modified organism sentiment are present around the world, from the suspension of an approved genetically modified eggplant in India to the strict regulations on genetically modified crops in Europe. Contributing to this public opposition, the researchers suspect, is a lack of scientific understanding of genetics as well as moral objections to scientists playing God. As an example, the note that not even half of the respondents in a U.S. survey rejected the claim that a fish gene introduced into a tomato would give it a fishy taste.

"Anti-GMO arguments tap into our intuitions that all organisms have an unobservable immutable core, an essence, and that things in the natural world exist or happen for a purpose," Blancke explains "This reasoning, of course, conflicts with evolutionary theory, the idea that in evolution one species can change into another. It also makes us very susceptible to the idea that nature is a force that has a purpose or even intentions that we shouldn't meddle with."

While religious beliefs, particularly those that hold a romantic view of nature, have been accused of generating some of the negativity around genetically modified organisms, Blancke and his co-authors argue that there's more to the story. Using ideas from the cognitive sciences, evolutionary psychology, and cultural attraction theory, they propose that it is more a matter of messages competing for attention in which environmental groups are simply much better at influencing people's gut feelings about genetic modification than the scientific community.

"For a very long time people have only been hearing one side," Blancke says. "Scientists aren't generally involved with the public understanding of GMOs, not to mention the science of GMOs is highly counter intuitive and therefore difficult to convey to a lay audience, so they have been at a disadvantage from the start."

The researchers believe that understanding why people are against genetically modified organisms is the first step toward identifying ways to counteract negative messages. Blancke and co-author Geert De Jaeger, a plant biotechnologist, started in their community by developing a public lecture to dispel myths about genetic modification. They urge others to build science education programs that can help balance out anti-genetically modified organism campaigns.

"We want to bring the two sides more together," Blancke says. "You cannot say every GMO is bad. You have to look at each case separately to make a judgment."

Friday will be another holiday, May Day

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This work week ends with a holiday, International Workers' Day. This is a legal holiday in Costa Rica and also the day for the traditional worker's march.

Although the march will point out some controversies from the labor organizations, the march is also open to anyone with any type of gripe. Usually the event is colorful and peaceful.

The scene will be Avenida 2 and the destination will be the legislative complex. Naturally there will be problems with traffic.

This year the unions are expected to express their unhappiness with a proposed labor code.

This is the first May 1 in office for the Luis Guillermo Solís government. The day includes the election of the officers who will preside over the legislature for another year. There is a lot of politicking going on by various factions to promote their favorites.

May 1 is the day when the president is supposed to deliver what amounts to a state of the nation speech. The evening audience will be heavy with diplomats.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados has made a point of linking the day with the national campaign 160 years ago to fight U.S. filibusterer William Walker in Guanacaste and in Nicaragua.

The union organization said it was on May 1 when then-president  Juan Rafael Mora Porras called the nation to action against Walker.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
Officers check out results of logging near Puerto Jiménez

Two lumbering operations draw police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement officers have cracked down on two lumbering operations.

The first was Friday when the Fuerza Pública said that men in Pocosol de San Carlos were cutting more trees than a permit allowed. They confiscated chains, saws and even a bulldozer.

Sunday the Fuerza Pública in Puerto Jiménez on the Osa peninsula said they found men lumbering in a finca where such activity is prohibited.  Police confiscated some sawn timbers and a tractor, they said.

Allegations filed against ex-judge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The organized crime prosecutor has filed an accusation against  Rosa Elena Gamboa Haeberle, a former judge in Limón. One allegation is that the woman incorrectly lifted the preventative detention against a marijuana smuggling suspect in 2011, said the Poder Judicial. The suspect fled.

The prosecutor's action means that the case now will go to a preliminary hearing where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for a trial.

The case is in the Juzgado Penal de Hacienda of the II Circuito Judicial de San José.

The woman also faces an allegation that she unsuccessfully tried to remove preventative detention in another marijuana case when she was a member of a three-judge panel.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 81
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New rules would reduce noise from cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Dirección General de la Policía de Tránsito will have new rules after Oct. 23 to crack down on loud vehicles.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes issued a decree that was published Thursday in the La Gaceta official newspaper. The decree sets new, lower standards for vehicle noise.

Although the cuts in the legal noise level are just four to six decibels, the scale is logarithmic, so every 10-point increase is a doubling of the sound.

The ministry said that the scale to be used by police also will be used at vehicle inspections.

The ministry said that there will be five standards when the regulations go into effect in October, six months after publication. A new category for light trucks and microbuses has been created.

Nearly all the new standards are above 93 decibels, the point that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says can cause hearing loss.

Automobiles which now have a maximum of 96 decibels will have a new top standard of 90 decibels.

The Centers said that a power lawn mower or a hair dryer can generate sounds of about 90 decibels. Downtown traffic can be a continual 93 decibels.

The Centers said that an impact wrench generates a sound of about 103 decibels and that a chain saw can reach 110

Legal vehicle noise levels
Type of vehicle
Oct. 23
Heavy trucks
Motorcycles  0-250 cc.
Motorcycles 250 cc.
or more
Light trucks
and microbuses
Source: Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes

decibels. An ambulance siren can be 120 decibels and a jet engine at takeoff can reach 140 decibels, said the Centers.
Spectators at rock concerts can sometimes experience sounds of up to 150 decibels.

To measure the levels, traffic police have some 23 devices now. The ministry said that the number will be doubled, but each device costs far more than the Radio Shack variety. They can be $6,000 or more each.

The penalty for exceeding the sound maximum is 21,963.90 colons, said the ministry. That's about $42.

Some expats who live near downgrades have been complaining for years about the sounds emitted by heavy trucks and their jake breaks. Such sounds probably exceed the maximums now, so time will tell how consistent enforcement will be after Oct. 23.

Minister issues an unusual apology for problems with arts festival
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The minister of Cultura y Juventud and her entire staff have issued an apology to the public, artists and community members for the fiasco that was the Festival International de las Artes Friday and over the weekend.

The minister, Elizabeth Fonseca, said she was appointing a committee to see what happened. The apology extends to Acosta, Aserrí, Alajuelita and Desamparados where a number of outdoor events that had been scheduled did not take place.

The ministry had problems with a contract with a sound and light company. Friday the Contraloría General de la República, the agency that must pass on government
 contracts, said that the sound and light contract was rejected because ministry workers used the incorrect budget account for payment.

The festival attracts a lot of out-of-town and foreign performers, who had be be rescheduled.

The ministry ended up putting more activities in the Centro Nacional de Arte, its complex on Avenida 7.

The minister in a release promised that all the scheduled activities eventually would be performed. The problems resulted in financial loss for those who were prepared to provide food services at the four cantons festival sites as well as any events for which admission was to have been charged.

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, Monday, April 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 81
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Husband in fugitive adoption case surrenders after leaving Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man now 50 has surrendered in another case of non-custodial abduction linked to Costa Rica.

The man, Scott Kelley, formerly of  Whitefield, New Hampshire, accompanied the missing daughter, Mary Nunes, now 19, to Atlanta from Costa Rica where he was taken into custody April 15.

Miss Nunes is the daughter of  Genevieve Kelley, Scott Kelley's wife, and the woman's ex-husband, Mark Nunes.  Mrs. Kelly surrendered last year.

So far how the couple and the girl managed to evade authorities for more than10 years has not been disclosed. Nor is it known if they spent all that time in Costa Rica.

As with other custody battles that led to flights from the United States to Costa Rica, Mrs. Kelley alleged that her ex-husband was abusing the girl. He had full custody rights at the time, according to a New Hampshire television station news story, which added that investigators were not able to substantiate the allegations against the father.

The case was featured on a television series that deals with missing persons.

The U.S. Marshals Service said that Kelley and Miss Nunes showed up at the U.S. consulate in Costa Rica to obtain passports April 13 for a flight back to the United States. "During this process it was learned that Kelley had an outstanding arrest warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and that Nunes, 19, was a missing person," said the Marshals Service.  "Given this information, Kelley and Nunes were issued temporary passports for travel back to the United States."

Miss Nunes was allowed to continue her travels, said the Marshals Service. The New Hampshire television station said that she is expected to testify at her mother's trial.

A.M. Costa Rica reporters have concluded after investigating prior cases that a network exists in the United States and in Costa Rica that assists fugitive mothers to live here without being discovered. In a prior case, investigators were thrown off by a false trail into Canada that they thought could only have been developed by persons with training in police methods.

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

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

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

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 81
Real Estate
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U.S. Supreme Court faces
decision on gay marriages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. The case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage or a continuation of the status quo in which gay unions are recognized on a state-by-state basis.

At the heart of the case are same-sex couples barred from civil marriage in their home states, including Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. The couple is raising four adopted children and a foster child near Detroit, Michigan, one of a dwindling number of states where same-sex couples cannot legally wed.

Despite sharing a home and bearing shared responsibility for five young children, the state of Michigan treats them as two single, cohabitating adults. That status not only denigrates their relationship, it places them at a legal disadvantage that can have real consequences should an emergency arise, according to Ms. DeBoer.

“We spend family time together. We teach the kids to do chores. We teach the kids to ride bikes,” she said. “You know, there's no difference in our family. The only difference is, is who, who we love and that shouldn't be a reason to not treat us the same and not give us the same legal rights as everybody else.”

Ms. DeBoer and Ms. Rowse are plaintiffs in a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court Tuesday. At issue: are state bans on same-sex marriage constitutional and must states recognize gay unions performed in other states?

Saturday, opponents of gay marriage rallied on Washington’s National Mall.

“We came here because, as Christians, we want the will of God to be followed. Couples should consist of a woman and a man,” said demonstrator Walter Morales, speaking in Spanish. “It can't be a man and a man.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by demonstrator James Birlinski, who wore a beret with a Christian cross sewed on. "It's in the Bible,” he said. “God says it is between man and a woman, and the Supreme Court has no authority to redefine it.”

Such voices are increasingly in the minority. Polls show more and more Americans backing same-sex marriage rights, 61-percent in a recent survey.

Meanwhile, gay people have won a string of victories in the courts, at the ballot box, and in state legislatures, with about three-fourths of Americans now living in states where same-sex marriage is legal.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law preventing the U.S. government from recognizing gay unions, and last year the court declined to intervene after lower courts struck down bans in five states.

Some legal scholars believe the Supreme Court already has telegraphed its ultimate intention regarding same-sex marriage, and that the current legal patchwork of states allowing or banning the practice will not endure.

“We have now absurd situations in which a couple marries in one state legally. They move to another state where it isn’t legal, not married for state law purposes even though they are for federal purposes,” said Georgetown University law professor Nan Hunter. “I think the writing is on the wall. I think almost everyone believes that it is just a matter of time before gay couples can marry anywhere in the United States.”

What will Ms. Rowse and Ms. DeBoer do if the Supreme Court rules in their favor later this year?

“Big wedding to plan,” they said in unison.

Worldwide need for surgeries
called $420 billion problem

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A couple of years ago, the British medical journal The Lancet asked a group of experts to assess the global state of surgery. The panel now reports finding a major gap between the need for surgery and what is actually available, especially in low- and middle-income countries.  

In its report published by The Lancet, the group says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures.

A Stanford University surgery professor, Thomas Weiser, a member of The Lancet commission, says the need is great.

“There are probably about 143 million operations that are needed just to meet basic needs in low- and middle-income countries," said Weiser. "There are probably about five billion people that don’t have access to safe, timely surgery with protection against catastrophic expenditure. And so, those are pretty big numbers.”

The Lancet commission notes remarkable gains in global health over the last quarter-century, but says surgery has not kept up with advances in other areas.

“You can’t achieve universal health care if you don’t incorporate surgery," said Harvard Medical School’s John Meara, who is one of the lead authors of The Lancet paper.

Meara said increasing the availability of surgical treatments is not as simple as providing bedding nets designed to protect against malaria. Surgery requires trained staff, proper facilities and sterile instruments, but also reliable electricity, a system for getting patients to often-distant hospitals and a business model that does not bankrupt those who need an operation.

The report suggests spending an additional $300 to $420 billion on surgery between now and 2030. That's a lot of money, but Meara says The Lancet commission calculated each dollar spent would return three or four dollars in economic benefit from lives saved and people returned to productive good health.

“When you look at cost effectiveness in terms of dollars spent, for welfare gains, for the positive impact on human beings, surgery is every bit as cost-effective as any of those other aspects,” Meara said.

There is no one best path to improving access to surgery, and the report cites several diverse countries, including Mexico and Rwanda, as having taken steps toward improving access to surgical services.

Digital music gives composers
some pluses, some minuses

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The global reach of music is almost limitless thanks to the digital revolution.  Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible.  This creates both opportunities and problems for professionals in the music industry.  Questions about the future of the music industry in this digital age are on the minds of many as they celebrated World Intellectual Property Day. 

Jimmie Moore, known professionally as JMetro, is a singer, songwriter and poet from Houston, Texas, in the southern U.S.  He introduces a new song he has composed, called "Midnight Dreams," which will not be released until August or September.

“Because it is copyrighted, I know that you all can hear it and record it, put it on YouTube or whatever," said JMetro. "It does not matter.  Just spread it all throughout the world, and I feel completely confident knowing that no one else is going to take the music that I have worked so hard to create.”  

JMetro was a contender for the 57th Grammy awards for his single "Frosty."   He was a victim of infringement by a better-known artist and has become a strong advocate of the copyright system.  He said he appreciates the opportunities the new technologies afford him and other independent artists to distribute their work widely throughout the world.

“However, at the same time, I saw that under the current system artists are not being fairly compensated," said JMetro. "So, it makes it difficult to continue to be able to fund our creativity.  But, ultimately, it is great to have the exposure.” 

Director of the copyright division of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Michelle Woods, says the international copyright law treaties have been updated for the digital era.  She says it should be possible for artists in the music industry to continue to earn a living under the new digital system.

But, she recognizes legitimate concerns, principally those of piracy, have increased under the current system.  

“But, then secondly, there can be concerns about business models where the payments say per stream or per play of a particular title is a tiny fraction of what would have been paid, say, under the terrestrial radio system," said Ms. Woods.

Ms. Woods says these areas are being worked out.  But, results are uncertain given the endless possibilities for streaming and downloading music on the Internet for free.

Alexandre Lombard, a young consumer advocate, puts his finger on the problem.    

“We have the opportunity to access almost every piece of music that ever existed…For my generation, music has always been available for free," said Lombard. "Some way or another you could access free music on the Internet.”  

Despite the availability of free downloads, digital music sales are accelerating.  The industry reports global digital revenues grew nearly 7 percent to $6.85 billion last year.  For the first time, digital and physical accounted for the same proportion of industry revenues, with both equaling 46 percent.

Chris Ancliff is general counsel international of Warner Music Group, one of the world’s largest record companies.  He says the music business has been written off many times yet still exists.

“The recording music business has invested something like $20 billion in new artists over the last five years alone," said Ancliff. "So, we still think of ourselves as being a strong and healthy business.  Now clearly we are not as strong and as big as perhaps we were 10 years ago. The easy availability of free illegal music on the Internet has played a very big part in that.”  

Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi is a passionate advocate of musicians’ rights.  He says the digital revolution opens up many opportunities for African musicians and composers.  He says it is easy for artists to promote their works and get it heard by a worldwide audience.  But, he notes African artists lack control over their work and they lose money because of free downloads on the Internet.  

Speaking through an interpreter, Awadi says African governments must put in place legal structures that will protect artists’ rights.

“And so, what we want to do is see to it that all of our countries we can strike deals that are fair, that are equitable…We’re connected to the world.  Let us make sure that the legal framework is there so that we can lead a decent life from our creations, as is the case elsewhere in the world,” said Awadi.

U.S. may let families pay
to release abducted kin

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An American television network reports the Obama administration is considering a major change in policy regarding ransom for U.S. hostages.

ABC news on Sunday said families who try to negotiate a ransom for relatives held captive overseas will no longer be prosecuted on charges of dealing with terrorists.

The reported change is the recommendation of a White House appointed advisory group, the National Counterterrorism Center, according to ABC.

A U.S. official told the network, "There will be absolutely zero chance of any family member of an American held hostage overseas ever facing jail themselves or even the threat of prosecution for trying to free their loved ones."

Diane Foley, the mother of journalist James Foley beheaded by Islamic State last year, told ABC that U.S. officials threatened the family with criminal charges if they tried to raise money to free her son.

The White House denied the allegations and Secretary of State John Kerry said he was really taken aback by the accusation.

The Obama administration has not yet commented on the new ABC report.

  University of Utah/ Hsin-Hua Huang
  This cross-section illustration depicts the
   supervolcano’s plumbing system as revealed by
   recent seismic imaging.

Yellowstone a time bomb
but maybe with long fuse

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Yellowstone National Park’s many geothermal features, including its estimated 10,000 hot springs and geysers, draw millions of visitors each year.

There’s good reason why the approximately 8,983-square km park has such a high level of geothermal activity. The park sits atop one of the world’s largest active volcanic systems.

According to the US Geological Survey, Yellowstone’s supervolcano exploded with three cataclysmic volcanic eruptions over the past 2.1 million years. The most recent took place about 640,000 years ago.

Scientists say those three catastrophic Yellowstone supervolcano eruptions covered much of North America in volcanic ash. A similar eruption today would be equally devastating, according to researchers.

Today, a number of people, possibly inspired by a few conspiracy theories and docudrama television programs, are concerned that a significant and catastrophic eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano is imminent.

And seismologists from the University of Utah have made a new discovery that may add to these concerns.

The scientists said they discovered and made images of a reservoir of hot and partially molten rock located about 19 to 45 km below the Yellowstone supervolcano. The researchers added that this reservoir is about 4.4 times larger than the long-known and shallower magma chamber above.

According to Jamie Farrell, a co-author of a study published in the journal Science, the reservoir of hot rock would fill the 4,168 cubic kilometer Grand Canyon 11.2 times. The magma chamber above it was calculated to fill the Grand Canyon 2.5 times.

“For the first time, we have imaged the continuous volcanic plumbing system under Yellowstone,” said the study’s first author Hsin-Hua Huang, a postdoctoral researcher in geology and geophysics, in a press release.

“That includes the upper crustal magma chamber we have seen previously plus a lower crustal magma reservoir that has never been imaged before and that connects the upper chamber to the Yellowstone hotspot plume below,” he added.

To allay any fears that the Yellowstone volcano is about to blow up, the seismologists emphasized that its plumbing system is neither larger nor is it any closer to erupting than before.

Robert Smith, a research and emeritus professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, took this a step further, saying the annual chance of the supervolcano erupting is 1 in 700,000.

The researchers also stressed that contrary to what many people may think, the magma chamber beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano and the magma reservoir beneath that are not bubbling with molten rock. While the rock material is hot, the researchers said it’s mostly solid and spongy, with only pockets of molten rock within it.

The hot rock in the upper magma chamber contains an average of about 9 percent molten rock, according to researchers’ calculations. That is pretty much in line with past estimates of between 5 to 15 percent of molten rock in that chamber. The researchers also found that the contents in the lower magma reservoir are made of about 2 percent of melted rock.

Study co-author Fan-Chi Lin, assistant professor of geology and geophysics, said that the new research is providing a “better understanding the Yellowstone magmatic system.”

“We can now use these new models to better estimate the potential seismic and volcanic hazards,” he said.

Computers servers seen
as domestic heating source

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes?  A Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Data centers of large Internet firms, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and others, contain thousands of computer servers. As they process information they generate enormous amounts of heat requiring cooling towers that dissipate it into the atmosphere.

A Dutch firm thinks paying for electricity to run the servers and then paying again to cool them is a waste of energy.

Boaz Leupe, CEO of the start-up Nerdalize, says it’s actually quite simple.

"We don't actually have to build the data center, which saves a lot of costs in infrastructure and we don't have the cooling overhead, plus that you have the environmental benefit, that the kilowatt hour you are using is used twice, once to heat the home and once to compute the clients task without the cooling overhead," says Leupe.

The company developed what it calls an e-Radiator, a computer server that also works as an alternative heating source. Leupe says that five Dutch homeowners are experimentally using them in their homes.
“We reimburse the electricity the server uses, and that we can do because of the computer clients on the other side, and, in that way, home owners actually get heating for free, and computer users don't have to pay for the overhead of the data center,” says Leupe.

One of the participants in the year-long experiment, Jan Visser, says the amount of heat produced by e-Radiator depends on the work being done by the server’s processors so it cannot be used as the primary source. But he is ready to try it.

“If it gives good enough warmth, you can use less of your existing central heating, and there is the chance for a home owner to pay less bills.”

Nerdalize says e-Radiators generate temperatures of up to 55 degrees Celsius and could save up to $440 in annual heating costs.

Residents in Nepal sleep
in streets due to aftershocks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Residents of Nepal's capital sought refuge outside over night, fearful of further aftershocks after a massive earthquake rocked much of the country Saturday, killing more than 3,200 people and injuring several thousand others.

Communications systems from rural areas have been knocked out by the earthquake.  The death and injury tolls are expected to rise when word comes in from those areas.

Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake struck 80 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, destroying large part of the capital's historic center. Sunday's 6.7 aftershock was among at least 18 smaller quakes that shook the Kathmandu area since.

Citing Nepali government sources, the United Nations said 35 of the country's 75 districts are affected. Some 30 million people live in Nepal.

A reporter said that emergency officials in Kathmandu say they are overwhelmed with rescue and assistance requests from across the country.

Disaster response teams from the United States and other nations are deploying to help search, rescue and recovery efforts.

On a Web site established by the International Committee of the Red Cross, hundreds of Nepalis and foreigners are reported missing by their loved ones. Far fewer have checked in on the site to report they are alive.

The earthquake rocked the mountainous region minutes before noon local time on Saturday, flattening historic structures of wood and brick in the ancient capital city. At least 180 people were reported dead when the city's iconic Dharahara Tower, a  world heritage site, collapsed.

To the east, avalanches shook Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth, killing at least 18 climbers, injuring many others and burying entire base camps.

By early Sunday, sources reported deaths and extensive property damage in the Tibet Autonomous Region, hundreds of kilometers north of Kathmandu.

At least 34 people were killed in India, as other partial casualty reports from far-flung regions came from Bangladesh, Bhutan and elsewhere in the vast and remote Nepal-Chinese border regions.

The United States expressed condolences for the lives lost and pledged an immediate $1 million for disaster relief.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica

Visit our Web Page:

If you do not find you are looking for in our page, contact us, WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.

English Calls:
Miguel Fiatt Sauma 
or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000

Send us your request to our
Mafri one
Beautiful house in Santa Ana, Valley and mountain view. Price: $1,300,000. Single story, bedrooms. 5 baths. Double-size garage: 360 m2. Lot: 4,487 m2. 
Click HERE!

Mafri two
San Isidro de Heredia. Great lot with 3 houses. $3,200,000 single story. 1,505 m2 Lot: 37,419m2  Click HERE!
Mafri three
Finca Las Trufas, San Ramon-Esparza, Price: $3,900,000 Farm and ranch. Single story 1,500 m2. on 25 hectares Click HERE!


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
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Dominican Republic

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 81
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
Too much rain equals pathetic plants

Retirement is confusing. I used to have this nicely segmented life. I went to work. I came home.  There was cooking and cleaning, a little social life, a little time for gardening. I always knew what day it was.
Victoria torley
Then we retired. Now life is undisciplined, and that makes it complicated.

I figure my days by the arrival of the gardener and when the book club meets. It’s confusing and, although I often (not too often) know what day of the week it is, I usually can’t tell you the date.
Naturally enough, in the tropics, I hardly ever equate our weather with a season.

Not having a season is fine with me because I can garden all year round.  All that is required is to know whether the weather will be hot and dry or hot and wet. At least that’s what I thought when we moved here. Now I have discovered that it can also be cool and wet or cool and dry. After three years here, I also find that the area doesn’t even have a rainy/dry dichotomy. What we have is a rainy season and a rainier season. This is very hard on tomatoes.

Tomatoes grew like mad in upstate New York. One year I just let the cherry tomatoes go, and they hit a height of seven feet (2 meters)! Okay, production was down a bit (tomatoes like a bit of pruning) but it was fun to be able to hide behind the plants, and if gardening isn’t fun once in a while, what’s the point? Now I look encouragingly at my tomatoes, and they seem to shiver and say, “tooooo cooooold”.

Evidently, the tomatoes have been talking to the cucumbers behind my back because they are refusing to grow as well. String beans? Forget it. They got about 6 inches tall, produced 2 or 3 beans each and gave up. Then the leaf cutter ants finished them off.

Now I am planting peanuts, and I’m not sure why. I had planned to plant some for my chickens, but someone got into the hen house and stole them away (my husband, Metric Man, doesn’t mind that the rooster is gone), so that use is out. We enjoy eating peanuts, so that’s a plus if we can figure out how to roast them, but I planted a lot of peanuts. Maybe the local cows would like some. We will just have to see how they grow and if they are susceptible to ants and other pests.

Anybody got an elephant?

tiny orchid

This Week’s Plant
This, believe it or not, is an orchid (name unfortunately unknown). My friend Mickie loves tiny orchids and collects them from fallen trees on her mother’s finca. When you take a walk out there and you wonder where all the orchids are, you just aren’t looking closely enough (neither am I). Big showy orchids are splendid, but try not to miss the wonder of these diminutive beauties; they are everywhere.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit

Costa Rican News
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Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Escazú man held in U.S. stock fraud case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An Escazú expat has run afoul of the U.S. Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

The expat is Richard St. Julien, the executive chairman of the Board of Directors of ForceField Energy Inc., a U.S. publicly traded corporation, said the U.S. Department of Justice. He was detained in Florida as he was boarding a flight back to Costa Rica.

The U.S. Justice Department said that he is accused of manipulating the stock in his company. The stock is listed on the NASDAQ exchange.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice ForceField purports to be a worldwide distributor and provider of LED lighting products and solutions. According to the criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court, since approximately August 2012, St. Julien and associates engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price and trading volume of ForceField’s stock by using undisclosed nominee accounts, including an account held by a dermatologist in Boulder, Colorado, to purchase and sell the stock, and through the use of stock promoters and broker dealers who failed to disclose to potential investors that they had been paid by St. Julien to promote the purchase of the stock.

St. Julien did not disclose his ownership and control of the shares purchased through nominees and used offshore banks, including in Belize, to pay the nominees to conceal his ownership and control, said the U.S. Justice Department. St. Julien coordinated the purchases by telephone and text messages, it added.

As detailed in the complaint, at the end of January, St. Julien paid approximately $50,000 to a stock promoter through the dermatologist in Colorado. A few days later, the stock promoter began promoting the purchase of ForceField shares on its publicly available Facebook page, disclosing that his company had been paid $25,000 by an entity unrelated to St. Julien, or the dermatologist, the federal agency said.

Through his scheme, St. Julien and his associates deceived the investing public by creating the appearance of genuine trading volume and interest in ForceField’s stock, and as a result, from approximately January 2014 to April 2015, the price of the stock rose from a low of $4.55 per share to a high of $7.82 per share, said the Justice Department.

The company has been active in negotiating contracts for lighting with Costa Rica government agencies.

Although St. Julien lives in Escazú, the firm is registered in Nevada and has a headquarters in New York.

The firm said on its Web site that on Dec. 6, 2013, the Contraloría General de la República awarded it a contract to install 25 LED lights in the agency's parking lot. At the same time it said that it formed a strategic alliance with the Universidad de Costa Rica to support a demonstration project to study the health benefits of LED lighting on professors and university employees as well as the impact on academic grades of attending students.

St. Julien said at the time that the firm has more than $40 million in letters of intent outstanding in
Costa Rica alone.