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(506) 2223-1327         Published Tuesday, April 29, 2008, in Vol. 8, No. 84         E-mail us
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This is the strip where municipal officials hope to put a tourist boulevard. This also is the site that was cleared of encroaching structures.
Proposed Coco boulevard
A.M. Costa Rica/Helen Thompson

Tourist boulevard is planned for Playas del Coco
By Helen Thompson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One lonely restaurant remains standing on the beachfront strip at Playas del Coco, clinging on to its spot months after its neighbors were torn down by the municipality.

Coco's bar-restaurant is a rustic affair with a local atmosphere — a contrast to some of the fancier joints ranging from cigar bars to health-food cafés that have sprung up on Coco's main street.

A line of some 15 bars, restaurants and abandoned buildings fronted the Guanacaste beach until October but were doomed once the government started to enforce its maritime law. The law states that 50 meters inland from high tide mark is public land and therefore cannot be built upon.

“In my experience, Coco's will have little luck opposing the state's desire to clear the maritime zone,” said Canales Francisco Canales, head of the Zona Maritima Terrestre department of the Municipalidad de Carrillo. The municipality is clearing the way for a tourist boulevard that will replace the buildings, he added.

The owners of Coco's are currently in a legal process and temporarily protected by a recurso de amparo or constitutional appeal, but they are looking to relocate elsewhere.

“I've been working here for years,” said Angela, a waitress at Coco's. “They will knock it down in two to three months. Even if the owners relocate and open a similar business further into the town, I doubt I will work there. I guess I will stay in the area, but it will be low season, and when the tourists are not here it's very hard to find work.”

In place of the Tico families and locals who come
Coco's bar
Coco's bar is the lone holdout of the structures that were in the 50-meter zone.

to the bar for a ceviche or to drink the day away, tourists may soon be strolling along a boardwalk that will cost the municipality an estimated $385,000.

“The municipality is currently at the stage of collecting donations for the project,” said Canales.

“The mayor has a very special interest in seeing that this project comes to light. Removing that strip of buildings has been a very good thing for the town — now there is far less contamination on the beach, and sufficient space for people to walk freely by the sand.”

Plans include landscaping and water fountains, facilities such as bathrooms and showers for tourists to use after a long day in the ocean, and the re-planting of the maritime zone with native trees.

A name has already been suggested before the funds are even in: the Amor de Temporada Boardwalk – Seasonal Love Boardwalk in English – chosen because it is the title of a song by Héctor Zúñiga whose lyrics describe a love affair that starts in Playas del Coco.


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Our readers' opinions
Catholic church blamed
for lack of responsibility


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Regarding Mary Jay’s April 24th comments on crime in Costa Rica (the reason I left after obtaining pensionado status and planning on living there), she hit the nail on the head when she wrote: ”a lack of moral obligation to take responsibility.”

There is a simple reason for this Tico mentality and the identical morality (actually a lack of) in all Catholic countries. I’ve lived in the Philippines and Italy, been in 30 countries and spent 17 years outside America. I know whereof I speak.

The Catholic religion teaches — above all other lessons — that ANYTHING is OK as long as one supports their family. The “family” of course includes the church.

So people do anything they want, go to confession on Saturday night, get absolved and repeat their behavior next week. They have absolutely no guilt feelings whatsoever!

Lacking an understand that their behavior is wrong, they’ll never take responsibility and change. It’s an unending cycle of crime and corruption and will not be broken until the government separates church and state.

All “first world” countries have a firm dichotomy and all “third world” countries don’t. I’ve also lived in a Muslim country (Turkey) for three years and seen first hand what huge problems religion causes in politics.

Will the Ticos ever change? No. Don’t even hope for it.

Doug Hicks
Tampa, Florida

Articles about labor law
have interesting content


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I am happy to see the articles about the labor laws.  The last article about bonuses was interesting.  I used to do that — pay a bonus at the end of the tourist season, but I figured it could bite me in the end and stopped doing it.
 
I have had a business here for 20 years.  I have seen so many problems over the years, it has made me very wary about who and how I employ. I watch properties of other foreigners on the beach. In past they each had their own worker, who raked weekly.   Over last few years I have had to lay off all the workers, and I have one guy hired, and I pay INS, and the Caja for him, holidays, vacations.  I write up a comprobante de pago every two weeks.   I have had our local Ministerio de Trabajo check my form and that I am filling it in correctly. 
 
We have a Tico young man here who was encouraged  to go independent.  He is now registered as an independent worker and can work without benefits and charge more.  He has enough work to open a business and hire others. Now he has to be responsible for the legal obligations himself.  He gives us receipts with a cédula number on them.
 
I just laid off two workers, and went into the Ministry de Trabajo to have them calculate the liquidación and for them to sign off.  I was dreading it, but all the signed comprobante de pagos really helped.  There is no other way to have a worker, but to have them on insurance, and pay all the benefits.  The workers have rights, and it is important to know exactly what they are, and what your worker is entitled to.  I see foreigners resenting the labor code and all the benefits. 

I think that the minimum wage is low enough that the benefits are affordable if you pay as you go and not let them build up.  More and more, rural workers are learning their rights.   Often to the point that they overestimate them, and when they leave or are let go, they can think they are entitled to more than legal.
 
I recommend to anyone who has a worker, to get advice on how to set it up so that you are a legal employer or that your worker is legally registered as independent.
 
Susan England
Playa Zancudo.

Texas women are on welfare

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I, like Ms. Stewart, don’t know anymore about the polygamist in El Dorado, Texas compound than is on TV. Since I live in Costa Rica, I try to keep my opinions on U.S.A. affairs private.   However, the fact that caught my attention is many of the women are collecting welfare,  and where are the men?
Bobby Ruffín
Guadalupe

Reasoned labor approach
can keep you out of court

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Patterns formed tell you what's going on, but they don't tell you why. And the pattern in Costa Rica's labor courts is clearly slanted towards the employee and against the employer, but why?

In answering that, we must realize that a maid or gardener has no money to bribe the judge, not like some narcos who get released almost immediately despite having been caught with tons of drugs in their possession. So it is not a question the judges profiting from their rulings. The answer lies elsewhere.

That somewhere appears to be in the Costa Rican mindset. It must be recognized that there are two significant mindsets syndromes that enter into the Costa Rican notion of justice: the "pobrecito" one, which is excessive sympathy for those who seem to be unjustly shortchanged in God's good fortune distribution scheme, but never considering that the pobrecito's misfortune might have been self-inflicted through irresponsibility or imprudence. The other is "social resentment."

The first syndrome is seen in all classes of the society, probably a collective psychological residue from the times when many coffee barons of the country had their workers in serfdom. "Social resentment" is invariably confined to the lower class working Josés and Marías of the society, who are deeply resentful that God's scheme favored others more than it did them. Since they can't get even with God, they feel that just compensation is warranted by taking from God's favored either illegally through outright theft or legally through the labor courts.

In order for legal thievery to perpetually take place in the labor courts requires that there be unspoken guidelines for justice application, which can only come from the chief magistrates. That would suggest that the magistrates are severely afflicted with the "pobrecito" syndrome or rose through their hard work and studies out of the lower class to become judges, forgetting to leave their "social resentment" back in their poor neighborhoods. No individual judge or lesser court employee would dare go against these guidelines of justice interpretation, for they would find themselves without a job or shuffling papers in Upala, San Carlos.

Because you have to have maids and gardeners, and don't want to get nailed in a labor case, how you treat them and what you give them becomes important. Treat them with friendliness and respect. When they screw up, don't scream at them —that's verbal abuse.

Other than paying their salary and 13th month bonus on time, letting them have their two weeks vacation, respecting paid holidays and covering them with insurance, do not give them gifts or special privileges on a regular basis. When there is a problem, deal with it at the time; delayed reaction is considered "tolerance" by the courts, and can become a privilege for the employee.

When things look like they are not going to work out, sit down with the employee and discuss how to make a clean break of it. Once the matter gets into the court, you can count on spending money and time to resolve it. You got plenty of money and time? Then write a book on Costa Rica's weird sense of labor justice when the case is over with.
Robert Nahrgang S.
Escazú

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 84

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Puerto Viejo residents meet today to consider marina options
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The future steps of those who oppose the marina development in Puerto Viejo de Limón may become clearer after a meeting that is to be held today to outline the legal aspects of the subject.

Ruth Solano, who specializes in environmental law and works for the non-profit group Justicia para la Naturaleza, will present a talk about the options available to the community.

Ms. Solano has previously worked with Puerto Viejo's members of Acción para la Lucha Antipetrolera, which fought to block oil exploration in the Caribbean area.

It took the action group five years to persuade the government to deny the request of two petroleum
 companies who wished to explore four sites located near to the important wetlands Humedal Caribe Noreste and the Refugio Gandoca-Manzanillo.

Ms. Solano repesented the case of the environmental groups, and will now present the community with an assessment of the legal arguments for and against the Marina Ecologica New World, planned by Grupo Caribeño Nacional S.A., which would also be located near Refugio Gandoca-Manzanillo and Parque Nacional Cahuita.

Citizens of Puerto Viejo have already had a meeting with municipality authorities, but many were dissatisfied with the depth of explanations of the project, its aims and impacts, and still feel there are questions to be answered.

The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. today, in the Pro-Niño building by the town's elementary school.


Firemen celebrate because hydrant law finally gets an OK
By Elise Sonray
of  the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire fighters celebrated on Avenida Central Monday afternoon. Traffic was blocked, a snorkel went up, and traditional music was played to praise the approval of a law which will support fire hydrants around the country.

The law passed on Monday will pay for new hydrants and fix old ones in rural and urban areas, said a representative of Partido Acción Ciudadana, Rónald Solís, a major supporter of the Ley de Hidrantes. “There will be water for all Costa Ricans,” said Solís as he spoke to the group of firefighters gathered on the street.

The country needs at least 10,000 hydrants, said a presidential spokesperson, but as of now there are only 5,000, half of which do not work.

“There are many insufficient hydrants,” said Solís in an interview after his speech, “They don't open. Some don't function at all, and they will be replaced by new ones.”

The municipalities and businesses which administer water in the country will charge a monthly fee to all users. That means citizen's water bills will be higher. The fee will be approved by Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, said a presidential spokesperson.

Each new hydrant will cost a million and a half colons ($3,000), said Luis Salas, subdirector of the Cuerpo de Bomberos, the firemen. The hydrants are made of steel and are installed in a process which involves digging up the ground and laying tubes, said Salas. The entire installation will take some time, he added. There are two processes involved, repairing the old hydrants and then installing the new ones,” said Salas.

Firemen and women munched on little cookies and drank from juice boxes as they listened to speakers. Some waved the Costa Rican flags from high above the streets and almost everyone wore a pin with a picture of a bright red fire hydrant. Nearby an aging yellow hydrant leaked onto the sidewalk.

Recent data from the Cuerpo de Bomberos revealed that only a small percentage of hydrants in Costa Rica have the capacity to extinguish an actual fire, said a presidential spokesperson. Some hydrants were installed
firemen waive the flag
A.M. Costa Rica/Elise Sonray
Firemen on a snorkel platform wave the nation's flag after a law providing financial support for hydrants won legislative approval. The Bella Vista fortress is in the background.

as much as 70 years ago, said the spokesperson.

Hydrants had pretty much become orphans without a clear system to install and maintain them. The picture is clouded further because the Instituto Costarricense de Seguros, the national insurance company, is about to lose its monopoly. Firemen now work for the insurance company, so some system will have to be worked out to support firefighters outside the budget of the insurance monopoly.


You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 84


Immigration director defends process for foreigner IDs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The director of the immigration department has sent a lengthy document to opposition lawmakers outlining the problems surrounding the new plastic ID cards being issued to foreigners here.

The director, Mario Zamora, rebutted a number of points made by legislators of the Partido Acción Ciudadana in a press release last week.

The lawmakers said that Zamora hired without public bid the U.S. firm Lasercard even though the company had provided faulty products previously.

Zamora asked for time to appear before the lawmakers and explained in his written message to them that previous problems with the plastic cards stemmed from software and equipment provided by local vendors and not Lasercard, a California company.

He also pointed out that the process to purchase the equipment to manufacture the cards began under the previous administration.
The lawmakers said that the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería should have issued a contract to a Swiss firm, NAGRA-ID. Zamora responded that the immigration department still was bound by contract to Lasercard and that NAGRA-ID did not have a unique patented process. Therefore the department would have had to put the project out to bid again, he said. Lasercard also entered into a negotiated cash settlement, noted Zamora.
Zamora also said that Lasercard technicians arrived in the country this week and began to produce a quality card for foreigners here.

The previous problem was that the ink rubbed off the plastic and many foreigners found they could not use their plastic cards for identification. The department is issuing a universal immigration document that looks very much like the cédulas carried by Costa Rican citizens. The plastic has a number of biometric details, a photo and a signature embedded for certain identification.

Everyone from permanent residents to pensionados and rentistas will get one of the new plastic cards. Older cards issued under the previous process are being handed out with paper envelopes to protect the printing.


Arias has a secret he will reveal only at the United Nations
By José Pablo Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Óscar Arias Sánchez has a secret that he says is of great importance to the whole world. The bad news is that the Costa Rican president made this statement after meeting with a former U.S. astronaut who is a specialist in near earth objects.

The astronaut is Russell Schweickart, who was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 9 in 1969. He has been involved in tracking asteroids and other hunks of rock that might someday decide to visit earth in a spectacular fashion.

Arias met with Schweickart at the Pavas presidential residence Monday, and later told reporters that he would keep his secret until Costa Rica assumed the presidency of the U.N. Security Council. Each country holds the presidency for a month, and Costa Rica, a non-permanent member, will do so in November, according to the United Nations.

Arias said his secret related to research being conducted by Schweickart, now 72. Part of the former astronaut's research has been in comparing meteor crashes into the moon and extrapolating them to provide a guide to determine how many times earth has been hit by space objects. He also has proposed to send what he calls "space
astronaut and arias
A.M. Costa Rica/José Pablo Ramírez Vindas
Russell Schweickart explains his research to President Arias. Franklin Chang watches.

tug-boats" aloft to push threatening objects off a course that might intersect earth.

Another former astronaut, Franklin Chang Diaz, the Costa Rica-American space pioneer, accompanied Schweickart. Chang is well known in Costa Rica and is involved with developing a plasma rocket at facilities in Liberia. Schweickart was here for a conference on near earth objects.


Judge declined to order preventative detention for schoolgirl murder suspect
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A judge Monday set free a young man accused of shooting to death his former girlfriend.

The victim is Rose Mary Alvarez Rosales, a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

The Poder Judicial said that the prosecutor had requested preventative detention for the 22-year-old suspect,
identified by the last name of Cordero, and that an appeal of the judge's decision would be filed.

The murder happened Saturday in Barrio Cristóbal Colón, Cieneguita, Limón. The girl was hit in the body and head.

Under terms of the unidentified judge's decision, the suspect has to sign in with prosecutors periodically. Preventative detention is normal in murder cases because suspects are likely to flee.



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Are you still spending 70 percent 
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Court magistrates decide
to express their concern


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three Costa Rican judges, returning from Germany, also suffered ill treatment from U.S. immigration agents, according to the Poder Judicial.

That was revealed when supreme court magistrates met Monday to consider the complaint of Francisco Dall'Anese, the nation's chief prosecutor. Dall'Anese said he was detained for nearly two hours when he tried to enter the United States at Miami International Airport Wednesday.

Magistrates reported that Roberto Gutierrez Freer, Victor Ardon Acosta and Luis Fernando Salazar had trouble in New York during their flight, said the Poder Judicial.

The magistrates of the Corte Suprema de Justicia said that they would send a note to the minister of foreign relations asking that ministry to express the courts concern to U.S. officials.

Dall'Anese ended up returning to Costa Rica instead of interviewing a witness in the Alcatel bribery case that involved former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.

Chávez threatens to take
steel plant by expropriation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is threatening to expropriate steelmaker Ternium Sidor if the company can not reach an agreement with his government by today over its nationalization.

Chávez made the announcement during his weekly Sunday broadcast, after Venezuela said it would offer Ternium Sidor about $800 million for a majority stake. The Argentine-controlled company wants $4 billion for its holdings.

Chávez said he has asked the country's vice president, Ramon Carrizalez, to meet with company officials to discuss the issue.

Earlier this month, the government said it will take control of Ternium Sidor to protect workers' rights. The vice president said the action was taken after the breakdown of talks between the company and its union workers regarding salaries and benefits.

The Chávez government also has moved to increase state control over other industries. In recent months, it has reasserted national control over Venezuela's oil, electricity and telecommunications industries.

Venezuela is in a dispute with U.S.-based ExxonMobil over the nationalization of an oil project in which the company had a large financial stake.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 84



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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 84


Salsa and big band collide in a night of dinner and dancing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Music students of Pérez Zeledón and salsa-dancing fans of the group Son de Tikizia are preparing for a night of dinner and dancing to be held in the capital of the province.

The big band of the town that calls itself Pérez Zeledón, but whose actual name is San Isidro del General, will join dancers from the Universidad Nacional to present Cena Bailable May 23.

A concert by the 25 members of the big band will start off the evening, which will continue with a buffet-style dinner and end up with dancing.

The big band musicians are all students of the Escuela de Música Sinfónica de Pérez Zeledón, Universidad Nacional, and will be interpreting everything from jazz to popular under the  direction of  Leonel Rodríguez Cambronero.
Cambronero is a member of the Cuarteto Trombones de Costa Rica  and the Costa Rican salsa group Son de Tikizia.

The second of these will be playing their highly acclaimed tunes after dinner for everyone to dance to.

During the performances of the two bands, the Universidad Nacional's dance group “Katuir” will be giving dance demonstrations.

The night takes place on May 23 at 7 p.m., in the Rancho Don Beto, La Ceniza.

Entrance tickets are 8,000 colons ($16), including the dinner, and can be bought in the buildings of the Escuela de Música Sinfónica de Pérez Zeledón.

More information can be found on 2771 6498.


The Rules of Eight can keep a player out of trouble
Never underestimate the importance of preparation for any single poker session or tournament.  Similarly, never dismiss certain scientific facts regarding the human brain’s ability to function optimally.  I’ve learned plenty of valuable lessons as a 15-year professional poker veteran, and none is more critical than the importance of preparation.  It’s a lesson I call The Rules of Eight. 

Get eight hours of sleep.  It’s essential.  In the world of poker, it’s not heroic to try to function on a couple hours of sleep.  Scientific studies suggest that the human body, and more important, the human brain, requires a full eight hours of sleep to function at peak performance.  A good night’s sleep improves memory function and physical heath.  Missing even one hour of shuteye will impact your ability to concentrate the next day.  And it only gets worse if you deprive yourself of sleep night after night.

You see, to play your best and make solid decisions at the poker table, you need to focus on everything that is going on around you.  If you didn’t get a good night of uninterrupted sleep, you simply can’t play your best.  Keep this in mind, too:  Fatigue increases a player’s propensity to gamble more recklessly, and that is not a good thing.

Try to limit your time at the tables to no more than eight hours.  In some tournaments, that just won’t be possible.  If that is the case, it’s especially important to stockpile plenty of sleep.  In a cash game, however, make sure you keep your sessions on the shorter side. 

We’ve all heard stories about poker players grinding it out for two days straight.  Believe me; I’ve got stories like that of my own.  But the bottom line is that these stories usually don’t have great endings.  That’s because the mind starts playing tricks after a marathon poker session, especially after a losing session.  The evil voice in your head tells you, “This game is full of suckers.  You’re playing great.  Don’t quit as a loser.  Focus, and you’ll turn it around.”

The fact is after eight hours of play your ability to focus deteriorates.  Unfortunately, too many players are simply



unaware that it’s happening to them.  So decide how long you plan to play before you’re even dealt the very first hand.  Remember, your best decisions are made with a fresh mind.

Eight consecutive losing sessions is rarely the result of bad luck alone.  In fact, the same can be said of even five losers in a row (but I’d have to change the title of this column!)

Some players will blame anything but themselves for their extended losing streaks.  It’s the dealer, or a string of bad beats, or that the cards weren’t properly shuffled — whatever.  The truth is that consecutive losses at the poker table will eat away at your confidence and affect your play for the worse.  If you’ve put together a string of losses, don’t pin it on bad luck.  Instead, take an extended break from the game and examine your play.  When you do return, you’ll feel refreshed and will play with renewed confidence.

Look, I know that poker players aren’t athletes and poker isn’t a sport.  Although you may not have to hit the gym like real athletes, there is one “muscle” that you’ll still need to exercise on a regular basis — your brain.  Make sure you give it ample time to relax and don’t push it past its breaking point.

Visit www.cardsharkmedia.com/book.html for information about Daniel Negreanu’s new book, "Hold’em Wisdom for All Players."
© 2008 Card Shark Media.  All rights reserved.


Food...

Mini-mall comes to the rescue of the not-rich-but-hungry

food court

For those in the know, there is a clean, affordable, relatively quiet gastronomic surprise off the pedestrian mall in downtown San Jose.  Between Arenas clothing store and the Patio Restaurant, behind a perfume counter and a Pops Ice Cream sits a food court without a McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway or Church's Chicken in sight. 

Tropical Food is a counter selling relatively healthy food.  While their batidos aren't as delicious as the ones found at FrutiLand in Mall San Pedro, the water-or-milk-
blended-with-fruit drink is a refreshing treat to carry during your walk along Avenida Central.  A batido with the fruit of your choice mixed with water costs 650 colons, with milk, 750 colons.  That's from $1.30 to $1.50.

Adding honey or granola takes you up to a still-reasonable 900 colons ($1.80).  The store also peddles fruit salads, ranging from 700 to 1.600 colons ($1.40 to $3.20).

Marisqueria produces delicious looking and smelling seafood dishes.  A customer-friendly hanging chalkboard lists their menu and respective prices.  A small corvina ceviche will set you back 1,950 colons ($3.90).  Get a small rice with shrimp for 2.150 colons ($4.30), 2,800 ($5.60) for a larger serving.  Or try one of the fish filets prepared several different ways, the cheapest being with oil and garlic for 2,600 ($5.20) colons, the priciest fish filet dish is 3,600 colons ($7.20) for relleno with ham and cheese.

Click here to read more

Festive season proves troublesome even for established restaurant

vealBeing a chef in a busy kitchen must be a pretty stressful job, but around Christmas stress is something any successful restaurant should factor in as inevitable.

On a second visit to well-reputed French restaurant Le Chandelier, it soon became obvious that the staff were poorly equipped for the onslaught of Christmas party diners on a Tuesday night, leaving the usually decent food to deteriorate into a procession of almost inedible starters and bland entrees.

Set in an old San Pedro house with brick ceilings and wooden beams that was converted into a restaurant around 15 years ago by Swiss owner Claude Dubuis, Le Chandelier purports to offer French cuisine that has been developed over generations of experience.

Click here to read the full review

A great meal is not all in the presentation

musslesandfondue120407With a vaulted glass ceiling, palm trees lining the pathway and posh lighting, one would not expect Saga restaurant to be settled behind a dull parking lot in Escazú.

Although this restaurant may look out of place, it doesn't deviate much from the norm in Escazú, an area many would classify as suburban sprawl.


The majority of the cuisine at Saga seems to fit with the setting: classy presentation, yet lacking any profound flavors. Although the restaurant boasts itself as an “international food restaurant” on its Web site, much of the inspired cuisine is lacking the depth which would be found in authentic dishes.

Click here to read the full review


Books ...

Land use in Costa Rica documented by Fulbright scholar

Forty years of living in the jungle, moving between secluded forestry stations and research labs, has led Louisiana resident and NASA veteran
Armond Joyce
Armond Joyce
Armond Joyce to write a book about the changing uses of land in Costa Rica.

After winning a presitgious Fulbright scholarship in 1998, he came back to Costa Rica to revisit forest sites that he worked on over three decades earlier as a graduate student. 

Some of the earliest satellite technology available was used in 1966 to take arial photographs of Costa Rica's countryside, and the
book compares these black and white shots with up-to-date images.

Click here to read more

New book dwells on the social aspects of food

Food is not just a selfish pleasure or a way to stifle hunger, but is central to the evolution of art, according to a new book published by Museos del Banco Central.

Artworks by Costa Rican painters are the main content of the hardback book, “Imagenes para Comer,” which follows the representation of food in art since still life painting became popular in the Renaissance.

Full-color pictures of both traditional and modern works are far more common than recipes, as the author Marjorie Ross only provides seven recipes within the book.

All are traditional Costa Rican dishes showing influences from different sections of the community, such as corn fritters, white beans and chorizo and fruit salad.

The book focuses on the meanings that food has within society, and how these are portrayed by art.

Click here to read more


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