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Published Monday, May 8, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 90
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Promotora de Comercio Exterior photo
Some of the crushed cans being recycled by Salvemos Nuestro Planeta.
Viability of recycling tested in the waste industry
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Marco Morales has been in the recycling business for 12 years.

By selling 22 monthly containers of metal debris, used plastic products and loads of paper and cardboard, Morales has created a thriving family-run business called Salvemos Nuestro Planeta, whose main customers are in Colombia, El Salvador and Taiwan.

The firm started recycling copper and then branched out.

The promotion firm notes that agricultural producers in banana and pineapple produce a lot of waste, and Limpiemos Nuestro Planeta treats and ships out much of this, too.

Based in Aguas Zarcas, Alajuela, the company also receives rusty iron, old car batteries and disposed aluminum.

“Our focus is to also provide some support to agricultural companies, mainly pineapple and banana producers,” said Yeissy Morales, the company’s logistics director.

“Their waste products are not very common so we try to find them the most environmentally friendly destinations.”

The exportation process goes through three stages. The first is the recollection, or purchase, of the material.

Next comes the separation, cleaning and treatment of the products. Lastly, it comes time to load the containers up.

The company has the support of Promotora del Comercio Exterior, the government agency in charge of helping exporters sell their products.

In the next few years, the group seeks to become a leader in the recycling industry and, of course, grow, according to its owner Marco Morales.

“My advice for every entrepreneur is to establish themselves confidently, then find volume products and then look to sell overseas,” he said.

According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos, the government agency charged with collecting statistics, 84 percent of all households use the municipal garbage collection services to get rid of their trash.

Meanwhile, 10 percent of the population burns it and 5 percent buries it.

From the total amount of people who use the municipal trucks for waste products, only 41 percent separate it into plastic, glass and aluminum. That figure is higher in rural areas, reaching up to 45.7 percent.

Costa Rica is an exporter of trash with an average of 20 to 22 containers of recycled and treated material being shipped each month by just one company, according to the country’s promotional agency.

In general, the country produces 4,000 tons of solid waste per day. Out of them, 3,000 are recycled, exported or sent to landfills, according to data from the Instituto. The rest of the garbage ends up in streets, rivers or on abandoned properties.

On February 2016, the comptroller’s office released a report assessing the capabilities of local governments ability to deal with solid waste and the policies they had implemented to do so. The analysis period was Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014.
Out of the 481 districts of Costa Rica, 87 of them lacked a proper garbage collection system. Moreover, the frequency of garbage collection services is, by far, limited in all 81 cantons.

Those are some of the reasons why in 2014, only 1.26 percent of all collected solid garbage pick-up by municipalities was good enough for recycling or immediate re-utilization.

New bill proposes a tax on some processed foods
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new bill in the legislature, backed by members of Frente Amplioo and the Partido Acción Ciudadana would impose an extra tax on Big Macs, McNuggets and other highly processed food.

The purpose, the bills says, is to fight obesity and to provide money for the nation’s disability and old age fund.

Also proposed to be taxed are ice cream, chocolates, other candies, margarine, sodas, some types of yogurt, snack foods, and all sorts of fast foods.

The bill, numbered 20.365, summary estimates that the tax would raise about 23.6 billion colons over and above the current sales tax. This would be about $42 million a year, according to the legislative calculations. The tax would be phased in over three years.

The bill summary says that 21.4 percent of youngsters between 5 and 12 years are overweight or obese. That percentage for teens is 20.8 percent. For those over 20, some 35.3 percent are overweight and 31.3 are obese, said the summary.

The bill outline also estimates that individuals being fat costs the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social a lot of money. Hospitalization as a result of being overweight increased 196 percent in the last five years, it said.

On average, says the bill, a Costa Rican consumed 120.4 kilos of heavily processed food and drink, according to 2013 figures.

The summary links the sale of highly processed food and drink to deregulation of the marketplace and says that four firms control 98.2 percent of the soft drinks sold in the country.

A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden 
Casados and other traditional foods would not see tax raise.

The proposed tax is tiny, just 1.5 colons per every five grams of product. But this adds up. Because the tax is assessed on weight and product prices vary, the percent of the proposed levy was estimated at from 3.09 to 11.57 percent of the product sales price.

The Big Mac, at 205 grams, sells now for 2,273.60 colons, or around $4.06, and this would generate an additional 61.50-colon tax, about 11 U.S. Cents.

Food produces that are presumed to be healthy and are exempt from regular sales tax now would be exempt from this new tax, too, said the bill.

Also exempt would be traditional foods even if they are highly processed.

That category includes gallo pinto, the traditional breakfast dish, tamales, empanadas and even the restaurant casados. Among the backers is Ottón Solís Fallas, the influential Acción Ciudadana politician.

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Union prepares for fight against Caja

By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country’s biggest union will not recognize any agreement that implies workers paying more money to the social security system as of June 1.

This was confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica by Albino Vargas, president of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados. Vargas said it’s not workers fault nor duty to pay for management mistakes at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Back in January, the executive board of the Caja agreed to deduct one extra percentage point from the paycheck of every worker who belongs to its pension regime. That is almost 1.5 million workers affected.

The change implies workers will see 10.17 percent of their paycheck deducted and transfered to the Caja’s coffers. The idea is strengthen the sustainability of the system, which could go broke by 2028, according to a latest study carried out by the Universidad de Costa Rica.

“We are developing our own studies by highly reputed scholars,” Vargas said. “So far these experts know how to assure the Caja sustainability without hurting the most vulnerable members of the working class.”

He also said they would be calling on marches by several organizations in case the increase is accepted by a recently mediation group established by the Caja.
The group includes representatives from employers, employees, cooperatives, unions and government. Last Wednesday, government representatives called to suspend the measure while talks continue.

On April 23, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church, José Rafael Quirós, called for a halt on the increase in the salary deductions and to protect the social security system.

A study from Universidad de Costa Rica has proposed to increase salary deductions up to 24 percent before 2015 to assure there will be enough money for both the medical and pensions systems that Caja administers.
“We are ready to fight in the streets should the increase be approved by a bunch of bureaucrats who do not represent the vast majority of the workers,” added Vargas. He also explained its organization is setting everything ready just in case.

Even though workers’ organizations seem to be against the new measures, the Caja only received four objections from the citizenship in regards the increase. Objections were to be sent before April 30 to an email address made public in a press release. 

Two children killed in traffic accident

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Judicial Investigating Organization recovered the bodies of two minors, ages five and eight, Saturday afternoon in the Valle la Estrella.

According to an initial report, the two deceased were run over by a truck after falling off of a motorcycle. The 8-year old boy died at the site, judicial agents said. The 5-year old girl was taken to Hospital Tony Facio in Limón where she later died.

The driver of the motorcycle, with whom it is unclear whether he is of any relation to the children, apparently lost balance and suffered minor injuries from the incident, agents said. The man was tested for alcohol and drugs, but the test came back negative.

Platina construction
Casa Presidencial photo   
Work on the Alfredo González bridge is nearing final stages.

Platina may be complete by mid-May

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those concrete slabs that were part of the last bit of work to finish the Alfredo González Flores bridge were laid out for the lanes heading toward Alajuela.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that the curing process requires that the no work on the structure can be done until next Tuesday on the Río Virilla bridge. In case some people were wondering, this is the notorious bridge colloquially called the platina, which has been shut down for months to receive a complete overhaul.

Crews do plant to work on welding trusses, however, along the lower part of the bridge while waiting for the upper part to be ready to continue, the ministry said. Officials estimate that the three lanes out on the bridge should be on schedule for completion by the third week of May.

In another development, another bridge was announced to be built across the Virilla. This one will connect Belén and San Rafael de Alajuela. The project was announced Friday with its inaguration including Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís as well as Carlos Villalta, the minister of public works.

Public works estimates that this bridge will cost about $8.5 million to build and complete. Most of the financing will come from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, the ministry said. The project is expected to begin next year. The company in charge of the new bridge will be Copisa, while the project itself will be administered by the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad of the United Nations Office of Project Services, a statement by the government said.

Bill calls to protect Criollo Limonense

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At least 20 lawmakers have endorsed a bill that would insert into the Costa Rican Constitution Criollo Limonense as a protected language.

The bill would require the state to support the survival of the language as it now is required to do by Article 76 for a handful of native languages like Bribri, Cabécar, Guaimí, Buglere and Guatuso. There are an estimated 70,000 Limón Criole speakers, nearly all along the Caribbean.

A criole is considered to be a true language that has evolved from the original pidgin, which is a convenient mixture of two languages. In this case, Spanish and English mixed in the day-to-day discourses between Costa Ricans and Jamaican immigrants.

Coast Rican lawmakers committed the state in 1999 to protecting and cultivating the native languages, but there was no mention at that time of  Criollo Limonense. Some academic researchers have raised the concern that the unique Limón language is vanishing. The bill, No. 20.364, would give the state the responsibility to keep the language alive.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Third News Page
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Published Monday, May 8, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 90
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2017 Festival Internacional expected to draw variety of artistic styles
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Over 135 groups, composed of 1,500 artists, are expected to fill the capital for the Festival Internacional de las Artes beginning June 29.

A 1.5 kilometer stretch of the city, from the Parque Nacional to the Antigua Aduana, will be taken over by artists and visitors alike at 26 different locations, according to a statement by Casa Presidencial.

Of the groups chosen to participate in this year’s festival, over 50 represent artistic expression from 17 countries in Europe and Latin America.

Casa Presidencial is calling the 15th edition of the festival a window for artists and the public to fill the urban area with an inclusive and refreshing interaction marked by the excellence of the chosen works.

The government inaugurated the festival to much fanfare last Thursday at the amphitheater in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. The festival is expected to include a living memory exhibition, performing arts, a European film festival, visual arts and literature.

Avenida Segunda is expected to be shut down for the opening and closing day of the festival.

Performing arts
Casa Presidencial photo
Performing arts and more are expected at the festival.

It will be held from June 29 to July 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. each night, organizers said.

The Costa Rican government is contributing 900 million colons toward this event. Many of the shows being performed are expected to be free for the public.

Those that will have an fee will be coordinated online with a digital ticket system, organizers said.

Purchases can now be made for those events as of Sunday.

Visual arts contest focuses on beautifying capital with urban design
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The third edition of the visual arts contest has opened as part of the 2017 Festival Internacional de las Artes, according to the cultural ministry.

Under the banner of “Es tiempo de transformar a San José en Arte,” Spanish for “It is time to transform San José into Art,” the ministry is receiving artists until May 18.

The challenge is to turn the walls of a historic building into a contemporary artistic mural.

For this year, that building will be the Hostel Casa del Parque, according to the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

The building is easily spotted at the north corner of Parque Nacional. Marianella Protti, the program director, said that the purpose of returning the festival to San José Centro is to leave a legacy of beautifying the capital with art, particularly contemporary urban art. In order to reflect that, this year’s theme is free but with an emphasis on imagery of new urban icons, the ministry said.

Hostel Casa del Parque
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Hostel Casa del Parque is this year's new mural canvas.

Participants accepting the call can be individuals or in groups, organizers said. For the winning proposal, the jury will select ten finalists who will then compete for the adoration of the public making their choice on social media, the cultural ministry said.

The grand prize consists of $3,000 as well as materials and support needed to create the design and the decision will be announced as to the winner on June 9.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published Monday, May 8, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 90
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Lack of licensing not the largest issue in Costa Rican real estate
By Jay Brodell*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

There are a lot of problems with real estate in Costa Rica, but the lack of licensed agents is not a big one.

The issue of licensing is in the news because the Cámara Costarricense de Bienes Raíces is working to propose a new bill that would require mandatory licensing.

That organization and others have been remarkably silent on property fraud, the theft of customer money and real estate scammers. These are the really big problems.

The licensing proposal comes with the claim that such a law would protect the consumer. In fact, a quick Google search of “real estate broker convicted” turns up pages of cases in the United States where there is strict licensing. Real estate brokers and salespeople are human and subject to temptation, yet illegal actions are almost never punished here in Costa Rica.

Lawyers and notaries are highly educated and highly regulated by their own colegio. Yet some are engaged in criminal conspiracies.

Thomas Ghormley, a successful Jacó real estate broker, makes the case for creating a real estate colegio of the type seen here among professionals such a physicians and dentists.

Actually these governmental organizations, which are supposed to self-regulate their profession, have not done so and seem more interested in protecting their members. In fact, some lawmakers have begun calling them clubs.

When it comes to medical and dental malpractice here, the action usually originates with prosecutors and not by the relevant colegio. Consider the difficulty lawyers have in getting a medical expert to testify against a colleague anywhere.

What is needed immediately is a law to protect the money of real estate customers. Costa Rica has no law covering trust deposits.
Some lawyers routinely steal money deposited with them by real estate buyers.
And then they use to law to keep from paying back the money.

Sometimes poorer customers settle for pennies on the dollar.
Such funds should be held by recognized corporations such as title companies or banks, not by lawyers, who also are human.

A.M. Costa Rica has repeatedly called for a special court designed to expedite and adjudicate property fraud cases. This newspaper has reported on some cases, but there are many more that never are published here or in the Spanish-language newspapers.

In fact, many highly placed individuals seem to profit by these cases, and lawyers and notaries, members of their colegio, usually are intimately involved.

Speaking out against these crimes would seem to be a duty for the real estate organizations.

It would be in their interest to urge action by lawmakers. But they have not. There is no reason to believe that a real estate colegio would do so either.

In the meantime, those seeking to buy real estate here should be smart enough not to do business with someone met by chance in some bar or some free website. Ghormley is correct in noting that there is a need to regulate the profession.

Until some kind of simple registration system is put in place, real estate buyers should make certain that those who claim to be salespeople or brokers are legal residents with the right to work here.

That would be a good first step. A physical office would be a good clue, as would a good reference from a bank or credit agency.

And a smart foreign buyer would never, never put big money in the hands of a third party here.

*Brodell is the editor emeritus of A.M. Costa Rica and has been licensed in five U.S. jurisdictions as a real estate broker. He said that was to earn money to support his journalism habit.

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Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

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solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

Real estate rentals (paid category)

What a chalet!
We offer for rent a boutique quality 2-bedroom (BR)/1-bath mountain chalet, and a 2-BR/2-bath mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude within the limits of a small horse ranch.  Located just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance, our homes sit on the strategic high ground of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, and are contiguous with the park’s 47,000 hectares of primary cloud rainforest. The chalet and mountain home include a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace, and covered parking.  All utilities and wifi internet included. Please contact Allan or Cristina at for photos, pricing and contract details.

Tropical Homes logo
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

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
Published Monday, May 8, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 90
Real Estate
About us
Women march Saturday
in protests against Maduro

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of women dressed in all white marched in Venezuela's capital Saturday, continuing more than a month of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro.

Saturday's protesters, led by opposition leaders and lawmakers, marched to the Interior Ministry to denounce repression over the past month as demonstrators have been hit with tear gas by security forces.

Police in riot gear prevented the protesters from reaching the ministry. Isolated clashes between protesters and police took place in Caracas, media reports said.

Protesters were demanding that delayed state elections be held and that the 2018 presidential election be moved up. Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup and is working to rewrite the constitution.

Similar rallies were also held in several other cities.

The march came one day after a young man was shot in the head during clashes between demonstrators and security forces, bringing the death toll from such clashes over the past five weeks to 37. More than 700 others have been injured.

Also on Friday, a group of young men in Venezuela's Zulia state destroyed a statue of the late leader Hugo Chavez.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, met with Venezuelan National Assembly President Julio Borges in Washington on Friday to discuss the ongoing crisis and need for the government to adhere to its constitution.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also released a statement on the protests, calling on Maduro's regime to respect the constitution.

In a call with the president of Perú, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the deteriorating situation in Venezuela.

A statement from the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary said Trump underscored to President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski that the United States will work together with Perú in seeking to improve democratic institutions and help the people of Venezuela.

The demonstrations started after the Venezuelan Supreme Court's March 30 announcement that it would strip the opposition-controlled National Assembly of its legislative powers. The court reversed its position in the wake of domestic and international outcries about an attempted power grab.

Macron claims victory
in French election results

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Voters in France have elected centrist Emmanuel Macron president, rejecting the anti-European Union, anti-immigrant policies of rival Marine Le Pen.

With nearly all votes counted, France's Interior Ministry put Macron's lead at 66.06 percent, with Le Pen coming in at 33.94 percent.

“A new page of our long history is turning tonight,” Macron told supporters Sunday following a bruising campaign in an election driven by anti-establishment sentiments, the first in modern history in which mainstream parties were shut out of a French presidential race.

Sunday culminated a presidential election campaign that many French considered the country's most acrimonious and contentious in recent memory.

Concession by Marine Le Pen came quickly on Sunday, but she vowed to fight on with efforts to mobilize voters in her crusade against globalism and a liberal immigration policy that has allowed for France’s Muslim minority to grow.

“I have called Macron because I have the best interests of France in mind and I wanted to wish him the very best,” she told supporters on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump reacted on Twitter to the results of the French presidential election, congratulating Macron on a big win and saying he very much looks forward to working with him.

Surveys heading into Sunday predicted that Macron would win the election with a solid lead over Ms. Le Pen. There was little surprise, but much relief among his supporters, who filled the main courtyard of the Louvre Museum for a celebration.

At 39, Macron a former banker and economy minister, becomes France’s youngest president. He is pro-European Union but wants reforms to make the grouping more democratic, and has warned that continuing business as usual with the European Union will trigger a Frexit, or a French exit similar to Britain’s.

France’s deep divisions were clear in a final, vicious debate in which the anger, bitterness and personal dislike between the two candidates were on display when the two traded insults at their final debate last week, something observers say hurt Ms. Le Pen’s numbers.

Turnout was less than expected, with voter disgust and anger causing many to abstain or submit blank ballots. French officials say 4 million abstained.

Still, many braved the rain in Paris and turned out steadily throughout the day.

On Paris streets, posters of Macron and Ms. Le Pen were pasted side by side, both often defaced with Macron’s nose cut out and Ms. Le Pen’s eyes scribbled over.

In the end, it was fear of Ms. Le Pen that apparently weighed more on voters than anything else in a society that is proud of its long tradition of openness.

The vote was historic, and seen by many as a turning point in French politics. France voted for change, but not revolution.

Volcano causes rumblings
in southern Guatemala

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A volcano in the south of Guatemala was spewing hot ash high into the sky Friday, threatening nearby villages, according to local authorities.

Guatemala's volcanic monitor, Insivumeh, said the Fuego volcano was spitting thick columns of black ash more than 5,000 meters into the air, some of which traveled more than 20 kilometers. It said the ash was accompanied by loud explosions and new lava flows.

Three hundred people were evacuated as a precaution from the village of Panimache, the French news agency AFP reported. Falling ash forced the suspension of classes in 10 schools in the southern Escuintla district.

The Fuego volcano is about 30 kilometers southwest of the country's capital, Guatemala City.

The volcano has already spewed ash several times this year. The last major eruption was in 2015. At that time, the volcano's activity forced the closure of the capital's main airport.

50,000 evacuated from city
to defuse old, WWII bombs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 50,000 residents of the northern German city of Hannover have been asked to leave their homes, as authorities prepare to mount a large-scale operation to defuse World War II-era bombs.

City officials say two bombs were found at a construction site and three more nearby.

The city prepared a series of events for the evacuees, including free museum visits and discounted film screenings.

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried on German land, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by Allied forces against Nazi Germany.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle newspaper noted that on October 9, 1943, alone, some 261,000 bombs were dropped on the city, and many of them remain unexploded. Authorities worry the bombs are getting more dangerous with the passage of time as the material disintegrates.

The biggest such evacuation took place last Christmas, when an unexploded British bomb forced 54,000 people out of their homes in the southern city of Augsburg.

Islamic State leader killed
following Afghanistan raid

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The leader of Islamic State in Afghanistan has been killed in a joint raid in eastern Nangarhar province, Afghan and U.S. military officials confirmed Sunday.

“Sheikh Abdul Hasib, the Emir of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Khorasan Province in Afghanistan, was killed in a combined Afghan-U.S. raid,” the U.S. military said.

Dozens of Afghan and American special forces killed Sheikh Abdul Hasib along with his 35 fighters in a combined operation against an Islamic State cave and tunnel complex in the Achin district, the statement added.

Other high-ranking Islamic State leaders also are said to have been killed in the April 27 operation.

Hasib was appointed last year following the death of his predecessor, Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Pakistani Taliban commander, in a U.S. drone strike in the same Afghan province.

Branching out from Iraq and Syria, and fueled by a growing militancy in Central Asia, Islamic State launched its operations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region two years ago, naming it Islamic State’s Khorasan province to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan and “other nearby lands.”

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, praised the successful joint operation as another important step in the relentless campaign to defeat Islamic State in the country in 2017.

Hasib was the mastermind behind a deadly attack against a military hospital in Kabul on March 8 that killed more than 30 people and injured 80 others, the Afghan Presidential Palace said in a statement.

U.S. officials said the slain Islamic State chief also directed fighters to behead local elders in front of their families and ordered the kidnapping of women and girls to forcibly marry them off to his fighters.

U.S. and Afghan troops had been involved in an intense 3-hour firefight that also killed two American servicemen, said a joint statement released after the operation.

A counter-Islamic State operation has been under way in Nangarhar since early March, and Afghan forces, with the help of their U.S. counterparts, have killed or captured hundreds of fighters and liberated over half of the districts the terror group controlled in the province, according to the U.S. military.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force dropped the mother of all bombs on IS-K’s stronghold in Achin district, killing at least 95 Islamic State militants, mostly foreign fighters.

U.S. job market gets jump
with drop in unemployment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. job market staged a rebound in April with employers, adding 211,000 workers to their payrolls and the unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low of 4.4 percent.

April's employment numbers are a big improvement from March when the economy added only 98,000 jobs.

Analysts say that makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will remain on track to raise its benchmark interest rates again in June.

Job gains in April came from hospitality and leisure services, followed by health care and financial services.

Average hourly earnings grew modestly, up 2.5 percent from the previous year. Despite volatility in March, the economy has now added an average of 185,000 jobs per month in 2017.

Nigerian president meets
82 girls kidnapped years ago

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met Sunday with the 82 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists and released Saturday in Nigeria's troubled northeast.

Details of the girls' path to freedom were not clear Sunday. But their release Saturday came after protracted negotiations with Boko Haram envoys that included provisions to free the girls in exchange for the release of captured Boko Haram commanders. The Associated Press reported earlier Sunday that five Boko Haram commanders were set free in the exchange.

Sunday's meeting between the girls and the president capped an intense 24 hours that saw the young women taken under military protection near the border with Cameroon, and later brought to the capital in military helicopters.

On arrival in Abuja, they underwent medical screening and were united with family members ahead of the presidential greeting.

An earlier presidential statement said Buhari is optimistic about gaining the release of 113 Chibok girls still thought to be held by Boko Haram. The statement also praised security and military agencies for their roles in bringing the girls to safety, and it thanked the Swiss government, which sponsored negotiations leading to the releases.

Authorities say 276 girls were kidnapped from a government-run girls' secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014. Nearly 60 girls who escaped during the first hours said their abductors forced them from dormitories into trucks that headed into the bush.

Days later, a widely distributed video purported to show about 100 of the missing girls. Boko Haram claimed the captives had converted to Islam, and said they would only be released in exchange for militants held by the Nigerian government.

At the time, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau vowed to sell the girls as slave brides.

The abductions triggered an international outcry, including condemnation from the United Nations Security Council. There was no sign of the Chibok schoolgirls for more than two years, until one girl, by then a mother with an infant, turned up last May. Two other girls made their way to government controlled areas later in the year, and a group of 21 captives was released in October.

Boko Haram, whose declared aim is to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million during its 8-year insurgency.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Plantation Acres
This exiting new project offers spectacular home sites with breathtaking ocean and forest views stated on 100 acres of tropical forest.

* On-site Welcome Center
* Located between Punta Leona and Playa Agujas
* At just an hour from San José, the capital city.
* 5 minutes from Los Sueños Marina and 18 Hole Ted Robinson Golf Course
* 10 minutes from Jacó Beach, Costa Rica’s lives beach town

Johnny Lopez
Phone: (506) 8945-5820 / (506) 2643-3356

Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour:
Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

Etlinger Farm
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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 brokers and agents (paid category)

Tamarindo 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. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1 graphic
SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 

Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let help you find a buyer or renter.

solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

  Page One is HERE!     Page 2 is HERE! 
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Page 6 is HERE!  Page 7 is HERE! Sports is HERE!
Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE! 
Plus useful links

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

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2017 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

news page

Published Monday, May 8, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 90
Real estate
About us

Page 1 is HERE!   Page 2 is HERE!  
Page 3 is  HERE! 
Page 4 is HERE! 
Page 5 is HERE!   Page 7 is HERE!

Sports is  HERE!   Opinion is HERE!  
Classifieds are HERE!  Plus useful links


Calendar is

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC newsfeeds are disbaled on archived pages.
Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Spiders and snakes ideally admired from far, far away...

Let me state here and now and for the record I do not scream.

When I found a snake on the deck, I calmly shouted: “Snake on deck. Snake on deck,” (non-poisonous) and waited to be joined by my husband. This morning, however, I emitted what I believe to have been a high-pitched screech. Metric Man disagrees, he says I screamed (refer to the first sentence). 

Victoria Torley
I can deal with snakes and have.
 Usually, we catch them and call
 our friendly neighborhood
 herpetologist, Ray, who takes
 both the poisonous and
 non-poisonous critters for his
 collection or to return to the
 wild far, far from us. But this
 was not a snake, this was a

The last time I saw a spider that big was at a science center and it was behind bars. At that time, I wanted to back away, but I was surrounded by my Cub Scouts who thought it was way cool so I couldn’t even shudder.

Thank heaven it was “hold the cockroach” day, not “hold the tarantula” day because I could deal with holding the cockroach -- barely. After all, it wouldn’t do to let my Cubbies see that I was afraid of stuff I could squish.

But today it was a large spider in the house! For the record, I have actually learned to leave spiders alone in their natural habitat. I even saw my first tarantula in leaf litter. It was big and all I did was point it out to my gardener. But this was not the spider’s ‘natural habitat’ this was my natural habitat.

So I screeched.
And Metric Man? He was tolerant and mildly amused. He reminded me of the tarantula in the leaf litter so I chilled out a bit.

Understand that spiders are our friends especially if we don’t get too close. Spiders trap pesky insects that mean to do us harm. Not as many as bats but enough. They seem especially fond of a nice juicy grasshopper, and grasshoppers cause a lot of damage. They also catch flies, beetles, and wasps among other things. Sadly, honey bees do get caught in webs but the good spiders do outweigh the bad.

If it sounds like I am trying to convince myself to save the spider that is exactly what I am doing, even though I can admire a beautiful orb web and even its spider from a safe distance.

Plant of
the Week
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Victoria Torley       

Plant for the Week

Once upon a time here in Costa Rica, we were inhabited by megafauna. Giant armadillos the size of cars, huge beavers, sloths that weighed in at 4,400 pounds (and their little cousins of 1,400 pounds), the camelops, and the unpronounceable animals like Astrapotherium and Eremotherium.

What did they all have in common? They all ate plants. Which leads us to today’s tree, the javillo or Hura crepitans. And why am I only showing you the trunk of this young tree? It’s because that’s where the spines are.

The interesting thing about many of our spiny trees like the javillo, ceiba, and cedro is that the spines or spiny bumps don’t go all the way to the top of the tree they stop or get smaller or less distinct higher in the tree.

Now if you were a giant armadillo or an Astrapotherium, would you want to chew on this? Our trees have defenses against extinct megafauna! Just don’t trip in the forest and grab for one or you will find out why the megafauna didn’t eat them.

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New agreement made to get Italian tourists

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican tourism board and the Spanish airline Iberia have signed an agreement to increase the amount of Italian tourists coming to Costa Rica.

To achieve this goal, the airline will improve the routes of its direct flights coming from Milan and Rome and arriving at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, where a San José connection already exists at Terminal 4. The company also committed to improve the schedules so that connection time does not exceeds 90 minutes.

Iberia will use an Airbus A320 and Airbus 321 to transport the Italian passengers. They have a capacity for 171 and 200 passengers respectively, as well as business and tourist class.

The agreement is a result of the presidential visit to Spain paid by Luis Guillermo Solís and the Mauricio Ventura, the minister for tourism. According to data provided by the Costa Rican tourism board, in 2016, a total of 24,173 Italian tourists came to the country. That represents an increase of almost eight percent from 2015.

According to Neil Chernoff, director of Alliances and Networks Development, Costa Rica has historically been a very important market, and joint efforts have been very productive. That’s why they are focusing now in the Italian market, which he deems to have a great potential.

On the other hand, Costa Rica exported 793,000 tourists in 2016, according to data from Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. This figure shows a 13 percent increase from that of 2015.

The top destination for Ticos was the United States, with 278,000 visitors, followed by Panamá with 293,000 and Nicaragua with 189,000.

Mexico shows up as the country with the highest increase as a destination for Costa Ricans. Around 28 percent more Costa Ricans traveled there than in 2015.