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(506) 2223-1327               Published Thursday, May 13, 2010,  in Vol. 10, No. 93         E-mail us
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Some expressions to give a foothold in Spanish
By Christopher Howard
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Feet are used in many Spanish expressions.

There are many uses of the words feet and foot in idiomatic expressions. The word for foot in Spanish is el pie, pronounced (pee-ay). The word pata  is generally used to refer to the leg on a piece of furniture or an animal’s foot.

However, in jest pata is sometimes used to refer to a human’s feet. For example: Estar con un pie en la tumba means to have one’s foot in the grave. Often expats will hear Estar con una pata en la tumba, which means the same thing. They may also hear, Voy a pie (I’m going on foot). But some people say jokingly, Voy a pata.  Pata can be used to get a laugh out of people (sacarles una cacajada).

Hear are some expressions using pie and pata:

A pie firme – steadily (progress).

Al pie de la letra – to the letter, exactly.

Al pie del cañon - to be working. Morir al pie del cañon means to die with your boots on.

Balompié – soccer.

Buscar tres pies al gato – to look for trouble (to look for three feet on a cat).

Cienpies – centipede.

Comenzar con el pie derecho – to start off on the right foot. Comenzar con la pata derecha.

Con pies de plomo – Carefully (with lead feet).

De pies a cabeza – from toe to head. Lo revisé de pies a cabeza. I examined it from head to toe.

En pie – standing like a house that survived a hurricane.

Estar con una pata en la tumba – to have one foot in the grave.

Estirar la pata – to die or kick the bucket. Patear el balde also means to kick the bucket.

Ir a pie – to go on foot. Vamos a pie. Let’s go on foot.

Meter la pata – to put your foot in your mouth.

Nacer de pie – to be born lucky.

No tener ni pies ni cabeza – not to make heads or tails of it or it makes no sense.

Pata de palo - peg leg.

Patas arriba – upside down or topsy-turvy (a mess).

Patas de gallina – crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes).

Patear – to kick.

Patear el culo – to kick someone’s butt (vulgar).
Patituerto/a – pigeon-toed. Also heard are patas de pato and pies encontrados.

Patón – someone with big feet.

Perder el pie – to lose one’s footing.

Pie de atleta – athlete’s foot.

Pies planos – flat feet.

Ponerse de pie – to stand up.

Saber de qué pie cojea – to know one’s weak point. El lado flaco or talón de Aquiles means the same thing.

Se le fueron los pies – to stumble. Literally his feet went out from under him.

Sólo salgo con los pies de frente – You’ll only take me out of here feet first (dead).

Soldado a pie – foot soldier, infantry.

Related Tiquismos:

A pata pelada – bare feet.

Bailar en una pata – to be happy,

Con toda la pata – when a person feels great.

Echar patas – to disappear or used when an object gets robbed.

Estar con una pata en el estribo – to be about to do something or have one foot out the door.

Llevar entre patas – to possess a woman sexually (vulgar).

Parar las patas – to fall.

Pata caliente – someone who likes to travel or hang out in the street.

Pata de chancho – a crow bar.

Pata de perro –means the same as pata caliente.

Patas vueltas – a good-for-nothing or insignificant person.

Patear con los dos – to be bisexual.

Salir con una pata de banco – used when a single woman gets pregnant.

Tener patas – to have pull or influence.

Volar pata – to walk.

Zafarse las patas – to commit an error or get pregnant as a single woman.

* Christopher Howard, who has a master's degree in linguistics and Spanish, is the author/publisher of the 16th edition of the perennial  bestselling  "The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica," "Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica" and the one-of-a-kind "Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish." He also is a relocation and retirement expert who conducts custom and group retirement/relocation tours every month.  For information: www.liveincostarica.com. Articles similar to the above may be found at www.costaricaspanish.net.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 13, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 93

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

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


Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
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(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
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Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
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*Investments  *Corporations
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*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014


Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
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Glenda Burke
Glenda Burke, LL.M
Thomas Burke
Thomas Burke, LL.M

Core services: real estate due diligence, real estate escrow services, residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.

More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com 

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the  General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization  to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
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CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
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Skype: CONJURIDICA
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       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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Appraisers

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
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ask Angela Jiménez
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Residency experts

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Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
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91,400 in 2009)
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Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
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Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.
• Natural sound
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• No more background noise, feedback or echoing
• American hearing consultant from D.C. & Atlanta
• Nine clinics including Hospital CIMA
• Authorized provider  to the U.S. veterans
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      Widex hearing aids since 1956


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We service the U.S. veterans/Foreign Medical Program. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5950-4/15/10

Dentistry

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6094-xxxxx
Country experiences trio
of moderate earthquakes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A morning and two evening quakes rattled windows in parts of
Poas quake
7:16 p.m. quake
Costa Rica Wednesday. There were no reports of serious damage.

The first quake was in Nicaragua not far from the border with Costa Rica. It happened at 7:56 a.m. on the Caribbean coast. The epicenter was fixed as offshore and north and east of Parque Nacional Tortugero. Magnitude was estimated at 4.6, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.

At 7:16 p.m. Central Valley residents experienced a short, sharp quake in the 4.0 range. The duration was less than 15 seconds. Automatic monitors showed that  the quake took place in the vicinity
 of Volcán Poás. It was felt with a slight time delay in Guanacaste and in the central Pacific. Sensors at Volcán Irazú and Volcán Turrialba registered the quake, too.

Shortly after 9:27 p.m. the automatic stations registered a shorter quake of a similar magnitude. This quake appeared to be in the same general area as the one two hours earlier.

Scientists are worried that activity in the Poás vicinity might signal greater activity. The mountain has been putting out columns of steam and gas. Until scientists study the data today, the exact locations will not be known.


Public works plans attack
on bad bridges, stalled jobs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public works ministry will embark on a 100-day effort to fix deteriorating bridges and to push for expropriating land needed for road projects.

Francisco Jiménez, minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, said Wednesday that he also will review the downtown San José traffic restrictions in August and possibly institute some changes. These are the restrictions where 20 percent of the vehicles in the nation are prohibited from traveling there during daytime hours.

The bridges have been abandoned for more than 30 years, said the minister. There have been two major tragedies as a result of faulty bridges and two aggravating situations.  A public bus loaded with passengers toppled off a swinging bridge into the Río Tarcoles and a pothole in another bridge caused a tourist to swerve his passenger vehicle triggering a spectacular collision between a semi-truck and a gasoline tanker. In both accidents persons died.

The aggravating situations are two expansion joints in the roadway at bridges in the General Cañas highway. No matter what efforts workmen employ there, the joints open up in a short time. In one location a steel plate was put over the joint. The situations have led to road closings and restrictions on traffic in the vital highway.

The ministry has about $300 million to work with, thanks to a loan from the Banco Interamericana de Desarrollo. This money will go toward building a roadway between the autopista Bernardo Soto and Sifón and between La Abundancia and Ciudad Quesada. The money also will go toward completion of the San José-San Ramón highway. The money from the loan will not be used for repairing bridges, the minster said. That money will have to come out of the regular budget, he said.

Jiménez also said he was appointing experts to negotiate with landowners who are holding up highway work by refusing to sell their properties. In most cases Costa Rica does not take land and then litigate the price later, although the minister said that is a possibility. The projects include the Paso Ancho traffic circle, land in San Carlos, in Caldera and in Bajos de Chilmater, the minister said.


Stiff traffic fines remain
in force under new law

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Transportation officials emphasized Wednesday that the traffic law that went into effect March 1 still rules even though the previous legislature wanted to make changes.

That means there still is a system of points through which drivers can lose their license. Those caught driving with .5 grams of alcohol in the blood are subject to a 293,400-colon fine (about $560), and the vehicle will be impounded. Those caught with more than .75 grams of alcohol in the blood also will have their vehicle impounded, but they will go to prosecutors, the law says.

Carrying a child without a special seat in a car or carrying a child on a motorcycle without helmet also results in a $293,400-colon fine.

Transport officials also said that bicyclists also have to wear a helmet, have to stay off major highways and must wear a reflective vest from dusk to dawn and in bad weather.  Jaywalkers also can be fined as well as those throwing garbage in the right-of-way, they said.

Bike riders without helmets face a 286,025-colon fine, officials said. That's about $544.

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A.M. Costa Rica guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages
Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each weekday.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching
The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages
A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds
Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information
A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Contacting us
Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us
Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 13, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 93


Bagaces is site where developers are building a waterpark
By Manuel Avendaño Arce
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A water park that can handle 10,000 persons a day is being constructed in Bagaces, Guanacaste.

The project, Water Kingdom, is scheduled to open late next year.

Developers are Jorge Jiménez, a Costa Rican businessman for 27 years, and George Thomas, who came from Spain.

Both have been involved heavily in real estate projects and are now venturing into a tourism project with Water Kingdom.

If the rainy season allows, completion could be in December 2011, developers said.

Visitors will be able to select from seven different pools, including one with surfing waves.

The Waikiki is one that could draw more national attention. It is a pool designed for surfing with a capacity to generate waves of up to 1.20 meters, nearly four feet. More than 500 people can be there at the same time, according to the plans..

The slides also will be part of the park's attractions. There will be four in all.

Total investment is about $10 million, and the land area is
220,000 square meters or about 54 acres.

The construction process began in the last week of January with the moving earth.

Currently, a group of surveyors is conducting soil studies to prepare for construction in the coming months.

Bagaces will benefit with 300 new jobs for the construction stage and eventual longer-term jobs when the park opens. The complex is estimated to require about 150 persons as guards, doctors, tellers, maintenance workers, cooks and gardeners.

A major contractor is DBIO Climate of Costa Rica, led by Luis Chaverri, co-owner of the company and chief technical officer Water Kingdom.

The pools are expected to use the same amount of water as five Olympic-size installations. But the water will be recycled and only about 10 percent, the amount lost to evaporation will need to be replaced, developers said.

The company is selling memberships and said that the $600 annual fee will be placed in escrow administered by a state bank and refunded with interest if the park does not open within a certain period, said Jiménez.

The park will feature extensive landscaping and implement elements of the region as trees and flowers. It also plans to build an area where it will be possible to observe the Rincón de la Vieja and Miravalles volcanoes.


Secuirty minister surprised that Fuerza Pública didn't show
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new security minister was more correct than he realized when he told reporters Monday that the Fuerza Pública had a discipline problem. That was when the minister said he was ordering more police into the street in high-crime areas for Wednesday.

The minister wrote directives to that effect to the local police delgaciones. But Wednesday morning there was no obvious increase in police on foot patrols.

The minister, José María Tijerino, found that out when he traveled to Escazú to see the effect of his orders. He arrived at the Parque Central de Escazú and found himself conversing with the local municipal police. A few minutes later he was talking with the local mayor, Marco Antonio Segura Seco.
Tijerino appeared to be surprised that the Fuerza Pública had not followed his orders and was nowhere to be seen. The Policía Municipal de Escazú said that the minister told the major that sometimes it takes individuals awhile to change their habits. He said that little by little the situation will change, policemen said.

That change may take place as soon as Saturday when the minister has a meeting scheduled with the top brass of the Fuerza Pública.

He also has to handle another major problem, that of absenteeism in the force. Monday the minister referred to very high levels of absenteeism caused by a number of reasons. However, he did not have specifics. Wednesday the ministry reported that nearly 10,000 policemen were out of service for a number of reasons, including sickness and accidents, during the last four months.



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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 13, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 93

Escazú Christian Fellowship
xx
Guoadalupe Missionary Baptist Church


Laser imagery helps strip vegetation from Mayan city

By the University of Central Florida news service

A flyover of Belize’s thick jungles has revolutionized archaeology worldwide and vividly illustrated the complex urban centers developed by one of the most-studied ancient civilizations, the Maya.

University of Central Florida researchers led a NASA-funded research project in April 2009 that collected the equivalent of 25 years worth of data in four days.

Aboard a Cessna 337, light detection and ranging equipment bounced laser beams to sensors on the ground, penetrating the thick tree canopy and producing images of the ancient settlement and environmental modifications made by the inhabitants of the Maya city of Caracol within 200 square kilometers (77 square miles).

Anthropology professors Arlen and Diane Chase have directed archaeological excavations at Caracol for more than 25 years.  The hard work of machete-wielding research scientists and students has resulted in the mapping of some 23 square kilometers (9 square miles) of ancient settlement.

The NASA technology aboard the Cessna saw beyond the rainforest and detected thousands of new structures, 11 new causeways, tens of thousands of agricultural terraces and many hidden caves – results beyond anyone’s imagination. The data also confirm the size of the city (spread over 177 square kilometers or 68 square miles) and corroborate the Chases’ previous estimates for the size of the population (at least 115,000 people in A.D. 650).

Until now, Maya archeologists have been limited in exploring large sites and understanding the full nature of ancient Maya landscape modifications because most of those features are hidden within heavily forested and hilly terrain and are difficult to record. Light detection devices effectively removes these obstacles.

“It’s very exciting,” said Arlen Chase. “The images not only reveal topography and built features, but also demonstrate the integration of residential groups, monumental architecture, roadways and agricultural terraces, vividly illustrating a complete communication, transportation and subsistence system.”

John Weishampel, a biology professor at Central Florida in Orlando, designed the unique topographical approach. He has been using lasers to study forests and other vegetation for years, but this was the first time this
Caracol overview
Caracol Archaeological Project photo
A color laser image of the Maya landscape shows the density of terracing in Caracol.

specific technology fully recorded an archeological ruin under a tropical rainforest.

“Further applications of airborne LiDAR undoubtedly will vastly improve our understanding of ancient Maya settlement patterns and landscape use, as well as effectively render obsolete traditional methods of surveying,” Chase said.

The images taken at the end of the dry season in Belize last April took about 24 hours of flight time to capture and then three weeks to analyze by remote sensing experts from the University of Florida. Now Caracol’s entire landscape can be viewed in 3-D, and that already offers new clues that promise to expand current understanding of how the Maya were able to build such a huge empire and what may have caused its destruction.

“The ancient Maya designed and maintained sustainable cities long before building green became a modern term,” said Diane Chase, who has worked as co-director of the Caracol Archaeological Project beside her husband for the past 25 years. Her conclusion is based on the extensive agricultural terracing the study revealed.

Much more powerful information is anticipated from the data collected. The team’s results also give a snapshot of forest vegetation in that part of the world and how it was influenced by land-use practices 1,000 years ago. This may help scientists understand past human-environment interactions.

This research also will be featured in an article entitled "Lasers in the Jungle: Airborne Sensors Reveal a vast Maya landscape" in the June/July issue of Archaeology magazine (which becomes available in late June). The Chases and Weishampel presented their research at the International Symposium on Archaeometry in Tampa.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 13, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 93

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Stomach cancer increasing
among white Americans


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Stomach cancer is one of the deadliest diseases, and ranks second among cancers worldwide with at least 800,000 deaths yearly.

The disease is a leading cause of death in Costa Rica, too.

But in the United States, the number of cases has been declining, except for among one group of Americans.

For years researchers have tried to locate one single cause for stomach cancer.  In Asia, parts of South America, Russia and other former Soviet bloc countries, experts think a higher consumption of preserved and salted food and poorly refrigerated food could be links.

In Costa Rica the problem has been linked to diet, too.

Many studies also suggest that ulcers or polyps may stimulate the growth of cancer cells. 

Charles Rabkin and other scientists from the National Cancer Institute looked at gastric cancer rates in the last three decades among a large group of Americans ranging in age from 25 to 84. 

Their findings confirmed an overall decline in gastric cancer, with one exception.

"The most important finding was this unexpected increase in gastric cancer rates in young U.S. whites," said Rabkin.  "We did not anticipate that there would be an increase in this group, and we believe it may be an indicator of a new risk factor for gastric cancer which has not yet been identified."

The surprising findings have shown a 3 percent increase in noncardia gastric cancer which affects the lower area of the stomach. 

The cancer scientists say this cancer often begins with an infection caused by a bacteria called Helicobactor Pylori, also known as H-Pylori.

"There may be either a new cause for gastric cancer in that population or perhaps some difference in their Helicobactor Pylori infection that's contributing to a new risk for gastric cancer," added Rabkin.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 13, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 93


Latin American news
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Son held in father's death

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An 85-year-old man died April 21 in San Rafael de Río Cuarto from what his son said was a heart attack.

Judicial agents still sought an autopsy. As a result they detained the son Wednesday when autopsy results said the man died of asphyxiation.

It was the son, 41, who called for medical help and said that he was concerned by the state of his father's health, officials said. When help arrived, the man was dead, they said.

The man was detained Wednesday in the same home in which the father died.


Rowdy agent detained

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An agent for the Judicial Investigating Organization has been detained to face an allegation that he was threatening persons with his firearm.

The agency said that the man was on vacation after having been involved in a fight with another agent several days ago. The arrest was made in the Río Banano section of Limón by the local police.

The man works in the section that transports prisoners to and from jail.


Grant will buy radios

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As expected, the lion's share of the $1 million that the United States is giving Costa Rica is mainly to fight the drug trade.

Officials signed letters of understanding Wednesday and said that about $850,000 will be used to purchase a maritime radio system, a system for an operations center and two systems of portable radios. The new radios will allow police to talk to each other and also to U.S. forces on patrol in the sea, said a release.

The money also will be used to purchase computers, monitors, televisions and other equipment primarily for the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.

The remaining $200,000 will be used for training purposes determined by the security ministry, officials said.


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