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(506) 2223-1327                                    Published Monday, May 18, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 96                                     Email us
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Mandatory Caja payments top list of expat gripes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats have a lot of complaints, but they also have some serious solutions, according to an informal email poll Sunday.

High on the list are residency requirements and mandatory payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

"There should be a smoother and more efficient protocol for residency, limiting perpetual tourism," said Peter Aborn, a dentist from Rohrmoser.

"To attract permanent residents who seek residency status, one key issue is the required payment to the Caja for services that most expats will never use," said Ted Gibbons, who has a home in Playa Guiones at Nosara.  "There is no way to predict in advance what the monthly payment will be prior to getting approved.  There are many expats who would prefer to leave the country every 90 days than to risk having to pay a subsidy to the Caja that could be anywhere from $60 to $600."

Angela Jiménez Rocha, an architect and appraiser and rental owner in Escazú, points out that the Caja and the central government could save a lot of money if residents were allowed to choose a health insurance policy from the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, known as INS.

Right now, she points out, the Caja pays in full the cost of an ailing and covered expat who needs extensive medical care. If the expat had a policy with the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the bite would be a lot less because the national insurance company reinsures itself with major European companies. The national insurance company might end up paying only 10 to 20 percent of the medical costs, she notes.

The policies at INS also are valid at the private hospitals expats prefer.

Plenty of foreigners here do not become legal residents for a variety of reasons. They may not have the pension to be a pensionado or the large cash outlay needed to be a rentista. So they become perpetual tourists and leave the country every 90 days to renew their tourist visa. This does not stop them from working because some firms, such as sportsbooks and some call centers, are happy to hire illegal employees.

The employer benefits because there are no payments for the Caja for these illegals and probably no mandatory Christmas bonuses.

One solution comes from  Jim Twomey of Santo Domingo de Heredia, who suggested "allowing 90-day visa tourists to purchase an additional 60 or 90 days, without the necessity of making a visa run to the border.  This will keep the  tourist money in Costa Rica rather than having the funds spent in Panamá, Nicaragua or elsewhere."

When President Luis Gullermos Solís spoke to visiting tourist operators last month, he cited a 4.1 percent increase in tourism for the country this year.

Central American Data reported May 8 that in the first three months of the year, 92,000 more tourists entries were recorded by the Tourism Authority of Panama than in the same period in 2014, representing an increase of 13.8 percent.

"The main reform Costa Rica needs to make on behalf of foreign residents is to revise its

immigration laws and improve their administrative application," said Ken Morris of San Pedro.  "Currently the laws themselves are still a mess, even after the last reform, and the mess frankly seems to reveal the ambivalence the Ticos feel toward foreign residents."

Glenn Klima of Golfito expands on that theme: Marine wise allow any yacht to stay in any marina however how long the owners wish. Folks who wish to park their yacht here generally keep a captain and crew. Those folks spend money.

Of those who responded for the request for opinions, plenty were critical of Costa Rica's advertising for tourists and the arrival and exit taxes.

"One lesson that the Mexican tourist authority has learned in attracting tourists is to make the arrival and departure experience as easy and pleasant as possible.  There is still room for improvement by the Costa Rican government in this regard," said Gibbons.

Ms. Jiménez agreed. "Solutions to attract well-to-do expats to Costa Rica are easy to understand since Panamá has created a program which this country should consider cloning," she said.

Among other tourism incentives, Panamá offers 30 days of free medial and evacuation insurance for tourists landing at the Tocumen Airport. The country also operates a 24-hour bilingual help line. There is no paperwork. Those who need medical care just have to show their passport at the hospital.

Panamá also offers extensive discounts on daily living expenses for expats. That includes the light bill. Plus pensionados there get a one-time customs deductions of $10,000 on importing personal items and a deduction every two years on importing a vehicle.

Costa Rica did away with such programs long ago.

Some expats pointed out the interrelation of tourism and the economy. Current expats probably came first to Costa Rica as tourists. Tourists and new expats are the ones who purchase property, increase sales at retail stores, hire Costa Ricans and start businesses.

One expat proposed an agency that would promote the needs of tourists in the same way the Defensoría de los Habitantes does for the public here.

"The first step the government should take is construct an organization (like a mediating entity) to represent and defend the foreign residents," said Naveen Bagla of Lepanto on the Nicoya peninsula.  "This would allow me to turn to someone who better understands the needs and thinking process of a foreign resident where we rely on the legal system to resolve our problems."

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Turrialba continues its eruptions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano erupted at least  dozen times over the weekend, starting at just 36 minutes after midnight Saturday.

Much of the ash went to the west because of the winds at the time. There were reports from Guadalupe of ash and the strong smell of sulphur.

Ash depths of up to an inch were reported in the immediate area of the volcano with half inch to the west.

The Red Sismológica Nacional published a list of eruptions based on tremors registered from the mountain.

One eruption was reported to have sent a plume of ash 4.5 kilometers into the air. One eruption at 2:30 p.m. Saturday lasted nearly two hours.

The ash fell along with a light rain that continued for much of Saturday and Sunday in the Central Valley.

Early today the Red reported a new eruption at 12:33 a.m.

Lab discovers new volcano trigger

By the University of Liverpool news staff

Scientists have made an important step towards understanding how volcanic eruptions happen, after identifying a previously unrecognized potential trigger.

An international team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, Monash University and the University of Newcastle  in Australia said they think their findings could lead to new ways of interpreting signs of volcanic unrest measured by satellites and surface observations.

Janine Kavanagh from the University of Liverpool's School of Environmental Sciences and lead author of the research paper, said: "Understanding the triggers for volcanic eruptions is vital for forecasting efforts, hazard assessment and risk mitigation.

"With more than 600 million people worldwide living near a volcano at risk of eruptive activity, it is more important than ever that our understanding of these complex systems and their triggering mechanisms is improved.

"There is also a strong economic incentive to understand the causes of volcanic activity, as demonstrated in 2010 by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, which caused air traffic disruption across Europe for more than one month, with an estimated US$1.8 billion loss in revenue to the airline industry."

Studying volcanic processes in nature can be challenging because of the remoteness of many volcanoes, the dangers to scientists wanting to study destructive eruptions up close and the fact that they are often obscured from direct observation by volcanic ash or rock.

To get around this difficulty, the researchers recreated a scaled down version in labs at Monash University.

They studied the plumbing systems of volcanoes by modeling how magma ascends from great depths to the surface through a series of connected fractures called dykes and sills.

The scientists used a tank filled with jelly into which colored water was injected to mimic ascending magma. A high-speed camera and a synchronized laser were used to observe what was going on inside the tank as the ascending magma moved upwards.

Sandy Cruden, from the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University, said: "It was at this point that we discovered a significant and previously unknown drop in pressure when the ascending vertical dyke stalled to form a horizontal sill."

"Sills often form in nature as part of a developing volcanic plumbing system, and a pressure drop can drive the release of dissolved gases, potentially causing the magma to explode and erupt."

"It's similar to removing a cap from a bottle of shaken fizzy drink: The pressure drop causes bubbles to form and the associated increase in volume results in a fountain of foam erupting from the bottle."

Volcano-monitoring systems around the world rely on the interpretation of signals of Earth's surface and subsurface measured by satellites, ground deformation devices and seismometers. These record when and how magma moves at depth and they are used to help determine the likelihood of an eruption occurring.

The new results will aid this effort by adding a previously unknown potential eruption triggering mechanism and by helping to improve understanding of the dynamics of magma ascent, which leads to eruptions.

The research is published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Sala IV incineration decision praised

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Federación Conservacionista de Costa Rica is applauding a Sala IV constitutional court ruling that upheld a decree that put a moratorium on incinerating trash.

The federation said that incineration projects are planned for at least these 12  locations: Carillo, Cañas, Abangares, Parrita, San Carlos, Alajuela, Atenas, the metro area, Barranca, León Cortés and Goicoechea.

The organization opposes incineration because it would prefer to recycle trash. In addition it cites the carbon release of incineration.

Despite the Sala IV ruling, there still exits a case in the  Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo seeking to overturn the moratorium, the federation noted.

Body finally located off Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja said Friday that its rescue crew recovered  the body of a 34-year-old U.S. citizen who died in the surf May 11 at Jacó. They said the body was located by the crew of an aircraft of the Servicio Vigilancia Aérea. The body was about two miles from where the mishap took place.

U.S. official reports cyber crime progress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. State Department's point person on computer security issues says progress is being made in fighting cyber crime worldwide but that the international community is only starting to wake up to the issue's importance.

The recent hacker attack targeting Sony Pictures, which North Korea was allegedly behind, and another targeting email systems belonging to the State Department and White House, allegedly the work of Russian hackers,  graphically illustrated the threat of cyber crime.

According to Christopher Painter, the State Department's coordinator for cyber issues, the international community has been playing catch-up.

"While the Internet has been growing and evolving for a few decades now, the international community has only more recently begun to fully grasp cyber issues as a foreign policy priority," he told a Senate subcommittee Thursday.

The Obama administration put forward its strategy for keeping cyberspace secure in 2011 with the release of  the International Strategy for Cyberspace.

That strategy document says the U.S. will "oppose those who would seek to disrupt networks and systems" and respond to cyber attacks as it would to any other threat to the country. It also stresses the need for international cooperation.

The State Department's Painter said Thursday that significant progress had been made in achieving the International Strategy for Cyberspace's goals.

He noted, among other things, that 14 additional countries have joined the Budapest Convention, an international treaty signed in 2001 that seeks to address cyber crime by harmonizing national laws and increasing cooperation among nations.

The private sector is also still playing catch-up in trying to deal with the cyber crime threat. 

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit group, there were 783 data breaches in the United States last year, a 27 percent increase over 2013. Victims included giant retailers Target and Home Depot. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a research group, has estimated that cybercrime costs the U.S. economy $100 billion annually.

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who now leads a financial industry trade association, told another congressional panel this week that 80 percent of companies breached in 2014 "did not know they were breached until somebody else told them,” and that they often found out only months later.

American Pharoah wins second leg

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American Pharoah has won the second leg of horse racing's coveted triple crown, finishing first Saturday in the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes after pulling away down the stretch.

The colt, with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard, was undeterred by wet and sloppy conditions at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was the seventh straight victory for 3-year-old American Pharoah, who won by seven lengths. Tale of Verve took second, a length ahead of Divining Rod in a field of eight horses.

American Pharoah will try to capture the triple crown on June 6 in the third jewel of U.S. thoroughbred horse racing, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. The colt is now the 14th horse with a triple crown chance since Affirmed, with Steve Cauthen aboard, won it 37 years ago.  Espinoza has twice fallen short of winning the triple crown with losses in the Belmont, including last year when he rode California Chrome.

"I don't even want to think about that now," Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's famed trainer, said in reference to the Belmont.  "I want to enjoy this."

Baffert earned his sixth Preakness win in Saturday's race.

American Pharoah, a heavy favorite, opened from the No. 1 post position, a spot Baffert was not happy with.  The last horse to win the Preakness from that spot was Tabasco Cat in 1994.

But in a driving rain as thunder roared in the background, American Pharoah took control early and won easily.

"It went very well," Espinoza said.  "He bounced out of there. He broke a little tiny bit slow, and I pushed him to the front."

Dortmund, also trained by Baffert, finished fourth.

Two weeks ago, American Pharoah won the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was Baffert's fourth Derby win.  Firing Line was second, with Dortmund third in the first defeat of his life.  Dortmund had held an early lead.

American Pharoah owner Ahmed Zayat won his first Kentucky Derby after three second-place finishes.

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Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 96
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Mother and six babies reported doing fine after emergency caesarian
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Physicians were concerned about the pressure six babies were putting on the body of the mother, so they decided to deliver the nation's first set of sextuplets Sunday night.

As planned, three of the babies were sent to neonatal care in other hospitals.

The caesarian was at Hospital México in La Uruca where the mother, Sylvia  Villegas, 34, was under medical care since the first of the month.

Initial reports were that the babies and the mother were in good health. She has been married for 10 years.

The team of physicians from the major hospitals had hoped to put off the delivery until at least later this week. A meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday where physicians were supposed to decide when the operation would take place. Ms.  Villegas completed 27 weeks of pregnancy Friday. A typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.

The operation began about 9:30 p.m. The babies had been reported to be making  lot of movements, and the physicians were worried that they could to damage to the mother.

The babies even before birth had been the subject of extensive news coverage. For the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the birth at one of its public hospitals helps  take the focus off recent negative news coverage.

for police

Workmen have installed the footings and part of the basement floor for the new Escuela Nacional de Policía in La Rita de Pococí, Limón. Construction began in December at the 11-hectare property. The school is being paid for by a 9.5 billion-colon donation by the People's Republic of China. That's about $18 million. The school will accommodate 800 students and 100 instructors.

Ministerio de Seguridad Púbica photo

Hazeltine faces another appeal in his acquittal for defamation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three businessmen are appealing the acquittal of expat Sheldon Haseltine in their  private defamation case.

This is the case that the business trio filed after Haseltine took to YouTube to discussed his 17-year fight to keep property that had been invaded by squatters in the central Pacific. The businessmen have purchased the possession rights of the squatter.

The businessmen are Armando González Fonseca, Ricardo Jiménez Monealegre and Faud Farash Abdalá. The case is being appealed by Erick Ramos Fallas. The lawyer noted that Otto Giovanni Ceciliano Mora, who was the fourth accuser, has dropped out.

This is the second time that the case has been appealed. The first appeal was by Haseltine and his lawyer after a penal court found him guilty. An appeals panel reversed that decision and sent the case back for a section trial.

Last April 8, a trial court acquitted Hazeltine. This is the verdict being appeals by Ramos.

The decision mainly was on technical grounds involving when the video actually was made. Ramos characterized the video as defamatory in his appeal. However, Hazeltine for the most part simply restated information that already had been published in Spanish-language newspapers.

The accusers also are irked by the use of the word ripoff in the video. “Can you imagine that the law intended to help poor, poor peasants is being used by rich millionaires to rip off landowners,” Haseltine says at the start of his seven-minute, 14-second video.

The accusers have claimed that the word amounts to an allegation of fraud. The second trial court correctly noted that the word is far broader in English and does not always imply a crime.

The criminal defamation case in Costa Rica does not require a finding of damages. The question is if the honor of the three men have been impugned.

Hazeltine said he was happy at the acquittal because then the case involving the ownership of his property can be advanced. Criminal cases freeze civil ones in Costa Rica.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fingerprint test for cocaine use shows promise as non-invasive method
By the University of Surrey news service

British and Dutch researchers used different types of an analytical chemistry technique known as mass spectrometry to analyze the fingerprints of patients attending drug treatment services.

They tested these prints against more commonly used saliva samples to determine whether the two tests correlated. While previous fingerprint tests have employed similar methods, they have only been able to show whether a person had touched cocaine, and not whether they have actually taken the drug.

Researchers were led by the University of Surrey and included staffers from the Netherlands Forensic Institute, the National Physical Laboratory, King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University.

“When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolize the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue,” said lead author Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey.  “For our part of the investigations, we sprayed a beam of solvent onto the fingerprint slide (a technique known as desorption electrospray ionisation) to determine if these substances were present. DESI has been used for a number of forensic applications, but no other studies have shown it to demonstrate drug use.”

Researchers said they believe that the applications for this test could be far-reaching. Drug testing is used routinely by probation services, prisons, courts and other law enforcement agencies.

However, traditional testing methods have limitations. For example, blood testing requires trained staff, and there are privacy concerns about urine testing.

Where bodily fluids are tested, there can be biological hazards and often a requirement for particular storage and disposal methods. Often these tests also require analysis off-site.

“The beauty of this method is that, not only is it non-invasive and more hygienic than testing blood or saliva, it can’t be faked,” added Dr. Bailey. “By the very nature of the test, the identity of the subject is captured within the fingerprint ridge detail itself.”

It is anticipated that this technology could see the introduction of portable drug tests for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade.

“We are only bound by the size of the current technology. Companies are already working on miniaturized mass spectrometers, and in the future portable fingerprint drugs tests could be deployed. This will help to protect the public and indeed provide a much safer test for drug users,” said Dr. Bailey.

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Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                          Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact Us:
International Phone: 1-800-9010-114
CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231

  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
Click HERE!

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!

1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
and time-tested tips
700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
Costa Rica's #1 retirement expert
with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!

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

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon


A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
luxury apartment
Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

Palmares graphic

Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

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.

Real Estate
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 96
Real Estate
About us

Telephone surveillance law
faces battle in U.S. Senate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The future scope of the U.S. government’s domestic surveillance activities could be decided this week as Congress works to reauthorize soon-to-expire anti-terrorism efforts while reforming a controversial data collection program.

At issue are activities of the secretive National Security Agency exposed by fugitive former contractor Edward Snowden that created a political firestorm at home and abroad and were recently ruled illegal by a federal appeals court.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to end the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records.  The USA Freedom Act now awaits action in the Senate, where the NSA program has powerful defenders.

“I think it is an important tool if we are going to have the maximum opportunity to defend our people here at home,” said Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on ABC’s “This Week” television program.

McConnell is one of several lawmakers arguing that heightened federal scrutiny of telephone communications might have prevented the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The NSA’s bulk data collection was launched in secret after 9-11, and goes too far, according to critics.

“If we accept that the government can collect all of our phone records, because it may – may – want to sift through them one day to look for some possible connections to terrorists, where is it going to end?” asked Sen. Patrick Leahy,  Democrat.

Under the proposed USA Freedom Act, telecommunications companies and not the government would store phone data.

McConnell says privacy concerns that prompted the bill are overblown and unwarranted, and that current law already safeguards Americans’ telephone activities.

“Nobody at NSA is routinely listening to your telephone conversations.  In order to intercept any actual discussion on a telephone, they have to go to a court, get a court order,” said McConnell. “I do not want us to go dark, in effect, and I am afraid the House-passed bill will basically be the end of the program.”

But whether the program has actually defeated any terrorist plots is a matter of contention and will be the subject of intense Senate debate in the days to come.  The issue divides both Democrats and Republicans, and has exposed a rift on where to strike a balance between national security and civil liberty. 

“Terrorists are intent on destroying our very way of life, our nation’s foundation of freedom and justice for all,” said Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican. “But as we strengthen our nation’s intelligence capabilities, we must with equal vigor and determination protect our constitution, our civil liberties, the very foundation of this country.  If the forces of evil successfully propel our leaders in Washington to erode our core constitutional values, we will grant these terrorists a satisfying victory.  We must never allow this.”

The Senate has only days to act.  While the Patriot Act that covers bulk data collection expires June 1, the Senate will be in recess for the final week of this month.  An ongoing legal challenge to the NSA program is on track to be decided by the Supreme Court, but would be rendered moot if Congress terminates the program on its own.

Special forces conduct raid
to kill Islamic State bagman

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. special forces killed an Islamic State commander and captured his wife in eastern Syria, the White House and Pentagon said Saturday, in one of the only ground operations since an international coalition began targeting the militant group by air last August.

Officials described the Tunisian man, known as Abu Sayyaf, as having a role in the group's military and financial operations, including one of its primary revenue streams, the black market gas-and-oil industry. The leader’s wife, known as Umm Sayyaf, is in U.S. military detention in Iraq. The couple's given names have not been released.

ABC News quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying Sayyaf was targeted for his suspected link to American aid worker Kayla Muller, who was captured by the terrorist group in 2013 and later killed. ABC previously reported that Ms. Muller had been given to Sayyaf as either a forced bride or a slave.

The report said the Muller family was monitoring the situation Saturday but had no immediate comment. It also said that a push to capture Sayyaf was approved in March by President Barack Obama shortly after Ms. Muller's death had been verified. It said national security advisers refused to comment Saturday on the timeline for the president's approvals.

The White House said Obama late Friday directed the Pentagon to send U.S. personnel based in Iraq to conduct the raid in al-Omar. No U.S. personnel were killed or injured in the operation, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

The U.S. and several partner countries have conducted daily air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq for months, but have strictly limited the participation of ground forces. The coalition also carried out a combined 21 aerial raids overnight.

U.S. officials said the raid that netted the commander was not a result of cooperation with President Bashar al-Assad's government.

U.S. special forces killed about a dozen Islamic State fighters but no civilians, a Defense Department official said. "There were some women and children around, and they were trying to use them as human shields."

"The fighting got fairly intense," the official added, describing hand-to-hand combat in close quarters. 

One official said the elite Delta Force participated in the mission, arriving by helicopter. Aircraft including UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and V-22 Osprey reportedly were involved.

During the raid, a young Yazidi woman held by the couple was also freed.

Yan St-Pierre, the CEO of Berlin-based security consulting firm MOSECON, said the U.S. announcement of the raid was intended to deliver a psychological blow to the Islamic State to slow its momentum.

"Usually, these announcements don’t come within a few hours of the kill being executed. Rather, maybe a day later. They want to confirm that the target was indeed killed," St-Pierre said. ". . . But over the past 24 hours, past 48 hours, with ISIS making so much progress, it probably added to the pressure of having to act quicker than they wanted."

The oil field raid overnight came after Islamic State militants had gained ground in Iraq, raising their black flag over the city of Ramadi Friday.

Still, St-Pierre said, the operation was most likely planned well before the most recent Islamic State offensive and appeared to have been successful from a military standpoint. In Washington, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement that the operation was another significant blow to the Islamic State group.

But it was unclear how much harm the operation will cause the Islamic State.

"With the exception of the top leadership, they seem to be able to replace people in these capacities pretty easily," said Michele Dunne, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Syrian state media said its government forces also targeted Islamic State militants in the al-Omar area east of Deir al-Zour, killing a large number of fighters and a senior Islamic State leader. It identified a commander killed as Abu al-Teem al-Saudi, a national of Saudi Arabia.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed an oil field attack but did not attribute responsibility for the 19 people it said had been killed there.

The Islamic State group took control of major oil fields in Syria in July, when militants overran northern and eastern sections of the country.

Pope canonizes two nuns
who lived in Palestine

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Four nuns, including two Palestinians, are the Roman Catholic Church's newest saints.

Pope Francis canonized them Sunday at a Mass at the Vatican.

Two of the nuns, Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, lived in what was 19th-century Palestine.

Their canonization is seen an encouragement to Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists. They are the first saints from the Holy Land since the early years of Christianity.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attended the Mass in Saint Peter's Square.

A French nun and an Italian nun also became saints Sunday. Both were founders of institutions dedicated to the education of the poor.

Pope Francis met with Abbas Saturday, after the Vatican said it was preparing to sign its first accord with the Palestinians.

The pope called Abbas an angel of peace during a 20-minute private audience at the Vatican.

News of the accord angered Israel, prompting a statement saying "such a development does not further the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct bilateral negotiations."

Probe ordered in blast
that destroyed rocket

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has ordered the formation of a special commission to probe the failed launch early Saturday of a Russian rocket carrying a Mexican satellite into space.

The probe announcement came just hours after the Proton-M rocket and its payload exploded in the skies over Kazakhstan about eight minutes after liftoff. The Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, in an early report, said a problem in the rocket's steering engines surfaced in the suborbital third stage of the launch.

Russia's Interfax news agency, quoting a Roscosmos spokeswoman, said the Medvedev probe order included instructions to determine the exact causes of the failed launch and to "make proposals for personal and financial accountability for this incident."

The last failed launch of a Proton-M occurred one year ago and was also found to have been caused by a problem in the rocket's third stage.  There had been six subsequent successful launches before Saturday's failure.

Mexican officials said the Boeing-manufactured satellite was to have provided services for an array of government agencies, including disaster relief, rural education and other government operations.  The Ministry of Communications and Transportation also said the satellite was 100 percent insured.

In a separate space failure Saturday, Roscosmos reported that the engines of a Progress space ship docked at the International Space Station failed to ignite and were therefore unable to make an adjustment to the orbit of the space station.  The agency said the station's crew was not in any danger and that the failure was under investigation.

Damage from Baltimore riots
are estimated at $9 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Government officials in Baltimore, Maryland, estimate $9 million in damage was caused by violent demonstrations and riots against police last month. Angry residents took to the streets in the predominately African-American city following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man, while in police custody.

Six police officers, including three African-Americans, face criminal charges in connection with the death. Residents are looking toward the future and solutions to uplift the entire city.

Life has returned to normal in the riot-torn West Baltimore neighborhood. Police are still fighting high crime, and on nearly every corner are signs of economic despair. The recent riots only compounded the problem.

More than 280 businesses were damaged in the area where 23 percent of black men are unemployed. University of Maryland School of Social Work Assistant Dean Bronwyn Mayden was born in Baltimore, and she said securing jobs for blacks is key to the city's future success.

"We also need people that are ready to be trained for jobs. And right now in this community we have a lot of issues where we need to work on getting people ready to be able to hold onto jobs," said Dean Mayden.

Maryland state lawmaker Antonio Hayes, who represents this neighborhood, said people here want a better Baltimore.

"Being better means seeing justice in our criminal justice system, having better opportunities for fair housing, and, you know, having better wages," Hayes.

One out of four blacks in the neighborhood do not have a high school diploma. Brittany Davis blames city officials, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, for not making educational investments in black neighborhoods.
"She has taken away our taxpayers' money and given it to a builder downtown to build condos, but our schools are lacking resources that they need for our children," said Davis.

Community leaders say regaining trust with the police also is essential to moving the city forward.

Former Baltimore police officer Rob Weinhold said, "You have to be engaged with the folks that you are sworn to protect and serve, and understanding what the core issues are so you can, as a public servant, figure out how to be a terrific convener, facilitator and problem solver to improve the quality of life "

Linda Kees wants the police to do more to fight crime in the neighborhood and dreams of a better quality of life for her family.

"I hope they really build the community up like they say they will. With that being said, I will do everything in my power to help. I do not have a problem going from door to door asking anybody if they want to help," said Ms. Kees.
Ms. Kees and others believe positive change can happen with a stronger determination to invest more money in the community and the people who live here.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Visit our Web Page:

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

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

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

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


CoopeAgri Real Estate

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

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Costa Rica Villas For Sale
*In 2009 this property appraisal for $240,000  (two hundred forty thousand).
*Located in Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica.
*We spent over $70,000 in renovating the villa.
*The first floor has renters with a year lease. They pay $200 a month.
*Health reasons need to return to the U.S.A.
*One of Costa Rica famous waterfalls, 100 yards in front of the villa.
*I'll sell this property for $189,000.
*Visit my Web site
Contact in Costa Rica:  Cray phone (506) 8977-2777
Contact in USA: Billy phone  001 (678) 576-5107

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos.  We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email:   Web:

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

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

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

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, May 18, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 96
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on rchived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Topical bulbs are just full of surprises

One of the great pleasures of gardening is tucking a bulb or tuber into the soil, tamping it down slightly, and waiting. Sweet anticipation. Know something is going to happen, perhaps even forgetting exactly where
Victoria torley
you put that bulb to bed (after all it was a busy day), then, suddenly, right on schedule, something is poking through the soil and growing toward the sun before bursting into color.

Most of the bulbs we planted in northern zones need a resting period, a shock of cold,  or they just won’t grow for us here.
No worries. We can find plenty of bulbs and tubers here although you can pretty much forget about that right-on-schedule thing.

It doesn’t seem to matter what the book or the web has to say about blooming. Bulbs are a surprise in tropical climates – or maybe that should be tropical microclimates. One of the books I use says the hippeastrum (amaryllis family) will flower “at least once a year” (Holttum, “Gardening in the Tropics”) but mine seems to prefer to bloom five or six times a year. (Take that Holttum.) Unlike my old daffodils, my tropical bulbs like to keep their own schedules.

Remember the Christmas amaryllis? The amaryllidaceae family members are South American in origin and were forced to bloom for us up in northern climes.  They usually bloomed a bit for me and then died, although I could pop them in the ground in Georgia. Not in the tropics. Here they surprise us with blooms with no apparent schedule.

Bulbs, of course, have to be dug and separated occasionally. One of my northern neighbors once complained to me that her daffodils, which had bloomed beautifully, were just putting out shoots and no flowers. Seems she had planted the bulbs in a rock garden and never tended them. Once we pulled out the hundreds of baby bulbs, her daffodils went back to blooming in the spring. Aside from division, however, bulbs take little care. Some weeding, a bit of fertilizer, and they will do very well.

If you head over to the tubers, you will immediately run into the caladiums. Even in Georgia, I had to dig them up in the fall (which meant marking where they were – something I am not good at doing – although I blame the dogs for disturbing the markers). Here, you just put them in the ground with good drainage and let them rip. Caladium are one of the most prolific tubers I have ever planted, and I am moving babies all the time.

More about bulbs and tubers another time; for now, here is the:

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley                  
Plant of the Week
Oh my lovely caladium. Although some say they are for full sun, remember that this means 6-8 hours of sun so it’s safer to plant in partial shade in the tropics.  Put them in well-drained soil with some manure tea and they will be quite happy. So far, the leaf cutters have left mine alone.

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

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7

Food and drink training for tourism

By the A.M. Costa  Rica staff

Tourism employees on the Pacific coast will receive training in upscale food and drinks Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

The training is a project of the  Cámara de Comercio y Turismo de Tamarindo, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje/

The three-day training will be at the  Hotel Barceló Playa Langosta.

The canton of Santa Cruz has many hotels, and perhaps as much as 90 percent of the workforce is directly or indirectly related to tourism.

The training will include typical Costa Rican dishes as well as drinks and proper food handling, said  an announcement.