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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Thursday, May 22, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 100                       Email us
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Bill to prevent employers from ducking Caja charges
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Death and taxes are supposed to be certainties, and now lawmakers are about to add to the list payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

A bill that may be considered as early as today will make money owned by employers to the Caja collectible forever. This is No. 17.954.

Henry Mora Jiménez, president of the Asamblea Legislative, listed this bill among others that are considered consensus measures. That is, the political parties represented in the legislature have said they will support them.

A summary of the bill said that courts have been considering Caja payments to be subject to a 10-year statute of limitation. The bill seeks to remove this cap, which also can be found in the laws governing the Caja.

José María Villalta Florez-Estrada of Frente Amplio introduced the measure in January 2011. The fragile finances of the Caja have been an issue for years.

The same measure also increases to three years the current two-year limit on taking criminal action on an employer who withholds payment of the social security monthly payments.

The payments cover an employee for illness, maternity, disability, old age and death. The amounts are based on a percentage of an employee's salary, and the employee pays a part as a payroll deduction.

Mora listed 15 other measures on which the political parties have agreed. Among these is No.18.718, which changes the tax on motels, massage parlors and other places designed for a sexual rendezvous. 
Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social graphic
Graphic shows that the bulk of the Caja collection of debt is through the courts.

Currently, such facilities pay a 30 percent tax every time one of the rooms is used. The money goes to the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, a major anti--poverty agency. Lawmakers said there is too much wiggle room in assessing this tax because a room may be used several times a day. And, according to the summary of the bill, customers are not demanding official receipts.

So the new measure would assess a tax of 9 to 12 percent of a base salary per room per month. The base salary is nearly 400,000 colons. The percentage depends on the number of rooms in the establishment.

Over five years the country has collected 339 million colons in tax, about $605,000. However, the amount fluctuates drastically,

Lawmakers also will be seeing legislation for rebuilding Ruta 32 from Limón to Río Frio and one for a national development bank.

Program to pay teachers cost nearly $1.2 million
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican government paid nearly $1.2 million for the Integra2 payroll system that is at the center of the failure to pay teachers their correct salaries if at all.  In a 2008 contract signed by members of the Ministerio de Educación and Grupo Asesor en Informática S.A., the two sides agreed to an exact sum of $1,172,400 for the service.

A representative from the Grupo Asesor confirmed Wednesday that the company is the producer of Integra2. The company advertises itself as a creative leader in information technology that can reinvent customer organizations.

The local firm works with Costa Rica's central
 government with the same uniform system designed to pay the public employees.

According to Grupo Asesor, the system is responsible for facilitating salary payments to 120,000 active and retired government workers.

In response to the broken payment technology, angry teachers throughout Costa Rica continue to strike for a third consecutive week.

After seeing teachers go so long without pay, President Luís Guillermo Solís and the Ministerio de Ecucación Pública announced a plan with the country's banks to pay the salaries for some of those effected.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 100

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

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Ministerio de Gobernacióm, Policía                  
y Seguridad Pública/Jorge Alonso Alvarez V                 
President Solís is instructed in quadracycle handling.

Police get new vehicles
for northern border duty

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Like the presidents before him, Luis Guillermo Solís showed up at a ceremony Wednesday when some 106 vehicles were handed over to the police.

They included 90 pickups, four small buses, three vehicles for transporting prisoners and nine quadracycles. Most will see service along the northern border in the cantons of  Upala, La Cruz and Pococí

The price tag was a bit more than  2.5 billion colons or about $4.5 million

Cuba diverts online readers
seeking new newspaper

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A new, non-government online newspaper has been blocked by the Cuban authorities on its first day of publication.

The Web site, officially launched Wednesday morning by renowned blogger Yoani Sánchez, was blocked three hours after the launch. In Cuba those who tried to log onto the site were redirected to “Yoanilandia,” another Web site on which information adverse to the journalist is posted, said the Inter American Press Association.

“While this action is no surprise, the world was hoping for greater tolerance by the Raúl Castro government, considering its efforts to show a more positive face, more open to raise attention of the international community,” said Claudio Paolillo. He is chairman of the Inter American Press Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

“Unfortunately,” added Paolillo, the editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, “this censorship shows that the Cuban government continues to think that freedom of expression is a concession that is granted by the authorities, not a human right, that no one may criticize them and they do not have to give any explanation to their citizens.”

Ms. Sánchez managed to remain in contact through her Twitter account. In one of her tweets she blamed the government for the sabotage.

In a statement of support for the online newspaper published in 14ymedio and signed by writers, film directors, past presidents and journalists, it welcomes "new means of communication born in a country without a free press — Cuba. "

Motorist, 28, gunned down
in Heredia by moto riders

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 38-year-old man died in San Rafael de Heredia after he was shot by two people on a motorcycle while he was driving. Investigators from the Judicial Investigating Organization said the man was traveling in a four-wheel drive car when the motorcyclists approached and opened fire Wednesday around 10 a.m.

The man was identified by the last name of Quintero. An organization report said he died at the scene and had been accompanied by another passenger, who was unharmed.

The Poder Judicial confirmed Wednesday that Quintero had once been under witness protection after he was the victim of an attempted murder. However, that was not the case at the time of his death.

Guanacaste vets will mark
Memorial Day in Coco

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. Memorial Day is Monday, and veteran organizations plan observances. The Guanacaste Veteran’s Association is having its annual Memorial Day Celebration at 2 p.m. that day at Casa Las Palmas del Coco (formerly Villa Flores), 200 meters north from Lizard Lounge on the main road into Las Palmas and across the road from Laura’s B&B.

Members are asked  to bring a dish to pass, and whatever they would like to drink, the organization said.  There will be musical entertainment and the pool will be available to those members who would like to swim, an announcement said.. 

The group seeks individuals that have served in the military and their spouses to join the membership that day. Those interested can contact Karen and Quinn Slack at, or at 8760-7399.

The U.S. Embassy announced that it would be closed Monday to observe the holiday.

Lawmakers want to hear
from heads of key ministries

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers want to hear from central government officials who are in key roles in the new administration.

The Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios, the legislature's principal financial committee, agreed Wednesday to hear from the nation's first vice president, Helio Fallas, who also is in charge of the Ministerio de Hacienda. The topic most certainly will revolve around ways to eliminate the nation's mounting financial deficit when Fallas visits June 4.

There also are about 14 pieces of proposed legislation on which the committee seeks an opinion.

Also being asked to visit is Olga Marta Sánchez, minister of  Planificación. Her date is June 21 when lawmakers seek to hear about the the nation's development plan.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 100
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                  Tax and
Voluntary standards outlined for building prefabricated structures
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Costa Rican construction institute wants to improve the country's social housing projects through a series of regulations.

Representatives from the Insituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica said these standards should guarantee that these homes receive the best prefabricated construction material available. Mauricio Céspedes, the institute's CEO, said these construction guidelines can potentially revolutionize how these family homes are made.

“The regulation is brought to better the quality of homes that use prefabricated material,” Céspedes said. “It will facilitate the taxation and control in the construction phase of the housing projects and standardize the requirements for construction companies in the buying of materials.”

Roberto Mesén, a press representative from the institute, said there is an all-encompassing list of requirements that will ensure
high-quality production. These will cover quality, handling, transport, sampling, product checks, and lab analysis. There are specific outlines over the use of concrete, such as avoiding a potential contamination from moisture and mixing it only with a regulated mechanical cement mixing.

Mesén said the institute's standards will also tighten up perceived problems with floor tiling and prefabricated columns.

They will look into better transportation and shipping methods to safely handle the parts.

He added that right now the regulations are only voluntary guidelines. Céspedes said he highly recommends them to construction companies for the sake of the population living in future prefabricated homes.

There are more than 140,000 prefabricated homes in Costa Rica, according to a 2011 census. The majority of which are located in San José, Alajuela, and Cartago.

Three traffic officers held
on allegations of taking bribes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When the new traffic law went into effect, critics said that the high fines would encourage corruption among traffic officers.

That prediction continues to play out as judicial investigators detained three officers Wednesday.

They are men 35, 37 and 38 years old who were working in Hatillo, on the Caldera highway and also in Paso Ancho. They were detained while on the job.

The judicial agents allege that the three men would tell motorists that they are facing gigantic fines but that they would be willing to make a private arrangement.

In one case, agents said a motorist paid 40,000 colons, about $72.

The Judicial Investigating Organization maintains a  Sección Especializada de Tránsito, which investigates complaints about traffic policemen.

The agency said that sometimes motorists had not committed a traffic violation but that they still were approached by an officer of the Policía de Tránsito.

In response to some of the complaints and criticism, lawmakers passed a revised traffic law in September 2012. But the fines still are ample.  A litany of violations carry the top fine of 280,000 colons, about $500. They include speeding 120 kph (74.4 mph) or more,
driving under the influence, driving with an expired or suspended license, passing in a no-passing zone or on a curve, passing on the right. crossing into the oncoming lane, making an illegal u turn or making an unauthorized left turn.

Even a minor violation such as having a license plate in an incorrect position draws a 20,000-colon fine. That is about $36 at the current rate of exchange.
traffic polieman
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
One of the three traffic officers is taken into custody.

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 100
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Mediterranean diet cuts blood pressure by blocking enzyme, study says
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists say they’ve unlocked the secret of the Mediterranean diet.
The study, which was done at King’s College in London, showed that leafy vegetables eaten in combination with olive oil can lower the risk of high blood pressure in mice.
When these are combined, the research showed, they produced nitro fatty acids, which was found to lower blood pressure by blocking the enzyme epoxide hydrolase.
The researchers also say that nuts and avocados could be used as well as olive oil and that celery and carrots could supplement leafy greens.

A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetable, legumes and unrefined cereals.
“The findings of our study help to explain why previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks,” said Philip Eaton, professor of cardiovascular biochemistry at King’s College, in a statement.
The study was partly funded by the British Heart Foundation and showed that genetically engineered mice who were resistant to epoxide hydrolase inhibition, maintained high blood pressure despite eating a Mediterranean diet. Normal mice benefited from the diet.
Med diet
Voice of America photo
A typical Mediterranean diet plate.

A spokesperson for the American Heart Association said the organization would like to see how humans following the diet would be affected.
“This is animal study data,” said  Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Clearly, the value of the data are of interest, and the AHA diet recommendations are very much in line with a Mediterranean diet, but it is really important to remember that animal research, while interesting and useful in generating hypotheses, really must be demonstrated in humans before AHA would make any modifications of existing dietary recommendations.” Human trials are expected to follow.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Real estate rentals
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Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
We are looking for a person with good manners, medical student, exchange program student or a foreigner, to share my house. We offer you: Two bedrooms, breakfast and dinner. You will have Internet and TV cable. We have laundering service and cleaning service. All of this only for $35 per night per person!!. Please call: (+506) 8313-3472 or 6116-3218. Or email: Thanks you!!!

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The apartments are located in the heart of San Pedro, just a few minutes from the capital, San José. We are close to everything: banks, food, supermarkets, transportation, many language schools, Humans’ Rights Court, United Nations, Oscar Arias Foundations, the Defense
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Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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:

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

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.

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 100
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Chinese hacking losses put
at millions or even billions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. manufacturer was in the midst of a trade dispute with Asian competitors it said was flooding the market with cut-rate solar panels when it learned of a glaring new vulnerability: Its online communications were being hacked.
SolarWorld executives “were notified by the FBI that there was a penetration, and it was ongoing,” company spokesman Ben Santarris said, describing the exfiltrations of thousands of sensitive emails and documents.
Santarris’ dispassionate language contrasts with the anger and frustration that U.S. officials expressed this week. In a landmark case, they charged five Chinese military officers with stealing information from a handful of prominent technology companies, including SolarWorld, U.S. Steel Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Co.
While the exact toll of the alleged espionage and theft would be almost impossible to calculate, experts say, the potential costs to America’s economy could be staggering in terms of lost sales, profits and jobs.
The theft of a single company’s proprietary information about products or processes “could be worth millions, it could be billions,” said Halina Dziewit, who specializes in emerging technology as an intellectual property attorney for the Washington-based law firm Patton Boggs LLP.
“You’re losing your competitive advantage. You’re not getting the maximum return on your investment,” creating disincentives for more research and development, she said.
Overall, foreign theft of U.S. intellectual property costs “$300 billion a year and up, and that’s conservative,” said Slade Gorton, a former U.S. senator and member of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.
Last May, the commission issued a report that cited the impact of intellectual property theft by foreigners, singling out China as the most egregious offender.
The indictment announced Monday was brought by a grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Five of the alleged six hacking victims are located in Pittsburgh: Westinghouse Electric Co., Alcoa World Alumina, Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers Union. SolarWorld, a wholly owned subsidiary of SolarWorldAG in Germany, is based in Hillsboro, Oregon.
China denied the accusations, lodging a protest late Monday with U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus. China’s defense ministry warned the indictments could harm the two countries’ ongoing discussions concerning cybersecurity and the military.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, Hong Lei, denied his country ever had engaged in cybertheft of trade secrets. And China's defense ministry accused the United States of having ulterior motives and of demonstrating hypocrisy and double standards.
FBI Director James Comey, in an interview this week with ABC News, said the United States conducted surveillance for national security purposes but never shared information with businesses, which would give them an unfair competitive edge.
For years, the United States had accused China of stealing trade secrets but hadn’t adequately substantiated its claims, said David Hickton, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
“This indictment changes that,” Hickton said in an interview.  “… We have given China the evidence.”
The indictment charges the Chinese with computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses. It alleges that, from 2006 to 2012, they broke into computer systems, stealing trade secrets or other sensitive information that might benefit Chinese companies or “that would provide a competitor, or an adversary in litigation, with insight into the strategy and vulnerabilities,” according to a Department of Justice news release Monday.
For instance, the indictment contends the hackers stole key information about U.S. Steel’s cutting-edge stainless-steel pipes, installing malware on computers and snagging host names and descriptions of computers, “including those that controlled physical access to company facilities.” Westinghouse, while building four power plants in China, allegedly suffered the theft of “confidential and proprietary technical and design specifications” for pipes. 
“There is a direct loss to the company when cyber-espionage is done,” Hickton said, “… especially when it’s done by a state actor for a state company.”
He also emphasized the downstream losses to ordinary Americans, particularly those employed by the named companies. They “lose their jobs because the companies they work for can’t compete,” he said.
The hackers allegedly stole SolarWorld information about “cash flow, manufacturing metrics, product line information, costs and privileged attorney-client communications” about ongoing trade litigation, the indictment says.
SolarWorld’s spokesman, Santarris, said he couldn’t estimate the company’s related financial losses because of too many unknowables. Through cyber spying, he said, “unfair advantages could have been secured in a variety of directions: knowing about our cost structure, our financial position, our technological road map, our innovative ideas, our strategy for trying to curb anti-competitive trade.”
Santarris said SolarWorld had been in litigation with China over what the company believed was the dumping of low-cost solar panels in the United States, creating unfair competition. The U.S. Commerce Department concurred in mid-2012 – right around the time the FBI notified SolarWorld executives of ongoing hacking.  “All of the personnel who were targeted for this infiltration had connections to the trade cases,” Santarris added.
SolarWorld cooperated with the FBI investigation, Santarris said.
Helping investigators collect evidence means a company can risk further exposure, said Melodi Mosley Gates, a privacy expert and an associate with Patton Boggs. She praised what she sees as increased collaboration between private companies and the government, a critical part of improving cybersecurity.
Gorton, of the intellectual property theft commission, said he was encouraged by the government’s indictment, which aligns with the commission’s call for more aggressive investigation and prosecution of trade-secret theft, especially involving cybersecurity, by the Justice Department and FBI.
“This kind of cybertheft will only end when the cost of doing it exceeds the benefits the Chinese get from it,” Gorton said. “That means dealing with our own domestic market much more quickly seize goods that benefit from intellectual property theft, and perhaps going beyond that.”

U.S. troops on the ground
in Chad helping Nigerians

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Barack Obama has informed Congress that the United States is deploying about 80 military personnel to Chad as part of its effort to help find and return more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The pledge came on the same day as a powerful visit to Capitol Hill by a survivor of a Boko Haram attack.
Deborah Peter, a Nigerian teenager, came to Washington to tell how she lost her family to Boko Haram in December 2011.
Ms. Peter said three men came to her home and shot and killed her father and brother in front of her because of their Christian faith.
She also appealed for help for the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from her village, Chibok.
"I want them maybe to send armies to find the girls and maybe they should help them when the people lost their family like to come to school here," said Peter.
Ms. Peter now goes to school in Virginia. Members of Congress were visibly moved, including Eliot Engel.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank Deborah for coming here and being with us. You’ll see when she talks what a fine young lady she is," said Engel.
At a hearing on Boko Haram, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce said more girls are being snatched and more people are being targeted for death.
"The difficulty is that Boko Haram is in a process of expanding their terror, and the frequency of these attacks, the attacks on girls.  That has been an evolution.  I mean as they have intimidated and frightened the Nigerian military, they are now to the point where a lot of military units have run away," said Royce.
Royce called for U.S. forces to help Nigerian units track down the girls and to plan and organize a rescue mission.
Asked about the health and welfare of the girls, senior State Department official Sarah Sewall was cautiously optimistic.
"Given time, I am hopeful that we will make progress," said Ms. Sewall.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree that the U.S. needs to boost its efforts to help rescue the girls and to curb future attacks.

Obama takes D.C. stroll
and greets some tourists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Washington every year to see the national monuments and iconic buildings.

Several visitors were startled and delighted Wednesday to see perhaps the greatest attraction of all: President Barack Obama.

Obama took advantage of a sunny afternoon to take an unexpected stroll from the White House to the Department of the Interior, where he announced the establishment of a national monument in New Mexico, before walking back to the White House.

Flanked by Secret Service agents, the president chatted with visitors from Israel and China, handed out boxes of candy to children, and invited a group of shocked tourists to shake hands, assuring them that he does not bite.

Obama told reporters that it is good to get out.

U.S. ranked in first place
as the most competitive

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States ranks as the most competitive country in the world in a survey of 60 countries by IMD, a leading global business school in Switzerland.  The survey finds Europe is recovering some of its competitive edge, while emerging economies are struggling to hold their own. 
Authors of the report say the United States owes its top position to its resilient economy, better employment numbers, and dominance in technology and infrastructure.  It is followed in the competitiveness ranking by three small economies - Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong - all of which prosper from exports, business efficiency and innovation. 
The report finds Europe is doing better than last year, thanks to its gradual economic recovery, but most of the big emerging markets are sliding in the rankings. It says the so-called BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, are losing out in the competitiveness race as economic growth and foreign investment slow and infrastructure remains inadequate.
China, which is widely expected to supplant the United States as the world's economic superpower, has fallen two places since last year and now ranks 23rd on the competitiveness index. 
Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, Arturo Bris, says China does not perform well in terms of competitiveness because of its lack of good institutional development.
"What we see in China and in BRIC countries in general - Brazil, Russia, India - is that economic growth has happened too fast and has not happened in parallel with the necessary reform in the institutional environment. The business regulation, economic institutions and financial markets, business principles and values, corruption, sustainability - in that regard, at some point, economic growth becomes unsustainable," said Bris.
Bris says Brazil is in big trouble. He says last year's huge economic growth has translated into social unrest because the country's prosperity has not trickled down to the average citizen. Brazil this year has fallen three places to number 54 in the rankings.
The IMD competitiveness rankings are based on four factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. The report says there is no relationship between democracy and competitiveness, though the likelihood of a good government is higher in a democracy. 
It says good leadership is a more important determinant. It notes that Singapore and the United Arab Emirates - two authoritarian governments with strong leaders - figure in the top 10. 
There is a noticeable absence of developing countries in the survey.  In fact, the only African country included is South Africa, which places 52 in the rankings. Bris says IMD believes African countries are very competitive and would like to include them in the survey. But, he says, IMD can only work with countries that are able to provide high-quality data and access to business executives who can provide information about the country. 
"Our mission as a center is to help countries develop and create, generate prosperity. And we can help Nigeria or Kenya much more than we can help the United States. So it is in our mission to just incorporate more and more emerging markets and emerging countries into the rankings," he said.
Russia has moved up four places from last year's ranking to number 38. Ukraine remains steady in 49th position. However, IMD chief Bris notes this year's rankings are based on data collected before the current destabilizing events in Ukraine erupted. 
He says volatility and lack of social cohesion are bad for business, and that he expects this will be reflected in next year's competitiveness rankings.

State of some VA hospitals
is growing scandal in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As Americans commemorate Memorial Day to honor the country's fallen soldiers, a scandal is unfolding that highlights the federal government’s failure to properly care for veterans. Fraud and neglect at the Veterans Administration reportedly have forced thousands of veterans to wait months to see a doctor and reportedly even caused some to die because of a lack of treatment.

In response to a firestorm of criticism over reports of neglect at veterans hospitals that have even caused preventable deaths, President Barack Obama says he will hold accountable officials involved in any misconduct. 

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it, period,” said Obama.

Twenty-six veterans facilities are under investigation, including a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where 40 veterans allegedly died while waiting for treatment. The hospital there is reported to have kept a secret waiting list to hide months-long delays to get care. 

The Veterans Health Administration treats nearly 9 million veterans at 1,700 facilities around the country. 

The system has been overloaded by a growing number of wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment, and new expanded coverage for Vietnam vets and for post-traumatic stress disorder. 

But the VA’s critics say reports of staff falsifying records to cover up treatment delays are indicative of a system that is both broken and criminal.

Louis Celli, legislative director for the American Legion, said the veterans group wants the president to immediately fire Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, who is a disabled veteran, for failing to change the agency’s dysfunctional culture. 
“We know that the Department of Veteran Affairs has had a long systemic problem and needed a culture change, and we thought Shinseki was the man to come in and do that, and we’ve since lost our faith in that.”

Congress is working on legislation to make it easier to fire poorly performing managers at the VA.

Sen. John McCain, a wounded war veteran himself, said veterans deserve better. “We must be worthy of the sacrifices that are made on our behalf. How we care for those who risked everything for us is the most important test of a nation’s character. Today, we are failing that test.”

Pending an investigation, the White House is standing behind the embattled VA secretary for now. Obama has said he wants to focus on making systemic change.

“So today I want every veteran to know we are going to fix whatever is wrong, and so long as I have the privilege of serving as commander-in-chief I am going to keep on fighting to deliver the care and the benefits and the opportunities that your families deserve,” said the president.

On Memorial Day, which is Monday, America commemorates the soldiers who fought and died for their country. But this year many also will be talking about the country’s obligation to care for the veterans who fought and survived.

Pope plans meetings
with leaders of all faiths

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis is to visit the Holy Land for the first time since he became head of the Roman Catholic Church 14 months ago. In addition to stops in Jordan and Bethlehem, the Pontiff is to visit Jerusalem, one of Christianity’s holiest sites.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City marks the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was buried and rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.
Pilgrims visit from all over the world.
“It’s very emotional for me to see the religious sites," said Derry O’Sullivan from Ireland. "I find it emotional.”
The pope plans to meet the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew I. It will mark a similar encounter between Pope Paul VI and Athenagoras I50 years ago that launched a dialogue between the two churches after centuries of conflict.
A coordinator of the visit, Vicar David Neuhous, said reconciliation is important not only to Catholics and Orthodox Christians. “This is one of the terrible wounds on the face of the Church. But this is also an opening to bring all Christians together -- eastern and western, Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox and the ancient churches of the East -- to say it’s enough. The Lord asked very deliberately that we be one,” he said.
Ursula Vega is visiting with two friends from Spain, Lucia Rinon and Carmen Rodriguez. Ms. Rinon is hopeful.
“I think very important steps are being taken. Benedict 16 and John Paul 2 made some. But I think Pope Francis is going to advance it more,  I have confidence it will happen. The will is there,” she said,
The pope, during his visit, is to meet the senior Muslim leader, Grand Mufti, and the two chief rabbis of Jerusalem. Neuhous said this underscores his deep ties to both communities. “He has a deep, personal commitment to relations with the Jews.  And just as intimately, we are also profoundly linked to the Palestinian people. And here is the delicacy, coming into a region where the joy of one is the disaster of the other, or the disaster of one is the joy of the other, the Pope is coming as a profound friend of both,” he said.
He said the pontiff will also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and refugees from various conflicts in the region to show his concern for the suffering of all human beings.

World baby deaths estimated
to be 5.5 million each year

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite five-and-a-half million newborn and stillborn baby deaths each year, investment in newborn health remains very low. That’s one of the findings in a series of papers published in the medical journal The Lancet. The research also shows the vast majority of those deaths could be prevented.
Lead researcher Joy Lawn said the research is the most accurate estimate yet on the number of deaths of newborns and stillbirths.
“Every year there are two-point-nine-million babies who die in the first month of life -- and most shockingly a million who die on their birthday, the first day. And there are 2.6 million stillbirths -- most shockingly, 1.2 million who die while the woman is in labor. So together this is 5.5 million babies,” she said.
Most of the deaths are in low and middle income countries. But rich nations, she said, are not immune. There are about 500,000 pre-term births in the United States every year.
“The three leading causes around the world are pre-term births, birth complications -- so where women don’t get the right care during labor. And babies that are full-term can have damage and even die because of lack of care during labor – and then, thirdly, infections,” she said.
Ms. Lawn is a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an advisor to Save the Children UK. She said many babies and their mothers could be saved for just a few dollars worth of medical care.
“In this series we show very clearly that 71-percent of newborn deaths can be prevented with solutions that we have already. And that together, three-million women, babies – counting newborns and stillbirths – could be saved every year with investments at the time of birth. So that’s a triple return on investment with care at the time of birth,” she said.
That care includes simple things like keeping the baby warm, helping it learn to breast feed and making sure it has skin to skin contact with its mother. 
Also, Ms. Lawn said there are injections that can greatly improve the odds of a baby’s survival. One injection prevents tetanus infections, a nearly always fatal condition for babies.
Another contains corticosteroids and is given to women in pre-term labor. Corticosteroids affect stress and immune response and inflammation. They help premature babies improve their breathing. This is standard treatment in rich nations, but not in developing countries. It costs less than one dollar.
Ms. Lawn said that it’s been known for many years that a large number of newborns die. Yet, funding to prevent the problem remains low.
“Of the billions of dollars that are given for child survival, only four percent of that donor funding even mentions the word newborn. And yet 44 percent of under-five deaths are among newborns. So there’s a major mismatch in what the funding is going to compared to where the deaths are now,” she said.
Much of the funding goes towards preventing deaths of mothers and children up to age 5.
In recent years, it’s become more common in the U.S. to issue birth certificates for stillborn babies. Ms. Lawn said it means a lot to parents to know that their child has been recognized. However, what the papers in The Lancet also show is that in many developing countries no record is kept.
Lawn said, “A women who loses a newborn death or a stillbirth in many of the places I’ve worked in Africa – there will be no piece of paper. The baby may not be named. It’s very unlikely there will be any funeral or public recognition. And those things aren’t just sad for the woman, but they hide the whole problem. The fact that in this day and age you can have 5.5 million babies entering and leaving the planet without official record – but also mostly without funerals or recognition – actually stops us acting.”
More than 50 experts from 28 institutions in 17 countries took part in The Lancet series.
In June, a new international initiative is set to be launched called Every Newborn Action Plan. It’s described as an evidence-based roadmap toward care for every women and a healthy start for every newborn baby.

Despite prejudice, Pagans
practice the ancient rituals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The lounge in a community that epitomizes middle-class Johannesburg, South Africa, suburbia is gloomy, lit by a single candle. Its flame flickers in the slight, cool breeze that wafts through an open door. Silence pervades the atmosphere, broken only by the whisper of soft rain soaking the ground outside.  
Adults of varying ages and a few children are seated on sofas or cross-legged on the floor. Their eyes are closed, their palms turned upwards.
The soothing voice of a bare-footed and bespectacled middle-aged man, salt-and-pepper stubble covering his chin, shreds the quiet and leads the meditation.
Swaddled in a shiny navy robe, he exhorts the group to inhale and exhale, “to let go of all negativity, to feel your roots reaching into the lava at the center of the earth.”
He’s the high priest, preparing his fellow Pagans for a ritual that was first performed thousands of years ago. He wants to be identified only by his first name, Greg.
“My family and friends know I’m a Pagan but only one or two of my work colleagues know. We can’t share what we do with everyone; they don’t understand,” he says.
Most Pagans present here are professionals. By day, they’re businesspeople, accountants, teachers, even doctors... Several nights a year, they meet to observe important dates on the Pagan calendar, such as the seasonal equinoxes.   
“We observe the rites of our ancient elders, or our ancestors. Most of us in this coven come from ancient Celtic roots,” explains High Priestess Shinny Pearson, her long, golden blonde hair streaming down her dark brown satin cloak. A silver five-pointed star hangs around her neck.
She continues: “Our roots go way back, thousands of years before all the accepted religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We believe in the earth. We revere the earth. The earth is our mother. Without her, we will die. We worship the Mother Goddess way above us all.” 
Greg says Pagans venerate the natural world.
“We show this by honoring the old Gods of earth, from various ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks. One of our Gods is Herne. He is the stag, the God with antlers. He is the lord of the greenwood,” he explains. 
“Then we have Demeter, another Greek goddess. She looks after the land; she gives us the crops, so we have food. Women who cannot fall pregnant very often give offerings and pray to Demeter and beg her to make them as fertile as she is.”
Nearby sits another senior Pagan, cloaked in a snow white tunic edged with royal blue material and trimmed with rich gold fabric. He holds a wooden staff that’s hewn in the form of a patterned, spiraling cobra.
Pearson introduces him as Rico. “He is our scribe,” she says. “He does all our paperwork and voices our rituals. He practices the Egyptian side of Paganism. He is our conduit to the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt.”
Tonight, The Grove - one of Johannesburg’s most eclectic Pagan covens - is observing an Esbat, a full-moon celebration.
After the meditation, the warden, a young man in a black, hooded cloak, beats a drum to consecrate the Pagan’s sacred circle, to drive away all evil, says Ms. Pearson.
The Pagans, some shaking rattles, march slowly in a row to a muddy, tree-filled backyard, with a table in the middle of it. Jagged daggers, an ivory white conch, a golden statue and ceremonial wine in pewter chalices decorate the table. 
“A circle is a ring of power; it has no beginning and no end, that’s why it’s so powerful,” the high priestess whispers.
Rico the Pagan scribe then challenges each person who wishes to enter the circle by pointing his crook at them and demanding, “How do you enter?” They reply with phrases such as, “With love in my heart and knowledge in my soul,” and “In perfect love and perfect understanding.” The scribe replies, “Welcome, child of the Goddess. You may enter. Blessed be.”
Each Pagan announces his presence in the circle with a name taken from ancient times, such as the age of the Vikings of Scandinavia, around 800 AD. One dark-robed man introduces himself as Svehaltrihar.  A woman in a hooded blue cloak calls herself Ilvalon Kestavar.
They believe they’re reincarnations of people from bygone epochs.
Then, the Pagans call out the names given to God by various religions, such as the Hebrew, Adonai, and the names of their archangels.
They chant: “In front of me, Rafael. Behind me, Gabriel. On my right hand, Michael. On my left hand, Uriel. For about me flames the pentagram. Above me, now within me, shines the six-ray star. Shala, descend upon me now! Atar, Malkut! Vigibra, Vigillah, Laiulam; amen!”
They call upon their goddess of the full moon, Selene, who they revere for her nurturing and mothering nature.
“She brings things into fruition,” says Greg. Ms. Pearson adds: “Young girls, who are maidens, go and they pray to her because she’s the closest to them. She understands them. She understands what they’re going through. They’re virgins. She’s a virgin. She’s pure and untouched, they are…”
In the ceremony, the high priestess clutches a knife and shrieks: “We call upon the great Selene!  I invoke thee thus with the powers of shadow and dark! We reach for the stars and call down the moon! I bow before the moon, I bow before the moon!”
The Pagans demonstrate deep reverence for nature, worshiping the elements of water, air and fire.
“Hail Lord Jin!” shouts one. “I call to thee, my Lord. Come into the circle tonight! Bring your passion; bring your fiery creatures with you. Come salamanders, salamanders of fire! Play with us in the circle… Fire on this Esbat night, fire burning, burning bright! Come to me! So mote it be!”
They ring a bell to welcome their gods and goddesses, and sing a melodious Pagan song, the chorus of which rings: “All that’s born shall rise again… We all come from the garden, and to her we shall return. Like a drop of rain, falling into the ocean…”
The celebration ends with the traditional Pagan parting: “Merry we meet, and merry we part, and merry we meet again. Blessed be!”
After the ceremony, the Pagans reflect on the prices they’re forced to pay for their unusual beliefs. Society often brands them deviants, and even Satanists.
“Look,” says the high priest, Greg, “we’re not ashamed of being Pagans but because of all the prejudice out there we have to be discreet about our beliefs and practices.
“In this country, and throughout the rest of Africa, there are witch hunts and people do get burnt and things are blamed on satanic rituals. It happens very often, more often than people realize…”   
He adds: “What is taken very out of context and why people believe that we are Satanists and that we worship Satan, is that we worship Pan… He is the goat-footed God. However, he is absolutely a nature-based God. He is so far from Satan, you couldn’t possibly believe it! He is the god you call on to have absolute fun. He is the lord of the wildwood.”
Pagans honor and cherish many of the same deities that Christians do, Pearson says.
“We believe very strongly in Jesus. He’s the god of little children in Paganism. We also believe very strongly in Mary because she’s a virgin goddess… We venerate her; we adore her. She’s somebody that young women go to and can pray to very easily, from a Pagan point of view.”
But the high priestess also maintains that there are just too many aspects of other religions that Pagans cannot believe in.
“We cannot accept that women are unclean when they’re having their period, or that women are inferior to men, as in Islam. And we disagree strongly with certain religions seeing themselves as superior to others.
“I don’t believe that we must hate everybody else that’s not of our religion. I don’t hate you because you’re not a Pagan. I do not discriminate against you because you are a Christian. You are welcome in my circle, because the Mother says you are my brother.”
According to Ms. Pearson and other Pagans, they’re a breed apart because they’re seekers.
She emphasizes: “Unlike other religions, we don’t believe that a kind of paradise, or true meaning in life, can be accessed using only one, righteous path, to the exclusion of all others. We say live and let live, respect and love everyone.”

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Grecia home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK HERE
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Residential Del Monte (San Rafael de Heredia)
Close to Hotel Tirol and El Castillo Country Club. 1,804 m2 lot  (19,418 sq. ft.) 
It has two fronts to different roads in the neighborhood  Front 36 meters, back 33 meters. 95 percent flat All utilities available. Paved roads. Price: $135,000.  More information please call:  506 8853-0000 or email:
Video here:

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

Casa Fiesta
Caribbean Beachfront Home and Apartment  Puerto Viejo
 Right on the Beach!

Ranch style home with detached garage and apartment Air-conditioned home sleeps 4, apartment sleeps 2 ,  3 baths, hot water showers  Fenced-in property with pool, screened in patio  Turnkey....Everything is included with the sale!   Washer/dryer, furniture, appliances, tools, household items and linens, bicycles, and even a vehicle! Great income potential also  259,000 US Please visit our Web site for many more photos go to:  Email inquires to:

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $$165.000 USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Dragon montage
New amazing, modern, eco-friendly three-bedroom, three-bath executive modern home perched on your own small mountain.  270-degree ocean view with unbelievable teak-look concrete deck, to the RED 48-foot fiberglass infinity lap pool. Separate covered deck with pool table. Guest house with kitchen, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower. Exquisite entryway of 20-foot rock wall and electric gate, with video feed. Large work garage separated from house. Guardhouse. Hidden metal shutters to secure the property for weeks. Private registered well. Inside/outside kitchen. Propane fire pits. Several water features including a waterfall and a water bubble wall. Property can be purchased stand-alone with the house at $550K, or the whole mountain for further development at $950K.  Contact

Selva Rio
SELVA RIO ESTATES (SRE) is a 10-lot  development with lots starting at $65,000US. You know what they say "Location, Location, Location." Well SRE is  located only 10 kms. from Atenas (best climate in the entire world!),  only 3 kms. from Highway 27 access, only 3 kms. from grocery stores and restaurants, only 35 kms. (30 min) from SJO airport, only 50 kms. from  Pacific Ocean, only 42 kms. from Escazu, 0  kms. from gorgeous country living with nature!  Contact the developer at or call 8704-6106. We can help you build your dream home now!

Beautiful Survival Farm with panoramic Pacific views
In the heartland of one of the world's five blue zones, Nicoya. 12 acres with ample space for planting, natural forest, own perennial waters, public road yet hidden access, electricity. Fire sale 59,000 USD

another house shot
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

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 its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.

Located in Jacó 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 guacamayas (we have three birds) 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, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Award  winning unique mini golf on the main road of La Fortuna. approximately 8,000 square foot structure permits you to do business 365 days a year. Seven years left on lease at $500 a month or $1,000 a month if you use the 9,000 square feet behind it. Space to build cabin, house or additional tourist attractions. Price includes all permits and patents. Property is offered for sale through local owner. Photos available at the following Web site: Email:  or call 506 6021 4569. In English! Great Price $25,000.

Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 100
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Kerry says peace process
in Venezuela has failed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there has been a total failure by Venezuela's government in keeping its promises to the opposition, including respect for the rights of protesters.

Kerry said during a visit to Mexico City Wednesday that an impatience is growing in what he calls the neighborhood of Latin America and that the United States is part of that neighborhood.

President Nicolas Maduro's government agreed last month to free jailed anti-government protesters and set up a panel to investigate the deaths of 42 demonstrators on both sides.

The opposition pulled out of talks with the government, saying officials have done nothing and that protesters are still being arrested. 

A U.S. Senate panel has approved sanctions on Venezuelan officials responsible for violence against the marchers.

While the Maduro government has the support of many poor Venezuelans, the opposition says many others are fed up with rampant crime, food shortages, and inflation.

Mayor in Bolivia rapped
after his groping exposed

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association condemned today the suspension of official advertising placement, and the intimidation campaign against the Bolivian newspaper El Deber by the Santa Cruz de la Sierra municipal government in apparent reprisal for the broadcast of a video in which the municipality’s mayor grabbed the leg of a female television reporter during a public ceremony.

El Deber denounced the campaign of intimidation accompanied by total stoppage of placement of official advertising, which occurred after the airing of a video in which the city mayor, Percy Fernández Áñez, is placing his hand on the leg of a female reporter sitting beside him.

The UNO network reporter, Mercedes Guzmán, reacted by forcefully removing the mayor’s hand. Then, in response to one of her questions, he replied with a double meaning. Given the controversy and criticism that Fernández Áñez’s actions gave rise to, he publicly apologized in a video sent to local television stations.

The chairman of the press association's Committee of Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, condemned “the harassment of the newspaper and the reprisals taken by the local government against the publication which shows, without any doubt, an inappropriate and disrespectful attitude of a public official towards a woman.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, said the placement or suspension of official advertising should not be applied to reward or punish media or journalists, and no media outlet or journalist should be punished for disseminating the truth or making criticism or denunciations of those in power.

According to Bolivia’s National Press Association supporters of the mayor and social organizations on the side of his administration also staged demonstrations against the newspaper to protest the information it had published “which has given rise to verbal threats by officials and political persons close to the mayor against El Deber.”

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7:

Exports reported to be on upswing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's export sector is making important strides which are producing more jobs and better  businesses, according to a recent Estado de la Nación report. The national performance monitor showed that the sector is succeeding through an increasing diversification in products and international connections.

However, it warns of a clear break between the export industries and local markets that is hampering maximum productivity. The Estado's investigation said diversification, competitiveness and productivity remain the marquee concerns for exporters.

The Estado is designed to evaluate overall human development in Costa Rica through a set of social, economic, environmental, and political measures. Numerous other organizations helped collaborate in this research work, including the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

The groups relied on looking through necessary goods made in Costa Rica to better understand the country's production ability. This allowed them to analyze information like employment and sales in regards to medium- and micro-sized businesses, according to a report from the Estado.

As shown in the study, the amount of exported goods and services has grown steadily since 2000. Still, other areas like manufacturing and agriculture exportation have remained stagnant. And despite overall growth, numbers pointed to declining exports to the United States and developing countries.

A director from the Estado program, Jorge Vargas Cullell, said these findings are not only valid, but can also help the country's economic fortunes by bringing new strategies to the table.

A full presentation of the findings will be given next Tuesday morning at the Hotel San José Palacio. One of the major discussion topics will be the change in the exporting structure over the past few decades.