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(506) 2223-1327                      Published Monday, June 9, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 112                       Email us
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Here's another option to do banking in Costa Rica
By Garland Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Expats and foreigners have an alternative to banks for their financial needs in Costa Rica: Financieras.  They are good, solid options too, offering substantially higher returns on deposits and other investments than banks. Two-year certificates of deposit return as much as 5 percent in U.S. dollars. They are also more friendly, eager to answer questions and solve customer needs. Much more so than banks, most of which are bureaucratic monsters.

They are very secure choices because they are monitored closely by the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras, the governmental organization in Costa Rica that supervises the stability of the country’s financial system.

The top picks are financieras Cafsa, Desyfin, Comeca, G&T Continental and Multivalores. Desyfin and Comeca have Web sites in English. Cafsa and Desyfin offer Internet Online Banking.

“Most people, even Ticos, do not know that financerias can provide almost all the services a bank provides," Maria Jose Abrahams of Desyfin said in an interview last week. "The only major difference is we do not provide checkbooks, and who uses checks anymore?” A financiera refers to financial entity that provides factoring, bank guarantees, insurance, leasing and investment capital to individuals and businesses.

“We offer something hard to find at a bank in this day and age, close individualized financial service." Ms. Abrahams added. Even private banks do not come close to what we have to offer customers.” When asked if financieras work with foreigners and if they can address their needs, the English speaker replied, “I do not know about other organizations, but we pride ourselves in our ability to work with all nationalities.”

The Superintendencia, known as SUGEF, lists 12 private banks and nine financial entities in a long list of general financial organizations operating in the country. Ms. Abrahams is correct. Banks offer banking services that include checking accounts. Most people do not write checks anymore because online banking is fast and safe.

Nacional and private banks have been known to give foreigners, even retired expats with a long history of living in the country, a hard time. More so since March of 2012 when the Banco Central of Costa Rica told all financial entities a DIMEX number is required for all SINPE transfers.

DIMEX stands for Documento de Identidad Migratoria para Extranjeros which sounds fancy but it is nothing more than a residency identification card. SINPE stands for the Sistema Interbancario de Negociación y Pagos Electrónicos and is the main payment system for the central bank.  Articles on March 31 and April 14 covered the problems in depth.

Why is this import to expats? As banking becomes more and more restrictive all over the world, it is important to find a friendly entity to invest idle cash for the highest possible return with the least risk and a place that can assist a retired person or working foreigner with the ins and outs of the paperwork required to open a bank account or certificate of deposit. The financieras also offer a slightly better rate on currency exchange.

What about risk? SUGEF is constantly monitoring all financial companies in Costa Rica. They are still trying to scrape the egg off their faces from not regulating groups like the
Villalobos Brothers, Savings Unlimited (a/k/a  “the Cubans”) and The Vault, among others. These so-called investment shops lost tens of millions – some say hundreds of millions – of 
financieras

dollars from people all over the world.  The agency also missed the boat with the 1994 collapse of Banco Anglo, a public entity that had losses four times its net capital.

Costa Rica’s criminal courts have done a lousy job prosecuting these cases, too. Cuban-American Luis Milanes of Savings Unlimited is still in the courts. His investors lost an estimated $200 million dollars. As many as 500 people are victims still waiting for justice. SUGEF is now over-regulating and trying to make up for the not-so-bright past.

How secure is it to invest money with the top picks listed above?  Everyone needs to do their own homework when it comes to money and deciding on where to put it for the highest return.  Cafsa leads the pack with the highest net earnings and return on investment. However, this could indicate a riskier portfolio. Desyfin shines as a very strong financial group with the highest net assets and owners’ equity of the bunch.  Norfund of Norway just made a substantial partnership with the group. As noted earlier, both have online banking. Cafsa disappoints because they have no Web site for English speakers. Comeca has an English Web site but no Internet banking.

Even expats without a DIMEX card can make some payments for monthly bills and utilities with an account having an online capacity. They just cannot make intra-bank transfers via SINPE.

There is one problem with using a financiera. They do not have the branch locations offered by banks.  However, this is changing. They are trying to open locations in key areas.

Nacional banks are everywhere. Banco de Costa Rica has more ATM machines, while Banco Nacional de Costa Rica has more offices throughout the country. But, they tend to shun foreign people at times. Banco Popular is trying to compete in the service locations horse race but falls way behind the first two. Private banks like Citibank are closing branches throughout the country. Soon they will have no locations outside the Central Valley. 

Sure, it is nice to have your bank close by for easy access, but is this really important nowadays? SINPE, ATM machines, debit and credit cards can handle most transactions. As for service, if there is a problem, calling a national bank is a nightmare. Getting information from a private bank is a little better but still requires a bottle of aspirin to connect to someone who can really help.

Financieras on the other hand usually assign a representative to a customer. Not too many banks do this anymore. They are worth a look-see. High returns, personal service and Internet banking are all good news. The homework could pay off.


Garland M. Baker is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2014. Use without permission prohibited.



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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 112

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

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Real estate agents and services

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Colorado team again says fewer hurricanes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The latest prediction from the Colorado State University hurricane team called for a season less active than the average.

Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray issued their prediction last week. They expect four hurricanes and 10 named storms. Just one major hurricane of category 3 to 5 is expected, the pair said.

The 1981 to 2010 average is for 6.5 hurricanes and 12 named storms.

The forecast is slightly higher than the one that was issued in April, the pair noted.

"We anticipate a below-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to the combination of the likelihood of El Niño development along with a slighter cooler than normal tropical Atlantic, they said in the report. "Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."

"Our new early June statistical forecast methodology shows strong evidence over 29 past years that significant improvement over climatology can be attained," the report said. "We would never issue a seasonal hurricane forecast unless we had a statistical model developed over a long hindcast period which showed significant skill over climatology."

This is the 31st year in which the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project has made forecasts of the upcoming season’s Atlantic basin hurricane activity.  Other agencies also predict a less than average hurricane season.

Although hurricanes almost never make landfall on Costa Rican soil, the extended winds can cause major damage.


Another fishing boat yields cocaine cargo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In what seems like a frequent occurrence, law officers reported they found 793 kilos of cocaine on a Costa Rican fishing boat.

The seizure Saturday was made 205 nautical miles off Cabo Matapalo, and four Costa Rican crew members were taken into custody.

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the security ministry said officers received information about the boat from a U.S. frigate on patrol. The boat is the “María Bonita.”  The cocaine was in a double-walled part of the boat, officers said.

A U.S. drug interdiction patrol at sea stopped the boat May 13 but a full search could not be completed because of the large quantity of ice that was being carried, police here said.

The Guardacostas made two similar seizures since May 8 that total more than three tons.

That figure does not include discoveries on land. For example, Friday Fuerza Pública officers stopped a motorist in San Vito de Coto Brus and found that the vehicle contained 92 kilos of cocaine. That location is near the border with Panamá.


Our readers' opinions
Obama showed U.S. to be a paper tiger

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I was rather surprised that you printed the letter from Mr. Barbour that plays fast and loose with the facts about the current U.S. administration. As far as Syria, Obama is on record and video relaying a threat to Mr. Assad if he used chemical weapons. Because of Obama’s lack of competent foreign policy. he had to backtrack on this threat once again, demonstrating his administration as a paper tiger.  If a president issues a threat, he MUST be ready to back it up. Frankly, idle threats do not make the U.S. or the president look strong, but weak.

As far as the military involvements of the Middle East, Obama said we need to get out of Iraq and fight the “good war” in Afghanistan.  At the time we were well on the way of defeating the terrorist movement in that country. Against the advice of the military experts Obama  unilaterally pulled the troops out and the result has been as the military experts told him, the country falls into terrorist hands. This is well under way at this time.

After pulling out of Iraq, Obama set his sights on Afghanistan. Once again the military needed more troops to keep the Taliban on the run, Obama sent half of their request. As a result, we were unable to finish the job and, after a short time, in order to appease his political base, Obama decided to pull out of Afghanistan against military experts' advice. Presidents are never experts on everything, and that is why they have experts to guide them. Our president cannot even pronounce corpsmen properly yet he apparently feels he does not need to listen to military experts.

Mr. Barbour fails to mention the 9/11 attacks in this country that led to the wars in the Middle East. Obviously he did not have any relatives killed by the terrorists, so it apparently does not mean anything to him. We were minding our own business before the 9/11 attacks. He is correct that our policies in the area have been a disaster, especially in Iran. That is hardly the fault of the CIA actions in 1953 but the result of another weak president, Jimmy Carter. Had he backed the Shah of Iran, we would not have an Iran with terrorist leadership ready to bring a nuclear bomb to the terrorist nation. I understand the Shah was a brutal dictator. Does anyone think it is any different under the Ayatollah? 

Unfortunately, it takes between 10 to 20 years for the policies of an administration to play out. Based on history, we will pay a heavy price for the actions of Obama to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in stabilizing the Middle East. As further proof even the Afghan president is too busy to meet with Obama, a direct slap in the face after all we have done for him and his country. Of course, this is nothing new, as even our allies want nothing to do with our current incompetent  and weak president and administration. I have a brother-in-law from the Middle East who still has family, contacts, and property, so I do have some insight as to what is going on in the area.

Now Obama has endangered any U.S. citizen traveling abroad by allowing the Taliban to extort the release of their hierarchy at Gitmo to secure the release of what is now proven to be a deserter from the Army.  Now every terrorist group that wants those held in our prisons for terrorism released or need funding will only need to kidnap an American and set conditions for their release. I shudder to think how this will play out. We would have been more than happy to let the Muslims work out their own problems, but it is they who drew us into the fray. Perhaps Mr. Barbour needs to present ALL the facts not just the ones he likes.
George Smith
North Carolina, U.S.A.


Monoculture has been devastating

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Regarding the article on dragón amarillo or the blight that causes orange greening. The article cites a release from the U. of Florida that states that they may have discovered a "treatment" in the form of a three-chemical cocktail that has shown favorable results against the pest that has wreaked havoc on the staple juice orange.

It states that the problem has shown up even here in Costa Rica, and that the government has spent a million dollars already in attempting to combat it.

A million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to what the Florida citrus industry has already spent. The U. of Florida is just one of many avenues the industry is funding in desperate attempts to solve this scourge.

Needless to say, everyone wants this problem to go away. Oranges are one of natures gems that imparts good health while tasting wonderful.

What the commercial farming "industry" has been experimenting with over the last 60-70 years or so in their practices of massive mono-cropping with simultaneous massive chemical fertilization, as well as herbicide and pesticide usage, has been shown to have short term benefits at best.

While It has allowed farming to continue to expand away from small scale traditionally family run operations into mega-businesses providing huge returns to the corporations who own them, the negative results in their practices have been devastating. Devastating to independent small scale farming communities, devastating to democratic processes, devastating to the environment, and to health.

While workers and populations close by these operations have suffered the worst of the health effects of the toxic chemicals these massive mono-growing tracts use, the downstream effects have had a slower effect.

While the article optimistically states that this three-chemical treatment promised to be the answer in killing the bacteria that has been destroying orange trees, as if it was the "magic bullet." We know that these chemicals are made to kill, so they will have side effects that will be added to the toxic soup the earth is already overflowing in. The corporations profit the very few, while the average citizen foots the bill.
Hari Khalsa
Cóbano
 
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 112
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Railway exec sees passenger service for Alajuela Centro by end of year
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Alajuela is expected to have new operating train lines by the year's end. With more than $2 million worth of rails coming from China, the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles is laying down a six-mile track from Heredia's station to INVU Las Cañas, located just north of Juan Santamaría airport.

The rail institute has gone through a maze of legal issues to continue with this project, mainly with the right-of-way protections that landowners have in Costa Rica. The agency has made area homeowners and business operators aware that the strip of land does not only belong to the government but that regulations are in place to set the tracks far enough away from homes and buildings in case of any accidents.

The institute's new president, Guillermo Santana, requested that those in the area do not delay the process anymore with legal disputes and said the future train users have land rights.

The metropolitan train service is focused on giving Costa Rica necessary transportation advancements with higher speeds, two-way routes, electric power, and quality boarding stations, said Santana. He pointed out that his agency has taken all precautionary steps to maximize train speeds and not cross routes.

“There must be consideration of geographical conditions that allow for less curves and flatter terrains so speeds can increase,” Santana said. “This also applies to the two-way system because you don't want one train having to worry about waiting so that another can pass.”

He added that using the most modern technology and running trains that don't require fossil fuels promise to be cheaper and more eco-friendly options for the country.

Rails bought from the Chinese should be in Costa Rica in three months, though Santana said they don't make up the entirety of the new track. Crews are currently working in San Francisco de Heredia and San Joaquín de Flores. Six days a week they are putting in concrete rail ties and metal rails, according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

Transport ministry workers are projected to be 90 percent completed with the cleaning and prepping stage as they had to unearth old and
bridge
Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles photo
Workmen prepare footings for bridge in San Joaquín de Flores.

 buried rail lines that had been covered with asphalt for the roads there. Crews have also started building a 15-meter bridge over a ravine in San Joaquín de Flores that will replace an old one near the community's medical clinic.

Santana stressed that this new line should interweave with other public transport systems to allow people fluid and easy travel experiences. He said he hopes the train project can ultimately expand west to Orotina, where the government has announced plans to make a new international airport, to provide long-term infrastructure for Costa Rica transportation.

“We should think of the future, we can't contain ourselves to short-term projects that may only solve immediate needs to transport people,” Santana said. “There need to be 15- or 25-year plans that allow us to anticipate variables like population growth, new communities, industries, or airports.”

The right-of-way problems are similar to what the rail institute faced when putting the original valley line back in service. Once the passenger service stopped in the 1990s, neighbors simply took over the rail institute's land. A classic case was in Tibás where the rail line was buried under mountains of local trash.


911 calls alert police to early morning cases of criminal activities
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Calls to the national emergency number, 911, figured in two cases where police frustrated the plans of crooks early Sunday.

In San Felipe de Alajuelita occupants spotted a man acting suspiciously.  Fuerza Pública officers arrived and the would-be intruder engaged officers in a firefight, they said.

The prime suspect, a man identified by police with the last names of Hidalgo Hernández suffered a bullet wound to the head, according to the Fuerza Pública and the Judicial Investigating Organization.

When he was detained, judicial agents said he was the subject of an arrest warrant alleging the illegal carrying of a firearm.  He was undergoing surgery in Hospital San Juan de Dios in critical condition. The shooting was about 6 a.m. Sunday.

Police confiscated the man's motorcycle and a bag that contained five firearms.

Earlier Sunday morning masked men broke into a restaurant that was closed in Aguas Zarcas de Ciudad Quesada. There they found the owner, Carlos Salas, and four companions. The three intruders put all but the owner into a bathroom then cleaned out the cash drawer and liquor cabinet.

Then they took the owner next door to his home. His wife saw what was taking place and called the emergency number, according to the
weapons
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Here are the five firearms confiscated after a firefight.

Judicial Investigating Organization.

The bandits also took jewelry and money at the home.

Police arrived in time to chase the men in the owner's stolen car some 20 kilometers. They said the bandits abandoned the vehicle and took to the hills. Police were searching for them on the ground and from the air later Sunday.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 112
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Kids protected from bacteria face more allergies and asthma, study says
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There's some new research that might not sit well with fastidious new mothers and clean-freak new fathers.

Exposure to pet dander, roach droppings and other household bacteria in the first year of life appears to reduce the chances a person will suffer from allergies or asthma, according to a new study.
 
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found that exposure to allergens in the first year of life was important in order for exposure to be beneficial.

Previous studies had shown that children who grew up on farms are less likely to develop allergies or asthma because of their exposure to allergens.
 
"Our study shows that the timing of initial exposure may be critical," says study author Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in a statement. "What this tells us is that not only are many of our immune responses shaped in the first year of life, but also that certain bacteria and allergens play an important role in stimulating and training the immune system to behave a certain way."
 
Researchers hope the findings will lead to ways to prevent allergies and wheezing, which are both precursors to asthma.
 
Asthma is one of the most common pediatric illnesses, affecting some 7 million children in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
For the study, Wood and his colleagues tracked 467 inner-city newborns from Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis. Over three years, they visited them to measure levels and types of common allergens in their homes.
 
They also tested the children for allergies and wheezing using blood tests, skin-prick tests, physical exams and parental surveys.
 
They also took bacterial counts on samples of dust collected from some of the homes.
 
What they found was that children exposed to mouse and cat dander as well as cockroach droppings in their first year of life “had lower
doggoe


rates of wheezing at age 3, compared with children not exposed to these allergens soon after birth.”

Researchers also found that exposure to all three was better than one, two or none.
 
Wheezing was three times more common for children not exposed to allergens compared to those who were exposed to all three.

A greater variety of bacteria proved better at stemming allergies and wheezing, researchers said.
 
The amount of allergens was also critical, as researchers said children free of wheezing and allergies at age 3 had grown up surrounded by the highest levels of household allergens. Forty-one percent of those without wheezing and allergies grew up in bacteria-rich homes. Only 8 percent of those who had wheezing and allergies had been exposed to allergens in their first year of life.
 
According to Wood, the children tracked in the study are now turning 9 and are being checked again to see if exposure to allergens early in life was still reducing the prevalence of allergies and wheezing.
 
A report on the study was published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Sibu
                        montge
At Sibu Hotel you will not only enjoy the relaxing Caribbean atmosphere, but you will do it in a beautiful, comfortable and cozy setting, complete with enchanting tropical flora and fauna. Sibu is located 4km from Puerto Viejo, in Playa Chiquita, just meters from the virgin beach. Playa Chiquita is a gorgeous coastal town on the stunning Caribbean coast of Costa Rica with many fun activities for all ages, including, but not limited to horse back riding, zip line tours, snorkeling and much more! Contact us HERE!
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Howard
                        rollover
Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
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Hidden
                        Garden
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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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diligence
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8300-9/1/14

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



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8375-7/2/14

houe
                                                rental
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: alvaradoleonor@gmail.com Thanks you!!!
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apartmetn building
Apartment is on second floor


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Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
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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. organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
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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
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Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
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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.
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100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 112
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Cafetales



House committee planning
hearings on Taliban swap


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Later this week, U.S. lawmakers will hold the first hearings into the prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in return for five Taliban detainees.
 
Bergdahl is reported to be claiming he was beaten, tortured and held in a cage during his five years of Taliban captivity.
 
He is receiving medical treatment in Germany after his release May 31. The controversy about the Obama administration’s actions leading up to Bergdahl's release shows no signs of ebbing.
 
Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, voiced his dismay over the affair on ABC’s This Week program.
 
“This is a huge regional and geopolitical problem for the United States moving forward.  Hostages are now currency in the war on terror.  This is always dangerous for diplomats, aid workers, and soldiers in the battlefield.  This was the wrong message at the wrong time, and we are going to pay for this decision for years,” said Rogers.
 
Lawmakers of both parties have expressed concerns about the White House’s failure to notify Congress before the swap.  But Democrats say the Bergdahl case should not become a partisan battle.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had these words for his Republican colleagues:
 
“Opponents of President Obama have seized upon the release of a prisoner of war, that is what it was, and using what should be a moment of unity and celebration for our nation as a chance to play political games,” said Reid.
 
At congressional hearings, lawmakers are likely to probe widespread reports that Bergdahl abandoned his post in Afghanistan prior to being taken captive.
 
“You jeopardize other soldiers when you walk away from your post.  End of story,” said Rogers.
 
In Brussels last week, President Barack Obama issued no apologies for his administration’s handling of the Bergdahl case.
 
“I am never surprised by controversies whipped up in Washington.  We have a basic principle: we do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind,” said Obama.
 
The controversy has dampened initial celebrations over the release of Bergdahl, who is expected to receive further medical treatment in the United States.

Bergdahl
Voice of America photo
Bowe Bergdahl in a Taliban video

Military says Bergdahl
was beaten and caged

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. soldier involved in the swap for five suspected Taliban terrorists is telling American military officials his captors at times tortured, beat and caged him during his nearly five years of captivity.

U.S. sources told news agencies Sunday that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said he was punished after twice trying to escape from captivity in Afghanistan.
 
Bergdahl, who was released May 31 to American forces in exchange for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison, is being treated at the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

One U.S. military official said the 28-year-old is physically well enough to travel back to the United States for treatment. He is suffering from disorders affecting his skin and gums that could be expected after his five-year captivity, the official said, confirming a report in The New York Times.

The newspaper reported on Sunday that Bergdahl told medical officials in Germany the Taliban kept him in a metal cage in the dark for weeks after he tried to escape.

Another U.S. official said some of the experiences Bergdahl was relating included harsh treatment by the Taliban, but that was not surprising. “These are not nice people,” the official said.

In addition to being kept in a cage in the dark, Bergdahl claimed he was tortured and beaten after he tried to escape on at least two occasions, a senior U.S. official was reported to have said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity.

The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.

Taliban spokesmen could not be immediately reached for comment Sunday.

Friday Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said by telephone that Bergdahl was held under good conditions. The claim could not be independently verified.

Bergdahl, who was a private when he was captured, does not like being called a sergeant, the rank he was promoted to while in captivity, the military official said.

The soldier is struggling with emotional issues and has not contacted his parents although he is free to do so at any time, the official said.

Bergdahl's release, initially cheered across the breadth of the U.S. political spectrum, has since proved controversial.

The exchange deal with the Taliban, which was brokered by Qatar, has provoked an angry backlash in Congress over the Obama administration's failure to notify lawmakers in advance that Taliban prisoners were leaving the Guantanamo prison camp.

The ex-prisoners were sent to Qatar where they will remain for at least a year under certain restrictions.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers said Sunday he thought at least three of the five former prisoners would return to the battlefield after they leave Qatar.
 
“I am absolutely convinced of that,” Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said on ABC's “This Week”.
 
But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that they would do so at their own considerable risk.
 
“I'm not telling you they don't have some ability at some point to go back and get involved,” Kerry said in an interview with CNN's State of the Union program. “But they also have the ability to get killed doing that.”
 
Kerry said the United States has proven its ability to target al-Qaida fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan and said Qatari officials would closely monitor the released Taliban.
 
“They're not the only ones keeping an eye on them,” he said.

Stoking the controversy, some of Bergdahl's former comrades have charged he was captured by the Taliban in 2009 after deserting his post.

U.S. military leaders have said the circumstances of Bergdahl’s 2009 capture are unclear.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has urged critics to wait for all the facts to be known before rushing to judgment on Bergdahl.

Kerry fiercely defended the exchange on CNN.
 
“It would have been offensive and incomprehensible to consciously leave an American behind. No matter what,” said Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran.
 
The New York Times said the 5-foot-9 (1.72-meter) tall Bergdahl weighed 160 pounds (72 kilograms) and showed few signs of malnourishment or physical frailty.

U.S. officials have said in the past week that they needed to move quickly on the prisoner exchange because of concerns about Bergdahl's health as well as fears that leaks could cause the deal to collapse or prompt a Taliban member who disagreed with it to kill Bergdahl.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said he could not confirm the details of The New York Times report. The New York Times also said Bergdahl does not have access to media reports at the hospital where he is being treated.

Military doctors at the Landstuhl hospital said that while Bergdahl is physically able to travel he's not yet emotionally prepared to be reunited with his family. It's unclear when he may get to go home.

Typically, a returned captive would spend from five days to three weeks in the phase of reintegration in which Bergdahl now finds himself, according to a Pentagon psychologist who is an expert in dealing with military members who have been released from captivity said this past week.

Once Bergdahl is considered ready to move on to the next phase of his decompression, he is expected to be flown to an Army medical center in San Antonio, Texas, where it is believed he will be reunited with his family.

Officials have given no date yet for that transfer.

Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, have received emailed death threats that authorities are investigating, an Idaho police chief said Saturday.

The first threat was received on Wednesday, the same day Hailey, Idaho, canceled a planned rally celebrating Bergdahl's release, Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said.

Hailey, a tourist community of 8,000 people in the mountains of central Idaho, was buffeted by hundreds of vitriolic phone calls and emails.

The five Taliban militants freed from Guantanamo Bay have pledged to honor an agreement between the Taliban and Qatar, which is hosting them, the French news agency AFP reported on Sunday.

The men, officials in the Taliban regime driven from power by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, were released on May 31 and flown to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl.

In a statement posted on their Pashto-language Web site last week, the men said they would remain faithful to an agreement with Qatar, which mediated their release.

"We want to reassure all sides that we are still holding to the agreement which was reached between the Islamic Emirate and the government of Qatar on our release," they said, urging the release of fellow Taliban militants held in Guantanamo.

The freed prisoners are Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mohammad Nabi Omari and Mullah Norullah Noori.

Little has been revealed about the deal, but Qatar has said it will impose a one-year travel ban on the men.


U.S. plans direct talks
with Iran on nuclear plans


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. is sending two senior diplomatic officials to Geneva for rare direct talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear program.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, will meet with Iranian officials today and Tuesday.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, said Sunday on Iranian television that Monday's meeting with U.S. officials would also include a top European Union foreign policy delegate Helga Schmidt.  He said discussions would include sanctions the West has placed on Iran for its nuclear program.

International nuclear talks between Iran and the group of six world powers known as the P5+1 are set to resume June 16. The P5+1 is made up of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France, plus Germany.

The most recent talks last months ran into difficulties, making the upcoming efforts a renewed attempt to find answers and resolve differences.

The international group reached an interim deal with Iran in November that limited Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange for a partial easing of sanctions.

Officials hope to have a final agreement in place by July 20.

The U.S. and other Western powers have long accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran maintains its nuclear aims are peaceful.


California Chrome finishes
fourth to miss triple crown


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California Chrome, the horse favored to capture U.S. racing's triple crown, has failed to win the coveted title at the 146th Belmont Stakes in New York.

Tonalist, ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, sprinted across the finish line first Saturday. Commissioner was second and Medal Count third. California Chrome tied for fourth place with Wicked Strong.

After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes last month, California Chrome was bidding to become just the 12th horse to achieve the feat, regarded as the ultimate challenge in American racing. The last winner of the title was Affirmed in 1978.

The 2,400-meter Belmont Stakes is the longest and most grueling of the three races and has proven too much for most triple crown contenders.


Hillary Clinton says book
reflects her story alone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hillary Clinton releases a memoir of her time as President Barack Obama's first-term secretary of state Tuesday. It's an opportunity to put her stamp on her record as America's top diplomat ahead of a possible run for the presidency in 2016.

Mrs. Clinton said she had a team of researchers to help with the diplomatic biography "Hard Choices," but the final story is hers alone.

"I had to take responsibility for every word. I had to be the one who decided how I wanted to describe a situation, how I thought it fit in to my overall view about where America is in the 21st century," she said.

As secretary, she carried abroad Obama's message of change from the diplomacy of former President George W. Bush.

U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann said, "I think she certainly succeeded in communicating to both publics and governments around the world that the Obama administration, when it comes to matters of foreign policy, is the anti-Bush, that there is a commitment to consultation, that there is a commitment to working through international institutions."

That made her Washington's most-traveled secretary of State, but limited individual diplomatic gains, according to American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"The general rap on Clinton is that she really accomplished very little in her time as secretary of State, despite all of the frenetic, non-stop flying around the world. The one area that they could claim at least a policy break with the Bush administration was in Asia," said Auslin.

Mrs. Clinton helped direct the Obama administration's so-called Asia Pivot of diplomatic, commercial, and military resources.

But Auslin said that pivot has withered under greater Chinese claims to disputed waters.

"Very little is being done to materially affect what is happening in the region, i.e., the territorial disputes and coercion and the like. So I think that she can make a claim that, 'We had the better idea.' I don't think she can make the claim that, 'We had the better outcome,'" said Auslin.

Mrs. Clinton said her biggest regret is the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. In her book, she said some exploit that attack as a political tool.

Mrs. Clinton's Senate testimony on Benghazi was the most contentious of her tenure.

Sen. John McCain, a Republican, said, "There are many questions that are unanswered. And the answers, frankly, that you have given this morning are not satisfactory to me."

As she does now, Mrs. Clinton then focused on bringing to justice those responsible.

"The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again," said Mrs. Clinton.

Popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East were diplomatic opportunities missed, said Heydemann.

"Nothing that Hillary Clinton did while she was in office really changed the perceptions of the U.S. within the Arab world, at least, where our popularity continues to be pretty low," he said.

On the war in Syria, Heydemann said that Mrs. Clinton pushed for a harder line than the president. "Everything that we know about Secretary Clinton's tenure in office suggests that she was an advocate for more direct engagement by the U.S. in Syria, and that she supported efforts for example to provide weapons to vetted elements of the armed opposition."

Heydemann said the president may have been better served by taking Mrs. Clinton's advice on Syria, a diplomatic difference she may use to distinguish herself from the president if she runs for the White House herself in 2016.


Threat to penguins brings
call to double their reserve


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

About 75 percent of all penguins are threatened, and a campaign to double the area of protected reserves is being considered by an international commission.

Penguins are aquatic birds. They do not fly. Instead, they soar through the ocean. Penguins are especially adapted to life in the water, and are affected by everything in it.

They suffer from pollution and overfishing, which limits their food source. They are in danger from shipping traffic and oil spills.
 
Vanessa Strauss, who heads a high-tech tracking and monitoring program at the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds in Cape Town, says accidents there have accelerated the birds' sharp decline.

“We know that some animals oiled at sea never make it to land," Strauss said. "So, it’s really difficult to quantify the impact of chronic oil pollution over the long term. We can not only look at the number of birds affected by oil to quantify the impact, but we do know from research that many birds do die out at sea.”   

Climate change puts all penguin populations at risk, says Andrea Kavanagh, director of Global Penguin Conservation for the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

“Global warming is a problem because it shifts where their normal food supplies are, either farther away from them so they have to swim farther and farther away to get the food," Kavanagh said. "And when penguins are nesting and trying to protect their chicks that’s especially a big problem for them, because the longer they have to leave their chicks the more open to starvation and predation their chicks are."   

Two-thirds of the global penguin population is endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Eight species of 18 worldwide live in Antarctica. The continent is one of the world’s last wild frontiers and home to 10,000 species including seabirds, seals and whales, as well as penguins.

Kavanagh says Pew and partner groups are backing a plan to create two large marine reserves, which would set aside nearly three million square kilometers in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica, more than one-third of which would be a strict no-fishing area.

“Marine reserves help penguins because, number one, it would move fisheries away from where the penguins have to forage for food," Kavanagh said. "And so it would give them a little bit more security when it comes to their food source in the face of a changing climate. The other thing that it would do is that it would take a big fishery that is happening, the krill fishery, and move that farther away from their foraging grounds.”

The tiny shrimp-like krill is a staple of the penguin diet. But they are being harvested for fish feed and vitamin supplements.  A commission created under the Antarctic Treaty, which governs the continent, is currently negotiating the fate of the reserves.

The 24 member states and European Union countries must come to a consensus. Kavanagh says every nation is on board except Russia, which has been reluctant to give up fishing in the proposed area.

“The last couple of years we have been working with our Russian colleagues and with all of the other member governments to try to understand their problems and see if we can work through them so that this year, this October, we can have these marine reserves firmly established,” Kavanagh said.

The meeting will be held in Tasmania, where the commission is based.  The reserves would double the area of ocean worldwide that is fully protected.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
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. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8294-6/12/14

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8366-12/2/14

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8321-10/17/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
 
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $1,100,000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
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: info@greciarealestate.com
8352-8/13/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Castillo
Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info
mail@davidcollier.net   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)
8382-7/5/14

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 tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

organic
Stunning organic ocean view home site in San Ramón
2.93 acres, only $60,000

Gorgeous homesite on organic land available for quick sale! Only 10 minutes to downtown San Ramón and within a terrific private community. Close to town but away from it all! Features amazing views of the ocean, great sunsets every night and privacy. Multiple building spots. Comparable lots in the area are selling for $75,000 to over $100,000! At 11,864 square meters, or $5 per square meter, this is a great investment too! This lot is priced to move! Looking for a quick sale, so no tire kickers please! See Web site for additional information and photos. or email bizcr@hotmail.com
Tel: CR (506) 8350-7647
8369-6/26/14

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

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/ $449,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email rafa@rafacr.com.
9368-6/4/14



Residential Del Monte (San Rafael de Heredia)
Close to Hotel Tirol and El Castillo Country Club. 1,804 m2 lot  (19,418 sq. ft.) 
replacement
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:  jpmata2000@yahoo.com
Video here: http://vimeo.com/93149638
8340-6/15/14

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  rakell.leon6@gmail.com, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.
8361-8/15/14

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: http://www.casafiestacostarica.com  Email inquires to:   suez2cats@hotmail.com
8358-8/8/14

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: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8354-8/13/14

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 drako13@me.com
8344-5/23/14

Selva Rio
SELVA RIO ESTATES (SRE) www.selvarioestates.com 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 selvarioestates@hotmail.com or call 8704-6106. We can help you build your dream home now!
8341-6/22/14

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
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 www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

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!
8309-6/29/14

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   
 www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8305-6/26/14

Esterillos

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: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

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  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

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: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8230-3/13/14

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.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14


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. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  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: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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, Monday, June 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 112
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Cross
              poster
FBI poster on fugitive Cross

Fugitive Tica murder suspect held in Perú

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After six years on the FBI's most wanted list, a Costa Rican woman suspected of murdering her husband was captured by authorities. The woman, Nazira Maria Cross, was wanted for murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution after the 2008 death of her American husband Mike Cross.

According to the FBI, Ms. Cross was the prime suspect in the killing, and the Superior Court of California wanted her to face one count of murder in 2009. The FBI claims she poisoned Cross at his home in Plumas County, California near the Nevada border. She drove him to Nevada and buried his body at his ranch in Lovelock, authorities say. She is also alleged to have then run over the grave site repeatedly with her car, said the FBI.

She was reportedly arrested by local police in Perú after FBI officials received a tip on her location. Ms. Cross is 48 years old according to the birth date the FBI has on file. U.S. law enforcement officials said two years ago the woman was either in Perú or Costa Rica.

She met her late husband, Mike Cross, when he came to Costa Rica for a vacation. Cross owned car dealerships in California and the couple was married for eight years before they divorced in 2008, the same year of his murder.



Pope leads prayers with Abbas and Peres

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas joined Pope Francis Sunday at the Vatican in an unprecedented prayer convocation for peace in the Middle East.
 
The three leaders, joined by the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, heard Christian, Jewish and Islamic prayers from cardinals, rabbis and Muslim imams.  The two-hour meeting in the Vatican gardens included prayers from the Old and New Testaments and the Quran that were read and chanted in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Italian.
 
The Argentine pontiff later told Abbas and Peres that peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.  He defined courage as "the willingness to say 'yes' to encounter and 'no' to conflict."
 
The pope issued the surprise invitation to the two leaders last month, just weeks after the collapse of the latest round of Mideast peace talks.
 
In the run-up to the historic gathering, the Vatican sought to dampen expectations that the convocation would lead to any immediate breakthroughs in the stalemated peace process.
 
Vatican leaders also insisted the pope was not injecting himself into the peace process. They said the church did not want to become involved in details leading to any future Israeli-Palestinian talks.


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From Page 7:


Technology chamber plans a job search site

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The technology chamber plans to debut a Web site Tuesday that is designed to help those in the industry find jobs.

The Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación said it took this step because of the number of persons being laid off by Intel Costa Rica and Bank of America. Both firms have announced major cuts, and Intel is moving its manufacturing arm to Vietnam. The first dismissal notices are expected to be handed out this week.

The chamber said that it would provide a list of companies that seek technology applicants.

The Web site is being done in conjunction with Olé Software and the advertising agency Actif, said the chamber. The concept has the support of a number of government agencies and private organizations, the chamber said.