A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Universal de Idiomas

(506) 223-1327                Published Monday, June 11, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 114                   E-mail us   
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Restrictions that can run with the deed
This secret tip will help keep new neighbors in line

By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

People move to Costa Rica for a variety of reasons.  Some come to join communities, others to build them.

Some expats are leaving the United States or planning to leave because laws, politics and Big Brother have them crazy.  Others leave because they are wanted by the law or unwanted by society.

Whatever the reasons, Costa Rica is filling up with foreigners.  Some of these outlanders are making small communities or sustainable developments — little utopias.

However, these groups have a problem.  How do they restrict their utopia to similar type people?   Most lawyers and other professionals state the only way to do it is through the condominium law. 

Anyone who has ever owned a condo or belonged to a homeowners' association is familiar with covenants, conditions and restrictions.

These restrictions are in the governing paperwork that dictates how a homeowners’ association operates and what rules the owners — and their tenants and guests — must obey. These legal documents become the bylaws, the master deed, and the houses rules of a group.   They are legally enforceable by the group through the homeowners’ association.

Is there a way to put restrictions over a property without using Costa Rica’s condominium laws?

Yes there is — a very creative way. Here's a secret tip.

Article 292 of Costa Rica’s civil code can limit or restrict property with any covenant, condition or restriction that is not contrary to law as long as it was put on the property without cost.  The property will carry the limitations and restrictions for 10 years.

This means that a group that moves to Costa Rica that wants to subdivide a piece of land into lots and build an environmentally friendly, sustainable community with a certain architectural style, and no purple dogs or cats, among other restrictions, can do it freely by using Article 292.

Wait a minute.  What does without cost mean?  Does it mean restricted property is free?

No, restricted property is not free.  Restricted property just needs to carry the restrictions when it is sold.  Any restrictions need to be registered on the property deed at the Registro Nacional via a special process that incudes a previous no-cost transfer between owners

This process is worth the effort for community builders and easy to accomplish — much easier than going though the condominium law in many circumstances.

Article 292 does not get around the normal requirements of subdividing a property or lot sizes.  It is not a fast track around municipal or other governmental requirements or regulations.  It is not for condominium towers — vertical condominiums. It is for segregated lots that are next to each other in a development.

This article of the civil code is a great community builder for those who share similar beliefs and a way of life, as long as the restrictions do not intrude on human rights specified in the Costa Rican Constitution.

Garland M. Baker is a 35-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.  Copyright 2004-2007, use without permission prohibited.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats


CR home ad

Jim de la silva
Casa Grande De Sarchi Norte
Beautiful, freshly constructed, 2 story, 5,000 square foot home just moments from downtown Sarchi is offered at $415,000. It has five bedrooms and 3 ½ baths. On the 2nd floor a deck wraps around about 50 percent of the house. The views are incredible. The kitchen, a living area and the master bath are located on the 2nd floor with the best views. The electrical system is to the National Electrical Code in the United States. The yard is professionally landscaped with beautiful flora and fruit bearing trees and has a 9-foot wall around the property with fencing and gated entries. A hi-tech security system is in place. See more at www.VistasDeSarchi.com. U.S.A. contact is 800-792-7700 or 803-261-6000.

Outstanding retirement deal: Hotel-restaurant with eight air conditioned cabinas, fully equipped restaurant on 2,500 meters of land in a Pacific playground. Owners residence. Walk to Playa Negra beach! Call Pablo Cowan at 288-6362 or cel 389-5268 E-mail pcowanscr@yahoo.com.

Playa Hermosa

Christopher Howard's new book

find your match

Costa Rica
Second newspage

Jaco realty ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 11, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 114

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

Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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.

Residency experts

Torres logo
(506) 257-8068 / 233-0293
Paseo Colon Av, 30th Street
1 block west from Pizza Hut, San Jose C.R.
E-mail: info@immigrationexperts.co.cr

Lilliana Torres, attorney at law

We handle immigration services and residency procedures as required by the government for foreigners who wish to live in Costa Rica. For 16 years we've provided competitive, dependable, professional services with integrity, loyalty and honesty. Thousands of satisfied foreign clients have obtained their Costa Rican residency through us.


Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado, rentista and inversionista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
Tel: 323-255-6116

Physicians and surgeons

Dr. William Pérez Martínez
gastroenterologist and digestive tract expert
Centro de Diagnóstico Gastrointestinal
The most up-to-date diagnostic equipment
Conveniently located in Torre Omega, Clinica Biblica
(506) 248-0930  (506) 522-1000 Exts. 2413 and 2414

Dental Clinics

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250
Dr. Muñoz Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored over 6,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the world. For more information, visit us today HERE!


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

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $82,400 in 2006)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 305-3149 or 256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr

U.S. Tax and Accounting

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

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

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

(506)  220-3729 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 (phone/fax)

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments


First Costa Rican Title & Trust
Protecting your interests since 1994

  Purchase contracts
  Escrow services
  Title transfers
  Title guarantees
  Trust services
  Developer services
Call us for your real property legal and investment needs at 225-0501 or send us an e-mail at amcr@firstcr.com

Title Guarantees issued by First American Title Insurance Co., one of the oldest and largest title companies in the world. The First American difference in protection is that the policies cover unrecorded matters and unknown risks.


7Legal services

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 643-3058                Cell 365-3088
 E-mail: lawyer@CRTitle.com
 Web site:  CRTitle.com
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF)
Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (Oficentro Costa Brava, above Day Star).

Magic leaving
Murals have to stay, Fraga reports

Chicken wing eatery clipped
and will move to La Garita

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The man with 106 ways to serve chicken wings won't be able to do so in Santa Ana anymore.

The man, Benjamin "Magic" Fraga, operated Magic's Motown Cafe on Santa Ana's east side since February. It turns out that the man he thought was the landlord does not own the place, he said over the weekend.

So the chicken wing operation is going to La Garita where Fraga said he had a line on a new location on the road to Jacó.

"All our employees were crying for what happened. All our beautiful murals cannot be removed from the walls. But we have pictures of the memories though short as they were," said Fraga in an e-mail.

In just 10 weeks Fraga said he built the chicken wing business to an operation selling 220 kilos a week, nearly 500 pounds.

Fraga said that he moved into the former Toro Negro without getting a signed lease, and the real owners have now come forward and said they would not permit a sublease.

The 49-year-old San Francisco native reports that wings are good business, especially since he has ways to serve them, ranging from plain to peanut butter and honey. Fraga also makes the traditional deep-fried Buffalo wings, but with breading and flavoring that diverge from the traditional, he said in a story April 17.

arrested fugitive

U.S. citizen detained here
to face Florida sex count

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man wanted in Polk County, Florida, to face a charge of having sex with a minor has been arrested in Jacó.

He is Felipe Gavino Barrera, 35, a U.S. citizen, said the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad, the local representative of the International Police Agency, INTERPOL.

Investigators said that he was living illegally in the country but had opened an Internet cafe. Investigators tried to detain him outside the Internet cafe, but the man ran about 400 meters, about 1,300 feet, before being captured Thursday, they said.

Gavino faces a charge that he was sexually involved with a girl around 12 years old from 2002 to 2004.

Because the man was not a legal resident, the Dirección General de Migración and Extranjería will take steps to deport him to the United states, said investigators.

cabecar stamps
Stamps are part of Education for all series

New stamp set honors
Cabécar and art professor

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The postal service, Correos de Costa Rica S.A., has come out with a doubleheader set of commemorative stamps.

The stamps honor artist Francisco Amighetti, a well-known professor of art history in the Universidad de Costa Rica. He died in 1998.

At the same time by using some of Amighetti's sketches the postal service honors the language of the Cabécar, one of the Indian groups in the country.  Amighetti provided the sketches for <Yo voy a decir,> a primer for teaching the Cabécar language in Costa Rica.

The stamps are 155 and 115 colons or about 30 U.S. cents and 22 cents. There are 85,000 of the stamps being issued including 1,000 as a first day cover.

Witnesses will distribute
personal invitations in city

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jehovah's Witnesses will be distributing personal invitations to the religious group's three-day English language division's annual convention in Belén beginning June 22.

A release from the group said that "After the next few weeks, you will be able to say truthfully that you know that Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe in Jesus Christ. That is because the Witnesses are launching a vigorous campaign to invite all to see how vital Jesus Christ is to the life of each Witness and, according to the Witnesses, to each resident of San José and the Central Valley."

The Witnesses’ special event will be highlighted by the distribution of an attractively illustrated invitation, the release said, adding that the goal is to extend a personal invitation to as many people as possible.

The effort is very similar to what the Witnesses did last year when they invited people to attend their “Deliverance at Hand!” District Convention, said the release.

The Witnesses release said the group hopes for an even greater attendance this year since the program will be devoted to examining what the Bible really teaches about Jesus and what scriptural basis there is for determining who are true Christians today.

Home invaded in Guachipelín

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three masked men in a car showed up at the Edgar Montoya home in Guachipelín de Escazú about 10 p.m. Thursday and entered the home. Montoya said he was there but the men did him no harm. They did take a portable computer, he told the Fuerza Pública.

revised out of bounds

You need to see Costa Rican properties for sale
on our real estate page HERE!

Costa Rica
third newspage

tex mex $35 a night
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 11, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 114

Want to see A.M. Costa Rica
the way it was meant to be?

Set your browser to use
Times New Roman
with text at 14 point
and a resolution of
72 dots per inch
Puerto Limon Agency

Sports fishing survivor says that small cooler saved his life
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A New Jersey man who was the only survivor of a sport fishing accident Thursday credits a small cooler for giving him the buoyancy to reach shore.

The man is Kevin Holmes, 25, who reported Sunday that neither he, his cousin nor the boat captain and the captain's 21-year-old son were wearing life jackets. "Even though it was insanely dumb not to, it just didn't occur to us. We were on vacation and thought nothing can happen," he said in an e-mail from his home.

Holmes lives in Sewell, New Jersey, and is a sales rep for a drill and well company. He, his cousin and the fathers of both men traveled as members of a private fishing club, the Cutty Sharks, said a family spokesperson via another e-mail. The group has been to Costa Rica in the past.

According to the family account, the men's boat was hit by a giant wave as they fished at the mouth of the Río Colorado. The wave filled the 25-foot open boat instantly, and both Holmes and his cousin, Brian Wolf, 35, of Mount Laurel, New jersey, struggled to get the captain's son on top of the overturned boat. The captain's son suffered from Down's syndrome, according to multiple accounts.

Another wave hit and scattered the four men. The family account continues:

"Kevin could only see Brian at that time. They shouted to each other to go for the shore. They began swimming. Kevin then saw their small, six-pack-size cooler ahead and swam for that. When he looked back, he saw that Brian was heading back to the boat for some reason.

"Kevin then lost sight of Brian as the waves were huge. He
kept swimming and said it took him one to two hours to get in where he waved for help. He said the small cooler saved his life, helping him float up after the waves pushed him down."

Holmes said "When I got to shore, I spotted a man and his son fishing the inlet in a little canoe. I signaled them over and they took me to the coast guards. Then the coast guards got on the phone to send out the word."

In addition to Wolf, rescuers have recovered the bodies of the captain, Pedro Antonio Cajina, an employee of the Casa Mar Lodge, and the son, Norman Cajina. The location is in extreme northeast Costa Rica near the Barra del Colorado rain forest preserve.

The boat was at anchor near the south side of the mouth of the Río Colorado late Thursday afternoon. That turbulent area is where the flow from the river meets the Caribbean tide. The river is world famous for tarpon fishing.

"The family is in shock and such mourning," said the family e-mail from New Jersey. "Brian was such a fine, gentle, soul. People say those things, but this is so true of him. A finer man you'd never meet. His smile could light up the world. The family also mourns for the captain's poor wife, who lost her son and husband."

Wolf worked for his uncle's mortgage company in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.  He lived in Mt. Laurel with his girlfriend of four years, Marci Ladage, said the family. He leaves behind his mother, Carol, and father, Edward, a younger brother, Michael, and a sister, Amanda. He grew up in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Most of the family had returned to New Jersey by early Sunday. Funeral services there are expected to be held Friday or Saturday.

When whole world is wrong, you better review your opinion
Cuando todo el mundo se equivoca, todo el mundo tiene razón.

“When the whole world is wrong, the whole world is right.” This dicho refers to those situations where one’s view appears to be challenged by the entire world. The wisdom conveyed here is that if everyone believes you to be wrong — then they are probably right, and perhaps it’s time to reconsider your position. However, things may also not always be exactly as they seem.
Recently one of the faithful readers of this column communicated to me that I was mistaken when I referred to usted as the second person singular personal pronoun of formal address. This person pointed out, quite correctly, that usted takes the same verb endings as el and ella, which are, or course, third-person pronouns.
This set me to thinking and, wishing to get to the bottom of this little debate, I consulted a friend who is a professor of linguistics at Indiana University on the matter. He confirmed that despite the fact that usted takes a third-person ending, it is nonetheless a second-person pronoun and functions grammatically as such in modern Spanish.
This controversy is not new. And, according to my professor friend, probably originated about the Fourth century AD around the time the Roman Empire was split into two parts with two co-emperors. The anomaly arises with any Romance language that maintains more than one form for the pronoun “you.” In Spanish, for example, there are two, usted (formal) and tu (familiar). To add to the confusion, in Costa Rica and Argentina a third and more archaic form, vos, is also still in current use. To differentiate among these, each one must take a different verb ending. In the case of usted the ending happens to be the same as that of el and ella, thus the confusion.
But today dicho probably has more to do with our elected officials in government, for example, than with grammarians. We know that nobody is perfect, but we have a right to expect that public servants will have enough sense to know when they’re wrong and to bow to the will of the vast majority of their constituents.
A friend who lives in Malaysia brought us a wonderful carpet once as a gift. I commented on how beautiful it was, whereupon he pointed out to me some imperfections in the weave and design. I was curious and asked him why such defects, minor though they may have been, had 

way we say it

By Daniel Soto

not been corrected.  He explained that, since Malaysia is a Muslim country, only Allah represents perfection. Therefore, everything else must have flaws.
Let’s talk, for a moment, about traffic in Costa Rica, one of my favorite topics. During the administration of Don Abel Pacheco, a program was initiated to limit traffic congestion in the city of San José and to help conserve petroleum by prohibiting motorists from entering downtown one day per week based upon the last digit of the license plate on their vehicles. Though it was an inconvenience, most Ticos agreed that something had to be done to conserve energy, diminish air pollution, and to improve the horrendous traffic mess in downtown San José. So, though the program has its flaws at least it was a start.

There remains much to be done here, and I sincerely hope the current administration of Mr. Óscar Arias is exerting at least half as much effort on solving this ever-growing problem as he is on his campaign to gain national approval of the trade agreement with the United States.
Another reader of my column recently wrote a letter to the editor of this newspaper suggesting that school children should be educated to be concerned about cleaning up Costa Rica’s natural environment. Of course, this is a wonderful idea and an area that Mr. Leonardo Garnier, the education mininster, should probably be thinking about implementing. Since our young people are the future of our country, we should be at some pains to educate them to clean up the terrible mistakes of the past by stopping pollution of our air, rivers, beaches and beautiful landscapes. The whole world seems to agree on that particular score.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 11, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 114

U.S., México and Canada seek agreements for open skies
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Sometime over the next decade Air Canada could be competing with U.S. carriers on the New York-Paris route and Aeromexico might be launching flights between Los Angeles and Toronto.

This vision for an open North American aviation market inched a bit closer in April when the United States, Canada and Mexico announced a plan to work toward establishing a three-nation open skies agreement, according to U.S. officials.

“We have an opportunity to set a new global standard for free and open transborder air travel, and bring greater
 convenience and lower prices to shippers and travelers who want to reach places like Tucson, Toronto or Torreon,” said Mary Peters, U.S. Transportation secretary. She spoke after meeting her counterparts from Canada and Mexico.

A U.S. Department of Transportation official said the process leading to a three-nation deal will be challenging but the potential rewards are substantial.  The declaration signed at the meeting calls for expanding aviation relationships over the next 10 years.

Officials of the three countries hope that an open regional aviation market will help them accommodate the expansion of trade and tourism accelerated by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Supporters of closed TV station walk out of debate at Venezuela's congress
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan students have walked out of a debate in the country's National Assembly in protest of President Hugo Chavez's closure of a private television station often critical of the president.

Thursday, congress organized a debate between anti-government students and student supporters of Chávez.
After the event got under way, a student leader of the protests, Yon Goicochea, complained that the debate was
politicized. The protesting students abruptly left the Assembly. Security forces escorted them from the building while onlookers, including the National Assembly's president Cilia Flores, shouted insults. They said the protesters were pawns of external forces.

Chavez's replacement of Radio Caracas Television with a state-funded channel, Venezuelan Social Television, has prompted criticism from other countries, including the United States and Spain. Students have led protest marches in the streets of the capital, Caracas, for 11 days.

Bolivia's Morales pays a call on recuperating Fidel Castro at hospital in Havana
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bolivian President Evo Morales has met with ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro and said the leader appears to have recovered well from last year's intestinal surgery.

Morales paid a quick visit to the Cuban capital, Havana, Thursday. He said he met with Castro for more than two hours to discuss health, education, and energy issues. The Bolivian president said he expects to continue his conversations with the Cuban leader, whom he admires.
Morales also met with acting Cuban President Raul Castro and played racquetball with Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage before returning to Bolivia late Thursday. The state-run Cuban newspaper Granma says Morales' visit demonstrated new ties of friendship and solidarity that unite Cuba and Bolivia's people and government.

Tuesday, Cuban television broadcast Fidel Castro's first interview since his surgery last year.  In the pre-recorded interview, Castro spoke slowly and did not say whether he plans to resume his day-to-day duties as president.

News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rica
fifth news page

Good grief!

Are you still spending 70 percent 
of your advertising budget on paper?

You need to fill this space ASAP!

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 11, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 114

Our readers give opinions on discounts and business here
There are plenty of deals
for locals in California

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

On June 8, Robert W. DePretis wrote “How would the Ticos like to pay 20 percent more when they come to the U.S.A.? Or for that matter, any non-U.S. Citizen has to pay 20 percent more at Disneyland, or any other tourist attraction?”

Mr. DePretis, for your information, Ticos and non-U.S. Citizens pay far more than 20 percent at Disneyland.  The Southern California Annual Passports are offered at a discount of as much as 48 percent off of the normal rates.  There are many different discounts that apply at hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks across the U.S. To entice the locals to visit.  This is nothing new, and I’m sure the foreigners complain about it when they visit the U.S., but from an economic standpoint its a smart thing to do.

Why not provide a discount to the people who live close to your hotel to give them a reason to come and stay and keep your occupancy rate up?  Furthermore, just as the local resident discounts in the U.S., the Tico discounts help the tourist businesses foster a bond with the locals by showing they want to be a friend and a part of the community.
Jason Darrow

It’s the right thing to do

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
I want to add my opinion to the letters about discounts for locals using hotels, etc. in Costa Rica. As the former owner-operator of a small guest house, Villa Luna, I regularly rented to Ticos for less than tourist, particularly when I had vacancy and the request came for immediate occupancy. I also ran special ads for la Liga fans the night of games as Villa Luna was very close to the stadium (I am by the way a Saprissita!) It was fun to have locals and better than being empty.

I now am back in Florida and St Augustine where I live gives discounts on most B & B rooms as well as hotel rooms and other attractions also have greatly discounted rates with proof of residency. It is a way to say thank you to locals for putting up with and being nice to the visitors!!

I believe its the right thing to do !
Patrick Mach
St Augustine, Florida

Chinese deal better than treaty

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Kudos to the Arias government for the courage and foresight to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This historic decision should have been made decades ago but the old saying “better late than never” applies. The trade and tourist benefits that will be reaped from this move are incalcuable and dwarfs anything the TLC can ever offer.
Bill Sullivan
San Rafael de Heredia

What about repressions
in invaded land of Tibet?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Perhaps they are just un-blissfully ignorant, the Costa Ricans.  Their “literacy” serves only to have their souls sold without them knowing it.
Take, for instance, Tibet.  Do the Costa Ricans know of the Tibetan struggle for autonomy?  Of their country being taken from them by China?  Their people being literally beaten down — killed to use a more accurate word — with forced integration, and their true spiritual leader, the world-respected world leader for the PEACE which Costa Ricans are supposed to be so dedicated to, the Dalai Lama, exiled?  If they do, they obviously do not care.
Perhaps it is too idealistic to think they should.  They do not have to read La Nación to realize the price of rice and beans is ever-increasing here, and that to a hungry third-world country, survival matters most.
Today they have lost what their not-too-distant ancestors held to heart — values like trust and loyalty that set them apart from the rest of the world.  It most probably is that they inherited a legacy they know nothing philosophically about.  They rotely chant “peace” not understanding the all-encompassing definition of the word.  The razzmatazz of new cars and cell phones has superseded the wisdom that came with a simple way of life, tied inextricably to the land they now greedily sell for a few colones that will last them just so long, the nouveau riche now broke.
They want “discounts” to enjoy what tourists have, not realizing that they chose to sell their land (no one put a gun to their heads) and their peaceful way of life along with their souls — just like the tourists who come.
Maybe we should just call it “the way of the world,” say “To hell with Tibet,” and let it go at that.
Michael Crow
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Discussion should center
on what prices are so high

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It seems to me that some are missing the larger picture about hotel rates. The question to me is not if citizens of Costa Rica should get a discount (for many already do at the hotels I know) but rather why the price is so high in the first place for foreigners.

Perhaps men going to the Del Rey do not really mind the hotel rates because they, of course, are going fishing at the Blue Marlin. But for people to take families to Costa Rica for tourism, the prices have became way out of line.

Many people venture to Thailand for hotels that cost half the price and are much nicer than what one can find here in Costa Rica. If crime persists and prices continue to rise tourism will suffer greatly.

I realize flights from Florida and a few other places are relatively inexpensive but not from all locations in the United States and other countries. Some of this has occurred due to Tico greed, but quite a few hotels are owned by U.S. Citizens and others. I might add that most places did at one time give discounts to residents of Costa Rica, too, even if they were not citizens.
David Gibson
Sacramento, Calfornia
Curridabat, Costa Rica

He hopes his Tico friends
can visit Arenal Volcano

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I am an American who vacations every year in your beautiful country.   I just read the original article and the two replies from your readers about the 20 percent discount for Ticos.  I am in 100 percent agreement that this is a great idea.

Since I have many wonderful friends in Costa Rica, I understand how far their weekly wages can go. (I wonder if the two negative responses that were published ever really spent any time with the great Ticos and understood their financial struggles and concerns.)

Even as a “tourist,” I don’t feel that I am being treated unfairly with this idea.    OK.   I have friends in Florida, and they get “residental discounts” for Disney because they live there.  And I don’t get a discount since I live in New Jersey. So??   What’s the big deal?? They have to put up with the millions of tourists each year, along with miles of clogged roads.   I only have to visit there. And I don’t mind paying the “regular” price.

I have friends in the south of Costa Rica who have never been to Volcano Arenal.  Why?? Because they can not afford to travel there.   I hope that every Tico has a chance to see all of their wonderful country.   And with this bill, it might just help them travel more and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica.

In closing, I hope that this bill is passed.

Chris Piehler
New Jersey, USA

She needs to save money
to get a hotel discount

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

RE: two articles in A.M. Costa Rica: Newsman robbed, etc. and 20 percent less for Ticos.
$US19,250 stolen in jewelry from the home? I’m a resident, have been one for 14 years, have about $US250 in total of jewelry, have never stayed at the Marriott Los Sueños, or in fact, any hotel in Costa Rica over $US60.00.

Who needs the 20 percent discount? Lets take a poll on any given weekend y see who is staying at these big hotels. I think this would be very interesting. Oh well, I’ll just keeping staying in the cheap cabinas, saving all my money, then maybe one day I will also be driving a new SUV on my way to my 20 percnet discounted hotel.
Cathy Knorr
Santa Ana

Investor coins phrase:
'Costa Rica, dura vida'

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Your recent article about the so-called “business vocabulary” is really a sanitized and superficial description of the institutionalized fraud and extortion that is rampant in Costa Rica, and which is crippling the government’s attempts to attract foreign investors. You should be calling a spade “a spade.”

I came to Costa Rica five years ago with the intention of investing consciously and retiring here. I bought land and embarked on a low-density, environmentally friendly SUSTAINABLE project that would have brought over $2,000,000 to the economy of Quepos and Manuel Antonio while using just 25 percent of my property. That project is pretty much in the dumpster now along with any thoughts of retiring here, due entirely to the “Costa Rican C.I.A.” That’s “C” for corruption, “I” for incompetence and “A” for apathy.

I don’t expect anyone in the government to lift a finger to help me out. In fact the nefarious gaggle of alphabet agencies (IMVU, MINAE, AyA, ICE, etc.) seem to have bent over backwards to make my life a bureaucratic hell on earth.

Our prize winning, globe trotting president has no time for small investors and prefers to be photographed at ground breaking ceremonies for huge, energy-sucking, water-guzzling developments that are a non-sustainable blight on the land.

Without small investors who make up the backbone of any economy, Costa Rica will to continue founder economically and to fail in its attempts to improve its infrastructure, health care, education and the unmitigated disaster that it calls a system of justice which allows mountains of frivolous lawsuits against investors and employers to languish in legal limbo for years on end. (Even the despicable sell-out to the Communist Chinese and the betrayal of Taiwan will only produce a drop in the bucket of what’s needed to fix the national wagon.) Don Óscar should know this, seeing as how he took a few economics classes way back when he was in college.

So before anyone accepts/adopts this apathetic “nod-nod, wink-wink, oh that’s just the way it is” attitude towards the “C.I.A.,” think about what it really represents. (Any half way decent psychiatrist would say the country is full of SOCIOPATHS!)

If it doesn’t change, neither will Costa Rica. And yes, I know, if I don’t like it I should JUST GO HOME. Well, I would if I could afford to. For now I’m stuck here in paradise feeding my lawyer and trying to salvage what little is left of the dream I had when I came here.

I wonder if failed foreign investors could qualify for the 20 percent hotel discount? I could sure use a couple of nights in a nice, comfy hotel which I can no longer afford.

Dura Vida!

Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

Bush criticism overstated,
this reader contends

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I would like to counter Dr. Ed Kornbluh’s  description of President Bush and the opinion of other countries. First the U.S. was attacked without provocation, our enemy was found to be in Iraq so we are there fighting them.

The US has with stood many terror attacks in the past 20 years and not attacked anyone. Second, President Bush did not mislead the American people with the intelligence report on weapons of mass destruction many other countries agreed with the same information.

Third, Bush went to the United Nations and pleaded his case to remove Saddam Hussein. The world body agreed with Bush and so the doctor may think we, the U.S.A., has been weaken by our actions. I beg to differ. The United States of America has a fighting force that no country on the planet is willing to challenge.

And last but not least the U.S.A. has come to the aid of many countries, in World War II the U.S.A. kept all of Europe them from being overrun by people just like Saddam Hussein. The American government may not be popular to some, but in reality most people in the world still want to live here in America, the land of the free and home to the brave.

Kevin Burdock
Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 11, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 114

Guatemalans duel for honors
in TEC anniversary race

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 746 persons covered a 12K race course Sunday to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica in Cartago.

Guatemalans took first and second place in the men's division. The winner was José Amado García, 29. In second place was his teammate Alfredo Arévalo Reyes, 30, just three seconds behind at 37 minutes and nine seconds.

The racers ranged all the way to age 70, and last place winners in some of the senior devisions took an hour and 14 minutes to complete the course.

Costa Rican Wendy Zúñiga, 22, took the women's event at 47:22.  Jacqueline Mora, 33, was second with 47:46.

The race was dedicted to retired staffers of the Escuela de Cultura y Deporte of the public university. The route began and ended at the central campus in Cartago.

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo
José Amado García, the eventual winner, is in second place behind Alfredo Arévalo when this photo was taken.

Vindas, surf winner
Shifi Surf Shots photo
Jairo Pérez shows his winning form.
Jacó surfer, 17 is winner
of triple crown open event

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jairo Pérez of Playa Jacó took top honors in the open category this weekend in the first of three Triple Corona or triple crown surf events. Some 88 competitive surfers participated in the event at Dominical,

The 17-year-old Pérez is the reigning junior champion in the Circuito Nacional de Surf. José Calderón took second place. Anderson Tascón took third, and Carlos Muñoz was fourth.

Pérez competed in a final field of four that included Diego Naranjo, the current national champion.

There were familiar names in the winner's circle for women, too. Amy Nichol took first place, followed by  Lisbeth Vindas, Natalie Bernold and Ericka Valverde.

The triple crown is an event run by the Federación de Surf de Costa Rica. Eventually $5,000 in prizes will be awarded. The second of three legs will be held at Boca Barranca de Puntarenas July 28 and 29.

Costa Rica could still reach quarterfinals with victory tonight
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tournament is all on the line tonight as Costa Rica meets Guadeloupe in the third match in Group A of the Gold Cup 2007 competition. The game will be at Miami's Orange Bowl at 5 p.m. Costa Rican time.

Haiti meets Canada three hours later on the same field.

Guadeloupe with four points is in first place in the four-team group, and Costa Rica is last with one point. Costa Rica earned its single point Saturday when the national team tied, 1-1, with Haiti.

Guadeloupe beat Canada 2-1 Saturday. The team, a newcomer to Gold Cup competition,  tied with Haiti Wednesday. There are several possible scenarios that could still put Costa Rica in second place and allow it to advance to the quarterfinals.
 In Group B the U.S. national team is assured of advancing to the quarterfinals because it won its first two games, against Guatemala, 1-0, Thursday and against Trinidad and Tobago, 2-0, Saturday. The U.S. team meets El Salvador at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Tuesday night.

The Costa Rican game Saturday was played before a heavily Haitian crowd in Miami.  Gabart Fenelon, the Haitian goalkeeper, seemed to be magnetic. Every ball kicked toward the net ended up in his arms. Costa Rica had significantly more shots on goal than did Haiti.

It was not until the middle of the second half that Costa Rica's Walter Centeno managed to drill a shot past Fenelon's right hand and into the net.

With just 18 minutes left in the game, Haiti's Alexandre Boucicaut converted on a crossing pass to even the score.

The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006  and 2007 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details