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                del bosque

Monteverde tourism operators blame bad road for ills
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Monteverde tourism operators are blaming a decline in visitors on the bad state of the access road. Time was when residents of the cloud forest community took pride in their rough road as something protecting the community from the pressures of outside civilization.

But no more. The national tourism chamber is taking up the Monteverde cause and urging the central government to fix the road, which only recently had been asphalted.

The chamber, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, sought opinions from those in the tourism business in Monteverde and reported Tuesday that the business is down from 15 to 20 percent when compared to 2011. Some also mentioned that the cost of doing business is higher there because of the distance goods must travel.

The chamber quoted Ólger Vega, owner of Monteverde Extremo Canopy, who said that to bring in a cubic yard of sand costs three times as much because of the distance and the state of the road.

Danny Ramírez, president of the Cámara de Turismo de Monteverde, was quoted as saying the community has lost its competitivity in the face of rising costs. He said tourists seek locations where they can arrive quickly.

The peaceful community staged a protest June 10 because the Contraloría General de la República rejected a contract for repaving a road.

The community that was founded by Quakers in the 1950s is known for its cloud forests and bird watching opportunities.

To some extent the complaints about the roads and fewer tourists is just an example that illustrates the condition of tourism in general in Costa Rica. Many tourism operators would be thrilled at having 80 percent of the customers they serviced in 2011.

Monteverde has, according to the chamber, 80 firms offering lodging, 50 that offer tours and recreation, 43 food places, 30 nature guides and 18 souvenir shops.

Elsewhere there are hotels where the owners simply closed up and left due to the economic pressures and few tourists.

Some tourism operators blame excessive competition particularly in the hotel business. They note that the economic crisis that began in 2009 had not eased as much as many expected.

The situation actually spawned a more aggressive tourism association than the traditional Cámara Nacional de Turismo. This is ProTur, the Asociacion Para La Proteccion Del Turismo En Costa Rica. The 2-year-old group's Facebook page  is more explicit in outlining the problems in the industry. For example, the concern Tuesday was 
Monteverde road

the exchange rate with the dollar and the fear that the dollar's value might dip lower. Most tourism operators receive payment in dollars and have to pay salaries and expenses in colons. The Facebook postings noted that massive money laundering has lowered the value of the dollar here.

ProTur posters also are not kind to government officials, including those in the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.  It is the tourism institute that puts out the glowing statistics about the number of visitors. For example, for 2012 the institute crowed that there were 2.3 million foreign arrivals to Costa Rica, more than in 2012. That is a 6.1 percent increase. But nowhere is there a distinction made between tourists and those here on other business.

A close look at the figures shows that only a bit more than 920,000 arrivals were U.S. citizens and a bit less than 152,000 came from Canada. Canadians, U.S. visitors and arrivals from all of Europe represented just 57.9 percent of the total. Central America provided 721,000 arrivals with Nicaragua providing 20.2 percent of all arrivals. One-day visitors from cruise ships also are counted as arrivals.

The tourism institute placed a major bet on a talking sloth campaign engineered by an Atlanta, Georgia, firm, 22Squared, which is a fan of the social media. The latest campaign presents a slick video to U.S. movie audiences.

There never has been any material released by the tourism agency evaluating the effectiveness of the sloth campaign or explaining why it would not put its money into luring online movie viewers who would seem to be more affluent.

Meanwhile, the institute's own Web page in English is in 210,138th place worldwide, according to Alexa, the company that measures Internet viewers. The sloth campaign did not appear to have much impact.

However, the Cámera de Turismo Web page where many members place their advertising dollars is much lower at 494,428th place.

New York will act to protect itself from rising seas
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a nearly $20 billion plan to protect New York City from storms and rising sea levels due to global warming.

Bloomberg said Tuesday the plan includes a permanent 15-to-20-foot levee in part of Staten Island and a system of gates and levees in Brooklyn, as well as upgrades in the city's power and telecommunications infrastructure.
The proposal aims to ensure New York's extensive subway, transit, sewer and water, energy, and food distribution systems will still be able to serve the city's more than eight million people.

Bloomberg also recommended giving $1.2 billion in grants to property owners to flood-proof their buildings.

The plan was developed after Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage last year on the U.S. Atlantic coast.

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Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica photo
This was the scene May 21 when the gas and ash erupted.

Volcano on video provides
some sensational footage

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Not many people want to get as up close and personal to a volcano as a scientist did April 13.

The unidentified figure is the only human to appear in a sensational series of volcano shots that came from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica. The agency has a Web cam that keeps an eye on Volcán Turrialba.

The video, which is available on the Observatorio's Web page, shows the critical moments in the May 21 eruption of gas and ash at the volcano. But it also shows some historical shots going back to 2012. There are night shots and multicolor infrared shots, too.

The video is attributed to Geoffroy Avard, a staffer at the Observatorio. Scientists there get paid to poke around the active openings of volcanos, as the figure in the yellow parka is seen doing.

The video includes some air shots of the caldera of the volcano as well as some footage at La Silva where ash fell.

For those who do not know Spanish well, there are some English translations in the minimal explanations of the video. But the drama is not in the words.

Study links social media use
to adult, student narcissism

By the University of Michigan news service

Facebook is a mirror and Twitter is a megaphone, according to a new University of Michigan study exploring how social media reflect and amplify the culture's growing levels of narcissism.

The study, published online in Computers in Human Behavior, was conducted by researchers Elliot Panek, Yioryos Nardis and Sara Konrath.

"Among young adult college students, we found that those who scored higher in certain types of narcissism posted more often on Twitter," said Panek, who recently received his doctorate in communication studies.

"But among middle-aged adults from the general population, narcissists posted more frequent status updates on Facebook."

According to Panek, Facebook serves narcissistic adults as a mirror.

"It's about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image," he said. "Middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves, and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles."

For narcissistic college students, the social media tool of choice is the megaphone of Twitter.

"Young people may overevaluate the importance of their own opinions," Panek said. "Through Twitter, they're trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues."

The researchers examined whether narcissism was related to the amount of daily Facebook and Twitter posting and to the amount of time spent on each social media site, including reading the posts and comments of others.

For one part of the study, the researchers recruited 486 college undergraduates. Three-quarters were female and the median age was 19. Participants answered questions about the extent of their social media use, and also took a personality assessment measuring different aspects of narcissism, including exhibitionism, exploitativeness, superiority, authority and self-sufficiency.

For the second part of the study, the researchers asked 93 adults, mostly white females, with an average age of 35, to complete an online survey.

According to Panek, the study shows that narcissistic college students and their adult counterparts use social media in different ways to boost their egos and control others' perceptions of them.

"It's important to analyze how often social media users actually post updates on sites, along with how much time they spend reading the posts and comments of others," he said.

The researchers were unable to determine whether narcissism leads to increased use of social media, or whether social media use promotes narcissism, or whether some other factors explain the relationship. But the study is among the first to compare the relationship between narcissism and different kinds of social media in different age groups.

Unschooled individuals can
take special driving class

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The traffic education agency is setting up classes for individuals who have not passed basic general education. The classes are 2 and a half hours each and twice a week for a month, said the  Dirección General de Educación Vial. They are being given all over the country for persons who simply want to obtain a license and those who wish to work in public transportation.

The agency uses the word  iletradas, which basically means illiterate. Those who cannot read well need special help because getting a license requires a written test as well as a test behind the wheel.

The agency said it was setting up these classes so that those individuals who have not completed basic education do not fall victim to scams and con men.

World's oldest person dies
in a Japanese hospital at 116

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The world's oldest person, and the oldest man in recorded history, has died in western Japan at the age of 116.

Japanese officials say Jiroemon Kimura died Wednesday of natural causes in a hospital near Kyoto where he had been receiving treatment for pneumonia.

Guinness World Records says Kimura, who was born in 1897, is the world's only man to have lived to 116 years of age. It recognized him as the world's oldest living person in December, after a U.S. woman died at the age of 115.

Kimura, who worked at a post office and later was a farmer, is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

Media reports say he attributed his longevity to getting outside in the sunlight and eating meals until he was only 80 percent full.

With Kimura's death, 115-year-old Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman from Osaka, is now the world's oldest person.

Chinese agricultural link
promoted by U.N. official

Special to A. M. Costa Rica

A U.N. development official sees real possibilities for the agricultural sector in trade with China.

He is Antonio Prado, and he just returned from a Chinese visit. He is deputy executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

"In the agricultural sector, there are real complementarities between China and Latin America and the Caribbean that can be used to build a strategic trade, technology and cultural relationship with mutual benefits, " he said. He was speaking at the first China-Latin American and the Caribbean Forum of ministers of agriculture.

In his address to officials attending the Forum, Prado underlined the need to achieve more balanced trade relations between China and the region and to base trade on agricultural innovation, while respecting the environment and social inclusion.

The newly launched Forum of Ministers of Agriculture is a highly relevant mechanism to promote constructive dialogue concerning agricultural trade and economy and agricultural innovation, science and technology, he said.

The creation of the forum was proposed by former Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, in his message to the region during a visit Jun 26, 2012.

Prado was particularly appreciative of the intention to create a food reserve mechanism to tackle emergencies and protect food security, proposals to strengthen research capacity, joint activities in trade promotion and facilitation, as well as the discussion of policies relevant to agriculture, the strengthening of human resources and the exchange of experts.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 115
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Traffic still is slow going for eastbound motorists at the La Sabana intersection at La Universal, but traffic engineers say that for most blocking some turns here eliminated a bottle neck.

Sabana intersection
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo

Intersection switch in Sabana said to benefit most motorists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic engineers are taking credit for eliminating a major bottleneck at the Gimnasio Nacional-La Universal intersection in La Sabana.

Last March 23 the traffic engineers cut off north and southbound traffic on what is called Calle 42. This is the road that passes in front of the Gimnasio and the McDonald's food outlet at the intersection.

The change benefited 91 percent of the motorists, the engineers said Tuesday.

Many of the motorists passing in front of the Gimnasio either want to go on Ruta 27, the Caldera highway that passes along the south side of Parque la Sabana or onto what is called the old road to Escazú that heads west.
In the past there was always a jam at peak hours as motorists tried to cross the eastbound lane of Ruta 27 and the eastbound lane of the Escazú road to head into the residential section of Sabana Sur.

Now motorists heading to Sabana Sur south of the Escazú road have to travel west to a traffic light before turning left. 

Conversely, those headed east from Escazú or Sabana Sur have to make their way to Avenida 10 through some back streets.

The change also eliminates the need for eastbound motorists to cross the unsigned tracks of the valley train at the intersection.

The traffic engineers of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad estimated that some 700 motorists a day are inconvenienced by the change.

Heritage center will present books based on regional cooking
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culture ministry is coming out with two new recipe books with dishes that Costa Ricans presented in regional contests.

The Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural has been organizing regional contests to capture local recipes, usually from older residents. As part of the submission, the cooks and chefs have to provide the recipe for inclusion into a book.
Last year the Centro came out with three publications.

This is the same organization that is involved in restoring historic buildings.

In addition to the recipes, the Centro will be presenting other books, including one on the architecture of Cartago, it said. 
The books will be presented at an event Thursday at the Centro's Downtown offices. The books will be offered for sale.

Quebrada bridge
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
This is where the existing bridge will be replaced by a two-lane structure at Quebrada Lyon.
Two bridges being replaced with two-lane spans in Limón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national road agency's bridge division is replacing two structures in Limón province. The first is at Quebrada Lyon where an existing one-lane bridge will be replaced by a two-lane span.

The second is over the Serenito canal, also in Bataán de Limón.
The work is expected to be finished in August.

At both locations there are abutments in place awaiting metal super structures.

The principal beneficiaries of the work will be those in the banana industry who have to travel the bridges daily, said the agency.

Del Rey HOtel

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Despite scoreless tie, Costa Rica maintains a top place in World Cup rankings
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Ricans glued themselves to the television sets Tuesday night to watch the national soccer team hold México to a scoreless tie.

Meanwhile in Seattle, Washington, the U.S. team beat Panamá, 2-0.

The games put the U.S. team in first place for the regional competition of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

Costa Rica is in second place. México is a close third. Both have eight points,
but Costa Rica leads on the number of goals.

Three teams will go to the World Cup in Brazil next year. A fourth will have a chance to go if it prevailed in a playoff with a team from another region.

The Costa Rican team almost scored early when Joel Campbell's kick hit the framework of the goal and bounced away.

Nevertheless, the game was full of nail-biting moments for Tico fans. A number had gone to México for the game.

The U.S. team plays Mexico Tuesday, and Costa Rica hosts Panamá.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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Real estate for rent (paid category)
COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

cahuita beach house
Unique beach house for rent in Cahuita
$400 per month furnished. House is 150 yards from a beautiful beach in a jungle area. Next to our wildlife rescue center. Very safe, good water and electricity. One large bedroom, walk-in closet. Newly built and furnished. Must see. A tropical paradise. Contact: Todd at 2755-0014.

Conveniently located two-bedroom, two-bathroom house, new construction, wheelchair accessible. $800 a month.   Located on outskirts of San José metro area, 5 minute drive to Sta. Barbara de Heredia and 20-30 minutes from airport.  Natural setting with
Heredia home
panoramic view of Central Valley on a 1/3 acre lot (1,200 m2).  The house is 900 ft2 (90 m2) plus there is a spacious terrace, two-car carport, covered back porch and ample additional parking.  Vaulted natural wood ceilings in all rooms except in the two bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room.  There is also a small 
office which can serve as a guest bedroom.  The house is unfurnished and appliances not included except for built-in cooktop/oven (gas).  Tankless instant hot water heater for bathrooms, kitchen, laundry.  Rental fee does not include utilities.  Alarm system, cable TV and DSL internet connections in place.   Owner will rent to 2-3 people, pets are allowed with approval of owner and security deposit of one month's rent is required.  E-mail me for more photos or with questions:    

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact or 8308-7732.

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at for more details. Thank you.

Available now $650 a month
This small but new and clean American-built house is settled on an organic farm a 10-minute walk from the center of town in Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Taxis are $1 to town and buses run to
Organic farm
Heredia and Alajuela, about 30 minutes each. There is parking for one car. NO DOGS please. Rent includes: Cable television, house phone, ICE ADSL internet, water, electricity, laundry facilities. We have a family living on the farm aside from myself,  the owner, and another renter, so there is always someone around. This 2-bedroom house is brand new, 
completely furnished. Large windows overlook the valley and the gardens, There are large trees. Surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens, it has a beautiful view of the valley. The kitchen comes fully equipped, with large refrigerator, gas stove and oven, all accessories. The bathroom has a large shower; both kitchen and bath have hot water. A brand new extra firm queen-size bed is included. A breakfast bar separates the living area and kitchen and a porch overlooks the farm and valley. This house is for one or two people only. $300 deposit required to be returned when renters leave house. Email for photos and questions.

Heredia rental
Beautiful mountain chalet  for rent
Beautiful mountain chalet surrounded by nature, built with tropical hardwoods and  located on a  5,000 m2  (54,000 sq feet) lot  with two other cottages.  House has basic furniture and  kitchen  appliances.  Ground floor:  Very large living/ dinning room, kitchen, office (or guest bedroom), and 1 bathroom . Upstairs:  2 bedrooms (one with a balcony), and 1 bathroom. 140 m2 approximately  Great BBQ rancho outside. Plenty space for visitor parking. Pets are welcome.  Quiet place, rural, restaurants close by. Near El Castillo Country Club, Tirol and La Condesa mountain hotels.  Only 45 minutes by car from San José.  All public services available  More information call Liseth.  Phone: (506) 7158-1548. Or send me a email:

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker.

Manuel Antonio long term apartment for rent
This modern two-bedroom apartment with a breathtaking view of the Quepos town and the Pacific Ocean is situated near Manuel Antonio National Park and beaches. The location offers a unique experience in the edge of the jungle, where you can observe wildlife. The apartment has two separate bedrooms and sleeps three guests maximum. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and a toilette. The living room is furnished with very comfortable furniture. The kitchen is fully equipped. Public transports like taxis, bus station, port as well as shops, groceries, restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife are within a very short distance. Fully furnished, all bills included (water, electricity, cable tv, wireless internet), $575 per month, 6-month minimum. Contact us now!!! 8853-8245. or see our
Web page:  

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 115
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Internet trio want release
from spy agency restrictions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three big Internet companies want the Obama administration to let them reveal details of federal court orders to turn over information about their users to U.S. spy agencies.

Google, Facebook and Microsoft say they want everything transparent and out in the open. Google's chief legal official said Tuesday his company has nothing to hide.

Google says media reports that it gives the spy agencies unlimited access to information about its customers are not true. It says government orders to keep the details secret just add to rumors and speculation.

The National Security Agency has acknowledged leaked newspaper reports that its program called PRISM collects emails and other data from Internet companies. 

A former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked the story about PRISM and NSA monitoring of telephone calls to The Guardian and Washington Post.

He said it is important to reveal what he says is the government's massive surveillance program on private citizens.

The U.S. says information gathered by the NSA has foiled terrorist plots. The Justice Department is investigating possible criminal charges against Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong last month but whose exact whereabouts are not known.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging whether the NSA spy program is constitutional. The ACLU argues that the spying violates the rights to free speech and privacy. An ACLU attorney says the constitution does not let the government carry out unsuspicious surveillance of every person in the country.

Eavesdropping disclosures
reverberate around world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Governments, campaigners and bloggers around the world have been reacting to allegations that U.S. security agencies secretly collected emails and files directly from the servers of companies like Google and Facebook. The claims were made following leaks from a former contractor at the National Security Agency. The British government has been accused of colluding in the alleged surveillance program.

In the British Parliament, Foreign Secretary William Hague denied that Britain's security agencies had skirted national privacy laws by collecting data on British citizens from the U.S. National Security Agency.

"Our agencies practice and uphold U.K. law at all times. Even when dealing with information from outside the United Kingdom," said Hague.

Critics say the allegations of Internet and phone surveillance would violate basic privacy. Emma Carr is deputy director of the British campaign group Big Brother Watch.

"A mass communications data being piled into one place and being fished through just in case somebody's been committing a crime, or retrospectively they can look through it if someone's committed a crime. That's not OK and that's not what democratic societies have been based on," said Carr.

But some Britons were unconcerned by the surveillance allegations. Nick James is from London.

"I think that we're in the age of big data, and as much data as they can collect is great. If they can predict what might happen out of that data then that's all to the good," said James.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin reacted to the allegations, saying government surveillance should only operate under the law.

But critics argue the Russian government does not allow a free press. Andrei Soldatov, a Russian investigative journalist, says the allegations could have far-reaching consequences for the web.

"We used to think about the Internet as something global. Now we know that in Russia they already started to use arguments like, 'We need to build national boundaries.' And now, well this provides very good ammunition for these kind of arguments," said Soldatov.

China has long been accused by the West of censoring Internet access. Beijing blogger Michael Anti says the allegations against the United States could benefit China.

"The government will say, we told you, every government did the same thing about Internet control, and all the criticism you once made to us about Internet freedom, basically is very hypocritical," said Anti.

On the streets of the Chinese capital the reaction was mixed. Sarah is a fashion designer.

"It does not matter if I commit any crime or if it is just my personal affairs, in the end it is my business. Everybody should have a bit of space," said Sarah.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will raise the issue when U.S. President Barack Obama visits Berlin following the G8 Summit next week.


Obama makes a pitch
for immigration bill OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says the moment to reform the broken U.S. immigration system is now. The president spoke shortly before the Senate was to take its first votes on the legislation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate has voted to begin debate on a historic and contentious immigration bill that would offer an opportunity for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship.

Obama said overhauling America’s dysfunctional immigration system cannot wait.

“The system is still broken.  And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act.  And that moment is now,” Obama said.

The legislation being considered would create a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million people who are in the country illegally.  It would also further strengthen security at the U.S.-Mexican border.

In addition, Obama said the legislation would make it easier for foreign students to stay in the United States.  He said existing laws encourage people to study here, but to take their knowledge elsewhere.

“Once they have gotten the training they need to build a new invention or create a new business, our system too often tells them to go back home, so that other countries can reap the benefits, the new jobs, the new businesses, the new industries.  That is not smart,” Obama said.

The president spoke in front of a group of law enforcement leaders, who endorsed the bill’s security provisions, and business and labor leaders, who said it would help the economy.

A top spokesman for American business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, often criticizes Obama’s economic policies, but is backing the immigration bill.

“We disagree on a lot of things, but we vigorously agree on a bill that makes common sense and takes people out of the shadows and provides for our economy the people we need to move forward,” Donohue said.

On the Senate floor, however, Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican, said allowing more foreign workers to enter the United States would deprive American workers of jobs.

“This bill is going to allow more workers to come into this country than we have ever allowed before, at a time when unemployment is extraordinarily high, our ability to reduce unemployment is down, wages are down, and our workers are falling below the inflation rate in their wages for years,” Sessions said.

Many experts believe the legislation has a good chance of passing the Senate, but could face a tougher road in the House of Representatives.

But the top House Republican, Speaker John Boehner, told ABC television he thinks there is a good chance immigration reform can pass both houses and be signed into law by the end of the year.

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Xavier Becerra, told a Washington forum lawmakers may not get another chance to pass this bill.

“We have to make sure it is accountable, because the American public has made it very clear.  We are not interested in going through this in another 10, 15 years.  This better be a solution that fixes the broken system," Becerra said.

Senators in both parties are preparing amendments to the bill.  The president said the compromise legislation is not perfect, and no one will get everything they want.

Online software thief
given 12 years in prison

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Chinese national convicted of wire fraud and criminal copyright infringement has been sentenced in a U.S. federal court to 12 years in prison.

U.S. authorities say the theft and piracy perpetrated by defendant Xiang Li, of Chendu, China included industrial-grade software and confidential data stolen from the internal server of an authorized U.S. contractor. Experts placed the value of the cybertheft at more than $100 million, and said Xiang will be deported to China after his release from prison.

Court documents identified Xiang as the operator of a Web site, Investigators said the site advertised thousands of pirated software titles at a fraction of their retail value.

A statement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Xiang engaged in more than 700 transactions between 2008 and 2011, in which he distributed stolen software in 28 states and 60 foreign countries.

Authorities say Xiang's customers included countries in the Middle East, employees of foreign governments and U.S. contractors holding security clearances. It said more than one-third of the unlawful purchases were made by individuals in the United States.

Plight of child laborers
outlined on special day

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Labor Organization estimates 10.5 million children around the world are working as domestic workers in hazardous, sometimes slave-like conditions.  The agency is marking World Day Against Child Labor today by calling for action to eliminate child labor in domestic work. 

The International Labor Organization reports all regions of the world employ children as domestic laborers, often in brutal conditions.  The report finds 6.5 million of the 10.5 million child domestic laborers are aged between 5 and 14 years.  More than 70 percent are girls.

Constance Thomas is the director of the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor.  She said that children carry out a variety of domestic tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening, looking after other children, and caring for the elderly.

"We know that they are vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual violence and abuse.  They are isolated from their own families.  They are hidden from the public eye by the nature of where they are working.  And, they can become in a state of high dependence on the family or the people in whose household they are working.  We have evidence that some do end up becoming commercially sexually exploited," said Ms. Thomas.

Thomas describes the situation of many domestic workers as a serious violation of child rights.  She says the conditions under which they work are appalling with long hours and no time for rest or leisure.  She says many are exposed to toxic chemicals, carry heavy loads, and use dangerous tools like axes and knives.  She says the children often are underfed, receive humiliating and degrading treatment and suffer verbal and sexual abuse.

The International Labor Organization reports overall 215 million children under age 18 work, many full-time.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in four children aged 5 to 17 work, compared to one in eight in the Asia Pacific region and one in 10 in Latin America. 

Thomas says many children in Africa work in some of the worst forms of child labor, but some countries, such as Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania are making very good progress in ending some of the most hazardous types of child labor.

"We have some good examples of some great, great progress.  Ghana right now has a huge program addressing child labor in agriculture, in fishing and in domestic work.  But they are calling on more action because domestic work is one of those that is going to be the hardest to root out because it is hidden-very much because it is hidden," she said.

The agency says child domestic work is not recognized as a form of child labor in many countries because of the blurred relationship with the employing family.  But it stresses the child is not treated like a family member.   It adds the hidden nature of domestic work makes it difficult to protect the child.

The report calls for better data collection and is also pressing governments to ratify and implement two conventions that deal with the minimum age for employment and the worst forms of child labor.

Dry ice suspected  cause
for Martian dunes gullies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some of the mysterious gullies seen on Martian sand dunes may be formed by sliding blocks of carbon dioxide, also known as dry ice, according to a NASA research report.

"I have always dreamed of going to Mars," said Serina Diniega, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and lead author of a report published online by the journal Icarus. "Now I dream of snowboarding down a Martian sand dune on a block of dry ice."

According to the research, the so-called linear gullies all have a near constant width of a few meters, with raised banks on the sides. The reason the gullies don’t appear to be formed by liquid is that there are no deposits of debris at the bottom of their lower edge. Instead, NASA says, they have pits.

"In debris flows, you have water carrying sediment downhill, and the material eroded from the top is carried to the bottom and deposited as a fan-shaped apron," said Diniega. "In the linear gullies, you're not transporting material. You're carving out a groove, pushing material to the sides."

Images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter led scientists to the theory, which in turn led to performing experiments on sand dunes in Utah and California.

During the experiments on Earth, scientists found that dry ice forms a lubricating layer of gaseous carbon dioxide that allowed the chunks to glide down the dunes even when the slope was shallow. The chunks also pushed aside sand into small levees.

"There are a variety of different types of features on Mars that sometimes get lumped together as gullies, but they are formed by different processes," said report co-author Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. "Just because this dry-ice hypothesis looks like a good explanation for one type doesn't mean it applies to others."

Images taken during the Martian winter show the gullies covered by frozen carbon dioxide frost, while images taken early in the Martian spring reveal the gullies. In some of the images, NASA said there appear to be bright objects in the gullies. Scientists believe they are pieces of dry ice that have fallen from higher areas of the dunes. The pits at the bottom of the gullies, NASA believes, are caused by the evaporation of the ice chunks after they’ve come to rest.

"Linear gullies don't look like gullies on Earth or other gullies on Mars, and this process wouldn't happen on Earth," said Diniega. "You don't get blocks of dry ice on Earth unless you go buy them."

Ukrainian pianist is winner
of Van Cliburn competition

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 26 year old from Ukraine has won one of music's most prestigious competitions.

Vadym Kholodenko took home top honors after a series of masterful performances at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Every four years, since 1962, pianists have come from all over the world to compete in the competition.

Kholodenko was one of 30 competitors, age 19 to 30, who gathered in Fort Worth, Texas, this month to perform before a panel of jurors who are experts in the piano world, as well as a live public audience and thousands who watched the live webcasts. After a series of recitals and chamber music performances, six finalists were selected.

To get to the finals of the Van Cliburn competition takes years of study, countless hours of practice and nerves of steel.

Sean Chen, from southern California, one of six finalists, had been building up to this point all of his life.

"Cliburn has one of the largest reaching influences of any competition," Chen said. "All finalists get management. All of the finalists get concerts in the next four years. That’s the most important thing for any up-and-coming young artist."

The judges have a tough job. Every pianist they’ve heard during the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition is hugely accomplished, has astonishing technical skills, and gives thoroughly artistic interpretations of the music.

They all sound spectacular, even to the well-trained ear.  So, the judges look for nuances.

"It’s not a matter of judging technical prowess, that’s almost  taken for granted," said John Giordano, the competition's jury chairman who has been on the jury since 1973. "Some aspects are pretty simple. Do I want to hear this person again? Sometimes, it’s something as simple as goose bumps . . . if they miss notes and the message is there, and it really reaches you, you ignore that."

All in all, it’s extremely high-pressure with grindingly stiff competition. But for young pianists, like silver medalist Beatrice Rana, who is from Italy, it’s worth it.

"Because it’s one of most important piano competitions in the world, and it’s one of the few competitions that can provide a stable career for the finalists," Rana said. "I think a good placement in the Cliburn can provide a wonderful future for someone that aspires to be a concert pianist."

​This is the first competition since its namesake, Van Cliburn, passed away in February from bone cancer.

Cliburn became a household name in 1958 when he took first prize in another famous piano competition, the Tchaikovsky, in Moscow. He was the first non-Russian to win, a significant victory during the Cold War era. Cliburn was honored with a ticker-tape parade on his return to the United States.

After hearing dozens of solo recitals, chamber music performances and concerts performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, the judges deliberated about who would take home the top prize.  Suspense was high in the auditorium when the announcement was made Sunday night.

Kholodenko joins the elite club of Van Cliburn winners, who are ranked among classical music’s leading concert artists.

Financing higher education
is real burden for some grads

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Washington's Republicans and Democrats are haggling over how to finance higher education, including details like the interest rates that students pay for loans. Recent graduates, who are burdened with an average of $26,000 in loans, are watching the debate closely. But some economists say the real issue is controlling the soaring cost of college at a time when post-secondary schooling is crucial to getting a good job and a middle class salary. Experts say these high costs are hurting the whole economy, not just students and their families.

Joshua Jordan earned a doctorate degree in physical therapy. He hopes to open his own practice someday, and says having the expensive graduate degree is good for his patients but hard on his wallet. 

“I am currently in debt for $210,000,” he said.

Jordan's loans are eight times larger than those of the average student. He says it might take him 20 years to pay them off, and he sometimes has had to work two jobs concurrently to meet his bills.

For the past 30 years, college tuition has been going up at twice the rate of inflation, and private colleges now charge an average of more than $30,000 a year.  

Universities say they're caught between record-high enrollments, a workforce of professors who have the skills to find work elsewhere if they are not well paid, and falling financial support from state governments.

Terry Hartle speaks for The American Council on Education which represents thousands of colleges and universities across the United States.

"It’s a terrible conundrum that we face as a country. We want more and more post-secondary education. We want more focus on academic quality and graduation. At the same time, the funding sources for higher education have been diminishing for a generation," said Hartle.

While these students made it to graduation, experts worry the high cost of college makes it less likely that bright students from poor families will attend college, depriving the economy of some of the scientists, engineers and others who could help boost growth. 

And a survey shows that some students concerned about repaying thousands of dollars in loans are putting off marriage, children, and the major purchases that usually go along with forming a family. 

Peter Mazareas, who is with the College Savings Foundation, said, "These students will not contribute to the economy. They will go home and live at home. They won't buy cars. They won't invest in housing, so there is a real multiplier effect that is short term."

Georgetown University labor economist Anthony Carnevale said the current system is unsustainable for families and cuts economic growth for the whole country.

"The effects on economic growth are substantial. If we had kept up with demand for post secondary talent, economists estimate that we would be at about $500 billion more per year in gross domestic product, that is people would have more money to spend. There would have been a higher productivity rate," said Carnevale.

Meanwhile, Jordan said his family is not wealthy and could not have paid for so many years in so many colleges on the way to a doctorate.

“There would have been no way I could have created a career for myself that I wanted to do without the use of student loans,” he said.

So for him, it is worth it.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Bid on Costa Rican properties to be foreclosed!
Win big with Costa Rican foreclosures.
Full service team at your service

English-speaking team of lawyers, translators and other experts will help and guide you to make the right decision. Complete support including legal research and accurate description of all documents. Legal support all through the process. Cell: (506) 8919-4545 (English)


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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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.

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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email:

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
Visit our Web Site:
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Private Gated Paradise in Grecia 3/2 home with guest apartment, 5000m2 land $169K, River access,, Phone: (506)2495-0487.

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.

San Pedro condo
Condo for Sale in Flor del Este
Lourdes, Montes de Oca San Jose

Located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada 500 meters north of Inglesia Lourdes. U Latina, UCR, and U Fieditas are located within 5 minutes.  Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. Condo is a 3-story. Three/four-bedroom, three and half bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with only one entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. In addition, to security fencing, and electric wire, a recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house. Residence has a telephone communication system to contact the guard house. In addition there is a green park area inside the complex for children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Equipped with an independent wired security system in addition to iron bars on windows and patio doors. Equipped with circuit breaker box and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Also has water storage tank under parking area and water pump to maintain high pressure on all three floors. American-style washer and electric dryer, Refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. $185,000. Other furniture items may be available for purchase.
Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 8876-7399
U.S. Phone:  6630-886-4458  or   (305) 848- 5577
Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799 4041

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

Rich Coast Montage
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2 Bedroom House in Gated Community near the beach, $89,000!!
- Beachfront Residential Lots from $35,000! Financing Available
- 2 Coffee Shops and Bakeries Turnkey $40,000/ $120,000 Great ROI
- Lots in Gated Community near the beach from $17,500!!
- 3 Bedroom House in Gated Community, furnished, walk to the beach, $120k
- 3 Bedroom Oceanview House on 5 acres subdividable
into 4 oceanview properties $250k
- 58 acre Oceanview Property subdividable, $169k
and much more....
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

La Cruz finca
La Cruz Finca 223 ha. (558.2 acre)
This beautiful 223-hectare (558-acre) farm is 70 kms. north of Liberia on the Pan-American Highway and has over a kilometer of frontage on the highway. The property is almost 3 kms deep and has good interior roads. The River Sapoa runs year round at the back side of the farm which is almost 1 mile wide with and incredible views over the Nicaraguan border to Lake Nicaragua and Isla Ometepe. Great property for an eco retreat, teak farm or cattle ranch.  At $900 per acre, this is one of the best farm deals around. See details HERE! The seller will entertain any reasonable offer. Price: $495,000 contact: Bruce Hummel. Email: Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987 7166,

Playa Octal home
Playa Ocotal Beach Home
This home is located in a residential resort complex made up of 40 luxurious, fully furnished beachfront villas, plus a clubhouse complete with poolside bar and restaurant. Bahía Pez Vela is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, one kilometer from Playa Ocotal on the North Pacific coast and just 30 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport and three miles to downtown Playas Del Coco. From this home you can hear and see the waves crashing on the rocks of this pristine beach. See it HERE! This is the best priced beach home in Costa Rica! Price $225,000   Contact: Bruce Hummel, - Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987-7166.

hree peanel montage
This dream Costa Rica beach house overlooking Carara National Park and the Pacific has been rented continuously for two years. D.C. owners are on site at the house in May and prepping for June 1 Move in and/or vacation rentals and have an unbelievable offer. Already listed way under value, $150,000 Cash or $199,500 with owner financing through May 30th. Note: This was the owner's (14 year residents of Costa Rica) dream home before their relocation to Washington, D.C., Your own salt water Infinity pool, expansive sala and balcony, views from every room. Each room is individually air-conditioned, ceramic tiles, cathedral ceiling; three bedrooms in an international community. Scarlet macaws fly by your veranda each evening.
zen/natural contemporary design ideal for your location overlooking Costa Rica's biological corridor. 50 minutes from San José, minutes from beaches/20 minutes from Jacó Beach. Tour this property online first at and if interested contact Barry in Costa Rica through May 30th for a tour. In Costa Rica: 8701-5639 or call Rosemary in the U.S. 239-910-3354. Note: On June 1 the price of this property will increase to over $200,000 after equipping, painting and acceptance of rental income. Don't wait!

La Garita
This home was built by a California contractor with all the amenities expected in a 3,000-square foot home.  There is a little less than one acre of land.  There is an 800-square foot shop easily converted to a rental unit or studio.  Located in La Garita de Atenas, 15 minutes to the international airport and 30 minutes to San José.  $225,000. 2487-4500.

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891

Arenal Colonial
Property for sale, great potential income
Turnkey business $350K. Rental $1,250/month This luxury home (4,000 square feet and two story private home) is a botanical paradise overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal. Only one block from the lake park and boat ramp. Close to Tabacón hot springs and Monteverde cloud forest. Caño Negro national park and many beautiful beaches along the Pacific are only a short drive away. Costa Rica bird watching, wind surfing, fishing, water sports, ecotourism adventures, hiking, tennis and mountain biking are out your front door. Also has a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano, a safe 25 miles away. Electric gated entrance. Safe private home and entire property. To see more pictures and info, click here:

Jacó compound
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 bath 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment. one bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom,  gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500 square-meter garden with aviary for Guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4 meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2 meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture, included even a car. Owner financing available. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. More photos on request.

Monte Mar
Hacienda Monte Mar
Gated Community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $17,500 with financing available.
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great Retirement Home, Vacation Home, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers on site,
security and lawn maintenance.
Water and power on site.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to

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.

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 115
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Russia's lower house passes
bill banning gay propaganda

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russia's lower house passed a law on Tuesday banning gay “propaganda," a measure that human rights groups say has already fueled attacks on homosexuals as President Vladimir Putin pursues an increasingly conservative social agenda.
As parliament debated the bill, gay activists who had taken part in a kissing protest' outside parliament to demonstrate against the law were harassed and pelted with eggs by anti-gay protesters, then about 20 of them were arrested.
The law bans the spreading of propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations to minors and sets heavy fines for violations. It passed with 436 votes in the 450-seat lower house, the Duma. One deputy abstained and no one voted against.
“Traditional sexual relations are relations between a man and a woman, which ... are a condition for the preservation and development of the multi-ethnic Russian people,'' lawmaker Yelena Mizulina told the chamber.
“It is precisely these relations that need special protection by the state,'' she said.
Critics say the bill - a nationwide version of laws already in place in several cities including Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg - would in effect ban all gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone voicing support for homosexuals.
“There is already enough pressure and violence against gays, and with this law it will only continue and probably get worse,'' said Viktoria Malyasova, 18, standing outside the Duma.
“I may not be gay, but I came to stand up for my rights and the rights of other people to love whom they want,'' she said.
There are no official figures on anti-gay crime in Russia, but in an online poll last year, 15 percent of about 900 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender respondents said they had been physically attacked at least once in the previous 10 months.
Putin, who has embraced the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral authority and harnessed its influence as a source of political support, has championed socially conservative values since starting a new, six-year term in May 2012.
The gay rights protesters outside the Duma on Tuesday were far outnumbered by around 200 anti-gay activists who surrounded them, chanting “Russia is not Sodom,'' singing Orthodox Christian prayers, crossing themselves and throwing rotten eggs.
After scuffles in which one man was knocked to the ground and kicked by the anti-gay activists, police began detaining the gay protesters and bundling them into waiting busses. Moscow police said about 20 people were detained.
Investigators say homophobia was the motive for the brutal murders of two men in the past month, one in eastern Russia and one in the southern city of Volgograd.
The 60-year-old president denies that there is discrimination against gays, but has criticized them for failing to increase Russia's population, which has declined sharply since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Duma passed another law on Tuesday that made the insulting of religious feelings a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, a measure proposed after last year's Pussy Riot protest at a Moscow cathedral.
Two members of the feminist performance group are serving two-year jail sentences for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred'' after a trial that drew international criticism.
Both bills still need the approval of the upper house, and Putin's signature.

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From Page 7

Corpus Christi port OKs $12 million job
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Corpus Christi, Texas, port commissioners unanimously awarded the construction of the Nueces River Rail Yard project to Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd. The action took place at the commission meeting Tuesday.

Haas Anderson Construction, Ltd., was the lowest bid at $12,658,040.    The firm is an extremely qualified civil construction contractor that has successfully completed large projects for the port in the past, said the agency.

 “Port commissioners understand the importance of this infrastructure project. The new rail yard will greatly benefit all our existing customers as well as new industry,” said Mike Carrell, chairman of the Port Commission.

Due to the more than 100 percent increase in rail traffic over the last five years and the removal of the Tule Lake Lift Bridge, the need for additional rail facilities in the port's inner harbor has become critical to operations, existing customers, and to attract new industry, the agency said.
Over the past three years, the Port Commission has approved several agreements and contracts related to the Nueces River Rail Yard project, including purchase orders for design, funding agreements with the Class I railroads and Rail Link (the port’s local rail switching company).

In June 2012, the U.S. Transportation Secretary awarded a $10 million grant. The project has received all permits, completed the design, and obtained bids for construction. Lighting for this rail yard has already been installed and was funded by a security grant, the agency said.

The most important feature of this project is the 8,000-foot-long unit train track to serve the port’s increased rail traffic. Other features include six shorter rail car siding tracks, approximately 4,000 feet each, service road, drainage improvements, automatic equipment indicator rail car readers for registering individual rail cars as they enter and leave the rail yard, and a 2.5-mile bike trail for the general public.

Port Corpus Christi is the fifth largest port in the United States in total tonnage. Strategically located on the western Gulf of Mexico, with a straight 45-foot deep channel, the port provides quick access to the Gulf and the entire United States inland waterway system.