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A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 125                       Email us
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Partido Acción Ciudadana photo  
Here are some of the vehicles that are out of service awaiting repairs that may never come.
Patrol car graveyard prompts call for investigation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 350 patrol cars donated to Costa Rica by the government of China are in a lot awaiting repairs, according to an Acción Ciudadana lawmakers.

The lawmaker, Nidia Jiménez Vásquez, called upon the Contraloría General de la República to investigate the use of money allocated for vehicle repairs to the security ministry. She said other vehicles were still in use but without adequate maintenance.

On several occasions in the last five years, the Chinese government donated patrol cars. These are the FAW modelo B70, according to the lawmaker. Each time there was a ceremony with the existing government.

Ms. Jiménez said that there are repair shops in Costa Rica that are equipped and have workers
 qualified to fix the ailing patrol cars. In addition, the Chinese auto firm has representatives in the country, she said.

"The ministry of security allowed the deterioration of the radio patrol cars despite knowing the existence of repair parts, she said, adding that "failing to take care of goods that belong to the state is a serious failure of the legal system." She blamed the previous Liberación Nacional administration of president Laura Chinchilla and said that officials acted with negligence.

The vehicles are in a lot in Montecillos de Alajuela.

This is not the first time that police vehicles have been found to be sidelined due to lack of repair.

Usually government officials argue that they lack money to purchase the parts or that the Chinese firm will not send them.

Repairs again needed for ravaged Sept.1 statue
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When sculptor Roland Hockett was creating a memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, he said later he wanted the work to be around for a long time.  He rejected iron or steel and chose copper, a metal that endures despite the weather as it has with the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

That decision has come back to haunt him. Vandals and metal thieves again have ravaged the statue that stood in San Jose’s 11 de Setiembre de 2001, near the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano in Sabana Norte. The U.S. Embassy reports on its Web site that Hockett is back in town doing repairs on the work. The statue has since been moved to the enclosed training area of the Cuerpo de Bomberos in Desamparados.

Although the statue sat on the brow of a hill overlooking the entrance to the Centro Cultural and there are office buildings nearby, the work was not highly visible, and much of the damage took place outside of business hours. Hockett had to repair the work in 2011, too.

Over the years, the statue has developed a deep symbolism for many Costa Rican firefighters, who attend yearly memorials to remember the New York firefighters killed when the Twin Towers collapsed, as well as for U.S. groups like the Marine Corps League and Veterans of Foreign Wars, who regularly visit the statue to remember the sacrifices of their military comrades, said the embassy posting.
A.M. Costa Rica archives
Hockett and a younger associate are seen at the 2004 statue dedication

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 125

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

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Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
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Consejo Nacional de Vialidad map      
Red line is the existing Circunvalación. The longer blue line will be
constructed, and the shorter line is to be designed.

Contraloría OKs La Uruca-Ruta 32 linkup

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Contraloría General de la República has given approval to a $141.16 million project to build 4.1 kilometers of the northern Circunvalación highway and to design the remaining 1.3 kilometers.

This is the long-awaited northern arc that will carry heavy trucking off local roadways. The current construction job will join the Cicunvalacion with Ruta 32, the principal highway to the northern zone and Limón.

The consortium La Estrella-Hernán Solís will do the job. The money comes from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad engineers will meet with the construction firm in the next two weeks to determine when the job will begin. The  Contraloría has to give approval to most big projects.

Construction is expected to take 18 months. When that is done there still will be an unfinished 1.3 kilometer stretch from La Uruca to Calle Blancos, but the design work will be done for that job, too.

Play for kids honors poet García Lorca

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national theater company is honoring Federico García Lorca, the Spanish poet executed during his country's civil war in 1936, through the new play “Verde que te quiero verde.” Now airing at the Sala Juan Enrique Acuña in Barrio Escalante, the story follows a young gypsy boy in search of García Lorca.

“Verde que te quiero verde” came to the Costa Rican stage after co-director and actress Silvia Arce discovered the text at a literature conference in Cuba. “It's a text that not only wanted to pay homage to all things theater and those who make plays, but also to García Lorca.”

Arce said the show combines acting with puppeteering to add another dimension to the theater experience. She added that the company has felt like it can translate its own interpretation of the text to the stage, giving it a special and personal feel.

The play won the “Best Drama for a Children's Audience” award at the Escena Viva awards this year. It will be airing every Saturday and Sunday until July 13. Saturday show times are 2 p.m. and Sunday show times begin at both 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are 3,000 colons for general admission and 1,500 for children.

Palmares getting security cameras today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authorities will introduce a new monitoring system for the city of Palmares today. The modern surveillance web will begin with 10 cameras but more are expected to be installed soon.

Minister of Seguridad Celso Gamboa is scheduled to accompany Mayor Bernal Vargas Araya and other city leaders at the municipality to announce the installations. Cameras will be set up on main streets in Palmares and will be run by local Fuerza Pública officers.

Concern expressed for Panamá journalists

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Five journalists and the publishing companies of Panamá newspapers La Estrella de Panamá and El Siglo have been sentenced to pay high-level damages and face criminal charges.

June 16 the 13th Civil Court ruled in favor of Lourdes Castillo, manager of Naves Supply, S.A. for material damages and moral harm. She had filed suit concerning a series of reports published in the two newspapers in 2011 about alleged wrongdoing in the grant of a $1.2 million government contract to her company for collection and incineration of health ministry premises trash.

Ms. Castillo filed suit against Carlos Atencio, a journalist with La Estrella de Panamá; Alexis Charris, that paper’s publisher; Gerardo Berroa, the then-editor); Jean Marcel Chéry, editor of El Siglo at the time; and Magaly Montilla, the El Siglo news editor; and the publishing companies of the two papers, Geo Media and El Nuevo Siglo.  Ms. Castillo, now a member of the board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority, sought damages totaling $725,000, $150,000 for moral harm, $500,000 for financial damage to her company and $75,000 for legal costs.

The journalists found guilty are also to face a criminal charge for the same alleged acts. The ruling will be appealed.

The Inter American Press Association expressed concern at the court ruling. The organization said the action “has negative effects for the practice of investigative reporting on matters of public interest and the public’s right to information.”

The chairman of the press association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, said, “Apart from respect for court decisions we cannot fail to show our concern at a sentence that clearly has negative effects for the practice of investigative reporting on matters of public interest and the public’s right to information.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that with this ruling “remain open the doors to self-censorship, as it is an intimidating message for those who have the task of investigating and reporting wrongdoing in public affairs.”

Docking bus driver pay now a hot issue

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Docking the pay of bus drivers is becoming a major issue with the national association of unions coming down on the side of the drivers.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados said Wednesday that the Ministerio de Trabajo already has issued a directive saying that docking the pay of bus drivers is illegal.

The legislature is considering a bill to prohibit such activities. The Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Jurídicos reported out last week a bill that would require bus company owners to install a due process procedure before they dock salaries of drivers.

Most buses have electronic portals that register the number of passengers. When the driver turns in less money than the passenger count says he should, many companies deduct the difference from the driver's pay.

Carlos López, a spokesman for the transportation industry, set off a firestorm Wednesday when El Diario Extra published comments he made in an interview. The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados  claims he suggested bus drivers were close to being crooks. He did say that the legislative bill, if passed, would sabotage the bus companies.

The union association says the drivers are the ones being exploited and abused. The union group supports the bill, which is likely to be passed considering the makeup of the current legislature.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 125
Real Estate
About us
DNA testing confirms the death of second Dutch tourist in Panamá
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A second round of DNA testing on bones discovered in Panama's Bocas del Toro region confirms the death of Kris Kremers, a Dutch tourist who had been missing for almost three months. This finding comes days after authorities confirmed the remains of travel partner Lisanne Froon.

According to a statement released by the families, who have been searching for the girls since their disappearance on April 1, an investigation into the causes of death will continue.

“It's a dark chapter in which many questions still linger that cloud
the fatal outcome of Kris and Lisanne,” read the release. “There's only one way to find answers for this family, that's to continue the investigation,” it said.

Progress in the search came after a backpack with possessions from Ms. Kremers and Ms. Froon was found in the jungle near the Río Culubre last week. Investigators later found the girls' hiking boots and their remains in the area. Panamanian authorities have said they do not yet have a list of any suspects but will investigate if a crime occurred.

The jungle region in which the girls were found is just southeast of Limón province. However, they were last seen alive in the village Boquete of the western province of Chiriquí. Panamá.

Vocán Poás puts on a great show for the Web camera monitor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As the Costa Rican national soccer team took the field against Italy Friday, Volcán Poás emitted an eruption that flew 200 meters into the air. The eruption, called the second biggest this month, was caught on the Web camera position at the volcano crater.

There is no scientific evidence that the cheers of Tico soccer fans set off the volcano, but in the commotion following the sensational 1-0 victory against the Italian team, the event was largely unnoticed. The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional has issued a report with photos.

The largest eruption this month was June 1 but at night. So there is no visual evidence, the Observatorio said. Researchers found evidence the following morning. The Friday eruption took place at 10:08 a.m., the report said.

The volcano is a popular tourist site, and Poås has been emitting eruptions repeatedly, much to the delight of tour operators.

The Observatorio said that a whole litany of gases are set free when the volcano behaves like this although the majority is water vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.  These eruptions can come without any notice, presenting a danger to researchers who might be in the floor of the crater. University experts frequently are there. A team was there the previous Wednesday.

Most of the eruptions have stayed within the crater, and the tourist overlook is well away from danger. The volcano has been behaving like this since 2005 and it is expected to continue, the Observatorio report said.

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photos
The eruption sequence covers 30 seconds, the Observatorio reported. The camera was a gift from the U.S. Office of International Development.

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 125
Real Estate
About us

Not all vacation trips are budget busters, tourism institute tells public
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One does not have to be rich to enjoy midyear vacation that begins Friday, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The tourism staff compiled a list of free or low-cost options for tourists, including the Mirador de Orosi and the Mirador de Ujarrás. Both overlooks provide commanding views of the Costa Rica countryside.

The latter also is near the Ruinas de Ujarrás. The church that is now ruins was built in 1693 in honor of Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción del Rescate. The story is that the Orosi valley was invaded by pirates, and locals prayed to the Virgin who caused the invaders to leave.

There are picnic facilities here, fresh water, handicapped access and rest rooms.

All three sites are in the Paraíso de Cartago area east of San José.

The tourism institute also suggests Playas de Doña Ana at the mouth of the Río Barranca just 10 kilometers from Puntarenas. There is a restaurant here, changing rooms for swimmers and other amenities. There is an admission, but it is just 1,500 colons for adults and 500 for children. Parking is 1,000 colons, less than $2
church ruins
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
The Ruinas de Ujarrás

Vacation, travel and hospitality

At Sibu Hotel you will not only enjoy the relaxing Caribbean atmosphere, but you will do it in a beautiful, comfortable and cozy setting, complete with enchanting tropical flora and fauna. Sibu is located 4km from Puerto Viejo, in Playa Chiquita, just meters from the virgin beach. Playa Chiquita is a gorgeous coastal town on the stunning Caribbean coast of Costa Rica with many fun activities for all ages, including, but not limited to horse back riding, zip line tours, snorkeling and much more! Contact us HERE!

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property, Two bedrooms, two bathrooms  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate  $500.00 monthly. Phone  2267-6306


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela
See our Web page:

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

apartmetn building
Apartment is on second floor

Apartment for rent

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Full furniture, AC, security, rooftop swimming pool, 2 parking space, good location: Escazú near district 4. Close to mall, hotels, restaurants and business centers (Grupo Roble). 8336-7762 or email

Tropical Paradise in downtown San José
$485 per month.

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 125
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Goodness index prompting
questions and criticisms

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new index which attempts to rank the countries of the world by their goodness is turning heads.

The Good Country Index is the work of independent policy advisor Simon Anholt and, by his reckoning, Ireland is at the top of the heap in terms of goodness, followed by Finland and Switzerland. Iraq, Vietnam and Libya ranked at the bottom of the 125-country list.

The U.S. came in at number 21, under Italy and above Costa Rica.

Does that mean Ireland is the best place in the world to live?

Not according to Anholt, who tweeted “Some media are calling #goodcountryindex a ‘best country to live in’ survey. No!! It measures countries' contribution to humanity & planet.”

He went a little further on the group’s Web site.

“The Good Country Index doesn’t measure what countries do at home: not because I think these things don’t matter, of course, but because there are plenty of surveys that already do that,” he wrote.

“What the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet,” said Anholt.

To measure a country’s goodness, the index considered several factors, including science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and well being.

The group says it used “35 reliable data sets which track the way that most countries on earth behave.”

Some countries were not included because not enough data was available, according to Anholt.

The index, which Anholt called enormously tricky, has yielded some surprising results.

Kenya, for example, was ranked 26th, which many found surprising.

Anholt tweeted his take.

“My favourite result from the #goodcountry Index, Kenya in Top 30. Being a good country isn't about money,” he wrote.

Another example is Malta, which ranks third in the culture category, compared to the U.S., which ranked 41 – just above Trinidad and Tobago. The U.S. appears to have been penalized for lacking creative services exports.

A reason some smaller and/or poorer countries rank so highly is because “each country’s score in the Good Country Index is divided by its Gross Domestic Product so that smaller and poorer countries aren’t unduly penalized in the ranking for their limited ability to ‘make a difference’ in the world.”

In the international peace and security category, Egypt ranks first, followed by Jordan and several other African and Latin American states. This appears to be because of their participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions and lack of arms sales.

For example, Nigeria, which is dealing with a violent insurgency, is ranked near the top of the index’s international peace category but contributes troops to UN missions.

Anholt said he has not received any serious academic criticism of the index, but has been deluged with critics online, saying he’s received 200 to 300 angry emails, some up to 4,000 words long, from people asking why their country wasn’t included.

“It never fails to strike me how passionately people feel about their country when they see it in a ranking,” he said. “It stirs up strong feelings.”

One criticism that he’s heard repeatedly is how Russia doesn’t rank last given the recent annexation of Crimea and ongoing tension with Ukraine.

Anholt says the index is a “snapshot what your country was contributing in 2010.”

Even if the data were more recent, Anholt says that for something like the annexation of Crimea, “there’s not an easy way to turn it into numbers.”

He said he is toying with the idea of making the index a living document, and that the holy grail would be that it would be able to reflect episodes.

“This cannot be an academic piece of work,” he said. “There isn’t enough data. The only answer is I’m trying to make a point.”

While the index may be unconventional, Anholt hopes it will stimulate action.

“Today as never before, we desperately need a world made of good countries,” he wrote on the website. “We will only get them by demanding them: from our leaders, our companies, our societies, and of course from ourselves.”

Anholt says that biggest challenges facing the world are global and borderless, citing climate change, terrorism, pandemics and others.

“All of these problems stretch across national borders, so the only way they can be properly tackled is through international efforts,” he writes on the website. “The trouble is, most countries carry on behaving as if they were islands, focusing on developing domestic solutions to domestic problems. We’ll never get anywhere unless we start to change this habit.”

U.S. Civil Rights Act marks
50th anniversary next week

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
A milestone in American history is being remembered this week as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act July 2, 1964.  The landmark federal legislation outlawed racial discrimination and ended segregation in schools, the workplace and at public accommodations.

In 1963, Civil rights demonstrations in the U.S. south turned violent.  President John Kennedy called the situation  "a moral crisis."

"This is not a sectional issue. Difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist in every city, in every state in the union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety," Kennedy said.

President Kennedy met civil rights leader Martin Luther King to discuss ending the demonstrations.  The meeting was arranged by Kennedy advisor, Harris Wofford.

"Martin Luther King deliberately said part of what non-violent direct action does is it creates crisis that people in power, whether it is government or corporations or others, they have to listen to," said Wofford.

President Kennedy responded in a nationally televised address.

"In too many communities in too many parts of the country wrongs are inflicted on Negro citizens and there are no remedies of law. Unless the Congress acts, their only remedy is the street. I am therefore asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities that are open to the public," he said.

The Civil Rights Act outlaws racial segregation in schools, the workplace and at public accommodations such as restaurants. The legislation faced strong opposition from mostly white southern lawmakers who tried to block its passage.

Wofford said the ongoing demonstrations and President Kennedy's assassination created the conditions for passing the Civil Rights Act.

"I don't think it would have necessarily have passed if he had not been killed and a wave of sympathy and understanding sweep the majority of the people in the United States," he said.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.  Former congressman Ron Dellums said it is a crowning achievement for so many African Americans.

"The Civil Rights Act was a very significant event in American history.  I maintain it was a time when the people in this country actually bent the political process to their will," said Dellums.

Five decades later, Jack Jones reaps the benefits of the anti-discrimination laws. He grew up in the segregated South and was denied opportunities but went on to run a small nationwide company.

"I have absolutely no doubt that the Civil Rights Act changed America.  It changed for all of us, it changed mostly for us, the black people, but it also sought out to make this country a better country," he said.

Activists say the support of so many who demonstrated for freedom and justice in the 1960s helped make the Civil Rights Act a reality and a cornerstone of racial justice.

Vitamin D lack is linked
to high blood pressure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People who are low in the sunshine vitamin, better known as Vitamin D, appear to be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure, known as hypertension. The author of a new study says taking a daily Vitamin D supplement could reduce the likelihood of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers, led by University of South Australia nutritionist Elina Hyppönen, conducted a population study of nearly 150,000 Europeans, looking at two genetic variants that reflected their Vitamin D status.

Investigators found people with a particular gene had more Vitamin D and a reduced risk of high blood pressure.

“And I think that this is a potentially important finding, because it’s likely that avoiding a Vitamin D deficiency, we can also lower the risk of developing hypertension,” said Ms. Hyppönen.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.  Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis.  This is the first study to strongly suggest its link to hypertension.

According to the Vitamin D Council, those at highest risk of not getting enough of the nutrient include people with darker skin, those who spend a lot of time indoors, people who live in northern latitude countries, seniors, pregnant women and those who are overweight.

Ms. Hyppönen says blood tests for Vitamin D are expensive and not routinely done.  So, to make sure one is getting enough Vitamin D, she recommends spending some time outdoors.  

“We can be pretty confident that we do not have severe problems of Vitamin D deficiency if we are exposed to some sunlight and we do not use excessive amounts of sun lotion. And also if we are consuming Vitamin D- fortified foods,” said Ms. Hyppönen.

Such foods include salmon, wild-caught mackerel, mushrooms, cod liver oil, tuna, sardines and dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.

In addition, Ms. Hyppönen said, it could not hurt to take a Vitamin D supplement, between 400 and 1,000 international units each day.

The study linking Vitamin D deficiency and hypertension is published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. 

Nearly a billion dollars goes
to keep Northeast safe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeastern United States in 2012, it caused massive destruction along a densely populated corridor.

In the aftermath, the U.S. government pledged $920 million for a program to help plan for the next major storm. Rebuild by Design brings together international experts on water control and is turning to survivors for ideas. 

The team is working on six regional projects to minimize damage from the next big storm.

"The first part that's getting funded is the Lower East Side and that’s East River Park," said Amy Chester, executive director of Rebuild by Design. "And they are looking at the park, not only as a park, but a burm. So a burm would protect the community but it will also create a space, create new space for recreation 365 days a year."

A project team called the BIG U developed the plan to protect the area.

Sandy flooded much of the Lower East Side, displacing many. The recovery is still under way.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels described the project.

"Think of it as a string of pearls that constantly changes shape and form and character,' said Ingels. "And for each part of the Big U we’ve had intensive meetings with the local communities and they’ve told us what they wanted, which things they were missing, which things they were afraid of. Then we designed the flood barrier in a way that it also becomes pavilions for markets or different sort of public amenities."

Damaris Reyes, executive director of  Good Old Lower East Side, said the Big U design team listened to the community.

“They know that we were part of this broader coalition that was really representative of community folk and they came to us and asked to work with us," said Reyes.

The Big U project is the first link in a chain of fortifications that will run along eight contiguous miles of the Manhattan shore line.

Staten Island has plans for a fish hatchery, a beach and a harbor school.  Hunt's point market in nearby Hoboken will be protected -- and wetlands in New York and New Jersey will be revitalized to lessen the impact of a storm surge like Sandy's.

Holly Licht, a government administrator on the project, says they looked all over the world for inspiration.

“It’s much more sophisticated in other parts of the world than it is here right now," Ms. Licht said. "So that element of people who have built real projects for resilience for other parts of the world and seeing what works and what hasn’t worked as well, we wanted to tap into that experience and that knowledge base.”

With the project plans complete, the hardest part may be yet to come. The Rebuild by Design team must now coordinate the plan with tens of federal agencies, and city and state governments.

US. Supreme Court demands
warrants for cell searches

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled police may not usually search the cellphones of people they arrest without a search warrant.

The court said Thursday cellphone searches require warrants because they are powerful devices that contain so much information. But the court noted there are some emergency situations in which warrantless searches would be permitted.

The case was brought forward by two men who felt police had violated their Fourth Amendment Constitutional right that bars unreasonable searches.

The Supreme Court also ruled online TV company Aereo is violating copyright law by retransmitting copyrighted programming owned by broadcast networks without paying for it.

The company owns thousands of antennas in cities across America that capture over-the-air signals, store the content and stream it to Aereo’s customers.

Aereo charges $8 or $12 a month for the service, and it argued this is legal in the same way that cloud services use the Internet to bring copyrighted data to consumers. The American Broadcasting Co. argued it is acting like a cable company, which has to pay for content use.

The 6-3 court ruling in favor of American Broadcasting Co. protects an estimated $3 billion in fees that broadcasters get from cable and satellite TV systems to retransmit their content. It also made clear the ruling would not apply to cloud-based content services from companies such as Google, Microsoft and DropBox.

U.S. economy unexpectedly
contracts in first three months

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy shrank more than first thought at the beginning of this year.

Wednesday's report from the Commerce Department says the economy shrank at a 2.9 percent annual pace in January, February, and March.

That is much worse than earlier estimates, and the worst economic growth figures in five years.  U.S. officials routinely revise economic estimates as new, more complete data becomes available.

Economists blame the slowdown on unusually foul winter weather, and many predict the problem will be temporary.

A top White House economic advisor, Jason Furman, says data from April and May show the economy is on track to resume growing soon.

However, a second economic study published Wednesday, went against that trend, showing orders for long-lasting manufactured goods unexpectedly fell in May.

Eli Wallach, character actor,
leaves list of many roles

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. character actor Eli Wallach, who gained his fame in Westerns, has died at the age of 98.

Wallach's daughter confirmed reports of her father's death on Tuesday.

Wallach was known for his work in such movies as "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," but the list of his movie, television, and stage projects was long, spanning more than six decades. He was never nominated for an Academy Award, but he was given an honorary Oscar in 2010 at age 95 for being what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts called the quintessential chameleon for his wide range of character roles.

Wallach was born in 1915 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, one of the few Jewish children in an Italian neighborhood. He attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where he learned to ride a horse -- a skill that proved useful in the many Westerns in which he appeared later. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and met his wife, actress Anne Jackson, soon after his return. The two worked on a number of projects together, even acting with their children at times.

Wallach also shared the screen with many of Hollywood's most recognizable names: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, and many more. He worked far into his 90s, with his last screen credits in 2010. 

Religious promoters like
idea of open, free Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Falun Gong, a spiritual movement with Buddhist and Daoist influences, has been banned in China since 1999.

About a decade ago, however, its practitioners began developing technology to circumvent the Communist government’s Internet restrictions, commonly known as the Great Firewall, a censorship and surveillance project operated by Beijing's ministry of public security.

“The initial purpose was to free information regarding Falun Gong,” said software engineer John Yu, recalling the early stages of the project, which developed into a series of software programs known as Dynaweb.

Operated from a secret location, Dynaweb now allows a multitude of users in China, Iran and other repressive countries to surf the web anonymously.

According to Yu, who is no longer involved in Dynaweb, Falun Gong viewed its development as a moral imperative in a world where so many commercial software firms sought only to avoid upsetting China’s censors.

“They don’t have the motive . . ,” Yu said. “They do the opposite, and they make a lot of money.”

Falun Gong is now one of an assortment of religious groups that see Internet freedom as vital to religious freedom.

In a letter to the U.S. Congress last year, a coalition of groups including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, along with the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism, said U.S. government-funded broadcasters should devote more of their budget to developing anti-censorship software.

“Today’s Internet firewall systems are 21st century equivalents of the brick and barbed wire Berlin Walls of the 20th century,” the letter said.

Lynne Weil, a spokeswoman for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG, which oversees Voice of America and other government-funded international broadcasters, said the agency now obligates $25.5 million to Internet freedom efforts.

She conceded, however, that the BBG “had to make some difficult decisions,” including cuts to production and transmission of content, to meet the funding obligation.

Barrett Duke of the Ethics and Religious Liberty commission said some U.S. religious groups are looking for ways to proselytize internationally via the Internet, and welcome the U.S. government efforts.

“I have no doubt that there are some people who will see that there’s a way to use that greater freedom to do that,” he said, adding that online evangelization requires an initial interest on part of the user.

“Even if you put information out on the Internet, people still have to access it,” he said. “It isn’t as though it gets to them without them seeking it out.”

Pastor Zhang Boli of Washington Harvest Chinese Christian Church in northern Virginia says his videos are often accessed by Christians in China using Falun Gong’s software. Christianity has been growing rapidly in China, he says, and censorship keeps converts from learning about their newfound faith.

“Many of the pastors in China say they’re not very well educated about Christianity,” he said. “So people are always getting the wrong information. If the Internet block could be released, it would be very, very helpful for people to learn about the real Christianity.”

Brian Grim of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation says faith groups operating overseas should be careful about supporting government anti-censorship efforts.

“For a policy to try and circumvent Internet controls sounds almost like spying, so I think in many countries that would be perceived with some bit of skepticism if not alarm,” he said.

But religious movements have a huge stake in how the Internet is run, he adds, because it is increasingly where people go to share their faith.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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Tiliran property
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Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
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Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $449,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
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the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

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

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

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

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More photos HERE!
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Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

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

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

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:


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

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 125
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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
Swiss, French and Nigerians advance

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Switzerland, France and Nigeria secured spots in the coveted round of 16 in World Cup action Wednesday in Brazil.

France played Ecuador to a scoreless draw in Rio de Janeiro to finish first in Group E with seven points.

Afterward, Ecuador's coach Reinaldo Rueda complained about a referee's decision to dismiss Ecuadorian team captain and midfielder Antonio Valencia on a questionable red card. The red card for Valencia's challenge to France's Lucas Digne caused Ecuador to play most of the second half with 10 men.

With the loss, Ecuador became the only South American team not to advance beyond the group stage to the round of 16, also known as the knockout round.

"We lost a very important man for our structure," Rueda said. "It was difficult against France with all the virtues and abilities that team has."

In Manaus, Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri provided all of the scoring in a 3-0 win over Honduras that lifted the Swiss into the second round. The Swiss finished behind France with six points.   

Despite losing to Argentina in Group F play, Nigeria advanced to the knockout round after Iran fell to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Salvador, 3-1.

Wednesday's Argentina-Nigeria match in Porto Alegre was action packed from the start, with Argentine captain Lionel Messi and Nigeria's Ahmed Musa scoring in the first five minutes of play. The two scored again before a goal off Argentina's Marcos Rojo's knee remained unanswered for a 3-2 finish.

Argentina, which qualified for the knockout round last week, finished first in Group F with nine points, followed by Nigeria with four, Bosnia with three and Iran with one.

Competition Wednesday was overshadowed by a controversy that surfaced the day before involving Uruguay's star striker, Luis Suarez.

Tuesday, Suarez appeared to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win in a Group D match that sent the Uruguayans to the knockout round.

The governing body of international football, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, said Wednesday it is investigating the incident, which has since been the talk of the football world.

"I think the disciplinary committee understands the urgency of the matter," said Delia Fischer, the association's head of media. "It is working to get all and assess all elements in order to make a decision as early as possible, particularly given the fact that Uruguay is still in the tournament."

Suarez's teammates played down the incident.

"We're good, we're calm, we don't want to dramatize anything," Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez said. "They made too much out of it. There have been other situations that have happened during the World Cup, and I don't know why we should focus on this one.  They had their backs turned, so we didn't see anything, and for us it looks like they want to exaggerate something that happened on the pitch and ended there, that's it."

Suarez has had several bouts with controversy. In club play, he has been suspended twice for biting opposing players, and once for spewing racially abusive language at an opponent. He is likely to be suspended again if Tuesday's biting incident is confirmed.

Uruguay's next match is on Saturday against Colombia in the round of 16.  A decision by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association is expected before then.

Thursday, group play closes with pivotal matches in Group G and Group H.

All four Group G teams are still bidding for spots in the knockout round.  Germany and the United States, tied for first with four points, clash in Recife.  Portugal and Ghana, with one point each, meet in Brasilia.

With victories in its first two games, Belgium is the only Group H team that has qualified for the round of 16.  The Belgians play South Korea in Sau Paulo, and Algeria and Russia face off in Curitiba.  Algeria is second to Belgium with three points, while South Korea and Russia have one point each.

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From Page 7:

New planning center means 300 more jobs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another big brand from the United States is expanding its operations within Costa Rica. Procter & Gamble executives announced they will soon create 300 more jobs in the area, adding onto the 200 positions already in place for their modern center of planning.

President Luis Guillermo Solís attended Wednesday's inauguration ceremony with his foreign trade minister, Alexander Mora, and the president of the country's investment promotion agency, José Rossi. Since his recent business trip to the U.S., Solís has attracted several new investments for Costa Rica. He said this latest one from Procter & Gamble shows that businesses recognize the country is becoming more influential on a global scale with a wide array of international connections.

“Today Procter & Gamble is giving us a vote of confidence and hundreds of Costa Ricans will contribute their skills to the company's new positions,” Solís said. “I'm glad to know that multinational businesses are trusting in Costa Rica's human talent to grow their operations.”

The new center of planning will take up four floors in the Forum 1 business center west of San José, occupying 6,000 square meters in all. This location will operate primarily with design, technology and on-site services.

Procter & Gamble's general manager here, Tara Polanco, said the expansion demonstrates a long-term commitment to the country because it's been such a rewarding connection for the company.

“It's already been 15 years since Procter & Gamble arrived in Costa Rica and we've enjoyed a win-win relationship with the country,” Ms. Polanco said. “The authorities and communities here fill us with pride and hope over the future.”

Construction of the center of planning was initially announced in January of 2013. The facilities are expected to reach their full occupancy of 500 in 2015. This center is being promoted as the company's flagship distributor in Latin America. Procter & Gamble also has a financial service center and a business transformation center in Costa Rica, comprising of up to 1,500 total jobs.