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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 129                         Email us
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Here is a quick quiz based on recent news articles
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Information is the key to surviving and prospering in a strange place.

Editors like to think of A.M. Costa Rica as a key to prospering. Certainly the educational attainments and intellectual abilities of this newspaper's readership are well above average.

To keep readers sharp here is a little quiz on some Costa Rican expat facts that are based on recent news articles:

1. What is the leading cause of violent deaths of U.S. citizens here.

a.) traffic accidents
b.) street robberies
c.) water accidents
d.) suicide

2. If a Costa Rican is denied a U.S. visitor's visa, how long is the appeal process?

a.) two weeks
b.) one month
c.) six months
d.) none of the above


3. The Atlantic hurricane season is supposed to be:

a.) normal
b.) above normal
c.) below normal
d.) well above normal

4. A legal age for marriage in Costa Rica is

a.) 12 if the girl is pregnant
b.) 12 with parental permission
c.) 15 with parental permission
d.) 16 years

5. Costa Rica taxes the Social Security payments of U.S. citizens living here:

a.) true
b.) false
c.) amounts over $22,000 a year
d.) when the money enters the country

6. Costa Rican real estate agents are licensed by:

1.) security ministry
2.) the municipalities
3.) the justice ministry
d.) none of the above

7. Costa Rican rules require including women in the political process. Which of these is true:

1.) The presidency is alternated between
         male and female at each election.
2.)  Political parties must have 30 percent
         women on their slate for offices.
3.)  Voting is based on  qualifications and
          not gender.
4.)  Women have complained that they are
           relegated to secondary roles despite
           the law.

Teatro Nacional

8. The Teatro Nacional was completed in 1897 with funds from:

a.) coffee tax
b.) sugar tax
c.) donations by school kids
d.) loans based on future admissions income

9. Costa Rica hosts more than 2 million tourists each year. Roughly how many are from neighboring Nicaragua?


10. The sales tax on most retail purchases is

a.) 5 percent
b.) 13 percent
c.) variable
d.) 20 percent

Bonus: 11. Although many crooks have firearms, legal gun ownership is restricted to:

a.) citizens, permanent residents and tourists
b.) citizens, permanent residents and diplomats
b.) citizens
b.) those who can show a compelling need

The answers are HERE!

Calypso festival returns to Cahuita this weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Calypso returns again to Cahuita on the Caribbean coast with the III Festival Internacional de Calypso this weekend.

Organizers said that some performers are coming from Trinidad and Panamá.

The festival honors Walter Ferguson, the long-time Calypso performer of Cahuita.

The festival is sponsored by the  Ministerio de Cultura y  Juventud, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Cahuita, the Instituto
Costarricense de Turismo, the Municipalidad de Talamanca and local business operators.

Organizers are promoting the event as a way to start the annual school vacation and enjoy the natural beauty of the southern Caribbean coast as well as the unique cuisine.

The festival starts Friday at 9 a.m. with community sports. There also is a mechanical bull scheduled, as well as break dancing

Also planned are Caribbean story telling and a series of concerts beginning at 2 p.m. After a 5 p.m. inauguration, a band parade is on the agenda.

Part of a poster promting the festival

The music resumes at 7 p.m. with the  Calipso Legends, Canto América,  Kawe Calypso and  Manuel Monestel

Saturday there is a calypso workshop at 10 a.m., more music, an 11K run at 2 p.m. and a performance of the Ballet Folklorico Mi linda Costa Rica and the  Banda Calypso Jawa at 5 p.m.

The musical evening ends with Chucky Roderick Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago performing at 10 p.m.

Sunday there is more music with a performance by The Gospel Messenger of Cahuita at 1 p.m. The final performance begins at 5 p.m. that day. A full schedule is posted HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 129

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Del Rey

U.S. formally asks for extradition of Li

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

U.S. Embassy officials in Switzerland have filed formal extradition requests with the country's government to bring seven detained international soccer figures to the United States for trial.

Among them is Eduardo Li, a member of the international governing body's executive committee and the head of the Costa Rican soccer football federation. He has said that he will fight extradition.

The seven were detained in May when the Fédération Internationale de Football Association was holding a meeting in Zurich.

Legal experts estimate that the hearings on extradition might take six months and that there is an opportunity for court appeals after than.

Even if Li avoids extradition, he would be stuck in Switzerland because if he leaves, the United States will renew the process in whatever country he enters. In Costa Rica he is immune to extradition because of a constitutional provision.

Swiss justice officials confirmed today they have received the requests for the seven officials who were arrested on suspicion of bribery, according to wire service reports. The allegations are that the officials took large amounts of money to provide certain sports companies with rights to broadcast international soccer games.

Also jailed with Li in Switzerland are two association vice presidents, Eugenio Figueredo, president of a South American soccer football organization, and Jeffrey Webb, the head of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, which includes Costa Rica.

A U.S. indictment issued in May charges nine soccer officials and five corporate executives with offenses that include racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

A separate Swiss investigation has been looking into allegations of mismanagement and money laundering connected to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Swiss prosecutors are investigating 53 possible money-laundering incidents involving the bidding process for the two World Cups.

Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber has said that the transactions were reported by banks through Switzerland's anti-money laundering alert system. Lauber said banks had done their duty in reporting the activity and warned that the case was huge and complex.

The international association has suspended the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup because of the controversy.

Japan will be the opponent Sunday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The stage is set for a rematch of the 2011 Women's World Cup final, with the U.S. soccer team looking to avenge its loss to defending champion Japan.

Fourth seeded Japan advanced to Sunday's final in Vancouver, Canada, after a 2-1 semifinal win over England.

The winning margin was provided by an accidental goal from England's Laura Bassett, who accidentally sent the ball into her team's net in the 92nd minute while trying to clear the ball.

Japan is now looking ahead to Sunday's rematch with the two-time champion U.S. team.

"However we played in this game, the fact is, we're going to the final,'' Japan coach Norio Sasaki said through an interpreter. "And I'd like to congratulate the players for that... We should really cherish this moment that we are going to the final.''

The U.S. advanced to World Cup final earlier this week, when it beat Germany 2-0, behind second half goals from midfielder Carli Lloyd and defender Kelley O'Hara.

The United States and Japan played to a 2-2 tie in the final match four years ago.  Japan won on penalty kicks.

Our reader's opinion
Ambassador's decision criticized

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

 I just read in A.M. Costa Rica that the new U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica will not attend the community's 4th of July celebration.  I am sorry to disagree with the ambassador who is following his strong religious beliefs restricting his activities on a Saturday. 

I feel that no matter what beliefs an ambassador has, he is the representative of the United States and the president.  For that ambassador to not attend his country's primary celebration of its founding sends a negative message regarding his commitment to his country. 

This ambassador is also missing the opportunity to meet many of his fellow Americans so soon after his arrival.  As one of them, I feel this shows us that we should not expect his strong support regarding our concerns or problems.  I am not criticizing the ambassador's religion or denigrating his strong beliefs, but I feel that in this instance, the ambassador is making an error in judgment by putting those ahead of his country.
Loren Cain
Piedades de Puriscal

Answers to readership quiz

Here are the answers to the news quiz on Page One:

1. (c) According to State Department figures, drowning was the principal cause of violent death of U.S. citizens in 2014.

2. (d) There is no appeal for a visa denial.

3. (c) The hurricane season is supposed to be well below normal due to El Niño and a cooler Atlantic ocean.

4. (c) The legal age for marriage is 15 years with parental permission. At age 18 there is no restriction.

5. (b) False. Costa Rica does not tax income earned outside the country. Yet.

6. (d) None of the above. There are no licensing requirements for real estate agents and brokers in Costa Rica. Two organizations provide voluntary certification.

7. (d) Despite election laws on the books mandating women on party election slates, some have complained that they are relegated to secondary positions like vice mayor in the municipalities.

8. (a) Coffee tax.

9. About 450,000 Nicaraguans are counted each year as tourists, which, technically, they are. But most come here for other reasons.

10. (b) The sales tax now, except on basic food items, is 13 percent, but the government seeks to raise it and make it a value-added tax instead.

Bonus: 11. (b) Technically just citizens and permanent residents, but some diplomats carry weapons because their status makes them immune to the law and they need weapons in their jobs.

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From A.M. Costa Rica

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From our retirement guide

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In the Spanish-language press
Today, July 2

San Sebastián without water Friday

CR Hoy: Due to highway construction, the barrios San Se­bas­tián, López Ma­teos, Cris­to Rey and Sa­gra­da Fa­mi­lia will not have water pressure from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

A summary of the case of the missing girl

CR Hoy: For a year authorities have been seeking clues in the disappearancef young Wendolyn Yerelin who vanished last July 11 in  Santo Domingo de Heredia.

Security ministry says protest is expensive

Prensa Libre: The security ministry said it is spending 81million colons a day to counter protests by residents of Paquera who are unhappy about highway renovation projects. Some 60 police have been assigned there.

Another complaint against ex-lawmaker

La Nación: Just before Justo Orozco, head of a Christian political party, was detained Tuesday on an allegation that he fondled a woman in Pavas, another women filed a formal complaint alleging similar actions.

— Compiled by Sylvia Quesada Hidalgo

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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes R­o Colorado S.A 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 129
Real Estate
About us
Don't miss our showcase of top restaurants HERE!

Irked Paquera residents block highway seeking construction action
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents of the Paquera area of the Nicoya peninsula blocked a key highway early Wednesday and then engaged in a running battle with police.

The Fuerza Pública said that 10 persons had been arrested.

The residents, who are being described as strikers, first blocked one section of Ruta 160 with dirt, rocks and tree trunks and then dumped more trash on a bridge at midday after police cleared the first obstructions.

The Fuerza Pública said that about 200 persons were involved in the protest. Some 60 police officers responded through the day. At least three officers suffered injuries from flying bottles and stones.

Protesters torched the second blockage on a bridge known as La Gallada. Dark, black smoke swirled to the sky. Shortly before 1 p.m. police managed to extinguish the flames and clear the bridge. They said they were concerned that the heat might damage the bridge.

Ruta 160 was the topic of a meeting Monday between residents and road officials. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said in a statement Wednesday that the people were told that preliminary plans exist for improving the highway but that there needs to be more design work.

Karla Prendas Matarrita, a lawmaker with the Partido Liberación Nacional, represents the area. She said Wednesday that the protesters were not satisfied with the presentation by the government.

She pointed out that she had been trying to get information on the project and had to file a Sala IV appeal to get it. An additional Sala IV order told the road agency, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, to fix the road, so some asphalt was put down.

The highway now is mostly gravel, and it runs to Playa Naranjo to the north some 24 kilometers, about 15 miles.

The public works ministry sent a backhoe to the protest Wednesday to help clear the debris but warned later in the day that its crews would do nothing as long as the protests continued.

The agency said the blockade was not justified.

Ministerio de Seguridad photo
Smoke swirls from the second blockage of the day.

The road work is part of a much larger package that is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Paquera is well-known to tourists because it is the community closest to where the Puntarenas ferry docks.

Lawmaker Prendas said she invited President Luis Guillermo Solís and highway officials to meet with residents of Paquera today.

President says politicians might use emergency funds for politics
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís urged residents to complain if emergency funds were used for political purposes.

The statement was unusual because it is Solís and his administration that is responsible for using funds to repair damage from more than a week of heavy rains in the northern zone and the province of Limón

Solís noted that municipal elections are Feb. 7 and said that the populace should be alert to prevent emergency funds being used as if the money were campaign contributions.

He said emergency funds belong to the people and not to politicians.

He made his comments while he was touring the flood-ravage northern zone and northern Limón. He was over Barra del Colorado, Matina and Siquirres because part of the trip was by aircraft. He will visit southern Limón province today.

Also Wednesday, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional released statistics that showed that Turrialba received more than a meter of rain in June. That's about 40 inches. This was the location with the greatest accumulation for the month. In just three days, June 26 to 28, the community received 406 millimeters, about 16 inches, according to the weather institute's report.

Casa Presidencial photo
President Solía and his party vist a washed out bridge.

Limón Centro got 340 millimeters, about 13.5 inches, during the same period, the institute said.

In addition to Turrialba, areas that got the most rain appeared to be in the mountains overlooking the Caribbean, so this contributed to the rapid rise of rivers and flooding.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 129
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Brazilian study documents highly negative effect of hydro project
By the University of East Anglia news staff

Widely hailed as green sources of renewable energy, hydroelectric dams have been built worldwide at an unprecedented scale. But research from the University of East Anglia reveals that these major infrastructure projects are far from environmentally friendly.

A study published in PLOS ONE reveals the drastic effects of the major Amazonian Balbina Dam on tropical rainforest biodiversity.

The research reveals a loss of mammals, birds and tortoises from the vast majority of islands formed by the creation of the vast Balbina Lake, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric reservoirs.

Lead author Maíra Benchimol at the Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Bahia, Brazil, said: “Hydroelectric dams have been thought to be an environmentally friendly source of renewable power – and in recent years they have been built to supply the burgeoning energy demands of emergent tropical countries.

“Previous studies have shown that large dams result in severe losses in fishery revenues, increases in greenhouse gas emissions, and socioeconomic costs to local communities. Our research adds evidence that forest biodiversity also pays a heavy price when large dams are built. 

“Of course, it is widely known that dams cause massive population losses in terrestrial and tree-dwelling species within lowland forest areas that are flooded," said Carlos Peres, from the University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences. "However, we’re only beginning to realize the staggering extent of extinctions in forest areas that remain above water as habitat islands.

“The Brazilian government is currently planning to build hundreds of new dams in some of the world’s most biodiverse tropical forest regions. But the high biodiversity costs of mega dams should be carefully weighed against any benefits of hydropower production.”

The Balbina Dam in the Central Brazilian Amazon is one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams in terms of total flooded area. The creation of this dam saw a formerly unbroken landscape of undisturbed continuous forest converted into an artificial archipelago of 3,546 islands.

The research team carried out intensive biodiversity surveys over two years on 37 islands isolated by the hydroelectric reservoir and three neighboring continuous forest areas. They also surveyed land and tree dwelling vertebrates at these 40 forest sites.

Further research focused on plants and used high-resolution satellite images to better understand the level of forest degradation on the islands.

Key findings:

• Clear evidence of widespread loss of animals on forest

University of East Anglia /Eduardo M. Venticinque
Some of the many islands created by the dam

islands following 26 years of isolation, even under the best-case protection scenario ensured by the largest biological reserve in Brazil.

• Large vertebrates including mammals, large game birds and tortoises disappeared from most islands formed by the creation of the Balbina Lake.

• Of the 3,546 islands created, only 25 are now likely to harbor at least four fifths of all 35 target species surveyed in the study.

• Island size was the most important factor predicting the number of forest vertebrate species retained.

Benchimol said: “We found that only a few islands larger than 475 hectares still contained a diverse community of animal and bird species, which corresponds to only 0.7 per cent of all islands in the reservoir.

“In addition to the effects of area reduction, most small islands succumbed to wind exposure and ephemeral fires that occurred during a severe El Niño drought in 1997-98. Post-burn islands retained even fewer wildlife species than islands of similar size that had not been affected by wildfires.”

In another study published last month in Journal of Ecology the authors showed that fires on these small islands have a negative effect for animal life with extinction rates accelerated by the reduction of habitable forest.

Benchimol said: “Different wildlife species respond differently depending on their lifestyles. Those that need small home ranges coped better with forest habitat loss caused by the dam.

"Nevertheless, the future demographic and genetic viability of small isolated populations in areas affected by major dams seems bleak, as few species are able to maintain gene flow by swimming long distances to reach other islands.”

Professor Peres said: “We predicted an overall local extinction rate of more than 70 per cent of the 124,110 wildlife populations of the species we studied occurring in all 3,546 islands across the entire archipelago. We’re shedding new light into the devastating impacts of large infrastructure projects on tropical forest biodiversity, which should be considered in any environmental impact assessments of new hydroelectric dams.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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.


                        in osa

Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
The Villas De Oros is a jungle paradise with the whole of the Osa within your reach, plus many local activities. Our five villas and suites are unique, sleeping between  two or four guests. They were built to reflect a love and respect for nature. We are happy to serve a wide variety of travelers, families, couples on romantic escapes and adventures seekers. We are near beautiful beaches, many national parks, fine dining and local fare. We are a small hotel, but we will do all we can to help make arrangements for you to insure your adventure of a lifetime!  Please let us know if you will need help with transportation arrangements and what tours you are interested in. Our moderately priced accommodations give you the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding jungle. With river and ocean views as well as an abundance of wildlife, you are sure to enjoy your stay. All four villas have kitchen facilities, two with full inside kitchens and three with mini-kitchens on the balconies overlooking the jungle. We are frequented almost daily by monkeys, macaws, toucans, iguanas, and many other fascinating creatures of Costa Rica. See more at  
506-2786-5170 in Costa Rica     303-719-0151 in U.S.

Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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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:   
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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Apartment for Rent $1,575
2 bedrooms, 2 full baths

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

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.
apartment view
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. 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:   Call us: 506-2221-7161. 

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

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Rent my beautiful little home for a year or two and see if you like it. Located in the hills of San Isidro de Heredia. Cool weather, peaceful
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 meters lot. Fireplace and deck. Lovely garden, meditation rock on the River Turú. Available starting July 1, 2015. Contact; Michael at or 8843-5322. More photos:

Apartment Lemur del Bosque for rent
San Francisco de Dos Ríos, 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 prefered. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

Palmares graphic

Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 129
Real Estate
About us

President taps Kerry to raise
U.S. Flag at new embassy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama said Wednesday the United States and Cuba have agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and plan to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana later this month, in the latest move to end years of hostility between the two countries.

Obama said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana this summer to raise the U.S. flag over the first American embassy in more than five decades.

The U.S. trade embargo and Cuba’s human rights record are among the issues still blocking normalizing relations broken following Fidel Castro’s revolution.

Speaking in Vienna, where he was attending nuclear talks with Iran, Kerry didn't give a precise date for opening the embassy, but he called the announcement of normalized diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba long overdue.

“The United States and Cuba continue to have sharp differences over democracy, human rights and related issues," Kerry said. But the two countries have identified areas for cooperation, including law enforcement, emergency response, environmental protection and migration, he added.

Earlier Wednesday, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the top U.S. diplomat in Havana, delivered a letter from the White House to Cuba about restoring embassies in the countries' respective capitals.

In his own response, Cuban President Raúl Castro said he is pleased to confirm his country will resume diplomatic ties with the United States, writing to Obama that Cuba is doing so because it is “encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful relations and cooperation between our people and governments.”

However, a separate statement from the Havana government said reopening embassies is just the first step in a long and complex process toward normalization of bilateral ties. It then demanded an end to the U.S. embargo, the return of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, a halt to U.S. radio and TV broadcasts aimed at the island, and other grievances.

Castro's letter and the government statement were read on state television Wednesday morning. Obama's announcement was also broadcast on state television.

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement that Cuba and the U.S will reopen embassies in each other's capitals. Ban called it an important step on the path toward normalizing relations.

Tomas Bilbao, executive director of the Cuban Study Group in Washington, said this is a historic moment after 54 years of severed diplomatic relations.

"I think that re-establishing diplomatic relations puts us in a better position to be able to work with the Cuban government to resolve many of those issues. It will be necessary, again, for the full normalization of relations, including expropriations, and issues of human rights, and others. But, having senior diplomats present on the ground and at the embassy will help us be able to advocate for those positions.”

Roger Noriega, who is now a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and who served as a U.S. diplomat and policy maker, specializing in Western Hemisphere Affairs, had a contrarian reaction to the White House announcement the embassies will reopen.

“Well, I certainly hope that the president hasn’t lowered our standards in defense of democracy in order to raise the flag in Havana," said Noriega. "He wasn’t particularly candid with the American people in explaining what’s at stake, and explaining how dangerous that Cuban government continues to be today.”

He also was blunt about how the two countries will resolve the years of court judgments, sanctions, frozen assets, and more.

“Well, quite frankly, it’s going to take a new government in Havana, because these standards on trade, on property rights, are extraordinarily complicated – and the stakes are very high," said Noriega. "I just do not see the regime in Havana today with any interest or capability – and flexibility – to respond on those important issues.  It’s going to require meaningful change in that country before we can have a real interlocutation on those issues.”

Restoration of official ties is the latest step in the process since Presidents Obama and Castro announced in December the two countries were renewing diplomatic relations.

The leaders held face-to-face talks at April’s Summit of the Americas in Panamá.

In May, the United States removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move seen as crucial to restoring diplomatic ties.​

​Geoff Thale, director of programs for the Washington Office on Latin America, said Wednesday, "This announcement is a positive step for the United States and the hemisphere. It's a long overdue policy change, and opens up the prospects for practical collaboration while allowing us to discuss our differences in a serious way.”

“Though Congress still needs to remove the embargo on trade and travel to Cuba, this announcement is historic and the result of President Obama’s deeper process of updating U.S. policy towards Cuba for the 21st century,” Thale said.

Commercial air and ferry service between the two countries have been, or are being, restored, and communications restrictions have been eased, although U.S. citizens can only travel to Cuba under limited guidelines.

However, obstacles remain, including a decades-long U.S. trade embargo of Cuba that only Congress can remove.

Obama must deal with strong resistance to lifting the embargo from Republicans and some Democrats, who say he is prematurely rewarding a government that engages in serious human rights abuses.

He also would have to gain congressional approval to use taxpayer dollars to build or refurbish an embassy in Havana.

Last month, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted to restrict Obama administration efforts to work on an embassy in Cuba.

A $48-billion foreign aid bill for next year bars any work on an American embassy there unless Obama certifies that Havana is meeting the terms of a 1996 law aimed at pushing the island nation's government toward democracy. That law's conditions include Cuba's extradition of people who are accused of crimes in the U.S.

And just last week, Washington released its annual human rights report, which cited Cuba for violating basic freedoms in 2014, including the arbitrary arrest of dissidents and limiting access to uncensored, independent information.

Latin America analyst Mark Jones of Rice University said he thinks reopening embassies will help both countries grapple with such issues.

"What the establishment of formal diplomatic relations and an embassy will do is allow the countries to begin addressing this host of issues that face both countries -- be it human rights violations in Cuba and issues regarding compensation for U.S. citizens and also issues related to fugitives from U.S. justice who are residing presently in Cuba and doing something about that for people who have been accused of capital crimes, murder for instance, in the United States and have fled to Cuba," Jones said.

However, Jones said he does not necessarily expect warming ties to change Cuba’s one-party Communist system.

He said other Westerners have been visiting the Caribbean island nation for decades with no change in the governmental system.

In a statement, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, denounced the move to reopen an embassy as emboldening the Castro regime to continue its attacks against the Cuban people.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said opening the embassy “will do nothing to help the Cuban people and is just another trivial attempt for President Obama to go legacy shopping.”

However, Ted Henken, Cuba analyst at Baruch College in New York, said the anti-regime policies Rep. Ros-Lehtinen supports have done nothing to improve the human rights of the Cuban people.

"Her strategy, the one that she favors, has failed. She’s on the wrong side of this issue," Henken said.

"Having diplomatic relations with Cuba doesn’t mean we approve of the Cuban government nor do we approve of their treatment of the Cuban people. I think we’ll have a better chance of having some kind of influence in Cuba with a relationship that’s engaging, empowering than one that is isolating and impoverishing the government and the people," he said.

Obama stressed in his short announcement Wednesday, "I’ve been clear that we will also continue to have some very clear differences that will include America’s enduring support for universal values like freedom of speech and assembly and ability to access information.

"We will not hesitate to speak out when we see actions that contradict those values," he said.

​Henken said changing policy toward Cuba is about American interests and influence, not about regime change.

"This is not a silver bullet – it’s not a concession to the dictatorship. It’s a concession to the U.S. people – it’s a concession to pragmatism and to common sense," he said.

Obama promotes Medicaid
in strategic Nashville visit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama visited health care hub Nashville, Tennessee,  Wednesday to push state governments to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor.

The president's health care law envisions a major expansion of the program, but nearly half of all U.S. states, mostly Republican-controlled, have rejected that part of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama urged Republican state legislators to "think about the people here in Tennessee who are working hard and struggling and just need a little bit of help."

Analysts say Nashville was carefully selected for a bipartisan push, noting that Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam, tried to expand Medicaid, but was blocked by fellow Republicans in the state’s legislature.

The visit came six days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal subsidies to millions of low- and middle-income Americans to help pay for health insurance premiums.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health policy group, says 6.9 million poor people, including 292,000 in Tennessee, will not get assistance if states don’t expand Medicaid.

Financial analysts say hospitals generally support the Medicaid expansion because the program often pays for those without insurance.

The Beacon Center of Tennessee, an independent, not-for-profit research group based in Nashville that stresses free-market solutions to public problems, says Obama is selling a program that is a taxpayer bailout for special interests and hospitals.

Joint Chiefs chairman says
U.S. is losing military edge

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday that while the United States is still the world's most powerful fighting force, other countries are starting to close the gap.

Announcing the 2015 National Military Strategy, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said other nations are investing heavily in their military capabilities.

The general said that since the Pentagon published its last military strategy in 2011, global disorder has increased and some of the advantages the U.S. had over other nations have started to erode.

Dempsey said the U.S. military needs to be more agile, innovative and integrated, and it must remain globally engaged.

The 2015 strategy notes that Russia has "repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors" and is willing to use force to achieve its goals. It says "Russia's military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces," a reference to its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The strategy says Iran's nuclear program worries U.S. allies in the Mideast and that Iran actively sponsors terrorist groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

It calls North Korea an outlaw state with atomic weapons and says it is building missiles capable of reaching the U.S.

But the strategy says China is in a different class and encourages the Chinese to become a partner for greater international security.

It does say, however, that China could be a threat to the U.S. and that its actions in the South China Sea — where China has flaunted its military might in island disputes with its neighbors — are worrisome.

The strategy says globalization and technology are letting people travel around the world in a way never seen before, and that makes a complex security situation even more complicated.

The Islamic State group in 2015 is not like al-Qaida in 2011, with a command-and-control unit giving orders. Dempsey called Islamic State transregional with other terrorist groups placing themselves under the Islamic State umbrella.

He said the U.S. is trying to build a network to combat the group, one that must be sustainable and endure.

China getting criticism
for tightening controls

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Human rights groups are criticizing China's sweeping new national security law, saying it will further enshrine and expand the country's suppression of political dissent.

China's largely ceremonial National People's Congress passed the bill Wednesday with 144 yes votes and one abstention, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The law allows authorities to take all necessary measures to safeguard territorial sovereignty and ensure full control over the country's already tightly censored Internet. The bill is Beijing's response to a national security situation that has become increasingly severe, according to Zheng Shu'na with the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

"We will continue to follow the path of peaceful development but we absolutely will not give up our legitimate rights and absolutely will not sacrifice the country's core interests," said Zheng at a news conference.

T. Kumar, director of international advocacy at Amnesty International USA, said this is basically an attempt by the Chinese government to strengthen its hold on power and to protect it from challenges by the civilian population.

He said the new law would encourage the police and the government to do what they want to do. “Human rights situation will deteriorate, even now it's bad, but it will be worse under this law," he added.

Brad Adams, executive director of the Asian division at Human Rights Watch, said the new law is part of several measures, “counter-terror laws, law limiting the activities of NGOs, and series of crackdowns on people in China for engaging in peaceful activities.”

He said that means “China has become a more and more oppressed country even while it claims it's becoming more democratic.”

“It is going to lead, I think, to a backlash in Chinese society that the Communist Party may or may not be able to control," he added.

The new law included measures to make all key network infrastructure and Information systems secure and controllable.

Adams said these measures could effectively silence dissidents and restrict non-profit organizations in China. He said the law is an extension of President Xi Jinping's attempt to control all aspects of Chinese society.

"This new law will just make it easier to provide a broader rational or reason to close organizations down or use criminal law against individuals," Adams said.

Kumar agrees. “NGOs and others who challenge the government or raise concerns can be easily charged under these laws . . .” he said.

Adams urged the Chinese government to be be extremely careful with the law. "If they are not giving people a chance to engage in peaceful commentary, then many people will probably resort to other kinds of opposition, which is not healthy to the country."

At a news conference Wednesday, Zheng defended the bill, saying "any government will stand firm and not leave any room for disputes, compromises and interferences when it comes to protecting its core interests."

Since coming to power in 2012, Chinese President Xi has made national security a top concern. Last year, he chaired the first meeting of China's national security commission. Among the country's major security challenges are its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and rising unrest related to the Xinjiang region. China says it is also a top target of cyber attacks.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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Photo montage of penthouse
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If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
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Costa Rica,

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Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
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Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
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English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
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Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:


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The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Highway Restaurant & Bar
Golfito, Costa Rica’s paradise. About 5 acre, choice property on the highway. Ideal to build a drive-in restaurant and home. Asking Only $65,000.00 Agents inquiries welcome. Call Jens: 2775-0225 or

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $725,000. Click HERE!

San Ramon rollover
Three-bedroom home with view near San Ramón
Beautiful house in magical setting in the hills above San Ramón in Costa Rica can be yours for $185,000! House was built 10 years ago with soaring 16-foot ceilings.  Enclosed area is 1,200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, large kitchen, and utility room.  It is located at 4,000 feet with typical temperatures ranging between 75 and the low 80s during the day and the low to mid-60s at night.  The house is offered fully furnished, including all appliances (nearly new energy-efficient Samsung refrigerator). The front of the house features a large covered veranda (another 500 square feet), with a barbecue and outdoor patio furniture to seat 8, and hooks for a hammock. There are many tropical plants, flowers, and trees are on the half-acre property.  Set on the far western edge of the Central Valley in a small, pastoral community, it's only 10 minutes to San Ramón and its many small stores, restaurants, museums, a branch campus of the University of Costa Rica, and a weekly farmers' market.
See additional pictures at
Phone: (506) 7009-0364

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Call: 877-778-8515
(506) 8307-0164
(410) 975-6703

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $889,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 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, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 129
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Judicial Investigating Organization photo        
These are the packages of apparent marijuana

Drug agents locate three more houses

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents said they think that some members of a suspected drug gang who were detained recently have links to the Sinaloa drug cartel in México.

The arrests began a week ago and continued with raids on three more homes in  San Isidro de Heredia Tuesday and Wednesday. One person was detained, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents said that the drug ring began operating here three years ago and lived an expensive lifestyle paying $2,000 or more a month to rent homes.

Among those who were arrested were Costa Ricans and Colombians as well as the two Mexicans, agents noted.

In the most recent raids, firearms and a silencer were located as were 217 packages of marijuana, said the judicial agency.

Four held in brutal Limón murders

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 Judicial police said they detained four men who are accused of at least four murders. In two cases the victims were dismembered and burned, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

A fifth suspect already is in jail in Panamá, the agency said.

The murders extend back to February and May 2013, and they are drug related, said the judicial agency. Due to the state of the bodies, DNA tests were used to identify the victims, agents said.

The arrests came Wednesday during raids at 12 locations around Limón Centro, including Bananito, Moin, Los Lirios and  Dondonia. Agents reported that they located firearms in the raids.

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From Page 7:

July 4 holiday has some impact here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. Independence Day is not observed officially in Costa Rica, but the holiday does have an impact.

Companies with dealings in the United States might find that key contacts have given themselves a long weekend. And the U.S. Embassy staff here also is observing the holiday Friday even though the July 4 date falls on Saturday.

Some A.M. Costa Rica readers have sent notifications that they are on vacation at the end of this week.

For Costa Ricans, Friday marks the beginning of the two-week mid-year public school vacation which carries a lot more weight than Independence Day.

Some tourism operators are expecting additional business during the vacation. Some parents schedule vacations to coincide with their youngsters' holidays.

On a more somber note, this year's July 4 holiday has raised concerns about terror attacks in major U.S. cities. Some arrests have been made in the New York area