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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Friday, July 11, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 136                     Email us
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Complex property theft case results in three arrests
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Allegations of property theft on a grand scale surfaced again Thursday with the arrest of two women lawyers and a 50-year-old man.

The three are under investigation as part of the complex case that involves faking the ownership  of two San Carlos companies by forgery of corporate documents. A unique aspect is that after the title to one company passed, the new and presumably fraudulent  owner showed up with gunmen and forced employees off one of the corporate properies which is a cattle ranch.

The lawyers are Viria Picado Rodriguez, 62, and Gabriela Alejandre Saenz, 44. The Colegio de Abogados lists Ms. Picado as a lawyer since 1999 with offices in Santo Domingo de Heredia.

Ms. Alejandre has an office on Avenida 16 in Barrio Lujan in San José, the lawyer professional organization said.

The man is Jaime Jarquín Zarate, 50.

There are actually two cases of fraud with property records involving separate companies with collections of cattle properties.

One ownership transfer took place in February and the other in May, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The cases involve the way properties are transferred in Costa Rica. Instead of recording a deed signed by the current owners, those wishing to sell and buy go to a notary, a senior form of lawyer, who takes down
the information and then presents their own document chronicling the sale  to the Registro Nacional.

This process leaves open the possibility of notaries forging documents and then presenting them to the Registro as authentic. Judicial investigators allege that this is what happened in these two cases. Although suspicion falls on lawyer-notaries in such cases, they also can be the victim of lies and false documents themselves.

Involved in both cases is a foreigner who is the presumed ringleader. He was not detained Thursday. Agents conducted six different raids in Heredia, Tres Ríos, Barrio Lujan, and San Carlos.

One of the properties involved is in Sabalito de Monterrey, in San Carlos. Police went there May 31 to prevent the removal of cattle after owners disputed the purported sale, Fuerza Pública reported at the time.  The second San Carlos location is in Cutris, and the title involves 16 distinct properties.

The other property, which had been placed in the name of the foreigner, was sold off, according to investigators.  Zarate, who was detained Thursday, is believed to have been one of the purchasers.

The allegations in the case include fraud, forgery, conspiracy and property theft.

The real owners of the properties include Costa Ricans and U.S. investors, investigators have said.

Investigators are believed to be seeking at least one more lawyer as well as the foreigner who was identified as a ringleader.

There is no age limit on marimba players. Typically the musician is at least a middle-aged man.  One of the purposes of the Santa Bárbara expo is to generate interest so that youngsters like these take to the instrument.

Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo

The weekend is for marimbas at Santa Cruz town
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats can see Guanacaste at its best this weekend at the fourth Expo Marimba in Santa Bárbara de Santa Cruz.

The two-day event promises plenty of music from the country's emblematic musical instrument, plus folk dancers, clowns, a trail ride, lots of traditional food and dances both nights.

The marimba, of course is that double keyboard instrument that grew up in Central America probably with the expertise of African slaves.

The instrument has been modernized, and many professionals in orchestras use instruments with man-made materials.

Still, a marimba can be folksy primitive in the style of Colonial instruments. Each key has a resonator affixed below. Traditionally these are of wood, but some native builders use gourds.

The musician usually plays with multiple mallets specially designed for the keys they hit.

The event is being organized by the local  Comité de Cultura with the support of the Instituto 
Costarricense de Turismo. The first festival was in 2011 with the avowed purpose of rescuing the marimba as a cultural icon and also to show off what Guanacaste has to offer tourists.

Santa Bárbara de Santa Cruz styles itself as the cradle of some of the great marimba musicians, and a handful of local groups will perform, including the Marimba Orquesta Maribel.

The festival also will feature local ceramic items for sale. The location is not far from the  Ecomuseo de la Cerámica Chorotega in San Vicente de Nicoya where residents have been making their unique pottery since the days of the Mayan empires.

The expo begins Saturday morning with music and an inauguration. At 8:30 a.m. the marimba groups Los Pochos, Mi Parroquia and Soltisios perform. Those competent in Spanish can adjourn to the nearby Casona for stories of the Chorotega world.

There is a presentation at 10 a.m. by the Danza Foliclorico Mantambú.

Music and dance presentations continue through the afternoon until the 6 p.m. trail ride and the 8 p.m. dance. There are similar activities Sunday except that the dance begins at 6 p.m.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 136

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International aid sought for firms

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some lawmakers want to create a fund that will help bankroll Costa Rican companies that want to do business in other countries.

Alexander Mora Delgado, the minister of  Comercio Exterior, stressed this point when he appeared Thursday before the Comisión Legislativa de Relaciones Internaciones y Comercio Exterior.

His concept received support from the committee president, Epsy Campbell Barr, who said that for too long the model of investment was one way.

A number of larger Costa Rican firms have an international presence, but the discussion Thursday suggested something more than just exportation. The Central American Free Trade Treaty gives Costa Rican comapnies  the right to seek jobs in other treaty nations, including the United States.

Lawmakers to suggest fate of magistrate

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature has agreed to form a committee to study the case of a Sala Primera magistrate who is being investigated for a crime.

The magistrate is Óscar González, and he faces a list of violations involving a female judge who worked in a role subordinate to him.

The lawmakers voted in secret to name Antonio Álvarez Desanti of Liberación Nacional, Edgardo Araya Sibaja of Frente Amplio and Carmen Quesada Santamaría of Movimiento Libertario to study the case. They gave five days to do so.

The full legislature has the power to remove him from his job.

Sinaloa leader extradicted to California

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire srvices

A suspected leader of the Mexico-based Sinaloa crime cartel has been extradited from the Netherlands to the United States.

U.S. authorities say Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa arrived in the California city of San Diego Thursday and was booked into federal custody on charges of conspiracy to distribute and import controlled substances. He is scheduled to be arraigned today.

The suspect is alleged to have served as a bodyguard for the Sinaloa cartel, providing security for narcotics shipments and carrying out other enforcement operations.

According to extradition documents, Arechiga-Gamboa rose to become one of the highest-level leaders in the Sinaloa cartel.

U.S. officials say he was identified despite having plastic surgery and attempting to alter his fingerprints. He was also found to be traveling on a fake passport, assuming the identity of a deceased relative.

Vaccine for dengue shows promise

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There's new hope for those who suffer from dengue, a virus characterized by hammering headaches, high fevers and pain. A vaccine shows promise after a two-year trial in five Asian countries.

Maria Rosario Capeding, one of the researchers in The Philippines, said that during the trial, the vaccine cut the number of dengue cases in half and significantly reduced the number of severe cases that cause hemorrhaging.

"The vaccine efficacy against dengue hemorrhagic fever, according to the WHO criteria, after three doses was 88.5 percent," she said, citingthe Wrold Health Organization.

Another large scale study is taking place in Latin America. Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer, says the vaccine could be available by 2015. The study was published in The Lancet medical journal.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease called "break-bone fever," because it causes a high fever and such severe pain in the joints and bones that people who have it feel that their bones are breaking. It can take months to recover, may require hospitalization and kills 22,000 people each year, mostly children, according to the World Health Organization.

World Health says the virus is now 30 times more prevalent than it was 50 years ago. It's common in many regions of Asia, the Pacific, the Americas and Africa. There are no particular drugs to fight dengue.

In addition to the vaccine, researchers are working on other ways to prevent or contain the virus. At the John's Hopkins mosquito lab, George Demopoulos has discovered a way to block the dengue virus in lab mosquitos. The next step, he says, is to do the same in wild mosquitoes.

"Dengue and malaria are diseases that can only be controlled through the use of multiple approaches," he said. "It's like a war. You cannot win a war with only one weapon.  You need multiple types of weapons and strategies to win a war. And the same applies for these diseases."

Other approaches include teaching people how to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites like water cisterns, water left in small containers near their homes or pools of standing water.  Warmer climates and urbanization are increasing the spread of the mosquito that carries the virus. With urbanization, there's more standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.      

Luis Castellanos is an infectious disease expert with the Pan American Health Organization. The number of deaths from dengue
has declined in the Americas because, as he explains, his agency has extensively been working with the countries of the Americas over the last three, four years to train thousands of physicians throughout the countries to be ready to suspect dengue, identify, diagnose and treat any dengue case."

The World Health Organization estimates that 40 percent of the world's population is at risk for developing dengue. By this time next year, there may be a way to fight it.

Georgia man held in airine ticket scam

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A Georgia man faces federal charges that allege he fraudulently booked airline reservations by pretending to be a flight crew member.

The man, Gilbert Myers Jr., 37, of Atlanta, was taken into custody late Wednesday afternoon without incident at a Beverly Hills hotel after agreeing to meet a potential traveler who was actually an undercover FBI agent.

Myers was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury June 6 that accuses him of one count of conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud. The indictment, which was unsealed upon Myers’ arrest, outlines a conspiracy to defraud air carriers in which travelers would illegally board aircrafts while pretending to be employees of other airlines. In exchange for arranging their trips as non-revenue employee travelers, Myers typically charged $2,000 for one year of free flights.

The indictment alleges that fraudulent travelers utilized Myers’ services to fly in and out of Los Angeles County airports by pretending to be in-flight crew members employed by other airlines. To obtain boarding passes and stand-by tickets (for which airline employees pay little or nothing, hence non-revenue), Myers called the victim airline’s reservation call center and gave the victim airline’s representative the name of a traveler, the airline he supposedly worked for, a bogus employee identification number, and a date of hire. Myers typically lied to the victim airline and said he worked on a flight crew for another airline, according to court documents.

Myers advised the fraudulent travelers to avoid detection by dressing appropriately and responding to questions about their employment at another airline, the indictment alleges. With the fraudulently obtained boarding pass and their real photo identification, the fraudulent traveler went through Transportation Security Administration security screening. If the fraudulent traveler was asked about his employment or how he received the tickets, the fraudulent traveler lied as instructed by Myers, according to the indictment. The fraudulent travelers boarded planes listed as employees of other airlines. All of the travelers were subject to full security screenings by the Transportation Security Administration.

The indictment details a small number of flights, but investigators believe that Myers fraudulently booked hundreds of flights on air carriers such as JetBlue Airways and United Airlines, causing the victims to suffer hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

All of the victim airlines fully cooperated in the investigation.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 136
Real Estate
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Caldera highway reported hurting hotel occupancy in Puntarenas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Public works effect unforeseen changes. A case in point is Ruta 27, the Caldera highway that links the Pacific coast with the Central Valley.

The toll highway takes a lot of traffic from the winding, hilly Interamericana that motorists have driven bumper to bumper for years.

One expected effect was to increase real estate values along the Pacific. But now tourism operators in Puntarenas are claiming the highway is reducing their business.

Miguel Ángel Rennan, president of the Cámara de Turismo de Puntarenas, told lawmakers Thursday that the highway allows 99  percent of the visitors to the Puntarenas Centro area to return home
at  night, presumably to the Central Valley. So there is now lower occupancy rates in the region's hotels, he told the Comisión Permanente Especial de Turismo.

Average occupancy rate there in 2010 was 80.42 percent, he said. This year, occupancy is around 69 percent, he added.

The number of persons entering and leaving the central canton of Puntarenas each day is about 180,000, he said.

What Rennan and other members of the chamber want, he said, are projects that would be a major attraction to tourists. He said the region also needs jobs and also some major sewer work, he said.

The chamber president also noted that so far in 2014 there have been 72 cruise ships that visited Puntarenas Centro bringing 118,000 passengers.

Alert issued as rains continue to saturate Limón and the northern zone
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission has declared a low-level alert for the northern zone and the Caribbean coast because of heavy rainfall.

The agency said that rain has been falling since Tuesday and the ground is saturated. The rains may continue through Saturday, said the agency, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional did predict more rain today for that section of the country. Some rain may also fall in the southern Pacific, it said.

A low-level alert basically means to keep watch, although it does generate some internal activity with local emergency committees and workers for the national agency.

The weather institut inches) fell in Limón Centro Thursday. Pococi got 126.4 millimeters
(nearly 5.5 inches) Wednesday, and Guácimo got 125.3 millimeters (nearly five inches) Wednesday and 79.4 millimeters (a bit more than three inches) Thursday. The data is from the institute's automatic weather stations.

The rain was accompanied by stiff winds.

The emergency commission said that rivers were flowing out of their banks. They listed the Sarapiquí, Guatil and Guayabo in Turrialba. Also listed was the Río Chirripó en Matina. The ríos Telire and Sixaola in the southern Caribbean were reported rising but not causing flooding at the time of the agency report. There appears to have been less rain in that area.

One family suffered flooding in Pensurth, Limón, the agency said. Another report said that there was flooding in Guácimo because rivers ran out of their banks.
The weather institute was predicting winds of up to 70 kilometers per hour in the Central Valley and the north Pacific. More rain was expected overnight in affected areas.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 136
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Developers say they have broken ground for Golfito marina project
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After years of planning, a marina is springing up in Golfito. Developers from Hacienda El Dorado announced Thursday they have begun construction on the Golfito Marina Village & Resort, which is planned to be a central destination for luxury tourism focused on yachting and sport fishing.

The southern Pacific port town has been the subject of environmental concerns related to similar marina proposals. But now, developers' blueprints envision private floating islands, villas, a luxury hotel, and further yachting accommodations for the area. The deep-water marina on the edge of Gulfo Dulce is slated to have an infrastructure that can hold 130 ships and features secure docks for yachts up to 350 feet long.

According to a release from a public relations firm in Florida, other features being built include an open-air spa, swimming pools, an island restaurant with a night club, and a fuel dock, among others.

The release said Hacienda El Dorado has been operating in real estate since 1978, when it began in California. For the past 13 years the company has worked on other developments in Costa Rica, and became intrigued with Golfito after major infrastructure advancements opened up opportunities to attract people to the area.

Developers cited expansions of the Palmar Sur airport that promise to bring in international flights and construction of the Caldera Highway as two key improvements for Golfito real estate.
Hacienda El Dorado graphic
This is a rendering of the planned marina.

As development coincides with the 65th anniversary of Golfito, officials from Hacienda El Dorado have said that they want to give back to the coastal town with this project. They have planned to build a two-kilometer boardwalk for the public called Paseo Marino that will house artworks, local dining, souvenir shops, bike trails, and even water taxis to nearby beaches.

The release said developers are hoping this super-yacht destination attracts big fishing tournaments in the future, as well.

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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.
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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
of Children, the University of Costa Rica, VERITAS, U. Latina and other private universities. We provide a positive friendly and quiet atmosphere which includes gardens, parking, security, laundry/cleaning services, high speed (2 mega bytes) Wireless DSL Internet/active cable T.V. connections 
with 90 channels (TV not included). The apartments include the following: one bedroom, kitchen/dining/living room area, bathroom (with hot shower), refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, stove top, basic kitchen supplies, basic furnishings and all linens. We also offer 100 percent free, unlimited phone calls to U.S.A., Canada,  and Puerto Rico. 3 MONTH MINIMUM CONTRACT.    Contact us at 506-8818-2004    or  506-8302-1499  Check our Web site,, for more info.

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.

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:

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

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.

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 136
Real Estate
About us


Chemical engineer sentenced
in spying for Chinese firm

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A court in California has sentenced a chemical engineer to 15 years in prison and fined him $28.3 million for stealing trade secrets from U.S. industrial chemical maker DuPont to help a state-owned Chinese company.

At Thursday's sentencing, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said Walter Liew, a naturalized citizen, had "turned against his adopted country for greed."

Liew was convicted earlier this year of receiving $28 million from companies controlled by the Chinese government in exchange for Dupont's pigment technology, used for whitening a long list of everyday items.

The judge also fined Liew's engineering company about $19 million.

Obama and GOP trade barbs
over executive authority

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress traded barbs Thursday as plans for a lawsuit against the president intensify.

The White House released a statement late Thursday saying Republicans backing such a lawsuit are participating in a political stunt rather than working with the president to expand economic opportunities for the middle class.

The statement was responding to draft legislation released by House Republicans hours earlier, which, if passed, would authorize Congress to pursue the lawsuit. The legislation alleges the president violated the Constitution in 2013 by changing his signature health care reform law without getting approval from Congress.

The legislation refers to a decision by the Obama administration to waive a mandate that employers provide health insurance coverage for their employees. House Speaker John Boehner said the president violated the U.S. Constitution by failing to get approval from Congress for the change.

In a statement Thursday, Boehner said the legislation "isn't about Republicans versus Democrats; it's about the legislative branch versus the executive branch, and above all, protecting the Constitution."

Congressional Republicans have been vocal about their opposition to the health care reform law, and have vowed to bring about its repeal since its passage in 2010.

Sarah Palin is pushing plan
to impeach Barack Obama

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor is back on the national stage, leading a new conservative charge to impeach President Barack Obama.  Ms. Palin has done her best to remain in the spotlight whenever possible.  She’s undergone a lengthy transformation from 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate to talk show host, reality star on cable TV and now conservative celebrity who commands top dollar for speaking engagements.

In a recent column, Ms. Palin cited the immigration crisis on the southern border as the last straw in what she described as the president’s purposeful dereliction of duty.  Ms. Palin wrote on the conservative Web site that the president’s “rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here.”  She went on:  “It’s time to impeach, and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.”

The idea has already run into some stiff resistance from some notable Republicans.  House Speaker John Boehner said he disagrees with Ms. Palin’s approach.  So does the man who propelled Ms. Palin into the national spotlight, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who shocked the political world six years ago when he chose her as his vice presidential running mate.  Several conservative Republican House members who are sympathetic to the idea of impeaching the president say the move is simply not politically practical at the moment.

Ms. Palin’s proposal came as the Obama White House was caught up in an immigration firestorm on the southern border, trying to cope with the influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America.  The president has asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency spending to cope with the immigration crisis, but many Republicans in Congress are demanding that the administration first pledge to secure the border and do more to stem the flow of immigrants headed for the U.S.

Instead of impeachment, Boehner is trying to build support among House Republicans for a lawsuit he would like to file against the president for taking executive actions that he believes are unconstitutional.  So far that idea appears to have more appeal among House conservatives than a futile drive for impeachment, even though Ms. Palin and other conservative activists were quick to dismiss Boehner’s plan as weak.

“You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight,” Ms. Palin said on the “Hannity” program on Fox News.

Of course, a lot of this relates to election year politics.  Ms. Palin’s call for impeachment could be a motivating factor for conservative activists to get out and cast their ballots this November in the midterm congressional elections.  Then again they may not need the additional incentive.  Much of the political energy this year already seems to be with Republicans eager to vote against the president and his policies in November.

The Democrats’ big challenge remains motivating their base supporters to get out and vote in November.  The president’s falling public approval ratings, down to about 40 percent in most polls, is likely to depress Democratic turnout.  But it’s possible that the prospect of Ms. Palin leading the charge for the president’s impeachment could spur a bit of a political backlash and might spur some Democrats to get off the couch and out to the polls in November.

Both sides will reference the Palin impeachment push in their fundraising campaigns.  Conservatives will cheer a confrontational posture they believe is lacking from Republican leaders in Washington.  Liberal activists will try to use it as a clarion call to wake up lethargic Democrats who need convincing to get to the polls in November.  In fact, not long after Ms. Palin issued her call for impeachment, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi fired off a fundraising email on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warning Democratic voters of the consequences of the impeachment effort and Boehner’s plan for a lawsuit.

Republicans have chosen Cleveland, Ohio, as the site of their 2016 presidential nominating convention.  Cleveland beat out other contenders including Las Vegas and, finally, Dallas, which hosted the Republican convention in 1984 and set the stage for President Ronald Reagan’s re-election.

Apart from the talk about hotel rooms and downtown amenities, most political analysts believe the Republicans chose Cleveland primarily because they believe it might give them a leg up in the battle for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes two years from now.  No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.  Barack Obama won it both times he ran, while former President George W. Bush won it in his two elections in 2000 and 2004.  In fact, it was Ohio that delivered Bush a second term when Democrat John Kerry came up short in the Buckeye state, despite having spent a good deal of time there during the campaign.

Holding their convention in the upper Midwest may help Republicans appeal to a wider swath of the electorate than they have been able to reach in recent years, especially working class and suburbanites who are put off by some of the party’s more extreme elements.  The convention could also be a starring vehicle for two of Ohio’s favorite sons who might figure in the 2016 Republican primaries — Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman.  Both men are aligned with the Republican Party’s establishment or moderate wing, and they could become options if other better-known potential contenders either stumble or decide not to run for the White House.

Republican presidential candidates have not carried the state where their convention was held since President George H.W. Bush won Texas in 1992.  He was nominated for a second term in Houston that year.

Despite what at times has been a rocky book tour promoting “Hard Choices,” her State Department memoir, Hillary Clinton is still riding high in public opinion polls looking ahead to the 2016 presidential race.  The latest Quinnipiac poll found that Clinton has the support of 58 percent of Democrats if she decides to run for the party nomination.  Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren got 11 percent support and Vice President Joe Biden came in third with 9 percent.

Sen. Warren’s standing continues to surprise some in the party.  She has said she will not be a candidate in 2016 but it’s clear that the support she continues to draw suggests an opening for someone to the left of Clinton to enter the 2016 primaries.  Some of those mentioned as possible contenders include California Gov. Jerry Brown and Vermont’s independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.  It just seems inevitable that even if Mrs. Clinton decides to run, one or more Democrats will step up to challenger her.

In addition, the Quinnipiac poll also found that Mrs. Clinton would easily beat any of the top potential Republican contenders in 2016 including Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Quinnipiac pollster Tim Malloy says Mrs. Clinton’s image remains strong in the midst of a book tour that has plunged her back into the national spotlight.

“Hillary Clinton has weathered what some would say are bad book sales, some questions about her tenure at the State Department, some questions about what she defines as wealth,” he said. “And yet she sweeps the Democratic field in the 2016 race, so Hillary is still looking very good.”

Malloy also noted that his latest poll shows no clear frontrunner on the Republican side for 2016.  Rand Paul led the pack with 11 percent support.  Christie, Huckabee and Bush were tied for second with 10 percent each.  After that came Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan, each with 8 percent.  As Malloy put it, no one on the Republican side seems to have the drive to separate from the pack.

“If you look at it right now, the numbers are 11 percent, 10 percent, eight percent.  All of these people, the top seven of them, are all about in the same position," he said.  "So there is just not a lot of momentum on the Republican side.”

As for Hillary Clinton, she may be already putting some distance between herself and Obama if she decides to run.  A recent Wall Street Journal story noted that Mrs. Clinton has been talking about the economic worries of the middle class during her book tour.  The book itself also serves a reminder about policy differences they had during her tenure as secretary of State, most notably over Mrs. Clinton’s desire to arm moderate rebels in Syria at an earlier point in the country’s civil war.

Political analysts predict that if Mrs. Clinton runs she will have to find ways to chart a different course from Obama, even while she points to accomplishments in foreign policy during his first term.  Given the president’s poor approval ratings, experts say it is likely voters will be looking for change in 2016 and for a candidate who can embody that change.  Under this theory, Mrs. Clinton running to extend Obama’s policies into a third presidential term simply won’t work.  Of course, Mrs. Clinton must prepare for the possibility that voters are so discouraged by the political dysfunction in Washington that they simply decide to cast their lot with the Republican candidate, assuming that person is someone acceptable to moderates.

In short, Mrs. Clinton’s path to the White House may involve a complicated political dance — relying on a strong Democratic turnout, especially among women, and at the same time being able to appeal to centrist voters looking to move in a different direction from the Obama years.  It’s a long way until 2016 and lots of things can happen, but have no doubt that among those considering a run for president, the political calculations are already well underway.

Non-communicable toll
put at 38 million a year

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization warned Thursday that 38 million people die each year from chronic diseases which are preventable and treatable.

A new report warns that nearly half of those who die from non-communicable diseases - about 16 million people - do so prematurely, before the age of 70. The majority of people who die from these illnesses reside in developing countries.

World Health says deaths from non-communicable illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, have increased worldwide since 2000, and grown the most in southeast Asia and the western Pacific. But by 2020, the largest increases in these deaths will occur in Africa. Progress in reversing the trends has been insufficient and uneven.

World Health Director-General Margaret Chan told a U.N. meeting Thursday that the childhood obesity epidemic is an early warning sign of bigger problems ahead.

“An abundance of overweight children readily progresses to an abundance of chronically ill adults and a financial burden on the health systems that can be unbearable even in the richest countries in the world,” she said.

Ms. Chan said a decline in childhood obesity would be an indication that some of the major risk factors for these diseases are being attacked at their core. 

The report, which breaks down the data on a country-by-country basis, notes that governments are aware of the problem of chronic illnesses and at least half of them have a plan and funding to address them. More countries also are monitoring some of the main risk factors that bring on these illnesses, such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise.

More than half the world’s governments have signed up to a World Health global action plan to reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by a quarter by 2025.

Ms. Chan said prevention, early diagnosis and treatment are important tools in reaching this goal. “Early diagnosis, early treatment can be secondary prevention to prevent heart attacks, to prevent kidney failure, blindness from diabetes, and to prevent amputation.”

She said World Health is working to make sure that people not only have a long life expectancy, but a healthy one.

China appears to agree
to let demand set rate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. and Chinese officials have closed two days of talks in Beijing that included discussions on cyber-security, currency controls, and rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.

As Chinese manufacturers produce more goods to meet growing domestic demand, China has agreed to scale back intervening in its currency market, .

Chinese Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said, "We will allow market supply-and-demand relation to play a bigger role in determining the exchange rate, expand the floating range of the exchange rate, and increase the exchange rate's flexibility."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says it is a win for both countries.

"It is fundamentally about the fairness of the trading system and the opportunity of U.S. workers and firms to compete fairly and Chinese consumers to have the purchasing power that goes with a fairly-valued currency," he said.

At this Strategic and Economic Dialogue, U.S. and Chinese officials also discussed cyber-security following the U.S. indictment of five Chinese military officers on charges of cyber-espionage.

Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The loss of intellectual property through cyber has a chilling effect on innovation and investment. Incidents of cyber theft have harmed our businesses and threatened our nation's competitiveness."

Cyber-espionage is a sensitive topic for China, as its manufacturing strength outpaces innovation, according to American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett.

"Today, China is not a place that can innovate. And even though they are trying, they are not there," said Ms. Leverett. "And so, in part, they see this as the United States pushing its advantage and not allowing China essentially to copy, and then perfect, improve on, and learn to innovate that way."


Real estate-related services (paid category)

Best Kitchen
Best Kitchen Depot is the leading kitchen and bath company in the Central American market. We represent the most fast-growing American solid wood cabinet manufacturers. All our products boast the three major industry certifications: Carb2, KCMA environment stewardship and KCMA
construction certifications. We also have state-of-the-art design
capabilities and our delivery lead time is the best in the country.
Please visit our Web site at: and then email or call (506) 2261-0287 or (506) 8383-3104.   

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge

Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

20.5 acres of pasture for as little as $2,400

Rosa Monge Alvarez
Please email for details

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

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

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

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $1,100,000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK HERE
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special sale price $245,000. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write

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.


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

Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

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

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, 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:

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!

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

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

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
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 136
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Coffee's Parkinson’s protection tracked

By the Linköping Universitet news staff

A specific genetic variation discovered by researchers at Linköping University protects against Parkinson’s disease – especially for those who drink a lot of coffee.

The study is published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

Hereditary and environmental factors interact with one another in the emergence of diseases, and research is often focussed on identifying genes and exposures that increase the risk for contracting diseases. But there are also genetic variations – mutations – and environmental factors that protect against the emergence of certain diseases.

Diseases such as Parkinson’s, where the nerves decompose, have a complicated background where both genetic factors and exposure to environmental factors are involved.  In a study of a million genetic malformations, the Swedish research team identified a variant of the GRIN2A gene as a protective factor against Parkinson's. The corresponding protein is part of a complex that is thought to play a role in several degenerative nerve diseases.

An epidemiological study of Parkinson’s patients from Östergötland and Jönköping examined a combination of a previously known protective factor – caffeine – and the genetic variant in GRIN2A. The findings show that individuals with this combination run a significantly lower risk of developing the disease.

The study gives a molecular explanation to the protective effects that increased caffeine intake has on the development of Parkinson’s. Caffeine integrates with a dopamine receptor that regulates the flow of calcium into the cell. As dopamine is part of the human reward system, and the interaction of caffeine with it, it has been speculated that individuals with certain genetic variations are not rewarded to the same extent by a cup of coffee, and therefore would not enjoy the same protective effect as others. The newly published study shows that GRIN2A can be a part of such a genetic predisposition.

Cinnamon may halt Parkinson's
By the Rush University Medical Center news staff

Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found that using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease.  The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

“Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries,” said Kalipada Pahan, study lead researcher. “This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson’s patients.”

“Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects. . . ,” said Pahan.  It is also widely used as a food preservative due to its microbiocidal effect.

Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia) and original Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) are two major types of cinnamon that are available in the US.

“Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, by mass spectrometric analysis, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon. . . ” said Pahan.

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From Page 7:

Outstanding colon credit slows, bankers say

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Credit numbers in colons have plateaued for the country's banking sector. Asociación Bancaria Costarricense data showed that since March the growth rate of credit in colons has dipped from 11.9 percent to 10.4 percent as of June.

This decline in credit issued to the banks is directly associated with the decreased amount of liquidity in the financial system's balance of deposits, according to Gilberto Serrano, the association's president. These deposits allow banks to make loans to the general public.

On the other end, credit in dollars has maintained itself at a relatively even level, despite a quick spike in June. According to data from Banco Central, credit growth in the dollar from December of 2013 to June of this year was only 2.8 percent, compared with 6.8 percent a year earlier.

Serrano said there are two major reasons for the credit being stagnant in dollars, and both relate to a government that is careful when facing the foreign exchange risk. Clients are more cautious, given the volatile nature of exchange rates seen in February and March. Also, he said, the financial institutions are implementing careful measures after being advised to do so from the country's financial supervision board.