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(506) 2223-1327                      Published Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 138                     Email us
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El Niño expected to leave much of country dry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The first five months of the year have been dry in all but the southern Pacific, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. And with El Niño growing in the far Pacific, the probability is for drought and not enough water to run all of the country's hydro electrical generating plants.

The weather institute is predicting from 40 to 60 percent below normal rainfall for the northern Pacific and from 30 to 50 percent less rain in the Central Valley. In the central Pacific the rainfall deficit will be from 5 to 20 percent, said the institute.

In contrast, the south Pacific coast is expected to have a 15 percent deficit this month, 5 percent in August and to be 5 percent above average in September.

The northern zone will be wetter than normal this month and then be slightly below normal in August and off about 15 percent from normal in September, the institute said.

Although the northern and southern Caribbean coasts will be 20 to 40 percent wetter this month and in August, rainfall is expected to be off from 10 to 20 percent in September.
rainfall

El Niño conditions are expected to extend through the first four months of next year. However, the forecast says that the impact will not be as great as in 1982 or 1997.

Guanacaste farmers and ranchers always are living on the edge because the province usually is dry. A 60 percent drop in rainfall is devastating. 

Already cattle ranchers are moving their herds to compensate for the water deficit.  A loss of water behind the country's hydro dams has caused rolling blackouts in the past.


Clues sought in case of missing Heredia 6 year old
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Little Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo, 6, has been missing in Santo Domingo de Heredia since Friday. Police, investigators and volunteers continue the search, but the case more and more looks like a crime.

The girl vanished going to a small food store less than 200 feet from her home. Being snatched by child stealers could be one possibility. There have been previous cases in the Central Valley. In fact, the current case resembles the disappearance of  Jessica Valverde Pineda, 4, who lived in Los Guidos de Desamparados. She vanished in February 2002 while going to a small food store a short distance from her home. She has not been seen since.

The current case is clouded by allegations of sexual abuse. The Poder Judicial issued a detailed bulletin Monday saying that a male relative had been detained on a sexual abuse allegation.

Meanwhile, police at the borders have been asked to keep a special watch for the girl.

This is the second time since Saturday that the girl's relative with the last name of  Guzmán has been detained. He first was held Saturday as a suspect in child kidnapping.  He was interviewed by judicial agents, and prosecutors in Heredia eventually decided that they did not have enough evidence to press the case. Still, the man's clothes were taken for analysis.

The Poder Judicial revealed Monday that the girl figured in a sexual abuse case in March when
workers at a clinic reported her to police.  An aunt had brought the child for medical treatment, said the Poder Judicial.

The girl denied any such involvement at that time, and a police medical exam came up negative, the Poder Judicial said, adding that the prosecutor asked a judge to dismiss the case.

Saturday afternoon the allegation of sexual abuse came up again when judicial agents interviewed the girl's two brothers. They said that she had been abused by Guzmán, who was detained promptly. He is a relative of the girl's father.

Judicial agents handle a steady flow of missing individuals. Sometimes the children are pawns in  parental custody battles. Sometimes they have been taken to an adjacent country for innocent reasons.

Then there are the few who never turn up.

A short time after Jessica Valverde Pineda vanished, 4-year-old Osvaldo Faobricio Madrigal Bravo vanished from his home in Higuito de San Miguel de Desamparados. The case warranted special attention because his father was an anti-drug agent with the Judicial Investigating Organization.

His body showed up at the Brazil hydroelectric dam west of Santa Ana. And it bore marks that suggested the boy had been beaten. The head of the judicial police at the time said that an organization exists in Costa Rica that robs and transports children, an international child-stealing ring. Nothing has been heard about such a ring since.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 138

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


Accountants

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8410-7/16/14

fire fighters
Cuerpo de Bomberos.      
The fire agency promises realistic events like this from 2013.

Firefighters to show their skills Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For the first time this year, the public is being invited to a demonstration of skills by firefighters.

The event called Desafío de Bomberos 2014, "Fireman Challenge 2014," marks the 149th anniversary of the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

The skills will be displayed Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Mall Paseo de las Flores. There will be separate categories for male and female fire fighters.

Many of the events are races against the clock. As an example the fire agency said that a participant might have to go up a five-story building shouldering a heavy hose. Another event is marksmanship with the stream of a fire hose.

Fire equipment weighs 23 kilos (50.4 pounds), the agency notes, so participants already are carrying some weight. In another event the firemen are expected to carry an 80-kilo (175-pound) dummy some distance.


One window-breaking suspect caught

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers managed to catch a window-breaking suspect at the Circunvalacion in Hatillo.

To no one's surprise the young man has been detained in the past for the same offense. Police are congratulating themselves because when there are stakeouts of the principal locations for this crime, the crooks move somewhere else.

The Judicial Investigating Organization revealed that there have been 18 such incidents along the main road from San Pedro to Curridabat. The judicial police said that there have been 50 incidents along the Circunvalación in just six months.

This is the crime where a crook bashes in a passenger-side window of  stopped vehicles and steals whatever is in view. Victims usually are women driving alone. The crooks may use a rock or a pipe to shatter the window, said judicial police.

The crime can take place whenever there is a traffic jam or a stop light. The stop lights on the Circunvalación are adjacent to the homes of some of the crooks in Hatillo 5 and 6. So the pickings are easy and the escape rapid.

Judicial agents said that the usual times for such activity in Hatillo is between 6 and 8 a.m. and 6 and 8 p.m. These are times of heavy traffic and long lines at the stop lights.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that other arrests have been made, but the crimes continue. So they suggest that motorists not have anything valuable within reach.

In many cases, the crooks have spotters, perhaps women or fake vendors who spot a likely target.


Seminar hopes to reduce bather deaths

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More than 50 swimmers die every year after being caught in rip currents in Costa Rican waters. Now authorities are looking to prevent future drownings through a two-day workshop in Jacó that continues today.

A group of scientists, rescue experts, and technicians are speaking at the informational event designed to teach participants how to react to a rip current.  The series of lectures also aims to strengthen risk prevention and emergency responses at popular beach sites and proposes new ways to measure and call attention to dangerous rip currents.

Rip currents are commonly referred to by the misnomer riptides, which are a separate oceanic phenomena. The most frequent victims are kids and young adults, according to the Comision Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias, which is hosting the workshop. It adds that 80 percent of fatal accidents come during warm summer months.

Lidier Esquivel, who is in charge of the research and risk analysis team at the country's risk prevention center, said that rip currents have a far greater impact on Costa Rican lives than earthquakes or floods in the last decade. 

There are 130 workshop attendees, who were taken on a tour of the beaches to test monitoring equipment and see first hand how to recognize when a rip current forms. They also listened to a lecture from Stephen Leatherman from Florida International University, as well as local experts, who discussed the best ways for beach-goers to avoid disaster and the best ways for lifeguards and rescue professionals to provide aid in times of emergency. 

Jacó is one of the few communities that have a lifeguard corps.

The Instituto Oceanográfico de la Universidad Nacional and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo have partnered with the nation's risk prevention agency to host this event.

Here is a quick list of water recommendations issued by the center: Get out of the water if it feels like it's pulling on you, don't panic and instead raise your hands and float until help arrives, and an alternative to floating is to swim parallel to the beach to where the waves are breaking so you'll be carried to shore.


Fourth Art City tour is Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The fourth edition this year of Art City Tour has more than 20 locations competing for the attention of visitors.

This is the free program for which cultural institutions and even some private art galleries open their doors. The free event is Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All the public museums in the city are open, including the new Museo de Jade, and free bus service is provided for visitors. Bike riding is encouraged.

More details are on this Facebook page.


Student reports rape in la Fortuna

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Judicial Investigating Organization press representative confirmed reports that a female student from the United States reported she was raped by seven men in La Fortuna early Sunday morning. The spokesperson said the woman was examined at an area forensics lab before being able to return to her tour group.

Both the spokesperson and Geraldo Gutierrez, the judicial organization's boss in La Fortuna, said the case was still under investigation and details were being sorted out.


 Monetary fund getting competition

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are seeking to launch a competitor organization to the World Bank and a $100 billion fund to compete with the International Monetary Fund.

The five emerging economies, known as the BRICS, are expected to unveil the alternative organizations today at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Tentatively called the New Development Bank, the World Bank alternative will start with $50 billion to fund poverty relief efforts in developing countries.  Each of the five will invest $10 billion in the new bank.

Shanghai, Moscow, New Delhi and Johannesburg are all reported to be under consideration for the bank’s headquarters.

China will provide $41 billion for the International Monetary Fund alternative, with $18 billion from Brazil, India and Russia each, and $5 billion from South Africa.

Some developing nations accuse the International Monetary Fund of exacting too much in the way of costly domestic reforms in exchange for its economic aid.

Some also accuse the U.S. Congress of being too stingy in providing extra money to the International Monetary Fund to help poor countries around the world.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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The Baile de la Yegüita is a mixture of native and Catholic traditions with one dancer representing the little mare by wearing a skirt costume. A statue of the Virgin takes in the scene. The procession also features a flute player and a drummer.

Nicoya celebration
Municipalidad de Nicoya photo

Nicoya preparing for a blowout Annexation celebration this year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

To celebrate the 190th anniversary of Guanacaste's annexation into Costa Rica, the Festival Cultural de la Anexión in Nicoya has dedicated this year to the native Yegüita dance.

The festival begins on July 22 and runs until July 27. The original annexation occurred July 25, 1824. During next Tuesday's inauguration, there will be a parade through the main streets in the town of Nicoya that will feature these folk dances, which are more than 350 years old.
 
Nicoya Mayor Marco Jiménez said that the festival is paying homage to an essential piece of Guanacaste history. By dedicating this year's version to the dance, Nicoya's people are able to hold onto an important tradition in a rapidly changing world, he said.

“All of us who live in this cantón know what this dance means as a local tradition and an expression that has been part of our hearts for many years,” Jiménez said. “Also, this dedication accomplishes one
of the festival's most important goals, which was to maintain our customs despite modernization.”

The Yegüita dances remain popular in Nicoya, as the town celebrates the Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe every year on Dec. 12 through these traditional dances. These processions are usually made up of one dancer, a flute player, a drummer, and another dancer dressed as the Virgin.

According to local historian Mónica Hernández, the dance's origin stems from a legend in which devotees were walking home from a Dec. 12 Mass dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe when a group of drunk men with machetes suddenly attacked them. The devotees began to pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe to protect them. Just then a mare appeared and kicked the attackers away. Yegüita translates to little mare in English.

The festival is scheduled to feature a number of shows from national and international folk groups, local cuisine, area artwork and poetry readings, and a marimba festival, among other acts.


Former president Chinchilla is in court defending her reputation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Former president Laura Chinchilla was in court Monday testifying in her case alleging defamation by a La Fortuna businessman. The former president seeks 100 million colons or about $185,000.

The case comes from text posted on his Facebook page by Alberto Rodríguez Baldí at the height of the controversy over the construction of the San Ramón toll road.

He was irked mainly about the proposed cost of the toll.

Just hours after the posting, Ms. Chinchilla halted the project and voided the contract with the Brazilian construction firm. That was in April 2013.

Rodríguez also said that the president was involved in other business
projects and filed a compliant with the judiciary over the highway project, which he said was too expensive at $524 million.

Usually politicians brush off criticisms and slanders by outraged citizens. Ms. Chinchilla, however, beset with corruption allegations about others in her administration, carried the case to court. Her basic complaint is not that Rodríguez expressed a negative opinion but that he misstated facts.

Politicians are supposed to be able to take a lot of heat, but in Latin America reputation is held highly.

The case is generating all sorts of responses. For example the Poder Judicial released a statement Monday evening in which a Corte Suprema de Justicia magistrate denied having been involved in the case at all. There are a lot of comments flying around on Facebook. The page maintained by Rodríguez has 56,000 likes.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 138
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Soccer program targets Latin youngsters who might end up in gangs
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The story of how soccer changed the course of one young man’s life and many others has heartened Washington diplomats, demonstrating how sports values can go beyond the scoreboard to bring social change.

The 2014 World Cup just ended with Germany claiming its fourth title. Embassies in Washington are using the tournament’s immense popularity to boost a program whose goal is to redirect high-risk Latin American youths to productive lives through soccer.

The Soccer Saved My Life campaign is aimed at showing how the principles of the sport known as the beautiful game can teach young women and men discipline and teamwork.  More than 13,000 youths have participated in the program, which gradually takes them from the field to the classroom to the job site.

“We’ve taken a lot of kids off the streets and out of gangs, or they’ve stopped using drugs through this program,” said Michelle Nicholson, communications director for its parent organization, Partners of the Americas.

The program is called A Ganar which means "to win" or "to earn" in Spanish. It operates in 18 countries and is now making a new push to expand its Washington embassy support for the program.

Tania Casco normally deals with bureaucratic matters as a first secretary at the Embassy of Honduras in Washington. She said her “heart flooded when I heard the words” of the new found success of a young man from her country, Guido Rivera, whom she met at a recent fundraiser for the program.

Rivera was in Washington, speaking English confidently to a crowd, despite a lack of formal education.

“He said, ‘I dropped out of school and I had two options: join a drug cartel gang, or go and steal. Now, he’s on a better path,” Ms. Casco said. “It was amazing.”

Rivera now has more than a dozen young people under his tutelage, according to Ms. Casco. He thinks several of them can become leaders.

“Guido, he’s the perfect experience in saying, hey, his life has changed completely,” Ms. Casco said.

Without the program, “those kids are not involved in school or are doing anything,” she added.

“They have two roads to go through. And you know, we have a lot of criminal gangs,” she said. “This program creates leadership…In Honduras, sports is something that unifies all the Honduran community.”

The Honduran Embassy held an event to benefit the Soccer Changed My Life campaign featuring the Honduran national team when it was in Washington for a pre-World Cup exhibition game. Some of the players spoke about how soccer was their escape from what would have been a life of criminal violence.
The program’s founding is attributed to an outgrowth of an idea by Brazilian and worldwide soccer legend Pele, who first raised it to the Inter-American Development bank. The Brazilian Embassy in Washington maintains contact with the soccer program, which noted it has recruits playing virtually in the shadows of a World Cup stadium in Brazil.

The Mexican Embassy is also close to the program. Like Honduras, Mexico sent over embassy staff members last week’s fundraiser at a downtown Washington restaurant.

But for Vanessa Calva, deputy press secretary for the embassy, the connection was personal as well as professional. The Mexican diplomat played soccer in high school – and still plays recreationally in the American capital.

“The discipline, commitment, teamwork, training and fun makes me appreciate a program like that more,” noted Ms. Calva.

“Sports had a huge impact on me,” she noted. “Feeling that you’re playing for something bigger than you - your team, your school or your country - and yet you have a great sense of belonging as well,” can make a real difference, she said.

With the life-changing soccer program, Mexico’s Ms. Calva cited “positive results in our youth workforce development and skills that will enable them to seek out job opportunities that better their lives.”

The embassy is talking about “possibly how can we expand our collaboration with Partners. The love of soccer and our youth brought us together.”

The Partners of the Americas president, Stephen Vetter, cites the respect the organization’s work earns in dangerous places like Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez, which has suffered greatly from drug trade violence.

“This is a war zone,” Vetter said. “The fact that soccer is the medium by which you are working in this very dangerous and no one’s been injured or killed or kidnapped or ransomed, is really quite remarkable.”

Soccer can create hope in dangerous or impoverished places where youths “really haven’t had access to anyone who’s willing to understand or support them,” Vetter said. Yet, it is also a rallying point in diplomatic Washington.

“It’s absolutely a bonding thing with the embassies,” he observed. “You can go in and start talking about soccer with anyone in the Latin American diplomatic corps. It helps establish your credentials.”

In fact, with several women staffers who have played top-level American college soccer, Partners plans to give its Soccer Saved My Life briefings to diplomats not only in the office, but on the field.

“Our staff now has organized a soccer team, so we can start playing the embassies,” Vetter said. “We hope that people will, after the World Cup, continue to value and appreciate the power that soccer has in our lives.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Howard
                        rollover
Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
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Hidden
                        Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

diligence
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8390-10/2/14

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



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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
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ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8423-9/15/14


oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.
laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8414-8/2/14

challet
Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property, Two bedrooms, two bathrooms  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate  $500.00 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8396-7/18/14

Palamres


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela
See our Web page: palmarescostarica.us
8375-7/2/14

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
apartments
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   villalakshmi@gmail.com  Check our Web site, www.villalakshmi.com, for more info.
8386-6/29/14

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.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8393-8/3/14

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:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8357-5/28/24




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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 138
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U.N.'s Ban visits rural Haiti
on a pilgrimage over cholera

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew to Haiti Monday for what he called a necessary pilgrimage to promote efforts to alleviate a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and has been linked to the U.N.'s own peacekeepers.

Ban is seeking support for a $2.2 billion, 10-year cholera-elimination campaign that he launched in December 2012 with the presidents of Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Accompanied by his wife, Ban told a church service in the cholera-afflicted rural village of Los Palmas in Haiti's central Plateau region that they had come to "express our solidarity" with the families of those who lost their lives.

"I know that the epidemic has caused much anger and fear. I know that the disease continues to affect an unacceptable number of people," he said.

"My wife and I have come here to grieve with you. As a father and grandfather, and as a mother and grandmother, we feel tremendous anguish at the pain you have had to endure," he added.

The United Nations has so far not accepted responsibility for the outbreak that has killed 8,500 people and infected more than 700,000 since October 2010, despite evidence that it was brought to Haiti by Nepalese peacekeepers stationed near a major river.

Cholera, which had not been documented in Haiti in almost 100 years prior to the outbreak, is an infection that causes severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration and death, and is caused by poor sanitation.

Together with Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Ban later launched a Total Sanitation Campaign, noting that one out of two Haitians lacks access to adequate sanitation systems.

The program seeks to train people to build latrines, as well as installing clean water filter systems at local schools, health centers, and marketplaces, Ban said.

Together with the World Bank the United Nations is targeting 55 communities affected by the disease, covering 3.8 million people, within the next five years.

Donors had been slow to respond to the cholera elimination campaign, Ban told the Miami Herald newspaper, adding the United Nations has struggled to raise an initial $400 million needed in the first two years.

Ban also plans to travel to the Dominican Republic today for talks with President Danilo Medina and will address a joint session of Congress.

Lawyers have filed three lawsuits against the United Nations seeking compensation for Haitian victims of the epidemic. The Nepalese troops were stationed near a tributary of the Artibonite River and discharged raw sewage that carried a strain of cholera, sparking the epidemic, the lawsuit said.

An independent panel appointed by Ban to study the epidemic issued a 2011 report that did not determine conclusively how the cholera was introduced to Haiti. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said evidence strongly suggested U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal were the source.

Some senior U.N. officials, including human rights chief Navi Pillay, have said Haiti's cholera victims should be compensated.


elephant like
University of Arizona/Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales
Gomphothere mandible uncovered at El Fin del Mundo.

Elephant-like animal linked
to humans menu for first time

By the University of Arizona news staff

An animal once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there might actually have roamed the continent longer than previously thought – and it was likely on the list of prey for some of continent's earliest humans, researchers from the University of Arizona and elsewhere have found.

Archaeologists have discovered artifacts of the prehistoric Clovis culture mingled with the bones of two gomphotheres, ancient ancestors of the elephant, at an archaeological site in northwestern Mexico.

The discovery suggests that the Clovis – the earliest widespread group of hunter-gatherers to inhabit North America – likely hunted and ate gomphotheres. The members of the Clovis culture were already well-known as hunters of the gomphotheres' cousins, mammoths and mastodons.

Although humans were known to have hunted gomphotheres in Central America and South America, this is the first time a human-gomphothere connection has been made in North America, says archaeologist Vance Holliday, who co-authored a new paper on the findings, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is the first archaeological gomphothere found in North America, and it's the only one known," said Holliday, a professor of anthropology and geology at the University of Arizona.

Holliday and colleagues from the U.S. and Mexico began excavating the skeletal remains of two juvenile gomphotheres in 2007 after ranchers alerted them that the bones had been found in northwestern Sonora, Mexico.

They didn't know at first what kind of animal they were dealing with.

"At first, just based on the size of the bone, we thought maybe it was a bison, because the extinct bison were a little bigger than our modern bison," Holliday said.

Then, in 2008, they discovered a jawbone with teeth, buried upside down in the dirt.

"We finally found the mandible, and that’s what told the tale," Holliday said.

Gomphotheres were smaller than mammoths – about the same size as modern elephants. They once were widespread in North America, but until now they seemed to have disappeared from the continent's fossil record long before humans arrived in North America, which happened some 13,000 to 13,500 years ago, during the late Ice Age.

However, the bones that Holliday and his colleagues uncovered date back 13,400 years, making them the last known gomphotheres in North America.

The gomphothere remains weren't all Holliday and his colleagues unearthed at the site, which they dubbed El Fin del Mundo – Spanish for "The End of the World" because of its remote location.

As their excavation of the bones progressed, they also uncovered numerous Clovis artifacts, including signature Clovis projectile points, or spear tips, as well as cutting tools and flint flakes from stone tool-making. The Clovis culture is so named for its distinctive stone tools, first discovered by archaeologists near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1930s.

Radiocarbon dating puts the El Fin del Mundo site at about 13,400 years old, making it one of the two oldest known Clovis sites in North America; the other is the Aubrey Clovis site in north Texas.

The position and proximity of Clovis weapon fragments relative to the gomphothere bones at the site suggest that humans did in fact kill the two animals there. Of the seven Clovis points found at the site, four were in place among the bones, including one with bone and teeth fragments above and below. The other three points had clearly eroded away from the bone bed and were found scattered nearby.

"This is the first Clovis gomphothere, it's the first archaeological gomphothere found in North America, it's the first evidence that people were hunting gomphotheres in North America, and it adds another item to the Clovis menu," Holliday said.

The dig at El Fin del Mundo is a joint effort between the U.S. and Mexico,.


 wooof
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue photo
Helios, an approximately 3-year-old cattle dog/greyhound mix, shows domestication signs

Domestication changed brain
of animals, new theory says


By the Genetics Society of America news staff

More than 140 years ago, Charles Darwin noticed something peculiar about domesticated mammals. Compared to their wild ancestors, domestic species are more tame, and they also tend to display a suite of other characteristic features, including floppier ears, patches of white fur, and more juvenile faces with smaller jaws. Since Darwin’s observations, the explanation for this pattern has proved elusive, but now, in a Perspectives article published in the journal GENETICS, a new hypothesis has been proposed that could explain why breeding for tameness causes changes in such diverse traits.

The underlying link between these features could be the group of embryonic stem cells called the neural crest, suggest the authors. Although this proposal has not yet been tested, it is the first unified hypothesis that connects several components of the domestication syndrome. It not only applies to mammals like dogs, foxes, pigs, horses, sheep and rabbits, but it may even explain similar changes in domesticated birds and fish.

“Because Darwin made his observations just as the science of genetics was beginning, the domestication syndrome is one of the oldest problems in the field. So it was tremendously exciting when we realized that the neural crest hypothesis neatly ties together this hodge-podge of traits,” says Adam Wilkins, from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Wilkins is an editor at GENETICS and one of the paper’s authors.

Neural crest cells are formed near the developing spinal cord of early vertebrate embryos. As the embryo matures, the cells migrate to different parts of the body and give rise to many tissue types. These tissues include pigment cells and parts of the skull, jaws, teeth, and ears—as well as the adrenal glands, which are the center of the “fight-or-flight” response. Neural crest cells also indirectly affect brain development.

In the hypothesis proposed by Wilkins and co-authors Richard Wrangham of Harvard University and Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna, domesticated mammals may show impaired development or migration of neural crest cells compared to their wild ancestors.

“When humans bred these animals for tameness, they may have inadvertently selected those with mild neural crest deficits, resulting in smaller or slow-maturing adrenal glands,” Wilkins says. “So, these animals were less fearful.”

But the neural crest influences more than adrenal glands. Among other effects, neural crest deficits can cause depigmentation in some areas of skin (e.g. white patches), malformed ear cartilage, tooth anomalies, and jaw development changes, all of which are seen in the domestication syndrome. The authors also suggest that the reduced forebrain size of most domestic mammals could be an indirect effect of neural crest changes, because a chemical signal sent by these cells is critical for proper brain development.

"This interesting idea based in developmental biology brings us closer to solving a riddle that’s been with us a long time. It provides a unifying hypothesis to test and brings valuable insight into the biology of domestication,” says Mark Johnston, editor-in-chief of GENETICS.

Tests of the neural crest hypothesis may not be far off, as other scientists are rapidly mapping the genes that have been altered by domestication in the rat, fox, and dog. The hypothesis predicts that some of these genes will influence neural crest cell biology.

If so, we will have a much deeper understanding of the biology underlying a significant evolutionary event, Wilkins says. “Animal domestication was a crucial step in the development of human civilizations. Without these animals, it’s hard to imagine that human societies would have thrived in the way they have.”


Concern over fish farming
voiced by health experts

By the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health news staff

As government agencies recommend greater consumption of seafood for its health benefits, a new analysis led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future urges medical and public health professionals to consider the environmental and health impact of seafood sourcing, particularly aquaculture, or the farming of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. The paper appears in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Current Environmental Health Reports.

Nearly half of all seafood consumed around the world comes from fish farms. Increasing seafood consumption has been proposed as part of a strategy to combat the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now recommend pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children increase their seafood consumption to two to three servings per week of low-mercury fish.

“While increased seafood consumption comes with many health benefits, we can’t ignore the clear warning signs that we are rapidly approaching the limits of wild fish that can be caught,” says David C. Love, senior author of the study and an assistant scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “To fill this gap, aquaculture is replacing natural fisheries as a major source of edible seafood. Many aquaculture methods are safe and sustainable. However, some methods pose unnecessary risks to public health and deplete natural resources.”

Overfishing has depleted wild fish stocks and damaged marine resources, and fish farms have moved in to fill some of the gaps. But farmed seafood is not without risk. It often contains the same contaminants, such as heavy metals, that are found in nature. Meanwhile, the fish are given feed medicated with antibiotics to ward off disease or treated with chemicals, which can end up in the water supply.

Aquaculture further contributes to the reduction of fish stocks because wild fish are often used for feed.

On the plus side, aquaculture operations can provide jobs in coastal communities where people once depended on fishing for their livelihoods.

Researchers recommend applying and expanding the One Health approach, an existing interdisciplinary model that brings together human, animal, and environmental health services to address issues related to aquaculture. One Health has historically focused on infectious diseases that pass between animals and humans, but the researchers say it could bridge the gap between the desire to have enough seafood to satisfy consumer demand and the effects of farming on the environment. Recommendations for increasing seafood consumption must be balanced with risks of further damage to fisheries and risks to public health and the environment from some forms of aquaculture, they say.

“The ideal aquaculture operations that consumers should support are ones that produce nutritious seafood, provide a high quality of life for workers, and conserve resources for future generations,” Love says. “This study promotes a multi-stakeholder approach to reforming and developing an aquaculture industry that operates sustainably and contributes to human diets that promote health."


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
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
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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. www.costaricarealtyone.com
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Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
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Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
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Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
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Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com

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: info@greciarealestate.com
8352-8/13/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
TURNKEY

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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8422-9/15/14

Finca
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 lindafinca@hotmail.com.
8430-8/11/14


ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

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.
8406-8/2/14

Esterillos

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: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8413-8/28/14

Castillo
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
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 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info
mail@davidcollier.net   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)
8382-7/5/14

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 tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

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  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

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 www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

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 desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

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  rakell.leon6@gmail.com, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.
8361-8/15/14

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: http://www.casafiestacostarica.com  Email inquires to:   suez2cats@hotmail.com
8358-8/8/14

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 www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

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  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

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: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

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.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

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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  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  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: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 138
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
U.S. punitive import duties ruled unfair

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Trade Organization has ruled the United States was wrong to impose punitive duties on a wide range of Chinese goods, in a decision that could have long-term impacts.

A World Trade panel ruled Monday that the U.S. import duties on the Chinese goods - which include solar panels, steel and other products - were inconsistent with international rules.

Washington had argued the tariffs were justified in order to counteract government subsidies to Chinese companies that were then able to allegedly dump the goods in the United States at below market value.

Beijing, which filed the complaint in 2012, argued the tariffs represent illegal U.S. protection of American producers. The complaint covered more than $7.2 billion in Chinese goods, annually.

It is not clear whether the United States will appeal the ruling. U.S. Trade Representative Mark Froman said the government is carefully evaluating its options" but will continue its strong and effective remedies against unfair subsidies.

China's commerce ministry welcomed the ruling and urged the U.S. to correct its wrongdoings in order to ensure an environment of fair competition. But the ministry also said it regretted that the World Trade panel rejected some of Beijing's arguments.

China analyst Steven Lewis with Houston's
Rice University said the decision could help convince Chinese leaders of the importance of joining international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization, which China joined in 2001.

"My conversations with Chinese policy makers now as compared to 12 or 15 years ago suggests that they're much more willing to play the game. You know, 'you win some, you lose some.' I'm sure the government will play this up in Chinese domestic media to show that they're capable of getting rulings in our favor," said Lewis.

Lewis said the decision also could have a long-term influence how the United States applies punitive duties on Chinese goods.

The World Trade ruling found that Washington did not accurately calculate the value of Beijing's subsidies. It also said the U.S. did not meet certain other standards for determining the ownership of the Chinese companies.

Lewis says China has, generally speaking, been playing more by the rules of international trade, despite the numerous recent disagreements it has had with the U.S. on trade issues.





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From Page 7:

Citi paying $7 billion for bum mortgages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the biggest banks in the United States, Citigroup, is paying a $7 billion penalty to resolve U.S. government charges that it sold risky housing securities that helped trigger the country's deep recession in 2008.

Under the agreement Monday, Citigroup will pay $4 billion to the government's Justice Department, $500 million to a U.S. insurance fund and several state governments and provide $2.5 billion in relief to financially troubled homeowners having difficulty making their loan payments.

The bank made risky loans to weak borrowers and then packaged them for sale to investors as securities.

The government alleged that Citigroup misled investors about the quality of the housing loans in the securities they sold. Millions of American homeowners defaulted on their loans in the recession, unable to make monthly payments when they were laid off from their jobs and lost their houses.

Citigroup is the second largest U.S. bank to reach a settlement with the government over the failed mortgage securities that contributed to the steepest economic downturn in the country since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The largest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase, last year paid a $13 billion penalty, and negotiations are under way with Bank of America for its sale of the securities.