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Drought fears overshadow Anexión celebration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just a few days before the annual celebration, Guanacaste is facing a crisis.

Friday the president and other members of the central government will travel to Nicoya for a cabinet meeting. This is a tradition to thank the region for deciding to join Costa Rica in 1824.

Despite all the celebration, dances and music, Guanacaste, a prime agricultural area faces the certainty of a drought.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional says that due to El Niño in the Pacific there will be about 50 percent less rain. That means big trouble for cattle ranchers and farmers of all stripes.

Monday, Marta Arauz, a lawmaker, urged the central government to issue a decree of emergency for the province.

She noted to the assembled lawmakers that what was then called the Partido de Nicoya joined Costa Rica of its free will, the only region in Latin
America that had the opportunity to determine is sovereignty.

President Luis Guillermo Solís will have a chance to see for himself. He plans to visit Nosara on the far Pacific coast Wednesday. He is expected to see the roadways for which residents of Nosara are seeking repairs. From the morning visit in Nosara, the president is headed to Liberia to speak with cattle ranchers and representatives of area businesses at the Universidad EARTH.

Casa Presidencial said he would continue his visit in Liberia Thursday and then move on to Bagaces, Cañas and later Tilarán. Water will be the topic when Solís meets with representatives of the Universidad Nacional in Liberia about a new university major involving hydraulics.

All this comes before the visit Friday to Nicoya for the celebration of the Anexión de Partido de Nicoya. Partido was a Spanish Colonial word for geographical region. After the 11 a.m. cabinet meeting in the central park of Nicoya, the president will be stopping at Guaitil, the center for thousands of years of Chorotega pottery.

Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
This is a scene from a previous tortilla contest in Nicoya. Cooks use open fires.
Six-day fiesta begins tonight in Nicoya
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The party starts in Nicoya tonight at 5:30 p.m. with street bands, folk dancers and fireworks. There even will be a special illumination of the streets. And over at the Colegio Técnico de Corralillo de Nicoya there is the start of the tortilla contest along with marimbas and a dance.

The municipality is planning a solid six days of events to celebrate the Anexión de Partido de Nicoya.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday there is an official inauguration with speeches by politicians, more fireworks, folklore presentations and the Regional Banda Municipal de Nicoya.

There are more marimbas at noon Thursday followed by demonstrations of preparing typical foods at 2 p.m. At 6 p.m. there is more traditional folk dancing and even recitations of regional poetry. The climax is a public dance later in the evening.

Friday is a big day.  There is a bike race at 10 a.m. and a presidential cabinet meeting in the Parque Recaredo Briceño.  At 3 p.m. there is a tope or horse parade with an expected 1,200 riders, according to the organizer, the Asociación de Caballistas de Nicoya. There is more folk dancing and traditional music until the fireworks in the late evening.

Saturday there is more marimba music in the park at noon followed by a marimba concert and a 5 p.m. presentation by local and international folkloric groups, including the Grupo Folclórico de México and the Grupo Folclórico de
Servicios Periodisticos photo
Street lighting in Nicoya proclaims that residents chose Costa Rica by their own will.

Nicaragua. The evening ends with another dance.

Sunday features a gathering at 2 p.m. of the traditional street bands, the cimarronas. The festivities end with another concert featuring the  Grupo Percance.

This is the 190th anniversary of the region's decision to join with Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua. The  Festival Cultural de la Anexión 2014 is featuring the  Danza de la Yegüita each day in recognition of the native roots of the region.

The Festival de la Tortilla, runs through Thursday with two preliminary competitions followed by the final. The program at the technical school will be accompanied by music and, of course, marimbas, each day.

Guanacaste has its own unique culture including food, the marimbas, the traditional clothing of the folk dancers and even the bombas, those four-line poems that begin with the announcement Bomba! and end with a humorous twist. They are the Costa Rican version of epigrams.

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


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War of words erupts over Jacó condos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is a war of words in Jacó as DayStar Properties Management S.A. is being challenged by a new management company called Lost Beach.

DayStar of course, is the firm of  Patrick Hundley, who happens to be in preventative detention on an unrelated fraud allegation.

Lost Beach appeared on the scene Friday when it sent out messages to news people and to those who own properties that have been under the management of Day Star.

Lost Beach is operated by David Byker of Grand Rapids. Michigan, and his partner, Denny Cherette, They said Friday that they were taking over management of properties at Diamante del Sol, Bahia Encantada, Bahia Azul, La Paloma Blanca and The Palms.

Byker, himself, owns 25 condos, he said. The message was critical of DayStar management.

Monday DayStar fired back and said that it has continued to function completely in Hundley’s absence, offering the services of rentals, sales, management and maintenance of condominiums to any clients requesting service.  The firm also said that Lost Beach misled clients and employees and directed some to another work location that was not DayStar's.

Both communications allege what amounts to criminal activity. A.M. Costa Rica's policy is to report on criminal activity only when there is a formal complaint filed with authorities or when editors have to verify the fact independently.

Good drivers get license discounts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The driver's license agency has a deal for good drivers. Those who renew a license and who have not accumulated more than four points due to traffic violations get the license at half price. That is 5,000 colons. In addition, good drivers are able to renew a license for six years.

On the other hand, drivers who accumulate more than four points have to pay 10,000 colons, about $19. And they can renew for just four years. They also have to go to a driver safety course. A driver can earn a quick four points by going through a red light or failing to keep a child in an appropriate car seat.

Licensing officials also said that the agency will now accept renewals three months before a license expires.

Public position is key in defamation case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A decision Monday that acquitted a businessman of a criminal libel allegation approaches the U.S. standard in public officials and defamation. The fact that the person bringing the allegation was Laura Chinchilla figured heavily in the verdict.

Costa Rica continues to maintain the crime of defamation while many other countries have eliminated defamation as a crime and, instead, treat slander and libel as a civil matter.

The three-judge panel appears to be swayed by the position that Ms. Chinchilla held at the time, president.

In U.S. courts a public official seeking a civil settlement faces the very high standard of actual malice. That is, that the public official claiming the injury must show that the person who uttered the libel knew or should have known that the allegation was false. That standard is so high that few public officials go to court.

A few U.S. states still have criminal libel on the books, but that crime usually is reserved for silencing someone who has become unwelcome to officialdom.  An example would be someone who attends public meetings to harangue public officials or who writes defamatory flyers.

The actual malice threshold in the United States also is the standard for public figures, like movie stars.

The businessman, Alberto Rodríguez Baldi, made comments about Ms. Chinchilla on a Facebook page. The comments about land ownership are believed to be false. But the court also seemed to adopt a concept from Illinois law that if an innocent meaning exists for the statements involved, the innocent meaning should be assumed. That position might be made more clear when the full decision is released.

The Chinchilla case points out that the increased use of the internet, Facebook and other social media opens the door for libel and other false statements.

The writer of a Facebook comment does not have to submit the words to an editor. The individual is free to make the most outrageous comments. The Electronic Frontier foundation has a legal guide for bloggers online HERE!

Ms. Chinchilla also has another real problem with her case. She sought 100 million colons in damages. Her lawyers would have been hard-pressed to show any damages based on an obscure Facebook posting.

She still has the option of appealing the verdict.

big teeth
University of Cincinnati photo      
Brooke Crowley poses with a mammoth mandible.

Mammoths and mastodons stayed home

By the University of Cincinnati Creative Services

The famously fuzzy relatives of elephants at the end of the last ice age were not big travelers, according to research from the University of Cincinnati. A study led by Brooke Crowley, an assistant professor of geology and anthropology, shows the ancient proboscideans were not nomadic migrants as previously thought.

Mammoths and mastodons even had their own preferred hangouts. Ms. Crowley's findings indicate each species kept to separate areas based on availability of favored foods at the southern edge of the Last Glacial Maximum's major ice sheet near Cincinnatti.

"I suspect that this was a pretty nice place to live, relatively speaking," Ms. Crowley says. "Our data suggest that animals probably had what they needed to survive here year-round."

Learning more about the different behaviors of these prehistoric creatures could benefit their modern-day cousins, African and Asian elephants. Both types are on the World Wildlife Fund's endangered species list. Studying how variable different types of elephants might have been in the past, Ms. Crowley says, might help ongoing efforts to protect these largest of land mammals from continued threats such as poaching and habitat destruction.

"There are regionally different stories going on," Ms. Crowley says. "There's not one overarching theme that we can say about a mammoth or a mastodon. And that's becoming more obvious in studies people are doing in different places. A mammoth in Florida did not behave the same as one in New York, Wyoming, California, Mexico or Ohio."

For their research, Ms. Crowley and colleague Eric Baumann looked to the wisdom in teeth – specifically museum specimens of molars from four mastodons and eight mammoths from Southwestern Ohio and Northwestern Kentucky. Much can be revealed by carefully drilling a tooth's surface and analyzing the stable carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopic signatures in the powdered enamel.

Each element tells a different story. Carbon provides insight into an animal's diet, oxygen relates to overall climatic conditions of an animal's environment and strontium indicates how much an animal may have traveled at the time its tooth was forming.

"Strontium reflects the bedrock geology of a location," Ms. Crowley says. "So if a local animal grows its tooth and mineralizes it locally and dies locally, the strontium isotope ratio in its tooth will reflect the place where it lived and died. If an animal grows its tooth in one place and then moves elsewhere, the strontium in its tooth is going to reflect where it came from, not where it died."

Their analysis allowed them to determine several things:

    * Mammoths ate more grasses and sedges than mastodons, which favored leaves from trees or shrubs.

    * Strontium from all of the animals (except one mastodon) matched local water samples, meaning they likely were less mobile and migratory than previously thought.

    * Differences in strontium and carbon between mammoths and mastodons suggest they didn't inhabit the same localities.

    * Mammoths preferred to be closer to the retreating ice sheet where grasses were more abundant, whereas mastodons fed farther from the ice sheet in more forested habitat.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 143
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Old photos of the former liquor factory will be displayed until Aug. 22
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A photo display of the old Fabrica Nacional de Liquores will be available at the Biblioteca Nacional until Aug. 22. The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, which now has its offices in the old factory, inaugurated the photo show Monday. There are 29 photos. The ministry is celebrating its 43rd anniversary.

Personnel at the press office of the ministry reported they spent three years assembling the photos. They said the photos might also be on display at the Feria Internacional del Libro.

The liquor factory went up in 1853 at the order of President Juan Rafael Mora Porras after the central government gained control of the production of alcohol three years earlier. The Fabrica Nacional de Licores is outside of town since 1996 on the Bernardo Soto highway in Grecia.

Ministry officials said that the photos also illustrate the working conditions of those who had jobs at the facility. The photo exhibit is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the national library.

front door
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
This 1970 photo shows the ornate entry to the compound. The entry exists today.

Man jailed after defending himself with knife from robber
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man was detained Sunday after police said he stabbed a person who attempted to rob him. Identified by the last name of Mena, the man was walking through the center of San José when the individual later identified by the last name of  Mendoza tried to rob him at Avenida 9 and Calle 0, according to a Fuerza Pública report.

In apparent self defense, Mena stabbed Mendoza in the chest, leaving him in critical condition, according to police. Mendoza was taken to a hospital and Mena was detained. Monday afternoon press representative for prosecutors said she believed Mena was still in criminal detention.
This is the second time in nearly a week that police have detained a person reportedly defending himself from an attack. Randall Alberto Torres Gómez was arrested July 12 in Ipis de Guadalupe after police said he tried to stop a suspected robbery taking place in the middle of the day.

When the assailant then took out a gun with the apparent intent of shooting, Torres pulled out his gun and fatally shot the presumed robber who was a 17 year old. according to a report from the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Police confiscated Torres' registered .38-caliber pistol and the legal documents that he was carrying for the weapon.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 143
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Genetic study shows why tiny marmosets are prone to multiple births
By the Baylor College of Medicine news staff

A team of scientists from around the world led by Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University in St. Louis has completed the genome sequence of the common marmoset. This is the first sequence of a New World monkey, and the study provides new information about the marmoset’s unique rapid reproductive system, physiology and growth, shedding new light on primate biology and evolution.

The team published the work in the journal Nature Genetics.

“We study primate genomes to get a better understanding of the biology of the species that are most closely related to humans,” said Jeffrey Rogers, associate professor in the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor and a lead author on the report. “The previous sequences of the great apes and macaques, which are very closely related to humans on the primate evolutionary tree, have provided remarkable new information about the evolutionary origins of the human genome and the processes involved.”

With the sequence of the marmoset, the team revealed for the first time the genome of a non-human primate in the New World monkeys, which represents a separate branch in the primate evolutionary tree that is more distant from humans than those whose genomes have been studied in detail before. The sequence allows researchers to broaden their ability to study the human genome and its history as revealed by comparison with other primates.

Marmoset are found mostly in South America, but some have been spotted in Central America.

The sequencing was conducted jointly by Baylor and Washington University and led by Kim Worley, professor in the Human Genome Sequencing Center, and Rogers at Baylor.

"Each new non-human primate genome adds to a deeper understanding of human biology," said Richard Gibbs, director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor and a principal investigator of the study.
new world monkey
Baylor College of Medicine photo
Relatives usually care for marmoset offspring.

The study revealed unique genetic characteristics observed in the marmoset, including several genes that are likely responsible for their ability to consistently reproduce multiple births.

“Unlike humans, marmosets consistently give birth to twins without the association of any medical issues,” said Ms. Worley. “So why is it OK in marmosets but not in humans where it is considered high risk and associated with more complications?”

It turns out the gene WFIKKN1 exhibits changes associated with twinning in marmosets.

“From our analysis it appears that the gene may act as some kind of critical switch between multiples and singleton pregnancies, though it is not the only gene involved,” said Rogers, who added the finding could apply to studies of multiple pregnancies in humans.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
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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.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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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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Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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.

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

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 143
Real Estate
About us

Catholic saint from México
becomes patron of illegals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants.

Toribio Romo González was a priest who died in the so-called Cristero War, a rebellion against Mexico's anti-clerical government of the 1920s. Canonized as Saint Toribio in 2000, many Hispanic Catholics have come to view him as the patron saint of migrants.

An ankle bone from the priest, housed in a small wooden statue in his image, is on loan from Mexico and has been making the rounds of churches in southern California.  

It has struck a responsive chord with immigrant Catholics in one suburban church, including Peruvian-born Lucy Castro.

“When my children were five years old, the immigration took my husband for about one month,” said Ms. Castro.

After a month in detention, her husband was released pending an immigration hearing. Ms. Castro believes Saint Toribio helped the family through the crisis.

The relic has drawn those worried about the plight of tens of thousands of migrant children from Central America who have fled to the United States and are awaiting detention hearings.

Sunday, thousands attended a Mass at the Los Angeles Catholic cathedral to venerate the relic and hear testimonials, including from a Honduran woman, who described her escape from violence and arrival in the United States six weeks ago with her young son. 

Jersey Vargas, a 10-year-old U.S. citizen, told of her visit to Rome to meet Pope Francis in March. She told the pontiff about her father, who was then in detention in the United States. Days later, her father was released, pending an immigration hearing.

“I want him to please give us immigrant reform because many families are suffering. And I already suffered the same situation and I don't want it to happen again to anyone,” Vargas said.

Joshua Oliveros, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, knows that the immigration issue is divisive, but said he believes in miracles.

“Hopefully, Barack Obama he will bring this opportunity, not only for a few people, but for everyone because I believe that people who come from different parts of the world can make a difference,” he said.

Church leaders call the plight of undocumented migrants a humanitarian crisis.  They say something must be done for the millions separated from families by their immigration status with help from a Catholic saint and political leaders in Washington.

Texas government to send
guard troops to the border

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The governor of the U.S. state of Texas said he is planning to send 1,000 troops from the state's National Guard to its southern border with Mexico to boost security during a surge in illegal immigration by children.

Gov. Rick Perry said Monday the guard troops are necessary because the influx of unaccompanied children illegally entering the United States has diverted resources away from the federal border patrol.

He said the decision was made after repeatedly asking the Obama administration to send National Guard troops to the region and getting no positive response.

More than 57,000 children, mostly from Central America, have illegally crossed into the United States since October, triggering a political and border crisis in the country.

Perry is regarded as a potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential race and has been a vocal critic of the White House's response to the influx of child immigrants.

Earlier this month, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the immigration surge of unaccompanied children.

Republicans in Congress have not approved the money and say Obama's immigration policies have encouraged the flood of children across the border.

The president, along with the U.S. Senate, has championed immigration reforms that would allow the 11 million immigrants already in the United States illegally to eventually obtain American citizenship. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is opposed and says it will not vote on the issue this year.

Voice of America photo
Ryan Pitts receives the medal from the president.

Survivor of worst firefight
received the Medal of Honor

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year.  But Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor.

It was a brutal assault that has gone down as one of the bloodiest for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, a July 13, 2008, attack near the northeastern village of Wanat.

Setting up at a new outpost, former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts and his fellow soldiers faced a pre-dawn onslaught from about 200 Taliban fighters.

“Almost instantly every one of them was wounded," Obama said. "Ryan was hit by shrapnel in the arm and both legs and was bleeding badly.  Already three Americans in that valley had fallen, and then a fourth.” 

Obama said the terraces near the outpost erupted, with more fire and grenades coming from the village itself. Pitts fought back, holding off the Taliban, helping to call in air strikes even as the attack claimed the lives of nine fellow soldiers.

“It is remarkable that we have young men and women serving in our military who day in day out are able to perform with so much integrity, so much humility and so much courage," the president said. "Ryan represents the best of that tradition.”

The Battle of Wanat, as it came to be called, was not without controversy.  The mother of Cpl. Jason Bogar, who died in the attack, claimed the Army made huge mistakes leaving her son, Pitts and the other soldiers needlessly exposed.

“The Afghan villagers told them you're going to be attacked. And then the predator drones were pulled the night before," Carlene Cross said.

The Army has changed its tactics as a result.  And Pitts, now working for a software company is the proud father of a 1-year-old boy.  Like the other Afghan War veterans to receive the nation’s highest military honor, he says the medal does not belong to him alone.

“The honor belongs to every man who fought at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice that allowed the rest of us to return home,” he said.

Marathon bomber's buddy
convicted of interference

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A court has convicted a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev for impeding the investigation into last year's deadly blast.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a foreign student from Kazakhstan, was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in Boston.

Prosecutors said three days after April 15, 2013, bombing, 20-year-old Tazhayakov and another college friend removed Tzarnaev's backpack from his dormitory room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.  The bag contained altered fireworks the friends threw away.

Tazhayakov faces up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice charge and a maximum of five years in jail on the conspiracy charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Twin bombs exploded near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Police say that two ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in the United States for a decade, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, carried the bombs in backpacks to the Boston street near the finish line before detonating them. 

Days later, Tamerlan was killed in a gun battle with police and Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a suburban Boston home.  Authorities say he left a hand-scrawled confession inside the boat that said the bombings were retaliation for the U.S. killing of Muslims in American-led wars overseas.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, is in a U.S. prison awaiting trial on multiple charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Economic experts report
there is more optimism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A survey of key U.S. business leaders finds sales and employment grew in April, May and June, after the economy faltered at the beginning of the year.

The National Association for Business Economics is made up of economic experts who work in companies across the nation. 

Most respondents said sales were growing during the second quarter and an increasing number said employment also was expanding.

Survey analyst Ken Simonson said his fellow economists think the overall economic outlook is improving. 

At the same time, profit margins grew at fewer firms and costs for wages and price increases were more widespread than in previous quarterly studies.

Fast food firms in China hit
with supplies of bad meat

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. fast food chains McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday while authorities investigate a report that alleges a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

McDonald’s Corp. and Yum! Brands Inc., which owns KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, said they have stopped using products supplied by a local meat processor after a Shanghai regulator halted the firm's operations Sunday over food safety concerns.

Other customers included Burger King, Papa John's Pizza, coffee chain Starbucks and sandwich maker Subway, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported Monday.

The move is a potential concern for the two brands, which are both now conducting their own investigation into the matter, since the pair were hit hard by a food safety scandal in China late in 2012.

Yum, which apologized to Chinese consumers for any inconvenience caused in the latest case, suffered a sharp dive in profits early in 2013 after the safety concerns.

The Shanghai food and drug administration halted the operations of Shanghai Husi Food Co., Ltd, a meat supplier suspected of providing meat that had passed its expiration date to China branches of McDonald's restaurants and Yum's KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, the Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

The food and drug administration inspected Shanghai Husi Sunday evening after a report by a Shanghai television station alleged Shanghai Husi reprocessed and sold old meat and used poor hygiene practices in a local factory.

A statement by the food and drug administration said police were investigating and threatening severe punishment in the future.

China has been rocked by a series of food and product safety problems, due to lax enforcement of regulations and corner-cutting by producers.

Voice of America photo
This is a British square of the type that stopped the French calvary at Waterloo.

Waterloo in miniature cost
Army vet 20,000 hours

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Next year marks the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, when French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by an international force led by England and Prussia. Just in time for the observance, a retired U.S. military officer is recreating the battlefield in miniature, with a quarter-million tiny hand-painted soldiers.

“Each soldier is approximately six millimeters high or one quarter of an inch,” said Steve St. Clair, who has been painstakingly painting those tiny figures for 20 years.

So far he has 250,000 of them.

”Actually it is one of the most decisive battles in military history. It ended the Napoleonic era, number one. Number two, it had units from so many different countries in so many different uniforms.  I thought that will be very interesting to paint,” he said.

St. Clair grew up in a military family and served in the Army for 25 years.  He says painting figures is a way to balance his life.

“One of my specialties was anti-terrorism, which was a very stressful job. And when I come home, this was a way to relax because you can literally turn your mind off and just paint the figures,” he said.

The soldiers are recreated in precise historical detail, down to the colors of ornaments on their uniforms.

”I am painting the plumes on the top of the helmets of the soldiers from grenadier companies. They would have red plumes,” St. Clair said.

“Painting the figures actually is one step of rather long process. First of all, quite a bit of time is spent on research knowing what the units wore. The most complicated figures are Scottish Highlanders with their plaid kilts.” 

The Waterloo pieces are stored in a chest of drawers in his basement. St. Clair said, so far, he has put 20,000 man hours of work in the collection.

“Compulsive maybe but not obsessive. There is a bit of difference," he said. "Obsessive means I have to paint every day and do this exclusion of other things. I have a lot of different hobbies.”

An estimated 200,000 soldiers fought at the Battle of Waterloo. St. Clair painted the extras so he could stage multiple battle poses.

The figures laid out on this model terrain represent about 4 percent of his entire collection. St. Clair says he would need an area about 190 square meters to put everything on display.

“There are no other collections in the world of a quarter-million figures. By the end of this year all of the extra should be done,” he said.

St. Clair wants to donate his creation to a museum but so far has no takers. But he hopes his tiny troops will find a home and can be on display for the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Waterloo next year.

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)


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:

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

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.

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:

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!

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

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 143
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
bad booze
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública
The bulk of these bottles are untaxed name brands.

Police sweep turns up bad booze

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Púbica officers went on a hunt for untaxed alcohol, but they managed to turn up 325 bottles of what they called adulterated products. Basically these contain bootlegged alcohol.

Police said that officers from Coronado and San José participated in the sweep of 13 establishments that sell alcohol.

They found bottles that they believe to have been brought into the country without the appropriate tax being paid.

Officers were accompanied by representatives of the Fábrica Nacional de Licores. They said the adulterated alcohol was dangerous. The contents were mostly guaro, the sugar cane alcohol.

The investigators from the alcohol factory destroyed the adulterated alcohol, police said.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
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Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Country posts an increase in exports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica exported more than $4.8 billion worth of goods during the first half of the year, according to a report from the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior. Despite some potential losses in the manufacturing sector, most notably the departure of Intel's main production plant, Costa Rica has seen a 4 percent increase in exports from the first semester last year.

“These figures are very positive,” said Alexander Mora, the commerce minister. “The departure of Intel's manufacture plant has had an evident effect on exports, however the efforts that are systematically being carried out to promote exports and diversify the markets are managing to soften any downturn.”

Free trade exports, excluding electronic products, grew 6 percent from last year to reach more than $2 billion worth of goods. Foreign sales saw a similar hike, topping $2.7 billion since January.

Francisco Gamboa, the director of commercial intelligence for the trade promotion organization Promotora del Comercio Exterior, said the country's ability to steer its industries towards multiple export markets has created these sales boosts.

“Our principal market, the United States, grew by 4 percent, but we also consolidated destinations like Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic,” he said, mentioning further markets explored in South America and the Caribbean. “To the same effect, exports to Europe increased as did Asian markets like China. This shows a diversification of locales that Costa Rica has on hand and that there are opportunities in many regions.”

An estimated 841 businesses exported their products to the United States during the first semester. And more than a thousand Costa Rican companies exported to neighboring Central American countries, according to the statistics.

In analyzing the data by industry, the country has seen a significant 5.5 percent increase in agriculture, livestock products, and fish exports. In addition, sales of medical devices went up 16 percent, electric cables by 14 percent, pineapple by 12.7 percent, banana by 7.4 percent, melon by 18.8 percent