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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 144                  Email us
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Jo Stuart
                del bosque

Phases of the moon are part of the farming tradition
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A full moon rose over the Central Valley Monday night and peeked through the low clouds.

The celestial object plays an important role in the
local agricultural communities, large and small.

Jack Ewing in his "Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate" expounds on the campesino traditions of planting and cutting fruit based on phases of
the moon. He became a believer after he experimented with bananas and palm leaves used for roofing.

The theory is that a waning moon is the time to cut lumber and palm leave and to prune trees. That is supposed to be because the moon's effect on the fluid in the plants is lessening, and one does not want extra sap in cut lumber, palm leaves or when pruning trees.

Ewing is hardly alone. Since Roman times many
writers on agricultural topics and those involved in the day-to-day activities believe in the power of the moon to affect germination and plant growth. Plant at the wrong time and your crop will not germinate, mature or produce well, so the theory goes.

The moon also is credited with affecting human moods, and many police officers say emergency calls spike when the moon is full. Nurses report that patients sometimes become more upset as the moon nears being full.

In fact, some of these beliefs are strongly held and can be the topic of argument.

Local campesinos notwithstanding, there have been several academic efforts that debunk the power of the moon on crops. For starters, scientists argue that the moon may be able to raise tides but the effect on humans and crops is so tiny it could hardly be measured. They also point out that the moon always is up there whether is it illuminated or not.

Despite the studies, Costa Rican farmers will continue to plant root crops when the moon is waning and crops that produce above ground when the moon is waxing.

Ministry seeks to raise culture to the level of a right
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is seeking to make culture a right and establish income to support it. The ministry said Monday that after three years of effort preliminary texts of a national law and a policy on culture have been created.

The ministry said that workers plan to conduct 20 workshops in various regions of the country, hold a forum with experts, another with mayors and another with presidential candidates. The workshops will run thorough the end of August, the ministry said.

Both the 73-page text of a national policy on culture and a 55-page one of a summary of a law establishing the right to culture are online. There also are survey forms for citizens to comment on these preliminary documents. The project was initiated by President Laura Chinchilla and seems to be based in the reduction of funds to the culture ministry due to financial retrenchment.

A summary by the ministry said that the proposal sought at least 1 percent of the national budget each year for culture and the creation of a cultural fund. There also would be a system set up to promote the right to culture.

The ministry summary said that the rights include that of free participation in cultural life, access to culture, protection of culture, liberty of cultural expression, the right to cultural diversity and the right to information and communication,

The summary of the law addresses the difficult question of exactly what is culture and says that the culture ministry is at the mercy of each successive presidential administration. The ministry, set up in its present form in 1970, has varied duties. It runs the museums, preserves cultural heritage, supports the national symphony and a host of other musical groups, supports the library system and theaters,
supports film making and the Archivo Nacional and even became involved in sports, although there is an effort to spin off a separate sports ministry.  The ministry also controls the  Sistema Nacional de Radio y Televisión Cultural and the Editorial de Costa Rica, a book publisher.

The proposed law draws on United Nations documents and treaties and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to assert cultural human rights.

The driving force seems to be that the ministry does not have the resources to promote culture all over the country and lacks a strong presence outside the metro area. The law summary also says that it has a weakness in protecting cultural heritage and lacks recognition of cultural diversity.

The proposed law says that anyone who thinks that their cultural rights have been infringed can appeal administratively or to the courts. The law also empowers public officials, like the local mayor, to issue orders to stop anyone believed to be damaging culture. The law also would empower the same officials to force someone to surrender any cultural heritage objects, such as archaeological pieces, and explain their origin.

The powers of courts under the law would be greater. They include being able to jail someone who will not yield a cultural object.

The law also says that youngsters should be assisted in putting up graffiti and courses should be given in same.

Exportation of cultural goods also is encouraged by the proposed law. The measure also would restrict the demolition of and unauthorized remodeling of a cultural property even if it is in private hands.
The ministry said that in addition to the various forums an effort would be made to reach the 24 native territories.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 144

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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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tortilla lady
Servicios Periodisticos photo  
Magdalena Gómez Obando of Corralillo, 69,
shows how to handle a tortilla.
Airborne tortillas featured
at festival starting today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Making a corn tortilla in the air is not as easy as throwing a pizza. There is a certain technique for what Costa Ricans call  palmeadas al aire.

So at the Festival de la Tortilla today at the  Colegio Técnico Profesional in Corralillo de Nicoya 12 local women will complete to see who does it best.

The event begins at 2 p.m. A second day of the festival is Wednesday.

Organizers said that the tortilla has an important role in the basic diet of people in Nicoya.  Marco Jiménez, mayor of the Municipalidad de Nicoya, agrees and notes that this festival is in its seventh year. He credited the long lives of some residents to the tortilla.

The festival will begin with a street parade involving traditional street bands and masks. Ox carts and drivers also are expected to attend, said organizers.

U.S. Coast Guard a step closer
to docking in country's ports

By the A.M Costa Rica staff

U.S. Coast Guard vessels on drug patrol in the Caribbean and Pacific received initial approval Monday to dock in Costa Rica.

The legislature must approve visits by military and quasi-military boats.

There was only one vote against letting the ships visit from now to Dec. 31.

Lawmakers generally favor Coast Guard vessels over U.S. Navy ships because of their anti-war philosophies. The measure needs one more vote, probably Wednesday.

Young Costa Rican golfer
wins major tourney in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican José Méndez made history Friday when he became the winner of the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship

Méndez was five under after four rounds with a 283. He beat an Australian player by two strokes in the 15 to 17 boys division.

The event was at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California.

The Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación praised Méndez and noted that he is in the list of major golf pros who won the tournament when they were teens.

Our reader's opinion
Parrita is better choice
for international airport

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

San Carlos might indeed be an interesting place for an international airport.  I have been advocating for Costa Rica to wake up and work together with Nicaragua on the inter-oceanic canal (water, rail, road (La Trocha) and pipeline) along the San Juan that would help both countries through cooperation rather than conflict. 

Costa Rica could use the entire south side of the canal, where we have already deforested, for an ultra modern, environmentally sound zona franca for high tech companies.  This would facilitate their worldwide shipping which an international airport could augment.  We could also become international environmental heroes by donating the Isla Calero as a world biosphere ecological research park to the United Nations under the administration of The Nature Conservancy or Conservation International, thus solving that problem as well.

As for the best location for the next international airport, I choose the huge flatlands around the town of Parrita on the central Pacific coast.  First of all, Orotina is too close to the existing international airport and San Carlos is still too far. 

Secondly,  especially in light of the Turrialba Volcano activity, we need to address the fact that one day one of the giants, Irazú, Poás or Barva, will erupt!  I did an overlay of Mount St. Helens over Barva Volcano, and when it erupts (as it will), we will lose all of the city of Heredia and most of San José.  The flat area around Parrita is the only area near San José large enough to handle the resulting needed new capital for Costa Rica.  It would be a port town like Panama City and an international airport built there would facilitate the growth of the needed new city (as would the Central American Pacific coast railway). 

Parrita is more central than Orotina or Palmar Norte and has much more room to grow for this future need.  Are we ready to prepare for the future?
Thomas Ghormley
Playa Jacó

New royal baby is now third
in line to the British throne

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A great-grandson to Queen Elizabeth has been born in London, becoming third in line to the throne. 
In this age of social media and instant worldwide instant communication, the royal birth was announced in the traditional way with a brief notice posted outside Buckingham Palace and on Twitter.

The baby’s name has not yet been announced and no photo has been made public.
As soon as he was born Monday afternoon, he became third in line to the British throne.
The baby was born to the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, wife of the queen’s grandson Prince William.  She spoke about the importance of family and her desire to have children during an interview shortly after she and the prince were engaged three years ago.
“It’s very important to me.  And, you know, I hope we’ll be able to have a happy family ourselves," she said.

Prince William is second in line to the throne, after his father, Prince Charles. The royal baby is also the grandson of the late Princess Diana.
The pomp and ceremony of a monarchy, and its system of hereditary succession, seem hopelessly outdated to some. 
But not to historian Miles Taylor at the University of London.
“I think there is still a place for monarchy.  It is the most visible and familiar symbol of our national identity, whether that’s British or English or formerly imperial, now Commonwealth. People not only respect it, they are enthralled to it," he said.
Indeed, the royal baby was a celebrity before he was born, complete with his own unofficial souvenirs.  But the role he will inherit will be very different from the one his great-grandmother took on more than 60 years ago.  Queen Elizabeth presided over the evolution of the royal family from an unapproachable imperial ideal to a modern, less formal first family.
Still, someday, barring unforeseen tragedy or political upheaval, the new royal baby will become king, head of state in more than a dozen countries, leader of the 54-nation Commonwealth and symbol of Britain’s national identity with a lineage dating back hundreds of years.  It’s a heavy responsibility, one the child will spend a lifetime preparing to take on.

U.S. will review prisoners
to see if they are threats

By the A.M. Costa rica wire services

The U.S. says it plans to hold new hearings on whether 71 of the 166 suspected terrorists held at its prison at Guantanamo Bay are still a threat to the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the reviews more than two years ago, but it has taken officials since then to arrange the hearings for those being held. The Defense Department said Monday the hearings will not examine whether the detainees are being held lawfully, but whether they still constitute a threat to the country warranting continued detention at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

There was no timetable set for the hearings, but the Pentagon said they would begin when all the reasonable conditions have been set.  The hearing panels will include Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, State Department and intelligence officials.

Many of the 71 detainees are considered too dangerous to release, yet there is not enough permissible evidence to warrant criminal trials.

Obama is seeking to close the Guantanamo prison on the Cuban shoreline, but has been thwarted by U.S. lawmakers. Some are opposed to closing the facility and releasing certain prisoners to their home countries while sending others to prisons in the U.S. 

The Guantanamo prison was opened after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States as a facility to hold suspected militants captured on the battlefield by American forces.

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From A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 144
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Little paca gets a great role in the national sports games
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's favorite rodent has been selected to be the official mascot of the  Juegos Deportivos Nacionales this year.  The sports events are being held in the southern zone, which is a break with tradition.

The mascot is the paca (Cuniculus paca) or, as they are called in Spanish, tepezcuintles, They are a gentle, fruit and nut munching forest animal, But the mascot looks a bit more active. He is called Terpez. The games will be in San Vito, Ciudad Neily and Golfito this year.

The mascot was unveiled Monday at the legislature by  Jorge Angulo Mora, who represents that area. The designer was identified as  Pablo Castillo.

Next year the games, which involve many high schoolers, will be in San Carlos,  Los Chiles, Upala, Guatuso y Zarcero
Mascot will be presented officially in August

Nicaragua leasing Tico territory for oil drilling, ministry says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country has issued an energetic protest to Nicaragua because that neighbor to the north has included Tico territory in offshore drilling concessions that are being put out to bid, according to the foreign ministry.

The concession sections are in the Pacific and in the Caribbean, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

Costa Rica said it demanded the Nicaragua withdraw immediately the material with which the country is promoting the exploration sections that will be offered as concessions. The material was prepared by the Ministerio de Energía y
Minas de Nicaragua last year, the ministry said.

The ministry said that a letter delivered to the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José Monday morning contained a map that clearly shows that some of the concession sections are in the Costa Rican maritime territory.

Costa Rica opposes petroleum drilling on land or at sea. Nicaragua has offered concessions on 16 sections in the Pacific and 55 in the Caribbean, according to the ministry. It also said that Nicaragua did this once before, in 2002.

The country will take steps to notify potential bidders of the encroachment, said the ministry.

This is the week when every Costa Rican is from Guanacaste
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is the week when everyone loves the traditions of Guanacaste.  Lawmakers hosted a group of musicians and dancers Monday to further that tradition.

Thursday is the 189th anniversary of the  Anexión del Partido de Nicoya that brought Guanacaste and the Nicoya peninsula into Costa Rica. It is a legal holiday.

But one lawmaker,  Annie Saborío Mora, warned that no national holiday should be used for different ends than for which it was created.

The lawmaker from the Partido Liberación Nacional was referring to plans by protesters to march on the assembled president and ministers Thursday when they hold their traditional meeting in Nicoya.

At the same time the education ministry and the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud listed what they have done and will do for Guanacaste.
dancers at legislature
Partido Liberación Nacional photo
These are some of the dancers at the legislature.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública, for example, inaugurated a new school in the community of  Filadelfia Monday and also one in  Palestina.

This is typical at this time of year. President Laura Chinchilla probably will offer more gifts to the area Thursday

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 144
Real Estate
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Financial regulators seek to provide education on money to Costa Ricans
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The financial life of Costa Ricans has gotten more complex because of the private firms that have entered the insurance and telecom market. In addition, there are more programs being offered by credit companies and banks.

The agencies that are involved in the financial sector are planning to create programs that will make Costa Ricans more savvy shoppers, buyers and even investors. They are seeking to create a financial culture in the country, they said.

One step is a forum to discuss what they might do. That will be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Colegio de Ciencias Económicas, in San Pedro.  José Alexandre Cavalcanti, the superintendent of investor protection in Brazil will be a guest,
Attendees will seek to outline a proposal for creating a national strategy to provide financial education. Also attending will be  Cynthia Zapata, director of the Comisión Nacional del Consumidor.

A representative of the Ministerio de Educación Pública also will attend. Typically such programs begin in the elementary and high school classes.

Costa Ricans face high interest lenders, including credit card companies where the annual rate may exceed 50 percent.

An unsecured bank loan may be in the high 40s.

The country does have publicly traded corporations and a stock market but some of the big ones are registered in other countries.

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
This two-level Spanish Colonial Home is “A Botanical Paradise” high on a hill overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal   Only 1 block from the lake park and boat ramp. Close to Tabacón hot springs,
Arenal colonial
Also has a wonderful view of Arenal Volcano.  Monteverde Cloud Forest and Cano Negro national park. Many beautiful beaches along the Pacific only a day trip drive away.

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact or 8308-7732.

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542,

1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

cahuita beach house
Unique beach house for rent in Cahuita
$400 per month furnished. House is 150 yards from a beautiful beach in a jungle area. Next to our wildlife rescue center. Very safe, good water and electricity. One large bedroom, walk-in closet. Newly built and furnished. Must see. A tropical paradise. Contact: Todd at 2755-0014.

Attn: Bikers-Swimmers..House to Rent or to Share
Conveniently located  two-bedroom, two-bathroom house, new construction, wheelchair accessible to rent for $750/month or to share with owner (female).  Located on outskirts of San José metro area, 5 minute drive to Sta. Barbara de Heredia, 20-30 minutes from SJO International Airport, an easy drive to Alajuela
front gate
or Heredia.  Natural setting with a panoramic view of Central Valley on a 1/3 acre lot (1,200m2).  A beautiful, well-maintained public pool is a 10-minute walk and road in front of house is a popular bike route.  The house is 900 ft2 (90m2) plus there is a spacious terrace, two-car carport,
covered back porch and ample additional parking.  Vaulted natural wood ceilings in all rooms except in the two bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room.  There is also a small office which can serve as a guest bedroom. The house is unfurnished and appliances not included except for built-in cooktop/oven (gas). Tankless instant hot water heater for bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.  Rental fee does not include utilities.  Alarm system,  cable TV and DSL internet connections are in place. The owner will rent to 2-3 people, pets are allowed with the approval of the owner, and security deposit of one month's rent is required.  Alternatively owner can share house with suitable roommate, prefer female (non-smoker) but will consider a male roommate.  E-mail me for more photos or with questions:

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact or 8308-7732.

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at for more details. Thank you.

Available now $650 a month
This small but new and clean American-built house is settled on an organic farm a 10-minute walk from the center of town in Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Taxis are $1 to town and buses run to
Organic farm
Heredia and Alajuela, about 30 minutes each. There is parking for one car. NO DOGS please. Rent includes: Cable television, house phone, ICE ADSL internet, water, electricity, laundry facilities. We have a family living on the farm aside from myself,  the owner, and another renter, so there is always someone around. This 2-bedroom house is brand new, 
completely furnished. Large windows overlook the valley and the gardens, There are large trees. Surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens, it has a beautiful view of the valley. The kitchen comes fully equipped, with large refrigerator, gas stove and oven, all accessories. The bathroom has a large shower; both kitchen and bath have hot water. A brand new extra firm queen-size bed is included. A breakfast bar separates the living area and kitchen and a porch overlooks the farm and valley. This house is for one or two people only. $300 deposit required to be returned when renters leave house. Email for photos and questions.

Heredia rental
Beautiful mountain chalet  for rent
Beautiful mountain chalet surrounded by nature, built with tropical hardwoods and  located on a  5,000 m2  (54,000 sq feet) lot  with two other cottages.  House has basic furniture and  kitchen  appliances.  Ground floor:  Very large living/ dinning room, kitchen, office (or guest bedroom), and 1 bathroom . Upstairs:  2 bedrooms (one with a balcony), and 1 bathroom. 140 m2 approximately  Great BBQ rancho outside. Plenty space for visitor parking. Pets are welcome.  Quiet place, rural, restaurants close by. Near El Castillo Country Club, Tirol and La Condesa mountain hotels.  Only 45 minutes by car from San José.  All public services available  More information call Liseth.  Phone: (506) 7158-1548. Or send me a email:

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker.

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 144
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Crowds in Rio mob pope
as he begins Brazilian visit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tens of thousands of cheering faithful greeted Pope Francis Monday on his arrival in Brazil, mobbing a motorcade carrying the pontiff into central Rio de Janeiro at the start of a weeklong visit.
Video showed security officers struggling at several points to push back the joyous crowds, while the pope rolled down the window of his car to touch those who reached inside.  One woman handed the 76-year-old pope an infant, whom he kissed before handing back.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and a host of dignitaries met the Argentine-born Francis, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio,  as he stepped off a commercial airliner to begin his visit.
Later, anti-government protesters clashed with police outside the palace holding the official papal welcoming ceremony.  Reports from the scene said crowd anger appeared directed at Brazilian leaders, not at the pontiff.
Separately, police in the neighboring state of Sao Paulo, where the pope will visit a Catholic shrine later this week, said they safely detonated a small, homemade explosive device found in a parking garage at the shrine.
Police described the explosive as low-powered and said it was not clear whether it was related to the papal visit.
The pope's heavily policed visit comes at a time of social upheaval that began with protests in June against a bus fare increase in Sao Paulo.  Those demonstrations quickly grew into massive street protests against government expenditures for hosting football's 2014 Word Cup, and then spread to include protests against official corruption.
The Rio visit and the return to Francis' home continent is set to coincide with Thursday's international celebration of World Youth Day.  More than 1 million young Catholics are expected to participate in the events.
The pontiff's schedule also includes a meeting with young inmates at a Rio prison and a visit to shantytowns largely cleared of drug traffickers earlier this year.  He also will inaugurate a Rio hospital wing for the treatment of drug addicts and will pray at a shrine to Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil.
Aboard his flight from Rome, the pope told journalists he is worried that the world, with high jobless rates for young people, is running “the risk of having a generation without work,” even though he said work confers dignity.
He also criticized the “culture of rejection” of the elderly, saying they should not be thrown away by cultures that concentrate on everything new.

EU finally puts Hezbollah
on terrorist organization list

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Union has put Hezbollah's military wing on its list of terrorist organizations, underscoring concern about the group's role in Syria and a bombing attack last year in Bulgaria. 
Monday's decision by European Union foreign ministers targets only the military wing of Hezbollah, which is also Lebanon's most powerful political party. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU would review the terrorist designation every six months.
"That does not prevent continuation of dialogue with all political parties in Lebanon. We also agreed that the delivery of legitimate financial transfers to Lebanon and delivery of assistance from the European Union and its member states will not be affected," she said.
Blacklisting Hezbollah allows EU members to freeze the group's assets in Europe, and it might also include travel bans for individuals. Ms. Ashton said it sends both a political signal and a real signal that the 28-member bloc does not tolerate terrorism. The move marks a victory for Britain and the Netherlands, which have been pushing for the listing, following a terrorist attack in Bulgaria last year in which Hezbollah has been implicated. That bus bombing killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "It's a year since the terrible bombing attack in Bulgaria and we believe its very important when there's a terrorist attack on European soil that Europe gives a firm and clear response to that. A designation would also make it easier for us to work together in the face of further terrorist threats and send a very clear message to Hezbollah and others about that."
Also of concern is Hezbollah's strong support for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and its military crackdown on a two-year-old uprising there.
Israel welcomed the EU's decision, but expressed disappointment that it did not also include Hezbollah's political wing.
The EU foreign ministers also called for the release of political prisoners in Egypt, including the country's ousted president Mohammed Morsi. They called for an inclusive democratic process in the North African country, along with elections as soon as possible.

Detroit residents not surprised
by city's financial failures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Although Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing made headlines around the world, it was no surprise to the long-suffering residents of that U.S. city. Those who live there endure long police and fire response times, amid the blight and urban decay of a city that once was the fourth largest in the United States. But some residents see the city’s bankruptcy as a fresh start.

While more than 1 million people have left over the last 50 years, lifelong resident John George decided to stay in Detroit, and he watched it hit rock bottom.

“The good news about hitting rock bottom is sometimes you get a bounce, and that’s what we’re looking for.  A bounce from the bottom back up, you really can’t go too much farther than a bankruptcy to hit rock bottom,” he said.

The streets of this neighborhood are a symbol of Detroit’s rock bottom.  Homes once populated with middle class families, with cars in each driveway and bikes on each sidewalk, have been replaced with piles of garbage and burned out ruins.

As founder of the charitable organization called Motor City Blight Busters, John George’s mission is to tear down things that once were the soul of this neighborhood, now abandoned and neglected, so they don’t encourage crime, vandalism or fire.

He said he’s seen enough hardship in Detroit to not be surprised by the city’s bankruptcy filing.

“Detroit needs a second chance, and I think that, by filing that Chapter 9, that is our second chance,” said George.

“This is an economic shot heard around the world," said University of Michigan Law Professor John Pottow. He said the eyes of the world were upon Detroit, and how its leaders and residents responded to the financial crisis, because other municipalities could suffer the same fate.

“There’s public deficits in every major European country right now.  You know, the Greek crisis as well.  So they’re seeing this as maybe the canary in their own coal mine about what’s going to happen in the future, and they want to see what happens,” he said.

What John George saw happening was the city reinventing itself as something more than just the home of the U.S. auto industry.

“Buildings and people and cities go in cycles, and for Detroit, it’s our time for us to cycle out of this negative time, and cycle into something better, something more stable, more revitalized, more beautified,” he said.

Along with shedding its crippling debt, George wanted to see Detroit improve services, decrease crime and shorten response times by emergency workers.

And with the blight removed, maybe, just maybe these streets will see new life again, reminiscent of the fond memories of John George’s childhood.

“If it’s clean and safe, we can attract new families, young families, and I think that will happen in time," he said.

In the meantime, John George is doing his part to help the effort, tearing down Detroit’s urban blight, one street, one house at a time.

stinky plant
Voice of America photo
The titan arum in full flower.

Really stinky plants draws
crowd at D.C. botanical garden

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

What’s purple, green and smells rancid from midnight to dawn? You guessed it, the titan arum. The towering flower released its stench for the first time in seven years as it bloomed Sunday evening at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington. D.C. As the world attention was focused on Britain's new royal, in Washington people from far and wide came to  see and smell the world's largest collection of flowers on one stem.
The titan arum is more commonly known as the corpse flower. It's famous for its unique odor, something like rotting flesh, which it uses to attract pollinators. Botanist Bob Willeby, at the U.S. Botanic Garden, says it takes a lot of energy for the plant to create such a large bloom, two to three meters tall.
“This is an unusual occurrence, it happens infrequently throughout the United States in the world in general," he said.
It’s becoming more common, though, as colleges and universities acquire titan arums for their science programs. The plant, native to Indonesia, thrives in hot, humid climates.
Anticipation was high when the Botanic Garden announced the imminent flowering of its titan arum last week. But it didn't bloom until Sunday. When the crowd entered the gardens Monday morning, something was missing.
Some of the visitors were disappointed. “It’s not stinky," said one girl.
Botanic Garden Educator Todd Brethauer said the stench occurs in cycles.
“The peak production of the chemicals, based on studies done in Germany and Japan, occurs around midnight and then it starts to taper off about four o’clock in the morning," he said.
This is to attract pollinators, like dung beetles and flies, rather than bees and butterflies.  They frequent sweet-smelling flowers.  
Although visitors were not able to appreciate the anticipated odor, they were still content to see the incredible plant in all its glory.
Only a few lucky people were able to witness the blooming of the titan. The plant collapses after 24 to 48 hours.

Earth is due for big disaster
from Sun, insurer predicts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the sun nearing the peak of its 11-year cycle, scientists say a powerful solar storm may be headed toward Earth. The storm could shut down electricity supply networks and disorient GPS and satellite systems.

The worst known geomagnetic solar storm hit Earth in 1859, observed and sketched by astronomer Richard Carrington. The Carrington event upset global telegraph communications. Surprised operators watched sparks fly from telegraph lines and set telegraph paper on fire.

While not nearly as powerful, other storms in history have cut power, knocked out telephone service, short-circuited satellites and caused radio blackouts. 

The Earth is overdue for another Carrington-like storm, according to a new report released by Lloyd’s of London, the world oldest insurance market.

Co-author Neil Smith says it could be even more devastating, given the worldwide dependence on electric power supply grids.

“We are estimating that 20-40 million people might be without power from anywhere up to one, even two years," he said. "That has to do with the critical issue of replacement transformers. That number of people without power could result in an economic cost somewhere between $0.6 trillion to $2.6 trillion.”

The focus of the report is North America.  Smith says the continent’s geologic features and aging infrastructure put it at high risk for bad solar weather. The power grid, satellites, aircraft communications, astronauts and oil pipelines are particularly vulnerable. “If there was a big solar flare, it could of course knock out a whole lot of transformers.”

Michael Wiltberger, a scientist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, builds models to track the sun cycle, ultimately to better predict solar weather.

He observes coronal mass ejections that race through the solar system at speeds of three million to five million kilometers per hour. They reach Earth in less than two days.  Wiltberger sees them, at the speed of light, less than eight minutes after an eruption on the sun.

That gives space weather forecasters some lead time, but Wiltberger says predicting precisely when and where a storm will hit is much more complex.

“The real challenge that we have, that we are struggling with and trying to build into our numerical models, is to understand what the magnetic field is going to be inside this hot gas that is coming out," he said, "because it’s that magnetic field that is the key that unlocks the entry of energy and mass into the Earth’s, near-Earth’s region.”

Wiltberger says the models could provide a framework to monitor a storm and improve predictions. He hopes that system will be operational within five years. 

In the meantime, Neil Smith of Lloyd’s of London is calling for greater cooperation to mitigate the impact before the next big storm comes on the horizon.

“We are just raising awareness of the issue, because step one is to get different parties aware that this is a potential issue," he said. "And then we need to work with governments and the utility industry to tackle it. It’s not something that any one party could actually solve on their own.”

Smith adds that such work is critically important, to avoid what could become large-scale economic and societal chaos.

Eurozone debt still mounting
despite austerity measures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The combined debt in the eurozone continues to grow, even as many of the 17 nations in Europe's currency bloc have adopted austerity measures to cut spending and raise taxes.

European officials say the eurozone debt level hit an all-time high in the first three months of the year, more than 92 percent of the economic output of the eurozone nations. Only two of the eurozone countries reported falling debt, economic powerhouse Germany and tiny Estonia.

Cutting spending and increasing taxes have been prescribed as the main response to the eurozone's three-year governmental debt crisis. Five countries have secured bailouts to avoid defaulting on their debts.

But as government programs have been cut, the eurozone's jobless rate has reached a record 12.2 percent and the currency bloc is stuck in an 18-month recession.

European officials in recent months have begun to advocate programs promoting job growth. But they have not cut their austerity programs, although some countries have won delays in the time needed to improve their economies to meet Europe-wide standards.

Robin Hood film recount
revenge on corporations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two new films explore fictional fringe groups that take social justice into their own hands. "The East" and "Now You See Me" offer 21st century Robin Hood-type plots where young vigilantes target corporate greed.

The underground organization called The East warns before it attacks:  “Change your ways or pay the consequences.” Its members don't kill, not directly anyway.

Instead, they turn the corporations’ practices against them. They feed CEOs their tainted medicines. They force them into rivers their companies’ pollute.

Ellen Paige plays Izzy, one of the radicals. Brit Marling plays Sarah, a corporate spy who goes undercover to infiltrate The East in order to expose its members. She ends up joining the group instead.

“When we started shooting the film a week before Occupy Wall Street blew up, we were so excited," said Ms. Marling, who also co-wrote the script. "We felt like, ‘Oh gosh!’ We were telling a story that is really prescient and what people are feeling.”

"Now You See Me" also has a star-studded cast which includes Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, and Woody Harrelson. The film addresses corruption in the banking system and its collapse in 2008.

"The story about these magicians who are recruited by this kind of secret organization to pull off these incredible heists where they are actually stealing money from corrupt business people and distributing it back to people who have been stolen from," said Jesse Eisenberg who plays Atlas, the leader of famous illusionists. “There is some kind of social justice that they are stealing from people who have stolen from others and giving money back to people who have rightfully deserved it.”

London researchers renew
retina in the eyes of mice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have taken a major step toward potentially reversing a common form of blindness.

Researchers at the University College London  successfully transplanted light-sensitive photoreceptor cells from a synthetic retina that was grown from embryonic stem cells into night-blind mice. Photoreceptor cells are light sensitive nerve cells at the back of the eye. Many forms of blindness, including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetes-related blindness, are caused by the loss of these cells.

The transplanted cells appeared to develop normally into the mice’s retina and formed nerve connections needed to communicate visual information to the brain, the researchers said.

In the future, the process could provide an unlimited supply of healthy photoreceptor cells for transplantation into human retinas.

“Over recent years scientists have become pretty good at working with stem cells and coaxing them to develop into different types of adult cells and tissues,” said Robin Ali of University College London. “But until recently, the complex structure of the retina has proved difficult to reproduce in the lab. This is probably because the type of cell culture we were using was not able to recreate the developmental process that would happen in a normal embryo.”

The researchers grew the cells using a 3D culture method developed in Japan. Throughout the process, the cells were compared to cells developed normally to ensure they were biologically equivalent. Scientists then transplanted about 200,000 of the cells and injected them into the retina of night-blind mice.

Three weeks after the procedure, the injected cells began to look like normal, mature photoreceptor cells. Six weeks after the procedure, the cells were still there, and researchers noticed nerve connections with the existing retinal circuitry.

“The new 3D technique more closely mimics normal development, which means we are able to pick out and purify the cells at precisely the right stage to ensure successful transplantation,” said Ali. “The next step will be to refine this technique using human cells to enable us to start clinical trials.”

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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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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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
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 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Naranjo views


4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit for more information!

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at for more information!

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at for more information!

Guiones retreat
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or

Monte Mar
Hacienda Monte Mar
Gated Community near the beach
located halfway between Jaco and Quepos/Manuel Antonio
 BEST DEAL in Costa Rica!!! Lots starting at just $18,500 with financing available.
 Lot/ House packages from around $60,000
Great Retirement, Vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers on site,
security and lawn maintenance, no time limit to build. Absentee Owner Friendly.
Water and power on site.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Puriscal home
$71,000 SUPER Central Valley view home for you to finish
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, on 2,200 M2 lot with creek on one side. This is another "live in the view" home ready to finish out including appliances, solar water heater, PEX water distribution, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, radiant energy barrier, and tempered, bronzed, reflective windows for an additional $59,000. So total for lot and beautifully finished home is under $130,000. This home is within 7 minutes of Santiago de Puriscal at elevation of 3,200 feet on new concrete public road.
Please contact: email  or call 2417-1041 or 8888-4543.

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Heredia land
San Rafael, Heredia, great opportunity, 17,000m2 land for development,
US$600,000 or best offer.  email: or call 8385-2542.

music studio
Musicians dream!!!
Two-story house, 2,400 sq. ft. (223 sq. mt.) total with covered porches, 2-car covered parking, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, open kitchen/living room, bodega, laundry room, upstairs sala. Separate 320-sq. ft. (29 sq. mt.) music studio that could be used as an art studio, workshop, or additional bedroom. Studio has a patio on top, partially covered with ozonated hot tub. Mature citrus trees, avocado, mango, pineapples, bananas, and many colorful flowers. Completely fenced, security system, Internet, cable TV, automatic gates, one-car additional secured gravel parking. Double lot, 7,320 sq ft (680 sq mt). Backs up to a large cafetal and looks up to Natural Reserve Madre Verde. Located in La Granja, Residencia Palma Real, Palmares, Alajuela. Walking distance to town, 5 minutes to pista, 35 minutes to airport, and close to bus service. Comes with kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, bed set in master bedroom, shoe cabinet just inside front door. Other furnishings negotiable. More pictures available upon request. House and property are in a corporation. $208,000.

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.

San Pedro condo
Condo for Sale in Flor del Este
Lourdes, Montes de Oca San Jose

Located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada 500 meters north of Inglesia Lourdes. U Latina, UCR, and U Fieditas are located within 5 minutes.  Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. Condo is a 3-story. Three/four-bedroom, three and half bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with only one entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. In addition, to security fencing, and electric wire, a recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house. Residence has a telephone communication system to contact the guard house. In addition there is a green park area inside the complex for children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Equipped with an independent wired security system in addition to iron bars on windows and patio doors. Equipped with circuit breaker box and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Also has water storage tank under parking area and water pump to maintain high pressure on all three floors. American-style washer and electric dryer, Refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. $185,000. Other furniture items may be available for purchase.
Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987
U.S. Phone:  6630-886-4458  or   (305) 848- 5577
Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799 4041

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

Rich Coast Montage
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate, from Jaco to Quepos/Manuel Antonio
- 2 Bedroom House in Gated Community near the beach, $89,000!!
 - Beachfront Residential Lots from $58,000
- Coffee Shop/ Bakery, Coastal Town, Great Location, Real Estate Office Upstairs, Turnkey $85,000 Great ROI
- Lots in Gated Community near the beach from $18,500,
with Financing Available!!
- 3 Bedroom House in Gated Community, furnished, walk to the beach, $120k
 1.25 acre + lots in ECO Development $39,000
- 58-acre Oceanview Property subdividable, $169k
and much more....
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891

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:

Playa Octal home
Playa Ocotal Beach Home
This home is located in a residential resort complex made up of 40 luxurious, fully furnished beachfront villas, plus a clubhouse complete with poolside bar and restaurant. Bahía Pez Vela is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, one kilometer from Playa Ocotal on the North Pacific coast and just 30 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport and three miles to downtown Playas Del Coco. From this home you can hear and see the waves crashing on the rocks of this pristine beach. See it HERE! This is the best priced beach home in Costa Rica! Price $225,000   Contact: Bruce Hummel, - Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987-7166.

hree peanel montage
This dream Costa Rica beach house overlooking Carara National Park and the Pacific has been rented continuously for two years. D.C. owners are on site at the house in May and prepping for June 1 Move in and/or vacation rentals and have an unbelievable offer. Already listed way under value, $150,000 Cash or $199,500 with owner financing through May 30th. Note: This was the owner's (14 year residents of Costa Rica) dream home before their relocation to Washington, D.C., Your own salt water Infinity pool, expansive sala and balcony, views from every room. Each room is individually air-conditioned, ceramic tiles, cathedral ceiling; three bedrooms in an international community. Scarlet macaws fly by your veranda each evening.
zen/natural contemporary design ideal for your location overlooking Costa Rica's biological corridor. 50 minutes from San José, minutes from beaches/20 minutes from Jacó Beach. Tour this property online first at and if interested contact Barry in Costa Rica through May 30th for a tour. In Costa Rica: 8701-5639 or call Rosemary in the U.S. 239-910-3354. Note: On June 1 the price of this property will increase to over $200,000 after equipping, painting and acceptance of rental income. Don't wait!

La Garita
This home was built by a California contractor with all the amenities expected in a 3,000-square foot home.  There is a little less than one acre of land.  There is an 800-square foot shop easily converted to a rental unit or studio.  Located in La Garita de Atenas, 15 minutes to the international airport and 30 minutes to San José.  $225,000. 2487-4500.

Arenal Colonial
Property for sale, great potential income
Turnkey business $350K. Rental $1,250/month This luxury home (4,000 square feet and two story private home) is a botanical paradise overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal. Only one block from the lake park and boat ramp. Close to Tabacón hot springs and Monteverde cloud forest. Caño Negro national park and many beautiful beaches along the Pacific are only a short drive away. Costa Rica bird watching, wind surfing, fishing, water sports, ecotourism adventures, hiking, tennis and mountain biking are out your front door. Also has a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano, a safe 25 miles away. Electric gated entrance. Safe private home and entire property. To see more pictures and info, click here:

Jacó compound
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 bath 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment. one bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom,  gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500 square-meter garden with aviary for Guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4 meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2 meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture, included even a car. Owner financing available. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. More photos on request.

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

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

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 144
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disable on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

big plant
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
This is one of the plants that Fuerza Pública officers confiscated in Liverpool and  Pococí Monday.

California pot chain owner
gets 262 months in prison

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A San Clemente, California, man who owned and operated a string of nine marijuana stores that generated at least $25 million in profits was sentenced Monday to 262 months in federal prison.

The man, John Melvin Walker, also known as “Pops,” 56, was sentenced by U. S. District Judge James V. Selna. In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered Walker to pay the Internal Revenue Service $2,415,409.29 and California State Board of Equalization $1,857,280.00 in restitution.

Walker pleaded guilty in April to two felony counts, one count of conspiring to distribute well over a ton of marijuana and maintaining drug-involved premises, and one count of tax evasion.

“Drug use and addiction continue to have devastating impact on far too many lives. Today's sentence demonstrates DEA's commitment to our communities and children by working with our law enforcement partners to investigate and bring to justice those who supply these dangerous drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams.

Walker was the lead defendant in a 14-defendant indictment returned by a federal grand jury last fall. The indictment outlined a drug-trafficking conspiracy led by Walker, who owned and operated at least nine marijuana stores in cities across Los
Angeles and Orange counties. The nine marijuana stores were located in Long Beach, Dana Point, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Santa Fe Springs, Costa Mesa, Whittier, and San Juan Capistrano.

Walker was “the kingpin of a large, organized criminal enterprise awash in narcotics, firearms, and, most of all, money,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing brief.

Walker admitted in the federal tax case that he earned approximately $25 million from marijuana sales over the course of six years. Walker specifically admitted that he earned $11.4 million in 2009, but reported to the Internal Revenue Service only a tiny fraction of that income. As part of his plea agreement, Walker agreed to pay the IRS more than $2.4 million in back taxes for years 2006 through 2011, as well as $1.8 million in restitution to the California Board of Equalization.

In addition to the $4.2 million he has agreed to pay to federal and state tax authorities, Walker agreed to forfeit to the government $25 million in illegally obtained income, which includes, among other assets, more than $500,000 in cash previously seized by law enforcement authorities, his multi-million dollar home in San Clemente, a string of mobile homes in Mammoth Lakes, rental properties in Long Beach, and his interest in two strip clubs.

 The sentencing memo filed by prosecutors argued that Walker’s “conduct was not the result of some misplaced idealism or altruistic instinct, but was rather driven by his insatiable quest for the massive illicit profits generated by his crimes, and the luxurious lifestyle those profits bought.”

Walker, a twice convicted felon, also admitted that he possessed firearms in relation to the drug-trafficking offense. Authorities discovered  an AK-47-style assault rifle, three other firearms and ammunition.

  California legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996 but the federal government still prosecutes those who sell it.


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From Page 7:

16 firms said to have measured footprint

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The company that can measure the carbon output of businesses and industries says it is already doing so.

The firm is the Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica, The company reported Monday that 16 companies already have had their carbon footprint measured.

The goal is what is known as carbon neutrality, something that politicians have promised for the country by 2021. Seven of the firms that were measured have reached this goal, the institute known as INTECO, said.

Manuel González, coordinator of the verification unit, said that the firm has a number of ways of measurement and can do so for every type of industry or business. Typically a firm can reduce its carbon output by 4,000 tons annually, he said.

The current system is voluntary. But Costa Rica is in the process of creating a carbon exchange system whereby firms that cannot be carbon neutral can purchase carbon credits to offset the deficit. To make that mandatory would require legislation or a presidential decree.

Costa Rica received an international loan to do this.