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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 145                  Email us
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Nicoya dancers
Servicios Periodisticos photo
These performers are from the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Nicoya dancing a folk number.
Holiday is a great time to learn more of the culture
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thursday is a holiday, and it is a great time for Costa Ricans to remember their past and contemplate their present. But for expats, the day might be a bit boring with a lot of offices and work places closed.

Not everyone can go to Nicoya where the big festival is taking place.  So here are some suggestions for expats, be their newly arrived or long-time residents.

1. Get into the food culture. Make a chorreada complete with sour cream (natilla) and cheese. These are sort of like  corn-based pancakes, and they are made in much the same way. Chorrear is Spanish for "to pour," and that is exactly what one does. The batter is prepared and then poured on a hot griddle.

There is no need to make the batter from scratch. Special mixes for chorreadas are available in most supermarkets. So there is no need to chop up ears of corn. There are plenty of recipes available on the Internet.

You take the plate-size chorreada and break it into sections. The cheese is rolled up inside and the sour cream is used like a dip.

Bet you can't eat just one! But don't tell Weight Watchers.

2. Learn the national anthem, the Himno Nacional, if you do not already know it. That way you will not feel foolish at all those public events when everyone else is singing. Unlike the U.S. national anthem, mere mortals can really sing Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera, and Costa Ricans do it all the time. The song also substitutes to "Hail to the Chief," when President Laura Chinchilla makes  a public appearance

There is a video on YouTube. with the music and song complete with great photos of Costa Rica, including some of the diablitos from the Boruca culture  So now there is no excuse.

3. Ride a horse. Guanacaste, which is being celebrated Thursday is the home of the Costa Rican cowboys, the sabaneros. But one need not go there to find a mount. They are all over, even in Parque la Sabana (although the nags there appear to be only able to support children).

On the Pacific coast, in the mountains, near the volcanos, and of course, in Guanacaste, there are horse rentals, There also are cabalgata, sort of arranged guided tour of interesting places,  Depending on the distance the rates may range up to $160.

Don't forget the hat, Tex.

4. Take a tour of a Catholic church. One cannot understand Costa Rican people without understanding a bit about their faith. Some churches, like the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, are outstanding works of art. Las Mercedes church is east of the Parque de la Merced between avenidas 2 and 4 in San José. The facility benefited from a four-year $1 million restoration project that was reported HERE!

Another outstanding downtown church is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Soledad on Calle 9 that is becoming part of the Barrio Chino. A restoration project for this church is about to start. There also are spectacular churches in many other communities, not to mention the Colonial era ones.

Any expat resident of Costa Rica has to visit at least once the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. The architecture is not the draw. The people are. This is the time of year when more than a million pilgrims will walk from all over Central America to Cartago and go down the center aisle of the church on their knees. And they will make sure to get a bottle of water from the spring that has a special significance in the story of the worship that began in 1635.

No one will inquire about the religion of a visitor, and being there is like being transported to Medieval Europe.

5. Wear a mask! Even short-time visitors have seen the traditional mascaradas in Costa Rica at 
A.M. Costa Rica archive 
Mascaradas can be scary, too

least from the outside. But what does it look like  from the inside out? An expat can find out with the exchange of a 5,000-colon note at some local festival. No special clothing is required because the garments attached to the papier-mâché masks reach close to the ground.

Once in your selected macarada, you, too, can move to the sounds of the cimarrona, the brassy street band. A good introduction is HERE!

6. Visit a cemetery. There is a lot of drama even in a small, local cemetery like the one in San Antonio de Escazú. Residents have been dying here for hundreds of years, and there even is a cemetery for foreigners that can be found near the Cementerio General on Avenida 10. Some of the occupants are those brought here to plan and build the country's Caribbean railway.

The Cementerio General, itself, has some spectacular statuary and elaborate family crypts. And each marker holds the story of someone who was born, grew up, perhaps married, followed a career and then died here perhaps 100 years ago.

With luck, some Costa Rican families might be visiting their plots and be willing to share some tales.

7. Learn to dance Tico style. Dances are universal. One can learn belly dancing, the Tango and any other type of dance here. But to celebrate Guanacaste, the dance must be the traditional Tico style. Guys will need a couple of red or blue handkerchiefs and one of those white campesino hats. Gals need a flowing red, white and blue dress. Then the rest is just studying a typical dance or getting a little help. Or just letting the traditional music be your guide.

8. Watch a soccer game with Costa Ricans. There is no fan like a Tico fan. And the love of soccer goes so deep that there always is a game on television, even if it has to be beamed from Europe. The best place is some working class bar when Costa Rican teams are playing. But Thursday, fans will have to settle for what's on.

Soccer is one of those games where there are a lot more near misses than goals. So a real fan has the heart in the mouth for the entire game. Add some Imperial or Pilsen, and there is a great afternoon.

9. Shop at a pulpería. These are the little food stores where some neighborhood family is making a living. Items might even be a little cheaper because the small shopkeeper probably has less overhead than a modern supermarket. There are supposed to be about 18,000 of such establishments in Costa Rica, and in the New World they sprang right up after the Spanish arrival.

A little Spanish helps, but pointing is good, too. Most are not self-service, so the clerk has to get the item, be it shoe polish, guaro or candies. This is another step back into time. And pulperias are a vanishing bred.

10. Give someone a meal.  Costa Ricans are generous. Ever see a taxi driver give a coin to a street beggar? This happens all the time. Just watch passers-by on the pedestrian mall in San José where there is a beggar in every block. Costa Ricans may grouse, but in the end they may dig down for a coin or perhaps even a rojo. So join the crowd and pick up an extra burger for the guy rummaging in the trash at the corner.

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Health ministry says efforts
have reduced arsenic in water

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Ministerio de Salud said that a committee has been set up to address the problem of arsenic in the drinking water in some Guanacaste communities.

The health agency also said that as a first step Kancham arsenic filters have been installed  in some homes, as was recommended by the Pan American Health Organization. These are sand filters that can process a limited amount of water a day. The filter uses sand and pieces of metal to bind the arsenic.

The ministry is working with the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the Presidencia and affected municipalities.

The Sala IV  constitutional court has taken up the efforts by residents to obtain water without arsenic.

The ministry said that the second stage is to find clean sources of water. This means more drilling and at a greater depth to avoid contamination by naturally occurring arsenic.

The ministry said that efforts already have reduced the presence of arsenic in the domestic water in  Bagaces Centro and Cañas Centro, as well as Vergel and Jabilla de Cañas.

After years of inaction,  Acueductos y Alcantarillados has taken to the television channels to promise clean water to all parts of the country.

Traveler alert issued
over measles, rubella

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Pan American Health Organization, a U.N. agency, has issued an alert urging nations to strengthen their international travel advisories so that they are protected against measles and rubella prior to departure. This recommendation applies to both incoming travelers and for those traveling outbound of the region, the agency said.

Due to upcoming cultural and sporting events that will be hosted by countries in the Americas, Pan American Health said it encourages nations to recommend vaccination against measles and rubella for all travelers to and from the countries of the Americas in order to reduce the risk of reintroducing these diseases that have already been eliminated in the Americas.

Travelers who are not vaccinated against measles and rubella are at risk of getting these diseases when visiting countries where these viruses are circulating. Country officials should seek to ensure vaccination, with particular attention to women of childbearing age to prevent any infection caused by the rubella virus during pregnancy.

The agency said that evidence of immunity to measles and rubella for travelers includes:

• Written documentation of having received the measles and rubella vaccines;

• Laboratory confirmation of rubella and measles immunity (a positive serologic test for the measles and rubella-specific IgG antibodies).

Travelers over 6 months old who are unable to present the documents indicated should be advised  to obtain vaccination for measles and rubella or preferably the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, said the health agency. Ideally, the vaccine should be administered at least two weeks before departure.

Travelers with medical problems involving vaccination for measles and rubella are the exception to the above instructions, aid the agency. In addition, infants under 6 months old should not be vaccinated, it said.

The agency said that for the duration of the trip and upon returning to their point of origin, travelers should take notice of the following symptoms: fever,  rash, cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis (red eyes).

If the traveler believes that they have measles or rubella, said Pan American Health, they should: remain in the place where they are lodging (hotel or home, except to go to a doctor. They should not travel nor go to any public places;and they should avoid close contact with other people for seven days following onset of rash.

The agency also advised personnel in the tourism and transportation sectors  to also be immunized against measles and rubella.

There have been some sports events that brought many spectators from other continents. In addition, the World Cup is planned next year in Brazil. That also is the country where Pope Francis is now hosting World Youth Day which had attracted great numbers of persons form all over the world.

Oldest U.S. cave art holds
strong religious significance

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jan Simek, leader of the team that discovered the oldest known cave art in the United States, says he is far from finished.
The 60-year-old science professor at the University of Tennessee still plans to belly crawl through caves or climb atop bluffs in the hope of finding more art in his cave-rich state.
The Simek team's discovery of 6,000-year-old art in the Cumberland Plateau, a division of the Appalachian Mountains extending from southern West Virginia to northern Alabama, is featured in the June issue of Antiquity, the archeological journal published by Britain's Durham University.
“Yes, we have cave art that is 6,000 years old,” Simek said. “But we don't want to say it is the oldest rock art.”
Simek said there might be ancient rock art in 400 or 500 of the 9,000 caves recorded in the limestone and sandstone bedrock of Tennessee.
His team has explored about 1,000 of them so far. “We are in the early stages of this, to be honest,” he said.
Cave locations are kept secret because of concerns that looters could damage any archeological treasures that may be inside.
By global standards, 6,000-year-old cave art is still relatively youthful. Experts say the famous Paleolithic paintings in Lascaux, France, are as old as 20,000 years. Other drawings found in Australia and southern Africa are believed to be older still.
Nonetheless, archeologists and Native Americans are excited about the discoveries by Simek and his team: Alan Cressler of the U.S. Geological Survey; Nicholas P. Hermann of Mississippi State University and Sarah C. Sherwood of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
Albert Bender, a Cherokee and board adviser for the Nashville-based Native American Indian Association of Tennessee, said the discovery “shows the sophistication of Native American society in the South going back thousands and thousands of years.”
Michael Moore, director and state archeologist in Tennessee's Division of Archeology, described the team's find as extremely exciting and extremely significant for the different insights into prehistoric culture.
Simek said his team's main focus was on the connection of the art to religion. Some of the drawings show humans hunting or engaging in magical activities like flying. Others depict more mythological or spiritual images such as serpents and circles.
“We know that these folks had recognized multiple layers of reality, and humans only occupied one of the layers in the middle,” he said. “But they interacted with and were influenced by a celestial world, an upper world that had certain creatures and spirits associated with it and an underworld that had other spirits associated with it.”
Simek said this multi-tiered religious view was represented by the figures on bluffs, those in the open air, and those beneath the ground in the Cumberland Plateau.
He compares the spiritual view of the artists with other religions, including Christianity.
“Christ was taken to the top of the mountain, crucified, taken down, put in a cave and from there was reborn,” he said. “Those are the vertical levels of our spiritual world.”
To him, the artwork and the sheer physical demands required for the painters and carvers to reach so high on the bluffs as well as so far below ground to depict their spiritual hopes and fears are proof that a sophisticated society predated people who currently call Tennessee home.
“This stuff is thoughtful, insightful, profound, sacred,” said Simek, who fortunately is neither claustrophobic nor afraid of the dark. “These people have taught me a great deal about the power of the human mind.”
Then he stopped and added: “It's a lot of fun.”

Researchers find how brain
can learn new vocabulary

By the King's College London news staff

For the first time scientists have identified how a pathway in the brain which is unique allows humans to learn new words

The average adult's vocabulary consists of about 30,000 words. This ability seems unique to humans as even the closest species ,  chimps, manage to learn no more than 100.

It has long been believed that language learning depends on the integration of hearing and repeating words but the neural mechanisms behind learning new words remained unclear. Previous studies have shown that this may be related to a pathway in the brain only found in humans and that humans can learn only words that they can articulate.

Now researchers from King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, in collaboration with Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute  and the University of Barcelona, have mapped the neural pathways involved in word learning among humans. They found that the arcuate fasciculus, a collection of nerve fibers connecting auditory regions at the temporal lobe with the motor area located at the frontal lobe in the left hemisphere of the brain, allows the sound of a word to be connected to the regions responsible for its articulation. Differences in the development of these auditory-motor connections may explain differences in people's ability to learn words. The results of the study are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Marco Catani, co-author from King's College London Institute of Psychiatry said: "Often humans take their ability to learn words for granted. This research sheds new light on the unique ability of humans to learn a language, as this pathway is not present in other species. The implications of our findings could be wide ranging – from how language is taught in schools and rehabilitation from injury, to early detection of language disorders such as dyslexia. In addition these findings could have implications for other disorders where language is affected such as autism and schizophrenia."

The study involved 27 healthy volunteers. Researchers used diffusion tensor imaging to image the structure of the brain before a word learning task and functional MRI to detect the regions in the brain that were most active during the task. They found a strong relationship between the ability to remember words and the structure of arcuate fasciculus, which connects two brain areas: the territory of Wernicke, related to auditory language decoding, and Broca's area, which coordinates the movements associated with speech and the language processing.

In participants able to learn words more successfully, their arcuate fasciculus facilitated faster conduction of the electrical signal. In addition the activity between the two regions was more co-ordinated in these participants.

Catani concludes, "Now we understand that this is how we learn new words, our concern is that children will have less vocabulary as much of their interaction is via screen, text and email rather than using their external prosthetic memory. This research reinforces the need for us to maintain the oral tradition of talking to our children."

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Some lawmakers want to ease the bite of alcohol licenses
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers from the Partido Acción Ciudadana said Tuesday that they have prepared a change in the country's alcohol law that will make the liquor licenses progressive. Right now, the license fees are the same and fixed by the municipality under the framework of the national law.

The lawmakers said that they were concerned about family operations in rural areas that were facing confiscatory license fees. The lawmakers warned that some businesses might have to lay off workers or even close.

Of course, these are among the same lawmakers who passed the law in the first place.

Not only rural merchants are feeling the weight of the new
fees, depending on where the business is located. And in most cases it is the end consumer who actually pays for the fees with higher prices.

"The current license that these small businesses pay, many of them located in the countryside, are excessive because they do not correspond to the volume of sales and that impedes their continued operation," said Gustavo Arias Navarro, one of the lawmakers.

Basically the new legislation would tie the license fee to sales so that the big multinational chains pay much more, said the lawmaker.

The measure may not be well received in the full legislature. Part of the reason for raising the license fees was to cut down on alcohol use.

Labor harassment bill approved by legislative committee
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative committee approved and sent to the full legislature Tuesday a labor harassment bill that seems to expand greatly the prohibited actions

The measure would cover both public and private workplaces. Although it is supposed to be gender neutral, the summary to the bill said that it is women who as more subject to harassment than men.

The bill was released by the  Comisión Permanente Especial de la Mujer. The text of the measure that is on file at the legislative Web site says that labor harassment includes isolating someone, failing to assign them duties, and to speak to others in their presence without speaking to a presumed victim.
Also prohibited is to keep an employee from going to a work meeting without justification.

The bill sets up an arbitration system after an investigation by three persons, including one trained in workplace harassment.

In determining guilt of a presumed harasser, the bill calls for circumstantial proof if there is no direct evidence.
The law says those found guilty of labor harassment shall be fired. A lot of the administrative work involving a harassment claim is in the hands of the Ministerio de Trabajo.

Employers would have to set up an internal procedure so that complaints can be made

The bill is the work of Mireya Zamora Alvarado, a deputy. who held an administrative post in the legislature.

A summary by the committee said that this bill fills a void in existing harassment legislation. For example, there already are measure against sexual harassment.

Pilar Porras, chairwoman of the committee, said that the actions of harassment include insults, forcing people to do denigrating work incompatible with their knowledge or impossible to do.

The summary also said that there would be room for warnings or suspensions, even though the text says clearly that the penalty is firing.

However, public officials, including local mayors, could not be fired, They would only be admonished.

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Scientists use an airborne system to map carbon densities in Panamá
By the  Stanford University news staff

A team of researchers has for the first time mapped the above ground carbon density of an entire country in high fidelity. They integrated field data with satellite imagery and high-resolution airborne light detection and ranging data to map the vegetation and to quantify carbon stocks throughout the Republic of Panama.

The results are the first maps that report carbon stocks locally in areas as small as a hectare (2.5 acres) and yet cover millions of hectares in a short time. The system has the lowest demonstrated uncertainty of any carbon-counting approach yet — a carbon estimation uncertainty of about 10 percent in each hectare overflown with the detection instruments as compared to field-based estimates. Importantly, it can be used across a wide range of vegetation types worldwide.
The new system, described in Carbon Balance and Management, will greatly boost conservation and efforts to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration. It will also promote understanding of how carbon storage can be used to assess other fundamental ecosystem characteristics such as hydrology, habitat quality, and biodiversity. The approach provides much-needed technical support for carbon-based economic activities such as the U. N. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program in developing countries.
Panama has complex landscapes, with variable topography and diverse ecosystems, ranging from grasslands and mangroves to shrub lands and dense forests. As a result, Panama is an ideal laboratory to develop and test a method for quantifying aboveground carbon.
Lead author Greg Asner commented: “Three things make this national-scale study unique. First, Panama is an outstanding place for testing carbon mapping approaches due in part to the long-term forest studies that have been undertaken by our partners at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Second, we have applied the very latest techniques using high-performance instrumentation, resulting in demonstrably high accuracy at fine spatial resolution. And third the partnership permitted us to estimate our errors in a novel way, and we did so over every point on Panamanian soil.”
In addition to Carnegie and Smithsonian researchers, scientists from McGill University and the University of California at Berkeley combined measurement methods — an extensive and essential network of
This is the fian carbon map of the entire country

ground-based plot sampling, satellite imagery, and air measurements from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory — to achieve the unprecedented accuracy.
The light detection and ranging system uses reflected laser light to image vegetation canopy structure in 3-D. The scientists calibrated the measurements, taken at one-meter resolution throughout nearly one million acres (390,000 hectares), to the carbon density in 228 regional field plots, established and sampled by the collaborating scientists. They used 91 other plots to validate the  aboveground carbon density estimates.

"Rarely has such a large number of field plots been available to validate LiDAR calibration independently,” remarked Asner. “Our collaboration with STRI and its partners was vital to assess the accuracy of what we achieved from the air.”
Traditional carbon monitoring has relied upon on-the-ground sampling of field plots, but this approach usually represents just small areas of land and is time-consuming. “There has been growing interest in using satellite imagery to cover larger areas, but it is low resolution both spatially and in terms of the structural information about the vegetation,” said Carnegie author Joseph Mascaro. “In some parts of Panamá, different global methods disagree by more than 100 percent at square-kilometer scale.”
That’s where the airborne light detection and ranging comes in. It directly probes the ecosystem’s physical structure, which Carnegie scientists have repeatedly proven to be tightly linked to tropical carbon stocks. These measurements are the bedrock for mapping and estimating the amount of carbon locked up in plants from dense forests to shrub lands.

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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)
Beautiful Home for Rent in Arenal area
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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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 145
Real Estate
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Pope resumes hectic schedule
today with visit to shrine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pope Francis resumes a hectic schedule in Brazil today with a visit to a shrine in Sao Paulo state to venerate the Roman Catholic country's patroness.
Nearly 2,000 police are set to provide security for the pontiff as he prays at the shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida along with about 200,000 faithful.
As the pope rested Tuesday, there was widespread finger-pointing in Brazilian media over security lapses that exposed the 76-year-old Francis to mobs of wellwishers who greeted him Monday on his arrival in Rio de Janeiro.
Analysts acknowledged serious security lapses, but they said the wishes of the pope to be out among the public made it difficult to ensure full protection.  Throughout the ordeal, the pope himself appeared upbeat and kept his car window open to greet the crowds that swarmed his motorcade.
The Rio visit and the return to Francis' home continent was planned to coincide with Thursday's international celebration of World Youth Day. 
More than one million young Catholics are expected to participate, and hundreds of thousands of young people are already in the city, awaiting the opportunity to greet the new pope.

In addition to his visit to the Sao Paulo shrine, the pontiff also will meet with young inmates at a Rio prison, visit shantytowns largely cleared of drug gangs earlier this year, and inaugurate a Rio hospital wing for the treatment of drug addicts. 
Francis' visit, his first foreign trip since becoming pope in March, comes at a time of social upheaval in Brazil that began last month with protests against a bus fare increase in Sao Paulo.  Those demonstrations quickly grew into massive street protests against government expenditures for hosting the 2014 Word Cup soccer tournament, and spread to include protests against official corruption.

France facings more woe
from its Muslim minority

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As temperatures soar in France, tensions are also on the rise over Islam, immigration, violence and the state's response to long-simmering tensions in the country's low-income suburbs. It all started with weekend clashes outside the French capital.

Just as French government ministers begin packing their holiday suitcases, violence erupting in the Paris suburb of Trappes suggests they may not be in for a calm summer. Dozens of people assaulted the Trappes police station this past weekend, throwing fireworks and setting trash cans on fire.

The incidents apparently took place after police arrested a man for assaulting them, after they detained his wife for wearing the face-covering veil in public — a practice that is banned in France.

The chain of events sparks memories of previous unrest, first in 2005, when youth riots swept across the country, mostly in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods. In 2010, a new French law banning the face veil also triggered debate and anger.

What's different today, says French sociologist Michel Wieviorka, is the connection between the two issues. Wieviorka is the author of "Evil," a book exploring terrorism, violence and racism.

"There is something which is really new. It is the fact that suddenly two issues that in the recent past were distinct became one and only issue. That is to say, on the one hand, you have many people living in these kinds of poor suburbs that are facing social inequalities, exclusions, racism, police behavior — the classical issue force that explains social riots in the French suburbs, banlieues," said Wieviorka.

The other issue, said Wieviorka, is the ongoing tension over the French face veil ban. Several hundred women have been caught violating the ban since it became law, although not all have faced penalties. In this latest incident, police say the husband of a woman flouting the ban tried to strangle one of their officers. Local Muslim groups dispute that account.

Monday, a teenager was sentenced to six months in prison in connection with the Trappes clashes. Two other defendants were acquitted. The situation in Trappes remains tense but, for the moment, calm.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls has defended the police response.

Interviewed on French radio following the violence, Valls said Trappes residents want order and calm restored and that's what's happening. He saluted what he called exemplary work by the police.

Valls also defended the French face veil ban, saying it was not against Islam, but rather was in the interest of women.

But the response by France's leftist government has sparked strong criticism —  both for being too tough and not tough enough.

Politicians from the main, center-right UMP opposition party accuse the government of being too lax. Interviewed on France-Info radio Tuesday, former UMP minister Valerie Pecresse criticized the justice system for not cracking down more swiftly and firmly.

What's clear, said sociologist Wieviorka, is that successive governments, both from the left and the right, have failed to alleviate longstanding tensions over immigration and violence. "In front of all these problems at that stage, the only possible answer for the government has been sending in the police, sticking  terms of order, in terms of security, respect of the law," Wieviorka stated.

For example, Socialist President Francois Hollande made campaign promises to end racially based identity checks and to introduce legislation giving immigrants the right to vote in local elections. So far, Wieviorka says, neither promise has been fulfilled.

"So there is a strong feeling that if you live in these neighborhoods, if you are an immigrant, you are Muslim, or you are different, you are not taken seriously into account," said Wieviorka.

New reports Tuesday suggest French police are now being probed over racist remarks made on an unofficial police Facebook page at the time of the Trappes violence. France's summer is just beginning. It remains to be seen just how it will end.

World gets a first look
at the unnamed royal baby

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, presented their baby boy, as yet unnamed, to the world’s media Tuesday.
Just a day after his arrival in the world, Britain’s third in line to throne entered the global spotlight in the arms of his mother Kate.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stood on the hospital steps, the proud parents of a boy.  Unfazed by the attention of the world’s media, William and Kate brought him over to waiting reporters.

“He’s got a good pair of lungs on him, that’s for sure. He’s a big boy, quite heavy. But we’re still working on a name so we’ll have that as soon as we can... it’s the first time we’ve seen him really so we’re having a proper chance to catch up," said the prince.
“It’s very emotional, it’s such a special time, any parent will I think know what this feeling feels like, added the new mother.
Moments later a royal car appeared. William, already getting used to the practicalities of fatherhood, fitted the car seat before driving his new family home.

The celebrations had already begun across Britain.
The bells of Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate were married in 2011, rang out for three hours across the capital.
Earlier, crowds had gathered at Buckingham Palace as the Guardsmen played "Congratulations."
Thirty one years ago, William was born at the same London hospital. The echoes of history are a comfort for William after the pain of losing his mother, says royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams. “William is a very proud father to have his son born at the same hospital he was. Regarding the future, he’s absolutely determined that Kate will face certain pressures in a balanced way, that’s the way it’s been handled so far and it’s been done excellently," he said.
Kensington Palace, William’s childhood home, will be the new base for the royal baby. $1.5 million has been spent renovating one of the apartments. It has twenty-one rooms, including a drawing room, staff quarters and a nursery fit for a future king.
Despite agreements from the British media to respect the family’s privacy, the baby’s upbringing will be far from normal, says royal author Phil Dampier.
“Even if you managed to avoid the paparazzi and went for a walk in the park, there’s always likely to be a member of the public you’re going to bump into who wants to take a picture. So it’s going to be extremely difficult to get any privacy. Fortunately you’ve got the royal residences. And then of course Kate’s got her family home with her parents in Berkshire," he said.
And the Middleton family home is where William and Kate are likely to take their son in the coming days, away from the media glare and with the extra care of his grandparents.
An overjoyed mother and father getting to know their baby; as a nation celebrates the arrival of its future king. ​

Greenpeace issues complaint
against Chinese coal company

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

International environmental group Greenpeace is accusing China’s largest state-run coal company of massively exploiting water resources in the country's arid Inner Mongolia region.  In a newly released investigative report, the group says wells have dried up, lakes have shrunk and desert dunes are expanding near the company's plant.

According to Greenpeace, since state-owned Shenhua Group began extracting water for its plant to process coal into liquid fuels, groundwater levels have dropped by nearly 100 meters.

One lake where the plant extracts its water has also shrunk by two-thirds since operations began in 2006.  The group says the plant is not only drying up water resources, but illegally dumping toxic industrial wastewater as well.

Local farmers and herders are finding it difficult to maintain their livelihoods, sparking social unrest.  But the company is in the midst of plans to massively expand the project.

Li Yan, the head of the environmental group’s climate and energy campaign in China, said Shenhua needs to put an end to the destruction.

“We also want to warn the current ambitious development plans in the local and central governments for more coal chemical projects to take this as an example and to please give water resource limits priority," Li said.

China relies heavily on coal to power its massive economy, the world’s second largest, but its leaders are also facing growing demands to address environmental concerns.

Earlier this month, China cancelled a $6 billion uranium-processing plant following protests against the facility.  Other petrochemical projects have recently been halted as well.

The release of the report is the first time that Greenpeace has taken on a single state-owned enterprise with such scrutiny and focus.

Greenpeace is not publishing the findings to make the company look bad, said Li,  but to make sure that unchecked expansion of the coal industry does not come at the cost of water and ecological security.

“This is definitely not risk free and we have tried our best to make sure that our evidence and findings are very solid. And we have also tried to bring evidence and show what is happening to different ministries and policy makers,” said Li.

Greenpeace has delivered copies of the report to China’s environmental ministry, water resources ministry and a government body that oversees state-owned enterprises, said Li. The group has not yet received a response.

Another copy was sent to the company Tuesday, just before the group held a news conference in Beijing to announce its findings. Shenhua has yet to comment on the report.  Its liquid to coal plant in Inner Mongolia is one of three such pilot projects in China.

The Greenpeace investigation was based on 11 field trips to the project between March and July of this year.  Although the company says the plant is a low water-consumption project that has zero discharge, Greenpeace said, its findings prove those claims are false.

The group said it found high-levels of toxic chemicals in discharge wastewater and other cancer causing compounds in sediment samples.

The process of converting coal to liquid fuels widens the possible uses of China’s plentiful energy source beyond just producing electricity.   

As China’s reliance on coal power generation slows, coal companies are looking for other alternatives. Local governments in the northwest are eager to allow such industries to operate because they contribute badly needed tax revenues, said Li.

“Right now there are only less than a handful of coal liquefaction projects because it is really controversial for its water intensity, for its energy intensity.  This is why these projects are very important, not only for Shenhua, but also for the whole industry.  They are really looking at these projects to be the flagship for the modern coal chemical industry,” said Li.

But Li added that if pilot projects like Shenhua's are having problems it’s a very worrying sign for their expansion.  Currently, more than 100 coal chemical projects are waiting for Chinese government approval to move forward.

City life shown to be safer
than living in the country

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Contrary to what many believe, living in the city is far less risky than in the country, according to a study released Tuesday that takes into account all major forms of death from injuries.

Although homicides in cities far outpace those in rural areas, overall the risk of dying from some form of accident or injury is 20 percent greater in the most rural counties of the United States than in the nation's biggest cities.

The findings may give pause to people tempted to flee cities for the bucolic ideal of rural life, says Sage Myers, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, whose study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“As you moved further and further away from cities you got less and less safe. Even going into the suburbs dropped your safety a little bit,” she said.

“It's a little counterintuitive,” she said.

Dr. Myers said when people think of their personal safety, they tend to think about intentionally inflicted injuries, such as being attacked or shot, but the researchers found that the risk of dying from an accidental injury is 40 percent higher in the nation's most rural counties than in its most urban.

“It turns out unintentional injuries dwarf intentional injuries,” Myers said, and those types of injuries occur much more often in rural areas.

Part of the differences in the study may reflect reduced access to trauma centers, which are staffed with doctors who are trained to handle life-threatening injuries. And since most trauma centers are clustered near large cities, rural dwellers may be more at risk of dying from life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Myers and colleagues studied government data on all injury-related deaths from all 3,141 counties across the United States from 1999 to 2006. They excluded deaths caused by the Sept. 11, 2001,  attacks, which the researchers deemed too anomalous to be counted.

Of the nearly 1.3 million deaths during the study period, the overall rate of deaths caused by accidents was 37.5 per 100,000, compared with 17 per 100,000 for homicide and suicides.

The most common causes of injury-related deaths were motor vehicle crashes, which occurred at more than twice the rate in rural areas as they did in cities. Overall, car crashes caused 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in most rural areas and 10.58 per 100,000 in most urban areas.

That may be because people in rural areas are more prone to drive on highways at high speeds, and some studies have shown people in rural areas are less likely to comply with seatbelt and child restraint laws than are individuals in urban areas.

When the team looked at firearm-related deaths, they found no significant difference in the overall risk of death between urban counties and rural counties, but there were significant differences in the trends by age.

In rural areas, for example, children aged up to 14 and adults over 45 had the highest risk of dying from a firearm injury, but among adults aged 20 to 44, the risk of a firearm-related death was much higher in urban areas, and the risk was about the same for youths aged 15 to 19, regardless of where they lived.

The study did not look at the number of people who were injured but survived their car crashes or gunshot wounds, which might reflect whether people in urban areas simply have better access to healthcare than people in rural areas who have life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Myers said more study is needed to tease out the differences in risks between urban and rural areas, but she said such studies should be taken into account as health policy experts consider the placement of new trauma centers.

Report says drones in Pakistan
killed many more civilians

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A British media outlet says a classified Pakistani government report shows U.S. drone strikes on militant targets in Pakistan have killed many more civilians than Washington has acknowledged.
A U.S. official rejected the document's claim, saying it lacks credibility.
The non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism said Tuesday it obtained the Pakistani report from anonymous sources and published the full version on its Web site.
The document lists U.S. drone strikes between 2006 and 2009 and shows at least 147 civilian deaths from the attacks, representing about one-fifth of total fatalities. It says most of the rest were militants.
A similar study issued this month by the New America Foundation said U.S. drones killed 191 civilians in the four-year period, from a total of 1,004 fatalities. The Washington-based public policy institute said the casualty figures were based on credible reports mostly from Western news agencies.
In a statement, U.S. official said "the notion that the United States has undertaken operations in Pakistan that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Pakistanis is ludicrous."
The official said the Pakistani document listing drone casualties is not credible because it relies in part on erroneous media reporting.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has carried out hundreds of drone strikes on militants in Pakistani tribal regions since 2004, to stop them from attacking U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
U.S. officials have said the drone strikes killed only about 50 non-combatants.
Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas have long been inaccessible to independent media, making it difficult to verify the identities of drone casualties.
Pir Zubair Shah, a former New York Times journalist who reported from Pakistan, said it also is hard for Islamabad to confirm the casualties of drone attacks on militant-controlled districts.
"The government itself has as many problems of accessibility as anybody else would have, like a journalist or a human rights worker, or anyone who wants to investigate anything in the tribal areas," he said.
Shah, who is from the South Waziristan tribal region and now lives in New York, said independent access to government-controlled tribal territory is heavily restricted as well. He said Pakistani authorities block roads to prevent reporters from discovering civilian casualties caused by Pakistani military operations.
Shah said the Taliban imposes similar road restrictions to stop journalists from learning about militant training camps and its sheltering of al-Qaida terrorists from U.S. drones.
"After a typical strike, the Taliban cordons off the area. They take the dead bodies and make sure that if there is an important person, that he is buried as soon as possible, especially outsiders, foreigners like al-Qaida, Uzbeks and others," he said.
Shah said the immersion of Taliban fighters into the daily life of tribal communities also has blurred the line between militants and civilians.
He said fighters often recruit teenagers and share living compounds with family members not directly engaged in combat.
The Pakistani government had no immediate response to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's report.

Researchers say that dolphin
call each other by name

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dolphins call each other by names, according to a new study.

The study of 200 bottlenose dolphins indicated that they are the only animals other than humans to use individual names, according to the research from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

In study, co-authors Vincent Janik and Stephanie L. King reported that dolphins have signature whistles they use as greetings when meeting up. The researchers say individual dolphins have individual whistles or names.

The two researchers recorded the whistles of 12 dolphins and played the whistles back to each dolphin to record their reactions.

According to the study, in eight of 12 cases, the dolphin replied when they heard their own whistle. In two cases, the dolphin responded to the whistle of a dolphin from its own pod -- the group of other dolphins it travels with.

The study said none of the dolphins responded to the sound of a dolphin it did not know.

"Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back," the researchers say in their study abstract. "Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin's learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system."

The study, "Bottlenose Dolphins Can Use Learned Vocal Labels to Address Each Other," was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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
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The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email:

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
Visit our Web Site:
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email:

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 145
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Some diabetes drugs labeled
natural are not, FDA says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. health regulators are cracking down on 15 companies for selling products they say falsely claim to cure or mitigate the symptoms of diabetes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent letters last week to 10 domestic and five foreign companies, warning them that their products violate the law.

A total of 20 products are covered by the warning letters. In some, treatments are being sold as natural when in fact they contain pharmaceutical ingredients, the FDA said.

In other cases, prescription drugs are being sold to patients without a prescription, and in some cases products are falsely claiming to cure or mitigate the symptoms of the disease.

The products are being sold online and in retail outlets, the agency said, though it could not say how many stores the products are sold in or how many have been distributed online.

But Howard Sklamberg, director of the office of compliance in the FDA's drugs division, said he considers health care fraud in general, and health care fraud involving diabetes products in particular, as a large problem.

The FDA said three of the most potentially dangerous cases it had targeted involve unapproved products originating in Asia that contain pharmaceutical ingredients not disclosed on the product labels.

These products are called Diexi, which was shipped from India, Insupro Forte, which was shipped from Malaysia, and Jiang Tan Yi Huo Su Jiao Nang, which the FDA said translates as Anti-diabetic Pancreatic Capsule and was shipped from China.

Diexi, made by Amrutam Life Care, is marketed on the company's Web site as an “anti-diabetic herbal formula that provides an effective treatment to relieve all symptoms related to diabetes.”

According to the FDA's testing, however, Diexi contains metformin, a pharmaceutical approved in the United States to treat diabetes under a physician's supervision.

Another drug, Insupro Forte, is advertised by Easy Pha-max as “Truly Savior of Diabetics.” The company claims the product is made with a plant-based protein that helps bring down blood sugar levels and repairs physically altered cells.

In fact, the product contains glyburide, an FDA-approved diabetes medication that can cause serious side effects including low blood sugar if not taken properly, the agency said.

Testing showed that the Anti-diabetic Pancreatic Capsule contained metformin, glyburide and phenformin. Phenformin was removed from the U.S. market in 1978 because it was associated with lactic acidosis, a serious condition that can cause weakness, tiredness, muscle pain, trouble breathing and a sudden slow or irregular heartbeat.

The companies could not be immediately reached for comment.

“Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that should be properly managed using safe and effective FDA-approved treatments,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement. “Consumers who buy violative products that claim to be treatments are not only putting themselves at risk, but also may not be seeking necessary medical attention, which could affect their diabetes management.”

Nearly 26 million Americans have the disease, which can lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of the lower limbs.

If the firms do not comply with the law, the FDA can take action to prevent the products from being imported from overseas, and it can seize those made domestically and initiate criminal proceedings

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From Page 7:

Rental eviction bill gets first OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers acted Tuesday to put an end to what they called the long and tortuous process of evicting a tenant who does not pay the rent.

The legislature passed on first reading a measure that would allow a landlord to take action if a renter missed payments for two months. The subsequent legal process would be oral and rapid, according to the summary of the law,

The Partido Liberación Nacional  said that the bill had been a priority with the party. The quick action also covers a renter who overstays the term of an expired lease.

The owner will not be frustrated in his right to receive a just rent, said the party in a release.

The proposed law is  No. 17.527. A second and final vote is likely next week.

The inability to evict a tenant who has not paid or has stayed longer than the lease allows has been a major problem for landlords. The courts have not moved quickly to address this issue, and there is no guarantee under the proposed law that judges will act quickly, even though they are supposed to do so.

And there are a number of ways renters can stymie efforts to remove them. The proposed law also covers situations in which the rental is made for promises of services in lieu of money.