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(506) 2223-1327                                     Published Friday, July 24, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 145                             Email us
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Plan to protect pilgrims goes into effect today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Initial traffic control for the annual pilgrimage to Cartago goes into effect today at 2 p.m.

The  Policía de Tránsito said its officers were expecting a lot of activity this weekend because of the way the weekends fell this year.

Some 261 traffic officers, 41 cadets and 10 inspectors will be on the job Aug. 1 and 2, the agency said.  The initial emphasis starting today will be from Curridabat to Wal-mart in the east, said the agency.

The biggest flow of pilgrims from the west to Cartago and the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles will be a week from today when police said officers would close the main highway from San Pedro.

Expats generally figure that any travel in the eastern part of San José and in the Cartago area will be a lost cause that weekend. Police will have a perimeter set up around Cartago where cars are not permitted. Main highways in all directions will be restricted.

Expats who have not witnessed the flood of pilgrims might not realize the magnitude. The crowd is equivalent to that at the end of a game at a major league baseball or professional football, except that it never ends.

In the afternoon and evening of Aug. 1 an expat will find walking west on the pedestrian mall in San José downtown difficult because the crowd going theother way will be so great.

The most recent estimate is that 2 million will walk from all points of the country and beyond.

Guanacaste is getting special treatment from politicos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Because Saturday is the holiday that commemorates Nicoya's decision to join Costa Rica 191 years ago, the government public relations machinery is operating at full speed.

President Luis Guillermo Solís took many of his cabinet ministers on a five-day swing through the province.  They will end up in Nicoya Saturday for the official celebration of the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya.

Once a year the province gets strong attention from the central government. This year the emphasis is stronger than ever.

For example, Thursday Casa Presidencial reported that the Solís administration is supporting a private cooperative with efforts from seven government entities to double the annual orange harvest. The cooperative is Coopecerroazul R. L., and the government said it is considering donating land for a citrus processing plant. The project would benefit 300 families in Nandayure, Hojancha, Nicoya and Santa Cruz, the announcement said.

The economics ministry checked in to say that the minister, Welmer Ramos, had set up a series of discussions on family and personal finance in Nicoya and Santa Cruz.

In addition, the  ministries of Economía, Industria y Comercio, Trabajo and Seguridad Pública announced an agreement to provide 5 billion colons, about $9.5 million, to improve the business climate.

The  Ministerio de Salud reported that two child-care centers would be opened in Nandayure. They are part of the Red Nacional de Cuido, which is supported by the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social and the  Dirección Nacional de CEN CINAI. More

Special logo announces president's tour.

than 4,000 youngsters benefit from the child-care efforts in the province, the organizations said. Solís was there to sign the agreement for the child-care centers.

Solís, his wife, Mercedes Peñas, and  Carlos Segnini, the minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, also visited work on Ruta 160 between Nosara and Sámara and announced that the job was 90 percent completed. Work on the 28-kilometer gravel road started three weeks ago.

That was just some of the activities Thursday. The entire week has been like this with one meeting or public appearance after another

In other developments, the  Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía announced to drought- stricken Guanacaste that a network of monitors would provide scientific certainty to the status of underground water and allow the efficient management of the resource. This is a 908-million colon project, some $1.7 million.

Casa Presidencial also reported that the Fuerza Pública detained 5.602 persons in Guanacaste in the first half of the year. The press release said that 3,308 were held for drug charges and 842 for domestic violence.

Today there will be more of the same with a special meeting at the Hotel Hilton in Liberia where Alejandra Mora, who is called the minister of the Condición de Mujeres, and Carlos Alvarado Quesada, minister of Desarrollo Humano e Inclusión, will discuss training poor women in Guanacaste so they could get jobs.

And then Saturday there is a cabinet meeting in the middle of the celebration in Nicoya.

Festival at the museum is best bet for the weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The best bet for the weekend is the Guanacaste celebration Sunday at the Museo Nacional. The event marks the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya holiday.

The museum plans a Festival Puro Guanacaste Sunday with a presentation by the Ballet Folclórico Nacional and the group Folclórico La Trinidad.

The Banda de Conciertos de San José will
 play music composed by Guanacaste residents, the museum said.

The Weather Underground, A.M. Costa Rica's meteorological service, says there might be some showers today and Saturday but Sunday is supposed to be just cloudy.

Central Valley residents who can't make the real celebration Saturday in Nicoya can get a taste of Guanacaste culture Sunday at the museum. Costa Ricans and legal residents can get in without charge.

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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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Construction chamber opposes direct deals

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national construction chamber is calling on the pubic works ministry and the budget ministry to annul proposals for direct contracts instead of the usual bidding process.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes seeks to build a $20 million office tower, and the  Ministerio de Hacienda has a $2.2 million project in the works to construct buildings at the Peñas Blancas border crossing.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes argued Thursday that it needs a speedy direct contract because it is working under a demand by the Sala IV constitutional court to vacate its current facility.

The chamber, the Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción, said that the original proposal was skewed because the contracts call for firms skilled in prefabricated concrete.

Guillermo Carazo, president of the chamber, said that the proposals violate the fundamental principles of administrative contracting. The chamber said that only three firms are eligible to bid on the office tower and two of them are related.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that the plan had approval from the budget watchdog, the Contraloría General de la República.

A.M. Costa Rica file photo            
An example of intentional dreadlocks.

Schools told that dreadlocks are OK now

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Public school students can now wear dreadlocks to class. Epsy Campbell, the legislator, said that the minister of education has lifted a rule against the hairstyle. The lawmaker said that this guarantees respect to the Afro-Costa Rican population.

The case involves a student at the  Liceo de Escazú. Ms.  Campbell, who also is  Afro-Costa Rican and a lawyer, has campaigned for students in such cases in the past.

Sonia Marta Mora Escalante is the minister of  Educación Pública who issued the decree. In addition, the Escazú school has been told to change its internal regulations.

Neither the report from Ms. Campbell nor the brief message from the minister specified whether the change in regulation includes intentional dreadlocks or those naturally occurring for people who do not take care of their hair. Online sources point out that Mayan priests wore their hair matted.

The intentional dreadlocks are identified with the  rastafarians, the Jamaica  religious group that avoids alcohol and uses marijuana ritually. However, this groups only dates from the 1930s.

Such hairstyles have been found on Egyptian mummies, according to online sources, and Maasai men also wear their hair that way. But so do certain holy men in India.

Mrs. Clinton may face a criminal probe

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A report in a leading U.S. newspaper says two federal inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used when she was the U.S. secretary of State.

The New York Times reports the request followed a June 29 memo that said the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton's private email account had hundreds of potentially classified emails.

The newspaper said it was not clear if any of the information in the emails was designated as classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton received or sent them.

News of the former secretary of State's use of a private email account made headlines in March and quickly became a campaign issue in her presidential bid.  She has maintained there was no classified information in the account.

The New York Times said senior officials told the newspaper that the Justice Department has not decided if it will open an investigation.

Study: Teen brains respond to band training

By the Northwestern University news staff

Music training, introduced as late as high school, may help improve the teenage brain’s responses to sound and sharpen hearing and language skills, suggests a new Northwestern University study.

The research, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that music instruction helps enhance skills that are critical for academic success.

The gains were seen during group music classes included in the schools’ curriculum, suggesting in-school training accelerates neurodevelopment.

“While music programs are often the first to be cut when the school budget is tight, these results highlight music’s place in the high school curriculum,” said Nina Kraus, senior study author and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at the School of Communication.

Professor Kraus and colleagues recruited 40 Chicago-area high school freshmen in a study that began shortly before school started. They followed these children longitudinally until their senior year.

Nearly half the students had enrolled in band classes, which involved two to three hours a week of instrumental group music instruction in school. The rest had enrolled in junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, which emphasized fitness exercises during a comparable period. Both groups attended the same schools in low-income neighborhoods.

Electrode recordings at the start of the study and three years later revealed that the music group showed more rapid maturation in the brain's response to sound. Moreover, they demonstrated prolonged heightened brain sensitivity to sound details.

All participants improved in language skills important for language and reading, but the improvement was greater for those in music classes, compared with the ROTC group.

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From A.M. Costa Rica

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From our retirement guide

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In the Spanish-language press

Today, July 24

Road closures dot the country

La Prensa Libre: Today there are at least 10 routes in the country with traffic restrictions or partial closures for work, according to data from the Dirección Nacional de Transito.

Strike planned for Monday

La República: A strike has been called for Monday because union leaders think the government is trying to privatize energy and the telecom markets.

Doggies pose their way to longer life

CR Hoy: Two shelter dogs hugged while awaiting the gas chamber. The photo  went viral, and some good-hearted person adopted them after seeing it.

President's priorities are train service and finances

Prensa Libre: Casa Presidencial gave the legislature a list of 30 priority projects.

— Compiled by Sylvia Quesada Hidalgo


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Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 24, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 145
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Both porous borders have continual floods of illegal merchandise
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's porous borders are continual scenes of smuggling, and there is no way to figure out what quantity of merchandise gets through.

The frontier police intercepted another load of medicines, syrups and creams from Nicaragua Wednesday. This plus foodstuffs are the typical items smuggled in the vicinity of Peñas Blancas.

The Fuerza Pública said that in just the first three months of the year officers confiscated nearly 56,000 boxes or jars of medicines, and 99 percent of the seizures were at the northern border.

The case Wednesday was on a back trail that bore the signs of heavy use. The officers reported that they found 63,000 pills, 100 jars of syrup and 150 jars of creams during a search.

The back trails there also are used for outgoing drug shipments, human trafficking and other illegal activities, including rustling. Many smugglers have a number of spotters and electronic devices so they can avoid police patrols along the mostly unguarded border.

In the south the merchandise is alcohol and drugs. The checkpoint at Kilometer 35 of the Interamericana Sur is well known, so the surprise is that police continue to find illegal shipments there. That checkpoint received construction money from the U.S. Department of State and has sophisticated equipment to catch drugs and other smuggled goods.

Untaxed cigarettes also are brought in from Panamá

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
This is the confiscation at well-worn northern trail.

frequently as well as illegal aliens headed for the United States

Two most recent stops involved alcohol. One vehicle had various liquors, and another motorist had beer, including Milwaukee's Best, not a high-quality product.

Officers said that they also intercept suspicious stashes of cash and perfumes.

Prison break results in death
for one of the fleeing inmates

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two inmates escaped from a prison in Agua Zarcas early Thursday but a guard in a tower gunned down one just a few feet outside the razor wire.

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz quickly blamed the escape on the over population of prisons and the poor infrastructure. However, the ministry said that an investigation would be done.

The dead man was John Marcos Martínez Gómez, 23. He suffered multiple wounds and died some 50 meters from the final row of wire. The escape happened at the Centro de Atención Institucional La Marina between 3 and 3:20 a.m.

A little while later a 911 call alerted the Fuerza Pública to the location of the second escapee, José Ramón Jirón, 40, who was captured without difficulty.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the two men went in different directions once outside the confining wire. Judicial agents also said that the shots came from a security tower. Guards are likely to be subjected to strong criticism.

The Ministerio de Justicia in a written statement expressed its condolences to the family of the inmate who died.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
José Ramón Jirón in custody

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 24, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 145
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University glyphosate study contradicts tainted breast milk claim
By the  Washington State University news service

Washington State University scientists have found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, does not accumulate in mother's breast milk.

Michelle McGuire, an associate professor in the university's School of Biological Sciences, is the lead researcher of the study, the first to have its results independently verified by an accredited, outside organization.

Her findings, presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference in Big Sky, Montana, show that glyphosate, the most used weed-killing chemical in the world, does not accumulate over time in human milk. She conducted the study with Kimberly Lackey, a doctoral candidate in zoology, laboratory technician Janae Carrothers and colleagues at the nearby University of Idaho.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using the study as part of an ongoing review of glyphosate regulations prompted by public concern over a controversial report on the chemical released by the advocacy group, Moms Across America, last year.

"The Moms Across America study flat out got it wrong," said Professor McGuire, who is an executive committee member for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation and a national spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition. "Our study provides strong evidence that glyphosate is not in human milk. The MAA findings are unverified, not consistent with published safety data and are based off an assay designed to test for glyphosate in water, not breast milk."

A large body of scientific evidence shows breast feeding offers unparalleled nutritional and immunological benefits for both mothers and children.

Profesor McGuire, a lactation physiologist with more than 25 years of research experience, was taken aback when a study by activists publicly called into question the safety and healthfulness of breast milk.

The Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse study claimed that traces of glyphosate were found in three out of 10 breast milk samples submitted for analysis.

The findings, which were published on the Moms Across America Web site, garnered national media attention and quickly led to a good deal of public concern about the safety

of glyphosate, a product widely used for weed control for over 30 years.

Independent regulatory and safety assessments of glyphosate conducted by scientists at organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the German Agency for Risk Assessment and the Georgetown University School of Medicine have found no consistent effects of glyphosate exposure on reproductive health or developing offspring.

In Professor McGuire's research, she and her colleagues collected milk and urine samples from 41 lactating women living in or near the cities of Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington. The area is a highly productive agricultural region where glyphosate is routinely used in farming practices.

Ten of the women reported living on or directly adjacent to a farm or ranch, 23 of the women described their personal diet as conventional and five had personally mixed or applied glyphosate sometime in the past.

Milk and urine samples were analyzed for glyphosate and glyphosate metabolites using high sensitivity liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry methods specifically optimized for the task.

The study detected neither glyphosate nor any glyphosate metabolites in any milk sample, even when the mother had detectable amounts of glyphosate in her urine.

Urinary glyphosate levels were either non-existent or extremely low and not of concern, Professor McGuire said. Additionally, no relationship was found between subjects who self-identified as consumers of conventionally grown foods instead of organics or was there a difference between women who lived on or near a farm and those who lived in an urban or suburban non-farming area.

Analyses of the milk samples were conducted both in Monsanto laboratories in St. Louis and independently verified at Wisconsin-based Covance Laboratories, which is not affiliated with the university research team or Monsanto.

"In conclusion, our data, obtained using sophisticated and validated methods of analyses, strongly suggest that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate and is not present in human milk even when the mother has detectable glyphosate in her urine," Professor McGuire said. "These findings emphasize the critical importance of carefully validating laboratory methods to the biological matrix of interest, especially when it is as complex as human milk."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact Us:
International Phone: 1-800-9010-114
CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231

  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
Click HERE!

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!

1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
and time-tested tips
700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
Costa Rica's #1 retirement expert
with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

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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)

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705.

2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Cable, Internet, 
apartment view
water  included.  Shared laundry.  Convenient to Parque Morazán, hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry.  $600 per month plus electric.  $300 security.  No lease. For photos and more information contact: 

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch, the American section of downtown San José. Costa Rica.
apartment view
Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn. There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few
blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price: fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:   Call us: 506-2221-7161. 

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Builder special

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 24, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 145
Real Estate
About us

New movie theater gunman
murders two in Louisiana

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A gunman in the southern U.S. state of Louisiana opened fire Thursday evening in a movie theater, killed two people and wounded at least eight others before killing himself.

Officials say they know the identity of the gunman, but have only revealed that he was a 58-year-old man.

The assailant began shooting during a screening of the film "Trainwreck" at the Grand Theater in the town of Lafayette.

Police were deployed to other area theaters following the shooting, but there were no more attacks.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the shooting was a seemingly random act of violence on families out for a night of entertainment.

“We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker,” theatergoer Katie Domingue told the Daily Advertiser. Domingue said she saw an older white man standing up and shooting down into the theater, but not in her direction.

“He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either,” Ms. Domingue said.

Ms. Domingue told the newspaper she heard about six shots before she and her fiance ran to the nearest exist, leaving behind her shoes and purse.

Another moviegoer told CNN that he thought the sound of the gunfire was part of the movie.

There is no word on a possible motive.

Lafayette is located about 90 kilometers southwest of the state capital, Baton Rouge.

Trump visits Mexican border
and says he's in great danger

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Thursday visited the southern Texas town of Laredo on the U.S.-Mexico border and vowed to tackle the problem of illegal immigration.

Border security and immigration have been two key topics for the real estate magnate since he announced his candidacy.

Trump upset the presidential race weeks ago when he branded Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, sparking a feud with his Republican rivals that intensified after his dismissive comments about Arizona Sen. John McCain's military service in the Vietnam war.

Asked whether he had evidence for his claim that Mexico sends rapists and other criminals across the border, he replied, "Yes, I have, and I've heard it from a lot of different people."

He also said Mexican immigrants were not offended by his comments, contending the media had misconstrued them. He said he thought he would win the Hispanic vote.

Trump set up a dramatic scene in advance of his trip, saying he was putting himself in great danger by coming to the border area across from the volatile Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo. But he gave no clear answer when asked for evidence of specific danger.

A local branch of Border Patrol agents who were going to host the Laredo event pulled out at the last minute. Trump said they were scared.

"They were totally silenced directly from superiors in Washington who do not want people to know how bad it is on the border, every bit as bad as Mr. Trump has been saying," a Trump campaign statement said.

A spokesman for the national office of the agents' union was not immediately available for comment.

Trump's suggestion that the area is dangerous brought a rebuke from State Sen. Judith Zafferini, a Democrat.

"Contrary to Trump's vitriolic rhetoric, the border is not a dangerous war zone," she said. "Laredo and El Paso have been ranked among the safest cities in the country, and most border communities' crime rates are equal to, or lower than, the state and national averages."

Even as immigration remains a hot topic, the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States, legally and illegally, peaked in 2003 and has fallen by more than half since then, according to research published on Wednesday by the University of New Hampshire.

In Washington on Wednesday, former Texas governor Rick Perry denounced Trump's campaign as a cancer on conservatism and a barking carnival act in a speech that defined Trumpism as "a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.''

Trump nevertheless remains at or near the top of many opinion polls among the 16 candidates in the race for the party's nomination for the 2016 presidential election, and he threatened in an interview published Thursday to run as a political independent if he does not get fair treatment from the Republican Party.

Distribution of live anthrax
much broader than thought

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report finds that the U.S. military mistakenly has shipped live anthrax samples to dozens of labs in the United States and to seven other nations for more than a decade. 

The Defense Department report, released Thursday, said live anthrax spores were sent to 86 labs in 20 states and Washington, D.C., plus facilities in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

The investigation did not identify a root cause for the faulty shipments, saying defense personnel appear to have followed correct procedures to make the anthrax samples inactive before they were sent.

But it found inherent deficiencies in protocols, including radiation that failed to kill the spores and testing afterward that failed to detect their viability.

The spores did not pose a risk to the general public, according to the report.  "Nonetheless, the shipment of live samples . . . at any concentration is a serious breach of regulations," it said.

At a press briefing Thursday, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work called the program a failure that exposed a major problem in the Defense Department's handling of anthrax, a potentially deadly bacterium.

"By any measure this was a massive institutional failure with a potentially dangerous biotoxin," Work said.  "The first thing we had to know was: Why did it happen?"

He said everyone is extremely fortunate that the anthrax samples came in minimal amounts of liquid form.

"Anthrax has spores and is therefore generally transmitted through spores in the air you breathe," Work said.  "The samples were handled in laboratory environments by technicians and workers that were used to handling hazardous material, and there were extremely low concentrations of spores in these samples.  This helps explain to us why over a 12-year period there has never been a single incident of infection.  We are very, very confident that because of these unique circumstances, there were no known risks to the broader public."

The live spores originated from one U.S. military site, Dugway Proving Ground in the western state of Utah.  It is one of four Defense Department facilities that ship inactivated anthrax to labs in the U.S. and abroad to help develop medical countermeasures to protect the U.S. military in case anthrax is used as a biological weapon.

The inadvertent shipment of live anthrax spores first surfaced in May when a private company notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that inactivated spores in its possession were live.

U.S. officials subsequently ordered an investigation.  An initial review said 51 labs in the U.S. and three other countries, Australia, Canada and South Korea, might have received the potentially dangerous shipment. 

Work said those numbers could grow as the investigation proceeds.

Contact with live anthrax can lead to a severe flu-like illness that could be fatal if not treated early.

Obama faces strong criticism
for visiting rights abusers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama’s trip to Ethiopia and Kenya, a first for a sitting U.S. president, is drawing criticism from human rights groups who fear his appearance will give backing to strong-arm governments that have been condemned for squeezing opposition parties, independent media and civil society.

Kenya is considered a valuable U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism in East Africa. But its campaign against the Somali radical group al-Shabab has been marred by accusations of rights abuses and arbitrary arrests.

Kenyan President Uhurru Kenyatta has also faced crimes against humanity charges by the International Criminal Court for ethnic violence that erupted after the 2007 election. The court dropped the case last December.

The Kenyatta government may be “undermining the new constitution and commitments to international human rights law, under the pretext of promoting national security and combatting terrorism,” a group of 17 international and African human rights groups said in an open letter dated July 14. 

“The abusive approach, including unlawful restrictions on civil society and independent media, leads to both ineffectiveness and disenfranchisement thereby undermining the goals of Kenya’s counterterrorism efforts,” the groups said. 

The White House says Obama will not ignore the human rights issues on his visits.

“The president will also stress the importance of strong, democratic institutions, respect for the rule of law, fighting corruption, and our support for open and accountable governance, and respect for human rights across the continent,” said Susan Rice, the president’s national security adviser.
“This trip is an opportunity to voice strong support for the vital role played by civil society, as well as to call attention to other important issues, such as the global campaign to combat wildlife trafficking and to stress the importance of equal opportunities for women and girls,” she said.

The Kenyan government is likely hoping that pledges of increased U.S. security assistance,  such as weaponry, training or intelligence, will come from the Obama visit, William Mark Bellamy, a former U.S. ambassador to Kenya, said.

Obama’s decision to visit Ethiopia, meanwhile, was called a mistake by some analysts, given the government’s heavy-handed approach to political parties and journalists.

The All Ethiopian Unity Party, one of the major opposition groups, has said 132 of its members have been arrested in recent months, 28 of which were arrested right before, during and after the May legislative elections. 

Those elections were swept by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and this Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been in power for almost 25 years.

Bronwyn Bruton, an Africa analyst with the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, called Obama’s trip to Ethiopia a mistake.

“The fact that Ethiopia is getting a visit from President Obama in the wake of that guilty verdict and in the wake of sweeping the election, taking 100 percent of the seats, sends a disastrous message to the Ethiopian government,” said Bruton, who has met with Muslim democratic activists in Ethiopia, some who were recently found guilty of terrorism.

Still, U.S. officials say the visit sends an important message.

A senior Obama administration official said the United States regularly urges reforms and communicates its human rights concerns with the Ethiopian government, both in public and in private.

Ethiopia’s government has also jailed reporters and shuttered independent media outlets in recent years. Ethiopia is Africa’s second worst jailer of reporters, with 11 other journalists and bloggers still imprisoned, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a U.S.-based advocacy group. 

Earlier this month, one of the most prominent journalists, Reeyot Alemu, was unexpectedly freed from prison after four years behind bars for allegedly plotting terrorist acts, a charge she and her supporters called absurd. Her weekly Amharic newspaper, Feteh, was frequently critical of the ruling party and was shut down nearly two years ago. 

Smith argued for that and other reasons, Obama shouldn’t be traveling to Ethiopia, saying it sends the wrong message. 

Ahead of the trip, U.S. officials insisted that the president’s visit wouldn’t come at the expense of human rights and media freedoms. 

In Addis Ababa this week, many Ethiopians, like Kenyans, are excited about Obama’s visit, but many also said there’s the danger the president’s visit will be used to justify further government repression.  

Many Ethiopians took to Twitter this week to publicize a litany of rights abuses in the country, using the hashtag #EthiopiansMessageToObama. 

French governments plan
to transform communities

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many local governments in France are not waiting for a U.N. climate conference in December to set plans to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Paris, which is getting special attention since it is hosting the climate summit, is planning to transform itself into an eco-city in the months ahead.

It's another hot day in Paris. This summer has sent temperatures soaring across Western Europe, and this city has seen its hottest July day on record.

It is going to get even hotter in the coming years. Climate change will make weather shifts more extreme.

“The city of Paris is changing climate. So are other big cities in the world . . . .  We can have snowstorms. We can have floods. We can have things we are not used to, so we are getting prepared to face them," said Deputy Paris Mayor Patrick Klugman.

Like a growing number of cities, the French capital has drafted a climate action plan. By 2050, it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent from 2004 levels. Klugman says fighting climate change starts locally.

“Cities are really the places of the problems and of the solutions. So far, we are the places of the problems, the emissions, the concentrations of all kinds of pollutions, air pollution, all kinds of destruction of the climate.  And now there is a common will to make cities the safe places to be for the environment. It is an emergency we are facing," he said.

Searching for solutions is turning Paris into a giant construction site. The city wants to create green neighborhoods, new modes of transportation and many more pedestrian areas. An architectural study of what the French capital could look like by 2050 shows a transformed city, with plants sprouting from every building.

Some of the changes are already underway.  A new tramway ringing Paris is nearly finished, and the metro is being extended.  Chunks of the city are closed to traffic on weekends.  There are plans to ban diesel fuel and to turn a major artery by the Seine River into a pedestrian parkway.

The city’s iconic electric car- and bike-sharing schemes have taken off. Electric motorbikes are next.

For Parisian Lamine Camara, bike-sharing is a way to get around the city quickly and easily, but he does not consider himself an environmentalist.

"If it can help fight climate change, then why not?  But I am not really interested in the subject. It is not my first concern," said Camara.

Climate expert Charlotte Izard works for the environmental group Climate Action Network in an eco-friendly building just across the city limit. She thinks the Paris plan is good, but moving too slowly.

Experts say cities like San Francisco and Copenhagen are way ahead.

“We are waiting for action now. We do not have time to wait. They have to make it now. Do not wait for another mayor. They have to do it now because climate cannot wait ... and citizens cannot wait, too ," said Ms. Izard.

Many drivers think Paris is moving too fast. Car lanes are evaporating and a group called 40 Million Motorists is fighting the city to keep them open.

Driver Fernando Figuera, who delivers metal closets, says getting around Paris is not easy.

"I have to be organized and start early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and find parking places," he said. "Reducing the number of vehicles in the city is a good idea, but compromises need to be made so it does not hurt business."

Coldwell Banker

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Rafael
Charming land for sale
Located in  in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens, and a small river.
Bus line service, security, 45 minutes from San José. Land with 3 houses (cottage type). The lot measures around 6.000 M2.
Sale by the owners, Offered at $750,000 USD. 
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801,

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Coffee farm
Organic coffee farm for sale
34,000 meters square zoned ARC. 130 meters paved road frontage. City water and irrigation runes through property. Year round spring. Bananas and many fruit trees on property. Approx. 1.5K from Sarchí Center, 40K from airport. Plans and permits ready for 2-bedroom house. Proposed subdivision plans are also included. @$15US per meter for total $510,000. Email or

Highway Restaurant & Bar
Golfito, Costa Rica’s paradise. About 5 acre, choice property on the highway. Ideal to build a drive-in restaurant and home. Asking Only $65,000.00 Agents inquiries welcome. Call Jens: 2775-0225 or

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $725,000. Click HERE!

San Ramon rollover
Three-bedroom home with view near San Ramón
Beautiful house in magical setting in the hills above San Ramón in Costa Rica can be yours for $179,500! House was built 10 years ago with soaring 16-foot ceilings.  Enclosed area is 1,200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, large kitchen, and utility room.  It is located at 4,000 feet with typical temperatures ranging between 75 and the low 80s during the day and the low to mid-60s at night.  The house is offered fully furnished, including all appliances (nearly new energy-efficient Samsung refrigerator). The front of the house features a large covered veranda (another 500 square feet), with a barbecue and outdoor patio furniture to seat 8, and hooks for a hammock. There are many tropical plants, flowers, and trees are on the half-acre property.  Set on the far western edge of the Central Valley in a small, pastoral community, it's only 10 minutes to San Ramón and its many small stores, restaurants, museums, a branch campus of the University of Costa Rica, and a weekly farmers' market.
See additional pictures at
Phone: (506) 7009-0364

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $889,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 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 birds and other animals. 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, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, July 24, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 145
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
New Spider Man is now a diversity figure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider Man mask as Peter Parker.  But that is changing, at least in the comic book world.

Marvel Comics' Spider Man is a superhero who connects to people unlike any other comic book character, says fan Daniel Wrobel.

“You cannot really see his face while he is doing his super-heroing.  So that is the great thing about him - that anybody could imagine themselves as Peter Parker," he said.

Or as the character Miles Morales, the new Spider Man depicted as a biracial teen from Brooklyn, New York.

Comic book reader Ryan Groves thinks the timing is right.

“It is about time if you are going to do it for a newer generation or even go with the diversity, then I would definitely go with somebody like that," he said.

Daniel Wrobel agrees.

“It is exciting to see Marvel try to go away with the standard white bread male super hero," he said.

Marvel Comics first introduced Miles Morales in 2011 in an alternative reality storyline of Spider Man.  Also bitten by a spider, he discovered he had super powers including camouflage abilities and increased agility.  Marvel is now transitioning him into a new series where he will be Spider Man, and Peter Parker will be his mentor.

Marvel and Golden Apple Comics employee Joe Slepski have noticed how fans have embraced this fresh face.

“The current up and coming crop of readers are definitely more diverse and so I think image has led the way with this, and Marvel and DC are starting to respond in a big way this year," he said.

There is a trend of comic book characters being more reflective of what America is today.  Marvel says it wants to introduce more characters that mirror its broad readership.  The hero Thor is now female, and the new Spider Man is half Latino and half African-American.

Comic book reader Lily Fierro says America is more multicultural than ever before and popular media need to catch up.

“I think it is a great idea to update Spider Man, to update all these iconic characters that we have had that are possibly classic all American white males or females.  I think it is a good change," she said.

For now, this change is not reflected on the big screen.  The man behind the mask in the next Spider Man movie will still be Peter Parker; but, comic book fans including Joe Slepski are hopeful.

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From Page 7:

Rating firm expresses concern about banks here

By  Moody's Investors Service news staff

Central America's leading banks will need to slow the pace of their loan growth as their core capital levels remain modest, said Moody's Investors Service in a new report.

The relatively low core capital levels at three of Central America's largest banking franchises, Guatemala's Banco Industrial, Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, are credit negative. Moody's said the banks, which have averaged 14 percent loan growth since 2012, need to slow the pace of their lending expansion in light of their core capital constraints.

"Core capital levels at Central America's leading banks are not enough to maintain the current pace of growth over the long term," said Moody's analyst Georges Hatcherian. "The low core capitalization at Banco Industrial, Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional de Costa Rica will make it harder for these banks to confront rising local and regional competition."

Low core capitalization relative to global peers drove Moody's to lower its baseline credit assessments for all three banks in June. The assessment of Industrial was lowered to ba3 from ba1, while the ratings of both Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional were lowered to ba2 from ba1.

Despite their different governance structures, all the three banks face pressures to core capitalization. For Industrial, a private bank based in Guatemala, high dividend payouts weigh on the bank's capacity to generate capital. Although Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional are public banks and do not pay dividends, both are required to transfer about 20 percent of their pre-tax income on average to government programs.

Moody's said it believes the reported capital ratios at the three banks overstate their ability to absorb losses, given that they incorporate understated risk-weighted assets and low-quality capital, including goodwill from acquisitions at Industrial and illiquid government securities at the Costa Rican banks.