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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, July 28, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 147                       Email us
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search teams
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Alonso Alvarez
Helicopter crews used a camera that gives a closeup of the ground (right).
Searchers step up Corcovado efforts to find Alaskan
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Search teams have ramped up operations and are now working at all hours to find an American man, 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial, who was pronounced missing last week. Local Cruz Roja patrols are camping overnight in Parque Nacional Corcovado and police are using a helicopter to scan the area, according to rescue coordinator Gilberth Dondi.

Investigators are also going through nearby towns, like the main one, Puerto Jiménez, to post pictures of Dial and to interview locals who may have seen him.

“We have confirmed that Mr. Dial passed through the sector of Tigre, apparently on the 22nd," said Dondi of the Cruz Roja via telephone Sunday. Dondi said a taxi driver recognized a picture of Dial and said he believed the Alaskan was in the area located just east of the national park and west of Puerto Jiménez as recently as last Tuesday.

Dondi added that the Anchorage native was confirmed to have checked out of a Puerto Jiménez hotel July 18. The last contact he had with relatives back home was through a later email he sent to his father, advising him that he would be kayaking through the park and possibly starting at Río Conte.
An initial six-hour search Sunday by a crew of  the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea's helicopter came up empty on any signs that could point officers towards Dial's whereabouts.  The security ministry said that the crew used a high-power camera and overflew many of the park trails.

Dial's father, Roman Dial, is now in Costa Rica and is helping to coordinate search efforts, Dondi said. The elder Dial is an accomplished explorer and biologist listed on National Geographic's explorer program, which funds discovery projects and research across the world.

The Cruz Roja sent out a press release Saturday that Dial's delayed departure from the park has their members worried that he could be injured. Dondi said that four Cruz Roja patrols, as well as teams from the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Mares and Fuerza Pública, are managing search efforts.  They are reportedly all well-equipped to handle the area's rugged environment.

The Osa Peninsula and Corcovado are known for the impressive rainforest and large range of wildlife that National Geographic has called “The most biologically intense place on Earth.”

Among other animals, both jaguars and pumas are known to still inhabit the national park area.

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

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
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Our readers' opinions
A reply to a scathing critique

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

This is in reply to the letter to the editor written by Ralph Simonson on Friday, July 25.

I live in Costa Rica and have done so for a little over 10 years.   Like many people who live and visit here, I am frustrated at times by the lack of efficiency and bureaucratic incompetence that you meet sometimes.  And I don't know anyone, neither local expat nor tourist, who likes the traffic.

However, I would like to clear up some errors in Ralph's letter.

Ralph complains about the secondary manual inspection that he had to undergo before leaving Costa Rica at the airport.  This is not a Costa Rican policy, but an American one for flights entering the States.  If you fly to Panamá or a South American destination, you don't have to undergo this second check.   Indeed, in many other airports in the world, if you are flying to the U.S.A., you have to undergo a secondary inspection or security check at your boarding gate or before you board.

Ralph further complains about the $29 exit tax that everyone is forced to pay upon leaving Costa Rica, and states that "no other country has this."   Again, this is inaccurate. Nearly every country in the world has this tax (or a similar type of tax).  It is merely included in the cost of your ticket.  They might call it something different, but look at your ticket breakdown, you'll find TSA security tax, airport improvement fee, etc, etc all in that cost.  Other countries are just more efficient than Costa Rica, and they don't make you pay it separately.

Further on, Ralph talks about the rate charged on his credit card bill.  He states that he was charged the rate to "sell colons" and complains about this.  He may well have been overcharged, but he also talks about the buy=sell rate. I think maybe he is misunderstanding how the currency exchange works.

If he makes a $100 purchase, and the colon buy/sell rate is 545/555 respectively,  he should be charged 55,500 colons for his purchase by the store, not 54,500 colons.  In effect, he's buying 100$ for 55,500 colons.  The reason he's not being charged $100 straight on his card, is likely because the store or place of business does not have the facility to charge in dollars with his merchant account (most businesses do not). They can only charge in colons.

For his own credit card, if on his bill, if he was charged significantly more than $100, what is happening is almost certainly that his bank is charging him a rate that is not 545 (likely 535 or 530).  Many American/Canadian/European banks do this.  They will advertise "No foreign exchange fees," and that is true. They won't charge you a fee, but they will stiff you on the exchange rate.  This is the same thing that many of those exchange booths in airports do.

Costa Rica has a lot of issues and problems, in some respects things are improving, in others, no.  But at the end of the day, let us make sure our criticisms of the country are accurate.

A further note here, the editor states that: "Businesses that decline to take credit cards sometimes are defrauding the country by not remitting the sales tax."

I feel it is important to note that merchant fees for smaller businesses can be in excess of 7 percent.  Thus, if you buy something for $100 in cash, the store gets $100.  If you buy something for $100 on your credit card bill, the store might only get $93.   That is another reason why a cash discount of about 5 percent is so common in Costa Rica.  And that is a cash discount con factura or with the official bill.

Shaun Dolen 
Santa Ana

Paying in cash here is usually better

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

This tourist, having lived here before, should have known it is usually better to pay in cash rather than use a foreign credit card for several reasons. First, exchange rates favor the establishment. Second, most credit card companies have currency exchange fees. And third, whether you are in the States or in a Third World country, the more people having access to your credit card information, the more you expose yourself to theft or fraud.

I have found it prudent to look at the price on the menu before ordering food. In those rare instances where they don't have the prices, I ask for a menu with them and have been accommodated. That way, if I don't like the prices, I can just leave, as opposed to paying and then complaining.

As for the $29 exit fee that no other country charges, what about the U.S. transit visa, that costs $100? And many countries have various other fees and constraints for both entry and exit. Check out the processes for getting in and out of Panamá!

It sounds like this tourist had an unhappy experience that could have been better had he spent some time preparing for his trip beforehand.

John French

Firearm process is ridiculous

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Recently you published an article about firearms, and you mentioned the complexity of legally obtaining one.  I just went through what I would call an exercise in illogic purchasing my second firearm even though I currently have a porta de armas permit. 

You are entirely correct in your statement that many people do not want to deal with the absurdity of entering and completing the process.  It took me over two and a half months to receive my new card.  If I explained it all to you, it would read more like a short story comedy, and few would probably believe it.  The new system that is supposed to be so easy and efficient is the most ridiculous nightmare that some government goofy could create, and that is even with Costa Rican standards for ludicrous bureaucracy.

As a retired law enforcement officer, it was amazing to me how such a process could even be created, and it is no wonder many people choose to buy guns off of the street rather than spend months trying to purchase one legally.  The criminals seem to have no problem getting them, and the courts do little to punish them.

Thanks for your continued service to all of us.
Gary Edwin Zavadil

Yes, You can get by on English!

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It is stated that one must speak the language to be comfortable here in Pura Vida. Well not necessarily. Following are a couple ways I found around it, i.e., a Tica wife, each of us with a cell phone and sign language!

I have been asked time and time again since we retired here  "You don't speak Spanish, how on earth are you able to communicate!"

I explained that my principal decoder is my Tica wife.  We married in San Francisco back in 1964. We are still married!! She speaks better English
than I do. Then you may be surprise at how many of the people here speak at least some English! In addition I have learned some basic sign language which helps paint pictures when a selfie just won't do.

However in addition to my sign language skills, I also speak a few words (very few) in Spanish. For example when I was building a guest house on the double lot of the house we bought in Santo Domingo, Heredia,  I needed some asphalt paper also
toilet paper
called slaters felt, or tar paper. I went to the local  like Home Depot and described the asphalt paper as negro papel and showed in sign language unrolling a rolled material.

The facial expression sparkled of the lady behind the counter who was helping me, and she said Oh, sí. Sólo un minuto and went to the back of the warehouse. She returned a few minutes later with a toilet paper dispenser! I didn't need one but bought it anyway.

This is an example of a not so good translation, but, thank goodness, most have happy endings!
Jerry Thorman  
Canoas, Alajuela

Small bus plunges off cliff in Coto Brus

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A bus fell off a cliff in Coto Brus, killing three passengers and injuring 10 more on board. The bus was returning from Quepos when it went off the road and rolled off a 100-meter-high precipice around 8 p.m. Friday.

A report from the Judicial Investigating Organization listed the fatalities as a 16-year-old girl, a 44-year-old woman, and a 53-year-old man who appeared to be the driver. All passengers were Costa Rican, according to the organization's spokesperson.

Seven of the 10 injured passengers were taken to a variety of area hospitals, according to the report, while the remaining three came away from the crash with only minor injuries.

Tractor trailer yields 100 kilos of coke

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug police say they found 100 kilos of cocaine hidden in the roof of the driver's compartment of a tractor-trailers headed to Honduras. The truck, carrying water based paint, was searched at the Peñas Blancas, board post, said the Policía de Control de Drogas.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 147
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About us
camera camera camera camera camera

Surveillance cameras are a growing trend in Costa Rican communities
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Under the stated aims of improving citizen safety, municipality leaders are putting up public surveillance cameras throughout Costa Rica's streets and parks.

Recently, Palmares became the seventh community in Alajuela to install surveillance cameras in its town center. Now Palmares' mayor, Bernal Vargas, says the town is so satisfied with their ability to aid police forces that the current system of 10 cameras could nearly triple in coming months.

He said that although public security cameras on every street corner may sound like the backdrop for a totalitarian state, the town's population has given near universal approval of them because police can now respond to any potential robberies or assaults quicker than ever.

“Maybe it's a policy that others may see as repressive,” he said. “But our plan for public security in Palmares is more about prevention of crime and that police can arrive on the scene immediately.”

San José is also filled with the 24-hour eyes of public security cameras. Monica Coto Murillo, who is in charge of electronic security at the municipality, said seven of the 11 districts are equipped with surveillance systems. She said when the decision to install cameras first came about there were many who voiced their concerns about their rights of privacy being violated but added that those protests have since been calmed by the protocol and rules that surround the issue.

Regulation No. 34104-G-MSP, published in 2007 when an initial 3,000 cameras were installed, states that authorities cannot use information retrieved from the cameras for anything but pertinent police investigations. It further says that police working the cameras are highly trained and follow a strict guideline of confidentiality so that information is not handed over to third parties.

Ms. Coto said that the cameras are strategically placed in areas that both Fuerza Pública and municipality police have targeted as seeing higher daily traffic or being more at risk for crimes.

“We are able to prevent any suspected crimes by immediately catching those who leave suspicious evidence for those watching the monitors,” she said. “The cameras also allow us to evaluate our management of security as a whole.”

Though far from a surveillance state, Costa Rica is following a trend
 that activists and privacy advocates around the globe are protesting. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote earlier this year that the more police cameras there are, the more likely they are to abuse this power of information they have over the citizen.

“As with any technology, one can imagine scenarios where such systems save the day,” he wrote. “But it is even easier to imagine scenarios where such a technology is abused and in fact such scenarios don't require any imagination whatsoever as experience strongly suggests abuses are inevitable.”

Studies done by the civil liberties union have also shown that crime levels do not drop as a direct result of having cameras and that preventing attacks or acts of terrorism are still incredibly hard even with the aid of overhead eyes.

In Palmares, Fuerza Pública has total control of the surveillance operations and keeps track of the information 24 hours a day from the monitoring station. The high-tech system of cameras have the ability to capture a car's license plate from hundreds of meters away, pivot at a 360-degree range, and they're bulletproof.

Though fancy, another concern of public monitoring systems is their high costs. The whole system was priced around $75,000 as the cameras alone cost around $6,000 each. Palmares is capable of holding up to 17 more cameras, which Vargas said would be a welcome investment.

“When people realize there are surveillance cameras around, they take less risks,” he said.

Another Alajuela canton, San Ramón, has had cameras since 2011. According to a report written by Oscar Mario Alvarado Vásquez, the head of information technology for San Ramón, installation sprang up after people became worried about clearly illicit acts that were happening at a town park at all hours of the day. Alvarado said the Fuerza Pública officers weren't able to keep an eye on all of San Ramón without the technology's aid.

Now police have access to 16 cameras mounted throughout the city of more than 10,000 people. The initial investment cost around $45,000 but the municipality also took out a $150,000 loan from Banco Nacional to pay for the system, according to Alvarado.

“Public surveillance is just another tool to improve the way of life for our people,” Alvarado said. “There's a lot of work that lies ahead, but evidence of our local government's promise to its people can already be seen.”

Solís reaffirms country's prohibition against drilling for petroleum
By the A.M. Costa Rica  staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís signed off Friday on a decree to continue a moratorium on petroleum exploration until 2021. He cited grave environmental risks as he did so and basically insured the country's dependency on foreign petroleum until that date.

The president also declared corn to be an item of cultural heritage but he stopped short of declaring a prohibition against genetically modified corn as many of his supporters would have wanted.

Solís also endorsed geothermal generating projects in Guanacaste and decreed that government agencies should work together to mitigate the expected drought there.

The president also declared plans for wholesale markets in the Choratega and Brunca regions to be in the public interest, an action that advances their construction.

With the petroleum exploration prohibition, Solís extends a similar 2011 action by then-president Laura Chinchilla. The original prohibition came when a U.S. petroleum exploration firm managed to surmount some 12 years of legal challenges. The firm, Mallon Oil Co., has a concession to explore for petroleum in the northern zone but the government will not sign off on the agreement. The prohibition also covers offshore efforts.

The petroleum decree also ordered the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía to issue a decree telling public agencies not to purchase pieces of equipment that are big consumers of electricity.

The decrees were signed in a presidential cabinet meeting in Nicoya Friday. The meeting was in commemoration of the 1824 Anexión del Partido de Nicoya which brought that area into Costa Rica.

The location was an appropriate one to talk about corn because the annual tortilla contest had just finished.  The decree notes that there is archaeological evidence of corn being consumed in Guanacaste some 5,000 years ago. The president was joined in the decree by Luis Felipe Arauz, the minister of Agricultura y Ganadería, and Elizabeth Fonseca, the minister of Cultura y Juventud.

The decree addresses the agricultural uses and also the traditions. The culture ministry has published booklets on the cuisine of
Sol;is and hat
Casa Presdiencial photo
President dons a traditional Guanacaste hat for the celebration.

Guanacaste, which is heavily based on corn.

There is a movement in the country to prohibit the growing of genetically modified crops. Because corn is pollenated through the air, there is concern that the modified pollen will pollute the existing traditional varieties.

Another decree supported the development of the geothermic plant Pailas II in Guanacaste with some $600 million provided by the Japanese Agency for International Development.

Another decree declared the presence of arsenic in the local water supply of Cañas and Bagaces to be a sanitary emergency. Ms. Chinchilla issued a similar decree.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 147
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Judicial police make arrests in heavy-handed effort to collect a debt
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents have detained two women who are accused of using an informal and traditional method for debt collection. They are accused of having others kidnap the debtor and then taking him to a bank to get a withdrawal.

Judicial agents said that the man, a Venezuelan here on business, owed the mother of the women some 25 million colons or about $47,000. Three men abducted the 33-year-old Venezuelan after he left a bar one night last week. He was blindfolded and taken to a home in San Rafael de Alajuela and later to another home, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The woman kidnappers took the man to a private bank Wednesday. They allowed the man to enter alone under threats, agents said. But he was able to make known his situation to bank officials.  Police arrived a short time later. They said he showed signs of having been hit in the face.

Investigators detained the women Thursday and conducted searches of their homes Saturday. They said they found a pistol among other evidence.

There are enough such cases of kidnapping for debt collection each year for the Judicial Investigating Organization to have a special section to handle such crimes. One reason for such kidnappings is that the courts have been slow and inefficient to handle civil debt cases.
kidnap response
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Judicial agents respond to a kidnapping alert.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
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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.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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)
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.

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.

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

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

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 147
Real Estate
About us

Modified crop proponents
find opposition in Africa

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report states that genetically-modified crops, also known as GM crops, would dramatically improve agriculture in Africa. The report, published by the policy group Chatham House, argues the technology is being held back by scaremongering from opponents.

Inside a temperature-regulated laboratory, scientists in Uganda are developing what they call a golden banana, more hardy, and with higher levels of vitamins and minerals.

Priva Namanya, one of the researchers, said, “We have been able to show that we can increase our vitamin A levels six times.”

GM crops offer the best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to the co-author of the Chatham House report, Rob Bailey.

“There is a whole host of GM crops in development in Africa specifically designed to address the needs of poor farmers and poor food consumers. Crops like cassava, sorghum, bananas, sweet potato, drought-tolerant maize. And it’s precisely these crops that are stuck at the field trial stage,” he said.

The reason, said Bailey, is that governments are reluctant to approve GM crops in the face of intense lobbying by opponents.

“They’ve created anti-GM campaigns based on misinformation. So for example, alleging a link between GM crops and infertility, or cancer, or animal deformities. None of which is true, there’s no evidence for any of this,” he said.

Opponents argue GM crops are expensive to produce, do not bring higher yields, and introduce more chemicals into the environment. And they say companies promoting GM crops are more interested in profits than in helping poor farmers produce food.

On the outskirts of the Ghanaian capital Accra, farmer Tetteh Nartey grows pawpaw, maize and other vegetables, alongside a small dairy business. This year Ghana approved field trials for GM grains like cowpeas. Nartey thinks it's a bad idea.

“Anything that is not natural it has got its bad side, if it is not natural then be very careful because at the end of the day we start taking GM products, but who has done the research?” asked Nartey.

Ghana’s government insists it has put in place stringent bio-safety laws. But increasing yields through GM crops is not the answer to food shortages in Africa, according to Soren Ambrose of Action Aid.

“It’s not so much the problem of producing food, as it is the problem of getting the food that is produced to the people who need it. The continent is very much still struggling with its road infrastructure, with its storage facilities for products and so on,” said Ambrose.

Millions of small-scale farmers contribute to African agriculture. Campaigners like Bernard Guri of Ghana’s Center for Indigenous Knowledge fear the introduction of GM crops could drive those farmers out of business.

“This is against our sovereignty. It is another form of colonialism where gradually the developed world is conspiring to take over our food system in terms of taking over our land, taking over our seed, and taking over the whole farming food system,” said Guri.

But if one African country did approve GM crops, others would quickly follow, said Bailey of Chatham House.

“It would become apparent that they’re very useful, that they are potentially higher yielding, that they have resistance to pests of diseases, and consumers could see that they’re not a threat to their health. Then that could unlock a positive chain and you could see GM crops being taken up elsewhere.”

Supporters of GM crops argue they could trigger a green revolution in African agriculture. But there are still many who remain unconvinced.

Congress has just a week
to act on illegal children

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week is Congress’ last chance to respond to a surge of undocumented children arriving at America’s southern border before U.S. lawmakers leave town for a five-week recess. At issue is how much money to appropriate to house and process the juveniles, and whether to alter a 2008 law that entitles non-Mexican arrivals to an immigration hearing.

With chaos continuing at the U.S.-Mexico border and protests cropping up across the United States, a politically-divided Congress ponders what, if anything, to do.

Republicans say some of the funds requested by President Barack Obama are needed to deal with the crisis, but only if accompanied by legal reform. Sen. John Cornyn says the tide needs to be stemmed in an orderly fashion.

“We need to have immigration laws that protect these children and all of us.  And it does not mean that anybody and everybody under any circumstances can qualify to come to the United States and stay.  That is simply an invitation to chaos," says Cornyn.

Cornyn co-authored a bill that would limit the ability of Central American immigrants to petition for refugee status and speed their deportation to their home countries. Democrats, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, worry such a change would punish asylum-seekers with legitimate claims.

“It relates not just to Central America.  It relates to the American position on refugees and asylum-seekers around the world.  Do we want to check out of that and say to other countries, ‘You take them, but do not talk to us about that?”  asked Ms. Pelosi.

President Obama is urging Congress to act.

“It is my hope that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans will not leave town for the month of August for their vacations without doing something to help solve this problem,” said Obama.

Speaker John Boehner says an inconsistent message from the White House is part of the problem.

“The administration started earlier this month by signaling some openness to changes in the 2008 law to accelerate the process of returning these children to their home countries.  Now, the president and his team have apparently flip-flopped,” said Boehner.

Three Central American leaders visited Washington last week, and pleaded for humane treatment of their citizens who flee to the United States. One of them was President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, who called for compassion.

“Our children should be seen for what they are: vulnerable human beings.  They have rights, and we want them to be respected,” said Hernández.

The pace of new arrivals appears to have diminished in recent weeks.  Nevertheless, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking matters into his own hands by dispatching National Guard troops to his state’s border with Mexico.

White House seeks program
to pre-approve child refugees

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Top Obama administration officials say the United States is considering a pilot program which would involve screening some youths in Honduras to see if they qualify for refugee status in the United States. Officials say the youngsters could be interviewed before they make the dangerous journey to the U.S. border, as tens of thousands of children from Central America have done already this year. 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama was considering possible options after talks at the White House Friday with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Earnest said one idea is a pilot program which would begin in Honduras to screen youths to determine if they qualify for refugee status. 

“This pilot program is aimed squarely at deterring those individuals who may be contemplating a trip from Central America to the southwest border with the U.S.," he said.

Earnest said no decisions have been made. He said the program would be limited but could be expanded to include other Central American countries. The majority of the tens of thousands of children who have crossed the U.S. border with Mexico this year come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many are fleeing violent street gangs.

“Right now what we are seeing is individuals who feel like they have asylum claims making a very dangerous journey from Central America to the southwest border where they are then put in the immigration system in this country, they are detained in this country, while their asylum claim is considered,” he said.

Outside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican, said he would be opposed to the measure, saying it would encourage more children to seek asylum in the U.S. 

“The president I think has been consistently tone deaf on this issue, or the White House has been. And this suggestion, when I heard it this morning, without any congressional notification or suggestion, just struck me as way off the mark, very premature and likely to evoke a negative response,” said Cole.

On the Senate side, the measure appears to have similarities to a recent bill sponsored by Arizona  Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans. They have proposed increasing the number of refugee visas to the three Central American countries by 5,000 each, and to screen people in their home countries.

The White House has called on Congress to pass emergency funding legislation to deal with the influx before lawmakers leave for a five-week recess in August. House Republicans are working on a bill which would provide substantially less money than the president wants.  The bill also would make changes to a 2008 anti-trafficking law that gives children from Central America the right to stay in the United States pending a court appearance. 

The Democratic-led Senate plans to vote on its own bill, which is not likely to call for changes to that law.

Two wildfires in California
force evacuation of residents

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two wildfires in California have destroyed 11 homes and scorched thousands of hectares of land since Friday.

East of the state's capital Sacramento, hundreds of homes were evacuated along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range after the so-called Sand Fire burned 10 residences and seven other buildings.

The blaze, which fire officials said may have been started by a vehicle driving over dry vegetation, is only 35 percent contained as firefighters face dry conditions, high winds, and triple-digit temperatures.

A second fire west of Yosemite National Park quadrupled in size overnight to consume 859 hectares.  It forced the evacuation of about 100 homes in the community of Foresta, where one house was destroyed.

The park remains open.

Federal fire officials are working to contain 19 blazes in six western states, with state and local teams battling dozens more throughout the region.

Federal judge shoots down
Washington's no-carry law

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal judge has ruled that a ban on carrying handguns in Washington, D.C. is unconstitutional.

The ruling, made public Saturday, overturns the city's prohibition on carrying a gun in public.

Judge Frederick Scullin said in his opinion "there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny."

It was not immediately clear whether the city intends to appeal the ruling.

The U.S. capital had a law prohibiting anyone from carrying a handgun outside the home. 

Proponents of carrying handguns usually base their claims on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Obama wants big firms
to show economic patriotism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has criticized what he calls a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to avoid paying taxes. 

The U.S. leader said in his weekly address Saturday the companies are keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they are "basically renouncing their citizenship," declaring they are based somewhere else to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Obama said a loophole in the tax law makes this action totally legal.

The president called on Americans to embrace economic patriotism that lowers the corporate tax rate and closes wasteful loopholes.

In the Republican address, Rep. Steve Daines of the western state of Montana said President Obama is waging a war on the middle class.  Daines called on the Senate to pass House-approved jobs bills.  The White House and Senate are controlled by Democrats; the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans.

Price of new wonder drug
for hepatitis C draws protests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

To hear scientists talk about it, it’s nothing short of a wonder drug.

The drug is sofosbuvir, called Solvadi by its manufacturer, and its effectiveness in treating hepatitis C is so pronounced that the U.S. regulators designated it breakthrough therapy when they approved it for U.S. markets last year.

The catch is that it doesn’t come cheap: a single pill costs $1,000, meaning the 12-week daily dose prescribed for most patients will cost $84,000. That has brought howls of protests from activists accusing California-based Gilead Sciences of charging extortionate prices.

The dispute highlights the continuing conundrum afflicting medical research and spiraling health care costs, not only in the United States but elsewhere. What’s an appropriate price to charge for life-changing, or life-saving, drug therapies and who determines it?

Pharmaceutical companies argue they spend billions of dollars to research, discover and test such breakthrough drugs, so the production costs account for just a fraction of the company’s overall investment.

Activists, some of whom traveled to the International AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, to protest Gilead’s decisions, say drug companies gouge customers and patients with arbitrary pricing that varies widely from place to place.

“We want Gilead to explain, number one, on what they’re basing their price, whether it’s $84,000 in Europe and the United States, or even $2,000 in another country,” said Karyn Kaplan, who directs international Hepatitis and HIV policy and advocacy for the New York-based organization, the Treatment Action Group. “We want to understand what is their price based on and why won’t they give a price that will be affordable to all who need it.”

Gregg Alton, executive vice president for corporate and medical affairs for Gilead Sciences, said the drug is priced differently around the world. In Egypt, for example, which has a high rate of hepatitis C, the drug will cost just $300 per month.

Alton also noted that the company will give generic licensing to several factories, which will push down the price in the future.

“It is a fantastic drug. It’s really changing the landscape of hepatitis C and the ability to treat hepatitis C, from a largely untreatable disease to one we can cure with a more than 90 percent rate,” he said.

A study by researchers at the University of Liverpool concluded that the Solvadi pill can be made for a few U.S. cents, and that even at $1 a pill, Gilead will make a healthy profit.

Alton said in considering the drug’s price, one should take into account that a patient who is cured of hepatitis C is free not only from the disease, but also the financial burden of future treatments.

“So actually on a cost basis, if you just look at pure cost, it is actually less expensive than treating HIV, because HIV being chronic, if you actually put the cost of actually treating for life, it turns out to be more,” Alton said. “And, again, the other thing is that we actually hope the cost comes down, that’s the purpose of the generic licensing.”

As many as 150 million people around the world have the chronic version of this liver disease that is spread, like HIV, through blood or sexual contact, according to the World Health Organization. For that reason, many HIV patients are at higher risk for contracting hepatitis C. Symptoms tend to surface late in the disease’s path, and can lead to liver cancer.

As a whole, the hepatitis family of viruses kills about 1 million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

For now, Gilead is raking in profits. Earlier this week, the company announced second-quarter sales of Sovaldi at a whopping $3.5 billion. That puts this little yellow pill on track to be one of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest all-time hits, with sales expected to reach those of cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.

“We are not at all against Gilead making money. They are a corporation, they are a for-profit entity. So we all recognize and agree that originator companies make investments, and that they should be appropriately rewarded,” Ms. Kaplan said. “However, what that appropriate reward is and the lack of transparency in how pharmaceutical originators, pharmaceutical companies come up with that price, is not in touch with reality.”
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Best Kitchen
Best Kitchen Depot is the leading kitchen and bath company in the Central American market. We represent the most fast-growing American solid wood cabinet manufacturers. All our products boast the three major industry certifications: Carb2, KCMA environment stewardship and KCMA
construction certifications. We also have state-of-the-art design
capabilities and our delivery lead time is the best in the country.
Please visit our Web site at: and then email or call (506) 2261-0287 or (506) 8383-3104.   

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge

Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

20.5 acres of pasture for as little as $2,400

Rosa Monge Alvarez
Please email for details

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $1,100,000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK HERE
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special sale price $245,000. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write

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

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


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and

Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact or email 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

Casa Fiesta
Caribbean Beachfront Home and Apartment  Puerto Viejo
 Right on the Beach!
Ranch style home with detached garage and apartment Air-conditioned home sleeps 4, apartment sleeps 2 ,  3 baths, hot water showers  Fenced-in property with pool, screened in patio  Turnkey....Everything is included with the sale!   Washer/dryer, furniture, appliances, tools, household items and linens, bicycles, and even a vehicle! Great income potential also  259,000 US Please visit our Web site for many more photos go to:  Email inquires to:

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.

Real estate services
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal, which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

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

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 147
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Snooping is a key step before planting

Now that everything is prepared……oh wait.  What about that compost we talked about? 

Compost is wonderful stuff and you can make it yourself.  There are many different formulas but the most basic is a third manure, a third
vegetable matter (kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and such), and a third garden soil.  A little starter from an old compost pile is a good idea.  Turn about once a week and voila!  Compost!

You can also buy compost, but what fun is that?   [It’s also true you can buy wonderful pelleted fertilizers here in Costa Rica and
they can really move things along.  Just don’t tell my “just organics please” friends I said so.]

Now we have everything in place and want to plant something.  If I left it up to my husband, he would plant sweet corn and Idaho potatoes (and more sweet corn).  Sadly, neither seems to grow very well in Costa Rica, at least not where we live.  Not that I haven’t tried, but three failures of my corn crop have convinced me that something is wrong. 

So, what do we plant?  First, we want success.  I hate to plant something (like corn) and discover that it won’t grow.  No one gardens for failure. It’s just too frustrating.  The problem with being expats is that we just don’t know what will grow.  And you can buy seeds here in Costa Rica that aren’t really meant for Costa Rica (there’s my corn again).

My answer?  Snoop.  Snoop in your neighbor’s yard.  Snoop in your friend’s garden.  Keep asking, “What’s that?” and, my favorites, “Do you have some seeds to share?” or “May I take a cutting?”  Sometimes you don’t even need to ask.  Sometimes there is something growing by the side of the road and you can just snip off a piece to take home.   And once at home?  While it’s true you can just stick your cutting into a pot and keep it watered, I like to add a little rooting compound, sold at most gardening stores.

The amazing thing is that, once you have seeds or cuttings in the ground – and they are seeds that are really made for Costa Rica – they grow like mad.  True, you may need to water a bit in the dry season, but that is a small price to pay for a lush garden.

And don’t forget to keep spare garden sheers in the glove compartment.  They make roadside snipping so much easier.

Today’s plant:  Bougainvillea

I have to admit I stand in awe of the bougainvillea and its range of

brilliant colors.  Sizes are also amazing.  Choose the dwarf variety for the small garden or go for broke with spectabilis which, as a vine, can reach 15 meters (50 feet) in length.  Bougainvillea can be grown as a shrub, vine, or small tree.  It can be trellised up a wall or arched over a walkway.  Pruning just makes it flower
more abundantly and new plants can be grown from the pruned cuttings. 
If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit the Arenal Gardeners Web page

Quakes at Quepos and near metro area

By the A.M. Costa rica staff

Quepos and the area around Dulce Nombre de la Unión southeast of the metro area have experienced flurries of quakes.

A 4.4 magnitude quake took place just offshore from Quepos Thursday night. There was a second quake of  4.0 magnitude that took place about 20 minutes after noon Sunday. The epicenter was fixed just west northwest of Quepos in the hills.

Dulce Nombre and vicinity experienced a 4.1 magnitude quake Friday just 10 minutes before midnight. Then there was a flurry of lesser quakes with the largest being a 3.3 magnitude quake at five minutes past 10 p.m. Sunday.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details