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(506) 2223-1327                                    Published Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 155                               Email us
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Designed to provide access to company books
Measure to protect minority investors advances

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are moving to provide more protection for minority investors in the nation's business enterprises. The measure is being characterized as a way to improve the investment climate in the country.

The measure is an initiative of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. The minister, Welmer Ramos, outlined the measure before the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Económicos. The members for the committee then voted to send the bill to the full legislature for possible passage.

The measure defined a minority investor as holding 10 percent or less of the company stock. The bill would give such investors access to company books, financial documents and similar.

The measure, No. 19.530, also requires company managers to notify minority shareholders whenever there is a possible conflict of interest. And minority shareholders have the right to examine and deal that involved 10 percent or more of the company's assets.

Company managers are required to use diligence and loyalty to act in the best interest of the company keeping in mind the interest of shareholders, employees and the public good, according to a summary of the bill.

If company managers do not provide
essential information at the request of minority shareholders, a judge can order that to be done. There also is a provision for minority shareholders to seek an outside audit of the company.

The bill changes civil law, although company managers usually would be liable under criminal law for violating the trust of shareholders.

The summary to the bill notes that the World Bank “Doing Business 2015" puts Costa Rica in 181st place among 189 nations in relation to protection of investors. Panamá is in 76th place and Colombia is 10th, said the summary. Ramos told lawmakers in his appearance that the measure would encourage growth of the nation's businesses because it provides transparency and accountability.

The bill also would seem to cover real estate projects where ownership is expressed in shares of stock.

Some of these projects have continuing battles between the management, which maintains control, and individual residents.

The bill is likely to pass because it has moved through the legislature quickly. It was filed in early April.

The measure also would be a boon to expats who want to add investors to their business or real estate projects.

Teen ran gang that cloned credit cards, agents say
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An 18 year old, picked up Thursday in Escazú, has been identified as the leader of a gang that cloned credit cards. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the crooks made deals with service station attendants to obtain the electronic data from customers credit cards.

Four other persons were also detained Thursday on allegations of fraud via credit cards. At least two of those detained were identified as the individuals who would use the cloned credit cards to make major purchases of flat-screen televisions, computers and even live plants. They lived in  Bellotas de Alajuelita.

Two others who were detained worked in a service station that was not identified by the judicial agency.

A report from the Judicial Investigating Organization said that the service station attendants had been provided devices known as skimmers that can read the electronic information contained within credit cards. This is the information used in cloning the credit cards, said agents.

credit cards
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Not for everyday use.

The amount of the thefts is at least 2 million colons, some $3,800, said agents. The case involves four complaints from thefts in June, but agents did not dismiss the possibility that there would be more.

The use of skimmers is frequent by waiters, bartenders and, as the arrests show, service station attendants. There have been a string of similar cases. Many expats have taken to paying cash that has been extracted from bank automatic tellers. But there have been cases of crooks putting skimmers in the ATMs.

Moderate seas are predicted for the weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The seas on the Pacific coast are predicted to be less this weekend than they have been this week when some coastal areas were flooded.

But the seas are supposed to become stronger as next week begins. The Cen­tro de Investi­ga­ción en Cien­cias del Mar y Lim­no­lo­gía at the Universidad de Costa Rica keeps track of the seas, and there is no alert for the weekend.

That also is true for the Caribbean
But there may be more rain. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the winds that have been raking the country are expected to increase in velocity in the north Pacific, the Central Valley and in the mountains.

That will draw in more moisture from the oceans, creating clouds and the possibility of rain.

There was rain Thursday evening in parts of the Caribbean coast and in some areas along the Pacific, said the weather institute.

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Jury still out on spicy food and aging

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's cuisine runs counter to an observational study that suggests spicy foods are linked to lower risk of death. Still, there are many persons here older than 100 years.

Everyone can agree that the Tico food is generally mild with the possible exception of  Salsa Lizano or a Caribbean pati meat pie. In fact, many tourists are disappointed because they thought all Latin food was hot, as is typical in some regions of México.

There are some condiments here that will stop the table chatter for a few minutes, and there are Indian restaurants and jalapeños and other chillis available at the market.

The British Medical Journal said that previous research has suggested the beneficial effects of spices and their bioactive ingredient, capsaicin, include anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anticancer properties.

The journal published a report by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences who examined the association between consumption of spicy foods as part of a daily diet and the total risk and causes of death.

The researchers had access to a data base of some 487,375 individuals. During a median follow-up of 7.2 years, there were 20,224 deaths.

Participants who ate spicy foods almost every day had a 14 percent lower risk of death compared to those who consumed spicy foods less than once a week, the report said.

The association was similar in both men and women, and was stronger in those who did not consume alcohol, it added. Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices in those who reported eating spicy foods weekly, according to the report.

The medical journal issued a caution that this study did not prove causation. One commentator said that eating spicy foods might be related to other dietary or lifestyle factors.

Merchants lure mother's day shoppers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Aug 15 is El Día de Madre, which is only a bit less festive than Christmas.

Restaurants already are announcing their specials for that day, and merchants are jostling to get their share of the holiday spending.

Not coincidentally, the day also is the Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The day, a Saturday, is a legal holiday here.

But shoppers have to be careful. The economic ministry's consumer division is expected to soon report on a survey of stores selling items suitable for mother's day gifts. Every year the survey shows that some merchants jack up the prices on items like major appliances and even flowers and candies.

Trump lives up to his image in debate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire real estate businessman and television personality Donald Trump was center stage Thursday night as 10 leading Republican presidential candidates looked for a break-out moment at their first debate on the road to the November 2016 election.

The real estate mogul and nine others squared off in Cleveland, Ohio, for the debate that gave Americans their first look at the major Republican candidates, six months before the first nominating contest in the Midwestern state of Iowa.

The outspoken candidate met expectations at the start of the debate. Asked if he would pledge to rule out a run as an independent if he does not win the Republican nomination, Trump declined. "I will not make the pledge at this time,'' he said.

The feisty Trump also refused to apologize when questioned about his past insulting comments about women, including calling them "fat pigs," "dogs" and slobs."

"The big problem this country has is being politically correct," Trump said. "I don't frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time either."

Joining him on stage in the important election swing state of Ohio was a field of seasoned governors, rookie senators and a never-been-elected outsider, most of whom steered clear of directly targeting Trump, who is leading in many recent polls.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, widely seen as a frontrunner and a favorite of establishment Republicans, acknowledged he must be able to differentiate himself from his brother, former president George W. Bush, and his father, ex-president George H.W. Bush.

"I'm going to have to earn this," Bush acknowledged. "Maybe the bar is even higher for me. That's fine. I've got a record in Florida. I'm proud of my dad, and I'm proud of my brother."

Highlighting one policy difference with his brother, Bush acknowledged the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was a mistake, even while blaming President Barack Obama for the subsequent rise of the Islamic State.

"Barack Obama became president and he abandoned Iraq," Bush said. "And when he left, ISIS was created by the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana."

Obama's campaign against the Islamic State was the target of widespread criticism from the debaters, many of whom called for the U.S. to utilize combat troops to help defeat the radical extremist group.

But Sen. Rand Paul, who has frequently called for less American military intervention overseas, said the U.S. must hesitate before it funds rebels who are fighting the Islamic State.

"ISIS rides around in a billion dollars worth of U.S. Humvees. It's a disgrace. We've got to stop. We shouldn't fund our enemies, for goodness' sakes," Paul said.

In one of the feistier exchanges of the night, Sen. Paul clashed with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over controversial surveillance of Americans and foreigners by the U.S. National Security Agency

"I want to collect more records from terrorists and less from regular Americans," said Paul, who is an outspoken critic of the NSA's bulk collection of American telephone records.

Gov. Christie shot back, calling Paul's answer completely ridiculous.

"You know, senator, when you’re sitting in a sub-committee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that. When you’re responsible for protecting the lives of the American people, then what you need to do is to make sure that you use the system the way it’s supposed to work," Christie said.

The exchange was reflective of a widening gap within the Republican Party between those who favor more hawkish national security policies and those who prefer a more libertarian approach.

An enthusiastic crowd of 4,500 filled the arena, cheering on the candidates, which also included former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. 

Before the main event, seven Republican presidential candidates who rank lower in the polls took part in a separate debate and quickly challenged Trump's conservative credentials.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry contrasted Trump’s tough talk on immigration control to his own record, in which he deployed the National Guard to stem the tide of illegal immigrants.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took a shot at Trump as well, saying his shifting positions on key issues make him untrustworthy.

Perry and Ms. Fiorina shared the stage with former governors George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, the current Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton was the other favorite target in the pre-debate forum, especially when the moderators asked foreign policy questions. South Carolina's Graham urged Americans not to support the former first lady and secretary of State.

"To all the Americans who want a better life, don't vote for Hillary Clinton. You're not going to get it," Graham said.

The 10 who competed in the prime time debate on the Fox News Channel were chosen based on an aggregate of polls the network used to determine the field. Similar models are expected to be used for future Republican debates.

Trump headed into the late evening debate with a solid lead in the national polls.  A Bloomberg survey released Tuesday had Trump at 21 percent, handing him a double-digit lead over the rest of the field.

Democrats made some news of their own Thursday. In Washington, the Democratic National Committee announced plans for its presidential debates, the first of which is to be Oct. 13 in Nevada. It said four debates are planned for early presidential primary states in advance of the Iowa caucuses, which begin Feb. 1.

Key Democrat Schumer rejects Iran deal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama's effort to sell the Iran nuclear deal to a skeptical Congress has been dealt a serious setback, with one of the president's top allies, Sen. Chuck Schumer, coming out against the pact.

"After deep study, careful thought, and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval," said Schumer in a statement late Thursday.

Schumer, a senator from the state of New York and one of the top Jewish lawmakers in the U.S., released the statement shortly after another influential Jewish Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel, also from New York state, announced his opposition to the deal.

The likelihood has been increasing that U.S. lawmakers will pass a bill rejecting the Iran nuclear deal when they return from recess in September. President Obama says he would veto that decision, but needs the support of his fellow Democrats to sustain the veto.

The agreement, reached last month between Iran and six world powers, will lift sanctions in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear program and allowing intrusive inspections at the facilities.

In a five-page statement explaining his concerns, Schumer said the inspections regime was inadequate. "Inspections are not 'anywhere, anytime;' the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling," he said.

Schumer also expressed concern the money freed up by the sanctions relief will allow Iran to increase its funding for militant groups across the Middle East, further destabilizing the region.

"Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be," he said.

President Obama defended the deal in an address Wednesday, saying it "cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb" and is the best way to prevent another U.S. war in the Middle East.

The White House has not yet responded to Schumer's statement. It is not clear how many more of Schumer's fellow Democratic members of Congress will follow his lead and publicly oppose the deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several powerful pro-Israel lobby groups have been putting intense pressure on U.S. lawmakers to reject the deal.

Non-partisan anti-proliferation group Global Zero on Thursday said it was disappointed in Schumer's decision, saying the deal "is in the national security interests of the United States and our allies."

Congress must vote on the nuclear agreement by Sept. 17.

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Depictions of undersea life in the interior of the boat are getting some last-minute touching ups.
Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas photo

Coast guard boat being transformed into Golfito maritime museum
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A retired coast guard boat is being converted into a maritime museum in Golfito, and the public is invited to view it starting next Wednesday.

The museum is a joint project between the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the Federación Costarricense de Pesca. The goal is to display creatures that live in the nearby Gulfo

Dulce as an educational project.

Carlos Hiller, the painter, is working on the interior panoramas.

He is well-known for his depictions of undersea life in general and those in the vicinity of the Parque Nacional Isla del Coco.

The museum is at the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas in Golfito, and admission is free.

Marijuana turns up all over

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There were several marijuana raids Thursday, but one stands out.

That lawyer in Alajuela was accused of again growing the weed on his roof in sight of the court in that community. This is the fifth time.

The man who has the last name of Cerdas had 85 plants growing in a hydroponic setup on a glassed-in area on the roof, said Fuerza Pública officers.

The lawyer was not the only person arrested.

At an apartment in San Francisco de Dos Ríos Fuerza Pública found a small cultivation setup when they answered a domestic violence call. The woman there who filed the complaint allowed police to enter, they said.

Officers found 11 plants and branches with seeds. The presumed cultivator of the marijuana, identified by the last name of Solano, was detained when he returned to the living quarters, said police.

The Policía de Control de Drogas detained a 16 year old and an adult woman, 21, in a raid Thursday in Desamparados. Agents said they found one six-inch plant growing but a considerable amount of marijuana packaged for transport.

Agents said the pair were involved in the sale of marijuana to minors in the area.

Ministerio de Seguridad Púbica photo
Plants are counted on the roof in Alajuela.

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Another new species emerges from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico
By the Nova Southeastern University news staff

They are some of the most interesting and unique creatures in the oceans, deep-sea life. Most people can identify a shark or sea turtle or whale, but many are shocked to see what a lanternfish or oarfish looks like. Deep-sea creatures can be down-right scary.

Adding to the list of deep-sea creatures, a Nova Southeastern University researcher found a never-before seen species from the deep waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. There discoverer, Tracey Sutton, is an expert on deep-sea life, and he teamed up with Theodore Pietsch from the University of Washington to formally describe this new species of anglerfish.

“As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there’s so much more we can learn about our oceans,” Sutton said. “Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there’s a good chance we’ll see something we’ve never seen before. The life at these depths is really amazing.”

Their findings have been published by The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Copeia, an international journal that publishes original research on fishes, amphibians and reptiles.

This new fish, which was found between 1,000 and 1,500 meters deep, is a new species of Ceratioid anglerfish, Genus Lasiognathus. The three females specimens found ranged in size from 30 to 95 mm in length. Looking at a photo of the fish, one quickly understands how anglerfishes get their common name.

At the ocean depths this fish lives in, there is no sunlight. The only light is that from creatures that produce bioluminescence, which means they generate their own light source. Also, at these depths, the pressure is immense, over one ton (2,200 pounds) per square inch. And the fight for food is never-ending. That’s why these fish have developed their unique way of attracting prey with the appendage at the top of their head, which resembles a fishing pole of sorts. 
And, like its human counterparts, this fish dangles the
angler fish
University of Washington/ Theodore-Pietsch
The new species of anglerfish (Lasiognathus dinema)

 appendage until an unsuspecting fish swims up thinking they found a meal, only to quickly learn that they are, in fact, a meal themselves.

“Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete,” said Sutton. “Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home.”

Sutton studies the ecology of marine systems, particularly those of the open ocean. As part of those efforts, Sutton is leading a team of scientists and researchers studying the effects of oil spills on deep-sea marine life.

That project recently received a boost, thanks to a financial award from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

As for this new anglerfish, the three female specimens are considered type specimens that define the species. As such, Sutton said that they will reside in the ichthyology collection at the University of Washington, which is home to the world’s largest deep-sea anglerfish collection.

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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.


Osas montage
Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
Osa field institute and much more.
Contact us Now for reservations at: or  Or phone 506-2786-5170
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Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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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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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

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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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 
Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the YouTube video.

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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 155
Real Estate
About us

living the dream

Coldwell Banker

many nations
Colin Woodward and Tufts/Brian Stauffer graphic
This is how the author sees the United States, Canada and part of México.
Author sees North America
as separate regional cultures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Are the sometimes stark societal divisions in North America rooted in the reality that, although the United States is one country, it is actually compromised of 11 nations with distinctly different cultures with their own values and viewpoints?

That’s the argument made by journalist Colin Woodard in his book, "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America." Woodard says deeply held and divergent opinions on everything from abortion to gun control have deep historical roots. Woodard believes modern-day opinions in each of these nations were actually formed hundreds of years ago by the people who originally settled these regions.

For example, Woodard believes the southern part of the United States was shaped by the battle over slavery and today still resists any perceived efforts to increase federal powers.

“There’s never been one American culture but rather several Americas,” said Woodard. “The country was settled, not as a single enterprise, but by entirely separate groups of people founding separate colonial clusters with very different ideals and goals.”

The regions overlap national borders.

Woodard says the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the founders of these regions aren’t assimilating to an American culture, but to one of these regional cultures, which leads the overall ethos and characteristics of these nations to persist over time.

Here’s how Woodard describes each nation:


Encompassing the entire northeast north of New York City as well as parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Yankeedom was founded by radical Calvinists who put great emphasis on education, local political control, and the pursuit of the greater good of the community. Yankees have great faith in the potential of government to improve people’s lives.

New Netherland

It wasn’t there for long, but the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland had a lasting impact on New York City and northern New Jersey. Woodard describes this global commercial trading society as multi-ethnic, multi-religious, speculative, materialistic, mercantile, and free trading, a “raucous, not entirely democratic city-state where no ethnic or religious group has ever truly been in charge”.

The Midlands

Woodard says the Midlands — comprised of parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska — are possibly the most American of the nations, having been settled by English Quakers who welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies. “Pluralistic and organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethic and ideological purity has never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate, even apathetic.”


This area — encompassing parts of Virginia, Maryland, southern Delaware and northeastern North Carolina — was the most powerful region during the colonial period and the early days of the new republic. Fundamentally conservative, Tidewater places a high value on authority and tradition and little respect for equality or public participation in politics. Woodard says these attitudes are not surprising since this nation was founded by the younger sons of English gentry who aimed to “reproduce the semifeudal manorial society of the English countryside, where economic, political, and social affairs were run by and for landed aristocrats.”

Greater Appalachia

The people of this nation — including parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas — are often stereotyped as rednecks, hillbillies and white trash. Greater Appalachia was settled by “rough, bellicose settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England and the Scottish lowlands,” according to Woodard. Coming from a culture that fostered a warrior ethic and prized individual liberty, these “American Borderlanders despised Yankee teachers, Tidewater lords and Deep Southern aristocrats.” Large segments of the U.S. military have come from this combative culture, including Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett and Douglas MacArthur.

The Deep South

Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina make up this nation, which was established by Barbados slave lords as a slave society similar to one in the West Indies, a system “so cruel and despotic that it shocked even its seventeenth century English contemporaries.” The Deep South has historically been a stronghold of white supremacy, aristocratic privilege and a classic Republicanism where “democracy was a privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of many”.

New France

Centered around New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Canadian province of Quebec, this nation is down-to-earth, egalitarian and consensus-driven. New French culture blends northern French peasantry “with the tradition and values of the aboriginal people they encountered in northeastern North America.” Pollsters have found the New French to be the most liberal people in the country.

El Norte

Parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California are in El Norte, which is composed of the borderlands of the Spanish-American empire. Woodard says El Norte — which spreads from the U.S.-Mexico border from 100 miles or more in either direction  — is a place apart from the rest of the United States, where Hispanic language, culture and societal norms dominate. In El Norte, being independent, self-sufficient, adaptable and hard-working is valued above everything else.

The Left Coast

This nation extends from Monterey, California, to Juneau, Alaska, and includes four progressive big cities: San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Originally colonized by merchants, missionaries and woodsmen from New England, as well as farmers, prospectors and fur traders from Greater Appalachia, the Left Coast has retained a strong sense of “New England intellectualism and idealism, even as it embraced a culture of individual fulfillment.” Today, the Left Coast combines the Yankee faith in good government and social reform with a commitment to individual self-exploration and discovery, according to Woodard.

The Far West

The high, dry and remote nature of the environment trumped ethnicity in the Far West, where harsh conditions meant most of the colonization was directed  by large distant corporations in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or the federal government because the railroads, heavy mining equipment, dams and irrigation systems were needed to colonize this vast region. Often exploited for the benefit of the nations on either seaboard, Woodard says this nation tends to revile the federal government for interfering with its affairs while still expecting generous federal payouts. Far West states include Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

First Nation

This nation’s native people still occupy this area and still retain the “cultural practices and knowledge that allow them to survive in the region” on their own terms. These are Native Americans who enjoy tribal sovereignty but most of this group is in Northern Canada.

Two nations, Yankeedom and the Deep South, which are polar opposites, have historically had outsized influence on the country as a whole and tend to be the superpower nations.

As people move around, one might assume the country would become more homogenous, but Woodard says the opposite occurs with Americans becoming more polarized as they move to regions they identify with.

“That means, in essence, that we are self-sorting,” he said. “That when somebody has an opportunity to move . . . people tend to be moving to places where they feel more at home, where they are surrounded by like-minded individuals. That ends up with a self-sorting effect that ends up reinforcing the differences between these regional cultures.”

Woodard expects the characteristics of these cultures to remain fundamentally constant over the next century, a key reason he aspires to make more Americans aware of their forgotten past.

“We in North America, we’re a pretty amnesiatic people,” Woodard said. “A lot of these forces of our deeper history are affecting us in all sorts of ways and are handicapping our country’s political debates but, unlike other people in other parts of the world, we just don’t realize that because we tend not to know our history very well and be aware of these things.”

Woodward hopes a deeper understanding of the reasons behind strong geographic fissures in this country will help lay the foundation for a more meaningful political and social conversation in the United States.

State Department official
grilled on trafficking report

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

State Department officials faced sharp questions from U.S. lawmakers after allegations surfaced that the government's annual report on global human trafficking had been adjusted to further the Obama administration’s international agenda, particularly regarding Malaysia and Cuba.

Reflecting lawmakers' concerns, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded Thursday that the State Department hand over all documents it used to rank countries in the report, and he threatened to subpoena the papers if the department did not comply.

The chairman, Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee, said there would be serious consequences if any materials were destroyed.

Corker issued the order as members fiercely questioned Sarah Sewall,  undersecretary of State for human rights.

In this year's "Trafficking in Persons Report," both Cuba, with which the United States resumed relations this year, and Malaysia, part of a proposed massive free trade pact — the Trans-Pacific Partnership — escaped the harshest judgment.

“Many of us are concerned that the upgrading of Malaysia had more to do with trying to make sure that TPP was entered into successfully than a care for people being trafficked,” Corker said.

The trafficking report ranks more than 180 countries based on what their governments are doing to fight such crimes as slavery and sex trafficking. The lowest-ranking nations are put in a category called "Tier 3" and are subject to sanctions. The next step is the so-called "watch list."

Malaysia was in the Tier 3 category in the 2014 report and was upgraded to the watch list for this year's report.

State Department officials insisted the reporting process was done with diligence and integrity.

“Tier rankings do not assess the severity of a human trafficking problem in a given country,” Ms. Sewall said. “The tier rankings assess the government’s efforts in addressing human trafficking problems.

"The secretary of State is responsible for the 'Trafficking in Persons Report,' and there is no one who can question the secretary’s commitment to the anti-trafficking cause,” she added, referring to John Kerry.

Ms. Sewall's testimony seemed not to convince the committee. Corker said he did not think that “anybody in Malaysia that has loved ones who have been sold into sex slavery would be very comforted” by her explanations.

"I don't see how anybody could believe that there was integrity in this process," he added.

Kerry said Thursday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations talks in Kuala Lumpur that he had zero conversations with anybody else in the Obama administration about the Trans-Pacific trade agreement.

"The reason I made this decision was based on the recommendation of my team because Malaysia has passed additional legislation in 2014, they've consulted with civil society, they drafted amendments to Malaysia's anti-trafficking law in order to allow the country's flawed victim protection regime to change," he said.

Kerry said the fact that Malaysia is now on the watch list means there is still a lot of room for improvement.

The committee’s top Democrat, Ben Cardin of Maryland, suggested the law mandating the trafficking report could be strengthened to include congressional oversight of year-to-year adjustments in country rankings.

Human trafficking subjects vulnerable populations on multiple continents to virtual enslavement, a practice the United States fights by shaming offending nations. 

The U.S. “has a moral imperative to speak out against trafficking. It involves labor servitude. It involves sex trafficking. It involves financing criminal activities,” Cardin said.

Corker noted that "as many as 27 million human beings live in conditions of modern slavery."

Lawmakers also raised questions about whether politics played a role in the State Department's upgrade of Cuba after 12 years at the lowest ranking.  The change removed another obstacle between the two former Cold War foes at a time of rapprochement.

Russian hackers are blamed
for Pentagon email invasion

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. media are reporting that hackers based in Russia penetrated the email network of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, leading to a two-week shutdown of the system.

Media outlets quoted Pentagon officials who confirmed the cyberattack.

NBC, which first reported the story, said it was not clear if the attack was sanctioned by Russia's government or was the work of individuals. 

The attack occurred around July 25 and affected about 4,000 military and civilian personnel.  NBC, quoting unnamed sources, said no classified information was seized or compromised, but that the Pentagon shut down the Joint Chiefs' email system during an investigation of the attack.

U.S. officials recently confirmed that about 21 million U.S. government employees, contractors and others had personal information compromised in two other cyberattacks suspected to have originated in China.

Jon Stewart leaves his job
as Television political satirist

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jon Stewart said goodbye to his fans Thursday, after 16 years on the Comedy Central network's "The Daily Show," which established him as America's foremost satirist of politicians and the media.
Stewart, 52, announced last winter that he was getting restless and wanted to move on. Trevor Noah will replace him as host next month.
Armed with a razor-sharp wit and a research team adept at finding video evidence of hypocrisy or unintentional comedy among the nation's establishment, Stewart turned a sleepy basic cable entertainment show into a powerful cultural platform. In the process, the show won 22 Emmy awards.
A long line of people hoping to get in to the last taping gathered outside the Comedy Central studio on Manhattan's West Side Thursday. First in line was Chad Lance, a 27-year-old musician from Philadelphia who said he arrived at 2:30 a.m.
"No one knows who's going to come, no one knows what's going to happen,'' Lance said. "I think this is going to be one of the most exciting TV tapings ever.''

Other fans on line reflected on Stewart's retirement and legacy.

Stewart's no-holds-barred style meant that neither conservatives nor liberals were spared. Although he insisted he wasn't a real newsman, Stewart’s humor and heart infused his work and inspired journalists around the globe.  

The program's new host, Trevor Noah, attended the finale’s taping, but for many, the show will always belong to Stewart.

Stewart hasn’t yet confirmed plans for his post-Daily Show life.

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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
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WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
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Costa Rica,

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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: 
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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
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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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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)

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:

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

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:

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 155
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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
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
  A 26-year-old shoplifting suspect had all this on her person when she
  was detained in San Pedro Thursday, Fuerza Pública officers said. This
  was her 13th arrest for the same crime, they said.

Indexed food prices continue to decline

By the Food and Agricultural Organization news staff

Prices for major food commodities in July hit their lowest average monthly level since September 2009, as sharp drops in the prices of dairy products and vegetable oils more than offset some increases for those of sugar and cereals. Meat prices, meanwhile, remained stable.

The Food and Agricultural Organization Food Price Index averaged 164.6 points in July, down 1.0 per cent from June, and 19.4 percent from a year earlier.

The index tracks prices on international markets of five major food commodity groups: cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar.

In Latin America, however, inflation in June accounted for a .7 percent decline in food prices, slightly less than the month before. In Costa Rica inflation in food prices during June reached 0.4 percent, said the U.N. agency. Regional data is a month behind the world data.

In July, the agency said the dairy price index dropped 7.2 percent from the previous month, mainly due to lower import demand from China, the Middle East and North Africa amid abundant EU milk production which has resulted in good availability of dairy products for export.

The July vegetable oil price index was some 5.5 percent below its June level, reaching its lowest value since July 2009. The recent slide was primarily caused by a fall in international palm oil prices due to increased production in Southeast Asia combined with slower exports especially from Malaysia, and a further weakening of soy oil prices on ample supplies for export in South America and a favorable outlook for global supply in 2015/16.

The cereal price index rose by 2.0 percent from June, but was still 10.1 percent below July last year's level. For the second consecutive month, higher wheat and maize prices, in part due to unfavorable weather in North America and Europe, kept the cereal index rising, but rice prices continued to fall.

In July the meat price index remained nearly unchanged from the previous month. An increase in international prices of bovine meat offset a decline for pork and mutton, while prices for poultry remained stable.

The sugar price index rose by 2.5 percent from June 2015, largely due to less than ideal harvesting conditions in the main producing region of Brazil.

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From Page 7:

Contact restrictions ordered on credit agency

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Credit agencies should not send text messages to persons who are not debtors, according to a decision by the Sala IV constitutional court.

The case was brought by a woman who said she received constant text messages and telephone calls from a business firm because her brother had a debt. She said that her name had been used as a reference but that she was not a cosigner.

She said that such calls damaged her fundamental rights. The court magistrates agreed and ordered that the company involved send messages and make calls in the future only to persons who have incurred the debt.

The company was identified in the decision as GMG Comercial Costa Rica S.A., which is associated with the Grupo Monge. The woman was identified only as V. de los Á. R. R.