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Published Weekend Edition
August 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 169
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Legislative battle over bank secrecy bill continues
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Legislators of the Frente Amplio and the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana are engaged in a battle over a bill that seeks to open bank secrecy to fight tax evasion.

The initiative is being discussed in the Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly and consists of a reform to article 106 of the Code of Tax Rules and Procedures.

Francisco Camacho, leader of the Frente Amplio faction in the assembly, has accused legislator Jorge Rodríguez, of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana of trying to delay indefinitely the voting of the proposal.

Rodríguez requested to re read documents that have been in the file for months, delaying its possible approval.

"This initiative of the Frente Amplio seeks to provide the tax administration with tools to combat tax fraud while certain parties are blocking necessary projects,” Camacho said.

On the other hand, Rodríguez explained that he requested the rereading of the documents because he has doubts about the powers of the reform, since it would allow people other than a judge to lift  bank secrecy.
Rodríguez also said that the point of view of banks and other institutions involved in the matter is unknown, so he prefers that a consensus draft be reached before being put to a vote.

"This cannot be," Rodriguez said. "We cannot leave Costa Ricans exposed in this way because raising bank secrecy without a judge's order can be dangerous. My position is that we should listen to all agencies. "

The bill would allow the Ministerio de Hacienda to look into privately-held bank accounts in cases where tax fraud could be happening.

Hacienda has said that for this purpose, the institutions is implementing a high-end technology device that will spot suspicious companies after running special algorithms.

Proponents argue the proposal seeks to make the process of lifting banking secrecy by the Tax Administration when information is needed in a process of investigation of possible tax evasion.

Opponents charge that placing so much power into the hands of a select few on judging access to private bank records is illegal.


Area de
                            Conservacion Osa
Casa Presidencial photo   
Development is viewed by some as more threatening to their survival.
Funds to protected parks not completely popular
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An agreement between the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo will allow investments of up to $1 million annually in development, equipment and services for protected wild areas.

The announcement came as Costa Rica celebrated its Día de Parques Nacionales on Thursday. A formal ceremony that included the environmental and tourism ministers as well as Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís saw agreements signed allowing medical care at the Parque Nacional Marino Isla del Coco and other infrastructure to the different wildlife preserves. This agreement is expected to last for three years between the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía and the Instituto Costarricense del Turismo.

Thanks to a $19 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank and a $6 million grant from the government, the agreement is expected to enhance strengthening of tourism management, the environment ministry said in a statement.

“We are a small country geographically but gigantic in natural resources and biodiversity,” said Solís. “With these agreements, we are strengthening the action of our institutions to preserve this natural wealth.”

Another agreement was also signed between the environmental ministry and the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. The purpose of this one is to authorize the use of facilities administered by SINAC for police posts. This agreement would be for five years with possibility of renewal, officials said.


The last agreement was the budgetary approval of funds that would allow SINAC officials who carry out duties in management, control and protection of the wild, forestry and firefighting to receive economic compensation.
Solis at
                              meet
Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía photo      
Solís speaks at agreement ceremony.

This is solely for those who are called up in the event of an emergency or non-working day. Under a personal contract with the institution, they should receive compensation equivalent to 25 percent of their salary, according to Casa Presidencial.

Some environmental groups, however, are not happy with the new agreements. The Federación Conservacionista de Costa Rica issued a list of protests associated with prior government attempts at infrastructure development.

“What is most serious is that loans for protected areas are based on creating conditions for tourism, while the government promotes a series of projects, actions and laws that weaken and destroy protected areas and the country’s natural heritage,” a statement from FECON said.

FECON cites efforts by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes to allow them to build new road networks into national parks and another that postpones evictions of squatters on public land and protected areas.

Proponents of these actions would argue that the strengthening of the infrastructure within the protected areas is what helps keep them running with the revenue from tourism.

There is also to consider that proper waste management and bathroom facilities help preserve the health of the areas for both human visitors and roaming wildlife.








Remarkable
                            Tales

16th anniversary edition

Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca. 


Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Weekend Edition, August 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 169
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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.
Psychotherapy




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Dr. Lucinda Gray
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US (310) 827-4241
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9057-2/25/17


U.S. Income Tax
Tax time
U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
T
ax Accountant
Let’s discuss your tax situation.

Marlene Summers
The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so. 

However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

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If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

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9186-6/30/17

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With over 20 years of experience in Costa Rica, we understand the inner-workings of the “Tico system” and offer a wide range of services for newcomers and expatriates!

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Legal Services

American/Costa Rican staff
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* Corporate, Labor, Family Law (marriage / divorce),
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Our Business/Construction Unit
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Attorney & Notary

A Fernandez
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I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

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9181-7/3/17

Real estate agents and services

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Dentistry

Dental
                                                      Services rollover
Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!
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CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cell: +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@dentalservicescostarica.com
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8758-9/18/17

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
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More information HERE!
9165-5/22/17

Residency experts

resdiency

JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
    Retiree (Pensionado):  For those with a pension or other retirement income.
    Legal Resident (Rentista): For those with guaranteed non-salary income or savings.
    Business/Investor (Inversionista): For those with Costa Rican business or real estate investments.
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WHICH OPTION IS BEST FOR YOU?
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience.
Javier Zavaleta
Residency in Costa Rica
P. O. Box 86352, Los Angeles, CA 90086
U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
Web: www.residencyincostarica.com
9071-3/19/17
9071-3/19/17

 Accountants

U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica
U.S. Tax
                                                  rollover
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com
9179-9/17/17

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A. US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
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pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
Uncle Sam's
IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $102,100 for 2017).
Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FATCA news.
All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
8984-4/6/17

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
 
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Gilbert Carmichael
  Conservation Curatorial  services
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  Condition evaluation
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  Art related insurance and 
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  Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc., repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

For more information please call (506) 8388-5328 or  email cocopopcr@yahoo.com
9212-5/9/17

Gang member claims refugee status

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An active member of the Calle 18 gang fled El Salvador with an arrest warrant and arrived in Costa Rica Wednesday. He then sought sanctuary in the country as a refugee from national authorities.


According to the Judicial Investigation Organization, he is now under police monitoring while his request is analyzed. However, the man could have the initiative to found a group in the country, authorities have said. 


"We have him under surveillance so he does not make contacts here. We are aware that about 30 people belonging to this group have entered the country and it should tell us something,” OIJ said in a statement.


In the first half of 2016, a total of 30 known members of maras, the Spanish word for gang members, entered Costa Rica. This is more than the 22 cases reported in the last 10 years, according to the organization’s figures.


After somebody claims themselves to be a refugee in the national territory, the country must analyze the case as requested by the Geneva Convention. The outcome is to expel the Salvadoran or grant him the refugee status he asks for. This process can be appealed at different stages and is usually a long one. 


Given the situation, the OIJ has reinforced the measures to detect these subjects and proceed with their expulsion.

Back in June, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís and Gustavo Mata, the minister for Seguridad Pública, issued a decree meant to expel foreigners considered to be a risk for national security.



Afterwards, 88 people labeled as undesirable were repatriated. Out of those, eight were identified as mara members. Interpol has recommended Costa Rica secure its borders to avoid the entry of terrorists seeking to keep a low profile in the country. At the beginning of 2017, the authorities were aware of 4 ex-gang members who lived in the country but are not linked to criminal activities.


The Mara Salvatrucha is a gang born in Los Angeles, California, by Salvadoran refugees fleeing the country’s civil war at the time. When the U.S. government expelled many of these gang members from the country, the ties did not end and the gangs spread throughout the area known as the Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

They are tied to robberies, assaults, murders, drug trafficking, among others felonies and are also overwhelming authorities in many cases due to the strength in their numbers and their relation to some of the highest murder rates in the region as well as the world.


Caja gets needed loan from El Salvador

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social confirmed Thursday morning that the government of El Salvador loaned over 10,000 Efavirenz pills after Costa Rica’s shipment was delayed.

The medicine arrived in the country late Wednesday night, according to Gabriela Murillo Jenkins, the logistics manager at the Caja’s general warehouse. Efavirenz is used for patients with HIV-AIDS treatment in the infectology and immunology services, in the early stages of the disease or as maintenance therapy.

It is prescribed in combination with other antiretrovirals. These therapies, although they do not cure the disease, lengthen the expectation and quality of life by preventing the virus from multiplying in the body.

Efforts are being concentrated in the distribution process in the different hospital, Ms. Murillo said. The loaned pills are expected to supply some 5,000 patients with treatment in the coming days. The director is also managing a loan with the Ministerio de Salud of the Dominican Republic and an urgent purchase with a private lab as part of the emergency actions to cover the missing medication.

Over 600,000 of these pills were supposed to arrive today but the supplier said that it would not arrive until later next week, the Caja said. The cost of the shipment amounts to $51,600. The social security fund angrily condemned the breach of contract by the supplier company who needed to deliver the product.

Currently, the Caja is treating 5,000 of the 7,680 patients who are at the HIV clinics for the hospitals: Calderón Guardia, San Juan de Dios, México, Hospital Nacional de Niños, San Rafael de Alajuela, Monseñor Sanabria and at Max Peralta de Cartago. Other deliveries are expected in September and December.

“HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It harms your immune system by destroying the white blood cells that fight infection,” according to the United States’ National Library of Medicine. “This puts you at risk for serious infections and certain cancers. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the final stage of infection with HIV. Not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.”

HIV is often spread through unprotected sex, sharing needles or coming in contact with blood. Women can also pass it on to their babies during pregnancy. Currently, there are treatments but no cure for the disease.


Calderón renews transplant permission 

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hospital Calderón Guardia received authorization as a health facility to continue the donations and transplants of human organs and tissues, according to a Thursday statement from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

This comes following the prosecutor’s special organized crime task-force summoned 25 witnesses in the trial against four doctors and one merchant accused of illegally extracting organs for international traffic.

 Officials attached to the Ministerio Público confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica that the trial will start next Sept. 11 and will end sometime around Nov. 30. The case began in 2013, when the Judicial Investigation Organization and the Public Prosecutor's Office made public an investigation against four Caja doctors and a merchant who sold pizzas near the Hospital Calderón Guardia in San José.


The case was brought to trial in early 2016 and prosecutors say the group approached poor people to offer them money in exchange for organs, mainly kidneys. During the preliminary investigation, it was possible to identify 14 victims who apparently received between $6,000 and $20,000 dollars for their organs. 


“An effort has been made in recent years to comply with legislation and regulations in this field,” said Dr. Taciano de Lemos, the director-general of the hospital. The hospital head is referring to the Ley 9222 on organs and transplants that established accreditation of public and private facilities as a requirement for legal permission to do those activities.

The extension of the permission goes until April 2022, the Caja said. Requirements for certification depend on the different transplant activities within each hospital. Calderón provides transplants for: liver, kidneys, lung, blood vessels, pancreas, intestine and ocular as well as osteocular tissue.


Guatemala will extradite five Ticos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Five Costa Rican women who were sent to prison in Guatemala are now being repatriated back to Costa Rica following procedural efforts by the Costa Rican consulate.

“As a result of the friendly ties between the two countries, negotiations and the goodwill of the Guatemalan authorities, the repatriation of the Costa Ricans was achieved for the first time exempting the publications and the procedural costs of the process,” said Manuel González, the foreign minister.

Repatriation was requested by the women under the auspices that they were poor, with no criminal record prior to the crime for which they were convicted and four of them had small children that they could not see, according to a statement from the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. The Costa Rican government has allowed the repatriation of over 14 Guatemalan detainees from the country within the past year, foreign ministry officials said.

The Costa Rican Consulate in Guatemala has provided assistance to six prisoners with five having a firm sentence. Inmates usually opt for repatriation once sentence is final, the ministry said.  The consulate offers services to those Costa Ricans arrested and jailed so as to safeguard their human rights and fairness in the court system. That is the idea anyway.

“It is important to note that repatriation is not a redemption and is not intended to condone the sentence of the prisoners,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “It is carried out with the purpose of transferring the person to fulfill the sentence established in their country of origin.”

The foreign ministry refused to comment as to what these five women were arrested and sentenced for. Officials also did not mention when they would be repatriated back to the country and how their sentence would be served.


Youth are 58 percent of road deaths

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just like in North America, most people who die on the road in Costa Rica are young people except here they are between the ages of 21 and 30 years old. 

In total, that represents more than 91 deaths for 2017. Couple with the deaths of those aged 31 and 40 years old and that represents almost 60 percent of the total traffic deaths this year, according to data provided by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. That number is 270.

Of the 156 young people, 27 of the deaths were children between the ages of 11 and 20 with two more who were under 10, the ministry said. “We are talking about 18-year olds who were about to start college,” said Mario Calderón, the commissioner for the Policía del Tránsito. “We are talking about newly-graduated people starting their working life. We are referring to young people just forming a family, leaving orphaned babies, who stop supporting their parents economically after their death.”

The rest of the data shows that 82 persons between the ages of 41 and older lost their lives this year in a traffic accident, the public works ministry said. In one case, the age of the deceased was never determined.



News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English








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A.M.
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Third News Page


Published || Weekend Edition, August 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 169
Calendar
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Satellite
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo     
This tiny box is going to transmit the data from space someday.


Presenting the satellite
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo      
Students working on the satellite present their design so far.

Costa Rica still seeks its first mission into space with project's satellite

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The first space mission developed in Costa Rica is in a critical phase, according to a statement from the Instituto Técnologico de Costa Rica.

The different satellite systems are being programmed and verified along with the land-based stations that will complete what is called Proyecto Irazú. This project is designed to monitor the fixation levels of carbon in Costa Rican rainforests, TEC said in a statement. The Asociación Centroamericana de Aeronáutica y del Espacio is delivering the last components necessary to develop the satellite.

The whole idea of the project is to show the country’s institutional capacity to develop a space mission and kickstart the country’s participation in the field of space technology. The satellite technology has a few components: a remote station that will transmit the data t the satellite and an infrared-like sensor designed to connect to the satellite every time it passes by Costa Rica. There will also be simulations conducted as well as the programming of the computer and configuring of the remote station along with the solar power system.

Once the design plans have been tested and everything checked out, the satellite will be ready for launch, TEC said.



Cerebral palsy aid
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo      
This new mechanized wheelchair seeks to give more freedom of movement to those with cerebral palsy.

New robotic vehicle seeks to help kids with cerebral palsy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Improving the lives of kids with cerebral palsy is the goal for researchers at the applied ergonomics lab in the Instituto del Tecnológico de Costa Rica.

The technicians recently announced they will have a functional prototype of a specialized robotic vehicle for children with cerebral palsy. The design is ready and building will be complete by the end of this year, a statement from ErgoTEC said. According to Olga Sánchez, the coordinator of ErgoTEC, this robotic vehicle is designed to give children with cerebral palsy a new experience: the ability to move without assistance.

The vehicle, serving children between the ages of six and 12, will have a control panel or a system connected via Bluetooth and responds to the head movements of the patient, the lab said. Additionally, it will have a special application to discern between voluntary and involuntary movements to improve driving.

Another unique part of the design is that the seat is adjustable based on the needs of the individual patient. Researchers said that it tilts 20 degrees back to make it easier for a caregiver to raise or lower the child from the seat. The chair also tilts 15 degrees forward to improve the maneuverability of the minor. A brace and head support are included the support the posture of the person sitting in the vehicle.





Books headline

Brodell Book
Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica
 (editor)A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca.  
Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Brodell book 2
The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise

By James J. Brodell. Retired baseball player Jack Patterson becomes suspicious after his younger sister dies in a Pacific Ocean rip tide while on vacation in Costa Rica. Jack has to go there to find answers to troubling questions. But soon he is hijacked by a gang of avengers led by an icy Costa Rican-American woman who carries twin pistols strapped to her chest. Jack soon helps uncover a web of corruption and greed . Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trapped in Damas Cave
Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica

A true story by author Dusty Pilot, who lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. Dusty tells his horrifying story of being trapped in the Damas Cave, near Quepos, for 26 hours. The book is available from Amazon in both digital and print format. Digital format will be on sale for $0.99 until Aug. 30. Visit Amazon.com to preview or purchase, or DustyPilot.com/cave.html More information Contact Dusty Pilot Email: dusty@dustypilot.com US phone: 001 440 796-4105¯

New World Meditation
New World Meditation: Focusing-Mindfulness-Healing-Awakening
By Lucinda Gray PhD

You will be Free to Live, Love, Work and Play in the Full Creative Expression of Your Authentic Self. New World Meditation is easy to learn, easy to practice, and profoundly transformational.  More information HERE!
Life
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    Life is a Tropical Garden By Victoria Torley 
    A quirky look at gardening in the tropics. What happens when a "Northern" gardener moves to Costa Rica? You have no idea….  Email: victoriatorley1@gmail.com.  Order this book here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522005986/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Recommended
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Los Suenos

Crocs

Hacienda
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Weekend Edition, August 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 169
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Deputies oppose colleagues' inviting members of Maduro assembly
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four members of the Constituent Assembly installed in Venezuela by President Nicolás Maduro arrived Thursday in Costa Rica, after an invitation made by two members of the Assamblea Legislativa and the Partido Vanguardia Popular.

The visit is organized by legislators Ligia Fallas and José Ramírez, who belong to the Frente Amplio Party. For this action, Frente Amplio has moved away from these legislators and has clarified that they do not support this type of visits.

The four Venezuelan legislators are members of the National Constituent Assembly established on Aug. 4, which assumed the country's total legislative power in a move condemned internationally by Latin America countries such as Costa Rica as well as the United States and Western Europe. According to the assembly, it will last two years or more with the idea of reforming the country’s constitution and consolidate Maduro’s power as Venezuela’s strongman.

José Ramírez, one of the sponsors for this visit, confirmed that the constituents will be in Costa Rica for four days and will participate in a Mesoamerican meeting, which will issue a document supporting the government of Maduro, Venezuela, the Constituent Assembly and show its refusal to any US military interference.

Ramirez added this is what true leftists must do. According to Ramírez, he is a member of an organization called the Parliamentarians' Group of the Latin American and Caribbean. He coordinates the Friendship Commission and Ligia Fallas is part of the Parlaméricas Organization.

"We have taken on the responsibility of bringing together different countries against the interference of the United States and in defense of Latin American and Caribbean democracy," Ramirez said.  In July, Ramirez and Fallas signed a document in Nicaragua to support the Constituent Assembly of Nicolas Maduro and pledged to defend the process from their political positions.

Ligia Fallas
Ligia Fallas.
José Ramírez
José Ramírez.
Humberto Vargas Carbonell, a representative of Vanguardia Popular, better known as the old Communist Party of Costa Rica, said he will have some talks with them.

At the moment, the names of the Venezuelan legislators have not been revealed. AM Costa Rica tried to obtain this information directly from Ligia Fallas, but she did not respond to requests for comment.

The move has drawn widespread criticism from their colleagues in the legislature across the entire political spectrum. Political parties such as the libertarians, the Partido Liberación Nacional and the Partido Acción Ciudadana of Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís have all come out publicly against this move.

According to Otto Guevara, legislator of the Libertarian Movement, the Legislative Assembly should prevent the entry of these people. "This conglomerate deprived the true Venezuelan National Assembly of authority, in accordance with the style of Nicolás Maduro's dictatorial regime," he added.

A similar opinion is that of Ottón Solís, legislator and founder of the Partido Acción Ciudadana. "To me these are common citizens with no legal power, they represent a dictatorial act and I refuse any special treatment for them," he said.



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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page

Published || Weekend Edition, August 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 169
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Hurricane Harvey bearing
down on Texas Gulf Coast


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hurricane Harvey is moving across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, heading toward the coast of Texas, and strengthening as it goes.

U.S. meteorologists say the former tropical storm will be a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall late Friday. Peak winds are blowing close to 140 kilometers per hour, and they are expected to surpass 200 kilometers-per-hour when the hurricane hits a 600-kilometer-wide swath of coastline.

Hurricanes usually weaken rapidly once they move inland, but forecasters say this storm will follow an unusual pattern: stalling once it hits the coast, then probably moving back out to sea briefly and making a second drenching pass at low-lying coastal communities.

Harvey is expected to pour at least 50 centimeters of rain over a wide area of the Texas coast, with a deluge of up to 80 cm in some areas over the next three days.

The National Hurricane Center said life-threatening floods should be expected, along with storm surges.

Texans who live on the Gulf Coast have prepared for the storm with stacks of sandbags around particularly flood-prone areas. Residents crowded stores to buy water and other supplies to sustain them during what could be days of turmoil.

The last hurricane to hit the southern portion of the Texas coast was 14 years ago. The state's governor, Greg Abbott, ordered state emergency workers to mobilize for any necessary search-and-rescue operations. He has pre-emptively declared a state of disaster in 30 counties on or near the coast to speed deployment of state resources.

At the White House, President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, was very involved in directing federal emergency management resources to Texas.


Venezuela blocks TV signal
from Colombian station


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan officials have blocked access to Colombian television station Caracol and threatened a clampdown on social media networks in Venezuela, continuing the government’s efforts to exert control over the flow of information.

Caracol’s management confirmed the block Thursday via Twitter, noting that President Nicolás Maduro had launched harsh criticism of Colombian media hours before ordering the move.

Caracol joins an extensive list of foreign media forced off the air in Venezuela, including U.S.-based international cable channel CNN, that Maduro contends have tried to discredit his government.

Maduro had denounced Caracol's reporting on deposed Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, who, fearing for her life, fled last week to Colombia with her husband. Ortega has accused Maduro and several of his closest collaborators of corruption.

Visiting Brazil this week for a meeting with other prosecutors from countries in the Mercosur trade bloc, Ortega said she would provide evidence to help them submit charges.

Spokesmen for the Venezuelan government rejected those accusations. Earlier this week, the leader of Venezuela’s new pro-government Constituent Assembly, which on Friday wrested power from the opposition-led legislature, threatened a clampdown on social media networks.

Delcy Rodriguez, president of the government's most powerful body and part of Maduro's inner circle, said proposed anti-hate crime legislation could regulate and punish incendiary speech on social media. Speaking during an assembly session Tuesday, she said Venezuelans were victims of psychological war conducted by "imperialist" propagandists.

Given media censorship in their country, Venezuelans frequently use social networks to stay informed, according to Venezuela’s Institute for Press and Society.

Social media posts by Maduro's political opponents also helped bring out demonstrators during often-violent anti-government street protests that began in early April.

Henrique Capriles, an opposition leader and Miranda state governor, responded to the possible clampdown by challenging Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission, or CONATEL, which regulates electronic media, to act against state-run Venezolana Televisión, or VTV.

CONATEL has pressured many TV and radio stations to avoid coverage that cast the Maduro administration in a bad light, the U.S.-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders observed in a report updated this month.

The administration of his successor, Maduro, has increased government interference in private media and continued developing a communications apparatus that is meant to act as a state mouthpiece, Freedom House reported on its website. "Media organizations and workers face intimidation, threats, and violence by both state and nonstate actors."

Venezuelan authorities ordered the CNN signal in Spanish to be removed from local cable operators' programming grid in February, shortly after it reported on the alleged use of fake Venezuelan passports.

At the time, Maduro called CNN an instrument of war that was promoting aggression against Venezuela.


U.S. space company makes
history with Chinese client


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Imagine a post office for space. That is the job of U.S. space company NanoRacks. Just down the street from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, NanoRacks is one of many companies benefiting from the U.S. space program’s support for a broader range of commercial interests.

“There has been a shift in federal funding into more of this commercial space transportation program,” said David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University in Houston.

“What that has allowed these companies to do is essentially have an anchor client, an anchor customer and then build up their manifest and build up their client base and think of lots of new ways of accessing space for many different purposes,” Alexander added.

For a price, NanoRacks can help almost anyone, anywhere send an experiment or small satellite to the International Space Station in orbit around the Earth. The company made history this summer with a client from China.

The company has helped deliver space experiments and satellites of customers from 30 countries, including academic institutions in Eastern Europe, Peru and Vietnam. The Beijing Institute of Technology, one of NanoRacks’ latest customers, became the first from China to have an experiment brought onboard the International Space station.

“They’re doing an experiment on DNA and how it mutates in microgravity,” Michael Lewis, chief technology officer of NanoRacks, said.

Getting the Chinese experiment to the International Space Station was complicated because U.S. federal law prohibits NASA from working directly with China because of fears the Chinese could steal U.S. technology.

“First we brought it to the Obama administration. They were very concerned there was no ties to the People’s Liberation Army,” Manber said.

After two years, NanoRacks received approval from U.S. lawmakers however, there was one stipulation.

“We had to make sure that there was no technology transfer. No IT connection to the space station,” Lewis said. “We had a creative solution. We said, ‘OK, we’ll make sure that we plug in the experiment, and it’s not even connected data wise,’” he added.

Lewis said the self-contained autonomous Chinese experiment flew to the International Space Station on the SpaceX CRS-11 Dragon spacecraft. The experiment received only power from the space station and spent about three weeks there before returning to Earth.

Aside from national security concerns, scientists and businesses are pushing for more international collaboration in space.


Community groups work
to plant trees in Los Angeles


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

On a recent morning, a handful of young people unloaded potted saplings to plant along the curbside in a program that brings greenery to Los Angeles neighborhoods. The LA Conservation Corps is working to restore trees lost to disease, drought and the kind of construction that leaves little space for nature.

Trees are essential to a community, says Alex Villalta, an urban forestry inspector with the conservation corps. The group, which was founded in 1986 by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor, offers young people job training in projects that help to restore and beautify the city.

Trees provide improved air quality, Villalta said. “We have better storm water management” and trees make neighborhoods livable, he added.

The greenery remains in some local cities, such as Pasadena, but many other communities in the Los Angeles basin are tree deserts. The community of Baldwin Park lost more than half its trees on single-family lots in just nine years because of redevelopment and other factors.

In 2007, Los Angeles launched a plan to plant 1 million trees, but it has been a challenge for this green army of young people, according to a study published in April by researchers at the University of Southern California in the journal “Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.” Scientists found a reduction in green cover in 20 communities in the Los Angeles basin from 2000 to 2009, says urban ecologist Travis Longcore, co-author of the study.

He says urban trees flourished here through much of the 20th century but have declined in the 21st. Longcore, who teaches architecture and spatial sciences, says communities that put up legal barriers to removing legacy trees are the most successful in limiting tree loss.

Millions of California trees have also been lost to pests and disease in both wilderness regions and cities. The causes include a native tree bark beetle and the invasive polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, which brings a dangerous fungus to some trees. A five-year drought that ended this year has also left the state’s trees vulnerable.

Los Angeles officials say the city planted more than 18,000 trees last year. Longcore says the number is not enough to compensate for the losses, which exceed 1 percent per year of the region’s trees in the period of the study.

Jeff Davis, a supervisor with the conservation corps, says the young men and women on his crew are gratified with their contribution, even if more needs to be done.

Corps members are learning skills and gaining experience in conservation work. Some, like Ivan Escamilla and Ronaldo Martinez, both 20, hope to pursue careers in the field, enjoying nature, and getting some fresh air, Martinez said.

Helping trees survive is just as important as planting them, says the conservation corps’ Villalta, and the organization has turned its attention to the problem. He notes that California’s extended drought brought mixed messages, leading some residents to believe that watering trees was a waste of water. On the contrary, say experts, trees cool our streets and help distribute water through the soil, as they add green spaces to our neighborhoods.


Bollywood movie highlights
India ending open defecation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

India’s glitzy Bollywood movies and toilets have little in common, but they came together in a recent film that turns the spotlight on one of the most unglamorous challenges the country is tackling: open defecation.

Starring a top hero, Akshay Kumar, Toilet, a Love Story is the tale of a bicycle shop owner’s struggle to build a toilet for his wife, who abandons him because she refuses to go into the fields like other women in the village.

It is inspired by the true story of a woman in central India who walked out on her husband because there was no toilet in the house.

The theme has resonance in a country where half the 1.3 billion people defecate in the open, exposing them, particularly women and children, to diseases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is racing to build millions of toilets to meet its pledge to end open defecation by 2019. But as it turns out, the problem is not just about access to latrines, but changing behavior in a society where many people consider this a healthy practice.

Campaigners point out that statistics on the latrines constructed in thousands of villages are meaningless because barely half are being used.

The widespread cultural resistance to latrine use in rural India is also born out of beliefs that pit latrines are impure and polluting, and that you cannot have a toilet under the same roof as the kitchen.

The film addresses some of those problems as the protagonist meets with powerful opposition when he constructs a toilet in the house because his infuriated father, an upper caste Hindu, believes it violates age-old tradition.

Can the film help by sparking a conversation around sanitation, especially in rural India? Bollywood after all is one of the country’s major influencers.

The issue is emerging as an important one: last week a woman in Rajasthan state was granted a divorce after judges ruled that her husband’s failure to build a toilet at home amounted to physical cruelty as she had to wait until dusk before going into the fields.

The film highlights how women, faces covered, venture into fields before sunrise under cover of darkness.

Another stumbling block in the campaign to popularize toilets is India’s centuries-old caste system, in which only lower castes are supposed to clean toilets. Many villagers are rejecting the basic latrines being built because the pits would have to be emptied manually once every few years, a task the aspirational lower castes are no longer willing to do and which others also shun.

Sanitation experts however stress that the battle will have to be won softly and warn that some cases of zealous officials coercing people to use newly constructed latrines to meet India’s target of ending open defecation may be counterproductive.


Trump blames GOP leaders
for debt ceiling issues


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on members of his Republican Party on Thursday, this time lashing out at them for creating a mess of the debt ceiling legislation process.

In a series of tweets, Trump scolded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan for not attaching debt ceiling legislation to a recently signed bill that aims to assist veterans.

If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by the end of September, the federal government may not be able to pay some of its bills, a situation some economists predict could be catastrophic. Separately, a measure to keep the federal government open once appropriations run out on September 30 must also be passed.

The deadlines represent a showdown for Trump, who has repeatedly clashed with Republicans over budget priorities. This week, Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress did not provide funding for a wall along the U.S.-México border, one of his key campaign promises.

At a news briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether the president would sign a budget bill that did not include funding for the wall.

Sanders also downplayed friction between the White House and congressional Republicans. Trump's relationship with McConnell, in particular, has deteriorated, according to recent reports, especially after the Senate failed to repeal or replace the signature health care bill of former President Barack Obama.

The reports said McConnell and Trump have not spoken since earlier this month, when they were said to have engaged in a shouting match during a phone conversation about legislative priorities. The offices of both men have since put out statements downplaying the tensions.

Earlier this month, McConnell maintained that Congress and the White House would not allow the government to default on its debt. Some conservatives in Congress say they will not support a debt ceiling bill unless it also contains budget cuts. But Ms. Sanders said Thursday that Trump was open to raising the debt ceiling without additional provisions.

When they return from their August recess, lawmakers will have only 12 days on the legislative calendar to address the debt limit.



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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR
9124-4/19/17


Rich Coast Realty
Rich Coast Realty
Real Estate and Construction in the Central Pacific
Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
12 years’ experience in Costa Rica Real Estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
9189-9/2/17

Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
 
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
 
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

colinasdelsol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
9056-2/28/17

Etlinger Farm
                                rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9196-4/25/17

horse ranch
                                rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9183-6/13/17

rollover
Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here  www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

Hotel in
                                  Escazú

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. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available


Send an email hotelescazu@aol.com Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164
9142-7/27/17


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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH
Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
Owner/Broker
in CR since 1979

Buying? Selling? Renting?
We Can Do It!
Let us help you live your dreams!
Beachfront, Views, Mountains,
Beaches, Houses, Condos,
Hotels, Restaurants, Projects,
Commercial, Investments and more

 Century 21 Jacó Beach
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356
Email: info@c21jaco.com
Web: www.c21jaco.com
9215-3/22/18


Remax
                                  Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com 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. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918


ReMax
                                    Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property
CONTACT US TODAY with NO OBLIGATION whatsoever.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Related

Costa Rica
                                    Solar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill. More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.  Fully Guaranteed!

CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

OUR EMAIL:
andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:

9177-6/19/16

Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let BuyaTimeshare.com help you find a buyer or renter.
9203-4/19/2018

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Published || Weekend Edition, August 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 169
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News from the BBC up to the minute



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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Jaguar
Frente Ecologista Costarricense photo      
Jaguar prowls the shore of a beach and happens on a dead turtle.

FECON denounces jaguar tours

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Frente Ecologista Costarricense has denounced the intentions of a group of businessmen to create a Jaguar sightseeing tour in the protected Área de Conservación de Tortuguero.

According to the organization, the tourism businessmen have been challenging several environmental studies carried out by the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, which determine that the area known as Jalova, at the south of the park, is not suitable for that kind of activities.
 
“Without any consistent facts, this group defies the protection policies just to profit from very expensive walks around the area while trying to manipulate the public opinion,” the group said in a statement.

The Frente also explained the private group is trying to have the Municipalidad de Pococí to build a sewer, something the group considers to be totally inappropriate. "Some parks that should take as an example the effort of the Tortuguero Conservation Area to create strong scientific committees against the interests of unreasonable commercial exploitation," the document said.


Construction starts on new Kölbi store

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad began constructing a new telecommunications agency in Aguas Zarceras that should be ready by the beginning of next year.

According to a statement from ICE, this facility is really just another Kölbi store that follows the construction of others such as in: Buenos Aires in Puntarenas, San Isidro de El General and the remodeling of one in the Mall Paseo de las Flores.

“For us, it is very important to constantly improve the experience of our customers and as part of our strategic actions are the opening and renovations of sales shops,” said Yorleny Ruiz, the commercial director of telecommunications at ICE.

New agencies are also being built at the main Correos building in downtown San José and in Huacas de Guanacaste along with a new showroom in the new ICE building at Sabana Norte. The Aguas Zarceras facility is being built by the engineering and construction crews of ICE.

The Kölbi store will be about three-quarters of a block from the main plaza, ICE said.




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From page 7:

Small businesses owned by women get boost

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Thursday, more than 300 small businesses managed by women in the Huetar Caribe region were able to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, increase the level of maturity of their business, boost its productivity and network, thanks to the Proyecto Emprende

They took part in the training for the economic empowerment of women in the Huetar Caribbean region, sponsored by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, Presidencia de la República and the European Union, among others.

The activity also allowed them to meet with government authorities in the fields of entrepreneurship and public policies. During the event, the women entrepreneurs explained how they can strengthen their businesses and the challenges that the country has to overcome in order to build a genuine public policy with a gender focus.

"This is a space for learning and exchange of experiences, which highlights women's leadership and where we build the policies required to strengthen gender equity and entrepreneurship," said Alejandra Mora, executive president of the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres.