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  Published Monday Edition
August 28, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 170
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Caja urges more enrollment of domestic workers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Since the new changes in the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social’s insurance and pensions policy for domestic servants, only a few hundred have signed on. The social security fund is now urging more employers and employees to enroll.

Domestic workers in Costa Rica are sometimes undocumented persons living in Costa Rica on tourist visas, expired or otherwise. The Caja has attempted to enroll these workers into the social security fund to provide insurance as well as to receive their contributions to the system.

Still, based on data from the Caja, only 15 percent of domestic workers in the country are correctly insured. The definition of a domestic worker is the person who carries out the tasks of a home or private household. This includes non-specialized care of people.

The statistics of those who are insured are skewed. In 2016, the National Household Survey registered a total of 169,033 who claimed to be domestic workers. Due to their immigration status, they are sometimes especially vulnerable to labor, sexual, physical and mental abuse from their employers or other persons in the household.

54 percent of those insured are Costa Rican, 31 percent are Nicaraguan and the rest are a plethora of other nationalities. Most work in the Central Valley and in the greater San José area, a statement from the Caja said.

According to data from the Caja, 94 percent of domestic work are occupied by women, 40 percent are heads of households, and about 70 percent work part-time. Their wages are lower than any economic activity and it is considered a low-qualification job, which makes them a group at great social and economic vulnerability.

According to Gustavo Picado, the Caja's financial manager, the group of private household workers constitutes the economic activity with lower social coverage. Only 1 of every 10 domestic workers are properly insured

A.M. Costa Rica reported back in July that employers of domestic servants could now pay less money for their employees’ health insurance and pensions. The changes are part of a new regulation that creates a Minimum Amount of Contribution for workers whose monthly income is less than 231,130 colones.

The new rules are established in the document called Reglamento para la Inscripción de Patronos y Aseguramiento Contributivo de las Trabajadoras Domésticas.

This includes those domestic workers working part-time or on an hourly wage as well.

The change offers advantages in the costs of insurance and the options to make the enrollment process faster. In the case of an employer who pays his domestic worker a salary of 100,000 colones then they currently have to pay 52,398.

With the new regulation, however, the employer can cut that amount to 26,199, a 50 percent reduction. This cost may decrease according to the salary that is reported.

Employers interested in using the new scale should report a salary lower than 231,130, be up to date with payments with the Caja, have a personal bank account and pay a fair wage to the worker.

So far, 358 domestic workers have been insured since the change was announced and, as of today, all employers who had insured their workers before the change need to access an online form to include addition information.

This amounts to: telephone number, email of the worker and a client account with “iban” in the name of the name of the employer to access these benefits.

If an employer omits information on enrollment or monthly reports or shows delays in payments then they may lose the benefit of the new regulation.

According to Fernando Llorca, executive president of the Caja, this decision provides access to social security for a group of people that are essential in national development.

The executive president said that the contribution of domestic workers should be recognized, as they can't lose the access to benefits as important as pensions.

The new regulation facilitates domestic workers access to all health services, disability and sick leave, maternity, the possibility of a pension and access to the national credit system, as well as to protect their family members under the same coverage.

The new regulation excludes housekeeping workers in a commercial or businesses centers and those who work for a corporation or association registered before the Registro Nacional. It also excludes gardening services, security and specialized caregivers of children, the elderly or people with disabilities.


Elderly
                              assistance
Universidad de Costa Rica photo   
Reports of discrimination of the elderly are up 20 percent.
Elderly discrimination reports increasing each year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Abuse, disrespect and contempt are some of the more common manifestations of violence experienced by older adults across all ranges of life. New data from the national council of elderly persons now suggests that reports of this type of violence against the elderly increase significantly every year in Costa Rica.

From the bus to care facilities from public and private entities, old people at a conference in the Universidad de Costa Rica shared their personal experiences this past Wednesday. According to Zulema Villalta Bolaños, the president for the governing board of the Consejo Nacional de la Persona Adulta Mayor, his institution hears over 1,500 reports on this violence.

That number may seem insignificant by comparison to other issues of violence but he said that this number increases 20 percent each year. This is not due to an increasing level of aggression, at a social level, against the elderly but due to the elderly increasingly standing up against it.

The most frequent cases are with the health services, the home and in public transport, according to a statement issued by the Universidad de Costa Rica. Beatriz Grant Rojas, one of the senior citizens at the presentation, said that some bus drivers still refuse to accept the ticket that exonerates the elderly from paying the bus fare. The situation that often follows is one of disrespect, little patience and illegal retention of the document by the drivers.

In regards to health services, Villalta pointed out infrastructure problems to provide the best care for the elderly. “When we talk about health, we are talking about hospital that is already collapsed, without modern waiting areas,” he said.

Filadelfio Sánchez Ramírez, another speaker at the presentation, said that those who attend him in the banks carry out procedures without taking into account the typical limitations of age.

“We want to be treated with dignity,” he said. “We want to avoid attitudes of rejection and give us good communication, to look us in the eye.”
Elderly man
Universidad de Costa Rica photo  
Many old persons in Costa Rica feel
 left out in the cold.

According to information provided by Conapam, the consequences of abuse to the elderly generate strong physical and psychological repercussions, include: permanent physical damage, drug dependence, eating disorders, depression, feelings of loneliness, Anguish, fear and isolation, among others.

Currently, Costa Rica has ten laws, ten decrees and six international declarations that protect senior citizens, the university said.

However, the executive president of the Costa Rican gerontology association, Johanna Fernández, said that these are still largely unknown or ignored particularly by the population it is designed to protect. Gerontology is the scientific study of old age.

“If a person does not know their rights, neither will know the channels to enforce them,” said Ms. Fernández.

“When I know what my rights are, I can count on a better quality of life as I can make them enforceable. In this aspect, education is fundamental both for the elderly and the rest of the Costa Rican population.”

Some of these regulations include: a law allowing for the subsidy of a housing bond for the elderly without a family, an economic fund to senior living care centers, and a pension for the elderly in poverty.








Remarkable
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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.
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Second News Page

Published || Monday Edition, August 28, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 170
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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.
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Dental
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 Accountants

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Caja approves early retirement age
for workers with down syndrome


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Last week, the Junta Directiva of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social approved pensions at the age of 50 to the working population who have down syndrome.

The decision came from a study that shows that the majority of this population has symptoms of premature aging at age 40, which is a genetic condition, according to Jaime Barrantes, pensions manager at Caja.

This reality makes the age of retirement of 65 years unattainable. Barrantes added that this population has a life expectancy of around 60 years, according to studies in developed countries.

That is why, the board approved that the retirement age of these workers set at age 50. Thus, the working population with down syndrome can apply for the old age pension at age 50 with 180 contributions. The pension manager informed that the agreement will be sent to a 10-day public consultation process.

If no objections arise, it will definitely be approved. The impact of this decision is relatively minimal, however. For the moment, the Caja has identified only 15 people that qualify as a worker with down syndrome entitled to an early pension and retirement age.


Mudslide
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo         
Chilamate-Kooper road had some mudslides nearby.

New road flooded this past Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new road between Bajos de Chilamate in Sarapiquí and Vuelta de Kooper in San Carlos, was flooded this Thursday just a day after being inaugurated by the government.

One of the most affected places is La Lydia, in Pital de San Carlos. According to the Fuerza Pública, the main flooding happened near the Tres Amigos River. The incident first occurred in a parallel track and then affected the main route.

In a statement, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes reported the staff of the construction company took over the situation.

"The floods caused by heavy rains on the Bajo de Chilamate-Vuelta Kopper highway lasted only 15 minutes, as the drainage systems evacuated the water and the traffic returned to normal," the document says.

María Gallardo, responsible for the project, said that it was an extraordinary and unexpected amount of water they did not expect at all and whose damages will be investigated.

"There was a lot of water that never came in. We'll investigate whether it was a problem with the land or the sewers," she said in an audio from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

Drivers driving along the road shared photos from the Lydia sector, in Pital de San Carlos, where there was a lot of water on the road between Bajos de Chilamate in Sarapiquí and Vuelta de Kooper in San Carlos.

The 27-kilometer road has two lanes and five uneven intersections, as well as four direct exits to 12 communities and farms and a new bridge.

This route shortens in 60 kilometers the communities of Chilamate and Vuelta de Kooper, which facilitates the transport of products of export from the north zone to the docks of Limon.

Gina Vargas, a neighbor of Pital and the municipal council of the Municipality of San Carlos, agreed that it was the first time that a situation like this had occurred. According to her, the problem would have been due to the jamming of a culvert that is between Hacienda La Lydia en route to Bajos de Chilamate.

"The problem happened within 20 minutes, there is no damage to the naked eye," she said.

"The roads are designed for a period of 10, 20, 30 years," said Olman Vargas, executive director of the Colegio Federal de Ingenieros y Arquitectos. "From the hydrological point of view, maximum intensity rains are calculated in those periods. It must have been a great coincidence that the maximum intensity of rain happened the day after the inauguration."

Vargas said that it will be necessary to wait for the behavior of the road in the coming days, when high intensity rains will come back.

"You may think that the hydrological analysis could be insufficient for the management of high intensity rains at specific points on the road," added Vargas.

The construction, which began in 2013, increased its costs to $ 80 million due to constant delays.


Poder Judicial strike declared illegal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial’s employees strike that was carried out during 13 days in July has been declared illegal. 

That was the verdict of the Labor Court of Pococí, after analyzing the strike of the Poder Judicial that took place between July 19 and 31. One of the most controversial strategies during the strike was the retention of corpses in the Judicial Morgue.



According to a statement from the judiciary, the reason for the illegality is that an essential service for the citizens was limited and that was the access to the bodies of their deceased loved ones.

"For not defending an economic and social conflict and for the strike movement not complying with the limitations of section 376.d of the Labor Code, it is declared illegal the strike carried out  by judicial workers between July 19 and 31 of the present year," the court’s ruling says.

The ruling itself will have little immediate impact on a strike that has occurred after the fact. Unions, however, are worried of any future precedence this gives which could embolden opponents of excessive strikes by labor unions. The decision to declare an illegal strike disturbed several members of the unions, who say the resolution is premature and it poses problems in the way the parties have been notified.



"The resolution was issued despite the fact that the deadline for answering the law is still open to the Frente Gremial," the unionists said in a combined statement.

 The leaderships of the unions are working to appeal the decision and revoke any sentence against their right to protest and defend their interests.


Police detain man in Playa Tamarindo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers from Santa Cruz detained a man on suspicion of drug trafficking and possession of an illegal firearm at Playa Tamarindo early Friday morning.

According to a report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, police were alerted of a possible drug sale happening at Tamarindo and that a suspect was carrying a large amount of marijuana on their person. Conducting a search, police discovered a suspect and confirmed the person found the drugs in a bag. The report also said two pistols were seized off the effects of the person.

The detained was sent over to the public prosecutor for illegal possession of a firearm and possession of illegal drugs. He remains in precautionary detention.



News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English





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A.M.
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Third News Page


Published || Monday Edition, August 28, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 170
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CNL opera
                                    archive
Compañía Líricia Nacional photo      
The 2004 performance of Verdi's “Rigoletto."

Opera lovers can see free viewings of old Compañía Lírica Nacional shows

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Opera lovers in Costa Rica have the opportunity to go to some free shows put on by the Compañía Lírica Nacional starting this Tuesday.

According to a statement by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud,the difference here will be a screening instead of live performance of the greatest hits by the theater company. The initiative came about as a way to show off the work of over four decades by the company, said José Manuel Aguilar, the director of the group. 

“These videos are a fundamental asset of Costa Rican lyric art and are part of our history,” he said. “With these activities, we want to bring opera lovers of all ages to know what the company has achieved in the course of its almost four decades of existence.”

The first opera to be screened will be Puccini’s “La Bohème” at 7:30 p.m. at the CLN building in Los Colegios, Moravia. Benjamin Gutiérrez, the culture ministry said, originally directed this in 1981 at the Teatro Nacional. The next screening will be Sept. 19 at the same time with a 2003 performance of “Carmen” and then a 2004 performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto” on Oct. 10.

Organizers said that the quota is 50 people, however admission is free and no reservation is necessary. “This space will serve as a meeting point for lyric singers of all generations, where they can share experience, anecdotes and knowledge,” Aguilar said. “On the first date, we will have some of the singers who participated in that production and that makes us happy and excited.”


Papagayo
                                  donations
Península Papagayo photo
Some of the donated goods toward public education.

Developer donates more than
50 million colones to schools


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism and real estate developer, Península Papagayo, donated more than 50 million colones to the public education ministry for investments to needs of schools in Bagaces and La Cruz.

Through the participation and logistics of the Asociación Creciendo Juntos and the regional directorate of the Ministerio de Educación Pública, the donation was made to equip the schools of: Cuipilapa, Fausto Gúzman Flores, Los Ángeles, Juntas de Maoba, Limonal, Rincón de la Cruz, Santa Cecilia and El Peloncito de implementos.

Some of the donated money went towards new school furniture, refrigerators, kitchens, silverware, school uniforms and a storm water drain system for the Santa Cecilia High School and a new classroom for El Peloncito.

“This initiative is natural to the essence of the company,” said Manuel Ardón, the chief operating officer for the company. “For 16 years, we established the goal of promoting the development of our neighboring communities through education. We have done this and will keep strengthening this objective.”

The regional office for the education ministry issued a statement saying that they were grateful for the contribution toward the young people who obtained the benefits toward the improvements of educational centers. The money was divided to the different schools during the last week of July and were put into effect in early August. The initiative benefited more than 940 students, the company said.

Península Papagayo is located at the Polo Turístico in the Golfo de Papagayo. It touts itself as a developer respectful of environmental legislation and in promoting a sustainable model for real estate.





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!

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The Trouble with Cash
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Greg and Liz must sell their property in Costa Rica to finance their retirement. They receive an offer for their full asking price of $1 million, but it comes with one condition...the payment is to be in cash. They go for it. Things go wrong. The money is stolen.The local police are no help so Greg devises his own plan to get their money back.  Review or buy the book on Amazon  Click Here  Email:  j.paterson@riomagnolia.com  Phone: (506) 8868-5561

Money, Flowers and More

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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
                          is a Tropical Garden

    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
                          restaurants and hotels

Los Suenos

Crocs

Hacienda
                    Baru
 
Formula Kart
 
Palermo 900
 
Don
                    Wang

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Monday Edition, August 28, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 170
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Research reveals how behaviors appear and spread among monkeys
By the University of California-Los Angeles press staff

One white-faced capuchin monkey sticks its fingers deep into the eye sockets of another capuchin it’s friends with. A capuchin uses her ally’s body parts to whack their common enemy. These behaviors become entrenched in the repertoires of the inventors. But in the first case, the behavior spreads to other group members, and in the second case it does not.

What makes capuchins invent new behaviors, and what causes some behaviors, but not others, to persist and be adopted by other monkeys?

A study led by UCLA professor of anthropology Susan Perry reveals that older, sociable capuchins are prone to inventing more new types of social behaviors, many of which seem to function either as tests of friendship or displays against enemies. Other behaviors the researchers observed involved games, new ways to interact with infants and novel forms of sexual interaction.

“Capuchins have intricate societal structures, long-term, kin-based relations in both sexes and a rich behavioral repertoire, making them an intriguing subject of scientific observation,” Ms. Perry said. “Learning about the minutiae of other, non-human, primate societies reminds us that we are not the only species on this planet that has emotions, personalities, friends, enemies, politics, culture and social drama.”

The findings about behavioral innovations, which were published in Proceedings of the “National Academy of Sciences,” would not have been possible without Ms. Perry’s 27-year practice studying primates at the Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project near Liberia, Costa Rica.

Ms. Perry’s research teams have been collecting data year-round in the tropical dry forest, tracking the daily lives of 234 individually recognized capuchins in 10 social groups by recording about 250 species-typical behaviors. The researchers turned each new observed behavior into a data point for statistical modeling. Their data for the study was derived from 10 years of research.

Using the protocol meant she could figure out what behaviors were new, when or if they spread throughout the group, and which capuchins were responsible for sharing them.
A capuchin monkey presses a companion’s finger into its own eye socket, a behavior that caught on among others in the group.
 
Although the study found that older monkeys are better at inventing social-interaction behaviors, Ms. Perry also observed that younger monkeys innovate behavior in different categories such as ways to interact with the physical environment, get food or interact with their own bodies.

Because true innovation is rare, using the protocol helped standardize note-taking across her teams and mitigate some natural observer bias, she said.

Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica
University of California-Los Angeles photo    
Not all new behaviors catch on, but UCLA scientists saw one habit spread to other monkeys in one group.

Given her decades of experience observing the capuchins in Costa Rica, Perry was the team’s arbiter for what behavior could be considered new.

Behaviors were sorted into four categories: social, foraging, self-directed and investigative. The researchers ultimately tracked 187 innovations, 127 of which were unique behaviors. Eighty percent were one-off actions never repeated by the originating monkey or transmitted to others. Most of the innovations were in the investigative category at 42.5 percent, followed by social with 37 percent, foraging at 13.4 percent and self-directed at 7.1 percent.

One monkey launched an infant into the air by the tail and juggled it; another performed similar behaviors with a squirrel carcass, throwing it from hand to foot repeatedly. But neither trait caught on with other monkeys. In another instance, one monkey took another monkey’s hand and used it to scratch its own head.

Some monkeys decided to groom animals from species, including porcupines, anteaters and howling monkeys. Several devised various forms of playing with sand, like burying body parts or tossing sand between their legs.

“It will be interesting to do similar studies in similar societies and see if this is fairly standard,” Ms. Perry said. “It does make more sense for monkeys to have a payoff bias rather than a prestige bias in a foraging task for which there is a clear efficiency advantage. But there might be other behavioral domains where you would expect different types of social learning biases.”

Studying behavioral innovation is important because cultural change primarily occurs when new activities are introduced and then picked up by more members of the community.

And the research provides an important link to the natural world for an increasingly technology-obsessed human culture, Ms. Perry said. “This is really eye-opening to people who naturally assume that we are the only species capable of such things, and it makes people empathize more with other species.”



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Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE!  Plus useful links
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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page

Published || Monday Edition, August 28, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 170
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Texas freeway
Voice of America photo         
Floodwaters are seen at an interchange on the North Freeway, just north of Houston.

Tropical storm’s deluge puts
much of Houston underwater

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Much of Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city, is under water and Texas Governor Greg Abbott says more incredibly heavy rain is on the way from the tropical storm system that hit the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Harvey.

Rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers trying to keep up with constant calls for help. The downpours turned some streets into rivers, navigable only by boat.

In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the storm that devastated New Orleans 12 years ago, helicopters landed near flooded freeways. Some people managed to escape with kayaks, canoes or inflatable rafts.

At least two deaths have been reported so far, a total that is likely to climb. "It's impossible not to feel overwhelmed," Voice of America’s Celia Mendoza said Sunday from Houston. “Everything is closed."

President Donald Trump will visit the disaster area Tuesday, White House officials said, but only if it is clear that his trip will not disrupt relief efforts.

Volunteers joined emergency personnel to evacuate people from their homes, some of which were flooded as high as the second floor above ground. Residents were urged to climb onto their homes' roofs, to avoid being trapped in attics by rising water, and to wave sheets or towels to attract attention and assistance.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center warned of unprecedented and catastrophic life-threatening floods across southeast Texas. The National Weather Service said the breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before.

Through the next several days, some areas of the storm zone can expect a total of more than 125 centimeters of rain. Tornadoes are also likely.

Harvey is creeping through southeast Texas extremely slowly, moving at 4 kilometers per hour or less, compared to most storm systems. The latest forecast has it drifting just offshore into the Gulf of Mexico over the next two days, where it may pick up more strength.

Harvey's snail-like pace close to the warm Gulf waters is a major reason the storm is dumping such an incredible amount of moisture on Houston and other Texas towns. The Texas governor told reporters Sunday afternoon that his top priority is to protect human life.

Abbott warned all residents to stay off the roads, saying that anyone who attempted to drive would be taking their lives into their own hands. He added that anyone who has not left the flood zone should seek refuge in a location as high above ground as possible.

Vice Admiral Karl Schultz of the U.S. Coast Guard said water, not wind, is the biggest danger from a tropical storm.

State officials have deployed 3,000 National Guard members for storm duty, and order 600 boats out to help with rescues, along with numerous aircraft.

Abbott said he was deeply grateful to his fellow Americans for their support and resources, particularly what he called a very effective federal partner that has granted every request for aid. Nineteen Texas counties have been declared federal disaster areas, and the governor said that number is likely to grow.

The White House said President Trump led a Cabinet meeting about the storm disaster, and that he expects all federal agencies to stay fully committed to helping state officials in Texas and neighboring Louisiana.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long told an interviewer that members of his agency will be involved in operations in storm-damaged areas for years.

The hurricane hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a major storm - category 4 on a 5-point scale. Once over land its peak winds slowed, but the downpour has continued.

"People are concerned about what is happening to them, to their neighbors," Ms. Mendoza said. "They’re concerned about their homes," she added, noting that many people were stranded at their jobs by the fast-rising water, and have been trying to keep in touch with their families at home.

Several Houston-area oil refineries shut down on Sunday as the storm continued. The closures take roughly 12 percent of U.S. fuel-making capacity offline, compounding concerns about fuel shortages in coming days.

Harvey was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States mainland in more than a decade.


Jimmy Morales
Gobierno Guatemala image grab          
Morales announces expulsion of anti-corruption commission head.

Guatemalan court blocks
expulsion of investigator

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Guatemalan court blocked the president's order to expel the head of a U.N. anti-corruption commission investigating his campaign financing.

The constitutional court ordered the government not to carry out the order from President Jimmy Morales to expel Colombian national Ivan Velasquez.

Morales had called for Velasquez's immediate expulsion in the interests of the Guatemalan people, for the strengthening of the rule of law and our institutions in a video published online just hours earlier Sunday.

The announcement follows a move by Velasquez Friday to strip Morales' immunity in an investigation of alleged illegal payments linked to his party, the National Convergence Front.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres was shocked to learn that Morales declared Velasquez persona non grata, according to his spokesman.

"He fully expects that Mr. Velasquez will be treated by the Guatemalan authorities with the respect due to his functions as an international civil servant," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Chief prosecutor Thelma Aldana, working with the U.N. commission, says that Morales refused to account for more than $800,000 in campaign financing.

About 2,500 people protested in the capital on Saturday, demanding that Morales resign.

The U.N. commission ousted president Otto Perez in 2015 in revealing a corruption scandal. Morales, a former comedian, won subsequent elections and took over the following year.

Velasquez heads the 10-year commission of experts that has worked with Guatemalan prosecutors to root out corruption in the Latin American country.

El Salvador asks the U.S.
for citizens' status extension


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

El Salvador's government has asked the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status to nearly 200,000 of its nationals living in the United States, the country's foreign minister announced Friday.

Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez said tropical storms within the past five years, followed by drought conditions more recently, make the return of those citizens untenable.

"We've told the U.S. also that, of course they had their reasons initially for granting TPS in 2001, the instability following the earthquakes in January and February of 2001, and while we have overcome some of that instability, unfortunately we've suffered other catastrophes," Martinez said.

The U.S. originally granted TPS to Salvadorans in the U.S. in March 2001 following a series of earthquakes. The current designation will expire March 9, 2018.

In making the case to American officials while visiting Washington, Martinez said he also emphasized what Salvadorans are contributing to the U.S. economy.

"Around 90 percent of the TPS population is working and working more than 40 hours, sometimes back-to-back shifts. They work in key areas for economic development in the U.S., like construction, the restaurant industry, landscaping, hospitality, but also health care and home care, especially for children."

El Salvador also relies heavily on remittances from workers in the U.S., recent data indicates 17 percent of the country's Gross-Domestic-Product depends on the money sent back to the Central American country totaling $4.58 billion in 2016.

Each country covered by the program, designed, as the name states, to be a temporary measure during a crises, usually a natural disaster, epidemic or violent conflict, undergoes periodic review to determine if those citizens residing in the U.S. will still qualify for the status and work authorization.

In the U.S., about 10 percent of the estimated 2 million people of Salvadoran origin are protected by TPS. El Salvador has long struggled to contain a staggering homicide rate and transnational gang activity that stretches from Central America to the United States, a frequent talking point for the Trump administration officials, which has regularly, and erroneously, linked immigrants to crime.

Asked whether there has been increased cooperation between El Salvador and the U.S. on security issues under Trump, Martinez said there has been, although he is cautious to point out those efforts are a long time in the making.


Trump imposes sanctions
against Venezuela on equity


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States on Friday forbade any dealings in new Venezuela debt or equity in Washington's latest move to pressure the repressive government of President Nicolas Maduro.

An executive order, signed by President Donald Trump, now bars U.S. transaction with Maduro's government and the PDVSA state oil company.

The sanctions are meant to demonstrate that the United States will not allow an illegitimate dictatorship to take hold in the Western Hemisphere at the expense of its people, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster told reporters.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a White House news conference Friday the sanctions would "undermine Maduro's ability to pay off political cronies and regime supporters."

"On the economic front, I would say our plan has to continue to turn up the heat on the Venezuelan government, and these specific actions we've tried to balance things that don't hurt the Venezuelan people," Mnuchin said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced the sanctions that the U.S. government under Trump has unleashed as insane. He said the sanctions violate international law and are designed to push his country into default.

Maduro also accused members of the opposition of being behind the U.S. financial sanctions and vowed to prosecute them. He called on a new all-powerful constitutional assembly in Venezuela to initiate proceedings against opponents who have lobbied in favor of the sanctions.

Officials say the new order does allow the U.S. Treasury Department to provide licenses for other commercial and humanitarian transactions, including financing for commercial trade, petroleum exports and imports, and transactions that only involve PDVSA's U.S. unit, Citgo.

The White House says Maduro also needs to hold free and fair elections and release all political prisoners. Last week, Venezuela's Constituent Assembly gave itself the power to pass laws, seizing legislative power from the opposition-led congress.

The assembly unanimously passed a decree enabling it to legislate on matters directly aimed at ensuring the preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic financial system, the purposes of state, and the preeminence of Venezuela's human rights.

The election of the assembly last month was boycotted by the opposition and triggered international condemnation. The body is charged with rewriting the country's 1999 constitution and has given permission to Maduro to rule by decree.

There are fears that strong U.S. pressure could drive Maduro into the arms of China and Russia for the sake of his political survival.

U.S. and International Monetary Fund officials said Venezuela's economy continues to severely contract, oil production is rapidly declining and the government is liquidating its visible assetsall of this contributing to a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Latin American country.


Medical transfer sought
for detained Venezuela judge


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Relatives of jailed Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice Ángel Zerpa are demanding his transfer to a medical center for treatment.

Zerpa has been on a hunger strike since his arrest and detention July 22 here in the capital. That came a day after the opposition-led National Assembly appointed Zerpa and 32 others to replace justices believed to be doing the bidding of President Nicolás Maduro’s administration instead of acting independently.

The existing high court has accused the new appointees of illegally seizing power. Zerpa has been detained at the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service’s headquarters, accused of treason. Other National Assembly appointees have fled the country or sought asylum with foreign embassies in Caracas.

At a news conference Thursday at the Federal Legislative Palace, Mariela Zerpa said her brother was striking to protest his detention and to press for a medical evaluation.

The 56-year-old lawyer has lost about 15 kilos, Mariela Zerpa said, noting he has several medical problems, including hypertension and chronic gastritis. She added that his skin color has yellowed, and that "we do not know if he has liver problems or kidney problems arising from the hunger strike."

Yvette Lugo, president of the Caracas Bar Association and a member of Zerpa’s defense team, said the Maduro administration had no grounds to detain him and would be held accountable for what may happen.

Zerpa is a lawyer who has not committed any crime to be deprived of liberty, Ms. Lugo said at the news conference. She added that all his constitutional guarantees have been violated.

The National Assembly itself is being challenged. Venezuela’s controversial constituent assembly, whose 545 members took office in early August and are charged with rewriting the constitution, last week decreed that it had legislative powers superseding the National Assembly.


European Union ponders
tough action on migrants


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Union’s commissioner for migration says Brussels may withhold development aid and impose trade and visa restrictions on migrant-source countries in Africa and Asia to force them to take back failed asylum-seekers.

In an interview with Britain’s The Times published Saturday, Dimitris Avramopoulos said EU chiefs are considering stopping funding of major development projects.

He said countries, which failed to cooperate with repatriations, could face blanket visa restrictions. Germany recently threatened to withhold visas from the ruling elites of migrant-source countries that do not accept returnees.

But Avramopoulos appeared to indicate a much broader visa embargo is now being contemplated, saying thousands of foreigners, from diplomats and doctors to students and researchers would be impacted by the travel restrictions now under discussion.

“The EU is not afraid to make use of leverages in trade or visa policy. Let’s be honest: it is neither good for Africa nor for Europe that so many people cross the Mediterranean,” he said.

This is the first time EU commissioners have threatened to block access to European markets in response to a long-running migration crisis that’s roiling the continent and threatening to upend traditional party politics and empower populist nationalists.

The hard borders approach now considered is being condemned by humanitarian NGOs, which often embrace a “no border” ideology.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron of France will chair talks featuring European and African leaders in Paris in a renewed bid to thrash out a more effective strategy to stem migrant flows. African leaders are likely to argue they need more development aid.

Libya has become the main gateway to Europe for migrants and refugees from across sub-Saharan Africa, and also from the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria and Bangladesh. Many are fleeing war and persecution, but most who are using Libya are seeking to escape poverty. Italy has become the main point of arrival of those rescued off the coast of Libya.



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Hotel in
                                Escazú

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú

Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Can build 1550 Sqm. 7 meters high 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 / 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


Costa Rica
                                  Penthouse

Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

 Enjoy the most spectacular views in the valley in this 5 -story Penthouse.  One of a kind property on top of the Corobici / Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel plus other businesses.  Large Living Room, Elevator goes directly inside Penthouse.  Private hot tub deck and Dance floor with Spectacular views!!!  All exterior walls are glass or have windows. Commercial license is in place.  Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $695K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,500 per month on an annual basis.  This is a private condo residence and is Not associated with the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  

Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email: danwisellawyer@yahoo.com
9132-6/1/17


Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

Eco graphic
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
          property
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area

Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
Dream Property River Click Here

www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
Skype: ecorealtorscr
Facebook: ecorealtorscr
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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A.M.
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Rica
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Published || Monday Edition, August 28, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 170
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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

When I thought about living in the tropics...

I envisioned a shaded driveway lined with palms and hibiscus, something set back just far enough from the paved road that there was little traffic noise. Did that happen? Not so much.

Victoria Torley
 What we have is three or four
 hundred meters of lumpy,
 rutted, dust-throwing road-to-
 almost-nowhere, uphill, with a
 sharp turn into a something
 more like a tiny parking lot than
 a driveway. The good thing
 about it is that all of that three
 or four hundred meters belongs
 to us.
The bad news is that we
 need to do something about it.

Right now, it looks a little nasty.
When they put what we laughingly call our road in, they found a lot of rocks of all sizes that were of little use so they shoved them to the side. Our side. This has made it very difficult to plant anything close to the road (no dirt) although the weeds don’t seem to mind. So far, the Sanchezia has failed, which is a shame as the leaf cutter ants don’t eat it often, and the African tulip trees have failed (because the ants love it), and the hibiscus have failed (cow attacks), so I am thinking that I need to cultivate some of the things that seem to grow as weeds.

We have some reasonably nice looking “weeds” around the area and they seem to do well in rocky areas. Lantana, for example, is a terrific “weed” currently growing wild in our pasture areas where neither the cows nor horses bother it. Ants seem to avoid it as well, probably due to the herbal fragrance and flavor. We can just relocate the lantana – another plus as it saves on cash. We love freebies.

Juniper seems to be avoided by just about everything as well. I bet it tastes terrible so we may try some, even if we have to buy it. While we are at the vivero, maybe we will buy some pine trees as well. I don’t like using non-native plants, but the bugs are pushing me in that direction.

I have never one seen an ant in the wandering jew or the purple heart and both have the advantage of spreading like mad and enjoying rock gardens, which are essentially what we have along the road. Although we love the vibrant colors of the impatience plants, too many things eat them leaving forlorn flowers on spikes, so they are out as well.

Well, that is my tale of woe. Hundreds of meters of beautification to get started in rocky soil and three hazards to avoid. If you have any other suggestions, or maybe a cutting or two, let me know?


Granadilla
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Victoria Torley       

Plant of the Week

Granadilla, the Passiflora ligularis, is a member of the passion flower group, but unlike most local passion flower vines, it produces an enormous sweet fruit. The one below is 4.2 kilograms – a true monster nearly the size of a watermelon, and so sweet that I juiced it to use with tart fruit in smoothies. And the flower? The size of a dessert plate. How can you possibly go wrong?

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor. And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!









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




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From page 7:

Mortgage loan tools available to Caja insured

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two mortgage loan tools available to insured persons of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social were promoted during the Expocasa this past weekend.

According to Róger Argüello Muñoz, the head of credit management at the Caja, the credit tools offered by the social security fund were among the best presented at the exhibition and have very competitive advantages to others on the market. The loan portfolio of the Gerencia de Pensiones amounts to 12 billion colones, according to data provided by the Caja.

4 billion is currently available of those funds with upcoming modifications to the budget expected within the next few days to strengthen the portfolio. The action is part of efforts by the Caja to strengthen the invalid, old age and death pension funds.

One of the two loan instruments promoted has a flat rate of 8 percent for the first two years, 8.75 percent for the three years following and then a basic passive rate of 4 percent from the sixth year on. The second tool has a fixed rate of 8.5 percent for the first five years followed by a passive base rate more than 4 percent.

Initial quota per million is 7.337 million colones and the second is 7.689 million in the first five years. A statement from the Caja said that these tools should provide 150 million for the purchase of a house, construction and cancelation of a mortgage. It also provides up to 80 million colones for the acquisition of lots, remodeling or extension of houses. To grant these credits, the Caja is asking for 40 percent liquidity and will accept up to two people as co-debtors and lends up to 90 percent of the appraisal.

The Junta Directiva within the framework of Costa Rican law approved these mortgage credit instruments. All the aforementioned contributors and pensioners of the Caja have the right to request a mortgage loan. That is available to 248,886 pensioners and over 1.5 million contributors.