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Resident associations are better off with formal setup
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Plenty of expats are paying into an informal committee to maintain the security of their gated community or to keep up the subdivision roads and common areas.

These ad hoc community associations stumble over the smallest of details like opening a bank account because they do not have a formal structure. They generally rely on the good will of a few residents to keep the guards paid, the grass trimmed and the potholes fixed.

One expat expressed concern about the informal nature of his association when he called last week. He wanted to know some alternatives for his residential area.

These associations are integral parts of expat neighborhoods throughout Costa Rica. They make living with a sense of security and wellness possible considering that robberies and home invasions abound. Usually, a few residents keep them in working order. Others just pay dues knowing that they provide an important role but do not want to commit themselves individually.

Opening a bank account for an ad hoc group seems impossible. The changes to the banking rules in Costa Rica over the past few years have made the whole process a paper chase, noted  the expat who called. He oversees the administration, security and finances of a group of homeowners.

It is all about money. Funds come from the members and non-members to pay what needs to be paid. Most important are security services, common infrastructure and road maintenance. 

The expat's community does not benefit from a legally formed association under Ley 7933, because the subdivision is not a development registered as a condominium. This means it does not have a legal structure set up at the Registro Nacional with documents that designated members can take to a bank to open an account.

What are the options for these kinds of groups?

One choice is to use Ley 218 to form a legal association. This law was created in 1939 and modified by Ley 6020 in 1997. It provides the framework for parties to work together toward a common goal as long as the group is not politically oriented and is non-profit.

Setting one up is not rocket science. Ten founding members are required. They need the following to set up the organization: 1.) a name, 2.) a legal address, 3.) objectives and statutes, 4.) methods to manage membership, 5.) some resources used for the organization, 6.) structure, 7.) and a way to reform statutes and dissolve the entity.

Other options include using a standard company structure. There are six types. Most people are only familiar with one or two. The most common are the sociedades anónimas and S.R.L.s. The problem most people have with them is they pay Ley 9024 taxes each year. The tax was found unconstitutional Jan. 28, but it is almost a given it will be reinstated.

Lastly, in formal structures, groups could use a sociedad civil. They are like partnerships and can be used for profit. 
A clearly defined constitution or   contract
Money thing

is necessary so everyone involved knows where he or she stands concerning contributions and dividing profits and losses. This kind of organization does not pay Law 9024 taxes.

Groups without a legal status need to find a member of their organization who is willing to open a personal account at a local bank and deal with the accounting of the money to its members. A U.S. citizens must also consider the added hassles of reporting any banking activity on the U.S. tax returns and other reporting forms.

It is easy to open a bank account for an individual with the right paperwork. Almost in every case, banking institutions require a certification from a certified public account regarding its use and estimated funds that will go through the account.

Banks understand legal structures. They do not understand someone coming and saying, “I am opening an account to manage money for my community so we can pay our bills.” In fact, the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras regulates people using their bank accounts for others. It is a big no-no.

Using an attorney or escrow service is not a good idea either. If they truly understand the know your customer concept and legal requirements to handle someone else’s money in Costa Rica, they would not offer the service to do so. Anyone else is probably untrustworthy.

The best and safest advice to ad hoc organizations is to find a legal structure that works for them. If Ley 218 is too cumbersome for some reason, setting up a sociedad anónima is probably the best answer. It is made up of a board: president, secretary, treasure and a fiscal. That's perfect for an association. What most people do not realize is that even though the entity might have a bank account, it does not necessarily pay Ley 9024 taxes as an active company. Any structure requires an attorney to form and modify them over time.

An association is a business too. Proper structure is just good business.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 45-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2004-2015, use without permission prohibited.

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Solís praises 2016 budget for tiny increase

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís said Sunday night that the 2016 budget would only be a half of a percent higher than this year's.

The president made the statement on his Sunday night television segment, the cadena national, which some major stations did not run. Instead, there was soccer and a movie.

Solís used the budget message as a vehicle to promote passage of his proposed value-added tax and the increases in income taxes for higher-earners.

The president did not give numbers to explain what the budget would look like if these taxes were not approved. The tax proposals face heavy opposition in the legislature.

Solís noted that his tax plan included returning sales tax expenses to the poorest 40 percent of the country. But that expenditure is not in the budget, even if the value-added tax is passed. The proposed law gives the government two years to return the money.

The Costa Rican national budget for this year  is $7.7 trillion colons or about $14.5 billion.

Solís said that the government has to maintain a minimal investment to avoid affecting the services that the citizens required.  He praised the budget as the one with the smallest increase in 10 years.

He said the goal was to prepare a budget that did not cause cuts in education, health, security or in fighting poverty. The government budget has been financed for years with borrowing, and recent budgets contain nearly 50 percent of borrowed funds. Consequently debt service is a big budget item.

He said the new budget reduces expenses for advertising by 36 percent, overseas transportation by 17 percent, overseas per diems by 30 percent and consultants by 7.5 percent.

He said that the proposed budget includes cuts of 384.7 billon colons or about $745 million at the current exchange rate. However, he did not say if these were actual cuts or reductions in the wish lists presented by the various ministries. He did say that 99.7 percent of the cuts were within the budget for the executive branch. Budgets for the legislatures, the judiciary and the election tribunal were basically untouched.

The president's message did not include any mention of selling off government property to apply to the national deficit.

Last year Solís presented a budget that was 12 percent higher than the previous year, and that generated extensive discussions in the legislature. Finally, the executive branch was forced to make substantial cuts.

Vice president chose private health care

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another high government official has chosen private medical care over that offered by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Casa Presidencial reported Friday that Vice President Helio Fallas is recovering after an operation on his achilles tendon at Hospital CIMA. He is the last of a long line of public officials who chose Hospital CIMA or Hospital Clinca Biblica for care even though they are insured via their jobs with the Caja.

Fallas also serves as finance minister. He will be wearing a boot to immobilize his left leg for eight days, Casa Presidencial said.

In the last 12 years only Abel Pacheco, when he was president, chose Caja care. He was admitted to Hospital Calderón Guardia. In addition to being president, he is a physician.

Two bar owners face trafficking charges

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents claim that two bar owners smuggled women from the Dominican Republic into Costa Rica to work as prostitutes at their establishments.

The bars are in Zapote and Guápiles. The bar operators were detained late Friday.

The women came into the country through the porous northern border with Nicaragua, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Judicial investigators said they received a confidential tip two months ago.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
   Fuerza Pública officers, traffic police and the Escazú Policía
   Municipal checked out these motorcyclists as part of a sweep
   Saturday in search of stolen vehicles. Of 150 cyclists checked out,
   12 got tickets, four lost their license plates and one motorcycle was
   confiscated. Results were similar in a sweep in Cartago.

Bolivia criticized for using ads as weapons

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has criticized the government of Bolivia for using official advertising as a tool to put pressure on news media, in particular those that criticize the South American country’s president, Evo Morales.

On this occasion the press association criticized discrimination levied against the Catholic radio network Erbol, which is facing a serious financial situation after the government denied it official advertising, punishing it for its critical and independent editorial stance. It complained that several of its private sector advertisers had stopped advertising out of fear of reprisals from the government.

Erbol recently opened a bank account to raise funds and thus alleviate the lack of advertising revenue. However, the ministry of works reacted with threats to contributors, the station said. On its Web site the ministry warned that those contributing to the campaign would be subjected to controls on “money laundering and financing terrorism,” arguing that such contribution was “an act of confrontation” that sought to apply soft blows against the government.

Association President Gustavo Mohme called on the government of  Morales “to stop using official advertising as a means of reward or punishment.” Mohme, editor of the Lima, Perú, newspaper La República, added, “Press freedom requires there to be transparency and clear rules and the use of equitable methods and techniques for the application of public resources in the investment of official advertising.”

Claudio Paolillo, described as “misappropriation of public funds and an abuse of political power the arbitrary discrimination in the placement of official advertising.” Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, said that “this case moreover has the aggravating circumstance that the government is threatening with reprisals anyone who voluntarily wishes to support a fundraising campaign.” He is chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information,

Both the association and Bolivia’s national press association have been denouncing that in recent years there has been an increase in the policy of discrimination in the placement of official advertising, violating established principles.

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Del Rey king and queen

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 171
Real Estate
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Solís signs decree prohibiting major hydro projects on two rivers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís has issued a decree protecting the Río Pacuare on the Caribbean coast and the Río Savegre, which empties into the Pacific.

Solís signed the document at a fiesta during his tour of the Caribbean coast this weekend.

The decree prohibits the construction of hydro projects of more than 500 kilowatt generating capacity for 25 years. The decree also orders the Dirección Nacional de Aguas and the
Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental to shelve any pending
 requests for permits. However, Casa Presidencial said without clarification that existing rights would be protected.

The Pacuare has its headwaters in the Talamanca mountains and then runs 108 kilometers (about 67 miles) to the Caribbean.

The  Savegre has a 41-kilometer (25.5 miles) course that runs through Dota, Tarrazú, Pérez Zeledón and Quepos.

A number of firms have filed applications to build small generating projects along Costa Rica's rivers. The applications are being contested by environmentalists and also the established state power generator.

Festival goers admire one of the elaborate carpets of flowers that was part of the 2014 festival.

alfombra de flores
Cámara de Comercio de Cartago photo

Festival de La Pasada will be this weekend in Cartago's Plaza Mayor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The celebrations in Cartago do not end with the annual pilgrimage to the basilica there. The tenth annual Festival de La Pasada is coming up this Saturday and Sunday.

The unique aspect of this festival is that the faithful construct carpets of flowers for the procession that brings the small statue of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles back to the basilica. The statue has been on display at another Cartago church, the  Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen, since Aug. 3, the day after the end of the pilgrimage.

The festival may be just 10 years old, but the procession has 
been going on since the end of the 18th century.
Now the festival is two days with the procession over the floral carpets coming Sunday. The Cámara de Comercio, Industria, Turismo y Servicios de Cartago and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo sponsor the festival. Some 60,000 persons are expected to attend, and 75 Cartago businesses will be displaying their wares, said the chamber.

The festival is in the Plaza Mayor of Cartago at the Ruinas del Templo de Santiago Apóstol. Tents will be set up for vendors. There will be food, dancing, performances by well-known Costa Rican bands, mascaradas, cimarronas street bands, plus the religious procession Sunday.

Creating the carpets of flowers is a contest, and the chamber gives prizes to the three best, it said.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 171
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Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, slide
Hand-colored slide of Indians on horseback accompanied a 1936  lecture.
Photographer captured the Blackfoot culture at turn of the 20th century
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The son of a wealthy Pittsburgh carpetmaker, Walter McClintock became entranced by the American West after traveling there in 1895 to recover from a serious case of typhoid fever. In 1896, he traveled West again as a photographer for a federal commission investigating national forests. While there, he came into contact with the Blackfoot community in northwestern Montana and began a life-long interest in them.

Over the next 20 years, the Yale graduate took several thousand photographs of the Blackfoot Indians,  a name thought to have been acquired because of the black color of their moccasins, which were painted or darkened with ashes, and their culture.

McClintock believed Indian communities were undergoing rapid, dramatic change. Fearful that their traditional culture would be lost, he wanted a record of their way of life before it completely disappeared.

He wrote books and gave lectures based upon his  experiences
interacting with the Blackfoot people.
One of McClintock’s favorite images was of a Blackfoot lodge glowing from within, “emanating a warm, radiant incandescence,” according to author and historian Sherry L. Smith, who says the photographer “tried his best to enter that lodge and explain its interior life to other Americans”.

During the early part of the 1800s, the Blackfoot numbered approximately 20,000 people.

However, ravaged by diseases brought by white settlers, starvation and war, their population was reduced to fewer than 5,000 by the turn of the century.

Today, there are about 16,000 registered Blackfoot Indians living on the Blackfoot Reservation in northwestern Montana along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

A lantern slide is a positive print of a photograph on a glass slide that is often hand-painted to be more visually appealing.

In McClintock’s case, the slides also represent an idealized version of a vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

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

Heredia cottage

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

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

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 171
Real Estate
About us

Another senator announces
he will back the Iran deal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Another U.S. senator, Democrat Jeff Merkley from Oregon, declared his support Sunday for the international accord to bar Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Merkley became the 31st senator to say he will vote next month in favor of the pact, moving President Barack Obama closer to a mathematical certainty that the deal will take effect.

The deal, brokered by the United States and five other world powers, calls for international monitoring of Tehran's nuclear program, while United Nations and Western sanctions that have hobbled Iran's economy would be lifted.

The U.S. Congress, with both chambers controlled by Obama's Republican opponents, is set to vote on the pact in mid-September.  No Republican has voiced support for the deal, and analysts are predicting the House of Representatives will vote to reject it.

In the Senate, however, the vote is closer, with the 54-member Republican majority needing six Democrats to oppose the deal in order to secure the required 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member chamber to defeat the deal. So far, only two Democrats have announced their opposition.

If  both the Senate and House reject the deal, Obama says he will veto the measure, forcing both houses to muster two-thirds majorities to override the veto. In the Senate, 34 votes would be enough to sustain a presidential veto, and with Merkley's support, Obama is now three away from that figure.

Obama's Democratic supporters in the Senate are trying to win even more support for the deal, from at least 41 senators, which would eliminate the need for him to veto a rejection.

Merkley said he thinks the deal has significant shortcomings, but that it is the best path to blocking Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"Because of these shortcomings, many have argued that the United States, instead of implementing the agreement, should withdraw from it, persuade our partners to set the agreement aside and work together to negotiate a better deal,'' Merkley said. ``However, the prospects for this are slim. All of our partners ... believe that the current deal in regard to its central goal of blocking Iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb is sound. They have committed the good faith of their governments behind the agreement and intend to honor the deal as long as Iran does likewise, with or without the United States.''

Obama plan to tell Alaskans
they can be climate leaders

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama is traveling today to Alaska to meet with residents and deliver an address at a conference where U.S. and foreign officials, scientists and locals are gathering to discuss the effects of climate change on the Arctic region.

The goal of the GLACIER conference, according to the White House, is to boost awareness of how the effects of higher temperatures in the Arctic are affecting the rest of the world and what people can do in response.

The issue was the focus of Obama's weekly presidential address, during which he said Alaskans are experiencing more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, some of the fastest shoreline erosion in the world, and higher storm surges as sea ice melts.

The U.S. State Department is hosting Monday's conference, and said that while it has no direct relation to U.N. talks later this year to try to create a binding plan for addressing climate change, the talks will help drive political will for ambitious action.

Sessions will include issues of science cooperation, renewable energy, strengthening emergency responses and preventing unregulated fishing in Arctic seas.

Obama said Saturday that he looked forward to meeting with Alaskans to talk about how the country can be the global leader on climate change and help a collective effort to meet the threat before it is too late.

Scientists have warned that letting global temperatures rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will bring extreme weather and rising seas that would affect populations all over the world.

The U.N. talks in Paris will run for nearly two weeks beginning Nov. 30 with a goal of crafting a plan to keep temperatures at a manageable level with specific goals laid out for each country to accomplish.  That plan, if agreed to, would go into effect in 2020.

Obama has increased his attention on the issue this year with executive actions and policy proposals.  He announced in early August plans to make power plants cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels while also boosting the amount of power they generate using renewable resources.

Carbon emissions have been a big target of efforts to contain the rise in global temperatures, which this year have been the highest on record.

Biden is still on the fence
as Mrs. Clinton loses ground

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A big question mark remains on the list of U.S. presidential hopefuls: Will Vice President Joe Biden enter the race on the Democratic side, joining former secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders? The answer could come any day now and put an end to weeks of speculation and intrigue in Washington and beyond.

Biden has an extensive political resume: vice president for nearly seven years after 36 years as a U.S. senator. Plain-spoken and long-winded, Joe Biden is no stranger to the campaign trail.

“We will not go back to the 50s in social policy, to the Cold War in our foreign policy, or to the policies of the last administration in our economic policy,” Biden said.

But Biden isn’t saying whether he will mount his third campaign for president. The possibility seemed remote months ago after the death of his son, Beau, and as Hillary Clinton dominated the Democratic field. But with Mrs. Clinton now mired in controversy over her use of a private email account as secretary of State, and with Sen. Sanders drawing enthusiastic crowds, some political observers see an opening for Biden should Mrs. Clinton stumble further.

President Barack Obama is staying neutral.

“What I would say is that both Joe and Hillary are wonderful people, great friends. Joe’s been as good a vice president as I think we’ve seen in American history, been at my side in every tough decision I’ve made,” said Obama. "Hillary Clinton was one of our best secretaries of State.”

And Mrs. Clinton is choosing her words carefully, too. “I just want him to reach whatever he thinks the right decision is,” she said.

But some Republican presidential contenders are weighing in.

“I think he sees a vulnerability in Secretary Clinton," said Sen. Lindsey Graham. 'So I don’t know what Joe’s going to do, but if he’s ever wanted to run, now’s his best chance.”

Most presidential aspirants of both parties laid the groundwork for their bids a year or more ago and have already spent months on the campaign trial. Should Biden run, he would have to play catch-up in forming  and financing  a campaign.

Prepaid cards are an option
for Cubans using Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States has opened the door to better access to the Internet on the island, where only 5 percent of the population has full entry to the World Wide Web.

The new options are "a possibility that has been given to the people, to connect to the world and communicate with their friends," said Roberto Gonzalez, a wireless Internet user. "I think this is a positive development."

Gonzalez and his wife, Tania Enriquez, hope more people will connect now that the Cuban authorities have approved the use of prepaid cards to access the Web. The government-owned telecommunications company ETECSA sells a limited number of cards daily. For about $2 U.S., Cubans can buy 30 minutes in cyberspace. 

"Not everybody knows how to do this," said Michel De Armas, an Internet user. "It's a little difficult for some people. For others, it's easy."

Thirty-five wireless points have been set up across Cuba, and although the prepaid cards can be used in any cellphone, laptop or tablet, there are restrictions.

"It is time to open the doors and communicate," said Joe Arriola, Miami's former city manager. "It’s time to see how the two countries benefit.  And I think that the two countries have opportunities to benefit."

The Cuban government says that because of the U.S. embargo, Internet service is provided only by satellite. But many expect that the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the U.S. will allow tech companies to start building a more robust infrastructure. Selling prepaid cards is the first step in this new process that might soon include more transmission towers,  fiber-optic cable and iPhone sales.

Most hackers now doing it
for profit and not as a game

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sophisticated hackers are taking advantage of a regulation vacuum and a shortage of cybersecurity experts to turn stolen data into a lucrative business, with little fear of being caught.

“For $200, you can set up a business,” said Al Berman, president of New York’s Disaster Recovery Institute International.

Hackers used to flex their muscles in cyberspace just for fun. “If you look in 1997, IBM did a survey and about 85 percent of the hackers were cyber joyriders, people who just did it for the challenge of it,” he said. “When you look at it today . . . almost 80 percent of them are in the business for profit.”

By Berman’s estimates, that market is worth at least tens-of-billions of dollars,” given the sheer volume of stolen data. But Carnegie Mellon University’s Nicolas Christin, assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering, said more reliable figures place the annual global costs of online crime at around $3 to 4 billion. “It may be a bit conservative,” he said in an email, “but I believe in the right order of magnitude.”

Not all hackers make good money, said Christin. Those who do are skilled enough to identify large numbers of targets at once. Connections, skill, experience and luck all play a role in shaping the hacker’s fortune.

“Operating a botnet very successfully may allow the operators to make a couple of millions at most,” he said. “But between direct  and indirect costs, that botnet may cost orders of magnitude more to society.”

Nevertheless, once hackers learn how easy it is to sell stolen data, they are “attracted quickly to a lucrative six-figure career stealing identity, credit cards, and reselling them on the ‘dark web’ anonymously from the comfort of their own PC at home,” said cybersecurity expert Scott Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems.

Hackers can find all kinds of free resources and hacking tools on the dark web, a gritty underbelly of the Internet inaccessible to regular users, but commonly frequented by people on both sides of the law keen on hiding their identity.

“The deep web is not indexed by the normal search engines we are accustomed to using,” said Schober in an email interview. “It requires the free Tor browser software so specific URLs can be entered.”

Tor provides hackers with anonymity when they buy and sell illicit items in this underground world, home to more than 10,000 known illicit web sites whose URLs change frequently so they cannot be taken down.

While small businesses are often prime targets, Schober, author of "Hacked Again," said hackers typically look for easy targets, which are “less complicated and pose less of a chance of getting caught. So it’s usually not about the biggest score but rather, the fastest and easiest one.”

The price of stolen data depends on how recent the hack is, whether it has been discovered, the amount of available information, and supply and demand.

“If there is a sudden influx of millions of available credit cards on the black market, then the demand  is somewhat diminished,” said Schober. “Another important factor is how fresh the credit card is. A freshly acquired stolen credit card can fetch from $26-$45. In comparison, stale, older compromised credit cards may only fetch $8-$28 each.”

The anonymous nature of hacker transactions and the lack of regulations make tracking the thieves challenging, if not impossible.

There are no international laws to help authorities go after these hackers, said Berman; and “lawmakers are way behind what’s going on in the industry.”

Most hackers, according to Schober, are “groomed out of Russia, Romania, China, where it may be somewhat challenging for an individual to land a well-paid job.” And the laws are such, said Berman, that “there’s no right of extradition. And then, in a lot of places, it’s not even a crime.”

“It’s risk-versus-reward if the real risk of getting caught is very small … and the reward is so great it’s – and I hate the analogy – but it’s like being a drug dealer,” he added.

Meanwhile, hackers are getting smarter, not even touching their loot, but storing it on hacked servers in different regions so that it is even more difficult to trace. That environment has created what Berman calls the Wild, Wild West in cyberspace.

Not surprisingly, this has contributed to a booming cybersecurity job market, with much sought-after ethical hackers earning as much as $200,000 a year in some parts of the United States. But there aren’t enough of them.

According to Berman, some studies show that only 75 percent of the needed ethical hackers will be in the workforce by 2019.

To fill the gap, tech companies like Cisco are training cybersecurity personnel while colleges churn out the next batch. And more recently, Internet security firm Symantec teamed up with the National Association of Software and Services Companies to train cybersecurity personnel in India, some of whom will receive internships and placements.

U.S. said preparing sanctions
for Chinese computer hackers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States is preparing to respond to China's cyber espionage by levying sanctions against individuals and companies who have benefited from the theft of trade secrets, The Washington Post reported late Sunday.

Citing unnamed officials in President Barack Obama's administration, the Post said the U.S. has not yet decided whether to issue the sanctions, but that a decision is expected soon.

Obama signed an executive order April 1 authorizing the Treasury Department, in consultation with the attorney general and secretary of State, to freeze assets of and block transactions with anyone responsible for hacking of U.S. entities or receiving that information for financial gain.

The issue has been a focus of his administration this year, including the creation in February of a new federal agency to analyze threats to the nation's cybersecurity, and another executive order encouraging companies to share more information about hacking threats with the government and each other.

China has long been the focus of accusations of hacking against American companies and government targets.  In May, the U.S. charged five Chinese military officers with conducting economic espionage against American companies.  China rejected the allegations.

Issuing sanctions would be a different kind of response by the U.S., one that an administration official quoted by the Post said was part of a comprehensive strategy to confront such actors.  The official said those steps also include diplomatic efforts, trade policy and law enforcement, and that taken together they would show China that certain behavior will have costs to U.S.-Chinese relations.

Another official quoted in the report said imposing sanctions would both signal to China that the U.S. is going to start fighting back on economic espionage and to U.S. companies that they have the support of the government.

The possible sanctions come as Obama prepares to host Chinese President Xi Jinping for a visit and state dinner in September.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

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

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

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

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

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms.  The main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. With an additional 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Excellent construction and great details. Great Price $388,000 For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

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

Escazu condo
Builders, Investors Opportunity
Escazú, San José

Unique opportunity, 6 units 80% finished luxury condo project. Best location in Escazú. Condos have amazing views and privacy.  There is option to build 5 more units in the same complex. Project located only 5 minutes away from Multiplaza, CIMA Hospital  and Escazú's best amenities. All permits in place.

Open to partial trades and small financing. Let's negotiate!


John Ordonez Broker / Owner
Cell: (506) 8811-5329 / Office: (506) 25660138
Toll free USA & CANADA 1-877-210-3639 /
SKYPE: jhongoc
More Luxury Listings:

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

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

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

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

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

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

Goetl in Palo Seco

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $495,000. Click HERE!

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 171
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There is an alternative to evil bamboo

Bamboo is a funny little grass. Back in Georgia, we had bamboo on the property, nasty running bamboo, insidious bamboo, bamboo that came up through the driveway, invaded the property next door, and even crossed under the street to sprout in the neighbor's yard. Now I didn't
Victoria torley
 plant this bamboo, I just had to find a way to cope with it, but I am here to tell you, do not plant running bamboo!

To try to control the bamboo in our own yard, we circled it with a trench about a foot deep, no mean feat in a tangle of bamboo and tree roots. We needed saws to cut

through much of it before we could line the trench with heavy sheets of aluminum. We lined it at an angle so that any piece of bamboo putting out a root would leave the root exposed as it crept over the lining and we could cut it right away. Very, very labor intensive.

“But,” you say, “I like bamboo.” Truth is, so do I. What to do? We need to plant clumping bamboo. Clumping bamboo performs beautifully, grows as fast as other bamboos, and stays put. It doesn't run around making a mess in your yard or your neighbor's. Of course, it may occasionally need to be cut back, but I don't think of that as just hacking it down, I think of it as harvesting, because bamboo is beautiful and very useful for building and making decorative objects that last a long time – even centuries.

One of our favorite restaurants, Tinajas, is putting up a two story addition. What did they use to start the building process? Bamboo poles held things in place until concrete was added and dried. Then there are bamboo floors, bamboo curtains and room dividers, bamboo cups and place mats, baskets and plant holders. The list just goes on and on.

So what kind of clumping bamboo to plant. Do you want a bamboo tree that grows to 30+ meters (100 feet or so) or a bamboo shrub that will be happy at 3 meters (maybe 10 feet). Construction diameter or reed-like.  Do you want a golden color, black, or a variegated variety? Here's a hint – bamboo is easy to get started. Just go to your neighbor's yard and ask for a nice piece, take it home and cover it with soil, sit back and wait. It doesn't take long to sprout and, since bamboo can grow several feet in one day (a half meter), it won't take long for you to have bamboo of your own.

Or, you can head to Bamboo Costa Rica and see what you can pick up. I plan to.


Plant for the Week

What could it be but bamboo? And what kind of bamboo? I don't know because I didn't plant it. It is clumping, about 8 meters tall (26 feet) and has a diameter of about 8cm (3-4 inches). With over 1,000 kinds of bamboo out there, it takes an expert to identify it. [If you are an expert, please send me the name of this bamboo.]

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

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From Page 7:

Investors seek to understand market volatility

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Huge swings in stock prices around the world last week have investors and others wondering what happened, and trying to guess the future direction and strength of markets and the overall economy.

Monday saw New York’s Dow Jones stock index fall 1,000 points in a matter of minutes. The next day the Dow rallied more than 400 points, but fell again in the last hour of trading.  Wednesday brought a surge of more than 600 points, one of the largest gains in history. 

Performance on the Shanghai Composite Index was so volatile that a graph of its prices looks like the steepest parts of the Himalaya Mountains.

The stock price plunge and partial recovery in China followed a move to cut the value of China’s currency and a disappointing report on that nation’s industrial sector.

Many investors interpreted the data as evidence that China’s economy was slowing down more than first thought. China is the world’s second largest economy, and many years of roaring economic growth had made it a huge customer for raw materials, machinery and other goods from around the world.

Slower growth in China means less demand for iron ore, crude oil, advanced machinery and so forth. That is why worries about China’s economic growth shook investors on stock and commodity markets around the globe.

Many analysts disagree on what caused the chaos on stock markets, and how much impact it will have on the global economy.

Nick Lardy, China scholar at Peterson Institute for International Economics, said many outsiders misunderstand what is going on in China. He said the economy is evolving from a focus on industry to expanding the services sector, and economic measurements have not kept pace with these changes.

That is why important parts of the economy are not fully counted by some analysts. He said China is on track for strong expansion and job growth this year.

American Enterprise Institute economist Desmond Lachman said China is in trouble because of an unsustainable surge in government and private debt over the past six years. Lachman said major debt burdens can fuel an unsustainable bubble in prices that could collapse.