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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 172                        Email us
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Some expats may have a really big problem
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Some foreigners from the boom days are having to play a shell game today to prove ownership of properties they purchased during those times. The reason is that attorneys before Sept. 28, 2012, loved putting real estate purchases in guarantee trusts.

Most lay people have no clue what a guarantee trust is and why it was used so much in the past and why a property they purchase may be in one.

In simple terms, they were used so lenders, especially developers, could circumvent using a mortgage to sell property on credit.

The sure tale sign a property is in a guarantee trust is to look up the folio real number of a property and see if the text EN CALIDAD DE FIDUCIARIO is next to the name. If it is, it is a trust.

Trusts can be a perfect vehicle for getting deals done. They can also be a good way to insure trustworthiness. However, they can be abused and be a vehicle to hoodwink expats out of their valuable property.

A trust is called a fideicomiso in Spanish. There are five basic parts to them: 1.) trustor or fideicomitente; 2.) trustee or fiduciario; 3.) beneficiary or fideicomisario; 4.) trust property or bienes fideicometidos; and, 5.) the trust contract or contrato de fideicomiso.

The fourth item, trust property, is the thing administered by the trust.  To be valid, a trust must hold some property.  Property may be any real or personal property like stocks, real estate, even cash, to name a few examples.

In the past, before Sept. 28, 2012,  a seller and a buyer would be trustors or fideicomitentes and they would put a property in question in a trust or fideicomiso held by a trustee or fiduciario for the term of time that it would take the buyer to pay the seller.  In this case, both the seller and the buyer would be beneficiaries or fideicomisarios of the trust.  The purpose and result of the trust would be that the seller would get paid in full and the buyer would get the property free and clear of any encumbrance. This replaced a mortgage.

This structure was extremely convenient for sellers because a notary transferred assets into the special trust and registered it at the Registro Nacional.  There was no transfer tax on this kind of a transaction until laws 9068 and 9069, law for the enforcement of fiscal transparency and law for strengthening tax enforcement, made some major changes to Costa Rica’s code of commerce. Article 662 eliminated the tax exemption of property transfer taxes when transferring property between trustor and trustee. Hence the date Sept. 28, 2012.

However, there are some exceptions. Entities registered with the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras, the organization that supervises the stability of the country’s financial system, can still use trusts without paying transfer taxes on property.

This all sounds great, so how do foreigners get flimflammed?
shell game

Here is a scenario. Joe and Jane Expat bought a property in 2007, a condominium overlooking the beach, from a developer who put all the properties he built in guarantee trusts. To buy, the couple were required to form an empty company of their own to hold the property when it was paid for in full. They decided to and called it Expats in Paradise, S.A. The developer’s attorney created the company and made up a trust contract that stated, in essence, “when the condominium is paid for, it will be automatically transfered to Expats in Paradise, S.A.”

Now it is 2014, Joe and Jane paid off the condo. They try to contact the developer’s attorney to have their property transferred to them. They get no answer to their calls. After figuring they are being ignored, they start looking for the legal books of their company Expats in Paradise, S.A. so they can seek legal counsel elsewhere. Come to find out, they were never given the books to the company. They do not even have a copy of the trust.

What are the Expats to do? Who owns their property? What would their heirs have if Joe and Jane were no longer around? All good questions!

Whoever has the books of the company is the owner because it is very easy to forge signatures. It happens all the time in this country. Property fraud is rampant, and the courts are overburdened with cases. Some criminal attorneys say it is in a state of total collapse. The local media lately is full of cases where foreigners have been bamboozled out of everything they own.  It seems of late, the only cases getting any attention are the high profile ones.

Guarantee trusts in their heyday – before September 2012 – were great financing vehicles. They still work for the people who can afford them and can navigate the legal maze surrounding them. Not so much now for simple folk.

They were also abused during Costa Rica’s boom period and everyone with property in one should have it checked thoroughly.  It is very important to have a copy of the document and understand its terms.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 44-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 info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2014. Use without permission prohibited

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 172

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


Psychotherapy
 
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President briefed on lion fish in Caribbean

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


President Luis Guillermo Solís pledged support for the campaign to eliminate the lion fish when he visited Puerto Viejo de Talamanca over the weekend.

The lion fish is the invasive predator that is ravaging the Caribbean coasts.

There was no indication what type of support would be forthcoming. Both the environmental ministry and local fishermen have been seeking to control the fish for several years.

However, Casa Presidencial did urge Costa Ricans to eat more lion fish to create a market for the local fishermen. The fish is tasty and easy to spear.

Solís also told residents that he would extend a moratorium on evictions that had been instituted by president Laura Chinchilla. The properties involved are those that are built in the maritime zone. Solís also said that he would extend the moratorium on evictions to other sections of the country where residents are in a similar fix.


Flamingo coast guardsmen detained

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crew members of a Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas boat detained four men at a fishing vessel when it was within Parque Nacional Santa Rosa Thursday. The coast guard officers found a large quantity of fish and octopus.

Fishing in such an area is illegal, and the boat captain did not have up-to-date papers, said the security ministry.

The officers were supposed to destroy the bulk of the illegal catch and save just a sample for judicial procedures.

Instead, the Judicial Investigating Organization said that eight of the officers decided to share the catch and take it home.

Eight officers were detained as they left work in Flamingo Friday afternoon. Judicial agents said they received a tip.


Early Sunday rattles Pacific coast

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A seaquake estimated at 5.2 magnitude took place at 4:01 a.m. Sunday off the coast of the canton of Osa. There were two quakes that followed at 4:03 and 4:19 a.m. that were felt, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

No serious damage was reported, but coastal areas felt some shaking from the initial quake.

The cause was the subduction of the Coco tectonic plate under the Caribbean, the usual cause of such geological events in that area.


Argument ends in fatal shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Men became involved in a verbal dispute in Hone Creek on the Caribbean coast early Sunday, but the argument was terminated by gunshots.

A participant identified by the last name of Morris, died from multiple wounds, and the gunman fled, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.


Our reader's opinion
He wants hospital to be improved

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

On the 17th of  May,  2013, I was rushed to the hospital San Vincente de Paul in Heredia with chest and left arm pains. The staff was very good, and they did a great job of testing me after I asked them to please put me on the stress machine.  The doctor who tested me immediately said "Yes, you have a problem with blockages in your system which showed up on the cardiograph."

They then admitted me into the cardiac ward and said that I would be sent to the Hospital México for the operation but that I would have to wait for an appointment. A few days later, they came and told me that as soon as there was an opening I would have the procedure and there should be no problems.

Well the time came for me to be transferred to Hospital México, and I was told that due to an emergency my appointment was canceled to some other future date.  After more weeks of my stay, I was given another date and the procedure was successful.

I had 8 stents put in, and the last one was a problem, and I suffered a burst vessel and if it had not been for the quick work of the doctors I would have died on that operating room table.

The doctors called me the Miracle Man. Now I have to say that everybody involved were great people and did their very best to look after me.

Now the reason for my letter is why a first grade hospital like San Vincente de Paul does not have the room or the machines to do this very delicate heart surgery.  

Can something be done about this very serious situation? The facility at the Hospital México is taxed to the hilt. They are set up to do 7 to 10 of these operations a day but in actual fact they do 20 to 30 a day. This could be too much for these competent doctors.

What can we do to have this situation changed? Can we find the funds to pay for and build the rooms and have the machinery and staff to resolve this? Is there somebody out there that can help us with funding?   If so, then please let us know.

Albert Nobert

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
AIM
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 172
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The month of September is dedicated to celebrating independence
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The flags and banners are going up to celebrate September as patriotic month. This is an annual designation because the month contains the Día de la Independencia, which is a legal holiday and is Sept. 15.

Nearly every public building and many private ones have been decked out to commemorate the month.

To kick off the month, President Luis Guillermo Solis, other officials and children from the Escuela Betania and the Liceo Anastasio Alfaro were to be at the Bandera traffic circle in Montes de Oca at 9 a.m. today for a ceremony. A new Costa Rican flag will be run up the pole and those attending will sing the national anthem, said an announcement from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

This also is the month when high school students and others carry the torch of independence along the same route that the news that Costa Rica no longer was part of the Spanish empire traveled.

The so-called Carrera de la Antorcha de la Independencia is a tradition now, but it is not an old one. The route of the torch dates just from the mid-1960s when educators from all over Central America created the idea.

The torch starts in Guatemala, the seat of the Capitanía General de Guatemala where independence was declared in 1821.

Some 193 years ago, the news was contained in a letter that arrived in Cartago Oct. 13. The letter was dated Sept. 17 and reflected the decision by the council in Guatemala City to declare independence. The letter began "The day 15 of the current year came into effect in this city a glorious independence." Council members signed the document.

The letter and two other documents outlining subsequent political actions are treasures in the Archivo Nacional. Copies are HERE!.

The second document is a manifesto that says Guatemala is joining in with other places in New Spain to assert its independence. The third document gives a six-point list to Costa Ricans and asks them to select representatives for a congress to convene in Guatemala City.

Because the letters arrived at night, the tradition is that Cartago citizens read them by lantern light, which is why lanterns or faroles are part of the independence celebration today.  School children make their own each year.

The effort for a unified Central America failed. In fact, the idea was a highly controversial one that led to executions and other strong responses over the following years.

Carrying the torch a kilometer or so each year may sound a bit 
independence
The original letter from Guatemala City.

hooky in these days of the Internet, but hardly any Costa Rican thinks so. Many cherish the memory of the time they carried the torch of liberty a short distance along with their classmates.

The torch bearers need not be children. Fire fighters, Cruz Roja members and police officers participate. The original torch goes to Cartago for an official celebration, but torches lighted from the original or even lighted from third-hand torches go by various routes to nearly the entire country.

Each community hosts a celebration when the torch arrives. A big event is at Parque Central in San José where an Olympic-style cauldron awaits the torch. The torch arrives exactly at 6 p.m. on its way to Cartago.

That also is the time when Costa Ricans gather in public to sign the national anthem. Even waiters in restaurants and others at work stop to sign.


Government lengthens term of consular visa for Nicaraguans to 90 days
By the A.M. Cost Rica staff

The government has increased the length of a consular visa for Nicaraguans from 30 days to 90 days.

The change is effective next Monday, according to a message Friday from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería to the  Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

The reason for the change was not explained in detail except that the message said the increase in the length of the legal stay was a result of weeks of discussion among officials.

The action is seen as a friendly overture to Nicaraguans. The action also reduced the workload of Costa Rican officials in Nicaragua. The action has to be seen also as an effort in parallel with a $100 fine for overstaying a visa for a month. The Nicaraguans were primary targets of such fines.
Oct. 1 is the first day that a fine will be collected. Clearly the government was thinking of thousands of Nicaraguans who had to return home to obtain another visa.

The Nicaraguan workforce is vital to the economy. They are the bulk of domestic and construction workers.

Since last Dec. 11 through the end of last week the consulate in Managua has issued 130,651 visas, immigration reported. In addition, some 32,000 visas were issued in Chinandega and 10,000 more to Nicaraguans in Panamá, the agency said.

The agency said that the new rule would save Nicaraguans here significant amounts of money because they would not have to return home every 30 days to renew their visas. Nicaraguans send home from Costa Rica about  $282 million to families at home each year. The immigration agency said that these funds contribute to the social peace in Nicaragua.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 172
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Volunteering seems to give a health boost to seniors, new study says
By the Baycrest Health Sciences news staff

Older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling – they are receiving a health boost! 

A new study, led by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences and published online in Psychological Bulletin, is the first to take a broad-brush look at all the available peer-reviewed evidence regarding the psychosocial health benefits of formal volunteering for older adults.

Lead investigator Nicole Anderson, together with scientists from Canadian and American academic centers, examined 73 studies published over the last 45 years involving adults aged 50-plus who were in formal volunteering roles.

To be included in the review, studies had to measure psychosocial, physical and/or cognitive outcomes associated with formal volunteering – such as happiness, physical health, depression, cognitive functioning, feelings of social support and life satisfaction.

“Our goal was to obtain a more comprehensive view of the current state of knowledge on the benefits of volunteering among older adults,” said Professor Anderson, a senior scientist with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and associate professor, University of Toronto. “We discovered a number of trends in the results that paint a compelling picture of volunteering as an important lifestyle component for maintaining health and well being in later years.”

Among the key findings:

    * Volunteering is associated with reductions in symptoms of depression, better overall health, fewer functional limitations, and greater longevity.

    * Health benefits may depend on a moderate level of volunteering. There appears to be a tipping point after which greater benefits no
longer accrue. The sweet spot appears to be at about 100 annual hours, or 2 to 3 hours per week.

    * More vulnerable seniors (i.e. those with chronic health conditions) may benefit the most from volunteering.

    * Feeling appreciated or needed as a volunteer appears to amplify the relationship between volunteering and psychosocial well being.

“Taken together, these results suggest that volunteering is associated with health improvements and increased physical activity – changes that one would expect to offer protection against a variety of health conditions,” said Professor Anderson. Indeed, a moderate amount of volunteering has been shown to be related to less hypertension and fewer hip fractures among seniors who volunteer compared to their matched non-volunteering peers.

One troubling finding for the research team was that very few studies have examined the benefits of volunteering on cognitive functioning in older adults. The report noted that not a single study has examined the association between volunteering and risk of dementia, or the association between volunteering and a host of other health conditions that put seniors at higher risk for dementia, such as diabetes and stroke.

With dementia prevalence projected to double over 20 years, from over 30 million people worldwide today to more than 65 million people in 2030, Professor Anderson called it a startling omission that the field of neuroscience research has yet to investigate the capacity of volunteering to mitigate dementia risk or delay onset.

“We encourage investigators to include more objective measures of cognitive functioning in future studies. Particularly interesting would be the inclusion of a more comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests, so that the association of volunteering with the risks of various forms of dementia and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment, could be ascertained,” the report concluded.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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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
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
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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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8390-10/2/14

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

HERE!

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)

oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, elecricity and Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.
laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8449-9/4/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8441-2/17/15

eredia home
Beautiful house for rent in Heredia
On a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden and on bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms, plus extra room for office.  Security, electric gate,  Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $500 monthly.  Call Leda (506) 2267-6306   Email bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8442-9/8/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8423-9/15/14

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.
Contact:  HPCattleCR@aol.com
8425-8/17/14

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8431-10/4/14

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8431-7/30/14




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cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 172
Sports
Calendar
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

Rally for illegal immigrants
calls on Obama to act alone


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Illegal mothers literally stood up for their rights in New York, calling on President Barack Obama to keep his promise for executive action on immigration reform.

At New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform, an informal town hall at the Baruch College campus on Tuesday, the women said they want the president to use his executive authority to enact reforms without Congress — as he vowed in a late-August speech — and unilaterally end deportations and allow illegal immigrants to work legally by the end of the summer.

Legislation to reform immigration procedures has been tied up in Congress and some conservative House Republicans have threatened to withhold funding to the U.S. government if the president seeks administrative relief for immigrants unilaterally.

“President Obama ... came out on June 30, he said if Congress cannot act, if they continue to allow such a broken system that does more harm than good, then he will act," said Betsy Plum of the New York Immigration Coalition. "And that is completely within his executive power.”

Last week's town hall, which brought together immigration activists, illegal immigrants and politicians to call for a pathway to citizenship, was mobilized largely via social media. The hashtag #Allin4Relief is used by the activists to gather support online for administrative action.

But President Obama has said his executive powers will have limits.

“Even with aggressive steps on my part, administrative action alone will not adequately address the problem," he said in a recent speech. "The reforms that will do the most to strengthen our businesses and workers and our entire economy will still require an act of Congress.”

Congressional action, says Project 21’s Horace Cooper, is the only way to solve the current immigration dilemma.

"The right answer is for the White House and Congress to come together and work collaboratively to develop a solution to the issues involving immigration," she said. "Whether those are minor or whether those are significant, that is the process the Founders intended. That’s what the American people expect and that’s the normal way to proceed and it will minimize the likelihood of significant political blowback, litigation or other kinds of concerns."

The town hall's co-host, Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York, rallied the crowd to keep fighting for more substantive and broader reform.

“I want you to remember that administrative relief is only the beginning. It is not the end. We will not stop fighting until every undocumented immigrant in this country has a pathway to citizenship and they become voting citizens," she announced to cheering supporters.

The event closed on a celebratory note, with many hopeful that the president would soon enact policies to protect undocumented immigrant families despite staunch resistance from conservatives.


Federal judge gives order
to block anti-abortion law

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal judge has blocked restrictions that would have banned abortions at most facilities in the southwestern state of Texas.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled against a law Friday that would have required abortion facilities in Texas to meet hospital-level operating standards. The law, scheduled to take effect Monday, would have closed more than a dozen clinics. The state now has 19 abortion providers, the law’s challengers say.

"The overall effect of the provisions is to create an impermissible obstacle as applied to all women seeking a pre-viability abortion,'' Yeakel wrote in his 21-page ruling.

Supporters of the law vowed to appeal the decision, saying the measure would protect women's health.  

Critics said the law was unnecessary and would have resulted in nearly a million Texas women having to drive more than three hours to get an abortion.

The law was part of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry last year that has already shuttered most of the abortion clinics in the state.

Abortion remains a highly charged issue in the United States after a woman's constitutional right to the procedure was defined in a landmark 1973 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Apple expected to display
something new and creative


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The rumors continue to swirl about Apple's upcoming iPhone6.

The world's third-largest mobile phone maker is hosting a product launch in Cupertino, California, Sept. 9. Apple has teased the buying public in its event invitations by claiming, "Wish we could say more."

Online technology Web sites are convinced that Apple may reveal a new generation iPhone with a bigger screen. Apple watchers say the existing 10-centimeter display will be widened to nearly 12 centimeters.

The sites also talk about the possibility of an iWatch, a smartwatch that could help monitor people's health and control Internet-connected appliances and electronics in the home. If the technology sites prove true, the release would be the company's first new product launch since the iPad in 2010.

Apple has since redesigned and added features to its iPhones, iPads, iPods and the Mac since the release of the iPad. Those moves have raised concerns among investors that the company has lacked new ideas since the October 2011 death of chief visionary Steve Jobs.


Possible ebola case found
in traveler in Stockholm


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Swedish medical authorities are investigating a possible case of ebola at a hospital in Stockholm.

Media reports say a man who recently traveled to a risk area for the virus is suffering from a fever and is being treated in an isolation unit.

They released no other details about the case.

Last week, Senegal became the fifth country linked to the ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed more than 1,500 people this year, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization has warned that the 6-month-old outbreak is escalating, with 40 percent of the cases occurring within the last month.


painting  with wine
Voice of America photo
Painting students show their creations.

Painting with wine franchise
creates jobs and wins praise

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two New Orleans-area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath.  Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. 

It is the grand opening of the latest franchise studio of Painting with a Twist.  Co-founders, Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney flew in to Ashburn, Virginia, for the event. 

“We thought we’d just have one studio in our home town in Mandeville, Louisiana. And it has now grown to 173 franchises and grown in 26 states," said Ms. Deano.

The stay-at-home mothers first met at their children’s kindergarten class seven years ago.

“We were looking for a way to bring some color back to our community.  From New Orleans area we were still reeling from Hurricane Katrina.  We came up with this idea of speed painting classes. And it was a lot of fun. People loved it. So we decided to start up a little business," said Ms. Deano.

Their studio provides art supplies, paint, canvas, brushes, and art instructors.  Paring that with wine or beer is optional.

“The beauty of this is you don’t have to be an artist.  You can come and know nothing about painting.  There is an artist who teaches you how to paint a painting in two to three hours.  That is a twist," said Ms. Maloney.

Their first class in 2007 had only seven people. But it grew steadily and two years later the entrepreneurs decided to franchise their business.

“Our frequent painters, customers, were asking us for these studios in their towns.  They think we should franchise. Our first three franchises came out of customers," said Ms. Maloney.

Today there are about 200 companies offering so-called paint and sip parties, and Entrepreneur magazine named Painting with a Twist the top franchise in the industry this year.

“I think that what makes a business separate from being just a regular business to be a very successful business is the passion behind it.  If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life," commented Ms. Maloney.

As Painting with a Twist expands, the entrepreneurs are proud that they are creating jobs.

“We are the largest employer of artists in the United States outside the school system.  At this point, we have close to a thousand artists working in our franchises," said Ms. Deano.

Ms. Maloney says giving back to the community remains a core component of their business model.

“Once a month, every studio in our system will team with a non-profit in their area. Today we’ve raised over a million dollars giving back to non-profits across the country.  That probably is one of the things we are most proud of," she said.

Ms. Maloney and Ms. Deano expect to add 50 new locations across the nation by the end of the year. And they are working on opening up internationally soon.


Scientists grow new organ
that functions inside mouse


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Reprogramming cells to grow functional replacement human organs may be only a decade away.

Scientists in Scotland report they have grown a completely new, functioning organ called a thymus inside a living mouse.

The thymus is located next to the heart and serves as a command center for the immune system. People born without it suffer from immune system disorders.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Regenerative Medicine took connective tissue cells called fibroblasts from a mouse embryo, manipulated one of their genes and combined them with cells taken from another animal’s healthy thymus.

When transplanted into a mouse with its original thymus removed, the cell mixture grew into a fully functioning replacement organ.

This is the first time that scientists have grown a completely usable organ from cells taken from another living organism. Previous efforts using so-called stem cells have produced parts of organs, but never a fully functioning one.

Researchers say experiments with growing a human replacement thymus could start within a decade.


boundary grahic
University of California at Santa Barbara graphic
The solid line defines the current known limits of the Younger Dryas Boundary field of cosmic-impact proxies, spanning 50 million square kilometers.

Comet blamed for demise
of Pleistocene megafauna

By the University of California at Santa Barbara
news staff


Most of North America’s megafauna, mastodons, short-faced bears, giant ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and American camels and horses, disappeared close to 13,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene period. The cause of this massive extinction has long been debated by scientists who, until recently, could only speculate as to why.

A group of scientists, including University of California at Santa Barbara’s James Kennett, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth Science, posited that a comet collision with Earth played a major role in the extinction. Their hypothesis suggests that a cosmic-impact event precipitated the Younger Dryas period of global cooling close to 12,800 years ago. This cosmic impact caused abrupt environmental stress and degradation that contributed to the extinction of most large animal species then inhabiting the Americas. According to Kennett, the catastrophic impact and the subsequent climate change also led to the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture, known for its big game hunting, and to human population decline.

In a new study published this week in the Journal of Geology, Kennett and an international group of scientists have focused on the character and distribution of nanodiamonds, one type of material produced during such an extraterrestrial collision. The researchers found an abundance of these tiny diamonds distributed over 50 million square kilometers across the Northern Hemisphere at the Younger Dryas boundary. This thin, carbon-rich layer is often visible as a thin black line a few meters below the surface.

Kennett and investigators from 21 universities in six countries investigated nanodiamonds at 32 sites in 11 countries across North America, Europe and the Middle East.

“We conclusively have identified a thin layer over three continents, particularly in North America and Western Europe, that contain a rich assemblage of nanodiamonds, the production of which can be explained only by cosmic impact,” Kennett said. “We have also found YDB glassy and metallic materials formed at temperatures in excess of 2,200 degrees Celsius, which could not have resulted from wildfires, volcanism or meteoritic flux, but only from cosmic impact.”

The team found that the Younger Dryas boundary layer also contained larger than normal amounts of cosmic impact spherules, high-temperature melt-glass, grapelike soot clusters, charcoal, carbon spherules, osmium, platinum and other materials. But in this paper the researchers focused their multi-analytical approach exclusively on nanodiamonds, which were found in several forms, including cubic, the form of diamonds used in jewelry, and hexagonal crystals.

“Different types of diamonds are found in the YDB assemblages because they are produced as a result of large variations in temperature, pressure and oxygen levels associated with the chaos of an impact,” Kennett explained. “These are exotic conditions that came together to produce the diamonds from terrestrial carbon. The diamonds did not arrive with the incoming meteorite or comet.”

Based on multiple analytical procedures, the researchers determined that the majority of the materials in the Younger Dryas boundary samples are nanodiamonds and not some other kinds of minerals. The analysis showed that the nanodiamonds consistently occur in the Younger Dryas boundary layer over broad areas.

“There is no known limit to the YDB strewn field which currently covers more than 10 percent of the planet, indicating that the YDB event was a major cosmic impact,” Kennett said. “The nanodiamond datum recognized in this study gives scientists a snapshot of a moment in time called an isochron.”

To date, scientists know of only two layers in which more than one identification of nanodiamonds has been found: the Younger Dryas boundary 12,800 years ago and the well-known Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary 65 million years ago, which is marked by the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, ammonites and many other groups.

“The evidence we present settles the debate about the existence of abundant YDB nanodiamonds,” Kennett said. “Our hypothesis challenges some existing paradigms within several disciplines, including impact dynamics, archaeology, paleontology and paleoceanography/paleoclimatology, all affected by this relatively recent cosmic impact.”


Rescuers save gold miners
at collapsed Nicaraguan site


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rescuers in Nicaragua have freed 20 workers from a collapsed gold mine as the search continues for five more.

A wall of mud and rocks trapped the miners at the El Comal site in the town of Bonanza, 420 kilometers northeast of Managua, late Thursday.

Julio Quintero, head of Nicaraguan mining firm Hemco, said the company closed the El Comal mine about four years ago after it was deemed unsafe. The trapped miners allegedly were working at the site without permission.

Government news site El 19 Digital reported in July 2013 that two workers had died when a mine operated by Hemco collapsed in the same area.

As rescued miner Marvin Urbina was carried from the El Comal site on a stretcher, he described praying all night to be found.

"I've been praying since yesterday," he said. "Last night, I didn't sleep and I made God a promise if I came out alive. I think that will be my fate from here on out: serve God because He gave us another opportunity."
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8451-12/13/14

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8366-12/2/14

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

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8448-2/21/15




Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com


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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
 
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8446-11/14/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


rollover
Beautiful home and separate apartment
The land is 289 square meters with  329 square meters of construction. Three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 2 floors, covered parking, with room for  a second parking space. A first floor patio and a second floor balcony with view. Attached apartment rented for $500 per month. Live free. House valued, @ $330,000. asking price with agents is $295,000. With no agent, asking $280,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead, burgbord@aol.com, 8820-1501/8379-7947
8462-9/25/14

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.
 Contact: marinakuperman@gmail.com
8459-9/20/14

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8458-3/2/15

mansion
New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Superb mountain views and privacy. 3.3-acre property on top of mountain. 15 minutes from local shopping. One hour from all San José has to offer. Two hours from the beaches and attractions at Quepos. Balconies for each bedroom, two large decks with stunning mountain views, octagonal gazebo, extensive rock walls and landscaping. Surrounded by trees. New home never lived in. Very quiet mountain location in exclusive coffee farm area. Two-story open dining and living room with guest bath. Spiral staircase leads to common area for parties, etc. Has room with bar and another spiral staircase leads to the skydeck. This is a balcony high up above the house that has extensive mountain views. All ceilings are wood accented with large beams. Balconies are tile and the decks are stained teak. Decks have balustrades. The second floor balcony and common area have custom wrought iron. All services available from satellite Sky TV, to high-speed Internet. All block and steel construction. Many hiking trails and rainforest zone a few miles away. If nature, quiet life and privacy is your thing, this could be for you. Juan Santamaria SJO Airport 1 hour 15 minutes away. $470,000. Picture gallery emailed on request to serious inquiries. Contact Jim Alfaro, jimalfaro@gmail.com   Cell 8714-8274.
8457-9/18/14

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.
8438-8/313/14


NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
TURNKEY

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8422-9/15/14

Finca
A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special price: $200,000 for a quick sale.. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write lindafinca@hotmail.com.
8420-8/11/14


ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

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.
8406-8/2/14

Castillo
Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info
mail@davidcollier.net   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)
8382-7/5/14

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

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

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

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

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 172
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Keep rover away from these plants

The Arenal area is fortunate to have a number of people involved in pet rescue and one of them keeps asking, “why not a column on plants that are bad for pets”?

Why not, indeed.  So here it is Doris, and dedicated to you, Gloria, and Judy.*

There are some plants we grew in the States that you may be familiar with. Poinsettia, oleander, and dumb cane (dieffenbachia) are three good examples,
Torley header
but here is one you may not know about, the euphorbia tirucalli, commonly called the pencil plant or pencil tree.  Although it is an interesting succulent that can get quite large in our climate, the sticky white sap of this plant is a skin and eye irritant that can cause temporary blindness.  Just bumping into the plant can cause the pencil-like leaves to break and contact the skin or eyes.  If a pet chews a leaf, blisters and pain
follow while an allergic reaction can cause death.  I have it on my what-not-to-plant list.
 
Cashew nut trees, although easy to grow and with fragrant flowers, can pose a hazard to pets, particularly puppies who like to put everything in their mouths.  The shell on the nut produces a caustic fluid that will cause burns (I have the marks on my arm to prove it).  Keep pets and small children away from the cashew tree!  Interestingly, toucans can eat the nuts with no problems.

Fruit of the bactris gasipaes, also called the beach palm and known in Costa Rica as the pejibaye, is highly toxic for dogs and can cause severe pancreatitis.  Again, inquisitive puppies need to be kept safe from this palm.

Ever make guacamole?  Fine for us, but avocados are toxic to both dogs and parrots, so be careful what you offer your pet and keep the skins and seeds away from animals.  

Macadamia nuts are a tasty treat, but also toxic to dogs, although parrots seem to love them.

*Doris can be reached through “Homeless and Helpless” on Facebook.  H&H rescues, neuters, and places homeless pets.  

Gloria can be reached at gdemzool@yahoo.com. She does rescue and runs low-cost spay and neuter clinics in the Arenal area.  Her books are:  "How to Keep your pet Safe, Healthy and Happy in Costa Rica" and "How to Recognize Venomous Snakes of Costa Rica."

Judy runs G-Paws, a non-profit agency that provides low cost spay/neuter clinics in the Tilarán area.


Plant of the Day

The pachystachys lutea, or shrimp plant, is a lovely shrub that blooms constantly here in Costa Rica.  Plant it in partial shade and you won’t have long to wait before the humming birds find it.  Mine is yellow, but there are varieties in red and pink.  Some shrubs reach a height of 2 meters (7 feet) and can be about as wide.  So far, no leaf cutter ant action.
shrimp plant
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

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



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