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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 173                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco

Hiring uncovered workers is asking for a nightmare
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

There is a popular adage in Costa Rica, Pide perdón, no permiso.  Doing this can get an expat snagged into a big, expensive problem.

The saying means "ask forgiveness, not permission." It is a strategy used by Ticos and expats alike to get things done without going through the normal red tape.   The scheme is also used to avoid traffic fines, building permits, payments, and the list is long. 

The idea behind the concept is that if one asks permission to do something, the consequences are usually much more complex and expensive than just apologizing for doing it or a paying a fine.  This practice is not recommended or condoned, and it should never be used when dealing with the legal insurance requirements for employees or workers.

Far too many expats are playing with fire when managing their household staffs and contract workers trying to save money.  Some even play games with their laborers in their business.

The law in Costa Rica is very clear.  Every worker in this country is required to have two insurance policies: A health policy with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social commonly known as the Caja, and the riesgos de trabajo,   "workers’compensation," policy with the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, known as INS.

Employers must carry these polices for their workers. Independents must buy individual policies to cover themselves.  Many expats do not understand these facts or choose to ignore them.

The Caja provides medical insurance for wellness issues, not work-related accidents or health problems attributed to working conditions.  If a worker gets hurt or sick on the job they go to the Instituto Nacional de Seguros facilities and not the Caja. That is why there are two distinct insurance programs.

It is illegal not to cover employees with both insurances, and it is illegal not to cover oneself if working as an independent contractor.

The reality is that many — if not most — independent blue-collar workers do not cover themselves with workers’ compensation insurance.  Moreover, in many cases, the contractors of such workers know they are not covered, increasing their liability in an accident.

The top labor court of the country, the Sala II, and the constitutional court, the Sala IV, have ordered contractors to pay medical expenses, even lifetime allowances, to hurt workers when they are not individually covered.

One insurance agent interviewed went as far as to say some workers choose where to have their accident because they do not want to have it in a place where their contractor or employer cannot pay. They hope for full disability and a lifetime of payoffs.

This is what happens when a worker gets hurt on the job of a homeowner:  Juan cuts off a big toe while doing gardening.  He is independent, using his own equipment.  He goes to the Caja. They ask him, “How did you cut off your big toe"” He states “Gardening for the people who own Villa 123.”

If he is bleeding to death, Caja physicians give him medical treatment and send a big bill to INS. 

INS workers do not like getting bills from the Caja. When they cannot use their hospitals, they send claimants to private facilities because they get better services for a reasonable price.  Juan is not bleeding to death, so the Caja sends him to INS.  The person interviewing him asks the same questions and gets the same answers.  He or she checks on a computer to see if Juan is covered. When the data shows he is not, Juan is sent to the verificación de derechos  office for verification of his rights, and an inspector is assigned before the injured worker gets medical attention.

A Sala IV ruling requires Juan to get treatment before he bleeds to death, but the inspector makes up the case first, if he can.  Where is INS going to

get their money?  From Juan?  He has nothing but his weed eater.  INS goes after anyone it can who may be responsible, including the homeowner. In those cases that have gone all the way to the labor or constitutional court, homeowners usually lose miserably.  Liability can extend to homeowners associations and administrators of gated communities in some cases.

When hiring people as employees, expats should not adhere to the old adage but provide health insurance and workers’ compensation to them as required by law.  Costa Ricans who are retired and are covered by the Caja because they have a pension are not exempt.  They need to be covered just like any other worker.  Some do not want to be covered because they feel it will reduce their pensions. They want to be paid under the table. This in never a good practice.

One example is a retired postal worker who did not want to be covered for this very reason.  He ran  errands for an expat. When he decided to quit, he threatened to turn his patrón over to the authorities for not paying his insurances as required by law.  He received a four-figure dollar payoff to avoid the scenario.

To adhere to the law, when hiring someone as an independent contractor, for example a gardener, a homeowner should ask to the riesgos de trabajo policy payment receipt.  In many parts of the country, this just is not practical, so there is another solution.

Randall Contreras of PRICOSE insurance agency said in an interview Friday that INS offers two basic types of homeowner policies: Hogar Seguro 2000 and Hogar Comprensivo.  He stated that in his opinion the Hogar Seguro 2000 is outdated and does not provided the coverage needed for homeowners today.  He said people still buy it because it is easy to obtain and meets the minimum requirements for banks when borrowing money for a home loan.  The policy, among other deficiencies, does not provide any type of workers’ insurance. 

Hogar Comprensivo is a better policy, and it does provide insurance for one domestic worker and two outside contractor types, like gardeners and maintenance people, he said.  The policy can also be adjusted for more liability coverage. 

Hogar Comprensivo is also a replacement value policy for covered assets with a low deductible while Hogar Seguro uses some weird calculation formula to determine loss, and it rarely benefits the insured.

Buying homeowners insurance with riesgo de trabajo does not exempt independent workers from having their own private coverage or an employer or contractor requiring same.  It could help an expat to  cover a work-related accident or avoiding a hook in a dishonest claim.

Garland M. Baker is a 42-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the 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 complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2004-2013, use without permission prohibited.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 173

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


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Real estate agents and services

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A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
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Legal services


Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
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Visit the website at:
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Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

dead fish
A.M. Costa Rica composite photo/Kenneth Keyser    
Dead fish like this can be seen on the beach

Fish deaths in central Pacific
blamed on shrimp trawler

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dead fish are littering the beach at Playa Matapalo, and the chief suspect is a shrimp trawler that was working offshore.

Resident Kenneth Keyser reported the damage and provided photos. He said that the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas had been called but that officers arrived in a truck and not a boat.

The use of drag nets by shrimp trawler boats results in the catching of a lot of sea creature that are then discarded. That is the likely reason for the killing of the fish.

The damage is so bad that the Sala IV constitutional court Aug. 7 ordered a halt to the practice. The court did not order an immediate halt. It told the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura not to renew permits for this type of fishing and not to activate any inactive permits. Those fishing operations that have active permits can continue using their same equipment under close official supervision until the permit expires, said the court.

Meanwhile there is a movement in the legislature to pass a bill that nullifies the court ruling.

Government officials in the fishing institute has said that the court decision would cause shrimpers to go bankrupt.

Environmentalists generally oppose the use of drag nets, which are damaging to coral, too. There also is a movement to boycott shrimp as a food due to the environmental damage.

More complaints registered
over detained physicians

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Prosecutors say there were 10 cases in which physicians faked diseases to generate payment from patients.

More details on the case emerged Friday. The pair, a man and a woman, were detained Thursday.

The Poder Judicial said that the man, identified by the last name of  Baltodano was a radiologist. He is accused of doctoring the radiological photographs to show that the patients had serious illnesses.

The physician urged the patients to visit a private clinic run by the second doctor, identified by the last name of  Monestel, prosecutors allege.

Ms. Monestel is accused of treating the patients with natural medicines and accepting payments for each visit.

Prosecutors said that three more complains about the pair arrived Friday as a result of publication of the case. They said they would ask a judge to keep the pair from practicing medicine until the case is decided.

Jehovah’s Witnesses invites
English speakers to convention

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Jehovah’s Witnesses  has issued a general invitation for English speakers to attend the district convention starting Sept, 20 in  Asuncion de Belén.

The program will answer the following questions:  What is the truth?  Where to find truth?  How can truth benefit you and your family?  Two live stage plays will highlight the lessons that can be learned from Bible accounts, the organization said.
Starting this weekend, the 14 English congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses located throughout Costa Rica,will make a special effort to deliver an invitation to all English-speaking persons in the country.  All are invited for the three days.
The convention starts on Friday, Sept. 20,  at 9:20 a.m.  Each day has its own biblical theme:  “The Truth Will Set You Free,” “I Shall Walk in Your Truth” and “Firmly Set in the Truth,” said the organization in a release.

The talks will be based on biblical texts and they will follow the convention theme, “The word of God is truth,” taken from John 17:17, said the organization, adding that admission is free. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses estimates that 600 English speaking people will attend this convention at the Central Valley Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The hall is  behind the Lizano factory.

More information is available from Joseph Piccolo at or by telephone:  4034-5639. Information also is available at the convention Web site.

Similar conventions will be held in Spanish on 13 occasions in six different cities, including one in sign language, said the organization.

Investigator faces theft charge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A judicial investigators has been detained on allegations that he was stealing from his work companions, the Judicial Investigating Organization said. The agent was assigned to the division of robberies and thefts.

The case involves money and other items of value missing from desks and other locations in the office over a period of months, the agency said.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 173
Real Estate
About us

A float full of beauties demonstrates the elaborate costumes that typified the Limón parade.
float of pretty women
A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss

Saturday was a special day for everyone who lives in Limón
By Connie Foss
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Saturday morning the streets of Limón were clean and chairs were lined up on the sidewalks in preparation for the parade, which departed from Parque Vargas sometime after 1 p.m.

The elaborate float put forth by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo contained young Limón residents  complete with hard hats. Costumed marchers from the refinery union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros, Químicos y Afines, spent the time handing out colorful brochures with the message, "Si a la refineria."

A proposed new refinery nearby has run into contractual roadblocks.

It was a beautiful day with a fresh breeze to blow away the usual humidity. The atmosphere was warm as old friends and neighbors met and embraced. This was a special day for everyone who lives in Limón, but even tourists and visitors shared the excitement of celebrating the AfroCaribbean culture. Parents fussed over gorgeously dressed children. Women worried over unfamiliar African headdresses. The men were in style, too, with everything from the popular bright yellow tunic to a white, priestly-looking head dress and matching silk suit. This was the day to show off.

On the main boulevard, onlookers and participants mingled in colorful costumes and fancy dresses. Until it officially
A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss
Beauty contest participants sport every color possible.

began, there was no way of telling who was going to be in   the parade and who was going to stand back on the sidewalks and let the marchers go by. The town center was packed as calypso music blared from several floats. One float carried a local calypso band playing live music. Several local churches had colorful floats with spiritual themes.

On one float a heavily robed man portrayed Jesus while his companions waved bright flags.

The Caribbean at dusk was the backdrop for the parade and these drummers n Puerto Viejo.

A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss

The emphasis in Puerto Viejo was heritage and family values
By Connie Foss
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The he Día de la Persona Negra y la Cultura Costarricense was celebrated all over Costa Rica, but Informate Caribe, a group of residents and business owners in Puerto Viejo, wanted a spectacular demonstration of community solidarity in presenting the village as a place rich in cultural heritage and family values.

There was a parade featuring school children dressed up in AfroCaribbean costumes, school bands, and town matriarchs strolling in dignified style. The whole town turned out to watch. The main street was jammed with  residents as well as tourists and a crowd of weekend visitors who came from San José.

Celebrity visitors were Danny Glover, Afre Woodard and Delroy Lindo, who said they were delighted to have the opportunity to spend the weekend in Puerto Viejo. The Hollywood entourage was regaled by their hosts at Koki Beach Restaurant, which adjoins the Jardin de la disapora where the events were held.

Both films slated for the festival were substituted at the last minute due to technical difficulties. However, the films that were shown were powerful portrayals of Afro-American culture and issues. "Holiday Heart," featuring Ms. Woodard, was a family-friendly story addressing the heartbreaking issue of fragmented families due to drug addiction. 

The film Glover chose to share was a documentary exposing the American war on drugs that has marginalized Afro-American families. Glover drew chuckles when he mispronounced the name of the town as Puerto  Viaje.

Although both films were about culture in the United States, the audience was spellbound. Children watched from rugs near the front of the stage while adults sat in chairs  or stood in the back of the garden. Saturday night it was standing room only as a crowd gathered on the street to watch the film.

The music had begun Friday night with the Rumberitos, a
hollywood peopele
A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss
Danny Glover and Afre Woodard with her husband Roderick Spencer

Puerto Viejo Parade
A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss
Youngsters dominate the parade in Puerto Viejo

group of Puerto Viejo students. The Cahuita Gospel Choirperformed Saturday evening.

The event organizers honored the matriarchs and founding fathers of the beach villages of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo.

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 173
Real Estate
About us

Workers hurry at new bridge
as rush hour approaches

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Road workers got a second bailey bridge into place on the site of the washout on the Circunvalación.

Although the road has been reduced to one lane to give workmen space to do their job, officials were hopeful that more lanes could be open for today's rush hour. The second bridge spans the growing chasm that is being eroded  away.

The work that needed to be done later Sunday was to install asphalt ramps to the temporary steel bridges. A lot depended on the weather, and there was some afternoon rain. Workmen were on the job overnight.

Eventually the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad will have to excavate the entire four-lane roadway to install a new drainage structure to replace the one that failed.
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
First bridge spans the washout between Hatillo and Pavas on Circunvalación

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Geroge's view
An evening View
from George’s Puriscal home
Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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Howard Spanish cover


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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
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)
COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

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

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact or 8308-7732.

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542,

1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at for more details. Thank you.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 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
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 173
Real Estate
About us

birds of the amazon

Photo by Fabio Schunck

Zimmerius chicomendesi
Photo by Fabio Schunck

Myrmotherula oreni     
Photo by Lars Petersson          

15 new tropical bird species
discovered in Amazonia

By the Louisiana State University news staff

An international team of researchers coordinated by ornithologist Bret Whitney has published 15 species of birds previously unknown to science. The formal description of these birds has been printed in a special volume of the “Handbook of the Birds of the World” series. Not since 1871 have so many new species of birds been introduced under a single cover. Whitney is with the  Museum of Natural Science at  Louisiana State University,

Authors also include ornithologists from Colombia.

Most of the new species were discovered by detecting differences in their songs and calls in the field.

“Birds are, far and away, the best-known group of vertebrates, so describing a large number of uncatalogued species of birds in this day and age is unexpected, to say the least,” said Whitney.  “But what’s so exciting about this presentation of 15 new species from the Amazon all at once is, first, highlighting how little we really know about species diversity in Amazonia, and second, showing how technological advances have given us new toolsets for discovering and comparing naturally occurring, cohesive  populations with other, closely related populations.”

Amazonia is home to far more species of birds – approximately 1,300 – and more species per unit area, than any other area. Technological advances such as satellite imagery, digital recordings of vocalizations, DNA analysis and high-powered computation power have taken the age of discovery to the next level, and were key ingredients in the discovery of these new species. However, such discoveries still depend on exploration of remote areas of the Amazon rainforest, just as they did a century ago, and this sort of fieldwork has been carried out by the museum staff every year since the early 1960s.

Mandela returns to his home
and continued medical care

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from Medi-clinic Heart Hospital in the country’s capital, Pretoria, where he spent close to three months being treated for a recurring lung infection. However, his health is said to remain critical and at times unstable, and his doctors will keep providing him with intensive care at his Johannesburg home.

A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that Mandela left the hospital Sunday morning.  Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says the anti-apartheid icon is now recovering at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. Mandela had been hospitalized since June 8.

Maharaj referred to Mandela using his clan name, Madiba.

"We would like to wish him all the best as he continues his recovery at his Johannesburg home. Madiba's condition remains critical and is at times unstable," said Maharaj. "Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria.

Maharaj went further to dispel fears that South Africa’s first black president will not receive adequate medical care at his home.

His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there," said Maharaj. "The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done.

Mandela’s release from the hospital came a day after a flurry of media reports that he had already been released, but the South African presidency Saturday dismissed the reports as false.

The hospital in Pretoria had become a beehive of activity, with dozens of people from all over the country visiting daily to wish him well.

This hospitalization was Mandela's fourth since December 2012. The 95-year-old first tested positive for tuberculosis in 1988 while he was still in prison for his role in fighting the apartheid regime.

He was released after spending 27 years in prison, and in 1994 was elected as South Africa’s first black president.

Mandela retired from public life in 1994.

Rim Fire won't be controlled
for two months, firemen say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 5,000 firefighters are battling a massive wildfire in the western U.S. state of California that is expanding into areas of a famous national park.
The U.S. Forest Service says the so-called Rim Fire has engulfed more than 90,000 hectares since it started two weeks ago on the edge of Yosemite National Park. It has destroyed more than 100 homes, businesses and other structures, with about 4,500 other structures still threatened.
Firefighters say they have contained 40 percent of the massive blaze. They now estimate it will take until Oct. 20 to fully contain the Rim Fire, a full month longer than expectations voiced just two days ago.
The wildfire is still some distance from Yosemite National Park's major attractions, including granite rock formations and waterfalls.
It is the largest fire in the United States this year and the fifth largest California wildfire on record.
Mandatory evacuations are in place in at least two areas.
Authorities have been using an unmanned military Predator drone, similar to those used in Afghanistan, to provide information on new fires they would otherwise not be able to see.
The cause of the fire that broke out Aug. 17 is under investigation. It is one of dozens of large wildfires burning in the western United States, which has been plagued by a lack of snow and rainfall this year.

Philippines and U.S. negotiate
rules for placing troops there

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Philippine negotiators are emphasizing the temporary nature of plans to have more American forces rotate through the Philippines as they work toward forging an agreement on the deployments with the United States.
The Philippine negotiators say there will be clear language mandating the presence of U.S. troops will be temporary.
They said at meetings with their U.S. counterparts in Washington, both sides agreed that any U.S. activities would first need Philippine approval. The Philippine side says places where equipment will be ready for U.S. forces to use will belong to the Philippines and anything built and funded by the U.S. for specific activities will be removed once the activities are over.
National Defense Spokesman Peter Paul Galvez says the guidelines of what the Americans will be allowed to do are all in keeping with the Philippine Constitution.
“As long as they are in the country, all the facilities would remain the property of the Philippines, because otherwise, it would be basing, right?”
The Philippines, a former American colony, was host to U.S. bases for nearly a century, but a surge of domestic opposition forced them to close in 1992.
For the United States, being welcomed in the Philippines will mean more access to a region where it is strengthening military, diplomatic and economic ties. The Philippines, which is modernizing its weak and aging military, sees more U.S. troop rotations as a way to strengthen its minimum credible defense posture in the face of growing territorial disputes.
A major issue is the South China Sea, where China says it has indisputable territory, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have stakes in the resource-rich waters.
The Philippine negotiator, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Carlos Sorreta, said Friday after the meeting with the U.S. panel that the military buildup is not directed at any country.  Instead he said, “the enemy is misunderstanding and uncertainty.” Sorreta says with this plan, “no nation should ever be uncertain that we will defend what is ours.”

The Philippines is looking to boost its maritime security and maritime surveillance capabilities through this partnership with the United States. Both sides plan training exercises and activities. And spokesman Galvez says the Philippines will have authority over these.
“Securing the perimeter and everything is of course under our responsibility of course, because it’s our country,” said Galvez.
In a statement, Sorreta said he expected the duration of the arrangement to be less than 20 years, which is the typical length of a U.S. program with other defense partners.
He says the negotiations are more than halfway through. The next meeting will be held in mid-September in Washington.

Stored water at reactor in Japan
shows big hike in radioactivity

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japanese nuclear officials say the radiation level of a tank holding highly contaminated water at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has jumped in just one week to a potentially dangerous level.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said the reading of 1,800 milisieverts at the tank Saturday is enough to kill an exposed person in four hours. On Aug. 22, the same tank measured 100 milisieverts per hour, just a fraction of Saturday's reading.

Tepco also revealed that a pipe connecting two other tanks is leaking. However, the energy company said the water levels of the tanks had not changed. The French news agency says the leak has been patched with plastic tape.

Last month, a tank was found to have leaked 300 tons of highly toxic water.

The tanks at Fukushima are built with steel plates and are held together with bolts.

Tepco is seeking foreign experts for advice on how to deal with the highly radioactive water leaking from the site.

The Fukushima Daiichi power plant, north of Tokyo, was devastated by a tsunami in March 2011 that resulted in fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors, radioactive contamination of the air, sea and food, and the evacuation of more than 100,000 people.

Statins may prolong life
by protecting chromosome

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Statins, long prescribed to those with high cholesterol, may actually prevent aging and extend lifespan, according to new research in the September 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal.

The research indicates that statins reduce the speed at which telomeres shorten, a key factor in the aging process. A telomere is a region of DNA strand at the end of a chromosome that protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration.

“Statins may represent a new molecular switch able to slow down senescent [aging] cells in our tissues and be able to lead healthy lifespan extension," said Giuseppe Paolisso, a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Internal Medicine, Surgical, Neurological Metabolic Disease and Geriatric Medicine at Second University of Naples in Naples, Italy.

Researchers worked with two volunteer groups to test statins’ effects on telomeres. One group was under statin therapy, while the second group did not use the drugs. The group using statins had higher telomerase activity in their white blood cells, which was associated with less shortening of the telomeres.

The researchers say higher telomerase activation prevents the excessive accumulation of short telomeres.

"The great thing about statins is that they reduce risks for cardiovascular disease significantly and are generally safe for most people. The bad thing is that statins do have side effects, like muscle injury," said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. "But if it is confirmed that statins might actually slow aging itself — and not just the symptoms of aging — then statins are much more powerful drugs than we ever thought."

Early humans had settlements
in Bolivia 10,000 years ago

By the Public Library of Science news staff

Previously unknown archeological sites in forest islands reveal human presence in the western Amazon as early as 10,000 years ago, according to research published last week in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Umberto Lombardo from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues from other institutions.

The study focuses on a region in the Bolivian Amazon thought to be rarely occupied by pre-agricultural communities due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Hundreds of forest islands,  small forested mounds of earth, are found throughout the region, their origins attributed to termites, erosion or ancient human activity. In this study, the authors report that three of these islands are shell middens, mounds of seashells left by settlers in the early Holocene period, approximately 10,400 years ago.

Samples of soil from these three mounds revealed a dense accumulation of freshwater snail shells, animal bones and charcoal forming the middens. The mounds appear to have formed in two phases: an older layer composed primarily of snail shells, and an overlying layer composed of organic matter containing pottery, bone tools and human bones. The two are separated by a thin layer rich in pieces of burnt clay and earth, and the uppermost layer of deposits was also seen to contain occasional fragments of earthenware pottery.

Radiocarbon analysis of two middens indicates that humans settled in this region during the early Holocene, approximately 10,400 years ago, and shells and other artifacts built up into mounds over an approximately 6,000 year period of human use. The sites may have been abandoned as climate shifted towards wetter conditions later. Lombardo adds, "We have discovered the oldest archaeological sites in western and southern Amazonia. These sites allow us to reconstruct 10,000 years of human-environment interactions in the Bolivian Amazon."

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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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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.

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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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email:

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
Visit our Web Site:
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English:  (Luis Arce)
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   (506) 8309-0173
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Nicoya views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD,    Cell 8916-5550.

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Liberia farm
Must Sell - Immediately
Guanacaste - Liberia Farm

9 hectares (24 acres)
$ 0.66 cents per square meter
Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes
10 minutes from Liberia center
$59,500 plus all legal fees

Naranjo views


4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit for more information!

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at for more information!

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at for more information!

Guiones retreat
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

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
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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. San Salvador
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 173
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Elderly woman murdered
by presumed home intruder

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 72-year-old woman who remained home when her husband went to San José died, the apparent victim of an intruder. The crime was in isolated Roble de la Virgen de Sarapiquí. The victim was identified by the last name of  Álvarez.

A relative encountered the woman's body about 10 p.m. Saturday. The Judicial Investigating organization said that death appeared to be from a blow to the forehead.

Agents reported that the home had been tossed and left in disorder.

Another Saturday night murder took place in Poás de Aserrí. A 36-year-old man with the last name of Soto was sitting in a car when a group of men approached and shot him several times. A woman also suffered injuries, said agents.

Quake rattles south Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 4.9 magnitude quake took place just after midnight Sunday about 26 kilometers southwest of Bahia Ballena on the southern Pacific coast. Despite the magnitude, the quake was felt only moderately by residents in the area. The epicenter was in the Pacific in the subduction zone that is highly active.

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From Page 7:

U.S. fast food workers protesting
to seek $15 minimum hourly wage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Leading up to the Labor Day holiday celebrating the contribution of American workers to society, thousands of low-wage workers at fast-food restaurants and retail stores went on a one-day strike in more than 50 cities.  These protests are part of a labor union-sponsored campaign to pressure the fast food industry to increase wages and allow workers to unionize

In New York City, several hundred restaurant and retail workers took to the streets to demand higher wages.

One of them, Tasian Edwards works for Burger King and says the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which she earns, is not enough to support her family.

“I’m the oldest in the house.  And I’m the only one that can work right now, and $7.25 can’t feed my three siblings, including me and my mother," she said.

Organizers say workers in more than 50 American cities, including Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, participated in one of the biggest worker protests in the country.  The strikes are part of a campaign backed by labor unions to demand a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to join a labor union.

Proponents of the fast food industry say low-wage jobs provide opportunities to students and entry-level workers who over time will move on to better jobs and higher pay. Imposing higher wages, they say, could backfire on workers.

“If employers are paying more, they either have to raise their prices, which means the workers' dollars are buying less, or if employers have to cut back on hours or employment, then people have less take home pay at the end of the day," said economist Michael Saltzman from the Employment Policies Institute.

But protest organizers say with so many manufacturing jobs migrating to low-wage countries like China, the fast-food industry is the only option for many unskilled American workers.

Fast-food worker Derrick Langley said it's time for American workers to stand up for their rights.

“I’m aware that this might cause me to lose my job, but at the same time I’m fighting for something I believe in. I’m just not going to let somebody keep stepping on my toes after I keep realizing it hurts,” he said.

Saltzman said tax credits already help poor working families, but many workers said they don’t want to rely on government assistance. While one-day strikes may not force the industry to change on its own, they could increase pressure on President Barack Obama and Congress to raise the minimum wage for all.