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(506) 2223-1327                          Publihsed Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 184                      Email us
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Government optimistic despite credit downgrade
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The finance ministry reacted optimistically Tuesday to the news that a major financial services firm had downgraded the country's credit rating.

The ratings came from Moody's Investors Service, Inc. which downgraded Costa Rica's government bond rating to Ba1 from Baa3. Moody's has also changed the outlook to stable from negative.

Later Tuesday, Moody's downgraded the ratings of the two major state banks because, it said, they were closely linked to the government.

The result will be that Costa Rica will have to pay more to borrow money. But the credit downgrade also provides ammunition for those who would seek cuts in the national budget and more taxes.

Helio Fallas, the minister of Hacienda, in a prepared statement said that the current government had inherited the financial situation and that Moody's did not take into consideration actions that have been taken in the last three months.

Moody's said the rating action recognized institutional weakness, as evidenced by continued political obstacles to comprehensive fiscal reform. Several attempts in recent years to address Costa Rica's growing fiscal deficits and debt have not brought these levels lower, it said, adding that the new Luis Guillermo Solís administration, which took office May 8, has indicated it will only gradually introduce fiscal consolidation.

Solís has said he will not seek new taxes for the first two years of his term, Instead, his administration would concentrate on increasing tax collection, he said.

Moody said that as a consequence of inaction, the firm expects the current large fiscal deficits and increasing debt burden to continue for the next few years. The fiscal deficit has averaged 4.5 percent of gross domestic product since 2009, largely driven by spending growth, and is expected to reach 5.8 percent in 2014 and 6 percent next year, it said. The high deficits have materially worsened Costa Rica's debt burden, with debt to gross domestic product ratio expected to rise close to 40 percent this year, compared to 25 percent in 2008, Moody's added.
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Fallas said that the government would present to the legislature tax reform seeking a value-added tax by the end of the year. He also noted that the central government has frozen hiring except in the educational sector.

Fallas also noted that the downgrade was expected and that the government would redouble efforts to regain the better rating.

Moody's was not as optimistic. The firm said:

"Today's downgrade reflects our expectations that material fiscal improvements are unlikely in the next one to two years. A negative consequence of Costa Rica's entrenched democratic tradition has been the cumbersome process of consensus-building. For the past few administrations, the government's weak position in congress has delayed approval of legislation because of the need to forge ad-hoc alliances. Consequently, efforts to approve significant fiscal reforms have been impeded.

We expect continued political obstacles to comprehensive fiscal reform during the Solís administration, in office since May 2014. The government aims to introduce new revenue measures by early 2015, but successful implementation will be difficult and the impact on the fiscal deficit insufficient to undo the rise in the debt burden. We expect that the current government will only gradually introduce fiscal reforms going forward."

Moody's also said that it expected fiscal deficits to average 6 to 7 percent in 2015 and 2016 because of current expenditures.

Even as news of the action by Moody's was circulating through financial circles, lawmakers voted to approve a $450 million loan with the  Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo to improve the transportation infrastructure. Among other projects will be reinforcement of breakers at Caldera, improvements of the ferry stations in Paquera and Playa Naranjo on the Nicoya peninsula as well as a string of road improvements.

Health minister backs modified seed moratorium
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers studying a proposal to ban genetically modified crops heard two different views Tuesday.

María Elena López Núñez, the minister of Salud, said she supported a moratorium that would give time to gather more scientific evidence that would address the use of pesticides and their use in relation to animal and human health.

She spoke to the Comisión de Asuntos
Agropecuarios y Recursos Naturales. She suggested a moratorium of from three to five years, similar to what the agricultural minister, Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini. suggested last week. Some members of the committee appeared to share her opinion.

Also appearing before the same committee was  Walter Quirós Ortega, of the Oficina de Semillas of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería. He said a moratorium was not needed because a system already is in place to evaluate each request to plant crops case by case.


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Our readers opinions
Multinationals proved their irresponsibility

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Your editorial, seemingly opposing the bill before the legislature which proposes a moratorium on genetically modified crops in Costa Rica, brings up one valid point — that there has not been proven science as to the harm of certain modified crops, but makes a flawed assumption in the closing line when it states: ¨And the lawmakers should differentiate between an attack on international corporations and their intellectual property rights and public health¨ in assuming that there´s public health benefits to be gained by allowing companies like Monsanto free and open access to Costa Rica.

The country already is reeling from the after effects of all the toxic agrochemicals being used. That Monsanto perversely manipulates its genetically modified crops in order to tolerate elevated levels of Roundup, a proven toxin, has no health benefits whatsoever.

Which is for the most part why there is a virulent populist movement against GMO´s, and the multinationals who want open access.

Having proven their irresponsibility and untrustworthiness in developing, marketing and monopolizing GMO, and other products, largely due to lax government oversight — a direct result of these multi-nationals having co-opted governmental processes which should have prevented their free-wheeling practices.

Large corporations have wrested the keys to government, as witnessed in part by the supreme court rulings granting corporations free speech rights thereby allowing big business to buy elections.

When corporations are allowed to write legislation, which has become common practice in Washington, then they essentially control governments. When Monsanto is given copyright protection on the hybridization of all the seeds it develops — in essence staunching the hitherto undamed free flow of ¨natural¨ genetic evolution of seeds, further strangling small independent farmers, you get backlashes such as what we are seeing in bills like this.

Does this mean that GMOs are inherently bad, the way that some people would have you believe? Personally, I don´t believe so, but I think the bill, even if it is imperfect, at least stands for what´s right, in opposing Monsanto, et al.
Harii Singh Khalsa

Is this the kind of food you want to eat?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Glad to see you are keeping the GMO issue in the news with your editorial.  I agree with you. What difference does a ban on cultivation of GMOs in Costa Rica do when most of the food the people and animals in Costa Rica eat are GM?  But, let me ask you this: Why would anyone think that it would be good for them to consume corn that 1) has BT, an insecticide bred into the corn on a cellular level? and 2) is also engineer genetically so that glyphosate, a herbicide linked to numerous health problems including cancer  can be applied to corn in greater quantities without killing the corn plant? 

Is this the type of food you people want to eat and have your children eat?  I wouldn't feed it to a stray dog. Do you know that most Americans test positive for BT now? Do you think that eating chemicals that kill plants and insects will not affect you over your lifetime? Come on.   

There's a reason that Monsanto tests on rats don't go past 90 days. Finally, corporate money funds almost all research in the U.S., so citing the latest "science" only tells us what the corporation want us to know/believe.  Recent public admissions by William Thompson, Centers for Disease Control scientist, on fraudulent autism/vaccinations connection studies not reported by mainstream media are case in point.
Albert Lusk
San Isidro

Monsanto is behind Tuesday editorial

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have noticed your highly biased article on GMO foods today. I shows no author in particular nor who is behind the bias. I think you only need to follow the money trail. I would suspect that Monsanto and The Grocery Manufacturers Association, GMA, is ultimately behind it as they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend to defend their products.

The brave people of a majority of cantons in Costa Rica are against it for good reasons besides the possible health dangers which have been shown in many studies worldwide. Patented seeds take away the freedom of farmers to save seeds from year to year. Increased herbicide use increases poisoning danger and development of super resistant weeds.

Allowing some GMO seeds will contaminate the environment so that farmers who don’t want the GMO will get them by air and can be accused of patent infringement as is done in other countries.  In some countries the farmers are learning that higher yields and lower costs do not materialize.

In India there has been reported that two farmers per minute are committing suicide due to crop failure linked to GMO.

There is a growing backlash against GMO and demand is increasing for non-GMO organic products. Costa Rica should avoid GMO and prepare to fill the higher-priced, non-GMO market. Several leading wellness and natural physicians in the U.S.A. are warning about the dangers of GMO.

Wait and see and study is the appropriate course now, although I would like to see GMO crops and imported raw material prohibited in Costa Rica. At a very minimum, products with GMO components should be labeled as such which many countries have done. I have recently saw photos of rats fed GMO with huge tumors. Dr. Joseph Mercola of the U.S.A. has gathered up a lot of information contrary to that provided in your article. 

There are other doctors of similar opinion. You only have to make a Google search to get the other side of the story. An article from you presenting both sides would be more appropriate.

Personally, I have eliminated corn, sugar, canola, cotton seed, soy and processed foods from the U.S.A. and Canada due to the GMO menace. I am glad that we do not have flouridated water here like many countries, and I am looking for tooth paste without fluoride, a hazardous industrial poison, for which I have substituted Dove soap until I can find better.    Incidentally, there are other bad products such as mercury in tooth fillings which is poisonous and triclosan in cleaning products which contributes to resistant bacteria.
Joseph Lassiter,
Playa Hermosa, Guancaste

Two reasons to ban modified crops

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

This morning's AM Costa Rica published an editorial on page one, arguing that no scientific literature has shown that genetically engineered crops harm human or animal health, and that, therefore, given current and potential advantages, such as herbicide resistance and increased yield, their consumption and planting should be permitted here.  I agree with the first part of your position, in that I'm unaware of published, refereed, scientific papers demonstrating a high incidence or probability of harm to human and/or animal health.  However, there are two reasons that I, as an ecologist, support the continued ban prohibiting planting of transgenic crops here.  The first is for ecological and the second for social reasons.

A risk of ecological harm through planting of transgenic crops here, although not necessarily the only one, is the possibility, some argue the probability, that such crops growing here could contaminate the genetic pool of traditional crops, and of more ecological importance for me, the possibility that the genetic pools of the evolutionary precursors of common food crops here be contaminated with the genes of transgenic crops, principally through the pollination of the crop progenitors by pollen from transgenic crops. 

Through modern agricultural history, going back to the late 19th century, occasional massive crop failures have occurred because pathogens have become established in major crops, such as wheat, that were widely planted using the same crop variety over very wide areas.  Through traditional crop breeding, crop geneticists, or breeders, have incorporated new genes from evolutionary progenitor species that are resistant to the pathogens, conferring that pest resistance to new crop varieties and restoring crop production. 

Other potential beneficial genetic attributes of crop progenitor species, in addition to pest resistance, such as drought tolerance, wet soil or high water table tolerance, salt tolerance, and possibly many others, are often promised by advocates of transgenic crops, and would also be lost if the gene pools of crop progenitor species are "polluted" with transgenic crop pollen. 

Among the highest area of concern are the areas in central and southern Mexico where corn or maiz evolved and where maiz progenitor species still exist in the wild.  Mexico and Guatemala are the origin of most commercial squash species, so progenitor species of squash would also be threatened by planting there of transgenic squash.  A conceptually simple solution to pollen pollution of progenitor crop species, which I believe the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, and the system of  International Agricultural Research Centers should adopt, as well as nations such as Costa Rica and the United States, would be to require that all transgenic crops produce only sterile pollen, or no pollen.  Of course, since a crop, such as corn, that requires pollination to produce its seed (in the case of corn, largely wind-pollinated), would produce none of the desired product.

The social reason against permitting planting of transgenic crops here is because the companies that developed the transgenic varieties and that produce the seed commercially for growing them require the farmer buying seed for planting to sign a legally binding contract that prohibits the farmer from using part of the crop as seed for planting in subsequent years or crop cycles. 

So the farmer has to purchase new seed every year for his annual crop.  That's good for Monsanto and the other transgenic seed vendors, but not for the farmers.  In Costa Rica, as well as many parts of the world, even in parts of the U.S., farmers traditionally save part of their crop as seed in the following year, or following crop cycle.  Widespread use of transgenic crops here might greatly produce the productivity of areas planted with the herbicide-resistant, drought tolerance, or other beneficial crop attribute conferred by the crop plant's genetic manipulation. 

However, the high cost of such seed, while possibly paying for itself through higher yields, would probably limit the farmers using them to wealthy landowners and industrial producers.  Mini-fundio traditional farmers would likely be put out of the marketplace by being evermore less-competitive with the big farms.  And its very possible, if not likely, that their traditional seed gene pool would be contaminated by transgenic pollen from surrounding large farms, so they might be prohibited from even producing a subsistence crop.  Many small-scale farmers without access to lawyers might buy transgenic seed, but not understand their risk in using part of their crop for seed the following year or crop cycle, and face legal liability and possibly loss of their patrimony as a result.  It's possible that the Asamblea Legislativa could pass a law prohibiting such seed contracts, but Monsanto, Cargill, and other vendors would likely pressure the U.S. to litigate its implementation under the terms of the Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization policies.

​ I don't support a Costa Rican ban on human or animal consumption of genetically modified crops here, due principally because there's no scientifically sound proof that they harm human or animal health, but also because I like those corn-based snacks too much.  You're correct that a negative can't be proven.  But Costa Rica could be a leader in raising the issue of the risk to gene pools of crop progenitor species and the social issues of legal restrictions on transgenic crop seed use.

Thank you for broadening the discussion on genetically modified crops by printing my views.
Loren B. Ford

Chemist to take Roundup use to court

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

"Shall we just shoot ourselves in the foot again?"  What uninformed idiot wrote this article?  I have a doctorate in chemistry from Duke, taught chem for over a decade there, etc.  I am not uninformed, yet I am absolutely opposed to GMO crops in Costa Rica for sound and defendable reasons.  Your article cited the benefits of Roundup-ready genetic modifications. 

Roundup has been conclusively shown to cause fish kills, increased erosion, organ damage in humans and domesticated animals, has been found in almost every well/spring tested, in mother's milk, and in fetal blood.  Anyone advocating use of this poison should be on trial for accessory to murder, not writing unsubstantiated but influential articles. 

I used to teach the class on reading and evaluating published scientific papers. The studies supporting GMO safety are designed for a specific result and are in large part, perfect examples of bad science.  Money drives research and there is a ton of money behind this cause.  However, there have been some good studies in well-respected journals that demonstrate the truth.  For example, what about the identified mechanism by which glychophosphate demonstrates endocrine disrupting effects even in parts per trillion quantities?  that means one gallon of roundup contaminates 1 cubic kilometer of water sufficiently to cause pre-cancerous changes likely leading to breast cancer.  The cancer link is actually the least proven damage.  Organ damage, birth defects etc. have much more substantial evidence backing them up.  furthermore, the half-life of roundup in soil is as much as 100 days.  This means that one application makes that soil toxic for a minimum of three  years.

We are starting to document cases of Roundup application.  In time, we will begin sampling neighboring land and water.  as we get test cases, we will be seeking relief in court.  My hope is to seize farms and properties that choose to use this toxic substance or at least get judgments in the millions of dollars per case.  If the chemical leaves your property, which it always does, then you are liable for the health problems of your neighbors, the death of your stream ecosystems, and the economic damage of reducing the value of your neighbors property. 

Tort law will be our big stick!  If an organic farm loses a crop because of a neighbor's chemical use, they need to be compensated for at least three years of potential harvests and a percentage value of the damaged land.  When people start losing their farms and homes, perhaps this global contamination will begin to abate!

Another strong reason to oppose genetic modified crops is genetic pollution which could destroy the genetic diversity of the planet.  GMO crops have been shown to pass on their genetics to other plants.  This is not debatable.  Even Monsanto admits this.  Costa Rica's greatest treasure is its genetic diversity.  GMO crops threaten to destroy that!

Anyone who supports or uses GMO crops and/or roundup is either misinformed or essentially an accessory to murder and catastrophic environmental damage!  If you see someone with a sprayer in their hands, it is the same as a rifle pointed at your grandchildren, just slower.  It is already too late for our children. They are all contaminated.  But if we stop now, maybe we can save the grandchildren!
James D. Johansen
San Ramón

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 184
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24 cultural locations await visitors from Art City Tour tonight
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Various cultural entities are competing to attract visitors to their expositions this evening during the Art City Tour. Visitors can drop in at any number of 24 cultural centers and museums, and the visit is free.

Transportation is being provided, too, as usual.

The Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo said that it is inaugurating three expositions tonight. They will run until Nov. 13.

Artist-sculptor Benvenuto Chavajay from Guatemala opens his show called “Chunches,” which translates to things or knickknacks. The exposition “GAUR [sic]” contains contemporary Basque video art and is curated by Nekane Aramburu. The third expo is “CaSO 4,” which is the chemical formula for gypsum. The emphasis is on the use and application of materials, said the museum.

The design museum is in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, the former liquor factory, just east of Parque España, that also serves as the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

Art City Tour begins at 5 p.m. and runs until 9. Many visitors will travel on bicycles.

The Museo Nacional will be opening a half hour earlier for visitors. Plus it is a location where participants can grab a bus ride.

The Museo Nacional said it has five expositions available for the public, including “Diquís,” which features jewelry inspired by the
A flyer from the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo

Diquís culture that is believed to have created the stone balls found on southwest Pacific coast.

During regular visiting times many of these museums have an admission fee even for Costa Ricans. Among the tour stops tonight are the new Museo del Jade y la Cultura Precolombina, Museo Calderón Guardia, Museos del Banco Central, Centro Cultural de España, Galería Sophia Wanamaker in Barrio Dent and the Centro de Estudios Brasileños.  A full list is available in the Art City Tour Facebook page.

Researchers begin to uncover the vital role of bacteria on tropical leaves
By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center news staff

Human skin and gut microbes influence processes from digestion to disease resistance. Despite the fact that tropical forests are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, more is known about belly-button bacteria than bacteria on trees in the tropics. Smithsonian scientists and colleagues working on Panama’s Barro Colorado Island discovered that small leaf samples from a single tree were home to more than 400 different kinds of bacteria. The combined sample from 57 tree species contained more than 7,000 different kinds.

Bacteria in tropical forests may also play a vital role, protecting leaves against pathogens and even affecting the ability of forests to respond to climate change.

“Just as people are realizing that microbes carried by humans can have an influence on a person’s health — positive or negative — we hope to discover what bacteria on tree leaves can tell us about the health of a forest,” said S. Joseph Wright, a Smithsonian scientist and co-author of the new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In contrast to a previous study of bacteria on leaves in a temperate forest where different leaves had different bacteria, there was a core group of species of common bacteria present on leaves of nearly all
of the species sampled in Panamá. Just as on human skin, many of the bacteria on tropical tree leaves were actinobacteria and proteobacteria. Various species can be helpful or disease causing to humans.

The researchers, from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Quebec, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, University of California — Los Angeles and Santa Fe Institute, also looked for relationships between the composition of bacterial communities on leaves and other plant characteristics.

Many bacteria were associated with certain functional traits such as leaf thickness, wood density or leaf nitrogen content, characteristics that directly impact tree growth, survival and reproduction.

The relationships between many of the bacteria and tree species they sampled were ancient, going back to the ancestors of both the bacteria and the trees as they evolved in tandem.

“Our ability to use molecular techniques like 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing to characterize nearly all of the bacteria on a leaf is going to make it possible to see how very different members of forest communities interact,” said Wright. The Smithsonian forest ecologist and his colleagues hope to collaborate with researchers at the 60 Forest Global Earth Observatory sites coordinated by the Smithsonian’s Center for Tropical Forest Science to compare interactions at different sites and under different environmental conditions.

University degree program will train engineers to make and troubleshoot medical devices
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the Cartago-based public university, said it is starting a master's degree program in the development of medical devices.

The program has the support of the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo. The program will be in the university's materials engineering school.
Costa Rica has become a leader in the production of many types of medical devices. The new program will use appropriate software to create processes for the construction of these medical devices.

The program also will focus on the analysis of shortcomings and the resolution of problems as well as research into materials, said the university.

The University of Minnesota also is a sponsor.

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Export agriculture called major reason for illegal deforestations
By the Burness Communications news staff

A comprehensive new analysis says that nearly half (49 percent) of all recent tropical deforestation is the result of illegal clearing for commercial agriculture. The study also finds that the majority of this illegal destruction was driven by overseas demand for agricultural commodities including palm oil, beef, soy, and wood products.

In addition to devastating impacts on forest-dependent people and biodiversity, the illegal conversion of tropical forests for commercial agriculture is estimated to produce 1.47 gigatonnes of carbon each year — equivalent to 25 percent of the EU's annual fossil fuel-based emissions.

"We've known that the production of agricultural commodities is a principal driving force behind deforestation, but this is the first report to show the outsize role that illegal activities play in the production of hundreds of food and household products consumed worldwide," said Michael Jenkins, president and CEO of Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-profit organization that published the report.

"Increased agricultural production will be necessary for food security and to meet the demand of the emerging global middle class.
However, the world must also wake up to the scale of how much of this agricultural production is taking place on land that has been illegally cleared. Urgent action is needed to help countries where these agricultural products are being grown, both for governments to enforce their own laws and regulations, and for businesses aiming to produce commodities legally and sustainably."

According to the study, "Consumer Goods and Deforestation: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture," 90 percent of the deforestation in Brazil from 2000 to 2012 was illegal, primarily due to the failure to conserve a percentage of natural forests in large-scale cattle and soy plantations, as required by Brazilian law. Much of this occurred prior to 2004, when the Brazilian government took steps to successfully reduce deforestation. And in the forests of Indonesia, 80 percent of deforestation was illegal — mostly for large-scale plantations producing palm oil and timber, 75 percent of which is exported. While other countries also experience high levels of illegal deforestation, Brazil and Indonesia produce the highest level of agricultural commodities destined for global markets, many of which wind up in cosmetics or household goods, animal feed  and packaging.

Illegal deforestation is also rampant in most other countries across Asia, Latin America, and Africa losing large areas of tropical forest.

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

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

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamerica highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, frig, dishwasher, washer, dryer, TV, DVD player, high-speed internet, direct TV via sling box on Internet. rent is $750 plus electricity & water. free Internet. Prefer 3 months or more. Available Nov. 1. Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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About us
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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 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, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 184
Real Estate
About us

Scotland's future is entering
the final stages before vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week the people of Scotland will take part in one of the most important events in the history of the United Kingdom, a referendum on independence.

As campaigners race to persuade those who have not yet made up their minds, one significant factor in the possible outcome is income.

One of the best known images of Scotland is its capital city, Edinburgh, with its iconic castle and ubiquitous bagpipe players.

But Edinburgh represents Scotland in other ways, too. It is home to some of the country’s most affluent residents living alongside impoverished communities.

The growing divide between rich and poor has been identified as crucial before the vote for Scottish independence on Thursday.

As the debate over Scotland’s future enters its final stages, polls remain too close to call. And political leaders in London have made a last-minute offer of greater autonomy if Scottish voters reject independence.

Polls suggest the vote will be close, and the nearly half-million voters still undecided could determine whether Scotland leaves its 307-year-old union.

While only Scotland will get to vote on the nation’s future, the rest of the United Kingdom, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is doing its best to sway voters.

A pro-union rally was staged Monday in London. Polls show a big majority outside Scotland wants it to stay within the United Kingdom.

In Edinburgh, British Prime Minister David Cameron made an impassioned speech to voters.

“For the people of Scotland to walk away now, would be like painstakingly building a home and then walking out the door and throwing away the keys,” Cameron said.

Analysts say the passionate tone reflects shock at the narrowing of opinion polls and realization of the profound impact that Scottish independence would have on the whole of Britain.

To the north of Edinburgh, at a bustling "Yes" shop in Leith, Scottish National Party member Jacqueline Chalmers said, in general, wealthier people will likely stick with the status quo.

"It is not so black and white, but there is a tendency that if you live in a bigger house, then probably the union has been good for you, so you will stick with what you know,” Ms. Chalmers said.

A poll released earlier this year by The Financial Times showed 40 percent of people with household incomes below $23,000 would vote yes.

Independence would mean a guarantee that tax and social security rates would be set in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland.

This includes scrapping the newly introduced bedroom tax, part of welfare reform that cuts the amount of benefits that people can get if they are considered to have a spare room in their home.

Taxes on the poor, past and present, play an important role in the debate.

Iain Simpson, a member of the Radical Independence Campaign, said, "We have spent two years signing people onto the electoral register on housing estates. People who have never voted before, people who never registered to escape from the poll tax and things.

“They have not joined the electoral register to say ‘We Love Westminster,’ ” he said while at the “Yes” shop in Leith.

The poll tax was a local government tax criticized for being needlessly burdensome on the poor.

It was introduced by the then-Conservative Party leader, prime minister Margaret Thatcher, in 1989 in Scotland, and later to the rest of the Britain, and was scrapped after widespread protests.

The so-called Thatcher years tainted support for the Conservative Party in Scotland. 

But voting for independence as a protest vote is misguided, said the Scottish Parliament Member for the Labor Party, Malcolm Chisholm.

"I suppose the problem is for a lot of people they are just seeing it as a lot of "Yes" voters do not like the government in London so we will just vote against that,” Chisholm said. “But of course we are saying it is for life and you have to look at what the economic and financial consequences are, and a lot of people are dreaming about what they can do."

Joining Chisholm on the streets of Leith, canvassing for the pro-union campaign Better Together, is solicitor Callum McLean, a traditional Liberal Party supporter.

McLean said he believes Scots would not benefit from going it alone.

"Scotland has a very good settlement in terms of the amount of spending per capita in comparison to the rest of the U.K. That is a deal that it gets because of its traditional place in the UK,” McLean said.

Chisholm said it is rather a generalization to say income level is deciding who votes what. He said he has been canvassing in high-rise flats in deprived areas of Edinburgh and has met many “No” voters.

The "Yes" camp, too, said they are finding support in traditionally wealthier parts of the city.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who is leading the “Yes” campaign, said Prime Minister Cameron is shaken by recent polls that show a narrowing between the two campaigns.

“In fact, it was said in my presence that he did not want to lose Scotland as George III lost America. And if we leave that to one side, Scotland is a nation. It is not a property that can be lost and found,” Salmond added.

A late public opinion poll showed the percentage of those in favor of separation increasing, which made the “No” side push harder in persuading Scots they will achieve more autonomy if they do not secede.

One of the most vocal anti-independence campaigners, former British prime minister Gordon Brown pointed out the financial consequences of the “Yes” vote.

“Look at the other consequences, we lose the benefit we have from the UK currency and the ability to make decisions at the UK level and let us be honest about this, the 1 million jobs that are linked to membership of the UK,” Brown said.

French prime minister gets
the votes he needs to remain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

By the end of the vote, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls got the results he had hoped for: 269 in favor of his government compared to 244 votes against.

But the embattled Socialist government of French President Francois Hollande has lost its absolute majority in parliament, with some of its dissident lawmakers abstaining from casting their ballots.

But by squeaking through Tuesday's parliamentary confidence vote, the party has overcome a political and economic crisis — for now.

Addressing the lawmakers minutes after the results were announced, Valls vowed to continue a path of proposed economic reforms through the rest of the government's five-year term.

But the problems facing Valls, and Hollande, are far from over. The country is battling a stagnant economy and record unemployment, and Hollande is the most unpopular leader in modern times with a 13 percent approval rating.

Even French nationals who voted Hollande into office, such as 61-year-old Zulika Ben Brahim, who says the government must address high unemployment among youth and help older people like herself, are rooting for change.

The National Assembly head of the main opposition UMP party, Christian Jacob, says the days are numbered for Prime Minister Valls, as he vowed to battle the government at every turn. Only on one issue are French politicians united, he said: the battle against militant Islam.

The vote comes a day after President Hollande hosted an international conference on Iraq, in which nations pledged to step up the fight against the Islamic State group. Hollande has scored points on his foreign policy, which has included military campaigns to staunch the bloodshed in Mali and Central African Republic, but that is about all.

The president is expected to outline his strategy for the country during a press conference Thursday.

And he faces other key tests this week, starting Friday when the Moody's rating agency may downgrade its sovereign debt rating for France.

Sunday, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, one of Holland's political rivals, is expected to announce his return to politics.

U.N. equates climate action
to more economic growth

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A landmark report released Tuesday at the United Nations finds that taking action on climate change is compatible with economic growth.

The report comes one week before the U.N. Climate Summit that is expected to bring together 125 heads of state with business and civic leaders to begin discussion about a new global climate treaty.

The report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate makes the economic case for taking bold action now on climate change. At the report launch, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that with polluting climate changing gases at record levels, the world can no longer afford to burn its way to prosperity.

“We need a structural transformation in the global economy," he said. "This report argues for a new model where economic growth and climate action are mutually reinforcing and it shows how we can build it.”

Former Mexico president Felipe Calderón chaired the commission, which is composed of two dozen scientists, politicians and business professionals from every part of the world. They noted that by 2030, an additional one billion people will have moved into cities.

Exactly how governments manage the projected $90 trillion that will be invested in energy systems, urban development and land use over the next 15 years, Calderon said, will shape future growth, productivity and living standards.

"If we don’t take action in the coming years, it will be every day more expensive and more difficult to shift towards a low carbon economy at the global level," he said.

According to the report, more compact urban centers built around mass transit could grow the economy while producing less pollution and ultimately prove healthier places to live.

The report also says restoring degraded farm land could feed millions of people. According to Jeremy Oppenheim, the commission's program director, dramatic price drops are already making investments in renewable energy more attractive.

“The cost of solar has come down by 90 percent in the last half-dozen years," he said. "We find in parts of the world ranging from Brazil to Texas that renewable energy in both of those cases, wind, can compete in auctions and win the right to produce energy versus new build up in coal.”

Among the steps the Commission recommends to avoid a warmer world are phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels, putting a price on carbon and scaling up innovation in low-carbon technology.

Commissioners say success at next week's Climate Summit will depend on whether leaders adopt the idea central to their report: taking action to reduce climate change as an investment, not an expense, and that economic growth and responsible climate policies go hand in hand.

The outcome could be at the core of a new climate treaty, says economist and report advisor Nicolas Stern with the London School of Economics.

“So it is very important that the presidents and prime ministers recognize the challenge is to combine the two and that actually the only sensible route to combine the two is feasible and it’s attractive.”

The new climate agreement will be finalized at a United Nations conference in Paris at the end of next year. Stern says the Climate Summit is an opportunity for leaders to announce ambitious actions that can help avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

U.S. will seeks to improve
its overseas propaganda

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Richard Stengel says that in the face of strong foreign propaganda machines such as Russia and the Islamic State, the U.S. needs to harden its soft power with its own participation in the global conversation. He is the U.S. under secretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs.

Speaking in Washington Tuesday at an event hosted by the non-partisan American Security Project, Stengel called engagement a sign of strength, and said the United States should be the nation that listens.

He said recent changes in technology, including the rise of social media, are suitable to making public diplomacy more important in the 21st century than ever before, as the world is seeing "a reemergence of history, a reemergence of blood and borders" from Ukraine to the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy also met Tuesday in Washington to discuss the impact of international broadcasting and recommendations for engaging foreign audiences.

On Russia and the global conversation about the Ukraine conflict, Stengel said when he took up his post at the State Department in February, he was surprised and displeased by how powerful the Russian propaganda machine was, not just in Russia, but in the surrounding region of Russian speakers.

He said competing with Russian news, which he described as "nothing like what we think of as objective," is something the U.S. is now focusing on, including through the Voice of America.

Stengel, who came to State after seven years as the managing editor of TIME magazine, said the U.S. is focused now on getting its point of view out in the Russian language, but not through broadcasting, which he called an old model. Instead, he said the U.S. is turning to social media.

The Russian leadership has been criticized recently for a wave of Internet restrictions that appear designed to stifle dissent online. The closing off of the Internet information space has grave implications for public diplomacy, said Stengel, and it is a trend against which he said he is trying to campaign.

The Kremlin denies allegations of censorship or pressure on the media, but online activists and journalists have been increasingly concerned that President Vladimir Putin is seeking to tighten control over Russian society, amid the bitter dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine's future.

Stengel also addressed the rise of the Islamic State militant group, which has overtaken large amounts of territory in both Iraq and Syria, saying that apart from its savage beheadings of American journalists and other violence, the group has proven very adept at information warfare.

Staffan Truve, an analyst with the social media monitoring group Recorded Future, said recently that more than 60,000 Twitter accounts this summer were talking about Islamic State extremists in a positive way.

Patrick Skinner with the Soufan Group, a security intelligence services company, says the Islamic State's international recruitment drive is equally skillful. He says the group's message is carefully tailored to specific demographic groups in Europe, the United States and South Asia, as well as locally in Iraq and Syria.

Stengel, fresh from a trip to the Middle East with Secretary of State John Kerry, said the U.S. is in a battle with the Islamic State that is not just being fought on a kinetic battlefield, but on an information battlefield as well. But he said the group's ability to recruit foreign fighters has more to do with conditions the U.S. does not control, such as region specific economic and social problems.

Some media advocacy groups have expressed concerns about the U.S. government waging information warfare through its international broadcasting institutions such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia. Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire issued a statement in May saying that would be extremely regrettable.

Deloire's statement came in response to a bill the House of Representatives passed in July that would overhaul U.S. international broadcasting to support U.S. foreign policy.

The bill would reduce the scope of Voice of America's coverage from world news to coverage of the United States and international developments that affect the U.S. — a change some current and former journalists say would be "devastating" to the agency's credibility and integrity.

But supporters of the bill say it would help the U.S. fight back more effectively in the war of information against countries like Russia and China. Democrat Eliot Engel, co-sponsor of the House bill, says the legislation will require U.S. broadcasting agencies to remain "objective sources of news and information," not just "a mouthpiece for U.S. foreign policy."

A similar U.S. broadcasting bill must pass in the Senate, and the legislation must be signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law.
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.

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.

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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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.

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

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

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

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

house 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  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

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 $279,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead,, 8820-1501/8379-7947

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.


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:  and

New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Four bedrooms and five baths. 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,   Cell 8714-8274.


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:

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

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

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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 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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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 or email 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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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  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 184
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Guatemala cites newspaper smears

Special to A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Guatemalan government said on its official Web site that it is investigating the newspaper elPeriódico because the paper continues an anti-government smear campaign.

The Inter American Press Association immediately protested the posting and called the action  “a new abuse by the government to the detriment of press freedom.”

The government had since Monday been carrying on its portal an article headlined “Newspaper elPeriódico continues anti-government smear campaign,” publishing in advance the content of a report that the newspaper ran. The intent is to discredit
the journalistic work, said the Inter American Press Association.

The elPeriódico report that the government alluded to was headlined “An afternoon at the vice president’s estate.” The newspaper report was critical of the existence of a luxury property owned by Vice President Roxana Baldetti acquired while she was a member of the federal congress.

The story by the elPeriódico investigative team criticized the pomposity of the assets compared to the salaries of public servants.

The chairman of the press association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared, “We are astonished that the government has made access to editorial content and has used it initially to defend itself and distort journalistic work.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “To have obtained and used those materials is a criminal act that is in line with a new abuse by the government in detriment to press freedom.” He added, “This is not a good message that the government sends to the Guatemalan media and journalists.”

Paolillo described the incident as new, after recalling that the press association has been denouncing systematic outrages by the government of President Otto Pérez and Vice President Baldetti against elPeriódico, which were the motive of an international mission to the Central American country in February.

On that occasion the Inter American Press Association criticized the government for having taken legal, administrative and taxation actions and discriminating in the provision of official advertising to elPeriódico, and for putting pressure on private sector advertisers to stop placing ads in that newspaper. All these actions were taken in reprisal for the investigations and editorial opinions concerning the work of the president and vice president, the press association said.

The IAPA has been calling upon the government to set aside its campaigns of harassment of elPeriódico and to set up technical mechanisms to ensure equitable distribution of official advertising and prevent its being used to reward or punish media.

The Inter American Press Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the parent corporation of A.M. Costa Rica, and is based in Miami, Florida.

Colombia rebel raid kills seven

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Seven police officers are dead after a police convoy in northwest Colombia was ambushed Tuesday.

Local media reported that members of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia rebel group attacked the police with bombs and gunfire along a highway.

In a social media post, Colombia's defense ministry vowed to maintain and intensify operations against armed groups and drug traffickers following the attack.

The government and the leftist rebels are involved in peace talks after a 50-year internal armed conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions more.

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From Page 7:

Action sought to formalize tourism entity

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two commercial chambers related to the tourism industry are calling on the central government to fully establish the Comisión Reguladora de Turismo.

The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo have both called on Welmer Ramos, the economic minister, to take action so that the commission can operate.

The chambers noted that appointments have been made to the commission but the decree has not been published. The chambers made their request via letter.

The Comisión Reguladora de Turismo plays a major role in negotiating exonerations and special deals for those who would invest in Costa Rica for tourism projects. Without action by the entity, such investments are frozen, said the chambers.