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Published Tuesday Edition
September 26, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 191
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Scholarship programs need overhaul, report says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national scholarship program, aimed at helping students living in poverty or vulnerable situations, is in the need of a serious tuneup, according to the Contraloría General de la República, which is the comptroller's office in Costa Rica.

According to the Contraloría, the Fondo Nacional de Becas works under very inefficient methodologies that cause serious damage to the same population it is supposed to protect.

Their lack of organization has caused many scholarships and money arrive to their beneficiaries late in the second half of the year. Another problem pointed out by the Contraloría is that many subsidies are granted to families who don't really need it, because the Fondo doest not carry out a real investigation on household income, according to an audit released Monday that takes into consideration all the year 2016. 

According to the findings, the Fondo has failed to reduce the percentage of people who manage to infiltrate into the system of benefits. On 2016, 18 percent of the grantees to a scholarship did not deserve it due to enough economic resources.

This damages about 244,141 students in poverty or extreme poverty who do not have a full primary education and do not receive a Fonabe scholarship, according to the Contraloría.

Contraloría's statistics showed the percentage of people infiltrated in the scholarship programs is similar to that of 2011 and 2012.

La Carpio
                              child
The Real San José photo     
Children walk up and down in
dilapidated area of La Carpio.


In 2016, 3,184 people from the richest quintile in Costa Rica received a scholarship from the Fondo.

Another problem the document strongly underlines is the management of applications.
At least 56 percent of new applications were approved until the second half of 2016.

Leaving the students with no resources at a time families had to face a high investment to send their kids to school.

The Contraloría also call for a improvement in the coordination between the Fondo and Education Centers, since 40 percent of the beneficiaries complained about excessive paperwork.

Although the Fondo has implemented actions to strengthen the effectiveness of the scholarship allocation process, those actions have not resulted in any improvements, a reality that has been repeatedly pointed out to the administrations between 2004 and 2017, the report says.


Landslide
Comisión Nacional de Emergencias photo     
One of the many landslides that left more than 100 affected in San José alone.
Almost 200 arrive in shelters following landslides
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A total of 188 people, throughout the country, have been taken to shelters authorized by the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias.

Out of these, 168 were affected by floods and landslides in the last hours and more than 500 incidents have been reported. 

The fullest shelter is located in Barrio México.

There are 13 families and 66 people there since Sunday.

In San José, there are three other shelters for the districts of La Uruca, Aserrí and Patarrá.



The Comisión also set up two in Alajuela, Guanacaste and Cartago. 

According to forecasts, further flooding or landslides could occur, especially as the soil is totally saturated with water, according to Sigifredo Pérez, the commission's chief of operations.

For now, caution is advised especially for those who live near hillsides or rivers.


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Tuesday Edition, September 26, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 191
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Fuerza Pública detain suspected house thieves and seize more guns
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police in La Fortuna detained three people as suspects in a home invasion Monday morning.

According to a report from the Fuerza Pública, the suspects allegedly hailed a pirata, the Costa Rican slang term for an informal taxi driver, to take them to a neighborhood in the middle of La Fortuna.

When they arrived at the house, the men carried a large amount of household items to put in a trunk. The driver who gave them a ride called the police and officers moved in to detain the suspects with some of the articles still in their possession, according to a report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

Two of the suspects apparently have a prior criminal record with theft. Officers seized a microwave, television, coffee maker, cell phones, screwdrivers, spoons, knives, forks, makeup, pots, radio and electric pan. Resulting inquiries from police also found other reports of theft and another house that had been cleaned out a few miles away.

Witnesses said that the thieves entered the property due to it being vacant at the time. “Apparently, they had a party late into the night and the next day allegedly looted everything,” the ministry statement said.

Meanwhile, police in the Central Pacific region seized several firearms from people who violated the Weapons and Explosives Act. The confiscations all occurred this past weekend.

The first of the confiscations occurred in Esparza in Puntarenas province when officers arrived at the house to arrest a man with an outstanding warrant. When they approached, they found a firearm in his fanny pack, police said. The man was arrested for an illegal possession of a firearm, the ministry said.

In Barranca, police received a tip that a man had a shotgun hidden in his house. When officers arrived, they found the man without a permit and sent him to the judicial authorities for charges. Lastly, police in Quepos conducted a random search of a man and found a pistol with ammunition on his person without permission.

Some
                                stolen pots
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo     
A good set of pots and pans to buy...or to steal.

Gun
                                  seizure
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo    
One of the guns seized during police actions this weekend.

Police seized the gun but it is unknown if the man carrying it was arrested.


Tourist sector companies to participate in November travel show
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of 75 companies will be promoted at the latest installment of the Fería Nacional de Viajes y Turismo Travel Show Expo this coming November.

According to Erick Asch, the coordinator for the event, this exposition will be a window for small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism industry to develop marketing strategies aimed at promoting sustainable tourism.

The fair will take place on Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sleep Inn Hotel in downtown San José with free entry and parking.

Companies from all over Costa Rica are expected to participate, Asch said.

“In this fair, national entrepreneurs will be able to show toward their different markets such as business associations, organized groups, cooperatives and the general public,” he said in a statement.

“They will also have multiple opportunities to establish strategic alliances, links with other companies, groups and similar associations in the tourism sector.”

The first of these events began back in 2012 with over 1,000 national and foreign companies benefiting from the series.
Organizations such as the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo, the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo are expected to be involved as well. 

The organization, Travel Show Expo, has organized similar events around the world including the United States’ Hotel & Motel Show as well as the World Travel Market in London.

“This industry is changing a lot and we face strong competition,” said Asch.

“That is why this year, the Travel Show Expo was concerned with providing information on a series of tools that can help us improve business management in an industry fundamental to the national economy especially in rural areas where it generates thousands of jobs.”

According to the latest report by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos, the food service and housing sector generated employment for 10,938 men and 7,792 women in companies with 10 or more people for a total of 18,730 workers in the last quarter of the year.

The fair organizer group will hold raffles and will award prizes every hour among attendees who submit their business cards. More information can be obtained on the group’s website.


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page
Residency

Published || Tuesday Edition, September 26, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 191
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Solicitor-General asks court to get rid of journalist requirements
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Solicitor-General's Office asked the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to bring down several rules that require public sector journalists to be enrolled with their professional association in order in order to qualify for salary incentives.

The complaint supports a first appeal of unconstitutionality filed by Carlos Hidalgo, the press chief at the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. 



According to Hidalgo, the Dept. of Human Resources conditions his payment of salary incentives only if he is a member of the professional association, despite the fact that the regulations of the association itself does not require any journalist to join.

The appeal also seeks to declare unconstitutional the obligation that only members of the association could occupy the positions of director, deputy director, editor or other jobs in media.



In 1985, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights said that the obligation for journalists to be registered before the professional association was illegitimate and violated freedom of expression and the right to information.

It also goes against Articles 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and articles 28 and 29 of the Costa Rican Constitution.

Jounalist stock
Wikipedia photo     
This guy probably wouldn't want to be forced
into a professional association either.




In 1995, the Costa Rican Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionality of article 22 of the Law of the Journalists Association, which established that only those who obtained a degree in journalism could practice a career in journalism.



According to the office of the Solicitor General, any restriction on being part of the media, including the director or publisher role, is illegitimate. The office also said that the current law pushed reporters to join that association and it constitutes a violation of the Constitutional Chamber's rulings.


Bike
                                route
Ciclovías map         
Proposed route of the bike paths with points of reference to display where the arrows come close to.
San José Centro proposes rent-a-bike program along proposed route
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The bicycle lane being built in San José to connect San Pedro will include commercial kiosks where bikers may rent and return bikes.

This was confirmed by the authorities of the Municipalidad de San José, who also said next they will open a public bidding to choose an operator for the aforementioned service. The goal is that kiosks will allow users to return bicycles at various points and not just the initial one, as it works in several European and American cities.

Since March, the municipality  has created a plan to move the parking lots that currently obstruct the 13 kilometers of the future bicycle lanes, so that people who prefer cars are not affected.

Also, a group of workers of the municipality have been in charge of the installation of vertical signals for the cyclists and have also installed three parking spaces for bicycles in municipal buildings. Some 17 other parking spaces are expected to be installed in public institutions, the municipality said.

In addition, the municipality started the process to hire a company that will be in charge of painting in green the new lanes, as well as placing the respective separators.

Biking
                                around
Ciclovías photo       
Current bike paths lack proper protections
from would-be violators on cars or motorcycles.


These actions constitute the first phase of three planned by the municipality.

The other two phases are campaigns meant to persuade people to see bicycles as an alternative means of transportation and also as a way to promote the capital’s public health programs to create as little smoke, smog and engine exhaust as possible.



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Los Suenos

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Tuesday Edition, September 26, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 191
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Universidad de Costa Rica examines separation of church and state
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica holds the title of the only Estado Confesional in all of Latin America, according to a statement from the Universidad de Costa Rica. This title is established within the country’s constitution that designates Roman Catholicism as the official state religion.

Throughout the country’s history, the separation of Church and State has been a subject of deep debate among conservatives and liberals on either side of the issue. While Article 75 creates the designation, it also allows for the freedom of religion also. To compare and contrast, organizers attached to the Centro de Investigación y Capacitación en Administración Pública took a look at the differences between France and Costa Rica on this topic during a lecture Sept. 18.

This symposium was also organized by the French Embassy in Costa Rica and the Instituto Francés para América Central concerning the differences in the development of secularism between the two.  Henning Jensen Pennington, the rector for the Universidad de Costa Rica, stressed the importance of opening the doors of the university to allow a reflection, critique and development of knowledge on the subject.

Secularism is a principle deeply rooted in French history and culture and is based upon equality before the law as well as the separation of Church and State. For the French, secularism is the principle that unites people without denying their differences, said Thierry Vankerk-Hoven, the French ambassador. That principle is elaborated within the first article of its 1958 constitution with origins going back to the French Revolution with the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man.

In France, the formal separation of Church and State was made with a 1905 law outlining the principle and establishing the neutrality of the state in religious practice, the ambassador said. This effectively created a peace treaty between the two institutions in France that had reached its pinnacle four years prior with the expulsion of religious congregations in 1901.

With Costa Rica, the union between the two institutions goes back to the Spanish colonial empire, according to Ana Lucia Fonseca Ramírez, an associate professor of philosophy at the university.

Separation of religions
Universidad de Costa Rica graphic    
France and Costa Rica represent two relatively opposite sides between secularism and an official state religion.

This relationship continued past Costa Rican independence and its current 1949 Constitution. Its legacy continues today particularly in the realm of public education, said Leonardo Garnier Rímolo, a former education minister.

One of the main  points that Garnier was emphatic about was in relation to religious education programs across all schools in Costa Rica needing to be approved by the Episcopal Conference. This requirement also includes the approval of teachers designated to teach religion. On the flip side, 83 percent of schools in France are public and their law has established, since 1881, that public education is secular and compulsory.

The challenges also differ between the two countries. France is currently grappling with the integration of Islam into its society, said Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, the minister for religious affairs in France. Peaucelle insisted that the only effective response is a clear understanding and enforcement of the principles of secularism in France on this issue.

Meanwhile in Costa Rica, the challenge relates mainly to the rise of new religious groups and evangelicals rising to high positions of power such as Gonzalo Ramírez, the head of the legislative assembly. Then there is also ongoing debate on sex education and stem cell programs. Both these factors have created a growing movement to eliminate the official religion designation that Catholicism has within the constitution.


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HERE!


Household Furnishings

Fine
                  Furniture of Sarchi

Fine Furniture of Sarchi - Sarchi, Costa Rica
All our handcrafted products are made in Sarchi with pride and quality by artisans who are dedicated to designing, crafting, and delivering our furniture to you. Please visit our website and send us a picture and specifications of what YOU like, or just send us pictures from anywhere you wish. We will quote you right back with a more than competitive price and an on-time delivery date. Delivery and set up available throughout Costa Rica. We have different Costa Rican woods from which you may choose. 
www.FineFurnitureOfSarchi.com
Contact information:
Adolfo's Cell 506-8831-4306
 Tom in the USA 803-261-6000
Email: Info@FineFurnitureOfSarchi.com
9218-8/25/17

U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)

Tax time
U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
T
ax Accountant
Let’s discuss your tax situation.

Marlene
                                  Summers
The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so. 

However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

You can file current or past due FBARs without payment to meet IRS  requirements.

If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

Over 20 years in Costa Rica
and Silicon Valley.
Competitive rates.

Phone (506) 2289-6590 ; Cell (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com
9186-6/30/17

James Brohl
James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
n
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
n
• IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $102,100 for 2017).
• Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
• Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
• Up-to-date FATCA news.
• All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
• Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com

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

Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes
                                                logo
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 www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17


Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
9049-7/31/17


Real estate-related services (paid category)

COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
CODE 9230-12/19/17


Shipping services (paid category)

Shipping
Moving to Costa Rica or Back to the U.S.?
  10 Years of Happy Clients
Canadian English or Spanish Spoken
Excellent Service, Competitive Prices
Call  (772) 361-1050
Email:   shippingcostarica@gmail.com
Our Web:  http://shippingcostarica.com
Free Ebook: How To Import to Costa Rica HERE!
Shipping Costa Rica


Psychotherapy


Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
Psychologist
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 • Trauma EMDR click here
 • NWM Training
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
doclucinda@gmail.com
www.LucindaGray.com
Learn more about 
New World Meditation: (Second Edition) Discover True Happiness Thru
Experiential Healing 
Click Here
9057-2/25/17


Psychiatric Services
SERVICE CONNECTED DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS (FMP)
Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho
DR LUIS CARLOS SANCHO TORRES
PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Prescription Management

Send us your:
-VA LETTER WITH LIST OF DISABILITIES
-VETERAN IDENTIFICATION

Call me:  (506) 2246-3458
Email: veteranscr@gmail.com
4th floor at Hospital La Catolica, Guadalupe, San José
9234-12/1/17


Legal Services

Adrian Fernandez
Attorney & Notary

A Fernandez
Notary services and registrations. Collections and foreclosures. Real estate and litigation. Corporate Law. Immigration. Estate planning wills and testaments, probate.

I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

 Call me for advice
    Phone:  2280-9692 / 2253-3705
    Email: ajfernandez@racsa.co.cr
    Law Office is conveniently located near  Mall San Pedro, 350 meters south  from the Hyundai dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
9181-7/3/17

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
      government.
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
       America.
-Superb communications.
-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
-Helps you settle your claims.
Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José. Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520  or ( 506) 2233-2455
E-mail : info@garrettbrokers.com
More information HERE!
9165-5/22/17




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Page 5 is HERE!     
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Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE!  Plus useful links
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details



 
A.M.
Costa
Rica
Fifth
news page


Published || Tuesday Edition, September 26, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 191
Calendar
Opinion
Classifieds
Real estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

Books headline

Brodell Book
Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica
 (editor)A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca.  
Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trouble with Cash

The Trouble with Cash
By John H Paterson

Greg and Liz must sell their property in Costa Rica to finance their retirement. They receive an offer for their full asking price of $1 million, but it comes with one condition...the payment is to be in cash. They go for it. Things go wrong. The money is stolen.The local police are no help so Greg devises his own plan to get their money back.  Review or buy the book on Amazon ON SALE FOR $0.99
 Click Here  Email:  j.paterson@riomagnolia.com 
Phone: (506) 8868-5561
 Watch book trailer here:

Money, Flowers and More

MAKE GIFTS FROM DOLLARS OR COLONES
Running out of gift ideas? Author Dusty Pilot has just released easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for turning bills (dollars or colones) of any denomination into unique gifts such as flowers: roses, daffodils, daisies and poinsettias; shirts and blouses, and birds with flapping wings. The book is being discounted to $0.99 through October 31. It is available at all major online book stores. Preview or purchase at Amazon or visit  DustyPilot click here. Buy this book at Smashwords For more information Contact Dusty Pilot: Email dusty@dustypilot.com. Phone  001 440 796-4105

Brodell book 2
The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise

By James J. Brodell. Retired baseball player Jack Patterson becomes suspicious after his younger sister dies in a Pacific Ocean rip tide while on vacation in Costa Rica. Jack has to go there to find answers to troubling questions. But soon he is hijacked by a gang of avengers led by an icy Costa Rican-American woman who carries twin pistols strapped to her chest. Jack soon helps uncover a web of corruption and greed . Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trapped in Damas Cave
Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica

A true story by author Dusty Pilot, who lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. Dusty tells his horrifying story of being trapped in the Damas Cave, near Quepos, for 26 hours. The book is available from Amazon in both digital and print format. Digital format will be on sale for $0.99 until Aug. 30. Visit Amazon.com to preview or purchase, or DustyPilot.com/cave.html More information Contact Dusty Pilot Email: dusty@dustypilot.com US phone: 001 440 796-4105¯

New
                        World Meditation
New World Meditation: Focusing-Mindfulness-Healing-Awakening
By Lucinda Gray PhD

You will be Free to Live, Love, Work and Play in the Full Creative Expression of Your Authentic Self. New World Meditation is easy to learn, easy to practice, and profoundly transformational.  More information HERE!
Life
                        is a Tropical Garden

    Life is a Tropical Garden By Victoria Torley 
    A quirky look at gardening in the tropics. What happens when a "Northern" gardener moves to Costa Rica? You have no idea….  Email: victoriatorley1@gmail.com.  Order this book here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522005986/ref=rdr_ext_tmb


HowardBook

Guide to Costa Rican Spanish
(English and Spanish Edition)

This one-of-a-kind best-selling Costa Rica Spanish phrasebook will help anyone including older retirees master the basics of using Costa Rican Spanish in real-life situations. Retirees, expats and tourists will get the most of of Costa Rica, be able to communicate effectively with Costa Ricans and understand the local culture. A practical pronunciation will help you sound a like a native Spanish speaker.  The book is now available for sale on Amazon click here

CODE:8550-10/21/17
INCOFER app
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo        
The new mobile app provides a comprehensive review
of the train network.


Costa Rica's train system? There's an app for that

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Train users now have the chance to track their service, possible delays, fares and special announcements through an application designed by the Insitituto Costarricense de Ferrocarrilles.

As of now, about 18,000 people use the train services on a daily basis.

“One of the main concerns is to keep users informed of any significant change, specially those who wait at some train stops where there is not an Incofer official to guide them with questions,” said Elizabeth Briceño, president of the institution.

The name of the app is Incofer Móvil and it is available on the Android platform. In the next few weeks, an iOS version will be delivered since normally those take much time to get approved, according to María Fernanda, spokeswoman for the institute.

The Incofer Mobile application was developed in collaboration with the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and the Instituto, hoping to improve the services and improve the communications channels. The ministry and the institute seek to improve this tool and keep the application updated, one of next steps will be the ability the train in real time.


Palmar Sur bridge
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo      
Palmar Sur bridge is a little rusted out.

Zona Sur map
Google Maps graphic      
Map routed to show the proposed road being improved.

Consultation meet today in Zona Sur
 
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A communal consultation on the expansion of the Palmar Norte-Paso Canoas route will take place today at 6:30 p.m. at Cenecoop, located in Palmar Sur.

During the gathering, engineers from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes will show the designs for the improvements to be carried out on the Interamericana Sur Highway, specifically in the segment between Palmar Norte and Chacarita.

Two other sections will be explained in the consultation, Chacarita Rio Claro and Río Claro Paso Canoas. Eventually, all this sections would allow a two-to-four lanes expansion of the roads and the improvement of the bridges, the ministry said.

Feedback from participants will be taken into consideration.


New training program launched
to fight exploitation and child labor


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry and other government organizations are beginning a new training program designed to aid staff in the prevention, detection, reporting and treatment for victims of exploitation.

According to a Monday statement from the Ministerio de Salud, the objective is to train staff from several institutions as multiplier agents to contribute toward the improvement of Costa Rica’s response to issues related to sexual exploitation and child labor within the country. The participating institutions are: the health ministry, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and the Coalición Nacional entre el Tráfico Ilícito de Migrantes y Trata de Personas among others.

This is part of the national strategy on adolescent health that aims to make Costa Rica free of child labor abuses and train people in protecting the rights of minors, Salud said. Within the health ministry, there are 2,362 officials performing various functions that need to be informed on the subject. The training portfolio proposes training 188 technicians and professionals directly linked to these issues in different offices across the country.

For its part, the Caja has proposed to train 262 officials. The labor ministry around 140 and 60 officials from other institutions will join as well, the health ministry said.


Our reader’s opinion
Does open market mean open season for monopolies?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In permitting the opening of the mobile phone market, I hope the Consejo de la Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones does not follow the United States’ model and permit continual corporate acquisition until we are left with essentially monopolies that, in the name of corporate profits and share prices: decrease service and digital line speeds, limit options and instead seek continual increases in fees. 

Capitalism is great until it is eating its young and disgorging obscene profits to the avarice among us.

Gary Keenan
Cariari/Belén de Heredia













































ANNOUNCEMENT FROM
THE A.M. COSTA RICA STAFF


You've probably noticed this blank space on the A.M. Costa Rica fifth news page.

We're in the midst of adding something new here! Keep an eye out for more details.









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




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Calendar
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From page 6:

Clock continues to tick on budget debate's end

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The clock keeps rolling on for the finance ministry to convince the legislature to accept so-called austerity measures in the face of a growing fiscal crisis.

The problem, however, is that the Costa Rican government does not have much budgetary room to maneuver as 96 percent of the budget is already fixed and mandated as required under constitutional law. The country’s national budget is the Ministerio de Hacienda’s attempt at some form of compromise in keeping with the commitments to social programs and then also instituting austere measures.

“The budget considers the annual projects of all the institutions and not only those of the first semester, as some legislators have erroneously stated, since in that circumstance, there would have been other cuts and not 1.4 percent,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to Marjorie Morera, the director of the national budget, each minister was given clear directions on the priorities for the next year and not the semester. Ms. Morera added in her statement that each public institution was asked to submit proposals of where expenditures could be cut entirely from their budgets.

For the coming year, Costa Rica has a proposed budget of 9.3 trillion colones, or around $15.6 billion, the finance ministry said. This represents a growth in expenditure by 3.2 percent resulting from these legally-mandated obligations. Out of that amount, 5.2 trillion will be financed by taxes while 4.1 trillion colones financed by debt. “The proposal implies reaching a debt close to 50 percent due to a structural deficit and outdated tax laws dating back to the 1980s,” Hacienda said.

The budget debate is not likely to stop anytime soon as finance officials and legislators grapple with efforts, or lack thereof, to slow a fiscal crisis during election season.