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October 4, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 197
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Landslide
Comisión Nacional de Emergencias photo        
Landslide occurring near an embankment of the Río Virilla Monday evening.
Mayors plead for national emergency declaration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's mayors called on the executive branch to declare a national emergency due to the heavy rains in recent days.

The request was made Tuesday morning by the Asociación Nacional de Alcaldes e Intendentes.

"On behalf of several mayors we formally request an emergency declaration from the President of the Republic, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Presidency, based on the latest events that have taken place in the last week," said Leonardo Chacón, representative of the Asociación.

The Association said the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias reported 1,174 incidents in 66 cantons of the country. Among them, flooding in housing and important national roads.

The association also called for the authorities to approve the wires of funds to repair all the damaged cantonal road network, as it is stated in law 9329.

"The minister of Hacienda is requested to turn in a timely manner the funds to serve the cantonal road network due to the damages in many cantonal roads, which serve as main access routes or, as alternative routes to avoid landslides,” Chacón added.

NOAA map
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map     
Tropical wave shifting into cyclone off the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

This comes after the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional announced that another tropical wave off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica had formed. This wave, however, has the potential to become a tropical cyclone in the coming days. The institute noted that this system was moving west-northwest at the time with the probable route going north.

Meanwhile, rains will be prevalent in the Zone Norte and Pacífico regions of Costa Rica. These are sure to aggravate any work efforts conducted by the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes in the efforts to clear the roads and stop the flooding. As of Tuesday afternoon, the CNE said that the yellow alert issued for much of the country was still on and is not likely to be lowered until the rains lighten up.


Suspect
                              arrested
Organismo de Investigación Judicial image grab     
One of the suspects arrested arrives by air to Quepos to take statement down.
Agents arrest four suspects on multiple homicide
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After several months of investigation, agents with the Judicial Investigation Organization arrested four men as suspects in the killing of two adults and two minors.

The arrests occurred Tuesday morning in the Quepos area, according to the report from the judiciary. Two adult males, both 26-years old, and two minors, one 12-years old and the other 16-years old, were found dead last year in Paquita de Quepos. The subsequent investigation revealed that the victims were shot multiple times in an alleyway.

According to the preliminary report, one of the deceased arrived with the suspects and was wounded by them the moment that they fled as his body was found in front of a house where the other victims were. Investigators believe that the motive was a turf war between the suspects and victims on drug sales.

One of the suspects was arrested in the Río Blanco area of Limón and another arrested at their residence in La Unión de Cartago. The last two were arrested on the road at La Sierpe de Osa and on the sidewalk in La Fortuna de San Carlos, agents said.

The accused were taken on four counts of homicide and two counts of attempted murder. They are currently in Quepos to take down their respective statements, according to a report issued by the Ministerio Público. Prosecutors said that they will request preventive detention before the criminal court of the area.

Aside from the four men murdered, the prosecutor’s office also noted two others who were injured during the incident. Each suspect apparently had two cell phones on their person at the time of their arrest, agents said. The case is still under investigation under file number 16-001625-072-PE.


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A.M.
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Second News Page

Published || Wednesday Edition, October 4, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 192
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Costa Rican couple arrested for apparent illegal adoption attempt
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Costa Rican couple is suspected of having published an ad on a website with the intention of giving their daughter up for adoption, according to the Fiscalía contra la Trata de Personas y Migrantes of the Ministerio Público.

The investigations started in June 2016 when a man and his partner realized she was pregnant. According to the Físcalia, the couple agreed that they could not afford the child. That's why they decided to offer the baby for adoption through a web ad.

After publishing the notice on the Internet, they were contacted by a Salvadoran couple interested in adopting.

Contacts between the two families increased to a point where one of the Salvadorian partners came to the country to take the mother to the medical checkup and confirm her pregnancy. The investigation also says that the Salvadorans would have taken care of all expenses for the child to be born in El Salvador.

"The Salvadoran man and the Costa Rican woman later moved to El Salvador on July 28, 2016, supposedly to remain there until the date of delivery.

The girl was born on Aug. 21 last year at a medical center in San Salvador. Apparently, the Costa Rican mother was checked into the hospital using a fake identity. After being arrested last week, the Criminal Court of San José imposed 6 months of preventive custody on the biological mother under the charge of trafficking people through illegal adoptions.

The situation came to the attention of the authorities after a complaint by the maternal grandmother of the child, who seeks to recover parental authority over the girl. It should be noted that adoption in Costa Rica is allowed and without any restriction, as long as there is no economic reward.

Legal processes are performed through a family court, which determines if the adoptive family meets the characteristics for the child's well-being. In addition, the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia supports both sides of the process.


Government in-fighting over inability to pay the Caja taxes begins
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Superintencia de Pensiones has expressed its concern about the country’s inability to pay in full its contribution to the pensions regime of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social.

The Ministerio de Hacienda did not comply with the increase of 0.66 percent to the regime. The increase was approved in September 2016 by the Junta Directiva of the Caja. However the government has announced not having the resources to pay.

Due to this situation, Álvaro Ramos, Superintendente de Pensiones, recommended the Caja to assess the legal and administrative measures against the Ministerio de Hacienda. According to Ramos, the Caja must continue to implement legal and political tools in the event of default.

The pension scheme administered by the Caja has around 1.5 million contributors and 235,000 pensioners. Currently, the government contributes 1.24 percent on the workers' salary, the employers 5.08 percent and the workers 3.34 percent.


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page
Residency

Published || Wednesday Edition, October 4, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 197
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Sharon Day sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Last week saw the swearing in of new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Sharon Day, at the headquarters of the U.S. State Dept. in Washington D.C.

Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon swore in Ms. Day and Román Macaya, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States attended the ceremony along with members of Ms. Day’s family. The new ambassador also presented copies of her formal Letter of Credence to Manuel González, the Costa Rican foreign minister.

Prior to her ascendancy as ambassador, Ms. Day worked for over 20 years in the Republican Party before rising to become Co-chair of the Republican National Committee alongside Reince Preibus. She also has experience working in the private sector as a champion of the free market system, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.

She is a native of Texas but has spent much of her life and made her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ms. Day has two children and five grandchildren, the embassy said. It is unclear if any members of her family would be accompanying her in her move to Costa Rica.

She replaces S. Fitzgerald Haney as Costa Rica ambassador. Haney is a businessman from New Jersey who had held the post since 2015. He was allowed to stay on as ambassador initially after Trump was elected, even though many other Barack Obama appointees were required to leave their posts on Inauguration Day.

Since Haney’s departure in July, the responsibilities of the ambassador post are being stewarded by, Robin Matthewman, the Chargé d’Affaires and career Foreign Service officer. It is unclear when Ms. Day will arrive into Costa Rica.

Swearing in
U.S. Embassy Facebook photo     
Sharon Day sworn in as the new ambassador.

Day
                                  and Tillerson
U.S. Embassy Facebook photo     
Sharon Day with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.


Linguistic encyclopedia project offers window into indigenous world
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the aim of combining a linguistic encyclopedia of indigenous languages and learn more about traditional agriculture techniques, the Universidad de Costa Rica is developing a countrywide diversity project.

According to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos, the native population in Costa Rica grew by 39 percent between the census conducted in 2000 and the recent one in 2011. By 2011, the tribes represented 2.4 percent of the population of the country. Of that number, only 30.4 percent speak an indigenous language.

The university said that this project aims to break with the traditional scheme of documenting only the language and seeks to understand the language and culture as a form of heritage in the form of thematic encyclopedias.

“The fact of seeing written documents like these is very important; it makes us feel that we have possibilities to say things,” said Alí García Segura, a member of the Bribri tribe. “I have the possibility to have a voice; to say I exist. I have the possibility to say I can do this and a little more proud in some way when people start writing in their language. These are real contributions I would say, as Bribri, real to our identity, our culture and language.”

The project was considered to expand upon this theme by using traditional methods of land use, cultivation techniques and other agricultural details. The difference is that it would be listed in the languages of the Bribri, Malecu and Térraba. It began with visits with the three tribes to conduct interviews and collect photographic documentation and illustrated material, the university said.

“The design process is very complex because it is being designed for a worldview that is totally alien to the one you have,” said Nathalia Valerín Vargas, the project design assistant.

“One has to take into account that he is doing social design, which is very different from doing advertising design or graphic design. In this case we are working for a community and we must take into account respect for their culture, tradition and ancestral knowledge. It is a process of learning together with them.”

Linguistic encyclopedia
Universidad de Costa Rica photo     
Members of the indigenous tribe review the encyclopedia.

Agriculture work
Universidad de Costa Rica photo    
Seeing the tools and reused materials are
also considered in the illustrations.

Once the tribesmen approved the design, the fitting of the image with the language to accompany it begins, Valerín said. “The richest part of the project is actually the learning that exists on both sides,” said Carlos Sánchez Avendaño, the project coordinator. “It is a constant confrontation between what I take for granted according to my life experience and that of the communities.”


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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

  Published || Wednesday Edition, October 4, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 197
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Earth’s tectonic plates are weaker than once thought, research says
By the University of Pennsylvania press staff

No one can travel inside the earth to study what happens there. So scientists must do their best to replicate real-world conditions inside the lab.

“We are interested in large-scale geophysical processes, like how plate tectonics initiates and how plates move underneath one another in subduction zones,” said David Goldsby, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“To do that, we need to understand the mechanical behavior of olivine, which is the most common mineral in the upper mantle of the earth.”

Goldsby, teaming with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Oxford and the University of Delaware, has now resolved a long-standing question in this area of research.

While previous laboratory experiments resulted in widely disparate estimates of the strength of olivine in the earth’s lithospheric mantle, the relatively cold and therefore strong part of Earth’s uppermost mantle, the new work, published in the journal “Science Advances,” resolves the previous disparities by finding that, the smaller the grain size of the olivine being tested, the stronger it is.

Because olivine in Earth’s mantle has a larger grain size than most olivine samples tested in labs, the results suggest that the mantle, which comprises up to 95 percent of the planet’s tectonic plates, is in fact weaker than once believed.

This more realistic picture of the interior may help researchers understand how tectonic plates form, how they deform when loaded with the weight of, for example, a volcano in Costa Rica, or even how earthquakes begin and propagate.

Costa Rica and the isthmus of Central America represents a border between multiple tectonic plates such as the Cocos and Caribbean plates. If, as the study suggests, that the plates are weaker then that could impact the understanding of seismic events such as earthquakes as well as where the depths of the Earth meet the surface: volcanoes.

For more than 40 years, researchers have attempted to predict the strength of olivine in the earth’s lithospheric mantle from the results of laboratory experiments. But tests in a lab are many layers removed from the conditions inside the earth, where pressures are higher and deformation rates are much slower than in the lab.

A further complication is that, at the relatively low temperatures of Earth’s lithosphere, the strength of olivine is so high that it is difficult to measure its plastic strength without fracturing the sample. The results of existing experiments have varied widely, and they don’t align with predictions of olivine strength from geophysical models and observations.

In an attempt to resolve these discrepancies, the researchers employed a technique known as nanoindentation, which is used to measure the hardness of materials. Put simply, the researchers measure the hardness of a material, which is related to its strength, by applying a known load to a diamond indenter tip in contact with a mineral and then measuring how much the mineral deforms.

Olivine
University of Pennsylvania photo    
Olivine is the most abundant mineral in upper mantle, which comprises the bulk of the planet's tectonic plates.

Nanoindentation experiments
University of Pennsylvania photo     
Nanoindentation experiments using pyramidal (left) and spherical (right) tips show how olivine deforms.

“With nanoindentation,” Goldsby said, “the sample in effect becomes its own pressure vessel. The hydrostatic pressure beneath the indenter tip keeps the sample confined when you press the tip into the sample’s surface, allowing the sample to deform plastically without fracture, even at room temperature.”

Performing 800 nanoindentation experiments in which they varied the size of the indentation by varying the load applied to the diamond tip pressed into the sample, the research team found that the smaller the size of the indent, the harder, and thus stronger, olivine became.

​​​​​​​“This indentation size effect had been seen in many other materials, but we think this is the first time it’s been shown in a geological material,” Goldsby said.

Looking back at previously collected strength data for olivine, the researchers determined that the discrepancies in those data could be explained by invoking a related size effect, whereby the strength of olivine increases with decreasing grain size of the tested samples.  When these previous strength data were plotted against the grain size in each study, all the data fit on a smooth trend which predicts lower-than-thought strengths in Earth’s lithospheric mantle.

“Different faults have a similar roughness, and there’s an idea published recently that says you might get those patterns because the strength of the materials on the fault surface increases with the decreasing scale of roughness,” Thom said. “Those patterns and the frictional behavior they cause might be able to tell us something about how earthquakes nucleate and how they propagate.”

In future work, the Penn researchers and their team would like to study size-strength effects in other minerals and also to focus on the effect of increasing temperature on size effects in olivine.


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Featuring artistic expressions of Costa Rican culture, heritage and traditions, the Hidden Garden Art Gallery has been your source for fine art since 2010.  Here you will find 15 large rooms of art in a beautiful, tranquil setting, with more than 60 artists showcasing traditional and contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and giclee prints.  Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) towards the beaches. Stop in for a visit to enjoy the view!

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArt.com
Contact us by email: info@HiddenGardenArt.com
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.
9214-8/2/17


George Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
HERE!

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, and Lifestyle Guide. Email : lundquistgeorge@gmail.com
9113-7/4/17

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@travelinparadisecr.com
Web:  www.travelinparadisecr.com
8995-4/17/17

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon
                            logo

HERE!


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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Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE!  Plus useful links
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A.M.
Costa
Rica
Fifth
news page


Published || Wednesday Edition, October 4, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 197
Calendar
Opinion
Classifieds
Real estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us


U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery program is now open for applications
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another round of the United States Diversity Visa Lottery program opened Tuesday to those countries with low levels of immigration to the United States including Costa Rica.

According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, the program is a lottery that grants up to 50,000 permanent residence visas to people from certain countries considered to have lower levels of immigration to the United States. The idea is to diversify the immigrant population. The embassy said that the lottery will be open until Nov.7 and that those interested could either present their application in person before the U.S. Dept. of State or online at the program’s website.

The service is free and does not require an intermediary to enroll within the program. To avoid being a victim of fraud, applicants are reminded to disregard emails from people requesting phone numbers or bank accounts. The embassy also said that those who submit the request can only submit one application per person and sending more than one means immediate disqualification from the program.


“Those who submit their request will be able to verify the status of their request and whether this request was selected or not (for this, they must keep the confirmation number that the system generates; if the applicant loses this information, it will be impossible to verify if the person was selected or not),” a statement from the embassy said.
The information will be available starting May 1, 2018.

The State Dept. insisted that it will not send notices or letters via email or post to those selected and that interested persons need to log in to review their results.

According to information from the Dept. of State, the lottery is random excluding the allocations of available visas for each and each country.

Based on data acquired from the State Dept., a total of 72 entrants were selected for fiscal year 2015 from Costa Rica.

By comparison, over 1,556 entrants were selected from Venezuela and 1,480 from Cuba. The number of selected entrants is not much when considering that 5,707 entries were received during the online registration period in 2015.

That process does not meant that the visa is issued.

Data for the number of visas issued for 2014 shows 25 applicants from Costa Rica were permitted permanent residence under this program.

Data from 2015 was not apparently available.

Most applicants apply outside the United States and immigrate via consular processing and issuance of an immigrant visa.

Education ministry receives English skills app for smart phones
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two college students have developed and donated to the Ministerio de Educación Pública the Eureka application in an effort to improve English skills of high school students.

The application is free to download and can work on both a data and internet connection. In addition, it consumes little memory space on mobile devices. The application evaluates the knowledge in grammar, reading comprehension, speaking and pronunciation.

It also includes evaluations and tests similar to the ones applied by the Ministerio during the final Bachillerato tests.

The creators of the app are Fernando González, a Lincoln School student and Sebastián Piedra, a graduated from Saint Claire College and currently studying at a university abroad.

The ministry’s Dept. of Technological Resources became the link between the students and the ministry,  providing the technical advice so that the application matches the pedagogical needs and new study programs in English, created in mid 2016.

The minister of Educación Pública, Sonia Mora, received the young people in her office for the official delivery of the application and the signing of the donation certificate.

Phone app
Ministerio de Educación Pública photo     
Sonia Mora being shown the new smart phone app.

"We want to promote innovative ideas, created by young people for young people,” said Ms. Mora. “Learning foreign languages is one of the skills that will put our students ahead of the challenges of the new century. "

One of the creators of the application, Fernando González, explained that the tool was born after he and his partner visited a job fair in which they made visible the need for future professionals to speak English. Out of this need, Eureka was created.


Want to read more? Check out these books listed below!
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!
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¯


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:
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!


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
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


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!
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





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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Lifestyle
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Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

From page 6:

Moody's agency lowers BCR's credit rating

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Risk rating agency Moody's lowered the Banco de Costa Rica's credit rating from Ba2 to Ba3 on Monday. The agency also assigned a negative outlook.

In addition, the bank's long-term risk rating went from Ba2  to Ba1. The deterioration of the credit note reflects a greater concern regarding the bank's corporate governance, evidenced by the request of the President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, to resign the bank’s Board of Directors on Sept. 26, 2017 .

Solís said that the request was motivated in part by a report from the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras which points out that internal conflicts between board members have undermined the bank's functioning and decision-making.

Solís expected to announce the new composition of the board on Oct. 3, 2017. However, most current members of the council have refused to resign and instead have requested to undergo an administrative process to determine if there is reason for dismissal.

According to the rating firm, since the administrative process could take several months to resolve, the refusal of the members to resign could lead to the bank's inability to make meaningful governance decisions, at least temporarily, aggravating the issues that led to the president to request the resignation of the directive.

The president's request is in addition to an ongoing investigation by a special commission of the Legislative Assembly on some loans granted by the Banco de Costa Rica.

Moody's believes that concerns about the bank's corporate governance will likely have a negative impact on its overall financing profile. That said, the state guarantee of the bank should help mitigate any impact especially on bank deposits.