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A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

 
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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Oct. 11, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 202                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco




Fútbol tonight, and Canadian Thanksgiving Monday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica battled the U.S. national soccer team in a Colorado snowstorm. This afternoon the team will be enduring the heat of San Pedro Sula as it takes on Honduras.

The game is more important to Honduras than Costa Rica, because the Tico national team already has qualified for the 2014 World Cup.  There are similar World Cup preliminary matches tonight all over the globe.

There are other important dates in the next few days. The Limón Carnival starts today.

Saturday is the Día de las Culturas and some events for the weekend were outlined in Thursday's newspaper.
Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, but there is no particular ceremony planned here.

A Canadian said that the festivities would mainly be dinner at home.

Monday is a big day for Costa Rica. That is when a hearing starts in the International Court of Justice over the dredging and digging by Nicaragua to open up a new mouth for the Río San Juan through Costa Rican territory.

In its request, Costa Rica further contends that “through its construction and ongoing dredging of the canals, Nicaragua is attempting unilaterally to modify, to its own benefit, the location and configuration of the river, the right bank of which constitutes a valid, agreed and settled international boundary,” said the court in announcing the agenda.











Rescue worker covers the body of a La Unión man who was killed when rain-soaked ground gave way near Lake Arenal.

Body covered
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Father and son killed by landslide finally found
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rescue workers finally recovered the bodies of a father and son swept away by a landslide.  That happened about 1:30 Thursday in the mud and debris left by the slide in the community of La Unión near Lake Arenal.

Cruz Roja officials said that volunteers and staffers worked for 55 hours to find the bodies. The dead are Jehudy Castro, 41, the father, and the son, Roberto Castro, 8.
The community is between La Fortuna de San Carlos and Tilarán.

Workers first found the body of the father and then dug further to find the son about six feet away. The father was walking the son to school when the pair stopped. The man was reported to be photographing the aftermath of a recent slide when a much bigger one took place.

The Cruz Roja said it brought a dog to the site Thursday to help with the search.


Suspect detained in wave of Escazú rape-robberies
 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained a suspect Thursday in a string of rape-robberies that victimized female pedestrians in Escazú.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the suspect was 33 and that he was detained in Escazú.

The victims ranged from 16 to 30, agents said. The wave of rapes began in February, and crimes were reported in May and September, too.
The robber selected his victims while he was riding on a motorcycle on a public street. The crimes took place in the morning and afternoon.

There are at least five victims.

The robber had a firearm and threatened his victims, agents said. Then he would take some of their possessions and then either rape or otherwise sexually molest them, they added.

The suspect was detained in Guachipelín de Escazú.

Major sewer project far behind, budget watchdog says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's state-run water company is so far behind in a sewer project in Limón that the country might lose the loan that was provided for construction.

That was the opinion of the Contraloría de la República, the budget watchdog, in a report issued Thursday.

The $20.5 million project had been tied up in contractual problems and delays in obtaining rights to land to install a pumphouse, said the report.

The Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y
 Alcantarillados has spent just 2.2 percent of the money provided by the World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said the report. And that was to purchase a vehicle.
 
The sewer project is for Limoncito and Pueblo Nuevo. The project is part of the major reconstruction of the province of Limón, called Proyecto Limón Ciudad Puerto.

The project was supposed to improve dramatically the infrastructure in the area.

The report said that the project might run into deadlines imposed by the bank and face the possible loss of the money.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 11, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 202

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


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Real estate agents and services

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Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
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Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
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Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
Email: lawyer@crtitle.com
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Four detained in investigation
of illegal organ transplants

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pizza parlor owner and three more physicians have been swept up in a probe of illegal organ transplants.

The Poder Judicial announced the arrests Thursday.

The physicians are two urologists and a vascular specialist. The urologists were identified by the last names of Mauro Stamati and Fonseca Guzmán. The vascular expert was identified with the last names of Monge Monge.

Dimosthenis Katsigiannis is the highly personable pizza restaurant owner who was detained. His restaurant is just across the street from Hospital Calderón Guardia, and it is frequented by many of the staffers from there. The Poder Judicial said that his role was finding persons willing to donate organs, mainly a kidney and directing them to the physicians.

Purchasing an organ is illegal in Costa Rica.

Last June 18 agents detained Francisco Mora Palma, chief of nephrology at Hospital Calderón Guardia. and said that he had done 550 organ transplants. One elderly U.S. resident has disclosed that he paid $150,000 for a kidney and that Mora did the operation at  Hospital Hotel La Católica in Guadalupe. The man could not get a transplant in the United States because of his age and physical condition. He later died.

The Poder Judicial said Thursday that those who received the organ transplants were mainly foreigners.

Mora and a person described as a recruiter continue in preventative detention.


Our readers' opinions
Got problems living here?
You just have to get over it!


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Disclaimer: Like all expats, I have complained about Costa Rica and probably about all the usual things expats complain about here. The roads, the trash, the crime, the crazy drivers, the lack of signage, flagrant Gringo-gouging, and the stop-and-go legislative process. You know what I mean.
 
But here is where I come down on all these letters from Gringos who purport to know the solutions to all the problems in Costa Rica: It is what it is. Get over it.
 
Costa Rica belongs to the Costa Ricans. It was created by the Costa Ricans, and its future is being shaped by the Costa Ricans. The fact that the rest of us live here by choice means they are doing something right. And besides, we knew we wouldn’t be able to vote when we moved here. Sure, the country sees expats as a source of tax revenue and jobs for Ticos, but that doesn’t buy us the right to come here and create our own little corner of America (or Canada, or France, or Great Britain.)

There is peace of mind in melding into the culture and the ways of Costa Rica.
 
This means things won’t happen on the expat time schedule, whether we are talking about getting a building permit or changing your oil. You might get gouged by some businesses. Costs of things are going up, but not just here. Drivers stop without warning to pick up friends or maybe just to say “Hi.” There are thieves among us.
 
Don’t like the trash? Look up instead of down, or better yet, pick it up in your area. Don’t like the drivers? Take public transportation — and take a book with you. Upset about rising taxes? Move somewhere with lower taxes, or for less hassle than moving, just talk to your friends who still live in your native country about taxes they are paying. Got robbed? Watch where you walk at night, lock your windows and doors, maybe adopt a dog, and put your devices away when you’re not using them.
 
The point is: stop complaining. No place is perfect — especially the place you came from. Enjoy the beautiful geography and the diverse flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Enjoy the pleasant, courteous Ticos. Enjoy the climate and the season changes, such as they are. Get out more. Go to the beaches or the cloud forest. Isn’t that what you came here for? Count your blessings and stop whining.
 
Nowadays after spending an hour in the bank for a simple transaction, or going to three farmacias looking for Benadryl, I say to my partner, “I’m having a Costa Rica day!” And glad of it. I could be having a _____________ day. You fill in the blank.

 Rob Rowntree
 Manuel Antonio


Lots of these proposals just
will not do what he hopes


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In response to points outlined by Mr. Riden, which I found to be disturbing rather than thought provoking.

1. Control prices:  Price control does not work. Refer to the 70-year experiment in the former USSR which failed miserably.   Perhaps you would care to highlight how implementing steps 3 & 4 would offset the problem(s).

2.  Stop treating expats like the fairy tale: Please expand on broadening the tax base - remind that corporate entities also fall under the category of "the fairy tale pitcher that never runs out of milk."

3.  Shorten and streamline: An excellent idea. Please tell me where in the world this exercise takes place within a month?

4.  Reduce bureaucracy: Another commendable idea which is not about to happen anywhere else on this planet any time soon.

5.  Bring more revenue into the Caja: The modest sums charged for Caja will never be sufficient. Enough said.

6.  Make medical translators: You are a guest in a foreign land. Learn the language. At least make an effort.

7 & 8  Educate the citizens about entrepreneurialism: If only it were that simple.

9.  Foster greater understanding and cultural interchange: We have much of what you describe in my community of 200,000 (Richmond. B.C.) largely Asian from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. End result is most of the advertising signage in our community is only in Chinese. It  is not unusual to meet individuals with no more than five words of English after a decade or two of residency and proud of it. Last fall, it was found that a large segment of kindergarten entrants were unable to speak a word of English. It was reported that most (if not all) were born in Canada. ESL classes were formed. The joy of multiculturalism gone mad regardless the cost.

10.  The three pillars of prosperity for individuals and the country:    Having traveled extensively, found that progress and prosperity happens everywhere, regardless the language spoken as does digital technology and, cannot help but wonder what is your idea of an "expanded world view"

11.  Educate the citizens to become independent, critical thinkers:  This has to be a first, the family unit described as an addiction. Personal ethics are as a result of a close knit family life and independent, critical thinkers come from an education free of brainwashing, which appears to be the norm in Canada and the U.S.A. and, from what I have been told, in Costa Rica as well.

J. H. Penner
Richmond, B.C.


Let's enforce noise limits
on trucks and motorcycles

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

A message for candidates

Dear political person:

If you manage to win this upcoming election, please enforce the existing noise laws as per the Ley de Transito of 2012, specifically Articulo 39
 
A computer translated version:

All cars must use silencers or other mechanisms to help reduce noise levels produced by their engines, exhausts and speakers.

Vehicles that have engine brakes should use silencer to prevent exceeding the noise limits established by regulation. It also prohibits the use of grunts, muffles muffles altered or damaged.

Glenn E. Klima
Golfito

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Happy Birthday,
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 11, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 202
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Proposed genetics law could have a wide, unplanned impact
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A band concert to oppose genetically modified products is scheduled for Saturday. And Wednesday, World Food Day, activists will be at the legislature to present a proposed law for a national moratorium against genetically modified organisms.

The Wednesday event is related to the Día de las Culturas in that a new release said the activists would erect an altar at the legislature to honor rural farm workers and the native cultures.

The details of the proposed law are not yet available, but the same organization, BloqueVerde, has convinced municipal councils in 63 cantons to declare their lands free of genetically modified organisms.

The Saturday gatherings is called "Fiesta Costa Rica sin Transgenicos," using the Spanish word for genetically modified organisms. The event features a number of local bands and begins at 7 p.m. in Los Yoses at Cafe Cambalace.

Although outlined in general terms, the push against modified organisms targets Monsanto Co., the U.S. agrochemical giant. The firm uses genetic manipulation to create crop strains that are not damaged by the company's RoundUp weed killer line.

The organization and other activists have spoken out about the need to defend native Costa Rican seeds, mainly corn. However, the varieties to be defended have not been specified. And genetic research to define the specific strains is expensive.

According to the Oficina Nacional de Semillas, the national seed registry, which keeps track of such things, the country imported $376,096 in corn seed this year from Jan. 1 to May 22, the last day that statistics are available. That is about 89,000 kilos, according to the official figures.

The origin and varieties of these seeds are not specified, but seven of the 27 varieties approved for commercial plantings are from the Pioneer Seed Co., a DuPont firm. These are mainly field corn varieties. Commercially approved sweet corn varieties appear to come from Asia. There are five varieties.

With that quantity of imported corn growing in Costa Rica, there has to be substantial cross pollination with local varieties. So maintaining pure Costa Rican strains would be difficult even without genetic concerns. Purdue University says that pollen can drift up to 700 feet. Others say a mile.

Depending on how the proposed law is drafted and if it is passed, Costa Rica may find itself outlawing insulin, a host of other modified crops and even the new genetically modified anti-malaria mosquito. Also banned would be products like tortillas, taco shells and Corn Flakes because they are normally made with genetically modified corn.

The proposal from BloqueVerde says it sees a ban on all live genetically modified organisms. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have genetically modified a bacterium from the mosquito's midgut and found that the parasite that causes malaria in people does not survive in mosquitoes carrying the modified bacterium, the university said in July. The bacterium, Pantoea agglomerans, was modified to secrete proteins toxic to the malaria parasite, but the toxins do not harm the mosquito or humans, it said.
 

There already has been a moratorium on genetically modified research.  Said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an historical report on recombinant DNA :

"We have essentially forgotten the anxieties that accompanied these advances especially with respect to the recombinant DNA methodology," wrote James Watson in 1976.   There 
trasngenetics
were fears that these manufactured "mutant" genes carried with them uncontrollable capacities to harm human beings. Scientists themselves began to address these fears. In April 1974, molecular biologists imposed a moratorium on continued r-DNA work until an international meeting could be held to discuss whether such experimentation did, in fact, pose any plausible public health danger. According to Watson, "because those of us who signed the moratorium proposal were respected scientists, not known for environmental or political kookism, we were taken seriously."   At the meeting held at the Asilomar Conference Center in California in 1975, 150 scientists gathered and ultimately recommended that the National Institutes of Health provide guidelines for recombinant DNA research.

Watson was one of the discoverers of the double helix structure of human DNA that was announced in 1953.

Nearlyall insulin sold today comes from  genetically engineered E. coli bacteria because the process is cheaper and more efficient than the previous method of extracting insulin from dead animals at slaughterhouses. The process also is more sanitary.


Of course, there are opponents. Natural News, a big opponent of genetic modification said "For Pete's sake, even restaurants ask if you want bottled or tap water. When you're stabbing the hormone into your body, without debate, there should be a choice!"

Haemophiliacs suffer from a defective gene that fails to produce Factor VIII, an important agent involved in blood clotting, according to s-cool.co.uk, an academic and learning Web site. Genetically modified yeast can produce Factor VIII. The gene was isolated from human cells, and introduced into a suitable microbe using standard modification techniques, it said.

Human growth hormone also is produced now with a genetic modification to eliminate a slim chance of carrying a disease that could exist when the substance was extracted from cadavers, said the Food and Drug Administration.

Genetic modification has been used to keep tomatoes from ripening quickly, A salmon that grows bigger has been submitted for approval. There is a modified variety of papaya to resist a disease. There is modified tobacco, soy beans, potatoes, zucchini, apples, and even rennet, used in the production of cheese. Each genetic change provides an advantage to growers.

Entomologists said this week that a new study finds that genetically-modified sweet corn is better for the environment and safer for farm workers because pesticide use is reduced.

In Costa Rica farmers have grown Monsanto genetically modified soybeans here since 1991. There also was genetically modified corn planted then and seven times to 2001. Genetically modified cotton has been planted since 1991. In 2012 there were 281 hectares of genetically modified cotton. There also are genetically modified banana plants and pineapple plantings, although on a very small scale. There was but one hectare of modified bananas in 2012, and just 5.2 hectares of modified pineapple, according to a report to lawmakers in February.

Said asource that opposed genetic modification: Unless you are growing all your own food or you are going out of your way to research and buy only non-GMO food, then you are likely eating some GM food.  It is almost inevitable.


Joys of the local feria extend to far more than just vegetables
Generally speaking, you can buy fruits and vegetables and sometimes even fish and meat at the open air farmers’ markets, (called ferias) for less than you can in the stores.  And you can pick what you like and buy as little as one lime or one potato, something not always possible in the supermarkets, where packaging has become more and more the norm.

I did not get any responses about someone else’s experience receiving or giving a random act of kindness (actually it is something not that rare in Costa Rica, so perhaps not worth mentioning), but I did get some suggestions about ferias in the Central Valley.

A couple of readers confirmed my experience at the Sunday feria in Santa Ana, finding the produce expensive and not that fresh and the clientele mainly expat.

Arturo highly recommends the feria in San Rafael Oreamuno in Cartago for high quality vegetables and good prices.  It is open between 6 a.m. and noon on Saturdays.

Richard told me about the longest feria, to my knowledge. It is in Alajuela on Calle Ancho.  It is open from about 5 p.m. on Friday until late afternoon on Sunday.  The parking lot, which is on the east side, can accommodate many cars.   You can shop there in any weather since it is located in a permanent covered structure.

Of course, the feria and flea market is a permanent fixture on Avenida 10 in the city.  However, not much has been done to make it attractive and a must try for shoppers.

According to Alexis, the feria in Hatillo 2 (there seem to be several Hatillos) is special.  It is open on Sunday mornings until noon and is located north of the Circunvalación at the southern-most bend and extends from the freeway almost half a kilometer.  A street light makes for easy access.  The market is managed by the Municipality of San José and all of the vendors must be registered members of the same agro-producers association.  They wear bright green shirts with their emblem to show their affiliation and, says Alexis, can answer most questions about their products or when a vegetable or fruit will be in season.  Among the kiosks is an
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart


occasional tiny cafe where you can enjoy a rest and a café or freshly made empanada or pupusa in the middle of your shopping.

At the southern-most section of the market street, close to the circunvalación entrance, is a small shopping center.  Among the businesses there, surrounding a central parking area, is a Mas x Menos.

Even more handy and what intrigues me, is the big Ropa Americana store at the far end.  I was buying both my clothing and furniture from Goodwill and consignment stores when Barbra Streisand first introduced “Second Hand Rose,” a great comfort to me at the time.

Alexis says this has to be the best-kept second-hand clothing-store in the city.  It is clean and orderly.  Every article of clothing is color-coded according to price and a big wall poster tells you what price different colors represent.  One of the many helpful salespeople will tell you what 2 for 1 special is going on at the moment.  There are no accessories like purses and such, but they do have a large home section, for drapes, sheets, table-runners, etc.  You can express your whole life style for a few colons.

Actually, I have always found more than just fresh produce and fruits to be the big draw at the ferias.  There is always a new stand with a creative entrepreneur selling something new like cheese or homemade jam, or some health food, and there is the ambiance of a happy, peaceful crowd of people choosing from a bountiful supply of food and sustenance for their home or restaurant.  It is nice to be a part of that throng, and a great way to start the day. In this case it is the good vibes that are contagious.

Del Rey HOtel

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 11, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 202
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new fire trucks
Cuerpo de Bomberos photo
10 new trucks delivered
for towns and forests


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cuerpo de Bomberos purchased 10 new pumper trucks. Five are for fighting forest fires, and five are for structural blazes.

The Freightliner brand trucks can pump 1,250 gallons a minute and carry 1,000 gallons of water and 400 liters of foam, said the agency.

Getting the trucks will be Tres Ríos, Santo Domingo, Belén, Santa Ana and San José.  Forest units will be placed in Turrialba, Santa Cruz, Parrita, Atenas and San Pedro Poás.

The money for the purchase came from taxes on electricity and insurance.

 
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Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page: palmarescostarica.us
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Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 bobbyruf@ice.co.cr 
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house for rent
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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 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 11, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 202
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Cafetales



Pacific Estates

White House gets blame
for press freedom threats


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration's aggressive prosecution of leaks and its efforts to control information are becoming a threat to press freedom and democracy, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

A report released Thursday by the New York-based media watchdog group said U.S. President Barack Obama's actions have been a sharp contradiction to his promise of transparency and open government.

Former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, the report's author, said "administration officials and employees are increasingly afraid to talk to the press" due to heightened scrutiny of leaks.

He said six government employees and two contractors have been targeted for prosecution under the 1917 Espionage Act for accusations they leaked classified information to the press. Downie said this was a chilling use of a law used "only in three previous cases in the past nine decades."

White House officials interviewed for the report strongly objected to being portrayed as against press freedom. "The idea that people are shutting up and not leaking to reporters is belied by the facts," Obama press secretary Jay Carney told Downie.

National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said there is still investigative reporting about national security issues with information from "non-sanctioned sources with lots of unclassified information and some sensitive information.''

Downie interviewed numerous reporters and editors, including a top editor at The Associated Press, following revelations this year the government secretly seized records for telephone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 AP journalists. Downie also interviewed journalists whose sources have been prosecuted on felony charges.

In a statement accompanying the report, the Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "disturbed by the pattern of actions" that "have chilled the flow of information on issues of great public interest, including matters of national security."

The report about the United States is unusual for the press freedom group, which has this year completed investigations on Burma, China, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, and Tanzania. The only time the United States has been the subject of a committee report was 19 years ago in a study on attacks on immigrant journalists.

The committee executive director, Joel Simon, said the group decided to investigate U.S. press freedom "because journalists told us that the relationship with the administration had deteriorated to the point where it makes it difficult for them to do their job."

Downie added the Obama administration's "war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive" he had seen since the Nixon administration and The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate.

He said the policies are also harmful to U.S. efforts to promote press and Internet freedom around the world.


Deal on debt ceiling seen
as possible after meetings


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There was movement Thursday on a possible deal to reopen the U.S. government and raise the debt ceiling so the United States does not run out of money to pay its bills.

President Barack Obama held separate meetings at the White House Thursday with top congressional Democrats and Republicans.

The White House said that while no specific decisions were made, the president looks forward to making continued progress with members from both parties.

House Speaker John Boehner's office called the talks useful and productive and said meetings will continue throughout the night. He is a Republican.

Earlier Thursday, House Republicans offered a six-week increase in the debt limit. The current debt ceiling expires Oct. 17.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is encouraged that, in Carney's words, "cooler heads seem to be prevailing in the House." The president has said letting the United States default on its debts would be a catastrophe for the global economy.

News of a possible debt ceiling deal sent U.S. markets soaring. The three major stock indexes rose more than 2 percent Thursday.

Boehner has been insisting on linking negotiations on spending cuts to any bill raising the debt ceiling. He also has demanded talks on the president's health care program before letting the House vote on reopening the government.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has said there will be no negotiations until the government is reopened, and claims the nearly two-week-old shutdown has caused pain and suffering across the country.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told a Senate panel that it would be a grave mistake to fail to increase the debt ceiling by the Oct, 17 deadline. The date is less than a week away.

"The United States should not be put in a position of making such perilous choices for our economy and our citizens. There is no way of knowing the irrevocable damage such an approach would have on our economy and financial markets," continued Lew.

He said if the debt ceiling is not raised, the Treasury would only have about $30 billion on hand and some incoming revenue, but not enough to pay all its bills.


Scott Carpenter, who circled
earth in Aurora 7 dies at 88

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scott Carpenter, an early U.S. astronaut who orbited Earth in 1962, died Thursday morning in a Denver hospice center at age 88 of complications from a stroke, his wife Patty Carpenter said.
 
Carpenter made only one spaceflight, taking the Aurora 7 spacecraft on three laps around Earth on May 24, 1962, a few weeks after his 37th birthday. It was a flight of less than five hours and made him the fourth American in space and the second, after John Glenn, to orbit Earth.
 
Carpenter was part of the Mercury 7 team - the seven pilots chosen by NASA in 1959 to be astronauts in response to the Soviet Union's space program.
 
Despite his fame as an astronaut, Carpenter spent considerably more time on the ocean floor than he did in outer space. In 1965, the astronaut became an aquanaut as part of the Navy's SEALAB II project, spending 30 days living and working at a depth of 204 feet (62 meters) off the California coast.
 
Born in Boulder, Colorado, he split his time between Vail, Colorado, and West Palm Beach, Florida, Patty Carpenter said. his given name was Malcolm Scott Carpenter but he used Scott as a first name.


EU gives Sakharov Prize
to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Union has awarded its top human rights prize, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. Malala, as she is commonly known, was shot last year and nearly killed by the Taliban in an attempt to stop her efforts to promote education for women. Malala is also being mentioned as a favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced on Friday.
 
"I am moved, I am moved beyond words to be here and honored with this great award," said Malala as she collected the award.
 
European Parliament President Martin Schulz told the audience in France the E.U. is a proud ally of people like Malala, who stand up for equality for girls and women.
 
"An 11-year-old who was told she's going to be killed because she simply wants to go to school. Just imagine the courage that she has shown. As far as I'm concerned, Malala is an incredible personality of the 21st century," said Schulz.
 
While being attacked by the Taliban, she was shot in the face and evacuated to a hospital in Britain. She gradually recovered, regaining her sight and her voice, and has continued to fight for women's rights.
 
Now, one year after the attack, many Pakistanis are proud.  
 
"It's great not only for her, for her family, but for the whole nation," said Mazhar Abba, a Pakistani journalist.
 
"She is doing excellent work for Pakistani children. This will help improve their development,” opined Mohammad Jamal, a resident of Karachi.
 
However, despite Pakistanis such as Abba and Jamal, not everyone in Pakistan is celebrating Malala's success.
 
"My point of view on Malala is that the whole thing is a drama. There are a lot of issues here, like drone strikes, other things happening. You are ignoring all the issues and following a girl," explained Mohammad Sohail, another Karachi resident.
 
In Malala's home town in Swat Valley, the girl who dared to defy the Taliban is a hero.
 
"She is an extremely intelligent and brave girl. I want to be like her. She did a lot of work for the education of girls," said Saadia Shah, a female student in the Swat Valley.
 
Malala pledges that work will continue for years to come.


Ex-operative Valerie Plame
becomes spy novel author


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The 2010 drama "Fair Game," starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, catapulted the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame onto the silver screen.
 
Ms. Plame's life took an unexpected turn after having her cover blown by Bush administration officials shortly after her husband, former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson, refuted government claims that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was trying to buy enriched uranium from Niger.
 
Ten years after the scandal, Ms. Plame has returned to the world of espionage — this time as a novelist.
 
In a pop-cultural medium where female agents are often stereotyped as femme fatales, Plame says Vanessa Pierson, the main character of her new novel, "Blowback," is a woman trying to balance personal life with career, very much like herself.
 
“They are either over sexualized, or heavy reliance on physicality, or they are victims," says Ms. Plame. "Or basically I think of them as paper dolls.”
 
Ms. Plame cites Angelina Jolie's role in "Salt" as an example.
 
“Angelina Jolie looks so beautiful that she looks fabulous doing anything," she says. "But I cannot say that it has anything whatsoever to do with reality.”
 
More recently, however, female spy characters have broken that mold and captivated audiences with the likes of CIA operative Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, as she hunts down Osama bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty."
 
"I'm all for courageous and strong women that persevere against great odds, but it really was a team effort of dozens of CIA officers over an extended period of time that led to finding Osama bin Laden," says Ms. Plame.
 
But products of popular culture, she adds, have sometimes successfully portrayed real life aspects of modern espionage.
 
"The government has been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the 1940s," she says. "They have infected everything. They get into your bank statements, computer files, email, listen to your phone calls."
 
The 15-year-old drama "Enemy of the State," in which the protagonist, played by Will Smith, has his life upended by sophisticated government surveillance techniques and whistleblowing is a good example, and, Ms. Plame says, eerily close to recent revelations of the NSA's electronic surveillance.
 
“There is a dynamic and a balance, of course, between security on one hand and privacy on the other," she says. "But I worry about what an overzealous prosecutor or... heaven forbid, if there is a part of the government that moved toward tyranny. Very dangerous because information is power and we now know how deep and how pervasive — I mean, this is no surprise — the NSA has gone in order to keep us safe.”
 
"Blowback" is Ms. Plame's first in a series of novels throwing light on the shadowy life of a female spy.



Sand turned to glass in Egypt
credited to ancient comet strike


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A team of South African scientists writing in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters said that they have found the first evidence of a comet striking Earth 28 million years ago.

“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” said David Block, a member of the research team and a professor of the University of the Witwatersrand.

The researchers said that the comet shot into Earth’s atmosphere and blew up above what is now known as Egypt with a blast that wiped out every living thing in its path.

As the fireball exploded it created a super-hot shock wave that heated the sand on the surface to about 2,000 degrees Celsius.  The extreme heat and pressure formed a great quantity of yellow silica glass that was spread throughout a 6,000 square kilometer area of the Sahara that’s known as the Libyan Desert Glass strewn field.

A remarkable example of Libyan Desert Glass can be found on an ancient brooch of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun who ruled Egypt from 1332 BC to 1323 BC.  Egyptian jewelers polished and carved a piece of the yellow silica to form the body of a scarab that is prominently featured on the brooch.

The first evidence of a comet strike, said the scientists, came in the form of a mysterious 30 gram black pebble that had been found in 1996 by an Egyptian geologist who had been exploring the strewn field.

The pebble now called the Hypatia stone, was named in honor of Hypatia of Alexandria, the first well-known female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher.  The researchers said that the stone, which they described as being black, angular, shiny, incredibly hard and extremely fractured, is covered with microscopic diamonds that were created by the shock of the comet’s impact.

“Diamonds are produced from carbon bearing material. Normally they form deep in the earth, where the pressure is high, but you can also generate very high pressure with shock. Part of the comet impacted and the shock of the impact produced the diamonds,” said lead author Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg.

After the South African team conducted a number of tests on the Hypatia stone, they concluded that the black pebble was not just an unusual type of meteorite but instead represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus.

The researchers said that comet material on Earth is incredibly rare.  The only other comet fragments that had been found were microscopic dust particles found in the upper atmosphere and in some carbon-rich dust found in Antarctic ice.

“NASA and ESA spend billions of dollars collecting a few micrograms of comet material and bringing it back to Earth, and now we’ve got a radical new approach of studying this material, without spending billions of dollars collecting it,” says Kramers, speaking of the European Space Agency.

The South African researchers said that an international collaborative research program has been formed to continue studies of the Hypatia stone.

“Comets contain the very secrets to unlocking the formation of our solar system and this discovery gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study comet material first hand,” said Block.



Mother of jailed missionary
visits her son in north Korea


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The mother of an American missionary who has been detained in North Korea for the past 11 months has arrived in Pyongyang to visit her son.

Myunghee Bae arrived in North Korea on Thursday and was scheduled to meet with her son, Kenneth Bae, this morning. She is expected to stay in the North for about five days.

Kenneth Bae was sentenced in May to 15 years of hard labor on a conviction of state subversion. His family says he has diabetes and is in ill health.

North Korea rescinded an offer in August to allow senior U.S. envoy Robert King to visit Pyongyang to petition that Bae be freed on humanitarian grounds. Officials said the visit was canceled because of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military drills being held in the South.

The 45-year-old Christian missionary was detained last year after entering North Korea as a tour operator.

Five other Americans detained in North Korea since 2009 were eventually allowed to leave without serving out their terms, some of them after prominent Americans, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, visited and lobbied on their behalf.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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7922-10/15/13



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 803
5,000 square meters of land and 175 square-meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia
2,000 square meters of land and 200 square-meters of construction.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8068-11/9/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

sunset view
FREE FULL-DAY TOUR and property viewing – San Ramón! 
Come visit us in San Ramón and not only will we show you some great properties but we’ll also give you a FREE day-long tour of this terrific town with a relocation expert who has lived here for many years. Since 2006, CRC has been the area’s leading creator of socially-responsible communities for foreign retirees/investors and locals. “Easy access” to San Ramón does not mean living many miles outside of town, but less than 2 miles from everything you’ll need. Live near town but in an area that only feels a world away. None of our competitors have built a school, donated a water well and completed numerous projects for the community. A few stunning, direct ocean-view home sites of 1.25 acres to nearly 4 acres from only $55,000 remain in one of San Ramón’s most desirable residential communities. Please visit us at www.crcommunities.com or email us at CRCInformation@gmail.com to request a property showing AND your free full-day tour. Overnight accommodations can be arranged. Limited availability so please contact us today referencing “Free Tour” in your email: CRCInformation@gmail.com
8080-10/6/13

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!
8087-10/18/13

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

Nicoya
                                views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

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

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com
8081-10/9/13

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 11, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 202
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Cartago mnument
Municipalidad de Cartago photo
This is the monument to be inaugurated

Monument dedication, parade
planned Sunday in Cartago
 
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 300 teams of oxen, their carts and drivers are expected to be in Cartago Sunday for a parade after the dedication of a monument dedicated to the oxcart driver, the boyero.

The impetus for the monument came from the Fundación de Boyeros de Costa Rica and was supported by the Municipalidad de Cartago.

The inauguration is at 9 a.m. Sunday, and the parade from the municipal building where the monument is placed to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles follows. As is traditional at such events, there will be a blessing of each team of oxen, the cart, occupants and driver.

The sculpture is by Max Ulloa Roya and it is fiberglass with a bronze coating.

The event is also part of the celebration of Cartago's founding 450 years ago.

Saturday at 6 p.m. the carts will be on display at the municipal plaza and there will be competitions of the oxen, folk dancing and traditional country music, said an announcement.

The oxcart parade has been established in Cartago for the second Sunday of October each year. Oxen owners, their teams and carts are expected to come from all over Costa Rica.




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From Page 7:

God, beer and soccer in the company

By Elizabeth Morales Coto*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a highly traditional and conservative country when it comes to respecting the holidays, and the law entitles days off to do the Romería (Aug. 2), and during Holy Thursday and Holy Friday over Holy Week. All of those have
Ms. Morales
Elizabeth Morales Coto
to be paid in full to workers (Costa Ricans or immigrants) even as they take those days off in faith or not.  And if some should come in to work, it’s a double pay day for them by law.

Other holidays foreigners must know about are:

• April 11th (Dia de Juan Santamaria: the Costa Rican national hero during the Campaña Nacional fighting William Walker, an American who wanted to be emperor of Central America),

• May 1st, Labor Day,

• July 25th (when Guanacaste became a part of Costa Rica under their own free will…and so says the song: “…de la Patria por nuestra voluntad”)

• Mother`s Day on Aug, 15th (big holiday too, which exhibits itself by having the same traffic jams as Christmas or Summer Break),

• Sept. 15th (which is Independence Day),

• And, of course, Saturday is el Día de las Culturas, although not a double pay day.

Costa Rica is one of the very few countries in the continent that passed the liberal laws in 1884, separating clergy from state, and still keeps in the Constitución Política the Catholic religion as the official one. When someone marries in the Catholic Church, it is legally binding.

It is common to hear expressions such as: Que Dios lo acompañe or Que Dios lo bendiga or Bendiciones, Amen even at the end of business emails. As a business analyst, not only for karma purposes, but also for the company´s culture and healthy climate, it might be smart to keep up with these traditions and maybe one day all employees will find true meaning in this and carry on with values close to those desired by a company owner. Not to mention respect for libertad de credo is very important in Costa Rica (religious freedom).

If you can understand what football means to an American, you will get what soccer means to Costa Rica. Even the presidents grant asueto (either all or part of the day off) when La Selección is playing an important game or any other team that is a national pride. When a soccer game is on, it gets really hard for a company owner or a manager to keep everyone from listening to the game or watching it online, or even having the occasional one who brings in the mobile with the game or even switches TV channels when no one is watching and tries watching the game on mute.

So strategies to keep the business going when this happens: either set a TV in the room, give them a few minutes (90 to be exact) and know that this day won’t be the greatest or be creative, record the game and promise them a nice prize for working hard by watching the game all together after a long day of work, maybe even throwing in some fun statistics or games to heat it up.

Costa Ricans are told from the time they are 12 about  the Derechos y Deberes del Trabajador y Patrono and being in your right senses is one of them. This means not being intoxicated during working hours, so by using these words, any manager will trigger back childhood memories from school and might get a stronger impact in their responsibility. It is a bad idea to go out for drinks with the employees, for these times in Costa Rica create what is called as the drinking buddies, and that lasts forever, whether they never get to know each other´s names.

So every business owner, manager or supervisor, should try and keep a professional distance, not only to assure respect and productivity, but also to avoid sexual harassment issues (which nowadays includes both men and women). Business in Costa Rica is made at the office not the bar or the restaurant or the lounge.

Problems exist to be solved, and company owners and managers should never hesitate to ask questions because specialists in this area can help and find the light at the end of the tunnel.

* Ms. Morales is an engineer with a master's of business administration specializing in business strategy and development. She is a principle in CEDAD Asesores and can be reached at info@cedadasesores.com.