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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 Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 210                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco


Fire fighters got an order of 320 new, top-of-the-line respirators to protect them while they prowl smoky fires in search of victims.

Our story is HERE!
Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica photo

Just living in Costa Rica gives your brain a Ph.D.
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A recent study that was the subject of a news story Tuesday said that seniors need continual challenges to stay sharp. The sedate retired life is not enough to keep the brain cranking along.

Fortunately for expats, there are no shortages of challenges in Costa Rica. Here's a baker's dozen:

1. Explain to the monolingual ICE employee that your Internet connection is languishing along at two bytes per second when you paid for a heckuva lot more.

2. Find the home of a friend who lives 50 meters west and 25 meters north of where the old tree used to be which is a point 400 meters east of the former shoe factory.

3. Find your way home from the friend's house.

4. Figure which fruit vendor at the feria is giving you the better deal, all the while keeping an eye on your purse or wallet to frustrate crooks.

5. Notice that the hotel clerk is giving you 350 colons to the U.S. dollar and make sure you get the correct rate.

6. Find the Coronado bus station, which is somewhere on Avenida 7 between the antiguo Gran Cine Líbano and the Edificio INS.

7. Find Avenida 7 which is not next to Avenida 6 or Avenida 8.

8. Make a nice tres leches cake for eight persons with the oven at 175 degrees, and among other ingredients 230 grams of sugar, 125 milliliters of milk, 290 grams of flour and 400 grams of evaporated milk. Without a calculator!
coista rica ph.d.
A.M. Costa Rica archive graphic
Magna cum laude!

9. Take a nice, quiet bike ride on the local main drag to see how motorists show their respect.

10. Dump the bike and figure out if your car license plate is illegal downtown today because it ends in 6.

11. Tell Charlie Brown the Great Pumpkin must be at Mas x Menos because they want 10,000 colons for it. That and other sticker shocks.

12. Overstay the happy hour at a downtown bar and step out into the city street just a tad past midnight.

13. Do about anything at the Caja.

Obviously, Costa Rica gives you more for your money!

10,000 confiscated license plates due for destruction
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic police have a tradition of confiscating the license plates of vehicles with offending drivers. So the Consejo de Seguridad Vial now has 10,000 plates the agency says it will destroy after Nov. 1 if the owners do not come forward.

The plates were confiscated between September 2012 and last March. The agency said that six months is time enough for owners to come forward.

There are many reasons that owners have not done so. There might be the expense of paying the traffic fine that came with the plate confiscation. Under the new traffic law, fines are substantial and might be more expensive than a clunker.

Theoretically, drivers of vehicles with confiscated plates cannot order new ones, but there is a rumor that this could take place. In fact, some employees of the agency have been detained recently for editing  the computers to remove mentions of some violations. That case still is under investigation.
Also possible is the purchase of illegal cloned plates if a driver knows where to go.

The Consejo said that drivers cannot forget the plates and get the new version from the Registro Nacional.

The drivers must first reclaim the plates and then seek new ones.

The Registro and its agents, such as a bank or Correos de Costa Rica, will check for outstanding fines for those who seek to get the upgraded plates. The security measures include a window sticker that contains the number of the plate.

Eventually all older plates are going to the junk pile.

Nov. 1 is the start of the three-month period when motorists with the last digit of their plate or placa ending in 2 can seek the new, higher-security version.

The Consejo's Unidad de Placas y Vehículos Detenidos accepts telephone calls about confiscated plates at 2522-0973 and 2522-0974.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 210

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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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DR. Cavallini
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Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo


Jim Day, retirement specialist Representing Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A
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Translations and legal Services
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Legal services


Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
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Visit the website at:
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U.S. Income Tax
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Press advocacy group outlines
assaults on the American press

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association outlined a troubling litany of affronts to press freedom Tuesday.

The press advocacy organization held its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.  Its 69th General Assembly evaluated and approved its conclusions on the state of press freedom in the Western Hemisphere.

The organization said that 14 journalists have been killed in Latin America in the past six months, a toll that ranks among the highest in the last 20 years. It also cited the greatest obstacles to press freedom, the secret seizure of the telephone records of Associated Press reporters by the U.S. Justice Department, the acquisition of media outlets by autocratic governments, the passage of a troubling communication law in Ecuador, and the persistent lack of access to public information in a number of countries.

The organization condemned the 14 killings.  There were three in Mexico, two in Brazil, two in Colombia, two in Guatemala, two in Haiti and one each in Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay. It also and strenuously criticized the expiration of the statute of limitations for 17 killings of journalists (five in Colombia and 12 in Mexico), as impunity and a weak or subservient judiciary are the driving forces behind the violence.

Also during this six-month period, three journalists were forced to leave their respective countries (two from Colombia and one from Honduras), and two foreign correspondents were expelled by the Nicaraguan government.

The organization said it shares the concern of like-minded organizations in the United States over the direction of press freedom  there, which has been shaken by revelations of spying on journalists and others. This concern was voiced by Gary Pruitt, president of The Associated Press, who described for the General Assembly how fear of government surveillance has led some of the news agency’s sources to engage in self-censorship.

The organization noted that the U.S. Congress remains reluctant to pass a law to protect the confidential nature of sources — one that would prevent journalists from ending up behind bars — and urged the State Department to fully comply with the recommendations submitted by its delegation that visited Washington, D.C., earlier this year.

The Inter American Press Association also expressed its concern over limited access to public information, which continues to hinder the pursuit of journalism in countries such as Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Panamá, Uruguay and Venezuela, among others. Some countries, meanwhile, lack laws on access to information, with a prevailing culture of government secrecy in which, for example, presidents and public officials in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panamá and Venezuela refuse to grant interviews or hold press conferences, it said.

In addition, press freedom was adversely affected during these last six months by various forms of economic coercion, such as the mass-scale acquisition of media outlets by governments, either directly or through persons tied to them, in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina for the purpose of turning them not into public-service media outlets, but into tools of partisan and ideological propaganda, the organization said. This coercion is also on display in discriminatory patterns in the placement of government advertising in independent media outlets, it added.

In Venezuela, the government’s discriminatory actions go so far as to include the refusal to authorize foreign currency for the importation of supplies not manufactured in the country, such as newsprint, the organization said. In Argentina, the government pressured advertisers to cause financial harm to such outlets, it added. Another restrictive measure in Argentina, the media law, is now before the supreme court, which may issue a ruling that reflects relevant international standards, it noted.

Meanwhile, countries such as Colombia, Panamá and Brazil, among others, have seen a burgeoning industry of trials and lawsuits as a means of harassing the media, it said.

Ecuador is the scene of the harshest form of censorship, the organization said. Set to go into effect June 25, the communication law will create two government bodies, a council and a superintendency, that will serve to control and censor media content, in addition to compelling media outlets to regulate themselves.

In Cuba, as Yoani Sánchez, the celebrated blogger, described, economic reforms have not been accompanied by improvements in press freedom. On the contrary, the situation has been exacerbated by constant repression and arbitrary detentions of journalists, the Inter American Press Association said.

The General Assembly repeatedly emphasized the need to confront the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela— members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas,  called ALBA, — in their determination to weaken the inter-American human rights system, in particular the Office of Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is the constant target of its attacks, the organization said.

Editor's note: A.M. Costa Rica is a member of the Inter American Press Association.

Study outlines subtle control
exercised by Beijing officials

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Chinese Communist Party media controls are increasingly constraining news outlets based outside China. This is the key finding of a report released Tuesday, authored by Freedom House research analyst Sarah Cook and published by the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy.

“The dynamics are subtle, but the reality is that the China Factor exists in newsrooms around the world, be they internationally renowned outlets such as The New York Times and Bloomberg, a local newspaper in Nepal, or a Chinese radio station in Los Angeles,” said Ms. Cook. “The Chinese government’s efforts to influence reporting by foreign and overseas Chinese news outlets have intensified and expanded over the past five years.”

The new report, "The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship: How Chinese Media Restrictions Affect News Outlets around the World," examines this phenomenon across foreign and Chinese-language media outlets based outside mainland China and that reach audiences worldwide.

The study finds that Chinese officials have directly impeded independent reporting by media based abroad, barring foreign correspondents from sites of important incidents or pressuring senior executives not to publish content deemed politically undesirable to the regime.

According to the study, the content targeted for censorship includes topics that may have global implications, such as human rights abuses, high-level corruption, and environmental pollution. Most frequently targeted are reports that touch hot button issues like the persecution of Tibetans, Uighurs, and Falun Gong practitioners, as well as Chinese-language commentary challenging the legitimacy of one-party rule, it said.

Dance and piano show
will be a fund-raiser

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pianist Mauricio Fernández and more than 20 dancers from the  Academia Danzay will share the stage Saturday at the Teatro Eugene O´Neill in Los Yoses at the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano.

The performances begin at 7 p.m., and admission is 10,000 colons.

The dancers will perform an excerpt from "The Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saëns as well as group and solo interpretations of classical ballet.

Fernández will present classical works. He organized the program to raise funds for travel to Virginia's George Mason University in January were he will study for a master's degree in piano. He was graduated by Universidad Nacional.

Dancing will be his sister, Mariana Fernández, who is with the Danzay company.

Alajuela closes the season
with composer and singer

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Teatro al Mediodía in Alajuela ends the season Thursday with  Max Goldemberg, a composer, guitarists and singer. He calls his works new Guanacaste songs.  The presentation is called "Tierra seca," in which the singer will address social themes and respect for the environment.

The performance is at Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría, and admission is 1,000 colons. Despite the name, the show actually will begin at 12:10 p.m.

The museum said that 2,338  persons attended so far this year for 31 different shows this season and that the noon performances will continue next year, which will be the fifth.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 210
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Boruca annual cultural festival is this Saturday in Rey Curré
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Festival Cultural Indígena Curré / Yimba 2013 takes place Saturday in southwest Costa Rica. This is the 21st annual edition.

The goal of the Boruca residents is to expose the public to their culture and traditions, said the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, which is a sponsor.

On display at the Rey Curré communal hall will be art, music, foods, traditional drinks and traditional medicine, said an announcement. Visitors will have a chance to tour a pre-Columbian cemetery and a Boruca archaeological site, it said.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the communal hall is 32 kilometers south of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas,
Among other expositions will be a demonstration of the  Juego de los Diablitos, the symbolic fight between the native peoples and the invading Spanish.  Residents from the communities of Alto Boruca, Térraba, Salitre and Cavagra, as well as Rey Curré, will be participating.

The Boruca, of course, are the residents with pre-Columbian ancestors who are famous for their masks. Visitors will get a chance to participate in creating a mask, said the announcement.

The Museo Nacional also is a sponsor, as is the Asociación Integral de Desarrollo Indígena de Rey Curré.

Boruca poster
A.M. Costa Rica archives
The Boruca are known for their masks.

Refinery workers simulate cleaning up the pretend spilled fluid and putting it in a barrel for transport.

Recope workers
Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. photo

Refinery workers and rescue agencies practice for disaster
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lot of Costa Rican communities live near a potential disaster. The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. has a pipeline that carries all the petroleum-based products from the Moín terminal to the rest of the country. The pipeline is mostly above ground.

The pipe can rupture. In fact, that happened Oct. 15 in Pacuarito de Siquirres.  The state company said that there was an electrical problem in a high-tension line and a cable broke. An end of the cable fell and smashed into the pipeline. The pipe was carrying diesel.

That was not a big rupture. In anticipation of a major event, such as a vehicle crashing into an above-ground pipe while it is carrying gasoline, refinery workers held a simulation Monday.
The location was the town of Colorado de Turrialba, some 374 homes and 875 residents.

There also is a school and a child care center.

The community had a lot of visitors that day. The simulated emergency brought refinery experts but also the Cruz Roja, the  Fuerza Pública, the Cuerpo de Bomberos and the local emergency commission.

After containing the simulated emergency, the refinery workers engaged in mopping up the imaginary petroleum leak.

The refinery officials terms the drill a success and said that one reason for such efforts is so that various agencies can work together. They also said they wanted to expose the communities to the situation and the response.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 210
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fire fighters two
Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica photo
Fire fighters look like science fiction characters as they display their new respirators.
New fire-fighting equipment is like a breath of fresh air for bomberos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire fighters are continuing to upgrade their equipment with funds from assessments on insurance policies and electrical receipts.

The latest purchases are 320 self-contained respirators that allow fire fighters to survive in smoky fires, gas escapes and other places where oxygen is in short supply. They are a must for rescues when the fire fighters have to enter burning buildings in search of possible victims.
Each unit cost 2.5 million colons or about $5,000 and has a useful life of 15 years, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos. Each unit has a tank that hold 60 minutes of air. The devices have three alarms to alert fire fighters when the air is low. There is a sound, a visual signal and a vibration.

The devices are being distributed to 73 fire stations in Costa Rica. The older equipment is not being discarded. The older devices are being turned over to the Academia Nacional de Bomberos for training new fire fighters.

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Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page:

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 

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

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 210
Real Estate
About us


Pacific Estates

México plans to investigate
extent of U.S. spying there

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexico is investigating allegations that the United States spied on President Enrique Peña Nieto before his election and on his predecessor, Felipe Calderón.
Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong says he ordered the investigation to see whether such spying took place and whether any Mexican officials were complicit.
Speaking in Geneva, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade said U.S. President Barack Obama has promised Peña Nieto an investigation into Mexico's concerns as part of a broader examination of U.S. intelligence gathering.
Meade said he will summon the U.S. ambassador "to stress firmly . . . the probe promised by President Obama needs to be opened and broadened."
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency began snooping on Mexican officials' emails beginning in May 2010.
Der Spiegel said the information came from a secret document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is living in Russia.
Meade, who is in Geneva for the U.N. Human Rights Council's review of Mexico's human rights record, called such alleged spying an abuse of trust, and said his government will insist that those who authorized it be sanctioned appropriately.
Asked whether Mexico might curtail intelligence cooperation on counter-narcotics or counterterrorism because of the revelations, Meade said, "We will be awaiting for the response before deciding whether any additional action is warranted."

The reports of NSA spying have started a firestorm abroad.  In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius used a Tuesday meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to demand a full explanation of the latest reports in the French newspaper Le Monde about the NSA's spying program.
Later, U.S. Intelligence Director James Clapper issued a statement saying the Le Monde reports "contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding U.S. foreign intelligence activities."   He said, "The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million 'recordings of French citizens’ telephone data' is false."
Clapper said the United States collects intelligence of the type gathered by all nations to protect itself, its interests and its allies from threats including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The White House said the United States is not conducting a specific investigation into claims related to Mexico but rather is examining Mexico's concerns as part of a previously announced review into how the U.S. gathers intelligence.
Obama mentioned the wide-ranging review last month at the U.N. General Assembly, in responding to concerns from other allies.  Officials say that review is aimed at ensuring a balance between security and privacy concerns.

Rights agencies want data
on civilian drone victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released joint reports Tuesday documenting dozens of civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.  The reports challenge assertions by the Obama administration that such casualties are rare and call for official investigations into possible violations of international human rights laws.

Human Rights Watch investigated six drone strikes in Yemen since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 civilians were killed in those attacks. The group's counter terrorism researcher, Letta Taylor, said, in some cases, these targeted killings violated international law. 

“Two of the six cases that we examined in my report show that the U.S. indiscriminately killed civilians.  This is a clear violation of international law," said Taylor.

The report asserts that drone strikes also violated the standards President Obama set to justify these attacks: that they respond to an imminent threat to the U.S., there's no hope of capturing the targeted terrorist; and there's near certainty that civilians will not be harmed. 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says there is a wide gap between these new reports and U.S. casualty  assessments.

"To the extent these reports claim that the U.S. acted contrary to international law we would strongly disagree.  The administration has repeatedly emphasized the extraordinary care that we take to make sure counter terrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable law," said Carney.

Amnesty International investigated nine U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan and found evidence that more than 30 civilians were killed in four of the strikes. 

A recent U.N. report estimates 400 civilians were killed by drone strikes in Pakistan over the last decade.

Most drone strikes occur in remote areas making independent assessments difficult.  And the U.S. government rarely acknowledges its role in individual strikes.

Amnesty International’s Naureen Shah is calling for official, public investigations into past drone strikes.

“We are asking President Obama to come clean about who the U.S. government is killing, not just to make a pledge of transparency or to make a promise that things are going right,  but to say who has been killed, how many people have been killed and what the legal and factual justification for these killings was," said Shah.

The groups are also calling for more congressional oversight of the CIA and Defense Department, and reparations for innocent victims of U.S. drone strikes.

Latins in Los Angeles area
retain quinceanera tradition

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The transition from childhood to adulthood is celebrated in various ways, and at different ages, around the world.  In many Latin American cultures, young women mark the transition at age 15.  In Los Angeles, the celebration is evolving and becoming a more lavish affair.
At a local quinceanera exposition, 13-year-old Adilen Torres and her mother research prices and gather ideas for her 15th birthday, two years from now.  Ms. Torres says the celebration will be a time to express her identity.
“I want people to know that what they see on the outside isn’t everything that I am. So I want my quinceanera to represent everything I am,” explained Ms. Torres.
The girl's mom, Nellie Viveros, says the quinceanera is an important part of the Latino heritage.
“Kids nowadays, our kids, are very Americanized and this is a part of their culture that we want them to follow tradition with… This is my only daughter and it’s once in a lifetime thing. I’m willing to sacrifice and work overtime to do the quinceanera for her,” said Ms. Viveros.
Experts say that in the past decade quinceaneras, which were once small family affairs, have grown in size.  Norma Capitanachi of Quinceanera Magazine says they have also become more costly.
“We have a study that says the average family maybe spends $10,000. Some quinceaneras, they spend $3,000, but some quinceaneras . . .  are very, very expensive. From 50,000 to 80,000 dollars,” said Ms. Capitanachi.
Ms. Capitanachi added that for many quinceaneras, elaborate dresses are custom made and can take quite a while to produce.
“Some dresses take three days, five days, 10 days or 1 month, it depends,” she said.
Margarita Bargas and her staff spend hours sewing custom-made quinceanera dresses in an East Los Angeles shop. After more than 30 years of making them, Ms. Bargas has seen a transformation in quinceanera dresses.
“In the beginning we started with the light colors, maybe pink, lavender, baby blue off white and white.  Now it’s a lot of different colors.  More bright colors,” commented Ms. Bargas.
Planner Celia Barrios has coordinated 300 quinceaneras in Los Angeles. Her clients often request lavish venues, caterers, choreographers and custom-made dresses.
“Latino Americans that are born and raised here or have spent more, they’re wanting more.  They kind of want to blend the tradition with something contemporary. That’s where I come in,” said Ms. Barrios.
A typical example is the quinceanera of Tatyana. Her family and friends have traveled from all over to celebrate. The ritual starts at a church where Tatyana promises to honor herself, her family, and her religion.
At the reception, the family looks back at Tatyana's childhood pictures.  Her mom, Helen Hernández, says the family struggled financially at first.
“You can see through the pictures. And we’re so blessed and thankful that we were able to move it around and do this,” said Ms. Hernandez.
Tatyana’s family will then present her with the last toy doll she’ll ever receive.  Her father will change her flat shoes into high heels and Tatyana will honor him with her first dance as a young woman.
“My parents sacrificed a lot of things to do this.  And I really appreciate that they did that.  And in the end it’s going to be worth it all, and I’m going to remember this day forever,” said Tatyana.
“It’s really something you can take to the heart. It’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it as you can see she was definitely happy with it,” said her parents.
Today, Tatyana starts her new life, as an adult.

Research says it should be
a bone, fat, guts nugget

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

That chicken nugget you’re eating may only contain 40 to 50 percent meat, according to a new study that analyzed chicken nuggets from two major fast-food chains.

What made up the rest of the nuggets? Researchers said “fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and bone fragments.”

While all edible, the ingredients don't add up to a good choice, said Richard deShazo, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where the analysis took place.

“I was floored,” deShazo said. “I had read what other reports have said is in them, and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope.”

White chicken meat is one of the best sources of lean protein available, deShazo said, and physicians often encourage their patients to eat it.

“What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it, and still call it chicken. It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great, and kids love it, and it is marketed to them,” he said.

For the examination, deShazo worked with Steven Bigler, a pathologist at Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, Mississippi, who stained, fixed, sliced and analyzed the nugget sections.

In their paper, the physicians wrote that meat constituted about half of nugget No. 1.

“The nugget from the first restaurant was composed of approximately 50 percent skeletal muscle, with the remainder composed primarily of fat, with some blood vessels and nerve present. Higher-power views showed generous quantities of epithelium and associated supportive tissue including squamous epithelium from skin or viscera,” they wrote.

“The nugget from the second restaurant was composed of approximately 40 percent skeletal muscle. Here, too, there were generous quantities of fat and other tissue, including connective tissue and bone spicules.”

DeShazo cautions that the experiment wasn’t designed as a comprehensive study of nuggets from all major fast-food chains. Nor do the results from two randomly selected nuggets from two prominent chains represent all chicken nugget offerings available.

The National Chicken Council, a national, non-profit trade association representing the U.S. chicken industry echoed that sentiment.

“This study evaluates only two chicken nugget samples out of the billions of chicken nuggets that are made every year,” said Ashley Peterson,  the council vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.  “It is not scientifically justifiable to make inferences about an entire product category given a sample size of two.”

She added that council members “use quality ingredients and adhere to all food safety laws and regulations” to create nuggets.

“Chicken nuggets are an excellent source of protein, especially for kids who might be picky eaters,” she said.

The American Journal of Medicine published deShazo's findings online in September ahead of its print issue.

Prince George's christening
in St. James Palace today

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is being christened in Britain today. In a break from tradition, the christening of the world's most famous baby will be as low key as possible.
Three months ago, Prince William and his wife Catherine shared their bundle of joy with the world.  And just as the royal couple broke with tradition when they released family snapshots as Prince George's first official photos, Will and Kate continue to do things their way.
Prince George will be christened in the small Chapel Royal at St. James Palace, rather than the traditional music room in Buckingham Palace. Kate was confirmed into the Church of England there, and the coffin of William's mother, Princess Diana, was put on display at the chapel after her death in 1997.
Penny Junor, Prince William's biographer, stresses the personal connection both have to the smaller Chapel Royal.
"I think this chapel basically has got meaning for them, whereas a room in the vast Buckingham Palace is a bit more impersonal,” said Junor.
The guest list will be limited by the small space and the couple's preferences. Immediate family will attend, but some senior royals have not been invited.  Royal author Ingrid Seward says this shouldn't be viewed as a snub.
"Princess Anne wasn't at Prince William's christening because she said she had a rabbit shoot at her country house on that day, and it caused a huge scandal.  Everyone thought it was because Anne and Diana didn't get on, but it was actually because they were doing something else," recalls Ms. Seward.
Even William's godfather, Constantine II, the former king of Greece, won't attend.
"If the family wanted a big affair, they would make it.  They wanted a small affair?  They get that.  I think it's perfectly all right," said Constantine II.
Britain's top clergyman, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, says he is happy to be a part of this baby's relationship with God.
"The great good news is that God doesn't care who we are.  The baby is committed into God's hands.  I will mark Prince George with the sign of the cross.  And that's exactly what every priest always does," commented Welby.
No matter how small or private the ceremony, Britons like John Loughrey are pleased to share in the royal family's personal moment.
"I will be excited, the crowds will be excited, the fans will be excited, the press are going to be excited, everybody is excited.  Of course the royal family will be very excited.  And of course the late Diana, Princess of Wales, will be shining down on them," said Loughrey.

European satellite is due
to crash to earth soon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A European satellite that spent four years mapping Earth's gravity ran out of fuel Monday and will plunge back into the atmosphere in about two weeks, officials said.
The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, or GOCE, had been operating about 139 miles (224 km) above Earth, lower than any other science satellite, to map variations in the planet's gravity.
“We have obtained the most accurate gravity data ever available to scientists,” Volker Liebig, the European Space Agency's Earth observation programs director, said in a statement. “The outcome is fantastic.”
With its onboard supply of xenon fuel depleted, GOCE will re-enter the atmosphere in about two weeks, the European Space Agency said on its Web site Monday.
Most of the 1.2-ton (1,100-kg) satellite will burn up during its fiery descent. But up to 50 or so fragments, 25 percent of the spacecraft's mass, are likely to hit the ground or splash into an ocean.
“When and where these parts might land cannot yet be predicted, but the affected area will be narrowed down closer to the time of re-entry,” the space agency said.
The uncertainty is due to constant changes in the upper atmosphere, which is strongly influenced by solar activity.
The agency will periodically update re-entry predictions and issue warning to populations if necessary, officials said.
With two-thirds of the planet covered by water and vast areas sparsely populated, the risk to human life or property is considered extremely low, they said.

U.S. September job gain
reported to be modest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. businesses added a modest 148,000 jobs in September, far short of the 180,000 analysts were expecting.  Still, job gains were enough to lower the unemployment rate to 7.2 percent, the lowest in nearly five years.  But, the first jobs report since the government shutdown suggests the U.S. economy may be losing steam.

Concerns about the tepid U.S. recovery may be hurting the job market.

And the political strife in Washington that led to the first government shutdown in 17 years didn’t help, says economist Gus Faucher at PNC Financial Services.

"So they've been reluctant to hire, and also I think you have concerns about the health care law that might be weighing on hiring as well," said Faucher.

Despite the smaller than expected job gains in September, fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits, helping to bring the nation’s unemployment rate to its lowest level in nearly five years.

Stocks rose on Wall Street after the release of the government report.

Economist Michael Strain at the conservative American Enterprise Institute says that’s because the modest job growth means the U.S. central bank will be less likely to scale back its bond purchases.

“The likelihood of the Fed tapering in 2013 is pretty close to zero in my opinion," said Strain.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion in government bonds and securities every month to keep interest rates low and encourage consumers and businesses to spend.  Strain doesn’t see the U.S. economy recovering fast enough for the Federal Reserve to change course this year.
He acknowledges the Congressional bickering in Washington has hurt the U.S. economy, but he says it has nothing to do with the job slowdown in September.

“The survey week for the data was the middle of September which was before the shutdown and the debt ceiling debate really heated up. So if we’re going to see anything related to the shutdown or the debt ceiling, it would probably be in October’s numbers," said Strain.

On the bright side, construction jobs rose by 20,000 suggesting the housing market continues to rebound.   And government increased hiring by roughly 22,000 jobs last month.

Analysts expect more volatility in the job numbers when October’s employment report comes out just a little more than two weeks from now.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (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 768
1,000 square meters of land and 350 square meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

San Mateo pool


Includes 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house built to American standards with a balcony overlooking full-sized swimming pool and rancho with a bathroom and a shower room, and landscaped tropical gardens.  There are two large storage buildings, a carport and electric-gate access to the enclosed property.  It is a short drive to the highways to San José and the beaches.  Owner financing available.  Please call: +506 2446-4901

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 for more information ¡y se habla español!

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!

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:

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

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

humming bird nest

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

Naranjo views


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

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

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

Condo for sale in Flamingo

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

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 210
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Protesters oppose auction
of Brazilian offshore field

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police clashed with protesters on the streets of Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian government announced the winner of an auction to develop an offshore oilfield that could hold up to 12 billion barrels.
The sole bid came from a consortium that includes Shell, Total, two Chinese firms and Brazil's state-run petroleum company, Petrobras.
Petrobras took 40 percent of the field, 10 percent above the legal minimum, while France's Total SA and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell will each have 20 percent of the partnership. China National Petroleum Corp and China's CNOOC will take 10 percent each.
Highlighting the lackluster interest from most major oil companies in Monday's auction, the companies agreed to give the government the minimum legal amount of so-called profit oil from the fields, oil produced after initial investment costs are paid. Under the terms of a new production-sharing contract, that minimum was set at 41.65 percent of profit oil.
Though hailed by the government as the start of development for its largest-ever oil discovery, the sole bid reaffirmed the fact that most multinational oil companies were turned off by the auction.
The director of Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, Magda Chambriard, said that the companies that are part of the winning group will bring the success to the project that the Brazilian people desire.
“We have absolute certainty that Libra will be developed in the most correct way possible in support of Brazilian society,” Ms. Chambriard said.
Despite the huge potential of the offshore region, many foreign oil producers and other potential investors shied away because they believed the rules for the new concessions offered little upside for profit and too big a role for the government and Petrobras.
Edison Lobao, energy and mining minister for Brazil, said that everyone involved in the auction sees the true potential.
“You only show up to an auction of this nature, if you are one of those that actually believes in the greater possibilities, the quantities of petroleum shown here, and in total success moving forward,” Lobao said.
Hundreds of protesters calling for the nationalization of Brazil's oil industry clashed with police outside the hotel where bidding took place.
Monday's protest was called by striking oil workers, whose union has long opposed any foreign involvement in Brazil's petroleum production. Security officials used tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters.

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From Page 7:

Medical device firm expanding here

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A Massachusetts firm reports that it has begun improvements on a leasehold, a new 20,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Costa Rica.

The firm, TechDevice Holdings of Watertown, said it would bring enhanced catheter manufacturing capabilities to its customers and provide a high volume manufacturing option in Costa Rica.  The firm also said it had purchased AdvancedCath Technologies located in San Jose, California.

Randall Sword, president of TechDevice said  he was excited by the continued expansion of the TechDevice platform to complement and support the firm's rapid organic growth.  "With facilities in Boston, Minneapolis, San Jose and Costa Rica, TechDevice provides a scalable solution to meet our customer’s needs throughout the product life cycle from prototype to pilot manufacturing to high volume manufacturing,” he said.

TechDevice Holdings develops, designs and manufactures highly engineered medical devices, such as catheter and guidewire systems and related components and sub-assemblies including extrusions, balloons, coils, ground cores, and braided sheaths.