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(506) 2223-1327                                    Published Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 222                        Email us
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tractor crash
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Two men stole this tractor Saturday night in Los Chiles but had trouble driving. They ended up crushing a car in their erratic path. The crash woke the dogs that woke the owner, and police made the collars.

Both suspects are illegal.

Lawmakers ducked chance to protect property rights
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Legislative archives show that lawmakers deep sixed a bill that would have protected property owners who were the victims of fraud at the Registro Nacional.

The measure, No. 18.215, would have resolved a judicial conflict between the Sala Primera and the Sala Tercera of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

Basically the bill said that anyone who loses property because of paperwork fraud should get the property back. That is the position of the Sala Tercera high criminal court. But the Sala Primera, the civil high court, protects those who are known as innocent third parties.

The Sala IV constitutional court declined to adjudicate the conflict.

The innocent parties are those who purchase stolen real estate from the crooks in what the court says is good faith. Naturally, many property crooks quickly pass along ownership of faked titles to confederates, and this leaves the legitimate owner with few recourses. The same thing can happen to mortgages.

The Sala Primera interpretation can lead to humorous situations. In one case, wives of some
highly placed politicians argued that they were innocent third parties because they bought a million dollar tract in Manuel Antonio from the local snow cone vendor on the beach.

Even the Costa Rican courts did not buy that one.

The proposed bill would have defended the chain of title and the rights of the original, legitimate and valid owner with an addition to Article 457 of the civil code.

The Comision Permanente de Asuntos Juridicos declined to make the change and issued a negative opinion a year ago.

The Ministerio Público, the nation's prosecutors, had supported the measure as a reiteration of the supremacy of the constitutional right to property.

But the director of the Registro Nacional, Dagoberto Sibaja Morales, issued a blistering critique and said the measure, if passed, would break the principle of transferring property in the country.

This was one of those measures that received little, if any, publicity when it was presented to lawmakers or when the legislative committee rejected it. The nine members of the committee appeared to be unanimous in the decision.

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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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Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
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Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


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CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
NAR certified Realtor Jeff Fisher is famous for being “Brutally Honest.”
See why he still believes only the 100% titled land of the Jaco beach & Central Pacific areas of Playa Hermosa/ Jaco-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and the Esterillos-Bejuco beaches are the best places to live, invest and enjoy. 
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: The Jaco area has everything you need, from KFC to Gourmet Organic;  from zip lines to bank lines, from a movie house to a fire sale house…. 
#3: BUYERS’ MARKET: Many properties are at their lowest price ever
           *$179,900 Hermosa Beachfront Community with Ocean Views !
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
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cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Municipalidad de Palmares photo          
Those riding the San José-Palmares route operated by Autotransportes
Palmares JAV, S.A. might be in one of these new buses purchased by the
firm. The company invested $800,000, said the Municipalidad de Palmares.
They go into service today.

Truck was carrying a dangerous cargo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A trucker tried to smuggle into the country 100 cases of soft drink and 35,000 oranges hidden under legitimate cargo.

The oranges are a threat to the Costa Rica citrus industry, so agricultural ministry workers were quick to destroy the product. Citrus trees can be harmed by a bacteria that is carried by the Asian citrus psyllid.  The ailment is called yellow dragon disease. There are other types of diseases that can be serious for the citrus crops. That is why there are close inspections of produce brought into the country legally.

Fuerza Pública officers stopped the truck at a checkpoint not far from the Panamá border. The illegal contents are believed to have come from that country.

wilten plant
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo     
The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico reports that ash from the Turrialba volcano is causing plant damage like this on a Gunnera Insignis.
The weight of the ash is too much for the plant. Then there is acidity, too.

Investigators say gang trio admitted killings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexico's government said Friday that three Guerreros Unidos gang suspects had admitted killing 43 missing students after police handed the students over to the gang in the southern state of Guerrero Sept. 26.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said evidence pointed to the students being killed and their bodies burned near a municipal garbage dump in the town of Cocula, near Iguala City. Their remains were thrown into a river.

Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping, including Guerreros Unidos members, 36 Iguala and Cocula police officers, and Iguala's ousted mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife.

Authorities said Abarca ordered the officers to confront the students over fears they would derail a speech by his wife, who headed the local child protection agency.

Murillo said teeth of victims found at the scene were so badly burned, they virtually disintegrated into dust upon being touched. He said it would be very difficult to extract DNA to confirm identities of the victims of an incineration that lasted 14 hours.

Murillo said Mexico would continue to view the students as missing until remains were confirmed to match their identities. 

Before the announcement, relatives of the missing said they would not accept that their children had been killed until they received results from independent Argentine forensic experts.

The case has drawn international outrage, brought tens of thousands of people to the streets in protest and turned into a full-blown crisis for President Enrique Peña Nieto, undermining his claims that Mexico has become safer on his watch.

China loses high speed rail deal in Mexico

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexico has withdrawn a multibillion-dollar deal with a Chinese consortium to build the country's first high-speed passenger train.

Mexico revoked the $3.74 billion contract with the China Railway Construction Corp.  Thursday after complaints from lawmakers about the bidding process.

China Railway was the only firm to submit a bid.

The Transport Ministry said a new auction for the contract will be held. The date of the auction was not immediately clear.

Mexico has sought to forge closer business ties with China, but the revocation of the project is an embarrassment as it comes just days ahead of President Enrique Peña Nieto's visit to China.

The Transport Ministry announced the deal Monday to build the 201-kilometer link between the capital, Mexico City, and the central city of Queretaro.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 222          
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Tourism sector continues to battle to keep airport arrival tax
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers in a committee are considering giving half of a tax that is supposed to promote the country's tourism to national parks instead. The Cámera Nacional de Turismo considers this a grave error.

That was the message brought to lawmakers last week by María Amalia Revelo on behalf of the chamber. She works with AERIS, the company operating the country's international airports.

The session was with the Comisión Permanente Especial de Ambiente where the reception was mixed.

Those who travel by air to enter the country are supposed to pay a $15 tax that goes to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The tax was created March 27, 2009, to replace a 3 percent levy on housing and other activities for tourists.

The summary for the bill said that the airport tax raised about double what the previous tax did. But the summary also noted that the tourism institute had a surplus of 10 billion colons in the first full year the tax was in force. That was 2010.  That was with an income of  $26 billion colons or about $52.5 million.

The tax raised 10.1 billion colons or about $18.6 million, almost as much as the surplus. This appears to be a reason why drafters of the bill figured that the tourism institute could get along without half the tax.

They pointed out pressing needs for the national parks, which also are visited by tourists, and noted that there are unresolved cases of
expropriation of private land for national parks. The government has been slow in paying those from whom they took the land.

Curiously, the tax income for 2010 only represents the arrival of about 1.2 million air passengers, far lower than what has been reported.

The tourism institute said that 1,417,980 international tourists arrived by air that year. And even Costa Ricans are supposed to pay the tax.

The argument that the tourism institute needs the money for promotion found disagreement with at least one member of the committee.

José Ramírez Aguilar of Frente Amplio said that marketing and promotion are not indispensable, according to a summary of the committee session provided by staffers.

He said that responses to questionnaires at the airports show that most of those who visit Costa Rica do so based on recommendations by friends of family members, said the summary.

Coincidentally, tourism officials and operators are meeting today in an effort to create an improved marketing image for the country. The event is part of the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Turismo.

Since May 8 the minister of tourism has been a professional who actually operates a company. The principal promotional activities of the institute include setting up booths at various tourism fairs worldwide and buying expensive space during the Winter Olympics on television and during the World Cup soccer championships. At the meeting today two representatives of the Atlanta, Georgia, agency that set up the Facebook talking sloth campaign are supposed to appear.

no passing
A.M. Costa Rica/Jesús Bermúdez            
With no warning, motorists find Avenida 7 is closed.

Water leak throttles traffic for three days

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Traffic was so bad Friday evening in San José that local radio stations were broadcasting a warning to motorists to stay out of the center of the city.

Some motorists spent two to three hours in a major traffic jam that was caused, in part, by the closing of Avenida 7 so water company workers could fix a leak. This has been a long-time effort, and the problem reached a peak Thursday morning when a backhoe operator snagged underground high tension lines. The major water leak took backseat to restoring power to much of the city.

Fridays always are a time of heavy traffic even without the additional problems caused by the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados. The road closing resonated for blocks and blocks with homebound motorists struggling against buses and trucks. The leak finally was fixed Saturday, so says the water company.
traffic jam
A.M. Costa Rica/Jesús Bermúdez
How many supervisors are at the dig?

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 222        
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International agreement gives more protection to 21 shark species
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

An unprecedented number of sharks, including two species of hammerheads, the entire genus of thresher sharks, and the silky shark species received additional protection Sunday.

The species were incorporated into Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals during its 11th Meeting of the Conference of Parties in Quito, Ecuador, said Andy Bystrom and Randall Arauz, who attended the session.

They are members of the Programa Restauración de Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas.

The favorable vote by the 120 member convention parties to list these six species of sharks in its Appendix II is the culmination of an eight-month collaborative effort between an international group of non-government organizations, the convention secretariat, the European Union, and the Costa Rican, Ecuadorian, and Egyptian governments.

"The species listed under Appendix II are very important for Costa Rica," said Gina Cuza, who represented the Costa Rican government. "Hammerhead sharks are a main attraction of the recreational dive industry, particularly in Cocos Island, while silky sharks are the most commonly caught species by our pelagic fisheries, where thresher sharks are also commonly caught, she said, according to the Programa.
"Sharks face an uphill battle, there's no doubt about that," said Bystrom. "This is why governments need to implement regional and global conservation strategies that include decreasing the fishing pressure on these animals and protecting essential coastal habitats where many shark species reproduce," he said, according to his organization's summary.

"The work has only just begun, as many pressures exist due to the many interests at stake," said Arauz, "If we don't act now, it will be impossible to restore the populations of these threatened marine species, which are vital for the function of the marine ecosystem, and upon which humanity itself depends on."

The vote means that the 120 governments that belong to the convention have identified them as among the shark species most in need of conservation action and have committed to work together to better protect them. The convention is the only global entity that specializes in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats, and their migration routes.

“The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Time for Action,’ and governments did not disappoint,” said Bradnee Chambers, convention executive secretary. “Thanks to a truly international coalition of shark champions, CMS will now help with global coordination to protect these species throughout their range.”
A.M. Costa Rica archives
Isla de Cocos hammerheads are famous.

The action is a significant step toward better management of these species, and it is a crucial acknowledgement that healthy sharks are critical to healthy oceans.  Governments will now have to coordinate through various global or regional agreements and organizations to better protect and manage these migratory species.

“Today is an important day for sharks and rays,” said Luke Warwick, a global shark conservation expert with The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Countries have acknowledged that cooperation is key to properly managing at-risk shark populations and that species such as silky, hammerhead, and thresher sharks are in urgent need of better protections. The CMS action gives these already depleted species a chance to recover and encourages precautionary, sustainable management of all sharks.”

About 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries, an unsustainable figure. In some regions, numbers of the newly protected species have plummeted to less than 20 percent of their populations’ original size.

This urgently needed action came about because the governments of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Egypt, Fiji, Kenya, and the United Kingdom together proposed the listing of these 21 species, Pew said in a statement.

The convention's Appendix II listings allow sustainable fishing of sharks, but if management measures are not effectively implemented, the listed species could qualify for the more strict protections offered under Appendix I. To ensure that these listings have the needed impact, the convention parties must follow through on their commitments to cooperate by developing stronger domestic shark protections, while considering international management, said Pew.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

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

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

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Enjoy living in the middle of wonderful mountains.
Fresh air, gorgeous forest. Near downtown but away from noisy city.  Nature lifestyle.  Beautiful chalet in a large property located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. Rate $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  Email


Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

Cottage in the mountain.  Surrounded by nature.  One bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms. Beautiful balcony and view. Bus line service, security.  $500 monthly.  Phone: 506-8739-0638  Email:

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,000 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). Very private, very quiet, green areas, fully furnished. Must like animals (we have three gentle dogs), look at high resolution pics HERE! U.S. citizens or Europeans preferred. No children. Call to inquire and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 222        
Real Estate
About us

Obama taps N.Y. prosecutor
to be next attorney general

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has named New York federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to join his cabinet as attorney general, the nation's top law enforcement official.

Announcing the nomination Saturday, Obama said he can think of no better public servant for the job. Throughout her 30-year career, he said Ms. Lynch has distinguished herself as a tough, fair and independent lawyer, aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud and cybercrime, all while vigorously defending civil rights.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Lynch would replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and become the first African-American woman to head the Justice Department. Holder was the first African-American man in the post.

Ms. Lynch currently is the chief U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, New York, known as the Eastern District of New York in the U.S. court system. Appearing with President Obama and Holder at the White House Saturday, she pledged that if confirmed, she will work every day to safeguard American citizens and their liberties and rights.

Ms. Lynch has served as the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn twice, from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2010 until now.

She and her staff have been responsible for prosecuting many high-profile criminal cases, including tax evasion charges against a current member of Congress, which have not yet gone to trial.

President Obama said Ms. Lynch has boldly gone after public corruption, successfully prosecuted terrorists and jailed some of New York's "most violent and notorious mobsters and gang members."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the 55-year-old Harvard Law School graduate is "a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important U.S. attorney's offices in the country."

In 2010, Holder appointed Ms. Lynch to his advisory committee, and in 2013, he asked her to serve as its chairwoman.

In a statement Saturday, the outgoing attorney general, who has been a target of Republican criticism on Capitol Hill, congratulated Ms. Lynch on her nomination. He said she is uniquely positioned to build upon the progress he said the Justice Department has made in the past six years, from advancing criminal justice reform to safeguarding civil rights.

Ms. Lynch began her career as a federal prosecutor in 1990, after growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Study says a few humans
can eliminate a species

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It did not take a large human population to quickly hunt New Zealand's largest bird species to extinction. 

A new study suggests there were less than 2,500 Polynesian settlers in New Zealand by the time the moa disappeared in the early 15th century.  Archeological evidence indicates human settlements on the islands were established in the early 14th century. 

A new study suggests that the flightless birds named moa were completely extinct by the time New Zealand's human population had grown to two and a half thousand people at most.

Researchers Richard Holdaway and Chris Jacomb analyzed moa eggshell pieces excavated from early settlements to determine when moa hunting began.  Dating moa remains from non-archeological sites indicate they were exterminated in much of the island only 70 to 80 years after hunting began.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, researchers  say their findings show population size can not be used to absolve humans of involvement in other extinctions.

They note it has been suggested that people could not have caused the extinctions of North American mammoths or giant Australian marsupials because the human population at the time was too small.

The researchers also estimate during the time of the moa's extinction, New Zealand had one of the lowest population densities of any pre-industrial society, one person per 100 square kilometers. 

Two U.S. citizens freed
from N. Korea return home

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller arrived Saturday night at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the Pacific Coast state of Washington.

They flew in the company of U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who worked to gain their freedom.

Bae was met by his family, including his mother, Myunghee Bae.  She said earlier in the day that she waited so long for the news, she could not believe it when the State Department contacted her Saturday.

In a brief news conference at the military base, Kenneth Bae expressed thanks to President Barack Obama and to those who had been "supporting me and lifting me up and not forgetting me."

He also thanked the North Korean government for releasing him.

“It's been an amazing two years, I learned a lot, I grew a lot, I lost a lot of weight,” said Bae, a Korean-American missionary with health problems.

Asked how he was feeling, he said, “I'm recovering at this time.” His family has said he suffers from diabetes, an enlarged heart, liver problems and back pain.

Bae, a Korean-American missionary, had been in detention since 2012 on a conviction of anti-government activities while leading a group of tourists.

Miller was also greeted by his family. He had been in prison since April for tearing up his tourist visa in the Pyongyang airport and demanding asylum.

The two were the last Americans held by North Korea, which is accused internationally of widespread human rights abuses.

The exact circumstances of the Americans' release or with whom Clapper met are not clear.

A senior Obama administration official said the president approved the mission last week and U.S. officials spent the next several days planning the trip.

Clapper spent roughly a day on the ground and met with North Korean security officials, the official said aboard Air Force One as Obama prepared to head to Beijing for another meeting.

Obama said the United States is very grateful for their safe return. He said he appreciates Clapper doing a great job on what he described as an obviously challenging mission.

Secretary of State John Kerry called their release a humanitarian gesture and said U.S. officials had been working all the angles to bring Bae and Miller home.

In New York, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Ban is relieved the two Americans are free and hopes positive momentum for peace and security on the Korean peninsula will be built on.

The State Department also thanked Sweden, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea, and repeated its warning to U.S. citizens not to travel to the North.

Bae, 46, of Lynnwood, Washington, had been in detention since 2012 for alleged anti-government activities while leading a group of tourists.

Later, Pyongyang sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor for committing hostile acts against the regime, making him the longest-held American in North Korea in recent years. The Korean-American missionary's reported health problems only added to concerns about his captivity.

His family this week appealed again to the North Korean regime to release him. Relatives released a video clip on the Web site YouTube wishing for Bae’s swift return home.

Miller, of Bakersfield, California, had been charged with espionage and detained since April. He was taken into custody after tearing up his tourist passport at the Pyongyang airport. He was 24 at the time.

In September, he was tried for hostile acts and sentenced to six years of hard labor.

They were freed less than three weeks after the unexpected release of another U.S. prisoner in North Korea, Jeffrey Fowle.

Fowle, of Miamisburg, Ohio, was held for nearly six months. Fowle was jailed for leaving a Bible in a nightclub.

Fowle said his fellow Americans' release is an answer to a prayer.

U.S. president to double
military presence in Iraq

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says his decision to double the number of American forces in Iraq signals a new phase in the campaign to defeat radical Islamic militants who have seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Obama made the remarks in a rare Sunday appearance on a U.S. television news program.

The president who promised to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq is sending 1,500 additional forces to boost the training and equipping of Iraq’s military in the fight against Islamic State militants.

“We are now in a position to start going on some offense. The air strikes have been very effective in degrading ISIL’s capabilities and slowing the advance they were making. Now, what we need is ground troops, Iraqi ground troops, that can start pushing them back,” said Obama, appearing on CBS’s "Face the Nation" television program.

Many Republican critics of the president continue to doubt the ability of Iraqi forces to stand up to the Islamic State, even with U.S. and international support. Rep. Darrell Issa is among the skeptics.

“When it comes to the Sunni-Shia divide that the Maliki government created, it makes it very, very hard to put together the kind of military units that they should have. That remains to be seen, whether or not the substantial portion of the 800,000 people we trained are willing to fight. The fact is, by the time they started fleeing, we were down to a quarter million,” said Issa of  Iraqi troops.

The Pentagon says the added U.S. forces will train nine Iraqi military brigades and three Kurdish peshmerga brigades over the coming year.

Meanwhile, U.S. air strikes against Islamic State positions continue.  While boosting U.S. forces deployed to Iraq, President Obama continues to insist American troops will not be engaged in combat there.

Top British military official
doubts jihadists are leaderless

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Britain's senior military officer is warning that the militant Islamic State group will regenerate its command even if it turns out that an American air strike in Iraq killed key jihadist leaders.

Britain's Chief of Defense Staff Nick Houghton said Sunday that he could not confirm whether the U.S. attack late Friday near Mosul on a convoy of Islamic State vehicles killed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

But Houghton said that even if Baghdadi were killed, he would not rush to the conclusion that it would be a strategic reverse for the insurgents.

"I can't absolutely confirm that Baghdadi has been killed. Even the Americans themselves are not yet in a position to do that," Houghton said Sunday in a BBC television interview.

"Probably it will take some days to have absolute confirmation. What I wouldn't want to do is sort of rush to the sense that the potential death of one of their totemic leaders is going to create some strategic reverse within ISIS," he said, referring to another name for the group. "They will regenerate leadership. It's because of the current potential attractiveness of this warped ideology, unless we get the political dimension of the strategy in place, then ISIS has the potential to keep regenerating and certainly regenerating its leaders."

Iraq, without elaborating, said Baghdadi was injured in the American air strike, but U.S. officials did not confirm the report.

Houghton said that the role of the international coalition conducting air strikes, which includes Britain, was to buy time for a political solution to be put in place, and to becoming an existential threat to the region.

The hardline Sunni Islamic State's drive to form a caliphate has helped return sectarian violence in Iraq to the dark days of 2006-2007, the peak of its civil war.

Western and Iraqi officials say air strikes are not enough to defeat the Sunni insurgents and Iraq must improve the performance of its security forces to eliminate the threat.

In an interview with the CBS program "Face the Nation," President Barack Obama said air strikes have been very effective in degrading the jihadists' capabilities and slowing their advance.

He said his deployment of an additional 1,500 U.S. troops to Iraq to train Baghdad's military marks a new phase in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Obama said the doubling of the American troop level will help Iraq go on some offense, but repeated his stance that U.S. troops will not engage in ground fighting.

space shipi
Paramount Pictures photo
This is the craft that went through the wormhole.

'Interstellar' captures sense
of Kubrick's masterpiece

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan takes audiences beyond the Milky Way galaxy with his philosophical sci-fi drama, "Interstellar."

His award-winning cast, breathtaking cinematography, razor-sharp editing, haunting music score and profound story unlock the endless possibilities of space exploration on an IMAX screen. The visual story of cosmic proportions is grounded by an intimate tale of love between a father and a daughter.

Cooper, a test pilot-turned-farmer, sees humanity’s dying spirit in a dying planet. Sometime in the near future, the climate change on Earth has caused an agricultural crisis setting the beginning of famine. Cooper knows that corn, one of the last crops to survive the permanent drought on the planet, will start dwindling soon. By then, it will be too late to save the world.
Cooper is a widower who raises his two children on their corn farm with the help of his father-in-law. He shares a special bond with his young daughter, Murph, who also shares his love for science. Together they follow coordinates that lead them to an underground site where a small group of scientists and engineers are preparing a space mission beyond the galaxy in search of habitable planets.
One character in the film, Professor Brand – the brains behind the mission – informs Cooper that scientists are no longer meant to save Earth but to leave it.
Nolan said his film does not advocate abandoning an ailing planet instead of reversing global warming. He said the intention is to show that, if necessary, humans have the spirit to move beyond the confines of the galaxy.

But "Interstellar" shows that though the human drive for adventure is powerful.
Brand offers Cooper the dream of a lifetime: Go out there and explore the universe.
But Cooper is torn. He loves his children too much to leave, but also too much to stay and let them die.
Nolan launches the astronauts into the cold unknown. They look so vulnerable against the backdrop of the awesome vastness of space.
But their drive to save humanity scales unfathomable distances. They are the trailblazers of a new era.

Nolan said his greatest inspiration was visionary Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi philosophical drama "A Space Odyssey: 2001." Nolan saw it when he was 7, he said.
"Interstellar" takes audiences through wormholes and black holes at a dizzying speed. It looks at their backbones and probes their purpose with scientific integrity. Throughout the movie, Nolan consulted with leading theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, whose work focuses on detecting gravitational waves, studying black holes and conceiving the great possibilities or wormholes.

But as big as this space film is, it is equally intimate.
In the lead role, actor Matthew McConaughey offers a layered interpretation of conflicted Cooper, who promises his daughter he will return. But he fears he may never see his kids again.
"It’s about the dare of exploration, discovery and courage," McConaughey said. "And it reminds us that our capacities are sometimes ... greater than we even give ourselves credit for. We have incredible capacity as a species and this film challenges us."
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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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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
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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498.000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135.000. Click
Grecia 883
Beautiful  House in Grecia, Costa Rica,  1.5  kilometers from the city.   220 m2 of land. Price $138.000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office  with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.

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

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

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

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

house photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 222
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disalbed on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Special techniques needed for altitude

Over 1,200 meters gardening changes, and the biggest change may be that there are no earthworms at that altitude. There are also no termites.  This means that leaf litter breaks down more slowly even in

Victoria torley
 the tropics. So, if you are in the drier highlands and you are going to compost leaves and debris, it will need to be in smaller pieces and will benefit from the addition of bacteria.  Naturally, you will remember to keep the pile damp and bacteria is easy – just add manure or urea.  But get that compost pile working as soon as you can because
it will take some  time to break things down.

There are other hazards at higher elevations here in the tropics and one is too much sun. “But sunlight,” you gasp, “is required for plant growth!  How can there be too much sunlight?”

Good question.  After all, sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis which is required for growth.  The problem with too much sunlight is threefold.  First, the intense light in the tropics, especially at altitude, can scorch and bleach leaves reducing the chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis.  Second, the sun’s heat can increase the rate of water loss through the leaves, drying the plant. 

Third, when the leaves are overheated, an important enzyme system in the plant becomes inactive, and this also slows photosynthesis.  Combined, these things slow plant growth and slow the absorption of carbon dioxide and the production of oxygen.

So there you are, above 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) and you wonder what to do next.  You are going to experiment with shade cloth, that’s what.  Most vegetables, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, carrots and such, benefit most from morning sun and some afternoon filtered shade. 

You have put in your veggies and now your job is to watch them.  Really.  You need to be there every day looking for tell-tale signs that they are getting too much sunlight.  Look for bleaching of the leaves.  Look for signs of wilting, which can mean that there is too much sun and the leaves are losing water quickly.  Then, if you see the signs, take action.  Get some shade cloth and experiment with partial or total protection from the late morning to mid-afternoon sun. 

Your elevation and gardening practices will come into play here and you may lose some plants or an entire crop, but keep at it.  Once you find the right combination of sun and shade, your garden will prosper.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
Plant of the Day

This lovely plant is impatiens balsamina, an unusual impatiens variety with upright growth of up to three feet (almost a meter).  The flowers, which range in color from light pinks to salmons, to reds and magentas, are arranged in a spiral around the stem. 

They seem to pop up in every type of soil – and my driveway gravel – so they aren’t picky.  But beware!  Each plant produces hundreds of seeds and the plant quickly becomes invasive.
If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit the Arenal Gardeners Facebook page.

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Fine Dining in Costa Rica
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From Page 7:

Tis the season to use the checkbook

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ebenezer Scrooge might have reconsidered his Christmas conversion if he had to face the cuesta arriba.

That is an expression for the financial uphill effort most business operators make in the last month of the year. But it also refers to expats.

Most residents know about the aguinaldo, the mandatory Christmas bonus that must be given to workers. The amount is usually about a twelfth of what the employee collected in the last year, December to November. That has to be done by Dec. 15.

That also is the same day that the annual income tax report is due along with any money that is owed.

And Friday the Instituto Nacional de Seguros said it has begun collecting the marchamo or road tax for the coming year. The payment is due by Jan. 1.

Then there is the tax on any corporation that an expat might own. Last year the amount was 199,000 colons, and it is due by Jan. 15. The municipality also will have its hand out again at the end of December for any business license that an expat might have.

And don't forget the luxury home tax.