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(506) 2223-1327                                   Published Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 224                      Email us
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Ecuadorian visitor gets an entry in record books
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A bird species has been recently added to the official North American list kept by the American Ornithologists’ Union based on new records from Costa Rica. The waved albatross was documented for the first time in Costa Rican waters by a fisherman with a cell phone camera.

The fisherman, Keiner Berrocal, was near Cabo Blanco on the Nicoya Peninsula last Jan. 19 and came across the albatross. He showed the photos to local birding guides who without much difficulty identified the bird. A previous unsubstantiated sighting near Cocos Island was the only previous report from the area.

A typical adult waved albatross is 80-90 centimeters long and has a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters or eight feet. Despite this size, it weighs only three to four kilograms. Albatrosses are among the most spectacular fliers of the avian world, able to pass hours in windy conditions without flapping. The largest species have wingspans of up to 3.5 meters or 11 feet.

The species, Phoebastria irrorata, nests on just one island in the Galapagos, Española, with normal non-breeding dispersal to the Humbolt current waters of Perú and Ecuador. The population was estimated at about 34,000 in 2001 but is believed to have declined since. It is 
A.M. Costa Rica/Keiner Berrocal
The visiting albatross was not in a flying mood.

classed as critically endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.  This is based on its small population size with evidence of decline. The birds mate for life and have very low reproductive rates, making losses slow to replace.

All albatross species are vulnerable to being hooked by long-line fishing gear, given their tendency to grab anything edible when feeding. They then drown. Most of the world’s 20 or so albatross species inhabit the Southern Ocean, and all but two are considered endangered or threatened.

Police say soccer anti-violence push has worked
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats probably can be comfortable in bringing their families to first division soccer games in the Central Valley.

Police officials have clamped down and said the last two major games lacked any form of violence. The Fuerza Pública also has a list of troublemakers who cannot get into the stadium.

The last two games were between the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Club Sport Herediano and the one Sunday between Deportivo Saprissa and Alajuelense.
Police officials say they have been working with the heads of the soccer teams to reduce the violence.

Each major club has an organized fan base, and some of these are routinely violent.

Spectators who are not involved with the fan groups have been injured seriously when fights break out. Police have been injured, too, in trying to quell the violence.

Police have been aided by some new legislation that allows them to crack down on troublemakers inside the stadiums.

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San Jos‚, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 224      

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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.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San Jos‚ offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

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Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

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Tel: (323) 255-6116


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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San Jos‚ office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2001
FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

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Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041

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Legal – Financial Adviser

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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Mu¤oz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Mu¤oz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Mu¤oz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:

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Real estate agents and services

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 (Jac¢ 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.
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Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
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del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Brazil wrestles with development impact

By the Lancaster University news staff           

Brazilïs globally significant ecosystems could be exposed to mining and dams if proposals currently being debated by the Brazilian Congress go ahead, according to researchers publishing in the journal Science this week.

The new report by a group of Brazilian and British researchers comes in the wake of Brazil's recent presidential elections. It warns that new legislation could pose a serious threat to protected areas, weakening Brazil's international status as an environmental leader.

One of the proposals of particular concern is the call to open up 10 percent of the most strictly protected areas to mining. In a new analysis, the research shows that at least 20 percent of all Brazil's most strictly protected areas and reserves for indigenous people overlap with areas that have been registered as under consideration for mining. In addition, many of the river systems associated with protected areas will be influenced by the construction of large hydroelectric dams.

The threat that this mining and hydropower poses to Brazil's ecosystems is not trivial. Areas of registered interest for mining include 34,117 square kilometers that are currently classified as strictly protected areas - including national parks, biological reserves and wildlife refuges. This is equivalent to an area the size of Switzerland. The situation is worse for indigenous lands, 28 percent of which, or 281,443 square kilometers, overlap with areas of registered mining interest, an area larger than the whole of the UK or the state of Sao Paulo.

In recent years Brazil has enjoyed increasing recognition as a world leader in combating environmental destruction. Brazilïs protected area network is the largest in the world, while improved environmental governance in private lands has contributed to an 80 percent reduction in the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon over the last decade. Yet these new proposals could threaten these recent successes and undermine Brazil's reputation.

Joice Ferreira, a scientist at Brazil's agricultural research institute, Embrapa, and lead author of the study, said: "The purpose of this analysis is not to say that Brazilïs development should not benefit from its abundant natural resources, but that we should not squander our hard-won record of success and leadership in favor of fast-tracked and poorly planned development projects that leave a long legacy of environmental damage. It is possible to manage our development in a more sustainable way."

Co-author Jos Barlow, a researcher at Lancaster University and a visiting professor in Brazil, said: "Rather than exploiting protected areas for short-term gains, Brazil should treasure them for the long-term benefits they can provide to society. The recent water shortages in the south east of Brazil emphasize the importance of protecting native vegetation across the country."

The authors of the study also warn that the proposals for minimizing and mitigating the environmental damage of large-scale development projects are so inadequate that even if only a fraction of these mining concessions were approved then the impacts could be enormous, especially in Brazilïs most threatened ecosystems.

Luiz Aragão, a co-author of the study from Brazil's federal space agency, INPE and the University of Exeter said: "Our concern is that even if the proposed mitigation actions were put in place they are oversimplified because they fail to take account of the indirect effects of mega-projects.

"These projects can involve thousands of workers and lead to rapid local population growth. This, combined with new roads and access routes, is a recipe for the emergence of new deforestation frontiers." explains Luiz.

The study highlights the fact that these worrying changes reflect an important shift in the support shown by Brazil's federal government to environmental protection. These concerns come on the back of other recent changes, including the partial dismantling of Brazil's protected area system to make way for development - with some 44,100 square kilometers lost since 2008 due to downsizing or abolishment - and the weakening of the Forest Code that gave an amnesty to landowners who deforested illegally in the past.

"Beyond the conservation and stewardship of its own biodiversity and environmental resources, so vital to the wellbeing of its citizens, Brazil plays a vital role in motivating and supporting the adoption of more sustainable development trajectories around the world," said Toby Gardner, of Stockholm Environment Institute, one of the authors of the study who has worked in the country for more than a decade. "Yet this standing is now in jeopardy."

Dr Joice Ferreira said: "The newly elected government has the chance to set the record straight and point Brazil firmly on a path of sustainable development. The authors of this report call on President Dilma and her government to ensure that individual development initiatives are subject to a comprehensive, socially inclusive, evidence-based and long-term cost-benefit analysis that compares potential environmental and social impacts against alternative development options. And also to ensure that Brazil's renowned protected area network is given the resources it needs to manage our ecosystems sustainably.

"Above all we ask the government to guarantee that important decisions regarding the management of Brazil's natural resources involve the full and democratic participation of Brazilian society."

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 224           
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President Solís sends tourism sales tax compromise to legislature
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The executive branch took a strategic step Tuesday to defend its claim that tourists involved in many activities will have to pay sales tax.

President Luis Guillermo Solís sent a bill to the legislature that would exonerate many tourism businesses from remitting a sales tax that they never knew they had to collect. No official ever tried to collect the tax on these activities until in the last days of the Laura Chinchilla administration this April when tax collectors created an expanded reading of a 5-year old law.

The Solís administration continued the claim that centros de recreo o similares includes many forms of tourism. The deal Casa Presidencial struck with tourism operators is that the government would waive five years of back taxes and not collect the tax until Dec. 31, 2015.  The legislature has to approve this form of tax forgiveness.

The bill says that the tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, has concluded that the majority of recreational services exist in a designated place which has infrastructure either open or closed. This infrastructure includes offices, bathrooms, signs and in some cases hiking trails as well as other attractions, it says.

In this sense these services can be developed or not in the open air and form part or not of a bigger infrastructure, as is the case with hotels and restaurants, it adds.

Then the bill concludes that the the terms centros de recreo y similares includes not only centers of recreation as a place intended for diversion but also all those services designed for diversion when they are offered inside this center or the center facilitates their offering.

So as the government has said, even activities like scuba diving or sports fishing that take place far from any building are included because somewhere there is an administrative office.

The bill makes clear that any individuals or firms that have been paying sales tax for the last five years will not get back any money. However, the bill gives some breathing room for tourism operations that were being hit up for five years of sales taxes.

The strength of the government's argument may be tested in court. Several organizations have said they will litigate the government's claim to the right to collect sales taxes based on that single phrase that was not considered until earlier this year.
Casa Presidencial photo
President Solís signs the transmittal documents for the bill.

There is no guarantee that the legislature will pass the bill in the form submitted by the president. In fact, they could just eliminate the phrase  centros de recreo y similares from the 5-year-old general sales tax law.

If not, in a year, tourists will face new sales tax on activities that had not been taxed in the past.

Local author mixes action and adventure with Latin knowledge
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authors are told to write what they know, and Deacon Blake had a lot to write about.

There is no accident why his protagonist Damien Chance went to search for gold and treasure in the Amazon jungle. Blake has been there and could provide authentic background in his novel "Mercenary Justice."

The Texas native has spent years in Latin America including time in Bolivia. He has held many jobs from banker, to salesman, to repo-man, to bouncer, to security consultant and radio personality.

Blake has been in Costa Rica two years and now manages the  Hemingway Inn on Avenida 9 in Barrio Amón. He says the work gives him time to write, and there is a second volume in the series due out before Christmas. It will be "Mercenary Vengeance.' Blake plans at least three books for his lead character.

The tone of "Mercenary Justice," can best be summed up by the main character, Chance. "Nobody's bleeding and nobody's dead. It's a good day."

The author also seems to have a flare for marketing because he managed to get his English-language adventure book in  Libreria Lehmann downtown. The adventure tale in ebook format is available at,, iBookstore, and all major digital retailers, he said.

Although termed a paperback, the book available here is a solid 366 pages and printed locally.

Blake also plans a guidebook, "The Definitive Insider’s Guide to San Jose," that will be heavy on useful information, he said, but not

Deacon Blake
Deacon Blake photo
Blake at a display case for his book at Libreria Lehmann.

seek to promote the underside of the city. As an example he lists the best laundry.

Blake is a member of a writer's group in Atenas, but he also has hopes of helping some young Costa Ricans become published writers. He said he is encouraging some in both the literary effort and the nuts and bolts of publishing.

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, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 224     
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Ministerio de Gobernaeión, Policía y Seguridad Púbica photo
Now it is shoes that are being smuggled from Panamá. Police found this lot of some 147 pairs of shoes, mostly of the tennis variety, in a compartment in a tanker some 35 kilometers from the Panamá
border. There is a checkpoint there. The approach of the holiday season is encouraging smuggling efforts by those who would avoid import duties.

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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Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
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Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 224        
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Altos de Antigua

Republicans prepare to take
control of congressional posts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress returns to work Wednesday after last week’s midterm elections that saw Republicans win control of the Senate and expand their majority in the House of Representatives. Many of President Barack Obama’s fiercest opponents are preparing to assume powerful positions in the chamber, which has been under Democratic control since 2007.

Scaffolding blankets the exterior dome of the Capitol building, where workers toil on a two-year restoration project. Change is also afoot inside the landmark structure, as Republicans prepare to assume control of the Senate in January.

The Senate top Republican, Mitch McConnell, will become majority leader and decide which bills are debated on the floor.

Many of those bills will have been approved by Senate committees, all of which will have Republican chairmen. The Foreign Relations Committee will be led by Sen. Bob Corker, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s plan to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Corker was characteristically blunt in his assessment of the plan at a committee hearing earlier this year where Secretary of State John Kerry testified.

“You are asking us to approve something that we know makes no sense. This does not even seem serious,” said Corker.

The new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to be John McCain, President Obama’s 2008 Republican opponent, and an advocate of a more muscular U.S. response to global crises, including Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

“This president does not understand Vladimir Putin. He does not understand his ambitions. He does not understand that Putin is an old KGB colonel bent on restoration of the Russian empire,” said McCain.

Even with a Republican-controlled legislature, President Obama will retain authority over U.S. foreign policy and remain commander-in-chief of the military for his final two years in office.

But there are other areas of the U.S. government where Republicans will be able to exert considerable power, most notably, the budget. Only Congress can authorize federal agencies to spend taxpayer dollars. The next chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is expected to be Republican Jeff Sessions, a fiscal conservative who has opposed many of President Obama’s spending priorities.

“The unemployment bill that is before us today makes no attempt whatsoever to find spending reductions in other areas of this monstrosity of a government, but borrows every penny of it,” said Sessions.

Additionally, Senate Republicans will have the power to confirm or reject President Obama’s nominees for a wide range of federal positions, from agency heads to ambassadors to judges. Republican Chuck Grassley, who is expected to lead the Senate Judiciary Committee, has voted against scores of Obama-nominated judges, accusing many of them of judicial activism.

“Judges are called upon to decide cases based upon laws applied to the facts. Judges are supposed to judge and not have political vision because they do not run for office,” said Grassley.

With control of both houses of Congress, Republicans have a limited mandate, according to University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato.

“I would call it a mandate to check President Obama. There is not a whole lot of governing that is going to go on in the next two years," Sabato said.

Democrats will retain Senate control for the remainder of the year, and are expected to try to confirm as many Obama nominees as possible before handing over power to Republicans.

'Sesame Street' turns 45 years
with continued high ratings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A television show that features a 249-centimeter tall bright yellow bird, aided by multi-colored furry animals who interact with humans on a fictional New York City street reached a historic milestone this week.

"Sesame Street," the popular U.S. children's educational show, turned 45 years old Monday.  The show has been a hit among pre-school children and their parents since its debut on Nov. 10, 1969, on public television, and is now considered a U.S. cultural institution.   

Millions of children across the U.S. tune in to Sesame Street every day to receive standard educational fare in reading, spelling and math from the now-iconic Muppet characters created by the late puppeteer Jim Henson: Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, and squeaky-voiced Elmo.  The show has received acclaim for its racially diverse human cast, and willingness to discuss a variety of real-life subjects, including death and physical disability.

Sesame Street has been shown in more than 150 countries since its debut, and its brand can be found on scores of toys, games and videos. 

Fighting ebola is more
than medicine, Africans say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

South Africa knows all too well how it feels to watch a disease rampage through once-healthy communities, to watch the illness divide society and trigger shame, fear and panic, and to be shunned by the rest of the world.

And so as three West African nations battle with the often-deadly ebola virus, South African experts say the hard lessons they learned in their nation’s HIV epidemic are as important as ever.
Fighting Ebola, they say, will require many of the same tools needed to fight AIDS, an epidemic that fundamentally transformed the way the world looks at diseases: not just through the microscope of science, but through the wider lens of society and development.
South African activists like Fatima Shabodien, country director of Action Aid South Africa, have long been on the front lines of the fight.

"It's a profoundly developmental crisis, because it’s not a coincidence that the people most vulnerable to it are poor people, are women, who already have vulnerable livelihoods," Ms. Shabodien explained. "So we don’t think people should be more at risk of dying from a virus just because they were born poor. And that’s at the heart of this conversation.”

She is talking about ebola, but her words also speak to South Africa’s struggle with HIV and AIDS, especially during the early, fear-filled days.

At this stage, the public's understanding about ebola is "still in the dark ages, and needs the bright light of information,"  both for those at risk, and for the rest of the world, she says.

“We know that the stigma has not been limited to these countries. Africans who are in other parts of the world having problems, we know. Football stars. So whether you’re famous, rich or poor, it doesn’t make a difference," she noted.

"People are equating Africanness with an infectious disease. We have to combat that ignorance, to start off with. But there’s a lot of vagueness around the medical conditions for surviving ebola. So people don’t understand the factors that contribute to survival, and in that vacuum lots of myths have been breeding, with consequences to ebola survivors struggling to reintegrate into the communities," Ms. Shabodien added.

Fanie Hattingh, physician founder of the Ebola Project, an initiative that tries to fight ebola with technology-based tools, says this virus is also, like HIV, an opportunity for innovation.

“I call this emergency business. We have the opportunity to really fast-track technology-driven solutions that work and have been proven in the First World into the most remote parts of West Africa," Dr. Hattingh said. "We’ve proven some of them in pilot phases and concepts, we now have to scale them and really show that it can make a difference. It’s also an opportunity for us to build an emergency response and communications platform for the future, because the next ebola will happen, whether it’s cholera, whether it’s a tsunami or an earthquake."

Two countries have projects
to recycle plastic containers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People around the world use disposable plastic containers for water, food and other content because of their practicality and light weight. But if not discarded properly, these plastics can litter populated areas, pollute water systems and create environmental damage. Plastic waste is a real problem in many poor countries. An African and a South American country have turned the menace into an advantage.

The water drainage system in Uganda's capital, Kampala, is providing a livelihood for hundreds of people who collect carelessly thrown away trash.

David Kibande manages about 10 workers who collect up to 10 tons of plastic waste a week, and sell it for the equivalent of about seven U.S. cents per kilogram. Kibande said the people he supervises would otherwise be jobless. Now, they make a living while helping to clean up the city.

More than half of the trash in Uganda's capital is left uncollected by understaffed and underfunded municipal services. Much of it ends up in drainage channels, natural water courses, streets and undeveloped plots. Environment authorities say that about 600 tons of plastic are discarded in Kampala every day.

Private companies, such as the Plastic Recycling Institute, run by South African beverage company SABMiller, have stepped in to help reduce the waste by employing people to collect plastic waste for recycling. The Kampala plant recycles 650 kilograms of plastic per hour and more than 3 million kilograms annually, which means that much less ends up in Uganda's environment.

"I would say it's working. If… there were no recycling plants that means all the plastics we are collecting right now would be in the rivers and streets,” said Jean-Baptiste Bitamazire, an institute plant manager.

The plastics are sorted, washed and processed for the manufacturing of other plastic products, including floor tiles and roof slates.

A continent away, a private initiative called Organizmo is teaching students how to mix plastic bottles with sand, clay and straw to build sustainable homes in central Colombia.

"If we can understand how we discard and consume and incorporate that into the cycles that surround us, that can lead to certain practices of recycling, reuse, of knowledge of the land," said Ana Maria Gutierrez, director and founder of Organizmo.

Students from Colombia and other countries learn how to use waste and natural material to build farm houses, which include rain water treatment systems and composting toilets.

Lucia Cano, an architect from Spain, said she came to learn how to include care of the environment in her profession.

"Forty percent of carbon emissions come from construction, of construction all over the world. So if we architects want to build, we must consider potential harm to our generations, and that we could destroy Mother Nature," said Cano.

Canadian woman joins
Kurds to fight Islamists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Canadian-born immigrant to Israel has become the first foreign woman to join Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Syria.

Gill Rosenberg, a 31-year-old resident of Tel Aviv is a former civil aviation pilot who has served in the Israeli military. 

Ms. Rosenberg told Israel Radio she decided to join the Kurdish militia fighting the Islamic State because, "They are our brothers.  They are good people.  They love life, a lot like us, really."

She said she trained with the Kurdish militants in Iraq and would soon fight in neighboring Syria.

Quick immigrant benefits
not required, EU court says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A European Union court says EU countries can refuse unemployment benefits to immigrants who come solely for the benefits and make no effort to find work.

The European Court of Justice Tuesday ruled EU countries "can avoid social benefits tourism without violating the free movement of citizens."

The court's decision upheld a German welfare program's decision denying jobless benefits to a Romanian immigrant.

The Romanian woman who arrived in Germany in 2010 sued a job center for refusing to grant her and her young son benefits intended primarily for the long-term unemployed and their children.

The court said member nations aren't obliged to grant benefits to other EU countries' citizens for the first three months and, if they stay longer and don't work, they must have sufficient resources of their own to be entitled to residence, the court noted.

Political analysts said the decision comes amid concern over perceived welfare abuse by migrants from poorer EU countries.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

Remax logo
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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 224
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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
Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano
Sculpture is just one of the art forms featured.

Works from 21 women artists featured

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The art exposition "Premium" opens today at the Galería Sophia Wanamaker at the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano in Los Yoses.

The artists are 21 local women whose 49 works will be on display until Nov. 25.

The list of exhibitors reads like a who's who of Costa Rican art. They are Ana Bröennimann, Ana Cossio, Anat Wien, Beatriz Parra, Carolina Matamoros, Carolina Parra, Celita Ulate, Connie Baker, Elizabeth Thompson, Emily Gassenheimer, Gema González, Gisela Stradtmann, Grace Herrera, Irene Peña, Laura Montealegre, Leonor Parra, Li Briceño, Margreet Wielemaker, Martina Quesada, Paulina Ortiz and Silvia Monge,

The works include photos, paintings, etched glass, ceramics, fibers, sculptures and more.

"Premium" is an opportunity to display the results of the efforts and the passion of many women, said Juan Diego Roldán, coordinator of visual arts at the Galerías Sophia Wanamaker.

Admission is free from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The organizers promise that the art will be available at reasonable prices.

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From Page 7:

Banco Nacional celebrates its 100 years

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional celebrated its 100 years of existence with a formal ceremony Monday night in the Teatro Nacional.

The state bank began in 1914 as the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica and changed its name to the current one in 1936.

Bank officials, business customers and government representatives were quick to point out the major role the institution has played in the development of Costa Rica. They cited rural loans and loans to small and medium enterprises.

The bank now has 171 offices, 470 automatic tellers and 2,800 service centers in commercial locations. There are 1.8 million customers.