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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Friday, Nov. 15, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 227                               Email us
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This  Narragansett tom and a hen are breeding stock unlikely to notice Thanksgiving Day, which is two weeks away.

A.M. Costa Rica/Garry Wiersum
Bet you didn't know young turkeys like bananas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thanksgiving dinners still are being fed up in Tarbarcia. But not for long.

Gentleman farmer Garry Wiersum plans to harvest the last six of this season's turkeys today or over the weekend. The 65-year-old expat has been raising turkeys in an organic way for four years, and this year his small flock produced 45 main courses.

Wiersum is one of those expats who came to Costa Rica and settled at the beach. He had been in Arizona. Circumstances brought him to his current home in Ciudad Colón. The farm and the turkeys are in Tarbarcia between his home and Puriscal.

He is living the dream many expats seek. He is growing corn, vegetables and now turkeys. This is not a matter of letting a few birds run around the yard. Wiersum said Thursday that raising turkeys is very difficult. He spent a lot of time researching the birds, mainly on the Internet.

"I think the Internet has a future," he joked. He collects the eggs and incubates them. That takes 30 days. Then the chicks are ready for market when they are about five and a half to six kilos, some 12 to 13 pounds.

Wiersum is particular what he feeds the birds. He
said he grows his own corn and discovered that the young turkeys are crazy about bananas. He has plenty of these plants, too.

Growing turkeys is far different from his life in corporate America, and he is quick to say that his birds are not the Butterball variety that are found in supermarkets. Instead, he said, they resemble wild turkeys, the kind the Pilgrims hunted.  He raises a Narragansett breed and said that his birds turn out to be very flavorful. Of course, he does not use hormones or other chemicals that are common with commercial growers.

He has been so successful with turkeys that he now is experimenting with chickens.

Wiersum admits that turkeys have a reputation for being a very dumb creature, but he said that this is a result of selective breeding. Wild turkeys, he said, are very savvy.

Those butterball and other commercial varieties mostly come from the United States frozen. Depending on the weight, they are being sold this year from 12,000 to 22,000 colons, a bit more than $24 to $45. 

Wiersum's product is competitive, but he also notes that he raises and sells turkeys all year long. Most supermarkets do not.

Two U.S. agencies outraged by humorous T-shirts
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have threatened legal action to block the sale of T-shirts that ridicule these two powerful government agencies.  But the T-shirt designer says NSA and DHS are the ones breaking the law by assaulting free speech, a pillar of democratic society.

A judge may decide who is right.

One T-shirt calls the NSA the “only part of the government that actually listens,” a joke that plays on the NSA’s controversial, and critics say overzealous, monitoring of communications worldwide. Americans tend to laugh out loud when they see the message. 

Another shirt parodies the DHS logo, rewritten as the “Department of Homeland Stupidity.”

Agency officials have sent stern letters to the printer who makes and distributes these designs, demanding an immediate halt, according to T-shirt designer Dan McCall.  He says the letters cite federal laws banning unauthorized use or defacement of official logos.

McCall says the demand violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of free speech.

“We are fighting for some clarity in the law, but also to reaffirm the fact that criticism, in this case parody of our government, is completely allowed and certainly isn't criminal," said McCall.

A lawyer from Public Citizen, an advocacy group, is defending the T-shirt designer.  Attorney Paul Levy says the messages on the T-shirts are satire, and that's part of the robust debate over the role and conduct of government.

“I think it's clear that the designs that McCall is purveying are plainly protected political speech," said Levy.
Homland stuipidity
Voice of America photo
One of the offending T-shirts

Law Professor Tim Zick, at the College of
William and Mary, says free speech is fundamental to democracy.  

“We have a First Amendment [to the Constitution] that protects freedom of speech, and it has been long interpreted to protect criticism of government.  Again, at its core, is the belief that citizens are better off in a self-governing society being able to discuss matters of public import among themselves," said Zick.

The CIA is also a target of criticism. And every president has been mocked, according to Professor Zick. 

George W. Bush was called stupid. President Obama’s critics say he's a liar. 

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency declined to be interviewed or to otherwise comment.  

The matter has been referred to a federal court.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Nov. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 227

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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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Real estate agents and services

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Our readers' opinions
Governments need a push
to overcome their inertia

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Two stories in A.M. Costa Rica point to the oppression of government.  The first is the story of a U.S. veteran whose housekeeper cannot get a visa to go to the States to care for his convalescence. The second is the story of Costa Ricans who cannot get a simple building permit for a sheltered bus stop.

The problem is Newton's First Law of Physics. (First law: When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.) If only we could get that law repealed!

In layman's terms, Newton's First Law says that a government worker sitting on his dead mental ass will stay there unless someone does something to get him (or her, of course) to move. This failure of initiative is probably based on fear -- fear of making a mistake and having the supervisor get angry.

But there is a solution! The way through the morass is in the second part of the law -- "unless acted upon by an external force." All government is designed to maintain the status quo, but public action and political pressure can change things. It takes work. Your publishing these stories is part of the work, and your reader's responses are another.

So how about if readers contact the U.S. Embassy and ask about the status of the veteran? How about if A.M. Costa Rica advices us where (and when) the local residents will be meeting about the bus stop?

Maybe we can do something, rather than ourselves being part of Newton's First Law.
John French

Immigration agents rejected
his bus ticket from country

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

A Bus Ticket Will Not Satisfy Immigration at Juan Santamaria.

Beware expats. The article that appeared this past Wednesday entitled “Another tale of tourists having trouble at airport" is not accurate. It indicates that a bus ticket for passage outside of the country will satisfy the immigration authorities. Well recently I and another passenger on the same flight from Atlanta, found out otherwise. We had our bus tickets, but the immigration people said that was not good enough. They indicated if I arrived by air I needed to have an air ticket out of the country! This was a new one on me, in the 10 years I’ve been regularly entering and exiting the county, never violating the 90 day visa limit.

So, I was read my rights, opted to immediately buy an exit ticket rather than be deported, was escorted to a ticket counter where I paid for a ticket to Panamá and then was escorted back to immigration to get my visa. The woman traveler on the same flight was not so lucky. I don’t think she had a credit card or means to purchase a ticket, which as I understood from the options I was given, meant that she was going to be placed on the next return flight to Atlanta on the airline which allowed her to board ‘illegally’.

At the very least, do NOT count on a bus ticket to satisfy immigration. Be prepared with an exit air ticket, or at least the means to purchase a ticket should you get intercepted by the immigration folks. Otherwise you risk having a very bad day in the land of pura vida, or at least at Juan Santamaría airport.

Jim Ryan
Liberia, Guanacaste

Construction chamber expresses
concern over road rebuilding

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción has pointed out an $88 million difference in estimates of how much it will cost to improve Ruta 32 from Río Frio to Limón.

The lower estimate, $377 million comes from experts by an international development bank. The higher figure, $465 million has been suggested for work that may be done by a Chinese firm.

In addition, the chamber said, the actual price still is open.

The Ministerio Obras Públicas y Transportes immediately responded with its own news release that it never established a price.

A vice minister, José Chacón Laurito, appeared before a legislative commission Wednesday to discuss the project.

Costa Rica is negotiating a deal whereby the Chinese government will pay for 85 percent of the cost of rebuilding and widening the key road. Costa Rica will pay 15 percent. Some 107 kilometers from Río Frio to Limón are involved.

The concept has run into trouble in the legislature with one lawmaker claiming that Costa Rica would give up its sovereignty for the deal.

Additionally, the lawmaker, Manrique Oviedo Guzmán, said that the firm China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd., the likely contractor, has been suspended by the World Bank after allegations of corruption in The Philippines.

The chamber also attacked the financing of the project, which would be in Chinese currency subject to changes on the international money market. The chamber also repeated the claim that the project would be governed by Chinese law.

Agents seeking the identity
of woman murder victim

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents are trying to find the identity of a woman whose body was found along side the Río Tambor near Puriscal. She had been shot in the head and stabbed in the neck.

It appears that she was shot there because a local rancher heard shots about 10 a.m. and found the body when he went to investigate. Agents said the man heard a vehicle leaving at high speed.

The woman was about 35 with a light complexion and long black hair, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. She was wearing jeans and sandals, agents said.

Sheep and goats on display
Dec. 7 and 8 in Coronado

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Goat and sheep producers will have an expo Dec. 7 and 8 in San Pedro de Coronado.

The event is sponsored by the Asociación Ovicaprina Ambientalista Costarricense, which estimated that there are about 200 producers in Costa Rica who raise either goats or sheep. The event will include judging the animals and the display of food products.

There are expected to be about 150 animals present both days. They will represent nearly all the breeds that are in Costa Rica.

The location is Rancho Sacramento, where there is space for 250 vehicles, organizers said. There also is wireless Internet, they added. The ranch Web page said it is just four kilometers from the center of Coronado.

Panama's new metro line
gets a test run with Martinelli

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The president of Panamá traveled the full 13.7 kilometer route of the new capital metro line Thursday, said the contractors, said Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, which also has projects in Costa Rica. The route was from  the Albrook and Los Andes stations.

Ricardo Martinelli, the president, was accompanied by cabinet members and members of the board of directors of the metro line.

The first stage of the the Panamá Metro Line 1 is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Since beginning of construction of the $1.8 billion project 33 months ago, the plan has already been expanded to include another 2.2 kilometers and two new stations, The total will be 15.9 kilometers, covered in just 22 minutes, said the contractor, known informally as FCC.

The tour is part of the dynamic tests which have been underway since the end of August in the Yards and Workshop zone, as well as at underground and elevated sections. The line is expected to carry passengers in the first quarter of next year, said FCC.

U.S. crushes confiscated ivory
to send poachers a message

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Africa's elephants are being slaughtered at a record pace by poachers who hope to get rich by selling their ivory tusks.
Thursday, U.S. officials sent a powerful anti-poaching message by destroying nearly 6,000 kilograms of confiscated ivory tusks, carvings and jewelry.
Conservationists say the key to ending the poaching of elephants is to make it unprofitable to do so.
"Anytime we can remove ivory from the marketplace it’s a win for elephants, because it suggests to the world that there isn't profitability to be had by selling ivory. And if there's no profitability in selling ivory, there's no profitability in poaching elephants,” explained Adam Robers, executive vice president of Born Free USA.
Before they were crushed, the confiscated ivory tusks, statues and ornaments were showed off by Fish and Wildlife officials, who said represented the killing of more than 2,000 adult elephants.
The items were seized from smugglers, traders and tourists after a global ban on the ivory trade took effect in 1989.
"Much of it is in what we might call trinkets, small carvings that are generally produced in Asia, brought back as souvenirs by tourists. That is a big part of the market here,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of the World Wildlife Fund.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a $1 million reward on Wednesday for information leading to the dismantling of a Laos-based criminal syndicate, the Xaysavang Network, that Kerry said poaches elephants for ivory.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Nov. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 227
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'Tis the season to ante up those aguinaldo payments to workers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Christmas is something short of ho ho ho for employers. The approach to the holidays includes the deadline for paying aguinaldos to employees.

This is the mandatory Christmas bonus that equal a twelfth of what the employee earned in the last year, from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30. There are some complexities.

The Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social has a calculator on its Web site to figure the aguinaldo for each employee, but the device is nothing more than a spreadsheet that adds up salaries for the last 12 months and divides the total by 12.

This is not always accurate. Employers also have to include in the total any value given that is not money. That may include room and board for a live-in maid. The ministry calls this salario en especie. Unless the employer can estimate accurately this non-cash payment, the ministry will consider the amount to be 50 percent of any cash the employee received.

This would even include lunch for any day workers.

The deadline this year is Dec. 20, a Friday.
The aguinaldo can be figured easily simply by consulting the forms that have been filed with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social each month. If the expat employer has not been making payment to the Caja for the employee, he or she should be especially generous because the last thing an employe wants is a works ministry inspector to drop by.

Employees are warned continually that they have a right to an aguinaldo and they are instructed how to file a complaint. There are about 10,000 such complaints each year.

The up side is that Caja social charges are not paid on aguinaldos.  A political flap is growing this week because some politicians are claiming their opponents are seeking to have the aguinaldo subject to taxation. At this point it is not.

The government is very liberal with aguinaldos. Members of boards of directors of government institutions get the bonus.

Expats also might face a gardener who was hired as a contractor. Recent stories have shown that most so-called contractors are really employees and, therefore, entitled to an aguinaldo. If the individual is running a business that provides a service to more than just a few people and the individual gives valid facturas for payment, an aguinaldo probably is not warranted.

There is something pleasant about being a state bank customer
In her article on Nov. 11 in AlterNet, an online newspaper, Ellen Brown has an article, “Want to have a happy Planet?  Just ask Costa Ricans about their banks,” In it she extensively quotes Scott Bidstrup, an expat who has lived in Costa Rica for some years. 

According to Bidstrup, the national banks, like Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional, et al, are part of the reason Costa Ricans are a happy people.  Bidstrup explains that instead of seeking to enrich their shareholders or top employees, national banks use their profits to benefit the country and its people.  During the years Costa Rica was in charge of its own financial destiny, this worked very well.  Schools and hospitals were built. People worked and could borrow money (not cheaply, but then the profits were going back to them), and Costa Rica was the most successful of the Central American countries, maybe of all Latin America. 

The world changed and financial hard times came to Costa Rica and the all powerful World Monetary Fund stepped in with its help along with some Draconian measures it demanded.  And here we are today struggling along with the rest of the global communities.

This is a superficial précis of what Scott Bidstrup was saying, but I agree, the national banks are nice to have.  I remember when I first moved to Costa Rica and opened a bank account. I chose Banco Anglo, a bank across the street from the National Theatre, because it was convenient to where I lived and in the heart of the city.

It was a piece of cake to establish an account, and I really liked “my” bank and the people therein.  That is until a couple of the managers were found to be using the profits for their own ends, and abruptly the bank closed.  Well, not quite the next day.  Long lines of people who had money in the bank waited in fear to clear out their accounts.  I had been told (as had they) that my deposits were safe because, just as in the United States, it was insured and backed up by the government.  So I relaxed and let things develop.

Within a week I was informed that my account had been
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

transferred to the Banco de Costa Rica with all of the same privileges I had had at the Banco Anglo. 

Over the years a number of independent, private and foreign owned banks have emerged here.  A number have closed without much fanfare.  I am told that some investors have lost money in the process, and depending upon the bank and the raconteur, it is either harder and more complicated or easier to transfer money from their home country to here using private banks.  Meanwhile, I am very happy with the Banco de Costa Rica, partly because there are so many branches and the people at the branch in my neighborhood recognize me.  However, I still cannot deposit a perfectly good check, which I do every month, into my account if the jefe is not there to okay it for the cashier.

When this happens, I try not to lose my composure and temper.  That, I suppose is another reason why Costa Ricans are such happy people.  They manage one way or another not to have a hissy fit to express their sense of injustice or indignation every time they feel like they are not getting proper service when they expect it. Thus, the air is not shattered with bad vibes.

In fact, I have learned over the years that it is much more effective to ask for help rather than to demand service. Being a woman, I have found that a few tears don’t hurt. 

Years ago I learned somewhere that men tend to shout or hit something when they are angry, whereas when they are angry, women cry.  I think it must be a survival mechanism.  We will not discuss passive aggressive behavior, which is probably more of a female and Tico trait.  But as I have said before, I can handle passive aggressive better than aggressive aggressive.  I must be going native.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Nov. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 227
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Small African nation dumps Taiwan to cozy up with the People's Republic
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Republic of the Gambia, a small nation in West Africa, has broken off diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It is the first country to do so since 2008. The move marks a worrying development for diplomatically isolated Taiwan, which has long struggled to forge such relationships because of opposition from China.
The break comes despite relations marked by frequent high-level contact and Taipei’s help in a variety of areas, ranging from farming to military training.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry Political Deputy Minister Simon Ko told a news conference his government regrets The Gambia’s decision, but declined to speculate on the impact.
Ko expressed the Taiwan government’s shock and regret at The Gambia’s decision to break ties effective immediately, and added that the two sides had worked closely together over the past 18 years. Ko noted that it appears, at least so far, that the split is a result of a personal decision by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
The Gambia’s ambassador to Taiwan declined to speak to reporters.
Costa Rica dumped Taiwan in June 2007 to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic.
Since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, China has viewed Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing refuses diplomatic relations with any nation that formally recognizes Taiwan.
Before Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office, China and Taiwan jockeyed for allies by offering countries money to switch allegiances. However, five years ago, Taipei and Beijing struck an agreement to stop the practice.
Since then, the two Asian neighbors have been working to ease tension and build trust. Beijing has sought to win over the Taiwanese public through deals aimed at boosting the island's economy.
Taipei’s remaining 22 allies are mostly poor nations in Africa, Latin America and the South Pacific. A breakdown of the diplomatic truce with China could see more countries switch their allegiance, which would likely threaten the newly created trade and investment links between Beijing and Taipei.

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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.
Lundquist patio
Exotic gardens next to one
of our patios

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.

Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. or e-mail us at

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Christ Howard with Max
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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
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)

Beautiful studio home with garden patio
Completely furnished with best bed (Jiron™ Full), refri, stove, dishes, pans, etc. TV and high-speed internet connected. Free.
Located high above a river. You will sleep like a baby. Perfect weather, never too hot nor cold. Secure, private and secluded, and yet, only 10 minutes to San Isidro de El General (fairly large city in the mountains with everything) and from there, 40 minutes to beaches. Bus is close and costs 35 cents to San Isidro. Special price for single, long-term renter, nonsmoker: $425 + utilities. Go to and put in, #969365 for pics and full description Then write to us, Thanks. Email:


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page:

Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 

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:

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Nov. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 227
Real Estate
About us


Pacific Estates

Obama backs down to allow
citizens to keep health policies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Moving to avert still more political damage from what he acknowledges was a fumbled implementation of his health care law, President Barack Obama Thursday announced a fix to allow Americans to keep existing policies for one year. 

Obama's decision came amid mounting political fallout from the flawed federal government Web site that Americans use, along with online state insurance marketplaces, to enroll in plans under Obamacare.

Just over 106,000 people enrolled since Nov. 1, far below what the administration had hoped.

Obama acknowledged the frustration of Americans, potentially numbering in the millions, who received cancellation notices for policies that did not meet Obamacare standards. 

"I think it is legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general.  That's on me.  We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," said Obama.

The administrative fix announced by Obama would let insurers renew for one year health plans that were canceled because of the implementation of Obamacare.

Companies could offer plans next year that do not meet minimum requirements but would have to inform applicants how these are deficient and what alternatives are available.

Obama said it would be up to insurance commissioners in individual U.S. states to allow the fix to proceed, saying Obamacare would not get in the way of companies implementing the change.

With Obama already facing the lowest public approval ratings of his presidency, there are new signs of political damage, as Americans raise questions about administration competence. 

A Gallup poll showed 55 percent of respondents disapproving of Obamacare.  Previous surveys showed Americans generally divided on the law, though leaning toward disapproval.

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner says poor enrollment numbers show that Obama's health care law has failed and should be scrapped.

"When it comes to this health care law, the White House does not have much credibility.  Let's be clear, the only way to fully protect the American people is to scrap this law once and for all.  There is no way to fix this," said Boehner.

Republicans controlling the House plan today to bring to a vote their own fix. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the Republican measure would endanger Obamacare.

"It undermines the Affordable Care Act," said Ms. Pelosi.

Obama also acknowledged potential damage for Democratic congressional candidates in next year's mid-term elections.

"There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the Affordable Care Act smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," said Obama.

Obama says he feels personally responsible for making the job of Democrats harder.  But he said people should not lose sight of the fact that before Obamacare, the U.S. health care system status quo was "not working at all."

He again criticized Republicans for failing to provide an alternative either to the existing health insurance system or to Obamacare, which was designed to provide affordable coverage for some 40 million Americans who lacked insurance.

Eurozone economy again
appears to be stagnant

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Economic growth in Europe's 17-nation euro currency bloc has nearly stalled again, only months after it emerged from a recession that lasted 18 months.

The eurozone said Thursday that its economy expanded just 0.1 percent in the July to September period, down from the gain of 0.3 percent in the previous quarter.

With record high unemployment and some debt-ridden governments struggling to regain their financial footing, the eurozone's fortunes have faltered even as the world's two biggest economies, the United States and China, have advanced.

In the third quarter, the eurozone said that growth slowed markedly in Germany, its most powerful economy, to three-tenths of a percent, less than half what it had been.  Growth contracted slightly in both France and Italy, the eurozone's next two biggest economies.

The eurozone economy, collectively the biggest in the world, shrank for six straight quarters through March of this year, the longest drop since the euro was introduced in 1999.  Analysts said slowing exports led to the sluggish growth in the third quarter, while austerity measures undertaken in several eurozone countries have cut government spending.

Even with the limited growth across the eurozone, one of its member nations, Ireland, said it is about to emerge from the $114 billion bailout it secured in 2010.  Dublin said that next month, it will become the first of the four eurozone nations that needed a rescue package to be able again to borrow money on international markets without the safety net of a precautionary credit line.

Fed nominee tells senators
economy must grow faster

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The nominee to head the U.S. central bank, Janet Yellen, said the U.S. economy must grow faster. She spoke at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.

If confirmed, Ms. Yellen, now vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, would succeed outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke, under whose leadership the U.S. central bank launched an unprecedented stimulus program to keep interest rates at historic lows and boost the money supply.

Ms. Yellen told senators the economy has improved since the deep recession of 2008 to 2009, but still needs help.

“Our country has come a long way since the dark days of the financial crisis.  But we have further to go," she said. "I believe the Federal Reserve has made significant progress towards its goals, but has more work to do.”

That work includes further reductions in U.S. unemployment, which stands at 7.3 percent.  Ms. Yellen described promoting stronger economic growth as imperative.

The committee’s top Republican, Sen. Mike Crapo, did not dispute the need for more robust growth, but worried that massive monetary stimulus, known as quantitative easing, will eventually cause a spike in inflation and other side effects.

“How do you respond to the concerns that quantitative easing has limited impact on economic growth and is, in fact, creating very serious risks in our financial markets,” he asked.

Ms. Yellen said she understands and shares the concerns.

“I would agree that this program cannot continue forever, that there are costs and risks associated with the program," she said. "We are monitoring those very carefully."

Ms. Yellen made clear that, for now, her top concern is a lackluster U.S. economy.

U.S. financial markets have responded favorably to Ms. Yellen’s nomination.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high this week, and advanced further during her testimony on Capitol Hill.  Ms. Yellin is likely to receive bipartisan support in both the Banking Committee and the full Senate.  She would become America’s first female central bank chief.

Bernanke’s term expires in January.  The Federal Reserve plays a major role in U.S. interest rates and, by extension, those of other nations around the world.

Pink star
Sotheby’s photo
The Pink Star on a ring

Pink Star diamond brings
$83 million at auction

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The world's largest known pink diamond has sold at auction for more than $83 million in Geneva.
"There is no other stone of that size and color known.  No other stone,” declared David Bennett, the auctioneer for Sotheby’s.
Sotheby's said Wednesday's sale of the rare 59.6-carat Pink Star diamond represents the highest price ever paid for a gemstone.
The oval-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring, was bought by a man bidding in the room, who told reporters that he was buying it on behalf of an anonymous person whom he represented.
“Ladies and gentlemen, . . . the world record bid for a diamond ever bid, and it's right here,” Bennett said to applause as he brought down the hammer in the Geneva salesroom.
It was the star lot at Sotheby's semi-annual jewelry sale in Geneva, held in a heavily-guarded hotel showroom, which followed strong Hong Kong auctions last month.
The Pink Star diamond was discovered in Africa 14 years ago.
Prior to Wednesday’s sale, the Graff Pink diamond held the previous auction record, selling for just above $46 million three years ago.

Space agency video shows
Mars covered with water

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new NASA video shows what Mars may have been like long ago when it had a denser atmosphere and liquid water.

The concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different.

"There are characteristic dendritic structured channels that, like on Earth, are consistent with surface erosion by water flows,” said Joseph Grebowsky of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The interiors of some impact craters have basins suggesting crater lakes, with many showing connecting channels consistent with water flows into and out of the crater.”

He added that small impact craters have been removed with time and larger craters show signs of erosion by water more than 3.7 billion years ago, and sedimentary layering is seen on valley walls. Minerals are present on the surface that can only be produced in the presence of liquid water, Grebowsky said.

Estimates about the amount of water needed to explain these features have equated to possibly as much as a planet-wide layer one-half a kilometer (1,640 feet) deep or more, according to Grebowsky.

It's unknown if the habitable climate lasted long enough for life to emerge on Mars.

"The only direct evidence for life early in the history of a planet's evolution is that on Earth," said Grebowsky. "The earliest evidence for terrestrial life is the organic chemical structure of a rock found on the surface in Greenland. The surface was thought to be from an ancient sea floor sediment. The age of the rock was estimated to be 3.8 billion years, 700 million years from the Earth's creation.”

The video ends with an illustration of NASA's MAVEN mission in orbit around present-day Mars. MAVEN will investigate how Mars lost its atmosphere. Scheduled to be launched in November, it will arrive at Mars in September 2014.

There are several theories of how Mars was stripped of its thick atmosphere.

"Hydrodynamic outflow and ejection from massive asteroid impacts during the later heavy bombardment period (ending 4.1 billion to 3.8 billion years ago) were early processes removing part of the atmosphere, but these were not prominent loss processes afterwards," said Grebowsky. "The leading theory is that Mars lost its intrinsic magnetic field that was protecting the atmosphere from direct erosion by the impact of the solar wind."

The solar wind is a thin stream of electrically charged particles (plasma) blowing continuously from the sun into space at about a million miles per hour.

Alkalinity in world's oceans
declining toward neutral

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Global warming is causing a silent storm in the oceans by acidifying waters at a record rate, threatening marine life from coral reefs to fish stocks, an international study said Thursday.
The report, by 540 experts in 37 nations, said the seas could become 170 percent more acidic by 2100 compared to levels before the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, can become a mild acid when mixed with water.
Acidification is combining with a warming of ocean waters, also caused by a build-up of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and other man-made factors such as higher pollution and overfishing, the report said.
“It is like the silent storm - you can't hear it, you can't feel it,” Carol Turley, a senior scientist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in England, said.
The study, released on the sidelines of a meeting of almost 200 nations in Warsaw on ways to slow global warming, estimated that acidity of the oceans had already increased by 26 percent since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A 170 percent increase in acidity is equivalent to cutting the Ph level of the ocean, a scale of acidity and alkalinity, to 7.9 from 8.2 on a logarithmic scale. Battery acid rates about 1 and soap, an alkaline, is about 10.  A reading of 7.0 is neutral.
The pace of acidification was the fastest in at least 55 million years, the scientists said. Acidification undermines the ability of everything from corals to crabs to build protective shells and has knock-on effects on the food web.
“Marine ecosystems and biodiversity are likely to change as a result of ocean acidification, with far-reaching consequences for society,” according to the summary led by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.
“Economic losses from declines in shellfish aquaculture and the degradation of tropical coral reefs may be substantial owing to the sensitivity of molluscs and corals to ocean acidification,” it said.
And some studies have found that young clown fish, made famous by the movie “Finding Nemo,” behaved as if drunk in more acidic waters, their brains apparently disoriented.
Another study found that rockfish can become more anxious.
“A normal fish will swim equally in light and dark areas in a tank ... an anxious one on high carbon dioxide spends more time in the darker side, the more protected side,” said Lauren Linsmayer of the University of California, San Diego.
“If society continues on the current high emissions trajectory, cold water coral reefs, located in the deep sea, may be unsustainable and tropical coral reef erosion is likely to outpace reef building this century,” the report said.
Deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gasses, from power plants, factories and cars, would limit acidification.
The Warsaw talks are working on plans for a global deal, due to be agreed in 2015, to limit climate change.

Gene therapy shows promise
in shrinking enlarged hearts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers are poised to begin human clinical trials of a novel gene therapy to treat a major cause of heart disease by shrinking enlarged hearts in order to improve blood flow and cardiac function.
Heart failure, a leading cause of illness and death worldwide, is caused by a weakening and enlarging of the heart as it works harder to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. A heart attack, untreated high blood pressure or clogged coronary arteries can lead to the condition, which kills most people within five years of diagnosis.
People with heart failure lack a fully functioning gene called SUMO-1, which helps to regulate the calcium that cycles in and out of cells in the ventricles, which pump blood to the body.
In experiments with pigs with heart failure, cardiologist Roger Hajjar at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York discovered a single infusion of the gene SUMO-1 dramatically improved the function of the animals’ hearts.
“Regardless of the cause that induced the heart to be big, we were able to reverse that,” he said.
Hajjar's research team at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine has discovered another gene called SERCA2, which also regulates the movement of calcium in heart cells. Their human trials of replacement gene therapy with SERCA2 are showing similar results to the SUMO-1 animal experiments.
Hajjar believes infusing both genes simultaneously into cardiac failure patients might double the benefit.
“Since we’ve had the experience with SERCA2, we know pretty much the path toward clinical trials from discovery to the bedside," he said. "We feel that within a couple of years, we should be able to take this program forward in terms of gene therapy in patients.”
The therapy involving SUMO-1 and SERCA2 uses a harmless cold virus to deliver the genes into the heart.
An article on gene therapy for heart failure is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Domestication of dogs began
in Europe, DNA study says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Humans first made dogs their best friends in prehistoric Europe, where groups of hunter-gathers learned to tame dangerous wolves into companions between 19,000 and 32,000 years ago, scientists said on Thursday.

The new research, based on analysis of DNA fragments from fossils of ancient wolves and dogs, confounds earlier theories that dogs were originally domesticated in the Middle East or East Asia.

Experts generally agree that dog training started out with a few gray wolves hanging around human encampments in the hope of picking up scraps. Over time, humans accepted them, perhaps initially as guards or hunting partners, and taught them to be useful companions.

Where and when this happened, however, has been a matter of controversy.

Now Olaf Thalmann, from Finland's University of Turku, and colleagues believe they have placed initial doggy taming firmly in Europe after finding that modern dogs' DNA most closely matches that of either ancient European canines or modern European wolves, but not wolves outside Europe.

“We're pretty sure that Europe played a major role in the domestication of the dog,” Thalmann, whose research was published Thursday in the journal Science, said in an interview.

The fact that dogs were domesticated so early in Europe means they joined human society when people were still hunter-gathers rather than farmers.

As a result, Thalmann believes the first proto-dogs might have taken advantage of carcasses left on site by early human hunters, as well as helping them catch prey and providing defense against competing predators at kills.

The genetic analysis carried out by his team was based on mitochondrial DNA. a common tool for tracking ancestry. That was extracted from fossils of eight ancient dogs and 10 wolves.

This was compared to genetic samples from 130 modern dogs and wolves, leading the researchers to conclude that the first dogs originated in Europe from a population of gray wolves that is now extinct.

Mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mothers to daughters, changes little from generation to generation. By studying it, scientists are able to calculate when populations or species start to separate genetically. But it does not provide a complete genetic picture, leaving some uncertainty.

While the early dogs that socialized with tribes of hunter-gathers would have looked very similar to wolves, the vast variety of breeds evident around the world today is a function of more recent human activity, experts believe.

“Modifying a wolf into a Chihuahua is clearly a long process and most of the active breeding has happened in just the last few hundred years,” Thalmann said.


Real estate-related services (paid category)

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

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

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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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: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.


ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

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

San Mateo pool


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

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

Pacific Estates

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

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

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

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

humming bird nest

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

Naranjo views


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

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

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

In the nine years of operation, DIGITS Resource Guide has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and Osa Peninsula areas.  DIGITS is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into an even greater level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. For a preview of the magazine, go to, or simply go to a local Distributor for a copy. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.

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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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Nov. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 227
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

More flexibility is sought
in U.S. delivery of foods

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire  services

As typhoon relief efforts ramp up in the Philippines, critics say the United States needs more flexibility in how it delivers food aid. The crisis hits as Congress is rewriting the law governing food aid and much more.

The United States is the world’s leading disaster-relief donor. Most of the food aid budget goes to a 60-year-old, $1.4 billion program called Food for Peace that ships American-grown crops to affected areas on American-flagged ships.

“It’s wasteful and inefficient," said Dan Harsha.

Harsha is spokesman for the Democratic staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He says if food is available closer to a crisis area, it generally costs less and arrives sooner than food shipped from the United States.

The U.S. Agency for International Development can use a limited amount of funding for local or regional purchase. About three-quarters of the $10 million in food aid the U.S. is donating for typhoon relief is going to local purchase. But Harsha says crises in Syria and the Horn of Africa are competing for USAID funds.

“And if they use all their LRP authority now, they may not be able to meet the humanitarian needs that we’re seeing - nearly four million displaced people in Syria," he said. "Not to mention unanticipated future emergencies. What if there’s a future typhoon in Asia, or an earthquake?”

Congress is considering changes that would allow up to 20 percent of the Food for Peace budget to be spent on local or regional purchase or other uses.

An Obama administration proposal to free up 45 percent of Food for Peace funds was narrowly defeated earlier this year. U.S. farmers, food processors and shippers were among the most vocal opponents.

Ellen Levinson heads the Alliance for Global Food Security, a coalition of humanitarian non-profit organizations. She says changes to Food for Peace are looking likely this time.

“The bigger problem is making sure we have adequate funding, quite frankly, for disaster assistance, including cash for local purchase," said Levinson.

Food aid funding is part of the Farm Bill, a five-year, half-trillion-dollar package of crop subsidies, nutrition programs and more. The fate of that bill hangs largely on partisan debates over domestic food aid programs

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From Page 7:

$10 million senior living facility opens in Escazú

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A $10 million senior living project officially was opened Thursday in Trejos Montealegre, Escazú.

This is is the Verdeza project that has been in the works for years. The facility is a four-story building with 61 apartments. The operators note that one floor has been designated for Alzheimer's and dementia residents with appropriate care provided.

The facility also boasts that there are many common areas, including a gym and library with special consideration for seniors. The location is not far from Hospital CIMA.

Verdeza says it is the first residential community for seniors in Central America. Verdeza said that the advantages in living there include social interaction with like-minded individuals, extensive recreational, exercise, fitness and wellness programs, emergency care 24 hours a day and private apartments where residents can maintain their independence.

Residents also can benefit from restaurant-style dining prepared with nutrition in mind. There also is maid service and transportation, if needed. On site is a beauty parlor spa and a barber shop, said Verdeza..

A nurse is on site 24 hours a day, and residents also can have their own physicians visit them. There are facilities for that, Verdeza said.

President Laura Chinchilla attended the formal inauguration Thursday.

The development and structuring of Verdeza is being led by Noveza, the firm said. The project aims to be the pioneer and leader in retirement communities in Costa Rica.

Jose Marti Jimenez F., the founder of  Noveza, is a principal in Verdeza. He also was a co-founder of Hospital Metropolitana. He is an Aspen Institute fellow, is an industrial engineer from the Universidad de Costa Rica and holds an MBA from Harvard University, the firm said.

Jill E. McWilliam, is the resident services manager. She has a degree in gerontology.

The residence offers various living options. Prices start at $1,700 a month and range upwards to $3,550 on the Alzheimer and dementia floor. There also are facilities for visitors, such as other family members.