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(506) 2223-1327                       Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 229                          Email us
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Costa Rica real estate

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson 
Limón Centro has always been a community that did not share fully in the country's wealth.
Limón gets a development agency to spark growth
By Kayla Pearson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The municipality of Limón has unveiled it's new development agency which has the goal of preparing the community for all the positive changes that are expected to come to the province.

The Agencia para el Desarrollo de Limón is composed of citizens who came together from various sectors. The members include entrepreneurs, investors, academics and representatives of public institutions.  They stand to better the providence by investing in the region, according to a presentation Thursday.

“Public and private investments have been approved for nearly five billion dollars in Limon,” said Luis Guillermo Rodríguez, board president. “This is an extraordinarily high figure which could transform the productive and social life of the province by generating direct and indirect jobs and attracting new businesses in other fields. But all that wonder will only be real if we prepare to take advantage of these opportunities.

The first plan is a three-phase project where APM Terminals will build a $1 billion container handling project at the port of Moín.  In the end, the revamped port will have a marina and docks for cruise ships.  The area will be equipped with hotels, recreation areas, stores, transport services and a beach area. 

In addition to the APM Terminal project, the agency members are quick to point out other changes that are coming to the area. These include a $1.5 billion petroleum refinery and a $199 million petroleum port, a new Limón-Río Frio highway across the top of the country estimated to cost $420 million and a new free zone project that will cost about $50 million.

In addition, the government has proposed and is carrying out the Projecto Limón Ciudad Puerto, which is an $80 million investment to modernize the infrastructure in the community.

The agency also notes on its Web site that a new industrial park proposed by the government of China is still in negotiations.

The new Moín terminal will be able to handle more than two million containers a year, according to plans.

Rogelio Douglas, APM general manager for Moín, said the company still has to do six months of scientific studies and secure more permits.  Construction should begin in the middle of 2013 with the first phase finished and inaugurated in 2016.

“It's not a revolution. It's an evolution.  It will produce the hard work the city needs,” he said.

APM will put up 60 percent of estimated $1 billion cost, while the rest will be borrowed from financial institutions.

“We have plans that show we will recuperate all our investment and profit,” Douglas said.

Finishing the next two phases will be contingent on how fast business grows.  The company has a 30-year concession period, so at worst it would be finished in 30 years, he said.
                        development agency


The reason for the push is because, as Costa Rica grows, Limón has been continuously left behind, said  Rodríguez.

The boom in the Central Valley region can be attributed to the way the area has been able to diversify their economy, he said.  Before it was a big exporter of coffee, but now it has advanced, and due to companies like Intel Corp., the Central Valley exports microchips and medical supplies, said Douglas.

Limón, unfortunately, has been stuck in a time warp.

“100 years ago we were a big exporter of bananas, and today we are still an exporter of bananas,” said Douglas.  “There are no other multinationals coming in.  That's why you see so much poverty and unemployment.”

Currently those in Limón do not have a lot of options, he said.  The new developments will give the young who want to study different areas a boost, he said, adding that growth will also open up options for women. He was speaking at the Restaurante El Faro in Limón Centro where the new development agency was discussed.

The idea is that after investors notice the new port, they will want to take part in the development process.

“Investors will say "Look at that region. It has to be a good place if APM will put $1 billion on the table.'  With this port we hope to attract more business.”

Still, the general manager realizes that the reputation of Limón being a dangerous place has to be overcome if this business model is going to succeed.

This, he said, is going to be done as the economy builds up because high-class hotels and restaurants will begin to move in the area. 

Also, goals of the development agency includes modernizing the airport and cruise terminals as well as revitalizing downtown.

As tourists begin to feel more comfortable, they will spread the word about Limón being a good tourist destination, he said.

“In five to 10 years this place is going to be booming, literally,” he said.

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Chilly and windy climate
means dry season nears

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Blue skies, chilly nights and a steady wind can only mean one thing; The Costa Rican summer is approaching fast.

The weather experts predicted an early end to the rainy season this year, and Guanacaste already is in a dry season.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the humidity will decrease slowly in the country as would the velocity of the winds. But both conditions are expected to increase again Sunday.

The mornings over the weekend are expected to be cloudy or partly cloudy in the entire country with a chance of some showers in the early morning along the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone. Afternoons might see some showers along the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone especially on Sunday. There also is a chance of showers in the Central Valley and the central and southern Pacific.

The Caribbean and the northern zone might also see some evening showers Saturday night as perhaps will higher elevations in the Central Valley, said the institute.

The temperature is expected to dip to 15 C. (59 F.) overnight in the Central Valley. That is a cold wave by Costa Rican standards, and residents could be seen bundled up in winter coats already Thursday evening. An overnight low of about 19 C. (66 F.) is predicted for the northern Pacific.

Winds from 50 to 70 kph (about 31 to 43 mph) are predicted again today.

Electrical fire destroys
15 buses in Santa Ana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fire destroyed 14 buses of the Compañía de Inversiones La Tapachula early Thursday in Brasil de Santa Ana.

The wind whipped the blaze, and some diesel tanks were ruptured by exploding tires. Fire officials were seeking possible contamination of an adjacent stream that feeds the Río Virilla, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

The fire department said that the blaze seemed to result from a short in a wire between the starter and the alternator in one of the buses. The company had 75 buses parked in the lot.

Lawmakers fire magistrate
without a clear reason

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers declined to reappoint a Sala IV magistrate to a second eight-year term Thursday. There was no clear reason given by the lawmakers who voted this way.

The magistrate, Fernando Cruz Castro, has sought to be reappointed.

The opposition was a bloc of Partido Liberación Nacional and other parties in the legislature.  These included Movimiento Libertario and some lawmakers from the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana.

Proponents of the magistrate called the vote a blow to democracy, and another likened the action to a coup. Cruz has a reputation of being an independent thinker on the court.

A supporter said that the period in which the legislature has to take the vote has passed and that the magistrate was automatically re-elected. That concept might be part of a Sala IV petition.

Man on run for sex crimes
finally caught in Sarapiquí

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police captured a man Thursday morning who had been sentenced to 36 years in prison for three counts of child rape and eight counts of sexual abuse. The man has been at liberty since the sentence was handed down in 2007.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the man with the last name of Paniagua was located at a farm in Horquetas de Sarapiquí where he had been working for 15 days. Agents said the man avoided detention by moving around from Guanacaste to Limón. He is 58, they said.

The sentence was in the Tribunal Penal de San Carlos. The crimes involved a 6-year-old victim of the rapes and a 12-year-old victim of the sexual abuse, said the judicial agency.

Criminal sentences are not final until they are reviewed by the  Sala III high court. Consequently jailing a recently convicted individual is at the discretion of trial judges.

3G Internet service out of service

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad suffered an outage of its mobil service for two hours Thursday morning.  The company said that 3G mobil Internet was interrupted. Voice and messaging was not affected, it added.

The outage was from 6:30 a.m. until 8:40 a.m., the company said. The cause was believed to be a technical problem with one of the company's computer devices.

Central Pacific shaken by earthquake

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jacó, Quepos and Fraijanes got an early morning shaking today when an earthquake estimated at a 4.0 magnitude took place offshore at 2:45 a.m.. The Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica said the estimated epicenter was 23.1 kilometers south of Jacó. That's about 14 miles, and because of the curvature of the coastline, the location is well out to sea.  The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica estimated the magnitude at 3.1.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary

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A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 229
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march montage
A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp
The star of the protest was this mother-to-be who painted "This is not what I want" on her stomach. She was photographed and taped repeatedly.  Meanwhile David
Sancho displays a sign  in front of towering Caja building.  It reads: "We do not fear the repression of the government but the silence of my people."

Officials counter Caja protest with squads of female cops
By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thousands of protesters in two marches descended on the street in front of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social in downtown San José Thursday.

Unlike a protest last week, this protest ended without any arrests or clashes between police and demonstrators. That may have been because the Fuerza Pública fielded an exclusively female force.

Members of the crowd, which was made up of primarily public university students, had numerous issues that they wanted to address. However, preserving the financially unstable public healthcare system was the priority for most.

“We are defending the social security system that has been
masked man
Ready to rumble
de-financed by recent governments, which have been intolerant of civil demonstrations,” said Wilson Arroyo, a student organizer.

In addition, many protesters were enraged by what they said was how police harshly cracked down on a protest last week about the same issue in the same location.

To ease these tensions and prevent another violent end to this protest, the Fuerza Pública deployed dozens of women-only squads and patrols to keep control over the demonstrations.
In all, there were about 150 women police officers on duty.

Although some protesters donned ski-masks, hoods and bandanas to hide their identities in case of a confrontation with the police, the marchers peacefully came to the site, protested and departed without arrests or incidents.

“The movement does not want violence,” said Arroyo, who is 21-years-old studying at the Universidad de Costa Rica to become a social studies teacher.

Two marches came to the building on Avenida 2 from opposite directions. One came from Parque Merced close to the center of San José and the other came from the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro.

The protest was primarily conducted by students from public universities like the Universidad de Costa Rica, the Universidad Nacional and the Tecnológico de Costa Rica as well as some from private universities like ULatina. Still, several public employee unions came to protests as well.

These groups largely gathered in defense of the Caja
returning home
A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp
Banners still visible, students march back to San Pedro.

Costarricense de Seguridad Social, or simply the “Caja.” This is the financially troubled public healthcare program through which the vast majority of Costa Ricans obtain basic medical care.

Many protesters see the government's lack of intervention as an indirect attack on citizens, especially the poor.

“I am indignant,” said law and political science student Vivian González. “The government has distanced itself from the unprotected lower social class.”

Ms. González, who one day strives to work in politics, also carried a sign that said “a people that elects the corrupt is not a victim. It's an accomplice.”

ULatina student David Sancho also echoed these sentiments and blamed corrupt officials for the problems.

“What will happen without the Caja will send Costa Rica into poverty,” he said.

Some people also carried banners protesting older or broader issues that were seemingly unrelated to the Caja or police violence. Many protesters carried banners protesting free trade agreements, high taxes on farmers and some people even carried rainbow flags indicating solidarity with the gay community.

“Protesting in the streets is the only way that they will hear,” said Sancho.

By about 2 p.m., most of the protesters had dispersed and the remaining 1,000 or so students peacefully marched back to the Universidad de Costa Rica.

Some hereos of empathy and how it helps to understand culture
Expats in Costa Rica, like elsewhere, are given stereotypical definitions, sometimes sympathetic, but usually unflattering, handy sobriquets that point out their worst side like “ugly American" or "arrogant French," "inscrutable Chinese," etc.  I won’t go on because I am sure I will get into trouble.  However, I do recall once being told that a Canadian was someone who smiled even when there was no reason to.

Lately there has been little in most of the world to smile about.  Where there are no wars, there are floods or droughts, uncontrolled fires, rampant crime or just plain hunger.  People who are hit by one disaster or another complain and blame others, feel victimized and just want to get back to the way things were before their misfortune.

At one point during the Sandy hurricane a reporter on the scene in New York said that it looked like a war zone.  That comment prompted me to wonder if anyone hit by the hurricane could step back and think "Yes, it is like a war zone, and this is what people went through in the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan and are going through in the Syrian civil war day after day."  But that is rare.  The ability to empathize even in a like situation is rare, and those who have said “We lost our house, but we still have what is important -- ourselves” have my admiration.  The idea of empathizing with Mother Nature and what has been done to her (thus, perhaps her revenge), is unthinkable, some would even find, laughable.

And this is where I want to pay tribute to Grace McCracken and Tim Gormley, two Canadians who recently came to Costa Rica for a week’s vacation.  Their story was reported by Connie Foss and the paper’s staff on Page Four of last Monday’s A.M.  Costa Rica.

Shortly after the couple arrived at the house they had rented near Puerto Viejo, they went out to take some photos of the beaches, and in the short time they were gone, robbers entered their house and stole everything with resale value in the unlocked house: cash, new electronic pads, camera, their passports and credit cards. At first, they were shaken up and disbelieving as most people would be, but then they took a philosophical and good humored view.

Recovering her sense of humor faster than I could, Ms. McCracken said, “We see this as a sort of tourist tax.”

They left Costa Rica saying they had enjoyed themselves, even taking some blame for not knowing more about the
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

culture before they came and realizing they should not have brought so much "stuff’ with them and certainly should not have left the house unlocked when they left it, even for a short time. (This is the problem of many tourists wherever they go – they think they are immune to danger or bad things happening.)   But the part that surprised me most, even with their own troubles, the couple noted the poverty of many of the people living on the East Coast, Ms McCracken said, “Tourism brings high prices to the area so the local people steal in order to have money to pay these inflated prices.”  She added, “We can go home and within a few days make the money to replace what was stolen.  But these people here have to live in a tourist economy where it is difficult to survive.”

That is empathy.  The dictionary defines it as “the projection of one’s personality into the personality of another in order to understand the other better; the ability to understand another’s emotions.”

Most of this column I was writing in my head while I waited at the Hospital México for an echocardiogram.  Two and a quarter hours later on the gurney, or whatever they are called, waiting for the young (incredibly young), but capable doctor to finish the exam, which had been interrupted twice for two emergency exams he had to attend to, I wondered what lesson I could learn from these two unique people.

In the middle of my wondering, I wondered about the doctor.  I saw a plastic bag on the desk nearby with two styrofoam containers – obviously his lunch, and from time to time he took some urgent calls on his cell phone.  But he had given his careful attention to the two emergency patients, and now to me.  By now it was nearly 4 o’clock.  I had arrived before 11 a.m.  I had no idea how long he had been there.

 “Poor you,” I said.  “This has been quite a challenging day for you.”

He smiled, and said, “Yes, it has been.”

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 229
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U.S. man seeking to show
how oceans can create power

By Kayla Pearson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As nations search for energy independence while protecting the environment, an American company has an option that one man describes as rooted in love.

“This is a love story because I love humanity, and this technology loves humanity also," said John McGilvray, business developer for Sea Solar Power, Inc.

This organization creates an alternative energy source by
Se solar
Cold water from the ocean deep reliquifies a fluid that has been turned to gas by warm surface water.
placing floating vessels in the ocean and taking solar power from the sea to create electricity.

“Get energy from the sun that is stored in the sea.  It is very simple and very elegant.  Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” he said.

Sea Solar power was formed by James Hilbert Anderson and his son in 1972.  The two began researching ocean thermal energy earlier in 1962 using knowledge Anderson gained from his
work designing refrigeration and heat power cycles.

“This type of technology wasn't available to us 20 years ago, but it is today because we built it.  We had to invent it and Hilbert was just the person to do it because of his background,” said McGilvray.

Over the years, the company has been testing and developing the technology waiting for a time when it would become an affordable and likely energy source.

“It was not possible to do this before because we didn't have the compressor, pumps and heat exchange technology," McGilvray said.  "Hilbert was the world's leading authority in all these subjects.”

Now the company has a design, and is ready to move forward to make sea solar power a likelihood.

The proposed plant is composed of large compressors that work in a closed cycle system.  Beneath the floating ocean vessel is a centrifugal pump that pumps water from a depth of one kilometer. 

“This is the most powerful pump known to mankind.  I only know of three places where this pump exists, atomic submarines, Saudi Arabia and Sea Solar Power.”  

The natural properties of water allows it to separate by temperature and density.  Water at the surface is heated by the sun to 82 degrees F. or 28 degrees C., and the water 1 kilometer down is a temperature of 42 degrees F. or 6 degrees C., the company notes.

The technology only works in the tropical seas, 23 degrees above the equator and 23 degrees below the equator, McGilvray explained.  

“This happens to be where the greatest need for both water and electricity exists for all of humanity,” he said.

This is because resources are scarce in these areas, he added.

The surface is skimmed for the hot water which is used to change propylene into vapor.  The vapor turns a turbine generator to make electricity.  The cold water pumped from below is then used to condense the propylene back into a liquid state, and the cycle is repeated.
The compressor circulates the propylene millions of times just like freon is circulated in a refrigerator. 

“I tell people this is not rocket science, this is refrigeration technology,” he said.

What can be produced is electricity and drinking water.  The largest design, a 100 megawatt electrical plant, can create 100 megawatts of electricity with a daily byproduct of 32 million gallons of drinking water. 

This energy could power 100,000 United States homes including those with heated swimming pools, said McGilvray.

“Can you imagine what this would do for Costa Rica? It would go at least twice as far or maybe three times as far,” he said.

As another option, this same design can also produce 140 million gallons of distilled water every 24 hours.

“To put that into perspective, Singapore consumes 140 million gallons of water a day.  The population of Singapore is about 2.7 million people,” McGilvray said.

Instead of using the water to drink, electrolysis can be applied to the water to separate the oxygen and hydrogen atoms to produce the gas as another byproduct.

“When you pump water from a depth of 1 kilometer, you circulate phytoplankton.  If you pump phytoplankton to the surface, it becomes fish food,” McGilvray said.

“Phytoplankton produces 90 percent of the oxygen you breathe.  The additional 10 percent comes from oxygen and trees,” he added.

With all the benefits, it is easy to wonder what are the drawbacks to ocean thermal energy.

“Scientists have tried to find a drawback and they can't because we don't consume anything.  We just constantly recycle,” said McGilvray.  “We simply do not affect the environment at all because all we are doing is circulating water.  We are not using anything up.”

As for the drinking water, he said what is taken would be equivalent to filling a bucket out of the Niagara, and what is used would eventually go back to the rivers, lakes and oceans.

However, he mentioned that a thing that could prevent countries from using the ocean thermal energy is the cost or the fact that they can't afford a distribution system for the electricity.

McGilvray said that the whole process would be a benefit to places like Costa Rica where populations get a large portion of their energy from hydropower.

“In doing so they flood land that could be used for agricultural purposes or land that can be preserved for fauna," McGilvray said.  "You kill a lot of things when you flood lands, and you put a lot of weight in one place and they have proven this causes earthquakes.”

“Not so much in Costa Rica, but in Panamá they have displaced large populations of people, washing away people's homes, livelihoods, medical facilities and schools," he continued. 

“The only land use we have is the cable that distributes electricity, and everyone can benefit from that without displacing people or destroying animal species," the Alabama native concluded.

One thing hindering the technology from becoming widely used is the reliance on the current system.  The rising cost of oil is making it more possible, but you still have to overcome the existing system, he said.

“We're talking about changing a system, and we are resistant to change," said McGilvray.  “If we build a plant, we can use it as a demonstrator and people can see it work.”

It is his mission to communicate the process, and get companies to buy into the project.  For McGilvray, the big picture is worth the work.  It is a job he has made personal.

Your links to a great vacation
or retirement

Periodically we like to feature our tourism and retirement experts on the news pages for the benefit of our overseas readers.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
Customized vacation packages 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. You can sit back and relax while we plan your dream Costa Rica Vacation.

Costa Rica Vacations
Customized, all inclusive Costa Rica vacations planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715. Sit back and relax while we plan your trip or dream Costa Rica Honeymoon.

Panama Vacations
Custom, all-inclusive vacations to Panama by 100% locally based experts in Panama.  See "the new Costa Rica" before the secret gets out!  We offer customized trips to the best all inclusive Panama hotels and Panama resorts. Call 1-866-393-4192 if from the U.S. or 00 (507)-264-1279 from Costa Rica.

view from the house
An evening View from George’s Puriscal home
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. 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.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
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.


Costa Rica Fishing Experts
Customized, upscale fishing packages & Costa Rica fishing vacations designed by 100% local experts. Call Toll Free: 1-866-901-0683

Mead Brown
Rent villas, homes, and condos for your Costa Rica vacation.
Daily housekeeping, WiFi and concierge services included.
Visit us at Costa Rica Vacation Rentals.

Christopher Howard’s Costa Rica Starter Kit!
costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
    * The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
Purchase through Pay Pal at:

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour.  NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information and a LONGER fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 

Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the BEST and most unique tour in Latin America. This is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the most read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica, and who has personally helped over 10,000
with Max
  people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields.  Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials. See a video about Chris Howard’s Book and Tours Costa Rica HERE! Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

*BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Howard Spanish cover
ALL you need to handle most daily situations. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through

Squaremouth travel insurance

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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 229
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart


                vacations in Costa Rica

Eurozone nations qualify
for being in recession

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Europe's euro currency bloc says it has fallen into its second recession in three years.

The 17-nation eurozone said Thursday its economy contracted one-tenth of a percent in the July-to-September period, following a drop of two-tenths of a percent in the previous three months. That meets the common definition of a recession — two straight quarters of declining growth.

The eurozone's earlier recession in 2008 and 2009 was triggered largely by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the now-defunct American investment bank.

The current recession, though, has been centered in Europe itself. It has been marked by the currency bloc's uneven response to its governmental debt crisis over the last three years, record unemployment and bailouts to debt-ridden governments in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Germany and France, the eurozone's two biggest economies, advanced slightly in the third quarter, both up two-tenths of 1 percent. But the economies in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands all contracted.

Debt-ridden eurozone governments have imposed sharp austerity plans to curb their deficits, but the spending cuts have stagnated economic growth. Workers throughout the eurozone's southern tier of countries have taken to the streets in protest of their governments' actions, but European leaders have been resolute in carrying out their plans to control their debt.

Forecasters are predicting that the eurozone economy will advance very slightly next year, barely above stagnation.

Stone tool finds push back
humanity 500,000 years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Archaeologists digging at a site on the southern coast of South Africa have found a trove of sophisticated stone tools they believe were made 50,000 years before the technology to create them emerged in Europe and other regions of Africa.

The finding, reported in the journal Nature, could mean that the first modern humans evolved where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic.

Small blades, called microliths, were unearthed at Pinnacle Point, about 500 kilometers west of Cape Town, and dated back 71,000 years.

The thin, 3-centimeter-long blades were carefully crafted so they could be glued into slots at the tip of arrows or spears. Such projectile weapons gave these early humans a significant advantage when facing a prey animal — or a competing human.

According to an Arizona State University professor, Curtis Marean, director of the Pinnacle Point excavation, the lethal technology “probably laid the foundation for the expansion out of Africa of modern humans and the extinction of our sister species, such as Neanderthals,” who did not have such projectile weapons.

Previous digs have found similar stone weapons in use during an ice age 60,000 to 65,000 years ago. But the technology appeared in what archaeologists call a flickering pattern, with struggling cultures acquiring the weapons-making skills but failing to pass them on, and the technology seeming to vanish.

The new find means the method actually was passed on through generations and survived for more than 10,000 years. Marean said he believes field work in Africa will continue to push back in time the evidence for uniquely human behaviors.

A University of Toronto-led team of anthropologists working at another site in South Africa has done just that, finding new evidence that early human hunters were attaching stone points to the tips of their spears half a million years ago — 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The researchers examined 500,000-year-old stone points from an excavation at Kathu Pan 1, in Northern Cape province, and determined that they had been used as spear tips. To do that, they recreated the ancient weapons and used a calibrated cross bow to shoot the replicas into an animal carcass.

Then, they compared the wear and damage on each set of stones. The prehistoric points showed the types of breaks that occur more commonly on spear tips than on stones used for other purposes, such as scraping and cutting.

The points were tied onto wooden spears, a process called hafting, which was an important advance in hunting weapons. Hafted spear tips are commonly found in 300,000-year-old Stone Age sites. The new study shows the technique was used in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period before Neanderthals and modern humans are presumed to have embarked on separate evolutionary paths.

Your place to stay here
As high season approaches, we like to feature our advertisers who offer long- and short-term rentals for expats and tourists.

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.

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 
tropical homes
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Volcano View!
Santo Domingo de Heredia, gated community
Fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, cable, internet, hot water tank. 300 meters from Mas x Menos supermarket. 700 meters from farmers' market. Bus stop at gate. $600 all utilities paid. Available Jan. 1.

wide view a San
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New home in the mountains near San Ramón
3,200-foot elevation. 60 to 80 degrees year around. 2 bedrooms,1 bath. Fantastic 180 degree view of Gulf of Nicoya and Nicoya peninsula.  High-speed internet.  7 miles from San Ramón, 1 &1/2 miles from Interamericana Norte. Must see pics to appreciate.   $750 plus utilities.  Long- or short-term lease. Contact .   See our picture trail here:

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished large 2-bedroom
apartment view
apartment. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Convenient location in downtown, San José. All bills paid except electric. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

Apartments Sudamer
Downtown completely furnished apartments, safe, secure, telephone, cable TV, Wi-Fi Internet Calle 7, Avenida 14. Weekly from $200 Monthly from $550 to $680
Phone: 2221-0247 Cel: 8342-3838 Fax: 2222-2195

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

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.

Playa Zancudo is located in the southern Pacific side of CR, out of Golfito and across from Puerto Jiménez.   Beautiful, long, sandy beach with a tranquil community of Ticos and expats. Phone and fast Internet.  Prices vary from length of time, to size of house. A one-month house rental might be $1,400, and reduced to $900 per month for 3 months.  Cabins, which have Internet and bi-weekly maid service are considerably less, and have kitchens and internet and other services. For info:

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Havana
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 229
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Costa Rica Reprot promo

Latin America news
Casa Presidencial outlines
stand on decriminalization

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's highest ranking anti-drug officials came out with an unusual statement Thursday and insisted that Costa Rica would not decriminalize drug trafficking.

The officials are Mauricio Borashi Hernández, the anti-drug vice minister at Casa Presidencial, and Carlos Alvarado Valverde, director general of the Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas.

The written statement noted that drug use in Costa Rica is not prosecuted criminally but that trafficking and possession of drugs for sale is a crime.

The men made a point that there is a gray area between decriminalization and strict enforcement. They called it black and white with gray in the middle. A country, they said, has to decide where in the gray it wishes to be. However, under no circumstance will Costa Rica consider decriminalization of drug trafficking because to do so would create a free zone for drugs that would affect the rest of the world, they said.

Pockets of polio remain
frustrating health workers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The global scourge of polio has been virtually eradicated, reaching historically low numbers this year.  But pockets of the disease remain in South Asia and Africa because of the refusal of some parents to immunize their children.
International public health officials counted 177 polio cases worldwide for the first 10 months of this year.  That’s a drop from just over 500 cases in 2011.  Public health officials credit the drop to successful immunization campaigns against the illness, which attacks the nervous system and can cause partial or total paralysis.  The malady has disappeared from most countries where it was once epidemic.  For example, in India, there have been no cases of polio reported in two years. 
But in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in Nigeria, West Africa, reservoirs of the viral illness remain. Experts say that is due to the refusal of many parents to vaccinate their children against the infection.
Anita Zaidi is head of pediatrics at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. She said 74 percent of Pashtun or ethnic Afghan children go unvaccinated because many parents believe the immunization is harmful.
“They believe that it can cause sterility in their children or that it’s a conspiracy to sterilize Muslim populations so that their population growth falls . . . . "

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Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details