A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                                  San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 227                                  Email us
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Campaign to prepare viewers for digital TV signal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The 36 percent of television viewers who are not hooked up to cable will be the target of a campaign to prepare them for the end of analog transmission Dec. 15, 2017.

The Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones plans to launch the campaign Saturday, which happens to be the World Day of Television.

The campaign seeks to alert those viewers not hooked to cable that they can continue to get the television signal over the air even when it becomes digital. The campaign promotes the use of a converter that changes the digital signal to analog.

The ministry said it is working to have the customs agency eliminate the current 14 percent import duty on the devices. Of course those hooked to a cable or satellite system already have digital, and they will not be affected by the change.

The campaign will include television ads and interviews as well as publicity on the back of buses, mainly in areas with the highest amount of  reception via the airwaves. That has been determined to be Guápiles, Limón, Pérez Zeledón, Puntarenas, Guanacaste and San Carlos.

Emilio Arias, vice minister of Telecomunicaciones, said that officials are concerned that they may violate fundamental rights by preventing viewers from watching television.

Costa Rica has chosen to adopt the Japanese-Brazilian digital system, ISDB-Tb.

The ministry said that a certain amount of education will be presented to importers and distributors of television sets.

Also planned is affixing some sort of label to television sets that meet technical standards to receive the local signals.

The change is coming at a time when more and more viewers are watching signals transmitted over the Internet. Some of the local stations already are available via Internet. Then there are a host of movie, sports and similar entertainment channels.

The technology is moving so fast that local television stations might decide to halt transmissions over the air, which are expensive.

So far the ministry has not announced any plans to subsidize those who need to purchase a converter, but concern for so-called persons in vulnerable conditions has been voiced repeatedly.

National emergency commission photo
Cuban men make hand signs at a shelter opened in La Cruz.
Shelters opened to house illegal Cuban migrants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica appears to be stuck with more than a thousand illegal Cuban migrants who are trying to reach the United States.

Costa Rican officials are emphasizing a humanitarian approach while at the same time denying that they encouraged migrants to try to enter Nicaragua Sunday.

The national emergency commission said that 450 Cubans are in two shelters in La Cruz in northwestern Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border. In all, the needs of some 1,200 illegal migrants are being looked after, said the commission. More shelters will be opened, it added.

Costa Rica has issued many of the Cubans seven-day visas so they could travel to Nicaragua. But Nicaragua closed the door Friday and chased a number of migrants back into Costa Rica Sunday.

Left unsaid is how these migrants planned to 

enter the United States. Most likely they were going to brave the desert route from México.

There are families and children, but many of the migrants are young men and women and fit the description of economic migrants, that is, those seeking jobs.

A U.S. expat who lives in the southern part of Costa Rica said that he has seen Cubans entering Costa Rica for the last 14 months.

He also said that when he visited the Paso Canoas immigration office, he saw one and perhaps two bus loads of Cubans headed north.

The expat said he tried to notify the U.S. Embassy about the situation without results. So Monday he said he wrote to Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate.

Also Monday Manuel González Sanz, the foreign minister, repeated his statement that allegations by Nicaragua were unfounded that Costa Rica caused Cubans to enter that country Sunday. Nicaragua made its allegation Sunday.
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 227
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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DR. Cavallini
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Dr. Gray
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California Licensed
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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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Ms. Summers
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U.S. Income Tax Services
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Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

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US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
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pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
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Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FACTA news.
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Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.

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Fine art restoration and conservation
Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
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  Works on paper restoration
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Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc., repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
commercial, and family law.  
Phone: ( 506 ) 8839-5010 
Address:  150 meters southwest from
the Goicoechea court, San José.

Business specialist
Lic Matta

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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Phone number: (506) 8853-0000

Land surveying services

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30+ years of experience in:

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CR Cell phone number: +506-8383-0083

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Espinoza is judicial investigating candidate

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Six persons have been recommended to be the next director of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

One is a prosecutor whose name will resonate with some expats. He is Walter Espinoza, who was the prosecutor in the Villalobos high interest case. Espinoza successfully prosecuted Oswaldo Villalobos in an aggravated fraud trial.

Consequently, he was not held in high regard by those Villalobos investors who thought the government was prosecuting the brothers, who operated money exchange houses and a Mall San Pedro location where Luis Enrique Villalobos Camacho paid up to 3 percent a month to creditors.

Luis Enrique Villalobos fled in 2002 and has not been heard from since. Espinoza and other prosecutors claimed that the brothers operated a ponzi scheme.

Since the 2007 Oswaldo Villalobos trial Espinoza has been an organized crime prosecutor.

The Corte Surpema de Justicia will make the final selection. Some 51 put their names forward as candidates, and the nominating commission interviewed 13 and selected the six.

Water outage for Escazú and points west

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

If you live in San Rafael de Escazú or points west, this is why there may not be water in the tap this morning.

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados said that its crews were repairing nearly a kilometer of line from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The locations involved are as far west as Piedades and Ciudad Colón said the company. Hospital CIMA, Multiplaza, Avenida Escazú and Guachipilín were included in the outage, as well as Santa Ana. Some of the western locations may not experience an outage of water if the demand to the east is not too high, said the company.

Former justice ministers meet on prisons

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The justice minister assembled a meeting Monday of former justice ministers to hear their views on prison overcrowding.

A summary said that among them was Elizabeth Odio Benito, who is now designated as a judge for the Interamerican Court of Human Rights. Also there was José Miguel Villalobos Umaña, who as minister under Abel Pacheco, opposed the construction of a new maximum security prison.

The justice minister, Cecilia Sánchez Romero, is facing a political problem with plans to release hundreds of inmates before the end of their sentences. The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz, which runs the prisons, is under court order to reduce the numbers of inmate.

However, the proposals are opposed by some lawmakers and some in the public in general.

The discussion ranged from the flagrancy courts to preventative detention, according to a summary provided by the ministry.

Lancaster University photo         
Stimulating a key produces a unique pattern that can be used for
authentication or identification purposes while being unclonable.

New security said to be unbreakable

By the Lancaster University news staff

Scientists have discovered a way to authenticate or identify any object by generating an unbreakable ID based on atoms.

The technology, which is being patented at Lancaster University and commercialized through the spin-out company Quantum Base, uses next-generation nanomaterials to enable the unique identification of any product with guaranteed security.

The research published in Nature’s Scientific Reports uses atomic-scale imperfections that are impossible to clone as they comprise the unmanipulable building blocks of matter.

First author Jonathan Roberts, a Lancaster University physics doctoral student, said:  “The invention involves the creation of devices with unique identities on a nano-scale employing state-of-art quantum technology.  Each device we’ve made is unique, 100 percent secure and impossible to copy or clone.”

Current authentication solutions such as anti-counterfeit tags or password-protection base their security on replication difficulty or on secrecy and are renowned for being insecure and relatively easy to forge. For example, current anti-counterfeiting technology such as holograms can be imitated, and passwords can be stolen, hacked and intercepted.

The ground-breaking atomic-scale devices do not require passwords and are impervious to cloning, making them the most secure system ever made. Coupled with the fact that they can be incorporated into any material makes them an ideal candidate to replace existing authentication technologies.

Writing in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the researchers said: “Simulating these structures requires vast computing power and is not achievable in a reasonable timescale, even with a quantum computer. When coupled with the fact that the underlying structure is unknown, unless dismantled atom-by-atom, this makes simulation extremely difficult.

The reported Q-ID device, which uses an electronic measurement, can easily be integrated into existing chip manufacturing processes, enabling cost effective mass-production. The new devices also have many additional features such as the ability to track and trace a product throughout the supply chain, and individual addressability, allowing for marketing and quality control at the point of consumption.

Robert Young, the research leader at Lancaster University and co-founder of Quantum Base said: “One could imagine our devices being used to identify a broad range of products, whether it is authentication of branded goods, SIM cards, important manufacturing components, the possibilities are endless.”

The use of inexpensive nanomaterials and their ability to be produced in large quantities has resulted in smaller, more power efficient devices that are future-proof to cloning.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 227
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El Niño in Pacific is getting stronger, U.N. weather agency reports
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen and go down in the history books as one of the strongest ever, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The U.N. agency said that a mature and strong El Niño event is contributing to extreme weather patterns, and it is expected to strengthen further by the end of the year.

The Geneva-based organization released its assessment on the eve of an international El Niño conference in New York.

The weather phenomenon has brought drought to Guanacaste and much of the Pacific coast.

Peak three-month average surface water temperatures in the
east-central tropical Pacific Ocean will exceed 2 degrees C  above normal, placing this El Niño event among the three
strongest since 1950, said the agency.

Typically, El Niño events peak late in the calendar year, with maximum strength between October and January of the following year, said the meteorological agency.

They often persist through much of the first quarter of that year before decaying, it added.

Costa Rica is entering its annual dry season now which will magnify the effects of El Niño.

Previous strong El Niños were in 1972 to 73, 1982 to 83 and 1997 to 98.

The naturally occurring El Niño event and human induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which scientists have never before experienced, said Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the agency.

Journalist colegio makes due despite decline in advertising tax revenue
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats may be surprised to know that the Colegio de Periodistas takes a small bite out of newspaper and television advertising.

That has been well known in advertising circles because the organization receives 1 percent of the cost of advertising in La Nación, El Grupo Extra, Televisora de Costa Rica, Repretel and Canal 9.

But the current amount was not enough, and the professional organization had to cut back. It also said that it met with publishers and producers to make sure the organization was getting all the money to which it was entitled.

The colegio said that income from the advertising began to decline in 2014 and continued through this year.

An Internet announcement lamented the fact that the situation has been the subject of rumors on the social media and said that the colegio is able to make its payroll and pay its bills.

At one time membership in the colegio was obligatory for newspeople in Costa Rica. This was established by law.

But an expat newsman challenged the requirement all the way to the Interamerican Court of Human Rights and won. A.M. Costa Rica does not collect the tax on its advertising or are its staffers members of the colegio.

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Tarpon Lodge

Vista Ballena 102915

La Parcela

Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!
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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 227
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Coffee study suggests drinking daily lowers some risks of death
By the American Heart Association news staff

Drinking a second or third cup of coffee may do more than get someone through a long day. It may also reduce your risk of death from heart disease and other illnesses.

In a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, people who regularly drank moderate amounts of coffee daily, less than 5 cups per day, experienced a lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, Type 2 diabetes and suicide.

The benefit held true for drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting it’s not just the caffeine providing health perks but possibly the naturally occurring chemical compounds in the coffee beans.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said Ming Ding, the study’s first author and doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. “They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

The findings are based on data from three large ongoing studies: 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, 93,054 women in the Nurses’ Health Study 2, and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Researchers assessed coffee drinking every four years using validated food questionnaires and followed participants for up to 30 years. During the follow-up period, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died from a range of causes.

In general, people who frequently drank coffee were more likely to smoke and drink alcohol. To separate the effects of coffee from smoking, researchers repeated their analysis among never-smokers, and found that the protective benefits of coffee on deaths became even more evident. 

“Regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” said senior author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard. “However, certain populations such as pregnant women and children should be cautious about high caffeine intake from coffee or other beverages.”

The study was not designed to show a direct cause and
American Heart Association photo
Benefit may be from the chemical compounds in coffee.

effect relationship between coffee consumption and dying from illness. So the findings should be interpreted with caution, researchers said. One potential drawback of the study design was that participants were asked to report how much coffee they drank. However researchers found the assessment to be reliable.

Previous studies found inconsistent associations between coffee drinking and risk of total and cause-specific death. This study adds to the literature that moderate coffee consumption may confer health benefits.

However, more research is needed to determine how coffee affects the body and whether different types of coffee may play a role.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)


Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact:  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, El Bosque, furnished 2-bedroom,1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV WiFi, large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Unfurnished 400-sq. ft. apartment, with modern kitchen, located on beautiful Junquillal Beach is waiting for you. Sea Turtles are common to this beach. Great area for surfing one of C.R.'s premier surf spots or boogie boarding. Close to a market, restaurants and more touristy areas - Playa Negra and Tamarindo, if you want shopping, etc. This area is a great community. If you are looking for a nice relaxing area, this is it. $500 month + electric, visit our Web page -  - for more info, photos and to view a video. Or call (506) 5004-3473.

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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Real estate for rent

house for rent
Beautiful fully furnished house for rent
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, fully furnished $800 + electric, includes cable TV, Wifi, Internet. Inside gated property close to town. Contact

Oganic farm rental
2 bedroom, 1 bath, $700 includes electric, water, cable, Internet & WiFi. Fully furnished. Inside gated property close to town, Santa Bárbara de Heredia. No dogs please.

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 226
Real Estate
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Obama to honor legends
with Medal of Freedom

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has named 17 people to receive the Medal of Freedom, including politicians, baseball legends and entertainment stars.

Obama said Monday he will present the medals, the nation's highest civilian honor, to those who "helped define our shared experience as Americans" at the White House Nov. 24.

The honorees include baseball players Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra.

Recipients from the entertainment industry include film director Steven Spielberg, conductor Itzhak Perlman and theater composer Stephen Sondheim. Several singers are among the honorees, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

The politicians being honored include Sen. Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency William Ruckelshaus, former Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton, and the first African American congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm.

The others to be honored are veterans advocate Bonnie Carroll, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Indian tribal advocate Billy Frank, and civil rights leader Minoru Yasui.

Frank and Yasui, along with Berra and Chisholm, will receive the award posthumously.

The White House said Monday the awards are presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

President Obama said, “I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor. From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”

Youth promote the goals
of World Bank on climate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of young people from around the world gathered Monday at the World Bank in Washington to focus on their role in the fight against climate change, as world leaders prepare to meet in France later this month for the COP21 U.N. conference of the Parties, the annual meeting of all countries that want to take action for the climate.

Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, told the crowd of young people their actions do make a difference.

“One of us, two of us, five of us and 10 of us all deciding to demand different actions at the state, local, city, country level makes a difference," she said. "The purchasing decisions we make in terms of food and electricity make a difference. This might seem like a global existential treat, but it’s actually about the footprint we all put on the planet and the way in which our governments represent the way young people think about it.”

Ms. Kyte says while most survey data show that people understand the world has to reduce the amounts of carbon pollution in the atmosphere in order to be able to have better oceans, fields, food and safe water, there still are a few skeptics.

“In America for all kinds of reasons it’s become a partisan issue and there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” she said, but “the farmers of California, Colorado, the Dakotas; the people of the Great Lakes, Staten Island, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Galveston, Texas all understand the natural disasters and the weather patterns they are seeing shift are coming from something which isn’t just sporadic and that’s focusing people’s attention more on the issue.”

Kyte said one can’t change everybody’s mind, but that with a working majority change will happen, and young people are the key.

Participant Raddhima Yadav is an undergraduate student at Yale University. She has been involved with the U.N. climate talks as a youth delegate in the past five years. She said the key issue that many political leaders seem to miss is that climate change is interconnected to every other issue in a political agenda.

She also said the narrative needs to be shaped not as climate change being some catastrophe or an apocalyptic scenario, which can put people off. She argued it would be better to make it more relatable to people’s daily lives, making it about gender, education, employment, water, issues that affect people’s daily lives.

Derrick Opio Hosea, another participant, is the founder of one lamp express and is from Uganda. He said 85 percent of people in his country use kerosene lamps because they don’t have access to the grid, but about 80 percent of the same people have access to mobile phones. His company enables everyone with a mobile phone to order a solar lamp and get it delivered to their doorstep. They’ve managed to sell 4,000 solar lights and have reached more than 12,000 homes and reduced the amount of carbon emissions from kerosene lamps.

Youth Summit Chairwoman Ines Gonzalez Del Mazo said the two-day event will include a competition. They received 330 proposals from more than 70 countries. Six finalists will pitch their ideas, which she hopes can be turned into businesses or shape policies. The winners will be sent to New York’s International Council of Small Businesses Annual Academy for training and mentorship.

Team Helios led by Michael Eschmann has four members from Seattle, Canada, Austria and Switzerland. The group of friends who went to grad school in the U.S. teamed up to help farmers in India get away from diesel powered irrigation pumps that contribute to carbon emissions and high diesel fuel costs. Instead, the team proposes to allow farmers to rent solar irrigation systems and receive incentives for efficient water use.

Sebastian Rodriguez is from Mexico and is the leader of Team Kopagas, which includes a Tanzanian and a Chinese national living in Tanzania. The group will present a pay-as-you-go model using electric canisters to accelerate the use of liquefied petroleum gas rather than charcoal and wood. Rodriguez said cooking with charcoal is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes per hour, therefore creating serious health issues.

He said the team has a blueprint for a leasable canister that can monitor the amount of gas remaining and only charge customers for what is used. They’ve recently secured a $250,000 grant and hope that winning this competition will push their project forward.

Ginny Wang is from China. Her team of four includes her friends from Taiwan, Britain and China. They are working on a project called Team Greenie Exchange as a way to give incentives to people. They hope to participate in the reduction of the carbon footprint by earning positive rewards. 

She said most of the time we hear about what governments can’t do, but she wants to encourage people to do what is right and take simple steps by riding a bicycle, for example, instead of driving. That can reduce one’s carbon footprint.

Users can take actions such as join a carbon reduction program, carpool or recycle to earn green coins which are credited to a user’s electronic wallet and can be spent at partnering businesses, according to the proposal.

Republicans ask president
to reject Syrian refugees

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Returning to Capitol Hill Monday, many U.S. lawmakers said the political landscape has been altered by Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

"Paris changes everything,” said Michael McCaul, House Homeland Security committee chairman and a Republican.

McCaul sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to halt the admission of Syrian refugees into the United States after one of the Paris attackers was found to have posed as a refugee.

McCaul wrote: “In light of the terrorist attack in Paris, I call on you to temporarily suspend the admission of all additional Syrian refugees into the United States pending a full review of the Syrian Refugee resettlement program.”

Other Republican lawmakers joined in criticism of Obama's refugee proposal.

Sen. Jeff Sessions rejected Obama administration plans to welcome more Syrian refugees, saying:

“It cannot be the solution to instability in the Middle East that everybody abandon their home and flee to Europe or the United States. This cannot be," he said. "The United States should help refugees, as are other nations. I think we should have a determined policy to create in Syria and nearby safe zones where these refugees, if they feel they have to flee, can stay. Many of them are not classic refugees. They seem to be more economic migrants than refugees. Many, many young males, not families.”

Obama said the United States would betray its core values if it refuses to accept Syrian refugees, and said it is shameful to impose a religious test to only admit Christian refugees as some Republicans have advocated.

Democratic House Ranking member Eliot Engel, ranking Democratic House member agreed, saying that Syrian refugees should be properly vetted, but the U.S. should not slam the door on them. Engel likened the impact of the Paris attacks for France to the life-changing Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Engel said that Islamic State terrorists are not true worshippers of any religion, but fascists.

A number of Republican lawmakers called on new House Speaker Paul Ryan to make sure there is no funding for Syrian refugees in a spending bill that has to be passed by Dec. 11. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is introducing legislation to halt visas for refugees.

The Paris attacks and an Islamic State video threatening an attack on Washington, D.C., seemed to have put lawmakers on edge.

U.S. Capitol Police said there is no specific information of a threat to the Capitol, but encouraged lawmakers and aides to be vigilant, saying it is always an appealing target for terrorists. Capitol police urged lawmakers to use tunnels to walk back and forth between their offices and the Capitol out of an abundance of caution.

The House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees plan to hold hearings this week to focus on the U.S. response to the Paris attacks.

Obama sticks to his plan
for limited involvement

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says it would be a mistake to deploy ground forces to defeat Islamic State militants, resisting calls at home and abroad for a more forceful U.S. strategy in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Capping the two-day G-20 summit in this Mediterranean resort, the U.S. leader held a news conference at which he called the Islamic State terrorist group the face of evil and said there would be an intensification of efforts but not a new strategy. 

Obama said the Paris attacks were a terrible and sickening setback in the fight against the Islamic State, but he ruled out deploying large numbers of U.S. ground troops.

“It is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that would be a mistake.”

Obama indicated he wants to avoid a repeat of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. “Not because our military could not march into Mosul or Raqqa or Ramadi and temporarily clear out ISIL, but because we would see a repetition of what we have seen before,” he said.

But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a member of the president’s own party, expressed grave concerns on U.S. television Monday about the current strategy in Iraq.

“I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding. They've just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country.”

Sen. Feinstein said it is clear that limited air strikes and support for Iraqi forces are not “sufficient to protect our country and our allies.”

She said she hopes France will pursue an Article 5 and bring in NATO. Article 5 is the part of the NATO treaty that says an armed attack on one member state is an armed attack on all. 

“There's only one way we are going to diminish them and that is by taking them out, because they are growing. They are in more than a dozen countries now.”

Republicans in Congress have been urging for some time a bigger pushback against the Islamic State, but Sen. Feinstein is a Democrat, and as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she is a leading voice on foreign affairs.

But Obama said any new strategy would have to be sustainable.

“Let’s assume that we were to send 50,000 troops into Syria. What happens when there’s a terrorist attack generated from Yemen?” asked Obama. “Do we then send more troops into there? Or Libya, perhaps? Or if there’s a terrorist network that’s operating anywhere else, in North Africa, or in Southeast Asia?”

In a final statement, the G-20 leaders vowed to increase intelligence sharing, tighten their national borders and attempt to cut off terrorist funding in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris.

However, more consensus among the world leaders won’t be easy, according to Heather Conley, the director of the Europe Program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The parties have very different agendas. The Russian government wants to keep Assad in power and fighting the Syrian opposition. The U.S. is supporting the Syrian opposition and the Syrian Kurdish forces. Turkey is working against the Syrian Kurdish forces. I mean the complexity here is extraordinary,” she said, referring to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition has seen victories on the ground in recent weeks in Sinjar, Iraq and al-Hawl, Syria. The coalition also provided a symbolic blow to the terror groups' recruiting efforts last week with a drone attack that reportedly killed Jihadi John, the public face of the group.

“Have we done damage to ISIS? Yes. Have we stopped them from expanding? The answer is yes to that as well – at least generally. But winning, not yet,” Anthony Cordesman, for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Monday.

Cordesman says winning will require some degree of global unity against the extremists.

U.S. and Russian leaders appeared to put aside many of their differences and made headway on plans for a cease-fire and an eventual transfer of power in Syria. Obama and Putin met twice on the sidelines of the summit, building on progress the two sides made at talks on Syria in Vienna over the weekend.

Obama also met with leaders of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Western European nations, all of them key players in international efforts to end the Syrian conflict, which has become a source of terrorist activity and triggered a massive exodus of refugees into Europe.

But talk is not enough for France, which has carried out at least 20 air strikes on the Islamic State group’s main stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, in the days since the attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.

“One cannot be attacked harshly, and you know the drama that is happening in Paris, without being present and active,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, attending the summit in place of President Francois Hollande.

Education not always means
not being unemployed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report finds workers around the world are becoming more educated.  But the International Labor Organization notes in "Key Indicators of the Labor Market” a better educated, higher-skilled workforce is not leading to lower unemployment globally.

A survey of more than 200 countries shows a definite link between the level of education and the ability of workers to access the labor market.  The data suggest a strong correlation between the level of education and national productivity levels based on workers' output.

Steven Kapsos, who heads the International Labor Organization’s Data Productions and Analysis Unit, says benefits achieved in productivity from a more educated workforce are essential for long-term improvements in competitiveness and broader economic development.

He does, however, note a downside. 

“The data do not show that more educated workers automatically have a better chance of finding a job," he said. "While they are less likely to be unemployed in most high-income economies, tertiary graduates in low- and lower-middle-income economies are actually more likely to be among the unemployed than workers with a lower educational attainment level.  So a key message here is that while a more educated global workforce enhances the potential for economies to grow and develop, this is not an automatic process.”

For that to happen, Kapsos says the skills and educational levels of the workforce have to be successfully matched to meet the demands of the economy.  

The report notes the number of people employed in manufacturing in high-income economies since 2000 has declined by 5.2 million, while it has grown by 195 million in middle-income countries.

At the same time, it finds a substantial decline in the number of so-called working poor.  It says the number of people living on less than $2 per person, per day has fallen by 479 million between 2000 and 2015.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
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* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


They say a stock market crash is overdue.  Is your money in the bank earning only pennies in interest?  Is it time to get some of your assets out of the United States and into a wonderful retirement location?  That was this owner’s plan.  Gross ROI for this property was 11% most recent 5 months with 1,129 m2 lot crying for development of more rentals.  Build two or even three inexpensive fourplexes and live off of the income the rest of your life.  But current owner is unable to stay in Costa Rica (divorce, health reasons) so must sacrifice retirement dream property.  Offered at only $140,000 by extremely motivated seller and cash talks!  Very desirable location only a short 5-minute walk to central La Fortuna, clean and modern construction 2 bedroom 1 bath home is 102 m2 with no wasted space, very livable.  THIS ABSOLUTELY MUST BE SOLD!  For interior pix email or phone 506-8377-8402.

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Fonseca two
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email:

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Pacific Sur montagee

These 2 lots are in the Pacific southern zone,
Tres Rio/Coronado de Osa. 

Will give a great deal on one of these lots, only $29,990.  Both of these lots have water, phone lines, Internet accessibility, electricity, easy 3 kms. access to the Costanera.  2-wheel drive accessible.  Close to new hospital, beautiful beaches and county services.  Financing available.   Lote 234, This corner lote is excellently located in lower Tres Rios.  Has 2 well-sculptured lots for 2 houses or one for multiunit cabins.  Lote 236,  1 1/2 hectare.  Big lote for building a grand house, with a smaller plantel for a cabin.  Small ocean view with great sunsets.  Watch the videos for more information, Planos,  and details.   Email: CR phone   2786-5555. USA call  760-536-4717 YouTube link for more real estate deals. 

Escazu villa
Escazú villa. spectacular 360 degree city and mountain views.
Enjoy the sunsets along with the sunrise

There are special properties, which are more than mere houses. Where you can appreciate moments where you build memories. Relaxing reading in the garden of 5000 sq. m. Places to enjoy moments with family or friends with large heated pool. Beautiful city views of San José with mountain view. Places, where you can enjoy the comforting warmth of the sun throughout the day with cool nights of living 1,300 meters up on your own Mountain Noel. You are away from all the noise of San José, yet you are only 15 minutes drive there. Costa Rica largest mall is also only 15-minutes drive away.
The main house four bedrooms with four bathrooms, large office with built-in wood cabinets, and beautiful hardwood ceilings throughout the whole house. The main house is 330 sq. m. For your guest, there is a self-contained apartment of 100 sq. m. consisting of two bedrooms and two baths. Nice layout with a living room and dining room and kitchen all have views. For being so near to the city and to have that much land is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The selling price is land value will throw in the house and the apartment. Price is $690,000. Contact

Osa home
Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Beach House For Sale
Tropical 5-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, South Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact:
Watch this video for full details.

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 227
Real Estate
About us
News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are diabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Art City Tour
Ministerio de Cultural y Juventud photo  
The event has been attracting crowds

Last 2015 Art City Tour is Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The increasingly popular Art City Tour will have its last evening for the year Friday. This is a time when visitors can tour the area's major cultural locations for free.

The evening also is attracting more and more visitors on bicycles who gather at Parque España to tour the sites.

Others can take advantage of free bus services.

The Ministerio de Cultural y Juventud is promoting its museums as places to visit from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Friday date is new because previous events have been during the week.

The ministry is promoting visits to the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, the Museo Nacional, the Museo Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, the Museo de Arte Costarricense and the Centro Nacional de la Cultura.

Also open will be the Museos del Banco Central and the Museo de Jade, which are not operated by the ministry. Many galleries and other cultural facilities also will be open.
Those who wish to use a bus are asked to register ahead of time HERE!
Some 14 restaurants in Barrio Escalante also are participating with exhibitions of historic photos.

Art City Tour began in 2010, and now many of the museums time the opening of exhibits to coincide with the night.

Police agencies conduct cigarette sweeps

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement and tax police cracked down on illegal cigarettes Monday.

The Policía de Control Fiscal, the Fuerza Pública and the San José Policía Municipal checked out 10 stores where cigarettes are sold and ended up confiscating 4,660 cigarettes.

Recent laws have tightened the way in which cigarettes can be marketed and sold. For example, the sale of single cigarettes is banned as a way to discourage smoking. In addition there are many smuggled cigarettes on the market in the Central Valley

One outlet was shut down because it did not have a required health permit for operation, said police.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission.
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From Page 7:

electrical towers
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo
The Parrita substation and one of the new towers

Pacific coast will get more electrical power

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad says it is investing $20.5 million to erect 37 towers and build a substation to improve the transmission of electricity between Parrita and Jacó.

The project is expected to be in service by the middle of next year. Work began in 2014.

The new power lines also will include a link to Cañas, said the company.

The work is supposed to improve electrical service along the Pacific coast for the benefit of residents, businesses and tourism operators, said the company.