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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 230                               Email us
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Dog's funeral
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Officers and dogs render honors at the burial of the Belgian shepherd known as Kindra.

Police say good-bye to an eight-year canine veteran
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Members of the dog unit of the security ministry formally buried a Belgian shepherd that had been a crime fighter for eight years. The animal, Kindra, was nine years old and died Sunday morning due to an illness.

The burial was witnessed by two other dogs from the Unidad Canina. This is the unit that provides dogs for searching and drug interdiction.   Kindra worked 709 missions this year alone, said the  ministry. Dogs usually survey areas where
 President Laura Chinchilla will be. They are trained to detect explosives as well as drugs.

Kindra also participated in the protection afforded U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. when they visited.

The dog also was in use at Juan Santamaría airport. against smugglers. Burial was in the same compound where the animal was born.

The dog unit has 38 animals that can be put into the field for protection or searching, said the ministry.

Government plans to make more from adultery
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature is about to increase the sin tax.

This is not the tax on alcohol or cigarettes, which is the usual description of sin tax elsewhere. This is the country's tax on adultery and other illicit sexual behavior.

The government has been taxing secret sexual liaisons at 30 percent when such activity takes place in what are called motels here. They are not the family establishments like Motel 6 in the United States, where the commercial promises they'll leave the light on for you.

As the government so aptly puts it, there are locations for intimate appointments. And the last thing anyone wants is too much light.

The government has been collecting 30 percent every time one of the motel rooms is used. That can be significant because sometimes the rooms are used four to six times a day. In the last five full years, the total tax has been 339,049,950.51 colons, according to the legislature. That's roughly $665,000.

The money goes to the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, the major social welfare agency. However, officials at the institute and lawmakers fear that there is a lot of evasion. They correctly note in a summary of the bill that not a lot of people who avail themselves of the services of a motel are interested in getting an official receipt or paying by credit card. So there is a lot of opportunities for operators of these establishments to forget to report some income.

The proposed bill, No. 18.718, would assess a tax each month based on the number of rooms, whether or not the rooms have been in use.

The measure not only covers motels, but also hotels that are not listed as a tourist operation with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, massage parlors, pensions and strip clubs that maintain, as the 
summary says, rooms of  habitation.

Operations with more than 101 rooms will pay 12 percent of a base salary for each room each month.  From 50 to 100 rooms the tax would be 11 percent. From 21 to 50, the tax would be 10 percent. Motels and similar operations with 20 or fewer rooms would pay 9 percent per room per month. The base salary is the universal way of determining taxes and many court and traffic fines. It is about 380,000 colons, but is due for an increase Jan. 1.  It is the salary paid to an oficinista 1 in the Poder Judicial.

So an operation with 101 rooms would pay a monthly tax of 4,608,428 colons or about $9,217 a month. Legislative aides estimate that there are 15 establishment in this category. The extra tax would not be applied to bar and beverage services that most of these establishments provide.

The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social would be in charge of counting the rooms and making sure the tax is paid. There are 13 of these types of operations that are in court now because they have not paid the tax, lawmakers said. The legislative aide estimated that there are 176 establishments that would be subject to the new tax, although they said they suspect that some operators will try to gain tourism institute certification to avoid the levy.

With the new legislation, which received approval Tuesday by the Comisión Permanente Especial de Ciencia y Tecnología, motels and similar would pay two to three times the current tax.

Naturally the new tax will result in higher charges for customers. Although motels usually cater to couples who arrive together, many of the other operations are really centers of prostitution where the women involved are more or less employees.

Although pimping and operating a center of prostitution is supposed to be illegal, government officials generally look the other way because they are generators of tax and tourist attractions.

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Colinas photo


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Agua Solutions International, S.A. photo    
Water sample is taken during a pilot study in Bagaces,

Arsenic testing for private wells
offered by Liberia water firm

By Jim Ryan*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Water contamination from arsenic is in the headlines almost daily. And for very good reason: It is a highly toxic compound and major public health hazard affecting at least tens of thousands of people. The fact is we really don’t know how many of our people and communities are affected by this insidious naturally occurring chemical compound because arsenic, dissolved in water, is odorless, colorless and can only be detected by actually testing the water source.

And in our company’s opinion, there has been far, far too little testing done, except in the larger population centers which are served by the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados or a local sistema de acueductos y alcantarillados sanitarios.

In Central America, the vast majority of arsenic contamination is naturally occurring, the result of volcanic geology. Where there are volcanoes, there are associated compounds such as sulfur and arsenic, among others. For this reason the contamination can be found virtually anywhere in this country and the region. However agricultural, mining, wood treatment and electronic manufacturing processes also can add high concentrations of man-made arsenic contamination to otherwise pristine environments. Both the natural and man-made contamination are bad for one’s health.

Government institutions’ focus on population centers for testing and remediation. But a concerted national effort is needed to serve and protect not just city and town dwellers, but also the tens of thousands of people, families and businesses in the countryside who depend upon private wells and springs for their potable water. Current government programs are focused on approximately 2 percent of our nation’s population in a handful of cities and towns known to be affected.

The forgotten rural population is comprised of a wide spectrum of people and businesses. They include simple agricultural workers and their families, luxury resorts, native communities, fincas and haciendas, gated communities of largely expats, rurally based manufacturers and food processors, and others. Virtually all depend upon ground water. The only way to know if this water is contaminated with arsenic is to test it.
For this reason, Agua Solutions International, S.A. in Liberia has recently launched a private program to provide free arsenic testing to all private well owners. The firm is well equipped to provide this service because it provides arsenic testing equipment to the national water laboratory, it has participated with the national water laboratory in a series of pilot studies to demonstrate effective arsenic treatment methods in communities in Guanacaste; and since the firm's founding in 2005 employees always have tested for arsenic as a routine part their duties to customers establishing new water sources.

In these cases we believe that not to test for arsenic is professionally irresponsible.

The firm's current approach to arsenic testing is very different than the government’s strategy. Specifically, instead of being limited to dispatching a very small team of highly trained water technicians from the national water laboratory or small groups of university graduate students who generally go to the areas of known contamination in the population centers.  Agua Solutions takes a much broader, faster and more economical grassroots approach.

The firm is inviting the thousands of private well/spring owners to collect samples, label them, and send them to its offices for testing.

It is extremely simple to properly collect and transport a water sample for arsenic testing, because unlike a microbiological sample, it does not require any special or sterile handling. In fact, the firm recommends using a common plastic water bottle and sending the samples by mail, bus or dropping them off in person.

Specific instructions are provided on the Web site at

Test results are usually delivered to the person who sent the sample within three business days at no cost. Also, all results are treated anonymously. The firm will never divulge the identity and or arsenic level of the water samples submitted to it. So no company, resort or food processing business should fear having their water tested.

The objective is twofold. First, Agua Solutions wants to give the country’s rural population, especially those of limited economic means, a readily available means of learning if their water sources are within the ‘safe’ and legal limit for potable water in Costa Rica, which is 10 parts per billion.  A test for arsenic at a private laboratory in San José may cost as much as 60,000 colons, and the laboratory may require extra payment to travel and collect the sample. Second, Agua Solutions wants to develop a much better understanding than presently exists of the geographic extent, and degree of severity of the arsenic contamination problem, from a national perspective.

The legal upper limit of 10 parts per billion in Costa Rica is the same standard recommended by the World Health Organization as well as by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and most developed countries. Some countries and parts of the U.S.A. use a lower and stricter standard, and some countries, especially those developing countries with high arsenic levels, use a higher standard such as 50 parts per billion, or are gradually phasing in stricter standards.

Extending this service to all private well owners nationwide, regardless of their financial means, is not an inexpensive endeavor. Corporate support is sufficient for us to continue the free water testing program at least until the end of this year.

*Ryan is president of Agua Solutions International, S.A. He may be contacted at or by calling  2665-6161 / 7161.

Food chamber says it opposes
government plan for new taxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The food chamber has told the finance ministry that the time is not right for new taxes.

New taxes would cause unemployment in the industry, said the  Cámara Costarricense de la Industria Alimentaria.

The chamber said that in a meeting with Álvaro Ramos, a vice minister of Hacienda, the board of directors got the impression that the government was about to send new tax proposals to the legislature.

The Ministerio de Hacienda, however, said that it is simply seeking input from the public on how to handle the country's staggering deficit and a budget that includes about 50 percent borrowed money.

The ministry has another informational meeting Thursday.

The chamber said there was no long-term plan to solve the financial crisis. The government is expected to float a value-added tax as part of the effort to bring in more money. The informational meetings are regarded mainly as public relations.

The chamber characterized the proposals as an enormous tax charge on businesses.

Public Christmas bonuses
nearly 10% more than 2012

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Hacienda said Tuesday that the government will pay 157 billion colons in aguinaldos Dec. 3. That is about $314 million.

The number reflects the fact that the government pays about $4 billion in salaries each year. There are about 196.000 active employees.

The amount of the Christmas bonus is 9.83 percent more than last year, said the ministry. The money goes to all the workers in ministries, the Asamblea Legislative, the Poder Judicial, the Defensoría de los Habitantes, the Contraloría General de la República and pensioners. The amount includes money due teachers.

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Scammer follows headlines and steals name of Ms. Figueres
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

While Christiana Figueres was making a presentation Tuesday in Warsaw, Poland, a scammer was circulating an Internet message in her name.

The Costa Rica woman is the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The spam message says that the recipient is one of 19 winners of $900,000 gifts from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the William Clinton foundation. The attachment in .pdf format shows Mandela with Clinton and says "Please help protect/save our planet."
The scammer message was fairly sophisticated when compared to the usual type that contains grammatical errors and bad spelling.

Ms. Figueres was at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference where a British researcher praised her efforts in an unrelated email message and said "Believe me. She is totally committed and truly inspirational!"

The spam message is one of those that seeks detailed identifying information and directs the recipient to call a United Kingdom number. Scammers frequently use telephone forwarding devices there to get messages in their home county, probably Nigeria. The pitch for money comes later.

Three stone spheres headed south to Boruca community
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional said Tuesday that it was sending three stone spheres to the Boruca community near Buenos Aries de Puntarenas.

A five-ton sphere will be located near the museum of the community, and smaller spheres will be placed at the high school and the elementary school, said the museum.

The spheres come from the museum's storage facility in Pavas.

The largest sphere is 1.7 meters in diameter, said the museum.  That is 5 feet, 7 inches.

The native people who live in the Boruca community are generally believed to be the descendants of the person who made the spheres, probably around 700 A.D. up until shortly
 before the arrival of the Spanish. No one really knows.

The arrival of the spheres will be greeted with a fiesta Friday and Saturday. The museum workers are offering cultural activities Friday for the community's children. These include workshops about the spheres and discussions of the archeological importance of the area. Saturday there will be music, dancing and traditional foods.

The Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Boruca and the  Asociación La Flor de Boruca are involved in the activities. With the help of the Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad Estatal a Distancia, the organizations raised the money to transport the spheres.

The community is not far from the location in Palmar Sur where the museum is developing a satellite center to showcase the spheres.

Country gets loan from Japan for geothermal power generation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Japanese agency for international cooperation is loaning Costa Rica $560 million to develop geothermal electrical generation in Guanacaste.

Officials of both countries signed paperwork Tuesday to that effect, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.
The loan, which will benefit the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, is for 40 years at 6 percent.The state electrical company is developing geothermal sites in the area of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano. So far there are three projects.

The Japanese agency is the same one that loaned money to the country to redo the metro sewers and build a treatment plant.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Nov. 20, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 230
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Canadian public opinion at odds with the policies of government, poll says
By the Université de Montréal news staff

Canadians do not share the federal government's opinion when it comes to the fight against climate change. Canada should work more closely with other countries to address this issue, according to 63 percent of the participants in a new survey.

Moreover, Canadians are willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to climate change, as 45 percent would be willing to pay an extra $100 per year in federal income tax to support initiatives related to this issue. 

Environics surveyed 1,501 Canadians on the behalf of the Trudeau Foundation, in advance of its 10th annual conference that will take place in Montreal starting Thursday. The design of the study was facilitated by Frédéric Mérand, director of Université de Montréal's Centre for International Studies and Research. and four Université de Montréal political science professors: 

Beyond climate change, the survey also revealed Canadians' priorities in three other areas of foreign policy – international trade, developmental assistance for poor countries, and the fight against terrorism.

Support for a greater international effort with regards to climate change was highest in Quebec (73 percent), British Columbia (70 percent), Ontario (62 percent) and the Maritimes (59 percent). It was lowest in Manitoba (49 percent) and Alberta (43 percent).

According to Mérand, the government's discourse does not reflect Canadians' wishes. “Since withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, the Government speaks little and rarely in a positive manner about climate change – it eventually
acknowledged the phenomenon but will not undertake any initiatives to fight it so long as China is not involved,” he said.

Canadians and their government are closer in opinion with regards to the development of international trade. The state should do more in this area, according to 55 percent of the survey participants. However, only 27 percent of them would be prepared to pay an extra $100 per annum in tax to promotion international trade.

On a similar note, only 33 percent believed that Canada should do more with regards to helping the development of poor countries. Just 26 percent would happily contribute an extra $100 in tax per annum towards this goal.

The fight against international terrorism is another area where public opinion and federal policy diverge. Only 27 percent of survey respondents believe that the country should fight harder against terrorism. Just 17 percent would contribute more tax towards the cause.

The disinterest could be due to a feeling of security that comes from an impression that Canada is surrounded by friendly countries. Survey respondents consider the following countries to be friendly: the United Kingdom (91 percent), the United States (89 percent), France (84 percent), Mexico (72 percent), India (61 percent) and Israel (56 percent).

Iran is the least-liked, as 42 percent of respondents consider it to be an enemy country. This fact surprised Mérand. “Iran is far from Canada, and despite the debate surrounding its nuclear program, there is little risk that it may one day attack our country. The relationship that Canada maintains with Israel partially explains the hostility towards Iran, but the government of Canada's tough-talk targeting the regime in Tehran is no doubt contributing.”

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Real estate rentals
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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Real estate for rent (paid category)

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


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Nov. 20, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 230
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Pacific Estates

'Animal Planet' host admits
illicit trade in monitor lizards

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
Donald Schultz, 35, of Playa Vista, the former host of "Animal Planet’s" “Wild Recon” television show, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of violating the Endangered Species Act by offering to sell, and selling, two live desert monitor lizards (Varanus griseus) in interstate commerce.

In the plea agreement filed this week, Schultz admitted that on July 29, 2010, he sold the two live desert monitor lizards to an undercover agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who was posing as a prospective buyer.  After meeting with the undercover agent at his residence to finalize the deal, Schultz agreed to ship the two live desert monitors from Los Angeles to Buffalo, New York, via airplane, said the government.  A federal agent then received the monitors in New York and took them into custody.

Schultz had never been issued a permit to sell the two lizards, the government said.  Desert monitor lizards are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Schultz has agreed to recommend that he pay a fine of $6,000, restitution of $3,000, and to perform 200 hours of community service, among other things, said the government.

16 will be honored today
with Medal of Freedom

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama will award the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 16 Americans in a ceremony at the White House today.

One of Obama's predecessors, John F. Kennedy, established the award 50 years ago to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to other significant public or private endeavors.

The recipients this year include former president Bill Clinton, country music legend Loretta Lynn, renowned women's rights activist Gloria Steinem and television icon Oprah Winfrey.

Obama said this year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent. But he said what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.

Three of the 16 Medals of Freedom will be awarded posthumously.

The recipients are:

Ernie Banks

Known to many as “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks is one of the greatest American baseball players.  During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit more than 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.

Ben Bradlee

During his 23-year tenure as executive editor of The Washington Post newspaper, Ben Bradlee oversaw some of the most ground-breaking news stories.  He led the newspaper's coverage of the Watergate scandal, which forced President Richard Nixon from office.  He also successfully challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of the Vietnam War.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States.  Before taking office, he served as governor and attorney general of the southern state of Arkansas.  Following his second term, Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment. 

Daniel Inouye

The late Daniel Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union in 1959.  As a young man, he fought in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for which he received the Medal of Honor.  He was later elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the U. S. Senate.

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology.  After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist.  Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years.  An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.  Prior to serving in Congress, Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975.  He currently serves as president of the Lugar Center.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men.  Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Mario Molina

Mario Molina won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chlorofluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer.  Born in Mexico, Molina came to the U.S. to pursue his graduate degree.  He is a professor at the University of California, San Diego, director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment and a member of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Sally Ride

The late Sally Ride was the first American female astronaut to travel to space.  As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.  Ms. Ride also served in several administrations as an adviser on space exploration.

Bayard Rustin

The late Bayard Rustin was an adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad.  As an openly gay African American, Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval is a celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer.  Born outside Havana, he became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer.  He defected to the United States in 1990 and later became an American citizen.  He has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists.

Dean Smith

As head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961 to 1997, Dean Smith earned two national championships, was named National Coach of the Year multiple times, and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history.  Ninety-six percent of his players graduated from college.  Smith also has remained a dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem was a leader in the women’s liberation movement and co-founder of the feminist Ms. magazine.  She helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights.  Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.

Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian

A leader in the civil rights movement and friend to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., C.T. Vivian participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across the United States.   Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal.  In 2012, he returned to serve as interim president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Patricia Wald

After graduating as one of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, Patricia Wald  became the first woman appointed to the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as its chief judge from 1986 to1991.  She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.  Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is best known for creating "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years.  Ms. Winfrey has long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women.  She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

Those who knew Oswald
in Minsk doubt he did it

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For more than two years in the early 1960s, Minsk, then the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, was home to Lee Harvey Oswald. Later on, he would fire the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy, according to the Warren Commission Report. To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interviewed three people who knew Oswald during his time in Minsk.

It's the first time the three -- including Stanislau Shushkevich, the first post-Soviet leader of Belarus -- have appeared on camera to tell their stories. They agree that there was nothing to indicate that Oswald could become a president's assassin.
For more than two years at the start of the 1960s, Oswald, a self-declared Marxist, lived in Minsk following his defection to the Soviet Union.
The man later accused of assassinating Kennedy tried to renounce his American citizenship and was sent from Moscow by Soviet authorities to work at a Minsk radio factory.
During his stay in Minsk, Soviet security services kept a close watch on Oswald, on his movements around the city and on those who surrounded him.
Stanislau Shushkevich was the first post-Soviet leader of Belarus. Long before entering politics, Shushkevich worked at the same factory with the American defector. He and another man became Oswald's Russian teachers.
"He was a rather closed person and it was hard to tell how educated he was. But his knowledge of Russian was pretty decent and he could exchange views when Sasha and I started teaching him, that's for sure," remembered Shushkevich.
A lengthy and highly detailed account of observations about Soviet living and working conditions, called The Collective, was attributed to Oswald during the investigation into Kennedy's death.
Shushkevich scoffs at the thought of Oswald authoring such a report.
“You know, if I had been asked to take him into my research team, I would have refused immediately, even though I would have been curious to work with an American. I didn’t see any inclination of inquiry or creativity in him. Maybe I'm being unjust, but he showed absolutely no interest in the things that seemed important to me," said Shushkevich.
Oswald was not only receiving language education; he was receiving an education in music as well. His new friends took him to hear classical music at Minsk's philharmonic concert hall.
Inna Markava met Oswald for the first time at a performance of Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E minor." She later visited Oswald at his small apartment, which was located in an exclusive section of Minsk.
Ms. Markava returned to the apartment to share her impressions of him.
"I can’t say he was easy to communicate with. He didn’t evoke any feelings that would leave an impression. Sometimes you meet someone and think, 'Goodness, what a pleasure.' I don’t remember having that feeling with him," recalled Ms. Markava.
Ms. Markava said she thought Oswald was rather ordinary, unathletic, generally reserved, and even boring most of the time. However, she also recalled seeing flashes of something else.
"Once, I saw anger in him. Someone said something he didn't like and he became so angry that his face even contorted… He controlled to some degree -- but every now and then, they jumped out," said Ms. Markava.
At the Institute of Foreign Languages, located near his apartment, Oswald was known for his keen interest in the female students, regularly socializing at the dormitories there. He later wrote of his successes with women, but Ms. Markava says not all were impressed.
"The girls and I often wondered why he had left America. He could have studied there, worked there. But he cut all his ties. Everybody thought he was odd, like he had crossed some line," remembered Ms. Markava.
She also remembered Oswald teaching language students how to dance "The Twist," and him sometimes going dancing at the Palace of Culture of Trade Unions. It was at one of these events that he met Marina Prusakova.
Just six weeks later, in the spring of 1961, Oswald married Marina. Within a year, his wife gave birth to their daughter, June.
"Whatever they write about him now, that he was a psychopath, a hot-tempered or threatening person, absolutely none of that is true. I knew him as an absolutely different person, a family person.  I liked him. I don't agree with anything that has been written about him," said Inessa Yakhliel, a close friend of the couple.
Documents written by Oswald and discovered after the assassination give the impression he had contradictory views regarding the United States and the Soviet Union. Sometimes he praised one country or the other, while at other times condemning them.
Ms. Yakhliel remembers hearing Oswald, who used the name Alek, speak highly of President Kennedy.
"One day he was at our house and the television was showing a meeting between Khrushchev and Kennedy. You may remember that meeting; I don't remember what year it was exactly. And he spoke about Kennedy very sympathetically. He said he was the only sensible president. Those were his words," said Ms. Yakhliel.
The commission led by U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded Oswald acted alone in killing the president, but Shushkevich, Ms. Markava, and Ms. Yakhliel can't accept that conclusion. They believe there must have been some form of conspiracy.
"It is my absolute conviction that they found a passive, calm, compliant boy, and used him as the guilty one. And then they washed their hands of it. As for the conclusions of the Warren Commission, I don’t believe them one bit. I have studied them, and I don’t think it was the work of my student," said Shushkevich.
"I didn't believe he could have done it. It seemed to me that he was framed, using the whole situation with the Soviet Union. I didn't think he could have done it. Or he would have been completely insane to do it,” added Ms. Markava.
"None of us, none of his friends here, believed it. Some knew him a lot less than I did. Actually, they knew Marina more than Alek. But I came to know him well. I don't believe it," Ms. Yakhliel said.

U.S. high court upholds
Texas abortion restriction

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A sharply divided United States Supreme Court has voted to allow the southern state of Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions that opponents say have forced more than a third of the state's clinics to stop providing the procedure.
The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 50 kilometers.
The court's conservative majority refused the plea of Planned Parenthood and several Texas abortion clinics to overturn a preliminary federal appeals court ruling that allowed the provision to take effect.
The four liberal justices dissented.
The Supreme Court stay application only related to the portion of the law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges.
The case remains on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. That court is expected to hear arguments in January, and the law will remain in effect at least until then.

Asteroids are big danger
Russian experience shows

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes.  Now, add asteroids to the list of natural disasters that can threaten humanity and all life on our planet.
For decades, Hollywood films like "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" have let moviegoers enjoy the terror of fictional earthbound asteroids from the safety of their seats.
But on Feb. 15  residents of Chelyabinsk in central Russia discovered that the threat is as real as it gets. 

That meteorite wounded more than 1,000 people, a pinprick compared to the one that probably wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and far more benign than the meteor that exploded over Siberia in1908, leveling more than 2,000 square kilometers of forest.

Or the meteorite that hit present day Arizona, 50,000 years ago, and made a crater large enough to swallow up the entire city of San Francisco.

But those strikes were no flukes.

There are an estimated 10,000 known asteroids orbiting this region of the inner solar system.  That’s just 1 percent of the million or more asteroids scientists believe to be near neighbors in the inner Solar System.

Recently, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson warned about....

" ...asteroids crashing to earth as meteorites or exploding in the atmosphere. That would be bad," he said.

He invited a group of concerned astronaut-scientists from the Association of Space Explorers, which included Thomas Jones.

“So one of these big explosions is capable of causing a global shutdown in agriculture and starving billions of people to death, as well as those who are killed by the actual explosion itself.  Now small asteroids might level a city, but we could still lose hundreds of thousands of people," said Jones.

Asteroids are chunks of dark mineral rich rock that reflect almost no sunlight, so they are hard to spot from Earth.  But infrared sensors on a space-based telescope could detect the heat they have absorbed from the sun.

That will be the job of the Sentinel Deep Space Telescope, bristling with infrared sensors, along with mapping and communications gear.  The Sentinel mission is the brainchild of former astronaut Edward Lu and his B612 Foundation, which is committed to reducing the asteroid threat.  Sentinel is scheduled to launch in 2018.

“Our telescope is sensitive enough that you actually can see a charcoal briquette against a black sky from ten times the distance from New York to Los Angeles," said Lu.

Once the asteroids are spotted and their orbits determined, an earthbound asteroid can be nudged slightly off course with a satellite deflector or a high velocity projectile, or blown up with nuclear weapons, causing it to miss its deadly rendezvous.

Much like Hollywood imagined it would in the 1957 science fiction film "The Day the Sky Exploded."
But this time it’s the real world that would be saved. 

Self portrait on Web gains
status as new English word

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Selfie is the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year after beating back competition from words like twerk, according to a release by the company.

Selfie, which was the unanimous winner, is basically synonymous with self-portrait, but with a tech edge because of its widespread use in social media and on photo sharing sites.

The official definition of selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media Web site,” according to Oxford Dictionaries, which added the work to its online dictionary in August.

According to the company, the word selfie dates as far back as 2002, when an Australian posted a photo of himself in an Internet forum. That the word is spelled with an -ie rather than a -y also gives credence to the Australian origin as Australians are fond of words ending in -ie, the company said.

By 2012, selfie was commonly being used in mainstream media sources and this has been rising ever since.

Even First Lady Michelle Obama and the Pope have taken selfies.

Oxford Dictionaries said there are already numerous variations of the word, including helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (a picture of one’s posterior). There is also versions of particular activities: welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie).
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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

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

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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


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

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

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

San Mateo pool


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

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

Pacific Estates

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

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

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

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

humming bird nest

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

Naranjo views


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

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Nov. 20, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 230
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Investigators search offices
in legislature, Presidencia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said that prosecutors and investigators entered the offices of the minister of the Presidencia Tuesday to search for documents. They also entered the legislative offices of lawmaker Wálter Céspedes. Offices in the  Ministerio de Educación also were searched.

The case involves trafficking of influence, said the Poder Judicial, and the suspect is  Céspedes.  Investigators were searching for any emails or written communication in which the lawmaker sought favors to obtain jobs for third parties.

Because a lawmaker is involved, the searches had to be ordered by the Sala Tercera of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

Present for the search at Casa Presidencial was  Carlos María Jiménez. acting fiscal general. The minister of the  Presidencia is Carlos Ricardo Benevides.

Leftist academic put in charge
of Argentine's economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Argentine President Cristina Fernández burst back on the scene this week after a five-week absence following surgery, naming as economy minister the government's point man in its 2012 seizure of the country's biggest oil company.
The promotion of leftist economist Axel Kicillof, who had been deputy economy minister, was announced by government spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro in a televised address just minutes after Ms. Fernández appeared for the first time since early October.
Kicillof, a charismatic and polarizing figure, steered the administration's expropriation of a controlling stake in energy company YPF from its former parent company, Spain's Repsol.
The YPF takeover enraged Argentina's trading partners from the European Union, but was welcomed by many Argentines as a defense of national strategic interests.
Known for his fiery speeches in defense of Ms. Fernández's  unorthodox economic policies, Kicillof spent most of his career in academia, giving classes and writing about the theories of economists such as John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx.
He replaces Hernan Lorenzino, who was named ambassador to the European Union.
Ms. Fernández had an operation on Oct. 8 to remove blood that had pooled on the surface of her brain after she fell and bumped her head. She had not made an official public appearance or speech until earlier on Monday evening, leaving a five-week political vacuum in Latin America's third biggest economy.
The president's absence had been conspicuous in a country accustomed to her centralized leadership style and frequent speeches.
Her office said her agenda on Monday was confined to meetings with senior officials. She has not been cleared for air travel and is scheduled for another medical checkup Dec. 9.
As she enters the final two years of her second term, Ms. Fernández faces possible new protests from farmers who say her policies hurt their profits. High inflation, estimated by private analysts at 25 percent, rising crime, an overvalued currency and dwindling foreign reserves are also concerns.
Her supporters suffered heavy losses in congressional elections on Oct. 27 that ended her chances of securing a change to the constitution that would have enabled her to run for a third term in 2015.

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From Page 7:

Peace group encourages non-violent gifts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A local peace group is urging parents and others to give children gifts this holiday season that represent their values.

The organization, Liga Internacional de Mujeres Pro Paz y Libertad, said that there are many toys on the market that represent violence and some that fire projectiles that can hurt animals or others. Many carry warning notices only in English, the group said.

The organization also criticized computer games and said that violent games can translate into violence actions.

The organization did not come out for a ban on such toys but did urge those giving toys to realize that violent articles can give the impression that violence is normal.

"For that reason it is important that we adults and family members, friends of children and youngsters pick gifts that reflect the values what we want to share and can benefit children and that we reject those that represent violence," said the organization in a release.