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Perrien Group
(506) 2223-1327                        Published  Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 233                          Email us
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Jo Stuart

                Rica real estate

Thanksgiving is really thankful in land of pura vida
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is Thanksgiving, and expats here have special reasons to be grateful. Here are some to consider on this day:

• Hurricanes do not make landfall in Costa Rica

• No shoveling the driveway or scraping ice off the


• Fresh fruit and vegetables are around all year long.

• Medical services are reasonable.

• We do not get upset when the fast food clerk speaks Spanish.

• Public transport is cheap and all over.

• Iced guaro is as good as Stolichnaya.

• Talk about good coffee!

• There always is a beach nearby.

• How about a pair of hand-made boots?

• Ropa Americana.
• Symphony seats in the Teatro Nacional butaca for a few dollars.

• $2.50-an-hour maid service.

• A garden full of fresh flowers.

• Easy air access to the Great White North.

• Did someone say shrimp?

• Whales and dolphin and other creatures.

• Even in the rainy season the mornings are sunny.

• Umbrellas are cheap from the vendors downtown.

• Where else do you get gallo pinto or chicharones and that fried yucca a la Tico?

•  Those beautiful volcanos and rainforests along with thousands of birds?

• Sarchi hardwood furniture.

• Legal gambling.

• La Pops ice cream.

• $200-a-year optional car insurance.

• And most of all the generally sympathetic, friendly Costa Rican people.

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Sportsmen's Lodge Thanksgiving

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.

Real estate agents and services

Grecia logo
Grecia Real Estate
Here in Costa Rica, Central America , the most beautiful houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate and safe communities.
Great deals for you!
Visit our Web site:
Contact Christian Arce in English:
Cell phone (506) 8538-6186
Contact Luis G. Jiménez in Spanish:
Cell phone (506) 8707-4016
Send us your request to our email:

CR Beach

CR Beach Investment Real Estate
reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
 Colin Miller, Frances,  Junior and Owner-Broker Jeff Fisher enjoy helping clients like you find their dream properties.
Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!

  Fire sale!Deal of the Week:  Was $249,000 NOW: $215,000 Playa Hermosa Beachfront Bungalows
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica

Latitude Nine
Latitude 9
Real Estate, Development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

Residency experts

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

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
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Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116

Expat assistance

12 Years successful experience, helping foreigners with just about everything: find housing, businesses, home & emergency care, PROBLEM SOLVING AND MORE. American with Costa Rican residency.

Call or E-mail today and start getting the help you need! Robert 8315-7000.

Legal services

RE&B Attorneys S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
Tels: 2201-8012/2637-7640
USA phone number: (305) 748-4340
REB Abogadso
Our law firm offers services
in many areas such as:
Immigration Law✔
Real Estate Investment✔
Corporate Law✔   
Intellectual Property✔
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Customs and International 
Our offices are located in Costa Rica:
San José, Plaza Roble.
Playa Herradura, CC. Ocean Plaza.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
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*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
 Phone: (506) 8841-0007

Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
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• Trademarks & Intellectual
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.

Translations and legal services

We will translate your documents from English into Spanish or Spanish to English
Rosa Monge
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Legal problems?
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 Cell 8919-4545


U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
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C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300

U.S. Income Tax
David G. Housman Attorney & C.P.A
in Costa Rica 32 years.
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
I.R.S.  filling requirements foreign income tax exclusion (to $95,100 per year) for all back years. Taxpayers filling past-due tax returns before I.R.S. notice do not face criminal sanctions
• Associate of James Brohl
Phone: (506) 2239-2005 Fax 2239-2437

E mail:

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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620


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A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson  
New museum exhibit includes many photos and plans

History of Plaza de la Cultura
includes little-known facts

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

Just 30 years ago, the Plaza de la Cultura between Avenida Central and Avenida Segunda did not exist, and the heart of the city was around Parque Central.

The area was inaugurated by President Rodrigo Carazo Odio Feb. 26, 1982. Construction was a feat that overcame many difficulties and consisted of 2,000 workdays and resulted in a bill of 120 million colons, about $3 million then.  The accomplishment gave birth to current Costa Rican culture.

“Plaza de la Cultura is born today,” said Guido Sáenz González, an artist who later served as culture minister, on the day.  “It will transform not only the face of the city but also our republic and our citizens from within it will make us better.  Witnessing this process should move us.”

Here are seven other little-know facts or “secrets,” about the admired architectural work revealed Wednesday by Curator Andres Fernandez, during a promotion of a new museum exhibit.

1.  The initial plan for the project included not just the museums but a convention center, auditorium for 700 persons, auxiliary galleries, art exhibition halls, conference rooms, handicraft stores, economics library, Teatro Nacional annex and a symphony rehearsal room.

The Carazo Odio administration began to oppose the project and wanted to turn the area into a park.  In 1978, the project was limited to what it is now.

2.  The Museos del Banco Central, which is the three-story structure below the plaza, was inspired by the National Museum of Anthropology in México and the Columbian Gold museum.

3.  The plaza was proposed as a way to support the growing population of residents and tourists in the Central Valley.  People are meant to be the main attraction of the plaza.  This is why a fountain was built and spaces were left for the many stores and restaurants.

4.  The interior finishes include concrete, marble from Nicoya, glass partitions, stainless steel on pillars and solid cenizaro wood on the handrails and exhibition hall floors.

5.  The Museos del Banco Central is the most secure building in San José.  Architects had to find a way to construct a building that could withstand earthquakes.  What they came up with was a single piece structure made with excavation slopes that is so secure, a person can’t feel earthquakes when inside, said Fernandez.

6.  The half block located on the north side of Teatro Nacional where the plaza now sits was a commercial area.  Everything had to be demolished to make room for the construction.

7.  During the excavation stage, the hole workers were digging was flooded due to the constant rain.  What resulted was a 3-foot-deep swimming pool of which children took advantage.  It later was dubbed the “Culture hole.”   Finally the water was pumped, and work continued.

Overall, the structure that is the plaza and bank museums is an intelligent work and a pride for Costa Rica, said Fernández.

Visitors can learn more about the plaza in a new exhibit at the museum entitled Exhibición Punto y Contrapunto: 30 aniversario de la Plaza de la Cultura.  It opens today.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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

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

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

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

Costa Rica news summaries are diabled
on archived pages.

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica

Top story news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 233
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judicial vigil
A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson
Vigil at the court complex included candles and speeches
Evening turnout designed to defend judicial independence
By Kayla Pearson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Workers from various judicial departments and the community came together Wednesday evening for a vigil in honor of the country’s democracy, they said.

“This vigil is to avoid influence of political parties in the justice administration,” said Ricardo Salas of the Sala III high court.

“We are defending judicial independence. This means that judges are meant only to respond to the Constitution and laws to solve cases not to the politics,” he said.

The idea for the vigil came when legislators voted against the re-election of the Sala IV magistrate, Fernando Cruz Castro.

However attendees of the vigil such as Monica Cruz stress that
 the event was more about the principle of the state of politics than whether Cruz will get his job back.

According to Tito Vega from the Amigos de la Paz group, the situation of the magistrate is the fault of the Partido Liberación Nacional and the action can not go unnoticed.

“Now we are in this fight,” he said.  “The fight continues against the politics of Costa Rica.

The vigil, which began at 5 p.m., had performances by different artists and speeches took place every half hour.

Participants held signs and red white and blue lanterns against the night sky to show their support for the cause.

Lawmakers voted last week but the decision is being challenged, and the whole issue will be decided by the constitutional court.

Fire at Ecuadorian Embassy appears to have been arson
By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators determined that a fire that severely damaged the Embassy of Ecuador in San José Wednesday morning was set intentionally.

An investigating unit from the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica found numerous locations where the fire started and also found materials meant to intensify the flames.

A press release from the Judicial Investigating Organization did not go so far as to call it arson, but admitted that agents found evidence that the fire was intentional.

No one was hurt in the fire, but a report from the fire fighters said that the entire second floor of the building suffered damages from the flames.
According to the fire fighters’ report, the alarm came in at 5:05 Wednesday morning. Crews arrived 5:10 a.m. and the fire was under control by 5:30.

The embassy is in Rohrmoser.

The fire agency conducted an investigation of the cause of the fire afterwards, and arson experts reported that they found four separate points where fires started. Additionally, they also said they found evidence of chemicals to stoke and accelerate the fire in seven different places throughout the building. Bundled newspapers soaked in the chemicals were stuffed under doors.

Judicial investigators also conducted their own investigation of the fire. While they have not officially ruled the fire an arson, investigators did admit that a canine unit found evidence that backs up the fire fighters’ assessment.

Del Rey nightlife

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, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 233
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                vacation promo

Legislative committee votes
to advance gag law fixes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers hurried through a reform of a new and controversial law Wednesday in an effort to change what has become known as the gag law.

The members of the Comisión de Derechos Humanos sent the measure forward despite the wishes of one member that experts and representatives of interested organizations be brought in to give their views.

This is the measure that would penalize the distribution of what are called political secrets. Journalism organizations have said this was an effort by lawmakers to protect themselves from negative news.

Coincidentally, one of the lawmakers coordinating this effort is Jorge Angulo Mora. He has been accused of influence peddling and is facing criminal proceedings. The news media spearheaded a look into this situation.

The text of the proposed changes to the existing law was not available Wednesday night. Reports from the legislature said that the new rewrite would exempt journalistic efforts from the law's penalties. Some penalties also have been reduced.

Those who have protested the law have pointed out that not just news people are affected by the new law but that citizens, too, have a right to look into government activities.

The proposed rewrite creates a new section in the law that prevents punishment for those who seek information that is deemed to be in the public interest except as it relates to minors.

Oscar Alfaro Zamora, a member of the committee said Wednesday that he would prefer to hear from experts and representatives of the journalistic community before sending the measure forward. But that idea was rejected by the majority of the committee.

The original bill that generated so much controversy when it was published earlier this month in the La Gazeta official newspaper had gone through all the agencies that review proposed legislation including the courts. The Colegio de Periodistas, the journalistic professional group, has been protesting the measure for months but it passed the legislation anyway and was signed into law by President Laura Chinchilla.

The existing law provides prison for from four to eight years for disclosing political secrets, among other offenses. The colegio argues that this would prevent investigative reporting.

Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería photo
These are some of the confiscated documents.

Anonymous tips launched
fake document investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The immigration agency said Wednesday that an anonymous tip initiated an investigation into false documents.

The agency, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, also said that the alleged leader of the forgery ring has been jailed for three months preventative detention. He was identified by the last names of Castillo Rojas.

The bulk of the forged documents in the case are residency cédulas and work permits, the agency said. The bulk of the customers were Nicaraguan citizens who were offered the documents outside the La Uruca office of the immigration agency or in the various parks in the city, the agency said.

The Policía Profesional de Migración has been investigating the case since September, the agency said.

The work permits were sold to many persons who began work as bus drivers, said the agency. The forgery ring charged 45,000 colons for a work permit and 65,000 for a cédula, the immigration agency said. That's from about $90 to $130,

The ring also fabricated driver's licenses and permits to carry firearms in an apartment in San Sebastián, the agency said.

Lawmakers send forward
bill to fix prices of drugs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Citing their obligation to guarantee protection of the lives and health of residents, a legislative committee Wednesday sent forward a bill that would establish price controls on medicines in Costa Rica.

The bill, No. 17738, is in response to studies that the committee cited that show differences in medicine prices of as much as 243 percent for brand names and as much as 472 percent for generics, according to Siany Villalobos Argüello, a legislator.

The measure now goes to the full Asamblea Legislativa for possible action.

The legislation, said committee members, will give the government the power to stop abuses. The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio would be in charge of monitoring prices and assessing penalties.

Weather expected to continue
to be wet and windy for today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There's more of the same for today, according to the weather forecast.

A steady rain drenched the Central Valley overnight, and Ruta 32 north of San José remains closed during night hours due to the possibility of slides.

Rains were expected to continue today in the Central Valley, the north Pacific and along the Caribbean coast and in the northern zone. There is a possibility of heavy rain in parts of the central and southern Pacific later today.

The heaviest rains were predicted for the Caribbean coast today with much of the accumulation in the mountains.

Strong winds will continue, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

Embassy is closed today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Embassy will be closed today to mark U.S. Thanksgiving, a staffer said Wednesday.

The diplomats join other U.S. expats who will be marking the day with turkey and the trimming.

Your links to a great vacation
or retirement

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

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
Customized vacation packages to Costa Rica planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715. You can sit back and relax while we plan your dream Costa Rica Vacation.

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

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

view from the house
An evening View from George’s Puriscal home
The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 (as reported by the moving companies)

Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life. Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off. Ask the others what you get for your money,
   and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 233
Real Estate
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                vacations in Costa Rica

Drought cuts production
of famed Spanish olive oil

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A severe drought is projected to cut sharply into Spain's olive harvest.  The Mediterranean country is the world's largest supplier of olive oil.  A drop in production will most inevitably mean customers from Australia to China will pay more at the supermarket, not right away, but in the longer term. 

Spain’s olive oil output during the 2011-2012 production year was a record one and a half million tons, causing wholesale prices to fall to a 10-year low.

But this year has been the second driest in 60 years, and the 2011-2012 winter was unusually cold.

Although it’s been a rainy fall in the main producing region of Andalucía, the industry projects that production for 2012-2013 could be as little as half of what it was last year.

Spain exports 60 percent of its olive oil to more than 100 countries.

Outside of the European Union, its biggest customers are the United States, Australia, Russia, Brazil and China.

Rafael Pico, director general of the Spanish association of olive oil exporters, believes that carryover stock will compensate for losses and the supply should meet the demand in foreign markets.

Concerns over production caused wholesale prices to surge 60 percent between July and October, but he notes that hasn’t affected exports.

Film and TV industries
leaving L.A. for better deals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, is what many people call the entertainment capital of the world.  But much of the city's television and film industry is leaving Los Angeles for other cities in the United States and other countries.

Steve Michelson is part owner of a catering company that feeds the cast and crew of several Los Angeles-based shows.  He says that in recent years, business has not been good.

"I have individuals doing jobs that two or three people used to do," said Michelson.  "A company yesterday called me. They have five catering trucks they want to sell me.  They want to go out of business."

Some caterers for the television and film industry are leaving Los Angeles, following productions to other cities.

The president of Film LA, Paul Audley, said there has been a dramatic change, particularly in the television industry.

"This year, for example, we know of the 23 new television dramas," Audley noted.  "Twenty-one of them are going out of state and they used to virtually all be filmed here.  We had more than 80 percent of television, and now we're down to about 40 percent."

Universal Television's Bela Bajaria says studio executives consider two main factors when deciding where to shoot a film or TV show.

"A big part of it is obviously creatively, that we can really realize what's on the page.  The other equally as important part is actually a tax incentive," Bajaria explained. 

Bajaria says cities outside of Los Angeles started becoming attractive to studios about a decade ago. 

"It was about 10 years ago, New Orleans really came out with some first tax credits and a couple of the other states really followed."

Sergeant demoted in death
of mistreated soldier, 19

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A military court in the U.S. state of North Carolina has convicted a staff sergeant in the hazing-related death of Private Danny Chen, a Chinese-American soldier who killed himself while on duty in Afghanistan.
The court-martial in Fort Bragg convicted Andrew VonBockel of one specification of hazing, three specifications of dereliction of duty and two specifications of maltreatment. 

The jury sentenced Van Bockel Wednesday to a reprimand, reduction in rank two levels and 60 days of hard labor, 45 of which the court determined he had already served in pre-trial confinement.
The accused is one of eight soldiers charged in relation to the death of Chen, who shot himself in the head on Oct. 3, 2011, after repeated physical and emotional mistreatment by members of his unit.
George Wright, a spokesman for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon, said Wednesday that the Army respects the decision of the jury. 
But Elizabeth OuYang, president of the New York branch of the Organization of Chinese Americans, expressed outrage over the sentence, which she called light. She said what VanBockel did to Chen was not corrective training but torture. 
Chen, a 19-year-old U.S.-born native of New York City, was one of the weaker members of his platoon who, at times, forgot his equipment and fell asleep on duty.
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We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 233
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Funeral of Tim Hodgson
was held Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The funeral for Tim Hodgson, a partner in the downtown Hotel Del Ray, was held Wednesday.  The long-time businessman here is believed to have died from a heart attack. 

Hodgson is originally from England and came to Costa Rica in 1993 where he and a group of partners bought and remodeled an old apartment building.  The apartment was turned into the now iconic Hotel Del Rey that is located in the center of San José at Avenida Primera and Calle 9.  Complete with a bar and casino, the establishment features a bustling night life. 

Apart from his working success, Hodgson will be remembered for his grey, waxed handlebar mustache and his triumph over adversity.  During the 1990's  while on a vacation in Cuba he suffered a motorcycle accident that cost him a leg, leaving him to live the duration of his life with a prosthetic limb.

His moral outlook can be summarized by the Englishman's favorite quote listed on his Facebook page, “Avoid having your toes trodden on, don't tread on other peoples toes.”

A friend described Hodgson as a proper English gentleman and said he was an avid fisherman. The friend, Dan Wise of Rio Colorado Lodge in northeast Costa Rica, said that Hodgson would visit the area at least six times a year. The place is known for tarpon fishing.

Zapote business operator
is first to get online permit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Officials said Wednesday that a Zapote bar owner has become the first person to successfully obtain a business license or patente by use of an online Web site.

The business is Brasero Grill, and the owner, identified as  Diego Francisco Guzmán Villalobos, obtained his license in 10 working days.

The Web site is Despite the name, only notaries can actually create a business entity via an online link with the Registro Nacional. But any citizen with the appropriate documents and a digital signature card can obtain a business license as an individual or for a corporation.

In the case of the Zapote establishment, the license came from the Municipalidad de San José.

The owner had to obtain at the same time permits from the Ministerio de Salud and an environmental permit, said the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, which promoted the use of the Web site.

The user makes applications for all the required documents online and at the same time, officials said.

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