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(506) 2223-1327                                  San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232                                   Email us
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Ministry launches campaign against smuggled alcohol
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The finance ministry embarked on a campaign Monday to combat smuggled alcohol, but by the ministry's own figures some 60 percent of the contraband comes in through legal channels.

That alcohol passes through the customs inspections valued at a price much lower than the actual one, said the ministry. The practice costs the country about $24 million in uncollected duties, based on figures provided by the Ministerio de Hacienda.

The ministry and the Cámara de Comercio de Costa Rica announced the campaign. Brand name alcohol products in Costa Rica generally have a retail price double of those in the United States.

And the Policia Fiscal said that from January to September the agency confiscated 213,403 containers of alcoholic drinks. These primarily are products being smuggled in from Panamá where prices are lower.

The total lost in customs duty is $40 million a year, said the ministry. The real numbers are difficult to obtain because of the illegality, but the ministry used figures provided by an international monitoring service.

The emphasis of the campaign is to encourage individuals to avoid buying alcohol products that are cut-rate, a sign that they might be smuggled.

Although there are covert distillers and bottlers in Costa Rica, the ministry said that smuggled alcohol is about 91 percent of what is sold illegally. And illegal alcohol represents 21 percent of the total market, it said.

Although the typical image of a smuggler is someone navigating back roads on the way from Panamá, the ministry figures show that the most successful smugglers use a pencil or computer.

They call it subvaloración or the reporting of a cheaper price on quality goods. This practice is not restricted to importers of alcohol, and many other goods come into
the country with a false and lower price.
Jck Daniels
A.M. Costa Rica graphic

This practice requires either the inattention or complicity of customs agents. The value of a bottle of Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker is easy to determine.

The ministry did not address this point. The ministry also did not mention cigarettes, which are smuggled frequently.

There have been some spectacular evasions. Several years ago, tax police found out that shipping containers of guaro produced by the state-run Fábrica Nacional de Licores were being diverted from tax-free exports to the local market. 

Fernando Rodriguez, a vice minister in the Ministerio de Hacienda, however, attributed the illegal alcohol to organized crime and said criminals were infiltrating Costa Rican homes via illegal alcohol.

The ministry urged those purchasing alcohol to do so only at recognized retail outlets that can provide formal receipts or facturas and not at informal outlets where vendors probably do not collect sales tax.

The ministry and chamber announcement coincides with the beginning of the Christmas season where many parties and gathering will feature alcohol.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Espinoza picked to lead investigators
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Walter Espinoza Espinoza, best known to expats as a prosecutor in the Oswaldo Villalobo case, became head of the Judicial Investigating Organization Monday.

Espinoza was one of six that a nominating committee put forward to the full Corte Suprema de Justicia. The naming was by a vote of the assembled supreme court magistrates.

Then Espinoza was sworn in immediately. He will take office Dec. 1.

Espinoza, 47, has been the organized crime prosecutor and promised that he would continue that fight and also seek cases against those damaging the state via corruption.

The Judicial Investigating Organization is an agency of the courts and works with prosecutors to put together cases.

Espinoza was involved in the investigation of Luis Enrique Villalobos and the conviction of his brother, Oswaldo. They ran a high-interest borrowing operation that ended up defaulting in 2002 and hurting many foreign depositors.

Espinoza joined the judiciary in 1989 and has held increasingly important positions.

Attempted break-in an embarrassment

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 26-year-old crook from Ticabán has been thrust into the limelight and has become an embarrassment for prison officials.

The man with the last name of  Sequeira was caught trying to break into a soda Nov. 19. A flagrancy judge in the Tribunal de Flagrancia de Pococí gave him five months Friday.

But that was the least of his problems. It turns out that the man received early release on a five-year robbery sentence. So he has also put into the limelight the policies of the Instituto Nacional de Criminología that supervises such releases.

The institute said Monday that Sequeira was sentenced to five years in September 2014, but he was released to what is known as a semi-institutional setting last October.

He was supposed to live with his mother and work as a radio dispatcher for a taxi company. Usually in a semi-institutional setting felons may only spend one night a week in custody.

The Instituto Nacional de Criminología said in a statement that the man is the only person who has benefited from a specific program of early release who has been convicted of a new crime.

The program went into effect in late August after a Sala IV constitutional court ruling said that the prison population must be reduced.

Under the plan some 570 prisoners are being moved from prisons to the semi-institutional settings. The program is controversial.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the institute and the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz has suspended the transfers for December, ostensibly because key persons are on vacation.

Meanwhile, Sequeira has been remanded to prison to complete the remainder of his robbery sentence and the five months for the attempted break-in, said the institute.

The institute said that from 2006 to 2014, 313 of 10,477 persons in these semi-institutional settings committed another crime.

Another water outage for Escazú area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados says it will be turning off the water again today for some 43,000 persons in Escazú and points west.

The water company blamed the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz for cutting power used to run pumps.

The same area was hit with an outage last week when the state water company said it had to do maintenance.

The outage area will include San Rafael de Escazú, Santa Ana including Pozos, Piedades, Brasil and Ciudad Colón in Mora.

The outage will begin at 9 a.m. and the water will be back flowing at 5 p.m., said the company.

Correos says it's ready for Black Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Black Friday, the marketeers dream, is just a few days away, and Correos de Costa Rica reports that its delivery of items purchased through the Internet has increased 40 percent this year over 2014.

The nation's postal agency is trying to make a transition from delivering mail to other services. The post office now is involved in issuing license plates, passports and other government documents.

But it is Box Correo, the package delivery service, that the post office is touting at Christmas. Correos said that each of its 100 branches can handle Internet deliveries.

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Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232
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Theater production will mark 10 years of boyero UNESCO designation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culture ministry is pulling all the stops to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the international designation of the tradition of boyero.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization listed the oxcart tradition as intangible human heritage in 2005.

So Wednesday the ministry plans a big celebration. But oxen are not invited. The event will be in the Teatro Nacional.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is linking the celebration with the campout that oxcart drivers will hold Saturday in Parque La Sabana and the traditional oxcart parade Sunday in San José.

The event Wednesday will be at 5 p.m. with young musicians from San Ramón performing along with videos and poems and songs of the countryside, said the ministry.

Also sponsoring the event is the Asociación Boyera Costarricense.

The boyero or oxcart driver and the massive bueyes, the oxen, are an integral part of the country's history. The government has even decreed that mention of the tradition be placed in the public school curriculum.

The oxcart was a major means of transportation through the early part of the 20th century. The brightly painted

Museo Nacional photo
The statue in the cart is of San Isidro Labrador, the patron of those in agriculture. The saint gets a ride on his liturgical feast day.

carts and the unique painted wooden wheels now are emblematic of the country.

Starting at noon Saturday there will be demonstrations of boyero skills, dancing and stories at Parque la Sabana. Such an overnight gathering is called a sesteo in Spanish.

Sunday the oxcart parade is called the Entrada de los Santos because the carts will carry life-size wooden figures of Catholic saints.

The ministry now says that the parade will begin at 10 a.m., but early reports said 9 a.m. The time notwithstanding, the beginning of the parade always is determined by the the speed of organizing the carts.

Aviation officials decide to allow evening operations at Pavas airport
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Civil aviation authorities thought they would save some money by closing the Tobías Bolaños airport in Pavas during hours of darkness. After the announcement Oct. 1, the protests were many.

Now the Dirección General de Aviación Civil says that the airport will remain open from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. for flights within Costa Rica.

The airport also will be in service 24 hours a day for

ambulance flights, said the agency.

Airport police are at the airport around the clock, and they have tested the landing lights during a simulation, said the aviation agency.

The agency estimated that it could save 180 million colons a year by closing the airport at 6 p.m. That's about $340,000 for a government that has a big deficit.

The airport is an alternate for Juan Santamaría airport and caters to general aviation and national flights.

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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232
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Swedish study reports that health dangers lurk even in breezes from sea
By the Lund University news staff

New data presented by researchers at Lund University and others in the journal Oceanologia show that the air along the coasts is full of hazardous nanoparticles from sea traffic. Almost half of the measured particles stem from sea traffic emissions, while the rest is deemed to be mainly from cars but also biomass combustion, industries and natural particles from the sea.

“This is the first time an attempt has been made to estimate the proportion of nanoparticles stemming from sea traffic. The different types of nanoparticles have previously not been distinguished, but this new method makes it possible”, says Adam Kristensson, researcher in aerosol technology at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden.

“Previously, we thought that land-based pollution from northern European countries and emissions of natural particles from the surface of the sea accounted for a much larger proportion,” he says.

Nanoparticles can be hazardous to health as they, because of their small size, can penetrate deeper into the lungs than larger particles contributing to both cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. A cubic centimeter can contain several thousand nanoparticles.

To arrive at these results, Kristensson and his colleagues have studied the air flow from their measuring station in southern Sweden as it passes over the Baltic Sea, all the way to the measuring station on the Lithuanian coast. The wind often

travels towards the east, and the particles can travel long distances before they are trapped in lungs or washed away by the rain. They have also studied the air flow from a station in the Finnish archipelago towards the Lithuanian station.

Kristensson explained the research team's work and the recent findings:

By comparing levels of nanoparticles, the researchers can draw conclusions about the respective proportions that stem from cars and other emissions, and sea traffic.

Particles from sea traffic in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are expected to contribute to 10,000 premature deaths every year, but Kristensson stresses that this estimate is very uncertain, and believes that it is important to continue to conduct these types of measurements.

He also advocates stricter legislation.

“It is especially important to continue to set stricter caps on nitrogen oxides and sulphate content from ship fuel."

Future regulations will hopefully reduce the emissions of harmful nanoparticles, especially soot particles, which are considered the most hazardous.

“This year a new regulation was introduced for the North Sea and the Baltic Sea that limits the sulphate content in fuel to 0.1 percent," Kristensson noted. "As researchers, we still have to look at what positive effects this has had so far with regard to the particle levels.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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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.
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Real Estate
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232
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U.S. State Department issues
world travel alert on terror

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As millions of Americans are getting ready to head out of town for the holidays, the State Department put out a worldwide travel alert.

"Current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," the department said in issuing the warning Monday and using the acronym of the Islamic State.

The FBI maintains there is no specific, credible terrorist threat to the U.S., but local and federal law enforcement are on high alert ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and the Black Friday shopping extravaganza that follows, bringing out travelers and shoppers in full force.

Transportation Security Administration workers, who typically process 2 million people a day, will see a 40 percent increase in passengers over the holidays, the agency said.

In New York, additional police officers will patrol major rail hubs. In a show of force, police Sunday ran through active shooter drills in the city's subway system.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday there's a new app residents can download that will help enhance the state's ability to fight terrorism. The new campaign, called "See Something, Send Something," is designed to encourage New Yorkers to report suspicious activity.

"We have stepped up our preparedness in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, and we continue to remain vigilant against those who seek to spread fear and violence," Cuomo said in a statement.

An estimated 46.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of 300,000 over last year and the most since 2007, according to AAA Travel.

The vast majority of those, 42 million Americans, will be driving.

Some 3.6 million Americans are flying to their holiday destinations, a 0.1 percent increase from last year.

AAA Travel defines the Thanksgiving holiday period this year as Wednesday to Sunday.

Catholic church importing
African priests to U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Issac Makovo's smile grows and his eyes twinkle when he talks about his hometown of Mombasa, Kenya. Makovo is in his third year of ministry in a Catholic church located in the small community of Hickory, Maryland.

Makovo was recruited by a Kenyan vocation director who was studying in the United States.

"He asked me, 'Did I want to experience being a priest in a different way, in a different culture?' " he recalled. "At first I was very reluctant because I was comfortable. I knew my culture. I knew my people."

But deep thought and prayer bridged the gap, he said. Now he's the associate pastor at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in the mainly white community.

Makovo says everything is different in Maryland. The Mass is more solemn, whereas in Kenya it is lively, filled with dancing and singing. The same is true for the ministry. The congregation in Kenya, he said, "they ask for help. They have kids in school, and they can't afford the school fees. Most of the time it is financial."

"Here, family life in the U.S. is a big challenge. It's living in a world where there is so much material prosperity and information everywhere. It's very difficult raising your children to your expectations and the expectations of the church," he said.

There are more than 6,500 foreign-born Catholic priests in the United States, a fourth of the total number of clergy, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

Over the last 50 years, U.S. Catholics increased from 46.3 million to 66.6 million, while the number of priests dropped by a third from 58,632 to 38,275.

Meanwhile in Africa, the number of priests more than doubled. So the United States started recruiting its clergy.

Mary Gautier of the research center wrote the 2014 book "Bridging the Gap: International Priests Ministering in the United States." She says more than 1,000 U.S. Catholic priests are of African descent. More than 600 are Nigerian and 70, like Makovo, are Kenyan.

Ms. Gautier says the United States is not experiencing the kind of shortage of priests that other countries are, but it is a shortage for Catholics used to having more than one or two priests in a church.

"I don't think it's wrong for us to be attracting these men, but I also think we have to be very conscious and intentional about not exploiting their situation or their need," says Phillip Brown, a priest and rector at the Theological College, the national seminary of the Catholic University of America. His religious order doesn't recruit priests. Members travel to Zambia to develop the church there.

Brown understands the attraction of the United States to foreign-born clergy.

"I mean priests who come here from a Third-World country enjoy a lifestyle as a priest which we would consider to be pretty modest,” he said. A lifestyle “which is beyond what they would have ever dreamed of in their own country. So I think that makes it attractive."

To help clergy from abroad avoid culture shock, the Conference of Catholic Bishops released a document detailing policy and procedures for welcoming foreign-born priests.

Makovo is missing the visit of Pope Francis to Kenya next week. His old church in Kenya and others like it have composed new songs in preparation, and almost a million people are expected at the Mass in Nairobi Thursday.

"The expectations are very high. The spirits are very high," he said.

He added that it's a good year for Kenya: first with President Barack Obama's visit, and then a visit by the pope.

Makovo chats daily with his family, three sisters and a brother, in Kenya.

"To be honest with you sometimes I miss them ... a lot," he said.

He says he has no plans to retire in the United States. One day, he will return home to Africa, where everything is a little more familiar.  

U.S. drone registrations
might come by Christmas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A mandatory consumer drone registration system could be in place in the United States by Christmas after an industry task force delivered its proposals for the new rules to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The group, which included representatives from retailers, drone manufacturers, hobbyists, law enforcement and the aviation industry, was asked to come up with recommendations in time for the holiday season, when an estimated 700,000 new unmanned aircraft could be sold.

“This community is serious about being accountable and taking pro-active steps to help the FAA,” GoogleX’s Dave Vos said in a conference call with reporters Monday.

Vos, who co-chaired the 25-member task force, said the recommendations were left general enough so as not to constrain growth in the industry by limiting technology, “since we don’t know what the future will bring.”

Owners of unmanned aircraft weighing 0.25 kilogram to 25 kilograms (0.55 to 55 pounds) would be required to register their vehicles online and mark the registration number (or a registered serial number) on all applicable drones.

Only one registration number would be issued per owner and no fee would be required.

“The FAA is reviewing the task force report and over 4,000 comments submitted by the public. . . ,” said Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.

Presently, there is no easy way for anyone to identify to whom a drone belongs to who is operating it, besides physically locating the person.

For that reason, the task force recommended that the drone owner’s name and physical street address be the only information required for registration.

“We want a simpler system for drones as opposed to for multi-million dollar assets,” Lawrence said.

The new rules will likely go into effect sometime in December.

Registration will instill a sense of accountability and responsibility among Unmanned Aircraft Systems pilots, and also will prompt them to become educated about safe flying in the national airspace system, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a blog post last week.

“For those who choose to ignore the rules and fly unsafely, registration is a tool that will assist us and our law enforcement partners in finding them," he said.

The need to register unmanned aircraft was spurred by the growing number of reported close calls as planes fly into and out of some of the nation's biggest airports.

The FAA now receives about 100 reports a month from pilots who say they've seen drones flying near planes and airports, compared with only a few sightings per month last year.

Drones have also interfered with California wildfire operations and buzzed near major sporting events.

UK's Cameron offers France
new assistance in Syria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

British Prime Minister David Cameron offered France new assistance Monday for its air strikes against Islamic State insurgents in Syria and said he would ask the British parliament later in the week for approval to join the fight against the jihadists.

In a visit to Paris, the British leader told French President Francois Hollande that French jet fighters could use a British airbase in Cyprus to launch their attacks on Islamic State targets and also offered air-to-air refueling services.

"I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria and it is my firm conviction that Britain should do so, too," Cameron said, using an acronym for Islamic State. Britain is already bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq.

France is intensifying its attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria in the aftermath of the deadly Paris attacks that killed at least 130 people and wounded more than 300 others. Paris moved its sole aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, into position in the Mediterranean on Monday and could use the Cyprus base as an alternate launch base.

Hollande is embarking on a round of high-level talks with world leaders, seeking to enlist their support in a coordinated attack on the militants. He is headed to Washington for a strategy session today with U.S. President Barack Obama and later in the week to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hollande is also meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The White House said Obama and Hollande will discuss further cooperation as part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been conducting air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria for more than a year.

French warplanes have been part of that effort, and officials said the desire for greater action does not include expanding the operation to include ground troops into Syria. Hollande said Monday his military will intensify its Syria strikes.

France sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last week that urges all able countries to work to prevent and suppress terrorist acts by Islamic State and other groups, and to eradicate the safe haven they have carved out in eastern Syria and northern and western sections of Iraq.

The measure, which condemns Islamic State attacks this year in France, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon, says the militants represent a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.

Russia has been bombing in Syria for nearly two months, but its campaign has faced criticism from Western governments that say the strikes have focused on rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and not the Islamic State group. In recent days, however, since Russia concluded that terrorists downed a Russian passenger jet last month over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Moscow has bombed Raqqa, the self-proclaimed Islamic State capital in northern Syria.

Obama said Sunday that he thinks the bombing of the Russian plane is leading to an increasing awareness on Putin's part that the Islamic State group is Russia's biggest threat in the Middle East.

Homeland Security official
defends Syrian resettlement

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is defending its ability to screen refugee applicants following the deadly attacks in Paris, and officials there say that state governors who want to refuse Syrian refugees on security grounds have unfounded fears.

The department's deputy secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, told reporters on a conference call Monday that he is confident the governors' concerns will be adequately addressed. He said they will "be able to stand tall and accept refugees across the country." Mayorkas said the administration "strongly believes that the governors' fears are not well founded."

More than two dozen U.S. governors are balking at letting Syrian refugees settle in their states, after the discovery that one of the Paris attackers slipped into Europe in the wave of Syrian migrants escaping that country's war.

The governors called for an end to plans to resettle as many as 10,000 Syrians in the United States over the next year, in a debate that has mirrored discussions in European countries over whether resettlements endanger security.

Last week, the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bill that would require top U.S. national security officials to certify that each individual migrant from Iraq and Syria is not a national security threat to the United States before being granted asylum. President Barack Obama is promising to veto the measure if it passes the Senate.

Mayorkas said Monday the bill is impractical and would mean that the top U.S. national security officials would need to spend most of their working hours reviewing refugee applications.

Mayorkas also said that the case of the Paris attacker who entered France as a refugee is very different from the U.S. refuge application process that takes 18-24 months. He said the U.S. vetting process includes an initial screening by the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, security checks by the both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a medical screening, an in-person interview, and additional security vetting for young Syrian and Iraqi males.

Also speaking to reporters on Monday's conference call, which was organized by the White House, were the mayors of Detroit and Austin, who said they welcome Syrian refugees despite the pushback by their states' Republican governors. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says his city can support 50 Syrian families annually for the next three years. Austin Mayor Steve Adler says Americans need to defend the country's values when it's hard, not just when it's easy.

A new poll from The Washington Post and ABC News shows that a majority of Americans oppose resettling Syrian refugees in the United States. It also shows that 28 percent of Americans list terrorism as their top issue in next year's presidential contest, topped only by the economy at 33 percent.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

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

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife.  very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or


There are many good reasons for moving to or investing in Costa Rica

Are you worried about the safety of the money in your 401k?  Do you think your government has painted a bullseye on all of your assets?  Do you believe it might be time to consider moving some money overseas just in case?  This property, at a distress sales price of only $140,000, should gross a 7-10% return this year and the bookings for this season aren’t all in yet.  The best part from a buyer’s standpoint is that it is utilizing only a fraction of its potential.  What’s wrong here?  Divorce, and a lack of funds needed to make the necessary value-added improvements.  Rental manager says rents could double with moderate invesement, but the current owners are unable to resolve those problems, so selling is their only way out.  This extra-large lot with its modern 2-bedroom home was intended to service a dozen or more apartments to be built on the rear, a really great plan, but that was before the wheels came off of the marriage.  It is a really good investment property in a very desirable location, earning a much better safe return than stocks and bonds, but it is also perfect for buyers who only want to follow the original plan and live in the existing home while building out the rest for a comfortable retirement.  Perfect, too, for the person who intends to move to Costa Rica in the future and wants to buy at today’s prices, but needs a property which will carry itself until that time comes.  To find out more about this opportunity contact: or phone 506-8377-8402.

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goetl in Palo Seco

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

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

Pacific Sur montagee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 232
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Coffee considered OK during pregnancy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pregnant women can consume moderate amounts of coffee without harming their child, a new study suggests.
Writing in the journal American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio said moderate caffeine intake won’t negatively impact a child’s intelligence or cause behavioral problems.
“We did not find evidence of an adverse association of maternal pregnancy caffeine consumption with child cognition or behavior at 4 or 7 years of age,” said Mark A. Klebanoff at Nationwide.
For the study, researchers monitored a marker of caffeine in the blood of nearly 2,200 expectant mothers who took part in the Collaborative Perinatal Project, which was conducted from 1959 to 1974 at various locations in the United States.
During that time frame, coffee consumption during pregnancy was more common than today, researchers said.
Researchers found there were “no consistent patterns between maternal caffeine ingestion and the development and behavior of those children at those points in their lives.”
Caffeine also didn’t appear to cause obesity among the children studied, having found that only 11 percent were considered obese at age 4 and only 7 percent were obese at 7.
“Taken as a whole, we consider our results to be reassuring for pregnant women who consume moderate amounts of caffeine or the equivalent to one or two cups of coffee per day,” said Sarah Keim, who is also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Electronic devices are improving the ride

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New cars increasingly use connected technology, and incremental improvements in automotive electronics are making cars safer and smarter.

Some new models are flashy and others are fuel efficient, and embedded technology is at the heart of all of them. 

The new Ford Escape has a radar-enabled adaptive cruise control to avoid collisions, with sensors on the front and side of the car.  Ford's Mark Schirmer says the electronic system can be accessed through the dashboard or a smartphone.

“Where I am from, in Michigan, if it is a cold morning, I can have it start up right before I am scheduled to leave to go to the airport or go to work.  You can find your car or if one of your family members, a kid, borrowed the car, it will show you exactly where it is," said Schirmer.

Third-party products now in development, like an emergency warning system, help drivers who fail to hear an approaching siren.  A near-miss with an ambulance inspired the product from the Chicago start-up HAAS, co-founded by Cory Hohs. 

“It scared me enough that I started looking for a product that would alert me when they are coming," said Hohs.

A sobriety detector from a Canadian company called Sober Steering is sold to companies with fleets of vehicles, such as buses.  Chief Operating Officer Catherine Carroll says a sensor on the steering wheel can detect alcohol vapors emitted from the skin.

“If I am drinking and I have levels above a preset limit, it immobilizes the vehicle, so you can not move the vehicle that you are driving," said Ms. Carroll.

The system alerts the fleet manager that the vehicle and the driver have a problem.

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From Page 7:

Pfizer merger will save on U.S. taxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two large drugmakers, U.S.-based Pfizer and Ireland's Allergan, joined forces Monday, creating the world's biggest drug manufacturer.

The $160-billion stock deal will push the combined companies, to be called Pfizer Plc and based in Ireland, past Switzerland's Novartis to the top of the drug industry, based on annual sales of about $60 billion. The companies expect the deal will be completed by the second half of 2016, but antitrust regulators around the world will have to approve it.

The merger was driven by tax considerations, with Pfizer carrying out what is known in the U.S. business world as a tax inversion deal. The practice involves an American company combining with a business located in a foreign country with a lower corporate tax rate, potentially saving millions of dollars annually in U.S. taxes.

Analysts say that with the Pfizer-Allergan merger, Pfizer could cut its annual tax rate from 25 percent in the United States to between 17 and 18 percent in Ireland. U.S. efforts to rein in such deals have proved largely ineffective, and many companies have joined with overseas partners to cut their tax bills.

Pfizer and Allergan produce some of the world's best known drugs. Among many other drugs, Pfizer manufactures pneumonia vaccine Prevnar, erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, and cholesterol fighter Lipitor, while Allergan makes wrinkle-controlling Botox, dementia-inhibitor Namenda and the anti-depressant Fetzima.