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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 237                          Email us
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Major attraction closed due to crimes against tourists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Park officials have closed part of the Parque Ricón de la Vieja in Guanacaste because of what they said was the increase in knife and firearm robberies of tourists there.

This is the first time in memory that a major tourism site has been closed due to criminality.

The announcement came from the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación of the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y  Telecomunicaciones

The announcement said that the closing would be for an indefinite time because of the robberies. Victims have been park workers as well as tourists, said the announcement.

The ministry did not respond immediately to questions about how many robberies have taken place there.

The announcement did say that some 5,000 tourists visit the area, Santa Maria, every month. Santa Marta is one of two sections of the park. Access is near Liberia.

The decision to close the park comes at the beginning of tourism high season.

Alejandro Masís, director of the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, was quoted as saying that tourism has increased considerably there but
Rincon de
                        la Vieja
Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación photo
This is the famed volcano inside the park.

that personnel to handle the visitors had not.

"The incidents of robberies and thefts, the majority with knives and/or guns, of tourists and at the installations of personnel in the sector have been facilitated by the small presence of personnel and these have made this place vulnerable," he said.

The park is the location where an Illinois hiker vanished in 2009. He is David Gimelfarb, then 28 and a doctoral student in the United States. There has been no trace found despite extensive searching.

Officials did not mention this case Tuesday.

The principal attraction of the park is the Rincón de la Vieja volcano. But the area also is one of great natural beauty. Park officials have put the area near the volcano off limits because of eruptions and emissions of gas. Much of the water supply of Liberia comes from the park.

Top officials want experts to meet and fix democracy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Leaders of the three branches of government held what could only be considered a peace parley Tuesday at Casa Presidencial.

President Laura Chinchilla, Víctor Emilio Granados Calvo, president of the Asamblea Legislative, and Luis Paulino Mora Mora, president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, released a statement pledging to work toward a rejuvenation of public institution and to effect changes that the institutions need and that the citizenry demands.

The way to do this is to impanel a group of experts to recommend how to improve democracy and the governability of the country, they said.

The meeting grew out of the vote two weeks ago to deny reelection to a sitting Sala IV constitutional court magistrate. What followed was a wave of criticism directed at the Asamblea Legislativa and a major public relations effort by court workers to retain their independence. The Costa Rican Constitution gives the legislature the right to appoint and reappoint magistrates, but almost never is one denied reelection.

What was not mentioned in the statement Tuesday was that the effort to fire Fernando Cruz Castro appears to have been engineered by Casa Presidencial with the support of its allies in the legislative body. However,  Granados was not present and later opposed the results of the vote.
The statement expressed the signers concern with the events that had produced a confrontation between the judiciary and the legislative assembly.

Since the Arias administration, members of the executive branch have expressed what they said was their inability to govern the country. They blamed the way the Constitution is written, and an effort was started to draw up a new document or to at least make significant changes.

Ms. Chinchilla was frustrated when the Sala IV found fault with the way her massive tax plan passed in the legislature. That killed the plan, although Casa Presidencial has been enacting new taxes bit by bit.

The situation has been made worse by the plummeting public opinions of the president's management.

The effort to fire Cruz was seen as pay back by the legislative and executive branches for some of the decisions in which he participated.

There were certain technicalities in the vote on Cruz that resulted in an appeal to the Sala IV.

That body has not yet made a decision, but Cruz returned triumphantly to his job Monday.

The statement released Tuesday did not give specific changes that the signers sought to effect. Ms. Chinchilla already makes many regulations by decree.

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Partido Liberación Nacional photo 
José María Figueres discusses his plan.

Former president presents
his wish list to lawmakers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Former president José María Figueres Olsen brought his plan for the future of Costa Rica to the legislature Tuesday.

He outlined to lawmakers how he wants a country free of petroleum products in 15 years. He would put solar collectors on the roof of every home and finance the project out of the government pension funds. He also would order the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A., the government petroleum monopoly, to buy non-petroleum fuels, like palm oil and the oils of certain plants at the world market price for petroleum to stimulate agricultural development.

The first item on the list of seven put forth by Figueres is an improvement in the national identity by becoming a powerhouse for sports. He said sports promotes values like ethics, discipline, teamwork and competitiveness.

Figueres characterized the nation as one needing major surgery. He proposed the creation of what he called a consejo social y económico that would be a non-governmental agency that would make known the wishes and desires of the public.

Many of the ideas were developed on a Facebook page with ideas from some 600 persons, he said. His Facebook page has 26,000 followers, he said.

Figueres has said he is not a candidate for nomination for presidency. In fact, he has minimal support among members of his Partido Liberación Nacional. It remains unclear how he hopes to enact his agenda that he calls the Vía Costarricense.

The proposal also is to create two new provinces. One would be in the north including San Carlos, Upala, Los Chiles and Guatuso. The second would be in the south and include Pérez Zeledón, Buenos Aires, Osa, Golfito, Coto Brus and Corredores. The reason would be to bring the residents closer to their provincial government, he said.

He also proposed some form of regional government for the central area of the country, including San José, Curridabat, Moravia, Goicoechea, Tibás, Montes de Oca, Escazú, Alajuelita and Santa Ana. Another proposal is for a maritime region that includes the Gulfo Dulce and Golfito.

His proposals are HERE in Spanish

Figueres also wants to see a referendum next year on proposals to improve governability and democracy.

He said he also wants to create clusters of economic activity with public-private alliances in each province, and he suggested assisted living centers and medical tourism in Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón.

Also on the wish list is something hardly any politician discusses. Figueres said he wants a plan of action to confront climate change. He would put special emphasis on vulnerable areas and pass a climate change law that would establish an intergovernmental hierarchy to institute the plan.

Figueres was greeted warmly by lawmakers who heard his presentation.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 237
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So far, the Teatro Nacional portal remains a mystery. This was the scene Tuesday as workmen put together what could be considered a portal designed by someone like famed modern architect I.M. Pie.

A.M. Costa Rica/Kayla Pearson

Theme of Teatro Nacional nativity scene remains a secret
By Kayla Pearson
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Construction for this year's portal at Teatro Nacional is already under way, and the anticipation is building for the unveiling of the mystery nativity scene.

To find out, vistors will have to wait until the inauguration Saturday at 5 p.m. The event will be coupled with the theater's chorus singing carols.  Another ceremony will be Sunday at 6 p.m., and the carolers will return for a final performance Monday at 5 p.m.

In addition to the portal, the theater will host a program called “Everyday Psalms.” Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. in Sala Principal.

Each year the theater staffers adopt a new theme for the portal. One year the scene was in a rainforest, another year, the structure depicting the birthplace of Jesus was in the desert. This year, as always, workers and theater officials decline to talk about what the scene might be.

Throughout the country, the various museums and cultural centers have many events planed to celebrate the Christmas season.

The Centro Cultural e Histórico José Figueres Ferrer in San Ramón, Alajuela, will host a cooking workshop beginning today with a Christmas cake presentation at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  The event continues Dec. 5 with a session on bocas and cocktails at the same times.  It concludes Dec. 12 with Christmas dinner recipes at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.  Price for this event is 5,000 colons and registration is open.

Aside from cooking, the cultural center will have a workshop centered around portal building from Friday to Dec. 8.  This project has been one the center has sponsored for 15 years. 
Patrons will use modeling clay and waste material to construct their own nativity scenes. The workshop costs 15,000 colons and is held Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Awards for the best portals will be given Dec. 15 at 4:30 p.m. More information can be found by calling 2447-2178.

The Museo Nacional is inviting persons to partake in a Christmas festival next Wednesday which will include the blessing of the portal there, as well as music, theater, workshops, food and crafts.

It is “a day of activities, alluding to Christmas, seeking to awaken the smile of children, youth and adults,” a release said.

The event lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the portal blessing at 12:30 p.m..

Not to be outdone with celebrations, Desamparados will hold an end of the year festival Dec. 14 in Parque La Libertad.  It will include a children's play, tango and hip-hop dance and popular music.

The next day, Dec. 15, is when the Festival de la Luz takes place in San José. Estimates are that as many as a million persons view the parade from the city streets, not counting those who watch on television.  There will be floats, marching bands and other attractions.

The Cultural Historical Museum Juan Santamaría will have a show entitled "Stories and songs of the Nativity" performed by the Armony musical institute at 8 p.m. Dec. 16.   Entrance is 2,500 colons.

Finally, the annual Zapote bull fights will begin Christmas day.  Those who want to view the show have until Jan. 6, which is the day of the final fight.

Latin conference on drugs faces controversial proposal
By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Representatives from all major countries in Latin America are in San José today for a three-day conference to discuss how governments can combat international drug trade and crime.

Among numerous issues, developments and strategies on the agenda for these representatives, one controversial topic is the proposal that countries decriminalize the trade and use of drugs.

The conference is the 52nd Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, also known by its Spanish acronym CICAD.

This commission is a subsidiary of the Organization of American States, and it serves as a forum where countries in the Western Hemisphere can discuss how to control drug use and fight crime, especially drug cartels.

Earlier this month, President Laura Chinchilla alongside leaders from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras signed a statement calling on the commission to study the ramifications of legalizing some drugs, specifically marijuana.

A press release from Casa Presidencial said that countries in Central America are struggling to come up with a strategy to fight drug crime. It also said that enforcing these policies is difficult when every country is policing drugs differently, and Central American governments need to synchronize their efforts.

Although it is unlikely that the commission has even started that study yet, decriminalizing at least some drugs will be one of the key topics according to a press statement from the president's office.
A recent CID/Gallup survey suggests that the vast majority of Costa Ricans oppose such a measure.

This poll, conducted in May of this year, included a special section on this theme in response to Guatemalan President Otto Pérez announcing a plan to legalize drugs.

In that poll of about 1,200 Costa Ricans, 89 percent strongly disagreed with the idea of legalizing the consumption of drugs. Only about 9 percent tepidly agreed with the proposal and less than 1 percent strongly agreed.

In that same survey, about 66 percent of respondents believed that drug consumption would increase dramatically if drugs were legalized. Another 20 percent said that consumption would increase either “a little” or “some.”

The survey also found that 81 percent of respondents believe that crime would increase if drugs were decriminalized.

The tone of this conversation at the conference will be more along the lines of offering medical treatment to drug addicts instead of prison time and not outrightly legalizing drugs, according to a press release.

Additionally, representatives will hear presentations on drug cartels' objectives and operations, developing comprehensive systems to deal with both addicts and crime, results of policy shifts in various countries and other themes.

Costa Rica's deputy corruption prosecutor, Juan Murillo Miranda, will give a presentation on how to counter the corrupting influence of drugs within the government.

The conference will take place at Hotel La Condesa in Heredia, and it will conclude Friday.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 237
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Another cold wave brings
more rain and chill here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican residents should cherish Tuesday because another cold front is coming that will bring more rain and wind.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that much of the soil in the Caribbean coast is saturated by the previous 10 days of rain brought by an earlier cold front. So the region is vulnerable.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias declared an alert for the region.

The weather institute is predicting rain of variable intensity this morning mainly in the mountains. Emergency workers on the coast will be keeping an eye on the rivers. There was some damage last week from rivers flowing out of their banks, said the emergency commission.

The Central Valley will see more of the cold weather that caused residents to break out the winter clothing last week. There also is a prediction of more wind.

By contrast, Tuesday was a sunny day with moderate temperatures and puffy white clouds.

Top Chinese official visits
for three days next week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jia Qinglin, president of the national committee of the Chinese political consultative conference, will visit Costa Rica from Monday through Wednesday in an effort to strengthen ties between the two countries, said a release. 

Jia's visit follows President Laura Chinchilla's August visit to China.

At this time he will meet with Ms. Chinchilla, Victor Emilio Granados, legislative president, and Enrique Castillo, the foreign minister, a release said.
Jia has been president of the national committee since 2003. From November 2002 to November 2012 he served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party Central Committee, and previously served as mayor of Beijing and as governor of Fujian province.
The Chinese political consultative conference is comprised of representatives of different political and social groups in the People's Republic of China. It is considered an important part of the Chinese system, and serves as an advisory body.
The president of the committee will also visit Italy and Argentina as part of his tour.

Computer kiosks will let
business talk to government

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's minister of economy signed an agreement with two leaders of international organizations that will give Costa Rican businesses the ability to contact the government through computer kiosks around the country.

The program, Administratel, allows users to make complaints to the government, file certifications and register themselves as small- or medium-sized businesses at electronic kiosks throughout the country, officials said.

Mayi Antillón, minister of Economía, Industria y Comercio also signed an agreement that will secure resources for a television channel called Euripides, which will air training and informative programs geared towards small business owners and their customers.

Resources for the program will come from the European Foundation for Information Society. The foundation president, Enrique Baron, signed the agreement and gave a speech on cooperation between Central America and Spain.

The Ibero-american General Secretariat also is contributing resources for the program, and was represented by Enrique Iglesias.

These electronic kiosks will be placed in malls and commercial centers around the country, according to a press release issued after the signing Monday. Both programs are expected to come online sometime next year.

International effort manages
to save crew adrift in Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The rescue of three fishermen on a disabled boat some 120 miles off Flamingo was an international effort. 

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas de Costa Rica said that the boat "Río Bravo II" was spotted by a U.S. flag vessel, whose crew reported the situation to the U.S. Embassy in San José. The embassy alerted the Costa Rican coast guard, which coordinated with the U.S. Southern Command to locate vessels in the area..

A British ship, the "Geraldine Manx," intercepted the troubled Costa Rican boat. Eventually the Costa Rican craft was towed to near the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya where a Costa Rican coast guard boat took over and towed the craft to dock in Puntarenas.

The three men on board were identified as Ramón Gómez Gaitán, Jairo Palma Romero and William Bustos Matarrita, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas said.

Yikes! Here come the cops,
said one crook to another

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Good advice for armed robbers would be to make sure the police are not watching when you pull out a gun and try to take money.

Two men violated that work rule Tuesday, and one ended up behind bars.

The Fuerza Pública said the drama played out just 50 meters from a bank in Barrio Carit near the Estación al Pacifico. A messenger was carrying money that train passengers had given the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles when he was confronted by the two men.

Officers of the Grupo de Apoyo Operacional were in the area looking for fugitives and saw the stickup. They quickly detained the man with the gun, the Fuerza Pública said. The second man fled.

The detained man is a candidate for quick justice at a flagrancia court. Police said the suspect has the last names of Paz Luna.

Police said they also confiscated a .25-caliber pistol and recovered the cash, some 3 million colons or about $6,000.

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  people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields.  Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials. See a video about Chris Howard’s Book and Tours Costa Rica HERE! Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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

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

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 237
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                vacations in Costa Rica

Obama and Peña Neto
talk more about trade ties

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Barack Obama hosted Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, at the White House Tuesday. The incoming Mexican leader wants to focus relations with the United States less on the war on drugs and more on trade.

Before their meeting, Obama told reporters the visit reflects Mexico’s growing standing in the world community.

“Mexico has become not simply an important bilateral partner, but is today a very important multilateral, multinational leader on a whole range of issues, from energy to climate change," said Obama.

Mexico’s next president concentrated his remarks mainly on trade and the importance of increased economic integration with the U.S. and other countries.

“We do have the opportunity to grow, but not only that, we also have the opportunity to integrate North America, to be participating in this part of the world, and I am so pleased that this is the situation we are in," said Peña Nieto.

The U.S. is Mexico’s largest trading partner, and trade between the two neighbors has increased immensely in the nearly two decades since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect.

California caters to Chinese
and sees upsurge in guests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of tourists from China visiting the United States.  They have helped boost local economies and businesses expect the growth to continue.  Some businesses in Los Angeles are catering to their needs. 

Visitors to Los Angeles find countless movie studios, endless stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a constant flow of Chinese tourists.
Mark Liberman is with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.

“Los Angeles, we are the city in the United States that more Chinese come to than any other city in the States," said Liberman.

Liberman says there has been a steady increase in the number of tourists from China who visit Los Angeles.  Other popular destinations include San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C.  Economist Ferdinando Guerra, of the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation, says more than 1 million tourists from China visited the United States last year. 

“It is a nearly 40 percent increase from 2010 to 2011," said Guerra.

Joseph Chi of Shine Tours says this year the Los Angeles company has seen an almost 30 percent increase in tour groups from China.

“All the China passport holders, they thought the United States is their dream country like to visit," said Chi.

China’s growing middle class means more can afford to travel overseas.  Like most Chinese tourists, Liu Wei Yie is with a  group.  

He says the United States is currently the world’s most powerful economy.  He says the United States was established with a spirit of independence and competition that he wants to see.

Steven Chou of Universal Studios Hollywood says the number of Chinese tourists has been increasing in the past two to three years, but he says especially this year, after the U.S. government made the visa application faster for Chinese tourists.

“We definitely see the trend to continue.  From my perspective, and from Universal Studios Hollywood we are definitely looking for ways to enhance the experience of the Chinese guests," he said.

At Universal Studios Hollywood, there is a Mandarin movie studio tour, Mandarin speaking employees, and maps in Chinese.  The theme park also has restaurants that serve burgers and fries, and also Chinese food. 

The Montage Beverly Hills also caters to its Chinese guests with Chinese tea in the hotel rooms, handwritten notes in Chinese, and Mandarin speaking staff.

General Manager Hermann Elger says his Chinese clients are businessmen and families.  Many shop on Rodeo Drive, a street famous for its luxury goods.

Guerra says Chinese tourists are contributing billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, which translates to more American jobs.  The U.S. Commerce Department expects the number of tourists from China to double by 2016.

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

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at, or or for more information HERE! $700 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.

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

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical homes
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.
Volcano View!
Santo Domingo de Heredia, gated community
Fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, cable, internet, hot water tank. 300 meters from Mas x Menos supermarket. 700 meters from farmers' market. Bus stop at gate. $600 all utilities paid. Available Jan. 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 237
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Latin America news
Permafrost identified
as hidden carbon source

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thawing permafrost, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, could send huge amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere by the end of this century, according to a U.N. Environment Program report released Tuesday at international climate talks in Doha, Qatar.

The report's authors say air temperatures in the world's arctic and alpine regions are expected to increase at roughly twice the global rate.  These regional greenhouse gas emissions could ultimately account for up to 39 percent of total planet-wide emissions, says lead author Kevin Schaefer, from the University of Colorado’s Snow and Ice Data Center.

“The release of carbon dioxide and methane from warming permafrost is irreversible.  Once the organic matter thaws and decays away, there is no way to put it back into the permafrost,”  he added.   

Warming can radically alter ecosystems and cause costly damage or even destroy buildings, roads, pipelines, railways and power lines. The report recommends a special commission to study permafrost emissions, the creation of a national permafrost monitoring network and the development of a plan for adaptation for nations at greatest risk.  

Delegates in Doha are meeting to craft a new international climate agreement after the 1997 Kyoto treaty expires next month.  As they seek to establish new targets for emission reductions to combat global warming, the new U.N. report urges them to factor in the rapidly melting permafrost.

Most of the current permafrost formed during or since the last ice age and extends to depths of more than 700 meters in parts of northern Siberia and Canada. Permafrost consists of an active layer of up to two meters in thickness, which thaws each summer and refreezes each winter, and the permanently frozen soil beneath.

Should the active layer increase in thickness due to warming, huge quantities of organic matter stored in the frozen soil would begin to thaw and decay, releasing large amounts of CO₂  and methane into the atmosphere.

Once this process begins, it will operate in a feedback loop known as the permafrost carbon feedback, which has the effect of increasing surface temperatures and thus accelerating the further warming of permafrost - a process that would be irreversible on human timescales.

Drug smuggling suspect detained

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man identified as a drug trafficker sought by the United States has been detained at Juan Santamaría airport. He is  Sewnsen Arthur Pinnace Collins, a Honduran, said Casa Presidencial.

The Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional, as part of the International Police Agency network, was able to identify the man as he arrived on a flight from El Salvador, said Casa Presidencial. The man is a suspect in the shipment of drugs by sea.

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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