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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 239                          Email us
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Tree lighting at children's hospital is Thursday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Christmas cheer will spread to the Hospital Nacional de Niños Thursday with activities for the children at 4 p.m. and the lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 p.m.

The tall, live evergreen at the hospital will sport tens of thousands of lights, as patients, some with chronic illnesses, watch from both the yard and balconies.

The afternoon activities will resemble a festival with carols and clowns, designed to bring joy to those who are serving long hospital stays.

Once lit, the tree will continue to shine on Paseo Colón throughout the New Year festivities.

Tecnológico de Costa Rica is also celebrating the  arrival of Christmas with a concert by Grupo
Senderos called "Today is Christmas," Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Afterwards, the university will light a tree and portal and have fireworks.  The activity is free of charge.

It will commence at the main entrance of the Tecnologico de Costa Rica central campus in Cartago.

Of course, Saturday is the time for the inauguration of the portal at the Teatro Nacional. The theme of the life-sized nativity scene still is a mystery because visitors to the theater Thursday were unable to figure out what was planned based on what already has been constructed.

Theater staff and its architects change the theme each year and present the portal as a surprise.

Fire fighters plan two-day celebration this weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone who grew up with a strong desire to be a fire fighter will have a great weekend.

Costa Rica's Cuerpo de Bombero plans a two-day celebration.

Saturday the fire fighter will be in San Antonio de Desampardos where the Academia Nacional de Bombero is located. The program calls for skill tests to show physical and technical capabilities. Both individuals and teams will compete. Among other challenges is a nine-floor training tower in which fire fighters will have to haul down simulated victims, haul up hoses and do other rescue and fire-suppression maneuvers.

Sunday there is a Mass in the Catedral Metropolitana at 9 a.m. where an estimated 500 fire fighters are expected to attend. Some are volunteers. Others are full-time paid fire fighters. Officiating at the Mass will be Joaquín Bernardo

Calderón Vargas, a Roman Catholic priest who also is a volunteer fire fighter in Palmar Norte.

The big draw Sunday will be a parade. The event starts at 10 a.m. in Parque Central just west of the cathedral where 22 new fire trucks will be on display. The fire agency said this is the first time that so many vehicles have been purchase at one time. The vehicles will be blessed, and then the 500 firefighters, their trucks and other units will parade east on Avenida Segunda to the auditorium of the Corte Suprema de Justicia where awards will be presented to winners of the Saturday events.

Among others to be honored will be the volunteer firemen who put in 3,900 working hours during 2012 and another who responded to 497 emergencies.

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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

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'Nutcracker' again returns
to Teatro Nacional stage

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Teatro Nacional will present "The Nutcracker" again this year  beginning Thursday.  The ballet based on the Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky's 1892 composition. The show here is called in Spanish "Cascanueces."

“The Nutcracker Costa Rica is an artistic event that repeats every year for the celebration of Christmas, with a cultural impact and wide participation of young adults, children professionals and students advanced in ballet and dance,” said the theater.

The production mixes ballet with a fantasy story of a young girl who dreams of living and fighting evil with her nutcracker toy which in the alternate world is a prince.

The stars of the re-enactment include dancers of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet.  This school is a pre-professional division of the American Ballet Theatre in New York for children ages four to 12.

Patricia Carreras and María Amalia Pendones choreographed and directed the show.  Danzay, a school of classical Russian ballet, and the Foundation of Classical Ballet is responsible for all the production work.

The Nutcracker will play Thursday, Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., Dec. 8 at 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m., Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.  All shows are in the Sala Principal at the Teatro Nacional.

Our readers' opinions
When will someone decide
to stand up against crooks?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

What have we become? Can you imagine closing a national park (Ricón de la Vieja) because some punks have been robbing tourists with knives and guns? Rather than to shoot the thieves, we act like scared sheep and punish the tourists and the park. When will someone stand up, like they did in Singapore, and take control? Look everywhere in Costa Rica at the people who live behind their own iron bars in their homes. We are in jail, not the criminals. Tico men, stand up and do something!!!

David Dion
Playas del Coco

Comparisons of price
should be in Costa Rica

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Kalya Peterson's "There's little holiday spirit"  article failed to illuminate.   Where's the news in comparing articles from a U.S.-based Walmart with the products available here, used or otherwise?  Everybody knows electronics in the U.S. are much cheaper.  Rest assured, not a one of your readers who is on the hunt for an electronic item is gonna pass up a U.S. Walmart, in favor of waiting till they come to Costa Rica to try to find it cheaper.   So why not focus on compare prices in the COSTA RICA Walmart and other local stores with the used stuff? That might actually have been helpful, to those who are here and cannot get to a U.S. Walmart.

Timothy L. Woodruff III
Dominical Beach

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 Rican news summaries are disabled
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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Lost or stolen near Parque Morazan, on Monday, Nov. 26, around 9 a.m.  Lizze, Australian cattle dog, 22 Kilos, black with brown and white markings.  The red vest in the photo is because she is a service dog in the States. She does not wear it here.  Reward.
Del Rey accommodations

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A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 239
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Advanced \Design
International Baptist Church

Creative youngsters will fight clock to design useful software
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The event may be called a hackathon, but the 60 youngsters participating are trying to make the world better rather than wreak computer carnage.

This is the first year that Costa Rica is involved in the event, which begins Saturday morning. The idea is to create under time constraints some kind of application or digital solution that benefits the public. The output may be to a computer, to a mobile telephone or a tablet, said organizers.

Youngsters in seven other countries will be doing the same thing. The themes with which the 15 teams here will work are agriculture, citizen security or health.

The event is being sponsored by the Grupo INCO, the Secretaría Técnica de Gobierno Digital, and the Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente.  Grupo INCO is a professional creator of ways to handle data.
The youngsters are not just in the competition for the fun. The U.S. Embassy is offering four netbooks and Microsoft Corp. is putting up cash prizes that range up to $1,000.

The event will take place at the Fundación Quirós Tanzi, at Flexipark between Santa Ana and Belén. The young programmers will be creating for 36 hours straight, said a spokesperson. They really will not be hacking into forbidden areas. The programmers will be using data from the digital government source to create their applications and programs.
The other countries involved are Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, México, Perú and Uruguay.

Not all the youngsters involved are programmers. Some are graphic designers, and others related interest.

Previous projects elsewhere during what are also known as hack days include a system so citizens can contract directly lawmakers or a calendar that keeps track of vaccination dates and locations.

Cartago students will showcase their business creations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students of the public university Tecnologico de Costa Rica will showcase – and sell – science and engineering products they have designed at the school's campus in Cartago Saturday.

The fair will include the projects of 50 business administration students, projects that require them to both create products and find out how to run businesses, a press release said.
In addition, the fair will highlight the 12-course business administration program that the university offers. Students from the university's campuses across the country will showcase products and services ranging from automatic pet food dispensers to bags with interchangeable lining to baby shower and children's party planning.

The fair will take place Satrurday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m at the university's central campus in Cartago.

A column in opposition to war, epecially the war on drugs
It is no secret that I think war is a dismal choice for solving problems or righting situations.  I have not seen or read about a war that did anything but exacerbate the original problem or set the stage for a future war.  Very often it is the decisions of the so-called victors that set the stage for future wars.  They willy nilly divide territories into countries without consideration of the culture or the people.

Wars without boundaries are even worse.  The war on poverty certainly did not solve the problem in the U.S.  The war on terrorism and the war on drugs are two great examples of endless wars that result in no solutions, only an increase in the problem and in the corruption of those fighting that war.
One of the main reasons I chose Costa Rica as a place to live is that the government and the people of Costa Rica believe as I do:  War solves no problems. No matter how difficult, peace is better.  So far it has worked very nicely for Costa Rica and for me, at least when it has come to territorial wars or differences between countries. And I, like other residents of this country, do not live in fear of terrorist attacks or that a loved one will come home terminally maimed or damaged as the result of a war.

But now we are faced with the war on drugs, something the United States government has foisted upon this country as its own war on drugs keeps expanding, costing more in both lives and treasure. 

As every other long-time resident will tell you, when I first arrived in Costa Rica, violent crime was rare.  I was told that the people who were up to no good were “opportunists.”  They would steal something if the opportunity was there.  I do recall a man in a group at a kiosk waving his 5,000-colon note wanting change, and a passerby simply plucked the bill from his extended hand and took off. I also had my apartment entered and my computer stolen when I was not at home. It was, I learned, an inside job accomplished by the trusted guard and my new maid.  As I recall, none of these crimes was the result of someone on drugs.  They were opportunistic.

Today, crime takes up much of the news.  Violent crimes and crimes with weapons seem to grow daily.  I am sure there is a correlation between the presence in Costa Rica of the war on drugs, and the increase in crime, and the incidents of corruption in the police force. 

It is no secret that statistics show that more people die from alcohol use than from drug use. Violence and murders within families are often the result of alcohol and/or amphetamines.
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

Marijuana as a contributing factor is almost unheard of. The reports connecting marijuana to the commission of a crime are based upon the assumption that marijuana causes one to be violent or to commit a crime.  There are no data to confirm this
assumption.  Arrests related to marijuana alone are usually for possession or of people involved in the illegal trade of the substance.

Because substances like marijuana and cocaine are illegal, it is impossible to do research freely on the efficacy and medical uses of the plants from which they are derived.  In some countries where it is allowed, such research is showing that marijuana has a number
of medical uses with far fewer damaging side effects than many prescription drugs.

I used marijuana in the 70s both for medical purposes and pleasure.  I have more adverse and lasting side effects from the medical treatment I received than from the pot. 

I am making this argument because a conference of Latin American countries is meeting in Costa Rica this week to discuss how to deal with the drug traffic and crime in the future. 

I was surprised at the result of the survey of 1,200 people showing that 81 percent of them think crime will increase if drugs are decriminalized.  I disagree.  It is a small voice that I have, but I am convinced that most of the crime committed related to drugs is because of the simple fact that the selling and buying of drugs has been declared illegal. How can you control a product like marijuana that is so easily and cheaply grown, has such a large markup and satisfies the basic need of humans to experience a different reality?

I hope at least the people involved in the discussion will treat marijuana differently than other drugs under consideration.

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, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 239
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Judiciary considers problems
with foreign language use

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

The Poder Judicial has come to the realization that the judiciary needs to hire more interpreters so persons who do not speak Spanish or have disabilities can communicate and understand proceedings as they happen.

To do this, the judiciary has recently approved new guidelines that will be incorporated into the official rules of the institution covering rights, duties and processes to follow for recruitment.

According to the judiciary, there are 17 languages and dialects spoken around the country.  From
1995, a total of 2,017 cases have needed translators. The top language needs are English, sign language, Ngöbe, Cabécar and Bribri.

The regions that most need interpreters are San José, Puntarenas, Alajuela and the southern zone, and the criminal, family, civil, misdemeanor and juvenile courts require the most translators.

As of August 2012, the department has invested 21 million colons in the translator program.  There are 46 persons registered as translators for the judiciary. They speak Bribri, Cabécar, Ngöbe, Mandarin, sign language, English, Italian and French. 

It has been an important investment, said officials.  

"Interpreters and translators constitute a vital tool for the administration of justice in such a way that currently the judicial offices of the country, which require the collaboration of professionals specialized in various subjects, need oral and written translations for the processing of cases,” said Alfredo Jones, executive director of Poder Judicial.

“We have a fully accessible system that was designed to fairly and randomly appoint required professionals immediately, which helps achieve the constitutional mission of prompt justice," he aid.

The system containing the official list also is accessible on the Web site of the judiciary, which has allowed this same list to bed used by external users to recruit experts in the various languages.

However the system has not been fully effective and will undergo some changes.  One improvement is a document that outlines the requirements for being an interpreter which was created by judges and magistrates in the first quarter of the year.

Officials also recognize that the native populations not only have a language but also a culture.  For this reason, interpreters will be hired who can understand different dialects and anthropologists who can convey the culture and traditions of these persons.

A problem that the judiciary has run into is finding translators that fit certification standards.  In the case of native populations, there is not enough knowledge to adequately determine if a person really has mastered the language to be an interpreter.. 

However, the problem goes beyond indigenous populations. Validating the qualifications of interpreters for the deaf also present a problem, said Anabelle León Feoli, a judge.

A possible solution is a proposal to provide training for those that make up the official translator list.

"We talked about creating a commission using a team of judges, prosecutors, public defenders and staff . . .  to give this training,” said Ms. León.”

Another option is to collaborate with the national council for rehabilitation and special education to make guidelines for the selection process.

Three more cocaine cases
lead to confiscations

By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police and coast guard patrols from three countries captured two large shipments of cocaine passing through Costa Rica.

The first occurred Wednesday evening when a Canadian Coast Guard patrol boat captured a Costa Rican fishing vessel carrying more than a metric ton of cocaine, according to a report from the security ministry.

The second occurred early Thursday morning when agents of the Policía de Control de Drogas found 138 kilograms (304 pounds) in a truck leaving the country for Nicaragua.

The first case involved a fishing boat registered in Puntarenas called "Capitán Erson." The boat was crewed by four men and it carried 1,086 kilograms (2,394 pounds) of cocaine on board, said the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública..

Ministry officials said that the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas had been coordinating with other coastal patrols to catch the boat for the past week.

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel bearing U.S. Coast guard personnel caught up with the "Capitán Erson" at around 5 p.m. Wednesday about 350 miles southeast of Cabo Blanco, officials said.

The Canadian-American crew took the four crew members into custody. Ministry officials identified them as a 40-year-old with the last names of Acevedo Acevedo, a 43-year-old with the last names Vega Parrales, a 36-year-old with the last names of Pizarro Abarca and a 21-year-old with the last names of Reyes Castillo.

Ministry officials said that a Costa Rican coast guard team was dispatched Thursday to retrieve the fishing boat, the drugs and crew. They will return to Costa Rica Sunday, officials estimated.

The second case occurred when a tractor trailer underwent a search at Peñas Blancas. Some 138 kilograms of cocaine were uncovered.

Drug police detained the 33-year-old driver who has the last name of Lobos. The tractor and trailer were registered in Honduras and the trailer was refrigerated, according to ministry officials.

Police also confiscated $140 and 1,360 Nicaraguan cordobas, the report said.

Ministry officials also highlighted their achievements so far this year in capturing drugs at the Peñas Blancas border crossing.

They said that this is the 24th drug bust at the border so far this year. In all of these busts, police have confiscated nearly 2,800 kilograms (6,200 pounds) of cocaine, 350,000 colons and more than $3 million. Police also arrested 25 people in these incidents, of whom 17 were foreigners.

Border police also made a more modest bust of nine kilograms (20 pounds) of cocaine at the Sixola, Talamanca, border post between Costa Rica and Panamá Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said that the border guards found the drugs in suitcases while searching a public bus going from Changuinola, Panamá, to San José. No one was arrested in this case, because none of the passengers claimed the luggage, according to a report.

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

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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.


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Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the BEST and most unique tour in Latin America. This is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the most read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica, and who has personally helped over 10,000
with Max
  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, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 239
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                vacations in Costa Rica

Manning takes the stand
to talk about his detention

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. Army analyst, charged in the largest security breach in U.S. military history, has taken the stand for the first time in a pre-trial hearing on his detention conditions.

Bradley Manning testified Thursday about restrictions he endured while in custody at an army base in Kuwait and later in Quantico, Virginia, near Washington. During his three-hour testimony, Manning said the time he spent alone in his cell was draining. He said there were times he thought he was going to die.

Manning is accused of downloading diplomatic cables onto compact discs that were sent to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks. He has offered to accept responsibility for the leak by pleading guilty to reduced charges. A decision on that offer has not been made.

The defendant has said that while at Quantico he was locked up alone in a windowless cell for 23 hours a day and forced to sleep naked. The military says the treatment was necessary because he posed a suicide risk.

Lawyers for Manning are asking for his charges to be dropped, saying the pretrial conditions were harsh enough.

Manning could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty.

The leaked diplomatic cables and military reports, published by WikiLeaks starting in July 2010, infuriated the international community, often providing blunt and unflattering U.S. views of world leaders' private and public lives.

New diagnostic test shows
malaria infection quickly

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new diagnostic test could revolutionize the treatment of malaria, one of the world’s most persistent and deadly diseases, making it possible to diagnose the illness from a single drop of blood or saliva.

The test, developed by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark, detects very low levels of an enzyme produced by the Plasmodium parasite, the organism that causes malaria. This could allow intervention before an outbreak develops, researchers say.

“The great advantage of our method is that we can test for malaria using saliva samples and the detection limit is very low — less than one parasite per microliter,” said Birgitta Knudsen, an associate professor at Aarhus University’s Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre and the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. “This means that it will be possible to also screen non-symptomatic individuals and discover cases with very low parasite concentrations. Hence, it will be possible to treat even mildly infected patients and thereby prevent outbreaks before it is too late.”

The two most common forms of malaria testing both require blood samples, and there are drawbacks to each. One requires a skilled technician to test the blood, while the other cannot detect low levels of the parasite, Ms. Knudsen said.

The new method, which uses a technology called Rolling Circle-Enhanced Enzyme Activity Detection, could prove more time- and cost-effective than current diagnostic methods, and could be performed by personnel who have no specialized training. It could also be used in developing areas, where expensive equipment, clean water and electricity might not be readily available.

Ms. Knudsen said the team hopes to conduct extensive field testing in about two years.

Escuela Casa del Artista
will enroll and give tests

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Escuela Casa del Artista will hold registration for 2013 summer courses and admission tests Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Museo de Arte Costarricense in la Sabana. The art school is a service under the culture ministry designed to teach and promote art to students of all ages and from all social conditions.   The museum has operated the school for 61 years.

Prospective students must be at least 6 years old and submit an enrollment form.  The courses are free and last from Jan. 14 to Feb. 8.

Those who want to obtain a fine arts degree in the specialties of either drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, ceramics or metalwork can also take an admission test at this time.  This program is for persons of all ages who have completed at least their junior year of high school.  

Following registration will be a graduation ceremony for students of the painting program on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. This event is open to the public.
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
porch viw
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
apartment view
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, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 239
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Latin America news
grenadeJudicial Investigating Organization photo
Grenade was wrapped in material

Judicial agents confiscate
a U.S. style hand grenade

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Worried about what to get for the person who has everything? How about a fragmentation grenade?

Police detained a U.S. citizen and a Nicaraguan man Tuesday, and said that the pair were engaged in an exchange of such an explosive device. A Judicial Investigating Organization spokesperson confirmed that the U.S. citizen involved is 56-year-old Mark Broffard.

Although the device may not have been a Christmas present, such grenades are prized collector items. A photo released by judicial agents clearly showed part of the grenade and the neck with the yellow marking showing that it was of the fragmentation type. There was no report if the body of the grenade still was filled with explosives or if it had been deactivated.

According to the report, agents received a tip that the two might exchange illegal explosives on a street in Playa Hermosa at around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

When police detained the two men, they found a package with them that contained a fragmentation grenade, the report said. Investigators said they believe that Broffard gave the grenade to the other man.

Such a device is lethal, and many were distributed during the Nicaraguan civil war. U.S. forces now use a more modern device.

Vehicle inspection company
rate request gets opposition

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The monopoly that does vehicle inspections in Costa Rica set off a firestorm Thursday when news leaked out that the company sought a 157 percent increase in rates.

The request was to the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, the same agency that regulates electric rates and gasoline prices.

The inspection company, Riteve SyC SA, has developed an elaborate chain of inspection stations around the country and has complained for years that the rates were not high enough. A typical inspection rate for a passenger car is 10,000 colons or about $20. The company wants to raise this to nearly 25,000 colons or about $50.

Personal vehicles have to be inspected once a year. Taxi drivers must bring in their vehicles twice a year.

The vice minister of Transportes y Seguridad Vial immediately issued a statement in which he said the regulating agency lacks the methodology to determine if a rate hike is justified. He is Rodrigo Rivera Fournier. He said technical studies of this type should be done by his ministry.

The ministry, for political reasons, has been reluctant to raise the rates.  There have been continual calls for the government to allow other firms to do the same job.

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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