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(506) 2223-1327                                Pubished Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 238                            Email us
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President places his bet on creating entrepreneurs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government seems to be putting heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship to boost the national economy.

Two weeks ago President Luis Guillermo Solís decreed a new policy of entrepreneurship which seeks to promote the creation of new businesses. In announcing the plan, Solís said that the decree and the restructured Banca para el Desarrollo are two tools for creating small- and medium-sized new enterprises and quality employment.

Monday, the economics ministry said that it is creating an agency to implement the policy for small business. The new agency will be called  ProEmpresa.

The ministry, the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, held a workshop Monday to discuss what characteristics would be desirable in such an agency for development. Attending were lawmakers and representatives of the public and private sectors.

The ministry said that ProEmpresa would let up a dynamic program of services, both financial and non-financial, to help develop businesses.

From his public comments, the president is seeking something other than lone wolf entrepreneurship, like Steve Jobs in his garage in 1976 inventing the Apple computer. The president has called for a public, private and academic alliance. He sees the application of high tech as a way to create new products, according to Casa Presidencial.

For every Internet expert inventing a new app, the government's small- and medium-sized business program now seems to host dozens of small food producers. These make jams, salsas and even flavored alcoholic beverages. Few have been able to carry their products to the major supermarkets much less for export.

A lot of business information is online,

including at the government site for small businesses, Pymes Costa Rica. The site is set up by the ministry in conjunction with the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, the government training agency.

State banks have special loan programs for small businesses, particularly for those associated with the government PYMES program. The acronym is taken from the Spanish pequeña y mediana empresas.

For some the government Web site might be a bit daunting because it shows the various legal steps that must be taken to form a business and comply with existing laws. The site also points to the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, known as PROCOMER, for assistance in exporting.

The statistics seem to be against many startups, despite government help. Even the most optimistic statistics show about 50 percent fail in a few years. The main reason seems to be failure to understand the local market and lack of marketing.

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San Jos‚, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 238

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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.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San Jos‚‚ offices
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Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116


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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
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Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
NAR certified Realtor Jeff Fisher is famous for being “Brutally Honest.”
See why he still believes only the 100% titled land of the Jaco beach & Central Pacific areas of Playa Hermosa/ Jaco-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and the Esterillos-Bejuco beaches are the best places to live, invest and enjoy. 
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: The Jaco area has everything you need, from KFC to Gourmet Organic;  from zip lines to bank lines, from a movie house to a fire sale house…. 
#3: BUYERS’ MARKET: Many properties are at their lowest price ever
           *$179,900 Hermosa Beachfront Community with Ocean Views !
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jac½ born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
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   • Property management in the Jac¢ area
Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jac¢
Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, Northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Papagayo  Golf & Country Club
Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Ministerio de Gobernaci¢n, Polic¡a y Seguridad P£blica photo          
     Fuerza P£blica officers found this stash of some 512 explosive
     fireworks devices over the weekend in Siquirres. A local merchant
     was gong to sell them.

Lawmaker wants plan to end street wars

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On the anniversary of the day when Costa Rica abolished its military, a lawmaker called on the central government to eliminate the new armies, the violent street gangs that cost human lives everyday.

The lawmaker, Maureen Clarke Clarke, said that there have been 285 murders already in 2014.

"We abolished the army many years ago, but today the violence in the streets do not honor this accomplishment," she said on the floor of the Asamblea Legislativa.

The Liberaci¢n Nacional lawmaker called upon the central government to outline and make public a strategy to combat these statistics.

Juvenile prosecutor now is No. 2

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's high court has selected a 25-year veteran of the prosecutorial agency for a one-year term as deputy fiscal general.

The individual is Mayra Campos Zuñiga, who is now in the juvenile justice section.

The Poder Judicial said she will fill in when Jorge Chavarría, the current fiscal general is absent. However, the experience will give her access to other possibilities in the judiciary.

Ms. Campos joined the judicial agency when she finished law school at the  Universidad de Costa Rica when she was 21, the Poder Judicial said. Since then she has held a number of positions and even earned a doctorate.

The Spanish title for her new post is  fiscala subrogante.

Cartago declines to pass ban

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The council of the Municipalidad de Cartago declined to pass a ban on genetically modified crops during a Saturday meeting.

Activists say they kept the council from voting against the measure.

The activists attributed the council's lack of action to pressure from the Escuela de Biotecnolog¡a of Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the local public university.

Activists say they are expecting that the legislature will pass a national ban on genetically modified crops. Such a bill is in committee.

Our reader's opinion
Great Thanksgiving dinner for $18

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
We get so tired of hearing about the rip-off prices in Costa Rica for restaurants.

The other day we had Thanksgiving dinner at the Hotel Quality Inn in Santa Ana for $18 per person, tax included tip included.  Huge serving of great turkey, six salads, various meats, rice, camote pure better than mashed potatoes, great heaping of cranberries, various fruit drinks, breads, marinated mushrooms, carrots and  green squash, pumpkin pie, tres leches, and one mimosa per plate.
We often go to Yorgos, which in our opinion is 5-star cooking maybe not as elegant as the $600 tasting menu at Per Sec in New York, which our friend frequents but as soon as he arrives in Costa Rica he goes to Yorgos the next day.
We know that the middle class has financial limitations, and we have lowered the prices of our rental condos to a point they are lower than equivalents in cities like Dallas, Atlanta, etc.
Angela Jimenez Rocha
Architect and appraiser

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 238            
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Hang on to your hat for another of those blustery days
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today will be another one of those times when a high pressure system in the Caribbean generates high winds in Guanacaste and the Central Valley. The national weather services said there would be gusts of up to 90 kph in Guanacaste. That's about 56 mph.

In addition there will be rain, perhaps heavy, in the Caribbean and the northern zone, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

The institute issued a late afternoon warning about the winds. The warning also said there was a chance of brief spells of rain in Guanacaste, the Central Valley and other parts of the country. In some places the rain may be as much as an inch. Naturally the temperature is expected to fall because of the wind and also cloudy weather.

illegal logging
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Conservation officials inspect the lumbered trees.
Logging operation accused
of exceeding permit boundaries

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most expats know that permits are required to lumber trees even on private property.

So Fuerza Pública and staffers of the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía acted to break up a lumbering operation on a finca near Upala.

Police said that although the individual had permits, they were working outside of what the permits allowed. For example, officers said that a truck contained four cedro logs when the permit called for transporting just one log.

The finca is in the community of  Birmania.

The persons caught engaged in the logging will be presented to the prosecutors in Upala, said the police. Meanwhile, ministry workers will assess the damage for a civil settlement.

Boatload of marijuana intercepted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas intercepted a boat carrying 1,400 kilos of marijuana Sunday off Limón in the Caribbean.

The crew of four tried to dump some of the packages into the sea, but they were recovered, said the coast guard.

The craft was flying a Costa Rican flag, and three of the four men on board were Costa Rican, said the coast guard.

The interception was about 12 nautical miles off the Limón coast.

Although Costa Rica produces many tons of marijuana, the product from Jamaica is said to be of higher quality.

Security officials said that eight tons of marijuana have been confiscated so far this year.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Anti-drug police survey the marijuana cargo.

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, Dec. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 238
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Leading nations, including China, agree on plan to fight corruption
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The G20 nations, comprising the world’s largest economies, met in mid-November in Brisbane, Australia, and came up with an action plan on how to fight corruption.

The plan is an outgrowth of what happened in 2010 when G20 leaders created the Anti-Corruption Working Group at a summit in Toronto.

The push at the 2014 Brisbane meeting was for member nations to pass laws compelling corporations to identify who owns and controls them, the beneficial owners.  It fell short of demanding that these persons and entities be known to the public as well as regulatory authorities. That has drawn criticism from some good governance groups, including Global Financial Integrity.

Ahead of the summit, some observers voiced concerns that China would block action regarding identifying corporate owners.

China’s use of inducements has been well known, especially in Africa, where the Asian giant has employed cash and other means to gain access to raw materials it needs to feed its industrial production.

“The Chinese people are generally far less concerned about foreign bribery than domestic bribery,” said Andrew Spalding, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “As the developed world increasingly enforces foreign bribery rules, this puts them at a competitive disadvantage in developing countries, especially in Africa. China knows that it can exploit this.”

By the summit’s end, though, China made no attempt to block the action plan or suppress use of the word bribery.

“G20 countries recognize that bribery imposes a heavy price on both international business and society as a whole,” the action plan document said. “Combatting bribery remains an important priority for the G20 growth agenda, including by helping to level the playing field for business, and giving the private sector the confidence it needs to invest…G20 countries also commit to comprehensively and effectively criminalize bribery - as well as the solicitation of bribes - and enforce such laws through civil and criminal actions.”

The plan also addressed what it calls high risk sectors where corruption can invade legitimate market activity. The plan notes one area it calls the extractive sector, the mining and collection of raw materials from iron ore to timber.
“For companies in any of these industries, it is the areas of interaction between private and public sectors which are most likely to generate opportunities for corruption – for example, public procurement and customs,” wrote Brook Horowitz in the FCPA Blog, which focuses on corruption.

“Effectively preventing and combating corruption in these high-risk sectors is essential to create an environment conducive to investment, and to ensure critical assets and resources are not diverted away from economic growth and development,” the plan said.

Public sector transparency and integrity is also a focus of the G20 plan. They are essential for “preventing the misuse or diversion of public funds and conflicts of interest, which can have a significant negative impact on economic growth and development,” the plan said.

Public official immunity – meaning persons in office are not prosecuted while in those positions – is a practice seen in many countries. It has been widely criticized by good governance groups as a means by which elected officials can engage in criminal activities such as corruption and get away with it – at least during their terms.

The Action Plan also calls on the private sector to adopt transparent and accountable standards of corporate behavior. It calls on G20 countries to institute and step up “developing anti-corruption education and training for business – and by examining best practices for encouraging businesses to implement robust compliance programs and self-report breaches of corruption laws.”

Another section calls for G20 members to approach the anti-corruption fight globally as well as within each state’s borders. The plan says they must commit to helping to end impunity for corruption offenses, by working together to investigate and prosecute offenders, to recover the proceeds of such offenses, and to deny entry and safe haven to corrupt officials and those who corrupt them – including mutual legal assistance and extradition consistent with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

Greg Thompson, with Transparency International Australia, says now that the words of the 2014 G20 Summit have been put to paper, it’s time to carry them out.

“The devil,” he says “will now be in the detail of what every country – including Australia – does post-Brisbane to implement these actions.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

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.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

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. 

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.


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-prom

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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Enjoy living in the middle of wonderful mountains.
Fresh air, gorgeous forest. Near downtown but away from noisy city.  Nature lifestyle.  Beautiful chalet in a large property located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. Rate $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  Email


Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

Cottage in the mountain.  Surrounded by nature.  One bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms. Beautiful balcony and view. Bus line service, security.  $500 monthly.  Phone: 506-8739-0638  Email:

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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

Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 238          
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U.S. soldiers given warning
that extremists are watching

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are warning of possible attacks by Islamist terrorists on American military troops inside the United States.

ABC News reported Sunday it had obtained a joint intelligence bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies warning Islamic State forces may be targeting the United States within its borders.

The bulletin warns those who serve in uniform to erase from their online social media accounts anything that would draw attention from violent extremists or reveal service members' identities.

Stars and Stripes newspaper reports the Defense Department says a similar warning to troops was sent after two uniformed Canadian soldiers were killed by self-proclaimed Islamic State supporters last month in Ottawa.

Plight of Native Americans
on agenda at White House

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly 100 kilometers from the nearest city, amid rolling hills of grazing cattle, Cannon Ball, North Dakota, with a population of less than a 1,000 people, is an unlikely place for a presidential visit.
Randi Dogskin remembers the June day when President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama came to Standing Rock Indian Reservation with a pledge to improve the lives of Native Americans.
“I grew up here in Cannon Ball and my family is from here and that was just an amazing thing,” said Ms. Dogskin.

On this cold November day, Ms. Dogskin is helping a group of young kids and their parents make snow globes during family night at Cannon Ball Grade School.

As more than 500 tribal leaders gather in Washington Wednesday for the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, the mother of two, who works in suicide prevention, has a message for the Obama administration.
“We just need a lot more funding for programs, so we can come out and do a lot of activities for the youth, especially because they are going to be our leaders one day and we want them to have to that opportunity,” said Ms. Dogskin.

Obama became only the fourth sitting U.S. president to visit a Native American reservation when he traveled to Standing Rock, which stretches across more than 800,000 hectares (two million acres) of North and South Dakota June 5. Some 40 percent of residents here live below the poverty level, and the unemployment rate is near 80 percent.

In his speech at Standing Rock,  Obama touted his administration’s investments in job training, tribal colleges and infrastructure, as well as a commitment to improving the tribal justice system. The issues will also be a focus when administration officials meet with tribal leaders Wednesday.
Above all, he pledged to strengthen tribal communities through economic development and education.
“Let’s put our minds together to improve our schools because our children deserve a world-class education, too, that prepares them for college and careers," Obama said.  "And that means returning control of Indian education to tribal nations with additional resources and support so that you can direct your children’s education and reform schools here in Indian country.” 
The president and the first lady met with tribal leaders and spoke to a group of young people at Cannon Ball Grade School about some of the challenges they face.
For school board member Sue Isbell, some of those challenges are more apparent. As she walks through the school that was built in the 1930s, she points to mold, leaky ceilings and cramped, cold classrooms as stumbling blocks for Native American students, who already struggle with among the highest high school drop out rates in the nation.
“We need more funding for a new school. These kids have already been through so much," she said. "With a better facility, we can recruit more teachers, and give students a fighting chance.”

As one of the first master's degree students in environmental science at Sitting Bull College, Louis Walking Elk eventually wants to use his degree to help those on the reservation. The 24-year-old is one of the first in his family to go to college.

“My dad and mom both encouraged me all throughout my life, my dad especially. He didn’t finish high school and he was always like, 'you have to do something,'” he said.

Situated on Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota, is one of more than 30 tribal colleges in the United States.

Some 300 students, including student body president Dakota Kidder, are completing their higher education at this federally-funded school in hopes of defying statistics that show only about 10 percent of Native Americans have a college degree, roughly half the national average.

“We do have a lot of problems on the reservation. And Sitting Bull College does all that it can to make sure students are getting to class, whether it be transportation, child care,” said Kidder.

The mission of getting more Native Americans to college and making sure they leave with a degree is crucial to the school's president, Laurel Vermillion.

“A huge majority are first generation students, college students, who don’t have a lot of experience," she said. "They don’t have parents who can tell them or talk about college.  And so when they leave the reservation and go onto these big, mainstream campuses, they are lost.”

Ms. Vermillion said many young Native Americans, particularly men, are looking for that sense of direction and purpose. The school has begun offering classes in welding and oil drilling, in hopes of boosting the 30-70 male to female student ratio.

Scott Davis, the executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, is also working to close the unemployment gap, helping tribal colleges get millions of dollars to start such workforce development programs.

Obama wants more money
to improve police forces

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama is calling for millions of dollars more in federal spending to improve police forces around the country, in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman during a street confrontation in the central town of Ferguson, Missouri.

After meeting at the White House Monday with his cabinet, civil rights leaders and law enforcement officials, Obama announced spending proposals of more than $260 million for police forces across the U.S. He also said the country needs an honest conversation about the state of law enforcement.

The president said Americans of color do not feel they are being treated fairly by police, creating what he called a simmering distrust in communities and weakening the country.

Protests have continued in Ferguson and elsewhere since a grand jury's decision last week not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Obama said the additional money would pay for 50,000 body cameras for police to wear to record their interactions with civilians, as well as to fund more training for police.

The president also announced he will set up a task force to study how to improve policing. 

Obama said federal programs that provide military-style equipment to local police departments must be more accountable, but he did not say whether the programs would be pulled back.

Since August, roughly 300 people have been arrested in Ferguson-related protests, which have been marred by looting and arson attacks.  Those arrested face charges of unlawful assembly and trespassing, interfering with police activity and resisting arrest, as well as felonies, including second degree burglary, arson, unlawful firearm possession and assault.

Abandoned tropical land
presents many options

By the Technische Universität München
news staff

Every year, 130,000 square kilometers of rainforest disappear from the face of the earth, an area equivalent to the size of Greece. The majority of this land is cleared for agricultural development even in tropical mountain areas. These fields are quickly overgrown with weeds, however. Bracken is particularly tenacious. It cannot be permanently eliminated using herbicides or by burning the land. As a result, farmers often abandon the land after a few short years and start clearing new areas of forest.

“This cycle has to be broken,” explains Thomas Knoke from the Institute of Forest Management at Technische Universität München. Knoke is lead author of the study that has just been published. “We've been investigating whether this abandoned pasture land can be recultivated, and if so, how.”

The team did not just look at economic benefit when evaluating the different concepts. For the first time, this study also took environmental and socio-cultural criteria into consideration, factoring in issues such as the amount of carbon dioxide and nitrogen assimilated by plants and soil, biomass production, soil quality, impact on climate, water management and acceptance among farmers.

The area under investigation (around 150 hectares) is located in the Ecuadorian Andes at an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,100 meters. The researchers looked at five different concepts: 

* No land use – abandoned land is left to nature;

* Forestation – planting a native species of alder;

* Forestation – introduction of a non-native pine species

* Extensive pasturing – mechanical weed control followed by initial fertilization and land use, and

* Intense pasturing – chemical weed control and land use with regular fertilization

Forestation with alder and pine species proved particularly sustainable. In addition, forested regions offer the best protection against erosion in the long term. “Our study also showed that afforestation with the native Andean alder had a much more positive impact on the climate and water balance than the other land use options,” added Jörg Bendix from Phillips-Universität Marburg.

Typical rainforest flora and fauna are also able to gradually recolonize forested regions. Intense pasturing scored much higher on the ecological scale than extensive pasturing. Economic benefits stemmed from the sale of wood or the sale of meat and milk. Alder plantations achieved the greatest financial returns.

A survey conducted among land users showed that the majority of livestock farmers also viewed forestation as the best land use option due to the positive ecological balance and greater long-term earnings potential. “If we want recultivation concepts to be a success, the people using the land have to be engaged,” elaborates Bendix.

The sustainable land use concepts all come at a cost, however. Over a period of 20 years, farmers who do not use slash-and-burn techniques are exposed to an annual loss of earnings. This amounts to $87 per hectare for forestation and $100 per hectare for intense pasturing. The researchers regard compensation for recultivation as an important incentive for encouraging farmers to replant abandoned grazing land. In the long term, trade with CO2 certificates could also provide an additional source of income.

The researchers also believe that their study could be used as a reference for evaluating recultivation concepts in other tropical mountain forests, for example in Brazil or Africa. “Abandoned agricultural land is a huge resource that is not being harnessed,” summarized Knoke.
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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498.000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135.000. Click
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

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 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 238
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
   Fuerza Pública officers in Paso Canoas at the Panama border
   discovered these illegal immigrants early Monday morning. They
   were mostly from Nepal. They have been detained.

Hacienda reports flood of declarations

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though some expats report that the computers at the Ministerio de Hacienda have been out of service for several days, the agency still enforced the midnight deadline for reports of economic activity.

These are the D-151 forms that now must be filed electronically on the ministry's Declar@7. The report specifies professionals who were paid, rents and big purchases. Later these will be incorporated into the tax return that is due in two weeks.

The ministry said that some 248,394 declarations had been received through the weekend. Accountants were working into the night Monday to meet the midnight deadline. The computers appeared to be working Monday.

There are stiff fines for errors or misrepresentations on the forms.

The ministry compares the forms that are submitted.

For example, if an individual reports they have spent $4,000 in the last tax year on a home rental, tax inspectors are going to look for a report of that income on the declaration submitted by the landlord.

Most individuals who do contract work such as Web designers or similar, may find themselves on the forms submitted by others because to do so would mean the expense can be declared as a deduction on the income taxes.

U.S. shoppers take to the Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. holiday shopping season got off to a slow start last Thursday, as the number of people seeking bargains in stores and online fell from last year.

The Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally the largest shopping day of the year, and a time when many merchants make enough money to go from loss to profit.  Bookkeepers record losses in red ink and profits in black ink, giving rise to the term Black Friday for this key part of the business year.

The National Retail Federation says more than 133 million Americans have shopped in person or online since Thursday.  That is down more than 5 percent from the same period last year.

Retailers are watching on-line sales closely Monday because "Cyber-Monday" has seen a shopping peak in the past four years, as a growing number of shoppers avoided crowded stores and made purchases online.

ComScore, which tracks on-line commerce, says the first few weeks of November saw stronger online sales than the same period last year. It also predicted $2.5 billion in total online sales for Monday. 

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From Page 7:

Drug discovery brings call for security

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The exportation of 300 kilos of cocaine to Rotterdam has embarrassed officials here and has caused them to crack down on port security.

The drugs were in a container holding agricultural produce.  Dutch police intercepted the load. Alexander Mora, minister of Comercio Exterior, called the drug shipment an isolated event. Still he has enlisted a host of government agencies and the Cámara de Exportadores de Costa Rica to create more secure ports in Moín and Limón.

The minister said that such events tarnish the image abroad of Costa Rica. The additional security will include scanners and other non-intrusive devices that can check containers, said the ministry.