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(506) 2223-1327                             Publihsed Dec. 12, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 246                               Email us
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Tourism institute opts for non-traditional campaign
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's tourism ministry outlined its year-long, $3.3 million promotional scheme for the United States and Canada Thursday.

The campaign targets bored office workers with a two-minute video with a reworked African
Actor emphasizes theme
sound track and plans to have urban window washers promote the country on their scaffolds.

The campaign is another from 22 squared, the Atlanta, Georgia, firm that created the 2010 sloth givaway video. A sloth has a lead role in the new video as well as a
toucan, tiny turtles and other jungle creatures.

The campaign is called alternately "Save the Americans” or "Save the Canadians," depending on where it is placed. About 85 percent of the spending will go to the U.S. market, said the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

Curiously, the two-minute video hardly mentions Costa Rica at all until the ending refrain. The sound track is by Master Key and also features bored office workers. The opening is:

   In the jungle, the city jungle
   The human works tonight
   In the jungle, the concrete jungle
   He's becoming so uptight!

The melody is "The Lion Sleeps tonight," also known as "Wimba Way," originally a Zulu song. An advanced version of the video is HERE!. The campaign starts Wednesday and is accompanied by two Web sites:  and The video will be released in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, on social media and on Internet sites.

The campaign overlooks the retired, the independently wealthy, students and other sectors who are not urban office workers.

Tourism officials said that about 50 percent of the visitors come from the two countries. About 20 percent comes from Nicaragua, but there are no campaigns scheduled there.

The United States is considered as the principal developed country where the inhabitants work in an excessive manner. In shifts that exceed eight hours and include even the weekends for which practically the lives of Americans revolves around work," said the institute.

Wilhelm von Breymann, the tourism minster who was absent for the presentation Thursday, was quoted as saying that Costa Rica has innumerable  qualities that convert it into a paradise for relaxation.

Alejandro Castro, director of marketing for the
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
He's back: New campaign uses an old face.

Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
Institute hopes office workers dream of visit.

institute, was quoted in a release saying that the
singers in the video identify with the animals being displayed and that the idea is to contrast the cubicles in which the Americans and Canadians are submerged with the paradise of dreams for vacationing in Costa Rica.

The video will be played in movies in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego and Dallas, said the institute. In addition, sand sculptures of Costa Rican animals will be created on Wall Street.

There also will be advertising in YouTube, Google, The New York Times, Yahoo, Outbrain, Matador, Network, Twitter, Linked-In and Instagram, tourism officials said.

Advertising messages also are supposed to be placed on the scaffolds of U.S. window washers so that workers in offices see them as the scaffolds pass by their windows. In Toronto, Canada, a promotional slide show is planned to be displayed on a building during the night rush hour.

The institute said that the social media effort was much cheaper than a traditional campaign. The institute shares in the airport tax for its promotional efforts.

Andrew Jones of 22squared agency is in charge of the campaign.

To emphasize the jungle theme of the campaign, the tourism institute asked the drama group Metamorphosis to simulate animals for the presentation.

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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.

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A full service immigration agency
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Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
restored over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:

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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 Jacó 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 (Jacó 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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Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
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del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* 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.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear-titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

State refinery promises cuts in fuel prices

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state petroleum monopoly said that it is seeking significant cuts in the price of fuel.

The company, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. said it envisions a cut of 83 colons for super gasoline, a cut of 75 colons for plus or regular and 64 colons for diesel.

The prices are controlled by the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos,which fixes the amounts every month based on the world price of petroleum and the exchange rate, among other factors. Petroleum prices have dipped from about $100 a barrel to $70.

The refinery, known as RECOPE, has been under attack, too, by the Spanish press. There have been revelations that salaries and special payments made under the contract with the employee unions have been excessive. In addition, La Nación disclosed that the way in which the Autoridad sets the price for asphalt is in a way a subsidy paid for by motorists. The newspaper also said there was no sign that the large construction companies passed on these savings to the government in the form of contract reductions for repaving projects.

Success with turtles reported in Nicaragua

By the Wildlife Conservation Society news staff

A Wildlife Conservation Society team in Nicaragua reported a dramatic increase in nesting of critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles including the highest nest counts since a conservation project began there in 2000.

The total nest count for hawksbill turtles in the project area in Nicaragua’s Pearl Cays region has increased some 200 percent from 154 in 2000 to 468 in 2014.

Of the areas monitored, poaching rates have decreased by more than 80 percent. Poaching in 2014 was one of the lowest in project history at approximately 5 percent. Nest success has averaged approximately 75 percent this season, with over 35,000 hatchlings going to sea as of the end of November.

Before the project began, a preliminary study of the Pearl Cays on the Caribbean coast showed that almost 100 percent of nests laid were poached and most eggs were removed for human consumption.

The Wildlife Conservation Society established the Hawksbill Conservation Project in 2000 to reduce poaching and create awareness. In 2010, it helped contribute to the establishment of the Pearl Cays Wildlife Refuge, which safeguards nesting, foraging, breeding and migratory areas for sea turtles, while protecting other marine species and important habitat types.

“These recent nest counts show that by working with local communities, we can save sea turtles from extinction,” said Caleb McClennen, the society's executive director of marine conservation. “Communities partnering with WCS are directly involved with safeguarding their own natural resources. Without their help and commitment, this project would fail, and Nicaragua’s hawksbill turtles would be doomed.”

In addition to monitoring nesting success Wildlife Conservation Society scientists satellite-tagged three nesting females this year. The turtles are currently being tracked as they move northward near the Honduran border. Since 1999, the Wildlife Conservation Society has captured and released nearly 3,000 sea turtles in the Pearl Cays. Staff record the date, size, and location for each sea turtle encounter as part of the tag and release program. This information can help improve the understanding of the species for informed management and development of conservation efforts in the region.

The society has been working on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua since 1999 focusing primarily on marine turtle conservation and public education and awareness.

Episcopal parish announces services

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Episcopal parish of The Good Shepherd in downtown San José will have Advent services Sunday, and Dec. 21 at 8:30 a.m. in English and 11 a.m. in Spanish.

There is a bilingual Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Dec, 24 and a Christmas Day service, also bilingual, at 10 a.m.

There also is a News Year's Eve service Dec. 31 at 6 p.m, which is bilingual.  On Jan. 3, there is a 9 a.m. bilingual Epiphany service.

The church is on Avenida 4 pedestrian mall between Calles 3 and 5.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 246                 
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Am-Cham and ministry want consumers to report illegal sales
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Hacienda stops short of declaring war on the underground economy Thursday.  Officials announced a Web site where consumers can do it.

The site was created by the Cámara Costarricense Norteamericana de Comercio with the support of the ministry.  Officials announced the existence of the site Thursday.

The idea is that citizens will report the sale of untaxed goods. The government claimed that such evasion costs the country $100 million a year.

As of early today there were four reports on the web. Two were for untaxed cigarettes, and two were for untaxed alcohol, according to the graphics there.

A November survey by the Cartago-based Technológico de Costa Rica showed that less than 2 percent of respondents said they had reported merchants who evaded sales tax. That's because both the consumer and the merchant benefit from such evasion. The same is true with untaxed products. The prices are cheaper.

To counter this reasoning the ministry noted that the products that have been taxed and entered the marketplace the legal way have a guarantee of quality. Vendors who evade sanitary controls put the consumer's health at grave risk. That is true with cigarettes, alcohol and medicines. Police frequently stop truckers who are transporting such illegal merchandise.

Costa Rican officials are planning to replace the 13 percent sales tax with a 15 percent value-added tax. That will generate more underground economic activity.

The chamber known as Am-Cham is sponsoring the project because illegal sales can undercut legal merchants.
This is the logo for the campaign

The ministry also said that those who deal with merchants who cheat are probably dealing with organized crime.

The device is designed to be friendly with smartphones and tablets. There is a geopositioning system built into the Web application. The report of illegal activity shows up on a Web site map as a round circle at the place it was reported.

The government has created a Comisión mixta permanente contra el Comercio Ilícito, and the Web application is the first step, the ministry said.

Am-Cham announced the results of its own survey that showed 63 percent of the respondents said they purchased illegal goods.

Cruz Roja setting up aid stations all along the Saturday parade route
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja said that it would have 170 workers, 18 ambulances and 12 temporary aid centers available for the Festival de la Luz Saturday.

The operation begins at 10 a.m., long before the 3 p.m. pre-festival for children and the 6 p.m. main parade.

Based on experiences with other such events, the Cruz Roja warned against consuming products of dubious origin. There will be many vendors servicing the parade crowd.

There may be showers for the parade. The Instituto Meteorológico
 Nacional said that a low pressure area was causing rain and unstable conditions Thursday in the mountains around the metro area as well as in Limón and the northern zone.

The weather institute said that the low pressure area would continue to have an effect on local weather through Saturday night. The metro area has only had a sprinkling of rain, but there has been ample wind. Elsewhere the situation is different. Residents of Barra de Colorado in northeast Costa Rica said that the town was awash and that transportation was by boat.

The rains have been heavy, they said, and the town is adjacent to the Río Colorado.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Robots, computers and scanners are the new tools for dentists
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Medical robots help surgeons perform delicate operations more safely and with greater dexterity than with instruments manipulated by hand. Such sophisticated tools also help doctors work more quickly. One machine reduces the time it takes to manufacture dental crowns to just a couple of hours.

Computer-aided medical instruments are increasingly making life easier for doctors and their patients.

It used to be that the common but complicated procedure to get a tooth crown required several visits to the dentist’s office. While a dental technician was preparing the permanent replacement for a damaged tooth, the patient had to wear a temporary crown.

Since the mid-1980s, this procedure has gradually been taken over by robotic machines that reduce the job to just over two hours. Sitting in the dentist’s chair takes even less time.

“It’s about 12 minutes worth of chair time for the patient and the rest of the time it’s work that’s taking place outside the patient’s mouth,” said dentist Michael Silveus.

At his office in Borthern Virginia, close to Washington, Silveus and his assistant prepares a patient’s tooth for a new crown.

The actual drilling takes about five minutes.

Instead of making the impression of the damaged tooth in a plastic material, Silveus uses a wand with a video camera to scan the tooth and the surrounding area.

At this point the computer takes over, designing the new crown and creating instructions for a robotic milling machine.

Voice of America photo
With the new technology a dentist can scan a tooth

A porcelain cube, no larger than the tooth, is inserted between two precise drills, similar to the dentist’s drill, that grind away excess material, turning the cube into a perfectly matching tooth crown.

To harden, the crown must be baked at high temperature for about ten minutes. During that process, it also gets tinted to match the color of the neighboring teeth, so it is ready to be cemented in the patient’s mouth.

Patients are pleased with the result. “It feels amazing. The tooth feels like my tooth,” said one patient. Silveus said even this technology may someday become obsolete.

“The other thing we look forward to is genetic engineering and eventually cloning, so you can make the crown out of actual enamel, just like the patient’s natural teeth are,” said Silveus. But for now, he said, his patients are happy to be able to get a new crown in just one visit.

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.
Every Saturday - Vendor Fair!

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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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, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 246        
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U.S. Congress passes bill
to prevent new shutdown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Congress has approved a last-minute, two-day extension of government funding, narrowly averting a partial federal government shutdown.

With just an hour to go before the midnight deadline, the Senate late Thursday approved the measure, minutes after it was passed by the House of Representatives.

Though the immediate threat of a government shutdown was lifted, the Senate now has just two days to approve a wider $1.1 trillion spending bill for 2015.

A major hurdle was cleared Thursday when the House voted 219 to 206 to approve the spending measure.

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner warned lawmakers that if they did not pass a bill Thursday -- even a temporary measure to fund the government -- they would have to stay in Washington until Christmas.

Lawmakers from both sides and President Barack Obama urged passage, even though conservative Republicans were angry over what was not in the bill and liberal Democrats were upset over what was there.

Conservatives said the measure does not block President Obama from taking executive action on immigration.

Liberals were furious over last-minute provisions that eased regulations on big banks, saying taxpayers would be responsible for bailing out a bank that fails.

Kerry says extreme weather
is linked to climate change

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday urged participants at a U.N.-backed climate change conference in Perú to demand accountability from their countries’ elected officials.

Kerry petitioned the diplomats, scientists, economists and other officials at the Conference of the Parties to make climate change an issue that no public official can ignore.
Kerry offered a dire prediction at the conference in Lima: “If we continue down the same path that we are on today, the world as we know it will change profoundly and will change dramatically for the worse.”
He cited examples of extreme weather that have occurred within the past two years.
“In Brazil, they saw the first, worst drought in half a century," he said. "New Zealand recently experienced a drought so bad that farmers had to slaughter their dairy cattle and sheep because they did not have enough food and water to keep the animals alive. And the historic droughts of the world are matched only by historic floods in other parts.”

Negotiators have been trying to craft an agreement that addresses concerns like rising greenhouse gas emissions in time for a Paris summit in 2015.
Kerry acknowledged that there are skeptics, even in the United States. “This is pretty logical stuff, and it is astounding to me that even in the United States Senate and elsewhere, we have people who doubt it.”

He said the solution to climate change is good energy policy.
“What we don’t hear enough of is the most important news of all — that climate change presents one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time on Earth.”
Kerry said those who think world economies cannot afford the costs of clean energy alternatives should consider the costs of damage from extreme weather events.

The secretary also said that every nation on Earth has a responsibility to fight climate change, not just big polluters like the United States and China.

Developing nations at the conference insisted that wealthy ones must bear the burden of fighting climate change, but Kerry said that more than half of the carbon emissions that are causing the Earth to warm come from poorer countries. He said it was imperative that  they act, too, and embrace what he called the energy sources of the future, rather than the ones of the past.

Voice of America photo
Dalai Lama gestures during television interview.

Tibetans get TV glimpse
of Dalai Lama interview

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For Tibetans, Dec. 10 is usually charged with happiness and tension, as security police swarm markets and temples on the lookout for extraordinary displays of religious fervor or celebration.

Their vigilance marks the Dalai Lama's 1989 Nobel Prize anniversary, a day when many Tibetans have the spiritual leader in their thoughts and grapple with the fact of his absence due to tightly enforced restrictions on worshiping him in homes and monasteries across ethnically Tibetan areas of China.

That’s why Voice of America’s Dec. 10 satellite TV broadcast of a historic interview with the Dalai Lama was a major news event for Tibetans, with hundreds of clips from the interview shared on Chinese social media. For older Tibetans, it was the first time since 1959 that they had seen the Dalai Lama speaking at such length on issues confronting the Tibetan people.

In the sweeping 80-minute interview recorded in India, the Dalai Lama covered a wide range of topics, including the origins of Tibet’s civilization; the achievements of Tibet’s ancient kings; Tibet’s turning away from war and empire-building to Buddhism and spirituality; and the necessity of preserving and cultivating Tibetan culture because of its value in today’s world.

The Dalai Lama also spoke about the importance of secular ethics, the practice of compassion, and mutual respect between followers of different religions in resolving some of today’s most intransigent conflicts.

“The teachings in religion on kindness and having concern for others is being ignored these days, while at the same time, the sense of one’s own religion is becoming more and more self-centered, combining to create chauvinistic ideas on the superiority of one’s own religion, thus one’s own superiority," he said. "It is this mindset that is creating problems today.”

And in turning to China, he expressed the view that religions in general have the potential to bring a degree of peace to people, and that Tibetan Buddhism, which has enjoyed wide respect and influence throughout the last 1,000 years of Chinese history, can help resolve many of China’s societal, environmental, and political problems.

“For a future People’s Republic of China to experience prolonged stability, for the people to feel contentment, and for the nation to enjoy wide influence in this world, compassion, tolerance, and a wider perspective, are essential. And not being driven by narrow insecurities,” he said.

The Dalai Lama concluded his remarks by turning directly to the camera to urge Tibetans to improve their own economic well-being and education, and to value and protect culture by stating that, “It is up to Tibetans to protect our culture, not for our sake only, but because Tibetan culture has the potential to contribute enormously to the future well-being of all people on earth.”

CIA director backs agency
in use of extreme tactics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan, responding to a scathing government report, defended his agency’s use of extreme tactics to obtain information from detainees held abroad after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. 

There were no easy answers, and whatever personal views are on enhanced interrogation techniques, his nation and in particular his agency did things right to keep our nation secure, Brennan said in opening remarks Thursday at a rare news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Addressing criticisms detailed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday, Brennan said an overwhelming number of CIA officers complied with rules on interrogation.

"They did what they were asked to do in the service of their nation," he said, telling reporters it was unknowable if the techniques produced useful intelligence. 

"I have already stated that our reviews indicate that the detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives," Brennan said.

Brennan also said the CIA did not intentionally deceive the president and the public, one of the charges made in the report. Based on a five-year investigation, it said the harsh interrogations amounted to torture, went beyond legal limits and failed to reveal actionable intelligence.

Brennan has acknowledged the agency did not always live up to the high standards it set for itself.

"In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all," Brennan said. "And we fell short when it came to holding some officers accountable for their mistakes.''

The director's comments followed former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney's defense of the CIA.

In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, Cheney said the CIA did exactly what the White House wanted in setting up an interrogation program for terror suspects following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Cheney said the program was designed to catch those responsible and make sure such an attack did not happen again.

"I would do it again in a minute," Cheney said of approving it.

He said the CIA deserved a lot of credit and not condemnation.

Cheney said Wednesday the program may have had some problems, but officials very carefully avoided torture. He also insisted the interrogations yielded vital information in preventing further attacks.

Meanwhile, the United States closed its last detention facility in Afghanistan, at the Bagram air base, after releasing three prisoners, two of them to Afghan authorities for possible prosecution. According to the Senate report, the CIA used its enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists held at Bagram.

Since the Senate report's release, countries often criticized by the United States for their human rights abuses, including China, have sharply attacked the CIA actions.

"A country's people have the best right to speak about their human rights situation," a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said. "The United States has no right to pose itself as an arbiter and at every turn point their finger at other countries' human rights, as racism and mistreatment of prisoners and other serious human rights violation problems in the United States are facts now known to all.''

The Russian foreign ministry’s human rights envoy, Konstanin Dolgov, said Thursday that the abuses cited in the report do not square with U.S. claims to be a model of democracy.

Islamabad's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Tasneem Aslam, called the interrogation techniques a violation of international law and said human rights laws must be respected.

Human rights activists are calling for the prosecution of officials involved in the CIA's use of extreme interrogation methods.

Wednesday, the Justice Department said the U.S. is committed to complying with its domestic and international obligations, but would object to foreign prosecution of U.S. officials.

President Barack Obama said the abuses were terrible mistakes that should not be repeated. He banned the use of the interrogation techniques when he took office in 2009.

laser weaon
U.S. Navy photo via Voice of America
The laser weapon run out for use.

U.S. Navy makes public
its infrared laser weapon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Navy says it has, for the first time, successfully tested an experimental laser weapon aboard a ship deployed in the Persian Gulf.

The Office of Naval Research has released a video showing the weapon in action during the tests.
The weapon, which utilizes a solid-state infrared beam of energy to cripple or destroy targets, was tested over the past few months aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. The Navy says the system performed flawlessly.

During a series of test shots, the laser hit and destroyed targets mounted atop a small boat, blasted a two-meter drone from the sky, and destroyed other moving targets.

The system is operated using a video-game-controller type device.

The U.S. Navy says laser weapons could be a pivotal tool for defending its fleets in the future from small boat, missile, and drone attacks. It hopes to deploy combat-ready laser prototypes by the early 2020s.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
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, the Pacific coast expert

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 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)

Heredia montage

Cariaria  Los Arcos.
    Lot inside Los Arcos Residence. Absolutely gorgeous right in front of the coffee plantation. The lot is 326.50 meters. Includes the corporation for an easy transfer and the plans for a 170 meter house. Open to all offers.   Architect  plans included (the blueprints). Cost to the seller $4,000 this is included!!   Original Price $97,000 just reduced to $86,000

Also I am selling an Audi A6  2008, 2.0 twin turbo. Full loaded power. Back leather. Full service records at the agency in Costa Rica.  52 kms.  Silver with black. Full computer iPod interface power. Electric moon roof. Everything's a beauty!!  Incredible history and full service at the agency, Costa Rica Audi.

It's a package deal $104.000.  Must sell.  I am moving back to U.S.  Contact me  at my phone:  2260-6979 or cell phone:  8893-8672.

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!


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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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 246
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Study: Coke ups risk of sudden death

By the University of the Basque Country news staff

Cocaine consumption quadruples the risk of sudden death in people between 19 and 49.

The research by the University of the Basque Country, the Basque Institute of Forensic Medicine and a mental health center is the first to link the two factors.

The joint piece of research links for the first time, the increase in sudden cardiovascular death with the recent consumption of cocaine. In people in the 19-49 age bracket, this risk is quadrupled. In fact, cocaine consumption doubles the risk of death of cardiovascular origin that can be attributed to smoking, and becomes the main risk factor among subjects under 50.

What is more, this study is the first one conducted using forensic samples taken from deceased individuals. So they examined all the sudden deaths that underwent forensic analysis and which took place in Bizkaia over a seven-year period, between January 2003 and December 2009. The post-mortem examinations were conducted by the only service existing in the province: the Forensic Pathology Service of Bizkaia of the Basque Institute of Forensic Medicine. The research has been published by the specialized journal Addiction.

Benito Morentin, Javier Ballesteros, Luis F. Callado and J. Javier Meana analyzed the cases of 437 people who died owing to sudden cardiovascular death and whose deaths were not due to disease or acute intoxication. To conduct the research, they also studied the cases of another 126 people who died of different causes.

For the first time, the researchers included a population (sudden death patients) that had been excluded from other clinical studies. All the individuals had suffered sudden death of a non-violent nature with instant death or within six hours following the onset of symptoms. A relatively young population was chosen (between the ages of 19 and 49) to rule out the influence of cardiovascular problems that are more common in older people. What is more, the fact that cocaine consumption outside this age bracket is very low was taken into account, although cocaine is the most consumed illegal psychoactive substance after cannabis. In the Basque Country the consumption of this drug is above the average for Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

In all the cases, a full post-mortem examination plus toxicological and histopathological studies were conducted, and the clinical data and circumstances of the deaths were reviewed. Gas chromatography and liquid spectrometry were conducted to detect therapeutic drugs, drug abuse and ethanol. What is more, a time link was established between recent cocaine consumption and death, and they took into consideration obesity, hypertension, diabetes and smoking in relation to other risk values for suffering a heart attack.

The analysis of the data shows that cocaine consumption multiplies the risk of dying by four compared with non-consumption. Specifically, the percentage of cases among the deceased owing to sudden death in which drug consumption was detected was nearly 10 percent, while among the people who had died of other causes it was 2 percent. And in comparison with the estimated data in the general population, the proportion of people who used cocaine recently was between 13 and 58 times higher in the cases of sudden death than in the general population. Another risk factor detected was sex. The risk in men was higher than in women.

The mental health organization that was involved in the research is the Centro de Investigación en Red de Salud Mental.

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