A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                                San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246                               Email us
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Solís promises to respect World Court on Calero
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's reliance on international agencies will be put to the test Wednesday when the International Court of Justice issues its decision on the land dispute between this country and Nicaragua.

President Luis Guillermo Solís told the nations in a taped television speech Sunday that Costa Rica will not appeal the decision. He said he hoped that Nicaragua also would not contest it and that relations between the two countries could become normal.

Solís said in his talk that Costa Ricans are on the side of truth and seem to fully expect a decision that supports his government's claims fully.

Nicaragua invaded the land in 2010, so the decision is a long time in coming.

The activity there has been disguised as a dredging operation, but the real motive is to punch a channel through the Isla Calero to the Caribbean sea so that vessels have rapid access to the river. In the final 30 or so kilometers the river meanders, doubles back on itself and is silted up.

A channel would provide quick access to the river but it also would increase the amount of Caribbean seabed owned by Nicaragua by moving the national border south.

The continental shelf is supposed to be rich in petroleum.

Costa Rica has since filled in the channel under court supervision.

Nicaragua has raised the related claim that a rough road Costa Rica extended along the south bank of the Río San Juan was an environmental threat.

Laura Chinchilla was president when the land invasion took place. Although the country declined to confront Nicaraguan militarily, heavily armed Fuerza Pública officers have been stationed at the border.

The 15 justices of the World Court are from 15 different countries, including the United States.

The U.N. Security Council is supposed to enforce the court rulings, but sometimes countries just ignore them, as in the case of Nicaragua's Caribbean territorial dispute against Colombia, which Bogata rejected.

Faithful to begin nine nights of Las Posadas Tuesday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The annual tradition of Las Posadas begins Tuesday anywhere there are Latins or Spanish.

In Costa Rica, entire neighborhoods participate. The Biblioteca Nacional is kicking off the nine-days of Las Posada Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Las Posadas means lodgings, and the tradition represents the effort as recounted in the Bible for Joseph and Mary to find lodging in Bethlehem. Their efforts were unsuccessful, and Jesus Christ was born in a stable where the couple had retreated, according to the biblical acccounts.

The national library plans to have an actor and actress reenacting the story along with Christmas villancicos or songs. This is just a one-day event, but the traditional Las Posadas lasts for nine days.

Each evening the faithful join in a candle-lighted procession following Mary
and Joseph in a search for accommodations. They are denied entry at eight homes, but at a  designated ninth home, all enter for 
Biblioteca Nacional photo 
Las Posadas centers around the nativity.

prayer and then singing and traditional snacks.

The nine days are supposed to represent the nine months Mary was pregnant. And every night has a theme in which a few biblical verses pertaining to the topic are read.

The tradition can be documented to be at least 100 years old in Costa Rica.  In México the tradition is 400 years old and may be a merger of Christian and Aztec celebrations.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Solis and Cuban flag
Casa Presidencial photo        
President Solís enters the airport terminal holding a Cuban flag

Solís only mentions migrants on television

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The president did not mention the issue of 5,000 Cuban migrants stranded in this country when he spoke after arriving in José Marti airport Sunday.

But in a taped message to the country that was aired Sunday night he said the issue would come up next week when he and other presidents of the Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana meet. He noted, however, that so far other countries have shown lack of understanding and collaboration on this humanitarian drama.

The president, Luis Gullermo Solís, said that Costa Rica was a small country with limited financial resources. He also praised the Costa Rican citizenry for their generosity, solidarity and unbreakable defense of human rights.

At the Cuban airport, Solís promised to help normalize relations and improve commercial exchanges. He noted that Costa Rica exports $40 million a year to Cuba. He traveled with a 31-person delegation and was the first Costa Rican president to visit the island since Fidel Castro assumed power. Costa Rica resumed diplomatic relations six years ago.

The television comments of Solís appeared to be designed to respond to criticisms by the public as to why he allowed 5,000 Cubans to enter the country from Panamá in the middle of last month. Solís continued to speak about human rights, but he clearly was caught short along with other members of his administration when Nicaragua closed its border with Costa Rica and trapped the Cubans here. Initially the Cubans received just seven-day Costa Rican visas.

He said his goal was to allow the Cubans to continue their travels north to the United States. A 1966 law gives them preferred immigration.

In Costa Rica some private organizations are raising funds for the needs of the stranded Cubans. One group plans a concert tour that ends in La Cruz, Guanacaste, near the Nicaraguan border Saturday with the goal of raising the spirits of the Cubans. Organizers were seeking funds Sunday at musical events in San José. The same organization proposes to produce a documentary film about the migration.

Casa Presidencial Friday came out with a summary of the work that Cuban volunteers had done. The beer and soft drink firm, Florida Ice and Farm Co., supervised the work and provided transportation and refreshments.

As an example, Friday some 27 migrants cleaned up Playa  Brasilito, fixed up a children's park and helped at the local recycling center, Casa Presidencial said.

New media encourages selective exposure

By the University of Buffalo news staff

Are your political sensitivities more to the left or to the right? Which candidate are you supporting? Is a particular social policy likely to achieve its goal? With each question, people tend to seek information that confirms their existing opinion or belief while avoiding contrary information.

This is selective exposure, and Internet technologies are likely exacerbating this behavior, according to Ivan Dylko, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo and an expert in political communication and communication technology effects.

“We tend to look for information that confirms our points of view,” says Dylko. “It bolsters self-esteem, helps us effectively cope with political information overload, but on the other hand, it means we’re minimizing exposure to information that challenges us.

Dylko has developed a model, published in the journal Communication Theory, which explores customizability’s political impact and suggests how the automatic and consistent inclusion, exclusion and presentation of information encourages political selective exposure. He has also conducted an experimental study to test his model, the subject of two research papers currently under peer review.

What media consumers did with print and broadcast is not the same process that emerges online, nor is the idea of selective exposure as intuitive as it might seem, with researchers divided on its consequences.

“Scholars disagree about whether the Internet makes us more politically closed minded, or whether it exposes us to more politically diverse points of view,” said Dylko.

Customizability is what separates past print, broadcast and face-to-face realities from present online communication realities.  Users now have an unprecedented amount of information to deal with, forcing them to be more selective than ever; they have an unprecedented diversity of content choices, allowing them to find content that matches their beliefs and attitudes more closely than ever. And they have customizability technology providing nearly complete control over the information they receive.

“In a two-newspaper town, readers still might look at the rival paper in addition to their favored publication because the newspaper choices were relatively limited, but online readers can find and then spend hours looking only at content that perfectly fits their psychological and political preferences,” according to Dylko.

Presets on old radio panels or print subscriptions might appear to be customizability’s ancestors. But pushing a button or dropping a renewal form in the mail required conscious choices.

Online, the process is automatic, sometimes user driven, but also system driven, often occurring without a user’s knowledge – an idea labeled filter bubble and popularized by political activist and Internet entrepreneur Eli Pariser.

“Technologies often have unintended consequences,” Dylko says. “The model published in Communication Theory describes how these customizability technologies, initially designed to help us cope with information overload, lead to detrimental political effects. Specifically, they increase political selective exposure, making us more surrounded with like-minded information and, potentially, making us more politically polarized.”

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246
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A few players are very happy while the rest wait until next year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Gordo lottery drawing Sunday left some extraordinarily happy and others are reporting to work as normal today.

The winning number with the series 139 and the number 63 became known early in the evening drawing, and some of the drama was gone. The prize in colons amounts to $2.66 million, and Costa Rica does not collect a tax on lottery winnings.

The Junta de Protección Social keeps track of where tickets from the various series go, and the winning four tickets went to Santa Ana, San José, and Heredia, the Junta said.

There were lesser prizes awarded, including a second place for Series 537 with the number 91, and third for Series 834 with the number 37.

There also were a flurry of other prizes ranging from 6 million to 1 million colons.

A full ticket cost 70,000 colons, and sales were reported to be slow except for Sunday.

Most who play the lottery purchase less than a full ticket, so there may be many winners of the top prize, and each of 40 fractions of
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Lottery baskets are seen in this Chanel 13 capture.

the winning ticket brings 35 million colons or about $66,500.

The Spanish-language press will following closely the winners as they come forward.

Hotel header

Palermo Hotel

Croc Resort

Tarpon lodge

Vista Ballena

La Parcela

Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246
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Social media becomes a powerful weapon for the unhappy consumer
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Australian small businessman Teg Sethi thought he was buying his dream car, a $44,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. His dream car became a nightmare when the vehicle had 15 problems, including trouble with the steering.

His harshly negative review of the car gathered more than 2 million views on YouTube alone, and is part of a revolution in relations between customers and companies brought about by surging online commerce and the rise of social media critiques.

Many business experts say social media gives customers, including the angry man from Australia, a global platform to air their opinions, which could boost well-run firms and threaten the existence of others.
The lemon Jeep’s author uses a rap song with funny lyrics and a catchy tune, attractive dancers, and skillful production to assert his opinion that the car is a “lemon,”  a piece of junk that is unreliable and unsafe.
Large lemons are pictured throughout the video, including an actor dressed in a lemon costume. Other actors are wearing lemons or shirts with lemons on them, and the car has a yellow license plate that reads lemon.

A Chrysler spokesman says the company reached out to the obviously unhappy customer, corrected some problems and was unable to find some others.

Chrysler's Ed Garsten said, “We value each and every customer” and “remain open to constructive dialogue.”

According to Sethi, an initial settlement offer would have prohibited him or any member of his family, including his infant son, from commenting on the car or revealing the content of the agreement. In an email, he now said he and the company have reached a resolution that leaves him and his associates free to campaign for stronger laws to protect consumers.

According to Sethi, social media changes everything but must be clever to have a significant impact.

The impact appears likely to grow in the United States where the volume of e-commerce has hit a record high for the sixth year in a row.

Chris Moloney, CEO of Gremlin, a digital marketing and social media technology company, said the accompanying increase in social media reviews is sparking a fundamental change in the way most purchases are made. 

Moloney said prospective customers of both online and traditional stores now take time to get online information, including social media reviews, before they pull out their credit cards or cash.

Keith Quesenberry researches digital marketing at Messiah 

lemon video
Voice of America photo
Teg Sethi in his rap video, “I Made A Mistake. I Bought a Lemon Jeep.”

College in Pennsylvania. He said social media reviews are
important to companies because prospective customers trust them far more than information from paid advertising.

In an email, he writes that social media have become so important that companies no longer have a choice on whether to provide social media customer service.

Quesenberry said, however, that such service can be cheaper for companies than traditional methods.

Alexander Ruggie runs a service company that repairs water damage to homes caused by leaks, sewage backups, firefighting efforts and other problems.  The head of 911 Restoration said social media options are “quickly supplementing existing customer service operations.” 

He said they are ”a rapid and conscientious response from the company.”

Ruggie said social media have a particularly strong impact on firms like his that provide services.

The Better Business Bureau’s Katherine Hutt said her organization has been monitoring customer concerns for many years, and it has added a social media area on its Web site for consumer reviews of the millions of companies monitored by the BBB.

She said her group checks online reviews to make sure they come from valid customers, and then shares complaints with the relevant companies so they have a chance to respond and resolve the issues.
In the meantime, Sethi and his family have bought a new car. It is not a Jeep.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
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.


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Real estate rentals
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Real estate for rent
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
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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
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246
Real Estate
About us

Opinions on Paris climate deal
dividing along party lines

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans are digesting a global climate accord that is dividing Washington along predictable partisan political lines.

“This agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens our planet and more of the jobs and economic growth driven by low-carbon investment,” said a jubilant President Barack Obama shortly after the deal was announced Saturday.

“What matters is that today we can be more confident this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation.  And that is what I care about,” Obama added.

Congressional Democrats flooded Twitter to hail the accord.  Not so Republicans, who announced their opposition even before the deal was struck.

“President Obama has promised to cut back American energy production dramatically,” said Sen. John Barrasso last week.  “The American people oppose sending their money to a United Nations climate slush fund.”

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the accord as unattainable and “based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.”

The accord is not a formal treaty and therefore requires no Senate ratification to go into effect.  Whoever succeeds Obama in 2017 could halt or continue America’s adherence to its provisions.

Republican presidential contenders say the planet can be protected without what they see as Obama’s job-killing climate agenda.

“We want to have clean air, we want to have clean water.  We do want to have that,” said businessman and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump before decrying federal environmental regulations.

The administration is standing firm.

“A lot of members of Congress are on the wrong side of history,” said Secretary of State John Kerry on ABC’s "This Week" program.  “And I don’t believe you can be elected president of the United States if you do not understand climate change and you aren’t committed to this kind of a plan.”

Among Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton called the climate deal “a historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.”  In a tweet, Sen. Bernie Sanders said the accord “goes nowhere near far enough.”

“There is nothing of greater importance than that we leave this planet to our children and grandchildren in a way that is healthy and habitable,” Sanders added at a campaign event Saturday.

The accord is sure to spark fierce debate when Congress reconvenes this week.

The agreement sets a goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C and calls for the participating nations to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Under the deal, all nations will communicate their climate targets every five years, starting in 2020. The agreement sets up a transparency system in which countries will disclose not only carbon emissions but also the source of those emissions and what nations are doing to mitigate greenhouse gases.

Obama said as technology advances, the climate deal paves the way for more ambitious targets over time, while ensuring support for the world’s most vulnerable countries as they pursue cleaner economic growth.

Pope Frances to celebrate
Mass at México-U.S. border

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Vatican says Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Mexico will include an open-air Mass on the U.S. border, after visits to the impoverished southern state of Chiapas and the western state of Michoacan, widely seen as the birthplace of Mexico's drug wars.

The five-day visit opens Feb. 12 in Mexico City, where the Argentine-born pontiff will be greeted by President Enrique Peña Nieto, before celebrating Mass at the city's Basilica of Guadaloupe.

The Vatican itinerary shows Francis then visiting Chiapas and Michoacan before ending his visit in the border city of Ciudad Juárez.

That city sits on Mexico's northern border across from El Paso, Texas.  Francis is expected to visit a local prison to pray with inmates before the open-air Mass in a large field with a capacity of more than 200,000 next to Benito Juárez stadium.

A Vatican statement said tickets to the event will be made available to parish churches on both sides of the border.

Since his March 2013 elevation to the papacy, Francis has sought to emphasize the plight of migrants and refugees across the globe.

Cuba and U.S. to reestablish
postal service with pilot test

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States and Cuba say they have agreed to re-establish direct postal service, which was cut more than five decades ago at the height of the Cold War.

The two countries announced Friday that they would launch a pilot program in the coming weeks to test the direct service. They did not give a date for when service would be permanently restored.

The announcement comes nearly a year after U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced that the two countries would renew diplomatic relations after more than a half century.

Earlier this year, embassies in Havana and Washington re-opened and Obama publicly urged Congress to lift the 56-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

So far, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Congress have taken no major steps toward that end, leaving the president to say in September that his administration will look step by step for opportunities to ease the effects of the embargo while it remains in place.

In the past year, the United States has also removed Cuba from the U.S. blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism and eased some travel restrictions to the communist country.

Castro said earlier this year that restoring full U.S.-Cuban relations can only take place after Washington lifts the trade embargo. He has also said Washington must hand back sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay, where the United States maintains a naval base.

Canada welcomes first group
of refugees from Syrian cities

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

United Nations and international agencies welcomed the arrival in Toronto, Canada, of a first group of Syrian refugees for settlement.

The 163 refugees, who traveled from Jordan, are the first of 25,000 Syrians to be resettled in Canada by early next year. They arrived late Thursday in Toronto.

Of the refugees who arrived, 116 will settle in the Toronto area. The others are sponsored by Canadians in another part of Ontario as well as British Columbia and Alberta. All 10 of Canada's provincial premiers support taking in refugees.

The Syrians are mainly from Aleppo and Damascus, both Syrian cities have undergone heavy bombing and deprivation since the war began in 2011.

The refugees were greeted upon their arrival by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the ministers of immigration, health and defense, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Trudeau said that Canada is showing “the world how to open our hearts” and welcome people fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations in search of a better life.

“We define a Canadian not by a skin color or a language or a religion or a background,” Trudeau said, “but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that not just Canadians but people around the world share."

U.N. refugee spokesman Adrian Edwards says his agency applauds the swift manner in which Canada is acting in implementing the humanitarian initiative announced late last month.

“Canada’s programs are an expression of support to Syrian refugees. But, importantly for us, they are demonstrations, too, of solidarity to countries in the region that are hosting more than 4 million Syrian refugees,” Edwards said.

In an attempt not to overwhelm the refugees, the Canadian government asked the general public not to come to the airport, but that did not stop some well-wishers. 

Trudeau said "This is a wonderful night... we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations."

Canada is set to welcome 25,000 refugees by the end of February. About 800 of them are being screened by security and health officers each day in Lebanon and Jordan, before they are transported to Canada.

Edwards says to date, some 30 countries have pledged to resettle an estimated 160,000 Syrians.

Although the United States is the world’s largest country of resettlement, it so far has admitted only a fraction of the more than 4 million refugees. Fewer than 2,000 have been reported resettled there since 2012.

Canada's embrace of the refugees is also in contrast to the U.S., where a presidential candidate, several governors and ordinary citizens have been very vocal in their stance that the refugees should not be allowed into the country.

Edwards said the refugees undergo an extensive vetting process by both the United Nations  and national authorities in the U.S. before they are accepted for resettlement.

He said refugees eligible for resettlement are among the most vulnerable, desperate cases, and many have serious health problems or are disabled.  Others are victims of torture and many include women, children and the elderly in urgent need of help.

Statue of Hungarian Nazi
draws multiple protests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. State Department official says it is incomprehensible that Hungary would allow a statue honoring Balint Homan, a World War II government minister who pushed for the slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

"Honoring a man like that, we are shocked by it," the U.S. special envoy for anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, said Sunday in Budapest.

"From the U.S. government perspective, we feel very strongly that history and the damage that this man did to Hungarian citizens who happened to be Jewish cannot be ignored," Forman said.

Forman joined Israeli and Canadian diplomats and members of the Hungarian Jewish community in lighting candles on the eighth and final night of the ancient Jewish festival of Hanukkah Sunday. All of them openly denounced plans for the Homan statue.

Homan was a Hungarian minister of religion and education in the country’s pro-Nazi government. He was a fierce anti-Semite who drew up many of the country's anti-Jewish laws during World War II, along with plans to deport Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps.

Homan was arrested after the war and died in prison in 1951.

The privately-run Balint Homan Foundation plans to erect the statue in the Hungarian town of Szekesfehervar.

   Voice of America photo 
A poster of a U.S. postage stamp depicting Frank Sinatra is seen at the entrance of the Hoboken, New Jersey, Historical Museum.

Sinatra’s 100th birthday
marked in his hometown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Before singer Frank Sinatra became a global household name, he was a local boy from a New Jersey city across the river from Manhattan.

In that town, Hoboken, a street is named after him, and to celebrate Sinatra’s 100th birthday anniversary, Hoboken’s museum has him on proud display.

Robert Foster, executive director of the Hoboken Historical Museum, said fans visit from as far away as Brazil and France who used to listen to Sinatra on the radio when they were growing up.

“They always love the message of his music, they always felt connected to his voice,” he said.

A part of the exhibit is dedicated to Sinatra’s fans. In the times predating the Internet and social media, Sinatra admirers wrote letters to each other and to the singer, and even dedicated poems to him. They did not care that Sinatra never graduated from high school, that he lacked a music education, and could not read music.
Sinatra’s velvety baritone brought him glamour and fame in New York and Hollywood, where he won numerous Grammys and an Oscar. His success is an immigrant story.
“He was growing up Italian at a time when Italians were still new to this country,” said Foster. “So, he would talk about discrimination against Italians.”

Sinatra spent his first 21 years in Hoboken in an Italian neighborhood. He sang in bars and played the ukulele.
His former house at 415 Monroe St. burned to the ground during Sinatra’s lifetime, but his fans planted a star on the sidewalk in his honor.

Newest 'Star Wars' chapters
awaited by fans in Hollywood

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

"Episode VII: The Force Awakens," the latest chapter in filmmaker George Lucas’ Star Wars saga, is expected to be one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Even though it won’t be in theaters until Thursday, devoted fans are lining up to see it.

“It’s a classic movie, so we all want to see from where it left off to where it's going to go,” said fan Andrew Porters of Australia. "Myself and Caroline, my fiancee, we flew for 12 hours to come across, and a lot of other people have come from all over America to meet here.”

"Here" is the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, formerly known as Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Advance tickets went on sale in October, and "we sold out instantaneously for all the opening shows and opening weekend," said Alwyn Hight Kushner, the theater company's president.

“The first movie shown was at this theater, so it holds a special place," Porters said of "Star Wars".

Porters' group,, bought over 500 tickets for the opening-night screenings. In order to get one, fans have to register and accumulate 24 hours of line time. The longer people camp out in line, the better their seats will be.

“We’ve got about 130 signed up and we’re nine days out,” Porters said earlier this week.

Some fans think it's about more than just being first to see the movie.

“Ninety percent of this is about your family, and your friends, and getting together," said fan Nathan Clukey. "Ten percent of it is about the movie.”

But that doesn't mean he won't head into the theater on opening night with a critical eye.

“Kids are going to love it. Most people are going to love it, absolutely," Clukey said. The most devoted fans "are the hardest ones to please, so even if we like it, that’s a great success.”

“I think the trick is to go in without any real expectations and just be excited for what you get," Porters said.

The original "Star Wars" had a record-breaking 62-week run at the Chinese Theatre in 1977. Nowadays, most movies at the TCL site screen for two weeks, but not "The Force Awakens." Initial plans are for the film to screen for four weeks, and, depending on its success, maybe longer.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

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

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

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

Safe house
The Safest Place in The World
Residencial La Jolla, Asuncion de Belén
Casa 7 of 19 luxury homes in exclusive gated community.
3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, home office with private entrance.
332 m2 construction. 2-car garage. Central A/C
Lease $2,750 USD per month. Purchase $449,000.
Contact: Phone 8309-2000.

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:


Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or   More photos HERE!

New Arenal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goetl in Palo Seco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 246
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Know your colors to attract butterflies

Yes, I talk a lot about pests in this column, ants and bugs and things that bite. But the tropics have so many wonderful things that I thought it was
Victoria torley
about time I mentioned them. Take butterflies, for example.

Doesn't every child love butterflies? Even when we are adults, they still amaze with their colors and patterns, and I want them in my garden even though I know that the caterpillars may munch a few desirable plants. I would really love to attract the blue morpho and
have seen several near the river. So, how do I get them into the yard?

Butterflies love the shades from red to yellow, throw in pinks and purples, and you have them all. Flowers for butterflies should be clustered or flat-topped with flower tubes that are fairly short. Moths, with their longer probosces, prefer lighter colors and shades of white and can handle long tubular flowers. Since butterflies prefer to feed in the sun, plant sun-loving flowers. And be sure to plant for continuous bloom here in the tropics. When the flowers are gone, so are the butterflies. For flowers, plant jasmine and lantana, coneflower, zinnias, daisies, cardinal flower, and ixora to name just a few.

Then there are the jewels of the sky, the hummingbirds. Fortunately, hummingbirds enjoy many of the same flowers that attract butterflies, although they prefer tubular flowers. As you watch them, you will notice that some have straight beaks and some have beaks with a delicious curve. Either type is needed to reach deeply into the flower for a full meal of nectar. My favorite bush for hummingbirds is the Sanchezia which can reach 5 feet tall by 8 feet wide (about 1.5m x 2.25m) and has variegated foliage and clusters of tubular red-orange flowers. Hummingbirds enjoy the cardinal flowers you planted for the butterflies but they will prefer columbine, lilies, and hibiscus along with varieties of honeysuckle, passion flower, and trumpet vines. Again, plant for continuous flowering.

Attracting bees to the garden seems relatively simple until you remember that they can't see red and you have planted a lot of reds to attract other fliers. The favorites for bees are yellows and blues with clustered or flat-topped flowers. Zinnias fit the bill nicely and, since they come in many colors, you can attract bees and butterflies with the same plant. Lantana and roses will also attract bees. The largest cluster of bees I have seen in the yard has been on my angel trumpet shrub. They were crawling up into the flowers for nectar and the buzzing was audible at 30 feet.

Want them all in the garden? Just mix and match until you get it right for your tropical zone, and happy planting!

angel wings

Plant of the Week
Here is another one of my wonderful orchids, looking a bit like the wings of an angel. Although I found a number of likely candidates for this species, none was quite right for a definitive naming of this particular orchid. With over 1,300 species of orchids here, I wasn't really surprised. Perhaps someone in the readership can supply a title for this orchid?

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit

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