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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 251                                  Email us
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Corporate tax goes up, but traffic fines rise more
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judicial salary on which many fines and taxes are based increased just 4,000 colons for 2015.

The new rate is 403,400 colons, according to the Poder Judicial. That means the tax on active corporations will be just 201,700. That's about $382.

Inactive corporations will pay half that.  The tax is due by the end of January. The small increase will filter down to many other fines and assessments because laws usually include this amount as a base. It is the monthly salary of a designated judicial worker.
That does not include traffic fines. The Consejo de Seguridad Vial said it would raise traffic fines some  4.59 percent. The traffic law specifies that the fine amounts are adjusted based on the rate of inflation as reported by the Dirección General de Estadística y Censos.

The lowest fine, such as the penalty for driving a vehicle on a restricted plate downtown on the day it is prohibited, goes up 864 colons to 21,864 colons,

The major fines or infractions such as passing in a prohibited zone, failing to have a license or speeding goes from 293,000 to 306,000 colons, some $579.50.

U.S. Senate staff recommends residency-based tax
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. expats here who are victims of the many tax rules and regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service may get a break.

The Republican staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee has issued a policy paper that proposes significant changes in the way overseas citizens are taxed.

American Citizens Abroad, Inc., an expat advocacy organization, said that the policy paper agrees with it that the country should adopt a residency based taxation system. The expat organization had been advocating this approach for years.

The United States is one of a very few countries that now taxes its citizens on income earned anywhere. This has led to a series of complex tax agreements between the United States and other countries in an effort to avoid double taxation. But that effort is not always successful.

In addition, U.S. citizens receive an annual tax deduction in earned income of nearly $100,000. That may seem like a large amount, but offshore construction laborers and other highly paid U.S. workers easily exceed that limit.

The report is aptly called  “The United States needs to rethink its taxing rules for nonresident U.S. citizens.”

American Citizens Abroad, Inc. said a residence-based taxation system is the same currently proposed for U.S. corporations.

“We think it makes sense to tax the individual, as a general rule, only on income from U.S. sources.,” said the committee staff.  Republicans, of course, will control both houses of the U.S. Congress in January, but the issue seems to be non-partisan because many Democrats also say the current system damages U.S. competitivity overseas.

This common sense approach is a marked shift from today’s uncompetitive and discriminatory tax practices whereby American workers overseas are sometimes taxed twice on the same  

income in addition to facing onerous penalty fees for errors, omissions and other discrepancies even if no taxes are owed, said American Citizens Abroad.

The current laws have created requirements for American citizens to file paperwork about their bank accounts as well as overseas earnings.

“We are thrilled to see members of the Senate Finance Committee joining the growing chorus of supporters for residence based taxation,” said American Citizens Abroad’s tax team director, Jackie Bugnion, in a release. “As an organization ACA remains committed to working on a bi-partisan basis with members of both parties to get these proposals passed in 2015.” 

The organization noted that its proposal entitled, “Residence Based Taxation: A Necessary and Urgent Tax Reform” provides an in-depth analysis of why the United States must change tax practices with respect to overseas workers in order to remain competitive internationally and avoid another economic downturn. The report is available HERE! 

Meanwhile at the international level,  some 51 governments have pledged to implement automatic exchange of information beginning 2017. This is the result of a meeting by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin.

The Global Forum is the world’s largest network for international cooperation in the field of taxation and financial information exchange, gathering together 123 countries and jurisdictions on an equal footing, the network said.

Costa Rica is a member, and Peru and Croatia joined the Forum at the Berlin meeting.

More countries are expected to adopt the regulations soon.

The agreement is being called a major new step to boost international cooperation against tax evasion.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 252

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

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CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
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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.
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           *$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!

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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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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
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* 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.
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Travel by minors delayed by glitch

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Readers reported chaos Friday at the immigration offices where parents obtain permission to take a minor child out of the country.

The Internet link between the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and the Dirección General de Migración was out of service. This is the system used to forward permissions signed by absent spouses, usually fathers, from other countries.

Friday was the last day that a parent here could obtain the permission because the immigration officers were closing for the holidays.

The law is designed to reduce parental abductions, and immigration clerks need to see permissions from both parents in order to stamp the passport of a minor Costa Rican.

One reader reported that tempers flared between a divorced couple because the father declined to sign a permission slip for the couple's daughter. The wife punched out the father and was led away in handcuffs, the reader said.

Soccer dispute blamed in Guadalupe killing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police officers and even the agency's dogs were on alert Saturday when the Club Sport Herediano and Deportivo Saprissa met to decide the nation's soccer championship for the winter season.

Just a handful, some seven persons, were detained for fighting or for possession of marijuana.  Police stood shoulder to shoulder in the aisles of the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. There also were heavy patrols in Heredia Centro and even in adjacent Tibás.

Saprissa won.

Proof that tempers flare over soccer came in in Guadalupe Centro where a 30-year-old Saprissa fan died of a stab wound after an argument about sports. The man identified by the last name of Ríos left a bar to continue his argument and was stabbed in the leg, said the Fuerza Pública. The victim ran to a nearby restaurant where he died in the men's room.

One suspect is a man who sells meat snacks near the bar. He is accused of using the knife of his trade to inflict the wound. A second suspect also was detained.

Our reader's opinion
Economy faces collapse without change

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The article on the weakening of the U.S. dollar against the colon was interesting. On a daily basis I track international money markets on The U.S. dollar has strengthened against all the major currencies in recent times. The colon is bucking the trend.

We should ask why? Is the Costa Rican economy booming? Has its government reduced its U.S. dollar deficits?  Are exports generating large dollar surpluses? Is there a big inflow of foreign investment capital? Are speculators piling into the colon, expecting it to surge against the dollar? You do not have to be an economist to recognize that none of these things is true. The newspapers here contradict such notions on a daily basis.

So how come the colon is less volatile against the dollar than any major currency, and how come it is actually strengthening, despite the weakness of the economy? Your article contains the answer. The currency is managed by the government and is artificially shored up. That is why Costa Rica is so expensive compared to other expat destinations.

The government continues to borrow in dollars as do many Costa Rican citizens. If the colon were allowed to float freely against the dollar, it would crash and burn. This would cause a massive personal and government debt crisis and economic collapse. No wonder the government does not want the currency to weaken on its watch.

Unfortunately, unless the economy unexpectedly and massively improves and individuals and the government change direction, reducing instead of increasing their indebtedness, the downward pressure on the currency will become ever stronger. I personally witnessed a similar situation in Asia in 1997. It was far from pretty. In one week the currencies of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and their smaller neighbors collapsed. There was massive unemployment. High end cars were dumped on the streets, because the owners could not afford the payments. Consumer spending and property prices collapsed.

Asia had high wage flexibility and came out of the crisis in just a few years. Costa Rica has little such flexibility and could be heading for disaster.
Chris Clarke

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
U.S. Tax new ad
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 252             
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Lawmakers challenge labor code unveto by Solís in constitutional court
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 20 lawmakers from various political parties have challenged the president by seeking judicial review of his action with the labor reform bill.

President Luis Guillermo Solís once again reversed an action of a former president and lifted a veto imposed in 2012 by former president Laura Chinchilla.

That action does not sit too well with some lawmakers who said they believe the action seriously affects the division of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government.

That is why the lawmakers have filed appeals with the Sala IV constitutional court.  Juan Marín Quirós of the Partido Liberación Nacional, said the Constitution has been mistreated. He said he would await a judicial verdict to see if his opinion is correct.

Many of the lawmakers said they agree with a number of facets in the new legislation. But they think that the measure should have been submitted again to the Asamblea Legislativa.

Solís Friday also signed a directive that negates one part of the labor reform. His directive forbids strikes by essential public service workers, such as those at hospitals and police.

Earlier in the year, Solís reversed a veto by former president Óscar Arias Sánchez to allow vendors to continue to occupy Calle 13 bis just west of the Plaza de la Democracia. This action was opposed and appealed by the Municipalidad de San José.
Partido Liberación Nacional photo
Lawmakers announce their decision to seek Sala IV review of the president's action.

The twin actions have generated uncertainty in the business community where some see the president as reckless or arrogant. However, he managed to win a court appeal that challenged his appointment of a Methodist bishop as his minster of the Presidencia. In a controversial decision, the Sala IV said the rule against clergy only applied to those of the Catholic faith.

However, the Constitution makes no such distinction.

The labor reform bill favored by Solís forbids the government or employers from filling the slots of strikers with temporary workers.

It also allows a small percentage of employees to call a strike for an entire enterprise, even it they are not unionized.

The measure is generally seen as highly favorable to labor.

Cuban cigars may soon lose their image of U.S. contraband
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Local cigar vendors are frequent stopping points for U.S. tourists, mostly male, who are seeking the forbidden fruit of Cuban cigars.

The metro area has cigar rooms where smokers can pay up to $60 a cigar.

There also are tobacco shops that display certification that their Cuban cigars are really that and not cheap rip offs made in Puriscal.

The problem is bringing the cigars back to the United States, which is a forbidden practice. Homeland Security promises large fines for anyone caught with Cuban cigars or alcohol, for that matter.

Under the proposal for relaxing trade barriers between Cuba and the United States, it appears that U.S. visitors to the island will be able to bring back home $100 worth of cigars or alcohol. The rules have not changed yet, but new ones are expected to be announced soon.

By extension, all U.S. overseas travelers, including tourists to Costa Rica, will be able to bring home Cuban products.

Most cigar smokers do that already, and an agency that cannot stop the importation of tons of cocaine or thousands of illegal aliens is unlikely to spot a couple of Montecristos stuffed inside some underwear.

Larger shipments of Cuban cigars depend on U.S. congressional action, sources said. That may be a long time in coming, considering the current U.S. political situation.

Although Puriscal west of the Central Valley is the source of Cuban
Wikimedia Commons/Dan Smith
Four well-known Cuban cigars: H. Upmann, Montecristo, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta.

knockoffs, tobacco growers there also boast they have a product as good as the Communist island.

Vegas Santiago S.A., is the the largest cigar manufacturer in Costa Rica, along with the 200 members of the Association of Tabacaleros de Puriscal in Costa Rica, the firm announces on its Web site. Yet, Costa Rican cigars have not been promoted vigorously.

Florida also has some cigar production operated by former Cuban residents. In addition, some Nicaraguans claim that Cuban manufacturers use the wrapper or outer leaf from their country.

So there also is the possibility that Cuban cigars will lose their luster when they are fully legal in the United States.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 252
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Study predicts increase in chronic flooding of coastal communities
By the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration news staff

By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new study, published  in the American Geophysical Union’s online peer-reviewed journal Earth’s Future.

The study is by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The findings appear in the paper "From the Extreme to the Mean: Acceleration and Tipping Points for Coastal Inundation due to Sea Level Rise," and follows the earlier study, "Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States," by the report’s co-author, William Sweet,  oceanographer at the agency's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. The new analysis was presented at a news conference in San Francisco.

Scientists Sweet and Joseph Park established a frequency-based benchmark for what they call tipping points, when so-called nuisance flooding, defined by the National Weather Service as between one to two feet above local high tide, occurs more than 30 or more times a year.

Based on that standard, the team found that these tipping points will be met or exceeded by 2050 at most of the U.S. coastal areas studied, regardless of sea level rise likely to occur this century. In their study, Sweet and Park used a 1.5- to 4-foot set of recent projections for global sea level rise by year 2100 similar to the rise projections of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, but also accounting for local factors such as the settlement of land, known as subsidence.

These regional tipping points will be surpassed in the coming decades in areas with more frequent storms, the report said. These tipping points will be exceeded in areas where local sea levels rise more than the global projection of one and a half to four feet.

This also includes coastal areas like Louisiana where subsidence, which is not a result of climate change, is causing land to sink below sea level.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tide gauges show the annual rate of daily floods reaching these levels has drastically increased – often accelerating – and are now five to 10 times more likely today than they were 50 years ago.

“Coastal communities are beginning to experience sunny-day nuisance or urban flooding, much more so than in decades past,” said Sweet. “This is due to sea level rise. Unfortunately, once impacts are noticed, they will become commonplace rather quickly. We find that in 30 to 40 years, even modest projections of global sea level rise -- 1½ feet by the year 2100 -- will increase instances of daily high tide flooding to a point requiring an active, and potentially costly response, and by the end of this century, our projections show that there will be near-daily nuisance

Jersey shore
New Jersey Army National Guard photo
Aerial views during an Army search and rescue mission show damage from Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast, Oct. 30, 2012. The soldiers are assigned to the 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard.

flooding in most of the locations that we reviewed.“

“Communities across the country become increasingly vulnerable to water inundation and flooding, effective risk management is going to become more heavily reliant on environmental data and analysis," said Holly Bamford, the agency's acting assistant secretary for conservation and management. "Businesses, coastal managers, federal, state, and local governments, and non-governmental organizations can use research such as this as another tool as they develop plans to reduce vulnerabilities, adapt to change, and ensure they're resilient against future events."

“The importance of this research is that it draws attention to the largely neglected part of the frequency of these events. This frequency distribution includes a hazard level referred to as nuisance: occasionally costly to clean up, but never catastrophic or perhaps newsworthy,” said Earth’s Future editor Michael Ellis in accepting the paper for the online journal.

The scientists base the projections on tidal stations where there is a 50-year or greater continuous record. The study does not include the Miami area, as the agency's tide stations in the area were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and a continuous 50-year data set for the area does not exist.

Based on that criteria, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team is projecting that Boston; New York City; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Norfolk, Virginia; and Wilmington, North Carolina; all along the Mid-Atlantic coast, will soon make, or are already being forced to make, decisions on how to mitigate these nuisance floods earlier than planned. In the Gulf, the agency forecasts earlier than anticipated floods for Galveston Bay and Port Isabel, Texas. Along the Pacific coast the earlier impacts will be most visible in the San Diego/La Jolla and San Francisco Bay areas.

Mitigation decisions could range from retreating further inland to coastal fortification or to a combination of green infrastructure using both natural resources such as dunes and wetland, along with man-made infrastructure such as sea walls and redesigned storm water systems.

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
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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
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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!

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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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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, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 252        
Real Estate
About us


NYC police killings lack
a clear motive, cops say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A gunman ambushed and murdered two New York City police officers Saturday as they sat in a marked police car before shooting and killing himself on a subway platform in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the city's police commissioner said.

The motive for the attack on Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos was not immediately clear. Quoting a law enforcement source, NBC's New York affiliate reported that the gunman may have been seeking retribution against police after posting a threatening message on a social media account.

Commissioner William Bratton identified the suspect as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, and said he was believed to have shot and seriously wounded a former girlfriend earlier in the day in Baltimore, Maryland.

Although the killer was black and from a Muslim family, police officials said that these were not factors in the attack.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bratton urged the public to tell police if they saw social media postings from people threatening police officers. 

De Blasio called the killing of the two officers "a particularly despicable act." U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the shootings and called them an "unspeakable act of barbarism."

In Washington, a spokesman for the administration said President Barack Obama "has been briefed on the Brooklyn police shooting. White House officials continue to monitor the situation."

The police deaths in Brooklyn — the first deaths of police officers by gunfire in the city in three years — followed weeks of protests in New York and other parts of the United States after separate cases in which grand juries declined to charge two white police officers involved in the deaths of two unarmed black men.

In a protest that took place Saturday, demonstrators against police violence shut down part of the Mall of America in Minnesota, one of the nation's largest shopping centers, a community group said.

Mike Isaac, who lives in the area where Saturday's shootings took place in Brooklyn, told CNN that it was a largely African-American neighborhood and had been tense since the protests touched off by the case of Eric Garner, who died after a chokehold was placed on him by a New York City police officer. "The mood is pretty freaked out," he said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a New York civil rights leader who has supported the families of Garner and Michael Brown, a Missouri teen fatally shot by a police officer, said he was outraged by the officers' killings.

"Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases," he said in a statement.

Cuba, North Korea top
U.S. political discussions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama and U.S. lawmakers have left Washington for the remainder of the year, but the city remains focused on historic and unprecedented developments on the world stage.  The coming week is expected to bring continued scrutiny of a diplomatic opening between the United States and Cuba, as well as North Korea’s alleged role in hacking media giant Sony.

While some Cuban exiles protest in Miami, and Cubans on the island hope for an economic boost, President Raúl Castro says renewed ties between Washington and Havana do not signal an end to communism in Cuba.

“In the same way that we have never demanded the United States change its political system, we will demand respect for ours,” said he.

Such comments confirm the worst fears of President Obama’s critics, like Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican.

“Engagement by itself does not guarantee or even lead to political freedoms.  The Cuban government controls every aspect of their economy.  They intend to follow the model of Vietnam and China where they can grow their economy, but they do not grow political freedoms.  In fact, they repress them,” said Rubio, speaking on ABC’s This Week program.

Late last week, Obama departed for a holiday vacation in Hawaii.  Before leaving, he defended the decision to rebuild relations with Cuba.

“I do not anticipate overnight changes, but what I know deep in my bones is that if you have done the same thing for 50 years and nothing has changed, you should try something different if you want a different outcome,” said Obama.

Meanwhile, Sony is defending its decision not to release a movie that ridicules North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Appearing on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS program, Sony Pictures chief Michael Lynton remained steadfast.

“We have not caved.  We have not given in.  We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie,” said Lynton.

Tourist operators, farmers
are all for ties with Cuba

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama's decision to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba has drawn support from people who take tourists there and farmers who want to sell more food to the island nation.

The decades-old embargo on U.S. residents doing business in Cuba had already been eased to allow educational tour groups.

Jim Moses, who leads one such group, Road Scholar, said he thought demand for travel to Cuba "is going to skyrocket. And I say that because of the small number of programs we have been able to offer for the past eight years — we've been barely able to keep up with demand."

Farm groups say embargo exemptions have allowed them to export food and medicine for several years, but only $350 million out of Cuba's $2 billion worth of food imports come from the United States. 

U.S. farmers say cutting financial regulations or ending the embargo altogether could boost their market share.

The American Farm Bureau Federation's David Salmonsen said the business case is strong.

"We have all the proximity advantage," he said. "Our major agricultural exports go through the port of New Orleans — that is less than a day’s sail away from Cuba. So we are the closest major food producer that Cuba has."

Simon Whistler, an analyst in Washington for Control Risks, a consulting firm that specializes in minimizing political, security and integrity risks, said the new, less restrictive rules don't amount to as much of a change as some headlines would suggest.

"The important thing to remember, this: From a business point of view — in the short term at least — it's more symbolic than a real game-changer."

The decision to ease restrictions on trade with Cuba has sparked anger and demonstrations in some Cuban-American neighborhoods in the United States. Cubans whose families fled the Communist-led island nation say that it still has human rights problems, and that the trade embargo should stay in place until there is more personal freedom there.

It will be up to Congress to maintain or end the embargo.

Boxer Muhammad Ali
in hospital with pneumonia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia.

The three-time world heavyweight champion, who is battling Parkinson's disease, is in stable condition at an undisclosed hospital.

Ali's spokesman said the illness was caught early and Ali is expected to make a full recovery.

No other details are being released due to the Ali family's request for privacy.

Ali's public appearances have diminished in recent years as he continues to battle Parkinson's disease, which was first diagnosed in the mid-1980s.

Ali had a storied career as a professional heavyweight boxer from 1960 to 1981.

He dazzled the boxing world with slick moves in the ring and enamored the public with his wit and engaging personality.

He beat George Foreman in one of the greatest fights of all time dubbed The Rumble in The Jungle, held in 1974 in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ali also had a thrilling rivalry with heavyweight Joe Frazier that saw the two men slug it out in the ring and verbally spar out of it.

In 1964, he converted to Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Ali from Cassius Clay. On religious grounds, Ali refused to join the armed forces in 1967 during the Vietnam War and was convicted of draft dodging.

That conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.

Leg balancing test may
suggest risk of strokes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Trouble balancing on one leg for 20 seconds may indicate blood vessel damage in the brain and predict risk of stroke, according to a new study.  The findings hold true, even if there are no symptoms of brain disease.

Japanese researchers at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Kyoto University say individuals who showed poor balance while standing on one foot should receive increased medical attention.

They measured leg-standing time in a group of almost 1,400 otherwise healthy men and women, whose average age was 67.  In the study, participants stood with one leg raised and their eyes open.

Researchers found that those who had trouble standing on one leg for longer than 20 seconds were at significantly increased risk for cerebral small vessel disease.  Investigators confirmed the presence of the condition with high-tech brain imaging.

In general, participants with increased blood vessel damage were older and had high blood pressure.

Researchers, who published their findings in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, also found those who had trouble balancing had reduced cognitive function.

Superintelligent robots seen
as dominant galactic life form

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

According to a group of prominent U.S. scientists, the dominant form of life in the universe is likely not biological creatures but superintelligent robots.

As improved astronomical instruments keep discovering potentially habitable planets in the galaxy, these scientists say it is becoming more obvious that someday Humans may encounter other intelligent life forms. And, they predict, it will be artificially intelligent.

They say the way artificial intelligence is developing on Earth strongly suggests that in the not-so-distant future, society here may reach the point where biological life integrates with artificial life — the so-called singularity.

They point out that the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA, is already working on brain computer interface technology. A program called ElectRX is developing miniature implantable devices to modulate nerve circuits and treat a whole range of diseases.

Scientists, including Seth Shostack, director of  the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, say if that is the way things are going, it is easy to conceive that artificial intelligence already exists in some distant alien world where soft, moist brains became obsolete a long time ago.

Elton John weds partner
in ceremony near London

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sunday, wedding bells rang for Sir Elton John and his long-time partner David Furnish.

The 67-year-old legendary singer-songwriter officially married Furnish near London, nine years to the day since the two entered into a civil union.

They tied the knot at a posh wedding ceremony at their estate in Windsor, with a guest list that included major celebrities. The couple's two toddler sons, Zachary and Elijah, were ring-bearers.

John said he is very proud of Britain, where same-sex marriage is now legal nearly everywhere.

England and Wales began recognizing same sex marriages earlier this year. Scotland followed last week, but only civil unions are recognized in heavily Catholic Northern Ireland.

World survey shows people
are living much longer

By the University of Washington news staff

People are living much longer worldwide than they were two decades ago, as death rates from infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease have fallen, according to a new, first-ever journal publication of country-specific cause-of-death data for 188 countries.

Causes of death vary widely by country, but, at the global level, drug use disorders and chronic kidney disease account for some of the largest percent increases in premature deaths since 1990. Death rates from some cancers, including pancreatic cancer and kidney cancer, also increased. At the same time, countries have made great strides in reducing mortality from diseases such as measles and diarrhea, with 83 percent and 51 percent reductions, respectively, from 1990 to 2013.

Globally, three conditions – ischemic heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – claimed the most lives in 2013, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all deaths.

Published in The Lancet Thursday, the study, “Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013,” was conducted by an international consortium of more than 700 researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The average age of death increased from 46.7 in 1990 to 59.3 in 2013, as a result of declining fertility and a demographic shift in the world’s population to older ages. Partly because of global population growth, the number of deaths in both sexes for all ages combined increased from 47.5 million to 54.9 million.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
call center
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:

Real estate services
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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. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 252
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
When neighbors appear, go vertical

My friend Jodi has a lovely home on a nice private lot.  At least it was private until the lot next to her sold and they began construction.  Now she has one of those dilemmas that face so many of those who choose a home without a lot of outside maintenance.  (I can certainly understand
Victoria torley
someone not wanting to be tied to cutting and trimming and mowing since I have a husband who does not cut, trim or mow.)

What to do now, though, since the new home is going up fast?  We have fast growing trees here, but most of them have a spread of branches that are not ideal for the
smaller space.  Too much shade
can be a bad thing.  The quick answer?  Vertical gardening!

Most of us have done some vertical gardening, even if we never called it that.  We have had a vine on a fence, a bougainvillea on a wall, or even tried our hands at an espaliered fruit tree.  For now, though, let’s stick with that vine on a fence because that is exactly the solution my friend chose for her ‘I don’t want to look in their window’ problem.  So, a reasonably tall fence is the answer to the problem.  Fencing material isn’t an issue as it will be covered with vines very quickly and rendered invisible. 

And what a selection of vines we have in the tropics!  They are everywhere.  From India, comes the genus thunbergia which includes the blue trumpet vine, fast growing to 24 meters (80 feet) and perfect for a fence, while the South American passion flower (passiflora) can be fence grown for about 15 meters (50 feet) for both flowers and fruit. 

Speaking of fruit, we also have to remember that the vertical garden is perfect for both fruiting climbers and for vegetables.  Easy climbing vegetables include peas and cucumbers as both are light weight.  Heavier edibles like melons and squash require a sturdier fence and a fabric sling to keep them from falling from the vine before they ripen. 

But back to our ‘hide the construction’ fence.  Let’s choose a vine that does more than hide something; let’s choose one that provides food for local hummingbirds.  Hummingbirds love tubular flowers in reds, yellows, and oranges.  For them, a mandevilla (mandevilla) or an orange trumpet vine (pyrostegia) is an invitation to stay a while and enjoy lunch. 

The few vines mentioned here are just a sample of the varieties we have to choose from in the tropics.  But whether you choose them for color, for scent, for wildlife, or for growth habit, your vertical garden will be a wonderful addition to your landscape.

Plant of the Day

This is queen’s wreath (Petrea volubilis), also called purple wreath or choreque, and my photo does not do justice to this lovely native Costa Rican vine.  Queen’s wreath can be grown as a shrub or a vine as it has a supportive woody stem. 

As a vine, it grows to 10 meters 
wneen's wreath
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
(about 33 feet) and the inflorescence is about 30 cms. long (12 inches).   Leaves have a sandpapery feel. The plant is easy to grow from seed.

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

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
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From Page 7:

Cement giant to increase production

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Mexican cement firm CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. says a subsidiary will invest $35 million to increase the capacity of its plant in Costa Rica.

The project will be able to produce 1.1 million tons of cement by 2017, about 25 percent more than currently.

The company said that the project would employ about 90 persons during construction and about 50 thereafter.

The plant is located in Colorado de Abangares, Guanacaste. Some observers suggest that the company is preparing to produce cement for the proposed Nicaraguan canal nearby.

Cement always has been a controversial topic in Costa Rica because the price is generally higher here than in adjacent countries.