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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Monday, Dec. 23, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 253                              Email us
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Second home owners may face sales tax nightmare
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A recent trip to Liberia and Playas del Coco to check out the Mickey Mouse rumor of Dec. 4 revealed some good and bad news.  The good news is that, places are full of energy and tourists abound.   “The streets are bustling much more so than last year, and it seems tourists have arrived earlier too, way before Christmas.” said one property manager.

This is great news for local businesses and the country.  One area that has shown significant improvement is the rental market for villas, condominiums, and apartments.  One rental agent in Coco said her rentals were up significantly over last year and that everything is booked for the Christmas season.  Property managers said the villas in Los Delfines, Tambor, were full through holidays and that they have great bookings into March and April.

The short-term rental market and the real estate market in general appear to be improving in most areas of the country.  If one was to gauge the market by the building and traffic, especially the crazy traffic, it would appear the country is exploding as it did in 2005.

However, in all this good news, there is a dark cloud. Here comes the bad news.  Many people renting their second homes and short-term rentals are not collecting and remitting the 13 percent sales taxes, which they are required to do by law.  Some are not even paying income taxes if they make a profit. 

Questioning a few property managers revealed that they were unaware of current tax laws, especially those that pertain to sales taxes.

According to Marco V. Retana, a bilingual Costa Rican attorney, and Kevin Chavarria of KCPATAX, a bilingual certified public accountant, Costa Rica’s sales tax is simple and governed by Ley 6826.  In effect, all products sold are taxable and services are not.  Except for the exceptions.

Yes, the devil is in the details. Certain products are exempt from tax such as those deemed in the social interest like the canasta basica, the basic food basket.  If the law does not exclude a product or group, it is taxable.  Services, on the other hand, are not taxable, again except for the exceptions. 

What property managers do not know or are willingly evading is Section (ch) of Article 1 of the law. It reads:

“Se establece un impuesto sobre el valor agregado en la venta de mercancías y en la prestación de los servicios siguientes: (ch)  Hoteles, moteles, pensiones y casas de estancia transitoria o no.”

A Google translation of the text reads, “A tax on the value added in the sale of goods and the supply of the following: (ch) Hotels, motels, boarding houses or temporary stay."

Rents and leases that are not taxable are those mentioned in Article 4 of  Ley 7527, the rental law, which reads:

“Esta ley rige para todo contrato, verbal o escrito, de arrendamiento de bienes inmuebles, en cualquier lugar donde estén ubicados y se destinen a la vivienda o al ejercicio de una actividad comercial, industrial, artesanal, profesional, técnica, asistencial, cultural, docente, recreativa o a actividades y servicios públicos.”
rental
                        trend

Google translates same to: “This law applies to any contract, verbal or written lease of real property, wherever located and are intended for home or the exercise of a commercial, industrial, craft, professional, technical, health care, cultural, educational or recreational activities and public services."

No, “recreational activities” does not mean short term rentals to tourists or motel rooms. Both are taxable, along with parking spaces and storage areas. Rental agreements in Costa Rica by default are for three years. So, it is pretty easy to figure out: If a property is being rented using the rental law and there is a clear landlord-tenant relationship, the transaction does not require sales tax. However, every other property rental does.

The same law in Article 7 clearly excludes other types of rentals and it reads:

“a) Los hoteles, las pensiones, las hospederías, los internados y los establecimientos similares, en cuanto a los usuarios de sus servicios,” and translates to, “Hotels, pensions, inns, boarding rooms and similar establishments, as users of their services.”

Now for the scary part of the bad news.  Recent tax modifications changed the statute of limitations on tax debts to five years.  If the tax department finds a person not paying their sales taxes they can collect up to five years of back taxes, plus interest and penalties.  Worst yet, since there is a property involved, it can be attached and ultimately auctioned off for the taxes.

It is clear that property managers and owners should be collecting sales taxes when renting to tourists and locals alike on a short term basis. If they do not, they are illegally evading taxes which carries serious legal consequences.  Anyone in this predicament should seek legal or accounting counsel as soon as possible.

Oh, about Mickey Mouse and the rumors.  Everyone questioned in Guanacaste cannot figure out why the mayor of Liberia would make a statement on the radio that Disney was setting up a recreational facility in the canton.  One well known realtor in Playas del Coco said people are still talking about the incident and that she knows some investors poking around because they believe it to be true.  Another broker said in confidence, Santa is thinking about a warmer climate too. 


Garland M. Baker is a 42-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2013. Use without permission prohibited.


Sala IV orders APM Terminal hearing to be reopened
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has ordered Costa Rican environmental officials to finish the hearing on the Moín container facility within 15 days.

Officials of the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental suspended the hearing in Limón Nov. 9 because of rowdy behavior and violence by some who were attending, the court noted.

The hearing need only contain those aspects that
 were cut short with the suspension, the Sala IV said.

The court said that the suspension damaged the rights of those who wanted to be heard.

The proposed $1 billion investment by APM Terminals has strong opposition from those who work on the existing public docks, which are notoriously inefficient.

The Dutch firm would run the facility under a concession.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 253

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


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Petition against Infinito Ltd.
approaches 300,000 signatures

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A petition asking Infinito Gold Ltd. to call off its $1 billion case against Costa Rica has received nearly 300,000 signatures, a Canadian organization said.

The petition campaign is sponsored by the United Steelworkers, MiningWatch Canada, Blue Planet Project, Common Frontiers and The Council of Canadians.

Infinito is expected to present the case soon the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a World Bank organization.

The case involves the annulment of the Las Crucitas open pit gold mine project by the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo. The petition sponsors also expressed their unhappiness with the trade treaties negotiated by the government of Canada. Said the sponsors in a release:

"For the last 20 years, Canada has pursued and negotiated trade and investment agreements that promote and protect the rights of investors at the expense of human rights, labour rights, and environmental standards. The conduct of Canadian mining companies such as Infinito Gold is one of the results of that agenda. Canada must revise or renegotiate its existing trade and investment agreements and pursue an investment agenda based on respect for human, community, labour, and environmental rights."

Infinito, which is based in Calgary, is bringing the case under the Canadian-Costa Rican trade treaty, which guarantees fair treatment of foreign corporations.

The petition organizers said that these treaties provide an unjust framework that allows companies to bypass domestic court and government decisions when they don’t suit their interests.

The release said of Infinito "your threatened suit against Costa Rica is quickly becoming a poster child for the problems with the international investment framework created by free trade agreements and foreign investor protection agreements to prioritize corporate profits over the well-being of communities, workers, and the environment."

The release also suggested that an alleged donation from Ronald Mannix, Infinito’s largest shareholder, to the Arias Foundation in 2008 could have had an impact on support by former President Oscar Arias on the project and will press for Canadian authorities to divulge all of the information available in this regard. The release called for the continued legal prosecution against members of the Arias administration.

The La Crucitas project received a concession long before Arias won the presidency. But he did declare the project to be in the national interest that allowed the firm to begin cutting trees for the mine pit.

The campaign says on its Web site that Infinito slapped Costa Rica with a $1 billion lawsuit because the nation decided to protect its rain forests rather than host an open-pit gold mine. The Web site shows a lake and a dense jungle unlike the forest around the proposed mine site in Cutris de San Carlos.

The arbitration case will be decided by a panel of three persons. One picked by each side and the third selected by the first two.


Heredia quake felt widely
throughout Central Valley


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of from 4.5 to 4.8 took place Sunday afternoon near Vera Blanca in Heredia.

The epicenter was very deep, perhaps as much as 100 kilometers, but the region is heavily populated, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Perhaps a million people live within 50 kilometers of the site, it noted.

The quake was at 4:52 p.m. and it was felt moderately in many locations in the Central Valley.

The Laboaratorio said the magnitude was 4.5 but the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional in Heredia, closer to the quake, said 4.8.

This is in the same general area that was hit by the Jan. 8, 2009, quake that killed at least 34 persons.


Half of vehicles covered for 2014

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros said Friday that the road tax for more than a half million vehicles have been paid. That represents about half the vehicles in the country.

The payment is due by the end of the year or there is a fine.


Our reader's opinion
Chinese road deal called
too cheap for sovereign state

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Could not help but take note of the following paragraph in today's issue which goes a long way to prove that Costa Rica will do most anything to obtain foreign aid. The following aspects are especially disturbing: lack of competitive bidding; interpreted in conformity to Chinese law (a moving target at best); renunciation of immunity Costa Rica may have as a sovereign state.

"The agreement specifies a direct award to a Chinese firm without competitive bidding. The contract also said that all rights and obligations under the contract will be interpreted in conformity of Chinese law. The measure that was before lawmakers also says that material to be used in road building can be imported without the payment of customs duties. Costa Rica also would renounce any immunity it may have for being a sovereign state."

To think that Costa Rica would entertain a renunciation of their immunity as a sovereign state for such a piddling amount.

J. H. Penner
Richmond, British Columbia

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In recognition of the holidays, the offices of A.M. Costa Rica in Barrio Otoya will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 24, to Thursday, Jan. 2.

However, the daily newspaper will publish each weekday
except Christmas and New Years.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 Hidden Garden
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 253
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Tourism police check the documents of persons leaving Costa Rica at the Peñas Blancas border crossing. Some 25,000 left over Saturday and Sunday, officials said.

border crossing
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Ministry suggests obliquely that land exit tax is reinstated
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The land exit tax appears to have been reinstated.

Without mentioning that the tax was suspended because collection generated chaos, the finance ministry emitted a strange news release Friday. The tax has been in force since July, the release said.

That statement was contrary to what expats have experienced. Nov. 26 the ministry issued a release saying that Banco Crédito Agrícola would be collecting the tax and that credit card machines eventually would be placed at strategic border crossings.  It also said that officials would start to collect the tax.

When the tax went into effect Dec. 2, hardly anyone making a border crossing knew abut it, and there was no easy way to pay it.

Since then workers at the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería referred all questions to the Ministerio de Hacienda. And that ministry stayed mum until Friday.

Without actually admitting that the tax had been suspended and implying that the tax had been collected since July, the ministry gave a list of locations where the tax could be paid. Some expats had been paying the tax at the bank and collection was spotted at the border crossings.

The locations where payments will be accepted appears to be new because late last month, the ministry said that the tax could only be paid at branches of Coopealianza as well as the Banco Crédito Agrícola.
Some bus lines, such as Tica Bus, had been collecting the tax. 

In addition there is a $2 fee for x-ray baggage inspection even if the traveler has no baggage.

There does not seem to be a firm date when the credit card machines will be installed.

In addition to Coopealianza and the major international bus lines, the following firms will sell the exit tax, according to the ministry:

Viajes Colón with four Central Valley locations; Viajes Faytur in Grecia and San José; 3 Monkeys Tour in Filadelfia, Guanacaste; Cast Corp. in Escazú, CATOURS in Sabana Oeste; Daily tours in Plaza Mayor, Rohrmoser; Excursiones Marvi in Hatillo.

Also, New World Quality; Swiss Travel in San José, Ciudad Colón and Guanacaste; Servicios Turisticos Ecológicos in Heredia; Viajes Nacionales Isla Bonita in San José downtown; Cactus Tours in Hereida; Plus Papagayo in Liberia; Libería y Bazar María José in Sixaola; Viajes Ejecutivos Mundiales in San José; TAM in Los Yoses and Servicos Rápidos de Viajes FAST in San José.

The immigration agency reported over the weekend that the flow of travelers at Peñas Blancas into Nicaragua was orderly.  There was no mention of the exit tax.

Officials estimated that 200,000 persons would cross the border into Nicaragua during the days leading up to Christmas. the border posts were open for 24 hours through tonight.


 
Let there
be lights


Three blocks of decorated houses in San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia, are drawing lots of holiday light fans.  Traveling to see Christmas displays is a long-time tradition here. Certainly on the list is the Museo de los Niños in north San José, a legal office building at Avenida 2 and Calle 40 as well as all the public buildings and churches decked out by the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz.
Christmas lights
Photo by John Koger

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 253
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Modified corn reduced borer population so it no longer is needed
By the Pennsylvania State University news service

Populations of European corn borer, a major corn crop pest, have declined significantly in the eastern United States, according to Penn State researchers. The decline suggests that the use of genetically modified, borer-resistant corn hybrids, an expensive, yet effective, solution that has been widely adopted by farmers, may now be unnecessary in some areas.

The borer, which was introduced to North America from Europe in the 1900s, used to be the most important pest of corn in the United States, said John Tooker, assistant professor of entomology. "Not that long ago, it caused crop losses that annually approached $1 billion nationwide, and $35 million in the northeastern United States."

According to Tooker, to protect their crops from European corn borer, many farmers have grown a genetically modified type of corn that produces insecticidal toxins that kill the worms. These toxins were isolated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Hence the name is generally called Bt.

The use of modified crops in Costa Rica is controversial.

"These Bt corn hybrids have been widely adopted because they are exceptional for managing ECB. 99.9 percent of larvae are expected to die when they feed on plants expressing Bt toxins," he said. "Yet a drawback to using these hybrids has been the high cost of purchasing the seeds, which can decrease potential profits."

To understand current borer populations in Pennsylvania field corn, the researchers assessed larval damage in Bt and non-Bt corn hybrids at 29 sites over three years. Specifically, they planted Bt and non-Bt corn hybrids on farm sites across four growing zones in Pennsylvania in 2010, 2011 and 2012. During September of each season, they assessed corn borer damage on 400 random plants at each site. They sliced open stalks, and recorded the number of ECB tunnels and larvae per stalk. They also evaluated corn ears for ECB damage.

"Our results confirm that we are seeing widespread population declines of
corn
              stalk
Pennsylvania State University photo
This corn stalk collapsed because of the corn borer.

ECB in the East, similar to declines that have been found in the Midwestern United States," said Eric Bohnenblust, graduate student in entomology. "With less ECB damage around, non-Bt hybrids in our tests yielded just as well as Bt hybrids, so the decline in ECB populations provides an opportunity for growers to generate greater profits by planting high-yielding non-Bt seed, which is much cheaper than Bt seed. Secondarily, planting more non-Bt corn will reduce the potential for ECB to develop resistance to Bt toxins as corn rootworms have done in about a dozen states so far."

The team's results appeared in an early online edition of the journal Pest Management Science in December.

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TravelerFriendlyInsurance.com is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today: U.S Phone: 317-489-0189   Visit our web page for more info: http://travelerfriendlyinsurance.com/
8121-xxx

Mead Brown
MEAD BROWN
Rent villas, homes, and condos for your Costa Rica vacation.
Daily housekeeping, WiFi and concierge services included.
Visit us at Costa Rica Vacation Rentals.
7939-11/20/13

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
7880-3/13/14


The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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.
Lundquist
                        patio
Exotic gardens next to one
of our patios



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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. george@glundquist.com
8158-3/1/13

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

San Pedro, Lourdes:  Furnished four-bedroom house for  rent near U. Latina.  3 bathrooms.  Two bedrooms have private bath.  TV with cable, wireless Internet, washer, microwave, all linens on beds, phone, garage with electric door opener.  Front yard and back patio.  Minimum 6-month contract.  $800 a month. Call Rick at 2280-3548 or write to rastern@racsa.co.cr.  Owner pays cable and internet.
8169-1/2/14 

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8161-1/11/13

Beautiful studio home with garden patio
Completely furnished with best bed (Jiron™ Full), refri, stove, dishes, pans, etc. TV and high-speed internet connected. Free.
Located high above a river. You will sleep like a baby. Perfect weather, never too hot nor cold. Secure, private and secluded, and yet, only 10 minutes to San Isidro de El General (fairly large city in the mountains with everything) and from there, 40 minutes to beaches. Bus is close and costs 35 cents to San Isidro. Special price for single, long-term renter, nonsmoker: $425 + utilities. Go to www.homeaway.com and put in, #969365 for pics and full description Then write to us, Thanks. Email: james43michael@yahoo.com
8146-12/11/13

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:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8157-12/22/13

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
88136-12.22.13

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 253
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us



Cafetales



chocolate
Voice of America photo
This is a printer making a chocolate heart.

3-D printing seen as big boost
for nations in development

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The growth of 3-D printing technology brings opportunities scientific, entrepreneurial – even culinary.  Some people are using the devices to build custom creations out of chocolate.

“I don’t know if it’s good chocolate,” said Prabhjot Singh, director of additive manufacturing at General Electric, which uses 3-D printers to make parts for aviation and advanced energy-generation machinery – presumably out of non-edible materials. The process delivers performance while producing designs and prototypes for parts more quickly.

Three dimensional printing uses a digital model to create a 3-D object by adding consecutive layers of material to it. That requires a digital model, raw material that can include plastic, metal and well, chocolate, and a personal or industrial-strength printer.

“This means that almost anyone, located almost anywhere can own and operate a machine,” said Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm. “We envision individuals in small villages in remote areas of the world could operate these machines to produce basic products for their villages and neighboring villages. Over time, it could develop to become an important source of economic development in a community.”

And it can be done without access to a manufacturing facility. “That’s the beauty of 3-D printing,” he added. “‘It does not require a large capital investment or major infrastructure to operate.”

Large companies use industrial-strength 3-D printers that can cost more than $1 million to meet high demand. But Wohlers says ”simpler products, such as jewelry, sculptures, games and puzzles can be produced on low-cost equipment.”

Despite the cost, some developing countries already use 3-D printers. Singh says India and China already have “pockets of their economies that are able to afford such machines,” while Brazil and South Africa are getting into 3-D manufacturing on a smaller scale.

India and China have robust research communities, says Singh, and China, which is printing large structures and pursuing aerospace applications, is deploying the machines quite widely.

For General Electric, the advantages of 3-D printing for large aerospace applications can be game-changing, Singh said, although in his view, 3-D printing’s radical advantage is customization.

“If you can customize parts to a user and … make it much better for that person to use that part, then that is quite revolutionary,” he said.

The prospect tickles the imagination of Kate Ganim, co-director of mobile design education firm KIDmob and a team member of iLAB//Haiti, a non-profit group that helps Haitians prototype 3-D-printed umbilical cord clamps for clinics, build chairs without rulers or parts for broken machinery.

She is excited about the potential of 3-D printing, particularly for bypassing “weak or corrupt infrastructures in developing countries and for providing prosthetics –  a great application in Haiti, says Ms. Ganim.

“A massive number of people lost limbs in the 2010 earthquake,” she said. “We could conceivably 3-D-print prosthetics to custom-fit the folks that need them. This would be mass customization.”

Ms. Ganim says the group is “exploring how far we can push the technology” and would be interested in additional rapid prototyping technologies, as well as recyclers.

With materials like a spool of ABS filament selling for around $45, Ms. Ganim says the group would like to “convert printed ABS plastic back into printable spools.”

iLab//Haiti hopes to harvest plastic from garbage, sterilize it and convert it into spools for printers.


NSA spying will be aired
in a U.S. legislative hearing


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. lawmaker says the data collection practices of the National Security Agency will be the focus of a congressional hearing next month.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, says the already embattled U.S. National Security Agency will be subjected to further scrutiny when lawmakers return to Washington in January. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press program, Leahy, a Democrat, said the committee will review a presidential panel’s recommendations for overhauling bulk data collection that has provoked outcries at home and abroad.
 
“The first public exposure to what the panel has said is going to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a couple weeks,” said Leahy.
 
Last week, President Barack Obama said he is reviewing 46 recommendations put forth by the panel to better protect private communications and personal information while satisfying U.S. intelligence needs.  Leahy says the saga of fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden makes it clear to all that the agency must be reformed.
 
“They did such a poor job, the NSA, that a sub-contractor was able to steal all their secrets,” said Leahy.
 
Also appearing on NBC was Rep. Peter King, a Republican, who warned against impeding America’s intelligence apparatus.
 
“I do not think everybody has to know what a spy agency is doing.  By their nature, a spy agency is kept secret.  This is all, to me, a debate generated by the hysteria caused by Edward Snowden.  What do we reign in?  A system that works?  Let us not unilaterally surrender,” said King.
 
King added that, had the NSA possessed in 2001 the capabilities it has today, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks might have been prevented.  Leahy said the United States needs an effective spy agency, but one that is accountable to the American public.


Israeli officials are unhappy
at reports of monitoring

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

Israel has reacted angrily to reports the country was a target of espionage by the United States.

Senior officials in Jerusalem are demanding an end to U.S. spying on Israel after revelations the National Security Agency intercepted e-mails from Israeli leaders.

The allegations were disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden and published in several Western newspapers.  The reports said from 2008 to 2011, the NSA targeted e-mail addresses belonging to then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The issue topped the agenda at Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“This is not legitimate,” said Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

He said Israel was “not tracking the U.S. president, White House or secretary of defense.”

Steinitz said Israel and the United States had an intelligence alliance and shared the most sensitive information; and therefore he said, allies must reach an agreement not to spy on one another.

Israel joins the list of other top American allies who have been targeted by the NSA, including France and Germany.

The issue touches a raw nerve in Israel because of the case of Jonathan Pollard, a former American intelligence analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel. The case strained ties at the time and has been a sore spot ever since.  The United States has repeatedly rejected Israeli requests for Pollard’s release.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet that Israel was continuing to press President Barack Obama to free the ailing Pollard and allow him to come home to Israel.

Israel’s response was uncharacteristically angry.  Officials said it was necessary to issue a strong protest, but they have also made it clear that Israel would not allow the affair to harm relations with its best friend and ally, the United States.


Astronauts delay next walk
due to problem with spacesuit


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two astronauts from the U.S. space agency completed their initial work faster than planned during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, but a problem with a spacesuit has postponed the second spacewalk by one day.

The problem came up in the cooling unit of veteran astronaut Rick Mastracchio's spacesuit when he re-entered the space station airlock. NASA says the problem is not related to a situation in July when a still-unexplained problem nearly drowned an Italian astronaut whose helmet filled with water during a spacewalk. Saturday's venture outside the orbiter is the first since then.

A second spacewalk that had been planned for today will now take place Tuesday.

Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins removed a faulty ammonia pump Saturday while working outside the orbiter for more than five hours. The faulty pump shut down part of the station's critical cooling system several days ago.

Work has progressed so well that a planned third spacewalk later in the week may not be necessary, if repair work can be completed Tuesday.

Saturday's venture outside the space station was the 175th since the orbiter was first occupied 13 years ago.

The space station has been using a backup system for cooling internal and external equipment for several days. The problem with the pump has forced the astronauts to turn off all non-essential equipment, including some science experiments.


Stock market surge in 2014
still has some analysts wary

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U. S. stock markets made strong gains in 2013, climbing more than 3,000 points since January. The Federal Reserve decision to trim its stimulus as of January encouraged investors further. Analysts are all smiles about 2013 but slightly wary of 2014.

The ticker in Times Square tells the story. The runup in investment portfolios during 2013 has been dramatic, and most analysts attribute it to the work of the Federal Reserve. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist, Rockwell Global Capital, says it has been an exciting year."
 
"Of course the markets have done quite nicely. Stocks have enjoyed a nice runup, investment portfolios are at their highest level," he said. "Part of that is due to the fact that the government, the central bank, has been extremely generous. They put a lot of liquidity into the market."

John Allison of Unio Holdings says the Fed reducing stimulus bond buying by $10 billion to $75-billion, may have a negative effect on the stock market.

"The Fed has been a big buyer of mortgages. The Fed has been a big buyer of U-S bonds, which has put money into the hands of the U.S. government, which then, in turn, spends it in the economy, whether it is individuals, contractors, the defense business or what have you," he said. "That has been the overwhelming reason why there has been a tailwind in the market."
 
Allison says, "As that happens, I think interest rates will continue going up, and markets have a perverse way of not liking interest rates going up no matter how good the environment. So I see the U.S. as a bit of a mixed bag."

Most analysts agree that people should stay with their investments even if the market goes down and say it is a good time to buy.

Stephen Brown of New York University's Stern School of Business supports the theory of long-term investing in the market. He says, "Anyone investing in the markets is investing for longer term, so what happens in the short term nobody can say. But in the longer term, if we believe in America, we believe that this is a reasonable way to invest your money.
 
The market and most investors do not like uncertainty. The Fed’s recent move to trim the stimulus but keep interest rates low is an effort to reduce that uncertainty, support growth in the U.S. economy and give confidence to the rest of the world.


Lockerbie anniversary brings
pledge to find out the truth


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States, Britain and Libya Saturday pledged their full support for efforts by their investigators to bring those behind the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing to justice.
 
In a joint statement on the 25th anniversary of the downing of Pan Am flight 103 in which 270 people were killed, the three governments said they were determined to unearth the truth behind the deadliest such attack in Britain.
 
"We want all those responsible for this most brutal act of terrorism brought to justice, and to understand why it was committed," they said in the statement, issued by Britain's Foreign Office.
 
"We are committed to cooperate fully in order to reveal the full facts of the case," the statement said. "We will all provide full support to the investigation team to enable them to complete their enquiries successfully."
 
The Tripoli government, trying to establish its authority after NATO air power helped rebels overthrow Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, wants to show its willingness to help its Western partners clear up the many unanswered questions about Lockerbie, an attack which for years kept Libya an international pariah.
 
British Prime Minister David Cameron praised the fortitude and resilience of those affected by the bombing, as anniversary services were held in Britain and the United States.
 
Most of the victims of the explosion over Lockerbie in Scotland were Americans on their way home from Europe for Christmas.
 
Eleven people died on the ground as the New York-bound jet plunged from the sky after a bomb exploded in its hold some 38 minutes after leaving London's Heathrow airport.
 
Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was the only person ever convicted over the attack.
 
He was found guilty, in association with others, of the bombing in 2001 but released from jail on compassionate grounds eight years later amid huge controversy both in Britain and America. He died of cancer last year.
 
Megrahi always protested his innocence, and his family is considering lodging another appeal to clear his name.
 
In 2003, Gadhafi accepted Libya's responsibility for the bombing and paid compensation to the victims' families but did not admit personally ordering the attack.
 
After his overthrow and killing in 2011, two Libyan prosecutors were appointed to work with Scottish and U.S. investigators trying to identify the other perpetrators.
 
One man they want to question is Abdullah Senussi, Gaddafi's former intelligence chief, who is awaiting trial in Libya for war crimes allegedly committed during the 2011 uprising.
 
Earlier this week, Libyan Justice Minister Salah Marghani said he planned to allow the prosecutors to talk to Senussi.
 
"What we are working on is finalizing the arrangements for this as much as obtaining the evidence that's available with the UK and US authorities," he told ITV news.
 
"We all need to know the facts," he said.


U.S. health care system said
to be most expensive in world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans have the most expensive health care system in the world, although they don't have the most efficient one. Additionally, they don't get the most for their money. That's the assessment of two recent studies of health care in the U.S. Now, researchers are paying more attention to where the money goes and what changes can be made to improve health care.
 
U.S. health care costs have doubled in the last 30 years, but Americans are not necessarily healthier than they were in the 1980s. Hamilton Moses analyzed the changes and trends and published his findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
 
“All of our information comes from publicly available sources. That’s a very important point. This is freely available information, although the challenge was to compile it in a way that was interpretable,” said Moses.
 
The researchers found Americans spent between $2.5 trillion and $3 trillion dollars on health care in 2011, more than any other developed country. The report highlights two major factors that are driving up costs.
 
The first is that the price of medical and administrative services has gone up, along with the cost of drugs, procedures and devices.
 
Moses says Americans' love of technology is part of the problem.
 
"The U.S. has a technology bias. We have a technology preference. We look to technology for the solution of all problems,” explained Moses.
 
The second factor is simple to identify, but more complex to address. Poor lifestyle habits, such smoking and over-eating, have resulted in epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes as well as heart disease, joint pain and lung diseases.  Managing chronic disease is expensive.
 
“We have not invested heavily in chronic care management or for that matter in health care service innovation nearly to the degree that we have in medical technology,” said Moses.
 
Many of these diseases can be prevented though exercise, diet and maintaining a healthy weight, yet in the U.S. prevention has not historically been part of medical care. Consulting with a nutritionist, either by phone or in person, or participating in wellness activities can be expensive, and those services are not normally covered by health insurance.
 
“The overall amount of spending that occurs with people who have chronic illness is about 85 percent of the total,” said Moses.
 
Moses' research shows that those who spend the most on chronic disease are not elderly, and that their investment in care does not guarantee a long life.
 
Meanwhile, a new report from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the U.S. spends between 250  to 300 percent of what other member nations spend. Despite that, the United States trails other developed countries in life expectancy, coming in at 26th place out of the 36 members of the organization.


U.S. and EU negotiators say
pact will have high standards

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The chief European Union negotiator on a major trade deal with the United States says the proposal is not an attempt to deregulate health, safety, and finances.
 
The EU's Ignacio Garcia Bercero spoke with journalists in Washington Friday at the end of the third round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
 
Some critics of proposed trade deals between the United States and many other nations accuse Washington of trying to use trade talks as a stealthy way of cutting regulations that are disliked by business interests, such as protections for labor rights.
 
Bercero says the complex deal under consideration instead upholds the highest standards of consumer, environmental and other protections.
 
U.S. negotiator Dan Mullaney says the two sides are working as quickly as they can to craft a deal that actually boosts trade, economic growth and jobs. He says the United States and the European Union already have nearly $4 trillion invested in each other's economies, and exchange almost $3 billion a day in trade.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8179-3/11/14

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.
7949-11/15/13

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 www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8142-2/11/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14

forest
Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com.
8182-1/13/14


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

long view

200 miles of panoramic views over the Gulf of Nicoya and from Nicaragua along the volcanoes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste down to Jacó and around the southern Nicoya Peninsula to the open Pacific. 55 acres located at an altitude of about 2,800 feet in a fresh eternal spring climate, forest and pasture plus an old avocado forest. Many home sites, hidden entrance, property roads, spring waters.  195,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com
8164-12/28/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8162-1/11/14

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
8157-2/22/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

condors

HIGH SECURITY Condo
ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
6141-2/11/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2
11

DIGITS RESOURCE GUIDE is for sale!
In the nine years of operation, DIGITS Resource Guide has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and Osa Peninsula areas.  DIGITS is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into an even greater level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. For a preview of the magazine, go to www.everydigit.com, or simply go to a local Distributor for a copy. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.
8115-11/18/13

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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 253
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Corporate tax for 2014
increased to 199,700 colons


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's tax on corporations is going up about $20 for 2014.

The tax is keyed to the salary of a judicial worker, as are many other fines and fees in Costa Rica. When the judicial worker gets a raise, as they all do each year, the so-called base salaries goes up, too.

Lawyer Allan Garro of Cartago noted that the Registro Nacional had posted the new amount.

That amount is 199,700 colons for active corporations and half that, 99,850 colons, for inactive ones. The law that created the tax specified that active corporations will pay one half a base salary. The Poder Judicial said Friday that the base salary will be 399,400 colons.

The tax is due at the end of January. After that the amount draws interest.

In dollars, the tax is about $405 for active corporations and $202.50 for inactive ones.


Costa Rica may arbitrate
El Salvador customs claim

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country took a step further towards pressing its claim against El Salvador under the Central American Free Trade Treaty.

Costa Rica complains that El Salvador fails to provide preferential tariffs on imports from Costa Rica.

Costa Rican commercial negotiators met Friday with the treaty commission in San Salvador but no agreement was reached, the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior reported.

The next step, the ministry said, is to seek the establishment of an arbitration panel.

Costa Rica made a formal complaint Sept. 23 about the way El Salvador is treating products that originate in Costa Rica.

All Central American states are supposed to be bound by the free trade agreement although trade relations with the United States was discussed more when the treaty was being drawn up.


Man, 21, detained as suspect
in Escazú moto bandit case


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 21-year-old man has been detained, suspected of being the Escazú motorcycle bandit.

The Judicial Investigating Organization conducted a Friday raid at the man's home in San Antonio de Escazú to make the arrest.

Agents said there are two cases that are attributed to the man.

The first was Oct. 23 when two women were confronted by a man on a motorcycle in the Santa Teresa section of Escazú. He pulled a gun and they surrendered their belongings.

The second case was last Nov. 28 in San Antonio when another pedestrian was confronted by the motorcycle bandit.


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From Paghe 7:

Japan will accept Tico pork and products

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's pig processors can resume shipment to Japan, the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior said Friday.

The Japanese had closed down the pork market for Costa Rica over fear of a contagious viral pig disease. The malady called classic swine fever had not been seen in the country since at least 1997. Costa Rica declared itself free of the disease in 2009, said the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.

However, Japan did not recognize this declaration and suspended pork imports.

Pork production is a big business in Costa Rica. The Food and Agricultural Organization estimated in 2009 that there were 125 commercial farms in the country and that more than 12,000 family farms raised pigs. The agency estimated that there were 336,000 pigs in the country, and the per capita consumption was about 9 kilos.

Costa Rica has been trying to increase exports to Asia. The commerce ministry said that the Japanese Embassy here has been working with the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal to insure that the pork is disease free.

The suspension also was lifted for pork products, such as sausage and bacon, said the ministry.