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Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

 
Cocal Casino
    Playa Vista
retirement
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 254                              Email us
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Live
                        portal
San José Ciudad Luz photo
Radio Fides, the religious station, produced a living portal, sheep, infant and all.

A city filled with nativity scenes

Teatro
                        Nacional
San José Ciudad Luz photo
A priest delivers a blessing at the Teatro Nacional portal that was the traditional category winner.

more blessings
San José Ciudad Luz photo
Another blessing at Pub P3

Club Unión, downtown merchants and the municipality combined to sponsor San José Ciudad Luz, which included a contest of nativity scenes, called portales in Spanish.

Radio Fides took one of the top honors for a living representation of the birth of Jesus Christ. The goal was to rekindle traditional values and provide stops on a downtown walking tour.

The portal has such deep roots in Costa Rican holiday tradition that we devote our front page to it today as a way of wishing all our readers, regardless of religion, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and just Peace!

— Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica





Another living nativity scene was in Parque La Merced on Avenida 2. Organizations and institutions that participated in the event were Teatro Nacional, Botica Central, Librería Lehmann, Tienda Mainieri Aronne, Pub P3, Mercado Central, Tienda La Gloria, Correos de Costa Rica, Banco Central, Banco Nacional and Popular Pensiones.


Another
                        live portal
San José Ciudad Luz photo

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 254

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Intensa

Sportsmen's Lodge

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.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
7969-5/9/14


Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
 
   •  Transformational  
         Psychotherapy

   • Depression

   • Anxiety

   • Relationship Issues

   • New World Meditation
        Training & Support

 
www.DrLucindaGray.com
Email: lucinda@drlucindagray.com
U.S. Phone: 310-827-4241
Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041
7795-7/15/13

Architects

Organe
                                                  headline
Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
Arenal (servicing Guanacaste/Nicoya Peninsula)

Contact Information:
 (506) 2694-4712
Website http://www.architectorange.com
Inquires  info@architectorange.com
Arenal office located at Agua Inn Spa

Orange
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8043-7/31/14

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
Carmichael
For more information please contact Claudia Villegas at 8996-5581 or email HERE!
 
• Paintings

• Sculptures
• Murals
• Porcelain and ceramic
        restoration
• Works on paper restoration
• Conservation curatorial
        services

• Art expert services
• Other restoration services
* Analysis for condition
        authenticity
• Art related insurance and
        damage evaluations
• Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc; repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.
8125-11/24/13

Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo

COLINAS DEL SOL

Jim Day, retirement specialist Representing Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A
A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
You can see more on our Web site: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
 Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa
and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
Please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
8073-2/26/14

CR Beach

Firesale time!
Overlooking Jacó w/ocean views, 3 bedrooms,
2,800 sq. ft, w/pool, low HOA, originally $400k, NOW $229,000. Click HERE!
On the sand,
Hermosa Palms, 100% titled gated community, 7 bedrooms.   Originally $1.6 Million, now $989,000  Click HERE! 
 
CR Beach Investment Real Estate reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
 Colin Miller, Frances,  Junior and Owner-Broker Jeff Fisher enjoy helping clients like you find their dream properties.
Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
www.CRbeach.com    info@crbeach.com
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica
8126-1/28/14

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta javier@residencyincostarica.com
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
8154-3/12/14

Translators

Jorge Desanti
Jorge Desanti
Instant Interpreter/Translator
for Expats.

Jorge Desanti is fluent in English and Spanish. 3-way phone conversation. You call him first. He does the rest. Or he will translate English text for you.
Letters or even a book
$20 minimum.
Jorge (George) Desanti
Phone 8682-2725
Web: jorgedesanti.com
All calls will be
strictly confidential.
8139-5/7/14

Translations and legal Services
Ms. Monge
Rosa Monge Alvarez
Simultaneous translator
Interpreter in court.

Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
runaround?
Tired of excuses?
Tired of being kept in the
dark?
Afraid of signing documents in Spanish?

 Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
rosa_monge@racsa.co.cr
Cell: (506) 8919-4545
WE GET RESULTS!
8159-12/15/13


Legal services

Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso Bustos 
Fully bilingual attorney  & notary public
money

Professional Legal Services
and Adviser on LOANS.
Low interest rate -- with mortgages over condos, houses and lots in Central Valley.
Call for information.
Phone: (506)  8839-5010.  E-mail: 
legalservival@gmail.com
8113-1/1/14


KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
 
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone:  7112-1527 or
7157-9092
  Office phone: (506) 2232-1014
7920-10/11/13


Accountants

U.S. Tax International
U.S. Tax rollover
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)


C.R. 2288-2201
  U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300

E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
8000-9/5/13

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's
                                            hat
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
95,100 in 2012}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13

No newspaper Christmas Day

A.M. Costa Rica will not be published tomorrow, Christmas Day, However, editors will be monitoring the news and will make a special update if the situation warrants it. 

Some early reports of major events might be carried over the daily digest distribution list. Readers can sign up for that list HERE!

Early Christmas Day in 2003, a major earthquake struck just over the line in Panamá. A special edition then covered developments.

The newspaper will return with a regular Thursday edition.

Friendly tropical sun can
inflict real damage on skin


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Someone should write a song titled "I'm getting sunburn for Christmas," because that looks like what the forecast holds.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional says that the weather today will be the same as Monday with some humidity becoming clouds but with moderate winds and sunshine over much of the country.

There also will be temperatures favorable for sleeping over night.

The tropical sun can really do damage to expats and vacationers who forget that a good breeze fools the mind into not recognizing that the skin is getting cooked.

This is probably a good prediction for the next three months as the dry season really takes hold.

Land in Limón returned
to former owners by new law


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Laura Chinchilla signed a law Monday that validates the titles of some 10,000 persons who have been living in limbo for as much as 30 years.

The law returns some 132,000 hectares that has been in the possession of the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica to previous owners. That's about 326,179 acres.

The property involves some 4,000 agricultural producers in the areas of Tortuguero, Dabado, 4 Millas de Siquirres and 4 Millas de Matina, Fátima and La Cureña, all Limón province, said Casa Presidencial.

The principal benefit is that occupants will be able to receive public services and also post their properties for loans.

Blacklisted Internet hookup
blamed for access problems


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A handful of readers reported Monday that they were unable to access the news pages of A.M. Costa Rica via their Internet connection. They were in Atenas, San Ramón and Grecia.

A check of blacked connections shows that at least one of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad Internet addresses has been flagged internationally as a source for spam. This may be because a user there has a computer infected by a virus that is sending out massive amounts of unwanted emails without the owner's knowledge.

The blacklisting probably can be circumvented by the use of an anonymous Internet proxy, which are available on the Web.

Pope and ex-pope meet
to exchange Yule wishes


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis made a Christmas visit to pope emeritus Benedict Monday and said he found his 86-year-old predecessor looking well, according to television footage released by the Vatican.
 
Francis, who was elected in March, spent about 30 minutes with Benedict in an ex-convent on the Vatican grounds where the former pope has been living in near isolation.
 
“It's a pleasure to see you looking so well,” Francis told Benedict, who in February became the first pope in 600 years to step down instead of ruling for life.
 
Television footage released by the Vatican, only the fourth time Benedict has been filmed since his resignation, showed him looking alert and in better health than on previous occasions.
 
He greeted Francis, 77, at the door of the residence, standing with an ivory-handled wooden cane. They walked to a chapel where they stood and prayed before speaking privately in another room.
 
When Francis left Benedict, he said, “Merry Christmas, pray for me.” Benedict responded, “Always, always, always.”
 
Benedict resigned Feb. 28, saying he no longer had the physical and spiritual strength to lead the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church.


Southern Brazil suffers
from extensive flooding


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Intense rain and flooding in southeast Brazil have killed at least six people and forced 40,000 more to leave their homes.

Civil defense officials say the heavy rain that began last week has wreaked havoc in 45 Brazilian municipalities, causing flash floods and mudslides.

Some major roads crumbled under the violent downpour, while several others have been flooded.

In 24 hours, 130 millimeters of rain has fallen in Espirito Santo state. That's more than five inches.

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Retirement

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.

masthead
Del
                Rey bartenders

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details





A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 Hidden Garden
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 254
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After Christmas, the horses take to the streets of the capital
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The day after Christmas Costa Ricans always revisit their rural roots with the Tope Nacional, a gigantic parade of horse through the downtown.

This year some 690 police officers will be along the line of march and some even in the parade.

The tope, which means encounter in English, is time for big hats, boots, sunburn and perhaps a little beer. There were about 5,000 riders last year.

The six- to seven-hour event brings out a large crowd, and some will be camped on their pickup beds or set up with ice chest, snacks and perhaps even a small kitchen to see the riders, carriages and other animal-powered vehicles.
As always, crowds draw crooks, and police will be on the lookout for illegal activity as well as drunks.

The horses are scheduled to start from Plaza González Víquez at 11:30 a.m., but they usually are late. The route is to Avenida 2 and then west to Paseo Colón with a finish at Calle 40, just a block from Parque la Sabana.

A lot of the spectators will head later to Zapote for the 2013 edition of the Fiestas, which starts Christmas Day for a run until Jan. 5. It is a big carnival with a main attraction of the 3 p.m. and evening bull fights. That is when hundreds of young Costa Ricans enter the ring with a fighting bull and hope they can walk out. Most of the confusion is televised.

And those who have had enough of horses Thursday, can attend the Carnival Nacional in Desamparados Friday.


The deliveries from the south
will be a little delayed now

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Somewhere the party will be a little drier this week.

The Fuerza Pública said it confiscated 4,260 bottles or cans of alcoholic beverages in the first 23 days of December.

In Barrio el Carmen de Corredores police confiscated 96 cans of beer that they encountered on a bus. Also there were two liters of whiskey.

Then in El Rodeo in Paso Canoas police found a woman driving a vehicle in which there were 30 cases of beer and 24 bottles of rum.

The alcohol is believed to have come from Panamá where prices are lower. Police also have similar problems at the northern border.

Also being confiscated are fireworks that are being brought into Costa Rica for the Christmas and New Year's celebration.
confiscted booze
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Police officer checks the confiscated alcohol.

Del

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 254
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U.S. Asian plans disrupted by bickering and an increasingly aggressive China
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States moved to pivot military, diplomatic and economic resources toward Asia in 2013, but the policy was sidetracked by bickering among allies and an increasingly assertive China.

Vice President Joe Biden's December trip to northeast Asia was meant to focus on reassuring U.S. allies Japan and South Korea of its plans to vastly increase resources to the region.

But China's sudden expansion of its Air Defense Identification Zone to overlap disputed areas with Japan and South Korea in the East China Sea dominated discussions.

Biden said he spoke candidly on the issue in meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"But I was absolutely clear on behalf of my president, we do not recognize the zone,” said Biden in a speech at South Korea's Yonsei University. “It will have no affect on American operations. Just ask my general. None. Zero. I've also made it clear that we expect China not to take action that increases tensions and the risk of escalation.”

Japan, South Korea and the United States defiantly flew military aircraft through the area without informing Beijing, while South Korea expanded its defense ID zone to overlap parts of China's.

For safety reasons, the United States said its commercial aircraft would follow the new guidelines of first submitting flight plans through the expanded area to Beijing and staying in radio contact with Chinese authorities.

South Korea at first refused to comply, but later said its commercial flights would follow the U.S. example, while Japan has flatly refused. The airspace above the Japan-administered Senkaku islands, which China disputes ownership of and calls the Diaoyu, is included in Beijing's expanded zone.

Despite concerns about miscalculation or mistakes, the International Crisis Group's Dan Pinkston argued the risk to aircraft from the expanded ADIZs is exaggerated.

“In no way is it in China's interest to interfere with any of that,” said Pinkston. “Of course, the question is with state aircraft, with military aircraft. Now I think China would claim to have some legal authority to intercept or take hostile acts against foreign aircraft around the disputed islands in the East China Sea. But, again, do they want to escalate and become involved in that type of hostile action. I don't think so at this time. But, if they want to do that they can do it anyway.”

As part of its military expansion and assertion, China's recently launched
 aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has undergone training exercises in the South China Sea, where it disputes territory with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

During Biden's trip, a Chinese warship escorting the carrier got in the path of a U.S. missile cruiser forcing it to change course to avoid collision.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called China's behavior in the encounter irresponsible.

China's aggressive moves on disputed territory has, in part, driven calls for the U.S. to rebalance toward Asia, as well as boost relations with key East Asia allies Japan and South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought a summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye but has so far been shunned by Seoul, and Beijing, for efforts to white wash Japan's colonial and World War II aggression.

Meeting China's rise calls for repairing damage to Seoul-Tokyo relations, said Professor Park Hwee Rhak at Kookmin University.

"Under the current situation, it is difficult to relieve the threat with a separate South Korea-U.S. alliance and U.S.-Japan alliance”, said Park. “So it is necessary to strengthen South Korea-Japan relations and the U.S. must put forward effort more actively. So I think it will be great for President Obama at the next visit to focus on the U.S. contribution to negotiating closer relations between South Korea and Japan.”

Japan's Abe in December hosted leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with an eye towards investment but also part of what he has called forming an arc of freedom from Japan around China's south.

The Japan-ASEAN summit statement underscored the need for freedom of navigation in the sea and air, a veiled reference to concerns about China.

China has close economic ties with ASEAN but has also irritated members with territorial disputes for dragging its feet on negotiating a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Pinkston notes that although China claims to want a multi-polar world, it prefers to negotiate bilaterally so it can more effectively throw around its political and economic weight.

“My hope is that at some point in the future we can get on a path of developing better, multilateral institutions for the region that will take everyone's security concerns into account. And, that we can find a better way than forming trilateral alliances to balance against China or encircle China and so forth,” Pinkston said. “Hopefully, we can find a better mechanism rather than just slipping into a new Cold War in East Asia.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality
Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to
Christ Howard with Max
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
8177-1/2/14

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Experience You Can Trust
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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.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



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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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 254
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Cafetales



Large lake of liquid water
found under Greenland's ice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A massive lake has been found under the ice in Greenland.  The 43,500 square kilometer body of water could have major implications for understanding sea level rise.

Researchers at the University of Utah say the lake, known as a perennial firn aquifer, remains liquid year-round despite the otherwise perpetually frozen landscape.

“Large amounts of snow fall on the surface late in the summer and quickly insulates the water from the subfreezing air temperatures above, allowing the water to persist all year long,” said Rick Forster, lead author and professor of geography at the University of Utah.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is vast, covering roughly the same area as the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah combined. The average thickness of the ice is 5,000 feet. In 2012, the ice sheet lost volume of 60 cubic miles, a record for melt and runoff.

“Of the current sea level rise, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest contributor – and it is melting at record levels,” said Forster. “So understanding the aquifer’s capacity to store water from year to year is important because it fills a major gap in the overall equation of meltwater runoff and sea levels.”

Since 2010, Forster’s team has measured snow accumulation in Greenland and how it varies from year to year. The area they study covers 14 percent of southeast Greenland yet receives 32 percent of the entire ice sheet’s snowfall, but there has been little data gathered.

In 2010, the team drilled core samples in three locations on the ice for analysis. Team members returned in 2011 to approximately the same area, but at lower elevation. Of the four core samples taken then, two came to the surface with liquid water pouring off the drill while the air temperatures were minus 20 degrees centigrade. The water was found at about 10 meters below the surface at the first hole and at 25 meters in the second hole.

“This discovery was a surprise,” Forster says. “Although water discharge from streams in winter had been previously reported, and snow temperature data implied small amounts of water, no one had yet reported observing water in the firn that had persisted through the winter.” Firn is compacted snow.

The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic. If all the water retained in the ice sheet melted, it is estimated that the global sea level would rise about six meters, says Forster.

Although no one is predicting a total meltoff all at once, keeping an eye on ice formation, runoff amounts and how the water is moving is critical to accurately predicting sea level changes.

Until now, calculations of the ice sheet mass changes did not include a year-round storage mechanism for liquid water.

Forster says the reservoir’s exact role is unknown. “It might conserve meltwater flow and thus help slow down the effects of climate change. But it may also have the opposite effect, providing lubrication to moving glaciers and exacerbating ice velocity and calving increasing the mass of ice loss to the global ocean.”

As for whether climate change caused the aquifer to form, Forster says that’s not clear, but simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet going back to the early 1970s would suggest it has been around for some time.

The study was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Earthrise
NASA photo
'Earthrise' taken from Apollo 8.

New video captures moment
when Apollo 8 saw 'Earthrise'

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

On December 24, 1968, as the astronauts of Apollo 8 orbited the Moon, they caught an amazing view of the Earth rising over the lunar horizon. They were the first humans to see it.

The view came as a surprise, so the astronauts scrambled to get the right film in the camera to preserve the moment forever.

Too late to get the image in color from one window, astronaut William Andrews, with an assist from James Lovell, got the shot as their spacecraft turned, offering another spectacular view.

The photo, "Earthrise," became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

Now, NASA has created a video re-enacting the event. It is HERE!

"The Earthrise visualization that we released for Earth Day last year really only scratched the surface," said Ernie Wright, project lead with the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The new visualization tells us not only what time the photos were taken, but also exactly which way the spacecraft was pointing and, therefore, which window each photo was taken from. This will also be the first time we've released a video that's synchronized with the onboard audio recording of the astronauts."

To help in the recreation, NASA used data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, known as LRO.

"Matching Apollo photography to the lunar terrain required an accuracy and completeness that I think only LRO's data could provide," said Wright. "I worked at a level of detail that required 100-meter resolution with perfect registration. You gain a new appreciation for the care of the LRO scientists who create this data when you get your virtual camera set up and the overlaid Apollo photography just snaps into place.

"The key to the new work is a set of vertical stereo photographs taken by Apollo 8," adds Wright. "A camera was mounted in the rendezvous window that pointed straight down onto the lunar surface. It took a picture every 20 seconds. When the spacecraft rotated, so did the images. By registering each photo to a model of the terrain from LRO data, we can nail down the timing of the spacecraft's rotation."

Wright went to great lengths to make the visualization as accurate as possible. He used the Apollo 8 flight plan, the onboard voice recording, data on the optical properties and mounting of the Hasselblad cameras, the dimensions and angles of the Command Module windows, a global map of Earth's cloud patterns from the Environmental Science Services Administration 7 satellite on the day the "Earthrise" photo was taken, and the position and orientation of the moon, the Earth, the sun, and the spacecraft.


[Piasno
Steinway & Sons photo
A Steinway awaits the audience and an artist.

The standard in grand pianos
still is made in New York

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Great pianists need great pianos. Vladimir Horowitz, the famous Ukrainian-American pianist, used to travel with his own personal Steinway when he played concerts around the world.

For 160 years, the pianos of Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world thanks to superior craftsmanship and performance. 

Most concert halls and conservatories in America own Steinways, and pianists from Lang Lang to Billy Joel are Steinway artists. This fall, Russian-American pianist Kirill Gerstein used a Steinway when he appeared with the New York Philharmonic.

“I think generations of pianists’ muscular/nervous systems have been shaped by how the action feels and how the action and the sound merge into this playing experience," Gerstein said. "And for the listeners, it is this experience of listening to the Steinway sound that has really cultivated what we think piano sound is.”

Steinway pianos have been built, since 1871, in a factory complex in New York. The company was founded by German immigrant Henry Englehard Steinway in 1853, when New York had dozens of piano manufacturers. 

“In very early days, they sought very much to create the standard piano of the world," said Robert Berger, Steinway director of customer satisfaction. "Not the average piano of the world, the standard, the one by which all others would be judged.”

And those pianos were built to last. Today, a workforce of 300 craftsmen and women turns out about 1,500 pianos a year in the Astoria factory.

It takes 11 months to build a Steinway grand, which features 12,000 separate parts.

The factory is a beehive of activity. In one area, thin laminates of wood are glued together and put in a press, to create the distinctive form of a grand piano. In another area, so-called belly men put the sound boards into the case. A cast iron plate is added, strings are added, the action, the hammers which hit the strings, is added. 

Pianos are tuned five times, in all.  Twice, during this process, pianos are taken to a pounding room, where a machine bangs on all eighty-eight keys at once, to do what the workers call play in the instruments.  

A whole other area of the factory is devoted to restoring vintage Steinways. 

“July 2nd of this year was my 40th year with the company," said Bill Youse, who runs the department. "I am also a third-generation Steinway employee. And I am third of four generations, my son actually works here, as well.”

Youse says the pianos are excellent because generations of workers have all been dedicated to the same goal.

“Aside from some of the materials, like the glues and things which have improved throughout the years, the piano is very, very much the same piano that you would have gotten back in the late 1800s,” he said.

And one of his co-workers has been with Steinway for more than half a century.
   
“I am the last one to touch the piano before it leaves the factory," said Wally Boot. "I am the final tone inspector. I have been here 51 years and my job is to listen to the piano and make sure that it sounds even and that everything works.”

And few things work like a Steinway. Boot, who grew up two blocks from the factory, says every piano has its own personality.

“If it were a bright piano, it would be like a jazz piano," he said. "If it is a mellow piano, it is more for the house, or for chamber music...a model B, this would be a concert piano,” he said. 

This level of care and craftsmanship helps explain why a new Steinway piano can cost anywhere from $55,000 to $145,000, depending on the model. Steinway's Berger says these pianos often become a treasured family heirloom, passed from generation to generation. 

“A new owner will say something to the effect of, ‘It has been a lifelong dream of mine to own a Steinway piano,’ or ‘I have saved for years, in order to buy this piano and I have finally realized my dream.’”

Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, striking fear in the hearts of musicians. Would the famously hand-crafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency?

Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change, so that this hand-crafted dream will continue for years to come.


American gets a year in prison
over
Abu Dhabi parody video

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An American citizen was sentenced to a year in prison in the United Arab Emirates Monday for posting a parody video on YouTube which pokes fun at young Emirati men who imitate U.S. hip-hop culture, his family said.

Shezanne Cassim, 29, has been detained in the United Arab Emirates since April after publishing the 20-minute mockumentary film.

In the video, which opens with a disclaimer stating it is fictional and does not intend to offend the people of the UAE, Emirati men described as deadly gangsters can be seen practicing throwing sandals and wielding an agal, the cord used to keep in place traditional headscarves.

Cassim, an aviation business consultant, was charged with violating the Gulf nation's cyber crime law which makes acts deemed damaging to the country's reputation or national security punishable by jail time and heavy fines.

He was sentenced to jail by an Abu Dhabi court, and also fined 10,000 dirhams ($2,723), said his family who live in the United States.

“The family is now trying to confirm whether the one-year imprisonment includes time served or means additional jail time,” they said in a statement.

Last month, an Abu Dhabi court jailed a man for two years for tweeting about a political trial, highlighting the sensitivity of Gulf Arab states to political dissent, criticism of senior officials and to comments they regard as blasphemous, especially on social media.

Cassim posted the parody video online last year. The film, shot in Dubai's Al Satwa area, just a few miles away from the landmark Burj Khalifa tower, remains available on YouTube.

Two Indians on trial alongside Cassim were given the same sentence, two Emirati defendants were sentenced to eight months in prison each and one Emirati was pardoned, according to activists.

A further three defendants were each given a one-year prison sentence in absentia and fined 10,000 dirhams.


Christmas has cultural tilt
in Manhattan's ethnic groups


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

What with all the frenzied shopping, the glitzy lights, the incessant pop-style holiday music and a Santa Claus on almost every corner, a mainstream Christmas season in New York can seem decidedly secular, at least in Manhattan.  But, in other neighborhoods in the Big Apple, many immigrant and ethnic cultures have their own traditional ways of showing this season’s spirit.

There is nothing remotely secular or even ecumenical about the atmosphere at Brooklyn’s Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church.  In its golden candlelit sanctuary filled with icons, the devout prepare for Christmas much as their ancestors have done since the 11th century.   

Choir member Sergey Gordeev comes here every week from his home across the city.  He says the mystical music keeps him connected to the Motherland.

“For Russians, it truly is about God, about God being born, about our souls being saved.  And what I do love is this unapologetic spirituality.  It is very Russian.  It is very Russian not to squirm around things," said Gordeev.

The spirit of Russian Christmas is also found outside the cathedral sanctuary, says Holy Trinity’s priest, the Very Rev. Vladmir Alexeev.

He remembers the 12 traditional foods his mother would make for the Christmas feast, and the empty chair she would place at the family table just in case the Magi, the three Biblical kings from the East, needed to refresh themselves on their way to Bethlehem to see the Christ child. 

“…  and she was telling me to go looking into the window because probably the Magi are approaching it ... and they are very exhausted and maybe this night they will knock on the door and they will take this chair and they will have some food and they will continue their journey," said Alexeev.

While parishioners' children rehearse for the church’s annual Christmas pageant, Alexeev says for rural Russians, the Christmas season has traditionally been a time for folk healing and magic spells.  Young women would try to see the face of their future husbands in the shifting shadows of candles.  

“And if you ask my parishioners, everyone knows how to do that.  It is forbidden by the church, absolutely forbidden.  But people do that," he said.

At a Brooklyn church, it is time for the Sankta Lucia festival, which marks both the Winter Solstice and the start of the Christmas season.  A girl wearing a white robe and a crown of candles leads a small procession of Scandinavian Americans.

According to legend, Sankta Lucia was blinded by her husband for choosing Christianity over paganism.  But her sight was miraculously restored.  Lucia then brought light to others.  Pageant organizer Victoria Hofmo says customs surrounding the saint are still practiced in Northern Europe and Scandinavian American communities.     

“So in Sweden, the oldest child, usually the girl, comes with her tray. She has the little Lucia rolls. Lucia rolls are made from saffron, like the sun, and she brings it to her parents at the very point of daybreak. It’s a very lovely custom that we hope to continue," said Ms. Hofmo.

Other traditions include the making of miniature nisses, figurines representing mischievous elves and nature spirits, and the cooking of special conical butter crepes.  Such seasonal traditions give comfort to Salveig Simonsen.

“I love it.  It’s an opportunity to keep it alive, to keep the culture going, to get together with people who share the same things, like cooking and baking, and just being with the people who know who you are!" said Simonsen.

The spirit of African Christmas fills the main hall at the Ghanaian United Methodist Church in the northern Bronx, where men in fine suits and women in colorful intricately tied headscarves and hats sway and pray in their native Akhan language.

In a side room, Rebecca Adjei Ofori, one of the church’s unofficial lay leaders sings a Christmas song with a couple of church sisters.  She explains that Ghanain Christmas is all about expressing love and gratitude within one’s extended family.  And, she adds, it is a time to publicly resolve any differences that may have arisen within the family since the previous Christmas.

“And we do not just talk, we eat!  We celebrate with a special dishes, like jollof rice, and fufu and peanut butter soup," said Ms. Ofori. "Oh my God!"

This festival of family and food mirrors another profoundly important ceremony in Ghanaian culture: that of welcoming and naming every new child. It too can last for days.  Minister Samuel Nketsia connects the ritual and the holiday. 

“We Ghanaians, when a child is born, we honor that child,  So when Christ also was born, as Christians. we also honor Christ as being a newborn child to our family," said Nketsia. "So we adore him!”

In this way, he adds, the heavenly and the earthly, the physical and the spiritual, come together in the heart of the community. That, in his view, is really what the Christmas story is all about, wherever you are from.


Santa mirrors neighborhood
at Los Angeles shopping mall


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In many western cultures, Santa Claus is traditionally depicted as a Caucasian man with a white beard in a red suit.  But around the United States, this symbol of Christmas comes in many colors. In one Los Angeles shopping mall non-traditional Santas are a tradition.

He’s known as “Saint Nicholas,” “Kris Kringle,” “Father Christmas” or simply ….

"Santa. Yeah he’s a good person. He brings joy to a child, and I really want to thank him for that," said Jason Mata.

Mata and his family come to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall every year to see this particular Santa Claus because he speaks Spanish.

“Go to school, be kind to your parents, do your homework, and enjoy life…be a kid," said a Spanish-speaking Santa.

During the holiday season, many U.S. shopping malls set up display areas where children can meet Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas.  Most of those who put on the red suit to greet the children are white.  But, according to the mall marketing director, Rachel Erickson, a Spanish-speaking Kris Kringle has been a part of the multicultural Santa program for more than a decade because the neighborhood is so diverse.

“The demographic speaks to the Santa program that we have, and we absolutely want make sure that our Santas are representative and culturally reflective of our neighbors," said Ms. Erickson.

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall is located in the heart of the Los Angeles Latino and African American neighborhoods. So the shopping center has two Santas, one Latino and one African-American. Langston Patterson portrays the black Santa and he says the kids get very excited.

“It’s a joy to see the kids jump around like grease in a skillet when they see Santa Claus and their very happy and focused. And I enjoy the parents and they enjoy me,"said Patterson.

Patterson is the only Santa that Sheila Ford's son has ever known.

“We make it a trip, a special trip, every year. And it’s really a surprise he still believes in him and that’s because they connect. And they connect because he looks like him," said Ford.

And that personal connection gives extra meaning to the holiday.
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

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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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sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 254
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Despite election, opposition
is hobbled in Venezuela

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Opposition politician Ricardo Hernández was elected mayor of Tariba, a small Venezuelan city near the border with Colombia, by a landslide.

But he didn't have long to bask in his victory.

In the days after Dec. 8 municipal elections in which the opposition won 75 mayoralties, Hernández discovered that the company that collects trash had stopped working, apparently on orders of his predecessor, a member of the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela.

And, the new mayor said, the state government of Tachira, which is controlled by the Partido Socialista Unido, ordered the police in Tariba to hand over its firearms and vehicles to a state force.

Hernández' case is far from unique.

Across the nation, new office holders in the 49 mayoralties that passed to the opposition from the Partido Socialista Unido complain about what they say are efforts by President Nicolas Maduro's central government to strip their powers.

The moves have included taking away responsibilities, including the management of parks, theaters and other cultural centers, and removing assets from local authorities.

In some cases, critics accuse ruling party officials of trying to undermine and bypass opposition mayors and governors by setting up parallel governments.

Hernández, who won with 62 percent of the votes in Tariba, sees it as punishment for having defeated a Partido Socialista candidate. “It affects the population and the communities which are using those services,” the 37-year-old lawyer said this week during a rare meeting between Maduro and opposition politicians, appealing for an end to interference in his work.

But José Vielma, the governor of Tachira state and a Partido Socialista stalwart, denied there was any ill intent. He said the temporary return of some equipment used by Tariba's police, which had been provided by its owners, the state police force, was arranged with Hernández's predecessor.

“The weapons, bulletproof vests, patrol vehicles and motorcycles were returned by the mayor... so that we can do maintenance and check them,” Vielma told local media.

The central government denies it is setting up parallel administrations, and says it only steps in when local governments are not addressing urgent needs.

Maduro, 51, narrowly won the election in April to succeed his mentor, Hugo Chávez, who died from cancer the month before. At the municipal polls this month, the Partido Socialista won 242 or 76 percent - of the country's 337 mayoralties.

Overall, the Partido Socialista and its allies took 10 percentage points more votes than opposition parties, showing the strength of Chavismo in rural areas where more mayoral races were up for grabs.

Still, the opposition won 75 mayoralties, which was a big increase on the 51 they held before and included wins in the largest cities, including the capital Caracas and second city Maracaibo.

After the polls, Maduro called opposition mayors and governors to meet him. But many remained skeptical, noting that Chávez had often seemed to offer an olive branch to rivals, then quickly reverting to his usual combative style.

“With this behavior, the government is showing it feels wounded by losing lots of mayoralties,” the opposition coalition said in a statement, referring to Maduro's apparent outreach.

Five years ago, during Chavez's rule, his candidate lost the mayoralty of metropolitan Caracas to a veteran opposition leader, Antonio Ledezma.

Just months later, Chávez created the new job of head of the government of the capital district, essentially circumventing the mayor and assuming many of his duties, and he appointed a close ally, Jacqueline Farias, to the position.

Farias took over the office Ledezma had been using, and many of his responsibilities. Schools, firefighters, civil protection and other key functions were all then handled by her.

Just days after Ledezma was re-elected as mayor this month, beating Partido Socialista candidate and former information minister Ernesto Villegas, Maduro's government named Villegas in a different  role: minister for the transformation of Caracas.

“Give the mayor back his responsibilities and his funding,” Ledezma appealed during the meeting with Maduro this week. “This is nothing to do with kindness, it's a question of justice.”

The government denies anyone has been usurped. Maduro says Chávez set up state-run organizations in the past that benefited people and were never intended to be parallel governments that interfered with the work of elected officials.

Jorge Rodríguez, Partido Socialista mayor of Libertador, one of the five municipalities that comprise the metropolitan district of Caracas, said Ledezma should examine his own performance before criticizing the president.

“If Ledezma focused his time in office on exercising his responsibilities, instead of traveling abroad and bad-mouthing the government, the results in Caracas would not depend solely on the central government,” Rodríguez said.

Opposition members say one clear case of what they call a parallel government is in Miranda state, which includes large parts of Caracas and where the opposition coalition's two-time presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, is governor.

Shortly after Capriles was re-elected to that office last year, the central government awarded the Partido Socialista candidate he defeated, former foreign minister Elias Jaua, a grandiose new title, “The Protector of Miranda.”

Jaua was also put in charge of CorpoMiranda, a new state-run organization that supervises development projects in the state.

Jaua says the founding of CorpoMiranda was needed, alleging that Capriles is absent and neglects his duties as governor by prioritizing his work as national opposition leader.

There is a similar situation in the remote southern state of Amazonas, bordering Brazil, where opposition politician Liborio Guarulla has been governor for 12 years.

First, Guarulla says, his responsibility for operating the local airport was taken away. Next, the state police was removed from his control, and then a radio station and an hotel.

The central government also created a new development body, CorpoAmazonas, and named his defeated election rival to run it.

“It's a miserable battle,” Guarulla said.


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From Page 7:

Now is the time to organize finances for next year

By Elizabeth Morales Coto*

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

It has happened to everyone, and it seems to be a recurring dream: It´s December again, and again the
Ms. Morales
Elizabeth Morales Coto
 thought comes to mind: “Next year everything will be handled better, expenses will be observed better, things will be more organized!”

Truth is: this is the same promise everyone makes themselves, and every year it is repeated. No one talks about it. It is the unspoken internal complaint everyone has: taxes, declarations, marchamos, insurance fees for health, house and vehicles, presents for everyone, school tuitions, the uniforms for the kids, rent, all the extra expenses made that weren´t absolutely necessary — the list goes on and on.

Well, here are a few tips to really avoid the regrets felt at the end of the year about your personal and professional management techniques:

The Xmas Economics Prevention Protocol: (XEPP)

Begin by making automatic savings deduction accounts out of your
regular bank account:

This does not have to be exact to the last penny, but try and make the addition of what all of these items cost you during 2013, divide it by 12 and make the automatic savings deduction monthly from your regular account so that by the end of the year, the expense won’t be felt at all.

What items to consider, and make individual accounts for each of them?

     • Impuesto sobre la renta that you paid on the 2012-2013 period;

    • Marchamo, car maintenance, gas and car insurance;

    • Health insurance, health expenses and other insurance (i.e house );

    • Household and house expenses (the maid, electricity, phone, TV and internet, water, security, etc);

    • Food (separate this into the regular groceries and restaurants);

    • The kids (school tuition, uniforms, books and sports or other classes like ballet, the gym or
               tutoring);

    • The family pet (food, grooming, hotel and the vet);

    • Travel expenses (Give yourself the chance to take one or two trips a year but save for it, plan for
                it);

    • Leisure (here you can plan for movies, field trips, concerts and so on);

    • Extra expenses (clothing, beauty products or treatments, xmas presents and so on);

    • Involuntary savings (force yourself to save even when it has not been the usual, take out say 10
                percent of your income every month. Go down to 5 percent if you must)

Try and do the analysis on this list, and you should be O.K next year!!!

This will take you 30 minutes tops! But the benefits of doing it will not only make you feel outstandingly responsible and proud of yourself, but it will also lower you anxiety and help you work on some crucial decisions during 2014.

The path towards economic freedom is discipline and organization, contrary to what everyone believes  to be — the amount of money you make. Organization is a synonym of success!!!

Never hesitate to ask the experts any question you might have. Some suggestion might help to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that problems exist to be solved and always be a part of the solution, keep dynamic and flexible to find solutions and make every day a new chance to be wiser. Free advice is available as our all-year-round Xmas gift to you on info@cedadasesores.com. Save money, save time, save effort and prevent problems.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

* Ms. Morales is an engineer with a master's of business administration specializing in business strategy and development. She is a principle in CEDAD Asesores and can be reached at info@cedadasesores.com.