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A Tribute to a Work in Progress: A.M. Costa Rica
A.M. Costa Rica began publishing a daily newspaper on Aug. 15, 2001, under the overall command of company president and former editor-in-chief Jay Brodell.

The longtime leader of A.M. Costa Rica and the A.M. newspaper sites retired from the daily affairs of the company back in April 2017. Since that time, our readership and stories have grown much as the country and the community, with whom we provide news, to has grown.

The newspaper was founded under the auspices of giving legitimate, fair and relevant news toward the community of English-speaking expatriates who call Costa Rica home.

That idea continues on as staff and the website itself continuously changes and refreshes itself with solid news reporting. We cover a wide arrange of topics from crime to the arts. We have been the or among the first to break new stories and happenings within the country.

We do not limit ourselves to the confines of Costa Rica’s capital, San José, in much the same way as our English-speaking audience is not confined to the edges of the capital.

We cover news across and related to the country. Through the years, staffers have tried to prevent scammers from using the newspaper as an advertising vehicle.

Throughout these 16 years, editors and reporters have tried to fight for equal treatment for expats and help those who are victims of the pitfalls. Many of the latter efforts never see publication.

Through aggressive reporting A.M. Costa Rica takes credit for saving an innocent Canadian man, Roger Crouse, in Playas del Coco from over-eager prosecutors who sought to convict him of murder.

That was in 2002, and there have been hundreds of  large and small cases of assistance since. Most recently, staffers were able to track down the missing Costa Rican father of a U.S. woman. The man returned to Costa Rica and died several years ago without the U.S. family receiving any notification.

Perhaps the longest-running news story was that of Luis Enrique Villalobos, the operator of a high-interest money scheme based at Mall San Pedro. This newspaper estimated that Villalobos had nearly $1 billion of creditor money on his books when he shut down his operation in late 2002 and vanished.

A.M. Costa Rica reporters and editors got death threats and plenty of nasty letters because they did not glorify Villalobos as an honest businessman victimized by a greedy government. The newspaper still gets emails asking about Villalobos. His betrayal heavily damaged the expat community.

The future remains bright for A.M. Costa Rica and A.M. Newspapers because Costa Rica still is a top choice for vacation and retirement. And our readership remains solid.

Readers recognize that our staffers actually are in contact with officials and other newsmakers instead of just copying stories of questionable validity from the Spanish-language press.

We continue a policy that brought dozens of young First-World newspeople to work for months and even a year or more to learn about a different culture and Costa Rica specifically. For many, the time here changed their lives.

They are now major market news staffers, lawyers, foreign correspondents in some of the world’s trouble spots and in many other positions where their Latin American knowledge can enlarge their world view.
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nationality data

Based on our own data, nearly 48 percent of our local readers are mainly foreigners from the United States, Canada and Europe. We are also being read outside Costa Rica as well. Total hits average upwards of 23,000 each day and eight million page views by year.

It is a tradition to the principles and spirit of fair journalism that guide us in our reporting and publication of the news. A.M. Costa Rica is seeking to expand upon these principles and move toward a more modern format of news publishing as much as reporting placing emphasis on the importance of social media outlets as a means of expanding the newspaper into an all-encompassing online media outlet.

We embrace transparency, openness, fairness and always attempting to give voice to relevant issues of English-speakers here and also to be open toward our readership or the wider public.

Remember to subscribe and like us on our social media outlets. For anything related to news or to submit a letter to the editor, please email our news and editorial team HERE. For advertising, please contact our Advertising Dept. HERE. Our offices can also be contacted by calling the number at the top of our main page.

A.M. Costa Rica after one year

By Jay Brodell
Editor of A.M. Costa Rica
(published Aug. 15, 2002)

We were thrilled by the response from readers all over the world after we asked for birthday greetings. Don't forget to check out our birthday wishes.

The newspaper's first birthday is a happy time for us. But it also is a time to consider where we have been and where we are going.

We started the newspaper only a few weeks before terrorists attacked New York City and Washington.

We believe those attacks quickly showed we were correct when we said that Costa Rica needs an English-language daily newspaper to help foster a sense of community among the foreign residents here. 

Since then we have imperfectly filled our mandate by providing professionally reported news of interest to our readers.

We also discovered that we were correct when we said that a great deal of important news was not being provided. So did our meteoric growth in readership.

Where would you have heard of Roger Crouse, the Canadian from Playas del Coco in jail for a year for basically exercising his right to self defense?

Where would you read of the continuing threats to tourists as they walk through downtown San José.

Where would you read Jo Stuart each week as she finds hidden relationships between seemingly unrelated situations?

Where would you find our unique daily report of Latin American news.

As Costa Rica continues to experience difficult economic times, we promise to work harder.

We also promise to continue providing original reporting. A.M. Costa Rica news stories are not lifted out of the Spanish-language press.

We have a lot of respect for San José newspeople, but not so much that we would publish their news stories. And we believe that taking stories without permission from another source is stealing.

As it turns out, we work shoulder-to-shoulder each day with the Spanish-language reporters, and we consider them our competition.

There is no reason that English speakers here should not have a news outlet as accurate and as up-to-date as La Nación or Teletica.

A.M. Costa Rica also is a training ground for English-speaking  university graduates who wish to learn Latin culture and international journalism.

In 10 years we hope international reporting from Latin America will have a large contingent of our alumni.

In addition to me, the owners of A.M. Costa Rica are Sharon Brodell, my wife, and Saray Ramírez Vindas, our Costa Rican associate and friend.

We appreciate your support over the last year. We promise to do better. And we are always open to your suggestions.

Technical stuff

The publication is being done on a Macintosh iMac computer with Netscape Composer as a HTML assistant. There are other better programs, but the goal of A.M. Costa Rica is simplicity because Internet connections in Costa Rica, thanks to a government monopoly, are slow and uncertain.

At times of peak use, about 9 a.m. and between 4:30  p.m. and 6:30 p.m., a typical page from this publication may take from two to five minutes to load on a remote computer in Costa Rica.

This also is why we have limited the use of complex programming techniques.

The publication is best viewed with Netscape Navigator because Microsoft Explorer pretty much does what it wants with font information.


We are not going to share bulk e-mail addresses, telephone numbers or other information with anyone who is not connected with A.M. Costa Rica. We would never provide names and e-mail addresses of readers to a list broker or others involved in online commerce.

However, We will put e-mail addresses as contact information in classified advertising unless the advertiser specifically requests that the e-mail address not be included.

Naturally, A.M. Costa Rica, as any newspaper would, will use names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses collected through its daily operations as contact information needed to write news stories and to conduct limited solicitations for advertising.

Some programs out there lift e-mail addresses from our Web pages. Other program send out unwanted e-mails using random return addresses. If you get an unwanted commercial message from A.M. Costa Rica, it is a forged message. We do not do that. We also do not send out vast quantities of unsolicited e-mails


Material published in A.M. Costa Rica is copyrighted under U.S., Costa Rican and international law. Anyone needs our permission to use any of the material. We will be liberal in giving permission to commercial and non-commercial entities.

Absent our approval, persons not connected with the newspaper must follow strict copyright guidelines.


A.M. Costa Rica is published from our server in the United States. Any disputes shall be adjudicated according to U.S. law, specifically that of the State of California where our Internet provider has its facilities.