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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Monday, April 14, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 73                         Email us
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Foreigners face barriers to open a bank account
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Expats are having a very hard time understanding the new rules and regulations set forth by national and private banks in Costa Rica. They were outlined in detail March 31.  They do not understand why they cannot open a bank account if they are on a tourist visa but own property or have other investments in the country.

It is the fault of the Banco Central de Costa Rica. The central bank issued a communication to all Costa Rican banks March 27, 2012, stating that the only people with valid acceptable documents can make interbank transactions via SINPE, the interbank system. The Banco Central is responsible for controlling inflation, printing and managing money and maintaining the stability of the Costa Rican currency.

It should not be confused with SUGEF, the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras, the organization that supervises the stability of the country’s financial system. In simplistic terms, the Banco Central manages the quantity and SUGEF the quality of Costa Rica’s finances.

Valid documents for foreigners are the following:

     1. Costa Rican cédula;

     2. Resident identification card, called a DIMEX;

     3. Company cédula obtainable from the
              Registro Nacional; and,

     4. Diplomat identification or DIDI. A
              passport does not qualify. 

Most interbank transactions in the country use SINPE or the Sistema Nacional de Pagos Electrónico. This means it is controlled by the Central Bank. The only way around the rule is to use cash or a check, which is not very efficient.
 
This means most banks will not open an account any more for a tourist who just walks in to do so. There are rare exceptions. Old accounts opened in more lenient times are being closed because they do not adhere to the new banking rules.

Companies like sociedad anónimas and S.R.L.s can open bank accounts. However, some banks themselves have interpreted the Banco Central’s ruling to mean everyone signing on the account must have one of the four documents listed above.  
Digging deeper into the matter by visiting the Banco de Costa Rica and the Banco Nacional and speaking with supervisors, a reporter found they would open an account for a tourist. Nevertheless, it is not easy or common and the non-resident would need to have a valid Costa Rican company. They would also need at least one of the following requisites. Two would be better:

    1. A recommendation letter from their home
             bank, translated into Spanish, notarized
             and apostilled;

    2. A detailed outline of where all the funds
              in 1 originated, certified by a foreign
              certified public accountant, notarized                and apostilled; and/or,

    3. A local certified public accountant’s
           certification of funds.
banks
There is an easier way. A representative at Banco Nacional said he would allow a tourist or otherwise non-resident to sign on an account if the primary account holder did have one of the required identifications. Banco de Costa Rica said it would not let a non-resident foreigner sign under any circumstances.

Some private banks are a little bit more flexible. However, they, too, must adhere to Law 8024 and the Banco Central’s policies. To do so, they require non-resident foreigners to have most of the things national banks are asking for to open a new account.

The obvious problem is most people do not want to have someone they do not know very well sign on their their bank account. Some expats opt for an attorney or CPA, but this is not a very good option either. The way Costa Rican laws work, most crooks get away with the bootie.

The problem is clear. How about a solution?
Expats with property should look to a reputable property manager to pay the bills. The key word here is reputable. To find one, good hard homework is necessary. Asking other expats, friends and other property owners can lead to finding the right person or company.

As for expats in business, they should have residency so they can manage their own banking needs or have a partner trustworthy enough to do so. If they cannot meet these criteria, they should not be doing business in Costa Rica.

Is there a possibility things will change, go back to the way they were? Very unlikely. Costa Rica is doing its very best to stay off the financial tax haven list. Being on it has hurt the country in the past.

Most countries with money do not want to give or lend money to any country not willing to play ball in the international financial community.

Other countries insist on transparency and financial data sharing so they can catch tax cheats.  All the new banking requirements are mandated by the world. Costa Rica is just complying.


Garland M. Baker is a 44-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 2004-2014, use without permission prohibited.


Exit tax suspended at overwhelmed Peñas Blancas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Immigration workers suspended collecting the land exit tax again Friday morning when the crush of Semana Santa vacationers caused delays of at least an hour.

The Dirección General de Migración said that the tax was suspended on orders from the Ministerio de Hacienda in San José.

The reason, of course, is that most revelers have no idea that the tax exists. Those who arrive at the border without paying the $7 tax can only pay the tax at a machine that only accepts credit cards.

Many of the travelers were Nicaraguans going home for the holidays. Some 3, 925 persons left Costa Rica at the Peñas Blancas border crossing Friday.

Bancrédito is in charge of collecting the exit tax and remitting the proceeds to the government. However, the bank has not advertised that the tax
exists And workers at Hacienda have been confused since December as to whether the tax is being collected or not.

Officials said they hoped to reinstitute the tax.

The tax was supposed to go into effect Dec. 23, but the system collapsed for the first time that day at the border due to the flood of travelers. Then there was not even a machine to take the money.

Collection began again April 1, and Bancrédito issued a single press release at that time instructing travelers how to pay the tax. There did not seem to be any articles in the Spanish-language newspapers.

Immigration officials said that with the tax suspended travelers moved normally. Those leaving the country by bus were being pre-checked at the Liberia stations of transport companies.  Bus companies also were providing a way to pay the tax as well as other border chargers.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 73

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

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 robbery suspect
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía           
y Seguridad Pública           
One of three robbery suspects is led into a police station.

Trio came to prey, not pray,
at this religious procession


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sunday was Domingo de Ramos, the time when Christians mark the Biblical story of Jesus Christ arriving at Jerusalem.

There were a number of processions and outside events put on by various congregations Sunday, but three persons did not attend the one in Parque de República de el Salvador in western San José with religion on their minds.

The Fuerza Pública said that two women and two men were robbed at knife- and gunpoint in the park during a religious event. The park is on Avenida 9 at Calle 40 just about 300 meters north of the General Cañas highway.

Police, which are providing security for the religious events, acted quickly, and a woman and two men were detained as suspects in a vehicle just north of the northwest corner of Parque la Sabana. Both men have records of aggravated robbery, said police. The trio were en route to Pavas, police said.

Officers said they recovered a BB gun that was used to simulate a firearm and also two cell telephones taken from the robbery victims. The trio were remanded to the flagrancy court.


String of motorcycle deaths
continue over the weekend

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three persons on motorcycles perished from Thursday night through Sunday morning, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Dead in Caldera was a 32-year-old man with the last name of  Álvarez. He died when his motorcycle collided with an automobile headed in the opposite direction about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

In Guácimo, Pococí, a 22-year-old man with the last name of Campos died about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when his motorcycle collided with a bus.

About 8 a.m. Sunday a motorcycle driver died in Limoncito de Coto-Brus. He was identified by the last name of Morera and was 54 years old, agents said. His motorcycle fell under the wheels of a truck, they said.


Baby died after arrival
at children's hospital


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement agents said that they are looking into the death of a 9-month-old baby. The child died minutes after Cruz Roja officials took the child into Hospital Nacional de Niños Friday morning.

According to a representative from the Judicial Investigating Organization, the baby had fractures of the right arm and foot and showed evidence of abrasions on the head and back. Agents removed the body from the hospital and took it to the judicial morgue.

Investigators have detained the child's 26-year-old mother and her 25-year-old boyfriend. The two will be brought before the Ministerio Público as investigations into the child's death continue.


Security guard wounded
as he kills an intruder

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A security guard engaged an intruder in a shootout Saturday night, and the intruder died. The security guard suffered bullet wounds to the stomach, said the Judicial Investigating organization.

The scene was in the upscale Villas de Ayarco in Curridabat.  The dead man who is believed to be about 25, has not yet been identified.

The security guard, identified by the last name of  Moreno, is 34. He was in Hospital Calderón Guardia.  Judicial agents said that the guard confronted the intruder when two men entered a home in the subdivision. A second man fled, agents said.


Unmanned mini-sub to seek
missing passenger jet remains


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said an Australian ship will deploy an unmanned mini-sub as soon as possible to determine if signals detected by sound-locating equipment were from the missing jet.

Angus Houston, who heads Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center, said today that the "Ocean Shield" will stop towing a U.S. Navy ping locator and launch the underwater vehicle "Bluefin 21" later in the day.

Houston told a news conference in Perth, "We haven't had a single detection in six days, so I guess it's time to go underwater."

The small sub will use sonar to chart any debris in the search for the plane's flight recorders on the floor of the Indian Ocean.

Houston also said an oil slick was found in the area Sunday evening, but it would be several days before the oil could be tested for its origin.

Authorities have warned that investigators will have lost their chief means of detection when the flight recorder transmitter batteries lose power. Those batteries are designed to operate for 30 days, possibly a little longer. The plane disappeared 38 days ago.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott continues to sound notes of caution, stressing that trying to find anything nearly five kilometers below the surface of the Indian Ocean a thousand kilometers from land is a huge task that will not likely end any time soon.

The Boeing 777 with 239 people on board disappeared March 8 during a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Two-thirds of those on board were Chinese nationals.

A leading Malaysian newspaper has said investigators probing the plane's disappearance suspect the co-pilot attempted to make a cell-phone call after the jetliner deviated from its original course.

The pro-government New Straits Times has said investigators believe the call ended abruptly after the phone made contact with a communications tower, as the jetliner flew at low altitude northwest of the island of Penang. The newspaper said its sources declined to reveal who the caller was trying to reach.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has cast doubt on the report, telling reporters he would have been informed about such a call if it had taken place.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 73
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
Agreement signed to guarantee security for famous Alajuela statue
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The historic "Monumento al Agricultor" will be returned to Alajuela after the municipality can insure that the large bronze work will be safe.

That is the outcome of an agreement reached Friday with the municipality, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the  Museo de Arte Costarricense.

Culture officials removed the bronze from Alajuela two years ago and placed it at the museum in Parque la Sabana for safekeeping. The monument had suffered from the ravages of time and of vandals.

The monument is the work of  Francisco Zúñiga and depicts a family of farmers with the wife working in the soil as a child clings to her. The monument marks the way agriculture built the country.

The monument is in the process of being restored.

The agreement signed Friday among the three parties was mostly ceremonial to mark the Día de Juan Santamaría because there always have been plans to return the statute.

This time it will be located in Parque Próspero Fernández in the center of Alajuela Centro, which is presumed to be a safe location. Restoration of the monument is not finished, and that also is a condition of moving it back to Alajuela.

The original location was at a park not far from Juan Santamaría airport in full view of passing cars.
farmer's monument
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo


Semana Santa already in full swing for the religious and for vacationers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most government offices are closed or with a skeleton staff because this is the start of Semana Santa, Holy Week, which ends with legal holidays both Thursday and Friday.

The Easter season began with Domingo de Ramos, Palm Sunday, and religious processions all over the country. Still a percentage of the Central Valley already was at the nation's beaches and other vacation spots.

The Festival de las Artes ended its 10-day run last night with a fireworks show. Despite the approaching holiday, the festival at Parque la Sabana was packed all weekend.
The Catedral Metropolitana will have prayer services and processions each evening leading up to the photogenic twin processions Friday, the first marking the journey of Jesus Christ to his death of the cross and the second for the burial of Jesus. Both are around the downtown of the capital.

These are major tourism attractions even for the less religious because they feature a whole cast of characters, including apostles, Roman soldiers and other characters from the Christian Gospels.

Tourists might have some trouble finding needed services. Many restaurants will be closed the entire week. But other aspects of tourism are in full swing in anticipation of one of the major paydays of the year.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 73
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Park in Italy honors Costa Rican physician who died fighting Nazis
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Italians in Casalecchio di Reno have dedicated a park with the name of Costa Rica and in memory of the young Costa Rican physician who fought against the Nazis with Italian partisans and was executed.

The foreign ministry reported on the creation and dedication of the park. The ministry said that the park, República de Costa Rica, also represents Italy's recognition of this country's tradition of peace and democracy.

Some former partisans and a number of Costa Ricans resident in Italy attended the ceremony, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. Also there was Costa Rica's ambassador, Jaime Feinzaig

The young physician was Carlos Collado Martínez, who was executed along with 12 Italian partisans Oct. 10, 1944.

Collado began his studies in 1938 in Bologna. He was a student of Professor Armando Businco, according to a summary of his life released last October on the anniversary of his execution.

He appears to have been an excellent student and won a major prize for his graduation thesis.

After Businco was arrested by the facists, Collado was detained and interrogated. The experience was enough to radicalize him and he joined the 63º Brigada Bolero Garibaldi as a doctor, according to the Associazione Nazionale d'Amicizia Costa Rica.
plaque
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
A plaque at the República de Costa Rica park is about to be unveiled by Costa Rican ambassador Jaime Feinzaig and the local mayor,  Simone Gamberini.

He was captured with other partisans, tortured and then killed in the plaza of Casalecchio di Reno. There is a monument there now commemorating the sacrifices.

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8317-5/7/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
8278-3/14/14


Hidden
                        Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

diligence
Click photo for another video

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.

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

8300-9/1/14

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


Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

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Real estate rentals
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wanted
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS. organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8337-6/14/14

Rohrmoser/Pavas, 1-bedroom apartment, fully furnished, including kitchen utensils. Washer/dryer. Good security, private.
Tico Cable included, $500. Contact, Wayne Winstead, 8820-1501. Casa 2291-6371. Just need your clothes to move in.
8334-5/10/14

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.
8328-5/26/14

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
 4-
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact noelsusana@yahoo.com
8299-5/1/14

Guanacaste rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705, linda@coldwellbankercr.com
8290-4/13/14

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8313-5/1/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
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.
8267-8/17/14

house
                                                photo
Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: jlayne1933@aol.com or yo@nehemiascr.com
8325-5/21/14

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

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8327-4/26/14

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
8241-3/7/14

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.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14




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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 73
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
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About us



Cafetales



Low testosterone levels
linked to long relationships


By the University of Michigan news service

Many people assume that the more testosterone, the better, but a new University of Michigan study finds that might not always be the case in romantic relationships.

Low testosterone levels may be a good thing for both men and women, who reported more satisfaction and commitment to their relationships when they had lower levels.

Higher testosterone is generally thought to be associated with attracting sexual partners, but might not be compatible with some kinds of long-term relationships, said Robin Edelstein, an associate professor of psychology and the study's lead author.

"The assumption is generally that high testosterone is good for sexual relationships," she said. "These findings suggest that once people are in a relationship, lower levels of testosterone may be beneficial — or may reflect better ongoing relationship dynamics."

Previous studies have examined how testosterone levels are associated with the quality of men's relationships, but the latest  research is among the first to demonstrate the association among women.

The study used data from 39 heterosexual couples whose ages ranged from 18 to 31 and were in relationships from two months to seven years. They answered questions about their satisfaction ("My relationship is close to ideal"), commitment ("I want our relationship to last forever") and investment ("I have invested a great deal into our relationship that I would lose if the relationship were to end"). Participants also provided their saliva for analysis.

Researchers concluded that the quality of a person's relationship was associated with his/her own and his/her partner's testosterone levels. Both men's and women's testosterone was negatively correlated with their own and their partner's satisfaction and commitment. The couples were more satisfied and committed when they or their partner had low testosterone levels, the research indicated.

The findings appear in the April issue of Hormones and Behavior.


Valparaiso blaze kills 12
and levels 500 homes


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Chilean officials say a huge fire has killed at least 12 people and destroyed 500 homes in the port city of Valparaiso. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.

The fire began Saturday in a forested area above ramshackle housing on one of the city's many hilltops.
 
Firefighters were struggling to bring the blaze under control, as Pacific coast winds fan the flames.
 
Chile's president, Michele Bachelet, has declared a state of emergency, placing armed forces on the city's streets to maintain order and prevent looting. Authorities have set up shelters.

Valparaiso Mayor Jorge Castro described the blaze as the worst fire in the city's history.
 
Valparaiso is a U.N. world heritage site, 120 kilometers northwest of Chile's capital, Santiago.


Mexican bus crash claims
36 lives in Veracruz state

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least 36 people were killed when a bus crashed into the back of a broken-down truck in Mexico and caught fire.

Mexican officials said four people survived the overnight crash with injuries in the southeastern state of Veracruz.

The state civil defense agency said the victims were business people who were traveling from the Tabasco state capital of Villahermosa to Mexico City.

Via Twitter, President Enrique Peña Nieto sent his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
 

Francis begins Holy Week
with off-the-cuff homily

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis inaugurated Holy Week, which culminates with Easter, by celebrating Palm Sunday Mass with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Sunday.
 
The pontiff ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he hopped off his pope mobile to pose for selfies, self-snapped photographs with young people in the crowd.
 
Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives.
 
In a crowd of around 100,000 locals, pilgrims and tourists, people clutched olive tree branches, tall palm fronds or tiny braided palm leaves shaped like crosses that were blessed by Francis at the start of the ceremony.
 
For Christians, Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were strewn in front of him. Later, according to the Holy Scriptures, he would be arrested and crucified.


Heartbleed bug brings alert
from many governments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States is warning businesses to be on alert for computer hackers trying to steal data exposed by a newly discovered glitch in Internet security.

A statement Friday from the Department of Homeland Security asked organizations to report any attacks related to the breakdown, known as the Heartbleed bug.

The glitch is in a vulnerable version of software known as OpenSSL, and potentially exposes millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to theft.

In a Web site message, Larry Zelvin, the director of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, said there has not yet been any reported attacks from the bug, which was discovered earlier this week. However, he said it is still possible that malicious actors could exploit unpatched systems.

Canada's government Friday ordered all its agencies to disable public Web sites that are susceptible to the Heartbleed bug until a security patch has been put in place.

Also Friday, the United States said it has charged nine people in a different cyber security breach. The Justice Department says the nine, including nationals from Ukraine and Russia, took part in a scheme that stole millions of dollars by hacking into online back accounts.

It said the suspects used a malware called Zeus to steal passwords, account numbers and other details to log into online banking accounts.


CIA's cultural initiatives
against Soviet were many


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The recent revelation by the Washington Post that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency published and distributed Boris Pasternak’s epic novel "Dr. Zhivago" to undermine the Soviets made headlines.

But to Cold War historians and those who lived on the other side of the Iron Curtain, it was yesterday’s news.

As it turns out, the CIA decided long ago that a good way to topple the Soviet Union was not with bombs, but canvases, symphonies and prose.

During the heyday of the Cold War in the late 1940s, the CIA began to realize that the Russian revolution’s promises of social equality had won over many Western European artists, writers, scientists.

In 1950, the CIA set up the Congress for Cultural Freedom with a goal of undermining the Soviet government and winning over the hearts and minds of Europe’s left-leaning intellectuals.

“The idea was to try and contradict notions that America was this sort of capitalist, commercial, philistine society that lacked a high cultural tradition, because the U.S. government was concerned that European intellectuals, especially, who were inclined to neutralism in the Cold War had that kind of anti-American cultural prejudice,” said Hugh Wilford, an author of several books on covert CIA operations during the Cold War era.

Books were one weapon and "Dr. Zhivago" was just one of many that were clandestinely subsidized.

“I think that 'Gulag Archipelago' was even bigger than 'Dr. Zhivago,' as an example of, from the American point of view, successful propaganda,” said Sergei Khruschev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

He refers to the landmark novel, which detailed hardships and abuses in Soviet prisons, by former Soviet labor camp detainee and Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

“And I would also say that about the Svetlana Alliluyeva’s  'Twenty Letters to a Friend,' which was most painful to the Bresnev era,” he said, adding that Svetlana was paid nearly a million dollars for her novel. She is Joseph Stalin's daughter.
 
'Twenty Letters' came as a devastating blow to Soviets, Khruschev said, as it exposed the flaws of Josef Stalin, the architect of communism.

“I think it was very effective because Russians are different from the Americans,” he said. “Americans, when they watch something on TV or listen to the news, they usually believe the news.

“But in Russia, all the time there was censorship,” he said. “They never believed what they heard on the official news, so they tried to find out what was the truth and why they were lying in the Soviet Union.  So all the Soviet people listened to the so-called enemy voices.”

Getting these books into the Soviet Union turned out to be relatively easy, Khruschev said.

“The people from the U.S. embassy and journalists, they liked to meet with artists, and of course they told them about the so-called unofficial arts in the Soviet Union, when you are talking about sculpture, about painting, music, writing, and they would usually distribute books and pamphlets around the Soviet people,” Khruschev said.

“It was illegal at that time, but in reality, everybody knew that they were doing this,” he said.

The congress funded a host of literary and cultural magazines, including Britain's Encounter magazine and, wittingly or not, the Paris Review.

It was the shadow behind sponsored concerts, such as a Boston Symphony Orchestra’s April 1952 performance at a Paris music festival.

The choice of music for the performance was surely no accident:  "The Rites of Spring" by Igor Stravinsky, one of the most famous composers of his day and an avowed critic of communism.

The CIA even funded the animated film version of author George Orwell's "Animal Farm."

To fund these activities, the CIA, secretly laundered money through a variety of cultural organizations in America and Europe.

In the Soviet Union, modern art was considered to reflect the decadence of the West, i.e., democracy, and modern artists were viewed as subversives — including Pablo Picasso, who ironically was communist himself.

Many artists fled the Soviet Union, among them Wassily Kandinsky and Mark Rothko.

The CIA dumped millions of dollars to subsidize the 1950s New York art movement known as abstract expressionism, an unrestrained and expressive style of painting as practiced by Rothko and Jackson Pollack — artists who were not particularly appreciated by Americans of the era.

The intelligence agency supported them, organizing showings of these and other painters across Europe and helping to spread abstract art as a global trend.

“In making sure that abstract expressionism, which was incontrovertibly highbrow art — it was so difficult to understand —that if it got out there, that might contradict those European notions and help get European intellectuals on our side in the Cold War,” said historian Wilford, a professor of history at California State University.

Today, it is difficult to imagine America’s spymasters as patrons of the art.

“There were some pretty sophisticated types knocking around the CIA back then,” Wilford said.
 
“I think they quite possibly enjoyed the role of cultural patrons because they were drawn from the sort of prep school, Ivy League classes that people like Nelson Rockefeller and  John Hay Whitney were,” he said. Whitney was the New York Herald Tribune publisher.

“So, it made sense in a way that this then-rather-aristocratic organization, the CIA, should be doing this,” Wilford said.

Just how effective were these activities?

“Actually, it was a pretty smart thing to be doing,” Wilford said. “And I think it worked up to a point because it did get stuff out to Europe that otherwise might not have made it.

“Because you had local affiliates in various countries around the world that made sure that local intellectuals who were friendly to the U.S. and admired it and that there were platforms for them,” he said.

But these CIA efforts, when finally revealed in the mid-to-late 1960s, did come back to haunt the intelligence agency, because it not only embarrassed the U.S., but made those intellectuals receiving CIA funds look bad, Wilford said.

The Congress, which had once boasted offices in 35 countries and nearly 300 employees, was shut down shortly afterwards.


Thousands pose in Boston
for photo at site of bombing


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sports Illustrated magazine is marking the upcoming anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings with a cover shoot that drew thousands of people, including survivors, emergency workers and city officials.

Saturday's Boston Strong photo shoot was held at the marathon finish line, where on April 15, 2013, two blasts killed three people and injured 260 others.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans posed with the group. Survivor Marc Fucarile, who lost his right leg above the knee in the bombings, sat in the crowd with his son in his lap.

Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar came to the United States from Chechnya about a decade ago. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police a few days after the bombing. Dzhokhar was later captured and is in federal prison awaiting trial.


New York City planning
immigrant ID card system


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Immigration advocates in the United States continue to press for sweeping reforms that will clear a path to citizenship for all immigrants, including those without valid visas, and grant them access to many of the benefits and protections that U.S. citizens enjoy. In immigrant-rich New York, the new mayor is hoping to implement a new universal identity card program that will help undocumented immigrants move into the city’s mainstream.

Mere blocks from City Hall, immigration advocates rallied for what organizers billed as A National Day of Action.

Nisha Agarwal, New York City’s immigration commissioner, represented Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has made sweeping immigration reform a centerpiece of his policy agenda.

“So we’re here to support and also to show that New York is leading the way in terms of leading a pro-immigrant equality agenda but hopefully that hopefully the nation will follow,” said Agarwal.

Carlos Menchaca, chairman of the City Council’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, sponsored legislation to issue municipal ID cards to every New Yorker.

“This legislation is designed to bring people out of the shadows and give them identification. This is for every New Yorker, it doesn’t matter your status. If you reside here, and you want to prove your identity, we want to give you a card,” said Menchaca.

Advocates — like Bakari Tsandia — say this will help the city’s African diaspora community.

“… Because if you are undocumented, a person with an expired national ID, you will not be able to have access to certain buildings," said Tsandia. "You will not be able to open a bank account. You will not be able to have a regular life as a normal New Yorker.”

Proponents argue that ID’s are key to economic empowerment in other ways. Without a valid ID, many new immigrants who drive taxis cannot get their driver’s licenses renewed.

Without identity papers, parents cannot enter their children’s schools for parent-teacher conferences.  And advocates say children not born in the U.S. have another disadvantage.

Bronx community leader Abrourazakou Bowa took a group of high schoolers to an event where IDs were examined at the door.

“The youth who were born here were able to enter. But those who came without any ID, we left them outside. Because of the ID. I was so sad about those two youths,” said Bowa.

Not everyone at the rally was in favor of reform. Peter Katalenas of New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement, has little sympathy for undocumented immigrants of any age.

“We believe anybody who comes to this country without permission shouldn’t be here and shouldn‘t stay here. I wouldn’t want somebody to come to my house and live here  without my permission.

I am sure most people don’t want that either,” he said.

Analysts agree that the ID law and other immigration reforms are likely to pass the New York City Council and be signed by de Blasio in the near future. Federal overhaul of immigration laws has been stalled for months in the U.S. Congress, however, and little action is expected from Washington prior to November’s midterm elections.


Spinal device can restore
some lower body movement


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Severe spinal cord injuries usually lead to total loss of control of lower extremities, as well as bladder, bowel and sexual functions. But scientists at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, say an implanted electrical device is helping the patients regain at least some of that control.

A dirt bike accident five years ago left Ken Stephenson paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors told him that he would never be able to stand up again.

“They said, based on what they've diagnosed and how I broke my back and everything, that I wouldn't be able to move my legs again or feel anything ever again,” said Stephenson.

Another blow to the young man was the loss of sexual function.

Now, however, thanks to a small device implanted in his back that electrically stimulates his spinal cord, Stephenson has regained some ability to enjoy activities he thought were left behind forever.

Roderic Pettigrew, of the National Institutes of Health, explained, “The goal was to modulate those damaged nerves in the spinal cord so that they once again could, would, become receptive to stimuli.”

The stimulator is turned on with a remote control and allows Stephenson to move one leg at a time. Other functions improved, too.

“The sexual function thing was huge for me because it was basically nothing before and, I mean, now, like, it's a lot better,” said Stephenson.

Three other patients reported similar improvements, although none of them can walk.

Pettigrew stresses that the device is not a cure and that more research is needed before it can be widely available. He said a spinal cord injury, though, may no longer mean a lifelong sentence of paralysis.

“What we see today with these four individuals now being able to have voluntary motion and voluntary control of their limbs and involuntary control of functions like bladder and bowel is very exciting,” said Pettigrew.

Researchers now plan to implant the device in eight more patients and try to stimulate more than one muscle group at the time.


Global poverty standards
said to be arbitrarily low


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New research suggests that global poverty figures, which the World Bank defines as people living on less than $1.25 a day, could be underestimated by up to one-third.

The World Bank figures are widely used and play a significant role in global strategies to reduce poverty. But critics argue the dollar a day poverty standard is too arbitrary and does not take into account many basic human needs.

Researchers at the University of Bristol looked at shelter, sanitation, water, nutrition, health and education for those living on the Pacific island state of Vanuatu, which is largely rural. They called the poverty standard rosy in light of what they found.

According to the study, 5 percent of all children in Vanuatu live in poverty as defined by the World Bank. But 17 percent live in poverty as defined by a national food and basic needs benchmark. Absolute poverty, where people are deprived of two or more basic human needs, affects 16 percent of children in Vanuatu, say researchers. The study was published in the Journal of Sociology.

The findings challenge the $1.25 measure, which is being used to the monitor progress of nations in achieving the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. The goals include reducing by half the number of people who live in extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

The World Bank is calling for robust measures to end the extreme poverty of at least one billion people by 2030.

Researchers at the Australian National University, University of New South Wales, U.N.  Children's Fund's Pacific and the Vanuatu National Statistics Office carried out the study.


15-cent tax on kilo of CO2
put forth to curb pollution


By the University of Gothenburg news service

Despite climate change, most polluters still pay little or nothing when they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A cost of 15 U.S. cents per kilo CO2 would be enough to solve the whole climate change problem, says Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg. Sterner is the only Swedish researcher to serve as a coordinating lead author of a new report that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will present next week.

The third part of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report, Working Group III on the technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change concerns measures to reduce or eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases. The report covers the most important economic sectors — energy, transport, construction, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management.

Compared with the last assessment in 2007, many countries now have ministries in charge of climate issues. Numerous measures to combat climate change have also been introduced, many of which the authors of the report have been able to evaluate. The scientists' summary for politicians will be finalized and presented in Berlin next week.

"We have explored the new policy instruments introduced around the World. Some of my colleagues have felt very enthusiastic – rather like botanists discovering new species. I am not equally optimistic because most of the new instruments are too weak to be meaningful. What we need to avoid dangerous climate change is the application of strong policy instruments," says Sterner.

One potentially strong measure policy instrument according to the report is to make emitters of CO2 pay a price in relation to the amount emitted — but it all hinges on this price being sufficiently high. In most countries, there is virtually no cost to emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases. At the same time, studies from, for example, the International Energy Agency show that if a sufficiently high emission tax of abou15 cents per kilo CO2 (or an equivalent permit trading scheme) were introduced in all sectors across the world, the total emissions could be reduced by half by 2050. The difficulty, however, lies in establishing sufficiently strong international agreements, Sterner said..

Another effective intervention identified in the report is to stimulate research on new technologies. One dilemma, says Sterner, is that companies know they will have problems patenting new environmentally friendly technologies. This realization of course affects their motivation negatively, implying that they will not do enough research and therefore there is a need also for state-funded research.

Today, CO2 taxes are relatively unusual being limited mainly to a few countries in northern Europe. Sectoral taxes – on transport fuels are more common and have been shown to have very significant effects. On the other hand, many countries are in fact still subsidizing fossil fuels. Sterner says that one important policy instrument would be to remove these subsidies. The measures discussed in the report also include voluntary agreements.

'I really don’t believe in voluntary measures since they imply letting business and industry do as they please. Overall, I feel that our report may come across as too modest compared with the report from Working Group I, which was presented last autumn and described the climate situation in the world as catastrophic. But there are indeed real opportunities to limit the emissions', says Sterner.


Watson wins the Masters
for second time in three years


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American golfer Bubba Watson has won the Masters for the second time in three years.

Watson claimed the prestigious green jacket that goes to the champion of golf's first major tournament each year by shooting three-under-par 69 in the final round on Sunday. That gave him a four-round total of eight-under-par,  280, and a three-stroke victory over countryman Jordan Spieth and Sweden's Jonas Blixt, who had 283.

At 20 years old, Spieth was bidding to become the youngest-ever champion at the Augusta National Club in the southeast U.S. state of Georgia.

He was tied with the 35-year-old Watson to start the fourth and final round, and led by two shots after seven holes. But then the tournament swung in Watson's favor. He grabbed the lead after nine holes and stayed in front the rest of the way to win the first prize of $1.62 million.

Finishing alone in fourth place was 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez.


Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Web: www.casadelpacifico.com



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
8294-6/12/14

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.
8206-5/18/14

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
8321-10/17/14



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 home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK 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
8245-5/12/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Beautiful Survival Farm with panoramic Pacific views
In the heartland of one of the world's five blue zones, Nicoya. 12 acres with ample space for planting, natural forest, own perennial waters, public road yet hidden access, electricity. Fire sale 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com
8333-5/9/14

covered patio
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$173,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
8310-7/1/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8309-6/29/14

Atenas mansion
ATENAS!!
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact  larry@atenasrealty.com
8306-4/26/14

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 its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
 www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8305-6/26/14

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email rafa@rafacr.com.
9304-4/3/14

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Also looking for full-time housekeeper!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and back yards, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!!
88288-xxxx

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8253-5/12/14

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
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:
8230-3/13/14

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8223-2/21/14

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

complex
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


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

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.

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


Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact galanses@hotmail.com for an appointment. For a preview www.facebook.com/FantasiaTropicalCR
8232-2/24/14

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it 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 a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. 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.com.
8213-2/13/14

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
8123-4/22/2

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 73
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
bus
              terminal
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
Passengers watch police check out their bus.

Three drug cases appear
to originate in Limón


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers have confiscated three lots of marijuana and made four arrests in efforts over the weekend.

Drug-sniffing dogs inspected baggage at a bus that arrived in San José Sunday morning from Limón. One dog led police to a suitcase that contained 6.5 kilos of marijuana. But there was no arrest because no one on the bus claimed the suitcase.

Friday police officers at the same bus terminal discovered a traveler who carried what they said was half a kilo of cocaine. The man was remanded to the flagrancia court for a quick resolution of his legal situation, officers said.

Also Friday police officers engaged in a short chase to capture three persons in a pickup on Ruta 32 in Tibás. The three persons in the vehicle were detained after police found four 6.5 kilos of marijuana.

Police did not say if the marijuana is the imported variety or the type normally grown in the Talamanacas. There is a steady flow of smuggled marijuana into Limón but residents in the Talamanca mountains are known to take advantage of the naturally growing crops there.

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From Page 7:

Business community awaits Solís decisions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When president-election Luis Guillermo Solís announces at least some of his cabinet selections later today, the business community will be watching to learn his choice to head Hacienda, the budget ministry.

This critical appointment is the key to reducing the annual budget deficit and the enormous national debt. The current minister, Edgar Ayales, who would have stayed in the job had the Partido Liberación Nacional candidate, Johnny Araya Monge, won the presidency. He has a plan to reduce the deficit in five years with careful spending and more taxes.

The party of Solís, Acción Ciudadana, is less than two decades old, and the party has not held the presidency. So Solís is hard-pressed to find experienced individuals to head ministries. Most of the experienced members of the party chose to seek legislative spots because no one really expected Solís to win.

There is a precedent for naming a sitting lawmaker as a minister, and Solís may choose to do that.

The tourism industry also is awaiting his selection to head the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. They said they want someone with tourism experience instead of a politician.