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(506) 2223-1327                                 Pubished Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 196                                     Email us
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Crime gathering to hear from famous former inmate
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Criminal justice professionals and criminologists from all over the hemisphere begin a three-day meeting today in San José.

Wednesday they will hear from a Costa Rican who probably has more first-hand experience than most at the meeting.

He is José León Sánchez, the famous Costa Rican author who did 30 years in the old prison on the Isla San Lucas.  The 86-year-old son of a prostitute wrote his first book about the experience. It is the gritty "La isla de los hombres solos."

The author has since written many more books after having taught himself to read on the island prison. He has a long list of honors and collaborated on a movie about the island.

He went to prison because someone stole the jewels from the Virgen de los Ángeles at the basilica in Cartago. This seems to be another
case of the police finding the first available suspect. They beat him until they received a
 confession. There was false testimony and what appears to have been apathy by the defense lawyers to the so-called monstruo de la Basílica.

León came again to public attention when he began winning major literary awards. He has a good record in prison because he founded the institution's newspaper, its library and a school for inmates.

The island prison has since been closed.

He has the distinction of having been declared innocent of the crime by both the Sala III high criminal court and also the Catholic Church.

León will be on a panel Wednesday morning. The event is being held at the Hotel Radisson under the auspices of the U.N. Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

A large number of Costa Rica officials are listed as speakers or panelists including President Luis Guillermo Solís, who will speak today.

Foreign minister wants discuss death penalty
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica, which opposes the death penalty, has suggested that the United Nations hold an open discussion among countries on the topic. The suggestion came from Manuel González, the Costa Rica foreign minister, who spoke at the international organization's New York headquarters.

He noted that the United States is the only country where a death penalty remains. He said 140 countries have abolished the death penalty.

González clearly was talking about the case of convicted murderer Terence Valentine, who is on death row in Florida because the
foreign minister did not mention any of the
 other countries where the death penalty is still on the books and in practice.

González said that the Costa Rican experience shows that a criminal justice system is possible without the death penalty.

Valentine was convicted of the cold-blooded torture murder of his ex-wife's boyfriend and her abduction in 1988.  The wife,  Livia Romero, survived and implicated her former husband in the crime. Valentine has been fighting in the courts since.

González said that the death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment that degrades the individual and his family and its abolition will contribute to better protection of human dignity and the right to life.

Judiciary focuses on femicide and overlooks man
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judiciary issued a formal statement expressing the governmental branch's sorrow at the deaths of two women in which their male companions are the principal suspects.

The statement Friday through the judiciary's Departamento de Prensa y Comunicación  said the Poder Judicial condemns domestic violence and called for victims to file complaints. The statement characterized the deaths of the two women as femicides. The murders were in Tibás and Desamparados.

The statement failed to mention the death of a man on the same day in which his female companion is the prime suspect. And the statement did not address what the Fuerza Publica said when it detained the male suspect in Los Guidos de Desampardos.

Police said at the time that the man has been convicted of aggravated robbery but that he had been let out of prison on the condition that he sleep one night a week in a confinement facility. Informal sources said the man served six months of a six-year sentence.

The death of the man also happened in the daylight hours Wednesday. The 47-year-old victim was identified by the Judicial Investigating Organization by the last name
of Ledezma. About 4 p.m. that day he had a
 confrontation on Avenida 5, and Calle 8 in San José. The woman is accused of attacking the man, identified as her companion, with a knife. She was detained near the scene.

The Poder Judicial statement did say that a preliminary investigation did not reveal that either of the dead women had sought protection orders from their companions.

The statement also said that there were no active legal cases against the victims or the suspects.

The woman who died in Los Guidos de Desamparados was 25 and had the last name of Reyes. She suffered eight bullet wounds, agents said at the time. The suspect is a 26-year-old man with the last name of Barboza, the Fuerza Pública said.

The victim in Tibás was a 27-year-old woman by the last name of Garita. Fuerza Pública officers said they found an infant who appeared to be the woman's daughter at the scene. The suspect there has the last name of Araya. He is 20, said the Fuerza Pública. The weapon in these two cases was a firearm.
The Fuerza Pública said that marijuana and cocaine were found at the Tibás crime scene.

The Desamparados case is significant because the judiciary is releasing many convicts early because of prison overcrowding.

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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute/Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, et al.            
    The bright stripes and bristles of this skipper butterfly caterpillar,
    (Pyrrhopyge thericles) warn predators that it packs a toxic punch,
    thanks to an exclusive diet of toxic plants of the genus Vismia.

Toxic caterpillars surprise scientists

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Scientists in Panamá compared the diets of two caterpillar species, expecting the one that exclusively consumed plants containing toxic chemicals would more easily incorporate toxins into its body than the one with a broad diet. They found the opposite.

The new finding, published in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, flies in the face of a long-held theory that specialist insects are better adapted to use toxic plant chemicals than non-specialists.

The discovery opens new avenues for understanding plant-insect coevolution, an ongoing arms race of plants producing new defense chemicals and insects finding ways around them. Toxic plant chemicals also have potential medical applications against microbes or cancer cells.

The tropical plant Vismia baccifera protects itself by producing a number of repellent chemicals, including three compounds that are toxic to living cells. Few plant-eating insects can stomach such a cocktail, but for those that can, the advantages are clear, less competition for a meal and a chemical toolkit they can use in their own defense.

Skipper butterfly (Pyrrhopyge thericles) caterpillars only eat plants in the genus Vismia. The caterpillars of a large moth (Periphoba arcaei) have a much broader diet, including Vismia plants and many others. Brightly colored caterpillars, one with flamboyant stripes, and the other blue-green with bristles, teach predators to associate their striking looks with toxicity, a defensive warning system known as aposematism.

“Brightly colored plant-eating insects help us to identify plants containing compounds active against important human diseases,” said Todd Capson, a former associate scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who oversaw visiting researcher Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, the lead author of the new study. The work documents the first known occurrence of Vismia chemicals in butterflies and moths.

The researchers analyzed several life stages of the two caterpillar species for the presence and concentration of plant toxins called vismiones. While two vismione compounds are found at a ratio of 1:6 in the plants, in the specialist butterfly caterpillars the compounds were barely detectable, and at roughly equal ratios. Meanwhile, the generalist moth caterpillars contained significant quantities of the rarer of the two compounds, suggesting that they were able to actively store this plant chemical in their own bodies. Both caterpillars’ fecal matter revealed a 1:2 ratio of the plant compounds, indicating that their bodies might uptake compounds selectively or convert molecules of one type over the other.

“We know very little about just how each plant-eating insect handles these chemicals, how they store them or eliminate them,” said Smithsonian staff scientist and study coauthor Annette Aiello. Some insects might isolate the compounds so they do not cause them harm, while others might convert the molecules into forms that are harder for scientists to detect. Insects that process harmful toxins without damaging their own cells have a survival advantage. For a generalist species, said Ms. Aiello, “the ability to sequester toxic compounds might be an early evolutionary breakthrough,” the first step along the pathway to becoming a toxic plant specialist.

Previous work suggests that the presence of plant-eating insects sporting bright warning colors may signal plants containing potentially useful chemicals. And while specialist insects share an obvious history with their host plants, the new study suggests that generalist insects also may play an important role in the chemical arms race that drives plant-insect coevolution. “The study of insects with generalist diets can sometimes yield results that are just as rewarding as the study of specialists,” Capson said.

Our reader's opinion
Transport ministry fails to plan ahead

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Today's article should have mentioned that the current bridge project to build a new bridge with six travel lanes under the current bridge is inconsistent with the transport ministry's plans for the Autopista General Cañas to have four travel lanes each way from San José to the airport.

The construction underway to expand the Puente Platina from four to six lanes is just one more demonstration of the myopic planning department of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. The ministry needs to realize that every location where multiple travel lanes reduce in number creates an obstruction to traffic flow in the travel lane that continues, as drivers in the ending travel lane fail to yield the right-of-way to vehicles in the continuing lane, causing them to stop.

This situation occurs repeatedly on Ruta 27 along its entire length from San José to Caldera, and in many locations along the Inter-American Highway (Ruta 1) from San José at least as far as Grecia, including where three lanes reduce to two at the bridge over the Río Virilla (Puente Platina), where two lanes reduce to one passing the airport and again a kilometer west over a two-lane bridge, and many other locations further west where lanes reduce from two to one, often because the ministry has failed to widen a culvert or small bridge as additional travel lanes have been built to accommodate increased traffic.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes has to be the most inept government institution in the country, and the most inept highway department in the Americas.
Loren B. Ford

Guatemalan slide may have killed 350

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hope is all but gone Sunday that any survivors will be found from the massive landslide on the outskirts of Guatemala's capital.

The death toll has risen to 86 and is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 missing people.

Distraught relatives of the victims shoveled alongside diggers through the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City after Thursday night's collapse of a hillside.

Every batch of earth turned up by the diggers held more personal belongings, from mattresses and books to toys and Christmas decorations.

Clutching photos of loved ones, family members stood in line outside a makeshift morgue near the excavation site, some of them crying, to see if they recognized any corpses.

"This is the worst thing that has happened to us," said one woman who was waiting for news about 21 missing family members.

Authorities said about 125 homes were destroyed or damaged Thursday night by the sudden landslide after heavy rain.

"I went on an errand for my mother and when I returned there was nothing," 17-year-old Carlos Ac said. His mother and seven siblings are still missing.

The landslide struck the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, about 15 kilometers east of the capital, Guatemala City.

Loosened by rain, tons of earth, rock and trees had cascaded onto a neighborhood of El Cambray II near the bottom of a ravine, flattening houses and trapping residents who had gone home for the night.

Some houses were buried under about 15 meters (50 feet) of earth, and Guatemalan disaster agency Conred said it doubted any other survivors would be found.

Have you got an original Halloween tale?

A.M. Costa Rica announces another of its annual Halloween story contests.

We invite readers to submit a Halloween story related to Costa Rica. Stories should be 1,000 words or under.

And we’ll publish the Halloween stories next month. We will try to publish as many as we can. Stories will be judged by professional writers, and the winner will get $100.

By submitting the stories, the authors give A.M. Costa Rica the non-exclusive right to publish them. Send your story to

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Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 196
Real Estate
About us
Sala IV orders highway agency to make Piedades intersection safer
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Got a problem with the roadway? The Sala IV constitutional court may help.

The court has ruled that the municipal and central governments must act to protect the security of those who travel the roads in Piedades de Santa Ana.

The court found against the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad. It said that
infrastructure was lacking at an intersection of  the Caldera

highway, Ruta 27, and national Ruta 22.

The court told the central government to finish studies that would suggest possible locations for turnouts for buses and to begin construction within six months if the plan were feasible.

The court also ordered the finishing of a pedestrian bridge at the location.

In addition the Municipalidad de Santa Ana was told that it must notify property owners along Ruta 22 that they must construct sidewalks.

Two men gunned down by assassin in Pozos de Santa Ana
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An assassin appears to have been waiting for two men when they arrived at a Pozos de Santa Ana home Saturday night.

The men, who were on a motorcycle, were greeted with bullets as they arrived.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that a 32-year-old man with the last name of Palacios died at the scene and that his companion, a 29 year old with the last name

of López, died on arrival at Hospital San Juan de Dios.

The shooting happened about 7:45 p.m., agents said.

Agents who entered the home said they found a 15 year old there and also five one kilo packages of marijuana.

There also was a 9-mm. pistol and a silencer, agents said.

Palacio had only lived at the location for about a month, agents said.

Radio station director who promoted Talamanca development dies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The director of the radio station the Voz de Talamanca has died, and she is being eulogized as a person who dedicated her life to helping others.

She was Elena Francis, who was born in 1938. At just 17 she traveled to the Reserva de Talamanca where she taught children and became friends with two German priests, the Rev. Bernardito Koch Kluber and the Rev. Bernardo Drug Ingermann, and worked with them to establish community organization, structure, health clinic and schools to support the people permitting the BriBri residents to become part of the 20th century.

Death was believed to be due to complications from cancer.

Later she became director of the radio station and worked to teach the elderly to become literate.  The station was founded n 1979.

"I was honored to know and work with Ms. Francis," said Peter Aborn, a Rohrmoser dentist who brings health care to the area with Project Talamaca. "Elena became a member of our association helping providing health care and other essential needs for her people. I was blessed by her wisdom, generosity, caring, limitless energy and effort to help others sacrificing her own needs."

Ms. Francis
Elena Francis

A.M. Costa Rica proudly presents
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Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 196
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Internet found to be a new driving force in spreading invasive species
By the ETH Zurich news staff

Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, Chinese windmill palm: three plants, one problem. All are native to continents other than Europe, but were introduced to Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants. At some point they escaped into the wild, where they now threaten the native flora.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to Switzerland: biological invasions happen on every continent every day. A major driver of this is global trade, which is increasingly shifting to the Internet and being conducted on auction platforms like eBay. As a result, one click is all it takes to spread potentially invasive plants from continent to continent and unintentionally encouraging biological invasions.

But how much of the global trade in invasive plants is done online? To get an estimate, a group of four researchers at ETH Zurich led by Christoph Kueffer, senior lecturer at the Institute of Integrative Biology, monitored online trade of about two thirds of the world’s flora on eBay plus nine other online trading platforms.

For 50 days, the researchers tracked which plant species were offered for sale in various countries, and how often. Their efforts were aided by a software program developed especially for the study. In addition, the researchers looked to lists of invasive plants, kept by various bodies including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for information about whether the plants for sale were classified as invasive somewhere in the world.

The eBay data the researchers used was collected exclusively from publicly available listings. “eBay benefits from making sale listings accessible to computer programs that can systematically search for and analyze online content automatically,” says Luc Humair, who wrote the program. This is what made the ETH monitoring project possible.

Even so, the researchers’ program could do no more than monitor the supply side. It couldn’t determine if buyers and sellers in particular geographic regions were actually concluding business. “Naturally it would be interesting to factor the destination into the monitoring process,” said Humair. However, that information is personal and can be collected only with the cooperation of eBay or the other providers.

What the program was able to discover despite this limitation surprised the study’s lead author, Franziska Humair. “We didn’t expect the global trade in plants that are
Wikimedia Commons/ Leonardo Ré Jorge
Passiflora edulis or passionfruit, is an attractive ornamental plant, native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

known to be invasive to be so extensive,” he said. The study was recently published in Conservation Biology.

Over the 50 days of the monitoring phase, the researchers found 2,625 different plant species offered for sale on eBay. That corresponds to about 1.4 percent of the seed plants they were looking for. Of all the plants for sale, 510 are known to be invasive in at least one region somewhere in the world. And out of that group, 35 are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s list of the 100 worst invasive species.

Passiflora edulis or passionfruit, is the invasive plant most often offered for sale. It turns up about 90 times a day, offered by dealers from 17 countries spread over five major geographic regions. This species is highly invasive in the tropics. The second most frequently offered plant is the cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), which is put up for sale more than 80 times a day on average. Deemed invasive in certain parts of the United States, this species is traded by dealers located in 10 countries in five regions.

Meanwhile, the plant put up for sale most often has not yet proved invasive. Native to the steppes of Africa and Arabia, the desert rose (Adenium obesum) is listed for sale more than 3,100 times a day on average by dealers from 12 countries.

The plant sellers found in the study were located in 65 countries. Offers to sell invasive species came from 55 of these countries, including Australia. Dealers there offer invasive plants that can be harmful in other parts of the world on a grand scale. “That was unexpected, since the Australians don’t allow you to bring any invasive plants across their borders. But surprisingly, there are apparently no controls in place to make sure potentially harmful plants don’t leave the continent,” says Kueffer.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Osas montage
Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
Osa field institute and much more.
Contact us Now for reservations at: or  Or phone 506-2786-5170
Visit our Web page for more info:
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Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact Us:
International Phone: 1-800-9010-114
CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231

  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
Click HERE!

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
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1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
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700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
Costa Rica's #1 retirement expert
with 35 years experience helping people.
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Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

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

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

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, 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. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Unfurnished 400-sq. ft. apartment, with modern kitchen, located on beautiful Junquillal Beach is waiting for you. Sea Turtles are common to this beach. Great area for surfing one of C.R.'s premier surf spots or boogie boarding. Close to a market, restaurants and more touristy areas - Playa Negra and Tamarindo, if you want shopping, etc. This area is a great community. If you are looking for a nice relaxing area, this is it. $500 month + electric, visit our Web page -  - for more info, photos and to view a video. Or call (506) 5004-3473.

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 homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent

Small furnished apartment with private entrance for one or two adults. No pets. Located in Colonia del Rio, San José, approx. 1.5 miles northeast of San José Centro. Location can be seen in Google maps: Calle 24 on the Rio Torres. Apartment fronts the river.  All utilities including Wi-Fi and TV cable. Photos on request. $350 a month with a month's deposit and three months minimum rent. Enclosed garage available for $50. Available Oct. 26. Email telephone 2256-9426.

Coco rental
For Rent: Terms negotiable (long term)
Available immediately. Rural, secure (24/7) gated community. 20 minutes from Playas del Coco and only 7 minutes. from Playa Matapalo (think RIU Hotel).  Two-story, 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home with pool, carport, wifi and access to the community pool and workout center. $1,100 USD plus utilities. (Agents: flat fee)  Contact: Wanda R Dunn at 8337-0032 or 1-610-732-3204 from U.S.
DunnRight Property Management, Lomas del Mar

Oganic farm rental
2 bedroom, 1 bath, $700 includes electric, water, cable, Internet & WiFi. Fully furnished. Inside gated property close to town, Santa Bárbara de Heredia. No dogs please.

Escazu condo

Beautiful fully furnished apartment for rent
Perfect place for a retired family. Furnished condo for rent.  Two bedrooms, 2 complete bathrooms, living room & dinning room, laundry room. Great location: Escazú center, 5 minutes to San José, 10 minutes to Multiplaza, Hospital CIMA, PriceSmart. Very secure: gated, guard at gate 24/7  Pool & fitness center.  Monthly rate $1,100  Call Darling. Cell phone  8356-5486   or send me an email  or

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the video.

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705.

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 196
Real Estate
About us

U.S. Supreme Court prepares
for term with tough cases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

The new term for the U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin this week after a three-month break following major rulings on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act in June.

The nine judges, five appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats, will begin looking at cases Monday, but the recent liberal leaning decisions may not be reflective of what is expected to come this term, experts say.
Here are some of the cases that already are on or likely to appear on the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda this term, which ends in June:
Public unions

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will challenge whether labor unions in the public sector can require employees to pay collective bargaining fees even if they do not share the union’s views.
Affirmative action

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin questions the constitutionality of using race as one of various factors in the college admissions process. The Constitution’s 14th Amendment provides equal protection to all citizens, and this case challenges whether using race in college admissions to create a diverse student body gives an unequal advantage to people of certain races.

Evenwel v. Abbott questions whether Hispanic citizens’ opinions are unfairly favored while giving conservative voters less of a voice because of the way voting districts are divided. The 14th Amendment’s equal protection of citizens ensures a one person, one vote policy, and the court will determine where current electoral district divisions are unfairly giving certain populations more weight when voting.


There are questions about whether a Texas law that restricts access to abortion providers prevents women from seeking safe abortions. Those challenging this law said there is more of a focus on shutting down clinics and less of a focus on ensuring women’s health protection.

South Carolina is slammed
by massive amounts of rain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

South Carolina's governor is pleading with residents to stay home because she says more rain is on the way in the worst rainstorm in the state's history.

Gov. Nikki Haley said Sunday as much as 61 centimeters (23.5 inches) of rain has fallen in some parts of the state on the southern U.S. Atlantic coast, making it the worst storm there in 1,000 years.

Small ponds have turned into huge lakes and tiny streams have become rivers. She appealed to people to not step outside just to take a look. Gov. Haley said much of the standing water contains potentially deadly bacteria, and even some rescuers who went to pull people out of floodwaters found themselves stranded and needing help.

Several major highways are shut down, including parts of Interstate 95, the key East Coast highway running from Maine to Florida. Schools, businesses and state offices across the state are closed.

Three storm-related deaths have been reported so far, and President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency, ordering federal authorities to help state efforts.

Forecasters predict the rain in South Carolina will continue until Tuesday, but they say it will not be until the end of the week before water levels start to drop. They blame the rainstorm on a slow-moving front that is sucking in tropical moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.

The South Carolina storm is unrelated to Hurricane Joaquin. That Category 2 storm was passing near Bermuda Sunday after pounding the Bahamas with heavy rain and powerful winds.

French Riviera is pounded
by storm and 17 are dead

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

Torrential rains pounded the French Riviera overnight Saturday, dumping nearly 18 centimeters of rain in three hours on the fabled Mediterranean coastline and turning it into a sea of mud. Authorities say at least 17 people were killed.

Residents said victims were found dead in homes, campsites and cars submerged in a tunnel in a town between Cannes and Antibes, where several others were found dead in a retirement home. 

Hundreds of Italian pilgrims, many of them elderly and returning from the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes, were stranded on trains in the region, while hundreds of tourists were holed up at shut down regional airports.

French President Francois Hollande visited the region Sunday, expressing official condolences to families and urging residents to remain cautious and avoid roadways,  many of them damaged and blocked by trees, mud and debris.

A spokesman for the French rail company SNCF told the French news agency that railway infrastructure, including track, crossings and power lines, were seriously damaged near Cannes, before the storm moved eastward toward the Italian coast.

Searchers find debris at site
where container ship vanished

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

Searchers have spotted multiple objects in the water in the area where a container ship with 33 people on board went missing Thursday in the southeastern Bahamas.

The U.S. Coast Guard says life jackets, life rings, containers and an oil sheen were located Sunday, but the objects have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240-meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin.

The storm is weakening as it heads north and has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm with winds near 185 kilometers per hour.

Joaquin was expected to bring hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surges to Bermuda late Sunday when the storm center passed near the island.

Oregon shooting continues
to inflame a polarizing issue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

Last week’s mass-shooting at an Oregon college that left 10 people dead has revived the politically-polarizing issue of gun violence in the United States and what, if anything, should be done about it.

“I don’t know what to feel right now,” said Sara, a student at Umpqua Community College. “I’m terrified. I don’t want to go back there for a long time.”

An outpouring of shock and grief in Oregon comes months after a deadly mass shooting at a South Carolina church and nearly three years after a bloodbath at a Connecticut elementary school.

In each case, tragedy spurs fierce debate on Capitol Hill. But legislation aimed at curbing America’s firearms mortality rate, the highest among developed nations, has been stymied for years.

“We’ve become numb to this,” said a visibly angry President Barack Obama Thursday.  “This is a political choice we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.  We collectively are answerable to those families who lose loved ones because of our inaction.”

Those running to succeed Obama are speaking out.

“I know there is a way to have sensible gun control measures that help prevent violence, prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands and save lives,” said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Republicans are far less enthusiastic about a legislative approach.

“Before we start calling for more laws, I think we ought to consider why we don’t enforce the laws we have,” said Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina.

Fellow Republican Jeb Bush made headlines with a comment about the challenges of leadership in general, but which many saw as insensitive to the tragedy in Oregon.

“Look, stuff happens.  There’s always a crisis,” Bush said.  “And the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

In 2013 a bill to better-scrutinize firearms purchasers was blocked in the Senate by gun-rights defenders.  Today’s Republican-led Congress has even fewer members willing to consider gun control legislation.

But the president is undeterred.

“This will not change until the politics change and the behavior of elected officials changes,” Obama said.  “And so the main thing I’m going to do is talk about this on a regular basis.”

The Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is calling for a special commission to probe gun violence and recommend legislative solutions.  Meanwhile, America’s biggest gun-rights lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, has not commented officially yet on the Oregon tragedy or the political firestorm it rekindled.  

Transparent probe promised
of U.S. air strike on hospital

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter pledged on Sunday a full and transparent investigation of the U.S. air strike at a hospital in northern Afghanistan that left at least 22 people dead early Saturday.

That bombing triggered a firestorm of criticism from aid groups, including the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, which operated the medical facility in Kunduz.

Carter, speaking Sunday to reporters enroute to Spain, cautioned that the situation in Kunduz is confused and complicated, while vowing that we will get the facts.  He also said he has ordered U.S. forces to provide any medical aid needed in the area.

Carter spoke as Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, demanded an independent international probe of the bombing, which it said killed 12 hospital staff and 10 patients.

Earlier Sunday, Afghan authorities said 10 to 15 Taliban fighters were hiding in the hospital and on its grounds.  Hamdullah Danishi, the acting governor of northern Kunduz province, told the Washington Post: "we tolerated their firing for some time" before responding.

But MSF, in a statement, said "not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the U.S. air strike," adding that "in any case, bombing a fully functional hospital can never be justified."

20th Century Fox photo    
Matt Damon as the stranded Martian explorer

Tale of stranded astronaut
sticks closely to science

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

Ridley Scott's new movie "The Martian" isn't as faithful to Andy Weir's bestselling novel as it is to the science that underpins the book.

It's hard to find any other science-fiction film that has stuck so faithfully to the practical challenges of living and surviving in space since Ron Howard's "Apollo 13."

The film manages to create a cinematic experience and a riveting plot based on the idea that man can survive on Mars as long as he’s done the math.

It sounds dry, but Ridley Scott pulls it off with majesty.

During a month-long mission on Mars, the five-man crew of Ares 3 encounters a megastorm they didn't plan for, and the team is called home. The craft's commander in-chief Mellisa Lewis orders an emergency evacuation. In the process, Mark Watney, one of the five crew members gets impaled by a flying communications antenna. Lost in the storm his fellow crewmen leave him behind for dead.

NASA chief Teddy Sanders, played by Jeff Daniels, announces Mark Watney's death to the media. His fellow crewmen and guilt-ridden commander mourn his loss. The only problem is that Watney is very much alive. But the question is: for how long?

Based on the food and water the crew left behind, Watney figures he has supplies for 31 days, and unfortunately, thanks to the storm he has no way to make contact with NASA ground control.

But the movie, which is a celebration of human ingenuity, makes this just another challenge for Watney, an ingenious, scientist specializing in botany. The determined loner simply decides to survive and hatches a plan to grow food and water on a barren, dusty planet where nothing grows.

Meanwhile he is working on establishing alternative methods of communication with Earth. When he finally reaches NASA, and a rescue plan is hatched news still remains bleak. He has to survive a whole year before help arrives.

On the red planet, things can go wrong at any moment and they do.

Sci-fi iconic filmmaker Scott says no other science-fiction film has gotten science so accurately down as "The Martian."

“It is near fact as it could possibly be. So the challenges are reality not fantasy. There is nothing in there that you can’t do, " he said. "There is nothing in there that he uses that isn’t already on Mars.”

Like a post-modern Robinson Crusoe, Watney uses his ingenuity and intellect to survive. Matt Damon interprets Watney, an astronaut trained to use science as his compass and an individual exemplifying human resilience.

When things go bad Watney uses gallows humor to overcome despair. When loneliness strikes he talks to a computer, building an electronic log for posterity and when his resources get destroyed and hope is diminished he simply gets back to to work.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Beautiful house
in nature reserve
for sale
La Union
Sustainable design, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 parking spaces, surrounded by nature and overlooking La Carpintera reserve. Construction 180 m2, land 670 m2. Cartago, Tres Rios La Union. Residential Sierras de la Union. Great Price $250,000. For more information, please contact us at  Phone: (506)  8922-9413.

property montage
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email:

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 196
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
More plant stories from the understory

With the hot sun recently, I have spent a lot of time in my understory
Victoria torley
garden. We are fortunate in that there is a little stream flowing just down an arroyo from the house. Although we were told it was seasonal, we have had so much rain in the past few years that it has never stopped flowing. You can even hear it from the house, a cheerful sound.

What better place for the garden
than under the trees and near the stream?

So, what else goes in your understory garden? Well, it's a jungle out there so you probably have any number of things that you want to keep. Chief among them are the philodendrons.

Philodendron are epiphytes. They do not harm the trees they grow on, although they can get so large and heavy that they break a branch or pull down a sapling. What do I like about them? Those leaves are amazing. Look at a young specimen near the ground, and you will see small leaves. Look at a mature specimen up in a tree, and the leaves are huge. Why? As the plant grows upwards, the leaves respond to increasing light and get bigger. Then there are the types of leaves, heart-shaped, lobed, pinnate, spear-shaped. The differences make you wonder if they are all the same genus of plants.

But let's look down. Besides those ferns we talked about, you are going to find plants that are often called fern allies. These are smaller plants, in the understory usually less than 25 cms. (10 inches) in height, that have a fern-like appearance. Spikemoss and club moss are the most common in my area. Like ferns, they reproduce with spores. Fern allies are easy to transplant and enjoy the leaf litter in your understory area.

Then there are the anthurium and pentagonia groups, both locally called tabacón. These are terrestrial, and grow long leaves from a usually unbranched center. Some are small. Some grow to 7 meters (25 feet). Flowers are on a central spike. I try to find the smaller ones. Seven meters is a bit much, even for me.

Occasionally, you are going to find a surprise in the understory. I found one in early September near my stream. The plant stem is about a half meter tall (20 inches) with a whorl of leaves at the top. The flower grows from a bulbous inflorescence and it appears that only one flower emerges at a time.

So I did what I always do when I haven't a clue: I posted it on the Web and my plant
costas picus
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
Costas pictus
buddy,  Ray Granade, immediately came up with Costas pictus. How he does it, I'll never know.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley                                  
Plant of the Week
This is one of the fern allies that I love to have growing wherever there is dense shade. It is from the genus selaginella and is generally called spikemoss. But then again, other things are called spikemoss too.

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

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From Page 7:

U.S. employment posts disappointing gain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. companies added only 142,000 jobs in September, well below the 200,000-plus that many analysts were expecting. But American consumers are buying cars again, the housing market has picked up and the construction sector is looking for workers.

Aside from a decline in manufacturing, analysts say the U.S. economy, with the unemployment rate holding steady, is doing reasonably well.

So why the weak job numbers in September? 

"Our take on this," said Barclay's chief economist Michael Gapen, "is that we think it clearly reflects a slowdown in global growth and some of the heightened volatility in financial markets that we saw in August."

The increased volatility coupled with the slowdown in Asia most likely made employers more cautious about hiring. It also means the U.S. central bank was probably right to delay an interest rate hike many expected would come in September, said PNC chief economist Gus Faucher.

“I think they were concerned about the impact of the international economy on the U.S. economy," he said. "That may be what we’re starting to see here, so they did decide to hold off on raising rates in mid-September. That being said, I still think that we may see a rate increase in either December or in early 2016.”

August job figures were revised sharply lower to show only 136,000 jobs added that month, the Labor Department said Friday. That figure and the September number combined to result in the smallest two-month gain in employment in over a year.

The jobless rate, however, held steady at 5.1 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a separate survey of households that showed 350,000 workers dropping out of the labor force last month, as well as a lower level of employment.

The share of the population in the work force, which includes people who have jobs or are looking for one, fell to 62.4 percent, the lowest level since 1977.

After the release of Friday's data, U.S. stock index futures slid, Treasury yields sank and the dollar fell sharply against a basket of currencies.