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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 30
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Arts festival loses international designation for this August
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Culture ministry says the Festival de las Artes in August this year will be at a location yet to be determined in the southern zone.

The Centro de Producción Artística y Cultural of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud outlined plans for the festival and other productions Thursday.

Some 600 million colons ($1.13 million) is allocated for the festival, which will be called this year the Festival Nacional de las Artes.

Organizers have dropped the word international because participation is being restricted to Costa Rica participants and performers.

The ministry said that officials hope to have an international festival in 2017 and 2018 because they need time to approach other countries and foreign groups.

The festival last year was by all accounts a disaster that led to the firing of the minister and others involved in the event. There were scheduling problems, lack of sound equipment and other mistakes. The ministry was trying to bring the festival to locations other than Parque La Sabana, so events were scheduled in adjacent cantons.

Festval in La Sabana in a prior lear.
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Festival in La Sabana in a prior year.


The Centro de Producción Artística is receiving proposals from artists starting March 8 though April 9 for festival participation. There is a special Web site. The festival dates are Aug. 5 through 14.

Ministry officials said there was a budget of 750 million colons ($1.4 million) for the festival and several other events, including the Feria Internacional del Libro Costa Rica July 15 to 31, the Semana de Celebración Étnica y Pluricultural Aug. 24 to 29, Enamorate de tu Ciudad that will be held from April through June in five communities, the Desfile de Boyeros Nov. 26 and 27 and the country's participation in the Feria Internacional del Libro Guadalajara.



An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
Don't just vote! Keep demanding fair treatment from Washington!

Overseas Americans have been faced with challenges generated by the U.S. Congress. Even though there are organizations that work on behalf of U.S. Expats and an Americans Abroad Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, most expats says they can have little impact on national politics.

Democrats Abroad noted this week that U.S. voters here have a chance to pick 13 delegates to the Democratic National convention in July. But even though the two Democratic presidential candidates have discussed expat issues, the topics are not high on the priority list.

That also is true for many expats. How many know about the same country exception or the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act? How about the new law to revoke the passports of citizens who owe a lot of income tax? These are vital issues that can affect the expat lifestyle. Failure to comply could even mean jail.

Although Democrats Abroad is trying to influence the top national office, there are 435 representatives and 100 senators. All of them have to run for election. And some plan to become expats in Costa Rica themselves when they retire.

Most U.S. expats arrived in Costa Rica from someplace in the United States. They still are entitled to vote in that district. Politicians are extremely attentive to those who vote.
A quick check of Senate and House member Web pages show that the main concern are voters in the home district.

Richard Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, makes it clear on his email page: “Due to the high volume of correspondence, only Illinois residents will receive a direct reply. If you are not from Illinois, I appreciate your understanding and thank you for your comments.”

Other members of Congress are using Web contact forms that do not provide for an overseas address. Some do not even accommodate military addresses.

Every representative and a third of the U.S. Senate face election in November.

We would encourage U.S. expats here to drop an email to the senators from their state and the House member from their district. Names and Web pages are found easily via a search engine.

We would encourage Expats to say via email:

“I may be overseas, but I vote, and so does my family and friends in your district.”

Most of the expat issues are non-partisan, so declaring a party affiliation is not necessary. American will do just fine.




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