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August 17, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 163
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Downed ferry
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo    
The Paquera ferry crossing is down for the count for unannounced reasons.
Paquera ferry out of operation until further notice
By Conor Golden,
News Editor of A.M. Costa Rica


The ferry at Paquera experienced some problems Tuesday night when the ramp and other structures that allow the berthing of the local ferry collapsed.

Personnel attached to the División Marítimo Portuaria of the public works ministry were making a comprehensive analysis of the entire condition of the infrastructure, according to Jorge Hernández, the division’s director. This analysis will include what needs repaired, how much it will cost and how long the work will take. In the meantime, ferry services at the area remain suspended pending the repairs completion.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that the ramp appears to have turned over and collapsed while other nearby structures were also affected such as the lift that allows the ramp to be raised and lowered. Hernández indicated that the only way to reach or leave the peninsula via ferry is to use the one from Playa Naranjo.

There are two regular routes. Both depart from the port of Puntarenas with one normally going toward Paquera and the other heading north to Naranjo.

The Paquera ferry is located on the southern end of the Nicoya peninsula and is considered part of the province of Puntarenas.

It is north of the popular tourist destinations of Playa Montezuma and Santa Teresa. Meanwhile, Playa Naranjo is just north of Paquera on the eastern coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula across from the port town of Puntarenas. 

According to Coonatramar, the group in charge of the ferry service, the ferry departure times at Playa Naranjo are from Monday thru Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. with other times at: 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

These times could be subject to change, however, as they appear to represent the regular schedule simply issued by ministry officials.

Public works did not say when the ferry is expected to be fixed and reopened at Paquera. The group also posted on its Facebook page the bus schedule for the Playa Naranjo and Paquera route.

This is provided by the Transportes Arsa company and leaves Paquera at 5 a.m. while departs from Naranjo at 6:15 a.m. The ferry service Facebook page is regularly posting its schedule for the day.

This could have an impact on tourism operations in the southern Nicoya peninsula. Some people use the ferry to commute to and from work or to head to their destinations along the Pacific coast of Nicoya.


Murder sentences have less years than other crimes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There were a few notable rulings issued out by the Costa Rican judicial system today that led three persons to sentences of less than 20 years for murder or attempted murder.

The Fiscalía in Limón announced Wednesday afternoon the conviction of a man to 12 years in prison after prosecutors apparently proved that the suspect murdered his friend. The sentence was issued by the criminal court in Limón. According to the Ministerio Público, the events occurred on Feb. 10 in Penshurst when the accused was talking to the victim.

When the victim tried to leave the scene, the man shot the other three times killing the man on the scene. The accused was arrested after he returned to the scene of the crime and was among the crowd that gathered to watch the body being lifted. While the sentence is finalized, prosecutors said that the guilty is remanded to custody for a further six months.

In a separate incident, the prosecution in Hatillo convinced the court to convict a woman to 12 years for killing her boyfriend. The murder happened in March 2014, officials said.

The couple were apparently arguing when the woman pulled a knife on the man and stabbed him in the chest. The man later died from the stabbing at the scene while the accused fled until being detained hours later. She will also be detained while the sentence is being finalized.

Prosecutors in Pérez Zeledón succeeded in sentencing a man after he confessed to attempting to kill a woman.

Poder Judicial
                            logo
Poder Judicial logo

The accused was sentenced to 17 years in prison by the criminal court last Thursday.

The Ministerio Público said that the crime was committed in September 2016 after the guilty arrived at the victim’s house supposedly to assault her. They had apparently lived together for 16 years, a report from the investigation said.

The woman ran from the house but fell, which was enough for the attacker to stab her right hand and cheek with a knife. The suspect fled scene but was stopped the next day by the Fuerza Pública in Buenos Aires de Puntarenas. The victim was not killed as a result.

The sentence was higher for the man who confessed and had attempted murder rather than committed actual murder. The other two killed their victims and were sentenced to lesser terms in prison for it. Prosecutors did not mention any sort of defenses from the accused such as self-defense or provocation.

These factors, if they were used in the case, could warrant a lighter sentence or dismissal of the charges altogether.

In many countries, murder carries with a sentence of at least 25 years in a prison facility. In the United States, the death penalty is sometimes applied depending on the nature of the case and the number of victims.







Remarkable
                            Tales

16th anniversary edition

Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca. 


Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Thursday Edition, August 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 163
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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.
Psychotherapy




Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
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US (310) 827-4241
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Tax time
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Marlene B. Summers
T
ax Accountant
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If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

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American/Costa Rican staff
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Real estate agents and services

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Dentistry

Dental
                                                      Services rollover
Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts

resdiency

JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
    Retiree (Pensionado):  For those with a pension or other retirement income.
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Residency in Costa Rica
P. O. Box 86352, Los Angeles, CA 90086
U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
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9071-3/19/17
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 Accountants

U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
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U.S. Tax
                                                  rollover
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
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FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com
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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A. US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
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pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
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Fine art restoration and conservation

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9212-5/9/17

Crashed into
                        building
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo         
One of the five recorded crashes into property.

Traffic violations not often recorded

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic violations come as a dime a dozen in Costa Rica and running a vehicle into a building or electrical pole is no different. While it appears there are less incidents related to that type of crash recorded this year, the director of the traffic police thinks differently.

“We have only recorded five fines for this offense because, we assume, many people who are affected by these situations are unaware that it is a road accident and do not call the Policía de Tránsito,” said Mario Calderón, the traffic police commissioner. “It is also normal that when there is only material damage, those involved make an agreement without calling the transit authority.”

He appears to be right. There are only five recorded violations made against drivers who crashed their vehicle into some form of property for 2017, according to data provided by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. At the same time, traffic police insist that a road accident or incident is anything involving any type of vehicle.

This is just one uncommon behavior, public works said in a statement. Anyone who has seen any kind of heavy or slow-moving traffic in Costa Rica probably also knows the chorus of horns that follow in its wake. This is another thing that the traffic police are technically supposed to sanction but there were only 19 citations issued between January and July for the whole country. Eight of those were mainly for using the horn near hospitals, schools or churches, according to the statistics.

Calderón cited nine drivers who received a traffic fine of almost 22,000 colones just to slow down and see an accident. Meanwhile, only 14 drivers have been cited for blasting their stereos between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Suffice to say that there are obviously way more drivers who have committed these offenses than there are on record.

The most common fine seems to be driving on certain sectors of road with restricted plates, officials said. There were almost 4,500 fines issued for that offense.

Most drivers usually tend to avoid involving the traffic police in any sort of incidents. Some argue that a stereotype of a corrupt transit officer accepting bribes from the highest bidder to avoid punishment is more fact than fiction. That factor, among others, could largely explain the lack of numbers for offenses that are frequently committed across the country.


Amazon call center
Casa Presidencial photo        
The Amazon call center expands with more employees.

Amazon to hire 2,500 more people

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica’s Amazon call center announced Wednesday morning that it plans to hire 2,500 more people by the end of the year.

According to a statement from the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, the positions are more than just customer service jobs, but also include administrative positions, human resources, finance, research, fraud and management posts. The company is searching for bilingual people who speak English, Portuguese, Italian and French.

“This is the result of the effort that Costa Rica is making to strengthen the conditions of competitiveness thanks to a close alliance with the production and business sectors,” said Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís. “This makes us happy because foreign investment strengthens and allows the development of connections that lead to creating more jobs and well-being.”

Amazon opened its first customer service center in Costa Rica back in October 2008. The center services clients from the United States, Spain, France, Italy, México and Brazil, Casa Presidencial said in a statement.

“Costa Rica is a country that offers quality human talent so we decided to continue investing in hiring Costa Rica personnel,” said Alejandro Filloy, the general manager for Amazon Costa Rica. “Currently, we have more than 5,000 people who are part of this company.”

Filloy added that the company offers competitive wages, medical insurance and private dental plan, free transportation and an extended maternity and paternity program. Alexander Mora, the minister of foreign trade, also expressed his satisfaction with the expansion. He noted the country’s political stability and economic climate that has fostered Costa Rica to become a headquarters for many service companies.


Caja invests 1 billion in fireproofing

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

By the end of 2017, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will invest about 1 billion colones in attempts to reduce the risk of fire or explosions in its facilities.

According to Mary Paz Morales Ríos, a representative for the special projects administration attached to the Caja, various hospitals are being equipped with an automatic sprinkler system, compartmentalization processes to isolate areas and prevent fires from spreading, defiining evacuation routes and train personnel. She explained that this is part of the safe hospital policy created in 2006.

That policy was originally created to adjust the Caja structures so it can take hits from a moderately-powerful earthquake and raise the level of protection against fires. That was back in 2006 and the Caja justified the recent work projects happening 11 years later with the fact that there are a lot of new buildings made with those regulations in mind. These include the new hospitals in Heredia, Nicoya, Osa and Ciudad Neily as well as the healthcare centers in: Cañas, Desamparados, Puriscal. Siquerres, Barva, Mora-Palmichal and the new palliative care center in San José.

Meanwhile, several projects are underway by the institution’s fire and explosion program. These are at Hospital Calderón Guardia, Upala, San Francisco de Asís, Grecia, Chacón Paut and San Rafael de Alajuela.


Camila Summers
International Surf Association photo        
Camila Summers of Puerto Viejo is
one of the recipients for the scholarship.


Three Tico surfers win scholarship

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Over 37 surfers from 19 countries, including three from Costa Rica, received a total of $20,000 to help finance their education and passion for surfing.

According to a Wednesday statement from the International Surf Association, the scholarship was established in 2007 and is supposed to support young surfers age 18 and younger. The winners of these scholarships are selected based on financial needs, commitment to education and a passion for surfing.

“Many ISA Scholarship winners have gone on to represent their countries at the highest level of competition, representing their countries in ISA World Championships,” a statement from the association said. “In 2015, Carlos Muñoz, a two-time ISA Scholarship recipient for 2008 and 2009, played a key role in Costa Rica’s Gold Medal team performance at the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games in Nicaragua.”

The three winners from Costa Rica are two women and one boy: Camila Summers, Kalani Abrahao and Rachel Aguero. Ms. Summers is 17-years old and from Puerto Viejo. She has been competing ever since she was 13 years old, the association said, and eventually wants to represent Costa Rica in the World Surfing Games. Abrahao is originally from Brazil and also grew up in the United States. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish and competes on the national circuit in the Under-12 division. Abrahao is 11 years old, the ISA said.

Despite living about an hour and a half away from the nearest beach, Ms. Aguero is currently competing in the junior category of the Costa Rican national circuit. The 11-year old is apparently ranked among the top positions in her categories and the scholarship funds are expected to help fund her gas and travel fees.



News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English



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A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page


Published || Thursday Edition, August 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 163
Calendar
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Objetos
                                    Internos
Alianza Francesa photo     
One of the pieces on display at the new exhibit.

French Alliance opens new exhibit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Earth, soap, latex and cellophane are some of the materials being featured in the new art exhibition at the Alianza Francesa.

Objetos Internos by José Rosales is part of the internal search for the sensations, objects and memories of childhood, according to a statement by the organization. The exhibit opens tonight at 7 p.m. at the group’s building located in Barrio Amón. Entrance is free and will be available to view by the public until Sept. 9.

“I have always been curious about the process that the human being has in learning, so with this exhibition I emphasize touch as the medium we use to know our environment especially when we are children,” Rosales said.

“Materiality plays a leading role in this exhibition,” a statement from the alliance said. “Each of his works gives a different feeling, referring to the first time we met the world and how, through the game, we were learning.”

The exhibit has four different kind of works. The most prominent is one called El Regalo, or the Gift, which is composed of five sculptures of lambs made of resin surrounded by cellophane paper. The others include figures made of blanket with raw latex and cotton.

This is part of the Galería Joven Creación de Alianza Francesa. The gallery is considered a space for young artists who want to exhibit their works for the first time individually. The next selected artists will be announced in January 2018. 

Alianza Francesa is an organization devoted to the promotion of the French language and the French cultural community in Costa Rica. The country is an observer state of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.



Carlos
                                  Rodriguez and company
Universidad de Costa Rica photo      
Carlos Rodríguez, center, talks with farmers and researchers.

University team to continue the study of pesticide use and effects on water

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Due to the nature of Costa Rica’s agricultural model, the country has high rates in pesticide use. A project being conducted by the Universidad de Costa Rica and financed via the European Union seeks train Costa Rican researchers on analyzing the pollution caused by these products.

The initiative is called Knowledge for Pesticide Control and seeks to create a network crossing multiple disciplines to learn more about pesticide contamination and control its impact on aquatic ecosystems, according to a statement from the university. This project began back in 2015 and will last four years after a grant of 500 million Euro guaranteed financing for the project.

Specifically, the project prioritizes the study if pesticides in the natural environment mainly in water and to figure out which pesticides are the most harmful. Unlike many environmental groups, the university team is dedicated primarily to research. The researchers recognize the need for their use in agriculture and do not necessarily want to ban pesticides so much as reduce the risks that follow.

“The problem with pesticides is that pesticides have been used, are still being used and will continue to be used because agriculture still depends heavily on these products,” said Carmen Sans Mazón, a professor at the department of chemical engineering at the University of Barcelona in Spain. “It is therefore important to see the consequences of this, to evaluate the risks and to develop alternatives to reduce their use.”

The project also draws the participation of other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Bolivia. The Centro de Investigación en Contaminación Ambiental is Costa Rica’s counterpart to the international project. Pesticide contamination is one of its oldest research lines, according to Carlos Rodríguez, a representative of the KNOW PEC project at the university and researcher at the center.

“We have another very important component that is related to the biological degradation of pesticides: to find strategies that allow to degrade pesticide residues that are generated after the application process,” Rodríguez said.

“On the social side, we have a socio-environment research unit that seeks to bring this knowledge to the main actors, who in this case are the producers. As long as they are trained and trained in good agricultural practices to reduce the application of pesticides or reduce risk, there will be a greater impact on improving the use of these agro-chemicals.”




Books headline

Brodell Book
Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica
 (editor)A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca.  
Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Brodell book 2
The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise

By James J. Brodell. Retired baseball player Jack Patterson becomes suspicious after his younger sister dies in a Pacific Ocean rip tide while on vacation in Costa Rica. Jack has to go there to find answers to troubling questions. But soon he is hijacked by a gang of avengers led by an icy Costa Rican-American woman who carries twin pistols strapped to her chest. Jack soon helps uncover a web of corruption and greed . Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trapped in Damas Cave
Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica

A true story by author Dusty Pilot, who lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. Dusty tells his horrifying story of being trapped in the Damas Cave, near Quepos, for 26 hours. The book is available from Amazon in both digital and print format. Digital format will be on sale for $0.99 until Aug. 30. Visit Amazon.com to preview or purchase, or DustyPilot.com/cave.html More information Contact Dusty Pilot Email: dusty@dustypilot.com US phone: 001 440 796-4105¯

New World Meditation
New World Meditation: Focusing-Mindfulness-Healing-Awakening

By Lucinda Gray PhD

You will be Free to Live, Love, Work and Play in the Full Creative Expression of Your Authentic Self. New World Meditation is easy to learn, easy to practice, and profoundly transformational.  More information here  https://www.amazon.com/dp/149963885X/
Life
                          is a Tropical Garden

    Life is a Tropical Garden By Victoria Torley 
    A quirky look at gardening in the tropics. What happens when a "Northern" gardener moves to Costa Rica? You have no idea….  Email: victoriatorley1@gmail.com.  Order this book here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522005986/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Recommended
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Los Suenos

Crocs

Hacienda
                    Baru
 
Formula Kart
 
Palermo 900
 
Don
                    Wang

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Thursday Edition, August 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 163
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Researchers develop counterfeit detector that uses math algorithms
By the New York University press staff

A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, was presented on Monday at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine product or a class of products, corresponding to the same larger product line, exhibit inherent similarities that can be used to distinguish these products from their corresponding counterfeit versions,” explains Subramanian, a professor at the university’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., a university startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, a doctoral graduate from the Courant Institute, Vidyuth Srinivasan, and Subramanian.

Counterfeit goods represent a massive worldwide problem with nearly every high-valued physical object or product directly affected by this issue, the researchers note. Some reports indicate counterfeit trafficking represents 7 percent of the world’s trade today. While other counterfeit-detection methods exist, these are invasive and run the risk of damaging the products under examination.

In Costa Rica, the Ministerio de Hacienda has released announcement after announcement that another load of counterfeit goods was discovered at customhouses.

Many goods still slip through the country undetected, untaxed and in violation of the country’s intellectual property rights. Some of these items are frequently originating in East Asia and, in particular, from China.

Counterfeit detector
New York University photo      
Costa Rica could use one of these...or several.

They range from cigarettes to handbags and socks to even pharmaceutical drugs among others. Stopping the arrival of these items seems to be a high priority for the director-general of Aduanas, Wilson Céspedes.

The Entrupy method, by contrast, provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of the product produced by the original manufacturer and fake versions of the product produced by counterfeiters. It does so by deploying a dataset of three million images across various objects and materials such as fabrics, leather, pills, electronics, toys and shoes.

“The classification accuracy is more than 98 percent, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” said Subramanian.

To date, Entrupy, which recently received $2.6 million in funding from a team of investors, has authenticated $14 million worth of goods.





Vacation, travel and hospitality


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Hidden
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Visit the Largest Gallery in Costa Rica
Featuring artistic expressions of Costa Rican culture, heritage and traditions, the Hidden Garden Art Gallery has been your source for fine art since 2010.  Here you will find 15 large rooms of art in a beautiful, tranquil setting, with more than 60 artists showcasing traditional and contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and giclee prints.  Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) towards the beaches. Stop in for a visit to enjoy the view!

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArt.com
Contact us by email: info@HiddenGardenArt.com
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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International shipping available.
9214-8/2/17


George Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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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.
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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, and Lifestyle Guide. Email : lundquistgeorge@gmail.com
9113-7/4/17

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Household Furnishings

Fine
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Fine Furniture of Sarchi - Sarchi, Costa Rica
All our handcrafted products are made in Sarchi with pride and quality by artisans who are dedicated to designing, crafting, and delivering our furniture to you. Please visit our website and send us a picture and specifications of what YOU like, or just send us pictures from anywhere you wish. We will quote you right back with a more than competitive price and an on-time delivery date. Delivery and set up available throughout Costa Rica. We have different Costa Rican woods from which you may choose. 
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Contact information:
Adolfo's Cell 506-8831-4306
 Tom in the USA 803-261-6000
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9218-8/25/17

U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)


Tax time
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Let’s discuss your tax situation.

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The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so. 

However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

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Tropical Homes
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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.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
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Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE!  Plus useful links
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page

Published || Thursday Edition, August 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 163
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Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
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U.N. Chief Guterres urges
safe solution on Venezuela


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is urging the government and opposition in Venezuela to restart negotiations to find a political solution to the country's political crisis.

“Venezuela needs a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the government and the opposition,” Guterres said Wednesday during a short news conference.

“I recognize the efforts that the international facilitators and regional leaders that are assisting Venezuelan government and opposition in trying to advance political negotiations,” Guterres said.

The U.N. chief said he has been in close contact with the facilitators. At least 120 people have died in political violence engulfing the country since April.

“It is very clear that Latin America has successfully struggled over the last decades to free itself from both foreign intervention and authoritarianism,” Guterres said when asked about the government’s repression of protesters. “And I think that this is a legacy that must be safeguarded.”


U.S., México and Canada launch NAFTA renegotiation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States, México and Canada opened negotiations Wednesday to reform the North American Free Trade Agreement, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer demanding at the outset an overhaul that would cut U.S. trade deficits and increase the use of regional parts for autos produced in North America.

At an opening news conference in Washington, Lighthizer said U.S. President Donald Trump does not want a mere tweaking of NAFTA, which has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement.

The 1994 trade deal was one of Trump's top priorities during his run for the White House, often calling NAFTA the worst trade deal in history, and one that has unfairly swollen the U.S. trade deficit with México while allowing manufacturing jobs to migrate there. The U.S. had a $64-billion trade goods deficit with México last year.

Mexican economic minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal defended the pact, saying major revisions are not necessary. The issue is not tearing apart NAFTA, but negotiating how the agreement can even work better.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland also came to NAFTA's defense and said any decisions on the modernization of the pact should not be made by simply measuring trade surpluses or deficits.

"We are the biggest client of the United States," she said. "Canada buys more from the U.S. than China, UK and Japan combined. Trade is about people. It's about creating the best possible conditions for jobs, for growth and for prosperity."

But Lighthizer said negotiators must ensure that the huge trade deficits do not continue and we have balance and reciprocity. He added that "The rules of origin, particularly on autos and auto parts, must require higher NAFTA content and substantial U.S. content."

Addressing the imbalance is a key U.S. goal in the talks, along with seeking to do away with a dispute mechanism the three countries use to resolve disagreements.

Negotiators will use multiple sessions to try to come up with reforms with the aim of finishing their work before the end of the year. If the process stretches into 2018, there are worries the process could be complicated by a presidential election in Mexico and U.S. congressional elections.

Gary Hufbauer, an economist with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that renegotiating NAFTA will not bring back U.S. manufacturing jobs.

He said the topics under discussion will be ones such as state-owned enterprises, digital commerce, labor and environment. He also said U.S. negotiators have promised to work in a way that will cause no harm.

"What that means is that if they're doing anything which causes Mexico or Canada to limit, for example, U.S. agricultural exports, which are quite substantial to both countries, that would be harm. And that would be harm to red states. So, that's a line they don't want to cross," Hufbauer said.


Trump dissolves councils
after CEOs resign in protest


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Donald Trump continues to face a barrage of criticism for his contention that both white supremacists and counterprotesters were to blame for the deadly violence that erupted last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On Wednesday, the president announced that he had dissolved two business advisory committees made up of top American corporate executives, after at least seven CEOs announced they were resigning from the councils because of his remarks.

Trump said that “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople. I am ending both. Thank you all!" A day ago, Trump had branded those quitting the panels as grandstanders and said they could be easily replaced with more corporate chieftains.

In announcing her resignation from Trump's manufacturing jobs initiative before he disbanded it, Campbell's Soup CEO Denise Morrison said: "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottestville. I believe the president should have been and still needs to be unambiguous on that point."

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Washington, D.C., that he condemns the hate and violence displayed on Saturday in Charlottesville.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking at an event in Miami, Florida, said: "In no way can we accept or apologize for racism, bigotry, hatred, violence, and those kind of things that too often arise in our country."

Also Wednesday, two former U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush, the last two Republicans elected to the White House before Trump, said in a joint statement, "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms."

The two former presidents added, "As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights," a reference to Thomas Jefferson, one of the country's Founding Fathers.

President Trump's remarks have been roundly criticized by a broad range of U.S. leaders, including top Republican party officials and business executives. U.S. military commanders spoke out against racism following the death in Charlottesville.

As the violence unfolded last Saturday, Trump initially blamed it on many sides. By Monday, he condemned the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the racist Ku Klux Klan for their role in the unrest. But on Tuesday, at a news conference in his Trump Tower skyscraper in New York, Trump reverted to his initial assessment of the violence that killed one woman and wounded 19 others when a Nazi sympathizer drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

"I think there's blame on both sides," Trump said. "You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it." He said there were "fine people" among the white nationalists and counterprotesters at the rally 160 kilometers southwest of Washington.

David Duke, the one-time Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, immediately praised Trump's remarks, saying, "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists."

But key Republicans took immediate offense at Trump's contention there was equivalency in who was to blame for the hours of street violence, as demonstrators squared off with makeshift clubs, engaged in fist fights, and fired bursts of chemical irritants at each other.

The leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan, said, "We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity."

The Senate Democratic leader, Sen. Charles Schumer, said: "When David Duke and white supremacists cheer your remarks, you're doing it very, very wrong. Great and good American presidents seek to unite, not divide. Donald Trump's remarks clearly show he is not one of them."

Trump's remarks also drew a rebuke from an ally, British Prime Minister Theresa May.

May said: "I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them."


Billion trees
Imran Khan courtesy photo        
Picture of riverbank before and after campaign.

One billion trees planted
in Pakistan province

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pakistan’s northwestern province, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, or KPK, has planted an unprecedented 1 billion trees in just more than two years and surpassed an international commitment of restoring 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land.

The massive effort aims to turn the tide on land degradation and loss in the mountainous, formerly forested KPK, which lies in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, party governing the province, launched the reforestation campaign, dubbed “Billion Tree Tsunami,” in 2015.

The cricket-star-turned politician said that the goal of adding 1 billion trees by planting and natural regeneration has been achieved this month, well ahead of the original deadline of December 2017.

He says his party plans to organize a special event in Islamabad in late August to celebrate the successful completion of the project, and experts as well as foreign diplomats will be invited.

Pakistan is seventh on the list of the countries mostly likely to be affected by global warming and has one of the highest deforestation rates in Asia. Decades of tree felling have reduced the country’s forests to less than 3 percent of its land area. About 40 percent of the remaining forests are in KPK.

Khan hopes his reforestation drive will decrease the effects of global warming and natural disasters like floods that cause devastation in KPK and elsewhere in Pakistan every year.

Provincial officials say the campaign has achieved its restoration target through a combination of protected natural regeneration, 60 percent, and planned afforestation, 40 percent.

Many small-scale nurseries, producing up to 25,000 saplings each, have been set up with cash advances and a guaranteed purchase agreement from the provincial government.

The KPK government has invested $123 million to help establish 13,000 private tree nurseries in almost every district of the province, producing hundreds of thousands of saplings of local and imported tree varieties, including pines, walnuts and eucalyptus, officials say.

This has boosted local incomes, generated thousands of green jobs, and empowered unemployed youth and women in the province. An additional $100 million will be allocated to maintain the project through June 2020.

Experts at World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan, which is monitoring and auditing the tree-planting effort in KPK, say the project has been an environmental, economic and social success, with one of the highest survival rates of trees in the world, ranging from 70 to 90 percent.

PTI’s Khan says the provincial government has enforced a complete ban on the cutting and felling of trees in reserved forests across KPK.

Authorities have also curtailed activities of the powerful “timber mafia” by dismantling hundreds of illegal sawmills and arresting timber cutters. At least two forest guards have been killed in such encounters while many braved injuries, Khan said.

The popularity and recognition of the provincial initiative has encouraged the central government last year to announce its own “Green Pakistan” program, with a goal to plant more than 100 million trees in the next five years.

Ukraine scrambles to quash
fallout over North Korea


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ukrainian officials and analysts were quick to deny allegations that the Soviet-era Yuzhmash arms factory was a likely source of engine technology used in North Korea’s missiles and to redirect suspicions to Russia.

“It is a complex and bulky piece of equipment. It is simply not possible to supply it by bypassing export procedures,” said Mykola Sunhurovskyi, director of military programs at the Razumkov Center, a Kyiv think tank. “What is possible, is for North Korea to obtain engines left behind after rocket dismantling in Russia. That could be possible. Meaning Russia could have kept the engines after it had taken apart the rockets, which had been slated for dismantling. Those could have been supplied.”

Michael Elleman, the author of a research report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says Pyongyang probably got illicit help from inside Ukraine. But Elleman acknowledges that help also could have come from Russia.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty as exactly how it could have been transferred. But, I think the likelihood is that the source is either in Russia or Ukraine,” Elleman said.

Elleman says he first became aware of the possibility of Ukrainian technology when he noticed similarities in photos of North Korea’s September 2016 ground test.

Yuzhmash, the Ukrainian factory, called the claims completely untrue and said it had not produced military-grade ballistic missiles since Ukraine's 1991 independence from the Soviet Union.

"There is such a high level of confidentiality at the factory and in general it is ensured by a multi-level system of security, which includes not only Yuzhmash services, but also municipal and state services,” Yuzhmash Deputy Director Oleh Lebedev said.

“I don’t believe the Ukrainian government was responsible in any way," he said. "And I suspect if it did occur in Ukraine, they may not have known. It’s likely they would not have known.”

Other analysts argue that North Korea can build its own engines and would not need help. But all agree it would be a good idea for Ukraine to allow an investigation.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday ordered an official inquiry into whether any missile engine technology could have been supplied to North Korea. Some experts in Ukraine worry that the allegations could affect any U.S. decision on whether to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons to fend off Russia-backed separatists.

“There’s ongoing discussion about the possibility to transfer lethal weapons to Ukraine,” noted the Ukrainian Center for Army’s Ihor Fedyk. “This story may have a negative impact on the process.”

There are concerns that other areas of bilateral cooperation, such as space programs, could be affected.

“America is our strategic partner, a very serious strategic partner, in space programs,” said the acting head of Ukraine’s State Space Agency, Yurii Radchenko. “It is not in our interests to harm relations with U.S. official agencies.”

The allegations surfaced as North Korea threatens to send missiles near the U.S. island territory of Guam.

While Elleman's allegations are investigated, the North Korean government appears to have stepped back from its threat to Guam, saying it will wait to see what further actions the United States takes.


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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Hotel in
                                Escazú

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú

Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Can build 1550 Sqm. 7 meters high zoning. Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available


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Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

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Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email: danwisellawyer@yahoo.com
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Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
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A little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal,
Costa Rica.
    

16 acres (approximately).  Price: $425,000 USD

We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 km.) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos. We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. Have surveyed plans for possible subdividing.

For more information:  In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 970-581-4826 or email toddscolorado@gmail.com. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 506-7187-8577.
CODE: 9216-8/11/17


Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
 
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
 
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

colinasdelsol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
9056-2/28/17

Etlinger Farm
                                rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9196-4/25/17

horse ranch
                                rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9183-6/13/17

rollover
Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here  www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

Hotel in
                                  Escazú

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. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available


Send an email hotelescazu@aol.com Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164
9142-7/27/17


Sabana
                                  Sur house
Commercial Building for Sale in Sabana Sur
A two story building w/14 areas for offices, call center, storage or residence. Building has been completely remodelled  Transportation within 50 mts. passenger train, buses and taxis. Park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium 2 - 3 block walk. 24 hour security, many restuarants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 325 mts. construction $350,000. 
Contact :
 James Holley E-mail  jimmy6902001@yahoo.com
9245-7/8/17


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 brokers and agents (paid category)

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH
Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
Owner/Broker
in CR since 1979

Buying? Selling? Renting?
We Can Do It!
Let us help you live your dreams!
Beachfront, Views, Mountains,
Beaches, Houses, Condos,
Hotels, Restaurants, Projects,
Commercial, Investments and more

 Century 21 Jacó Beach
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356
Email: info@c21jaco.com
Web: www.c21jaco.com
9215-3/22/18


Remax
                                  Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com 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. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918


ReMax
                                    Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property
CONTACT US TODAY with NO OBLIGATION whatsoever.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Related

Costa Rica
                                    Solar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill. More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.  Fully Guaranteed!

CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

OUR EMAIL:
andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:

9177-6/19/16

Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let BuyaTimeshare.com help you find a buyer or renter.
9203-4/19/2018

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Published || Thursday Edition, August 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 163
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Solis holds sugar law
Casa Presidencial photo        
Solís holds up the new law to much fanfare at LAICA.

Solís signs changes to sugar law

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís signed into law some changes to regulation of the sugar industry Wednesday.

The reform to the Ley Orgánica de la Agricultura e Industria del Azúcar modifies the methodology for the allocation of the national production quota among sugar companies. According to Heiner Bonilla, the president of the industrial agriculture league, said that the modification allows for many small producers to continue working and avoid a monopolization of the entire industry and profits generated. The law also creates a new fund: the Fondo de Asistencia Económica de Productores en Régimen de Excedentes. This economic assistance package is supposed to mitigate the differences between the surplus and quota prices in the cane deliveries, Casa Presidencial said in a statement.

Again, it is designed to help small and medium independent sugarcane growers to produce up to 1,500 metric tons of the deliveries to the surplus regime. “Without this model, there would not be thousands of small and medium cane producers nor would there be 100,000 direct and indirect jobs especially in rural areas,” Bonilla said.

The industrial agriculture league, popularly known by its acronym of LAICA, said that the organization is responsible for the commercialization of the sugar industry in Costa Rica. Sugar is not one of the most well-known exports to come out of the country by comparison to its fruits or coffee. Still, LAICA has worked for more than 75 years to guarantee the availability of sugar for all Costa Rica under reasonable prices, according to Edgar Herrera, the group’s marketing director.

During 2016, the total production of sugar was 8.9 million packages of 50 kilograms, according to data from Casa Presidencial. Of this total, 82 percent was placed in quota values and 18 percent in extra-quota values.

The quota values include the sugar production that is marketed for national consumption and that placed by the commercial quotas in the United States and Europe, while the extra-quota includes the surplus of the national sugar production that has to be traded in other international markets and at varied prices.


Ministry opens up bill for comment

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio announced Wednesday the creation of an online public consultation service.

The purpose of this consultation service is to clarify to consumers the partial reform of the consumer protection law. Most of the reform is related to adjusting Costa Rican law to fit international practices on electronic forms of commerce. This is also to gauge public opinion on what other changes need to be made and the recommendations from interested participants.

Part of the reform comes from recommendations from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD. The international organization composed primarily of developed, Western member-states is a club Costa Rica is vehement on wanting to join. The recommendations are related with consumer to consumer transactions online as well as any e-commerce going on between businesses and customers.

The initiative falls within United Nations guidelines first stipulated in December 2015, the ministry said. To participate in this consultation, the economic ministry is inviting everyone to go to their website and make recommendations to its final draft of the proposed changes in the law.

Those comments can be emailed HERE. The forum will be open until Aug. 29, the ministry said.



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From page 7:

SUTEL opening up mobile phone market

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones is opening up the mobile phone market for 15 working days to allow for more effective competition.

According to a statement issued by SUTEL, this regulatory change is supposed to directly benefit the user with new plans, packages, bonuses, promotions or discounts. Representatives from the telecomm administrator said that they will be paying attention to operators who should put all the necessary information, in the most simple and transparent way, so that users can make an informed decision. This would include: the prices charged for each service, any terms or conditions within a contract, restrictions and real conditions of quality for the commercial service.

“SUTEL, in its regulatory work, will keep its actions focused on improving the quality of networks and services, defending user rights, disseminating useful information to empower consumers, promoting simplification of procedures, contribute to the improvements required for the deployment of infrastructure and to intervene in resolving disputes between operators,” a statement from the administrator said.

The organization is also in the process of analyzing other markets outside mobile phone providers to see if there are conditions for effective competition. When a telecomm company sells services to another company, it is called a wholesale market. The loop or access network is simply the wiring that exists between the telephone exchange of the operator and the place where the user receives the service. Unbundling this loop is like a lease of the network. In Costa Rica, only the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad can unbundle, SUTEL said.

Loop unbundling has been declared a wholesale market, however, and therefore under conditions of effective competition. This could signal the end of the relative monopoly ICE has on the market.