A.M. Costa Rica top stories

(Through Feb. 15, 2016. Text version)

This is a summary of the most important or most interesting stories that have appeared recently in A.M. Costa Rica, the English-language daily newspaper. Copyrighted 2016 Consultantes Rio Colorado S.A.


2/15/16 2:27:28 AM
Lawmaker questions tourism statistics
A top tourism official admitted to a legislative committee Thursday that the tourism statistics include plenty of Nicaraguans.
2/15/16 2:27:57 AM
Arts festival loses international designation for this August
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.
2/2/16 4:18:49 AM
The day was very chili in Atenas
The only sure thing about chili is that everyone has a different opinion on what makes it good.<
2/1/16 4:06:41 AM
St. Valentine's Day is a dangerous time
Romance is in the air, St. Valentine's Day is coming, and men have but one thought: "How am I going to stay out of trouble this Feb. 14."
2/15/16 3:46:44 PM
Dan Fowlie is back, and immediately he is in the news
Dan Fowlie is back in Pavones, where he again says unscrupulous persons have stripped him of the land he owns there. And he seems a bit irked that La Nación quoted the immigration director as saying he had entered the country illegally.
2/15/16 3:46:46 PM
Government decrees television tax break
The central government is under the impression that the poor have non-digital television sets.
2/15/16 3:46:49 PM
First case of zika virus came from Colombia
The zika virus has come to Costa Rica in the person of a 25-year-old Desamparados resident who picked up the disease while visiting Colombia, according to the Ministerio de Salud
2/15/16 3:46:36 PM
Government starting to put salaries online
The central government has put up a demonstration site to show how officials plan to deliver public information to citizens.
2/15/16 3:46:53 PM
Expats report problems with internet service
Internet service for expats ranges from annoying to terrible, according to responses by readers to a news story last week.
2/15/16 3:46:55 PM
Sala IV rejects appeal against coastal dwellers
The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected an appeal that could have jeopardized the property rights of occupants along the coasts.
2/15/16 3:46:57 PM
Lionfish intrusion into the Pacific seems inevitable
The arrival of the lionfish in eastern Pacific waters seems inevitable, and the only question is how will the creatures make the move.
2/15/16 3:46:58 PM
Rare photos snapped of forest dogs
Biologists say they have captured photos of one of the most elusive dogs in the world.
2/15/16 3:47:00 PM
Internet speed appears to be facing problems
IInternet service appears to be in a state of decline, but the reason still is unknown.
2/15/16 3:47:02 PM
Legislature appears to need a good editor
Either the legislature needs a good editor or someone else is making laws. The latest problem involves the text of a law that was designed to cap disproportionate pensions for lawmakers who served before 1992.
2/15/16 3:47:04 PM
Happiness might be in the genes
Costa Ricans take pride in having the country rank high on world happiness scales, even though some of the surveys might be questionable. But now comes a possible answer. Researchers report that the DNA of residents is more likely to contain a specific allele involved in sensory pleasure and pain reduction,
2/15/16 3:47:06 PM
Expat recounts his meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had brought his program to fight poverty and discrimination against blacks to Chicago.
2/15/16 3:47:07 PM
So you want to lose those holiday pounds?
For some expats, the appropriate Christmas Carol might better be "The 12 Pounds of Christmas" because that is what they put on with all the holiday food and drink.
2/15/16 3:47:09 PM
More than half of emails are spam, industry says
Anyone with an email account knows that there are plenty of spam messages. Industry estimates are that from 52 to 58 percent of emails are unwanted spam.
2/15/16 3:47:11 PM
We encourage U.S. citizens to welcome Cubans
Unlike many immigrants from the south, they are legal, the newspaper said.
2/15/16 3:47:13 PM
Pilot plan seeks to reduce water deaths
The Costa Rican government and the Cruz Roja are taking steps to improve the safety of tourists at the nation's beaches.
2/15/16 3:47:21 PM
How about citizenship for the kids and grandkids?
The circumstances that make a person a U.S. citizen again are being questioned.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is questioning if his opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz, is a natural born citizen as the U.S. Constitution requires.
2/15/16 3:47:23 PM
Another tax being authorized for legislative action
The executive branch will be presenting another tax bill to lawmakers, according to the Cruz Roja, which will benefit from the measure.
2/15/16 3:47:25 PM
Another black eye for Costa Rica
Criminals gave Costa Rica another black eye Tuesday when they violently robbed Dutch expats who run a hospitality operation in Sarapiquí in the northern part of the country.
2/15/16 3:47:26 PM
Victims of flu seemed to have little in common
Those who have died of swine flu in December range in age from a 3-year-old male patient at the Hospital Nacional de Niños to a 77-year-old woman from Ciudad Quesada.
2/15/16 3:47:28 PM
Finance minister seeking to make a deal with lawmakers
The country's financial minister said Monday that he is trying to make a deal with lawmakers so that the administration's tax plans are passed.
2/15/16 3:47:30 PM
When firearms were considered just a useful tool
A fortunate fact was that my high school locker was of the long variety. Had it been shorter, I might not have been able to stow my shotgun there while I went to class.
2/15/16 3:47:31 PM
Mortality at 3.7 percent for those hospitalized with flu
Medical professionals did not expect the arrival of a wave of influenza cases in November, December and now January. Typically August and September are the top months for flu season in Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:47:34 PM
Did you know that 2016 is a leap year?
2016, is another leap year. That means the calendar has a Feb. 29, a Monday this year
2/15/16 3:47:36 PM
Ministerio de Trabajo will seek out illegal workers in 2016
An announcement Tuesday from the Ministerio de Trabajo estimated that 45.7 percent of the employees in Costa Rica work in what officials called informalidad.
2/15/16 3:47:38 PM
Breakthrough announced for Cubans trapped here
Costa Rican officials announced a breakthrough Monday in its effort to help Cuban migrants move north.
2/15/16 3:47:40 PM
Draft for new corporate tax has some good and some bad
A proposed new draft of a tax on corporations does not contain an exemption for registered small and medium enterprises.
2/15/16 3:47:41 PM
There are two bullish events this Christmas
Call it the battle of the fiestas. Both the Fiestas de San José in Zapote and the upstart corridas de toros in Belén are opening Christmas Day for a run through Jan. 3.
2/15/16 3:47:46 PM
A warning to tourists: The rip tides
Each year Costa Ricans and visitors become victims. They include individuals who are far more athletic and skilled in the water than you are.
2/15/16 3:47:48 PM
New route established for Chirripo
Residents of San Jeronimo de Perez Zeledon are expecting a boost in tourism now that an alternate and shorter route has been established to reach the peak of Cerro Chirripo.
2/15/16 3:47:50 PM
Marchamo dispute puts expats on the spot
Dec. 31 is the deadline for paying the annual marchamo or road tax without penalty.
2/15/16 3:47:51 PM
Atenas farmers market improves in new facility
On a typical Friday morning at the Atenas farmers market you will hear a conglomerate of languages, everything from Spanish to Mandarin as well as English, French and German.
2/15/16 3:47:53 PM
Mother nature to provide the Christmas lights
Rudolph can stay home and watch late-night television Christmas Eve. Santa will not be needing his nose so bright this year.
2/15/16 3:47:55 PM
You don't want a rompope hangover
There may not be a white Christmas, but rompope is the Costa Rican lubricant for wassailing.
2/15/16 3:47:58 PM
International court decision was pretty obvious
AN ANALYSIS: Most Costa Ricans were thrilled that the International Court of Justice reaffirmed the country's sovereignty over the Isla Calero.
2/15/16 3:48:00 PM
World Court affirms Costa Rica's claim
The International Court of Justice reaffirmed Costa Rica's sovereignty to land south of the mouth of the Río San Juan in a decision announced Wednesday.
2/15/16 3:48:01 PM
International bankers visit to push for tax increases
Representatives of the World Bank and the Interamerican Development Bank met with Costa Rican officials and some legislators Monday to push for approval of more taxes.
2/15/16 3:48:03 PM
El Niño expected to begin to weaken in February
El Niño that has brought record drought to western Costa Rica is expected to begin to diminish by February.
2/15/16 3:48:05 PM
Solís promises to accept World Court verdict
The country's reliance on international agencies will be put to the test Wednesday when the International Court of Justice issues its decision on the land dispute between this country and Nicaragua.
2/15/16 3:48:07 PM
Safeguards for eating tamales
There is nothing that defines the Christmas season in Costa Rica more than the tamal, the corn dough treat carefully wrapped in banana leaves and baked and then boiled.
2/15/16 3:48:13 PM
Major advance in controlling viruses
A U.S. university says it has developed a strain of pigs that resist an incurable virus disease.
2/15/16 3:48:15 PM
Despite conviction, Milanes case is far from over
Savings Unlimited investors have won what one called a Pyrrhic victory with the conviction of Luis Milanes.
2/15/16 3:48:17 PM
Odds are way against expats becoming millionaires
Expats do not need a super computer to tell them they will not win the $2.6 million Gordo lottery Sunday.
2/15/16 3:48:19 PM
Scientists see link between Sámara quake and one in El Salvador
Scientists have been studying the Sept. 5, 2012, Sámara earthquake and have concluded that there was a relationship between the event and a quake 450 kilometers to the northwest and nine days earlier.
2/15/16 3:48:21 PM
Expats once again in the Santa mode
Again this year expats are making sure that Costa Rican children have a Christmas.
2/15/16 3:48:22 PM
Corporate tax bite is $85.5 million a year
The central government says that a tax on corporations collects 45 billion colons a year. That's about $85.5 million.
2/15/16 3:48:24 PM
Government's shrimp trawler plan generates opposition
Ocean environmentalists and even those in the fishing industry are unhappy that the central government is pushing a bill to reinstate trawler nets for shrimp fishing.
2/15/16 3:48:26 PM
Megafauna takes over the Museo Nacional
The Museo Nacional is exhibiting creatures that lived in Costa Rica up until about 11,500 years ago. These are the giant megafauna that are now extinct.
2/15/16 3:48:28 PM
Swiss detain regional Americas soccer president
Swiss authorities detained early today Alfredo Hawit Banegas of Honduras, president of the soccer federation that covers the Caribbean, and North and Central America. This is the federation to which Costa Rica belongs.
2/15/16 3:48:29 PM
President promotes passage of corporate tax
Some expats who own corporations are worried about the status of the annual tax, the impuestos a las personas juridicas.
2/15/16 3:48:31 PM
That virus with the funny name can be really bad
Another troubling health dimension has been added to that virus with the funny name. Researchers are reporting that the mosquito-borne virus may lead to severe brain infection.
2/15/16 3:58:00 PM
First tree fire of the season
The country has its first fire of the Christmas season when an overheated extension cord ignited a tree at a home in Barrio la Colina in Tirrases de Curridabat.
2/15/16 3:48:38 PM
Climate participants are seeking a static world
AN EDITORIAL: An estimated 150 world leaders and climate experts, non-profit organization representatives and others are starting today to meet in Paris to maintain a static world.
2/15/16 3:48:40 PM
Santa government handing out cash
The government that is very skilled in giving way other people's money will give away some of its own next week.
2/15/16 3:48:42 PM
There's a lot to be thankful about
As expats bow their heads today, they can be thankful that they are not in Denver where the temperature is around 35 degrees F.
2/15/16 3:48:44 PM
Neuromarketers are inside the heads of shoppers
Marketing researchers have a better idea of what is going on inside the heads of shoppers than the shoppers do themselves.
2/15/16 3:48:47 PM
Tourism under review for carbon footprint
When those in the business talk of sustainable tourism, they mainly mean operations on the ground here. But tourism increasingly is being accused of causing damaging effects worldwide.
2/15/16 3:48:48 PM
No progress on Cuban migrants
Government officials expressed optimism Tuesday night that a solution is coming for the problem of the Cuban migrants. Still the government of Nicaragua has been characterized as intransigent in its refusal to allow the Cubans to pass through the country.
2/15/16 3:48:55 PM
Campaign begun against smuggled alcohol
The finance ministry embarked on a campaign Monday to combat smuggled alcohol, but by the ministry's own figures some 60 percent of the contraband comes in through legal channels.
2/15/16 3:48:57 PM
City Mall opened too soon, reviewer says
After much anticipation, Alajuela’s City Mall opened Nov. 11. Developers should have waited longer.
2/15/16 3:48:58 PM
Escazú expat detained in case involving rape of minor
Judicial agents detained a U.S. resident from Escazú Saturday just as he was leaving the country by air. The charge is rape of a minor, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.
2/15/16 3:49:00 PM
Search of lawyer's office related to missing U.S. expat
Judicial investigators searched a lawyer's office in Ciudad Quesada Thursday, and this appears to be related with an effort to find a missing U.S. expat..
2/15/16 3:49:01 PM
Five traveling on falsified passports visited Costa Rica
U.S. and Honduran officials are trying to determine the correct identity of five men who arrived at Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa Tuesday night.
2/15/16 3:49:03 PM
Three ways lionfish can spread to the Pacific
Concern is growing among some researchers and environmentalists that the lionfish in the Caribbean might make their way to the Pacific.
2/15/16 3:49:05 PM
Cubans still stranded
One reason there are some 1,600 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica is because the United States affords special treatment to migrants from that country.
2/15/16 3:49:06 PM
TV change to digital to be topic of campaign
The 36 percent of television viewers who are not hooked up to cable will be the target of a campaign to prepare them for the end of analog transmission Dec. 15, 2017.
2/15/16 3:49:08 PM
El Niño reported to be one of the strongest
El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen and go down in the history books as one of the strongest ever, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
2/15/16 3:49:10 PM
Central America is the soft underbelly of the U.S.
Any expat who has had to walk in stocking feet through a U.S. airport knows that officials have put a lot of emphasis in securing the country from plane passengers.
2/15/16 3:49:12 PM
Nicaragua rejects Cuban migrants
Some 1,100 Cuban migrants were denied entry into Nicaragua when they tried to cross Costa Rica's northern border Sunday.
2/15/16 3:49:14 PM
Reform of immigration law gets support
The immigration director says that the law covering her agency needs a reform.
2/15/16 3:49:16 PM
Stamp outlines cultural difference
A decision by Correos de Costa Rica involving the content of a commemorative stamp clearly shows a divide between Costa Rican and U.S. cultures.
2/15/16 3:49:18 PM
Exit tax would be jacked up $4
Those leaving the country would have to pay $4 extra in taxes, according to a measure that received approval in a legislative committee Tuesday.
2/15/16 3:49:19 PM
Steady stream of prisoners being released
The government's plan to give early release to hundreds of convicts is generating predictable discussion in the legislature.
2/15/16 3:49:21 PM
Expats air their gripes
Each week a handful of expats here voice their complaints via email to A.M. Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:49:23 PM
Tourists unaffected by rise in murder rate
High profile murders are tarnishing Costa Rica's international reputation. This is bound to affect high season tourism. But tourists should be more concerned by luggage theft and street robberies than by fears of being gunned down in a driveby.
2/15/16 3:49:27 PM
Plastic bag prohibition advances
A bill to prohibit the use of plastic bags by commercial establishments passed from a legislative committee to the full assembly Thursday.
2/15/16 3:49:29 PM
Expat lost eye in violent highway attack
A U.S. expat lost his left eye Friday afternoon when another motorist broke his windshield with a rock.
2/15/16 3:49:30 PM
Honey may not be as pure as shoppers think
Many shoppers are unaware of the dangers that lurk in a bottle labeled honey.
2/15/16 3:49:32 PM
Government wants to know about sex lives
The government is embarking on another survey of sexual practices. Casa Presidencial said that 3,200 persons would be questions through the country in order to, in the words of Vice President Ana Helena Chacón, guarantee the right of an integrated sexuality.
2/15/16 3:49:34 PM
Las Olas developer decries lack of action against squatters
The manager of the stalled Las Olas development in Esterillos Oeste said that neither the local government nor the police have taken action to eject squatters from the property.
2/15/16 3:49:36 PM
Tricks and tips on driving in Costa Rica
A newspaper staffer is at the point of obtaining her long-awaited driver's license, so here is a baker's dozen of rules for her that they don't teach in traffic school:
2/15/16 3:49:37 PM
Murders continue through the weekend
At least 10 persons died by knife or firearm from Friday until Sunday, according to Judicial Investigators. Among the total are three persons found in a common grave in Rancho Redondo de Goicoechea.
2/15/16 3:49:39 PM
Lawmakers pass bill to give tourism operators debt relief
Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Thursday on first reading a plan to provide financially distressed tourism operations up to $175,000 each in a low-interest loan.
2/15/16 3:49:41 PM
Sex tourism web page was designed to trap foreigners
A private-public coalition against underage prostitution has been running a secret Web site to entrap foreigners. That was the revelation Wednesday at a press conference in Casa Presidencial.
2/15/16 3:49:43 PM
Student study outlines airport train possibilities
A train stop at Juan Santamaría airport is a logical improvement, and students at Tecnológico de Costa Rica and a French university have outlined how this can be accomplished.
2/15/16 3:49:45 PM
Credit legislation gives country big index boost
Government officials are cheering the improvement from 79 to 58 in the World Bank's annual assessment of its business atmosphere and 188 in other countries.
2/15/16 3:49:46 PM
Festival de la Luz will be Dec. 12
The Christmas displays are starting to appear in stores, and another sure sign that the holidays are nearing is the announcement Thursday that the Festival de la Luz will be Dec. 12.
2/15/16 3:49:48 PM
Proposed law would prohibit war toys and certain clothing
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit the use of warlike or violent video games, war toys, military ranks in public agencies and even salutes among members police forces.
2/15/16 3:49:50 PM
Do you feel lucky, expat?
Some may call it a voluntary tax on stupidity, but for other the Christmas lottery is a lot of fun for an investment less than a dinner out.
2/15/16 3:49:52 PM
There are a lot worse events than global warming
But global warming appears to be a minor concern of humanity when compared to super volcanoes, 800-foot tsunami waves, plagues, droughts and giant earthquakes.
2/15/16 3:49:54 PM
How about a Tico Thanksgiving?
Expats complain about high, extortive prices, but then they head to the supermarket for the ritual turkey for Thanksgiving.
2/15/16 3:49:56 PM
Solís to jump start economy with debt
The president proposed a series of steps Sunday night that are designed to improve the national economy. Nearly half of the proposals are based on borrowed money.
2/15/16 3:49:58 PM
Banco de Costa Rica ATM limits irk some expats
Banco de Costa Rica has upset some expats because it has instituted low limits on dollar emissions from automatic tellers.
2/15/16 3:50:06 PM
Ticos creative in fabricating homemade guns
Costa Ricans can be creative in the manufacture of weaponry. There is no secret that firearms can be purchased easily on the street, despite government prohibitions.
2/15/16 3:50:08 PM
New tax-filing program confounds many
The finance ministry's new Web-based reporting system has caused confusion among many taxpayers, and they have sought face-to-face help.
2/15/16 3:50:09 PM
Pirate problem on the increase at Gulf of Nicoya
Modern day pirates are invading communities along the coast of the Gulf of Nicoya and attacking fishing boats there, too.
2/15/16 3:50:11 PM
Legislation being prepared against street harassment
A coalition of women's groups plan to present a proposed law to the legislature within three months to make illegal such street activities as whistling, flattering comments, obscene gestures, statements about the human figure or even clothing.
2/15/16 3:50:12 PM
Traffic will be hell on earth today
Motorists in the metro area will think today that they have been transported to the hottest part of Satan's lair.
2/15/16 3:50:14 PM
Mystery kidney disease still confounds researchers
Medical researchers are still confounded by chronic kidney disease, the ailment that seems to affect disproportionally sugarcane workers in Central America.
2/15/16 3:50:16 PM
Protector of woman suffers stab wounds
At the center of public concern is a critically injured 22-year-old man who is in Hospital Calderón Guardia.
2/15/16 3:50:18 PM
The dry season is coming earlier this year
The dry season is coming earlier this year, although that may not be cheerful news to farmers and ranchers.
2/15/16 3:50:20 PM
New weapon prepared against leaf-cutter ants
Leaf-cutter ants can much through ornamental vegetation, trees and garden crops overnight leaving naked branches.
2/15/16 3:50:22 PM
Friendships once again prompt responses
Expats who responded to a news story Tuesday disputed the idea that failing to make friends is a reason foreigner leave Costa Rica. But they did to for different reasons.
2/15/16 3:50:23 PM
National strike set for Oct. 16
A coalition of unions has called for a national strike Oct. 16, a Friday. This is the strike that has been long promises by mostly public employees to protest changes in the way salaries are computed, the cost of living, taxes and other actions the group deems to be neoliberal.
2/15/16 3:50:25 PM
Lack of friends reported as a reason expats leave
A San José retailer who does business with expats who are leaving the country said Monday that the cost of living is tops on the list. But in second place is the difficulty in finding friends, particularly among Costa Ricans.
2/15/16 3:50:27 PM
Famous ex-inmate to participate in criminology conference
Criminal justice professionals and criminologist 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.
2/15/16 3:50:29 PM
Domestic violence statement overlooks a dead male
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.
2/15/16 3:50:31 PM
Not all the snakes are in the jungle
A lot of visitors worry about snakes in the jungle. They might be surprised to know that many snakes live in the city and go about their daily lives without causing any trouble.
2/15/16 3:50:32 PM
Turtle midwives on the central Pacific
Members of the coast guard are taking credit for saving 7,800 turtle eggs that might otherwise have been snatched by thieves.
2/15/16 3:50:35 PM
Businesses hope for a better fiscal year
Today is the end of the fiscal year, and those in business can only hope for better times in the next 12 months.
2/15/16 3:50:37 PM
Costa Rica drops one spot on competitiveness report<
The country earned 52nd place in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report.
2/15/16 3:50:47 PM
U.S. Embassy not anxious to protect dead man's land
The U.S. Embassy here has advised a dead man to take his case to the local courts. And it took staffers nearly a week to do that.
2/15/16 3:50:49 PM
New gun law proposal presented
A legislative commission presented Monday a new rewrite of the country's firearms laws. Under the proposal, all foreigners except those with permanent residency are prohibited from possession a firearm, just as the law says now. But the new twist is that even those with permanent residency have to have held the status for five years before getting a firearm, according to the proposal.
2/15/16 3:50:50 PM
More signals sought at rail lines
The transport ministry says it has awarded contracts to place warning signals at 91 rail crossings.
2/15/16 3:50:52 PM
Smallest barrio may be the most supernatural
If sudden, violent death generates the phenomenon known as a ghost, the Barrio Otoya area in northeast San José must be ankle deep is spectres.
2/15/16 3:50:54 PM
Starfish that eats coral called an epidemic
The long-suffering Costa Rican coral have yet another antagonist gaining ground. Coral reefs are important as home to marine species, and they suffer from a multitude of maladies, some natural and some man-made.
2/15/16 3:50:55 PM
Missing aircraft will be subject of documentary
A 50-year-old Costa Rican mystery is about to become a movie. Argentine documentary film makers are arriving today in Costa Rica is search of more information and perhaps even the Fuerza Aérea Argentina aircraft that vanished in 1965.
2/15/16 3:50:57 PM
Expats give Costa Rica decent marks for family living
The country ranked 20th in a survey of expat family life. The survey comes from InterNations, the expat organization.
2/15/16 3:50:59 PM
Three bills directed against discrimination
Costa Rica has three bills in the legislative hopper that would prohibit discrimination. These bills come despite a long history of legislation and international agreements that would seem to do the same thing.
2/15/16 3:51:01 PM
Legislature agrees to borrow $48 million for Sardinal
Lawmakers approved for the second and final time a $48 million loan to build a wholesale produce market in Sardinal, Guanacaste. The money would come from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Centroamericana.
2/15/16 3:51:03 PM
Dead man's land invaded
An 85-year-old Cuban-American turned up dead and stuffed into a barrel on his finca in Coloradito de Corredores last Sept. 6. Quickly squatters moved on to the property and set up tents and rude housing.
2/15/16 3:51:04 PM
Ann Patton leaves the country legally
Ann Patton Bender, the poster girl for judicial excesses in Costa Rica, finally left the country Saturday, but not before navigating another bump in the road courtesy of the courts.
2/15/16 3:51:07 PM
Tax fraud bill moves out of committee
A legislative committee approved Thursday night a substitute text for the anti-tax fraud bill presented by the central government more than a year ago.
2/15/16 3:51:08 PM
Notaries have to belong to the Caja
Notaries have been put on notice that they have to affiliate with the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social. If they do not, they will be unable to work as a notary, said the Dirección Nacional de Notariado, the regulating agency.
2/15/16 3:51:10 PM
Energy plan is a dream without price tag
OUR ANALYSIS: Like so many of the government's proposals, the latest plan for energy seems more like dreaming.
2/15/16 3:51:12 PM
Amnesty's sex worker proposal not universally accepted
Amnesty International has recommended decriminalizing the sex trade as a way to improve the human rights of sex workers and lessen the risk of their human rights being violated.
2/15/16 3:51:13 PM
Government to pay firms to hire employees
The Solís administration announced a plan Monday that would pay companies that hire new employees.
2/15/16 3:51:15 PM
More statistics sought for study abroad programs
There may be as many as 10,000 firms that send U.S. students overseas, and the business is approaching $2 billion a year. To help the students and parents make an informed decision, a U.S. lawmakers is promoting a bill to require these country and program statistics.
2/15/16 3:51:18 PM
Today is a grim anniversary
Just 14 years ago, Costa Rica was in crisis because terrorists had taken over aircraft and used them as missiles in New York and Washington.
2/15/16 3:51:23 PM
Agents tracked Cuba Dave for 12 days here
A court hearing is expected today for the Key West man who is facing a charge of promoting Costa Rica as a sexual tourism destination.
2/15/16 3:51:25 PM
Frauds are breaking out all over
Being a fraudster must be a good business, because the complaints are proliferating.
2/15/16 3:51:27 PM
An historic day even if it involves sewage
Wednesday will be an historic day for the metro area. The day will see the inauguration of the Los Tajos sewage treatment plant.
2/15/16 3:51:29 PM
No break on gas prices for a month
The price of gasoline has dropped about $16 a barrel, but motorists here will have to wait for a month before the pump price reflects the decrease.
2/15/16 3:51:31 PM
In defense of free expression
AN EDITORIAL: The government cannot make this fact go away by making it a forbidden topic. The country has chosen not to prosecute prostitution, and that is a fact, too. Even the U.S. State Department says that Costa Rica is a sex tourism destination.
2/15/16 3:51:33 PM
Well-known sex tourist detained on arrival
Judicial agents pick up a well-known sex tourists Friday, and the case raises a multitude of free speech issues. The arrest also might be the beginning of a crackdown on Web sites and businesses here that cater to North Americans in search of prostitutes.
2/15/16 3:51:35 PM
Video prompts action from Fuerza Pública boss
The Fuerza Pública administration is unhappy with a new YouTube video that accuses officers of abuse of authority. But this is free speech, and there is not much that police officials can do.
2/15/16 3:51:36 PM
Fingerprints are becoming the ID standard
A new system is online that will allow those in business to check electronically the validity of a person's identity.
2/15/16 3:51:38 PM
Expat says mob attacked his car
A prominent Pacific coast expat said that he and three companions were the victims of a mob of protesters near the Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.
2/15/16 3:51:39 PM
El Niño expected to peak at end of year
America always has been vulnerable to droughts. A prolonged drought from 800 to 1000 A.D. destroyed the classical Mayan civilization. Whole cities were abandoned.
2/15/16 3:51:41 PM
Beach sand can harbor nasty bugs
A cutting edge technical paper says that all kinds of microorganisms, including those that can harm human health are found in beach sand. A University of Miami researcher and an international team of scientists are recommending that sand be tested as well as ocean water at popular beaches.
2/15/16 3:51:43 PM
Resident associations should have formal structures
Plenty of expats are paying into an informal committee to maintain the security of their gated community or to keep up the subdivision roads and common areas.
2/15/16 3:51:45 PM
Security minister predicts a big jump in murder rate
The security minister told legislators Thursday that 2015 may end with 537 murders due to organized crime organizations operating here. That number would be nearly 19 percent higher than last year when investigators reported 453 murders.
2/15/16 3:51:47 PM
Industrial chamber pushes for cuts in electrical rates
Expats grumble when they have to pay the monthly electrical bill. But those in industry have bills in the thousands of dollars each month.
2/15/16 3:51:48 PM
Sea level rise is inevitable
As Costa Rica struggles to reach its goal of carbon neutrality in the next decade, not much is being said about sea level rise, which is inevitable.
2/15/16 3:51:50 PM
Tourists in jeopardy in the gulf of Nicoya
Despite three recent tragedies in the Gulf of Nicoya boat captains still are taking chances with the lives of tourists, according to the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.
2/15/16 3:51:55 PM
Canadian expats being campaign to recover right to vote
Other expats might be surprised to learn that Canadians living in Costa Rica can lose the right to vote in their country's elections. Local organizers of a crowd-sourcing campaign for a court appeal say the situation affects thousands of Canadian expats here.
2/15/16 3:51:57 PM
Farmers market will cost $52 million
The central government is about to shoulder $48 million in debt to build what amounts to an elaborate farmer's market in Sardinal.
2/15/16 3:51:59 PM
Downtown to be evacuated in simulation
The national emergency commission and the Municipalidad de San José will stage a disaster simulation Sept. 3 in which some 60,000 persons are expected to leave their schools and jobs for a mock evacuation.
2/15/16 3:52:01 PM
Tax man in search of 26,000 sale tax deadbeats
There are 26,000 individuals or firms who have not submitted at least one sales tax monthly report this year, the Dirección General de Tributación, the tax collector, reports.
2/15/16 3:52:03 PM
Property links studied in case of missing expat
Investigators have said nothing official about missing U.S. citizen Brian Lynn Hogue since the initial report of his disappearance in mid-June.
2/15/16 3:52:06 PM
Government under fire from many sides over finances
The Solís administration is being characterized as a ship adrift. Politicians and news outlets are zeroing in on the administration, perhaps motivated by distaste for the proposed new taxes.
2/15/16 3:52:08 PM
A new agency for innovation
Four ministries will roll out a proposal today for a new agency to promote innovation.
2/15/16 3:52:10 PM
50 unions will march Thursday
Thursday will see another protest by unions whose members are unhappy with the tiny raise proposed for public employees by the government.
2/15/16 3:52:12 PM
Art and design contest to honor the boyeros
Just 10 years ago the boyero, his bueyes and his oxcart were designated as intangible human heritage. To mark the anniversary, there will be a design contest on this theme.
2/15/16 3:52:13 PM
Some good news and bad news on taxes
A lot is happening on the tax front in Costa Rica. The news is not so good for locals and expats alike. All is not lost. There are a couple of facts related to taxes that are actually good news.
2/15/16 3:52:15 PM
That signature beef is ready for the market
An expat cattleman has taken a major step in his effort to create a signature beef line for Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:52:17 PM
Tourism rescue plan advances to full legislature
Small and medium hotels and restaurants in the tourism business will get a change to refinance their debts stemming from the economic downturn from 2008 to 2011, according to a bill that advanced Thursday.
2/15/16 3:52:18 PM
Little action likely on those private airport fees
Any passengers with concerns about being slapped with extra fees when their commercial aircrafts land at a private field in Costa Rica probably will not get much help from the civil aviation authorities.
2/15/16 3:52:20 PM
Expats react to tax package
The government's tax proposals, published Tuesday, certainly got the attention of expats. Most who wrote A.M. Costa Rica Tuesday wanted to know details that still are unavailable.
2/15/16 3:52:21 PM
Taxman wants $1.5 billion more
A tax package that the central government says it will send to the legislature this week disproportionally affects expats. The measure would double the tax on transferring real estate, create a 15 percent capital gains tax and levy a 15 percent tax on money entering the country from elsewhere.
2/15/16 3:52:23 PM
Bill to protect minority investors advances
Lawmakers are moving to provide more protection for minority investors in the nation's business enterprises. The measure is being characterized as a way to improve the investment climate in the country.
2/15/16 3:52:24 PM
Anniversary prompts memories of the bomb
News of the atomic bomb had been released several days earlier. The Aug. 7 newspapers, at least in the New York area, did not appear to have photos. So the historic nature of the event was lost for a few days on a child not even 3.
2/15/16 3:52:26 PM
Solís is between a rock and a hard place
The country's fiscal deficit could be brought down drastically by cutting the public payroll, reducing existing and future pensions and capping salaries. None of this appears to be possible despite promises by central government officials to take action.
2/15/16 3:52:28 PM
Government still seeking an intelligence agency
Casa Presidencial ha included within its recent agenda for lawmakers the proposal for a non-political intelligence-gathering agency.
2/15/16 3:52:35 PM
Watch out for Windows 10
The system is faster, more efficient and easier to understand. It is also designed from bottom up to spy on its users.
2/15/16 3:52:37 PM
Government reports its booze bill is lower
The current administration is praising itself for only spending 37.2 million colons ($70,500) on food in the last year ending this June and just 7.4 million ($14,000) on alcohol. The amounts are lower than during the same first year of two prior administrations, according to an announcement.
2/15/16 3:52:39 PM
Another hidden tourist tax
Operators of two local airports have been under investigation since last year because they have instituted their own landing fees for passengers, according to the Dirección General de Aviation Civil.
2/15/16 3:52:41 PM
Genetically modified rice cuts down greenhouse gas
Opponents of genetically modified crops will soon face a conundrum. Rice cultivation is a major producer of methane, which is a gas 20 times more effective in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide in trapping heat.
2/15/16 3:52:42 PM
Sala IV makes the expected decision
If there ever was a slam-dunk defamation case, it would be the one that two Caribbean coast expats could file against the Municipalidad de Talamanca, its mayor, its council president and dozens of locals who signed a statement against them.
2/15/16 3:52:45 PM
Pilgrimages are an ancient search for grace
Most of the pilgrims on the way to Cartago today and through Saturday probably do not realize that what they are doing probably predates even modern humans.
2/15/16 3:52:47 PM
Another flawed report on human trafficking
Once again the U.S. State Department issued a human trafficking report on Costa Rica that failed to mention that adult prostitution is not penalized here. This has been a repeated omission from the annual report, which skews the understanding of the complexity of the situation.
2/15/16 3:52:49 PM
Emails contributing to the fall of a respected lawyer
The prosecution's case against well-known lawyer Arcelio Hernandez Mussio was aided by emails he had exchange with U.S. investors.
2/15/16 3:52:51 PM
Government sets rules for those who work in the heat
The Consejo de Seguridad Ocupacional has approved rules that cover employees who work outdoors in hot conditions. The new rules are linked to an effort to reduce the cases of kidney failure in Guanacaste, but they cover the entire country.
2/15/16 3:52:53 PM
Porous borders are flooded with smuggled goods
The country's porous borders are continual scenes of smuggling, and there is no way to figure out what quantity of merchandise gets through.
2/15/16 3:52:54 PM
Puppy mill operator fined by court
An animal welfare organization engineered the liberation of 64 dogs and followed up with a court conviction of the owner of an illegal puppy mill.
2/15/16 3:52:56 PM
Tragic story of a locked porton and death
When Marnelly Ortiz Bermúdez realized her home was on fire Tuesday morning, the 35-year-old mother chased after and grabbed her 2 year old son Jorge Arturo and raced for the front door.
2/15/16 3:52:58 PM
Road agency plans to spend $40 million for a new building
The transport ministry has set Aug. 4 as the date to pick a contractor to erect a new $40 million building.
2/15/16 3:53:00 PM
What to do when the corporate books are missing
Anyone with a company in Costa Rica is required to have legal books. The problem is the books are easy to lose or misplace. It is impossible to do business or maintain a company without the books. If there are assets in a company with no books and no person designated to represent the company, what assets they hold are locked up and out of reach even to legitimate owners.
2/15/16 3:53:02 PM
Expat financial experts give their opinions
None wishes to be named, They fear extortion, kidnapping or worse. They have become critical observers of the financial scene, and a few even talk to reporters to share opinions.
2/15/16 3:53:04 PM
Public employee salaries at center of controversy
The state telecom company said it filed a Sala IV appeal Wednesday to defend the rights of its workers. The case stems from publication of the salaries the workers receive.
2/15/16 3:53:06 PM
Youtube video suggests new tourism area
Costa Rican tourism operators might be missing a bet by not embracing cryptozoology, that is the study pursuit of unknown animals.
2/15/16 3:53:07 PM
Judiciary says to call in your narco tips
The Poder Judicial unveiled another aspect of its plan to attack the possible infiltration of drug gangs into the judiciary. The plan is to maintain a free hotline or email account.
2/15/16 3:53:13 PM
Two House members seek IRS relief for expats
Democratic and Republican lawmakers are promoting a change in the U.S. tax rules that would create what is called the same country exemption.
2/15/16 3:53:15 PM
Tourism and restaurants hard hit by blockades
Restaurants and tourism operators were big losers Wednesday when informal taxi drivers blockaded major highways. Both the Cámera Nacional de Turismo and the Cámara Costarricense de Restaurantes deplored the lack of action by the government.
2/15/16 3:53:17 PM
Canal's impact on Costa Rica called devastating
The proposed Nicaraguan canal is completely within that country, but Costa Ricans are beginning to realize that the project has a direct impact on this country, too.
2/15/16 3:53:19 PM
President tells traffic police to end blockades
President Luis Guillermo Solís blamed blockading taxi drivers for forcing a helicopter ambulance flight Wednesday. The president did not go far enough. The security ministry said that two persons died Wednesday afternoon when the driver tried to avoid a taxi blockade and pulled in front of a tractor trailer.
2/15/16 3:53:21 PM
There's a lot of wild chemicals in the jungle
Expats may not realize that they are living amid a varieties of psychedelic options. The tropical jungle is like a big drugstore.
2/15/16 3:53:22 PM
U.N. rights official criticizes China on overseas lapses
The U.N. human rights commissioner has expressed concern that Chinese companies and financing institutions have little concern about human rights violations surrounding projects promoted and financed by them across different countries.
2/15/16 3:53:24 PM
Proposal to double sin tax is revealing
The detention of former lawmaker Justo Orozco focused public attention on the motel trade in Costa Rica. Orozco is accused of trying to trap a woman in one of the motel facilities and committing sexual abuse.
2/15/16 3:53:26 PM
Opinions differ dramatically on U.S. fugitive in Cuba
One of nearly 100 U.S. fugitives living in Cuba is Assata Shakur, who was better known to me as JoAnne Chesimard. She has been called a major league terrorist but also a revolutionary fighter against imperialism.
2/15/16 3:53:28 PM
How well are you following the news?
A little quiz is based on news stories that have appeared recently.
2/15/16 3:53:30 PM
Domestic cost of medical tourism considered
First World governments and academics are beginning to look at the domestic cost of medical tourism.
2/15/16 3:53:31 PM
Notary agency agrees to beef up guarantee fund
Notaries will be paying more each month to guarantee their activities because a Cartago legal practitioner noticed that the amount had not been raised since 1998
2/15/16 3:53:33 PM
Bill would set up a formal medical tourism framework
Lawmakers have received a bill that would create another layer of bureaucracy in the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo specifically for medical tourism.
2/15/16 3:53:35 PM
Prosecutors reveal property theft ring
A fraud prosecutor revealed Thursday the existence of an organized crime enterprise involved in stealing real estate, mostly from foreigners.
2/15/16 3:53:36 PM
Vast changes sought in broadcasting
A legislative proposal seeks to counter the mostly for-profit model of Costa Rica's radio and television programming.
2/15/16 3:53:38 PM
U.S. visa system recovering slowly
The U.S. visa system is recovering slowly although State Department officials are unable to say exactly what went wrong.
2/15/16 3:53:40 PM
Pork producers ask for government action on prices
Costa Rican pork farmers are feeling the impact of the free trade treaty now, and other agricultural producers are likely to begin to feel the pinch. Many of the tariff reductions are staged in over five, 20, 15 or even 20 years for some chicken parts.
2/15/16 3:53:45 PM
When a kid is missing, phone customers will get a message
When a minor is reported missing, law enforcement and the state telephone company will send a message and photo to 4 million residents, the security ministry said Monday.
2/15/16 3:53:48 PM
President faces two options, both bad
AN ANALYSIS: Costa Ricans like to think of themselves as living in a peaceful country where respect for institutions reigns. That self image is likely to be put to the test as economic realities force unwanted changes.
2/15/16 3:53:52 PM
Drug sweep includes unregistered medicines
Expats who want to bring medicines from their home country have a tough time when the pills are not listed with the Ministerio de Salud.
2/15/16 3:53:55 PM
Wal-Mart takes a pounding over tax avoidance
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is being singled out as a tax dodger because of its creative use of overseas tax havens and 78 subsidiaries.
2/15/16 3:53:56 PM
Tourism chamber enters the battle over import barriers
The national tourism chamber has given backing to what it called the right of consumers.
2/15/16 3:53:58 PM
U.S. high court supports secret visa denials
Costa Ricans who apply here for a visa to enter the United States never get a detailed reason if they are denied. This is one of the situations that creates hard feelings.
2/15/16 3:54:01 PM
Here's the story on those unrefrigerated eggs
What U.S. expat has not been surprised by flats and cartons of eggs sitting out on the supermarket shelf.
2/15/16 3:54:03 PM
Glitch in ham radio licensing
For both a citizen band permit and one of three classes of an amateur radio license, the decree specifically calls for a copy of a cédula or DIMEX, the Documento de Identidad Migratoria para Extranjeros, issued by the immigration agency.
2/15/16 3:54:05 PM
Tamarindo tries to turn tide on water fatalities
When tourists come to Costa Rica's beautiful beaches they probably are not aware that danger lurks beneath the waves.
2/15/16 3:54:07 PM
Government tries to defend its drought aid
The central government says that its response to the drought in Guanacaste began with a presidential decree in September.
2/15/16 3:54:09 PM
A.M. Costa Rica calls for legalizing marijuana and cocaine
Regretfully and reluctantly, A.M. Costa Rica today calls for the legalization of marijuana and cocaine.
2/15/16 3:54:11 PM
The Caja is not the INS and vice versa
Costa Rican workers find the system complex too. Others cannot cover themselves because it is overly expensive for them to do so.
2/15/16 3:54:13 PM
Campaign aims to reduce animal road deaths
A central Pacific animal welfare organization has joined a campaign to save the lives of wild animals.
2/15/16 3:54:14 PM
Key figure in case of missing women jailed
A man who could be a key witness in the 2010 disappearance of a female tourist in Tamarindo has been jailed in Denver on a identity theft charge.
2/15/16 3:54:16 PM
San Rafael church restored
The neo-Gothic San Rafael Arcángel church is ready to face another century after an extensive restoration paid for, in part, by the government.
2/15/16 3:54:18 PM
Missing child bill would put PANI in charge
The legislature approved Thursday on first reading a bill that would create a system of alert when a minor disappears. Final approval is expected today or tomorrow.
2/15/16 3:54:20 PM
U.S. agrees that hurricane season will be below average
The U.S. government's official forecast anticipates a less active than normal Atlantic hurricane season.
2/15/16 3:54:22 PM
Both coasts are experiencing extreme weather
A good reason exists why farmers and ranchers along the Pacific coast are suffering. Rain there from Jan. 1 through Wednesday was about 85 percent lower in Guanacaste than normal.
2/15/16 3:54:23 PM
Costa Rican soccer chief among those detained in Zurich
Swiss police have detained at least 10 soccer federation officials and associates today on corruption charges that originated in the United States. Among those held is Costa Rica soccer federation president Eduardo Li, according to The New York Times.
2/15/16 3:54:29 PM
New Sixaola bridge to fundamentally change region
The new four-lane bridge at Sixaola is expected to make major changes in the sleepy Caribbean coast and in the adjacent northern Panamá.
2/15/16 3:54:31 PM
Does the moon influence volcano eruptions?
Some Cartago area residents are betting that the Turrialba volcano will produce a major eruption at the next full moon, June 2.
2/15/16 3:54:33 PM
What the expat needs to know about insuring workers
Having workers compensation for all employees is the law in Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:54:34 PM
Proposed national zoning plan makes some land unbuildable
A proposed regulation by a government agency unknown to most expats seeks to impose what appears to be a national zoning plan. (This plan subsequently was withdrawn.)
2/15/16 3:54:36 PM
Cardiologist tells of waits and deaths
The drama of the dead heart patients reached the legislature Thursday when Sofía Bogantes testified.
2/15/16 3:54:38 PM
Tax agency seeks to assume more power
A proposed law to fight tax fraud seems to set up a judicial system within the Dirección General de Tributación
2/15/16 3:54:40 PM
U.S. citizens with property woes can't count on embassy
U.S. citizens caught in a property scam in Costa Rica better not expect any help from U.S. Embassy staffers.
2/15/16 3:54:42 PM
Are the quakes and volcanoes spawning ghosts
If you live near Cartago and you think you are seeing ghosts, the apparition may not be Aunt Millie. That also is true out on the Pacific earthquake belt.
2/15/16 3:54:45 PM
Festival report shows serious problems of communication
A report on the failed Festival International de las Artes described a confused bureaucracy, lapses in communication and lack of institutional oversight.
2/15/16 3:54:46 PM
New stamp features two educational institutions
The postal service has issued twin stamps marking the country's educational achievements.
2/15/16 3:54:48 PM
Starting a new payroll can be a pain
Putting a worker on a new legal payroll as required by law is a pain. Not making an employee legal is asking for trouble.
2/15/16 3:54:50 PM
$3.3 million tourism campaign appears to be lagging
The tourism institute's $3.3 million year-long promotional scheme is at the halfway mark, and an evaluation of the key Web sites shows that the campaign is not very popular in it target markets.
2/15/16 3:54:53 PM
Couple honored for 40 years of success
People in business say that anyone who starts and keeps a company running here for a year deserves a medal. How about 40 years?
2/15/16 3:54:54 PM
July 4 picnic will be on July 4
The American Colony Committee has quietly posted an invitation to U.S. citizens for the annual July 4 picnic. The day is a Saturday, but the committee said it still will be able to use the Cervercería Costa Rica grounds just off the General Cañas Autopista west of San José.
2/15/16 3:54:56 PM
Legislature asked to standardize tax-free rules
A proposed law now in the legislature would make fundamental changes to the way Costa Rica provides exoneration from taxes for certain activities and agencies.
2/15/16 3:54:59 PM
Turrialba expected to continue burping
The prediction for the Turrialba volcano is not what air travelers want to hear. A volcano expert said Tuesday that the mountain will be having its ups and downs over the next few months.
2/15/16 3:55:00 PM
Dry law comes under fire from chambers
The tourism, hotels and restaurant chambers have issued a blunt criticism of the 27 municipalities that enforced a dry law over Semana Santa.
2/15/16 3:55:02 PM
Readers tell their stories of being scammed
The two articles that follow by readers were in response to news stories about the problem of property theft in Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:55:14 PM
New legislative leadership opposes higher taxes
A change in the legislative leadership means that the executive branch will have a harder time getting new taxes approved.
2/15/16 3:55:16 PM
Real estate fraud has its human costs, too
News stories about property thefts and similar scams that steal from expats and would-be expats usually feature the economic loss. Not as often do news stories address the physical, psychological and emotional impact.
2/15/16 3:55:18 PM
Anglican church gets its own stamp
The nation's postal service has honored the downtown Anglican church, El Buen Pastor, on its 150th anniversary.
2/15/16 3:55:20 PM
Vandal attacks bridge at container terminal site
Someone inflicted damage on the bridge erected over the Rio Moín to provide access to the APM Terminals construction site, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.
2/15/16 3:55:22 PM
Isla de Coco treasure is subject of spoof
Costa Rica's financial troubles are over, according to a sometimes clever online publication. The publication reported in March that park rangers in Isla del Coco discovered the long lost Treasure of Lima, which now is worth $200 million.
2/15/16 3:55:24 PM
Real estate scams are bummers for expats
At least several times a month a reader send an email to describe how they have been defrauded in a real estate deal in Costa Rica.
2/15/16 3:55:25 PM
Expats may get a second chance at dumping corporations
The legislature is cooking up a new tax law on companies. Of course, they are. The country does not want to lose any tax revenue.
2/15/16 3:55:27 PM
Vehicle noise covered by new rules
The Dirección General de la Policía de Tránsito will have new rules after Oct. 23 to crack down on loud vehicles.
2/15/16 3:55:29 PM
Volcano ash once again halts air traffic
Mother Nature delivered another blow to the country Thursday when an eruption of the Turriabla volcano let to the closing of Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela and the Tobias Bolaños runway in Pavas.
2/15/16 3:55:31 PM
First World dominates happiness index
So what happens when your country is no longer listed as the happiest in the world? At the very least, that misleading claim cannot longer be used to lure tourists. Costa Rica was once listed as the happiest nation. This year the country is listed in 12th place just three spots above the United States.
2/15/16 3:55:33 PM
Classic Tico tale considered racist
The long-running battle to ban the book "Cocorí" and artistic works related to it has flared again. The minister of Cultura y Juventud, Elizabeth Fonseca Corrales, has yanked the funding for a series of orchestral performances based on the book that were to be given to schoolchildren
2/15/16 3:55:35 PM
Nature caught genetically modifying a food crop
The battle by Costa Rican opponents to genetically modified crops took a surprising turn Tuesday. Researchers from Ghent University and the International Potato Institute said they discovered that sweet potatoes naturally contain genes from a bacterium, according to a summary from the university.
2/15/16 3:55:36 PM
Judicial report mainly history with older data
The report on the state of Costa Rican justice reads more like a history text and does not address current problems.
2/15/16 3:55:38 PM
Plans outlined for the Limón international airport
Promoters of a $700 million international airport in Limón said they had difficulty generating interest under the Laura Chinchilla government, but now the Solís administration appears to favor the proposal.
2/15/16 3:55:40 PM
Law enforcement struggles to find solutions
Law enforcement officials are struggling to find solutions for increasing murders, drug smuggling and other crimes that suggest failure of the country's institutions.
2/15/16 3:55:41 PM
Kid glove treatment in potential home invasion case
Of the four men found in a vehicle Saturday night with firearms, two-way radios, gloves, ski masks and plastic ties for presumed victims, only one has been ordered into preventative detention.
2/15/16 3:55:43 PM
Home invasion epidemic has predictable results
The murder of a Pacific coast B&B owner during a home invasion is the logical consequence of an upswing in this form of crime.
2/15/16 3:55:44 PM
Figueres outlines a 10-year plan for government
José María Figueres, the man many see as the country's next president, met Thursday with Luis Guillermo Solís and later said that the uncertain fiscal situation cannot be resolved just with more taxes.
2/15/16 3:55:49 PM
Confidence in government continues to decline
As the central government plans to present legislation to raise taxes, the private sector is circling the wagons.
2/15/16 3:55:51 PM
Expat acquitted in defamation case
A three-judge panel Wednesday acquitted expat Sheldon Haseltine of defamation in the latest development in his 17-year battle over property.
2/15/16 3:55:53 PM
Popular expat on Pacific dies after home invader injury
A 74-year-old B&B operator from Playa Langosta died Tuesday morning from a beating administered April 1 by home invaders, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.
2/15/16 3:55:55 PM
Government tightens rules on that 'fiscal value'
Costa Rican lawmakers have moved to crack down on a long-running practice that has cost the country untold millions in property transfer taxes.
2/15/16 3:55:56 PM
New British law adds weight to identifying shareholders here
The United Kingdom has moved to curb abuse of anonymous companies, which are widely used for tax evasion and criminal purposes.
2/15/16 3:55:58 PM
Credit card debt keeps increasing
An economics ministry report earlier this week showed that Costa Ricans owe 933 billion colons or about $1.77 billion on their 5 million-plus credit cards. A check of a similar report June 10, 2013, shows that the debt has increased some $293 million from 729 billion colons.
2/15/16 3:56:00 PM
Big and small, congregations profess faith
Catholics by the hundreds turned out Monday night for a procession in downtown San José. The walk from the Mercado Borbón to the Catedral Metropolitana made the television nightly news.
2/15/16 3:56:02 PM
Costa Ricans owe $1.77 billion in credit card debt
The economics ministry is emphasizing the impact of high consumer interest rates.
2/15/16 3:56:05 PM
Condo ownership may hold hidden pitfalls
Gated communities in Costa Rica are double-edged swords. They usually give residents more security but take away individual rights at the same time. Ley 7933, Ley Reguladora de la Propiedad en Condominio, or the law to regulate condominium property is to blame.
2/15/16 3:56:07 PM
An unspoiled forest close to San José
Less than an hour from San José one the most accessible spots in the national park system allows a short hike through untouched forest. The Quebrada González station is just off the main Braulio Carrillo highway in the park of the same name.
2/15/16 3:56:09 PM
Administration embarks on a major anti-poverty push
The Solís administration announced a pan Thursday to reduce extreme poverty. One innovation is to assign social workers to supervise poor families and their use of government services.
2/15/16 3:56:10 PM
Festival promotes transformative power of culture)
The culture ministry is making a $1.5 million bet that cantons outside San José Centro will appreciate culture.
2/15/16 3:56:12 PM
Believe it or not, eruptions tend to have cooling effect
Volcán Turrialba has been emitting as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur dioxide a day.
Volcanoes are some of those unpredictable factors that influence climate change calculations.
2/15/16 3:56:14 PM
Expats in Golfito face growing wave of criminality
Expats in the Golfito area say they are under siege from home invaders and other varieties of crooks.
2/15/16 3:56:15 PM
Science requires much more than sincerity
OUR EDITORIAL: Most of those who will gather Tuesday to hear Steven Druker and Jane Goodall condemn genetically modified crops probably are sincere. They share the same fears about science that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley exploited in her 1816 novel, "Frankenstein."
2/15/16 3:56:18 PM
Modified food opponents likely to renew the controversy
Two crusaders against genetically modified crops will present their case Friday at a press conference. They are U.S. lawyer Steven Druker, who has been campaigning against modified crops for more than 25 years, and chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall, who lately has turned her attention to plants.
2/15/16 3:56:19 PM
Iguana: It's what's for dinner
Police said they stopped three men carrying a suspicious bag in Tortuguero Wednesday. Officers quickly found that the bag contained three iguana.
2/15/16 3:56:24 PM
Pre-Colombian Tico may have pioneered the modern papaya
Ancient plant breeders in Guanacaste may have created the papaya fruit that is found in stores today.
2/15/16 3:56:26 PM
Ireland survived centuries of colonialism
The poster child for colonial blunders has to be Ireland, a tiny island divided by religion and politics.
2/15/16 3:56:28 PM
Milk cows near Turrialba have dangerous disease
Animal health workers have uncovered 44 cases of brucellosis in cows grazing around the Volcán Turrialba. The infected animals present a danger for persons who drink their unpasteurized milk.
2/15/16 3:56:30 PM
Corporate tax still is very much alive
Many Ticos and expats believe the law that assesses a yearly tax on companies in Costa Rica is dead because of a recent Sala IV ruling finding parts of it unconstitutional. Some people are still years behind in their payments and are not a bit worried. They should be.
2/15/16 3:56:31 PM
Top U.S. general warns of Islamic State infiltration in Americas
The top U.S. general in South America is warning lawmakers on Capitol Hill of areas of weakness where Islamic State fighters could attempt to infiltrate the Western Hemisphere.
2/15/16 3:56:33 PM
Some lawmakers balk at plans for new taxes
Not only Costa Rican business operators and investors are concerned about plans for new taxes. The major opposition party in the legislature spoke out against the plans Wednesday.
2/15/16 3:56:35 PM
Readers and news sources may be in NSA's files
Readers may or may not be involved in the National Security Agency’s mass interception of online communications between individuals in the United States and abroad.
2/15/16 3:56:37 PM
Draft of new tax laws posted for comments
A proposed change in the nation's sales tax laws would raise some 600 billion colons or about $1.34 billion a year in new income for the government.
2/15/16 3:56:38 PM
Proposed decree taxes foreign money transfers
The Banca para el Desarrollo creates a way small businesses can obtain financing. The project has been approved by the legislature. A little known fact is that the government is expecting to skim money from foreign capital leaving the country to finance the project.
2/15/16 3:56:40 PM
Piercy says his abduction was an extortion
Ryan Piercy said Monday that his abduction was an attempt of extortion toward Casa Canada.
2/15/16 3:56:42 PM
Need any cement? it might become cheaper
The economics ministry said Friday that it had issued modifications in the regulations covering cement that eliminate technical obstacles for selling the product.
2/15/16 3:56:44 PM
Plans advance for a four-lane bridge at Sixaola
Costa Rican officials hope to begin design work on a new Sixaola bridge later this year after the project works its way through the mandatory approval process.
2/15/16 3:56:46 PM
Tsunami: The infrequent danger on the Caribbean, too
The danger of a tsunami is not restricted to the Costa Rican Pacific coast. The Caribbean has the potential for a devastating series of tall waves, according to the scientific literature.
2/15/16 3:56:48 PM
St. Patrick's Day could be a bit expensive
Expats planning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day will have to dig down deep because the local liquor outlets are selling Jameson for 26,000 colons a bottle. That's more than $50, and that's not even for the top-shelf fluid that has languished in barrels for decades.
2/15/16 3:56:50 PM
Expats need to be aware of fake or illegal drugs
Expats frequently face the problem of counterfeit products, be it razor blades or even kitchen appliances. But even more dangerous to the health are counterfeit drugs that may not even contain any of the chemicals needed for an ailment.
2/15/16 3:56:52 PM
Cloud accounting is a boon for expats and snowbirds
Times are changing. Cloud accounting is here and here to stay. It is scalable, cost-effective and easy to use. This is great news for expats, tourists and locals alike.
2/15/16 3:56:54 PM
Household solar generating might be in trouble
A decision on solar power by the nation's regulatory agency has a local firm suggesting that government interests are sabotaging the idea.
3/2/15 3:43:52 AM
Bill to help tourism firms still tied up in legislature
A bill in the legislature is designed to salvage tourism operations that are in financial trouble.

2/26/15 3:12:00 AM
Climate change arguments seem to be one-sided
AN EDITORIAL: The much-promoted scientific consensus on human-induced global warming is troubling. At one point the scientific consensus was that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around it.
2/25/15 3:43:10 AM
Environmentalists join chorus over Talamanca letter
One of the major ecological organization in the country has denounced the Municipalidad de Talamanca for what it called its dangerous intolerance of environmentalists.
2/24/15 4:20:59 AM
Ryan Piercy returns home, but questions linger
Ryan Piercy has returned home, but many questions remain about his disappearance.
2/23/15 2:54:07 AM
Mayor officially brands expats as troublemakers
Expats who complain too much about Costa Rica sometimes are told to go home if they do not like living here. Two expats who live on the southern Caribbean coast have the unusual distinction of being told that officially by the mayor of their canton, Talamanca.
2/20/15 4:42:01 AM
Proposed law would make culture a human right
Lawmakers are considering a proposed law that would regulate culture. The proposal goes far beyond simply reforming the government culture organizations and imposes obligations on members of the public.
2/19/15 2:51:14 AM
Hacienda outlines its extensive rentals
Much has been written about government salaries, but less known are the expenses needed to keep employees at work.
2/19/15 2:50:49 AM
Osa peninsula route to be improved
Highway officials plan to make the route from Puerto Jiménez to Carate in the Osa peninsula an all-weather road. This is about 43 kilometers, and the job will take five of those metal bailey bridges.
2/18/15 3:20:53 AM
Mixed signals on future of economy
There are mixed signals from the economy. On the one hand, the confidence of a panel of business leaders has dropped 8 percent.
2/18/15 3:20:27 AM
Solis administration becomes a publisher
These days almost anyone with a computer can set up an online news Web site. And that includes President Luis Guillermo Solís.
2/17/15 3:41:13 AM
Zoning for Carrillo was a long time in coming
Once upon a time, long ago, there were zoning plans up and down the coast of Guanacaste for the Zona Maritimo Terrestre. This area is known to most as Costa Rica’s ZMT or the maritime zone. Most plans originated in the 80s. There have been some modifications to them throughout the years, but not many.
2/16/15 3:02:27 AM
Employment statistics are complex
A report that said unemployment has increased in the last four months of 2014 brought quick government responses. However, the employment situation with 220,000 persons reported out of work is only represented partly by these numbers.
2/13/15 2:39:57 AM
Some motor fuel could be better
Last year 57 of the nation's gasoline station were found to be deficient in from one to four technical rules involving their product.
2/12/15 4:01:32 AM
Agents seek links to officials in gun plot
Organized crime prosecutors and judicial investigators conducted 12 searches Tuesday including three at offices of the Ministerio de Seguridad. They were seeking evidence of a major conspiracy involving illegal arms sales.
2/11/15 3:56:38 AM
Heritage site comes complete with ghostly tales
The sanatorium that now bears the doctor's name is considered a national heritage site and restoration will begin this year. Cartago lawmakers hope the refurbished complex becomes a tourism draw.
2/10/15 3:39:07 AM
Tourism seen as an economic boost for Puriscal
The central government as been asked to help increase tourism to the canton of Puriscal, which is midway between the central canton of San José and the Pacific coast.
2/9/15 3:06:15 AM
Residents association says Ryan Piercy is a kidnap victim
The residents association broke its silence on the whereabouts of Ryan Piercy Thursday and told members that the organization's general manager had been kidnapped.
2/6/15 2:12:36 AM
Wednesday was a bad day for the Caja
More problem surfaced Wednesday with the nation's public heath provider. This is the system that legal expats are required to join, although many prefer to obtain medical services elsewhere.
2/6/15 2:12:10 AM
Why Latin Americans might be suspicious of the U.S
Expats frequently meet unexpected anti-American opinions when they drift into discussions of world affairs with Latin Americans. There are plenty of valid reasons for that, but most new expats who have relied on the U.S. media for years never really have been exposed to the Latin side of the story.
2/5/15 2:40:46 AM
Government's bite being passed to consumers
Reporters are receiving reports of merchants jacking up prices by 1.78 to 2 percent to compensate for the bite the tax agency is taking from credit and debit card transactions.
2/4/15 3:44:11 AM
Police oversee evictions on Pacific coast
Judicial workers, including three judges, began evicting residents on a tract in Herradura on the Pacific coast.
2/3/15 3:53:06 AM
Wise expats plan to make graceful exits
Asking a friend or loved one to take care of one’s funeral arrangements is one way of planning. Why put the burden on someone else?
2/3/15 3:52:31 AM
Sala IV addicted to legislating
AN EDITORIAL: Some expats are surprised that the constitutional court could find the corporate tax law unconstitutional yet still encourage collection through the end of this year.
2/2/15 1:51:50 AM
Quepos will be called Quepos under proposed law
Lawmakers acted Thursday to rename the canton of Aguirre and to have it called the canton of Quepos, the name of the major community there.
1/30/15 3:59:59 AM
You still have to pay the unconstitutional tax
The Sala IV constitutional court struck down as unconstitutional Wednesday key parts of the 2011 tax on corporations. But the magistrates ruled that operators of corporations will have to pay the tax for 2015.
1/29/15 3:36:33 AM
Employers say they lack confidence in government
The private employers chamber says that is members are losing confidence in the government, and this is one reason there are 228,000 persons jobless in the country.
1/29/15 3:35:54 AM
Sea Shepherd minces no words
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says it is dismayed by the acquittal of seven men in the murder of environmental activist Jairo Mora Sandoval.
1/28/15 3:18:21 AM
Emotional reactions to acquittal in murder of conservationist
There was widespread surprise and condemnation Monday when a court in Limón acquitted seven men in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval.
1/28/15 3:15:04 AM
This would not be the first blizzard
As the extended family gathered around the tree Christmas evening, as was the custom, we thought a lot about Papa Tom and not much about the quiet snow beginning to fall outside.
1/27/15 3:54:42 AM
Restaurants are having a hard time
Times are hard for Costa Rican restaurants. Even owners admit the field is saturated with new restaurants opening frequently.
1/26/15 3:15:41 AM
Ryan Piercy still is missing
The Judicial Investigating Organization said Thursday that there had been no new developments in the case of Ryan Piercy, the missing general manager of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica.
1/26/15 3:15:08 AM
Growth in 2014 tourism not as robust as elsewhere
Costa Rica with a 4.1 percent increase in tourism in 2014 lagged behind all but Panamá and Honduras in the percentage of growth.
1/22/15 3:24:51 AM
Some tourism firms get a break on 2 percent bite
Tourism operators and travel agencies will not be subject to the 2 percent retention on credit and debit card transactions.
1/22/15 3:24:18 AM
Rey Curre to stage Juegos de los Diablitos
The Boruca residents of Rey Curré present their version of Juegos de los Diablitos from late Thursday, Jan., 29 to Sunday, Feb. 1.
1/21/15 3:51:04 AM
The goal is 4 percent growth in 2015
The president's economic panel said Monday that it seeks a 4 percent growth for Costa Rica in 2015.
1/21/15 3:50:37 AM
Ancient musical instrument and masters honored here
Two men from Guanacaste who are masters of the instrument have been honored by the Costa Rican culture ministry.
1/20/15 4:05:09 AM
How to safeguard that money transfer
Anyone living in Costa Rica who moves money in an out of the country needs to know about wire transfers and the terms that surround them. Those that do not will end up waiting for their money because it will get lost or returned. Usually this is because incorrect information is on a wire transfer form.
1/19/15 3:30:13 AM
(Cuba looms bigger as a tourism competitor
The impact of Cuban tourism on Costa Rica is imminent. The U.S. Treasury says new rules relaxing restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba will be implemented beginning today.
1/19/15 3:29:42 AM
Loggerhead turtles seem to have a magnetic map in the head
Adult sea turtles find their way back to the beaches where they hatched by seeking out unique magnetic signatures along the coast, according to new evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.
1/16/15 4:26:03 AM
Caja reverses itself on spousal coverage
The nation's public health provider now promises that it will not discriminate against family members of foreign residents.
1/15/15 3:53:39 AM
President wants to expedite animal protection bill
Ever since 2002 when the Sala IV found an animal protection law unconstitutional for technical reasons, Costa Rica has not had strong regulations against cruelty.
1/14/15 3:41:55 AM
Expat compensated for brutal and illegal arrest
A long-time U.S. expat suffered injuries in what a court called an abusive and disproportionate arrest based on a mystery warrant.
1/13/15 3:41:41 AM
Details sought on strategic alliance with China
Business leaders and opposition politicians are anxious to hear the details of what the Costa Rican president describes as a strategic alliance with the People's Republic of China.
1/13/15 3:41:13 AM
Newspaper offices always have been prime targets
The tragic attack on a French magazine points out the vulnerability of publication offices. Such offices have been targets for centuries regardless of the politics involved.
1/12/15 3:07:55 AM
Investigation begun of tourist boat disaster
With 106 persons safely on land and plans being made to handle the remains of three dead passengers, the investigation has begun
1/9/15 3:24:13 AM
Three die in tourists boat mishap in Gulf of Nicoya
A tourist boat carrying 120 passengers and 10 crew members capsized in the Gulf of Nicoya Thursday, and at least three persons died.<
1/8/15 3:01:22 AM
Watchdog critical of how land exit tax is handled
The nation's financial watchdog has issued a critical report on the $5 land exit tax This is the tax that individuals pay when they leave the country at any of the four border crossing.
1/8/15 3:00:54 AM
Costa Rican fly is a headhunter
While watching tiny flies in tropical forests in Brazil, Giar-Ann Kung puzzledly remarked to Brian Brown "they are cutting the ant heads off!" This unexpected find led to the discovery of a grisly new type of behavior reported this month in Biodiversity Data Journal.
1/7/15 2:54:59 AM
Inflation slowed in the last six months
Accumulated inflation in 2014 was 5.13 percent, but the good news is that the trend is down.
1/7/15 2:54:33 AM
Country's credit card debt is ample
here are 1,872,149 credit cards in circulation in Costa Rica,and the average debt represented by each card is 458,852 colons, according to the economics ministry.
1/6/15 2:31:21 AM
There may be ways to lessen impact of luxury tax
Law 8683 taxes are due Jan. 15. Many expats and foreigners having a property with house on it in Costa Rica are confused about this tax. Some pay it when they should not be doing so. Most people refer to this assessment as the luxury tax.
1/6/15 2:30:53 AM
Plenty of injuries in the bull ring
The bulls have stopped running at three locations in the Central Valley, and plenty of Costa Ricans will be limping and holding their ribs for some weeks.
1/5/15 2:22:20 AM
Wind spews garbage all over metro area
Wind up to 85 kph (53 mph) chilled the Central Valley Sunday, a continuation of the effects of the high pressure area that still is over the Caribbean.
1/5/15 2:21:55 AM
Fireworks blamed for fires
Fire fighters had to handle five structural fires in the waning hours of 2014 and early Thursday. A hot-air globe got the blame for one blaze, and fireworks were blamed for the others.
1/2/15 3:35:09 AM
New minimum wages for 2015 listed
The labor ministry has posted the new minimum wages by job category for the first half of 2015.
1/2/15 3:34:41 AM
The animals are doing the inviting
Now that an Atlanta ad agency has activated the country's promotional Web sites, it appears animals are inviting North Americans to visit.
12/31/14 3:58:33 AM
New stamp honors traditional Costa Rican foods
Four food favorites are featured this year on a special postal emission that raises money for the Ciudad de los Niños.
12/30/14 2:39:20 AM
Investigators seeking out bus terminal crooks
Plenty of tourists have had their visit marred by bus terminal crooks. Every San Jose´terminal and similar locations in other communities are hunting grounds for baggage thieves.
12/29/14 3:01:12 AM
Bull baiting is in full flower
The bull baiting at Zapote began on schedule Thursday afternoon with an introduction by the San José mayor, Sandra García Pérez. Accompanying her was a Roman Catholic priest who provided a blessing, an appropriate action for what was to come.
12/29/14 3:00:10 AM
It's the upward slope for January
Costa Ricans call it the cuesta de enero, meaning the January slope. And the slope is upwards and financial.
12/24/14 2:26:40 AM
Pacific is not always placid
Visitors won't find the information in tourist publications, but Costa Rica's Pacific beaches are dangerous.
12/23/14 3:06:35 AM
Corporate tax up slightly, but traffic fines go higher
The judicial salary on which many fines and taxes are based increased just 4,000 colons for 2015.
12/23/14 3:06:07 AM
U.S. Senate staffers suggest residency-based taxation
U.S. expats here who are victims of the many tax rules and regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service may get a break.
12/22/14 2:35:23 AM
Dollar weakens slightly again
The U.S. dollar is weakening slightly against the Costa Rican colon. The value still is better that this time last year, and there are significant improvements expected ahead.
12/18/14 3:35:14 AM
Another curve from the Caja
Some expats are unhappy because they feel the state health provider has thrown them a financial curve. Foreign residents must affiliate with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social whether they want to use the health services or not. But in the last month, the Caja has declined to allow spouses to join as part of a family package.
12/17/14 3:54:23 AM
Tonight is the first night of Las Posadas
A good way to get acquainted better with the neighbors is to participate in the traditional Las Posadas. Today marks the beginning of the Christmas tradition that stems from Spain long ago.
12/17/14 3:53:57 AM
Museo National celebrates U.N. designation of spheres
The Museo Nacional will open an exhibition Wednesday featuring the locations in southern Costa Rica where the stone spheres are found.
12/16/14 3:22:23 AM
Solis withdraws veto to law strengthening employee rights
President Luis Guillermo Solís praised his rescue of a new labor code as something that is just and supports democracy.
12/16/14 3:21:51 AM
Chilly and wet opening to Christmas season
Hundreds of thousands braved wet and chilly weather Saturday to witness the Festival de la Luz, the gigantic Christmas parade. Although the country may not be facing a wave of head colds and respiratory infections, only some 30 persons were treated by cold -related conditions Saturday. At least two were true hypothermia case.
12/16/14 3:21:25 AM
Editorial: tourism promotion is too late and too little
Two questions arose when the tourism institute announced its $3.3 million promotional campaign for the U.S. and Canada Thursday. Why so late, and why so little.
12/15/14 4:06:03 AM
Tourism institute chooses non-traditional promotion
The nation's tourism ministry outlined its year-long, $3.3 million promotional scheme for the United States and Canada Thursday. The campaign targets bored office workers with a two-minute video with a reworked African sound track and plans to have urban window washers promote the country on their scaffolds.
12/12/14 3:54:26 AM
Virus could take toll on tourism
The outbreak of the chikungunya virus is expected to take its toll on tourism. Health officials said Wednesday that those vacationing in the areas where there is the viral outbreak should use mosquito repellent in the early morning and in the evenings.
12/12/14 3:54:02 AM
In Nicoya, it's the 470th annual fiesta
The community of Nicoya is celebrating this week what probably is a tradition at least 470 years old. It is the celebration in honor of the Virgen de Guadalupe. The religious festival is being sponsored in part by the Municipalidad de Nicoya.
12/11/14 3:40:47 AM
Ticos hate taxes but love government, survey shows
Although the majority of citizens and residents do not favor new taxes, they favor a strong role of government in basic utilities and education.
12/11/14 3:40:18 AM
Expats are certainly generous
If there is one word that describes expats in Costa Rica it is generous. Across the land expats dig down to help their neighbors, their employees and their Tico friends. This is not required, but so very often a little big of extra money goes a long way toward improving a life.
12/10/14 3:09:20 AM
Solís outlines a different type of education
President Luis Guillermo Solís came out Monday in support of a broad-ranging education system that does not only instruct but promotes a number of socially desired concepts.
12/8/14 3:29:43 AM
Tourism institute plans a big campaign
The tourism institute plans to reveal a two-year promotions plan targeting the United States and Canada.
12/5/14 3:42:16 AM
70 percent do not follow through on violence claims
Last year some 70 percent of women who obtained domestic violence restraints failed to follow through, according to the judiciary, and a campaign had been started to decrease the number of dropout.
12/5/14 3:41:41 AM
Museum plans a Christmas festival
The Museo Nacional plans a Christmas festival Dec. 11, and the event includes the blessing of the museum's portal or nativity scene.
12/4/14 2:56:24 AM
Costa Rica stagnant on transparency's index
Pubic perceptions of corruption here have not changed much, according to the Transparency International index released Tuesday.
12/3/14 3:41:10 AM
President bets on creating entrepreneurs
The central government seems to be putting heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship to boost the national economy.
12/2/14 3:24:07 AM
Final exit requires a little planning
Expats do not always get what they want in Costa Rica. Even in death. Many want to be cremated. It is the most practical solution because a normal body is reduced to about six pounds of granular material that can easily be shipped home or scattered.
12/1/14 4:11:09 AM
On trail of kidney ills, study illuminates a brutal job
Sugar cane harvesters often reached recommended heat limits as early as 8 a.m. and risk adverse health effects throughout the rest of the daily shift, according to a three-year study.
11/28/14 3:46:10 AM
Domestic workers and kids getting more protection
Domestic workers and children will benefit from unrelated developments outlined Wednesday.
11/28/14 3:45:40 AM
Coastal zoning plans said to be chaotic
No coastal canton in Costa Rica has a zoning plan that covers its entire area, said the Contraloría de la República in a report summarized Wednesday.
11/27/14 2:49:09 AM
Actions planned to help abused women
Tuesday was a day to oppose violence against women. In the morning there was a parade. At the legislature, lawmaker Rolando González Ulloa declared that the patriarchal state should be combated at it roots. Youngsters should be educated so as not to repeat the errors of their fathers, he added.
11/26/14 4:15:36 AM
Police actions expose drug wars to public view
The nation's hidden drug wars that have resulted in so many murders burst into public view with police actions Monday.
11/25/14 3:27:44 AM
Turkey is not a loss leader here
Those frozen turkeys on display at local supermarkets can give sticker shock. A 10-kilo bird imported from the United States can run 30,000 colons or more than $55.
11/25/14 3:26:41 AM
Why you should wash those veggies and finger fruits
Expats accustomed to not having to think much about parasites in Costa Rica, in contrast to other places where amoebas lurk in every ice cube, shouldn’t forget about Angiostrongylus costaricensis.
11/24/14 2:59:36 AM
Here's how to save a bundle on your municipal tax
Expats homeowners can save significant amounts of money on municipal taxes if they file an assessment of value before Dec. 1. Although current values still are in force, some municipalities are accepted the new valuations early, according to the Ministerio de Hacienda.
11/24/14 2:59:13 AM
Sounds good, but we need details
Barack Obama's timid effort to protect millions of illegal immigrants in the United States appears to make sense. The Devil is in the details, as they say, so a full evaluation cannot be done until the full plan is public.
11/21/14 2:56:21 AM
Wave of murders chills Desamparados
The canton of Desamparados, the most populous in the country, has become the murder capital. The bulk of the killings appear to be related to a territorial drug war.
11/21/14 2:55:55 AM
Home invaders ruin life of Canadians in Costa Rica
Robert Gill fought back when bandits invaded his Caribbean property. So the crooks pistol whipped the 75 year old and left him for dead. His wife, a few yards away, saw the attack and then was confronted by a masked man demanding "Dinero, Dinero" and wielding a knife. She was dumped from a hammock and watched as the crook scooped up money, a computer, a cell phone, a camera and her husband's wallet.
11/20/14 3:16:04 AM
Consumer survey says some supermarkets are not truthful
Supermarkets in Costa Rica may be faster and looser than expats became accustomed in their home countries. The consumer section of the economics ministry in its most recent foray into retail found short weights, trick pricing and special promotion where the shopper would end up paying more.
11/20/14 3:15:38 AM
Expat investors wonder what Milanes will do next
Expats and others who believe they have been defrauded by Luis Milanes Tamayo have been trying to get the Cuban-American to vacate the Europa Hotel in downtown San José.
11/19/14 3:51:11 AM
Judiciary appeals to itself over budget cuts
The Poder Judicial said Monday that it has appealed to the Poder Judicial to declare that national budget cuts are outside the guidelines of the Constitution.
11/19/14 3:50:43 AM
Government will back Mega Terminal of the Americas
The central government said Monday that it is supporting plans for a second giant container terminal in the Limón port of Moín.
11/18/14 2:36:14 AM
Despite holidays, unemployment is a challenge
The holiday season will bring a bump in employment as retailers put on extra salespeople. There are some estimates of an increase of 10 percent in the workforce, but they may be over optimistic. Manpower Group, the employment agency, predicts a 4 percent increase in fourth quarter jobs and calls this the weakest increase since 2009.
11/17/14 3:32:38 AM
Clear roadway of minor accidents, bill says
A unique aspect of the Costa Rican highway laws is that in the event of an accident, even a minor one, the motorists are supposed to keep the vehicles stationary in the highway until police and accident inspectors arrive.
11/14/14 3:24:39 AM
Food marketers come out against new taxes
The nation's food marketing chamber has issued the first organized challenge to the central government's plan for a 15 percent value-added tax.
11/14/14 3:24:08 AM
Sala IV says Constitution is unconstitutional
The Sala IV constitutional court once again has decided that a section of the Costa Rican Constitution is unconstitutional. The decision, released after a vote Wednesday, allows Melvin Jiménez Marín to continue serving as minister of the Presidencia. a powerful position in the executive branch.
11/13/14 3:14:48 AM
Visitor from Ecuador goes into record book
A bird species has been recently added to the official North American list kept by the American Ornithologists’ Union based on new record from Costa Rica. The waved albatross was documented for the first time in Costa Rican waters by a fisherman with a cell phone camera.
11/13/14 3:14:24 AM
Sales tax forgiveness goes to lawmakers
The executive branch took a strategic step Tuesday to defend its claim that tourists involved in many activities will have to pay sales tax.
11/11/14 3:17:05 AM
Lawmakers ducked chance to help property scam victims
Legislative archives show that lawmakers deep sixed a bill that would have protected property owners who were the victims of fraud at the Registro Nacional.
11/11/14 3:16:35 AM
More protection afforded 21 species of shark
An unprecedented number of sharks, including two species of hammerheads, the entire genus of thresher sharks, and the silky shark species received additional protection Sunday.
11/10/14 2:32:34 AM
Take Thanksgiving myth with a grain of salt
Even though much of what is believed about the Plymouth pilgrims is myth, the impact of the transplanted English settlers has had a profound impact on North American civilization.
11/10/14 2:31:57 AM
New national image sought for tourism
The national tourism chamber has called a session for next week where the future of the country's tourism will be discussed.
11/7/14 4:01:28 AM
Discredited study presented to lawmakers
A Universidad de Costa Rica professor presented facts about a discredited French rat study to encourage a legislative committee to support a nationwide ban on genetically modified foods.
11/6/14 3:40:32 AM
New Congress might take action against FATCA
With Republicans controlling of both houses of the U.S. Congress, expats might see changes in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires reporting of assets.
11/5/14 3:53:12 AM
Tech chamber opposes industry monopoly
The technology chamber again has urged rejection of a bill that would require anyone working in the informática and computación fields to have a university degree and be a member of a restructure colegio or professional organization.
11/4/14 3:59:59 AM
Notaries getting a deal at expense of public
Managers of the nation's notary registry have ignored the law and not raised monthly dues since 1998. That means that a large pot of money that should be available to pay victims of notary fraud and other illegal activities just does not exist.
11/3/14 2:49:14 AM
Patronato under scrutiny
The nation's child protection agency is starting to receive some scrutiny in the wake of the death of a 3 month old Wednesday.
10/31/14 3:30:24 AM
Turrialba spews ash over much of the metro area
The Turrialba volcano erupted for about 25 minutes late Wednesday and spewed ash as far away as Puriscal.
10/31/14 3:29:48 AM
Beaten infant dies
Beaten infant dies

The 3-month =old girl who was beaten badly in her home has died. The Patronato Nacional de Infancia identified the girl as Videl Esquivel Cubillo. The Judicial Investigating Organization reported Sunday that the child suffered a fractured skull and broken bones in the legs and arms.
10/30/14 4:00:05 AM
Judicial information system has leaks
When it was passed in July 2009, the Plataforma de Investigación Policial was seen as a great crime-fighting tool. All the police agencies would have access to a single data base that would include information about individuals culled from the public record and the computers systems of other agencies.
10/30/14 3:59:36 AM
Private sector pay raise is just 2.01 percent
Private employees who receive the legal minimum wage will get a 2.01 percent increase Jan. 1.
10/29/14 4:09:46 AM
Municipal taxes are a big surprise
Many expat homeowners are in for a jolt when the municipal tax bill arrives. In some cases, expats are seeing a 10-fold increase in municipal taxes. One expat saw his annual taxes go from $220 to $2,200.
10/27/14 2:33:04 AM
That container terminal is a long way off, if ever
Even though police have restored service at the Limón docks, the resolution of the conflict over a $1 billion container handling facility is a long way off.
10/27/14 2:32:31 AM
Who else is suffering from a persistent cough?
Several expats are complaining of a chronic cough. The sufferers include a new arrival in Escazú and a longtime expat at the central Pacific coast. The Pacific coast expat said that he had been dosed with enough antibiotics to kill a bacteria colony the size of Escazú over the last four months and then given a seven-day antibiotic drip.
10/24/14 3:51:24 AM
Police take over the docks in Limón
The central government waited a bit more than eight hours before heavily armed riot troops took over the Caribbean ports of Limón and Moín Wednesday.
10/22/14 3:17:46 AM
Casa Presidencial tries to avoid a dock strike
Casa Presidencial is working hard to prevent a walkout at the Limón docks. Dock worker union leaders were at Casa Presidencial Monday but they were told that nothing is certain. The proposed $1 billion container handling concession still has to pass muster with the Secretaria Técnica Nacional Ambiental, which already had a long list of what it considers deficiencies.
10/21/14 3:54:09 AM
Solís take to television to defend budget
Public employees will be marching today to protest and restore the 3.8 percent cuts that a legislative budget committee chopped from the 7.9 trillion-colon 2015 national budget.
10/20/14 3:12:16 AM
Tourism organizations cut a deal on sales tax
Tourism organizations have made a deal with the executive branch to postpone a 13 percent sales tax on recreational activities until Jan. 1, 2016.
10/17/14 3:31:21 AM
Fireworks becoming a smuggler's priority
With the holidays less than three months away, police are finding smuggled fireworks. Officials said Wednesday that police already have started their effort to keep explosive firework out of the country, in part to protect kids.
10/16/14 3:39:58 AM
Mind over matter guru to give pricey talk
The alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra will be in Costa Rica Nov. 24, and he is sure to draw a crowd of food conspiracy theorists, followers of homeopathy, and many who believe that there is more to life than just the material.
10/16/14 3:39:26 AM
Another case alleged of a judicial info leak
Another judicial worker has been detained on the allegation that he illegally used confidential government records of at least one individual.
10/15/14 3:35:15 AM
San José to get new tourist attraction
Tourism and cultural officials will be debuting a new downtown bus service for tourists today. A new, private firm, Costa Rica City Square Tour, S.R.L., now operates what it calls a hop-on,hop-off service.
10/15/14 3:34:51 AM
Crocs seem to believe in teamwork
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, has found that crocodiles work as a team to hunt their prey. His research tapped into the power of social media to document such behavior.
10/14/14 3:37:07 AM
Land banking can be a good investment plan
Land banking gets a bad rap. It is defined as the practice of putting pieces of land together for future sale or development. However, scammers give the business a bad name because they make false promises to unsophisticated buyers who ultimately get burned.
10/14/14 3:36:38 AM
Contra war again in the news with movie about Gary Webb
The journalistic integrity of U.S. media, an illicitly-financed, CIA-backed war against Nicaraguan Sandinistas, the crack epidemic of 1980's urban America: these are the main subjects of Michael Cuesta’s "Kill the Messenger."
10/13/14 3:20:50 AM
Spam email are busting out all over
Spam levels at Costa Rican computer inboxes seem to have skyrocketed following an international trend. Some operators of Internet server complexes report up to a 10 fold increase in the unwanted email messages.
10/13/14 3:20:17 AM
Museo National will exhibit historic photos from EFE
The agency, which goes by the name EFE, is not well known to English speakers because of its concentration on European and Latin American news in Spanish. Those who read La Nación or other newspapers here see the firm's efforts every day.
10/10/14 3:44:25 AM
President moves to shake up three agencies
The central government has taken strong action against three major institutions. Casa Presidencial said Wednesday that the current board of directors for the southern zone development agency has been sacked.
10/9/14 4:03:41 AM
What changes would help the expats?
No legislator nor anyone in Casa Presidential has addressed topics yet that negatively affect expats and would-be expats.
10/8/14 3:36:43 AM
Police sweep targets illegal vendors in Manuel Antonio
A multi-agency task force targeted vendors of tourist items at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and closed 15 stalls that now will be destroyed.
10/7/14 3:48:55 AM
100,000-plus march against cancer
A crowd estimated by police to be more than 100,000 turned out early Sunday to support the Fundación Anna Ross and its fight against cancer.
10/6/14 3:37:51 AM
Country tightens up controls at airports over ebola
Health officials said that there is extra surveillance at airports and travelers from Africa are being registered as a first step in protecting the country from the ebola virus.
10/6/14 3:37:20 AM
Government creates commission to help smaller tourism firms
The central government has created a commission to help small a medium tourism operations. Private tourism organizations have a majority of the seats.
10/3/14 4:00:51 AM
Traditional dishes sought in San Ramón
In San Ramón, the Día del Encuentro de Culturas is celebrated with a cooking competition of traditional foods.
10/3/14 4:00:25 AM
Flagrancy statistic spotlights waves of crime
Fuerza Pública officers caught and remanded to flagrancy courts 700 suspects in September alone. The security ministry issued this statistic to show that police were doing a good job, but the numbers also illuminate crime in Costa Rica. The statistic means that on average more than 23 times a day in September police just happened to be on hand or nearby when a crime took place.
10/2/14 3:54:06 AM
Some ideas to trim the budget
The political apparatus has enriched itself at the expense of the people for so long that some say reform is impossible.
10/2/14 3:53:37 AM
Jimmy Carter going strong at 90
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter celebrates his 90th birthday today. While not the oldest living president, Carter has set the record for the longest post-presidency of any former occupant of the White House, surpassing Herbert Hoover for the honor in 2012.
10/1/14 4:11:29 AM
Video promotes small-is-better tourism<
Legislators and supporters of responsible tourism will present a video that seems to support minimal development on the Pacific coast. The video is titled La gallina de los huevos de oro: Turismo en la costa Pacifica de Costa Rica. A reasonable translation would be "The Chicken That Lays the Golden Eggs: Tourism on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
10/1/14 4:11:03 AM
Merchants are already in Christmas mode
Can that be Christmas lights and trees in the local department stores? You bet, because Costa Ricans do not have Thanksgiving to bracket the December holiday season. But they do have Black Friday, which seems to be universal.
9/30/14 3:43:49 AM
'Tis the season to be paying taxes
The end of September brings fiscal tax year 2014 to a close. Oct.1 begins 2015. There are tax filings and payments just around the corner for almost everyone.
9/30/14 3:43:25 AM
Priest who is pedophile suspect visited Costa Rica
A Pennsylvania Roman Catholic priest who is facing child sex abuse charges in the United States was involved with youngsters in Costa Rica, too.
9/29/14 4:07:00 AM
Lawmaker wants to increase legal age for marriage
A legislator is proposing that the minimum age to marry in Costa Rica be raised to 18.
9/29/14 4:06:35 AM
U.S. viewers will see Bender case report this weekend
Television viewers in the United States will be a glimpse of the Costa Rican justice system Saturday when the CBS Network show "48 Hours" features the Ann Patton case.
9/26/14 3:59:05 AM
Prosecutors want to drop case against Savings Unlimited figure
Prosecutors are seeking to shelve the case against the former lawyer of Savings Unlimited, a high-interest investing scheme that may have cost 3,600 investors up to $200 million.
9/25/14 4:04:29 AM
Want to count 3.5 million bugs, mushrooms and moss?
Experts at the Museo Nacional have given the first go-ahead for the acquisition of the massive nature collection now held by the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad in Heredia.
9/25/14 4:04:04 AM
Liberty Reserve figure admits guilt
Maxim Chukharev, a figure in the Liberty Reserve case, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The former Costa Rican resident faces a possible five years in prison at sentencing Jan. 30.
9/24/14 3:46:31 AM
Lawmakers troubled by president's budget
President Luis Guillermo Solís is coming under fire for failing to present a frugal national budget for 2015, and the criticism extends to his decision to seek a value-added tax later this year. Lawmakers Monday unanimously voted to ask for a briefing by Helio Fallas, the first vice president and minister of Hacienda, the budget ministry.
9/23/14 3:57:11 AM
Solís administration will propose a global income tax
President Luis Guillermo Solís said Sunday that his administration would seek a global tax in addition to a value-added tax.
9/19/14 3:55:24 AM
Scientist wonder how strong can a quake be
Just how strong can an earthquake get? That is a question that has puzzled researchers, and they were surprised when an undersea quake March 11, 2011, registered a magnitude of 9.0.
9/18/14 3:54:24 AM
Moody's cuts country's credit rating
The finance ministry reacted optimistically Tuesday to the news that a major financial services firm had downgraded the country's credit rating.
9/17/14 3:51:07 AM
Sea Shepherd will help patrol a Caribbean beach
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said Monday it has joined with a Caribbean organization protecting sea turtles to prevent poaching.
9/17/14 3:49:52 AM
Tourism budget might face a big cut
Organizations in the business are rallying around the tourism institute because lawmakers appear to be ready to cut the budget in half.
9/16/14 2:18:56 AM
A refresher on how to protect assets
Why do foreigners get hoodwinked and bamboozled out of their stuff in Costa Rica? Or, any place else in the world for that matter. Usually, because people tend to be too trusting. Or lack knowledge.
9/15/14 3:41:17 AM
Foes of genetically modified seeds claim a small victory
Opponents of genetically modified organisms have won a partial victory from the Sala IV constitutional court.
9/12/14 4:06:34 AM
Tourism statistics show increases
The tourism institute is reporting a 5.4 percent increase in foreigners arriving on tourism visas for the first six months of the year. The statistics also show significant increases of North Americans and Europeans.
9/12/14 4:05:44 AM
Diquis culture inspired metal art in expo
The Museo Nacional inaugurates tonight a seven-week exposition of metalwork inspired by the Diquís culture of the southern Pacific.
9/11/14 4:14:18 AM
Property poster boy gets a new trial
An expat who has become the poster boy for complicated court cases over property has won a new trial on his conviction for defamation.
9/11/14 4:13:50 AM
New effort to keep guns from kids
A Liberación lawmaker proposed Tuesday a change in the firearms law to prohibit minors from using weapons or even being at a shooting range.
9/9/14 3:25:31 AM
The asteroid missed us this time
A meteor impact in Nicaragua and a close flyby of an asteroid demonstrate the fragility of civilization. Many scientists say they believe that an impact from space about 13,000 years ago wiped out large animals and even the existing human population in North America south to what today is Costa Rica.
9/9/14 3:24:57 AM
Key figure in Jacó acquisition banned from corporate life
The president of a firm that was involved in buying real estate in Jacó has resigned after being ordered to do so by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
9/8/14 3:44:43 AM
250 bank customers scammed by skimming
Investigators detained two men Thursday on allegations that they used cameras and electronic devices to steal data from debit cards at automatic tellers.
9/8/14 3:44:19 AM
Costa Rica about average in cases of suicide
Despite its claim to be the happiest country, Costa Rica is around average in the rate of suicides, according to a comprehensive report issued this week by the World Health Organization.
9/5/14 3:48:31 AM
Here's an idea; Penalize smuggling
Two lawmakers have introduced a measure to penalize smuggling. The proposal would establish a prison term of five years for anyone smuggling in merchandise worth more than $5,000.
9/4/14 3:17:32 AM
Tourism leaders miffed because officials ducked meeting
Tourism leaders are steaming because the central government canceled at the last minute a meeting Tuesday.
9/4/14 3:17:07 AM
Child mothers now blamed on Costa Rica males
Time was when government officials and child protection agency workers saw the arrival of single male tourists as the major threat to underage Costa Rican women.
9/3/14 2:44:23 AM
Lawmakers have a few words for president
Opposition lawmakers ripped into President Luis Guillermo Solís Monday as they criticized strongly his 100 days speech Thursday.
9/2/14 3:36:24 AM
Some expats are in big trouble but don't know it
Some foreigners from the boom days are having to play a shell game today to prove ownership of properties they purchased during those times. The reason is that attorneys before Sept. 28, 2012, loved putting real estate purchases in guaranteed trusts.
9/1/14 3:55:59 AM
Solís really rips into Liberación
Reciting a long list of corruption and negligence from past governments, President Luis Guillermo Solís said Thursday that a recent history of irresponsible governing has held back Costa Rica's development. Solís delivered his 100-day report of his presidency that not only included a peek into his plans for reform but also gave a scathing critique of the previous administrations' perceived illegalities and failures.
9/1/14 3:55:27 AM
Resolution to skim 2 percent from credit card sales published
The finance ministry has come up with a new way to collect more taxes. Via what amounts to a hidden resolution, the Dirección General de Tributación has told banks and processors to skim 2 percent for nearly every credit card transaction starting Oct. 1. The money is supposed to be held for eventually payment of income taxes.
9/1/14 3:55:05 AM
The prince among us: U.S. author tells the tale
A direct descendant of European royalty, Prince Alfred of Prussia, arrived in Costa Rica in 1927 when he was 3 years old and remained living in the country until his death in 2013. The royal Costa Rican is now the subject of a new book that details his life and his lineage that traces back to Queen Victoria and numerous other notable European royals.
8/29/14 3:53:20 AM
Lawmakers act to make a slight constitutional change
Lawmakers took the unusual step Wednesday of approving a rewrite of the first article of the Costa Rican Constitution.
8/29/14 3:52:48 AM
Moratorium opponent says passage would eliminate 1,000 jobs
A spokesman for agricultural firms told a legislative panel Wednesday that a proposed ban on genetically modified organisms, if passed, would cost the country about 1,000 jobs.
8/28/14 3:27:36 AM
Can you believe it? IRS gives expats a break
U.S. taxpayers who failed to file all those forms required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service now have a second chance. The IRS has expanded its amnesty program for overseas taxpayers, according to Randall J. Lindner, an enrolled agent and principal of U.S. Tax International in Rohrmoser.
8/28/14 3:27:08 AM
Most invaders of mangroves are local farmers
The nation's environmental police are cracking down hard on invasions of the Puntarenas mangrove protected areas, and this time those facing charges are not foreign developers.
8/27/14 3:20:49 AM
Cruise season is here officially
Cruise season has officially hit Costa Rica's Pacific shores. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo has marked the season's beginning with the arrival of Carnival Legend Sunday, which brought nearly 3,000 tourists to Puntarenas.
8/26/14 3:49:06 AM
CBS says its experts dispute Bender trial verdict
CBS News promises a full report on the John Bender murder case in its fall television season. The television network has been following closely the Costa Rican case and the acquittal and subsequent conviction of Bender's wife, Ann.
8/26/14 3:48:41 AM
Armed gang sacks town near Arenal
A gang of up to 14 armed men descended on the community of Nuevo Arenal, cut the power to part of the town and began to plunder.
8/25/14 3:31:55 AM
Country acts to protect national anthem
A Swedish television show upset official in Costa Rica because the producers used the Costa Rica's national anthem as background music.
8/25/14 3:31:33 AM
Jacó developer finally out of prison
Patrick Hundley, the owner of Daystar Properties in Jacó, left prison Wednesday after spending six months in preventative detention, according to his lawyer, José Manuel Echandí. Hundley was set free from his jail cell in Pérez Zeledón after posting $1.5 million in bail, Echandí said.
8/22/14 3:43:16 AM
Committee will try to generate more cruise ship arrivals
As the number of cruise ship arrivals into Costa Rica have fallen over recent years, the country's tourism institute has established a committee bent on bringing more ships to local shores. Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said Costa Rica is creating the committee to focus on cruise promotion, infrastructure, and worker training in an effort to attract major cruise lines to visit the country more frequently.
8/21/14 3:47:59 AM
Solís plans to do his own evaluation
Academics are quick to point out that Franklin Roosevelt was not the one who coined the term 100 days. Instead that was used for years to address Napoleon's escape from Elba and the period that led to his final defeat at Waterloo.
8/21/14 3:47:30 AM
Man who murdered two Austrian expats gets 50 years
A former employee has received 50 years in prison in the murder of two Austrian expats on the Osa peninsula. That is the maximum number of years possible under Costa Rican law.
8/20/14 3:41:13 AM
$100 Fine is meant for Nicaraguans
Some perpetual tourist in Costa Rica are verging on paranoia because they think they will be hit with a $100 fine if they are delayed in leaving the country to renew a visa.
8/19/14 3:02:10 AM
Homebuyer's guide to avoiding real estate pitfalls
Buying real property in Costa Rica is a little different than buying it in other parts of the world. Learning how to do a little preliminary due diligence or, in simple terms, property homework, is good for everyone to know. This will help them stay clear of the bad and zero in on good opportunities in Costa Rica’s growing real estate market..
8/19/14 3:01:47 AM
Prices in Costa Rica
Recent complaints about prices in Costa Rica has drawn responses suggesting that there are ways to avoid being clobbered. Even Costa Ricans are getting into the discussion because they said they believe high prices hurt tourism.
8/18/14 2:39:37 AM
Happy birthday to us
Today marks the 13th birthday of A.M. Costa Rica. That's 13 years of providing local and international news targeted to English-speaking expats here and those who would like to be here.
8/15/14 3:46:52 AM
Illegal garbage dumps called a national problem
Some 22 municipalities are facing action from the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo because they have mismanaged or illegal garbage dumps.
8/15/14 3:46:24 AM
Opinions mixed on genetically modified organism law
A legislative committee continues to consider a proposal for a national moratorium on genetically modified organisms. Committee members heard several opinions about the bill over the last two days. This is the measure proposed by Frente Amplio in the last legislature, mainly in opposition to the agricultural work by Monsanto Co. here.
8/14/14 3:27:00 AM
Those seeking secular state to bring demand to Solís
There is a growing movement to make Costa Rica a secular state. Article 75 of the Costa Rican Constitution specifies the Roman Catholic faith as the state religion but also guarantees the free exercise of other religions. Some critics estimate hat this state support of the Catholic church could be nearly $3 million a year.
8/13/14 3:35:51 AM
Merchants prepare traps for Mother's Day buyers
Not even a mother could be proud of a family member who gets swindled on apparent deals. That's why, as Costa Rica's version of Mother's Day this Friday nears, the Ministerio de Economía Industria y Comercio released a consumer protection report warning of false advertising or overpriced promotions for the holiday.
8/12/14 3:13:32 AM
Sales tax on tourism activities returns
Just when tourism operators thought that President Luis Guillermo Solís cut them a break on taxation, the tax agency came out with a new decree. The result: There will be no sales tax collected on admissions to national parks and other reserved areas, but many tourism operators will have to collect taxes on their activities.
8/11/14 3:18:22 AM
Country's heritage corn might be as many as 100 varieties
Last July 24 President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a decree establishing corn as a cultural heritage of the nation. Environmentalists saw this as a way of protecting the native species. But Thursday the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud pointed out that there are between 80 and 100 varieties of local corn due to the cross pollination that ha gone on for centuries.
8/11/14 3:17:22 AM
Government seeks new way to measure poverty
Together with Oxford University, the Costa Rican government is installing a tool designed to help politicians grapple with inequality and extreme poverty.
8/8/14 3:03:14 AM
Restored engine a reason for a party
Residents of Palmar Sur on the south Pacific coast have restored Engine #84 and plan a fiesta to celebrate Friday.
8/8/14 3:02:42 AM
Administration dumping sales tax on park admissions
Costa Rica's tourism operators can breath easier because President Luís Guillermo Solís rejected a much-feared sales tax.
8/7/14 4:14:13 AM
Proposal launched for more oversight on lobbying
After running a presidential campaign largely based on transparency and anti-corruption, leaders from the party of President Luis Guillermo Solís are now calling for political lobbying activities to be public.
8/7/14 4:13:44 AM
After three months president seems light on respecting laws
The first three months of the Luis Guillermo Solís administration are causing some political opponents and even some allies to shake their heads.
8/6/14 2:29:51 AM
U.S. trained youngsters here to subvert Cuban regime
In another bungled effort to foster anti-government activism in Cuba, the United States trained young Latin Americans in San José and then sent them into Cuba to identify potential targets who could bolster opposition against the Communist government of Raúl Castro.
8/5/14 2:42:10 AM
Museum announces new species of passion flower
Plant specialists the Museo Nacional have discovered yet another species of passion flowers in rain forests around rivers and streams in the Cantón de Osa.
8/4/14 2:43:44 AM
Ministry ready to submit its tax package
The nation's tax collector said Thursday it is introducing legal reforms to reduce fraud as well as evasion. Evasion generally is defined as legal manipulations to reduce the tax bill.
8/4/14 2:43:20 AM
President says he has unveto power
Every expat knows that court cases are never finished. There are appeals after appeals. In fact, a truth about Costa Rica is that there usually is a footnote to reverse or change just about any official action. Now, it turns out, even a presidential veto is not final.
8/1/14 3:10:42 AM
Guanacaste developer detained briefly in fraud case
Judicial agents briefly detained Craig Williamson, the real estate developer behind a purported billion dollar project in Guanacaste, because he failed to appear in court to answer a fraud charge.
7/31/14 3:21:23 AM
Ban Ki-moon can't leave the troubles behind
Ban Ki-moon may be coming to Costa Rica today, but he cannot leave the world's troubles behind. Supporters of Palestine said they would protest this morning starting at the Fuente de Hispanidad in San Pedro to make Ban, the secretary general of the United Nations, know that "Costa Rica repudiates the massacre that Israel brought against the people of Gaza Palestine."
7/30/14 3:34:05 AM
Uncle Sam has another surprise for expats
The U.S. State Department will seek Social Security numbers from Americans who renew a passport. This is a rule that went into effect last week. American Citizens Abroad, an expat advocate group, said that while not discussed in the regulations, it seems clear that with this information the tax people, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, can check to see whether tax returns are being filed.
7/29/14 3:45:59 AM
Search efforts stepped up in Corcovado
Search teams have ramped up operations and are now working at all hours to find an American man, 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial, who was pronounced missing last week. Local Cruz Roja patrols are camping overnight in Parque Nacional Corcovado and police are using a helicopter to scan the area, according to rescue coordinator Gilberth Dondi.
7/29/14 3:45:35 AM
Cameras are popping up all over
Under the stated aims of improving citizen safety, municipality leaders are putting up public surveillance cameras throughout Costa Rica's streets and parks.
7/28/14 2:45:28 AM
Alaskan sought in Corcovado
A man from Alaska is missing after telling his father two weeks ago that he would be traveling into Parque Nacional Corcovado on the Osa peninsula. Local authorities now say search operations have begun to look for the man, Roman Dial, Jr., 27, a native of Anchorage.
7/28/14 2:44:54 AM
APM Terminals gets and extension
Plans to begin construction of a new container terminal in Limón are on hold for three months more due to legal reasons. The Caribbean economic development agency agreed to extend the start date for the work that was slated to begin Thursday. A request to do so came from the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones.
7/25/14 3:29:26 AM
There are some advantages to a dry raining season
The weather news from Guanacaste and the central Pacific is not all bad. Tourism operators might be able to capitalize on these conditions by advertising a dry rainy season. Prices are lower in the rainy season from May until November because tourists prefer blue skies and full sun on the Pacific beaches.
7/25/14 3:29:03 AM
Not all illegal guns are equal
Despite police efforts and registration requirements, illegal weapons proliferate. Some expats have said they keep illegal firearms because the registration process is too difficult and has to be repeated frequently.
7/24/14 3:34:55 AM
Tourist industry balks at triple tax threat
The tourism industry is reeling under triple blows that may force operators to pay crippling amounts of back sales tax. The situation developed April 30 when the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía published a decree increasing the admission to national parks and other protected areas under its control.
7/24/14 3:34:33 AM
Alert issued for Pacific coast
The national emergency commission is taking action to help the north and central Pacific coast where there is drought and where the lack of rain is expected to increase.
7/23/14 3:04:29 AM
Drought fears overshadow Guanacaste celebration
Just a few days before the annual celebration, Guanacaste is facing a crisis.
7/22/14 3:14:47 AM
Expats have many options with online education
Aging expats do not need to be sticks in the mud when confronted with modern information and technologies. Neither do youngsters. Some already know the secret and come to Costa Rica to play and study. Today there is no excuse not to learn what one wants or needs to know. And much of it is 100 percent free with no strings attached.
7/21/14 2:39:30 AM
Rabies death of child called isolated case
A 9-year-old child with rabies died Wednesday following a two-month bout with the disease, according to a health ministry report. The boy from Palmar Norte was bitten by a wild animal when sleeping overnight in an area heavily populated with bats. He was placed into the Hospital Nacional de Niños earlier this month, the statement said, and tested positive for the disease upon his death.
7/18/14 3:02:17 AM
Bill would tighten rules for pawn shops
Some of the most complete collections of Nikon cameras and lens can be found at pawn shops downtown. There's a pretty good chance that the pawned camera equipment now up for sale did not come from a Costa Rican photographer. They appear to be the booty from thefts from tourists.
7/18/14 3:01:50 AM
Apollo 11 also was a great public relations coup for U.S
The Apollo mission that took off 45 years ago Wednesday was more than just the greatest scientific achievement of the 20th century. The successful moon landing was the greatest pubic relation event since the Boston Tea party.
7/17/14 3:51:18 AM
Government issuing an austerity decree
Government officials rolled out a savings plan that promises to shed $77 million of spending on public entities. Vice President Helio Fallas, who doubles as the finance minister, announced the efficient spending directive 009-H at a Tuesday press conference alongside Jose Francisco Pacheco, Costa Rica's vice minister of expenditures.
7/16/14 3:16:36 AM
Year predicted to be a dry one in much of the country
The first five months of the year have been dry in all but the southern Pacific, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. And with El Niño growing in the far Pacific, the probability is for drought and not enough water to run all of the country's hydro electrical generating plants.
7/16/14 3:16:11 AM
Clues sought in case of missing girl
Little Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo, 6, has been missing in Santo Domingo de Heredia since Friday. Police, investigators and volunteers continue the search, but the case more and more looks like a crime.
7/15/14 3:35:17 AM
President defends his progress
President Luis Guillermo Solís took to the television Sunday to defend the progress of his administration. Although he did not say so, his first television speech seemed to be generated by concerns that the new administration was spinning its wheels.
7/15/14 3:34:49 AM
Museo de Jade has lots of items but little data
The new Museo de Jade is overwhelming, The Instituto Nacional de Seguros said all 7,000 of its pre-Columbian holdings have been put on display in the five-story, $21.5 million museum.
7/14/14 3:02:56 AM
Arrests made in complex property case
Allegations of property theft on a grand scale surfaced again Thursday with the arrest of two women lawyers and 50-year-old man.
7/14/14 3:02:24 AM
Ground broken for marina
After years of planning, a marina is springing up in Golfito. Developers from Hacienda El Dorado announced Thursday they have begun construction on the Golfito Marina Village & Resort, which is planned to be a central destination for luxury tourism focused on yachting and sport fishing.
7/11/14 4:35:25 AM
Administration gets tough for consumers
The nation's consumer protection agency seems to have added some muscle with the arrival of the new administration. A new study takes on supermarkets and the traditional methods of tricking the consumer.
7/10/14 4:16:10 AM
Obama has designated a new ambassador
President Barack Obama has put forward the name of a New Jersey businessman as the next ambassador to Costa Rica. The man, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, is an unusual mixture of race, religion and culture.
7/10/14 4:15:45 AM
Gigantic party to welcome the soccer team
When the Costa Rican national soccer team returned home from the historic run in the World Cup, players were greeted with thousands of screams and waves from every direction. Miles of fans stretched from La Sele's arrival point at Juan Santamaría Airport down the highway to Paseo Colón and Parque la Sabana, as the team concluded a welcome back party on stage at the park in front of a massive crowd Tuesday night.
7/8/14 3:22:48 AM
Land war continues at native reserve
A long-running land war erupted into flames Saturday when a mob torched the home of a native resident of the Bribri de Salitre territory northeast of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas. This is the continuation of confrontations that have taken place for at least five years and involve duplicate claims for the same real estate.
7/8/14 3:22:20 AM
World Cup achievements considered victory
The amazing journey of the national soccer team came to an end Saturday, but most Costa Ricans see reaching the World Cup quarter finals as a great victory.
7/7/14 3:29:12 AM
Ticos lose but keep their heads up
Despite a strong defensive showing against the Dutch team in the World sup Saturday, Costa Rica lost on penalty shots.
7/7/14 3:28:48 AM
Cementerio General to become a tourist attraction
Savvy tourists already know the place, and a project announced Thursday will make the Cementerio General into a museum that will attract more.
7/4/14 3:21:45 AM
More red cards against family violence
There may not be any substantial evidence that sports on television generates domestic violence, but that is not stopping public officials from using the World Cup as a hook to campaign against such abuse.
7/4/14 3:21:14 AM
Policeman dies in Parrita shooting
Officials said Thursday that they have apprehended the prime suspect in the killing Wednesday of a police officer in Parrita.
7/3/14 4:18:08 AM
Police link soccer with family violence
The Fuerza Pública has embarked on a campaign to prevent domestic violence amplified by the World cup soccer games. The department said in a tape prepared for radio that there were 20 domestic violence calls per hour during the Costa Rica-Greece game in Brazil Sunday. Despite the number of calls, the same agency reported detaining just two persons Sunday and early Monday.
7/2/14 3:16:34 AM
Culture minister asks for probe of finances
The minister of culture said Monday that she has asked the Ministerio Público, the national prosecutorial office, to investigate five years of expenses by her ministry.
7/1/14 3:57:21 AM
They did it, and country goes wild
Miles of red-clad bodies again enveloped main streets throughout Costa Rica. Just like last weekend, the president waved down upon the swelling crowd at Fuente de Hispanidad. Seemingly the entire population of this tiny country had taken to the streets Sunday to celebrate the national team's latest World Cup victory.
6/30/14 2:55:34 AM
Credit card debit continues to grow
A study by the economics ministry showed that credit card debt increase 2.37 percent from January to April 30 when the data was gathered. The total debt on that date was 806,138,896,697.60 colons or about $1.5 billion. That meant that of the estimated 4.8 million Costa Ricans every man woman and child owed about $305.
6/30/14 2:55:08 AM
Tax people want you to turn in scofflaws
The finance ministry has launched a campaign against the so-called local discount. The discount is the sales tax that the vendor does not collect if the customer does not want a receipt.
6/27/14 2:41:06 AM
The Sept. 11 statue ravaged by vandals
When sculptor Roland Hockett was creating a memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, he said later he wanted the work to be around for a long time. That decision has come back to haunt him.
6/27/14 2:40:25 AM
Poás puts on a great show
As the Costa Rican national soccer team took the field against Italy Friday, Volcán Poás emitted an eruption that flew 200 meters into the air. The eruption, called the second biggest this month, was caught on the Web camera positions at the volcano crater.
6/25/14 3:24:35 AM
The kinder, gentler IRS wants to help you
U.S. taxpayers living overseas and some U.S. residents with foreign bank accounts are getting a better deal from the Internal Revenue Service.
6/25/14 3:23:36 AM
Remains of one Dutch woman identified
Panamanian authorities have found human remains with DNA matching that of Lisanne Froon, a Dutch woman who had been missing from the Chiriquí area near the Costa Rica border since April 1. At a Monday press conference, Betzaida Pittí, district attorney of Chiriquí, announced that investigators found the 22-year-old's bones in the Bocas del Toro province in northeast Panamá.
6/24/14 3:59:11 AM
An expat's guide to death in Costa Rica
There is a wild misunderstanding in Costa Rica about dying without a will. Most people believe if they do not have one, the government will take everything. This is not true. Here is a closer look.
6/24/14 3:58:38 AM
That bootlegged booze can do real damage
When an expat pours a drink of alcohol, there is a possibility that the glass contains home brew of some other substance. Costa Rican law enforcement officials raided two storefronts Sunday and confiscated 7,000 bottles of alcohol. These were not bottles smuggled in from Panamá to avoid taxes.
6/23/14 2:33:40 AM
Costa Rica pulls off a sensational victory
Costa Rica broke into another round of World Cup celebration Friday after the country's national soccer team beat favored Italy in a preliminary match in Brazil, 1-0.
6/20/14 4:23:18 AM
Jacó businessman seeks change in nation's prisons
Jailed Jacó businessman Patrick Hundley says conditions in his Pérez Zeledón prison are deplorable, evil and a poor, poor reflection of Costa Rica. He said he hopes President Luis Guillermo Solís can find the strength to make needed changes.
6/19/14 2:37:34 AM
Backpack is new clue to missing Dutch women
A backpack holding key possessions from two Dutch women who went missing nearly three months ago in Panama may give investigators clearer insight into their mysterious disappearance. Panamanian police are examining a pair of cell phones, an insurance card and a digital camera belonging to Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers that were in the bag.
6/19/14 2:37:07 AM
President wants to know about fuel prices
The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, has asked Dennis Meléndez Howell for background on how gasoline prices are set. Meléndez is the regulator general, the head of the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos. This is the agency that sets all sorts of utility prices.
6/18/14 3:24:15 AM
Sure you can drive and watch the World Cup!
Time was when traffic police would be suspicious when a taxi driver mounted a small television on his dashboard. That took some mechanical kills and the set was pretty obvious. No more. Electronics have shrunk, and even the state phone company is serving up devices that can be affixed easily to the rear view mirror. No longer does a taxi driver have to miss the action while zipping along the autopista.
6/17/14 3:53:22 AM
How many U.S. citizens live overseas?
The U.S. Federal Voting Assistance Program has commissioned another effort to find our how many U.S. citizens live abroad.
6/16/14 3:18:41 AM
Happy end to a major public works project
Workers Thursday broke through the last bit of a six kilometer tunnel that will feed water to a new turbine at the Cachí hydroelectric plant.
6/10/14 3:43:53 AM
Expats have an alternative to traditional banking
Expats and foreigners have an alternative to banks for their financial needs in Costa Rica: Financieras. They are good, solid options too, offering substantially higher returns on deposits and other investments than banks. Two-year certificates of deposit return as much as 5 percent in U.S. dollars. They are also more friendly, eager to answer questions and solve customer needs. Much more so than banks, most of which are bureaucratic monsters.
6/9/14 3:38:45 AM
Government's fiscal plan outlined
The central government plans a freeze on 2,500 public jobs as part of the plan to reduce the nation's budget deficit.
6/6/14 3:13:31 AM
Possible treatment found for dragón amarillo
A research team in Florida says it has found a possible treatment for a disease that threatens to wipe out the citrus industry there and even in Costa Rica.
6/5/14 3:59:05 AM
Decree to protect dolphin not a done deal
A fishing protection agency and the nation's largest tuna cannery are battling over a signed but unpublished decree that would make purse seine fishing illegal within 60 miles of Costa Rican shoreline. The principal combatants are the Federación Costarricense de Pesca and tuna giant known as Sardimar.
6/4/14 3:13:54 AM
Teacher strike appears to be ending
By planting their signatures on the latest proposal, the country's education officials have finally put an end to the strikes that kept many public school teachers out of classrooms for five weeks.
6/3/14 3:38:17 AM
Latest U.S. tax report neutral on overseas exemption
The tax situation of U.S. citizen living abroad is again the topic of a major report produce by the Government Accountability Office . The report quickly came under criticism from an expat advocacy organization
6/3/14 3:37:51 AM
Health officials want borders tight against virus with funny name
Health officials are putting the country on alert over the chikungunya virus spreading through the Caribbean and now Panamá. Similar to dengue, the virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This disease leads to severe pains and fevers but is almost never fatal.
6/2/14 2:22:16 AM
Where the national museum keeps cool stuff
Fragments of Costa Rican history are stacked away neatly amid the metal shelves and towering boxes kept in locked, temperature-controlled rooms. At the Museo Nacional's warehouse in Pavas some of the nation's most important artifacts can be found tucked inside these storage rooms and restoration workshops.
5/30/14 3:03:31 AM
Archives to teach conservation of memories
Everyone has a valued news clipping or a family photo made long ago. The clipping probably is yellowed, and the photo has faded.
5/30/14 3:03:02 AM
Sala IV orders action to stop beatings at La Reforma
The constitutional court ordered the justice ministry Wednesday to take steps to protected the human rights and physical well being of maximum security prisoners.
5/29/14 2:46:21 AM
Bender's wife convicted of his murder
A criminal trial panel in Pérez Zeledón convicted Anne Maxin Patton Tuesday of the 2010 murder of her multimillionaire husband.
5/28/14 3:34:15 AM
La Penca: some mysteries remains
This Friday will be the 30th anniversary of La Penca bombing, the failed assassination attempt on Edén Pastore, then the leader of the southern Contras who was called Comandante Cero. Pastore suffered injuries, but seven persons, including three news persons, died from the explosion during a press conference. One was Linda Frazier, a reporter for The Tico Times and wife to the Costa Rican bureau chief for The Associated Press.
5/27/14 3:10:30 AM
Expats should consider mediation in place of arbitration
People with legal problems in Costa Rica should try mediation to resolve their issues. Arbitration and the courts are expensive and slow. Most contracts today include arbitration clauses by default, and they are signed without giving much thought to the process. Expats should not get locked in without doing some homework
5/23/14 3:50:55 AM
Bill would eliminate cutoff on responsibility for old Caja payments
Death and taxes are supposed to be certainties, and now lawmakers are about to add to the list payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
5/23/14 3:50:30 AM
More arrests of traffic policemen
When the new traffic law went into effect, critics said that the high fines would encourage corruption among traffic officers. That prediction continues to play out as judicial investigators detained three officers Wednesday.
5/22/14 2:50:03 AM
Supreme court orders probe of narco penetration
Supreme court magistrates Tuesday created a committee to investigate the penetration of organized crime and drug traffickers into the judiciary.
5/22/14 2:49:38 AM
DNA says humpbacks are really three subspecies
A new genetic study has revealed that populations of humpback whales in the oceans of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are much more distinct from each other than previously thought, and should be recognized as separate subspecies. Understanding how connected these populations are has important implications for the recovery of these charismatic animals that were once devastated by hunting.
5/21/14 3:25:59 AM
The tax man cometh with new rules and fines
Tax collectors have new rules, and individuals who pay taxes or manage corporations face penalties that the public accountant association says have increased drastically.
5/21/14 3:25:37 AM
What is the brain like on meditation?
What is the brain like on meditation?

A team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney is now trying to determine how the brain works during different kinds of meditation.
5/20/14 3:18:35 AM
You can count on a July Fourth bash
The American Colony Committee Plans another Fourth of July picnic this year. That the event would be held has been known for some months, but the committee has started updating its Web page with current information intermixed with details from previous years.
5/20/14 3:18:09 AM
Lionfish will be hunted with traps
Fishermen on the Caribbean coast are considering the use of traps to catch lionfish, the predators that eat their weight in other species each day. The Asociación de Pescadores Artesanales del Caribe Sur said it has created a model of a trap that will be duplicated and distributed along the coast.
5/19/14 3:45:13 AM
Government agencies mark day against homophobia
Costa Rican government agencies are marking Saturday, the national day against homophobia, by flying the multi-colored diversity flag at public offices. The flag went up Thursday at the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.
5/19/14 3:44:46 AM
Survey of potential slide sites says they are stable
Emergency commission staffers and a geologist have made air flights to look at nine areas in the country with high landslide risk. They report that the slide areas appear to be stable, although this is just the start of the rainy season.
5/16/14 3:40:13 AM
Not all Costa Ricans are drinkers either
Nearly half of Costa Rica's population abstains from drinking, according to a World Health Organization study released this week. The global report showed the nation as consuming much less alcohol per capita than the American average.
5/15/14 3:38:05 AM
Solís may lose his top minister
The Sala IV constitutional court said Tuesday night that it would study the status of the new minister of the Presidencia. The minister is Melvin Jiménez Marín, who also happens to be a Lutheran bishop.
5/14/14 3:53:43 AM
Expats have mixed feelings about the news president
Days into the presidency of Luis Guillermo Solís, some in the expat community are keeping a close eye on Costa Rica's new leader to see that he acts on his promise for nationwide reform. In trumpeting other campaign emphases like increased transparency and more efficient public services, Solís has bolstered expectations for these transplants who have so much invested into Costa Rica.
5/13/14 4:00:07 AM
A neat trick for ducking that corporate tax
Want to save some money? Expats using sociedad anónimas and S.R.L.s. to hold assets in Costa Rica can save tax dollars by converting them into a sociedad civil that pays no tax. A sociedad civil means a civil society in English. Yes, this is a secret to beat Law 9024 and the annual corporate tax.
5/13/14 3:59:32 AM
Stone sphere back home after prolonged Florida visit
A pre-Columbian stone sphere weighing about 3,000 pounds has arrived safely in Pavas after a sea voyage from Florida.
5/9/14 3:21:02 AM
New eviction law gets good marks
Judicial officials are upbeat about the impact of a new law that cuts the time necessary for evictions from years to months.

5/8/14 4:12:24 AM
President signs law protecting those in maritime zone
President Laura Chinchilla signed another law Tuesday that is designed to protect homes and businesses that are now in the country's maritime zone.
5/8/14 4:12:02 AM
Tourism chamber presents its wish list
The national tourism chamber would like to create a mandatory registry of tourism operators to formalize the business in Costa Rica.
5/7/14 3:10:35 AM
The Museo de Jade is a jewel
The new Museo de Jade looks every bit of the $21.5 million spent to build it.
5/7/14 3:10:00 AM
Charges due soon in murder of environmentalist
Prosecutors in the Ministerio Público said Monday it will accuse five Costa Ricans and two Nicaraguans in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora last May 31.
5/6/14 3:48:47 AM
Incredible discovery involving crocodile tears
The butterfly and the bee were most likely seeking scarce minerals and an extra boost of protein. On a beautiful day last December they found the precious nutrients in the tears of a spectacled caiman relaxing on the banks of the Río Puerto Viejo in northeastern Costa Rica.
5/6/14 3:48:24 AM
Arenal emissions too small to measure
Emissions from Arenal Volcano have reached their lowest points in years. The latest "State of the Volcanoes Study" by the Observatorio Vulcanólogico y Sismológico de Costa Rica said that the output from the volcano has been less than the one-ton-per-day minimum required for measurement.
5/2/14 3:29:45 AM
Enjoy that first may rain
The Teatro Nacional is taking advantage of the seasonal change. An exposition has been mounted called “Mayo en Verde.” The art show is based on the poem “Trópico Verde” by Isaac Felipe Azofeifa. A dozen artists were asked to create a work that reflected a line in the poem. The exposition was juried.
5/2/14 3:29:18 AM
Archaeologists will get help from ground penetrating radar
Archaeologists have long wished to be able to see into the ground. Instead, for nearly 200 years, they have been forced to dig trenches, test holes and meticulously scrap away the soil. But now researchers at the sites of the famous stone balls will be getting a peek into the ground without disturbing it.
5/1/14 3:48:35 AM
President acts to protect dolphin and sports fishing
President Laura Chinchilla signed a decree Tuesday that is dolphin and sports fishing friendly. The decree divides up the country's Pacific waters and designates a 60-mile area parallel to the coast where no purse seine operations area allowed. The area is reserved for sports fishing and medium long-line commercial fishing.
5/1/14 3:47:59 AM
Solís top picks are heavy on academics
Some in the media have made much of the number of lawyers in the new administration of Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera. But current and past professors outnumber the lawyers two to one in the top spots.
4/30/14 3:41:56 AM
President's unintended legacy: Infinito arbitration
An unintended legacy of President Laura Chinchilla is the international arbitration case lodged by Infinito Gold Ltd. Infinito is the firm that wanted to process gold from an open pit mine in northern Costa Rica. the company struggled for years from one court to another to win permission to proceed on the contract it has signed with the Costa Rican government.
4/29/14 3:53:39 AM
Can Costa Rica effect a turnaround for expats?
Is Costa Rica moving forward or backward for expats? Is the country killing the golden goose? Is it too late to turn things around for foreigners? Are taxes and the red tape getting to be too much for expats to live here?
4/28/14 2:40:12 AM
Non-Catholic clerics say ceremony will be beneficial
Thanks in large part to a Costa Rican woman, a Sunday ceremony at the Vatican will pass Pope John Paul II into the rarified air of sainthood. The rapid healing of Floribeth Mora’s inoperable brain aneurysm was a necessary step for his canonization. Ms. Mora said she prayed to a newspaper photo of the deceased pope.
4/28/14 2:39:35 AM
A.M. Costa Rica announces death of columnist Jo Stuart
A.M. Costa Rica's weekly columnist, Jo Stuart, 84, died late Thursday morning in Hospital México. Ms. Stuart suffered a stroke at home Friday and had been hospitalized since. For nearly 14 years Ms. Stuart provided a liberal voice to the newspaper, and she made many friends though her writings.
4/25/14 3:37:42 AM
First newspaper was a long time in arriving here
Although printing with movable type flourished in Europe since the middle of the 15th century, the first press did not arrive in Costa Rica until 1830.
4/24/14 3:24:15 AM
Climate forum hosts experts from region
About 50 government experts, academics and others from Central America and the Caribbean are gathering here today for a forum on vulnerability to climate change. The forum is supposed to address the impact of climate change on the coasts and the maritime zones.
4/23/14 3:36:01 AM
A dark history of forced adoptions
Her documentary draws upon these tragic stories and first-hand accounts from the mothers to detail a lost generation of Latin American children during the end of last century.
4/23/14 3:35:38 AM
The lowdown on selling solar power to utility firms
“The silver lining here is that home and business owners who are interested in investing in their own renewable generation, likely solar generation, can use this time period to prepare themselves. For instance, they can gather their historical monthly consumption history and identify qualified service providers who can design, install and warranty a private generation connected to the grid.
4/17/14 2:23:02 AM
Casinos are anchor for green Guanacaste project
A massive Guanacaste solar energy project, involving Frank Biden, the brother of the U.S. vice president and promoted as being a green development, will be anchored by three casinos that would take most of the budget.
4/17/14 2:22:38 AM
Tourism operators pin hopes on new administration
When the new administration takes over, President Luis Guillermo Solís is going to have to look past job losses caused by the exit of Intel Corp. and Bank of America. The tourist industry says that 22,000 jobs are at risk there.
4/16/14 3:59:23 AM
Solís announces part of his team to change the country
Under a banner projection that read Vamos a cambiar Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís praised his new cabinet members as leaders who can help redirect the nation’s course.
4/16/14 3:58:51 AM
The season is changing, weather experts say
The weather experts say that the country is beginning the transition to the rainy season this week. A strong but brief downpour ran through the metro area Monday afternoon, and similar downpours are expected today in the metro area and on the Pacific coast.
4/15/14 3:14:46 AM
Foreigners have few options to open a bank account
Expats are having a very hard time understanding the new rules and regulations set forth by national and private banks in Costa Rica. They were outlined in detail March 31. They do not understand why they cannot open a bank account if they are on a tourist visa but own property or have other investments in the country.
4/14/14 3:13:15 AM
El Niño is a good bet to return this year
A better than 50 percent chance exists that the El Niño condition will return this year, and some forecasters fear the weather phenomenon might be among the strongest on record.
4/10/14 3:36:12 AM
Commerce officials surprised by Bank of America
A planned exodus of two U.S.-based businesses and the loss local jobs has shaken Costa Rica. Between the move of Intel Corp's manufacturing operation to Vietnam and the eventual closure of the Bank of America subsidiary BA Continuum, the nation stands to lose 3,000 total jobs.
4/7/14 3:35:46 AM
As expected, Solís wins in a walk
Luis Guillermo Solís has won the presidential election in a blowout. He took 77.7 percent of the votes compared to 22.3 percent for his opponent Johnny Araya Monge of Partido Liberación Nacional, based on the initial report.
4/7/14 3:35:17 AM
Modified tomato compared with new, powerful technique
Does genetic manipulation cause unintended changes in food quality and composition? Are genetically modified foods less nutritious than their non-modified counterparts, for example, or different in unknown ways?
4/4/14 4:15:38 AM
Major fishing tourney called off due to lack of interest
The Presidential Challenge sports fishing tournament planned for later this month in Golfito has been canceled.
4/3/14 3:56:50 AM
Regulator will let every customer bank solar electricity
The utilities regulating agency decided Monday to let electrical customers bank excess power with their distributor.
4/3/14 3:56:27 AM
Legislature snagged by one of its own laws
The minister of culture has rejected a plan for a new legislative building because construction wold have impact on adjacent historic structures

http://www.amcostarica.com/040214.htm#32
4/1/14 3:41:55 AM
Opening and maintaining a bank account now wrapped in red tape
The crux of the story is the bank employee was correct. The red tape and requirements to open a new bank account for a company are a bad dream.
4/1/14 3:41:25 AM
Heredia expat explores the country's folklore
Heredia expat Jack Donnelly travels the country investigating and documenting folkloric events. The result is a new book, his first.
3/31/14 3:14:11 AM
Baby left for hours in parked car dies
A seven-month -old baby left by accident in his father's sweltering car died Thursday in the Hospital de Niños. The case has attracted widespread emotions over the tragedy.
3/28/14 3:52:03 AM
New book recounts the John Paul miracle
Pope John Paul II's canonization in Rome has great local significance for Costa Ricans. On April 27 the former pope, who died in 2005, will be put into sainthood by Pope Francis at a Mass in St. Peter's Square.
3/28/14 3:51:35 AM
This is a bad time to be a sardine
There is no law that says Catholics have to eat tuna or sardines during the religious period before Easter, Lent. But the culture says they do.
3/27/14 2:48:41 AM
Spanish firm to build first new sewer line
A Spanish construction firm has been selected to install the first three kilometers of sewer line for the valley project. The firm is a familiar one, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A., known by its initials FCC. The company said that it will have 10 months to build the line which will connect to the Los Tajos treatment plant, which also is under construction.
3/27/14 2:48:13 AM
Government salaries are public record, Sala IV says
The constitutional court ruled that the right of the public to know the salaries of public employees transcends the individual right of privacy.
3/26/14 3:46:25 AM
3-D printing ready to change life here
There's a device that can create a new pair of shoes, a model for a new home and maybe soon a beating human heart. In a future with 3D printers the opportunities for application seem unlimited.
3/26/14 3:45:55 AM
Country among Latin America's three most secure, Florida firm says
A West Palm, Beach, Florida, firm has published an index that says Costa Rica is one of the three most secure countries in Latin America.
3/25/14 3:27:34 AM
Tax is factor that makes gasoline so high
The the topic is the cost of living, many expats quickly bring up the price of gasoline. They look to Panamá as a country where the prices are lower.
3/24/14 3:45:26 AM
Estimated dates set for arrival of rainy season
The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said Thursday that the season will arrive in the south Pacific between April 1 and 5. Then the season will move north and into the central Pacific between April 26 and 30. The Central Valley will undergo the seasonal change sometime between May 6 and 10, which the north Pacific will see this happen between May 15 and 20,
3/21/14 3:57:29 AM
Fugitive lawyer can beat rap with long vacation
One reason crimes pays in Costa Rica is that crooks can duck any penalty by taking a really long vacation.
3/21/14 3:57:02 AM
Postal service honors pope
The national postal service came out Wednesday with a stamp honoring the first Latin American pope, Francis, on his first year in office.
3/20/14 3:56:59 AM
Tax agency prepared to seek names of corporate shareholders
The Dirección General de Tributación has prepared but appears to have not issued a decree that would require everyone who is responsible for a corporation to report the names, identification numbers, citizenship and other data of every shareholder several times a year.
3/19/14 3:20:44 AM
Zoo foundation wins a court battle to stay operating
The Laura Chinchilla administration has been rebuffed in its efforts to close down the zoo in north San José.
3/19/14 3:20:12 AM
Life of Germans here during World War II was not pura vida
On July 2, 1942 a German submarine sunk a United Fruit Co. boat and killed 24 Costa Rican workers. Two days later a riot targeted shops and homes of German-Costa Ricans, which destroyed more than 100 buildings.
3/18/14 2:50:08 AM
Registro in court over corporate resignations
One Costa Rican woman had a rude awakening in 2012 when she tried to resign her position as secretary of a local company as allowed by Transitorio IV of Ley 9024. The Registro Nacional said she could not quit because the company owed money to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, known to most as the Caja.
3/18/14 2:49:34 AM
How about all those scruffy immigrants to America?
Can a country like the United States survive with a flood of immigrants with very different traditions? They come group after group of uneducated, perhaps even dirty individuals who worship false gods and are excessively prolific enough to eventually overwhelm the existing hard working population. And many speak a strange language and cannot understand simple English.
3/17/14 2:59:38 AM
Brazilian firm gets a $28.4 million going away present
The central government has paid off the Brazilian construction firm OAS with some $28.4 million.
3/14/14 3:41:55 AM
Central bank moves to meet inflation
The Banco Central acted Wednesday to make money a bit more expensive. The board of directors of the Banco Central increased the rate at which commercial banks can borrow money to 4.75 percent, That is a 1 percent increase.
3/14/14 3:41:21 AM
Chiquita merges with Irish firm
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and Fyffes plc have announced a merger. Both firms are involved in agriculture for exporting from Costa Rica.
3/13/14 3:53:59 AM
They finally put up some train crossing signals
The transport ministry finally is putting in signals at railway grade crossings. The first two are in service, and transport officials are warning motorists of steep fines for failing to obey the flashing lights and bells.
3/13/14 3:53:32 AM
Advertising characters going on display
Well-known characters from the ad pages of old are taking over the Museo de Arte y Diseños Contemporáneo. Graphics and caricature drawings of Costa Rican corporate branding characters will make up the Fundredimas-based exhibit in conjunction with the fourth annual Festival Internacional de Diseño.
3/12/14 3:50:48 AM
There's even a campaign plan for animals
Protection of the habitat and its wildlife has long been a focal point for green-conscious Costa Rican authorities. Presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís and his campaign have released a plan to focus on the well being of the nation’s animal population. Wildlife, pets, and farm animals are all addressed in the party’s platform.
3/12/14 3:50:18 AM
He's Costa Rican but a real banger fan
A familiar Costa Rican name with political legacy is behind a small and relatively unknown sausage business. Claudio Pacheco, the one-time director of the national coast guard and brother of former president Abel, sells homemade pork sausage and produces the monthly e-mail newsletter, Banger News.
3/11/14 4:32:38 AM
What will a Solís administration be like?
Business operators in Costa Rica had better brace for more taxes and a renewed participation of the state in public life. That seems to be the philosophy of Luis Guillermo Solís, the remaining active candidate for the April 6 presidential elections.
3/11/14 4:32:15 AM
Expat creates a center of diversity on the skirts of Volcan Poas
There are stories in each one of these roots. This plant can help against the flu. That tree over there has leaves used to make the iconic Panama hats. Here's the kudzu, which became invasive when planted in the southeastern United States but has stayed tame in the tropical climate.
3/10/14 3:42:36 AM
Tourism promoted in Brazil and Germany
The tourism chamber said Thursday that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with the city of Santo, Brazil At the same time, government tourism officials said that the country was being represented at what is considered the world's biggest tourism show in Berlin, Germany.
3/7/14 4:02:43 AM
Organization wants to double number of U.S. kids overseas
An organization that is expert in sending American students overseas to study says it has launched a five-year initiative to double the number.
3/7/14 4:02:21 AM
(Solís has a new campaign
As he walked under the red and yellow flags into the backyard of his party's headquarters, Luís Guillermo Solís put a pin over the left side of his chest that read "Salí a votar."
3/6/14 4:17:17 AM
Johnny Araya announces he is concluding presidential campaign
Johnny Araya Monge, the candidate for president, said this afternoon that he was concluding his campaign. That means Luis Guillermo Solís of the Partido Acción Ciudadana will be the next president May 8 unless a great surprise happens in the election runoff April 6.
3/6/14 4:16:36 AM
Giant Guanacaste solar project starts soon
A series of multi-million dollar projects designed to install solar panels throughout Guanacaste should soon be under way, according to the heads of Sun Fund Americas. Company president Craig Williamson and his partner, Frank Biden, the brother of the U. S. vice president, said they are set to begin their solar farm developments with the Guanacaste Country Club in Liberia.
3/5/14 3:48:08 AM
Oil palm lagoons targeted as source of methane
Researchers have found some bad news and some good news about oil palm production in Costa Rica.
3/5/14 3:47:39 AM
There seems to be a run on the dollar at ATM machines
There is a rush on to accumulate dollars. The U.S. currency soared to an official rate of 557.11 by the close of business Monday. The Banco Central said it invested $19.95 million to keep the dollar from going higher.
3/4/14 4:11:33 AM
Did they make your company active for no reason?
This year the tax department, known officially as Dirección General de Tributación, and loosely as Tributación Directa, had a surprise for many expats and Ticos alike. The government institution changed inactive companies that pay the lower company tax assessment created by Law 9024 to active without any warning.
3/4/14 4:10:57 AM
San Diego to San Jose by muscle power
A pair of tired cyclists slowly climb up a hill on Ruta 27 outside Escazú. A stranger driving the other way in traffic points his head out the window and yells, "You're almost there." After four months and roughly 5,000 kilometers of biking through México and Central America, cousins Bradie Kozera and Tommy Peters are indeed close to the end.
2/28/14 4:02:53 AM
Here come the spring breakers!
Spring break or reading week as it is called in Canada already has begun, and students at various colleges and universities are off for fun and perhaps sun through late April.
2/28/14 4:02:31 AM
Firebombing of Dresden still fresh after 69 years
Martin Börner was working as a 14-year-old apprentice in a hotel kitchen when the alarms went off. It was nearly 10 a.m. when the first bombs dropped. Börner was instructed to hastily take shelter underground with everyone else. Hours later, when he popped his head back into the daytime, his city of Dresden was in flames.
2/27/14 4:13:59 AM
Medical crisis shows there's quality care at the beach
One hour after undergoing routine throat survey at Hospital CIMA, Brad Sanson started to bleed uncontrollably. Six hours later, back in a hospital bed, the bleeding had subsided. By then he had lost a third of his blood. The week following his release and return to his home in Jacó, the real estate developer said he noticed he was only feeling worse.
2/26/14 3:43:13 AM
Guanacaste yields many, many new wasp species
An inventory of wild-caught caterpillars, its food plants and parasites, has been going on for more than 34 years in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste. As a result, more than 10,000 species of moths and butterflies are estimated to live there. Their caterpillars are in turn attacked by many parasitic wasps,also numbering thousands of species.
2/26/14 3:42:52 AM
Kid's book will promote Chorotega tradition
The Chorotega pottery tradition has existed for perhaps more than 2,000 years, but soon a fictional iguana will lend a claw to keep it going.
2/25/14 2:58:55 AM
Dengue has less of a presence this year
A year after a nationwide dengue epidemic, the Ministerio de Salud reported greatly reduced numbers for 2014. Confirmed dengue afflictions have dropped by 67 percent from last year's peak, although there are still more than 1,000 people affected.
2/25/14 2:58:34 AM
Association of Residents gets new rates but may challenge them
Disputes continue between the Association of Residents of Costa Rica and the persistent Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social that has started to charge higher rates for association members.
2/24/14 3:10:57 AM
Water becoming more precious as dry season nears end
The nation's regulatory agency said Thursday that water customers who will be rationed have a right to know that in advance unless the cutoff or reduction is a problem of infrastructure.
2/24/14 3:10:30 AM
Shrimp bill meets opposition
A legislative committee approved and sent to the full legislature Thursday a measure to reinstate shrimp trawling in Costa Rican waters. Immediately, an environmental organization said that the proposal does not agree with a constitutional court ruling.
2/21/14 3:52:54 AM
Study confirms that manual laborers get kidney malady
Doctors researching the abnormal rate of chronic kidney disease in Guanacaste gave a preliminary analysis of findings Wednesday. Physician Ray Wong, who works at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social in Libería, said the findings are consistent with their hypothesis that mostly uneducated men who work in physical labor are affected.
2/21/14 3:52:33 AM
Editorial: These soccer fans are really just street gangs
Costa Rican officials are treating the riot by soccer fans Sunday as a sports problem.
2/20/14 3:29:25 AM
Tourism industry seeks change with new president
Tourism in Costa Rica is either pretty good or pretty bad, depending on who is doing the assessment. With a new president comes change, and that is true of the country's tourism agency, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. Already, the national tourism chamber is on record urging that its members be named to the institute's board of directors.
2/20/14 3:28:55 AM
Country made $1.5 billion in overseas investments in 2013
More than $1.5 billion was invested by 105 Costa Rican businesses into foreign projects last year, according to the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica and the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior.
2/19/14 4:04:49 AM
Museum will tell you how to make money
The Museos del Banco Central wants to show the world how to make money. The museums mean how to really make it from start to finish. The newest exhibit at the museums is a detailed explanation on how the new family of currency was created.
2/19/14 4:04:23 AM
Frustration times comes again to the Central Valley
Get ready for more lost time, more late arrivals to work and a spike in the frustration index. Traffic officials have reduced the single-lane bridges over the Circunvalación washout from four to three.

2/18/14 3:42:15 AM
Deadline draws near to duck the corporate tax
Here is an opportunity for a last chance to resign from companies before the Registro Nacional starts collection for taxes due under Law 9024. One attorney estimated 275,000 out of the 575,000 estimated mercantile companies registered in Costa Rica are defunct. They are part of an estimated 420,277 companies currently behind on the tax, as reported by the Banco de Costa Rica.
2/17/14 3:42:19 AM
Venezuelan protesters get some support from Arias
Glaring camera lights and shaking microphones waved in front of Lorent Saleh, as three Venezuelan flags were raised at his back. Outside the gated house of ex-president Óscar Arias Sánchez, he spoke to reporters about the violent student protests in Caracas that led to three deaths Wednesday.
2/17/14 3:41:53 AM
Study planned on mystery kidney diseases
Chronic kidney disease is getting a lot of attention worldwide, but the mystery remains. Boston University's School of Public Health says its experts are conducting an investigation of chronic kidney disease in the northwestern region of Nicaragua in conjunction with the World Bank and Nicaraguan partners.
2/14/14 3:39:46 AM
Not having a police record called a human right
A human rights organization wants lawmakers to wipe clean police records after sentence is served.
2/14/14 3:39:07 AM
Clovis child's DNA shows common ancestry with most Native Americans
The first mapping of the Clovis genome provides evidence that ties these ancient people to contemporary American Indians.
2/13/14 3:43:33 AM
A stamp for Juan Mora
The honors keep flowing in for Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the Costa Rican president who led the country into the Campaña Nacional in 1856 and 1857.
2/13/14 3:43:07 AM
Leatherbacks endangered in Atlantic, too
Another satellite study shows that leatherbacks are at risk in the Atlantic Ocean, too. The report of the research follows identification of two trouble spots in the Pacific.
2/12/14 3:26:33 AM
Internet and emails encourage anonymous claims
IThe campaign up to the runoff election April 6 promises to be one filled with lies and misrepresentations. The blame can be leveled at the Internet and email.
2/12/14 3:26:11 AM
Yikes! Crocs can climb trees
When most people envision crocodiles, they think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water not climbing trees. However, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, study has found that the reptiles can climb trees as far as the crowns.
2/11/14 3:22:04 AM
Infinito seeks arbitration but for lesser amount
Infinito Gold Ltd. has filed an arbitration request with the World Bank's arbitration organization and seeks $94 million from Costa Rica, the local subsidiary said today.
2/11/14 3:21:38 AM
Tourism institute bets big on Winter Olympics
The nation's tourism institute is investing nearly $700,000 in advertising related to the Winter Olympics. The campaign calls for 267 commercials for $500,000 on NBC Universal networks between last Friday and Feb. 23.
2/7/14 3:45:57 AM
Some expats will see a jump in Caja fees
Some expats are facing a stiff hike in mandatory monthly payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. The Association of Residents of Costa Rica announced Wednesday that the Caja would charge individual members based on their residency status.
2/7/14 3:45:33 AM
Expat in property dispute loses defamation case
Sheldon Haseltine was found guilty of defamation by San José judges Wednesday. He was ordered to pay plaintiff Armando González the maximum penalty allowed for such a charge, approximately 15 million colons or $30,000.
2/6/14 3:49:43 AM
Little wasp may be a big help against citrus disease
The country's citrus growers now has a safe ally in their battle against the dreaded dragón amarillo, the insect-born bacterial disease that ruins crops and kills trees.
2/5/14 3:33:16 AM
Satellites track leatherbacks to spot danger zones
A team of researchers have tracked by satellite 135 leatherback turtles to determine that there are two spots in the Pacific where the creatures are in the greatest danger from longline fishing.
2/5/14 3:32:51 AM
No matter who wins, expats can count on new taxes
One facts is certain after the first round of elections Sunday. There will be more taxes. That is true no matter who wins April 6.
2/4/14 3:02:24 AM
Presidential election results in need for a runoff
Luís Guillermo Sólis staged an unexpected comeback Sunday to join Johnny Araya in the April presidential runoff.
2/4/14 3:02:01 AM
Drug trafficking blamed for several types of deforestation
Add yet another threat to the list of problems facing the rapidly disappearing rain forests of Central America: drug trafficking.
2/3/14 3:31:23 AM
Country celebrates poetry and poets
Today is the Día Nacional de la Poesía, which was created in memory of Jorge Debravo, a Turrialba poet whose life was cut short by a drunk driver.
1/31/14 3:21:28 AM
Some expats not plugged into the national election
Debates between five candidates in rapidly spoken Spanish and mounting talk of a second round of voting leave the expat community trying to make sense of the Costa Rican presidential race. Facing some disorienting election laws plus a lack of voting rights for most, Gringos often dedicate their attention on the first Sunday in February to the Super Bowl over election results.
1/31/14 3:21:00 AM
Florida appeals court upholds jurisdiction over lawyers here
A Florida appeals panel has upheld a lower court order that says a civil case against Costa Rican lawyers will be heard in that state.
1/30/14 4:02:56 AM
This is the time for a general lethargy
The country not only is approaching a quiet time for electioneering, but the prospect of a change in presidents has employees and officials sitting tight.
1/30/14 4:02:35 AM
Hemisphere meets without U.S. or Canada
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was set up to free much of the hemisphere from the influence of the United States and Canada.
1/29/14 3:25:40 AM
President in Cuba where dissidents complain of arbitrary arrests
A smiling President Laura Chinchilla arrived in Havana, Cuba, Monday night as the Castro regime continued picking up dissidents so there would be no protests. She was met with a guard of honor.
1/29/14 3:25:13 AM
Costa Rica's museum treasures
Though they often get overlooked in favor of beach-side comfort and rain forest exploration, San José's museums offer engaging and comprehensive insights into the country's deep well of culture and history.
1/28/14 3:17:09 AM
Caribbean fishermen on right track with lionfish
There is confirmation that human intervention can control the invasive lionfish and allow native fish to recover.
1/27/14 2:46:21 AM
Quiet time approaches for election campaigns
Expats know that Costa Rican official are taking the general election seriously when they prohibit soccer games the Saturday before and the Sunday that is election day Feb. 2. Soccer is sacred, but the democratic process even trumps the sacred in Costa Rica.
1/24/14 3:40:31 AM
Minister seeks to eliminate the annual deficit
The finance minister said Wednesday that the country's annual budget budget deficit could be eliminated in five to six years.
1/24/14 3:39:57 AM
Researchers say many shark and ray species could go extinct
One quarter of the world’s cartilaginous fish, namely sharks and rays, face extinction within the next few decades, according to the first study to systematically and globally assess their fate.
1/23/14 3:26:22 AM
Opposition to modified foods creates a business
Caution: food labels are not always as they appear. When organic farming advocate Albert Lusk roams the vendor stalls of local food fairs and sees tags or signs promising organic products, he says he is reminded not to trust such hollow claims.
1/23/14 3:24:48 AM
Researchers test the brains of the elderly
“The brains of older people do not get weak,” says Michael Ramscar. “On the contrary, they simply know more.”
1/22/14 3:16:56 AM
Teatro Nacional ceiling gets some good press
The ceiling of the Teatro Nacional has made a short list of 10 best published by USA Today, the U.S. national newspaper.
1/22/14 3:16:25 AM
Tico media giving a close eye to candidates
Press and television reporters in Costa Rica are digging deeper this year into the backgrounds and promises of candidates.
1/21/14 3:48:52 AM
The flippers are back on the prowl
Expats should not fall for the old caper that goes like this when trying to sell property to an unknown buyer: “Can you give me a first right of refusal letter? "
1/21/14 3:48:26 AM
March against violence brings out hundreds
Costa Ricans are murdered in street robberies nearly every day. There were three such cases, at least, over the weekend. Yet the murder of two budding musicians has had an impact that brought hundred to the streets Sunday to protest violence. Some came from outside the country specifically to participate in the march.
1/20/14 2:45:41 AM
Tourism totals higher due to Europe and South America
Tourism officials were congratulating themselves Thursday as they reported a 3.6 percent increase in international arrivals over the number in 2012. A look at the statistics in detail, however, reveals less than a 1 percent increase from the United States with 8,305 more visitors.
1/20/14 2:45:08 AM
Big influx of music lovers to Jacó
With the drifting remnants of the setting sun coloring the sky orange, it becomes easy to see why so many able American tourists have descended upon Jacó for these concerts that take place in a postcard.
1/17/14 3:38:48 AM
Questions surround murder of two teens
Investigators of the double murder of teens in Paraíso are trying to piece together what happened, and they now have the help of a 21-year-old who admits being the murderer.
1/17/14 3:38:20 AM
Hearing centers on dog poisonings
An unusual hearing takes place today in the Juzgado Contravencional del 2nd Circuito in Goicochea. A woman is facing an allegation of poisoning two dogs in Pinares de Curridabat. last August.
1/16/14 2:51:32 AM
Environmentalists reject blame for causing poverty
Some 22 environmental organizations has issued a statement in which they decline to take responsibility for the collapse of the Las Crucitas open pit gold mine and the looming $1 billion arbitration demand.
1/15/14 2:58:24 AM
High season occupancy less than expected
The high season so far has been a grim one for the hospitality industry. The Cámera Nacional de Turismo said Monday that average occupancy for weeks around Christmas averaged 72.1 percent.
1/15/14 2:57:58 AM
Photo exhibit features early 20th century structures
The country as it was in 1922 is on display via photos by one of the nation's pioneer photo documentalist.
1/14/14 3:13:05 AM
Legislative races take back seat but are vital
As presidential candidates debate, as they did again Sunday night, legislative candidates are being overlooked. But the legislature also is important.
1/14/14 3:12:43 AM
Expat tells about his spider encounter
Initially it was not painful. When I looked with my reading glasses the magnified lenses could not see it. I felt it though.
1/13/14 2:56:52 AM
You have to be sharp to get a good refrigerator deal<
The jungle has nothing on appliance stores. It's a jungle there, too, according to the most recent survey by the economics ministry.

1/13/14 2:56:32 AM
Great white sharks can be senior citizens
Great white sharks, top predators throughout the world's ocean, grow much slower and live significantly longer than previously thought, according to a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
1/10/14 3:01:44 AM
Survey seems to confirm tourism is coming back
The sense that tourism is picking up is now official. The tourism chamber released the results of a survey that supports the anecdotal evidence from major tourism areas.
1/10/14 3:01:20 AM
Costa Rican sailfish helped bring down a big city scam
Live is good in Costa Rica A little beer on the beach and maybe an exciting sports fishing adventure. But if you are a New York police officer applying for disability you better not put the photo of you and the fish on Facebook.
1/9/14 3:38:49 AM
Expat concerns have low priority in political campaigns
No presidential candidates appears to be talking about the issues important to expats. Foreigners cannot vote nor can they make political contributions, but they certainly have opinions and needs. Many feel they have been battered during the Laura Chinchilla presidency.
1/9/14 3:38:24 AM
Supervolcano requires no trigger, scientists say
Scientists have reproduced the conditions inside the magma chamber of a supervolcano to understand what it takes to trigger its explosion. These rare events represent the biggest natural catastrophes on Earth except for the impact of giant meteorites.
1/8/14 3:58:31 AM
The party is in Palmares
The party has not ended. The Fiestas Palmares kicks off Jan. 15 for another carnival for Costa Ricans.
1/8/14 3:58:06 AM
In the trenches during the War on Poverty
Johnson's war was great for reporters because it generated a lot of government activity. One was the Model Cities Program that was supposed to rebuild the nation's urban areas. Covering what was called urban renewal became a full-time journalistic job as plans were advanced to tear down the central city to construct new buildings.
1/7/14 3:13:59 AM
Windows 8.1 worth the effort
A new year usually brings new challenges. One expats are trying to avoid is upgrading to Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8.1. The company is trying to cram it down everyone’s throats after the release of Windows 8 was such a disaster.
1/7/14 3:13:35 AM
Monkeys are immigrants, too
When monkeys landed in South America 37 or more million years ago, the long-isolated continent already teemed with a menagerie of 30-foot snakes, giant armadillos and strange, hoofed mammals. Over time, the monkeys forged their own niches across the New World, evolved new forms and spread as far north as the Caribbean and as far south as Patagonia.
1/6/14 2:57:21 AM
Museo de Jade ready to plan exhibits in new building
Administrators of the new Museo de Jade hope to have 6,881 archaeological pieces on display when the structure is open to the public. That is nearly six times what is on display now in the first floor of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros on Avenida 7.
1/3/14 3:55:25 AM
Some foreign students go to school there while living here
In Costa Rica a few students, perhaps from the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, are preparing for next semester. But they will attend full- or part-time through the Internet. And some will have the advantage of government loans the same way they would if they were freezing on their way to class up north.
1/2/14 2:53:36 AM
House committee asked to hold hearing on expat banking woes
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee is being asked to hold hearings on the problems Americans are having overseas with banking.
1/2/14 2:53:12 AM
Here's how to get trees for reforestation
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the government-owned telecommunications and electricity provider, offers residents an opportunity to get native tree species for reforestation and plantation purposes.
12/31/13 2:53:17 AM
Nursing mother wins a big payoff because she was fired
The Sala Secunda, the high labor court, has awarded a nursing mother 12 months pay because she was laid off from her job. The court said the labor termination was discriminatory.
12/31/13 2:52:52 AM
Emotions rule when it comes to voting
Costa Rican election authorities are promoting the concept of an informed vote Feb. 2. In the face of all this effort is a mountain of political science literature that says emotional factors will guide the public vote, not their intellect.
12/30/13 3:31:43 AM
There's a lot of work to put on a Tope Nacional
Tremendous effort went into the preparation for the Tope Nacional Thursday. More than 5,000 riders had to bring their mounts to San José, saddle them up and wait their turn to step into the parade route. And police and Cruz Roja workers also had to prepare for their responsibilities.
12/30/13 3:31:16 AM
Internet use linked to addictive behaviors
Young people who spend a lot of time on the Internet may exhibit classic addiction behaviors, according to new research.
12/27/13 2:32:00 AM
Santa confronts the bureaucracy
Costa Ricans better enjoy their Christmas 2013 because next year may be a little bleak. Santa still is in the immigration lockup in Hatillo grousing about his treatment by the bureaucracy.
12/27/13 2:31:37 AM
Sámara earthquake was predicted, researchers say
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say they predicted the magnitude 7.6 Nicoya earthquake that shook Costa Rica in 2012.
12/26/13 1:10:47 AM
Downtown is alive with nativity scenes
Club Unión, downtown merchants and the municipality combined to sponsor San José Ciudad Luz, which included a contest of nativity scenes, called portales in Spanish. Radio Fides (left) took one of the top honors for a living representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.
12/24/13 2:35:31 AM
Owners of second homes may face a sales tax nightmare
Many people renting their second homes and short-term rentals are not collecting and remitting the 13 percent sales taxes, which they are required to do by law. Some are not even paying income taxes if they make a profit.
12/24/13 2:35:04 AM
Corporate tax next month will be 199,700 colons
The country's tax on corporations is going up about $20 for 2014. The tax is keyed to the salary of a judicial worker, as are many other fines and fees in Costa Rica.
12/23/13 3:13:53 AM
Massive earthquake seen as a possibility
An Australian researcher has studied subduction zones where one tectonic plate presses against an adjacent one. He reported that certain characteristics show which areas can produce big earthquakes and which probably will not.
12/23/13 3:13:24 AM
(Experts have doubts about Chinese loan deal
Organizations of road builders and construction firms are expressing reservations about a loan deal with China to widen Ruta 32.
12/20/13 3:00:16 AM
Electric rates expected to be lower
The price regulating agency came out with a surprise Wednesday and said that electrical rates would average about 5.5 percent lower next year.
12/20/13 2:59:51 AM
Milanes will go to trial
The Luis Ángel Milanes Tamayo fraud case has taken another turn. A judge has ordered the case to trial, according to messages some lawyers are sending their clients. There has been no confirmation by the Poder Judicial.
12/19/13 3:34:29 AM
Policies announced against racism and xenophobia and for culture
Costa Rica established two national policies Tuesday. One seeks to eliminate racism and xenophobia. The other established a network to insure the right to culture.
12/19/13 3:33:54 AM
But the bull does not need insurance
The national insurance company is reminding those holiday bull fighters that they need insurance coverage. They sure do. These are the participants called toreros y montadores improvisados who get in the ring with a fighting bull for the benefit of an audience and, in come cases, an international television audience.
12/18/13 3:14:00 AM
Banking association issues ultimatum on updating account info
The nation's banking association is warning that accounts may be closed if customers do not show up, fill out a form and provide income information to their local institution.
12/17/13 3:13:50 AM
Live bait crackdown designed to protect sailfish
Coast guard patrols are cracking down on illegal fishing, but the effort may be too little and too late
12/17/13 3:13:25 AM
Hoopala over World Court decision premature
AN ANALYSIS: Newspapers were quick to tout the second court victory over Nicaragua. But each was just a temporary decision.
12/16/13 3:38:49 AM
Nicaragua fails to convince World Court
The International Court of Justice declined early today to impose any measures against Costa Rica relating to the Ruta 1856 that the government constructed along the south bank of the Río San Juan.
12/13/13 4:05:34 AM
New project would give Santa Ana a downtown
Santa Ana will be getting a downtown. The rapidly growing community west of San José was once a sleepy agricultural center. But in the last 10 years it has become a trendy place for the well off and for luxury homes.
12/13/13 4:05:01 AM
Fmily ties do not prevent deportation, Sala IV reaffirms
The Sala IV constitutional court has reaffirmed that foreigners must follow the laws of the nation and underlined the chamber's long-standing position that family ties in Costa Rica do not trump the regulations relating to immigration.
12/12/13 3:50:15 AM
Refinery to report on its hydrogen project
The state petroleum monopoly said that is is ready to outline its project to produce and store hydrogen, a gas lauded as a potential clean fuel.
12/11/13 3:17:29 AM
Historic Heredia church being restored
Repair work has begun on the 19th century Catholic church in Santo Domingo de Heredia. The church, Nuestra Señora del Carmen de Castilla in San Miguel, is unusual because it is one of the few churches still in use that was constructed of adobe.
12/10/13 3:35:12 AM
Owner-carry mortgage might be a good sales option
In a market where buyers are scarce, sellers need to look at all the options to snag a sale. Owner financing is one options available to sellers, but many expats are scared to death of the courts and shy away from carrying a mortgage.
12/10/13 3:34:52 AM
Paragon property owners begin to organize
Some former Paragon Properties buyers are trying to organize to retain ownership of the land they purchased. Paragon was the heavily marketed real estate venture that collapsed in the face of the economic downturn.
12/9/13 2:58:45 AM
Closer eye promised on domestic employment
The labor ministry seeks to step up enforcement of laws protecting domestic employees even though much of the workforce is in private homes.
12/9/13 2:58:15 AM
Expats in business terrified by prospect of Villalta presidency
The curse of the front runner can be contagious. For several months Johnny Araya Monge of Partido Liberación Nacional has been enjoying front runner status in the race for president of the country. When a recent poll showed that the candidate of Frente Amplio, José María Villalta, might be giving Araya a competition, the tone of the campaign changed.
12/6/13 4:02:01 AM
Drilling expedition in Pacific made discoveries
Drilling at the the Hess Deep in the Pacific uncovered major advances in understanding what goes on inside the earth.
12/6/13 4:01:38 AM
Exporters, truck drivers and Limón residents push for Chinese loans
Business organizations from the Limón areas and some lawmakers are pressing for approval of a big loan from China to widen the key Ruta 32.
12/5/13 3:47:17 AM
Government reported suspending new $5 land exit tax
The government appears to have suspended the new $5 land exit tax, but there has been no official confirmation.
12/4/13 3:26:57 AM
Survey crews on streets with culture questionnaire
The government is sending workers with questionnaires door-to-door to measure public participation in cultural activities.
12/4/13 3:26:32 AM
Buying off highway contractor will cost $35 million
The central government has agreed to a payoff of about $35 million to a Brazilian firm that had a concession to build a highway from San José to San Ramón.
12/3/13 3:23:02 AM
Theater nativity scene showcases bamboo
The new portal or nativity scene at the Teatro Nacional might give a boost to the country's bamboo industry.
12/3/13 3:22:37 AM
Coffee plants on city streets harbor disease
As coffee producers and the government seek to stem an epidemic of coffee rust, there is a fifth column that can harbor the disease.
12/2/13 3:32:13 AM
A new designation likely for manatee
School children in Limón Centro have been successful in getting a legislative committee to advance a bill to make the manatee the symbol of Costa Rica marine life.
11/29/13 4:02:05 AM
Some annoying questions about Chinese road deal
Politicians keep asking troubling questions about the central government's deal with a Chinese firm to widen Ruta 32 from Río Frio to Limón.
11/28/13 2:53:58 AM
Those slimy fellows are seeking a new, moist home
As the rainy season ends slimy creatures that like moisture are looking for new homes. They may end up in the house.
11/28/13 2:53:36 AM
Tax agency will get expat banking info
Costa Rica has set up its tax agreement with the U.S. federal government so that officials here can keep an eye on expat finances.
11/27/13 3:09:23 AM
Don't invite any Pilgrims to Thanksgiving dinner
If any of the original Pilgrims were around today, they would make poor dinner guests on Thanksgiving. Like many before and after there were religious extremists who were pretty sure that only they were going to Heaven.
11/27/13 3:08:50 AM
Hearing planned on personal generation of power
The nation's utility regulator plans a meeting Thursday to get reaction to a draft that would allow all electrical consumers to generate their own power and perhaps sell the excess to their local electric company.
11/26/13 3:20:54 AM
Two organizations work toward real estate licensing
In a country where real estate or attorney used in the same sentence as ethics is an oxymoron, two organizations are trying very hard to bring some sanity to the real estate profession. There are two real estate associations here: CGGAR, the Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors, and CCCBR, the Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices (Costa Rica Chamber of Real Estate Brokers).
11/25/13 2:57:21 AM
Costa Rica gets what it wanted at The Hague
The 16 justices of the World Court in the Hague have ordered NIcaragua to fill in part of the controversial ditch in what Costa Rica considers its land.
11/25/13 2:56:57 AM
Display of ancient jars includes demonstration
More than 1,200 years ago residents of civilizations in the central Caribbean coast made jars that had three legs. These were ritual objects that frequently were broken up as an offering at a graveside, said the Museos del Banco Central.
11/22/13 3:34:50 AM
Social Security recipients get a warning
The U.S. Embassy warned Wednesday that some 800 U.S. Social Security recipients in Costa Rica might have their payments interrupted.
11/21/13 2:55:16 AM
Tax on adultery is about to go higher
The legislature is about to increase the sin tax. This is not the tax on alcohol or cigarettes, which is the usual description of sin tax elsewhere. This is the country's tax on adultery and other illicit sexual behavior.
11/20/13 3:45:04 AM
Online gambling on upswing in U.S.
Remember when online gambling companies here were jolted when the U.S. congress passed a stern law in 2006 prohibiting their activities in the United States? The attitude appears to be changing in the north.
11/20/13 3:44:36 AM
Advances in predicting dengue outbreaks
A study by an international team of researchers has provided public health officials with information that will help decrease the risk of dengue, a life-threatening mosquito-borne viral disease that is now one of the fastest spreading tropical diseases globally.
11/19/13 3:46:35 AM
(Chinese want presentation on APM terminal<
Representatives of the proposed $1 billion container-handling terminal in Limón will present project plans to visitors from the the Chinese Development Bank.
11/19/13 3:46:11 AM
Tourists need not fear the water
There are dozens of new scientific studies discussing the acidification of the oceans, a critical issue for Costa Rica. It turns out that there is little chance the ocean will move to the acid side of the pH scale. Acidification turns out to be a figure of speech.
11/18/13 3:19:57 AM
The main course is on the way
Gentleman farmer Garry Wiersum plans to harvest the last six of this season's turkeys today or over the weekend. The 65-year-old expat has been raising turkeys in an organic way for four years, and this year his small flock produced 45 main courses.
11/18/13 3:19:34 AM
It's almost aguinaldo time again
Christmas is something short of ho ho ho for employers. The approach to the holidays includes the deadline for paying aguinaldos to employees.
11/15/13 3:19:45 AM
Will embassy goof cost Wyoming man his life?
A U.S. veteran may lose the chance for a life-saving bone marrow transplant because a staffer in the U.S. consulate denied a visa to the Costa Rican woman who was going to undertake an extraordinary effort to help him.
11/15/13 3:19:20 AM
Bill advances for defender of prisoners
A legislative committee approved and reported out to the full body a measure to create a special defender for prisoners.
11/14/13 3:32:06 AM
Another rough time at the immigration counter
If you are a snowbird coming to stay at your Costa Rican condo for six month to duck the northern snow, you better have a bus ticket showing that you are leaving in three months.
11/14/13 3:31:18 AM
How about a ministry of gender equality
A legislative committee has given approval to a bill that would create a ministry of equality of gender. The measure would allow the president to appoint a minister to this new entity.
11/13/13 3:52:37 AM
Commerce ministry promotes CAFTA treaty
Costa Rica's trade treaty with the United States and other Central American countries has wrought great changes here. The commerce ministry arranged a seminar Monday to promote the treaty and its impact. That summary was the essence. Not all of the politicians running for president agree, and depending on the vote Feb. 2, the trade treaty known as CAFTA-DR might be in jeopardy.

11/12/13 4:04:31 AM
Registro will auction property of deadbeat firms
Doomsday is coming for expats and Ticos alike who have ignored their responsibilities under Law 9024. The law is better known to all as the Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas or the company assessment tax.
11/8/13 3:27:10 AM
Many more wasp types discovered
Scientists have described an astonishing 277 new species of wasps that live in Costa Rica
11/8/13 3:26:46 AM
Falling faith in democracy suggests larger crisis
AN ANALYSIS: As the country moves toward another general election Feb. 2, the public is restless and unhappy.
11/7/13 3:27:28 AM
More dates for the Christmas calendar
Christmas events will dominate the news as more and more organizations fix the date for their contribution to the holiday season. The Hospital de Niños said Tuesday that the traditional tree lighting would be Thursday, Dec. 5, at the hospital starting at about 6 p.m. when dusk falls.
11/7/13 3:26:53 AM
Prosecutors ask judge to jail Milanes
Prosecutors Tuesday morning asked a judge to remand Luis Ángel Milanes Tamayo into preventative detention Tuesday morning. The casino owner and operator of the collapsed Savings Unlimited high-interest operation was characterized as a flight risk who faces up to 22 years in prison on allegations of aggravated fraud and illegal financial intermediation.
11/6/13 3:42:42 AM
Children's museum plans Christmas show
The fiesta at the museum will be Dec. 4, a Wednesday, this year, and there is a special early event at 4:30 p.m. The museum said that it expected 12,000 to see the show.
11/6/13 3:42:20 AM
Payments for marchamo being accepted
The Instituto Nacional de Seguros is ready to take payments by motorists for the 2014 marchamo or road tax.
11/5/13 3:47:29 AM
Two more weeks of the traffic nightmare
Central Valley residents have about two more weeks to suffer through what has been a major environmental and financial disaster.
11/4/13 2:55:46 AM
Key meeting on APM terminals Nov. 9
The country's environmental agency plans a hearing in Limón Nov. 9 to announce its finding on the anticipated impact of a proposed $1 billion shipping container handling facility.
11/4/13 2:55:11 AM
Measure advances to increase fines for animal mistreatment
Every dog has its day, and it was Thursday at the legislature. Lawmakers on the Comisión Permanente Especial de Ambiente reported out favorably a change in the criminal code that stipulates stiffer penalties for those who mistreat, molest or cause the death unnecessarily of an animal.
11/1/13 3:35:55 AM
Streets are getting meaner with bulk release of convicts
There is a scene in the movie "Ghostbusters" where the evil energy peaks to the extent that that spooks are swirling around New York like so many wind-driven newspaper pages. That may be the situation soon in Costa Rica except the ghosts will be very solid robbers and other crooks.
11/1/13 3:35:31 AM
On the trail of the lightning strikes . . .
The power company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, is spending $650,000 to beef up its monitoring of lightning strikes.
10/31/13 3:25:52 AM
Social media and emails are great ways to slander politicians
Modern social media has opened up new avenues for dirty politics.
10/31/13 3:25:26 AM
Public schools will get a diversity program
The Ministerio de Educación Pública is beginning a project to increase the depictions of non-white personages in schools.
10/30/13 3:08:19 AM
Big parades of mascaradas Thursday
Back in second grade making a papier mâché head was easy. An inflated balloon was plastered with wet paper and some form of adhesive such as wallpaper paste. All that was lacking was a painted happy face. When Costa Rican artists seek to create one of those giant papier mâché heads, the procedure is much more sophisticated. The traditional mascaradas are unique works of art.
10/30/13 3:07:43 AM
Public school students face their last series of tests
As fifth year students face their first final exam today or tonight in Spanish grammar and literature, their futures hang in the balance.
10/29/13 3:23:08 AM
Deadline in five months to duck the corporate tax
The tax is the “Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas,” Ley 9024, known to most as the company assessment tax. Many people are still unaware the law provides several bailout provisions.
10/29/13 3:22:45 AM
Where are the hurricanes?
With just a month left in the Atlantic Hurricane season, forecasters are scratching their heads and trying to figure out what happened to the hurricanes. So far there have been 12 named storms and two category 1 hurricanes, the least powerful type.
10/28/13 3:03:37 AM
Some hope for the food consumer
The economics ministry reported again Thursday on a survey of food stores that showed wide variations in prices. But the ministry also reported that three entrepreneurs are developing an application called Ahorre Más, "Save more," that will give shoppers information on food prices in various supermarkets in real time.
10/25/13 3:38:59 AM
Big weekend planned in Aserrí
There is a double feature this weekend in the town of Aserrí. Starting Friday there is the three-day Feria de Tamal, featuring the traditional Costa Rican dish. Then Sunday the community expects some 800 masked visitors from all over the country for the Encuentro Nacional de Mascaradas.
10/25/13 3:38:29 AM
Minimum wage increase set at 3.78 percent
The Consejo de Salarios decided Wednesday afternoon that minimum salaries will be raised 3.78 percent as of Jan. 1.
10/24/13 3:26:10 AM
Costa Rica guaranteed to keep your brain sharp
A recent study that was the subject of a news story Tuesday said that seniors need continual challenges to stay sharp. The sedate retired life is not enough to keep the brain cranking along. Fortunately for expats, there are no shortages of challenges in Costa Rica.
10/24/13 3:25:46 AM
Advocacy organization gives a litany of press woes in Americas
The Inter American Press Association outlined a troubling litany of affronts to press freedom Tuesday.
10/23/13 3:58:35 AM
Domestic employee bill gets final approval
Lawmakers have approved for the second and final time a binding agreement or convention with the U.N. International Labour Organization to safeguard domestic employees.
10/23/13 3:58:02 AM
Contract awarded on Circunvalación bridges
The nation's road agency has picked a contractor to provide a final solution to the collapse of the Circunvalación between Pavas and Hatillo.
10/22/13 3:27:34 AM
There are plenty of defenses against cholera now
The cholera epidemic in central México concerns health officials here, but the disease is unlikely to be much of a problem even if cases are discovered here.
10/22/13 3:27:08 AM
If it's loud, funky or sexy, it is perfect for Limón
A person could visit the city of Limón on the Caribbean Coast 364 days of the year and leave with the impression that the Limoneses carry around with them an inherent sadness. The city looks like it is all work and no play from November through September. There are few smiles shared by strangers on the street.
10/21/13 2:56:05 AM
Pacific project developer seeks relief via CAFTA treaty
Investors and the developer of a residential and hotel project in Esterillos Oeste are threatening to take Costa Rica to arbitration under the free trade treaty with the United States.
10/21/13 2:55:18 AM
Column calls for balanced budget amendment
A drunken sailor in port on leave has a more stable financial situation than Costa Rica. The central government is spending about twice as much as it brings in. Now the finance ministry is setting up roundtables so that the public can have a chance to comment..
10/18/13 3:22:19 AM
Air photo was major evidence in The Hague
An air photo taken Oct. 5 became key evidence Wednesday when lawyers for Costa Rica had a second day to outline their case against the canals Nicaragua has constructed on Costa Rican territory.
10/18/13 3:21:55 AM
Would-be expats have to be leery of the tall tales
Graying members of the U.S. population are seeking cheaper retirement locations frequently overseas. Thousands of Americans have found happiness in retirement elsewhere, but a string of commercial enterprises present a simplistic overview of life abroad and may be setting up many retirees for disappointment and failure.
10/17/13 3:53:36 AM
Opposition already developing over proposed taxe
Edgar Ayales Esna, the finance minister, is supposed to lay out proposals for new taxes this week, but there is opposition already. The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados has issued a statement under the heading "We don't want, we can't and we ought not pay more taxes!"
10/17/13 3:53:12 AM
(Lawyers and filmmakers seek to help Caribbean with documentary
The muddled property ownership situation in the southern Caribbean coast has attracted the interest of lawyers, researchers and filmmakers, and they are launching a storytelling project and beginning to collect footage for an interactive documentary, they said.
10/16/13 3:19:48 AM
Nicaragua tried to blame Edén Pastora
Nicaragua has been trying to make Edén Pastora the fall guy in the dispute over the Isla Calaero. During a presentation Monday at the International Court of Justice, Costa Rican advocates noted that Nicaragua tried to wash its hands of the situation by suggesting that Pastora, the former Contra leader, was working on his own.
10/15/13 2:31:44 AM
Independent contractor status depends on the number of jobs!
What makes a service or independent worker an employee? According to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, commonly known as the Caja , and the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, known as INS, the key element is the number of jobs.
10/15/13 2:31:23 AM
The dark side of medical tourism
Six arrests and a continuing investigation have illuminated a dark side of medical tourism. The allegation is that physicians and recruiters targeted low-income residents of the country and caused them to sell their internal organs, mainly kidneys.
10/14/13 12:44:42 AM
Activists to promote proposed law against modified organisms
Wednesday, World Food Day, activists will be at the legislature to present a proposed law for a national moratorium against genetically modified organisms.
10/10/13 3:19:06 AM
Expats have a right to take their complaints to candidates
The election campaigns for president and legislative deputies are in full swing. Generally expats are not supposed to involve themselves in the campaigns or donate money to favored candidates. But there is no rule preventing expats from speaking out on issues that concern them directly.
10/9/13 3:14:40 AM
New $100 bill coming
Soon $100 bills with a new look will be circulating in Costa Rica. The U.S. Treasury said that the $100 bill is the most global banknote the U.S. prints with one-half to two-thirds of the more than 8 billion in circulation in use outside the United States.
10/8/13 3:54:51 AM
Ocean provides a mystery in the Caribbean
The southern Caribbean coast has another problem, and the source is a mystery. The problem is dead fish and turtles. and even the experts are stumped until lab results are available.
10/7/13 3:37:48 AM
112 of those traditional masks are on display
Masks probably are as old or older than modern humans. In Costa Rica they are considered an art form.The Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural is honoring the Costa Rica tradition of making these mask with a contest and an exhibit that ends appropriately Oct. 31.
10/7/13 3:37:28 AM
Teachers want schools free of genetically modified foods
The school teachers union has demanded that the public schools stop serving or selling food that has an origin in genetically modified components.
10/4/13 3:33:25 AM
Longline fishing blamed for massive snaggings of turtles and sharks
The second-most-common catch on Costa Rica’s longline fisheries in the last decade was not a commercial fish species. It was olive ridley sea turtles. These lines also caught more green turtles than most species of fish.
10/4/13 3:32:41 AM
Sex criminals to be barred for 50 years
Lawmakers moved Wednesday to jack up the penalties for producing or distributing child pornography and also to modify the immigration law to bar convicted sex offenders for 50 years.
10/3/13 3:01:26 AM
Nicaragua is betting on the river
Costa Rica has a date next Oct. 14 with the International Court of Justice seeking a cease and desist order against Nicaragua. But the result of the Nicaraguan dredging might be provided by nature, something the court cannot command.
10/2/13 3:26:01 AM
Teatro Melico Salazar plans a big party
The Teatro Popular Melico Salazar marks 85 years this month, and the time was not without trouble. The sprawling theater, the largest in Costa Rica, occupies the block north of Parque Central.
10/2/13 3:25:39 AM
Drake Bay visitor surprised by conditions
"We were escorted to the Nature Air hub and told we may want to change clothes. Confused, we asked why we would need to change clothes. The reply was that we would need to ford the river on foot because it was swollen and impassable due to heavy rains."
10/1/13 2:21:36 AM
Even expats have to pay attention to local taxes
Today is the end of fiscal year 2013-2013. This is important for Costa Ricans and expats alike doing business in this country. It is also noteworthy for individuals and retired persons who are not in the Costa Rica tax system. There are more tax collectors beating the streets, making phone calls and performing audits like no time in Costa Rican history. Fines have increased dramatically too, making it very expensive not to follow the rules.
10/1/13 2:21:10 AM
U.S. government shutdown will not stop benefit checks
Expats who receive Social Security or veterans' checks need to relax over the impasse in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. government faces a shutdown Tuesday if both houses of Congress cannot agree on extending federal funding authority.
9/30/13 2:45:36 AM
Bracelet bill nears approval
When law officers put these bracelets on, criminal suspects might be pleased if a bill on the verge of passage finally gets full approval. Bracelets usually are considered handcuffs, and no one like the discomfort and embarrassment of being led off that way.
9/30/13 2:45:15 AM
Editorial: was it possible to miss construction of canals?
Well known is the fact that there are many heavily armed police officers in the area. Certainly some of them have training that would allow stealthy reconnaissance on the ground.
9/27/13 2:53:41 AM
Firms involved in future sales have to show assets
New rules have gone into effect that require real estate developers to register and receive approval of their financial status before selling to the public. The real estate firms are being covered by a rule that also applies to concert promoters and producers of other public events who receive money beforehand.
9/26/13 3:26:20 AM
Anti-mopping bill gives employees more rights
A bill reported out favorably by a legislative committee Tuesday would give additional rights to employees in an effort to prevent workplace harassment.
9/25/13 3:13:56 AM
Two reports about contamination involve pesticides
Two separate news stories emerged Monday that suggested the Costa Rican environment has an unexpectedly high level of toxic chemicals. The first was a report by a researcher at a South African university who said that the caiman in the Tortuguero area have accumulated pesticides in their body that appear to come from banana plantations upstream.
9/24/13 5:51:44 AM
Promotion at World Cup likely to be millions of dollars
The tourism industry will be promoting the country heavily at the World Cup soccer championship in Brazil next year. The Cámera Nacional de Turismo said it wants to expose the country as a world-class tourism destination in a strategy similar to what was done in 2006 during the World cup events in Germany. Seven years ago Costa Rica spent $4.2 million.
9/24/13 5:51:21 AM
Maritime zone dweller may get a break
Expats who have concession property in the maritime zone may be getting a break.
9/23/13 3:16:18 AM
New FBI wrinkle for residency applications
Another wrinkle has developed that may delay even further the lengthy processes for U.S. expats to obtain residency in Costa Rica. At least in some cases, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería demands a criminal history reported generated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
9/23/13 3:15:53 AM
Zoo foundation gets restraining order against government
The foundation that runs the San José zoo and a conservation center in Santa Ana has won a delay in an effort by the central government to evict it.
9/20/13 3:54:47 AM
Lawmakers being asked to give a better deal to low-income illegals
Lawmakers soon will consider a proposal to make more immigrants legal. The principal concerns are mostly Nicaraguan immigrants who are in the gray labor market because they cannot afford the cost of official applications.
9/20/13 3:54:23 AM
Dust from Africa seem to suppress hurricanes
In addition to those troublesome low pressure tropical waves bring downpours, Africa also contributes large quantities of dust to the Caribbean and Costa Rica.
9/19/13 3:27:53 AM
Papaya is not a cure for dengue, but it seems to help
Suggestions that papaya extract can cure dengue fever appear to be overly optimistic. But several studies show that the leaves of the plant can help sufferers reverse some of the damage by dengue viruses.
9/19/13 3:26:33 AM
Nicaragua does what it pleases in northern Costa Rica
Costa Rican officials are expressing their outrage because Nicaragua seems to have dug two channels from the Rio San Juan to the Caribbean.
9/18/13 3:54:10 AM
Officials try to reduce cattle emissions
The government is confronting the emissions from agriculture and seeking to mitigate them to reduce greenhouse gases. One major source is cattle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each adult cow produces 80 to 110 kilos of methane annually. Costa Rica has 1.5 million cows, according to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Gandería.
9/18/13 3:53:40 AM
There could be a long wait to get those plates
From now until January 2016 motorists will have to get new license plates for their vehicles.
9/17/13 3:35:56 AM
Is real estate making a comeback?
Up and down the coast of Guanacaste, real estate circles are buzzing with talk that properties are selling again and that there are buyers in the market.
9/13/13 2:57:48 AM
Impact of highway closing falls on public
The public will again pay the price for deficiencies in highway maintenance. The impact of closing a section of the Circunvalación for two months will mean more metro traffic jams, changed work hours for some public employees and more hours when passenger cars are forbidden on the roads.
9/13/13 2:57:26 AM
Can you believe they are stealing news stories?
Reading some Web sites and some expat discussion lists is, a Yogi Berra said, déjà vu all over again. Staring out of the computer are articles that appeared in A.M. Costa Rica that have been copied and posted without permission elsewhere.
9/12/13 3:26:43 AM
President creates a market for carbon credits
President Laura Chinchilla launched a domestic carbon credit market Tuesday.
9/12/13 3:26:07 AM
Tuesday was a big night for Costa Rica
Both Costa Rica and the United States national soccer teams earned enough points Tuesday night to qualify for berths for the 2014 World Cup.
9/11/13 2:59:33 AM
Environmentalists urge rejection of big container project
Environmentalists are stepping up their attack against the proposed $1 billion container handling facility at Moín on the Caribbean coast.
9/10/13 3:42:58 AM
U.S. will try to determine safety levels for arsenic in rice
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will try to develop a safety standard on arsenic found in rice. The agency just released the results of a study of foods that showed that that the amount of detectable arsenic is too low in the rice and rice product samples to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects.
9/10/13 3:42:28 AM
Watusi cows horn into Costa Rican dairy herds
In the year 2000, Costa Rica banned in-vitro fertilization or IVF. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has ordered the country to lift the ban, but to date no significant steps have been taken. The in-vitro ban only referenced humans and not bovines which was good news for Barbara Lapp, owner of Lecheria Las Lapas in Siquirres.
9/9/13 3:19:36 AM
Readers mostly unimpressed by new logo
Nearly all readers who responded to the invitation Thursday to comment on the country's new Esencial Costa Rica logo said they did not like it or understand it.
9/6/13 3:34:15 AM
What does the new logo or slogan say to you?
So what does Esencial Costa Rica or the English Essential Costa Rica say to the potential tourist? What does it say to expats? Editors would like to know, and they welcome your opinions.
9/5/13 2:52:38 AM
How about five bucks more to fly out of the country?
Lawmakers are considering another dedicated tax on those who leave the country by air. This one is $5 for support of the Universidad Técnica Nacional and for technical studies in general.
9/5/13 2:52:17 AM
A new slogan and trademark for the country
Government officials have announced a new trademark for the country that is supposed to promote tourism, increase exports and attract foreign investment. Despite the lengthy effort, the chosen logo or slogan comes very close to the copyrighted name of a Costa Rican professional services firm,
9/4/13 3:34:12 AM
A wish list for expats
The season approaches for campaigns, and the general election is Feb. 2. Costa Rican law and simple courtesy prohibit foreign expats from participating in a candidate's campaign or donating money, although that last rule frequently is broken. But there is no reason expats should not push for changes in the management of the country when they are directly affected.
9/4/13 3:33:48 AM
It's development vs. turtles on the Caribbean
IThe apparent rejection of a hotel-marina project on the Caribbean coast would seem to be the overture to eight more battles that will pit as many development projects against the turtles that nest on the Moín beach.
9/3/13 3:35:12 AM
Failing to cover employees can blindside expats
There is a popular adage in Costa Rica, Pide perdon, no permiso. Doing this can get an expat snagged into a big, expensive problem.
9/3/13 3:34:48 AM
Limón, Puerto Viejo are full of colorful costumeS
The elaborate float put forth by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo contained young Limón residents complete with hard hats. Costumed marchers from the refinery union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros, Químicos y Afines, spent the time handing out colorful brochures with the message, "Si a la refineria."
8/30/13 3:19:31 AM
Court finds faults with new alcohol law
The Sala IV constitutional court has declared certain parts of the new alcohol law to be unconstitutional.
8/30/13 3:19:01 AM
Readers respond and nominate their favorite restaurants
After four articles reporting on some of Costa Rica's fine restaurants, readers were invited to make nominations. This is what they said:
8/29/13 3:42:41 AM
Ox cart factory being honored as living history
For 90 years workmen at the Taller de Carretas Eloy Alfaro in Sarchí have been making ox carts. So the Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural will honor the facility today as a living historical document.
8/28/13 3:33:45 AM
Government proposes to cap credit rates
The central government moved Monday to put a lid on what is being called abusive interest charges.
8/28/13 3:33:18 AM
Some lawmakers want an accounting of unpaid work by women
Women in the legislature proposed a law Monday that would include the uncompensated work in the national statistics such as gross national product.
8/27/13 3:28:14 AM
Retirees and their money attracting interest
There is renewed interest in Costa Rican real estate, in part because some owners are willing to accept offers. A new rental law is supposed to make evicting deadbeats easier, thereby increasing the value of investment property. There even are more new firms that say they can help English-speaking foreigners make the transition to expat. Some are former real estate brokers emerging under a new name and with a new business plans.
8/26/13 3:14:09 AM
Fear and the public mind: Things have changed
Some 24 years ago in the twilight of the Cold War, there seemed to be cultural and psychological differences that allowed residents of some nations to accept authoritarianism and other to cherish their independence.
8/23/13 3:25:25 AM
Mother Nature is after your computer
The rainy season is the time when lightning can cook computers and household appliances. The nation's regulatory agency said Wednesday that electrical customers who have their devices blown away by a nearby lightning strike have recourse against the utility company. But the agency added that such complaints seldom prosper.
8/23/13 3:25:00 AM
Water institute gets OK to seek devices to remove arsenic
The nation's water company said Wednesday that it has received approval to issue direct contracts to purchase seven devices to remove arsenic from drinking water.
8/22/13 3:24:56 AM
Major crimes show an upswing in first seven months of 2013<
Crime reported in the first seven months of this year showed an 11 percent increase over 2012, the Judicial Investigating Organization reported Tuesday.
8/22/13 3:24:30 AM
Ortega generates a distraction from Caribbean
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his loose lips are a public relations practitioner's dream.
8/21/13 3:21:48 AM
Some perpetual tourists feeling the squeeze
Perpetual tourists are facing more constraints as Costa Rican and adjacent countries tighten up their entry requirements.
8/21/13 3:21:28 AM
Prosecutors to show off paperless system
The concept seems too good to be true. The judiciary plans to announce today a new online procedure whereby individuals can file criminal complaints from the comfort of their homes.
8/20/13 3:27:12 AM
Some expats are making money creating mortgages
There are some expat retirees in Costa Rica giving mortgages to others in order to supplement their retirement incomes. Generating a nice extra sum is possible if ones finds the right debtor because interest rates are high in Costa Rica. Finding the borrower is easier than it was in the past because there are numerous services providing credit information on individuals and companies here. Mortgages are easier to collect now, too, if the deal goes amiss than they were a few years ago.
8/19/13 2:30:26 AM
Silent quakes seen as possible help in predictions
Scientist at Penn State University think they have found a way to predict earthquakes particularly in areas like Guanacaste where so-called-slow moving quakes take place.
8/19/13 2:29:51 AM
Male police officers shoot it out with crooks, too
President Laura Chinchilla rushed to honor a female police officer who exchanged shots with and eventually arrested two suspected hijackers. The president did not seem to be aware of the inconsistencies in her actions, which have been a trademark of a series of presidential administrations.
8/16/13 2:42:46 AM
Pistol-packing grannie is Mother's Day heroine
The poster mom for today, Mother's Day in Costa Rica, is a grandmotherly woman who shot it out with would-be hijackers overnight in Desamparados.
8/16/13 2:42:19 AM
A.M. Costa Rica turns 12
Thursday was the 12th birthday of A.M. Costa Rica.
8/15/13 2:38:29 AM
Female drug smugglers get a break
President Laura Chinchilla signed in to law Tuesday a measure that reduces prison terms for female drug smugglers if they are disadvantaged.
8/14/13 2:58:18 AM
School kids enlisted in campaign against dengue
School children will be enlisted Aug. 19 into the campaign against dengue. The Ministerio de Educación Pública said Monday that every school in the country would dedicate time to find breeding places for mosquitoes, which transmit dengue.
8/13/13 3:22:33 AM
Story of friendly crocodile makes the television
In Siquirres a crowd, including people from as far away as Canada, gathered at a popular restaurant to watch a premier of National Geographic’s latest special, "Touching the Dragon." Why, because a local hero is the subject of the documentary.
8/12/13 3:09:12 AM
Culture ministry co-sponsoring 2013 book fair
The 14th annual edition of the country's international book fair has received the support of the culture ministry for the first time. The support is in the form of money, some 50 million colons, about $100,000.
8/12/13 3:08:45 AM
Experts check out river above Parrita
The national emergency commission enlisted a University of Costa Rica hydrologist Thursday to fly over vulnerable sections of a Pacific coast waterway. This was the third such observation after rains last weekend caused flooding and destroyed homes in the northern zone.
8/9/13 2:55:47 AM
Constitutional court acts against shrimp trawlers
The Sala IV constitutional court unexpectedly ordered a halt Wednesday to the use of trawler nets to catch shrimp. The court said the fishing technique does serious damage to the marine environment because of the other creatures that are captured and not used.
8/9/13 2:55:21 AM
Mother's day purchases are a maze again
The consumer agency in the economic ministry again has checked out potential gifts for the Día de la Madre Aug. 14. As usual, there are some startling differences.
8/8/13 3:44:53 AM
Security ministry finds silver lining in grim survey
The security ministry said Tuesday that a new survey shows that crime is going down. The ministry, in a news release, cited a national telephone survey done by Cid Gallup for the Cámara Norteamericana Costarricense de Comercio and the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.
8/7/13 3:05:21 AM
Country's best known pedophile finally detained
Costa Rica's best known pedophile finally is in custody. The arrest took anywhere from eight months to three years, depending on who is doing the counting.
8/6/13 3:15:53 AM
How about some premium Stateside television?
Expats living in Costa Rica would love to watch U.S. movies, shows, and sports on their home televisions. Hotels and bed & breakfast owners would like to offer the same to their guests. Travelers would like to access their favorites from home while visiting the country.
8/6/13 3:15:27 AM
Home invasions appear to be the crime of choice
Although the current administration has taken steps to clean up the streets of small-time robbers, home invasions are becoming the crime of choice throughout the country.
8/5/13 2:35:10 AM
Legal change would make sexy ads illegal
A legislative committee moved Thursday to make sexy ads illegal. There is no surprise that the action came from the Comisión Permanente Especial de la Mujer.
8/5/13 2:34:46 AM
($200,000 allocated to fix up historic Limón building
Another historic Limón building will be restored as part of the culture ministry's architectural heritage program. In addition, the structure, the Antigua Capitanía de Limón, will anchor a handful of historic structures in the coastal community that will be restored under the Limón Ciudad Puerto program.
8/2/13 2:57:18 AM
Immigration to tighten entry for foreigners
Immigration officials are supposed to reveal today a system to catch dangerous foreigners and international fugitives when they try to enter the country.
8/2/13 2:56:51 AM
Irazú volcano found to be quick on the trigger
If some volcanoes operate on geologic timescales, Costa Rica's Irazú had something of a short fuse. In a new study in the journal Nature, scientists suggest that the 1960s eruption of Costa Rica's largest stratovolcano was triggered by magma rising from the mantle over a few short months rather than thousands of years or more, as many scientists have thought. The study is the latest to suggest that deep, hot magma can set off an eruption fairly quickly, potentially providing an extra tool for detecting an oncoming volcanic disaster.
8/1/13 3:14:38 AM
Eight arrests made in case of slain environmentalist
Judicial agents have detained eight persons in the Limón area in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora.
8/1/13 3:14:07 AM
Fire fighters get a song
The nation's fire fighters now have their own song. The composition is in honor of the 148th anniversary of the founding of the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica. The song appropriately is title Bombero Yo Soy or "I am a fire fighter."
7/31/13 3:50:48 AM
New program proposed for tax delinquent U.S. expats
An advocate organization for U.S. citizens abroad is urging major changes in tax policy to encourage more individuals to pay taxes.
7/31/13 3:50:20 AM
Some ugly species of ants found in Central America
A University of Utah biologist has identified 33 new species of predatory ants in Central America and the Caribbean and named about a third of the tiny but monstrous-looking insects after ancient Mayan lords and demons.
7/30/13 2:30:54 AM
Constitutional court throws out another traffic fine
The Sala IV constitutional court has found that the fine for not carrying a first aid kit and battery cables in a vehicles is disproportionate.
7/29/13 2:53:08 AM
The restaurants in the west
The western suburb of Escazú has become a cosmopolitan boomtown, while further west nestled in the Valley of the Sun; Santa Ana is no longer a sleepy country town but a mind-boggling kaleidoscope of urban expansion. Prosperity abounds throughout this area of the Central Valley as shopping plazas, trendy boutiques, bars and a plethora of restaurants spring up overnight.
7/26/13 3:05:01 AM
Famous pottery communities honored
The pottery operations in Guanacaste that date back before the Mayan empires got a boost Wednesday.
7/25/13 3:31:28 AM
How to experience the Tico culture this holiday
Thursday is a holiday, and it is a great time for Costa Ricans to remember their past and contemplate their present. But for expats the day might be a bit boring with a lot of offices and work places closed.
7/24/13 3:30:18 AM
Rural folk here count on phases of the moon
A full moon rose over the Central Valley Monday night and peeked through the low clouds. The celestial object plays an important role in the local agricultural communities, large and small.
7/24/13 3:29:42 AM
Culture being promoted as a human right
The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is seeking to make culture a right and establish income to support it. The ministry said Monday that after three years of effort preliminary texts of a national law and a policy on culture have been created.
7/23/13 3:12:01 AM
Ex-CIA fugitive allowed to leave Panamá
The former CIA station chief in Milan has been spirited out of Panamá to the United States. This is the man who is accused of the 2003 forced abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect,
7/22/13 3:02:56 AM
You have not seen a pothole until you see this!
Heavy rains are being blamed for a gigantic washout of the highway in Nuevo Arenal. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said that the highway, Ruta 142 that goes along the east side of Lake Arenal, has been closed.
7/19/13 3:10:27 AM
Costa Rica and Peru irked by Paris artifact auction
The sale of a south Pacific coast pre-Columbian statue for nearly $1 million has Costa Rican officials trying to put a stop to such deals.
7/18/13 3:29:10 AM
Black helicopter and conspiracy theories in the Talamancas
A strange story has emerged from the high Talamancas. The tale is classic conspiracy theory complete with black helicopters, police inaction and armed and mysterious intruders.
7/18/13 3:28:45 AM
Ham radio hobbyists get a break
Amateur radio hobbyists have gotten a break from the telecom ministry.
7/17/13 3:08:42 AM
Little community gave bandits a nightmare
Bandits who tried to invade the home of expats near Ciudad Colón Saturday ending up with their own nightmare.
7/17/13 3:08:09 AM
The pick of the downtown restaurants
Twenty-years-ago San José was a barren wasteland when it came to restaurants offering fine dining and International cuisine. But not anymore.
7/16/13 3:33:56 AM
Some tips for businesses with Facebook accounts
Many businesses using Facebook to reach customers are using personal fan profiles instead of business pages. This is in direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
7/16/13 3:33:33 AM
Vacation is over, but there still are legal holidays coming
Mid-year vacation ended Sunday, and students are back at their desks today. Anyone lucky enough to have had two weeks off also is supposed to return today.
7/15/13 2:48:29 AM
Human action urged to control lionfish
Controlling lionfish populations in the Caribbean is a job for humans not ocean predators, according to a new study of the invasive fish species.
7/12/13 2:26:13 AM
Milanes articles in La Nacion please expats
Some expat investors with the failed Saving Unlimited are pleased that the Spanish-language La Nación has begun reporting on the convoluted circumstances involved in the case.
7/11/13 3:08:14 AM
Deadline approaches for ham radio fans
Radio amateurs and those who would like to pursue the hobby have until Friday to apply to take a written and practical test to obtain a license.
7/10/13 4:11:30 AM
What can monkeys tell us about booze?
Drunken monkeys might be a new hit at the local bar or perhaps a struggling teenage punk rock band. But this is about real drunken monkeys, the kind that are presumed to lurch through the forest after eating certain fermenting fruits.
7/10/13 4:10:39 AM
Expat advocate organization produces video on tax proposal
American Citizens Abroad, the expat advocacy group, has come out with a video promoting residency-based taxation.
7/9/13 3:50:24 AM
Same-sex marriage couple makes history in California
Two of the first beneficiaries of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriages were a Costa Rican man and a frequent visitor from San Francisco. They are Juan Carlos Hernández and Jay Redden.
7/9/13 3:49:59 AM
Miracle claim links Costa Rica with John Paul II
Costa Ricans and the Catholic Church here are basking in the glow of a certified miracle that will propel former pope John Paul II into sainthood.
7/8/13 3:18:58 AM
So just where is Enrique Villalobos?
The great catastrophe that befell expats here took place 11 years go. That was the raid on the Luis Enrique Villalobos Camacho high interest borrowing operation. Many loose ends remain, not the least of which is Villalobos himself who has been a fugitive since October 2002.
7/5/13 3:23:43 AM
U.S. officials must follow the Constitution
OUR DEMAND: . . . there is no justification for universal eavesdropping on telephone calls, emails and other forms of communications by federal bureaucrats and secret courts. Nor is there justification for weak-willed lawmakers to accept the argument that such destruction of human rights are necessary to guard against terrorism.
7/5/13 3:23:19 AM
Nicoya ceramics are a show stopper in Washington
The country's prehistoric past is betting major exposure in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center have an exhibit running until Feb.1, 2015 that spotlights Central America pre-Hispanic cultures.
7/4/13 3:45:14 AM
Another raffle to catch tax cheats
The nation's tax collecting agency is embarking on another series of raffles to put a spotlight on tax cheats.
7/3/13 2:57:21 AM
Traditional foods make a great display
How about some flan made with a base of marcuyá? Or maybe a drink made with bamboo? These were among the 301 dishes or drinks that competed for awards Saturday in Palmar Sur. There were 145 main dishes, 95 breads and desserts and 61 typical drinks.
7/2/13 2:56:01 AM
A way to secure your Internet and get movies, too!<
What does watching a movie in Costa Rica restricted to viewing in the United States and accessing the Internet securely at a WiFi hotspot like McDonald's have in common? Give up? The answer is a VPN.
7/1/13 3:42:37 AM
Signatures sought to put same-sex marriages on the ballot
A campaign is being launched to hold a referendum to legalize same-sex marriages. That was announced Thursday by an organization called Frente por los Derechos Igualitarios. The organization said it would be collecting signatures to put the question on the ballot during the march for diversity Sunday in San José.
6/28/13 2:52:21 AM
Sala IV ducks key decision on property fraud
The Sala IV has ducked the chance to resolve a key issue in property theft. The Sala IV, the constitutional court, rejected an appeal because it said the case still was open.
6/27/13 2:46:37 AM
How about those cooks in the southern zone?
What are the traditional dishes along the south Pacific coast. That is a question food historians will seek to answer Saturday as residents of that area are invited to demonstrate their unique food products.
6/27/13 2:46:10 AM
Virgen del Mar procession in Puntarenas harbor to be on TV
The celebration of the Virgen del Mar in Puntarenas July 7 will be televised throughout the world, said Telefides, the religious station that is initiating the broadcast.
6/26/13 3:26:52 AM
Minimum wage going up 2.4 percent for second half of year
Employees in the private sector will receive a 2.4 percent raise July 1 if they are receiving the minimum wage for their job category, as many Costa Ricans are.
6/25/13 2:55:23 AM
Opposition developing against restrictive gun bill
Opposition is growing among Costa Ricans and expats to more restrictive firearms bill now in the legislature. The bill is patterned after the 2010 presidential decree that stripped rentistas and pensionados of the right to own and carry firearms.
6/25/13 2:55:01 AM
Restored Botica Solera to be inaugurated today
Today is a big day for Johnny Araya, the mayor of San José who is leaving that job to continue his run for president.
6/24/13 3:10:56 AM
More info on license plates
Expats who have been anxious about getting new license plates got their answer Thursday. The Registro Nacional said that the distribution of the plates would begin next month and be based on the last digit of the existing plane.
6/24/13 3:09:03 AM
Lost Maya city finally rediscovered
Archaeologists have found an ancient Maya city that remained hidden for centuries in the rain forests of eastern Mexico, a discovery in a remote nature reserve they hope will yield clues about how the civilization collapsed around 1,000 years ago.
6/21/13 3:03:16 AM
Embassy seems fixated with child sex tourism
The U.S. annual human trafficking report again characterizes Costa Rica as a hotbed of child sex tourism. "Child sex tourism is a serious problem, particularly in the provinces of Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas, and San José," said the country report that is part of the federal government's annual effort. But, despite this rampant illegal activity, the report notes that there were no convictions in 2012.
6/21/13 3:02:55 AM
The crime appears to be in buying a kidney
The case against a transplant physician seems to hinge on the fact that kidney donors were paid. Prosecutors have not said so exactly. Instead they allege that Franciso Mora Palma, the physician, was involved in the illicit extraction of organs.
6/20/13 2:40:34 AM
Detained surgeon says he transplanted 550 kidneys
A surgeon who specializes in kidney transplants says in Internet promotions that he has done 550 of these life-saving procedures. He is Francisco Mora Palma, chief of nephrology at Hospital Calderón Guardia. He was detained Tuesday morning at his office on allegations that he was engaged in the illegal trafficking in organs.
6/20/13 2:40:10 AM
News agency celebrates 40 years with photo exhibition
Central America's own news service is celebrating 40 years here, and 45 photos of dramatic and historical moments will be on display starting Friday at the Museo de los Niños.
6/19/13 2:19:38 AM
Tourism operators may get a boost from vacation
Public schools and many private schools will be on vacation in less than two weeks, and tourism operators are ready to receive them.
6/19/13 2:19:11 AM
Bullfrogs off the hook as only fungus vector
Amphibian populations are declining worldwide and a major cause is a deadly fungus thought to be spread by bullfrogs, but a two-year study shows they can also die from this pathogen, contrary to suggestions that bullfrogs are a tolerant carrier host that just spreads the disease.
6/18/13 2:43:12 AM
Facebook is the quick access to officialdom
Government institutions in Costa Rica are usually impossible to reach on the telephone. Sometimes the phone just rings and rings. Other times one gets a phone tree that states dial “this” for “that. If “that” answers, usually it knows nothing about the “this” one was calling about.
6/17/13 2:58:51 AM
Clay costs endanger 4,000-year-old enterprise
The phrase dirt cheap does not resonate in the Costa Rican communities where residents produce traditional pottery. The entire industry in San Vicente de Nicoya and Guaitil de Santa Cruz is in jeopardy because the clay that potters need comes for deposits on private lands.
6/14/13 2:38:14 AM
U.S. immigration law would change the face of country
A proposed immigration bill now being studied in the U.S. Senate is too strict, according to advocates for illegal immigrants.
6/13/13 3:59:12 AM
Folks in Monteverde say it is the road that hurts tourism there
Monteverde tourism operators are blaming a decline in visitors on the bad state of the access road. Time was when residents of the cloud forest community took pride in their rough road as something protecting the community from the pressures of outside civilization.
6/13/13 3:58:46 AM
Great video of the volcano
Not many people want to get as up close and personal to a volcano as a scientists did April 13.
6/12/13 3:44:40 AM
Costa Ricans are up to their ears in credit card debt
Costa Ricans have reduced slightly what they owe credit card companies, but the amount in arrears has increased.
6/12/13 3:44:16 AM
Tropics confirmed as cradle of diversity
The University of Chicago evolutionary expert has refined his theory that the tropics is the key to the biodiversity in the world today.
6/11/13 3:41:07 AM
Expats blindsided again — this time by the Caja
Some expats are being caught up in another one of those governmental kafkaesque situations. This one is courtesy of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
6/11/13 3:40:41 AM
A.M. Costa Rica co-sponsors firearms informational meeting
This newspaper in cooperation with the La Garita Pistol Club plans an informational meeting June 22 for English speakers who might be interested in obtaining a firearms permit.
6/10/13 2:53:00 AM
Costa Rica once almost had a low-cost tourist airline
When TACA Airlines said May 17 that it was suspending 10 direct flights to and from Costa Rica, tourism operators were outraged. Officials were surprised, and the civil aviation authority said it would look into the lack of notice of those flights carrying the LASCA destination.
6/7/13 3:02:14 AM
Sala IV issues order on arsenic
The Sala IV constitutional court Wednesday ordered the central government to make a detailed study of why tap water in Guanacaste contains arsenic. It also told officials to provide the region with potable water that does not contain arsenic and to determine how the chemical can be removed.\
6/7/13 3:01:46 AM
Road agency moves to eliminate another traffic circle
There's good news for motorists, The nation's road agency has accepted a 4.7 billion colon bid for a new overpass on the Circunvalación.
6/6/13 3:18:31 AM
Fisheries institute head defends trawler nets for shrimp
The head of the nation's fisheries institute appeared Tuesday before a legislative commission to urge rejection of a proposal to ban the use of trawler nets to catch shrimp.
6/5/13 2:44:58 AM
On the trail of a long-delayed letter
Coreos de Costa Rica has certified mail. What can go wrong?
6/5/13 2:44:32 AM
Reward posted for info on conservationist killed in Moín
Conservation groups have posted a $10,000 reward for information on the murder of Jairo Mora Sandoval.
6/4/13 2:38:09 AM
Has the Registro Nacional got a deal for you!
There is a great way to protect property and foil attempts by property thieves in Costa Rica by using Registro Nacional Digital asset monitoring service. The best news is the latter is cheap, only $15 per year.
6/4/13 2:37:37 AM
There's no ice, but hockey is flourishing
On any Saturday or Sunday passersby can’t help but to notice the abundance of activities taking place in La Sabana Park. Soccer takes a front row seat, but a closer look reveals sporting activities that are novel for Costa Rica.
6/3/13 2:42:48 AM
Gunmen murder Limón environmentalist
Five men ambushed an environmentalist near Moín late Thursday and carried him off to execution.
6/3/13 2:42:23 AM
Jacó to get a new 17-story building
A ground breaking is scheduled June 20 in Jacó for a 17-story casino resort. The business, to be known as Croc's, is expected to be in operation by December 2014. The building will be on the north side of the central Pacific community.
5/31/13 3:30:38 AM
Feds change form for FBAR reporting
The U.S. government has changed the form that some taxpayers must use to report their overseas bank account. But the agency has put the form online.
5/31/13 3:30:02 AM
Watch the U.S. ambassador dance
Staffers at the the U.S. Embassy on the Pavas Boulevard are continuing to dabble in showbiz.
5/30/13 3:36:12 AM
Expat advocate sees residency-based taxation advancing
The U.S. income tax deadline for overseas Americans is just 18 days away, and next year the tax code may be very different. American Citizens Abroad, an expat advocacy organization, says its 18 months of work has paid off in getting U.S. lawmakers to consider changes in the current system to a residency-based tax system.
5/30/13 3:35:49 AM
Agents here started Liberty Reserve probe in 2011
Judicial investigators said Tuesday that they have been working since 2011 on the Liberty Reserve case.
5/29/13 3:13:57 AM
Can president make public employee strikes illegal?
The Laura Chinchilla administration is prepared to take on the public employees with a proposal to prohibit strikes. Casa Presidencial sent such a proposal to the legislature in exchange for a proposed labor code rewrite that would have permitted strikes.
5/28/13 2:26:13 AM
Number of emergency calls on gas leaks skyrocket
Calls to fire fighters because of petroleum gas leaks are up 151 percent in the first quarter of the year, in part because of an explosion that killed five persons, the latest last week.
5/28/13 2:25:48 AM
Expat seeks to create a signature beef cow for Costa Rica
Many expats do not realize that cattle ranchers here face seasonal problems like their counterparts in the north. Although there is no cold winter here, the dry season is a time of little food for animals in the field.
5/27/13 3:13:28 AM
Business chamber blames soaring utility prices for survey results
The business community's perception of the future is off slightly, according toe a survey reflecting opinions in the first three months of the year. And part of the concern is the soaring rate of regulated utilities, according to the chamber that has been taking the survey for the last 17 years.
5/27/13 3:13:06 AM
Some answers to readers questions
Jo Stuart is home from Hospital México after a bout of illness. We expect her column to resume next week. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to give some newspaper trade insights.
5/24/13 2:57:38 AM
Ailing expat trapped in Costa Rica
In addition to death and taxes, there is one other fact that is certain: A foreigner who owes child support can't get out of the country without posting 13 months of payments.
5/23/13 3:47:24 AM
On the planetary scale, Turrialba was just a burp
At the very least, Turrialba and the rest of Costa Rica's active volcanoes show that humans are not fully in control. In fact, turmoil seems to be the constant in the geological and meteorological history of the world.
5/23/13 3:47:00 AM
Whales suffer slow death from fishing gear tangles
North Atlantic right whales were nearly eradicated by whaling and remain endangered today, with a population of 450 to 500. About 75 percent bear scars of fishing lines that cut into their flesh.
5/22/13 2:38:11 AM
Expat has a rough time with city hall
You can't be a chicken if you want to sell chickens in Barrio Otoya. Ask Richard Sims, a long-time expat who is developing the southeast corner of Avenida 11 at Calle 15. He has been besieged by municipal inspectors in what he considers a vendetta orchestrated by someone high up in the municipal government.
5/22/13 2:37:50 AM
Bar and restaurant owners organize against much higher fees
Unhappiness with the increases in the fees for liquor patentes are growing. And in Heredia a group formed to modify the law is spilling over the boundaries of the province.
5/21/13 2:35:47 AM
Here are some ways to manage your projects and your life
Expats can regain control over their personal and business matters in Costa Rica today by employing new, easy-to-use tools. Many of them are free.
5/21/13 2:35:27 AM
Congress may get a chance to vote on law hurting expats
A U.S. senator from Kentucky has introduced legislation to eliminate aspects of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. That is the U.S. law that is causing so many problems for expats and sometimes freezing them out of the local banking system.
5/20/13 2:18:45 AM
Scientists zero in on origin of fungus killing all the frogs
Scientists have long suspected that the deadly fungus disease that is killing millions of New World amphibians came form Africa. Thursday a scientific research paper offered proof and said that the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, came to the Americas on the skin of African clawed frogs that were being used for pregnancy tests in the early 20th century.
5/20/13 2:18:10 AM
Casa Presidencial ax falls on two more
President Laura Chinchilla fired her top aide and the nation's security chief in the midst of a media feeding frenzy over her trip to Perú.
5/17/13 2:54:05 AM
Motorists need to be alert for Cartago train
When regular train service begins Friday between Cartago and San José, motorists will have some help in avoiding collisions. The transport ministry has installed 40 free-standing signs near the tracks and also has painted 28 warnings on the roads approaching the tracks.
5/17/13 2:53:38 AM
Don Burro comes to the rescue
What appears to be just another humorous dig critical of current lawmakers also appears to have a serious purpose. The Internet is now the home of Don Burro, the deputado or legislator. The character is a real burro or donkey.
5/16/13 3:33:03 AM
Nicaragua dumps canal plan, giving Costa Rica an option
Nicaraguan development officials have decided not to use the Río San Juan for a canal across the isthmus. The decision appears to mean that no canal will be built, opening the door for Costa Rica to install its own dry canal and use the exiting rail system to compete with the 99-year-old canal in Panamá.
5/16/13 3:32:31 AM
There will be another July 4 picnic this year
The American Colony Committee once again will present a traditional U.S. July 4 celebration at the Cerveceria Costa Rica picnic grounds west of San José.
5/15/13 3:32:31 AM
Expats have great electronic tools to beat high prices
As the government imposes new taxes and utility rates go up, more and more expats complain about prices. A quick trip through a supermarket shows products priced two or three times of what they cost in the United States.
5/15/13 3:32:04 AM
Monsanto wins a U.S. case over seed patent
Monsanto Co., which is engaged in controversy in Costa Rica, has won a U.S. Supreme Curt victory against a creative Indiana farmer.
5/14/13 2:30:04 AM
How to make some money at the feria . . or not
Short on cash? This may be a solution. Round up a uniform or perhaps clerical garb, find a can and paste drawings of happy kids on it. They you are ready to solicit funds for your favorite charity: You!
5/14/13 2:29:39 AM
Arrests made in home invasion murder
Judicial agents detained two neighbors Sunday in the home invasion murder of a 73-year-old woman Thursday.
5/13/13 2:37:19 AM
Scientist unravel genome of magnificent scarlet macaw
University researchers in Texas have successfully sequenced the complete genome of a Scarlet macaw. The bird, Ara macao, is one of the animal wonders of Costa Rica.
5/9/13 2:44:45 AM
President wants to put a lid on utility and fuel prices
The president Tuesday issued an order to public institutions and agencies that provide basic services telling them to reduce expenses and to hold the line on prices.
5/9/13 2:44:15 AM
Why did the U.S. tourist go to a dangerous neighborhood?
A U.S. tourist might have become disoriented when he ended up having a fatal encounter in a dangerous Desamparados neighborhood.
5/8/13 3:22:12 AM
U.S. robbery victim finally dies of wound
A 31-year-old U.S. tourist who inexplicably ended up in a dangerous section of Desamparados has died at Hospital San Juan de Dios.
5/8/13 3:21:38 AM
Country still struggles with making business easier
Costa Rica gets six low scores of the 10 used to compute the World Bank Doing Business index. The 2013 Index evaluates 185 economies on 10 specific business activities. Costa Rica ranks the lowest at 169th place for protecting investors. The country also is in 128th place on starting a business, dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvencies.
5/7/13 3:04:46 AM
Here are some good reasons for getting in the cloud
Expats running businesses or tracking investments while struggling with new Costa Rican taxes and accounting rules may find some freedom in the cloud. The cloud represents powerful computing resources delivered to customers as a service. By using hardware and software via a connection to the Internet, users can tap applications once only available to the few with money to buy them.
5/7/13 3:04:26 AM
Nothing solid from visit by Obama
Despite enormous efforts of security and large amounts of hype, there was little concrete that developed immediately from the two-day visit hereby President Barack Obama. There were no financial pledges.
5/6/13 2:51:06 AM
Two presidents outline similar approaches on drug
Presidents of the United States and Costa Rica outlined their broader approach to attacking drug trafficking at a press conference here Friday.
5/6/13 2:50:40 AM
Some tips for seniors on countering aggression
Just because some expats are seniors, they are not defenseless. They have many options to protect themselves and their loved ones from aggression,
5/3/13 3:19:56 AM
Disturbance at the legislature
Police moved in and thwarted Wednesday what appeared to be a plot to rain down firebombs on a crowd at the legislature.
5/2/13 3:13:13 AM
Congressional panel hears from expats on taxes
A U.S. congressional committee considering changes in the nation's tax code received more than 100 suggestions from expats, said the American Citizens Abroad, an expat advocacy organization.
5/1/13 3:33:36 AM
Crocs continue to be a tourist attraction on the Tárcoles
Rio Grande de Tárcoles is the habitat for various types of wildlife including hundreds of American crocodiles. The beasts are one of the largest of the crocodiles and can grow up to 6 meters in length and have a recognizable V-shaped snout.
4/30/13 2:59:19 AM
The sloth gets a screen test
With tourism operators facing another sagging green season, the country's tourism ministry is turning again to the Atlanta, Georgia, ad firm of 22 Squared. This time the agency plans to put an ad campaign in 1,345 movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
4/30/13 2:58:56 AM
Drivers evaluated on a new point system
A new system of points for wayward motorists went into effect Friday six months after the new traffic law went into effect. Now drivers can lose their license with 20 points instead of the 50 that was the rule under the previous version of the law.
4/29/13 3:19:46 AM
Trees linked to a cancer agent
Costa Rica protects huge tracts of land, many of the beneficiaries are all sorts of trees. They are supposed to be the country's bulwark against greenhouse gases and global warming. Now it turns out that trees can create a cancer agent.
4/29/13 3:19:21 AM
U.S. announces support for clean energy schemes
The United States will donate $850,000 to support five different clean energy policies and projects in Costa Rica, U. S. Embassy officials said Thursday.
4/26/13 3:05:53 AM
Those costly border runs
The issue of immigration and the process of renewing a tourist visa are important to expat readers, according to feedback from a news story Wednesday.
4/26/13 3:05:27 AM
How about a couple of more forms to fill out?
True to the unofficial government slogan We make easy hard, the traffic agency has set up an elaborate scheme so vehicle owners can report an email address.
4/25/13 3:23:22 AM
Can Costa Rica cater to the wave of retirees?
With just a year left in office for President Laura Chinchilla, expat business people are searching for someone, anyone, who can stimulate the economy and start using a little promotion to market the country to the world.
4/25/13 3:20:46 AM
World Court rejects Nicaragua's use of Rio Colorado
The International Court of Justice has rejected a request by Nicaragua for free passage on the Río Colorado, said the Costa Rican foreign ministry. The court orders are not yet available.
4/24/13 2:39:59 AM
t's the new white meat . . . with scales!
Just call it the other white meat. Or perhaps: Croc, it's what's for dinner.
4/24/13 2:39:37 AM
Mrs. Chinchilla cancels road concession for social peace
President Laura Chinchilla said Monday night that she was terminating the concession with the contractor who was supposed to build a modern highway to San Ramón. The president said she was doing this to guarantee the social peace of the country.
4/23/13 2:45:17 AM
A daily dose of sun will keep the depression away
Gray days like Sunday may have more impact on mental state than most expats believe. There is not a lot of research from tropical sources on the effect of weather on the brain, even though the rainy season and gloomy days are part of life here. But elsewhere researchers have linked something called seasonal affective disorder to 7 percent or more of the population.
4/23/13 2:44:55 AM
Not much for expats in annual U.S. rights report
The U.S. Department of State has issued another report outlining the status of human rights around the world. The section on Costa Rica holds no surprises for anyone who is a daily newspaper reader
4/22/13 2:32:50 AM
Oh no! That sunset has a price under water
Oh no! That sunset has a price under water

Talk about wet blankets. Those spectacular ocean sunsets have a downside, according to scientists associated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá.
4/19/13 2:56:08 AM
New issue will celebrate 150 years of stamps in Costa Rica
The country's fascination with stamps began 150 years ago with the first postal issue. Correos de Costa Rica is marking the anniversary with a commemorative issue, a 2,000-colon sheet that contains copies of the country's original blue half real and red two-real stamps.
4/19/13 2:55:47 AM
So how do you feel about coconut water?
My first encounter with coconut water came during a trip to the Las Isletas off from Granada, Nicaragua. They are a cluster of 365 small islands sit in the midst of Lake Nicaragua. These land masses formerly were chunks of volcano Mombacho that were shed when the volcano erupted thousands of years ago.
4/18/13 2:25:55 AM
Carbon neutral framework gets an addition
The country is slowly assembly the framework to support plans for a carbon neutral declaration by 2021. The latest development is the selection of a California firm to verify carbon footprints.
4/18/13 2:25:30 AM
Temporary money will be part of exhibit
When a merchant asks customers how they will pay for purchases, the expected answer could be paper cash, coins or credit cards. The Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica will host an exhibit to show these are not the only options.
4/17/13 2:31:31 AM
You won't believe this homemade pistol
One of the homemade weapons destroyed Monday was an eight-shot pistol that fired shotgun shells.
4/17/13 2:31:04 AM
Prosecutors become involved in the San Ramón highway case
The case of the highway concession for the San José-San Ramón route keeps getting worse. Now prosecutors are involved in the controversial issue because someone made a criminal complaint.
4/16/13 3:22:05 AM
Homemade firearms and the new gun law
Armament officials plan to destroy about 1,000 homemade firearms today, highlighting the black market in the illegal production of guns. A proposed new firearms and explosives law forbids firearm production in Costa Rica, legal or otherwise. But making an illegal gun is cheap, and technology will make such activities easier.
4/16/13 3:21:32 AM
Seeking justice might get a bit more expensive
A large U.S. law firm has a slogan: How much justice can you afford? That also might be appropriate for the Poder Judicial here which might be the beneficiary of yet another new tax. This time the tax would be levied on those going to court to collect money on a debt.
4/15/13 2:24:05 AM
President has a tough day in Alajuela
Juan Santamaría day celebrations of the 157 anniversary of the Battle of Rivas were interrupted soon after the start by protesters unhappy with the San José to San Ramón road concession.
4/12/13 3:04:09 AM
Tower for children's hospital moves ahead
Health officials took another step Wednesday to build an $80 million critical care facility for sick children.
4/11/13 2:52:46 AM
Secret Service surveys expats and others here
Whenever U.S. officials make a trip, the various U.S. security agencies send teams to clear the way weeks before. Along with local police agencies, they seek out troublemakers, and anyone who may represent a danger to the official.
4/11/13 2:52:21 AM
Cell phone will be an aid to help you quit
Health officials are turning to cell telephones to encourage smokes to kick the habit. Costa Rica is the first of some eight countries that are adopting a program supported by the International Telecommunications Union. The idea is to use text messaging to support those who are trying to quit.
4/10/13 3:11:17 AM
Fare set for Cartago train trip
Expanded valley train service to Cartago is almost a reality. The nation's regulatory agency said Monday that it has approved a 495-colon fare for a one-way trip. That's about $1.Fare set for Cartago train trip
4/9/13 2:30:55 AM
For some reason the Guanacaste birds are migrating
The movement of species typical of the tropical dry forests of Guanacaste into the Central Valley continues at a rapid pace. In particular is the explosive expansion of the white-winged dove with this conspicuous species increasing its numbers rapidly. In some areas around Heredia where it did not occur at all five years ago and still with just a few two years ago, it is now omnipresent with flocks as large as 40 or 50 in particularly favorable conditions.
4/9/13 2:30:19 AM
A lite look at sex tourism
Once again La Nación, the Spanish-language newspaper, has come out with a thin story on sexual tourism that fails to address some of the important aspects of this Costa Rican phenomenon.
4/8/13 2:19:49 AM
Gold mining firms take a step toward arbitration
The operators of the Las Crucitas mining concession served notice to Costa Rica Thursday that the country is in violation of its investment treaty with Canada and invited the country to resolve the conflict. The alternative would be arbitration at a World Bank agency, it said.
4/8/13 2:19:27 AM
Canadian study says Chinese grossly understate fishing catch
Chinese fishing boats catch about $11.5 billion worth of fish from beyond their country’s own waters each year – and most of it goes unreported, according to a new study led by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia.
4/8/13 2:13:56 AM
U.S. tycoon had a major role in defeat of William Walker
April 11 is the celebration of the Battle of Rivas that immortalized Juan Santamaría as a Costa Rican national hero. That is why there is a statute of Juan Santamaría at the international airport that bears his name and in the central park of Alajuela, his hometown. There ought to be a statute of U.S. businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt, too, because if Juan Santamaria's brief and fatal action to torch an enemy stronghold is memorable so should the extensive support provided by Vanderbilt and his agents.
4/8/13 2:13:33 AM
More taxes on the way
The Laura Chinchilla administration is making an effort to create new taxes and increase government income before the president leaves office in May next year.
4/4/13 2:26:19 AM
Costa Rica proud of its U.N. achievement
The foreign minister Tuesday called U.N. approval of an international arms treaty a triumph of Costa Rican diplomacy and an example of how a small country can have universal reach.
4/3/13 3:20:09 AM
The Sixaola search for sea cows
Tourists can be forgiven if they have been unable to view those 1,000-pound-plus mammals that make up the nation's largest wildlife. They are manatees, and even scientists have to call upon modern electronics,including side-scanning radar, to count them.
4/3/13 3:19:44 AM
Health officials trying to limit salt intake
Costa Rican health officials have a plan to reduce the nation's intake of salt. The plan includes reducing the salt intake of school children.
4/2/13 2:36:17 AM
Semana Santa pageantry a winner
The weather cooperated fully as Semana Santa pageantry took place under clear and sometimes cloudy skies.
4/2/13 2:35:55 AM
Reader moved by death of volunteer fire fighter
"I find it necessary to write in respect to the death of Andrés Cruz Castro, and I beg the public to be aware of what can happen when we become careless."
4/1/13 2:35:00 AM
Obama to meet heads of states here in May
U. S. President Barack Obama will visit Costa Rica as part of a three-day, two nation trip May 2 to 4, the White House said Wednesday.
4/1/13 2:34:36 AM
U.S. Embassy urges caution on Caribbean coast
The U.S. Embassy has published a notice on its Web site warning its nationals of an increase in armed robberies in the Puerto Viejo area.
3/28/13 2:31:44 AM
Drug smuggling was for local consumption, police say
Anti-drug police have known since at least last August that a gang was involved in bringing drugs from Panamá into the country for consumption here.
3/28/13 2:31:21 AM
Yelling is not the way to get service here
So if you want to get great service here, never raise your voice, even a little bit, when dealing with a Costa Rican employee. Keep in mind, in most cases the employee was not personally responsible for the complained about activity or action.
3/27/13 3:26:36 AM
Convention center design awaited
Within a month the preliminary design for the nation's public convention center should be presented. The central government and its Instituto Costarricense de Turismo are betting on the 15,000-square meter (161,459-square foot) project to move the country firmly into the international convention business.
3/27/13 3:26:08 AM
A do-it-yourself guide to prosecuting your own financial crime
"The reasoning behind this system is, on the one hand, to lessen the burden on the prosecutors at the Ministerio Público by allowing the victims of financial crime in those cases that meet the criteria, to take personal charge of them, giving them in turn the opportunity to have their day in court a lot sooner than going through the long regular process."
3/26/13 2:57:40 AM
The bugs are back and predicting the weather
The weather experts say there will be a normal rainy seasons with a normal start from April 1 to about May 10, depending on the location in Costa Rica. The june bugs concur.
3/25/13 3:12:29 AM
Estimated dates given for advent of rainy season
Costa Rican summer is coming to an end, as indicated by the first big storm of the season Thursday afternoon in the Central Valley. Residents can expect the rainy season to officially begin next month in the Pacific regions.
3/22/13 2:32:01 AM
Country finally begins to handle it sewage
After years of planning and even years of neglect, Costa Rica is about to begin a project to protect its rivers and the gulf of Nicoya. This is a major step that will affirm to tourists the country's strong environmental stand.
3/22/13 2:31:11 AM
Cocos tectonic plate seems to ride on magma
Scientists have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth’s mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet’s massive tectonic plates. The discovery may carry far-reaching implications, from solving basic geological functions of the planet to a better understanding of volcanism and earthquakes.
3/21/13 2:42:00 AM
Three centers planned for victims of violence
The U. S. government is partnering with Costa Rican organization Fundación Paniamor and the government to develop programs to reduce domestic violence and the demand for drugs in the country.
3/20/13 3:07:39 AM
Cops on the lookout for wildlife poachers
Frontier police stopped a vehicle Sunday that was carrying 112 orchids, mostly guarias moradas. That is a clear violation of the environmental laws, in part because the plants appeared to have come from the Parque Nacional Volcán Miravalles.
3/20/13 3:07:10 AM
Semana Santa roundup for cathedral and Anglican parish
The Catedral Metropolitana has a full schedule for Semana Santa or Holy Week beginning with a Palm Sunday procession this Sunday.
3/19/13 2:38:31 AM
No hard data to show warming intensifies storms
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. Missouri, sought to determine causation. "Although many people have speculated that the weather will get stormier as the climate warms, nobody has done the quantitative analysis needed to show this is indeed happening," says Jonathan Katz, professor of physics at the university.
3/19/13 2:37:55 AM
Straight from Alice's cookbook
Some shoppers had a high time at the weekend agricultural fair in Quepos. But not everyone appreciated it.
3/18/13 3:23:53 AM
Pura vida makes its mark in Ireland
Every March as St. Patrick's Day approaches columnists dwell on the Irish contribution to the world. There even is a 1995 book titled "How the Irish Saved Civilization." recounting the works of the Eighth century monks who kept and made copies of crucial literary works.
3/18/13 3:23:27 AM
Country getting money to set up carbon credit system
The country will get $3 million from a World Bank agency to set up a domestic carbon trading market. The World bank through its Partnership for Market Readiness is defining the structure for a carbon trading scheme to offset emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.
3/15/13 4:19:25 AM
Irazú began to blow its top 50 years ago
Just 50 years ago Costa Ricans and visitors in Cartago and the metro area were surprised when the Volcán Irazú awakened.
3/15/13 4:18:58 AM
Bids will be sought for Circunvalación north
The transport ministry in publishing a bid request to the northern loop of the Circunvalacion.
3/14/13 3:15:28 AM
Semana Santa less than two weeks away
Only 10 days remain before offices and businesses begin to shut down for the Semana Santa vacation. Easter is March 31 this year, and Holy Week starts March 24,
3/14/13 3:14:55 AM
5,000 skateboarders predicted for this year
Organizers predict that 5,000 youngsters on skateboards and longboards will take to the streets March 24 for another Emerica Wild In The Streets event.
3/13/13 3:10:15 AM
Greater protection for sharks gets initial OK
A local environmental organization is claiming victory because a gathering of nations has voted to protect five species of shark.
3/12/13 2:48:21 AM
It took a murder to get action on the Caribbean coast
Investigators suspect that individuals detained in a fatal stickup early March 2 maybe be the gang that has been plaguing the Caribbean Coast since October.
3/12/13 2:47:57 AM
Artist have unusual ways to recycle
For many, the solution to getting rid of those odd and end pieces is to place them all in a drawer for a time when they can become useful again. This time is one that usually rarely comes, and the drawer continues to accumulate random items.
3/11/13 3:09:54 AM
Lottery operators try to fight the illegal games
The numbers racket in Costa Rica is a $100 million a year business, according to top officials of the government-sponsored lottery.
3/8/13 2:10:34 AM
Our survey shows food in Panamá is about 28 percent cheaper
Backpackers and locals in both Costa Rica and Panamá will immediately tell those going between the two countries that the prices of items in Panamá are less.
3/8/13 2:10:13 AM
Sphere festival later this month
The Municipalidad de Osa is getting ready for the eighth Festival de las Esferas later this month. This is an entertainment and cultural event set against the backdrop of the pre-Columbian stone sphere in that part of Costa Rica.
3/7/13 3:03:06 AM
Tax considered to support movie makers
Lawmakers want to see more Costa Rican movies, so they are planning to assess a 1 percent tax on television providers and to order an increasing amount of local films to be shown.
3/6/13 2:48:31 AM
Emergency plans prepared for active volcanoes
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Irazú eruptions, the national emergency committee Monday said it has created contingency plans to go into effect when one of the nation's volcanoes erupts. The popular volcanoes are in national parks and are visited frequently by tourists. The contingency plans establish evacuation routes and places to meet after an evacuation. There also are efforts to improve communications.
3/6/13 2:48:09 AM
Garage sales here have some unusual twists
Costa Rica has generated professional sales advisers. These individuals will conduct the sale for a percentages of the income, usually between 10 and 20 percent. The advantage is that such advisers known the going price for that 5-year-old Atlas stove and also have a following.
3/5/13 2:49:33 AM
Bulk of violent gang still at large
A violent crime wave has spread fear along the Caribbean coast. Even though Fuerza Pública officers detained two suspects in a fatal stickup, the bulk of a gang continues at large.
3/5/13 2:45:01 AM
Stone spheres move closed to U.N. designation
The stone spheres of Costa Rica are a step closer to becoming a world cultural heritage site. The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has put a collection five Costa Rican archaeological sites on a tentative list in the agenda for action by the World Heritage Committee.
3/4/13 2:18:47 AM
Hotel invasion is another blow to tourism
Tourism took another hit Thursday as news of a hotel invasion started reaching the various travel sites. Locals say that the invasion by gunmen early Thursday into the Hotel Samasití in Hone Creek on the Caribbean coast was the fourth such recent incident in the area. They blamed the same gang.
3/1/13 2:38:21 AM
Tax collectors keep you guessing
How many expats who pay Costa Rican income tax know that today is the deadline for telling the government where the money was made and spent in the 2011-2012 fiscal year? They might be forgiven for being confused because the nation's tax collectors have instituted rules and then changed them at the last minute.
3/1/13 2:37:59 AM
Survey shows a grim tourism season
A new survey report by the national tourism chamber showed that even in the most popular areas hotel occupancy was below 50 percent during December and January.
2/28/13 2:35:43 AM
Long-time sugar cane ritual draws new protests
Neighbors of sugar cane fields in central Costa Rica are unhappy again this year with the annual ritual of burning the fields before harvest.
2/28/13 2:35:24 AM
Endangered birds facing mandatory move to Nicoya
After more than three decades of service, the Costa Rican macaw conservation program, The Ara Project, is being sent from its Alajuela home, and is under threat to be shut down unless the group can raise enough to relocate, according to directors.
2/27/13 2:46:40 AM
U.S. budget cuts bound to have an effect here
Mandatory U.S. spending cuts are bound to have an effect in Costa Rica. Secretary of State John Kerry is on record saying the automatic cuts would impair the ability of the State Department to fulfill its mission.
2/26/13 2:37:55 AM
Despite U.S. Senate resolution, not much has changed
Expats may not be aware that Costa Rica was once the subject of a blistering U.S. Senate resolution over a complex squatter case that resulted in the murder of a U.S. citizen. No much seems to have changed in the last 16 years because property thefts still are in the news.
2/26/13 2:37:35 AM
Ms. Pearson goes bungee jumping
'I never understood the phrase “heart jumping out of your chest” until I was standing 265 feet in the air at the end of the platform that was affixed to Puente Viejo del Colorado in Naranjo, Costa Rica.'
2/25/13 3:13:47 AM
San José will accept credit cards for parking fees
There's bad news for those individuals who eke out a living by reselling parking boletas in the central area of the capital. Credit card dispensers are are being installed by the Sección de Control Vial of the municipal government.
2/25/13 3:13:21 AM
Police officials report less Caribbean crime
Police officials around the Caribbean coast report that although they still have more work to do, they are making progress in reducing crime in the area. In the last year, criminal arrests have increased by nearly 20 percent, and property crimes have decreased by 10 percent in the Talamanca canton, said Leandro Chaverri Cordero, head of the Policía de Fronteras there.
2/21/13 2:28:32 AM
Concern voiced over mishaps on coastal highway
Health and rescue officials are raising the alarm because the highway has had 33 major accidents since the beginning of the year, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. The most sensational one was this weekend when four persons died in a head-on crash near Parrita that ended when one of the vehicles exploded into flames.
2/21/13 2:28:10 AM
Safe house for exploited girls gets official OK
As a child care psychologist, she wanted to help. To do so, she gave up her childcare facility in the Bay Area, of California and moved to Costa Rica in November 2010. Now, two years later, she has built and received the necessary governmental permits to open the first safe house for child survivors of sexual exploitation. A group of six girls will move into the house, known as Salvando Corazones, April 15.
2/20/13 3:02:32 AM
'The Return of the King,' Costa Rican style
Years ago in the faraway Kingdom of Pavones, the people lived in paradise under the benevolent eye of the king, a one-time visitor from the north.


2/20/13 3:02:09 AM
Decree institutionalizes loud noise until 10 p.m.
Persons plagued by loud sounds from national events near their homes will now have to wait until 10 p.m. to get relief.
2/19/13 4:15:42 AM
Child sex suspect finally back in the States
A suspected child molester who has lived in Quepos since 2006 is finally in custody in the United States. The case has religious dimensions because the man, Michael J. Norris, 67, was an elder of the Jehovah's Witnesses congregation where the long-running molestation is alleged to have taken place.
2/18/13 2:35:04 AM
Another blow to the tourism image of the coun