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Published Tuesday Edition
July 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 141
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Nicoya
                              Centennial
Blue Zones photo    
Nicoya centenarian smiles for the camera.
Age appears to be only a number for centenarians
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The quest to determine what makes people from the Nicoya peninsula into centenarians is still ongoing.



This past weekend, a group of doctors from Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social completed their second trip to visit 14 people older than 100 years in order to apply medical tests and determine what's is going on in their systems that allows them to grow so old and healthy.



According to Fernando Morales, team manager, the health conditions of the centennials are surprising. Most are independent, walk without support, hear and see very well. They examined Maria Marchena, a 102-year-old single mother who had 12 children. Ms. Marchena prepared the water, removed the placenta, cut the umbilical cord, took care of herself and each of the newborns.



Other aspects that attracted the attention of the specialists are their spirituality levels, the network of family support, their simple life, the majority of the population dedicating their life to work the land and the great majority live on a really small pension. 



The investigation of the centenarians began this month of July, with the purpose of knowing the reasons of their longevity and reproducing them to the rest of the Costa Rican society.



It is the first time that this population is studied from the medical point of view; the specialists of the National Hospital of Geriatrics and Gerontology have already identified 42 people who will carry out a thorough evaluation.



Nicoya
                              centenarian
Blue Zones photo    
This man proves age is just a number.

When asked how she felt, 106-year-old Perez Carrillo replied, "I'm fine, the only thing I have is old age."



Some of the tests are of cardiac and pulmonary capacity, nutritional conditions, electrocardiograms, blood tests, blood pressure, visual tests and general cognitive state.

Each centenarian is evaluated by two geriatricians, because while one collects the clinical and environmental data.

The other is required to do the clinical examination.

Morales said the evaluation lasts approximately two hours and is done in each household. The research also involves professionals in statistics, psychology and nutrition.

The study is supported by the universities of Harvard, Boston and Denmark.



The Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Guanacaste is considered one of the five blue zones of the world along with the island of Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa Island in Japan and Loma Linda in California.



ICE losses in mobile services market due to laws
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As of 2015, the Instituto Cosarricense de Electricidad had lost 42 percent of the market share in mobile services, while Radiográfica Costarricense, part of the institute, almost completely lost its share of the internet access market for residential services.

These are the two main conclusions of the Programa de lnformación y Sociedad del Conocimiento, at the Universidad de Costa Rica. According to the report, the loss of clients of the Institute is due to errors within the very same legal measures that sought to strengthen the Instituto.

The strengthening of the institute was one of the commitments that the Government of Costa Rica acquired when signing the Free Trade Agreement between Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States, on Aug. 5, 2014.

The laws sought to increase capacity and flexibility to meet competition from private companies in the telecommunications market, according to the study.

However, the first problem was the interpretation of what is or is not confidential information.

In 2012, a Corte Suprema ruling established that electric power generation is a matter of public interest and information can not be declared confidential, said Abraham Madrigal, former general manager of the Institute.

The institute was also unsuccessful in its attempt to simplify its system of purchases of goods and services.

This is due to several decisions from the Constitutional Chamber and Contraloría General de la República dictated that declared it a public institution and the administration must also follow the public rules.

Those decisions limited the institute's ability to compete with private companies, according to the former manager.

They have also put the institute in a situation where it should not only compete, but also solve issues of the bureaucracy that stems from public administration laws.

However, according to the same university report, the opening of the telecom market has been successful for the country from the economic point of view and the telecommunications sector is one of the most dynamic ones compared to other.

In 2015, revenues generated by fixed telephony, cellular telephony and data transfer services together generated revenues of $1.4 trillion, equivalent to 3.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, according to data from the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones.

In 2008, before the opening of the telecommunications sector, the penetration rate of mobile telephony was 27 percent.

In 2015, that figure increased to over 150 percent, according to the Superintendencia. The study says there are still many opportunities for improvement.

"It is necessary to update the General Telecommunications Law of 2008," said Armando Vargas, former minister of information and communication.


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Published || Tuesday Edition, July 18, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 141
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.
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Downed plane
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo          
The burnt out plane discovered in Quepos Sunday.

Police air service conducting sweeps for clandestine airstrips in country

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public security ministry conducted an ongoing sweep on the hunt for clandestine runways for planes within Costa Rica.

86 have been found since August 2016, according to data provided by the Servicio de Vigilancia Área and the Dirección General de Aviación Civil. The police found more than just makeshift runways, however. A burnt-out plane was discovered this past Sunday near Quepos. The terrain where it was found is not currently a runway and more closely resembles a street. A police report on the scene said that the manager of the estate claimed that it was once a runway located within private property.

Since its abandonment, the area had two gates installed across the old runway to separate livestock with the only unobstructed space being about 480 meters long and 10 meters wide. The aircraft resembles a Cessna or bush plane that can only be five or six hours in the air at a time. Police said that the registration tag on the plane was false with the number belonging to a Colombian aircraft.

Gustavo Mata, the head of the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, said that he had asked the air service to send the report on to the public prosecutor’s. “We have begun carrying out intense supervision and reporting on these lands and today we begin operations in the northern region to continue the work and corroborate that they are used for normal activities, protected by law,” he said.


Costa Rica labeled well on cancer care

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social was ecstatic after “The Economist” called Costa Rica and Uruguay among the most successful countries to lead efforts in controlling cancer.

The article published was made with primary data from the scientific journal “Lancet,” the Caja said. It is interesting to add that, traditionally, “The Economist” is a weekly magazine based in London that slants towards promoting neoliberal ideals in its publications. Often it takes a more critical look at socialized forms of government and public institutions. The analysis took data on oncology and other cancer work being done within Latin America. With a score of 22 out of 30 possible points, Costa Rica just placed behind Uruguay in this study.

For Dr. María Eugenia Villalta, the medical director of the Caja, the success of the country is due toward an institutional effort ever since the social security group declared cancer care a priority back in 2012. “These results also indicate that we have the working, human and technological capacity to make decisions and that those decisions are on the right track,” she said in a statement.

Dr. Villalta pointed out the Caja’s apparent progress in colon screening as well as health exams for breast and cervix cancer. This is in addition to the countrywide campaigns on promotion of healthy living and discouraging smoking. These were the most significant areas that began as pilot programs this year. The idea is to spread the progress to the rest of the country, the Caja said.


Police conduct two raids on groups

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The bid to get tough on organized crime yielded two groups of suspected drug dealers being detained by the Policía Control de Drogas.

Police detained three men, along with seizing drugs and money, in San Miguel de Naranjo in Alajuela province, according to a Monday statement from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. The investigation began after police received a confidential tip. During the raid, police seized 44 doses of crack and 15,300 colones in cash. Not much in the context of prior drug raids. Two others were detained on irregular immigration status just by virtue of being present. They are not suspected in being involved in the drug crimes at this time, the ministry said.

In a separate action, more than five complaints were noted from the anonymous tip line again. This investigation began back in May against six people allegedly related to selling and distributing drugs. The distributors, a romantic couple, were apparently based out of Los Ángeles de Guácimo, police said. Aside from selling marijuana themselves, police also believe that they were distributing to other dealers in Villa Franca de Guácimo near a school.

Among the detainees are two men, one with a prior criminal record in aggravated robbery, illegal possession of a weapon, threats to authority and drug trafficking while the other a legal resident from Nicaragua. The drug police also detained a 43-year old woman with a record of attempting to introduce drugs into a prison and her two underage daughters. Another 22-year old woman was detained with the group with a criminal background for drug possession.

Agents seized marijuana and cocaine dimebags along with 171,400 colones in cash and a revolver, the ministry said.


Students go to
UCR
Universidad de Costa Rica photo        
Students had a chance to examine up close.

Low-income kids visit, interact UCR

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students figured out what some of the science departments at the Universidad de Costa Rica do with collected volcanic ash. Of course, this was really the model to encourage these kids to pursue a college education.

30 students from various communities considered at-risk were given a tour of the geology, biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics schools at the university. The project, called “Paseo Experimental por las Ciencias,” encourages younger students toward the application of science in different disciplines and to pursue a college education.

University scientists from each school used as a central theme the volcanic ash for its explanation and then conducted different experiments from the approach of each discipline, the university said. In biology, they observed the effects of ash on plants. In chemistry, they saw the degree of acidity of the ash and in geology, they saw the grain of the ash measured.

The 30 kids are students at the Instituto Renuevos in La Carpio and the Proyecto La Cometo, an initiative by the municipality of Curridabat for low-income children in Tirrases and Granadilla that is conducted in collaboration with the university.

At the conclusion of the "Experimental Walk of Science," many of the young people showed their astonishment to understand that he studies each science through practical exercises.


Manpower sees no limits due to age

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

No, it is not so true that people after 40 will find trouble getting new jobs; that might be true for many but not necessarily is true for all. That seems to be the belief of Manpower Costa Rica.

The global labor magnate specializes as a consulting firm for businesses in relation to labor and hiring practices across all industry sectors, according to the group’s website.

Dayana Arias, a spokesperson at Manpower Costa Rica and a strong believer that old beliefs are as untrue as untrue can get, said: "In Costa Rica, 46 percent of employers are having difficulties finding the right people, so they are not really at a place where age is a matter of choosing or not a candidate," she said. "They need people who get the job done, who's got the expertise and a developed sense of adaptability."

In a time where at least three different generations coexist at the same facilities of the same company, discrimination based on age is a paradigm that's been shifting due to more important needs of the market: competences, soft skills and experience. That's what Manpower calls the era of human age, the era of talent.

The workers who are able to adapt, both in their competences and their personalities should not be anxious at all, according to Ms. Arias.

"There are some very valuable things from older workers, the most known as their commitment to a job and a sense of maturity when facing challenges," Ms. Arias added. "However the older people should be able to interact with Millennials, people from Generation X and sometimes baby-boomers"

This idea of grown-up people lacking access to the job market come from a fear of change and adaptation, according to Ms. Arias. However, mature workers should fear not discrimination, specially when the trend of social responsibility in the companies has started to promote diverse working environments in terms of ethnicity, social status, disabilities and age, she explained. 



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U.S. Tax
Published || Tuesday Edition, July 18, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 141
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Costa Rica among countries with higher suicide rate in region
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Between 2015 and 2016, most of the suicides in Costa Rica were of men between 20 and 60 years old in 2015 and 20 to 50 in 2016. Moreover, Costa Rica had among the highest rates of suicides in the region.

This was all presented in the most recent study on Suicide in Costa Rica developed by the department of legal medicine of the Judicial Investigating Organization. The judiciary often becomes involved due to the nature of suicide being a violent death.

Violent or not, a judicial investigation in each case is required, according to Costa Rican law. This allows the causes of death to be adequately established and the socio-demographic factors involved in each case documented, the report says.

Costa Rica is among the countries with suicide rates of less than 10 per 100,000 inhabitants, but this is likely to increase if the country does not adequately address a range of factors that cause it, according to the latest research.

In order to establish these standards, all legal medical opinions were reviewed between 2015 and 2016, respectively. Of these, they selected those in which the medical examiner, labeled the death as suicidal.

The total number of suicide cases in Costa Rica for 2015 and 2016 was 318 and 302, respectively. This represents 10.9 percent and 8.96 percent of all the legal medical autopsies performed each year.

With regard to suicides by gender, both years present a marked pattern: men are five times more likely to commit suicide than females. The suicide mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants for the male gender was 8.4 and 7.6, while the female rate was 1.6 and 1.3 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

With regard to the distribution by age and gender in 2015, the age range that predominated was 21 to 31, being more frequent in men. In the year 2016, the age range prevailing in men was 30 to 31, however in women it was 31 to 40.

It is important to note that on average suicides occurred in both genders between the third, fourth and fifth decade of life. According to data from the Pan American Health Organization, seven of every 100,000 Costa Ricans commit suicide each year.

Compared with other countries, the figure increased to 7.74 per 100,000 inhabitants in El Salvador, while in Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras the average suicide rate was 4.5 per 100,000 population.

In South American countries like Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia the rate drops to 4.3, while in the United States of America and Canada, the rate increases to 11.45 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The report also cites that in the United States, the number of suicide deaths over the past 20 years exceeded the number of AIDS deaths, the third leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 19.

According to reports from that country, suicide rates increase with age and reach their highest levels among Americans from 65 years of age.
Suicide Graphic
Poder Judicial graphic
Graphs showing distribution of suicides based on age and gender for 2015 and 2016.

In terms of gender distribution, the Centers for Disease Control reported in 2002 that the probability of dying from suicide is four times higher among men than among women. However, women are more likely than men to attempt suicide.

Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year. Estimates indicate that by 2020 the victims could reach 1.5 million, according to the World Health Organization.

Suicidal behavior is determined by a number of complex causes, such as poverty, unemployment, the loss of loved ones, the breakdown of relationships, and legal or employment problems. Family history of suicide, as well as alcohol and drug abuse, child abuse, social isolation, and certain mental disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia, also have great influence.

Organic diseases and disabling pain can also increase the risk of suicide. Suicidal behavior is complex. Risk factors for suicide often occur in combination and there are causes and risk factors that can not be avoided, but there are others in which it is possible to intervene.

Risk factors for suicide among older people are different from those of young people. Among older people there is a higher prevalence of depression, greater use of highly lethal methods and social isolation.

In some countries the percentages of suicides are higher in urban areas while in others they are more frequent in rural areas. On the other hand, migration is related to situations of poverty, poor housing conditions and diminished social support which increases the risk of suicide.



Anne Frank story coming to the stage of Teatro Nacional in August
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A rendition of “The Diary of Anne Frank” is premiering on the stage of Costa Rica’s Teatro Nacional beginning August 5.

“The work tells us the internal struggles of the eight Characters who coexist under the pressure of having to live hidden in a narrow building and with the anxiety of being discovered to escape the persecution and extermination of millions of Jews in concentration camps,” the Teatro Nacional said in a statement.

“Her goal was to stay hidden waiting for the war to end to regain her longed-for freedom, but things did not end for them in the expected way.”

“Una niña llamada Ana” is the name of this stage version of the famous diary written by the young teenager who hid in an Amsterdam attic in an attempt to escape anti-Semitic persecution and extermination from Nazi Germany.

“She has the ability to describe the barbarity of the outside world, but also the richness and strength of her inner world filled with the contradictions of her teenage years,” the statement continued. “Her intellectual sharpness allows her to see in herself two Ana’s who are confronted permanently during her maturation process as a woman. At the same time, however, the war goes on implacably until it reaches them with all its cruelty.”

Una niña llamada Ana
Teatro Nacional photo     
"Una Niña llamada Ana" premieres August 5.

The cast and crew are Latin American with Gladys Alzate directing and Mar Jiménez and Adriana Álvarez cast in the roles of Anne Frank, the theater said.

The show will premiere on August 5 at 8:30 p.m. and is expected to go for two hours. It will continue with other performances until August 13.

Tickets range in cost from 8,000 to 15,000 colones with a 20 percent discount applied for seniors and students with valid ID.



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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Tuesday Edition, July 18, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 141
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Scientists use shellfish to develop better diagnostic tests, study says
By the University of Washington press staff

Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered a simple way to raise the accuracy of diagnostic tests for medicine and common assays for laboratory research. By adding polydopamine, a material that was first isolated from shellfish, to these tests at a key step, the team could increase the sensitivity of these common bioassays by as many as 100 to 1,000 times.

More sensitive tests would allow scientists to identify pathogens, diseases and specific cellular proteins even when these biomarkers are present at levels far below the detection threshold of today’s standard tests. Initial results show polydopamine boosted the accuracy and resolution of these tests for biomarkers of HIV, Zika virus and proteins on cancerous tumors.

“Common bioassays are the real workhorses of laboratory experiments and medical tests,” said Xiaohu Gao, a professor of bioengineering. “By boosting the sensitivity of these tests, we can enable more accurate medical diagnoses earlier in a disease or condition, and enable more certainty and less waste in the research process.”

Gao led the team that developed this simple modification for many common medical and laboratory assays. They recently published their approach, known as enzyme-accelerated signal enhancement, or EASE, in “Nature Biomedical Engineering.”

EASE centers on the simple addition of two biochemical components, dopamine and horseradish peroxidase, or HRP, at a key step. HRP is a common protein enzyme used to speed up the rate of reactions in biomedical research. Gao and his team discovered that HRP can connect dopamine molecules together to form the polymer chain polydopamine.

Polydopamine, in turn, accumulates on the surfaces of reaction vessels, such as small Petri dishes. Once the polydopamine is present, scientists can continue the traditional steps of their protocols, but now with a substantially increased test sensitivity. Gao hopes that this simple modification will mean that scientists and medical professionals can easily incorporate EASE into their common practices and procedures.

Some of these assays have been used for decades to help hospitals and doctors detect signatures of a disease, ailment or other conditions by looking at a patient’s blood, other body fluids or cells.

Zika placenta
University of Washington photo
Sample treated with EASE. Red/orange colored signals of Zika infection clearly visible (white arrows).

Depending on the test, these telltale signs could be pieces of a bacteria or virus, a chemical, antibodies made by white blood cells, or a hormone. But if these compounds are present at extremely low levels, diagnostic tests can miss them and return inaccurate medical information. By increasing sensitivity, EASE reduces uncertainty and even increases the amount of information these tests can provide.

For example, the team used EASE to detect the presence of Zika virus in the placental tissues of primates. But EASE made the assay so sensitive that they were able to see which types of cells within the placenta were infected with Zika, Gao said.

As often happens in research, Gao and his team did not originally set out to solve this problem. Polydopamine was originally isolated from mussels decades ago, and researchers already knew that the substance can react with proteins. But the only protocol they had to form polydopamine necessitated a passive, time-consuming protocol.

The scientists don’t fully understand why adding polydopamine boosts the sensitivity of these bioassays, and future research could elucidate the mechanism. But Gao’s focus is on applying EASE to even more diagnostic tests and diseases.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the University of Washington and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.



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Dark
Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page


Salsa Lizano
Published || Tuesday Edition, July 18, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 141
Calendar
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Two Iranians charged in U.S.
for selling weapons software


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two Iranian nationals have been charged in the United States in an alleged scheme to steal and resell software to Iran, including a program to design bullets and warheads.

According to an indictment unsealed Monday, Mohammed Saeed Ajily recruited Mohammed Reza Rezakhah to break into companies' computers to steal their software for resale to Iranian universities, the military and the government.

The two men and a third who was arrested in 2013 and handed back to Iran in a prisoner swap last year allegedly broke into the computers of Vermont-based Arrow Tech Associates.

The stolen software included Arrow Tech's Projectile Rocket Ordnance Design and Analysis System, which is protected by U.S. controls on the export of sensitive technologies, and its distribution to Iran is banned by U.S. sanctions on the country.

According to the indictment, Rezakhah conducted the hacking and cracking operations and Ajily was in charge of marketing and selling the programs.

The two men were charged in the Rutland, Vermont, federal district court, which issued arrest warrants for the two, who are believed to be in Iran.


Maduro rally
Miraflores palace courtesy photo          
Maduro speaks to supporters at a rally.

Venezuela’s opposition calls
for a full general strike

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuela's opposition has called a daylong general strike for Thursday, hoping to pressure President Nicolas Maduro into calling off plans for a new constitution.

The opposition is launching what it says is a final offensive on Maduro to call for early presidential elections.

In a nonbinding national referendum Sunday organized by opposition groups, more than 7 million Venezuelans, nearly one-third of the national electorate, called on Maduro to give up the idea of electing a special assembly to put together a new constitution.

President Donald Trump said late Monday the United States will take strong and swift economic actions if Maduro goes through with his plans.

Maduro called the opposition referendum illegal and is continuing to push ahead with plans for a July 30 vote for the special assembly. Changing the constitution is the only way to pull Venezuela out of its deep economic and social crisis, the president said.

The opposition says the assembly will be rigged in Maduro's favor. It says rewriting the constitution is nothing but a Maduro ploy to dissolve state institutions and turn Venezuela into a socialist dictatorship, leaving the opposition-led National Assembly irrelevant.

Lower global energy prices and government corruption have destroyed Venezuela's once-thriving economy, which is dependent on oil revenues.

Consumers face severe shortages of basic goods such as gasoline, flour, sugar and cooking oil. Supermarket shelves are bare and many Venezuelans cross into neighboring Brazil and Colombia to buy food.

Daily street protests against the government frequently blow up into violence. Nearly 100 people have been killed over the last three months.

Maduro blames his country's woes on what he calls U.S. imperialism. He warns against intervention by the Organization of American States, saying that would surely bring on civil war.


U.S. immigration will add
15,000 temporary work visas


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States needs more foreign workers to keep some American businesses from floundering, according to a decision announced by U.S. officials Monday.

The Department of Homeland Security said it would make 15,000 additional H-2B visas available for companies to hire temporary, non-agricultural foreign workers before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.

In a written statement, DHS Secretary John Kelly called the move a one-time increase. The Trump administration promotes what it calls a “Hire American” policy and the president has repeatedly called for more limited immigration.

In order to hire foreign workers through the non-immigrant visa program, businesses must show there are not enough U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available for the jobs.

The H-2B program is capped at 66,000 new visas annually; of that, 33,000 is reserved for workers who are hired during the first half of the fiscal year and the remainder are for the latter half.

Since 2015, however, some returning workers were able to participate beyond the cap, increasing the number of H-2B visas issued last year to nearly 85,000, according to State Department data.

But Congress did not renew the returnees exemption when it expired last fall, effectively curbing the number of available visas. Businesses that rely heavily on seasonal workers, like the tourism industry, said they have struggled to fill vacancies since then.

Part of budget legislation passed in May, however, gave the Department of Homeland Security, which includes U.S. CItizenship and Immigration Services, discretion to go over the 66,000 cap to compensate for the shortfall.

Businesses will be able to petition for the additional visas when the rule is published in the General Register later this week, according to senior DHS officials.

Previous applicants who did not make the earlier cut-off for the fiscal year will have to reapply, the officials added, but if hired by the end of the fiscal year, they will be able to work past Sept. 30.

President Donald Trump uses the H-2B visa program to staff his Florida private club, where he has hosted visiting heads of state since his inauguration in January.


One in 10 babies received
no vaccinations for 2016


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly one in 10 infants worldwide, or 12.9 million, received no vaccinations in 2016, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Those infants missed the critical first dose of the triple vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, known as the DTP3 vaccination. An additional 6.6 million infants who received the first dose didn't receive the other two doses in the three-dose series last year.

Current levels of immunization prevent 2 million to 3 million deaths worldwide every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles, according to WHO, which called routine vaccinations one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions that can be carried out.

One hundred and thirty of the 194 WHO member states have achieved the 90 percent DTP3 coverage benchmark. The majority of unvaccinated infants live in countries ensnared in conflict or encumbered by high levels of poverty.

Despite the stagnant overall vaccination rates, WHO reported gains in vaccination for rubella, a virus that can cause severe birth defects if contracted by pregnant women. Global coverage against that disease increased from 35 percent in 2010 to 47 percent in 2016, according to Monday's statement.

The fight for broader vaccination rates is not unique to developing nations or war-torn regions. Earlier this month, the French government passed a law mandating that by 2018, French parents will be required to vaccinate their children against a range of diseases, including pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella.

France already requires vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis, with exceptions for infants with certain medical conditions.

The new law is a response to a movement against vaccinations in developed countries. In America, Britain and France, the measles vaccination rate has fallen just below the 95 percent level.


fishing in Africa
Voice of America photo        
Fishermen get ready to cast off in the morning off the coast of Joal, Senegal.

Chinese fishing threatens
West African economies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Foreign fishing vessels, many from China, prowl the waters off West Africa every day. They capture millions of fish, catches that used to go to local boats. The fish are then shipped to China, Europe and the United States, satisfying a global demand for seafood and fueling a multibillion-dollar industry.

The foreign vessels make life hard for West African fishermen.

Foreign trawlers from Asia and Europe have cost West Africa's economy 300,000 jobs and $2 billion in income, according to John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace.

However, what to do about the problem and possible damage to regional fish populations has eluded experts and officials.

Exact numbers are difficult to come by, but experts agree no single country has a greater presence off the coast of West Africa than China.

In a 2015 report, Greenpeace estimated that, two years earlier, China had 426 distant water fishing vessels off Africa's West Coast. Between 2000 and 2011, 64 percent of China's average annual catches, valued at more than $7 billion, came from that area, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Fishing isn't a big part of China's economy, representing less than one percent of total gross domestic product.

But for many in China's coastal provinces, it's both a livelihood and way of life, according to Haibing Ma, the China program manager for the Worldwatch Institute, a nonprofit group that researches sustainability.

Fishing practices are inherently difficult to monitor and regulate. Oceans are vast, vessels are hard to reach, and a mix of local and international laws and regulations complicates enforcement.

Domestic laws regulate waters up to 200 miles off the coast, and international laws control waters past that, according to Todd Dubois, assistant director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement.

This complex environment has led to a variety of creative ways to maximize profits without breaking the law.

Many see international fishing off Africa's West Coast as an exploitation of local resources by foreign powers. But some of the most damaging practices occur within the law, and local African economies sometimes benefit from illegal fishing.

Fishing, even when done on a massive scale, can be sustainable, provided there's adequate planning and reporting. That means understanding the vulnerability of local fish populations and managing catches accordingly.

China's presence off Africa's west coast shows no signs of shrinking, though. The Chinese government has enabled the industry to expand far beyond the country's own shores. In 2013, the government gave the fishing sector about $6.5 billion in subsidies, according to a brief Standing wrote for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.


Research tries shock and kill
method to eliminate HIV


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers working on a one-two punch to eliminate HIV say their first punch has landed and they can start working on the second, though plenty of work will be needed on both fronts before a cure is available.

HIV spreads just like other viruses: It takes over a cell's DNA and uses the cell's infrastructure to make copies of itself. Most HIV treatments work by blocking new cells from getting infected.

The cells that are actively producing HIV are constantly being killed, either by HIV or by the immune system. So once you stop new cells from getting infected, the patient can achieve a viral load close to zero.

That's not a total cure though, because some HIV-infected cells go into a resting state, and stop actively producing the virus. This viral reservoir remains hidden from the immune system. The problem is that if treatment stops, the latent virus will eventually reactivate and the disease will be able to spread again.

Doctors have gotten pretty good at stopping HIV from infecting new cells, but they still haven't figured out how to eliminate these reservoirs, and so patients must take medication for their entire life.

That's why maintaining health care access for everyone living with HIV is a major public health challenge. And even for those who can access life-long care, over time these drugs can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and brain.

In 2012, a University of North Carolina research group published a proof of concept for a cure called shock and kill. They showed that a cancer drug called Vorinostat can shock some infected cells into producing HIV again. That brings the virus out of hiding so it can be killed.

"What we did in this study was to determine the optimal dosing regimen, how often the drug should be given, in order to measure consistent reactivation of HIV," co-author Nancie Archin said.

Once reactivated, those cells should self-destruct or be killed by the immune system, just like in a typical HIV treatment. But the team's findings confirm previous evidence showing that isn't happening.

It's not yet clear why that is. One theory was that Vorinostat was weakening the immune system, so that it wasn't able to kill the infected cells. But the report ruled that out, relevant parts of the immune system, the study found, were not weakened.

On the bright side, the research demonstrated that Vorinostat is safe to use with HIV-positive patients at doses that can effectively shock cells.

The researchers have already begun trials pairing Vorinostat with drugs that might be able to kill the shocked cells. There is a high safety standard for these trials because the participants have their HIV level under control and are generally healthy.

But it's still not clear if the shock is effective enough if all the reservoir is being activated. The researchers stressed that it will be a long time before effective treatments are available. And because the treatment involves activating HIV, it will, at least at first, only be available to those who have their viral load under control.

Sharon Lewin, who researches HIV latency at the University of Melbourne and was not associated with this study, said she wished the researchers had used more methods to measure whether the cells were being shocked.

It is possible that the cell is producing HIV, but that the HIV virus isn't leaving the cell. If so, that could explain why the cells aren't dying.

HIV has been eliminated in a handful of people. At least two infants who received aggressive treatment within hours of contracting HIV never developed viral reservoirs.

One man in Germany has been HIV-free for several years following a pair of bone marrow transplants he received during cancer treatment. This has failed in other patients though, and bone marrow transplants are life-threatening procedures.


Humanitarian groups faceoff
with the Italian government


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A code of conduct drafted by the Italian government setting out new rules for refugee-rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean is drawing the anger of charities and rights groups, who claim the code will risk thousands of lives.

Under the proposal, which the European Union approved Monday, refugee-rescue vessels operated by charities are barred from coordinating with people-smugglers by phone or using lights to signal their location.

They are now restricted to patrolling in international waters, not in Libyan territorial waters where they can pick up asylum-seekers closer to shore.

Any vessel discovered to have breached the code risks being banned from docking at Italian ports. Humanitarian ships now pick up more than a third of all migrants attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Italy, compared to one percent in 2014.

An intense debate has erupted in Italy about whether refugee-rescue ships have inadvertently encouraged the migration.

Some in Italy accuse humanitarian agencies of colluding with people-smugglers by arranging pick-up locations. Humanitarian groups dismiss the claims and point to two parliamentary probes that found no misconduct on their part.

The code is the latest move by Rome to try to curb the record numbers of migrants and it comes amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment buffeting the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

More than 86,000 migrants have reached Italy this year, a 10 percent increase on the same period last year, according to the International Office for Migration.

The migrants in detention centers and temporary shelters have reached Italy's capacity of 200,000. But the number of migrants in Italy is much higher, thousands have left shelters to work illegally.

Gentiloni has had to drop a hotly-contested new citizenship law that would have granted citizenship to tens of thousands of migrant children born or resident in Italy. There is also a mounting rebellion from municipal mayors over the resettlement of asylum-seekers.

Gentiloni and his advisers have threatened to trigger an obscure EU Balkans War-era directive to issue temporary EU visas to asylum-seekers currently in Italy, which would allow them to travel legally to other EU countries, something Italy's immediate neighbors, France and Austria, oppose.

Earlier this month, Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil warned he’s ready to deploy troops on the Brenner Pass separating Austria and Italy to stop migrants crossing.

French President Emmanuel Macron said last week after meeting with Gentiloni and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that most of those who travel to Italy are economic migrants not war refugees and that France can’t admit economic migrants.

The Italian ambassador to Britain, Pasquale Terracciano, says Italy has little choice but to start clamping down. Italy’s EU neighbors have only taken in 7,300 of the asylum-seekers who disembarked at Italian ports.


More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Penthouse

Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

 Enjoy the most spectacular views in the valley in this 5 -story Penthouse.  One of a kind property on top of the Corobici / Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel plus other businesses.  Large Living Room, Elevator goes directly inside Penthouse.  Private hot tub deck and Dance floor with Spectacular views!!!  All exterior walls are glass or have windows. Commercial license is in place.  Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $695K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,500 per month on an annual basis.  This is a private condo residence and is Not associated with the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  

Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email: danwisellawyer@yahoo.com
9132-6/1/17


Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

Eco graphic
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
          property
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area

Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
Dream Property River Click Here

www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
Skype: ecorealtorscr
Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR
9124-4/19/17


Rich Coast Realty
Rich Coast Realty
Real Estate and Construction in the Central Pacific
Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
12 years’ experience in Costa Rica Real Estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
9189-9/2/17


San Ramon home
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com  (please link that email)
Check out slide show HERE!
9220-8/15/17


Santiago de Puriscal
A little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal,
Costa Rica.
    

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

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

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


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

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

colinasdelsol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business for sale or lease (paid category)






Hotel in
Escazú

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú

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


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


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


Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH
Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

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

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

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


Remax
Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918


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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

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

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Related

Costa Rica
Solar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

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

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

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

9177-6/19/16

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

Real estate services
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Businesses for sale



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Published || Tuesday Edition, July 18, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 141
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Carrera Bomberos caps weekend

Carrera Bomberos
Bomberos de Costa Rica photo       
The sixth annual Carrera Bomberos occurred this past Sunday to much fanfare on the west side of San José. The run included three options: a 10-kilometer, five-kilometer and one kilometer for kids. The event usually draws a diverse group of people including disabled persons running on wheelchairs, older persons getting out to make the run and others. The Federación Costaricense de Atletismo endorsed the race.

Disabled
participants


La Carpio will get new school building

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students from La Carpio community will have a top quality building to host their primary and perhaps, their secondary schools, according to Casa Presidencial.

The project is an investment of over $7 million and includes two buildings at three stories each, 36 classrooms, two cafeterias, a library, a computer lab and administrative space. It will also have a gym, its own sewer and water stockage units. Classes will be taught during three shifts a day, including Saturdays.

The place is funded by a $167 million trust between the Ministerio de Educación Pública, the Interamerican Developement Bank and the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica



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From page 7:

Flamingo Beach Resort to be rebranded

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Margaritaville Holdings and Driftwood Acquisitions & Development announced last Thursday that they are coming together to rebrand the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa in Guanacaste.

The rebranding will begin effective immediately, according to a statement issued by Margaritaville Holdings. This will include renovations to the property, which will include incorporating Margaritaville casual-luxe design elements, the company said. Flamingo Beach Resort is expected to remain open during that time.

The resort is located on Playa Flamingo is the northern Pacific part of Guanacaste province. The company said that it offers 120 spacious guestrooms and suites as well as features two pool, spa, restaurant and lounge. Some parts of the resort even offer a private ocean view of Flamingo.

“We are thrilled to combine the fun and escapism of our brand with these iconic locations and provide additional opportunities to relax and have a great time,” John Conlan, the CEO of Margaritaville, said in a statement.

Driftwood is a privately owned investment firm specializing in acquisition and development of hotel assets. The company said that the Flamingo Beach Resort has been an entity of Driftwood through its ownership of Costa Rica-based Hotelera Playa Flamingo S.A. and managed by Driftwood Hospitality Management since 2003, the company said. Driftwood is assisting Margaritaville with the rebranding efforts of the property.

“It’s a dream come true for us to partner with Margaritavile,” said Carlos Rodriguez, the head of Driftwood Acquisitions, “Flamingo Beach has been near and dear to my heart for a very long time. We’re excited to get underway, working together with the Margaritaville team to help travelers create unforgettable memories in the Midwest and Costa Rica.”

Margaritaville has become America’s leading lifestyle escapism brand largely inspired by songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, the group said. The brand features nine destination resorts and hotels across the Southeast United States and Caribbean and twenty additional locations in active development, four gaming locations and more than 60 restaurants.