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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 83                        Email us
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Infinito case is a legacy left for the new president
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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 had signed with the Costa Rican government.

Although some have raised environmental arguments about the project, the key issue is the validity of contracts. And that, basically is what the argument will be before a panel of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The Ministerio de Comercio Exterior is the lead agency to fight for Costa Rica.

The case will be argued and considered under an investment treaty between Costa Rica and Canada, where Infinito is located.

Regardless of the outcome, the case is another black eye for Costa Rica for foreign investment. The disputes center designates the case No. ARB/14/5).

Luis Guillermo Solís and his minister-designate for Commercio Exterior, Alexánder Mora Delgado, are at the forefront of the defense of the country. Mora is a banker and the founder of tech companies. He has a master's in business administration and worked with Banco de Costa Rica in its investment and insurance arms.

The Canadian firm of Torys LLP, headquartered in Toronto, will represent Infinito. The firm is one of the so-called Seven Sisters, law firms identified as the top seven in Canada.

Solís has not spoken publicly about the dispute center's case, but it is likely that he will seek some form of negotiated settlement.

Infinito has cut its demand to $95 million, which it says is the estimated amount it has spent in Costa Rica. Originally it sought $1 billion, which represented expense here and estimated lost profit from gold mining.

Generally such cases take a long time. Gold
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mine opponents here have suggested that Costa Rica ignore the dispute center case.

In a March forum at the Universidad de Costa Rica mine opponents suggested that Costa Rica not participate in the international arbitration. The center is a subsidiary of the World Bank. A lawyer at the same session said that this would not be a good idea. The opponents also said  Costa Rica should void its trade agreement with Canada.

If Costa Rica ignores the case, the proceedings will continue anyway with a likely outcome favorable to Infinito. There always is the possibility that Infinito will reinstate its demand for $1 billion. That would be a budget buster for Costa Rica.

Infinito began working here in 1993 through a local subsidiary. Since then the price of gold has skyrocketed. The firm also has been the victim of politics. In his first press conference as president, Abel Pacheco said he was ordering a moratorium on open pit mining. He said that even though Infinito had a valid contract. Eventually the courts backed the gold mining company.

Mining opponents in Canada also launched campaigns against the company. A coalition of opponents said on a Web site that "Infinito Gold, a Canadian mining company, just threatened to slap Costa Rica with a $1 billion lawsuit because the nation decided to protect its rain forests rather than host an open-pit gold mine."

In fact, the mining activity would affect just 190 hectares, some 470 acres. The company had promised to repair the damage and plant many more new trees after the gold was extracted.

President Óscar Arias Sánchez strongly supported the project and declared it in the public interest. The firm also won a series of Sala IV victories. However, it was the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo that ordered the mining permit to be invalidated. It even called for prosecution against Arias and the then-environmental minister.

Sois team
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz  
The president-elect poses with his appointees.
Solís stresses youth in second appointment round
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Still a week remains until he sets up his office in Casa Presidencial, but Luis Guillermo Solís insists the changes he and his administration promised are already evident. After he introduced another round of cabinet members Monday at the Museo de los Niños, Solís looked around at his new staff and said they were living proof of his campaign slogan's validity.

“The change has already begun – here it is,” he said as he pointed to his appointees flanking him on stage.

Among the 19 positions that Solís announced, there was an obvious focus on youth, as the president-elect had previously promised. The majority of the vice ministers he chose are ages 31 and under. “We had promised in our campaign the integration of Costa Rican youth to the government with the supreme responsibility of collaborating with and handling national issues,” he said.

On top of the youth movement, Solís has also focused on incorporating a procession of women into his administration. After bringing eight more into his cabinet on Monday, he said to expect more female appointees to match the heavy influence of young people.

He said he plans to have more than 100 young people under the age of 25 on his extended staff,
mainly including those who were vital in helping his successful campaign. When questioned about the potential concern of inexperience, Solís responded by listing off characteristics the appointees can bring to the table, He cited virtues like optimism, creativity, and strength.

 “These will not be the only young people in the government,” Solís said. “Nor will these be the only women integrated into the cabinet.”

One woman is the new head of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, María del Rocío Sáenz Madrigal. As the former minister of Salud from 2002 to 2006 under Abel Pacheco, Ms. Sáenz arrives on duty carrying a bit more experience than her fresh out-of-college peers. Ms. Sáenz said that her staff will try to strengthen the Caja's wavering perception by putting the people first.

“I would like a Caja where the population is the central focus,” she said. “That is the main issue.”

Solís has yet to announce ministers of Vivienda, Justicia y Paz, and Ciencia y Tecnología. He said he wants to be careful about whom he chooses and not rush to an uninformed decision for who should lead such crucial sectors. Subsequently, Solís will make a third, and expected final, cabinet announcement next Monday to fill those voids.

“Just wait a little bit longer,” he said in perfect English to a laughing auditorium. “Your prayers will be answered shortly.”


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 Our readers' opinions
Costa Rica still is best
country for retirement

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Upon reading today’s A. M. Costa Rica article titled “Can Costa Rica make a turnaround for its expats?” I feel compelled to offer a more moderate and representative point of view.  All things considered, Costa Rica is still the best destination for expatriate retirement in the world today even though Panamá may offer higher real estate commissions and more sales action and so garner higher ratings from some quarters.  Consider the source.

Surely it would be better for Costa Rica’s new regime to avoid taxing the expat population any more than natives.  It would be better to not tax or control the people, in general, any more than can be reasonably justified.  Times are getting tougher all around, internationally.  Our government is feeling the squeeze.  It’s not easy to walk this fence.

The new regime needs to carefully apply good business planning and attract more foreign interests rather than lose more of them. Yet the contributions made by tourism and the more lasting, large retired population need to be valued and sustained.  Too much pressure on these folks may result in seeing them return home, which is the usual pattern when a retiree gets fed up.  Very few go to Panamá with good reason.

Barriers to open bank accounts result from U.S. government restrictions on personal financial freedom. Uncle Sam swings a big club throughout the Americas.  We are told this intervention is meant to control financial activity and cash flow associated with drug dealing and terrorism.  Some factions consider this a general assault on everyone’s personal freedom supposedly excused as “security measures.”  The many innocent are restricted in order to control the guilty few.  These same same rules apply in Panamá and everywhere U.S. influence has sway.  This lazy form of policing is bigger picture stuff.

According to Charles Zeller of Ship to Costa Rica, "Panamá is no heaven to move to. Importing to Panama is not cheap.  Just obtaining the tax exemption costs hundreds of dollars and the customs clearance process is expensive.  Except for importing a car and household goods to Panama, the costs are similar to Costa Rica, including paying the duties in Costa Rica. "

“With regard to the exemption on cars in Panama, they are not totally exempt either.  The exemption is for up to $10,000.  Anything above that pays taxes.  Cheaper cars over 3 years old pay a fine of $1,500.00.  If you import a new car, taxes are lower than Costa Rica.  If you import an older car, it might be not so."  The net result is Panamá digs into your pockets whether your car is newer and more expensive or older and cheaper."

Costa Rica offers many more good places to live than Panamá.  Panama City is expensive and too hectic for most retirees.  Besides, the climate is extremely hot and humid.  Your air conditioning bills will be high.  Coronado is like a retirement community two hours away from Panama City.  It’s just living with other Americans. 

As Mr. Zeller states, "Some people I moved to that location ended moving away because they hated it."  Boquete is far away from Panama City and downright boring.  The only nearby town is David, and there is not much to do there.  Bocas is the armpit of the world.  I have moved many people there and most of them moved out again.  Very expensive and isolated. Hot and foul weather most of the time. People have little education and live in the middle of the drug corridor."

Panama's crime rate is higher than Costa Rica's.  For example, Panama’s homicide rate is 17.2 per 100,000 while Costa Rica's is half of that -- 8 per 100,000, according to a recent United Nations report.

No matter what happens in the world, Costa Rica will become cheaper because the colón will take a dive. If a government has a big deficit, like Costa Rica has, there is no way it can keep their currency from devaluing. This is good for expats that receive foreign currency (dollars or euros.) Imported goods will remain expensive but local products will be cheaper when you receive dollars and pay in colons.

You can't find better weather or friendlier Ticos and expats than in Costa Rica.

We do not have racial tensions like those in any other country in Latin America.  Even the more developed countries are not exempt — Argentina and Chile. All of the countries where the Spanish subjugated large indigenous populations are still plagued by social injustice and cultural rifts. 

 Examples of this are México with its drug war; Colombia with its decades-long guerrilla movement; Venezuela with its failed socialist experiment; and Guatemala, el Salvador and Honduras, which are the most violent countries in the world according to statistics.  If not Costa Rica, and considering Panamá is so blah, where do you retire abroad and feel safe?

We have a large, educated middle class.  Many of them speak English.  There is nothing worse than dealing with the ignorance that you encounter in some other Latin American countries.

 Costa Rica is still the best place to retire if you do not have to make a living here.  If you need supplemental income, an Internet based business in the U.S. will help.

Christopher Howard 

Fighting corruption seen
as way to fix economy

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have been told that the new president has stated that he would spend the first two years of his term in office fighting corruption and the balance of his term improving the economy.

This president has the opportunity to set Costa Rica on a course that would improve the quality of life for all of those who live in this wonderful nation. The corruption that now exists has been growing and becoming more entrenched for a much longer time than, the tenure of the last administration. It appears that the direction the economy is taking and the quality services provided by the government (roads, schools, medical and, others.) is affecting not only the people who call Costa Rica home but, also, those who are involved in the corruption that is undermining every day life in Costa Rica. Granted those who are involved in corruption may have the resources to leave the country and live comfortably elsewhere, but by far the vast majority of the people who call Costa Rica home are stuck.

It has been pointed out to me that if the new president were to to spend his entire first term in office fighting and, defeating corruption and, passing legislation preventing any future corruption. Then, before the end of his first term the economic situation would be well on its way to righting itself.

I would be remiss by not mentioning the passing of Jo Stuart. Although I did not always agree with her articles, She brought civility to any subject on which she reported.  She will be missed more and more as time goes on.
Gordon L Balter

Worker's holiday Thursday
will bring out union backers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thursday is International Labor Day, which is celebrated here in Costa Rica. The day is a legal holiday, and among other facilities, the embassies will be closed.

For some, the holiday represents a chance for another four-day holiday. Friday is nominally a workday, but plenty of workers apply vacation time to achieve a long weekend.

For those who stay in the metro area, the big attraction is the worker's parade. Everyone with a complaint is invited to participate.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados is calling for a big turnout from members of its associated unions. The march begins in the vicinity of Calle 20 and ends at the legislature. The participants are not rowdy, and the parade is a great tourism attraction.

The association is calling for a new salary scale and a change in the tax structure so that those who have more, pay more. The association also wants a declaration of emergency to fight tax evasion, it said. Also sought is an end to wait lists at the nation's health provider, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

The association also wants to keep utilities, such as water, electricity and sewers in public ownership. There is a movement for private power generation.

A good bet is that dock workers from Limón will be in town to protest the proposed construction of the APM Terminals container handling facility. This is a concession, and the company's facility will be faster and much more efficient than the public docks in Limón and Moín. The workers see this as a threat.

Proponents and opponents of widening Ruta 32 from Río Frio to Limón also are expected to show up. Many in Limón want the highway project to begin. Others oppose accepted a $435 million deal with China to do it.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 83
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Lawmakers reject plan to continue shrimp trawling in Pacific
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The current legislature has rejected a measure that would circumvent a Sala IV decision to forbid commercial shrimp fishing.

Two lawmakers representing the Puntarenas area expressed their regret over the decision and said that 300 families that depend directly or indirectly on shrimp fishing would be affected. They called for an equilibrium between environmental management and fishing.

The Sala IV accepted the argument that shrimp trawlers do serious
damage to coral and also other ocean inhabitants, such as turtles.

In response, the measure, No. 18.968 quickly passed through a committee and was sent to the floor for action.

Lawmakers  Agnes Gómez and Rodolfo Sotomayor of Puntarenas blamed legislators from Partido Acción Ciudadana and Frente Amplio for killing the bill.

The Sala IV ruling does not cut off shrimp fishing. But it instructed government officials not to renew the licenses when they expire  of the operators who now have them.

Coast guard gets two facilities on the northern Pacific coast
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials inaugurate two stations for the  Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas Monday. One is in Flamingo and the other is in Murciélago in the far northwest part of the country.

The modern station in Flamingo represent a $3 million donation by the U.S. Southern Command in an effort to reduce drug shipments by sea.

The station has the capacity of holding 60 officers per shift, said the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

Construction began a year ago. The station has a floating dock and ramps for taking boats from the water.

The second station is in Cuajiniquil de La Cruz. The project, a restoration, cost 17 million colons, about $34,000.

The facility can house 10 officers per shift. The money came from the ministry budget.
coast gaurd station
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
This is the new facilty in Flamingo

Costa Rica joins with other nations in regional tourism campaign
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Costa Rica is embarking in a regional marketing campaign to spike tourism numbers within Central America. Leaders from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, unveiled the three-week series of ads and discount packages, entitled Descubre Centroamérica.

Danito Correa, the region's commercial director at Avianca Airlines, was also on hand to discuss the $200,000 campaign that started Monday and will continue until May 15. Central American governments joined Avianca to pay for the project.

The airline company is sponsoring the travel deals and has $250 flights with more than 20,000 available seats.

Correa said the airline is interested in offering prospective passengers with the chance to see Central America's diverse set of sights and experiences. He added that the company is excited to help boost the region's tourism, which grew by more than 4 percent last year.

“We firmly believe this is an important action that will stimulate tourism and contribute to the development of one of the most important sectors of this region's economy,” he said.

Isabel Vargas, president of the Camara Nacional de Turismo, said
the chamber has worked with both private and public sectors to ensure the success of  Descubre Centroamérica. She said the country strives to be a destination that leads the way for the region's tourism market, while mutually benefitting the other countries.

“Central America has a wide range of natural and cultural wonders,” Ms. Vargas said. “Each country offers a unique ingredient that makes it attractive for tourism, so it is valuable to encourage more Central Americans to visit our country.”

She said the country is interested in opening doors to South American markets as well to bring in a consistent stream of travelers from places like Argentina and Brazil.

The tourism institute's marketing director, Viviana Rudin, said this activity coordinated between neighboring countries represents an important step for Costa Rica to reinforce its position as one of Central America's most notable and reliable tourist attractions.

After the press conference Ms. Rudin said the ads would be published through both web and radio media outlets. Each country's tourism ministry worked with Avianca to create the ad series, she said.

This is the third straight year for the campaign series that also includes Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panamá. Travel bookings made during the period are valid from May 1 until June 20.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 83
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Moral dilemma in foreign language prompts different reaction, study says
By the University of Chicago news staff

Would you sacrifice one person to save five? Such moral choices could depend on whether you are using a foreign language or your native tongue.

A new study from psychologists at the University of Chicago and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona finds that people using a foreign language take a relatively utilitarian approach to moral dilemmas, making decisions based on assessments of what’s best for the common good. That pattern holds even when the utilitarian choice would produce an emotionally difficult outcome, such as sacrificing one life so others could live.

“This discovery has important consequences for our globalized world, as many individuals make moral judgments in both native and foreign languages,” says Boaz Keysar, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. “The real world implications could include an immigrant serving as a jury member in a trial, who may approach decision-making differently than a native-English speaker.” Leading author Albert Costa, also a psychologist in Barcelona, adds that “deliberations at places like the United Nations, the European Union, large international corporations or investment firms can be better explained or made more predictable by this discovery.”

The researchers propose that the foreign language elicits a reduced emotional response. That provides a psychological distance from emotional concerns when making moral decisions. Previous studies from both research groups independently found a similar effect for making economic decisions.

In the new study, two experiments using the well-known trolley dilemma tested the hypothesis that when faced with moral choices in a foreign language, people are more likely to respond with a utilitarian approach that is less emotional.

The first experiment presented participants with the footbridge scenario of the trolley dilemma. Study participants are asked to imagine they are standing on a footbridge overlooking a train track when they see that an on-coming train is about to kill five people. The only way to stop it is to push a heavy man off the footbridge in front of the train. That action will kill the man, but save the five people. In other words, study participants were faced with the dilemma of choosing between actively sacrificing one person, which violates the moral prohibition against killing, or by inaction allowing five people to die.

The researchers collected data from people in the U.S., Spain, Korea,
France and Israel. Across all populations, more participants selected the utilitarian choice, to save five by killing one, when the dilemmas were presented in the foreign language than when they did the problem in their native tongue.

Even with randomizing the participants’ language groups, “those using a foreign language were twice as likely to respond with the utilitarian approach that is more in the service of the common good of saving more people,” said lead author Costa. He is currently a visiting professor at Chicago.

The second experiment included a version of the dilemma that is less emotional. In this dilemma, the trolley is headed towards the five men, but study subject can switch it to another track where it would kill only one man. People tend to be more willing to sacrifice the one man by pulling a switch than by pushing him off the footbridge because the action is less emotionally intense, the researchers note. The language of presentation did not affect participants’ decisions in this dilemma; with either language, the vast majority of people prefer the utilitarian option in this less emotional scenario.

The team evaluated data from 725 participants, including 397 native speakers of Spanish with English as a foreign language, and 328 native speakers of English with Spanish as a foreign language. Each participant received the two dilemmas either in their native language or a foreign one. When presented with the less emotional scenario, more than 80 percent of participants preferred to divert the train and that percentage remained high in their native and foreign language. On the other hand, when presented with the more emotional scenario, people are once again significantly more likely to sacrifice one to save five when making the choice in a foreign language.

Keysar says decisions appear to be made differently when processed in a foreign language. “People are less afraid of losses, more willing to take risks and much less emotionally-connected when thinking in a foreign language.”

Co-author Sayuri Hayakawa, a doctoral student in psychology, says the way individuals learn the language is key. “You learn your native language as a child and it is part of your family and your culture,” she said. “You probably learn foreign languages in less emotional settings like a classroom and it takes extra effort. The emotional content of the language is often lost in translation.”

“What this study tells us is that moral judgments can be affected depending on whether the language in which it is presented is a native or foreign one,” Costa said. “Awareness of this impact of languages on moral dilemmas is fundamental to making more informed choices.”

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

Rohrmoser/Pavas, 1-bedroom apartment, fully furnished, including kitchen utensils. Washer/dryer. Good security, private.
Tico Cable included, $500. Contact, Wayne Winstead, 8820-1501. Casa 2291-6371. Just need your clothes to move in.

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 83
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Researchers worry the flu
in Mideast may have mutated

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has killed about a third of the people known to have caught it. There is no treatment and no vaccine. That’s the bad news.

The relatively good news is that it does not spread all that well.

Most cases so far have been people with other health problems, such as cancer, diabetes or kidney disease, or health care workers who come in close contact with sick patients.

The virus first appeared in September 2012. It’s a member of the coronavirus family, which includes germs that cause the common cold, as well as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

That disease popped up in southern China in 2003, infected about 8,000 people in 29 countries and killed about 800 before it was contained.

The most recent data from the World Health Organization reports 261 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome infections, including 93 deaths. Other case tallies are higher and put the death toll over 100.

A spike in cases in Saudi Arabia beginning last week has raised worries among health experts that the virus has mutated into a more spreadable form. That would be a danger sign.

But German researchers have examined DNA from some of the new Saudi cases and have not found any significant change in the virus.

That’s good news, but researchers say they need more data to be sure. And they still do not know why the case count spiked.

“Some of this could be seasonality,” said epidemiologist David Swerdlow, who heads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s response to MERS. “Some of it could be better surveillance. Some of it could be that there’s a large outbreak ongoing in some health care facilities, perhaps.”

It’s not yet clear where the virus came from originally, but camels are the lead suspect.

Unfortunately, there is a lot about the virus that scientists do not know.

What they do know are lessons that SARS drove home, said Amesh Adalja with the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

“The world is a small place, that borders don’t mean anything,” he said. “And that the total health security of the globe is really tied up in identifying these threats as quickly as possible and then trying to stop them in their tracks.”

He said that’s why health officials around the world are keeping a close eye on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

NASA photo
William Shatner receives a plaque

NASA honors Capt. Kirk
with medal for his generosity

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For years actor William Shatner played the swashbuckling space hero, Capt. James Tiberius Kirk of the mega popular Star Trek franchise, and now he can boast an award from the U.S. space agency, NASA.

Shatner was awarded the Distinguished Public Service medal, the highest award bestowed by the agency to non-government personnel Saturday during his annual charity event in Los Angeles.

According to the citation, the award is presented for “outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring new generations of explorers around the world, and for unwavering support for NASA and its missions of discovery.”

“Words cannot express my thoughts on being recognized by @NASA,” wrote Shatner on his Twitter feed.

Shatner has a long history with NASA.

The first space shuttle, Enterprise, was named to honor the popular television show and movie series, according to NASA.

Shatner also voiced a NASA documentary marking 30 years of space shuttle missions, and during the final flight of shuttle Discovery, the actor recreated the famous introduction of the television series to wake up the crew.

In 2012, Shatner hosted a video about the Curiosity rover’s mission to Mars.

“William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today, ” said David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington in a statement.  “He's most deserving of this prestigious award.”

Shatner’s Capt. Kirk character made the actor a household name. The television series ran only three years, from 1966 to 1969. Shatner reprised the character for seven Star Trek movies from 1979 to 1994.

Past recipients of the award include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory director and Voyager project scientist Edward Stone, theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer, and science fiction writer Robert Heinlein.

Radar being used to seek
body of Miguel de Cervantes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The search is on for the remains of arguably the most important figure in Spanish literature, Miguel de Cervantes.
Researchers in Spain are planning to use ground penetrating radar to search the floor of a Madrid convent for the bones of the author of what is considered the world’s first novel, "The Adventures of the Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha."
Records show Cervantes died in poverty at 69 on April 22, 1616. His remains were reportedly entombed in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid's historic Barrio de las Letras, or literary quarter. The exact location of the remains within the convent is unknown.
The convent does have a plaque honoring the famous author.
Researchers say they will focus on the oldest part of the convent first, but that finding, exhuming and identifying the remains could take months.
"The radar cannot tell you whether it is the body of the writer, but it can indicate the place of burial," Luis Avial told reporters on Friday.
Avial, who’s leading the team added that the while the radar can find the bones, the process of exhuming them will be delicate.
Experts say that while there are no known living descendants of Cervantes, they will be able to confirm the remains based on some physical traits Cervantes was believed to have.
For one, he was reported to only have six teeth at the time of his death.
More noticeable, perhaps, would be wounds Cervantes received while aboard the ship "La Marquesa" at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, during which he was reportedly hit with three musket shots, two in the chest and one in the arm which rendered the limb useless.

The cost of the endeavor is expected to be $138,000.

Drug firm cites successes
in anti-dengue clinical trials

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The French drug manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur says its vaccine against dengue fever protected more than half of all children in a late-stage clinical trial. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that infects an estimated 400 million people each year.

The vaccine was tested in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam on more than 10,000 children, protecting 56 percent of them. Another large trial is underway in Latin America. Those results are expected later this year.

Experts say a 50 percent reduction in dengue cases is significant. Olivier Charmeil, chief executive of Sanofi Pasteur, is quoted as saying, "Our goal is to make dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of the world's population living in tropical and subtropical regions is at risk for illness and death caused by dengue fever, sometimes called breakbone fever.

Symptoms of infection, include a sudden high fever, severe headache, eye pain, joint pain and pain in muscles and bones. Some people also develop a rash, gum and nose bleeding as well as easy bruising. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent the viral infection, which is spread by mosquitoes.

When the infection is recognized early, the only treatment for dengue fever is prompt, supportive care, which can substantially reduce the risk of complications and death. Otherwise, people are told to avoid mosquitoes.

The disease was first recognized as a worldwide problem in the 1950s, and the hunt for a successful vaccine has been on ever since then. Among other agencies, Sanofi worked with the U.S. Army on its vaccine. Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Microsoft issues advisory
over vulnerable Explorer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. software giant Microsoft issued an advisory Saturday about a newly-discovered security flaw in its popular Internet Explorer browser that exposes many computers to hackers’ attacks.

According to Microsoft, most vulnerable are computers using Internet Explorer versions 9 through 11.

Experts warn that hackers can gain access to their computers and install malicious software if users let themselves be tricked into viewing a certain website or opening an e-mail attachment.

If a user has administrative rights, a hacker could gain control of the its whole system, which means that even U.S. federal government computers could be attacked.

Experts from U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team advise using different Internet browsers, such as Firefox or Chrome, until Microsoft issues a fix for the problem.

Environmentalists honored
for activism and courage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Grassroots environmental activists from six regions of the world were awarded with the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco Monday.

Each year the $175,000 award recognizes individuals who have shown courage and initiative against the odds to take action to protect the world. 

This year's Goldman Prize winner in South Africa is Desmond D’Sa,  who grew up in Durban and worked in a nearby chemical factory.

His poor working class neighborhood is surrounded by gas and oil refineries, paper mills and agrochemical plants. Half of its 300,000 residents have asthma and also suffer from high rates of cancer.

A refinery explosion sparked his activism and he began to organize against the expansion of a toxic waste dump near his neighborhood.

“We started to develop a community and create awareness," D'Sa said. "We have health workshops. We take bucket samples to ensure they know what’s causing all the illnesses. So we have developed the knowledge base. We have agitated. We have lobbied.  We were able for the first time in the history of this country to get the industry bosses to be held accountable for their actions.”

The landfill was forced to close and, despite threats to his life and property, the Goldman award winner is now fighting the expansion of Durban’s port, which would displace thousands of people without compensation, while also increasing pollution.

“We’ve shown that as a united force, you can stop environmental racism," he said.  "And we’ve shown communities that there needs to be a new way of doing business.”
Indonesian biologist Rudi Putra is the Goldman laureate representing the world’s island nations, where the majority of the world’s palm oil is grown. The oil is in everything from cookies, chocolate and baby formula to cosmetics and soap products.

Palm oil plantations are replacing the forests in Sumatra, one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world. So Putra has turned his own chain saw on illegal operations, cutting down the trees on nearly 500 hectares. Putra has succeeded in getting village chiefs, local officials and the police to join him on his crusade. But, he says, there is much more to do.

“Recently we started an international petition against damage to the ecosystem, and we got over 1.4 million signatures worldwide, which were submitted to the Indonesian government to cancel their plans to develop the rain forest here," Putra said. "We are determined to win this battle, too.”

Europe is represented in the Goldman Awards by zoologist Suren Gazaryan from Russia. Gazaryan made headlines with his challenge to former president Dmitry Medvedev, who had wanted to build a luxury home in a nature reserve in forested land near the Black Sea. President Vladimir Putin had stripped the area of its protected status to allow the project to go ahead. Gazaryan organized a blockade to halt it.     

“We started a social media campaign against the project that recruited 10,000 people," Gazaryan said. "This showed the public that the very people responsible for creating these laws were the first to violate them. Looking forward my main goal is to continue to try to change people’s consciousness, so that they better understand that nature isn’t something we can just sell off and get rich on.  We have to preserve these places for future generations.”

Gazaryan won that battle and returned again to the Black Sea to fight construction of a summer house for Putin, in a protected old-growth forest. Here, he was accused of threatening security guards. Rather than face prison time, Gazaryan fled to Estonia where he continues his environmental work.

Other Goldman prize winners include Ramesh Agrawal from India who, from his small Internet café, began a successful campaign to halt a huge coal mining project in an area already disturbed by pollution; Ruth Buendia from Peru, who stood up to dam construction that would have uprooted indigenous people, and American attorney Helen Slottje, who used the law to defend many towns targeted by gas drilling operations.

Now in its 25th year, the Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to 163 activists from 82 countries.

Dwarf star is very chilly
but still close neighbor

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The coldest-ever brown dwarf star has been found about seven light-years away from Earth and could help scientist learn more about the atmospheres of planets.

Brown dwarfs are objects that are too big to be planets, but too small to be considered stars.  They begin their lives like stars, but since their mass is so low, they are unable to produce the energy needed to be star.

A Penn State University astronomer used NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescopes to find the icy object dubbed WISE J085510.83-071442.5. Its temperature is between -48 to -13 degrees C, even colder than the average winter temperature of the Arctic.

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer also found other brown dwarfs that were at one time the coldest such objects found.  Their temperatures were measured to be around room temperature somewhere between 20 and 23.5 degrees C.

The newly discovered brown dwarf star is the fourth closest star system to the Sun.

“It is very exciting to discover a new neighbor of our solar system that is so close,” said Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. “In addition, its extreme temperature should tell us a lot about the atmospheres of planets, which often have similarly cold temperatures.”

The astronomers spotted the brown dwarf with the space telescope after conducting a thorough infrared survey of the entire sky. The observers scanned the cosmos up to three times in some areas of the sky.

Infrared observations are one of the only way for astronomers to detect chilly objects like brown dwarf stars.  Unlike visible light telescopes, infrared telescopes pick up on an object’s heat signature no matter how faint it might be. Objects such as the brown dwarf would be invisible to visible light telescopes.

The astronomers relied on data from Spitzer’s infrared observations to help them determine the icy brown dwarf’s temperature, and a combination of detections from Spitzer and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer helped them to assess the object’s distance.

“It is remarkable that even after many decades of studying the sky, we still do not have a complete inventory of the Sun’s nearest neighbors,” said Michael Werner, project scientist for Spitzer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.  “This exciting new result demonstrates the power of exploring the universe using new tools, such as the infrared eyes of WISE and Spitzer.”

It’s estimated that the WISE J085510.83-071442.5 dwarf star is between three-to-10 times the mass of Jupiter.

The astronomers say that, with such a low mass, the  brown dwarf could very well have been a gas giant planet, such as our solar system’s outer four planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, that had been kicked out of its star system.

Since these types of objects are fairly common in the cosmos, the astronomers have determined that it’s not a planet but a brown dwarf, albeit one of the least massive brown dwarfs that have been found.

Basketball team owner
is center of racial dispute

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Alleged racial remarks by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is overshadowing the National Basketball Association playoffs, and is sparking outrage across the United States.

The NBA is investigating whether Donald Sterling is the voice heard on a recording that was obtained by the website TMZ. The male voice is heard asking Sterling's then-girlfriend not to publicize her associations with black people.

More of the recording was then released on The male voice asks the woman to not post photos of black people on her Instagram page and to not bring black people to his basketball games. Sterling has not denied the voice is his.

The NBA has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to address the issue, while critics around the country are calling for severe sanctions, including forcing Sterling to sell the team.

Sterling has a history of racism.  In 2009, the real estate mogul paid a record $2.725 million to a settle a federal housing discrimination case claiming he sought to exclude black and Hispanic tenants from his rental properties in Los Angeles.

In a silent protest at their playoff game Sunday, Clippers' players turned their warm-up suits inside out so no team logos were showing.

President Barack Obama is among those who have weighed in on the issue.  He called them incredibly offensive racist statements.

A number of Los Angeles Clippers advertisers have begun canceling or suspending their sponsorships of the team.

New word is re-shoring
to bring jobs back to U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For years, Chinese companies have sold far more goods in the United States than American firms sell in China. This trade deficit hit $318 billion in 2013.

A key reason is that many U.S. companies have transferred their manufacturing to China, a process called offshore outsourcing, resulting in the loss of American jobs. But the tide could be turning.

“As China has built its industrial manufacturing base, it’s become very attractive, so not only is it less expensive to manufacture there, but all of your suppliers are there, the whole infrastructure is there," said Rosemary Coates of Blue Silk Consulting, who has helped companies outsource. "But we’re seeing some reversal in that now. In the last year or two, there’s been a lot of attention paid to re-shoring. “

Re-shoring is bringing manufacturing and services back to the United States. Ms. Coates says the shopper plays a major role in where products are manufactured.

“The price of shoes may go up, in fact, if they are produced in the U.S. from U.S. products, but we expect to get most of the pricing back to within 10 to 15 percent of the international price," Ms. Coates said. "So you have to make a decision as a consumer whether you want to pay the extra 10 to 15 percent to buy a product that is made here.”

Major American corporations like Apple, General Electric and Dell manufacture in China, but sell in the United States.  With U.S. unemployment at 6.7 percent, manufacturing and jobs are a political issue in Washington. But experts say there are also good business reasons to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. mainland.    

“One of them is higher productivity of U.S. labor aided by advancements in computer technology," said Natalia Levina of New York University. Other reasons might be the need to keep inventory levels low which means that manufacturing has to be close to consumption, she said.
However, cheap labor in China and other countries is expected to continue to constrain re-shoring to the U.S. in the near term.  

“It isn’t a matter of just chopping off production and bringing it back to the U.S.," said Ms. Coates. "It’s really a thoughtful process of design, of automation, of innovation, and localization of the product and then being able to produce that for the local market.”

As imports from China continue to be unloaded on America's docks, analysts say it will take business ingenuity to develop new products, new markets and new American jobs.

Wetlands produce methane,
and increase is feared

By the  University of Guelph news staff

A surprising recent rise in atmospheric methane likely stems from wetland emissions, suggesting that much more of the potent greenhouse gas will be pumped into the atmosphere as northern wetlands continue to thaw and tropical ones to warm, according to a new international study led by a University of Guelph researcher.

The study supports calls for improved monitoring of wetlands and human changes to those ecosystems, a timely topic as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to examine land use impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, says  Merritt Turetsky, of the university's Department of Integrative Biology.

Ms. Turetsky is the lead author of a paper published in Global Change Biology based on one of the largest-ever analyses of global methane emissions. The team looked at almost 20,000 field data measurements collected from 70 sites across arctic, temperate and tropical regions.

Agnieszka Kotowska, a former master’s student, and David Olefeldt, a post-doc at Guelph, also were among 19 study co-authors from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany and Sweden.

One of the strongest greenhouse gases, methane, comes from agriculture and fossil fuel use, as well as natural sources such as microbes in saturated wetland soils.

The amount of atmospheric methane has remained relatively stable for about a decade, but concentrations began to rise again in 2007. Scientists believe this increase stems partly from more methane being released from thawing northern wetlands.

Scientists have assumed that wetland methane release is largest in the tropics, said Ms. Turetsky.

“But our analyses show that northern fens, such as those created when permafrost thaws, can have emissions comparable to warm sites in the tropics, despite their cold temperatures. That’s very important when it comes to scaling methane release at a global scale.”

The study calls for better methods of detecting different types of wetlands and methane release rates between flooded and drained areas.

Fens are the most common type of wetland in Canada, but we lack basic scientific approaches for mapping fens using remote sensing products, she said.

“Not only are fens one of the strongest sources of wetland greenhouse gases, but we also know that Canadian forests and tundra underlain by permafrost are thawing and creating these kinds of high methane-producing ecosystems,” she said.

Most methane studies focus on measurements at a single site, said co-author Narasinha Shurpali, University of Eastern Finland. “Our synthesis of data from a large number of observation points across the globe is unique and serves an important need.”

The team showed that small temperature changes can release much more methane from wetland soils to the atmosphere. But whether climate change will ramp up methane emissions will depend on soil moisture, said Turetsky.

Under warmer and wetter conditions, much more of the gas will be emitted. If wetland soils dry out from evaporation or human drainage, emissions will fall, but not without other problems.

In earlier studies, Ms. Turetsky found drying peatlands can spark more wildfires.

Another study co-author, Kim Wickland, of the U. S. Geological Survey, said, “This study provides important data for better accounting of how methane emissions change after wetland drainage and flooding.”

Methane emissions vary between natural and disturbed or managed wetlands, says Ms. Wickland, who has helped improve methods for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from managed wetlands.

University of Basel/Egyptology/ Matjaz Kacicnik
Mummified remains among fragments of coffins, cloth and sherds: Tomb KV 40 was plundered several time and damaged by a fire.

Royal Egyptian tomb holds
kin and favorites of pharaohs

By the  University of Basel news staff

Who had the privilege to spend eternal life next to the pharaoh? Close to the royal tombs in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, excavations by Egyptologists from the University of Basel have identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

Basel Egyptologists of the University of Basel Kings' Valley Project have been working on tomb KV 40 in the Valley of the Kings close to the city of Luxor for three years. From the outside, only a depression in the ground indicated the presence of a subterranean tomb. Up to now, nothing was known about the layout of tomb KV 40 nor for whom it was build and who was buried there.

The Egyptologists assumed that it was a non-royal tomb dating back to the 18th dynasty. They first cleared the six meter deep shaft which gives access to five subterranean chambers and then recovered the countless remains and fragments of funerary equipment.

The scientists discovered mummified remains of at least 50 people in the center chamber and in three side chambers. Based on inscriptions on storage jars, Egyptologists were able to identify and name over 30 people during this year's field season. Titles such as “Prince” and “Princess” distinguish the buried as members of the families of the two pharaohs Thutmosis IV and Amenhotep III, who are also buried in the Valley of Kings. Both pharaohs belonged to the 18th dynasty in the New Kingdom and ruled in the 14th century BC.

The analysis of the hieratic inscriptions revealed that tomb KV 40 contains the mummified remains of at least eight hitherto unknown royal daughters, four princes and several foreign ladies. Most of them were adults. However, mummified children were also found: “We discovered a remarkable number of carefully mummified newborns and infants that would have normally been buried much simpler,” said Egyptologist Susanne Bickel of the findings. “We believe that the family members of the royal court were buried in this tomb for a period of several decades.”

The identification of people buried in the proximity of the royal tombs gives the team of researchers important insight into who had the privilege to spend eternal life close to the pharaoh. “Roughly two thirds of the tombs in the Kings’ Valley are non-royal. Because the tombs do not have inscriptions and have been heavily plundered we so far have only been able to speculate on who lies buried in them,” explained Ms. Bickel in regard to the importance of the findings for the field of Egyptology.

Even though the tomb was looted several times in antiquity as well as at the end of the 19th century, the researchers found countless fragments of funerary equipment, such as fragments of coffins and textiles. ”The remains and the walls have been heavily affected by a fire that was most likely ignited by the torches of the tomb raiders,” said Ms. Bickel. The fragments of various wooden and cartonnage coffins indicate that tomb KV 40 was used a second time as a burial ground: long after the abandonment of the valley as royal necropolis, members of priestly families of the 9th century B.C. were interred here.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge

Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

20.5 acres of pasture for as little as $2,400

Rosa Monge Alvarez
Please email for details

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Dragon montage
New amazing, modern, eco-friendly three-bedroom, three-bath executive modern home perched on your own small mountain.  270-degree ocean view with unbelievable teak-look concrete deck, to the RED 48-foot fiberglass infinity lap pool. Separate covered deck with pool table. Guest house with kitchen, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower. Exquisite entryway of 20-foot rock wall and electric gate, with video feed. Large work garage separated from house. Guardhouse. Hidden metal shutters to secure the property for weeks. Private registered well. Inside/outside kitchen. Propane fire pits. Several water features including a waterfall and a water bubble wall. Property can be purchased stand-alone with the house at $550K, or the whole mountain for further development at $950K.  Contact

Selva Rio
SELVA RIO ESTATES (SRE) is a 10-lot  development with lots starting at $65,000US. You know what they say "Location, Location, Location." Well SRE is  located only 10 kms. from Atenas (best climate in the entire world!),  only 3 kms. from Highway 27 access, only 3 kms. from grocery stores and restaurants, only 35 kms. (30 min) from SJO airport, only 50 kms. from  Pacific Ocean, only 42 kms. from Escazu, 0  kms. from gorgeous country living with nature!  Contact the developer at or call 8704-6106. We can help you build your dream home now!

Beautiful Survival Farm with panoramic Pacific views
In the heartland of one of the world's five blue zones, Nicoya. 12 acres with ample space for planting, natural forest, own perennial waters, public road yet hidden access, electricity. Fire sale 59,000 USD

another house shot
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $$165.000 USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.

Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Award  winning unique mini golf on the main road of La Fortuna. approximately 8,000 square foot structure permits you to do business 365 days a year. Seven years left on lease at $500 a month or $1,000 a month if you use the 9,000 square feet behind it. Space to build cabin, house or additional tourist attractions. Price includes all permits and patents. Property is offered for sale through local owner. Photos available at the following Web site: Email:  or call 506 6021 4569. In English! Great Price $25,000.

Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
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Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 83
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Tecnólogico de Costa Rica photo
Youngster demonstrates one of the robots Monday.

Signups open for teams
in local robotics contest

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Teams can sign up until June 30 for the preliminaries of the World Robot Olympics. The period for signups was launched officially Monday at  Tecnólogico de Costa Rica.

The competition will be Aug. 16 and 17. Winners will represent the country at the world championship in Sochi, Russia, in November.

The competition this year is based on space exploration, and the teams of students are being asked to construct devices for that type of effort, such as a Mars rover.

There are age groups that range from 7 to 19.

Tornado death toll is 21
in southern United States

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi are waking up to the aftermath of two days of tornadoes that have flattened homes and businesses and killed at least 21 people.

Tens of thousands of people were without power across the central and southern United States Monday. Emergency officials were searching for survivors, even as the ferocious storm system threatened to bring more tornadoes throughout the night in Alabama.

A tornado tore through Tupelo, Mississippi, Monday, damaging hundreds of homes, downing power lines and toppling trees. The storm system later pushed into Athens, Alabama, where two people died.

Sunday, the suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas, were the hardest-hit areas. Officials in the southern state said tornadoes killed at least 15 people there.

President Barack Obama expressed condolences to the victims Monday during a visit to the Philippines, and said the government will help the victims recover and rebuild.

The storm system is hitting on the third anniversary of one of the worst tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, which killed more than 300 people and included nearly 300 reported tornadoes across the nation's southeast.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

Real Estate
About us
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From Page 7:

Industrial parks proposed for rural areas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Representatives of the Chinese Development Bank presented a proposal Monday for a series of commercial parks outside the metro area.

The Chinese experts have been studying the country since August 2012 when President Laura Chinchilla sought the advice from the Asian nation's leadership.

Representatives from Puntarenas, San Carlos, Limón, Cartago and Guanacaste attended the session.

The Chinese proposal is for a central commercial nucleus surrounded by five specialized industrial parks that are complementary. These are special economic zones where the commercial occupants would benefit from some governmental concessions.

The idea would be to put to put one such series of commercial centers in each province outside the Metro area. The plan is to generate development, although there was no discussion on where funds would be found.

The projects wold develop over 20 years or so, said the Chinese experts.