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A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source , Monday through Friday

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San José, Costa Rica            Published Thursday,  February 15, 2018             Vol. 18,  No.215

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A new menu seeks to fight obesity in public schools

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students from public schools and high schools will see a change in their lunches, a move that seeks to provide adequate and healthy portions as part of a healthy diet. Monitoring student weight and height is also part of a new program implemented by the Ministry of Public Education to reduce obesity in the country.

The project that aims to promote healthy food intake in the culture of Costa Ricans a very young age so that young people know the importance of eating adequate portions of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables in their daily diet.

According to the first Survey of Weights and Sizes published in 2017, at least 118,000 children of school age are overweight or obese. To fight the problem, the students will receive a portion of food consistent with their physical condition and age, and not, as currently happens, that the same ration is distributed to all the students.

The dining room menu should be more organized, explained the Minister of Public Education, Sonia Marta Mora. Now the dishes prepared should contain more vegetables and fruits which will be purchased from local producers to promote the economy of the area.

Sugary drinks will no longer be offered, instead, water will now be provided.

"We had homogenized the menu and we were not eating really healthy (...) It's a cultural change that will not be easy, it will involve many changes in the habits of the dining rooms," said Mora.

At the same time, students will be taught on the importance of having a healthy diet and how to eat healthy outside the institution. Parents will be asked to guide the process.

School021518.jpgMinistry of Public Education photo    
  School managers will monitor the size and height of the students.
Finally, the height and weight of each child and young person will be monitored so that the impact of the program can be measured. This is something new for the schools.

All this is part of the change of the School and Adolescent Nutrition and Food Program (PANEA) for a "Healthy Costa Rica" and its purpose is to raise awareness not only about better nutrition but also about learning how to have a healthy lifestyle and a better quality of life in the future.

"More than 740,000 people are fed in schools per day. Will school food programs be a determining factor in the health of the national community? Definitely," said Mora.

To afford the project, Mora said that the MEP budget was increased by ¢20 billion in the area of nutrition, which adds up to a final figure of ¢92 billion.

¢201,5 million will be invested in kitchen and dining equipment. ¢18,700 million will also be used to hire employees in the kitchens.

Indigenous communities get a say
in projects affecting their lives
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By A.M. Costa Rica staff   

Any project that positively or negatively impacts the Costa Rican indigenous population must first have their support.

On Saturday, the general consultation mechanism for indigenous peoples was approved after a consensus was reached in a second national meeting that was attended by delegates from 22 of the 24 territories distributed throughout the country.

The Deputy Minister of Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue, Ana Gabriel Zúñiga, said that this agreement was reached after two years of visits to the communities where they had meetings with more than 5,000 people.

In 1993, Costa Rica signed the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which mandates that the state devise the necessary consultation mechanisms with indigenous peoples before developing a project. However, that was not enforced until now.

With the instrument signed this Saturday, any initiative, for example, the construction of public works, aqueducts, initiatives of law that impact this sector of the population, housing projects, among others, must go through a screening process within the indigenous community was impacted.

"These general norms had not had a regulation, a protocol that would allow both the indigenous peoples and the Costa Rican State to understand how their relationship must be," explained the Deputy Minister of the Presidency.

The Constitutional Chamber had already made several calls to public institutions in the past on the need to implement a consultation mechanism. One of the best-known cases was the Diquís Project,  carried out by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) which started without the proper methods in place.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo  
In Costa Rica, there are eight indigenous peoples (Bribri, Brunca, Cabécar, Chorotega, Huetár, Maleku, Ngäbe, and Teribe) distributed in 24 territories.


"In simple words, we will have a tool that will guarantee to the indigenous peoples that any project, measure, activity, public policy that the State wants to promote in their territories, particularly the Executive Power, has the obligation to go through a process of consultation. This empowers indigenous peoples very much because it also becomes a tool for dialogue," Zúñiga added.

In May last year a first meeting was held to finalize the instrument, however, a series of adjustments were necessary to make it concrete. From this process emerged the Indigenous Drafting Commission responsible for participating in the construction of the final document that will be published in an executive decree.

Zúñiga pointed out that being a presidential directive only covers the central government, however it becomes an call to other decentralized and municipal entities,  for use the tool on respective consultations.

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San José, Costa Rica          Published Thursday,  February 15, 2018 8         Vol. 18, No. 215
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Real Estate
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Food
About Us
.....
State-owned telecom company
shows growth despite competition

By AM Costa Rica staff

The Kölbi customer base in mobile telephony reaches 4.2 million customers, 60% of the national market, according to data from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad Marketing Division.

After the opening of the telecommunications sector, this group increased from 3.6 million customers in 2011 to just over 4.2 million now a growth close to 600,000 customers.

According to the business indicators of ICE, the mobile telephone market doubled in these seven years, today reaching 7 million customers, out of which 60% use the Kölbi service.

"The indicators reflect a 50% reduction in customers migrating to other operators and an increase in those who return to Kölbi after changing providers, this during the second half of 2017. Our brand strengthens the relationship with its customers every day, which contributes to maintaining leadership and preference in the market," said Patricia Tenorio, head of the Marketing Division of Kölbi.

Kölbi, which for the third consecutive year is positioned as a Lovemark in our country, is considered a success story in the field of telecommunications. Together with ANTEL from Uruguay, they are the only state-owned operators in the Americas - and one of the few in the world - that continue to lead the market after opening the market of telecommunications.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
About four million customers rely on the ICE mobile and internet services.

"Contrary to the trend that shows that a state telecommunications operator disappears during the first years of open competition, Kölbi opted to have more market share, differentiate and win more customers. Our brand is part of Costa Rica," said Jaime Palermo, corporate director of Telecommunications at ICE.

Recently, Kölbi announced the launch of the first 4.5 LTE network in the region, as well as its plans to provide telecommunications services internationally.

Tourism board meets representatives
of airlines serving Latin America

By AM Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) participated in the meeting “Routes Americas,” to be held in Quito, Ecuador which ended today.

This activity brings together all the airlines that operate in the Americas, providing a space in which interviews of CEOs, panel discussions and airline information sessions of the airlines are carried out.

"Undoubtedly, “Routes Americas” is an event of great importance for the country, where we will have a first-hand approach with the main decision makers of airlines, airports, and destinations in the region, in order to analyze new opportunities for the market and the evolution of existing services," said Hermes Navarro del Valle, Director of Attraction of Airlines of the ICT.

The country has an agenda of meetings with airlines such as: Aeromexico, Turkish Airlines, Air Transat, Viva Colombia, United, GOL Brazil, Delta, JetbLue, Air Canada, American Airlines, Southwest, Volaris, Alaska, and West Jet of Canada, among others.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       
During the meeting, the experts will seek to understand the challenges facing the travel industry.
“Routes Americas” connects the different destinations of the entire American continent, with the most critical decision-makers and offers ample networking opportunities, to allow participants to create high-value relationships with some of the most influential aviation professionals in the world.”

Along with the representatives of the ICT, delegates from the Juan Santa María International Airport, the Daniel Oduber Airport, and air advisors will attend.






Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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Residency in Costa Rica

P. O. Box 86352, Los Angeles, CA 90086
U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
Web: www.residencyincostarica.com


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FAX: 506 2231-3300
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U.S. Income Tax Services
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Tax Accountant

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Let’s discuss your tax situation.

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

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If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
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Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:

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• Up-to-date FATCA news.
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...
 

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Medical Services

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Legal Services

Licda. Andre Furlong
Attorney at Law
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Serving in Atenas area

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Notary & Legal Service
Phone: (506) 8314-8090
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Attorney & Notar
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I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

Call me for advice
    Phone:  2280-9692 / 2253-3705
    Email: ajfernandez@racsa.co.cr
   
Law Office is conveniently located near  Mall San Pedro, 350 meters south  from the Hyundai dealer, Los Yoses, San José.


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CR cell phone: 506-8867-6929
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New Horizons Properties

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Buying - Selling - Renting in the Central Valley

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Cell: +506-8479-2384 – Office: +506-2249-3999

– US Toll-Free: 1-888-263-2631

- English spoken
- Se habla español
- On parle français
- We spreken Nederlands


...
A.M. Costa Rica: Third newspage











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San José, Costa Rica        Published Thursday,  February 15, 2018          Vol. 18, No. 215
Calendar
Tourism
Classifieds
Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About Us
...
Constitutional Magistrates denounce
illegal filming of their activities

By A.M Costa Rica staff

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court filed a complaint before the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) in November for the alleged unauthorized image taking in the vicinity of their new building in Sabana Sur. The images were captured by a drone.

According to the official letter #4777-2017-E, the events occurred between 10:40 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. on Feb 22, while some magistrates were meeting in the office of Judge Luis Fernando Salazar.

At that time they managed to spot the device flying over the surroundings of the property. At first, it positioned itself on the north side of the building next to the fourth floor, just in front of the voting room, keeping a distance of about 70 meters from the window.

When the magistrates noticed the drone they opened the blinds and immediately the device moved to another sector, later returning to its original location. It remained in that place until about 10:50 a.m., according to President of the Constitutional Chamber, Ernesto Jinesta, in the complaint filed before Civil Aviation.

The Court appealed in the first instance to the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), which then referred the case to the Unit for the Protection of Judicial Officers.

A series of interviews were held at that time but the Unit did not find any way to identify the device.

The director of Civil Aviation, Ennio Cubillo, said it was impossible to establish who owned the device.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       
 As of now, drone operators have filed an appeal to stop new regulations to their work.

The official pointed out the need to enforce the regulations on the use of drones to protect the privacy of the people.

"A drone was flying over and parked outside one of the floors where the magistrates were, and they were very concerned about the issue of independence, the issue of secrecy and meetings," said the director of Civil Aviation.

The regulation in the use of these devices restricts flights within a radius of eight kilometers from an aerodrome, prisons, Presidential House and other places where the privacy of people is affected.

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A.M. Costa Rica: Fourth Costa Rica news page







San José, Costa Rica            Published Thursday,  February 15, 2018          Vol. 18, No. 215
Calendar
Tourism
Classifieds
Real Estate
Lifestyle
.....Food
About Us
...
Amazon Costa Rica aims to go beyond telecommuting
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By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The “virtual customer” service center is a new work option that Amazon Costa Rica is developing and which will bring employment to areas such as Pérez Zeledón and San Carlos. Amazon also intends to operate in Guanacaste this year.

This modality goes far beyond telecommuting. It consists of the person not even having to attend an interview, as everything is done virtually.

"We have more than 300 people working from home virtually. Virtual work is not teleworking. It really makes a difference as we can hire the person, and manage the relationship 100% virtually, so they will never have to set foot in the company," Amazon Costa Rica manager Alejandro Filloy said on Wednesday.

The only physical contact that the employee will have with the company is when they take home the computer with which they will work.

To opt for one of these jobs, people can enter their site and must also meet two essential requirements. "You must have the qualities at the level of language (English) and achieve ten megabytes of internet at home," said Filloy.

The entrepreneur explained that this type of culture requires learning, but that is not too far from what the person lives on a daily basis so it is very easy to adapt. For example, the meetings are virtual, very similar to what happens with social networks.
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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        
The company expects to create 1,500 job
posts during 2018.


This center is part of the innovation and growth constantly sought by the company, both nationally and internationally.

Amazon Costa Rica currently has approximately 6,500 employees and expects to create around 1,500 more jobs by 2018 among all its different areas.

On Tuesday, the company announced the official opening of its new seller services center (known as Seller Support Hub) in which it invested $10 million. The facilities are located in the El Tobogán Corporate Center.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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

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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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International shipping available.
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218-8/25/17
U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)

Summers102317.jpg U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
T
ax Accountant
Let’s discuss your tax situation.

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

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

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

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

You can file current or past due FBARs without payment to meet IRS  requirements.

If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

Over 20 years in Costa Rica
and Silicon Valley.
Competitive rates.

Phone (506) 2289-6590 ; Cell (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com
9186-6/30/17

James Brohl
James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
n
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
n
• IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $102,100 for 2017).
• Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
• Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
• Up-to-date FATCA news.
• All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
• Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com


Real estate rentals (paid category)
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Beautiful House for Rent
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Tropical Homes
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
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Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
9049-7/31/17


Real estate-related services (paid category)

CRsolar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Serving All of Costa Rica

BUY YOUR SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEM NOW!
Perfect for hotels, Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
LATER we'll calculate a lower install price for your PV system, now More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You. Fully Guaranteed!

Canadian Solar
Enphase M250 Microinverters
New experienced install crews

CALL TODAY!
Paul 506-8898-9398

Email: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
WEB: http://www.cr-solar.com/en/
Blog: www.crsolar.net


        Household Furnishings

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




Shipping services (paid category)

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Moving to Costa Rica or Back to the U.S.?

  10 Years of Happy Clients
Canadian English or Spanish Spoken
Excellent Service, Competitive Prices
Call  (772) 361-1050
Email:   shippingcostarica@gmail.com
Our Web:  http://shippingcostarica.com
Free Ebook: How To Import to Costa Rica HERE!



Psychotherapy


Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
Psychologist
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 • Trauma EMDR click here
 • NWM Training
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
doclucinda@gmail.com
www.LucindaGray.com
Learn more about 
New World Meditation: (Second Edition) Discover True Happiness Thru
Experiential Healing 
Click Here
9057-2/25/17


                     Legal Services
Adrian Fernandez
Attorney & Notary
A Fernandez
Notary services and registrations. Collections and foreclosures. Real estate and litigation. Corporate Law. Immigration. Estate planning wills and testaments, probate.

I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

 Call me for advice
    Phone:  2280-9692 / 2253-3705
    Email: ajfernandez@racsa.co.cr
    Law Office is conveniently located near  Mall San Pedro, 350 meters south  from the Hyundai dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
9181-7/3/17




A.M. Costa Rica fifth news page