Vol.18  No. 504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018
Real Estate
About Us


Oscar Vargas clinic
 A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Nosara neighbors will vote for a possible secession from the Nicoya canton.

Nosara seeks secession from the Nicoya canton

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Political differences are creating strong divisions among the citizens in the canton of Nicoya, Guanacaste. A plebiscite will take place June 3, which will define whether the district of Nosara is permanently separated from that canton.

Activists from Nicoya have denounced the approval of this plebiscite stating that is was set by the municipal council in 2014 without any analysis or clear and precise information about its scope.

The situation was made public on April 5 by the Union of Representatives of Nicoya, who claimed business groups are supporting the separation.

Apparently, there has been total secrecy about this process, which was approved by the municipal council, said Adelaida Medina, local representative of the National Union of Public and Private Employees, one of the countries strongest unions.

Nosara is the sixth district of the canton of Nicoya, has an area of ​​135 square kilometers and a current population of about 5,000.

The mayor of Nicoya, Adriana Rodríguez, explained that since the approval was given by the municipal council, the mayor's office should support the process in coordination with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Opponents to the initiative said the municipal treasury would be very affected. Nosara contributes 35 percent of the total municipal income, and a separation could cause other districts to pay more taxes.

In the district of Nosara there are popular tourist sites such as Playa Nosara, Pelada and Guiones.

Washington Redskins accused of disrespecting
cheerleaders during trip to Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cheerleaders hired by a National Football League team were required to pose topless in front of strangers while others were sent to nightclubs as personal escorts, according to a report published The New York Times.

Their participation during the week-long 2013 trip to Costa Rica, in which they were paid nothing beyond transportation costs, meals and lodging, did not involve sex, but the cheerleaders said their director, Stephanie Jojokian, demanded they acted as personal escorts, which, they said, made them feel as if the American football team was "pimping us out."

"They were not putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go," one of the cheerleaders said. "We were not asked, we were told.”

"It's just not right to send cheerleaders out with strange men when some of the girls clearly do not want to go,” the cheerleader said in the article.

A major complaint is that the women were made to pose topless during a beach photo shoot. The topless photos never made the annual calendar but male sponsors and stadium box holders were invited to watch the shoot.

"At one of my friend's shoots, we were basically standing around her like a human barricade because she was basically naked, so we could keep the guys from seeing her," a cheerleader remembered.

"I was getting so angry that the guys on the trip were sleazing around in the background," she told the New York Times.

Afterwards, Jojokian allegedly gave nine of the women orders  to accompany some of the sponsors and suite holders on dates.

"Get back to your room and get ready," the director told them, according to the Times' sources.

The Costa Rican visit was based at the Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort.

The cheerleaders also claimed to have been subjected to similar treatment during a mandatory team-bonding boat trip the previous year, when they were ordered to compete in twerking contests and men shot liquor into their mouths with turkey basters.

"We were too scared to complain," said one cheerleader, who took part. "We felt that our place on the team would be compromised if we did not."

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo   
The report has echoed around media
all across the world.

In response to the allegations, the team released a statement.

"The Redskins' cheerleader program is one of the NFL's premier teams in participation, professionalism, and community service. Each Redskin cheerleader is contractually protected to ensure a safe and constructive environment The work of our cheerleaders in our community, visiting our troops abroad, and supporting our team on the field is something the Redskins organization and our fans take great pride in."

Jojokian told the Times that she was not forcing anyone to go to all and that the cheerleaders chose to accompany the men.

"I'm the mama bear, and I really look out for everybody, not just the cheerleaders," she said. "It's a big family. It's a supportive environment for these ladies."

However, several cheerleaders claim that it was not and still is not the case.

"There was a lot of pressure by the director for us to be part of that party atmosphere with sponsors," one cheerleader said of Jojokian.

In 2011, the director reportedly told women auditioning for the team that they should not cover their chest area too much.




HOtel and resstaurant directory


Vol.18  No.504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Second news page

Real Estate
About Us
One in four Ticos see buying a house as something unaffordable

By AM Costa Rica staff

Even with the existence of state financed aid, housing vouchers, or even scholarships to study and improve life conditions, citizens consider that buying a house is very complex and that they end up paying for procedures that are supposed to be free.

In fact, three out of four people, 75 percent. consider it difficult to obtain housing assistance.

The information comes from the National Survey of Public Services Perception, published  April 5 by the Comptroller's General Office. It shows the opinion of citizens on the issue of efficiency in nine different services public: health; basic services (water, electricity and fuel); education; housing, municipal public transportation; public security; judicial and climate change.

One of the findings that caused the greatest concern in the Comptroller's General Office is that four out of 10 people interviewed about their knowledge on how to access aid from the public sector for housing purposes, said they have had to pay for the paperwork (41 percent), although the study did not ask if the payment went to public officials or third parties. The survey determined that a large majority (86 percent) of citizens believe that requesting state aid for housing requires too much paperwork.

"In conclusion, there is state aid that is not in the reach of the users requiring it," said Marta Acosta, comptroller general of the Republic.

Acosta said that the Comptroller's Office will begin an audit to analyze the way in which the granting of housing bonds is regulated. In addition, the controlling entity coordinated with the internal audit of the Ministry of Housing how a portfolio should be compiled.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Many ignore the places and procedures available to help them get the aid needed in order to afford a house.

The Comptroller's General Office collected the information for the survey report between Feb. 12 and 23 last year. The interviews were made by telephone and three types of phones were sampled: residential telephones, postpaid cell phones and prepaid cell phones.

The survey has a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of 3 percentage points, according to the report.

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Vol.18  No.504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Third news page
Real Estate
About Us

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Central and South America share a common gastronomy based on corn.

Prepare for the National Museum
 birthday activities and the next tamal festival

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museum of Costa Rican Art celebrates its 40th anniversary and has scheduled a series of free activities open to the general public.

The museum was created by Law No. 6091 on Oct. 7, 1977, and was opened in early May of the following year. It was established as an institution attached to the Ministry of Culture and Youth.

Within the activities planned for this celebration week, the opening ceremony will include the sample "New Acquisitions," a selection of 36 works that have recently integrated into the collection through purchases and donations.

This Saturday  the museum will have a day full of activities for the whole family. From 1 p.m. and until 5 p.m., the the Italo-Costa Rican artist Álvaro Bracci will offer guided tours and artistic workshops in the framework of his exhibition, "Dulcis in fundo."

This exhibition, a tribute to the 50 years of the artist's career, presents a selection of 70 pieces by Bracci and includes a variety of techniques, characteristics of his creative material, which includes mixed media, oil and acrylic, silk screen printing, digital reproductions, collage, photolithography and ceramics.

From 7 p.m. and until 9 p.m. also on Saturday in the esplanade of the Museum, the Lubín Barahona International Orchestra and its Knights of the Rhythm will play free of charge and in the open air.

This big band orchestra began in the 1940s in the canton of Grecia, Alajuela, and is one of the three oldest in Latin America, together with the Orquesta Aragón in Cuba and the Billo's Caracas Boys in Venezuela, all with 75 years of activity.

The orchestra is made up of four saxophones, three trumpets, two trombones, piano, bass, percussion and rhythms.

The International Tamal Festival will also take place Saturday. It is an annual international event with participating countries from Central and South American. It includes exhibition and commercial stands, business meetings, conferences and workshops.

The event focuses on rescuing and strengthening of the culinary and gastronomic tradition of the corn culture in Central and South America. It will take place at the Paseo de los Estudiantes also known as Barrio Chino Boulevard.











Vol.18  No.504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Fourth news page
Real Estate
About Us

On World Press Freedom Day,
groups highlight U.S. media threats
By A.M. Costa Rica news services

Thursday, World Press Freedom Day, a group of press organizations called attention to challenges faced by journalists in the United States.

The report cites a number of threats to the work of journalists, including a rise in whistleblower prosecutions, government restrictions on public information, stigmatization by politicians, physical attacks and arbitrary arrests.

"The alarming rise in threats to press freedom in the U.S. over recent years must be challenged," said Thomas Hughes, executive director of Article 19. "Not only do these threats impact on freedom of expression in the U.S., but they have repercussions around the world."

Article 19 joined with the Committee to Protect Journalists, International Freedom of Expression Exchange, International Press Institute, Index on Censorship and Reporters without Borders to interview U.S. journalists.

Their report said that, despite current threats, protections in the U.S. Constitution make media in the United States among the most free in the world. President Donald Trump's statements, most notably his rejection of what he calls fake news is being echoed by leaders in other countries, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The pressures that journalists are facing in the U.S. are reflective of the toxic atmosphere toward journalism being stoked by global leaders," said Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive officer of Index on Censorship. "Animosity towards the press is undermining the public's right to information."

The report notes that the rise in whistleblower prosecutions began under former President Barack Obama, and expresses concerns about the Trump administration's positions on reporters' abilities to protect their sources. It also faults Trump for verbal attacks on the media, saying those have helped embolden other politicians to do the same.

"By openly and aggressively targeting journalists and media outlets, the current U.S. administration risks undermining media freedom and creates a culture where journalists find themselves unprotected," the report says.

Reporters without Borders cited those concerns in its own annual press freedom rankings last week as it dropped the United States down two spots.

The White House rejected criticisms, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling reporters she thinks the Trump administration is one of the most accessible in recent memory.

"We support a free press, but we also support a fair press," Sanders said. "And I think that those things should go hand in hand, and there's a certain responsibility for the press to report accurate information."

In a statement commemorating the day, new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. "values ​​freedom of press as a key component of democratic governance, fostering a free press, citizens are more informed, active and engaged in political decision-making and can better hold their governments accountable."
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
During the recent protests in Latin America, media outlets have been shut down as a censorship measure.

He continued that the U.S. honors "the many journalists and media actors who have dedicated their lives, often at great risk, to promote transparency and accountability throughout the world."

The United Nations launched World Press Freedom Day in 1993 as a way to encourage the development of further freedom of the press, and to highlight the ways in which media organizations are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists face harassment, attacks, detentions and murder.

Reporters without Borders reports that so far in 2018, 23 journalists have been killed and 176 imprisoned across the world.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Thursday urged countries to adopt and implement laws that protect independent journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information.

"Journalists and media workers shine a light on local and global challenges and tell the stories that need to be told," he told a U.N. gathering via video message. "Their service to the public is invaluable."

But a side-event about the fake news phenomenon organized by the nonprofit News Literacy Project and the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations was abruptly canceled. The Alliance of Civilizations said it was due to scheduling conflict, but the News Literacy Project said it was because their organization refused the alliance's request to remove references to several countries in which press freedom is limited.

According to the News Literacy Project's website, the organization planned to discuss severe restrictions on press freedom in Turkey, Mexico and Egypt and comments by Russian and Pakistani journalists describing the challenges they face.

This article was first published in the Voice of America news service.

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Vol.18 No.504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Fifth news page
Real Estate
About Us

People affected by pineapple businesses
organized a countrywide meeting

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Representatives of rural communities and environmentalists, along with students from the School of Political Sciences of the University of Costa Rica, shared their experiences regarding the socio-environmental problems that are experienced in different regions of the country as a result of the pineapple production.

The attendees presented a review of the struggle of the communities whose citizens want to address the problems involved in pineapple production in the most rural regions of the country.

In addition, the current government's refusal to approve a moratorium on pineapple expansion was discussed.

"Each year pineapple production increases approximately 7 percent, which represents 4,000 new hectares dedicated to pineapple plantations, out of which 25 percent are in protected areas,” said Henry Picado, of the Biodiversity Coordination Network.

Neighbors from the canton of Siquirres, grouped in the organization COCOA, expressed their interest in denouncing the contamination of water in Milano de Siquirres, allegedly due to the pineapple plantations that in the area.

Contamination has allegedly been occurring since 2010.

A similar meeting and exchange will take place August 16 and 17 in San José.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Environmentalist are strong opponents of pineapple production. However some leaders have admitted its positive impact in job generation.

"As members of the community, we are in this meeting due to the contamination with agrochemicals of one of the five water sources that supply the community. Fifteen years ago it was shown that this water source was contaminated by the change in the use of soil when growing pineapple and agrochemicals as heavy as bromacil were used in the production of pineapple," said an unidentified member of the group.

Costa Rica is the second country in the world
where people work more hours every year

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development workers in Costa Rica are second only to those in Mexico for the number of hours worked each year.

According to the research, Mexico leads the list with an average of 2,225 hours of work per person, annually, while in Costa Rica the average is 2, 212 hours.

In the third place South Korea shows up, with 2,069 hours on average.

There are economic sectors in the country where employees work more hours for the same salary.

The legal work week in Costa Rica can be up to 48 hours, though in the labor market, white collar jobs require 40 hours work week. The work week in Costa Rica has not been updated since 1943.

In the past, the private sector has asked for more flexible schedules where workers could work up to 12 hours a day in exchange for up to three days off.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation study also points out how people in low and middle income countries tend to work longer hours than people in wealthy countries.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Blue collar workers are often the ones
who have a work week of 48.

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The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise
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Vol.18 No.504
Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Sixth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Puerto Carrillo residents will be trained
in first aid and emergency management

By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Residents of Puerto Carrillo, in Hojancha, Guanacaste, will begin a training process in first aid this month so that they can create a community emergency aid group. Training will include talks at education centers in the area and medical evaluations by the Costa Rican Red Cross.

The training and equipment are possible thanks to a donation of $25,000 made by the Intel Foundation and managed by Intel Costa Rica, with the collaboration Costa Rican Red Cross.

The community will receive a complete emergency kit that includes: first aid package, long back splint, cervical collar, limb splints, head bras, spider belt and other items that will be of great help to 400 residents in town.

The Red Cross Auxiliary Committee closest to that area is located 45 minutes away, so all these actions supported by the Red Cross and Intel are aimed at letting the community know how to act in response to emergencies and be more resilient, but it also seeks neighbors to be more educated and be more aware awareness about self-care and healthy lifestyles.

Health assessments will also be made to vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens, people with disabilities and pregnant women, among others, in order to determine their current health status.

"This project is a rewarding experience. We are working with a community that was affected by the storm Nate. This is a great opportunity for neighbors to be trained and able to act in an emergency while waiting for specialized help,” said Javier Calderón, representative of the Costa Rican Red Cross in charge of the project.

"The Red Cross is a strategic partner, not only for Intel Costa Rica, but for the whole country, so we decided to support them in this project so that the community of Puerto Carrillo has the necessary tools to give a first aid response in case of an emergency situations," said Timothy Scott, manager of government affairs and public relations of Intel Costa Rica.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The training and equipment will help keep the population aware and ready to act in situations such as Tropical Storm Nate.

Another contribution delivered by the Intel Foundation will be an automatic external defibrillator, an instrument that provides a calibrated electric shock to the heart and contributes to increase the probability of success in attempts to resuscitate a person who is suffering a cardiac arrest. The residents of Puerto Carrillo de Hojancha will be properly trained to use this equipment.

The machine will be located in a specialized cabinet, which is part of the donation, and will be equipped with a sound alarm, which will notify people of an emergency situation at the time the device is taken away.

The project will also distribute water purifiers in the town of Pita de Hojancha. They are pills to be dropped into the water to make it drinkable within 30 minutes.

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Business For Sale
(paid category)

For Sale Versatile 2 Floors Building
in La Sabana


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Code: 9328-04/15/18

Vol.18 No.504 Published Friday, May 4, 2018 Seventh news page
Real Estate
About Us

Taxi drivers renew protest over Uber

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

“This is a fight for the livelihood of our families”

Under this slogan, taxi drivers demonstrated in front of the Constitutional Chamber to ask that the Uber transport service be prohibited.

Taxi drivers say they have seen their economy seriously affected because taxi services have been reduced by almost half since services such as Uber began operating.

Guillermo Sanchez, one of the taxi drivers who participated in the demonstration, stated that he has not been able to pay for insurance since 2013 “because I'm up to my neck in debts.” He complained that Uber drivers do not pay the taxes that taxi drivers must pay.

Similarly, Javier Cortés, one of the leaders of the movement indicated that there has been a strong impact on his pocket and his mood.

"Psychologically, we arrived at the house when, after a day's work, we did not have the basic necessities for our families. We do not have to pay for electricity, rice or beans," he said.

The taxi drivers held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Constitutional Court in Sabana Sur, waiting to be attended by the magistrates.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       
Taxi drivers said that Monday they will hold a national work stoppage to continue fighting for their rights.

Brand new degree and seeking for a job?
Stay in line for the next 13 months

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

On average, Costa Rican graduates wait about 13 months to get a job related to their university education.

That's the main conclusion of a study carried out by the Occupational Observatory of Professions of the National Council of Rectors, which involves graduates of both public and private universities.

As explained by researcher, Karen Corrales, statistics include those who, when they attained their bachelor's degree, did not have a job or were working in a different field.

Although statistics provide a general average, Corrales said that, if analyzed by gender, men usually get work faster than women when they get out of college.

According to the researcher, there are a number of factors directly associated with this situation.

The command of a second language, such as English or Portuguese, directly affects the time it takes for recent graduates to get a job in their fields of study.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Long lines form at the job fairs organized in the country every so often.