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(506) 2223-1327                                Published Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 118                             Email us
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Tourism chamber steps into fray over imports
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber has given backing to what it called the right of consumers.

The issue is the restriction of importations of certain products. The chamber, the  Cámara Nacional de Turismo, said it backed the free importation of products because hotels, restaurants and other entities linked to tourism need them.

The statement came after seven other chambers called for the firing of the director del Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado,  Francisco Dall´Anesse Álvarez, and  Bernardo Jaén Hernández, the director of the  Servicio de Salud Animal.

Both men are the center of a controversy best known to the public as a restriction on the importation of Mexican avocados. The fruit has been kept out of the country over a condition known as sunblotch.

But there are other products that have faced some forms of restrictions. They include honey, potatoes, pork, beef, platanos and spices. Critics contend the import restrictions are protectionism designed to help local producers.

The seven chambers are calling on President Luis Guillermo Solís to fire the two men. So far, the central government has supported them.

The tourism chamber said that the restrictions are a bad sign coming from the executive
branch and that the organization supports the
right of consumers although there has to be what was called an equilibrium between imports and local products.

There does not seem to be an shortage of avocados at upscale supermarkets even though Costa Rica imports most of the product from México.

The perishable products chamber, the Cámara de Productos Perecederos, says 70 persons involved in handling avocado imports already have been laid off by private firms and that 250 more jobs are in jeopardy.

Sunblotch  does not seem to be a bacterial disease that could be spread easily by imports. The tiny causal agent is smaller than a virus and spreads through pollen or contact with trees already infected, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension Service.

The fruit of the avocado does not seem to carry the causal agent, called a viroid.

Both the Servicio de Salud Animal and the Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado have as their functions to protect the country from imported plant and animal diseases and to insure that exports are not carrying harmful bugs or diseases.

The Solís administration has shown a tendency toward protectionism.

Last year the economics ministry trashed plans to eliminate controls on the price of rice. That was seen as a boon to rice farmers.

Much of country will not see annual little summer
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The annual veranillo de San Juan will be restricted this year to the north Pacific coast and the metro area, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

The  veranillo, the "little summer," is a period in late June each year when the weather is more like the high season and probably without a lot of rain.

The weather institute said that this year the little summer will be between June 23 and 25. The period is named after Saint John the Baptist, whose Roman Catholic feast day is June 24.

The weather institute said that the little summer will not be present elsewhere in the country.  Guanacaste already is in a drought, so days without rain are not very welcome.

The past two days in the metro area were a

taste of the little summer. There was bright sun in the morning with cloudy skies but no rain in the afternoon.

Some years the little summer is five to six days long.

Judicial agents say that a U.S. citizen is missing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police say they have a missing persons report on a U.S. citizen.

He was identified as Brian Lynn Hogue, who lives in  Pococí. They said he was 65.

The Judicial Investigating Organization released no more information. However, an expat in that area with the same name is engaged in farming and growing trees.

There was no description of what led to the disappearance. Any information can be telephoned to  800-8000645 emailed to, agents said.

Brian Lynn Hogue

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

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Correa strangles news, press group says

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A hemispheric press organization says that Ecuador's president,  Rafael Correa, has flagrantly abused the public right to be informed  and the right to work of independent journalists and privately-owned and news media in his country.

The organization, the Inter American Press Association, said that the  second anniversary of the enactment of Ecuador’s organic communication law will be in a few days.

June 23 marks two years since enactment of the communication law, which the organization has described as an instrument of inquisition that turned President Correa into the principal censor in the Americas.

The organization has criticized this legislation since Correa proposed it four years ago, predicting that it would be used to silence his political opponents, the independent press and members of the public in their use of social media and the Internet.

The Inter American Press Association has been insisting that this law is illegitimate, that it is applied in a discriminatory manner against independent media and journalists, through agencies answering to the executive branch, with the explicit aim of censuring the free flow of information and the different currents of public opinion.

In cases of prior censorship during recent months, the Inter American Press Association has offered solidarity with several media and journalists who defied the government, by not accepting the punishments, based on their constitutional right to resist.

“We were not mistaken,” said Gustavo Mohme, Inter American Press Association president. “We knew that this law would make censorship official and that the public would be the big loser, through restrictions on their right to be duly informed.”

Mohme, referring to the speech this week by the newsecretary general of the Organization of Aemrican States, Uruguay’s Luis Amargo, during the opening of the 45th General Assembly in Washington, D.C., called for a positive agenda and said that “there is nothing more positive than that this body begin to demand of the governments that they comply with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”

Mohme, editor of the Lima, Perú, newspaper La República, said that in this new phase of the Organization of American States, in which it is hoped that it will be more effective, “there should be a greater commitment to the understanding that without freedom of the press and of expression there cannot be true democracy, as the charter states.”

The Inter American Press Association pointed out that statistics of sanctions so far clearly show how the communication law is being applied in a discriminatory manner and as a shield for officials, many of whom use it as a means of reprisal against those who criticize their work. Of the 270 cases between 2013 and February this year, 231 were against privately-owned media, and 142 of them based on formal complaints filed by authorities and officials.

As a result of these cases and other actions of governmental pressure, a magazine, Vanguardia, three newspapers, Hoy, La Hora de Manabí and Diario Meridiano, and dozens of radio stations were shut down during this period.

The press association has also criticized this law for the lack of independence of the bodies responsible for enforcing it, the superintendency of information and communication and the communication council, which are subject to the directives imposed by President Correa. Among the punishments imposed are the publication of obligatory restatements, public apologies by the media’s editor and fines which are increased in case of recurrence.

This was the case with El Universo, which the superintendency ordered to pay a fine equivalent to 10 percent of its average billing in the past three months (approximately $350,000), because the newspaper had published only a portion of a reply and changed the headline. El Universo asserted its constitutional right to resist.

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, said that the organization “supports the media when they decide to challenge regulations which, while they may be legal are not always fair, especially when they violate universal rights to freedom of the press and of expression.”

He added that “the dictatorships of Pinochet, Stroessner, Videla, Trujillo, Fujimori and Somoza, to cite some cases, also had their legality against freedom of expression. But that did not mean that, because they acted under said legality, they were legitimate acts.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “We media and journalists have the duty to challenge official censorship, whatever its name, to dispel criticisms about being subservient to authoritative and totalitarian regimes.”

Mohme and Paolillo, in another reference to recent speeches in the Organization of American States, said that no one can remain indifferent before a law enacted at the whim of President Correa that established the offense of media lynching in order to counteract criticisms of his governance.

“In addition," they declared, "the international community has allowed the Ecuadorean government the unthinkable, which is to legislate that information is a public service, a perfect justification and excuse. This way it can cut off the information and dealt with it as the government wishes, as if it were water, electricity or health services.”

The Inter American Press Association also noted that this legislation erased with a stroke of the pen the government’s obligations to its citizens, eliminating a 2004 Law on transparency and access to public information. It further indicated that last September the constitutional court threw out litigation claiming this law to be unconstitutional.

Thus, just as once the regime of former president Hugo Chávez sought to export the concept of truthful information, which in the Venezuelan constitution was used to regulate censorship of the media, the Correa government sought in the Latin American Parliament insertion of a clause defining information as a public service. The parliament flatly rejected it.

The current situation against the press has led non-profits, local journalists and media to call on international bodies to travel to Ecuador to experience on site the seriousness of the situation in which journalists must work. The request was presented to 14 international organizations that watch over freedom of expression, and to the United Nations and hemispheric special rapporteurs for freedom of expression.

They stated that in Ecuador “there has been imposed a silent, but very effective, regime of prior censorship that is strangling news media and silencing journalists day after day.”

Golden State wins basketball championship

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Golden State Warriors defeated the host Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 Tuesday to win the 2014-15 National Basketball Association championship series.

The Warriors got 25 points each from Stephen Curry, the NBA's regular season most valuable player, and Andre Iguodala, to help the franchise take the best-of-seven series by a margin of 4-2, in its first NBA championship since 1975. Iguodala, who spent the entire season as a reserve player until the fourth game of the series, when Golden State was down 2-1, was named the finals' MVP.

Superstar LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, putting in yet another dominant performance during the championship series.  But James was playing without fellow stars Kevin Love, who was injured early in the playoffs, and Kyrie Irving, who suffered a knee injury in Game 1 of the finals, leaving Cleveland without another dominant scorer to go against a deeply-talented Golden State team, which won 67 regular season games.

Tuesday's loss was a bitter one for the Ohio-born James, who began his career with the Cavaliers and returned last year after four seasons with the Miami Heat, where he won two NBA championships.  It also marks another season of heartbreak for Cleveland sports fans, who have gone over 50 years without a championship from either of its major league teams, the Cavaliers, the Browns of the National Football League and the Indians of Major League Baseball.

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In the Spanish-language press

Today June 17

U.N. agency hired to speed up road works

La Nación: An agency of the United Nations is responsible for handling the design and construction of three overpasses and expansion of three bridges in the greater metropolitan area.

Investigator accused of seeking sexual favors to stop a case against female cop

La Nación: As evidence, the victim provided a recording of one of the calls the agent made to her.

Petroleum monopoly gets support

La Prensa Libre:  Union leader Albino Vargas says it is irresponsible to order the closing of the petroleum monopoly.

President to meet in San Carlos over highway

La República: Complaints from neighbors about the situation in the north of the country will be heard by President Luis Guillermo Solis, who will tour the area Thursday.

Compiled by Sylvia Quesada Hidalgo

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Officials pleased that former vice president is now rights court judge
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Former vice president  Elizabeth Odio Benito, 75, successfully concluded a campaign to become a judge on the hemispheric Interamerican Court of Human Rights Tuesday.

This time she had the full support of Costa Rican officials. The election was by foreign minsters at the Washington meeting of the Organization of American States.

The court is located in San Pedro.

The foreign ministry said that her election was important for Costa Rica because it recognized the country for its long support of human rights.

She was with  Manuel González Sanz, the foreign minster, in Washington. The election was relayed to San José by a video conferencing setup that fed to the foreign ministry here.

Judge Odio has a long and distinguished history, first as a professor at the Universidad de Costa Rica and vice president of academic affairs.

She has held several minister positions in the Costa Rican government and was vice president under  Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.

In 1993 she became a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She left there to take her seat as a vice president.

For a reason that still is unknown then-president Abel

solis watching video conference
Casa Presidencial photo
President Luis Guillermo Solís can converse with Elizabeth Odio Benito and Manuel González Sanz in Washington via video conferencing.

Pacheco  declined to support her for election to the International Criminal Court, but the president of Panamá, Mireya Moscoso, did.

She did not lack national support for the latest position. The term is for five years.

Government three-step plan shows news taxes have not been forgotten
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the central government is now seeking quick passage of bills that would fight tax fraud and smuggling, more taxes have not been forgotten.

Vice President  Helio Fallas outlined a three-stage effort over the remainder of the current administration to resolve the country's financial woes.

He noted that the government's deficit has become larger in the last six years.

He cited elevated evasion and fraud, import duties lost because of free trade treaties, the creation of new obligations without resources to pay for them and an increase in interest on the nation's debt.

None of this is new, but the vice presdient, who also serves as minister of Hacienda, used the situation to call on lawmakers to pass the fraud and customs bills.

He said the road map for the administration is in three phases that include gradual reforms, new legislation and modernization of tax collecting technology.

The tax fraud bill and the bill that increases penalties against

smuggling make up the first step. The bills already are in the current legislature, although they are subject to revision.

The second step is approval of a value-added tax and increases in the tax rate, he said. There also is a bill to reduce exonerations from taxes and import duties. All of these have been submitted to lawmakers, he noted.

He said that the executive branch has done its part by issuing rules about travel, food and overtime as well as freezing 85 percent of the vacant government positions.

There also is a bill to adjust downward some pensions.

The third phase includes a number of technical legal changes to control the growth of the deficit. Also included are suggestions from other political parties, he said.

He said the government has been in the red every years except two since 1980.

In his presentation Tuesday he also called on lawmakers to refrain from creating more financial obligations without ways to pay for them,

He noted that in 2014 the deficit was 5.7 percent of the gross domestic product, the total of all goods and services.

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Eating chocolate is linked in study to lower incidence of heart disease
By the British Medical Journal news staff

Eating up to 100 grams of chocolate every day is linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk, says research published online in the journal Heart.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, conclude the researchers.

They base their findings on almost 21,000 adults taking part in the EPIC-Norfolk study, which is tracking the impact of diet on the long term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, England, using food frequency and lifestyle questionnaires.

The researchers also carried out a systematic review of the available international published evidence on the links between chocolate and cardiovascular disease, involving almost 158,000 people, including the Norfolk C study participants.

The Norfolk participants (9,214 men and 11,737 women) were monitored for an average of almost 12 years, during which time 3,013 (14 percent) people experienced either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke.

Around one in five (20 percent) participants said they did not eat any chocolate, but among the others, daily consumption averaged 7 grams, with some eating up to 100 grams.

Higher levels of consumption were associated with younger age and lower weight, waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins, diabetes and more regular physical activity, all of which add up to a favorable cardiovascular disease risk profile.

Eating more chocolate was also associated with higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbs and less protein and alcohol.

The calculations showed that compared with those who ate no chocolate higher intake was linked to an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25 percent lower risk of associated death.

It was also associated with a 9 percent lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of coronary heart disease, after taking account of dietary factors.

And among the 16,000 people whose inflammatory protein level had been measured, those eating the most chocolate seemed to have an 18 percent lower risk than those who ate the least.

The highest chocolate intake was similarly associated with a 23 percent lower risk of stroke, even after taking account of other potential risk factors.

A.M. Costa Rica file photo

Of nine relevant studies included in the systematic review, five studies each assessed coronary heart disease and stroke outcome, and they found a significantly lower risk of both conditions associated with regular chocolate consumption.

And it was linked to a 25 percent lower risk of any episode of cardiovascular disease and a 45 percent lower risk of associated death.

This is an observational study so no definitive conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn. And the researchers point out that food frequency questionnaires do involve a certain amount of recall bias and underestimation of items eaten.

Reverse causation whereby those with a higher cardiovascular disease risk profile eat less chocolate and foods containing it than those who are healthier may also help to explain the results, they say.

Nevertheless, they add: "Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events."

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Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
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La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

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
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

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.

Click photo for another video

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.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Ever thought about moving to Costa Rica?
Rent my beautiful little home for a year or two and see if you like it. Located in the hills of San Isidro de Heredia. Cool weather, peaceful
living room
and quiet. Fully furnished to function with style, $950  a month includes: Guard and grounds maintenance fee in gated community. Security alarm system PROARSA. Wi-fi. Washer/dryer. Refrigerator/oven. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. 103 m2 construction on 1,000 square
 meters lot. Fireplace and deck. Lovely garden, meditation rock on the River Turú. Available starting July 1, 2015. Contact; Michael at or 8843-5322. More photos:

Apartment Lemur del Bosque for rent
San Francisco de Dos Ríos, 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 prefered. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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:

Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

Palmares graphic

Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

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.

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Family home

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 118
Real Estate
About us

Lawmakers are displeased
at U.S. technology hacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers sharply attacked government hiring and technology officials Tuesday for not preventing a cybersecurity attack that compromised personal information for millions of U.S. federal workers.

"You failed, utterly and totally," Rep, Jason Chaffetz told Katherine Archuleta, chief of the government's employment agency, the Office of Personnel Management.

"OPM's data security posture was akin to leaving all the doors and windows open in your house and expecting that nobody would walk in and nobody would take any information,” said Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. “How wrong they were."

Chaffetz demanded to know why the personal information of government workers and retirees was not encrypted after the employment agency's watchdog warned last year that it was vulnerable to cyberattack. At least 4.2 million current and former federal workers, and likely millions more, are affected.

"It is not feasible in systems that are too old," Ms. Archuleta said in explaining why protections are not adequate. "I want to emphasize that cyber security issues that the government is facing is a problem that has been decades in the making, due to a lack of investment in federal IT systems and a lack of efforts in both the public and private sectors to secure our internet infrastructure."

In the last two weeks, the U.S. identified two cyberattacks on government employee records, saying they occurred over the last several months, and perhaps began much earlier. Some officials have blamed Chinese state interests for the attack, but the attacks are said to be still under investigation.

Ms. Archuleta said U.S. technology systems are under constant attack from foreign governments, criminals and business interests.

"In an average month, OPM, for example thwarts 10 million confirmed intrusion attempts targeting our network,” she said. “These adversaries are sophisticated, well-funded and focused. These attacks will not stop – if anything, they will increase."

Ms. Archuleta declined to answer some questions about the scope of the attack in the public hearing. She told the members of Congress she would discuss such issues only in a closed-door, classified setting.

Trans-fat order may mean
targeting developing world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government announced it will phase trans fats out of all foods over the next three years. Trans fats are a food additive that contributes to coronary artery disease and heart attacks. At least one expert thinks the food industry will continue to actively market food with trans fats in developing countries.

Many developed countries, including Australia and those in the European Union, have eliminated trans fats from processed and fast foods. Trans fats raise the level of so-called bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, and their use has been on the decline in the U.S. for more than 10 years. 

Now, the United States — a huge market for processed foods — is ordering manufacturers and restaurants to completely phase out trans fats over a three-year period. 

Two years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that trans fats, which are added to food to improve taste and shelf life, are no longer recognized as safe.

But Lawrence Gostin, a legal expert on national and global health law at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., thinks none of these moves will stop the worldwide sale of foods made with trans fats.

“I could see them continuing to market these harmful products in India, Brazil and other middle income countries, and then in low-income countries in Africa and the Middle East and elsewhere,” he said.

That’s because foods containing trans fats taste good. The harmful food additive is in refrigerated piecrust and dinner rolls, liquid coffee creamer and microwaveable popcorn. Trans fats are also added to oils to turn them into solid cooking fat and margarine.

Gostin said he thinks the food industry might now step up sales of these products in developing countries.

“The question is — is whether they then dump their unhealthy, trans fatty acid products on to poorer countries around the world with less robust regulatory systems," he said. "And I just think that’s unethical but expected.”

Gostin calls the presence of trans fats in foods a global health emergency, and he hopes countries with no regulatory restraints against the food additive will follow the lead of the U.S. and other countries

“We can’t just sit back," he said. "This is a silent epidemic. It’s no less an epidemic than AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria or any of these major outbreaks. 

Gostin said an international revolution is needed to get the food industry to make the food supply safer and healthier.

Robots in the kitchen seen
as a developing world trend

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Search-and-rescue operations in dangerous environments are often seen as the first areas that will employ advanced robots.  But there is another segment of everyday life that may soon see many robots taking over jobs usually reserved for humans: the restaurant industry.

At the DARPA Robotic Challenge competition held in California, robots were required to complete tasks quite simple for humans — drive a vehicle, climb up steps, cross some rough terrain, shut a valve. Some spectacular failures illustrated how hard it is to design efficient walking machines.

Only a few days later, at an annual food machinery and technology exhibition in Tokyo, a stationary robotic chef prepared food with remarkable versatility, while other machines cooked, baked pastries and even wrapped perfect sushi.

Akihiro Suzuki, assistant manager at Yaskawa Electric, said his company's robot, MOTOMAN-SDA5, could be an excellent kitchen assistant because it never gets tired.

“Obviously, it's difficult for him to taste or adjust heat or seasonings properly to get the best flavor," Suzuki said. "But if it's simple cooking with a specific proportion of seasoning, he can repeat the same movement to reproduce the same dish.”

Visitors were impressed. Masayo Mori, watching the robot at work, said, "I wouldn't mind getting a husband like this for myself.”

Suzumo Machinery displayed its sushi maker, which takes over the strenuous and repetitive task of wrapping the increasingly popular Japanese delicacy.

Hiroshi Monden, one of the company managers, said sushi "has been spread to the world, but sushi chefs are not as much.  With this machine, anybody can make sushi so easily and repeatedly.”

Another new technology that impressed onlookers was a machine designed by the Furukawa Kikou company for scooping and moving soft ingredients without leaving any residue. Development division manager Takuya Furukawa said the machine, SWITL, was perfect for the fast-food industry.

“This machine is devised to scoop up soft material like hamburger patties or dough to put them into ovens or freezers without spoiling their shapes,” he said.

The company would not say what kind of technological breakthrough their innovation was based upon. Experts suspect the surfaces may be covered with some kind of hydrophobic material that repels water molecules.

Other robots, such as those that frost cakes or peel and slice apples, may also find their way into today’s kitchens.

U.S. Senate votes to ban
torture by any agency

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate has voted 78-21 to ban the use of torture in the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees held by the United States.

The measure codifies into federal law President Barack Obama’s executive order banning the use of what U.S. officials once described as enhanced interrogation techniques.

“We can recommit ourselves to the fundamental precept that the United States does not torture – without exception and without equivocation – and ensure that the mistakes of our past are never again repeated,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Feinstein wrote last year’s bombshell report detailing years of abject abuse – from waterboarding to rectal feeding – inflicted on detainees captured by the United States after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The legislation approved Tuesday would limit all U.S. agencies, from the Pentagon to the CIA, to interrogation techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual. It passed as an amendment to a mammoth bill before the Senate authorizing all U.S. military activity and spending for the next fiscal year.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican John McCain, also helped write the anti-torture amendment. A Vietnam War veteran and former prisoner of war, McCain said he knows “from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners does not produce good, reliable intelligence.”

“Our enemies act without conscience. We must not,” said McCain. “We must continue to insist that the methods we employ in this fight for peace and freedom must always – always – be as right and honorable as the goals and ideals we fight for.”

Such thinking is not universal across America’s political spectrum. Some Republican senators as well as some of the party’s presidential contenders say, in extreme cases when American lives are on the line, U.S. authorities should have leeway in the tactics they employ to extract information from terror suspects.

Despite overwhelming support for the amendment, its immediate fate is uncertain. President Obama has spoken out against torture from the very beginning of his administration, but the White House is threatening a veto of the National Defense Authorization bill over some of its spending provisions.

Kirk Kerkorian dies at 98
after building an empire

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who went from being the son of poor Armenian immigrants to the builder of resort hotels and owner of a legendary film studio, died Monday at age 98.

No cause of death was given.

The California-born Kerkorian dropped out of school as a boy and worked at a variety of jobs, including as a boxer. He used his World War II flying skills to found an airline to transport gamblers to and from the then-burgeoning tourist town of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The success of the airline allowed him to buy land in the desert resort on which he built the International Hotel in 1969 and the MGM Grand four years later. Both were the world's biggest hotels when they opened.

Kerkorian also bought and sold the MGM film studio three separate times, but failed in a bid to take over Chrysler, the third-largest U.S. car builder.

Despite his multibillion-dollar fortune, Kerkorian was a modest man who avoided the limelight and the press.

He bought his own seat in the stands at major sporting events and shunned limousines in favor of driving himself in his own station wagon. His charitable works were generally unreported.

Monetary Fund's new report
stresses income inequity cut

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Income inequality is hurting the potential for growth worldwide, and the best way to tackle that is through helping the poor and the middle class, according to a new study by the International Monetary Fund.

“Widening inequality is hardly a debated issue,” Kalpana Kochhar, deputy director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department at the Moneetary Fund, said Monday.

“The gap between the rich and the poor is at the highest level in decades in advanced countries, and inequality is also rising in major emerging markets,” she added.

In releasing the report, titled "Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective," Ms. Kochhar said inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries, with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain in areas such as Latin America, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report suggested that policy makers focus on the poor and the middle class because they are the major driving force of growth.

The authors of the study rejected the main idea of trickle down economic theory, that economic benefits provided to those at upper income levels will indirectly benefit those at lower income levels as resources inevitably trickle down to them. According to the study, a 1 percent increase in the income of the richest 20 percent corresponded to a nearly 1 percent decline in gross domestic product growth over five years. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the poorest 20 percent corresponded to a more than one-third percent increase in GDP growth, it said.

“The bottom line is that focusing on the poor and the middle class is actually good for growth, and this means ending poverty could also boost growth prospects for all,” Ms. Kochhar said.

She said that is a fairly powerful message for policy makers and researchers around the world.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling inequality,” the report said. It urged governments to make appropriate policies based on the underlying drivers and country-specific policy and institutional settings.

Singapore’s foreign minister
gives U.S. warning on trade

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Singapore’s foreign minister, K. Shanmugam, has warned that in light of last week’s congressional setback in granting presidential trade promotion authority, the United States faces a stark choice over its future in the Asia-Pacific region.

Trade promotion authority approval is seen as crucial to eventual agreement on a new Asia free-trade accord. The Singaporean diplomat’s warning comes as Republican leaders in the House of Representatives move to delay another vote on trade promotion authority to late July.

Speaking Monday to the Washington-based Centers for Strategic and International Studies, the Shanmugam said it is vital to complete the years-long negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement. Shanmugam said most of this century’s economic growth will come from Asia.

"Everyone knows China. But there are other parts of the story, India, Southeast Asia. ASEAN, the 10 countries of ASEAN together are the seventh largest economy in the world, something that not a lot of people realize – 2.4 trillion dollars today but, within five years, it will be 4 trillion," said Shanmugam, referring to the  Association of Southeast Asian Nations

He said it is a region in need of infrastructure development, and that fields in which the United States is dominant, such as energy and information technology, are much in demand. He added that it is a region where history is being rewritten with emerging new institutions, both national and multi-national.

"In all of this, where is the United States?  It’s been the guarantor of peace. It’s been the guarantor of progress and prosperity up to now.  If you don’t do this deal, what are your levers of power?  How integrated are you into the Asian economies?  Meanwhile, there are a whole series of other trade deals that have happened, will happen and from which you’ll be excluded," said Shanmugam.

He said the United States faces a stark choice: does it want to be part of the region, or does it want to be out of the region?  He said that if Washington chooses to be out of a region that represents 40 percent of global gross domestic product, its only lever of power is the Seventh Fleet, the U.S. naval presence in the region.

"Trade is strategy, and you’re either in or you’re out, and what does it mean for your jobs, your investments, for your prosperity?  I mean it’s very, very serious, and your credibility.  Let’s be frank about it; the president wants it, everybody knows this is important and you can’t get it through?" he said.

The Singaporean diplomat said new chapters in Asia-Pacific are being written every day and the world will not wait, even for the United States.

Singapore analyst Michael Barr of Australia’s Flinders University School of International Studies, said the perception of political gridlock and rising economic nationalism in Washington concerns America’s traditional Asian allies. He said they would be reluctant to reach agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership without fast-track authority because it means Congress could further amend the pact.

"Singaporeans in particular, it’s not just them, are very concerned with managing the rise of China, and Singapore knows that they have extremely limited capacity to do anything themselves about managing the rise of China.  All they can do is manage their response to it, and they really look to the Americans," said Barr.

Barr said they are concerned about losing faith in America.  He said the real worry in Asia is the Americans will show themselves incapable of doing anything effective, even something minimal like signing a free trade agreement.

U.S. House Republican leaders have indicated they need more time to build congressional support for trade promotion authority, which is tied to job retraining funding, referred to as Trade Adjustment Assistance, which was soundly defeated Friday.  A move is underway to push a repeat vote back from Tuesday to July 30.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged Monday the longer the process plays out, the harder it will be to build bipartisan support.

Complicating Obama’s efforts to gain fast-track authority is opposition from two key Democratic allies, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and likely Democratic 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who Sunday called on the president to listen to and work with his congressional allies.

Writing in Monday’s USA Today newspaper, Ms. Pelosi called for a new paradigm on global trade that gives voice to representatives of the public, as well as private and non-profit organizations. She said workers need more leverage, as well as greater transparency and accountability in trade pacts to protect wages, the planet and security. 

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
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CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $725,000. Click HERE!

San Ramon rollover
Three-bedroom home with view near San Ramón
Beautiful house in magical setting in the hills above San Ramón in Costa Rica can be yours for $185,000! House was built 10 years ago with soaring 16-foot ceilings.  Enclosed area is 1,200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, large kitchen, and utility room.  It is located at 4,000 feet with typical temperatures ranging between 75 and the low 80s during the day and the low to mid-60s at night.  The house is offered fully furnished, including all appliances (nearly new energy-efficient Samsung refrigerator). The front of the house features a large covered veranda (another 500 square feet), with a barbecue and outdoor patio furniture to seat 8, and hooks for a hammock. There are many tropical plants, flowers, and trees are on the half-acre property.  Set on the far western edge of the Central Valley in a small, pastoral community, it's only 10 minutes to San Ramón and its many small stores, restaurants, museums, a branch campus of the University of Costa Rica, and a weekly farmers' market.
See additional pictures at
Phone: (506) 7009-0364

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Call: 877-778-8515
(506) 8307-0164
(410) 975-6703

ranch view
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $949,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

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 it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Costa Rica Villas For Sale
*In 2009 this property appraisal for $240,000  (two hundred forty thousand).
*Located in Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica.
*We spent over $70,000 in renovating the villa.
*The first floor has renters with a year lease. They pay $200 a month.
*Health reasons need to return to the U.S.A.
*One of Costa Rica famous waterfalls, 100 yards in front of the villa.
*I'll sell this property for $189,000.
*Visit my Web site
Contact in Costa Rica:  Cray phone (506) 8977-2777
Contact in USA: Billy phone  001 (678) 576-5107

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, 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 birds and other animals. 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, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos.  We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email:   Web:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 118
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Asociación Caritativa Canadiense photo      
School outhouse is pretty much outside.

Canadian charity plans Talamanca work

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Canadians are gearing up to raise funds for a badly needed new roof and outhouses at a remote school high up in the Talamanca mountains in distant southeast Costa Rica.

The Asociación Caritativa Canadiense is extending an invitation to expats and friends of Canada to join the celebration of their homeland’s 148th birthday with a family fun day at the Hotel La Rosa de America in La Garita June 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day is a Saturday.

Ticket purchases support a 16-year program of assistance to schools in need. The association’s goal is to exceed last year’s proceeds of $3,000 so that the work can continue.

A small team from the association braved a difficult two-hour horseback ride to reach the Sarkli school in the Talamancas and assess the needs of those there.  They found the roof of the school to be severely leaking, an intolerable situation for the 16 Cabecar children and their teacher during the many months of rain. 

And an outhouse was unfit for use. The children and various members of the community were all using the teacher’s bathroom.   Proceeds from this year’s Canada Day celebration will provide the materials, transportation and labor to undertake and complete the project.

A new venture is also planned to focus on high schools with high drop-out rates.  The Asociación Caritativa Canadiense said it hopes to provide needed infrastructure, defined by the students themselves, that has the greatest value to improve the learning environment and pride in school. Three high schools considered for the pilot project are located in the Caribbean and San José areas. 

Tickets for the June 27 event are 10,000 colons. Children under 12 are free.  Included are food, swimming pool, music and raffle prizes, the association said.   To purchase tickets or to make a donation to the school projects, those interested can contact 

The work of The Asociación Caritativa Canadiense   began in 2000 as the Outreach Committee of the Canadian Club of Costa Rica. Since then more than $330,000 has been donated to 95 schools in need throughout the country.

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From Page 7:

Workmen's comp rates will go down

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros said Tuesday that rates for on-the-job accident insurance will be reduced 6 percent as of July 1.

The insurance is called seguro de riesgos del trabajo, and as of May there were 1.4 million workers covered by the state company.

The announcement also said that employers would save 8 billion colons, some $15 million, due to the rate cut. Premiums are based on employee salaries.

The reason was a reduction in the number of covered accidents, said the insurance institute.

The institute, which also issues vehicle insurance, maintains its own medical system, including the new  Hospital del Trauma south of Hospital México in La Uruca.