Vol.18  No. 718 Published  Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - First news page


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President Alvarado declares state of
emergency for Atlantic zone

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Carlos Alvarado visited the zones most affected by the floods and landslides in the Atlantic zone Tuesday and officially declared them to be in a state of emergency.

The declaration can generate economic resources to official institutions, such as the ministries of Health, Public Works, Education, electricity, and water services providers and the commission for national emergencies.

The fresh resources will allow the acceleration of aid to the people living in the most affected areas.


The National Commission of Emergencies has established that the populations most affected by the emergency so far are living in Talamanca, Matina, Limón, Siquirres, Pococí, Sarapiquí and Turrialba. It was also confirmed that many small towns remain isolated.

The first problems to be approached will be cleaning river beds, dredging the margins of the rivers, repairing the dykes and coordinating more aid to the people now living in shelters, the commission said.

These are matters of urgency for the institutions involved as a new tropical storm wave is expected today and may affect the whole country.

Experts are forecasting more rain and a high probability of more floods and landslides throughout the country, but with the major influence again on the Atlantic coast.

The National Emergency Commission is requesting that mayors of the affected towns provide a report of the conditions of each one of the communities in the emergency zone.

Besides the local mayors, other official institutions are in charge of addressing the conditions of health, infrastructure, education, telecommunications, among others.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo  

The fresh resources will allow the acceleration of aid to the people living in the most affected areas.

Each minister will have a maximum period of two weeks to submit a report of damage to the towns and the conditions of the population to the emergency commission.

The president is taking this opportunity to make an open request to lawmakers to make more effort and accelerate the approval of the new tax package that is now under evaluation in the Congress.

The president asked for a faster approval, in order to generate fresh resources with which to handle to the emergency.

"We are able to take Costa Rica forward. I believe in this country, but we need a progressive tax system," he said after insisting that "there is no development without everyone's effort.”



Uber asks government to consider that
it generates employment for 22,000 drivers

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Uber ride services asked the government Tuesday to consider that its operation in Costa Rica generates employment for more than 22,000 drivers.

Uber made the request due to pressure from taxi drivers who want to stop the private passenger transport service.

In a press release, the U.S. company, born in California, showed its willingness to open a dialogue with the Executive Branch in order to achieve a "flexible, innovative and differentiated regulation of public transport, which allows the coexistence of different mobility schemes in the country."

Through its general manager for Central America, Andrés Echandí, Uber requested that the government take into account the opinions of more than 780,000 users and what the firm called 22,000  collaborating partners, meaning the drivers, in the discussion about that regulation.

"We trust that government authorities will value and consider the opinion of more than 783,000 Costa Ricans who have chosen new options to mobilize and also consider the more than 22,000 associated partners who see the application of Uber as an option for self-employment and that currently rely on this platform to advance their objectives," said the representative of the firm.

"For the 66 percent of the collaborating partners (about 13,200 people), Uber's application represents their main source of income, and in the case of collaborating partners, 47 percent (10,340 drivers) had no other source of income before, and 86 percent (18,920 drivers) generates stable earnings for their family," said Echandi.

The company stressed that any decision or negotiation that the government will address in the coming days should have the participation of stakeholders with an eye on the benefit of consumers and the establishment of these as the center of the discussion.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo  

At the beginning of the month, the government announced a series of mixed work commissions in which leaders of taxi drivers and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation will participate. 

At the beginning of the month, the government announced a series of mixed work commissions in which leaders of taxi drivers and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation will participate.

After a demonstration that lasted for almost 48 hours, causing a traffic collapse in the vicinity of Presidential House, the administration of Carlos Alvarado signed a commitment that establishes a tightening of controls against Uber-type transport platforms, as well as a pronouncement by the Council of Government on the future of the application in the country, among other eight agreements.



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HOtel and resstaurant directory


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Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - Second news page
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Credit card debt increased 15% in one year


By AM Costa Rica staff

Costa Ricans owes credit card debt in excess of ¢1.2 billion colones in April, according to the latest comparative study made by the Ministry of Economy.

This figure is 15 percent higher than that for the same period of a year earlier.

However, the delay in late credit card payments was reduced from 4.50 percent to 4.32 percent.

Based on the total of credit cards in colones more than half the cards charged an annual interest rate above 45 percent. 

In the case of credit cards figured in dollars, the majority of cards are charged interest rates higher than 30 percent.

The number of cards issued has increased 30 percent in eight years.

There are currently 6 million cards in circulation, an increase of 1.4 million cards since July 2010.

In Costa Rica there are 28 banks or financial institutions that can issue debit cards.

Nine of those cards issuers charge a fee for the withdrawal of cash from their own ATMs.

The rest of those cards allow free ATM withdrawals up to a certain number per month after which they charge a transaction fee that varies between 25 U.S. cents and $2.25 for each transaction.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services illustrative photo       
 
The majority of debit cards are linked
to colones savings accounts.


There are also extra fees for the use of ATMs that are not owned by the issuing bank. For example, when a cardholder of Banco Nacional withdraws cash from a private bank ATM the fee varies between 50 U.S. cents to $3.


The majority of debit cards are linked to colones savings accounts, 42 percent are linked to dollars savings accounts and 3 percent of the debit cards are linked to euros savings accounts, according to the study.



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Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA

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There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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Published  Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - Third news page
....
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Schools closed for 32,000 students
due to emergency in Atlantic zone

By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Some 32,000 students from 297 schools are still unable to attend classes because of the problems caused by the rains.

The main problems are flooded buildings, suspension of the water service, electric outages and no access due to landslides.

The Minister of Public Education, Edgar Mora, said that at least 80 institutions are directly affected by floods, while 210 others have access problems.

"In general, there is not a single infrastructure reported with severe damage. However, as the bad weather conditions continued, it has been considered appropriate to maintain the schools closed," Mora said.

The most damage schools are in the town of Turrialba.

Other schools with less damage are those located in the towns of Súla, Limón, Guapiles, Sarapiquí, Matina and San Carlos.


Some schools suspended classes indefinitely because they are now being used as shelters.

These shelters are in schools of Gandoca, Los Lirios, Tres Rosales, El Tigre, Estero Grande, Cristo Rey, Batán, Venecia, La Plástica and Hone Creek.

Two examples of damage are the Siquirres school where a huge tree fell on the roof of the gym and the school of Matina which is totally under water.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        

  A huge tree fell on the roof of  one of the Siquirres schools.
 

For more information about the list of schools closed by the emergency, readers can visit the Ministry of Public Education's website:  www.mep.go.cr

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Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018 -  Fourth news page

Ministry of Public Works continues
to restore main routes in Atlantic zone
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By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has estimated that there has been ¢6.8 billion in damages to roads throughout the country.

The routes opened in the last hours are:

- The Inter American south highway from San José to San Carlos.

- Route 126, near the town of Vara Blanca.

- The route between San Carlos and Nuevo Arenal.

- The route between Chilamate and the village Vuelta de Kopper.

- The route between Vuelta Kooper and the Caribbean area.

- The route between Naranjo and Puerto Viejo.

In Guanacaste, Route 4 between Santa Cecilia and Río Haciendas in La Cruz will not be open for at least one more week because it will be necessary to build an extension of the bridge on that road, highway officials said. 


There is a great deal of road damage to deal with, but, in the interests of worker safety and damage assessment, the ministry said it has ordered that repairs must wait until water level decreases.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       

More information on the current condition of the roads is on the website: www.mopt.go.cr


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U.S. Income Tax Services
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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.

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(paid category)

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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. 
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Dr. Lucinda Gray
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International Practice

•  Video therapy makes it possible for you to have
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Depression
 • Relationship Issues
 •
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U.S. Income Tax Services
(paid category)

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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:
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• Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com



Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018 -  Fifth news page

Cardiologist who denounced negligence
reinstated in her position

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

In 2015 Sofía Bogantes, a cardiologist at Hospital México, called the deaths of 141 patients there negligence.

The deaths occurred while the patients were waiting for cardiac catheterization.

As a consequence of the complaint, Bogantes was suspended in 2016 as an administrative measure while an investigation was carried out.

Despite her suspension, Bogantes has made new accusations, stating 103 more people have died since the year she made the first complaints.

The patients died while waiting for the dates for the operations to be set.

She and the representatives from the Union of Employees of the state Social Security Fund described the administrative measure as a reprisal for her report.

"This has been an outrage that was caused mostly by the manager, Maria Eugenia Villalta. That was a reprisal because everything I reported was already known to her, and certainly, the director of Hospital Mexico, who conspired and maintained this precautionary measure even though it was illegal, irregular and disproportionate, in addition to an impact on my personal, professional, emotional work," Bogantes said.

After two years of being relocated on other hospitals, the Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund agreed in June, on a recommendation from the legal department, to reinstate Bogantes in her original position at the Hospital México.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        

After two years of being relocated on other hospitals,  the legal department  reinstate Bogantes in her original position at the Hospital México.

Mario Devandas, a representative of the trade union sector on the Board of Directors, explained that the board knew what had been presented in the case and the legal department recommended the reinstatement.

For him, that resolution was positive and he said that someone who comes forward as a professional and points out a problem should not be attacked.

"I'm coming back and catching up. I have less than a week back. I am happy that justice was finally done in my case," said Bogantes.



Nine months after Hurricane Nate, deputies
approve a $20 million credit to help victims

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hurricane Nate crossed the country in October 2017. It was cataloged as one of the most terrible natural disasters of the year and caused losses that reach 329 billion colones.

A large part of the country suffered floods and landslides, and the storm destroyed homes, roads and bridges. The emergency also caused 11 deaths, and two people are still missing.

More than nine months after Hurricane Nate tore through the northern zone, lawmakers unanimously approved a loan with the Inter-American Development Bank for $20 million, to fix the infrastructure problems and help the victims.

The process to approve this large an amount of credit took a long time. The final date for loan approval was set for Aug. 12.

It was not until June 25, when the project was sent to the Finance Affairs Commission which analyzes and recommends the approval or rejection of international loans, that real progress was made.

"It has been more than nine months since the storm, and much of the problem is the slowness with which the loan was approved," said lawmaker Frangi Nicolás.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        

  A large part of the country suffered floods and landslides, and the storm destroyed homes, roads and bridges.

 



_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot
By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica & James J. Brodell
A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise.
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New World Meditation: Focusing Mindfulness Healing Awakening
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You will be Free to Live, Love, Work and Play in the Full Creative Expression of Your Authentic Self. New World Meditation is easy to learn, easy to practice, and profoundly transformational.
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Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica
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"No Meek Messiah"
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The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise
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The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica: The official guide to relocation
By Christopher Howard
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Life is a Tropical Garden
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Make gifts from dollars or colones
Running out of gift ideas? Author Dusty Pilot has just released easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for turning bills (dollars or colones) of any denomination into unique gifts such as flowers: roses, daffodils, daisies and poinsettias; shirts and blouses, and birds with flapping wings. Preview or purchase at Amazon. Click Here

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The Trouble with Cash
By John H Paterson
Greg and Liz must sell their property in Costa Rica to finance their retirement. They receive an offer for their full asking price of $1million, but it comes with one condition... the payment is to be in cash. They go for it. Things go wrong. The money is stolen.The local police are no help so Greg devises his own plan to get their money back. Buy the book on Amazon. Click Here
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Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018 -  Sixth news page

U.N. Human Rights Office blames Nicaraguan government

By A.M. Costa Rica wires services

The U.N. Human Rights Office in Geneva is accusing Nicaragua of extreme violence against peaceful protestors resulting in many deaths, injuries and gross violations of human rights.

During the past three months, the U.N. Human Rights Office estimates more than 300 people have been killed, including 19 police officers, and 1,830 have been injured during protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government.

It says the state and pro-government armed groups are to blame for the overwhelming number of deaths and injuries. Human rights spokesman Rupert Colville says the violence is all the more horrific because it is being done with the tacit support of the police and other government authorities.

“U.N. Human Rights Office staff on the ground report that a wide range of human rights violations are being committed, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions and denying people the right to freedom of expression. There has been incitement to hatred and smear campaigns, including against human rights defenders,” he said.

Colville says two human rights defenders, Medardo Maireno and Pedro Mena, were recently detained by police and are unaccounted for. He says it is feared they could be victims of enforced disappearance. He is calling on Nicaraguan authorities to provide immediate information on their whereabouts.

“We are observing an emerging and disturbing practice of human rights defenders and people who have merely taken part in protests being criminalized," he said.  “And, the backdrop for all these violations is the absence of rule of law and due process.”



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        

During the past three months, the U.N. Human Rights Office estimates more than 300 people have been killed.



Nicaraguans mark Liberation Day Thursday in observance of the overthrow of the dictatorial Anastasio Somoza regime in 1979 by the Sandinistas. President Ortega was a leader of the revolutionary group.

Colville says there is a growing sense of dread that violence will escalate in the lead-up to the anniversary, with more loss of life and a further erosion of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.


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House - Apartments For Rent
(paid category)



Fully Furnished One Bedroom
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One bedroom apartment located in neighborhood Colonia del Rio Guadalupe. Approximate a 1.5 NE miles from central San Jose. Buses pass every few minutes, walking distance to shopping center Walmart, eating places and bank. Washing facility, all utilities include including cable TV and Wi-Fi apartment fully furnished including bedding, eating and cooking items and 32”TV. Apartment is built above a river rapids on one side. Faces a grass yard with patio on front. Photos on request. Apartment available August 1st. $400 a month and deposit, returnable after 3 months if apartment is left in order. One car enclosed parking space $50.

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Code: xxx-081018


Furnished House Inside Gated Property
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Beautiful house, surrounded by a wonderful nature. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath on private property close to town. $650.00 Includes Electric, Internet, WiFi, Cable TV, water. In Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives on site, quiet, secure.
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Code: 9386-072918

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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
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Real Estate For Sale
(paid category)

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Jaco Oceanfront Furnished Condo
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Jaco Oceanfront Condo in excellent condition, completely furnished, with air conditioning, hot water, private parking, equipped gym, large pool and garden area, and 24 hour security.

Contains: large bedroom, bath with shower, living/dining area combined with kitchen, equipped with new refrigerator, TV, furniture and cooking equipment. Granite table and counter tops. Continuous cross-current ocean breezes.

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Monthly maintenance of $221 includes water, security, cable/internet and pool and garden maintenance. Asking price: $145,000.

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Colinas Del Sol
Fenced Gated
Parcels

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Fenced Gated Parcels for Sale
* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project in a quiet area. * There are 88 clear titled parcels. * Mountain areas with great views.
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In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray: jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or USA call +517-484-3675
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Code: 9342-090318




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Vista Verde Del Mar
(Green View of the Sea)

* 4.4 hectares / 10.91 acres.
* All roads on property are complete on solid, original ground...
no "fill" areas.
* Four private 2+ acre parcels available within a ten acre property.
* 12 minutes to the Quepos airport or Quepos Hospital.
* 17 minutes to the new Marina Pez Vela in Quepos.
* Unsurpassed 360 degree vistas of ocean and mountains.
* All legal work to convey clean / clear / legal title is complete.
* NO PRE-SALE glitches, ready to build on !
* Price to sell $299,000 Brokers Protected.

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U.S.A. phone: 770-310-1351
More information Click Here
Code: 9350-050419



Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized in Eco Properties, Eco Consulting, Green Living and Hotel Real Estate & Hotel Consulting. Own farm with sustainable development project under planning.





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Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR
Code:9368-112118


Business For Sale
(paid category)
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Versatile 2 Floors Building
in La Sabana


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Completely remodeled building. 14 areas for residence and/or offices, call center, upscale storage. Transportation within 50 meters, commuter train, buses and taxis. In La Sabana, San Jose. School, park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium walking distance. 24-hour security, many restaurants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 323 meter construction. Asking $295,000.
Contact Jim Holley
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Local CR phone: (506) 8912-5651
Code:9333-072318

Three Cabins in La Fortuna
San Carlos


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In La Fortuna San Carlos. Price $145,000 USD
Three cabins for sale fully furnished with AC, hot water, micro waves, refrigerators, flat screen TV. three years old.Lot is 22 meters by 49 meters. fenced and gated with private drive.Fish and shrimp pond on property with several tropical plants as well as several fruit trees.Room for more new construction house or cabins. This property is in the country but close to Fortuna central.Cabins advertised on AirBnB. Good income property.

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Code:9344-081518


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Published  Wednesday, July 18, 2018 -  Seventh news page

Police find small plane camouflaged in rough Guanacaste terrain

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

During a preventive aerial patrol carried out by the personnel of the Air Surveillance Service of the Ministry of Public Security, officers saw a small plane camouflaged in an area​ that is difficult to access near the town of Bagaces de Guanacaste.

This plane was found last week, but not reported by officials until Tuesday.

The air surveillance unit was patrolling the area over Bagaces when crew members observed what appeared to be a clandestine airstrip and an aircraft nearby hidden in a wooded area and covered with a green fabric, the ministry said.

Police managed to find the site, thanks to the help of the pilots who gave instructions from the air. The police located the clandestine airstrip after a three-hour search.

The small plane had been abandoned as unflyable, according to the director of the Air Surveillance Service, Juan Luis Vargas, who said "This aircraft had a blow to the propeller.”

Vargas added that a specialist on narcotics trafficking reviewed the area and brought in K9 dogs who found the presence of drugs.



Plane071818.jpg
A.M. Costa Rica wire services  photo     

 
  This plane was found last week, but not reported
by officials until Tuesday.

"This type of aircraft has characteristics that make it possible to land in confined spaces,” said Vargas. He added that the plane has a low operational cost, is ultralight weight and can land and take off in a small area.