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Editorial Note: This edition brings us to a close on the chapter of the Indigenous in Costa Rica. I have to say this is one series I truly enjoyed, learning more about the ancient cultures here, and I am a little sad to see it come to an end. Perhaps in the future we can revisit this topic from a different perspective though. That means that with the New Year we will be bringing you new topics and ideas, and you should find in this newsletter a feedback form that we would appreciate hearing back from you on. What topics you would like to see, what topics you enjoy, and so forth. So I personally hope you all have a really wonderful holiday season, maybe we will see you at the Christmas party, and for certain we look forward to a New Year together. - Ryan Piercy

Do you have a Costa Rican Drivers license yet? Contact us for details.

This magazine has been published every two months for 12 years as the official communications media of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica. Our organization provides service to thousands of foreigners who have chosen Costa Rica to reside for short periods or for permanent residence. Since 1984 the Association of Residents of Costa Rica has been offering reliable SERVICES, INFORMATION and ADVOCACY to Costa Rica’s foreign residents. We have the experience and ability to help you with your residency application, immigration, business and financial management, real estate purchases and rentals, property management, insurance, pet importation and much more. If you wish to place an ad in El Residente, please contact the ARCR main office. Goods & services offered are paid advertisments. Neither ARCR Administracion nor El Residente research the companies and take no responsibility for the quality of such goods or services.

El Residente


Presidents Re epor t

Hernandez {Secretary}, Earl Tomlinson {Fiscal}, Ann Wildey {1stVocal}, Ray Hagist {2ndVocal} and Attilio Gilberti {3rdVocal}. Congratulations to all the new Board members.

by The Board My time has come!!! Well folks, I have finally reached the end of my rope, finished my term, ran out of things to say and I’m turning this page over to a new President. It’s been an interesting two years. I have tried to promote the benefits of ARCR, talked of their many projects and attempted to enlist your help with our charitable programs. For those of you who have bought our raffle tickets, donated to our Christmas Trees funds, or just came by ask about our programs I thank you for your participation. I always had the feeling that I wasn’t reaching the majority of ARCR members so I tried a new tact {ploy} starting with the July/August El Residente to engage more members. I wrote in that message I had invited the Presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua to join our membership and become members of our Board. I thought that might provoke a response from members, but too no avail. My next ploy, in last editions, was to talk about presidential candidates. I repeat this was a ploy, as I know the president’s message should always be apolitical. Again the point in doing this was to solicit persons to get involve with our organization, write articles in our magazine, become volunteers or assist with fund raising events of our charitable committee. Well, the people who responded were incensed by my political inferentially. Again this article was only a ploy to solicit people to come join ARCR activities. To those people who were offended, I apologize, but I’m still asking them to become more active in ARCR, and perhaps write articles for our magazine or assist in one of our charitable projects. There are thousand of non-profits, out there, who need help, and why can’t this aid come from an organization like ARCR and its members? Other items of interest for this edition; Our General Board meeting was held on October 15th and the following is the list of new officers for the coming year. Terry Renfer {President}, Charles Zeller {Vice President}, Jose Carter {Treasurer}, Ana

We have one new program, which maybe of interest too many of you. Ann Wildey and Ray Hagist have put together a monthly travel tour program. Most are one-day tours, but several are longer. In addition there are trips out-side of Costa Rica for people who must leave occasionally. I believe, in another area of this magazine, there are details about this new program. One last item, I would like to leave you all with some APHORISMS, before I sign off for the last time. 1} The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow. 2} If you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense at all. 3} A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water and the last one 4} Always be yourself. Because the people that matter, don’t mind. And the one’s that do mind don’t matter. With that, thanks again for taking the time to read these messages over the last two year. - Earl Tomlinson ********************* Dear ARCR Members, In reference to Mr. Tomlinson’s note in September’s El Residente, Page 3, ARCR would like to make clear that the opinion expressed therein is private, and does not represent ARCR or its board in any way. ARCR is NOT a political organization, and does not get involved in election politics in the USA, Costa Rica, or any other country. ARCR encourages its US members to vote for the candidate of their choice, and will abstain in the future from any political views in its official publications. Sincerely, The Board of Directors

Cover Painting by Susan Adams: Susan Adams has been living in and painting Costa Rica for ten years finding an unending source of inspiration to put on canvas. Susan lives and paints in Playa Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast province of Guancaste, and it is home to her own Galeria Pelicano. See ... This piece is entitled “Out on a Limb.” (Send us your painting for one of this years covers to ARCR at

November-December, 2008


Association of Residents of Costa Rica



Looking to get more social? How about join us for Breakfast. Starting November 19 we will be meeting for Breakfast at Soda Tapia in La Sabana (near the ARCR) This will be the first of what we hope will become various locations, so if you would like to host a breakfast group in your area, please contact us! CHRISTMAS TOGETHER

The ARCR announces the offering of monthly day trips for its members and others interested in membership beginning November 20, 2008. The first of these day trips will depart from the office of ARCR at 6:15 AM and proceed by bus to Africa Mia, the Costa Rican rendition of Serengeti in Africa. The cost of this tour will be $75.00 if you have a resident cedula or $85.00 if you have only a tourist visa. On December 16, 2008 the day tour will be to the Calypso Isle Tortuga. Please go to for a completely listing of day tours for the next 12 months. ARCR is sponsoring a day trip to Africa Mia, the Costa Rican rendition of the Serengeti in Africa where some 200+ animals (not counting the native animals) are to be seen on the African Safari Wildlife Tour including reticulated giraffes, the incredible Giant Eland, endangered species bongos, mask faced oryx, warthogs, zebras, ostriches, antelopes, deer, Watusi African cattle and camels. The bus will stop both going and coming for a coffee break (not included). After your Safari Wildlife Tour you will enjoy lunch before returning to San Jose. Included: roundtrip transportation, entrance fee to Africa Mia and Lunch. Cost: 75.00 per person with resident cedula or $85.00 per person with tourist visa. A minimum of 16 persons is required. Join us for socializing, meeting new people and a good time. To reserve your seat call our agent at 2279-8927 or email at To see a list of upcoming day trips access our web site at - Ann Wildey

Join with us this holiday season. It’s that time of year, the ‘Most Wonderful Time’ of the year, and time once again for our Annual Christmas Dinner Dance. The ARCR & the Canadian Club come together once again, and we hope you will join us, at the Crowne Plaza Corobici on Saturday, December 6th. Start time is 6 pm, with a fantastic dinner set for 8 o’clock. On the menu this year is a Salmon mousse, followed by a delicious Turkey and Pork meal, joining the best of traditions for Costa Rica and the Northern countries. Chef salad and Waldorf salad, Pork in its juices, Turkey in its juices, rice & sweet corn, glazed carrots, all topped of with Black Forest Cake! The cost for this year’s event, including Dinner, Dancing, and great Door Prizes is $35 per person. All are welcome to attend, so bring your family, your friends, or if you are coming solo, let us know and we will sit you with a group of other soloists. Tickets available from the ARCR offices.


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Contact Alan Weeks by e- mail:

ARCR Member since 1992 4

Alcoholics Anonymous Groups meet daily throughout the country; times and places change frequently. Call for up-to-date information. San José 2222-1880 (Anchor club, also serves Narcotics Anonymous) Av 6 Calle 1, 2nd floor Maryland Building. Heredia (Laura) 2267-7466, Puerto Viejo Limon 2750-0080, Zancudo 2776-0012, Tamarindo 2653-0897, Flamingo (Don) 2654-4902, Manuel Antonio (Jennifer) 2777-1548, Jacó (Nancy) 2637-8824, Zoo Group Escazu 2293-4322. Al-Anon Meetings Al-Anon Family Group is for all family and friends of Alcoholics. For information in English, please call Martha 2483-1275 or Sandy 2266-1061; For Spanish please call Christine 8840-4658 American Legion Post 12- Golfito Meetings are held 4 pm 1st Tuesday every month at Banana Bay Marina. The Golfito GOVETS have been helping Southern Costa Rica for over 20 years. Contact Pat at or 2775-2809. American Legion Post 16- Heredia All veterans are welcome. Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at Hotel America in Heredia at 12 noon. Contact Post Commander Jim Young or Post Adjutant Ken Johnson at 2591-1695. Bird Watching Club The Birding Club of Costa Rica sponsors monthly trips to observe local and migrant birds in various areas of the country. For more information contact us at 2282-5365 or at Canadian Club (ACCR) Calling all Canadians Come join us at one of our events or monthly luncheons and connect with the local Canadian Community. website: Democrats Abroad Democrats Abroad meets on the last Saturday of every month at the Aurola Holiday Inn, San Jose. Contact Paul Kloes, 2215-4254, e-mail or visit our website at Register to vote absentee at! Little Theatre Group LTG is the oldest continuously running English-language theatre in Central or South America. The group currently puts on a minimum of four productions a year offering a choice of modern, classic, serious, and farcical plays. The group’s monthly social meetings are held in the theatre on the first Monday of the month from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. and everyone is welcome. Membership costs C 4,000 per person or C7, 000 per family. Also, earn your Wings, become an LTG Angel. For more information Call the LTG Box Office 8355-1623 or Newcomer’s Club Newcomers Club of Costa Rica (for women) meets first Tuesday of every month, September through May. Call: Teresa Beck 2249-2673 or PC Club of Costa Rica This computer Club meets on the third Saturday of each month at Pan American school, in Belen, 830 to 11:30 am 2 months Free Trial for newcomers. For information call Chuck Jennings. Phone 2266-0123

November-December, 2008

Send us your club news or activities for free publication in this column

Republican’s Abroad The Republicans Abroad of Costa Rica meets the second Tuesday of each month. Contact Francis 2203-6131, or or fax 2282-2150. Radio control Sailing Club Meets at Sabana Park Lake. For information contact Walter Bibb. Tambor Gringos and Important Friends T.G.I.F. We have recently established a web site and an e-mail for inquiries We meet at 9:00am on the First Friday of every month at various restaurants in the Tambor area. We socialize and share information to assist both new and old residents with issues facing those living in Costa Rica. Wine Club of Costa Rica Please mark your calendars The wine club usually meets at 1 P.M. on the last Sunday of each month. Join us to tantalize your taste buds and expand your education. For more information on upcoming events please contact us Phone 2279-8927, 2257-2223 Women’s Club of Costa Rica Founded in 1940. The Women’s Club of Costa Rica is one of the oldest, continuously operating service clubs in the country. The name has changed in 68 years, but our motto “friendship and service” has remained the same,. An English-speaking organization, our club has approximately 350 members, originating from over 30 countries. Please join and help us to continue to grow. Remember that you can contact us or keep in touch through our website Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (open to men too) Bilingual group meets in Heredia on the first Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. in the clinic of Mireya Gonzalez. We work on peace and human rights issues. Call Mitzi 2433-7078 or write Young Expats of Costa Rica Some Expatriates under the age of 40, and currently living in Costa Rica, have formed a new social club to be coordinated through their website This club will help younger expatriates living in, or moving to, Costa Rica meet other expats in their age group for; friendship, romance, travel and activity partners, and professional networking. Veterans of Foreign Wars: Post 11207 Meetings are held at 11am, the first Tuesday of every month, at Club Colonial Casino on the second floor. All members are welcome and veterans who served overseas may join. For info please call 2750-0453 or 2228-2313.


A Day In Th he Life by Allen Dickinson

Crisis on the Pista. It was a bad day. It had it’s bright spots, but in sum it was just a BAD day! Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, after five and one-half weeks, I had gotten my car back from the mechanic with a totally new rebuilt engine installed. It ran sweet! I hadn’t realized how much I like that car, but after driving cheap Hyundai rentals for that time, I really appreciated having it back again. It has a much more solid a body with many fewer rattles, a higher suspension, more power, and a much more comfortable seating position than what I had been driving. And drive it I did. Saturday, after taking my Tica wife and two kids, along with her mother, to the Escazu farmers market, I thought it would be good to take a little trip shake-down for the car - so we took a ride to Grecia, which is up in the mountains about 40 miles away. When we got there we just took a quick loop through town and then headed back home. But even that was fun because it was something different from the scenery we usually see. The car performed flawlessly - that is until we were a little more than about half the way back when, as we were going down the Pista, I noticed an increasing loss of power. And when I looked in the rearview mirror I saw a cloud of oil smoke was billowing out behind us. Immediately I knew: That’s not good! We were on the Trans-America highway, which is four lanes of one of the best roads in Costa Rica, and the heavy traffic was moving along both east-bound lanes at about 60 MPH. As we got slower and slower I turned on the Emergency Flashers and, as soon as I could, pulled over onto a shoulder of the road. When we got stopped I popped the hood to find the front of the engine covered in fresh oil. The smoke I had seen trailing us was coming from the oil burning off the hot engine, not from something internal, which was good - at least by comparison. When I pulled out my cell phone to call my mechanic I found the battery was dead, so I used my wife’s cell phone to call and tell him what had happened. I would have done it anyway, but after describing the problem, he suggested I let it cool for 20 minutes, then try to start it and see what happened. I did that but when I tried to crank it, it wouldn’t start. I called the mechanic back and told him I needed a tow truck. My mechanic has a guy he uses regularly to transport “dead” vehicles and he told me he would call him and send him out. I was to call the mechanic back in 10 minutes to confirm the truck was on it’s way, but when I called him back he informed me that the tow truck was out of the area and MAY be back in three - four hours. Not so good.

But, OK, I was stuck with that. I decided I should call a friend and see if he could come get the family and take them home while I stayed and awaited the arrival of the tow truck - however long that might be. I called him and he kindly agreed to come get them. That was good. While we were waiting for him I again tried to start my car, just to see what happened. And it started! The engine sounded good too, so I decided we’d try to get a bit farther down the road. But first I needed to call my friend back and tell him to hold off a bit. So I got my wife’s phone from her again but, when I tried to use it, I discovered her battery had gone dead also. Not good. As it happened, I had pulled over near a used car and parts lot and we had already gone to the office and asked to use his bathroom. During that initial trip I had told him what had happened and he was nice, sympathetic, and let us use his bathroom. So now, I went back to the car lot and this time asked to use his cell phone, which he let me do. I quickly raised my friend, who had other things going on when I first called him and hadn’t left yet, so it was easy to put he and his “rescue mission” on hold. Then I called the mechanic and told him the latest news and let him know that we would try to go as far as we could - and I would call him and give him an update later. It was starting to rain. After making the calls I went back to the car. I had shut it down after it had restarted so it wouldn’t overheat or damage anything while I was making calls, and now it didn’t want to restart again. I’ll spare the details but after several, very long minutes of trying, I did eventually get it running again - and off we went. After a few more miles the car again began losing power and putting out a smoke screen. Rather than damage the engine, I pulled over as soon as possible and shut it down. We were now about a mile from the airport. I wasn’t about to go through the cooling down thing again - I knew that even if I did, and even if it restarted, we were still at least ten miles from home - and at three miles a clip, we’d be hours getting back, if we ever did. That was pretty much an unworkable situation. I needed a tow truck. Period. And now it was raining - hard! So, there we were, in the rain with two dead cell phones and a mortally injured car. I did the only thing I could - I got out the umbrella (luckily I had one in the car) and began walking to the airport. Besides there being phones there, I also knew they also had ATMs. Since I only had about $20.00 in my pocket, which would not be enough to pay for a tow truck, there was that added benefit to going there. Plus, there were phones the so I could tell the mechanic where the tow truck could find me, and I would be able to get a taxi to carry me back to my car and have it take the family home - that way I didn’t have to impose on my busy friend. As I set out walking along the road I noticed there was no shoulder. I mean, NONE. Between the outside white line Continued on page 7...

El Residente


and the edge of the macadam there was (sometimes) as much as four inches of pavement, but usually less. I couldn’t walk alongside, off the pavement, because at the edge of whatever pavement there was, the “roadside” dropped off about three-feet into a rocky ditch filled with about a foot of rain water runoff. There were even places the water had, over time, washed the side of the ditch away far enough so that the edge of the pavement, up to and including the white lane edge line, had been eroded away. So that left me with no place to walk except on the edge of the traffic lane, which meant I was walking where the passing cars and trucks were whizzing by only a foot or two away. Not good or fun. I was wearing leather sandals and, as I walked in the rain, they got soaked and one of the toe straps decided to let loose. By the time I got to the airport I was not only wet and bedraggled, but had one sandal semi-flopping. I don’t think I looked very good, which was maybe why (combined with the fact I had no ticket for a flight) the airport security guard didn’t want to let me in to the terminal where the ATM was. I did my best to stay calm and, in my best Spanish (and waving my US Passport) I tried to explain the situation. Finally the guard took pity on me and let me go on inside. After withdrawing some money from the ATM, I went downstairs to the Arrival area and tried to get someone to let me use a phone. It took me a little bit but the taxi stand finally let me use theirs and I called the mechanic. The call revealed that there had been no change in the tow truck situation and, after two calls back and forth, he understood that I was going back to my car and would await the tow truck, however long it took. That could have been as much as four hours, maybe more, but I knew I couldn’t leave the car unattended at the side of the road, so I had to accept the situation. My consolation was that at least I could get the family home by cab - they had now, patiently, been sitting at the side of the road for nearly two hours. I found a taxi and explained what I wanted/needed and he agreed, so I quickly loaded my wet body in and we left the airport - the wrong way. Again my “fluent Spanish” came through and after only a couple of miles I got him turned around and on the right track. Soon thereafter we were nearing my car’s location, we were just going the wrong direction on a busy four-lane road - but we were getting there. That was good. However, as we came over a small hill and approached the car, I found that in the time I had been gone there had been an accident directly across the road from where my car was parked and the traffic was backed up for about a mile in each direction. It took a while to reach where the car was, but even though we were just across the road from it, the heavy traffic forced us to go another mile before there was a gap large enough to allow a U-turn. Eventually we made it back to my car and family. Upon arrival, the taxi driver asked me if I had a tow rope, and if I did, offered to tow the car to my home with his Toyota taxi. That seemed like an excellent idea! And I DID have a tow strap! That was real good! I keep a 20-foot tow strap in the car and we immediately set about hooking it up. But then the Transito Officer, who

November-December, 2008

was investigating the traffic accident on the other side of the road (which was a minor rear-ender) walked over and said, “You can’t do that - it’s not allowed.” After a short discussion between the Officer and the taxi driver, plus a roughly $10.00 donation to the Officer’s “retirement fund” he changed his mind about whether letting the cab tow my car was legal or not and went back across the road, leaving us to finish hooking up the tow strap. As it turned out, the only place to hook a tow rope to the Toyota was far up under the chassis, which shortened the distance between the two cars to about 15-feet. If you have ever been in a car being towed you know that 15-feet between them is virtually nothing. If the lead car has to make a quick stop, the short distance makes reaction time by the driver of the towed car extremely important - a one-second delay can mean another rear-ender for the Transito to investigate. That wouldn’t be good. But we were connected and off we went. I had put my wife in the taxi, to give directions, and as we went down the road I could see the taxi driver being a typical Tico in the presence of a pretty woman - he was talking to her a blue-steak while driving with one hand and gesturing with the other. His split attention made me just a little nervous, so I rode with one foot poised on the brake pedal - which, bythe-way, were no longer power brakes because the engine wasn’t running - and an increased degree of vigilance, so I wouldn’t be caught off guard by something the he might do at the last minute. To add to my stress, there are a couple of fairly steep downhill grades along the way, not to mention several stretches of heavy traffic on the Pista, to deal with. It was a tense 15-miles for me (though the taxi driver didn’t seem any bit the worse for wear) and we successfully made it home without incident. We unhitched the cars, pushed mine into the garage and I asked him what I owed. I cringed internally while he thought a bit, then mentioned the $10.00 he’d given the Transito Officer. Then, after a few more moments of thought, he decided on a total of about $70.00. I was relieved and thought it was a fair price - the tow truck could have cost me that. I was so happy I gave a $10.00 tip! That made him happy. Now I am waiting for the mechanic to come visit and determine what the problem(s) and damage(s) are. Then I’ll know if I haven to rent a car, again. Oh, one more complication to the whole thing is that the mechanic is moving location and has closed his old shop, even though he hasn’t found a suitable new site yet. So, if it’s a serious problem with the engine, he’ll have to figure out where to take my car so it can be worked on. I, and my bank account, anxiously await the diagnosis. Allen Dickinson is a member of ARCR. After serving 23 years in the US Navy he settled in Pensacola, Florida, where he resided for 24 years. In 2006 he retired from operating his own licensed mortgage brokerage business and relocated to Costa Rica. He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of New York and a Masters Degree from the University of West Florida. He can be reached via email at:


Retreats Co osta a Rica by Rosemary Rein

Tico Tweeters-I see a Tweety Bird I am happy to say live in a country where there is a club of “ Tico Tweeters” That’s actually the name of the Birding Club’s monthly newsletter. Costa Rica, situated between Panama and Nicaragua is a mecca for Birding Enthusiasts and in fact I’m happy to say that the Birds of Costa Rica greet me each morning and not CNN and most certainly not Fox News!

Yes, when birdwatchers die, they want to go to heaven in Costa Rica, where over 850 species reside or fly in for vacation. As Charles A. Lindbergh quoted on his deathbed: “If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes” I couldn’t agree more Charles, which is why we chose Costa Rica for Writing Living and Flying High as a Bird amidst the Beauty of Pacha Mama. Rosemary Rein, PhD is the Author of “Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life” published by Park University. She conducts One Week Personal Growth Learning Vacations and Team Building Retreats in Costa Rica where she has resided with her husband, Barry for 10 years. www.retreats

This is Walter.

He is a strong young Cabecar boy who likes to run and play with his friends like any other child, but unfortunately he went to close to the water one day. Imagine his fear at 9 years of age, facing a deadly poisonous serpent. I would guess he will never be the same again. But he was lucky he didn’t lose his life. But to save it cost him a leg. Psychology Tip: If you’re not so fortunate as to live in Costa Rica, I recommend you buy a CD with the sounds of the rainforest and begin your day with a bird song and not a body count in the morning! In my Personal Growth Retreats and Business Seminars, I reinforce how the first 15 minutes of your day are absolutely critical to your daily psychology. You see, much like booting up a computer, your brain needs a positive boot up and I recommend spending time with nature and/or reading something inspirational as part of your daily ritual. Watch how much better you feel, thanks to this first date of the day with nature and serenity. But back to the Birds of Costa Rica---Each morning I wake up in the mountains of Escazu to the sound of a flock of singing parrots overhead; As I sip my coffee in the morning (the best in the world by the way), I watch hummingbirds attracted by special flowers and the sugar water we have arranged to attract them busy at work in what we call our Hummingbird Hyatt.

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But maybe we can help bring back something, so he can run again. Many members came forward to help the little boy a few months ago, and we were successful in raising the $2000 need for the prosthetic leg. This time our goal is not as high, as this child needs only $1400 to walk again. Christmas is coming, and we hope for Christmas Walter will be able to run again with his friends. If you are able to help us, please contact the office. Donations can be made to our joint account with the Damas Voluntarias of the Children’s Hospital, Cta# 161010-0262001116-7 at the Banco Popular Costa Rica. The Foundation ARCR Gilberti has begun to help those in need as the charity committee has done for years. This is just a beginning, and we need your help.


Legends Compiled by ARCR Sta aff

Stones on the Peak of Death In the range of the Cordillera Talamanca, at the highest point along the route of the Panamerican Highway, is the Cerro de la Muerte, the Peak of Death. Upon this peak are an unbelievable number of large stones, which they say are from volcanic eruption, but legend tells differently.

Arrogant as he was, the Spaniard responded to the guide that they were greater than all in the country, even the gods, and didn’t accept to bow to any individuals. Upon reaching the peak, the Captain ordered his men to shout, and fire their weapons, making as much noise as they could. The y The indigenous people knew for all time that the God of this all broke out in laughter as the poor Indian guide ran away peak did not like loud noise, and so there was an unwritten terrified. rule to be very quiet and respectful there. It was believe that anyone making a loud noise would cause the god to bring Legend holds that the Spaniards camped there that night, hurricanes, cold, and even death to those who disturbed his and there fell a harsh cold with the coming of the darkness. silence. Nobody dared go near the peak until the new day came with the sun shining hard and warm. There upon the peak the At one point a group of the Spanish Conquistadors left men were not to be found, but instead were a number of large Cartago heading for the Southern Zone of Costa Rica, and stones scattered about. they were lead by an old Indian guide. Along their journey the guide spoke with the Spanish leader, and warned him The Captain and his men never appeared, and to this day the repeatedly of the mystery of the peak, and especially the Indians believe the stones are all that is left of the arrogant danger of making noise there. Spaniard and his followers.

November-December, 2008


El Residente


Immigration n Update October 2008 Mid month it came to our attention that beginning November Migracion intended to begin making the residency renewals through the Banco de Costa Rica. Though this has been in Migracion often it seems is not good at disseminating discussion for well over a year, when we last met with them information, even to its counterparts. Most recently it was they still had not been able to come to any agreement with made possible to have your newly issued card delivered the bank. to you at a Postal Office instead of having to return again to Migracion. There have apparently been communication We tried then to obtain clear information from Migracion, and problems in this procedure though. the bank, but apart from stating that this service would begin in November, they could give no specific date, and nobody Some members who opted for this service had to give the had any information or details on how it was to work. original temporary receipt to the Correos office at Migracion in order for them to pick up the cedula. Then they showed up Furthermore apart from stating it would be available at at the local Correos office to retrieve their document, only to certain branches only, nobody could specify where. Based be told they had to give the original receipt, not a copy, to do on the number we believe it may be at those branches of so. Some offices even had signs posted to this effect, and BCR that already renew the drivers’ licenses. arguments had to be made. We don’t currently know if these problems will persist at certain outlets. In any event, it would be our recommendation to avoid using this method in the beginning. Let others be the guinea pigs So while Migracion appears to be heading in a positive in regards to ironing out the bugs in the system, and we are direction, these changes can be slow, and painful, and it may quite certain there will be some. be best to avoid the worst of it if you are able.

November-December, 2008


Learning The Language e by Christopher Howard

Doctor! Doctor! Becoming ill anywhere is an unpleasant experience, not to mention when one is in a foreign country. Especially when in country where you are unable to communicate in the language. Although many of the doctors from Latin America have studied in the United States, you should not count on all of them being fluent in English. Furthermore, most nurses and other medical personnel usually do not speak English.


For these reasons it is a good idea to know some basic emergency medical phrases in case you become ill in a Spanish Speaking country like Costa Rica. This is especially true if you become ill in a rural area. Knowing some of the survival vocabulary below may even save your life. You can start by memorizing the parts of the body on your own, and then combine them with theses expressions: Me duele… My …. hurts Me ha roto… I have broken … Estoy enfermo. I am sick. … está enfermo. … is sick. Es urgente It’s urgent Es grave It’s serious Dolor agudo sharp pain Dolor sordo dull ache Estoy mareado I’m dizzy Débil weak Tengo nauseas I am sick to my stomach Necesito una ambulancia I need an ambulance Estoy Embarasada I am pregnant Soy diabético I am a diabetic Soy asmático I am an asthmatic Tengo fiebre I have a fever … escalofríos … the chills … calambres … cramps … la diarrea … diarrhea … una infección … an infection La sangre blood No puedo respirar I can’t breathe El consultorio doctor’s office El hospital hospital Desmayado fainted El resfriado a cold La gripe the flu Doctor doctor Medico doctor Enfermera nurse

Here is your Costa Rican expression or tiquismo for this week: “Ahuevarse” means to be sad, down or depressed in Costa Rica. El es ahuevado – He is depressed.

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November-December, 2008


Tribes of th he Land by Ana Hernandez

The Guaymí- Ngöbes, The people of two lands With this final article, we reach the end of the series on the Indigenous groups of Costa Rica that we have been running on El Residente Magazine since the beginning of 2008. If you have followed the series of articles from the beginning, perhaps you feel that you are better informed about our native groups than before. Also, some of you have gained a deeper insight on the difficult economic conditions of the majority of people on reservation lands, and perhaps; some of you, like me, have experienced feelings of anger at the mistreatment endured by Indigenous groups since the colony and continue to suffer today because of the indifference that politicians and governments show them. I feel that as a country we still have a long way to go to give back the dignified life our native people deserve, but I cannot blame everything on either the European colonizers or our local legislators. It is a well-known historical fact that since the beginning of humanity, conquering cultures have imposed their own customs on others. The ones with the better weapons and smarter war strategies have become the rulers of new territories and have substantially changed existing civilizations. Who we are today, whether we like it or not, was thanks to the encounter of two formidable races from two very different parts of the world. Some of them, forced by utter poverty have immigrated to We have chosen to finish this series of articles with an often the city lately and we can now identify them, wearing their overlooked group of natives many Costa Rican citizens don’t long, colorful peasant-like dresses asking for money in the even realize are from this country: the Guaymí-Ngöbes. streets of our capital city. The Guaymí-Ngöbes occupied a region of what today is part of Costa Rica and Panama. When the official border was created between our two countries, they continued to live on either side without paying much attention to political or geographical barriers. In 1920 many of them crossed into our territory looking for work in the coffee fields and settled permanently in the townships of Buenos Aires and in the Osa Peninsula. The rest of the Guaymí-Ngöbes remained in the Western Panamanian provinces of Veraguas, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. Guaymí people on both sides of the border speak Ngäbere, a language derived from the Chibchan language family and there are approximately 250,000 speakers of Ngäbere today. Continued on page 15...

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The migrant Guaymí-Ngöbes who crossed the border to settle in our territory have been excluded from the economic progress of this country and have not received any of the benefits given to people here. They were recognized as Costa Rican citizens only as recently as 1990 thanks to the efforts of representatives of the Ngönegue Cultural Association who fought for the rights to obtain recognition and an I.D. card or cédula for each member of their ethnic group. The Guaymí population in Costa Rica is sizeable and has settled on five reserve territories geographically and culturally fractured in the townships of Buenos Aires, Golfito, Coto Brus and Corredores in Osa. The names of their reserves are Pueblo Guaymí, Conte Burica, Osa, Abrojos-Montezuma and Altos San Antonio. Their combined population is of about 5,000 inhabitants. Their land is crossed by the Pan-American Highway from where travelers can see extensive fields dedicated to various mono-agriculture practices, among them the pineapple, which is primary, sold to transnational companies for exportation. Besides cattle ranching, there are a few farms and a few important cities between Guaymí settlements and the border with Panama. The inhabitants of these territories are under great pressure from outsiders and from members of their own reserves who compete for the exploitation of the natural resources in each of the regions where they live.

November-December, 2008

Some Guaymí communities are very isolated and do not have adequate infrastructure. The roads leading to their reserves are bad and 4x4s cannot traverse these roads. They lack aqueducts and do not even have radio communication. Electricity, schools, health clinics, telephones, bridges, sport fields, childcare centers, etc., are practically non-existing in their reserves. The Guaymís that are able to cultivate the land, grow subsistence crops such as cacao, corn, rice, beans, palm of heart and plantains, selling these products for much Continued on page 16...


needed cash and keeping enough for food. Some combine agriculture with a few cows, pigs and chickens. Many GuaymĂ­ families are very poor and they work as hand laborers for non-indigenous landowners who pay them less than to white laborers. Although they need housing, the help obtained from the government is very limited and new housing projects almost never reach them. Because they cannot prove land ownership, banks do not grant them credit. They need scholarship programs for students and teachers who can teach in their vernacular language. Due to these economic hurdles, alcoholism, drug addiction and the immigration of their youth away from their reserves, have contributed to a continuous disengagement from their traditional way of life.

The general survival of the GuaymĂ­s in our country teeters on a delicate balance. The scarce natural resources they still enjoy will be jeopardized with the arrival of new infrastructure, housing, and access to the social services they deserve; but if left to fend for themselves without obtaining these things, they are at risk of total impoverishment. Social and economic development programs and an extensive awareness of local conservation practices, need to be implemented by government authorities; but it is crucial that the opinions of the citizens of this valuable ethnic group be taken into account on decisions pertaining to their future.

Their physical proximity with Panama is a blessing in disguise. GuaymĂ­s can sell their crops and crafts to people on the other side of the border, but there is always the temptation of illegally trading with locally protected resources. Border buyers benefit by obtaining cheap limber extracted from our jungles, while deforestation in border territory grows at a rapid pace. The MINAE, the main Costa Rican government agency in charge of the protection of the environment is not able to control these illegal activities and cannot keep forest guards posted in the vicinity for lack of financial backing.

El Residente


November-December, 2008


El Residente


Wild Side


by Ryan Piercy

Margay Ever since I first arrived in Costa Rica I heard of the various wildcats, and read about them, as they are my favorite species of animal. Of particular interest to me were the smaller species found here, and most particularly the Margay, which is why I was quite excited to receive this editions cover art. Margay is an anglicized version of “marguey” which paws 180*. This gives it the ability, unlike any other cat, to translates as “tiger cat”. actually climb down trees headfirst. This ability, akin to that of squirrels, is obviously a very important adaptation for a The Leopardus wiedii, known locally as a caucel, is one of tree-dwelling creature. Margays normally spend most of the smallest members of the feline family. Originally placed their lives in the trees. Further abilities include being able to as a member of Felis, more recent taxonomy has placed it grasp branches, and they can even hang by one foot from a with its closest relatives in the genus Leopardus, as these 3 branch. species have 36 chromosomes, while most other cats have 38. It is native through Central and South America, and is The margays weigh between 3 and 9 kilos, and are about a solitary nocturnal animal. Living primarily in humid forest, 45-80 cm in length. They are a golden colour, covered with these cats can be found in Costa Rican forests throughout black spots like their cousins the ocelot, and their tail can be the country, though they are hard to encounter. The feature as much as 70% of the body length, as they use it for balance of distinction of this cat is that it is truly the arboreal version in the trees. Like most other cats they have black ears, with of its species. white spots on the back, and their head is small with great large eyes, and four black lines marking the forehead. Being The Margay has special characteristics in its ankle joints, nocturnal their night vision must be exceptional. which are very flexible. In fact they can rotate their hind Spending most of their lives in trees, the Margay hunts and eats there as well, preying on smaller tree dwellers such as small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards, and frogs. One was even seen in pursuit of a squirrel, no small feat for most animals, but obviously its highly adapted skills permit it to compete on equal ground (or is that equal tree?) Fecal studies also show presence of grass and vegetation, probably eaten to aid digestion. These cats can mate at any time of year, but only do so once per year. About 2 ½ months later one small offspring will be born, normally in the hollow of a tree. This kitten will be gray with black spots all over, and will open its eyes in about 2 weeks. By 5 weeks it may venture out of the nest, and weaning begins at about 2 months. The lifespan of these small felines is about 18 years, however in the past most didn’t live that long to excessive hunting. They are extremely rare and endangered throughout their range, as thousands were hunted for their fur. 15 adults are killed to make just one fur coat. Of course international protection and conservation have helped them recover, but their being exclusively forest-habitat makes them much more vulnerable then most felines. I hope that I, and you, have the chance to encounter one of these amazing little tree cats.

November-December, 2008


First Nation n s Ar t by Ana Hernandez

The Guaymí -Ngöbe Keepers of tradition across two nations The Guaymí or Ngöbe (pronounced nobe,) were able to coexist peacefully in a geographical region whose territories belong to Panamá and Costa Rica. In both countries their numbers are today very numerous. About 200,000 of them live in several reserves in Panama and about 5,000 in southern Costa Rica near the border. Just as their faces show the characteristic facial traits of their ancestors, they also have been able to keep important features of their tradition alive. The Spaniard conquerors found three distinct GuaymíNgöbe tribes living in what is today Western Panama and quickly found out that they were not at all submissive. A cacique or chief ruled each tribe and were widely known and respected. Their names were Chief Nata, Chief Parita and Chief Urraca; this latter, fought the Spanish very admirably and did not allow his people to be taken as prisoners. Chief Urraca defeated the Spanish time after time forcing the conquerors to sign a peace treaty with his people around 1522, only twenty years after the arrival of the Spanish to the New World. When Chief Urraca died in 1531, he was The Guaymís were hunters and fishermen that specialized in still a free man. making slender canoes that navigated like a blade of grass in the strong currents of the many rivers that surrounded them. Perhaps because of this fierce resistance, the Guaymí still speak the language of their ancestors: Ngäbere and Buglere, Many Guaymí women and girls still maintain their traditional tongues belonging to the Chibchan language family. manner of dressing: they wear beautiful cotton dresses worn down to the ankles, dyed in bright colors and decorated on top and bottom in zigzag or triangular patterns. In some tourist towns such as Bocas del Toro in Panama, Guaymís wear colorful bead necklaces of intricate geometric designs, once wore around their necks during war and ceremony and now, tourists can purchase beautiful replicas at the various crafts stands in Guaymí markets and fairs. The art of sewing and weaving dresses and hats is a traditional craft maintained alive by Indigenous seamstresses who sew beautifully embroidered skirts called “naguas.” They also weave bags with nature designs called “chacaras” with fibers from the pita and cabuya plants. The men specialize in weaving hats from those same fibers in a style many people all over the world recognize today as the traditional “Panama hat.”

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November-December, 2008


Dollars & $en nse by Alan Weeks

THE NEXT CRISIS IS OIL THE NEXT CRISIS IS OIL As Oil magnate, T. Boone Pickens stated recently: “America is in a hole and it’s getting deeper every day. We import 70% of our oil at a cost of $700 billion a year – 4 times the cost of the Iraq war”. American’s addiction to oil and increasing dependency on foreign sources was compounded in the 1990’s by the ‘gas- guzzling’ vehicle craze. And, if the information in this article is correct, it is bound to get much worse. The tripling in the price of oil from $30 a barrel in 2001 to more than $100 today has already created the largest transfer of wealth in human history. This massive transfer of wealth from consuming countries, particularly from the US, to the producing countries will have very profound economic and political consequences. THE DAUNTING CHALLENGES AHEAD According to knowledgeable professionals, nothing shortterm, can cushion the US economy against the coming oil shocks. The idea that increasing domestic US oil supply and/or replacing oil with alternative renewable sources , plus conservation, in sufficient time to avoid serious oil shortages seems to be much more of a dream than a reality. Meanwhile, in rising economies, such as China, consumers are ravenous for the mobility and freedom that owning a vehicle provides. Given the estimate that 70 million people around the world are joining the middle class each year, it means many more people are using more oil.


an energy crisis unlike any the world has ever before experienced and one we know could happen at any time” “Potential alternatives to oil are extremely limited” “By 2015, it is estimated the alternative technologies could displace only the equivalent of 4% of projected US annual consumption”

There have been many liquid-fuel replacement alternatives to conventional oil that have been ‘bantered about’ as potential solutions, such as: tar-sands; coal-to-liquid; oil shale; and even ethanol and biodeisel. The fact is that none of these substitute sources can be scaled up on a timely basis, even if technologically feasible as replacements. Knowing the crucial need to develop better alternatives to gasoline-fuelled vehicles, the race is on to design the car of the future. Every player in the industry is scrambling to develop the dominant car of the future. The electric hybrids roared ahead after Toyota invested heavily in hybrids a few years ago. The Prius was an instant sensation. However, the Prius has problems. In the real world, the actual gas mileage does not compare with that of plenty of conventional vehicles. Add in the high extra cost of the hybrid engine, and some say it will take a very long time to recoup the extra money paid. The plug-in electric-gasoline hybrid is the next step to saving on gasoline. Let us now look at a potentially better alternative. The diesel engine appears to have far more to offer to power the car of the future. Thanks to new European technology, diesel engines are not noisy, dirty, or smelly anymore. In fact, diesels now rival traditional gasoline engines for quiet and acceleration. And, a diesel engine gets about 30% more miles per gallon than gasoline. The engines cost more but the gas savings almost make up the difference. And, of course, a combination of a hybrid plug-in and diesel technology would take fuel savings up several notches. Moreover, the biggest edge diesel engines offer for the future is that crude oil is not needed to make diesel fuel. It can be made from cooking oil, plant matter, or even liquefied coal. Some are even predicting that if diesel wins the auto race, liquefied coal will be the big winner as the automobile fuel source of the future for America.

In the USA, the private automobile is the nemesis. It is reported that private vehicles consume 45% of all US oil supplies and public transportation consumes an additional 25%. This insatiable demand for oil is now threatening the However, the problems of displacing gasoline enginepowered vehicles, are enormous, and will take many years economic well being of the US and the American people. to have any significant impact. One of the biggest obstacles The following statements by the Co-Chairmen of the could be the natural resistance of people to change and Congressional Caucus (1) from the new Peak Oil Report by accept new technology. The Peugeot and other European the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), are being diesel vehicles are already available in the US. But, until used to illustrate the sheer magnitude of the pending oil there is very widespread acceptance and a dramatic increase in demand, huge new investments will not be made crisis.  “This new GAO peak oil report is a clarion call for by manufacturers in the US to undertake the engineering and leadership at the highest level in our country to avert

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Continued on page 23...


of oil as a fuel to electricity is likely to be a very slow one. The problems facing the airline industry to cope with high oil prices, provide other vivid examples of the sheer enormity of the various challenges.  While Boeing claims that its new 787 Dreamliner will burn 20% less fuel than current Jets, 20% is how much oil prices rose from the beginning of April to mid-May 2008. Thus, 30 years of technological improvement in aircraft and engine design has only offset 6 weeks of price increases.  Even if it was technologically feasible to fill an Airbus A380 aircraft tank with biofuel, such as from the highlytouted oil of the non-food Jatropha cursas seed, it would require the equivalent of all the arable land in France – just to power the currently ordered A380 fleet. Thus, the environmental footprint of an otherwise promising alternative fuel would be too enormous for widespread consideration. design needed to incorporate the new diesel technology, nor the huge re-tooling expense to mass-produce a new line of While it will also take much time, the development of diesel engines and vehicles. advanced 3D solar panels that can absorb both visible and Here are some of the other major alternatives still being UV light, and be mass produced at affordable prices, would seem to offer the greatest range of opportunities around considered to replace gasoline to power our cars.  The use of hydrogen as a replacement fuel is both the globe as a sustainable alternative energy source. For totally impractical because there would be 20 times example, solar panels could provide: greater volumes of gas to deliver and store, and it is cost  Power to a billion homes where people have no access to electricity prohibitive to make available to the mass market.  A viable, continuous integrated array to power the next  Natural gas has enjoyed a resurgence of interest as generation of high capacity, high speed, mass transit an alternative fuel for vehicles. And, it works! However, systems. there are now only about 5,500 natural gas fuelling

stations open to the US public. Thus, there would be enormous cost and distribution challenges to the widespread conversion to natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles. The electric car is a concept as old as the auto industry. But, there are still enormous technological, infrastructure, design, and human costs involved to the mass conversion of cars in the US to be powered by electricity.

However, this fascinating field of solar power technology and development is beyond the scope of this article. THE PEAK OIL CHALLENGES

According to recognized independent experts, oil depletion is inevitable, coming soon, and will have an enormous impact on all oil-consuming nations. The greatest impact will likely The key technological challenge is to develop an advanced be on the US, the consumer of 25% of the world’s production lighter-weight battery capable of powering cars for today’s of oil. driving. And, this battery would need to be available at an affordable cost for the mass market. There would also Mexico’s economy, which is too dependent on oil revenues, be enormous costs of redesigning cars to be lighter and primarily from their huge Cantarell oil field, will also be hardmore aerodynamic to reduce the size of battery required. hit over the next couple of years as will be explained later. Then, there is the cost of scrapping old auto factories and The problem is not that the world is going to run out of oil the workers displaced. And, ultimately there would be the over the next century. It is that it will keep getting harder, elimination of refineries, fuel distribution centers, and finally take longer, and be more expensive to obtain. Most people don’t even realize that overall global oil production is already the phasing out of gas stations. In addition, a world full of electricity-driven vehicles would falling. And, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) is require different refueling infrastructure. This would add forecasting a slight decline in oil consumption in the major significant additional demand to the already stressed developed countries in the world, the IEA is still forecasting national power generating stations and the electric grid. that global demand for oil will increase again in 2009 to All these challenges, however, at least seem feasible to almost 88 million barrels per day (MBpD). Now compare this meet over time. Therefore, while these problems are not Continued on page 24... insurmountable, the evolution of the automobile from the use

November-December, 2008


88 MBpD level of demand with the prediction by Matthew Simmons (2) that by 2015, in the BEST CASE scenario, the world will be pumping no more than 65 MBpD of crude oil. This is considered to be such an important revelation because Matthew Simmons is arguable the most deeply knowledgeable single person in the world on the actual state of the world’s oil fields.

growing; and very conveniently located to supply the US, is Canada. Daniel Yergin (3) told the Global Business Forum in Banff last week that Americans are woefully oblivious to Canada’s role as their leading energy supplier. And on the list Yergin has compiled of the 15 top countries that are expected to show significant oil production growth over the next decade, Canada is at or near the top of the list.

Now let us review the latest published updates on the specific oil fields that the US and the world are so dependent upon. There are only four oil fields in the world, which produce over one million barrels per day (MBpD): 1. Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, which produces 4.5 MBpD, is estimated to account for up to 70% of the country’s daily output. This very old field has been producing since 1951. The next largest Saudi oil fields are almost as old, and combined produce far less. The key issue is that the Saudi’s are now reported to be injecting up to a staggering 7 MBpD of sea water in the Ghawar field to force the oil out. And, the current production decline rate is reported to be 8%. However, the big risk is that Ghawar’s rate of decline will accelerate dramatically, creating a real threat to the total worldwide production of oil. 2. Cantarell, the huge Mexican field in the Gulf of Mexico, was producing nearly 2 MBpD, of a total estimated to average 2.8 MBpD. Production of oil from the Cantarell oil field, however, fell by 36% over the last year, creating a sharp decline in Mexico’s exports, upon which the US is so dependent. The Mexican government is very dependent on the revenues from oil exports for an estimated 35 to 40% of its annual budget. Unfortunately, the failure of successive governments to build a strong non-oil tax base has led them to depend heavily on Pemex’s revenues, thereby depleting the company’s ability to modernize, undertake more exploration, or even pay for enhanced production techniques. Thus, over the next couple of years, Mexico’s economy should be hard-hit. 3. Burgan in Kuwait, which produces 1.7 MBpD, has been producing oil for almost 60 years, is reported to be exhausted and well past its peak output. The Burgan field accounts for almost two-thirds of Kuwait’s production. 4. DaQing in China, which produces 1 MBpD of oil. Production from this field is not sufficient to provide for China’s total domestic needs.


In addition, Iran, Venezuela, and other OPEC countries have experienced surging domestic demands and are showing net export declines. Indonesia is no longer an oil exporter, and the North Sea oil fields are also in decline. Russia is the 2nd largest crude oil exporter, but its exports in future will likely favour China, Japan, and Europe. To top off this grim oil supply picture, stepped-up attacks by Nigerian militants are now cutting the country’s daily production by one MBpD. This amounts to 40% of what Nigeria produced before the militant campaign began 3 years ago. One of the few countries whose oil production is actually

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In 1956, M. King Hubbert (4) predicted that the production of oil in the lower 48 US states would go down by 1970. Sure enough, 14 years later it did and has been in steady decline ever since. The development of the Prudhoe Bay reserves supplied US oil more recently, but its production is now also in decline. Increasing the domestic supply of oil should have been near the top of the US national agenda for over 20 years. It was very much in the US economic and security interests to do so. And, it would have been a good generator of employment across many sectors of the US economy. Now, it is a matter of highest national priority! Knowledgeable professionals believe the supply of oil from existing sources is insufficient to meet short-term demand in the US and the world. And, they concur there is nothing that can be done at this late date to cushion the American consumer or the US economy against the coming oil shocks. It is simply too late! That is why the forecast by Jeff Rubin (5) that the world oil price will climb to $200 a barrel over the next period seems realistic. So does the prediction of $8 a gallon for gasoline in the US. Perhaps, it can now be appreciated why some of us are so ‘bullish’ on energy, while being so ‘bearish’ on nearly everything else. REFERENCES: 1) Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) & Tom Udall (D-NM) are Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus. 2) Matthew Simmons, Energy sector investment banker and author of the book; “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy” 3) Daniel Yergin, Chairman Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of “The Prize” 4) M. King Hubbert, Oil Analyst, Shell Oil, USA. 1956 Forecast of Peak US Oil Production. 5) Jeff Rubin, Chief Economist CIBC World Markets, Toronto, Canada. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer. For more information and reference details please contact Alan Weeks At (507) 2093136 or by E-mail:


November-December, 2008


Exchange rate of the Costa Rican ¢ to the US Dollar April 497.21 May










Basic Interest Rate April 4.25 % May

5.00 %


5.50 %


7.00 %


8.50 %


9.25 %

Exchange rate of other currencies to the US Dollar Japanese Yen 105.12 Swiss Franc


Canadian $


Giro (DEG)


ÂŁ Sterling




Mexican Peso


Korean Won


Danish Krone Norwegian Krone Argentine Peso

5.2327 5.8419 3.1160

Colombian Peso 2,079.1 Brasilian Real


Libor Rate 1 month 3.9263 % 3 month

4.0525 %

6 month

3.9813 %

12 month

3.9625 %

Prime Rate

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5.00 %


Holidays Of Costa Rica December 25th- ARCR closed ‘Christmas Day’ January 1st- ARCR closed ‘New Years Day’ ******************** A Touch of Wisdom “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” John Heywood (c.1497-1580) “The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom spun too fine.” Ben Franklin (1706-1790) “We are only as busy as we let ourselves be.” unknown ******************** Quick Ones Once there were three turtles. One day they decided to go on a picnic. When they got there, they realized they had forgotten the soda. The youngest turtle said he would go home and get it if they wouldn’t eat the sandwiches until he got back. A week went by, then a month, finally a year, when the two turtles said,”oh, come on, let’s eat the sandwiches.” Suddenly the little turtle popped up from behind a rock and said, “If you do, I won’t go!” ------The teacher to a student: Conjugate the verb “to walk” in simple present. The student: I walk. You walk we.... The teacher interrupts him: Quicker please. The student: I run. You run ...

November-December, 2008


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That means that with the New Year we will be bringing you new topics and ideas, and you should find in this newsletter a feedback form that w...


That means that with the New Year we will be bringing you new topics and ideas, and you should find in this newsletter a feedback form that w...