Page 1

Vol. 3 • Edition 195 • Monthly • December, 2009 • Costa Rica, Central America •

CERTIFICADA ISO 9001:2000

www.edica.co.cr

www.journalcr.com

tourism

P. 8

Costa Rica headquarters for Medical and Well-Being Tourism Conference

Costa Rica was the host for the first Medical and Well-Being Tourism Conference. The Conference for Global Medicine and Well-Being was carried out from the 26th to the 28th of April of 2010 .

industry

P.11

Country organizes its first conference for the cruise line industry The First Conference of the Cruise Line Industry took place for the development of tourism for the Ports of Limón and Puntarenas during the 3rd and 4th of December.

culture

P.14

TEC will open technology park in Liberia This project is part of the plans that of TEC to form a network of technological parks; aside from Solarium another one in Cartago is being developed, that will be on TEC premises.

entertainment

P.15

Cinema deluxe – and Sunsets - In Bahia Hermosa Guanacaste now boasts its own VIP movie theater, complete with wickedly comfortable stadiumstyle seating, beverage service to your seat, the best sound system of just about any theater in the country and a daily changing menu of blockbuster films.

The woodpecker bird is characterized for building its nests in holes of tres. Photo by Sylvia Guardia M.

Builders of nature

This funny animal reminds us of the series of animated figures of “Woody Woodpecker” pecking the wood on trees. The picidos (Picidae) are a great familia of bird of the order of the piciformes, that include 218 species known popularly as carpenter birds, carpenters, pitos, pine peckers and kneck benders. They have a cosmopolite distribution, with the exception of Australia, Madagastar and the extreme polar regions. They can be sedentary or migratory. Many species remain in the same area during years while others travel great distances from their reproductive zones to their winter time zones. In the country, to attract a woodpecker to the gardens it is recommended to construct feeding and drinking areas in elevated and secure places, near tres and bushes

905 JOURNAL • sales@journalcr.com

so that they may feel protected. Regarding their housing for nesting purposes, these must be placed in protected places and have roofs that can cover them from the rain and holes to drain the water that may come in. Specially for woodpeckers it is recommended to fill the housing with wood chips, so they can have the impression that they built the nest.

The sizes of the birds of this family vary between 20 and 59 centimeters and normally feed off of insects that they get from the interior of trees and wood logs.

The woodpeckers dig their own nests and normally are only wrapped with bits of wood produced while the hole was being built. Many specices of woodpeckers dig a nest per season. It takes them approximately a month to finish work and the abandoned nests are used by many other birds and animals.


2

Edition 195 • December, 2009

Page two

ALSO INSIDE P. 4

Day

Business

International Costa Rica Conference is Performed: A Model of Tourism Considering that Costa Rica is a leader in sustainable tourism in Central America and beyond, the National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO for its abbr. in Spanish) called on international experts in the area, so that they could be reunited in the country this past October and exchange ideas about the subject, in the first high level event that is being held in the country.

P. 4

Business

Papaya consumption is promoted

“Known as the fruit of the tree of good health, the papaya happens to be a tropical fruit, that given its delicious flavour happens to be very popular and appreciated by consumers”, was commented by Alberto Montero Gonzalez, Manger of the Non-Traditional National Fruits Program.

Society

More than 1500 children learned to take care of the environment in Guanacaste An electric bus in which education about taking care of the environment takes place visited Guanacaste for the first time to bring 1759 children of that province some teachings about environmental conservation.

P. 6

Society

National Geographic places the Coco Island amongst the purest places on the globe With more than 1400 species of animals and plants, the Coco Island, in the Costarrican Pacific, has of the purest marine ecosystems, healthy and with the greatest biodiversity of the entire planet.

P. 13

Low

High

Recently the Comptroller General of the Republic gave the green light to the contract signed last June between the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) and the Coriport S.A. Consortium so that the latter can take the airport under concession.

culture

Guanacaste’s Rich Cultural Heritage Guanacaste has a rich prehispanic cultural heritage. The lack of big temples and royal palaces, such as those found in Central Mexico and in the lowland Maya area, is not to be misinterpreted as a lack of prehistoric cultural development. In those more “developed” areas the construction of architectural monuments often was accomplished with the labor of the lower classes, who also supported the burden of producing the food and luxury goods consumed by the elite classes.

High

07:24 / 0.27 ft

13:37 / 8.40 ft

19:34 / 0.71 ft

Mon 16

01:52 / 9.41 ft

08:11 / 0.04 ft

14:24 / 8.58 ft

20:20 / 0.64 ft

Tue 17

02:37 / 9.46 ft

08:54 / -0.07 ft

15:08 / 8.66 ft

21:04 / 0.68 ft

Wed 18

03:19 / 9.38 ft

09:35 / -0.06 ft

15:51 / 8.64 ft

21:46 / 0.81 ft

Thu 19

04:00 / 9.18 ft

10:15 / 0.07 ft

16:33 / 8.53 ft

22:28 / 1.02 ft

Fri 20

04:41 / 8.88 ft

10:55 / 0.30 ft

17:15 / 8.34 ft

23:10 / 1.30 ft

Sat 21

05:23 / 8.49 ft

11:35 / 0.61 ft

17:58 / 8.10 ft

23:53 / 1.60 ft

Sun 22

06:06 / 8.06 ft

12:17 / 0.97 ft

18:43 / 7.85 ft

Mon 23

00:39 / 1.90 ft

06:52 / 7.63 ft

13:00 / 1.34 ft

19:30 / 7.62 ft

Tue 24

01:28 / 2.14 ft

07:41 / 7.24 ft

13:47 / 1.68 ft

20:19 / 7.48 ft

Wed 25

02:22 / 2.29 ft

08:35 / 6.94 ft

14:37 / 1.95 ft

21:11 / 7.44 ft

Thu 26

03:19 / 2.29 ft

09:33 / 6.79 ft

15:30 / 2.09 ft

22:04 / 7.54 ft

Fri 27

04:17 / 2.12 ft

10:32 / 6.80 ft

16:24 / 2.08 ft

22:56 / 7.78 ft

Sat 28

05:12 / 1.80 ft

11:27 / 6.99 ft

17:17 / 1.93 ft

23:45 / 8.13 ft

Sun 29

06:03 / 1.37 ft

12:18 / 7.31 ft

18:07 / 1.65 ft

06:51 / 0.88 ft

13:07 / 7.71 ft

18:57 / 1.29 ft

00:33 / 8.55 ft

Costa Rica Basics

Contents P.04 Business

P.11 Industry

P.06 Society

P.12 News Brief

P.8 Tourism

P.14 Culture

P.10 Economy

P.15 Entertainment

Area:  Population: Capital:  Language:  Time Zone:

51,000 km2 4,509,290 (Nov 2008) San Jose Spanish UTC/GMT-6 hours

Useful Numbers Emergencies EMERGENCY SERVICES Fire Medical Alert (Ambulance) OIJ (Police Special Branch) Red Cross Hospital Liberia Hospital Nicoya Hospital San José Clinic (Coco) Clinic (Liberia) Emergency Medical Service Santa Monica Radialogy Center

911 2688-8918 2670-0258 2690-0128 2666-0994 2666-0011 2685-8400 2257-7922 2670-0987 2666-1881 8380 41 25 24 hrs. 2665-0704

Vol 3 • Edition 195 December, 2009 Costa Rica, Central America

OUR TEAM Marta Araya, Marketing & Sales Manager E-mail: marta.araya@journalcr.com / sales@journalcr.com classified@journalcr.com Tel: 905-JOURNAL (5687625) Erick Murillo Valenciano Editors Board Member E-mail: editors@journalcr.com Design & Production: The Journal Design Team E-mail: design@journalcr.com SALES: sales@journalcr.com / classified@journalcr.com NEWS: news@journalcr.com INFO: info@journalcr.com

Transport

It is estimated that the expansión work on the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia will start no later than March of the coming year.

Low

01:05 / 9.23 ft

industry

Expansion work on the Liberia airport would start in March of 2010

P. 14

High

Information for Pacific Coast

Sun 15

Mon 30

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), through the Non-Traditional National Fruits Program, promoted the development of the papaya farming and stimulated its consumption, given its medicial properties.

P. 6

Costa rica tides chart

Central Line San José Central Line Liberia Interbus Pulmitan Liberia Tica Bus

2257-7214 2221-9115 2666-0085 2283-5573 Fax: 2283-7655 2666-0458 2666-3818 2666-0371

Lost credit cards American Express Mastercard Visa

0 800 012 3211 0 800 011 0184 0 800 011 0030

Emergency Medical Service Toll Free 800-EMS2000

Air and ground ambulance - Doctor - Paramedic

Call center 8380-4125 • 24hrs Quepos - Jaco - Cobano - Tamarindo Huacas - Sardinal - Liberia

If you wish to move to Costa Rica you don’t need to pay more for the best More information, pg. 12-13

The Journal®

The Journal is a Monthly english-language newspaper with headquarters in Carrillo, Guanacaste. Suplex S.A.

Infocom® Infocom is a media service and provides the most of the Costa Rica and Central America news content. (*) Representing Edition-Production Company. THE JOURNAL Tel: 905 JOURNAL 905 5687625 (No additional cost) E-mail: info@journalcr.com www.journalcr.com


4

BUsiness

Edition 195 • December, 2009

International Costa Rica Conference is Performed: A Model of Tourism Considering that Costa Rica is a leader in sustainable tourism in Central America and beyond, the National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO for its abbr. in Spanish) called on international experts in the area, so that they could be reunited in the country this past October and exchange ideas about the subject, in the first high level event that is being held in the country.

According to Jampol, “the Instute of

with the best view located in ESCAZU-SAN JOSE

Republic of Kazajistan. The Ministry of Tourism, Allan Flores Moya, pointed out that the “reelection of Costa Rica for the Presidency of the Executive Council of the OMT represents an important achievement that is credited to our country for the recognition of the efforts in the subject of sustainable tourism and leadership that Costa Rica has had in the region, primarily for its positioning as a destination and for having led responsible sustainable tourism.

Specialists in the industry sustained an ample dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that face sustainable tourism nowadays and in the future, in the world. The invitees had Glenn Jampol as host, the president of CANAECO which was the entity that organized the encounter. Amongst them, the attendees included Dr. Kelly Bricker, president of The International Ecotourism Society; Masaru Takayama, president of the Japanese Association of Ecolodges; Soman Dorji, planning executive of the kingdom of Butan; Olvier Hillel, officer for the tourism program in Canada; Bruno Stagno, Costarrican architect; Wim Dierckxsenjs, economist from Holland and Bruce Poon, founder and president of Gap Adventures, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Canadian tourism.

EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY

Hotels like Roca Blanca Farm in Santa Barbara, Heredia, are examples of conservation; the place has won multiple acknowledgements at a global level for its example of coexistence with nature. Photo Roca Blanca Farm Hotel.

Costarrican Tourism and institutions of the country are dedicated to its promotion, giving support to this project whose aim is to give new opportunities to the ticos, to acquire other experiences of success and apply them to their businesses and projects in the country”.

On the other hand it was announced that Costa Rica will forma a part of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (OMT) as it was elected as a member, for a period of one year, at the XVIII General Assembly of this organization that was carried out in Astana, capital of the ex-Soviet

For this election, the country was brandished with the appointment after representatives from Iran, Spain, Morrocco, Brasil, Italy, Egypt, Kenia, Senegal, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, South Africa, El Salvador, Romania, Ghana and France manifested their approval of the continuity of Costa Rica in the Presidency. The country will share the Presidency with two Vice-Presidents, from Kenya and Italy. The Executive Council of the OMT, has a mission to consult with the Secretary General any measure necessary for the compliance of its own decisions and the resolutions that the General Assembly takes. The next General Assembly of the OMT is going to be held in 2010 in Korea.

Papaya consumption is promoted The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), through the Non-Traditional National Fruits Program, promoted the development of the papaya farming and stimulated its consumption, given its medicial properties. “Known as the fruit of the tree of good health, the papaya happens to be a tropical fruit, that given its delicious flavour happens to be very popular and appreciated by consumers”, was commented by Alberto Montero Gonzalez, Manger of the Non-Traditional National Fruits Program. In Costa Rica, about one thousand acres of the fruit have been sown, in areas like Pococi, Guacimo, La Fortuna in San Carlos, Paquera, Parrita, Orotina, amongst others. The papaya is rich in potassium, vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. The variety that is most harvested currently, is the one known as the “perfecta papaya”, that aside from its delicious flavor, has a good aroma and a size appropriate for consumption in a family.

Northamerican country and it is expected that shortly it will arrive to Eurpoean markets, where samples have already been sent and have a lot of acceptance.

According to Alberto Montero Gonzalez, the country is implementing an initiative to support the Development of the papaya activity, with views for export purposes. At this moment it is being exported to Canada and we are in negotiations for some countries in the European Union” he concluded.

This is a good time to take advantage of the papaya offer that is found in the market, not only for the low prices that are bien registered, but also for the fruit’s qualities that contribute to one’s health, since the daily consumption of 200 to 400 grams of papaya helps your digestion, in maintaining healthier skin and hair, keeping adequate arterial pressure, and balancing the levels of glucose, amongst other benefits, added Montero. The papaya is a tropical fruit, low in calories and rich in nutrients, known in other countries also under the name of melón, zapote, mamo, naimi, capidso, bomb fruit, lechosa, mamon, mampucha, pucha and paque.

Precisely so that the flavor of the Costarrican papaya is known, a group of national companies in the agricultural sector participated in the middle of may in an Export Mission to Toronto, Canada, promoted by the Office of Commercial Development (Procomer). During the activity some 99 business meetings with recognized supermarket chains like Sobeys, Loblaws and Metro were held. Thanks to its food components, papaya consumption is being promoted in the Costarrican population. Photo by Getty Images royalty free

Although, the papaya known as perfecta or the best in the world is sold in Canada; it is known as the tico papaya known as the Pococi hybrid. This fruit is already sold in that

The MAG is promoting the harvest with good management practices, safety, rational material use, respecting the residual period of the products, as well as good harvesting practices, that guarantee the life of the product until the moment of sale in the target market.

• Information: +506 2215-3630 or +506 8850-8484 • Email: info@guanacastepacific.net 1.

AREA: 1.167,87 m2

2.

PRICE: USD$125/m2 (TOTAL: $145.983)

3.

FINANCING: USD$85 thousand financed through the Banco Nacional as a residential housing mortgage. Only cost is fifty thousand colones to transfer the mortgage onto the new owner’s name.

4.

CHARACTERISTICS: The property is located in an exlusive area of Escazu, at just 2 km. from the Multiplaza Mall and Plaza Itzkazu.

5.

It has a 270° peripheral vision range and the possibility to build 3 condominiums. The view towards the west is the valley of Santa Ana.

6.

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS: Studies already performed include CONTOUR LINES (CURVAS DE NIVEL) and SOIL SURVEY (ESTUDIOS DE SUELOS) that have a value of USD$ 5 thousand, which will be given as a bonus to the buyer.


6

society

Edition 195 • December, 2009

More than 1500 children learned to take care of the environment in Guanacaste

An electric bus in which education about taking care of the environment takes place visited Guanacaste for the first time to bring 1759 children of that province some teachings about environmental conservation.

The effort was carried out by the Costarrican Electricity Institute (ICE) and its program “Green guardians of the planet”, with the support and coordination of Papagayo Peninsula, reaching communities like El Coco, Guardia and Sardinal. The children from 14 schools learned about the use and saving of energy, avoiding the theft of electric wire, diminishing vehicle contamination, telecommunications, public telephone care, amongst other things. The electric bus is a means of education that ICE has and it has an internal laboratory with portable computers and screens, with which they impart lectures and teach the children the importance of making an adequate use of the energy and natural resources. According to Milagro Obando, 4th grade student of the El Coco School, she learned how to save electric energy and take care of the environment, since it is the means by which we take the energy that is used on a

daily basis.

Also, Elsa Bonilla, manager for Community Relations of the Papagayo Peninsula, explained that collaborating with initiatives like this one from ICE, and another one that was done recently with Aqueducts and Sewage (AyA), allowed them to teach good environmental practices to the students; this adds up to the efforts with talks that are given by representatives of the program Growing Together in the 18 schools that they work in, that covered subjects that were related to the planet’s care. Once the talks and activities were finalized on the electric bus, the children were given material that was related to environmental education: books and stories for coloring, pamphlets with information on telecommunications and energy saving, also, data about the electric vehicle, games and others. Raffles were carried out for carrying bags, to promote children to avoid using plastic bags,

Part of the children that participate in the activity that promoted the conservation of the environment. Photo by Ofelia Fernández

also biodegradable pens and anti-stress balls were given away. The Growing Together program set promoting friendly behavior with the environment as one of its objectives for 2009, for which it has made direct efforts, but also alongside other government institutions. At the beginning of the second semester some talks about “Water Keepers” took place, and were brought by the AyA, and educated about the management, vigilance and

Aside from the lessons in water and energy with the campaign “I am the pump, I take care of my planet”, the collaborators of the Papagayo Peninsula have given 70 lectures related to the reduction of carbón dioxide (CO2), recycling, wildlife conservation, saving water and energy, and avoiding sonic pollution. In November, there are still 46 lectures to give and with this the school year is expected to conclude. The campaign “I am the pump” has been carried out since the end of 2007, with positive message. Currently, the emphasis in favor of the environment coincides with an internal campaign for the project where collaborators are stimulated with the motto “Committed with a sustainable development”.

National Geographic places the Coco Island amongst the purest places on the globe The expedition will form part of the program “Ocean Now”, that is being done by investigators about the latest unexplored marine sites of the world, so to say, that have had little or no human intervention.

With more than 1400 species of animals and plants, the Coco Island, in the Costarrican Pacific, has of the purest marine ecosystems, healthy and with the greatest biodiversity of the entire planet.

With the survey the scientists will be able to procure the first pieces of concrete data about the mounds, the first images, as well as the descriptions of the biodiversity and species abundance of invertebrates and fish that inhabit it.

It was also affirmed by the Spanish ecologist Enric Sala, leader of the recent scientific expedition of the National Geographic Society to the island and the surroundings, where the submarine mound of Las Gemelas is situated.

Said information will serve as a reference point for other submarine mountains of the Costarrican territory and the Tropical East Pacific.

This mission recently harbored 15 very specialized scientists doing very specialized daily dives in the national park. The conclusion of all the experts is that “the Coco Island is an absolutely marvelous place” and justify this with two main reasons. First, because there is the highest concentration of predators – Like the sharks – of the entire Pacific. “This is measured in tons of fish per hectare, but I would not like to preclude an exact figure”, said Sala.

The issue is there are not only sharks, but the fact that they are many, are very big and there are various species. Considering that the sharks are amongst the animals that head up the food chain in the ocean, their multitudinous presence signifies that there is plenty food for them there and that, furthermore, there is a very healthy eco-

Recently some exploring took place to get to know the secret beauties of the Coco Island. Photo by Danny Gonzalez / MarViva

system in the waters of the island.

Also, as a second element, the scientists laid out the enormous abundance of species of small fish, medusas, coral, microorganisms and also algae. The mysteries and riches of the Costarrican marine area, attracted a group of re-

If you wish to move to Costa Rica you don’t need to pay more for the best

searchers from the National Geographic Society during the month of September. A group of experts studied the submarine structure of Las Gemelas, that is located 35 nautical miles south of the Coco Island National Park, and from which there is no information.

The government of Costa Rica created the Coco Island National Park in 1978, that was later declared the nucleus of the Marine Conservation Area of the same name. For these same reasons of exception, the United Nations Organization for Education Science and Culture (UNESCO) in 1997, declared it Natural Heritage for Humanity. In the same manner in 1998 it was declared Wetland of International Importance under the International Convenstion of Ramsar of 1991. On October 11th of 2002, the Government of Costa Rica declared the Coco Island as part of the Historic Architectural Heritage of Costa Rica.

Financing with

Bancrédito For United States and Canada citizens

care of water resources. The objective of this workshop consisted in achieving the reduction in the consumption of water for educational centers, to which 3646 children were attending. In the country’s schools where this has been given, a 20% average has been achieved.

For Eunice Campos, teacher at the Pacifica Garcia School, this activity was enrichening for the the children, since they learned with games and activities, which facilitated their comprehension of the subject.

7

Edition 195 • December, 2009

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8

tourism

Edition 195 • December, 2009

Costa Rica headquarters for Medical and Well-Being Tourism Conference Costa Rica was the host for the first Medical and Well-Being Tourism Conference. The Conference for Global Medicine and Well-Being was carried out from the 26th to the 28th of April of 2010 and reunited some 350 operators of health services from more than 20 countries. Amongst these were included key decision makers, like insurance companies, self-insurance companies, medical tourism agencies and potential investors in the industry. Albeit some 100 companies in the medical and tourism sector participated in this activity.

This event gave the opportunity to show the services offering in health tourism that is made up by the región, brandishing the high quality in the attention that the LatinAmerican health centers have to offer. As a part of the activities conferences took place, business meetings and visits to hospitals and medical centers.

Under the conference, the first gathering of promotion agencies for medical tourism also took place. Regarding that, Allan Flores, Ministry of Tourism, pointed out that “events such as these are perfect stages that allow the promotion of this activity within the tourism industry and help move along the subject of the importance of the bond

between tourism and health. Also, it allows us to take advantage of our comparative characteristics in the field of health with the purpose of incrementing this important segment, as a valuable generator of income and to strengthen our positioning as a destination for the international market.

The Conference for Global Medicine and Well-Being was the stage for a business conference under the program for economic cooperation AL-Invest, an initiative of the Eurpoean Commission that pursues the objective of supporting the internationalization of small and medium business (PYMES) of Latin America, in collaboration with European partners, so that they can contribute to the social cohesion of the region.

“The bonding of health services in the countries of Latin America with developed economies allows these to be more competitive in the world market, as many internation segments seek alternatives that mitígate the elevated costs that paying for healthcare precludes. Precisely, this is an aspect in which Costa Rica is an excellent alternative due to its reduced costs in at least a 40%”, pointed out Emmanuel Hess, General Manager of PROCOMER.

been developing within the country.

During the activity the establishment of the Association for Shelters and Hotels for Medical and Dental Recovery (CRMD, for its initials in English) was also announced. This initiative groups small and medium sized lodging companies dedicated to providing previous and post-op medical attention to foreign patients.

In the usual order, Jorge Woodbridge, Ministry of Competitiveness and Regulations Improvement; Allan Flores, Ministry of Tourism and Sergio Navas, vice-president of CADEXCO were at the main table of the event. Photo by Marissia L. Obando

Also, the Ministry of Competitiveness and Regulations Improvement, Jorge Woodbridge, manifested that “to promote spaces for the promotion of health and well-being services in Latin America opens up the possibility to create a global medical cluster that, on one part, positions the región as one of the best health systems in the world, and on the other, consolidates the initiatives that have

CRMD wants its members to provide the best medical assistance for those patients that submit themselves to medical and dental treatments in Costa Rica and that seek a place of recovery with high levels of care and in attractive settings. In this sense a classification system for its members is used, that evaluates the facilities and services that are provided in three categories: Five Medistar Class, Four Medistar Class and Three Medistar Class. Health tourism is seen as a niche of great potential for Costa Rica. It is expected that at the conclusion of this year 30 thousand foreigners will visit the country in lieu of medical attention services and that this number will increase to 100 thousand in the next five years, according to PROMED projections.

outside the box

Yes or No? Javier Segura, B.A. General Manager, DCL Realty Consultants javier.segura@dcl.cr I know that, for an emerging country or a developed country, the building of a road and the opening of a 6 miles railway is something that may not even make the page 8 of a local newspaper. But here in Costa Rica it is really something. It means that the country is in motion, maybe slow motion, but in motion anyhow. How many of you remember the year 2005? I mean, Do you remember what meant to drive to Liberia? The thousands of potholes in every road of the country; the roads that were downgraded from very damaged pavement, to very damaged gravel roads; the signs at La Sabana, announcing (not longer than July the 2nd 2005) the construction of the Caldera Highway. It was not just roads or public investment; it was everything in the country. We were simply stalled, as country and as society. Three years ago we wrote an article about the hopes for this government. Now, maybe, is a good moment to evaluate what have happened, and what could happen in the near future. Let’s start with the beginning. By February 2006 our country was, definitively in a crossroad, we were divided, not between the old ways and the modernity, because both sides claimed to be the modernity advocates; but between two different ways of going forward. One of them was sort of traditional, based on work ethics, taking risks and trying to do the things without political or ideological considerations; for them, it was just about “do the things in a way that works”. You could name them “the practical ones”.

On the other side were the politically “moderns”, also without a clear ideology, whose political statements were based on the righteousness, intellectuality, the political virtue, and the social consciousness, without a clear way to do the things, but sure that if they are good intentioned, and virtuous, the things are going to be just fine. You can name them “the idealists”. If you dig deep enough, you could find enough reasons for being in any of both sides. But we elected the practical ones, in a very close race. At that point I’ve realized that my dear country was divided in halves. Let’s be honest, Mr. Arias didn’t came to office for making any friends, or taking anything from anybody. Theoretically all presidents should have to go there and do their job that way; however… they don’t. Just because the have close relationships with special interest groups, including his own political party. Thus, they try to do their best, without making enemies that can hurt him or his party. It was clear when, almost two years after that election, the country went to a referendum, in order to decide if we were going to be part of a free trade agreement, or not. Here, was clear that the division remained untouchable. The referendum ended with an even closer result; this time dividing the country between the “Yes” people and the “No” people. Airing the conceptual differences between the ruling party and the main opposition: in one hand, the practical ones saying, “yes we can”, “who said fear”, sometimes with a naïve optimism, proper of the liberals, taking some unnecessary risks sometimes, but facing the wind at every moment. And, in the other hand “the idealists”,

always saying “wait a minute, let’s discuss it more”, always against the change, always in favor of “the consensus” and “the negotiation”, but never negotiating nothing. In fact, and in a very strange twist of the political life, this group, deemed as “the left”, is, in reality, more conservative that its counterpart, lately called “the right”. So, as result of the referendum we have a liberal right, and a conservative left… strange and very much Tico, Don’t you think? Now, one of them wants another 4 years, meanwhile the others want a chance to be in office. But… What have happened along the last 3 years? Well, not too much, you may say, and probably is true. But let’s talk about some interesting events. First, several high ranked officials of this government have been caught with the hands in the cookie jar, all of them were rapidly abandoned by the government to their own faith, expelled without any consideration from the public service. Now, that is new; not that is new that some officials were corrupt, but what is new is that nobody defended their “honor”, and, in no case an “honor discharge” was offered to none of them. Basically if you are corrupt, get out of here. Social programs have changed, in previous times the money for social programs were funneled with the help of several, very inefficient, institutions. Now, a lot, really a lot, of that money goes directly to the less privileged; with much better pensions to the old ones, and scholarships to the young. It remains to see if it works; but, for that, we will have to wait at least ten years. On the other hand, we have the Infrastructure Investment. Here is where this new way to make government have reached the most successes, but also where the fumbles have appeared. Just getting the Orotina highway on its way, the Costanera finished, and solve

the Airport concession is almost a miracle. I mean, those were eternal projects with 30, 20 and 10 years of inaction. Additionally we got a train for Heredia; it is not that much, but for those who live in the Flowers´Province, it is like manna from heaven. The Liberia airport was concessioned, and with very much luck, we will recover our Caribbean ports from the hands of the Union. Obviously, this “let’s do it right away” way of government have been problematic too. Most of the fumbles of this government come from this concept. Sometimes they have skipped procedures, other times have just ignored them. Sometimes they were too naïve to understand that there is a lot of NO people, that do not care about the country. Like the person who stopped the train, just because he wanted the government to build a containment wall for his property, or the groups of citizens that have made protests against the tolls in Santa Ana and Escazú. People who have made the Constitutional Court their playground. A very important thing was that for the first time in many years, the central government had fiscal surplus, for a couple of years. That was very important in order to keep the government going thru the crisis that we are living now. All and all… it appears that the country is in motion, maybe not as fast as many would wanted, but… hey, is still Costa Rica, you know. So, at this point, and about to start a new race for the presidency, we, at least, have tried one of the options. The unanswered questions are: Are we going to continue in this rather cold and very practical way of government? Or are we going to give a chance to the other guys? Are we satisfied with the north that the country have now? Or do we want a rather drastic change? What is going to be this time, ladies and gentlemen: Yes or No?


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Edition 195 • December, 2009

economy

Expansion work on the Liberia airport would start in March of 2010 Recently the Comptroller General of the Republic gave the green light to the contract signed last June between the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) and the Coriport S.A. Consortium so that the latter can take the airport under concession.

The event had as its main purpose the generation of some deliberation and information interchange space with all the actors of the national and international cruise industry to promote the levels of competitiveness, in search of a national strategy for cruise ship tourism in the ports of Costa Rica.

The plan comprehends the construction of a terminal for 1500 passengers with an investment of $35 million. The new terminal will measure 23 thousand square meters distributed in two levels and will include commercial areas, airline counters, bathrooms, customs and immigration offices and boarding gates, amongst others. In exchange for the concession the consortium will administrate the terminal for a period of 20 years.

Congress was looking to reunite government workers that were in charge of overviewing the attention of the cruise industry in the ports of Limón and Puntarenas and the entities responsible for local and regional development. Aside from the institutions that were organizing the event, collaborators from the Caldera Port, Immigration, from the Ministries of Public Works and Transportation, the Environment and Telecommunications, Health, Agriculture, Security, Munici-

In March the company to which the contract was awarded will have to present financing and the design of the final work. Taking into account that the contracted stated that the construction could not go past six months, the new terminal will be inaugurated in September of 2010. Up until now, no inconvenience has been reported that will lead anyone to think that the start of the new construction could have a delay, including the advancement up till now leads the authorities into thinking that it could happen before the foreseen end date stated at the beginning.

The expansion of the passenger attention area at the Liberia airport was necessary due to the accelerated growth of the quantity of visitors that arrive at this terminal. Only in the first 6 years that this air terminal was open for international flights, the

With the work on the aerial terminal, customer attention will be improved more for the growing quantity of tourists that arrive. Photo from archive TGJ

number of passengers that it had to look after grew in more than 850%. Just last year a 20% of the foreigners that selected Costa Rica as their vacationing destination came in through the Guanacaste terminal, according to reports by the Costarrican Tourism Institute.

OPTION 1

width 4.5 cm , height 1.5 cm

The expansion of the Daniel Oduber was given to the Coriport company, made up of the firms MMM Aviation Group S.A., Houston Airport System, Emperador Pez Espada S.R.L., Brad & Tod Corporation S.R.L. and Cocobolo Inversiones S.R.L.

in Liberia was given as a concession. This will allow the private company to finance, build and recover the investment and have a margin of profit to be able to make some money from it for two decades.

The construction of the passenger terminal

OPTION 2

width 4.5 cm , height 3 cm

OPTION 3

width 4.5 cm , height 4.5 cm Yellow background Red text (optional)

$25 - 4 editions $50 - 4 editions The deadline for each edition is the Wednesday preceding publication.

$100 - 4 editions

sales@journalcr.com / 905-JOURNAL 905-5687625 (No aditional cost)

11

industry

Country organizes its first conference for the cruise line industry As an initiative of the Costarrican Tourism Institute (ICT), the Board of the Port Authority of the Atlantic Region (JAPDEVA), the Costarrican Pacific Ports Institute (INCOP) and the Costarrican Association of the Cruise Line Industry (ACIC), the First Conference of the Cruise Line Industry took place for the development of tourism for the Ports of Limón and Puntarenas during the 3rd and 4th of December.

It is estimated that the expansión work on the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia will start no later than March of the coming year.

Recently the airfield was remodeled, when it had a layer of 5 cm of hot asphalt layed over the entire access street, parking lot and road in front of the airport. Paint for the signage of the roads, ditches and piping for rainwater evacuation was also included. The total amount of the investment was of ¢457 million.

Edition 195 • December, 2009

palities, ACIC, Coast Guard, Harbourmaster, Customs Management, Transit Authority Management, Chambers of Tourism, Municipal Tourism Commission, COREDES, City Port Proyect amongst others also attended. For the development of the activity, speakers from the different institutions involved participated, as well as international speakers like Luis Ajamil, President of Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, Inc. that has been awarded the prestigious “Consultant Engineer of the Year” (2005 edition) prize and the award of the American Institute of Architects, Miami Chapter. Ajamil, has more than 30 years of experience in the field of architecture and engineering, and his work expands to North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and recently Dubai, where he is in charge of a project that includes the creation of more than 300 artificial islands in front of the coast of Dubai. Another one of the international speakers was Agustin Diaz, Director of the Port of Curacao and President for Latin America of the APPA (Association of Port Authorities of the Americas) who leads the committee of cruise ships for the association in such a manner. Alongside them was also Miguel Reyna,

In the light of the large quantity of cruise ships that arrive at our country, the first cconference to analyze the impact of this industry was organized. Photo by Plantour

Manager of Commercial Development of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. All of them talked about subjects such as the market and tendencies of cruises for Central America and the Caribbean, the investments and growth proyections in the Caribbean and Central American ports for cruise

ship tourism, the market conditions for cruise ships for Costa Rica and the concessions of Costarrican ports, amongst others. Since the 30th of October, 2009 and until July 4th 2010, at least 144 cruise ships came into the Limon province.


12

news brief

Business BCIE studies financing to extend the Liberia Airport. (La Prensa Libre)

The work to extend the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, in Liberia, could be financed with resources from the Central American Economic Integration Bank (BCIE), since negotiations for it were initiated this week. The information was confirmed by the director of the BCIE in Costa Rica, Alfredo Ortuño, who manifested yesterday that effectively on Tuesday of the present week they had a meeting with representatives of the Houston Airport System company, whose proposal is being evaluated. Houston Airport System forms part of a Grant Society for the work of Coriport, which is also integrated by the firms MMM Aviation Group S.A., Emperador Pez Espada S.R.L., Brad and Ted Corporation S.R.L. and Cocobolo Investments.

Wal-Mart México compró a WalMart Centroamérica (El Financiero)

The branch of the multinational WalMart in Mexico (Walmex) finished the acquisition of the totality of Wal-Mart Central America, where the U.S. firm has most of its stock capital.

Wal-Mart Central America is controlled through a 51% by the U.S. company and the other 49% remaining were in hands of the Costarrican families Uribe and the Guatemalan Paiz, which were initially conformed by the Central American Retail Holding Company (Carhco).

For this transaction Walmex pretends to pay by means of an emission of 593 million new bonds in the Mexican market. Part of these minority shareholders of Central America receive these titles as part of their payment. $110 million in cash will be given to the shareholders that preferred this

means of payment.

With the transaction, the Mexican branch will operate a total of 1930 supermarkets and with annual sales calculated at $25000 million, said Eduardo Solorzano, executive president and general director of the Aztec region.

Wal-Mart came to Central America in September 2005 with the purchase of 33% of the stock for Carhco, quantity that in 2006 was increased to 51%.

ICE reports poor initial sale of 3G cell phone lines (La Nación)

The sale of new 3G celular phone lines were very small on the first day that these were put on sale, on December 8th, in the facilities of the Costarrican Electricity Institute (ICE).

The last sales report indicated that only 120 plans for the comercial brand of ICE had been sold: Kölbi.

The mayority of these plans include a line, a cell phone and a predefined quantity of minutes to call, text and multimedia. Also, 320 transfers from TDMA to 3G had been carried out. A total of 420 lines were sold, according to Jaime Palermo, director of the Client división of ICE.

Society ¢709 million in investment for new works in Liberia (La Prensa Libre)

The municipality of Liberia invested ¢709 million in communal work, from the year of 2008 to this date, in communities like Quebrada Grande, Curubande, the Liberian urban center, the municipal building and the municipal campus. Also initiatives in electrification, city hall, an increase in the water canals and municipal market. There were also projects in Cañas Dulces, gutters in Cabuyal and hydrological studies as well as a proposal for the flood control

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of the urban sector of the city of Liberia.

Regarding the description of the works, indicated Renan Zamora, municipal engineer, bricklaying on the streets of Cañas Dulces in an area of 2308 square meters over a granular base.

Edition 195 • December, 2009 lized to name all board members of the Board of Directors of this company.

“Franklin Chang Díaz, costarrican that went to the United States as a teenager, will provide technical upbringing of great value to the Cummins company”, indicated Mark Land, director of public relations for Cummins.

All of this for an investment of ¢32 million and the construction of a sidewalk in the Guayacan neighborhood for an amount of ¢2,5 million, the bricklaying of Quebrada Grande for an investment of ¢38 million and the one in Curubande for ¢28 million, plus the enclosure for the Ebais that cost ¢3 million.

Eviction in Ostional under the care of environmental authorities

Franklin Chang elected board member for a technology multinational

This was stated this week by the Constitutional Court by indicating that it will only be the environmental authorities the responsible ones to evict only physical persons or companies that could be affecting the massive nesting of the Lora turtles, in the Ostional Wildlife National Refuge.

Meanwhile the road repair work of the urbana reas demanded an investment of ¢250 million with an asphalt layer of five centimeter thickness when compacted for a total of 2700 meters on the main roads.

(La Nación)

The physicist and costarrican astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz was elected on December 8th as a new member of the Cummins Joint Board, a multinational company that is dedicated to the design, fabrication, distribution and lending of services for diesel and gas motors and other related technologies. This was communicated officially by Ad Astra Rocket, company of which the scientist Chang is proprietor and president.

According to this document, the tico specialist, 59 years old, turned into the tenth member of the board and is already a part of the Safety, Environment and Technology Committee of this company, as well as committees for the intervention, financing and naming for the entity.

As it was known, the national astronaut started in this post as of today and could be reelected in May for the next year during the annual meeting of this company. This is a practice that is uti-

13

Edition 195 • December, 2009

At the Guanacaste’s Golden Mile

Guayacán Real The best investment… the best place…

(El Financiero)

The Ministry of the Environment (Minaet) and the National System for Wildlife Areas (Sinac) will be the ones to determine whom will be evicted from the nesting areas of the Lora turtles on Ostional beach, in Guanacaste.

The order for eviction corresponded to a previous sentence, dictated at the beginning of this year, nevertheless, it was left to clarify and add which entity needed to execute it. After the first ruling, the very ministry of this field, Jorge Rodriguez Quiros, presented a request to postpone this period for six months that was awarded initially to perform the eviction of the occupied territories so it could be concluded by the end of January of next year.

Also, the constitutional judges emphasized that if this process was to be applied during the definition process of the eviction, any arbitrary or subjective criteria that provoked any injury to the natural resources or ecosystems protected by this refuge, will be under the responsibility of the Minaet and the Regional Direction for the Areas for Conser-

vation of Tempisque.

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14

Frederick W. Lange¹

culture

Edition 195 • December, 2009

Guanacaste’s Rich Cultural Heritage

Guanacaste has a rich prehispanic cultural heritage. The lack of big temples and royal palaces, such as those found in Central Mexico and in the lowland Maya area, is not to be misinterpreted as a lack of prehistoric cultural development. In those more “developed” areas the construction of architectural monuments often was accomplished with the labor of the lower classes, who also supported the burden of producing the food and luxury goods consumed by the elite classes. This, in turn, led to frequent rebellions and changes of rulers, fomented by the manipulations of competing sons (and daughters). In Mexico and the Maya area the repeated cycle of development and overthrow of various rulers and dynasties is represented in the archaeological record by thin occupation layers, frequently re-built buildings, mutilated sculptures, and evidence of violent deaths in some human skeletal remains.

Archaeological sites in Guanacaste, on the other hand, have what archaeologists call “levels” that represent cultural development that lasted from 300-500 years with no noticeable changes. These means that life for the prehispanic people was less stressed and more egalitarian, or equal, than it was in Mexico and the Maya zone. When I first started conducting archaeological research in Guanacaste in 1969, I felt embarrassed that I could not produce the same kind of refined, shorter time periods as my colleagues in Mexico, Yucatan and Peru. However, as research continued, the reality of these longer periods of time that characterize the prehispanic period in Guanacaste was reinforced, rather than undermined. It became clear that early peoples in Guanacaste had experienced a much different kind

A great quantity of archaeological artifacts have been recovered in the entire region that is covered by the Tempisque River. Photo by Frederick W. Lange

of life, more tranquil, more stable, than their neighbors to the north and south.

The prehispanic residents of Guanacaste may have benefited from an accident of geography: the lack of large interior valleys. How does the presence or absence of valleys affect cultural development? In Mexico and Guatemala, the prehispanic civilizations were clustered in large central valleys that had cultivable land, water, and the space for large populations, most of whom served the ruling class that gradually emerged. But what about the lowland Maya? There are no large valleys on the Yucatan peninsula, but there was extensive flat terrain that allowed the same gathering of population as occurred in the valleys of Mexico and Guatemala.

Guanacaste had neither large valleys nor extensive flat spaces (except perhaps for the alluvial plains along the Tempisque River, but these were subject to seasonal inundation and were a poor choice for establishing permanent settlements). As you already know, or will come to see, Guanacaste is composed of small coastal embayments, broken foothills leading up to the volcanoes, and narrow river valleys, the widest of which is the Tempisque. Without the ability to concentrate large populations, stratified or complex societies have little chance to evolve. According to the Spanish chroniclers who first described Guanacaste in the 16th century, there were no more than two villages under the control of the same ruler. Also, because of the rainy season and dry season alternation, which you may also experience depending on what time of the year you visit Gua-

nacaste, we think that the same people may have occupied more than one site----they perhaps lived on the coast during the rainy season, and moved to the interior valleys with their more secure water supply, during the dry season. The adaptive pressure of the dry season has extended into the modern era and during particularly dry seasons cattle ranchers have been known that cattle ranchers either had to slaughter their herds because of a lack of pasture, or else truck them to the Caribbean coast, where it is always more humid and rainy. Years ago I flew right over the central highlands of Guanacaste, en route from San Jose to Mexico City in late May or early June. The view was striking: to the Caribbean, or east bright green reached to the center of the volcanic chain. To the west, toward the Pacific, it was brown and yellow where it had yet to rain that year. The large quantity of artifacts that have been recovered from the Tempisque Valley suggest that the population there was large, but we will probably never know its true extent. More work needs to be done!

¹Dr. Frederick W. Lange has a doctoral degree in anthropology, awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971. He is the author of the popular book BEFORE GUANACASTE, an account of the first 10,000 years of this wonderful place. BG is available at the Jaime Peligro Book Store in Tamarindo, the Café Britt Book Store at Peninsula de Papagayo, and in Libreria Internacional bookstores in San Jose and throughout Costa Rica. Fred’s e-mail address is: hormiga_1999@yahoo.com

TEC will open technology park in Liberia

This past 4th of December an agreement was signed for cooperation in the establishment of a technological park, “Solarium”, for the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC). The new installations will develop research, product and service innovation in the industry, hand in hand with training, knowledge generation and company incubation. This project is part of the plans that of TEC to form a network of technological parks; aside from Solarium another one in

Cartago is being developed, that will be on TEC premises. The initiative is the fruit of the joint work by TEC, Solarium Group and the National Program for Competitiveness and Regulations Improvement (Pronacomer). The technological park has as a main objective the focus of becoming a catalyst for the adequate incorporation of new local and regional knowledge from universities and research centers, as a support to industries, for the production of goods and services of

high aggregate value and offer these to both national and foreign markets.

“The technological park will actively participate in the construction of a more sustainable cultura, in the humanistic sense of science and technology under the service of society, respectful to nature and other cultures, that contributes effectively to the economic Development, social equality and environmental responsibility”, indicated the engineer Giannina Ortiz, vice provost for teaching of TEC.

It will contribute specifically to the strengthening of the scientific, technological and socio-economic national and regional innovation production by receiving, attracting, participating and creating new companies that offer pertinent innovation to the society from the advancement thanks to knowledge. Also, it will bring together regions of the country to globalization in the fields of science and technology, with a deep critical sense with respect to the way to act and the theme’s pertinence and spirit of entrepreneurship and the strategic alliances for mutual benefit. One of the principal tasks will be to support the proximity and work between University, Enterprise and State.

The administration of this park will be under the care of the Technological Foundation (FUNDATEC) and will have an infrastructure of 16500 square meters, where seven investigation centers are already contemplated: Biotechnology, Mecatronics, Electronic Manufacturing, Technological Management of Materials and Processes, Renewable Energy; Water Quality and a Company Incuba-

The new technological park will attract new industry to the province of Guanacaste. Photo by Jessica Flores Acuña

Edition 195 • December, 2009

15

entertainment

Cinema deluxe – and Sunsets - In Bahia Hermosa Vicky Longland Sunsets in Guanacaste are the stuff of local legend and so they should be. There comes a time though, when after gazing at yet another eye explosion of color or searching again for the elusive green flash on the horizon, residents and visitors might just think, What now? Dinner with cable TV? Restaurant meal out? Down to the bar? One of the challenges to living in beach paradise is that offerings on the entertainment check-list can be a tad slim. Worry no longer. Guanacaste now boasts its own VIP movie theater, complete with wickedly comfortable stadium-style seating, beverage service to your seat, the best sound system of just about any theater in the country and a daily changing menu of blockbuster films. Kids are well taken care of with weekend matinees and you can be put on the email list so you don’t miss the must-see latest release or even English-spoken livetheater performances invited down from San José. Embassy Club de Artes is part of the high-end residential and hotel complex at Hermosa Heights, Playa Hermosa with evening shows starting at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 4 p.m. The entrance of ¢3,000 includes a soft drink. Or you can make a full night of it as the stylish underground theater café-bar provides a wide range of tasty snacks and cocktails, and the American sports bar next door cooks up a variety of full meals. Hermosa Heights features much more for folk seeking family diversion and relaxation. While owner, Richard Levy’s main angle for the 45-acre hillside property overlooking the bay is selling residential lots, he also built the beautifully appointed Hotel Villas Hermosa Heights. The ten spacious, air-conditioned cabins are perched around a two-tier

pool and Jacuzzi with water slides and waterfall. Even if you don’t stay here, you can enjoy the nature trails and let the kids loose on the 18-challenge mini golf course or netted trampoline, monkey bars and swings just by the games room with minipool / table tennis table. So now you can have it all (well, almost) – and the sunsets. Life on the beach just keeps getting better. Details on Embassy Club de Artes: hermosaheights@yahoo.com, hermosaheights.com, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica 011 (506) 672 0173 or 0112  fax 672 0173

tion Center, that last one that will be working as a common space for all centers, at an approximate cost of $25 million.

At the same time, the Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology of Costa Rica is being contemplated, that will have various laboratorios: Investigation and Software Experimentation, Computer Networks, Signal and Image Processing and Analysis, Investigation in Microelectronics and High End Computing; for a total investment in equipment greater than $4,525,000. Each center will distribute its resources in accordance to needs of every discipline presented to be competitive in the market, for example, the Biotechnological Research Center will spread its efforts in the areas of Biocontrollers, Environmental Biology, Biomedicine, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Bioprocesses and Bioproducts, added to the total investment of $10000, including other minor things.

Each column, row and box must contain each number from 1 to 9. There is only one solution, wich is shown here.


May your holiday season be blessed with peace, love and great joy!

wish you a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

The Journal Edition # 195  

The Journal Edition # 195