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Puriscal Times & Ciudad Colon

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February 18, 2018

News & Articles

News & articles


Inflation for 2017 was 2.57%. The local currency will depreciate on average 3.6% against the US dollar in 2018.

13 yr. old boy dies on ATV in Santa Marta:  A 13-year-old boy, preliminarily identified by last name Araya, died after, for reasons unknown and investigated, he fell into a precipice with the quad bike he was driving.
The events occurred on Sunday, December 31st, at 10:35 a.m. in the community of Santa Marta de Mercedes Sur, Puriscal.  Preliminary versions indicate that the child lost control of the vehicle when he stopped next to the road.
From the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), they confirmed the attention of the case and detailed that the minor did not wear the helmet as a security element at the time of the accident.
The victim was rescued by teams of firemen and the Red Cross, who moved her in a delicate condition to the CAIS of Puriscal. There he died minutes after his admission.
Jorge Fernandez, a neighbor of the community that collaborated in the rescue of the deceased, said that he remembers the minor as very extroverted and loved in the community, because he stood out for being very cooperative despite his young age.
A real nightmare for a woman in her house while she slept last Thursday (12-28-2017) in Puriscal. During the early morning two men forced the door of the house and entered, in principle, to force her to let them stay there for several hours.
No mention in the news article where the house is located in Puriscal.
As detailed by the Public Ministry through a statement, the 2 subjects, surnames Flores Pavón and Quirós Flores, who were arrested by the police authorities, forced their entry into the woman’s house at about 3:00 am, “and they forced me to let them spend the night there. “
“At 6:00 am. When the victim asked them to leave, the suspects assaulted her with a knife. In addition, it is believed that before leaving, they stole from the house: appliances, clothing and groceries owned by the victim, “the report said.
The prosecutor’s office investigates the suspects for possible crimes of house invasion, aggravated robbery and injuries.  In a hearing to be held in the Criminal Court of Puriscal, the Public Prosecutor will request preventive detention against the subjects.

— https://www.crhoy.com/nacionales/mujer-vivio-pesadilla-dentro-de-su-propia-casa-en-puriscal/

OIJ HAS DRUG RAID IN 2 HOUSES IN SAN ANTONIO. The Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) carried out different operations in Puriscal to dismantle an organization that is dedicated to the sale of drugs.  In total, the judicial police arrested 5 individuals who would had a bunker in San Antonio de Puriscal.   The raids were carried out in 2 homes in the sector. The judicial police started with the case since mid-2017.  The suspects are being investigated since they would make up a band of distribution and sale of drugs in the area.

Puriscal: first canton to implement umbilical cord blood donations. Puriscal became the first canton in which the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) will begin the identification of umbilical cord blood donors.
The announcement was made on Friday by the CCSS Medical Manager María Villalta.
Other health areas also participating in this first stage are: Desamparados, Corralillo, Acosta and Aserrí.
“After birth, the umbilical cord and the blood it contains are discarded, this will now change to increase the chances of finding suitable donors to offer a transplant to patients who require it,” said María Villalta. During the first year, the CCSS will not perform transplants because the collected units require a process of quality control and freezing so that they become an ideal sample to transplant, explained Marvin Agüero, technical coordinator of the Institutional Grant and Transplantation Program.
The umbilical cord blood units can be stored for a period of five years.  amcostarica.com  Oct. 30, 2017
Electronic payment in buses: “In Costa Rica, public transportation is paid for by the riders who are usually the most needy. The state subsidy for this issue is zero, so it is a challenge to try a good system that works for everyone, but does not imply raising the rates very much,” he said. An extra obstacle is building a universal payment system that is of high quality and at the lowest cost, otherwise users will have to pay the extra cost on their bus tickets.
Despite all these challenges, Melegatti assured that it is likely that in a year and a half, the system will be fully operational.
Currently, about 2 million people use the 5,000 buses that travel throughout the country.

The FDA is trying to smother the handmade cigar industry like the one in Santiago de Puriscal. The Food and Drug Administration is making it harder and harder for family-owned, handmade cigar companies to produce and sell their products. The new rules are unnecessary and highly political, and they will drive companies out of business, leaving you with fewer choices in your humidor, changing the cigar industry forever.     It needs to stop.

Write the new FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and President Donald Trump. Let them know how you feel. Tell them handmade cigars deserve an exemption from FDA control. It’s time to deregulate the handmade cigar industry and let this small, artisanal and venerable business continue without government interference.
“I am protesting the FDA’s over-regulation of the handmade cigar industry. Keep this family owned and artisanal industry intact and leave handmade cigars alone.”


FDA Commisioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb
Email address: commissionerFDA@fda.hhs.gov

President Trump
Contact information: whitehouse.gov/contact/

Vice President Michael Pence
Contact information: whitehouse.gov/contact/

Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price
Email address: secretary@HHS.gov

CIGAR FACTORY: The Tabacos de Costa Rica cigar factory in town is very busy. They now have a large walk-in freezer, a computerized laser engraving machine for logos on wooden boxes and a very nice facility for making wooden boxes from cedar.  Tours are free and their hours are M – F,  7:30am to 4:30pm.

TUNA BRAND “SULI” IS DOLPHIN-DEADLY:     Costa Rica News – Investigations by the nonprofit International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) have revealed that, in its Costa Rican locations, Walmart has been selling its own brand of canned tuna that has been caught using fishing methods that harass and kill dolphins. These practices make Walmart’s tuna brand — called Suli — dolphin-deadly, though Suli tuna cans carry a misleading seal claiming that the tuna is dolphin safe. The International Marine Mammal Project is alerting Costa Rican consumers that Suli-brand tuna is being sold not only in Walmart, but also in other Walmart-owned stores throughout the country, including Sam´s Club, Pali, Max X Menos, and Maxipali. http://www.costaricantimes.com/walmart-exposed-for-selling-dolphin-deadly-tuna-in-costa-rica/53261

3 motorcycles in accident in front of Maxi Pali March 25th.  A motorcyclist was severely injured and transferred to Hospital San Juan de Dios and two others with possible fractures were sent to the Puriscal Comprehensive Care Center (CAIS), after a crash between three motorcycles registered on Saturday morning in the center of that canton.  The triple collision occurred at 6:45 a.m. M., In the eastern corner of the Banco Popular, 100 meters east of the Santiago park, just before Maxi Pali.  The motorcyclist with cranioencephalic trauma was identified as Dixon Salazar Salazar, 48, a resident of that canton of Josefino.  Another of the motorcyclists presented a possible fracture in one of his legs and one of the two of the third motorcycle (driver and companion) also was transferred with several blows to the CAIS.  Salazar is a mechanic and was on the side. When he started the bike to go to work, his Honda motorcycle was hit by another, branded Genesis, which was going very fast in the same direction, which was driven by Héiner Torres Castillo, who did not carry a license.  ​T​he third bike involved was a Honda that came in the opposite direction, which hit those who were on the ​ground​ and fell to about ten feet. This last motorcycle was led by Eladio Sánchez Murillo, 23, a neighbor of Santiago and Anthony Hernández Fuentes as companion.  Of the two occupants of this third motorcycle, only the driver merited transfer to the CAIS with blows in several parts of the body.  www.nacion.com


The former rugby player was also a restaurant owner in the Winnipeg area. Scouras’ restaurant, the Red Top Diner, was featured on the Food Network show “You Gotta Eat Here!” in 2012.  The drowning occurred directly in front of Hotel Marea Brava on Playa Hermosa, just south of Jacó, the Red Cross spokeswoman said. The beach is known for its large waves and strong tide that make for internationally recognized surf.  Drownings have often been the center of fierce debate on Costa Rica’s beaches, where lifeguards are few and far between. Because there are no laws requiring shores to be supervised and basically no funding from the government, drowning fatalities are disproportionately high in Costa Rica. From 2000 to 2014, the country suffered at least 50 drownings per year.

License law change penalizes expats who overstay:  

A new traffic law calls for the removal of license plates on cars owned by foreigners who get caught driving past the three-month limit allowed tourists, according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

This is a sequel to a 2012 law that says expats cannot obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license until the immigration agency gives them official cédulas. The law also prevents so-called perpetual tourists from obtaining a local license. These perpetual tourists leave the country every 90 days to renew their tourism visa in order to keep their current license valid.


Ticos with visas to the United States used to have four years to renew the visa without going through the interview process again. However, the Trump administration has changed that. Now Ticos have only a year for a visa renewal without an interview. La Nación

FATAL ACCIDENT:  Dec. 7th there was a fatal accident on the steep road connecting Bajo Burgos with Dasamparaditos.   The 62 yr. old Tico with the last name Ramirez lost control of his pickup and killed 2 women walking on the road, Carolina María Mesén Soto, de 25 años, y María Isabel Rodríguez Molina, de 46 años y madre de tres hijos.  Speeding and probably alcohol were involved.

CHRISTMAS TREES:  Cypress, in Puriscal, call 8434-3670

FISCAL TAX YEAR ENDS SEPT. 30TH; Saturday marked the beginning of the fiscal year and the start of Costa Rican tax season.
The final income tax filings deadline for the year 2015-2016 is Dec. 15. But those in business and those who plan to have taxable income have to file a report listing their expenses and income from any source above 50,000 colons for professionals like lawyers and physicians and other independent contractors and an aggregate 2.5 million colons for purchases of supplies and sales.

Plenty of Costa Ricans do not have to pay income tax. The Ministerio de Hacienda published a statement Thursday specifying the threshold for taxes at 787,000 colons or about $1,415 a month.  Those who earn more than that up to 1,181,000 colons or about $2,214 a month have to pay 10 percent. Higher than that, and the tax bite is 15 percent.

BCR bank card: In January 2016 the state bank, the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), was the first of the Costa Rica banks to allow foreigners in the country to open an account with only their passport.  For frequent visitors if your country bank is a Visa affiliate there is the “Visa Direct” option for international transfers, for a fee, you can transfer from your country bank to your Costa Rica bank account, that immediately loads your debit card. On your arrival to Costa Rica, you have instant local cash.

For foreigners living, but not resident in Costa Rica, a local bank account allows online payment of utilities and reduces the amount of cash carried. Why carry wads of cash or risk having the local ATM eat up your foreign bank card?  For more information, http://qcostarica.com/costa-rica-banking-for-foreigners-and-visitors-made-easy/

Country’s famous bird expert.  Finca Los Cusingos, the home of the famed naturalist Alexander Skutch for more than 60 years, attracts wildlife lovers and those wanting to see a sample of the simpler life of past times in Costa Rica.  Skutch died in 2004, just eight days short of his 100th birthday. He is buried near the main house along with his wife, Pamela Lankester of the family who founded what is now the Lankester botanical gardens belonging to the University of Costa Rica.  His doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1928 was in botany but while working for a banana company as a researcher he developed an interest in birds.  At that time tropical ornithology had not progressed much beyond collection of museum specimens, and Skutch’s contributions made by field observation of life histories were unprecedented. He ultimately published more than 30 books and dozens of scientific papers.

The book with the biggest impact at present was co-authored with Gary Stiles, “A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica.” While the book’s heft makes it a bit hard to use in the field, the detail of habits, voice and nesting are unmistakable.
Skutch’s background in botany makes the accounts of feeding habits of fruit-eating birds sometimes excruciatingly detailed.
The reserve is near Rivas de Pérez Zeledón, which is close to San Isidro de El General about three to four hours from San José via the old highway to Panamá. The reserve is managed by the Centro Cientifico Tropical, the same organization that runs the Monteverde cloud forest reserve. Entrance fees are $10 with the usual discounts for residents and children.
There is about a kilometer of graveled trail though forest on the property along with the accessible gardens. The house itself was restored after Skutch’s death but still sports the original structure and roof.

A.M. Costa Rica/Allison Roger

Skutch turned out his many books and articles on this.

Mr. and Mrs. Skutch

A.M. Costa Rica/Allison Roger

This picture of Alexander Skutch his wife, Pamela Lankester, is displayed prominently in the couple’s home.

On request, caretakers will open the house to show the antique contents like a wood cookstove and hundreds of books about birds and philosophy. Pre-Columbian ceramic pieces found by Skutch himself suggest archaeological significance, but this has not been explored. The manual typewriter that produced so much is there in the office.
Skutch verged on poetry in some of his observations, like this segment from the 1973 book “Life of the Hummingbird:” 

“To me, a hummingbird was, and is, a fairy like bird, with a
tiny body of slender grace, that hovers, miraculously suspended between two broad sectors of misty light, like the separated halves of a halo, giving forth now and then a bright glint of green from its back, and sending out a low, murmurous humming from those wings vibrated into an unsubstantial haze, while it probes the cool depth of some bright corolla with a long and delicately slender bill.”


APPLE APPS FOR CR……  Available in English.

MAP;  https://itunes.apple.com/cr/app/bigguide-costa-rica-map-+/id1103749073?l=en&mt=8

TOURISM;  https://itunes.apple.com/cr/app/a-turistear/id775345554?l=en&mt=8

TRANSLATOR:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartmobilesoftware.voicetranslatorfree&hl=en

ROADS;  https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/ruta-alterna/id1116470365?mt=8

WAZE;  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waze-gps-navigation-maps-social/id323229106?mt=8

PETS;  https://itunes.apple.com/cr/app/petsapp-costa-rica/id646997419?l=en&mt=8

BIRDS:  https://itunes.apple.com/cr/app/birdsounds-costa-rica-lite/id594476979?l=en&mt=8

RESTAURANTS: https://itunes.apple.com/cr/app/ticoexpress/id580236990?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

ID TREES:  https://itunes.apple.com/lc/app/ojeadores/id1030536491?mt=8

Canadian University Inaugurates Rainforest Campus in Costa Rica.  TORONTO, April 25, 2016 – The Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University opened its new Lillian Meighen Wright Centre and EcoCampus today in southern Costa Rica, offering students hands-on experiential learning from deep within a rainforest.

The 400-square-metre Lillian Meighen Wright Centre overlooks the Peñas Blancas River from its prime location on York U’s new EcoCampus. The new centre is thanks to a generous donation of $750,000 from the Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation.  The EcoCampus is a long-awaited venture. One that started with a donation to York U of 400 acres of Costa Rican rainforest by noted Toronto physician Dr. Woody Fisher in 1998. Along the way, multiple donors contributed more than $8 million to the Las Nubes Project, supporting student and faculty research, academic positions, student awards, program costs and most recently the creation of the 25-acre EcoCampus, which sits next to the Las Nubes Forest Reserve. The reserve is part of one of the largest rainforest ecosystems in Central America.

Driving: A road safety specialist claims that Ticos tend to be abusive drivers who ignore the consequences of their actions on the road like passing on blind curves. Over the past three years, 610 drivers have lost their licenses for reckless behavior.  www.crhoy.com

BIRDS;  Costa Rica has over 900 different species of birds. Many of them can be found in the southern Pacific coast community of Uvita on the Osa Peninsula. Ecotourism specialists are now putting together programs that would offer bird watching tours to the thousands of visitors who come to the area each year to enjoy the diversity of plants and animals.

An adult, 66, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in downtown Puriscal on suspicion of corruption of minors.  The case has been under investigation since August 13th by agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), following a complaint by a child under 16 years. The boy said in the complaint that the suspect had invited him to the house to watch some movies.  Apparently the man, named Montero, enticed the children with cell phones and electronic tablets in exchange for sex and touching of intimate parts. On Tuesday Dec. 15th, at about 1:30 p. m., investigators raided the home of Montero, where he was detained and they seized pornographic material and other important evidence for the investigation.


You don’t have to pay your corporation tax for 2016. I spoke with an accountant and a lawyer and they both agreed…”don’t pay them.”  Vehicles, properties, homes, etc.  However the Govt. may pass an emergency law…time will tell.

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Wednesday evening (Jan. 26, 2015) ruled three articles of the country’sCorporate Tax Law unconstitutional, and as a result, collection will be suspended starting next year.

Sala IV’s ruling also states that in order to avoid problems or misinterpretations, taxes for the fiscal year 2015 must be paid.Tax collection will be suspended from Jan. 2016.

DAM after a minor traffic accident.  The new form for drivers involved in minor traffic accidents is called the Declaración de Accidente Menor, which expats can call DAM. This is a form that is supposed to be used starting Jan. 7 by drivers who are involved in minor mishaps where there are no personal injuries.

Another requirement for use of the form is that the vehicles involved in the collision are able to move under their own power and that a tow truck is not needed, said the ministry. The drivers involved have to agree to the procedure, too. The drivers involved fill out duplicate copies of the DAM report giving details on the accident and the identification of the vehicles and individuals involved. That eliminates the need for calling a traffic officer and allows the drivers to move their vehicles out of the traffic flow, said the ministry.  The forms will be used later when the drivers involved in the collision appear at the local traffic court to report what happened. At the court, officials try conciliation to assess damages. At some point the drivers’ insurance carriers will need a copy.     Here is the form;   http://www.mopt.go.cr:10039/portal/Documentos/DAM.pdf

IS BOTTLED WATER WORTH THE PRICE?  In 2007, the Pepsi corporation admitted that its Aquafina bottled water is not purified water or spring water, but simply plain old tap water. The company will now be forced to change the labeling of the brand to reflect that it is just tap water. The corporate accountability group is now looking to Coca-Cola’s Dasani bottled water for false advertisement. However, Dasani denies that their product is just tap water.   Aguafina’s bottles are now labeled “P.W.S.” The new labels will spell out “public water source.” The company that sells Agua Cristal in Costa Rica states that it comes from the highlands of the Central Volcanic Range of Costa Rica and gushing springs in Echeverria, in Alajuela, where it is packaged under high quality standards.  Bottled water has always been controversial. The water in most of Costa Rica has very low count of TDS,total dissolved solids like copper,lead,zinc, mercury and sodium. So a simple carbon filter is good as a prefilter since carbon does collect chemicals.Nitrates,nitrites sulfur and others. There are hardware stores that carry a two stage 

filter system to make potable water for drinking and cooking. It operates with low water pressure and can be connected to your sink faucet. 

The first stage is the carbon filter that collects chemicals and sediment. The second stage is a U.V. light bulb that kills bacteria. The carbon filter should be changed every six months. The U.V. lamp lasts about a year,so if you buy one ,buy another lamp at the same time. This filter system runs about $250.

One caution.Do not look directly at the U.V. light.In time ,it can injure your eyes. Once you have it set up in a permanent location,cover the front of the unit so you don’t see the lamp..


Two houses for rent… Bajo Campos and in Bajo Burgos. Both asking $600/month, one is furnished, the other unfurnished. 2 BR. 2.5 baths, office.  If interested, contact…puriscaltimes@gmail.com

1.  Fred Holmes, Author of “How to Live in Costa Rica on $1500 a Month”, e-book $3.99

www.costaricaholmes.com   or   http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120623

2.  House for rent in the center of town, one week $378.00, completely furnished,1 Bedroom, 1 Bath Condo, spectacular view within walking distance to town. Contact Glen Engman at 1-781-284-6145, email is theontarget@earthlink.net   No pets, no smoking.

3. Utility trailer, perfect for hauling construction materials and gardening supplies. Spare tire, fenders, electrical hook-up.  $700  Contact Rob Regan in Santa Marta at 2416-4589,