Archives for July 2016

Finding Your Best Four Legged Friend in Costa Rica

By: Hellen Dunn Frame

zaguates“You don’t have to buy a dog in Costa Rica,” Expatriates will tell you “because so many strays roam the byways“.

On Sunday, October 9, 2011 Costa Rica celebrated World Animal Day in San Jose, and honored all forms of animal life. The celebration included a march against animal abuse. The event began in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day because it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.  .

Another objective of the march was to collect signatures for Ley 7451 that would punish animal abuse. According to organizers they needed 152.000 signatures for the project to be presented before the Legislature to criminalize animal abuse. It all worked out because after almost 5 years, the aforementioned law was approved in July 2016.

The Coco Animal Rescue & Education (CARE) in Guanacaste works with the McKee Foundation, founded in Arizona but operating since 2003 in the Central Pacific in the communities of Costa Rica surrounding Jacó.  McKee Jacó opened its own veterinarian clinic, the Asociacion Pro Bienestar Animal Jacó Clinica Veterinaria, where they offer a full array of services including emergency care. It works with the Costa Rican Veterinary Licensing Board & Association.

C.A.R.E commits to helping sick and abandoned animals by conducting Spay/Neuter Clinics and education programs at the local schools about the health and proper care of pets.  The small group of likeminded volunteers tries to make a difference for the dogs and cats in Playas del Coco and surrounding communities.

Spay/neuter clinics are held the second Sat. of every month with a goal of treating, at least 30 animals. The Vet that holds the clinics comes from San Jose on Friday and brings his own team with him. CARE pays him $18 per surgery and charges the pet owner $10. If an animal has no owner CARE pays the full amount.  If the owner truly cannot afford to pay then the group picks up the tab also. It helps sick and injured street dogs, transports them to the Vet when needed, and provide medications and treatment for them. CARE also tries to find homes for homeless puppies and kittens and to help owners find homes for their pets by advertising them on their website and by word of mouth.

To obtain a pure breed, link to the Costa Rica Asociacion Canofila Costarricense Spanish website

One company in Costa Rica that is supper pet friendly and they consider themselves dog lovers is Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties, located in Playas del Coco, it has real estate professionals to assist you in buying properties or obtaining short or long-term rentals of Costa Rica condos, houses and villas.

Linda Gray, Owner/Broker, can assist with purchasing Guanacaste oceanfront homes or condos, or villas and buildable lots.  Contact her by cell 8347-4704 or email Plus, save time searching for a reputable and well-priced rental car company by utilizing the company’s concierge services that have access to all rental car companies in the area. The US toll free number for Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties is 1 877 589 0539.

Want to Own Property in Costa Rica, But Won´t Use it All Year Round?

fractional1May be you have been down in paradise! May be you fell in love with Costa Rica the minute you step down from the plane! May be your dream is to own property in Costa Rica! But your main concern is, you won´t use it for many months during the year. May be you just want to be a few weeks in Costa Rica every year and then want to be back to wherever you call home. Then we have a solution for you!

Fractional Ownership! Yes, now you can own property in Costa Rica for only a few weeks a year and not worry about it for the time you are not in a country. The best part is, we are not talking about shared time at a hotel or a resort, we are talking about owning a fraction of your own exclusive condo.

But, how is that even possible? Four Seasons Resort Residence Club offers this fractional2amazing opportunity to own your
own 3 weeks at a luxury condo and enjoy all the resort amenities at a reduced price. If you were going to buy this condo for full ownership, it will cost $1,850,000. Yes, almost two million dollars! However, you can buy the right to use the condo and the resort amenities, 3 weeks per year, for only $220,000. No, wait, that was the old price. It has now been reduced to fractional3$170,000. Amazing!

What will you be buying into? It is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo with 2 Master Suites, all in one level with designer furnishings. It also has an enclosed terrace with a wet bar and an open spacious floor plan. Also, the condo is within walking distance to all the Four Season resort amenities and located in the prestigious Costa Rican Papagayo Gulf.

Which resort amenities are available? We are glad you asked! By buying your fractional ownership at the Four Seasons Resort Residence Club Costa Rica, you will have access to Golf (one of the best courses in the country), Tennis, Spa and Fitness Center, multiple pools for both adults and kids, calm bay for swimming, young adult recreation room, 4 restaurants, concierge services and acquatic activities like: kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, sailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, among others.

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Those it sounds good so far? Why not finding out more information? Contact our amazing friends at Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties and ask about the Four Seasons Resort Residence Club Fractional Ownership. Don´t forget to tell Linda Gray from Coldwell Banker that you find this own at Today In Costa Rica!

Hurry, paradise is waiting for you!fractional6

Costa Rica Is Within the 40% of the Most Developed Countries in the World

costaricaindexmapCosta Rica is a small country, it has less than 5 million people and it is only 19,730 mi2. Despite its size and the small number of inhabitants, Costa Rica is considered medium to high-developed country; in fact, it is among the 40% of countries with the highest development rate. The development observatory of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) came to this conclusion after evaluating 14 global indexes and 394 indicators in which Costa Rica is present.

Among the considered indexes and indicators are those related to happiness, global well-being, and democracy. These helped boost the performance of the country in the international scene.

However, not all the indicators show positive results. Those related to the economic situation and ease of doing business. When it comes to these two indexes Costa Rica needs to pay high priority attention to them. Among the factors that need to be observed are those related to the tax situation and government expense. Once these are solved, the country will be able to move up to a higher development level.

When it comes to the development of social aspects, 65 indicators were analyzed and 3% of them are considered top priority. One of this, to which the country has to pay closer attention to, is the participation of women in the labor market. In Costa Rica, for every 10 men who work, only 6 women do it (60%). However, in countries with higher development indexes this relationship is 9 female workers for every 10 male workers.

Costa Rica is promoted as a green destination, national parks, natural reserves and eco-tourism are among the country´s main attractions. One would expect the country to have high levels of development in environmental matters. However, Costa Rica lost important spots in these areas, mainly due to poor management of sewage waters and a necessity to better protect its oceans.

Although there are some areas in which the country needs to improve, it is important to note that none of the indicators placed the country in the lower levels of development like medium-low, low or very low.

The following table shows some of the social indicators and the level of priority which the government needs to pay to them:

High Medium Low
High school enrollment Rural access to drinkable water sources Death due to contagious diseases
Murder rate Private property rights Infant mortality rate
Internet users Freedom of movement Access to electrical energy
Obesity rate Suicide rate Freedom of press index
Water extraction World class universities Quality of electrical services
Prenatal mortality rate Female schooling age average Life expectancy at birth
Early marriage Education accomplishment inequity Religious freedom


The following tables shows some of the environmental index and the level of attention that needs to be paid to them.

High Medium Low
Sewage water treatment Air pollution Environmental risk exposition
Protected sea areas Quality of drinkable water Home air quality
Nitrogen use efficiency Protected land areas Access to sanitation
Nitrogen balance Reduction of protected woods Access to drinkable water
Fish stocks Trends in carbon intensity

Costa Rican Government Will Change Workshifts for Public Employees to Reduce Traffic Jams

presacrHave you been to San Jose, Costa Rica lately? If you have, then you know the traffic jams are becoming border line unbearable. Some 10 years ago rush hour was Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 8:30 am and from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. But that is history past. Now, it seems that rush hour is from 6:00am to 7:00pm. Yes, you guess it right. Rush hour in San Jose is now an all-day event. Some of the main highways around San Jose and major roads inside the city seem like a big parking lot. Sometimes you can sit on traffic for about an hour and you won´t move one mile. Sounds bad? It actually is pretty bad. So much so, that San Jose citizens are starting to look for jobs in beach areas to run away from traffic jams.

As anything that happens in a country, people blame the government for the traffic jams. No, it is not a responsibility of the citizens, their horrible driving ettiquete – which is pretty much non-existent in San Jose – or the fact that there is not a carpooling culture in the country. No, if you ask a “Tico” everything is a reflection of poor government planning and lack of policies to control traffic jams.

Anyways, the government is trying to find out ways to help improve the driving situation in San Jose, and for that reason, it has submitted a decree that allows public employees to start working earlier or finish later on the day. It also opens up the possibility to work more than 8 hours four days a week and have 3 days off. This will be mandatory for employees who work for ministries and autonomous institutions, but it won´t apply to hospitals, emergency services, schools and police departments.

The decree establishes that all institutions will have to change their schedules to start the work day at 6:30am, 8:00am and 9:30am. Another possibility will be to work 10 hours a day, 4 days a week to have an extra day off during the week. An employee who chooses this model can enjoy an additional day off, besides Saturday and Sunday, on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

One limitation is that every department will need to employee a minimum of 30% of the workforce on every work shift to guarantee that services are appropriately offered. Labor Minister, Carlos Alvarado, said that institutions will have a 30 day period, starting on July 12th, to implement the decree and make the required changes.

The decree will be effective from July 12th to November 30th, 2016. After that date, the government authorities will be able to conduct different studies about the impact of these actions in the traffic jam situation afflicting the metropolitan area.

MOPT (entity in charge of infrastructure and transportation) officials said they are analyzing some other alternatives to help reduce traffic jams in the capital city, but the studies on those areas are being conducted and the necessary actions could be implement later on.

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