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Welcome! Our goal is to become your number one source of information when you want to learn about Costa Rica. We will keep you informed with the latest news in different areas like sports, politics, finance and lifestyle in Costa Rica. We will also let you know what the best real estate deals are in Costa Rica Real Estate so you can look forward to touring these properties when you visit Costa Rica!

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    Fractional Ownership - Four Seasons Residence Club Costa Rica

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    Costa Rica´s Beautiful Scenery - An Earth Day Tribute!

Entertainment

Entertainment

Find the most recent and relevant Costa Rican news about sports, activities, fun and interesting stuff to do when in Costa Rica. Learn to live the lifestyle
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Financial News

Financial News

What is new in Costa Rica´s economy? Find the latest news here.
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Relocation

Relocation

What is it like to live in Costa Rica? Find out all about the Costa Rican lifestyle.
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Government & Regulations

Government & Regulations

Knowing what goes on in Costa Rica is very important for those interested in investing in the country. Costa Rican politics tend to be pretty stable and safe for locals and foreigners.
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Costa Rican Public Health System Recognized by World Health Organization!

The Costa Rican Public Health System became the first institution in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the seventh in the world to be internationally certified for its emergency and disaster relief services.

The World Health Organization granted the emergency medical team of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), which runs the country’s universal public health care system, the highest level (level 1) international accreditation.

According to Milton Salazar Acuña, a medical doctor at the Center for Emergency and Disaster Care of the CCSS, the certification recognizes the center’s capacity to treat up to 100 people in a day in an emergency or disaster situation anywhere in Costa Rica. The certification will allow the agency to create a health team that can respond to regional disasters and emergencies as well, said WHO officials during their visit to the country last week.

Last October, the CCSS acquired a mobile emergency care unit which cost an estimated US$700 thousand, said Salazar, which, together with expert procedures and highly trained personnel, guarantees the provision of medical services during emergency or disaster situations

The timely acquisition of the mobile unit allowed the CCSS to provide emergency support to the Upala health system, and to guarantee the continuity of regular services in northern Costa Rica when Hurricane Otto ravaged the area in late November.

The mobile hospital, ensures the provision of health services in emergency and disaster situations, such as earthquakes, floods or health emergencies and can be moved and installed in a few hours to any community in the country, said Salazar.

By Wendy Anders, The Costa Rica Star.

Guanacaste, Costa Rica to Host World Famous Ironman in June …

Ironman.com

After a five-year wait, Carrillo, Guanacaste finally made the cut to host a Ironman 70.3 triathlon this year. This is the first time Costa Rica will host one of the world famous endurance competitions, and it is almost completely filled.

With 2,000 competitors already filling all of the general registration spots for the June 18 event, according to the Ironman website, event organizers expect the race to bring at least eight to ten thousand visitors to the Playas del Coco region of Guanacaste province, as each Ironman competitor travels with two or more companions on average.

The Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The number 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race that involves a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run, said the WTC. The segment disatnces are half of those in a full Ironman triathlon.

The Ironman 70.3 series culminates each year with a world championship competition, which competitors qualify for during the 70.3 series in the 12 months prior to the championship, said the WTC.

The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica will offer 35 qualifying slots to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the Ironman website.

Finish times range from under 4 hours by elite athletes to 8 hours and 30 minutes. Times vary from race to race and are influenced by factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and course conditions, said the WTC.

On March 1, 25 elite competitor spots will open for the Costa Rica race, as well as 100 additional spots – 70  individual and 30 relay spaces (one person per discipline). After this, the event will be completely filled.

The mile and a half long Playas del Coco, the race site, is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches. Protected by a bay, its gentle, warm waters are ideal for bathing, snorkeling and also boating.

Ironman orgnizers sum up Costa Rica like this: “Costa Rica is one of the world’s most unique tourist destinations. The natural beauty, stunning beaches, pleasant climate and the peaceful easy going nature of Costa Ricans make the country an attractive, must-see part of the world.”

By Wendy Anders, The Costa Rica Star

Employer, Employee and Intermediary in Costa Rica. How Does the Labor Law in Costa Rica Really Define Who They Are and What They Do?

trabajadorCosta Rica is known as a relaxed and laid back country, no wonder our motto is Pura Vida, which literally means Pure Life, which could be summed up in a take it easy and chill. This motto is intrinsically woven in every Tico you meet along the way. Sadly, doing business in Costa Rica is not Pura Vida. As matter of fact, it is totally the opposite, but the Ticos still face it with a Pura Vida attitude, most of the time.

Doing business could be complicated, as well as keeping up with the labor law. Why? Well, number one, the labor code (Ley N°2) is written in Spanish and there is no English version of it. Number two, there are a lot of practices in the business world that are not according to the law, but is what everyone does (or most people do) so, it kind of becomes common practice and could eventually get your business in trouble.

Our goal at Today In Costa Rica, is to explain out to you the most important articles of the Costa Rican Labor Code. Also, we want to let you know how to apply them, and what the correct practices are, despite of what most people will tell you out there on the street (sometimes even your lawyers will get this one wrong!).

We want to start off by explaining who, in Costa Rica, is considered and employer, an employee and an intermediary. Our goal is that by fully understanding what those are, you will be off to a good start when setting up your Costa Rican business, or hiring someone to work at your vacation home.

The first term defined in the Costa Rican Labor Code is Employer (Patrono in Spanish). According to the Costa Rican legislation, an employer could be an individual, or a corporation – legal entity, it could also be a private or a public entity, who employs the services of a single person or a group of people, under a labor contract, which, in turn could be, expressed or implicit, verbal or written, individual or collective. By the way, yes, there could be a labor relationship even if a written contract has never been signed between the parties, but we will give you another article on this later.

It is also important to make sure that any company director, managers, administrators, boat captains, or anyone who has director or managing authority on behalf of an employer, is considered an employer’s representative. So, any wrongdoing by any of this individuals against any employee could get the employer liable to the Costa Rican law.

Then, the Labor Code defines what an Intermediary is, and you better pay attention to this one. And Intermediary is a person who contracts the services of an individual or a group of people to perform a job benefiting an employer. It is important to understand that, in this type of relationship, both the employer and the intermediary are equally responsibly, under the solidarity principle, to the employee and to the Costa Rican legislation. But, how does this work?

For example, you are going to build a house. You hire an individual builder, who will then hire a team to work at your house. The builder you hire is responsible to guarantee that all labor rights are given to the employee (we will talk later about this). However, if the builder, which in this case is the Intermediary, fails to comply with the labor code, you, as the owner of the house could be legally responsible to those employees. The same applies in a business, in case you have another entity staffing your business. That is why it is so important to make sure your intermediaries are complying with the labor law and that are giving their employees all the rights commanded by law.

The last term we will look at in this article is the employee. Article 4 of the Labor Code says that an employee is any individual (not a corporation, so no, you cannot hire a corporation as an employee) who renders its material or intellectual services, or both, on behalf of another person, under a labor contract, which could be express or implicit, written or verbal, individual or collective. It is important to note that collectors, commercial agents, salesmen, and anyone who only receives a commission as payment, used to be under this definition of employee. However, in 1990, under vote 1336-1990, the Constitutional Court of Costa Rica declared that last part to be unconstitutional.

In summary, in Costa Rica, an employer is anyone (individual or legal entity) who hires and individual (employee) to work for a salary. An intermediary is anyone who staff a business or hires individuals to work for another employer.

In the next article on this series, we will take a closer look at issues regarding language, negotiations between employee and employer, and the employee right to seek for advice with the Costa Rican labor authorities.

For a copy of the Costa Rican Labor Code in Spanish, Click Here

Costa Rica Is Moving Forward in the Production of Energy from Clean Resources

Geothermal EnergyMost of the Costa Rican energy comes from hydroelectric plants throughout the country. Only about 3% of the energy produced per year in Costa Rica does not come from clean and renewable resources. Geothermal energy is the second largest type of energy produced in Costa Rica. However, the production of this type of energy is only 12,84%.

In fact, Costa Rica has the capacity to produce 875 MW per year of geothermal energy. However, to date, it is only producing 195 MW – 22% of what it is capable. ICE (Costa Rican Electrical Institute) is expecting this situation to change by year 2024. ICE is expecting to be fully operating 3 more geothermal plants by that year. All of them located in the Guanacaste, Costa Rica. These projects are Borinquen I, Borinquen II and Pailas II. As a matter of fact, this last project started its construction in 2013 and should be in full operation in 2019.

There are some advantages when it comes to geothermal energy. First, there is still a lot of room to grow in this type of energy production in Costa Rica. Second, the generation of geothermal energy is not affected by climatic conditions in the surrounding areas, which becomes a concern with energy produced by water or wind power.

On the negative side, most of the locations where geothermal energy can be produced are located inside Costa Rican national parks, so ICE cannot exploit those areas. There is a new law being discussed at the Legislative Assembly in Costa Rica, but it has been stuck for 2 years and there is no certainty on when it will be approved.

ICE is expecting to be able to cover 20% of the electrical energy needs in Costa Rica with geothermal energy by year 2035.

Together, these three projects will provide the country with an additional 165 MW of clean energy to the country. As we mentioned before, Pailas II will be the first of the three projects to start operating in 2019 and it will provide energy for over 130.000 homes.

As for the other 2 projects, ICE is expecting to be fully operating, one in 2023 and the other in 2024, and provide energy to about 200.000 homes. The total investment for all three projects is going to be about $1.011 million USD; $337 million USD per project.

Of Course, ICE is going to need financing to complete these projects. That’s why the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), ICE and the Treasury Ministry are planning to sign a credit agreement in February of 2017 for an amount of $558 million, with a term of 40 years, and an interest rate of 0,6%. The loan will be divided as follows: $234 million for Borinquen I, $157 million for Borinquen II, and $167 million for Pailas II. The other funds to finance the project will come from ICE’s own resources, the European Investment Bank and the Inter-american Development Bank (BID).

ICE is expecting to have a geothermal energy production capacity of 690 MW per year, once all three plants are fully operating. However, this production capacity will depend on the institution’s capacity of exploiting geothermal energy out of the National Parks.

According to ICE, geothermal energy is the second most affordable energy produced in the country. It also reduces the CO2 emissions in the country. That is another reason why it is important to exploit all the available resources for this type of energy, to help Costa Rica become even more green!

Costa Rica, An Independent Nation Since 1821!

20160915_095936September 15th is the day Costa Rica celebrates its independence! Costa Rica has no army since 1948, and it has been said our army are our students and their training camps are the classrooms. September 15th is the day those armies go out on the street to march for their countries freedom! But it looks a bit different than what marching armies might look like in other places.

Do you want to know how that looks? Well, images tell it better than words sometimes… So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Costa Rican Independence parade!

 

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Elementary Schools marching through the main streets in Liberia

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Hundreds of Costa Rican flags were seen out in the parade!

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Little school girls accompanying their school band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This little ones give it all to represent their school properly!

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The national colors, white, red and blue were everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Girls wearing the traditional Costa Rican dresses, very colorful by the way!

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Don’t think it’s easy to get those skirts to move like that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did we mention Costa Rican flags were everywhere?

 

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Pretty much every band has a different and colorful uniform for this special event.

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Flags, flags, and more flags!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Highschool kids also have their participation in the national party!

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These guys made it all the way from Panama to Guanacaste to celebrate with the Ticos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We can guarantee you will not grow tired of the marching bands!

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We told you there were enough flags, but we forgot to tell you these guys are normally the best students from each school!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some bands take it to the next level!

 

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This young ladies do a fun job with those flags.

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We promise it, every band is different!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Instituto de Guanacaste, historically, one of the best bands in the country!

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Sax! A nice and fun addition to any band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alumni! This celebration of peace and freedom is for everyone!

 

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