Saturday, October 31, 2009
At a sustainable tourism conference, the country's ecotourism organization (CANAECO) and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications signed an agreement that puts in place a system to cover the offsetting of tourists' flights.
Visitors to Costa Rica will not be asked to pick up the costs of the carbon offset for their flights (approx. US$10-$30 per tourists) and offset costs will be raised from those businesses who benefit from a tourist visit to Costa Rica - from international tour operators down to the small lodge housing visitors during their stay, making the ecological effort more affordable.
This is just part of Costa Rica's commitment to become carbon-neutral over all by 2021.
While the tourist receives a carbon-offsetting certificate and the money raised will go to the nation's forestry financing fund (FONAFIFA) to plant what will basically be carbon-absorption forests. Most of the trees to be planted will be indigenous, and will have a 20-year lifespan – at that point, the trees pass their maximum carbon-absorbing ability and will be harvested, with the local farmer receiving the profit.
Full and excellent coverage of this story can be seen at the Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 29, 2009
A tiny pinwheel spins in the desert breeze atop the roof of the Global Research Technologies headquarters in Tucson. For seven months, the pinwheel has endured the blazing Arizona sun, blistering heat, wind, dust, and — finally — torrential rains. At the end of it all, the synthetic resin that makes up this seeming child’s toy has pulled carbon dioxide from the air that flowed through it and, with the rains, released it again. The pinwheel is one of the first demonstrations of a technology that may one day be in great demand this century: devices that can extract from the air some of the billions of tons of heat-trapping CO2 being generated by industrial society. Known loosely as “artificial trees” for their ability to mimic a plant’s own uptake of carbon, such “air capture” technology has been touted as one of the most promising of the many proposed geoengineering schemes that could be used to cool an overheated planet.“If we really do get into a situation where we realize that we’ve changed the atmosphere too much for our own well-being, there are at least ways to back off of that,” argues climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution of Washington at Stanford University, an expert on geoengineering.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Costa Rica has an active Facebook page, covering stories about Costa Rica, Investing in Costa Rica, Land in Costa Rica, Eco, Environment and much more. Our Facebook Page has almost 1,000 followers and you can see it (and become a fan) here.
Costa Rica also is active on Twitter with 2,500 followers and covering a similar range of stories you can follow james on twitter by following @invest_james
Have you any stories you would like us to highlight on facebook or in twitter, just let us know.
The Latin Security Index measures the danger level in Latin America based on a number of factors affecting corporate security and the safety of foreign business executives. These ratings are based on official numbers from public security secretariats, local police, governments, NGO's and institutes of criminal investigations.
Each country receives rating from 1 to 5 with 1 representing a non-dangerous country and 5 representing a very dangerous country.
Full coverage of this story is available in Inside Costa Rica.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Shameless self promotion!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The airline is built on a 100% carbon neutral aviation program. Nature Air, Costa Rica’s national airline, engages passengers in a carbon offset scheme and a commitment for fuel reduction, both on the ground and in the air. They operate 74 daily flights with 8 aircrafts and improved fuel efficiency by 7% by training their crew, reducing aircrafts’ weight and focusing on flight planning. Nature Air has developed Costa Rica’s only bio-diesel fueling station and aims to become climate neutral by 2021, when the country will celebrate 200 years of independence.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Can You Live in Costa Rica on Your Social Security? - Five Facts and Techniques to Help You Decide
Just to see if it could be done, I lived in Costa Rica for five months last year on my Social Security check. And I didn't just get by, I lived very well.
Before I get the to five techniques that will allow you to live in Costa Rica on your Social Security, let me give you a few real-life examples from my experiences.
To start with you don't need a car. You can go anywhere on new modern buses. (The roads are rough, but the buses are nice.) Buses pass most points (even in rural areas) every hour and most of the time every 30 minutes. The fare to anywhere is about one US dollar an hour.
Food is inexpensive IF you buy things that are grown or processed in Costa Rica and this includes about everything. For example Heineken beer and Oreo cookies are cheap, (but don't try to even find fig bars). Beer is cheap, but wine is about the same as in the US because they don't produce wine - at least, not much. A good meal at a restaurant (bar-b-que ribs, or steak and all trimmings) will run you less than $3 and that includes dessert, tax and the tip.
Costa Rica orange juice is about $1 for a half gallon and Florida orange juice is about $7 for half gallon. In other words, watch prices and buy local products. Farmer's markets are a great place to get fresh produce at extremely low prices. For example pineapples are four or five for a dollar depending on the size.
I lived in an almost new (less than a year old) house for three months and the rent was $600 a month for everything - utilities, phone, high speed Internet and cable TV. Then I stayed in a new apartment (I was the first person to live in the apartment) and the same things were furnished. The rent for the new apartment was only $450 a month and again this covered everything.
I think you are beginning to see that it's quite possible to live well in Costa Rica even with a small Social Security check each month.
By the way, medicine and first rate health care are both inexpensive. Many people go to Costa Rica for dental work and cosmetic surgery because the prices are extremely cheap and quality is first rate.
Yes, you can drink the water. Costa Rica is rated as the cleanest country in Central America. I ate and drank in restaurants all over Costa Rica for five months and I never got sick.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for eating in the US. The first night after I arrived I got sick as a dog (from food I had eaten in the Ft. Lauderdale airport). I know this was the case because I had not had anything to eat or drink in Costa Rica before I got sick.
Since I was so sick that night, at 9:00 p.m. friends took me into town to see the local pharmacist. He lived behind the pharmacy and he came in from his home, checked me over and gave me some medicine and gave me a shot (yes, pharmacists can prescribe medicine and give shots in Costa Rica).
He also gave me his home phone number and his cell phone number and told me to call him if I needed him during the night. I was well the next morning and never got sick again for the next five months I was in Costa Rica.
So yes, you can live in Costa Rica on a small monthly Social Security check. And you will not be just surviving, you can live very well.
Here are the five techniques that will help you to live in Costa Rica on your Social Security check.
#1. Rent a small apartment -- $400 to $500 a month. (Remember, this includes everything - electricity, Internet, Cable TV, phone, water, etc.)
#2. Buy locally produced food and get a lot of it from one of the many farmer's markets. $100 a month per person is easy to do.
#3. Yes, you can eat out some. Just don't over do it.
#4. Travel by bus.
#5. One last point -- Check out Spirit Airlines' $9 club. They have $9 fares (each way) from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Costa Rica almost every month. Just be flexible with your travel dates.
This covers the basics and for many Social Security budgets this will leave a reasonable amount for extra things you want to buy, see and do.
Will these techniques allow you to live in Costa Rica on your Social Security check?
The answer depends on the size of your Social Security check and your definition of "living" verses "existing."
Jerry Minchey is an engineer, author and researcher. He cuts through the hype and gets down to the bare facts to reveal secrets that are easy to understand using non-technical terms. He has written several books and produced DVDs as a results of his research.
To see what people are saying who have moved to Costa Rica (or are considering moving), check out the Costa Rica Forum.
To see examples of new apartments you can rent for $450 a month (completely furnished with utilities, phone, cable TV and high speed wireless Internet included), take a look at some Costa Rica Apartments.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jerry_Minchey
Monday, October 12, 2009
Festivals are a vital part of any culture, and provide insight to the country you are visiting as few other activities will. This guide to Costa Rica festivals will guide you if you wish to plan your visit around festivals in Costa Rica or if you wish to know if there’s a festival going on while you’re here. From the Fiestas de Palmares in Costa Rica to the Limon Carnival and many Costa Rica fiestas in between, take advantage and view the cultural festivities of Costa Rica throughout the year. Festivals comprise a wide range of activities that fall under that one name. From religious celebrations for Catholic Saints, carnivals, topes and fiestas to artistic and musical international events, there’s plenty to be excited about.
January is the month for the Palmares fiestas for the first two weeks of the year. Dancing, concerts, carnival, tope (horse parade), music and tico style bull-fighting. Tico style bull fighting doesn’t injure the animal: what it consists of is a bunch of daredevil ticos attempting to touch the bull as it runs around the ring, armed with nothing but the clothes on their back and a bandanna. The Fiestas de Alajuelita are also in January, the week of January 15th. An ox-cart parade to honor the “Santo Cristo de Esquipulas”, a turno (food, arcade games and music) with a religious procession to the top of the mountain, where the big metallic Alajuelita cross shines above San Jose. This patron saint is also honored in Santa Cruz of Guanacaste with bull fights, dances and marimba music. The Copa del Café is an international tennis tournament for players under 18 years of age, and takes place for a week of this month.February is known for the Fiesta de los Diablitos in the indigenous village of Boruca in Rey Curre. This festival revolves around a dance dating back to the conquest of Spaniards to America, and you’ll be able to participate in this tribal dance which reconstructs the struggle between the indigenous tribes (the diablitos, or devils) and the Spaniards, represented by a bull. San Isidro del General also hosts its festivities with cattle shows, bullfights and flower expositions. The last week is for the Puntarenas Carnivals: music, dances, games, food and more under the sunny Puntarenas sky.
March and April are varied as well. March is for the Oxcart parade. The second Sunday in March in San Antonio de Escazu you’ll see colorful handpainted oxcarts roll out on the street. This artistic world patrimony is honored with blessings by the parish priests over the competitions, the oxcarts and the produce they help carry. San Jose is also celebrated on March 19th, and in smaller locations with the same name. Orchid expositions and the Ujarras procession to the oldest church in Costa Rica are also highlights of this month. Easter or Holy week takes place in either of these months, and most Ticos will flock to the beaches and parks, celebrating the holidays. Processions throughout the country and most of the businesses and stores close on Thursday and Friday. Juan Santamaría day is on April 11th. He is a national hero used to showcase the power of the humble Costa Rican peasant against the imperialist power, represented by a young boy who dared to burn down the house where Filibuster William Walker was hiding. Parades throughout the city with student bands and music.
May June and July have calmer celebrations such as the Día del Trabajo or work day on May 1st. If you are in Limón, cricket games, domino and dances will entertain you. On May 15th San Isidro Labrador is celebrated with blessings over fields, animals and harvests. The San Juan race takes place on May 17th, a 22.5 Km marathon. July heats up with the celebration for the Virgin of the Ocean, (Virgen del Mar) on the Saturday closest to the 16th. Decorated boats and dingies flock the gulf of Nicoya in this colorful celebration. July 25th is for the Anexion de Nicoya day, when Nicoya, an independent land, decided to join itself to Costa Rica. In Alajuela, enjoy the delicious Mango at the mango festival.
August is the month for Santo Domingo de Heredia, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Costa Rica, dating back to the colony. August 2nd is the day of the Patron Saint of Costa Rica with a religious pilgrimage to the Cartago Basilica. San Ramon day takes place on August 30th with parades from many different towns towards San Ramon, where images of 30 different saints from different locations will meet. September is the Independence day for Costa Rica and several other countries in Central America. A torch is brought running from Nicaragua by school children in relays, arriving at 6 pm, time when all ticos stop and sing the National Anthem, representing the arrival of the news of Independence. The night before there is a light parade by schoolchildren holding lanterns and singing songs.
October and November, is when Costa Rica is at its rainiest, but the Caribbean Coast has its mini dry season, so the Limon Carnivals take place on October 12th. Corn festivals in Upala and Tres Rios de la Union also take place on this auspicious date. November 2nd is all saints day, mandatory visit to cementeries all around the country, and the International Arts Festival starts in San Jose with street theatre, dance, music and many cultural activities for all ages. December is the Fiesta de los Negritos on the week of December 8th. In the indigenous village of Boruca, an ancient ritual is combined with honors to the virgin of the Immaculate Conception with music, inspiring costumes and dances. On December 25th, the Zapote fiestas begin and mark the end of the year with amusement park rides, food, drinks and Costa Rican bullfights, as well as the Tope, the Carnival and much more. Enjoy Costa Rica through its festivals, and learn about culture in a fun and entertaining way.
Carnaval in Limón Limón’s pleasant Caribbean-ramshackle appearance will be tranformed this October when the essence of the province’s unique culture is boiled down into ten days of history, culture and celebration during Costa Rica’s largest Carnaval. Limón’s pleasant Caribbean-ramshackle appearance will be tranformed this October when the essence of the province’s unique culture is boiled down into ten days of history, culture and celebration during Costa Rica’s largest Carnaval. During Carnaval, throngs of revelers mix with the curious and line the streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of brightly attired comparsas, which are colorful, coordinated dance troupes specializing in Brazilian samba and other tropical rhythms. The penetrating percussive rhythms and daring dances are all Limón: colorful, sultry, flamboyant. The late Alfred King first brought Carnaval to Costa Rica in 1949, starting with a couple of friends and a common idea. The celebration became a symbol of unity in Costa Rica, where relations were at times strained between the mainly black peoples of Limón and the chiefly Spanish descendants in San José. Today, King’s small celebration has become one of Central America’s most recognized civic parties. While most Latin American countries celebrate October 12 as Columbus Day or Day of America’s Discovery, Costa Rica celebrates not Europe’s arrival in the New World but rather “Day of the Cultures.” The Tico version of the holiday recognizes the contributions of the many different peoples who have contributed to Costa Rica’s varied culture today.
What is it: Limón’s Carnaval in celebration of Culture Day When: Friday, October 7th through Sunday, October 16th How to get there: From San José, take Highway 32 towards Limón. Carnaval takes place throughout downtown. If you go: Make reservations at hotels near Limón, Cahuita, or Puerto Viejo early and be ready to join the party.
Carnivals, parades and festivals Calendar
Palmares Civic Fiestas - first two weeks of January
Folk dances, carnival, music, rides, and bullfighting.
Alajuelita Fiestas - week of January 15
Honors the Black Christ of Esquipulas, Alajuelita's Patron Saint, with ox-cart parade, procession to huge iron cross on the mountain and more.
Santa Cruz Fiestas - week of January 15
Folk dancing, marimbas and bullfighting.
Copa del Cafe - Middle of January
Week-long tennis tournament held at the Costa Rican Country Club (San Jose) - international participants are under age 18.
San Isidro del General Fiestas - First week of February
Cattle Exhibit, agricultural and industrial fairs, bullfights and flower exhibition.
Fiesta of the Diablitos - late February.
South of San Isidro del General in Boruca Indian Village of Rey Curre, it's a recreation of the fight between Indians (diablitos) and the Spanish (a bull), where colorful wooden masks and costumes create the scene, dances, fireworks. Sale of crafts and the Fair of National and Imported Products.
Puntarenas Carnival - Last week of February
Week-long fun in the sun.
San Jose -
Cattle Show with bullfights, rodeo and horse races.
Escazu - Dia de los Boyeros (Oxcart Driver's Day)- Second Sunday of March
In San Antonio de Escazu, don't miss the colorful parade of oxcarts, competitions and the blessing of the animals and crops by local priests.
Bring your camera.
National Orchid Show - Mid-March.
over 500 local and foreign species and hybrids are on display.
Saint Joseph's (San Jose) Day - March 19
Religious celebration in all the neighborhoods with that name, with fairs and special Masses.
Ujarras - Middle of march
A religious procession from Cartago to ruins of first church in Costa Rica.
Holy Week - March or April
Huge processions in all parts of country during Easter week. San Jose virtually shuts down Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
Juan Santamaría Day - April 11
Commemorates Costa Rica's national hero, the barefoot soldier who gave his life in the battle against William Walker's troops in 1856. Week-long celebrations with marching bands, parades, concerts, and dances.
Labor Day - May 1
marches, President gives annual "state of the union" address to Congress, election of Congressmen.
Puerto Limon - May 1
picnics, dances, crickets matches and dominoes.
Escazu - San Isidro Labrador's Day - May 15
In San Isidro all over the country, celebrations honor the Patron Saint of farmers and farm animals with blessings of animals and crops, parades and fairs.
Carrera de San Juan - May 17
San Juan Day, the biggest marathon of year, with runners covering tough 22.5 km. course.
Corpus Christi Day - May 29
Saints Peter & Paul Day - June 29
Puntarenas - Virgin of The Sea - Saturday closest to July 16
Celebrations include colorful regatta of decorated fishing boats and yachts in the Nicoya golf, carrying Puntarenas' Patron Saint, La Virgen del Monte Carmelo. Special Masses, parades, concerts dances, sports events, fireworks.
Guanacaste Day - July 25
Celebrates the annexation of the "Partido de Nicoya" in 1824, known today as the province of Guanacaste, with fiestas, folk dances, topes, cattle shows, bullfights, and concerts.
Alajuela - Los Mangos Festival, parades, music, craft fairs.
Cartago - Virgin of Los Angeles - August 2
Honors Costa Rica's Patron Saint , "La Negrita" with nationwide pilgrimage and religious processions to the Basilica in Cartago.
San Ramon - San Ramon Day - August 30
A religious procession of 30 Saints from neighboring towns come to visit the Patron Saint, who lives in the town of the same name - San Ramon goes dancing through the streets, and locals love the parades and fun.
Costa Rica's Independence Day (and the rest of Central America's) - Sept. 15
The Freedom Torch is brought from Nicaragua by student relay runners the day before, arriving in Cartago with Costa Rican relay teams at 6 p.m. on the 15th,
when everyone country-wide stops what they're doing and sings the National Anthem. Kids in every town have "lantern parades" where they carry their home-made "faroles". Parades, marching bands, parties, and celebrations.
San Isidro del General - October 9
Celebrates anniversary of San Isidro's founding.
Puerto Limon - Limon Carnival - October 12
Columbus Day is celebrated in style in the port city with week-long street dances, parades, concerts - it's "Mardi Gras" to a Caribbean beat.
Corn Festival, Corn Queen contest.
Virgen del Pilar's Day - Oct. 12
Fair in Tres Rios celebrating their Patron Saint with parade and costumes made entirely of corn husks, grain, and silks.
All Souls day - Nov 2
Day of the dead is observed with family visits to cemeteries to put flowers on loved ones' graves.
Coffee picking contest, music and dancing
International Arts Festival, plays, street theater and other entertainment.
Fiesta de los Negritos - week of Dec. 8
Held in the Indian village of Boruca, and ancient Indian ritual is combined with honoring the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception - extravagant costumes, music of drum and flute, dance.
Immaculate Conception - Dec 8
Fiesta de la Yeguita (Little Mare)- Dec 12
Processions, bullfights, fireworks, concerts.
Zapote (San Jose)
Festejos Populares (Year-end Festivals) - Dec 25-31
The fairground is transformed into amusement park with tons of rides and food, bullfights, fireworks.
Tope - Dec. 26
The horse parade to end all horse parades is held downtown San Jose.
Carnival - Dec 27
Nationwide Christmas Celebrations - Begin early in December
With homes and businesses putting up "Portales" (Nativity Scenes) which are always unique. Competition for best Portal runs through Dec. 22. Season's foods include coconut "melcochas" (candy), "chicha" (heady brew from corn), tamales, "rompope" (egg-nog), imported apples and grapes. Las Posadas begin December 15 - carolers go from house to house and are treated to refreshments. At midnight Dec 24, Catholic Churches celebrate the Misa de Gallo (literally, Mass of the Rooster).
Thank you to Adventure Costa Rica, specialising in Costa Rican Vacation Packages for this excellent article. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Taken in whole, all these benefits add up to more available cash for investment. Offshore venture capitalists register trademarks in Costa Rica. This gives them the legal right to make franchise or license agreements utilizing the rights world wide. Income earned from these arrangements accumulates in offshore companies where the tax structure allows for low, if any taxation. Any patent, copyright (intellectual property including computer software and technical knowledge) or trademark can be assigned to or owned by an offshore corporation. Another creative use for offshore companies in Costa Rica is the trading of goods. By buying at low cost from one country, an offshore company in Costa Rica can resell the goods at a higher price. The tax free profits are deposited into offshore companies in Costa Rica.
Real estate holdings offshore companies are useful to avoid local inheritance taxes and to eliminate capital gains tax. Real estate holdings offshore companies in Costa Rica neutralize succession laws in force in countries where law dictates heirship.
Obviously, offshore companies in Costa Rica are a very complex, intricate subject. Most of us are not sophisticated enough to venture into this arena without benefit of a tax lawyer in Costa Rica to help us effectively and legally make use of Costa Rican offshore companies.
It is interesting to note that many of the websites found when searching for tax lawyers in Costa Rica, are actually based in the US. The US tax structure has resulted in large amounts of Americans utilizing the tax structure of Costa Rica and taking advantage of the benefits of incorporation and offshore incorporation in Costa Rica. Face it, it is much more profitable to deal in offshore investments in Costa Rica than to have capital gain and inheritance tax on top of income tax as in the US.
One purpose of the tax lawyer in Costa Rica is to help set up offshore trusts, corporations and individual accounts. Other responsibilities of the tax lawyer in Costa Rica are to set up and help implement strategies both short and long term and to pursue every legal avenue available to exploit tax savings.
You cannot effectively operate with offshore companies in Costa Rica with out a tax lawyer in Costa Rica to guide you every step of the way. Without benefit of a tax lawyer in Costs Rica, chances of avoiding tax trouble are slim.
Author: Thank you to costaricalawyer.com for this interesting and informative article