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Author Archives: Jaime Lopez

Costa Rica Economy Prompts Negative Outlook for ICE Bonds Standard

Source: Pixabay Commons

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad y Subsidiarias’ (Grupo ICE) foreign- and local-currency Issuer Default Ratings (FC/LC IDRs) at ‘BB+’ and its National Scale ratings at ‘AAA(cri)’ and ‘AAA(slv)’. The Rating Outlook remains Negative. A complete list of rating actions follows at the end of this release. Grupo ICE’s ratings are supported by its linkage to the sovereign rating of Costa Rica (FC and LC IDRs ‘BB+’/Outlook Negative), which stems from the company’s government ownership and the implicit and explicit expectation of government support. ICE’s Negative Rating Outlook reflects the sovereign’s Negative Outlook. The company has a strong…

Recent Costa Rica Volcano Eruption Could Form New Caldera (VIDEO) Standard


A powerful mid-afternoon eruption of the Turrialba volcano, currently the most active in Costa Rica, opened new vents in the crater, which suggests that a new caldera could form in the future. According to geologists from the Observatory of Volcanology and Seismology of Costa Rica (Spanish acronym: OVSICORI), the eruption took place at 3:42 pm on a cloudy Friday afternoon as most people prepared to enjoy the three-day holiday weekend. An interesting observation about this latest eruption is that it opened two new vents next to the main crater. The formation of these two vents can be seen in the…

Costa Rica Beach Evacuated After Crocodile Attacks U.S. Surfer Standard

Source: MSP

Officers from Fuerza Publica, the national police force of Costa Rica, evacuated a section of Tamarindo Beach after a visitor from the United States was mutilated by a terrible bite from a large reptile. The incident took place on Monday morning near the estuary of this Costa Rica coastal community, which is very popular among North American and European tourists and expats. The victim was identified as a middle-aged surfer from Arizona. According to a news report filed by Jose Alvarado Brenes of daily tabloid Diario Extra, witnesses were not sure if the reptile was a crocodile or caiman as…

New Tech Services Center in Costa Rica Offers More than 100 Jobs Standard

Source:; Getinge Group

San Jose, July 21st 2016. Getinge Group announced the establishment of its new Shared Services Center (SSC) in Costa Rica. The new office, located in Avenida Escazu, employs 59 associates who provide services to partners and customers in United States and Canada. The services provided are in Finance and Accounting, with the possibility of expanding into other areas such as Human Resources. Getinge Group stated they will grow, in the mid-term, to approximately 140 employees, which demonstrates their commitment to the local operation and their long-term plans in Costa Rica. Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade, mentioned “It is a…

Luxurious British Cruise Ship Sailing to Costa Rica Next Year Standard

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If the Panama Canal is on your bucket list there is no better time to sail than on Saga Sapphire in 2017. The 700-passenger ship will sail through the canal on January 30 and again on February 17 for the return leg of her 66-night Central American Discovery cruise. The grand voyage to Latin America departs on January 11, 2017 and will offer guests the chance to view Mayan ruins, bask in Caribbean sunshine, stay overnight in Havana, Cuba, and board a restored Atlantic Railway train to see wildlife in Costa Rica. Captain Philip Rentell will also steer Saga Sapphire…

U.S. College Students Learn About Biodiversity in Costa Rica Standard

Source: ECSU

In the wee hours of May 22, 13 Eastern biology students and biology professors Patricia Szczys and Matthew Graham trekked to the rainforest of Costa Rica to experience a 12-day trip they had been preparing for since January. The students had spent the spring semester in groups of three and four students each reading scientific literature and preparing research proposals for studies they would conduct in the field while in Costa Rica. During six days in the humid lowland rainforest at Selva Verde, they completed experiments on leaf-cutter ant foraging strategies; predator recognition and avoidance behavior by the strawberry poison-dart…

Son of Immigrant from Costa Rica Speaks at U.S. GOP Convention Standard

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The 2016 United States Republican National Convention (RNC) continues today in Cleveland, Ohio. The speakers participating in the evening program will expand upon the theme: “Make America First Again.” One of the very few Hispanic American faces at the RNC is Senator Ralph Alvarado from the Kentucky Legislature. He has been in service to the people of Senate District 38 since 2015, and his father is from Costa Rica. On Wednesday night, he spoke at the Convention and mention his Costa Rican roots: From the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, the home of horses, bourbon, coal, bluegrass, and the finest people…

Scientists Explain Why Sloths Are So Slothful in Costa Rica Standard


Although most of the terrestrial world is covered in trees, there are precious few vertebrates that make the canopy their home and subsist solely on a diet of leaves. Tree sloths are among the most emblematic tree-dwelling mammals. However, they are best known for their pokey demeanor rather than the fact that they spend the majority of their lives in trees munching leaves. But the slow motion lifestyle of tree sloths, according to a new study, is the direct result of the animal’s adaption to its arboreal niche. “Among vertebrates, this is the rarest of lifestyles,” says Jonathan Pauli, a…

U.S. Arrests Owner of Torrent Website Hosted in Costa Rica Standard

Screenshot of

CHICAGO — Federal authorities in Chicago have charged the alleged owner of today’s most-visited illegal file-sharing website with criminal copyright infringement and have seized domain names associated with the website. ARTEM VAULIN, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, allegedly owns and operates Kickass Torrents, or KAT, a commercial website that since 2008 has enabled users to illegally reproduce and distribute hundreds of millions of copies of copyrighted motion pictures, video games, television programs, musical recordings and other electronic media, collectively valued at more than $1 billion, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. KAT receives more than…

Another U.S. Tourist Infected With Zika Virus in Costa Rica Standard

Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are spread by the Aedes aegyptie mosquito (Wikimedia Commons)

Bismarck, N.D.— The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has confirmed a second case of Zika virus illness reported in a North Dakota resident. The individual who tested positive for Zika virus is a man who traveled to Costa Rica. This case was not hospitalized for his illness. As reported by The Costa Rica Star in February, a tourist from the United States fell ill with the Zika virus after visiting a yoga retreat in Playa Nosara, province of Guanacaste. The announcement was made by Minister of Public Health Fernando Llorca, who mentioned that the United States Centers of Disease…

Scotiabank Costa Rica Receives Major Unsecured Loan Standard


Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. (“Bladex” or “the Bank”; NYSE: BLX) announced the recent closing of a US$125 million, dual tranche (2 years and 3 years), senior unsecured amortizing term loan facility in favor of Scotiabank de Costa Rica S.A. (“Scotiabank Costa Rica”), the second largest privately-owned bank in Costa Rica. Scotiabank Costa Rica is ultimately owned by the Bank of Nova Scotia (“BNS”, ticker symbol: BNS), the third largest Canadian bank by assets. BNS has a large operating presence in the international markets, providing first class financial services to more than twenty-three million customers in over fifty-five countries…

Costa Rica Earns Second Place in Food Technology Competition Standard - Flickr Commons

CHICAGO – 20 July 2016 – Tate & Lyle, a leading global provider of food ingredients and solutions, is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) Developing Solutions for Developing Countries (DSDC) competition, McGill University. “Tate & Lyle is honored to be the new sponsor of this program,” said Sarah Scholl, Bakery Team Lead for Tate & Lyle and one of the judges for the competition. “These students demonstrate true innovation in developing solutions for some of the world’s greatest concerns related to food availability, nutrition and health.” The winners were announced…

Living on a Fixed Income in Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica Standard

A RE/MAX listing in Costa Rica

Could you make it on less than $1,000 per month in Tamarindo Beach, one of the most desirable and upscale real estate markets in Costa Rica? According to a recent article by Jackie Minchillo of International Living, there is a Canadian expat in Tamarindo whose monthly household payments, including rent, are between $400 and $450 per month. Graham Cooper was born in England but moved to Toronto to work as a mechanical engineer. He visited Costa Rica in 2013 and was charmed by Tamarindo Beach; these days, Mr. Cooper is a frugal expat who feels very much at home in…

Costa Rica Represented at Major NY Fashion Accessories Show Standard

Source: Pura Vida Bracelets

BJI, a leading fashion events organizer in New York and Las Vegas featuring marquee properties such as Accessories The Show, FAME, Moda, Stitch, and MRKet, announces a comprehensive August New York Market July 31-August 2, 2016 at The Javits Center in New York City. Among the designers and retailers in attendance, Pura Vida Bracelets stands out from Costa Rica. The history and success of Pura Vida Bracelets has been previously reported on by The Costa Rica Star: When Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman traveled to Costa Rica in 2009 after graduating from San Diego State University, they were just looking…

Mystery of Costa Rica Rail Director’s Resignation Solved Standard


A revolving door cabinet has been an unfortunate staple of the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solis, but the latest departure of a top-level official has shaken Costa Rica in a most unusual manner. For 26 months, Guillermo Santana did a less-than-stellar job as the director of the Rail Institute of Costa Rica. There were a few commuter train crashes, and there was also the dubious hiring of an unqualified consultant, who nonetheless provided useful advice and observations that resulted in the passing of a law to overhaul rail service in Costa Rica. When former Director Santana announced his resignation,…

Defender from Costa Rica Makes the MLS All Star Game Roster Standard

By Noah Salzman - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Major League Soccer’s best is set to take on English club Arsenal FC in the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game as the MLS All-Star Gameday Roster including two Commissioner’s Picks were unveiled today. The standout collection of world-renowned talent, domestic stars and young up-and-comers will represent MLS in the summer showcase at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. on July 28 at 4:30 p.m. PT, live on ESPN, UniMás, UDN, TSN, and RDS. The 26-man Gameday Roster, highlighted by league-leading goal scorer David Villa, 2015 Landon Donovan MVP winner Sebastian Giovinco, and U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey, is…

Smiling, Sex Appeal and Dental Tourism in Costa Rica Standard

Pixabay Commons

For many health travelers who arrive in Costa Rica for the purpose of dental tourism, the ultimate goal is to receive treatments that will restore their smile as well as their sex appeal. At leading dental tourism practices such as the Flikier Institute of Dental Rehabilitation, patients often tell stories about how the state of their dentition prevents them from smiling, a condition that can have profound negative effects on the self esteem and human psyche. In many cases, dental tourists in Costa Rica are concerned that their inability to smile takes away from their overall sex appeal. Can a…

Pokemon GO and Online Porn in Costa Rica Standard

Source: LigaPokemonCR Facebook

Costa Rica is so enthralled with Pokemon GO, the latest mobile app by Nintendo and Niantic, that smartphone users are going online to research the game more so than they are viewing pornography. A few days ago, a news report filed by Cory McNutt of Android Headlines indicated that 4.6 percent of compatible Android devices in Costa Rica had installed Pokemon GO, the highest rate in Latin America. Moreover, national newspaper La Nacion recently reported that Internet searches for the augmented reality game were the second-most queried term in Costa Rica, far above searches for online porn, according to Google…

Expat Allegedly Used Sex Video to Blackmail Woman in Costa Rica Standard

Source: OIJ

On Friday afternoon, agents from the Office of Judicial Investigations (Spanish initials: OIJ) arrested a 31-year old male expat who is alleged to have run a sexual extortion scheme against his lover. The suspect is from Panama and has been residing in Costa Rica for a few years. A couple of years ago, he met a 35-year old woman with whom he established a romantic and sexual relationship with. During their time together as lovers, the couple chose to film some of their most intimate encounters. Sometime after their sex video sessions were recorded with a smartphone, the affair went…

BREAKING: New Venomous Snake Species Discovered in Costa Rica Standard

Source:  EurekAlert and University of Central Florida

An international team of scientists has solved a case of mistaken identity and discovered a new species of venomous snake, according to a recent press release by EurekAlert. The newly discovered Talamancan Palm-Pitviper is a striking green-and-black snake living in some of the most remote regions of Costa Rica. The coloring is a characteristic it shares with its close relative the Black-Speckled Palm-Pitviper. In fact, these two species look so similar that the Talamancan Palm-Pitviper went unrecognized for more than 100 years. It is a case of cryptic speciation, where two species look almost identical, but are genetically different. “It’s…

2016 Olympics: Rio de Janeiro Even More Expensive Than Costa Rica Standard

Wikimedia Commons

By Alba Santandreu The drop in the dollar and higher prices for some services, such as hotels, will make Rio de Janeiro a more expensive city to visit during the Summer Olympics next month, but tourists will find the “Ciudad Maravilhosa” more affordable than during the 2014 World Cup. Visitors arriving in August will find that the Brazilian real is up about 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since the start of the year, when the exchange rate hit 4.00 amid a serious political and economic crisis. Although the exchange rate will be less favorable than a few months ago,…

Home Run! Daryl Strawberry Used to Have Sex Between Innings Standard

Daryl Strawberry, left. By slgckgc - Darryl Strawberry and Jeff Francouer, CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

The national pastime of the United States is getting even more interesting after a spicy radio interview with the legendary and controversial right fielder Daryl Strawberry. According to a recent news report filed by Damon Salvadore of the New York Daily News, Strawberry revealed quite a bit of shenanigans that took place during his time with the New York Mets of the National League. Strawberry sat down to an interview on Mad Dog Sports Radio, a SiriusXM satellite station that subscribers can listen to in Costa Rica via Internet streaming. The occasion of the interview was to warm up sports…

Adorable Puma Cub Rescued by Police Officers in Costa Rica Standard

Source: MSP

A disarmingly cute newborn jaguarundi, sometimes called an eyra cat, was rescued by officers from Fuerza Publica (the national police force of Costa Rica) on Friday afternoon. The rescue took place in Gamalotal, a rural district of Nicoya in the province of Guanacaste. According to an official press released issued by the Ministry of Public Security, the wild kitten was actually found on a dirt road by a local resident, who thought she found a lost domestic kitten. Neighbors who noticed that the found feline had unusually thick paws and an elongated tail notified the regional office of Fuerza Publica….

Travel Channel Will Feature Ultra Luxurious Villa in Costa Rica Standard

Villa Punto de Vista

Villa Punto de Vista, a 10-bedroom luxury private villa situated on 2 1/2 acres of tropical reserve in Costa Rica, will be featured in the upcoming broadcast of Life’s A Beach on Travel Channel. Life’s A Beach focuses on real-life stories of people who left their workaday life to pursue their dream of owning a slice of heaven in a beach paradise. Viewers get an inside look at the fascinating tips and tricks these beachcombers use to create these magical lifestyles. Villa Punto de Vista will be featured on an episode entitled Love At First Sight, airing Sunday, July 17…

New Global eSports Platform Launched from Costa Rica Standard

Breakout Gaming

July 15, 2016 Costa Rica – Breakout Gaming, the online gaming entertainment company offering poker, sports wagering, casino games, fantasy sports and other gaming options from Costa Rica will soon be launching two new platforms powered by the company’s own Breakout Coin. The launch of Breakout PVP and its upcoming ‘Breakout Game Store’ follows the recent launch of its successful online poker games and tournaments site – Breakout Poker. The Breakout PVP platform is the latest eSports website which will be opened for the public today, Friday July 15. Players on Breakout PVP will be invited to participate in player…

Osteoporosis and Dental Implants in Costa Rica Standard

Wikimedia Commons

Dental implants are the most frequently sought procedures by dental tourists in Costa Rica, but not every patient will be a good implantology candidate. Dental tourists who suffer from osteoporosis are generally thought to be at risk with regard to dental implants, but this will not always be the case. Patients evaluated for dental implants by the staff of the Flikier Institute of Dental Rehabilitation, a specialty practice that caters to dental tourists in Costa Rica, can expect to have their medical history will be reviewed and considered by the clinical staff. When a history of, or vulnerability to, osteoporosis…

Despite Robbery, Japanese Midfielder Signs With Costa Rica Club Standard

Instagram photo

Atsushi Yamanaka, a talented play-making midfielder from Japan, recently made professional football history in Costa Rica by signing with Club Sport Uruguay (CSU) of Coronado. Mr. Yamanaka is the first Japanese player to sign with a professional football club in Costa Rica. Previously, Mr. Yamanaka played at the pro level in the Dominican Republic, where he was signed with the San Cristobal FC of the defunct First Division. He was part of the final squad of that club, which would later be renamed as Atletico San Cristobal in the new top-tier league of that Caribbean nation. In 2015, Mr. Yamanaka…

U.S. Tourist Saves Man from Drowning in Costa Rica (VIDEO) Standard

Billy Geno and Christi Carr

A visitor from the United States enjoying his honeymoon in Costa Rica made a daring water rescue to save a man from drowning. According to the Facebook Timeline of the Volusia Surf Lifesaving Association, the rescue took place recently while Billy Geno and Christi Carr, newlyweds from Florida, were celebrating their honeymoon at a beach resort in Costa Rica. A couple of digital videos shared on Facebook show Mr. Geno quickly swimming out to help a man who was having a hard time staying afloat in the surf. It so happens that Mr. Geno is a lifeguard in Volusia County,…

Betting on an NFL Quarterback’s Sobriety Standard

Manziel at Cabo San Lucas. Instagram

In the world of sports betting, wagers are not limited to outright championship titles, game outcomes, spreads, or proposition bets (also known as live betting). Just about any event related to professional sports can be turned into a wager, and this extends to player transfers, draft picks and even the future of athletes as it relates to their lifestyles. Earlier this year, a few sportsbooks that specialize in exotic bets focused on the future of NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. The 23-year old Manziel is currently a free agent after a disastrous rookie season that mostly…

Costa Rica Outsourcing Firm Earns Major Recognition Standard


Auxis, a leading management consulting and outsourcing firm providing both IT and business process services, is pleased to announce that it has been named by IAOP (International Association of Outsourcing Professionals) as a “Top Company” for two categories—Customer References and Overall Revenue As Rising Star. “We are honored by this listing and humbled to be in such great company with other leaders in these sectors,” said Raul Vega, Auxis CEO. “IAOP is a leading, standard-setting global organization that’s well known as an advocate for the outsourcing profession. We are especially proud of the fact we have been honored in the…

Mexico Luxury Hotels Offer Fancy Bottled Water from Costa Rica Standard

Taza Agua

Taza Agua, the world’s only supplier of premium water bottled at the source in the Juan Castro Blanco region in northern Costa Rica specifically for brewing coffee and tea, has officially entered the Mexican hospitality and tourism markets. From its global headquarters and newly built bottling plant in Costa Rica, Taza Agua was recently endorsed by internationally certified coffee judge Kattia Barrantes Zuñiga. “Innovations in coffee making machines have dramatically improved,” says Francini Retana Rodriguez, co-founder of Taza Agua. “The missing link for many hotels and their guests has always been the water—consumers are learning that 98 percent of every…

U.S. and Canadian Expats Operated Scam VoIP Center in Costa Rica Standard

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two U.S. citizens and a Canadian citizen have pleaded guilty for their roles in a $9 million “sweepstakes fraud” scheme to defraud hundreds of U.S. residents, many of them elderly, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose of the Western District of North Carolina. Jeffrey Robert Bonner, 37, of Sacramento, California; Cody Trevor Burgsteiner, 33, of Houston; and Darra Lee Shephard, 57, of Calgary, Alberta, pleaded guilty this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler of the Western District of North Carolina to various counts of conspiracy to…

Police Intercept Shipment of Pink Cocaine Bound for Costa Rica Standard

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Drug interdiction agents in Panama seized a major shipment of pink cocaine that was intended to reach Costa Rica before being repackaged and smuggled to the United States and Europe. According to a news report filed by Manuel Estrada of daily tabloid Diario Extra, the National Police of Colombia worked together with Panamanian law enforcement to arrest Alejandro Arboleda Uribe, a cartel leader who is known as the “Pablo Escobar of designer drugs.” At the time of the arrest, Mr. Arboleda was preparing to send more shipments of pink cocaine to Costa Rica, a nation that in the last few…

Tigo Business Brings Microsoft Cloud OS Network to Costa Rica Standard

Source: Microsoft

Stockholm – July 13th, 2016 – Millicom’s Tigo Business brand and Microsoft today announce a Microsoft Cloud OS Network (COSN) partnership to deliver cloud computing benefits to businesses in the Latam region. The partnership will enable the delivery of innovative applications and cloud services to the business community in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Paraguay. This partnership brings together two brand names who will combine their expertise to deliver a localized suite of products and services such as data services, increased security, local currency payments and account management. Microsoft Azure is a flexible cloud computing…

Keylor Navas Feels More at Ease in Spain than in Costa Rica Standard


Star goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who mostly resides in Spain by virtue of his contract with the stellar Real Madrid football club, recently explained during an interview that he feels less freedom in Costa Rica. Mr. Navas is currently on vacation in his native Costa Rica after recovering from a surgical procedure that was performed shortly after the Real Madrid obtained the UEFA Champions League title in an exciting final match against the Atletico Madrid. At a press conference in Santa Ana, where his fashion model wife Andrea Salas recently opened a luxury spa, Mr. Navas tried not to steal the…

New Mobile App for Booking Ocean Charters in Costa Rica Standard

EZ Waves Google Play

EZ Waves, an online charter booking service for fishing, sailing, kayaking and all other water-based activities, announces its launch today with nearly 500 captains available for bookings in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and Norway. EZ Waves is the only program that streamlines the maritime booking process, providing live scheduling that allows guests to book online directly on captains’ schedules and be on the water in as little as three hours. Captains also benefit from EZ Waves’ simplified process of reserving excursions, handling payments and managing schedules. “Combining my love for the water and passion to teach entrepreneurs…

Imposing Costa Rica Mansion Has Its Very Own Golden Gate Bridge Standard

Villa Paraiso

When captain of industry Mickey Novak decided to sell his business and build his dream vacation home, he approached the project with his signature brand of intense focus. “We knew the kind of life we wanted” Novak explains. “The bigger question was, where did that lifestyle exist.” Having globe-trotted through 86 countries and after eschewing Hawaii, passing on several Caribbean islands (too passé), and ruling out the whole of Europe, Novak’s dream was realized after gazing on the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. His dream is now a reality, and is possibly Central America’s most…

November Rain? Guns N’ Roses May Play Costa Rica Standard

Source: Gun N' Roses

Legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses has officially announced its Latin American reunion tour, and the band’s website lists Costa Rica as its final stop. Guns N’ Roses fans from Costa Rica were excited to find the Chinese-donated National Stadium, located in La Sabana Metropolitan Park, listed for a concert appearance on November 26th, following a few dates in Brazil. It is important to note that although the band may have penciled Costa Rica for a tour date, a national promoter has yet to come forward to announce that it will handle the concert and the tickets. Such announcement will…

New Money Transfer and Remittance Service in Costa Rica Standard

Sharemoney, Omnex Group’s online money transfer service, is expanding services to include money transfers to Costa Rica. Sharemoney has been facilitating money transfers from the United States to countries all over the world for more than 25 years, and this expansion continues the goal of making it easier to send money worldwide.  Sharemoney’s mission is to aid people who live in the United States with transferring money to loved ones around the globe and this expands the options for doing so. Many people living in the United States are immigrants from Costa Rica, and many of these immigrants send money home…

Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica Will Debate at the UN Standard

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12 July 2016 – Continuing a series of ‘firsts’ regarding the selection of the next United Nations Secretary-General, candidates for the world’s top diplomatic post will this evening participate in a globally televised and webcast event in the UN General Assembly Hall, where they will take questions from diplomats and the public at large. Christiana Figueres, the candidate from Costa Rica and leading COP21 figure, is expected to participate after her formal presented before Assembly Hall this week. The event, Leading the United Nations: A Global Townhall with UN Secretary-General candidates, will be held from 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m., New…