Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lost sea lion reaches Costa Rica

Dominical's police is currently guarding the sea lion until it decides to continue its trip to Ecuador's Galapagos Island(Photo by Alfonso Quesada/La Nacion)By Alfonso Quesada
La Nacion

A young sea lion, of about 30 kilograms (66 pounds), was found on Monday by some tourists at Dominicalito beach in Osa, Guanancaste.

Alvaro Corrales, a biologist, said that most likely the sea lion reached our country by mistake as it probably got lost at sea when a current took it off its path.

Probably the sea lion's destination was Ecuador's Galapagos Island, a place where they are commonly found, however apparently a current took it to Costa rica's Venado Island, a location where it was spotted four days ago.

Several fishermen who were guarding the sea lion said that so far it has been swimming near the shore and afterward it comes out of the water and lays on the rocks for several hours.

"It has already been examined by two veterinarians and apparently the animal is healthy, however it is being affected by the hot weather and fatigue," said Corrales.

Corrales added that is very likely that once the animal regains some energy it will continue its way and try to meet its herd.

Currently the sea lion is being protected by the police of Dominical since no institution or wild life organization has showed any interesting in protecting the animal while it stays in Costa Rica.

To see more photos of the sea lion go to La nacion's facebook page here.

Article translated by Uri Ridelman

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chinchilla is favourite to succeed Arias in Costa Rica

Laura Chinchilla could become the next president of Costa Rica, according to a poll by CID-Gallup. Forty five per cent of respondents would vote for the former vice-president and member of the governing National Liberation Party (PLN) in the 2010 election, up two points since August.

Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement (ML) is a distant second with 19 per cent, followed by former economy minister Otton Solis of the Citizens Action Party (PAC) with 13 per cent. Support is lower for Luis Fishman of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUCS), Rolando Araya of Patriotic Alliance (AP), and Oscar Lopez of the Accessibility Without Exclusion Party (PASE).

The next presidential election in Costa Rica is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Death toll of A/H1N1 flu rises to 47 in Costa Rica

REUTERS/Mark Boster/Pool/FilesSan Jose, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) - The Costa Rican Health Ministry announced here on Friday that A/H1N1 flu death toll in the country had reached 47, while the number of the flu infected patients rose to about 1,500.

Costa Rican Health Minister Luisa Avila, in an interview with Xinhua, also said that the Costa Rican government has established a special commission to review the records of the dead who had the symptoms of the disease.

Avila said 69 death cases have been analyzed, nine deaths were ruled out by lab tests, 13 were associated with other conditions, while 47 were confirmed positive for A/H1N1 flu, six more than the last report.

The minister also said as no more cases pending for review, the death toll of A/H1N1 flu will stand at 47 by the end of 2009.

She said the health authorities expect the second wave of the pandemic will hit the country between next January and February, but with weakened impact compared with the first one.

Costa Rica has requested for a total of 1.8 million vaccines, 200,000 of which will arrive during the first week of January and 400,000 in the following week.

Avila said pregnant women and people with diabetes, hypertension and asthma will be given priority in vaccination, adding that the vaccines will be available only at the public health centers.

Costa Rica is capable of tackling the A/H1N1 flu like a developed country. "We have good hospitals, specialists and our citizens are educated," she said.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sensient Technologies Corp. opens new Costa Rica facility

Milwaukee, Wis. (Business Wire) - Sensient Technologies Corporation has opened a new state-of-the-art facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The new flavors center in Costa Rica will serve as the base of Central American and Caribbean operations. This facility includes laboratories for beverage and dairy applications and savory flavors staffed by product application teams, and a quality control laboratory. The site will also develop products for local markets by blending flavors to fit local tastes.

A Sensient business office and a culinary center for flavorists have also been opened at this site. Sales personnel and flavor technologists will be on site to service customers manufacturing beverages, savory foods, dairy products and sweets and snacks.

Kenneth P. Manning, Chairman and CEO of Sensient Technologies Corporation, said, “This new location reinforces our commitment to service local markets by expanding geographically. We will continue to grow in order to broaden our capabilities in providing innovative and customized technical solutions to our customers.”

Sensient now has over 70 locations that provide specialized flavor and color applications tailored for local markets in 30 countries, selling to more than 150 nations.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Canada's Governor General visits Costa Rica

Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean (C) and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond (rear, obscured) greet children as Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias (L) looks on during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential house in San Jose December 14, 2009. Jean is on a four-day official visit to Costa Rica. (Photo by: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Costa Rica latest stop for Mexican drug gangs

San Jose, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Mexican drug gangs are increasingly using Costa Rica as a pick-up point for South American cocaine headed north and the problem is likely to get worse, President Oscar Arias said on Monday.

Costa Rican police have seized close to 93 tonnes of cocaine between 2006 and 2009, nearly twice the amount the Central American country captured in the previous decade, according to Interior Ministry data.

"We are punished by our geography," Arias said, citing the growing trafficking activity as a major public security issue.

"I believe the United States has to make a much bigger effort to spend more in cutting down on (cocaine) consumption," he told a news conference.

Costa Rica sits halfway between the cocaine-producing Andes and Mexico, whose powerful cartels earn some $40 billion a year smuggling the drug to the United States and other developed countries.

Traffickers traditionally moved cocaine through Central America by plane or boat. They now are well implanted in Guatemala and also are using storage bases in Costa Rica, a nation long known as a haven of stability in a region blighted by street gangs and poverty.

"They're storing it here," said Public Security Minister Janina del Vecchio. "Now, they don't even have intermediaries but instead have Colombians here who leave the drug and the Mexican (cartels) pick it up."

Mexico is in the grip of a brutal escalation in drug gang violence that has killed more than 16,000 people since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led drug war at the end of 2006.

The crackdown is one of the reasons driving traffickers into Central America as they haul in cocaine from Colombia and rival producers such as Peru and Bolivia.

Costa Rica's economy depends heavily on tourism dollars from visitors drawn to its virgin forests and surfing beaches.

(Editing by Catherine Bremer and Bill Trott)

Friday, December 11, 2009

State Funeral service for Carazo held yesterday

The coffin containing the body of former Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Carazo sits at the Metropolitan Cathedral during a state funeral service in San Jose, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. Carazo, who served as president of Costa Rica from 1978 to 1982, died Wednesday at the age of 82, Costa Rica's Social Security Department said. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo Odio dies at 82

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - Former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo Odio has died of complications from open-heart surgery.

Costa Rica's Social Security Department said in a statement that the 82-year-old former leader died Wednesday following surgery for a coronary obstruction.

The charismatic Carazo Odio governed Costa Rica from 1978 to 1982.

He was viewed as a supporter of the Sandinista revolution that toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza in neighboring Nicaragua in 1979. He opposed a free trade agreement with the United States approved in 2007.

But he also broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1981, ties that were not revived until last March.

Carazo Odio is survived by his wife, Estrella Zeledon Lizano, and four children.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Former Costa Rican vice president named to UN aid agency post

(NZPA) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of former Costa Rican vice-president Rebeca Grynspan to help former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark run the United Nations aid agency.

Ms Grynspan has been named under-secretary-general and associate administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which she has served since March 2006 as regional director of the agency's office for Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN said in a statement.

She will assist Miss Clark, the UNDP administrator in overseeing the agency's programmes, as well as fulfilling other leadership responsibilities.

She succeeds Ad Melkert, of the Netherlands, who has been appointed as the secretary-general's special representative for Iraq and head of the UN mission in that country (UNAMI).

Ms Grynspan won election to vice-president of Costa Rica, serving one term from 1994 to 1998, after holding ministerial positions in the Central American nation's government for eight years

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Chinchilla still first in Costa Rica

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Former vice-president Laura Chinchilla remains ahead of her rivals in Costa Rica’s presidential race, according to a poll by Unimer published in La Nacion. 43 per cent of respondents would support the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate in next year’s ballot.

Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement (ML) is second with 30 per cent, followed by former economy minister Otton Solis of the Citizens Action Party (PAC) with 16 per cent, and Luis Fishman of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUCS) with six per cent.

On Nov. 29, Chinchilla announced her intention to establish a Family Ministry if elected, adding, "We will not support any law that favours abortion, because endangering life is not the answer."

The next presidential election in Costa Rica is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2010.

Friday, December 04, 2009

MGS Peace Walker takes place in 1974's Costa Rica; coming to North America in May 2010

by Uri Ridelman

Konami Digital Entertainment announced that May 25th, 2010 is the official street date for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, on the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system in North America.

In the game the players take control of the famed Naked Snake to battles mercenaries in the Costa Rica of 1974.

Developed and directed by legendary Hideo Kojima - this latest PSP system installment picks up where Metal Gear Solid 3 for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system leaves off.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker features original game design, story and scenario by Kojima and is scheduled to launch in March 2010 in Japan. The game takes the series in an exciting new direction with its incredible visuals and its unique new game system designed specifically with the PSP in mind.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is being developed exclusively for the PSP system

(Content from Konami's press release was used in this article)

Note: I have seen the demo trailer for this game and it looks amazing. It definitely will be a must-buy for PSP owners and Metal Gear Solid fans all around the world. Having said that, I have to say that the Costa Rica depicted in the video game is nothing like the Costa Rica of those years, and the story of the game will simply make no sense to us Ticos. At least they do mention that Costa Rica doesn't have an army because it was "abolished as a permanent institution". Nonetheless, this will be a great game, so just make sure you grab it as soon as it hits the market.

Uri R.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Childrens' Hospital tree lit up

People attend the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Children's Hospital in San Jose December 3, 2009. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Children's Museum lights up for Christmas season

Fireworks explode during illumination of Christmas lighting for the Children's Museum in San Jose December 1, 2009. More than five thousand lights illuminate the museum during the Christmas season. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

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