How Much Will It Cost You To Hit a Train While Driving in Costa Rica?

As of this Wednesday, there are more severe sanctions meant to reduce crashes at railway crossings. Many people do not know that, according to Traffic Law, you must stop at a train crossing even if there are no needles and even if no train is coming. You always have to stop.

There is a fine of ¢318,000 for drivers who hit the train, ¢215,000 for those who damage needles, traffic lights or sirens at railway crossings, and ¢107,000 for anyone who disrespects the stop sign without hitting the train or blocking its passage.

Additionally, those who hit the train will lose six points on their license, forcing them to take road awareness and reeducation classes before being allowed to renew their license. Those who damage the safety devices will lose four points. Drivers will also have to bear the cost of repairing the damages.

Authorities are working on a more expeditious process for the Costa Rican Railway Institute to collect for damages. These damages often affect the public transport system by taking units out of circulation for months.

Beautiful Photos of the Meteor Shower in Costa Rica

Experienced photographers Rafael Pacheco, Carlos González and Alexander Otárola captured images of the meteor shower that took place between Sunday night and Monday morning.

They set up to capture the rain of stars between the Turrialba and Irazú volcanoes. They started at about 10:30 pm although the peak hours of the meteors was at dawn. They wanted to be prepared.

The meteors originated from the comet Halley and appeared to come from the constellation of Aquarius. The weather held up giving them a clear sky to watch in amazement. No special equipment like binoculars or telescopes was needed to see the meteors.

Eric Sanchez, an instructor at the Planetarium of the University of Costa Rica, was interviewed about the phenomenon. He said that up to 50 meteors per hour were expected. Some of them are seen in the amazing photos taken by the group of photographers.


Foto: Rafael Pacheco

Foto: Rafael Pacheco

Foto: Rafael Pacheco

Pilgrimage to Costa Rica’s Ujarrás Ruins

Faithful pilgrims returned once more to the ruins of Ujarrás yesterday starting at 7am. They started at the church in Paraíso de Cartago and traveled to the historic ruins of Ujarrás.

The caravan full of devout patrons took an 11 kilometer route toward the park with the emblematic ruins. The event was full of songs and prayers. The image was transferred to its old temple, led by the bishop of the diocese of Cartago, Mario Enrique Quirós.

Many people made elaborate altars to adorn the ceremony and show their devotion. One of them was made by the local Public Force. The Police adorned the facade of their headquarters.

The pilgrimage dates back to 1666. Some say that the virgin drove away the pirates who came to invade Cartago while other traditions say that she saved the country from a smallpox epidemic. The pilgrimage was carried out in 1666 and 1690 and became an annual tradition starting in 1920.

What is Costa Rica’s Regulatory Bill for Airbnb, TripAdvisor & Booking.com

Deputies are pushing a bill to regulate hosting services accessed through digital platforms like Airbnb, TripAdvisor and booking.com. There are over 14,000 lodging options available on Airbnb. These include rooms, apartments, houses, chalets, bungalows and more. These non-traditional services should be held to the same rules, regulations and standards as hotels are, for the security of tourists and a level playing field, the deputies believe.

The bill would have owners of short term rentals register in a digital registry to be created by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. They would also have to register with the General Directorate of the Ministry of Finance to issue digital invoices and pay a 13% value added tax that has been established in the Law on Strengthening Public Finances.

The bill also proposes that owners of rentals would have to pay a fee between 10 and 80 percent of the base salary of a clerk of the Judiciary, according to the maximum capacity of guests at the premises.

The bill has been approved in the Economic Affairs Committee of the Legislative Assembly and now goes in the plenary with motions. Changes can still be made before putting it to a vote.

Water Rationing Might Be Necessary in Costa Rica’s Future

The water available in Costa Rica by 2050 will be substantially less than we have now. Residents of the center of the country will lose half of the water available today for human consumption and productive activities. This is due to an expected decrease in rainfall and increase in temperature.

During the dry season, many towns are already dealing with rationing. Some have water cut off for 12 hours at a time from January to June. The areas often hit the hardest are the Greater Metropolitan Area, northern zone, and central Pacific.

The warning comes from a study conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank which used a simulation tool called Hydro-BID. It took into account a 20% decrease in rain and a 1.6 degree Celsius increase by 2050.

The National Drinking Water Policy seeks to mitigate these problems by investing $1,000 million to be used by 2024 for infrastructure that will allow for more efficient use of Costa Rica’s water richness.

Athlete on Crutches Wins Hearts at Costa Rica’s Sol y Arena Race

At the Sol y Arena race, an athlete on crutches, Iván Rodríguez, from Curridabat, won the hearts of the fans. The athlete lost his left leg in malpractice. He practices athletics because it got him out of depression a year and a half ago.

The strenuous activity is 9.8km. He finished in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Rodríguez was surprised to hear the applause of the public at all times. They cheered him on as he fought the loose sand and rising waves hitting his crutches.

“El Nica,” Freddy Medina, was by his side hydrating, motivating and advising him. Rodriguez proved that his determination is stronger than his disability as he crossed the finish line and took his medal.

He now dreams of doing a half marathon in the United States. He has been a guest at races in Panama and Nicaragua. He shares how he wasn’t social before but now he enjoys meeting people and seeing new places.

Guide to Costa Rica Sports Groups & Teams

The guide to athletics teams in Costa Rica has a list of 60 options compiled. Whether you are looking to socialize and learn the basics of running technique or run marathons or mountain races, there’s sure to be an option for you.

Those looking for a team or guide or wanting to switch teams can consult the list to find one in their province and canton. It provides the address, training schedule, name of coach or manager, phone number, and email or Facebook. You can see the guide here:

https://www.nacion.com/blogs/corredores-anonimos/guia-de-equipos-de-atletismo-de-costa-rica-mas/PJ25KFEETBHK5N5OQWIQFWZAGQ/story/

Most teams offer monthly training plans to members. They are created by a professional. Some of the managers are professionals in physical education, human movement sciences, or athletics while others are experienced runners who want to help others.

The plans can be personalized by each member’s capacity and availability. Many of the teams carry out long distance runs on weekends to explore new parts of the country. Some teams also participate in functional training classes, yoga, and nutrition counseling. The monthly cost is typically between ¢12,000 and ¢60,100.

Liposuction Lost Of Life in Costa Rica

A 28-year-old woman, Eileen Bravo Córdoba, lost her life shortly after undergoing liposuction at the Habibi Clinic in Escazú. She suffered a cardiac arrest but overcame it. It happened again and it was not possible to save her.

It seems she had an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis to the anesthesia. The College of Physicians needs a family member to come forward with a complaint in order to start an official investigation and sanction, if appropriate, the surgeon.

The owner of the clinic said that the establishment has all the necessary permits in order. The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating five complaints of malpractice in other aesthetic clinics. A similar case caused the death of another woman undergoing liposuction in November.

The Penal Code punishes culpable injuries with up to one year in prison as well as being disqualified from the profession for up to two years. Culpable homicide is punishable by up to eight years in prison and five years of disqualification.

Investment in Costa Rica’s in Vitro Fertilization Center

The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) has invested $2.3 million into a new in vitro fertilization center known as the High Complexity Reproductive Medicine Unit, which is at the National Hospital of Women.

The investment covers refrigeration chambers, suction pumps for follicular puncture, laminar flow chambers, incubators, gynecological examination beds, ultrasound with probe and a puncture guide.

The center will have everything necessary to diagnose and treat couples and infertile women. It’s one of the most modern centers for reproductive medicine in all of Latin America.

The first treatments will start in June. Aside from in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer will also be carried out. The process to qualify for these services starts at your local Ebais.

An international resolution from 2012 at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights forced Costa Rica to re-establish in vitro fertilization.

ABBA Tribute Band to Play at Oxigeno Costa Rica

Oxigeno, the “human playground,” has announced its first concert. It will feature Arrival, a group that pays tribute to ABBA. It’s been said this is “the closest you’ll come to seeing ABBA in concert.”

Arrival recreates the feeling of ABBA concerts back in the 70s, complete with the fashion of the time. The band has had 40 successful tours through the U.S. and visited 60 countries.

The Swedish band will perform songs such as “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitita,” and other favorites in the venue O1 which holds 2,400 people. The concerts will be on February 22nd and 23rd at 8pm.

Oxygen hopes to bring live shows about every three months. There is a show scheduled for Mother’s Day and another five dates that the Harlem Globetrotters will be there, according to the communication manager for Oxygen.

Tickets are available at www.oxigeno.com.