Will A New ATV License Law Hinder Off-Road Tours?

Costa Rica News – Canatur is very clear about on which side of the debate to be.

They are all for allowing the handling of motorcycles and ATVs by those with a B1 license, that is the license for a normal size car.

The traffic law currently allows it but changes to this law are being considered.

Many in the government believe that the law should be changed, insisting that the initiative to modify it is for the objective of improving road safety and saving lives.

On one hand, changing the law would severely hinder many tour companies that rent out ATVs to tourists to travel on mountain roads.

On the other hand, most accidents that occur in Costa Rica (80%) involve motorcycles so there is something to be said for the lack of training needed to ride one. No one has to do a driving test to ensure he knows how to operate a motorcycle.

A second debate and the final vote will be held soon.

NASA, Costa Rica & The Global Impact Challenge

Costa Rica News – Two Ticos are about to polish their new projects with some help at the NASA headquarters.

Both of them were living abroad but thinking of how to better their country. Their ideas won them the Global Impact Challenge.

This competition is of innovative projects that seek to solve global problems using technology. The winners will attend a 10-week training at the Ames Research Center, NASA’s research center in California.

Marical Saenz proposed a platform to monitor boats engaged in illegal activities such as illegal fishing, human trafficking and drug trafficking. It would get satellite images and notify the coast guard.

Arnoldo Muller made an app that motivates shared and safe transport. It will reduce vehicle traffic as well as promote social contact.

72 people from the region were nominated, most from Costa Rica.

The rest of 10 finalists will visit other technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Costa Rica Detains Somali with Alleged Terrorism Links

Costa Rica News – Costa Rica detained a Somali citizen suspected of “international terrorism” after he entered the Central American country from neighboring Panama, Costa Rica’s security ministry said on Thursday.

photo provided by the Ministry of Public Security. Costa Rica

U.S. authorities “confirmed that the person is allegedly linked to international terrorist organizations and sought his immediate detention to begin investigating the case,” the ministry said in a statement.

Costa Rican authorities identified the suspect as a 25-year-old with the last names Ibrahim Qoordheen, who entered the country on Monday through the border town of Paso Canoas, 358 kilometers (222 miles) south of the capital.

After consulting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Costa Rican officials on Wednesday arrested the individual, who had been transferred to a migrant shelter.

He is currently in police custody in the capital city of San Jose awaiting interrogation by ICE officials who are currently in Panama and while his immigration status is being defined, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Enrique Andres Pretel; Editing by Alden Bentley, Bernard Orr)

From Reuters,com

San Jose, Costa Rica Makes Top 20 Emerging Cities

Costa Rica News – San Jose made the list of the top 20 most important emerging cities of the whole world.

They are not listed in any particular order or rank. A total of 50 cities were considered for the list.

The most developed global cities within emerging markets were examined in a new strategic report titled Cities of the Future: champions within emerging markets, which was presented in August.

Costa Rica’s capital city stood out in aspects like a modern lifestyle, use of Internet, and high demand for quality products. Other aspects in consideration included telecommunications and travel systems as well as education.

Some other Latin American cities on the list include Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and São Paulo.

Despite being in underdeveloped regions, these 17 cities are characterized by elements of developed markets. Kuala Lumpur, Budapest, Warsaw, San Jose, Santiago, Dubai and Shanghai are cost-attractive options with great talent pools and quality of business.

Costa Rica Placing Regulations on Tuna Fishing

Costa Rica News – Costa Rica is to charge fishermen more because of the exploitation of the tuna market, which is valued at $50 million.

The new regulations are part of a decree that the Government presented after a 10-day public consultation.

The delivery of authorizations to fishing vessels used to be based simply on how much product the boat could hold. Now, the license cost will take into consideration the volume to be exploited and market situation (volume and prices).

The new cost has not yet been announced but it will rise to meet the reality of the market, in which the value of the product is worth much more than would be expected for such a low cost license.

The new model seeks also to guarantee the supply of raw material for the national industry, guaranteeing productive activity and competitive conditions.

It will do this by tying the license to a certain amount of tuna that can be caught, limiting the quantity fished for.

Google Street View & The Beauty of Costa Rica’s Coco Island

Costa Rica News – Google Street View has captured the beauty of Costa Rica’s Isla del Coco with cameras.

Alonso Tenorio

Google is now on the island capturing images from this scenic natural beauty as part of Street View’s arrival to the country.

The famous service is a built in feature in Google Maps, Google Maps for mobile and Google Earth in many countries.

It allows users to explore the world through 360 degree images on the street as if the person himself were walking.

The program recently, in August of 2016, got permitted for operations in Costa Rica. It is seeking to display natural sites as well as historical monuments, universities and more.

There is not yet a set date to release the images being captured.

The mechanism for taking the images is done with cars, bikes and even people carrying backpacks, depending on the terrain. Faces and license plates will be blurred.

Costa Rica’s Airline Fuel Tax Exemption

Costa Rica News – This is probably one of the biggest factors that allow airlines offering flights to Costa Rica to be able to keep their fares low. 

Costa Rica’s public and private tourism sectors agree that to attract airlines and travelers to the country it is essential to have an exemption of the fuel tax.

This is absolutely necessary to remain competitive.

The country exonerated ¢128,501 million of the fuel tax on passenger and cargo airlines in the last five years, according to the Ministry of Finance. That’s equivalent to $226 million, at the current exchange rate.

According to the Deputy Minister of Revenue, in 2016 the exemption reached ¢30,182 million.

The annual exonerated amount grew by 27% from 2011 to last year, in nominal terms. 67 airlines receive the exemption.

Panama does not tax fuel consumption. Nicaragua gives a specific exemption. El Salvador exempts it. Guatemala remains competitive in another way, participating in international conventions.

Not Many Costa Rica Motorcycle Riders Have a License

Costa Rica News – Almost a third of Costa Rican households have a motorcycle.

There are 310,000 motorcyclists circulating the streets of the country. 53% of the motorcyclists ride without the type A license to do so.

These results come to us from the 2016 News Survey, conducted by the School of Statistics at the University of Costa Rica.

They found that 18.7% of the population uses a motorcycle and over half of them admitted not having a license.

The study was done from 1,059 face-to-face interviews with Costa Ricans over age 18. 29.6% of Costa Rican households have at least one motorcycle. The majority are from rural areas (44.3%) and almost a third (31.8%) comes from a low socioeconomic level.

The law allows drivers to use motorcycles on secondary roads with the B1 (auto) license.

Transit police confiscated 847 bikes and 1,789 plates in January of this year. 62% of motorcyclists admitted to disregarding speed limits.

The Tico Elvis Will be Performing This Wednesday

Costa Rica Entertainment – Tico Elvis is the persona that Mauricio Herrera takes on.

He has lived in Los Angeles, US, for 13 years and built his career there. He is often on tour in California, Vegas, Hawaii and Mexico but plans to spend this year in Costa Rica.

His concerts set the stage for romance with dim lights and roses. All you need to add is a glass of wine and you will feel you are falling in love once again because of the atmosphere he proposes.

He is to perform at the Jazz Cafe bar in Escazu on Wednesday the 15th at 8 pm. The cost is just ¢4,000. The show will be varied with live music, a screening, dancers and a stand-up comedy act.

The projection is full of material from his international tours. The live music will include songs by Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Nino Bravo, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony, among others.

The artist will soon release his first single to national radios.

How Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Destroying Lives

Costa Rica News – I sat there at the Houston Hobby Airport waiting at the door for international arrivals. It had been since Christmas that I had seen my fiance and she had finally received her tourist visa to meet my father who is currently dying, experiencing the slow decline that dementia causes. After being granted a tourist visa by the US Embassy in Costa Rica and what she was greeted with when she arrived on US soil was more of a nightmare than a country welcoming her with open arms.

After an hour of waiting at the exit door to immigration, I began to worry. What could possibly be taking so long……and then the call came. The immigration officer stated that they had the right to take her cellphone and look through her private social media. In Facebook conversations we had talked about getting married and immigration lawyers, which is normal for two people that are engaged and looking for a way to be together. But for the immigration officials this meant she was planning on getting married during this two week stint in the USA.

During the process she was threatened to put put in jail and was not granted the human rights granted to each and every US citizen, there is more to say about what they did to her but I will keep that private. These officials have been granted absolute power from a egocentric president who’s executive orders are being put in place with no thought of how they should be monitored or controlled. Due to the inability to put limits and quality control on these new immigration laws, it is destroying not only the lives of foreigners but also the people that love them here in the United States.

I left Costa Rica, my life, my fiance and a family that had taken me in as their own to return to the USA and spend time with my father and help my mom in a time of need. She was being drained by the fact that she was living alone trying to take care of someone that she should have been spending time travelling and enjoying retirement with instead of tending to his ever need. I had to start over but knowing that I would soon be able to spend even only two weeks with the love of my life was a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

But after 3 hours of her being interrogated like a threat to the country she was then escorted to a flight to return her home to Costa Rica. The only person to person contact I received was when an immigration official walked out asked my name and said that she was going to be sent back to Costa Rica. All due to the fact we had spoken about marriage and what was needed to get her in the country legally.

Heartbroken and irate I headed back to the parking garage, put the flowers on the front floorboard and started to drive home. How could this happen? Why would they grant a tourist visa in Costa Rica only to be declined entry after landing on US soil? Why would they violate the 4th amendment rights just because she had a foreign passport? Why would they treat someone coming from a good family and non-threatening country like a terrorist?

The United States has been in a downward spiral for years now and the racism and hate in the country continues to grow on a daily basis. People can blame the media or the liberals or the conservatives, but the fact of the matter is the USA is broken. This all starts at the top, when you look at the way government implements policies without thinking of a plan of action to ensure that they are successful, when you see a system that comes down to two candidates hated by the majority of a country’s citizens because of a election system that is faulted, and when you have presidents like Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton etc… that are thinking of personal gains instead of thinking of the hopes and dreams of its population……something needs to change.

When I finally got home and was able to talk to my fiance, I understood her feelings of never wanting to return to the USA under Trump. But the fact if the fact of the matter is it is not really a country I want to be in either. I spent 8 years in Costa Rica and I had left a country that seemed to have so much promise in the USA, I kept thinking to myself when I get home I will explore opportunities and build a life with the woman I love.

We have to look at the fact that the American Dream is dead, the ability to go to college, get good grades and get a good job right out of school is a thing of the past in most cases. It used to be that if you showed grit, determination and creativity it was revered not looked down upon. The situation that happened today destroyed lives, it caused pain that should not occur to even my worst enemy, and dictated that the end of USA is coming soon. This is not about Muslims or Mexicans, it is about the the end of diversity and what America used to stand for.

To finish my night before heading to sleep in order to try to escape the pain of hearing the distress in the love of my life’s voice as she was getting back on the plane to Costa Rica, and to try to create some sort of understanding in my mind of why a government would enact such pain on one of its own citizens befuddled me. I then popped open Youtube and played the scene from Newsroom “Why America Isn’t the Greatest Country in the World Anymore”…… it hit home.

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one, America is not the greatest country in the world anymore”. Never has this been more true.