It's that time again - Rainy - aka LIGHTENING SEASON in Costa Rica!!!!
Hopefully you never have to deal with this problem, but if you think you might be struck by lightning, make sure to read this as it might help.
|Tourism industry says its 22,000 jobs are at risk without moratorium|
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff AMCostaRica.com/041614.htm#32
When the new administration takes over, President Luis Guillermo Solís is going to have to look past job losses caused by the exit of Intel Corp. and Bank of America. The tourist industry says that 22,000 jobs are at risk there.
The Asociacion Para La Proteccion Del Turismo is coming forward now with statistics, in an effort to attract the attention of the new administration, including the new minister of Turismo, Wilhelm Von Breymann Barquero.
And the statistics are grim. Some 782 hotels are behind in payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguridad Social. Some 100 other hotels have simply closed, and 100 more are facing auctions by various banking institutions, said the tourism association.
There has been a string of closures since the economic downturn hit in 2008, but no one has given a count until recently. The hotels and other places of accommodation in trouble are generally the small to medium operations.
The Asociacion Para La Proteccion Del Turismo renewed its call for some sort of freeze on the debts owned by tourism operations. Tourism operators are upset by soaring utility cost and, until recently, the low value of the U.S. dollar.
A minority of the association members also think that the general government is not telling the truth when it says the country has received 2.4 million annual tourists
That is a number that probably can be found in the business plan of every new tourism enterprise. The tourism association said that 5,000 new hotel rooms that can accommodate 10,000 persons have been constructed in the last three years. The country needs nearly 400,000 more tourists who stay for more than 10 days to fill those rooms, it said.
What many in the industry do not know is that the figures released by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo include as tourists nearly everyone entering the country. The figures include more than 400,000 persons each year who come from Nicaragua. When Nicaraguans return to their homes here and jobs after Semana Santa, they will be counted as tourists for purposes of the statistics.
In addition to hotel operators, rental car agency executives also are reporting low expectations for Semana Santa and the coming low season.
The tourism institute has made some unusual marketing decisions. For example, the institute invested $500,000 in NBC for advertising during the winter Olympics. The institute also put money into advertising on various social networks, Google and Yahoo/Bing, it said Feb. 9.
One goal was to raise the Internet ranking of the institute's Web site with the online ads. Alexa, the Amazon subsidiary, tracks Web site visits, and said that the Institute's Web site, visitcostarica.com, was in 155,605th place worldwide when the campaign started.
Tuesday that ranking was 183,018.
Some of those in the tourism industry also are urging the government to open the door wider for tourists. The Asociacion Para La Proteccion Del Turismo Facebook site recounts the story of a 40-year-old female company executive from Perú who was denied entry for a trip to Manuel Antonio last week because her passport was only valid for four months instead of the required six. She was put on a return flight, the site said.
face barriers to open a bank account
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica
Expats are having a very hard time understanding the new rules and regulations set forth by national and private banks in Costa Rica. They were outlined in detail March 31. They do not understand why they cannot open a bank account if they are on a tourist visa but own property or have other investments in the country.
It is the fault of the Banco Central de Costa Rica. The central bank issued a communication to all Costa Rican banks March 27, 2012, stating that the only people with valid acceptable documents can make interbank transactions via SINPE, the interbank system. The Banco Central is responsible for controlling inflation, printing and managing money and maintaining the stability of the Costa Rican currency.
It should not be confused with SUGEF, the Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras, the organization that supervises the stability of the country’s financial system. In simplistic terms, the Banco Central manages the quantity and SUGEF the quality of Costa Rica’s finances.
Valid documents for foreigners are the following:
1. Costa Rican cédula;
2. Resident identification card, called a DIMEX;
3. Company cédula obtainable from the
Registro Nacional; and,
4. Diplomat identification or DIDI. A
passport does not qualify.
Most interbank transactions in the country use SINPE or the Sistema Nacional de Pagos Electrónico. This means it is controlled by the Central Bank. The only way around the rule is to use cash or a check, which is not very efficient.
This means most banks will not open an account any more for a tourist who just walks in to do so. There are rare exceptions. Old accounts opened in more lenient times are being closed because they do not adhere to the new banking rules.
Companies like sociedad anónimas and S.R.L.s can open bank accounts. However, some banks themselves have interpreted the Banco Central’s ruling to mean everyone signing on the account must have one of the four documents listed above.
Digging deeper into the matter by visiting the Banco de Costa Rica and the Banco Nacional and speaking with supervisors, a reporter found they would open an account for a tourist. Nevertheless, it is not easy or common and the non-resident would need to have a valid Costa Rican company. They would also need at least one of the following requisites. Two would be better:
1. A recommendation letter from their home
bank, translated into Spanish, notarized
2. A detailed outline of where all the funds
in 1 originated, certified by a foreign
certified public accountant, notarized and apostilled; and/or,
3. A local certified public accountant’s
certification of funds.
There is an easier way. A representative at Banco Nacional said he would allow a tourist or otherwise non-resident to sign on an account if the primary account holder did have one of the required identifications. Banco de Costa Rica said it would not let a non-resident foreigner sign under any circumstances.
Some private banks are a little bit more flexible. However, they, too, must adhere to Law 8024 and the Banco Central’s policies. To do so, they require non-resident foreigners to have most of the things national banks are asking for to open a new account.
The obvious problem is most people do not want to have someone they do not know very well sign on their their bank account. Some expats opt for an attorney or CPA, but this is not a very good option either. The way Costa Rican laws work, most crooks get away with the bootie.
The problem is clear. How about a solution?
Expats with property should look to a reputable property manager to pay the bills. The key word here is reputable. To find one, good hard homework is necessary. Asking other expats, friends and other property owners can lead to finding the right person or company.
As for expats in business, they should have residency so they can manage their own banking needs or have a partner trustworthy enough to do so. If they cannot meet these criteria, they should not be doing business in Costa Rica.
Is there a possibility things will change, go back to the way they were? Very unlikely. Costa Rica is doing its very best to stay off the financial tax haven list. Being on it has hurt the country in the past.
Most countries with money do not want to give or lend money to any country not willing to play ball in the international financial community.
Other countries insist on transparency and financial data sharing so they can catch tax cheats. All the new banking requirements are mandated by the world. Costa Rica is just complying.
Garland M. Baker is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica. Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article. Copyright 2004-2014, use without permission prohibited.
La Dra. Susan Lawton, reconocida autora del libro "Viviendo Saludables y Felices para Siempre" viene a Costa Rica a compartir toda una vida de experiencia clínica en el uso de los Aceites Esenciales y sugerencias para una salud óptima!
Con Doctorados en Psicología Clínica y Química Celular Basal aparte de su título en Enfermería, la Dra. Susan ha trabajado en unidades de Oncología, Neurología y enfermedades Cardiopulmonares por muchos años y tiene más de 40 años de experiencia con aceites esenciales.
Dr. Susan Lawton, renowned author of "Living Healthy and Happily Ever After" is coming to Costa Rica to share a lifetime of clinical experience in the use of Essential Oils and suggestions for optimal health!With PhDs in Clinical Psychology and in Basal Chemistry (Cellular) besides her degree in RN, Dr. Susan has worked in Oncology, Cardio Pulmonary and Neurological units for many years and has over 40 years of essential oils experience.
** El AromaTouch Technique se impartirá el Viernes 25 de Abril, 2014. Haga click aquí para más información.
** The AromaTouch Technique is on Friday April 25th, 2014. Click here for more info.
Aceites Esenciales como medicina alternativa - Essential Oils as Alternative Medicine
Martes 22 de Abril / Tuesday April 22nd
Colegio de Médicos
*Abierto al público / Open to the public
Sólo para Mujeres • For Women Only
Hormonas durante la recuperación - embarazo - depresión - ansiedad. Lo que se comparte en este evento se queda en este evento...secretos y respuestas para problemas de intimidad, recuperación de quimo, etc
Hormones thru recovery - pregnancy - depression - anxiety. What is shared in this event stays at this event....secrets and answers to intimacy issues, cancer chemo recovery, etc.
Miércoles 23 de Abril / Wednesday April 23rd
Costa Rica Tennis Club
Tomando Control de la Salud de tu Familia
Taking Control of your Family's Healthcare
Protocolos, tips, sugerencias para los ronquidos, alergias, infecciones y curación personal.
Protocols, tips, suggestions snoring - thru allergies, infections, MRSA, and personal healing.
Jueves 24 de Abril / Thursday April 24th
Costa Rica Tennis Club
Haga y Tome - Manos a la obra
Make & Take - Hands ON
Para continuar la buena salud y recuperación de lesiones en la cabeza, tinitus, problemas de audición, pérdida del sentido del gusto y el olfato, ansiedad, recuperación de derrames, fístulas, etc. Carga de inhaladores, sprays y botellas de mezclas especiales incluídas...
On EO for continuing good health and recovery from closed head injuries, tinitus, hearing issues, loss of sense of taste & smell, anxiety, MRSA, stroke recovery, fistulas, etc. Loading of Inhalers, spritzers and bottles of special blends are included....
Sábado 26 de Abril / Saturday April 26th
Costa Rica Tennis Club
Viviendo Saludables y Felices para Siempre
Living Healthy & Happily Ever After
Protocolos para la salud emocional y el balance durante transiciones, fijación de metas, alcanzar el éxito, identificación saludable de virtudes y talentos, etc.
Protocols for emotional health & Balance thru transitions, goal setting, success achieving, healthy identification of virtues and talents, etc.
Sábado 26 de Abril / Saturday April 26th
Costa Rica Tennis Club
8-845-8369 • 8-814-0697 • DoTerraInfoCR@gmail.com