Donation to LILA Non-Profit Organization

LILA Lakes International Language AcademyDonation to LILA Non-profit

For the 5th year in a row, Las Villas de San Buenas donated a week of Casa Lapas to Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) foundation. Casa Lapas generated over $2,500 for the non-profit organization with 100% of the funds going directly to LILA.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

Mr. Chuck Phillips from Forest Lake, Minnesota, had the winning bid. Mr. Phillips owns a karate dojo and is looking forward to visiting Las Villas de San Buenas with his family later in 2015.

The funds will be used to further educate a classroom for an entire year with a licensed teacher from outside the USA who will bring their own experience, and language skills, into the classroom.

LILA 2015

Over 150 people attended the fund raiser.

Las Villas de San Buenas CEO Nick Halverson said, “We are proud to continue our commitment to helping LILA, and their International Baccalaureate program, which not only educates students in immersion learning (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at LILA) but also provides students learning from a global perspective.”

The LILA fund raiser had over 150 in attendance, including Miguel Ramos, from

LILA Miguel Ramos Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Ramos donating a banner for LILA

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Minnesota Twins’ front office who donated a banner to be hung in LILA’s office and also facilitate several game-ticket packages that were used for a silent auction. The function was attended primarily by parents of students at LILA and several local business owners.

Las Villas de San Buenas is proud to have customers from eight countries (and counting) who speak at least six languages, and continues to attract customers from around the world.

Mr. Halverson stated at the event, “Costa Rica and in particular, Las Villas de San IMG_7536Buenas, appeals to people from around the world due to its amazing wildlife, the spectacular views throughout the property and its diverse customer base. Add to that the world-class amenities nearby and it’s understandable why we continue to attract customers from around the globe.”

 

Recycling Expo in Costa Rica / Daily News / News / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times

Recycling Expo in Costa Rica / Daily News / News / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.

Canada and Costa Rica Start Professional Exchange Program

By Chrissie Long
Tico Times Staff | clong@ticotimes.net
Original: http://www.ticotimes.net/daily_paid/dailynewsarchive/2010_08/083010.htm#story1
Young Ticos will soon have the opportunity to work on Canada’s famous ski slopes, study in the best Canadian universities or travel through the northern nation’s national parks, thanks to an agreement signed by the two countries’ foreign ministers on Friday.The agreement overrides immigration requirements for a one-year period so that Ticos and Canadians between 18 and 35 years of age can participate in an exchange program.

Canada has similar programs with Chile, France, Poland, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, among other nations.

“This is an opportunity to build people-to-people ties,” said Peter Van Loan, Canada’s minister of international trade, who was in San José for the signing of the agreement. “It allows young people the chance to work, to play, to travel in a foreign country.”

Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro praised the program for creating a platform for cultural exchange and said it has the potential to bring Costa Rica closer to its goal of joining the nations of the developed world.

“It’s a pleasure to work to open doors for youth,” he said. “We hope that hundreds – maybe thousands – will benefit from a program that opens borders and opportunities for young people through a cultural exchange and mutual learning.”

The two countries still have to agree on a quota for how many people from each country can take advantage of the opportunity.

According to Castro, both governments are in the process of gauging their citizens’ interest in participating in the program.

Costa Homes For Sale Near Monkeys

Live in Costa Rica and volunteer at a local animal sanctuary

President Chinchilla Launches Costa Rica Day Care Network

By Chrissie Long
Tico Times Staff | clong@ticotimes.net

Original:http://www.ticotimes.net/daily_paid/dailynewsarchive/2010_08/081710.htm#story1

Costa Rica’s first female president, Laura Chinchilla, officially launched the National Daycare Network today with a pledge of ¢ 890 million ($1.8 million) to the poorest communities in ten areas of the country.

The money is expected to bring care to 400 children under five years of age, enabling their mothers or fathers to pursue jobs outside the home.

The effort is much more than just a push to open more day care centers, Chinchilla said at a press conference on Monday. The idea of the network is to reach children at a critical stage in their development so that every Costa Rican starts life with the same opportunities.

Early childcare is an area in which Costa Rica continues to have many shortcomings, she said.

The money will be used to expand existing facilities such as community homes and government-run daycare centers, and to offer loans so that more women can operate daycare centers from their homes.

The plan is being introduced as part of a larger agenda of reducing extreme poverty in Costa Rica by a full 10 percent, Chinchilla said.

At present, aid arrives to poor homes in pieces. Sometimes a son or daughter can get a scholarship, other times a parent receives job training, but what these families need, Chinchilla said, is an integrated push from all sides to get them on their feet.

By bringing aid to communities in an integral way, she hopes to permanently reduce poverty.

In keeping with this coordinated approach, the ten areas where the administration is focusing the daycare initiative are also the focus of the poverty relief plan. These include Los Chiles, Guatuso, Upala, La Cruz, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Cartago, Curridabat, Heredia and San José.

More Info on Costa Rican Mystery Spheres

Original: http://www.ticotimes.net/daily_paid/dailynewsarchive/2010_08/081810.htm#story5

Ifigenia Quintanilla will shine some light on one of Costa Rica’s oddest mysteries Wednesday.

In the 1940s, hundreds of pre-Columbian stone spheres were discovered throughout the Southern region of Costa Rica and in the north of Panama. The creation of these almost perfectly round spheres and their purpose remains a mystery to archaeologists.

Quintanilla, a Costa Rican archaeologist who has studied the mysterious monoliths for 17 years, will explain what researchers know about these artifacts and what makes them so impressive at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the Hotel Casa Roland in Rohrmoser, in western San José. The presentation is sponsored by the Costa Rican Association of Tourism Professionals (Acoprot).

“We have known about the existence of the spheres for many years,” said Patricia Duar, executive director of Acoprot. “But very few of us really know why they are there or their meaning.”

Quintanilla is one of the most knowledgeable experts on these stones. She’s researched for them for two decades and even wrote a book on the mystery called “Esferas Precolombinas de Costa Rica” (Pre-Columbian spheres of Costa Rica ).

The spheres can be as small several centimeters in diameter to massive 15-ton boulders. But all of them have an uncanny spherical shape. Some of the spheres have symbols sculpted on them.

Costa Rica stone sphere

Brent W. "tries" to push an ancient sphere in Palmar Sur's Central Park

In March, Costa Rica presented a bid to have the spheres included by th e United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the list of World Heritage sites. Cultural or natural sites or monuments can make the list if UNESCO deems them to have “outstanding universal value,” according to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (TT, March 15 ).

To reserve a seat at the conference send an e-mail to Mónica Monge atmonica@acoprot.org or call Acoprot at 2280-5375. Admission is free.

What: Ifigenia Quintanilla on the Mystery of Costa Rica’s pre-Colombian stone spheres
Where: Hotel Casa Roland, Rohmoser
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: Free

NOTE from Nick Halverson

Costa Rica stone sphere

Nick H. at Osa Municipality Building

These spheres are found throughout the entire southern pacific region of Costa Rica – especially in Palmar Sur. Palmar Sur’s “Central Park” has approximately 30 of the spheres – all at least one meter in diameter. It is not unusual to see these spheres in front of homes and restaurants in  Uvita, Ojochal, San Isidro del General and Palmar Sur/Palmar Norte.

The closest spheres to residents of The Village of San Buenas is at the municipality building in Cortez. Simply take a right at the fork in the road at the hospital turn off. Go straight approximately 2 km and the Osa Municipality building will be on your right.

The Village of San Buenas: Presentation

Click on the link to download information about Costa Rica real estate and The Village of San Buenas real estate development.

The Village of San Buenas Presentation

Costa Rica Launches Aerospace Program

By Adam Williams
Tico Times Staff | awilliams@ticotimes.net
http://www.ticotimes.net/daily_paid/dailynewsarchive/2010_07/072710.htm#story4
What the city of Houston, Texas is to space travel in the United States, the city of Liberia may soon be to Costa Rica.

On Sunday, President Laura Chinchilla announced that Liberia, located in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, will be the location for an initiative entitled “National Aerospace Development and Integration for the Central American Region in the Generation of New Technologies.” The presentation also included the unveiling of the Central American Aerospace Industry Chamber (CACIA), which will consist of numerous aerospace experts and companies in Central America. Chinchilla had mentioned further development of the national aerospace program as one of her priorities since her inauguration in May.

Liberia was selected as the site for the program’s launch because of its proximity to the headquarters of the Ad Astra Rocket Company, which was formed in 2005 by Costa Rican astronaut and rocket scientist Franklin Chang. Chang, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spent many years working as a scientist and astronaut with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Ad Astra is based in Houston, Texas.

The Costa Rican branch of the company, located 10 kilometers west of Liberia on the campus of EARTH University, focuses its research on the creation of the plasma rocket, known as the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). Ad Astra in Costa Rica hopes to test one of their first plasma rockets in space by 2014.

“We want recognition for Costa Rica, so the country can enter this special industry,” Chinchilla said in May. “We hope that Costa Rica will be the first Latin American country (to enter the space industry).” (TT, May 14)

Of the various experts in attendance, several spoke on their ideas for the development of Central American aerospace, their plans to finance the projects, and explanations of how they will advance the use of plasma energy. According to Costa Rica’s foreign minister, René Castro, over 80 Central American companies have expressed interest in participating in the development of CACIA and the aerospace program.

Costa Rica’s Second Language Initiative

By Sophia Klempner
Tico Times Staff | sklempner@ticotimes.net
Original: http://www.ticotimes.net/daily_paid/dailynewsarchive/2010_06/062910.htm#story5

The Multilingualism Promotion Program aims to teach English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese to people throughout Costa Rica, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

The program, announced Thursday, aims to promote language learning as a tool to stimulate the country’s social and economic progress, as well as to improve the climate for business, investments and tourism, the ministry said.

The program will offer diverse language instruction options such as courses and conversation groups in community centers, as well as using foreign volunteers who wish to learn Spanish in exchange for teaching their language. In addition, some 200 Peace Corps volunteers will be teaching English throughout the country over the next four years.

The effort was launched jointly by Foreign Minister René Castro, Decentralization and Local Development Minister Juan Marín, Marta Blanco, director of the Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation, Shirley Calvo, director of Dinadeco (the National Community Development Office), Olman Segura, president of the National Training Institute (INA), and President Laura Chinchilla.

Segura said the program partners will immediately begin a process of “identifying the demand” among those interested in learning another language so that the necessary teacher hirings could be made. The program began by polling 200 businesses. The first language services will be offered in Guanacaste and Limón provinces, Segura said.

Marín and Calvo noted the importance of the program’s availability to young and elderly people, as well as children, in communities and municipalities throughout the country.

Castro lauded the efforts of the state universities, adding that the University of Costa Rica has 200 slots open for foreign language study at a number of levels.

The push for multilingualism, together with promoting an emergent aerospace industry and the biotech and electronics sectors, form a central part of President Chinchilla’s administration.

Blanco said with two years of experience under belt at the Costa Rican Multilingual Foundation, the group aims to see all high school students graduate with a good working knowledge of English within the next 10 years.

Multilingualism Promotion Program partner websites:

Dinadeco: www.dinadeco.go.cr
INA: www.ina.ac.cr
Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation: www.crmultilingue.org
Foreign Ministry: www.rree.go.cr
President of the Republic: www.casapres.go.cr