The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate https://ticotimes.net Costa Rica’s leading English-language newspaper since 1956, featuring breaking news, regional news, travel, business, sports, entertainment and real estate. Sun, 17 Jan 2021 17:30:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-Logo-32x32.png The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate https://ticotimes.net 32 32 Slothy Sunday: Wishing you a warm and cozy day https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/17/slothy-sunday-wishing-you-a-warm-and-cozy-day Sun, 17 Jan 2021 15:08:23 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141375 Tamalito the sloth is wishing you a happy Sloth Sunday!

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Like traditional Costa Rican tamales that are wrapped in banana leaves, this sloth enjoys being wrapped up in a blanket.

Maybe that’s why the folks at Toucan Rescue Ranch named him Tamalito!

Tamalito is one of TRR’s newest rescued arrivals. Like all of their other sloths, we’re sending him warm wishes so that he can soon be released #backinthetrees.

To help Toucan Rescue Ranch please consider donating.

Toucan Rescue Ranch Logo The Toucan Rescue Ranch specializes in helping wild animals recover so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. For more information or to donate, visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch website.

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New migrant caravan leaves Honduras in pursuit of U.S. dream https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/17/new-migrant-caravan-leaves-honduras-in-pursuit-of-american-dream Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:48:25 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141370 Some 3,000 people left Honduras on foot Friday in the latest migrant caravan hoping to find a welcome, and a better life, in the US under President-elect Joe Biden. Seeking to escape poverty, unemployment, gang and drug violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes, the migrants plan to walk thousands of kilometers through Central […]

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Some 3,000 people left Honduras on foot Friday in the latest migrant caravan hoping to find a welcome, and a better life, in the US under President-elect Joe Biden.

Seeking to escape poverty, unemployment, gang and drug violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes, the migrants plan to walk thousands of kilometers through Central America.

But they will have to overcome a rash of travel restrictions in Guatemala and Mexico long before they even make it to the American border.

The quest is likely to end in heartbreak for many, with American authorities already having warned off the group that includes people of all ages and some entire families.

“I want to work for my house and a car, to work and live a dignified life with my family,” said Melvin Fernandez, a taxi driver from the Caribbean port city of La Ceiba in Honduras, who set off on the long journey with his wife and three children, aged 10, 15 and 22.

Most of the group set off shortly after 4:00 am (1000 GMT) from the transport terminal of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-largest city, headed for Agua Caliente on the Guatemalan border some 260 km (162 miles) away.

The migrants walked along side roads wearing backpacks, some holding the Honduras flag, many with small children in their arms, and most with facemasks to protect against the coronavirus.

The migrants say they hope to catch lifts from passing motorists or truckers or, failing that, walk the entire way.

To enter Guatemala, the first country on their route, however, the migrants will have to show travel documents and a negative coronavirus test — requirements that not all of them meet.

Broken heart

“We are leaving with a broken heart, because in my case, I leave my family, my husband and my three children behind,” 36-year-old Jessenia Ramirez told AFP.

“We are going in search of a better future, a job so we can send a few cents back home. We are trusting in God to open our path, Biden is supposed to give work opportunities to those who are there (on American soil).”

The travelers are hopeful that Biden, who takes over the US presidency on Wednesday, will be more flexible than his predecessor Donald Trump.

Biden has promised “a fair and humane immigration system” and pledged aid to tackle the root causes of poverty and violence that drive Central Americans to the United States.

But Mark Morgan, acting Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection, warned the group last week not to “waste your time and money.”

The US commitment to the “rule of law and public health” is not affected by the change in administration, he said in a statement.

More than a dozen caravans, some with thousands of migrants, have set off from Honduras since October 2018.

But all have run up against thousands of US border guards and soldiers under Trump, who has characterized immigrants from Mexico as “rapists” who were “bringing drugs” and other criminal activity to the United States.

Hoping beyond hope

Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras have an agreement with the United States to stop north-bound migratory flows from the south of the continent.

Honduras has mobilized 7,000 police officers to supervise the latest caravan on its journey to the Guatemalan border.

Guatemala declared seven departments in a state of “alert,” giving security forces the authority to “forcibly dissolve” any type of public groupings.

On Friday, officials said they had already returned about 100 Hondurans who began the trip from San Pedro Sula on Thursday and entered Guatemala illegally, without Covid tests. Another 600-odd migrants who arrived at the border were prevented from entering, Guatemalan police reported.

Hundreds of police and soldiers manned three border crossings to stop the caravan. Many wore gas masks and carried shields and truncheons.

On the Honduran side, in the town of El Florido, there were signs of desperation.

“We will not move until they let us cross. We will stage a hunger strike,” said Dania Hinestrosa, 23, waiting with her young daughter.

“We have no work or food. That is why I am traveling to the United States,” she said.

Mexican authorities said late Thursday that 500 immigration officers were being deployed to the Guatemalan border in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival.

But the migrants are keeping the end goal in sight.

Among them, 28-year-old Eduardo Lanza said he dreamed of living in a country where people of different sexual orientations can live with  dignity, “respect… and a job opportunity.”

Norma Pineda, 51, said last year’s hurricanes left her “on the street.”

“We are leaving because here is no work, no state support, we need food, clothes…” she told AFP.

by Noe LEIVA

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Climate Change Spurring Frog Extinctions: Conservationists https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/16/climate-change-spurring-frog-extinctions-conservationists Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:55:44 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141362 Three Central American frog species have gone extinct and many others may soon follow as their populations are ravaged by a fungus that is spreading faster because of climate change, conservationists said Thursday. In an update to its “Red List” of threatened species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) noted some positive developments, […]

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Three Central American frog species have gone extinct and many others may soon follow as their populations are ravaged by a fungus that is spreading faster because of climate change, conservationists said Thursday.

In an update to its “Red List” of threatened species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) noted some positive developments, including for the European bison, but warned that the world is seeing a worrying number of extinctions.

“The growing list of extinct species is a stark reminder that conservation efforts must urgently expand,” IUCN chief Bruno Oberle said in a statement.

Among the 31 species added to the “extinct” category in the latest Red List update was the often magnificently colourful Chiriqui harlequin frog — which is actually a toad — and two other frog species once found in Central America.

The Chiriqui harlequin used to be extremely abundant in Costa Rica and western Panama, but suddenly began disappearing in the late 1980s. No specimens have been seen since 1996.

Twenty-two other frog species found across Central and South America have meanwhile now been listed as “critically endangered” — just one step from becoming extinct.

The main driver of the drastic declines in these species is chytridiomycosis disease, caused by the deadly chytrid fungus.

‘Enormous crisis’

“This is an invasive species which has impacted large numbers of frogs in different parts of the world,” Craig Hilton-Taylor, who heads IUCN’s Red List unit, told AFP.

“Climate change seems to be helping the spread of the fungus and creating the right conditions for the disease to flourish, and that then is wiping out the frog populations,” he said, describing the situation for frogs and other amphibians as “an enormous crisis”.

Kelsey Neam, who works on the Red List’s amphibian section, told AFP most harlequin species were particularly vulnerable to the fungus, since they breathe through their skin, which has become weakened by increasing droughts.

“It attacks their skin so they can’t breathe,” she said.

Many other harlequin toads are listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

“There is a large possibility that others are gone,” Neam said.

Among the other species that have ceased to exist are all 17 freshwater fish endemic to Lake Lanao in the Philippines — 15 of them were declared extinct while two were listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

This devastation, according to Hilton-Taylor, was mainly caused by two predatory fish species introduced accidentally to the lake half a century ago.

In addition, overfishing, pollution, deforestation and other factors have wrought “massive changes” for the lake’s ecosystem.

“As a result, it has now finally tipped over,” he said, decrying the large number of endemic species that “have just gone overnight.”

Many more species are vulnerable or threatened.

All freshwater dolphins threatened

The Red List now includes 128,918 animal and plant species from around the world, including 35,765 threatened with extinction.

Among them is the tucuxi, a grey dolphin found in the Amazon river system, which has been moved to the “endangered” category after its population has been depleted by getting caught in fishing gear, the damming of rivers and pollution.

With this move, all four of the world’s freshwater dolphin species are now considered threatened, including the baiji, found in the Yangtze River, which is possibly extinct.

Hilton-Taylor meanwhile highlighted positive developments for the tucuxi, with authorities across Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil banding together to take action to save it.

That “is really good news for the conservation of the species,” he said.

The latest edition of the Red List contained a number of further examples of the positive impact that concerted conservation efforts can have, with 26 species showing signs of recovery.

Perhaps the most dramatic about-face was enjoyed by the European bison, which has moved up from “vulnerable” to “near threatened”.

Europe’s largest land mammal disappeared completely from the wild in the early 20th century, but thanks to continued breeding in zoos it could be reintroduced to the wild in the 1950s.

Intense conservation efforts have helped the population, found mainly in Poland, Belarus and Russia, to grow from around 1,800 individuals in 2003 to more than 6,200 last year, with 49 free-ranging bison herds across the continent.

“That is positive news and shows that conservation actions can turn things around,” Hilton-Taylor said.

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Rare white tiger born at Nicaragua zoo https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/16/rare-white-tiger-born-at-nicaragua-zoo Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:27:14 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141357 A rare white tiger, named “Nieve” (snow in Spanish) was born at the Nicaragua zoo, and is being raised by humans after its mother rejected it, the director of the zoo told AFP. Nieve came into the world a week ago, weighing just under a kilogramme at birth, said director Eduardo Sacasa. Conservation group WWF […]

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A rare white tiger, named “Nieve” (snow in Spanish) was born at the Nicaragua zoo, and is being raised by humans after its mother rejected it, the director of the zoo told AFP.

Nieve came into the world a week ago, weighing just under a kilogramme at birth, said director Eduardo Sacasa.

Conservation group WWF describes white tigers as “a genetic anomaly”, with none known to exist in the wild. There are several dozen in captivity.

White tigers are Bengal tigers whose parents carry a recessive gene, according to The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota which helps and studies felines. They are not albinos or a separate species.

Some parks and zoos inbreed white tigers, as white cubs draw more visitors, though this is often at the cost of malformations and other genetic problems, states the sanctuary website.

The Nicaragua zoo said Nieve was the first-ever white tiger born in the country, to a pair of yellow-and-black-colored Bengals.

The cub’s mother, rescued after she was abandoned by a circus, had inherited the rare gene from her grandfather, who was white.

Nieve was taken away from her mother, who rejected her, and is being bottle-fed by Sacasa’s wife, Marina Arguello, who helps manage the zoo of some 700 animals and a rescue centre.

Arguello whispers sweet nothings into the tiny cub’s ear while it suckles, and pats it lighty on the back afterwards.

“She has not lost her appetite; every three hours she gets the bottle. If not, she screams… also if the milk gets too cold,” said Arguello.

 

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Costa Rica has administered 25,000 vaccine shots, Caja says https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/15/costa-rica-has-administered-25000-vaccine-shots-caja-says Fri, 15 Jan 2021 18:36:07 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141349 Costa Rica’s public-health system has administered nearly 25,000 coronavirus vaccine shots, the Social Security System (Caja) reported. 

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Costa Rica’s public-health system has administered nearly 25,000 coronavirus vaccine shots, the Social Security System (Caja) reported.

The figure — 24,859 as of Friday morning — represents 81% of the 30,770 doses that have been distributed to health centers across the country. However, it’s less than 30% of the total doses that Costa Rica has received from Pfizer/BioNTech.

“If the arrival of vaccines to the country continues as projected, the doses that arrive each week are distributed the following Monday as part of a continuous, safe and effective process,” the Caja said in its press release.

Pfizer deliveries may slow in late January or early February as the pharmaceutical adjusts its production process, AFP reported Friday. The company “is working hard to deliver more doses than initially planned this year” globally, it says.

Another part of Costa Rica’s lag in vaccine administrations is due to the Caja reserving doses to ensure patients receive a second jab at the appropriate time.

“The second doses are needed for each patient 21 days after the first application,” the Caja explained.

Costa Rica started administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 24.

Earlier this week, the first patients in Costa Rica began receiving their second round of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Medical experts say the vaccine offers the most protection about one week after the second jab.

“It is already a reality: the vaccine has arrived, and more and more we advance with the vaccination of the first group and then start with the second, preserving health and life and promoting economic recovery from the pandemic,” President Carlos Alvarado said earlier this week.

The priority for vaccination is as follows:

  • Staff and residents at retirement or nursing homes.
  • First responders, including health personnel.
  • Costa Rica’s older population, defined here as those ages 58 and up.
  • People with risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, kidney disease and obesity, among others.
  • Teachers and other staff within the Education Ministry (MEP).
  • Imprisoned people and judicial staff.
  • Workers for the 911 service.
  • Health science students and related technicians in clinical fields.
  • People ages 40-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors but whose work puts them in contact with others. This includes laborers in agriculture, construction, service industries, etc.

Costa Rican citizens and residents who fall into one of the above categories should call their local Ebais (community health clinic) to ensure their contact information is up-to-date.

The vaccine is free for citizens and residents. Tourists in Costa Rica will not receive the vaccine through the public-health system and must wait for it to become available via private means.

Costa Rica and Pfizer/BioNTech have an agreement for 3 million doses of the vaccine, enough for 1.5 million people. The Central American country also has a deal with AstraZeneca and is a member of the COVAX facility.

Costa Rica hopes to vaccinate at least 3 million people by the end of 2021. This would cover 80% of the country’s adult population, including everyone with known risk factors.

In addition, the Finance Ministry’s 2021 budget includes funds to protect 648,000 more people, which would provide coverage for Costa Rica’s entire adult population.

If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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FAQ: The United States’ new Covid travel requirements https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/15/faq-the-united-states-new-coronavirus-travel-requirements Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:47:01 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141345 Costa Rica relies heavily on U.S. tourism, and the CDC's decisions to implement new testing requirements will likely have significant impacts on the sector.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that all international airline passengers flying to the United States must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding their flight.

The new policy will take effect starting January 26, 2021. It mandates that all air passengers —  including U.S. citizens and permanent residents — get tested for the coronavirus within three days of their flight.

Costa Rica relies heavily on U.S. tourism, and the CDC’s decisions to implement new testing requirements will likely have significant impacts on the sector.

Below are answers to pertinent frequently asked questions about the new policy, from the CDC’s website.

Frequently asked questions

Does this requirement apply to US citizens?

This Order applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.

When do I need to get a test to travel to the US? And what kind of test do I need?

Get tested no more than 3 days before your flight to the US departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Also make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline.

What if I recently recovered from COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”

Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US?

The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.

What happens if I don’t take a test and want to travel to the US?

Air passengers traveling to the US are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to provide a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

What happens if I test positive?

People should self-isolate and delay their travel if symptoms develop or a pre-departure test result is positive until they have recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must refuse to board anyone who does not provide a negative test result for COVID-19 or documentation of recovery.

What is a verifiable test result?

A verifiable test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy) of a laboratory test result. Testing must be performed using a viral test (NAAT or antigen), and negative results must be provided to the airline prior to boarding. The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date and the type of test. A negative test result must show test was done within the 3 days before the flight. A positive test result must show the test was done within the 3 months before the flight.

What kind of documentation of my test result do I need to provide?

CDC requires that air passengers arriving in the US have a paper or electronic copy of their test result for review by the airline before you board and for potential review by public health officials after you arrive in the US.

If I tested negative before my flight, do I need to get another test when I get to the US?

CDC recommends that travelers get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home or otherwise self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days. Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.

Do I need to get a test before leaving the US?

CDC recommends that you get tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen) 1-3 days before you travel internationally. Travelers should additionally follow any requirements at their destination.

When does this order take effect?

This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.

Does this order apply to all flights?  Or just commercial flights?

This order applies to all flights, including private flights and general aviation aircraft (charter flights). Passengers traveling by air into the US are required to have proof of testing regardless of flight type.

If I have one or more connecting flights to the US, does the 3-day period apply to the first flight or the last one?

If you are arriving on a direct flight to the US, your test must be done within the 3 days before your flight to the US departs. If you are arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test must be done in the 3 days before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if the connecting flights were booked as a single passenger record with a final destination in the US and each connection (layover) is no longer than 24 hours long. If your connecting flight to the US was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within the 3 days before your flight that arrives in the US.

What happens if my flight is delayed and it goes over the 3-day limit for testing?

If your flight is delayed before departure, you will need to get re-tested if the delay causes your test to fall outside of the 3-day pre-departure testing period requirement.

If I am connecting through the US to another country, do I still need to get tested?

Yes.  Any flight entering the US, even for a connection, will require testing before departure.

What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine?  Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?

Yes, all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.

Where to get tested in Costa Rica

Many private labs and hospitals in Costa Rica offer on-demand PCR coronavirus testing for a fee. These include: Laboratorios Echandi, Hospital La Católica, Hospital Cima, Laboratorios LABIN, Hospital Clínica Bíblica, Laboratorio Páez, Laboratorios San José and Hospital Metropolitano.

The majority of private labs and hospitals can guarantee results within 72 hours. Contact them for more information.

Costa Rica citizens and residents can get tested for free through the Caja, though these resources are typically reserved for people who are symptomatic. Call the coronavirus hotline (dial 1322) for more information.

In a statement to The Tico Times, Costa Rica’s Tourism Board (ICT) says it’s working on expanding testing options for visitors across the country.

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UK bans South American, Panama arrivals over Brazil virus strain https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/15/uk-bans-south-american-panama-arrivals-over-brazil-virus-strain Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:37:36 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141342 Britain has been one of the worst hit countries in Europe by the pandemic, recording nearly 85,000 deaths and more than 3.2 million cases to date.

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Britain will ban all arrivals from South America, Panama, Cape Verde and Portugal from 0400 GMT Friday over fears of importing a new coronavirus variant in Brazil, the UK government said Thursday. 

“I’ve taken the urgent decision… following evidence of a new variant in Brazil,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter.

“This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights,” he added.

Shapps said such passengers returning from these destinations must nonetheless self-isolate for 10 days along with their households.

There will be an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal to allow transport of essential goods.

The Department for Transport said it was also imposing a ban on direct flights to England from the targeted countries, impacting services from Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal.

The embargo excludes cargo and freight without passengers, but no other exemptions — including those related to employment — would apply, it added.

Numerous virus variants have been identified since the pandemic began last year, including a more contagious one that has led to a surge of infections in Britain in recent months.

However another strain, known as E484K, detected initially in South Africa and on subsequent variants in Brazil and Japan, has raised greater alarm among researchers over its possible impact on immunity.

The UK government has faced criticism over its borders’ policy during the health crisis, initially allowing international arrivals and departures to continue last year even as infections surged.

It then introduced requirements to self-isolate if people have been somewhere that is not on a regularly updated “travel corridors” list.

But from next Monday, travellers will need to present proof of a negative coronavirus test result in order to be allowed into England, or face a £500 ($685, 564 euros) fine on arrival.

The change announced last week was set to begin Friday, but late Wednesday the government said it was delaying its imposition in order to give travellers more time to prepare.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman defended the delay, after it drew fresh criticism of his handling of the crisis.

“We’ve implement a grace period over the weekend… so that passengers can have a little bit more time to ensure that they can get access to the tests that they need that meet our requirements,” he told reporters.

“We will continue to take the actions that we deem appropriate.”

Britain has been one of the worst hit countries in Europe by the pandemic, recording nearly 85,000 deaths and more than 3.2 million cases to date.

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Mexico to host rescheduled CONCACAF Olympic qualifying https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/15/mexico-to-host-rescheduled-concacaf-olympic-qualifying Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:42:59 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141338 Mexico head Group A, which also includes the United States, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Group B includes Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti.

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Guadalajara will host the CONCACAF men’s qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics March 18-30, football’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean said Thursday.

The tournament was originally scheduled for March of 2020, but called off because of the coronavirus pandemic that eventually saw the 2020 Tokyo Games pushed back to 2021.

Eight participating Under-23 teams had already been drawn into groups of four, with Mexico and Honduras the two seeded tams.

Mexico head Group A, which also includes the United States, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Group B includes Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti.

After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

Both finalists will earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.

The Jalisco and Akron Stadiums in Guadalajara will be used, with CONCACAF saying in a statement it had worked with world governing body FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation and other stakeholders to develop health protocols “to ensure this competition takes place in a safe environment for all participants.”

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Someone lucky from Costa Rica could win over $1.3 billion in USA lotteries this weekend https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/14/someone-lucky-from-costa-rica-could-win-over-1-3-billion-in-usa-lotteries-this-weekend Thu, 14 Jan 2021 22:01:24 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141323 You can participate in Mega Millions and Powerball draws with official tickets without leaving your home in Costa Rica.

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Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot has soared to an estimated $750 million — the second highest prize in the game’s history. The Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries have a combined jackpot of more than $1.3 billion. Amazingly, you too can try your luck from the comfort of your home in Costa Rica.

This week, the two leading American lotteries are offering jackpot prizes worth a combined total of $1.39 billion USD. “It has been a couple of years since the games have simultaneously offered jackpots this large,” says May Scheve Reardon, Executive Director of the Missouri Lottery.

Both jackpots have been rolling over since September, but there’s a good chance they will be won in this week’s draws. Up until now, you probably assumed you could only play Mega Millions and Powerball if you travelled to the United States and purchased lottery tickets in person, but all that has changed.

You can now play American lotteries online, with official tickets, by registering an account at Thelotter.com, the world’s leading online lottery ticket purchasing service. Online lottery play at TheLotter is simple, safe, and secure.

“Millions of people from all over the world are ordering their tickets with us,” states TheLotter’s spokesman Adrian Cooremans. “We are glad to offer our services to residents of Costa Rica as well.”

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up at Thelotter.com.
  2. Select Mega Millions, or Powerball, or one of 45 other lotteries available on the site.
  3. Fill out your ticket with your favourite numbers or use a computer-generated random selection.
  4. Indicate how many lines you want to play or choose to play with a lottery syndicate to increase your chances of winning.
  5. Confirm your ticket purchase and you’re eligible to win prizes in the upcoming draw.

Cooremans explains that when you order official American lottery tickets on the site, “TheLotter’s local agents in the US will buy them on your behalf. In return, the website charges a transaction fee, and you will get a scan of your tickets before the draw. When you win a prize, it’s entirely yours as no commissions are taken from winning tickets.”

According to Mega Millions and Powerball rules, you do not have to be an American citizen or resident to play American lotteries. By utilizing the online lottery ticket purchasing services of TheLotter, you can participate in Mega Millions and Powerball draws with official tickets without leaving your home in Costa Rica.

Real winners from around the world

More than 6 million lucky players from all over the world have already won over $100 million in prizes by using the ticket-purchasing services of TheLotter. The site’s biggest winner to date is Aura D. from Panama, a retired woman still working to support her kids. Aura was the sole jackpot winner in a July 2017 Florida Lotto draw, entitling her to the entire $30 million prize.

“If someone from Panama can play American lotteries by purchasing official tickets online at TheLotter, so can someone from Costa Rica,” says Cooremans.

For more information how to play Mega Millions and Powerball online from the comfort of your home in Costa Rica, please visit Thelotter.com. Good luck and please play responsibly!

This story was sponsored by The Lotter. 

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5 top reasons to consider Costa Rica real estate https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/14/5-top-reasons-to-consider-costa-rica-real-estate Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:32:28 +0000 https://ticotimes.net/?p=141319 Here are 5 top reasons to consider Costa Rica from my perspective and experience as a Costa Rican living in San Francisco for over 20 years, and as Team Leader for AMSI Costa Rica.

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The Merriam Webster dictionary defines experience as, among other definitions:

1:  The process of living through an event or events.  You learn by experience.

2 : The skill or knowledge gained by actually doing a thing.

Because we learn by experience, we know that having a back up plan is always a good idea in order to ensure that things actually get better. Many people are wondering what to do in order to have a plan B for themselves, their families and, of course, their finances. This is where the idea of investing in International Real Estate comes to mind. But where do you think it is safe to do something like this?  How can you start the process?  Furthermore,  how do you secure title and keep your investment secure and free of headaches? After all, there are so many variables playing around in this uncharted territory. We will try, to the best of our knowledge, to answer those questions.

In order to ensure your Costa Rican experience to develop a strong plan B, here are 5 top reasons to consider Costa Rica from my perspective and experience as a Costa Rican living in San Francisco for over 20 years, and as Team Leader for AMSI Costa Rica.

  1. Costa Rica is very well known for being a country with a long democratic tradition that does not have an army.
  2. Costa Rica is highly popular with people from all around the globe that come to visit and, in many cases, end up living in the country.
  3. There is a long legal tradition that backs up your ownership of free and clear titles.
  4. The Weather. Costa Rica has great weather with a wide range of microclimates to enjoy……Tropical, Mild, and Cold.
  5. Costa Rica is a captivating paradise with most welcoming people that believe in what they call the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle (literally Pure Life or in a better translation ‘the art of living well’).

Let’s break down each of the 5 top reasons for plan B to ensure and secure your Costa Rican experience in the “Pura Vida” way.

1. Costa Rica is very well-known for being a country with a long democratic tradition that does not have an army.

Yes, you heard this right!!! This country abolished its army back in 1948,  and since then it relies on international law to defend its sovereignty and national interests. Considering that Costa Rica is located in Central America (an area very well known for high political, social and economic instability) it is remarkable that Costa Rica abolished its army and managed to stay away from the Central American conflicts that had unfortunately engulfed so many of the nations in this area of the world. This fact gives Costa Rica a high level of political stability and continuous economic and social growth as backed by the World Bank.

2. Costa Rica is highly popular with people from all around the globe that come to visit and, in many cases, end up living in the country.

According to Statista.com “in 2019, Costa Rica welcomed a total of 3.14 million tourists. This represented an increase of around 4.1 percent in comparison with the number of international arrivals reported in the previous year”

In a country of little more than 5 million people, there is no doubt this represents a significant amount of visitors which brings us into another interesting fact… Do you know you can become a resident by investing $200,000 in Real Estate? Yes, you heard it right! Costa Ricans have a very safe and easy way for you to become a resident but even without it, the fact that so many people come to this country can secure your real estate investment for plan B. Not to mention that it is a captivating paradise with very welcoming people that believe in what they call the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle (literally Pure Life or in a better translation “the art of living well”). Living the Costa Rican experience as an investor and visitor is something you can do to ensure plan B is there for you, family and friends.

3. There is a long legal tradition that backs up your ownership of free and clear titles.

According to Real Estate Agent Oscar Robles from American Marketing Systems Incorporated in Costa Rica, a foreigner can own property under the same rights as a citizen from this country. The rights to own title are guaranteed by The Law and there is title insurance available to add more value to your investment.

4. The Weather. Costa Rica has great weather with a wide range of microclimates to enjoy……Tropical, Mild, and Cold.

In accordance with data from the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington DC this country, at 51.100 Kilometers square (19,729 sq feet), represents only 0.03% of the world’s landmass but has 6% of the world biodiversity. 25.6% of the territory is protected under an impressive system of National Parks and Reserves. Being close to the Equator, the country is classified as tropical; however it has 12 climatic zones that range from frosty, cold, hot, dry, humid and pleasantly mild.

5. Costa Rica is a captivating paradise with most welcoming people that believe in what they call the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle (literally Pure Life or, in a better translation, ‘the art of living well’).

The country is an immense natural beauty where Ticos, or Costa Ricans, are generally well known for being shy, educated, very democratic, well mannered, nice, and helpful. The country is classified by The World Happiness Report for 2019 as one of the happiest places on Earth to live in.

In this captivating paradise, are very welcoming people who believe in what they call the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle (literally Pure Life or in a better translation “the art of living well”). Living the Costa Rican experience as an investor and visitor is something you can do to ensure plan B is there for you, family and friends. There are more reasons to invest in this lovely country but that would make this article a book.

Let us finish by giving you a piece of advice: Do yourself a favor and definitely consider opening your investment options now because as Mark Twain once said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

This story was sponsored by AMSI

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