ISSUE #187: May 5-9, 2008



When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter —determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

In an effort to make the format more interesting and visually appealing and to field inquiries re. El Dorado, the news letter is now being distributed by Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager, Hacienda El Dorado. I will remain the author.


We continue to make presentations and some of the conversations we've been having are nearing closure. The web designer has completed several components and is working on what I expect to be the last component-the optional upgrades matrix. That is likely to be several weeks yet. We are also in discussion with another investor who has expressed interest in buying 3-5 units in phase 1.


Gaviones: We've started to chalk out the location and to prepare the wire cages. (See pictures)

Office Building: We continue to wait for the permit.

Site Plan: We have issued the latest site plan. We believe this maximizes the value of the lot and meets all the goverment requirements and that all the buildings fit on the land as they should and allows adequate space between the buildings for light and access. It's taken us 57 tries.

Click here to view high resolution site plan:

West Fence: All columns and decorative steel sections are installed. We have to add some trim moldings and to parge the back side. The entry fence is nearing completion. The inner fence / retaining wall has reached it's 2nd. level and we are beginning to add the third and final section to it.

Use of the Well Water: We are still operating under the following time lines.

As per what I was told the D1 will be ready in exactly two weeks. (This would be the week of May 19)

As for the MINAE concession, we are looking at about 4-6 weeks, instead of an average of 6 months.

If this comes to pass, it is the best news I've heard in a long time. However, we must remember that this is CR and construction so while I am cautiously optimistic, I'm not yet dancing in the street.
Quebrada Extension: All sections are now installed and partially covered. We'll be adding additional dirt over time. (See pictures)

West Fence Nearly Completed

Screening Out an Entrepreneurial Neighbor

Where is the Quebrada? -- The Future Access Road to the Maintenance Area

Future Location of Gaviones

Cages for Gaviones

Screening Out Squatters


Website Upgrade / Marketing: Photos of Residencias Los Jardines, the Santa Ana area and some of the houses are now available on line at The upgrade work is very near completion; it should be uploaded and fully operational this week. We will still be missing some info. But on houses which are neither available for sale or lease.

Units for Sale/Lease:


Unit #103 - For Sale/Leased

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1000
Total area (Sq M): 93
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,000 sq ft., (plus parking for one car) detached, single story fully furnished home, which features two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one is en-suite), living room, dining and kitchen area and a private backyard terrace. The vaulted, insulated ceilings in the living room and master bedroom offer fresh air and cool temperatures all the time.

Read More

Unit #109 - Available for Rent

unit 109

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the "great" room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the "great room" which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a laundry / storage room off the 2nd bedroom. It is suitable for a side by side washer / dryer set or it may be used for storage.

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Unit #107 - For Sale

unit 109

Total Area (Sq Ft):1716
Total area (Sq M):158
Floor(s):2 Story

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking for one car) two story, detached house, with three terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and upstairs master suite is a beautiful home. This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms (one on each floor) with en-suite bathrooms and a powder room, each with large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor, provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are three TVs (one in each bedroom and one in the living room.) This is a beautiful home. There is a rough-in for a dishwasher in the kitchen area.

Read More

Unit #120 - Available for Rent

unit 109

Total Area (Sq Ft):1312
Total area (Sq M):122
Floor(s):1 Story

This 1,312 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is an end unit and therefore attached on only one side providing ample lighting and views. The 6 inch cement demising (common) wall prevents sound transfer. This is a very nicely furnished and accented home.

Read More

The Guard Dog: Mac, the guard dog, is becoming an issue. He's been given a job description which he can't reasonably be expected to fulfill. How can we expect him to distinguish between people coming and going all hours of the day and night (when he's allowed to free range to do his job). He can't distinguish between guests of residents let alone all the changing of residents. We will try to train him but Paul and I are reluctantly coming to the conclusion that he will have to be retired and given to a good home. Fortunately, we have one ready, waiting, and wanting him.


FORUM II Business Park

The new Forum II is on 6.5 hectares of land less than a kilometer away from Forum I.

Construction is going ahead based on the needs of foreign companies doing business in Costa Rica and the success of Forum I.

Fifty-two companies are in Forum I, all in service fields. Some are already looking for more space.

The plan is to offer them the same services and prices along with facilities that an executive needs on the job. Call centers (companies dedicated to data processing and information technology) will also be in Forum II, scheduled to open in September.

There will be a total of 15 new buildings, each with four floors and two parking basements plus a 12-story tower. Some buildings will share a lobby and all surround a central plaza with a 7,200 square-meter green area, the heart of the complex.

Forum II will be more modern than Forum I. with concrete structures and glass walls accompanying high tech assets in fields of communication, security, controlled access and parking, among others.

The designers have also taken into consideration "quality of life" with plazas, fountains, and green areas that contribute to a favorable environment for people to work in.

The east and west facades will have a more artistic design with solid walls made of light-weight materials and thermally-treated glass to protect against the sun's rays. Clients can request specific interior design without extra cost and the common areas will be modern and high quality.

Forum II will offer office space starting at 180 square meters and will have an independent generator, a water treatment plant and telephone districts. ICE guarantees immediate delivery of telephone lines.

Each tower will have also automatic fire extinguishers and fiber optic network access to high-speed Internet.

The following companies are beneficiaries of the Free Trade Zone Regime within the Forum1 business center:

  1. Western Union (Union del Oeste de Costa Rica, S.A.)
  2. Procter & Gamble (Global Business Services of Costa Rica, Ltda. GBS)
  3. Maersk Sealand SSC, S.A.
  4. Chiquita (Centro Global de Procesamiento Chiquita SRL)
  5. Hewlett Packard (Hewlett Packard Costa Rica, Ltda..)
  6. IBM (IBM Business Transformation Center SRL)



Manuel aka Mani

A welder by profession, Manuel is 40 years old, lives with his girlfriend and two sons in La Carpio, a predominantly Nicaraguan township on the outskirts of San Jose.

Welding he learned back home in Nicaragua but the economic situation there and the absence of stable employment has forced him to take the bold decision to cross the border illegally and start a new life in Costa Rica. This was back in 1988 when all that was needed was to bribe a border guard with 6,000 colones in order to be able to get across without having your passport checked. With the media nowadays paying a lot more attention to illegal immigration and corruption, this is no longer possible today. As a welder, he now earns 1,100 colones per hour ($2.25 hr + benefits of $1.15 hr)

From the border, Manuel made his way to a small farm in Guanacaste, the Northwestern province of Costa Rica, where he stayed overnight. The next day he made his way to Limon where he was supposed to meet a friend of his from back home. He did not find his friend, but he did find a job with Chiquita, the banana producing company, which kept him there for some eight months during which he made new friendships that eventually helped him get back to practice his profession of welding on construction sites in San Jose.

His resume includes prior welding work experience in a furniture-making company, in companies specializing in
installing heavy structures such as metallic bridges as well as construction companies. Manuel saw the construction of Mall San Pedro, one of Costa Rica's largest shopping/commercial centers, he worked on the Central Bank's building, Plaza Mayor (another commercial center in Pavas close to the U.S. embassy).


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There are also new articles posted in Spanish on the following URL:


May 08, 2008
China to Give Costa Rica 200 Patrol Cars, US$10 million
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica: A Costa Rican official says China has promised to donate 200 patrol cars and US$10 million (€6.4 million) to the Central American country.

May 07, 2008
Chinese vice premier in Costa Rica to boost ties
SAN JOSE (AFP) — Costa Rica and China inked deals worth 50 million dollars Tuesday during a three-day visit here by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu aimed at broadening relations with San Jose.

May 05, 2008
Chinese Vice Premier Due in Costa Rica
SAN JOSE (AFP) — Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu is scheduled to arrive in Costa Rica Tuesday for a three-day visit that includes a meeting with President Oscar Arias, who broke ties with Taiwan to recognize China last year, Arias' office said.


Weather: This week seems to have been the turning point in the transition from dry to rainy season.

Lita's Retreat: I don't think she met or made any new or lasting friendships but she had an o.k. time. I heard stories for three days after her return and I'm sure there will be a few more yet to come.

Panama, "David": We're off Monday to return on Friday to David, a city in northern Panama where we've wanted to go for several years. We'll be traveling with friends. It's a long bus ride but ......a new experience.

Yakks: Lita wanted to go out to dinner and wanted to try a different restaurant. I suggest "Yakks" in Santa Ana--it was always very busy on our way to the "Time Out Tavern" in Escazu. It was a DISASTER!!! It will never see my backside again. The nachos were the worst I've ever had; Lita's fish was so overcooked it was pathetic. Our friend had an o.k. breaded fish fillet. One menu for three people; 1 set of cutlery for three and then they brought 4 sets..... I don't know why it is popular--perhaps people don't order food or perhaps their tastes or standards are "different" than ours......enough said....... no one will see me there again.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies —Chico and Chica.

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