—Vida y tiempo—
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.
Squatters and Encroachment: Last week I wrote: Personally, I doubt we will agree either in principle or on a price. Unfortunately, I was right. We're assessing the changes we need to make.
Pointing to the lot line...
Quandary: The tree still hasn't given us an indication of which direction it wants to go.
Permitting Applications: I was told there are actually 74 different pieces of legislation that need to be taken into consideration in this process. Wow!!! We are now told that a number of these applications can proceed in parallel; we've been advised differently so many times that I've filled up my hardrive with different versions of "advice". The consultant says he believes it is possible for us to have all permits in place for construction to begin in March 2009. We'll be happy if this happens. While we won't like building in the rainy season, we won't have the neighbors complaining about dust.
Site Plan Approval Application: We have hired an environmental consultant to assist in both the INVU and SETENA applications. His first job will be to sooth some ruffled feathers and then to guide us through the minefield. He will be responsible for completing the non-engineering information and for expediting the applications. He will work with the engineers and the lawyer and add the archeological study, environmental impact declaration, and hydrological study. He will be meeting August 11 with representatives from the Municipality of Santa Ana and MINAE and will outline the project to them in terms of environmental concerns we have factored into the development and social impact. At this point in time, there is some concern that we cut some trees we weren't supposed to; our before pictures indicate a different reality that they claim and we have a permit which allowed us to cut some trees and it may be that one of the organizations has forgotten the permit they issued us. Covering the quebrada (sewer) is an issue which they are upset about. We tried to talk with people at the time but no one seemed interested. When they see for themselves that it was/is a sewer, we think the nature of the conversation will change. This is an important meeting but we feel we have the right person in place to handle it. We have to deal with these issues tactfully. I won't be there. The consultant said that these guys were tree huggers and socialists--it's best a Gringo face read a book at home. Personally, I find it difficult to be too humble when what we have addressed has been allowed to exist for years and our end product is certainly a substantial improvement over the status quo. We simply have to convince them that this is the case. We pointed out to the consultant that we have built into our program not only social payback with the $70,000 we have committed El Dorado purchasers to invest in the immediate community (more investment than it has seen for a long time) and that with our re-cycling of cleansed back water for irrigation purposes,we are also ecologically friendly and have tried to minimize the movement of earth by retaining the natural topography and build to it.
Well Concession: this permit has been applied for. We have laid the groundwork for advertising the application in the government newspaper to make it a public record. The permit has to be advertised for three weeks and then there is a waiting period to see if there are challenges.The consultant is saying this should be issued in two months. This target is at least 6 months sooner than we were lead to believe and the time frame we were looking for.
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August 01, 2008
Do you speak English? Maybe not if you teach it in Costa Rica
SAN JOSE (AFP) — Less than 10 percent of English teachers in Costa Rica's public schools and colleges have a good command of the language, according to the Ministry of Public Education, citing its own study Wednesday.
August 01, 2008
Brazil, Costa Rica call for Latin American unity to face global crises
BRASILIA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Brazil and Costa Rica have urged Latin American countries to unite in the face of the global financial and food crisis.
August 01, 2008
Brazil’s Lula Promises Support to Costa Rica Biofuels Program
(Costa Rica Pages) Thirty years after a Brazil-Costa Rican biofuel partnership was interrupted, President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — commonly referred to as Lula — has pledged technical and technological help for Costa Rica’s biofuel program. Famous for its reliance on ethanol and biofuels, Brazil has promised to send Edison Lobao, Minister of Energy and Mining, to evaluate and develop Costa Rica’s bio-combustible options.
July 30, 2008
Costa Rica Jails 3 Iraqis in Fake Passport Case
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (The Associated Press): Authorities say three Iraqi men have been jailed in Costa Rica on suspicion of using false passports.
July 30, 2008
Costa Rica, South Africa Make List of Top 10 'Ethical Destinations'
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — In an effort to get travelers off the beaten path and support destinations in developing countries, a group called Ethical Traveler has published a list of the "10 best ethical destinations."