Question: What country has the strongest currency in the wo

ISSUE #553: Mar 15-21, 2015


Question:  What country has the strongest currency in the world?

Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

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.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines /


Featured house this week

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Read more about Paradisus Condos


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Market Activity

Sales: no inquiries.

Rentals: several inquires.



Unit #114: $235,000 / See Unit

Unit #116: $214,000 / See Unit


Unit #112: $1,500 mo. / March-April / See Unit

Unit #113: $1,400 mo. / Immediately / See Unit

Site Plan



UNIT #114
FOR SALE $235,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf. (plus covered parking for one car and two lockers 67 sf.) single story, semi detached house, with garden terrace, two bedrooms is a beautiful executive style home. This home consists of two large bedrooms one with six piece en-suite bathroom with additional access to separate full shower. Each bedroom has large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and bathroom ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are four TVs (one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in breakfast / dinning room.) This is a beautiful well appointed home.


UNIT #116
FOR SALE $214,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.


UNIT #112
$1,500 mo. March-April

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.


UNIT #113
$1,400 mo. Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.  The three other sides allow light, ventilation and  garden views.


Our Lives

WEATHER: Normal beautiful weather --the winds have subsided and we begin to see the transition to the rainy season... it hasn't started raining yet but clouds in the afternoon, higher humidity, quite still... the garden is dry, again we have lost a lot of plants and maintenance has been deferred --the remaining plants will come back after a month of rains but will still show the effects of drought...  

Volcan Turrialba is quiet again so no ash.

Renting is not easy; collecting is not easy; sales are virtually non-existent.

Answer to Question: Costa Rica... while currencies all over the world are falling to the value of the US dollar over the past 6 mo., the CR colony --which is not exchangeable for anything outside CR--not Nicaragua, not Panama... no where... continues to increase in value and the government continues to state there is no inflation (mainly due to the decrease in oil --gas, electricity are decreasing... food prices are increasing...  wages are increasing... domestic help has gone from ¢2,000 hr to ¢ 2,500 -- a 25% increase. The government has ordered the local banks to buy the newly issued government bonds (CR has virtually been shut out of the international bond market due to interest rates they would have to pay)... now they want local banks to buy and then re-sell the debt to their customers...


News Items of the Week

Three good news stories:

1. Electricity rates to decrease, at least for a while, by about 11-12%.

2. Cargill: the huge corporate agricultural company in N. Am. is expanding in Central Am. and includes an expansion in CR. They have owned Pipasa poultry, the main branded chicken processing and marketing company for years... and now want to add to their infrastructure and chicken processing products for export.

3. Emerson Electric to expand and hire an additional 200 people.


1. Electricity Rates to Go Lower

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) approved reductions in electricity rates ranging from 7 to 15 percent starting April

1. The new rates will remain in place at least until June.

Lower rates will benefit some 1.5 million industrial, commercial and residential customers covered by eight utility companies.

In approving the rates, ARESEP took into consideration a substancial reduction in thermal generation costs, plus recent drops in prices recorded in the international fuel market.

Use of fossil fuels to generate electricity significantly dropped during November-January, allowing companies to lower production costs, the Regulatory Authority reported.

The reduction in tariffs will vary according to the utility company. Customers of the Public Services Company of Heredia will benefit most: their rates will decrease by 15 percent.

On the flip side, residents in the northern region, served by Coopelesca, will only see an 8 percent decrease in their monthly rates.

2. Cargill To Invest $100 million in Expansion

The U.S. company Cargill, owner of the Costa Rican chicken and deli brands Pipasa and Cinta Azul, on Thursday reported it will invest $100 million over the next five years in its Costa Rica operations.

Cargill CEO David W. MacLennan made the announcement Thursday at a press conference in Heredia, outside of San José, during a visit that also included a meeting with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís on Wednesday.

The company’s regional president, Xavier Vargas, said the investment in Costa Rica is part of $500 million the company has earmarked for the region, including Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Half of the funds for Costa Rica will be spent mostly on improving logistics and distribution, “where the company plans its biggest expansion in coming years,” Vargas said.

The other half will go toward operating expenses including the purchase of more vehicles and the construction of a new production plant for value-added chicken products to be exported to other countries in the region.

The company will build a grain warehouse near Caldera Port, in the Pacific province of Puntarenas, and a shared-services center for Cargill operations across the Americas, Vargas added.

The services center will open in approximately four weeks and will employ 200 people. Vargas said 60 workers already have been hired.

The Minnesota-based company launched operations in Costa Rica by acquiring Cinta Azul in 1999 and then Pipasa in 2011.

3. US Firm Expands

Emerson, an American multinational headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri, inaugurated its expanded service and engineering centers in Costa Rica on Wednesday. The firm plans to hire 200 new workers here over the next three years.

Emerson manufactures electrical equipment and provides engineering services to clients. The firm will be recruiting professionals in finance, accounting, marketing, sales, information technology, logistics and engineering.

Emerson‘s facilities in Costa Rica are located in Escazú, southwest of the capital San José. From there the company provides technical support and engineering services to its operations in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Costa Rica’s Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría attended the opening ceremony and praised the company for its growth and for creating more quality jobs.

“We celebrate the opening of these new facilities and we are committed to keep building a country that remains attractive to such high-level investment,” she said.

Steven L. Boyce, General Manager of Emerson Costa Rica said the company decided to expand its local operation “based on great results achieved to date, and also due to the high skills and abilities of the Costa Rican workforce.”

Emerson opened business here in 2008 and currently employs 825 people. Last year the company hired 120 new employees.

Emerson’s Latin America operations employ some 18,000 workers, most of them in Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s service sector currently employs some 50,000 workers, according to figures from the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency.

Brian, Lita, the Late Hugo IV, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, Chico II and Chica II

Previous reports