Costa Rica News 6-11-15 posted by on June 11, 2015
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Update: Missing US tourist found dead in Costa Rica

Update Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.: Richard Jean-Georges was found dead off the coast of Jacó on Tuesday afternoon, according to Red Cross spokesman Freddy Roman. Costa Rican authorities are preparing to collect the body. 

A missing U.S. swimmer in the central Pacific Costa Rican beach town of Jacó has been identified as Patrol Officer Richard Jean-Georges, from Bristol, Rhode Island, in the United States.

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Private-sector employers offer 0.94 percent wage increase for second half of 2015

Business leaders on Monday filed two salary increase proposals for private-sector employees for the second half of this year. Employers submitted to the Labor Ministry’s National Wages Council a 0.94 percent increase proposal, which is lower than figures requested by unions last week. Union leaders on June 1 submitted proposals ranging from 1.46 to 5 percent.

Luis Mesalles, director of the Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP), said the employer proposal is based on projected inflation for the second half of this year plus a compensation for variations registered in inflation during the same period in 2014.

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Legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle releases first interview filmed at depth off Cocos Island

“Most of the ocean is cold and dark. Most of what is known about the ocean is in that upper 1,000 feet or so. You look at a spot on the map and if you only know what’s at the surface you don’t really know what’s going on, any more than you would know about New York City if you just looked at the tops of the buildings. It’s really important to have information about what’s in the deep sea,” said world-renowned oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle during an interview shot 1,000 feet underwater at Cocos Island, Costa Rica’s most remote territory located in the Pacific Ocean.

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Marvin Camacho’s musical mission: ‘One does not choose, it’s a need you feel’

Marvin Camacho began his musical career at the age of 9 when he sang at a community event in his hometown of Barva, Heredia. Four decades later, he’s a renowned composer whose instrumental music has circled the globe, earning him honors including the National Arts Award and National Composition Award.

I have had the good fortune to know Camacho for the past several years, and sat down with him recently at his University of Costa Rica office to discuss his life and caree

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Costa Rica starts aid distribution to Guanacaste farmers stricken by drought

Officials from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) began distributing animal feed and other supplies to help nearly 4,000 farmers affected by a lack of rainfall in the country’s northwestern province of Guanacaste.

MAG officials will distribute aid throughout this month and into July, including seed, bales of hay, minerals, molasses, dried orange pulp, corn and concentrated food. Later this month, MAG also will begin distributing sugar to beekeepers.

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Costa Rican sets milestone upon reaching summit of Yosemite National Park’s notorious El Capitán alone

Alejandro Soto on Tuesday became the first Costa Rican to climb alone to the summit of El Capitán, an iconic rock formation in Yosemite National Park in the U.S. state of California, according to media reports. Soto climbed 550 vertical meters over six days along the Zodiac route to reach the peak.

One of Costa Rica’s most decorated climbers, Soto made the climb alone with ropes, a first for a Central American, reported the daily La Nación. Sleeping along the climb involved securing a hanging sleeping bag from the granite face and dangling several hundred meters off the valley floor.

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In Guatemala, anti-establishment presidential candidate benefits from corruption scandals

GUATEMALA CITY – In the wake of two major corruption scandals that have led to seven consecutive weeks of anti-corruption demonstrations, a new poll in the run-up to general elections in September shows right-wing populist Manuel Baldizón still leading. But his popularity has stagnated due to a widespread perception that his administration is likely to be as corrupt as that of current President Otto Pérez Molina’s.

Conducted by Costa Rican polling firm Borge y Asociados and published by Contrapoder magazine and Canal Antigua TV channel on June 5, the poll shows 34.5 percent of those surveyed would vote for Baldizón, while 12.9 percent would vote for center-left National Unity of Hope party candidate and former First Lady Sandra Torres, and a surprising 10.4 percent would vote for comedian Jimmy Morales, of the minuscule and under-funded FCN party.

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Hiring outlook in Costa Rica up 3 percent over last quarter, survey finds

Employers in Costa Rica reported slightly optimistic hiring plans for the next three months, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey released Tuesday by consulting firm Manpower.

The country’s Net Employment Outlook increased from 11 to 14 percent from the previous quarter, although it decreased by 2 percent compared to the same quarter last year

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