first_imgNo related posts. Looking for a private chef? Try Jay’s Private Chef Services of Tamarindo/Langosta. Owner Jay Ferreira, a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy, offers culinary services for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As an added amenity, Jay will also give cooking classes for the kitchen-challenged. Check out his website, privatechefjay.com, or call 8578-1578.Lorena King is offering private yoga therapy and retreats in the Tamarindo area. She uses a holistic approach to her practice, and is certified in Bikram yoga, reiki and macrobiotic nutrition. Private sessions include a nutritional assessment, meditation and breath work with Thai massage, and reiki body work incorporating Hatha yoga poses. Lorena offers raw food, vegetarian and vegan catering with a private raw-foods chef. If you want a more rigorous yoga session, Lorena works with a certified Ashtanga teacher to fulfill those requirements. Information can be found at www.yogatamarindo.com and you can email her at lorena@yogatamarindo.com.El Coconut Restaurant is on its annual vacation. It will reopen June 5. El Coconut Beach Club in Potrero is also on a break, and it will reopen June 8.Tomorrow, The Village in front of Country Day School will have a flea market from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and an organic market on Tuesday from 2-6 p.m.Lots of news from CEPIA. The annual Robert August Surf & Turf, which took place last April and drew participants from Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Costa Rica, raised $13,000 for the organization. The money will go to activities like the After-School Program 2012, which offers classes to 240 kids. In addition, CEPIA offers popular free courses for those 16 and older who want to learn haircutting, massage, English, crafts, cooking, computing, yoga and how to make eco-jewelry.–Ellen Zoe Goldenellenzoe@aol.com Facebook Commentslast_img

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first_img Share Tags: Canada, Uganda Friday, April 5, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> KAMPALA — An elderly Canadian couple came face-to-face with armed gunmen while on safari in Uganda this week, but managed to escape unharmed.Global Affairs Canada confirms two Canadian citizens were present during an ambush of tourists in the country on Tuesday.Spokesman Richard Walker says the couple are safe and have been provided with consular services.Ugandan security forces are searching for a U.S. citizen and a local driver who were abducted in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and authorities say the kidnappers have demanded a $500,000 ransom.Police say the kidnapped American is a 35-year-old woman.Abductions in Uganda’s protected areas are rare. Queen Elizabeth National Park, in southwest Uganda along the porous border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a popular safari destination. Canadian travellers safe after witnessing kidnapping of American tourist in Uganda By: The Associated Presslast_img

first_imgIn her annual State of the Nation speech before members of the Legislative Assembly Wednesday night, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla pushed forward the message that despite overwhelming public disapproval of her administration, her government has had achieved several major accomplishments. Yet in a tone that has become common for the unpopular president of the dominating National Liberation Party – which earlier in the day secured the presidency of the Assembly in an annual May Day vote by lawmakers – Chinchilla acknowledged that “there is still a lot of work to do and challenges that we have not been able not overcome.”Speaking to lawmakers, Cabinet members and invited dignitaries for 75 minutes, Chinchilla admitted her administration still faces high rates of unemployment and poverty, and officials have been unsuccessful at reducing a social-economic gap among citizens.Chinchilla, who took office in 2010 as Costa Rica’s first woman to hold the presidency, also cited progress, including 5 percent growth in the national economy, “the highest in the last 15 years,” as well as a drop in interest rates and the blockage of short-term investments that threatened the country’s economic balance.She highlighted an earlier and successful issuance of Eurobonds that helped reduce the country’s staggering fiscal deficit, which last year topped $2 billion, or 4.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The speech also addressed foreign trade by highlighting an increase of 10 percent in exports and positive performance by companies, which helped Costa Rica surpass by $200 million a $2 billion annual export goal. That positive news came mostly because of high-technology and free-zone companies.On social development, Chinchilla said the most notable accomplishments include poverty rates that leveled off for the first time in five years and actually began decreasing (by 1 percent). She also highlighted the success of one of her flag projects: a national daycare program that increased coverage by 75 percent, with 79,000 new children added. Public security was another of the president’s main focuses. The president, who campaigned on the issue in 2010, reported a decrease of nearly 50 percent in homicides in 2012, of 15 percent for car theft, and 10.6 percent for home invasions. She said “local police forces were able to disrupt some 350 criminal organizations.”As for what is missing, Chinchilla said three factors are preventing her administration from moving forward: “First, our democratic system is not responding to the timing and quality demanded by our citizens,” she said.She cited limited management and technical skills in most public institutions, as well as a complicated system of rules that encourage paralysis in public administration.A second problem is caused by an incapacity for dialogue and the polarization of public debate, the president said. “The prevalence of antagonistic interests and the radicalization of positions hinders the necessary negotiation process for democracy to move forward,” she stated.Finally, the president refered to “despicable acts of corruption in public administration that have been generating a deep distrust of politics” referring probably to scandals such as the construcion of a road along the border with Nicaragua, that ended with the dismissal of several officials.Chinchilla ended her speech by asking lawmakers to increase dialogue in order to expedite bills in the Assembly, proposed government programs and public works projects. Those stalled bills include reform on in vitro fertilization – which Costa Rica must implement following a recent Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling – and granting same-sex couples equal rights under the law.The president asked opposition parties to exercise “the unavoidable task of political control, which is essential yet taxing, and something with which the government is obliged to comply.”“My government does not ask for less, and expects no less,” Chinchilla said. No related posts. Facebook Commentscenter_img Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla delivers the annual State of the Nation address on Wednesday to lawmakers, administration officials, dignitaries and other invited guests at the Legislative Assembly in San José. Courtesy of Luis Navarro/La Naciónlast_img

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica to ‘take a hard look’ at its diplomatic missions, foreign minister says after meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry Costa Rica ‘cautiously’ rejoins SICA Costa Rica celebrates 66th anniversary of the abolition of its army CELAC should become an extreme poverty-free zone, says Ecuador’s foreign minister President Luis Guillermo Solís called on the Central American Integration System (SICA) to take up new challenges like climate change, immigration, and health concerns such as Zika during a speech in New York Sunday. The reprimand of the regional club’s narrow focus comes shortly after Costa Rica decided it didn’t want to be a full member of SICA.Along with calls for expanding the scope of the group, which is dedicated to the political and economic integration of Central American countries, Solís highlighted several longstanding problems with SICA, including a lack of transparency, accountability and a regional vision to present to the rest of the world. But despite the bloc’s problems, Costa Rica has little option but to keep working with its neighbors, international relations experts say.Costa Rica left SICA in frustration after the regional bloc failed to agree on a solution to the wave of Cuban immigration that left nearly 8,000 migrants stranded here in December. Costa Rica no longer participates in SICA’s executive committee, which oversees policy implementation and evaluation, nor does it join meetings of presidents and foreign ministers, or the Central American Security Commission. It does still participate in other parts of SICA, including forums on commerce and trade.During a trip to Guatemala in February, Solís said that Costa Rica’s return to SICA would require a roadmap for “effective and efficient integration.”Carlos Cascante, Director of the School of International Relations at Costa Rica’s National University, told The Tico Times that Costa Rica does not appear to be interested in the political project of regional integration. Costa Rica is the most stable country in the isthmus and that sense of exceptionalism has pushed the country to more developed clics outside Central America like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Alliance of the Pacific, a trade bloc of Latin America’s biggest economies.Cascante said that Costa Rica’s ambivalence toward the rest of Central America is balanced by its need to have established norms with its neighbors, especially when it comes to transportation, trade and commerce. Large trading partners, like the United States or the European Union, for example, insist on negotiating trade deals with the region as a single bloc. One reason is because of the market potential of Central America versus its individual countries. Costa Rica has just 4.8 million inhabitants while the total population of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement member states is more than 50 million.“Whether or not the countries in Central America see themselves as a bloc, the rest of the world does,” Cascante said.Paola Solano, director of International Relations at the Latin American University of Science and Technology, agreed. She said that SICA is “fundamental” for Central America, warts and all. That’s why she said that Costa Rica’s decision to “throw a tantrum” and leave the political leadership was a mistake.“Costa Rica leaving the table has weakened SICA and its own image as partner in the region,” Solano said. The “CRexit” did nothing to resolve the Cuban immigration crisis or head off later crises, like the latest wave of African migration, and has done nothing to support reforms of the regional bloc, she said.“You need to maintain dialogue with your neighbors,” she said.In the meantime, the clock is ticking before Costa Rica is set to assume SICA’s presidency pro tempore in January 2017. It’s unclear whether or not Costa Rica will find a way to re-integrate itself fully into SICA by then. Solano noted, “It would be awkward for Costa Rica to assume the presidency of an organization to which it is not a full member.” Facebook Commentslast_img

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