Rocha appointed Sales Manager for Hola Sun

first_img Posted by RICHMOND HILL, ON — Hugo Rocha has been named Sales Manager for Hola Sun.With close to 15 years at the company, Rocha has moved up through the ranks with management positions in Hola Sun’s systems, operations and product departments.“I appreciate the opportunity that Hola Sun is giving me to strengthen the relationship with our retail partners and to continue positioning our company as one of the top producers of Canadian visitors to Cuba,” said Rocha.He can be reached at salesmanager@holasunholidays.ca. Thursday, August 11, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img Rocha appointed Sales Manager for Hola Sun Share Tags: Hola Sunlast_img read more

Two dead after Viking cruise ship hits bridge in southern Germany

first_img Source: The Associated Press FRANKFURT — A river cruise ship carrying nearly 230 people struck a bridge early Sunday in southern Germany, crushing the wheelhouse and killing two crew members, authorities said.The Viking Freya had just cast off while it was still dark from the town of Erlangen on its way to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, along the Main-Danube Canal when the collision occurred, police said.The dead were a 49-year-old who was guiding the vessel in place of the captain and a 33-year-old sailor. Both men were from Hungary.Police say the 181 passengers and 47 other crew members on the voyage were unhurt. They remained aboard the ship for hours until rescue workers could extend a walkway to get them off the vessel and take them to nearby hotels.Photos of the incident on the Bavarian Radio website br.de showed passengers seated calmly at tables in the ship’s dining room as they waited.Viking Cruises said in a statement that “we are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident.”More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthPolice said the cause of the incident was under investigation. A police spokesman said it appeared the retractable wheelhouse wasn’t lowered in time, the dpa news agency reported.The company said passengers could continue on another vessel from the town of Passau with a modified itinerary or return home. It said customer representatives would be in touch upon their return home to discuss compensation for the disruption of their trip. Tags: Viking Cruises << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Two dead after Viking cruise ship hits bridge in southern Germany Monday, September 12, 2016 last_img read more

Carnival Corporation partners with INTERPOL for enhanced security screening

first_img Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — In a first for the maritime industry, Carnival Corporation & plc has announced a new partnership with INTERPOL that will lead to advanced security screening across its global operations. This includes its 10 brands and fleet of 101 ships that annually carry nearly 11 million passengers, or about half the global cruise market.Earlier this month, Carnival Corporation received approval to integrate its global passenger check-in process with INTERPOL’s I-Checkit system, a secure method for screening travel document information against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database, containing over 69 million records from 175 countries.The news follows a three-month I-Checkit pilot program on four of Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises brand ships. The trial included 34,000 travel documents that were successfully checked against the SLTD database to demonstrate the system’s ability to enhance security for the global cruise industry.Carnival Corporation and INTERPOL are now working together to roll out the I-Checkit system across Carnival Corporation’s brands, which include: Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).All brands will thus be able to automatically query the SLTD database before and during the boarding process to see if any passenger travel documents have been reported lost or stolen. To ensure privacy and security, no personal data is accessed or transmitted in this process.“One of our top priorities at Carnival Corporation is the safety and security of our guests, our crew and our ships,” said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation and retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy. “Partnering with INTERPOL enables us to seamlessly enhance security across our global fleet while also maintaining our commitment to providing our guests with a great vacation experience. This is another important step for our company and industry as we continue taking proactive measures to enhance the safety and security of our passengers and crew members.” Travelweek Group Carnival Corporation partners with INTERPOL for enhanced security screening Sharelast_img read more

Warwick Hotels and Resorts reopen Cuba resorts following redesign

first_img Travelweek Group Wednesday, November 9, 2016 Share Posted by Tags: Warwick Hotels & Resortscenter_img Warwick Hotels and Resorts reopen Cuba resorts following redesign VARADERO — Warwick Hotels and Resorts (WHR) has announced the reopening of two hotels in Cuba – the Warwick Cayo Santa Maria Cuba and the Naviti Varadero – following extensive upgrades.Reopening Nov. 10, the refreshed five-star, all-inclusive Warwick Cayo Santa Maria Resort located on the north shore of Cuba features 800 rooms and suites ranging from Deluxe Rooms with Garden, Pool or Sea View to the Warwick Suite with Balcony and Sea View. There are also seven restaurants, eight bars, one multi-purpose meeting room for business use and events, a wedding gazebo, fully equipped fitness centre, numerous leisure and sports activities and daily live entertainment at the theatre.The opening of the resort marks a major step in the development of WHR, which established its presence in the Caribbean earlier this year with the October opening of Warwick Paradise Island in the Bahamas.Soon to follow with an official reopening on Dec. 15 is the Naviti Varadero Resort in Varadero Cuba, formerly the Allegro Resort. After taking over management of this resort in 2015, WHR has upgraded it to become a four-star, all-inclusive family property featuring 443 rooms and Junior Suites, six bars and restaurants (five of which are included in the All-Inclusive concept), a fitness centre, spa, nightclub, Kids Club, tennis courts and theatre. It caters to families, couples, honeymooners and friends, not to mention wedding couples, as there are also wedding facilities and a dedicated wedding planner on site.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFor more information go to warwickhotelscuba.com. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Up to 600 in added value with Rocky Mountaineers Stay Play

first_img VANCOUVER — Rocky Mountaineer is encouraging Canadians celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in their own backyard with its latest Stay & Play offer.Available now through to March 3 on qualifying GoldLeaf or SilverLeaf service packages, passengers receive up to $600 in added value to spend on dining, cruising, sightseeing and more.One eligible Rocky Mountaineer vacation package includes the eight-day/seven-night Canadian Rockies Adventures, highlighting Banff and Lake Louise, with a trip to the Columbia Icefields and a helicopter tour through the soaring mountain peaks. The Stay & Play offer is only available for bookings made before March 3, applicable for select travel dates, and must be requested at the time of booking. Other restrictions apply. See rockymountaineer.com. Posted by Tags: Rocky Mountaineer << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 3, 2017 center_img Share Travelweek Group Up to $600 in added value with Rocky Mountaineer’s Stay & Playlast_img read more

WestJet ramps up summer sked with WinnipegAbbotsford route 21 more flights

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Winnipeg and Abbotsford – two long-standing destinations for WestJet – will soon be connected with the addition of new service between the two markets.Starting April 30, the airline will add Abbotsford as its 13th nonstop destination from Winnipeg and will increase frequency on routes to Edmonton and Hamilton. WestJet has served Abbotsford since 1997 and Winnipeg since 1996.The airline will increase its number of nonstop flights between Abbotsford and Edmonton from 13 per week to 20, and service between Winnipeg and Edmonton will increase from 21 flights per week to 24 beginning April 30. Daily service between Winnipeg and Hamilton begins May 1.With these additions, WestJet will operate 60 weekly departures from Abbotsford and 204 departures from Winnipeg by May 2017.“WestJet has built its reputation as Canada’s low-fare leader since 1996 and these flights further solidify this position,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Corporate Development and Alliances. “WestJet has proudly and consistently served the people of Abbotsford, the lower mainland and Winnipeg for more than 20 years while many other airlines have come and gone. Our reputation as Canada’s low-fare leader is a position we will maintain as competition increases. We are pleased to connect two important WestJet markets this summer.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe airline also announced it will increase seasonal capacity on a number of other existing routes. Starting May 2, Edmonton and Hamilton will add six weekly flights for a total of 10, and on May 6 flights between Hamilton and Halifax will increase from seven to eight weekly flights.All flights will be operated onboard WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft featuring Plus seating and WestJet Connect, the airline’s inflight entertainment system accessed directly through smartphones, tablets of computers. Tags: New Routes, WestJet Tuesday, February 21, 2017 center_img WestJet ramps up summer sked with Winnipeg-Abbotsford route & 21 more flights Share Posted bylast_img read more

TravelBrands kicks off New Year with Encore Cruises giveaway

first_imgTravelBrands kicks off New Year with Encore Cruises giveaway Posted by Tags: Encore Cruises, Promotions, TravelBrands Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Tuesday, January 2, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — The New Year is off to a great start for travel agents, thanks to a new limited-time giveaway from Encore Cruises.From Jan. 1-31, 2018, agents can book any 2018 Caribbean sailing through Encore to enter for a chance to win a free seven-night Caribbean or Mexico cruise for two in an oceanview stateroom.Phone bookings count as one ballot entry, while online bookings count for two entries. Travel agents must submit all of their 2018 Caribbean bookings made throughout the month of January through surveymonkey.com/r/DMMP9PS.Only bookings submitted through the link will be entered into the draw.“To celebrate the New Year, we wanted to give our agents new opportunities for more winnings. This is just another way of showing our agents our appreciation for them. I believe that our strong ties with cruise line partners will give agents many opportunities for eligible entries for this contest,” said Nathalie Tanious, Vice President, TravelBrands, parent company of Encore Cruises.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe winner will be drawn during the week of Feb. 12, 2018. For more information go to travelbrandsaccess.com.last_img read more

Now is the time to hide your Facebook secrets

first_imgFor the past six months, a select group of Facebook users have had a chance to try out the site’s hyped “Graph Search” function. For those unfamiliar with it, Facebook’s Graph Search function is kind of like a regular search function, only more complicated. But the bottom line is that it indexes everyone’s public posts, likes, photos, interests, etc. to make them as easy as possible for everyone else — from friends to exes to cops to advertisers to your boss — to find.Facebook opened Graph Search to a limited audience earlier this year, but it’s rolling it out to everyone over the next couple of weeks, starting this week. So if you were waiting for the right time to go through your privacy settings and hide the embarrassing stuff before the whole world sees it, you can stop waiting. The right time is now.Some have called Graph Search a privacy nightmare, because it takes information that was hard to find and makes it easy to find. For instance, if you for some reason hit “like” on the page of radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki three years ago, your name and face might now pop up when someone at the FBI gets the bright idea on a slow day to search Facebook for “people who like Anwar al-Awlaki.”If Graph Search is a privacy nightmare, it’s sort of like the kind in which you find yourself out in public with no clothes on. The bad news is that what’s seen can’t be unseen. But the good news is that it won’t happen if you’re already dressed. That is, Graph Search won’t take any information that you had set to private (or “friends-only”) and turn it public. So if you don’t want strangers to see your profile’s naughty parts, you can go to your Facebook privacy settings right now and cover them up.There’s an easy way and a hard way to do this. The (relatively) easy way is to click “limit past posts,” which will turn all of your old posts to “friends only” in a single swoop. But if you want some things to stay public, or to be visible to friends of friends, you’ll need to do it the hard way, which is to click “Use Activity Log” and go through all of your old posts one by one. Oh, and you’ll also want to double-check the privacy settings on your “About” page, which controls who can see the basic information on your profile.Again, the basics are:Go to your privacy settings and check who can see your future posts and past posts.To hide individual posts or likes, click “Use Activity Log” and scroll down through your history, editing the privacy settings for each one as you go.To check who can see your profile information, go to the About page on your profile and click the “edit” button next to each category.Oremus is the lead blogger for Future Tense, reporting on emerging technologies, tech policy and digital culture.© 2013, Slate Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica to build 3 geothermal electricity plants with Japanese funding

first_imgRelated posts:Energy project puts national parks in danger, parks founder says ICE chief promises compromise on geothermal energy in national parks Guanacaste Conservation Area favors environmentally sensitive geothermal project How one island powered itself with a volcano Costa Rica hopes to harness the power of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano for three new geothermal projects announced Tuesday at Casa Presidencial.During a signing ceremony Tuesday morning, President Laura Chinchilla announced that the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would extend Costa Rica a $560 million loan to build three geothermal power plants near the famous volcano in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.Costa Rica hopes that the additional electricity generated by steam from the volcanic area will help the country reach its goal of generating 95 percent of its electricity with renewable resources by 2014.Geothermal power plants capture steam produced by heat from the Earth – a volcano in this case – to turn turbines that then generate electricity.The first of the proposed plants, Pailas II, will have an electrical generation capacity of 55 megawatts and will cost more than $333 million to build, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.The costa Rican Electricity Institute, or ICE, will construct two other 50-MW power plants, Borinquen I and II, 40 kilometers away from the Pailas geothermal plants.“This is 165 MW of reliable [electricity generation]; that is to say, they will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is clean, renewable and reliable energy, as reliable as any conventional thermal electrical power plant,” said ICE Executive President Teofilo de la Torre.De la Torre said the geothermal power plants would generate the lowest cost electricity in the country, at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.ICE, a state-owned utility and telecommunications company, inaugurated the first such power plant, Pailas I, outside the Rincón de la Vieja National Park two years ago. None of the additional three proposed plants will be inside the park, said de la Torre.The Central American country will have 40 years to pay back the $560 million loan at a 0.6 percent interest rate. JICA offered a grace period on the loan where Costa Rica will pay only interest for the first 10 years.Earlier this year, environmental concerns over geothermal energy in the national park system sparked debate over the limits of using protected land for extractive purposes. The Legislative Assembly will review the project during upcoming extraordinary sessions. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Bolivias Morales The US abolished Costa Ricas army

first_imgMedia outlets throughout Latin America on Tuesday reported on statements by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who claimed the United States had abolished Costa Rica’s army. In actuality, Costa Rica abolished its own army in 1948, and the U.S. was not involved.Morales, who was commenting on recent elections in Costa Rica and El Salvador, said, “For the first time a leftist party stands out in a country that was once a colony of the United States, and I think – and I hope I’m not wrong – it is a country without armed forces, as the United States eliminated the army in Costa Rica.”News outlets attributed Morales’ statement to a report from Spanish news agency EFE, which was cited by Yahoo News, Bolivia’s La Jornada, Colombia’s Vanguardia and El Salvador’s El Mundo.Morales also said the results of the recent presidential elections “are part of a process of rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean against U.S. imperialism.” He expressed his hope that all the presidents of the region will be “anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist.”“I really feel there is a rebellion in Latin America to be democratically freed from the empire. Without U.S. imperialism, there will no longer be coups and we will no longer have our natural resources plundered. Bolivia is the best example,” Morales said.The Bolivian president delivered the speech during a ceremony of indigenous people in the Andean region of Oruro.Last week, a news report aired Feb. 2 by Venezuela-based TV station Telesur incorrectly reported the existence of a U.S. Southern Command military base in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. That report stirred the political climate in Costa Rica and prompted official complaints from President Laura Chinchilla.Telesur President Patricia Villegas later called the incident a regrettable mistake and offered apologies to the Costa Rican people.Costa Rica’s army was abolished on December 1, 1948 by a governing board led by National Liberation Party founder José Figueres Ferrer, following the end of a civil war prompted by accusations of electoral fraud by then-President Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia.Calderón’s supporters annuled the March 1 presidential election in which Otilio Ulate had allegedly defeated the president.Figueres led a civil army that defeated Costa Rica’s Army and a coalition of communist guerrillas loyal to Calderón in a 44-day civil war that killed 2,000. After 18 months, the governing board stepped down and handed the presidency to Ulate.Figueres later was elected president of Costa Rica three times.UPDATE: This is not the first time Morales has made wild accusations about Costa Rica’s relationship with the U.S.In 2010, Morales referred to Costa Rica as essentially a protectorate of the U.S. The Bolivian president said, “Costa Rica doesn’t have armed forces, but it’s armed forces are those of the United States.”Morales later apologized for the marks, saying he didn’t intend to offend Costa Rica. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica accuses Bolivian president of meddling in election For the last time: The US does not have an Army base in Costa Rica, embassy says Bolivia announces plans for nuclear research complex Bolivians rebuff Evo Morales, in latest blow to Latin American leftlast_img read more

Costa Rica Health Ministry confirms first case of chikungunya virus

first_imgRelated posts:Health officials testing first two cases of Ticos who could have the chikungunya virus Tourism sector, Traffic Police launch campaign to prevent spread of dengue and chikungunya Costa Rica registers 2 new cases of chikungunya virus, bringing total number to 47 Double jeopardy: Costa Rica’s Health Ministry reports 2 people were infected with both dengue and chikungunya Health Vice Minister María Esther Anchía on Friday confirmed that a French tourist is officially the first patient to test positive for the chikungunya virus in Costa Rica.The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, visited Costa Rica from May 10-21. She first showed symptoms on May 27 in France.After an alert from French health agencies, Costa Rica’s Health Ministry confirmed the case as the country’s first. The tourist traveled on a one-stop flight with ​​a stopover in Dallas, Anchía said.“There are no records that the tourist visited another country with the reported virus before arriving in Costa Rica. But there is also a possibility that she was already incubating the virus when she entered the country,” the ministry’s director of health surveillance, María Ethel Trejos, said.The woman traveled with her mother and visited San José, Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Monteverde and Quepos, Trejos added.Last week, Health Ministry officials ruled out nine other suspected cases. Currently there are five more potential cases, all of people who traveled to the Dominican Republic recently.Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and it shares many of the same symptoms as dengue: high fever, headaches, muscle and joint pains, nausea and rashes. But symptoms are more aggressive than dengue and can persist for up to 10 months.Health officials called on resident to take extreme preventive measures, including cleaning up trash and other items that collect stagnant water. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Krul Ending Netherlands goalie Tim Krul saves two PKs to eliminate Costa

first_imgNetherlands’ goalkeeper Tim Krul saves a penalty during the penalty shootout of the quarterfinal match between the Dutch and Ticos at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador on Saturday. Netherlands’ manager Louis van Gaal had saved Krul just for this moment and subbed him in right before the penalties began with the match still scoreless. Krul saved shots by Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umaña during penalty kicks to eliminate La Sele. The Dutch made all four of their penalties. Facebook Comments Related posts:Key players out for both teams ahead of Costa Rica – Netherlands match Are you ready for Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands? 32 fascinating facts about Tico football Get fired up: Cool video previews Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands Costa Rica achieves highest FIFA ranking ever (No. 16) after historic World Cup runlast_img read more

Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo to restart on Sunday

first_imgGood news for vacationers planning to spend Holy Week along Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast. Ferry services between Playa Naranjo, in the Nicoya Peninsula, and the city of Puntarenas could restart as soon as next Sunday, pending a security inspection of the new provisional dock, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) confirmed.The bridge and dock ramp to access the ferry in Playa Naranjo collapsed last March 8, forcing ferry owner Coonatramar to suspend the service, one of the shortest routes from the mainland to destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula.Private contractor Constructora Nautica JyJ officially will finish construction on Friday and MOPT and Coonatramar staff will conduct docking tests on Saturday, according to Luis Coronado Salazar, the ministry’s director of maritime ports.Tests consist of docking maneuvers to ensure that passengers, cargo and the ferries are safe on the provisional dock built over the past two weeks at an estimated cost of ₡67 million (some $124,000).“We are positive the service will restart at 6:30 a.m. leaving from Puntarenas and from 8 a.m. leaving from Playa Naranjo, but we must wait for final results from the security inspections on Saturday,” Coronado said.Constructora Nautica JyJ will begin work on the permanent dock — next to the temporary one — right after Holy Week. The project has a total cost of ₡300 million (some $556,000) and is expected to be ready by June, MOPT reported earlier this month.Coonatramar currently makes four daily trips across the Gulf of Nicoya but it may add more trips depending on traveler demand during Holy Week, the company reported Wednesday.For information on schedules and tariffs call Coonatramar: (506)2661-1069. Facebook Comments Related posts:Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo to resume in 3 weeks Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo will resume by Holy Week, MOPT promises Tambor ferry back on schedule Puntarenas ferry to close for seven days on Wednesdaylast_img read more

Costa Ricas Supreme Court tells Talamanca You cant declare environmentalist expats personas

first_imgTwo expats in Costa Rica have won an appeal against the local government of Talamanca, which declared the foreigners “personas non grata” in the Caribbean beach town of Puerto Viejo for being “environmentalists,” according to a statement from the Supreme Court on Tuesday.The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or the Sala IV, ruled in favor of two appeals filed by Philippe Vangoidsenhoven, a 49-year-old Belgian man, and Carol Meeds, a 68-year-old U.S. woman from Florida, calling the municipality’s declaration “an intimidatory measure that directly threatens the exercise of their fundamental rights including freedom of expression and ensuring the protection of the environment,” according to the statement.“I feel relief, overwhelming relief,” Meeds told The Tico Times Tuesday morning.On March 6, the Talamanca Municipal Council voted unanimously to declare Vangoidsenhoven and Meeds unwelcome in the community. Vangoidsenhoven had filed more than 100 complaints against a variety of public and private individuals for alleged illegal construction and other environmental damage. Meeds supported Vangoidsenhoven’s activism on social media and in opinion columns, but has not made any formal complaints, she said.A copy of the appeal obtained by The Tico Times said that an April 13 report presented to Sala IV showed that Mayor Melvin Cordero and Municipal Council President Hernán Carlos Cascante acknowledged that their decision to try to expel the expats was related to their views about the management of protected areas in the southern Caribbean.The Sala IV had previously ruled on April 24 that the canton had violated due process when it declared the two unwelcome.The appellants told The Tico Times that they believed their support of the Maritime Zone Law, which restricts construction within 200 meters of the coast, could have contributed to the council’s action. Many coastal communities, including Puerto Viejo, have challenged attempts to enforce the 1970s law, claiming that it would strip some families of land they have held for generations along the country’s idyllic beaches.Legislation to reform the Maritime Zone Law has long been stalled in the Legislative Assembly.The appellants’ lawyer, former Broad Front Party lawmaker and presidential candidate José María Villalta, said he celebrated the decision. Villalta said a declaration of someone as “non grata” is not regulated in Costa Rican law and constituted an abuse of authority.“It could be interpreted as a call for the expulsion of someone from the community,” he said. “It’s an act, in my opinion, that’s totally illegal, and now in the view of the court [it’s] unconstitutional.”Villalta said the decision would have consequences beyond the case of Meeds and Vangoidsenhoven. The lawyer said that the court ruling would set a precedent that protects people from “cruel punishment” regardless of nationality, political beliefs or any other characteristic that threatens their human dignity.Meeds and Vangoidsenhoven both said they were happy to hear the results, but that repairing their reputations in the community would be difficult. Meeds said she had been afraid to leave her home after being verbally confronted by people in a town better known for laid-back surfing and Bob Marley tunes than expelling foreigners. Vangoidsenhoven said he has been in verbal and physical confrontations with locals because of his complaints.“Obviously, I’m happy, but it’s not going to change anything,” Vangoidsenhoven said. “People will still call me ‘toad’ when I walk down the street.”In Costa Rica, calling someone a “sapo,” or toad, is akin to accusing them of sticking their nose in someone else’s business, or, like a toad, having a “big mouth.”Vangoidsenhoven, who runs a bike rental business in Puerto Viejo, said he had a gun taken away by authorities and did not feel safe without it.“If I don’t have my gun and go anywhere that’s not my home or work, there’s a 99 percent chance I’ll come back in an ambulance,” he said.Vangoidsenhoven said he came to Puerto Viejo 14 years ago and fell in love with its remote, wild nature.“I’m a nature lover, otherwise I would have been gone a long time ago. And that’s why I’m so horrified to see how stuff is going down, how they’re destroying the whole area,” he said. “To go to another place is too late. I can’t start over someplace else.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Ombudsman’s Office orders investigation of anti-riot police behavior during coastal protest Costa Rica regulators order Facebook page removed over advertising it deems sexist and blasphemous Debate over maritime zoning legislation heats up UK documentary series seeks British families going back to nature in Costa Ricalast_img read more

5 questions for a Costa Rican arts and culture manager

first_imgRelated posts:5 questions for Costa Rican musician Manuel Obregón 5 questions for a French artist in Costa Rica: Jacques Hervot 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Alejandro Villalobos 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen Clachar When the Costa Rican cultural manager Iris Lam was a child living in the province of Puntarenas, she was constantly surrounded by art and culture. Whether it was going to the theater, reading at the library, visiting the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture), or attending art exhibitions, culture was always in Lam’s life.When the time came for Lam to decide on what she wanted to study, she had a very clear idea. She wanted to study where her mother worked, at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Lam chose graphic design as her first career option, followed by nutrition.Nutrition ended up being the field of study she pursued because of the variety of subjects that it offered rather than the career itself. Nutrition taught her about economics, statistics, calculus, biology, education, anatomy, and more. Lam then got a job at a Denny’s franchise working in management.While working there, she got the desire to decorate her home with art. It was a stepping stone for her career as an arts and culture manager. When she researched the Costa Rican art scene, she found herself surprised that it was barely managed. That motivated her while she was getting her master’s degree in strategic management at the State University at a Distance (UNED).This gave Lam the idea of focusing her thesis on the design of a commercial strategy for emerging painters in Costa Rica. She met various collectors, curators, gallery owners, and painters and was appointed as a tutor for Daniel Soto, who is currently the curator at the Contemporary Museum of Art and Design (MADC).For her thesis, she published a book named ¿Cómo está el arroz y cómo cocinar en el mercado costarricense de arte pictórico? (How’s the Rice and How to Cook in the Costa Rican Pictorial Art Market?). That motivated her to keep working on providing help and solutions to strengthen a weakened art market.Lam then got immersed in both the public and private cultural sectors. She became an arts and culture manager at the Spanish Cultural Center (CCE), a professor of cultural management at the UCR in Puntarenas, and private manager of Costa Rican artist Man Yu.Lam told The Tico Times her main purpose was “to leave a footprint behind, being able to do something for the scene from the public and private sectors, from the state, the academic part and the independent part. I want to promote a better scene for all and for the state to one day say: here’s the budget for the arts. We won’t cut it because it’s necessary.”On a rainy afternoon at the UCR’s Rodrigo Facio Campus in San Pedro, east of San José, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Lam, 28, about her life and work. Excerpts follow.What do you enjoy the most about culture?The diversity. Because through culture, even if you can find certain generalized things, it really says a lot about the people: the art that an artist does, the art that a person buys. The art that’s more consolidated in the scene tells a lot about what’s happening and it’s part of the immediate context. I like not only being the spectator of that but also having an active position in what’s happening.What I like the most about culture is that everyone is immersed in it. There’s no culture if there are no people. Besides that, it allows you to do something. I mean, as culture is formed by people, you are an active entity that can transform culture. Culture transforms you, but you can transform culture. I really like that: that you can do things that really leave a footprint behind. The exhibiting artists from the show “Sueños Despiertos” in benefit of the Fundación Creando Sonrisas in 2017, accompanied by Gabriela Delgado, director of Traffic, Iris Lam and Adolfo Goldberg, owner of AG Gallery. Courtesy of Iris LamGiven the studies and research that you have carried out, what have you found out about the arts scene?That people, including the consumers, don’t always value the pieces and their cost. Well, not always. There are people who value it, but many are not conscious of the cost of making an art piece and the added value that the artist places by signing it, what it means and its uniqueness.Also, [sometimes] the artist does not know the value of the intermediation work and that’s a lot of the obstacles that exist in the general scene because the consumers don’t really value what the artist does and often want it for free, then artists don’t value what the intermediaries, promoters, dealers and gallery owners do. Iris and Man Yu, artist represented by her, at the exhibition project of Valoarte: Teológica at the Museum of Cartago. Courtesy of Iris LamCould you tell me how cultural education is managed in the public and private sectors?The cultural incentives, always, since the history of the Costa Rica art market, the private sector has been the one that has come to solve gaps that the state has had. This comes from the biennials organized by Lachner y Sáenz in the eighties.The people that know the value of art and that promoted art from their pockets; they have always ended up filling the gaps that the state has left behind. I don’t believe that people must wait for the state to do everything and that’s a flaw we have in Costa Rica on a general level, not only in art. We’re always waiting for the government to take care of everything and that’s an error that happens in all sectors. Iris and the CCE’s director Salvador Vayá at the ACAM awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Café. Courtesy of Iris LamCould you explain on a historical level how the private sector has solved these gaps on a cultural level?For example, one of the strongest things were the Lachner y Sáenz biennials. They were one of the strongest collectors in the eighties. They began organizing the biennials, which had exhibitions of their new acquisitions.They bought art, not because the law obliged them or because of cultural policies, but because they knew the value of it. They made these exhibitions to show what they bought, as well as consolidating a space for artists where [their art was] placed with prices and could be bought.Afterwards, there was Jacobo Carpio and around that time there was Virginia Pérez Ratton, who was the director of the MADC. When she finished her management position there, she continued promoting art from her private activity, which was Teorética.She was a wealthy woman. I did not know her, but the investigation says that she was wealthy and people with wealth travel more, meet more people, have more contacts outside [of the country], and have more possibilities of exporting.She created Teorética with the purpose of continuing to support the Costa Rican art scene and I don’t know if it was thought of or not, we will never know, but she became a Central American referent. ris (right), Costa Rican artist Man Yu and the Costa Rican diplomatic team in China: Patricia Rodríguez, Vicente Llorca and Andrea Solano, at the exhibition of Man Yu at the VII International Art Biennial in Beijing. Courtesy of Iris LamLastly, where do you think Costa Rica is going regarding culture?That’s a difficult question. Since the new government is just starting, it can look like one thing and end up in as another. I think it all depends on how much the government encourages private investment. If the government continues discouraging and putting more taxes and obstacles for private investment, which is the one that has always been pushing art in the gaps the state has left, then the [private sector] will have to worry for its business and won’t be able to invest in art, collectors, managers and all of that.There won’t be the economical facility to keep working in an area that’s economically unstable. The normal thing is that the cultural policies have never existed, and if the government places obstacles, then its course can be quite negative.It all depends a lot on what will happen with the private sector because, who are the ones who sell the art? It’s the gallery owners that are supporting the art exportation. They’re the ones who move the artist. State collecting does not exist and even if the state has cultural policies, the focus is on rights, that art is a right, but where are the rights for artists to eat?“Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at elang@ticotimes.net. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica wins prestigious award for road quality

first_imgCosta Rica has won the Global Road Achievement Award, awarded annually by the International Road Federation (IRF), the organization announced Monday. Patrick Sankey, the IRF President and CEO, applauded Costa Rica for multiple innovations: one-lane bridges to reduce building material, unmarked roads to cut painting costs, and unfixed potholes to drive the economy by keeping mechanics in business.“This is definitely a real quote and definitely a real news story,” Sankey said. “This is absolutely not an April Fools’ joke.” President Carlos Alvarado said the infrastructure is part of Costa Rica’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 by making roads impassable for the vast majority of vehicles. Costa Rica is also a finalist for a number of other prestigious awards which will be announced today, April 1. They include: The TAG Heuer Award for timeliness in completing large infrastructure projects.The CES Innovation Award for allowing all trámites to be completed painlessly online.The Fox and Friends Award for being “Least Mexican” Mexican country. This fictional story is an April Fools’ joke. It was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica says it will support new shark protections despite agreements with fishermen Dengue, chikungunya cases in Costa Rica up by over 600 percent ExpoMóvil 2016: Where Costa Rica shops for wheels Costa Rica craft beer festival highlights quality over quantitylast_img read more

Acapulco mayor plans to fire 500 police officers

first_imgPolice corruption has been a constant problem in Mexico, where poorly paid and poorly trained officers are easily corrupted by drug cartels.Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said this week that there are 43,000 state and local police who failed confidence tests and should be dismissed.Drug violence has grown in Acapulco since the December 2009 killing of cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva, which set off fighting among factions of the Beltran Leyva cartel.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) – Five hundred police officers in this resort city will be fired because they failed tests used to identify corrupt officers, the mayor announced Friday.Mayor Luis Walton Aburto said he will ask the federal government to send in federal agents to help what is left of the 1,700-officer police force provide security in the city of 800,000 people. He said the officers would be let go in January. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

NATO chief urges countries to halt defense cuts

first_img“My appeal to governments is, firstly, hold the line, stop the cuts,” Fogh Rasmussen said. “Secondly, make more efficient use of the resources we do have, through more multinational cooperation. And thirdly, once the economies recover, start to increase defense investments again.”The defense secretaries will consider ways for their countries to cooperate more effectively on defense procurement in order to get the most value for the money being spent. Fogh Rasmussen said that, in this time of austerity, it is essential for nations to get the best value for taxpayers’ money _ and working together is the best way to do that.In addition, the ministers are expected to discuss the role NATO troops will play in Afghanistan once they withdraw from combat and focus instead on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces. But few firm decisions are expected at the meeting, which NATO officials have describes as mostly devoted to taking stock of developments.Pentagon officials said that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who arrived at the meeting Thursday, will warn NATO allies that Washington’s fiscal impasse will have repercussions abroad, as impending budget cuts force the military to scale back its training and presence overseas. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Many of his meetings with other defense ministers are likely to center on the plans to wind down the war in Afghanistan. But shadowing every conversation will be how the cutbacks will ripple across Europe.U.S. officials have long urged that the burden of mutual defense be shared more equitably. A senior NATO official pointed out this week that the U.S. still spends 4.3 percent of its gross domestic product, while most European countries are dropping below 1.5 percent. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk about the discussions before the meeting had taken place.Pentagon press secretary George Little said the across-the-board budget cuts slated to take effect next week will reduce U.S. military readiness and, as a result, diminish NATO’s ability to respond to crises.Little said the budget cuts will force reductions in training that could affect NATO, and the Navy has already announced that it will delay the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman to the Persian Gulf because of fiscal restraints. He said that Panetta will discuss the impacts of the budget cuts with the defense ministers during the two-day meeting. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Sponsored Stories BRUSSELS (AP) – The head of NATO urged member countries Thursday to stop cutting their defense budgets in response to tough economic times, saying continued reductions will compromise the safety of all of the military alliance’s 28 members.“It is of course a matter of concern that we have seen and continue to see declining defense budgets all over the alliance,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on his way into a two-day meeting of NATO country defense ministers. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement He said the Pentagon “also is talking about the prospect of not being able to send military units to the region on a rotational basis as planned. Little said he did not know what impact that may have on the plans to deploy small components of an Army brigade to various countries in Africa over the next year.This is Panetta’s fifth visit to Brussels for a NATO meeting _ a trip he never intended to take. Expectations were that defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, would be confirmed by the Senate last week and he would travel to the meeting.Hagel’s nomination stalled, however, as it got caught up in senators’ complaints about the attack in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead, including the ambassador.___Don Melvin can be reached at http://twitter.com/Don_Melvin Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Check your body, save your life Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

ICC prosecutor wants probe of Islamic State group in Libya

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 has spawned chaos in Libya. Militant groups operate freely in the country, which is torn between a militia-backed government in Tripoli and an internationally recognized government in the east.Bensouda said the Security Council resolution approved unanimously in March 2011 referring the situation in Libya to the ICC gives her office jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity “up to the present day” — and this includes alleged crimes against civilians and civilian institutions by groups aligned to the Islamic State.She said her office also “continues to be concerned about alleged indiscriminate attacks in heavily populated areas by both Libya Dawn and Operation Dignity forces, resulting in civilian casualties, in particular in Benghazi, Tripoli, Warshefana, and in the Nafusa Mountains.”“Libya Dawn” was an offensive launched last year by Omar al-Hassi’s rival government in the capital Tripoli and “Operation Dignity” is the name of the offensive launched by renegade Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who is based in Benghazi.Bensouda again called on all parties fighting in Libya to stop targeting civilians and civilian institutions “or committing any other crime that may fall within the ICC’s jurisdiction.” Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Tuesday her office wants to investigate alleged crimes by groups claiming allegiance to the Islamic State and other extremist groups in Libya.Fatou Bensouda said in a briefing to the U.N. Security Council and an interview with The Associated Press that her office is actively considering the investigation and prosecution of new cases but has been “greatly hampered” by the insecurity in Libya and a lack of funds. She said she requested $11 million for her office this year but the court’s 123 member states authorized less than $7 million. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The ICC charged Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the ousted dictator’s son, and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi with crimes against humanity during the 2011 rebellion that eventually toppled Gadhafi. ICC appeals judges ruled last year that authorities in Libya could try al-Senoussi instead of prosecuting him at The Hague and Bensouda told the council it has not received sufficient new facts to ask the court to review this decision.By contrast, ICC judges have ordered Seif al-Islam, his father’s one-time heir apparent who is being held by a militia in Zintan, to be turned over to the court for trial, but Libya has refused. The ICC referred Libya’s failure to surrender Seif al-Islam to the Security Council and Bensouda urged its 15 members to issue an appeal for him to be handed over to the court.Richard Dicker, director of international justice at Human Rights Watch, said “it’s time for the prosecutor to move beyond exclusive focus on ex-Gadhafi officials.”“Victims of recent crimes in Libya need redress from the ICC,” he told AP. “The Security Council should back her up in pursuing the task they unanimously gave her to bring justice for serious crimes in the country.” Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

US stocks open lower on new Greek worries

first_img Comments   Share   Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are opening lower after a setback in talks between Greece and its creditors renewed fears that the country could default on its debts.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,984 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern Time Friday, following two days of gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped seven points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,102. The Nasdaq composite lost 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,065. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall An unexpected decision by the International Monetary Fund to walk away from bailout talks with Greeks spurred the selling. Greece’s main stock index fell 5 percent, the most among European indexes.U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.39 percent, up from 2.38 percent the day before.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober FILE – This Jan. 4, 2010 file photo shows an entrance to a Wall Street subway station in New York. U.S. stocks are moving higher in midday trading Thursday, June 11, 2015, building on a big gain from the day before. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more