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  1. Marsrox

    Current Problems with SKY

    Impressive Finca , now share your secret!
  2. Dona Eleanor has issued a template for the current process of reaching the zenith of tico-izing one's life. She's realized like all those who previously pursued the same path, that there will be no more thoughts of 'going home'. You're there now. For me, a journey that began as the 'Last Rentista' to get in before tax preferences for foreign applicants were terminated in 1992, upgraded to Permanent residency in 2011, leaves me ready next May- age 65- to complete a natural cycle. Ciudadano. Viva la Liga! Years ago I asked ARCR Ryan Piercy, a Canadian, why he had sought a CR passport. "Convenience." But on balance, is it desirable to do so? What economic/political ramifications might turn my pura vida to pura sucia? I invite forum members with CR citizenship to share their insights. Contemplated from a peaceful mountaintop, purposely far, far away from the madness. Marsrox
  3. A note to thankfully acknowledge the research and discussion of this ongoing thread. Besides myself, it will help many others in future days. Marsrox
  4. Last week I visited the new office of the TSE in Puriscal (leave town headed to CColon, 200m, mano derecho, next to 'buy-furniture-on-time) to prepare for my citizenship application in June. To prepare I had been reading of other contributors experiences, although the bulk are 'citizenship through marriage' and I am single. I appreciate the links provided of govt websites. But I missed finding TSE links that answer certain legal questions that seemed 'settled' from comments I've read. My experience: I was handed the standard form. I looked at it and 'suggested' that new changes allowed certain qualifying residents, those over 65, to skip both the history and language exams. I politely stated that documents like a birth certificate had been filed with Immigration and could be shared, that new regs allowed this. I wondered how I could receive a Florida "Good Citizen' report from the County cop shop when I had not lived there since 2005. Would a local report suffice? (My only option otherwise is to fly to Florida just to visit a Sheriff's dept, then mail the one page doc to Tallahassee with accompanying postage back here to JetBox). Not being a pensionado or 'working' in a traditional sense (I trade my acct on the NY stock exchange), but having had sourced my income previously for Rentista (twice) and Permanent status, as well as bi-annually with Scotiabank, what form of documentation would she accept? She had no idea what 'investment income, dividends or interest income' was, making her uncomfortable with that question. She had no comment on the police report. She asked the lone other person, a supervisor, about accepting birth certificate copies from Migracion and he didn't know and was unmotivated to find out. He was not amused when I suggested, "My birthday has never changed." She called somewhere re the two exams and told me to go and get an 'exoneration letter' if I didn't want to take these tests. ************************************************ Could someone kindly provide a link regarding the over-65 exam change? Could someone provide a link for the reg that allows the inter-ministry sharing of documents, the one that details a fine for non-compliance. Is my financial circumstance the type that is solved by having an accountant write up a notarized document after reviewing my finances? Lastly, no one has defined how the 'seven years' of uninterrupted residency is calculated. I became a permanent resident April 30, 2013, but was a Rentista going back the last century. Does adding the Rentista years from 2010 forward qualify me for citizenship? Gracias a todos. Marsrox
  5. It seems apparent that el camino mejor is to use the good services of the TSE in San Jose. I had already considered shopping this effort, but it's three votes SJO, zero votes Puriscal. Puriscal is voted off the mountain. I'll immediately check re Police, noting that all past times I did this was with Lee County (Ft Myers), not FDLE. Ni FBI. Solo Dios sabe. O Eleanor#2. I'm familiar with all of these processes, perhaps being the only human to have twice achieved Rentista status, the first in 1991, racing to beat the pending lost of tax exonerations, again in 2006 after a couple of years lost back in Florida to a love interest, and from when I applied for Permanent as mentioned. Back then things needed to be signed off in Wash, DC. and I handled it myself. I found an angel at the DC office and pestered here daily via SKYPE to get things consularized. "It's on his desk." Then JetBox lost my Birth Certificate.... until the last days before it became stale. Another note of 'adventure' was that to expedite the process I needed to fly to MIA with one mission, to visit the CR consulate on Bricknell. I had an appointment and arrived at 11am punto just before Christmas break, which started around Dec 10, and learned that I was missing a cashier's check for some amount. They closed for lunch and were to be open from 1-2pm before closing until the next millennium. All prior docs would be stale. They wanted the check from BoA, for which I had a credit card, and I literally ran there on Calle 8, was rejected as not having a proper acct to purchase the check, appealed, and was able "just this time" to purchase a check. I (literally) ran back to the consulate, the jefe (is this word both male and female?) lady was packing up but most carefully and seriously reviewed the doc...... and accepted them. Stamped and sealed and logged-in. Breathe deep. For this stellar advice and support.... Epicatt2 is hereby elevated to Epicatt1, or simply Epicatt if he so prefers. Induna cannot be outduna. E2, too. For me, being here since 1990 leaves no option. Hogar, dulce hogar. No snakes will scare me away. Hay la esparanza. La lucha. Gracias a todos. Marsrox
  6. Are Protective Barriers Around your Home Effective? The first task in dis-inviting snakes is to eliminate woodpiles, rotting leaves, and tall grasses which will provide cover for the snake and a favored environment for rodents. As long as there is food, snakes will remain. Will some plants repel snakes? Marigolds (Calendula officinalis), Andrographis paniculata, Rauwolfia serpentine, Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) and Tulbaghia violace are recommended by your neighbors using their common name. There is no science backing these claims, or of other plants named by nurseries with their vested inventories. Your neighbors will ‘humanize’ the snake and swear that plants with thorns will not be crossed. Physical barriers like perimeter walls without overhanging branches could be considered, although every gate, door and drainage is compromised. Chemical barriers are available. Home Depot and the like sell many products ‘guaranteed’ to repel snakes. Most contain granules of naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs, which would be less expensive and just as (in) effective, according to Dr. Rex Marsh (University of California). Oils based on peppermint, castor bean, cinnamon and clove as well as soil treatment with a sulfur solution are other unproven repellents. Predator urine, garlic, onions and cayenne in any form won’t deter either, according to Dr. Gary San Julian, Prof. Emeritus of Wildlife Resources. Essential oils comprised of cinnamon, cedar wood and lavender repelled some snakes when directly sprayed on them. The snakes smelled better, too. But Jim Parkhurst of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Project says this technique is not effective for ground spraying. An intentionally un-named employee of MINAE suggested I spray a local chemical called Gramoxone around the property’s perimeter. I hadn’t heard of this product, and because of the man’s stature, eagerly looked forward to this solution. I won’t be using this however after a search revealed this product to be the defoliant Paraquat, the Agent Orange of Viet-Nam. Bothrops asper avoids developed areas without cover. That’s your best home defense. Protective Clothing Some local customs can be improved. While rubber boots for field workers are de rigeur, sometimes prepped with a garlic rub favored by the connoisseur cowboy, they’re not worth you betting your life on. State-of-the-art snake protection can be found at - http://snakeprotection.com. Kevlar, used in bullet-proof vests, lines almost every boot, gaiter, glove and pant. A little click-around will provide morbid and convincing entertainment from videos demonstrating these products. One seller claims that his products “can prevent snakebites from the Bushmaster, considered along with the Fer-de-Lance as the most dangerous snakes in the world”. Another sales pitch insists, “For an adventure traveler who could possibly run into a Fer-de-lance or cobra, snakebite boots are absolutely essential!” Certainly better than Flip-Flops. On your next trip over the river and through the woods, at least carry a long stick to probe areas where you can’t see your next step. Leave the forest an hour before sunset. Your best defense is to be off the trail when the snakes leave home to go out for dinner. Medicinal Plants A Costa Rican law from the 1940’s outlawed the use of medicinal plants to aid snake bite victims - usually administered in lieu of western medicines - while mandating supplies of anti-venom throughout the country. The law was later repealed. At least two-hundred and eight plant species are traditionally used to treat snake bite in Central America. Costa Rica’s Guaymi and Cabecar peoples have participated in studies. While I will not promote any use of plant parts whole or distilled into infusions, it is likely that indigenous peoples have found some balms. Plants are used to reduce inflammation and to tranquilize. There’s little doubt that help for a variety of life’s health maladies are available, growing in full view, and one of the best reasons to preserve tropical forests. Specific to this discussion, “Cissampelos paraira L. leaf preparations may also have a direct effect against snake venom, as an aqueous extract completely inhibited the hemorrhagic effect of B. Asper venom when injected in vivo.” (Badilla –Baltodano, et al, 2008) “An ethanol extract of the ripe fruits of C. limon neutralized the hemorrhagic effect of B. asper venom by 100% when injected into mice.” These studies and a hundred more can be found in an excellent compilation of science papers, ‘Medicinal plants used to treat snake bite in Central America: Review and assessment of scientific evidence’ – Giovannini, P., Howes, M –J. (2017) Journal of Ethnopharmacology. First Aid There is none. Carry the immobilized victim to a vehicle and get him medical attention ASAP. Remember that the victim’s movements increase the heart rate, which speeds the movement of venom throughout the body. Here’s what NOT to do. No tourniquets. No ice. Don’t cut near the bite and suck out the juices. No electric cauterizing of the wound site. No drinking of alcohol. Washing the wound site is sometimes suggested with caveats. I found evidence allowing emergency use of veterinarian anti-venom meant for farm animals bitten by B. asper. An emergency was defined as ‘a delay of five hours with certainty of the type of venomous snake’. According to the website of El Instituto Clodomiro Picado, regarding this class of suero, “Tienes las mismas especificaciones que el anterior pero es para uso veternario.” The referenced ‘anterior’ product was anti-venom for humans. So the animal suero contains the same ingredients as the human recipe. Momentarily, I can’t find a doctor able to perscribe the ‘ratio’, i.e., milliliters of animal anti-venom to be mixed with milliliters of distilled water. Nor have I found anyone who was ever injected with veterinarian anti-venom as a last resort. An injection into the buttocks, i.e. ‘intramuscular’ would act very slowly. It’s best injected in a vein, a challenging, risky endeavor for a non-professional. Strategies to Save Lives and Limbs Funding a protocol change that speeds treatment to victims will require statistics that scream for the new process. While I’m convinced that enough victims exist, the statistics don’t. The CAJA began to digitize data in 2016, yet present rural clinic inputs still lack clarity. The local data I’ve acquired cannot be meaningfully interpreted, extrapolated or confirmed. In late February, I submitted a formal request for national statistics kept at San Juan de Dios public hospital regarding amputations and deaths. On 5 March, 2018, I received a document from Licda. Nelsy Mora Madrigal, Coordinadora Dep. De REDES, advising that this data was not available. Consequently, I believe that the statistics on bites and deaths widely reported in the Costa Rican media are unsourced. And a reliable data base is needed to compare with the results after a change of protocol. But we also need enthusiastic passengers on the band wagon for change. The oft-charming Tico ‘pura vida’ attitude is a deadly obstacle in combatting snake bite. My interviews indicated that even those at high risk minimize the danger. Residents of cantons most impacted by snakebite treat it as an ambiguous hazard they’ll live with forever. Si Dios quiere. Not just campesinos, but those with the means and influence must be on board. Health officials see a problem, treat it with their best ability, but aren’t into the politics of change. Government field workers acutely note the volume of snakes as a ‘be careful’ job hazard. Urban intellectuals have a deeper awareness of the human costs garnered from media reports, but no motivation to push change for a problem viewed from far away. I recognize that CAJA care for snake bite is unevenly distributed. For arguments sake, realize that the relatively wealthy residents of the Central Valley have rapid access to treatment they will likely never need, while the poor, rural workers outside the GAM do not. On Monday, March 26, I stopped by my ebais in Barbacoas near Puriscal. It was already closed for Semana Santa. It will re-open April 2. That’s nine days without services, often 'little' emergencies needing a nearby first responder. The neighborhood demographic trends in both directions of wealth, with some families struggling to meet the bus fare. Imagine, the ebais is closed normally for the week-end, closed for the week of Semana Santa, then closed for another week-end. Forget snakes. Pre and post-natal care is unavailable. Diabetes drugs, heart pills, high-blood pressure medicines become unavailable. Lengthy bus trips are required to a crowded CAIS, and the patients' files are unavailable. This length of closure harms the health care of the poorest among us and is grossly unacceptable in a country so proud and boastful of its public health system. Later that day, I visited an acquaintance at the Puriscal Red Cross. ‘E.J.’, requested anonymity. He's a thirty-three-year Cruz Roja veteran, an ambulance driver. As a final fact-check and update for this report, I questioned him about the frequency of snake bite 911 calls. “It depends on how rainy it is, but from May through November, we get two to four calls a month.” Other shifts during his off hours can be expected to have their share. That would double or triple the amount of victims found in the data collected from the Puriscal CAIS and would be in line with the bite frequency described by those I interviewed in the area. Some victims get driven directly to San Juan de Dios and are not a local statistic. E.J. estimated that maybe “one in ten victims die”, which would also be higher than accepted national mortality rates. He explained that sometimes they have suero in the refrigerator - but not today - and even when they have it, there’s no doctor riding along to inject it. He was vividly aware of the time being wasted by the present protocols for snake bite treatment. The good news is that the CAJA will do whatever it is directed to do, no matter the cost. Discrimination in health care can be fought by filing a ‘Recurso de Amparo’ with Sala 4. This can be discussed another time. Allow me to repeat the simple, common sense steps needed to mitigate this threat of death or disfigurement to Ticos, tourists and ourselves. The CAJA must maintain 24/7/365 availability of anti-venom in areas suffering the highest incidence of snakebite. Respondents to a 911 call must take the anti-venom to the victim and inject it. MARSROX
  7. Thanks to induna for this well-researched and comprehensive contribution. To his last point, let me echo one example of free speech. Everyday in the editorial section of La Nacion, people complain about poor service by state institutions and private companies in a section at the bottom of the page called 'Cartas a la Columna.' A few days later, a representative from the offending entity, may write back and apologize and offer a solution. But while tourist promotions sell the perception of an unshakeable 'pura vida vibe' for Ticos, the daily complaints here display a similar attitude towards rip-offs, false claims, failed delivery, whatever, no different than we foreign residents would have. Well, there is one difference. Politeness rules. Marsrox
  8. In the next couple of weeks I will be filing a report reviewing my efforts to mitigate Costa Rican residents and tourists immediate threat of disfigurement or death following the bite os Bothrops Aster - the terciopelo. This related item appeared in the media this week. - Marsrox *************************************************************** Costa Rica’s documentary on snake bites hits box offices in U.S, Europe and Africa .... By the A.M. Costa Rica staff Each year, more than 2.5 million poisonings occur from snake bites in the world. The bites cause the deaths of more than 100,000 people and leave more than 400,000 with permanent damage. Those most affected are agricultural workers who live in poverty and often live in rural areas of tropical countries such as Costa Rica. Snake bites are considered a global health crisis generating more annual deaths than diseases like ebola but are generally ignored by the global pharmaceutical industry and health authorities. They are a human tragedy all over the world but are dealt with on a primarily local level. The reality of the damage done by poisonous snakes is made evident through the documentary, "Minutes from Dying." The film documents the human drama that exists on five continents and internationally highlights the name of Costa Rica for its approach to snake bites and treatment of the victims. Costa Rican scientists from the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica have worked for 50 years on initiatives to save lives in the country and in 14 other countries with high social vulnerability. The institute is famous for its production of snake bite anti venom. The documentary “Minutes from Dying” is a production that presents, in a very human way, with great rigor and scientific veracity, the magnitude of the problem of poisoning by snake bites, said José María Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Clodomiro Picado Institute researcher. It shows the suffering caused in such a way that, for the first time, an explicit recognition of the work done in Costa Rica, specifically in the university by the institute, to find solutions to this public health problem, he added. University of Costa Rica photo The documentary shows the Costa Rican approach to saving lives at risk due to snake bite poisoning. "Minutes from Dying" was produced by the Lincoln Foundation of the United States under the direction of James Reid, the nine-time Emmy Award winner. The cinematographic quality of the film is especially powerful. Currently, the documentary is being screened in more than 25 cities in the United States, Ireland, Germany, England and Africa. In Costa Rica the premiere will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Research City of the University of Costa Rica. Admission will be free, open to the public and James Reid will attend. The contribution of the institute has reached remote regions of Latin America, Africa, Oceania and the Asian continent, as is the case of Sri Lanka, said Alberto Alape, director of the institute. The university has sent an approximate of 300,000 vials of anti-venom serum in the last five years to these areas, he added.
  9. Last week, prior to applying for Medicare Part A, I went to www.usps.gov and filled out their 'forwarding- address' form good for six months with one six month renewal, changing from the Florida address of my dementia-increasing 88 yr old mother. The forwarding address was my (not-used- for -years-but-open) Jetbox address. The one that is SJO# A, etc 2053 N.W.79th Ave. Doral, Fla. 33198 I received an error message from the USPS that the zip was incorrect. I looked up and tried to type in a Zip+4 and that's impossible. They charged the $1 though and never refunded it. Would that mean they accepted my original change as the zip is correct? I have eliminated statements and bills to my mother's address leaving only 3rd class junk that may or may not be forwarded to JetBox, but if not, I understand I can simply reject it without payment. But presently I don't know where my mail is going. Luckily, I don't care. I just didn't want the Medicare card to get lost. But Medicare subsequently sent me a message that we need to talk (?), and this morning I learned that they do NOT accept the JetBox address, period. OK. They allowed my mother's Florida address, and I assume that the Medicare ID card will be forwarded to JetBox anyway. If the forward-address application was accepted by the USPS after being rejected. Please, what can a JetBox client advise? And thank you. Marsrox
  10. Of course that seems logical, induna, and I thank you for your comment. In days past pre-internet I had an apartado to receive utility bills, property tax statements from the Muni and bank BCR/Scotiabank statements which were all mailed. But I am remain concerned about the laws in the USA that only residents may 'own' bank accts in the USA, and if my real address is a PO Box here, I may run afoul. I opened a thread about that some time ago, and the consensus split with those willing to not worry in the majority. The Medicare rep today was only concerned that the JetBox address was too long or weird for their form, and didn't mention they don't accept PO Boxes. It does make sense that they would want a physical address, but then why do they accept your PO Box in Costa Rica? Marsrox
  11. May clear skies rule the night. Look west towards the horizon between 6:16 -6:45 pm. Support efforts to avoid light pollution. Street lights can be shielded to point down and not spray light into the skies above. https://www.space.com/21485-moon-venus-mercury-configuration.html Marsrox
  12. For the next couple of weeks, go out in cloudless skies fifteen minutes after sunset, and for the next forty-five minutes look west and just above the horizon to view a rare event. The bright object is the planet Venus. At 'one o'clock', two-fingers thickness at arm's length to the right, the dimmer object is planet Mercury, the planet closest to the sun at 88 million miles. 99% of the human race has never purposely viewed Mercury as it rarely gets very far from the horizon. For people living away from the equator with longer twilight, it is lost in the glow. Get out the glass and binoculars will reveal two round objects, not point-of-light stars. Venus may have a slight yellow tint. Mercury is waning like our moon and is slowing shrinking to less than full. For the best of reasons this is the rarest of events, only duplicated by total solar eclipes. As you look west, place yourself in time and spce. You are standing on the Earth near a north-south line where you are slipping into darkness as the planet rotates. Imagine the proximate location of the sun below the hoizon. Earth, Venus and Mercury are lined up. Earth-size Venus is obviously closer than moon-size Mercury and it is easy to imagine this moment their curving orbit around the sun. It's not a flat two-dimesional sky for you now. That's the point. It's a a three dimensional sky. Earth, Venus and Mercury are chasing each other in their orbits. Watch night-to-night and their positions will change amplifying the effect. You might not know that both Venus and Mercury show phases similar to our moon. But wait! There's more!! At sunset, March 18, our moon will be seen in between the two. Although a lifelong sky-watcher that subscribes to Astronomy, I am unaware of the last time this all lined up for we viewers on Earth. While I suspect this event will be also noted on news Internet sites the event day, I will remind every one March 18. Do. Not. Miss. Marsrox
  13. The US State Dept publishes a per diem for their employees in-country and thus is an excellent way to compare what it may cost to live in selected countries. Flip around their website to view comparisons. https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem_action.asp?MenuHide=1&CountryCode=1048 MARSROX
  14. "Que te dice tu corazon?" A reasonless post service-call price increase had just been requested, and rejected. Fernando and helper claimed surprise now about how far they had to drive from San Jose to repair my automatic gate. We had thoroughly negotiated a price for this visit on the phone, and I had explained that 1 hr 15 mins was the average travel time, no matter how many buses one had to follow. They seemed to have beaten that mark. And the repair was quick and simple for someone with professional experience. The gate had stopped responding to the remote, but a few minutes with their Phillips' screwdriver solved a problem I couldn't. Success came without needing replacement parts to get the garage-door-size porton silently sliding again, just tightening the screws and rollers before adding another coat of lithium grease where metal touched metal. But my happy moment ticked away faster than any second spent waiting for microwave popcorn, when arised a sudden and serious issue regarding fuel for his tiny pick-up truck. Fernando's c28,000 telephone quote for routine maintenance "including grease and anything else not including replacement parts" was firmly declared lacking through no fault of his own. He asked for a new amount that was quietly mumbled, like when one must lie, but wants to maintain deniability if questioned. I asked him repeat his new price, preparing my practiced ears for disbelief. "Hundred", he coarsely whispered again, making me a part of his conspiracy. "Colones?" "No, dollars." Has anyone else had this experience once a for-profit service provider has seen your living quarters and vehicle, singularly impressed by your country of origin? I must look like 'three cherries' on a slot machine. Fernando is the company owner and had already tried to up-sell me on purchasing a new back-up battery. Uninterested, I prefer to just jump over the barbed-wire on the side of the lot should the need arise (see Forum - "I hate ICE power outages"). "No, Fernando." He looked at me with the solemn eyes of a mourning clergyman, full of respectful sadness, "What does your heart tell you?" Not missing a beat - "c35,000" - and in an agnostic second the sadness had left his face, the timer dinged zero, and the popcorn was done. Ticos and Gringos. We're a captain-less crew of chuckle-heads, sailing on a banana boat to nirvana. Marsrox
  15. The topic of anti-venom availability has garnered a range of reaction, and I hope this next message will demonstrate the seriousness of the threat, especially for those reading this who reside outside of cities and spend time gardening or hiking. I've found a law that may be helpful to those residing outside the GAM. But no matter where you live in Costa Rica, venomous snakes may be lurking nearby. It is good to have information of what's at stake should one suffer a snake bite. Like bleeding-out from an accident or suffering a heart attack, timely treatment is everything. By all accounts, even with timely treatment the pain is so terrible death might be welcome. Seeing the horrified reaction of my typically-tranquil Tico team-mates after I stepped on a terciopelo while climbing a volcano a couple of years ago left an impression on my psyche. When last August I wandered alone and came again within easy grasp of another terciopelo, I didn't 'see' a snake coiling up in anticipation, I saw my death. Pardon my hyperbole. Since November, I have been Interviewing my neighbors, people in town from all walks of life, professionals at pharmacies, those honorable Red Cross volunteers, and those working at the ebais and cais. I've created a data-base of how frequent bites locally occur, the lasting physical damage, and how soon and by what method the bites were treated. "The useful time to save a life is counted in minutes" (see below). Nearly 100% of respondents knew of someone who had been bit and needed medical attention, far fewer respondents knew victims of lightning or HIV-AIDS. One worker told me an unconfirmed story that his mother (while in Guanacaste), two brothers and a cousin had died from snake bite on four separate occasions while working in the fields between Turrubares and Parrita. While google leads one to reports of foreigners being treated at private hospitals like Biblica, a receptionist at the Picado Institute that creates and sells the 'suero' has personally told me they will not sell to private doctors or hospitals. Moreover, what any institute has in inventory today may not be available during your hour of need. Generally, the CAJA is the second-last last alternative I would choose were my life on the line, only beating out Voodoo. It seems to have every possible problem a health organization could have. San Juan de Dios is a Third World institution. In the last week, the media reported that in 2017, thirty-two patients waiting at least two years for CAJA heart procedures had died. In the last couple of days, a man showed up at the ebais in Curridibat at 5am lining up for a same-day appointment and died on the sidewalk in front of the building. The majority of ambulances are not equipped to handle any medical emergency to which they respond. The Puriscal Red Cross will not arrive with anti-venom, even if snake bite is your emergency. I was informed that snakebite is a weekly occurrence. Some ambulances arrive without medical staff and are just glorified taxis. In fact, were my life on the line, I would call a taxi. My doctor at the ebais seemed annoyed at my persistent questioning regarding whether they had anti-venom on hand in this zone full of venomous snakes. I was persistent because she didn't know, and wouldn't walk over to the refrigerator 5m away and look. "Why do you worry about something that hasn't happened yet?" *********************************************************************************************************************************************** While I will continue to seek a personal stock of anti-venom - one store owner told me "My cousin keeps some in his refri and knows someone who works at the Picado Institute" - perhaps there's a way to access a supply locally from a cooperating vivero or cafetal owner. This option could help many of us living in remote areas where the CAIS is more than an hour away. It would be far easier to monitor this local supply while basically impossible to monitor inventory at your CAIS. I take this to be a personal responsibility. My continuing research turned up a Costa Rican regulation that recognizes the special need to protect agriculture workers ('bracers') needing relief from folk-medicine purveyors after suffering a venomous snakebite. The law directs government to continuously fund the distribution of anti-venom to provincial hospitals. It obligates certain private employers to maintain a supply of anti-venom or be held financially liable to workers suffering snakebites while in their employ. While there is language regarding repeals and edits, this law is presently referenced frequently. Here is the law in Spanish...... http://www.pgrweb.go.cr/scij/Busqueda/Normativa/Normas/nrm_texto_completo.aspx?nValor1=1&nValor2=37226 ********************************************************************************************************************** Here is a Google translation: Law of defense against the Office No, 13 (This rule was repealed by Article 408 of the Sanitary Code Act No. 33 of December 18, 1944. Subsequently by Article 312 of the Sanitary Code Act No. 809 of November 2, 1949 is repealed to repeal this provision) THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONGRESS OF THECOSTA RICA REPUBLIC Considering: 1 - That the number of victims that cause poisonous snakes annually is relatively high, given our population density. 2 ° Which ordinarily these victims are the most industrious and needy of our people 3. That the vast majority of the remedies advocated against snake bites are nothing but farce and charlatanism of merchants without conscience. 4 - That the scientifically applied serological treatment saves practically all of the victims. 5. That it is the inescapable duty of the State to banish practices based on empiricism as soon as possible, especially in cases such as poisonous snake bites in which the useful time to save a life is counted by minutes and that it must change spread the safe means of fight against the ophidism. DECREE: Article 1 - The sale of announced talismans as protectors against snake bites and also drugs and healing objects not authorized by the Undersecretary of Hygiene and Public Health, which shall indicate this when executing this law, is prohibited in the country. . Article 2 - Any farmer or owner of an agricultural or mining operation located outside the central high plateau and provided that it occupies more than ten braceros at a time, is obliged to maintain, in that place, at least four bottles of anti-venom serum prepared against poison of snakes from our regions, and the necessary instruments for its application, together with the corresponding equipment. Article 3 - The Subsection File article. Article 4 ° -In each hospital of provincial capital there shall be in constant deposit no less than twelve flasks. Article 5 - The Subsection File article. Article 6 - The Undersecretariat of Hygiene and Public Health will renew free of charge the equipments that were employed in poor people, when requested by the respective authority and the expenses will be charged to the Drug item. Article 7 - The railroad drivers are obliged to receive on their train, all bitten by a snake and one of their companions to be taken to the place where they can receive treatment. Relocation expenses will be paid to rail by Subse Sheet article Article 8 - The Subsection File article Article 9 - When a bracero (of any age or sex), died due to snake bite received during work on a farm or rural exploitation of any kind whatsoever, whose owner or manager lacks the local deposit of sera, duly verified according to article 3, is obliged to pay to the mourners of the victim, during a consecutive year, a daily salary equal to that earned by the bracero when the accident occurred. Article 10.-The other infractions to the law, will have as sanction the publication that the Subsector will make. *************************************************************************************************************************** Article 2 makes certain businesses outside the GAM with ten or more employees obligated to maintain at least four flasks of anti-venom. Article 4 requires your CAIS to be "in constant deposit of no less than twelve flasks". Maybe this law is a useful tool, our first. Marsrox
  16. Marsrox

    Costa Rica is Changing....

    Eleanor2 writes of the social changes notably visible to those who have been here BI.....Before Internet. Among countries, CR may be a laggard in accepting technological change. But as this youthful population shares access to the world, they demand the 'better things', too. For the last few years, I have been extremely thankful that the bulk of my world travels occurred in the '70's and '80's. I enjoy reading books written by the world's early explorers, the Conquistador-types that write of the places and cultures and customs they found. I relate better to their tales than to Fodor's travel guides. "Avoid Machu Picchu during northern holiday season." I'm glad that I had little money and slept 'rough' when needed, ate boney fish head soup on tramp steamers south of Mindanao, and walked everywhere. And walked. And walked. Without money you don't meet the glitterati, you hang with the working men with month-old stubble in beer-soaked bars on a narrow nameless bay. The ceiling fans mark each revolution with an unlubricated squeak, circling too slowly to buffer out the dank humidity and sweat. The fish boats tied up to the rotting wooden dock reek of diesel. Puntarenas was like that not so long ago. It seemed so Hemingway-isque. When I hiked north of Chiang Mai, one hill tribe lived on top of a, well, hill, because they thought water was evil. I walked for a week on an up-to-the-knees muddy forest trail, using a map with four wiggly lines drawn for me on a scrap of rag paper at a bar, with tribe names instead of towns as destinations. When I came across someone in full tribal dress, which was everybody, I'd ask the name of a tribe.... "Aka san chai kow?" And the person would point the direction with their mouth, their lips pursed. At sunset, drums were heard in the pristine primary forest, at first one, than another would reply. The first time I heard this I smiled at loud, giggled at the Tarzan moment. No one could be seen, and it added to the fairly spookiness of where I was alone at night. But my reward later was to sit with indigenous people, the women nursing babies and the children picking lice out of each other's hair, and silently drink smoky tea in a long house among the men, far off civilization's grid. I was accepted because I was there, and 'there' was not easy. In the Philippines' Mountain Province, the Ifugao tribe women smoked pipes and used snake skeletons to keep their hair in place. In Nepal, then only recently opened to the outside, the people walking around Annapurna were transporting cargo, carrying loads strapped to their foreheads. The teahouses I stayed at were not found on any map, and there were no menus, just daal baaht and greasy yak and butter tea. None of this cost a price of admission or needed a tour guide to describe what I saw. How lucky I was. Likely, some of those experiences are still available for tourists at a price, arriving on an aircon bus, trinkets for purchase even with AMEX, and the actors return home after the show to take off the loin cloth and put on shoes, call for a pizza and watch TV. Their kids texting their moment to FaceBook, now happily trapped in of the World Wide Web addiction. Just like everywhere else now. Just like Costa Rica. Just like Papua New Guinea. Just like Uyuni, Bolivia. There was adventure without rescue back then. When the Magic Bus from Kathmandu stopped at the Taj Mahal for the full moon photo, only those of us on the bus were there to take it. With film. Hopefully you found 400 speed for the shot. No funny sticks to create selfies. These days I'm glad to be home with my memories, secretly content for the venomous snakes or there would be no adrenaline-producing danger at all. But invite me to a bar on a no-name tropical bay, dripping with palms touching the still waters edge, one that smells of sweat and diesel and has young women wearing cheap perfume happy to sit and chat while one imagines the possibilities, and we'll be there before the sun rises, making new memories of better days past. Marsrox Helpful note - To transport your mind back in Tico time, I recommend picking up a copy of the Biesanz family's "The Costa Ricans". There are twelve chapters that cover class, race, housing, health, everyday living, the family, education, religion, leisure and arts, politics and government, and their guess on the future, which would be of year 2000, as pondered during 1987. It's got city and campo, and its puro fantastic. The Biesanz family of Richard, Karen and Mavis left their huellas all over the country. Richard basically made Manuel Antonio 'happen', ( you might recall there is a 'Playa Biesanz'), Mavis was hob-knobbing active socially, and a son has a wood-working store still (?) in Escazu. I was thrilled to be involved in their lives when I rented in Colonial Prado, perhaps CR's earliest gated community, just outside Ciudad Colon. An entertaining and educational book, written with passion for the country, and great insight into a distinct and unique culture some will recognize, while realizing what has been lost....
  17. Taking Induna's advice to search the Codigo Sanitario (nothing yet) I came across a news feature listing the 'Top Ten' communities for snake bite. Live in Escazu? Grecia? Turrubares? http://www.laprensalibre.cr/Noticias/detalle/93644/los-10-sitios-con-mas-apariciones-de-serpientes-en-costa-rica Marsrox
  18. Induna's comment is correct and a subsequent search today by Lic.Adrian Fernandez-Madrigal can find no replacement law. My hope that this law was still in effect, if ignored, even while seeing the docs dates of apparent repeal, was based on CR's attendance on May 25, 2016 at the 69th World Assembly of Health in Geneva, Switzerland where the governments representatives mentioned this progressive 1926 Law (article found in the May 26, 2016 press release of the CR Ministerio de Salud). A second reference that seemed to me to confirm this law is found on the Picado Institute website (linked below in English) which fails to mention that the Law had been repealed. I apologize for my enthusiasm. Those two references address the worldwide scope of the issue. Had I not almost stepped on a second snake, you would add me to the list of those unconcerned. I'll keep digging and share any treasure that turns up. Thanks to those who added comments. Here's the Picado link which mentions the Law and will lead you to their very interesting website. - Marsrox Snakes 1 Humans 0 http://www.icp.ucr.ac.cr/en/noticias/clodomiro-picado-chair-will-boost-solutions-domestic-health-issues
  19. RODO attached a great article regarding renewing a driver's license - noting the same omission I discovered when calling for an appointment - that only nationals can painlessly renew at certain branches of Banco de Costa Rica. I was interested to learn about the bad driving point-system penalties that cause a higher renewal cost and shorten the years between license renewals. Here's a couple of tips from my experience yesterday at COSEVI that might help someone. Leaving at 8am, it took 1 1/2 hours from my home west of Puriscal to pass over the mountains, connect to 27, off at Coyol turning after RTV, and then to COSEVI in Alajuela next to Monticellos, the meat packers. Realizing the profound grief I would endure from a first-person encounter with Transito, I took every care. The other 'closest' branch of COSEVI is in Puntarenas, certainly more beaches and fresher fish than La Uruca, so among the choices, pick your poison. En route, I counted seven opportunities to become part of an accident due to the negligence of others. My most memorable encounter, only so because I'm still here to remember it, was where road work had cut two wickedly curvy mountain lanes down to one. The guys with walkie-talkies at both ends enjoying videos on Facebook failed to alternate traffic, so I came upon a car head-on, with cars following both of us, every driver lacking an avoidance option other than space flight. Traffic cones were nonchalantly re-arranged so we could continue. As I drove past COSEVI, the watchymen tried to block me from continuing past, wildly waving, intimidatingly motioning me to pull in and park in front of the three 'dictatums' for the medical exam. I explained I had an appointment at a private clinic and drove on, but couldn't find it in the hobbit warren while avoiding moving objects, including a truck loaded with cows headed for their future as hamburger. I'd be pooping too, were I one of them, and I gave the vehicle room. Having noted the crowd already building back at COSEVI, I gave up on that search and drove back to now-smiling faces who blocked traffic so I could park. I was led to a small restaurant and paid the owner c20,000 for the 'medical examination' and c5,000 for the license. I could have bought breakfast, too. He searched for my expired license using his desktop, which was hooked up for credit card payments. Good so far. Had I used the Clinic, even if they could transmit the digital result (I would have also asked for a paper result), I likely would still need to deposit the c5,000 in a bank somewhere back among the dire-wolves of hobbit-land. Or maybe the doctor could handle it. Or maybe the same restaurant owner would collect just the c5,000 as a favor. Or maybe he would want all c25,000. But my attempt at efficiency last Friday when I learned of this 'emergency' could have cost me time and money. Maricel, a pleasant woman, typed in data for my health review from the expired license and my cedula, asked me if I was single or married, where I lived, did I wear glasses to drive, then took my 120/70 blood pressure which seemed awful low for the circumstances. That sufficed to pass the rigors required to enhance Costa Rican driver safety. Across the street, we lined up and an employee reviewed the receipts of we hopefuls, informing me to sit apart from the others because my license didn't have the same number as my cedula. As I waited, I noticed that the license, first acquired in 1992, lacked the first six of my 12 cedula numbers. I was led into the Principal's office and a friendly jefe checked me out and decided there wasn't a problem. After some more typing into my file I joined the others in the musical chairs, moving ever closer to the office with the camera, ultimately and efficiently ending up with a new license edited to contain all twelve necessary numbers and a photo that makes me look younger than six years ago. No one ever mentioned that my old license had expired. The COSEVI experience left me feeling younger, healthier and happier, with memories that will last until...well until the next head-on meeting of strangers. Now after a pause to refresh, it's on to venomous snakes - I have news..... Marsrox
  20. I searched the Forum for 'Costa Rican driver's license renewal' and couldn't find a thread, so I'm sewing one up now. It's time to renew my driver's license... actually it was time the three months commencing before January 7, not the three months before my birthday in May as I had carelessly assumed. Oops. Somewhere I had read that this task could now be done at certain Banco de CR locations, although a quick survey of workers at the local ferreteria today pointed me back to La Uruca. I googled the question and indeed, this renewal could be done at the BCR in Escazu near WalMart. They expect your doctor to email them your qualifying health data. Online, the BCR form for an appointment I filled out was not accepted, so I called the Help Line. I advised them that my long cedula number exceeded the capacity of the little box on the form, and was told that I had called the wrong phone number for a cedula renewal. Explaining my need for una cita to renew the driver's licence, not a cedula, I learned that the BCR only does that work for citizens, "Extraneros must call COSEVI in La Uruca for an appointment". Happily, no one answers the phone there, adding to the excitement. Excusably, it's hora de almuerzo on Friday, only a leisurely cafe con leche from quitting time. I google COSEVI and call their branch in Alajuela, near Montecillos. A man anonymously answers, "Hello". I explain. And yes. I can renew there, shorter lines early in the morning. No appointment necessary. I google search for a nearby doctor to schedule the mandatory physical exam. Clinica Pena is close and they offer this service. A nurse will subsequently transmit to COSEVI the digital proof of my success fogging a mirror. Hoping to pay c10,000 for this 9am farce, it's made clear they expect a non-negotiable, c20,000 efectivo. A few minutes later, kindly Dr. Pena calls back, perhaps incredulous, sounding like a surprised Dr. Welby, letting me know that he doesn't open until 10, but lives on the next street and will open the gate early if I call him upon arriving there promptly at the scheduled 9 o'clock hour. This is my type of urban adventure! All we need are secret code words and the insistence on unmarked bills. But I'd rather chew on a dead terciepelo tail than deal with driving around La Uruca/San Jose during the perpetual rush hour. That sort of 'challenge' won during my youth no longer appeals. The same well-meaning purveyors of tubo y torneo at the hardware store tell me there is no multa for tardy payment of a license renewal. Verdad, after a couple year absence, in 2002 in San Ramone I was able to renew an expired CR driver's license by confirming my residency with an expired cedula (don't you try that). Of course, a crash-and-burn over the weekend exposing my lax attitude could prove troublesome and rapidly restore my missing humilde. To be continued.....with more italics and an update on the New Year's quest for life-saving vials of snake anti-venom. Marsrox
  21. Interested parties can review the original thread seeking advice on this topic for my personal status and subsequent public commentary. No apologies for the length of this submission, hopefully some will find it useful. Taking personal responsibilty to effect a clean adios to life without creating a burden was the mission. I've always tried to avoid the avoidable errors of omission and commission. I've completed this task and wish to share what occurred, realizing my experience is just more input for your mental hard drive. I have just read through a couple of existing threads regarding corporations which many use to ease ownership changes, such as those caused by death, minimize tax liabilities and shield assets from litigation. These vehicles are a substitute for a Will and will be addressed first. Regarding S.A.'s : Back in the 1980's every attorney would advise new residents to place real estate and vehicles in an SA. Either a new one was created or one could purchase one from an inventory. They cost around $400. The one for your house/condo was meant to ease the paperwork surrounding the sale and the transfer fees were always less then sales taxes. It was also considered the best way to shield the property from unrelated lawsuits. I heard a couple years ago from a law firm hq'd in the Forum that following changes in regulations, in most cases a sales tax would be collected on homes sold whether inside an SA or not. Also, I would not bet anymore that my property or vehicle inside an SA holding only these assets would be protected from lien if I got involved in a major lawsuit seeking financial damages. Of course, every transaction here seems to follow random legal and tax interpretation. Not a gambler, I am someone unwilling to count on a 'lucky' personally positive outcome when a negative one is possible. I line the ducks up as straight as the river current allows. For that reason, In 2011 or so, when the first rumblings and changes occured, including an annual tax that would be owed even while there was disagreement in defining an 'active' or 'inactive' corporation, even when sala 4 blocked the new reg but allowed collecting taxes that mostly only Gringos paid, I discarded the SA's within a published grace period for the minimum amount. The attorney charged $400 for both, after I 'shopped' the charge. So now what about all those alleged protections I just lost? As stated by others, INS sells a liability- only policy for your vehicle which costs me around $120/6 months for a 2008 Toyota Prada Landcruiser 4x4. It pays up to c100 million per person for death and c300 million per accident. There's medical benefit and property damage coverage. Road assistance is included and is similar to what AAA offers, seemingly a good deal. Newer insured vehicles qualify one to obtain free taxi service to and from the airport inside the GAM by appointment. I've never tried that, however. The policy seems an acceptable substitute for an S.A. When I speed-bump over un borracho sleeping in the middle of the unlit lastre road in the rain and his wife goes after my bank accounts, one should be able to count on this policy. Homeowner's can purchase 'Hogar' insurance from INS on their home , based on value. Just because it seemed 'smart', I had this protection along with the S.A. from 2003-2006 until reading the policy during a night of 'replicas' (after shocks) of the Cinchona terremoto. Comically, my agent had called me that morning advising that this day was the last before my policy expired. Informed by neighbors that structural damage from the quake might be blamed on watery cement or insufficient re-bar, I next realized by reading the policy that my main concern, volcanic ash from any eruptions of Poas, was not covered. I already knew that a clause regarding 'activating' coverage for involved notifying my agent in writing should the house be vacant for more than a week, even just at the beach, and there would not be covering were I gone for a month. Video of contents was unacceptable because one 'could borrow furniture' just for the video. Without original invoices of your contents, not even a depreciated amount would be paid for loss. Houses without barriers to entry normally would not be insured. Maybe the policy is different now, but were I to purchase it again, I would shop for a 'friendly' agent known by others to be 'generous' with claims. Back to S.A.'s, for US tax filers, you will check the box claiming ownership of 'foreign corporations' and submit another form. Not using Turbo-tax? Pay your tax preparer another fee. Even for those innocent of all bad deeds, owning offshore corporations is red meat to the IRS and is best avoided. So for 'protecting' your home from a lawsuit and for sales tax avoidance, consult your atty on whether an S.A. will still accomplish this. For theft protection for a free-standing house not in a gated community, walls, ornamental door and window bars, lights and alarms seem prudent for light sleepers otherwise unarmed living where the police don't answer the phone. As a Comandante told the members of four pueblo Asociacion de Desarollo's last year dealing with an 'infestation' of cocaine dealers, "When a thief has a choice between a house with barriers and one without, which will he choose?" And lastly, for concerns with natural disasters, avoid buying homes downwind from volcanos, at river bottoms, on top of known fault lines, in dengue areas, on mountain tops subject to landslides and lightning strikes, or rent. Last Will - the process. I dismissed the first attorney prior to signing anything or paying a fee. Why? He is a young fifty years old and seemed lazy and incompetent. His third emailed draft in both Spanish and google-translated English was moving even further away from my wishes, which were simple and few. He preferred to be paid in dollars ($300) although the fee table from 'el colegio de abogados' quotes c150,000, now $266. But more important, his recent marriage separation was due to his 'accumulation of cars and quads'. He keeps a drone with a broken rotor on his desk. He claims a large portfolio of attractive properties through out Costa Rica that would benefit were mine included. He wanted to be named beneficiary of one bank account to gain access to funds for the cremation bill while not describing this in the Will. He told me the business of an American neighbor that was none of mine. I had to trust that once dead, he wouldn't unilaterally forge another Will and alter the one in the archives. The bad vibes made me uncomfortable. Another atty was consulted, one I met through a woman, a retired professor, working with the 'Defensora de Habitantes', the CR omsbudsman. This atty, an elderly woman, was a retired judge and one who had impressed me greatly when I sought to file a class-action suit with SUTEL v ICE. The heir for all property in Costa Rica would also be executor. No S.A's are involved. A back-up heir and executor were named in case of our simultaneous demise. No POA was necessary. The heir was made beneficiary for accounts at Scotiabank and Banco Nacional, some of the funds there earmarked to pay for cremation, contact info for 'Jardin de Recuerdos' is in a file with the Will and bank beneficiary forms. While married couples may simplify property transfer by donating their property to someone in the Will following death, this action is permanent, and they lose the ability to sell 'the property', which in the Will could include a vehicle. The Will states that only property in Costa Rica is involved. One must visit the archives in person to change the Will. As an extranero, two 'translators', persons (only Ticos?) able to speak both spanish and English were needed as per code, and three witnesses attended the reading and signing. Where there's a Will, there's a Way. Marsrox
  22. Forum members interested in understanding the worldwide scope of this problem are encouraged to take a look at this article published today on CNN.com While the headline refers to sub-Saharan countries, issues with availability of anti-venom and advancements in its production, types of affected populations and lack of reliable data, and general medical malaise regarding the problem are equally relevent to Costa Rica. ***************** I had taken copious notes on this topic a couple of months ago when I realized that I was a potential victim and became alarmed by my lack of access to treatment. Youtube has videos of hunters capturing these snakes and one look at the snake's 'sabre-tooth tiger' fangs could promote nightmares. First aid recommendations include: - Immobilize the victim to slow down movement of blood; no walking or running; victim should be carried to the vehicle. - Put ice or something cold on the wound - Lightly tie a tourniquet above the wound site if possible. - Most critical, minimize the time before treatment. I note that one likely reason the anti-venom is only available from a physician is the concern for an allergic reaction. Otherwise, no special training is needed beyond a review of procedure. Additional notes: In Costa Rica 50% of all snake bites are from the tercipelo. Venomous snakes typically have triangular-shaped heads. Tercipelo has an average territory of 37 hectares2. It feeds on rats, possums and frogs. Its local predator would be clelia clelia, family mussuranas, called here 'zopilota', a beautifully colorful snake favored by the pet industry. No one I've asked has ever seen one here. Long ago I learned that one should never grab a tree branch to avoid a fall in the forest as one might grab a handful of snake. The statistics re country by country snakebite offered in an analysis here the other day really were useless. If one actually read the report in its entirety, one learns of how the author admitted repeatedly that the results cited were incomplete, included long time lapses, flawed methodologies, and diluted percentages of population exposures to snakebite from areas lacking venomous snakes. Learn to read beyond the headline. Now on to the CNN article..... Marsrox
  23. Induna....I wrote on this topic because I felt that Forum members were not aware of this issue. I wanted people depending on the health system to be aware of the limited treatment options. I have no quarrel with the presented CR data on frequency of snakebite. The part of the report I quarrel with compared those results with those of many other countries, who's data was consistently doubted by the author. Induna, diminishing the threat I share is not accomplished by listing choices folks ought to make to stay healthy. Snakebites aren't a 'choice', and frequently occur while working. People seek and receive medical attention to alleve the pain caused by their poor choices. No one would argue against treating people for conditions caused by bad habits. Mentioning that some people are more at risk from "messing around with their neighbor's spouses" is not the focus of my contribution. Some Forum members even pay a gardener just to water the flowers and don't get closer to dirt than rinsing off celery. As you correctly note, they have a bigger risk of dying from obesity-related maladies than stepping on a snake while picking coffee. And that's clearly the point I apparently failed to convey. It's not a matter of 'being afraid of critters' dear Eleanor, and it's not a matter of consciously choosing not to surf with crocodiles less than an hour after lunch. These life-and-limb saving vials should be available through the Caja in areas where agricultural workers AND EVERYONE ELSE has a real lifetime risk of bite simply from living there. One story I heard more than once involved the death of an older woman in Turrubares. She was bitten inside her house. The public health system has failed to prepare. Worse, private hospitals and private practicing physicians are excluded from stocking antidote. I'll see if I can change that omission in the area around Puriscal. Call it my 2018 New Year's resolution. Marsrox BTW- A single vial of 'suero' sells for around $20.
  24. Marsrox

    questions re terciopelo anti-venom

    I'm surprised at the lack of research and/or experience evident by persons offering strong opinions re this topic. In April, 2014 I stepped on the head of a tercipelo 50m below the twin craters of Volcan Arenal. I didn't see it under the huge leaves of the 'Poorman's Umbrella' plants found growing between the huge boulders. My climbing partner dispatched it. The snake measured more than a meter. It likely didn't bite due to sluggishness from the relative chill at that altitude, where I didn't anticipate its presence. I have a clue, having been a guide there, looking for new routes up the volcano since the early 90's, and am aware of an incredible amount of this species around this area, far outnumbering eyelash vipers. We saw 3-4 more while we were coming and going that day. In August, behind and at the bottom of my recently purchased mountainside property at 1100m elevation, I spotted a tercipelo only 1m away from me on the dirt road as I walked. I stopped. I was looking for one. They completely blend in to the ground. It raised its head striking a 'cobra pose', sniffing the air with its tongue. I let it lie. Workers in the cafetal below my property dispatch up to four a day. No surprise about this density, their two predators are locally absent. A most prolific creature, they lay up to 90 eggs. My land is filthy with them. As I work the land, I am almost daily deep in the weeds. New to this threat, I researched this snake and the effects of a bite. The literature demonstrates that they can bite through leather boots. The venom is of a type that destroys tissue, and the pain must be beyond imagination. Without an immediate injection of antidote, each passing minute adds to the amount of your body to be amputated. I called the Picado Institute and they will not sell vials of antidote to persons, and seemingly not to private hospitals. Metropolitana has no 'suero'. My ebais had six vials last I checked, great if you get bit between 7 and 3:30 M-F. The guard at the Puriscal CAIS said they had a few vials, but would next send you to San Juan de Dios. With traffic, road construction and landslide potentially slowing your ambulance, prepare for a really bad day. One may require up to twenty vials of antivenom over several days. You will likely never fully recover from the nerve damage. The antidote will remain effective for up to three years in your refrigerator. If I had it and needed it, I would not hesitate to self inject. The type sold for animals is definitely NOT for humans. My search for the antivenom revealed a typical trait of the tico culture. Why worry about something that hasn't happened? Why is that not a surprise? I'll suppose that few of the members of this forum bushwack much through deep forest or work in the cafetal. You have no skin in the game. The alleged analysis offered up by an esteemed forum member was crap. No differentiation was offered between bites of venomous and non venomous snakes, diluting the results of being bitten by a poisonous snake. No results reflected the time between a bite and its treatment. No results reflected anything other than death. I guess cut off arms and legs are insignificant. I interviewed many neighbors in an attempt to understand this snakes impact on the local population. Nearly 100% knew someone who had been bitten. One campsino on horseback showed me the three puncture marks on his hand. Another worker showed me fresh phone video where he teased a snake for a minute with his machete while filming with the other hand. The snake struck at the machete repeatedly until it lost its head. Tico bull fights. Style points awarded. All professional, neighbors and workers had a casual pura vida attitude about this snake. I'd compare it with the attitude here towards lightning. No problema. Knowing that a timely bite during normal working hours could be attended to helps. Knowing that my adventures take me out of cell phone range gives me pause. But stocking every ebais and hospital with antivenom is common sense within this species range Marsrox
  25. Marsrox

    The demise of amcostarica

    First, please let me apologize for the double post of this thread. My kolbi smartphone suffers little connectivity, and after 'sending' I was receiving error messages from the Forum. I guess I did succeed to transmit this twice. Paul is completely correct in his assessment of the new issue confronting amcostarice. But he is a gentle spirit in excusing there incompetence, where I would insist this purported authoritive, and often deeply opinionated source of news achieve clarity in its product. It is a newspaper covering an entire nation, not a high-school student publication. Its main audience of non-fluent foreigners depends on the information therein, which in its present confusing state casts a shadow on its reliability . They also have a responsibility to their advertisers. When I choose not to read this website, my eyeballs can't persuade me to open my wallet. And I have no reason or responsibility to learn how to decipher gibberish. Eleanor has offered the roster of news sources here. I find that we have something in common. I don't purchase El Diario either, although if the supermarket check- out wraps an item in a few pages, I might review the girls ☺ No doubt La Nacion is best and I read it with my Spanish-English dictionary nearby to learn words I'll forget before I turn the page. The Tico Times as a weekly $1 hard newspaper was the best however, with professional journalism contributing investigative reporting. Now nothing compares. I miss it. Lastly, Eleanor proclaimed the usefulness of this forum. While neither a pensionado, expat or member of the association, I'm allowed to access this depository of wisdom and experience and its a great source of real time information. Changes in regs, new fees, services, travel tips, the nuts and bolts of dealing with life here are revealed and discussed...fantastic. Marsrox NOTE: OP's duplicate initial post trimmed by Moderator.

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