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  • Holland America to transit the Panama Canal with over 30 cruises

    first_img Monday, June 17, 2019 SEATTLE — For anyone looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list, they have plenty more opportunities now that Holland America has announced 32 sailings between September 2019 and May 2020.A total of seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14-23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.“Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travellers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal’s legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world’s greatest modern wonders.”From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and pacific oceans from three departure cities: Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Vancouver. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. Plus, some sailings will include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaDuring each transit, a local expert will be onboard to provide commentary on the history and building of the Canal. In addition, a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions will allow guests to fully experience each port of call with tours that focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure and cuisine.Panama Canal cruise fares start at US$949 for a partial transit Sunfarer itinerary, and $1,349 for a full transit departure. Fares are per person, double occupancy, and taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.Several Panama Canal sailings are eligible for Holland America Lien’s Oceans of Extras promotion, where travellers looking to plan ahead for next year can take advantage of up to $600 shipboard credit, depending on stateroom booked. Suite guests also receive a $100 beverage card and a Signature Dining Package including dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. Guests receive all benefits when booking a stateroom on an eligible cruise by June 30, 2019. Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Holland America Line, Panama Holland America to transit the Panama Canal with over 30 cruises <>last_img read more

  • Its Better in the Bahamas History made as ITPC celebrates Bahamian tourism

    first_imgTags: Atlantis, Baha Mar, Bahamas <> By: Waheeda Harris Monday, June 24, 2019 It’s Better in the Bahamas: History made as ITPC celebrates Bahamian tourism successes NASSAU — “The Bahamas has been firing on all cylinders,” says Dionisio d’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Government of The Bahamas. The Tourism Minister was on hand to welcome participants to The International Travel Partners Conference in Nassau, happily sharing the tourism ministry’s good news from 2017 and 2018.“It was a historic year for the Bahamian economy in 2018, as we welcomed 6.6 million foreign visitors, the most in any year for the country,” explained Minister d’Aguilar.Canadians are one of the reasons for the increases, with Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C. travellers leading the charge south to the island nation.The Bahamas increased international visitors by more than half a million from 2017 to 2018, buoyed by 4.9 million cruise passengers – averaging 13,000 every day, the most ever for the islands. In the first four months of 2019, cruise passenger numbers have increased again, up 10.9%.But it’s not just cruise bolstering the Bahamian tourism sector. The number of stopover visitors grew 16.7% in 2018 over 2017, and has increased 17% in the first four months of 2019.Air capacity has also increased and will continue to grow: Air Canada is maintaining larger aircraft for its direct flights from Toronto to Nassau for fall 2019, as well as increasing flight frequency from Montreal to Nassau, while WestJet will increase frequency from Toronto to Nassau.Ready for Junkanoo in the BahamasMinister d’Aguilar spoke on how the tourism ministry has been creative and innovative, looking to new markets like China and Mexico. He added that many travellers chose the Bahamas over other destinations after the 2017 hurricane season. There’s also growing interest in the Family Islands, aka the Out Islands, such as Harbour, Eleuthera, Abacos and the Exumas.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesThe Bahamas recently revealed their latest marketing campaign, a partnership with Bahamian-American rock star Lenny Kravitz, with his hit song Fly Away luring travellers to discover the islands of the Bahamas.Another boost to the island economy has been the opening of Baha Mar resort, which opened with the Grand Hyatt in April 2017, SLS in November 2017 and Rosewood in June 2018. “We have given (repeat visitors) another reason to come back with the opening of Baha Mar,” said Fred Lounsberry, CEO of the Nassau Paradise Island “We haven’t had the pipeline of new product (in recent years).”Baha Mar offers not only a trio of distinctive hotels representing 2,300 rooms, but also includes Royal Blue, a Jack Nicklaus-designed 18 hole golf course, ESPA Spa, Explorers Club for Kids, 20 restaurants, the largest casino in the Caribbean, shopping and The Current Art Gallery and Art Centre, showcasing contemporary Bahamian and international art throughout the resort as well as through exhibitions and classes.Newly-opened additions to Baha Mar include Carna by Dario Cecchini steakhouse and Skybar at SLS Baha Mar. And coming in 2021 there will be a US$200 million waterpark with rides, wave pool and surf rider.Nassau will soon welcome another major development, The Pointe, which is also changing Nassau’s downtown, with the addition of a boardwalk from The Pointe (located next to the British Colonial Hilton) to the cruise port.Currently under construction and slated to open in phases starting in 2020, The Pointe will include One Particular Harbor at The Pointe, the first residential resort created by entrepreneur and singer Jimmy Buffet, the Seven Entertainment Centre (movie theatre, arcade, karaoke, bowling) and a 150 room Margaritaville resort, which will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAdditional amenities include a 45 slip marina with space for 150 foot yachts, spa, waterpark and seven options for dining including the Landshark Bar & Grill, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood and Margaritaville.Atlantis Bahamas – credit ShutterstockEstablished properties are also undergoing upgrades, including the popular Atlantis Resort, which has completed a reno of its Coral and Reef towers and will soon be starting renovations on its Royal tower.Other hotels which have recently been refurbished include The Ocean Club – A Four Seasons Resort, Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Bay View Suites Paradise Island, British Colonial Hilton and Melia Nassau Beach, one of five all-inclusive hotels in Nassau, including Sandals Royal Bahamian, Breezes, Warwick and RIU.Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant, a 20-room boutique property in downtown Nassau, continues to add to its offerings. Already known for its elegant colonial style, the first five-star restaurant in the Caribbean, handcrafted cigars and chocolate made on site, Graycliff also can brag about having the third largest private wine collection in the world. The hotel now offers Bahama Barrels – Winemaker for a Day, where participants can learn from a California winemaker, taste varietals from around the world and create your own vintage blend.After being named the Caribbean Travel Awards Destination of the Year for 2018, Minister D’Aguilar and his team have set a new goal to increase foreign visitation to seven million in 2019. With the power of new product and beloved existing properties, it’s looking better in the Bahamas. Sharelast_img read more

  • Whos right on copyright law

    first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionCosta Rica has a fledgling, homegrown high-tech sector. Yet there are now sufficient companies producing digital products – software, multimedia, digital imaging and digital music – that have organized into the Chamber of Information Tech–nology and Commerce (CAMTIC), with more than 200 affiliates. These include multinational companies, but 87 percent of membership is small and medium-sized companies capitalized by Ticos, according to Otto Rivera, CAMTIC’s executive director. Given the ease of pirating everything digital, these companies need intellectual property protection. Costa Rica’s Law for Observation of Intellectual Property (Law 8,039) recognizes this, and intellectual property violations carry criminal penalties in Costa Rica, including jail time and fines. A much older Costa Rican cottage industry exists around the campus of every university in the country: photocopying stores and bookstores that specialize in photocopying. Although the machines frequently used are digital, it is principally a paper-based activity. More sophisticated stores can go beyond just copying and spiral binding loose sheets, some to the point of virtually cloning books. Does this run afoul of Law 8,039? Apparently, it’s a matter of who does the copying. The law contains a specific exception allowing reproduction of copyrighted material for academic purposes. But there’s a doubt: Does this exception cover only the end user of the reproduced intellectual property (the student or professor), or is there a right under the academic exception to go into for-profit business to facilitate these reproductions? Doubt over this last question, combined with the criminal penalties under Law 8,039, has apparently had a chilling effect on the university photocopying companies.  So, we have two different industries with clashing interests at odds over a law that sought to reconcile both sides, but failed to do so in practice. Politically, it has not helped that Law 8,039 was passed in compliance with intellectual property requirements under the Costa Rica-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which was heavily opposed by academics. A student movement against the law started in 2009. Former lawmaker José Merino Del Río, of the Broad Front Party, presented a reform bill. With a new Legislative Assembly, Merino’s bill stealthily made its way through Congress, backed by other lawmakers. To the surprise of many, Bill 17,342, which would modify Law 8,039, was passed by the assembly on July 21. The main modification was elimination of jail time for violation of intellectual property rights. This change succeeds in getting rid of the alleged deterrent to free operation of photocopying shops. But it leaves Costa Rican intellectual property developers, most of whom do not have strong financial resources, with only a “see-you-in-court” recourse to stop pirating of their products. Given that court cases can stretch out for years in Costa Rica, and that any fine assessed against the information pirate might be insignificant in relation to sales of the stolen intellectual property, it seems that Bill 17,342 has thrown the intellectual-property-protection baby out with the academic-photocopying bathwater.Bill 17,342, though passed in second debate by Congress, still awaits the signature of President Laura Chinchilla to become law. CAMTIC, surprised by an important intellectual property rights law modification that seemed to come out of nowhere, asked Chinchilla to veto the bill. The Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce has seconded CAMTIC’s request for a presidential veto.CAMTIC, which is in favor of the academic exception to protection of intellectual property rights under Law 8,039, has sat down to negotiate with proponents of the reform bill. Jose María Villalta, Del Rio’s Broad Front Party successor in the assembly, now functions as spokesman for the decriminalization faction. Apparently, opponents of the current law have hardened their position: They now oppose jail terms for intellectual property right violations as disproportionate and unacceptable on any terms. Lawmakers, now aware that a hornets’ nest of conflicting interests has been stirred up over this issue, have manifested willingness to re-examine the law to try to strike a better balance. For now, Chinchilla has the word. Only her signature stands between protection of a small, but important, intellectual property industry in Costa Rica on the one hand, or giving effective free reign to copyright pirates on the other. We’ll see what Chinchilla comes up with when she returns from her China trip. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • Extransport minister to be questioned in January in borderroad probe

    first_imgFormer Public Works and Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez said on Monday at a press conference that he did not plan on traveling to Serbia, as revealed last week in the press, and the entire ordeal was a mistake by airline Aeromexico, which wrote MNE (Montenegro) instead of MEX (for Mexico) in his flight tickets.Jiménez returned to Costa Rica Sunday at 11 p.m. after a controversy arose Wednesday when Judicial Investigation Police officials (OIJ) issued a “yellow alert” with Interpol, believing he had traveled to Serbia.Jiménez said he traveled to Cancún on vacation with his family, and that “it was a coincidence” that his departure was the day after OIJ agents arrested six people under investigation for irregularities in the construction of a border road. “The trip was planned weeks ago,” Jiménez said.Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría said last week that Jiménez would be questioned in January by an ethics and corruption prosecutor. The former minister said at the press conference that he was the one who filed a complaint about irregularities in the road project, therefore he is a witness and not a defendant in the investigation. He also said that even if not called to testify by prosecutors, he would stay in the country for as long as he is needed for the investigation.Last Wednesday, OIJ agents arrested Carlos Acosta, former director of National Roadway Council, Manuel Serrano, former director of the Route 1856 project, Miguel Ramírez, a former supervisor of the project, and private businessmen Johnny Muñoz, David Castillo and Geovanni Baralis.They are being investigated for alleged embezzlement in the construction of Route 1856, a 160-km road parallel to the Río San Juan on the border with Nicaragua..Only Serrano and Ramírez remain in custody, although the prosecution appealed the decision to release the other four under investigation. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

  • Environmental volunteer stabbed while stopping illegal hunting in Costa Rica

    first_imgNo related posts. An Environment Ministry (MINAE) volunteer sits in San José’s San Juan de Dios Hospital Tuesday after a stabbing from a rogue hunter last week left him temporarily unable to walk.The stabbing took place during a MINAE operation in the Cerro Salvaje, a protected area in Palmichal de Acosta, near San José, last Thursday. Franklin Araya, who has volunteered with MINAE for approximately five years, was part of the operation along with 23-year veteran park ranger Arístides Chinchilla and three police officers.The group received an anonymous tip from a resident in the mountains who complained that hunters were in the area.“It’s part of the culture in this area to hunt and have hunting dogs,” Adrian Arce, the wildlife coordinator for the Central Pacific Conservation Area, told The Tico Times. “Fortunately some residents are very conscientious about hunting and will call to inform us.”Araya and Chinchilla discovered a group of hunters and dogs pursuing a paca (Cuniculus paca) up the mountain. While the police ran after the men, a dog approached Araya and Chinchilla, who confiscated the animal to take it to a rescue center.The two arrived at a local farm where they planned to keep the dog when another car pulled in front of the MINAE vehicle, blocking the road. Chinchilla attempted to drive away, but the car ended up in a ditch. Then, two men attacked them.“They reached in, grabbed my neck, hit me over the head and tried to take the keys,” Chinchilla told The Tico Times. “Then one took out a knife, and when Franklin tried to help they stabbed him the leg.”Police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, and Chinchilla exited the car.“The men all had rocks in their hands, and they got in my face and kept saying, ‘Hit me, hit me,’ and accused us of stealing their dog,” he said.Neither Chinchilla nor Araya were armed.According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the men have been charged with attempted murder, aggression against authority, instigation and intent to commit a crime. The stabbing suspect filed a counter-case for abuse of authority against MINAE.Although MINAE and the Prosecutor’s Office suspect the men were hunting, officials said they were unable to gather physical evidence and the suspects will not be charged with illegal hunting.Costa Rica banned hunting for sport in January across the country. The law only allows hunting for wildlife population control, research and in very limited cases of consumption. The offense is particularly egregious in Cerro Salvaje, which, due to its high concentration of wildlife, is designated as a wildlife protected zone, a step below a national park.Environment Minister René Castro denounced the case during a press conference on Monday and said that the ministry has “zero tolerance” for aggression against environmentalists.“There will not be any tolerance for future aggression against our employees or environmentalists,” Castro told the daily La Nación.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • They survived a helicopter crash

    first_imgTwo Costa Rican pilots and a Supreme Elections Tribunal official survived a harrowing incident on Monday when the Public Security Ministry helicopter in which they were traveling crashed east of Cartago.The accident occurred at 1 p.m. in the indigenous region of Nimari-ñac in Chirripó, Turrialba, when the aircraft experienced a malfunction in its tail rotor upon takeoff, the ministry reported.On board were pilot Francisco Allón Herrera, co-pilot Sebastián Gadea Castro and TSE official Adriana Vega Solís.Emergency crews transported the three by helicopter to Hospital México Hospital in San José, where they were treated for minor injuries.Solís was transporting 3,952 ballots from Sunday’s elections. The ballots were not damaged and will be taken to TSE facilities in San José by another helicopter, TSE President Luis Antonio Sobrado said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Head of election monitoring mission expresses support for Costa Rican election authority Supreme Elections Tribunal begins manual recount of presidential votes Evangelical editorial constituted ‘threat’ to free elections, says Costa Rica’s Supreme Elections Tribunal The Tico Times releases the most accurate election poll – and predicts an Araya-Villalta runofflast_img read more

  • Costa Rica Coast Guard seizes more than 1 metric ton of cocaine

    first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica takes custody of 3 suspected cocaine smugglers nabbed by US Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal US seizes $12 million of drugs in Caribbean US anti-drug trafficking review arrives in Costa Rica as lawmakers debate permissions A joint patrol operation between the U.S. and Costa Rican Coast Guard seized more than a metric ton of cocaine from two Costa Rican fishing boats on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry. Seven suspects were arrested on two boats.The first boat, Embarcación Huko II, was stopped by U.S. authorities near Coiba Island in Panamanian waters. Four Costa Ricans were arrested when 640 kilograms of wrapped cocaine was found on board. The cocaine bricks were stamped with the words “ ilo” and “Fruco.”The four suspects were identified with the last names Ramírez, 53; Miranda, 27; Chamorro, 55; and Bolaños, 27. All had prior criminal records, authorities said.The Costa Rican Coast Guard and Drug Control Police stopped another fishing boat, the Kinia Andrea, more than 110 miles off the coast of Punta Burica, a thin peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean bordering Panama. Authorities arrested two Costa Ricans and an Ecuadorian with 397 kg of cocaine on board.The three arrested on the second boat were identified as Sánchez, 41, and Granados, 30. The third, an Ecuadorean, is surnamed Mora, 18.The drugs and Costa Rican suspects are on Costa Rican soil and have been handed over to the authorities.The Public Security Ministry has confiscated more than 9,240 metric tons of cocaine so far in 2015. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • US Marshals offer 5000 reward for affluenza teen turned fugitive

    first_imgWhen authorities dropped by the teenager’s house that he shared with his mother, they found the home empty except for a pinball machine, according to the New York Daily News.The U.S. Marshals Service joined the search for Couch this week, and the FBI has been in contact with local authorities to see how the agency can assist.“If we [had] a top 10 wanted list today, he’s number one,” Anderson told ABC News.A wanted poster released by the U.S. Marshal’s described Couch as a 5-foot-7, 130-pound teenager with strawberry blond hair, green eyes and a back tattoo.Authorities are trying to determine where Couch is and are worried he may have left the country. He is still a juvenile under the Texas legal system, according to the Dallas Morning News. Also missing is, Tonya Couch, the teen’s mother.“With the wealth and the wherewithal that his family has, it’s going to be a tough assignment for us to find him,” Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson told the Morning News.“It’s one of those times when you hate to say ‘I told you so,’ but I told you so,” Anderson added. “I knew he was going to end up in more trouble.”The hunt for Couch has rallied people beyond law enforcement. Colleen Sheehey-Church, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, issued a public plea asking people to keep their eyes peeled for the fugitive.“Affluenza aside, Ethan Couch appears to show blatant disregard for the law, and he must be held accountable,” Sheehey-Church said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday. “The families impacted will never have their loved ones back. Ethan Couch must have consequences for his actions.”The night of the crash that first landed Couch in legal trouble, his blood-alcohol level was three times the adult driving limit, and there were traces of Valium and marijuana in his system. The teenager was driving more than 70 mph when he slammed a into a broken-down car on the side of the road.The crash killed four people working on the disabled car. Two of Couch’s friends were critically injured, and another was paralyzed.The carnage “looked more like a plane crash than a car wreck,” a Tarrant County Sheriff’s deputy later recalled.This time around, Couch’s defense team told the Morning News that it has not been in contact with their missing client.Authorities suggested to the paper that they’re anxiously awaiting seeing Couch in custody.“Any mess-ups from now on, he’s going to be over with us,” Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County sheriff’s office told the Morning News. “He’s going to see what the big-boy jail is like.”© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments ya boy ethan couch violating probation. i got more if u want @CityofBurleson @TarrantCountyDA— h (@BlondeSpectre) December 2, 2015 Related posts:UPDATE: US ‘affluenza’ teen arrested in Mexico US ‘affluenza’ teen wins Mexico deportation delay Peace Corps volunteers petition to reinstate sexual assault victims’ advocate Mexico deports US ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couchcenter_img A payday awaits anyone who can help the U.S. Marshals service find an infamous teen who is suspected of violating his probation and possibly fleeing the country.Agents are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the whereabouts or arrest of Ethan Couch, the 18-year-old Texan who is known as the “affluenza teen.”“Every person who carries a badge in the United States of America is aware he’s a fugitive,” Terry Grisham, a spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office said.“You can run, but you’re always going to be looking over your shoulder,” the sheriff said of Couch, according to CNN. “We’re not going to give up. We’re going to come after you. We’re going to find you, wherever you are.”Couch first made headlines in 2013 when he avoided jail time for a DUI manslaughter conviction that killed four people after his lawyers successfully argued that the teen’s privilege kept him from knowing right from wrong. Couch’s family is reported to be worth millions, thanks in part to a booming sheet metal business. It’s their success – and the way they have handled it – that Couch’s attorneys argued contributed to the teen’s reckless behavior.Couch was sentenced to 10 years of probation but failed to appear at a Dec. 11 hearing after a video emerged claiming to show him playing beer pong.An arrest warrant for the Fort Worth area teenager was issued the same day.last_img read more

  • This week in the Peace Corps Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón

    first_imgRelated posts:This week in the Peace Corps: Cacao in Talamanca This week in the Peace Corps: Brick to Bread ovens This week in the Peace Corps: Youth group receives prizes in business plan competition This week in the Peace Corps: A grassroots look inside your morning cup of joe After four years with Peace Corps Costa Rica, I am reflective about living and working in indigenous communities throughout Limón Province. As a youth development volunteer for my first two years, I was living and working in Bribri indigenous territory.The last two years, I have continued to live in the Southern Caribbean as a regional leader. I’ve supported Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) throughout the region in indigenous communities and collaborated with regional counterparts throughout the Bribri and Kabekar indigenous territories of the province.What touches me most about these communities is their ceremonial and sacred approach to daily life, seen in many aspects of the society. I will share three main examples of how this is manifested: through visits, connection to society and connection to nature.Especially in Bribri culture, an unannounced visit to someone’s home is welcomed with open arms. You are offered something to drink, and often a meal with a bag of tropical fruits to take with you. They may or may not converse with you during the visit, but the sheer act that you went to their house is tremendously valued. They will feel a deeper connection to you from then on.Another important aspect to indigenous culture is the way you interact with society. Everything, from the way you say hello to the fellow people on the bus or boat to the exchanges you have on the street, are representative of the cultural values. It is always important to acknowledge those around you as a sign of respect. Additionally, the trade system is used, with a constant attitude that “God will provide” and endless generosity.Finally, you will find sustainability and connection to nature manifested organically throughout communities and in people’s homes. Traditional houses are made of all natural materials tied together, not requiring a single nail to hold them together. Natural medicines, remedies and tropical fruits are abundant.Like all societies, there are always challenges. Of course, nothing is perfect and it has been an honor learning about both the beauties and challenges of indigenous communities of Limón Province. Indigenous community members have demonstrated a level of mindfulness that is truly connected to a higher power. The humility and glow in the eyes of the people are a seed of hope for humanity, and greatly inspires me to be a better person.The Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page. Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.Connect with the Peace Corps Costa Rica on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • Diego Fournier Art just doesnt have to be pretty it has to

    first_imgI was drinking coffee in the Steinvorth building in downtown San José a few hours before I met the 29-year-old artist Diego Fournier. A couple of young people entered the building and one of them pointed to a mural.“That’s a Fournier,” the person pointed out.All the murals decorating the inside of the building were painted by Fournier, a lover of visual arts with an amazing ability to tell stories through his playful graphic art. Photo courtesy of Diego FournierMany walls in San José have his unique signature and he uses art to improve cities and highlight social problems. He’s also worked in animation, self-published fanzines and graphic design.“Ever since I was 5 years old I told my parents that I wanted to e a painter,” Fournier said. “And I was that boy coloring outside the lines.Fournier came from a family of musicians and artists and began studying painting at the Conservatorio Castella. He then majored in Graphic Design and Engraving at the University of Costa Rica. Fournier’s art was selected to compete across the world. Photo courtesy of Diego FournierFournier’s interest in murals started while Guatemala, back in 2011. He asked the owner of a hostel on Lake Atitlan if he could pain a mural in exchange for a place to sleep. The owner said yes and Fournier painted a mural called “Dog that eats tortilla.”Fournier painted his first mural in Costa Rica in 2012 thanks to the “De mi barrio a tu barrio,” project. The project was supported by the German embassy and Goethe Institute and German painter Jim Avignon picked Fournier and other artists to paint walls on the building that houses the Legislative Assembly. Mural made during the “De mi barrio a tu barrio” project. Photo courtesy of Diego Fournier“Still, today, that mural has given me many work opportunities,” Fournier said. His life then took an important turn. There was a new desire for perfection and attention to detail that led him to investigate each wall, understand its environment and incorporate details of each place.All this went into the mural he made at the Toy Museum of Ancient Mexico (MUJAM) in Mexico City. The mural wasn’t just a tribute to the museum, but to his childhood. Photo courtesy of Diego FournierThat job led to a collaborative mural in Mexico. That mural, “Prohibited Oblivion” which represents the mourning of the 43 students that were murdered in 2014.“The truck is handled by death and its design uses elements related to the Day of the Dead,” Fournier said. Prohibited Oblivion Photo courtesy of Diego FournierIn Costa Rica, Fournier also has murals in private establishments. He has murals in Combai, Mercadito Escalante, the Bacardi offices and more. He wants to paint larger walls both in Costa Rica and around the world.Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. we work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican street artist MUSH 5 questions for a U.S. painter and writer in Costa Rica 5 questions for Costa Rican illustrator Stephanie Chaves 5 questions for a Costa Rican painterlast_img read more

  • In San José Nicaraguans march in memory and call for justice

    first_img 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_3 Related posts:Nicaraguans gather in Costa Rica to celebrate release of political prisoners Music and migration: The struggles of Ceshia Ubau Protesters gather at Nicaraguan embassy in San José to rally against Ortega regime More than 60,000 people flee Nicaragua crisis: UN Previous Image info heading info content 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_2 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_4 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_8 A blue wave of demonstrators dressed in Nicaragua’s national colors made its way from the Nicaraguan Embassy to the University of Costa Rica campus on Thursday to mark one year since protests in Managua left 15 dead.May 30 is Mother’s Day in Nicaragua, and last year’s protest in that country was organized to memorialize children who had who died in clashes with police since demonstrations against the regime of Daniel Ortega began in April 2018.This group came to be known as the Madres de Abril, or the Mothers of April.Thursday’s march in San José was organized by Nelson Jesús Zeas Paz, a leader of the Movimiento Campesino De Nicaragua (Nicaraguan Farmers’ Movement) and one of the organizers of the original “En Memoria a las Madres” march. 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_7 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_5 Exiled in Costa Rica out of fear of becoming a political prisoner, he intends to continue the fight and has planned more marches and demonstrations. Zeas Paz was aided Thursday by the University of Costa Rica Student Federation, which helped organize the demonstration and participated for the entirety of the march. “Principally, we demonstrate because of the sanctions by the USA and the European Union; we need them to weaken the regime,” Zeas Paz said, “and to get the charter of the OAS [The Organization of American States] to apply to the dictatorship.”Halfway through the demonstration, it began to sprinkle, but protestors were undeterred as they dutifully made their way from the embassy to the university.There was a small police presence, but the protest never felt tense — the organizers even kept the crowd to one lane so traffic could pass in the other. Chants lead by Zeas Paz echoed calls for justice for protestors and journalists killed by police in Nicaragua, as well as gratitude to Costa Rica for providing asylum. As the march reached the University of Costa Rica plaza, it began to rain in earnest, and the demonstrators huddled under coverings. A few danced in the rain. The crowd held a moment of silence before names of those who had died protesting the government in Nicaragua were shouted by individuals. After each, the crowd chorused back, “presente.”A Nicaraguan activist, who represents the movimiento joven feminista Las Malcriadas and asked not to be named in this story, read a statement on behalf of exiled students in support of the march. “The feminists of Nicaragua support the Mothers of April because their fight is our fight,” she said. “Their fight is everyone’s fight. The fight of mothers, daughters, brothers, grandparents. We march together.” This story was updated June 4 to remove the name of a Nicaraguan activist who contacted us after the story’s publication with new concerns about her safety. Facebook Comments 300519_Nicaragua_protests_embassy_san_jose_6 Next Imagelast_img read more

  • Greek villagers secret weapon Grow your own food

    first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies KARITAINA, Greece (AP) — Ilias Mathes has protection against bank closures, capital controls and the slashing of his pension: 10 goats, some hens and a vegetable patch.If Greece’s financial crisis deepens, as many believe it must, he can feed his children and grandchildren with the bounty of the land in this proud village high in the mountains of the Arcadia Peloponnese.“I have my lettuce, my onions, I have my hens, my birds, I will manage,” he said, even though he can no longer access his full pension payment because of government controls imposed six days ago. “We will manage for a period of time, I don’t know, two months, maybe three months, because I also want to give to our relatives. If they are suffering, I cannot leave them like this, isn’t that so?” 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall In this photo taken on Thursday, July 2, 2015 Ilias Mathes works at his garden in the village of Karitaina about 210km (131 miles) southwest of Athens. Its distinctive Byzantine churches and stone-wrought homes, and the magnificent view of the mountains, rivers and valleys, won it a place on the back of the 5,000 drachma bill before the Greek currency was phased out when the euro was introduced in 2002, and now many people are returning to the old times of living off the land and away from the concerns of euro currency controls. (AP Photo/Spyros Tsakiris) Top Stories The production of food and milk gives villagers in many parts of Greece a small measure of confidence — and a valuable buffer. But that doesn’t mean the financial cut-off doesn’t cause headaches. Some in Karitaina have to pay 40 euros in taxi fares to get to and from the nearest banks just to withdraw 60 euros, the maximum daily amount for those with bank cards.The bus to Megalopoli, the town with the bank, was shut down — a victim of austerity. Many of those who used to drive are now too unwell to do so. The majority who live here are retirees, shrouding the town in eerie quiet broken only by the constant birdsong and the sporadic shouting of people arguing about the financial crisis at a vine-shaded caf Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

  • Egypt military says roadside bomb kills 4 troops in Sinai

    first_imgCAIRO (AP) — A roadside bombing in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai killed at least four troops on Thursday, military and security officials said, in an attack that was claimed by an Islamic State affiliate.The bomb went off when an armored military vehicle was combing an area around the border village of el-Mahdiya, close to the town of Rafah, which borders Gaza Strip, according to the Egyptian military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In a statement on his official Facebook page, Samir said the explosion killed one officer and three soldiers and also wounded three troops.An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb in a statement posted on Twitter by supporters of the group. The group said it also attacked another military vehicle at a separate checkpoint and shot and killed a soldier at a third checkpoint.A security official in Sinai said the explosion occurred outside a checkpoint near el-Mahdiya, killing the four troops who were inside an armored vehicle. Clashes with militants then ensued, killing a fifth soldier, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.The official also said that at the same time, militants clashed with troops at two separate checkpoints in other parts of northern Sinai, wounding four soldiers. A military official denied the two separate attacks.It was not immediately possible to reconcile the different accounts. Media access to northern Sinai, where military operations have intensified since 2013, is limited.Egypt is battling a widening insurgency that has largely targeted troops in northern Sinai. Recently, the attacks have expanded to reach the capital of Cairo, with a car bombing killing the country’s chief prosecutor in late June and another striking outside the Italian Consulate earlier this month. The militants say they are avenging a government crackdown on Islamists. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   last_img read more

  • Man killed by shark while diving off Australian coast

    first_imgSharks are common off Australia’s beaches, but fatal attacks are rare. The country has averaged fewer than two deadly attacks per year in recent decades.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories HOBART, Australia (AP) — A woman watched her father being mauled to death by a large shark on Saturday while the pair were diving off the Australian island state of Tasmania, police said.The adult woman had returned to their boat with scallops that the pair had collected then became concerned that her father, in his late 40s, had not surfaced after her, Inspector David Wiss told reporters in the state capital of Hobart. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like “His daughter became worried and went down and checked on her father,” Wiss said. “She saw a very large shark. She saw her father being attacked by the shark.”The attack happened off the east coast near where a 4 1/2-meter-long (15-foot-long) great white shark was seen on Friday, government ranger Peter Lingard told The Examiner newspaper.The last fatal shark attack off the Australian coast occurred in February, when Japanese tourist Tadashi Nakahara, 41, lost both his legs to a great white shark 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) long while surfing at Ballina, 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) north of the scene of Saturday’s attack.Saturday’s attack occurred as Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning made his first return to the water since he fought off a large shark during a World Surf League competition in South Africa last weekend.The three-time world champion went surfing alone at his hometown of Tweed Heads, 700 kilometers (430 miles) north of Sydney. He had contemplated giving up the sport after he was knocked off his board by a large shark at Jeffreys Bay. That attack was televised live around the world. He survived unscathed.“First surf back. Feels so good,” Fanning wrote under a silhouetted photo of himself looking out to the ocean, which he posted on Instagram. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

  • Yemeni troops fight rebels in strategic southern town

    first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   The Yemeni troops fighting in Sabr had been training since April in military camps in al-Buraiqeh, the port city west of Aden, military officials from the Saudi-led coalition said. Saudi, Emirati, Egyptian and Jordanian military advisers there have set up the camps and trained hundreds of fighters, they added.The fighters also received over 300 armored personnel carriers from the United Arab Emirates by sea. These sophisticated carriers are largely driven by non-Yemenis, the military officials said. Two Emirati officers have been killed in battle in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition’s latest offensive, known as the “Golden Arrow,” started on July 16.Al-Buraiqeh is also home to the Yemeni Fourth Military Base, which is in charge of all military operations in Aden.The foreign military advisers, officials said, arrived in al-Buraiqeh by sea more than a month ago and serve as intermediaries between the Yemeni troops and the coalition leadership in neighboring Saudi Arabia. They also supervise the distribution of weapons and give coordinates for coalition airstrikes, military officials said.All the officials spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to brief reporters. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and their allies clashed with Shiite Houthi rebels in a strategic town north of the port city of Aden Sunday, security and military officials from both sides of the conflict said.The pro-government fighters had withdrawn from the town of Sabr earlier in the day after fierce battles with Shiite Houthi rebels. They returned hours later following the arrival of military reinforcements and wrested control of a large portion of the town, security officials said. How men can have a healthy 2019 The officials said five pro-government fighters were killed and 15 wounded in the battle. Local medical officials said eight rebels were killed and 20 wounded.The running battles in Sabr, which is on a key supply route, have lasted for more than a day after troops stormed it in their push north from Aden toward the strategic military base of Al-Anad, which is held by the rebels.The fighting came hours before the start of a five-day humanitarian pause announced by the Saudi-led coalition.“If the Houthis and their allies do not stop fighting, we will continue to fight,” said an official allied with the Saudi coalition.The rebels, known as Houthis, have expressed doubt over the truce, which is set to begin Sunday just before midnight. One Houthi official said it will likely mark “the beginning of a new war.”The Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition of mainly Gulf Arab countries has been waging an air campaign since March against the Iran-supported rebels, who control most of northern Yemen and the capital, Sanaa.The Houthi media office said fierce battles are also taking place near Dar Saad, a town outside of Aden.Coalition force launched dozens of airstrikes in the areas surrounding Sabr, Dar Saad and Al-Anad in the hours leading up to the cease-fire, security officials said. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

  • Richard IAnson Masterchefs Jimmy to lead World Expeditions tours

    first_imgRenowned travel photographer Richard I’Anson will lead a World Expeditions tour next year to India, it was announced last night at his ‘India: Essential Encounters’ book launch. “My relationship with World Expeditions actually goes back 20 years,” Mr I’Anson told e-Travel Blackboard. “Richard will be taking a whole heap of lucky travellers with him,” World Expeditions marketing manager Adam Mussolum added. Guests at the event, held at the Tap Gallery in Sydney, were treated to gastronomic delights by Masterchef’s Jimmy Seervai, who himself will lead a culinary tour with World Expeditions in October next year. Seervai told eTravel-Blackboard he was “wowed” when contacted by World Expeditions to lead the tour. “I’ve experienced a lot since Masterchef, but this trip to India will be the coolest thing I’ve done.” Commenting on the photography around him, Seervai remarked, “Some of these pictures bring back memories for me”. “Everything that you have heard about India is true. “It is a really spiritual experience.” from left: World Expeditions PR Manager Karena Noble, MasterChef Finalist Jimmy Seervai, Photographer Richard I’Anson and World Expeditions Marketing Manager Adam Mussolum Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

  • Qantas Cs divisions to business class

    first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J As Virgin Australia shifts its focus to building its business class appeal, Qantas has restructured its domestic business class fare structure to offer the working traveller more choice.Commencing from 30 November this year, the carrier will add a C class fare in its domestic business class cabin and change the price points across its domestic network. The new structure will see C class introduced to all markets, D class expand its point to point markets and I class initially only be available for international through connections. An industry letter from Qantas read that the changes would “strengthen” its competitive “position and provide more flexibility and accessibility for our domestic business class customers”.Frequent Flyers will continue to earn points and Status credits as normal.Further accommodating to its loyal flyers, Qantas also released plans to introduce a new premium boarding lane for premium customers across its major domestic ports.The Australian flag carrier said it already offers the quick boarding service on international services and noted that additions to its domestic flights were a response to feedback received from its premium and top tier frequent flyers.The news comes less than a week after the airline said it would offer additional points for its frequent flyers on tickets booked or pre-booked for flights from 16 November until 23 December this year.  “From this month business class customers, Chairmans Lounge members, oneworld Emeraldmembers  and Platinum Frequent Flyers will have the option to use a dedicated lane when boarding Qantas flights in Perth with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to follow shortly after,” Qantas executive manager customer experience Alison Webster said.Click here for more on the carrier’s new domestic business class fare structure. last_img read more

  • PO Cruises Pacific Dawn makes history in Melbourne

    first_imgPacific Dawn sails under the West Gate Bridge. Image by James Morgan.P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn has made history as the largest cruise ship to sail under Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge.Carrying 2000 guests, the 47.6 metre high Pacific Dawn passed under the West Gate Bridge, which has a clearance of 50.1 metres, before berthing at Victoria Dock, next to Melbourne’s Docklands early this morning.The central location will give Pacific Dawn’s 2000 guests unprecedented cruise ship access to the city during their two-day stay for the Melbourne Cup.The 70,285-tonne superliner is one of a record four cruise ships visiting Melbourne for the Cup. P&O Cruises’ Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel are both docked at Station Pier along with Carnival Spirit, from P&O’s sister cruise line Carnival Cruise Line.Between them, the ships’ 8000 guests will represent around 8 per cent of total attendees at the Melbourne Cup.The four-ship visit is expected to inject more than $7 million into the economy in passenger and crew spending as well as port charges and fees, with the ships spending a combined 12 days in Melbourne.Pacific Dawn sails up the Yarra for Melbourne Cup. Image by James Morgan. Book your P&O Cruise hereSource = P&O Cruiseslast_img read more

  • Royal Caribbean launches biggest sale yet for 2015

    first_imgWith their record breaking cruise season well and truly underway, Royal Caribbean has launched one of the biggest sales of the year with three great offers available for new cruise bookings made by 5 December 2015.All new worldwide bookings (excluding China) booked by 5 December 2015 will receive up to 50 per cent off the cruise fare of the second guest.Plus there are added bonuses on top of this great new offer, depending on where you cruise:Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Transpacific & Asia Repositioning voyages – guests who book an Oceanview stateroom during the sale period on any cruise between 1 January and 23 April 2016 will also receive a free upgrade to a Balcony stateroom.Europe, Caribbean, Alaska, Asia voyages – new bookings on international sailings of five nights and longer departing from 10 December 2015 will receive up to US$300 onboard credit per cabin (Interior stateroom bookings receive US$100; Oceanview US$200; Balcony & Suites US$300).Fares start from AUD$1,499 for the first guest and AUD$749.50 for the second in an Oceanview stateroom – including free upgrade to Balcony stateroom – for an eight-night South Pacific cruise onboard Radiance of the Seas.Sailing roundtrip from Sydney and departing 31 January 2016, the cruise visits South Pacific gems including Noumea, New Caledonia; Lifou, Loyalty Islands and Isle of Pines, New Caledonia.The sale coincides with the maiden arrival of Australia’s newest and largest cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, which arrives at her first port of call in Australia, Fremantle, on Friday 13 November.A nine night South Pacific cruise onboard Explorer of the Seas starts from AUD$1,799 for the first guest and AUD$899.50 for the second, including a free upgrade to a Balcony stateroom when you book an oceanview. The cruise departs 21 March 2016 from Sydney, roundtrip. Book your Royal Caribbean cruise here Source = Royal Caribbean Internationallast_img read more

  • Singapore Airlines launches non stop SIN to SFO

    first_imgSource = Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines launches non stop SIN to SFOSingapore Airlines launches non stop SIN to SFOSingapore Airlines has launched its new Singapore-San Francisco service, linking Singapore with the US West Coast on a non-stop basis. The new flights will be operated daily using Airbus A350-900 aircraft.The inaugural flight, SQ32, departed Singapore Changi Airport at 0925hrs local time yesterday and arrived at San Francisco Airport at 0850hrs local time this morning. The aircraft deployed for the inaugural flight is Singapore Airlines’ sixth A350-900, which also happens to be the 10,000th aircraft delivered by Airbus. This milestone aircraft was received at a special ceremony in Toulouse, France earlier this month and has a “10,000th Airbus Aircraft” logo on the fuselage.The new flights are the longest in the Singapore Airlines network. Flying time will range between 14:35hrs and 17:45hrs depending on direction and time of year.Customers departing from Singapore and San Francisco were treated to an assortment of food and beverages at special boarding gate events held to commemorate the inaugural flights. Customers received an exclusive gift pack containing collectables and three lucky passengers walked away with 10,000 KrisFlyer miles as well as S$350 worth of KrisShop vouchers during a special game segment held at the gatehold room.With advanced technology and superior operating efficiency, the A350-900 offers customers an improved travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag.Singapore Airlines took delivery of its first A350-900 in March and now has six of the aircraft type in its fleet, with another 61 on firm order, including seven of the ultra-long-range A350-900ULR variant. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR, for which deliveries will begin in 2018. The aircraft will be used to re-launch non-stop flights between Singapore and both New York and Los Angeles.SIA serves San Francisco twice-daily, with the other flight operating via Hong Kong. Singapore Airlines also serves the US cities of Los Angeles via both Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Narita, Houston via Moscow, and New York JFK via Frankfurt. (Houston services will be operated via Manchester rather than Moscow with effect from 30 October 2016). Singapore Airlinesbook the USA herelast_img read more