August 2019

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Velas Resorts new agent website has sales materials virtual tours

first_imgVelas Resorts’ new agent website has sales materials, virtual tours Tags: Velas Resorts Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img PUERTO VALLARTA — Mexico’s Velas Resorts has a new website geared specifically to travel agents, offering everything from high-res sales materials, image libraries and current offers to virtual tours and a photo/video of the week.Velas Resorts is launching the site as it gets ready to open its fifth resort, Grand Velas Los Cabos, later this year. Currently available in English and Spanish, a French translation is coming soon, says the company. Contact information for the sales department at each resort and the worldwide sales team is also available at the site.Agents can send clients a personalized welcome card directly from the site in several different languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and German. Agents can also go directly from the homepage to the websites for the Velas Expert Program, Meetings by Velas Resorts and Weddings by Velas Resorts for more in-depth information on each entity.Velas Resorts properties include Casa Velas, the family-friendly Velas Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Riviera Nayarit and Grand Velas Riviera Maya. For more information see agents.velasresorts.com. Share Wednesday, August 31, 2016 last_img read more

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People Amiel named MeritBizs new VP Sales Account Management

first_img[People] Amiel named MeritBiz’s new VP Sales & Account Management Share Tags: Merit Travel Group, People TORONTO — Merit Travel Group has appointed Joshua Amiel as Vice President of Sales and Account Management for its corporate travel management division, MeritBiz.Working with Dirk Baerts, President, MeritBiz, Amiel will develop and implement new sales and client retentions strategies for MeritBiz as well as provide leadership to the Sales and Account Management teams.“We welcome Joshua Amiel as a very strong addition to the team,” said Baerts. “He brings a wealth of travel industry experience in sales and account management, with local, regional and global accounts.”Amiel’s 15 years+ of travel industry experience includes a combination of leisure, airline, teaching, TMC and tour operator roles and covers hotel management in the D.R., Director of Product Development at Zoom Airlines & Go Travel Direct and part-time teaching in Travel and Tourism at Algonquin College.“I look forward to being part of a brand that has earned a reputation for service-centric corporate travel management,” said Amiel. Posted bycenter_img Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Alberto downgraded to depression dumps heavy rains on South

first_img MIAMI — Forecasters warn Alberto, a still-menacing depression after its Memorial Day landfall on the Gulf Coast, is scattering heavy rains around the South amid heightened risks of flash flooding.The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto lumbered ashore Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle and then weakened to a depression overnight as it trekked inland. The storm that sprang from warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico was now a vast, soggy system as it headed inland, dumping heavy rains in bursts all around the region.Though the storm had weakened, forecasters warned, it was capable of potentially life-threatening flash floods in the coming hours or days as the vast system spreads over Alabama and large areas of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.Authorities did not directly attribute any deaths or injuries immediately to Alberto. But in North Carolina, the state’s governor noted a television news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday while covering the fringes of the large system. A tree that became uprooted from rain-soaked ground toppled on their SUV, killing them instantly, authorities said.North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to take all precautions.“Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues,” Cooper said in a statement. “North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously. I urge everyone to keep a close eye on forecasts, warnings and road conditions, especially in western North Carolina where even heavier rain is predicted.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamBetween four and eight inches (10-25 centimetres) of rain could soak the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and western Georgia before the storm moves on. Isolated deluges of 12 inches (30 centimetres) also are possible in spots as the system heads toward the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and later this week into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.Earlier Monday, Alberto rolled up big waves and tides along beaches of the northern Gulf Coast. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned as Alberto disrupted long holiday weekend plans for millions.The storm forced some Memorial Day tributes to be cancelled across Florida’s Panhandle. Safety was the priority, but the decision was still a “heartbreaker,” said Tom Rice, a 29-year-old Army veteran who had helped with planning for a ceremony at Beal Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach.Some stragglers still defied rain to pay tribute at the cemetery’s Veterans Tribute Tower, however. Rice said American flags had been placed Saturday on the graves of all 1,700 veterans buried in the cemetery.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at sea“We got the flags out,” Rice told the Northwest Florida Daily News as wind whipped a massive U.S. flag flying at half-staff. “That’s what’s important.”Along the Florida Panhandle, tourists vowed Alberto wouldn’t dampen their spirits.Jason Powell sought to keep his children entertained with movies and TV, adding he hoped the sun would come out again after Alberto blew over. “So far we’ve seen a lot of wind and the ocean is really high, covering up the entire beach,” Powell remarked.Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October. They stocked up on groceries and settled in for card games. “We’ve never seen one before and we’re here celebrating a friend’s 20th birthday,” Rhumes said. “So how often can you say you rode a storm out?”As Alberto’s weakening centre headed inland it was deprived of the warm Gulf waters that fuel tropical weather systems. As a subtropical storm, Alberto had a less defined and cooler centre than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds were found farther from its centre. Share Tuesday, May 29, 2018 By: The Associated Press Alberto downgraded to depression, dumps heavy rains on South Tags: Hurricane Alberto, Tropical Storm << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Conservation groups tell Costa Ricas Chinchilla Throw out the Fisheries Institute board

first_imgEight Costa Rican and international environmental organizations united under the umbrella group Frente por Nuestros Mares recently sent President Laura Chinchilla a letter with more than 6,500 signatures calling for the reform of the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca), the agency charged with regulating the country’s marine resources.The group continues collecting signatures for the petition online here. That petition calls for, among other things, the elimination of Incopesca’s board of directors, which critics note is loaded with commercial fishing interests, a reality that Chinchilla’s own Cabinet-level National Marine Commission acknowledged last year.Environmental groups accuse Incopesca of “ignoring its mission to protect marine resources and favoring the interests of industrial and semi-industrial fishing fleets,” according to the petition.Incopesca’s charter tasks the agency with “promoting, based on scientific and technical criteria, the conservation and sustainable use of aquaculture and marine biological resources.” Yet its nine-member board includes representatives from fishing organizations in each of the three coastal provinces – Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón – as well as representatives from the commercial fishing export sector and the National Commission on Aquaculture and Fish.“You cannot be judge and jury, and Incopesca flagrantly violates this principle,” the group charges.The campaign lists 10 reasons why Incopesca officials are failing at their jobs, and notes that at least one board member – executive president Luis Dobles – is under criminal investigation for derelict of duty.In addition, in August 2012, the Chinchilla administration fired Incopesca Vice President Álvaro Moreno for ethics violations that included representing the shrimping industry as an attorney while working for the agency tasked with regulating it.A complaint filed by the Public Ethics Office earlier that year stated that Moreno provided legal consul to a group of fishermen who were detained in 2009 for fishing without using Turtle Excluder Devices, which are required by law, while acting as Incopesca’s vice president. He served as acting president of the agency on several occasions when Dobles was out of the country.The NGOs also accuse Incopesca of an “irregular” program to provide subsidized fuel to the fishing industry, failure to prevent overfishing by shrimp and tuna fleets, and inaction on shark-finning. And they say Incopesca has fallen short on efforts to support artisanal fishermen who can’t compete against industrial fleets.Dobles, whose relationship with conservation groups could be described as contentious at best, responded to the campaign by telling The Tico Times that environmentalists’ arguments “are really old.” Groups are taking an awareness campaign about ocean conservation to the Internet. Courtesy of Frente por Nuestros Mares No related posts. “They regularly launch these campaigns to keep their presence in the media alive,” he said.The structure of Incopesca’s board “is not my invention, nor the agency’s, nor even the current administration’s. It follows the law that created Incopesca,” he said.Dobles added that Incopesca was created by an executive decree in 1994, and the establishment of the board is outlined in Article 7 of that law.“Only the Legislative Assembly can order a change in the administrative structure,” he said, adding that a similar recommendation was ruled out by a “committee of government officials last year.”In 2011, representatives of five government ministries formed the National Marine Commission at Chinchilla’s request to study and draft new policies for the protection of marine resource and the management of Costa Rica’s ports.The commission recommended revising Incopesca’s charter to ensure the agency maintained independence and acted in the public interest.Last January, a blue-ribbon panel also created by Chinchilla issued 95 recommendations to improve the country’s governance. The panel recommended the elimination of the boards of 83 government agencies.“We will accept any decision on this matter, but according to the law, it has to come from the Legislative Assembly, not the executive branch,” Dobles said.The campaignFrente por Nuestros Mares is using its website and Facebook page to highlight the damage caused by industrial fishing to marine ecosystems and to artisanal fishermen in Costa Rica.The campaign includes infographics, memes and two video testimonials highlighting the environmental consequences of commercial fishing, particularly by shrimping fleets “that are sweeping away the seabed.”The spots include testimonies from Central Pacific fishermen who narrate how their catch is insufficient even for personal consumption because of the desolation left by large fishing fleets.The videos also include opinions by experts including Álvaro Morales, director of the University of Costa Rica’s Oceanic Sciences and Limnology Research Center, who said that marine resource exploitation in Costa Rica “has been too severe,” and that he believes “the country’s fishing fleet has been allowed to increase without any planning or consideration for marine resources.”The Frente includes conservation groups Pretoma, Keto, Promar Foundation, International Student Volunteers, Sea Save Foundation, The Leatherback Trust, UESPRA and Widecast.As of Wednesday, the Frente had received no response from government officials. According to Pretoma’s Mariano Castro, the group will meet next week to evaluate the campaign’s response and to plan future actions. See a campaign video here (Spanish only): Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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200kilo crocodile snagged on the streets of Quepos

first_imgRelated posts:Hungry crocodile removed from Costa Rica home To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Police remove crocodile from Guanacaste river where tourists swam Actor Leonardo DiCaprio talks about illegal fishing in Costa Rica’s Cocos Island The central Pacific town of Quepos near Manuel Antonio National Park had an unwelcome tourist over the weekend.The sight of a 200-kilogram (440-pound) crocodile waddling through the streets of Quepos on Friday sent children and visitors running, according to a statement from Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry. Authorities said the 2.5-meter-long reptile climbed onshore from a nearby estuary and strolled the streets before police, firefighters and locals wrangled the animal onto a truck. The croc was released into the wild under the supervision of the National System of Conservation Areas.The crocodile appeared more curious than anything about its neighbors in the fishing and tourist town. Police said no injuries were reported.Last week, police had to relocate a 300-kg crocodile from Playa Claritas, south of Jacó. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Negotiating in the worlds happiest country

first_imgSee also: 4 things you need to know before investing in a local startupSomehow they forgot to teach us this in school. One of the single most important skills we will ever need, negotiation is not only for business people: It can become handy when trying to squeeze a discount from your mechanic, compromising on chores with your partner, and convincing an industry leader to be your mentor. However, as with any relational skill, it is heavily dependent on culture. We don’t negotiate the same way in Latin America as they do in Asia, the United States or Europe. Through my work as a consultant, I have had the opportunity to witness how little idiosyncrasies turn negotiation into more of an art than a science. Here are a few tips for negotiation survival in “the happiest place on Earth.”1. Expect extremes.Old-school negotiation is still the king in Latin America. What does that mean? It is customary to open negotiations with extreme offers with the hope of meeting in the middle, sometimes even in spite of external facts like market price or valuations. If you are not used to it, you might find some proposals outrageous, but hang in there: It’s usually just a starting point so that haggling can commence.The problem with the “meet in the middle” logic is that it puts too much emphasis on the price, potentially turning the whole exercise into a tug-of-war or even offending one of the parties. What you can do is acknowledge that although many negotiations take place between extremes, you suggest using impartial or external criteria to come to a figure on which to base your discussions.2. You’ll be dealing with hot-blooded people.Let’s face it; we as Latin Americans are more prone to being swayed by emotions than the rest of the planet. From the corner-shop attendant to the general manager of a big company, I’ve seen many (good) deals fall through simply because somebody loses his or her head for five minutes.Our emotional nature can certainly bring a lot of positives to the table, such as enthusiasm and friendliness, but be aware of the other side of the coin: Make sure Dr. Jekyll doesn’t turn into Mr. Hyde. If you find yourself or the other party becoming more agitated than you all would like, suggest taking a break to gather your thoughts and let things cool down. Also, try to build up on the positives – the shared views or agreements you have already identified – to lighten the mood.3. Power and status plays out differently here.Although the nature of success in Latin America has started to change in recent years, we still don’t have many overnight successes in the business world, or hundreds of average Joes who started with nothing and built empires. Wealth usually comes from families; that ties social distinction to money and in turn, to power. This makes our societies more vertical than in some other parts of the world.This inevitably affects how people negotiate. The power that a party assumes he or she has on the basis of status can spiral out of proportion here, making a horizontal discussion tougher to achieve.New generations are perhaps more irreverent now and are willing to challenge the pecking order a bit more, but this doesn’t always go down well with powerful people, especially older folks, who might not think twice before inviting you to leave. In short: Be aware that the straight talk and sauciness that might work well in other parts of the world could well be frowned upon here.4. Invest in the relationship before the deal.Just as in many parts of Asia, including China, Latin Americans are more oriented toward building a relationship before a deal takes place. Whereas in more direct cultures like the United States or some northern European countries the focus might be on the content of the negotiation (what’s being said), our culture places more attention to the context (the how, who and when). This means that it might take a while, sometimes several meetings, before you can get down to business. Rushing this “natural” process might be perceived as rude, so be willing to slow down a little. We are also known for getting personal, asking about family and personal life. This might not be well received in other cultures, but it is a way to establish trust.There are without a doubt many subtleties that make or break negotiations, especially cross-cultural ones. In future posts I will be getting into more detail on how to become more successful at it, which, as with any other skill, is a matter of practice. In the meantime, if you are interested in the subject, feel free to drop me a line.Read other “Doing Business” columns here.Randall Trejos works as a business developer, helping startups and medium-sized companies grow. He’s the co-director of the Founder Institute in Costa Rica and a strategy consultant at Grupo Impulso. You can follow his blog La Catapulta or contact him through LinkedIn. Stay tuned for the next edition of his new Tico Times column “Doing Business.” Facebook Comments Related posts:4 things you need to know before investing in a local startup The different flavors of starting a business Want to launch an app startup in Costa Rica? Read this first Beyond the carrot and the stick: persuasion hacks that get resultslast_img read more

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Cubas Raul Castro to visit Mexico next week

first_imgMEXICO CITY – Cuban President Raul Castro will travel to Mexico next week for talks with President Enrique Peña Nieto, his first visit to the country since taking office in 2006, officials said Thursday.The Mexican Foreign Ministry said the state visit will take place in Merida, capital of the eastern state of Yucatán, from Nov. 5 to 7.“This state visit has a special significance, as it comes in the context of a deep relationship for both countries and an excellent period following the relaunching [of ties] in November 2013,” the ministry said in a statement.The two leaders will discuss political and economic items of bilateral and regional interest, as well as cooperation, the ministry said.Peña Nieto, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), revived bilateral relations in November 2013 after ties cooled under two conservative Mexican presidents between 2000-2012.The Foreign Ministry said there are now more than 30 new Mexican investment projects in Cuba.In the 1960s, PRI-led Mexico was the only Latin American country to resist U.S. pressure to cut diplomatic relations with the communist island.Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to normalize ties in December 2014, and the former Cold War foes reopened their embassies this past summer.It was in exile in Mexico that Fidel Castro launched his guerrilla campaign to topple dictator Fulgencio Batista, setting sail from Veracruz in 1956 with a small band of men on a dilapidated yacht called Granma. Facebook Comments Related posts:US, Cuba said to have reach deal to reopen embassies US, Cuba agree on restoration of ties, embassies to reopen PHOTOS: Cuba, US reopen embassies to end 54-year estrangement Obama administration to further ease travel and business restrictions with Cubalast_img read more

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Costa Rica reacts to Donald Trump victory

first_imgThe Costa Rican Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations expressed business leaders’ concerns about the election of Trump in a public statement.Chamber president Franco Arturo Pacheco said that because of Trump’s campaign promises to renegotiate trade deals, impose tariffs and also set stricter controls on immigration, the news is “not good for Costa Rica, as our country in the last 30 years has grown thanks, in large part, to its exports, especially to the United States, currently our main trading partner.”The business leader added that because Costa Rican receives significant foreign direct investment from U.S. companies, “any limitation, tax or similar policy aimed at U.S. companies with business in other countries will affect our economy.”Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, also expressed concerns about Trump’s campaign promises regarding free trade agreements and about possible taxes for companies with transnational operations.He said that the country’s business sector hopes Trump does not move forward with his promise of mass deportations of Central American migrants, as this would severely reduce Costa Rica’s exports to important destinations such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.World reactionsBrazilian President Michel Temer was the first Latin American leader to voice a reaction Wednesday, telling AFP that Donald Trump will need to take into account the goals of all U.S. citizens and stating that he does not believe the victory will affect U.S.-Brazil relations.“Our relationship is institutional,” he said.Dianita Sugiyo, 34, a university lecturer in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country – said she was concerned by Trump’s calls to temporarily ban Muslims from countries with histories of terrorism.“He has always been anti-Muslim and I am afraid he will discriminate against Muslims,” said Sugiyo, a member of a leading Indonesian moderate Muslim organization.“The United States is a multicultural country and there are a lot of Muslims there, so this is very terrifying,” she added, speaking at a U.S. embassy event in Jakarta.Politicians worldwide took stock Wednesday of the victory, with the president-elect winning praise from far-right figures and cautious welcome from key U.S. allies.British eurosceptic politician Nigel Farage, instrumental in promoting Britain’s shock vote in June to leave the European Union, wrote: “I hand over the mantle to @realDonaldTrump! Many congratulations. You have fought a brave campaign.”The Tico Times will post more reactions from Costa Rica to this developing story as the day continues. Facebook Comments Donald Trump’s improbable victory in the U.S. presidential election provoked global shock and angst on Wednesday over the implications for everything from trade to human rights and climate change.The bombastic billionaire defeated Hillary Clinton in a result that few predicted, as millions of American voters shrugged off concerns over his temperament, lack of experience, and accusations of sexist and racist behaviour.Trump’s rise has been keenly watched abroad as he campaigned on a platform of trashing trade agreements, questioning alliances, restricting immigration and dismissing climate change.The initial reaction from Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís was a message on his Twitter profile. He said, “The people of the U.S. have elected Mr. Donald Trump as their President. Congratulations, Mr. Trump, my best wishes for your term.” Related posts:Super Tuesday: Polls open in the South and New England on a fateful day Fall of the House of Bush: How last name and Donald Trump doomed Jeb Mexico to contact US candidates to rebut ‘disinformation’ Bernie Sanders’ CAFTA reversal pledge worries Costa Rica businessescenter_img El pueblo de los EEUU ha electo al señor Donald Trump como su Presidente. Felicito al señor @realDonaldTrump y le deseo éxitos en su gestión— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) November 9, 2016last_img read more

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The dream of a community called La Carpio

first_imgOn Tuesday, March 21, the first phase of construction of La Carpio’s new primary school was officially inaugurated by President Luis Guillermo Solís, First Lady Mercedes Peñas, Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora (read more here). The new three-story building required a $6.4 million investment and will serve 1,735 elementary school students and 400 preschool students.In 1993, people from rural areas of Costa Rica and abroad, especially from our northern brother country of Nicaragua, migrated to settle down on a property belonging to the Social Security System, or Caja (CCSS) in the district of Uruca in the province in San José. Two years after that, some residents started to worry about reserving a piece of land so that their children could study. With few resources, they began work on a humble building for their boys and girls.That’s how a transcendental decision was made that would change the course of thousands of lives: a decision to fight for a small school. What the old school in La Carpio looked like before construction began. Courtesy of Marielos Méndez A scene from the old school. Courtesy of Marielos MéndezThat simple building, which featured a few classrooms made out of wood and cans, became a place of learning. Soon there were so many children coming in that there was no room for them all. The teachers at that time had to adapt to the precarious conditions that merged with the arid landscape of the location. Classes were given in churches or in the hallways of neighbors’ houses. Little by little, the process was shaped into what became hte Escuela Finca La Caja.The name Escuela Finca La Caja, for a long time, was emblematic of the community’s longing for learning. Through these classrooms various generations of La Carpio’s sons and daughters have marched, most of them managing – with the help of God, their families and teachers– to move on and be good, productive people. The school under construction. Courtesy of Marielos Méndez The children in charge of carrying a school crest, which reads: “Kindergarten La Carpio”. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Kindergarten students pose for the camara. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesDespite the economic contributions from the Public Education Ministry (MEP), through which improvements have been made to three impoverished buildings at three locations in the community, these became more and more inadequate over time to respond to a student population of more than 1,600.For all these years, the school, because of limited space, has had its student attend in three shifts of only 3.5 hours each. This short school day placed its students at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the country’s institutions. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times A teacher guiding her kindergarten students. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesIt’s important to point out that throughout all this, La Carpio witnessed years of violence between gangs, generated in large part by how difficult it was for its young population to access education and thereby a dignified job. This intensified efforts by education authorities to put into action the right to an obligatory and free education, established by the Costa Rican Constitution.It was more than 20 years of waiting, of battling, of requests and paperwork, until an administration came along that decided to look back at a community forgotten by previous governments, that decides to listen to the voice of a group that has knocked on many institutions’ doors. That’s how the government decided to join the effort, creating links between the MEP and the Ministry of Housing (MIVAH), the Mixed Institute for Social Aid (IMAS), the Municipality of San José, and many other institutions that look for a solution that responded to the educational needs of the children of La Carpio. A girl from elmentary school wears a bow with the colors of the Costa Rican flag. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Happy children at their new school. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesFinally, yesterday, the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera delivered a grandiose achievement, one that the citizens and educators decided to Escuela La Carpio. This educational institution will allow its students to develop their intellectual, athletic, cultural, and technological potential, being an inclusive school were everyone has the opportunities to learn in conditions of equality. Where all students have the chance to achieve their goals.The construction of these buildings will allow the children of La Carpio to study in comfort, in enjoyable spaces and with technology. They’ll have the necessary tools to deal with personal, educational and professional challenges of the future, given that this is a community of working people that, with great effort, contribute daily to the country’s development. Students from one of SIFAIS’s music ensembles performed at the inauguration. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Kindergarten students paying attention at the speech. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times A kindergarten student poses for the camara. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesThis new building represents the hopes of a citizenry that believes in education as a motor for development, for human growth. We believe in education as the way in which our girls and boys will build their present with effort and enthusiasm, and look to the future with hopes of a better tomorrow.Education is a source of development; it’s an essential tool to achieve the transformation of societies, and La Carpio has not been the exception. President Luis Guillermo Solís. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times A kindergarten student poses for the camara. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesThe implementation of the Education Ministry’s Programs of Different Modalities in the community has been indispensable to improve the living conditions of its inhabitants, which shows that a country’s wealth lies its children and youth. Investing in education inevitably moves us toward the construction of a better future for all citizens. Kindergarten students pose for the camara. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Kindergarten students pose for the camara. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico Times Joyful children enjoying the inauguration. Elizabeth Lang / The Tico TimesThe author of this piece has worked as a teacher of Special Education at La Carpio’s Escuela Finca la Caja since 2001. She works with primary school students who have cognitive disabilities as well as coordinating with regular teachers and families to enable successful educational inclusion. During her 18 years of working with the community, she has experienced La Carpio’s evolution through education.   Facebook Comments Related posts:PHOTOS: La Carpio opens new school, 23 years in the making In this holiday season, finding ways to make a difference Costa Rica top ‘out-performer’ in 2016 Social Progress Index World Cup 2018: Two Costa Rican fans travel to La Sele’s rival countriescenter_img PHOTOS: La Carpio opens new school, 23 years in the makinglast_img read more

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Costa Rica will deport Islamic State suspects to Egypt Iraq

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica ends year with more than 26,000 ‘irregular migrants’ on the books Fleeing Nicaragua: The escape Fleeing Nicaragua: Joining forces against the government Body of tourist Carla Stefaniak identified, suspect detained Costa Rica said Thursday that it will deport four suspected members of the Islamic State group after they were arrested in neighboring Nicaragua and handed over to authorities in San José.The four men, two from Egypt and two from Iraq, were arrested by Nicaraguan soldiers on Tuesday morning near the Costa Rican border.The men had entered Nicaragua using an unauthorized crossing point known as La Guasimada, authorities in Managua said.The four were “allegedly linked to the terrorist organization ISIS,” a Nicaraguan police statement said, and were handed back to Costa Rica the same day.A police statement named the men as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33 and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26 — both from Egypt — and Iraqi nationals Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob, 29.Costa Rica’s migratory directorate said the four would be sent back to their countries of origin once their investigations had been concluded.The men had entered Costa Rica from Panama on June 9 under an immigration control agreement that allows 100 people to enter the country daily.Stephen Madden, Costa Rica’s immigration police chief, told reporters that biometric checks of the men made by immigration authorities in both Panama and Costa Rica did not turn up anything suspicious about the men.He said the group had aroused suspicion only when they crossed into Nicaragua on June 25. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Free cultural tours of San José on Wednesday

first_imgRelated posts:Cities filled with art: A visit to the 10th Central American Biennial San José’s Plaza de la Cultura scheduled to reopen in November Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Repairs to sewers will close roads in downtown San José Facebook Comments In honor of the mid-year vacations being observed in public schools across the country, a number of San José museums, art galleries and cultural centers will open their doors Wednesday evening as part of a city tour.Titled “Vacaciones en Chepe,” the free activities will last from 5-9 p.m. at 18 different locations in San José’s Amón, Otoya, Escalante and La Sabana neighborhoods.The Culture Ministry will participate with events at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, the National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, the Museum Calderón Guardia, and the Cultural Heritage Center.“This is a good vacation plan, where culture is once again the protagonist,” said Henry Bastos, director of GAM Cultural, the San José-based organization in charge of the Art City Tour.Among the highlights of “Vacaciones en Chepe” are a historical tour of the city, a mixology class, and a nighttime after-party at Rabbit Hole in Barrio La California.The event includes suggested routes for bikers, walkers and bus-takers.GAM Cultural has organized Art City Tours in San José since February 2010 and has welcomed more than 108,000 people across its 57 previous iterations.For a list of all of Wednesday evening’s activities, click here. (The link will download as a PDF.)last_img read more

Ugandan women go to court over maternal mortality

first_imgThe country’s top judges have a serious role to play: A declaration favoring the women activists would shame the government into action that drastically reduces mortality among childbearing women in Uganda, activists say.“All we want is a declaration that when women die during childbirth it is a violation of their rights,” said Noor Musisi of the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development, a Kampala-based group that is championing the legal push. The groups presented the bid to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.Uganda loses 16 women in childbirth daily, a figure some activists boldly emphasize on placards during regular marches in the streets of the Ugandan capital. Most of these deaths happen in villages where bad roads and poverty make it difficult for women to reach health centers. Even when they get there, some say, the available care is poor.Health centers have been built in villages across Uganda, but the structures are usually devoid of equipment and medicine. Ugandan newspapers frequently tell stories of midwives and nurses who treat women in labor with a chilling lack of compassion. And at times, when the caregivers are overwhelmed, some women are left to die. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 0 Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Valente Inziku, a Ugandan man who lost his wife and baby in such circumstances in 2010, blamed the government for his loss. The hospital in northern Uganda where his wife went had no gloves or a delivery kit that Sunday morning, and the midwives were greatly outnumbered by the patients, he said. The nurses asked him to buy gloves that were never used.“She was not attended to,” Inziku said. “She waved her hands the whole day but no one responded. Then she started bleeding. She bled and bled and then she died in my hands.”On a visit to Uganda in February, the head of President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative said she had asked Ugandan officials to take “greater ownership” of maternal health care and avoid sinking deeper into dependency on foreign benefactors.“Far too many women lose their lives giving birth,” Lois Quam told reporters in Kampala. “When a mother bleeds to death a nation bleeds.”The Ugandan government employs only about half of the health professionals the country needs, according to Samuel Lyomoki, a lawmaker and physician who has been prominent in calling for more action to improve maternal health. If the number rose to 65 percent, Lyomoki said, Uganda’s maternal mortality rate would fall substantially. Associated PressKAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – More than 100 women die during childbirth each week in Uganda, a heartbreaking statistic that has energized activists to go to the Supreme Court in a bid to force the government to put more resources toward maternal health care to prevent the wave of deaths.The activists say they want the country’s top judges to declare that women’s rights are violated when they die in childbirth, the kind of statement a lower court declined to give last week. In rejecting the petition, the Constitutional Court said the matter was for the country’s political leaders to handle. “The problem here is lack of commitment,” he said. “The point here is not the money. You cannot as a country look on callously and facelessly when we lose 16 women every day through preventable causes.”The case now before the Supreme Court is supported by over 50 civil society organizations, and analysts say its practical impact would be to embarrass a government that claims to have done more than the previous regimes to address women’s issues.“We just want the government to meet its obligations,” said Ben Twinomugisha, a law professor at Uganda’s Makerere University who is advising the women activists.Lyomoki, the lawmaker, said Uganda needs to hire 5,000 more medical workers and $60 million must be added to the health budget to accomplish that. Analysts say this money is available in a country where millions are lost every year through corruption and wasteful spending. Last year Uganda spent more than $700 million to acquire Russian-made fighter jets and military hardware when the country was not at war, and the president’s official residence is notorious for requisitioning huge sums that are rarely accounted for.Fred Muhumuza, a development economist who advises the Ugandan government, said the issue of maternal mortality has proved difficult to tackle. “Some of the problems we have with maternal health go beyond recruitment,” Muhumuza said. “There is a complex web of problems. Where are the people you are going to recruit? The supply of skilled workers is also a problem.”He said some medical workers do not want to work in a village no matter how much they are paid.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Top Stories Quick workouts for men Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Berlusconi allies criticize party name change

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Associated PressROME (AP) – Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi suggested in an interview published Monday that he will attempt a return to power _ using the old party name that brought him into politics two decades ago.In an interview in Germany’s Bild newspaper, Berlusconi said he is asked “often and emphatically” to step back into the political ring.“I can only say I won’t let my old People of Freedom Party down. We will soon return to the old party name by the way, `Forza Italia’ (Go Italy).” Berlusconi came to power in 1994 using the catchy soccer chant as his motto, and he dominated Italy’s political scene until he was forced to resign in November with the country in financial shambles and a personal legacy tarnished by sex and corruption scandals.By Monday afternoon, though, enough of his political allies had criticized the name change to compel Berlusconi to issue a statement backing down, saying his was just a proposal, not a solid decision by the party.In a way it was classic Berlusconi revisionism: the interview with the name change quote was posted verbatim on his website, yet Berlusconi insisted he had been misunderstood.In recent days, members of Berlusconi’s inner circle have spoken openly that the media mogul would run in elections next spring. On Sunday, his onetime political heir, Angelino Alfano, essentially admitted he would step aside to make way for a new Berlusconi run.But not all party members favor Berlusconi’s return: Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, for example, noted that People of Freedom members had elected Alfano party secretary with the express intention of making him the center-right candidate in 2013 elections. In an interview with Rome daily La Repubblica, Alemanno said a party primary would be necessary to determine if voters really are behind Berlusconi despite the scandals that continue to vex him. How men can have a healthy 2019 More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Even Alfano hinted that the name change was a bad idea, noting that the People of Freedom party was a beloved “project” that involved millions of Italians.In addition, the Northern League party, Berlusconi’s longtime coalition ally, no longer supports him, complicating any re-election bid.In Italy, it’s common for political parties to change their names and logos in a bid to reinvent themselves, even though the politicians and policies remain essentially the same.In the Bild interview, Berlusconi said he saw his resignation as a way to allow Premier Mario Monti to use his broad support to bring about necessary changes. Monti, an economist and former European Commissioner, has raised taxes and pushed through painful reforms to the pension and labor market systems.“I wanted to make reforms possible,” Berlusconi said.Monti has ruled out running for office when his term ends in 2013.____David Rising contributed from Berlin.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories last_img

Czechs turn to homemade booze after sales ban

first_imgFor Czechs, slivovitz is more than just a drink. It’s a Czech tradition to make it when a daughter is born _ and to only drink that at her wedding.One customer this week, waiting for his spirit, described how he had slivovitz made when his son was born _ but vowed not to partake until he became a grandfather.“It’s one of the most important things in life,” said Vlcek.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Initially, Czechs thought these small brewing outlets _ “palenice” in Czech _ were included in a nationwide ban that was recently imposed on spirits exceeding 20 percent in alcohol content. But authorities made it clear that wasn’t the case, citing the strict guidelines these outlets adhere to as a matter of pride and that what they produce is for personal consumption not re-sale.What might seem a risky leap of faith came as a huge relief to Czechs who swear by their slivovitz.“I was getting afraid that they would even ban this. That would’ve been a tragedy, it would cause a rebellion in the villages,” said 69-year-old Oldrich Chmela, one of a dozen people watching all day this week inside Stanislava Chalupova’s one-room distillery in eastern Czech Republic.“It’s where `alchemy’ happens,” he said.At least 23 people have died in just over a week from a very different, sinister form of alchemy.Authorities say a thriving black market in the country’s northeastern region is to blame for lacing vodka and rum with methanol to stretch volume and increase profit margins. More than two dozen people have been arrested and police have seized thousands of liters of tainted and suspicious alcohol. Exports from the country have been banned, and Poles and Slovaks were among the victims having drunk the bootleg booze that had crossed borders.Authorities now say an estimated 20 percent of spirits available in bars and restaurants has been manufactured on the black market, often containing illegal substances and carrying fake labels. It’s sent shock waves through a nation of alcohol lovers where beer is king, but 65 million liters of spirits are consumed a year.Overnight last week, all spirits above 20 percent were cleared from supermarket shelves, bars and restaurants _ and hidden away in boxes until further notice. The government is reported to be considering lifting the ban once a new certificate is introduced for all spirits to show their origin. But there’s no real end in sight yet for the unpopular ban, which even the president has lambasted.Jiri Vlcek, 70, swears by home-brewed slivovitz. He has a shot every morning and was waiting this week to wheel away 35 liters. “I have enough for the whole year,” he rejoiced. “It’s absolutely safe. This isn’t the trash you get at the stores.”He was among those waiting all day for Chalupova to complete the process of blending, mixing and alcohol grading. Most choose 50 percent strength. Associated PressBREZNICE, Czech Republic (AP) – It’s a cherished countryside tradition dating back to the 13th century. And, in a hard-drinking nation reeling from a deadly wave of alcohol poisoning, it’s now the only source of legal liquor.Early in the morning, locals bring fermented homegrown fruit to makeshift distilleries in kitchens, backyards and garages; by sunset they walk away with vats of slivovitz, a potent plum brandy that many swear by. Finally, the 79-year-old village brewing legend sipped a small sample of crystal-clear liquid from a green metal barrel and proclaimed it “delicious!”“There’s nothing to worry about, it’s absolutely safe,” she said of her home-distilled firewater, cursing the people who put methanol in cheap spirits to increase profit margins.Vaclav Sitler, chairman of a union of distillers, says up to 10 million liters of liquors with an alcohol content of 50 percent are made every year in 487 small home distilleries all across the country.That means about a liter per capita.The owners of these locales would seem to be in a position to cash in, but a drought combined with sudden frost in May seriously damaged the plum harvest and so supply is low.They charge about 200 koruna (10 dollars) per liter distilled and are expecting a spike in customers in coming weeks. Due to the lack of plums that proper slivovitz is made of, many are bringing other fruits such as apples and apricots.Chalupova, who has been distilling for almost four decades, said she expects to make only about a third of the slivovitz she produced last year due to the poor weather.“People are happy for every single liter,” she said. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories last_img

Salvador Allendes VP reburied in Chiles capital

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s military government said Toha committed suicide six months after he was taken prisoner during the Sept. 11, 1973 coup that toppled Allende. It said he hung himself with his belt in the closet of his hospital room.The family never believed it, in part because Toha was a tall man, taller than the closet railing, and was very weak after nearly starving to death in a remote and frigid prison camp in Patagonia.Dr. Patricio Bustos, who directs Chile’s national coroner’s office, determined last year that Toha was murdered by strangling. But two other autopsies were inconclusive. Now it’s up to investigative judge Jorge Zepeda, who ordered the body exhumed, to rule once and for all whether it was murder or suicide.Bustos has no doubts, telling The Associated Press on Monday that evidence shows someone other than Toha fatally compressed his neck.Neither does the family: Carolina Toha, who couldn’t contain her tears during the reburial, said “it’s already been established that our father was murdered,” and reiterated her call for those who have evidence to come forward and name those responsible.“There is hope. You have to be persistent, despite the passage of time,” she said, directing her words to other victims of the 1973-1990 dictatorship. “We can still find the truth and this truth comes with the justice we’ve waited for.” Jose Toha, a socialist like Allende, was arrested in the presidential palace as it was bombarded on Pinochet’s orders on Sept. 11, 1973, and taken to Dawson Island, a frigid prison camp in southern Patagonia.According to the court investigation and witnesses imprisoned along with Toha, he was relentlessly tortured there and brought near death to the military hospital where his body was found hanging from a closet rail on March 15, 1974.Chile’s pathologists have been busy re-examining emblematic deaths linked to the coup recently, clearing up lingering mysteries.The coroner’s office found that President Allende did commit suicide rather than surrender to Pinochet’s troops, using a machine gun that Cuban President Fidel Castro had given him. It found that Eduardo Frei-Montalva, who preceded Allende as president and later became a Pinochet critic, was poisoned to death, rather than dying from an infection. And it determined that Gen. Alberto Bachelet, Michelle’s father, died of a heart attack provoked by torture on March 12, 1974.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Associated PressSANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – The remains of Salvador Allende’s vice president, Jose Toha, were reburied Monday in an emotional ceremony after nearly two years of examinations by forensic pathologists to determine his true cause of death.Toha’s daughter Carolina, a leftist politician who served as spokeswoman for socialist President Michelle Bachelet and was just elected mayor of Santiago, led other family members in restoring his flag-draped coffin to the family’s crypt in the city’s general cemetery. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Magnitude66 quake strikes northcentral Chile

first_imgSANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – A 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked north-central Chile on Thursday, causing buildings to sway in the capital and nervous people to run out into the streets.But Chile’s emergency services office said no damages to infrastructure were reported and Chile’s Navy discarded the possibility of a tsunami.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was located about 54 kilometers (33 miles) southwest of the city of Coquimbo or about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Santiago. Its depth was 10 kilometers (6 miles). Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts.That quake was so strong it shortened the Earth’s day slightly by changing the planet’s rotation. The strongest earthquake ever recorded also happened in Chile, a magnitude-9.5 in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top holiday drink recipescenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   last_img read more

White House Ramadi capture by Islamic State a setback

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House calls the capture of the Iraqi city of Ramadi by Islamic State militants a “setback” and vows to help Iraqis reclaim it.White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Monday the United States is supporting Iraqi forces with precision airstrikes and military advice. He would not comment on whether the victory by the militants would prompt a change in U.S. strategy. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Schultz said the Obama administration knew that the fight against Islamic State would be long and have ebbs and flows.He said there had been 32 airstrikes in Ramadi in the last three weeks, including eight over the past 24 hours.He said the strikes would continue “until Ramadi’s retaken.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

South African president apologizes to Mozambique

first_img Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona “It is important that I apologize in the name of a small minority of South Africans who carried out these atrocious acts,” Zuma said at a banquet held by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, in the Mozambican capital Maputo on Wednesday evening.The South African government is working to ensure that similar attacks do not take place again, Zuma said. South African officials condemned the violence and have also tried to address complaints that immigrants living in the country illegally are taking employment opportunities from locals.More than 2,000 Mozambicans returned home following the violence, according to Mozambican authorities.South African police have recently carried out raids in which nearly 4,000 people were arrested, including 1,650 foreigners living in the country illegally, according to a police statement.Rights groups have criticized the operation, saying it unfairly targeted foreigners, but police have hailed Operation Fiela — meaning to sweep clean in the local Sotho language — as a success.More than 400 Mozambicans living in South Africa were also deported after they were arrested in the raids.___Associated Press writer Lynsey Chutel contributed to this report from Johannesburg. MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — South Africa’s president has apologized to the neighboring country of Mozambique for a spate of attacks on foreigners in his country.On a two-day state visit to the Mozambique, South African President Jacob Zuma expressed regret over the public violence that has tarnished his country’s image, especially among its African neighbors.Last month, a Mozambican immigrant was one of seven people killed in violence targeting immigrants living in South Africa. Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored 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 Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

80plus aid groups blast UN Security Council over Syria

first_img Comments   Share   The council meets informally Friday to explore how the international community should respond as Syria’s fighting is deep into a fifth year with well over 200,000 killed.The council more than a year ago called for an end to the use of barrel bombs but has not followed up.The new letter calls the council’s expressions of concern “woefully inadequate.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than 80 international human rights and aid groups are urging the U.N. Security Council to take real action against the continuing use of barrel bombs in Syria’s grinding civil war.The letter comes a week after more than 70 countries expressed outrage and demanded that the council prevent Syria’s air force from using the weapons, which are prohibited by international humanitarian law because of their indiscriminate nature. Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Developer of 35B Bahamas megaresort files for bankruptcy

first_img Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home “The Chapter 11 process provides the appropriate venue to create a viable financial structure that places Baha Mar’s interests foremost,” he said in a statement.The filing was made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware and Baha Mar intends to file an application in the Bahamian Supreme Court seeking approval of U.S. court orders.Plans call for an about 1,000-acre (405-hectare) complex with boutique hotels, some 40 restaurants and clubs, an 18-hole golf course and what’s billed as the Caribbean’s biggest casino. Court papers say the project is roughly 97 percent finished.The developer hopes to arrange a “debtor-in-possession” financing arrangement of up to $80 million. That financing is expected to provide the company with the cash to pay for daily operations during Chapter 11 reorganization. Some $30 million would fund work over the next 30 days.The project in the capital of Nassau was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2014. A “paced opening” set for March 27 and then a scheduled May grand opening came and went. The developer has not provided any new opening timelines.As with previous Baha Mar statements, Izmirlian blamed the incomplete work and missed deadlines on lead general contractor China Construction America, which received a $2.4 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and shipped in Chinese workers to construct the resort. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Executives with the Chinese company could not be reached for comment.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The developer of a $3.5 billion hotel-and-casino project under construction in the Bahamas announced Monday that it has filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.Baha Mar Ltd. said the U.S. filings were being done “voluntarily” in an effort to complete construction and open the megaresort touted as the most expensive project ever undertaken in the Bahamas.CEO Sarkis Izmirlian said he was “committed to doing all I realistically can to move Baha Mar forward” to completion and provide a “sparkplug” for the economy of the island chain off Florida’s east coast. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more