Weekend strike to shut Acropolis at height of tourist season

first_imgWeekend strike to shut Acropolis at height of tourist season Share Thursday, July 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press Tags: Greece, Travel Alert ATHENS, Greece — A two-day strike by Greek culture ministry employees protesting staff shortages will shut the Acropolis and other ancient sites and museums in Athens this weekend, at the height of the tourist season.But the strike will not affect the Acropolis Museum outside the ancient citadel, museum officials said.The ministry workers’ union said Wednesday it wants the left-led government to honour a pledge to hire some 230 archaeologists and guards, replacing employees who retired in recent years.Under the terms of Greece’s international bailouts, only a fraction of civil servants who retire can be replaced by new hires.The union said the strike will apply to archaeological sites and state-run museums in Athens and the surrounding province of Attica.last_img read more

ACV offering up to 1000 cash back with new Price Drop Guarantee

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is guaranteeing the lowest possible prices and protected commissions with a new limited-time promotion.With the Price Drop Guarantee, the company is guaranteeing the lowest prices in the market or clients will be refunded. If the price of a client’s package drops after they book, they can contact their agent and ACV will issue a refund based on the price difference up to $1,000 cash back per person. In addition, the company is protecting agent commissions with the guarantee.The offer is applicable on select resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, and is valid for bookings made between April 15 and May 5, 2019, for travel between May 25, 2019 and June 23, 2019, or Sept. 1-30, 2019.It’s redeemable on a decrease of the total package price (including taxes) of select Flight & Hotel packages and room categories sold. Any adjustment must be requested by phone through Air Canada Vacations Customer Care at 1-800-296-3408, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET, and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Posted by ACV offering up to $1,000 cash back with new Price Drop Guaranteecenter_img Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Promotions Travelweek Group Wednesday, April 17, 2019 last_img read more

4000 jobs at stake as drought cripples Ladysmith industry

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Water on Mars – What next pictures of Martians taking a bath

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Protesters block the road at Frere

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Today is World Honey Bee DayToday is World Honey Bee Day

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Accused US child molester nabbed in Guatemala

first_imgFrom the print editionA U.S. man accused of molesting a 4-year-old girl was arrested last week in Guatemala after avoiding justice for 18 years, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday. Jeffrey Reed Parish, 65, was arrested July 12 at his home in Panajachel, a lakeside village often frequented by tourists, some 145 kilometers west of the capital. An FBI spokeswoman said Reed Parish was living under an assumed name and did not resist arrest. Agents accompanied him back to the U.S. on Saturday, where he will face charges in California, where he had disappeared in 1998, Reuters reported. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

5th Annual Pitaya Fest approaches

first_imgStarting on Feb. 23, the 5th annual Pitaya Fest is expected to attract about 5,000 people to Playa Hermosa in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The event will showcase music from local musicians, such as Cables Pelao, Milly Majuc and Run Dun Crew. Several Costa Rican artists and Pantalones Calientes from Mexico will also make an appearance.The music festival will include a two-day surfing competition, and the tournament will pre-select participants for the ISA Junior World Championship in June 2013.The festival will raise funds for Casa Llanta, which provides scholarship programs and English classes in the community of El Carizal. Money raised will also go to transportation and teachers’ salaries at Los Pipitos, a school for people with disabilities.The event is sponsored by Quiksilver, Martin Guitar, Claro, Pitaya Plus and Intur. To learn more visit www.earthshippitayafestival.com or www.facebook.com/The-Earthship-Pitaya-Festival. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Sonámbulo frontman Daniel Cuenca suffers from rare debilitating spine condition

first_imgRelated posts:New music video from Costa Rica’s Sonámbulo Tickets go on sale for Beatles legend Paul McCartney in Costa Rica ‘Elvis’ and ‘Sinatra’ descend on San José New Sonámbulo album expands style, stays funky At 10 p.m. on Friday night, Jazz Café San Pedro was packed and the show was about to start, but the line to get in still wrapped around the block. There wasn’t an inch of floor space unoccupied.As the doors closed, the line rushed onto the patio, pierced faces and tattooed limbs pushing against the glass. They pled with the bouncers and, later, with the police. After a two-month hiatus, one of Costa Rica’s most beloved bands, Sonámbulo Psicotropical, was about to take the stage, and the fans wanted in.What they couldn’t see from outside was that something was different. Resting at the front of the stage, a microphone stand propped up a brimmed straw hat – the same hat that lead singer Daniel Cuenca has worn for every performance. He was not at the show because he was in bed, sick with a rare disease of the spine that has slowly wreaked havoc on his motor skills.At Jazz Café that night, for the first time, the band publicly revealed Cuenca’s illness and the need to raise $26,000 for a surgical procedure in Spain that could help him. The band aims to do this with a series of benefit concerts, the first of which happens Oct. 11 (today).As a donation box circulated the venue and filled with cash, the band and the crowd danced themselves into a frenzy, raising temperature of the room until the glass doors fogged. A girl with dreadlocks and rainbow pants drew a heart in the condensation.“The group is strong,” said fan Fernando Blanco, 23. “There is a lot of love here.”With any luck, Sonámbulo will be able to capitalize on its meteoric rise to fame and bring back Cuenca, the very lifeblood of the group.Daniel Cuenca began his career as a street musician, building and selling drums in Costa Rica to save enough money to travel to Spain. There he started playing subways and street corners, and eventually he traveled all over Europe. He also ventured to Kenya and Tanzania and then to Mexico. Cuenca’s style grew out of these back-alley gigs, and when he returned to Costa Rica, he joined the circus.Magos del Tiempo, or Time Wizards, was Costa Rica’s first homegrown circus, and Cuenca was one if its clowns. He also teamed up with other musicians to provide background music for some of the acts, experimenting with different instruments and sounds and creating a new brand of Afro-Caribbean, Latin and funk fusion. Music had become the focus, and eventually Cuenca and four more musicians split off to form Sonámbulo.“Through this whole process, Daniel has been more than just a frontman,” said David Cuenca, Daniel’s brother and the group’s guitarist. “He is the pillar in the creation of all of the group’s songs. We collaborate, sure, but Daniel’s ideas are usually the ones that survive the process.”The group began playing for friends and small crowds at cultural centers, and soon they were invited to perform in bars. In 2009, the band produced its first studio album, “A puro peluche,” a Tico slang phrase that according to one band member means a person who works very hard (this may be a bit of an artistic stretch, as the phrase is probably closer to tuanis).By the time Sonámbulo’s first album dropped, the band was famous in the San José bar scene, and the shows were attracting sellout crowds that would dance for as long as the music continued, which sometimes approached four hours. Besides the wild, all-night dancing, the band also came to be identified with Cuenca’s straw hat, which he wore over his face at every performance.Despite Cuenca’s apparent modesty, Sonámbulo has only been thrust further into the spotlight. In 2012, the group headed to Europe, where it played 26 shows in five countries. Just as in Costa Rica, the crowds couldn’t get enough.After a three-hour performance in Spain, Cuenca remembers trying to leave the stage only to be stopped by a ladder passed up to the stage full of beer and food. The crowd was sending a clear message – eat and drink up; we need you to keep playing.“It was a great feeling,” Cuenca said.For him, the tour was more than just a chance to grab fans in Europe. It also allowed the band to collaborate in a way it never had before. “It was the first time we had so much time together,” he said. “We spent more than two months traveling and we were always meeting and talking, it was really important for us as a group.”Months earlier, Sonámbulo had been playing Festival Imperial – Costa Rica’s most important music festival – where it appeared alongside internationally acclaimed acts like The Flaming Lips and Björk. Though stuck in a mid-afternoon spot well before the headliners, Sonámbulo stole the show.“There were thousands of people, and they all reacted en masse,” said the band’s then-manager, Carol Campos. “Normally it’s just the first few rows where people dance and jump, but here it was everyone.”The energetic dancing kicked up a massive dust cloud, demonstrating so much love for Sonámbulo that halfway through the set, Campos was talking with festival organizers about sending Sonámbulo to the United States.The negotiations would lead the group to Austin City Limits, where they received rave reviews from both fans and music reviewers. More offers followed, including a chance to play at Austin’s South by Southwest in 2013. The group turned down the offer to work on a second album, but it had become clear that the group was on the brink of something big.“Even after everything that has happened, we feel like we are just getting started,” said David Cuenca. “With this second album, we are showing who we really are as a group.”As David Cuenca takes the reins as the band’s frontman, Daniel is home in Atenas, resting on doctor’s orders. Though few were aware of it, Cuenca’s problems began six years ago, when he first starting noticing numbness and pain in his hands.His ailment puzzled doctors all over Costa Rica. At first they thought it was a parasite he contracted during his travels in Africa. When that was finally ruled out, no other diagnosis took its place. Three years into the disease, things started to get worse.“It started with my arms,” Cuenca said. “I would just have little bites of pain in my arms and hands.”Eventually his sickness began to take a toll on his ability to perform. He could no longer play the tres, a type of Cuban guitar he usually kept on stage with him. He began putting a stool next to the microphone stand, to rest while he sang.Throughout all of the tests, doctor visits and bouts of intense pain, Cuenca never canceled a single show. “If the band had agreed to play a show, Daniel was going to be there,” Campos said. “He never complained or asked anyone for help.”Finally, two months ago, doctors gave Cuenca’s ailment a name: Hydrosyringomyelia, a condition where a cavity forms in the spinal medulla, chipping away at motor skills and, if left untreated, destroying the inside of the spinal cord.The only treatment available in Costa Rica is an invasive and dangerous surgery, which could cost Cuenca his life. There is another, simpler procedure in Barcelona that Cuenca hopes to undergo. That’s the one with the price tag of $26,000.After two months of brainstorming, last week the band came to a decision. They would continue to perform without Cuenca, and they would get him his surgery.“The idea is to keep playing and to use that money to get Daniel the operation he needs,” said the band’s saxophonist Esteban Pardo. “Everyone in the band is doing something to help him out.”The band’s first benefits take place Oct. 11 and 12 in El Observatorio, in the center of San José. Four more Costa Rican bands, El Espacio and Ojo de Buey on Friday and Infibeat and Lucho Calavera on Saturday, will also be performing. Entrance is $6, with all funds going towards Daniel’s surgery.“We have had a really beautiful reaction from all of our fans and the other bands,” Cuenca said. “One way or another, I’m sure we’ll get the money. At least I hope.”Even with the money, the sudden interruption has put Sonámbulo’s promising future on hold. The surgery would happen in November at the earliest, and then require several months of recovery.“What does this mean for the band? Honestly I don’t know,” Daniel Cuenca said. “But in reality, they can go on without me, they already are. We always keep marching forward.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Modern dance ancient pilgrimage and other happenings around Costa Rica

first_imgFilm: “Sins of My Father”What was the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar really like? Find out, thanks to this documentary created by his exiled son, Sebastián Marroquín.“Pecados de mi Padre” screens Aug. 7 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Spanish Cultural Center website.Art: “Prelibri”Abigail Reyes takes her inspiration from books, but her multimedia work is filled with clever twists.“Prelibri” continues through Aug. 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents ₡1,000 ($2), foreigners ₡1,500 ($3), students ₡500 ($1). Info: MADC website.Art: “We Are Not Foreigners”Presented by the organization Chietón Morén, this photographic series documents the indigenous people of Costa Rica.“Nosotros No Somos Extranjeros” continues through July 31 at the National Archives, Curridabat. Open daily 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: National Archives website.Theater: “Virus”What is the nature of sickness? Costa Rican playwright Ana Istarú explores this theme in “Virus,” her new drama at the Vargas Calvo Theater. Read our review here.“Virus” plays through Aug. 31 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: National Theater website.Art: “Documentos en Línea”Artist Guillermo Fournier exhibits his series of sketches at the National Theater.“Documentos en Línea” takes place at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website.Art: “Dirty Game”Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.Exhibit: “Cathedrals of Soccer”This photographic exhibit illustrates the beauty of the soccer field – not the game itself, but the stadiums where games take place.“Catedrales del Fútbol” continues through Aug. 1 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. Mon.-Thu., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Free. Info: Centro Cultural de España website.Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents ₡1,000 ($2), foreigners ₡1,500 ($3), students ₡500 ($1). Info: MADC website.Enamorate de tu ciudadYes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website and Facebook page. Music: Pedro GuerraSpanish singer-songwriter Guerra celebrates his 30-year career at Jazz Café.Concert takes place Aug. 5 & 6 at Jazz Café, Escazú. 8:30 p.m. ₡27,000 ($55). Info: Jazz Café website.Opera: “Nabucco”Verdi’s spectacular Biblical opera receives a massive production at the National Theater, thanks to the National Lyric Company.“Nabucco” can be seen July 31–Aug. 10 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Thu. & Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡2,000-30,000 ($4-60). Info: National Theater website.Theater: “Amadeus”Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about the life of Mozart (and his bitter rival, Salieri) receives an epic production at Teatro Espressivo.“Amadeus” plays Aug. 7 – Oct. 12 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Theater: “A Dog’s Life, Sweet Dreams”La Carne Teatro presents this realistic dramedy by Miguel Morillo about two workmates who struggle to live in a modern city.“Perra Vida, Sueños Dulces” plays through Aug. 17 at Teatro 1887, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: RedCultura.Film: Race Relations and Discrimination CycleScreenings of films about different ethnic groups getting along – and not.Films will screen Aug. 7-28 at the Cartago Cultural Center, downtown Cartago. First film screens Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. Free. Info: GAMCultural. Facebook Comments Related posts:Dinosaurs, The Elephants, and other happenings around Costa Rica A national festival, a grand old opera and other happenings around Costa Rica A rainbow run, a pop-up store, and other happenings around Costa Rica The Prague Ballet, an international blues festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica National Contemporary Dance FestivalOne of the most anticipated arts events of the year, the National Contemporary Dance Festival showcases some of the most exciting companies now working in Costa Rica. Each evening spotlights one to three groups – a choreographic feast for both dance enthusiasts and curious visitors. The festival is a perfect sampler of Tico performance art that requires no Spanish skills or pricey admission.El Festival Nacional de Danza Contemporánea takes place Aug. 5-10 at the Melico Salazar Theater and the Theater of Dance, both in downtown San José. Tue.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Theater website.RomeríaPilgrims from all over Costa Rica and Central America converge on the city of Cartago to pay their respects to “La Negrita,” a sacred Catholic statue.Romería takes place Aug. 1 & 2 outside Our Lady of Los Angeles Basilica, Cartago. Events take place all day. Free. Info: SiCultura website.last_img read more

5 reasons to see West Side Story tonight tonight

first_imgRelated posts:Guitar Festival, French cinema, and other happenings around Costa Rica 30 Seconds to Mars concert, short film festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica Christmas cheer, oxcart parades, and other happenings around Costa Rica Patriotic tunes, Children’s Day theater, and more events around Costa Rica “West Side Story,” the first offering from new theater company Luciérnaga Producciones, is in full swing – or full mambo, as it were – at the Melico Salazar Theater in downtown San José.The production has some weak spots: the orchestra isn’t quite up to the challenge of Leonard Bernstein’s epic score, and while the lead vocals are strong, some of the smaller roles fall far short in terms of singing ability (fortunately, the boisterous, scrappy nature of the gangs’ musical numbers help camouflage this).However, Broadway’s first major foray into Costa Rica is well worth a visit. Here’s why:1. The dancing. Oh, the dancing. The iconic dancehall scene, “America,” and pretty much any moment where the cast members really let loose are well worth the ticket price.2. The dresses. Oh, the dresses.Self-explanatory.3. Anita. This is traditionally a show-stealing role (hello, Rita Moreno), and Isabel Guzmán Payés meets the challenge head-on. Absolutely first-rate.4. Spanish-speaking Spanish speakers. For someone who grew up memorizing the original English version with Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant lyrics, it’s definitely strange to see “West Side Story” in Spanish. Songs such as “One Hand” just can’t be translated without altering the clean rhythms of the original. However, the translation does work quite well overall.What’s more, there’s something very right about telling this particular story in Spanish. A musical largely about Puerto Rican immigrants to New York, whose 1961 film version is infamous as an example of Hollywood racism – María was played by notably non-Latina actress Natalie Wood – is meant to be translated, in many ways. An added perk? No “West Side Story” nerds singing along in the audience (ahem).5. It’s charmingly dated – and sadly timeless.The production does a fantastic job channeling the fashion and feel of an earlier time, but it’s impossible to see “West Side Story” today without thinking about how much hasn’t changed. The shoddy treatment of immigrants and the tension between young people and police officers are two aspects of the plot that are ripped right from today’s U.S. headlines. “Gee, Officer Krupke,” the song in which the Jets lampoon the justice system, is a comic piece, but a sad one, too.Fortunately, if you get too glum, someone will start snapping and doing backflips. And did I mention the dancing and the dresses? Check it out. (Just don’t sit at the front edges of the upper levels. While anyone buying a balcony seat expects to crane a little, entire sections of the action are totally invisible from those seats, which really should have been blocked off or sold at a steep discount. It’s sort of cool to find yourself mere feet above Tony and María’s balcony scene – but we would rather have seen their faces.)“West Side Story” continues through May 13 at the Melico Salazar Popular Theater, downtown San José. Remaining shows include Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.; Tue & Wed., 7:30 p.m. ₡13,000-₡37,000 ($26-$74). Info: Event Facebook page. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Jairo Mora murder case Costa Rica prosecutor seeks new trial

first_imgA prosecutor requested a new trial in the 2013 killing of Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora on Tuesday morning at an appeals court in Cartago, east of the capital, local media reported.The prosecutor, Julián Martinez, called for a new trial with new judges after the seven accused killers of Mora were found not guilty, the daily La Nación reported.Three of the suspects were acquitted of all charges on Jan. 26. The remaining four defendants were found guilty of raping and robbing a Costa Rican couple and their young nephews nearly two weeks before Mora’s murder.Mora was killed on May 31, 2013 while patrolling Moín Beach north of the Caribbean city of Limón to protect nesting turtles from poachers.The prosecutor argued that the trial in Limón illegally excluded important evidence, including telephone recordings that were ruled inadmissible. Rodrigo Araya, a lawyer for Mora’s family, told the news site CRHoy.com that the family requested the appeal in February, citing missing evidence and constant delays in the proceedings, among other technical errors in the trial.Araya was not alone in critiquing the state’s case. The criminal investigation and trial were so badly bungled by the state that the judges presiding over the case slammed the government for its poor showing, saying that they had no choice but to acquit the seven defendants for the murder charge. Facebook Comments Related posts:Suspects in slaying of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora will stand trial Court hears testimony from key witnesses in the Jairo Mora murder trial Murder of Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora headed for retrial Victim testifies in Jairo Mora murder retriallast_img read more

UPDATE Costa Rican police raid law offices in connection with €85 million

first_imgUpdate: Aug. 18, 5:12 p.m.Antonio Robles, name partner of Robles Oreamuno y Asociados, the law firm searched by Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Tuesday morning, told The Tico Times that the firm had severed ties with a Dutch client who allegedly purchased real estate in Costa Rica with funds from a multi-million-euro scam more than three years ago.“We are totally unaware of any illicit activities involving him,” Robles said.The lawyer said that the firm did set up a corporation for the Dutch suspect, Fred Kras, to buy property in Costa Rica but that the firm was unaware of any possible wrong-doing at the time.Robles said that at some point more than three years ago Kras had told them that he had legal troubles in the Netherlands but would not elaborate. Upon hearing this, Robles said the firm decided to cut ties with Kras and no longer represent his interests in Costa Rica. The firm sent a letter dated Feb. 24, 2014 to Kras’ lawyer in Spain — where the Dutchman was arrested in 2010 — repeating their board’s decision to drop him as a client.Original article continues here:Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided the law offices of Robles Oreamuno in downtown San José and in the Pacific beach town of Quepos on Tuesday in connection with a €8.5 million fraud investigation.OIJ spokeswoman Xinia Zamora said that the raid aimed to discover if the law firm was aware of the illicit source of money used to buy properties in Costa Rica by Dutch businessman Fred Kras. The Dutchman was arrested in Spain in 2010 for defrauding investors in a solar energy scam between August 2007 and September 2009. The funds collected in the scam were invested in Spain and Costa Rica, Zamora said. Kras is under arrest in the Netherlands.Robles Oreamuno set up a corporation used to buy properties in Costa Rica for the fraudster, whose name Costa Rican authorities have not yet made public.Besides the law firm in San José, two other properties in Quepos were raided by police in the search for evidence.This story is developing. Follow ticotimes.net for updates. Facebook Comments Related posts:Teenagers arrested for allegedly distributing child porn Inept criminals sentenced to prison for attempting to steal a truck they couldn’t drive Police arrest 4 suspects with fake police gear after dramatic chase, shootout Costa Rica homicide rate hits record highlast_img read more