IN THE NEWS
Old money in Costa Rica soon will give way to new money, literally. The Central Bank (BCCR) said this week it plans to present the news bills of ¢20,000 and ¢50,000 denominations in April, and they should be in circulation about three weeks later. The BCCR announced last October that changes in the size, color and illustrations of all denominations of Costa Rican bills (¢1,000, ¢2,000, ¢5,000, ¢10,000, ¢20,000 and ¢50,000) would begin in the second trimester of this year. The move is designed to satisfy the needs of the visually impaired and blind.
4Heavy by Design
A major work of art by famed Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia will be on display at the Avenida Escazú commercial center, next to the CIMAHospital in Escazú, beginning Monday,Feb. 15. The 1,000-kilogram sculpture, called “Crepúsculo,” is the bronze image of a voluptuous woman looking mysteriously into the distance while holding in her hands a pre-Columbian sphere, meant to symbolize the ancestral wisdom of the Costa Rican culture.
4New Normal in Honduras
Honduras is slowing being accepted back into the international fold after the seven-month political crisis born when former President Manuel Zelaya was ousted from office last June. This week, the World Bank said it will restore development aid to Honduras, including a planned loan of $270 million and an additional $120 million in new credit. Also, Spain notified newly elected President Porfirio Lobo that it intends to normalize diplomatic relations. Also, several business people from the United States met Wednesday with Lobo to express their desire to invest in call centers and other outsourcing ventures.
4Make My Day
Women in Guatemala seem to be saying they won’t take it anymore. They’re arming themselves in increasing numbers for self-protection and protection of their families, according to a report in the official Diario de Centroamerica newspaper.
The report said 9,200 weapons have been registered at the Digecam regulatory agency, and that figure represents 4 percent of the total weapons registered. Between 2003 and 2008, the murders of women increased in Guatemala by 179 percent, according to a national ombudsman’s office report. During 2009, 720 women were murdered in Guatemala and another 899 were injured in acts of violence, according to the same report.
4Wallet Gets Hit Again
Gasoline prices are on the way up again. The price of Super will pass ¢600 per liter for the first time since September of last year. The cost will go from ¢588 to ¢627 per liter, representing an increase of 6.63 percent. Plus gasoline also will increase 4.53 percent, from ¢573 to ¢599. According to the Public Services Regulatory Authority, the price increases will go into effect the first of next week, at the latest.
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