Dominican Republic throws Beat the Winter Blues party today in Toronto

first_img Share TORONTO — Looking to lift your spirits on Blue Monday? The Dominican Republic Tourism Board, CBC and 40 merengue dancers will heat up Yonge-Dundas Square with a live event today at noon. The ‘Beat the Winter Blues’ party, designed to chase away winter in a flurry of music and dance, will feature dancers, virtual reality lenses, giant postcards and a live giveaway of a trip to Punta Cana.The event, hosted by CBC Music’s Julia Nesrallah and sponsored by Sunwing, will run from 12-1 p.m. and is free of charge to the public. Co-op Taxi drivers across the GTA bearing Dominican Republic advertising will be playing merengue music for customers, and offering $10 coupons toward a future taxi ride.People who are unable to attend the Beat the Winter Blues party can enter a second draw for a trip to Punta Cana by visiting until Feb. 26, 2017.In addition to live dance performances, visitors will be able to take photos of themselves in front of life-sized photographs and visualize their own tropical getaway through a virtual reality lens inside a heated tent. The virtual reality experience is also available on the Xplr VR app from Google Play or the App Store.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJRich in history, the Dominican Republic has developed into a diverse destination welcoming more than 714,000 Canadian visitors each year. Visitor increases from Western gateways have been particularly strong, with Vancouver up 11% and Calgary up 22% last year, according to the tourism board.“We are seeing very strong numbers and have the highest amount of repeat guests of all the islands because we have the beach combined with the history. But it’s really the character of our people and the level of service that are most important,” said Abdalah Castillo, Chair of the Dominican Republic Tourism Board Canada.Golfing continues to be a large draw to the island. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the Dominican Republic boasts 25 designer golf courses. Some estimates show that golf business in the Punta Cana area is growing at a rate of 35% per annum.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsThe Dominican Republic and the tourism board are also excited about infrastructure improvements that make travel around the island even easier. Now it is possible to go from culture to beach in just an hour and 45 minutes (down from four hours), from Punta Cana to Santa Domingo. In addition, significant investment is being made in Puerto Plata to the promenade, plus there’ll be a brand new amphitheater for the world-renowned jazz festival.For more information visit, out a video from the event: Travelweek Group Posted by Monday, January 16, 2017 center_img Dominican Republic throws ‘Beat the Winter Blues’ party today in Toronto << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Dominican Republiclast_img read more

WestJet launches nonstop YYCNashville brings back HalifaxGander route

first_img Posted by Share WestJet launches nonstop YYC-Nashville, brings back Halifax-Gander route Tags: Calgary, Halifax, Nashville, New Routes, WestJet Travelweek Group center_img CALGARY — WestJet has announced brand new nonstop service between Calgary and Nashville and the reintroduction of its Halifax-Gander route as part of its busy summer schedule.Service between Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Nashville International Airport (BNA) begins on May 4 and runs twice weekly. With the launch, WestJet will become the first Canadian carrier to offer nonstop service between the two destinations.The airline began service to Nashville from Toronto last year and currently flies six times weekly on WestJet Encore. Flights from Calgary to Nashville will be operated on Boeing 737 aircraft.“WestJet continues to boost our flight network out of our Calgary hub,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “Just as the route out of Toronto has been embraced, we expect that Western Canadians will be thrilled to have the only nonstop access from Calgary to one of the most popular and happening cities in the U.S.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAs part of its 2017 summer schedule, which was announced on the same day as the new Nashville route, the airline also revealed it will once again fly its route from Halifax to Gander, Newfoundland. The year-round service starts daily on April 30, with one-way fares starting at $164.59.“A convenient afternoon departure will provide travellers access to Halifax and connections to WestJet’s robust network beyond, without the early morning rise,” said Reg Wright, President and CEO, Gander International Airport Authority. “Passengers have clearly told us they wanted more afternoon departures, so this is welcome news for Central Newfoundland residents.”WestJet’s 2017 summer schedule also includes new nonstop additional flights from Toronto to Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montreal and Moncton, as well as four new weekly flights between Vancouver and Hamilton and the addition of a daily flight to San Francisco. Service from Calgary will increase with six additional weekly flights to Toronto, and a once-daily flight to both Winnipeg and Regina will be added. Service from Edmonton to Kelowna will increase by 12 weekly flights and by one additional weekly flight to Las Vegas, while service from Kelowna to Winnipeg will increase by one weekly flight for a total of four times weekly. Lastly, existing winter service has been extended through the summer, including six daily flights between Vancouver and Kelowna, and five daily flights from Vancouver to Prince George.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesFor more information go to Tuesday, January 31, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Be well live well with Fairmont Kea Lanis new wellness package

first_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, October 24, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted bycenter_img Tags: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hawaii, Promotions, Wellness Travel WAILEA, HAWAII — In keeping with Hawaii’s long-standing tradition of maintaining mindfulness and wellness, Fairmont Kea Lani has unveiled a new wellness package that promotes healthy living and inner balance.Called ‘inspire Your Energy Wellness Package’, it includes daily breakfast buffet at Kea Lani Restaurant, daily fitness classes like barre, meditation and pilates, a 30-minute consultation with a fitness & wellness coordinator, and two 60-minute body treatments at the award-winning willow Stream Spa.The package also includes daily access to Willow Stream Spa’s heat and hydro facilities, and a signed copy of Eric Saperston’s book ‘Live in Wonder: Quests, quotes and Questions To Jumpstart Your Journey’.Package rates start at US$789 per night, double occupancy, in a Fairmont Suite.“The Inspire Your Energy Wellness Package is designed for guests interested in living a healthy, uplifted and energized life,” says Shannah Milstead, director of sales and marketing of the 450-key all suite and villa resort. “We’ve combined restorative treatments and mindfulness with an opportunity for guests to recharge and transform into a better version of themselves,” explains Milstead. “The Inspire Your Energy Wellness Package allows guests to approach wellness in a very personalized way with the guidance and expertise of our Energy Ambassador.”Launched in 2016, the Fairmont Kea Lani’s Inspire Your Energy program provides an integrated style to wellness by connecting guests to the activities they are passionate about while enjoying the tropical outdoor surroundings of Wailea, distinct mana (power or energy) of the islands and unique culture of Hawai’i.Fairmont Kea Lani, is Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort. Nestled on the golden sands of Wailea’s Polo Beach, this award-winning oceanfront property is renowned for its distinct approach to beach resort luxury. Be well, live well with Fairmont Kea Lani’s new wellness packagelast_img read more

WestJet pilots union to also represent Swoop pilots says arbitrator

first_img CALGARY — A federal arbitrator has ruled that WestJet’s unionized pilots will also fly its new ultra-discount carrier Swoop that’s set to launch next week.Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s Air Line Pilots Association, says the decision means the airline can no longer outsource Swoop flying, a major disagreement in recent negotiations.Swoop will recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for all Swoop pilots, who will be on the airline’s one seniority list and fly aircraft at Swoop terms and conditions.WestJet and the union will now make a joint application to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to amend pilots association’s bargaining certificate to include Swoop flying.The parties also agreed that WestJet and Swoop are common employers.The two sides scheduled mediation/arbitration dates over the summer to address all remaining issues.The threat of a strike by pilots was averted two weeks ago when the airline and union agreed to a settlement process and, if necessary, to use final and binding arbitration.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?WestJet CEO Ed Sims said it recognizes and respects the interim order that WestJet pilots should be able to operate Swoop aircraft.The Air Line Pilots Association is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 60,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada, including about 1,500 WestJet pilots and approximately 500 at WestJet Encore. WestJet pilots union to also represent Swoop pilots, says arbitrator Tags: ALPA, Swoop, Union, WestJet Tuesday, June 12, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share By: The Canadian Presslast_img read more

7 Irish experiences with Contiki for clients who have covered the basics

first_imgTags: Contiki, Ireland 7 Irish experiences with Contiki, for clients who have covered the basics Share Monday, March 18, 2019 Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — From a hearty Irish stew, to adrenaline-inducing cliffs and ancient castles, Ireland has a lot to offer. But once you’ve checked off all the classic Irish sites, what’s left for your clients to do if they’re looking to make a return trip?Travelweek caught up with Dave Marathakis, National Sales Manager for Contiki, to find out his top seven experiences – all ones you’re less likely to read about in the Irish guidebooks.Check out Dún Aonghasa on the Aran IslandsThis prehistoric hillfort is not only high up on adventurers’ bucket lists, but it’s literally high up, built on a 100-metre cliff over the Atlantic Ocean. Originally constructed over 3,000 years ago, it’s still very much a mystery. Marathakis explains, “While historians are still trying to figure out the origins, what we do know is that clients absolutely love visiting this mysterious site. They have the option of experiencing Dún Aonghasa during a ferry ride to Aran Islands. It’s definitely the hidden gem in a sea of Irish experiences.”Sample Jameson Whiskey in CorkThe battle between Scottish whisky and Irish whiskey is well documented. But why choose? Clients can sample both on Contiki’s 13-day Ireland and Scotland trip, with a visit to Jameson’s distillery in Ireland. For over 200 years, Jameson has been making drams of this liquid gold and clients have the chance to not only learn more about whiskey but enjoy it as well. “Most people think of Guinness when they talk about Ireland, but what they don’t realize is that the Emerald Isle is also the king of whiskey makers!” adds Marathakis.Wander through history at the Titanic Belfast museumNamed the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016, no trip to Belfast is complete without a visit to the Titanic Belfast museum, which artfully tells the story of RMS Titanic, from its conception to its famous maiden voyage and tragic end on April 14, 1912. It is the most extensive museum dedicated to the ship, and young travellers have the opportunity to score entry when visiting Belfast on Contiki’s year-round eight-day Ireland adventure.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterVisit the oldest library in IrelandBook enthusiasts wandering through Dublin will find no shortage of geeking out opportunities at The Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College Library. Considered Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College dates back to 1592 with an alma mater including the likes of Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker (author of Dracula). Marathakis adds: “The cobblestone halls of Trinity College will lead your clients to over 200,000 books and manuscripts, including the world-famous four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.” It’s the perfect place for history lovers to spend an afternoon (or two).Walk along the Cliffs of MoherCalling all adventurers – the Cliffs of Moher aren’t for the faint of heart. Reaching heights of 214 metres above the Atlantic Ocean and stretching for 8 kilometres along the coast, it’s a jaw-dropping must-do. “If heights aren’t your client’s cup of English Breakfast tea, they’re best to sit this one out. Contiki takes its travellers to this breathtaking natural wonder on our Irish adventures, including the 17-day Great Britain and Ireland trek. Trust me when I say they’re just as stunning as they are daunting!” says Marathakis.Explore Viking artefacts in DublinHiding under modern Ireland is a rich history with many tall Viking tales. Although maybe they’re not that tall at all when clients explore all the ancient relics left over from the raiding heyday. They can find museums showing off the old school wares everywhere, but Dublin probably has the most treasures with a visit to Dublin Castle which holds artefacts of the Irish Vikings.More news:  Experience Ireland: the Emerald Isle’s mythical talesTake a walking tour of Derry / LondonderryWhile most travellers visit Northern Ireland for the Giant’s Causeway or Belfast, many end up skipping Derry / Londonderry. Big mistake, says Marathakis. “Derry / Londonderry is the only completely walled city in Ireland, with stunning 20-foot walls dating back to the 17th century. We love taking our travellers here for a walking tour to truly soak up the history.” And clients who love a scare will be interested to know that the city hosts one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in all of Europe.From now until March 31 Contiki is offering $250 off its most popular trips that visit Ireland for a limited time as part of its ‘Contiki SEVEN’ campaign.Trips include Great Britain and Ireland and Scotland and Ireland.Agents can also turn every Contiki booking into a cash incentive. With the launch of its revamped Contiki Rewards program for 2019, agents can earn $250 for every five passengers booked on any Contiki trips that are over seven days.For every additional five passengers booked, agents receive another $250 in cash.Fill out the ‘2019 Cash Incentive’ form, which can be downloaded at, and email it to can also enter to win prize packs throughout the campaign on the Contiki Canada Travel Agents Facebook page, plus both agents and clients are eligible to enter the national grand prize giveaway for a trip plus airfare. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

ACVs new Area Sales Manager – Quebec is a former Transat veteran

first_img Posted by QUEBEC CITY — After spending over 20 years at Transat, Jean-Luc Tremblay is heading to Air Canada Vacations to be its new Area Sales Manager – Quebec.Reporting directly to David Côté, General Manager Sales Quebec & Atlantic, Tremblay will be based in Quebec City where he will represent the city along with the East of Quebec region. He joins ACV’s Quebec Sales team, which comprises Veronica Di Ruocco and Mary-Gina Mercier.Tremblay brings with him over 20 years of experience at Transat where he recently held the position of Area Sales Manager.Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales, Groups & Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations, said the company is delighted to welcome him to the team. “Jean-Luc’s network of relationships and industry experience will allow us to continue supporting the Quebec City region.”Tremblay is the latest Transat veteran to head to Air Canada Vacations.Last month ACV named Robert Reed, a former director at Transat, as its new Manager of National Accounts.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionOn June 27 Air Canada and Transat concluded their definitive Arrangement Agreement that provides for Air Canada’s acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat and its combination with Air Canada. The deal is pending approval from regulators and shareholders. Travelweek Group Tags: ACV, Quebec Sharecenter_img ACV’s new Area Sales Manager – Quebec is a former Transat veteran << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, July 9, 2019 last_img read more

DR announces new safety measures including more FB inspection

first_imgD.R. announces new safety measures including more F&B inspection By: The Associated Press SANTO DOMINGO — The D.R. has announced new safety measures that include stricter controls on food and beverage inspections in resort areas.The D.R.’s Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, announced the new measures yesterday. The destination is working to allay concerns in the wake of the high-profile deaths of more than half a dozen U.S. tourists.According to reports, D.R. properties will have to “provide inspectors with detailed food handling protocols as well as comprehensive information on all food and beverage suppliers.”When guests check in, front desk staff will review emergency procedures, plus an emergency centre is being established in Bavaro in Punta Cana. There will also be closer monitoring of the medical services provided by resorts including the qualifications of doctors, nurses and other medical team members.The D.R. has seen its visitor numbers drop in the wake of the publicity surrounding the tourist deaths. In June, Garcia said the deaths were not part of a mysterious wave of fatalities but a medically and statistically normal phenomenon that has been lumped together by the U.S. media. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Dominican Republic, Minister of Tourism Friday, July 19, 2019 Sharelast_img read more

Police find 49 kilos of cocaine in Escazú home of kidnapped man

first_imgNo related posts. Police found 49 kilos of cocaine inside the home of a Colombian man who was kidnapped on Tuesday.The Colombian man, whose last name is Solano, was abducted from his home in Guachipelín de Escazú, a southwestern San José suburb, by three subjects who were dressed as members of the National Police.At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, three subjects invaded the home in the residence Las Vistas and and took the victim away in a vehicle. The suspects fled to Santa Ana, abandoned their vehicle, and left in another car.Police are investigating the case and have not released any information about the alleged kidnappers. Judicial Investigation Police said Solano had been renting the Guachipelín home for six months. Facebook Commentslast_img

Lineup announced for Envision 2014

first_imgAre you ready for a funky-electric-earth-fairy-rainbow wonderland? It’s ready for you.Envision Festival, a multi-day, transformational art and music gathering will be back in 2014 for the fourth time on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast. This week, organizers announced the lineup, which will include:Dave Tipper, Papadosio, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Random Rab, Phutureprimitive, Rising Appalachia Music, Andreilien (Heyoka), Sonámbulo Psicotropical, Kalya Scintilla, The Funk Hunters, Kaminanda, Santos&Zurdo, Pumpkin, Sugarpill, JPOD the beat chef, Stylust Beats, The Human Experience, Liberation Movement, Sasha Rose, DJ Dragonfly, Nominus, Merkaba, Goosebumpz, Soul Visions, Living Light, Plantrae, Cocofunka, Soulacybin, Pasiflora and more.Organizers have also announced some big changes for 2014. The festival is moving to a shaded rainforest enclave five minutes up the road from last year’s venue. This new spot allows for car camping and it is closer to the beach, which will be free to access, organizers say.A two-minute walk to the ocean and plenty of shade should be welcome news to those who attended in the sweltering heat of the 2013 festival. Optional car camping will also delight 2013 festivalgoers, who were treated to an unseasonal downpour that drenched the grounds, attendants and their gear.Despite piercing heat and show-stopping tropical thunderstorms, Envision 2013 was a success. Thousands flew from all over the world to witness the live music acts and live painting by more than 20 artists. There was also a variety of yoga, dance, movement and spoken word workshops, as well as a healing sanctuary, performance art, and a kids’ zone.Here’s a video recap of Envision 2013 from Zippy Lomax. Envision 2014 takes place Feb. 20–23 at Rancho La Merced in Uvita, Costa Rica. Super Early Bird passes went on sale today at noon. You can purchase them here: Super Early Bird Passes are available for $195 until they run out. After that, regular Early Bird tickets will be on sale for $225. If they do not sell out, tickets will be available the day of the show at the box office for $295. Early Bird price on the VIP Paradise Package is $599. There are additional options for early arrival, car camping, and RV camping. Like last year, a special discount is offered for Central American residents with valid IDs. To submit an application to participate, visit the new Envision website: website for more info. Facebook Comments Related posts:28 photos from Costa Rica’s Envision Festival Overheard at Envision 2014 Retransformed: A sophomore experience at the Envision Festival Envision Festival beginslast_img read more

Costa Rica celebrates the Fourth of July

first_imgSpectators watch the fireworks display at Avenida Escazú’s Fourth of July event. Facebook Comments Related posts:VIDEO: Barbecuing with Lucas Withington PHOTOS: American Colony celebrates US Independence Day at annual picnic American Colony to host 54th annual Independence Day Picnic Chicago’s ProbCause and Cofresi set to rock Costa Rica’s Best Festlast_img

Beautiful House in the calm area of San Joaquín de Flores Heredia

first_img info heading info content No related posts. Previous Image Next Image Price: $270,000COD: 1108Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558Province: HerediaCantón: FloresConstruction: 235m2Land: 300m2Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 3.5Parking: 4-7Beautiful Big Spacious House in the calm area of San Joaquín de Flores, Heredia.13 years old construction2 bedrooms + Maids room3.5 bañosParking for 4 – 7 carsLaundry RoomRanch in a Large GardenLiving room, dining roomPatioBig kitchenAlarm System1km from the Center of San Joaquin de Flores.See this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US adds two macaws to endangered species list

first_imgRelated posts:To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Wildlife numbers halved over past four decades, says WWF Perplexing ‘platypus’ dinosaur discovered in Chile Sea Shepherd’s R/V Martin Sheen lands in Costa Rica for 4-month research mission MIAMI – Poaching and habitat loss have landed the military macaw (Ara militaris) and the great green macaw (Ara ambiguus), two birds typically found in Central and South America, on the U.S. endangered species list, officials said Thursday.“Both macaws are at risk of extinction throughout their ranges,” said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, adding that “existing regulatory mechanisms designed to protect these macaws are not adequate.”The ruling makes it illegal to kill, harass or injure the birds, import or export them from the United States, or carry them across state and national borders.The listing “ensures that U.S. citizens and individuals subject to the jurisdiction of the United States do not contribute to the further decline of these species,” said the FWS statement.The military macaw is found in tropical forests in Mexico and South America. While between 6,000 and 13,000 are believed to exist, their populations are isolated and spread out over wide areas.This fragmentation means each group contains anywhere from a handful of birds to 100 individuals.There are far fewer left among the great green macaws of Central America and parts of northern South America — with just 1,000 to 3,000 individuals remaining in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.Related: Saving the great green macawThe ruling will be published in the Federal Register on Friday and goes into effect a month later, on Nov. 2. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arts and culture at a glance the week ahead in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Rica Nrmal Festival, Expo Tattoo, and other happenings around Costa Rica Guitar Festival, French cinema, and other happenings around Costa Rica New Year’s kickoffs, Tennis Championship, and other happenings around Costa Rica Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra takes the reins of the National Symphony Orchestra at the National Theater, withperformances tonight at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Featured composers will include Javier Alvarez, Edvard Grieg and Gustav Mahler (Friday, May 27, and Sunday, May 29).Plaza del Sol in Curridabat, east of San José, will be filled with sculpture this weekend as the VIVA EL ARTE festival, now in its 11th year, brings renowned artists Édgar Zúñiga, Beatriz Parra and Leda Astorga, along with their work and that of many other artists from around the country, to the shopping center. The festival will also feature free musical performances (Friday, May 27 – Sunday, May 29).Drop by the National Museum in downtown San José for an atmospheric exhibit: in the former military barracks’ dungeons, you can see photographs by José Alberto Hernández in “Capturas,” an exploration of crime and punishment (throughout the month). Facebook Commentslast_img read more

President Solís to discuss migration green energy with US Vice President Joe

first_imgRelated posts:Presidents Obama, Solís sign historic security donation for Costa Rica Costa Rica, Panama ask neighbors to help with stranded migrants President Luis Guillermo Solís to meet with U.S. Vice President Michael Pence Costa Rican women who made us cheer this year President Luis Guillermo Solís will meet next Monday with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden in Washington D.C. to talk about regional security, irregular migration and renewable energy.Solís said his visit to the White House will be brief and that the agenda was convened following an official invitation from the U.S. government.One of the key issues to be discussed at the meeting is the newly announced program to provide temporary shelter to Central American refugees while they are processed for asylum in the U.S.Under the program, Costa Rica will take up to 200 asylum-seekers at a time from Central America’s Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.Solís and Biden will also discuss the formulation of a sustainable energy strategy for Central America.Casa Presidencial reported that Solís will take the opportunity to promote Christiana Figueres’ bid for the General Secretariat of the United Nations.The official entourage will include Foreign Minister Manuel González, Presidency Minister Sergio Alfaro and director of the Department of Intelligence and Security Mariano Figueres. The group will be back in the country on Tuesday. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Álvaro Conrado the young martyr of Nicaraguas protests

first_imgRelated posts:“Comandante Macha,” the young woman with cancer fighting from the barricades in Jinotepe Life after the brutal attack in Monimbó The Tico Times partners with La Prensa to bring more coverage from Nicaragua Threats against independent journalists in Nicaragua continue In the back of an unknown vehicle, Álvaro Conrado, 15, asked the people around him not to let him go to sleep, because if he did, he wouldn’t wake up. He’d been shot in the neck and it hurt to breathe. He was bleeding out.He was shot a few minutes earlier, near Metrocentro, a shopping center in Managua. He’d bought some bottled water at a gas station to take to protesting students who were collecting supplies at the Managua Cathedral. His parents had no idea what their son was up to. Thad day he wore blue jeans, sneakers, and a red jacket that his father said made him an easy target.Around 12:30 p.m., Álvaro showed up to the Cruz Azul hospital mortally wounded. His parents say he was turned away. The same stranger that took him there then brought him to the Bautista de Managua Hospital. At about 2 p.m. that Friday, April 20, 2019, Álvaro Conrado died in the operating room.Álvaro was a student at the Loyola Institute. He was training to win his fourth medal in track and field the week he died. He turned 15 just 12 days before he was murdered.He was a student, not a delinquent.When Álvaro Conrado had an idea in his head, it was hard to get it out. He defended what liked and couldn’t stand injustice. He’d been that way since he was a kid. He used to protect younger kids and always wanted to help, his mother said. Álvaro Photo courtesy of La Prensa“We’ve come to the conclusion that he had the desire to help people and he showed that until his last moment. When he was a kid he wanted to be a fireman,” his mother, Liseth Dávila said.Álvaro joined his school’s track and field team last year. He was supposed to compete the day after he died. He’d been training for days.He liked rock music and was listening to The Beatles and Queen a lot. He spoke English and learned to play the guitar when he was 5 years old. He liked Anime and while a lot of his friends made fun of him for that, he never let it get to him. He was the oldest of three brothers. He also wanted to be a lawyer.“He wanted to travel. He wanted to be someone. He’d tell his little sister: I’ll get ready, then I’ll get you ready,” Dávila said.The day everything changed Álvaro Conrado turned 15 just 12 days before he was killed. Photo courtesy of La PrensaOn Thursday, April 18, 2018, Álvaro Conrado went to train at his school in the morning. Since classes were cancelled, he spent the afternoon with his dad and asked him to explain what was going on. He wanted to know why the university students were protesting. After his dad explained, Álvaro asked his dad:“Why don’t we go check it out?”“It’s too dangerous,” his dad said. “Sometimes when you’re checking out a fight, that’s when you get hurt. Anyways, you’re still a kid. Let’s watch it on TV instead and see how it works out.”When they got home, they had dinner and Álvaro started studying with his sister. He kept asking questions and his mom told him to be careful if he saw anything on the street. The conversation continued until midnight and before Álvaro went to bed, he messaged a friend to say:“Our Pinolero (a colloquial term for Nicaraguan) land. The place we were born and grew up in. Our blue and white flag stained with our brothers’ blood. Where’s the respect to our country. [sic] It’s Nicaragua, not any old piece of garbage. We’re Nicaraguan. We’re one. They’ll never be able to defeat that.The next day Álvaro got up earlier than usual. He looked so restless that his grandmother huried to make his breakfast because she thought he was hungry. But his worry was that it was already 9 a.m. and his dad hadn’t gone to work.They had breakfast together. A drawing by Juan Tijerino, an artist known as Vagancio Nic, that went viral on social media in Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of La Prensa“He didn’t mention anything. I told him: I’m going to work, and since there’s no school, wait for your sister to wake up, then grab your books and study. He said: ‘Yes dad, don’t worry.’ We said goodbye and that’s the last time I saw him.“That was around 9 a.m. At 11:45 a.m. I got a call from and they tell me that the phone’s owner is going into the hospital and he was wounded badly in his neck. I get to the hospital at 2:10, but I couldn’t see him alive,” his dad, also namedÁlvaro Conrado, said.Álvaro Conrado didn’t know who their son went with to go help. They know he went to one of his friend’s house and asked him to join him to go join the students at UPOLI, but his friend said his parents wouldn’t let him and it was dangerous. So Álvaro went on his own. The day he was murdered he was with two others, but no one knows who they were.There’s a 16-second clip on social media where you can see the moment Álvaro was helped by students at the Cathedral of Managua. He doesn’t stop saying: “It hurts to breathe. It hurts to breathe,” while other students press a red handkerchief against his neck.Álvaro could have survived his wounds if he’d gotten help earlier, doctors at the Bautista Hospital told his parents. He lost too much blood in the time it took to take him from one hospital to another, and that’s why he didn’t make it. Álvaro Conrado’s parents had no idea he went to go help university students that day. Óscar Navarrete/ La Prensa“When we left, the doctor said we could file a complaint against the Cruz Azul Hospital because they have the obligation, as doctors, to help. That’s taking a side, not having a conscience, but there’s no law here. And why complain, just so they can file a countersuit against us and leave us with nothing,” his dad said.Álvaro was getting to the cathedral lot when he was shot. He wasn’t even able to hand in the bottled water he was carrying. The shot grazed his lower lip and they had to open his chest at the hospital to find out where it was lodged. His mom says that’s when they realized it was a lead bullet.Álvaro’s family fears there will be repercussionsfor complaining about their son’s death, but they’re convinced they can’t keep quiet about what happened.“With the talk we had the the day before [Álvaro was killed], I thought I’d controlled the situation. I never thought he was going to go. I controlled him. When I went out, he came with me. On his days off, I’d take him to work. The moment I left him alone, that’s when it happened,” his dad said. Álvaro Conrado was killed on April 20, 2018. One day before he was going to compete in track and field. He was hoping to win his fourth medal. Óscar Navarrete/ La PrensaÁlvaro Conrado was the youngest person to die during the protests at the time of his death. He died of a bullet on the second day of protests when he was trying to get to the Cathedral of Managua to drop off bottles of water that he bought himself.According to The Permanent Commission for Human Rights (CPDH). As of Friday April 27, 2018, there were 63 dead and at least 163 people injured by gunshot during the protests. Of those, nine lost an eye.One common denominator among the dead is that they were all shot in the upper part of their body. They have wounds in their chest, neck, and head. That’s why, since the death toll started rising, it’s been said that police have been told to shoot to kill. In between the dead are a journalist in Bluefields who was shot in the head, and two cops that died in Managua.Read the original story in Spanish at La Prensa, first published on April 29.This story was translated into English and republished in The Tico Times as part of a partnership with La Prensa to help bring their coverage of the Nicaraguan crisis to an English-speaking audience. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Year in Review Our mostread stories of 2018

first_imgWe want them alive: Costa Rica’s reckoning On two coasts, communities mourn tourists deaths in Costa Rica Our chat with Epsy Campbell, Costa Rica’s vice president elect Cats march through streets, rats scared, milk supply runs low Costa Rica’s ongoing strike hits tourism industry hard Surfing in Costa Rica: Secrets from a local surfer Almost all of Costa Rica’s energy has come from renewable sources since 2014 Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s waves Fleeing violence, Nicaraguans seek safety in Costa Rica Meet Costa Rica’s 48th president, Carlos Alvarado Jaguars in danger: Building pathways for wild cats to protect a Costa Rican symbol Dreamlike, diverse and grappling with change: Our Santa Teresa deep dive Fleeing Nicaragua: The escape Almost all of Costa Rica’s energy has come from renewable sources since 2014 Heavy rains lead to mass floods in the Pacific How to love bees and save the world: Puerto Viejo couple teach the importance of bees Fleeing Nicaragua: The escape From elections to protests to immigration, 2018 was a newsworthy year in Costa Rica and the region.The Tico Times kept you informed throughout all of the year’s biggest news. Thank you for reading and supporting independent journalism in Costa Rica.Here are some of our most-read stories of the year:Carlos Alvarado: Novelist, musician and presidential candidate in Costa Rica Through adaptive surfing disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s wavescenter_img Former Costa Rican presidents and political figures come out in support of same-sex marriage Related posts:Introducing The Tico Times merchandise Taxi drivers to stage another demonstration against Uber Signature collection for animal welfare bill referendum set for July A thumb’s up for earthquake education and thrills in Cartago Surfing in Costa Rica: Secrets from a local surfer Costa Rica’s ongoing strike hits tourism industry hard Our chat with Epsy Campbell, Costa Rica’s vice president-elect Dreamlike, diverse and grappling with change, our Santa Teresa Deep Dive Off the eaten path: Pad Thai Jaguars in danger: Building pathways for wild cats to protect a Costa Rican symbol How to love bees and save the world: Puerto Viejo couple teach the importance of bees Former Costa Rican presidents and political figures come out in support of same sex marriage Off the eaten path: Pad Thai Cats march through streets, rats scared, milk supply runs low Heavy rains lead to mass floods in the Pacific Fleeing violence, Nicaraguans seek safety in Costa Rica On two coasts, communities mourn tourists’ deaths in Costa Rica Thank you for reading The Tico Times in 2018. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, and we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. Support the Tico Times  Facebook Comments We want them alive: Costa Rica’s reckoninglast_img read more

US envoy Myanmar reforms good example for NKorea

first_imgAssociated PressTOKYO (AP) – The U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues says that political and economic reforms unfolding in Myanmar are a great example for North Korea to follow.Robert King told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that if North Korea took similar steps as Myanmar, the international community would probably respond favorably, as it has with Myanmar.In the wake of President Thein Sein’s reforms there, Western nations have eased sanctions imposed during the previous military regime’s repressive rule, and investors and tourists have begun flocking to the country. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements “I would hope the North Koreans see what’s happened in Burma and recognize that as something that’s positive,” King said, using the country’s former name preferred by many activists. “I see Burma as a great example of where we’d like to see North Korea going.”If Pyongyang moved in “positive” directions that would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the country’s nuclear program, “then I think there will be positive movement in other directions, as there has been in Burma.”North Korea has vowed to push ahead with its nuclear program, and there are widespread worries that it may follow a failed April 13 long-range rocket test with a third nuclear test.The launch came several weeks after Pyongyang had struck a deal with Washington to receive food aid in return for a freeze in nuclear activity and ballistic missile testing. The U.S. viewed the launch as a cover for a test of missile technology and a violation of the agreement.The rocket launch has made food aid “out of the range of possibilities right now,” King said. “Would we consider it in the future? Possibly. Are we considering it now? No.” King, who met with Japanese government officials and heads to Seoul on Saturday, said a major concern about food aid to North Korea is whether Pyongyang would allow the U.S. to monitor its distribution so that the food reaches those most in need.King said he had seen North Korean news reports about a drought in the country. But he said that he had also seen weather reports of heavy rain last week that may have eased the drought.He said the U.S. didn’t have an overall assessment of the food situation there, and that he didn’t think it was different this year from past years.Average food production in North Korea is about 20 percent below what the needs of the population are, and Pyongyang meets the shortfall with assistance from other countries or buying grain, he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologylast_img read more

Chinese city kills project after pollution protest

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The official Xinhua News Agency said thousands of residents took to the streets but dispersed after the government announcement. Later Saturday hundreds of police, some in riot gear, arrived in the coastal town just north of Shanghai and took up positions outside the government offices.The water discharge project was to be part of a paper-making factory proposed by the Japanese company Oji Paper Group in upstream Nantong city. The government did not say if the plans for the factory have also been permanently dropped.Oji said in a statement Friday that the waste water would only be discharged after treatment that meets national standards.“Environmental protection is a high priority for our company,” the statement said.Chinese have become more outspoken about environmentally risky projects in their backyards, with pollution a leading cause of unrest. Earlier this month, Shifang city in the southwestern province of Sichuan scrapped plans for a copper plant after thousands of protesters, including high school students, clashed with riot police.The grass-roots protests reflect the balancing act Chinese leaders are performing between maintaining public stability and pushing economic growth, and between local officials who want to attract industry and a public who do not want it in their neighborhoods. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Such protests are especially sensitive ahead of a once-a-decade change in top leaders planned for later this year.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressQIDONG, China (AP) – Authorities in eastern China dropped plans for a waste water discharge project Saturday after thousands of protesters angry about pollution took to the streets. It was the latest of many such confrontations in a country where three decades of rapid economic expansion have come at an environmental price.Some of the protesters in Qidong in Jiangsu province clashed with police and turned a patrol car on its side. After the protest Saturday, the Qidong government announced on its website that plans to build the water discharge project had been scrapped. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Romney seeks more assertive US policy on China

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy How China would respond may be swayed by its leadership transition. The new guard would not want to appear weak. But neither would China want the dispute to escalate as it relies on exports and faces its own economic slowdown. If that translates into major job losses at home it could affect social stability, which is Beijing’s biggest concern.Obama has consistently opted against designation of China as a currency manipulator. Like President George W. Bush before him, he has preferred to wait while economic forces encourage Beijing to allow its currency to strengthen _ which it has done, although most economists still believe it is undervalued.The Treasury is due to make its next six-month assessment on Monday, although it’s not yet clear if it will be announced on that date. China is likely to get a pass.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Those plans, though, could take years to implement. Addressing the currency issue on Day One would immediately affect relations.Romney says he would designate China as a manipulator unless it stops currency manipulation by his January inauguration. Romney trade policy adviser Oren Cass said this would set a new tone and show the U.S. is willing to take China to task over a range of trade violations, including intellectual property theft and restrictions on market access for U.S. companies in China.The designation itself would not mandate any sanctions, but would require that the U.S. hold consultations with China.Cass said that if Beijing doesn’t move toward changing its currency policies after consultations, the U.S. could impose so-called countervailing duties on Chinese products.But Matthew Goodman, former director of international economics in the National Security Council under Obama, said the U.S. discretion to unilaterally impose retaliatory tariffs ended when it joined the World Trade Organization in 1995, and in practice it is difficult to take a currency dispute to the WTO for settlement. Cass says that under domestic law, the U.S. could impose countervailing duties, and it’s an open legal question at the WTO whether member states can do so unilaterally to compensate for a currency subsidy. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories center_img How do cataracts affect your vision? China’s state media has weighed in with unusually direct criticism of a presidential candidate, suggesting that Beijing hopes Obama will win.News agency Xinhua has accused Romney of hypocrisy, saying much of his wealth was made doing business with Chinese companies and warning that his “mudslinging” policies could spark a trade war.Early in his presidency, Obama made warmer relations with China a priority, and ties have deepened. The two governments have navigated some rough patches _ such as the standoff over a blind activist, Chen Guangcheng, who sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and was then allowed to come to the U.S. to study. The Obama administration said that reflected a maturing relationship.But diplomacy has failed to bridge fundamental differences on issues such as climate change, the civil war in Syria and China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors. And as the U.S. has wound down its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its modest moves to deploy more forces around Asia have irritated Beijing.Romney is calling for an even stronger U.S. presence in the Pacific. Wong said that would encourage the peaceful resolution of the region’s many maritime territorial disputes, including one flaring between U.S. ally Japan and China over islands both claim. He said Romney would make clear it has a treaty alliance with Japan that covers the islands and has the naval power to back it up. The U.S. seeks Chinese cooperation on international hot spots, such as North Korea and Iran, and wants to narrow differences over how to handle maritime territorial disputes in East Asia.Given the potential repercussions, some foreign policy experts doubt Romney would carry out the currency threat. Other presidential candidates have made similar promises in order to appeal to voters who have seen manufacturing jobs migrate to China. But, once elected, they soften their approach.“There’s probably been wisdom in administrations in the past, Republican and Democrat, of not wanting to go there,” said Jon Huntsman, who served as President Barack Obama’s first ambassador to China before a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.But the commitment to act on Inauguration Day doesn’t appear to leave much room to back down.Romney has also taken aim at Obama’s “pivot” to Asia _ a strategy of deploying more forces and shoring up U.S. alliances there, in part to counter China’s military buildup.In a speech this week, Romney said China’s recent assertiveness was “sending chills through the region.” He said the pivot is under-resourced and has alienated U.S. allies elsewhere. He outlined plans to expand U.S. naval power _ although it’s unclear how he’d pay for it since he also wants to slash government spending. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   “What we have seen from the Obama administration has been acquiescence to China, not just on trade issues and currency issues, but on issues of security and human rights,” said Romney foreign policy adviser Alex Wong. “To protect our interests and those of our small businesses and of our economy, we have to take measures to make sure China does play by the rules.”U.S.-Chinese relations are entering a critical juncture. Two days after the Nov. 6 vote, China will begin its own once-in-a-decade leadership transition. How the next U.S. administration gets on with the new guard in Beijing could determine whether the world’s pre-eminent military powers can cooperate in the Asia-Pacific region or head on a path to confrontation.Appreciation of those stakes tends to get lost in the fiercely fought election campaign.Both Romney and Obama have TV spots with China as a foil. Romney accuses Obama of being soft on China’s trade practices; Obama accuses Romney of outsourcing U.S. jobs to China when he ran the private equity firm Bain Capital.The tone of the debate, labeling China a “cheat,” has drawn withering criticism from the architect of U.S. re-engagement with Beijing 40 years ago, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has nonetheless endorsed Romney. Kissinger said that avoiding conflict between the powers is the most fundamental challenge for U.S. foreign policy. Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is promising to get tough on China to help American workers, but his plans could backfire.Romney is pledging, on his first day in office, to designate China a currency manipulator, a step no administration has taken against any country for 18 years.That could, eventually, lead to tariffs punishing China for policies that Americans believe unfairly keep Chinese products cheap, hurting U.S. manufacturers. Tariffs could trigger a trade war with a country that is the fastest-growing market for U.S. exports. Even if they don’t, the designation would instantly set back relations with Asia’s emerging superpower.last_img read more

Iran mourns slain senior military commander

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy ___Associated Press writers Barbara Surk in Beirut and Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Prominent Iranian politicians and clerics led mourners at a funeral Thursday for a senior commander of the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guards who was killed this week while traveling from Syria to Lebanon, local media said.The semiofficial Fars news agency identified the slain commander as Gen. Hassan Shateri, and said he was in charge of reconstruction projects in southern Lebanon. He was killed on the road linking Damascus with Beirut on Wednesday, it said. The exact details surrounding Shateri’s death _ such as where he was killed and who killed him _ were still murky two days later. Fars did not specify whether the slaying took place on the Lebanese or Syrian side of the border, although an Iranian official in Damascus said Shateri was killed inside Syria.Guards spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif was quoted by Fars as saying “mercenaries and supporters” of Israel were responsible. It was unclear whether that allegation meant to implicate the Jewish state itself or rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.The Israeli military had no comment.Syria and its supporters often refer to the rebels as “terrorists” and “mercenaries” backed by foreign powers, including Israel, although Israel is not known to have any links with Syria’s rebels.None of the dozens of rebel groups fighting in Syria claimed responsibility for the killing, though all are outspoken about their enmity for Iran because of its consistent support for Assad’s regime.Shateri’s death points to the support that Iran, the region’s Shiite power, provides to both Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Lebanese militant Shiite movement Hezbollah. Tehran lends political and military support to Damascus, a close ally, as well as Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in the region. The Syrian regime and Hezbollah are both critical to Iran’s Middle East strategy, and Tehran has pledged to continue its support for Assad as he tries to fend off a relentless and bloody rebellion aimed at toppling his family’s 40-year rule.Tehran counts on Syria as a bridge to Hezbollah _ a dominant political force in Lebanon _ and an important foothold for the Guard.In September, the Guard’s top commander, Jafari, made a rare public acknowledgment that the elite unit has had high-level advisers in Lebanon and Syria for a long time, but was not more specific. Those comments marked the clearest indication of Iran’s direct assistance to its main Arab allies.Thursday’s funeral for Shateri took place at a mosque in north Tehran, Fars and ISNA said.Several high-ranking Iranian figures attended the service, including Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Guard chief Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and the head of the Guard’s Quds Force, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani. Senior clerics, such as Ayatollah Ali Saeedi, the representative of Iran’s supreme leader to the Guards, also took part.Footage of the service broadcast on state TV showed footage of mourners carrying aloft a coffin. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories It is unclear what Shateri was doing in Syria. The Iranian official in Damascus said Shateri was on a work visit and that three of his assistants were wounded in the attack. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.Fars, which is close to the Guards, said Shateri was a veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, and served in Afghanistan before moving to Lebanon. He is to be buried Friday in his hometown of Semnan, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Tehran.Lebanese news reports provided a similar account of the killing but a different name.Al-Manar TV, which is owned by Hezbollah, identified the dead man as Houssam Khosh Nweis. It said he was the director of the Iranian Council for Reconstruction in Lebanon, and that he had lived in the country since the end of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.The difference in the name could not immediately be reconciled, but Iranian military officials in Lebanon often work under an assumed name because their presence in the country is not publicized by Hezbollah.Lebanese security officials told The Associated Press there was no indication that the Iranian official was killed on Lebanese soil. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   last_img read more