Caribbean Highlands Blog

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International Art Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica

The 2012 International Arts Festival San Jose, Costa Rica. A long day but totally worth it. The 2017 International Arts Festival will be held June 29 – July 9 in San Jose.  I had a heck of a time convincing friends we should go to the International Arts Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica this March. It takes us a long time to get there, gas is expensive, we have to stay all night in a motel because I don’t like to drive at night here (potholes the size of moon craters) and finding someone to feed our dogs are all obstacles to us going to town for a day trip. I had read that the festival included booths from Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Korea as well as Costa Rican art dealers, so I really wanted to go. Things started falling into place, in my favor, without me really even trying. […]

Proposed Limon International Airport in Matina, Costa Rica

By: Kimberly Beck, Matina Limon Costa Rica Promoters of a $700 million international airport in Limón said they had difficulty generating interest under the Laura Chinchilla government, but now the Solís administration appears to favor the proposal. The promoters said this when they met last week with members of the Matina chamber of commerce in the canton’s municipal office, to introduce a proposed international airport. Representing the MEL Group was Enzest Brown, Project Engineer. The company name reflects the first names of the principal partners, and the company is not related to the aviation company The MEL Group with headquarters in Suffolk, United Kingdom. Other executives of the firm are Lowell McLean, Marketing Director and Limón resident, and Michael Adden, President of MEL Group.  Adden was born in Limón and lives in Miami, Florida. The plan for an international airport in Limón was born in 2011 and subsequently introduced to the […]

Jeffrey Berkman

Jeff is a recent addition to the Caribbean Highlands team, but an invaluable addition. An experienced business lawyer with extensive experience working with entrepreneurs, companies, and business ventures in a variety of industries, including high tech, management consulting, real estate development, film and television and a variety of brick and mortar businesses. He additionally serves as business advisor to entrepreneurs seeking assistance with business start-up matters. Jeff has handled numerous corporate, venture capital and real estate transactions worldwide, and brings the experience of both a dealmaker and a lawyer to U.S. and international business transactions. Specialties include; Venture capital; corporate/business law; M&A, corporate financing; assisting start-ups, handling corporation structuring; working with non-profits, contract drafting/review (licensing, distribution, employment and general commercial contracts); franchising; and film/television productions/entertainment law matters. Being proficient in Mandarin Chinese has aided in his extensive experience handling corporate and commercial transactions in the U.S. Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and […]

Keith Macartney

With many years in business, real estate, retail electronics and the automotive parts industry, Keith provides a vast array of experience, professional, personal and financial. Keith started in the business world working for Radio Shack at the age of 14. By the age of 18 he became their youngest roving manager ever, even to this day. He then went to work for the Southland Corporation, a large international conglomerate, becoming assistant manager of their largest location in the region within four months, again showing his desire to strive ahead. Keith then entered the automotive parts industry in 1973 and became a business owner in 1988, opening his own auto parts store in Massachusetts. In less than 10 years Keith built sales (from less than zero due to prior owners reputation) to almost $900,000 annually – in a highly competitive market. Knowing what Keith had accomplished, he was approached by a […]

Vanessa Keith

Vanessa and her team have become an integral part of what Caribbean Highlands is to be, taking a concept in thought and bringing it to the point where CH will be a truly luxurious community overlooking the Caribbean and Limon in Costa Rica. She is a registered architect and the Principal of Studioteka, a published, award-winning design firm she founded in 2003. Studioteka approaches design through a multidisciplinary lens that spans the boundaries between architecture, economic and social development, and urban and environmental concerns. Vanessa is especially interested in the issues faced by developing and tropical countries as they adapt to climate change, and in envisioning design-oriented technical and engineering solutions to environmental problems. The firm’s work ranges from urban design to residential and commercial buildings, site planning, design of custom interior elements, lighting and interior design, program research, feasibility studies and creation of investment packages, as well as design research […]

Carlos Araya

Though born and raised in Costa Rica, Carlos Araya graduated from Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he continued his studies at the University of Nebraska, also in Lincoln – for dentistry. In 1997 he shifted his major and focus to law, and graduated from Universidad de Santa Lucía – San José in 2009. Realizing that he needed to fine-tune his field in business law, he spent the following year in Spain at GADEX, Universidad de Salamanca – Spain, specializing in business and negotiations (mergers and acquisitions).   Fluent in English and Spanish, Carlos has spent many hours translating important documents for companies to present to the Costa Rican government, allowing him to get to know many of the officials in the process, both at the local and central government levels. Additionally, when working for Latin-America Title Co in the mid to late 00s, he started to […]

Board of Directors

William Ogen – William, once a partner of Keith’s has through the years built a vast array of relations in the Costa Rican business community. His primary focus through the years has been real estate, but he has also ventured into organic farming as well as manufacturing. As a real estate developer in Costa Rica William has already experienced what it takes to build a project, bringing along the skill set necessary to help Caribbean Highlands move forward at a swifter pace.     Chris Urso – Chris and Keith have worked together, primarily through real estate investments for the past 7 years. In that time Chris has built a vast multi-family empire, spanning the east coast and mid-west United States. His vast knowledge and experience has also offered him the opportunity to build a large community of real estate investors and business professionals. Coaching many to achieve their own success, he […]

Chris Macartney

CFO – Caribbean Highlands   Chris Macartney began his working career in his father’s auto parts store at a young age, learning early on the value of integrity and hard work. While in high school he began working at a restaurant, igniting his interest in culinary arts. He attended the Culinary Institute of America and has held positions in both New York and Boston, as Sous Chef and Executive Chef. After working for four years in Boston as Executive Chef for State Street Bank, Chris decided to venture out into his own personal chef business. He moved to New York and created Cook For You, a personalized meal plan/service. Chris’ real estate career began in early 2009 when he attended an introductory seminar. He has since completed courses on a wide variety of in-depth real estate topics, including Short Sales & Mortgages, Lease Options and Mortgage Assignment Strategies, as well […]

Oscar Villavicencio Blanco

Oscar, having been highly recommended to the Caribbean Highlands project, has been an invaluable asset, and we are just really getting under way. After graduating from high school in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York he returned home to his native country of Costa Rica. There he studied architecture at the University of Costa Rica, graduating in 1988, and is registered at CFIA, a highly respected architectural organization in Costa Rica. Through the years since he has had an extensive background in real estate and the various components that go into it. This includes (but not limited to) master plan and infrastructure design, 2D and 3D AutoCad design and planning, belonging to FVRCC (the foundation behind rural housing in CR), and multi-family housing, not to mention business ownership.   Oscar has acted as a major consultant in a large variety of projects throughout Central America as well as helping […]

Local Updates (Ongoing)

New Airport Coming To The Caribbean Area News to follow, but it appears that there will be a new international airport to be built (approximation) within 30 miles of Caribbean Highlands. More to follow _____________________________________________________ Report on Sustainable Human Development in Latin America Flatters Costa Rica   –   The Costa Rica News (TCRN)  –  A report on sustainable human development in Latin America revealed that 40 out of 100 people in Latin America are not only poor, but also lack formal employment, labor rights, and are excluded from all the systems and social policies of the states. Interestingly, Costa Rica outstands as the country with less poverty and violence rates, as well as the country with more investment on health and education in Latin America. As to other Latin American countries, the 2013 publication of Statistics for Latin America emphasizes that 40% of the population of the entire region […]