Local Services and Recommended Resources
A main purpose of Que Pasa Grecia is to connect people with local goods and services.
Services listed here are offered by members of our community.
Be sure to let them know you saw their listing on Qué Pasa!
Recommended Resources are based solely on the writer's personal experience.
Consumers retain all responsibility for their choices. "Caveat emptor."
By Walt Clayton
I discovered Fernando painting tourist souvenirs in Sarchí and was dazzled by how fast and expertly he could turn out intricate, colorful scenes of toucans. We struck up a friendship and swapped emails.
A year passed, and when I moved into my new house near San Isidro de Grecia I got in contact. I renamed my house Casa Tucán and just had to have a gate sign with a bright, keel-billed toucan, a major icon of Costa Rica. For only $50 and $16 worth of custom-cut cedar, Fernando rendered a superb image which now proudly welcomes visitors and draws admiring looks every day.
The success of that lead to a canopy scene of two toucans for my front door. Then that was followed by a more humorous toucan-themed "Pulpería" sign for my new workshop.
Fernando speaks Spanish only, but he's a talented, low-key guy who is easy to get along with and strives mightily to satisfy your creative vision. He will paint at your house or wherever you designate, and is happy to accept special orders for gifts or scenes of any size. I'm always thinking up ideas for my next toucan project for him.
You can reach Fernando at 8755-1700, and I'm happy to field any questions at 6246-6015.
Assisted Living Services
Note from the Editor: Que Pasa Grecia sometimes is requested to post these services. We think such a service has great potential to our readers. However, we are not giving these listings our endorsement. Caveat emptor, do your own research.
by Diane Cooner
Maggie comes with many references and recommendations from the Grecia area. She lived here many years, moved to Quepos for a time, and is now back in the area. She is available to work as a caregiver or personal assistant. She speaks English and has letters of reference and phone numbers. She has 15 years of experience working in private homes and helping families. And she has her own car.
Maggie Rodriguez Cel 8709 1417
Finca Futuro Verde
by Deb Boden
My husband, Pete, has been at Finca Futuro Verde since March 2016. I'm pleased with the care he receives from medical Dr. Dirk Maes, a Belgian expat. Dirk has one other client and space for 2-3 more at his comfortable home and farm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. I can provide details for those interested. Deb Boden, email email@example.com.
I would like to offer my services to care for patients or older adults.
I am bilingual English/Spanish and have 17 years of emergency room experience caring for patients in general. I am a US certified EMT.
Clara Brown firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8915-4993.
Maria Casey - Grecia
Auto Body Work
Fabulous Hole-in-the-Wall Body Shop!
by Walt Clayton
That worn cliché, “Never judge a book by its cover,” could never be truer in the case of my latest discovery – this time a Tico body shop tucked away in the winding roads of the San Miguel barrio.
Taller Rodriguez is a tiny paint & body joint – “taller” means shop – that both inside and out is the quintessential hole-in-the-wall, family-run business. But what it lacks for in aesthetics it more than makes up for in talent and experience when it comes to fixing anything from a wimpy fender-bender to a virtually totaled SUV. And the results will astound you, hence this review.
The shop is owned by Carlos Rodriguez, with over 35 years in body repair and painting. His son, also Carlos, has a mere 16 years of experience. When they work their magic on mangled sheet metal I challenge you to find where the damage was, but what really impressed me was their expertise in color matching.
All vehicles come with color codes, usually found inside the door on the driver’s side. Depending on the car’s exposure to sun and the elements, the actual color may vary slightly from the original. So just knowing the code isn’t enough, you have to know how to tweak the paint so it flawlessly matches that surrounding the repaired area. And this is what Carlos & Carlos do best. The first time I saw a nastily dented bumper they repaired and painted, I was amazed. It looked factory-new.
Since my first trip, I have referred six other dent-challenged gringos to the shop for repairs, painting and even a waxing & buffing job that leaves one gawking at the original beauty of their car. The transformation is incredible.
And you can’t beat the prices. A crunched bumper or fender that in the States would cost hundreds of dollars to repair or replace, runs roughly $70 to $90 at C&C’s place. At these rates, I decided to greenlight some other repairs that normally I would have let go. My car will look almost showroom new, and sparkly.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is finding the shop, so I drew up a map that should do the trick. Give these guys a try and you’ll be delighted, and wind up referring all your friends who have been putting off a body repair.
by Judy Burnham
Great Car Body Shop - The rear door of my new but used car, a Suzuki Sidekick, had lots of rust, cracks in the door and an exterior spare tire mount. While driving it made rattling noises and I was afraid that the spare tire was going to eventually fall off and roll into any car driving behind me.
I went down the street from my house to a body shop that is located up from the San Isidro church, and right next to the Monte Carlo Bar/Restaurant. Although the name of the shop is Taller Luan, I learned that from the owner. I saw no sign with the name on it. I asked for an estimate and they quoted me 50,000 colones to repair the cracks, get rid of all the rust and re-paint the door. They got it all done in 1 day even though they told me it would be 2 days to do all the work. Needless to say I was amazed and it doesn't rattle anymore and it looks great. They even washed the whole car for me.
I highly recommend them to anyone that needs either suspension work or body work done on their car. I thought they were very reasonable in price. The guy that did most of the work speaks only Spanish and his name is Luis, but the owner speaks English very well and his name is Luan. The phone numbers given to me by Luis are 8842-7431 and 2494-8670.
Auto Body Repair
Luis Angel Alfaro
It is not too often that we can wholeheartedly recommend the services of a motor vehicle body specialist. But we have been more than fortunate to have met Luis Alfaro a number of years ago when we needed a small amount of body work done to our older 4x4. All his work has been of excellent quality, delivery when promised together with very competitive prices and a guarantee that he stands by.
Luis speaks excellent English. His workshop is situated approximately 200 meters north of the Catholic Church in San Isidro - on the left hand side directly after the coffee bean collection point.
His cell # is 8842 7431 and home 8517 1062, email address : email@example.com
Christian Quiros - San Ramon
by Harv Brinson
If you want to have your vehicle thoroughly and professionally cleaned, I do not hesitate to recommend Christian Quiros in San Ramon. I just had the engine compartment and undercarriage power washed by Christian, and he did a great job, protecting all the electronic components for the power wash, then hand cleaning after that was done. He actually detailed the engine. In addition, he washed the wheels and applied rubber conditioner to the tires.
His shop is fully equipped and he carries a full line of care car products that he uses generously to assure a quality job. He worked hard and continuously for over an hour, and the charge was eight thousand colones. If you want the whole shebang, motor, chassis, interior, exterior, hand wax and all, it's twenty-nine thousand colones and takes about three hours.
As an example, I asked Christian to demonstrate how he cleans inside the A/C vents, as I did not see any of the long-handle cotton swabs that I use for this. Christian pulled a paint brush off his tool rack, sprayed cleaner in the vent, cleaned it, blew it out with compressed air, and showed this old dog a new trick!
Christian can be reached at his cell phone, 6011-7500. He is located just off the autopista past the first (coming from Palmares) San Ramon exit. Take the second exit (this road goes past Ferreteria Jorcel further on) and turn right immediately on to the small dirt road. You will see the sign about fifty meters down.
Carlos Morera Perez
by Irina Just
We needed a new automatic transmission for our Subaru Sidekick.
We had been looking to buy a new one, buy a rebuilt one or have ours re-built.
It turned out, our regular mechanic in el Cajón didn't work on transmissions.
I asked for referrals and received one from Johnny Lara who recommended Carlos Morera Perez, whose taller is on the main road heading down to the pista.
We made an appointment to have our transmission re-built. While Carlos was "in there", he told us our radiator had a leak and several hoses did as well. We gave him the "go ahead" and within 2 weeks, he completed an extraordinary job of fixing all that was wrong - but only after asking first every time.
Carlos did a remarkable job, was very conscientious, kept us informed along the way and returned a completely overhauled car to us - one that can now go in reverse and purrs like a kitten!
We highly recommend Carlos Morera Perez for your car repair.
Tel: 4033-6045; 8834-1692; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Directions: 100 meters past (west of ) the Delta gas station, on the right. White unmarked building between "todo en Diesel" and "Audio Boutique Grecia".
Auto Mechanic - Sarchi Sur
For those living in Sarchi or the western boundaries of Grecia in need of a skilled, honest and reasonably priced auto repairman, I highly recommend William (Willie) Alfonso Chaverri Salazar of "Taller W.A.C.H.S.", in Sarchi Sur about 200 meters north of the church and school on the right of the road headed north to Bajos del Toro. He found and repaired a suspension problem that two other recommended mechanics were unable to fix. He was great in preparing my car to pass my annual RITEVE check with flying colors and has been a good resource in recommending me to other auto-related services. He's gone the extra mile and his prices have been very reasonable. He is U.S.-trained (in New Jersey, of course) and speaks English fluently. 8399-5682 or 2454-1400.
José Rodriguez – Monday to Saturday, 8647-4413, 2444-6465, email@example.com
1) Speaks English
2) Will come to your house
3) 18 years experience all cars – Gas & Diesel
4) All electrical systems, & has Scanner to read your car’s computer
5) Experience with heavy equipment (Tractors etc.)
6) Reasonable rates, & will save you money on parts
7) Lives in Cajon de Grecia
John Huckel 2444-8635
John Brewer 8510-2901
Robert Reed 8463-8887
by Bill & Tami Watson
We found a bubble on our front tire so went to Llantas Algosa. It is on the old road to Alajuela, just a short distance from the bridge as you leave Grecia. Great service. 2494 0525
Auto Service in Grecia - The Lubricentro
by Beverly Jensen
The Lubricentro (a blue facade on the left side of the road just below the gate to the Montezuma development) has earned my loyalty for all my auto maintenance needs. I purchased an auto that, oddly enough, had all (or most) of the maintenance records with it. Going through the records, I didn't see that the differential oil or transmission fluid had ever been replaced. (Having always kept my vehicles for many years proves to be a great advantage in CR!)
I went to the Lubricentro (TEL 2444-5981--Marlo speaks perfect English) initially to replace these fluids. After a few minutes, the mechanic came over to the waiting area and showed me that the fluids were like-new and they wouldn't replace them (the former owner must have heard my grousing about that maintenance gap). So, please take a look at the boots, as I've been advised one of them needs replacing. Marlo then showed me the boots with the car jacked up and said they were fine. Finally, I succeeded in spending $5 by having them add grease to the gearbox --they gave me the empty can. Since then I've had the auto realigned, new brakes, new brushings, and I'll be seeing Marlo for all my auto maintenance. Appointments are possible, and replaced parts are kept for the customer's confirmation of the repair. This company has my highest recommendation.
Jose Moya is a very experienced mechanic. His shop is in Rincón de Arias, Grecia. He is very honest, friendly and efficient, and speaks some English. Phone : 85837870
I have the perfect little backhoe for small or large jobs. Need to get in to places where a full-size backhoe won't fit?? Or an area where you want minimal disturbance to the grass or landscaping?? Ditches, septic drain fields, water lines, clean up or maintain roads on your coffee farm or finca from landslides or washouts, landscaping chores, moving dirt or gravel, driveway repair, or what-have-you... I can do it. I've been sitting on this same machine for 24 years, know how to use it, and will save you money over full-size machines! I'll work anywhere in the Central Valley from San Jose west to San Ramon and outlying communities. Give me a call if you'd like to talk about your project at 2454-3643 or 8916-6193. Fluent English and Spanish spoken. Ask for Scott.
Beauty Salon - Sala de Belleza
[Hair, Nails, Pedicures]
by Linda Soronen
I have had wonderful hair experiences at the studio of Yohana Peralta. She keeps up on the newest of hair styles and colorings. There is always a friendly smile to greet you and her appointments are timely. Prices are very reasonable.
While you are there, have a mani and pedi with her associate, friend and helper, Francini, who is learning English rapidly.
The location is 1block before the hospital, take a left. Her salon is directly opposite a parking lot. On the left side of the road.
Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 9am-6pm. Phone: 2494-6742
Need a driver? Her husband gives wonderful prices.
His name is Ermis. Spanish only. Phone: 8831-0126.
Books - English Language Bookstore
by Mitzi Stark
Goodlights Books, located in Alajuela near the central park and cathedral, is a good resource for English language used books. The new manager is Rosa Carbalo who worked there many years. Goodlight Bookstore has used books in English and in Spanish, reasonable prices, open daily, has a snack bar and is available for groups or workshops on their covered patio. There are discount shelves and a selection of freebies and you can order books from their facebook list. Also cultural events, films, art classes held there.
The bookstore is located, from the back of the cathedral, 1 block north and 2 blocks east, with a purple gate. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, later when there are evening events. Phone 2430-4083.
Addendum: Goodlight Books has a Facebook page and if you want them to save a book for you, just message them. In addition, you can purchase a book and then resell it back to the for half its value when you're finished reading it! They also have a website at www.goodlightbooks.com.
English Language Books in Grecia Library
Thanks to a small but dedicated group, there are now a number of shelves dedicated to books in English. Located at the front of the library, which itself is located in the Cultural Center complex, on your left. Cultural Center is behind the Municipalidad in downtown Grecia.
Cabinetmaker & Custom Furniture
William Rodríguezby Irina Just
I am writing to highly recommend the outstanding craftsmanship of cabinet maker William Rodríguez and his son Willy Jr.
William came recommended to us and we couldn't have been happier with the quality of work his taller did for us. Although William does any kind of cabinetry and furniture, we only needed two custom-built bathroom cabinets, one with above-the-sink medicine cabinet with mirror; a long work bench with above-head cabinets for my husband's work shop, which had to be fitted within strange dimensions and odd angles; and a bar for our kitchen.
We realized the accuracy and quality of William's work immediately, but were completely "sold" when, at a time when William was sadly unavailable, we had another person build a wooden structure, which had to be re-done 3 times and still doesn't fit right or match properly.
William is not the cheapest, but his work is definitely worth the fewer headaches and re-dos and additional cost for mistakes. His custom orders fit, match and are exactly as envisioned. A bonus is, both William and his son Willy Jr. speak perfect English.
The taller of Muebles WR has moved, they are now located "down the driveway, past the house next to EBAIS Sarchi Sur". [updated 2/18/2018]
Tel: 2454-2348 Cel: 8820-6566 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CARPENTRY & CABINETMAKING
Ronald RodriguezBy Walt Clayton
The longer I live here, the more I get to know locals who do great work in many areas.
The latest is carpentry, because of my need for kitchen cabinet doors to match my new home’s existing hardwood drawers and shelves. There was no dishwasher or trash compactor when I bought the house, so those spaces had unsightly open spaces, and there were others that exposed a trash bin, cleansers, cookware, and so forth. I knew the instant I saw the kitchen that custom doors would be a top priority.
Luckily for me, less than a kilometer outside San Isidro I stumbled across the workshop of Ronald Rodriguez, appropriately situated on Calle Rodriguez. Ronald’s a Tico, but he lived in New Jersey for 10 years, speaks good English and understands Americans.
He came and took measurements, and I loaned him a drawer so he could match wood and stain. A few weeks later my new doors were installed and they match everything perfectly – Ronald did a great job at a very reasonable price.
Visiting his shop you will see a lot of sawdust, but also the various stages of projects in the works. He does upscale cabinetry and virtually anything you could need made out of fine woods – bed frames, chairs, bar stools, bunks, desks, doors with or without stained glass, you name it. The craftsmanship is superb.
Ronald can be reached at 8530-9639, and I’m happy to field any questions at 6246-6015. Give him a call now for that project you’ve been putting off too long!
by Walt Clayton
This is to recommend Carlos Castillo for virtually any type of construction design and work. When I needed a workshop and storage area for my new house outside of Grecia, I was referred to Carlos. I was immediately impressed by his grasp of construction concepts, materials and work techniques. He wrote up a detailed building plan, contributed several great ideas to improve the look and security of my shop, and assembled a detailed list of materials. He was on-budget and on-time throughout the entire project and managed his small work crew efficiently. There were no unpleasant surprises -- Carlos is a man of his word and of high integrity. As an extra bonus he speaks good English, having lived and worked in the United States.
Aside from my new shop, I soon found out that he actually built the house that I had bought! Carlos knows every phase of construction, including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, framing and cement work.
Another project where Carlos did an incredible job was the demolition of a dilapidated wood cabin in exchange for the structure's materials. Single-handedly, he disassembled the entire building, including a concrete structure, with just simple tools and a sledgehammer. He worked through rain and darkness, never stopping until the job was done. Carlos has amazing strength and persistence to get the job done right, plus he's a very personable and likable guy.
I highly recommend Carlos for any construction project you have planned or are thinking about. He can be reached at 8737-2267, in English.
Cabinetmaker & Custom Furniture
Bamboo Furniture Factory
by Diane Cooner
Custom work to your specifications, reasonable prices, fast service and delivery.
Located in Naranjo on the Pista, just past Palmares on your left, English spoken!
phone: 2451 5304
Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARTEBAMH
GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Juan Carlos Rodriguez
By Chris and Carol Phillips
We would like to introduce Juan Carlos Rodriquez to the expat community in the Grecia area. Juan Carlos is a general contractor that can do everything from building houses to building concrete and metal fences to constructing concrete walls. He has been in business for several years in the Grecia area and speaks some English but prefers to communicate in Spanish.
Our experience with Juan Carlos and his crew was a pleasant and enjoyable one. Juan Carlos was on time for his appointment with us to assess our job and submit his detailed cost estimate. Juan Carlos and his crew built us a concrete and metal fence in front of our house and built us concrete walls on each side of our house. We found a photo of the fence we wanted built on the Internet. We printed it and gave it to Juan Carlos. He and his crew built an exact copy of our photo and did it in 6 days.
Juan Carlos and his crew are very hard workers and promptly arrived at 6 AM each morning to begin work. They worked all day and only stopped if prohibited by rain. One day they worked in the rain to finish the job.
Juan Carlos is attentive to details and does beautiful work. He takes the time to do the job correctly. For example, he worked on our fence gate until he was assured that it opened and closed correctly. My wife and I highly recommend Juan Carlos for your home improvements.
His contact information is: Juan Carlos Rodriquez 8325-7462 (Cell)
By Janice DeCook
After almost 20 years experience living in the Central Valley, it has been difficult to recommend any local contractors until now. In the past 3 years Juan Arias has remodeled one house for me, built a new one with a guest cottage, as well as a pool. I am very happy with all the results. I had a bare lot and now it is a home...complete with flowers, fruit trees etc., all thanks to him and his crew. All thru the construction I was able to discuss ideas with him,admin and what was best in the long run for me. I speak Spanish. It was a year before I realized that Juan spoke English...another bonus. He and his wife Tere have become good friends, along with their dogs Petoy and Benji. If anyone needs anything from repairs to a whole home, Juan is your guy....sincere, honest and a real hard worker!! Give him a call at 8391-0055.
JUAN ARIAS: FOLLOW-UP REVIEW
By Walt Clayton
Thanks to the rave review by Jan DeCook, I hired Juan Arias to do a major project for me: a new driveway. It was an excellent decision.
Juan turned out to be a homeowner’s dream builder. With decades of construction experience under his workbelt, Juan can tackle anything from a kitchen remodel to a guest cottage to an entire house. All I needed was a driveway, but it had to be solidly built and aesthetically pleasing in a natural, semi-jungle environment.
Together, Juan and I kicked around several options: tinted concrete slabs, zacate block with holes for grass, and slate. Slate was the most expensive, but I figure I have to look at the driveway every day, plus it enhances the value of the house. So slate it was.
In the two weeks it took to lay down the stone, I learned a lot about Juan. First and foremost, he really knows construction and materials, and a stint in the USA working on mansions honed his skills and can-do attitude. Plus he picked up English and a love of oldies-but-goodies on the radio.
Juan is energetic and resourceful, and can find a solution for any building glitch or homeowners’ need. Add creativity to that and his range of skills expands exponentially – he’s full of bright ideas and economic alternatives. He helped me keep costs down by personally negotiating with different materials suppliers, providing written price estimates, and securing cash discounts – he knows everyone. His flat-rate labor fee was extremely reasonable, and included a big cement mixer, compactor, concrete breaker and other power tools.
Being a fastidious nitpicker myself, I appreciated Juan’s attention to detail and meticulous control over the quality of his crew’s work. When something wasn’t to his demanding satisfaction, it got redone. His crew respects him, and they all work in cheerful, industrial-strength harmony.
When things get crazy, Juan is the calm in the eye of the storm who keeps his head on and juggles plans B and C to get the job done. His integrity is beyond question, and he’s a great guy to boot – we’ve become good friends in the course of this project. Juan is my go-to guy for all future projects, and can be reached at 8391-0055. I’m available at 6246-6015 to field any questions.
By Susan Adams
I want to also recommend Juan for the great work he and his crew do! He is doing a complete remodel for me, carpenter work, plumbing, electrical, welding, roof, tiling, painting, concrete work...he does it all. His phone number is 8391 0055. They are always on time and show up as promised! Eager to please, they are ready to do the quality job you are hoping for. English speaking and with experience in U.S. construction, Juan is able to understand and perform the work you want. This crew is so much fun to work with that I can't wait for my next project! Thanks guys!
Carpet Cleaning and More
Carlos Vargas RodriguezBy Sheron Bloom
Need to “clean up your act”? Carlos Vargas Rodriguez can help! Furniture, carpets, vehicles and more – Carlos brings his electric cleaning machine with him to your home.
Carlos lives in San Roque de Grecia and only speaks Spanish. If your Spanish is good – or you have a friend who can help you – give him a call to get an estimate (by phone) and set up an appointment.
After three years in storage our sofa, love seat and hide-a-bed were in dire need of deep cleaning. With the help of a translator I spoke with Carlos by phone. I described the furniture that needed cleaning, the number of cushions and pillows, and he was able to give me the cost of cleaning. By phone, sight unseen! We set up an agreeable day and time for him to come and clean.
On the appointed day, Carlos and his helper actually showed up 10 minutes early (a little before 8:00). He and his helper moved our furniture on to our front patio and began working. (I don't think either of them ever took a break!) Before noon they were moving the furniture back into place inside. (FYI, hide-a-beds are extremely heavy – they made moving it around look easy!) The cushions and pillows needed more drying time and Carlos showed me how to turn them so they could dry properly.
When it came time to pay there were NO surprises – the cost was EXACTLY what he had quoted by phone!
That's my experience. I know of at least four other Gringas who also only have good things to say about Carlos and his work.
You can reach Carlos at 2494-7467 or 8869-3433. If my experience is any reflection, I feel sure you will also be happy with his work.
Follow-Up Review - Carlos Vargas
By Diane Cooner
Another rave review! The furniture looked brand new when Carlos was done with it. I only wish I had more things that needed cleaning like this.
by Karen Temple-Davis
If you looking for a full service caterer, R&R east of Grecia in Tacares is excellent. Their event manager speaks English and many of their staff speak some English. They also have an excellent website (in Spanish, however). They came to our home to see the venue and gave us a complete and understandable quotation. We paid a visit to their facility to give them our deposit and got to see a very clean and professional culinary facility. They came to our house in Sarchi with all the party supplies including tables, dishes, utensils, glassware, barware, tablecloths, napkins and seating if needed. For us, they arrived a few hours before the event and set up all the needed food areas plus bar. The truck arrives with all the food and it is placed decoratively on the tables and chafing dishes. They hand-serve drinks and clean up empty dishes. When the event is over they clean up completely and the venue looks as though the party never happened. The staff is professional, friendly and helpful and made the event a pleasure for the host and hostess. We would recommend them without hesitation for any party where a full service caterer is needed.
R&R Catering, past the Rio Tacares Bridge on the left, 2458-3939, email@example.com. www.ryrcateringservice.com
Quiropractica Alesa - Atenas
by Dave Murray
It seems like chiropractors come and go around Grecia, but for the last dozen years, Dra. Alejandra Rodriguez and Dr. Sashe Ellison, a married couple, have run Quiropractica Alesa in Atenas. And they plan to continue their practice there. Both doctors speak perfect English. Dr. Sashe is from Michigan. And both afford patients excellent care.
A visit to Quiropractica Alesa starts with application of hot packs and a thorough mechanical massage to loosen up the back muscles. Then the patient sees the doctor who is fully versed in spinal manipulation.
And if your back needs still more attention, there are two licensed physical therapists staff who can provide additional manual massage, ultrasound therapy, and electrical muscle stimulation.
Quiropractica Alesa in Atenas is open Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can call their office on those days for an appointment — 2446-3457. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, their office in Sabana Norte is open — 2231-6719. Their website is: alesaquiropractica.com.
Dr. Craig Jacques, Chiropractor
By Diane Cooner
Dr. Craig Jacques Licensed, US & Canadian trained, and with a good sense of humor,
asks the right questions, cuts to the chase, and gets right to the adjustment.
I'm happy to recommend Doc Jacques. And yes, his English is excellent. He is a member of the colegio de profesionales en Quiropractica en CR: license number 023.
Located in the Vida Quiropractica Center, across the street from Plaza Real in Alajuela. Google the exact directions, lots of free parking at the Plaza Real Mall.
By appointment, call and schedule with him direct on his cell, 6213-4576.
- English Speaking Christian Church in Grecia, Costa Rica
We are a growing English speaking congregation that began in 2013 by a group of North Americans originating from the USA and Canada. We are part of a larger Spanish speaking Wesleyan Church that has been meeting the needs of the Grecia community since 1997.
We strive to be a comfortable home where members and visitors can grow spiritually and socially within the church and community.
You are invited to visit us for Worship, Fellowship and Fun.
We are located directly behind Maxi Pali at the Mall in Grecia
(Exit behind the Mall parking lot and follow the signs)
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
For photos and more information click on this link – www.soldejusticiacr.com/english
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Computers - Accessories, supplies, service
By Walt Clayton
Electrical storms here are the death blow to unprotected computers and other sensitive electronic devices, like modems and routers. Recently both of mine were fried and I became as isolated from the world as Robinson Crusoe. A call to ICEtel got the modem replaced within hours, but not the router. So I went to CompuElecta (2494-3449) in Grecia (about 75m south of the SW corner of the main bus station and Musmmanni bakery) and chatted with my main man, Luis Barrantes -- young, sharp, computer-savvy and super-helpful. Plus he speaks passable English, for those who need that bonus. In short order he selected a $50 Linksys E900 router, configured it, and sent me home. I hooked it up and it worked first time, no glitches. WiFi rules!
But wait! There's more!
When my MacBook Pro failed to restart and would freeze repeatedly on a utility menu, I thought that was the end of the world as I knew it. And while Luis is an expert on desktops, my Mac wasn't his forté. However, he sent me over to his computer whiz buddy, Ezzard Chacón (8878-1573), who lives and breathes Macs of all shapes and sizes. Lacking street numbers, I entered a forbidding hole-in-the-wall stairwell located about -- got pencil? -- one block north of the Peri Mercado entrance to the taxi dispatch, then a right for about 15 meters to the entrance with bold "ENTRADA" lettering you can't miss. Don't be intimidated by the dark, dingy, grubby, crack-house atmosphere and the shifty-looking characters who eyeball you coldly on your way up the stairs. This is the place. Ezzard can be found multitasking as he works on a Mac and repairs a cellphone simultaneously, while talking on the phone. Just when I was about to flee, he asked me how he could help. Big smile. I explained, and he went to work. After several false starts and tricks, he wound up taking my Mac home and finishing there. Bottom-line, he reformatted the hard drive, installed my backup, upgraded me to the latest Yosemite iOS version and got everything humming flawlessly. Ezzard knows his stuff, which reinforces that old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Total cost: a paltry C15,000 ($30) for saving my butt.
After all this misery, I finally decided to start using surge protectors, and when I'm not using my computers or flatscreen TV I simply unplug them when storms approach. Hopefully, Luis or Ezzard can help you solve your computer woes!
Electrocomp S.A.by Margaret Macik
I recommend Electrocomp S.A. as being the most complete in Grecia for computer parts and repairs as well as related equipment purchases. 100m south & 25 east of the Church. 2494-4204.
Shopping for a new multifunction printer Steve and I went first to Pricesmart. We'd have bought one but they did not yet stock its inks. We stopped by Electrocomp to ask whether they would exchange 3 unopened ink cartridge boxes for my now defunct printer. We found that the shop sells comparable printers. We were given a good efectivo (cash) price and it has a 1 yr guarantee. In a related transaction the owner gave me an approximate value for value exchange on new for old ink cartridges.
Apple Products - Sales & Service
by Margaret Macik
For Mac users: iGenius is near Grecia. We recommend iGenius.
Mac technician Manuel Prado sells and services new and used Apple products including Macs, iPhones, iPads etc.
Our 6-year-old MacBook Pro has been overhauled, including a new keyboard and new speakers. Professional, capable and speaking impeccable English this young professional kept appointments and worked with a sense of urgency to get our computer back to us.
Located just a block uphill/Southeast of the San Pedro De Poas Rosvil, he offers delivery of equipment and accessories in the area for a modest charge. Plus Manuel has plans to open a Mac repair shop in Grecia! We recommend him without reservation. Margaret or Steve, 8989-0765.
Manuel Prado ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician)
iGenius t: 2448-4336 m: 6050-9916
Computer Repairs - Done Remotely
by Diane Cooner
I am pleased to report that Steve Paycher at RhinoUnlimited is a GREAT resource for the computer-challenged (and even the not so challenged but with very challenging computer issues).
After a recent experience with Microsoft Support that ended up with me losing everything on my computer (programs, settings, etc, but I gained Windows 8, woo hoo) and with a looming work deadline, I contacted Steve to help me get my computer (and my sanity) back together.
I scheduled an appointment with Steve - he called me promptly at the agreed time and immediately went to work - remotely - to get my computer back to usable status.
Steve uses the program called LogMeIn, which some readers may have heard of - it's a way for someone at another computer to access your computer. It's a standard tool for most tech support. Sound scary? Actually it's not. Your tech support person must have your express permission to access your computer - you can watch what they are doing the entire time they are working - and once your remote session is over, you must grant access again if there is something else that needs to be worked on.
Anyway, Steve cut to the chase and got right to work. No chatting and padding the time needed. He was totally professional and knows his stuff. I was grateful and relieved to have someone that was able to straighten out my computer without my needing to drop it off somewhere for an unknown number of days.
I would not hesitate to recommend Steve and RhinoUnlimited's excellent service. The rate was reasonable and well worth keeping my blood pressure down by their speedy resolution of my computer problems.
Steve's Original Ad: After 20 years in business in South Florida, we have retired to Costa Rica - near Grecia, where Steve continues to remotely service our Florida clients. If you have a problem with your computer - as long as you have an Internet connection, Steve can service your computer REMOTELY. Remote Services are payable by credit card. Give Steve a call at 954-346-4702 to find out about our Introductory Pricing.
Steve Paycher & Barbara Mazza
Steve doesn't do Apple (alas!), but we do have excellent Apple resources listed above....
Computer Technician/Systems Engineer
Andres Castro Soto
I am Andres Castro Soto, a systems engineer with ten years of experience in installing and repairing computer systems. I can repair laptop and desktop computers with Windows and MacIntosh operating systems. I prepare and configure networks (wired or wireless), install hardware and software, and do virus cleaning and installation of antivirus programs. I do speak English and am willing to come to your home or have you visit mine.
I can be contacted at 86412152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to contact Lou Winegrad at 8483-9045 for a recommendation. Other references are available upon request. I hope to hear from you!!!
Cooking and Food Delivery Services
Strong Mealsreview by Diane Cooner
I stopped in the other day to visit with the man at Strong Meals. I thought it might be related to Strong Missions (see our Contributions page), but it turns out this is something completely different.
Strong Meals is a health-oriented cooking service. You can purchase a plan depending on what your goal is - losing weight, building muscle, or just being healthy.
Aimed at sports enthusiasts (think of biking athletes, etc) that are on the go, this has potential for expats - they cook - you eat. This could be a healthier alternative to eating out every night!
The store is located around the corner from Ekono in Grecia, where Ar-J's used to be.
Dra. Natalia Castro Rojas
by Judy Burnham
So I think I have the best dentist in the area.
Her name is Dr. Natalia Castro Rojas. She speaks pretty good English. More than enough that we can understand each other.
Her office is in Sarchi and easy to find. Go into Sarchi, pass the ox cart that is in the park on your right. Keep going straight, and go through the next light. On your left will be a soccer field and you will turn right at the end of the soccer field. Her office is on the left. There is a lot of parking on the street, and her office is easy to get to.
I personally hate going to the dentist. Too many of them have caused me pain. Natalia, is very gentle and her office is very relaxing.
Not only does she have the latest equipment, the laser with water to clean off tarter, and all the other things you would expect in the USA, but she also has a television on the ceiling so you can watch any show you want which is a GREAT distraction.
She is VERY thorough. Checks for cavities, checks all your fillings, checks your mouth uses dental floss, and all the things you would expect from a good dentist.
I highly recommend her.
Give her a call to make an appointment, she also works on Saturdays – 2454-1262.
Dr. Marco Vega QuesadaBy Debi Gedling
In my book, any dentist that has me for a patient is not having a good day. And any dentist who can not only deal with my irrational fears but do so with patience and a sense of humor is a dentist worth taking seriously. Dr. Vega is such a dentist.
Dr. Vega has been my dentist for over a year. I have a long history of periodontal problems but my US dentist had been telling me that my gums looked fine for the ten years before I moved to Costa Rica. I was horrified when Dr. Vega told me I needed work on my gums—I didn’t know if my US dentist had been in error or if Dr. Vega just wanted to make some money off a dumb gringa. I postponed treatment until I returned to the US to get a second opinion from my original dentist, with whom I had been treating for almost 20 years. He ended up confirming Dr. Vega’s opinion and they agreed that an extremely deep cleaning (the kind that requires sutures) was warranted. I have now completed this treatment and follow-up care. The cost was reasonable—just over $200 per quadrant with no extra cost for follow-up visits.
Dr. Vega has also provided routine dental care for me, as well as for Jim (who never, ever has any dental problems and I hate him for it!!!!!), in the same extremely professional, informative, and friendly manner.
Dr. Vega’s office is located in central Grecia across the street from the park by Pop’s ice cream on the second floor. His phone number is 2494-4242 and his email address is email@example.com. He does answer his email and his office is wonderful about calling to confirm appointments, as well as calling to remind you that you are due for an exam and cleaning.
Dr. Vega’s speaks English well and has an extremely engaging personality. He’s young, serious about his work, motivated, and has lots of energy. He also has a good staff, although you will have to speak Spanish with them—but it’s good practice.
Dr. Vega also tells me that although he is a member of the Academy of Advanced General Dentistry and is thus qualified to perform many procedures, including my surgery and doing implants, he is part of a group of dentists of all types of specialties and they have several satellite offices. Therefore, all of your dental needs can be taken care of through his network.
Because of his work in other locations, he is in Grecia late in the afternoons and early evenings, as well as on Saturdays.
Dr. Vega is teaching me that it is almost OK to go to the dentist and that is huge for me. I highly recommend him.
Dra. Rebecca Perezby Debbie Rudd
Dr. Rebeca Perez is often referred to as "the singing dentist" because she plays relaxing music and is always singing beautifully! She offers aesthetics, root canals, fillings, cleanings, implants, braces, etc. She has a team of specialists that can help if needed. Two friends of mine came from the US and decided to get crowns and cleanings with her. They got fitted, took a week long trip around CR and returned to get the crowns placed. They saved so much money that it paid for much of their trip and they were totally pleased. The man had been deathly afraid of dentists, too!
Her office number is 2494-5889 and home is 8836-6594. She is located near the Musmanni at the bus station. Cross over to the farmacia, go up the ramp behind it to the second floor and you will see her sign at the end of the hall! And did I mention, she speaks fluent English...
Dra Rebecca Perezby Jen Beck Seymour
What is it like to go to the dentist in Grecia, Costa Rica? Well… it’s actually all smiles.
Our friend Debbie recommended and gave us a business card for a dentist in Grecia, when we first moved here back in June 2013. We didn’t have a need for a dentist right then, but kept her card for future use. Several weeks later, a woman who was staying at the property we were at came down with severe pain in her mouth. I promptly handed her the business card I had for Dr. Rebecca Perez of SMILES Dentistry, she called to schedule an appointment, and Dr. Rebeca spoke with her and told her to come in later that day.
The next day our neighbor-friend was totally raving about Dr. Rebecca – said she was amazing and wonderful, hummed while she worked and NO PAIN (key words, for me). Dr. Rebeca totally fixed our friend’s problem and made her a happy, smiley camper.
I remembered all of this, and waited until Greg and I were ready to have our teeth cleaned. Shortly after I made our back-to-back appointments, I had a tooth that started giving me a little pain. This was odd – as I never have problems with my teeth, but hey I had already scheduled our cleanings with the dentist – perfect timing.
That morning we arrived on time and Dr. Rebecca and her assistant were there to usher us in. Dr. Rebecca has a very small space – enough for two patients, a small reception desk and a little room off to the side.
She started on me with my cleaning, and I must say it was a pleasurable experience. Odd words to describe my time at the dentist’s office, huh? The problem I was having, turned out to be a filling on an existing cavity I had that was coming a little loose.
Dr. Rebeca asked me: “We can take care of this right now, if you want. I have time. Ready?” I stuttered and stammered “Um, I guess, okay….” and she was poised with the Novocain needle before I knew what was happening!
I immediately tensed up when I saw “THE NEEDLE” and promptly looked away, as is my practice with all things needle. I am very needle-paranoid (yes, I know, along with tarantulas and cockroaches… what a mess I am).
I was anxious and griping my arms rests – but Dr. Rebeca either ignored me or had lots of experience with the likes of someone like me. She distracted me by massaging my gums and humming (on key!) to the overhead music. She is totally confident and good at what she does, and I must admit that I really didn't feel the needle go in at all! Besides being an excellent dentist, Dr. Rebeca is sweet and young and smart and beautiful and sings and speaks perfect English.
Soon after "the needle" part was done, I became numb, and the rest was a breeze. I didn't feel a thing! It did not seem to take her that long either.
Cleanings which include a check up are c35,000 (about $70). White fillings start at c19,000 (about $38), depending on filling size. She’s located in the block just West of the Musmani Panadaria, right side of road, 2nd level. Phone #2494-5889.
Dr. José Jiménez, general medicineBy Irina Just
"It was just brought to my attention that Doctor José Fco. Jiménez Quesada was not listed as a general doctor. This oversight is in no way a reflection on Dr. Jiménez' abilities, services or medical knowledge. He provides excellent services for ex-pats and ticos alike in downtown Grecia.
My husband and I have been going to Dr. Jiménez since we arrived here three years ago and are very happy with his diagnoses, knowledge and solutions to all sorts of ailments, ranging from finding the correct Costa Rica equivalent of my US blood pressure medication to burning off a growth on my collar bone - and several consultations in between.
Dr. Jiménez, who speaks excellent English, always takes plenty of time to carefully listen to any problems, explain his evaluation in great detail, make helpful suggestions - and if need be - expert referrals (in my case to Dr. Jonathan Poveda, an outstanding heart specialist at Clinica Biblica).
Dr. Jiménez' has a modern office with up-to-date equipment, including a MAPA machine to monitor heart conditions.
Dr. Jimenéz's office is upstairs from his father's lab, one block east of the metal church, on the one-way street coming from the autopista. Appointments are usually not necessary, however, the office is closed for lunch (from 1 until 2 PM).
His office number is: 2444-0334; cell: 6059-1373; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I highly recommend Dr. Jiménez for all general medical needs and procedures.
Dr. Juan Tortos
Clinica Juan Pablo II
by Sandra Fernandez Lopez
I highly recommend getting medical treatment at Clinica Juan Pablo II in Grecia. Dr. Juan Tortos Herrera, the physician there, is absolutely wonderful.
I discovered Dr. Tortos in 2014 during one of my due diligence trips and since moving to Grecia on November 1, we have been utilizing the excellent services at the Clinic. I can't say enough about the attention to detail and personalized service that we receive when we visit the Clinic. Dr. Tortos and his brother, Daniel, always greet us with a warm reception as if we were family. Dr. Tortos spends plenty of time during office visits getting to know you on a medical and personal basis. He truly cares and treats his patients with compassion, complete competence, and devotion. He reminds me of the doctors in the States back in the 50's when they knew your family, treated you like family, and provided the kind of care that is no longer available in the U.S.
Dr. Tortos is young, forward thinking, and wise beyond his years. He is intelligent, articulate, and caring. He has assisted me with many minor illnesses, advised me concerning ongoing maintenance medications, and referred me to a specialist for an injection of cortisone for my right knee where I suffer from bursitis and arthritis. He has also helped me tremendously with treating and controlling my fibromyalgia. Although Dr. Tortos is a private physician, he can write prescriptions that can be filled through the CAJA. He is also a general surgeon.
Additionally at the Clinic there are services available from Dra. Tatiana Porras Sanchez, a trained physical therapist and massage therapist. Dra. Porras provides massage therapy for my ailing knee and my fibromyalgia pain. I can't say enough about what a wonderful job she does. She truly provides medical massage which is extremely healing and pays close attention to any specific problem areas.
And now, there is also a podiatrist available:
We highly recommend Clinica Juan Pablo II for all your general medical needs.
YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!
The Clinica Juan Pablo II has recently moved (May 1, 2017) and is now located 150 meters south of Agelec, that is, about a block south of their former location.
Open Monday thru Saturday. Note New Phone: 4030-7058 or find them on Facebook at Clinica Juan Pablo II. Juan, Daniel and Tatiana all speak English! Appointments are not necessary; walk-in’s are welcome. Just tell them I sent you.
Clinica Helenica Grecia
by Chris Clarke and Ivy Penman
NEW CONCEPT IN HEALTH CARE
When we want to see a generalist or specialist doctors we are fed up with slogging all the way through the traffic to CIMA or one of the San Jose’s Hospitals. Then you can be kept waiting till the doctor gets around to seeing you.
In Grecia, there is a better concept. Top specialists come to you from the major hospitals where they work… and they are on time for your appointment. They can bring a long list of specialists, from different areas.
So far, we have had successful physio therapy sessions and seen various specialists. Prices are reasonable and the visit becomes stress free.
The modern clinic is 50 yards from the Caja hospital in Grecia, has parking outside and there is an excellent Pharmacia right next door.
The staff speak English. Why not try it? Telephone -2494 3228 – 2494-5451
- 8393 3168
Here is the facebook page.
Drafting and Design Planning Service
If you are planning to build onto your house or build a separate building such as a garage or gazebo, I can draw the plans for it. I have a degree in design technology.
Using the latest 2D and 3D modeling software I can draw anything from detailed framework to lifelike 3D renderings. Just give me an idea of what you want and I will draw it.
Email: email@example.com Phone # (506) 8570-6801
Location: San Isidro de Grecia
Drapery & Curtains
Cortinas Calderon e Hijos, Custom Curtains
by Don Davis
We had a pair of well-worn curtains on each side of our front entrance that were badly in need of replacement. Some Tico friends mentioned an company in Alajuela that made house calls. On our second attempt we were able to talk to someone and made a appointment for the sales lady and her interpreter to bring samples of the type we described on the phone, take measurements and give us a quote. We picked our fabric, worked out details and paid a deposit of half the quote before they left. We also had them take a dirty, but very serviceable drape from our guest bedroom to be drycleaned.
The custom curtains were ready in about eight working days. A crew came out to deliver and hang the beautiful new drapes and the drycleaned drape. They finished quickly. We thanked them and paid the balance in cash and we're delighted with the result.
Call Cortinas Calderon: 2442-0208 (store); 2442-6496; 2441-5954; 8899-6867 (Carol).
Cecilia's Furniture Gallery - Sarchi
We're a family owned fine furniture manufacturer located in the renowned artisan capital of Sarchi. Sarchi has long established themselves as the artisan capital of the country where the finest furniture in Costa Rica is designed and made. Unfortunately, in recent years, Sarchi manufacturers have continuously reduced the quality in order to reduce the prices. Unwilling to reduce our quality, we've closed the showroom (thus our overhead) and continue to build by special order directly from our home and workshop. Our quality remains high, and our prices are competitive.
Guanacaste and Genizaro are our preferred choices of exotic hardwoods, but we build to our clients’ specifications and in whatever wood of their choice. We buy our Guanacaste and Genizaro logs from a particular zone in the Province of Guanacaste where the wood is the most sought after due to its pronounced grain, color and hardness. We mill our own logs, send them to the best and most experienced in-country kiln to be dried to 10 to 14% humidity content, then design and build in our own factory, under American supervision, the finest handmade custom furniture possible. Due to the many diverse climates throughout the region, the kiln-drying is imperative in avoiding problems in warping, shrinkage, splitting, joint separation and eventual lacquer opacity.
Special attention is specifically paid to the final finish, using the best polyurethane finishes available in the country. Because we mill from large diameter logs, you’ll receive an heirloom-worthy piece of furniture with minimal joints, if any. For example, every dining set arrives with a singular slab of solid 1” hardwood sawn from the pure heartwood of the log, a 40” wide tabletop with no seams, no joints, just endless uninterrupted grain… a truly incredible sight to behold. The final product will surely be enjoyed by generations to come. Our guarantee is rarely needed by our clients, and for this reason we offer the only 2 year guarantee in the country, rather than the typical 6 to 12 month guarantee offered by our competitors. References are gladly supplied upon request from our many satisfied customers.
Cecilia Rojas Brown is a Costa Rican native from the town of Sarchi and has been involved in the furniture industry for over 29 years. Scott Brown, an American, and her husband of 29 years, has been involved with Sarchi and its furniture and woodworking culture in manufacturing and exportation since 1979. We both speak fluent English and Spanish, and we look forward to serving you for all your furniture and woodworking needs in the most transparent, straight forward and honest way.
We’ve developed the website as a way for you to sample a few of our most popular styles and the beautiful grains of our wood. Still, there’s no way to display all the endless possibilities. We have an extensive catalog of photos of all styles in our home, and we can build literally anything from your photo or description, including doors and cabinetry. Please email or give us a call for any questions or price quotes at 2454-3643.
Feel free to visit our website at www.SarchiFineFurniture.com All the best, Scott & Cecelia
Muebles WR, Sarchi
William Rodríguez, and his son Willy Jr. Cabinet maker.
The taller of Muebles WR can be found at:
150 mts. Sur Mutual, Alajuela
Tel: 2454-2348 Cel: 8820-6566 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Both father and son speak perfect English.
Services Needed/Looking For/How Do I....?
Introducing the Qué Pasa Facebook Answer Page
We are pleased to announce a great new feature exclusively for Qué Pasa subscribers, the Qué Pasa Facebook Answer Page.
We know that sometimes all of us could use a little help in getting answers to questions about living in Costa Rica. There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience among our subscriber base. So, we have started a subscriber interactive Facebook page where folks with questions can get help from other folks with answers. To start out, we are going limit our Answer Page to questions and answers from subscribers.
Description, rules and signups for your private Facebook Answer Page:
- Description: this is a private, interactive Facebook page for Qué Pasa subscribers only. It is a largely unsupervised service and its purpose is to help subscribers get answers from other subscribers who have already been down that same road. It is to be used only by Qué Pasa subscribers to receive assistance from other subscribers by getting answers to their questions.
It is a free service.
- Rules of Use:
1) as an unsupervised site, always please, be on your best behavior. No intimate, profane or rude language or inappropriate questions. No arguing, politics, name-calling or berating of participants.
2) No reasonable question should be considered stupid. (Remember some of questions you may have asked that now seem silly or obvious.)
3) Also, remember that there may be more than one answer and multiple responses are welcome.
4) If you are uncertain of your answer, PLEASE include “I think” or “I believe” in your response.
5) Please check the Qué Pasa website first before posting your question. The answer to your question may already reside there.
6) If for any reason answers become contentious, they will be removed by the Qué Pasa staff.
- Note: this Facebook page will only work if we use it. Please, those of you with some experience or years under your belt “in country” go to our Facebook answer page frequently to see if there is a question you may be able to help answer. If you “pay it forward” and help someone, there may come a time when your favor will be returned.
How to register for and use your Qué Pasa Facebook Answer Page:
- Because the Qué Pasa Answer Page is a Secret Group on Facebook, it is not viewable by the public - you must be a member of Facebook AND you must be invited to join. So, if you are not a member please go to Facebook and join;
- Request the Qué Pasa editor via email to “friend” you on Facebook;
- Once you are confirmed, you will receive a notice from Facebook that the Qué Pasa Answer Page is now available to you;
- When you have a question, go to the Qué Pasa Answer Page and post it;
- Facebook will automatically notify you of a response(s) to your question(s) from another member via your personal email; and if you are curious about what questions have been asked and answered by others, don’t hesitate to visit your private Qué Pasa Facebook Answer Page as often as you like and run a search on your question.
If you would like to submit a recommendation, please send who or what you are recommending and why. Send your recommendations and service announcements to: email@example.com
Find out about our Facebook Answer Page