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Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans – A Tense Relationship

January 25th, 2009

flagSome time ago, I blogged about the increasing tension between Costa Rica and its immediate neighbor to the North, Nicaragua. I thought it was one of my better semi-humorous efforts (see it here), but I was recently taken to task for my opinions by alert reader EJ. While I think EJ perhaps overreacted to my post, his comments are really good if a bit emotional, and are worth discussion as the complex relationship between Costa Rica and Nicaragua is something we deal with every day.

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TLC Si! TLC wins 51.7% to 48.3%

October 7th, 2007

Costa Rica has decided. The answer is SI – YES to the TLC. I am so proud to be living here during this time.

Turnout was about 60% of eligible voters.

Is this good for Costa Rica? Probably, but certainly not perfect. It has always been my opinion that Costa Rica had to vote yes for the country to continue to prosper. To say no would place her in a difficult, perhaps untenable position indeed as Costa Rica must be able to compete against other`Latin American Countries.

So now the process will begin with various parts of the TLC being phased in over`the next dozen years. For sure this will not go smoothly as many will continue to fight the process to the detriment of Costa Rica and her people.

But this is an enlightened government and the leadership is strong.

Costa Rican will benefit because of the competition. The big business monopolies of ICE, CAJA and the INS will no longer be able to asset themelves to the detriment of the people.

Viva Costa Rica!

BCR Begins Issuing Driver Licenses and Passports

July 27th, 2007

Costa Rica has certainly never been known as efficient and this most assuredly includes private business.Generally, the policy here is to find the least convenient, most time consuming, most paper wasting, most resource expending way to do something, then do it with the most people all while making you wait in the longest possible lines. It is this alone that droves A types to consider suicide. Continue reading »

New Law Can Send Me To Jail

July 26th, 2007

I have been pondering about blogging this for a while now… partly to get a handle on how I feel, partly because I expect some interesting comments.

Not long ago, President Óscar Arias Sánchez signed into law (“Ley de penalización de violencia contra las mujeres”) a truly controversial measure that provides tougher and longer sentences for the murder of women than of men.

While that in itself seems odd to me, the kicker is it also makes it a crime to insult a woman. Here I am not just speaking of a woman on the street or in the workplace. I am referring to any woman… even a wife or daughter. The law punishes men who are physically and/or psychologically abusive of women, especially a wife, live-in partner or girlfriend.

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Dengue Fever a Real Problem in Costa Rica

July 25th, 2007

For many years now, Dengue Fever has been a fact of life in Costa Rica, however this year, it has reached the point where it is causing serious issues not only within the country but to tourism as well. Areas such as Playas del Coco have been especially hard hit as has Limón on the Caribbean coast (see below). The bulk of the cases, some 66 percent, are in what is known as the Chorotega in northwest Costa Rica (34 percent) and along the Caribbean (some 32 percent). Only about 12 percent of the cases are on the Pacific side, the side most popular with tourists.

The incidence of dengue this year has more than doubled from 2006, according to the latest statistics from the Ministerio de Salud. So far this year the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the ministry of Health have spent ¢1.5 billion colones (us$2.9 million dollars) attending patients and fumigating. Throughout the country more than 8,000 persons are ill. During the first 25 weeks of 2007, health officials said Friday that they logged 6,882 cases and two dengue-attributed deaths. During the same period in 2006, there were only 3,435 cases.

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Wanna work for the OIJ?

July 23rd, 2007

There are a number of police organizations here in Costa Rica. All are terribly underfunded and thus badly understaffed.

I think the one police organization that receives the most respect is the Organismo de Investigación Judicial  (OIJ) and when spoken of locally is called the Oh EEE Hota.  They are sort of the FBI of Costa Rica, but with more powers and less silly limitations placed on their work.

They are certainly the most selective of all the police agencies and have a rather interesting criteria for accepting new recruits. Of every 100 applicants, only 10 make it. There are extensive psychological and physical tests that each must pass. They are also subject to an extensive background check that includes not only their behavior and records, but their life style and behavior within their own family. Automatically disqualified are those that show any signs of drinking problems, friendships present or past with anyone of ill repute, or any other behavior that shows lack of judgment.

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Getaway Weekend and Bird Watching Pt 2

July 22nd, 2007

q2.jpgI was so tempted to go back and change my last post promising Part 2 for the next day… but I figured someone would bust me in about two minutes… so here is PART TWO. Sorry for the delay… my BLOG was not displaying properly and I chose to update it before posting again. Not sure if this was necessary as most of my readers get updates by email or by RSS… but it makes for a good excuse.

On we go…. Part 2

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Getaway Weekend with Maria Part 1

June 8th, 2007

As a lot of you know, Maria Luisa and I are fond of taking weekend trips to places in Costa Rica that neither of us have been to before. For me, that is easy, but for my Tica wife, you would think she would have been everywhere after living for about a half a century. Not the case. One of the truly amazing things about Costa Rica is that for such a tiny country, it abounds in places that even Ticos do not know exist. Some are getaways just for weekends, while others are places you might really like to live! This is one of the reasons why I advise those moving here to not buy right away. Explore! You will find treasures and likely pay half of what you will pay of you don’t do this. The place we visited falls into the getaway category.

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Welcome to Costa Rica

April 19th, 2007

Here is an sad but interesting tale. It is a story of a mother and daughter refused entry to Costa Rica.

One of the companies I own deals with tourists coming to visit Costa Rica. This often involves having one of my people meet them at the airport. This is normally no big deal. We give them detailed instructions and nearly always, we are able to hook up without issue.

So it was odd that we sent a rep to the Liberia airport to meet a woman traveling with her 14 year old daughter. Often our customers are also being met by a tour company, so in this case, our rep met them and they both waited for the arrival of our mutual clients. After waiting an hour, it was clear they were not coming, so the tour agent and our rep left the airport.

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Like Caterpillars?

April 4th, 2007

Occasionally, I get submissions from folks and if I think they would be of interest to my readers, I blog them.

This was submitted to me complete with a great photo by Ronna von Knorring, a transplant from Kansas who blogs here.

As a fair number of my readers seem to be very curious about the creepie crawlies who live here (no, I am NOT talking about those guys hanging around the bars in Jaco), I thought I’d publish her submission! Enjoy!

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