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US Veterans in Costa Rica

August 21st, 2010

Costa Rica US veterans medical services availableI receive a fair number of inquiries from US veterans who are considering a move to Costa Rica. We also have a fair number of US vets living down here now. I do not have a handle as to exactly how many, but is has to be a few thousand or so with many more coming every year. I know this as I have met many on my private tours.

One vet who has lived here for a while is reader Rick Deahl who asked me if I would like to publish some information regarding medical and hospital services available to United States veterans living here in Costa Rica.

I jumped all over that, and this post is the result. If this topic is of interest to you, read on! Continue reading »

One Way Airline Tickets to Costa Rica

December 10th, 2009

customerserviceI was preparing another of those “My Readers Write” posts that I do every so often, and this topic came up… again. Maybe it is time to give it its own space as apparently it is not clear to some people.

The question is always something like this: “I have heard I cannot fly to Costs Rica using a one-way ticket.”

My answer is, as always, “No, you can NOT unless you are a citizen of Costa Rica or have in your possession a valid and current residency ID card (cedula) proving that you live here. If you try, you will almost assuredly not be permitted to board the plane. If you do make it on board, you may well get caught at THIS end by immigration. Airlines are required to verify that any person attempting to fly and using a one way ticket is, in fact, a legal resident of Costa Rica. Most airlines (read that as all) try to follow the procedure religiously as they are faced not only with large potential fines, but also for paying for the return flight for the passenger when he is refused entry in Costa Rica.

Now please, before you start composing your comment telling me that you, your friend, your friend’s girlfriend and her auntie, etc flew here on a one-way ticket with no issue, please remember my “job” on this blog and in the RCR Web Site is to deal with facts, not luck or urban legend.

Read on if you wish!

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The New Costa Rica Immigration Law

August 13th, 2009

migracion de costa rica

It is hard to not say I told you so…  I cannot.   Sorry!

On January 11, 2009, in response to a large number of emails and phone calls, I blogged about the proposed immigration law. One online newspaper told concerned expats, future residents and readers that the new law would be passed immediately… before the Christmas (2008) break!  They said it would be retroactive and even those folks already here legally would be affected and have to comply. Everyone panicked.

I tried to explain that nothing happens that fast in this country and that panic sells newspapers and increases readership and thus sells advertising. I also explained that it is against Costa Rica law to have a new law be retroactive. I suggested a wait and be patient approach.

Well that was January and this is August and yes, finally, the Asamblea Legislativa (the congress) has passed the new Ley de Migración (immigration law) which should for years influence the rights and responsibilities of foreigners coming to live in Costa Rica.  Note I use the word foreigner and not the words American, Gringo, US Citizen or other such word as despite our often enormous sense of self importance, this law is designed to affect anyone from any nation who seeks to reside in Costa Rica on a legal and permanent basis. It covers a lot more as well.  I held off a few days trying to get a more complete picture of this new law, but sadly, reliable details are not forthcoming so for those of you who are interested in this topic, read on!

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This is Really Irritating!

February 23rd, 2009

podI get a lot of email as you might imagine.  The vast majority (well over 99%) of the comments are positive and pleasant.

On occasion though, I get a comment that really frosts my Twinkie.  This happened last night and I responded… but then I stewed about it all night!  The comment and my reply appear below.  I guess what really bothers me is that I spent a huge amount of time writing The REAL Costa Rica and then more time keeping things current both there and here on this Blog. I then get an email from someone who implies that I whitewash Costa Rica.  I know, of course that there are people who do not agree either with my opinion or my rather blunt style of writing.  Others love it as they really want to KNOW about this country, and they are concerned (rightfully) that they are not getting the facts from other sites that really do nothing but promote Costa Rica. I love living here but as I have written about 20 zillon times, this country is not for everyone. It is right for ME, but only you can decide if it is right for YOU.  Anyway, if you wanna listen to me rant a bit, read on. Her quote is exact.  No corrections or changes.

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A Nasty Little Parasite – Parents Take Care!

February 1st, 2009

slugI did a fair amount of work a couple of years ago when researching the various illnesses and  health issues common to Costa Rica.  I thought I had a pretty good handle on it… then some nice lady sent me an email about Chagas Disease… so I checked that out and added it.  Well I guess Chagas was not the end because today, I will introduce you to Angiostrongylus costaricensis, a nasty little parasite that has made sick and sadly killed some very young children. Of the 42 cases treated since 2003, 16 were girls and 26 were boys under the age of 14 years. At serious risk are the youngest… under nine years old.

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Renewing My Costa Rica Residency

January 26th, 2009

pain1Oh the pain.  Caught again! Obviously a regular reader… and one with a good memory… Miguel is one of my Blog watchers.  This is good really as I get busy and fail to followup on things when months pass between the writing and the actual activity. The pain is for making me remember what I sort of wanted to forget!

In this case, Miguel (who I suspect is really a Michael as he writes from the USA), reminded me that I had never followed up on my post from last July 4 regarding my residency renewal. I really meant to do this, but as I did not go until September… OK October… I lost track. So for anyone interested in what happened… read on!

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The Power of the Earthquake

January 14th, 2009

cloudJust how powerful is a 6.2 earthquake?

An interesting comparison was made in today’s Diario Extra, one of Costa Rica’s Spanish language newspapers. It is the equivalent (in released power) of seventeen atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. That sort of puts it into perspective huh?

If the quake had not occurred so deep in the earth, there probably would not even be much of a Costa Rica.

Rescue workers are still on the scenes searching for more bodies beneath the millions of tons of earth. At this point, six days after the event, it will be astonishing if any more bodies are found and a miracle if any are alive.

The death toll stands at about 21.  I say “about” as different sources report different figures.

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Residency Possible via Common Law Relationship

January 14th, 2009

immigration_Costa Rica has had a problem for some time with foreigners coming to Costa Rica, marrying a Costa Rica citizen, and promptly applying for Permanent Residency.

This is a very desirable status as Permanent Residency grants the person all rights and privileges of a citizen save the right to vote. The biggie is the right to work here legally!

Of course many people come here legitimately, meet the love of their life, and marry them! Others, however, arrange marriages through lawyers and often have never even met the person they marry.  Marriages could be performed by power of attorney. This causes (rightfully) some consternation at Migración (immigration)! Disallowed from applying for Permanent Residency were those living in a common law relationship (Unión de hecho).

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A Public Response to a Not-Published Comment

January 12th, 2009

readYesterday, I Blogged about the proposed changes to the immigration law.

Today, I received a comment from one of the companies here in Costa Rica that assists people in establishing legal residency. The first half of his email pretty much tells stuff about him and a bit about his company. Pretty much like SPAMing through commenting.  Almost the entire second half is built around this comment:

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The Bug Man Cometh

July 7th, 2008

Ahhh Bugs! Bichos! Things with many legs! If you live here in the tropics, they are as much a part of your life as the sun, the beach, the mountains, and the bad roads! Certainly one of the most visited web pages in The REAL Costa Rica is about the creepie crawlies that are everywhere in Costa Rica. Not surprising I guess… hell, there was even a snake in the Garden of Eden right?

Those of you who follow my writings probably already know about Rolando, the Flying Cucaracha Affair, and the occasion tarantulas that come avisitin’ at Casa Ticogrande. However, for sheer annoyance, nothing can top the ants (hormigas). that look at this house as a giant smörgåsbord.

Continue reading »

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