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Immigration Gets Two New Bosses

May 19th, 2006

Immigration department got two new bosses yesterday. Mario Zamora Cordero (36) is the new Director and Xinia María Sossa Siles (32) is the sub-Director. Both are lawyers.

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Why Costa Rica is Just Not for Everyone

May 18th, 2006

The writer of the article below, Michael Quinn, recently visited Costa Rica with his lovely bride Patrice.

I had the pleasure of corresponding with them before they arrived. He spend a couple of weeks here, and upon his return to the USA. Michael wrote the article below. It appears he may not be moving to Costa Rica real soon.

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Coming to Live in Costa Rica?

May 16th, 2006

Between three of my websites, The REAL Costa Rica, this Blog, and my personal Blog, I get maybe 200 emails per week. I try to answer them, though this is getting tougher every month, and soon it is gonna get real ugly.

The hands down #1 topic of these emails is people asking me for my advice on moving to Costa Rica. Popular questions are:

* Where are the North American communities?
* Where are the good places to live?
* Constant questions about buying property here…
* Where is the best place to buy? Live?
* Where to visit when coming here to decide about a permanent move
* Where can I get a job?
* Plus a TON of emails from scared baby boomers world-wide who are just now saying to their spouses, “Holy SHIT Martha (or Clyde), there ain’t no way we can live on our social security! We gotta get outta this place!”

So, in this Post I am going to cast some pearls to you folks!

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Cafe Santa Maria de Dota

March 12th, 2006

My group and I had an obligatory history field trip to a coffee plantation yesterday. We went to a plantation owned by a Cooperative called Coopedota. We took a tour on which we saw all the major stages related to coffee cultivation and production: growing the beans, harvesting the beans, separating the beans into different qualities, drying the beans, and toasting the beans.
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Back to Manuel Antonio

March 12th, 2006

I finally went back to Manuel Antonio to visit Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. It was beautiful!

The entrance fee for extrañeros, or foreigners, is $7 for the day. This gives you access to multiple beautiful costal trails and three pristine white-sand beaches. My friend and I opted to take the Sendero Punta Catedral, which is a beautiful trail through forest and along rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean. There were plenty of look-out points, and all of them were gorgeous.

We stayed in Albergue Costa Linda, which is a youth hostel set behind the public beach Playa Espadilla. The rooms were nice enough, and we got a free spaghetti dinner on Saturday night. I think I want to go to the Caribbean next.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

February 22nd, 2006

Upon review of my blog entries, I realized that I’ve been sounding pretty negative lately. Lest that mislead anyone, I’m actually having a really great time. This is especially evident any time I have a few drinks in me, as I’m prone to loudly declaring how much I love this country over a plate of pinto at 1 in the morning. (Where else can you buy a huge plate of pinto and eggs for $1.50 at 1 in the morning?)

Case in point, I spent the weekend relaxing on the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen!
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Dominical, Costa Rica

February 7th, 2006

This weekend 21 of the 29 people from my program decided to take an independent trip to Dominical. It was really obvious that the trip was planned by gringos who don´t fully understand the bus schedules, because we took an unnecessarily long bus ride (6 and a half hours!).
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San José, Costa Rica

February 5th, 2006

The other day I took a field trip with my compañeros to the capital San José to experience the big city. Although it was generally dirty and dangerous as most cities are, it certainly had some redeeming qualities.

Hands down, the best part about San José is its little mercados, or markets. The first market we visited was Mercado Central, and it was teeming with Tico farmers and bustling buyers. Everywhere you looked, you could find exotic little fruits and strange looking vegetables. A big hit with my group were these little citrus fruits called granadillas. They look like ovular orangish-green oranges on the outside, but are filled with grayish purple seed sacks. You eat the sacks and the seeds together which is a very messy, and therefore fun, affair.
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Monteverde, Costa Rica

January 26th, 2006

My program has arranged for our group to spend a week of our orientation in Monteverde which is much more rural than Heredia. It took about 4 hours to get here by bus, mostly because the roads are rough and driving is slow going. But, it was worth every bumpy minute, because it is spectacular here!

We’re attending classes at the Monteverde Institute, and living with a new family for the week that we’re here. The closest town is Cerro Plano, which is a very small rural town. The town really consists of one street, along which there are a few hotels and restaurants. It’s about a 20 minute walk from Santa Elena, which is a small town that is only slightly bigger than Cerro Plano.

I love it here! The town is nestled amoung beautiful rich rolling hills, and has some of the most spectular sunsets I’ve ever seen. Everything has a small town feel, and all the pepople here know each other by name. The Ticos here are especially nice, and life runs at a much slower pace than in Heredia. Many of the other students in my group prefer Heredia, because there is more to do. I, however, am a country person at heart and fit in really well here.

There is a pretty booming (relatively) tourist industry here, and there are almost as many Gringos as Ticos. There is plenty to do in the way of nature walks, but not much of a night life.

Yesterday we went on a skywalk, which consists of walking through rainforests on suspended bridges. It was very beautiful, and we had a guide who was very friendly and knowledgable about the flora and fauna. We took a guided tour through a cloud forest today, which was also a lot of fun. The tour through the cloud forest reserve was much longer, and I would only recommend it for those who can walk uphill for more than 2 hours. I thought the latter tour was more interesting than the first, mostly because it was longer and we saw more of the forest. We spotted a lot of birds, including the endangered Queztals (sp?) and various different types of wrens and hummingbirds.

If you’re thinking about coming to Monteverde, I would certianly encourage you to do so, and I have three tips:

1. Bring a raincoat! There are only two seasons here, rainy and windy. It’s the windy season right now, and it still rains at least once a day.

2. Because of the above mentioned rain, bring more than one pair of shoes, and be sure to include at least one pair of hiking boots.

3. Be sure to take the time to stop and talk to the locals here. They are very knowledegable about the area, and love to talk about their culture. Many of them speak English if you need it (especially those who are younger), and if you are trying to improve your Spanish they will take the time to slow down their Spanish and help you with the words you need.

We are going back to Heredia on Monday, so hopefully I’ll be able to post a link for pictures of both Heredia and Monteverde then. Until then Pura Vida!

Costa Rica Restaurant Review

January 26th, 2006

As anyone who knows me is likely to verify… I like to eat! Occasionally, you can find a comment someone has made about a restaurant they liked (or hated) in Costa Rica, but until now, there has been no central repository of information, recommendations or general commentary on where to get a good meal in Costa Rica. I am going to TRY to change that!
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