Costa Rica

Last week I saw some old friends from Costa Rica for the first time in 20 years. That made me realize that at some point this year I will have spent more time living abroad than in the UK.

I have lived in Panama for the past two and a half years but spent 25 in Costa Rica. Most of my children and grandchildren live there. My wife is Costa Rican. I lived in San Jose for about as long as I lived in London. So if I have any spiritual home, I would have to say it is Costa Rica.

Consequently, I felt it was time to post something about that country. It is a beautiful place with – percentage-wise – about the most physically attractive people you could hope to find anywhere in the world. San Jose is a noisy, chaotic, smelly Third World city but I love it. It used to be a quiet little town but is now very cosmopolitan. Away from the city, Costa Rica is now one of the world’s favorite holiday destinations, for both beach vacations and eco-tourism.

As an immigrant, the country received me with open arms and I will always be grateful for that. Unfortunately, the influx of immigrants has been so great that in the last 15 years the country my kids grew up in has largely disappeared, at least in the urban areas. The change has been dramatic, both in physical and social terms.

With more people now reading the blog on both sides of the pond, I shall endeavor to post more about life in Central America as well as life in England many years ago.

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4 Responses to Costa Rica

  1. Hi Peter:

    I lived in Costa Rica for about twelve years (1965-1977). Those were the most wonderful years of my life. I returned for a visit on 1993 and San José was very different—physically and culturally. I think it was safer and better in the past, but that could of course be a biased opinion.

    In future posts, could you further expand on the dramatic changes you have seen?



  2. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, Omar. I had no idea you lived there for so long.

    Obviously, we look back with affection but I think it is justified. I lived there from 1972-74, then moved back in 1981.

    The civil wars in Central America in the ’80s had a disastrous impact. Anywhere from 1/2 – 1 million immigrants flooded in (and CR had a very small population at that time). Apart from the pressure on public education and health services, a huge number of weapons entered the country.

    Since then, Americans and Europeans have flooded in, followed, more recently, by Colombians. The cost of living is very high and violent crime is a constant threat.

  3. Hi Peter:

    Thanks for your information.



  4. thebarrowboy says:

    You’re most welcome, Omar.

    I will try to elaborate further in future posts.

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