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Why Choose Costa Rica?

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

The country is orderly. There is no capital punishment. Extremes of wealth and poverty are less marked than in most of Latin America. On a per capita basis, there are more small property, farm or business owners than in other Latin American countries.

Other writers have expounded in the National Geographic Magazine and other publications the beauties of Costa Rica's very diversified geographic regions and the looks and nature of its people.

One writer, Ellen Searby, in her book The Costa Rica Traveller, said that "if there is a tropical Camelot, peaceful Costa Rica is it. Meeting the Costa Ricans is as much a privilege as travelling in the beauty of their country." From all this publicity, plus that which is normally produced by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, it's not strange to see why so many visitors, particularly from the United States, Europe and other Central and South American countries have been arriving in ever increasing numbers to visit or retire.

American Sociologists Analyze the Costa Rican Character

Back in 1944 the Columbia University Press, New York, published the excellent book Costa Rican Life by two University of Minnesota sociology professors, John and Mavis Biesanz, who wrote it while on an extended leave to Costa Rica. They had come previously in 1941 on their honeymoon trip. I bought the book in Panama in 1946 while still in the US Army there, and when I met them personally in San José 30 years later, I told them how much I had enjoyed reading it. They in turn told me how they had investigated more than 100 other countries before choosing Costa Rica as their retirement home.

In 1981, Mavis wrote for The Tico Times a series often excellent articles entitled 'Why Are the Costa Ricans So Different' which in my opinion is the best analysis of the Costa Rican nature and character ever made by a foreigner. She observed: "Ticos are peaceable and non violent. In public life, they debate and bargain and arrive at compromises; moderation is the keynote. In personal relations, they want above all, to get along, to leave a good impression on others. They prefer to think small and go slow, and to avoid enterprises that involve risk and anxiety. They're also outspoken, patient, and good humoured. They prize tranquillity. A good personal appearance is important. They bathe daily and spend much of their money on new and fine clothes."

The Biensanzs mentioned that Costa Rica has no Indian problem, that its population is homogenous and the spread of interest and activity between upper class and lower class is less wide than it is in many South or Central American countries. There is great interest in polities, a politics of personalities rather than issues; the

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