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A Place With No Racial Discrimination

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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

Nicaraguans and Colombians

According to unofficial statistics, more than 200,000 Nicaraguan immigrants are living in Costa Rica. And as long as an impoverished nation lives alongside a prosperous one as in this case, the latter will always have this problem of new arrivals. If it's difficult for the American boundary patrols to control the influx of Mexican wetbacks into the United States, it's easy to realize how difficult it is to control people from crossing a long and thick jungle boundary such as the one existing between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

But the influx of Nicaraguans is not all bad. It has helped solve serious labour shortages in harvesting agricultural crops as coffee, sugar cane, oranges and bananas, as well as in the construction business. Many Nicaraguan women work as maids in homes. Those are jobs not all Costa Ricans are willing to do. This large influx, though, has caused several problems such as taxing to the limit the government health, social and educational services which are offered free.

In the northern part of Costa Rica, it's estimated that 80 per cent of new births in hospitals are from Nicaraguan women, many who cross the boundary only to use government obstetric services at no cost and then return to their country. A few years ago the Costa Rican Constitutional Court declared that nobody, even immigrants, could be deprived of receiving the same free government emergency services that Costa Ricans enjoy.

According to historian Ivan Molina, there existed racial prejudice and discrimination throughout colonial days, and it was even officially recognized after the end of the 19th Century. But little by little it subsided and practically disappeared. Today some very isolated cases of xenophobia are noticeable among certain Ticos toward Nicaraguans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Peruvians because of bad experiences with them. But this feeling is not generalized, and except for those few cases, it can be said that in general no racial discrimination exists today in the country.

Now in the beginning years of the 21st Century, the influx of Colombians has increased considerably because of the expanded guerrilla warfare, kidnappings and growing unemployment in that country. Many sell their principal belongings and migrate to Costa Rica in search of peace and better opportunities. Some are professionals and many are well educated. These Colombians and immigrants of other Central and South American countries also receive the same social benefits as do Costa Ricans provided they have the required documents in order.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.