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Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators

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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

Too Much of the Mañana Spirit Still Prevails

To get something done from a worker who is not too keen on doing the job at any given time, you'll have to call his attention because he'll likely use the word después (later). Most likely he'll say, I'll write después, I'll pay después, I'll go después. I'll fix it después and so on. Procrastination is still well ingrained in many Ticos, something which is still very prevalent in the rest of Latin America where it could be worse. In October, 1821, when word came from Guatemala that Spain had granted on September 15th 1821, independence to the region, the colonists in Cartago said, "let's wait and see": or "lets think about it", and a month later took the decision to accept independence. Eventually, the declaration was signed in November but Independence Day is always celebrated on September 15th.

Maybe because of that spirit of procrastination is why it took 20 years of studies and deliberations before the first cement factory was established in the country, or why it takes 4, 5 or 6 different 4-year government administrations to build a highway such as has been the case with the one which is to go from Ciudad Colón to Orotina. Other examples are the highway that is to go from Naranjo to Florencia in the San Carlos region and the bridge to cross the Tempisque River in Guancaste. The latter was finally completed because the Government of Taiwan decided to finance and build it as a friendly gesture to Costa Rica.

Not all delays in building large projects are due to a shortage of funds. A big reason is lack of continuity of effort and leaving things for tomorrow. Government action generally moves at a very slow pace. Procrastination is also visible in the Legislative Assembly when it comes to passing laws to achieve necessary economic and social reforms. A different story, though, is private enterprise and the entrepreneurship of the Ticos where the custom of procrastination is gradually wearing away. These now recognize more readily new business opportunities when they arise and usually are quick to capitalize on them.

As a good Tico, I myself have been guilty of procrastination. In 1968, I bought a piano from a Cuban family that wanted to go to live in Miami. My idea was to learn how to play it but it was not until 33 years later that I bought a course to learn to play by ear. I still haven't seen the video or heard the cassette to start lesson No. 1. Minnesota-bom Mavis Biesanz was correct when she said that Ticos were different and procrastinators.

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