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Why Others Have Gone Abroad

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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

At first, on their arrival in San José, they rented houses, while their scouts searched everywhere in the country for a place to settle. Finally, on April 19, after having found a suitable location, they negotiated from the Guacimal Land Company the purchase of 3000 acres at 900 meters above sea level, an altitude high enough to be free from malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Since then, April 19 is celebrated annually as "discovery day or Monteverde Day), a day which is spent with festivities and thanksgiving.

The Amish Farmers

As to the Amish, I feel I had somewhat of a hand in the settling of a group of them in Costa Rica. One morning in the 1960s, going through the classified ads of the daily paper La Nación, I found one that read: "A group from the USA is looking for land in which to settle in Costa Rica". I was not in the real estate business, but rather in publishing technical magazines in Spanish for Latin America. Guillermo, an uncle of my wife, owned a 20,000 hectare farm in the cool uplands of Guanacaste a few miles east of the town of Liberia, so I decided to answer the ad and offer the property. A reply came a couple of weeks later from Mr. William McGrath, spiritual leader of an Amish group in Pennsylvania. In his letter he said he would come to Costa Rica to see me so I could show him the property.

McGrath arrived with about six other Amish men and women to scout the land. They rented a jeep and my oldest son Frank, Mr. McGrath and I in my Land Rover went to see the place. It was a beautiful property, all green even during the dry season because of the eternal Atlantic mist that crosses the mountains. It had three rivers flowing through it, white-tailed deer, howler monkeys, armadillos and other small animals, plus a herd of beef cattle. A Pelton wheel placed in a small stream near the old farmhouse produced electricity.

At night we slept in two big rooms, one for the women and the other for the men. The following morning, Sunday, the Amish gathered at the terrace and had their spiritual ceremony. I was courteously asked to sit in and, of course, being a Catholic, it was something entirely new to me. I enjoyed and admired their ceremony in which everyone remains silent, the only sound emanating being when someone suddenly got up and said a short prayer or made a request to God.

The Amish group decided they would buy the property and wanted to pay in cash but at a lower price. Guillermo refused the offer so they bought a smaller property at Tronadora, also a nice area in the Tilaran Mountains also in Guanacaste and eventually the group located there where they planted some crops and went into dairying. That's how the Amish established themselves in the country.

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