Don't Make Your New Country Lose Face
In my 1997 book "Making Money in a Business of Your Own in Central America" which, of course, includes Costa Rica, in the chapter "Ingredients for Business Prosperity in Central America", I mention 11 ingredients which I feel are necessary to obtain success in business in the area. And it applies not only for business but for social relations as well. It says:
"Know how to deal with people and treat them as human beings. Good human relations especially between you as owner or boss and the workers are indispensable. Perhaps if business or social success by foreigners in this area were to be attributed to any one factor, that one factor would be invariably good human relations treating the native as a human being, giving him the opportunity to feel important and needed, showing him that you are interested as much in his welfare as you are in your own. Properly treating a worker can be almost a necessity not only for the success of the business but for your own personal safety. An employee that has been hurt by word of mouth or any other way can react in many manners, sometimes violently. Don't be the "ugly American. "
Again, Robert Hopkins' in his book I've Had it, advised that: until a newcomer gains a measure of acceptance, he may be under a good deal of scrutiny by his new countrymen. They may be openly envious of his material well-being or curious why anyone would leave so wealthy a country as the United States to live in their own. Perhaps because of this, foreign nationals are supersensitive to appraisals of their country, especially by foreigners they have less than accepted. And in the midst of cultural shock the temptation to criticize and compare is overwhelming.
Here are a few other pointers expressed by Hopkins that can help you from being obnoxious to the local people and badly received by them:
"Try not to say 'back home we always...'" Don't try to compare Costa Rica with your country. Comparisons are seldom welcome especially if your new home country loses in the comparison. If it wins in the comparison, it's acceptable and well received, at least by the local population.