The rainy season in Guanacaste this year came earlier and brought much heavier rains than usual. It seems that the early-season rain started about a month earlier, and the period of lighter rainfall we normally experience from mid-June to August is delayed.
The rain has turned our forests and landscape green, and brings out more birds and wildlife. It is such a beautiful sight to see the transformation of forests that suffered many fires earlier this year, and the brown landscape turning to lush shades of green.
Even with the rains, it has not hampered international tourists from coming. The planes are full of eager travelers wanting to see the wonders harbored within Costa Rica’s borders.
We are entering into the mid-year’s high season, when North America takes summer vacations. Even with the economy in flux, Costa Rica is seeing a tourism surge. After being locked down or enduring travel restrictions for more than two years, many are spreading their wings and getting out to see the world.
We are also seeing an increase in people wanting to move to Costa Rica. Is it due to the ability to work remotely, or is it also about looking for a new place to call home? With the political unrest and economic challenges abroad, Costa Rica is in the sights of many looking for a fresh start.
I have seen many posts on social media showing families with totes loaded full of their belongings, ready to settle in here for a new phase. “Heading to paradise!” they announce. Reading these posts makes me wonder if these people have done their research and are making informed decisions.
My cautionary thoughts: Don’t be fooled! Living abroad has many challenges. While it may seem like Costa Rica offers a paradise life in the lead-up to your arrival, you rapidly discover that living abroad has many challenges. Things that you are accustomed to in your home countries are not available here. Be prepared to simplify and make do. Things take longer to do, the legal system is very different and what we think is normal does not exist. Buying a vehicle and maintaining it is a source of much pain for many.
Finding a place to live here has become much more difficult in the last couple of years. Rents and housing prices have risen significantly due to the lack of inventory and new building projects.
This is an issue all over Costa Rica but it is much more noticeable in the Guanacaste region and specifically the Tamarindo vicinity. I have talked with many people who have lived here a long time and the resounding message is, “This is not what I signed up for.”
Are we trying to make Costa Rica like what we envisioned?
This is a call to assess and look at the surroundings and make decisions that are in accordance with the environment. Developers have overbuilt many countries and shorelines. While those places are great vacation destinations, the impact on the environment is substantial. Do we want that here in Costa Rica?
If considering building or doing a large-scale project, environmental impacts seriously need to be looked at. Overbuilding is not healthy for the environment, the wildlife, and most of all, the local people. Remember that the Costa Rican people are what make this place beautiful. Having respect for their country and their land should be a priority.
We cannot stop growth, but we can make growth work within the environment and with a regenerative initiative.
We want this place to retain the very reason why people come to visit Costa Rica.
I look forward to your comments.
In harmony with our wellness theme this month, we are pleased to feature one of Howler’s long-standing regular writers, Laura Méndez. The wellness and mindfulness topics she contributes in every issue are as diverse as her professional background.
As a Veterinary Doctor (MV UNA) specializing in clinical pathology, Laura decided to complement her scientific knowledge with a holistic basis in nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Her training as a holistic health coach was at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. This unusual and varied combination of knowledge has allowed her to have a broader vision of holistic health, where scientific and spiritual elements blend perfectly.
Laura is the founder of Pura Vida Vibration, serving clients there as a sound therapist. She is also a moon dancer, and a Moon Mother Level 2, directly trained by Miranda Gray. She is an entrepreneur and co-creator of Food School, a membership and community for women willing to take control of their health by learning and applying holistic living principles. Contact Laura at email@example.com, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Joanna Blanco. Integrative nutritional health coach who helps clients embrace wellness in five interconnected areas of life: relationships, livelihood, physical activity, spiritual awareness and diet.
Ivan Granados. Managing Partner at GM Attorneys, specializing in real estate and corporate law. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Martin Mason. Published author whose latest book, Casa de Doloros, was inspired by her experiences and adventures as a U.S. expat living in Atenas, Costa Rica. A regular writer for the Mango Musings blog, and also an award-winning former columnist with The Southwest Journal in Minneapolis, who also taught high school English in Houston, Japan and Minnesota.
Turner Mojica. Chief Marketing Officer/Senior Vice President of Howler Media Holdings as well as the Costa Rican Chamber of Culture, Fashion and the Arts and CR Fashion Week. He is an International management consultant who has worked with Oscar and Grammy nominated producers, award winning directors and celebrities.
Rick Philps. Canadian who practiced law in Victoria, BC before moving to Costa Rica in 1998. He has practiced law here for 17 years, having continued his education in civil law and notary and registry law. Offers legal due diligence seminars and consultations in the Gold Coast area for expats moving, or considering moving to Costa Rica. Contact email@example.com or visit www.costaricacanadalaw.com
John Quam. Howler Magazine Owner, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief,, who has called Costa Rica home for eight years.