With all of Costa Rica’s natural wonders and friendly people, why would you pick another place to be? Yes, there are drawbacks to living here. Convenience is not a word that translates. Things that we are accustomed to in our home countries are either not available here or done very slowly.
I once lost a license plate on my vehicle and thought it would be an easy process to replace it. Well, it was not complicated but it was certainly not a fast process. After hiring a lawyer and writing out a statement about it, we had to go to a “motor vehicle department “ in San José. The cost was about $250 and the time involved was two days. I thought the funniest thing was when the lawyer asked me where I lost the license plate? I just looked at him and shook my head.
Complications in different situations are just to be expected. If you cannot ebb and flow with the processes you really will have a difficult time adjusting to life here.
Forming friendships is not easy here. I find that you get a core group of a very few friends and the others that you hang out with are just acquaintances. This is partially due to the transient nature of people moving here. I had several people tell me that they will not befriend newcomers in a deeper way because they leave.
Along the same line as friendship challenges, it may not be obvious who is a trusted person. It seems like there are angles to everything. I once said that I generally go on a higher alert when a person who speaks English is approaching me on a deal. I still stand by that.
I learned early that caution is very good to have. When moving here, we were sold a condo by a very slick person. After we closed the deal, the true nature of this individual, and how he lied to do business, came to light. Exposing him and his group was one thing, but having the tenacity to fight for what we were promised took lots of energy. Many people in the complex fell for his presentation and his “dream.” They found out slowly that they also were sold a bill of goods.
This didn’t stop the developer, as well as some other residents from defaming and slandering me in the community and region. However, right is right and prevails. I could have taken every one of them to the courts for these attacks, because here in Costa Rica slander and defamation are criminal acts. In future articles I want to explore the aspects of slander and defamation. Many tell me that if you get sued for saying things and you are right, you will prevail. That is not what I have been told by the legal community.
After looking into this person and the development group, I found many others in different areas of Guanacaste and the Flamingo region had also been unfairly dealt with, if not fraudulently. It was useless to go after these guys and bring them to legal justice. I did find that the media was a great tool in exposing them.
I have brought this situation up in the past. Why am I bringing it up again? Well, now this community is thriving even though the developer, once he was exposed again, made promises that will not come to fruition. Currently he is involved in a large project in Liberia.
The construction boom brings in people who are here to make a buck and may be very unscrupulous in their dealings. We drive by many property gates that were erected during past real estate booms that are very beautiful, but there is nothing behind them. Someone got screwed in these deals. Caution is very necessary here. Jumping before you look can result in a bad situation.
With all of the above said, I still think that Costa Rica is a fantastic place not only to visit but to reside. The ability to get away from it all and relax on a beach that isn’t crowded is blissful. Spend the time to see the country … see it all. Every corner and road not taken harbors natural beauty.
Yes, there are cautions that need to be taken. Trust your gut in situations. If something seems wrong, question it two or three times. Don’t jump into something that you think is a deal without due diligence.