Welcome! Central America Forum is a community resource for old hands (locals and foreigners) and recent arrivals to share information about living in and visiting the countries of Central America: Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.  If you want to live, retire, or visit and want to talk about residency, crime, culture, or find a trip advisor, this is your place to do it.  We welcome new members to join and contribute (even nicaliving refugees). To contribute, you can register, then create a blog or discussion topic, or post pictures, by clicking "Create content" in the left menu. For a list of "forum" discussion topics click "Our Forums" in the topmenu. For all recent posts, click "Recent Posts". New postings appear on the front page.


Hello everyone, I hope that all is going well in your part of the world.. well maybe it isn't due to the fact that you have found and spend time reading this web site.. what's that mean? it means your looking into a change of life. for whatever reason.. maybe the u.s. crime is getting out of hand, or the government. maybe your bored and need a last ditch ring around to make you feel alive. maybe your tired of your damn kids, yes you love them, but you handed them the best years of your life and now it's time for you damn it.

well today I woke at around 12 pm. had a little something to eat, laid in the hammock and watched and smelled it rain for a hour, watched birds zipping here and there and yes watched the grass grow.. ahhhhh stressful life today. thursday I'll play poker with the boy's smoke to much and for sure drink far more.. then fri. it's off to the beach to soak in some rays, and to check out my wifes fine ass.. ahhh yes.. what a life.

LisaValencia's picture

Hello (not) from paradise!

Hello Readers and Friends,
        As you may know, I have been in the United States for a month. Most of my time has been spent in a little chunk of suburbia penned in by a maze of massive highways on the East Coast Megalopolis. I have two more weeks until I'm back home in paradise. My time here has confirmed the two most important things I just said in the previous sentence: "back home" and "in paradise".
        When I first moved to Costa Rica people often asked me if I intended to stay there always. "Always - that's a long time." I would reply. "I'm here now, that's all I know." The idea of home takes a while to develop; getting your bearings, making friends, learning about the area, accepting the bad with the good and finding your own little niche. I'm coming on four years of Caribbean life and I now finally, freely call it home. Will I always live there? Always is a long time...

LisaValencia's picture

Life Changing Blog

Ok, my new blog may not change your life, but it's open for discussion. The world is changing rapidly, confounding and confusing people. Many are looking to make their own changes. Often the first place we look is for a change in location, hence the massive move of North Americans to Costa Rica. But real change first begins in your head, with your thoughts and feelings. My new blog is a place to talk about it. http://yourlifecostarica.blogspot.com/

elsalwizard's picture

Usama Bin Laden is Dead!

US Citizens everywhere take care, remember you are not responsible for US government policy, remember there ARE many radicals and hizbollah in parts of Central America. Whether you like it or not, I like it, a symbol of hate who never represented Muslims nor Islam is gone......

elsalwizard's picture

Social Networking

The Central America Forum is small and for making sense of living in Central America, this is about those big social networks, in the 1980s and 1990s we got along fine without social networking,,,in fact all our 'social networks' were face to face, the oral tradition with both fellow ex pats and locals, there are a lot of geeo, really good things on line as well, seek a balance and again for any WANABEE ex pat, travel to Central America FIRST for at least 90 days if possible and look around on your own, got an e mail the other day 'what country would be the best for me to retire in..?' Don't know I told him, you travel here..you decide!!!!!!

Click on and read http://www.hobotraveler.com/travel-journal/anonymous-users-learn-to-rape...

elsalwizard's picture

Central American Travel Primer

A primer for those traveling/volunteering/possibly relocating to El Salvador, Guatemala and the rest of Central america for the first time.

elsalwizard's picture

Caution using ATM Machines in Guatemala - Card cloning endemic

If and when you travel to Guatemala do not use ATMs in either Antigua or Lake Atitlan, especially the ATM machine in San Pedro La Laguna, residents, locals and travelers alike have had severe problems recently as someone has hacked into the Banco Red or Network, best to bring USD, however if you are a visitor to Guatemala and have no Guatemalan Bank Account, with your passport you are only allowed to change $200 USD into Quetzales at approx 7.50 to 1 USD a month!!! some inane 'money laundering law' so if staying awhile bring USD, only crisp new bills accepted in banks, by the way, no dog eared or older bills and have a trusted Guatemalan friend change for you.
"Card Cloning" is now endemic in Guatemala



I found this written by another person and I found it to be spot on with what is going on in costa rica I will post it and then write more below..

"I thought perhaps another type of post might be of interest, one written by someone who has no hate or axe to grind, a perhaps less prejudiced and more objective view of what life is really like in Costa Rica. I know in advance some will not agree with this point of view, but here goes.

LisaValencia's picture


”One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.” Malcom S. Forbes

While working as a guide for individuals interested in Costa Rica, I learned that many people who come here are looking for more than just a vacation. They are looking for a way to renew and revitalize their lives. A change in location – leaving behind the stress of noise, crowds, traffic and pollution – can be a good start. The relaxed, natural setting of Costa Rica provides the ideal alternative.
A better location is a good beginning but remember: wherever you go, there you are. Change begins on the inside, in your own mind. You need to clear your head to create some open space for new thoughts and ideas.


WOW what a year, BP oil spill now the plants in japan. I pray for us all. I was looking at some air flow maps and it looks like most of it is covering the whole u.s. this is a great site that shows you if you dare to look at it. Norwegian Institute for Air Research static and dynamic maps show radiation contamination across the Northern Hemisphere with estimates of potential releases, increasing daily. Access them through the following link:

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