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.


I don't know if I wrote about this before but I have been trying to put in a block company on my land here. I bought this property because it is zoned for commerical use.  well this property has been untouched for 70 years, by that I mean a home is on it and the gounds are neat and cut like a golf course for that long, but no commerical building has ever been on it.  well the lady across the street from me didn't like the idea that I was buidling something on this land, that along with the fact she doesn't like gringos.  

I was getting things rolling really good, then she had the mayor of the town that is over us, which she is having a affair with,  come and order me to stop.. well lawyers were called and back and forth in the end, the mayor's  term was up and a new one, which this one she wasn't having a affair with, yet....  takes over.  




wow nothing is easy around me... my wife was getting close to the due date, so I asked if her two aunts who live down the road would come and move in with us so when the time came, one could go with us and the other could stay with our three year old.  well that night both of the aunts worked late and went home telling me they would both be here first thing  in the a.m to wait it out..


LisaValencia's picture

Best Travel Advice - Just Smile!

Just Smile
    That is one of the best pieces of travel advice I’ve received. Smiling is something we sometimes forget, but it would do us all well to consider its importance when in a foreign culture. Best of all it is easy, it’s free and its benefits are priceless.

    Often in our busy lives we are so focused on accomplishment and getting things done that we forget why we are here in the first place. Generally speaking the purpose of the work we are caught up in, is for the support of our life and our families and for our own gratification. And what is our underlying motivation for supporting those things? Simple happiness, of course. And when we are happy, we smile.

CostaRicaBlogger's picture

What's that Jar of Spicy Vegetables at Costa Rica Restaurants?

So what is that jar of spicy vegetable dressing on the table of many Costa Rica restaurants?

It's called "Chilera" !

Chilera or Vinagre Chilera is a staple in Costa Rican cuisine that consists of a mix of hot chile peppers, onions, carrots, green beans and ...cauliflower mixed with vinegar (usually fermented banana vinegar).

Chilera is used to spice up many Costa Rican dishes -- just add a few drops to your food.

If really you're REALLY bold, try a few of the fiery vegetables like Junior! [pictured below]


CostaRicaBlogger's picture

Costa Rica's New Immigration Law - A Quick English Overview Guide

Costa Rica’s new immigration law (nueva ley migratoria) was published in the official government publication La Gaceta on September 1, 2009 ... meaning the new "Ley General de Migración y Extranjería" will be the Costa Rica immigration law of the land starting March 1, 2010.

Costa Rica is a world-wide destination for vacationers, travelers, those seeking investment opportunities and for persons considering second homes, a place to relocate and/or retire.

Costa Rica is also desirable to many seeking better living conditions, improved work opportunities, asylum and/or refugee status from other countries.

Health Care in Panama

Well I would like to share a few of my run ins with the health care system here. First my mom... 64 years young. she was walking down the street and holding my 2 year old daughter when she mis stepped and fell face first, she tossed my little one to keep from falling on her and not being trained at the fine art of falling on your face without hurting yourself, like most of us guys are, she busted her nose and her glasses cut a deep wound on it as well.  My mom bleeding pretty heavy was not worried about herself but if my daughter was ok.  my wife told her over and over she is fine, your the one that needs help right now.

One quick point here, the people here will go out of there way to help you. my mother, wife and daughter were standing by the side of the road and one of our local truck drivers saw what had happen and pulled over and helped load them into his truck and off they went to the local doctor.

peterchristopher's picture

If Costa Rica Tries to Tax Gambling Internet Sites, Will The Operators Flee?

There has been some press over the past several weeks that online gambling sites based in Costa Rica are the subject of possible legislation.  Of course, they should be paying taxes somewhere at least, don't you think!  Would they really leave?  One guy says they might leave for Panama, just as the UK's gambling operations are leaving for Gibraltar.

I'm surprised in any case at the scope of this issue - are there really 10,000 people employed in Costa Rica's online gambling industry?

peterchristopher's picture

Is it easy to form friendships etc..at this age of ones life in Central America ?

I'm posting this for an anonymous user who for some reason didn't want to register


I will be moving to Central America most probably to Nicaragua. I am in my early forties and am making this change solo..Is it easy to meet people/make friends once you move. How about meeting other gringos to date and get into a relationship. I guess one can hang out in bars and restaurants and meet other like minded folks but relationships are hard enough...what kinds of personality am I liekly to run into...or is the scene just as cold as other parts in the USA.

Is it easy to form friendships etc..at this age of ones life in a foreign country...



peterchristopher's picture

Hilarious Joke About Telephone Food Shortage Survey


 Last month a world-wide telephone survey was conducted by the UN.

The only question asked was:-
"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure because of the following:

In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.
In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.
In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.
In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.
In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.
In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.
In the US they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.
And finally.......In England they hung up because they couldn't understand the researcher's Indian accent.

peterchristopher's picture

Check out Lisa's Audio mp3s About Experiencing Costa Rica

I just listened to Lisa Valencia's sample episode of her audio version of her Costa Rica adventures.  If you've got just a few years of commuting and rat race before heading to Central America, you might want to get a copy of her audio stories to listen to in the car to keep you going in the home stretch!  Her website is http://www.travelexperiencecostarica.com - enjoy.

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