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.
LisaValencia's picture

Theft Warning!

This is not a subject the travel agents or tour operators like to discuss, but I feel it is necessary. If you are traveling to a country where there is poverty, there is theft. This is not limited to any particular country, it can happen anywhere. Travelers who are informed and aware can make wiser choices.

I live on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Robberies have increased so we have formed citizens groups who work with the police and the public for prevention of crime and help for the victims. Private guards have been hired to patrol the beaches and the streets. Fortunately physical harm is rare, but often valued possessions left vulnerable are nabbed. There are things you can do to protect yourself:

RULES FOR DAY OUTINGS:

1. DO NOT CARRY ANYTHING YOU DO NOT IMMEDIATELY NEED!
I cannot emphasize this enough. When you are on an outing, whether it be the beach or a bike ride:
a. Take only the money you may need to spend - no more.

no one wants to see it!!! lol

If you have seen some of my post, the last one titled you just can't make this stuff up, talked about what a day I had trying to get my lic. well I did go back with another friend and I did pass the test this time, then it was off across the street to take the diving part of it. I applied for a commerical truck lic. just in case my guys are out sick and I have to step in and drive one of my trucks. well in order to get the class D lic. I had to take the driving test in a truck. I said o ok that sounds right, I'll call and have one of my guys bring my dump truck over, o you don't have to do that, we have a truck over there you can rent. o cool... well I walked over with a handful of young people there to get their first lic. you could see the fear in their eyes, which I am sure was in mine some 32 years ago.

LisaValencia's picture

Dangerous Plant: The Whole Story

Did you know there are dangerous plants out there in the jungle? I learned the hard way and also learned about a strange home remedy that really works! check it out here: http://www.travelexperiencecostarica.com/2011/03/04/costa-rica-plant-att...

LisaValencia's picture

Puerto Viejo Video

Hola from the sweet little town of Puerto Viejo. I am making movies these days! I am proud to present my first video in a series called “Hometown Puerto Viejo: Just Like You Were Here.” For a taste of life in my Caribbean hometown, check it out: http://www.travelexperiencecostarica.com/puerto-viejo-videos/

LisaValencia's picture

What does living in Costa Rica have to do with the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East?

Seeing Signs of Hope
       The soothsayer in the street holds up a sign: The End Times are Here - it’s Armageddon! Yet the sun rises the next morning and life goes on. We were really ready for it on December 31st 1999 - but nothing happened. And now as we approach 2012 some are a bit nervous for the Mayan predictions. All along there has been a deep inner knowing that things on this earth were not right. People have been searching for answers and reaching out to every imaginable possibility. Are we doomed? And if we are what can one person do? Better not to think about it.

Your Friend

Mark, you write that you have seen a poor guy give his next-to-last noodle to someone else, and that this is uncommon in our birth country, but you love it there. Do you have any real friends there? Can you trust anyone there? Maybe some people gave their next-to-last noodle because they saw you watching, or gave it to you. But that doesn't mean they didn't have self-interest in mind when they did it. How much of the time can you take what people say at face value? Yes maybe there are many people in the continental also who will slip and fall and sue you for a dollar, and maybe there are crooks in Wall Street, Jews Gentiles and Muslims. Communists who can't do math trying to shut down the coal factory and herd up a lot of people to pillage the "big bad medical companies and insurers" who actually if you look carefully don't even have all that much money to pillage anyway. But there are some people here who I can say are my friends, who I can trust.

LisaValencia's picture

The Spirit of the Caribbean

The place I live is magical and you never know when the spirit will call. Today was such a day.
It all started out in pursuit of a rainbow. http://www.travelexperiencecostarica.com/2011/02/02/costa-rica-rainbow/

MOVING TO ANOTHER COUNTY BUMPY ROADS

Many of you are reading this site to find out insider info on places that you have dreamed about and I am sure read other sites about. Your sitting home and going by what you think you know and what you have learned on sites. You all are fed that wonderful palm tree by the ocean shot.. ahhhh yes you can just see yourself sitting there. Many of you take that info and sale off everything and hop a flight and buy your dream house and begin to start your new life.. and many people can't cut it and then sale everything and move back home. for many of you this is a costly error. to find yourself back to square one and a busted dream.

there are many things that you need to do before you make that leap. there are also many things you need to look at within your own self. lets look at some.

You just can't make this stuff up

so I have lived here in panama for 5 year or so, and in all that time I have been driving on my u.s. drivers lic. which of course are no longer any good. well the police use to not have a way to check your back ground record or drivers lic. till now. Now that they have this new toy to check things, they are using it left and right and handing out 150.00 tickets and towing your car if you don't have a drivers lic. which is ok that's what we use to do in the states as well. so I thought ok I got to get my new lics. so I start off to do just that....

right off the bat they tell me because my u.s. lic is not good, then I must take a 36 hour driving course. cost 300.00
well I paid a guy 150.00 bucks and he gets that for me.
so with that in hand I take a friend of mine along with me to the lic. center. he speaks s better then I
blood test.. done
eye test done
hearing test done
all forms and copies done

LisaValencia's picture

Costa Rica Dream?

Can one really live happily ever after in Costa Rica or is it just another unlikely dream? Let me share my Inner Journey with you: http://www.travelexperiencecostarica.com/2011/01/19/life-in-costa-rica/

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