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.

Costa Rica is no longer a good choice for expats as a retirement home, or a place to raise a family. It is dangerous, expensive, xenophobic. Crime is high and rising rapidly, the judicial system is non-functioning. The chances you will be the victim of a property crime are quite high. Very few Costa Ricans are trustworthy, and you as a foreign crime victim can expect zero to no help.

Costs for many necessities of life are higher than they are in the part of the world you may come from. Fuel, motor vehicles, food, electronics, real estate, and many other items, especially imported ones are heavily taxed, and make that Costa Rica is no longer a bargain by any stretch. If you choose to buy property in Costa Rica, there is very good chance that you will have a very difficult time selling the property without taking a large loss when it is time to leave.

Most Costa Ricans, especially the white, central valley population are racist and xenophobic. A significant percentage of the Costa Rican population dislike almost all foreigners. If said foreigner happens to be brown, black, or yellow, they are seen as inferior racially. Citizens of the U.S.A. are especially disliked by many, even though some Costa Ricans may seek to emulate their lifestyle. Costa Ricans are generally very two-faced and although they may not express their dislike for you to you directly, however, as soon as you turn your back.....

If you are a non Costa Rican looking for somewhere to relocate, I would suggest that you look somewhere else in Latin America, this is no longer the place to be. Too many negative aspects to living here have made other places much more attractive. Yes, it is pretty, the climate is divine, but most come to hate the place over time.

If you are a foreigner looking for a vacation spot, Costa Rica may still hold some attraction, but bring lots of money. Realize that you as a foreigner are seen as a favorite victim of crime and act accordingly. If you are a backpacker, skip Costa Rica. If you are a nature lover, and are aware of the risks here, this may be a good vacation spot for you.

Having said all of the above, there are people that migrate here, and find it to their liking. I feel they are a significant minority, most choose to leave after they learn what "the real Costa Rica" means."

I live in panama, now I'm not trying to push anyone this way, I am not selling anything, nor asking for anything. I don't do tours, I don't sell real estate. The only thing I do down here is sell building material for the small amount of people who live in my area, the only way I would make any money from any of you is if you moved to my town and build a home. So I am not telling you were that is, to add weight to my words.

You see what I find down here and all over south and central america, is web site after web site and people willing to help you, o how great it is to be here. well some of that is true, but a lot of it is just fishing. bait on a hook waiting on you to take a bite. That's how many make a living down here, and of course you want to use the best bait you have right? ever see the white sandy beach with palm tree shot right over that bath tub clear ocean water? I've seen it for ad's placed for condo sales right here in panama. I've been to those condo's and trust me the sand is brown and black, and the ocean so dirty from mud that the rivers wash into it turns the water to mud so you can't even see your feet in less then knee deep water.. o no matter it got you here didn't it? now shut up and buy a condo.
One only needs to look at a food ad and then go get one and have a look, nothing like the photo eh? but of course we eat it, I guess we are use to being lied too. now buying a pizza is one thing but moving here and being lied to can destroy ones life.

I have met a flood of people coming from Costa Rica, and they all have stories just like the posting above. Many tell me, that a guard dog, high fence, razor wire all around, two guards 24/7, window bars, alarm system, and lights are still not enough to keep them from stealing from you. many will say, well there is crime everywhere, and that's true, but if you call the police in your town, more then likey they will be there within a very short time, I was a police officer in a major city for 6 years, In all those years the longest time for me to get the call and to you was 4 mins. If you call the police in C.R. they might not even show up. If they do then it's still up to you to go here and there and file this form and that form to get someone to even take a look, they will smile and listen to you tell all about your collection of coins and grandma's Precious Heirlooms and then when you leave go back to doing what they were doing before you came in, which is nothing.

This is a story written in am costa rica "A community crime prevention group has concluded that a missing French couple probably did not drown in the Río Naranjo.

The group is the Dominical-based CAP on Crime, which stands for Crime Awareness and Prevention.

The French couple vanished March 31 under mysterious circumstances, and their rented vehicle was found pilfered and vandalized alongside the Río Naranjo south of Quepos. The couple had said they were on the way to Dominical.

Although the couple's passports were found in a trash can in Jacó, the favorite theory of investigators was that they drowned in the Río Naranjo.

That is almost impossible, CAP on Crime said on its Web site. A summary said that members of the group visited the river site and found the depth to be no more than 50 centimeters. That is just short of 20 inches.

The missing couple are tourists, Gerard and Claude Dubois"

This isn't just one bad case,,," there are many many more missing tourist in costa rica.

Note what this post states; ""A community crime prevention group has concluded that a missing French couple probably did not drown in the Río Naranjo.
the police say they drown job over next!!!

One man told me that if you love to listen to their music till 5am, barking dogs don't bother you, you don't mind living in jail, and you above everything else RENT EVERYTHING. then you have half the problems licked.

Taxes on homes there are going up and up they need the money, tourist visits are way down, police are standing everywhere and can't wait to nail you for something, never mind your being robbed, you have a tail light out.

Now I know this post is going to get a lot of smack, but the point I am trying to make here, is don't believe the hype, if they are selling something BEWARE. If you are thinking about going down and buying a home, go, and rent a home, look around, talk to some local expats see what they can tell you, take your time and get a feel for it, it might fit you just fine, if it doesn't your out very little cash and you can pick up and move on. many can't, they are stuck with a over priced home, with high taxes and tons of problems stated above and have to ride it out. Be smart, don't trust the sites, trust yourself. If you find a cheap beach home say 250k ask yourself why are they willing to sale? is it below what it's worth? is it more? is there something hidden that your not seeing? taxes maybe due to go up another 2k on that home for the next few years? Or maybe the lawsuit that was filed 15 years ago is about to come to court where the real owner of that land is asking for it all back, and gets it, o sorry you paid 250k for that home, maybe you can move it? or maybe you can file in court to get your money back, which you can do, what's another 15 year wait to have your day right?



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Honduras Less Dangerous than Costa Rica?

Though specific countries usually capture the headlines for their bloodiness -- Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and often Colombia -- security problems are widespread throughout Latin America.

For the region which holds the unfortunate distinction of being the world’s most violent, a new Latinobarómetro report, "Citizen Security: The Principal Problem of Latin America”, looks at the recent trends, and through survey data, tries to tease out how this affects perceptions, people, and, more broadly, democracy.

Some interesting points emerge from this quite extensive study. One is that general perceptions and realities often don’t match up. In part, this is because there are many different types of crime, and governments, media, and other public opinion shapers often only focus on one set of measures.

For instance, Costa Rica, Peru, and Argentina are generally thought of as being some of the more peaceful countries in the hemisphere, due to their relatively low homicide rates (all have below twelve homicides per hundred thousand people).

But according to Latinobarómetro’s (self-reported) crime surveys, all three are far above the Latin American average in terms of criminal activity, with Peru ranking second, Costa Rica fourth, and Argentina sixth out of the eighteen surveyed nations.

This means that while the chances of being murdered are less in these countries, the odds of being assaulted are quite high. This helps perhaps explain why Costa Ricans, for example, are more fearful of becoming a victim of a violent crime than are Mexicans, Brazilians, or Hondurans.

These differences may also help to explain the disconnect that so many citizens feel with official rhetoric that places the emphasis solely on murder rates. For instance, the Calderón administration has repeatedly emphasized that Mexico’s murder rates are lower than other big Latin American countries -- Venezuela, Colombia, or Brazil.

Yet when looking at broader crime surveys, Mexico tops the list. Over 40 percent say they or a family member have been victims of crime in the last year (compared to the Latin American average of 33 percent). Though the horrific drug violence may indeed still be fairly concentrated, crime is not -- a challenge Mexico’s government must acknowledge and face.

Finally, citizens’ faith in Latin American governments’ abilities to tackle insecurity varies. A strong majority -- 61 percent -- of Latin Americans think their governments can do it -- with Uruguayans, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Venezuelans most optimistic. The linchpin seems to be the police. Most Latin Americans don’t trust their police -- particularly Guatemalans and Mexicans. But this seems to be the way forward for taking on crime. If these nations can confront the challenges in professionalizing their police forces and gain the confidence of their citizens, then perhaps both the realities and perceptions will shift for the better.

By Shannon O'Neil, From

San Jose

I live in a middle class area of San Salvador, quiet tree lined streets Iam over 60 and sold my vehicle several years ago, ride the city buses short distances ton shop, see friends, there are guards everywhere in Latin America, especially upscale areas, my neighbors come and go by auto with windows rolled up, INsecurity is big business, many of your guards should be from Nicaragua, anyway make friends with them as they are basically standing out there all night with a gun, bored to death. Many ex pats are moving here to El Salvador, once considered too dangerous even to visit, the locals here are friendly and have never been mugged, 24 years in C.A. although was robbed at gunpoint by Federales Police in Mexico driving down to Guatemala in 1986 I was in San Jose recently stayed near Av. Central took taxis to Casino a few blocks away, sad, in 1970 and 1971 we walked around free all night. I feel safer here than in marginal areas of large US Cities love it here, will never return to live in USA too bad you have no social life!!!!!!!!

Is Costa Rica Safe?

Ten U.S. citizens have been murdered in Costa Rica since January, 2010. Crime is a significant concern for Costa Ricans and visitors alike. Local law enforcement agencies have limited capabilities and different standards than U.S. law enforcement. Daytime robberies in public places occur, and thieves have been known to brandish weapons or use violence if victims resist. Almost two million foreign tourists, about half U.S. citizens, visit Costa Rica annually. All are potential targets for criminals, primarily thieves looking for cash, jewelry, credit cards, electronic items and passports. Thieves often work in small groups. The most prevalent scam involves the surreptitious puncturing of tires of rental cars, often near restaurants, tourist attractions, airports, or close to the car rental agencies themselves. When the travelers pull over, "good Samaritans" quickly appear to help change the tire - and just as quickly remove valuables from the car, sometimes brandishing weapons. Drivers with flat tires are advised to drive, if at all possible, to the nearest service station or other public area and change the tire themselves, watching valuables at all times. Another common scam involves one person dropping change in a crowded area, such as on a bus. When the victim tries to assist, a wallet or other item is taken. We encourage you to take proactive steps to avoid becoming a crime victim. You should not walk, hike or exercise alone, and should bear in mind that crowded tourist attractions and resort areas popular with foreign tourists are common venues for criminal activity. Ignore any verbal harassment, and avoid carrying your passport, large amounts of cash, jewelry or expensive photographic equipment. Tourists should carry photocopies of their passport data page and Costa Rican entry stamp on their persons, and leave the original passport in a hotel safe or other secure place. Costa Rican immigration authorities conduct routine immigration checks at locations, such as bars in downtown San Jose and beach communities. U.S. citizens detained during one of these checks who have only a copy of the passport may be required to provide the original passport with appropriate stamps. Travelers renting vehicles should purchase an adequate level of locally valid theft insurance, park in secure lots whenever possible, and never leave valuables in their vehicles. The U.S. Embassy receives several reports daily of valuables, identity documents, and other items stolen from locked vehicles, primarily rental cars. Thefts from parked cars occur in cities, at beaches, at the airport, in front of restaurants and hotels, and at national parks and other tourist attractions. Travelers should use only licensed taxis, which are red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Licensed taxis at the airport are painted orange. All licensed taxis should have working door handles, locks, seatbelts and meters (called "marias"); passengers are required to use seatbelts. When traveling by bus, avoid putting bags or other personal belongings in the storage bins. You should at all times have your belongings in your line of sight and your valuables in your possession. Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.


good move steve, come check out panama instead, tons better

Who's worse, the NA or the Tico?

I have begun serious planning on retiring, and of course CR is on my list. I am purchasing tickets the middle of next month for a 6-month stay of the region. But I must tell you, the comments on this blog have changed my mind about CR. Who wants to go to a place where you are unwanted, disrespected, robbed, etc? Especially when the local populace doesn't want you there in the first place? Thanks, CR, but NO THANKS>

Early observations...

Very interesting. I have only been here for two months, living in an upscale area outside of San Jose. We are only here for one year, but from the little bit I have seen, I am glad we are not staying longer. Every house in our area has barbed wire and large locked gates. Often times there are guards sitting in front of the houses. For apparently even more security, many of the streets in front of these houses are blocked off by gates. I have never see the people who live in these houses, only maids and gardeners coming and going. Most of these houses have for sale signs posted. Some appear empty. The building I am living in has several guards at all times, and a large gate they pull over the entrance and lock at night. I have lived in some high crime areas in the states, but can't say I have ever seen anything that looks like this...

El Salvador & Guatemala, a bit of Honduras

Thought the COSTA RICA CRIME thread was excellent, I have lived in Central America for some 25 years, mostly in El Salvador and Guatemala, tried living for a short while in Costa Rica in the 1990s when it wa still affordable and far more secure, found some of the Ticos, not all, to be cold and indifferent, and missed the indingenous culture of Guatemala and parts of El Sal and Honduras,however loved the cynicism and sarcasm of some of the old timer US, Canadian and European ex pat residents in some of the watering holes, same as in Guatemala and Honduras, all of us long term ex pats, are neither sheep nor robots nor zombies and the great majority of us have contributed to the country we have lived in, yes there are the 'bad and ugly' ex pats the world over, along with visitors who get robbed by nit being aware, using common sense, or at times being in the wrong place at wrong time or just plain doing something stupid, like leaving valuables in shared hostal room or on the beach when surfing or swimming, say what you wish about El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and which country 'has more gang members, which nation is more dangerous' and so on and so on, home is where the heart is, I myself and all but one of the ex pats I know in inEl Salvador and Guatemala many over 25 years have never been 'mugged' nor physically assualted here, when I lived in NYC and Boston I was mugged some 4 times and my apartments were broken into 3 times, one reason I moved the way 98% of 'Gang crimes' are Gangs on Gangs and here in El Salvador Gang members hide out in marginal areas, most visitors never even see or talk to one!!!!!!

Based on my experience

I stayed in a hostel in CR too and I have to say, this post is quite true. I don't know why I have to agree to what 802MARK is saying (as in his other posts) but you know, I experienced it. I left my purse in the hostel and it was gone when I was back. No CCTV, none of that. But I can also say that it is not the only country where I experienced it, tee hee.

We came to Casa Buena Vida with high hopes... but less than 36 h

We came to Casa Buena Vida with high hopes... but less than 36 hours after our arrival we got robbed. While we were out for dinner someone broke the lock to a sliding glass window and entered the house. Upon our arrival we discovered that the safe, which we were advised to entrust with all of our expensive belongings and cash had been broken into and everything was gone! The plastic knob was no deterrent for the criminals as is expected of a "safe".. We were not only robbed on the second night of our stay here, but were also terrorized on the last night when two men came up and tried to break into the front gate at 3am, possibly trying to sell us back some of our stolen items. Unfortunately, no one had told us that Costa Rica, and specifically Santa Teresa, is so unsafe. After the robbery we spoke with locals who shared with us that these kinds of crimes were commonplace and that we should be grateful that we were not violently accosted. In retrospect, we should have checked the US State Department's website where there is a travel warning for Americans traveling to Costa Rica. Provided that everyone is aware of such danger, we were surprised that the owners were negligent in taking safety precautions against said crime.. Specifically there is no ground security stationed at night. While all of the surrounding hotels and similar properties have security guards armed with guns and machetes, Casa Buena Vida provides no such protection for its residents. The owners will have you believe that the alarm is enough to keep you safe – it is not. The alarm is obsolete and though it calls an alarm company, no one comes to check on the house if the alarm is triggered. In addition, the locks on all of the doors and windows are low grade and do not protect against the high crime rate in the area. The imposingly massive gate will add to your false sense of security while the fencing surrounding the property is made of nothing but thin wire and provides no protection, as you would expect. The fact that there is no police station in town is in itself enough to leave any guest of this property feeling unsafe and discontent. Obviously there is a good reason that similar properties in the area employ ground security. Keep this in mind as you research vacation rentals in Santa Teresa. Renting a property without ground security like Casa Buena Vida will make you an easy target. *review as posted on www vrbo com/265238 **more facts on the case: facebook http www / crime/casa-buena-vida

I hate to say it but yeah, the man's got a point...

I lived in northern Guanacaste (playa Ocotal) for 13 years and 4 in san jose. I know ticos all too well. Guancastecos are or were amazing people, sure as hell have changed alot since 1990. everyone used to wave hello on the street. now it's more americanized and cynical, cold and shallow. The xenophobia is right on (San Jose has been refered as the Buenos Aires of Central America), I hate to admit that. I have been robbed four times there. once 200 meters away from an ambulance (they watched) in broad daylight. the OIJ laughed when I reported it, seriously. I only know two people in 17 years there that haven't been robbed.true story. back to the racism, on my walk home from work I was egged three seperate times (same day) becos' Costa Rica played the usa in soccer and lost. last july I was walking down the street and a guy smashed his coke bottle on my head as i walked by him and he said, "hijue puta gringo". no eye contact was made, I did nothing and I was even with a tico. That was in Moravia which is not that dangerous by any means.I have blue eyes. Get in a cab and watch him turn off the "maria"...meter. eight hours in line to renew my residency...yep I never got my citzenship (and I tried). I speak perfect spanish( i used to think in spanish) and still have a hard time earning just regular respect. Now I met my wife there, some of my best friends are tico too. It's was a gorgeous country before it was bought and sold. I mean you'll find marriots, taco bells and the likes but no culture no individuality like back when. last rant, I'm canadian, now ticos will tell you that their disdain is only for americans, but that is a load of crap, if you got blue eyes blonde hair. watch out. I still love it there. I just have to watch my every move. back in canada i can walk outta the bank with a wad of cash in hand and not look behind my back. i don't lock my doors at night, no one does here.true story. I only moved here because i have a son. raising kids in san jose is stupid idea, don't even entertain the idea. the surfing in costa rica almost makes all the crap worthwhile.....almost

where are the good areas in Panama with a young family

Hi I have a young family and we are looking around for a place to go live for a few months - to see how we do in the local community, learn Spanish and consider moving longer terms. Having a young family - safety is important, but so is saving a few dollars. I was looking at CR east coast down near Panamanian border as I think it might be less touristy, but have been looking at prices and finding a very small 2 bed home for $700-1000 per month for 3 months. We like the idea of the kids being able to play at the beach, attend a small local semi private school for under $200 each per month and lots of wildlife to see. If anyone has any suggestions of a better location where we might go we would love to hear from you - we are planning our trip in Dec - end of March. Panama was on the top of our list till we read a different post by someone about how much crime there was - so now we are confused as to what to do you can post here or email me at janeway9 at g mail dot com thanks in advance le the website - 

After 2 years and losing more

After 2 years and losing more than half a million dollars to theft and fraud, we left Costa Rica, never to go back. Costa Rica is a mirage and the country excels at marketing itself. But it's all a sham. Examples? They declare an exclusion zone around the Cocos to alleviate pressure for their tolerance on shark finning, but they have no boats for enforcement. They claim to be environmentally conscious, but they burn everything they can when disposing of waste, contributing to global warming. The justice system is completely corrupted from top to bottom, they even had to invite US Marines in last year to regain some control in the Caribbean part of the country. Expasts and tourists get killed, their murders go unresolved and nobody gives a damn. Expats who live there and own hotels and small resorts will tell you all is normal, when nothing is. All they're doing is trying to protect their way of life, but word is getting out. A lot of Western governments are now issuing traveler's notices for their citizen who wish to travel to CR. San Jose is a cesspool of crime and no one is safe after dark. And the comments about the country being xenophobic are right on.


I don't call it bashing, I call it pointing out the truth. people read these post to get some insight on how things are in all of these countries. They are trying to gather info to make the right call on where they might wish to live out their lives. c.r. has turned into a hot spot for crime and is a place that many people are trying to get out of, I sure don't want another north american to jump in head first and then lose their investment getting out of there. You say the biggest thieves are north americans, based on what? yes there is crime in the u.s. but look at the population of the u.s. compared to c.r. and look at the crime rates then. Then you have to look at each one's police dept's policy. each and every crime is logged in no matter what type it is in the u.s. but in c.r. thousands of crimes go unreported, and many of the ones that are, are not logged. why is that? because c.r. doesn't want to have a high crime rating that will scare off the tourist that's why.

remember when hollaway was killed, that one case dropped their tourist by 20 percent. That's a lot for a island's only income. tourist don't corrupt anything. they come to enjoy another country, spend tons of money, which is why many of you have jobs and food on the table. do you think it's the north american tourist who are the ones that are killing other tourist down there? breaking into homes? robbing and raping women? I would say 1 percent maybe. "Maybe take a look at your behavior and its effects" what was the french couples behavior? they rented a car, stopped along a small stream to enjoy the view and where never seen again, along with a string of other tourist that are still missing down there.

For every one person who has told me that c.r. is a great place to live, 10 others have said man I am just happy to be out of that place, I lost x amount of money but it's worth it to be done with that place.

Now people say north american's hurt the local people. some say they do this by raising the prices of land, taking over the best parts of a country and forcing the poor people out of that area because they can no longer afford to live there. That we change things in those areas. well lets look at that. Here is a poor family living on a prime piece of real estate. They have lived there going back to their grandparents. Back then they paid 1.00 maybe per meter. No power to the place because no one could afford to pay for the power company to wire up to it. roads to it were nothing more then a pig path. Now the bad North Americans move in the area. They start by paying the power company to wire to it, which this poor family can now hook on to without paying any of that cost. Then the road is fixed and a new water line is put in, again paid for by the N.A. and which this family doesn't pay any percentage of gets to use. Then their land is worth 25.00 per meter. and they sell it!! wow 25.00 per meter. That's more money in their hands at one time then they could ever dream of.. and what do they do? they run out and buy two new trucks 80k, clothes, get drunk, throw a few huge parties, throw money around like it will never run out, and within a few months they are broke. They don't have enough money to buy any land there at 25.00 per meter, so they are forced to move. Now is it the bad N.A. fault they can't plan past today?

These families will have to move to a cheaper area, which is not going to be anything like the place they use to live. They will have to go back to a area without power, roads, ect. it won't be a prime piece of real estate. so who's at fault here? hey at least they have two new trucks!! o no, one because uncle jo jo got drunk and destoryed one of them when he crashed head on with that couple from N.A. to bad uncle jo jo didn't buy insurance on that truck. When uncle jo jo was asked how he was going to pay for the N.A. car and hospital bills, uncle jo jo replied, screw them, they are rich, they had no right to be here anyway this is MY COUNTRY.. Uncle jo jo doesn't have a penny to his name, so even if you win in court what ya going get? nothing.

These same N.A.'s move there and hire your mother to cook, your sister to clean and your brother to take care of the yard. three jobs where there were none before. bad N.A'S. o but you pay nothing, 200.00 per month for each. well isn't that the price you work for? did anyone force you to work for that pay? In south africa it's around 1.50 per day.

Overall tourist and N.A that move there don't do any harm to your country, many of these people have money to spend in your country, they create jobs where there were none, they give money and their time to projects all over the country helping to better schools, roads, and the well being of many poor people that live there. When people fail many look to blame someone else, your country is in free fall and your looking to blame everything but the real reason.

Here in panama when a tourist is the target of a crime we take that VERY SERIOUSLY. a few years back a older couple was shot, the men who did it thought their car was bringing in a large cash payroll, they didn't know they had the wrong car which just happen to have two N.A. tourist in it. All three men were arrested the next day, the tourist who lived, had all their hospital bills paid and our president and our vice president went to see both of them in the hospital. Compare that to the french couple in C.R. your police said o they drown in a knee deep river case closed, and what about the rest of the tourist missing? ahhh they must have ahhh were looking into that..

you see every place has crime, but it's how that crime is handled that hurts or helps your country. In C.R. they don't care, and it's your fault you got hit, you were in the wrong place, you shouldn't have been out at that time, you shouldn't have been wearing a watch, you shouldn't have been at home, you shouldn't own a new car like that ect ect ect. where the value of the property is less than US$500 avoided prosecution. you see to them if I steal your watch that is worth less then 500.00 then it's not even a crime.

again this is my view based on what I have seen during time there, as well as well over a hundred people I have spoken too about c.r. who moved from there to here. You can spin it anyway you wish, but putting lip stick on a pig doesn't change it into a woman, it's still a pig.

Where do you live Ciudad Colon?

Maybe it just depends where you're at. Whats with the bashers anyway. Seems dollar for dollar by far the biggest thieves are the North Americans and foreigners. So maybe better if you don't come here. Unfortunately tourists seem to corrupt areas. Maybe take a look at your behavior and its effects, before you head to another country. In other words what can I do to make things better?


John, I live in panama, been many places before this one and I can tell you that this is the best pick from them all. crime here is low, they use the u.s. dollar, which to me isn't a plus but... gringos have been here for 100 years so they are use to us. we have the canal which brings in money so they don't need to tax you to death. our president went to college in the u.s. , our government is stable. we don't have a crack head problem here at all. You just don't see that here like in the u.s. which is one of the reasons the crime rate is so high in the u.s. now we do have tons of coke here but it's just passing us on its way to the u.s.

now it depends on what you like, but for me to move outside the city is best. three million people live here, which two million live in the city for work. so that leaves one million people spread out over the rest of this country. many things here are cheaper then the states. when was the last time you went out and had a good meal for 5.00 and with a pensionado your entitled to discounts on top of that. people here are friendly as well, like I stated they have seen gringos and lived by them for 100 years. If your single you won't be for long. you can hire a full time maid/cook for around 200.00 per month. medical services here are cheap and many doctors are u.s. trained. people here will go out of their way to help you. I have had flat tires and people stopped to fix it for me. just this week three of us were four wheeling out in the middle of no where, when my buddy flipped his, people just appeared out of the bush and helped us with him and the bike. the crime rate where I live is almost nothing. no one has ever been robbed on the streets, no one has ever been murdered or raped. again outside the city. you will find good size groups of expats in many of the towns outside of the city as well. homes can be found from 50k and up. there are condo projects going up along the ocean and I saw a sign the other day for a one bedroom unit starting in the 80k range. for a older person this isn't a bad deal at all, your in a condo, no yard work to deal with, your in a guarded area from gate to grounds, your in a building with a lot of other people, so you can make friends and never leave the place. you'll have a pool as well as other things right there to enjoy. that might fit you or you might be a loner type who loves to be in the woods.

Now i'm not trying to slap lipstick on a pig, there are draw backs to living in these places. first off this isn't florida. your not going to be able to drive down the road and find 10 malls. service here is bad. like if your cable goes out, they might come by in a day or two. It's a really slower paced place to be. any type of paperwork you might need will take a long time to get, so you'll have to grease the wheels a little bit to get your paperwork moving. it's just how things get done here. we have a huge police force, they don't pick on you, but if your speeding, or talking on the cell phone, or no seat belt or tags, you better bet your going to get a ticket. which you should. If your a meat lover, your in trouble. to me the meat here is tough and of course isn't the same taste as what your use to. your not going to find a fast food place down the road in many of these places, of course that's not really a bad thing to me, to some yes. and of course they are paperwork and stamp crazy down here, you can walk into a office in the states and get things done that day and fast. down here to get the same thing done requires you to go to three places and takes all day.

overall thou, and this is the way I see it, you can't beat this country. There must be truth to that, because thousands of americans have moved here, along with many moving out of c.r. to here. a few years ago, this country was being flooded with people from venezuela, all their rich were pulling out and moving here to protect their wealth and have a better place to call home.

what more could you ask for? we have mountians, big cities, two oceans, hiking trails, waterfalls, good roads, good weather, no storms hit us, friendly people, low crime, no crackheads stealing everything, hundreds of banks, wildlife, and good health care. down here if your in line at the bank and a older person comes in they allow that person to go in front of everyone. thats a level of respect you don't see in the u.s.

take a long look at this place, then come down and check it out, maybe rent a home while you see and test the water, I bet you'll find a spot to call home.. good luck whatever you do.

moving to Costa Rica

This was one fantastic post! I currently live in Florida and have been very busy putting everything together to apply for pensionado status for Costa Rica, but after reading your post, I just don't know. I have traveled throuighout Centra America and Mexico and was looking forward to this move. Now it seems like all the work I have done was a waste of time. The lower cost of living was only one reason why I wanted to move. I was also looking for a place where crime is not as bad as here in Florida. I was also looking for a place where people are friendlier, not as guarded all the time as they are here. All I hear lately is that crime is on the rise all over Central America and Mexico and that expats should all be very careful. I am no expert and don't want to sound like I am comparing what is going on in Central America to Florida, but it sounds like I would be leaving one crime and drug infested place for another, where foreigners are treated poorly. The main difference I see is that at least here the police will eventually show up! Am I wrong with this perception? Is there ANYPLACE in Central America anymore where these problems are not as serious as this post suggest. I am definitely not looking for a paradise, just a safe, friendly, peaceful place to live. Any thoughts? John

I have to agree with most of this

I have traveled Costa RIca 35 years, alot of changes, most due to trying to be too politically correct to the world. I did say trying. THe Days of Pura Vida are all but gone. I just returned from Colombia looking and I go to Panama Next. I am looking for Hotels , Restaurants, Tours, RE Markets to recommmend to Funrunners that are real and local owned . I am starting an online magazine aobut Costa RIca ,The Good the Bad and the Ugly . ANYONAE that wants to write a cloumn let me know. Crime is going ot get worse in Costa Rica and until they try and clean the police department of corruption. Yeah I know.
And as the Tico view. YOu could put 10 tico and 10 nica in a room and God himself would have a hard time sorting them out, but the look down so much on the Nica.
Costa Rica could rebound, but I am looking at other places as are many.

It was definitely time for you to move.

The same sourness comes from every country. Sure there are problems, but many times they are self-created. People move and it doesn't work out so the world is bad. Get a life.

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