Costa Rica Has Changed, But More The Type of Foreigners That Are Here Now


TICO BULL – For those of us who have been in Costa Rica for a long time, almost two decades for yours truly, we have seen the changes, from what Costa Rica was, to what it is. Yes, we bitch and complain, but…we stay.

In his rant on social media, a longtime Costa Rica expat (his name wittheld at his request) posted this, and it is so right on.

The Rant: when I arrived in Costa Rica 19 years ago I considered this place to be pretty amazing, and it still is. People that have been here as long as I have, bitch and complain about all the changes. It has changed, but what has changed more than anything is the type of foreigners that are here now.

The original Costa Rica, ticos, beaches, waves, nature, food, culture, and pura vida have not changed much. What has changed is the type of foreigners that frequent or live here.

When I first got here, all the complaints that we have now where here then, but we overlooked the faults for all the rewards. But the people that come here have changed a lot.

Back then we where renegades, backpackers, adventurers, wanderers, soul surfers, misfits, it was the home of the wanted and unwanted, a sunny place for shady people. We came here because we where unhappy with the status quo , we wanted something different, and we where happy to find it, and we did, so we stayed.

There was no Brie cheese or genoa salami, but we didn’t care, we had something different. A different life. No worries, pura vida. We would go to the public pay phone once every few months and check in with anybody in the states that gave a crap. Life was good, the fellow expats where all stoked.

Now, the old timers are harping about the brothers and the way things used to be. The newbies are all self righteous and defend muricuh. The renegades and adventurers have taken off for Asia, Africa, Ecuador, Columbia, somewhere off the beaten path.

I drive down formerly remote parts of the coast and see baby boomer grandma bird watchers with telescopic lenses wearing Patagonia, and surf the Internet filled with bitter millionaires that have no respect for the country that they have no understanding of. Bitter that it’s not more like the country they left.

People that come from a career or mind set of war to enjoy the peace of a country that has no army and has been in no war for a century, then insist that war is necessary.

People that come and use the caja (socialized medicine) and then scoff at the idea of implementing it in the United States.

Papagayo, Four Seasons, Hermosa Heights, Escazu, Santa Ana, all filled with million dollar homes. The Central Valley filled with $100,000 cars financed to the hilt by locals imitating their mockers.

There was a time when anybody I ran into that spoke the same language as me, appreciated life the way I do.

Now, that’s hard to find.

I am sure there are a small handful of people that know exactly what I am talking about, but there are far more that think what I am saying is total billshit. But that’s just the way it is. Pura vida cara pichas!

Pig lovers, war mongers and muricuh lovers (aka conservatives) if you love it so much, why did you leave? ‪#‎iylismwdyl‬?

Written by Rico


"In my spare time I'm a really nice guy!" RICO is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion to present reality as he sees it!

  • Karen Mata

    Good point, Rico.

    One or the changes, I believe, started in 2008 with the baby boomers reaching retirement age. The colon stopped appreciating at that time too, coincidentally.

    I first arrived in CR back in 1991. I had traveled extensively, but CR was something fresh and new. I loved it and moved the family in 95.

    I too noticed the changes, and by 2011 had had enough, and moved just over the border to Panama. Although I find the people equally as nice I will most likely return. There´s no place like home. There´s no place like home, as Judy Garland said.