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Costa Rica Anyone?

 
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Has anyone here been to Costa Rica (Central America)?

It's a peaceful democracy and I understand very friendly to Americans (or I guess to anyone carrying American dollars).

I have two good friends that tell me they are treated almost like royalty when they go there.

They are both male and single so... I ask of you...
 
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Some folks from our office go occasionally. They recommend tipping the guys with the automatic weapons to watch your rental car. Somehow their stories didn't make me want to go.
 
Tony Alicea
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From what I hear, that sounds more like Honduras. Are you sure your acquaintances didn't mean another country?
 
Tony Alicea
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Another thing is: I would not want to visit a country that I didn't speak the language (of).

I am fluent in Spanish (and English) so I could go to all countries in South America except Brazil :-)

And Australia and England too...
[ October 04, 2006: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]
 
Tony Alicea
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I could go to all countries in South America except Brazil...

Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
Because they speak Brazilian there, right!?

 
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Costa Rica is a peaceful country. There is no army since 1948, when it was abolished and it is a centenarian democracy. Our current presindent was granted the Nobel Prize of the Peace. The money that other countries spend in armies, in Costa Rica is invested in education. We have one of the greatest level of education of the region.

Tourism is one of the main sources of income of the country and therefore most tourists are treated pretty well everywhere they go.

People is reknown for their hospitality and great part of the country is composed of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. That and the beatiful beaches are important reasons why people from abroad come to visit.

Another important reason is that life here is much more inexpensive than in other countries, like the US. Many americans and europeans like to come to spend their dollars and euros here because they can get many fancy things here that in their countries could be much more expensive.

The level of English of the population has been increasing rapidly over the last years due to the international trade agreements the country has made with the US. Also because the proximity and the lower costs many american companies have initiated operations here.

I work at HP Costa Rica, we also have Intel over here, where my brother used to work, and Procter and Gamble and Microsoft and Oracle and many more.

In the interest of attracting all this investmentst the ticos (as Costa Ricans call themselves) do great efforts to make the country a nice place for all tourists from all parts of the world.

You can enjoy the beauty of the rain forests, the rafting, you can know severel of our active volcanoes, you can visit dozens of National Parks and Wild Life Reserves, kilometer and kilometer of beatiful beaches.

Hundreds of beach hotels in both costs and mountain hotels along the central mountain chain will be more than willing to attend you as a member of the royal family as you said.

The country is just 52 thousand square kilometers and we have coasts in both, the Pacific and the Atlantic. In a couple of hours you can go from the mountains to the beaches. And in less than a day you can go from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In a blink of an eye you can enjoy the heat of the beach or the cold breeze of the mountains.

I am a Costa Rican, I can tell you, my country is beatiful, I would not change a handful of my land for any other land in the world.

I am surprised for what Mr. Stan James said. That did not sound like my country. But if you, Mr James, ever were over here, and such things did happen to you and offended you. I humbly apologize to you in behalf of all my brothers!
[ October 04, 2006: Message edited by: Edwin Dalorzo ]
 
Tony Alicea
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Edwin:

No sabes lo feliz que me hace leerte.

TRANSLATION: Edwin: You don't know how happy it makes me to read you.

At the next available time I WANT to visit your country. I speak the language, by the way...

SALUDOS,

Tony
 
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I'd strongly recommend taking Edwin's word over mine, which was second hand from some who may have enjoyed exaggerating? I don't know what cities or areas they went to, but they did have a nice time, travelled around some after work.
 
Tony Alicea
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Stan: Thanks for your polite post
 
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Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
Another thing is: I would not want to visit a country that I didn't speak the language (of).

I guess that would depend on what you're doing there, and where you're going. While it is great to be able to speak a bit of the language used in a place you visit, it need not be a problem if you don't in many places. For example, in a great many countries in Europe people speak enough English to have simple conversations with you.

A couple of years ago I spent a weekend in Stockholm and was a bit nervous about going because I didn't speak a word of Swedish. It turned out that the Swedes not only all seem to know English to a very good level, but also all enjoyed the chance to practice it. Given that you know English and Spanish, there's probably not many places you can go in the West where people cannot communicate with you! It may be a bit different in other places like the far east though.
 
Tony Alicea
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I guess that I just want not to look like "The Ugly American" Ha ha! (I would need plastic surgery for it.)!

No; it's just that the same way I believed (probably erroneously) when I was in my 20s, that "americans" (hey, I am one!) visiting Puerto Rico should learn Spanish, I would also like to speak the language of any country that I visit.

This comes from somewhere; I remember an incident in which now I admit I was wrong...

While at my first job, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (operated by Cornell U.) there was this grad student summer intern from some univ. in the mainland and she had to be taken for some reason to emergency at a local hospital. Days later she complained during lunch to the rest of us (mainlanders and locals like myself) that one of the attendants in that hospital "didn't even know English".

I acted in a defensive manner and told her that they only needed to speak Spanish.

I now regret having said that because Puerto Rico is part of the USA. And English requires to be taught until the first two years after the University.

That's right: BY LAW English must be taught in schools if you want to graduate from high school. And that's a GOOD thing.

I confess that I was "left-leaning" in my younger years. Almost socialist! Not anymore And for a long time.
[ October 05, 2006: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]
 
Tony Alicea
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And as some of you didn't ask, and as something that I'd like to say "before I die'...

At the Univ of Puerto Rico in the late 1960s and early 1970s you started (in your freshman year) reading the socialist tabloid "Claridad" and by graduation time you were reading "Business Week". I called it natural evolution.
 
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