10 reasons why you should never invite a Tico to your home


The Spanish magazine Matador Network published a few years back its 12 reasons why people should not invite a Costa Rican (Tico) to their home.

The article, first published in November 2016, is not to take cheap shots at Ticos, rather the writer, Sergio Otegui who usually writes about Costa Rica, and Yogevett Cañas, who says she is more Tica than Pura Vida, focus on highlighting Tico culture.

The list from contributions by “explorers, linguists, entrepreneurs, writers, filmmakers, photographers, activists and adventurers” can still apply today. For example, Ticos being perpetually late for just about everything.

I’ve updated it, listing 10 reasons why you should never invite a Tico – this includes Tica  and Ticos –  to your home:


A Tico will tell you that he will arrive at a certain hour, but perhaps it is at tico time

Although Ticos are not overly proud of this, they usually leave everything to the last minute and be somewhat unpunctual. They can tell you that they are running a little late and will arrive in 5 minutes, but you will see how a half an hour, or an hour or more will pass while still waiting for them. So much so that they have their own time, “la hora tica” (tico time), which makes the time a relative concept. Despite this, if a Tico says He/She/They will arrive, He/She/They is sure to arrive … late.

A Tico will ask you to “regala” them everything

When the Ticos go to buy something, they rarely say will you sell me; naturally they ask for anything, in any place, with the expression “me regala” – give me. Of course, things are not going to be taken without paying, that is just their way of asking. So if they are in your house and they ask you to give them something to eat, it is not that they are going to take your cutlery and your dishes, it is that they are simply a little hungry and the custom is to say “regalame”.

When you offer a Tico something to drink, the first option will be a “natural” (100% fresh).

For the Tico, a “natural” is a juice made with mora (blackberry), cas, piña (pineapple), mango, sandia (watermelon), fresa (strawberry) or any other fruit of those found at any time in the supermarket or pulperia (corner store). But beware! The fruit must be peeled, squeezed or liquefied shortly before serving it. That is, forget about offering them a fruit concentrate from the supermarket … because you can offend.

A Tico will make you feel older than you are or you will come to think you lack good manners next to one of them

It is that Ticos always refer to you as “usted” (oos-tehd)to convey the formality of a relationship. , the formal of ‘you’, regardless of your age. Hopefully, they will refer to you in the “Tú” less formal than usted.  Ticos, in general, do not use “vos” as in other parts of Latin America. To understand this better, the Tú is used in familiar, friendly or when talking to someone of the same age, the same social, or educational level.  In addition, Ticos will always ask with “por favor” (please) and a “gracias” (thank you). They will also ask you for permission before entering your home or getting up from the table. And you may feel that you should learn from their good manners.

Even if there are other guests in the house and they don’t know them, a Tico will talk to them as if they were lifelong friends

If there is something that characterizes the Tico, it is his kindness, his hospitality … either with the bus driver, the baker in the corner or anyone who asks for the time on the street. The Tico talks a lot, and although he doesn’t know who the person he is addressing, he will always try to warm up with a pleasant conversation and create a pleasant atmosphere.


The Tico will touch on thorny issues… like fútbol (soccer)

What if Saprissa, La Liga, Heredia, Cartago, or Madrid; It doesn’t matter, the Tico always knows something about fútbol and likes to discuss it. Costa Rica is a fanatic country of this sport, where the national classics are lived with much fervor and the games of La Sele (national team) unite all Costa Ricans. And since Keylor Navas represents them abroad, Tico eyes are set, now more than ever, on the European game. Also, do not be surprised if from one moment to another a Tico invites you to play a mejenga (a pickup game between friends), so you better be fit.

It will not take long for a Tico to comment that in their country they have no army and that they are the happiest country in the world.

The Ticos can claim to be, since 1948, one of the few countries that do not have any type of armed forces. Nor does it seem necessary, since the country topped the Happy Planet Index on several occasions in the past few years.

If you get the talk about your last vacation, a Tico will let you know quickly that in a weekend in Costa Rica it is possible to go from the beach to the mountain, with a stopover at a volcano.

Costa Rica is a small country in extension, but large in resources, because thanks to its location and its tropical climate it has a great biodiversity. So, for a Tico, the idea of leaving home to a paradise beach, touring a cloud forest or visiting one of the many volcanoes in the land, is not far fetched. It is indeed something you can do in relatively little time. Despite its size, there is much to see in Costa Rica.

“I ate it…I ate the wasp…I ate it…all protein”, said former President Luis Guillermo Solis as he swallowed a wast during a speech.

Killing that strange bug or animal in your home is nothing to a Tico


If your house party lasts until breakfast time (the next day), the Tico will wait for a plate of pinto and accompanied by a cup of “yodo” (coffee)

The gallo pinto is a typical Costa Rican breakfast that for many, is more than breakfast. That dish of rice and beans (not to be confused with the plate “rice and beans” traditionally fond in Limón) with a dab of Sala Lizano, an egg, natilla (custard), Turrialba cheese, plátano maduro (plantain or green banana) and a cup of coffee, will surely make you start the PURA VIDA day!

If you think there some Tico customs lacking, post your comments to our official Facebook page.

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