Saturday 25 September 2021

[BLOG] What in the heck is the Farándula?

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If you listen to the news in Spanish or know enough Spanish to read the Diario Extra you may have seen or heard the word “farándula.” La farándula” is the nightlife scene consisting of figures from business, sports, politics, modeling, entertainment and beautiful people. I guess you could say it is sort of like Costa Rica’s version of the “Jet Set.”

Syl-Jiménez-300x193Those who participate in this strange social scene are called faranduleros. The verb farandulear means to hang out, make the scene or participate in one the activities where this clique gathers.

As I mentioned there are some local celebrities who make up this group but there is also a handful of  social climbers  and wannabes who want to make some contacts or rub shoulders with or get their picture taken with the local celebrities.

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Most of the prominentfigures who attend the farádula’s events like the opening of a mall or new restaurant are only famous on a local level and nobody knows about them in other countries. They are kind of like “big fish in a little pond.” This whole phenomenon reminds me of something out of the TV show Keeping up with the Kardasians,  which I would not waste my time watching.

The best place to see photos of the faráduleros is in the Friday edition of the Diario Extra newspaper. There is a section called Tía Zelmira  where you read about all of the gossip (chismes), anecdotes, and activities of this group of socialites. There is even a gallery of photos on a page called Zelmirazos, where you can catch a glimpse of this cast of local characters participating in different events .

The description above  of the farándula and how it operates  is an example of one of the nuances of Costa Rican culture.  I doubt that any retirees or expats hang out with this group of people but I think it is important to know what the farádula is and how it operates if you really want to learn about the country. By the way, my wife had a friend who was one of Costa Rica’s biggest models. She invited me to hang out with some of her faranduleros friends so I could make some connections. I politely thanked her and  said that it was not something that would interest me. “Cada loco con su tema“…To each his own.

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Christopher Howard
Christopher Howard has lived, worked and played in one of the most magical places on earth for more than 33 years. His love for Central America is so great that he became a citizen of Costa Rica. Howard is the author the perennial best-selling travel/retirement/overseas investment guide book (15 editions), The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. He is the only author of any of the guidebooks about Costa Rica who actually lives there full-time. You can reach Howard at

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