Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Let’s talk about Costa Rica instead of ranting about how bad it is “back home.”

(EXPAT FOCUS) Let’s talk about Costa Rica instead of ranting about how bad it is “back home.” It’s easy to get carried away prognosticating about America and how bad things are there now and projecting even worse for the future.

The situation is not improving… it is not getting better and more and more people are saying “what the hell, just let a few old people die…It’s worth it to get back to normal.”

The countries that handled the situation correctly are recovering… those who didn’t… well, let’s see how a second wave looks.

The biggest problem of all is that no one really knows what to believe any longer. That ain’t gonna change for a long, long time.

- paying the bills -

Back to Costa Rica.

No one likes the mandatory lockdowns, closures, and lack of tourists but guidelines and rules are, for the most part, being followed. There is very little complaining even though a substantial number of the population is currently “out of work” and without a paycheck.
Schools are closed and everything now is virtual… but there are very few smiles these days and it is becoming tedious, boring, and certainly no fun for anyone.

But everyone accepts the rules. “It is what it is.” No strikes, no violence, no rioting.

Is Costa Rica “that different?”

Most of us know that teachers in Costa Rica and taxi drivers go on strike… and they have their own unions and they almost always get concessions when the strike because the country cannot live without their services… AND because it is accepted.

- paying the bills -

But… other than most Costa Ricans being more passive and less angry… more easy going… no one can really predict what will happen if the borders remain closed for “too long”… and no, no one can predict what “too long” means. There are virtually no “subsidies” here and no help from the government monetarily.

In fact, the opposite is the case… the government monetarily is in crisis mode, virtually being unable to borrow additional funds to keep the very doors open ( its bonds were recently downgraded to the lowest possible investment grade last week )… and it is raising prices and taxes wherever possible… but the problem is that most people cannot even afford to eat. So the extra charges on water and electric as well as other taxes will essentially go unpaid.

But one of the biggest unspoken fears is Nicaragua.

No… not the fear of being invaded or even primarily of infections from across the border. The real question is “ when it comes time to pick the sugar cane or coffee or tend the crops, WHO will do it?”

Exports are a huge part of the country’s income… but Nicaragua provides nearly all of the manual labor to keep the wheels turning.

No one has an answer yet for this one. Without the income from tourism and exports… the country loses a substantial amount of its revenues.

- paying the bills --

Will crime increase? Will the borders open soon? Will there be a substitute for workers from Nicaragua or will they be allowed to enter and resume work with an examination of health? Will the government be forced to borrow additional funds forcing them into even more concessions… either from traditional sources OR from China?

Will there be an increase in crime as many predict? We have already seen hints of it happening. Will many of the expats leave as prices are being raised and crime is increasing… and take their money with them?

And lastly… will the people of Costa Rica demonstrate for an end to the lockdowns, the lack of money and an unsure future? … like much of the rest of the world?

Stay tuned.

Randy Berg
Randy Berg
My name is Randy Berg … and I am, I guess, officially an “old guy”. Now, my best guess is that you are thinking something along the lines of “why should I give a sh.. ?” And you will have to be the judge of that as one of the editors of this online “newspaper” asked me if I wish to contribute my writings. And no, that does not mean that you will like my writing. But I hope you do… and I want to start by telling you that my writing is a little different than most. I don’t use flowery language and I usually write too much on each subject, mainly because I don’t know of any other way to write. It is what it is. I write from the heart and I tell it exactly as I see it.

Related Articles

Types of Expats in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA EXPAT FOCUS - Expats in Costa Rica are of all...

Legislators present proposal to attract pensioners, investors and rentiers to Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) Three legislators propose creating incentives to attract investors, pensioners and...


Protesters maintain blockade in Perez

QCOSTARICA  - Despite the announcement last night by the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP) that all the blockades in the country were lifted, a...

Six former presidents give support to the Government and democratic institutions

QCOSTARICA - Six former presidents of Costa Rica expressed their support for the Government of Carlos Alvarado, the Fuerza Publica (National Police) and the...

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 2,799 new cases in last 72 hours; hospitalizations climbs

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Health reports 2,799 new cases in the last 72 hours, for a total now of 90,235, and the number...

Tickets issued for not buckling up and use of cell phone at the wheel increased this year

QCOSTARICA - The increase in the number of fines issued for not wearing a seat belt and using a cell phone behind the wheel...

First two minors die with COVID-19 in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Seven months after the first case of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, we have the death of the first two minors. In the epidemiological...

The Marchamo dilemma

OPINION - In less than two weeks, on November 1, unless there is a setback, the 2021 Marchamo goes on sale. Some publications on social...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.