RICO’s DIGEST – In this new book from Christopher Howard, learn about the gringo pioneers, the scoundrels and characters and events that led up to present day Costa Rica.
Starting in 1980, “The Costa Rica Chronicles from 1980 on: the good, bad and ugly people and places,” chronicles what really went on when San José was the epicenter of gringo and tico life.
In those days was a mixture of expats, the unwanted, fugitives from the law, politicians, adventure, a few entrepreneurs, with waring Central American neighbors and dictators, sizzling nightlife and the last trace of the country’s innocence.
Present day expats will see a sharp contrast to life in Costa Rica today.
Those who do not live here will be captivated by a long gone era.
Imagine being able to buy beachfront property for under US$20,000, virtually no traffic, dancing the night away surrounded by hundreds of people at a local dancehall or disco, no Internet or cable TV, expats being somewhat of a novelty, very little tourism, unpaved roads with pot holes, meeting real soldiers of fortune, the president roaming freely on a morning walk with no security, old-time movie houses, very few products from the United States, watching a soccer game at the dilapidated National Stadium in the Sabana Park, making the trip on the famous “Jungle Train” from San José to the city of Limón on the east coast, no high rise buildings dotting San José’s skyline, downright good living and a country with an impeccable reputation.
Add to this a country that possessed the warmth and spiciness of Mexico, without anti-Americanism — Costa Ricans have always liked and welcomed Americans — the overpowering beauty of Guatemala, without soldiers on every corner, no army whatsoever, and the casual sophistication of Brazil without the violence and abject poverty.
Costa Rica was ripe for an influx of gringos once discovered, with its graciousness, a growing middle class with a better than 90-percent literacy rate and a government that remained coup-free for years without an army.
Christopher has been a paid consultant for National Geographic in Costa Rica, columnist for QCostaRica, and the Association of Residents of Costa Rica’s (ARCR) magazine, El Residente.
He is the author of 15 guidebooks about living in Latin America including the 19th edition of The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica —the official guide to relocation and is a Costa Rican citizen who has actually lived here full time for 40 years.
It is not surprising, therefore, that he is considered the foremost expert on all areas of living and in Costa Rica. He conducts award-winning and time-tested monthly relocation tours for those who want to move here: see www.liveincostarica.com
The eBook version of “The Costa Rica Chronicles from 1980 on: the good, bad and ugly people and places,” ISBN 1-881233-75-8 by Christopher Howard, is now available for $11.99 from Costa Rica Books (www.costaricabooks.com).