QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s new twenty rojos* bill was rolled out, circulating in the country on Thursday. And though they may be flashier, made of resistant plastic, wholly millennial and shining (chaneado in Spanish), but it is not enough to buy as much as a ‘Tejita’ (little slice) paper note from the seventies.
Thanks to a digital tool from elfinancierocr.com, we were able to identify a ‘Tejita’ bill from the seventies, specifically from 1977, which represented the ¢20,000 colones plastics of today.
So far all equal.
However, at a closer comparison, in the seventies in Costa Rica, that humble 100 colones paper note from ’77, went a lot farther than the shiny, flashier, modern ¢20,000.
A document entitled “Basic Costa Rican Basket”, published in 1980 by Sandra Murillo and Leonardo Mata, from the Health Research Institute of the University of Costa Rica (INISA), showed us the prices in Tiquicia in the Seventies.
In 1980, the dollar exchange was 8.5 colones to one US dollar. By the end of 1982, the Rodrigo Carazo, the exchange shot up to almost 40 colones to one US dollar.
In that golden age, for 5.45 colones (6 in rural areas) you could fill the shopping basked with a carton of milk, 30 eggs, meat, beans, a variety of fruits & vegetables, bananas and plantains, yuca (cassava), camote (sweet potato), ñampí (Chamol o Malanga), tiquisque elephant ear), rice, bread, tortillas, butter or oil, coffee, and even soft drinks.
Today, in 2020, that shiny new 20 rojos is not enough.
And that is why older Costa Ricans maintain a fondness for those old bills.
Costa Rica’s new money.
The ¢20,000 note went into circulation on November 26.
The features of Costa Rica’s new money.
The ¢10,000, ¢5,000, ¢2,000 and ¢1,000 will be in circulation in 2021.
*A rojo is used in Costa Rica to denote the ¢1,000 colones bill that is red in color