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Friday 12 October 2007

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Blues in the Boondocks
By Christopher Howard M.A.

For the past 25 years I have been helping people relocate to Costa Rica. During that time I have had the opportunity to observe where people settle and how they fare in different areas of the country.

About 80 percent of my clients stay in the Central Valley in areas like Escazú, Santa Ana and Cariari, Heredia and Alajuela. Most of them have selected these places because of the amenities they offer such as good housing in the paths of progress, proximity of private hospitals , emergency health care and private ambulance services, high-speed Internet, good shopping, entertainment and other intangibles. The majority of people are happy and found what they wanted in Costa Rica.

The remaining 20 percent of the people moved to the beach, remote areas of the Central Valley or other parts of the country. About ten percent of this group adjusted well to living in more isolated situations. They are a special breed who don't need the stimulation and comforts found in the Central Valley near the major cities. I have several friends who live in the beautiful Dominical four hours form San José and just love the laid back lifestyle.

However, one thing I have observed over the years is that a good number of the people who more to the outlying areas really get bored. At first they think that will be happy being "away from it all." But after a while the lack of stimulation and variety of things to do starts to wear on them. They quickly realize that they made a mistake and chose to move closer to major towns and cities. Often they find exit strategy difficult because they have purchased property in areas out of the path of development.

I even have a Costa Rican friend who is a realtor and move to a beach in Guanacaste and almost went off the deep end. She stated, "Everything is a pain in the neck here. I have to drive 20 minutes just to go shopping and there is absolutely no local entertainment."

Conversely, there are a few cases where people who tire of living near cities and choose to move to the countryside. However, this scenario is the exception and not the rule.

 
 

 
 
 

 

 

 

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