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10 good things that happened in Costa Rica during 2019

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10 good things that happened in Costa Rica during 2019
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  1. In order to promote more tourism, the Costa Rican government finally created and will finance a nation lifeguard (guardavidas or salvavidas in Spanish) service. Until now the country’s lifeguards were supported by private donations and organizations. Costa Rica has many pristine beaches but some have large waves and a strong undertow, making lifeguards necessary
  2. Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado, was selected by Time Magazine as one of the most 100 influential people in the world. This honor was bestowed upon him for being a leader in the field of combating climate change. By the year 2035, 70 percent of the country’s buses will be electric making the country less dependent on fossil fuels.
  3. The country’s milestone of almost 100 percent renewable energy and progress in reforestation have been recognized by many international organizations. In addition, our nation broke a record for 300 days of renewable energy of which 99.6 percent was generated a combination of solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind.
  4. Costa Rica appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records for collecting 80 tons of plastic bottles and containers in 8 hours.
  5. Electric rental bicycles are now available in Costa Rica with several companies offering this service. Electric scooters rentals will come soon. The cost of renting a bicycle is around one US $1.00 dollar per hour. The number of bike paths has grown but more are need. Where there are no bicycle paths, cyclists (cleteros in Costa Rica) now have the legal right to ride in the the middle of a lane just like a car or truck, as long the posted speed limit is less than 80 kilometers per hour (50 MPH).
  6. According to the organization GOBankingRates, Costa Rica is #49 on the list of the richest countries in the world according to the its Gross Domestic Product (PIB or producto interno bruto in Spanish). GOBankingRates complied its data with information from both the International Monetary Fund and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. The study found Puerto Rico to be the richest country in Latin America. The wealthiest in the world was Luxembourg.
  7. Costa Rica’s public Internet wins praise. Wi Fi Now, an organization based in London, awarded Costa Rica the prize “Conectividad Asequible (Affordable Connectivity) for its free public Internet. The country now has 227 free WIFI spots in parks, libraries and public institutions.
  8. On no! Kim Kardashian wants to buy a vacation home here. Kim and her brood have visited Costa Rica on several occasions and just love the country. Great publicity for the country, but I’d prefer that none of the Kardashians move here.
  9. With so many U.S. food chains moving here, it comes as no surprise that the Olive Garden planes to open a couple of restaurants. The market is very competitive and several chains have pulled up stakes and left the country. Nevertheless, many have survived and Oliver Garden will now be one more on the list of choices.
  10. I saved this for last since in concerns food. When I relocated here 40 years ago the country was really different. Grocery stores had a very limited selection and food items from the U.S. were almost non-existent. Now all that has changed. Between Walmart, Pricesmart, and the Automercado, almost anything from the good old U.S. can be found here. The good news is that every year more food products form the U.S. are become available.

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