Occasionally, I come across good articles about living in Costa Rica that are written by insightful and knowledgeable expats. This one is from my friend Rico’s column TICO BULL. Retirees who live in Costa Rica are quick to notice these cultural differences and find most of them hard to comprehend. They have to realize that the local culture will not adapt them, so they will have to adjust to living here or be unhappy. Despite the fact that these idiosyncrasies may seem very strange to foreigners, there are many more good things than bad about living in Costa Rica.
Comment by Christopher Howard
The following list is a generalization, though, so obviously doesn’t apply to all Americans and Canadians.
Each culture is different. American and Canadian culture has a few things that other cultures view negatively. But there are always reasons behind cultural differences.
As an Italian, for example, we are loud, especially among a group of friends. Americans and Canadians love their large personal space. Costa Ricans and most Latin Americans can’t understand stand. Nor Europeans for that matter.
In addition, the majority of Americans, Canadians and Europeans have a level of personal honesty and integrity not always seen in Costa Rica, despite Ticos adopting much of North American and European cultures. An example of that is eating at a mall food court, but ladies won’t hang their purse or he his backpack on the back of the chair.
Living in a home with huge windows with no bars is unheard of, unless living in a gated community, but even then it won’t be surprising that someone will put up bars. For example, as I write this, I am looking out of my big glass window onto my yard, about 30 meters from the street. The window has bars, but I refuse to put up razor wire on the metal fence. I have dogs.
In closing, generalizations can be helpful, but they need to be understood for their limitations. Each culture has beauty if you’ll take the time to look, adapt and adopt the “pura vida”.