In the States, meeting the president is no easy task. You can’t just walk up to him at a convention, he’s always surrounded by bodyguards, there is always security everywhere to pull you back if you get too close.
It’s a damn big deal if you get a picture with him and get to shake his hand.
I grew up in the States so I’ve always had this mindset that the president is strictly off limits. You’d have to win a special award or something to get a chance to meet him or be one of the few lucky ones taking a tour of the White House during Christmas and he decides to surprise his guests.
It’s just not normal.
I’ve lived in Costa Rica for over a year and the mindset of the people here is completely different when it comes to politics, lifestyle, and family perspectives. When you hear that Costa Ricans are very pura vida, it’s so true.
Ticos are probably one of the friendliest people on the planet.
They don’t ever want to offend anyone, never want to be on anyone’s bad side and even though they can talk a lot of BS, they’ll never lash out and they’re incredibly forgiving.
Like Yeison says, they talk a lot of blah blah blah but never go any further than that. Their culture is so warm, sweet and loving that you can’t help but want to hug and kiss everyone you meet, it rubs off!
So imagine my reaction when we heard on the news that President Laura Chinchilla was coming to Playas del Coco for the inauguration of the new community center.
“That’s awesome, is she going to have a ceremony and make a speech?” I asked Yeison.
“No I think she’s just here to visit Coco and hang out for a bit,” he replied.
“Want to meet her?” He said that so casually as if it was like meeting his cousin.
“How? How will you know where she is or are they going to set up some sort of meet and greet?”
Now Yeison looked at me like I was crazy. “Meet and greet? Uh no, we can just go catch up with her at La Corrida.” (La Corrida is their rodeos here)
As we watched the little kids’ parade in downtown Coco, I was still thinking that he couldn’t be completely right.
I could just walk up to her? This is something unheard of and unspoken of in the States. No way in hell would you just be able to walk up to the President as he’s strolling down the street, say what’s up and snap a photo. Not without going through a hundred security detectors and guards first, watching your every move.
Plus he probably wouldn’t be allowed to just walk down the street by himself in any city!
I remember one time when President Obama was in Seattle. I was downtown with one of my friends and we kept hearing rumors that he was in one particular building eating lunch where we were. Intrigued, we ended up staying there for almost 2 hours, hoping to catch a glimpse. Instead, all we saw were big guys in black uniforms pointing guns everywhere and speculated that they did that just to throw us off so nobody could find out where he actually was.
Meeting the President of Costa Rica
As we walked to the rodeo towards Playa Ocotal, Yeison went up to the police officers standing around and asked when the president was coming. Around 6 they told us and that she’d be here just for an hour or so, coming with a couple friends so watch out for a line of a few SUVs.
As Yeison reported this information back to me, my disbelief just grew. The police officers just casually told him where, when, how long, what kind of car and who she was coming with as if it was no big deal.
A SUV? Not a bullet proof, radio wave proof limousine with three other getaway cars? They must be joking. There wasn’t even any security around. Granted, Costa Rica doesn’t have an army but I could count the number of police officers on two hands, there were no blockades or barricades, no metal detectors.
The couple of officers standing at the entrance of the road were just drinking some Coca Cola, nodding their head saying pura vida to everyone who came by. Nobody checked my purse, nobody was patted down and we kept our water bottles.
The sun went down and night time started falling upon us. Soon after we saw a couple of blue flashing lights and one officer told us to move from the middle of the road. I counted two officers on motorcycles, five SUVs and two police cars trailing at the end.
I started getting excited. I never thought I’d meet any sort of president and although I’m not Costa Rican, she is still the president and I couldn’t wait to see if I could actually meet her.
I’m pretty sure I was more excited than many of the Ticos there! (She didn’t have a very good approval rating during her presidency.)
Thinking of possible ways to approach her, I looked at Yeison to ask him but he was already on the move. Taking my hand, we walked up to the car she was getting out of, greeted her (of course with a pura vida) and asked if it was OK if she could take a picture with me. She looks at me and with a big smile says Si claro!
Standing a couple inches away from her I just smiled back and posed for the photo. “Gracias pura vida!” President Chinchilla said to both of us and shook our hands. Then she went on her way to greet the children performing and the various people who were standing around.
I just met the president of Costa Rica and all I had to do was say pura vida.
I was dumbstruck. I watched as she shook hands, gave kisses and greeted everybody. Although she hasn’t had the biggest approval rating during her term (9%), people still respected her. They’re not putting on a show just because she’s the president but because Ticos will always respect and show love.
After a few minutes, we wandered into the stadium and took a seat with our friends. I was so proud of myself and couldn’t wait to tell my parents.
As they introduced President Chinchilla to the stadium, I was prepared for a speech.
Instead, she just gave a wave and sat down. “No speech?” my Italian friend asked me. “That would never happen in Italy!”
She was just as amazed as I was. Italy was like the States, the president came with huge bodyguards and ton of security and always had to make a big show. Completely and totally opposite of Costa Rica.
One slightly inebriated man who was walking around on the field shouted something and started climbing the stadium towards the president! When he got to the top, he got out his cell phone and asked for her to come take a picture with him which she gladly did.
“What? Nobody is going to arrest him?” my Italian friend exclaimed again. Doesn’t look like it. This is exactly what I would expect if somebody climbed the building to reach the president in the States. He’d either get tased or tackled and then arrested.
But in Costa Rica, they have no reason to see citizens as a threat. Instead, they help them climb to the top, smile and take a picture with them and let them go on their way. How amazing is that?
The president said a few words after the performance thanking Coco and praising Guanacaste. As the bull riding started, I expected her to leave (but my expectations were all wrong tonight).
Instead, she stayed for the first 7 bulls taking photos and videos, clapping and cheering along with the rest of us. Check out her Twitter account, you’ll see all the photos she tweeted from that night!
What a surreal experience. Everything I was used to, everything I’ve seen on TV or heard about on the news when it comes to the president visiting was nothing like what I saw that night. It opened up my eyes to so many differences and a new way of thinking.
They don’t see the president as some sort of god or celebrity. She’s a person, just like the rest of them and that’s their normal way to see it like that.
To be honest, I find it very sad that the main reason why the president of many countries has so much security, body guards, even body doubles is because well, it’s dangerous for them to be by themselves. There are people out there who would take that chance to hurt them.
President Laura Chinchilla had no body guards, she just walked up to people, we walked up to her with no problem at all. Nobody stunned us, nobody arrested us. For Yeison, this was so normal for him. Security checks and metal detectors? Unheard of. No attempted assassinations, not even a shoe thrown. Ever.
That’s when it hit me. Peace. This is what a peaceful country looks like.
Sure Costa Rica still has their own problems. No country is perfect but how many times have you heard about other countries hating Costa Rica or any terrorist group planning to attack them? Not too many.
How many times have you heard that Costa Rica is one of the happiest places in the world or that Ticos are some of the nicest people ever? Nearly always. Everybody loves Costa Rica! Why else do you think so many expats from all over the world move here to live the pura vida lifestyle?
This was probably one of the most eye opening experiences I’ve ever had in my life and I think one of the most important.
I’m so incredibly grateful to live in a country where they put important figureheads AND animals on their currency, who hasn’t had an army in over 50 years and whose humble people truly know how to be happy and how to love. And where you can just walk up to the president with no problem!
Costa Rica has taught me so much in a short period of time about what the true meaning of happiness is and how to simplify your life. Costa Ricans understand the value of spending quality time, enjoying life and putting stress behind them because in the end, life is short and you’ll miss out on so much if you don’t learn to appreciate what you already have.
Thanks President Laura Chinchilla for being a cool lady and snapping a photo with me, a young Asian American still finding her way in this world. In the one minute that it took, I learned something so valuable and important that will stick with me for the rest of my life. And thank you to all the Costa Ricans who know how to live life the best they can, you’re a tremendous example to all the rest of us who don’t have that mindset…yet.
Todd M says
Ha! I had read about that guy climbing up to see the president in the tico times. Hard to believe you were there too. Small world. If you enjoy light reading, revolution and Costa Rican politics, you should check out “Married to a Legend: My Life with Don Pepe”. There is also a documentary made about the book. Both were fascinating. -Cheers
Suzanne Fluhr says
9% approval rating? Wow. That’s as low as the approval rating of the Congress of the United States. But, it seems that the people still respect her position which is how it should be in a democracy. I have made only one visit to Costa Rica, but I hope to return and maybe even meet la presidenta!
Wow, I just bumped onto your blog while looking around Costa Rica topic. You had a great luck. With every piece of information I find on the topic the more I want to go there 🙂
What an awesome post! It tells a lot about Costa Rica and it’s people. I am so amazed that you got to meet her and it was that easy – talk about being in the right place at the right time! My only question is: what did she say in her tweet? A quick translation please!! 🙂 BTW, I shook hands with Chen Shui Bien when he was president in Taiwan and I have a picture (though a little blurry) to prove it !!! 🙂
Basically she said she read it and it was a good description of how Costa Rica is peaceful. It was a pretty cool experience overall since it was so different! That’s amazing – hey any picture blurry or not is good enough. Keep that photo! 🙂
Thanks for sharing this great experience. Costa has always been Pura Vida to me as well.
Thank you for reading Chris! Happy holidays from CR 🙂
Adrián Gutiérrez says
Amo a Costa Rica y a mi gente, me encanta escuchar a las personas del extranjero hablar así de mi país. Aunque la presidenta que tengamos sea pésima líder, sin honestidad y sin firmeza me asombra como los ticos la respetan aún siendo un mal ejemplo de lo que es un costarricense de verdad.
Hola Adrián, creo que esto pasa en todos los países del mundo, esperemos que algún día un nuevo presidente tenga el don de cumplir todo lo que dice y que le caíga bien a todo mundo, lo veo difícil. Lo importante es nunca perder nuestros valores como seres humano.
Siempre sale un malinchista
Has escuchado la frase
“Si no tienes nada bueno q decir no lo digas”
Hi Sammy! I found your article very refreshing, we costa rican citicenzs are most of the time thinking about the new presidental elections and personal situations and never took a minute to be thankful for what we are and what we have. When I have the chance to see someone else perspective (specially from other nationalities) about my Pura Vida Costa Rica it makes me feel proud to live here and being able yo share it with you people! Thank you and God bless you guys!
Thank you!! I think sometimes all you need is a small reminder because Costa Rica is hands down a really great country! Pura vida and Merry Christmas 🙂
Mayee BAlbright says
I was born in Costa Rica over 50 years ago. Travel the world enough to see the wonders.
However, I will FOREVER BE THE PROUD TICA! even though, I reside in the US for over 40 years. Costa Rica Heaven on Earth, Land of Love and Educated People, that makes you feel PURA VIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Woowww Mayee can we get in touch ? and maybe interview you ? your story sounds amazing
Patricia Castro says
For us is normal, I mean, not one our president has used bodyguards. For us is shocking to see heavy weapons, ie, frightens us. As well you say, we are not a perfect country, but which country is?. We like to be helpful, kind and we are very peaceful, that is what characterizes us
Yes that was the point of the article, just to share an experience I had which demonstrates the peace of Costa Rica since for many of us who live or are from other countries, it is not normal to see something like that. Thanks for commenting Patricia =)
Erick Marin says
What an amazing article! So glad to have read this and to be able to share it with family and friends. I hope you continue enjoying our beautiful country Sammi. Thank you very much for your kind words!
Embassy of Costa Rica
Thank you Erick! I’m having a great time here, learning so much and enjoying every second of it! Thank you for reading the article! Cheers and happy holidays 🙂
I couldn’t help crying while reading this, Sammi! How wonderful!! 🙂 I am Costa Rican and I am so proud and happy to be from this peaceful and happy country! Thank you so much for writing this post and show us what really matters. I love it when foreigners open our eyes and make us appreciate what we have and that we take for granted. I hope you enjoy being in Costa Rica! Pura vida!! 😉
Aw thank you for your very warm words Nuria! I hope others can experience and appreciate what an amazing country Costa Rica is and learn from it as I have. Pura vida!
Hello Sammi, it’s so good to know that like most foreigns you are having a blast in our country, and that not only our natural beauty can captivate you but also our pura vida people. That’s something not very many countries have it’s one of our blessings. Reading your lines I realized that most of us take our good life for granted and only see the bad things that happen in our country( bad president, bad government…..) we still live la pura vida.
Just the fact that we can still have a beer on the beach watching the sunset, walk to the president as you did, and so many other little things make our life’s unique. Thanks you for reminding me how bless I am for living not only in Costa Rica but in Coco Beach, this little town that I’m in love with
I agree, it’s easy to get disappointed by government (I grew up in the States, I should know) but sometimes all you need to do is take a step back and realize how lucky we are in many other aspects. I was just hoping to share my experience and what Costa Rica has taught me with others, and that’s how to live happy and count your blessings 🙂 Love Coco too!
Costa Rica is a great country, I live out now and I really miss my homeland. What you said about our culture is true, but have you ever seen the other side? the slams? the prostitutes? the homeless kids on the strew? and it’s just getting worst and worst each year thanks of stupid “leaders” like her. Of curse we all appreciate the freedom we have there, but it makes me sick to see you smiling like that next to the responsible of all that misery in CR. She doesn’t care about the environment, right equalities or poverty.
If you really like our country you should have ask her what have her done? instead of smiling next to her like a naive little tourist.
Of course! Next time i get more than 15 seconds, I will most definitely ask her. And as a foreigner, unfortunately I am still a tourist in many aspects but I am learning everyday. Although I am by no means a journalist and just write the blog for fun, I hope to be able to dig deeper as I have only scratched the surface! I’m sorry to hear you don’t like the picture (as many others were also doing) but the focus isn’t on her, it’s on the people who I was truly impressed by. Like I said, Costa Rica has problems like any other country but with the upcoming election, hopefully that will mean new changes coming!
Caro te propongo que te postules para presidente, o que le des tu cama y tu comida a todos los niños pobres de Costa Rica. O mejor aún que te conviertas en una líder inteligente para este país, por que si tienes la misma capacidad que tienes para criticar yo voto por tí de seguro. Y si te sientes enferma por ver gente sonreír ve al médico. Yo no vote por ella es la verdad pero estas equivocada cuando dices que es responsable de toda la miseria del país, y todo lo demás que mencionas. Pura vida !
La verdad Jeison,con tu comentario y esta foto se refleja perfectamente que somos es el país más feliz del mundo, y no porque sea perfecto, si no porque los Ticos somos tan conformistas que hasta en las malas hay que sacar la sonrisa. So Sammy, go and keep smiling.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Disculpá que me meta, Caro, pero ciertamente imagino que si posteás acá estarás dispuesta a la réplica. A mi como tico me enferma la gente como vos más bien, absolutamente desubicada, viendo las cosas solo claras o solo oscuras. Tu comentario (además de poco comprobable) no tiene que ver nada con el tema del artículo. Honestamente deberías seguir disfrutando de tu fabulosa vida lejos de este país y dejarnos “sufrir” a nosotros, a los que nos quedamos en CR… los que nos quedamos a apechugar con los problemas o cualquier otra situación. Si de verdad extrañaras a CR hubieras entendido el sentido del artículo sin problema.
Mauricio tu email no funciona
Thank you for the awesome article about my country, even though I’m not one of Laura Chinchilla’s fans, I appreciate your take on her.
Granted, us ticos don’t seem to realize the beauty and peacefulness of our land.
Thank you for this nice reminder.
P.S. I’m with you on the BS thing, though it was painful to read 😛
Thanks Evelyn! I hope everyone gets to experience what a great country Costa Rica is as I have!
You know the phrase” the grass is always greener”?. Sadly, many people in CR have not had the chance to live out of the country for a while and then realize the amazing place they were born in. I lived out of CR for 4 years or more in my early 20s. I can tell you there’s no place in the world as warm as ours. Your article will break many ticos hearts living off shore. The simplicity in which one can live in CR is great, as you mentioned the president is just another person and therefore everyone has the right to judge, that’s also very costarican , judging our own worst that any other.
Thank you for an amazing article be prepared for those also ready to judge the fact that you and her were at a bullfighting stadium.
Keep it cool and have fun and enjoy CR!!
Aw I wasn’t aiming to break anyone’s heart ! But if it touches anyone or reminds them of their lovely Costa Rica then that’s OK 🙂 It’s easy to forget and overlook things we have! Very wise words and well said. Thanks for reading Alvaritop!
Marlen Espinoza says
Amo mi país….pura vida Costa Rica
pura vida!! 🙂
Pablo Lopez says
I’m not a big Laura´s fan… in fact i believe she’s not that good, but everything you said about CR on this article is true. I can´t help feeling proud of being Costa Rican.
Thanks for showing the world one of the many good sides of my lovely country.
Thank you! I understand she has not been a good president but I wanted people to understand the differences and observe that Costa Rica is truly a wonderful and peaceful country. Thanks for reading Pablo 🙂
JOAQUIN ARAYA says
SAMMI…..Muchas gracias por esos conceptos tan lindos acerca de nuestro paìs COSTA RICA ….ciertamente somos muy bendecidos de haber nacido en este paìs…Espero que te quedes por aca mucho tiempo y aqunque no tengo el gusto de conocerte te deseo una vida plena y PURA VIDA EN COSTA RICA !!!
Gracias Joaquin !! Eres muy amable, pura vida y feliz navidad 🙂
I didn’t realized how blessed we are, really love what you wrote!!
Thank you so much Alejandra!!
I feel so proud right now!!!! I love my country, being TICA is one of the best things had happen to me and it feels so nice knowing that some from amother place can appreciate my country and my people like this!!!!
Huge hug for you,take care ands PURA VIDA =)
Thank you Natalia! Glad you enjoyed the article, just wanted to share how much I love living here and how much I’ve learned. *hugs and pura vida!*
A. Hayes says
Glad you love it here and thanks for thinking so highly of us. Costa Rica has so much potential to be an even better country… we’re working on it jaja. My dad became an expat in the 70’s when he got here and never left so I’m what you’d call a “Tingo” or “Gringuitico” I’m glad he stayed around!
Hope you continue enjoying your Pura Vida experience!
Haha I haven’t heard Gringuitico or Tingo! Funny! Definitely, as someone said there’s always room for improvement no matter where you are but I’ve had such a great experience living so far and looking forward to what else is in store! Thanks for reading 🙂
eduardo chinchilla valverde says
We have lots of trouble here with corruption in politics and public administration. However I want to believe that´s not what defines us ticos. I´m glad to know foreigners still see us as life-loving people who welcome strangers with a smile. Blessings for all!
Everyone I know who has been to Costa Rica has nothing but good things to say about how friendly Ticos are, which is absolutely true 🙂 Thanks for reading Eduardo 🙂
Thanks Sammi. Your article is very nice. Thanks for sharing your experience. Pura vida
Thank you very much Fannyfu! Pura vida 🙂
Costa Rica has a population of 4 million. If there were 340 million ticos, the president would act differently. Because of the smaller population she respresents, meeting the president of CR is more like meeting the Mayor of a medium/large US city.
Hi Mr Gringo, thanks for your Gringo Comment ! hehehe 🙂
… and you are so wrong. You just don’t understand that we have a different view on how things work. You have not understood the context of the experience. Go and try to meet the President of any other country with comparable size; I doubt you will have the same treatment as the author of this blog. You should travel a bit more and see that the world is very different if you a bit further than your nose.
Wow! Thanks Sammi for making us feel proud of our country!
We tend to forget this “small” details and pay more attention to issues like “la platina” ans we ecme blind to see that we live in a great country… a free country.
Orgullosamente Tica! Pura vida 🙂
Haha my dad is a bridge engineer and we can bring him here to fix it in no time, Taiwanese people know how to work! hehe 😉 But thank you for reading Shary and pura vida 🙂
I was lucky enough to visit Costa Rica several years ago with a study abroad program, and it totally changed my life. La pura vida es la más fantástica del mundo. It gets in your soul. Life here in the States has gotten in the way since then, so I haven’t made it back to my Tico family, but reading things like this post just brings a big smile to my face and confirms that I really just need to get myself back there. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely! Once you really experience their lifestyle, it’s something that stays with you forever. Hopefully you will make it back to Costa Rica one day and experience it once again! Thanks for reading Liz! 🙂
WoW what an amazing experience. I visited Costa Rica a few years ago and loved this country. Like you say it’s a very beautiful country with nice people. I read many times that Costa Rica was the happiest country in the world. This experience for sure created a memory of a lifetime for you. Pura Vida
Hey Freya! I was definitely fortunate to experience something unique like this, thanks for stopping by!
I was just on Facebook (okay it’s Saturday night, I’m 17 and I have nothing else to do) and I saw a friend of mine who shared your blog. Curiosity came along and I clicked on it, I read your blog and I just… started crying. (They were tears of joy, just to clear that up.)
I’ve live my whole life in Costa Rica, I was born and raised here. I usually wake up in the morning, drink my coffee and keep the rest of a day living my daily rutine as always and I’ve never taken in account how lucky I am… and you, Sammi, just make me realized that. That said, I just want to thank you, for making me and others from this beatiful country aware of that.
¡Pura vida, Sammi! ¡Tuanis! 😉
Aw thank you so much for your kind words Camila! I honestly didn’t expect to make this big of an impact with the article, just to share with people my experiences and all the amazing things I’ve learned from living in Costa Rica and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Pura vida 🙂
Hi Sammi, thank you so much for your wonderful post. It is truly wonderful how you can see and enjoy the little things we ticos take for granted. I just can’t help it but to feel proud for this little country and the way we are. I have many American friends who are considering moving here permanently because of the many things you describe.
Sometimes we forget how blessed we are for living in this little country where people will always give you a smile and you can even take a picture with the president just like taking a picture with one of the neighbours.
Thanks again Sammi and Pura Vida 🙂
We’ve also met many American expats (like me) who moved here looking for the exact same thing. A happy, balanced and peaceful life in Costa Rica where everyone says hi and smiles! Thanks for reading Anthony and pura vida!
María Morales says
I really want to thank you for this. You did more for me than all the politicians in this country. You remember me the lucky I am for be a Tica, I’ve been so disappointed the government that I did not realize until I read your post that Costa Rica is much more than that. How precious it is to be born in a country without war or army, how lucky I am to live in Costa Rica.
I really wish you the best in the world and thank you for this wonderful and unexpected Christmas present.
¡Merry Christmas and Pura vida!
Hi Maria! Thank you so much for your kind words! I honestly just wanted to share my experiences and hope that it also opened other people’s eyes to how wonderful of a country Costa Rica is and their people. Merry Christmas to you as well! Pura vida 🙂
Your kind word towards my country and my culture drew a big smile in my face. It’s lovely to have people like you coming to live in CR!
Yes, we have our issues and there is a lot of room for improvement here, this might not be “the greates nation on earth”, but in essence it is still a place to live life happily and in peace.
Thank you for the kind words Alf! And very true, every country has their own problems but from what I have seen and why so many expats retire here, it is easy to live in peace and live long and happy in Costa Rica 🙂
Eduardo Gutiérrez Soto says
Hi. Yes, that’s the way we live here in Costa Rica. By the way, as accesible as the President is, with her are Minister Fernando Marin and Congresswoman Maria Ocampo (3rd. and 4th. picture) 😀
Ah! Didn’t know that, so interesting as well! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Love what you wrote!! Thank you for making as feel proud Of our country!
Thank you Monica for reading!
Well Said, such a great post I gotta love it, and Yes people get used to the Pura vida lifestyle!!! nice to see the way that you see our country, how much love you put in every word. Tuanis and Pura vida!!!!
Thank you Susan! pura vida 🙂
I’m sorry, but people treat our president like that because they’re very dumb. Even when they despise her, she must be treated as a “celebrity” because she’s “famous”,.. that is, of course, a thirld world celebrity.
It is a total shame that even being a criminal, she is treated as an important member of the aristocracy. You took a photo with one of the worst criminals in the country. Good job!
She has been one of the worst leaders this country has had, but poor people are still impressed because she appears on TV and has a title.
BUT you’re right… it is very different how we treat this criminal Chinchilla from the other criminal, Obama…
Hola Pepe !
Respeto tu opinión y tu comentario. La política y los líderes de gobierno siempre han sido y siempre serán figuras protagonistas en nuestras sociedades.
Nunca he sido político ni presidente entonces no se la responsabilidad que llevaría … Nosotros amamos Costa Rica y haría lo que fuera para que fuera el mejor país del mundo … Pero creo que es difícil quedarle a todos bien …
No estoy defendiendo a nadie solo digo que Viva Costa Rica y que si en Corea del Norte dices que el mae este Kim es criminal ya estuvieras fusilado.
Pura Vida !
Mae, Pepe… se respetan las opiniones, claro… pero dejame decirte que el criminal sos vos porque tu comentario ME MATO DE RISA. Creo que a alguna gente como a vos le cuesta ubicarse realmente en el tema de una conversación y eso desde ya demuestra su ignorancia, y ni qué decir de asegurar cosas que no podría sostener en un tribunal. Por dicha a Sammi y a muchos otros extranjeros les queda claro que no todos los ticos tenemos el nivel de ignorancia que vos. Con respeto, claro…
Thank you for this article, Sammi. As some people said, always is very interesting to read about our lifestyle and customs from the perspective of somebody who has lived in countries where things are very different.
As a tico, I’m very proud to live in a peaceful and nice country and your experience helped me to appreciatte more those details that make this an attractive place for tourists an people from the rest of the world.
Sorry for my raw english, you know, I’m tico… XD
I’m glad I was able to share an outside perspective! I hope more people get to experience Costa Rica and fall in love with it like I did! Thanks for reading Brayan 🙂
Dios tenía un pedacito de tierra reservado para el vivir en paz…!!! Y la nombro Costa Rica…!!!
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Completamente the acuerdo bien dicho Cesar !!!!
Thanks James! I was thinking how to say everything that you said… The fact that she could take a picture with the president doesn’t make her a good president, it olny means that the people here in CR lack of personality and memory. The only thing that she has done right is making CR worst…
Hi Sof, I never commented on her presidency, how she governed her country but focused more on the people themselves. That’s what I was truly impressed about and was just sharing my thoughts and my own experiences. I love living in Costa Rica and I think the people here are very highly educated, smart, and very much aware of the situation going on in their country and luckily, they have an election coming up in a couple months to make a stand and change things. Yes, definitely she has not done much good during her term but hopefully the next one who will be voted in by Costa Ricans will be better and make Costa Rica an even more incredibly country that it already is!
Gracias Sammi! And we take it for granted! Tu artículo es genial!
Thanks Rocio! Pura vida 🙂
Sammi!! Thak you so much for being so awesome! Haha. I’m Tico, 22 Y/O and proud of living in this beautiful country. Granted, as you say, it still has some problems and we are all aware of that but that doesn´t make it less of a beautiful country!! I studied tourism for the same reason, so that people can get to know our beauties and I’m really glad to hear that you are having such an awesome and revealing time living here!
Thank you for taking your time and writing this, I’m definitely sharing it with colleagues and friends!! And since we are both traveling around haha, hopefully it’ll be me that takes a picture with you sometime! 😛 So I can brag about it!! Hahaha
Good luck with everything!! See ya’ 😀
Aw thank you for your kind words Daniel! I’m having an amazing time here and learning so much. Costa Rica has truly opened up my eyes to many different things and I’m glad I get to enjoy it with them! Thanks for sharing and hopefully we will bump into each other one day ! 🙂
I don’t like the presidenta Chinchilla. Her presidency has been terrible for us costarricans! But!..She represents what we all cherish about our beloved country. Chinchilla has been elected by the people. The president symbolizes our freedom and our struggle for a better democratic participation even if we sometimes make bad choices. Sammy, your comment is very heartwarming! Im glad you had the chance to feel a bit more tica with your experience!…I hope you have lotsa fun and meet tons of good people and bring a piece of us with you so we can build together a better world for all!
Thank you Diego! Definitely agree with your comment and very well said 🙂 I’m having a great time and love Costa Rica more and more everyday. Thanks for reading Diego!
Diego VR says
I love my country (I’m costarican too) but Laura Chinchilla has been the worse president we’ve ever had in years. She’s clearly an opportunist and she only get policies and bodyguards when she sees is convenient, in other worlds, whe she has to face costarican people and the amount of corruption she’s allow in these last years.
Hi Diego !
We respect your opinion, and luckily for you next february you can vote and choose the best candidate out there !
this is correct, that’s how it works here. thanks for your post, it is great to see what the perception is of our way of living, we may not have the best infrastructure or tallest buildings, though we have all those blessings, we can say we can still have well living levels and our english is good too. 🙂
Very true! No country is perfect, they all have problems somewhere but when you see people happy and loving life despite all of that, it makes you appreciate many things! Especially when you realize that there are worse situations. Thanks for reading JT! 🙂
I am here almost in tears reading a very truesful article that came from your heart. I am a Costarrican living in NY and even after 13 years here, I still miss my motherland that I visit at least nice a year.
Many people, not only presidents, but actors and other artists think they are better than anyone else and it is a shame that the media follows them to make them even worse.
Thank you again for such wonderful thoughts about my country and the people even though there are many problems there.
Good luck and “PURA VIDA”
Hi Fernando, I definitely agree about your thought about actors/artists. There are many famous people in the world that the media hypes them up, good and bad. Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the article! Have a wonderful Christmas in NY, it looks so pretty there! 🙂
Hi Sammi, your post is very refreshing, as you give a very nice and true picture about my country and also I would like to add something you should notice, if you were from Costa Rica, we wouldn’t call “asian-costarican”, you would be just a “tica”, probably your friends would call you “china” in a very friendly way, but your origins wouldn´t make a real difference, that’s something completely opposite in the States, as everyone is classified, asian-american, afro-american, irish-american, etc. I believe that’s a plus or a must to be a relatively peaceful country.
Thanks Douglas! Yes that’s definitely a difference in society and culture. In the States you always classify, Asian-American, African-American, etc. Here they call me china or chinita and that’s OK with me 🙂
It’s sad to see how a whole country can be blinded to the corruption going on behind this political party. In this article, it seems like you are praising her in some way. You have forgotten to mention the millions that have been stolen from the hard working people of this country. The people who truly deserve to be at the bull ridings after working their butt off for a few dollars a day. While she was probably visiting her newly purchased $3,000,000 property. Sad how the simple fact that she is the president makes people praise her. As you have done. The only part of this article I praise is where you state that the CR people are peaceful. Yes, because in any other country, the people would have overturned this government long ago.
Hi James thanks for the comment. I’m not “praising” her, I’m not talking about what she did during her term or how she governed her country. I’m just merely observing how Costa Ricans treat their leader versus to what I’ve experienced before in the States. If you want to talk corruption, I can mention a place where their people still think it’s the best country in the world yet their government spies on their own people and their own allies and spends millions of dollars on other things while their own citizens are in huge debt, but I won’t 🙂 I’m sorry, I don’t know too much about the Canadian government if you’re from there instead (I should learn more) to compare. Sadly I don’t know too many governments that aren’t corrupted in one way or another and there are many countries where their government is much more corrupted than Costa Rica. But I appreciate your POV, the focus of this article is to share my experience of living in a country where despite a low approval rate, Costa Ricans still respect each other because they are down to earth and humble people and they don’t see their president as some sort of god. I love living in Costa Rica and my Tico family has taught me that when it comes down to it, they will find a way to change things together peacefully and they are strong people who have withstood many hard times but came out the other side smiling!
hi i am costa rican but living in Spain for 13 years, and since i was reading this it brought made me homesick because i love that way of living of “ticos”. Unfournately many costaricans does not valorate this. Please don t change..there is nothing to look outside for you “ticos”
So many people move to Costa Rica just on the fact alone that they want to live like a Tico and plus it’s an amazing country! I hope they don’t change either, thanks for reading Adriana 🙂
Roy E says
Thank you Sammi for your post. Eye opening for many Ticos as well, since we take this beautiful experinces for granted.
Now that I think of it, I just realized who many of our Presidents I have get to shake hand with, as I have cassually met them at the supermarket, cinema or public event: Rodrigo Carazo, Luis Alberto Monge, Oscar Arias, José María Figueres, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, Laura Chinchilla. I am only missing Rafael Angel Calderón and Daniel Oduber (who died long ago). Me a working class common guy from Santa Ana met 6 out of 8 Presidents I have seen in the office!
This is a blessed land. Thank you Sammi for opening my eyes to. Life is good!
Wow! See, in the States you would go in the World Record book or something to meet so many presidents and definitely something you brag about 😛 That’s what I loved, they’re human like us and it’s normal for Costa Ricans to see them out and about! Thanks for the nice compliments and thank you for reading Roy 🙂
I love your experince and your comments! Really show the sence of costarican people! Glad you enjoy that. I work there with presidents, and can tell you is been same forever. I live in FL now, visit my country every time I can, just to feel that relax and happiness warm eviroment and charge batteries. Is all you need to be happy
Absolutely! If anything I learned the most is that it’s the little things in life that truly make it special. Spending quality time and Costa Ricans really know it and show it everyday! Thanks for reading Yazcara 🙂
Im Tico and i love this place
"THE BEST PLACE EVER"
I love this place too! hehe pura vida Eros!
Juan Amaya says
I’ve tried to share this experience with any visitor I’ve met… not just the old churches, the howling monkeys, Jaco and such… Just let’s do stuff, you can visit Costa Rica as a whole in a couple of weeks, but that kind of experience lasts a lifetime. Blessings!
Costa Rica is an amazing country! Of course the wildlife, the beaches and nature is excellent but definitely this type of experience is something unique I was blessed to have! Thanks for reading Juan 🙂
“Nobody know what we have until we lost it”…
As Tico sometimes we dont know what we have until we read this article…. thank you for refresh me it…..!!!
You are very welcome Arnoldo!! And likewise, it was eye opening for me to see a different perspective on this kind of thing and made me realize how lucky I am to live in Costa Rica! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
Rodrigo C says
Thank you for sharing your story and for embracing our culture. You captured perfectly many of the things I love about being a Tico!
You’re welcome and thank you for reading! I’m blessed to live and experience a culture as wonderful as yours 🙂
Alvaro H says
Hey, thanks for such beautiful words about my country! im so proud of being a Costariican!!!
I want to show you something you will probably like, is a visit of the visit of president Obama, with our army, the school children
I hope you like ti!
Nice video! That was a lot of cameras!
Thank you for reading and I feel very lucky to live in Costa Rica 🙂
I didn’t realized how blessed we are … As she said, even when her popularity wasn’t as a good as we wanted, we are not afraid to shake hands and say: “¡Pura Vida!”… God bless Costa Rica, my country; and the rest of the world…
Indeed! This was something that was completely new to me but really stuck with me and struck a note. That’s what I love about Costa Ricans! Always friendly to everyone! Thanks for commenting Walter 🙂
Que tan éxito leer este artículo. Muchas gracias por contarnos su experiencia
Pura vida! Gracias Gineth 🙂
Sonia Alfaro A says
Yo tengo ya 62 años de ser TICA, me he arrepentido de algunas cosas, me han dolido otras, he criticado algunos trámites que se vuelven toda una odisea en las oficinas públicas, pero despúes de mis hijos, ser TICA es el regalo perfecto para sentirse ¡PURA VIDA! Gracias por entendernos Samantha.
Pura Vida Sonia!! 🙂
Jessica Zais says
I loved reading this! What a cool experience. That is so fascinating and refreshing how different it is here.
Thanks Jess! The difference is astounding, always something to learn every day !
I love being a TICA!!!
Hey Sammi! I’m a costarican filmmaker working on a documentary about the happiest country in the world. I would love to make you a small interview. How can I contact you?
i think many country should learn from costa rica president. Simple Life is what everyone needs whether president or prime minister.
I am proud to live in a country where the President is the best example of the freedom that we live and experience in Costa Rica !!!
Jessica Zais says
Totally – well said.
sean rithya says
You are lucky citizens to has president like this. Hope to visit your country when i has enough money to travel.
I love this article! Awesome to be from Costa Rica 🙂
Es el pueblo el que actua de esa forma, si un dia aterrizara una nave de otro planeta, estoy seguro que se llevan a los visitantes a la cantina, los emborrachan y los ponen a comer bocas de chancho. Por otro lado, esa señora presidenta lo hace para levantar su decaida imagen, claro, son politicos. no hay que olvidarse del ultimo 15 de setiembre en Alajuela, puso 4 anillos de seguridad porque la hibamos a castigar dandole la espalda por sus actuaciones contra el pueblo, y ni siquiera dejo entrar a los padres para que vieran desfilar a sus hijos. Por eso somos pura vida.
Feliz Navidad Osvaldo jeje, muy graciosa tu comparación y sabes tienes razón fijo llevamos a los extraterrestres a las cantinas a comer chifrijo … Y si me acuerdo de lo que paso ese día, no comparto lo que hizo de no dejar pasar los papas a ver los niños.
Gracias por comentar que disfrutes estos días de fiestas.