SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

9 Jan

In Costa Rica there are none.

I saw a cartoon in the Tico Times.  It showed a sign posted on a beach “please don’t drown here, its bad for the tourism business”.   It captured the attitude of the country perfectly.  Of course they want the tourist dollars but the lack of lifeguards on some of the more crowded beaches is endemic of the mentality here.  They display all the great reasons for visiting but overlook the infrastructure that would create a sound and sustainable base for a continued tourist draw.

Maybe the most glaring recent example is a very popular beach community (it shall remain un-named) that has been experiencing rapid, sprawling and uncontrolled growth for several years.  Last year it was awarded the “blue flag”, as was my beach, which is Costa Rica’s highest award.  This year it was discovered that the water in the bay, which of course is the big draw for surfers, swimmers, etc., contains 7,000 times the maximum amount of contaminants allowed in the U.S.  This fact was published in the Tico Times, which is an English language newspaper published in San Jose that I subscribe to.   Since there are no sewers, only septic systems in most of C.R., you can imagine the source of the contaminants.  You’ve heard the expression “don’t eat the yellow snow”.  I guess you wouldn’t want to get any of that ocean water in your mouth either, or on your skin for that matter.

But at least the government finally stepped in and after several weeks of investigation and testing has closed down some of the biggest offenders and put many more on notice.  The good news for that community is there is a group of concerned citizens who are working with the municipality to find a solution to the problem.  (But of course the beach remains open with no signage to warn tourists.  Yuuuucckk)

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