A Costa Rican Expat
by Bob Stone
(San Ramon de Alajuela Costa Rica)
As expats currently living in Costa Rica for the past 6 years, I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Dubs. Once expats invade a country, particularly the developers seeking cheap land to build their condos on, or people looking to flip properties, a country changes for the worse. Then there are the organizations that spring up who want to change Costa Rica to the community they left in the U.S. with weekly meetings on every subject you can find.
I first came to Costa Rica in the mid 80's and found a paradise. My wife and I moved to Costa Rica in 2004 and found things extremely different, but since that time it has become almost too expensive to live in Costa Rica although some websites still indicate you can "live on Social Security." I don't know many who make $3,000 per month on Social Security and that is what it takes to live, if you want a fair amount of comfort.
Adequate rental properties will cost perhaps a bit less than $1,000 per month, fuel is over $4.00 per gallon, groceries cost more than the States unless you want to eat beans and rice with meat once a week. Cars, furniture, and appliances are extremely expensive.
Those who have a limited supply of funds such as Social Security of $1,000 per month, which was adequate several years ago, now find they must severely reduce their living standards, all because of the invasion of people who are not willing to assimilate, attempt to learn the language, and live below the radar in Costa Rica.
My wife and I will be visiting Ecuador in May for a week and we vastly appreciate the information found on this website, and Dr. Dubs's frank assessment of Ecuador.
Bob, thank you for the "been there, done that" wake-up call, for us as the publishers of CaptivatingCuenca.com, and for all of us living here in Cuenca and in other parts of Ecuador.
It's past the time that we start to consider the ramifications of our actions here in Ecuador, such as not learning the language, wanting to hang out only with other expats, and spending far more than we need to because everything seems so cheap and we're embarrassed to pay so little.
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