Properties in Costa Rica Blog


Education in Costa Rica: A Role Model Across the Americas

Education in Costa Rica: A Role Model Across the Americas

July 31, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

When it comes to education, Costa Rica is often viewed as a role model across the Americas given its successful literacy rate of 96% – one of the highest in the region. The country’s established leadership position can be heavily attributed to its government funding.

 

Their education system consists of four levels: pre-school, primary school, secondary school, and higher education. Article 78 of the Constitution of Costa Rica states that every child must attend pre-school and primary school. These levels are free of charge, as all costs are financed by the Costa Rican government.

 

The Ministry of Public Education (MEP), currently lead by Giselle Cruz Maduro, is the governmental organization in charge of developing an accessible education system that promotes the growth of individuals and the society as a whole. Additionally, the MEP supervises all public and private educational institutions and has the power to approve, revoke, or modify any decisions determined by the directors of the ministry.

 

Costa Rica’s public higher education system is considered by many to be one of the best in Latin America. After graduating from secondary school and attaining a baccalaureate degree, students have the opportunity to apply to universities. There are five public universities in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC), University of Costa Rica (UCR), National University (UNA), National Technical University (UTN), and Distance State University (UNED). The baccalaureate program for university students is usually four years. After graduating from a university, students will then have the option to pursue a licentiate degree, which corresponds to three additional semesters of study.

 

The Costa Rican government continues the efforts made on December 1st, 1948 by President José Figueres Ferrer when he abolished the army and decided to allocate such resources to education instead. By following in Figueres Ferrer’s steps, the government is sending a message to the world regarding the importance and need for free education, and at the same time, deviates from what is considered the norm — pumping millions of colones into funding a military defense — and establishes itself as one of the few countries with no active military force. By prioritizing education over a standing army, Costa Rica has popularly gained the nickname of “The Switzerland of Central America”.

JM




Costa Rica has started opening airports to some countries.

Costa Rica has started opening airports to some countries.

July 24, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica officially stated that it will start opening its borders this August 1st. However, this would only apply to tourists from countries like the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada. While Costa Rica is monitoring changes in origin countries in order to allow more countries to come in, the Juan Santamaría International Airport and the Daniel Oduber Quiros will be the only two airports that will accept international travelers and commercial operations to occur in Costa Rica.

Nevertheless, Costa Rican citizens and residents are still going to be permitted entry regardless of the country that they are coming from.

This was explained yesterday by the Minister of Tourism, where all visitors entering the country must comply with a series of measures which include:

1. Filling an epidemiological survey before entering the country
2. Testing Negative for COVID-19 at least 48 hours prior to entering the country
3. Complying with all the health measures that the airport requires such as wearing a mask and temperature checks
4. Having insurance that would cover events related to health problems and stay.

We truly believe things will be constantly changing and the announcement of Costa Rica’s reopening is good news for us as we hope to be back slowly on a lot of people’s agendas once again.




What is Zac Efron up to in his new documentary and why did he travel to  Costa Rica?

What is Zac Efron up to in his new documentary and why did he travel to Costa Rica?

July 7, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

As part of Netflix’s new documentary called “Down to Earth”, well-known High School Musical star and actor Zac Efron undergoes a unique adventure where he travels around the world to learn about the ways in which people are taking action towards a more sustainable world and future. The main idea of the series is centered in how humanity has to rethink the way in which it consumes food, energy, and material goods. Throughout his journey he is also looking to delve into the cultures of different countries through their food and well developed ecological practices.

Amongst other countries such as France, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Peru, and England, Costa Rica was a place where the famous actor formed a unique and special bond. Zac Efron had already visited the country back in 2016, where he touristed places such as the Osa and Papagayo Peninsulas and was pictured in wonderful waterfalls and beaches with his closest friends.

The documentary is set to release on July 10th, and in it we are expecting to see an in-depth view and perspective of every culture and the sustainable practices that are in place in the aforementioned countries. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see what these green pioneers are up to around the world as well as Zac Efron’s adventures along the way.




Benefits of Working from Home

Benefits of Working from Home

July 6, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

Working from home a few years ago was a luxury  only business owners could take advantage of  or  was simply an idea presented in deceitful television ads. Currently, the tables have turned ever since the COVID 19 pandemic has forced thousands of businesses into sending a great part of their workers to their respective houses to perform their jobs. Be it through Zoom or Skype calls, the way in which we are able to interact in a workplace has most definitely changed, and maybe this could be for the better.

 

This shift towards an at home work experience helped millions of workers with problems arriving at their workplace because of the large distances from their home to the installations. Not only is this reducing the stress involved in travelling these long distances, but this is also optimizing both the companies’ and workers’ time. Nonetheless, in a company , there is always a need to create a welcoming and family like environment within its very own installations, and to do that, businesses are trying hybrid models in which their workers are able to work 1 to 2 days in the office and the rest from the comfort of their homes.

 

In order to thrive under this new experience, a comfortable and relatively spacious environment is highly recommended to be able to fully imitate the setting of an office but in a more personalized manner. In addition to this, a stable internet connection is essential to connect appropriately with other workers and possible clients related to your job. In most cases, when a person doesn’t have the financial ability to afford a stable connection, this is an expense that the company has to assume to aid the worker in the better performance of his job. Either way, shifting toward a remote work experience can save companies money allowing for more efficient workspace usage.

 

With no need to rush at lunch time and no long office hours away from your family, working at home has the potential to improve the health of its workers by reducing their stress and creating an improved work-life balance. Moreover, remote employees also show an increase in their work productivity as there is no need to take long coffee breaks or speak to other coworkers for large amounts of time.

 

Our reality has been forever marked by the events taking place as of now and working from home is now a phenomenon that is unquestionably here to stay after the pandemic.




Costa Rica’s Iconic Bird El Yigüirro

Costa Rica’s Iconic Bird El Yigüirro

June 15, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

El Yigüirro, also known as the clay-colored thrush, was declared the national bird of Costa Rica on January 3rd, 1977 and has become an emblem for Costa Rica’s nation. It has also been known to play a significant role in Costa Rican literature and traditional music, celebrating the importance of this bird with The National Day of El Yigüirro taking place on December 16th.

Admittedly, this bird might not be the most beautiful or colorful, but its constant and melodious singing is what sets it apart from the other birds. This bird may go unnoticed due to its small size and plain brown color, however, if you were to closely pay attention, you would be hearing the bird’s friendly singing. El Yigüirro’s song consists of low-pitch cries in a steady tempo and slurred manner. Interestingly enough, this song is composed of different tonalities due to the fact that El Yigüirro uses sounds it has previously heard.

The reason this bird has been appreciated and praised so highly by Ticos is due to its tradition to indicate the rainy season, or planting season for many of Costa Rica’s laborers. According to popular tradition, one of the reasons why this bird is considered to be special is because it’s presumed that it’s the bird’s singing itself which attracts water and thus joy for the agricultural laborers. Another reason why this bird is considered to be noteworthy is because of the fact that the bird doesn’t reject any form of contact with humans; although discreet sometimes, it is always present and nearby.

El Yigüirro’s mating season usually lasts from April through June, which is why as we come into the end of this season, I invite you to go to your backyard in the morning and see if you can identify this iconic bird.




How has Costa Rica dealt with Coronavirus?

How has Costa Rica dealt with Coronavirus?

June 5, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

One of the reasons Costa Rica has been one of the top countries when it comes to dealing with the Coronavirus is due to their extensive and strict protocols, throughout the nation.

Here are a few of the many measures Costa Rica has taken to combat the virus:

  • Since March 18th, Costa Rica officially closed their borders to any foreign travelers, only allowing Costa Rican citizens and residents entry to the country. In addition to this, Costa Ricans that arrive in this time period will have to complete a mandated 14-day quarantine, where any violation of this quarantine is found may be penalized with Jail time!

 

  • A telephone hotline (1322) dedicated to Coronavirus inquiries were set up on March 13 in an attempt to reduce congestion from 911 services.

 

  • As of March 15th, the Costa Rican health department ordered the indefinite closure of all bars, clubs, casinos, and amusement parks.

 

  • Costa Rica has also set up daytime and nighttime vehicle restrictions as counteracting measures to the spread of the virus, thus restricting vehicle transit from 10 pm to 5 am during the week, alongside other daily restrictions based on ending license plate numbers.

 

  • The Ministry of Health issued new guidelines for supermarkets and commercial stores. These guidelines emphasized specific sanitary procedures and also offered specific hours for elderly customers.

 

  • Hospitals have developed rigorous protocols to deal with patients who show symptoms with regard to the virus. Additionally, a hospital dedicated to just treating COVID-19 patients has been set up in the San Jose area.

These numerous measures have allowed the government to contain many cases of COVID-19 and minimize the spread of this virus. If you want more information about how Costa Rica is dealing with this crisis, you can visit the Ministry of Health’s Website for official live updates. Remember to stay safe, wear a mask if you go out, and wash your hands!




9 Amazing Food Ideas For Guests

9 Amazing Food Ideas For Guests

June 2, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

There is a certain period when you have a house full of guests, right? It would be the holidays or just a long weekend. And planning meals for the guest is the biggest part. Often, you spend almost half of the day prepping. The guests come on time and still you are zooming in the kitchen.

Don’t worry, there are recipes you can prepare for your guests would take to be on the table in just 30 minutes or less.

You can make dishes to serve all of your favorite folks including grilled entrees, roasts and braises as well as vegetarian main dish recipe. Now, dissert should be your only concern to make the party mind-blowing, right?

 

  1. Taco Pull Apart Bread – A Yummy, Tasty Bread

Ingredients:

¼ cup finely chopped Cilantro

¼ cup sour cream

2 ½ cups shredded cheese

1 lb lean ground beef

1 Sourdough loaf

1 package Taco seasoning

 

Directions:

  • First of all, preheat your convection oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice the bread into strips (near the bottom of your bread). Now move the bread 90 degrees and cut it again. You can also make the bread in your bread machine if you want a freshly baked bread.
  • According to the directions – Prepare the ground beef in a skillet and taco seasoning.
  • Now, place shredded cheddar and seasoned ground beef into the bread.
  • Use aluminum foil to wrap the filled bread and bake it for 20 minutes. And to make it crispy – bake the bread around 5 to 10 minutes more.
  • Now remove it and place on the table to top the bread with sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, and other extra cheese if you want
  • Now serve the bread immediately to enjoy a better taste.

 

  1. Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary-Theme

This is one of the great meal ideas for guests. It’s a perfect dish as the herbs compliment the richness of the lamb greatly. And Dijon provides a zippy flavor to the meal. It’s the perfect main course for get-togethers as well.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp minced fresh thyme

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

3 minced garlic cloves

8 lamb loin chops (3 ounce each)

 

Directions:

  • Use a small bowl to mix rosemary, thyme, mustard, and garlic. Sprinkle the chops of lamb with pepper and salt.
  • Place the lamb chops on an oiled rack, cover, and grill the chops on over medium heat for 6 minutes.
  • Now turn the chops and spread herb mixtures on them.
  • Again, grill the chops for 6 to 8 minutes. You can use a thermometer that should read 135° to 145° to be accurate in cooking.

 

  1. Saucy Beef and Broccoli with Rice

Ingredients:

½ cup water

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup red bell pepper, diced

¾ lb lean ground beef

3 cups of hot (without salt) cooked white rice

1 can low fat cream of broccoli soup

 

Directions:

  • Preheat the non-stick skillet at medium-high heat and brown the beef and onion on it.
  • Now, place the mushrooms, broccoli, and pepper on the skillet and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, water, and the mixture of soup. Heat to make a boil. Now, decrease the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Here it’s ready to serve with rice.

 

  1. Red Thai Curry Shrimp Linguine

Ingredients:

1 ¼ pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp (uncooked)

1 can light coconut milk (13.66 ounces)

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced

3 tsp curry powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 package linguine (16 ounces)

 

Directions:

  • According to the directions – cook the linguine. On over medium heat, toast curry powder in a large skillet for 2 minutes.
  • Now stir in the salt, pepper, and milk.
  • Place the shrimp after it starts boiling. Now cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink.
  • Drain linguine; add cilantro and shrimp mixture to it.
  • Now you can serve the dish quickly to taste.

 

  1. Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsp butter pieces (unsalted)

Kosher salt

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 half chickens – (1.5 lb each)

3 jalapeno peppers – thinly sliced

2 limes juices

1 fresh thyme

4 cloves smashed garlic

 

Directions:

  • Use a small bowl to whisk honey, cumin, lime juice, and mustard. Loosen the entire skin of the chicken carefully.
  • Now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On the roasting pan, place the breast side upon.
  • Place ½ cup of lime juice mixture under the chicken skin by using a turkey baster.
  • Hold and tie the drumsticks so that they stay together. Over the chicken, pour the rest of the lime juice mixture.
  • Now roast the chicken for 2 to 2 ½ hours and a thermometer should read 170° to175° when it’s inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Before you carve, let it stand for 10 minutes. And if you want – remove the entire skin of the chicken.

 

Well, these are not the only amazing food ideas for guest but they are very good in taste and time saving as well. One of the common things, when guests are coming, you never can finish the cooking in time. It takes longer than you think, right? And here at this point, these recipes help you. And they allow you to spend more time with your guests as well as finishing the cooking before your guests arrive.




An Overview of Same-sex Marriage in Costa Rica

An Overview of Same-sex Marriage in Costa Rica

May 29, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage this past Tuesday. However, this development did not come that easy with years of political debate and controversy stagnating this process until this very day.

Significant controversy over same-sex civil unions was first instigated over a decade ago due to the large influence of the Catholic Church. In 2008 people opposed to same-sex unions went to the Costa Rican electoral authority, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE), to ask for a referendum on this subject. The TSE approved and authorized the collection of signatures, and by July 2010 the required signatures were reached. However, several organizations questioned the legality of this, and it wasn’t until August 10, 2010 that the Supreme Court declared the referendum unconstitutional.

The next development didn’t occur until July 2, 2013, where the Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the “General Young Person’s Act”. Unfortunately, the passing of the bill was recognized to be a mistake made by the legislators, who were notoriously opposed to same-sex unions. The final version of the bill did not define marriage between people of the same-sex, and simply amended the country’s family code. In June 2015, a judge granted the first same-sex common-law marriage in Costa Rica to Gerald Castro and Cristian Zamora, based under the legislation in place during July 2013. A couple of years later, the Social Christian Unity Party introduced new civil union bills to the Legislative Assembly, to grant same-sex couples almost the same rights of marriage. However, the bill was criticized by different political parties and was eventually rejected.

More recently, the most important development to the legalization of same-sex marriage took place after a ruling which was issued in January 2018 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) which stated that countries part of the American Convention on Human Rights were required to allow same-sex marriage. In addition to this, a supreme court ruling in August 8, 2018 deemed the sections of the Family Code which prohibited same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. This gave the Legislative Assembly an ultimatum: 18 months to reform the Family Code or the ban would be abolished. As the ruling was published on November 26, 2018, that meant that 18 months later, on May 26, 2020, same-sex marriage would be legal in Costa Rica. In a final attempt to delay the legalization of same-sex marriage, on May 12, 2020, a group of 26 conservative deputies went to Eduardo Cruickshank, the President of the Legislative Assembly to submit a motion to postpone the application of the ruling for another 18 months. Finally, on May 19, the Assembly rejected Cruickshank’s proposition of this motion, with 33 votes against and 22 in favor.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court’s ruling went into full effect on May 26, and same-sex couples in Costa Rica had no hesitation to celebrate this joyous moment, with Dunia Araya and Alexandra Quirós celebrating and broadcasting live their wedding at midnight in Heredia. Costa Rica has officially made history being the first Central American country to legalize and recognize same-sex marriage. This victory however not only impacts Costa Rica’s LGBTQ community, as other countries part of the American Convention on Human Rights should soon follow Costa Rica’s precedent. However, it is important to note that the fight for LGBTQ equality is still not over. As Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David said, “Today is a day for celebration, but also a reminder of the work we still must do around the world in our global fight for recognition and inclusion.”




Costa Rica Listed Among the Top Global Real Estate Markets for 2020

Costa Rica Listed Among the Top Global Real Estate Markets for 2020

April 22, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

As one of the most magnificent destinations in Latin America, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Costa Rica rank as one of our ‘Top 25 Global Real Estate Markets in 2020‘.

Whether you’re making the leap on your first investment property or expanding your portfolio, Costa Rica provides some incredible opportunities for international real estate investors.

It has all of the key features that one looks for in an attractive market — natural beauty (from tropical beaches to lush mountains to rainforests), warm weather, relatively low cost of living, visa friendly, steady tourism growth, exceptional safety, political stability, strong healthcare system, the ‘Pura Vida‘ lifestyle, and much more.

While investing in Costa Rican real estate can indeed be a savvy financial endeavor, it also opens some extraordinary lifestyle benefits. How about a 2nd home on the Pacific coast or in the eternal spring-like weather of the central valley that can serve as your own tropical getaway and generate rental income when you’re not there?

Of course, international travel has been hit hard amidst the global downturn, but it’s an industry that tends to rebound strongly post-crisis and we anticipate this time being no different. After all, we’ve been cooped up at home for months and are itching to get back out to experience the world and find peaceful and sustainable places to enjoy.

For a detailed breakdown of the index and the data behind it, you can check out the full article here.

International Real Estate in the Crisis

There is certainly more turbulence ahead as the effects of the economic shutdown will be felt for months and years to come. However, such tough times also create opportunities for those that are well-positioned and may have liquid funds to deploy.

As highly leveraged property developers face a capital squeeze and are forced to sell, prices will be pushed lower and create some incredible buying opportunities. In fact, some have already begun to liquidate their assets.

Yes, tourism and rental demand will slow down for a while (just like everywhere in the world), but Costa Rica has the long-term fundamentals and is well-positioned as a safe, world-class travel destination to bounce back and regain its growth trajectory soon enough.




Costa Rica Valentines

Costa Rica Valentines

February 14, 2020

Properties in Costa Rica

Although showing affection should be a year-round event, Valentine’s day is an occasion to remind your loved ones that you care and that you are happy to have them in your life.

It is time to show love and interest to all beings and a reminder that we are not alone on this earth, and that our journey in life needs to be aware of this every moment.

In Costa Rica Happy Valentines Day (the friendship and love day) is celebrated in different ways, in schools, kids bring candies and get dressed in pink or red; friends celebrate this day having lunch or dinner together, making friendship reunions or just going to the beach the whole weekend.  You will find Special hotel offers, theaters, and presentations, restaurants are full of people, and even Hotels make special activities for kids and grown-ups, a lot of concerts in the malls and commercial centers, Art gallery presentations, live music all over.  If you want more information on events, click here.

No matter what you do this day, make it a good occasion to be kind and show kindness to all beings, after all, that is what true love is all about!

Don’t forget to give Chocolates!!



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