According to the Spanish magazine Matador Network, there are 12 reasons why you shouldn’t invite a Costa Rican to your home.  The approach of this article focuses on the cultural background of the Costa Rican people like arriving late, mostly, to everywhere.

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Some reasons why you should not invite a Costa Rican to your home

  1. Better late than never: Costa Ricans will tell you they will arrive at a specific time, but that means you have to wait a little bit.

Even though Costa Ricans are not proud of this distinct habit, they tend to be unpunctual. “Ticos” probably tell you that they are just 5 minutes late, but you will wait for them half an hour, maybe an hour, you better take a seat. That is why they commonly say “La hora Tica”, which means they take seriously Einstein’s idea about time, it is relative. However, let’s look at the bright side…they will arrive for sure.

  1. “Ticos” don’t ask for something, they just say “ragálame” which means “give me”.

For buying Costa Ricans use the word “regálame” what is very uncommon in Spanish speakers because this word expresses the action of gift or give something. This does not mean they do not pay when they shop; it is just an expression or a way in which they use the language.

  1. They just want 100% natural juice.

If you are about to offer a “Tico” something to drink such as a soda, you better think twice. For them a juice, a real juice is made of fresh blackberries, pineapple, mango, watermelon and so on. And be careful, because these fruits must be peeled and squeezed right before drinking, so you can just forget about those supermarket drinks.

  1. Costa Ricans will make you feel older than you truly are or you’ll realize you’re lacking manners compared to them.

They are very polite people, so they always say “please” and “thanks”. Costa Ricans also say “usted” or “vos”; these words are used by Spanish speakers (native to Spain) to address or greeting older people or as a sign of respect. Asking for permission is a common manner for them when they enter a house or when they leave the table.

  1. They are friendly people, “Ticos” will talk to your other guest even though they haven’t met before.

Costa Ricans are very talkative, and they will start a warm conversation with everyone. Their hospitality makes them talk to the taxi driver or the baker just in order to create a nice atmosphere.

  1. “Ticos” are very into soccer (football).

Saprissa, Heredia, Cartago, The Baca, The Real Madrid; it does not matter the team or the player, they just love to talk about soccer. Costa Rica is a country in which people truly care about sports and they live with passion all their soccer national team matches. They probably invite you to play an informal soccer match called “mejenga”.

  1. They will always talk about how their country has no army and how Costa Rica is the happiest country in the whole world.

Since 1948, Costa Rica has no army or any kind of armed forces. It seems a positive change because the country has appeared twice in The Happy Planet index.

  1. About your last vacation: don’t show off, because a Costa Rican will stop you saying that in Costa Rica you can go from beach to the mountain, and then just climb a Volcano.

Costa Rica is a small country but is very rich in resources because of its location and tropical climate. For them to leave their houses and go to a paradisiac beach, and then spend some time in a forest or climb a volcano is not a crazy plan for the weekend.

  1. They won’t be surprised about your garden or how colorful is your parakeet.

In Costa Rica, the list of species of animals and plant is extensive and we are just talking about 51.000k2. For them to see a colorful bird or a beautiful flower is not a big deal. On the other hand, if you go to their homes they will probably give you a nice flower to plant in your backyard.

  1. “Ticos” won’t kill a living creature, they just won’t.

Forget about asking your Costa Rican friend to kill a bug in the ceiling of your living room, because they do not panic with the presence of insects or any animal kind. They will tell you to ignore them or you just better start thinking a name for that bug.

  1. Costa Ricans are “de patada larga” and, they go “por el zarpe” or to “montarse en la carretera”.

As every country, Costa Rica has its own dialect, and it is very rich in expressions. When you hear “de patada larga”, “por el zarpe” or “montarse en la carretera” you should know these slangs refer to a party and at that party, you will have fun for a long time.

  1. If you are planning a party that will end the next day, you have to be aware of cooking a “Gallo Pinto” flavored with English sauce and a cup of yodo (coffee) for breakfast.

“Gallo Pinto” is a typical dish that Costa Ricans commonly have for breakfast. This dish is made of rice, scrambled beans, an egg, cheese, custard, ripe banana, and of course a little bit of English sauce. And we cannot forget about a nice cup of “yodo”. There is no doubt this is a perfect way to start a day, Pura Vida!

This article was written by Sergio Otegi.

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