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Economic Drumbeat

Latin America Update

Rumble and Weather Talk

Where's the Beef?

¿Que Es Eso?

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In This Issue:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Big Mac? - Next Block Please Amigo; b. English Program Launched in Acosta; c. Navas Intends to Retire in Spain; d. Zarcero Band to Shine in Rose Parade; e. New Funding for Lifeguards Nationwide.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Visual Technology Opens Office Here; b. Biomerics Expanding Here; c. P&G Expanding Here; d. China Now Allowing Imports of Costa Rican Pork; e. Not All Is Rosy in Tropical Lands.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events In Neighboring Countries): Bolivia -OAS Report Excoriates Morales; Columbia - a) Protests Continue, b) Uber Under Attack; Nicaragua - a) Refugee Applications Up, b) Border Truck Waiting Line 10 km; Venezuela - Maduro Still in Charge.

4. Rumble and Weather Talk: Earthquake Mode: Steady as She Goes; Rainy Season: Is It Summer Yet?

5. Feature #1: Where's the Beef? (Bull Fighting Season is in Full Swing)

6. ¿Que Es Eso? Department: How's This for a Stocking Stuffer?

7. Feature #2: Respecting What the Jungle Offers (Larva de Perro and Other Fun)

8. Health Stuff: Larva de Perro

9. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group.

10. What's-in-a-Word: Answer to Que Es Eso

11. ROMEO Corner: Pesca Seafood House at Marina Pez Vela Quepos

Wisdom of the Ages

The Golden Gringo and the entire staff of GGC Publications (guess who that is) wish you and yours every blessing and good wish for the holidays and the New Year.


¡Feliz Año Nuevo Amigos!

Broken News
(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

Big Mac? - Next Block Please Amigo


The Original Non-U.S. MacDonald's

Arcos Dorados ("Golden Arches"), the MacDonald's franchisee for Latin America, recently announced that their store across from the Central Bank of Costa Rica would soon (January 2020) be relocated one block east. No big deal, right?


Well, in a way it is a big deal because that particular store has historical significance. It happens to be the first ever MacDonald's opened outside the United States and was commissioned in that location in 1970. That's a 50 year run amigos, not bad.


Since then Arcos Dorados, the franchisee has added more than 2,000 more locations in Latin America and now has a total of about 60 in Costa Rica alone (we're still waiting for one in Quepos).


Arcos Dorados achieved over $4 billion in sales in 2015 and employs on the order of 90,000 people. Their results have been negatively affected in the last few years due to losses in Venezuela and currency fluctuations in a few of the countries where they operate.


There ought to be a plaque...


English Program Launched in Acosta


When Carlos Alvarado ran for president last year one of the tenets he espoused was the need to improve English capability among students in order to provide them with more skills for an increasingly technical and international job market. Just look at the recent and continuing influx of English-based technical companies that have moved into Costa Rica's Silicon Valley that supports that conclusion. Since the article in that reference was written only six months ago, the list has grown by at least seven new tech names investing here plus tech firms already here who have announced significant expansions.


I Do Believe That's the Prez in English Class

Recently the Alvarado administration announced a new program for the Canton of Acosta, about 20 kilometers southwest of San José. Some 78 local students will be taught English by professors from Juan Pablo II University for one year that began in December . The program is budgeted at just over $300,000. The government awards scholarships to the students for them to participate.


Over 7,000 students have been entered into and/or completed new English learning programs in 2018 and 2019.


Navas Intends to Retire in Spain


Keylor Navas is without a doubt the most widely known and beloved futbol player that's ever hailed from Costa Rica. After having been released last year by Real Madrid he ended up playing for PSG (Paris-Saint Germain). Recently he was interviewed by a Spanish journalist who asked the venerable Navas: "When you retire, are you leaving for Costa Rica?"; No,I'm going to live in Spain, probably...".


Come on Key, tell us you didn't mean it, that you were just trying to make the Spanish reporter happy. What about all those Costa Rican women who've been naming their babies Keylor; what are they going to do? And remember the best paella is no pinto amigo.


Zarcero Band to Shine in Rose Parade


Ticos like nothing more than a band and a parade. In the small town of Zarcero, also known as Alfaro Ruiz (I don't know why it goes by both names - perhaps a reader can enlighten me), is a small community in Alejuela Province about 40 km northwest of San José as the paloma flies. This year, the municipal band shown in the photo will be participating in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day. They look ready.


Good work kids.


New Funding for Lifeguards Nationwide


A new law was signed in the last week of December creating a National Lifeguard Department to implement funding and programs to staff the national beaches and increase prevention of drownings. The new department is operating under the ICT (Institute Costarrecense de Turismo or Costa Rican Tourism Institute) who will be responsible for issuing regulations and promoting increased safety and prevention of accidents at the nation's beaches.


The program includes the funding of some $1.75 million to hire 20 certified lifeguards at Manuel Antonio beach, Ballena and Cocles-Manzanillo, "beaches of high visitation and a high risk of drowning accidents".


As a frequent visitor to Playa Espadilla, the main beach in Manuel Antonio, I have seen several of the beach surfing instructors and vendors who double as lifeguards (and have been certified in the past). There have been a handful of men at this beach going out of their way, at no compensation, to save lives.


GG hopes these good Samaritan men receive some of that compensation and have their ranks reinforced to keep our great beaches safe.


¡Pura Vida!




Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Visual Technology Opens Facility Here


American company Visual Technology LLC, founded in 2001, is opening a facility in the Flexipark in Alajuela. The facility was opened with five employees and an undefined number of additional employees are expected to be added next year.


The company describes itself as a supplier of "dimensional metrology and inspection of manufactured components". To this antiquated engineer that sounds like electronic equipment used to monitor production lines for quality control. A better definition in their announcement was given later as: offering "measurement technology, product support and technicals services to medical devices, electronic products and manufacturing companies". (see, I was close)


The company sees Costa Rica as an excellent center and jumping off point to service their customers in the U.S., the Dominican Republic and Central America.


Biomerics Expanding Here


Biomerics Cartago

Biomerics LLC originally established a manufacturing and service facility in the Zona Franca Parque Industrial Zeta in Cartago as a joint venture with ATL Technology. Biomerics is now purchasing the ATL portion and will become Biomerics CRI. The company is involved in the production and distribution of interventional medical devices such as cardiovascular, structural heart, cardiac rhythm management (I might be able to use one of those), electrophysiology, neurovascular, vascular access, and gastrointestinal/urology markets.


The company recently expanded to a 3,700 square foot clean-room and expects to add an additional 20,000 sq ft by 2021. With the addition of the ATL share and other business units from CRI, Biomerics-CRI will have increased capabilities in extrusion, injection molding, high-volume clean-room assembly, kitting, and packaging services. The seven business units involved will have total employment of 1,300.


Biomerics also has operations in Minnesota, Utah, Texas, Connecticut and Indiana.


P&G Expanding Here


P&G (Proctor & Gamble - remember them?) recently celebrated their 20th anniversary in Costa Rica. To add a little frosting to the cake so to speak they announced they would add an additional 150 people to their ranks before the end of 2020. That would be in addition to over 1,500 they already employ here in sales and service.


P&G's original entry here was as a financial services center for the Americas. They later added a business transformation IT center which is "focused on reinventing best business practices by aligning processes, people and technology around the world to reduce operating costs and add value at the corporate level".


China Now Allowing Imports of Costa Rican Pork


After six years of negotiations, over three years auditing of processing companies and, finally, arrival at a protocol on veterinary and sanitary requirements, the Chinese government has opened importation of Costa Rican pork products to China. The Costa Rican government unit SENASA (The National Animal Health Service) is rightly touting its success in bring the agreement about.


I Can Taste That Sucker from Here

Even more important is this fact: "The opening of China's health authorities to the Costa Rican product without prior inspection to meat processing plants is a reflection of the confidence that these authorities have in SENASA."


Not to be left out, the new port at MOIN is expected to provide a new direct route and a reduction of expected transit time from the old 36-39 days to 23 days. First year exports are expected to be about 1,000 tons (that's a lot of porc flied lice amigos).


There can't be much wrong when a country of 50 million people is able to ship its products to a market with a potential of 1,500 million people.


Not All Is Rosy In Tropical Lands


The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, more simply known as ECLAC, is the U.N. economic watchdog (number trackers) for our region. It issues reports and forecasts for the countries in our region and covers all of Latin America and the Caribbean.


A recent report issued by ECLAC noted that a recent overall six-year economic deceleration will continue in 2019 with the region expected to report only 0.1% growth (all growth rates are quoted as a percentage of GDP). The winners: Dominica (9.0%), Antigua and Barbuda (6.2%), Dominican Republic (4.8%) and Guyana (4.5%). The losers: Venezuela with a contraction of (-25.5%), followed by Nicaragua with an expected contraction (-5.3%), Argentina (-3.0%) and Haiti (-0.7%). Central America will grow 2.4%, the Caribbean 1.4% and South America will contract -0.1%.


The report also states that policies need to be implemented by countries that "stimulate growth and reduce inequality". A little later the report states countries should "strengthen the State’s capacity for revenue collection, improving the progressive nature of the tax structure through an increase in direct taxes and reducing tax evasion, which represents around 6.3% of regional GDP".


Costa Rica is a good example of trying to increase their effective tax collection and "progressiveness" through their new tax law based on VAT and trying to stimulate the economy (a new program) at the same time. Increasing taxes substantially while attempting to stimulate the economy is quite the balancing act. Costa Rica on its own has been forecasting 3.75% growth in 2020 while actual performance in 2019 was pegged at 2.5%.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)



The final Organization of American States investigative report on the October 2019 Bolivian election that was suppose to have elected Carlos Morales to his fourth term issued its report. Señor Morales was not there to read it as he is now in exile in Mexico.


The report came to these conclusions:


- there was a series of “deliberate” and “malicious” tactics to rig the election including the use of a hidden computer server to tilt the vote toward Morales.


- “deliberate actions to manipulate the result of the election” making it “impossible to validate” the official results.


At least 30 people have died in clashes between protesters and security forces since the election — most of them since Morales resigned from his post. Much of the conflict results from confrontation between indigenous peoples, whose first president was Morales, and the urban middle classes.


Senator Jeanine Anez declared herself interim leader and authorized a new ballot that excludes Morales. Anez has begun to rewrite Bolivia’s foreign policy including breaking ties Cuba and Venezuela and appointing the country’s first ambassador to the United States in eleven years in an attempt to reset ties with Washington.




On December 4, a third strike since November produced work stoppages and traffic confusion in the major cities but, despite minor confrontations with the police, the strikes and protests were largely peaceful.


Nevertheless five people have died since the demonstrations began in November. The major claim for the protests has to do with income inequality in the country and is directed against President Ivan Duque who is considered right of center.


One of the protesters in the demonstrations in the capital of Bogota took first prize in the banner department, He is a student known only as Nicolas and he wrote on his banner: "The state lies more than my ex." Young Nicolas should at least get a good mark in his creative writing course.


On another topic, the government organization called the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) ordered Uber to cease operations because "Uber generated 'a significant advantage in the market' by rendering transport services for individuals via its application." Perhaps GG is a bit old fashioned but I though that's exactly what an innovative company is supposed to do.


Uber has 2.3 million customers in Colombia and employs 88,000 driver-partners. Uber immediately filed an appeal.




President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica made an "urgent" request for international aid this month to help with refugees from Nicaragua who have crossed the border into Costa Rica because of the riots in Nicaragua last year. Since the troubles began in April of 2018 the Costa Rican government has received some 77,000 refugee applications; over 10,000 just since September of 2019. Last month the Organization of American States recommended that the United Nations hold a special session to review the situation in Nicaragua and the United States added additional sanctions on members of President Ortega's family.


On another topic, trucks crossing the border from Costa Rica into Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas have developed a waiting line, according to press reports, 10 kilometers long and requiring up to four days for a trucker to make it through. While some of this is related to seasonal traffic including Nicaraguans repatriating to their mother country at holiday time the truckers union blamed "a deficiency of personnel in general, customs and immigration agents, and drug control police among others".


GG and a few friends had to drive past that line on a visit to Nicaragua early in October, long before holiday time, and can report the line was at least five kilometers then. Negotiating the passing of those trucks in a car in the wrong lane for that length was harrowing.




In case you don't remember, Suriname is a former Dutch Colony on the Atlantic side of South America wedged in between Guyana and French Guiana.


Here's the headline: "A military court in Suriname on Friday convicted President Desi Bouterse of murder for the execution of 15 opponents in 1982, plunging the South American country into political uncertainty."


You would think a murder conviction might slow a president down but not quite, not yet. The next report said: "The 74-year-old leader was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but the military court did not issue an arrest warrant. Under Surinamese law, he cannot be arrested until all appeals have been exhausted." Schweeeet law if you're a murderer; plenty of time to escape.


President Desi Bouterse

Bouterse first took power in a coup in in 1980, five years after gaining independence from the Netherlands. The crime referred to relates to the so-called "December Killings" (1982) in which 16 of Bouterse's political opponents were captured by soldiers and only one survived; that one testified against the President in the military court. Opposition leaders called for Bouterse's resignation when he returns from a visit to China.


The wheels of justice turn very slowly in Suriname (like 38 years in this case). The saga will continue of course.




A new group, five adults and three minors, of Costa Rican passport carrying people were repatriated recently from Venezuela. Most of these people had migrated to Venezuela in earlier years, in some cases as children. The Costa Rican government in San José, as well as the Costa Rican consulate in Caracas worked together to secure their passage. This was the second such repatriation this year bringing the total to 18 for 2019; in 2018 another 20 had been repatriated.


In addition to repatriations, refugees from Venezuela since the troubles broke out in mid-2018 are well over 3,000,000 with 1.7 million alone ending up in Colombia. One pundit suggested that all these departures were OK with the disputed president Maduro because they represent fewer people Maduro has to deal with.


Maduro continues in power with the help of significant Russian and Cuban military presence.


¡Solo Bueno!




(Rumble and Weather Talk)
(Shaky Happenings and Weather Observations On or About the Pacific Rim)

Rumble - Steady as She Goes


Because the Central American isthmus is basically situated on a series of active and semi-active volcanoes, there was the usual array of several dozen moderate shakers throughout the region in December. Probably the most significant one in Costa Rica was a 5.4R rumble located near the town of Samara in the Nicoya peninsula on December 8th. At a depth of 10 km, it was shallow and powerful enough to be felt in most parts of the country.


Recall that the Samara area was also the epicenter for the 7.6R shaker that hit that area on September 5, 2012 which was recorded in the books as the second strongest earthquake in Costa Rican history. And GG was there! Note that a 7.6R is over 100 times as powerful in energy release as a 5.4R as the Richter Scale is logarithmic.


Rainfall - Is It Summer Yet?


Historical Averages of Rainfall
by Area for Costa Rica

GG can never seem to find a local source of rainfall statistics for local areas. My impression is that overall we've had typical total rainfall during our rainy season this year (let's call that June-November). Others have described it as less than normal. The one thing for sure is that it's not quite over for 2019. We've continued to get rain showers in the afternoon almost until the end of December. It is likely, however, that the trend downward will blossom into full summer in early January. The beach weather is coming amigos!


The graph to the right gives historical average annual rainfall by area, GG also expounded on that in an article back in 2010 comparing places I had lived, Boston, Allentown, PA and Sarasota, Fl. That treatise is HERE.




¡Pura Vida!

Check Out Recent Earthquakes Around the World Posted by the U.S. Geodetic Survey: Recent Quakes



Search the Golden Gringo Chronicles Archives for Topics That Interest You


You can use our Archives to search for anything that has been written in more than 260 feature articles of the Golden Gringo Chronicles plus find Broken News items and ROMEO restaurant reviews. Enter your topic or item to search in the Google Search Routine below and follow the links offered from the search results. Suggestion: Enter only a simple, precise and unique as possible keyword or

two in order to narrow the number of references retrieved:


Golden Gringo Chronicles - Enter Search Here


Readers: Our publication is open to suggestions regarding future articles and will accept pieces written by others but we reserve the right to decline anything that the editorial staff (that's GG) thinks is inappropriate for this format. Send proposals, comments, suggestions, ideas, meaningless statements and jocular observations concerning the Chronicles to GG here: gg@goldengringo.com.



Where's the Beef?
(Bull Fighting Season Is In Full Swing)

For over 50 years the Municipality of San José has organized an impressive array of celebrations that take place during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. These celebrations include displays of artfully decorated wagons for which Costa Rican artisans are widely known, a parade with hundreds of horses (El Tope), a parade of lights (El Desfile de Luces) as well as a fancy costume competition (El Carnaval). To see a quick summary of these activities as well as photos go HERE.


Oh yeah, and then there's the bullfights. There are always bullfights at major festivals, including the major one locally called Fiesta de Quepos which takes place later in the year.


But first let's get the term straight: "bullfight" conjures up a scene with a young matador dressed in fancy clothes plunging a long sword into the spine of a huge bull, killing it. That might be Madrid or Barcelona but it's not Costa Rica because the law here bans killing or even injuring the bull. Bullfighting here is often referred to as "Toros a La Tica".


What really goes on might better be described as mentally tormenting the bull.


It helps if you have a number of amigos who have prepared themselves for the "bullfights" by downing several large portions of guaro and/or Imperiale, the national beer. Having thus fortified their intellectual prowess and readied their technical capabilities they are allowed into the arena individually or as a group. The objective then becomes making fun of the bull by running past it (quickly before it can turn around) and pulling it's tail or slapping it. If the bull happens to get a bead on someone there are always barricades behind which the offending person can run, but ya better run fast.


The gents and ladies that participate in the ring are referred to as "toreadors improvisados" or "improvised bullfighters".


The techniques used are particularly effective when several amigos work in tandem to keep the bull off balance. After fifteen minutes of this kind of irritation it seems to me the bull takes on a whole new look on its face and demeanor, snorting and becoming confounded.


It is often at that point that one or more amigos will discover even greater courage than before and challenge el toro by boldly taunting him, like the fellow in the photo above.


In the San José area they may go through (exhaust) as many as 300 bulls during festival week. There are a number of sporting variations to the bullfights such as:

Malacrianza in the Flesh

And then there's Malacrianza, the most famous bull in Costa Rica. The name literally translated is "Badass". Malacrianza weighed in at 770 kilos (1,700 lbs) and exhibited black and white speckled skin (photo left). His horns were the perfect shape of classic devil's horns that were befitting his name.


He lived in the town of Garza, a small fishing village on the Nicoya Peninsula. He was owned by a farmer who acquired him in a livestock exchange. At one time the farmer had two pictures of Malacrianza on his living room wall facing a picture of the Pope (it's about priorities and places of honor amigos). The story goes that Malacrianza was not even to be trusted among the other livestock on his farm, always attacking them; so he had to be put out to separate pasture, his own pasture. The pasture he was assigned turned out to have plenty of shade and a view of the Pacific (not bad Mala, sometimes it pays to be a badass).


Besides taunting bulls, another form of toros a la tica is to ride them. Malacrianza was that kind of bull because it was believed he was too ferocious to taunt directly. Despite that judgment he still managed to kill two riders during his exhibition years (2004-2015).


Malacrianza succumbed to old age in 2015 and was buried with all the dignity of the important personage he had become in the world of bullfighting.


¡Solo Bueno!


¿Que es Eso? Department (¿What is That?)


What Kind of a Stocking Stuffer is That?


Answer in

section below.


¡Pura Vida!



Larva de Perro and Other Fun
(Respecting What the Jungle Offers)

It's a Jungle Out There

One of the most intriguing and attractive things about Costa Rica is the pristine wildness of its rainforests and jungles. The country is justly proud of its heritage in this regard. All you have to do is walk into a jungle or rainforest a quarter of a mile to see how rich and dense the landscape is.


But wait, don't do that." Never, never, never go into a wilderness like that, no matter how beautiful, without the help of a qualified guide and after having taken proper preparations. We review some of the concerns here.


A Terciopelo

Let's start with the reptiles, particularly snakes, of which their are some 139 varieties in Costa Rica and from those some 22-26, depending on who's talking and counting, are venomous or poisonous. One of the more common poisonous vipers is the Terciopelo; it's not difficult to come across one of these while walking through the bush.


I remember one instance when I was at a popular restaurant in Manuel Antonio and a lady opened the door of a wooden storage cabinet in the corner of the restaurant and there looking up and sneering at her was a coiled Terciopelo (I can still hear her shriek).


For a complete list of venomous snakes of Costa Rica, go HERE.


Need we mention crocodiles? Before you go swimming in any river in the lush jungle make sure you do so with the understanding and approval of a knowledgeable guide. Better yet just wait until you get to Manuel Antonio beach but be careful in the remote sections because some of these crocs swim in salt water also. To see why you don't swim unsupervised in the rivers here read the story of one Omar de Jesus Jiron HERE. He was a gent who decided to take an impromptu dip in the Tarcoles River near Jacó one evening.


But it's not just the animals of which an amateur jungle investigator must be aware but also of secret, silent, microscopic attackers that can cause considerable damage and illness. In this category we find gastrointestinal illnesses both food and water-borne bacteria, traveler's diarrhea, colds, flus and fevers such as dengue and chikungunya. All these things are caused by bacteria of some sort and tropical areas are natural spawning and growing grounds for bacteria.


GG has heard visitors say a number of times over the years that they were suffering from food poisoning and often they point to the last restaurant where they ate. That's highly unlikely here as the restaurants are by and large serving safe, well cooked food. Both the food and the water are generally safe to drink in Costa Rica. Like any place in the world however, foods contain different types and amounts of bacteria. Traveling several thousand miles and changing stomach contents by eating and drinking the local offerings can produce such a reaction to new bacteria as mentioned above. GG has experienced that situation both coming here from the U.S. and going to the U.S. from here after several years of adjustment living here. Probiotics tend to resolve these issues amicably (my favorite is papaya seeds).


Perro and Larva de Perro

There can be, however, blood contamination from consumption of one thing or another that results in different kinds of ailments. Such is the one pictured in the following section called "Larva de Perro", literally translated Dog Larva. It manifests itself as a very itchy rash and might be accompanied by stomach upset (photo left).


I had never heard of this type of thing until recently when I developed a rash on my lower left arm, one that was fairly raw and very itchy. I showed it to a friend of mine who immediately said it was "Larva de Perro". What the heck is that GG asked? He told me that when he was growing up on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, and they got that rash, the belief was the ailment came from brushing up against dogs, hence the "Dog Larva". Turns out he was right on the money.


It should be pointed out that you're unlikely to get larva de perro from a domesticated dog living under the roof of a typical dog-owner who takes good care of their pet. But strays are another thing and there are many strays in Costa Rica.


Here's the description of Larva de Perro given on a medical site on the Internet (source: MedlinePlus - https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/001454.htm): It's described as a

"Migratory Larva, an infection in humans with larvae (immature worms) of the hookworm of dogs or cats". The causes are listed as:


"Hookworm eggs are found in the feces of infected cats and dogs. When eggs hatch, larvae can infect soil and vegetation. When you come into contact with this infested soil, the larvae can be buried in your skin. These larvae cause an intense inflammatory response that leads to rash and a strong itching. The migratory larva is more common in countries with hot climates. In the United States, the southeastern states have the highest infection rates. The main risk factor for this disease is contact with sandy and moist soil contaminated with cat and dog feces. Infection is more common in children than in adults." (And for this kid)


My guess is I picked up the LdP from petting a stray dog, which is my wont to do. I think I'll be a little more selective in my petting practices from hear out.


When this thing appeared I went to see the boys and girls at the ER of Quepos Hospital, the first line of treatment for the national health system. I got to see a lady doctor within an hour and when I jokingly pointed to my arm and said "Larva de Perro", she managed a weak smile and slight nod of the head. I received two shots in the butt and, when I mentioned that I also had contracted diarrhea, she set up a series of IV bags (I think electrolytes), gave me a parquet of ten pills and some Calamine lotion,


The stuff, including the diarrhea was 95% gone two weeks later. It's funny, but I had discovered on my own that Calamine lotion helped - it was one of the things I happened to have on my bathroom shelf that seemed to relieve the itching.


The objective in this article was not to scare people who visit here but simply to point out the the health challenges are different and that we must respect the tropical jungle for its risks as well as its beauty.


¡Pura Vida!




Health Stuff

Note: The information given in this section is offered as news information only and does not indicate GGC confirmation or denial of the accuracy of any treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results nor validity of the conclusions proffered. (How's that for a disclaimer amigos?)


Larva de Perro


frtSo that's not the best picture of what I'm trying to convey but you get the idea. It's a reddish rash, very itchy.


The discoloration on the back of my hand is not related to the Larva de Perro. I take Warfarina (Coumadin) and if the hand or any other part is accidentally hit against something, discoloration results that lasts approximately two weeks before disappearing.



¡Pura Vida!



Travel Quote of the Month


¡A Cachete!


GGC Bookshelf
(skip section)

drfGGC Publications Group is the parent organization that publishes the Golden Gringo Chronicles as well as a number of books and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and Costa Rica. The GGC Bookshelf also includes works from a number of other authors that belong to the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group in which GGC has been a founding member.


Here are the books currently on our bookshelf:


jio uio cvb gty
The Chronicles as a Narrative

Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español Small Business Guide
Read More Read More Leer más aquí Read More
dft ikl gyh drt
Overcoming Drinking Making Time Count Spiritual Love Connection Murder or Suicide?
Read More Read More Read More Read More
ser kio awe fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica World War II True Story What's the Sleuth Up To?
Read More Read More Read More Read More

Coming 1Q 2020!


Las Esferas

The Mysterious Spheres of
Costa Rica

There's Room for
More on the QMA Writers Group Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
by Bob Normand      



All of the above books are available on Amazon.com and the "Read More" links above will lead you to them. You can find more detail on all of them on our GGC Publications Page.


GGC Products Store


GGC Publications also offers some accessories and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and with Costa Rican themes, to wit:






a. Golden Gringo Chronicles with Logo,

b. Official Golden Gringo with Monkey on Banana Hammock,

c. ¡Quepo en Quepos! ("I Fit In Quepos!") with Photo of Quepos,

d. Wanna Monkey Around? - Come on Down! (shown) with Photo of White Faced Monkey,

e. It's OK to be Slothful with photo of Three-Toed Sloth.


The t-shirts are available in several themes, colors, styles and sizes. See them all HERE.


Coffee Mugs:


a. Golden Gringo, b. Wanna Monkey Around?, c. It's OK to be Slothfulgty

See them all HERE:

What's life without a great cup of Costa Rican coffee? And it tastes even better in a Golden Gringo Chronicles mug!


To see ALL the products available in the Golden Gringo Store go here: GGC Store.


¡Solo Bueno!


"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn"
Benjamin Franklin


Answer to Que Es Eso?



It's quite simple my dear.


The personnel of Quepos Hospital decided that they would dress newborn babies in Christmas clothes. Le Voila!




¡Pura Vida!







ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Pesca Seafood House


Location: Marina Pez Vela top street level, center.

Hours: Monday - Sunday, 12 PM to 10 PM

Parking: Parking garage lower level.

Contacts: Tel: 2519-9422, Email: N/A, Website: N/A


Reviewing ROMEOS: Alma L., Bob N., Dennis R., Eduardo P., Glen N., Ingrid H., Jeanette P., Julia S., Sheri,


To Review Our Rating System Go Here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System


ROMEOs at Pesca Seafood House
(Photo Credit to ROMEO Julia S.)

This is a new restaurant located in the same space that was occupied by Restaurant "Z" for several years. The main dining room is open, airy, modern and has a limited view of the Marina and its yachts from the restaurant. The composite score for ambiance by the group was 4.7/5.0 sloths.


The menu, as the name of the place suggests, is focused around seafood for both appetizers and main courses. It does offer a broad enough range of dishes to satisfy just about every taste but the only item that seems to be in the meat line is a dish that resembles a surf & turf.


GG decided to go light for lunch and ordered fish tacos. What arrived was two tacos with fish sticks cooked in a tasty breaded coating over fresh, shredded green and white vegetables with a side dish of tartar sauce. Very tasty and quite filling.


Other ROMEOs ordered a variety of goodies including: salmon salad, tuna burger, paella (for two), fish catch of the day, spring roll and a mahi-mahi casado. Most received good reports.


The dessert offering consisted of the standard area trio, i.e., brownie with ice cream, lemon pie, coconut flat etc. except for a dish of tempura fried ripe bananas with vanilla ice cream which two of us ordered (very good). The composite score for food quality was 4.7/5.0 sloths.

Value Index= 127


If there was a weakness in this dining experience it was in the area of service. The two waiters that served us were cordial, polite and helpful but the kitchen seemed to have difficulty in producing the orders in a reasonable time. In all fairness our group arrived in two parts, the first having ordered even before the second sat down. Still the time to realize the orders seemed a bit long. The composite score for service came in at 3.1 out of a maximum of 5.0. That resulted in an average of 4.1/5.0 for ambiance, food quality and service.


GG's combination of a michelada (lemone juice over ice in a salted glass with ginger ale on the side), fish tacos and tempura bananas came in at just over 12,000 colones or about $21 and seemed reasonable for the quality and quantity of food. The composite score for cost came in at 3.4/5.0 yielding a value index of 4.1/3.4x100=121 which puts Pesca Seafood House in the top 1/3 of restaurants in the area for value.


Pesca Seafood House offers another good opportunity for a good meal at a reasonable price and the ROMEOs can recommend it.


¡Solo Bueno!




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