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Feature: #1

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¿Que Es Eso?

Feature: #2

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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Zapote Bullfights Cancelled; b. Commuter Trains Sidelined; c. Neighborhood Face-lift in Quepos.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. High Growth and Cost of Government.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries): a. The Bad Guys Are Winning; b. Chile - New Leftists President; c. Nicaragua - New Nica Bus to Nicaragua Through Tabillas.

4. Feature 1: Quepos Profiles: Jessie Libasky Ponce Sosa (Growing Up Tico and Working Hard to Make a Good Life)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: Nothing But Silence; b. Weather: Rainy Season Ending But Not Yet.

6. ¿Que es Eso?: Kissing Plant?

7. Feature 2: Once More In Quepos Hospital (The Patient Must Have Patience)

8. Health Stuff: a. Vaccination Status; b. Continuing Flap Over QR Passes.

9. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from Local Writers.

10. What's-in-a-Word: a. Answer to Que Es Eso; b. More English Wierdos.

11. ROMEO Corner: El Arado, Manuel Antonio

Wisdom of the Ages

Holidays In Cost Rica in January

Only one national holiday in Costa Rica, a paid one that is, in January; New Year`s Day which falls on a Saturday, so under the new law it will be celebrated on a payday, this year, Friday (December 31). Costa Rica has some rather strange New Years traditions: These include:

Viva Amarilla!

Wearing yellow underwear for good luck

• Wearing red underwear to find a romantic partner

• Walking a suitcase around the block to bring travel

• Throwing water over the shoulder to discard bad memories

• Eating 12 grapes at midnight – one for each month — for good luck

¡¡Happy New Year to All!!

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

Zapote Bullfights Cancelled

What?? Is there nothing sacred that the pandemic hasn' t cast a shadow upon?

Run Señor, Run!

To refresh the memory of the GGC Reader (a special class unto themselves), bull " fighting" as the world remembers it involves a matador (that Spanish word translates simply to "killer") bravely taunting the bull and eventually killing it with a sword. Most countries, like Costa Rica, have moved to a non-killing rule but there are still a few places left that embrace the old traditional matador formula (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador).


Costa Rica actually has operated their version of bull "fighting" since 1967 so this year would be the 54th anniversary of the event. But in essence the pandemic this year caused the municipality of San Jose to limit attendance to 30% of capacity which in turn dissuaded the TV stations, particularly Televisora de Costa Rica (Teletica channel 7) and Repretel (channel 6), to refrain from bidding on the event, forcing its cancellation because the municipality depended on the revenue from the broadcasts to pay for the event.


So for the first time in 54 years the Christmas holidays will not include bullfighting from Zapote. For more on Costa Rica bullfighting, go HERE.


Use of Commuter Trains Sidelined


Incofer, the national railway (which I presume falls into the category of "Autonomous Institutions" as discussed in the Economic Drumbeat section below even though it`s 100% controlled by the government) announced recently that the new train system will be shut down from December 18 to January 9. Sounds like we`re back temporarily in the central valley GAM (Grande Area Metropolitano) to people getting around by bus, taxi or private vehicle including the old traffic jams.


Elizabeth Briceño Jiménez

The announcement stated that Incofer will make certain "interventions" including annual maintenance and other "arrangements". Not stated in the announcement, but probably a part of this, is an attempt at improvement in the safety systems in play between general traffic and the new trains which have proved a bit lacking.


To give the general public a little hope Elizabeth Briceño Jiménez, Executive President of Incofer also announced that they are doing everything possible to return the train schedule to that which was in effect before Covid as well as planning to increase the daily frequency of the train runs from 51 to 84.


In a busy and congested central valley, a good rail system has to be a part of the answer.


Neighborhood Face-lift in Quepos


An author and friend recently pointed out an article in the Tico Times about a local effort to help beautify an old neighborhood in Quepos. Although GG lives less than a mile from the area discussed I had just not been through the neighborhood recently and was unaware of this project.


When you leave Quepos normally, from the downtown area you cross a new two lane bridge that carries you into a neighborhood known as Boca Vieja (loosely translated: "Old Port"). That street continues for about a mile or more until the route connects with the Costanera Sur highway that goes North to Jacó and towards San José or South to Dominical and the Panama Border. By coming in the opposite direction entering Quepos you can get a first impression of what the town is all about.


A few weeks ago some local artists and neighborhood groups decided to get together and create some art along the route through Boca Vieja in an effort to create a new and improved look to an old neighborhood. The group included some local artists who helped create themes and impressions as well as a number of children who were assisted by the artists (by the smiles shown in the photos to the right I would say the kids had a great time being productive).


The artists even created a border on a hotel wall (lower right) that considerably spruced up the earlier version of the main gate


This new addition is also a great compliment to the Malecón area which begins on the south or Quepos side of the aforementioned bridge. The Malecón had already been substantially renovated in the last few years into a very attractive Baywalk and park for kids and their skateboards.


GG thanks friend and author Helen Dunn Frame for pointing out the article about the artists project. Some of Helen`s books can be found in the GGC Bookshelf section below.

¡Solo Bueno!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

High Growth and Cost of Government

Just about a year after the Costa Rican government of Carlos Alvarado negotiated and secured a $1.7 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to offset budget shortfalls (total annual government fiscal expenditures here run about $10 billion), a recent report shows that federal government employment has increased by 100,000 or 44% in the last 15 years.


Lunch Time in the Capital?

Talk of government organization here tends to divide into two types: a. autonomous institutions and b. Central Government. Autonomous institutions are government controlled and include the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE or the electric company), the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS - the national insurance company), the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo (RECOPE - National Refining Company, which, by the way does not refine anything but does control refined petroleum prices) and a few less significant others. Autonomous is the sector with the most state employees and fastest growth rate, increasing from 118,350 to 177,400 or 50%.


Meanwhile in the Central Government, the increase in the full time employees was 38%; the number of jobs going from 105,530 to 145,840. A press report stated: "The growth rate of the state payroll doubled the rate of increase of the country’s population during the last 15 years. While the number of inhabitants (citizens) grew by less than 22% in that period, the public sector payroll rose by 44%". Got that? (OK amigos, which is it, 38% or 44%?)


With regard to presidential administrations, growth in governmental employment in the last fifteen years was:

This is happening during a time when the annual deficit ran about 7% of GDP (about $4.3 billion.) Total government expenditures ran about 22.6% of GDP (about $13.9 billion), making the operating deficit $4.3/$13.9 and about 31%. Wow. Me thinks it might be wise to slow the government growth rate before we have to get another large loan from some place like the IMF as we did this past year. Taking on new debt to finance current operations isn`t smart in either private or public business. That might be why Moody`s recently reduced Costa Rica`s bond rating to "B1".


¡Pura Vida!


Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)

The Bad Guys Are Winning


Q-Costa Rica recently republished an article originally published in The Atlantic that describes the worldwide struggle that is now going on between democracies and autocracies. The article is entitled: "The Bad Guys Are Winning (If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse." Of course, we have a number of such autocracies in Latin America such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.


GG found the article fascinating and awakening. You can read it by clicking on the link below but be pre-warned; the article is more like a novella and runs in excess of 8,200 words:


The Bad Guys Are Winning | Q COSTA RICA




New President of Chile Gabriel Boric

Leftists win big in Chile. The growing number of leftists leaders in Latin America added one in December with the election of Gabriel Boric, age 35, to be President-elect of Chile, replacing center-right President Sebastián Piñera and defeating center-right candidate José Antonio Kast. Boric surpassed Kast with almost 56% of the vote in a run-off with the loser getting about 45% of the vote.


As expected, all the leftists and communist leaders around the Americas such as Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his Vice President/wife Rosario Murillo were exuberant. Rightist and centrist leaders of other Latin American countries chimed in with polite congratulations and expressed a desire to work together.





New Nica Bus to Nicaragua Through Tablillas. Trans Nica, the Nicaraguan bus company that runs busses between Nicaragua and Costa Rica will now run a Nica Bus through the border at Las Tablillas.


Tablillas is near the center of the northern border with Nicaragua about 100 km east of the widely used Peñas Blancas crossing.


For someone going from San José to Managua the distance from our capital to say, Granada or Managua is not much less via Tablillas than going through Peñas Blancas. The chief advantage could be that the border crossing is much less congested in Las Tablillas than in Peñas Blancas where there always seems to be a substantial backup of all kinds of vehicles including an endless number of trucks. The new bus is currently scheduled for one trip a week but the company says it will increase the frequency if volume warrants it.


¡Solo Bueno!




Profiles in Quepos Series
Jessie Libasky Ponce Sosa
(Growing Up Tico and Working Hard to Make a Good Life)

derSomewhere around 2013, a few years after GG had moved here, I met a young Tico man who had recently moved to Quepos from another part of Costa Rica. His good command of English overcame my weakness in Spanish and we kept running into each other fairly frequently because at the time he was a surfing instructor working for a small company at Manuel Antonio beach, a beach where I chose to unlax, frequenting it several days a week in those days.


Jessie Ponce 2021

When I would comment on how "Life is great at the beach.", Jessie would retort: "Life is Better When You Surf!". Eventually we became close friends (despite my being 70 and he 29). For a long time I knew him only as Jessie but later I learned that, in the inimitable fashion that is Spanish, his full name is Jessie Libasky Ponce Sosa. He`s now 37 and I, of course, have also advanced 8 years more.


If you break his name down, the first, Jessie, is obvious. His first last name is Ponce from his father and his second last name (Sosa) refers to his mother`s maiden name. So what about Libasky? Turns out his father, an avid futboller, named him Libasky in honor of a famous 20th century futbol (soccer) star named Pierre Libasky. OK, so the full four names, Jessie Libasky Ponce Sosa, are what now appears on his citizen cédula. This same naming tradition led to GG`s current Costa Rican Citizen cédula listing of Robert Arthur Normand Dumas.


Jessie`s heritage includes a great-grandpop who immigrated from Jamaica to Bluefields, Nicaragua, a bay town on the southeast coast of Nicaragua. There later, Jessie`s grandpop met and married a Nicaraguan girl and the result was Jessie`s dad. Later, Jessie`s grandpop moved the family to Barra de Parismina, a small town about 200 km south of Bluefields, also on the Caribbean coast but across the border and south into Costa Rica. Grandpop was interested in what he judged to be better employment opportunities in Costa Rica. Jessie`s dad, Jorge Ponce, emanated from grandpop`s Bluefields union and later married Jessie`s mom, a Tica named Marta Sosa. From that union came Jessie`s oldest sibling, sister Ingrid Sosa, his older brother, Michael Ponce and finally, Jessie himself.


Jessie Libasky Ponce Sosa - 2008

One could not help but notice when I first met him that physical fitness was important to Jessie. The photo left goes back to 2008 and reflects his interest in health and keeping fit. What I didn`t know at the time was that Jessie was also into boxing as a sport and a way of body training. That experience and practice would again become important to him later in his evolving story which will be expanded upon below.


Jessie impressed me from the outset with his ease of manner in dealing with people and the incessant smile that always made you feel comfortable. At first I was a bit skeptical that someone involved in surfing lessons might also be on the fringes of drug and alcohol use (not that they are all are this way, but the nature of the job lends itself to abuse of chemicals in order to perform better and be a part of the partee crowd). Jessie read my mind and took me aside some months later and told me how he had committed himself early on to no alcohol or drugs in his life. That impressed me.


Jessie worked a myriad of jobs that carried him over his teens and into his early 20`s. That included oil changing and cleaning of cars (the job is known here as being a "chammy boy" after the style of wielding the chamois). He also worked as a security guard (5 years - a natural for his physical condition), more than 10 years in various construction works, as a surfing instructor and guide and also as a worker on an offshore fish farm.


Jessie, Andy & Angelica
(plus some old geezer named GG)

Jessie lives in rural, agrarian Naranjito, a small town (population 4,200) about 10 miles east of Quepos on the edge of the Costa Rica Cordillera Central (Central Mountain Spine). He lives there with his wife Angelica and his 13 year old stepson Andy.


While Andy is busy with his Colegio (High School), his mom Angelica is pursuing a second university degree and looks to find a position in social service work after graduating from University in 2022.


Angelica and Her First Degree

Jessie`s goal is to complete something he started as a teenager but never finished: his own Colegio certificate. Beyond gaining his Bachillerato, Jessie hopes to carve out a career as a boat captain and is pursuing ever increasing responsibilities and opportunities at his job at the Marina to further that goal.


For the last five years Jessie has been employed at the Marina Pez Vela, our major marina in Quepos where he works in the boat yard on a crew that maintains and renovates yachts and fishing boats, a type of which he would like to command some day. As a result of his work there Jessie will know a lot about such vessels. The sea, its contents and its ships are an integral part of Jessie`s blood and it also runs in the family as both his father and brother are involved in running fishing excursions out of Quepos.


So the entire family is pursuing ways to increase their capabilities and accomplishments to improve their lifestyle through potential for professional growth.


As a teenager Jessie wanted to "get out there and make some money" so he terminated high school without taking the final tests (five in total) that would have given him a bachillerato (high school diploma). He understands now that was an unwise decision. In recent months he has been pursuing the elimination of this education credit shortfall by studying and taking the required tests. He has completed four out of five successfully but one (would you believe - Spanish), for which he`s taken the test, won`t know the result until early in February.


The bachillerato is a requirement to qualify for a number of jobs in Costa Rica, some of which relate to his chosen lifestyle and profession. One of them, for example, is joining the Coast Guard which has its school and training center here in Quepos and, of course, it involves the ocean and boating, a lifestyle that`s close to Jessie`s heart and skills. Although he has not yet targeted the Coast Guard as a future job objective, the bachillerato will be required should he decide to pursue it.


Coach Jessie Ponce and Some of His Boxing Students

Some time ago Jessie was running around Quepos and a fellow came up to him and asked: "You box, don`t you?" Evidently the man had seen him some years ago boxing in Quepos. That got Jessie thinking that he missed the physical exercise and maybe he could also teach teenagers how to use physical exercise such as boxing to improve their training and health much in the same way he did.


Certified Boxing Instructor

A few months later he was running three night classes a week in Inmaculada, a little village adjacent to Quepos, after convincing local authorities of the value of physical training for their youth. The photo above shows Jessie with some of his class.


When Christmas time holidays are not interfering with class schedules the coach has a total of almost 20 different students attending the three classes and ranging in age from their early teens to early 20`s.


So with a positive attitude and a smile on his face, Señor Libasky is a contributor to his family, to this region of Costa Rica and to good citizenship.


Nice work amigo, it makes me happy to have a friend like you.


¡Pura Vida Amigo!



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



N O T H I N G B U T S I L E N C E - Dat is gut mineer ("That is good sir", my best Dutch which is, actually, not so gut.)


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the World (Posted by the U.S.G.S.) 
Recent Quakes




As predicted by the UCR weather people last month, the rainy season, normally over by December 15, seems to be hanging on for 2-3 weeks more than usual. Dry season will be coming soon and our selva (woods) in this area will remain quite green nevertheless because of our stored up ground water. It`s been just a normal rainy season with its share of floods and mud slides in the north, but, in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area it was not nearly as horrendous as the experience we had in 2010.

¡Pura Vida!


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 320 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 key word 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.

Once More In Quepos Hospital
(The Patient Must Have More Patience)

In November of this year GG unexpectedly found himself in Quepos Hospital for the third time in the last ten years.


The first time was in 2018 when I managed to take a fall on a mountain hiking trip with my daughter and her boyfriend and the resulting injury then got infected. Read about that episode HERE. That experience ended my mountain climbing experience just short of expert (If you believe that I`m just a little short of expert, I`ve got a cute little bridge in Quepos, sorta like a small version of the Brooklyn Bridge, we could talk about you owning).


Quepos Hospital - Main Entrance

The second visit was the very next year, 2019, when I contracted pneumonia on top of dealing with sciatica. The sciatica was from an old back injury, the pain from which I`ve since learned to control, or at least to minimize via certain exercises. After five days in the QH I was released, steeped and brimming with various remnants of antibiotics.


After the second visit to the QH I waxed on in the Chronicles about the various aspects of hospital life that I encountered, everything from the fun of nebulization to the room decor, to the food schedule, to the modern practices of doctor care. That story is HERE.


kolNow comes the recent experience. It all started in September when I began having trouble digesting food; you know, as measured by not being able to evacuate. Here they call it entreñimiento; I call it uncomfortable. In a visit with my regular doctor in the Caja (National Medical System), he proposed a battery of tests at the QH which might take over a week to complete and would have, as it`s central goal, a colonoscopy.


By my thinking, which was significantly erroneous as usual, I figured I could get a colonoscopy done in a day in a number of places. So, in an effort to speed things up, why don`t I do that? I contacted a private physician who runs a clinic in Parrita, arranged an appointment (7:30 AM Sunday morning) and I followed the two-day preparatory procedure leading up to the colonoscopy by not eating solids and drinking only clear liquids plus taking laxatives.


After a quick inspection by the doc he deemed the result of the prep effort insufficient and terminated the procedure rescheduling it for three weeks hence. Leading up to the new attempt, I had to repeat the preliminaries, this time using even stronger laxatives. Unfortunately, I got the same result as the first time, the good doc still did not have a clear view. So I was 0 for 2 on the attempts and my strategy to save time resulted in extending the ordeal by over a month, at least two weeks longer than the Caja option.


I then returned to my primary Caja physician, with my tail between my legs (probably not the best analogy for this story) and begged him to do with me as he would. He wrote me a script order for the admissions department and said to check into the QH in two days, again on a Sunday (good medicine waits for no man). I did that and began a four and a half day starvation (liquids, no solids) program which schedule ended in the procedure being scheduled by the GE (Gastroenterologist) first thing Friday morning. This is when I began to appreciate, and even long for, the subsistence meal program being served to other patients who had no restrictions; a methodology I had critiqued in previous articles as insufficient.


One thing I didn`t know was they use anesthesia during the Colonoscopy. I had heard other people relate to the discomfort and I had steeled myself for that. But, after a minimum of preparation on the day of the procedure, the GE leaned over me holding a syringe of a white liquid that had been plugged into the tubing dangling from my arm and smiled at me, using his best English to say: "Good night." Five seconds later I was out like a light. When I awoke, The GE smilingly proclaimed "I found no problems - no cancer, tumor or any kind of growth!" While I was happy to hear that, it also prompted my next question: Entonces, ¿"por qué estoy sufriendo de entreñimiento doctor?


My response surprised even me. Not sure if it was the anesthesia or the intrusion of a foreign object into my private area but the fact that my mind had focused enough for me to come back at the doctor in very good Spanish was startling to both me and the doctor. With regard to the continuing problem the GE said to talk with my primary guy as they think one of the medications I`m taking could cause that. I did so, we eliminated that particular item and... vamos a ver (we`ll see).


This latest experience prompted me to review the meaning of patient (particularly since I promised my primary doctor guy that "I`ll be a good boy" this time). That caused him to remember an "intense discussion" I had with one nurse on a previous visit to the QH when I thought she was less than helpful. So I looked up the origin of the word patient in medical discussion and got this:


"Patient comes from the Latin “patiens,” from “patior,” to suffer or bear. The patient, in this language, is truly passive—bearing whatever suffering is necessary and tolerating patiently the interventions of the outside expert." Bear whatever suffering is necessary eh... really? This acceptance, not necessarily being attractive to a hard head, the definition makes a lot of sense.


I thought it came from the word patience but that word carries this more detailed meaning:


Patience: ... the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like; an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner; quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.


So the patient, and particularly this patient, needs to practice more patience.


No one said that getting old would be easy, just that it was guaranteed.

¡Solo Bueno!


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




Did somebody stick a pair of plastic lips on this plant?



Answer in

section below.


¡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 the 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?)


a. Vaccination Status


If you`re watching the progress of new Covid-19 cases. as shown in the chart to the left, you have to be impressed by the substantial drop-off in case numbers in Costa Rica in the last month or so. Also, during the week beginning December 13 there were four days where zero deaths due to Covid were reported in Costa Rica on four of those days and the contagion or "R" rate during this period dropped to below 0.8 (below, right). The press began reporting this period as the "Christmas Truce".


Can we say we`re over Covid; hell no, it`s too sneaky a disease especially in it`s ability to generate new variants. At this point we can only be vigilant in our attention to sanitary practices and hope the numbers continue to be good and even get better. Also to be considered; not much has yet been said here about booster shots.


UPDATE: Booster shots were authorized in Costa Rica by the Health Ministry on Tuesday, December 14. On that Friday, 17 December, GG walked three blocks over to the Catholic Church where I had gotten my first two shots and there I received my booster in a very short line (they were only doing people aged 65 or over).


During the December period the Costa Rica vaccination rate achieved 90% of people having the first shot and over 75% for the second. From my view point, and considering the statistics, the vaccine works amigos.


b. Continuing Flap Over QR Passes


After some serious confrontations between customers by shopping mall operators, the latter have suspended the procedure of asking customers for their QR Doc which they were supposed to have in order for them to be permitted to enter a commercial establishment. Few people had the doc...per the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce President Julio Castilla Peláez: “We proposed not to apply QR because there is no guarantee that all people have obtained it or have had access to the two vaccines. It cannot be like this. Nobody wants to ask for it because we would be punishing people who cannot prove their vaccination even those wanting to have the QR.”


Multiplaza Escazú at Christmas Time

In general, mall operators have elected to operate less than 50% of capacity (whatever that was rather arbitrarily deemed to be). The manager of the Multiplaza Escazú and Multiplaza Curridabat shopping centers assured the public that they will continue at 50% of capacity: “We have never reached or exceeded 100% capacity in our history."


Over the first weekend in December the police were called to a bar in San José where a person was asked to produce a QR Doc and responded by threatening the proprietor with suing him and making a scene. The police removed the man after the bar owner refused to give in. The customer then went Social Media on the place and published the incident on Facebook causing it go go viral, at least locally.


As for GG I applied online for a QR Doc some three weeks ago and, although I signed up my e-mail address for response, I`ve seen nothing yet.


¡Pura Vida!



Travel Quote of the Month


¡A Cachete!


GGC Bookshelf

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:


lop uio cvb jio
Costa Rica`s Mystery Spheres Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español The Chronicles as a Narrative

Read More Read More Leer más aquí Read More
gty ikl dft drt
Small Business Guide Making Time Count Overcoming Drinking Murder or Suicide?
Read More Read More Read More Read More
ser kio fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica Avoiding the Pitfalls What's the Sleuth Up To?
Read More Read More Read More Read More


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

Keep Writing Amigos!
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune  
Read More Read More Read More  


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


Yes, it`s a real plant that can be found in rainforests

from Central America through South America including Costa Rica. It is, however, fairly uncommon to stumble upon it except in the deepest part of the forest.


The name of the plant is Psychotria Elata but it is more commonly known as "Hooker`s Lips" or "Hot Lips". The lip-like display occurs only when the plant is in full bloom. ♪Besame baby, besame mucho♪.


More English Wierdos


Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger (except in Costa Rica); neither apple nor pine in a pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.


We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. I love our language.



¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner

(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

El Arado, Manuel Antonio


Location: Down the old road to Quepos, about 200 meters below the Mono Azul bus stop.

Hours: 12PM to 10PM Daily

Parking: Some spaces next to the restaurant; other street parking available.

Contact: Tel: +506 2777 0928; Website El Arado Restaurante

Reviewing ROMEOS: Bill D., Bob N., Duston H., Glen N., Steve M.

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


This restaurant was last reviewed in November 2017 and that review can be seen HERE.


El Arado Restaurant from the Front

This restaurant has been under new management for a number of years and has grown to be a favorite among the many eateries in Manuel Antonio. The restaurant is smack in the middle of the jungle growth on the old road up to Manuel Antonio (probably the only detriment is that this road is sometimes busy and noisy). The place reflects the area in its extensive use of local woods and greenery and subdued lighting. The group gave the El Arado a composite score of 3.5/5.0 sloths for ambiance.


We had decided to try for lunch at 12 noon and the five of us did so. However, I also noticed that available to us was a dinner menu which listed a more extensive group of larger, main course dishes. The five of us seemed content with the lunch offering.


GG decided on a pineapple and pork wrap in a spinach wrapper, one that turned out to be quite substantial in size, so much so that I took half of it home for a second lunch. It was accompanied by some very crispy and hot french fries and some dipping sauce. The whole dish was very tasty. I added a ginger-ale michelada to the wrap - nice combo.


Other ROMEOs selected 1) a pork chop casado, 2) a hamburger (reported as a bit salty but also with crispy fries, 3) a chicken-mango wrap and 4) an unidentified casado.


There were generally good reports on the quality and quantity of food which received a composite score of 4.1/5.0 sloths.

Value Index= 101


Service was provided by a polite young gentleman named Jefferson and the composite score for service came to be 3.6/5.0 sloths yielding a composite average for ambiance, food quality and service of 3.73 sloths.


The cost for two lunches, accompanying soft drinks and including the 23% legally required tax and tip came in at about 20,600 colones or about $32. The composite score for cost came in at 3.70 yielding a Value Index of 3.73/3.70 = 101, putting El Arado right in the middle of our chart for value rating.


The ROMEOs can confirm that El Arado is still a pleasant place for a good meal at a reasonable cost.


¡Solo Bueno!




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