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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Cyberwarfare Now a Latin American Concern; b. Moving to a 4-Day-48 Hour Work Week; c. Food Basket Up 10%; d. New Prez Threatens Veto to Gas Limit Bill.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Cyberwarfare Now A Latin American concern; b. Yet Another Gas Price Increase; b. Borrowing Dollars Compromises Income in Colones.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. El Salvador - Government Forges Ahead Based on Bitcoin; b. Nicaragua - CR President May Not Send Ambassador to Nicaragua; c. Panama - Government Stabilizes Transport Fuel Prices; Peru: Suffers First Cyberwarfare Attack.

4. Que es Eso?: Now that´s a wild looking plant.

5. Health Stuff: a. 4th Covid Vaccine Dose Approved; b. Mask Mandate Lifted.

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

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

8. ROMEO Corner: Mimos Hotel and Restaurant, Manuel Antonio.









Wisdom of the Ages


“Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternatives.”

- Maurice Chevalier




Holidays In Cost Rica In June

There are no "public" or paid holidays in June but Sunday, June 19, 2022 has been designated and celebrated as Father´s Day in Costa Rica.


Feliz dia de Los Papas amigos!


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


Cyberwarfare Now a Latin American Concern


The actions of a cybercrime group based in Russia called "Conti" were recently brought to light when they stole some 45 GB (yup, that´s gigabytes) of information from our ministry of finance (see that story HERE). It´s coming to light that Costa Rica is not the first nor the only country that has had its government data hacked and copied. In late April it was announced that Peru had also been subject to yet another hacking and demand for ransom by Conti.


And Brazil´s Ministry of Health was cyber-attacked in 2021 by another cybercrime gang called Lapsus$. "Brazil has also suffered 13 separate cyberattacks on its court system in the past 18 months, according to Consultor Jurídico." reported their ministry of intelligence. In October, information on Argentina’s entire population (44 million) was allegedly stolen after the country’s National Registry of Persons (Registro Nacional de las Personas – RENAPER) was infiltrated. In Chile, a customs agency in Valparaíso was similarly infiltrated by yet another ransom-ware group called Prometheus, a group which specializes in Latin American targets.


A digital threat protection company called AdvIntel states the Latin American weaknesses, in some cases as simple as a lack of encryption code, are the root cause of Latin America’s digital vulnerabilities. An Inter-American Development Bank report supports this conclusion. At the beginning of 2020, just 12 of the 33 countries in the region had an approved national cybersecurity strategy. In 2021 alone, Conti alone was credited with at least 500 ransom-ware attacks worldwide.


In Costa Rica, a couple of days after the original announcement, the Conti group reiterated their demand for a $10 million ransom for their efforts. So far, the government has refused to negotiate and blew them off. Our effort is being led by a couple of key women shown in the photo left - Paola Vega, Minister of Science and Technology (left), and Raquel Cantillo, Systems Engineer (Raquel is on the right - GG finds the engineering look much more interesting these days compared to the mid to late 1900´s).


Shortly after Conti had first made their second demand they renewed their outrageous request for a ransom and threatened to launch their second stage attack by publicly releasing the 46 gigabytes of info they claim to have stolen.


The crime-stoppers folks need to catch up with these bad guys and stop them; go for it Tica gals. Where are the Americas´ various CIA´s who could collectively disrupt and dismantle Conti and the other baddies? This is (digital) war baby!


Moving to a 4-Day-48 Hour Work Week


In addition to eliminating the mask mandate and further vaccination mandates, our new President Rodrigo Chaves also declared his support and submission of a law to allow the standard work week to be 4 days long with 3 days off; that´s 4-12 hour days work with three days off (4x12 instead of the current 6x8). This strategy, known as "jornadas4x3", enjoys a strong appeal among both workers, various industrial groups and Cámaras (Chamber of Commerce).


U.S. Survey Results

Industrial concerns also tout this as an expansion of employment opportunities and expect it to generate new jobs. The only negative opinions here come from political parties in opposition to the current one who caution that it will be more difficult for women to balance these longer days with their home management chores.


The bill will be submitted shortly for it´s first reading and passage in the legislature. After any modifications it will become law upon its second passage.


GG suggests that something not considered in this change is the advent of three consecutive days off, rather than one, might turn into more scenes at resort areas like we see in Semana Santa (Easter week).


Let´s head for the beach baby.


Food Basket Up 10%


One of the sources of information used by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) (National Institute of Statistics and Censuses) here to measure inflation is the annual calculation of the Canasta Básica Alimentaria (CBA) or Basic Food Basket. This assessment is made up considering the prices of 52 foods, distributed in 15 groups.


The May 2022 calculation (₡47,331) saw an increase of slightly over 5,000 colones (or 11.9% over the same basket in May 2021. One of the largest increases was in dairy and was attributed to fuel and supplies shortages caused by energy increases and shipping shortages related to the Ukranian war and container problems.

Restructuring MOPT - Again

One must expect a fresh list of directives and initiatives from new political administrations and on this point our new president, Rodrigo Chaves is in tune. One of the most difficult areas for change and innovation in the past has been in the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, affectionately known as MOPT in its Spanish acronym.


Artist´s Rendition of the Infamous "Circunvalación" Intersection
or San José Ring Road

The Chaves administration began putting together their plan for restructuring MOPT the first week they were in power. The press was quick to point out that the last three administrations before this one (Laura Chinchilla - 2010, Luis Guillermo Solis - 2014 and Carlos Alvarado - 2018) also had announced restructuring but had failed to complete it.


Significant corruption has occurred in this area with sweetheart deals in public service contracts. The most significant of these was the “Cochinilla Case” which in 2021 uncovered a whole network of corruption in public works contracts and resulted in the arrest last year of more than thirty MOPT functionaries and the owners of two of the country’s top roads constructions companies.


Luis Amador

The MOPT restructuring work will also require changes in several of the "decentralized" organizations such as: the Road Safety Council (COSEVI), the National Roads Council National Roads Council (CONAVI), Public Transport Council (CTP), National Concessions Council (CNC) and the Civil Aviation Technical Council (CTAC).


The new Minister of MOPT, Luis Amador explained that the restructuring will take up to a year to accomplish. You get all that done successfully in one year amigo and you´ll be a hero (as well as the next presidential candidate).


By mid-May a bill had been drafted that eliminated the Boards of Directors of Conavi, Consevi, CTP and CNC and have them operate directly as part of MOPT. Let´s hope for the improved efficiency that these changes imply.


New Prez Threatens Veto on Gas Limit Bill


A bill has been circulating in the Legislature that would cut the price of fuel by 100 colones per liter which could be as much $0.55US per gallon. Our new President has threatened to veto this bill if it passes citing fiscal responsibility: “I am respectful of the Legislative Assembly, to sign this law as president and not veto it, but tell me where they are going to replace the amount of money that is missing? Tell me where they are going to cut to replace the lack of income, they say they want to lower ¢100 per liter, well it’s ¢250 billion a year (about $370 Million)." GG calculates that to be about 2.5% of the annual budget.


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Yet Another Gas Price Hike


On April 29, ARESEP (Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos), the regulator of Costa Rican gasoline and other prices approved yet another price hike for gasoline.


The new prices, put into effect in early May, are 951 colones per liter ($5.34/gal - at 670₡/$ exchange rate) for super, ₡927/l ($5.20/gal) for regular and ₡904/l ($5.07/gal) for diesel.




Borrowing Dollars Compromises Income in Colones


The slow deterioration with the Colone to US Dollar exchange rate hurts some people more than others. When GG first moved here in 2008 the exchange rate was 460 colones to the dollar; it now runs about 670₡/$. Depending on which base you use as a denominator that´s anywhere from a 31% to 46% deterioration in the exchange rate in favor of the Dollar.


The chart right shows the change in the last five years (colones per dollar) - note the particular deterioration in the last year, some of which has to do with the Covid adventure. It was recently pointed out that one group of people is particularly sensitive to this problem: those that borrow in Dollars but have to convert their income in colones to USD to pay them back. Understandably, the number of such loans was recently reported to have declined to 22.3% of the total loan portfolio in Costa Rica, and this was down from 31.6% five years ago.


Stabilizing this and other exchange rates will be a major challenge for our new Ph. D. Economist President Rodrigo Chaves.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)

El Salvador

One of the changes brought to El Salvador by the administration of Nayib Bukele, the current president, was a restructuring of El Salvador´s economy based on cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin. El Salvador only adopted bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021 when they expensed to implement it at more than 200 million dollars.


That was before the current crash in cryptocurrencies. Recent activity in that market saw Bitcoin lose 60% of it´s earlier value. Instead of iterating or moderating his course, Bukele set out to buy another 15+ million dollars of Bitcoin. Total reserves of this type for the country are estimated to be around 2,300 Bitcoins with a current value over $100 million.


So Bukele and his administration continue to go forward with their crypto plans. Vamos a ver amigos (we´re going to see what happens).






The first reaction of Costa Rica´s new president, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, was to reverse his predecessor´s decision to not send an ambassador to Nicaragua and appoint a new one. In doing so he stated how important it was that nations, particularly neighbors, maintain formal relations.


Then in late April "Nicaragua forced the closure of the Organization of American States (OAS) in its country and expelled the delegation". The OAS, founded in 1948 and headquartered in Washington, D. C., currently is an organization of some 34 countries making up the North, Central and South Americas as well as some Caribbean countries. One of its key duties has been the monitoring of elections in its member states.


When President Chaves saw the news of the OAS closure he said he was re-evaluating his decision with regard to sending an ambassador to Managua. Nicaragua´s expelling OAS from their country only added to the already substantial pressure on Robles not to send a formal envoy to our neighbor to the north.




On May 27, the government of Panama froze the price of transport fuel (I guess that´s diesel) at $3.95 per gallon for the next three months. This action  sets the price of 91 and 95 octane gasoline and low sulfur diesel for public passenger transport (buses, taxis, school buses, tourism services, etc.) at US$3.95 per gallon. "The fuel bonus expires in the month in which it is credited, it is non-transferable, it is not negotiable and its balance is not cumulative for subsequent months, said a statement from the Panamanian Presidency." The action could represent a contribution from the national govenrment of up to 100 million dollars which would be transferred to qualifying companies monthly.


Comparatively speaking, the average price of Diesel in Costa Rica recently reached 904 colones per liter ($5.0 per gallon) and in the states average price is $5.61.




On April 27 the government of Peru announced that they had also suffered a ransomware attack by the infamous Russian cybercrime group Conti, the same group that had hacked into Costa Rican government files. They also demanded a $10 million ransom from the Peruvian government to get their data back as they did from Costa Rica. This kind of activity is becoming a worldwide problem and has become particularly rampant in Latin America. It´s time to send in the "A Team".


¡Solo Bueno!


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.

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



Yup, just another rainforest flower? This one has a rather unusual name as well as an unusual nickname. Do you know it?


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?)



4th Covid Vaccine Dose Approved


The National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology (in Spanish = Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología) recently approved a fourth shot of Covid vaccine for "people over 50 years of age or in people with risk factors or weakened immune systems". The idea is that older adults may do better with a "booster" because "the immune system tends to weaken as it ages and does not produce the same quantity or quality of antibodies as it did when it was younger". The booster shot can be administered four months after the third shot.


The Commission was quick to point out that this shot is voluntary and not mandatory. To shoot or not to shoot, that is the question for GG.


Mask Mandate Lifted


One of the first actions (decrees) made by our new President Rodrigo Chaves Robles after his transfer of powers ceremony (inauguration) on May 8 was, as reported by the press: "Elimination of the use of the mask and mandatory vaccination, except for health personnel". No more masks for the bulk of the populace says Rod.


A challenge developed quickly thereafter from a voice in the Health Ministry that the president did not have the authority to eliminate mandatory vaccination (of course he says he does) without first publicizing it in the official Gazeta (which he did two days later), so it is likely that the higher courts will eventually be called upon to adjudicate this decision.


Some 14 Latin American countries, including Brazil and Mexico the two largest, have eliminated the mask mandate as has the U.S. and most of the countries in Europe. Canada varies in its approach from province to province and in many specific situations the mask is recommended but not mandated.


¡Pura Vida!



Travel Quote of the Month




“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” ― James A. Michener



¡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

#1 Read More #2 Read More #3 Leer más aquí #4 Read More
gty ikl dft drt
Small Business Guide Making Time Count Overcoming Drinking Murder or Suicide?
#5 Read More #6 Read More #7 Read More #8 Read More
ser kio fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica Avoiding the Pitfalls What's the Sleuth Up To?
#9 Read More #10 Read More #11 Read More #12 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  
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 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


This seemingly huge flower, which is actually a plant, is formally named Amorphophallus Titanum. It has received the nickname of Corpse flower because of the pungent odor that emanates from it that resembles a rotting corpse. (I do not make this stuff up amigos)


This plant displays one of the largest inflorescences (that´s the spike in the center) of any flower or plant on the planet; it can sometimes be as long as 3 meters (10 feet).


I dunno, GG thinks "big stinky" might be just as good a nickname.



¡Pura Vida!



ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Mimos Hotel & Restaurant, Manual Antonio


Location: About one mile up the main road to Manuel Antonio beach, across the street from the Blue Monkey Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Monday through Sunday

Parking: Some directly in front of the main building.
Contacts: Tel: (506) 8500-2202; Website: Manuel Antonio Costa Rica - Hotelmimos;

Reviewing ROMEOS: Bob N.,

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


This is a hotel that´s been operating in Manuel Antonio for a long time but I´m told was recently renovated. The restaurant is located on the upper floor of the main building and adjacent to the pool (which we were told we could use during our lunch period if we wanted).


The restaurant is made up of standard Tico wooden tables and chairs but the tables were lightly decorated with small vases of plastics flowers. The location and setup does not offer any interesting views but does provide a modicum of relief from noise emanating from the main street two floors below. The composite score by all twelve ROMEOs for ambiance came in at 4.0 out of a maximum of 5.0 sloths.


The menu offered was quite simple but included a substantial offering of seafood, salads, rices and burgers and a couple of pasta dishes.


GG ordered a red snapper fillet stacked with steamed vegetables over a bed of pureed potatoes and sauced with creamed baby shrimp. Delicious. The portion was quite generous but I might say that restaurants here would do well to remove the entire shell from the shrimp before saucing it. Picky-picky.


Other ROMEOs ordered fish and chips, fish sandwich, ceviche, hamburgers, chicken-Caesar salad and pasta bolognese.


No complaints were registered as the composite score for food quality came in at 4.3/5.0.

Value Index= 143


From the beginning on my scouting out the place the day before all the way through the meal and afterwards the service was very good. Our server was a young fellow name Roger who did everything he could to make us feel comfortable including rearranging half the dining room tables to put 12 of us together.


ROMEOs Once Again Hard at Work

Another point GG noticed was that all the meals were served together, i.e., over less than 10 minutes, , so that we could eat together the common practice locally being to spread them out one by one. One ROMEO also complimented Roger for serving the ladies first. The composite score for service came in as the highest component of our three areas of rating at 4.4/5.0.


My fish and shrimp dish and two ginger-ale micheladas came, including taxes and 10% legal gratuity at 11,900 colones or about $18. That´s a good deal in this part of the world and, evidently, other ROMEOs agreed as the composite score for cost averaging all 12 attending ROMEOs came in at 3.0, considerably lower than the normal average for this area.


With a composite average for ambiance, food quality and service coming in at 4.22 and a cost composite of 3.0 the Value Index becomes: 4.22/3.0x100=143, one of the best value indices that we´ve logged recently.


Mimos Hotel Restaurant is a place the ROMEOs can recommend for good food and service at a lower than local average cost.


¡Solo Bueno!



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Pura Vida!

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