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Economic Drumbeat

Latin America Update

Dealing With Mold Spores

Rumble and Weather Talk

¿Que Es Eso?

Let There Be Light

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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Many Also Seek Refugee Status In Costa Rica; b. Costa Rica Tightens Rules on Immigrant Refugees; c. Costa Rican Space Ladies; d. Avenizado Resumes in San José; e. Closing of One CR Consulate in Canada Announced.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Biz Happenings): a. Finally, It´s Time for the Aguinaldo!; b. Farmers Feeling the Cost Pinch; c. Monthly Fuel Price Adjustment; d. Dollar Weakens Substantially Against Colon.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. El Salvador - a. After-Effects of Crypto Currency Failure. b. Surprise Visit From Bukele Here; b. Nicaragua - ; c. Panama - U.S. Grants $22,000,000 in Humanitarian Aid to Panama; Peru - a. President Castillo Impeached and Arrested; b. Drought Hits Southern Andes.

4. Feature: Mold (Dealing With the Spores of Life)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: Not much here, more to the north of CR (Mexico); b. Weather: Summer Is Starting, Come Forth and Be Sizzled!

6. ¿Que es Eso?: Snowing in Costa Rica?

7. Feature: Let There Be Light (Especially at Christmas).

8. Health Stuff: Vaccinations Slowed but Continue

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: Answer to Que Es Eso.

11. ROMEO Corner: Agave, Marina Pez Vela

Wisdom of the Ages

"The older I get, the more clearly I remember
things that never happened." - Mark Twain

Holidays In Cost Rica In January

Of course the overwhelming holiday this month is January 1, New Year´s Day. This one is also a big favorite of Ticos because they get to beat their drums, blow their horns and, in general just make all the noise they can. GG has never seen such enthusiasm to celebrate (anything) like the Ticos can do it.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo Amigos!

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

Many Also Seek Refuge in Costa Rica

The recent and huge influx of immigrants, that are mostly headed for the U.S., pass through the Central American isthmus in which Costa Rica is central. With the change in U.S. policy towards Venezuela and the continuing exodus of people from our neighbor to the north, i.e., Nicaragua, Costa Rica has also experienced an increasing number of refugee applications for those that decide to go no further north or maybe just come to like what they see here.


The chart left shows the top-10 breakdown of Costa Rica refugee applications outstanding by country of origin. As of October 31st, 2022 the total of all open refugee applications totals 75,787. Venezuela and Nicaragua represent over 90% of the total but the total number of countries represented in the list is 64 and the top 10 are Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Russia (I bet it´s a temperature thing), Dominican Republic, Haiti and Ecuador. In addition there are some 21 "stateless" persons in the total, that is, people that no country recognizes as its own.

Costa Rica Tightens Rules on Immigrant Refugees

Venezuelans Begging in San José

The recent influx of immigrants, heading for the U.S. but claiming refugee status here, and particularly from Venezuela but also from Nicaragua and Cuba, has prompted the Costa Rican government to update and restrict their refugee status and program.


Said President Rodrigo Chaves: “It turns out that there have been people for 10 or 15 years in the country, but they had not applied for refuge; They realized that a work permit could come very quickly; so, after 15 years, they say they are refugees.”


The principal changes outlined by Chaves:

The Migration Department, Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), reports that 96% of refugee applicants are Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and Cubans. The number wanting (or having to stay) here has increased substantially due to the shut off of U.S. permission for Venezuelans to cross the Mexico/U.S. border.


Costa Rican Space Ladies


Here come the Ticas to learn about space exploration!


Sixteen girls were chosen by an organization called "SHE IS" which promotes breaking gender stereotypes and, in this instance relates to a program called "Ella es astronauta" or "She is an Astronaut". The fortunate 16 will spend about 12 weeks living a "unique and incomparable experience in an immersion training session" at the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas.


Work during this project will include "learning about emotional well-being, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and more. The aim is to prepare these ladies by inspiring them to be leaders and managers of change and to empower them to make the impossible, possible. They will have the opportunity to support their own projects and meet women astronauts and leaders who are making history at NASA as well as seeing how an astronaut lives.


The project is made possible by the Space University Beyond, NASA and great allies such as BAC Credomatic, Grupo INS, FIFCO, PROSOFT, Goya, Mastercard, EY, Servientrega, Fragomen, UN Women, TOTTO, United Airlines, Best Western, Aguilar Castillo Love, PSC, and The MAP Communications.


Go get ém ladies, the sky is no longer your limit!


Avenizado Resumes in San José


Munchkins Celebrating Avenizado

After a break in the action caused by Covid, the City of San José has re-instituted a Christmas time festivity called “San José Vivie la Navidad” or San Jose lives Christmas but which is also better known as "Avenizado".


This is a Christmas time celebration that includes parades, choirs and free concerts all over the City and over a period of several weeks. As might be expected this festival is a highlight with the younger crowd, the kids. One tradition involves throwing confetti to simulate snow (God knows it ain´t gonna happen naturally).


I admit once more that I´m prejudiced; I think Costa Rican kids are the cutest kids in the whole world.


Closing of One CR Consulate in Canada Announced


Ticos Marching in Canada
(Parade not Demonstration)

A group of Tico Expats living in Toronto, Canada recently filed a complaint in the Sala IV Constitutional Court in San José against Costa Rican Chancellor Señor Arnoldo André. Señor Arnoldo had announced the closing of a consulate general in Toronto citing fiscal and budgetary constraints.


Costa Rica connections with Canada, both diplomatic and personal have always been strong, much like U.S. relations.


The connection break is not all lost to the Canadians however as, in addition to the Costa Rican consulate general in Toronto being closed, Costa Rica has two other representations in Canada, including an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate general in Vancouver.


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Finally, It´s Time for the Aguinaldo!


Paying a 13th month salary or wage is a fairly common practice around the globe, one notable exception being the United States (voluntary bonuses notwithstanding). The 13th month is calculated simply by taking the total of salary and wages over the previous 12 months and divided by the number of months worked, usually 12. In Costa Rica it has been a regular practice, codified by law, for several decades for every worker public and private. Failure to pay the aguinaldo on the part of an employer can result in serious fines and sanctions. Here the 13th month is known as the "Aguinaldo" and is required by law to be paid in December by the 20th of the month.


One of the early proponents of an aguinaldo was the country of Italy who enacted their ‘gratifica natalizia’ (“Christmas bonus”) in the collective factory labor agreement of 1937 and by 1946 had expanded it to all labor endeavors. In Latin America the Aguinaldo is more broadly known as the “prima” (Spanish for bonus). It is mandatory in: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In Chile, it is a customary payment.


The sudden payment at the end of the year goes a long way to enduring a good holiday season but can also be an attraction towards over spending, and caution is suggested by the government. A report in a local electronic newspaper came out with the following suggestions for Ticos:

Good advice amigos.


Farmers Feeling the Cost Pinch


Farmers more than any other industry have endured a worsening situation that is approaching existential. So says a University Report: "producers are drowning in expensive loans, agricultural supplies with sky-high prices, below-cost payments, and evictions from homes, lands, and work tools".


"Free Imports", "Supply Shortages", "Expensive Loans", "Evictions", "Political Abandonment"

Many of the agricultural producers facing higher costs and lower income blame the lack of government support for the worsening conditions. A 75 year old producer of potatoes and onions put it this way: "...they offer when they come to look for votes and, sitting in the chair, they don’t remember what they offered.” A significant number of potato farms and rice plantations are shrinking and/or closing, unable to manage all the pressures (right).


As a local press article put it: "The agricultural sector is a highly risky enterprise since it is vulnerable to the weather and, in recent years, to the rise in international prices for agrochemicals and concentrates (since they are not produced in Costa Rica) aggravated by the container crisis and the war between Ukraine and Russia."


It´s a rough time for the farmers with no end in sight.


Monthly Fuel Price Adjustment


Because of the instability in the energy market these days, especially if you´re in a market like Costa Rica´s where price control rests with a government organization, prices undergo a monthly adjustment. Costa Rica´s pricing authority rests with ARESEP (Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos). The prices set are greatly influenced by information provided by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE), the former but now non-operating refining arm of the government also known (deridingly) as "the refinery that refines nothing".


RECOPE this month provided additional information that caused ARESEP to delay the announcement of its price structure but when finally released it showed that Super would increase +¢24 colones per liter to ¢819/liter ($5.16/gal), Regular would drop -¢56 to ¢819/liter ($5.14/gal) and diesel would increase +¢24 colones per liter to ¢846 /liter ($5.33/gal).


As a rusty old chemical engineer that array of pricing doesn´t make any sense to me - in the old world of refining, one almost always encountered Super as finished product that was significantly more expensive than Regular that in turn was more expensive than diesel - maybe the unusual difference here is in the (in)ability to adequately negotiate purchases of finished product?


Dollar Weakens Substantially Against Colon


The U.S. Dollar reached a peak against the CRC (Colon) in June of this year by just touching an exchange rate of 700 Colones to the dollar. As I am writing this, my bank is posting a buy dollar rate of 600/$ and a sell dollar rate of 586.50/$. That´s a decline in the value of the dollar versus the Colon of over 15% in six months.


A professor at the School of Economics at the University of Costa Rica gave these reasons for the decline in the value of the dollar:

  1. The increase in interest rates in colones.
  2. Decrease in the demand for foreign currency from pension operators.
  3. The growth of tourism.
  4. The attraction of investment from foreign companies.
  5. The reduction in the price of oil.
  6. Approval of Eurobonds (US$3 billion dollars in sales of securities in the international market for the next year, US$1 billion in 2024 and the same amount in 2025)

Some of us call that Eurobond thing - debt. The professor also gave some reasons why the dollar could increase in value in the coming months: "...such as the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates further and warning of a possible recession next year". Both factors could affect tourism and foreign investment, reducing the amount of dollars in the market.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)


El Salvador

After-Effects of Cryptocurrency Failure. With the ongoing collapse of the cryptocurrency market, many eyes have turned to El Salvador. That´s because the current president, Nayib Bukele, made bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador in 2021 and also invested a large part of the country’s fiscal reserves in the digital currency. Other press reports indicated that when asked as to what the investments amount to, the answer is either that this information doesn’t exist or it’s confidential. Those who watch what the president has publicized (via tweets?!), the investments could total about US$120 million. How much was actually lost, if anything, is not known. Stay tuned, this one is going to be interesting.


Bukele Makes Surprise Visit to Costa Rica. On another front, President Bukele made what was labeled a surprise, unannounced (at least to the public) and "very private" visit to Costa Rica beginning on Saturday, December 3. A private Mexican jet recently touched down around 5 pm at SJO and disgorged the president. No information has been offered if Bukele was to meet with any of our Government or have any official duties for that matter..


Vacation?, Fishing trip? After all, Bukele (right) describes himself in his autobiography as "The coolest dictator ever".


Vamos a ver (we´ll see).




U.S. Grants $22,000,000 in Humanitarian Aid To Panama. The government of Panama has made requests of the U.S. government for financial assistance for the last three years or so concerning the costs of dealing with the thousands of immigrants passing through their country on the way to the Mexican/U.S. border (particularly the Darien Gap on the southern border with Colombia) .


Walking the Darien Gap

Panama authorities stated a number in excess of $50 million has been spent by them on this effort since the beginning of the Covid period in 2020.


The U.S. recently allocated $22,000,000 to Panama for this purpose, as a humanitarian effort. This money is slated for health and food assistance and is to be distributed by "international organizations that have humanitarian assistance programs in Panama, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Pan-American Foundation for Development”.




Castillo (left) In Police Car
New President Boluarte

President Pedro Castillo Impeached and Arrested. The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo decided in early December that it would be best if he dissolved the legislature and took unilateral control by what he called an “exceptional emergency government” that would rule by decree.


The legislature quickly rejected his plan, had an emergency meeting and impeached Castillo, charging him with rebellion and “permanent moral incapacity”. He was summarily physically removed by police and taken off to jail.


By constitutional mandate Vice President Dina Boluarte succeeded Castillo the same day and became the first female President of Peru. After taking the oath of office, Doña Boluarte asked for a truce: “What I ask for is a space, a time to rescue the country". She also said she would govern until July 2026, which is when Castillo’s presidency would have ended.


Drought Hits Southern Andes. While the heat was on in Lima for Castillo, additional heat in the southern Andes of that country was also proving difficult.


The area´s high elevation and position near the equator has always made the Peru´s southern Andes sensitive to natural global warming. This year an even greater lack of rainfall than normal is taking it´s toll. For example take a look (left) at a lagoon called Cconchaccota and an emaciated sheep which exists in that region at 4,100 meters elevation or 13,120 feet.


The rains should have started in September but did not. Farmers are losing livestock to this drought as evidenced by the emaciated sheep walking across the bone dry lagoon. Says a local report: "Dead sheep and lambs so weak they can barely stand can be found among sparse yellow grass. The planting of potatoes has been delayed leading many to expect food shortages in the coming months because people are already feeding themselves from their dehydrated potato reserves."


Keep these poor people in your prayers amigos.


¡A Cahete!


(Dealing With the Spores of Life)


A few weeks ago GG was spouting his far-from-perfect knowledge of things Costa Rican when a visiting lady asked this question: "How is the mold problem here?" Evidently she has a sensitivity to mold (or its spore-like offspring). I readily confessed I knew nothing about mold even though it is common here in the jungle and its thereabouts, especially in the winter or wet season. So I thought I´d do a little research on said subject.


Mold on a Concrete Stairway

Although GG had occasionally heard people mention the appearance of mold (moho in Spanish) on various surfaces and its obvious appearance in the rainy season, I knew nothing about it and had always ignored whatever I saw that resembled it, especially if it looked slippery.


Turns out scientifically that mold falls under the (biological) kingdom of Fungi which includes molds, mushrooms, and yeast, all of types which can occur on organic materials as well, like the bread to the right.


Molds can grow on virtually any surfaces including inorganics like cement or wood that may be subjected to continuing moisture and/or lack of ventilation. That includes high humidity like we have here. Mold (or moho) can occur and has been identified in over 100,000 varieties around the world and may occur in many, many homes without the owner suspecting it. The good news is that most molds are harmless to humans.


Places that have been subjected to high levels of moisture combined with lack of ventilation are particularly susceptible. Common areas include drain downspouts, unventilated crawl spaces, closets, wall to wall carpeting and even wallpaper (on top or under), the last two items not being used much in Costa Rica out of respect for their potential problem. Controls to help reduce the problem focus on controlling humidity and moisture and include the use of dehumidifiers, air conditioners and increasing ventilation by use of exhaust fans.


Aspergilius Conidia

Molds produce asexual spores called conidia which can be the source of human respiratory problems. Other fungi on the other hand typically decompose and grow on decaying organic matter (like the bread upper right) by secreting digestive enzymes on the organic matter. GG fears that describing any more science than this will drive GG and the reader wackadoodle, so let´s talk about the health effects.


There are at least five species of mold commonly found in the home that can have an effect on the human respiratory systems of individuals, especially those with a weakened immune system or chronic lung infections. They are:



ASPERGILIUS (favorite location: floor joists, air conditioning systems); can give people sinus irritation, allergic reactions, and acute or chronic infections of the lungs;

ALTERNARIA (another favorite of floor joists);

CLADOSPORIUM (subfloor);

PENICILLIUM (floor joists again - yup, this one was named after it had a big part in the development of the medicine of the same name); and, finally, STACHYBOTRYS (found under floor substrates pic-upper right) also known as Black Mold, one of the more common varieties of mold that can be harmful to humans.


Here is what are listed as typical symptoms for human mold toxicity:

GG found the information on mold very interesting in light of two other experiences I have had recently. Almost a year ago I noticed a light smell coming from my air conditioner. I mentioned it to my landlord and he immediately ordered and installed a new machine. This year, during the rainy season I wondered about it and, again mentioning it to my landlord, he sent in a couple of techs to thoroughly clean out the new machine. (it nice to have a good landlord). I have since put a reminder on my puter to ask for a cleaning of the machine at least once per year.


The second experience involved noticing a very light, almost black haze covering the white-painted doors in two locations in my apartment a couple of months into the rainy season. My first reaction was that the area may need a new paint job but after the conversation with the lady I mentioned at the beginning of this article I developed a second theory. Using a simple cleanser like Mr. Muscolos (Costa Rican equivalent to Windex) I went over the doors carefully, and le voila! the white paint was renewed. I suspect it had been in the early stages of mold development.


If nothing else does, this article should prompt you to consider two things: 1) have someone practiced in the art of MRS (Mold Remediation Service) check out where you live (whether you own or rent) and determine if mold can be found and if it needs to be dealt with and 2) should you develop symptoms of mold toxicity, work with an eyes-ears-throat doctor to identify and/or correct any problems before they become more serious.


¡Solo Bueno!



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




While rumbling in Costa Rica was relatively moderate, most of the action was north of us along the western Guatemala coast with some 3-4 shakers in the 4.5-5.0R intensity range. Mexico had two significant quakes in December, one with a magnitude of 6.2 in Las Brisas along the Baja California coast and one farther down the coast in El Ticui that registered 6.0. The U.S. Geological Survey map shows nothing over 2.5 magnitude during the month of December in Ticoland. (2.5 is a cakewalk, although the frosting on the cake might adjust itself a bit).



We asked for it and it came, as usual. We´ve suffered a heavy rainy season (not yet sure of all the stats pertaining thereto) but, in early December we started to get warm, sunny mornings which became days by mid-December. Right on schedule our summer season has started and within a month or two we can get back to complaining about the heat.


Love the Costa Rican sun amigos!


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

¡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.

Let There be Light
(Especially at Christmas)

When GG moved to Quepos in 2008, the waterfront at the town´s edge was, quite frankly, rather dismal. An unpaved walkway along the dyke, the latter also called the Malecón(mal-ay-cōne)which protects the town from an unidentified future tsunami as well as regular high tides. GG´s first attempt at describing our Malecón was given in 2015 here: The Malecon (Dam Good Life). Malecón in English translates to "breakwater" and back in 2008 it might have been dubbed the mal Malecón because of it´s lack of development and repair (sometimes GG just can´t resist word opportunities).

In the years following the addition of the Marina, the development of the Malecón itself also accelerated and included a more secure and flat walkway all along the dyke, tiled and expanded bench seating for viewing the town, striking Pacific sunsets and an incredible skateboard park at the southern end of the river walk for the kiddies (of all ages) to work off their energy The old band shell was also updated. The latest improvements were highlighted in September of 2018 here: The New Malecón (The New River Walk in Quepos).

And the Grand Prize Is...
Leading the Boat Parade

At the end of the Malecón lies Marina Pez Vela which has added it´s own set of fiestas, celebrations and services to the Quepoan atmosphere. That includes dozens and dozens of private yachts that are permanently or temporarily moored at the facility with over 100 wet slips that accommodate vessels up to 200 feet. Also now available are boat repair and maintenance facilities.

The calendar at the Marina also offers several money-prize winning major fishing tournaments each year, a major light-decorated boat parade in early December. Also available at the Marina are six major restaurants, several specialty shops, a branch of a major bank and a local Hospital Metropolitano office. Marina Pez Vela has become a little town within a town.

With all the activity brought on by the Marina it was no surprise to me that more entertainment is always coming.

When a Tico friend called me early in December and asked it I wanted to join him and his wife to watch a 30 minute Christmas light show put on by the Marina (he works there) and open to the public, I immediately said "Yes"! So my friend and his wife picked me up at 6:30 for a 7 PM performance and we were still there 10 minutes early (love this small town stuff). The light show only lasts for about a half hour but was great fun watching all the kiddies running around shreaking at the flashing lights. GG took the video to the left and it covers the countdown to the start of the show (it´s dark in the beginning but slowly comes on).

GG´s capability to control and edit videos being what it is (less than outstanding), I was able to widen another video that I shot; that result is to the right.

The marina was designed and constructed so that there is a large bleacher viewing section that faces west giving the reviewer a look at the boat slips, the millions of $ (billions of colones) worth of pleasure and fishing craft bobbing in the water and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Truly a spectacular view at sunset but this was a light show so the show waited until it was completely dark (in this part of the world that´s 7 PM).

In GG´s experience there is no greater joy than watching kids get excited and celebrate something like this. They can´stop dancing. Here´s the same affair video´d by a somewhat more professional organization (Iluminous) than GG´s cell phone:

2018 Video: Iluminous: a Christmas Experience by Marina Pez Vela - YouTube

The light show was yet another local fun situation to be explored with friends, and we all very much enjoyed it.

¡Pura Vida!


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





What? Snow in Costa Rica again!!??







Answer in

section below.








¡Solo Bueno!




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?)



Vaccinations Slowed but Continue


The Health Ministry reported that in a recent "epidemiological week" the Caja administered some 30,000 doses of the Covid Vaccine. This breakdown to 3,571 first doses, 4,639 second doses, 8,315 third doses, and 13,847 fourth doses And brings the vaccination rate to first dose - 89%, second 83.3% and third dose 54%.


Also reported locally is a fairly wide encounter with a less severe bronchial virus being treated with a pro-biotic.


¡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

#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
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune World´s First Crypto Caper
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 Read More #16 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


Fear not, climate change has not brought snow to Costa Rica, at least as of this writing. Look more closely at the girl in the photo and you will see that she´s holding bags of confetti.


One of the traditions for kids (of all ages) as part of the Avenizado celebration, mentioned in the article above, is the throwing of confetti along the parade routes to simulate snow. As you might expect kids love this part much more than the street cleaners.



Feliz Navidad amigos pequenos!



¡Pura Vida!


ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)


Location: At Marina Pez Vela just behind Cuba Libre.
Lunch and Dinner

Parking: Ample in the Marina facility parking lot.
Contacts: Tel: +506-2774-9100

Reviewing ROMEOS: Annie C., Barry S., Ben T., Bob N., Carl M., Dennis R., Glen N., James B., Jorge M., Karen M., Mark P.

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


This is a new restaurant to our area but not to the world as they are a chain based in Atlanta, GA. They are located at our Marina Pez Vela along with five other restaurants and offer a simpler lunch and dining option, which tends to be less expensive in this touristy area. Their specialty is a rather broad array of popular Mexican foods including chicken, meats and fish as well as standard Mexican concoctions such as tacos, burritos and chimichangas.


The restaurant itself is quite small and situated behind another restaurant so the view is not spectacular not even of the harbor and the tables and chairs are basic lawn furniture; nevertheless the composite rating for ambiance from the the 11 participating ROMEOs came in at 4.5 out of 5.0 max.


GG opted for a chimichanga, basically a deep fired burrito that had the usual but tasty filling including refried beans, chicken pieces, cheese and spices. I mentioned my stomach couldn´t handle spices well so the server gently pointed out those items that either did not rate high on the poblano scale or could be adjusted for mildness during the cooking process.


The other ROMEOs selected a broad array of items including tacos (fish and others), a tuna tower, chicken chimichanga, chicken burrito, beef soup, enchiladas, and quesadillas. By the comments around the table the food got an OK rating for taste and quantity.


The composite score for food quality came in at 4.3 out of 5.0.

Value Index= 121


The staff provided good service led by a young lady who was anxious to please us and who helped expand our table when a couple of extra people showed up. The composite score for service came in at 4.6/5.0.


GG´s chimichanga and a ginger-ale michelada plus legally required service (10%) and sales tax (VAT - 13%) came in at 10,700 colones or about $17.75. The group composite score for cost came in at 3.7/5.0 yielding an average for ambiance, food quality and service of 4.47 and a Value Index = 4.47/3.7=121 putting Agave in the top 1/3 of the restaurants in our area.


The ROMEOs can approve the Agave restaurant at Marina Pez Vela as a place to enjoy quality Mexican food at a reasonable price.


¡Solo Bueno!




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The Golden Gringo Chronicles is a free newsletter that is non-political, non-commercial and, hopefully, informative and entertaining. By signing up you will receive an email each month around the first of the month giving you the links to the latest edition as well as to each individual feature and departmental section.


or Email me at gg@goldengringo.com, or use our Website at: www.goldengringo.com

Bob Normand, Editor & The Golden Gringo
Pura Vida!

To Contact GGC World Headquarters (yuk, yuk) to makecomments, suggest topics or criticize my bad jokes, just send an email to: gg@goldengringo.com.


Be pithy but kind; I'm sensitive.








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