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Feature: Early Democracy in Costa Rica

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¿Que Es Eso?

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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Chaves on First Year Accomplishments; b. Bill to Regulate All Forms of Taxis Proposed; c. Chinchilla Calls for More Security Resources; d. Tourist Numbers Up Over Pre-Pandemic Level.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Dollar Value Bouncing Back Slowly; b. New Direction In Attracting Investment; c. Taxation Changes Announced; d. Medical Devices/Fruits Boost 4th Quarter Exports.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries): a. Mexico - Temporary Work Permits for Central Americans; b. Nicaragua - 1. Ortega´s Son Predicts the Demise of the Dollar; 2. Ortega Initiates Development of Nuclear Industry; 3. Remittances to Nicaragua Hit Another Record; 4. Ortega Nationalizes Red Cross; 5. Costa Rican Tourists Denied Entry by Nicaragua; c. Panama - Tocumen Airport Rated 2nd In On-Time Departures;

4. Feature: Historical Early Democracy In Costa Rica (Country´s Emergence from Dictatorships)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Quake Rumbles: Quiet on the Front; b. Volcano Rumbles: Rincón Remains Active; c. Weather: Hurricane Forecast.

6. ¿Que Es Eso?: A Fly, A Bat or What?

7. Health Stuff: Last of Mask Mandates Lifted.

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

9. What´s In A Word: a. Answer to Que Es Eso.

10. ROMEO Corner: Ronny´s Place, Manuel Antonio

Wisdom of the Ages

“You spend 90 percent of your adult life hoping for a long rest and the last 10 percent trying to convince the Lord
that you’re actually not that tired.”

– Robert Brault

Holidays In Cost Rica In June

Another month barren of meaningful holidays. We´ll have to wait until next month when Ticos celebrate the historical event of what is now called Guanacaste Day, the annexation of that now Pacific Coast Province. More on that later.

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

Chaves on First Year Achievements

Prez Chaves Giving Address at Legislature

Similar in kind to the U.S. president giving his annual State of the Union Address, President Rodrigo Chaves Robles recently gave a speech to the nation from the floor of the legislature about what he views as his government´s accomplishments in it´s first year in office, which was completed on May 7, 2023.


His key points were that the Costa Rican economy is recovering:

Also listed by Chaves were 1) the plan to develop a 5G network, 2) the attraction of 110 foreign investment projects in 2022, 3) the future installation of scanners in ports to prevent drug shipments in export containers and 4) implementation of “an aggressive plan against crime” in the face of growing statistics in the last few years.


Some of the leaders of the opposition parties in the legislature critiqued and even criticized Chaves´ talk as more of a campaign speech than an accountability report. (Recall that Chaves´ party, the Social Democratic Progress Party currently has only 10 of the 56 seats in the legislature).

Bill to Regulate All Forms of Taxis Proposed

Uber, originally founded in the U.S., has been operating in Costa Rica for seven years. After their success, other similar organizations like DiDi (China) and inDriver (U.S.) followed as competing organizations like Uber. They all operated under essentially no regulations including those of the labor dept or the Caja (health system) or the RTV (annual vehicular inspection).


A bill was introduced to the legislature on Wednesday, May 3 as a starting point in an attempt to regulate all taxis including "mobility platforms" like Uber. Under the bill, the government agencies of MOPT (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes - think DMV) and MEIC (Ministerio de Economía or Economic Ministry) would together be responsible for regulating all taxi platforms based on a market study defining surplus drivers and "may establish measures to eliminate oversupply in terms of the number of drivers authorized in general to provide the transportation of people.”


This philosophy has rankled a number of legislators, chief among them being one Otto Guevara, described as a "former legislator and perennial presidential candidate". Said Guevara: "This is somewhat crazy, it is like going back to the time of price controls and involving the Ministry of Economy in control issues as the USSR did and its centralized planning of the economy. Supply and demand should be used to determine which companies survive in an economic activity."


Looks like we´re in for a pretty good legislative tussle here on this one. On the other hand a recent press report noted that so-called digital mobility platforms like Uber and DiDi and regular taxis are beginning to co-exist rationally in many countries around the world. In Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, many of the DMG´s (by the way I just made that abbreviation up to represent Digital Mobility Platform) also provide access for and to regular taxis. That includes some major cities in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In addition, around the world joint usage is enjoyed in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, India, Spain, the U.K., Australia and Japan.


Uber was founded in 2009 with its first DMG ride occurring in 2010. Since then at least 10 major startups have appeared around the globe: Lyft, DiDi, Grab, Ola Cab, Cabify, Careem, Bolt, Yandix.Taxi, Via and Gojek.


I can see the day coming with DMG controlled, driver-less Tesla taxis, that have an AI voice talking to you from the dashboard as it scurries you through the mad traffic of San Jose.


Chinchilla Calls for More Security Resources


As our only woman ex-president to date, Señora Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) has recently been calling for more resources dedicated towards fighting the crime surge being experienced here. Politicos are reporting that they expect Mario Zamora, who was Minister of Security under Chinchilla, to be re-appointed to that position shortly. (UPDATE: Zamora was in fact appointed on Wednesday, May 10 as new Minister of Security.)


Doña Laura and Her Security Team

The current Minister of Security, Jorge Torres is leaving the job after only one year. Commenting on that, Doña Laura produced a slogan that likely will stick around for some time, namely: ".... his (Torres’) departure from the Ministry of Security does not detract from their merits, rather it shows that "without political support, trust and resources, not even the Avengers can solve the insecurity crisis


Recall that the office of president in Costa Rica, by constitutional mandate, cannot be occupied for two 4-year terms in a row but a former president may run again after a lapse of one term.


Methinks Doña Laura may have her eye on the 2026 election.


Tourist Numbers Up Over Pre-Pandemic Levels


The number of tourists entering Costa Rica for the period January thru April this year exceeded by 5.4% those of the same period in 2019, the last non-Covid year. This year´s count was up 27,602 for the first four months totaling 536,056. I´m sure that many tourist-based businesses were happy to see that ceiling broken.


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Dollar Value Bouncing Back Slightly


CDC vs USD - One Year

After peaking at nearly 700 colones/$ in 2022 and still reaching over 610 CRC/$ at the beginning of 2023, the value of the colon against the dollar plummeted such that, in the early months of this year the rate approached the low 500's. In the last few weeks the dollar has come back a bit to a sale rate of 550 and a purchase rate of 537. Some analysts think that the experienced surplus of dollars in the economy that caused the drop in value might have something to do with drug money.


P.S. Is it just GG who finds the financial lingo in these discussions cumbersome? Sale rate really means selling colones and that you have to put up 550 to get a dollar whereas if you sell a dollar for colones you only receive 537 colones. Sounds like backward terminology to me amigos.


New Direction In Attracting Investment


The government of Costa Rica maintains certain alliances and agreements with NGO´s (Non-Government Organizations) and uses them to assist in carrying out certain economic objectives. Such is the case in Costa Rica with CINDE (Coalición de Iniciativas de Desarrollo or Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiative. CINDE helps by jointly generating programs with the government that attract investment and create jobs.


On May 2 President Rodrigo Chaves mentioned CINDE favorably in his address to the legislature (lead article above in Broken News). Later that day the Government notified CINDE of its decision to terminate its cooperation agreement in favor of another NGO named PROCOMER who has been charged with attracting foreign investment.


The reason for the decision on CINDE was noted for two reasons: limited government budgets and the fact that only 4% of the jobs created in 2022 were outside the GAM (Grande Area Metropolitano - Greater Metropolitan Area - think Central Valley).


Sr. Chaves sure likes to shake things up when he doesn´t think he´s getting what he wants.


Tough Taxation Changes Announced


The Ministerio de Hacienda, or Ministry of Finance, announced on May 18 a program they call “Hacienda en acción: Trazando la prosperidad fiscal” (Finance in Action: Mapping out fiscal prosperity), the goal being to better manage public debt. Five initiatives would be undertaken to get tougher on taxes, namely:

  1. Modifications to the Code of Tax Regulations that allow action and the muscle to collect it (specifics not delineated but new regulations would hold corporate executives more accountable - see #3 below).
  2. Calculation of personal taxes would incorporate all income: salary, retirement and pensions, investment income and capital gains. Currently only workers wages are included.
  3. “...actions and obligations of a company will be attributed directly to its shareholders or partners, who will be jointly and severally liable according to their equity...”
  4. A new formula for the depreciation of a vehicle that calculates the depreciation of a vehicle to be 48% after six years (whether this is worse or better than today´s rate was not stated).
  5. Vehicles of value more than 19 million colones (currently about $35,000) will pay an additional 2.5 to 7.5% tax on top of the Marchamo (registration fee).

GG may be mis-interpreting some of these but it does sound like more taxes, more strongly collected are in order. Vamos a ver amigos (we´ll see) as these still have to go through the legislation process and the current government only controls 10 of 57 seats in that body.


Medical Devices/Fruits Boost 4th Quarter Exports


The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo (INEC). – National Institute of Statistics and Census reported that first quarter exports reached $4.76 billion. Over 40% of the exports were with our main trading partner, the United States. The balance went chiefly to the Netherlands, Panama, Hong Kong and Nicaragua. A gain in medical devices and fruits pushed the exports higher.


First quarter imports reached $6.5 billion 40% of which were also from the United States.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
Major Events In Neighboring Countries



President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced May 22 that his government will grant one-year temporary visas to Central Americans to work in the country’s public works. He expects there also to be short work periods of, say 15 days, for specific skills.


López Obrador stated that public works promoted during his six-year term, including the Mayan Train are also in need of labor. “We need many ironworkers, welders, even engineers, professionals,” he stressed. “Salaries are also increasing in our country, on the Mayan Train the operators, drivers, workers are already earning better, because there is more demand for employment, so companies are paying more." 


Mayan Train Car

One of these major public projects is the Mayan Train, is a 1,525-kilometre (948 mi) intercity railway that will traverse the Yucatán Peninsula; The Mayan Train begins in Chiapas and travels northeast towards Cancún connecting popular tourists destinations in the Caribbean with lesser-known sites inland, including historic Mayan sites from which it derives its name. Construction on the Mayan Train began in June 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.



wer1. Ortega´s Son Predicts the Demise of the Dollar.

Sr. Ortega Junior

Sr. Laureano Facundo Ortega Murillo, the son of President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo gave a lecture at the opening of the academic season at a major university in Managua. He predicted a shift to "future alliances being forged in the “new world that is being formed”, headed by China, Russia, Iran, India and the countries Arabs, to the detriment of the United States, the European Union and Canada". Furthermore, Ortega Murillo indicated that “transactions and exchanges are already being carried out without using the US dollar, that is, the world dictatorship of the dollar is over.”


We´ll see Larry; but remember, there is nothing better to stir the decadent, capitalist Westerner than a little competition. Maybe in the meantime you could get Mom and Dad to stop jailing political opponents and catholic clergy, revoking citizenships and deporting people because of their political views when opposite to those of the Ortegas.

2. Ortega Initiates Start of Nuclear Industry.

Ortega & Co. has been flirting with building a nuclear industry for some time. In August 2022, Ortega took the first step by authorizing, through his heavily controlled legislature, the initiation of the Nicaraguan Commission for the Development of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes.


Then in October 2022 (after indicating a memorandum agreeing on the possibility of joint development had been signed in December 2021) Ortega signed a diplomatic agreement with Russia “on cooperation in the field of non-energy applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.”The indication was that the development is “very important on the peaceful use of atomic energy in non-energetic applications.”


Then, in February of 2023, during a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Ortega stated: “In this world, what would fit (is) that all (countries) look for how to have our atomic weapon so that they respect us, because there they do respect when they know that that (country) they want to crush has the atomic weapon.”


So Danny says everybody will get more respect if they have a nuclear weapon, eh? Aren´t you glad he´s committed to a "peaceful-use-only" program?

3. Remittances to Nicaragua Hit Another Record

Remittances (money transferred from a host country back to your native country by expats) for Nicaragua hit a new record in the first quarter of 2023 at $1.020 billion; that´s up $388 million or 63% more than the same period last year. Of the total, 81.2% came from the United States ($828.9 million), 7.7% from Costa Rica ($78.9 million) and the other 10.1% from Spain, Panama and Canada. As a measure of how significant this is, the $1.02nbillion represents just under 21% of the Nicaraguan Gross Domestic Product.


4. Ortega Nationalizes Red Cross


By a legislative decree passed on Wednesday, May 10, the Nicaraguan Red Cross Association will be absorbed by the Government Ministry of Health. After 65 years of independent operation in Nicaragua, its assets will pass into the hands of the Nicaraguan State, according to the decree. To do this the government repealed the legislative decree of October 29, 1958, by which the Nicaraguan Red Cross was created and replaced it with a new one supplicant to the Health Ministry.


The reason given by the Sandinistas for this was that during the 2018 riots, during which over 600 people were killed, some of the Nicaraguan Red Cross officials and leaders "threatened the peace and stability of the nation, and acted against principles".


5. Costa Rican Tourists Denied Entry by Nicaragua


Ticos Hung Up at Peñas Blancas

A group of 100 Costa Rican tourists bent on attending a Central America Lions Club Convention in Nicaragua were delayed two hours at the Peñas Blancas border crossing in Southwestern Nicaragua, then refused entry into the country and turned back.


The group had arranged reservations at the Hilton and Holiday Inn hotels in Managua some four months earlier and had invested some $45,000 in transportation, accommodations, meals, convention expenses and tourism attractions in Nicaragua. The convention was later canceled by Nicaraguan authorities after the arrangements were made but the group had decided to go ahead as tourists after considering their prepaid investment. Not to be, even though spokespeople for the group said all their documents were in order.


The only reason given by the border authorities was: ‘superior orders’ and ‘national security.’ This action follows another border incident a week earlier in the north of Nicaragua at a crossing from Honduras where a group of students who were intending to visit the University of Costa Rica was refused entry and passage to Costa Rica.


GG had been a Lion Club member in a previous life - I don´t remember them being a national security risk.




Tocumen Airport Rated 2nd in On-Time Departures.


Panama’s international airport, officially known as Puerto Internacional de Tocumen (PTY), recently received a rating that ranked them as the second most punctual in the world (medium sized airport division). Their on-time departure rating was 92.15%, second only to Japan’s Osaka International Airport (ITM), which got 93.37%. Third place was taken by Chile’s Aeropuerto Internacional Arturo Merino Benitez (SCL), with an on-time performance of 91.08%.


Panama´s Tocumen Airport

Said the General Manager of Tocumen, Sr. Raffoul Arab: “We are committed to the continuous improvement of punctuality indicators and efficiency for the benefit of our passengers.”


The last time GG went through Tocumen was several years ago (just as they were finishing a major airport expansion) on a trip from San José to Buenos Aires. We left San José 45 minutes late and, as I stepped off the plane in Panama, I had 20 minutes to make the flight to Argentina, which I did with the help of an airport rep with a cart and three moving sidewalks.


They got my vote.


¡A Cachete!


Historical Early Democracy In Costa Rica
(Country´s Emergence from Dictatorships)


Christopher Columbus In Full Regalia

Christopher Columbus´ fourth and last voyage to the new world was in 1502. It was during this swan song voyage that he discovered the Caribbean Coast of what is now Costa Rica. Some say it was really one of his lieutenants, observing the gold ornaments and jewels the Ticos were wearing, that resulted in him calling the place the Rich Coast (Costa Rica).


Not long after Columbus came the hoard of conquerors, first as Spanish conquistadors and afterwards joined by legions of military expeditions from England, France, Holland and others. Viewing locals as pagan savages by these invaders, the indigenous populations were strongly subdued whenever a rebellion threatened or whenever the conquerors felt it necessary. The locals became subject to dictatorial powers constantly.


In 1821, much of Latin America including Costa Rica claimed its full independence from Spain. At the time Costa Rica had already become a part of the Federal Republic of Central America (also known as the United Provinces of Central America), and being a sovereign state south of and subject to Mexico which existed from 1823 to 1841. Costa Rica claimed its full independence from that organization also. The Federal Republic was based on the old Spanish organization of its American colonies called the Captaincy General of Guatemala, and contained a group of countries including Costa Rica, the structure of which collapsed after the widespread declarations of independence across Latin America.


William Walker

The development of democratic organizations in Costa Rica after independence would be difficult until well into the 1900´s. In 1856 Costa Rica´s fledgling military surprised an American "Filibuster" who was an ex-Philadelphia Lawyer named William Walker and who declared himself president of Nicaragua with eyes bent on adding Costa Rica to his territory.


The battle of Rivas, Nicaragua (at that time Costa Rica still had an army) as it became known, ended Walker´s dreams of empire and created a new Costa Rican national hero named Juan Santamaria for whom our major airport and a holiday are named after. Walker was subsequently and summarily hanged by the Hondurans when he tried to subvert that country.


The first constitutionally direct presidential and legislative election took place in 1913 but Costa Rica would not have female suffrage at that time. The election in 1913 was also the first election to offer universal male suffrage after economic and educational requirements had been eliminated.


Alfredo Gonzales Flores

Máximo Fernández Alvarado of the Republican Party won the presidential election of 1913, but both he and runner-up Carlos Durán Cartín later resigned and Alfredo González Flores was appointed president by the Legislature on 8 May 1914 and served until 1917. 


A third runner-up in the 1913 contest, receiving 27% of the vote, was one Rafael Yglesias Castro who had been president before (1894–1902). The Republican Party also won the parliamentary election. Voter turnout was 78.0% in the presidential election and 78.6% in the parliamentary election, demonstrating that the people were hungry for democracy.


Gen. Tinoco*

Costa Rica would continue to practice democracy building into and through the 1900´s with one big exception that occurred after the 1913 election. When González took over the presidency he instituted tax reforms that rankled one General Federico Tinoco Granados. Tinoco then led a coup in 1917 placing himself as head of government. His despotic ways soon brought him disfavor and even the U.S. Government refused to recognize his regime. Revolts and the threat of U.S. intervention caused him to resign in 1919.

(* painting by Don Voelker)


José Figueres Ferrer

After the Tinoco episode the country returned to democratic ways and the dictatorship was not repeated. In 1948 the democracy was threatened again and resulted in a civil war when one Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia (president 1940–44) formed a coalition between communists and the Catholic Church (what? - say that again?) when the coalition tried to prevent the seating of a president-elect.


A farmer named José Figueres Ferrer (his picture is on the current 10,000 colon note and to the right), an outspoken landowner, organized local and foreign militia and trained an impromptu army at his farm. The short war resulted in approximately 2,000 deaths and the elimination of the Army when a new constitution establishing the Second Republic was formed. Figueres ended up President three times (1948–1949, 1953–1958 and 1970–1974) before the current one-term limitation was established. José María Hipólito Figueres Ferrer died 8 June 1990 and is still recognized as the father of the Second Republic.


So Costa Rica has had to earn it´s democracy despite unexpected interventions by various despots but its comforting to GG that over 100 years has passed without an authoritarian regime and that the system here has been functioning as a democratic republic for 75 years. It demonstrates the country´s commitment to basic democratic forms and values.


For more background on the history of Costa Rica, check these out:


Costa Rican History Pre-Spanish


Costa Rica During the Spanish Occupation


Costa Rica in the Modern Era


¡Pura Vida!


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



a. Quake Rumbles: Earthquake wise all was quiet once more on the Western Front; as well as the Eastern, Northern or Southern fronts. So who´s complaining?


b. Volcano Rumbles: With regard to our volcanoes however, the uneasiness at Rincón de la Vieja, located in Guanacaste province in the northwest quadrant of Costa Rica (23 km/14 miles from Libreria) continues to be active. The volcano has been active since November of last year and four eruptions were registered on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, one of them described as "major". This brings to a total of 42 minor and sizable eruptions for the month of May.


The Rincón eruptions were largely "phreatic", meaning they produced large plumes of steam as water contacted molten material below. Said the tech folks watching this stuff: "the geodetic observations show a slight extension of the base of the volcano and a slight uplift of the top.” Oh my, it´s growing bigger.


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




The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN - I´m guessing you can figure that one out in English) gave it´s annual forecast which this year predicts 10-16 Hurricanes for the Atlantic region. This season is expected to be affected by El Niño and likely result in the following kind of cyclones: 7-9: tropical storms, 1-3: Category 1 or 2 hurricanes and 2-4: Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes.


Recall that, because of its position far south, Costa Rica rarely gets a direct hit from a hurricane but the edge effects of a hurricane can produce some significant rainstorms.

¡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 350 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:


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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?)


It´s a fly!


It´s a bat!


Maybe it´s just a very rare leaf grown awkwardly.


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?)



Last of Mask Mandates Lifted


While most of the mask mandates were lifted a few months ago, the requirement to wear a mask while visiting medical facilities (like our local hospital where I go once a month to get my ration of medicamentos) continued. Based on the recommendation by the World Health Organization, the local Ministry of Health recently lifted that last mandate.


The Ministry of Health has: "... also instructed public and private medical centers to do a risk and needs assessment yearly, appoint a permanent coordination team and set up a monitoring system for Covid-19".


¡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 Writers Groups in Quepos-Manuel Antonio, San Jose and elsewhere in Costa Rica.


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
Plenty of room for more books on the GGC Bookshelf    
Costa Rica´s Capital      
#17 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!

What´s In A Word

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

Answer to ¿Que Es Eso?


The insect shown in the ¿Que Es Eso? section is an Esperanza Grasshopper, a prolific species found particularly common in rain forests, which you may have noticed, take up a good portion of Costa Rica. Esperanza of course is Spanish for "Hope" and some believe that if an Esperanza hops on you or comes into your home you will have good luck.


The Hope Grasshopper is only 2 inches long and weighs only a fraction of an ounce. It´s lifespan measures in months with about a 50% chance of reaching 12 months. It is only one specie of 11,000 species of grasshoppers.


Grasshoppers are in the same insect family as locusts. They actually hear other insects through ears on their bellies. They make their own music by rubbing their hind legs against their fore-wings. Their large back legs allow them to catapult through the air and their wings allow them to fly. They can form swarms and defoliate a landscape to feed themselves yet they are and have been an important part of the human diet in Africa, Asia, and the Americas for centuries because of their high protein. Their presence on this earth predates the dinosaurs.



¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Ronny´s Place, Manuel Antonio


Location: Take main road to Manuel Antonio Beach; just past Hotel Gaia go right across from Amigos del Rio - about 1/3 mile on right.

Hours: Currently 12-4pm weekdays: 12-9 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Parking: Adequate at the Restaurant.
Contacts: Tel: 8765 3590

Reviewing ROMEOS: Annie C., Barry S., Bob N., Chris B., Chris D., Christel R., Glen N., Harry R., Lawrence L., Ruth R.

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


Although the road into the restaurant remains quite rough, Ronny´s Place still maintains a commanding view of the Pacific from high on a hill that looks down through the valley below. It´s particularly impressive at sunset.


The restaurant itself is a simple covered platform open to the atmosphere and view. The tables and decorations are also simple and functional. We arrived at the restaurant on time at noon and found our reservation for 10 ready for us which was then expanded to 12 for a couple of late add-ons. The composite score for ambiance was 4.7/5.0.


The MENU is quite extensive and offers a variety of entrees consisting of meats, seafoods, pastas and sandwiches. GG found something intriguing on the menu called a "Tuna Fantasy" which promised ingredients including "watermelon, seaweed, salt, sweet peppers, soya sauce and sesame seeds". When I went to order it I queried the waitress about it and learned the fantasy part was the fact that there was no tuna involved. A friend at the table said that this kind of grilled watermelon was a southeast Asia thing. Maybe I´ll order it next time.


So GG ended up ordering a brochette of chicken. What came was indeed pieces of grilled chicken (no fantasy here) along with a julienne of vegetables plus a puree of yam and some slices of ripe plantain in yet another sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious.


Other ROMEOs ordered a gazpacho sandia as an appetizer, rice with seafood, a hamburger, tuna tartar, fish & chips, and a tuna steak.


The composite score for food quality came in at 4.3/5.0. We were serviced by a young lady who was courteous, pleasant and helpful and the composite score for service came in at 4.2 making the average rating for ambiance, food quality and service: (4.7+4.3+4.2)/3 = 4.37.

Value Index=133


The total cost for GG´s ginger ale Michelada and the chicken brochette came in at 12,669 colones or about $23.50. The composite score for cost came in at 3.28/5.0 making the Value Index 4.37/3.28=133 and putting Ronny´s Place in the top 1/3 of restaurants in this area for value.


The ROMEOs can confirm that Ronny´s Place continues to be a quality food emporium at a reasonable price and overlooking that great Manuel Antonio Pacific view.


¡Solo Bueno!




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