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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. China Seeking Closer Ties to Latin America; b. Controversial Real Estate Project Halted; c. Costa Rica Stuns Brazil in Copa America.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Spain´s Zara Reopens Costa Rica Flagship Store; b. Gas Prices Down for Super and Diesel; c. Non-Stop Flight to São Paulo Brazil to Begin; d. Popeyes Returning to Costa Rica.

3. Latin American Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a-1 Honduras - Industrial And Fire Pollution Causing Concern; a-2 Ex-President Hernández Sentenced to 45 Years for Drug Smuggling; b. Mexico - First Woman President Elected; c. Nicaragua - Opposition Party Hopes for Mexico´s Sheinbaum Support.

4. Feature: Mariposa, A Love Story of Costa Rica - (From a Legend About Butterflies)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble:; Oh so quiet; b. Weather: Let the Rains Begin.

6. ¿Que es Eso?: Is it a vine; or Maybe a virus?

7. Health Stuff: Costa Rica Set to Tighten Regulations on Vaping.

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: El Wagon, Manuel Antonio.

Wisdom of the Ages


Holidays in Costa Rica in March

None, Sorry

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

China Seeking Closer Ties to Latin America


The Chinese recently completed a week of diplomatic and business discussions in which they hosted representatives form Brazil (Vice President Geraldo Alckmin), Cuba (Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez) and Venezuela (Foreign Affairs Minister Yván Gil). Chinese representatives included Wang Yi (Head of Chinese Diplomacy) and Chinese Vice President, Han Zheng.


During the meeting the Vice President of Brazil made note of a $100 million investment in that country by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac to support vaccine development. In addition, an investment of 2.6 billion reals ($450 million) in the form of a development loan into Brazil had been established by the BRICS Group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates).


Controversial Real Estate Project Halted


GG reported in the April 2024 Edition #188 that a real estate development in Manuel Antonio, that calls itself Islas de Manuel Antonio, had run into negative reactions by environmentalists. Their attention recently resulted in a review by key departments in the national government. The Environmental Prosecutor’s Office (didn´t know we had one of those) determined that the project is being built in the Aguirre Biological Corridor and halted construction.


According to the National System of Conservation Areas, "a biological corridor is a delimited continental, marine-coastal, and insular territory whose primary purpose is to provide connectivity between protected wildlife areas and between landscapes, ecosystems, and habitats, whether natural or modified, rural or urban, to ensure the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological and evolutionary processes". On the legal side, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating alleged crimes of ideological falsehood, prevarication, change of land use, violation of the Forestry Law, and violation of the Water Law.


A report in a local electronic newspaper said: "Currently, Costa Rica has 44 biological corridors, representing about 33% of the continental territory. At the time, the developer stated that it complied with all the necessary permits, that the project was environmentally sustainable, and that it would have a positive impact on the community."


Sounds like the project is in serious trouble. Maybe a better site would have been on that very sizable and already cleared plot of land at the top of Manuel Antonio Hill next to the BCR bank branch and which probably has an even grander view than the controversial one.


In a more recent announcement the project owner stated that the ruling would be appealed. More to come.


Costa Rica Stuns Brazil in Copa America


In the world of Futbol (soccer), and in addition to the World Cup, there are also regional competitions for other cups. One of these is the Copa America, a quadrennial international men’s championship organized by South America’s ruling football body CONMEBOL. This is the 48th edition of this Copa (reeeally!!??, that would put the first edition somewhere in the 1830´s!). The Copa America includes North, Central and South Americas as well as the Caribbean.


Like in any sport, a team that can draw from the larger pool (read population) of athletes, the more likely the team will eventually evolve into a powerhouse. This year the Copa America is being held in the United States and players for little Costa Rica (population 5 million) were a bit trepidatious when it drew Brazil (population 218 million) for the first game at SoFi Stadium in suburban Los Angeles, Brazil being known as a futbol powerhouse.


But the Ticos were defense-minded that night. It was not surprising when observers noted that "the Brazilian portero (goalie) didn´t have to make a save all night. The Brazilians had three times the possession of the field and out shot Costa Rica 19 to 2 but couldn’t get past Costa Rica’s defense". The result was a final score tie, 0-0.


The final score was celebrated as a win by the Ticos. The euphoria didn´t last long, however, as two days later Costa Rica lost to Colombia 3-0.


¡Pura Vida!



Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Spain´s Zara Reopens Their Costa Rican Flagship Store


New Zara - Multiplaza In Escazu

After an extensive renovation, remodeling and expansion, Zara Stores, a leader in Woman´s, Men´s and Children´s fashions reopened their store in the Multiplaza in Escazu. The store brags on 3,000 sq. mtrs. (32,300 sq. ft.) and features a clean design (right) that focuses on the displayed fashions. In addition to the clean, new look: "the Zara store in Multiplaza Escazú complies with the environmental commitments... and incorporates innovations in eco-efficiency to reduce water and energy consumption".


Zara was started by Spanish entrepreneurs in 1975 and has

grown dramatically ever since. The first shop outside Spain was opened in Porto, Portugal in 1985. Today there are over 2000 Zara stores worldwide including Spain (547), China (229), France (145), Russia (144), Italy (134) and the U.S. (99).


GG has a conference commitment in July in Escazu just across the street from the Multiplaza and I intend to check this one out.


Gas Prices Down for Super and Diesel


The price of Super grade gasoline dropped 5₡/liter while Diesel dropped 11₡/liter while Regular grade essentially remained unchanged at +1₡/liter. When priced in $/gal the drops were even less significant due to a strengthening of the exchange to about 522₡/$. The details are shown in the pricer below:



Non-Stop Flight to São Paulo Brazil to Begin


Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, commonly known as GOL Airlines, and described as a low-cost Brazilian carrier will, "for the first time in history", will begin a non-stop service between San José (SJO), Costa Rica and São Paulo, Brazil (GRU) in November of this year.


The new flights initially will leave SJO for GRU on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 20:40 hours. Return flights will also take place from GRU to SJO on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 13:55 hours. Flying time is approximately 8 hours.


Popeyes Returning to Costa Rica


Popeyes Chicken recently announced their return to Costa Rica after leaving the country just before the pandemic began due to a company wide contraction caused by financial difficulties. The new first Costa Rican store is under construction in San Francisco de Heredia, is expected to be open in the second half of 2024 and is expected to be followed by several others. The company opened it´s first store in the U.S. in 1972 but has shown amazing growth and the total number of their restaurants worldwide reached 3,705 in 2021 in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 30 countries worldwide.


Popeyes Chicken fancies itself as offering a unique flavor of fried chicken because of its special Louisiana-style spices giving a distinct difference from other brands according to management. Costa Ricans consume about 31.5 kg (69 lbs) of chicken per capita per year making the local market attractive to Popeyes (and all the others such as KFC, MacDonald´s, etc.)


GG´s got to try Popeyes some time!


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Update
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)



1. Industrial and Fire Pollution Causing Concerns. Honduras is one country that has suffered much from the El Niño-caused droughts this past year. Super dry conditions have spurred forest fires and that, combined with industrial pollution, has caused exceptionally bad air quality indexes in the major cities in the last few months. By mid-May the air quality in San Pedro Sula, Honduras´ second largest city at 1.5 million metro area population, registered almost 50 times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.


San Pedro Sula, Honduras May 19, 2024

Schools and educational centers were closed for more than a week and people were advised to stay indoors and close the windows. Authorities noted an increase in people visiting doctors with breathing problems: "We have seen a steep increase in respiratory emergencies, especially within vulnerable populations." In addition, several planes were unable to land and have been diverted to other countries.


By the first of June authorities were beginning to relax the school cancellations as the pollution eased, probably due to the rains coming back.


Juan Orlando Hernández in Better Days

2. Ex-President Hernández Sentenced to 45 Years for Drug Smuggling. Juan Orlando Hernández, former president of Honduras for 8 years (2014-2022) was recently convicted by a New York court after being extradited from Honduras in 2022 and after the U.S. DOJ filed three charges against him for drug trafficking and other arms-related charges. Apparently he claimed he was fighting drug trafficking, all the while dealing in it. The judge sentenced him to 45 years in prison (which prison yet to be decided) plus an additional 5 years supervised probation which he´s unlikely to encounter since he is already 55 years old.




First Woman President Elected. Sra. Claudia Sheinbaum Prado became the first Woman President of Mexico on June 2 in an impressive victory. Preliminary results showed her capturing 58.3- 60.7% of the vote versus her two major competitors, Xóchitl Gálvez (26.6-28-6%) and Jorge Álvarez Máynez (9.9-10-8%).


President Claudia Sheinbaum

Mrs. Sheinbaum (age 61), a graduate of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México was born and raised in Mexico City and later became mayor/head of the government there from 2018-2023. She ran as a member of the Moreno Party or National Regeneration Movement is considered left of center and had the strong backing of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE) which in turn represents over 2,000 associations comprising some 80% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Congratulations Señora Presidenta.




Opposition Party Hoping for Mexico´s Sheinbaum SupportNicaragua has not gotten over the revolts and violence of 2018 when thousands took to the streets to protest controversial social security reforms.


2018 Riots at Which
a Journalist Was Killed

The revolts and the government response, according to to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), resulted in at least 355 deaths. Other Nicaraguan organizations estimated the number of deaths at 684 while the then and current President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega acknowledged "no more than 300" and stated he was fighting a coup d’état.


Current opposition groups such as CDN-Monteverde and Unamos are hoping that a peaceful solution to the unrest in Nicaragua can be gotten with the help of Mexico´s new President Claudia Sheinbaum Prado.


Vamos a ver (we´ll see).


¡A Cachete!


Feature: Mariposa - A Love Story of Costa Rica
(From a Legend About Butterflies)

One of the things that the Golden Gringo experienced first hand when he moved here was the prolific wildlife which included an amazing array of butterflies (las mariposas in Spanish) available in gardens a short hop from my apartment. Truly a magnificent form of nature.


Yellow Swallowtail

Complimenting this, another thing GG discovered after migrating here as I got more immersed in learning the culture, was the existence of native legends, many of which started hundreds of years before the Spanish came to the country (1502). These native legends touch on all aspects of human experience from violent behavior to witchcraft and from physical triumph to mysterious spirituality.


One of these stories is called the Legend of Zurqui and is essentially a love story of an Indian princess named Turi Uha and the son called Maska of a different cacique (chief) of another tribe. The two tribes had long been arch-enemies of each other. Fate brings the boy and girl together and, of course, they fall in love.


The girl (Turi Uha) and the boy (Maska) meet surprisingly at a waterfall and pond that was off the normal trail and half way between their two camps and far away from both their parents. As time went on and they drew closer and closer together the couple attempted, separately, to influence their respective parents hoping to change their thinking about each other´s people but to no avail. Turi Uha´s father got particularly angry when she brought up the topic.


Two Owl Butterflies Meeting

Eventually the pair decided that they would have to run away from their tribes to be happy (typical teenagers). That led to the tragic part of the story and then, even after that difficulty, the girl would encounter a mystical experience.


But I´ll refrain from going further here because the whole story is available to you on the GGC Bookshelf below (see info on Book #2) where you can Read More of the introduction and get the whole book if you want.


Costa Rica is indeed a magic land with many mystical connections.


¡Pura Vida!




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


Rumbling - Not Much To Talk About


While there was relative calm throughout Costa Rica in June there was a 5.2R shaker north of us in the southwest coast of Mexico in Llano de Puerta (of course, here we didn´t feel anything). Also, in Yaguaraparo, Venezuela southeast of us there was a 6.0R shaker; again we didn´t feel anything (well, maybe it was that little twitter I felt in bed the night of June 22?).


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the
World Posted by the
  Recent Quakes


Weather - Let The Rains Begin


Top 10 Countries for Rainfall

After a 50-year El Niño drought, and a hair´s breath away from rationing electricity when the water used in the hydro-electric plants almost ran out, we were all happy to see the rains come. So far in late May and well into June the rains have been frequent and large enough to remind us of what a normal rainy season here looks like. And the forecast now is for more tropical waves with strong rain to hit us.


Did you know that, on average, Costa Rica is the country that receives the sixth heaviest rainfall of any country in the world? The list of the top countries for rainfall is given in the table to the right. The number is in millimeters so divide by 25.4 to get inches.


And just in case you´re wondering which are the driest counties in the world, the list goes like this: Egypt (18mm or 0.7 in.), Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Mauritania, Jordan and Kuwait (121mm or 4.8 in.). Another way to say this is that almost all the driest countries are to be found in North Africa and the Middle East.


¡Pura Vida!


Search the GGC 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?)




Is this some kind of vine growing on that tree?


Or maybe it´s a fungus!?



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?)


a. Costa Rica Set to Tighten Regulations on Vaping. Vaping in Costa Rica has increased substantially in the last few years. In June the Ministry of Health announced new regulations restricting the use and sale of vapes and electronic cigarettes in Costa Rica that contain synthetic nicotine and those that incorporate liquids with cannabinoids, the latter item considered a health risk.


This was spurred on by data from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) which states that there have been 3,170 registered cases of people treated for problems related to vaping between 2021 and 2024, 40% of them occurring in 2024.


The Ministerio is also pursuing a change in the vaping law to support their action.


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

Keep Writing Amigos!
Costa Rica´s Capital The Veteran Traveler The Entebbe Attack  
#17 Read More #18 Read More #19 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


Not a vice or fungus amigos, this is a nest of Morphos, one of the most beautiful butterflies and which are very common in Costa Rica. When they congregate like this they set up an incredibly beautiful mosaic.


The underside of a Morpho is often brown or otherwise dark in color but they love to show off their upper, blue sides. Morphos can be up to seven inches long and six inches wide, covering an average hand.  Morpho butterflies have a "fascinating life cycle: they start as caterpillars that chew leaves, then transform into butterflies that drink fluids from rotting fruit, tree sap, and mud using a long proboscis."


To each his own fellas, I´ll stick to Gallo Pinto.


¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

El Wagon, Manuel Antonio

Location: Main road to MA Beach, just south of El Avion restaurant on the right.

Hours: Monday thru Sunday, 11 AM to 10 PM

Parking: Small Lot Across the Street

Contacts: Website: El Wagon Pizza | Manuel Antonio; Tel: 506-4000-1543 & 506-6124-7857; Email: manager@elwagonpizza.com.


Reviewing ROMEOS: Barry S., Bob N., Carol N., Glen N., Harry R., Jorge M., Lawrence L.; Mark W., Olga C., Roger B., Ruth R.,


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


This is one of the four restaurants in the Costa Verde/El Avion complex on the top of Manuel Antonio hill. The dining room is bordered on three sides by forest and on the fourth by the MA beach road. Our table was situated such that the traffic noise from the road was moderate.


The restaurant is housed in an old, renovated wooden rail car plunked in the middle of the forested hillside. In addition to the renovated wood throughout the place there is a very artsy mosaic in colorful tiles that runs throughout the floor in the main dining room (picture left). The ROMEOs composite score for ambiance came in at 3.9/5.0 max.


This restaurant offers an array of sandwiches and platters but long has had the theme and reputation of being very good for pizza. Accordingly, several of the ROMEOs ordered six variations of this staple, but unfortunately a few of us were not that happy with the result. In two cases the diners felt the pizza was considerably undercooked while in another case it was described as "burnt". Scuttlebutt amongst the ROMEOs in attendance, who remember having excellent pizza there in the past (as I did), was that their long-time chef had moved on to found his own pizza place. At least six of the ROMEOs partook of pizza, which in this restaurant is produced on a wood-fired grill.


Not beholding to the allure of pizza, GG found a shrimp wrap, something I´ve never tried, so I ordered it. The (tortilla) wrap that came was well stuffed with chopped, fresh lettuce, sautéed vegetables, a sprinkling of the perennial black bean and a goodly amount of baby fresh shrimp. The thing that got me was a light sauce that ran throughout the mixture, a flavor that complimented all the ingredients - excellently.


Since I was in an adventurous mood I followed the wrap with a version of apple pie with ice cream, a crusty circular apple tort with vanilla helado (ice cream) that did the trick.

Value Index= 124


In the end the composite score from the group for quality of food quality came in at 3.9/5.0 max.


We were served by a young lad named Ronald who was friendly, courteous and attentive to us. The composite score for service came in at 4.7/5.0 max, the highest of the three rankings (Ambiance, Food Quality, Service) for this restaurant that we made.


GG´s shrimp wrap, apple pie with ice cream and one ginger-ale Michelada came in at 14,499 colones or just about $28. The composite score for cost came in at 3.3/5.0 and made the average score for Ambiance, Food Quality and Service = 4.1/5.0 max, yielding a Value Index of 124 and putting El Wagon right in the middle for value for all the restaurants we´ve tried to date.


Despite what seems to be a call or need for greater technical control in cooking of the pizza, El Wagon continues to be a pleasant designing experience option in the Quepos-Manuel Antonio area.




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Pura Vida!

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