I read Mr. Tom Colborn’s letter to the editor and the numerous responses. I have lived in Costa Rica six years and I am a permanent resident. Mr. Colborn is absolutely correct in every word he wrote.
I try to be a good neighbor and citizen. I have contributed three computers to the local school as they only had one. I paid for the materials to repair the road to our community after the water department destroyed it placing a new line and the municipality did not have the funds for repair. Shortly after the road was destroyed, a Tico neighbor’s car slid off the road, and he broke his arm. The 4 X 4 Cruz Roja ambulance tried for 2.5 hours to make it to the accident scene before giving up. One of my employees leaves each afternoon at 3 to go to the local school to teach English as they have no English teacher.
How am I repaid? My neighbor had a load of gravel delivered last week. He paid one half the price for the same load from the same driver from the same gravel source as I paid three weeks ago. I encounter the “Tico vs. Gringo” price on a daily basis. You do not have enough space for me to itemize the instances where I have paid two to three times the amount for the exact item from the same store or vendor as my Tico neighbors.
Mr. Colborn did not mention that Costa Rica has some of the highest electric rates in the entire world, and ICE received another increase last October and have filed for yet another rate increase. Is it necessary for ICE employees to drive Toyota Prados? One of my elderly Tico neighbors busted out in tears when she received her last ICE bill. She told me she would have to go without her heart medicine to pay her electric bill.
I suspect the majority of the writers who are criticizing Mr. Colborn for telling the truth about Costa Rica are involved in either the real estate business or tourist trade.
To all of your readers who are going to write and say “go back where you came from” I say this: Costa Rica has great potential. I intend to stay and fight for change.
To all of your readers who are considering moving to Costa Rica I say this: Do not believe the realtors or the tourist promoters. Come here and live for at least six months before moving. You will be glad you did.