New book showcases Palmares man’s 16 years in Costa Rica

John D. Steinrucken, a retiree in Palmares, has penned what he calls a frequent flyer friendly book, “Gringos in Costa Rica.” Some of the short stories are fuzzy-feel-good, some are of tragedies, some are of scams and some are just quirky, said Steinrucken.

“I set the stage by noting that Costa Rica is a most attractive Third World country, being a favorite destination for North American and European retirees and visitors,” he said. “A factor for this popularity is the several decades that the country has been politically and economically stable. Of additional note is that the Costa Rican people accept
with ease Gringos who choose to live in their country. Here Gringo is a term meaning non-Latino foreigners.”

Steinrucken has been retired here for 16 years and is married to a Tica. He said the phrase frequent flyer friendly for his 170-page book comes from his working years of air travel in which he sought books that were a quick read.

In his preface he says “there is police corruption in Costa Rica, but mostly it is of the irritating sort, such as an occasional shakedown of Gringo motorist by traffic cops. 30 years ago, when I first came to the country, crime was relatively rare – it was sort of like South Dakota. During the past 10 years crime has grown into a noticeable problem, but not yet on the scale of Los Angeles or Philadelphia. Costa Ricans tend to blame the increased crime on the large numbers of Nicaraguans, and to a lesser extent Columbians, who have entered the country in recent years. Although crime here is a problem that must be taken into account by the Gringos, with ordinary precautions one can avoid becoming a victim.”

His short stories have titles that are sure to generate interest, such as  “Why Harry Has no Hair,” “Unofficial Costa Rican Justice” and “Zack and His Mule.”

He is a Mississippi native who served and was wounded in the Korean war. In his pre-Costa Rican life in New Orleans, Louisiana, he was a claims representative dealing mostly in maritime cases, he said. The book is available on at this link.

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