There are many options that are not dangerous here

First of all, my empathy and prayers go out to the woman from Minnesota, injured in the ATV accident near Jacó. I do, however, take issue with the outraged letters people wrote to A.M. Costa Rica about responsibility for the accident and medical care.

I couldn’t help but notice that it was the woman’s first time on an ATV. I know that they are available to rent, ride and purchase in Minnesota, yet she never did. Typically people have a sense of safety when they are on vacation that puts them in danger. Yes, the tour operators need to better educate their customers on the operation and dangers of not only ATVs but zip lines, surf boards, deep sea fishing etc., etc. Putting up some signage would be a big help, too, but Costa Rica is a developing country, and people need to be aware of the dangers that are present and possible.

As far as CIMA, well being an uninsured 59-year-old American I have been refused health care in hospitals in the the State of Florida because I do not have insurance. When I go to a “Doc in the Box” like a Solantic Health Care Center, they tell me what I have to pay up front before treatment is provided. When my Costa Rica wife had minor eye surgery here this summer, we had to pay in advance.  And when I need to have elective health care done, removal of a skin cancer lesion, a tooth pulled, blood test performed as well as other exams  or buy prescription meds, if I can I wait until I am traveling to Costa Rica where I use one of three different private clinics because even without insurance the cost is about 30-40 percent of what it would cost in the USA.

I do speak Spanish, so I don’t have language problems which enable me to shop for a better price, but most private hospitals do have English-speaking medical staffs, especially Clinica Biblica and CIMA where the care is world class.. This past August I had a tooth pulled, a cleaning w/fluoride treatments and x-rays at Clinica San Francisco, and it cost me less than $90. The dentist was educated through high school in Orlando, Florida, and decided to go to dental school in Costa Rica. Her english was perfect, and she performed the cleaning (typical) as well.

Again my heartfelt sympathy to this woman, I hope your recovery is complete and you return to Costa Rica. Perhaps next time rather than speeding on a mountain path, check out the rare flocks of scarlet macaws that can be seen nearly every morning and evening near Río Tarcoles, or visit Poás or Irazú, lovely volcano parks. Go horseback riding near Arenal and enjoy a soak in the hot springs nearby at Baldi or Tabacon. There are many wonderful exciting things to do in Costa Rica that aren’t quite as dangerous: Museums, night clubs with great local music, and beaches on both coasts.

Patrick Mach
St Augustine Florida /La Uruca

This entry was posted in Reader Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.