Today is the 12th birthday of A.M. Costa Rica, a publication that was originally designed to be a community calendar of sorts.
We are happy to report that after 12 years, despite vast economic and social changes, we still are profitable and going strong.
However, there is disappointment in that there have been little change in some situations that matter to expats. Property fraud still is with us. There were some arrests Wednesday, but like most cases, little probably will come of it.
Among the first articles we published was one about money laundering. In part, the weakness of the dollar here is because there is so much dollar denominated money flowing into the country.
Drugs are still with us, and except for international smuggling, police and government officials seem to be highly selective in the cases they prosecute.
Types of crime are changing, and walking the streets is safer in downtown San José. But the incidents in home invasions by armed thugs are troubling.
The real estate market, which wiped out a lot of expats, is strengthening. There is a gigantic pool of Americans and Canadians who will be seeking a retirement haven in the next few years. International Living just completed a big seminar promoting Costa Rica as a retirement spot.
Costa Rica no longer is a cheap place where the Yankee dollar rules. But the advantages of living here are substantial.
And it is A.M. Costa Rica’s responsibility to provide the news, protect the expats (sometimes from themselves) and be a voice for foreigners in encounters with the government.
A lot of thanks is due to our advertisers because it is their money that provides free news five days a week. Of course, they would not spend their money if the ads did not bring in business, and that appears to be the secret of success for A.M. Costa Rica. We value our advertisers and want to see their commercial announcements yield profits as long as there is no intrusion in news-gathering.
Of course, we also need to thank the readers. There are 3,400 who receive a daily digest each weekday morning. We serve up about 35,000 pages a day all over the world. And all of our readers share on common trait: A major interest in what is going on in Costa Rica.
We will try to be here 12 more years.