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Tropical Moms and Wannabe Tropical Moms - Page 2

post #21 of 73
Subbing and dreaming of the day it's easier to buy property on the French side of St. Martin....and working on trying to convince DH that he wouldn't get island fever or miss the four seasons here!!!
post #22 of 73
Gibsonmom... I did email sean but never heard back? I know internet can be hard to come by in CR... ??

it's summer hear in BC and I am thoroughly enjoying my temperate rainforest right now but we are still moving forward plans to buy property in CR as well...
post #23 of 73
Oh, I didn't see this thread and posted on another that I was surprised there was no Central American tribe. This is a good start!

I am married to a Costa Rican and we are moving back there in a year, possibly sooner, to make our lives there. We lived there for two years in Santa Ana (Central Valley) but our property is near the coast in Guanacaste. We are planning to build something there and live off the income from our hotel or commercial centro or whatever we decide to build. We just bought a house here in the U.S. too about a year and a half ago but we just don't see the point of being here anymore. In Costa Rica we can hire a maid and even a nanny if our business venture succeeds, which it should. Here we are just kind of stagnating. Dh's job is awful and pays peanuts and we live paycheck to paycheck. Our life in Costa Rica was waayy better and despite the cons of living there, the pros outweight the pros of living here by far.

One thing that concerns me is a growing crime rate in Costa Rica. When I met dh there in 2001, crime was only of the petty sort, and we camped out n the jungle near the beach and left all of our belongings there for two months and nothing was ever stolen. Most importantly, we always felt safe even though we were quite isolated. Things have really changed in 5-6 years. Crime has become more violent, and there is not an adequate police force due to lack of resources. My SIL had four armed bandits enter her home with machine guns and rob her blind. Thankfully, they left her alone (mostly). This happened in Santa Ana near Escazu. We haven't heard of many incidents like this in Guanacaste (the northern Pacific coast). A lot of people live in gated communities because of the home invasion robbery issue in the Central Valley.

I hope I didn't scare anyone away yet! We are still going. I was watching the news tonight and crime is up all across the U.S., and it seems that it is a worldwide thing. You just need common sense and know what you need to do to best protect your family. Some things are more obvious than others. Don't leave your belongings on the beach or they may not be there when you get back. But then there are things that you may never have thought of. It is a nation with a long legacy of thievery, it is in the people's blood, or so dh insists. There is a reason why most homes have bars on their windows and guys watch your car, when you park in the street, for a small tip. That said, Costa Rica is still a lot safer than Guatemala or Honduras, for example.

I just think there are bad people everywhere, really. If things progressed to a point where I did not feel safe in my own home then I would leave, but at this moment, I think we could do a lot better financially, emotionally and otherwise in CR than in the U.S., given that we have struggled for 3 years here to achieve the "American dream". Good jobs have been impossible to come by, and so now we move on to plan B. I'm also a writer and I feel so much more inspired in CR. Every day it seemed brought about a new sensation of aliveness, an awakening of all my senses, and profound contemplations about life provoked by the people, who are both simple and complex, humble and proud, passionate and composed, and the indescribable nature that is so beautiful as to bring tears to your eyes. From a poetic standpoint, CR is heavenly. From a practical standpoint, it can be aggravating for some, but statistically speaking, about half of the people who move there stay, and the other half find they can't hack it.

It is far easier for me "hack it" since dh is a native. It also helps to have a steady income of some kind coming in or be independently wealthy. You can teach English there, but you won't want to do it longterm. Dh and I stayed at a home and our only expenses were food and gas and entertainment, and we did fine on $500 a month. Rents are fairly cheap. Maids and nannies are very affordable. My friend, a single mom, lived there for 4 years and had a maid/nanny all day, 6 days a week for $250.00 a month. She cooked, cleaned, and cared for the child. My friend returned to the U.S, had a reality check, and now wants to go back to CR. You might complain about it, but you will miss it when it's gone. I miss the wonderful food, my daily breakfast of "gallo pinto" (rice and beans mixed together, lightly pan-fried), with tortillas and sour cream and a bit of hot sauce, and all the wonderful fruits. Most tropical fruits are naturally organic. They don't need pesticides. Bananas, mangos, pineapple and coconut are all in this category. Most areas of Costa Rica that have enough people will have an Automercado supermarket and these supply quite a few imported things that Americans and other foreigners can't live without. I imagine if the free-trade agreement passes, many more things will be available, and for cheaper.

So, for me, Costa Rica represents a chance at a lifestyle I could never afford here, and the time is great to invest in the country. There are many different areas to live in. Many places have such perfect weather you need no heating or a/c ever. My medical and dental expenses have been wayyy lower than the States. In fact, I had 10 mercury amalgams replaced with resin, and a platinum crown put in, all for 1k. Here we can barely afford to have insurance, and the deductibles are ridiculous. They have a special at the Cima hospital in Costa Rica. It's to have your child there, regular delivery, all drugs included, if desired (i.e. epi), plus celebration dinner for two for $1500.00 US. I went to the ER there once for a stomach bug and my total cost was $150.00 including IV drip, blood tests, etc. I had giardia which they didn't know, but was later identified when we had our well water tested and the culprit was discovered.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on! It's neat that there are several mommas considering the move to CR. I know there are many, many young American families down there, particularly in the area we are moving to. Things are really changing there, for the better and the worst. I kind of somehow feel safer there, at least on a large scale, than the U.S., even though you have to be more cautious in CR about petty theft. It's a poor country, but it has no enemies either. I look forward to a new life there with my kids, challenges notwithstanding, and I will probably homeschool for awhile, but there is a new U.S. quality school being built that my dc will probably attend. Most of them are not cheap but you could probably work as a teacher at one and get decent pay plus free tuition for your kids. Also, homeschooling seems to be a more popular choice. Hope this info helps some. Feel free to ask me anything.
post #24 of 73
Try again, he defintely has internet always, high speed even. He also has a US phone number which should be in the contact info I gave you. Good luck.
post #25 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fulmom View Post
Gibsonmom... I did email sean but never heard back? I know internet can be hard to come by in CR... ??
Hmm, thats weird, no problem with the internet for him, definitely has reliable high speed. Try calling the US number in his contact info. I know he is around. PM me your email addy and I can send it directly to him.

Good luck
post #26 of 73
: : : : : : : : :

Hi all,

We are a family living in Costa Rica right now. : We came back in January and have plans to stay for another year. Our son was born at hospital Cima a couple years ago. We want him to grow up in both cultures, so we try to divide our time when we can afford it. Having him here and giving him dual citizenship was a gift we wanted to give him. A choice for his future, a peaceful country and a war loving country to call home lol. : We love it here in CR and so does our son. We have a maid/nanny/housekeeper who works for us, and that is just a luxury I never imagined. We own property here and plan to build a condo for us and a house to rent out for additional income. My mom recently came down and invested in one of the lots/condos so that she can spend more time with the family. She is an orchid lover and an avid birder and just can't believe the diversity here. Whats not to love, this place is paradise! Yes there is a lot of petty crime, but the country is now trying to address that problem. As for the oil drilling, I think that China is trying to secure some sort of deal as we speak. I hope it doen't happen.:
post #27 of 73
Hola, Fortunecookie! Are you in Playa Hermosa by Coco? We have a villa in Villas Sol and we will be there in December (yay!), with plans to move there in March. Dh is thinking of trying to get a job at the new Regent Papagayo opening in 2009. He is currently working for the company that owns it. I sooo miss having our maid! I really look forward to having one again. Dh and I have been so stretched thin and dream constantly of being able to date again and have some freedom and use our time enjoying our family rather than cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Dh and I own some land in Playa Avellanas and we would like to build a hotel or something there. I have been trying to get my parents to invest in Costa Rica but they haven't yet. We lived in the Central Valley most of the time but we will be living in Guana when we move back. I know there are some pretty decent schools too in Liberia and not all that expensive. I think our dds will love growing up in Costa Rica. The crime rate is a bit disconcerting to me because 5 years ago it was so different. Yes there was crime but not like this. But it's still not that bad compared to most of the world, and most of it is theft related at least. Well PM me if you are in the Coco Hermosa area and maybe we can hook up for a beach play date or something in December!
post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirited View Post
Hola, Fortunecookie! Are you in Playa Hermosa by Coco? We have a villa in Villas Sol and we will be there in December (yay!), with plans to move there in March. Dh is thinking of trying to get a job at the new Regent Papagayo opening in 2009. He is currently working for the company that owns it. I sooo miss having our maid! I really look forward to having one again. Dh and I have been so stretched thin and dream constantly of being able to date again and have some freedom and use our time enjoying our family rather than cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Dh and I own some land in Playa Avellanas and we would like to build a hotel or something there. I have been trying to get my parents to invest in Costa Rica but they haven't yet. We lived in the Central Valley most of the time but we will be living in Guana when we move back. I know there are some pretty decent schools too in Liberia and not all that expensive. I think our dds will love growing up in Costa Rica. The crime rate is a bit disconcerting to me because 5 years ago it was so different. Yes there was crime but not like this. But it's still not that bad compared to most of the world, and most of it is theft related at least. Well PM me if you are in the Coco Hermosa area and maybe we can hook up for a beach play date or something in December!
Hola freespirited,

We are south in Hermosa de Jaco. We do make it north but usually only a couple times a year. I see your hubby is a surfer too. Maybe we'll be able to hook up through a husband friendly surf trip.
post #29 of 73
Subbing!

Dh is pre-med and wanting to go to med school in the Caribbean. I don't have a clue what it is like to live out of the country so I hope to find some info from you gals!
post #30 of 73
Hi guys...I would love to move to Trinidad or Tobago or Barbados one day...I am about to make a temp move from FL to PA but I am watching this political race very closely and I am ready to make a run for it...very interesting notes on CR though...I never really heard anything about it...
post #31 of 73
So, Trinimommy, are you a Trini?
post #32 of 73
I live in the British Virgin Islands with my husband. He is from here I am from the US. He is from the island of Anegada and we are living on the main island, Tortola while we build our house on Anegada. Once we are on our land we are both interested in growing as much of our own food as possible and maybe even having a little vegetarian restaurant.

If we stay on the main island longer than planned I will send our child/ren to one of the private schools, they have a Montessori here, or if we get back to his island in time for the child/ren to be in school they will go to the local school.

If anyone has questions about living in the BVI I am happy to tell about my experiences and what it is like here. (Better than the US imho!)

This area is still being developed, there are many opportunities here for people that have a college degree or special skills.
post #33 of 73
I'll join in. DH and I go to Costa Rica at least once (or twice) a year for surfing trips. We love the country and the lifestyle and have talked in passing about one day living there, but it's always a far off in the future thing. I have heard that jobs are rather hard to come by if you're not a local, unless you open up some business of your own. So maybe one day we'll end up there for at least part of the year. We usually go to Manuel Antonio, which is beautiful, and also stay in Jaco a lot, but I'd never want to live there. I do worry about the crime, we've never been robbed by some of DH's surfing buddies that go on big group trips down there have had their wallets stolen and such.
post #34 of 73
I am booking my tickets this week to go to CR for March and a little more : I love Vancouver, Canada but I am missing CR so much!!! Its time to go back to our new second home We'll be in the dominical area and down to the Osa on this trip... will anyone from mdc be there in March/April?
post #35 of 73
subbing the forum. Thanks for starting this thread.
We got back to the U.S. last spring and are just waiting to get back to Miami (currently stuck in Savannah). After that we're considering being in central America or Caribbean part of the year, looking at Panama at this time. Also planning to unschool or homeschool our little one.

post #36 of 73
I'm really interested in this thread. DH and I dream sometimes of moving to Costa Rica but it would need to be unschooling friendly. Can anyone point me to the actual laws that refer to homeschool/unschool?

Here's the thread that I just started asking about this in homeschool section before I thought to look here.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...9#post10460769

:
post #37 of 73
Dreaming of CR a lot these days, and starting to plan our first trip there next February into March. We're a home/un schooling family and i am loving the freedom of being able to plan a trip like this! Ds will be 5 and we'll have a 8/9 month old baby.
Wondering what the food situation is like...what is available and what is hard to get.

I also really want to travel across to the carribean side, and am wondering if anyone has done this...am I crazy to think about carting two kiddos on some hairy roads across southern CR? I mean, how hairy is it?
post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by RasJi7 View Post
I live in the British Virgin Islands with my husband. He is from here I am from the US. He is from the island of Anegada and we are living on the main island, Tortola while we build our house on Anegada. Once we are on our land we are both interested in growing as much of our own food as possible and maybe even having a little vegetarian restaurant.

If we stay on the main island longer than planned I will send our child/ren to one of the private schools, they have a Montessori here, or if we get back to his island in time for the child/ren to be in school they will go to the local school.

If anyone has questions about living in the BVI I am happy to tell about my experiences and what it is like here. (Better than the US imho!)

This area is still being developed, there are many opportunities here for people that have a college degree or special skills.
Hi,

I plan on moving make to St. Thomas(not to far from you, that is were I was born and raise), DH is from Trinidad and wants to move there too. We prefer our children raised in the islands. There is a Montesseri school there also but they are so expensive, maybe his last 3 years we can afford to send him there. It will be a couple more years before we move though, DH is doing some school and certificates. We already have land there(I bought from my father) and my father is already starting to build the house(he is a contractor/construction worker). Have to go. I will check back here
post #39 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunmamma View Post
Dreaming of CR a lot these days, and starting to plan our first trip there next February into March. We're a home/un schooling family and i am loving the freedom of being able to plan a trip like this! Ds will be 5 and we'll have a 8/9 month old baby.
Wondering what the food situation is like...what is available and what is hard to get.

I also really want to travel across to the carribean side, and am wondering if anyone has done this...am I crazy to think about carting two kiddos on some hairy roads across southern CR? I mean, how hairy is it?
We have driven across to the Caribean side with 3 kids... the roads are no worse than other parts of Cr like the south coast... you just have to pay attention and watch for crazy truck drivers! I didn't find the Carribean side as nice or family freindly though... people smoking crack on the beach near Puerto Viejo! yuck I just found it much more seedy than the Pacific side... we find we can get most foods we need including soy and rice milk for my son... I bring some snack food and organic microve popcorn for when my kdis get home sick for Canadian snack food HTH we're down on the south coast in CR for the month and loving it
post #40 of 73

Wannabe...for now!

I was reading through, very interesting...but I would really like to hear more from the moms in the BVI's or USVI's, especially regarding homeschooling in either/both, or possibly thoughts on public high schools, maybe ST Thomas? My fiance and I are very seriously considering taking our combined family with 5 teens (yes five!) there and living on a sailboat, and starting a business there. Back to basics, away from it all here, out of the rat race (I'm sure you all can relate!). Any and all advice is welcome!!! This has been a long time dream in the process over the last year especially, maybe even a "calling", I could really use some tips and advice!
Thank you - anyone in the Caribbean who knows that area or of anyone doing some similar adventure with teens!
Julia
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