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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Caja Hit by Cyberhackers; b. Costa Rica Going to the World Cup.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Managing the Basic Food Basket; b. Gasoline Hits a Magic Number.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. Colombia - New Leftist President Elected; b. Mexico - Yet Still, Another Mayan City Discovered; c. Nicaragua - 1. Government Closes Six More NGOs; 2. Remittances Grow 29.1% in First Quarter 2022.

4. Feature #1: Matrimony in a Country Setting (La Boda de Mi Hija)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: Small Tremors Make You Uneasy; b. Weather: Early Storms Signal Heavy Rainy Season Despite Timely Veranillo de San Juan.

6. Feature #2: Musings on Changes in the Lehigh Valley (Event Centers Emerge from Rusting Factories)

7. ¿Que es Eso?: Strange Sacks Hanging from Trees - What Could They Be?

8. Health Stuff: a. Covid Status; b. Shifting to Standard Flu Protection.

9. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from Local Writers.

10. What's-in-a-Word: a. Answer to Que Es Eso.

11. ROMEO Corner: Emilio´s Cafe, Manuel Antonio





Wisdom of the Ages

Holidays In Cost Rica In July

The Nicoya Province in Red

July 25 is a designated paid holiday which celebrates the voluntary annexation of the Nicoya Peninsula into Costa Rica. Up until this point in the early 1800´s both Costa Rica and the Nicoya had been under direct Spanish rule.

On March 3, 1824, the government of Costa Rica officially proposed to the municipality and self-governed Nicoya, "if it was convenient to meet her Province without opposing wills". In the ensuing months several plebiscites were held in some of the larger towns of the Nicoya and the end result of these deliberations was a popular vote of 77% in favor of joining Costa Rica.

In that time of turmoil, resulting from the various independence movements across Latin America, the general conclusion of the populace in Nicoya was that the people of the new province would be better off in trade and living opportunities by being part of Costa Rica.

Broken News
(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

Caja Hit by Cyberhackers

Early in May it was announced by the government that the computer system of the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) had been hacked into by a Russian ransom-ware organization called Conti. They stole some 45 gigabytes of information and demanded a $20 million payment from Costa Rica to get it back. The request was, of course, totally and completely rejected. But that certainly was not the end of it.


On Wednesday, June 1 the Ministerio de Salud (Health Ministry) announced that it also had been hacked as of Monday May 30, most likely also by the Conti group who demanded a similar ransom. One immediate result was the health system computer network had to be shut down.


GG noticed the problem on Thursday, June 2, when he went to the Caja office (Quepos Hospital) for his monthly allotment of medicines and tried to get a laboratorio appointment for work to be done in a few months in support of the next doctor checkup. Big signs on the windows of the laboratory stated that they were unable to make appointments because the computer system had gone down. On returning home I tried to pay my monthly charge for the Caja online but was rejected for the same reason. As of this writing (June 13), ability to pay the monthly Caja fee was still not possible either online or at payment centers because the system was down.


On Thursday, June 2, a state of "institutional emergency" was declared at the Caja. It was stated the number of servers affected rose to 800 or 53% of the system. This tally's as 9,000 individual computers or 22% of the 40,000 total at the Caja. The same day over 12,500 people had their medical appointments, including surgeries, canceled.


The Caja ministry people are scrambling to fix the problem and an investigation has been ongoing since the April incident. The study has revealed some difficult flaws in the system:

President Rodrigo Chaves stated: "...the weakness in the government systems comes from years ago due to lack of investment and an “accountability” investigation will determine if there was negligence or criminal activity". He also noted: "Make no mistake about it, we are at war with the hackers; this is war."


Chaves also issued this: “The autonomous institutions and the ministers received an order that protection mechanisms be installed, they know that it is a direct order and requires mandatory compliance.” added Chaves.


UPDATE: GG kept trying every day to pay his monthly Caja charge (invoice usually available by the 3rd or 4th of the month), but the system didn´t become active until June 13. Hopefully we´re back to normal.


Costa Rica Going to the World Cup


How´s That for a Stylistic Image

On June 14 the national team of Costa Rica slid by New Zealand 1-0 on the latter´s home field and secured a position at the quadrennial FIFA World Cup that will be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18. I didn´t get to watch the New Zealand game but from what I saw on the reruns the Tico national team portero (goali) Keylor Navas was instrumental, as usual, in blocking many New Zealand goal attempts.


That´s Our Keylor!

Before the June 13 game Costa Rica was world-ranked 31st with New Zealand being 101, both within the 211 teams that make up FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Costa Rica´s admission to the games rounds out the thirty-two teams that will compete for the world cup this year.


Go Ticos!


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Managing the Basic Food Basket


The Costa Rican government, by way of its National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, maintains a calculation based on what they call the Canasta Básica Alimentaria (CBA) or Basic Food Basket. Currently the CBA is made up of 52 foods in 15 groups. According to one press report, the CBA is defined: "As a set of foods that constitute a minimum necessary to satisfy at least the energy and protein needs of a family and that adjust, as far as possible, to the cultural pattern, purchasing power, as well as the availability, and prices of food locally". Right.


Recently, as in many parts of the world, inflation has reared its ugly head here. The CBA in the last year (May to May) went from ₡42,393 (about $61.43 at a 690 exchange rate) to ₡47,331 ($68.60), an increase of nearly 12%. To compensate, the government intends to reorganize the basket with the same overall nutrition goals but hopefully resulting in lower cost. An interesting sidelight to this calculation is that products outside the basket are sales-taxed at the regular 13% while those inside would be sales-taxed at only 1%.


The new formula is being worked out and must be approved by the Ministerio de Hacienda (Treasury). Let´s hope this actually results in a cost decrease to the consumer rather than just shifting the numbers.


Gasoline Hits a Magic Number


Like the rest of the world, Costa Rica has been watching the steady climb in gasoline prices over the past year with an expectation that 1,000 Colones per liter (about $5.45/gal) was in sight. This is similar to U.S. populace looking at $5/gal as a new high. Sure enough on June 12 new pricing was established by RECOPE, the responsible government authority for petrol pricing, that now puts Super at ₡1,062/liter (about $5.79/gal), Regular at ₡1,024/liter (about $5.58/gal) and Diesel at ₡1,012/liter (about $5.51/gal).


At the same time this was happening the government announced that a "contractual anomaly" has caused the suspension of a feasibility contract based on a $1.5 billion loan backed by the Chinese that would have renovated or replaced the one aging and unused refinery that Costa Rica owns. The government stated they would look for another company to do the feasibility and estimate analyses. A proper refinery is expected to produce gasoline at significant savings over current purchases of finished product. Vamos a ver (we´ll see).




After steady increases over the last two months posted by the government´s fuel pricing authority that put regular petrol as high as 1,060 colones per liter (about $5.75/gal) the last change has been downward. Unfortunately for car owners it was only 2 colones per liter for super and regular while the reduction was 102 colones per liter for diesel. The 2 colone reduction was called by some as a slap in the face.


CRC to USD$ Exchange Rate Hits New High


Despite significant intervention in the money market (MONEX) by the Costa Rican Central Bank, the exchange rate peaked at a record 700 colones per dollar sell rate on Monday June 20.


Don´t know if you, like GG, are sometimes confused by the terms "buy" and "sell" rates when referring to currency exchange rates, I have to remember that the term is expressed in relation to the home or local currency. This means that the a sell rate of 700 requires one to provide 700 colones to but one dollar while a buy rate (currently 690) means that changing one dollar will only get you 690 colones.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)




New Prez Petro and VP Márquez

On June 19, the government of Colombia changed direction, shifting to the left, with the second-round runoff election of Gustavo Petro by 50.4% of the vote to his opponent´s 47.3%, or by 700,601 votes. The country has been plagued by problems including drug violence while also maintaining the second largest gap between the rich and poor in Latin America.


Petro will take office on August 7 along with his vice president Francia Márquez, the first Afro woman to be elected to that high a level. The outgoing government of Iván Duque stated that they accepted the people´s result and will conduct a “peaceful, harmonious and transparent” transition. And the cartels?




Mayan archaeologists have recently discovered another Mayan city dating back to 600 to 900 CE (A.D. to us oldies) and located in the Yucatan.


The city (a sample of one of its buildings is in the photo at right) is in particularly good condition having been isolated on private land and slowly restored since 2018. The city, called Xiol ("spirit of man") is believed to have been the home to at least 4,000 people during its most active period.




1. Government Closes Six More NGOs. The Nicaraguan government close six more Non-Government Organizations recently that are based in Europe, the United States and Costa Rica. They included: Médico Internacional E.V. (Germany), Fundación para la Cooperacion Internacional Trabaja (Spain) and Fundación Terre Des Hommes Italia-Onlus (Italy), Planting Hope, INC (Sowing Hope, INC) and the Gettysburg-León Project, all based in the United States. The Ortega regime stated that "...these six NGOs failed to comply with their obligations under the laws that regulate them by not registering as foreign agents, being obligated subjects" and also “hindered the control and surveillance of the General Directorate of Registration and Control of Organizations...".

Some press reported that: The canceled NGOs were dedicated to operating in poor and remote areas in the fields of poverty, health and psychosocial work with traumatized people, direct and immediate help to children in difficulty, education, community development, nutrition, food security, and environmental management.

2. Remittances Grow 29.1% in 1Q. A common practice for some Central American workers who have migrated from their home country to another one is to remit part of their earnings back to relatives in their home country. Remittances to Nicaragua increased by 29.1% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year for a total of $866.5 Million. Press reports peg the Nicaraguan economy at an annual GDP of $12.6 Billion (a quarter of which would be $3.15 B) so the remittance number this past quarter represents about 28% of GDP (0.8865/3.15x100).


For background information, Costa Rica´s remittances ran about $143 Million in the fourth quarter of 2021 a quarter of their annual GDP would equal about $15.4 Billion so that remittances equaled about $0.143/15.4x100=0.9% of GDP.


The press reported that: "The main countries from which the remittances are received originated were the United States (75.2%), Spain (9.2%), Costa Rica (8.4%), Panama (2.3%) and Canada (1.2%). At the other extreme, the flow of remittances from Spain in that period fell by 9.6%, while from Panama it fell by 9.0%".


¡Solo Bueno!


Matrimony in a Country Setting
(La Boda de Mi Hija)

GG had the very pleasant experience of attending his daughter´s wedding in May in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Below are some of the very favorable impressions I got of this event. I also got the chance to see how the Lehigh Valley has changed in the 23 years since I left it for Florida and then later for Costa Rica. Those "musings" are covered in a second article below.


The trip commenced with a direct flight from San José to Newark, New Jersey. I followed the flight path on the screen in front of me as we took off. I pulled the airplane card out of the pocket in front of me and noticed the craft was a 737-800. My first thought was: Wasn´t that the aircraft that had several mechanical problems around the world in recent years?


Route Up from Costa Rica

So we went north, then northeast to the point where Honduras meets Nicaragua then continued out over the Cayman Islands, then over Cuba. As the lower half of Florida appeared on the map I realized that our trajectory would take us out over the Bermuda Triangle. Oh great, we´re flying a 737-800 over the Bermuda Triangle, say what?


But the pilot then did something I thought strange - when he got over the tip of Southern Florida he turned slightly northwest and went up the spine of Florida until he got to the mainland, then turned northeast again to Newark. What does he know that we don´t? After 5 hours we arrived on time, and after a bit of searching to find my daughter and her husband in that super busy airport, we headed out to Allentown, PA with few problems. I would note that on the return flight we went directly over the Bermuda Triangle without disappearing.


At Home Just Before the Wedding

My base of operations was my daughter´s and (now) son-in-law´s home in Orefield a north-western suburb of Allentown. Once more I was able to watch my daughter organize and put together a relatively complex event and make it into a great experience. Jenny has long been a keen arranger of things historical and I like to think of her as the family historian because of her talent of keeping track of many of our namesake things. A quick tour of Jen and Dale´s home produced an array of inherited items from both families that ranged from wall hangings to specialty furnishings to family art (like paintings by Uncle Peter and others) from both sides of her family as well as from the family of her hubby.


In addition to the art works, there is a gallery of dozens of photos depicting both families, from early childhood to late adults. One of the ones I liked best was a photo of all three of my kids, Jen, Cindy and Jeff in red Christmas outfits. Jeff looked to be about 2 years of age so the year of that photo was likely around 1979. Jenny´s penchant for safely keeping these old photos in good condition was the reason why I called on her for pictures some years ago when I wrote a fun piece for the Chronicles about my own history called "Morphology of a Golden Gringo".


Just the Dessert Table at the Meet and Greet

With the wedding scheduled for Saturday, May 21, Jen and Dale had arranged the night before to have a "Meet and Greet" party at a local brewery´s event venue in Coopersburg. The event provided the opportunity to see my three kids together for the first time in many years but also a chance to renew acquaintances with other family, old neighbors and friends.


All the folks at the Meet and Greet party were treated to a broad and fanciful array of finger food ranging from cold cuts to jumbo shrimp to crab legs and a bountiful supply of scrumptious desserts. The event was not only a culinary smash but oh, the memories that came back from the people at this gathering (even if I didn´t recognize everyone at first because of gray hair, or even lack of any hair!).


The subtitle on this article above, La Boda de Mi Hija, is Spanish for the wedding of my daughter. And what a wedding it was. At top count, some 130 relatives and friends came to the Lehigh Valley to attend this two-day celebration. Knowing my daughter Jenny, I expected something organized and professional and that´s exactly how the affair was conducted. With her talented husband Dale, who is an IT Business Partner Director for a major energy mid-stream logistics company, Jenny works as a Project Manager for the same company. It was clear to me early during my stay that these two were a true couple operating in a very supportive relationship. As the weekend progressed, other family and visitors would verbally confirm my conclusion that Jen and Dale are indeed a true and complimentary match.


Bell Gate Farm House

The venue for the wedding was in the Lehigh Valley at a place called the Bell Gate Farm not far from where Jen and Dale live. This is an old Pennsylvania farm that has been converted into an event center and which is a perfect place for a May wedding ceremony and reception. It sits on a pond (make that a lake if you´re from southern Florida) and the grounds are well manicured, the ceremony location being ringed by trees which provided valuable shade at a 5 pm ceremony - just the right angle to shade the sun. The weather cooperated perfectly providing a warm, sunny day in the 80´s that fell in between two cloudy and rainy days.


Groom Awaits His Bride
Dad Escorts The Bride
Officiant Debbie Thom
Bridesmaid/Daughter Cindy
Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

As the 5 pm ceremony drew near we formed a line of wedding party participants and slowly marched down from the reception hall to the ceremonial arch.


First in line came the groomsmen, then the bridesmaids, then Carter and Reagyn, the great kids who live next to Jen and Dale who acted as ring bearer and flower girl, then the groom who waited anxiously at the ceremonial arch, then yours truly, who got to escort Jenny down the path and reluctantly turn over his oldest daughter to the Groom (actually I can´t think of anyone I could be happier to do so than to Dale).


The officiant for the ceremony was one Debbie Thom, a Minister of the American Marriage Ministries and a friend of Jenny´s who she used to work with.




At the meet and greet and practice the day before Debbie told me she believed in a 30 minute service and she held to her word. Just the right number of bible passages combined with the perquisite promises made it a great and happy experience to witness.


So then the celebrant couple were promptly and officially married and they marched out to much applause and a hailstorm of flower petals from the smiling crowd as shown below.


It´s done, it´s finally done!






Bell Gate Farm Barn - Early Evening

A central feature at Bell Gate Farm is the old barn which has been completely renovated, even including air conditioning, which was appreciated that day by many as everyone crowded into the barn to cool off instead of hanging out on the deck and grounds where there was a jazz band and charcuterie station set up. 


Typical weather for this time of year there is low 70s, but it peaked at 91 that day.


Let the Party Begin!

The barn provides a dining room as well as a dance floor and set-up area for a band. As with the Greet and Meet the night before there was a wide selection of foods, an open bar on the veranda, a band and even an excellent quality cigar bar were provided (GG had all he could do to avoid that one after 12 years of no cigars - they were good ones too). But I was a good boy.


The reception provided another opportunity to catch up on talk with the kids, former family and old acquaintances.



Key to gallery above: 1 - My three kids clockwise from lower left: Cindy, Jeff and Jen plus friend Christine lower right; 2 - The first dance as a married couple; 3 - Cutting the beautiful (and tasty) cake. Incidentally, there are some 500 photos that were taken and submitted which are being organized by Jen. Likewise, the official photographer´s offering will be available in a few weeks.


A number of the older attendees including GG left the party about 9 pm while the younger folk carried on for a couple more hours. What an excellent celebration. I´m slightly prejudiced but I can´t remember ever enjoying myself at a wedding as much as I did this one.


Job well done Mr. Dale Gardner and Mrs. Jennifer Normand Gardner. May you enjoy many happy years together! or as we would say down in Costa Rica; "¡Que disfruten de muchos años felices juntos!"



P.S. It should be noted that Covid raised its ugly head during this event. GG tested negative the day before the flight, then positive by Sunday after the wedding, then negative towards the end of the next week and then negative again by the time I got back to Quepos. Reports came in later that as many as 15 of the guests had shown symptoms (few masks were worn on my plane). The good news was that this strain (which some of us suspected to be Omicron) was less virulent than others and that most of those effected recovered withing 4-5 days of testing positive.


¡Pura Vida!


Rumble and Weather Talk
(Shaky Happenings & Weather Observations About the Pacific Rim)




GG and a friend both reported periodic, small tremors over the last three weeks but nothing to be concerned about. My guess was they were in the 2-3R range and my friend reported he saw the reading on one of them as a 3.0R. At that level they are barely felt, but the initiated know that, when you begin to feel them, they still leave you wondering in anticipation if they´re going to grow and get worse.


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the World Posted by the U.S.G.S.  Recent Quakes


Rainy Season











If the early rainy season here is any indication of what´s coming for the next few months we are going to see a season that ranks with the strongest in the past, like the tortuous tempests of 2010.








I say this because on Wednesday June 7, in the evening, a world class tormenta (storm in Spanish) hit us. The video that follows was taken from the balcony of my apartment building looking at the street in front of the building. Flood 7 June 2022.


The second half of June is also known as the period of "Veranillo de San Juan" (Little summer of St. John) and refers to a break in the rainy weather that can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Meteorologists credit this to the presence of residual Sahara dust that travels across the Atlantic and prevents or slows the formation of rain droplets. This year´s forecast: three days beginning June 21. That´s just about what happened and we´re now back to the regular rainy season.

¡Pura Vida!


Search the Golden Gringo Chronicles Archives for Topics That Interest You


You can use our Archives to search for anything that has been written in more than 320 feature articles of the Golden Gringo Chronicles plus find Broken News items and ROMEO restaurant reviews. Enter your topic or item to search in the Google Search Routine below and follow the links offered from the search results.


Suggestion: Enter only a simple, precise and unique as possible key word or two in order to narrow the number of references retrieved:


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Musings On Changes in the Lehigh Valley
(Event Centers Emerging from Rusting Factories)

LVHN Campus - Circle Shows Original Campus

In the almost two weeks of revisiting the Lehigh Valley for my daughter´s wedding (above), I also had an opportunity to see how this area has grown in the 23 years since I left it to move to Florida, and later to Costa Rica.

And grown it has; I was amazed at the places like the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, now known as the Lehigh Valley Health Network and which used to be simply a large building (circle in the photo right) but now is a broad campus with several medical specialty centers (cancer, children´s etc.). Ditto for St. Luke´s, a brother hospital in Bethlehem. Double ditto with regard to expansion for the new Air Products, Inc. campus in Trexlertown where I worked for three and a half years - the new office building more than doubled the space I remembered and looks like hundreds of new employees have been added.

Lehigh Valley Road System

Also very noticeable on this visit was how busy the road system that services the Lehigh Valley has become. Whether it was Route 22, considered the major east-west artery of the valley, or I-78 which also traverses the valley from east to west and joins Route 22 west of A-town or even I-476 which is the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that runs north towards Scranton, these roads were much busier than GG remembered sometimes slowing to a crawl due to traffic. (Of course there´s also the possibility that I´ve been away from that kind of traffic for so many years that it just seems much busier.)


GG operated a computer supplies business from 1983 to 1992 in the Lehigh Valley and occasionally sold to Bethlehem Steel Corp. One time around 1988, when I was at their headquarters building trying to sell them some computer supplies, I also mentioned we did custom computer furniture installations. The director of purchasing smiled and said: "Furniture?" whereupon he took me down to their main warehouse and showed me several bays about 30 ft deep and 100 ft wide stacked with furniture to the ceiling. And then he tried to enlist me in selling the used furniture which I respectfully declined citing no knowledge of the used furniture market.


Artillery for WW II Being Produced at "The Steel"

This was the period that Bethlehem Steel (known locally as "The Steel") was on the decline and went from 130,000 employees to roughly half or 65,000. The company, which had become a major, world-wide competitor and significant force in producing armaments and ships for the World War II effort, finally threw in the towel in 1995 after 132 years of operation. Their decline was the reason for the stacked furniture; it just wasn´t needed any more.

So when my daughter and her husband said one day that we were going to visit the old Bethlehem Steel plant I wondered why they would take me to an old rusting skeleton.

And indeed, when you approach the plant site the unmistakable outline of at least three rusty steel furnaces are hard to miss (actually they numbered 7 total in Steel´s heydays) .

Then I noticed a sneaky grin on my kids Jen and Dale´s faces as they suggested we take a walk. So we proceeded along a raised catwalk that ran through the center of the site and I began to notice what this place is all about.


Rocking at the Levitt Pavilion

Rusty old steel plants don´t have chairs and tables periodically arranged along the promenade route. And there was an area that couldn´t be explained by other than being a performance shell (I later learned it´s called the Levitt Pavilion). There were several modern buildings with names related to the arts and at the far end of the complex there is a sizable hotel and casino complex under construction.


Jen and Dale explained to me that this 10 acre site, formerly the core factory for Bethlehem Steel, has been turned into an events center called Steel Stacks. Later, I researched it, and learned that it came about...


"...through a partnership involving the nonprofit ArtsQuest, the City of Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, local public television station PBS 39 and Sands BethWorks Retail LLC, which donated the land for the project, plans were put in place to transform the site into an arts and entertainment district that would showcase music, art, festivals, educational programming and more throughout the year."


To investigate the many cultural happenings and events that go on at Steel Stacks, go here:

SteelStacks — Bethlehem, PA. If you happen to be in the area sometime you´ll want to investigate what´s going on at Steel Stacks at the time.

After living and operating a business in the Lehigh Valley for 17 years GG came to understand anew how industriousness and ambitious people of the Lehigh Valley are. Steel Stacks is just another example of how these people can traverse difficult times and come out positively.

Congratulations Lehigh Valley!

¡Solo Buenos!


¿Que es Eso? Department (¿What is That?)


What on earth could be causing those unusual sacks hanging from the tree and what are they?



Answer in What's-in-a-Word section below.





¡Pura Vida!



Health Stuff

Note: The information given in this section is offered as news information only and does not indicate GGC confirmation or denial of the accuracy of the treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results nor validity of the conclusions proffered. (How's that for a disclaimer amigos?)



Covid Status


The question of the month is did Covid reach the peak of it´s fifth generation assault or not? Hospitalizations continue as well as reports of more than 2,000 new cases daily. And while hospitalizations continue, in some places creating a strain such as at the Hospital Calderon Guardia in San Jose, the death rate has dropped close to zero nationally.


Standard Flu


Some attention is now shifting to annual standard flu protection which is prominent during the rainy season.



¡Pura Vida!



Travel Quote of the Month


¡A Cachete!


GGC Bookshelf

drfGGC Publications Group is the parent organization that publishes the Golden Gringo Chronicles as well as a number of books and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and Costa Rica. The GGC Bookshelf also includes works from a number of other authors that belong to the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group in which GGC has been a founding member.


Here are the books currently on our bookshelf:


lop uio cvb jio
Costa Rica`s Mystery Spheres Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español The Chronicles as a Narrative

#1 Read More #2 Read More #3 Leer más aquí #4 Read More
gty ikl dft drt
Small Business Guide Making Time Count Overcoming Drinking Murder or Suicide?
#5 Read More #6 Read More #7 Read More #8 Read More
ser kio fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica Avoiding the Pitfalls What's the Sleuth Up To?
#9 Read More #10 Read More #11 Read More #12 Read More


awe drt There's Room for
More on the QMA Writers Group Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune  
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 Read More  


All of the above books are available on Amazon.com and the "Read More" links above will lead you to them. You can find more detail on all of them on our GGC Publications Page.

GGC Products Store

GGC Publications also offers some accessories and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and with Costa Rican themes, to wit:






a. Golden Gringo Chronicles with Logo
b. Official Golden Gringo with Monkey on Banana Hammock
c. ¡Quepo en Quepos! ("I Fit In Quepos!") with Photo of Quepos
d. Wanna Monkey Around? - Come on Down! (shown) with Photo of White Faced Monkey, e. It's OK to be Slothful with photo of Three-Toed Sloth.


The t-shirts are available in several themes, colors, styles and sizes. See them all HERE.


Coffee Mugs:


a. Golden Gringo, b. Wanna Monkey Around?, c. It's OK to be Slothfulgty

See them all HERE:

What's life without a great cup of Costa Rican coffee? And it tastes even better in a Golden Gringo Chronicles mug!

To see ALL the products available in the Golden Gringo Store go here: GGC Store.


¡Solo Bueno!


"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn"
Benjamin Franklin

Answer to Que Es Eso


These are not sacks but nests of an unusual bird called the Montezuma Oropendola (lower photo left) and which is prevalent in the the Northwestern and Southwestern Pacific slope of Costa Rica.  The English and scientific names of this species commemorate the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II (that spelling is correct amigos).


Says Wikipedia: "The sexes are very different in size; the male is 50 cm (20 in) long and weighs 520 g (18 oz); the smaller female is 38 cm (15 in) long and weighs 230 g (8.1 oz). In total body mass, the males are 100% bigger than the females, which is a 2:1 body-to-mass ratio and makes the Montezuma oropendola one of the most sexually-dimorphic birds in the world."


GG would think that the type of nest they build also helps keep their younguns away from the predators such as Jaguars, Pumas and Ocelots.



¡Pura Vida!



ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

The ROMEO Group was founded in the early 1990´s by three buds who spent considerable time together at the beach as well as frequently dining out together. Eventually we added guests and one of the original members made the suggestion that the group be called ROMEO, an acronym which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out. Women and couples have long since been part of the Group. Our intention is to provide for the Chronicles readers a review, at the rate of one per month, of a variety of restaurants in the area with a friendly critique of their Ambiance, Food Quality, Service, Cost and Value.

Emilio´s Cafe, Manuel Antonio

Location: Top of Manuel Antonio Hill Just West of The Shopping Center Building
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Parking: Modest amount in front of the restaurant.
Contacts: Tel.: +506 2777 6807; Website: (20+) Emilio's Cafe | Facebook; Email: cafemilios@hotmail.com

Reviewing ROMEOS: Alma L., Bob N., Chris B., Chris D., Jorge M., Julia S., Mark P., Steve M.


To Review Our Rating System Go Here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System


We last reviewed this restaurant in August of 2019 and you can read that review HERE. In addition, GG did a Quepos Profile on the owner of this restaurant, Sr. Emilio Cedeño, and that review can be seen HERE.


The View from the Dining Room

This restaurant has undergone extensive renovation and improvements since our last visit. The downward steps that had to be negotiated to enter the restaurant have been eliminated and one now enters at street level. Likewise the internal steps that led down from the entry to the dining room have also been eliminated - now everything is on one level. (old geezers like GG appreciate the one-level)


The dining room also has been expanded giving even more table opportunities that look out upon one of the best views of the Pacific and the rock islands off the coast. The composite score for ambiance came in at 4.9/5.0, almost perfect.


The menu is quite extensive offering a wide selection of seafood dishes, meats and somewhat exotic dishes based on curries.


GG decided on a fish curry which arrived as a goodly amount of white fish served in a mildly-spiced-as-promised curry sauce that included stringed vegetables. Nice portion and excellent flavor. GG couldn´t resist a piece of apple cake with maple icing for dessert that I spied in the case on the way in. It turned out to be a moist crumb cake with large chunks of cooked apple and raisins - simply delicious.


Other ROMEOs selected Thai Fish, an Italian Sandwich, a Surf & Turf, a falafel sandwich, ceviche, fish fingers, and a sauced sea bass. The composite rating for food quality came in at 4.9/5.0, again almost perfect.


Value Index= 147


ROMEOs Hard at Work at the Plate Once More

Service was provided by an friendly, attentive and helpful young lady named Katy. The composite score for service came in at 4.8/5.0, also very high. That made the average rating for Ambiance, Food Quality and Service = 4.85.


For GG´s fish curry, a ginger-ale michelado and the apple cake, the bill came to a little over 15,000 colones or $23.50 including the 10% legally required service charge and 13% sales tax. The composite score for cost came in at 3.3/5.0 making the Value Index = 4.85/3.3=147, one of the highest in our list of restaurants so far surveyed in this area.


The ROMEO Group can wholeheartedly endorse that Emilio´s Cafe remains as one of the best in our region.


¡Solo Buenos!



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