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Broken News

Economic Drumbeat

Latin America Update

Feature #1
El Niño, La Niña o La Nada

Rumble and Weather Talk

¿Que Es Eso?

Feature #2
75th Anniversary
Canton of Quepos

Health Stuff

GGC Bookshelf


ROMEO Corner

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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. State of Emergency Declared Over Migration; b. Use of CR Codes Cautioned; c. Getting Tougher on Crime.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Marchamo Reduction Now Law; b. Costa Rica Third Highest Economic Growth Projection In Latin America 2023; c. Fuel Prices Continue To Rise; d. Dataphones Requiring PIN Beginning 31 December; e. Bank Robbery at Banco Nacional?!

3. Latin American Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. Ecuador -New President Elected; b. Honduras - Visa War With Costa Rica; c. Nicaragua - 1. U.S. Sanctions Another 100 Nicaraguans; 2. Former President Chamorro Relocates to San José; d. Panama - New Busing Agreement on Migrants; e. Venezuela - Government Introduces One Million Bolivar Note.

4. Feature #1: El Niño, La Niña o La Nada: (The Weather Will Be Drier, Wetter or Have No Effect)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: Rincon de la Vieja Active Again; b. Weather: Costa Rica Experiences 30-year Full Eclipse of the Sun.

6. Feature #2: The Canton of Quepos (On Our 75th Anniversary).

7. ¿Que es Eso?: Why is This Building Strange?

8. Health Stuff: a. Costa Rica Ranks 4th In Dengue Cases in Central America.

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: Victoria´s - Manuel Antonio

Wisdom of the Ages

"At age 20, we worry about what others think of us…
at age 40, we don’t care what they think of us…
at age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all."

- Ann Landers

Holidays In Costa Rica In November

Again, another month with no official holidays in Costa Rica.

Expats and other gringos will still celebrate Thanksgiving and a number of local restaurants will try to satisfy our Turkey-Mania.

Although there is no national holiday in October or November in Ticoland, the folks around Queposland will find another reason to celebrate: the 75th anniversary of Quepos becoming a Canton will occur on October 30, 2023. There will be parades, parties in the local pubs and restaurants - never let it be said that a Tico ever passed a chance to celebrate something.
The Second Feature article below explains the significance of the Canton
in the national governmental structure here.

Broken News

(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

State of Emergency Declared Over Migration

Because of the recent surge in migrants appearing at the southern border of Costa Rica with Panama reaching 3-4,000 per day (on a population-adjusted basis that would be the equivalent of 195,000 to 260,000 in the U.S.), President Rodrigo Chaves reacted and declared recently: “This situation warrants a declaration of national emergency (…) I have instructed the security ministry to take a firm stance with anyone who takes Costa Rica’s kindness for weakness.”


His main concern was that some migrants are breaking the law and to this point he noted that the week before this announcement a riot among migrants had occurred at the Panama border and 25 people had been detained as a result. "I have already ordered Immigration to begin the deportation process of those who rioted to Venezuela to their country of origin. They disrespected the authorities and are going back to their country because we are not going to allow it here,” said Chaves". “We are a generous people but do not confuse this with weakness. If someone comes here they have to respect the laws and the police,”


The system so far set up involves migrants being bussed (at $40 per person payable by the migrant) from the CR/Panama border to the Nicaraguan border. Just since January more than 386,000 migrants have passed through the border from Panama into Costa Rica, with over 60,000 people crossing into Costa Rica at Paso Canoas, the border town shared with Panama that is home to less than 20,000 people.


See more about migration in the Panama section of the Latin America Updates below.


Use of QR Codes Cautioned


A recent article in an electronic newspaper cautioned on using QR codes now seen in many places from restaurants as well as many commercial applications. The article pointed out that this area is becoming a favorite sport for cybercriminals who place stickers with false codes on top of the real ones with the intention of introducing viruses into your devices and stealing your money. These stickers can be placed anywhere, particularly in public places "such as telephone booths" (are there any such booths left?). According to the article these criminals are committing what is known as ‘‘QRishing” or “skimming”.


When the code is scanned, the victim is automatically transferred to a website that in turn automatically introduces a malicious program (‘spyware’) into the mobile phone. "The virus manages to enter and infect the device, being able to steal sensitive data such as email and banking platform credentials and documents stored on the mobile device, i.e. a smartphone or tablet." Once the spyware virus has been planted, it is capable of reviewing bank transactions and any action that the user takes on their phone or tablet. Finally, by seizing credentials (i.e. login information, PIN) and any other sensitive information, the theft of funds in accounts and software blocking, among other nasties, can be committed.


GG stopped scanning these labels for a different reason - I don´t like the idea of having to electronically scan a code just to see a menu - takes away the civility of ordering in a restaurant. I understand the pressure to reduce menu printing cost but I don´t like the loss of gentility that comes about in perusing an electronic menu on my cell phone.


Getting Tougher on Crime


Some actions by government, legislative and executive, in recent days are designed to mitigate the increasing crime rate in Costa Rica, a trend not unlike that seen in many countries these days.


Sequestering Drug Lords Assets. The executive branch feels that their hands are tied by laws that don´t allow the government to attached or confiscate assets of drug lords until the offender has been fully adjudicated and found guilty. Says President Chaves: "The fight against drug trafficking is frontal. Taking away their farms, cars, luxury houses, and yachts would be fabulous and deserved, but the issue is how to do it? We cannot put someone in jail and take away their possessions and money without violating people’s fundamental rights.” That´s the tough question in a nutshell, so vamos a ver, (we´ll see what can be done without violating the law or constitution). The legislature intends to try and craft a bill that allows for balancing these concerns.


₡20 Billion More for Police. The legislature gave preliminary approval for an added ₡20 Billion colones (about $38 million) to the 2024 budget but it still has to be approved in full plenary session. Almost half of this new money (₡8 billion) will be used to add 300 more police. Another ₡6 billion will go towards the hiring of new judges, prosecutors and defenders while another ₡6 billion will go to hiring 261 agents of the OIJ (Organismo de Investigacion Judicial), the Costa Rica equivalent of the FBI.


¡Solo Bueno!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Marchamo Reduction Now Law


The bill to reduce the Marchamo tax on vehicles passed the legislature on Thursday, September 28.


The newly reduced property tax portion, based on the tax value of vehicles, represents a reduction of 5-50%, depending on current market value of the vehicle.


The table to the left for the lowest tax valued vehicle represents a reduction in the tax of 28% (₡9,570 or $18) on a vehicle valued at only ₡500,000 (about $935). For the higher tax valued vehicle, such as the ₡19,000.000 (about $35,500) shown at the bottom of the chart, the Marchamo drops by ₡113,400 (about $214) or about an 18% reduction.


It should be remembered that the reductions apply only to the property tax portion of the bill which currently represents about 67% of the total cost of the Marchamo, the rest of the bill pays for

mandatory insurance and other items.


In what was considered a gift or bonus, an accompanying second bill to the fee reduction was passed that "forgives owners of cars of any outstanding past Marchamo (i.e. 2023 and backward) when paying the 2024 Marchamo before December 31".


Costa Rica 3rd Best Economic Growth Projection In Latin America 2023


According to projections from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ECLAC, or in Spanish CEPAL, Costa Rica is anticipated to have the third highest economic growth rate in the region for 2023.


For the top ten % growth by country, the list goes like this: 1-Panama, 5.1%; 2-Paraguay, 4.2; 3-Costa Rica 3.8; 4-Dominican Republic 3.7; 5-Guatemala 3.4; 6-Honduras 3.4; 7-Venezuela 3.2; 8-Mexico 3.0; 9-Brazil 2.5 and 10-Ecuador 2.3.


On the down side are Argentina at and Chile, both of which are expected to show negative growth of -3% and -0.3% respectively.


Fuel Prices Continue To Rise


The table below shows that fuel prices in Costa Rica set by ARESEP (the government pricing authority for fuel related issues), namely the last approved price change was led by a 71₡ per liter or nearly $0.50/gal increase in Diesel.



Do you remember when gasoline was 25¢/gal in the U.S.? It hasn´t been so long ago (chart left); it was in the 1960´s which this old fossil remembers and during which I graduated university.


Man, you could fill a 20 gallon tank back then for $5 but the idea of spending $100 today to fill the same tank just seems out of proportion even when the relative wage scales in both times are considered.



Dataphones to Require PIN Beginning December 31


Dataphones, those cute little devices that read our debit and credit cards, and allow us to make quick payment at virtually all commercial establishments, will add a new requirement beginning 31 December, 2023. Until now payments by this device did not require entering a PIN for purchases less than 50,000 colones (about $95). The new rule beginning on the last day of this year will require the card owner (or, I suppose, his or her designate) to enter the PIN number for all purchases.


I guess it´s one more security step but let´s see how it works out.


Bank Robbery at Banco Nacional?!


Banco Nacional is the oldest and largest national bank in Costa Rica.


The first indication was in August that an "anomaly" in the internal security data indicated that some ₡3.3 Billion Colones in cash (a little over $6 million at today´s exchange rate) was missing from the main vault at Banco Nacional. The anomaly was only re-affirmed early this month.


The Fiscalia has opened an investigation into the matter after the bank filed a complaint about what is already being thought of as a robbery. At this time the bank officials (David Villalobos Mora, director of Security and Investigations, Jaime Murillo, Interim General Manager and Marietta Herrera, Legal Director) aided by the Fiscalia (Prosecutors Office) are reviewing the pertinent documents and security video tapes. Five long-term employees, who served in leadership positions related to security at the bank, including custody of the General Treasury and supervision of the internal audits or controls, were listed in the complaint and summarily fired.


If the final result is that it was indeed a cash robbery yet to be explained, it will become the largest bank robbery in Costa Rican history. In an effort to lower the tone of the discussion, bank officials recently went out of their way to tell the press that customer accounts at the bank are not affected and that, if that loss is confirmed, it represents only about 0.06% of the assets of the bank.


GG asks: Does the bank not have insurance? More to be revealed.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)



New President Elected. After a grueling primary election in which one candidate was assassinated, Señor Daniel Noboa won the runoff election beating his nearest challenger by 52% to 48%.


President Daniel Noboa

Señor Noboa is 35 years old, the youngest president ever to serve in Ecuador, and his pledge was to "improve the economy and create jobs for young people, as well as to house dangerous criminals on prison ships", a rather standard set of political promises given in many countries these days (except for the prison ship bit). Since the pandemic, Ecuador has experienced sharply rising crime, including increases in murders, robberies and prison riots. Keep dangerous criminals in "prison ships"? (Please don´t let them dock in Costa Rica)


Much of the victory by Noboa was placed on the vote given by young people which was summarized by a student in a press interview this way: “We need new blood and not the old politics that have done us so much harm" said a 23-year old student in a press interview: “Our president should waste no time and work very hard to put the brakes on insecurity.”


Amen brother.




Visa War With Costa Rica. On Tuesday, October 10, purportedly for national security reasons, Costa Rica began requiring a consular (read formal) visa for Hondurans to enter Costa Rica, not just a passport stamp. In retaliation Honduras put the same restriction on Costa Ricans entering Honduras and two trucks were immediately barred from entry into Honduras.


Literally hundreds of trucks travel between Costa Rican and Honduras daily via the Pan American Highway route up the Central American isthmus. The first two trucks that were turned away at the Honduran border on Tuesday, October 10, included a 16-year veteran trucker on that route who is Costa Rican but who is in tramité (in process) to get a formal residency visa for Honduras. The documents showing he was in process for a Honduran residency didn´t help him gain passage.


The documents needed to receive a consular visa for Honduras were listed by the Honduran Foreign Ministry recently as follows:

  1. Valid passport.
  2. Duly notarized medical certification or undergo medical examinations when the Honduran medical-health authorities consider it necessary.
  3. Vaccination card against yellow fever and COVID-19.
  4. Police records valid for 6 months, duly notarized.
  5. Stamps required by Honduran law.
  6. Recent photograph 6 centimeters high by 5 centimeters wide.
  7. Proof of means of subsistence (bank statement with balances for the last month)
  8. Proof from Interpol of not having a complaint or alert.
  9. Authenticated proof of responsibility of the person responsible in Honduras.
  10. Economic means of subsistence of the Honduran responsible.
  11. Police record with 6 months validity of the Honduran responsible.
  12. The Honduran responsible must appear before the Research and Analysis Management of the National Migration Institute to provide an interview.
  13. Prove the reason for travel in documentary form.
  14. Proof from the Public Ministry of Honduras of not having a complaint or investigation process of the foreign applicant and the Honduran responsible.
  15. Any information or document required by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs or the National Migration Institute.

Ah yes, that reminds GG of the early days of pursuing his citizenship cedula in Costa Rica. Come on boys, let´s find a good solution to this so those people depending on the "hundreds of trucks daily" don´t lose out.


UPDATE: And they did find a compromise. On Tuesday, October 24 the immigration officials for both Honduras and Costa Rica met and announced an agreement. Instead of visas, admittance by those of either country will be permitted to the other country by police report (probably Interpol). Said Rodrigo Chaves, President of Costa Rica: “We established even stricter protocols to filter out the bad guys and welcome the good people, who are the majority; visas are no longer required for trips by Hondurans to Costa Rica and by Costa Ricans to Honduras, be it by air, by land, a diplomat, whoever, from both sides".


Good work boys.




U.S. Sanctions Another 100 Nicaraguans. The United States added another 100 Nicaraguan officials from the Ortega-Murillo regime to the list of people prohibited from entering the country, bringing the total number now sanctioned to over 1,000. Said U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken: “The State Department imposed visa restrictions on 100 Nicaraguan municipal officials for their role in supporting the Ortega regime’s attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms and the repression of civil society organizations.”


Violeta Barrios Chamorro as President

Former President Chamorro relocates to San José. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro became the first female president of Nicaragua in 1990, having beat out the current president Daniel Ortega during that election. Now at age 93, and recuperating from a stroke in 2018, she traveled by air to San José arriving here on Wednesday, October 18. “From now on, Doña Violeta will settle in San José, under the care and love of her family, with the accompaniment of health personnel and specialized doctors,” said a statement issued by the family.


Chamorro is no stranger to personal difficulty having experienced her journalist husband, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, murdered on January 10, 1978. He became known as the Martyr of Public Liberties. Also, during the presidential election of 2021, two of her children became interested in presidential politics but were imprisoned by the current regime and summarily exiled. Only one daughter of the original family remains in Nicaragua,




New Busing Agreement on Migrants. The presidents of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves and of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo met in Panama on October 7, in what was billed as the Costa Rica-Panama Bi-National Cabinet, to address the migration crisis. They agree to provide 200 buses to carry migrants from the Temporary Care Center for Migrants at the Costa Rican side of the border to the border with Nicaragua.


Cortizo (left) and Chaves (right)
Inspecting the Darian Gap

The agreement states each passenger is to be charged $40, which they personally pay, but the provision also includes relief for those who can´t afford it - mainly, payment from public funds (which of the country´s pubic funds were not specified but it´s probably both). The two presidents also called upon regional heads of state and other leaders in Latin America to meet to discuss measures regarding migration. The target date for that meeting is October 22.


There was also considerable discussion and a visit to the Darien Gap, the wild and dangerous border area between Colombia and Panama where some 400,000 migrants had crossed since January of this year. That´s up over 60% versus 2022 (which had been an historical record) and versus 2021 it´s up over 200% from that previous record. The majority of those coming across the Darien are Venezuelans according to official figures.




Government Introduces One Million Bolivar Note. Currency in Venezuela is called a Bolivar (I presume it was named after Simon Bolivar who helped Latin America break away from the Spanish and whose picture is on the currency below). Inflation and other economic turmoil has raised havoc with the currency in Venezuela for a long time now.


A couple of years ago the government introduced paper denominations of 250,000, 500,000 and 1,000,000 Bolivars. At the time the 1 million Bolivar note was worth exactly U.S. $.52. A quick check of the current exchange rate says that $1 is now worth 3,470,640 Bolivars so that if you wanted to buy a Big Mac in New York City ($5.23) and pay in Bolivars you´d have to fork up (bad pun) 18,151,447 Bolivars.


Even Simon wouldn´t be happy with that one; where´s the beef?.


¡A Machete!


Feature: El Niño, La Niña o La Nada
(The Weather Will Be Drier, Wetter or Have No Effect)

Weather patterns often change, sometimes dramatically, no matter where you live. Here in Costa Rica, being near the circumferential center of the earth (i.e., only 9º above the equator) we celebrate the absence of hurricanes that cause so much havoc elsewhere. Oh yeah, we have the after-effects of the occasional exception, like Hurricane Otto which hit Nicaragua´s southeast province in 2016 and blew itself out dipping south and crossing the top of the northwest provinces of Costa Rica. But, according to public records, Costa Rica has never taken a direct hit from a hurricane since storm records began in 1851.


Instead, of hurricanes we have what is referred to here as Tropical Waves. They come in three varieties as labeled in the title above: El Niño, La Niña & La Nada. The type of tropical wave can help predict the coming weather and be tracked by changes in the surface temperature of the oceans as shown in the map above. That map is a panoramic rendition of the temperature variations that occur during these atmospheric events. Here is what they mean and what effect they have:


El Niño (Little Boy)


This is one we´re experiencing this year. The way it works is that warm water in the Pacific Ocean influences weather patterns around the world and particularly along the equator. El Niño has different impacts in different geographical regions; in Costa Rica it is typically associated with drier weather especially on the Pacific side of the country. This is what has been happening here this year.


Application of these weather waves is not always consistent and many euphemistically refer to the variations as the expression of "micro-climates". In 2015, while the world was recording the hottest year on record, Guanacaste (north-west farming region along the Pacific) faced a historically bad drought. The weather station at Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia recorded 58 percent less precipitation than normal in 2015, making it the driest year on record for the Guanacaste capital. In the same year heavy rainfall caused flooding in the opposite corner or northeast of the country in Limón along the Caribbean coast.


Welcome to El Niño and La Niña operating at the same time (at least on the Caribbean side). The changes in rainfall versus normal in the event of 2015 were recorded by the National Meteorological Institute and posted on the map above. Consequences for the brown zone are that it covers the primary farming communities including Guanacaste which faced water shortages and crop losses. For the blue zone the results can be flooding and that zone also encompasses much of the Central Valley and the capital San José, where similar flooding occurred recently also.


La Niña (Little Girl)


Essentially the opposite of El Niño, La Niña has the opposite effect in Costa Rica increasing rainfall slightly on the Pacific side and sometimes drying out the Caribbean. La Niña was partially responsible for periodic flooding, such as in 2017.


During a La Niña period, the sea surface temperature across the eastern equatorial part of the central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3–5 °C (5.4–9 °F). An appearance of La Niña often persists for longer than five months. El Niño and La Niña can be indicators of weather changes across the globe. Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes can have different characteristics due to lower or higher wind shear and cooler or warmer sea surface temperatures.


Here´s how Wikipedia explains it:


La Niña is a complex weather pattern that occurs every few years, as a result of variations in ocean temperatures in the equatorial band of the Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon occurs as strong winds blow warm water at the ocean's surface away from South America, across the Pacific Ocean towards Indonesia. As this warm water moves west, cold water from the deep sea rises to the surface near South America; it is considered to be the cold phase of the broader El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather phenomenon, as well as the opposite of El Niño weather pattern. The movement of so much heat across a quarter of the planet, and particularly in the form of temperature at the ocean surface, can have a significant effect on weather across the entire planet.


La Nada (No Effect)


La Nada simply means that neither El Niño nor La Niña are dominating the weather pattern, therefore neither strong weather pattern is predictable. It´s a state of "no effect" or La Nada.


One of the things GG had to become accustomed to about the weather patterns here, having lived in northern climes (Boston, Ohio, Belgium) and even Sarasota, the latter being where I moved from to here. I was interested in how much more rain fell here. The data at the time I first wrote about the rains here placed the average annual rainfall in Boston at 42" per year, Sarasota came in at 54"/year and Quepos at 151"/year. No surprise to this wet dude. To read more on the article I wrote on this go HERE.


¡Pura Vida!



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

Rumbling - Rincón de la Vieja Active Again


When you live on top of the Pacific Rim you stop wondering if a volcano will explode someday, you know it will; the real questions are just when and how bad will it be? Back in September the Chronicles noted that Rincón de a Vieja in the northwestern part of the country was active again. Indeed it has been for a long time on a periodic basis. With a half dozen volcanoes at various levels of activity along a central mountain range (see volcano map left - Rincon de la Vieja is upper left corner marked by an "X"), one can expect entertainment at any time; but these aren´t toys; we need to be careful.


On Friday, October 8, Orinoco de la Vieja (official name of the volcano but also known locally as Rincón de la Vieja) and meaning “The Old Woman’s Corner”. On Friday Rincón let out an eruption "that sent a huge plume of smoke and ash soaring up to 5,000 meters into the sky above the crater". That´s it in the photo to the right. This is not a place to go hiking, amigos.




Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the
World Posted by the
  Recent Quakes


Weather Rains- Returning to Normal?


It was mentioned above that we were in a period of El Niño recently - indeed it was unusually dry leading up to mid-October. Then, on the way to November about mid-October we began to get almost daily rains that were more reminiscent of our traditional rainy season. Maybe we´re headed into La Nada?

Costa Rica Experiences 30-Year Eclipse of the Sun


About every 30 years the orbits of the moon and the earth converge in such a way as to produce a solar eclipse in Costa Rica. It occurred again on Saturday, October 14, 2023. The eclipse was indeed a "full" eclipse meaning only a thin "ring of fire" of the sun could be seen behind the moon. The coverage was estimated to be 85-90% of the sun and that point occurred between the start of coverage at 10:15 AM and end of the eclipse at 1:45 PM.


Because of the timing in late morning the best view was expected from the East or Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. In anticipation there was a rush of traffic towards that coast in the days preceding and the Chamber of Commerce of Hotels reported 100% occupancy in the Caribbean region. Said they: “We are aware that lodging establishments in Limón and the Southern Caribbean have full occupancy as a result of the eclipse and other festivities that take place during the weekend." Suggestions by them before the eclipse: Don´t look directly at the sun, even with sunglasses, drive slowly and more carefully and look for alternative lodging in safe places.


¡Solo Bueno!


Search the GGC 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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The Canton of Quepos
(On Our 75th Anniversary)

Map of the Canton of Quepos

The governmental administrative structure of Costa Rica is divided into 7 Provinces. The Provinces are further divided into 82 Cantons (similar to a county) and the Cantons are further divided into 488 Districts for administrative purposes. Each District has it´s own five-digit postal code (Quepos Central where GG lives is 06350).

Quepos is a Canton in the Province of Puntarenas and consists of three Districts; Quepos Central (downtown if you wish), Savegre (south of Quepos) and Naranjito (north of Quepos). Although quite flat the northern and eastern extremities of the Canton do reach into the base of the Cordillera, the central mountain range. The Canton of Quepos encompasses 544-km² (about 210-mi²) and currently has a population of just under 30,000.

Seal of Quepos
Flag of Quepos

The Canton today known as Quepos was originally established as the Canton of Aguirre, shortly after the civil war, on October 30, 1948 by the national legislature. The name of Aguirre was chosen to honor a man named Rolando Aguirre Lobo, a patriot who was killed in that war on April 11, 1948 at the battle of Limón. In September 2015, at the request of the citizens of Canton Aguirre, who believed that the name Quepos was more indicative of the area´s history, the town having been named after the indigenous tribe called the Quepoa, the official title of the canton was changed to the Canton of Quepos.


I asked about the annual celebration of this anniversary from my deep source in the municipalidad (that´s the guard who´s almost always standing in the doorway of the Municipality Office whom I pass most mornings and who has become a "chat friend") and he reports that the celebration (parades, speeches etc.) will occur on Sunday, October 29 as the actual date of Monday, October 30 is not a national holiday.






The celebration is called the Cantonata de Quepos. Felice Cumpleanos (Happy Birthday) Quepos!



UPDATE: The Cantonata went off as scheduled early in the morning of October 29. The photo to the right is of the kiddies forming up their parade on main street in downtown Quepos. They were happy to be parading once more, despite the inclement weather.


There are always paraguas (umbrellas). Viva Quepos!

¡Pura Vida!



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



What is this and what´s different about this structure?


What a dumb question GG, it´s an ordinary building.


Really? Ah, the memory sometimes fails.



Answer in
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?)



a. Costa Rica Ranks 4th for Dengue Cases in Central America


Having closed this year´s 40th epidemiological week on Friday, October 20, health authorities summarized the number of cases of Dengue encountered in the countries of Central America, a summary of which is shown in the table below. N.B.: GG added the population adjusted estimate which didn´t change the ranking much but Guatemala and Honduras, the two of the seven Central American countries with the greatest population, did come out a little more favorably.


Per the Health Ministry:

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About half of the world’s population is now at risk. Dengue fever is not contagious, it does not spread directly from person to person. When a mosquito bites a person who has dengue fever, the mosquito becomes infected with the virus that causes the disease. It can then spread the virus to other people by biting them.


Watch out for them little flying skeeters, especially in the rainy season when they like to bite and proliferate.


¡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
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune World´s First Crypto Caper
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 Read More #16 Read More
Costa Rica´s Capital      
#17 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


The photo shown in the Que Es Eso? section above is the Puntarenas Caja (National Health System) Hospital also known as the Monseñor Sanabria Hospital. That photo was taken in 2011, about one year before the 7.6 earthquake in that town on September 5, 2012. The main building included 10 floors at that time.


Puntarenas Hospital 2023

The photo right is what was left for the next 10 years after an assessment was made that the top eight floors were not safe and needed to be razed. That left the current building at 3 stories which is what exists today until the new hospital, still under construction in the nearby town of Barranca, can be completed, which might take another 2-3 years.


GG received a call from a very good Tico friend recently who asked me if I remembered what I was doing that same day in 2012, then he offered the fact that it was the anniversary day of the huge tremor in October of 2012. Although he had the month wrong probably from looking at the date on the old Chronicle (the tremor actually was on September 5, 2012), we both laughed about the experience as we remembered what going through a strong earthquake can be like.


To read more on this story go HERE.



¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Victoria´s Restaurant, Manuel Antonio

Location: Top of Manuel Antonio Hill Across Highway from Pacifico Colonial Condos.

Parking: Limited; in front of the restaurant.

Hours: Monday thru Sunday: 03:00 pm – 10:00 pm (seasonal schedule)

Contacts: Tel.: 506-2777-5143; Email: info@www.victoriasgourmet.com; Website: https://www.victoriasgouret.com/


Reviewing ROMEOS: Annie C., Barry S., Bob N., Glen N.


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


Physically this restaurant has changed little since our last review back in December of 2020. This is what GG described then and which still holds: "The dining room takes advantage of rich local wood on ceiling, walls, tables and chairs along with earthen colors of column tiles that compliment the same. Indirect lighting which compliments these features. The tables are sparsely decorated but enhance the warm wood feeling."


The dining room backs up to a wooded area which is the beginning of the jungle as well as being home to a variety of bird species. The table in the upper right of the photo shown at the left was the one we were lucky to acquire and, because of the scenery and the fact the location was a considerable distance from the MA beach road, the ambiance was quiet and comfortable. The composite score for ambiance came in at 3.9 out of a 5.0 max.


This restaurant bills itself as gourmet Italian and the menu reflects that. A nice touch in the beginning was being served a piece of bruschetta topped with tomato, basil, garlic and mozzarella. The menu gives options on a wide range of salads, pastas and pizzas with an Italian theme and touch.


One item caught GG´s attention; "Mama’s Original Italian Meatballs" described as "a true 90 year old recipe". How could I resist. The dish that came consisted of a mound of folded spaghetti with two large meatballs, all bathed in a gently spiced gravy (red sauce). The flavors were old Italian and it brought back memories of Italian restaurants in Philadelphia and New York. I ended the meal with a piece of New York cheesecake nicely decorated with fruit and pastry cream. Excellent.


Other ROMEOs had chicken and fettuccine Alfredo or the signature house pizza in a white sauce with kalamata olives, roasted garlic and mozzarella.


The composite score for food quality came in at 4.43/5.0 max.

Value Index= 108


We were served by two young ladies who were friendly, courteous and attentive. The composite score for service came in at 4.0/5.0 max. That gave an average of (3.9+4.43+4.0)/3=4.1 for ambiance, food quality and service.


The bill for my main course, a ginger-ale Michelada and the cheesecake came to 23,493 colones (about $43). The composite score for cost came in at 3.8/5.0 yielding a Value Index = 4.1/3.8, or 108 somewhat above average of the restaurants we´ve evaluated in the area.


Victoria´s remains a very attractive option, especially for Italian food and even at full Manuel Antonio prices.




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Bob Normand, Editor & The Golden Gringo
Pura Vida!

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