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¿Que Es Eso?

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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. The Down Side of Semana Santa; b. Ferry-Bridge Accident Guanacaste; c. Uber Moto Plans Startup Here; d. Costa Rica Refutes British Migrant Plans; e. SJO Processing Time Reduced; f. Quepos Bus Station Being Expanded.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Another Fuel Price Hike; b. Film Making in Punta Leone; c. Increases in Bitcoin Spark Debate on Regulations.

3. Latin American Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. Colombia - Ten New Air Routes From U.S.; b. Guatemala - Drought Helps Undocumented Migrants; c. Panama; Tourism Expected to Flourish Here in 2024.

4. Feature #1:Impressions of A Newbie Expat (A One Year Resident Speaks Out)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: Rumble: a. Poas and Rincon de la Vieja Active Again; b. Earthquakes Related to Semana Santa?; c. Weather: Has the Rainy Season Started?

6. ¿Que es Eso?: What the Heck is That Car?

7. Feature #2: The ROMEO Experience: (How Our Dining Club Came About)

8. Health Stuff: a. High Wait Times for Major Surgery; b. Vaping A Growing Health Concern.

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: Cuba Libre, Marina Pez Vela

Wisdom of the Ages

As I get older, I realize:

I have days when my life is just a tent away from a circus.

(Unknown Author)

Holidays in Costa Rica in March

The month starts off with a holiday, May 1, Labour Day which is celebrated in more than 80 countries worldwide.

This is a paid holiday that is listed and described in Article #148 of Costa Rica´s Labour Code which specifies that no one can be required to work that day nor be fired or punished for not doing so.

Happy Labour Day folks!

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

The Down Side of Semana Santa


Semana Santa or Holy Week is a prime short vacation period secured by official holidays on Thursday and Friday of Easter week. Many Ticos expand that vacation time by taking additional days and heading out to the beach, mountains or the countryside. Needless to say traffic on many roads becomes difficult, often congested in places, and serious accidents can result. Add to this the peaking of frustrating emotions in anxious people and also the overuse of alcohol and you get this:


"The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) reported Sunday afternoon, March 1, responding to 180 traffic accidents, 56 water-related accidents, 19 acts of violence, i.e. attacks with a knife or gun, 111 trauma incidents, and 21 intoxications, among others, during Semana Santa." The result was 47 fatalities at various scenes, up seven or 15% from last year. The Cruz Roja also reported treating 493 people of which 282 were taken to hospital (59 in critical condition) following the incidents.


One of the worse accidents occurred near the town of Barranca on Ruta 1, the Interamericana or Pan American Highway (see "the road that goes everywhere") when a tractor-trailer crossed the medium and ran head-on into a truck and a passenger vehicle (photo above) killing one and seriously injuring several. This important road was shut down for hours.


After Semana Santa was completed authorities reported 18 murders in the eight days comprising Holy Week, an all-time record. That brought the total number of murders in the first 91 days of 2024 to 231, up 7% versus 215 for the same period last year.


Ferry-Bridge Accident Guanacaste


One of the faster ways to get onto and explore the Guanacaste peninsula and province is to take the ferry, with or without your car, from Puntarenas directly across the Gulf of Nicoya to Paquera. Trying to reach the southern part of the Guanacaste peninsula by driving around the north end of the Nicoya Peninsula can take a few hours of hard driving.


GG took a car on the Tambor III Ferry a few years ago and very much enjoyed the crossing while observing the many small islands in the Gulf.


But just to show that Baltimore is not the only bay where one can have shipping accidents, a recent crossing of the Tambor III ended up crushing the unloading ramp at Paquera when the ferry failed to stop. Enough damage was done to the Paquera unloading ramp system to shut down the ferry there for an estimated two months. The ferry itself was mobile enough to shift to the Playa Naranjo dock north of Paquera and up the bay where the vehicles and passengers were able to get off. Playa Naranjo will continue to be used during the repair outage time at Paquera.


Here´s a video of the last two minutes as the Ferry collided with the dock.


Uber Moto Plans Startup Here


Uber is planning to offer Uber Moto in Costa Rica. In case you didn´t know, the ride-service company also offers what is described as lower-cost, shorter haul rides on the back of a motorcycle. Not only is gasoline use much lower but time to destination is often less so the cost to the rider is less and often the flexibility allows reaching the objective quicker (yes, GG has seen many a motorcycle circumvent traffic, even if its not legal to do so). Of course, the press reports I see also point out that motorcycle accident statistics say that 40% of all fatal motor accidents in Costa Rica that are motorcycle related.


Uber Moto is currently available in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, and France but it has not yet been approved here by the Costa Rican government. The head of the responsible regulatory agency here, (MOPT) or the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes, asserted that a legal and road safety analysis of the proposal will be carried out before a permit is issued.


"Forgot my helmet" says GG; I got a spare says the Uber Moto Partner.


Costa Rica Refutes British Migrant Plans


The London Times recently reported that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs had been negotiating some 18 months concerning some Latin American countries including Costa Rica and that the United Kingdom plans to deport immigrants from Rwanda to several countries including Costa Rica .


"Listen Up, Old Boy!"

In a quick response, Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves stated: “We have shared with the United Kingdom the challenges we have in immigration matters as well as those they have, and it is clear that Costa Rica will not receive any overseas immigrants.” Chaves also posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account: “Regarding news that is circulating (to cause alarm) that CR is going to receive African immigrants, this is the real thing: we informed the United Kingdom that Costa Rica will not receive any overseas immigrants.”


Case closed, at least for the moment, it seems the Times jumped the gun a bit.


SJO Processing Time Reduced


The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (Costa Rica Immigration Department) recently initiated procedures which they claim and measure to be less required processing time, both inbound and outbound, at the country´s largest airport, San José. The details of the new procedure were not given but Migración touted the following March statistics:


Reduction of time for departure procedures: from 4:00 AM to 10 AM: down an average of 23.8 minutes, and from 10 AM to 1 PM down an average of 44.3 minutes. They claimed this results in processing time inbound and outbound of less than one hour.


SJO, the Juan Santamaria Airport recorded processing 1,635,257 entries and 1,628,783 departures from January 1 to April 9, 2024.


Quepos Bus Station Being Expanded


For the last few weeks, as I walked to the Quepos bus station as I do most days, I began to notice some construction on the street behind the existing bus station. At first I though it was a store or other commercial enterprise being constructed. Then I took the time recently to ask one of the "regulars", i.e., a Tico I see at the station often, what´s going on.


My friend told me that the bus station is being expanded to two adjacent sections, the current one and a new section that will allow pedestrian access from the Plaza Bolivar which is also used for access to the current section. I learned that the strategy is to favor the new section for longer haul runs such as San Jose, Puntarenas and maybe even San Isidro and the Tracopa that pass through on the way to Panama.


The photo shows the new section under construction and looks like it will add 6-8 buses at capacity.


Good strategy; if you´ve ever been in the old section when the buses agglomerate like at 8 AM, sometimes as many as 10, in an area that is only meant to house 5 comfortably and when a bus can´t get into the service area then blocks the street in front of the station. You get the idea?


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Another Fuel Price Hike


Just when we did´t want it, we got it anyway. RECOPE, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo, the refining company that doesn´t refine anything but is responsible for nation-wide pricing of regular, super and diesel fuels. This April they increased the price of super by 27 ₡olones/liter to 728 ₡/l, which, at the current weak dollar exchange rate of 500 ₡/$, is equivalent to $5.46/gal. The price of regular gas went up by 13 ₡/l and the price of super increased by 28 ₡/l while the price of diesel remained the same. RECOPE stated the reasons for increases were changes in the international market pricing.


The details are in the fuel pricer that follows:

Some experts took this opportunity to suggest ways that gas consumption could be moderated such as:


Accelerating smoothly. Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard braking.

Reduce your speed. Driving at lower speeds can reduce fuel consumption.

Consolidate your errands. If you have mandatos (errands) to run plan your route for fewer stops.

Good maintenance. A poorly maintained vehicle can increase fuel consumption.

Considering public transportation options. Consider alternatives like biking, walking, or public transit.

Ride-sharing and carpooling. 

Consider going electric or hybrid. explore electric or hybrid options; check out operating costs but this may work for you.


Film Making in Punta Leone


Hotel Punta Leona

A film, billed as a romantic comedy was recently filmed at Punta Leona, Costa Rica by the U.S.´s Hallmark Channel (I presume this channel is the survivor of what we used to call "The Hallmark Hall of Fame"?) The channel is currently described this way: "Family-oriented general entertainment programming, including television series and made-for-TV movies, accessible to some 65 million homes in the United States."


Punta Leona is located just north of Jacó on the Central Pacific Coast and just across the mouth of the Bay of Nicoya and southern tip of Guanacaste. The area is attractive for filming because of its diversity of beaches, jungle and private reserves. This is not the first time Punta Leona has been chosen for a film background as "1492: The Conquest of Paradise" a film by Ridley Scott was filmed there in 1992 which dealt with the arrival and conquest of the Americas by the Spanish.


Another factor in the area´s favor was that it was easy to reach being closely located between both San Jose and Liberia Airports. Film production was completed in 15 days.


Increases in Bitcoin Spark Debate on Regulations


The use of crypto-currency or bitcoin products is growing in Latin American countries including Costa Rica. The current value of bitcoin product in circulation in Costa Rica is estimated to be around $2 billion, far behind the values for countries like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The region’s economic instability, failed monetary policies, and rampant inflation have fueled this growth (e.g., Argentina).


But it keeps growing and serious consideration is now being held to craft and structure meaningful and helpful legislation that identifies sources and uses of crypto-currency. The tourist industry is one area thought to be ripe for use of crypto products for tourism-related services.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)




Avianca Adding Routes to Latin America from U.S. The national flag carrier of Colombia, Avianca Airlines, beginning on June 1 will add 10 seasonal flight routes between the U.S. and Latin America. This is seen as final and complete restoration of their flight structure that was in place before it was curtailed due to the Covid Pandemic.


The new routes are:

Avianca is one of the major airlines of Latin America offering over 75 destinations in 25 countries across the Americas and Europe, many to popular tourist destinations.




Drought Helps Undocumented Migrants. In the northern section of Guatemala the border between Mexico and Guatemala is delineated by a river known as the Suchiate. It normally is a fast flowing body of water but because of the drought conditions hitting Central America this year, a direct result of the weather pattern called El Niño, the volume of the river has declined by about 50%. This makes it easier for undocumented migrants. to virtually walk across the river and take shelter in the Mexican city of Tapachula. They also encounter few, if any, Mexican border police.


Crossing the Suchiate

This is one of the main routes for undocumented migrants. to pass north and eventually to the border with the United States, although getting that far north of the Suchiate also can involve coyotes and considerable transportation costs.


Reports are that typical crossings at the Suchiate are running about 1,000 people per day currently and authorities have posted a total of undocumented foreigners of 782,000 passing through in 2023.





Miss Universe Still In Exile. In November of 2023 the first Nicaraguan and also the first Central American, Miss Sheynnis Palacios, a born and bred Nicaraguan, was crowned Miss Universe (a truly beautiful lady - see photo). The government did not see the crowning of Ms. Palacios as a great achievement despite congratulations coming from many parts of the world.


Miss Sheynnis Palacios

In the days that followed the pageant, the Ortega Regime began persecuting the leaders of the Miss Nicaragua organization including banning Karen Celebertti, the director of the pageant at the time, from entering Nicaragua. Celebertti was also accused of conspiracy and treason. Palacios ended up traveling to San José, Costa Rica and Miami, Florida in self-exile.


The Nicaraguan government also clamped down on much of the press coverage of Palacios permitting only government friendly news outlets full coverage and intimidating others. Since then, friendly news coverage has only been received from exiled or foreign news sources such as FLED, (Fundación por la Libertad de Expresión y Democracia) a Costa Rica based outlet monitoring and publishing traditional media.


Meanwhile, Sheynnis Palacios continues her exile from Nicaragua.




Tourism Expected to Flourish Here In 2024. The government organization that promotes tourism in Panama is the Panama Tourism Promotion Fund (Promtur Panama) and the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP). Promtur recently issued a forecast that the country will enjoy some 2.9 million tourists in 2024

This is a significant number to a country with a population of 4.4 million.


Panama City Skyline

Promtur has only been in the business of tourism promotion for three years but seems to be having a significant effect at strategically positioning the country´s strengths in the international market. In 2023, 1.87 million tourists arrived in Panama and generated an additional $1.7 billion dollars to the economy. From the beaches to the famous canal to the ultra-modern skyline of Panama City, the country, like Costa Rica has a lot to offer.


The major contributors to the influx of tourists into Panama are expected to be the same as previously experienced, namely: the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France and Germany. Together, these sources contribute over 50% of the tourism visits and in 2024 are expected to generate more than $2 billion for the economy.


¡A Cachete!


The Golden Gringo has had the pleasure, for four years now, of presenting information about our local area at the International Living Magazine Fast-Track Conference in San José. This was an opportunity for GG to meet people who were trying to decide if moving to Costa Rica met their capabilities, interests and goals.

One of the people I met at the 2022 ILFTC was a Gent from Georgia named Lawrence Leslie. A little over a year later he had moved to Quepos and taken up residence only a block away from me; we have been friends ever since. One day recently Lawrence reiterated some of his experiences in moving here and I suggested he write a piece about the process of becoming an expat in Costa Rica. What follows is the personal recounting of his move and first year experience here. - GG

Feature: Impressions of a Newbie Expat
(A One Year Resident Speaks Out)


By Lawrence Leslie:


One year ago today, early in the morning, I was sitting in the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport with my cat (I had loaded up on CBD cat treats), a backpack, and one checked bag.  I had quit my job, sold or given away most of my stuff, and was heading to a new life in Costa Rica just prior to my 60th birthday.  After one year, I can honestly say it has been an amazing whirlwind of a journey.


Has it been better or worse than I imagined it would be while sitting in the airport?  Both, actually.  Worse in that I have spent more money than I planned or than I thought I would.  But I have bought things I didn’t think or knew I would need.  For example, I bought a new mattress; the rental unit had a cheap, thin mattress and I value my back more than that.  Also, I bought a new wardrobe; all the clothes I brought from the US were too heavy and hot for my area.  And I haven’t made the smartest budget decisions in my life.  But I also have lived better for cheaper with no job and no insurance in Costa Rica than I could in the States with a job and with insurance (and my bills will lower once I am on the national insurance, CAJA, as I won’t have to pay extra for my maintenance drug). 


On the worse side also was the fact that I don’t know enough Spanish to understand conversations yet, so I miss out on the little things like jokes and small talk.  But I am learning the language and you can’t imagine how that keeps your brain engaged and moving unless you have been in that situation.  On the worse side also is that I greatly miss going to my Kung Fu class every week.  Ticos don’t understand the term Martial Arts; they are the most non-aggressive people I have ever met.  But I was considering changing to Tai Chi anyway due to age/physicality, and I can take online classes with my teacher in Georgia.


Lawrence Leslie

The rest is simply better.  My stress level has dropped to nearly zero, since I don’t have a job or have to drive anywhere (walking, buses, or taxis take care of every need here).  My schedule is my own; what I do, or don’t do, with my day is entirely up to me, which is incredibly freeing for the heart and soul.  The fruits and vegetables are stunning, delicious, incredibly fresh, and nutritious.  My cholesterol has dropped by 12-14 points with no medication, my A1C has dropped by 10% with no medication, and periodic maintenance in the local gym has caused my waist to drop 2 inches while gaining in muscle size in arms, chest, and legs. 


My social life went from a 4 or 5 in the States to 1000 here in Costa Rica.  The Ticos (and Gringos here) are warm, friendly, and inviting; I have more friends here in one year than I did in almost 60 years in Georgia.  And I still get to talk with the friends and family I have in the States, so I didn’t lose anything.  And I have seen monkeys and birds and food and places here in Costa Rica that I never would have seen in the States.


Today, I wrote my Shifu (my martial arts teacher) a thank you note for giving me confidence.  And I wrote my mom a thank you note for giving me independence.  Mix that in equal parts with the naivety and stupidity that I already had and you can live anywhere in the world that you want to.  Life this past year has been incredible and wonderful and amazing.  I had to leave my home country to find a country that was my home, but I am so much happier that I did.

___ ___


Thanks Lawrence, you´re definitely on the way to becoming a true Tico.


¡Pura Vida!



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


Rumbling -


As people in the Northeast U.S. can now attest to and Costa Ricans know well, earthquakes can occur with little or no notice. That holds for volcanic eruptions also. When a country is split down the middle with a range of mountains created by volcanic forces you can expect unannounced, eruptions at any time. Our central mountain range is know locally as the Cordillera Central.


Such was the case on Wednesday, April 6, when the perennially active volcano Rincon de la Vieja in Guanacaste (in the Cordillera Central) decided to erupt.


The event occurred at 1:23 pm local time and there were no precursor warnings such as "increased seismic activity, an increase in temperature at the fumaroles or other geophysical changes". In the past, fumaroles (vents where upper magma levels heat water and gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide, then spew them out) have been known to heat up to as high as 100-900 C prior to eruption, but not this time. The column of smoke rose 500 meters above the height of the crater and 2,416 meters (7925 ft) above sea level.


It´s not all bad folks, as what we now refer to as the Isthmus of Central America (Costa Rica and Panama) was formed by this mountain range some three million years ago. Now we call it the Cordillera.



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


Weather - Has The Rainy Season Started?


The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN), the government organ that watches the weather, recently forecast the start of the rainy season in the Central Pacific Region (GG´s area) to begin April 22-28. Right on cue we had a (gentle) two hour shower of medium strength in the evening of April 22. As a rider on the local bus within the hearing of GG put it, the shower "cleared the air" and brought a welcome coolness after the hottest summer on record.


It won´t be too long before we can complain about the rain.

¡Pura Vida!


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:


Golden Gringo Chronicles - Enter Search Here

Readers: Our publication is open to suggestions regarding future articles and will accept pieces written by others but we reserve the right to decline anything that the editorial staff (that's GG) thinks is inappropriate for this format. Send proposals, comments, suggestions, ideas, meaningless statements and jocular observations concerning the Chronicles to GG here: gg@goldengringo.com.

Feature: The ROMEO Experience
(How Our Dining Club Came About)


It all started somewhere around 2008. GG had just taken up residency for retirement in Costa Rica after liquidating my (meager) assets in Florida. I had visited the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Area on the South-Central Pacific Coast eight times over the previous five years, having purposely exhausted my frequent flyer miles in the process. During that time, I came to a firm decision that the Quepos-Manuel Antonio area was what I wanted for my retirement as I had fallen in love with the jungle, the rainforest and the warm-water Pacific beach.

A few months after arriving and staking my claim to a lounge chair and umbrella on Manuel Antonio Beach, I found myself within hailing distance of another expat American named Brian who had emigrated from the Tampa, FL area. We struck up a conversation and talked about our experiences, all good, while living on the West Coast of Florida. Florida was great but the attraction for Brian to the wildness and beaches of Costa Rica was as strong with him as it was with Bob. Brian and Bob jokingly referred to themselves, while sitting on the beach, as being on “Bikini Patrol”, a fitting duty for a couple of wrinkled +60-year-olds.

It wasn´t much longer when Paul, a third American Expat, and also a senior citizen joined us. Paul had cut his ties with Connecticut, his home state and lifelong place of residence.  It wasn´t long before the three of us started sharing a meal together after the beach session, and then periodically we began to schedule a new restaurant simply because we wanted to see what it was like.

Several months passed and during one restaurant session we each jokingly rated the place from 1 to 10 on how much we liked it. That prompted Brian to suggest a name for our group as the ROMEOs. “Waddayamean, ROMEOs, Brian?” asked Bob as Paul looked dumbfounded also. “ROMEO stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out” said Brian. Voila, we knew we had the right name for the group. Of course, we all noted the humorous and dubious double entendre in the acronym.

As time went on various friends and acquaintances heard about our group and asked if they could join us, to which of course we said “Sure!” (everyone Dutch Treat of course). Another turning point came less than a year after naming the group when a member asked if he might bring a lady friend. “Of Course!” we retorted, and the group has been mixed gender now for over 10 years although we had hesitated to change the name. For a while Brian, Paul and Bob searched for an acronym for Juliette but failed to come up with anything meaningful that wasn´t objectionable, so we gave up.

The ROMEO Crew at Work

Since those early days we have been able to set a pace of reviewing restaurants all over Manuel Antonio and the Canton of Quepos and now review a different restaurant each month. That pace allows us to show the ratings and experience of a large number of recently reviewed restaurants for three years. The greater Manuel Antonio – Quepos area has at least five dozen good restaurants so new places to visit or even old ones to revisit are never a problem.

After one of our restaurant experiences, each ROMEO fills out a rating sheet where we evaluate the place on four items: 1) Ambiance (the table setting and any special features like view), 2) Food Quality (including preparation, presentation and amount), 3. Service (attention, friendliness) and 4. Cost (versus typical area results). Restaurant rating results are stored and reported by Bob and then maintained in an archive for 36 months that is published on line. We also calculate a Value Index defined as the average score for Ambiance, Food Quality and Service divided by the average cost rating (bang for the buck rating if you will).

The above explains the mechanics of the ROMEO group and its rating system but the bottom line is that we are still a group of friends getting together to enjoy each other's company and have a good meal. In recent years Paul has passed away and Brian returned to Florida for specialized health care.


Bob and the other ROMEOs still enjoy the monthly ritual started over 15 years ago.


¡Solo Bueno!


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







Looks like a high school party.


Wait a minute, what´s that kool looking gray car all about?


Why does it look familiar?


Wait a minute, I know that car...



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?)



a. High Wait Times for Major Surgery


A recent press report quoted CCSS (Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social), the national health care system exhibiting wait times for specialist consultations and surgeries anywhere from 5 months to over a year. The data shows that a nephrology consultation, for example, may take anywhere from a 160 to 350 day wait depending on the hospital involved and their backlog. Cardiovascular surgery is even worse with statistics ranging from 200 to more than 600 days.


The report also stated that there is increasing movement of specialist doctors from the public system to the private mainly due to desire on their part to return to a more normal work life by reducing current doctor´s overtime requirement. Part of the press report also noted the ratio of doctors (number per 1,000 population) as follows: Cuba, 8; Spain, 5; Germany, 5; United States, 4; Costa Rica, 3; Canada, 3; UK, 3; Colombia, 2; Panama, 2; Guatemala, 1; and Nicaragua, 1.


The report noted the problem well but did not offer a solution nor an indication that there is a strategy developed or being developed to improve the statistics.


GG can report one concern regarding this topic. On March 20 I had a gastroenterological exam (results were as good as I could have hoped for - "typical gastritis for a man my age") and the head doctor noticed the discoloration on my hands and arms (probably due to the blood thinners I´m taking) and suggested she would sign me up for an annual dermatological checkup). Two weeks later I received an electronic message that indeed I was signed up for my first dermatological exam on November 27, 2025.


b. Vaping A Growing Health Concern


Another recent report from the Caja, regarding vaping, quickly became of concern. The number of registered cases related to vaping rose from 13 in 2021 to 1,456 in 2023. "Vaping primarily affects adolescents and young adults, increasing the risk of respiratory diseases, chronic non-communicable diseases, and early deaths, said the CCSS."


The coordinator of the CCSS Cessation Clinics also said: "that vaping is not a safe or effective method to quit smoking and can lead to nicotine addiction and conventional tobacco use. While Costa Rica has made progress with anti-smoking laws, new challenges emerge as younger generations are exposed to attractive tobacco products."


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

Keep Writing Amigos!
Costa Rica´s Capital The Veteran Traveler    
#17 Read More #18 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


1952 Studebaker Starlight Coupe

Yeah, now I remember, that´s a 1952 Studebaker and that was GG´s first car, although my Studey Coupe had a bit more wear on it than the one in the photo.


I was 15 (1958) when I found and bought the Studey from a junk yard in Newburyport, Massachusetts near where I lived growing up. I bought it for $90 (that´s right - ninety dollars) because it was burning oil at the rate of a quart a day; the junk yard owner just wanted to get rid of it.


During the year leading up to my 16th birthday and a driver´s license, I managed to do a ring job on the pistons, with the supervision of my brother-in-law. That cut the oil burning to a quart per month and I deemed that a success.


I remember two features about my Studey: the dash had a polished aluminum back panel that made the instruments sparkle. The coupe also had a back seat, even though it was a coupe, and in the back seat were two hidden compartments, one under each side window. They each easily opened up to present compartments each capable of holding two six packs of beer. The cops had no idea of our secure system which we miscreants used discriminatingly.


Ah, the picture brought back nostalgia for the old days. I checked: you can buy one today for $14,950.


¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Cuba Libre, Marina Pez Vela, Quepos

Location: Mezzanine Floor Main Building South Section Across from Runaway Grill

Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM; Sunday/Monday 11 AM to 9 PM

Parking: Parking in the basement of the main building plus more around the entrance.

Contacts: Phone:  +506 2519 9091 Email: N/A, Facebook: Go Here


Reviewing ROMEOS: Alma L., Amy P., Annie C., Barry S., Bob N., Chris D., Cristian B., Cristel R., Glen N., Harry R., Jack R., Lawrence L., Mark P., Ruth R.


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


ROMEOs Hard at Work

This is one of our Marina restaurants that has flourished over the last ten years. The dining room provides a good view of all the docked yachts below so, if you don´t mind looking at a billion dollars (I may be a little light on this estimate) of boats and fishing equipment bobbing up and down in front of you it´s a cool view.


Add to that the Pacific Ocean in the background, the western coast running north and the mountains of the Cordillera Central to the east and it pretty well describes a peaceful, sunny paradise.


The dining room is simple and cleanly decorated. The composite score for ambiance from the group came in at 4.5 out of 5.0 max.


We chose from a rather extensive menu offering of salads, full plates, soups and even hamburgers, enough variety that should match any palate need.


GG ordered something he hadn´t had at a restaurant in at least ten years, barbecued ribs which came served with cooked carrot sticks, squash and an interestingly spiced yucca. The portion I had was quite generous and the combination of flavors delicious.


Other ROMEOs had: calamari, seafood rice, shrimp with rice, Caesar salad, buffalo wings, hamburgers, tuna steak, sashimi/tatake, and fish tacos.


All diners reported favorably and the composite score for food quality came in at 4.3/5.0 max.



Value Index= 129


We were served by a young lady named Paulette. She accommodated the fact that I had made a reservation for 12 but 15 showed up. She also was efficient and pleasant in taking all the orders and processing all the resulting "cuentas separadas". The kitchen was also reasonably timely after we hit it with 15 orders as the other parts of the restaurant were filling up. The composite score for service came in at 4.7/5.0 max, giving and average score for ambiance, food quality and service of (4.5+4.3+4.7)=4.5.


The cost of my ribs platter, a michelada with ginger ale plus the required 23% sales tax and service came in at 16,146 colones or about $32. The group composite score for cost came in at 3.5 out of a 5.0 max which in turn yielded a Value Index of 4.5/3.5=129 putting the restaurant in the top 1/3 of restaurants in this area for value.


The ROMEOs can attest once more that Cuba Libre at Marina Pez Vela continues to be a restaurant of choice and value in the greater Quepos area.




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Bob Normand, Editor & The Golden Gringo
Pura Vida!

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