The centralamerica.com Podcast: Responsible Hiring in Costa Rica for Expats

In the sixth episode of the centralamerica.com podcast, we do something different and have no guests. Today we have a short rant about responsible hiring in Costa Rica and some other stuff. 

You might know this already by now, but we’ve jumped on the bandwagon and started a podcast.

The idea is to talk to interesting people in Central America doing interesting stuff, whether they’re a local, an expat, or a visitor.

This week though, we’re doing something different. This week is a much shorter episode than normal because it’s just me, myself, and I… to quote De La Soul. Yep, I’m on my own.

There are a couple of reasons why I’m rolling solo this week.

The first reason is to experiment. We’re still trying to get a hang of this podcasting thing, and we want to mix it up a little. Most times we’ll have a guest, but if we want to get something off our chests then maybe this is a way to do it? Vamos a ver.

The other reason is, as we say, for venting/ranting purposes. Sometimes events happen and we’ll talk about them. This seems like an easy, quick way to do so. But overall, we’re just feeling our way through this new medium.

This week, I talk about a couple of (related) things regarding expat life in Costa Rica.

Anyone in the Costa Rica expat Facebook groups knows about a series of recent posts by a lady in Canada looking for a “house sitter” to run her tourism business. If you don’t, then check out the article where we wrote about it right here.

I admit how this lady is living rent free inside my head and I expand on the above article with a plea to foreign tourism business owners to NOT follow her lead in a country with at least one in five people out of work.

Related to the above topic, I also touch on another post in the Facebook groups today, where someone posted a 2019 article from Atlas & Boots about Costa Rica coming in at #9 in a Gallup survey about the most stressed-out countries.

In the Facebook post, the author expressed surprise about how Costa Rica could be so stressed out. 

After all, he’s probabaly a retiree down here on a fixed income living in a beautiful place. Doesn’t everyone in Costa Rica live like that?

I try to set the record straight, pointing out that a great many people in Costa Rica don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from and how to pay their rent/feed their families next month. All this is especially true since the pandemic began and Costa Ricans began losing their jobs at one of the fastest rates on earth.

There’s nothing worse than well-off expats on social media who are incredulous that anyone experiences stress in Costa Rica.

“Being in CR, it is very stressful. Dinners with friends most nights, honest good hearted people helping you with you projects to the point that you start more and more projects, beaches, mountains, music, it is actually difficult to find those few afternoon minutes to nap. Very stressful,” wrote someone in response.

This is the type of thing that makes my blood boil. 

It shows a crass ignorance of the real hardships faced in Costa Rica by hundreds of thousands of people. 

To the person who wrote this, I say that Costa Rica isn’t a playground for you. It’s a real country with real people living in it who are facing a hard time right now. Just because you’re living a pura vida lifestyle, doesn’t mean that everyone is, especially the many thousands of people left unemployed or underemployed by this pandemic.

The irony, of course, is that the survey posted predates the pandemic. People were struggling in this country before Covid and foreigners living here in luxury should be able to acknowledge that.

We hope you enjoy this short podcast about the topics I just mentioned. 

I admit it’s a bit of a rant, and if you didn’t, we’ll be back to normal next week with a guest far more interesting than me.

Please find the podcast at the top of this page (in audio format) and again below. No video format this time, no-one needs to watch my ugly mug on its own.

It’s also available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and other podcast providers. Feel free to follow us on any of these platforms.

Related:

  1. Nicholas Corea from The Bocas Breeze in Bocas del Toro, Panama
  2. Rob Stirr, “The Sausage Guy” in Costa Rica
  3. Aaron Atkey – Chef, Restaurateur, Fisherman, Surfer, and All-Round Facilitator/Nice Guy in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
  4. Talking COVID in Guatemala with Nestor Quixtan
  5. Keara Mahoney in Bocas del Toro, Panama 
  6. Responsible Hiring in Costa Rica for Expats (this page)
  7. Lawrence Cohen, the Expat Musician in Costa Rica 

James Dyde is the editor of centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.