Single American Women Living in Costa Rica

It is no longer a question of whether she will move to Costa Rica. It is only
a question of when. Should she work a few more years to full retirement age? Or
cash it in sooner and make the move?

On this visit, my friend wanted to meet single women from the United States who have moved to Costa Rica. She hoped to learn a bit about what it is like to be a gringa living in a male-dominated Latino culture, for indeed Costa Rica is still a “man’s world” despite the giant strides taken by women here.

Costa Rica ranks right up there with Finland, Norway and Sweden in the number
of women serving in government. No woman has been elected President, though, although a woman was a serious candidate a decade ago. Since then, a tradition had been established that results in at least one (often both) of the two Vice Presidents elected every four years being female.

My friend and I visited several single women from the United States who now live
near my hometown in Costa Rica. As I’ve mentioned before, it surprised me to learn how many single women from the United States live here.

Carla (names have been changed) was married when she moved here, but her marriage
did not withstand the strain of adjustment required to assimilate into the new
culture. She suffered through a prolonged and bitter divorce. Attorneys and a
vindictive husband left her poverty stricken.

Too proud to go home in defeat, she stuck it out in Costa Rica, and after a few
very tough years launched a small business in her humble home. She still struggles
financially at times, but so do so many people here. Carla is among sympathetic
neighbors, who provide her with emotional support if little else. After almost
ten years here, there is little doubt that Costa Rica will be Carla’s home for
life. Canada’s loss is Costa Rica’s gain.

Carla’s story is a cautionary tale for any couple considering moving to another
country. She notes that any relationship already under stress may not survive
such a major unsettling
. Make sure your relationship is extremely solid before
attempting to “get away from it all” together.

Marjorie did not know a soul here when she up and moved to Costa Rica. Her grown
children thought she was having a touch of mental instability. She would come
back home in a month or two, they believed.

It has been ten years now. Marjorie does go back to the States quite regularly
– several times a year – but her permanent home is in Costa Rica. One visit to
enjoy the expansive view from the balcony of her stunningly gorgeous, three-bedroom
home high in the peaceful hills above the Central Valley (her rent is about $500
per month), and you understand why Marjorie will not be returning to the States.

Linda has lived here even longer than Carla and Marjorie. She owns a small house
down a country road, and is locally famous for the quality of the blackberries
that grow on her little finca. She and her neighbors share gardening tips and
gossip. They shop for each other when someone doesn’t feel like driving the winding
road that leads to the city. They pick up each others’ children walking home from
school. They do not think about whether or not someone might suspect them of being a child molester. Villages here are raising all their children together.

My friend from the States also went with me to the Parque Central in my town one
morning to meet the gang of expats who gather there every day. On this particular
morning, not a single woman was among those who showed up. Only men – four in
all. Guess who lost the roll of the dice to see which one of us paid for the drinks?

She said she enjoyed meeting the guys and was actually glad she got to pay. It
provided her with an interesting story to share with her friends when she returned
home: “I had coffee with a bunch of old guys from the United States, and
they made me pay

I don’t feel sorry for her in the least. When she left my place on Monday, she
was headed off to the beaches in the Guanacaste region north of here. It seems
there is a woman-owned resort there, and my friend intends to glean some more
information from those entrepreneurs while relaxing on the beach, drinking a cerveza
or two, chomping on a mango or three, and generally resting up before returning
to her particular “rat race” in the States.

No doubt about it, she’ll be back!

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