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SPECIAL: Charming Home Offers The REAL Costa Rica

There are many varieties of expats who choose to live in Costa Rica:  some arrive for political reasons; some to find clean healthy living in a great climate; others to find sound real estate investments in a growing market.  But perhaps the largest group of expats consists of those who are a blend of the groups mentioned above.  For that group, the most common question prior to arrival is, "But what is it REALLY like to live full time in Costa Rica?"  This question aims to go beyond the sales pitch of realtors and self-interested business people (although we admittedly do a bit of that), and get to the heart of the expat experience for those who are dedicated to embracing a foreign culture and experiencing the benefits of being engaged -- for good or bad -- with an often very different way of life than one's country of origin. 

Steven and Janet have been promoting this "real life" Costa Rica for nearly a decade.  They have made San Ramon their home -- a small area called La Paz, specifically -- and as Steven's recent article below illustrates, the area they have chosen reflects the values and beauty of the Costa Rican culture, environment, and what the overall experience of living in San Ramon with both Ticos and other expats can offer to those who are looking for the essence of Pura Vida

Steven and Janet also have a very special home for sale in La Paz that is a perfect entry into this pristine area of the Costa Rican countryside.  Listing #1252 is being offered at $118,000.


by Steven Freidmutter

When we moved from urban San Ramon to La Paz 2 years ago, we were the first and only foreigners in this country oasis. The phone line still ends just past our house and the last mile is on a primitive stone road. About 2 miles past our house the river crosses the road and you need a horse to enter the preserve that stretches all the way to Monteverde and Arenal. In many ways this is the end of the world ... just 20 minutes from San Ramon but as pure and natural as it gets.

In the time we've been here, a couple of folks have bought land past our house and built beautiful houses. It's nice having great new neighbors who also speak English and can be there for each other on this wild journey.

I used to have to go to San Ramon when I wanted more socializing and action. This past Sunday I went to 3 parties walking distance from my house. I never would have imagined this day a year ago.

I started out at an 11AM birthday party for Marielos, our wonderful Tico neighbor whose family has made our time here as smooth as can be. She made homemade corn tortillas and vegetable picadillo for a hearty topping. I didn't stay for the birthday cake as my tradition that grounds me in Costa Rica is watching the NFL on Sundays.

Off to Jeff and Jane's, a couple from Big Sur, California who have built a lovely modern home about a mile past our house. I love the locals but just having someone nearby who is from my culture makes a big difference. We had cocktails and watched some football.

The party shifted to Janet's, a brave 60 something who is La Paz's newest resident. Her land adjoins the preserve and is wild and "out there." My number one sidekick for my 8 years here Jimmy Lee joined us along with my partner Janet. Here we were at "the end of the world" watching the NY Giants (Los Gigantes) beat the Cowboys on satellite, enjoying snacks and drinks. Surreal to say the least!

No matter how native and natural a life we live here in Costa Rica, having a few friends nearby who speak English and have a similar cultural context is nice.

After 3 parties on Sunday we went back to our tranquilo life of sitting on our porch and watching the world go by ... very slowly.