iPhone 4S

Costa Rica usually runs behind on getting the latest and greatest that comes out in the States and this time it is no different.  The lines and waiting lists have already started for the iPhone 4S that is to come out on Friday the 27th.

Siri is very much in demand and the fact that she can speak in English or in Spanish only makes her that much more desirable to the public.  This not only makes her a neat gizmo phone but a terrific teaching tool for those that want to learn better their second language.

CR doesn’t yet have a plan for iPhone 4S so far as the service goes which seems rather illogical since the phone is coming out on Friday but then again that falls under the “why” category so we won’t go there.

Hope everyone wanting the precious Siri is lucky enough to get her this coming weekend!


Just ask Why?

When moving to Costa Rica so many things come up where the question of why will come to your lips. Why do motorcycles make their own lane when there is none between the buses? Why do buses not use their rear view mirrors? Why does it seem that no one can tell time in Costa Rica? What does Mañana really mean because it clearly does not mean tomorrow?

There are so many more questions that I could list here than what I mentioned above. Doesn’t a day go by when the question of why comes to mind at least once but please for your sanity take this advise…..

Remove the word WHY from your vocabulary when you move to Costa Rica!

IF you are able to find out the reasoning behind the question you are asking, you would be one up from the rest of us left to ponder the reasoning behind why Tico’s do what they do.

It will drive you crazy if you question things all of the time and it won’t change anything, they will still drive down the middle of the road. They will still run you off the road with no regard for the rear view mirror. You will never understand even if someone answers your question as to WHY they do what they do.

Remove the word WHY from your vocabulary and you will live a much more peaceful existence in Costa Rica.


Police in Costa Rica

A good example of the police not being where you need them in Costa Rica is how the Fiscal Control Police (PCP) spend their time. This past week the PCP raided a shop in Guadalupe that sells groceries, appliances and perfume for anomalies associated with imported products. These special “Fiscal Control Police” seized property because they could not clearly establish how the merchandise entered the country. The particular chain of stores that was targeted generated attention because they supposedly advertised deals that seemed to good to be true in La Teja. You think that maybe the police could find a better use of their time than going after store owners suspected of selling merchandise too cheap??


Horses to Costa Rica

Andrea and Natacha with Angel Bass taking a quick break after her bath at La Carrana Quarantine facility in La Sabana, Costa Rica.

Angel and Wizard’s adventure began in San Diego, California in mid-November when they were transported down to Miami by trailer. They had to do a brief quarantine in Miami as well as a series of blood testing in order to be permitted to enter Costa Rica.

Once all of the test results were returned and the health certificate was completed to meet Costa Rica standards, the MAG issued an import permit and Angel and Wizard were permitted to enter the country.

After the flight arrived in San Jose the horses were transported to La Carrana in La Sabana by trailer to their private stalls where they are boarded until the MAG does a blood test (the same one that was done in the US) and the results come back negative (again). This usually takes about 10-14 days then the horses will be released to go to their new home in Guanacaste. World Pet Travel transports the horses to Guanacaste once they have been released by the MAG and reunites them with their owner Cindy. They will be together before Christmas 🙂


Loose Laws in Costa Rica

A U.S.-bound air passenger was found to be carrying nearly $10,000 in counterfeit $100 bills Wednesday, but he was allowed to leave after police confiscated the funny money.

The incident took place at Juan Santamaría airport. The Policía Aeroportuaria of the Fuerza Pública said they found 95 fake bills in the pocket of the 34-year-old traveler. He was identified by the last name of Modia. Police officers sought the expertise of workers at a bank at the airport. Some of the bills had the same serial number, police said.

The man is a U.S. citizen originally from Cuba, police said.

Police could not hold the man or his female companion because there is a flaw in Costa Rica’s law. So although the pair missed their flight, they were allowed to leave later without the bills. They headed to Miami Thursday.

The $9,500 was below the limit that would have required reporting in an international flight if the bills were authentic.


Cost to import or export a pet to Costa Rica

The costs are ever-rising for pet transportation into and out of Costa Rica. It is always less expensive if the pet owner manages the move themselves but not everyone can do this because they are leaving either before or after their pets travel.

You must keep in mind that the most of the reason that costs are high because dogs and cats need to be hand carried through much of their travel. When you have a pet to leave Costa Rica for instance the pet must be carried through security and each check point before being hand-loaded onto the plane. Once your pet arrives at its destination or airport of transfer it must again be transported by airline employees from point A to point B.

Airfare for people is far less than that of pets because we can do our own walking through the airports and change planes without supervision of anyone. Also, people do not need to have someone to clear customs for them as they can do it themselves. We have to walk all over the airport to get through customs but we don’t have to be carried as the pets do.

Another item that contributes to the higher cost for transporting pets to destinations far away is the fact that we put pets on flights that are not too long. The long 12-15 hour flights we will not put a pet on because the time that they are in their kennel can exceed 20 + hours with the time that they have to be at the airport before departure and after arrival at their destination.

Animal travel is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, USDA and TSA when traveling to or from Costa Rica so the animals are taken good care of along their journey but this is at a cost to the pet owner.


IRS reaches Costa Rica

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced last week a new initiative to crack down on citizens who are hiding money offshore.

The crackdown extends to those U.S. citizens who have control of overseas corporations, what the IRS calls an entity. Many expats in Costa Rica fall into that category if the total amount in bank accounts is $10,000 or more at any time in the year.

U.S. citizens face complex tax requirements overseas. For example a citizen has to file a report with the IRS if they transfer personal property, like a home, into a foreign corporation.

Nevertheless, the IRS is less than aggressive in trying to inform or help U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy in San José does not have a full-time IRS agent in residence.


Public School in Costa Rica

Public school in Costa Rica is not as cheap as some would think and it is definitely not free. When you add up the cost of materials and uniforms there are children that drop out of school each year because of the exorbitant cost of these items.

School starts the first or second week of February for public schools as they are on the Costa Rica calendar, usually around the 8th or 10th of the month. When school starts the children are required to motor in with a bag of supplies that equals anywhere from $80-$250.00 worth of supplies. This amount would include the mandatory uniforms that they are required to wear. Add this to the transportation cost which is always extra. And don’t forget the backpack which was not included in the cost mentioned above.

When there is a family of 3 or 4 children this amount adds up for a family of a modest income. There is financial support of some sort but honestly I don’t quite understand how that works. This is built in so that children do not drop out of school before the 11th grade and they go onto to University.

Costa Rica is all about education. They pride themselves on the strong educational backbone of the country and to have this they must support the children in the public schools.

The public schools are very over populated and the children to not get the same education that they do in the private schools, this much I know for a fact. They are short on teachers and the schedules are shorter in hours than the private schools meaning they are not in school for as many hours a day.

I’m sure that there are many bright kids that come out of public schools but I feel that the children have a definite advantage if given a private education in Costa Rica.


Kiara traveled from Mexico to Costa Rica

Kiara traveled from Mexico to Costa Rica on Friday to be reunited with her family Sadalgo. She was held up in customs when the computers went down for longer than we would have liked but Andrea spent the day with her walking her every couple of hours and seeing that she had food and water. She was kept comfortable during her stay at Juan Santa Maria terminal warehouse while she was forced to wait for the computers to come back on.

Unfortunately with the computers down Costa Rica customs cannot do anything so we must wait for the system to come back up. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to 24. Fortunately most times it is usually back up within the same day and pets don’t have to spend the night in the customs warehouse.

Kiara finally made it to her family around 7:00 pm on Friday night. They were very happy to see her as you can see from the family portrait we were fortunate enough to get. Another happy family reunion!


Tica System Down

Words you don’t want to hear when there are pets coming into Costa Rica. When World Pet Travel or anyone else has pets coming into Costa Rica you do NOT want to hear are “Tica system is down”. What this means is that your pets are not going anywhere. They cannot clear customs when the system is down. It cannot be done manually or the old fashioned way like it used to be done. It MUST be done with the TICA system and if the system is down it does not get done.

Pets will sit in the customs warehouse all day when they arrive at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning because the system is down waiting for the system to come up again. There have even been cases where the animals have had to stay overnight in the customs warehouse until the following morning because the system did not come up the same day that the animals came in.

Makes the old slow way of doing things seem so much better at times. AT least then you didn’t have to worry about computers going down and everything coming to a screeching halt.