Medicare & Medicaid

This is an update to an earlier post…….12/19/2007

After verifying information that I recently received, I learned that Medicare will not cover anyone living outside of the United States.  Same story for Medicaid,  you will NOT be covered while living in Costa Rica.

IF you have a medical emergency while you are visiting Costa Rica or while living in Costa Rica, Medicare/Medicaid will pay for Air Transportation for you to be flown to the closest hospital in the US, but they will NOT pay for your treatment while in Costa Rica, even in an emergency situation.

This also includes those on disability relying on Medicaid.  You must go to the US for medical treatment.  Any doctors visits or medical attention of any kind will not be covered by Medicaid.



Creeper in Costa Rica

Creepers in Costa Rica…..A 35 year old man who was convicted of sexually abusing a child was released from jail last week because the courts lost the digital record of his original trial.

The man became a fugitive in 2008 going on the lamb after escaping from authorities but was captured late last year in San Carlos.

The Creeps Attorney appealed the case by challenging the child’s earlier courtroom testimony.  When it was determined that the records were lost, the appeals court ordered the accused to be released.

This is bad in so many ways I cannot list them all here.  He was convicted and sentenced and because some Cretan Attorney decided to appeal the case and some bad filing was done, this pedophile is left to wander the streets of Costa Rica.

There is not a sex offenders registry in Costa Rica so we have no way of knowing who this man is or where he lives.  No telling how many others there are in this beautiful country we live in.

This type of law makes me mad beyond words!!


Monster in Costa Rica

New ‘Monster’ Invades Costa Rica

Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2012 – By Richard Abraham

Dear Tico Times:

There is a new monster loose in Costa Rica. This monster kills people, animals, children’s education, tourism, business, roads and peace and quiet. The monster’s name is “tractor trailer.”

On the new Pacific coastal highway (costanera), these monsters are traveling at great speeds, endangering everything in their path. You will know them by their very loud sound, known as frenos de motor, or Jake brakes. This very annoying sound keeps children awake at night and convinces tourists to check out of hotels after a one-night stay, never to return. Businesses are closing  down, and animals are leaving or have been killed.

Some 300 of these monsters use the costanera every day and all night, 24/7. They have no respect for anyone or anything. They buy nothing in Costa Rica because they come from Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. They leave nothing in their path but destruction, death and very tired and upset people.

The laws in Costa Rica prohibit these monsters from using the costanera, but despite all our efforts at contacting the authorities, we have received no response to the problem.  There are laws against speeding and excessive noise, so where are the authorities when we need them?

Let’s all get together and kill this monster before it’s too late, before the Costa Rica we have known is forever gone. If anyone has any ideas or would like to help us kill, tame or silence this monster, please contact any of the following authorities:

Costa Rican Tourism Board: 2299-5800; Health Ministry: 2255-2148; Education Ministry: 2256-7011; Public Works and Transport Ministry: 2253-2000; Casa Presidencial: 2207-9100; Environment Ministry: 2233-4533.


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.


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.


Mudslides in Escazu

This month there was a horrible catastrophe that took place in Escazu that needs to be brought to the forefront if you have not already heard about it.

Many humble souls were lost in the mudslides in the middle of the night when the rain brought down much of the mountain in the hills of San Antonio de Escazu. Rescue workers found at least 23 bodies after pounding rain sent mud rushing over 5 homes around 2:00am Thursday morning the 4th of November.

Because of the slides and unsettled land another 2,639 people have sought refuge in 46 shelters.

President Laura Chinchilla declared a state of emergency the following Friday and Saturday and further declared that these days would be national days of mourning.

Schools throughout the country were canceled on Thursday and Friday.


Roach Motel

Be careful where you stay while in La Fortuna!

Recently we took a trip through La Fortuna because the bridge was out going to Playa Coco on the Caldera Highway. We stopped for dinner in a place in La Fortuna next to one of those tourist booths and for some reason took a shine to go in and ask for a hotel recommendation. We knew several of the hotels in the area as we have stayed at many in the past and thought we would just stay with one that we knew to be good again. Since we weren’t looking for a resort atmosphere and only there for a nights stay we thought we would take a shot at whatever the tour guy recommended. This was our first mistake.

He recommended a place called “Pura Vida” How bad could that be with a name that had such a strong name right? Wrong! We went to this place that was just 300 mtrs down the road and part of a chinese restaurant. The owner was very loud and very rude upon check in. This was our second mistake. We should have known better at check in and run before checking in.

Once we got in the rooms it was bad!! We had to leave immediately as I would not stay in the hotel nor let me my kids sleep in these conditions. When we arrived in the rooms I turned down the beds to check out the beds and that was my third mistake.

When we went back to the front desk to get a refund and leave the woman charged us for messing up the towel that was on the bed, for turning down the bed and for turning on the water in the sink so we ended up paying for one room out of the two that we had paid for originally upon check in but at that point we would have paid for both I think just to get out of that horrid place.

Moral to the story, be careful what recommendations you take from the tour guides in those kiosks. No matter how great they make them sound (and he did) they are usually not so great!

Oh and another thing, come to find out, the tour guide was making 20.00 on our reservation. That is a lot of money in Costa Rica. As we were driving away we saw him walking up the street to gather his commission. Can’t say as I would have wanted to be in his shoes that evening for the way that woman was yelling and screaming at us. I can only imagine how she would have lit into him for referring us to her place 🙁


Inconsiderate people!

Do you ever just want to shoot people for being inconsiderate? I realize this is a touchy forbidden subject and I may lose some readers for going here but I just can’t keep quiet anymore. Some people just don’t use their heads in everyday life. They are just inconsiderate about things and others have to suffer as a result of this.

When people stomp all over ones feelings in business acting as though they are better than you, arrogant and egotistical in their manner. This is absolutely stupid and pointless and it gets them nowhere but on the bad side of the person they are needing help from. This is a big problem in Costa Rica. So many foreigners come down and act as though they are better than the nationals when in fact they are not. This is NOT the attitude to take with people you are going to be living next door to for years to come.

Mind your manners. Follow the golden rule. Treat others the way that you would want to be treated and you will be treated well in return. Do not degrade or belittle people or point out flaws. It doesn’t help it the situation that you are in and it only hurts the person that you are working with.

Whether you are in the grocery store or having a house built or hiring someone to move your furniture, keep a smile on your face and keep your attitude in check. Remember these people that you have hired work very hard to please you an many other people every day. They really don’t need you to act stupid and arrogant towards them. They have their own set of problems much bigger than you could possibly get your head around and they don’t need your garbage and trash talk on top of that. Be nice! Treat people with respect! I know they are treating you with respect. Just do the same!


Bird to Costa Rica

I write a lot about animals coming into Costa Rica, but this is a subject close to my heart. This past week 3 birds FINALLY made it into Costa Rica after a year of toil and trouble with Costa Rica government issues. They came in last November only to be turned away after being given an import permit and being approved to enter by the government. It was a sad day last November when we had to put those babies back on a plane to the US. It was very scary too because the MAG threatened to euthanize them because they said that their papers were not in order. Again, after giving them permission (in 2 different forms) to come into the country.

About 3 weeks ago a woman brought a parrot into Costa Rica through the passenger terminal without as much as a health certificate. She didn’t have any paperwork whatsoever. Nothing, nada! And the dumb a…. in the US at the airport allowed her to get on the plane with the bird in cabin. (This is so illegal it is not even close to funny). When the bird arrived in the passenger terminal without and documents the woman and bird had a very serious problem. I was called to see if there was anything that I could do but without a health certificate the bird could not even go back on a plane to go back into the US.

There are international laws that protect parrots on the endangered species list from trafficking and this bird was one of those birds. There was no way to prove ownership of the bird, where it came from, where it was born, captive or wild, nothing. This bird, a pet of many years, was taken from the owner at the airport and euthanized, killed, destroyed!

This could have been prevented if the owner had done her due diligence and gotten the proper permits for her bird. This was not the fault of the Costa Rica government in this instance. It was the fault of the owner and the airline for letting her on the plane without any documents.

Getting everything right and in order IS a long, drawn out and expensive process to come into Costa Rica, but THIS is what happens when you don’t follow the laws of the country.

Another client of ours was more fortunate than this woman. She had her CITES permit from the US and her health certificate when she arrived. This was only a small portion of what is required to enter the country but she had enough to keep her baby alive. Laurel was allowed to board the plane and go back to the US with Jean Luc and we are now working on getting her blood tests and documents in order for his safe return in a month or so.

This same rule applies to dogs and cats. DO NOT run the risk of coming into the country without the proper paperwork. Your pet WILL be euthanized!!!! Costa Rica does not fool around with this stuff. It happens more times than the public will ever be aware of.


Getting Directions in Costa Rica

I’m not the cyber guru that Ramiro is and i could not figure out how to get this video to open on this page but I believe that if you cut and paste the link into your browser it should work.  This video portrays the directions one would get and how an expat would interpret those directions EXACTLY!  It is definitely worth the time and a good laugh that you all could relate to if you have ever asked for directions in Costa Rica 🙂

Good luck and my apologies that I am not more internet savvy!