Central America offered us an affordable option for living abroad that Europe and other other parts of the world could not provide. Also felt very accessible to us and our North American friends and family. From there, we started narrowing it down based on our wish list. We wanted a place that was environmentally friendly – in 2016, Costa Rica derived 98% of its energy from renewable sources. We wanted a place that was safe and stable for our family -in 1948, Costa Rica abolished its military, leaving tax dollars to support healthcare, education and environmental protection. The literacy rate is 98% in Costa Rica. A public education is mandatory for elementary school children and college tuition compared to the U.S. is a bargain. Costa Rica provides universal healthcare to its citizens and permanent residents, as well as some of the best healthcare in Central America. Private healthcare is also available and is affordable and high quality. In the private hospitals, you can use cash and some health insurance policies from the U.S. The prices are a third to a fifth of what we might pay in the U.S. Medical tourism has grown in Costa Rica – dental procedures, hip and knee replacement and cosmetic surgeries being the most common.
We started exploring real estate and business opportunities in February 2016, which led us to the Northwest Pacific part of Costa Rica, located in the Guanacaste province. We visited in May and fell in love with the people, the land and the lifestyle we knew was possible for us in Costa Rica. We thought long and hard if we could make the changes we wanted and stay at home. While, we knew it was possible, we would be giving up the dream to live abroad, embark on a family adventure, learn a language and immerse ourselves in a different culture.
We settled on Playa Potrero, an equal part ex-pat and local community, accessible by foot or bike to many grocery stores, restaurants and a pleasant beach in the bay.
Since we are homeschooling the kids and Marc is a science teacher first and foremost, we can’t wait to explore this country’s diverse ecosystems.