Dear Nica Times:
This letter is in response to Alan Currier’s diatribe ‘My Advice to Expats: Get Out While You Can’ (NT, Aug. 17).
I must assume that Currier is prone to hyperbole when he states that, “In my 18 years in Costa Rica, I’ve had six expat friends brutally killed and hundreds of others seriously injured during crimes.”
An examination of the number of foreigners subjected to violent crime here would indicate that Currier knew them all.
One can only hope that it is also hyperbole when says that his Tica wife, a 24-year veteran of the judicial police, states that it is the expats’ own fault when they are cheated, swindled, robbed, assaulted or murdered.
If this is not hype, then one wonders if this is an attitude shared by other police officers here.
I would like to point out to Currier, his wife and anyone else who thinks I or any other expat deserves to be a victim of crime that we were enticed to move to Costa Rica or Nicaragua by the favorable residency laws of those countries because the lawmakers, in their wisdom, thought we had something to offer.
In my own case, I have invested a small fortune here and have trained my employees in modern business methods, while trying to instill a sense of fairness and ethics.
During trips to Granada and other parts of Nicaragua, I have met many fellow Gringos who can say the same.
I have re-read Currier’s letter trying to discern the source of his rancor. He states that he wonders about the friendly climate in Granada once foreigners have moved there in large numbers. Is he resentful that he, too, has not made the move there?
Perhaps it’s that he is included in the attitude of his Tica wife that we are getting what we deserve? Or quoting him again, perhaps he now finds that he “can’t escape having become too deeply entrenched to do so.”
I, too, encourage expats who are considering a move to any foreign country just because the real estate and cost of living are cheaper than back home, to seriously reconsider their move.
However, if you are coming because you love the culture, the language, the people, the tropics, etc., then by all means come. And don’t let anyone tell you that you do not have a right to criticize the things thatyou think are wrong with your new home.
High crime rates, horrible infrastructure, unacceptably low ethical standards, people who ignore the littering and traffic laws, etc., make this a worse place for all of us, Ticos, Nicas and expats alike.
It is our home, too, and most of us make significant contributions to the economy and society.
In turn, we have a right to expect to be protected and treated decently.
San Rafael de Heredia, Costa Rica