San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

What Are You Doing for Thanksgiving This Year?

In the spirit of mixing cultures, The Tico Times recently polled a handful of people about their Thanksgiving plans.


Meat and Football

Roy Johnson remembers Thanksgivings in his native Colorado, with a hefty turkey dinner, the TV tuned into an NFL football game and a cold one at hand.

He says he used to “have a few brewskis” on Thanksgiving.

The retiree, who has been living in Costa Rica six years now, says finding a plump turkey is no problem here.

“You just go down to the market like you would in the United States,” he says.

He’s not sure what he’ll do this Thanksgiving.

“Nothing special,” he says.

Memories of Tryptophan

Back home in New York, Nick Jones used to get together with his family and eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

“Then lay on the couch and take a nap,” he says.

The retiree, who has been in Costa Rica for nine years, has spent more recent Thanksgivings in San José. Last year, he went out for turkey dinner.

“I just went with a couple of friends to the

Colonial to have turkey,” he says.

He won’t be in Costa Rica for Thanksgiving this year, he says, though he isn’t opposed to celebrating.

No Thanks to Thanksgiving

Roger St. Pierre isn’t much for giving thanks in Costa Rica.

“I’ll be here for Thanksgiving, but I won’t be celebrating,” he says.

He never was big on Thanksgiving back home, either.

“Unless I was forced to go to my girlfriend’s house, I didn’t celebrate,” he says.

Frankly, the 65-year-old, Grinch-like retiree from Brooklyn doesn’t care much for holidays in general.

“I don’t even celebrate Christmas anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Christmas tree,” he says.

Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

Puerto Rican-born Rangel Luis Bonela used to celebrate Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico.

The merchant seaman, now 77, used to roast a turkey with his family.

“We made the stuff that goes inside and stuffed it,” he says.

“Then the family would cut it up and bring cold beer.”

Brit Bows Out

A bald Brit with a bushy mustache who

goes only by Peter is offended by the thought

of celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving.

“What? Celebrate losing the colonies? We wouldn’t do that,

would we?”

He says all he knows about the holiday is that it may involve turkey and cranberry sauce.

Peter, a frequent visitor to Costa Rica, claims he’s been to 88 countries.

Anyone Going to Celebrate?

María Luna Gallardo has never celebrated Thanksgiving, but wants to.

“I imagine it would be a beautiful party,” says the Costa Rican manager of the pizzeria at the Teatro de Comedia in downtown San José.

The Cartago native says she has cousins in New Jersey and friends in New York who have told her it’s a nice holiday. She suggests putting turkey on pizza as an alternative to the traditional turkey dinner.

A Bunch of Gringos with Nowhere To Go

Stacey Watson, a Wisconsonite who has been living in Costa Rica for 13 years, is planning a Thanksgiving dinner of American proportions.

The resident of Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast, expects to have some 30 other expats and friends to her house for a potluck-style dinner.

“We celebrate with pretty much any Gringos who don’t have any other place to go,” she says, laughing. Turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie are all on the menu, just like they used to be at the Milwaukee native’s family Thanksgiving dinners.

“It’s just another opportunity to reflect on all the things that God has done in our life. We think of family and pray for them and with them,” says the 38-year-old mother of two. “It’s not like everything’s always perfect, but we have so much to be thankful for. It’s a great opportunity to just pause and think about it.”


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