San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

In the Aug. 24 issue we reported the burglary of a retired Gringa’s home in Nuevo Arenal. A few days later, in Rio Piedras, the home of a recently retired Gringo couple was targeted. These folks had built a home, thus providing employment for a number of Ticos.

They attend weekly Spanish language classes, and employ a Tico gardener who has taught them much about the flora of Costa Rica. They participate in community activities, including helping school children learn English. They bought two cars. In short, their presence in Costa Rica has been a benefit to the country.

The couple left their home for a few hours. One of their cars remained in the driveway. The thieves noted that the stop-stick had been left out of the sliding door track. After cutting the screen to unlock it, they entered, and surprise! The intruder alarm system blasted a deafening clanging siren, and (surprise again!) the family dog rounded the hallway corner in full attack mode, snarling and baring its two-inch fangs. The thieves hastily departed empty-handed.

Lessons learned: Invest in an alarm system. Teach your dog that, by Costa Rican law, no one may enter your home without being invited to do so. Carefully check all of the door and window stop-sticks before leaving home, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes. Always report the incident to Judicial Investigation Police, not the National Police. It is not the function of the National Police to investigate crime. A longtime resident of Costa Rica who advises people who are thinking of moving here, has some advice for clients: “Tempt not, lose not.”

Having had success with their last two Christmas bazaars, Ladies of the Lake once again will sponsor a bazaar this year. The event will take place Dec. 9, at Plaza del Café, located halfway between Tilarán and Nuevo Arenal. There will be tables full of treasures, live music and an atmosphere of joviality. For those interested in participating, tables are available at a minimal price. Please email for reservations. More info will follow in coming weeks.

Thanks to Carla Veltman for her assistance in writing this report.

–William & Jean Priest

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