You are here: Home E-Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica Chapter 16 - Culture and Doing business

Chapter 16 - Culture and Doing business

It’s not completely fair to generalize behavior over an entire culture, yet after a certain amount of time spent living and doing business in Costa Rica, patterns will emerge, and you will find yourself asking your fellow expatriates, “Why do they do that?” The “why” question will, of course, remain eternal fodder for casual bar conversation. The “what” question is the concern of this chapter – what is Costa Rican culture like, and how does it affect the way they do business? The next few pages will get you started answering these questions. Once you arrive in Costa Rica, you will no doubt notice variations on the themes laid out here, and not all parts of Costa Rican culture are created equal. Urban, Central Valley Ticos are quite a bit different from southern zone Ticos, while Caribbean Ticos – who are often of African decent and speak English – are a whole other story. The Ticos from the chilly mountains in Cartago are infinitely polite and deferential, while the Ticos who grew up on the hot planes of Guanacaste near the Nicaraguan border speak with a different accent and are a bit warmer.

This chapter will give you some generalities from which to start. Remember that while stereotypes exist for a reason, you can’t fairly apply them to all individuals. There are plenty of Ticos (especially in foreign-linked industries like real estate) who have traveled quite a bit, speak multiple languages, and will generally impress you with their cosmopolitan tastes and views. Ticos don’t all fit in the same box, and neither does any other culture.