What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Ladies of the Lake, a large, diverse group of women who meet monthly to share their experiences, challenges, great food, and involvement in local charitable and fun activities. You can learn more about this group by contacting me, one of the original founders of this group: firstname.lastname@example.org
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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
A very diverse community consisting of the locals (Ticos), US, Canadian, Austrian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Australians, etc.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
People in this region, if they are not native to Costa Rica, are generally retired or have formed their own businesses, which is legal in Costa Rica as long as you have your legal residency. You cannot, however, work as an employee unless you are a permanent, legal resident, a different category than simple, legal residency.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
Life at Lake Arenal is very social and active. We have many social gatherings, fundraisers, water sports, and tourist activities for visiting friends and family.
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Do your due diligence! Don't let your desire to live in paradise get in the way of thinking about the logistics. It doesn't have to be difficult, especially if you form a network of friends and advisors online prior to your move. My final advice--don't ever send anyone money for "services" in advance, unless you have completely assured yourself that they are a legitimate business (get references).
An Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Mal Pais, Costa Rica
An expat in Mal Pais, Costa Rica provides a detailed culture shock report that offers a great example of someone who has learned to roll with the punches that come with expat life in a somewhat remote location. Covers everything from mosquitoes, to finding products from the local grocer, to getting your laptop repaired. And don't for get about the fruit bats and monkey poop!