What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Playa Hermosa de Jaco and Jaco
How long have you lived there?
16 years in CR full time, 8 years in Playa Hermosa de Jaco
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
The Jaco area has several ladies groups, brunch groups for expats and locals alike. Family surf day in Jaco, painting classes, surf competitions, or relaxing at the beach for sunset all draws expats anxious to meet up with others and speak with locals on a social level.
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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.
Yes it is a very diverse town. You will find restaurants owned by locals feature traditional CR dishes, European bakeries, authentic Italian restaurants, Moroccan, Thai and gourmet restaurants. This mix of restaurants is what makes the area exciting and appealing to all walks of life. The area has a high level of acceptance due to the diversity it enjoys.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
Tourism is a huge draw so anyone involved in that industry would do well. The area is growing so there is opportunity for building, architecture specialists, general labor.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
Tourism in the area is very high so work takes a strong priority to keep everyone happy and returning to the area. However, family is a very strong factor. Many Costa Ricans from the Central Valley visit on weekends and holidays. It is not uncommon to see families and friends relaxing at the beach with a picnic and hammock, enjoying the breeze and socializing. Surfing is a major sport in the area so surf lessons are high on the list for a fun activity. Hiking Miro Mountain is a popular activity which includes wildlife spotting, camera opportunities, and general fitness.
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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Relax, enjoy and slow down. Life at the beach is carefree, easy going and free of many stresses. Take in a sunset, have a fresh cup of local coffee and chat with a Costa Rican local and/or expat. Visit the feria (public farmers market) on Friday morning. Watch a local futbol match or take in many of the Artify Jaco murals and local art galleries. Enjoy the great restaurants which the area offers, visit the beaches and national parks within an hour of the area for day trips.
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An expat in Parrita, Costa Rica has many positive cultural adjustments. She slowed down, got rid of all of her "American" expectations, and saw immediately why the Ticos are some of the happiest people on earth. She stopped worrying about the million of things that she worried about in the States and has a much more peaceful happy life!