But as with all things seemingly great and wonderful, there are two sides to this story. Many, if not most, of these businesses are being established by deep-pocketed Anglos from the U.S., Canada and Europe who are keen to take advantage of the increasing interest in Costa Rica as a whole and as a tourist destination in particular. This often leaves hard-working Costa Ricansor ticosrelegated to the outskirts of town, where moneyed gringos seldom venture.
This dichotomy, however, actually represents opportunities for Hispanic businesspeople. With the proper backingand the additional benefits of being fluent Spanish speakers with an understanding of Latin American business practicesthey can more easily cater to patrons, be they ticos, ex-pats or tourists, than their Anglo counterparts.
More to Come
And I for one am looking forward to the changewhether its a new seafood restaurant opening on the beach, a hardware store going up outside of town, a quiet back-alley bar that serves guaro sours or a live-music venue that takes me back to my classic-rock roots. As part of this three-part series looking at business opportunities in seaside towns such as Tamarindo, well examine the lively restaurant and retail markets that are growing, thriving and looking for non-gringo investments.
Jim Utsler is an award-winning author, writer and all-around word guy. Jim has been in the publishing industry for nearly 30 years, with articles appearing in publications as diverse as PGA Magazine, Automotive News and IBM Systems Magazine. Armed with a creative-writing degree from the University of Michigan, he also writes fiction and recently released his new novel Pura Vida, into the wild. This mystery/thriller explores the jungles of both Detroit and Costa Rica, as well as those in the minds of its characters. You can learn more about Pura Vida on Jims website.