Meet The Meat: Tongue

If you go to the meat counter at most any Costa Rican supermarket, you're likely to come across this: That's right, it's cow tongues! In the future I'll be posting more articles about Costa Rican food, but I wanted to mention a few general things about Costa Rican cuisine first. As we saw before, geographically, Costa Rica is not Puerto Rico. In that same vein, culinarily, Costa Rica is not Mexico, no matter how hard you wish it to be. In general Costa Rican food is definitely not spicy, Read more [...]

Come On Feel The Ruido: If You Give A Man A Microphone…

Costa Rica is sometimes a loud country. In fact, a lot of Latin America can get pretty loud, and that's one of the first things you notice as an outsider. When I lived in Colorado I grew up in one of those neighborhoods where all the streets have Spanish names, for no explicable reason. Our house was close to a street called "Ruidosa." I didn't know any Spanish at the time, so I was surprised later to discover that "Ruidosa" means "noisy." I was surprised because it was one of the quietest places Read more [...]

Juan Santamaría: The Man, The Airport, The Legend

As I mentioned in my last post, last week was Easter break (called semana santa in Costa Rica), so we had the whole week free. That was pretty excellent, but it turns out that today is also a holiday: Juan Santamaría Day. The only downside is that it's not necessarily a free day at work for everyone, and we do have classes where I work because it's a private language school. Nevertheless, who was Juan Santamaría, and why is he considered Costa Rica's "national hero"? I'll admit that I didn't Read more [...]

“Holy Week”

Today is the first day of semana santa, or "holy week" in Costa Rica. Like most of Latin America, Costa Rica is Catholic, or at least ostensibly Catholic. In reality, whether a person is observant and goes to church really boils down to personal inclinations and familial traditions, but almost everyone is observant of one aspect semana santa: vacation! This week is possibly best described as a religious holiday tainted by a Spring Break ethos (or maybe even vice-versa). Most schools and public Read more [...]