San Jose - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Huge, tons of retired Americans, lots of other countries as well. Expats are happy living here. The embassy community though, seems to have less than positive morale. While it would be nice to think I imagined it, it seems to have been brought to my attention many times. - Jul 2018

Fairly decent size expat community. Morale is "eh." People tend to be excited when they first come but get worn down fairly quickly. It's super expensive to do anything which limits how often people get out. - Dec 2016

There is a huge American expat community, especially retired folks, though a large fraction live away from San Jose. 1 million American tourists visited Costa Rica last year. I think folks who live outside San Jose like it here, especially the large number of surfers. Among those who are part of the U.S. Embassy, I've found morale is generally low. People come here expecting an eco-paradise and they find a city and country constantly overwhelmed with traffic on very poor roads; even though it is a small country, the roads are so bad and crowded that it takes forever to cover short distances. Most things are much more expensive than they should be, and the country suffers from the same or worse problems of inefficiency and government bureaucracy that plague other Latin American countries. - Feb 2016

Besides Nicaraguan migrant workers, there are lots of Americans -- business people, retirees and the occasional gambler or money launderer -- as well as Colombians and Venezuelans. There are smaller groups of Europeans, including French, Germans, Italians, and Israelis. Morale is pretty high -- most people are happy to be here. The retirees can be a cranky lot; they expected a cheap paradise. - Apr 2014

Large - many move here for a different lifestyle or to retire. - Jun 2013

Large, There are many, many Americans living here. - Aug 2011

Big. - Feb 2010

Large - tons of americans. - Jan 2010

Pretty large - embassy of course, gaming folks, leave the rat race folks, old guys looking for Heaven downtown at the Del Rey Hotel, teachers at the international schools, the entrepeneurs, multinational execs, and retirees. - Jul 2008

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