…and they’re all Gringos!
I’m back in San Jose for a few nights before my flight to Ecuador. As I’ve traveled throughout the country I’ve noticed an amount of poverty that I’m not quite used to. And this country is nowhere near the poorest country I will visit. Again, it makes me painfully aware of all that we have in the states and more specifically all that I have.
I’ve also noticed nearly every house here has at least bars on the windows and in most cases, a gate, and a big metal fence usually topped with razor wire. Sadly, the more tourism has increased, the more crime has also increased.
For my last few nights, I decided to stay in Escazu, a well-to-do suburb up in the hills just outside of San Jose. I hadn’t seen any wealth and was curious as to what I’d find here. I knew I would find many Americanos because as my bus pulled into town we proceeded to pass Denny’s, Tony Romas, and possibly our worst import—Hooters. Wow. Was I in Costa Rica or Atlanta?
After a morning of catching up on my sun at the pool and catching up on my writing, I took a walk around the ‘hood. I turned a corner and there I was in Gringoland. It looked like a wealthy suburb of Miami.
Coral colored stucco mansions with tile roofs one after the other lined the streets. It was the first time I’d seen pretty streetlamps and manicured lawns the whole time I’d been here. I strolled up a block that dead-ended at a security booth. I ended up chatting with the security guard (in Spanish—so thankful for my lessons!) about the neighborhood. According to Señor Security, nearly everyone that lived here was American. And they all worked for Intel.
If you recall in an earlier blog, I mentioned technology was the number two industry in the country, thanks in large part to Intel. It was like a mini Stepford with all these American housewives whizzing by in their SUVs into their gated driveways and their hermetically sealed homes. Muy interesante. AND I bet they pay beau coup bucks on the monthly exterminator bills to keep the ants out.