I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find! I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started. VOLUNTEER TO HELP: Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!
DONATE: Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business? I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts! ANY size DONATION is APPRECIATED! (see below other ways to show your appreciation) The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com (you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
OTHER WAYS TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THIS BLOG
• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!!
(at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)
I've STARTED compiling a list for the ESCAZU area (after learning the hard way that NOTHING was open on New Years Day 2 years ago & I had NOTHING appealing in my home!!). I'll be enhance it as I find more so keep checking back :
CHRISTMAS EVE - DEC. 24
Antojitos Mexican - 1-9pm
Villa Rey Chinese - 11am-3pm & 6-11pm
Time Out Tavern - 11am-late afternoon or early evening
The Pub - 11am-5pm
CHRISTMAS DAY - DEC. 25
Antojitos Mexican - 1-9pm
Villa Rey Chinese - 11am-11pm
Time Out Tavern - 5pm-11/mid.-ish (till the paying people leave) (no special Christmas meal)
Rock & Roll Bar & Grill
NEW YEARS EVE - DEC. 31
Antojitos Mexican - 1-9pm
Villa Rey Chinese - 11am-3pm & 6-11pm.
Time Out Tavern - some sort of New Years Party
The Pub - 11am-mid.
Rock & Roll Bar & Grill - I can't remember what he said his opening hours were but I think it's 11am-1am. Since he's just re-opened (Paul), he's doing more of a "soft opening" with LIVE MUSIC, sit-down dinner probably grilled steak dinner (price tba) & not a crazy party environment.
NEW YEARS DAY - JAN. 1
Time Out Tavern - 11am-1am
Rock & Roll Bar & Grill - 11am-mid - Kitchen
(from my newly being created/updated site http://CostaRicaEatsGuide.com)
Need to convert your U.S. dollars into colones & don’t want to stand in a LONG line like you often find (especially in the national banks in Costa Rica) or don't have time to do it during regular banking business hours?
Need to pay your Utility Bills?
Or Receive a money transfer from Western Union in Costa Rica???
Costa Rica offers a GREAT option!!
They’re GREAT for EXCHANGE YOUR U.S. $s INTO COLONES (the ONLY place I’ve found to give you dollars is a regular bank!!) withOUT a service fee & at a pretty decent rate (MY experience over the past 4-1/2 years using it has been typically it’s a MUCH better rate than at a bank. Make sure to bring your ORIGINAL Passport (thanx to Bush EVERY DOLLAR we convert IS reported back [since you know we're all terrorists & drug dealers!!]).
Here you can PAY YOUR UTILITY BILLS - Water (AyA - Acueductos y Alcantarrillados), Electricity (Fuerza y Luz), Phone/Cell (ICE), Racsa, CableTica & Amnet tv/internet bills or INS. Note that on the day bills are due there can be LONG lines!!!
You can also Send/Receive WESTERN UNION in Costa Rica(be FOREWARNED about receiving large/thousands of dollars worth of money coming TO you as OFTEN they don’t have large amounts of cash lying around. IF I were to receive a chunk of change, I’d go in the late afternoon to a HiperMas so they have time to get more money in (HiperMas is the Super Wally World [WalMart] of Costa Rica). Also, they ALWAYS give your money to you in COLONES - NOT U.S. Dollars!!).
HOURS: Most are open Mon.-Sat. 8am-8pm. Sun. 9am-5pm
LOCATIONS: Throughout Costa Rica you can find SERVIMAS Booths in most HiperMas, Mas x Menos, Perimercado (the one in Escazu does NOT have a ServiMas) & Pali.
It’s CHRISTMAS TIME & Costa Rica has MANY people that are "less fortunate" - ESPECIALLY this year!!!
Though my home (the House of Self Empowerment) is a DONATION DROP-OFF POINT for MANY charities - the main one I focus on is Gail Nystrom's Costa Rica HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION (http://CRHF.org)
To me - Ms. Volunteer Costa Rica (because she works on helping people in many areas throughout CR) - Gail Nystrom with the CR HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION (http://CRHF.org / 8-390-4192 / GNystrom@racsa.co.cr) is a GREAT person/group to donate your time/money to!!
Though the majority of the holiday parties are over for this year (she still has one on Dec. 29), there’s always need as throughout the year she gives gifts, food, clothes, shoes, school supplies, medicine++ to HUNDREDS of kids from some very poor families where this is often the only time of the year they receive a new toy!!
SUGGESTED GIFTS (this is a good tool for most groups/year-round):
Things like EDUCATIONAL TOYS, ART SUPPLIES, Soccer Balls (& soccer socks & soccer shoes [used as well]), Books in Spanish, Puzzles & things to help with logic & coordination, Lego's, little Cars, Games like Chess, Uno, Scrabble, Parcheesy, Checkers [NOT Chinese checkers], Colored Chalks, Number & Alphabet matching cards & games, puppets, frisbees, jump ropes, Jacks, hair barretts/rubber bands/head bands+, Stuffed Animals, fantasy jewelry, dolls.
Please, NOTHING with batteries & give gifts UNwrapped.
One non-Christmas item that is MEGA needed by MOST kids are SOCKS (even used ones) as MANY of these kids don't even have socks & it can get pretty chilly this time of year. Clothes are always needed as well & in January - OFFICIAL UNIFORMS are REALLY REALLY NEEDED!!!)
All money donations can be deposited with ease by going to any branch of Scotia Bank into their “Fundacion de Humanitaria charity account (yes - it's just 4 numbers):
DOLLAR DONATIONS: 1297
COLON DONATIONS: 1298
After you’ve made a donation, PLEASE email her to let her know - GNystrom@racsa.co.cr (for her records).
Unfortunately at this time she is not set up to receive international donations but it’s in the works.
NEW FOOD BANK CREATED!!
Gail has now created a WONDERFUL FOOD BANK twice a month feeding 100+ families of some of the poorest of the poor people in La Carpio.
This is an especially WONDERFUL PROGRAM because it’s NOT a hand-out. Each family pays just 5,000-c for a bag of the basic staples (the value of the bag is about 13,000-c), PLUS the whole family gets a FREE Hot Meal & they have a BUNCH of clothes/shoes people can buy for DIRT CHEAP (like 500-2,000-colones)!!!
The next few months is basically THE time of the year she needs the MOST HELP!!!
WHAT CAN I DO? Either donate ANY of the following items &/or donate 13,000-colones per bag (or ANYTHING). She can use any clothing & shoe donations as well!!
The items are brand specific for consistency: - 100 und. Aceite Clover litro - 100 und. Arroz Tio Pelon azul - 100 und. Atun pescador con vegetales grande - 50 und. Bebida royal melocoton - 50 und. Bebida Royal Ponche de Frutas - 50 und. Cereal K.Corn Flakes - 50 und. Cereal K. Zucaritas - 100 und. Spaguetti Roma - 100 und. Frijol Tio Pelon - 100 und. Leche Pinito 400 gr - 100 und. Sal solar - 200 und. Salsa Naturas c/carne 106gr - 100 und. Sopa Maggi casera pollo
WHEN’S THE NEXT FOOD BANK? Due to financial challenges, she's not able to do any more Food Banks for this year (UNLESS someone's willing to donate $1,000 for that to happen) so the NEXT ONE will be Sunday January 10
DROP OFF LOCATIONS: PIEDADES - Unity Costa Rica or Gail's house. ESCAZU - House of Self Empowerment - http://HouseOfSelfEmpowerment.com / 8-378-6679 - ON Calle Vieja - near Calle Country Club (email or call for directions)
Gail Nystrom - GNystrom@racsa.co.cr (the BEST way) / 8-390-4192