by Claude Dugas
In another blog, a couple of weeks ago, I told you who I am and how I ended up in Atenas – Costa Rica. Today, I will tell you more about the town of Atenas and what it means to me to live here, a dream that came true, now 12 years ago.
In those days, when driving around Atenas, you could meet about three or four foreigners in a whole day. Today if you stop at any street corner, any time of the day you’re sure to count at least five or six of us just by looking around, all happy and enjoying the beautiful weather and the slow pace of Atenas. In Atenas, you’ll find quite a few outstanding residential communities where mostly expats are living.
Sitting in the mountains enclosing the West part of the Central Valley, Atenas is a little town already well known for having the best climate in the world. Indeed the weather will be in the eighty’s Fahrenheit about every single day of the year. But because of its low humidity factor, those high numbers reveal themselves perfectly comfortable. Nobody uses air conditioning for one thing; neither will you find any heating devices! Most washers and dryers stay under roof but outside the houses.
The town offers all kind of services. It is the center of a farming area in a twenty mile circle around in each direction. You can find maybe fifteen doctors, twenty lawyers, fifteen dentists, five oculists, three natural products stores, three big enough hardware stores, three good sized supermarkets and so on.
Plus a good twenty-five restaurants, most of them somehow dedicated to us, the foreigners. And you are at a thirty minute drive from San Jose or, if you go the opposite direction, sixty minutes will get you to some of the best beaches of the Pacific.
People in Atenas are very kind, friendly and open to us. They will always answer your questions the straightest way they can, trying their best to help you. When you see some of their houses, you’ll ask yourself how they can live in that but don’t be deceived on appearances. If you walk inside you’ll find a small but clean and sometimes very comfortable home. The same way when you’ll know how much they are paid an hour, you’ll ask yourself how can they make a living?
You’ll be surprised to discover that they live very well with very little and most of them have savings in their bank accounts, one thing not so many of my fellow citizens back in Quebec enjoy. They eat vegetables and lots of fruits, plus their eternal gallo pinto which is a mix of rice and beans that accompanies their meat.
Every Friday morning brings you the farmers'' market around a park where you’ll find all vegetables and fruits fresh from the field.
It is a most for the freshness of the products, their low prices and the close contact with the people.
If you live close to them, you’ll notice that they start their day around five o’clock in the morning and go to bed around nine at night. Surprisingly, you’ll notice that most families have one or two dogs but you will see very few cats.
Like most other towns in Costa Rica, Atenas counts with a large enough central park in front of its main church. This is the place where the young singles still meet to make acquaintance on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays just like in the old tico time. A friend of mine in her fifties who was walking that park by herself on her very first visit to Atenas was surprised to see that everyone was greeting her as an old friend with their usual “ Adios ” as she was passing by !
I often witnessed in that park flights of about fifty to one hundred small green parrots screeches happily, which is their way to make sure you notice their presence.
Other friends that are bird watchers said they found more parrots in Atenas than they would expect. It seems that some birds are migrating here from South America during their winter seasons and others do the same coming from USA and Canada on the opposite time of the calendar. Without mentioning the many that just live here like me. As it is said: it all depends on what kind of bird you are.
Claude Dugas is very knowledgeable about living in Atenas and Atenas real estate. After being in business for 35 years in Québec, Canada and in the USA owning a landscaping company and various automobile parts businesses, Claude moved to Atenas, Costa Rica in May 2005 as a permanent resident.
Claude soon got involved in building houses in Atenas. He designed and built seven houses in Atenas so far and now, he engages in helping Isabelle and Howard Jones serving Atenas area with their Real Estate facilities.
Claude speaks and writes French, English and Spanish and hopes to help people find their house and the life of their dreams in the country town of Atenas with the best climate in the world. Contact Claude now if you have any questions about Atenas real estate.