By Ivo Henfling
Getting anything done in Costa Rica, sometimes just needs a nudge and sometimes needs complaining publicly. Aren’t we all used to NOT tell people when things are great? Never give anyone a pat on the shoulder? Costaricans also like a pat on the shoulder, like we all do, I believe in them. But therefore, you first need to complain and then wait for something to happen. Most of us foreigners are used to complain and most locals don’t. AND, as foreigners, we have freedom of speech and people will actually listen to us. And that’s what todays’ blog is all about. AND about the mayor of Escazu deserving a pat on the shoulder.
When I see machinery digging up our roads, I start asking around what is going on. Most Costa Ricans generally don’t ask and just keep plugging ahead. I don’t know if I should call it disinterest, wellness, ignorance or happiness. It’s part of the culture and why people are such happy people, we can learn something from that. It's the reason Costa Rica is one of the top destinations to retire.
When, some months ago, I saw machinery digging up the famous old road in Escazu, I started asking around and couldn’t even find anything about it on the Escazu Municipal website. I don't only live in Escazu but I also own Costa Rica real estate and there for pay taxes. So I try to come up for my own interest. I finally found out that it was the water company A y A who was putting in water pipes.
I saw the digging machines move up on the road and the team of road diggers made our storm ditches disappear in thin air and I started worrying. When I worry, I write blogs about it. In the hope some sensible person in the power to do something about it reads it. Plenty of the first, none of the second. So I wrote an article to the mayor of Escazu, though the road belong to the Province and not the City, which got a belated answer. Because I found out that the city of Escazu has a Facebook page. And we don’t want anything bad to be written on our Facebook, do we? I finally found out why my webmaster has insisted we should have a GoDutch Realty Facebook page. The mayor said he was “promised” the A y A would fix it.
A couple of weeks ago, I found out that also the owners of Out of Bounds B & B on the old road have been complaining everywhere they could, funny enough at different institutions than I did. But apparently, between us, we made a difference. As we speak, they’re building REAL storm gutters. Not like the ones we have everywhere, real ones built with concrete. And they are being built by the same contractor who was hired by A y A in the first place. The bonus we are getting is that now the city found out who was throwing their sewage into the rain ditches and they are making those who do fix it.
Complaining can make people realize they are doing a bad job and in this case, someone with power to make things happen, listened. I’m sure the mayor had a lot to do with it. I’m a happy man seeing that something is being done. And what makes me even happier is the fact that I live in a democracy where we are free to speak out, except for getting involved in politics. In many other countries, foreigners and even locals are ordered to shut up.
I also, publicly, would like to give the mayor of Escazu, don Arnoldo Barahona, a pat on the shoulder for NOT waiting for things to happen on its own but to be pro-active in trying to find a solution to the mess the A y A water company was making of our roads. As an Escazu property owner, I hope they also finish the job!
If there is anything you don't agree with in the above blog, feel free to leave comments in the comment box below. Thank you!!
By Ivo Henfling, your Costa Rica realtor who worries about the city of Escazu where he pays his property taxes. When you are ready to buy a home in Escazu or a building lot in Escazu, contact me now and I will make sure you will be in knowledgeable hands.