Habla Espanol in Tico Land?

Passport applications:  CHECK

Airline ticket reservations: CHECK

Language school:  CHECK

We plan to study Spanish  during our first week in Costa Rica this summer in the city of Heredia, not too far from San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica).  Heredia  is  in the central valley.  Climate here: “spring like” year round, per travel guides.  Heredia is an older city with lots of schools.  Our language school (CPI) encourages students to live with a typical “Tico” family.  (Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticos”).  The plan is to go to school for 4 hours per day, then have the afternoons for site-seeing and (gasp) homework.  I think we are expected to converse in Spanish while we are with our hosts – makes sense – best way to learn a new language.  Should be a real experience for the boys, as this will be a very different cultural experience for them.  Nothing like just jumping into the immersion!

A little information on the city of Heredia – population 20,000.  Student population 12,000!  This is a city of schools – both universities and language schools.  It is also know as the “City of Flowers”.   A colonial city, unfortunately, most of the old adobe structures have been destroyed by earthquakes.  Adobe, by the way, is on the big time “no-no” list in Costa Rica for that very reason!   It comes down easily and  it comes down hard!  Ouch!

The province of Heredia is known for it’s coffee plantations – “Grano de oro” (grain of gold), grows beautifully in the surrounding volcanic mountain countryside.  In fact Costa Rica B. C. (before coffee),  was a poor, forgotten tiny colony.  Coffee changed all that , transforming the country to one of the areas more stable  and wealthy.  One of the local roasters “Cafe Britt”, supposedly has a great tour, so I hope to learn more about the C.R. coffee culture as well.

Another “biggie” for me will be the Heredia Saturday Market – described as a feast of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, flowers, etc. all from the locals.   I’m wondering how it will compare to our Greenville, SC Saturday market – stayed tuned!  Pics in June!


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