In most countries around the world, employees do not receive any Christmas bonus. Christmas bonus – Aguinaldo in Spanish – is obligatory in Costa Rica. `
You might not run a business but if you’re an expat living in Costa Rica, you probably have an employee even though you don’t realize you do. The house keeper, cleaning lady, the gardener, or the handy man that comes in regularly for any amount of hours is an employee. The caretaker, who lives on your property, is definitely an employee.
Over the years, I have met expats who think they treat their employee real well. They give them coffee in the morning, lunch and a coke in the afternoon. AND they pay them well, they say. But they really don’t because they don’t pay their employee aguinaldo.
Most employees that work for a family like yours and mine only work for a few hours. Our maid, cleaning lady or housekeeper, whatever you want to call her, is a part-time employee. Her name is Argentina, like the country, but she is originally from Nicaragua. Argentina works in our household only Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays, from 8 am – 4 pm. And Argentina is a legal resident of Costa Rica.