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Is it true that Costa Ricans never say no?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Is it true that Costa Ricans never say no?

Did you know that Costa Ricans never say no? There are many reasons for moving to Costa Rica. But the most attractive one is that Costa Ricans are nice people. They never say no.

If you compare the Ticos, with their neighbors, the Panamanians and the Nicaraguans (Nicas), they come way ahead in friendliness. If you ask a Tico a question, and he doesn’t know the answer, he won’t say he doesn’t know. He will never say no. Just to be nice to you

Ticos have a different attitude than their neighbors. In my opinion, due to the fact that they never had to really suffer through dictatorship and civil wars. Costa Rica has been in only one war, the civil war. That was the revolution of 1948. It took the fighting parties only 44 days to figure things out between them. I guess one side asked the other side “do you want to fight?” and they had another Imperial (beer). Then the other side asked the same question and the answer was “salud“.

Costa Rica has always had a huge middle class and social unrest has been practically unknown to them. Following the civil war, the army was abolished and the money usually budgeted for an army, was used to build schools, which is what made the Tico the most educated population in Central America. This is what sets them apart from the rest of their continent and why Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world.

Is it true that Costa Ricans never say no?


They are just being nice

In my opinion, because Ticos never say no, foreigners like it here. The first expats started moving down to Costa Rica and during the ’70s and 80’s Costa Rica became a retirement haven. This is why they got used to foreigners. Therefore Ticos are generally very socializing and easygoing. “I don’t have a clue” or “beats me” is not in their dictionary. They just never say no!

In the following explanation, I am generalizing and of course. This is not the way every Tico reacts to a situation. Educated Ticos will respond differently than those not so well-schooled. And those who live in San Jose will respond differently than those who live in Huacas, Guanacaste for example.

Ticos are not as direct in their response as we are; they try to be nice about it and will not just say NO like most of us do if they don’t know or can’t deliver. Even if it has to be a wrong answer.

Is it true that Costa Ricans never say no?

Samples of never say no

  • Ask for an address, and they don’t know where it is. Then, they will say: “you’re almost there, just keep going for another mile or so and turn right. If you get lost, ask again”.
  • When having a great time with them at a party, and you say “let’s get together again, this is fun”. They will agree you need to meet again but you won’t get a new date out of them.
  • Or, they might invite you to come over for coffee but they won’t give you their address.
  • Looking for a product in their store? They will tell you they don’t have it that day but to come back the next week. Although they don’t even know if they will ever have it in stock.
  • Make an appointment with them and they already have one at the same time? Then they will agree on setting the appointment and they will just arrive late or not show up at all.
  • Order a Centenario rum & coke in a bar or a restaurant and they don’t have it. Then, they’ll just serve you another rum brand. If you tell them that’s not what you ordered, they will insist it is. Because they will never say no to your order.
  • They will promise to email you certain information and they will forget. When you remind them, they will forget again. But they will promise to send it.

Is it true that Costa Ricans never say no?

Your GoDutch Realty agents will help you get used to situations like the above. Is this a reason good enough that you can make your real estate purchase through us? If you don’t mind that our agent can say no, contact us NOW.

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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