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Living in Costa Rica and you miss the traditions from your home country?

Living in Costa Rica and you miss the traditions from your home country?

When you are living in Costa Rica, you soon might miss your countrymen, your own traditions and to be able to speak your own language. Some nationalities are well presented in Costa Rica and some are not.

There might be certain specialty foods from the homeland that you cannot purchase here or don’t know where to go. Bouillabaisse, Italian antipasto, Frikandel speciaal, Smörgåsbord, Moussaka, Shoarma and so many typical food specialties that you will start missing after a while if you don’t know how to cook it or you can’t get the ingredients in Costa Rica.

Let’s try to find home away from home for you in this blog today.

There are several clubs of different nationalities in Costa Rica, with and without a clubhouse. Most gather only when there are special occasions or typical local holidays and are mainly organized by their embassies. I usually try to keep my blogs short and powerful but since there are so many nationalities living in Costa Rica, I felt I had to touch base with the largest groups at least.

The Unites States Club

The US embassy always organizes the 4th of July celebration and picnic Costa Rica, and was in the past organized at the house of the US ambassador in Escazu.  Recently, the American Colony Committee, host of the Traditional Independence Day Celebration in Costa Rica has taken over. The Picnic is now organized at the Cervecería de Costa Rica, the Costarican beer factory, near Ciudad Cariari. Now, each North American citizen is allowed to bring one Tico friend. Proof of US and Tico citizenship will be checked at gate. I don’t know if other nationalities are allowed to be invited now as they were before. You can also go & enjoy the concert and fireworks at Avenida Escazu starting at 5 pm. This is the ONLY event organized for the US citizens, apart from several women’s clubs and the bridge club, as far as my information goes.


US Food Tradition = Burgers  US Food Tradition = Pumpkin Pie

US Food Traditions = Burgers and Pumpkin Pie


US Sport Tradition = American Football  US Sport Tradition = Baseball

US Sport Traditions = American Football and Baseball


US Tradition in Costa Rica = 14th July Independence Day Picnic

US Tradition in Costa Rica = 14th July Independence Day Picnic

The Canadian Club

For Canadians living in Costa Rica, there is a club 200 members’ strong, called The Canadian Club of Costa Rica. The club encourages networking and the use of their business between fellow Canadians in Costa Rica. There are a few events during the year, like their regular monthly luncheons, usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except July & December as well as an Event plus lunch at Finca Caballo Loco, a Potluck Lunch at Hotel La Rosa de America in La Garita and a Thanksgiving Dinner.  The club also engages in charitable work through the very active Outreach program.


Canadian Food Tradition = Poutine  Canadian Food Tradition = Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Canadian Food Traditions = Poutine, Pancakes and Maple Syrup


Canadian Sport Tradition = Lacrosse  Canadian Sport Tradition = Street Hockey

Canadian Sport Traditions = Lacrosse and Street Hockey


Canadian Tradition in Costa Rica = Canada Day

Canadian Tradition in Costa Rica = Canada Day

The British Club

The British Club organizes the famous Guy Fawkes once a year on the weekend closest to Nov. 5, English citizens and friends gather at “Hotel Club del Mar” in Jacó. For those who enjoy British sports can connect with the Costa Rica Cricket Federation or find out where to play real rugby in Costa Rica.

If you’re looking for a real English pub, try the Hoxton English style pub in Barrio Escalante on the east side of San Jose, a great place for fish ‘n’ chips with a Guinness. For real British food in Costa Rica, try the Taj Majal in Escazu.


British Food Tradition = Fish 'n' Chips  British Food Tradition = High Tea and Scones

British Food Traditions = Fish ‘n’ Chips and High Tea and Scones


British Sport Tradition = Rugby  British Sport Tradition = Cricket

British Sport Traditions = Rugby and Cricket


British Tradition in Costa Rica = Guy Fawkes Day

BritishTradition in Costa Rica = Guy Fawkes Day

The Dutch Club

Being Dutch, my children grew up with the Dutch Sinterklaas en Zwarte Pieten, the local Santa Claus and his black helpers, in the month of December and I used to enjoy the fresh herring at the liberation of the city of Leiden around September / October every year. The Dutch club, Club Holandés de Costa Rica or De Nederlandse Vereniging Costa Rica, organizes a new year’s reception, a tennis tournament, a yearly barbecue, Easter Eggs search for children, Reception party of Orange on Kings day, free market and Dutch Fair at InBio-Parque, Sjoelen, Herring party, soccer competition, Klaverjas tournament, and walking tours. Unfortunately, there are no Dutch restaurants that I know of, in case you’re interested to eat typical Dutch food.


Dutch Food Tradition = Frikandel Speciaal, Kroket en Patat Met  Dutch Food Tradition = Oliebollen en Appelflappen

Dutch Food Traditions = Frikandel Speciaal, Kroket en Patat Met, Oliebollen en Appelflappen


Dutch Sport Tradition = Sjoelen  Dutch Sport Tradition = Fierljeppen or Bongelwuppen

Dutch Sport Traditions = Sjoelen and Fierljeppen or Bongelwuppen


Dutch Tradition in Costa Rica = Haring happen

Dutch Tradition in Costa Rica = Haring happen

The German Club

The German club of Costa Rica, Club Alemán de Costa Rica, was founded in 1910 and owns its own building on the east side of San Jose, in Los Yoses. The Germans are very well represented by a large community in Costa Rica, starting with immigrants like Steinvorth, Peters, Sauter, Fabian, Lehmann, Knöhr, Reimers and Koberg, now all names that are fully integrated in Costarican society. Nonetheless, the German nationality is one of the largest foreign communities in Costa Rica and therefore they have their own building with restaurant, tavern and terraces. If you enjoy Linsensuppe mit Kasseler, Wurst und Brötchen or Jägerschnitzel or even Reibekuchen mit Apfelmus oder Käsecreme und Räucherforelle, you’ve found your place.

In Escazu, you can also find the German Butcher “Tom Tom”, not cheap, but with real great meats and other foods. In Liberia is a German Bakery. In Ciudad Colon is a real good German Restaurant, Maya’s Biergarten and Lounge where I have had some real good food and they have a great selection of German beer. In Atenas, where lots of our readers live, you should pay Balcón del Café a visit, where Melanie cooks great food.   

If you like German beer, sauerkraut and white sausage, the Humbold Schule, the German school, organizes the original Oktoberfest every year in different places, check the local papers for more information when you’re getting close to October. Avenida Escazu also organizes an Oktoberfest now.


German Food Tradition = Bratwurst und Sauerkraut  German Food Tradition = Apfel Strudel mit Vanilleeis un Schlagzahne

German Food Traditions = Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut, Apfel Strudel mit Vanilleeis un Schlagzahne


German Sport Tradition = Schlagball  German Sport Tradition = Hammerschlagen

German Sport Traditions = Schlagball, Hammerschlagen


German Tradition in Costa Rica = Oktoberfest

German Tradition in Costa Rica = Oktoberfest

The Italian Club

Italians also have their own club, though they share it with the Cultural Club Dante Alighieri that teaches the Italian Language. They used to have a restaurant many years ago but I guess all the competition has made them close down. Costa Rica has thousands of Italian restaurants all over and many don’t only have pizza. To name a few, in different qualities and price ranges: Andiamo La, Di Bartolo, Bell’Italia, Da Marco, Il Pomodoro, L’Olivo, La Spago and Alida in Atenas.

If you are looking for some Italian entertainment later at night, I can recommend La Piola Lounge & Bar in the Paco, Escazu or the newer Sangria Bar in Escazu and another in Ciudad Colon

No matter where you come from, Costa Rica has expats from your country for sure. Most are not organized in clubs but your embassy will be able to give you a hint of where the party is. I have not taken into account the Spanish club and the French club (most won’t read my blogs anyway) and many parts of the world like Russia, the Asian continent, the African continent, as well as many other places, sorry about that.


Italian Food Tradition  = Festa dei sette pesci  Italian Food Tradition  = Antipasti

Italian Food Traditions  = Festa Dei Sette Pesci, Antipasti


Italian Sport Tradition = Pallone Col Bracciale  Italian Sport Tradition = Pallapugno

Italian Sport Traditions = Pallone Col Bracciale, Pallapugno


Italian Tradition in Costa Rica = Italian Day on the Drive

Italian Tradition in Costa Rica = Italian Day on the Drive


The advantage of living in Costa Rica is that there is such large mix of nationalities that live in this beautiful country, even if you can’t get to enjoy your own traditions, you can still enjoy others, apart from the Costarican traditions. If you are reading this blog while doing your due diligence, and you will be in the market to purchase Costa Rica real estate in the Central Valley, try to live the “Ultimate Real Estate Experience” and do business with a GoDutch Realty agent.

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Photo credit: jamiejayw via photopin cc




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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