What is a MacGyver in Costa Rica
Do you know what a MacGyver in Costa Rica means? TicoNuevo wrote a blog about hardware stores in Costa Rica this week. I would like to go a bit deeper into the matter. He said: “be prepared to substitute or make do with something other than the perfect solution”.
If you live in a third world country, you don’t have access to a lot of things that are readily available in the first world. If you can’t buy it ready made, you create a MacGyver.
When I moved to Costa Rica over 30 years ago, there was only one hardware store in Santa Ana. It wasn’t even a real hardware store.
It was a 15 X 15 feet corner in the back of the only supermarket in town. Anything you had a quick fix at home, you had to do with all you could find in those 15 X 15 feet.
At the time, there was this TV series MacGyver. That’s how the Ticos learned how to quick fix anything with anything at hand. The way of quick fixing was called a MacGyver. MacGyvering is quite normal in Costa Rica.
I’ve used photos from “Solo in Costa Rica” before because they show third world moments so well. You will never find the kind of MacGyver solutions where you come from.
In Costa Rica, for example, we don’t have these “ U-haul rentals” so you can move your household cheaper when you do it yourself.
Here, you need to find a truck for hire, which can generally be found at the hardware stores. But many cannot afford a truck for hire and they have their own “cheap solution”, a MacGyver solution.
MacGyver’s in Costa Rica
If you have lived in Costa Rica for a while, you will understand that most of these solutions shown in the photos don’t have anything to do with the availability of the materials. TicoNuevo told you all about that in his blog about hardware stores. Some of these quick-fix solutions take an amazing amount of imagination. The imagination of a MacGyver.
Most of these quick fixes are found for a lack of financial possibilities, other than a lack of availability of materials. Many locals just cannot afford a better solution and the system allows them to be inventive and save money, or what we call “Hacer un MacGyver”.
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