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19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

20 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa RicaWhen you come from a different country and you want to use hand gestures in Costa Rica, you have to be a bit careful.

You might be saying something totally different with your hand gestures than you’re really planning to. You might hurt people with your gestures without even knowing it.

There are quite a few universal hand gestures that we all know, like the gesture for peace or giving someone the finger (though you shouldn’t do that).

So you won’t have to suffer any culture shock and making local citizens mad at you by using wrong hand gestures, let’s go through them

1. A number

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

In my country, we use the first three fingers on the thumb side of our hand to say we want three units of something.

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, they use the first three fingers on the pinky side of the hand.

2. I like it

There are three ways to say “I like it”. Costa Ricans then say: Pura Vida.

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

The first two ways are hand gestures as seen in the pictures.

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Moving your eyebrows up and down is another way of saying that you like something, as shown in the GIF.

3. Size

To tell someone how tall a person is, we hold our palm down

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

and Ticos do it differently

The size of an animal (something that grows)19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

 

The size of a thing

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

A very small thing or small animal

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

4. Just a moment

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

This is very similar to showing the size of a small thing or an insect for example. This means just a moment, I’ll be there in a sec. This can also mean “give me a little chance” when you’re in traffic.

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

This is one of the hand gestures that I hate most. Wait, I’m busy. This might mean a very long wait. It’s a way of telling something else or someone else is more important than you are.

5. Begging you, please

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

If you’re begging someone to help or do something for you.

6. I don’t know

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Telling someone that you really don’t know the answer needs a hand gesture as well as a facial expression.

7. So what?

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

So what, it doesn’t matter, who cares.

8. A little one

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Lifting a pinky is used to say someone is very skinny or a man packs lightly. It’s also a more decent way of giving someone the finger.

9. Say hi

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

People who know each other and say hi when being close to each other, they touch their fists together.

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Young adults who know each other, and are at a distance from each other, they give the peace gesture.

10. Busybody

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

The hand gesture to accuse someone of being a busybody, of meddling.

11. Idiot

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

He is an idiot, a moron.

12. Go straight

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

When you ask for directions, they tell you to keep going straight in the same direction.

13. Having a drink

There are several hand gestures that involve alcohol:

The man is drunk

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Please give me a drink (straight, like whiskey, rum or vodka)

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

We can order a quarter (bottle)

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

14. Talking too much

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

She or he is talking way too much.

15. Say that again?

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Could you say that again? Please repeat what you just said?

16. What a mess

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

This hand gesture is used to say that someone did something wrong or created a mess.

17. Call someone in their home

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Instead of using a doorbell (when there probably is none), you can shout from the street. The word to use is Upe, learn here what that is.

18. Finish up, leave it the way it is

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

Be done with what you’re doing, stop it now.

19. At the closing of your property

19 Cool hand gestures you can use safely in Costa Rica

This is the best hand gesture of all, the one that you will see used when you are buying a house from GoDutch Realty. When you’re ready for such a successful hand gesture, contact us.

Practice these hand gestures and become an expert on communicating with the local residents without an accent.

Special thanks to my assistant Shirley Chamorro for being a patient model.

The grammar of the Spanish version of this blog was checked and corrected by Wagner Freer of Spanish School for Residents and Expats. We strongly recommend this language school as your best choice to learn Spanish, click here to contact them.

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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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