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What is Qué Polada in Costa Rica

What is Qué Polada in Costa RicaIf you want to get along with your Tico neighbors, you really don’t want to commit una polada. You don’t want those Tico neighbors or friends to think that you a person of little culture and education. Because then you’ll be a polo.

Polada = stupidity, an act of bad taste.

Polo = A person with very little education, or culture, out of style, with uncivilized behavior.

A polada shows in the behavior of a person. Let me give you some samples of a polada.


You can say que polada to a person who takes selfies in the most incredible locations:

·         The bathroom

·         The laundry room

·         In front of the closet

What is Qué Polada in Costa Rica

Showing off

You can say que polada to a person who shows off with something that belongs to someone else, like showing off with a new car that is owned by a friend.

Or showing off in front of your friends that you speak Spanish and you really only know a few words!


Cleaning your ears with a set of keys is also a polada!


Ticos, when using the word “you”, they use Usted or Vos. A polada is using the word Tu.


Que polada when someone posts everything that they do or think about during the day, on Facebook.

Dining out

It is a polada not knowing how and which knife and fork to use when dining out.

Check this polada



Qué Pinta

A pinta is a much different person than a polo. If you say “que pinta” to a person, it’s because that person is dressed strangely. A pinta is often also a pachuco.

Also, you can say ese mae es una pinta, which means a strange person or a criminal.


Maicero is used instead of the word polo, although a real maicero is a farmer, a hick or a country bumpkin (as an insult). Farmers are now also educated, so you really have to be careful who you want to call a maicero. You’d be talking about a farmer who is still used to the old customs. One who hasn’t traveled and has not only knowledge and wisdom, but one who has a strong opinion.

Being a maicero is not a bad thing. It’s someone who knows the local culture and traditions down to the little details. And of course, everything about the local kitchen.


Chonete = a typical campesino hat used by a polo or maicero, but introduced again by a large group of people before the 2018 Soccer World cup Russia as the national Costa Rican headdress. All three people in the main image wear a chonete.

If you’d like to learn more about the Costa Rican culture and how to prevent culture shock, read more blogs about this topic. Contact us for any real estate requirements you have.

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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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