On my monthly retirement and relocation tours people always ask if it necessary to learn Spanish. I tell them it is a must if they want to broaden their circle of friends and really get the most out of the Costa Rican culture.
Unfortunately, most English speakers hang with other English speakers because of the language barrier. They are living a half-ass existence here because part of getting the most out of living in a foreign country is mingling with the locals. My friend Ed lives in the town of Grecia, Costa Rica and speaks very little Spanish. Nevertheless he has made many Costa Rican friends. Not all of them speak English so he has found a way to surmount the language barrier and communicate with them. He really has a gift and a good life life here.
Yesterday I hosted a party in my home for Marielos Alfaro Murillo who is the Libertarian party’s candidate here in Heredia. I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful day I had because I was able to communicate in Spanish. I made five or six new friends and all of them have invited me to their homes in the not-to-distant future. I am really excited about the prospect of cultivating new friendships with Costa Ricans. It really makes living here rewarding.