Riding the rapids of the Rio Sarapiqui brought to mind the ever worsening financial crisis that is gripping the globe, including Costa Rica, where some tourism operators are reporting serious declines in reservations for the upcoming holidays.
After a weekend getaway from our urban home near San Jose, we woke to even more bad news. The Canadian dollar continues to plummet along with out spirits and commitment to stay in Costa Rica away for an entire year. It seems we couldn’t have picked a worse time to abandon Calgary’s boom — which could soon be headed for a bust.
While we’d been following the ever-worsening sub-prime problems in the U.S., we were completely oblivious to the mounting financial crisis when it rocked the rest of the globe in recent weeks. When the economic earthquake hit, we were sitting on a beach in Nicaragua which in hindsight I suppose was a blessing. What could I have done, but hold my stomach as my investment portfolio dropped like a rock in the ocean.
Ignorance truly is bliss.
After a week unplugged, we returned to our home in Santo Domingo to discover that while we were splashing in the waves, economies around the world were drowning.
Despite being in Costa Rica, we’re feeling the financial pinch like everyone else. My retirement fund account is down by nearly $10,000. Ouch. And everything here is based in US dollars, so our cost of living is going up — way up. We’re now getting 441 colones for every Canadian dollar, compared to almost 550 when we arrived (a difference of about 26 cents).
It still doesn’t make sense to me that the Canadian dollar, which a few weeks ago was almost par with the greenback, is plunging even though our economy has been strong. No offence American friends, but it’s totally unfair that because the your country goes to shit the rest of us have to pay for it.
Anyway, we’re at a crossroads: do we ride out the crisis here in Costa Rica, forget our financial woes by frolicking in the waves, or like this past weekend, the rapids? Or, do we pack it in and head home, preserving what we have left of our rapidly dwindling savings account?
After looking at a few photos from our weekend away, what would you do?
Relax. It’s only money.