One of the many things I love about living in Costa Rica is how sustainability is on everyone’s mind, and the different ways we practice these concepts daily. Of course, we’re not perfect, but the mindset and progress toward sustainable living is high, perhaps because we all spend so much time outside, live in open-air houses, and see the impacts of climate change and human behavior all around us.
As I wake up, I hear the rushing of the Pacuare River outside my door, birdsong mingled in. I lie in bed still not quite believing that this is where I’ll call my office for the day. I’m a tour guide and my profession takes me all over Central America.
In Costa Rica, I can live out my dream of owning my own business and being close to the waves, while still having the conveniences of fast internet, banks, and supermarkets close at hand.
It is safe to say that all expectations have been long surpassed in Costa Rica. Just like in the U.S., some of my best friends are those that I exercise with and with whom I have formed community bonds.
Guatemala attracts flocks of visitors each year who are drawn to its majestic Maya pyramid in Tikal, the natural splendor of Lake Atitlán and its volcanoes, and the stunning colonial buildings of Antigua. And they all have to eat along the way. Fortunately, Guatemala’s rich culinary heritage and abundance of fresh produce create a wide range of tempting flavors to taste. I should know: I’ve traveled and led tailored tours across this country for over a decade, and I’ve discovered more than a few culinary delights along the way.
There are thousands of foreigners dotted about Guatemala quietly doing their thing. Lorenzo Gottschamer is one of them. “I was only supposed to be here for three days,” says Lorenzo. “Yet I’m still here over 30 years later.” Originally from Redwood River, California, the 68-year-old Lorenzo first decided to make the move overseas after an accident ended his career as a professional firefighter.
I don’t think I could have afforded to make this work in the States,” says expat Britini Port. “It is just too expensive and the high cost of living would make this dream unattainable.” But on a cobbled street of the colonial town of Antigua, Guatemala, Britini’s dream of a thriving business selling her own boot and handbag designs is a reality. It started in 2012.
Guatemala is a paradise for the adventuresome traveler. In the four years I’ve lived here, I’ve made a point of exploring far afield. And though I certainly haven’t seen everything, I have trekked much of this nation.
I'm making my way down the cobblestones of Arch Street, on my way to meet friends for a glass of wine at Tabacos y Vinos. As I arrive, the bells of the 17thcentury cathedral ring in the hour. Antigua, in the Department of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, is one of Latin America’s best-preserved colonial towns.