Friday News Roundup: Yoda, 5 de Mayo, and Healthcare

I know we’re a day late on the May the 4th be with you stuff, but this morning we were walking through Barrio Aranjuez, just northeast of downtown San José, when we saw the above sign. Nice chalk art, and we appreciate the little play on words with Yoda selling coffee (yodo es a Costa Rican slang term for the drink). This coffee shop, called Terminal Avenida 9, is located 50 meters west of the northwest corner of Calderón Guardia Hospital.

They also have cookies.

In fact, if you’re in the mood for an inexpensive, traditional Costa Rican breakfast, there are a number of good sodas on Avenida 9 that range from little gallo pinto stalls to more creative breakfast fare.

Notice: Costa Ricans Do Not Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Some folks have been asking me what Ticos do to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The answer: nothing. It is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s surprising victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. You’ll be hard pressed to find massive sombreros, fake mustaches, cheap margaritas, or hordes of drunken gringos appropriating a holiday about which they know nothing.

Unlike the U.S., Costa Rica Has Universal Healthcare

With the U.S. House of Representatives voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a lot of people up Stateside are worried about what this means for their personal insurance policies and how much it will cost.

For foreigners traveling or living in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Social Security system runs clinics and hospitals throughout the country that are available free of copays or bills for all workers on a payroll in the country. If you’re not an affiliated worker here, you can still use your private insurance at hospitals, or pay cash: basic consultations generally cost a third to a fifth of what you’d pay back in the U.S., and oftentimes run much less than that – we’ve heard of many cases where foreign patients have had to pay nothing, or just a symbolic amount. For a more thorough overview of Costa Rica’s healthcare system, check out International Living’s synopsis.

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