Squatters Rights in Costa Rica

To show that it does not have to be all about me all the time, today I’d like to take a side road into the box canyon where my German friend, Jorg, got shot. First of all Jorg was undeniably a 30-something stud, straight up. Good looking, tall & lean, permanently tanned, cock strong, and a man of action. He was the first person that I ever met who owned and flew an ultralight – cool as heck, and he had a thriving pineapple plantation with hundreds of employees. His crop was primarily exported to Europe, but he did some business in the States also. From what I observed, he didn’t do too badly with las Latinas. Hells bells if I were a chick he could have conquistadored me, and I would have been all danke schön. But I digress.

To set up the circumstances under which he met his demise, first of all you’ll need a bit of background. In Costa Rica (CR) property rights are not inviolable; as a matter of fact they are downright sketchy. As it was explained to me, in the early days of the country’s independence most of the people lived in the capital or along the coasts. So in order to incentivize los Ticos to go forth and populate the country, the law makers wrote the laws to encourage people to homestead the jungle. This homesteading, unfortunately, did not only address vacant and uninhabited land but also abandoned land. Today in Costa Rica the definition of abandoned land is often determined by who has the best lawyer and the most muscle. My guess is that these laws have never been updated to keep up with the times because the landholdings of the rich and powerful Costa Ricans are not at risk and the business of occupying “abandoned” property is good for lawyers, and the losers in this are most often the expat absentee landlords. 

The lawyers in CR do a bang up job of separating expats from their money. There are also professional and well organized squatters that make a living by invading “abandoned” property. I am not 100% certain of how the lawyers are connected to the squatters but am sure that there is a symbiotic relationship. The squatters invade an expat’s property and stay there while lawyers sort it out. The lawyers bleed the expats dry; and more often than not at the end of the day, the squatters end up with the property because the absentee landlord runs out of money or cuts his losses and runs. The land that is targeted for invasion has been improved, almost without exception, at great expense by foreign investors. My crazy friend Tim’s dad once told me that the only way to leave Costa Rica with a million dollars was to start with at least two million. He also told me that before there was a time when he could borrow a million dollars on his signature alone but no more. He had lost his shirt in Costa Rica.

A few weeks before Jorg was shot numerous squatters had moved onto a prime section of his property. While my land was too snake infested and deep in the jungle to be a viable target for the professional squatters, it could have been targeted by a handful of hardcore want-a-be black pepper farmers. To prevent that from happening I had taken the precaution of offering Rosita’s dad free rent in a small cabin on my property, and he had accepted the offer. On the other hand Jorg had property with footage on the paved road between Puerto Viejo and La Virgen which also had a gravel/ mud road which bordered it and led deep into the jungle all the way back to my place. One day all was normal, the next day I drove past Jorg’s property to discover dozens of little huts had sprung up overnight like mushrooms and there were men, women, and children ripping out the pineapple plants and replacing it with cassava (yucca) shrubs. Things were fixin’ to get real ugly in paradise.

72 thoughts on “Squatters Rights in Costa Rica

  1. I saw a tv show about Costa Rica once: there is a snake there, that, when it bites you, it’s venom starts to dissolve your tissues within about 15 seconds, if I remember correctly. I knew then that I would never go to Costa Rica 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Each and everyone of else killed one of those snakes at least once a week for the first few months.

    We killed many more bushmasters. The Costa Rican name for the bushmaster is the ‘oxen killer.’ Ha, we hardly worried about the bushmaster but the fer-de-lance kept us on our toes 24/7/11.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For those interested in tropical vacations, I recommend Hawaii: there are literally no, or almost no snakes there. Not even garden snakes. I lived there for a year, and once in a while they would find a garden snake on the tarmac at the airport, and they would freak: when I lived there, at least, Hawaii was seriously committed to keeping the snakes out. My kind of place 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I lived on Oahu for 3 years in defense of our great nation. It was tough duty, dudes. Practically hardship. I especially hated taking visitors from the mainland to the luaus where we had to watch the girls dance.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I looked up the fer-de-lance on wikipedia. Those who may think that it will only hang out in remote parts of the jungle should be aware that this snake doesn’t mind hanging out around people, and many of the snake bite incidents actually happen inside because the fer-de-lance is not shy about entering homes.

    Know this, before you go to Costa Rica, or anywhere in South America 🙂


  4. There are not very many dangerous snakes in Western Mass, but there are a few rattlesnakes here and there. The commie pinkos became concerned that rattlesnakes in our area were becoming an endangered species, so they hatched up a plan to breed rattlesnakes on an island in the middle of Quabbin Reservoir. No one lives on that island, but people do live and camp and do things on and around the Reservoir, and snakes have been known to swim. Long story short, the locals shot down the plan, and we are safe for now.

    Here is a link to a story about it: https://www.gazettenet.com/Quabbin-Reservoir-rattlesnake-restoration-plan-on-hold-9391724

    At the end of the story, some eco nut chic from Arizona said that she was disappointed that the plan didn’t go through. She said that snakes are a stigmatized reptile, and that snakes are feared by people who don’t understand them. LOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. There were much easier ways to make money, but other ways of making money would have been far less likely to make women swoon 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I don’t think I ever considered the swoon factor when I was fixen to do summpin’ super dangerous and likely lethal to myself and others under my command. Believe it or not.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. “I don’t think I ever considered the swoon factor when I was fixen to do summpin’ super dangerous and likely lethal to myself and others under my command. Believe it or not.”

          I know that. I wasn’t referring to the military, I was focused on the snakes in Costa Rica. I am still not clear on exactly why you went up against those snakes. You say it was for money, but I am pretty sure there were easier ways to make money 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        4. “Silly Rabbit, I was hunting for Ticas.”

          Like I said 🙂 Chicks digged it, so you did it, I was right all along 🙂


        5. “Costa Rica was every bit as dangerous as being in the US Marine Corps infantry. I am losing the bubble.”

          I am sorry for not being clear. I can think of many many reasons to serve in the military that have nothing to do with impressing girls. I can’t think of any reason to do battle with deadly snakes in the jungle, other than to impress girls. But then again, I am not a guy. There are many things that I do not understand.

          And there is absolutely nothing wrong with impressing girls, and nothing wrong with girls who are impressed.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Did I tell you about the Playboy photoshoot they did at the ‘Selva Verde Resort’ near my farm? Those babes were not much interested in neither Crazy Tim nor yours truly. I wish I had known to get into their panties all’s had to do was tell them that our lives were in constant jeopardy. Who knew?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Secretary make a note of this please. This (JAX’s comment above) should be a topic for discussion at our next quarterly Hook-Up.”

      Why wait to have the discussion? Why did you go to Costa Rica and take on the snakes? Why? If not, on some level, to impress girls, why did you do it? To test your own limits, maybe? Is this a guy brain thing that I am just not getting? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, but. There were lots of much safer places you could have gone to make money. Alaska, for instance. The North Slope. Texas, the oil fields, lots of places. Lots of jobs. But you picked by far the most difficult job in one of the scarier places, and I am probably wrong about you doing it to impress girls-I was just talking off the top of my head, but I am not convinced that you did it totally for the money. I think there must have been some other reason.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. “Pleased to tell me the reason I went to CR.”

    I don’t know. I get the feeling that you like to push your limits, and going to Costa Rica was one example of that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all I have. But I don’t understand why my suggestion that you like to push your limits and might be interested in impressing girls is controversial. Those are both good things, wonderful qualities.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Because, in my mind believe it or not, they are separate activities. I think maybe you’ve got chickbrain, JAXson.”

          Are they really separate activities? For you, maybe, but for a lot of guys, I am not sure that they are separate activities. Not saying that guys only do dangerous things to impress girls: they like to push their limits, and the fact that girls are impressed is a nice side effect. But they aren’t totally separate activities.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Did you mean to say “couch?” I am not trying to put you on the couch. I am sorry, I wasn’t even trying to have a serious conversation, just made a stupid offhand remark, and it led to this. It is entirely possible that men would continue to do totally dangerous things even if every woman on earth hated them for it. I am in way over my head here, I give up 🙂

          If you meant to say “coach”, I have no idea what you mean 🙂


  7. I was thinking of this song when I made that comment: https://youtu.be/7sSExuyL_X8

    Impressing girls and doing dangerous things are totally separate activities for you, Simon, but for some guys they go hand in hand. Which does not mean that impressing girls is the only reason they do dangerous things, but the activities go hand in hand. There is at least one guy who agrees with me about this: the guy who wrote this song 🙂 And I understand that not all men are the same, and what is true for some is not true for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I was in college, I did acting, and I knew a guy who ran a jousting company. I was 21 or 22 at the time, and very stupid, and the guys involved were several years older than me: I didn’t grasp how dangerous what they were doing really was, and they were totally sure of themselves and confident that they could do it safely. They couldn’t: no one can. I only took part in one joust: I played the princess, and watched as my friend almost got killed when he got knocked off of his horse. That was the first and last joust I ever participated in. But even after that, my friend wanted to keep doing it. Why?

    Well, if you could have seen the way the girls lined up for signatures and phone numbers afterward, you might understand. It was different for me, because I knew these guys in real life, I cared about them and didn’t want them to get hurt, and also, I knew them in real life and was not completely taken in by their stage personas. I knew them long before I ever saw them joust, so I never quite got the effect that jousting had on women, but it was undeniable: girls would line up for miles and wait in line for hours to give these guys their phone numbers. Looking back on it, it was so stupid, and I regret that I was involved even once. But there is no question: the effect it had on women was one of the reasons they did it.

    I don’t understand why this is controversial. Men influence women, and women influence men, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Every woman who lined up to give her phone number to one of those young idiots was influencing men for bad-I was influencing them for bad too, and I deeply regret taking part in it. On the other hand, women who object to “toxic masculinity” and don’t want men to ever do anything remotely dangerous are also influencing men for bad. Assuming there is a good reason for it, men who do dangerous things ought to be admired and respected: there is something wrong with women who don’t admire and respect such men. If men are doing dangerous things for stupid reasons, that is different: that should be strongly discouraged, but I would never put Simon in that category.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Or if there were any cute ones, they got the hell out as soon as possible and were not anxious to shack up with some crazy gringo who would probably die any day now from a snake bite or bullet.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Thinking about this more, Simon, I suspect that one reason you don’t seem to get what I am saying is that you have been incredibly blessed: you rarely had a problem getting attention from women, regardless of whether you were doing dangerous things or not. Life isn’t like that for most men.

    Most of the guys who did that jousting thing were total dorks in real life, and one of them was just downright homely. He was both a dork and homely, but when he rode around on his horse and did the jousting thing, women would line up for miles for a chance to sleep with him. That was a very unusual experience for him. Most of the other guys got some attention from women in real life, but they were just normal guys, and most of the time, most women didn’t really notice them, until they did the jousting thing, and then all of a sudden they were rock stars. For a lot of relatively normal guys, the willingness to do dangerous things is The deciding factor in whether they will get female attention or not. That was never the case for you, but for a lot of men, it is the case, and there is no getting around it. That isn’t the only reason they do dangerous things, but it’s a factor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *I call them dorks with the utmost affection, really I do. I loved them so much, and always think of them fondly, but they were nowhere near as cool in real life as they were on stage: no one ever is. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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