Costa Rica Guy : Why the Blog?

Who Am I?

Well, that “Costa Rica Guy” of course…

Here’s “My Costa Rican Story” from an old blog post with the same title….

One question that I frequently get asked is, “So Scott, how did you end up in Costa Rica? What’s your story?” I usually respond by asking them how much time they have. Since I don’t believe I have addressed that question in this blog, here goes….caution: I don’t recommend that anyone else out there follow the same route to Costa Rica that I did….

I was practicing law back in the late 90’s in Charlotte, North Carolina when I got the idea that I wasn’t really cut out for the legal profession. I decided to get involved with a golf-related travel company in my home town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That didn’t last too long, however, and I found myself in the non-enviable position of being jobless after having recently changed careers. After much soul-searching I came up with the idea of starting a company that would help small business owners with exit strategies. That company was called Live Oak Capital Advisors. Over the ensuing years I served as advisor to companies of all types from technology to manufacturing. One day, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon a deal with a privately-owned university in San Jose, Costa Rica (a referral I received from an attorney in Greensboro, North Carolina of all places). That was in 2001 and this deal brought me to Costa Rica for the first time. For some reason, the owner of the university (known at that time as Universidad Interamericana) took a liking to me and ended up hiring my small firm to help him find a buyer. Two years later the deal closed and Universidad Interamericana, with campuses in Heredia, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama, became the property of Laureate Education (formerly Sylvan) of Baltimore, Maryland, a publicly-traded education company with campuses around the world. Since then Laureate has gone on to make several more acquisitions in Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras and as a consequence has become the major player in private education in this region.

During the course of the ups and downs in that deal many things happened to me both on personal and professional levels. On a professional level during the time spent here I began to notice that Costa Rica had the potential of becoming a tourism juggernaut in this region of the world. Therefore, I got the idea of launching a travel company which I still own and operate, Package Costa Rica. On a personal level I found myself, as a consequence of poor decisions on my part, divorced and homeless. So I moved to Costa Rica permanently to pursue life and love. And the rest, as they say, is history. I began Package Costa Rica in 2004 and since then we have brought well over 1,000 tourists to this country. I continue to remain wildly optimistic that we have barely seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of tourism growth in this country. Following the explosive tourism growth we have also experienced a real estate boom. That has been both good and bad. Good in the sense that it has brought much foreign capital to a country that needs it. Bad in the sense that uncontrolled growth, and some of it has indeed been “uncontrolled,” threatens the very reasons that so many people are drawn to this country to begin with. That is, its unrivaled natural beauty and overwhelming biological diversity. I am now tapping my past experience in business, tourism, marketing, law and deal-making to assist those who would like to develop here, or transition to Costa Rican life. However, in my role as consultant I will seek to work only with those that possess a “sustainable” mindset in terms of their Costa Rica objectives. That is, “sustainable” in terms of sustaining the resources that make Costa Rica so special, its natural splendor and its people, so that generations to come will be able to enjoy this country in the way that I have had the privilege to enjoy it. You see, I may have come here in 2001 with nothing in common with the ticos (Costa Ricans). However, now I consider myself (as we like to say here) “mas tico que gallo pinto.” That is, more Costa Rican than the typical meal known as gallo pinto that is served at almost every breakfast.

Ways to get in touch with me….

Email me: scott@packagecostarica.com
Call me (toll-free from U.S.): 1-866-424-6439
Or, if you happen to be in my neck of the woods, Costa Rica: 8730-3510

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