Costa Rica Travel & Living – Knowing what you want to do while in Central America will start the conversation rolling. First day in the country of your choosing try and talk to the locals about these topics whether it’s jungle walks, surf, wildlife or volcanoes. Everyone will know someone who works in that field and they’re always willing to make a call for you or send you in the right direction.
Once you find the local with knowledge hold onto that person. They will help you then pass you onto another of their friend’s in the next area of your trip. This way you will be passed from hospitality to kindness, adventure to exploration, beach side to volcano peak and from home to home. Being embraced into families gives a better sense of the culture.
Central America makes travelers nervous. There are such an abundance of horror stories circulating the Internet that it can seem that this string of countries should be placed in the too-hard basket.
Being able to understand and know when a situation could get dangerous is of major concern to people considering a trip through Central America. Travelers who have command of the local language are generally less worried than those non-Spanish speakers. But the people of Central America are friendly and if you have an open demeanor and willingness to attempt communication (even through basic demonstrations drawings and charades) then you’ll fair better than great.
It’s always nice to help people with money when you can but most of the time respect, honesty and compassion are what you pay with. New friends will give themselves easily to your endeavors. Give yourself back in any way; share your stoke, your history or your plans and be rewarded.
At times you’ll feel left out when you can’t speak the language. It’s frustrating when a person you’re interested in or who has something important to say will be excitedly speaking at you. The words bounce off and you’re left deciphering hand gestures. Use this as motivation to improve not a reason to avoid Spanish speakers.
Some simple tips are to speak around the words you’re looking for. Often the best descriptions are created when the right word is lost and you have to say every word you know that is a close fit. Also travellers congregate together, there will be someone with better Spanish who can help.
Whether you master the language or not the people will continue to help along the way. From town to town, country-to-country you will be passed along friend to friend.
By Harry Patchett