Helen Dunn Frame
Helen Dunn Frame 


Between The Covers 

BONUS: A Moving Guide is available free of charge to purchasers of "Retiring in Costa Rica or Doctors, Dogs and Pura Vida".  It includes tips about packing, work sheets and pages for notes. Email me at helen@helendunnframe.com for the password so you may download it from my website.


Many people called me courageous because I packed up and moved to Costa Rica by myself. Knowing dreams have no deadlines I decided to follow mine and live abroad. I determined that if I ignored the opportunity I would regret it for the rest of my life.

Basically my book “Retiring in Costa Rica or Doctors, Dogs and Pura Vida” which details my adventure as well as the experiences of others, aims to enable you to make an informed decision about retiring to or part-time living in Costa Rica. Throughout the book you will find questions to ask, resources to help you get more answers, suggestions for other books to read, and websites to peruse for others’ opinions. The glimpses of life provided in the book may make the difference between a mediocre experience and your own wonderful adventure.


Bottom line, Costa Rica may stretch your creative problem solving skills but if you determinedly plan to make it work, you may come to love your life in the country. Jumping the hurdles of life in the tropics from avoiding boredom to finding areas of interest to fill your days inevitably makes you stronger and perhaps wiser. Performing due diligence will help you decide what choice to make: living in Costa Rica, vacationing in paradise, or finding an outstanding investment opportunity.

Excerpt from Retiring in Costa Rica or Doctors, Dogs and Pura Vida from the chapter called:

Legends Permeates Culture in Towns and Beaches

. . . ”As in any culture, the stories passed from generation to generation lend insight into traditions. While we may feel sophisticated and beyond such beliefs, considering such tales provides diversity and insight into people’s mindsets. Escazú, an upscale enclave of architectural sophistication and urban chic including U.S. and British Ambassador residences, North and South America and European immigrants; and trendy bars and restaurants, continues to grow expeditiously despite its fame as the “City of Witches”.

“Confirming its reputation, the municipal flag and the town seal displayed on the Town Hall each feature a broom-mounted witch, and the local soccer team is named Las Brujas (The Witches). In addition, can you believe that cautious locals reputedly still secretly consult modern day hexes before making important decisions in their lives, careers, or relationships?

“Apparently exactly how many people fall victim to scams and cons by "brujeria" (witchcraft) in Costa Rica is unknown. As a result, the sub-director del Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) called on legislators to close the loophole in the law that allows the practice of brujeria, including placing misleading ads in the media.

“If you scan the pages of the local newspapers in Costa Rica ads offer services from increasing sexual potency, recovering a lost love, to winning the lottery. Often a bruja will ask for a picture of a loved one inferring that magic can bring back that lost love.

“In the barrios, a report indicated, tarot card and palm readings cost only a few thousand colones and although no signs advertise the service on the door, everyone one knows where the witch performs the "magic". Some offer services of cleansing one's home, office or business of evil spirits; others use candles, incense and incantations. The darker side where the bruja allegedly places a curse or conjures up spells rarely appears in the ads. Magic in Costa Rica comes under different names that include "sacerdotisas”, shaman", and “diosas de la santería haitiana”.

Even in the 21st Century, Escazú remains the sleepy, mysterious resting place for pre-Columbian Indian tribes and the legendary meeting place for magical creatures. Plants with certain “powers” and “magical” herbs grow in gardens. Modern day Brujas still use them to make a man love a woman, cast spells or cure illnesses. In fact, practically all of the town’s history links with legend. The native people remain proud of their history, restored edifices, and scenery.” (A number of legends are recounted in the chapter.)

. . . “Escazú doesn’t stand alone. While the magical rituals vary with the times, witches with large followings practice their craft in other areas of the country. For example, in Desamparados south of San Jose, police discovered photos with pins, hair, ribbons, strings and other objects in a home, apparently the modern answer to sticking pins in dolls. According to the newspaper report, sometimes witches use the power for good; other times for injury. The article alleged that many prominent local citizens sought assistance with situations in their lives.

“Catholic priests have long battled superstition of all sorts especially that attributed to witchcraft, because reputedly the sorcerers in addition to causing harm use sacred Christian symbols to invert their power backwards. J.K. Rowling, billionaire author of the Harry Potter series, contradicts parents who find the magic in the books too dark. She said during an interview with Oprah that these kinds of tales survived for hundreds of years, and she predicted that they will continue to appeal to children for hundreds of years more because people enjoy the idea that magic exists in the world. "I'm not saying I believe magic is real—I don't," she said. "But that's the perennial appeal of magic—the idea that we ourselves have power and we can shape our world. . . . Even if you think it all a crock, you may gain some fascinating insights to the history of the Costa Rican culture.”




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