The Perfect Country for Homestays
Year after year Costa Rica is voted in the top five of the happiest countries on the planet. This has to do with numerous factors such as natural surroundings and political stability but much of it starts inside each home of Costa Rica. If you are looking to do homestays with your students here are some reasons that make Costa Rica one of the best countries for this experience.
The Food: While places like Italy and France are known for their fine tasty cuisine you can be sure that Costa Rica has some of the tastiest and healthiest dishes you will find. One reason people in Costa Rica are so happy is that they eat well. Having a balanced diet of healthy local ingredients makes your body start to feel good also. The fruit can not get any fresher and if you like coffee you will be in heaven. The foods are compatible with the American palate. Costa Rican homes take their meals very seriously. Having a ham sandwich for lunch won't cut it and being hungry in a Costa Rican home will not be an issue.
Family Community: Probably one of our favorite reasons we love Costa Rican Homestays so much is the family atmosphere. This is seen even more outside of the capital city. Most families are surrounded by their extended family. We often see hometsays with four generations on the same block. It is a revolving door of people coming and going of all ages making you immediately feel part of the large friendly family.
Los Ticos: While all cultures are different the Costa Ricans (known as Los Ticos) are genuinely happy, fun, optimistic people to be around. Much of this has to do with being peace loving people. The country has not had an army for 60+ years. Ticos love to joke and are eager to make friends.
Language: While it is obvious Spanish is spoken in Costa Rica, it should be noted that it is a very understandable Spanish. While Los Ticos have a few slang words for the most part Spanish in Costa Rica is pronounced very clearly for travelers just starting to learn Spanish. The Costa Ricans do not have much of an accent and will often try and speak slowly. They have a hardwired level of patience that you do not see in other cultures.
Houses: The houses for the most part are close together and very efficiently designed. While some of Costa Rica has modernized into larger homes much of the homestays in Costa Rica are still the traditional smaller homes that offer a much more intimate feel, something many cultures have done away with. Some might be smaller but because they are almost all open air, patios often are an extension of the entire town you live in. I tell people that outside of San Jose, doing a homestay is amazing because each village is like one big house with open air hallways.
Would love to hear of other countries around the world where you can experience an amazing homestay experience?