Warmer than Canada

A Family Gap Year in the Era of Trump

Christmas Tamales

'Tis the season for rainbows, blustery wind, renewable bamboo Christmas trees, and a whole host of wonderful holiday traditions here in Monteverde. Many of the Monteverde Christmas traditions began with the arrival of the North American Quaker pacifists over 50... Continue Reading →

Nationalism without Militarism, a Lesson from Costa Rica

This month Costa Rica observed a unique national holiday, Abolition of the Army Day. I will admit to some confusion about the celebration after I spotted a sign at my kids' school  announcing El Día de la Abolición del Ejército.... Continue Reading →

Guatemalan Spanish School–the Logistics

You may have read my post describing a day in the life of a Spanish-language student in Guatemala. Or, perhaps you've been trying out some of my tips for free Spanish self-study at home and, now that you've begun, you're... Continue Reading →

Wilson and Other Winged Neighbors

Back in March when we signed the lease for our new house, sight unseen, in Monteverde, Costa Rica, our manager assured me the previous tenants hadn't had any pets. Given my allergy to cats, I was relieved. But then she... Continue Reading →

Guatemalan Spanish School: A Day in the Life of a Student

Ready for a true vacation or break from your regular routine? We loved our month of Spanish lessons, in conjunction with a home stay, in Guatemala. Consider this sample day to get a taste of the experience: 6 a.m.: Wake... Continue Reading →

Start Learning Spanish at Home

Before our family left for Central America, I was determined to have us get a jump start on learning Spanish. The trick is we live in white, rural Maine--not Los Angeles--so there was no turning to adult-ed classes, or a... Continue Reading →

American Political Dissent in Costa Rica

When we told friends back home we’d be living in Costa Rica for a year, many envisioned the beach and surfing (and probably rightly wondered exactly how many tubes of SPF 60 sunscreen my pale-skinned family would need to ward... Continue Reading →

Costa Rica’s Moto: Pura Vida

Literally translated into English, pura vida means “pure life,” but after only a few days in Costa Rica, you’ll notice the meaning of pura vida is multifaceted. Ticos, as Costa Ricans refer to themselves, use pura vida in all sorts... Continue Reading →

Choosing the Right Country

There are many financial and logistical questions involved in planning a family escape abroad, but there's also the difficult question of where. The following article explains how our family settled on Monteverde, Costa Rica. We hope this outline of our... Continue Reading →

Why Take the Family Abroad?

Many of the benefits of family life abroad are immeasurable, but let's take a moment to consider some specific advantages for children, parents, and the family as a whole. Why Take Your Kids Abroad? First off, taking young children abroad... Continue Reading →

Having Already Fled… to Costa Rica

In the summer of 2016, my family of four left the state of Maine and flew to Central America. Our tickets were one-way, and we each carried a single duffle bag and backpack. We were no strangers to international living:... Continue Reading →

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