San José, Costa Rica
San José, Costa Rica is a city full of parks and wall murals, old locales and even older churches, traditional customs, museums, and pleasant surprises. Oddly enough, it’s a surreal mix of the familiar and foreign…to me, anyway. Much like the environment I grew up in, it’s an emerging metropolis rising up amidst its tropical surroundings. The city outskirts look like what Guam might have been just 50 years ago. The city proper resembles what Manila might have looked like almost a century ago. It hasn’t yet been overrun with skyscrapers, nor has it been industrialized to support an economy beyond tourism and export (coffee and fruit!). But there is potential. And with such an educated people, it’s certainly headed in that direction. San José is already a bustling hub of tourists and expats, motivators of change, and a cultural revolution. For the time being, however, it still often feels like a small –albeit bustling– provincial town.
Just beyond the city is the neighboring Escazú, where you can find Don Gerardo and his “masks.”