24/7 Medical Clinic in Playas del Coco to Make Your Vacation Safer

clinicWhen you think about vacationing in Costa Rica, most likely you are not thinking about medical issues and doctors. However, you might be one of those people who like to have everything well planned for and all details covered. May be you have a medical condition that requires for you to have a physician at hand. Those may be important details that are keeping you away from taking that dreamed vacation in Costa Rica.

Well, now that should not be a problem in planning your next trip to paradise. If you decide to come to Playas del Coco, we have a solution for you! Dr. Alejandra Mendez Rodriguez and her medical assitant and partner José Conejo have a Medical Assitance Clinic open 24/7 in Playas del Coco, Guanacaste.

They do speak English and Spanish, so language will not be a problem if you need their help and assistance. Among the services offered, you can have access to general medical services, as well as surgery services. The clinic has all the basic equipment necessary for an emergency. They also have access to the defibrillator located at the nearby JOCIMES Secury office in North Coco.

In case you have a medical condition, which needs to be taken care while on vacation, it will be a good idea to meet with the Dr. upon your arrival. Bring her a summary of your medications, medical conditions and issues, location of where you are staying and your phone number if you have a Costa Rican temporary cell phone or are carrying your U.S. cell phone.   It is also prudent for part time foreign residents with medical problems to do the same thing.  If residents have elderly friends or family visiting, check with them regarding any medical conditions or medications they are on.  If they will be spending any time in Playas del Coco area it would be a good idea to have them meet with the doctor.  She can also check ahead of time to see if our local pharmacies have their medication in case they run out or lose/damage their medications while traveling.mapclinic

As part of their community involvement, Dr. Mendez and her partner are hoping to participate in local programs like Cardio Safe Community Project, assiting Dr. Hanzel Larios with CPR classes, and reaching out to the community to encourage public service providers like police officers to take those classes.

The clinic is located in North Playas del Coco, Las Palmas, directly behing the Pueblito restaurant center, where
Dolce Vita Restaurant is located; take the anchor boulevard to the first road to the right (50 meters).

You can also contact them by phone: (506) 8808-8111 for Dr. Mendez and 8382-1815 for José Conejo, or by email: and

If you are a full time resident in the Coco area, drop by their office to see where they are located and meet them!   They welcome visitors and are happy to setup initial consultation meetings. They will make house calls on an “on need basis” or medical emergency.


Exciting News For Playas Del Coco and surrounding communities…

Presented by:  Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties, Linda Gray Owner/Broker and Cynthia Urena
marketing and rental associate.

Coco Gas Station photo 1Por Fin, At last Coco will have a fully operational gas station. Introducing Servicentro El Coco.

The Fisherman Chamber of Guanacaste (started in 2,000) announces the grand opening of the new gas station in Coco Beach this Thursday, September 1st at 3:00 P.M. The Chamber members are commercial fishing boat owners and fisherman.  There are 700 members located from Cabo Blanco to Bahia Salinas.

The Chamber lobbied for and acquired the rights for licensed commercial fisherman (which includes boats providing tourist services) to purchase gasoline tax free!  To be eligible for this tax free benefit you have to get a license from INCOPESCA (goverment entity that oversees fishing related regulations and activities) and acquire an insurance policy from CCSS ( “caja” govermnet owned insurance entity).  There are only three categories of eligibility; 1) Artesanal (small boats that fish commercially) 2) Palangre (the larger commercial boats) and 3) turistico  (fishing as a tourist recreation).

The President of the Chamber is Martin Leonardo Contreras.  He has an interesting and community related
background:  born and raised in Coco from a family of fisherman and a former math teacher.
He was asked what motivated him to get involved and lead the Chamber and he replied stating that during his childhood and wonderful lifestyle his parents provided for  him (his family have been and are fisherman) he wants to pay back  the community of fisherman.

The chamber promotes and lobbies for the rights of fisherman and continuously works to maintain and enhance the Chamber’s goals and objectives. In addition to pursuing the gas station project (financial and service oriented objective) they are also involved in the social and Martin Contreras president of Fisherman Chamber of Guanacaste signing Banco Popular loan to finance the gas station (1) - Copycommunity interests of their members by investing in the advancement of their members’ education; 25% of the chamber income is dedicated to providing scholarships and helping schools where the members live.

The Chamber and Martin have diligently worked and with painstaking efforts to get the necessary permits and paperwork to have their gas station project become a reality (4 years). The project was approved during a general “asamblea” of chamber members.  After signing with RECOPE “Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo” (another goverment entity) August 30, 2016, they are ready to open to the public  this coming Thursday September 1, 2016 at 3:00 P.M.  The station has 5 pumps offering;  super Gasoline, regular Gasoline and diesel, as well as the tax free gasoline for the licensed fisherman (one pump will be exclusive for the tax free gasoline).

The gas station project has been funded by Banco Popular de Costa Rica as well as with the backing of their 700 Chamber members.  Additionally, ADICOCO (Community association) and the local residents of Playas del Coco openly showed their  approval and support.

OK – now we share with you the location: the gas station is located 200 meters south from the Coco Public School. It will be open 24/7.  Think of the time and money we can save not having to drive all the way to Sardinal!  AND hopefully a very profitable venture for the Chamber and eventual scholarship endeavors.

Great news…. What is next for Coco?

Uber Business Is Now in Costa Rica

Uber is still in the headlines of major Costa Rican newspapers. Despite all the efforts from the “Taxis Rojos” – the official taxis of Costa Rica – to ban Uber from the country, the company seems to be growing and offering new services to its customers; first was Uber, then Uber XL and now Uber Business.

As of April 18th, 2016, the corporate service of Uber is available in Costa Rica, it was already offered in other countries like Panama and Mexico. According to an Uber spokesperson, employees from a company can all travel under one account using the same corporate credit card and with many other benefits for the corporation.

As an example, in Mexico Uber Business allows a company to register up to 1,000 employees under the same credit card. Also, the company can coordinate the transportation and approve the users that will travel from the Uber website.

Uber is growing in Costa Rica and offering an excellent service to its customers. As of now, Uber is only available in the Central Valley, but we surely hope to have the service available in Guanacaste soon.

International Guanacaste Veteran´s Association Is Working to Positively Impact the Community

Veterans PicRetiring in Costa Rica is amazing! Playas del Coco in Guanacaste, has a large number of retired foreigners who have made this place their new home. Attracted by the outstanding ocean views and the relaxed lifestyle, the proximity to an International Airport with daily flights to the U.S. and Canada, the area becomes a convenient location for retirement. One of the main questions people ask themselves when they are considering to retire to a certain community is “what is there for me to do?” Luckly, Guanacaste has a pretty active retired association called International Guanacaste Veteran´s Association.

The International Guanacaste Veteran’s Association had their monthly meeting March 19, 2016 at the A Lo Tico Restaurant (new owners – one is an active duty Navy Seal soon to retire in Coco). Linda Gray, Owner/Broker of Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties, member of the Veteran’s Association (her husband Jim is a retired Lt. Commander U.S. Navy Submarines), organized the event with the help of a devoted volunteer Lee Rhea.

There were guest speakers at the meeting. First speaker was Priscilla Solano, President of the Chamber of Tourism Guanacaste (CATURGUA). She spoke about all the projects the Chamber is working on. The primary project is to provide water for our area (Sardinal, Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco).  It appears that between the local government, AyA (government owned water company) and the local community of Sardinal, there have been disagreements about area water use, volume and infrastructure. After several years it appears the local government will be on a fast track to solve problems and approach the minority in disagreement (long story) that it is the good of the general/majority public who must prevail.  She discussed different options for water systems; desalinization, water collection/storage, and a fairly new water collection system that collects the water from the air/humidity, purifying and collecting to storage facilities.  She also talked about the airport expanding to include cargo plans and mentioned that the last week of December 2015, 149 airplanes landed at the Daniel Oduber International Airport located in Liberia, Guanacaste. (Click to Tweet this great news!)

The next speaker was Diego Lopez from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, he used to be in the Navy, now working for the Embassy as the Representative in the United States Office of Defense and he is also connected to the Humanitarian Assistance Program.  He is currently working on a project in the Filadelfia (Carrillo) area where they are delivering water filter systems to a number of communities.

He is happy to work with our local government who must submit to him and the U.S. Embassy their requests for funding special projects like water filtration, collection and desalinization.  A non-for-profit organization cannot submit directly to the Humanitarian Assistance Program.  However, Diego encourages the Veteran’s Organization and the Chamber of Tourism of Guanacaste to work together to present ideas/projects to the city in order for them to submit requests to the U.S. Embassy.  Diego said he has already contacted the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for possible assistance with the water projects.  He said they can also assist with security issues and requests also medical emergency (additional defibrillators, CPR training for the police, etc).

One of the Municipality of Carrillo attorneys was present at the meeting, Katherine Mourelo. Diego and Priscilla had the opportunity to speak to her about the projects they presented at the meeting.

The event attendees asked several questions of both speakers and there was a great deal of interaction after the presentation. The meeting created a great deal of synergy and hopefully will motivate volunteers to get and STAY involved.

Linda encourages the community to attend the Guanacaste Veteran’s Association meetings. You don’t have to be a veteran to attend or join but you do get the benefit of meeting new people, attending events that are informative and fun and the opportunity to get involved, volunteer and help promote worthwhile projects in the community.  The Association meets every 3rd Saturday of the month (except this last meeting) at Coconutz Restaurant on Playas del Coco Main Street at 11:00 A.M.

Just a reminder (another Veteran’s Project) – the Cardio Safe Community Project is having a CPR class, April 12, 2016 at the Bosque Del Mar Hotel (beach front) in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste from 9:00am to 4:00pm.  To reserve a space call Linda’s office 2670-0805 or write to her at

Private Insurance in Costa Rica – A Growing Market

insuranceThe need for insurance is something most ticos don´t think of. There is rarely an insurance culture in the Pura Vida land. Health care is provided by the State and it is an obligation for all employers to register their employees with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Car insurance is optional, and the “marchamo” (vehicle ownership and circulation tax) includes a small basic insurance on it. So, if you ask a tico about insurance, they will probably tell you it is not necessary.

However, we know insurance is a big thing for most foreigners, especially those that come from the U.S. Insurance was a government business in Costa Rica, only INS was allowed to sell insurance in the country up until 2010 when the country was forced to open up the insurance market to other companies, mostly as a result of the CAFTA negotiations. However, any insurance company that wants to do business in Costa Rica, has to be registered and approved by SUGESE, which is a government entity that oversees and regulates everything related with insurance.

In 2016 there are insurance options in Costa Rica with other companies besides INS, for example we now have Best Doctors, MAPFRE and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield is now in Costa Rica, and we know what that means for most U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica.

In our research to find out more information about the different insurance options in Costa Rica, we came across El Hombre del Seguro, contact information is available at the bottom of the article. Oscar, comes from Venezuela and has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has been in Costa Rica since the insurance market opened up in 2010. El Hombre del Seguro (the Insurance Guy) sells insurance for MAPFRE, and Blue Cross Blue Shield in Costa Rica.

He mentioned that MAPFRE offers insurance for real estate, businesses, vehicles and travel/tourism insurance. On the other hand, Blue Cross Blue Shield came to the country with health insurance and life insurance. Something interesting about the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance is that, if you are traveling from the U.S., probably your local insurance won´t cover you overseas. However, if you sign up from an insurance policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield Costa Rica, you will have international coverage for the full amount of your insured policy. Yes, you can transfer your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance from the U.S. to Costa Rica and El Hombre del Seguro can help you with the process.

On future articles we will talk about the different insurance options available through this companies. It is great to know there are many insurance options in Costa Rica especially if you are planning on relocating in this piece of paradise.

For more information on insurance contact El Hombre del Seguro: Facebook: El Hombre del Seguro / Email: or.perfil.financiero@gmailcom / Skype: oscar.javier.rodriguez.yarnoz / Cel. (506) 8307-2519

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