by Perry Gladstone
“There is a predictable expat growth cycle in areas like the Costa Ballena, Costa Rica and understanding it is critical if we want to recognize opportunities for growth, development and, most importantly, the kind of place it will be to live for both expats and locals alike.”
With over 600 new homes and rental projects in development over the next five years, Costa Ballena is well past the phase of visiting adventurers, risk takers, and pioneers. Early adopter investors and pensioners are already well established, which has allowed the real estate, tourism and hospitality sectors to become a significant part of our economy.
All this is just the beginning of a predictable expat growth cycle and understanding it is critical if we want to recognize opportunities for growth, development and, most importantly, the kind of place Costa Ballena will be for both expats and locals to live.
Looking at the growth pattern of similar communities in Costa Rica and other Latin American countries, we can expect a greater demand for North American/European style goods and services and an increasingly viable English-centric market. On the upside, this will benefit a wide segment of the business community with restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, home supplies, and professional services such as doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and lawyers gaining the most share.
At the local level, however, we can also expect more of a class divide if this development is not anticipated with easily accessed language classes, entrepreneurial education and the kind of practical skills development (apprenticeships and internships) that allow a greater number of locals to participate without being relegated to the labor and service industry.
Regardless of where you stand in the equation, one thing is certain. The growth cycle is well underway and now is the time for us to address it.
For a detailed overview of the expat growth cycle and its effect on local community and development please check out Perry’s full article.
Perry Gladstone is an Advisor, Coach, Mentor and full-time resident of the Costa Ballena.