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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 12/30/2022

Is Costa Rica Safe?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

The short answer is YES!  Costa Rica is a very safe a very pura vida country. Costa Rica has the unfortunate geographical disadvantage of being in Central America which constantly groups it with other less peaceful countries. People hear Central America and automatically think crime and violence. That is NOT Costa Rica! Costa Rica takes great pride in being DIFFERENT from its neighbors. There is crime in Costa Rica of course, but it is no different than your country. Costa Rica’s reputation of peace and tranquility is well deserved. Here are 5 MYTHS about safety in Costa Rica.

  • All of San Jose is dangerous.

Like any big city, like mine and like yours, there are parts of San Jose to stay away from at night. As an ESL teacher there are ZERO reasons for you to be in these parts at night. There are great parts that are beautiful and safe, and parts you shouldn’t be in at night.  Don’t go to the bad parts at night. Problem solved.

  • In order to teach ESL in Costa Rica, I need to work in San Jose.

Again problem solved. Most of our grads, I would estimate it at 80%, don’t work in San Jose. I will repeat that there is nothing wrong with working/living in San Jose, however, most of our grads work and live in Barva or Heredia.  Heredia is a beautiful university town with a small town vibe, while still retaining its University City vibe. Lots of great bars, and young people studying, and eager to meet foreigners. Very safe.

Reasons Why Barva, Costa Rica is a Perfect Location to Get TEFL Certified

Things to Do In and Around Heredia

  • Even though serious crime is rare, there is a lot of small time pickpocketing etc.

This is not the case in our school town.  There are almost ZERO tourists in Barva, Heredia, therefore logically, there are zero pickpockets. Small time idiot pickpockets flock to tourist zones (the beach). Therefore Barva is immune to these idiots. They all head to the tourist areas. This is one more reason to take your TEFL course in Barva. We have an amazing place to take your TEFL course.

  • There is nothing I can do to reduce the chance of being a victim.

Obviously this is wrong. Simple common sense can go a long way to making sure that you avoid being a victim.

  • Take a taxi or better yet, an UBER, home from the bar at night.

99% of robbery stories start with the phrase “So I was walking home from the bar alone at 2am….”

STOP this! There is ZERO reason for you to be walking home from the bar alone at 2am. TAKE A TAXI! TAKE AN UBER! Don’t have that last beer! Use that money to take a cheap UBER. It’s a NO BRAINER! Use your brain.

  • Watch your STUFF!

95% of our stories of victims of crime is petty crime. Admittedly this is less traumatic, however, it is still a pain in the ass. So WATCH YOUR STUFF! I personally had my cell phone stolen. It SUCKED!  BUT IT WAS MY FAULT. WATCH YOUR STUFF! We always say, "Never carry more than you are willing to lose, and always keep your eyes on it."

  • I can judge San Jose because “I’ve been there.”

Just because you have been to the area around the bus station doesn’t mean that you know San Jose. No city should be judged by their bus station area. My city is beautiful, however the area around my bus station is pure ugly, gross, disgusting. Anyone who came to my city and judged my city based solely on the area around my city’s bus station area, would be missing out. Most tourists who have an “expert opinion” of San Jose don’t make it past the bus station area. There are some beautiful amazing parts of San Jose. Your tourist friend’s taxi ride direct to/from the bus station didn’t go to those beautiful parts.

Enjoy Costa Rica. Keep your eyes open and take simple precautions, and your stay here will be filled with great memories.  Still need to reserve your seat in one of our 4-week, onsite TEFL trainings?  Get in touch with us today!  

August:  Barva Festival

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