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Why Do Ticas (Costa Rican Women) Dig Gringos?

Is it just wallet love? Or do Costa Rican women really like Gringos for more than their bank balances?

This is a question for the ages. I live in San Jose, Costa Rica, where I regularly see middle-aged Gringos strolling the streets with a much younger, normally quite beautiful Tica on his arm. Whether out of stupidity, ignorance or jealousy, the question inevitably forms in my head; does she really like this guy, or is she fleecing him?

It’s often hard to say either way, because what many North Americans would consider fleecing is really just part of the accepted tradeoff in a Latin male-female relationship. Perhaps I should explain.

A Latina’s desires are fairly predictable. In general she wants security in the form of a decent dwelling, money for food, schooling for her kids and a man who is in the house when he’s supposed to be (or at least most of the time). It is expected that the man pay for everything (and I mean everything) as well as some stuff her family (and extended family) might need from time to time.

The assumption is often that every Gringo has a bottomless pit of money and therefore should be happy to share it with his wife/lover’s family if they need it more than he. This can seem like a raw deal to some folks and if it gets out of hand, it is. However, the tradeoff can be very good, particularly if both parties feel happy with the result.

Many older man (let’s say 55) have reached a point in their careers where they have socked enough money away to live comfortably for the remainder of their days. While there may be few thirty-something females in North American who would conceive of dating an older man of means, Latinas have no problem admitting that financial security is a major factory when considering the attractiveness of a man.

They make no bones about setting clear lines on what they feel they need in life and seek a man whom they believe can provide it. Some may call this petty or greedy but older men seem to find it refreshingly honest. Let’s face it; have you ever met a woman who didn’t want $5 more than you had in your wallet?

The difference with a Costa Rican woman is that they offer a man something in RETURN for this financial security. Costa Rican women offer a man passion, kindness, nurturing and a raw femaleness that is hard to find in a 20 year old American woman, much less 40.

Moreover, since most Latinas do find older men more desirable culturally, a Gringo can roll back the clock and date woman ten years younger than were available to him in his native land.

Not a bad tradeoff for greediness that exists in all female cultures. If I were a young woman with two kids to feed, I might be ‘greedy’ too.

But enough of the financial stuff. Gringos are also seen as something special to Latinas for several other notable reasons:

Emotional Maturity

Because the Gringo culture forces men to behave like adults (or used to anyway) much sooner than Latinos, the typical Gringo has his head on a little more securely than the majority of Ticos.

Whether it is our culture or the legal system that has scared most men straight, Gringos are faaaar more honorable in sexual relationships than Ticos.

Although a Tico can put on the Latino charm when necessary, Gringos have a quiet chivalry to them that I think goes under-appreciated. You won’t find as many Gringos cheating, lying, stealing or smacking their wives as you will Ticos.

The U.S. is the great Satan to some, but in Costa Rica the country is more like the successful, admired big brother. Costa Ricans are fascinated with U.S. culture and many women have dreams of a Gringo taking them there.

Whether for the right reasons or not, Costa Rican women do find Gringos (particularly women over 35) particularly attractive ‘catches.’ I’m certainly not complaining.

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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. With its name which translates to Spanish as "Rich Port", Puerto Rico has a population of 3,674,209 (2013 est).

According to archaeologists, the island's first inhabitants were the Ortoiroid people, dating to around 2000 BC. They were followed by the Igneri people from South America around 120 AD.

The pre-Columbian Taino culture began to develop on the island in the late 7th century. It is thought that the seafaring Tainos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493, there were an estimated 50,000 Taino on the island. Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist.

The first Spanish settlement, Caparra, was founded on August 8, 1508. Within a few years the Spanish colonized the island in large numbers and maritime travelers soon came to refer to it as "Puerto Rico," because of the growing and (rich port) of San Juan.

Over the years the indigenous population (Tainos) were exploited and forced into slavery. By the mid-16th century, they were reduced to near extinction by the harsh conditions of work and by the infectious diseases brought here by Europeans.

The importation of African slaves was introduced to provide the new (much needed) manual work force for the Spanish colonists and the growing number of merchants.

The Spanish, realizing the importance of Puerto Rico for the expansion of their colonial empire, built forts to protect their commercial interests, as well as the expanding port of San Juan from any invasion.

In fact, during the mid-17th century the Spanish successfully fought off numerous attempts by the Dutch, English and French to take control of their (now prized) colony.

But the desire for more land and riches was a powerful draw, and the Spanish began to take a renewed interest in their Central, South and North American colonies in the late 17th century.

So, with the exception of their scattered coastal outposts, and the busy port city of San Juan, the Spanish left the interiors of Puerto Rico undeveloped and un colonized for decades.

Across all of the Americas in the mid-18th century, freedom was the buzz word, and accepting the inevitable independence of their larger colonies, the Spanish refocused its attention once again on Cuba and Puerto Rico as two of the last remaining Spanish maritime colonies.

As an incentive to increase the population of Puerto Rico, free land was offered to Europeans who would colonized the island, swear loyalty to the Spanish Crown and allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church; the scheme worked worked well, very well.

In 1868, a brief independence movement surfaced in Puerto Rico. Then, in 1897, amidst growing discontent with Spain, a short-lived government was organized as an 'overseas province' of Spain with a governor appointed by Spain.

Near the very end of the 19th century, desiring strategic naval positions across the Caribbean and Central America, the United States offered Spain 160 million dollars for Puerto Rico and Cuba. Spain's answer was a resounding "No!"

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