In this blog, I will cover some specific examples of low costa skilled labor that make making things and repairs very affordable in Costa Rica.
Pretty much every inexpensive good or service mentioned in this blog is a result of low-cost labor.
In the States, we always wished that we could afford a housekeeper. We just never could find a way to fit it into our budget, even if only twice a month.
We are now retired in Costa Rica and it’s nice to finally be able to give us a break, eliminate the sweat and drudgery, and free up our time for other endeavors. Well, we can and do. Kathy comes every week for less than one domestic helper’s visit in the States because she is very affordable.
The same goes for gardening expenses. I enjoy working in the “yard”. But we have over an acre and much of it is still being landscaped. I can get help for “mowing,” “weed abatement”, and planting for the equivalent of around $2.00/hour. Your price may vary depending on your location but is still affordable in the most expensive neighborhoods.
You should always get recommendations for craftsmen and skilled professionals. I have an electrician who came recommended. This man is U.S.-trained, speaks English, and knows how to build, repair, and convert electrical projects to North American standards. The electrical components that you buy here cost about the same as in North America. But his skilled labor is on par with what you’d expect in the States for half the price or less.
I also have a theory that Costa Rica may have the highest per capita ownership of arc welders in the world. It would probably confirm that nearly every other household owns one, should a census be done.
Making repairs to things metal, connecting to existing things metal, or building new things metal is commonplace. AND it is comparatively inexpensive. I harken back to previous conversations about McGyver, pronounced McGeever in C.R.
He is that hero who could repair a diesel engine using for instance: a paperclip. To get past things not available or too expensive, Costa Ricans get creative and innovative and “McGiver” a solution. It often involves an arc welder. That is not to say that all arc-welding unit owners are good welders. But they do often give “McGivering” a try and they may be able to provide a solution more affordable than in the States.
Artisans produce these solid hardwood custom made furniture, and built-in cabinets or closets. Also, they finish them to your specifications. Some of our inside drawers and furniture backs employ the use of melamine-faced composite woods to save a few dollars. Nonetheless, the end product was superior to anything we could have afforded in the States.
By comparison, these furniture and cabinet products have very affordable prices compared to North America. We have had the above items made from our custom designs, from a printed catalog, and from online photos. The results we have had are spectacular. The skilled artisans use native Costa Rican hardwoods for their handcrafted products.
The author of this blog, Ticonuevo, is a US expat who moved to Costa Rica. He and his wife and used the services of GoDutch Realty to purchase a property in Costa Rica. Ticonuevo describes his own experiences of taking the step of moving to Costa Rica and getting a new life started.
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