Getting the Right Information
We are in the business of helping people, helping expats. We cannot help our fellow expats unless we gather and use the right information.
Hundreds of people reach us every month asking us hundreds of questions about all the problems they have. We try to address these questions to the best of our abilities. Our business almost seems like a helpline. While selling services is what puts bread on the table, it has become part of our policy to address all the questions we receive on a daily basis.
The COVID 19 crisis has significantly increased the volume of questions and concerns the expat community has. Certainly, we aim to share the most accurate and updated information possible.
We have noticed people are concerned about the veracity of the information that is published out there. In this day and age, this is not an exclusive issue to Costa Rica. In recent years the spread of misinformation has generated a lot of conflict in our societies.
In our business, we have been asked several times to confirm whether the information published by another outlet is accurate or not, particularly, articles from the Costa Rica Star. Two articles were brought to my attention within the past weeks.
The Costa Rica Star published an article stating that residents will lose their residency if they leave, which was incorrect. Later the article was corrected. Today, there was one published by Laura Gutierrez, also with some incorrect information.
Inaccurate information is a persistent issue with the Star. Back in January 2014 I wrote an article about that same problem. You can read it here.
This was the issue; the Costa Rica Star their article stated that people with tourist visas could extend those tourist visas by paying a fee of $100 USD, and that simply was not true.
There were other issues with the post, the most significant being it was a carbon copy of an article by AM Costa Rica from 2010. You can read the article by AM Costa Rica here. Thus, in 2014 they were publishing news from 2010, the information was just too wrong and too out of date.
This created a lot of confusion with the expat community and many people got very upset. The Tico Times went on to publish a story about the Star’s snafu and expats even created a petition to prevent businesses from advertising in the Star.
It requires a lot of work to do research, to confirm the right information, and write it, to edit it, and to publish it. In our business, being primarily a legal business, there is an enhances responsibility to provide factual information. Over the course of the years we have been fortunate to assist news publications both domestically and abroad with fact gathering. Here is a collaboration with CBC news from Canada.
I can tell you this:
- These days is exceedingly difficult for the average person to get the right information. Always check your facts.
- I do not know Laura Gutiérrez, I am sure she is a lovely person and that she has successfully helped a lot of people resettle in Costa Rica. But she is not an attorney, it is not the correct source for legal advice or information.
- I cannot recommend reading the star because I never read it on my own volition. I just seemed to be compelled to check whether they are correct or not. If you are unsure about its content, then do not read it or share it. There are plenty of reliable sources of information out there. Do your homework. We do ours.
Please let us know what matters are important to you and we will continue to publish new content on a regular basis.