Tag Archives: Academic Degree

Costa Rica: social norms

Costa Rica: social norms

  • The legal drinking age is 18 and it is enforced in most situations and places, but there are exceptions. Smoking age is also 18 and it is also enforced.
  • Possession of drugs usually results in jail time. When there is a recurrence or drug dealing involved, its heavily enforced.
  • Other laws, like the restriction to have sexual relations with minors is heavily enforced.
  • For men: the appropriate clothing would be formal business clothes, like in any other country. Suit and tie. Conservative dark colored suits with shirt and conservative ties. It’s best to keep the jacket on at all times.
  • For women: Stylish business suits or dresses and matching shoes. Pants are fine. It’s best to avoid clothing that is too revealing .
  • Titles are very important and it is best to address people directly by using their professional title or Don for men and Dona for women, followed by the surname.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Is commonly used. Depending on the academic degree of the person, the word Licenciado (Licenciada for women) can be used.
  • It is advisable, although not required, to have one side of your business card translated into Spanish.
  • Present your business card with the Spanish side facing the recipient.
  • Arriving on time for a meeting is important as Costa Ricans tend be quite punctual in business situations.
  • There is usually some form of small talk before getting down to business. It is best to allow your host to begin the business discussion.
  • Suitable topics include: local culture, family, history, politics, soccer.
  • Costa Rica