We are living a strange and fraught moment in history, which has presented a new set of challenges for travelers. A journalist from the United States who recently stayed at Jicaro Island Lodge while researching a story on Nicaragua posed a question that challenged us at the Cayuga Collection: How am I perceived in Latin America as a tourist from the United States these days?
It is a fair question. In the US media, there has been a lot of harsh rhetoric targeting Mexicans. As a result, it is no surprise people traveling to Latin America wonder if they may encounter a backlash. Are we safe? Are we welcome? These are basic questions people ask themselves before deciding on a destination.
Inspired by this uncertainty that potential visitors may feel, we put our thinking caps on and did some soul-searching at Cayuga. We are happy to report that you are not only safe at our hotels & lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, you are more than welcome. We are big believers in building bridges between people and cultures, which seems more pertinent now than ever before. With so much talk about walls, separation and division across the globe, on our patch of the planet we are all about bringing people together – and bringing them closer to nature.
For the most part, Latin Americans can distinguish between the people and their governments very well. In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, you won’t be personally blamed for your president’s rants. We know how to spot people with good hearts and right intentions. Of course, commonsense advice on respect applies. Make sure you act like a visitor. A little humility goes a long way when traveling in a culture other than your own. Here are some guidelines to follow.
Don’t assume everybody speaks fluent English. If they do, show your appreciation.
Say the magic word. A “gracias” and a smile will take you far in Latin America, and right to people’s hearts.
Always ask permission, whether it is to take a photo of someone or touch their handicrafts.
Don’t dwell on politics. Instead, talk about soccer, food, cold beer and fun things to do in the area.
We are also happy to share that Costa Rica is one of the world’s most peaceful and tolerant countries, a stable democracy that has no military and stands as a global leader in sustainability. At the Cayuga Collection properties, you will know right away why that is so.
Our people are our power. This is where we draw our good energy and the great impressions that our guests walk away. For the staff at Cayuga, it matters not where you come from. If they come with the right attitude and an open mind and heart, we give our all to guests.