Getting Set Up
Follwing some details about getting hooked up to public services, craftsmen, etc
Electric connection: Go to the ICE office in Cobano and submit an application. You will need a copy of your escritura, your cedula or the personeria juridica of your corporation, and a copy of your passport and your plano. If you are transferring the billing name, you need a letter of authorization to transfer from the current name as well. Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are trying to be “wildlife friendly” area, so please request insulated lines and “boots” on your transformers. Many animals suffer horrific deaths from electrocution.
Water: Wells can be dug within your property, but are also subject to approval of permits by MINAE. There are protection zones for neighboring wells, so care must be taken when buying property that there is a relevant spot to dig a well. A building permit for a home will not be granted without water being established on the property itself. This ist he single most critical factor when doing one’s due diligence prior to purchasing either land or a house.
There is an aqueducto in Mal Pais and a major project to bring water from Manzanillo through Santa Teresa and to Mal Pais has recently been completed.
Telephone service: For both hard line and cellular phone lines, you must go to the ICE office in Cobano with a copy of your electric bill, a personeria juridica, and a copy of your cedula juridica or a copy of your residency cedula to make the application for the phone. 3-G cellular phones work fairly well in all areas of the peninsula. Many new phone lines do come with high-speed internet. ICE now offers “pre-paid” cell chips to use in your US cell and all you need is your passport.
Internet: Accelera (cable internet) or RACSA (slow internet connection) or fiber optic: Go to the ICE office in Cobano to set up your account. You need a copy of your phone bill, your passport and your credit card if you are going to charge the monthly fee. RACSA usage is on the decline since there are now so many high-speed lines available.
Garbage: The municipality of Cobano has a garbage truck providing trash collections Mondays and Thursdays. It is recommended that you install an animal proof metal trash bin at the end of your driveway, or share one with a neighbor so that the jungle critters don’t make a mess of your trash. The cement tubes with a metal lid seem to work better than the messy baskets.
Banking: Banco Nacional is located at the main intersection between Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, the “Cruce”, and has an ATM dispensing colones or U.S. dollars. Teller hours are 1:00pm-9:00pm Monday through Friday.
Banco de Costa Rica is also at the Cruce and also has an ATM dispensing colones or U.S. dollars. Teller hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday.
P.O. Box: For about $10 per year, post office boxes are available in Cobano next to the police station. You will need a copy of your passport. Mail takes about 2 weeks to get here from the U.S. and vice versa.
Workmen’s Compensation insurance: All employees must be covered by workers compensation insurance. You need a copy of the cedula of your employees and a copy of your cedula or your company’s cedula. A monthly report needs to be submitted online or in Cobano.