Being an immigrant in Costa Rica can be hard, especially if you are Nica. “Nica”, the nickname given to any person from Nicaragua or of Nicaraguan descent, is often followed by “hijueputa” in Costa Rica, because a lot of Ticos are racist and they hate them.
Nicaraguan migration to Costa Rica traces back to colonial times when Nicaraguan workers were instrumental to the rise of Costa Rica’s coffee industry, railroad construction and banana industry. In the 1980’s, during the Sandinista Revolution and Contra war, record numbers of Nicaraguans fled to Costa Rica for both political and economic reasons.
Often unfairly portrayed by Costa Rican media as a tribe of thieving rapist, currently, the number of Nicaraguans in Costa Rica is estimated to be around 300,000 mostly good and hard-working people. Making up 74.6% of total resident immigrants, Nicas are the largest group of immigrants to bask in the glow of Pura Vida.
Although not a race per se, Nicas are even less popular among middle and upper-class Ticos than black people are, and unlike with the local “White-On-Black Racism”, Ticos aren’t afraid to openly discuss their disdain for their slightly darker neighbors from the North.
Recently one of our interns, “Nica Bob” a Half-Nica Uber Driver, was able to infiltrate an Anti-Nica Hate group ran by Ticos, where he was able to capture this impressive image of a Nica-Free Zone in Costa Rica that a Tico by the name of Olger was using to tease his fellow hate group members.
Despite Olger’s refusal to reveal the location of the magical place in the image, the area was quickly declared to be paradise by similar, like-minded Ticos.
Although the aforementioned group has been taken down by Facebook for violating the website’s terms and conditions regarding hate speech, hundreds of more such groups are still out there. And more are popping up daily…
….each one more chocked-full of riveting content and spelling errors than the last:
Recently, a march against Nicaraguan refugees organized by one such group made international headlines. The gang of anti-immigration protesters, which was mostly made up of the kind of people you would find in a trailer park in Alabama, chose the site of their demonstration due to it being a popular gathering place for Costa Rica’s Nicaraguan community,.
Even the Nazis took time out of their day to come out and let their concerns be known.
The manifestation was preceded by a series of false social media post erroneously linking Nicaraguans to the image of a bunch of idiots burning the Costa Rican flag. Those idiots turned out to be Ticos.
The racist festivities culminated in the arrest of 44 people, 36 of which were Ticos, all of which were stupid. Some of the more stupid ones having armed themselves with the crude weapons such as the kitchen cutlery and molotov cocktails shown in the image below.
While such incidents aren’t common, in reality, we shouldn’t be surprised by racism existing in 2018. It lives on in every corner of our society: within our workplaces, our political institutions and is in our face every time we swipe open our smartphones or turn on the local news.
Until we as a society can learn to challenge prejudiced attitudes, reject racist rhetoric and address discriminatory behaviors we will continue to reap what we sow. We have to do this heavy lifting together. If you are quiet, you are complicit. You have a responsibility to speak out against racism and bigotry wherever you see it. Whether its against Nicas, Chinos, Negros, Indios, Gringos or Jews, you just need you to care. Lets talk about these issues, the key to these conversations, though, is empathy.