Costa Rica, Ed Mercer and Entrepreneurial Acknowledgment

I’m gonna start off by saying that I wish I recorded my videos holding my iPhone horizontally … and I don’t even feel like editing these beautiful videos of Costa Rica with them being vertical. Next time I’ll know better. Although I’ll still post them up periodically over at YouTube.

The weather in Costa Rica is beautiful, it’s roughly about 75 degrees Fahrenheit 365 days a year. It’s true that the temperature fluctuates 5 to 10 degrees between cities, islands and provinces. Not only does it seem like you’re in another part of the the country, but also the weather can be differentiated by the locals … to me it didn’t matter since winter is usually a cold time for North America; therefor everyday was a beautiful day … and it was.

For most of Costa Rica, the dry season runs from November through April. During these months, the Pacific coast and most of the Central Valley receive little rain, or the odd afternoon shower. May through mid-October is considered the rainy season, when days are marked by sunny mornings and late afternoon thunderstorms. The Caribbean coast, Monteverde and Arenal areas are exceptions to this rule, and have no distinct dry season.

Costa Rica’s population is at 4.3 million, and it’s hard to adjust to living where there are no addresses … nor street names. If you want your mail to be delivered properly, you better be descriptive. For example; my house is located next to the red house across the street from the local market near the big green tree of the west. Yes, that’s exactly how the mailman will know where you live. More developed neighborhoods have house numbers, which make things a lot simpler.

Below are some interesting points about Costa Rica:

  • Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (males) or Ticas (females).
  • Life expectancy of almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world.
  • There are 800 miles of coastline in Costa Rica between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
  • Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces: San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.
  • The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose, a city with just over one million in population.
  • Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface.
  • More than 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges.
  • Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are bilingual. English, due to its status as the international language of tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica.
  • With its mild climate, constant mist and fertile soil, Costa Rica is an ideal place for growing coffee. Coffee has been around for more than one thousand years. Its origins trace back to Africa. Before coffee beans were roasted and brewed to make a drink, they were a source of food.
  • Soccer is the most popular sport … people go crazy.
  • Alcoholic beverages are sold every day of the week throughout the year, with the exception of the 2 days before Easter and the 2 days before and after a presidential election. The legal drinking age is 18, although it’s only sporadically enforced.
  • Tipping is not necessary in restaurants, where a 10% service charge is always added to your bill (along with a 13% tax). If service was particularly good, you can leave a little at your own discretion, but it’s not mandatory.
  • Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time. Costa Rica does not use daylight saving time, so the time difference is an additional hour April through October.
  • Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. You could test this, but it probably wouldn’t be good for your health.

Meeting one of the great entrepreneurs at his own homeland was mainly the reason for my visit. Ed Mercer became a true millionaire at the age of 27. Why do I say true? Many times when you go out to different social functions, events or even bars; one can easily be confused by the demeanour of someone who isn’t truly a millionaire. This wasn’t the case for Ed Mercer, not only did he have all these properties in Costa Rica behind his belt but he truly did have a million bucks in his bank account at the age of 27. That being said, 23 years ago, 1 million dollars is equivalent to 5 million today. I can’t even imagine how hard this man has worked to be where he is today … not even that, but being a millionaire at the age of 27. Just from their background alone, one should never think that it isn’t possible to become a billionaire from nothing. Being in the presence of someone that has accomplished so much is a blessing. Writing about his bio, the people he has been on stage with, his awards and accomplishments would once again make this post longer than intended. I do recommend doing a basic search if you are not familiar with Ed Mercer.

Below are some interesting points about Ed Mercer:

  • Helped 35 other people become millionaires.
  • Largest private developer in Costa Rica, known as Mr. Costa Rica.
  • Honored to be a regular contributor to The Performance Magazine.
  • Mr. Mercer has become an active philanthropist and member of Habit for Humanity, National Geographic, The World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and many other similar organizations.
  • His greatest personal achievement is the founding of “The Edward R. Mercer Foundation” which is dedicated to the betterment of the planet through ecological conservation and education.
  • Inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame in June 2008 with greats such as Mario Van Peebles, Art Linkletter, which also aligns with those from the Chicago Environmental Hall of Fame greats like the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Mayor Richard Daley, Whole Foods markets, Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul), the National Green Museum and the National Green League Team, Sierra Club, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, Keely and Pierce Brosnan.
  • Over 35 years of public speaking have put Mr. Mercer on stage with some of the most accomplished speakers in the world such as Bob Proctor, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, T. Harv Eker, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, Lisa Nichols, Jay Abraham, Les Brown, Robert Kiyosaki, Bob Circosta, and B.J. Dohrmann.

With that in mind, Costa Rica should be on your travel list … beautiful country, with beautiful people, exotic wildlife, delicious food, never ending activities and the list goes on.

To learn more about Ed Mercer I recommend reading his book – “The Eighth Grade Millionaire”. It’s titled that way because eighth grade was the last level of education that he attended. Just a phenomenal book that will get your entrepreneurial mindset moving towards new heights.

Below are some pictures from the trip, enjoy.

Tambor Costa Rica


Teatro Nacional Costa Rica


Ed Mercer Vitaly Tennant Costa Rica


Monkey Chillin in Costa Rica


San Jose Ed Mercer Costa Rica


Costa Rica chillin


Monte Sol Costa Rica


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  • @FranziskaSP

    Hi Vitaly,
    happy 2012!
    I thought your post wasn't too long, I could have read more about Costa Rica and Ed. Loved your summary :)
    I have been to CR many times but didn't have a chance to spend that much time inland or learn more about the culture (during my time as a cruise chef) -I bought body wash and toothpaste in one of the ports and went for a walk along one of the beaches -and I remember I had a funny conversation with some local guys in no specific language about soccer. I told them I am from "Alemania" and they named all the German soccer players from our national team (and Michael Schumacher, Heidi Klum and other random famous Germans).
    Great and very friendly people, some even invited me to their houses, I wished I had more time in my in-between-shifts break. Would go and visit this place any time again.

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I'd love to find out more about it :)
    My recent post What to Make With an Old Window Frame

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Hey Franziska,
      Happy 2012 to you as well! I'll have to write a follow up post about Ed Mercer since there is just so much info to take away from this trip. I was actually there when their soccer league had a final game … and everyone was going nuts. Not necessarily in a good way, depending on the team that was being cheered for. But also explains why they knew the German team so well.
      It's great to hear that you've been there many times and had a chance to experience the culture. Not sure when you were there last, but from hearing the locals … Costa Rica is developing faster than ever. Not to mention IBM headquarters and bunch of other world plans have their main bases there as it's in the middle of the world – which is perfect for trade.
      Loved my stay and you'll hear more about it!
      My recent post 50 Funny, Bizzare and Creative Tombstones

      • @FranziskaSP

        Awesome! Looking forward to it :)
        I was in CR between 2003 and 2007, don't remember exactly how many times and when but at least 6-8 times. It's good to know they're moving forward with their economy, thanks for the info!
        My recent post How to Use an Art Project to Find Solutions

  • @BruceSallan

    So, did you like Costa Rica? I tried to comment already but it seemed to disappear? If it's duplicated, my apologies. I invested in some beach-front property in CR so I'm eager to hear this great report and equally eager to go visit myself someday soon – more so after reading your glowing report!

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Hey Bruce, I'll be the first one to tell you that your investment is a great one. Not only is it a beautiful place … but it's developing and growing at a healthy pace where you will reap those benefits.
      Keep me posted on your travels to Costa Rica, as I can provide you with useful information including great accommodations while you're there.
      Ohh yeah, to answer your question Bruce, I loved it!

  • @girlygrizzly

    Poof! My comment just went POOF! Whoa.

    Vitaly… I tried. Get post, yada yada…it was a great comment!
    My recent post Rule #1, Social Media – Be Right! The Consequences Are Ugly

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Ohh no,
      Could you tell me what went wrong? I really wanted to see it Amber-Lee!
      I gotta check what's going on with Intense Debate.

      Update: intense debate is having hiccups – and should be resolved tomorrow.

  • Amy S

    Costa Rica is such an amazing place. Thank you for your descriptive post, and I'm also a big fan of Ed Mercer!

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Glad you liked the post Amy. I have to agree in regards to Mr. Mercer as well

  • Adrienne

    My parents visited years ago and brought back some amazing pictures so I've heard it's a gorgeous place. Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

    I didn't think your post was too long either so what was the trip for? Vacation and to meet Mr. Mercer or something else entirely? Either way it sounds like you had a fabulous time. I take it you're planning on returning sometime in the near future. I can't even imagine why.. :-)

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Hey Adrienne, thanks a lot for enjoying the post and the photos. The trip wasn't really a vacation … more of a business trip to see the land and built a web site in regards to a project we're doing; also to learn more about Ed Mercer in his favorite environment. I actually just finished reading his book (felt bad I didn't read it prior to seeing him) .. very touching/inspiring book, as well as getting anyone's entrepreneurial wheels spinning – I strongly recommend it – That being said, Costa Rica is amazing and I'm gonna be there again for a few months to get some work out of the way in tranquility. I strongly recommend it to everyone … whether it's for vacation or to invest in property to reap all the benefits that come with living in Costa Rica.

  • Bill Murray

    Costa Rica looks like an amazing place with the warm weather, palm trees, and the big neoclassical buildings from the past century. It must be interesting to walk around in a place where pedestrians don’t have the right of way. Are there crossings where people can walk across the street, or is it like a constant battle between the pedestrians and cars? I would love to visit this place once in my life at least. I am sure I’d love the climate and the people, too. Thank you for giving us such a whimsical virtual tour of this magical place!

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Thanks for reading, Costa Rica sure is a whimsical place … as far as cars and pedestrians go – it depends on the area. Although there are plenty of pedestrian crossings and people are generally nice … but it's always a good idea to be aware of the surroundings and keep your eyes open.
      I do hope you get a chance to check out this wonderful country.
      My recent post Five Easy and Inexpensive Fitness Tips

  • Ian McCluskey


    Enjoyed your comments on Costa Rica. I am a former journalist based in Miami. I host a series of events in Central America (CR, Guatemala, Panama) and Colombia called Business Connections, together with my partner Summa magazine, based in San Jose. These are breakfast talkshow-style events for 100 or so people, largely business owners or executives of multinational firms. The title of my next event in San Jose on Feb 23 is "Innovación y Empresarialismo: en busca del Steve Jobs Tico". I have invited Esteban Brenes, an entrepreneurship professor from Incae to join the panel, as well as Erik Peterson of Aureos Capital. Might you have a suggestion for a real-life local entrepreneur that I might also invite to join the panel? Thanks & regards, ian Ian McCluskey, CEO, Thought Leadership International

    • Vitaly Tennant

      Hey Ian, it's great to hear what your're doing in Central America including the entrepreneur involvement in San Jose. I do have few individuals in mind that would be interested in learning more about the event you have coming up. Shoot me an email at or use the contact form so we can discuss it in more detail. Look forward to it.

  • typesafestack101

    I love costa rica. Thanks for this, Its remind me of the place.


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  • MyriamM

    I have never been there before. But, sure I will visit CR one day. Thanks for sharing this interesting story.

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