Being self-employed in Costa Rica means Charlotte Viehauser can choose her own hours and spend plenty of time with her family.
“Because I’ve chosen to raise my boys in Costa Rica instead of the States, I can have so much more time with them. I make my own schedule, so I can work during their school hours. In our free time, we like to get together with the other American families, play soccer, and travel within the country when we have the chance.”
“The boys and I often go for hikes, which is always an adventure. We like going up the hill and finding new paths—up towards Poás Volcano and Bosque del Niño (a park with a winding trail that leads to a waterfall). I like the quietness and peace while hiking, and I enjoy the time spent with my kids most of all.”
Since arriving nine years ago Charlotte’s bought and remodeled a beautiful four-bedroom home in the peaceful, coffee field-patterned hills….created a business from her native language…and continues her education.
“I first came to Costa Rica on a study abroad program in college. I fell in love with the place,” says Charlotte, who spent her time in Carrillos de Alajuela, not far from the capital of San José.
With thundering waterfalls, emerald mountain views, and lush national parks, the natural beauty of the Alajuela province is intense and captivating. Even more inviting is the warmth of the locals, who make newcomers feel like family.
Charlotte was determined to return to Costa Rica, and came back to settle in Grecia, a small but stylish Central Valley town that offers a sunny and cool spring-like climate every day of the year, with a handful of chic cafes, colorful restaurants, and clothing shops.
At the town’s heart is an impressive red metal church, which overlooks a spacious central park. This charming square of shaded benches serves as a popular meeting spot, and Charlotte and her boys love spending time there.
Over the years, Charlotte has become bilingual. Last year, she began offering language lessons to her neighbors and friends, and now relies fully on this income.
“I’m giving English and Spanish classes to adults and children,” she explains. “I have about 16 students, and the number is growing. English lessons are in demand—my Costa Rican students need a speaker without the local accent. Conveniently, most of my students have studied English for a while and just need help keeping their language skills fresh.”
Charlotte has blossomed in Costa Rica. She loves the healthy living and surrounding nature the country offers her. Now deeply settled in the hills of Grecia, Charlotte looks forward to her future in a place where she has successfully created a home.
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