It’s officially Fall — but not in Costa Rica. There are no pumpkin patches to visit. The Guanacaste trees are not changing colors, and there isn’t a warm pumpkin spice latte to be found. This time of the year is the hardest for me, because Celebrating Halloween in Costa Rica just isn’t the same as back home in the States.
I don’t get homesick for much living abroad, but I really miss the carving pumpkin parties and trick-or-treating with our friends back in Pasadena. On Halloween night, our friends would always host a chili pot luck and then some of the parents would escort the kids around the neighborhood, while some stayed back and passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Our neighborhood looked like something straight out of a movie scene. Literally, some of the people in the neighborhood worked in the film industry doing special effects, so they took decorating for Halloween very seriously. On Halloween night, the streets were packed with families, and there were even lines to get up to some of the houses!
In Costa Rica there aren’t really neighborhoods to go trick-or-treating, and you won’t see a jack-o-lantern sitting out on anyone’s front step. In fact, I’m not sure there are any pumpkins in the country at all. I did recently have some friends visiting and they brought us a stash of Halloween candy, which included candy corn, Tootsie Rolls and Twix. You can certainly get some Halloween decorations and candy here, but it’s nothing like back home.
Finding a costume here can also be tricky — or you have to get very creative with the limited amount of clothing you have. There is no mega costume shop with endless choices and aisles of accessories, glitter and make-up. We are headed to Panama City this weekend, so I am hoping they have a store with some Halloween costumes and goodies. Last year I was lucky enough to be back in the States right before Halloween, and I brought back an entire suitcase filled with spooky stuff and costumes for us.
The schools down here do put on a very nice Halloween party, and the kids get to dress up for trick-or-treating at their school. And for the kids, candy is candy… pretty sure it doesn’t matter what country they’re in, because… CANDY.
When I see friends back in the States posting all their fun fall photos and carved pumpkins, it does make me a little homesick and tugs at my heart. I want to be back home sipping a pumpkin spice latte and circling the pumpkin patch in search for that perfect score.
October just isn’t the same in Costa Rica.