Header - Elaine Potoker, PH.D. Loeb Sullivan School of Intl. Business and Logistics
A View of the Pasantías (Stays) with my Colegas Ticos, by Elaine S. Potoker, Ph.D.

Highlights: October – November 1

It’s Holloween in the U.S.!! I miss it!! no pumpkin by my apt. …

° AACUE (Acuerdo de Asociación entre Centroamérica y la Unión Europea/
The Treaty between the European Union Central America):

The first formal rounds of the AACUE took place in Escazú at the Hotel Intercontinental, about 45 minutes from the center of San José.

[Escazú, by the way, is a suburban area within the “province” of San José. Several of my colleagues live there and commute into San José. U.S. food and retail chains populate the avenues in and out of the city. The U.S. and British Ambassador live there. Go to this link to find out why the symbol of Escazú is a witch! http://escazucostarica.com/]

For weeks, I had been trying to get an appointment with the Chief Negotiator (RE) from Costa Rica. The appt. was “pending” for Oct. 29th. But then we phoned and found out he was leaving for Belgium for a month on that day. I was reeeally disappointed. We made several more calls, and he agreed to meet with me from 9am to 9:30 in the lobby of the hotel on the last day of the meetings. So we (The Institute) managed to get a UCR driver to take me there. We’re half-way there, and I ask the driver, “Aren’t we going to Escazú?” (…because the route did not look right!). So the driver says, “Aren’t you meeting him at the Hotel Cariari Intercontinental?” Well, the answer to that was, no. It was 8:50 am and we were totally in the wrong direction, sitting in traffic heading for Heredia, by the airport. So…I phone the Hotel on the driver’s cell phone to talk with someone from RE’s entourage, and explain how embarrassed and stupid I felt, and was there any way I could still meet him. RE had to be back in meetings at 9:30 and we were at least 20 minutes away. Sooo…we get to the correct Hotel, and I literally run through the lobby; find his assistant; and am whisked to his meeting room, where he is sitting with others and waiting for me. As it turned out, it was a great 10 minutes, and he promised a longer appt. before I left for the States. If ever a background in marketing helped me in other situations, it helped me most here. I began my conversation with why I felt he would be interested in the findings of my research as background and context for the negotiations. We talked about infrastructure issues and negotiating styles. I would have loved to have the l/2 hour, but I was grateful for the 10 minutes.

° Weather: The weather is starting to change a little–there are not so many heavy rainstorms in the afternoon. October is the real “winter” here. It actually felt like autumn on some of the rainy days. I am looking forward to a Costa Rican summer, but that will not happen to late November, early December, just about when I have to leave.