1298-Barrio Chino – Costa Rica

China has an interesting relationship with Costa Rica. Our guide during our walking tour of San Jose told us that China built San Jose a beautiful soccer stadium in exchange for the rights to fish for shark in Costa Rican waters. China exports the fins for shark fin soup. Most of the rest of the world has outlawed the harvesting of shark just for the fin. I guess a soccer stadium can buy you a lot of soup these days. In appreciation for the stadium, San Jose built a Chinatown gate in a run-down part of the city – Barrio Chino. There are few Chinese in Costa Rica and this “Chinatown” is only three stores deep with half of them closed. There is no Chinese food, only soccer and the exporting of shark fins.