• Costa Rica Real Estate

Dutch expats prepare for showdown with Costa Rica

July 4, 2014

Theo Peeters was born and raised in Holland, but he has lived many years in Costa Rica. The Dutchman living in Tiquicia insists he has no internal conflict about who he’ll root for Saturday.

“What kind of question is that?” Peeters scoffs, then chuckles. “The people who were born in Holland, I think they want Holland to win the game. But it’s quite difficult. I have a Colombian wife. I have two kids. I think they are not coming to the game this Saturday.”

Then he laughs again, making it difficult to tell if he is joking.

Peeters is co-owner of Jazz Café, the Central Valley nightclub and music venue with locations in San Pedro and Escazú. Since the World Cup started, Jazz Café Escazú has welcomed soccer fans, catering especially to the Dutch community. For every Dutch game, the crowd has donned a blinding amount of orange attire.

If you’re wondering why the people of Holland sport orange, it’s because of the Dutch royal family, the House of Oranje-Nassau, which dates back to the 16th century monarch William the Silent, Prince of Orange. (At least that’s his name in English). So imagine if Steelers defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene actually demanded that his fans wear the color green, and then multiply that image by five centuries of royal lineage.

Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times
Holland fans celebrate outside of Jazz Café Escazú. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times

The face-off between Holland and Costa Rica has caused good-humored tension among some Dutch expats. The Netherlands national team holds the unpleasant record of playing the most World Cup finals without ever winning a tournament. After finishing second in 1974 and 1978, Holland again placed second in 2010. Still many Dutch expats have strong relationships with Tico friends and family, and Costa Rica’s unprecedented success in this year’s World Cup has been infectious.

“I just hope it’s a great match, and whoever wins deserves to win,” says Antoinette Van Belle, a yoga and wellness practitioner based in Escazú. Van Belle’s background is particularly complex: She grew up in the Netherlands, her mother is English, and she lived in several different countries, including Spain and Italy, before settling in Costa Rica.

“I’m not a major football person,” Van Belle admits. “But I do love the World Cup. I think it’s an exciting time. I just think it’s so funny that Dutch people from different parts of the country are flocking to Jazz Café. I had to look up an old orange T-shirt. They go absolutely berserk with the orange stuff. The atmosphere there is completely amazing. It kind of made me homesick. Even a golden retriever was wearing an orange jacket.”

Courtesy Antoinette Van Belle
Courtesy Antoinette Van Belle

Van Belle’s partner is Tica, and her daughter is supporting La Sele. When pressed, Van Belle just laughs. “I would love to see the Ticos go a little bit further. I’m not that nationalistic.”

As for Peeters, the longtime expat is looking forward to hosting both groups of fans. A Costa Rican clothing company approached him and asked whether they could sell shirts (cash only) that are half-Costa Rican, half-Dutch. Peeters agreed and is offering them space in Jazz Café on game day.

Says Peters: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Equipment failures causing missed approaches, cancellations at Costa Rica’s busiest airport
Costa Rica
174 views
Costa Rica
174 views

Equipment failures causing missed approaches, cancellations at Costa Rica’s busiest airport

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 17, 2019

Issues with the instrument landing system, coupled with the rainy season weather, have caused numerous missed approaches and flight cancellations…

New York at the center of the fight against climate change
Climate Change
13 views
Climate Change
13 views

New York at the center of the fight against climate change

Ivan Couronne / AFP and The Tico Times - September 17, 2019

Environmental activists will meet in New York on Friday for a demonstration and a youth summit, with the goal of…

Keylor Navas vs. Real Madrid: A meeting worthy of Champions
Keylor Navas
25 views
Keylor Navas
25 views

Keylor Navas vs. Real Madrid: A meeting worthy of Champions

Alexis Hontang / AFP and The Tico Times - September 17, 2019

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas has finally settled the debate regarding PSG’s goalkeeper. On Wednesday, the Tico faces his former club,…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!