Costa Rica

This is
Junier Bolívar (1966)

Lives in
Osdorp- de Aker

Country of Origin
Costa Rica

In the Netherlands since

Visual artist and 3D animator

Costa Rica in Amsterdam
The nature in the Amsterdamse bos

First impression
Like a fairytale

In Costa Rica people enjoy live. Although when they're sad, they still enjoy live. People here are much more serious. I am not always late, but I can't always be exact on time. But in Costa Rica I miss the accuracy of Amsterdam, I must say. .

Still would like to
Have my own art exhibition in Amsterdam.

“My first impressions of Holland came from the pictures of windmills and cows on the cartons of school milk in Costa Rica. And later, in 1978, from the football match between the Netherlands and Argentina. I met my Dutch girlfriend in Costa Rica in 2000. She had come to learn Spanish. A year later I stayed with her in Groningen for three months.

Through my studies in visual arts in Costa Rica I was introduced to Amsterdam’s history via Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer. So the first thing I wanted to do when in Amsterdam was visit the Van Gogh museum and Rembrandthuis. The size of the Nightwatch had me in shock. I was completely overwhelmed. Wow. The three days I spent here felt like a fairy tale. I walked through cobbled streets and started at the red brick houses. It was as if we had stepped into a time machine and gone back in time. Costa Rica doesn’t have houses like this; everything there is so much more modern.

My girlfriend found herself a job in Amsterdam and in 2002 I moved here with her. It’s a really art centre, a melting pot of language and culture. And it has Ajax.

I like Amsterdam the best when the lights go on at 5pm. It’s so romantic and pretty. Every sight you see is like a postcard. Everywhere looks like a painting. I even painted my own picture of the Singel. Amsterdam is home to romantic realism. My style of painting is also realistic, but with a surreal twist. Like Van Gogh in his later years.

My first year in Amsterdam was a year full of new experiences, and I enjoyed it incredibly. But once I had finished learning Dutch, I had to look for a job. This wasn’t easy. Learning the language is only important if you are looking for higher level employment, and then they expect you to speak higher level Dutch. In the expat community everyone speaks English, and you don’t really get to immerse yourself in the Dutch culture. It is extremely important to understand the culture, and understand, for example, Hazes and Ajax.”

42 people in Amsterdam have the Costa Rican nationality


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