U.S. Embassy Warden Report, March 6th, 2015
On March 6th, 2015, Warden Carol Vaughn attended an all-day training session for U.S. Embassy
Wardens at the U.S. Embassy Residence in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Here is a brief summary of that event.
U.S. Citizens are reminded to keep on hand the contact information for the U.S. Embassy in case of an emergency:
U.S. Embassy San Jose, Costa Rica
Calle 98, Via 104, Pavas, San Jose, Costa Rica
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +506.2220-3127
Contact Information for Warden for Perez Zeledon, Carol Vaughn
Quinta Leiva Calderon, Quebradas, Perez Zeledon
A new Consul General, Ravi Candadei, was introduced and outlined his three main objectives:
1. Security: He is working on an SJO Evacuation Airport Protocol in the event of natural disasters.
2. Outreach: He is working on an Outreach Program which will involve small teams of Embassy
Staff coming to different locales to meet and greet American Citizens. They are coming to Jaco
in March, and Perez is TBA.
3. Passport and other services to be streamlined: He is developing a way to decentralize passport
renewals and entry/exit procedures to facilitate renewals, possibly without having to visit
We were reminded that petty crime is still an issue for American Citizens, and to be mindful of our
surroundings, make an effort to go places in pairs, especially at night, not make ourselves vulnerable by
over-consuming drugs and alcohol, and to be especially careful while driving, especially at night.
Passport theft is on the rise, with Costa Rica ranking #1 in the world, with 800 passports stolen last year.
Drowning continues to be a major cause of death among U.S. Citizens, with 16 having drowned since
January, 2013. Both Caribbean and Pacific Coasts have currents which are swift and dangerous, with the
majority of beaches having neither lifeguards nor warning signs. Never swim alone.
We were discouraged from hiking alone, as two people disappeared while hiking alone in National Parks
last year. Their fates remain a mystery.
The Wardens were issued:
A list of Attorneys for reference (not endorsed, but usually English-speaking).
A list of Medical Services Providers for reference (not endorsed, but usually English-speaking).
A twelve-page Country Specific Information Packet for Costa Rica.
Carol would be happy to make free copies of the above available to you, to be picked up at the Perez
Feria, by making advanced arrangements with her at: 6036-4283.
Current interesting Factoids:
There are 4,000 American Citizens in Costa Rica collecting Social Security Benefits.
There are 21,000 American Citizens registered in the STEP Program. Are you one of us?
There are somewhere in the vicinity of 100,000 U.S. Citizens currently living in Costa Rica.
REGISTER FOR THE SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/.
Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Stay Safe!