Embassy of the United States of America
AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER Fall 2014
U.S. Embassy Welcomes New Consul General and Deputy Consul General
Ravi S. Candadai, a career Foreign Service Officer, took charge as Consul General on August 4, 2014. Most recently he was the Deputy Chief of the Consular Section at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to that, he served consecutively as the Chief of American Citizen Services and as the Visa Branch Chief. His preceding tour was in Chennai, India where he was the Public Affairs Officer and Acting Consul General. Earlier, he was the Deputy Economic Counselor in Islamabad, Pakistan. His other tours have been in Santiago, Chile, where he was the Deputy Consul General; Cairo, Egypt, as the Chief of American Citizen Services, London and Monterrey, Mexico. Deputy Consul General Margaret Pride served most recently as the Visa Chief in Cairo, Egypt, and served as the Consular Section Chief in Bermuda and in St. Petersburg, Russia.
ACS In the Field: Let us speak to your student groups
Consular Officers at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica look forward to opportunities to speak to U.S. citizen students who are studying in Costa Rica. Presenters provide tips to help students avoid becoming victims of crime, outline potential dangers, and provide information on services provided by the U.S. Embassy to U.S. citizens. If you are expecting a group of students and you would like them to receive a security briefing, please email ACSSanJose@state.gov.
Obtaining Your State Vital Records
Three moves equal one house fire. How many times have you moved, and do you know where your birth certificates and marriage certificates are? Has the Costa Rican humidity gotten to them? Given that the United States comprises fifty states and many other territories, obtaining original copies of your vital records can be difficult. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has created a portal with links to the offices of the fifty states and other territories where you can request copies of your vital records. Each state has its own set of requirements, but the online portal can help direct you to the appropriate state office.
In 2011, President Barack Obama launched an initiative to increase education exchanges between the United States and Latin America, 100,000 Strong. In this initiative, the U.S. government aims “to work with partners in the region, including the private sector, to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America to 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the United States to 100,000.” The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is working to fulfill this goal, providing scholarships to some Costa Ricans to study in the United States. If you know any students who would like to study in the United States, encourage them to investigate all of the great opportunities.
Combating Trafficking and Increasing Security
The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is committed to assisting the Costa Rican government combat narcotics trafficking and improve domestic security. In July, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Gonzalo R. Gallegos, inaugurated a new border checkpoint located at Kilometer 35 on the Southern Inter-American Highway. The U.S. Government donated one million dollars to the construction of the checkpoint, which will assist the Costa Ricans to interdict narcotics and other illegal items transiting the country.
Sadly, several U.S. citizen families have returned from their vacation to Costa Rica without a loved family member who was lost in a drowning. This year, more than a dozen U.S. citizens have died as a result of drowning. Several of the victims were young, in good health, and strong swimmers. Riptides are often to blame, pulling otherwise good swimmers away from shore and under the water. Please be mindful of riptides and warn your guests of the dangers of the ocean.