I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER - Fall 2014 - from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica

Seal with blue background
Embassy of the United States of America


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. 

Education Exchange

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.

Riptide Warning

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. 


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