Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Postal service implements new address system

(Inside Costa Rica) - The mailing address on all correspondences has changed as the Correos de Costa Rica (Costa Rica's Post Office) implemented its new postal code system, it announced Monday.

Now, every piece of mail sent inside and out of Costa Rica must include this new system, which Correos de Costa Rica is using to begin to standardize addresses.

To read the entire article click here.


Wow, folks in Costa Rica this is a big deal! If you live or have visited Tiquicia you know that we Ticos have a very unique way of giving addresses. It is a very confusing one to say the least, and even though I think that we have to put an end to it, it is a fact that it has become part of the identity of the Costa Rican people.

In short, we don't use the numbers and names of the streets and avenues to indicate the location of a place, we instead use landmarks, parks, or simply, well-known buildings. Why? First, because our streets aren't clearly and properly signalized, and second, because we are used to do things the "Tico" way.

So, if for example you ask me for the address of the high school I used to attend I would answer you with the following: 100 meters north from the National Gymnasium in the east side of La Sabana Park. Or if you really know the area I would simply say. "Right in front of La Tapia eatery."


This of course has caused chaos among tourists who, when not on guided tours, often get lost while trying to find a place of interest, and thus the imminent necessity for the change. Although I have serious doubts that most of the Ticos will start using the names and numbers of streets and avenues even if they are properly signalized (old habits are hard to break) I welcome this plan and I hope it becomes a reality in the short term.

Uri R.

4 comments:

Erin said...

Honestly not sure how I feel about this... the address system (or lack there of) works well for the ticos, or at least for all the ticos I've ever met. ;-) The idea of changing how a country does its business based on how gringos (let's not lie) wish it were seems to me to be the epitome of why people think globalization is tantamount to imperialism.

Also, I'm with you. I don't think many ticos will happily adapt to the new system. It's just not how it's done here. But oh well, it is what it is and I guess we'll all just have to get used to it.

Uri R. said...

Well Erin I have to tell you something, there have been attempts in the past to implement similar systems and they have all failed miserably, so don't bet on this one to succeed just yet. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes and if it has any acceptance among us Ticos.

Anonymous said...

Ya know what ya have to get over it-this is still happening in the USA but the benefits of getting your addressing system FAR outweigh the so called loss. In rural San Diego county my aunt has and address that was Rt. 1 Box 498A
Ramona Ca. but not it's 15899 Mussey Grade Rd. and this was only changed in the 1980's but now the fire department can find it-VERY VERY LUCKY since she has escaped the raging fires that have recently occured there-it could save your life and your home!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You know that you have to get over it-this is still happening in the USA but the benefits of getting a decent easily decipherable addressing system FAR outweigh the so called loss. In rural San Diego county my aunt had an address that was Rt. 1 Box 498A
Ramona Ca. but now it's 15899 Mussey Grade Rd. and this was only changed in the 1980's but now the firefighters can quickly and easily find her house-SHE WAS VERY VERY LUCKY since she has escaped the raging fires that have recently occured there-a new addressing sytem could save your life and your home!!!!!!

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