Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Scheduled Protests

The U.S. Embassy in San José, Costa Rica, informs U.S. citizens of a series of scheduled protests which will take place tomorrow, Thursday, August 20, 2015, in San José and other locations throughout Costa Rica.  In central San José, an estimated 10,000 individuals are expected to participate in a demonstration organized by the Union of Educators and the Union of Prison Police.  Demonstrators are expected to rally at Central Park in the morning and proceed eastbound on Second Avenue towards the Legislative Assembly building in San Jose.  While demonstrators are not expected to be active in areas west of Sabana Park (Rohrmoser, Escazu, Pavas, and Santa Ana), traffic delays may affect morning and afternoon commutes.  Major disruptions to traffic patterns are expected in the downtown San Jose area.

Information suggests unregistered taxi operators may also stage a series of protests in several locations throughout Costa Rica on Thursday.  In metropolitan San Jose, protests may disrupt traffic on Route 1 (San Jose to the Airport), as well as Route 27 (Autopista), while additional protests are expected in Cartago, Liberia, Parrita, and on Route 32 to Limon.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor local media for additional information.

The majority of protests in Costa Rica are non-violent in nature.  However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.