Welcome to the September 2022- Quarterly U.S. Citizen newsletter!

U.S. Citizen Newsletter

Stay up to date on key topics important to the U.S. citizen community in Costa Rica:

Welcome to the Quarterly U.S. Citizen newsletter!

Stay up to date on key topics important to the U.S. citizen community in Costa Rica

September 2022 Edition

Beach Safety - Fun in the sun

Costa Rica’s pristine coasts and natural parks attract tourists from around the world.  Most visitors safely visit one of Costa Rica’s 640 beaches and leave with nothing but beautiful memories, and maybe a sunburn. Unfortunately, for a handful each year, the tropical beach paradise turns into tragedy.  Surprisingly, drowning is the primary cause of unintentional deaths in Costa Rica among international visitors.

  • Recognize and Avoid Rip Currents – Many drownings occur due to rip currents. A basic understanding of this coastal phenomenon can save your life or a loved one’s.  Because rip currents move perpendicular to shore and can be very strong, beach swimmers need to be careful. A person caught in a rip can be swept away from shore very quickly.
  • Remain Calm and Don’t Panic – The best way to escape a rip current is by swimming parallel to the shore instead of toward it. Continue to breathe, try to keep your head above water, and don’t exhaust yourself fighting against the force of the current. The current will dissipate and then you can swim back to shore
  • Swim Smart – You can check with your hotel or tour operator to request information on local swimming and surf conditions. Following common sense advice like not diving into water of unknown depth, not swimming alone, especially at isolated beaches, and avoiding the consumption of alcohol while swimming, also greatly reduces your risk of drowning.
  • Lifeguards – There are currently six beaches with Red Cross certified and employed lifeguards, including Bahia Ballena, Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, and Ventanas (on the Pacific) as well as Playa Negra and Manzanillo (on the Atlantic).
  • In an emergency, call 911.

Voting, your voice , your vote

Did you know you can vote in U.S. elections from anywhere in the world?  If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, registering to vote, and submitting a ballot is fast and easy.  For information on registering to vote, visit our website.

You can vote from anywhere in two simple steps:

STEP 1: Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov to register and request your ballot.

WHEN? Send it to your election office by August 1 (or later depending on your state) for the General Election on November 8, 2022

STEP 2: Fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives.

WHEN? By the recommended deadline of October 24, 2022


  • You can also send back your FPCA through the U.S. Embassy. Just follow these instructions.
  • If you drop off your FPCA or ballot at the U.S. Embassy without a S. postage paid envelope(Pdf – 135 KB) or without sufficient U.S. postage, USPS will not deliver it. The U.S. Embassy takes no responsibility for delivery of FPCAs and ballots received without postage.

U.S. Passports


Renew your adult passport by mail!  Be sure to take advantage of the new DS-82 passport application mail-in program where you can pay the DS-82 passport renewal fee online and avoid traveling to the Embassy.  Follow these easy steps.


If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen, we can help!

For additional information, visit our website.