San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

RED ALERT!  Pickpocket thieves are working the main bus rest stop on Highway 1 (the Pan American highway) between Cañas and San José. The Florida couple mentioned in last week’s Arenal Report had their passports stolen from an open purse when Mrs. Wollmacher was in line paying for coffee. The police responded immediately and delayed the departure of the bus. They questioned and searched the other passengers on the bus, but were unable to recover the passports. The couple’s very enjoyable visit to Costa Rica ended on a sour note as they had to wait in San José over the weekend for the U.S. Embassy to reopen on Monday to issue replacement passports. All travelers must be made aware of this unfortunate situation as this particular rest stop is used by a multitude of buses routed between Nicaragua and San José.

On a positive note, after filing a police report confirming the theft of the passports (necessary to present to the U.S. Embassy), the couple was met in San José by another police officer who provided them with instructions on what to do and where to go. He arranged for transportation to the embassy and a hotel near the airport. He then assured the couple that if they had difficulty obtaining accommodations due to a lack of passports, they would be welcome to stay at his home, gratis.

This is the true character of Costa Rica that we, as permanent residents, love so much. The friendliness and willingness to help others is a hallmark of the Ticos we know. The adventures and unique experiences enjoyed by the couple from Florida have elicited promises of a return visit next year – with new passports.

Final reminder: A spay/neuter clinic will be held in Nuevo Arenal tomorrow, Saturday, May 25. To schedule an appointment for your dog or cat call Gino at 2694-4621. Also on Saturday additional clinics will be held in Libano at the salon communal in the morning, and in San Luis in the afternoon (salón communal).

For appointments at these locations call Judy Reisman at 2695-6652. If she is not home, let her Spanish phone message play through, then leave your phone number and she will call back. If you can’t get to the Saturday clinics, Judy has coordinated one for Sunday, May 26, in Tilarán at the bull ring (Atra Salón). These much-needed clinics rely on volunteers to assist in animal registration and simple animal care before and after their surgical procedures. If you are interested in helping, let Judy or Gino know.

–William & Jean Priest

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