Here you can read the last upgrade about COVID-19 information for our students.

Last updated: 09/10/2020 – Reference: US Embassy in Costa Rica.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Costa Rica continues to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases within its borders.  The Government of Costa Rica has implemented a series of restrictive measures to try and curb the number of new COVID-19 infections.  These restrictive measures vary in intensity depending on each area’s alert designation.  For areas under Orange Alert, there are restrictions on the types of business which are allowed to operate and their operating hours.  In locations under a Yellow Alert, most businesses can continue to operate normally, though operating hours may be restricted.  Driving days and hours are also restricted nationwide based on a schedule determined by license plate number.  Beaches and open-air tourism activities in areas under Yellow Alert are also allowed to operate, though hours are restricted.
  • Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates to the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert, as well as business and vehicle restrictions.  For up-to-date information on current restrictions and Alerts, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
    • As of September 1, 2020, U.S. citizen tourists who are residents of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia may enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.  As of September 15, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Michigan, and Rhode Island can also enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.  Residents of California will be able to enter Costa Rica as of October 1.  U.S. citizen tourists from these states wishing to enter Costa Rica must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure from the United States, and purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19.  U.S. tourists must also demonstrate, via a valid driver’s license or State ID card, that they live in one of the authorized states.  No forms of documentation establishing residency in these authorized states other than a valid driver’s license or state ID card will be accepted at this time.  Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license or State ID card. The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has an English-language website detailing these entry requirements: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements
    • U.S. tourists from the list of authorized states can enter Costa Rica via a flight from an authorized state with a layover in a non-authorized state or country.  (For example, a Colorado resident can fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica, as long as they do not exit the airport in Houston.). However, the layover in the non-authorized state can not last longer than 18 hours and the U.S. tourist must not exit the airport during the layover.
    • U.S. Citizens from any state who meet the Ministry of Health criteria are able to enter Costa Rica on commercial flights from designated international flight departure points, which currently include Frankfurt, Germany, and Madrid, Spain.  However, they must demonstrate they have remained at that designated departure point for 14 days prior to their flight.
    • U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency may enter Costa Rica via air regardless of where they are coming from and must present the following documentation: 1) passport, 2) Valid DIMEX, 3) evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person entering, and 4) a completed Health Pass (Pase de Salud).  U.S. citizens with residency in Costa Rica who are not up to date with Caja payments will still be allowed to enter, but will be required to become up to date with all payments within 22 days.  Persons in this category must also purchase health insurance to cover the cost of any COVID-19 treatment or lodging for the 22 day grace period.  U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency must complete a 14-day quarantine.  However, the quarantine is waived if 1) arriving from one of the designated departure points, 2) have proof of stay for the past 14 days at that departure point, and 3) carry a negative COVID-19 test (PCR-RT) taken no more than 72 hours prior to their flight to Costa Rica.
    • U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency must complete a 14-day quarantine. However, the quarantine is waived if 1) arriving from one of the designated departure points, 2) have proof of stay for the past 14 days at that departure point, and 3) carry a negative COVID-19 test (PCR-RT) taken no more than 72 hours prior to their flight to Costa Rica.
    • The link for the Ministry of Health’s Spanish social media website is: https://www.facebook.com/msaludcr/ 
    • The link for the Ministry of Health’s webpage is: https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/ 
    •  For up-to-date information on current entry requirements, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
    • All U.S. citizen tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica, regardless of departure point or state of residency, will need to present the results of a negative PCR test for CV-19 taken within the past 72 hours, complete an epidemiological form, and provide proof of health insurance.
  • Our health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
    • Travelers entering Costa Rica are required to fill out digital epidemiological forms, which are available in multiple languages.  Any arrival displaying COVID-19 related symptoms will be tested at the airport.  The Ministry of Health will follow up with all quarantining individuals.
  • The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has announced that tourists who entered the country after December 17, 2019, have been granted an extension of stay until November 18, 2020.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No
    • The Government of Costa Rica has implemented daily nationwide driving restrictions based upon license plate numbers.  Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates regarding driving restrictions as well as the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert.
    • For the most up-to-date information, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
    • There are no restrictions for intercity or interstate travel; however, nationwide driving restrictions based on license plate numbers are in effect.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
    • U.S. citizen tourists arriving from permitted destinations who meet the three entry requirements – a negative test for COVID-19 taken within the past 72 hours, completion of the digital epidemiological form, and proof of health insurance – will not be required to quarantine.
    • Costa Rican citizens and other nationals holding Costa Rican residency who enter the country will be subject to a 14-day in-home quarantine order.
    • If any tourist is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will receive a quarantine order upon arrival.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Testing is available at Hospital La Católica, Hospital Cima, Hospital Metropolitano, and Hospital Clinica Biblica as well as the following laboratories located around Costa Rica: LABIN, Echandi, Laboratorio Páez, Laboratorios San José. The cost is around USD 100, and the results are typically ready within 24 to 48 hours.  Testing is paid for by the individual.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
    • As of September 1, commercial flights will operate from select cities in the United States.  Only residents of specific states with a valid driver’s license or state ID card from that state will be able to enter Costa Rica on these flights.  (See Entry and Exit Requirements).  Airlines operating these commercial flights include United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and American Airlines.  Delta Airlines will begin offering service to Costa Rica on October 1.
    • According to the Ministry of Health, the list of designated U.S. states, countries, and flight departure points will gradually expand over the coming months.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • The Government of Costa Rica has mandated the use of masks while waiting at bus stops and on public transportation.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • Any individuals who violate a mandated sanitary order or restriction will be subject to a fine between 450,200 to 2,300,000 colones depending on the violation.

Consular Operations:

  • We are currently unable to provide routine in-person services for U.S. citizens.  This includes non-emergency passport renewals, consular reports of birth abroad, welfare and whereabouts visits, prison visits, and notarial services.  U.S. citizens with emergencies may contact acssanjose@state.govor call +506-2519-2590 during business hours and +506-2519-2000 after hours.
  • The U.S. Embassy San Jose suspended routine consular and visa services on March 18, 2020, due to COVID-19.  Visa applicants with urgent matters and immediate travel, can follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cr/cr-niv-expeditedappointment.asp to request an emergency appointment.

Local Resources:

On this Monday, September 14, at 5 in the afternoon (Costa Rica time – Central Standard Time), our Spanish School for Residents and Expats will participate in a YOUTUBE LIVE SHOW held for our friend PEPITO LIVE IN COSTA RICA.

This program will discuss the 12 most essential expressions that every tourist who comes to Costa Rica should know.

The program will participate in our Director and Teacher Alex Murillo, accompanied by three of our students. We will have an enjoyable time, and we invite you to enjoy it with us.

To see the program, you must access the following link: LIVE SHOW: https://youtu.be/U-lAyY-NrRo

We invite you to share this information with your friends and will see you this afternoon.

If you are reading this today but is not September 14, you can see the live show

‘Pandemic,’ ‘quarantine,’ ‘confine,’ ‘resilience,’ ‘epidemic,’ ‘virus,’ ‘morgue,’ ‘triage’ or ‘care’ are some of the most searched words in the Dictionary of the Spanish language ( DLE) during the last month, coinciding for the most part with the days of the State of Alarm due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The RAE has explained that throughout this period, it has received more than 84 million visits, with an average of almost 3 million daily users. The institution has pointed out that the terms related to the COVID-19 crisis that generate more visits to the dictionary indicate “a clear information trend: people want to know the meanings that accompany this new reality.”

However, he understands that they also register “a longing for words of encouragement or that offer security.” That is why between ‘confined’, ‘morgue’ or ‘moratorium’ there are words like ‘medical’, ‘innocuous’, ‘remit’, ‘solidarity’, ‘hope’, ‘altruism’ or ‘resist’.

In addition, confinement, its contingency, the meaning of status or moratoriums are mixed in searches with medical terms: ‘asymptomatic’, ‘infest’, ‘dyspnea’, ‘disease’, ‘infect’, ‘intubate’, ‘affect ‘or’ hypochondria ‘. Also, other more specific words, such as ‘mask’ or ‘pangolin’, have received a higher number of visits.

Likewise, there have been several words not present in the dictionary related to current affairs that have been specially searched: ‘coronavirus,’ ‘ERTE,’ ‘sanitize,’ ‘video call,’ ‘nasobuco’ or ‘quarantine.’ In the case of ‘ERTE,’ it already has its entry in the Legal Spanish Dictionary.

On the other hand, the RAE has received multiple inquiries via Twitter about words such as ‘coronavirus’ (origin, correct spelling, death by/with coronavirus …), ‘pandemic’ (the difference between pandemic and epidemic, if it is redundant to say global pandemic and global pandemic), ‘COVID-19’ (writing, gender, pronunciation), ‘quarantine’ (if it must necessarily be forty days), ‘sanitize’ (on its validity) or ‘triage’ (if it is with going with j ).

On the other hand, the academy has launched an initiative on its social networks to share words that accompany this period and that “comfort in the face of uncertainty.” Under the label ‘# QueLasLetrasTeAcompañen,’ all the letters of the alphabet are reviewed, with a particular spelling, and curious words are proposed to “make you feel better.”

‘Apapachar’ (used in some areas with the meaning ‘give hugs’),’ brezar ‘(‘ cradle someone or rock something ‘),’ dingolondangos’ (‘affectionate expressions, pampering, flattering, cuddling’) or ‘splendid ‘(‘ resplendent ‘) are some of the words that have been proposed from the RAE.

The report was taken from the website: www.65ymas.com – Friday, April 10, 2020

On August 19, 2017, Spanish School for Residents and Expats celebrated its 7th anniversary at the school (co-located with the home of the directors). The celebration started at 11:30 AM with a party for students and families. Many stayed for the entire party (until about 11:30 PM) and others came for a few hours.

Students brought food from their native countries to be shared with all.

There were about 80 total folks throughout the day – students and families. The following countries were represented:  Germany, Canada, India, Nepal, USA, Brazil, Lebanon, Norway, England, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Denmark, Lithuania, and probably a few more.

This is one of the many things that Spanish School for Residents and Expats does beyond just teaching Spanish. They feel that it is important for students to have the opportunity to meet others living in Costa Rica. Many times, students have just arrived in Costa Rica and don’t know anyone. This and other events, like student dinners at local restaurants, give students the opportunity to meet others and have a more enjoyable experience living in Costa Rica.

This is also an opportunity to meet those from other countries, learn some of their customs, and try some of their local dishes.

The party was a great success – evidenced by the photos below.

 

As I mentioned, the anniversary party is just one of the things that we do for students beyond the classes they take. We offer Free Live Classes on a variety of topics (irregular verbs, regular verbs, and others). Students can attend the “Live Class” or view the class when they have time via YouTube.

We also have dinners at local restaurants from time to time and invite students. This is an excellent way to meet new friends but also practice Spanish in a real situation. Everyone has a great time – new friends, great food & drink, and learning more Spanish.

We are always looking at new and different ways to increase the value of classes with Spanish School for Residents and Expats.

Written by John Boozer, our Student Coordinator

 

On Tuesday, July 25, a group of about 12 students met to have a great dinner at La Posada de Las Brujas in Escazú. The food here is excellent, as is the service and price. This is a more typical Costa Rican venue and is almost always full. Since Tuesday was a national holiday, there were even more people there, and we had a bit of trouble getting a table for all of us together, but the staff was able to accommodate us quickly – the team is excellent! This was our first group dining event, and by all accounts, it was a great success. We will be doing more of these soon, so stay tuned.

We are planning more outside activities each month. Some we are considering are San Jose walking tours, La Feria market tours in Escazu, Museum tours, and more dinner outings.  Please let us know if you have an idea for a student group activity.

We feel that these activities allow students to experience more of Costa Rica while at the same time speaking and practicing Spanish in a day to day situation. Also, students that are maybe new to Costa Rica get to know other students outside of their group class and form new friendships.

The annual student party will be Saturday, August 19, 2017, at the school. It starts at 11:00 AM and goes until everyone leaves. People will be coming and going all day so plan to go and stay all day or just a few hours – whatever your schedule allows. It will be a “pot luck” & B.Y.O.B.  More information will be forthcoming so keep an eye out but mark your calendars now. It is always great fun with Wagner, even teaching some dancing – as the night goes on!

Some other new things are available on our website like Spanish music, puzzles, and more. “Flash Cards” are also available and are a quick and easy way to review anything from the alphabet, parts of the body to furniture items. One can study quickly and efficiently outside the classroom, and it’s fun too. Here is the link: http://www.spanishforexpats-cr.com/student-resources/.

¡Pura Vida!

Write by John Boozer, our Student Coordinator

By Ana Johnson, CNN – June 2, 2017

 Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee perform ‘Despacito’ with contestant Mark Isaiah in ‘The Voice’ finale.

(CNN)A wall may go up between the United States and its Spanish-speaking neighbor to the south, but nothing can stop the success of the nation’s current No. 1 hit song, which is mostly in … Español.

The song “Despacito,” by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and reggaetón star Daddy Yankee is number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the third week in a row (it also features Justin Bieber). Although Latin influence in pop culture is not new, there hasn’t been a Spanish language song in the top spot since “Macarena” in 1996.
But “Despacito” which means slowly in Spanish, is far from a gimmicky dance craze song. Instead, the Latin pop and urban love song have Spanish and non-Spanish speakers singing “ay bendito.”
Twitter user  @hannahjmurray says, “I’d be lying if I said my white self didn’t try and learn the lyrics to despacito.”
Fonsi has a hard time explaining the success of his song. “I don’t know the exact reason why this particular song has connected with a worldwide audience, especially with those who don’t understand Spanish … I just wanted to write a great song.”
While “Despacitio” has broken language and cultural barriers in the United States, some minorities, nonetheless, are feeling racial anxiety because of this particular moment in American politics.
“It’s an interesting time we’re living in. Just when you think we’re living in a bit of a divided world, music is bringing us together, no matter the language! That’s what I’m most proud of,” Fonsi says.
Daddy Yankee credits music as a universal language, bringing people together regardless of background or skin color. “People are more receptive to learn … connect and exchange their opinions in the digital world and learn more from one another,” Daddy Yankee says.
“Despacito” also leads Billboard’s streaming songs chart with 65.4 million streams and digital song sales of 137,000 downloads.
The music video was filmed in the streets of Puerto Rico, featuring locals playing dominoes and dancing. Fonsi told CNNE he wanted to show those who aren’t familiar with the culture of how cheerful Latinos are and how prevalent music is in their daily lives. The woman turning heads in the video is Miss Universe 2006, Puerto Rican actress and model Zuleyka Rivera.
“It has a feel-good vibe, with a great beat that provides an escape from some of our everyday issues and I think everybody can relate to that,” Fonsi says. “The main lyric is also easy to sing along to…des-pa-cito,” he adds.
Read the original news here:  Original News