– I read this amazing short story on the Beeb (BBC News) about Costa Rica introducing postal address system.

The article says “Costa Rica has begun to reform its postal address system”.

I checked with “Correos”, the Costa Rican post office and it’s true, they have been working on reforming the address system for more than a decade now.

Problem is that on one knows about it.

Yes, most the city of San José got these great new signs with street names, interesting to learn what my street name was. In Rohrmoser everyone knows the “Bulevar”, but not the real name of the road, Transerval 068 , according to the street sign.  Everyone knows Oscar Arias’ house, the reference point for most addresses in Rohrmoser. (To anyone who doesn’t, find the China embassy and turn to across the street).

Then there is the problem of each house having a number. For example, my house is number 5, not the house number, it’s the fifth from the corner. Two neighbours aways, his house number is 19, not because it’s the 19th from the corner, but because that is the number he posted outside his house.

Next to him, three ladies have the number 9.

The BBC article says that the current system causes problems for delivery workers. And anyone else trying to find you. The other day I had this guy in a shirt and tie (no jacket), with a gun in his holster and some official papers in his hand looking for Mr. Montoya. “No Montoya here, mae!”

Under the current system, if you want to know where someone lives and guaranteed to the house, just ask for the NIS or “LOCALIZACION”, numbers used by the AyA and CNFL, respectively, to provide water and electric service. They always find the house to send the bill or turn off the service when the bill isn’t paid. I have yet to see an AyA or CNFL employee knock on doors looking for their customer.

A note the BBC, the reforming of postal addresses in Costa Rica is an “ongoing” process. It takes about 30 years in the country design, plan and build a road, ie the San José – Caldera (ruta 27), what makes you think that the post office can reform a culture addresses using landmarks instead of street names and numbers?

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