Costa Rica’s immigration service says that some 20.000 have already in the last cope of days the the northern border at Peñas Blancas, the majority Nicaraguans headed to their home country to spend the holidays with family and friends.
Édgar Aguirre, regional director of Migración, told La Nacion, that they expect in total about 200.000 people – and perhaps more – to cross the border between mid December and the first week in January, a similar number of crossings last year.
Aguirre says that an average of 10.000 people cross daily, a number than reach 14.000 on certain days, headed for Nicaragua. For such the immigration service at Peñas Blancas will be working around the clock, open 24 hours day.
“Users will spend about a half minute at the window. The wait in line is about 5 minutes. And we will be adding more officials”, Aguirre said in an interview.
To ease the process, passengers travelling on international bus lines like Transnica and Ticabus, for example, and in particular Nicaraguans, are being processed at the Liberia immigration centre. In those passengers will not have to stop at the border checkpoint.
Víctor López, in charge of the Fuerza Pública (police) in La Cruz said officials will be keeping the passengers processed in Liberia from the street vendors, money changers, bag handlers and ‘coyotes’, ensuring that non-passengers do not enter the “sterile” zone, a passenger transit area within the border post.