QCOSTARICA – Claiming the “need to rest”, President Luis Guillermo Solís said he will be taking off the week of Semana Santa, travelling with his family, out of the country.

Solís said he has not taken a family vacation for over three years, busy with the presidential candidacy in the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), then the presidential elections campaign and for the last 10 months, governing the country

The President did not specify his destination, but denied he was headed for Spain.

Foreign Minister, Manuel Gonzalez, however, confirmed that the President and his family will be vacationing in the U.S., but did not say where.

Last week the Solís announced a government order that all Central Government workers be on the job Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Semana Santa that starts on Sunday March 29 and ends on April 5.

Traditionally, a large number of government workers take off the entire week, forcing a slow down or closure of a number of government offices during the holidays.

Solís, who has been heavily criticized for his taking time off the job, said “all public servants have a right to holidays and the government order is to ensure the public basic services.”

Defending the presidential decision (for a holiday) is the Ministro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff), Melvin Jimenez, who said that between weekend tours of the country and overtime hours the president has accumulated “over 60 days” of vacation time, in the last ten months in office.

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.