Repatriation Of The Deceased From Costa Rica

This is not the kind of information any one of us want to hear, but it is a reality of life: if you live in Costa Rica there is always the chance you may die here, thus not only is it important in getting information about Costa Rica residency and real estate.

This article is not meant to be an all-and-be-all about the subject, rather a helpful guide.

In the event of having to deal with such an unpleasant task, your fist step is to contact the consular office of your country’s embassy in Costa Rica.

The embalming of a body is not a custom in the country. In the tropics, burial usually takes place the next day. Unless there are circumstances where the body must be held in custody, it is brought to the judicial morgue. Currently, there are dozens of unclaimed bodies, including many foreigners in the forensics laboratory in Heredia.

The process of repatriating a loved one includes the intification of the deceased and the documentation required. Although more costly, if your Spanish is not very good or are not up to the daunting paperword, there are several funeral homes who can attend you in English. This also eliminates the hiring of a translator and will make the process such as embalming, obtaining the transit permit and purchasing a sealed coffin.

US Embassy in Costa Rica
US citizens can get more info at the US Embassy in San Jose by calling (506) 2519 2453 or (506) 2519 2000 or their website.

Embassy Business Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The Embassy is located on the west side of San Jose, in Pavas, in Front of Centro Comercial del Oeste Pavas, Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica we don’t use street addresses. however, the Embassy does list it on their website (Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas, San José), but don’t be shocked if no one understands it.

Canada Embassy In Costa Rica
Canadian citizens can reach the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica at (506) 2242-4400. Hours of operation – General public – Monday to Thursday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 and from 12:30 to 4:00 PM. Friday from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. The embassy is located in Sabana Sur, behind the “Contraloría” (the odd-shaped building) in the Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana, Building 5, Third floor.  The embassy websie is here.  Consular services are available in English, French and Spanish.

Other Embassies
For other embassies, the following website offers a great listing: