Costa Rica does not have street addresses. People traditionally lived in villages and everyone knew where people lived. As communities have grown larger, people identify their location by saying where they are near, as a system of street addresses never developed. For example, the "address" for our Langosta Beach condo is "125 meters north of the Barcelo Resort." In the capitol city of San Jose, with more than 1 million people, they are only now starting to develop street addresses.
In a country without street addresses, Costa Rica has not developed a modern, efficient postal service. People do not rely on the government postal service, as it is unreliable. People can receive mail in Tamarindo from the USA by having things sent to a P.O. Box in Miami and the UPS will deliver the mail or packages to a Mail Boxes, Etc. store one block from our condo, and then people can pick up the mail or packages from there. Of course people use the internet instead of mail for most communications.
I am sure Americans find the lack of postal service perplexing, but I should point out that the USA has 5% of the world's population but sends and receives 40% of the world's mail. Mail is not part of the culture of some developing countries.
Today is Sunday, so we have new photos on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site. This week we are showing photos of San Xavier del Bac, the "White Dove of the Desert" mission south of Tucson, Arizona. It is an architectural, cultural and historical gem.
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