U.S. consul general given warm sendoff in San Ramón

Paul Birdsall is flanked by José A. Zaglul, president of EARTH University, and Jorge Araya, president of the Cámara de Comercio y Industria de San Ramón. Photo: Community Action Alliance

Paul Birdsall, who is ending his tour as consul general at the U.S. Embassy, received an appreciative sendoff in San Ramón Friday.

Birdsall has promoted a series of embassy initiatives on citizen security to reach expat and Costa Rican residents of San Ramón and elsewhere. The Cámara de Comercio y Industria de San Ramón presented him with a plaque. A local artist carved the wood on which were mounted symbols of San Ramón: a quetzal and an orchid.

Jorge Araya, chamber president, made the presentation along with local resident José A. Zaglul, who is president of EARTH University. Birdsall has been aggressive in promoting embassy outreach to the community and in visiting community groups, mainly to discuss citizen security, He is being posted to Washington, D.C.

The Community Action Alliance also wrote a letter to express the appreciation of its members:

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I am writing on behalf of the Community Action Alliance in San Ramón to express our sincere appreciation to outgoing U.S. Consul General Paul Birdsall. We first met Paul in May 2010 and over the past 16 months he has personally been responsible for a series of U.S. Embassy initiatives in the areas of Citizen Security and Economic Development that have benefited all residents of San Ramón.

In the process his cooperation and support have facilitated the integration of the ex-pat community in San Ramón into the community at large and almost single-handedly helped launch and establish the credibility of the Community Action Alliance. San Ramón is much better off as a result of the service of U.S. Consul General Paul Birdsall.

To Paul from the City of Poets and Presidents:


I ground red hematite
Between two stones and mixed it
With my honey-colored urine
Then slapped my painty palm
Against the canyon wall, saying

I was here. I came this way.

Paul: You’ve left your palm print in San Ramón and it says “I was here; I made a difference.”

Thank you for your service and friendship; you will be missed!

Mike Styles
Community Action Alliance of Costa Rica

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