New postal issue honors immigrants who came to Costa Rica

The United States frequently features itself as a nation of immigrants. But now Costa Rica has adopted that theme for a new postal issue.

The issue is a pair of identical stamps with five characters obviously of different races. The idea also applied to North American expats here, although there is no figure that seems to represent older Gringos.

The official presentation of the stamp took place Thursday afternoon at the central offices of Correo de Costa Rica. Among those present was Mario Zamora Cordero, the security minister. He also supervises the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.

The Laura Chinchilla administration is trying to legalize the many thousands of foreigners here who are illegal. More than 50,000, mostly Nicaraguans, already have applied through a program that was a form of amnesty.

During the ceremony officials praised immigrants as being valuable additions to the country. Zamora said that the administration is trying to make legal an estimated 200,000 immigrants who are here illegally.

Many are construction and domestic workers, and officials just announced a special program for them. Of course, the native population whose roots go back before
Columbus, might have a different opinion, although presumably they, too, were migrants to Costa Rica in the distant past.

Each of the two stamps has a 500-colon value. That’s about $1 each. There were 15,000 stamps produced. The designer is Cristian Ramírez Vargas.

Gozaka S.A. in La Uruca did the printing. First-day covers are available for collectors.

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