Nicaraguans are flooding both Costa Rican consulates in that country to get the documents they need to return from Christmas vacation.
The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said Monday that thousands had sought the needed visas in Managua and in Chinandega.
Photos provided by the ministry show large crowds waiting to enter the Managua consulate.
Some 3,100 Nicaraguans visited the Managua consulate Friday to get visas, and some 2,193 visas were issued before closing Monday, said the ministry. Consulate workers in Chinandega were issuing more than 700 visa a day, nearly triple the average.
Since Dec. 11, both consulates issued a total of 23,080 visas, said the ministry.
There is a long tradition of Nicaraguans who live and work in Costa Rica returning to their homeland for the holidays. For years Costa Rica has required them to pay for a new visa to return.
The ministry noted that the consulate in Managua has new facilities because neighbors forced the closure of the previous location, The new facility has 10 windows where individuals can see visas and other procedures.