Even in retirement, ex-coast guard chief can’t shake British tradition

A familiar Costa Rican name with political legacy is behind a small and relatively unknown sausage business. Claudio Pacheco, the one-time director of the national coast guard and brother of former president Abel, sells homemade pork sausage and produces the monthly e-mail newsletter, Banger News.

Pacheco has been making sausage since 1987, initially inspired by the bangers and mash he ate at pubs when he lived in Britain. When they returned to Costa Rica, his wife who worked in the British embassy would sell the bangers to her nostalgic co-workers.

Through his newsletter that has 453 subscribers, he lets readers know where and when he will be selling his sausages around town. Along with his sausages, he also sells cheese made from his nephew’s farm and his wife’s lemon curds.

“Being that many of my customers are British and foreigners, I don’t have troubles with Tico time,” Pacheco said. He also said he has a decent amount of American and Costa Rican regulars.

There is a butcher near the downtown Coca-Cola bus stop where Pacheco has bought his pork for years. He said he primarily uses the leg of pork and believes that his product has an edge on other sausages because of his emphasis on quality meat inside the tubing.

Now retired, Pacheco said his company does not have a name and that he makes the sausages because its a passion. “This is just to put some money in the pocket,” he said. “It’s not for doing a commercial thing.” Fittingly, as a kid his classmates nicknamed him “Salchicha.”

He keeps his days occupied by playing golf twice a week, delving into a newly discovered love of photography, and overseeing an American Legion branch.

Pacheco was graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1964, where he attended John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and saw snow for the first time.

Through an agreement that the U.S. government has with a handful of other countries to better their international relations, selected foreigners are able to attend American military schools. He has since helped several other Costa Rican men get into the academy.

Under the Miguel Ángel Rodríguez administration, Pacheco was appointed to head the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas. He continued in the position when his brother succeeded Rodríguez as president.

Pacheco said he also makes homemade relish and chutney on occasion. If interested in signing up for his emailing list or getting a shipment of bangers, email Pacheco at pacheco.claudio@gmail.com.

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