Costa Rica Tries to Go Postal

Address reform would help mail carriers who deliver to '125 meters west of Pizza Hut'
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2007 3:01 PM CST
For some, the absence of regulation is a throwback to cultural heritage. But for mail carriers, it can be an exercise in frustration.   (
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(Newser) – In Costa Rica, numbered houses and named streets are the exception rather than rule, forcing mail carriers to seek out addresses like "125 meters west of the Pizza Hut." The government is rolling out a plan to standardize addresses, but, for now, one out of five pieces of mail is simply undeliverable, authorities tell the LA Times.

One postal worker says that to do his job he has to be "a historian and a detective." San Jose residents use the Coca-Cola plant and a well-known fig tree as landmarks, although neither still exists. Many Costa Ricans take pride in their idiosyncrasy, but others balk. "How can a tree be an address?" asks one. "Bad habits. That's our problem."