Laugh or Cry, It's Ham Radio in Costa Rica!

Posted this in QRZ forums, copying word by word here... Thought it worth a laugh.

I moved to Costa Rica in 2008. At that time, any U.S. or Canadian ham got automatic operating reciprocity via a "letter of understanding" between the countries, so no official application was required.

Around 2015, two agencies, SUTEL and MICITT (ministry of telecommunications), basically copy-n-pasted Panama's ham regulations into theirs and required formal application for reciprocity. I finally made such application in January 2016, which required a tedious, detailed form (including a listing of all rigs, gear and antennas). I had to search in roundabout ways to find the right contact person to process my application via email (was not going to make the seven-hour roundtrip to their San José office if I could help it).

During that effort to obtain reciprocity so long ago now, there were about 4-5 people on a months-long email thread. About every 3 months, I had to ping them and each time it was obvious that they had done nothing in the interim to move things forward, but each ping gained a little progress. Finally, in early 2017, I got a lengthy legalese document signed by the President of Costa Rica in PDF form granting me permission. I then sent this on to ARRL/LOTW to reinstate LOTW access.

They got a good laugh at the ARRL, because I hadn't noticed that buried in that document MICITT had gotten the call sign wrong. Completely wrong! The ARRL contact said they were so surprised that I'd actually made it through the process that they granted me LOTW access anyway. I simply e-mailed the main person at MICITT about the wrong call sign. That email was never replied to.

So, I'm going along happily since then making QSOs, until today, over 2 years later, out of the blue, MICITT sends me another 8-page legalese document whose sole purpose is correction of the call sign and stating that I had 3 work days (how generous given how long they took) to raise any issues with this correction.

Surprise and laughter were my reactions. Of course, this would only bring a shrug of shoulders from my Tico neighbors.

73 es gud dx,

Casey, TI2/NA7U

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Thanks very much for your comment! 73, Casey