We went to San Jose last week to finalize the paperwork for our Residency status.

In 2011, we came to Costa Rica while Johanna was five months pregnant. Because we were having a baby in Costa Rica, all first-level relatives (parents and siblings) of a Costa Rican citizen are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency.

We needed a lot of paperwork.

We never would have been able to manage the paperwork maze without the right lawyers for residency in Costa Rica. Javier and Mayanye Zavaleta are a brother-and-sister team. Javier is in Los Angeles, and Mayanye is in San Jose. The process took a year, but they helped us navigate the legendary Costa Rican bureaucracy.

I’ve heard of plenty of people who have been working for 7-10 years to complete the residencia process. Having seen the roadblocks and obstacles that Mayanye was able to overcome and defuse with her charm, her grit, and her personal influence (her husband is the Chief Supreme Court Justice in the country, after all) I was very pleased with hiring this difficult process out to people who knew how to do it well.

We also had a trip.