Callista's passport was nearing expiration. Minors are issued passports for only 5 years. Renewing meant a visit to the U.S. Embassy. We had planned on going during her mid-year school vacation so she woundn't have to miss school. Minors must accompany a parent to renew their passport. Going durning the first week gave us a chance to return the following week if we needed to. One never knows what to expected when doing official things here. We'd heard of people having horrible experiences at the embassy.
Ours was not a bad experience. Having gotten the needed form online and reading the information provided we arrived with the necessary paperwork. For those who aren't aware, as several of those in line were not, minors must, MUST be accompanied by both parents to renew a passport. If you're in a single parent situation check the U.S. Embassy website for what documents they require. It'll save you and all the others waiting in line time.
We'd been advised the passport photos taken around town are not the proper size for U.S. passports. There is a Fuji Film booth just as you enter the courtyard at the Embassy where they will take your photos for 1000 colones.
From the time we parked the car to the time we returned to the car was just about two hours. Had a couple of the people ahead of us read the information provided on the website prior to their visit the wait would've been shorter. Last week we believe there were more people than usual renewing passports and adding extra pages as the fees for these services goes up on July 13th.
F.Y.I. No photos can be taken at the U.S. Embassy other than passport photos. Don't even try to take a picture outside or you may risk losing your camera.