Costa Rica


DACR is the official country committee for US Democrats living in Costa Rica.  We're an active group who get together to talk politics, learn about issues, register absentee voters and work to ensure more Democrats in state and Federal offices.  DACR usually holds a monthly meeting the last Saturday of the month plus other scheduled special events such as potluck parties, picnics, film showings and fundraisers.  Meetings include invited speakers on U.S. or Costa Rican topical issues.

Our mission is to help Americans living abroad to register to vote and to request their absentee ballots with, to elect Democrats, and to educate Americans living, working, serving, and/or studying abroad about issues and legislation that affects them.

 Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the Democratic Party for US citizens living outside the United States and its territories. The Democratic Party is the only major American political party that affords its members this opportunity. Democrats Abroad holds seats on the Democratic National Committee and sends a voting delegation to its national convention to nominate our candidate for President. Democrats Abroad Costa Rica (DACR) is one of more than 100 country committees of Democrats Abroad, the official affiliate of the Democratic Party for millions living outside of the U.S. 

If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad in Costa Rica please contact us.

Steve Johnson Chair 
Democrats Abroad – Costa Rica

[email protected]

Like our Facebook Page

DA Costa Rica Leadership:

Miguel Madrigal
| Vice Chair; Youth Caucus Chair
steven Johnson
| Membership Secretary
Lydia Barrow-Hankins
| Recording Secretary
See all Leaders

  • News

    DACR Executive Committee Elections 2023

    Nominee for Chair - Kathy Rothschild

    Presently, Kathy serves as Treasurer of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica. Now Kathy’s running for Chair. This is not her first go-around. When she first served as Chair, DACR had 500+ members and she promised to engage more members and reach out beyond the Central Valley to other geographical areas. DACR stands at 1600+ members.   

    The last two years the world faced the pandemic and we had to reinvent ourselves on the spot. Under Steve’s dedicated leadership, DACR has increased our volunteer base, and we have put ourselves on the map globally. 

    So, the question is where do we go from here? Kathy welcomes the opportunity to work together with an awesome team to take the lessons learned operating during the pandemic and create a plan for moving forward. She asks for your vote to be elected to the position of Chair.

    Kathy moved to Costa Rica with her husband, Ross from New York City in August of 2012, and they vote in the state of New York. She is the owner of Good Books Gal, consulting on all aspects of QuickBooks Online financial software.

    Kathy is a longtime activist for human rights, and she has a passion for environmental issues.

    Nominee for Vice Chair -Miguel Madrigal

    José Miguel Madrigal is a 27-year-old law school student, running for Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica.

    Born on the Fourth of July, 1995, in Columbus, Ohio, he lived the first six years of his life in the United States, before relocating to Costa Rica, where both of his parents are from.

    If there is something that makes Miguel tick, it’s politics. On his 18th birthday, he joined Democrats Abroad! Ever since, he’s registered hundreds of expats, making sure their votes are counted back home. Over the past nine years as a Democrats Abroad member, he’s spent most of his time trying to motivate members and make sure they register to vote. He volunteered in the Hispanic Caucus, ensuring Spanish speaking voters have a voice in our party. He even travelled back to the United States, knocking on doors in Georgia for the U.S. Senate runoffs in 2021, engaging with hundreds of voters in the process.

    In 2021, he was appointed as Chair of the Youth Caucus, where he has been planning events to encourage young overseas U.S. citizens to vote.

    As a dynamic member of Democrats Abroad, he asks for your vote in the 2023 Executive Committee election. 

    Nominee for Recording Secretary - Lydia Barrow Hankins

    Having always voted from abroad, but currently registered in Georgia--sadly in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district, Lydia spent a career in Japan (43 years) as a pastor, moving to Costa Rica 4 ½ years ago. Lydia jumped quickly into becoming Chair in Grecia, and then Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica. She helped organize the 2020 Democrats Abroad Primary in Grecia, and then organized and/or participated in ballot request/voter registration events in Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon, and Escazú on July 4 in 2022. Her husband Ron is a psychotherapist, and she has two grown sons and a grandson. If elected, she looks forward to continuing to serve on the Executive Committee in a new capacity. She feels that she has found a home, not only in Costa Rica, but with Democrats Abroad.

    Nominee for Membership Secretary - Steve Johnson

    Steve is a 77- year-old retired librarian living in Heredia with his Costa Rican wife, María. Steve first came to Costa Rica as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1968, left Costa Rica, and returned in 2009 when he retired. In his 29 years as a faculty member at Clemson University he advocated for intellectual freedom and environmental protection, chairing numerous academic and library committees at the state and national level. He was also active in local community organizations, serving on the Pickens County Environmental Committee, was the founding chair of the Clemson City Green Committee, and chaired the South Carolina Sierra Club. During Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, he canvassed for him with the NAACP. He became an active member of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica in 2016. I’ve served on DACR’s executive committee during the last six years and is currently chair. He also coordinated the get-out-the-vote campaigns for the 2018, 2020, and 2022 elections. In 2018, he flew to Atlanta and worked on the Georgia Democratic Voter Hotline. He wishes to continue as an active member of our Executive Committee and to coordinate the get-out-the-vote campaign in 2024.

    Nominee for Treasurer - Rosalie Olds

    Rosalie is a retired librarian from the Seattle, Washington Area.  In 2019, Rosalie and her husband moved to Atenas, Alajuela. They bought property and built a new home. As a librarian and union activist she values freedom of speech and basic human rights for all. Supporting Democrats Abroad is important to her as she recognizes that the current Republican Party is a major threat to both of these. As treasurer of Democrats Abroad, she will work hard to keep this organization healthy and strong. Every Democratic organization that is healthy and strong will assist in blocking the damaging power of a very far right agenda.

    Nominee for Member at Large - Connie Sandlin

    Connie Sandlin is a Dallas, Texas native who moved to Puriscal, San José, Costa Rica with her husband, Dick, in 2008. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Arlington (with an emphasis on Social Work) and she minored in Spanish. While at UTA, Connie organized the campus-wide, all-day observance of the first Earth Day in 1970. The event was attended by U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough (D-TX) and U.S. Representative Jim Wright (D-TX).  

     An environmentalist from a young age, she volunteered with the Audubon Society on conservation and habitat protection. Her stint as Vice President-Field Trips for Audubon Dallas brought her to Costa Rica for birdwatching. That week motivated her to move to Costa Rica. In Puriscal, Connie and Dick have spent time volunteering with young adult English learners. 


    Connie started volunteering with Democrats Abroad Costa Rica in 2018 to promote expat voter registration, with more Puriscal expats registering each biennial voting cycle. Being retired without a fixed schedule, she devoted thousands of hours to phonebanking in 2022.  Her granddaughters who are growing up in Texas, ages 10 and 14, are her motivation to get out the blue vote.

    Nominee for Member at Large - Sam Goodman

    Originally from Upstate New York, Sam has been based in Costa Rica the last seven years. He currently serves as Climate Policy Lead for La Ruta del Clima, a Costa Rican based NGO that works on climate issues, as well as a Communications Associate with the Climate Policy Initiative. He helped draft the Democratic Abroad platform ahead of the 2020 elections and is involved with the Democrats Abroad Global Environment and Crisis Council. He hopes to continue providing his subject matter expertise on environmental issues and supporting efforts to get out the vote. 

    Nominee for Liason to Counsel - Julio Noboa

    Julio Noboa is a published poet, author, opinion columnist and social studies professor now retired and living in Costa Rica. He obtained his Ph.D. in Education and Curriculum Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and has taught doctoral, graduate and undergraduate courses most recently at the University of Texas at El Paso. His research published in peer-reviewed journals investigates issues of race, diversity and ideology in educational curricula most especially in history and social studies courses and textbooks. On numerous occasions, he has provided testimony to the Texas State Board of Education regarding the underrepresentation of [email protected], Women and People of Color in the curriculum standards. 

    For nearly a decade, Julio Noboa was a regular columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and for five years with the Spanish-language Estrella de Dallas Fort Worth. His articles have been published, among other news sources, by the Houston Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, Orlando SentinelLatino Rebels and Tico Times. He served as member and Board Chair for the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas. He is currently Co-Coordinator of Unitarian Universalists of Costa Rica. He has also been an active member of Democrats Abroad Costa Rica for the last six years.


    Nominee for DPCA Voting Representative - Barbara Steenstrup

    The primary responsibility of the DPCA Voting Representative is to represent Costa Rica when voting on charter amendments.  resolutions that guide the direction of the global and national organizations and electing the Global Executive Committee. Barbara Steenstrup would be honored to represent Democrats Abroad Costa Rica at the DPCA.

    Barbara Steenstrup joined DACR when she moved to Costa Rica in 2016. She was Secretary and is currently a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee. Barbara works on voter registration events for every election. She regularly hosts DACR events in her home.

    Barbara is a lifelong Democrat, who lived in Kenya for thirty years. She worked actively for the election of Barack Obama. Barbara hosted a major information event for US citizens in Kenya, that was addressed by President Obama’s sister, Ouma, and raised $7,000 toward Obama’s campaign.

    Barbara was a Management Consultant, working internationally for more than 30 years. Her areas of expertise are project design and management, organizational governance, and mentorship of younger consultants. She led Enterprise Advisory Services for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the East African region. Barbara has MA and BA degrees from American University in Washington, D.C.

    read more

    Voting with Cool Jazz



    • DATE: Saturday, October 1st 2022
    • PLACE:  Tin Jo Asian Restaurant
    • VOTER HELP: 10 - 11 am
    • LIGHT JAZZ with saxophonist Lawrence Cohen: 11 am  - 12 pm
    • LUNCH: Starting at 12 pm

    Your vote will help:

    • Save our democracy
    • Protect women's rights
    • Fight climate change
    • Stop gun violence

    Requesting, completing & sending your ballot

    Volunteers will be on hand to assist you in completing your US ballot and sending it to your local election office in the United States

    What if you don't receive your ballot

    Ballots for U.S. citizens living abroad will be sent out via email on September 24. If it does not appear in your inbox, check your spam folder. In the event you do not receive it, you can send a federal backup ballot. Volunteers will be on hand to assist you in completing your backup ballot.

    If attending, please click on the link below

    Where can I ask questions?
    Email  DemocratsAbroadCostaRic[email protected] or call the Vote from Abroad Costa Rica Voter Hotline at 8428-6792.

    Please tell your friends and spread the word!

    read more
    See all posts

    Upcoming Events

    Friday, March 03, 2023 at 12:00 AM through March 31, 2023 Eastern Time (US & Canada)

    ERA Call to Action - Cake time

    The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced
    in Congress in 1923 - 100 years ago!

    To commemorate that, Democrats Abroad is joining women across the U.S.
    holding birthday parties 
    in March – many on March 22
    the date in 1972 that Congress submitted the ERA to the states for ratification.

    Despite that we’ve met all the constitutional requirements, the ERA has not been published.

    The goal is to raise awareness that the ERA is still not officially in the US Constitution.

    So have a little party with a birthday cake or cupcakes in recognition that we are still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment to be added to the US Constitution.  This can be a small gathering in you home, a large gathering, or simply part of an already planned meeting or event.   Take lots of photos and post on social media with hashtag #ERA100.
    Please share these flyers at the birthday party and with your family and friends:

    Equal Means Equal has created a "cookbook" of ideas and graphics for groups to leverage. Click here to access.

    For more details on the ERA 100th birthday party, listen to Shari Temple’s appearance on the DA Blue Cafe podcast. 

    Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 07:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) · 5 rsvps

    PUT YOUR $ WHERE YOUR ♥ IS – “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Screening (AP Friendly Time)

    Picture of Hasan Minhaj with event name and time

    This Hasan Minhaj episode has perhaps never been more relevant as discussions about student loan forgiveness plans in the U.S. continue. Join us as we watch the episode and discuss our opinions on one of the most important issues affecting young voters!

    When you RSVP you will receive an email with the link to join on Zoom.


    March 21, 2023 at 8:00pm – 10:30pm Tokyo Time


    Online via Zoom (RSVP for details)