Mere minutes after the Boston Marathon explosions, runner Marianella Cordera started a search for the three members of her Sabana Park running group “Chirunners,” who traveled for the marathon. From her home in Costa Rica, Cordera did the only feasible thing to contact her friends: she tweeted.
“Ticos safe in Boston? Use the hashtag #TicosEnBoston to ease the minds of your friends and families.”
Dozens of Twitter users picked up the hashtag and began writing news about their fellow countrymen at the marathon. Others sent out calls searching for friends and prayers for the unaccounted for. A number of unconfirmed tweets reported that all Ticos at the event were safe.
“Thank God, they say that everything is fine,” tweeted user Marlene Hernández. “I heard from a Tico friend and also my professor and a friend that the group is safe and sound,” wrote Mariana Porras.
According to the Boston Athletic Association’s official list of entrants, 25 Costa Rican residents were registered for the race and 23 posted finishing times before the explosions, the last one finishing just 15 minutes before.
Priscilla Chaverri said she got word from her brother-in-law in Boston via WhatsApp, an Internet texting app for smartphones. While she can’t confirm the safety of all the Ticos, she claims that a large number have been accounted for.
“My brother-in-law told me that the majority of Ticos are together right now, but that everyone was together when it happened,” Chaverri tweeted.
Facebook, too, is flooded with posts and pictures from the Costa Ricans participating in the event.
“We were very close to where the explosion occurred only an hour before,” wrote Tatiana Montero, who was there to support Tico runner Federico Calderón, in a status update. “Thank god for protecting us in that instant, we found out about everything from television.”
According to a press release from the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, there are no official reports on the status of Costa Ricans at the event, but the consulates closest to the Boston area have been put on alert.
“The employees at the Foreign Ministry are doing their best to get official information from authorities, but there is no list of the Costa Ricans in Boston,” the release said. “The ministry has sent someone to Boston to make contact with Costa Rican nationals and to provide assistance if necessary.”