In Guanacaste you can eat the best corn tortillas in the country. The music is happy and festive, and of course we could go on about the bull riding.
This smattering of traditions will form part of a new program created by various public and communal agencies called El Guaco Guanacastecan Cultural Center, to be located in the community of Paso Tempisque de Palmira, in Carrillo.
When completed, the 41-acre ranch will have a tortilla factory, an amphitheater, a bullring, a farm, a crafts market and other attractions that will be built in various phases.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Zonal Union of Integral Development Associations of the District of Sardinal, or USADIZ, and brings together different communities. The plan is among the projects of the national program Tejiendo Desarrollo, which serves as a uniter of the organizations.
The cultural center is one of the first initiatives in Guanacaste to unite such a broad range of institutions around a similar project, and it’s classified as a priority on Tejiendo Desarrollo’s agenda. That will directly benefit the community, because the return on commercial activities will be reinvested in the region, according to Tejiendo Desarrollo Guanacaste program leader Luis Diego Aguilar.
“If the project generates a net revenue of ¢20 million every six months, that money must be converted into communal work so that it has an important impact,” Aguilar said.
Step By Step
The first phase of the ranch will be inaugurated in December with a tortilla factory and folkloric and cultural presentations. Investment in the first phase totaled ¢711 million, with funding from Inder, which included the purchase of land, renovation and construction of roads and parking lots.
For the initial operation, 49 full-time jobs will be created, and once the complex is finished, 142 people will have a job at the project.
Construction on the bullring and amphitheater will start in 2017, although funding hasn’t yet been secured. USADIZ currently is negotiating more than ¢352 million with Dinadeco and Banco Popular to finish the project.
For Vera Beatriz, Guanacaste cultural promoter at the Culture Ministry, El Guarco Ranch is unique in that it will help to revitalize the culture, while at the same time generating development by utilizing the culture of Guanacaste as raw materials.
“This project can become a motor of development that brings to the forefront cultural legacy associated with folklore and festivities,” Vargas said.
Priscilla Solano, president of the Guanacaste Tourism Chamber, said the project is a great option for tourists, who currently are exposed to these traditions only at popular festivals.
She added that the ranch also will benefit Guanacastecans indirectly, because many of them likely will become suppliers of products and services.