The City Hall of Nicoya invested ¢48 ($89,286.00) million in a theme park in Sámara that has never opened its doors. The lights and water are even suspended for lack of payment.
This was confirmed by the City Hall of Nicoya engineer Josué Ruiz. The resources that were invested come from funds the city receives from the exit tax at the Daniel Oduber Airport.
“The park is ready to be used as it is, at least in the daytime. But the infrastructure part for activities is lacking,” the engineer said.
In an accord struck on January 17 this year, the city decided to hand over administration of the park to the Samara Pro Tourism Association, that will open on January 17th.
Even though the park doesn’t appear in the city budget for 2018, budget and planning department official Daisy Marín confirmed that the association will install tables and benches.
Since its inception, Sámara Theme Park project was supposed to boost tourism, commerce, sports and environment with the installation of a skateboard ramp, areas for children to play in and for picnicking, an amphitheatre and local business spaces for rent. At one point, a butterfly house was even considered.
This was how the park looked when it was just finished in 2016. The gardening is now disappeared. Archive photo.
When The Voice of Guanacaste visited the park, on January 9th, the only thing tangible in this 3.500-square meter terrain are two playgrounds for kids, light posts, a guard post and trails, which are covered with brush from branches that fall from the trees.
According to Ruiz, the city is assessing a tax for Samara residents so that they can use those resources to open a position for someone to take charge of park maintenance. They are performing an analysis of the district’s tax situation to determine if this is possible.
“At the beginning everything was fine, the lighting at night looked nice, but it has all deteriorated,” says Alexis Jiménez, a local businessman who the city gave the keys to so he could clean it “when he was able” since his restaurant is next door.