Despite various difficulties, the residents of La Esperanza Norte of Nicoya and the surrounding areas will finally have a new high school. The construction is underway with a budget more than 266 million colones ($532,000).
This educational project initiated in the year 2000 through an agreement between the local development association and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP).
It started out as a tele-highschool module, an educational system to teach the class through television broadcasts as an alternative for rural areas, but in 2007 the Council of Education of Costa Rica announced that this system had many shortcomings, including lack of materials such as books and videos and the lack of an advisor and curricular support. As a result, in 2009 the project was elevated to the category of rural high school.
According to William Vasquez Naranjo, one of the project managers, the administrative work for the project began in 2005, thanks to Jose Cruz Navarro Baltodano, who donated a plot of four acres. A year later, it was approved by the Department of Infrastructure and Educational Facilities (DIEE) of MEP, and assigned a budget of 28 million colones ($56,000) for the first phase, which would include three classrooms, a principal’s office and a set of bathrooms, but due to administrative red tape the project was not solidified until now.
The current budget of 266 million colones includes five classrooms, two sets of bathrooms, a dining room, covered walkways, the principal’s office, and security guard post. The company that is in charge of the works is Constructora Peñaranda S.A., and according to the architect in charge of the project, Rogelio Hernandez, the building should be complete by mid-October.
This project will benefit several communities in the highlands of the cantons of Santa Cruz and Nicoya respectively. From Santa Cruz it will serve the communities of Los Angeles de Arado, Vista al Mar, and Cerro Negro, and in Nicoya the communities of Colas de Gallo, Juan Diaz, San Lorenzo, Oriente, el Jobo, Garci Muñoz, and La Esperanza. Currently the high school has an enrollment of about 80 students; however, according to Frank Morales Cabalceta, president of the administrative board of the high school, the enrollment tends to increase every year.