Editorial: Dear Mr. President…

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

Dear Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, as usual and as all regional media would, The Voice of Guanacaste followed your tracks during your visit through Guanacaste, in commemoration of the 191st anniversary of the Annexation of Nicoya.

Your visit may have been the most extensive tour made here by a president in recent years, and we believe that you have been one of the few leaders who took enough time to listen to all of the Guanacaste voices: entrepreneurs, farmers, producers, young and old. This is evident and appreciated. However, a year after taking office is not the time for listening to people or getting to know needs. It is time for action.

The problems currently affecting Guanacaste are undoubtedly the same ones that have affected itsince one or three or 10 years ago. The only difference is that their impact is ever increasing. To say that there is no water in Guanacaste, that the ASADAs lack resources, that the roads are gravel and there are more and more people sick due to the dust— that is nothing new. Everyone knows that.

We recognize that not everyone comes with their entourage, like ministers and executive presidents, to show their faces to the people and give explanations, but Guanacaste is tired of explanations, justifications or excuses, because you are not the first to say these things. We know that many of these questions asked by the people of this land are not from this administration but rather from past administrations, but this is an inheritance that you took on the day you hung the presidential banner.

Those of us who live in the province anticipate the 25th of July, not just to remember that we decided to join Costa Rica of our own free will almost 200 years ago, but also because we know that it is the day when the presidents come to make us promises and although many of these stand out as unfulfilled, we have the magnanimity to listen to them. Moreover, there are times that we would like to have five 25ths of July to see if things are in motion.

These people are so worn out that we know the promises by heart. See for yourself that in 2007, the then minister of MOPT Karla Gonzalez told us that the designs for Route 160 were ready. Then in 2010, Mr. Oscar Arias explained that he didn’t have a chance but that the next government would do it. After that, Laura Chinchilla told us that the money was even approved but nothing ever happened. You came last year and said that in 2015, you would come to see the work progressing, but the people of Guanacaste have not seen anything new. What is more, the maintenance on the route that you promised throughout the year was only done for a few days right after your visit and now just before you came.

Or the case of arsenic in the water in Bagaces, which is not a situation for which you can come to “listen” to the people— this requires immediate action because it has to do with the health of the people of Guanacaste. Yes, AyA and the Ministry of Health have invested in filters to remove arsenic from the water and have brought drinking water by tanker trucks to the populations that most need it, but what the people asked of you last year was a definitive solution and that has still not come.

We could continue listing hundreds of issues that trouble this province.

Hopefully the agreement that you signed in the roundtable discussions for Guanacaste, which links various ministries and legislators elected by the province, can really make a change in your management and help Guanacaste progress.

Dear Mr. President, to wish you well is to wish the country well, so we hope that law projects, agreements and treaties are put into motion with the same cheer with which you started this presidential tour, so that Costa Rica and Guanacaste can move forward.

Come more often. The people here appreciate it.