Editorial- Guanacastecans: Are We Behind The Times or Are We Changing the Story?

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We sound like a broken record: in Guanacaste, there is no work, we don’t have opportunities like the people from San Jose, you have to go to the capital to study, the province does not develop, and we can go on with this same story for hours, but are we sure that this story can’t change?

The province of Guanacaste could start to experience an intensely seductive opportunity, but to do so, we all have to get our act together. The panorama in the Greater Metropolitan Area is very clear: the streets are jammed, there are no longer many investment opportunities, costs are extremely high and insecurity abounds in the communities. In other words, not all is well there. We have what they lack, and that boils down to us being attractive in terms of business.

There are now nine technology-related companies that have set up operations in the Chorotega region, and one more is still expected to arrive this year. This business scenario is not excessively high. On the contrary, it is only in its infancy but it is still attention-grabbing in a province where, for years, livestock, agriculture, fishing and tourism have prevailed in the economic structure, but now there is a new focus of attraction.

Tourism has already taught us the valuable lesson that if we are not prepared, most professional jobs that are created get filled by people from the Central Valley, which should not matter to us as Costa Ricans, because in the end, we are from the same place. However, the lessons are not in vain and we realized that we need to empower ourselves. We can’t be ungrateful for the large amount of employment that has been created by hotels and restaurants, but it is time for us Guanacastecans to be the leaders.

Education has to become our main ally in Guanacaste. Academic and professional training will be our only tool to show investors that their companies can indeed risk setting up operations in the area, because there is a supply of human resources; yes, there are capable professionals, dedicated to their jobs, who have great qualities.

For decades, we Guanacastecans have been dedicated to hard work in the fields and we have never hung our heads, but now, with that same courage, we have to use our heads in areas where we can be highly competitive such as water technologies, specialties in renewable energy and a vast technological field.

Our vision has to break the barriers that we ourselves have forged, of just being employees for a company. We are capable of undertaking projects that we build ourselves, of creating jobs and stimulating the economy in our communities.

Guanacaste’s territory is rich in renewable energy, where wind, hydro and geothermal energies have been used and people are starting to plunge into solar energy. However, until now, not one municipality has seized upon this niche or designed a project for the future.

Right now, we have a kind of diamond in the rough, and if we take things seriously, we could change the story for our province. How inspirational it would be if, in addition to being distinguished by having the most beautiful beaches, we could shine as having the most modern companies, being the province with the highest level of professionals, with the lowest unemployment rate and, most importantly, sustainable development.