In order to talk with and get to know the concerns of Nicoyans, the former president of the republic, José María Figueres Olsen, showed up in the Coopealianza auditorium in downtown Nicoya on July 24.
Figueres, now 58 years old, was president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, distinguished as the youngest head of state of Central America in modern times at age 39. In addition to his political career, he is also a businessman and international expert on sustainable development and technology.
About 20 people showed up for the discussion, and Figueres listened attentively to the requests and concerns expressed by the audience. The main requests made to the businessman concerned the lack of employment in the county and the high production costs of local farmers, among others.
Figueres, with his computer, showed data and statistics to those in attendance and presented some economic indicators such as the growth in unemployment in recent years and the relationship between the national and the global economy.
However, the former president referred to the positive points of the country and especially Guanacaste as a tourism zone. “You have to know how to market the country’s brand to have economic investments and opportunities,” he said. “The country is focused on big business tourism, not ecotourism, which should be our priority,” he said.
Other development conglomerates that Figueres mentioned were the agricultural sector as a priority to guarantee food security, to encourage local software production, medical tourism, education and the generation of clean energies in Guanacaste. After the discussion, the former president emphasized to Nicoyans their obligation to unite as a city and thereby be able to achieve the objectives that they propose.