La Esperanza School Children Don’t Have Lunchroom Due to Legal Mess with Property

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The possibility for public school children to receive book donations from the Ministry of Public Education (MEP- Ministerio de Educacion Publica) or even to build them a school cafeteria is something impossible for students from the school in La Esperanza in Nosara.

This was confirmed to The Voice of Guanacaste by the school principal, Alicia Matarrita, who explained that the school property is not in the name of the institution and therefore MEP can’t invest in it.

“Now we have a problem with the school since the property is not in our name. This is affecting a lot. For example, the money to build the lunchroom is available already because the school was affected by the earthquake, but now it turns out that since the school isn’t [in our] name, we can’t receive funds from MEP,” Matarrita said.

Currently the school property is in the name of neighbor Silvina Dalorzo due to a donation made to the school board in 2014.

Dalorzo exxplained to The Voice of Guanacastethat in 2003, the director at the time, Elieser Reyes, asked her to segregate her property because the school grounds were supposedly within Dalorzo’sproperty. However, Dalorzo erroneously transferred 1,300 square meters to the institution, losing the registration for the property.

After years of trying to recover the title, the neighbor said that in May of 2014, a document appeared in the National Registery in which the board of education transferred the property to her, but the land that was transferred was the school land and not Dalorzo’s; in other words, the neighbor now owns the school property and not her original land, and the institution does not own any land.

In 2003, Silvina Dalorzo segregated 1300 square meters but instead ofthe school grounds, it was the land where she and her family live, so in 2004 the board of education transferred property to Dalorzo, with the intention of returning her the land, but instead of transferring her house’s land, they transferred the school’s land.
For her part, Melissa Barrantes, fromMEP’sAdministration of Educational Infrastructure and Equipment, confirmed that the ministry cannot invest public funds on private property, so the school can’t receive donations from the entity.

“The school board is the one that has to get moving to put the property in order legally. We can’t interfere on the property if it is in the name of a third party,” Barrantes clarified.

Given this situation, Ramon Mendoza, president of the board of education, commented that they have sought legal advice and what has been recommended is to nullify the registrations and do another measurement of the school property and Dalorzo’s neighboring property since both properties can be legally registered because the boundaries are marked.

However, Mendoza believes that MEP should give them financial aid in order to pay the lawyers and follow up on the case since they have had very little support.