Four out of five council members at the Municipality of Nicoya favor the initiative to create a Municipal District Council for Nosara, which would grant the community more autonomy in administering its resources.
For years, residents of Nosara and Samara have complained that the Municipality of Nicoya invests less money in their communities than the revenue they generate.
According to the Municipal District Council Autonomy Law, approved on February 11, MDCs have autonomy and can receive municipal fees, such as those for permits, fines or taxes. In addition, any mayor or councilor who does not adequately fulfill their duties according to the law could be dismissed.
The Nicoyan councilors’ opinions demonstrate their agreement that the Nicoya canton has failed Nosara with regards to investment in public works.
Rodolfo Orozco, a councilor from the National Liberation Party (PLN – Partido Liberación Nacional), said that he is “in favor” of Nosara being able to make its own decisions through an MDC. Nevertheless, he advised that the community will have to be very unified to achieve it.
“I am in favor, as Nosara needs more investment and it is true that, as a municipality, we haven’t given them what we should have. However, I see that the town and organizations of Nosara are divided and coordination is lacking.”
Similarly, Carlos Medina, councilor for the Citizen Action Party (PAC – Partido Acción Ciudadana), added, “It is the municipality’s obligation to work for the well-being of the majority of Nicoyans.”
Ana Lizeth Espinoza, president of the municipal council, said that, “We can all respectfully explain our opinions, and if the next government supports them [Nosarans], I feel that it’s our responsibility to also support them. I’m familiar with the [Nosara] area, as I worked in Garza for a few years. I know that it’s a tourist area, which isn’t reflected in its works and development, and I know that there are leaders who are worried about Nosara’s progress.”
Meanwhile, Juan Luis Aguirre, a councilor from the Libertarian Movement (Movimiento Libertario), indicated that in order to take this kind of decision, there should first be unity among communal leaders. He thinks that currently, everyone wants to take “water to their own mills,” which is to say they only want to work for their own self-interest.
“I am in favor if there is unity and consensus, as well as a sense of common interest in the community,” said the councilor.
Even if Nosara can meet all of the conditions necessary to form an MDC, one council member, Juan Edwin Yockchen from the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC – Partido Unidad Social Cristiana), expressed his disagreement. He believes that it would be better if the community goes little by little, first organizing itself to bring a serious proposal to the council instead of trying to separate from Nicoya.
“Nosara should first organize itself to come to an audience with the municipal council before trying to gain independence from Nicoya,” explained Yockchen.
According to the council member, who said that he’s seen very few Nosara organizations come to the council to request help or propose solutions, a comprehensive decision could be made to resolve the district’s problems, if there was unity and communication among the communal associations. “I think that there is no organization among the communal associations; they can’t even agree among themselves. If there is a change it should be an improvement and I currently doubt that separating from Nicoya is it.”
Marco Avila, a Nosara syndic and president of the Nosara Community Development Association (ADIN – Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Nosara), said that steps to organize the community have already happened.
“In March, we created the Pro Nosara Municipal District Council Commission to bring together the opinions of groups from the area, such as ADIN, ASADAs, the Nosara Civic Association and representatives from La Esperanza, Garza, [and] Las Delicias, among others,” he explained.
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