More than 30 organizations from different parts of Guanacaste are organizing to tour the streets of Nicoya on July 25 to call on the government to improve living conditions in the province.
Members of the movement include development associations, communal leaders, environmentalists, farmers and residents mainly from the Nicoya canton, who will ask Luis Solis’s government to declare the drought that is battering the area and harming agriculture a national emergency. In addition, they will plea for urgently-needed attention to highways and for a guaranteed water supply for housing projects.
Wilmar Matarrita, a lawyer and the movement’s coordinator, explained that the protest will be peaceful and that it seeks to establish dialogue with government authorities. “We are suggesting that the new government open their doors and not do the same as other governments, and that we can bring dialogue to the table on July 25,” he said.
Matarrita also said that they want to meet with the mayor and Nicoya’s municipal council members to address those issues.
On that subject, Juan Luis Aguirre, municipal council president, reported that he was not aware of the protest movement and that no one had contacted him to request an audience at the council session on July 25.
As such, Mayor Marco Jimenez reported that he will not join the protest, as the official did in 2012 when he decided not to host former President Laura Chinchilla. The reason, according to Jimenez, is that the current government only recently took power; he believes it is inappropriate to launch those protests at this time.
For his part, Matarrita said that conversations with government officials are continuing so that the table for dialogue is included in the presidential agenda.
“We are hoping to bring some 3,000 people to the park so that it will be a very big march, nurtured by people from many communities,” said Matarrita.