Nicoya to Host World Blue Zone Conference

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Nicoya will host the World Blue Zone Conference from November 16-18. People more than 100-years-old from the world’s five blue zones will participate in the activity.


The event will take place in various parts of Nicoya (see graph below) and will have research forums, marimba concerts and bands, folkloric theatre performances, a food fair, popular dancing, storytellers, documentary film showings, and gatherings with the oldest living people on the planet who will share their secrets to a healthy life.


For Luz Guevara, coordinator of the La Virginia group for the elderly, this is an opportunity to share with oldest living people from other cultures and make known the Nicoya community of elderlies.


We are going to have a retreat with only the oldest living individuals and the rest of us can enjoy everything that we do in public,” Guevara said.


The activity will also host the meeting of leaders for the five blue zones which include Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Icaria in Greece and Loma Linda, California.  


Special international guests include renowned blue zone researchers Dan Buettner from the United States, Christina Chysohoou from Greece, Giovanni Mario Pes and Paolo Francalacci from Italy, Diego Bernardi from Argentina, Makoto Suzuki from Japan and Michelle Poulain from Belgium.


The opening conference will be held by Luis Rosero Bixby, Costa Rican blue zone researcher for the Central American Population Center (CCP) at the University of Costa Rica.


The deputy health minister and the second vice-president of Costa Rica will also attend the inauguration.


“The conference seeks to generate public policies oriented toward the elderly and the preservation of the characteristics that helped these people live so long,” said conference coordinator Mario William Acosta.


The event will take place thanks to the joint efforts of the Health Ministry, the Presidency, the Costa Rica Tourism Institute (ICT), the National Institute of Learning (INA), the National Board for the Elderly (Conapam) the Culture Ministry and the Social Protection Council (JPS).


The towns of Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nandayure, Hojancha and Nicoya have declared the event of regional interest and will take charge of transporting approximately 100 centenarians for the opening conference.


All the activities will be open to the public and will have ambulances, paramedics and an emergency plan.


Where can I go?

The conference will be broken up into five central parts with activities located in downtown Nicoya:

  1. Research Forum: The top national and international research related to the elderly will be presented. Location: National University

  2. Guanacaste Art: Theatre, music, and plays by oldest-living artists: Location: The park.

  3. Oldest-living individuals conference: exchange of experiences among longest-living elderly from the five cantons that belong the the blue zone. Location: Casa de la Cultura

  4. Leaders Meeting: Meeting of leaders from the world’s five blue zones. Location: Coopealianza.

  5. Gastronomy: Presentation of the main dishes from Costa Rica’s five blue cantons and of dishes from other blue zones in the world. Location: The park.