“I don’t come to ask for a hand-out or get pity. My reason for being here is a matter of humanity: this pair has been living in a container near the garbage dump for two years and that is not human.”
Those were the words that Jose Berrocal, a member of the Pro-Housing Association (Asociacion Provivienda), directed towards members of the Santa Cruz Municipal Council during its ordinary session on Tuesday, March 17.
Berrocal requested ¢300,000 ($565) to help with an event that will be held on Sunday, April 19, in the Diria Cacique Stadium in Santa Cruz, to benefit the elderly couple.
The occasion will feature sports activities beginning at 8 a.m., and at 2 p.m. three will be a performance by comedian Juanca Galindo that will cost ¢3,000 ($5.75) to help the pair.
According to Berrocal, Albertina Zuñiga and Jose Marcelino Lopez have not qualified for housing aid nor a home for the elderly because Lopez, who is Nicaraguan, does not have his residency papers. In addition, the couple does not have a bathroom.
For her part, Vice Mayor Maria Rosa Lopez requested that the mayor refer the case to the Mixed Institute of Social Assistance (IMAS— Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social).
“It’s important that the mayor’s office refer the case to IMAS with urgency, so that they can also provide economic support to this couple,” said Lopez.
The councilors approved that the mayor provide the funds requested.
Residents Request Repairs to Sewers
Also in attendance for the council’s session were residents of Jobo de Cartagena, who solicited repairs to sewers before the rainy season begins.
Julian Vazquez, a resident of Jobo, explained that since 2009 they have been promised that the sewers would be fixed, as in the rainy season the system is unable to handle runoff.
“We came here because of a matter of prevention. Repairs to the streets have already been made, but if the rainy season comes and the sewers flood and water overflows, nothing will come from what’s been invested,” said Vazquez.
For his part, Mayor Jorge Chavarria explained that the Municipality of Santa Cruz currently has an agreement with the Santa Barbara Development Association to work together on repairs to roadways.
Regarding the residents’ request, councilors agreed to request that the Technical Roadways Management Unit (UTGV – Unidad Tecnica de Gestion Vial) should carry out a diagnostic of the community’s sewers.