Samara Center and Chinampas Look to Form Their Own Development Associations

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Although they are technically members of the Samara Integral Development Association, members of the communities of Chinampas and of central Samara are looking to separate from the existing association and form their own associations.

“It’s better for each community that has at least 100 people to make their own association,” affirmed attorney Karla Espinoza, the regional promoter of DINADECO, the National Direction of Community Development. She explained that funds from the municipality or the government can only be distributed through the development associations.

The development associations are the legal entities that receive distributions of the annual budgets allocated to communities from 2% of the income taxes collected. By forming separate associations for each community, the new association can ensure that their share of this budget is used in their community. 

In the case of Samara, the Integral Development Association was originally based in the town of Samara and incorporated most of the district. However, Espinoza explained that the people who participated most actively in the association were from Buena Vista and San Fernando, so eventually the association moved its base to that area and projects executed by the association tend to be focused in those areas.

Luis Acosta, president of the Samara Integral Development Associacion, affirmed that each community that wants to form its own association, can do so, noting that Santo Domingo already separated from the Samara Development Association. He confirmed that a general assembly will be held in January, at which time the boundaries of the new associations can be defined.

The community of Chinampas has already submitted an official letter requesting that their boundaries be defined. Meanwhile, members of the town of Samara are just beginning the process.

On Thursday, November 21, they held a meeting with about 20 members of the community during which Espinoza explained the process involved and a committee was formed to take the lead in raising funds for the legal costs, doing the necessary paperwork and seeking the signatures of at least 100 people who want to affiliate with the new association.

To affiliate, a person must be at least 12 years old, live within the boundaries of the association and be Costa Rican or be a foreigner with residency up to date. Foreigners who don’t have legal residency can be named “socios honorarios” or honorary associates, in which case they can work with the association but cannot vote. To be on the board of the association, the minimum age is 18.

Members of the Pro Association Committee for Playa Samara are Giancarlos Caponni, Iveth Jimenez, Juanita Castillo, Miguel Gomez, Dennis Gutierrez, Mayela Bogantes, Giovani Lobo and Ervin “Cabito” Rodriguez.