Region, Nicoya

Survey: Nicoyans Optimistic about New President

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President-elect Luis Guillermo Solis, backed by his cabinet, will assume the presidency on May 8, faced with a country asking for change. On the verge of the new government’s arrival, through a survey done by The Voice of Guanacaste in the canton of Nicoya, residents of the peninsula showed a positive outlook about the change.

Of 20 people interviewed, including farmers and people from the colonial city, 80% said that they are optimistic about what Solis and his team will accomplish in the next four years, while 20% doubt the new government’s ability to resolve the province’s problems.

Regarding the announcement of the new cabinet, 70% knew absolutely nothing about the new ministers, 20% knew something about them and 10% believed that the new ministers are more of the same, considering the fact that they come from the traditional parties, Social Christian Unity (PUSC – Partido Unidad Social Cristiana) and National Liberation (PLN – Partido Liberación Nacional).

Aramis Vidaurre, a Nicoyan political scientist with the National University of San Jose, believes the change is positive. However, he said that the changes for Guanacaste will not be significant. “Guanacaste has a difficult panorama. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, Guanacaste is the province with the second highest level of unemployment in the country, due mainly to the low levels of professional training. While important urban centers in the central valley attract employment through free zones, Guanacaste lags behind due to the lack of training.”

The political scientist also pointed out the challenges of education. According to the 2012 Survey of Households, the elementary school dropout rate is 6%, the rate for high school is 17%, and for higher education it is 40%. With those rates, Guanacaste is excluded from many opportunities that people from the central valley have due to a higher level of education. “That is an issue of academic training and it is difficult to solve that in four years of government,” said Vidaurre.