What Was Said in the Santa Cruz Municipal Council… Mobile Vendors Request to Be Allowed to Work in Public Areas

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“Work is the right of an individual. There’s no reason to attack work. The country’s economic situation is very hard and we have a right to work.”

Those were the words of Rodrigo Rojas, a representative of the group Ambulantes de Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Mobile Vendors), who requested on Tuesday, February 17 that the Santa Cruz Municipal Council allow them to work in public areas.

Rojas explained that the district’s municipal police are carrying out operations to control sales and confiscating merchandise when vendors do not have a municipal permit. However, permits for this kind of vendor do not exist.

“They take away our merchandise because we don’t have a permit, but we came to the municipality to request a permit and they told us that permits for mobile vendors don’t exist. So what do we do? We can’t be left without work,” said the representative.

Ambulantes de Santa Cruz brought together more than one hundred vendors from Flamingo, Tamarindo and Conchal to sign a letter presented to the council president in order to reach an agreement with the municipality.

“We demand an end to the police aggression. We demand an immediate end to humiliation by the authorities. We demand negotiations to put our issues with the Municipality in order and to become wealth generation agents for the canton,” said Rojas.

The councilor for the Libertarian Movement Party (Partido Movimiento Libertario), Martin Vallegos, requested that the council president follow up regarding the mobile vendor’s problems, as the country is facing an economic and unemployment crisis.

“This is the feeling of the people who want to work during times of crisis. The previous council made an effort to legalize these people. However, there was a problem because of the Ministry of Health permits. It’s important that we take up this subject again so that these people can work calmly,” said Vallegos.

For her part, the alternate councilor for the National Liberation Party (Partido Liberacion Nacional), Imara Rodriguez, complained that many hotels in Tamarindo take their chairs out to the beach and that the municipal police do not stop them.

“How is it possible that there are a lot of hotels and restaurants in Tamarindo that take out their chairs, tables and even some decorations and nothing happens, but the poor artisan isn’t allowed to work. We should follow up on this subject because here a lot is said but at times nothing is done,” the councilor affirmed.

Regarding the request, Council President Roger Sanchez formed a committee made up of councilors, syndics and vendors that will meet next Tuesday to determine the method and mechanisms through which the sales can be legalized.

In addition, Sanchez agreed that the mayor should follow up with hotels and restaurants in Tamarindo that overstep their boundaries.

Call to Attention Regarding ZMT

During the session, several councilors requested that Jose Alberto Padillo, chief of the Maritime Terrestrial Zone (ZMT – Zona Maritimo Terrestre), be called to attention, as his department has fallen behind with judgments and technical reports since last year.

According to the president’s secretary, Isabel Barrantes, Padilla has more than 20 cases that have not been resolved that were submitted last year, in addition to more than 30 that have been impossible to submit.

“The mayor is the administrator and he has to take measures in that department. What does Padilla think? That we’re dumb, with all the excuses he always gives,” said Vallegos.

“There is no will to work. Pedro, Juan, Jose and whoever else always come here and they can’t be helped with their cases because Padilla doesn’t submit reports. We cannot delay people that have needs,” added Councilor Cristina Chavarria.