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Elections Results Samara
New Syndic Bonifacio Diaz Cares for Mom and Community

By Arianna McKinney

Bonifacio Diaz Zuñiga, the new Samara Syndic for the Liberacion Nacional party, considers himself a simple person, humble, but he also considers himself a community leader. He says that he intends to carry out the challenge of community leadership in the best way possible.

Diaz was born in Chinampas, a small community in the mountains beyond Terciopelo. He finished 6th grade in Terciopelo, walking four and a half kilometers per day to get to school. Then he attended three years of secondary school at the liceo in Nicoya. He spent his adolescence working in many parts of the country. When his father died, leaving his mother alone, about five years ago, he decided to return to live with his 84-year-old mother in Chinampas and care for her health. He is currently 43, single, childless and dedicated to his mom, the Catholic Church and the community.

Bonifacio Diaz Zuñiga, the new Syndic for Samara district, inspects progress on construction of a bridge in Chinampas. The bridge is a two-year project that should be finished in 2011, providing a safe way over the river.

Although he doesn’t have steady secular employment, Diaz is busy in the community as president of the neighborhood committee (Junta de Vecinos), president of the aqueducts committee (Comite de Acueductos) and a member of the board of education (Junta de Educacion) for the school in Chinampas. In the past four years that he has been involved in the community and he has seen the results that come from teamwork. Now, for example, the community has a school, a better road, and a sports plaza in good condition. “If we unite and work together, we can achieve things,” he said. “We are living that now.”

One of Diaz’ first priorities is to try to have better communication with the leaders of each community. He said there is going to be a change in the system in which projects are executed, using the Asociaciones de Desarollo (the Development Associations) as the official channel.
In Samara’s district, to Diaz’s knowledge, there are three Development Associations: Samara, Santo Domingo and Torito. He will be working closely with these groups, and says that the Associations have good leadership. He will also be working with neighborhood organizations in smaller communities, helping them align with the Development Associations.

Diaz said he wants to ensure that each community has an adequate sports plaza where youth can play as a way to combat against involvement in things like drugs. He said roads are also a priority and that he will also be working with the Asociacion de Desarollo of Samara to try to carry out a future project to remedy the problem experienced by Buena Vista, which was isolated by the rains in early November when the bridge to the community fell.

“People believe in me,” Diaz commented. He said seeing people’s appreciation and support makes him feel even more committed. “If the town puts confidence in a leader, the leader has to see how to respond,” he said.

Diaz said he felt very grateful to win Terciopelo’s election, gaining 87 out of 140 votes, because his party doesn’t normally win there. He estimates that he personally spent about $400 (200,000 colones) during the recent campaign for syndic. The Samara Chamber of Commerce (Camara de Comercios) helped with signage and publicity expenses.


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Interview with Marcos Jimenez, Mayor elect of Nicoya
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After being favored by the support of the majority of Nicoyanos to be mayor for the next five years, for the Liberacion Nacional Party, the current Secretary of the Municipal Council, Marcos Jiménez Muñoz, initiated immediately negotiations with his future collaborators to plan productive projects for the canton. These consist for the most part in two projects: the environment and solid waste management. More >

Jet Skis Spark Controversy
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Nicoya Mayor Asks Business to Stop Running Jet Skis
Until Reviewed

A new business has many Samara residents concerned about safety and the environment. On November 23, Zona de Confort, owned by Canadian Janet Park-Brogan, began renting, among other things, jet skis. The new activity may be fun for some, but for others it is viewed as a danger.
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Total Lunar eclipse viewed from Nosara

On December 21st, from 1:30 to 3:30 am, photographer Rolf Sommer stayed up to see and photograph this unique event. More >

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