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School Year for Nicoya Students Starts with School Closure
• Ministry of Health recommends demolition
• Students will take classes at University of San Jose

By Oliver Pérez

On February 10, when the first day of classes begins for this school year, the nearly 1,000 students of Leonidas Briceño Baltodano School of Nicoya will find their school building closed. The Constitutional Court has ordered the Ministries of Health and Education to take measures to protect the safety of the student community. Sala IV asked the Ministry of Health last November to order the closure of four pavilions, representing twenty of the school’s twenty-five classrooms.

The Magistrates resolved: “They should adopt, in an immediate and coordinated manner, the necessary measures to guarantee that the students and the educational staff and administration of the Leonidas Briceño Baltodano educational center receive their lessons in a place that guarantees their physical safety.”

The magistrates evaluated an injunction presented by Nicoya student Steven Alfaro Arnaez, in which he demonstrates that students and professors alike are at risk due to the poor state of the sixty-eight year old building. As Alfaro demonstrated to the judges, the facility was constructed when modern seismic guidebooks didn’t exist.

The documentation presented before the Sala detailed the report of the Department of Projects of the Ministry of Education, under the direction of architect Marco Hernandez. The report recommends that due to “the poor state of the educational center, the members of the should look for a temporary place to rent, in which the students can receive lessons. This is with the goal of avoiding any possible accident.”

The decision points to the closure of the property and suggests that the Ministries of Education and Health take measures.

In agreement with the school director, Carlos Zuñiga, the first day of classes, the students will have to use the facilities of the University of San Jose, as the Ministry of Education found this place ideal to rent. Although, Zuñiga didn’t wanted to say the amount of the monthly rent.

Zuñiga said they estimate that the preschool students will be the only ones to use the five classrooms of the old structure.

“We are evaluating who can stay in the school. I want the family heads know that the admission will be normal. The admission for the classes will not change at all,” Zuñiga said.


Minister of Health Maria Luisa Avila told VON that the facilities definitely should be demolished. “This school doesn’t need palliative repair. Measures should be taken and classrooms should be built that guarantee the safety of the officials and of the students,” Avila said.

Leonidas Briceño School has a scholastic community of about 1,000 students and 65 officials including teachers and administrative personnel.


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Neighbors Take on Vice Mayor
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Change in Nosara District Police Headquarters
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Tourists at beaches will continue without public bathrooms
• Constitutional Court indicated that municipalities should satisfy needs
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The beaches of Guanacaste that tend to receive thousands of visitors at the end and beginning of the year don’t have sanitary toilets or public bathrooms. The municipalities of the cantons that have coastline such as Carillo, Nicoya, Nandayure and Hojancha have not resolved this lack of infrastructure. More >

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