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Guanacaste Reps and Presidential House Initiated Dialogue
Government Will Provide Report On Roads At Next Meeting

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

“The balance sheet is positive… We’re leaving satisfied. This is only the beginning,” commented Wilmar Matarrita, member of the Guanacaste Struggle Front (Frente de Lucha Guanacasteco) who traveled with other members of the negotiating commission to look for urgent solutions for the province.

Thus finally a dialogue began between Guanacastecans and the government to look for agreements to the 15 petitions, demanding real solutions to various problems faced in Guanacaste. 

The meeting that took place in the Presidential House on March 20 also served to set up how they will continue working in the following sessions as well as to establish the timeframes in which the agreements will be delivered.

Those present in the meeting were community leaders Wilmar Matarrita, Marcos Avila, syndic of Nosara, Ronald Vargas, representative of La Cruz and Liberia, Enoc Rizo, leader of the Development Association of Abangares, Sulay Carrillo, coordinator of the committee to defend the La Anexion Hospital of Nicoya, and Mario Fonseca, community leader of San Antonio of Nicoya, in representation of sectors of Guanacaste. The legislative branch was represented by Luis Antonio Aiza, Guanacaste legislator for the National Liberation Party (PLN), while the executive branch was represented by Gustavo Alvarado, third vice minister of the presidency, who works as an advisor to the ministry. 

Wilmar Matarrita, member of the Guanacaste Struggle Front, mentioned that the measures of pressure exercised toward the government have worked since it has made them “run.” He cited as an example the arrival of work crews from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) to Nosara to pave the centers of various communities from Nosara to Samara, including Garza and Barco Quebrado.

The theme of roads was selected as a priority, and in the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, a complete report will be provided by the government about the designs for the roads that will be paved and if an assigned budget exists or not.

Another route that could receive pavement is the six kilometers from Nicoya to the cemetery of San Antonio. Another demand is the old highway that connects Nicoya with Mansion where, according to Matarrita, the government hopes to cover about 50% of the stretch that connects the community of Casitas, among others.

Other Progress

Matarrita cited other advances communicated by the vice minister of the presidency, Gustavo Alvarado, who is the liaison for the government when establishing contact with organizations and resolving conflicts.

Regarding the medical tower for the La Anexion Hospital, Alvarado mentioned that they are going to request that the person in charge of logistics for the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) appear at the dialogue table, since she has the information about the now open bidding contest for companies that are going to participate in the process of awarding the work.
“We are asking that they give us a copy of the bidding sheet and in addition that the representative (of the CCSS) be present to ask related questions,” indicated Matarrita.

According to information from the government, the work schedule for the medical tower is already in progress and on July 25 they will be awarding the company that will do the construction work. In October, they will be starting the construction of the medical tower. “This is the schedule that they have and we need this document to guarantee that this is so,” indicated Matarrita. 

With regards to the approval of the Coastal Territories Law (TECOCOS), Matarrita said that it is not negotiable and that it should be approved by the legislators of the assembly. “There is a group of at least 24 legislators that have manifested that they are in favor of TECOCOS and defend the coastal territories law project. We have a group of members of the coastal communities that go every week to the assembly. We are very organized and we are prepared to take to the street in case it isn’t approved,” he said. 

The legislator Aiza confirmed that there is indeed a lot of goodwill on behalf of the legislators for the approval of the TECOCOS law.

With regards to police security at the Guanacaste level, the roundtable agreed to meet working by themes, for example the roadway theme, the coastal theme, the security theme, the theme of the package of laws for the legislative assembly, the theme of decentralization of funds for Guanacaste, and the theme of health.  

Among the themes that remain to be “seen” is the non-use of transgenic seeds regarding which the government is doing a performance analysis on the theme of municipal autonomy, to thereby determine corresponding criteria.  

In addition, a theme that wasn’t addressed was the creation of a canton of the territories that form part of the peninsula since the vice minister of the presidency, Gustavo Alvarado, seemed to have a bias since he was born in Puntarenas, so they expect the government to appoint an impartial person to discuss this particular issue.


More Regional News

Nicoya and Samara Have Budgets Approved to Invest in Communities

The districts of Nicoya and Samara now have the amounts approved by the Municipal Council that correspond to the specific line items budget assignments for the 2012-2013 period, while Nosara will have to wait a few more weeks to know the final amount of its line item budget.

Opinion Column
A Bust for Orozco

Like the art of sculpting a bust, Costa Rica seems to be frozen in time. Some may think the country is extremely conservative and reactionary when compared to both neighboring and distant countries. Others might think the issue lies in its infrastructure, seeing that it took us 20 years to develop a simple coastal road, and in countless other topics.

Guanacastecans and Government Will Meet To Seek Agreement

Under the threat of protest by different sectors in Guanacaste, the central government organized a roundtable to dialogue with members of the negotiating commission of the Frente de Lucha Guanacasteco (Front for the Guanacaste Struggle) for next Wednesday, March 20, in the Presidential House.

Public Pressure Forced Spanish Physician to Cancel Lecture on Homosexuality

Spanish physician Jokin De Irala, known for his theory that homosexuality is a curable disease, was forced to cancel a planned lecture on the subject in Costa Rica, due to the controversy sparked by it. 

Marino Protti Exchanged Nicoyan Rocks for Polar Ice

In the country, many know him as the man with the beard and white mustache, who wears a beret and predicts earthquakes. In the canton of Nicoya specifically, he is known as the person who warned us about the coming of a major earthquake and who is currently being accused by the Nicoya Council of decrease tourism with his predictions.

Bidding Process Begins For Restoring Colonial Church

In a meeting on February 12, Nicoyans received the good news that the restoration work of the emblematic colonial church is up for bid, after having been affected by the earthquake last year on September 5th.  Work could begin in three months.

Costa Rica Breaks Tourism Records in 2012

The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) announced 2012 was a record-breaking year for Costa Rica, with the country receiving over 2.34 million visitors, a 6.9% increase from 2011.

Strong Winds Damage Houses and Halt Fiestas

Strong winds on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, left many sleepless, listening to the metal roof sheets banging, loosening and in some cases actually flying loose.

Muni Accuse Scientist Marino Protti for Tourist Cancellation in Samara

Predictions and information provided about earthquakes in the Nicoya Peninsula by scientist Marino Protti Quesada have caused so much controversy that the Municipality of Nicoya agreed in the regular session on February 7 to give a vote of censure for alleged mistakes and inaccuracies.

Unusual Cases of Dengue in the Nicoya County During the Dry Season

A high amount of cases of dengue fever in the Nicoya County were being seen during January and February, unusual for dry season when there should be less breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the illness. 

Muni and Nosara Police Reinforced with New Motorcycles

The Nosara Public Force can now count on two brand new motorcycles, purchased with funds from the specific line items budget allocated to the Nosara district, with the goal of giving greater security to this coastal district of the Nicoyan canton.

Nicoya Hospital Resumes Surgical Service, Again

After having the three operation rooms closed for remodeling since last year due to an order from the Ministry of Health, the La Anexion hospital in Nicoya has now resumed its surgical program, which it had to conduct in an improvised room as well as in the hospital in Liberia and in the Centro de Atención Integral en Salud (CAIS- Center of Integral Health Attention) of Cañas.

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of February stories you might have missed.

Gas Price Hike Approved: Super ¢17, Regular & Diesel ¢15

Get ready for higher gasoline prices in the coming days. That is the word by the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep) – regulator of public prices and services.

Nicoyans Seek Answers From Government in March 19th Protest

Convinced that there is strength in numbers, hundreds of protestors from different districts of Nicoya are preparing to unite in a solid front on Wednesday, March 19th to request answers from the central government regarding various projects and problems that face the communities of the canton.



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