Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espa´┐Żol English
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
  Nosara Animal Care
  Nosara Info
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
  Nosara Civic Association

“I’m not moved by skeptics”, Alvin Rosenbaum New NCA President

By Arianna McKinney

Photo by Pinar Istek

Alvin Rosenbaum, who officially assumed the role of president of the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) on April 1, has built a career around defending civil rights and finding practical solutions to problems around the world as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank. His specialties include sustainable tourism development, public-private partnerships, training and community organization, getting different parts of a community together around an issue, and now he wants to put that skill set to work in Nosara.  

Now 68 years old, Alvin and his wife, Linda Tarlow, made the permanent move to Nosara in August of 2012. They discovered Nosara in 2007 while looking for a vacation spot with good vegetarian food since Linda is a vegetarian. They bought land here a year and a half later and visited 14 times before moving here and applying for residency. 

From his previous marriage, Alvin has two sons, one in California and one in Israel. Alvin is Jewish but does not consider himself religious. He describes himself as a practical guy. “I’m looking at what is doable and I’m learning, and some things I’ll learn I can’t do and some things I’ll discover I can,” he affirmed.

He listed waste management, water and the dust as three main priority issues. Although Alvin faces a language gap since he only speaks English and relies on translators, he expressed confidence in the ability to unite different community groups. “I’ve been post-conflict, post-natural disaster, post-something where I have been sent in to help repair damage that has been done,” he recounted, “so I’ve gone to hard places to try to do hard things and try to move the needle, so this is a dream boat. I mean I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s possible.”

Among places where Alvin has worked as a consultant are Nigeria, Iraq, Bosnia and Sri Lanka.VON wanted to find out what plans Alvin has for his new role in the Nosara community, including his recent efforts to partner with the Nosara Development Association in the quest to form a coastal canton.  Below are excerpts from our conversation.

VON: What made you want to step up to the plate with the NCA as president?

I saw that there were opportunities here, that from recent work that I did in West Africa that the opportunities to actually succeed in things are much greater here and that I was very impressed from the very beginning with the volunteer community of the American Project. For a town this size it has an enormous amount of voluntary time and money and activity and that’s very impressive and I wanted to be part of that. It wasn’t the beach.

VON: So you picked up on this desire to be a canton as an issue that you could get the community around?

That initiative began with the Nosara Development Association last summer and we read an article about it in the Voice of Nosara and I began to ask questions in and around the NCA and discovered that either people were highly skeptical or didn’t know anything about it, and I decided to see what was going on and see if in fact it was realistic and see if I might be helpful, and part of my either volunteering or being recruited to the NCA was that I think there was a general feeling that the NCA was ready to go in that direction with more involvement in the community surrounding the American Project, and it’s been wonderfully welcomed.  I’ve gotten very very good feedback so far on what I talk about.

VON: As a strategist, what do you see as the imperative needs or the opportunities for this community? 

I think we suffer as a community because there’s not a consistently applied set of ordinances that people will follow. We hear that there are a lot of robberies in houses because we don’t have appropriate law enforcement, either policing or judicial. If we had local self government— it may not be a new canton—it may be that in terms of the structure of what we wind up doing may be different than what we think now but it’s important that we form relationships with our sister communities, both tico and gringo, and sit down together to say this is what’s important, these are the priorities. It may be in the Nosara village that education and medical services are higher on the list than they are in the American Project, but everybody talks about the road as a high priority. Everybody talks about water as a high priority. Let’s find out what we agree on, let’s find out what are high priorities, what are lower priorities, and together let’s find the best solutions that marry all of that good civic volunteer effort with governmental action, whether that’s in San Jose, in a new canton or in Nicoya. And I’m not moved by skeptics because skeptics are not necessarily informed about what we can do. Usually skeptics have stopped or haven’t started to investigate what is possible.

VON: So how do you feel in your new role as president with so much history of distrust between the NCA and the Development Association, between the gringos and the ticos?

Well there are two parts to that. There’s the gringo part and there’s the tico part. I come to Nosara without baggage. I don’t have a business; I’m not an investor here. I mean, we’re building a house but it’s for our own retirement.  We’re not renting it out. It’s a two-bedroom house and we plan to live there and so all of the history, the 40-year history of the American Project isn’t really about anything that I’m really all that interested in. It’s water under the bridge and who owns what and who cheated on whom and all of that stuff that fills the history of this place, I’m not part of that.

I have been welcomed with open arms. They’re delighted that I’ve come to them and said how can we partner, how can we help, how can we come together around some issues and see if we can make some changes. And if nothing else we’ve created new friendships, new trust, a new way to go forward, and it will take what it takes. I believe in the power of voluntary action and not motivated by money.

VON: What are your main goals going into being NCA president?

Well I think that NCA’s mission needs to be broadened, that the whole definition of sustainable development on which NCA was founded 40 years ago has broadened to include social and economic values as well as environment. It’s also hiring locals, doing training, you know, contributing to the community in a positive way, and so I see the mission of NCA broadening to include social and economic issues that have not been emphasized in the past.

VON: The NCA has possession of and is managing green zones, but the Development Association feels those lands should be in the possession of the municipality. What’s your opinion of the green zones?

The prerequisite is building trust from a clean slate. Yes, I know the history, but I’m not part of that history, and whether I’m pro or con a particular issue regarding a particular project on which NCA has taken a stand…  to me history, and obviously there’s some things that exist and I have indicated to my future board that my interest is in creating a trusting, productive, cooperative relationship with our sister communities and moving forward from that base, which means if we have conflict, let’s have a process to discuss and try to deal with problems in a collaborative way rather than an adversarial way.

More community news

Dredging of Nosara River Worries Santa Teresa Residents

While work on the Nosara River started on April 24 with a corresponding budget of 300 million colones ($600,000) for the first stage, under the supervision of the construction company HHB Consa, the dredging ran into two obstacles: first with the arrival of rainy season, which could affect and even detain the work, and second an area resident is doing his own dredging along part of the river’s edge, with the risk of affecting the community of Santa Teresa. 

Medical Transport Helicopter Denied Landing in San Jose

So far this year, Dr. Alejandro Gutierrez said he has transported about 10 patients to hospitals by air when an ambulance just might not be fast enough. But on April 12, the helicopter that was coming to pick up a patient with an irregular heart problem was denied landing to fuel up at Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

Nosara Red Cross Ranks 4th Nationally

The Nosara Red Cross announced that their auxiliary committee received recognition on March 9, placing third in Guanacaste and fourth nationally in the 2012 Annual Operative Program (PAO), out of a total of 120 Red Cross committees. Hojancha ranked first, Santa Cruz second and Moravia third.

CREAR Library in Samara Will Try to Have a National Registration

With all the space Crear Association have onsite in their library they have re-introduced the public library to the community. With a bright new sign and the doors wide open, they have drawn in dozens of new visitors, including international students at Intercultura as well as the local students at Mareas Homeschool.

Nosara’s Library Extends Hours in April

These past three months of this year have been a time of collecting the monies necessary for the budget of the library for 2013. 

Doctor Working with Red Cross Provides Better First Aid in Nosara

The Nosara Red Cross now counts on the assistance of Dr. Yennifer Jimenez, who came to live in Nosara in November and is volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per month to attend to accidents and emergency situations prior to hospitalization. 

Rebuilding Lives Has Started Since the Earthquake

With government help and donations from the community, Jeniffer Ramirez and her husband, Freddy Brenes Chaves started to rebuild their home this past Wednesday April 10.

Clown Kidnapper Spotted in Santa Marta

Twelve-year-old Jonathan was on his way home from school, walking with another boy, when a black minivan with tinted windows started following them and caught up with them, driving slowly to keep pace with the boys.

“I’m not moved by skeptics”, Alvin Rosenbaum New NCA President

Alvin Rosenbaum, who officially assumed the role of president of the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) on April 1, has built a career around defending civil rights and finding practical solutions to problems around the world as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.

Challenges Mount for Putting Samara Maritime Zone in Order

With slow progress being made on the new Samara-Carrillo regulatory plan, the situation for those who live, own property or hold concessions in the Maritime Land Zone (ZMT-Zona Marítimo Terrestre) is still unsure.

Lifeguard Workshop Being Organized In Memory of Lost Surfer Alvaro Duran Ribas

“I could either die from the pain or transform my love for him and honor his life and do something to avoid similar situations for other mothers,” said Sandra Ribas, the mother of Alvaro Duran Ribas, who disappeared in the waters of Guiones in April 2011.

Nosara Neighbors Send Letters about Robberies to Vice Minister of Security

Members of the Nosara community were disappointed by remarks apparently made by Vice Minister of Security Celso Gamboa Sanchez in response to a news program aired on Channel 7 on March 4 about thefts in Nosara, sparking a letter writing campaign to inform him of the real situation.

Domestic Violence in Nosara Case Turns into Drug Bust

When the Nosara Public Force responded to a 911 call regarding a case of domestic violence, they found much more, including drugs, firearms and half a million colones ($1000) in cash.

ADIN Named New Members and Approved Lot Donation for a Senior Citizen Center

On March 9 at 4 p.m. an extraordinary assembly was held by the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN) to replace some members of the board of directors. The meeting was attended by 74 neighbors, which was a good attendance in the opinion of the organizers.

Care Network Almost Ready

The Canton of Nicoya will soon be able to count on the second Care Network in the province of Guanacaste thanks to the construction of a 800-square-meter building, now about 90% complete. 

Nosara’s Firefighters Put Down 24 Fires This Dry Season

Although some people were not pleased to find the road to Ostional blocked this Saturday March 30, they had no other choice than to wait until the members of the Nosara firefighters finished their Easter weekend practicing medical, vertical rescue and firefighting training at the Rio Montaña Bridge.

Camera Took a Tour Through The Passion of Christ Parade And Easter Service By Nosara River

As the Guanacaste wind was filling the eyes of the attendants with dust on the morning of Holy Friday, tens of members of Nosara Catholic Church started walking the streets of the town slowly in celebration of resurrection of Christ.


Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara