This is not a woman to sit around with her arms crossed and accept whatever happens. This is a woman who, when she knows what she wants, gets busy and makes it happen.
Agnes Pinheiro, who is the president of the Asociación de Seguridad Comunitaria de Nosara (Nosara Community Security Association), was born in central France 49 years ago. Her father was a special education teacher, and her mother was a multi-talented seamstress. She considers herself a lucky person who had great parents and a good family who made her the person she is today.
“I am a happy person who does whatever she wants to do. When I want to do something, I make sure it happens and it happens,” Agnes asserted.
For instance, when she was 18, she decided she wanted to learn English and she made it happen, going to England to work as an au pair. Later, working for Club Med in Cairo, Egypt, she met her husband, Jo Pinheiro, who is also from France. They’ve been married for 20 years now and have continued exploring the world together, always living for at least 6 months in each of the countries that they have visited. Agnes estimated that she’s lived in a at least a dozen different countries.
Making Nosara Home
Later she and Jo wanted to take a motorcycle trip to another country and that is exactly how they came to Costa Rica; they traveled up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) per day, making the journey from Las Vegas, United States to Costa Rica in five weeks. While here, the opportunity arose for a partnership in a bed and breakfast in Playa Peladas, but she and Jo arranged to buy the house outright instead.
“Nosara is special,” Agnes affirmed. She explained that she likes it here because it is less developed than other areas. “You can still see monkeys climbing in the trees,” she commented, and that charm combined with the business opportunity led to their decision to make Nosara home.
“My whole life is here in Nosara now,” Agnes affirmed, noting that she has invested all of the little savings she had in her business and home here. Because of that commitment, she saw the need to make something happen to improve security in Nosara after a series of thefts in the area.
She explained that she doesn’t want to lose the investments she has here because of the bad reputation the community could receive due to the 1% of dishonest people spoiling it for the other 99% who are working hard to make a living. “People have to stop being afraid to speak up,” she encouraged. “If you speak, the government will listen.”
Leading the Quest for Better Security
In October 2009, about 70 concerned people met to discuss the issue of security and Agnes stepped up to the plate to lead the effort, forming the Nosara Security Association. Just one month later, in November 2009, the Tourist Police were introduced into Guiones. The head of the police had promised that if the community could provide a place for the police to stay, he would send them. So Agnes, along with other community members, made sure that happened, although it meant raising about $1200 per month for electricity, phone and rent.
And it made a difference. “After the tourist police came, there were less robberies,” Agnes affirmed. Even though the police’s power is limited, she recognized that their presence is important in preventing crime. “Maybe people are going to say I’m naïve but I believe that working with the local authorities is important,” she remarked.
“We have to work together to get a better, safer Nosara,” she said. “We just have to keep showing the thieves that we’re watching and that we don’t want them in town.”
Agnes has noted a separation developing between the tourist police in Guiones and the Public force in Nosara as well as between the American Project and the village of Nosara. She laments that division between foreigners and Ticos, and would like to see unity in the community.
“If as a community we don’t act together, it’s not going to happen,” she said. But somehow, she’ll probably find a way to make that happen too.
More Community News
Samara Kids Present Bilingual Show
On Friday June 29th at 5:30 at Intercultura in Samara, parents, volunteers and the community huddled together under the canopy to watch Samara Pacific School put on a lively presentation that included singing, a reciting of poems, dancing and a theatrical play.
Lacrosse Has Made It’s Debut in Samara
La Asociación CREAR had a great couple of days in Samara with the arrival of the Princeton Lacrosse team during June 10th, 11th and 12th. There were around 55 people in total, including players, several coaches, trainers and more.
Nosara Security Association Has New Board of Directors
The Nosara Security Association (NSA) met for the third time in a month to finalize the new board of directors who oversee the association. The eight board members, which were confirmed on June 14 during a meeting at Hotel Casa Tucan, start their two-year term immediately.
Celebrate Father's Day at Rio Nosara’s Bass Fishing Tournament
Prepare your line or fishing pole for the first bass fishing tournament in Rio Nosara, starting the weekend of Saturday, the 16th and Sunday, the 17th of June so that all fathers can enjoy the eco-fishing and have a happy Father’s Day. The competition will continue the following week, ending on the 23rd and 24th of June.
Community Cleanup and Movie Planned for June 16
An effort is being made by the Asociacion de Desechos (Waste Association) and Nosara Sostenible (Sustainable Nosara) to coordinate community cleanups in various neighborhoods around Nosara on the same day, June 16th.
Teachers at Serapio Lopez School Choose New Education Board
Serapio Lopez School in Nosara has an entirely new board of directors, and in just their first month they have already made a difference at the school.
The CEN of Nosara Undergoes a Facelift
Beginning Saturday, May 12th, several expatriates joined forces with local community members, teachers, staff and students to make vital changes to the small, circa 1970 CEN building (Centro Educativo y Nutrición- Education and Nutrition Center).
There's Hope for Pavement in Downtown Nosara
Although the promise of paving the route to Nosara remains uncertain, there is a glimmer of hope that 2 kilometers in the center of Nosara might get paved.
Samara ASADA installs 4-Inch Pipes for Hydrants
In preparation to install more fire hydrants, the Samara water board (ASADA) has began replacing existing 2 or 3 inch water pipes with larger 4-inch pipes, according to ASADA president Carlos Esquivel.
Nosarita Residents Without Transportation
• Bus company claims it is not authorized to provide service
• Service suspension affects transportation for residents
Nosarita residents no longer have the public transport service that connected the area with Nicoya. On Tuesday, April 10th the bus company, TRAROC, suspended its services on the route that connects the communities of Nicoya, Belen, Nosarita and Caimital.