The vision for a park in the heart of Samara is an ambitious project, already two years in the making, and it will take at least two to three more years to secure financing and make it a reality, according to Marco Carmona, president of CASATUR, Samara’s tourism chamber.
On Friday, August 31st, two architecture graduate students from Universidad Hispanoamericana (Hispanic American University), Migjames Vargas Gomez and Alejandro Navarro Carmona, presented a design that would transform Samara’s soccer plaza into a forested multi-use park.
“We wanted to represent this paradise in the project,” explained Vargas. After several visits to Samara, the pair of student architects set out to create a space that could be enjoyed by all ages, social classes and nationalities, as well as being handicap accessible. The park also includes a cultural house to display masks and sculptures of the indigenous Chorotega culture.
All packed into a 5,000 square meter area, using every meter to the max, the design includes a multipurpose sports field with markings for futbol 5 (soccer), tennis, basketball and baseball in an open area where a helicopter could land in emergencies, as well as a playground area, a skate park, game tables, natural-looking amphitheater seating, a fountain, the cultural house, an information office, public bathrooms and showers, a storage shed, illumination and parking for 20 vehicles as well as bicycle racks.
To create a forest in the heart of town, many trees would be planted to provide shade as well as color, including a Guanacaste tree to represent the local culture.
Five kiosks would also be located in the park that could be rented by the day or the week to artisans or food venders, for example. Other suggested ways to generate funds for maintenance of the park are to rent games for the game tables and charge a fee for using the showers.
With an estimated cost of 288 million colones ($576,000), Carmona acknowledged that the challenge will be to obtain the money to build the park. Another challenge is that the park hasn’t yet been signed over to the municipality for development; it is still registered to the Castillo family.
About 23 representatives from the community were present for the presentation in Villas Playa Samara, and most spoke in favor of the project, expressing determination to make the park a reality and thus transform the heart of Samara and make it even more attractive for tourists, as well as creating a safe place