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Protest at Serapio Lopez
Day Four: Protest makes for Progress

By Samantha Pollock

Protesters took to the tarmac this morning in a drastic attempt to be heard. A day that began with frustration is closing with a sense of relief.                   

It is day four of the protest at Serapio Lopez elementary school in Nosara town and a resolution is in the works.  Thursday October 13, protesters met with a representative from the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) to discuss settlement terms.

While no formal decisions have been made an official complaint is being drafted with the acknowledgement of the ministry detailing each of the complaints towards the current principal. Parent protesters agreed to have current Kinder garden teacher, Seidy Ugalde, as the  temporary principal instated for the remainder of the current school year with hopes that a rotation of principals will take place in the coming year.

Through rain and shine both parents and students have held their ground, standing outside the gates surrounding the campus, refusing to give in to the worst of the rainy season nor the neglect of relevant authorities. With the threat of more drastic modes of civil disobedience, the protesters finally received the acknowledgement they were seeking, when a representative from the MEP responded to their request.

Sulay Salas Valenciano, Nicoya’s Regional Director of the MEP arrived in Nosara just after 12 am. She was greeted by an eager and growing crowd of protesters, happy to receive her.  The evening of Wednesday October 12, protesters sent a message to the ministry threatening to create a road block - between the L’aqua Viva hotel and the Pelada beach entrance on Route 160 - if they did not receive a response by 9 am the following day. A spokesperson for Valenciano told VON that the director would not be able to attend the protest before 9 am because she was in the hospital in Nicoya.

Determined to send a message to higher authorities, the protestors migrated towards the nearby Nosara airport. Eduardo Cespedes, a longtime employee of Nature air and the Nosara Airport told VON that the protesters threatened to break down the gate if the guard did not let them onto the airstrip. The guard subsequently allowed the seemingly peaceful protesters into the airport grounds, they proceeded to occupy the airstrip. 

According to Cespedes a flight from San Jose was set to land within 45 minutes of the occupation. The flight was cancelled before leaving the ground, Cespedes would not confirm whether the cancellation was due to the protest or inclement weather. The protest spoiled at least four potential passenger’s plans including a mother and daughter heading to San Jose for doctors’ appointments that – VON was informed - took months to book. 

By 9 am more than 50 protestors were spread out across the tarmac, the numbers increased as word of Valenciano’s arrival spread. The protest was triggered when frustrated parents and students of Serapio Lopez decided it was time for a new principal at the school. Parents are concerned that the conditions at the school are unacceptable and not conducive for learning or good health. 

Principal Cardenas Caravaca has been involved in a number of scandals throughout his time as principal. According to protesters he has been in hiding for the last two weeks, avoiding angry mob of parents demanding change.                   


Seidy Ugalde (right of the picture), current Kinder garden teacher, will be the temporary school principal


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Tourist Police Update Nosara Community On Latest Activity
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