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Municipality and Government Met with Those Affected by Earthquake
• Affected should check their status at www.mivah.go.cr
• Neighbors complain about government’s delayed response

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

The Municipality of Nicoya and the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements(MIVAH—Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos) met with those who have suffered damage to their homes from the earthquake of September 5th and the subsequent aftershocks.

The meeting was held on November 22 at the Nicoya community hall and was attended by dozens of families who came to inquire about the situation and the steps to follow to get help from the state.

Adriana Rodriguez, vice mayor of Nicoya and president of the local emergency commission, said that so far 524 households have been assessed, of which 211 have been classified as green, 118 yellow and 195 red.


Erick Mata, MIVAH Representative, said for those who wish to receive financial aid the first thing they should do is to determine if their home needs to be repaired, rebuilt or relocated.

“In the case of dwellings needing repairs, the application will be processed through the municipality, if the structure must be rebuilt or moved, the process must be done through the MIVAH,” Mata said.

To learn about the condition and “color” of a home, applicants should go to the website www.mivah.go.cr, select the tab Emergencias y Prevención de Riesgos (Emergencies and Risk Prevention), then choose Reporte de Familias afectadas (Report of Affected Families), then click on the Terremoto Nicoya (Nicoya Earthquake) option and enter your personal data.

Mata reminded those who are not on the database that they will have to wait a few days because it is being updated daily with information.

For those who need to relocate or build a new home, Mata explained that applicants must meet five criteria: belong to a household, not have previously received a housing bonus (some exceptions apply), not have other registered residential properties, have up-to-date residence papers in the country and provide an analysis of the nuclear family income.

Once these requirements are met, those who are interested can find a financial institution that will process the bonus for them.

Worried Neighbors

Meanwhile at the same meeting on Nov. 22, several of those affected expressed concern about how slow receiving help from the government has been.

One is Sandra Juarez Baltodano, who lives in Nosara.  She and her family lost their home after the September 5 earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks. Since then she has had to rent a house and live with her sister.

“I have to make a new home. A neighbor offered to demolish my house because it is uninhabitable. My daughter and I live here plus my sister and her two children,” she explained.

She mentioned that although the Institute for Social Assistance (IMAS - Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social) is helping them with 125,000 colones ($250) a month to pay the rent of the house, they still have not received a concrete solution from the Ministry of Housing.

Furthermore Baltodano, who is a stylist, said she had her salon in her former home and now is forced to pay another rent for a space to work.

Moreover, Rodriguez said the wait is long because the declaration of a national emergency by the government was not made until September 27th, so the process has been prolonged.

“What we have to do is to unite those affected and help each other out since government assistance has not yet come,” Baltodano stated.


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Letter from the Editors
Celebrating Ten Years of Connecting Communities, and More to Come

For ten years now, the Voice of Nosara has been serving Nosara and the surrounding communities with the goal of connecting and uniting people—not just people in different towns but people of different backgrounds, nationalities and languages.

Citizen Journalists (THAT MEANS YOU!) Are Shaping the Future of Reporting

“Citizen journalism” has become a standard part of the way we gather and report news. But that was not always so.

Interview with Liza Vogt, Voice of Nosara’s First Publisher

Why was the newspaper started? 
VON was started for two reasons: to dispel many of the rumors that were constantly flying around Nosara and also to inform residents and tourists of current situations and upcoming events.

Most Talked About Stories

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and chose the most talked about stories based on letters to the editor, comments made to reporters or on Facebook and follow-up stories.

The Most Repeated Themes During Ten Year

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and counted how many articles were printed on each subject.

“They want to kick us out when we’ve lived here all our lives,”
Oscar Chavarría, resident of Garza

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and now they tell us that they want to annul our property titles and kick us out of our homes,” commented Oscar Chavarria indignantly. He lives in Playa Garza with his wife and daughter.


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