Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias signed an agreement Oct.6 in the Northern Zone town of Upala to create a Development Council for three of the country’s poorest cantons.
Representatives from each of the cantons – Upala, Los Chiles and Guatuso, which are among Costa Rica’s five lowest-ranked cantons in terms of their human development index – along with a coordinator Arias has not yet named, will make up the council, according to the daily La Nación.
Arias told a crowd in Upala’s high-school gym that the council, designed to improve communication between the central and local governments, will ensure that programs “convert (this) into a land of prosperity.”
Community leaders responded enthusiastically to the new organizational measure.
Luciano Castro, a leader from the Maleku indigenous people, said he hopes the council will “solve our old problems: that news of good intentions won’t stay in simple words, because we need concrete actions.”
Northern Zone leaders gave Arias, as well as the ministers of Production, Public Security, and Public Works and Transport a host of petitions for programs and aid in their communities.Their wish list included National Training Institute (INA) offices, an industrial park, landfills and roadway improvements.