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Alajuela Steals Spotlight On Juan Santamaría Day

April 13, 2007

President Oscar Arias and his Cabinet members visited the city of Alajuela, northwest of San José, in honor of Juan Santamaría Day Wednesday and announced several plans in the works to improve the province of the same name, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.

The government plans to invest ¢2 billion ($3.8 million) in the creation of a new public AlajuelaTechnicalUniversity, the President said.

“It’s time that Alajuela had a university and, more importantly, that it is a technical university,” Arias said during the event, held at the birthplace of Juan Santamaría in honor of this national hero.

Education Minister Leonardo Garnier said creating a university in Alajuela will generate jobs and development in the province. Additionally, he said the ministry has earmarked ¢430 million ($826,923) for badly needed infrastructure repairs to schools in the region.

Other members of the President’s Cabinet also had good news for the citizens of Alajuela. Public Works and Transport Vice-Minister Viviana Martín said her ministry is investing ¢5 billion ($9.6 million) in roads, while Public Health Minister María Luisa Avila talked about expansion of the Alajuela hospital and creation of new health centers.

In terms of fighting crime, Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal said the province recently gained 38 police officers and that he hopes to soon add 30 more.

“It’s no secret to anyone that crime is one of the problems that must be attacked with the most force by authorities,” he said.

Finally, Culture Minister María Elena Carballo announced plans to create a music school in Alajuela similar to one in San José that offers classes to more than 800 students.

The Juan Santamaría national holiday will be officially observed this coming Monday; schools, banks and many private businesses, including The Tico Times, will be closed.

 

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