Police and health officials are preparing Granada for a Semana Santa influx, when tourists come to join the religious processions through the streets and to witness a unique “stations of the cross” boat procession among the isletas of LakeCocibolca.
The municipality is paying 50 workers to clean 6 kilometers of lakefront along the Centro Turistico and to the north, according to the head of the municipal trash department,William Ramírez.
“The Tourism Institute is supposed to clean the beach but we’ve assumed the task since they don’t have the resources,” he said.
The municipality will also be putting four temporary latrines along the lakefront to avoid fecal contamination, and is hoping they won’t be stolen like they were last year.
The Health Ministry is prohibiting swimmers from areas where Granada’s contaminated rivers flow into the lake. A test in which health officials sampled 60 points near the lakeshore, only two sample points at the far end of the Centro Turistico had fecal coliforms above levels suitable for bathing, according to Health Ministry epidemiolgist Gloria Poveda.
Poveda said the ministry and municipality will put up “No Swimming” signs. She said the signs will be made of plastic, so they aren’t stolen for firewood like they were last year.
In total, 314 police officers will be patrolling the city to keep an eye on potential theft and property crimes – the most common of the 115 crimes reported here during last year’s Semana Santa.