Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Manuel Antonio Park Gets Extension

March 6, 2009

Manuel AntonioNational Park will stay open, for now.

Local businesses and tourism outlets breathed a sigh of relief last Friday after Health Minister María Luisa Avila gave the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) a fourmonth extension to resolve the park’s longtime sewage contamination problems.

Avila announced the decision after touring Manuel Antonio Feb. 27 with officials from MINAET and the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA). The Health Ministry had given MINAET until Feb. 26 to correct the problems at the park, which included mosquito-breeding standing water, a garbage dump on site and sewage leaks from the bathrooms near the park’s most popular beach.

While park administrators had resolved the first two issues last week, MINAET and local business leaders sought an extension to resolve the sanitation problems, which they said could not be solved before the Health Ministry’s 10-day deadline. According to a statement by MINAET, portable bathrooms will be installed for tourists while construction begins on new, permanent bathrooms and a sewage treatment facility for the park.

Greasing the wheels will be ¢120 million (about $214,000) from the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), half of which will fund the sewage treatment plant, while the rest will be earmarked for infrastructure improvements, including new buildings to house park rangers.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 tourists attend the park every day, generating over ¢1 billion (nearly $1.8 million) last year in revenue. That money is put into a general fund and split among the country’s national  parks, however, leaving meager resources for the country’s second-most visited protected area, park administrators said.

Richard Lemire, president of the Aguirre Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, expressed gratitude for ICT’s assistance and the Health Ministry’s understanding, but warned that park operations must not return to business as usual.

“Obviously, that won’t be enough,” Lemire said of the ICT funding. “We’re still very concerned with the basic administration of MINAET.”

For its part, MINAET said it is conducting an internal investigation to determine how conditions have deteriorated so badly at Manuel Antonio, and how funds appropriated for the park are being used.n

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, September 21
Costa Rica
5441 views
Costa Rica
5441 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, September 21

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 21, 2020

Costa Rica announced 59 new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday for a total of 745, according to official data released Monday…

President of Legislative Assembly doesn’t see viability of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal
Costa Rica
809 views
Costa Rica
809 views

President of Legislative Assembly doesn’t see viability of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 21, 2020

The president of Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly expressed his displeasure with the Presidency's fiscal measures that are intended to help…

Costa Rica to participate in UN General Assembly this week
Climate Change
1169 views
Climate Change
1169 views

Costa Rica to participate in UN General Assembly this week

The Tico Times - September 21, 2020

President Carlos Alvarado will participate this week in the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Costa Rican…