In the News
4Hey Mr. President, Inaugurate This!
A new fan group on the online social networking site Facebook pokes fun at President Oscar Arias, and invites web users to “help Oscar inaugurate everything we’ve got before May 8.” For media crews on the outgoing president’s trail, the club’s tongue-in-cheek mission seems almost to come not in jest, but right on target. One of Arias’ latest inaugurations took the cake: a future Casa Presidencial whose construction has not begun and whose property has not even been purchased. “If things were different, I would have finished this in my term,” Arias said, in remarks that seemed suited for enshrinement on the plaques bearing his name on quasi-completed structures. Among dozens of completed projects, his last weeks were peppered with some noteworthy unveilings including a partially built national stadium, almost finished hospitals and roads, and an “82 percent” complete new airport wing.
4Speaking in Tongues
As many as 4,000 people turned up to the first National Language Fair last Friday and Saturday at San José’s National Culture Center (CENAC), which showcased the language-learning opportunities on offer in Costa Rica. “We’re very pleased with the large attendance of people of all ages, many of them already bilingual and interested in learning a third language,” said Marta Blanco, executive director of the Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation, which organized the event. Attendees participated in a raffle of 250 language study scholarships, and were treated to an English-language play by the Little Theatre Group as well as performances by Russian singer and guitarist Marta Rein, hip-hop dance troupe J-Squad and alternative rock band Parque en el Espacio.
4New Digs for Souvenir Sellers
The handicraft sellers set up in a makeshift market along San José’s Plaza de la Democracia bordering the NationalMuseum will move to a new market at the Plaza de las Garantías Sociales in five months, the Oscar Arias administration said in a statement Wednesday. The facility will replace the El Frontón building and will have space for more than 90 stalls, the government said, estimating the project to cost nearly $2 million. San José Mayor Johnny Araya said, “This project will be a great solution for artisans who for many years have been at the Plaza de la Democracia, and it’s a great urban renewal project for the capital city, forming part of our effort to recover urban space and improve the urban landscape.”
4No Enviro Rally on Laura’s Day
Although some noise will be expected Saturday for Laura Chinchilla’s presidential inauguration, particularly with the music programming in store, don’t expect to hear much of the politically-charged shouting kind. At least, not from leading sectors of the environmental movement. Preserve Planet announced this week it will postpone a protest against the Crucitas open-pit gold mine during the ceremony. The organization said it will “respect the transfer of power,” calling the occasion a “civic event that is fundamental to Costa Rica’s democracy.” Chinchilla has said she backs the judicial decisions relating to the mine, but will call a moratorium on future mine projects once she takes office.
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