Residents from communities near Ballena National Park, on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, may now apply for credit to create businesses to promote whale-watching.
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Economy Minister Mayi Antillón announced over the weekend that the government will open a credit line of ₡4 billion ($8 million) at the local cooperative Coopealianza, which will allow residents of the Osa Peninsula to develop tourism in the area.
Whale-watching is the most important tourist activity for communities near Ballena National Park, particularly for Uvita residents, who last weekend kicked off the fifth annual Whale and Dolphin Festival.
The event is scheduled around the annual migration of humpback whales away from warmer tropical waters.
“These resources will support … business owners who develop trading and service activities in the area,” said Antillon, who is also the president of the government’s Council of Banking System for Development.