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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Neo-Colonization through Gentrification

Camilo Flores, the Attorney General of Osa, criticized Costa Rica’s development model, describing its gentrification as a form of “neo-colonization.” He highlighted how foreigners buy land at prices inaccessible to Costa Ricans, displacing entire communities. Flores shared his personal experience from Quepos and cited examples like Nosara, where wealthy foreigners have displaced locals to remote areas with poor services and environmental issues.

In Tamarindo, water scarcity is a significant problem exacerbated by ongoing mega-developments. Flores emphasized that this development benefits a few while impoverishing middle and lower-class communities. Despite claims of economic benefits and increased employment, he argued that the gains are not equitably distributed…

Costa Rica Makes Way for Green Spaces

Costa Rica’s Municipality of San Rafael de Heredia, in collaboration with Transition to a Green Urban Economy (TEVU), is reducing paved areas around the San Rafael church to plant 39 trees and various vegetation. This project, which includes future plans for San José, Alajuela, and Oreamuno de Cartago, aims to replace concrete and asphalt with natural elements, thereby mitigating urban heat and flood risks. The trees, initially 1.5 to 2 meters tall, are expected to grow to 8 meters in five years.

According to TEVU, this “depaving” helps with rainwater infiltration, reduces heat islands, and promotes biodiversity. Strategically placed trees can lower temperatures by 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and filter urban pollutants, while green spaces enhance physical and mental well-being by reducing stress and promoting overall health…

Devastating Wildfire Season

The 2024 wildfire season in the country was the most devastating in the last decade, with 141 emergencies and 27,865 hectares burned, according to the Fire Department. The peak occurred in March, with a fire emergency reported every 8 minutes. Guanacaste was the hardest-hit province, recording 92 fires—more than the previous nine years combined.

Grass burning and fires in waste areas caused 13,800 incidents. Factors such as high temperatures, strong winds, and lack of rainfall, associated with the El Niño phenomenon, contributed to the increase in forest fires. Despite these challenges, the efforts of the Forestry Operational Unit and Fire Stations saved over 100,000 hectares. Minister of Environment and Energy, Franz Tattenbach, highlighted the serious risks to flora, fauna, people, and the environment, stressing that recovery will take years.

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