San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Rural Tourism Fair Begins Today

TODAY through Sunday at INBio-Parque in Santo Domingo de Heredia,northwest of San José, community andcooperative tourist services will be on displayat the Third Rural Tourism Fair.The fair is designed to showcasesmall-scale community initiatives involvingthe sale of tourist services and productsto generate complementary incomefor the families involved, often in areaswith high poverty indexes, according tothe Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).The inauguration is scheduled for 5p.m. today. A full day of activities tomorrowincludes traditional games (10 a.m.-3p.m.), the presentation of the 17th editionof the guide “The New Key to Costa Rica(11 a.m.-noon), face painting (11 a.m.-3p.m.), the exhibition of a RuralCommunity Tourism Mural (noon-3 p.m.),musical and theatrical presentationsthroughout the afternoon, and a performanceby award-winning musical groupEditus at 5:30 p.m. Sunday’s activitiesinclude mask making and storytelling.“There are excellent communal ruraltourism alternatives in Costa Rica,”Tourism Minister Rodrigo Castro said in astatement on the National TourismInstitute (ICT) Web site.“This kind of tourism permits learningabout the culture, idiosyncrasy and customsof different places,” he said.Castro added some 2,700 families inCosta Rica depend on rural tourism fortheir income.Participants in the fair will include theICT and the United Nations DevelopmentProgram (UNDP), along with travelagents and wholesalers from CentralAmerica, the United States, Canada andEurope.For more information, call 256-2791or e-mail

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