Top members of the Tamarindo Improvement Association have traveled from the northwestern Pacific beach town to San José twice to meet with officials from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and other key government agencies that have committed to helping the booming beach town deal with its growing pains.
At the first meeting, Jorge Calvo, president of the Tamarindo Improvement Association, outlined some of the community’s main concerns, while association member Allan Astorga presented the most recent association-commissioned Environmental Sustainability Impact Study of Tamarindo. The representatives proposed forming a permanent Inter-Institutional Commission in which representatives of all the government agencies present at the meetings would work together toward a better community.
According to Calvo, the idea met with great success.
“The ICT wants to make Tamarindo an example for the other beach communities,” he reported. “If they can fix the problems here, they can fix the other communities. They are very hopeful.” Officials from the Public Health and Public Security ministries, Costa Rican Institute of Water and Sewers (AyA), National Technical Secretariat of the Environment Ministry (SETENA), National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), Municipality of Santa Cruz and the National Institute for Housing and Urban Development (INVU) attended the meetings.
At the second meeting in San José, on April 12, Calvo discussed problems plaguing Tamarindo such as untreated sewage, solid waste and the like. In return, he received a promise of continued inter-institutional meetings to seek solutions to the community’s woes.
“It’s no secret that Tamarindo is a tourist destination and Costa Rica thrives financially from tourism. So, the ICT wants what we want, which is to fix Tamarindo’s problems. Government officials have made fixing Tamarindo a priority,” Calvo said.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place May 25 in Tamarindo, with Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides in attendance.