What began with the 19th-century wave of Chinese migrant laborers, and has recently grown into cozy bilateral relations, now looks likely to culminate into a Chinatown in the heart of the Costa Rican capital.
In a joint plan put forth by the Municipality of San José and the China-Costa Rican Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the area of Paseo de los Estudiantes, between Calle 7 and Calle 11, would boast gastronomical and cultural delights from the Eastern nation, giving San José a new tourist attraction, according to the daily La Nación.
San José Mayor Johnny Araya told the daily the idea of a Chinatown (Barrio Chino in Spanish) here is a no-brainer because Chinese restaurants already abound and specialty food markets and shops related to the Asian country keep sprouting up.
“The idea is to create a Barrio Chino that would stimulate private investment, which then would prompt the opening of new cultural centers, restaurants and other types of business,” said Araya.
The barrio would boast a revamped boulevard, lined with Chinese-style storefronts and restaurant facades.
“The Chinese culture is centuries-old and will be attractive for San José. Other cities around the world have a neighborhood like this and it seems like a very interesting thing for Costa Rica to have,” the mayor said.
China has announced several aid packages to Costa Rica, including the funding of a new sports stadium.