Health Ministry Stops Construction at Riu Hotel

November 28, 2008

The Health Ministry ordered the Spanish hotel chain Riu to stop construction on a partially completed, 701-room hotel due to the poor sanitary conditions that the 1,500 on-site employees lived and worked in.

Health Minister María Luisa Avila condemned the overcrowding of worker quarters on Playa Matapalo, the picturesque beach on the northwestern Pacific coast where the hotel is being erected.

Last week, a Nicaraguan worker died inside the employee barracks. The Health Ministry told The Tico Times then that the cause of death was a tick-born disease.

However, the results of the autopsy are still pending, and the ministry said the death may be linked to the unsanitary conditions.

More than 300 other workers have been treated at local clinics over the last two weeks. Most suffered from respiratory infections, but some complained of diarrhea and vomiting, the same symptoms that affected Manuel Sánchez, 26, before he died.

Riu also must provide information about the origin and migratory status of its employees and whether they are covered by Costa Rica’s socialized health care.

“Since last week, we have been working to implement all of the recommendations made by health authorities,” said Roberto Echeverría, Hotel Riu’s legal representative to the daily La Nación.

Originally, the Health Ministry shut down construction through Nov. 27. Now it is unclear when work on the $125 million hotel will resume.

–Devon Magee

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Buchón cantina: Spritz cocktails to dine for
Dining and Nightlife
732 views
Dining and Nightlife
732 views

Buchón cantina: Spritz cocktails to dine for

Natalia Díaz - October 18, 2018

Buchón was the first place I tasted the Aperol Spritz, months before it became fashionable around San José. In fact,…

Tico Times Shade: What does ‘middle class’ mean in Costa Rica?
Tico Times Shade
2335 views
Tico Times Shade
2335 views

Tico Times Shade: What does ‘middle class’ mean in Costa Rica?

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 18, 2018

It’s not often The Tico Times writes an explainer about basic Costa Rican daily living that’s equally surprising to a…

Costa Rica grants asylum to Nicaraguan activist Alvaro Leiva
News
845 views
News
845 views

Costa Rica grants asylum to Nicaraguan activist Alvaro Leiva

AFP - October 18, 2018

Costa Rica granted the Nicaraguan human rights activist Alvaro Leiva political asylum last week. Leiva is the secretary of the…