San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Housing Officials Unveil

The Costa Rican Housing Ministry revealed its new blueprint for Nueva Cinchona on Tuesday in front of hundreds of residents who lost their homes in the Jan. 8 earthquake.

Nueva Cinchona will be in Cariblanco, a district of Sarapiquí, Alajuela, six kilometers from the old Cinchona.

The Jan. 8 quake, in which 30 people were killed and 3,000 were forced to flee their homes, caused significant damage to a number of towns. But it leveled the town of Cinchona, in the Alajuela province northwest of San José. In the aftermath of the quake, government officials and media representatives began calling the event the “Cinchona Earthquake.”

The planned 600-hectare Nueva Cinchona, designed by the Costa Rican Association of Engineers and Architects, will incorporate enough houses to accommodate a projected population of 1,230 people, approximately 370 families. Each house will measure 54 square meters and will sit on a 300-to-500 square meter lot.

Infrastructure will include concrete roads to pass each home, parks, sidewalks, a fairground and new trees. Among some of Nueva Cinchona’s buildings will be a local church, a health center, a high school with a gym, the La Unión grade school and shops.

The small town will receive water service from the Administrative Association of Rural Aqueducts (ASADA), which is the type of local organization that typically supplies water to Costa Rica’s rural communities.

The construction cost will be ¢560 million (about $1 million), and the town is expected to be complete by June 2010. Funds for the project were provided by the National Emergency Commissions, Banco de Costa Rica and other institutional and international donations.

–Mike McDonald

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