San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Jacó Happenings

Jacó was again awarded the Ecological Blue Flag at a March 28 award ceremony at INBioparque in Heredia, north of San José. The National Commission for the Ecological Blue Flag Program congratulated Sonia Alvarado of the Garabito Blue Flag Committee for the great work she has done to ensure that the city of Jacó received this award.

The Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce is hosting an April 20 inauguration of Jacó’s latest completed project, the oceanfront Diamante del Sol, built by Daystar Properties. Open to the public, the event will start at 5:30 p.m. and will offer the chance to check out the condo project and learn about the chamber’s community projects for 2010. For more information or to confirm your attendance, call the chamber at 2643-2853.

The new Central Pacific Men’s Group, under the auspices of the chamber of commerce, will hold its first meeting April 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Hotel Balcón del Mar.

The group welcomes all men living in the area and will be looking for board members and committee chairmen, as well as input on speakers and programs, during the meeting. This is a great opportunity to network your business, obtain information on community affairs and get to know your neighbors. The featured speaker will be immigration attorney José Rojas, Costa Rica case manager for the firm Fragomen Global, who will provide information on immigration laws and obtaining residency. For information, contact Russ Lowes at or Lee Sanders at

With the opening of the new highway linking our coast to the Central Valley, efforts to support lifeguard programs in the region continue in Jacó and Esterillos. The chamber of commerce, in conjunction with the GarabitoMunicipality, made it possible to add four lifeguards at JacóBeach during Easter week. Marvin Pérez, Rigoberto Villalobos, César Herrera and Lizandro Porras watched over the many swimmers visiting the beach during those days.

Farther south, the Beaches of Esterillos Association of Community Helpers (BEACH) has been established. The grassroots nonprofit organization seeks to provide funding for the lifeguard program in the community and surrounding beaches.

Since the program’s inception in December 2008, the community of Esterillos Oeste has constructed three lifeguard towers, two mobile and one stationary. The latter was reconstructed from an old tower spared by the ocean currents. Area restaurants and hotels are cooperating with donated lunches for the lifeguards and accommodations for visiting water-rescue instructors. For more information, e-mail, Rosemary Chamberlain at, or Nelle Nemecek at If you are interested in helping support a similar program in Jacó, contact the chamber of commerce at 2643-2853.

Each year, the nonprofit SASY ( organizes a charity auction to help support the efforts of many groups and people dedicated to helping animals in Costa Rica. This year, the McKee Project received a contribution from SASY that will make it possible to offer a spay and neuter program in the country’s poorest communities. McKee will start with a big spay day this month in Tárcoles, and is still looking for other sponsors for the clinic.

The McKee Project also continues to work with area schools. It started the school year with a meeting of teachers and parents from Escuela Central, the biggest elementary school in Jacó, with 660 students. As last year, both teachers and parents were happy to have McKee on board offering all kinds of help to continue the “Sharing the World With the Animals” education program. Thanks to sponsors Purina and Pets y Más, McKee was able to offer great prizes to the winners. Special thanks go to Cynthia Lizano and Luz Pineda for organizing it all, as well as to school principal Vera Alpízar. McKee also had a meeting with teachers from the Colegio Profesional de Jacó, the biggest high school in the canton with 754 students, and the group is still looking for a sponsor for the Escuela Herradura project; for information, contact Katja Bader at info@mckee-jaco. com. Also, nominations for the next Golden Paw Award are due by May 15. If you know someone who makes the community a better place through work with animals, fill out a nomination form on McKee’s Web site at Any community member may make a nomination.

Chewey’s Pizza in Herradura held its grand reopening at the beginning of the month to showcase its new batting cages and basketball court. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m., the restaurant offers old-school pizza available for delivery. For information, call Randall at 2637-7015.

–Christina Truitt

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