San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Building of New Cinchona Under Way

Costa Rican government officials and private builders will break ground Wednesday for 93 homes in Nueva Cinchona in Cariblanco de Alajuela, on the slopes of the Póas Volcano, northwest of San José.

The new community will be home to 93 families who lost their houses in the 6.3 magnitude Cinchona earthquake on Jan. 8, 2009, a disaster that claimed 30 lives and forced thousands to evacuate.

The homes will be built by the private construction firm Facoli-Dent at a cost of ₡1.8 billion ($3.5 million). Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) awarded the contract last week.

Facoli-Dent said that all the homes should be completed within 75 days. The CNE hopes to begin turning homes over to their owners by December.

Nueva Cinchona is a 600-hectare plot of land located roughly six kilometers from the site of the original town. The CNE purchased the property in 2009 for ₡570 million ($1 million at the time) and cleared and prepared the terrain for an additional ₡500 million.

The commission consulted with engineers and architects to guarantee that the location and blueprints for Nueva Cinchona comply with Costa Rica’s seismic code.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla will break ground on the new site at 11 a.m. and host a meeting with Facoli-Dent officials at the El Angel food packaging factory, which was also severely damaged during the earthquake and subsequently rebuilt.

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