The generosity of various North American service clubs, not to mention the ongoing efforts of our own Do It Foundation, has provided mobility for tens of thousands of Costa Ricans in the last decade. Still, and in spite of laws requiring public accommodations to provide easier access, adequate systems of mobility have yet to be achieved. It was therefore rewarding to read in a recent issue of Utopia Magazine that Mayor Carlos Cantillo’s primary plans involved sidewalks in Playas del Coco. Many area residents suggest this should be fast-tracked.
A major section of the beach promenade is already in place, allowing the handicapped, local and tourist alike, to enjoy Coco’s beautiful beach and harbor; but this does not affect the basic needs of getting from commercial building to restaurants, shops and other key locations. And while many of the newer developments, such as Pacifico and Coco Palms, the Casino and Colonial Plaza, have long expanses of smooth pavement, too often they dead-end into the ruts of an alley or the tall grass of a field. In short, there is no connection, no overall plan, to enable a person to travel freely throughout downtown without having to use the streets.
The demand for this interconnected network may come sooner than we expect and from external sources, namely the two new hospitals now under construction in the area that will focus on the needs of international tourists coming to Guanacaste for medical reasons. Last May, a medical travel summit at the Four Seasons Resort drew worldwide attention to the advantages of our area as a destination, pointing out the soon-to-be-completed Clínica Bíblica facility in Liberia and the U.S.-constructed CIMA Hospital behind Do It Center. With Playas del Coco being the closest resort town to both of these projects, it stands to reason that we will be central to the activities of those patients throughout the period of medical procedure and follow-up. And it also stands to reason that tourist-oriented business and developers will be the ones to profit, particularly if the infrastructure is improved, with the longer-range benefit extending to all in our towns.
There’s an exciting new website and community forum devoted solely to our towns. Check it out: www.quepasacoco.com.