Monteverde residents demanding a new road slow traffic on Inter-American Highway

March 4, 2015

A group of Monteverde residents, upset with the poor condition of a road that leads to their mountainous community in north-central Costa Rica, protested Monday morning on a stretch of the Inter-American Highway in the Pacific province of Puntarenas.

The deteriorated gravel road to the community is a key factor in the decrease in tourism business in the area, residents say. Tourism in the Quaker community and cloud forest preserve in the Tilarán Mountains is one of the area’s primary economic activities, as some 100,000 tourists visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve each year. It is one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations.

However, several hotels, restaurants and other business have closed in recent months, residents say. The road becomes especially dangerous during the rainy season months of May to November.

Demonstrators are slowing down traffic on the nearby highway, but are not blocking it entirely. A line of vehicles Monday morning stretched some three kilometers.

In the afternoon, protesters will return to their community for a rally, where they hope to receive an official response from the Public Works and Transport Ministry.

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