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Tag-Archive for "Central Pacific"

WSG Opening draws huge crowd in Jaco Jun 22

opening-games-wsg-girls320A giant Parade of the Surfing Nations began the opening ceremonies of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games at Jaco Beach this morning. In full “Olympic” style, over 34 nations in bright uniforms and flags flying, followed a colorful Costa Rican marching band down the main street of town, to the exited cheers of thousands posted along the parade route.

The parade finished in the Park of Jaco. There, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, along with the Chief of the Costa Rican Tourism Department, Carlos Ricardo Benavidez, the Mayor of Garabito, Marvin Eliondo, the Manager of the ICE Group, Pedro Pablo Quiroz and the President of the Surfing Federation of Costa Rica, Jose Ureña, spoke in front of an enormous crowd of competitors and public. Billabong´s Marketing Vice-President Graham Stapelberg joined them. more…

jaco costa rica girls
Jaco Arts Festival is Back Jun 16

jaco-arts-festival-logoLet’s hope it is better organized than last years fiasco. If you were here last year, the location of the event was held in a marsh. That is what it turned out to be after it rained for many days and who can blame the rain, the event was held during the rainy season. After all, Jaco is located in the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica.

This year the events organizer seems to have learned his lesson from last year and moved the date to take place during the tico summer which is now. Plus, this years event is being held at the all new and unfinished “Recreational and Ecological Park” on Pastor Díaz donated by the Chinese government after Costa Rica abandonded long time friend Tawaiin.  

As this post is being written, workers and event organizers are working furiously to not bump into each other while each does what they need to do. While sand is being fitted between the cobblestones, the tents are being erected above them at the same time. Let’s hope for the sake of Jaco and the municipality that its namesake arts festival will go as planned.

For more information, you can visit the Jaco Arts Festival site

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Costa Rica High Season is a HIT! Jun 13

With the USA and western Europe economy suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded, the Costa Rican tourism officials had their fingers crossed entering the start of High Season.  The ICT which is the official agency that promotes tourism here in Costa Rica made a public relations event out of the 2,000,000th customer visting here.

Many hotels and industry have been hurting in Jaco as a result of the lower tourist numbers but most agree that their real money comes in during the high season. So everyone in Jaco was crossing their fingers and hoping it would be equal to last year at least. But if you are a regular here in Jaco you know the tourists are here in droves. Even the nationals are visiting Jaco in large numbers since the national schools are on vacation.

Chuck from WOW Surf told me last week that he is very busy and is not complaining. Taco Bar, a local favorite, serves fresh fish tacos has been jammed the past few days as tourists feast on the salad buffet and fresh fish. Even the shops that sell anything from a fish comb to ceramic wind chimes have been selling their wares to eager tourists.

I wish I could say the municipality was ready for this but they were not. Luckily for Jaco, tourists do not factor this when deciding whether or not to visit us. But the muni could have waited to dig up the “Pop’s” calle until after the high season instead of leaving it as a dirt road filling the main street with plenty of dust that tourists have to cover their mouths and shield their eyes when near. Jaco’s, Chinese funded, park is still not complete while tourists try and shoot photos of the large Iguanas that used to inhabit the refuge.

Check back next week for our new photo gallery and virtual tours of Costa Rica’s most famous tourist attractions.

Industrial and Construction Industries Hit Hardest in Costa Rica Jun 08

Tourism, Industry and Construction in Costa Rica Saw Low Growth This Year.

As the year comes to a close, more depressing statistics about the true effects of the economic crisis on Central America continue to be uncovered. The latest numbers state that the industrial and construction industries were the biggest hit with a measly growth of 5% for each. The previous year, the industrial industry experienced 8% growth while the construction industry had an impressive 18% growth. The production industry had an extremely low growth rate at 1.14%, while the hotel and commercial industries were also hard hit.

All these statistics were brought to light thanks to the Monthly Economic Activity Index (Imae), which was published by the Banco Central this past Saturday. The Index is a compilation of poll answers collected from 800 Costa Rica businesses.

As the economy is so tightly interconnected, the drop in construction led to a reduction in the production of construction materials such as cement and iron, leading to lost jobs and low profits. The industrial industry is watched closely because there are currently 240,000 people employed in the industry, and from July 2007 and July 2008, 12,000 jobs were lost. As a close second, there are 152,000 people that work in construction in Costa Rica, a number that has not changed over the past year. This of course affects the buying power of consumers, leading to lower sales totals for those offering goods and services.

In tourism, 8,000 of a total 100,000 (8%) jobs were lost between July 2007 and July 2008, and in commerce, the amount of jobs actually increased by 11,000 positions. The only industries that showed growth from now and last year were Costa Rica real estate and the government.

The Costa Rican tourism Institute (ICT) expects a growth of 7% in tourists from last years totals, though recent devastating floods in Puerto Viejo have caused occupancy levels to drop to an unprecedented 1%! After two low pressure systems swept through the region, flood waters displaced over 5,000 people and damaged crops and infrastructure in the region. However, despite the fact that all transportation routes have been fixed, and little damage remains, the reservation cancellations continue. With 35,000 people employed in tourism in the region, calls for help are going to the ICT to search for solutions. In the meantime, many hotel owners are offering up to 50% discounts, though 80% of bars and restaurants have simply kept their doors shut until a higher demand rolls around.

Costa Rica hit by 6.2 earthquake in the dead of night May 24

Anyone, have dreams of being bounced around? Unless you were sleeping, you surely would have felt the slip and slide motion of last nights or I should say very early morning earthquake here along the central pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The last earthquake I can remember that shook Jaco like this was in 2004 centered in Parrita. Parrita is that little town south of Jaco that endures earthquakes, flooding on a yearly basis. This mornings earthquake epicenter was located along the Panama border according the the USGS sensors located in Heredia. I have not heard any reports of damage here in Jaco but I can tell you we were swinging for a good minute. more…

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