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Tag-Archive for "Third World Conditions"

Is Jaco Costa Rica Beach Water Clean? Apr 02

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YES! Claims the local goverment and the AyA, wich is the abbreviation for the Costa Rica water and sewer ministry. After the latest round of water tests in and around the river mouths and various locations up and down the beach, the AyA determined that the beach in Jaco is safe. Was that a long sentence or what? 

As many of us know who live here in Jaco that the rivers that spill into the ocean are heavily polluted with septic wastes that are untreated. Just walking by over a river here in town, you can smell the terrible odors that are associated with untreated sewage. Luckily for Jaco and all of the surfers, the government realized they needed to get firm with violators who are polluting the rivers. Last year, Jaco was in the news because of very high levels of bacteria coliforms in the water tested at the beach. The result was a media frenzy here in Costa Rica and an embarressment for many in the tourist trade. After all, Costa Rica stands for ecological protection and sustainability. What one preaches they better practice when they invite the media to the dance. 

The tourisim minister, the tourism council, and even local leaders were humbled in light of the dangerous bacteria levels becoming public knowledge. There is nothing like potential loss of face here in Costa Rica to motivate a public official or council. Many people questioned AyA’s motivations for releasing the test results to the media without consulting the local government first. Some say it was the word war between the Garabito municipality and the AyA on who was going to take care of the drinking water for the community that led to the public disclosure of the test results. more…

Tradegy in Dominical Sean McGraw dies in car accident Mar 25

sean-mcgraw-costa-ricaReports are sketchy at this moment, but according to sources last night Sean McGraw was killed last night in a tragic auto accident. Apparently, Sean was returning home last night and his car went off the side of the road in the Dominical area whereas his car flipped and he was ejected. Same source said, that police officers were traveling behind him were on scene moments later but he had died.

The highway along the Dominical – Cortez corridor is relatively new but has no shoulder along vast stretches of this highway and the drop is very steep making this road very dangerous to travel.  

Sean was the father of two young children, a girl and a boy and a husband according to his bio on realtor related site and was 35 years old.

Here is his biography from We Love Costa Rica:

Sean was born and raised in Wisconsin, U.S., and attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Prior to real estate, Sean founded and managed a commercial fishing operation in northern California for five years. After arriving in Costa Rica in 1996, he began his real estate career by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise.

In 2004, they partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become the Master Franchise holder for the entire country of Costa Rica.

As a member of Costa Rica Real Estate Association of Realtors, Global Associations of Realtors, and U.S. based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to seven offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. Additionally, the Coldwell Banker Dominical Realty office has grown its commission revenue to over $2M annually.

Sean is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, camping, fishing and exploring. His favorite quote is from the movie A Bug’s Life: “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.”

The last real estate books Sean read were The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller et al., and Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson.

Sean McGraw had many friends here in Jaco and around Costa Rica. He was a well liked guy and people had only good things to say about him and he will be missed. We offer our condolences and prayers to his wife and family.

Here is a link to Sean’s blogpsot

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Israeli Arno Tzit executed in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica Mar 16

arno-tzit-jaco-costa-ricaArno Tzit or known around town as Piper was murdered “execution sytle” last month. I wanted to wait to see what or if any results would come from an investigation. So far nothing has surfaced other than specualtion. Rumors are “he was mixing with the wrong crowd” , “this was a revenge murder” , “he owed a lot of money to the wrong people” , “the security guard was in on it since he called in sick that night.” Whatever the reasons are for his execution, he has children and they must now carry the burden of this experience for the rest of their lives.

I am saddened for Piper but mostly for his kids. They will grow up without a father who loved them very much, no more hugs, no more smiles, no more kisses, no more encouragement, no more trips together, no more cuddling in bed; this is the hard reality. All of these wonderful gifts a parent can give a child have been stolen from these young, innocent human beings. Costa Rica’s government must recognize that “wild west” justice and law does not work when international tourism is the staple currency for the country. Tourism will decline and the golden goose that has given this tiny country a voice in the world will disappear. Just last week we wrote about how Spring Breakers are choosing Costa Rica as a safer alternative to Mexico’s beaches. If this site and many other tourism related sites began posting articles of all of the crimes taking place against tourists, we would not have been able to claim Costa Rica Spring Break is the safer destination.

There has only been one posting on the net about this tragedy. Why? Are there no answer? Or is this an ugly side of Costa Rica that officials want to sweep under the rug? Whatever the case may be, Arno and his kids deserve that the truth be sought and that he is remembered. The Piper I knew, had an effusive smile that lit up his whole face. Piper’s smile brought warmth to those around him. Piper was loved by many people in Jaco and in Playa Hermosa because he was a genuine person who cared about his friends. Piper will be missed.

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The 411 on 911 in Costa Rica Jan 07

Every year thousands of tourists visit Costa Rica with ideas of experiencing adventure, tropical rain forests, wild animals, and surfing. While the majority of these adventures are safe and relatively low risk, it is the alternative activities or spontaneous decisions that pose very high risks. What are some of these alternatives? Suffice to say, anything in which your participation when gone awry could cause grave injuries. Why?

While Costa Rica boasts the traditional 911 emergency number, it is nothing remotely similar to the USA, Canada, or European systems. To demonstrate differences, just a few basics about the other countries system: US,CA; rapid response under 10 minutes, stabilization for transport and trauma care at hospital, European;rapid response under 10 minutes, stabilization & trauma care brought to scene. All have Enhanced-911 services; callerID with physical address, coordinated radio command & control of fire-police-EMT. And all come equipped for the job.

In Costa Rica, while authorities may claim rapid response is a high priority it does not exist. Furthermore, the noted basics of the other countries systems does not exist here. When you dial 911 in Costa Rica, you are sent to a central office in San Jose where they attempt to coordinate a response.

Red Cross Central Operations upgraded in 2001 from donation by Japan

Red Cross Central Operations upgraded in 2001 from donation by Japan

Often, when they call the local Red Cross or Cruz Rojo there is no answer. If you become incapacitated during the call, no luck locating the origin of the call, hence, no location information. When a response is received and the Red Cross arrives they often are ill-equipped to deal with any emergency other than their training. Equipment is often non-functional, or non-existent and hospital transport can be upwards to 2 hours depending on your location and that meter begins after they arrive on the scene which can take up to an hour. more…

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