It’s true, La Cruz has been a forgotten town where work is scarce and opportunities to rise emerge in neighboring cantons. In the nick of time, the scene seems to be changing, but it can’t be taken sitting down.
In December of 2014, the canton of La Cruz began to have an unprecedented experience in town when a 447-room hotel opened its doors, putting La Cruz on the map for many tourists who visit the country or for vacationers who want to step out of their routine and take a getaway.
What’s happening? The townspeople were not prepared. The people of La Cruz need to energize in order to be competitive and also to have the ability to offer services that meet high standards of capacity.
According to data from the 2011 census, only 9.8% of the population of the canton, which reached 22,644 inhabitants this year, have studied at a university. In that same year, only 42% of the people of La Cruz had finished high school.
Education is fundamental for development. Companies can continue to invest in the canton, but if La Cruz does not have people who have skills to fill the vacancies, they have to fill openings by hiring people from neighboring cantons or the Central Valley.
That’s where the canton’s Chamber of Tourism should start to act and establishing links between private businesses and the community, to encourage the training of local people and at the same time give them employment options, but of course, the people should show commitment and interest.
For those who think “I don’t like tourism. I don’t want to work at that,” we say it is important to analyze the large number of jobs that are generated by hotel companies. Hotels need accountants, managers, chefs, maintenance technicians for computers and electronic equipment, sustainability experts, human resources managers and event organizers, which could be done by locals.
Without a doubt, La Cruz is a goldmine that has not yet been exploited. The beauty of the site has the ability to become a tourist destination like La Fortuna de San Carlos or Monteverde, and the beaches of the canton could be booming like other Guanacaste beaches today such as Guiones, Samara or Tamarindo.
It is understandable that to invest in a business or invest in education, people need income to do it. However, nowadays there are academic scholarships that are wasted or loan options for small and medium businesses.
Sometimes we Ticos fall into the habit of complaining and waiting for offers to fall from the sky without working toward them. Today, the people of La Cruz have a business in front of them that is in its infancy, but it certainly has the potential to be exploited, so it’s time to take the bull by the horns and fight for what lies ahead.