After storms Otto and Nate, calm is starting to settle in for tourism locales in Guanacaste that suffered losses in the past year at their businesses.
The Voice of Guanacaste spoke with some of the owners of the locales in two of the most affected cantons, Bagaces and La Cruz, to hear their stories of the recovery process and to motivate you to visit these places in order to dynamize the economies in these communities.
Álvaro Conejo, the president of the Guanacaste Tourism Chamber (Caturgua), highlighted the positive attitude of many Guanacastecan entrepreneurs.
“Guanacastecans themselves started the job of reactivating the economy without waiting for help from anyone,” Conejo said.
The owner of Cuajiniquil de La Cruz’s seafood restaurant Boulevard Esteban Caballero explained that they had tens of thousands of dollars in losses at his business after Tropical Storm Nate passed in October this year.
“We were left with only two freezers and the tables for the restaurant,” he said. “The water reached a meter high. We had to close for a month. I estimate around ¢30 million ($53,570) in losses.”
Caballero said that, little by little, tourists are coming to his locale and he estimates that during the months of December and January the economy will start to pick up, not only at his business but in the rest of the community as well.
How can you help them? By visiting Cuajiniquil and enjoying one of the house specialties, seafood soup (¢5,500.00 or $10) - recommended by Caballero himself - or any other of the dishes on the menu that are seafood-based.
Another tourist site that was affected by the heavy rains and winds of Otto in La Cruz was Tierra Madre Eco Lodge, a hotel with 10 rooms located in the community of Los Andes, in the La Garita district, and a privileged view of the Lake of Nicaragua.
“We had problems on part of the roof and the gardens were destroyed, but the biggest problem continues to be reservations,” said one of the hotel managers Faime Dussaiwoir. “For this December we don’t have a single reservation from the United States.”
Among the activities that you can enjoy are fishing in the Sábalo river, hiking through the forest and horseback riding. Reservations can be made on their website.
In Guayabo, Bagaces, Thermomanía continues to recover from Hurricane Otto.
A year ago, a downpour buried part of the hot spring complex and destroyed the huts for camping, four of their suites and a farm for animals.
For 2017, the owner of Thermomania Didier Arrieta developed a new strategy: a small scale model for educational purposes that explains how the four different types of clean energy work - solar, hydroelectric, wind and geothermal - in order to attract visitors.
“For the end of the year we have a special deal for schools and high schools (¢5,000 or $9) that includes entry to the waterpark, the hot springs, the slides and the theme park” Ulate announced.
Caturgua Offers Publicity
Caturgua President Álvaro Conejo said that in response to storms Otto and Nate they have supported businesses, both affiliated and unaffiliated with the organization, via a free marketing campaign through social media and mass emails.
“To receive our help they must contact us at any of the chamber’s telephone numbers,” Conejo said.
- Name: Marisquería y Restaurante Boulevard.
Dirección/Address: 75 metros norte de la delegación de policía, en Cuajiniquil, La Cruz. / 75 meters north from the police station in Cuajiniquil, La Cruz.
Tel: 2679-1095 o 6311-8964.
- Name: Thermomanía.
Address: Guayabo de Bagaces
Tel: 2673 0233
- Name: Tierra Madre Eco Lodge.
Address: Los Andes, La Garita de La Cruz.
Caturgua contact: 2668-1160.