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Wildlife
Samara Fiestas in Review
Move to Samara Center Boosted Participation and Revenue
By Arianna McKinney
 

Although relocating Samara’s Fiesta this year from Cangrejal to Samara Center worried some, the move appears to have been a huge boost for the success of the Fiesta.

According to the economic report for the 2010-2011 Fiesta, after paying expenses, the Fiesta brought in an impressive 12,051,341 colones (about $24,100). In the past few years when the fiesta was held in Cangrejal, revenue was only between 6 and 8 million colones ($12-16,000), according to Emilse Steller Ramirez, treasurer for the Asociación Progresista de Samara (Samara Progressive Association).

Half of the income from the fiesta will go to the school to finish the computer lab and for bathrooms, Steller Ramirez said. The remaining funds will be used for the community in various ways, such as garbage collection and improvements to the community hall.

Freddy Mendoza Elizondo, President of the Commission for the Fiesta, commented that participation and revenue increased this year with the new location for the fiesta, and they plan to hold next year’s fiesta in Samara Center as well.

   
 

Before the fiesta, many hotel owners and managers expressed concern about having the fiesta in the center of town because of issues such as traffic, parking, garbage, noise and drunkenness. However, for the most part the fiesta took place without much scandal and seemed to attract more tourists.

Jose Angel Gomez Matarita, District Chief of Police, reported that there was good coordination with the private security hired for the fiesta and that there were fewer problems this year.

Miguel Gomez, current syndic and executive secretary of the Integral Development Association of Samara, estimated that 70% of those who attended the fiestas were foreigners.

Many restaurants and supermarkets also noted increased revenue during the fiesta. Noldan Toruño Perez, administrator of Super San Rafael, said the store experienced a strong increase in sales during the fiesta. He said it was better having the fiesta in the town center instead of in Cangrejal. He noted that people driving to or from Carillo saw the fiesta and stopped in. Super San Rafael is located at the main intersection of Samara, but Toruño Perez said traffic flowed smoothly for most of the fiesta, except around 6 p.m. during bull riding events. He noted that there were several large parking areas were available.

“It was better organized this year,” commented Carolina Alvarez Garay, Secretary of CASATUR and manager of Hotel Casa Del Mar, still expressed concern about the quantity of litter left by fiesta-goers. But, she said, “The tourists really like it. I congratulate Doña Emilse and the group of collaborators. They were very focused on the matter of coordination. We hope that for the next fiesta it continues like this.”

 

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