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Earthquake Damages Won’t Stop Students From Going Back to School
Classes Will Be Held in Halls, Churches and Rented Buildings

By Cesar Blanco

Photo by Giordano Ciampini
At Serapio Lopez School in Nosara, they had to cut down some trees because of the earthquake

Due to the serious damages to educational centers caused by the earthquake on September 5th, many students ended 2012 with classes being held in alternate sites and the new semester, which starts on February 6, will begin and end the same way for at least 19 school grounds in the region of Nicoya, where students will receive classes in shared classrooms, halls, churches and rented buildings. 

The regional director of Nicoya, Zulay Salas, specified that this shouldn’t be a cause for concern for parents since their children will not be harmed at any time. “We understand that they won’t be the best conditions, but we should adapt to them given that it was nature’s decision. After a strong earthquake that causes destruction, we have to sift through the rubble and rebuild.”

As of November 30, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) released the resources, a total of almost 6 billion colones ($12 million) for all of the educational centers in the country that reported damages. 

“Public funds are slow to be applied.  This money was deposited to the administrative boards of each school and high school, but many of the people who form part of the boards are very simple, without much knowledge in the administration of these resources, so they had to be trained,” indicated Salas.

The official highlighted that the buildings with problems are a minority, although it is clear that several have a high human concentration.  “The epicenter of the earthquake was in Samara, but the damages weren’t what people might think in this district nor in Nosara,” she said.

New Constructions and Remodels

Salas added that the majority of the damaged structures had to be demolished to build new ones; in some they had to do major remodels and in others just minor touchups. “There are some centers that will return to normal in about three months but others that are more complicated won’t be done until December.  A small school will be easier, but for example, at the Nicoya High School two pavilions of 10 classrooms have to be torn down, the same as in the CTP of La Mansion, so the work will extend for about 10 months.”

One of the schools that had to make a few repairs that won’t prevent students from enjoying their beloved classrooms is Serapio Lopez School in Nosara.  Lety Prendas, president of the board of directors, assured that they are ready to receive students but they had to cut some trees as a result of the earthquake.  She explained that the roots of a Guanacaste tree that moved in the earthquake broke the floor of a classroom and due to this the Emergencies Commission asked them to remove the tree. 

Other trees were cut down at the same time to create a zone of security, manifested Prendas.

Data supplied to VON by the regional director’s office shows that just in CTP of La Mansion 398 million colones ($796,000) will be invested, in the Nicoya High School 225 million colones ($450,000), the CTP of Corralillo 1.6 million colones ($3200), San Martin School 133 million colones ($266,000) and Cacique Nicoa School 59 million colones ($118,000).

Meanwhile, the school in San Francisco of Samara will receive 35 million colones (70,000), the school in Pueblo Nuevo of Samara 31 million colones ($62,000), La Esperanza of Garza 1.3 million colones ($2600), Garza School 1.4 million colones ($2800) and the school in El Torito of Samara 720,000 colones ($1440), among others.

Finally, Salas cited that in the next few days they will meet with the administration of each center to select other contingency plans such as class schedule rotations and she concluded thanking various local businesses that also have provided financial sums to cover the need of returning the children and teenagers the educational training quarters that were damaged by the movement of 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale. 


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The Earthquake Continues for Affected Families

“It was the only house I’ve had,” lamented Maritza Villareal, resident of Nosara. “I just hope to rebuild it in a better place because we don’t want to live in this little shack with four people. I want to give my kids a better life.  We need help and all that we hear from the government is no, no, no,” she explained.  

New Foundation Looks to Install Security Cameras in Nicoya, Samara and Nosara

The new nonprofit Fundacion Para la Seguridad Integral de Nicoya (Foundation for the Integral Security of Nicoya), which was registered in December 2012, has the goal of raising funds to install security cameras strategically placed around Nicoya canton. 

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of January stories you might have missed.



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