|School children and community members gathered excited around the flag pole in front of Carrillo Beach Saturday morning, April 30th. They were joined by ministers of the Republic of Costa Rica, including Vice President Alfio Piva Mesen, Vice Minister of Education Silvia Viguez, Executive President of AyA (Acuaductos y Acantarillados) Oscar Nuñez, Minister of Social, Dr. Fernando Marin, and Executive President of the IFAM Juan Marin.
Vice President Piva hosted the prestigious Bandera Azul (Blue Flag) up the pole, flapping grandly amongst palm trees and blue sky, and Nuñez tied a knot to fix the flag securely aloft.
“It seems to me that this is an acknowledgement of the community for the job they do,” commented Juan Marin. “They have a clean beach and it’s a seal of quality.” He credited the achievement of receiving the Bandera Azul to the efforts of the Chamber of Tourism, the municipality and the Association of Development.
To earn the blue flag, beaches are evaluated on factors such as the quality of ocean water and potable water, sanitation, security, environmental education and community participation in maintaining the beach.
The meeting with community representatives at Hotel Guanamar in Carrillo began shortly after 9 a.m., providing representatives of the community organizations to present concerns to the ministers. Concerns expressed for Carrillo included garbage disposal, drug abuse, water storage, lack of sidewalks, the state of bridges in Torito and Carrillo and contamination of water sources. Concerns voiced for Samara revolved around water sanitation and the need to enlarge the sewer system, a project of ASADA that has been stalled for years.
Juan Marin said another meeting is planned for June to discuss the environment and public spaces with the minister of tourism, vice minister of environment and representatives of public and private architecture and engineering schools.
Community of El Torito also received the Blue Flag award