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Members of Communities Affected by Earthquake Help Victims

By Oliver Pérez, Arianna McKinney and Giordano Ciampini

About a month after the September 5th earthquake hit, hundreds of families have still not been able to recover; however some are offering a helping hand. Neighbors, associations, local committees and even strangers have donated their time, money and physical labor so these families can overcome hardships. 

Bonifacio Díaz, syndic for the district of Samara, reported that food is being distributed to 53 affected families in the district, principally in El Torito and Matapalo. These are the families considered most in need, based on studies done by the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (Imas— Mixed Institute of Social Help), explained Diaz.

Volunteer help has also been given in assisting those affected. Club Leo has been hosting campaigns to collect food and money, and the Lions Club have identified the most affected families and paid rent for housing, something that is an obligation of Imas. 

But help has also come from people from San Jose and the La Paz Community School of Brasilito, whose 200 students collected food for the affected families.  

Sandra Baltodano Juarez (back to camera) is the owner of one of the houses
which collapsed in the September 5th earthquake, destroying her beauty salon.
On Thursday September 27th she opened up a new salon beside Rancho Tico
Restaurant in Nosara in order to make money to rebuild her home. Baltodano
Juarez was one of the people that received one bag of food on Saturday
September 29th

Others are finding it difficult to earn a daily wage since the instruments they used to make money were damaged. 
Two families in Nosara depended on an oven that was lost in the earthquake. Wilberth Cicaida Mejía related that their house was completely destroyed, along with the motorcycle he used to get to work, which was under the house when it collapsed.  

Inside, all the appliances were broken or damaged, and the earthquake also destroyed the earthen oven that his wife and another neighbor used to make pastries and rosquillas to sell.

If that wasn’t enough, Cicaida hasn’t been able to work since a week before the earthquake, when he fell from a ladder and fractured his hand.

Emilio Mejias of Samara said he saw a report on the news about the difficulty faced by the two Nosaran families without the oven.  Wanting to help, on Saturday, September 22nd, they announced at Rancho de la Playa restaurant that they wanted to collect food and money with the goal of building them a new brick oven.    

That night they collected 60,000 colones ($120) and a good amount of food. “It wasn’t a lot, but at least it was something,” said Mejias. 

Handing Out Food in Nosara
This Saturday, September 29th, the Nosara Emergency Committee handed out 36 grocery bags filled with provisions bought with the money from the recent fundraiser at Lagarta Lodge.

The bags contained staples like corn flour, rice and beans. They also held cleaning supplies like soaps and detergents.

“To help the most affected families, we would have needed 7 million colones ($3500),” said Marcos Avila, president of the Nosara Development Association (ADN), the entity that helped organize the fundraiser. “The money we raised at Lagarta Lodge would only have bought a very small amount of construction materials, so we decided to help with food and other basic needs,” said Avila.

“A lot of people are currently unemployed, and [the Nosara Development Association] believed that with food, everyone in the family gets something,” said Juan Ramirez.

Caring for Animals Too
Another relief effort made in Samara benefited another affected group: the animals. 

Berit Funke related that the day after the earthquake, through the “Animales de Samara” Facebook page, she solicited donations for food and medicine for the pets of people being sheltered in the El Torito community hall. Many donations were received from neighbors and some donations from people outside of the country, mainly from the United States and Canada.   

With the money raised, she was able to buy more than 220 kilograms of dog food and 15 kilograms of bird food and distribute it in the shelter. 

Any general assistance can be made through the Mayor’s Office in Nicoya and will be distributed to the families most in need.  In Samara, donations are still being accepted at Rancho de la Playa, and in Nosara, the Development Association will have a meeting in their office at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, October 3rd, to create support groups in each neighborhood and to be able to recognize in detail the needs of those most affected. 


More Regional News

Restoration of Colonial Church Will Cost $200,000

One of the structures that suffered damage from the 7.6 magnitude earthquake was the colonial church of Nicoya, which was built in 1544. Plans for its restoration are now underway, according to Adrian Vindas, director of the Conservation Center of the Patrimonial Church. 

Development Association Asks for Urgent Intervention on Nosara-Zaragoza Route

On Thursday, October 25, the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN) submitted an “urgent” request to the Municipality of Nicoya and the National Emergency Commission for intervention on the Nosara-Zaragoza emergency route since “we are incredibly worried that due to climatic conditions we might end up isolated again,” like what happened in November of 2010.

Bridge Over Rio Montaña Has Foundation Problems

The National Roadways Council (CONAVI) inspected the bridge over Rio Montaña after the 6.6 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, October 23rd and determined that it doesn’t have structural damage; however, failures were detected in the refill approaching the bridge.

Bill Aims to Regulate Real Estate Activities in Country

The Costa Rican Chamber of Real Estate Brokers (CCCBR) wants to create a law that regulates and professionalizes real estate activity in the country. 

From Yellow to Red to Yellow Again: Communities Remain on Alert

After another night of heavy rain, the skies have cleared and water levels are dropping in the rivers but some damage remains in communities of Nosara and in Chinampas in the district of Samara.

Nosara Under Yellow Alert for Flooding

At around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, yellow alert was declared for flooding in the Nosara area as a result of a low pressure system in the Caribbean Sea that has been causing strong intermittent rains.

Commission Formed to Negotiate Tecocos Law Project
Commission hopes legislators will vote in favor on November 1st

Representatives of the coastal communities, including Ostional, are pushing forward to pass the proposed Coastal Territories Law, known as Tecocos.

The Reality Of Realty In Nosara And Samara

A long, tranquil beach, great surfing, a plethora of yoga classes, and all within walking-distance from your day-to-day life, It sounds like the perfect creative environment, and for many, it is.

OVSICORI Rules Out Large Release of Energy By Nosara Quake

An earthquake of 5.3 magnitude shook the Nicoya peninsula on October 10th, this time with a depth of 22 kilometers and located three kilometers south of Nosara. 

First You Couldn’t Come Back, Now You Can’t Leave – Still Best to Pay Traffic Fines

A new, “new” system will stop foreigners with highway tickets from leaving the country, under the new Ley de Transito.

Relief Will Come Little By Little To Families Affected by Earthquake

The Costa Rican government will designate a fund of 3 billion colones ($6 million) for assistance with houses that suffered light or moderate damage after the September 5th earthquake with epicenter in Samara. 

Suspect of Argentinean Murder in Samara In Prison

A man with the last names Dixon Obregon is behind bars for at least three months while investigations continue of his involvement in various crimes.

Samara Earthquake Produced Physical Changes in Active Volcanoes

Due to increased activity, closure of access to the craters of Rincon de la Vieja and Turrialba volcanoes was recommended by the National Seismology Network (RSN) after a study of the giants after the September 5th earthquake, with epicenter in Samara.

Matapalo de Samara: Robbery Suspect Captured

For a TV and a fan, a young man is now facing the justice system. Garcia Obando, Nicaraguan, was arrested by the police at around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd and taken to Nicoya to the public attorney’s office. 

September Pictures and News

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