This is the improvised passage, on the Paquita River, that the neighbors must take to reach their communities. (Taken from the Facebook of the Municipality of Quepos)

It’s been almost a month since Nate hit Costa Rica. And eight towns of Quepos and Tarrazú continue isolated as if it were the first days of the disaster.

The communities are: Cerritos, La Gallega, Santa Juana, Cotos, Paso Real, Parcelas de Cerritos, in Quepos; and Quebrada Arroyo and Cerro Nara, in Tarrazú.

Access to these communities was by a bridge over the Cañas River, but this was destroyed by the flood on the day of the storm; and by land through Santa Juana, but the road was was destroyed.

To get from one village to another, residents balance themselves on a water pipe of the Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – water and sewer utility – on the Paquita River or cross the Cañas River on foot, if the channel waters are low.

Walter Fonseca, of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) – National Emergencies Commission – explained that it is a municipal road that is giving problems of land access.

“We have requested a loan to buy materials to build a pedestrian bridge, costing some ¢5 million colones. The mayor of Quepos (Patricia Bolaños) is requesting the MOPT (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes) for the installation of a Baily bridge,” explained Fonseca.

Victor Fernandez, of the Cerritos Emergency Committee, said that two weeks ago the mayor told them to give her fifteen days for an answer on how the project to erect a bridge over the Paquita river was coming along.

“”We still have no answer, we do not know anything. The CNE has not done anything to enable the passage nor the Municipality,” Fernandez told La Nacion.

Among the most concerned was Ricardo Torres, principal of the Liceo Rural Cerritos school, for the national high school tests for the 11 students of the school. But finally, Torres said, officials of the Ministry of Public Education arrived in 4×4 by way the Cañas River.

Passing The Buck

La Nacion said it has called the mayor of Quepos on several occasions for an explanation as to why there is no progress, but did not answer, nor the messages sent.

Also consulted was Iván Brenes, president of the CNE, about the situation, but deferred the call to Sigifredo Pérez, Head of Operations of the Commission, who in turn passed it on to Walter Fonseca, who explained that the Deputy Mayor of Quepos, Erick Cordero, could best provide answers.

La Nacion said it tried to contact Cordero, but did not answer calls to his cellular phone.

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