Esta es la segunda edición de Diner en Blanc que se realiza en el país. GESLINE ANRANGO.
The second event of Diner en Blanc in the country. Photo Gesline Anrango, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – Looking for a special place to hold your next event? A little low on cash? Look no further than your local municipal park, where for as little as ¢8.000 colones (US$15) you can host your dinner event, community yoga or whatever.

Just ask the organizers of Diner en Blanc, who paid that small sum of ¢8.188 colones for the use of the Jardín de Paz (across from the metal building in the heart of San Jose), according to an official document provided by Mariano Rodriguez, Head of Licenses (Patentes) of the Municipality of San José.

The intent of the dinner – which was a private affair by invitation only – has been the talk by the modality: all white dress code and those attended had to pay a fee.

The official amount paid by organizers was ¢353.188 colones that included ¢141.400 for a liquor license (patente de licores), ¢100.000 for a temporary license (patente temporal), ¢62.160 for two 3mx6m canopys, ¢41.400 for two 3mx3m canopys, and ¢8.188 for the license to occupy a public space.

The ¢8.188 is fee set in the Reforms to the regulations of urban development in the canton of San Jose. Chapter 1, article 9 of the regulations specifies that any authorization of use of public space is calculated under the following formula: monthly income (the interest) by concession area in square metres, by value per square metre of the area to use, according to data from municipal property.

On the (small) amount paid for the event, the mayor of San Jose, Sandra Garcia, said: “If there is a formula and the correct formula was followed and that is what says the law, it’s not about what I think if it is cheap or not, if it is used correctly.”

However, Iliana Velasquez, manager of Producciones Blancas, told Viva (a La Nacion magazine) on Monday that her organization paid the Muni (municipality) about ¢500.000 colones for the activity. La Nacion says it tried to contact Velasquez following the ‘official’ amounts by the municipality, but she did not respond.

And although the event was covered by private security, the Muni had a patrol car with two officials at the scene, this according to Ricardo Funes, head of the municipal police force.

Source: La Nacion

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.