The MOPT, through its various sub-agencies, builds and maintains and assures our safety on the roads. Well, that is the goal. In reality, we all know how inefficient and incompetent the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes can be.

The latest case to come to light is the naming of the new road to San Carlos, that runs between Sarapiqui and La Fortuna.


The sign on the new road to San Carlos, a road project 12 years in the making, with the incorrect spelling of the town Vuelta de Kopper

I drove this road in May and was impressed, though it’s just a matter of time before the Chilamate – Vuelta de Kooper joins the rank of the country’s road network. And the misspelling on the signs of the town and family name for which the road is named after.


But the name is wrong, it should be Chilamate – Vuelta de Kopper. What’s the difference? Besides the spelling, it is disrespectful to the Kopper family to which the road is named after.

Freddy Kopper says that the Solis government, at least, should have investigated a bit more.

According to Freddy, “Kooper” has displeased some members of the Kopper family in San Carlos and in Grecia. Some people in the country see the surname Kopper (as it is written correctly) and read it “Cúper”, but it is not like that; it is pronounced “Cóper”.

“We are Kopper of German descent. My great-grandfather came in 1856 with the filibusters and fell prisoner and they took him to Cartago at that time. The Cooper (with C and double o) is Anglo-Saxon,” said soccer coach Henry Kopper, who even led the San Carlos team.

Henry explained that Kooper, as it is written on the sign, does not exist, that Vuelta de Kopper is so named because a family settled in that place (there is a town called Kopper, near Muelle) and there is a turn or “vuelta” approaching the town and people began to call it that way.

Screen shot of Google Maps

Didn’t anyone at the MOPT even consider looking up Google maps, where you can have the right spelling.

Ok, we can all make mistakes. But a mistake like this is sheer incompetence when you take into account the report this Thursday by the Federated College of Engineers and Architects (Colegio Federado de Ingenierios y Arquitectos – CFIA) that the design and work for the road project was a 12-year process.

In the words of Olman Vargas, executive director of the CFIA: “In general, the institutions, the MOPT among them have had a deterioration of the corresponding technical details. That is why we believe that political decisions should be based on technical criteria”.

I admit I have been calling the road “Kooper”. I even thought Google had it wrong when I noticed the discrepancy between their online map and the road sign. Foolishly I gave the MOPT ‘la razon”. I should know better.




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