Saturday 8 May 2021

Agreement with Nicaragua opens northern border to the entry of temporary workers to Costa Rica

Coffee growers hope to intern, this Monday, the first group of 150 people as a pilot plan. The protocol requires labor bubbles, COVID-19 tests, entry card, and a 14-day quarantine

QCOSTARICA – In an attempt to save the harvests due to a lack of manual labor caused by the pandemic and the government’s policies of controlling the movement of migrant labor, Costa Rica signed an agreement this Friday, November 6, with Nicaraguan to open the northern border to the entry of temporary workers.

The pact was signed during a meeting, held in Nicaragua, in the Department of Rivas, Cárdenas, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).

- Advertisement -

The agricultural sector, in general, considers it a very good initiative and carried out in good faith, but extremely expensive, since it is estimated that bringing each worker costs about US$300, explained Óscar Arias Moreira, coordinator of the labor commission of the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agroindustry (CNAA).

The temporay workers will be allowed entry only through the Peñas Blancas border and in compliance with strict controls such as having a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior, are issued a work card, and housed in shelters at the expense of the companies.

Arias said that for 98% of the agricultural operations, being small to medium-sized companies, will not be able to assume the costs.

Meanwhile and in parallel, the executive director of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (Icafé), Xinia Claves, explained that this sector is organized and ready to meet the various requirements demanded in this program.

She explained that the need for labor is so great that producers are willing to assume the high cost and that this Monday the first group of 150 temporary will enter, as a pilot plan, which are going to harvest in the Los Santos area.

The coffee producers sectors is against the wall. The bringing in Nicaraguans in a mid-pandemic is the only option given that the start of the high part of the agricultural harvests is less than a month away.
Between December and February, around 85,000 temporary collectors are needed, of which 73,000 are for coffee and the rest for sugar cane, orange, melon, watermelon and orange.
A call had been made in the local workforce, but only 20,482 were interested in picking coffee and another 34,138 people had registered on a platform of the Ministry of Labor.
- Advertisement -

Faced with this situation, the private sector saw an emergency due to lack of workhands at the peak harvest season and requested the Government to open the northern border.

The requirements

Chaves explained that the plan calls for picking up the temporary workers in Nicaragua with international transportation. From here, the employer must guarantee the concept of “labor bubble”.

Once at the Peñas Blancas border, they must go through the covid-19 test process, acquire the entry permit from the immigration and obtain a card to control traceability (where they will be in Costa Rica and how will move).

Then, from the border, they will move in authorized international transport, for the farm shelters, where they will be in quarantine for 14 days.

Once the harvest season is over, the employers will also be responsible for returning them to Nicaraguan territory, where the government will again demand the COVID-19 test.

- Advertisement -

All of those costs must be added to social security and all labor guarantees.

For a small producer,  who may require 10collectors, it would imply an investment of US$3,000, for a medium-sized producer requiring 100 collectors, the cost would be US$30,000, money many of the producers don’t have due to the pandemic, according to Arias.

Arias presumes that the producers agreed to the terms due to a degree of desperation not to lose the harvest and get people from wherever.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Today’s Covid-19 News: New infections continue over 2K daily, despite drop in R rate

QCOSTARICA - The Covid-19 infection rate in Costa Rica dropped, but...

Government does not plan to announce expansion of restrictive measures

QCOSTARICA - The Government of Carlos Alvarado confirmed on Friday that...


Today’s Covid News: Daily cases of COVID-19 continues to decline; young adults most infected

QCOSTARICA - After breaking all records last week, the number of new daily cases of Covid-19 in Costa Rica continues on the decline, according...

Government does not plan to announce expansion of restrictive measures

QCOSTARICA - The Government of Carlos Alvarado confirmed on Friday that it does not plan to announce the expansion of the restrictive measures that...

Today’s Covid News: 1,024 in hospital, 403 of them in an ICU

QCOSTARICA - After three days of nothing, not a word from the Ministry of Health, on the current covid-19 situation, Monday afternoon numbers were...

Maikol Yordan is no longer lost, he’s on Amazon Prime Video

Q MAGAZINE - The Costa Rican movies "Maikol Yordan de Viaje Perdido" and "Maikol Yordan 2 La Cura Lejana", joined the catalog of the...

Today’s Covid-19 News: New infections continue over 2K daily, despite drop in R rate

QCOSTARICA - The Covid-19 infection rate in Costa Rica dropped, but not enough to reduce the rate of infection. While the indicator stands at 1.32,...

“Ciudad Gobierno” would give a new face to capital with a gigantic complex of buildings

QCOSTARICA - With a mega-complex of more than 153,000 square meters (1.65 million square feet), comprised of 16 ministries would be located in eight...

Mexico reports its first case of India COVID variant

Q24N - Mexico detected its first case of the India COVID variant, health authorities reported. The infected person is from San Luis Potosí, a...

Salvadorans take to the streets to stop the start of the Bukele dictatorship

Q24N - The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced on Monday the possibility of continuing with the removal of officials, two days after...

Two people die every day in Costa Rica in traffic accidents

QCOSTARICA - Two people die, on average, every day in our country due to road accidents, collisions, or rollovers, according to a report from...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.