By: Arianna McKinney, VozdeGuanacaste – With some adjustments in the dates and duration of fiestas, as well as some changes in organization, the communities in Nicoya canton fared better this year in raising funds through the annual civic fiestas. This year, only one community reported losses and overall profits increased some. With these funds, various community projects are being planned.
The only fiestas that recorded a loss so far were those held in Esperanza of Nosara December 12 to 15, 2013. Carlos Villalobos from the Nosara Red Cross explained that the Red Cross partnered with the Esperanza Development Association in hopes of raising funds to improve the parking area behind the Nosara Red Cross station. Unfortunately, that project will have to be financed by other means as Villalobos reported a loss of about 2.5 million colones ($5000), part of which he covered out of his own pocket.
Again this year, Nicoya reported the highest earnings in the canton. The fiestas that were held at the beginning of February brought in about 20 million colones ($40,000), according to Luis Angel Conseca Rojas, president of the fiestas commission, although a final report was not yet available. These funds have been designated for improvements to the Catholic Church, which have been declared public and social in nature. This year, they plan to install sidewalks and illumination around the temple and continue work on the chapel, which was built with funds from last year’s fiestas to provide a place for mourning and memorial services for people of all religions.
Nosara’s first round of fiestas in late January earned about 13 million colones ($26,000), informed Marcos Avila, president of the Nosara Integral Development Association. This is about $1000 more than last year’s first round. The second round of fiestas is scheduled for just two days this year, April 12 and 13, in order to minimize expenses and focus on the more profitable days of the week.
The funds raised by the Nosara fiestas are earmarked to pay off the remaining balance and transfer fees for the purchase of a property in downtown Nosara next to the EBAIS clinic, where an integral district station is being planned. The station will house the Public Force, the Tourist Police, the volunteer firefighters, Red Cross and a daycare center for children, Avila explained.
Samara’s first round of fiestas, held from December 27, 2013 until January 1, 2014, raised 7.3 million colones (about $14,600), a marked increase compared to about 5 million ($10,000) last year. These funds will be used for several community projects and needs throughout the year, including installing sidewalks around Samara´s elementary school, furniture for the community hall, fencing for the sports field and uniforms for a soccer team, according to Emilce Steller Ramirez, treasurer for the Samara Progressive Association (APROSA). This year, APROSA also donated a 50-cup rice cooker to the school, painted one of the school classrooms and paid the water bill for the police station.
The second round of fiestas in Samara this year will be held April 11 to 14 and April 19 and 20, organized by the Cangrejal ASADA water board instead of the EBAIS.
In Mansion of Nicoya, the civic fiestas held January 24 to 27 raised 6.8 million colones ($13,600), which will be used to help pay off the construction of a permanent facility for the fiestas. They owed 10 million colones ($20,000) for the structure that was built the previous year, reported Graciella Murillo Venegas, secretary of the fiestas commission.
The Caimital fiestas, held December 13 to 16, 2013, were organized by the Catholic Church this year and raised 1.5 million colones ($3000), which will be used for community works such as building a containment wall around the church and installing drainage to avoid flooding during rainy season, according to Maria Teresa Salas Murillo, president of the Caimital Integral Development Association. In addition, this year they built a permanent stand for the fiestas, with a value of 3 million colones ($6000), which will reduce expenses for future fiestas since they usually build three temporary structures each year.
Caimital will host a rodeo fair on April 26 and 27 to raise more funds.
Last year, Garza’s fiestas were upset by heavy winds in early March, so they had to hold a second week of fiestas to recover the loss. This year, the weather was more cooperative for the fiestas, February 28 to March 3. Carlos Hernandez, president of the development association, said they sold the rights to many of the fiesta’s activities for 2.5 million colones ($5000), except for the horse ride, the pageant and publicity. Sponsors provided $1500, and the dance earned about $800. These earnings will be used to refill the town’s sport field with better soil material that will work for growing grass. The profits from parking went to the Garza EBAIS Clinic.