Monday, September 10, will not be like any other Monday in Costa Rica, especially in the Central Valley, where the single largest group of people will be protesting in the National Strike called by a grouping of public and private sector unions.
Barring any last minute results in the expected negotiations on Friday between the government of Carlos Alvarado and the unions, the national strike will affect everyone, from a doctor’s appointment to pumping gas to a stroll at the local mall.
For visitors in Costa Rica with departing flights on Monday, allow a lot more time to get there. Even get a room within walking distance from the airport, if possible.
If you are arriving on Monday, arm yourself with patience in making your way to your destination.
The protest is against the Plan Fiscal (Tax Reform) currently being debated in the Legislative Assembly.
The Ministry of Education (MEP) is threatening to dock wages of teachers not showing up for work on Mondy. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) says it has plan to guarantee medical attention at clinics and hospitals across the country.
Micheal Soto, the Minister of Security, says the police (Fuerza Publica) is prepared to avoid blockades on the roads, reminding that blocking a public road is illegal.
Soto is clear, “We are in a country of laws and anyone has the right to demonstrate, but the closure of (public) roads is a crime and we cannot allow that to happen.”
Despite Soto’s strong words, in the past protesters have temporarily blocked roads while police stand by.
It is yet not known how far and wide the national strike will reach, which public institutions will be affected, what roads will be blocked, and so on.
Stay tuned to the Q for updates as they are known.