Communities affected by the eruptions of the Poas volcano, which since April has cut tourism in their area, are looking for ways to attract visitors to reenergize their economies.
Hotels, restaurants, and tourism & leisure promoters have been hit hard by the closure of the Poas national park after the colossus began spewing gas and ash, rocks and other volcanic material.
The smell sulfur is common in the area near the volcano, which, according to the latest report on Monday, is now due to strong winds and changing direction is being felt in areas such as El Roble de Alajuela; San Francisco and Belén de Heredia and in Paseo Colón, in San José.
On social media such as Facebook and Twitter, reports of the smell of sulfur are also in the areas of San Rafael de Escazú, Grecia, Sabana Norte, San Rafael de Moravia, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, Tibás, Alajuela center, La Guácima and Santa Bárbara de Heredia.
One of the battles faced by the communities close to the volcano is the “incorrect perception of the danger” posed by the volcano.
“Poas is not just a crater, it’s a living mountain with a lot of activities that one can do, from gastronomy with local ingredients to beautiful landscapes, hikes, waterfalls, bird watching, culture, woodworking. It’s an area with much to offer,” Lisandro Barrantes, in charge of the Weaving Development program, which seeks to give an economic push to the area, told EFE.
The Poas Volcano Tourism Chamber says that tourism in the area fell off ny more than 60% since the volcano began its eruption phase. The Chamber says that each year more than 620,000 people visit the Poas area.
The volcano itself is visited by some 400,000 people a year. It is the closest of the active volcanos to San Jose, a 40-minute drive from the international airport. The Turriabla, for example, is on the other side of the Central Valley, past Cartago.
The Poas became active with an eruption during Semana Santa (Holy Week), forcing a complete closure of the park on April 13, and choking off tourism to the surrounding area.
For safety, Costa Rican authorities have kept the national park in the area closed because of the eruptions.