Blog Post #1

With 4.88 million locals and 2.6 million tourists visiting in a year, Costa Rica is proving to be a beautiful place to be. It may be about to get a little more populated with a new program set to take place shortly. Recently President Solis met with Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama with a large agenda. They discussed a program allowing up to 200 Central American refugees to stay in Costa Rica at a time. They also looked into creating a sustainable energy strategy for Costa Rica. Solis was gifted with a large donation of equipment, scholarships, and emergency supplies. The bond between the two countries are very strong as they work together to fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. Solis and Obama were able to talk about gender equality initiatives and have planned for Obama and Jill Biden to visit.

New bills were passed by the Legislative Assembly last Thursday. It the new legislations is a loan to the Social Security System. This will provide the system to become more sustainable. They are also funding an expansion of the Florencio del Castillo highway. It has been known to have daily traffic jams and highly congested that due to it being used heavily by farmers and commuters. The third bill requires top officials to submit annual work reports which will be available to the public to access. Costa Ricans believe that more work could be done by their legislation. They believe that it has been an unimpressive year with the lack of progress that has been made on their part.

Costa Rica’s annual entrepreneurial competition, Yo Emprendedor, helping turn their ideas into reality. The competition promotes entrepreneurship in Costa Rica and provides competitors with partners to financially back the projects. There has been a 50% success rate with the projects being active after the competition is complete. The first stage allows each entrepreneur to present their ideas to a full auditorium within one minute. They are all judged before being selected to go on to the next round. The second stage allows them to take a seminar to learn how to perfect their skills, before they give another pitch. The third stage provides more specific training and gives exposure to potential clients and funders. The final stage is to present to any media, government, or client to gain popularity for the ideas. This competition provides great opportunities for the dedicated workers to thrive in this atmosphere. Stay on the lookout for the next big thing, because it might just come from Costa Rica.

Blue corn is a native plant to Costa Rica. Recently it has been difficult for farmers to find retailers to sell the locally grown corn. Ligia Isabel Salazar dedicated her life to finding sustainable practices to grow corn, as well as spreading awareness on the importance of selling the corn that is crucial to Costa Rica’s history. She calls her work the Proyecto Curubanda, and has a Facebook to help spread her word. By continuing to sell the blue corn, it will preserve the culture of Costa Rica, keep the jobs of many farmers, and could help prevent the world from cancer. The color pigment found in the corn is similar to other healthy foods with high protein that are the best choices for individuals looking to stay healthy. Salazar uses her blue corn to make cornmeal, blue grain tortillas, and even adds to different beverages. She has large goals for her company and has many ideas on how to expand it in the next few months. To help make her dreams come true, she still needs more support from the government and local markets. Salazar’s spirit will keep her going even without their support, because she knows what she is doing is the right thing and her passion is the driving force.

In sports news, Costa Rica has clinched a spot in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. After winning 1-0 against Haiti on September 2nd, Costa Rica will be up against higher level teams. There was a little controversy over Ramirez’s choice of the line-up this past game, even though it ended with a win. Johnny Acosta, not commonly used to being a starter, was in at the beginning for each game so far. With the Olympics, Nery Brenes set an all-time Costa Rican record and won the first round of the 200-meter dash. He was event .08 faster than Usain Bolt’s 200-meter, who was given a great amount media attention for being the fastest. Brenes reached the semifinals in 400-meter sprints during the last Olympics in China.

All articles were found through The Tico Times. The Tico Times News is one of the best news source for Costa Rica, translated in English. It covers news from the Arts to Politics, and provides excellent resources for learning more about the topics they provide.