Meeting the President of Costa Rica
On August 23, 2019, Abigail Vargas and I attended the re-opening celebration of the Palmar Sur regional airport. As many of our readers know, we have been providing almost monthly updates on our YouTube channel on the remodel. We knew the President of Costa Rica was going to be there. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada is the 48th President of Costa Rica and has committed to improving infrastructure for Costa Rica tourism.
We were thrilled when the airport was finally finished in mid-August 2019. In fact, two of our clients were some of the first people to use the new terminal building.
Photos from the Palmar Sur Opening. We have high-resolution, non-watermarked, photos available for media outlets that would like to use them.
We arrived approximately 45 minutes before the 'official' start time of the ribbon cutting ceremony. We parked across the street under a mango tree and walked into the airport. There were a handful of tourists waiting for their plane to arrive but we could see more people in the waiting area, located on the west side of the terminal. Arriving there the was approximately 50 people there. A handful were talking with the President, including Osa Mayor Alberto Cole.
Personally, I love politics so this was a great 'work' trip that gave me personal satisfaction as well.
Mayor Cole knows me and has been to my house several times since I also own a real estate development in San Buenaventura. However, I didn't want to interrupt anyone so I walked up to within a meter of them, and simply took some photos and listened to what they were discussing. It was fascinating to me that it was possible to simply walk up to a President of a country without any security clearance or having to walk through any metal detectors.
Mayor Cole and President Quesada each said a few words and then the throng of people moved outside. Abigail recognized several people from the community and we both saw Dagmar from Ballena Tales there.
One of the reasons I love Costa Rica is the safety. For clear evidence of this, take a look at the airplane the President travels on during his domestic travels. For those aviation enthusiasts, I believe it is an Harbin Y-12 (hat tip to Josh Berman for the ID).
Not only is it a "simple" airplane, but also, look how close we were allowed to get to it. Although I've never met a sitting USA President, but I can assure you that non-security personal would not be allowed to walk up to the airplane. I was able to walk completely around the airplane and even under a wing. Had this been Air Force 1, I probably would have been arrested (at best) or shot (worse case scenario) for simply walking up to the Presidential airplane.
After approximately thirty minutes inside the airport terminal, it was time to go outside for the ceremonial ribbon cutting. A mixture of politicians, engineers and civic leaders all grabbed a piece of a long ribbon and then the President counted down and cut the ribbon. The airport was now officially open! The video below shows the cutting of the ribbon.
Osa's Increasing Importance to Tourism
Costa Rica's Tourism Board (ICT) has invested millions of dollars in the Osa Peninsula over the past two years. They have driven the airport upgrades in Golfito, Drake Bay, San Isidro del General (not in Osa but nearby) and now Palmar Sur. For the Costa Rica President to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and spend a couple of hours in the area, show how important tourism is to the Costa Rica economy. It would have been very easy to send a senior government official or an ICT official, however the President wanted to show his support. This is a great sign for anyone with a home or a business in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula region.
It was a fun day to meet the sitting President of Costa Rica and to experience the event of opening the airport. I have attended several other ribbon cutting events during my time, but it was only the second time the President was there. The first time was when I attended a ribbon cutting event attended by Oscar Arias that opened up a new water system.
Let us know if you, or anyone you know, is interested in visiting the Bahia Ballena region (Uvita, Ojochal, San Buenas, Chontales), please contact us in the form below. We can line everything up for them.