San Ramón group seeks U.S. funds to fight drugs there

The Community Action Alliance in San Ramón has asked the U.S. Embassy for $200,000 for 12 surveillance cameras at entrances to communities between San Ramón and Angostura, including Magallanes, El Empalme, and Rio Jesús, according to Mike Styiles of the organization.

The grant request is for an embassy anti-drug initiative. The embassy has said it plans to award $700,000 in grants and may award up to seven of them.

Styles said the grant proposal also calls for a Toyota
Hi-Lux, two motorcycles, 20 additional police officers, radios and improvements to three police stations.

He said the organization had help from legislator Edgardo Araya, San Ramón Mayor Mercedes Moya, the chamber of commerce and seven different development associations.

The grants are supposed to be announced in May.

The grant program is designed to combat drug use, drug distribution, and/or crime through projects targeting: 1.) at risk youth, 2.) border and/or coastal communities, and/or 3.) prevention of involvement in drug use or distribution, the embassy has said.

The Community Action Alliance is relatively new and seeks to involve expats and Costa Ricans in solving local problems. The organization hosts a 10 a.m. weekly coffee at Café Delicious every Thursday and plans a mixer Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Casa Colombia Restaurante, which is on the highway near the entrance to El Empalme, said Styles in an e-mail. More information is available on the organization’s Web site.

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