Independence day comes to the really remote Costa Rica

An elderly resident receives care from a reserve police officer. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

There are plenty of remote places in Costa Rica, but Punta Burica has to rate very high on being inaccessible. This is the little tail of Costa Rica at the extreme south end of the Pacific coast.

The area is so remote that a continent of police going there on an independent day mission had to obtain special permission from officials in Panamá to traverse that country’s territory.

The idea was to bring an independence day celebration and some health experts to the remote area. Physicians and paramedics from the Reserva de la Fuerza Pública made the trip.

There they met Ruperta, a mule that has been in service to the health ministry as the areas only ambulance for 25 years. There are no roads in the area. Most travel is by mule or horseback. Until a month ago, the only communication with the outside world is by Fuerza Pública radio. Now a satellite telephone has been installed.

Police officers were not able to bring their vehicles to the area. The only vehicular access is along the beach at low tide, they said.

Workers with the Ministerio de Salud and from the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social provided some basic health attention, such as vaccinations for youngsters.

The police officers and others who brought independence day to the area did so on their days off, the agency said.

They provided face painting for the children and joined the residents together to sing the national anthem.

They said the next project will be to raise funds for a wheelchair for a local boy with cerebral palsy

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