That’s a long way to deliver some presents for Christmas

Santa even looked the part despite having to hike three hours to get to the assembly point.Ministerio de Gobernación. Policía y Seguridad Pública/Jorge Alonso Alvarez v

Even though Santa has a sleigh, the native zone of Grano de Oro is off the schedule. But not for the employees of the security ministry’s Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea.

The ministry employees have adopted native communities in Turrialba in the shadow of Chirripo. They traveled this weekend five hours by vehicle and three hours on foot to bring presents to a school where members of the Cabécar. communities assembled. They come from such places as  Taklak Yaka, Kalkó, Nimari Tawa, Tsipirí, Uká Tipey, Bukerim Jak Tain, Tsiobata and Tsiniclori

There were about 200 young people who overcame their traditional shyness and showed up for the gifts.

Ministerio de Gobernación. Policía
y Seguridad Pública/Jorge Alonso Alvarez v
Lineup for presents.

The local school teacher, Elvis González, said that many of the children walk five, six or seven hours a day to receive classes.

The Vigilancia Aérea police have access to aircraft, but they are used for emergency purposes. Typically native communities see helicopters when someone has been bitten by a snake or has suffered a serious accident. González, himself, said he hiked for 12 hours to show up. The ministry officials credited him with arranging the meeting.

Others could not make the event because heavy rains in the area caused rivers to rise and made them dangerous to cross.

For another report on the Cabécar, please see Helen Thompson’s report. She hiked in and then road a zipline to cross a river.

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