Drought fears overshadow Anexión celebration

Just a few days before the annual celebration, Guanacaste is facing a crisis.

Friday the president and other members of the central government will travel to Nicoya for a cabinet meeting. This is a tradition to thank the region for deciding to join Costa Rica in 1824.

Despite all the celebration, dances and music, Guanacaste, a prime agricultural area faces the certainty of a drought.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional says that due to El Niño in the Pacific there will be about 50 percent less rain. That means big trouble for cattle ranchers and farmers of all stripes.

Monday, Marta Arauz, a lawmaker, urged the central government to issue a decree of emergency for the province.

She noted to the assembled lawmakers that what was then called the Partido de Nicoya joined Costa Rica of its free will, the only region in Latin America that had the opportunity to determine is sovereignty.

President Luis Guillermo Solís will have a chance to see for himself. He plans to visit Nosara on the far Pacific coast Wednesday. He is expected to see the roadways for which residents of Nosara are seeking repairs. From the morning visit in Nosara, the president is headed to Liberia to speak with cattle ranchers and representatives of area businesses at the Universidad EARTH.

Casa Presidencial said he would continue his visit in Liberia Thursday and then move on to Bagaces, Cañas and later Tilarán. Water will be the topic when Solís meets with representatives of the Universidad Nacional in Liberia about a new university major involving hydraulics.

All this comes before the visit Friday to Nicoya for the celebration of the Anexión de Partido de Nicoya. Partido was a Spanish Colonial word for geographical region. After the 11 a.m. cabinet meeting in the central park of Nicoya, the president will be stopping at Guaitil, the center for thousands of years of Chorotega pottery.

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