The Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival suffered a setback Friday when health ministry officials closed down the opening event at the Hot Rocks Bar & Restaurant in the Caribbean community.
An official concern appears to have been the sale of chocolate products that had not been registered for consumption.
Those involved in the festival said they were unaware that they also needed a permit because of the large gathering. They said that the Ministerio de Salud should not have waited until the last minute to act and should have worked with them to generate the needed permit. One wrote on a social media site that hard drugs are readily available in Puerto Viejo but chocolate appears to be prohibited.
Those in cacao cultivation had come from distant areas of Costa Rica to attend. Some activities, including tours of local production facilities continued through Sunday.