Jacó was the real winner of the World Surfing Games

An estimated 60,000 persons showed up on Jacó Sunday for the finals of the World Surfing Games. Even though Costa Rica’s team finished out of the money, the successful week-long event was a victory for the Pacific coast community and the entire canton of Garabito.

Local business leaders and tourism officials were thrilled when the municipality said in mid-February that Jacó was being considered as a site for the games. But then zika struck.

By the time Jacó won the official designation as the games site in April, there was real fear in the community an epidemic of the disease would cause the International Surfing Association to seek an alternate location.

Ministerio de Salud workers, local business leaders and expat residents pitched in to see that this would not happen. Although the most recent report Wednesday said that the canton has had 124 reported zika cases, the number is far less than what could have been the total.

There was extensive spraying, and mosquito control workers said they paid more than 442,000 visits to local homes, most of them in the central Pacific.

They eliminated more than 600,000 places where mosquitoes breeds, and they found and destroyed more than 25,000 receptacles with mosquito larvae or eggs.

The rest of Central and South America has more than 66,000 zika cases. And now Puerto Rico is the site of a health emergency declaration.

There were other cases of zika reported up and down the Pacific coast. The most was in Orotina where health officials said there were 50. There also was a scattering on the far Pacific coast in Nosara and Sámara, but nothing compared to what has been seen in other countries.

Health workers and Jacó residents were able to confine most of the zika cases there to one neighborhood. And the games went on as scheduled.

Zika fears did not not diminish the crowd at Sunday’s surfing final. Our story is HERE!

Zika fears did not not diminish the crowd at Sunday’s surfing final. Our story is HERE!

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