The world is going through a hard and scary time right now with the Coronavirus. While many of us are scared here in Costa Rica we are also proud of how our country has come together (government & locals) to battle and overcome this pandemic. Costa Rica has reached 669 cases with only 6 deaths due to the measures the government has taken as of April 21, 2020. This is one of the top countries for the lowest mortality rates in the world and hopefully stays low there during this time.
Our government officials acted quickly on the Coronavirus in Costa Rica and strategically after the first case was identified by putting a quarantine in effect nationwide. They next began to close all national parks, schools, borders, beaches, parks, sports games, religious services, gatherings and more to aid in stopping the spread of the virus.
On March 29th according to Google Costa Rica had seen the following statistics:
- 68% fewer people are visiting restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, museums, libraries and movie theaters, compared to baseline.
- 41% fewer people are visiting grocery stores, farmers’ markets, drug stores, and pharmacies, compared to baseline.
- 71% fewer people are visiting national parks, beaches, plazas, and other public nature areas, compared to baseline.
- 21% more people are staying in places of residence, compared to baseline.
During the holy week, they increased measures by giving tickets to those that go to beaches up to 402,000 colones and stopping cars that are out past their curfew or dedicated day to be out according to their license plates. Police have increased their presence on borders and throughout suburbs and highways.
The daily news informs us of how to proceed, current statistics, what they are doing in the hospitals, where our aides are coming from and more. By being transparent they are educating and minimizing the risk of spreading Coronavirus to people from coast to coast. The Health Minister Daniel Salas has also informed they will test and care for any person in the country whether they are Ticos or ex-pats.
While we have been under quarantine the government is also patrolling and securing our borders from anyone else coming in as the first cases were imported to the country.
We are proud of the actions our country has taken and stand together during this time of solidarity. Costa Rica thrives off of tourism and many towns throughout the country that depend on tourism are struggling. We understand the importance of what we are doing to diminish the virus and have come together to share with the world that we will still be here after the pandemic and hope people will not cancel but postpone their trips to Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is known as one of the happiest countries in the world with 6% of the world’s biodiversity and with all the precautions and quick responses the government has taken we are positive, this will be the place to come and relax after all the turmoil of the virus.
Tamarindo Beach, where Iguana Surf is located, is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The town has become deserted with only a few locals and ex-pats passing through to get to the store and back home. All of the business owners that thrive off of tourism have had to take drastic measures by closing, letting go of many of their employees, and figuring out what to do next.
***Avellanas en tiempos de Covid-19***
Posted by Shaka Media on Saturday, April 11, 2020
Iguana Surf had to close its doors as well and was affected deeply by the shutdown. Letting go almost all of our employees that we have had for years and not only knowing this affects them but also their family breaks our hearts. We went from 30+ employees down to 3 that are only part-time. Our doors not only shut to the surf shop but also the hotel and surf camp.
There is Hope
So along with our partner vacation rental company (Vacation in Costa Rica) we were able to provide meals for families that we had to let go or cut their hours to part-time for up to 3 months for a family of 4. We are delivering the food to them every 2 weeks and purchasing the food from small business operators in Tamarindo to assist in their ability to stay open.
Many other people that have lost their jobs do not have a means now to feed their families, drive their cars, etc. Tamarindo and the surrounding area have come together to assist those in need. Cepia has donated over 500 meals to those in need, Tamarindo created a food bank to pass out essentials (food and hygiene items) to those affected or homeless and has raised over $17k so far, and Lolas (a well-known restaurant) in Playa Avellanas is serving up free lunches to the community.
Even our local vets are helping those animals in need as well. Hospital Cavallini is raising funds to supply and donate 1,000kg of food that is divided into bags of 3kg and delivered to foundations in the area for those animals in need.
The Costa Rican government announced today on April 10, 2020, a financial support platform that will offer $220 a month for 3 months to those affected by the virus and has lost their jobs or had their income drop significantly.
Hospitals have also been prepped and offer aid to not only residents but to whoever is affected in the country. President Carlos Alvarado requested that WHO create a repository of information to all member countries and include correct practices, medicines, etc. that will help us fight against the Coronavirus in Costa Rica on March 24th.
We look around at times like this and see how other countries are able to handle this pandemic and we stand proud with one another and appreciate all the hard work the Costa Rican government and officials have done to get us to where we are now.
COVID-19 cases are more prevalent in San Jose and the central valley verse the coasts and we have had 10 or less cases in 7 of the last 8 days! Wahoo. The country has confirmed 7 new cases of the virus over the past day and during this same period 26 people recovered from COVID-19.
This is now the 5 day in a row Costa Rica has seen a decreases in Coronovirus cases.
Once our borders have opened we hope to see you in Costa Rica, where you can relax and enjoy traveling once again! We are positive that the security and protocols taken place for us will be just as strong in the future as we continue to fight the virus and resume our lives, create memories, and support one another!
We send our love, strength, and condolences to everyone that has been affected by this or has lost someone.
Stay safe, healthy and happy.
Contact us with any questions!