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Tourist presumed to be in Parque Corcovado sought
By Michael Krumholtz
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man from Alaska is missing after telling his father two weeks ago that he would be traveling into Parque Nacional Corcovado on the Osa peninsula.  Local authorities now say search operations have begun to look for the man, Roman Dial, Jr., 27, a native of Anchorage.

Gilberth Dondi, the Cruz Roja staffer in charge of search efforts, said that crews are starting to look into hotels in Puerto Jiménez to find places where Dial may have checked in. Dondi said the investigation began Thursday after the man's father, Roman Dial, Sr., had sent an email Wednesday to Costa Rican authorities in hopes of locating his son.

The elder Dial described in the email that his son is the adventurous type of traveler and supposedly did not check into any of the tourist posts located around the national park. According to Dondi, in their last correspondence the younger Dial told his father he was going to kayak at the Río Conte, just north of the park, and continue to Río Claro, which is in the southern part of Corcovado.

An administrator from the tourism office at Corcovado confirmed Thursday that the office had received no payment or permission request from Dial. The ranger station in Puerto Jiménez is considered the main entrance for tours into Parque Nacional Corcovado.  Puerto Jiménez is on the east side of the peninsula outside the park boundaries.

Dondi said that Dial Sr. is expected to arrive into the country today to work with authorities on finding his son. The older Dial is a biology and


Roman Dial Jr.

mathematics professor at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage and is listed in National Geographic's explorer program.

The Corcovado park includes some of the most pristine land in Costa Rica. It is inhabited by puma and other large cats. A former environmental minister, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, became lost in the park for more than two days in 2006 after he said he was knocked down by a mother tapir.

There are other dangers for solo travelers in Costa Rica. Since 2009 a handful of young men, including a University of Costa Rica student and one park ranger, vanished. More recently the remains of two Dutch women turned up in Parque La Amistad just across the national border in Panamá. Among the missing men is a doctoral student from Chicago and a British journalist from Brussels. Belgium. The remains of a missing Australian student on spring break from a U.S. school eventually were found in 2005 at Tamarindo. More details are HERE!

Some will embark on their Cartago pilgrimage today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is a holiday, and some Costa Ricans will take advantage of the three-day weekend to make their pilgrimage to Cartago.

The Cruz Roja and the Policía de Tránsito were to activate their pilgrimage plans today. The Cruz Roja has an aid station in the plaza of the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles in Cartago. Volunteers and staffers treat thousands of footsore faithful each year.

There also will be an aid station at Ochomogo on the Autopista Florencio del Castillo that runs from Curridabat to Cartago. Officials generally figure that most of the early pilgrims will come for the direction of San José.

Traffic police said they will go to work today at 2 p.m. and work all day Saturday and Sunday. The real crush will be Monday through Friday as the number of pilgrims grow. The bulk will time their walk so that they overnight in the basilica plaza Friday night for a Saturday Mass in honor of the
Virgin Mary who is the patroness of the country.

Elsewhere in the country pilgrims already are on the highways, Some are en route from Panamá and even Guatemala.

Today's public holiday commemorates the decision by residents of Nicoya and the Guanacaste area to join with Costa Rica in 1824. It is the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya and there is a lot of government activity in Nicoya, including a meeting of President Luis Guillermo Solís and his cabinet. This is an annual tradition.

Government services except essential ones are not available today. Some stores will be closed or working limited hours. Many private clubs and public bars and restaurants are having special fiestas for the holiday. The Museo Nacional has one planned for Sunday.

A.M. Costa Rica has published today, but its offices in Barrio Otoya are closed. However, staffers are monitoring any news developments and the newspaper will be updated as needed.

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