|Dengue hits Dominical, and
controversial dike blamed
By Rommel Téllez
A.M. Costa Rica
A dengue outbreak has hit the population of
Dominical a town on the Pacific coast.
Residents report at least 20 cases in the last
two weeks and blame a nearby dike for creating
the mosquito breeding ground.
According to Nancy Buchan, a resident who
caught the virus, health authorities have been
ignoring the emergency and refuse to send
technicians to treat the patients or spray the
area to kill the mosquito larvae.
“My husband also caught dengue, and the
nearest hospital is just too far away. Once
there, the service was too slow, and we
decided to go back. Other people are not even
seeking medical attention.” she said.
Rodrigo Marín is the national coordinator for
Centro Nacional de Control de Vectores at the
health ministry. He said he was not aware of
the outbreak and asked for some time to find
out. After a second phone call, he confirmed
there were two notified patients and a few
more with similar symptoms.
He said the ministry would be sending health
workers today to go door to door to ask about
symptoms and spray and destroy any breeding
locations. He said that physicians might be
sent to evaluate cases or sufferers might be
sent to hospital for proper attention.
He also encouraged people to seek medical
attention even if they have no
insurance, for public hospitals will treat
Dominical neighbors blame the outbreak on the
existence of a dike at the mouth of the Río
Barú, which does not allow the water to flow
and creates a perfect environment for
mosquitoes to lay eggs.
“It's not even a dike. It's just a big bunch
of sand taken from the river and placed
carelessly there. We've never had a so-called
dike and, consequently, we have never had this
dengue crisis before.” said Steve Ferguson,
The dike is a project started in March 2015,
after a Sala IV ruling forced the local municipality to protect residents
is the dike that residents blamed for
Fergus. However, the way the project was
developing didn't meet environmental criteria
and was later opposed by Ministerio de
Ambiente y Energía, Secretaría Técnica
Nacional Ambiental and the Sistema Nacional de
Área de Conservación.
Finally, the local Asociación de Desarrollo
filed a complaint before Sala IV and the works
stopped in October.
On the other
hand, Alberto Cole de León, re-elected mayor
of Osa, denied that the dike could be causing
the health alarm and said the water does flow
into the ocean through the required filtration
“We already invested about $40,000 on a
consultancy to do things right, and we`ve also
teamed up with the Comisión Nacional de
Emergencias and Ministerio de Obras Públicas y
Transportes to build a proper dike that would
cost around $2 million.” he said.
The mayor explained this project will be
presented for financing before Junta de
Desarrollo Regional de la Zona Sur this year.
The construction would start in 2017 and it
will include valves to allow rain water to
flow into the ocean without increasing the
|Tattoo gathering will include
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Tattoo fans, those who carry them and those
who create them, will gather starting Friday
for a convention at the Centro de Eventos
At least 30 individuals and firms, experts in
the body art, will be there. Among them is a
California mother of two who has turned
tattoos into a career.
She is Bernadette Macias, a well-tattooed
model who represented Sullen Clothing, a
California firm that says it is heavily
influenced by beach culture there and
Ms. Macias also is a judge on the Country
Music Television’s “Tattoo Titans” where
tattoo artists compete and is a host of Sullen
TV on the Web.
The Paradise Tattoo Convention at the Belén
events center is the fifth annual edition. Ms.
Macias said she is here not only to promote
the clothing but as a convention host
and in search of other models for the firm.
tattoo culture is probably unknown for
most expats, even though some have
|Ms. Macias was at a convention
in Sweden in
I was 17 while attending boarding school in
Thailand. The purpose of that tattoo was to
get me kicked out of boarding school as
tattoos were forbidden. Unfortunately, they
only made me wear higher socks with my
and will be at one in Romania after
the convention here. For many
practitioners tattoos have
transcended mere body markings to
become a fine art. She said she has
251,000 Instagram followers where
she is @ItsMsBernadette
Macias, the first tattoo was more
practical. She once told an
interviewer: “My very first
tattoo was a spider on the side of
ankle. I got it when
And she admits to some pain: “And, oh my
goodness, yes! Ha! Ha! I fully cried though
a few of them.” But she also is proud of the
famous artists who have displayed their work
on her skin.