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San José, Costa Rica || Monday Edition, July 24, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 145
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Process of pottery on display at Chorotega artisan fair this Tuesday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ceramics from Chorotega are celebrated as being among the oldest cultural legacies in Costa Rica. The making of these crafts dates back more than 4,000 years ago with the oldest pottery discovered so far in Guanacaste being dated to 2,000 B.C.

In the context of the anniversary of the annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Guaitil de Santa Cruz is sponsoring the Fería Cultural Artesanal Chorotega on Tuesday.

“The fair aims to attract tourism to the area, which has declined significantly since the end of the last decade,” said Mariana Arce Mercado, a spokeswoman with the Beca Taller that is also sponsoring the event. “Previously, these activities have been discontinued. The idea is that people come to know the communities and can live the experience of producing the ceramics.”

The Beca Taller is a part of the Dirección de Cultura, which is a subset within the wider cultural ministry. According to a statement sent out by the ministry, the fair begins with the Ruta del Curiol that takes place from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The guided tour will allow interested participants to climb the San Vicente hill where the clay and material is extracted for the production of the pottery.

To participate, interested groups or individuals must register in advance. The cost is 5,000 colones per person, which includes breakfast and transportation to the foot of the hill. To register, one needs to call at 8886-3438 or email HERE.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Santa Cruz’s Plaza de Guatil, workshops will be set up displaying the processes of detailing, painting and etching the pieces, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said. Of course, some of the pottery is available to buy along with food, dances, folklore sessions, mascaradas and other handicrafts.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo

Making pottery
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photos    
The association invites all to join in on the history and process behind making these intricate ceramic pieces.

University seeks funding for bank note system for visually impaired
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Universidad de Costa Rica is seeking funding to continue the development of a singular device designed to allow blind or visually impaired people to identify the different denominations of cash notes based on their size.

The project kicked off in 2013 and was originally funded by a private bank. 18,000 cards were donated at the time and the success so impressive that Universidad seeks new partners to continue with it.

The device has a rectangular shape and the standard size of a credit cards. It includes several slots that fit the size of bank notes of different denominations.

The cards are free and will be distributed through the Patronato Nacional de Ciegos and in the different branches of the university throughout the country.

The card was designed by Erick Hidalgo, director of the School of Plastic Arts. Hidalgo himself has a visual limitation in his left eye so he tried to provide a solution for people like him.

Cash identification
Universidad de Costa Rica photo   
Card system designed to help blind with their money.

According to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos, as of 2011, 10.5 percent of the population suffer some degree of disability. Half of them are blind or severely damaged vision problems. That’s a total of 251,464 people.

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