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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 171
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Solís signs decree prohibiting major hydro projects on two rivers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís has issued a decree protecting the Río Pacuare on the Caribbean coast and the Río Savegre, which empties into the Pacific.

Solís signed the document at a fiesta during his tour of the Caribbean coast this weekend.

The decree prohibits the construction of hydro projects of more than 500 kilowatt generating capacity for 25 years. The decree also orders the Dirección Nacional de Aguas and the
Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental to shelve any pending
 requests for permits. However, Casa Presidencial said without clarification that existing rights would be protected.

The Pacuare has its headwaters in the Talamanca mountains and then runs 108 kilometers (about 67 miles) to the Caribbean.

The  Savegre has a 41-kilometer (25.5 miles) course that runs through Dota, Tarrazú, Pérez Zeledón and Quepos.

A number of firms have filed applications to build small generating projects along Costa Rica's rivers. The applications are being contested by environmentalists and also the established state power generator.









Festival goers admire one of the elaborate carpets of flowers that was part of the 2014 festival.

alfombra de flores
Cámara de Comercio de Cartago photo

Festival de La Pasada will be this weekend in Cartago's Plaza Mayor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The celebrations in Cartago do not end with the annual pilgrimage to the basilica there. The tenth annual Festival de La Pasada is coming up this Saturday and Sunday.

The unique aspect of this festival is that the faithful construct carpets of flowers for the procession that brings the small statue of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles back to the basilica. The statue has been on display at another Cartago church, the  Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen, since Aug. 3, the day after the end of the pilgrimage.

The festival may be just 10 years old, but the procession has 
been going on since the end of the 18th century.
Now the festival is two days with the procession over the floral carpets coming Sunday. The Cámara de Comercio, Industria, Turismo y Servicios de Cartago and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo sponsor the festival. Some 60,000 persons are expected to attend, and 75 Cartago businesses will be displaying their wares, said the chamber.

The festival is in the Plaza Mayor of Cartago at the Ruinas del Templo de Santiago Apóstol. Tents will be set up for vendors. There will be food, dancing, performances by well-known Costa Rican bands, mascaradas, cimarronas street bands, plus the religious procession Sunday.

Creating the carpets of flowers is a contest, and the chamber gives prizes to the three best, it said.

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