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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 234                
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Environmental investigators seek to restore 'monument to incompetence'
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Environmental investigators are blaming public employees for the destruction of the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Las Camelias in Upala.

The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo has elevated the case to prosecutors and is seeking administrative action against workers in the Upala office of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación.

The refuge came into being 20 years ago. The 64 hectares (about 159 acres) featured a lake and a host of creatures.

The Tribunal listed 240 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 148 species of plants.

The lake held gar fish, which the Tribunal correctly noted is a living fossil. The refuge also was a base for many migrating species.

That was then. Information supplied by the Tribunal says the refuge now is a pasture for buffalo, and someone has installed fences.

former lake
Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo photo
This is where the Las Camelias lake used to be.

The Tribunal is ordering that the conservation offices eject any trespassers on the protected refuge.

José Lino Chaves, president of the Tribunal, said the situation is a monument to institutional incompetence.

The goal now is to bring back the lake. Toward that end, the Tribunal is seeking hydrological studies.



Sunday is a day for bueyes, boyeros, oxcarts and tourists with cameras
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is the weekend for oxcarts, oxen and their handlers. The last Sunday in November always is the time for a gigantic parade bringing statues of saints into San José.

The handlers, boyeros, and their families always celebrate in Parque la Sabana the evening before in the open-air style of days gone by.

The gentle oxen or bueyes are about 1,800 pounds each, but they easily are handled by boys.

This is the 28th annual event this year, and President Luis Guillermo Solís is expected to be among the participants, although he probably does not own a pair of oxen. A lot of professionals do, however. And they hang up their suits on the weekend to participate in such parades with their animals. There still are a lot of oxen in use in day-to-day agriculture, too.

An estimated 300 oxen pairs and carts along with carriages and other conveyances and animals are expected in the parade up Paseo Colón and Avenida Secunda.

Not only is this a major Christmas season event, it also is a major tourism attraction.

The glory days of the oxen were in the mid-19th century when long lines of carts would carry the Central Valley's coffee to the Puntarenas port.

boyer famliy
A.M. Costa Rica archives
This boyero family was photographed in 2012.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Del Rey nightlife

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