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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 28, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 84
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Rio Zapote cleanup
Casa Presidencial photo    
Cleanup of the river continues as backhoes struggle in marsh.

Crews remove sewage from Río Zapote

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The first project enacted by the government for the cleanup of the Río Zapote is slowly progressing following its incorporation into the relief plan for Hurricane Otto.

The Río Zapote is located in Upala, the canton that was hit hardest by last year’s hurricane. These ongoing works mainly involve the cleaning of the river using backhoes to take out the sewage and refuse leftover from the hurricane’s effects, Casa Presidencial said.

Despite the marshy conditions of the area, engineers at the site said that the works are moving forward satisfactorily and the equipment is standing up to the bad conditions better than expected. The executive branch said that the crews managed to channel over 915 meters of the river bed on its right bank. It is an agonizingly slow process considering that only represents 15 percent of the desired channeling, according to Casa Presidencial.

To speed up this process, the government wants to add two or three more teams to the three crews currently working on the project. There is also talk of of doing surveying and studies as to the feasability of adding seven bridges across the river.

The public works ministry is overseeing the completion of this project.



Ambassador Haney at school
Ministerio de Educación Pública photo  
U.S. Ambassador Haney gets a lively welcome from students.

Haney visits students learning English

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This week marked the end of Costa Rica’s Semana Nacional del Idioma Inglés.

The public education minister, Sonia Marta Mora, and the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, S. Fitzgerald Haney, visited several classrooms Thursday morning at the Escuela Buenaventura Corrales. Some expats may know this school by its nickname: the Escuela Metálica. The children practiced with the ambassador and the minister showing off their growing skills in English, according to the Ministerio de Educación Pública.

The students, all in the first grade, also presented some of their projects they had been working on to their distinguished guests as part of the English for elementary programs conducted with the support of the embassy.

These programs are based on developing conversational skills in English for the young students like greeting someone and understanding simple questions. They are implemented nationwide at the first and seventh grade levels, the education ministry said. Often these are developed by English advisors with the collaboration of the embassy and the Peace Corps as well, officials said.

“Almost three years ago we began an arduous work with the ministry and other strategic allies to offer a long-term plan, which will review the curricula, introduce new and attractive teaching materials and incorporate the professional development of teachers,” Ambassador Haney said. “We will continue to support this initiative through the visit of US experts in English language teaching”




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