Blue Flag Beach
Thanks to the hard work of a lot of individuals and community groups, Samara Beach again flies the blue flag. In a ceremony Saturday morning, CASATUR president, Marco Carmona, raised the blue flag that will fly at the principal entrance to Samara Beach. Blue flags are awarded to beaches throughout the world that demonstrate cleanliness and environmental protection. In Cost Rica, the ICT certification program also signifies security and environmental education.
Samara Pacific School, a bilingual private elementary, brought us a performance of music and poetry in Spanish and English. They also presented a gift of a tree made of recycled plastic water bottles.
Why did Samara lose the blue flag for several years? Does it mean that Samara Beach wasn’t clean until now? No. The ICT program for certification requires constant vigilance and a lot of work to demonstrate compliance, efforts that were incomplete until the community came together behind CASATUR. Applications were filed, educational programs were instituted in the local schools, and many phone calls were made to the authorities at ICT.
But there have been improvements. The community has been vigilant and hard-working to clean the beach and the town. CASATUR has been instrumental in assuring that the garbage trucks are sent regularly by municipality. They are working closely with the mayor’s office to maintain a recycling program. Many local businesses contribute to a fund that pays for personnel to pick up trash and detritus that floats in. Volunteers periodically clean the beach and river beds. The security committee has worked consistently with the police forces to assure safety for our residents and visitors.
The blue flag will fly in front of the police station, along with the flags of Costa Rica and Guanacaste. A big thank-you for all the efforts that made this possible.