.By Marisol Arias
• Questions related to concert performances, safety and streets´ conditions.
• Opinions will prompt actions, requests for support from institutions about various aspects that will benefit Tamarindo.
In a mixed community such as Tamarindo, where a wide diversity of nations and cultures coexist, reconciling opinions on local issues is complex. However, the respect for opinions and the guarantee of a polite and harmonious coexistence must prevail, as a reflection of the democratic society in which this community lives.
This is the vision of the Integral Development Association of Tamarindo (ADIT) who have organized a procedure for residents to express their opinions regarding community issues.
As this is such an important topic for the life of Tamarindo, THE Tamarindo News wanted to learn the nature, objective and impact of these actions as well as the benefits they will generate within the community.
To that end, we publish our interview with Urs Schmid, President of the ADIT.
THE Tamarindo News (TTN): What is the purpose of ADIT Tamarindo’s gathering of the community’s opinions? Urs Schmid (US): The ADIT is aiming for a better understanding of desires of our community, of the people we represent. On some matters we would like to receive feedback before we act, in order to be certain that we do not misrepresent the locals.
TTN: How will you get the questions to the community and subsequently let the results be known?
US: We will use a survey software, most likely “Survey Monkey.” The software is easy to use and the questions can be answered anonymously. A link, that can only be used once, will be sent to each voter, after a limited time the vote will end. The results will probably be shared with every participant shortly after the vote and then posted on the ADIT Facebook page, website and it will be mentioned in our monthly email newsletter. Depending on the community’s interest, we could also share the results through local newspapers, radio stations, etc.
TTN: What kind of questions will you pose and how will you actually identify the people who live here?
US: There are many topics where the locals’ opinions are clear; for example, we can all agree that we want a clean beach, safety, good roads, etc. The surveys will be used where opinions are more diverse. To give you two recent examples: Events in town, and horses on the beach.
Regarding the events in town, one doubt we would like to clarify is: “How much partying does Tamarindo want?” Regarding the recent large events that were held during the busy days around New Year’s Eve, we know that many people and businesses suffered because of the loud music. Nonetheless, we also know, that numerous locals enjoy these events and that several local businesses benefit when they take place. So as you can see, this topic is delicate, thus a survey would make sense before ADIT decides to take action.
Concerning the horses on the beach; we know that many residents are bothered by the tours offered on the beach and are worried about how the horse dung might affect their health. On the other side, many tourists enjoy these tours, several locals like the horses and recommend the tours.
A future survey will clear up the community’s opinion and will allow us to ask specific questions, like: “Would you welcome horses on the beach if they use a manure catcher bag?”
To identify people who are allowed to vote, the ADIT assistants will pass by every house in Tamarindo and Langosta and create a voter database. This will take several weeks but it will assure that the votes are as accurate as possible. People that are not registered during these weeks can be added to the database later by contacting the ADIT, we will then also check if they live here.
TTN: Once the results are gathered, what actions will be taken and before whom?
US: The actions that will be taken depend on the topic that we voted on. For example, regarding the vote on the events in town; if it turns out that the large majority of the community enjoys these events and wants more, ADIT would not take actions or maybe support this trend. However, if most people are bothered by these events, then we would pressure the Municipality and the Ministerio de Salud to stop handing out certain permits and to control the decibel levels created during these events.
Actions after future votes will probably also include working together with the different Police forces, the MINAE, SINAC, SENASA, ICT and many more.
Whoever we work with, it is always very valuable to be able to demonstrate what exactly the locals want, it creates more credibility and pressure and it motivates us to keep working hard for our community.
For more information: www.playatamarindo.org Facebook: ADIPlayaTamarindo