Representatives of the Costa Rican government met at CATIE to strengthen the canton of Turrialba
- Last Sunday, July 17, CATIE welcomed political representatives to its campus, such as the second vice-president of the Republic, Mary Munive; and Laura Bonilla, minister of Agriculture and Livestock, and the current president of CATIE's Superior Council of Ministers.
July 19, 2022. A delegation of more than 40 people, including representatives of the Costa Rican government, deputies of the Cartago commission, leaders of the municipalities of Turrialba and Jiménez, and civil society, met at CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) on July 17 with the objective of having a working group to address issues of cantonal importance, such as the implementation of the initiative of a sports city, assistance in improving road infrastructure, connectivity and electricity, proposals for economic recovery, as well as a visit to the Cheese Expo 2022, also organized at CATIE.
After a tour of various areas of the canton and participation in the international triathlon competition, a private meeting was held, where the director general of CATIE, Muhammad Ibrahim, offered words of welcome and reiterated the willingness of CATIE in contributing to the development of Turrialba and neighboring cantons from the international platform of education and research that implements.
Roger Madrigal, founder of "Turrialba Ciudad Deportiva", presented this initiative that seeks to develop a national campaign to position the canton as the first sports city in the country, this would also contribute to economic reactivation through the maintenance of Lake Angostura, the creation of an ecological corridor from CATIE to the new hospital, the promotion of tourist destinations, the organization of competitive events, recreation, among others.
"The relevance of this project together with CATIE is very important. CATIE was the one who gave the first backing to the project by opening its campus during the pandemic period (...) It is very important that many people realize that CATIE is not only for the inside, but also for the community (...) The support that the government has given us today is essential. In the meeting it was defined which hierarch, which part should be in charge and for how long, so it sincerely motivates us to go ahead with the project (...)", said Madrigal.
Rosaura Méndez, current deputy for the 2022-2026 period, highlighted the urgency in the construction of bridges and better accesses that allow to act with greater safety in emergency situations, such as the past floods that occurred in July 2021. The mayor of Turrialba, Luis Fernando León, mentioned: "Now is the time to concretize and coordinate efforts with the institutions".
The meeting culminated with the words of the Second Vice President of the Republic, Mary Munive, who pointed out that local governments are great allies with whom we must collaborate to support the population.
"We are not representing any political flag; we are representing the citizens of Costa Rica, we are all working very hard because we want the welfare of all, so I would love that we begin to make that change of mentality and especially that change in the discourse (...) We are working very articulately, no one comes here with their own agenda, but with a country agenda in which we have to reach a consensus," Munive emphasized.
The visit ended with a tour of the Expoferia del Queso 2022, where the largest cheese, weighing 200 kilograms, was broken. For the fourth year, CATIE has opened its doors for the fair, which brings together entrepreneurs and producers of the canton, as well as hundreds of visitors from all over the country.
Turrialba cheese has been an emblematic product for the community and recently obtained the Denomination of Origin (DO), a characteristic that means access to better markets and more competitive prices. Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, highlighted the importance of the DO to reactivate the economy and boost production in the canton, as well as the Center's commitment to the people of Turrialba.
"We want to continue showing the role of CATIE working together with the community of Turrialba and other surrounding cantons to seek coexistence and seek solutions in our different thematic areas (...) Our support is not only to seek the services we offer in our physical space, but also to contribute knowledge and technological innovations in which CATIE maintains a model of climate-smart dairy, which many countries in the region are demanding and that obviously the canton of Turrialba will be the most benefited as we move forward and contribute," concluded Ibrahim.
Also present during the visit were Joselyn Chacón, Minister of Health; Nayuribe Guadamuz, Minister of Culture; Rocío Valerio, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; Leonardo Sánchez, Vice Minister of Public Education; Walter Villalobos, Vice Minister of Labor; Laura Ulloa, Vice Minister of Public Works and Transportation; Marco Acuña, executive president of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE, its Spanish acronym); Roy Rojas, COSEVI project manager; Milagro Rowe, deputy mayor of Turrialba; Lisseth Fernández, mayor of Jiménez; Wilbert Quirós, mayor of Tucurrique; and Juan Boza, road and bridge conservation engineer.
Also among the deputies were Paola Nájera, Alejandro Pacheco, Johana Obando, David Lorenzo Segura, Antonio Ortega and Ada Acuña.
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