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Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Jan. 11, 2019) – The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel

Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Dec. 21, 2018) – The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel

The Tico Times is proud to be an unbiased, English-language information supply in Costa Rica. Our readers recurrently submit editorials and responses to our articles; we recognize your opinions and suggestions.

Under is a number of editorials we now have acquired just lately.

A Two-Pronged Coverage Wanted To Stem The Stream Of Migrants

By Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, professor of worldwide relations at the Middle for International Affairs at NYU. 

To dramatically sluggish the circulate of unlawful immigration and even finish it doesn’t relaxation on constructing partitions or sending troops to the border, or by heartlessly snatching youngsters from their moms’ arms, or by incarceration, deportation, or prosecution. An enormous a part of the reply lies in financial improvement, primarily sustainable improvement tasks, in the migrant’s nation of origin. Certainly, as an alternative of constructing partitions, we’d like to construct the sort of bridges that may change the lives of different individuals for the higher and provides them hope. In any case, the political destabilization in Central American nations was partially, if not to an excellent extent, precipitated by the United States, which makes America much more morally accountable to do one thing about it.

Past that, abject poverty and hopelessness breeds resentment and despondency and leads to gang violence and extremism, which is just the pure consequence of those subhuman circumstances. Little will change until the individuals, particularly the youth, are given a chance to stay a traditional and productive life, develop a way of belonging, and have vested pursuits of their work and self-worth.

The plight of three Central American nations tells the story behind the inflow of immigrants flocking to our nation from these and different nations.

Honduras is Central America’s second-poorest nation. Greater than 60 % of the inhabitants lives in poverty, and it has one among the highest ranges of financial inequality in Latin America. Poverty in Honduras is mainly due to rampant crime, violence, political instability, corruption, and a big susceptibility to hurricanes and droughts.

Guatemala has the largest financial system in Central America, however regardless of current progress, financial inequality and poverty have elevated, notably amongst the rural indigenous inhabitants. Malnutrition and maternal mortality charges are amongst the worst in Latin America, particularly in indigenous areas. Greater than half of the inhabitants lives under the poverty line.

El Salvador has one in every of the lowest financial progress charges in Central America. Since the finish of the civil warfare in 1992, the nation has made progress when it comes to political and social improvement, however excessive charges of crime and violence proceed to threaten these positive factors. El Salvador can also be weak to antagonistic pure occasions, which is just made worse by excessive local weather change.

In these nations, rural poverty locations nice stress on cities and finally propels immigration, and so long as it does, the monumental financial and political instability that it creates will proceed.

Trump’s demand of $20 billion to construct a wall alongside the Mexican border is misguided, impractical, and a waste of valuable assets that may change the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals if invested correctly in these poverty-stricken nations. Does Trump understand how value efficient it’s to promote individuals’s tasks inside the nation of origin?

A fraction of $20 billion would change the socio-economic circumstances in these nations. One billion dollars invested in financial improvement tasks can present meals, consuming water, jobs, self-empowerment, and hope for higher life for one million poor, displaced, and despairing individuals.

In accordance to Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, President of the Excessive Atlas Basis in Morocco and a 20-year veteran in sustainable improvement, a $100,000 funding can set up a ladies’s co-operative of roughly 50 members benefitting roughly 300-350 individuals. “The outstanding investment needed ends up being a relatively small proportion of the cost the nations that receive or repel migrants incur.”

In Guatemala, for instance, a corporation engaged on household planning in 2017 alone prevented over 14,000 undesirable pregnancies, 95 youngster deaths, and 6 maternal deaths, all with solely $880,000.

It has unequivocally been proven that would-be immigrants strongly favor to keep of their residence communities if solely their primary wants are met and there exist alternatives for progress. They may work arduous to guarantee the sustainability of tasks they select and develop vested pursuits of their implementation and outcomes.

It ought to be famous that the precept of financial improvement is the similar, be that in nations in South America or Africa; solely the nature and the sort of challenge differs from one nation or group to one other, relying on their particular wants. Right here is the place we should make investments, to give individuals an opportunity not just for their sake however ours as nicely, as a result of America thrives when different individuals in far lands flourish too.

Financial investments and the implementation of sustainable improvement tasks doesn’t imply that each one unlawful immigration will cease. We nonetheless want a complete immigration coverage according to our custom of receiving migrants with open arms—a wise and companionate coverage that governs all points of migration to America.

We should always finish the painful instability for DREAMers by providing a path to citizenship to the almost a million people who got here to the US once they have been youngsters. They’re People of their hearts and souls; they’re right here to keep, and we now have a solemn obligation to take away any cloud of uncertainty about their future.

We should resolve as soon as and for all the drawback of the over 12 million undocumented immigrants who’ve been in the nation for years and have turn out to be an integral a part of America’s social material. They need to be assured that they won’t be deported in the event that they voluntarily register and can too be provided a path to citizenship – a one-time amnesty program.

We should implement established procedures to cope with refugees and asylum seekers, not ignore or utterly violate them as the Trump administration has cruelly completed—an honest course of that permits security for many who are escaping the horror of violence and would face sure demise if turned again.

And eventually, present packages for authorized immigration, together with the Variety Immigrant Visa Program, household reunification, and employment-based immigration, must be absolutely carried out. The Trump administration ought to be prevented from undermining these processes which were in place for a few years.

America has and should proceed to welcome immigrants of all colours, denominations, and nations. Each new migrant, no matter his or her background, brings with them the riches of their tradition, skills, and expertise, and finally is economically useful to the United States, not a drain.

There’s something magical about America. It’s a nation that has opened its doorways to immigrants from the world over, and the wider the door has been open, the higher and larger America has turn out to be. However sadly, Trump’s racist, Islamophobic, and white supremacist DNA has made a fair higher mess of the already unsavory, incoherent, and partisan coverage and strategies in addressing the drawback of immigration.

The answer to unlawful immigration have to be based mostly on a two-pronged coverage: first, investing in financial improvement tasks via personal entities to alleviate poverty and considerably scale back violence, which might additionally encourage different nations to make investments. Second, creating a complete immigration coverage in step with our custom and ethical obligation to prolong our palms to these whose solely sin is escaping the horrors of conflict, violence, and hunger.

The simultaneous implementation of this two-tiered coverage would, inside a comparatively brief time period, considerably scale back the inflow of migrants to our borders whereas creating the socio-economic circumstances to give substance and cause for the inhabitants of those nations to keep put and construct a hopeful future of their homeland.

[Editor’s Note: This letter was originally published on Dr. Alon Ben-Meir’s website and also appeared on the Center for Research on Globalization.] 


Invisible in their very own land 

By Sebastián Muñoz Ramírez, English main at College of Costa Rica 

Pricey Tico Times:

I agree completely with the message behind “Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón Province”, written by Regional Peace Corps Chief Crystal about elevating consciousness on the lives of indigenous societies in Costa Rica. It’s such a disgrace that these are virtually invisible to the remainder of the nation. Because of this, the authorities and the media ought to encourage residents to are available contact with these populations; not out of pity, however fairly to understand, simply as Crystal did, that they’ve a wealthy tradition with traditions which might be, for the most half, unknown to the remainder of Costa Rica.

These communities have had a tough historical past ever since the Spanish conquest, and it is just truthful that we, as a rustic, deal with them as they deserve: offering them with sufficient primary providers and assets in addition to giving them equal alternatives to thrive in society, which they a lot lack.

Nationwide media ought to dedicate extra areas to them, simply as this Peace Corps article did, with details about their traditions that we aren’t correctly taught about in class. We study them from an educational standpoint, however not in a human sense. Some may say that studying about indigenous communities from a tutorial standpoint is important, and I agree. Nevertheless, the absence of cultural schooling aimed toward human nature is a mirrored image of the authorities’s angle in the direction of this prevalent challenge. We don’t study that, in accordance to a 2000 census achieved by UNICEF, 90% of them reside under the poverty line and that their mortality fee is 3 times higher than that of the remainder of the nation as a result of they lack correct medical providers. They obtain discrimination even once they depart their native group to search for a greater job in a metropolis, and that’s unfair and unacceptable.

Peace Corps Costa Rica is doing a tremendous job in altering that common angle of indifference, however they need to additionally attempt to attain out a much bigger viewers so extra individuals be a part of their trigger. Personally, I had by no means heard of them, and I’m positive that many can be prepared to assist in any approach attainable in the event that they knew about them. Different types of mass media have additionally contributed to the trigger except for the efforts of organizations like Peace Corps.

Just lately, there was extra media publicity of indigenous people, particularly in tv commercials, the place they primarily spotlight their language. Nevertheless, as cynical as it might sound, it is just an attraction to feelings and it isn’t engaging in a lot when it comes to offering these communities with a greater high quality of life. Tv networks particularly ought to use their affect and funds to assist these in want as an alternative of utilizing them as an unique accent for individuals to take a look at with out them truly serving to.

The silver lining of all of that is that it’s a first step on the method to visibilization of disfavored sectors of society, and maybe in the future extra teams like Peace Corps Costa Rica will come up to make that constructive change wanted. I encourage each firm to search methods to assist not solely indigenous communities but in addition anybody in areas of utmost social and financial danger. Allow us to make that social hole smaller one step at a time.


Sebastián Muñoz Ramírez


The Worth of Lifeguards

By Nicole Vargas Vega, English and French main at College of Costa Rica 

Pricey Tico Times:

The authorities has all the time boasted about how Costa Rica is considered one of the greatest nations in the world for ecotourism primarily due to its a number of pristine seashores. But, how dare the authorities appeal to vacationers to our shores when they don’t rely with the most important aspect of security and prevention? A number of weeks in the past, I learn an article referred to as “Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa” the place The Asociación de Guardavidas de la Zona Sur was asking for contributions to afford the continuity of lifeguards on the seashores. I completely approve of this initiative; nevertheless, I consider the municipalities of the coastal communities are the ones who should procure yearly financing to lifeguards.

Apparently municipalities overlook that being a lifeguard shouldn’t be a simple occupation. It isn’t about sitting in the solar all day overseeing vacationers as they take pleasure in their holidays. No, lifeguards patrol hundreds of miles of ocean shoreline every day understanding that at any second they’ve to danger their lives to attempt to save anyone else’s. Therefore, it’s inadmissible that lifeguards don’t rely with an applicable division inside the municipalities to oversee all the logistics comparable to recruitment, coaching, gear and salaries.

Costa Rica can’t lose its few lifeguards left. Even throughout wet season, the circulate of vacationers that go to the seashores is relatively excessive; nonetheless, the present variety of lifeguards just isn’t sufficient to guarantee the safety of each particular person. Most of the time, vacationers are oblivious of how the climate patterns may cause hazardous circumstances on the shores as there’s no one to inform them; consequently, what begins as an thrilling journey might finish in a devastating tragedy. Then once more, if municipalities validate the significance of lifeguards and supply them with the vital circumstances, these deadly accidents may lower to a naked minimal.

Moreover, it’s inconceivable not to spotlight the irony of the authorities’s discourse in the direction of vacationers. For being a rustic that depends an amazing deal on eco-tourism to generate income, Costa Rica presents an unfavorable picture. Who will need to trip in a rustic the place the authorities doesn’t make sure that the primary safety measures are met? Nonetheless, even when individuals determine to come to Costa Rica, the reservations may lower contemplating that folks may choose to spend time in different areas like the mountains. Beneath these circumstances, the small companies close to the seashores may lose shoppers which could ensue an enormous loss in income for the nation.

Though there are a number of organizations that intercede for the work of lifeguards, the municipalities should take the full duty in guaranteeing them a secure revenue. Lifeguards ought to by no means be underestimated or belittled; on the opposite, their position must be appreciated and acknowledged by the residents.

Each life is essential, and other people ought to give you the option to really feel protected and cozy once they trip; notably when it comes to touring to coasts. It’s shameful that lifeguards had to resort to pleading for assist to protect their jobs as an alternative of the authorities willingly providing them help.

To share editorial concepts, feedback or information ideas, please e mail Katherine Stanley Obando, Editor, [email protected]

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