SURF volunteer Emily Ausubel gives us her perspective on working with Grupo SURF 2010 in her article titled “SURFing in Costa Rica.”
Uvita High School installs fence to border property
Adapted from South Pacific News
School in Uvita-Bahia area is an example of sustainable architecture
Adapted from South Pacific News
The public water facility ASADA gets White Flag
History of the UVITA aqueduct
The extraordinary geological formation commonly called Punta Uvita or the Whale Tail is a magical place to visit. Some people have referred to this natural phenomenon as “Moses Passage” when at low tide the ocean recedes and a 600 meter long sand passage opens up. Punta Uvita is located at the northern part of the Marino Ballena National Park. Apparently there are two ocean currents, one from the southeast and the other from the northwest that help form this natural passage. Punta Uvita can be enjoyed during low tide for approximately 3 hours, but when the tide comes up, the passage disappears and becomes submerged. It is a 25 minute walk from the main park entrance. From high in the sky or from mountain views Punta Uvita clearly resembles a whale tail. In Costa Rica there are no other places like “Moses Passage”, and some say that there are only 10 other locations in the world similar to Punta Uvita.
In the following months the main road to the Marino Ballena National Park will be asphalted. This new development for the Uvita-Bahia, Osa community brings great joy to boat tour operators and community members alike. The project starts from the Coastal Highway and ends at the entrance to the marine park. The project will benefit tourism especially as the road between Quepos and Dominical will bring added tourism to the area. Community members and tour operators from Uvita-Bahia emphasize that the road must be well equipped with proper speed limit and stop signs so that the road does not become used as a super highway.
Around 1957, a young man by the name of Fernando Cruz arrived to Punta Uvita. He was accompanied by his wife Leonor and son Carlos Fernando (Cai Cruz). The family settled near the entrance to Punta Uvita, known then and for many years later as, “La Pachanga” (The Party). The family started buying properties and therefore acquired a large amount of land, a little less than 900 hectares. The principal objective of the Cruz family was to create a large hacienda and cattle farm called Hacienda Bahia as well as an airplane business and continue with the vision to develop other businesses or at least have a tranquil and safe refuge.
Uvita in the 1960s & 1970s
By 1962, the family passed away and all of the Hacienda Bahia was under the control of son, Cai Cruz. At the time, Cai Cruz, did not have the sufficient capacity to control his families assets. One day during a flight in one of his families planes there was an accident near the mountain summit called Kamuk, on route to San Jose, and Cai Cruz was killed. Afterwards, the state banks took control of Hacienda Bahia. Later, during the 60s and 70s, ALCOA the world’s current leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, was attempting to excavate from San Isidro de General – Perez Zeledon the primary material for aluminum products, Bauxite. In a larger plan that involved ALCOAs purchase of Hacienda Bahia, was the development of a road between San Isidro General – Perez Zeledon and Uvita Bahia Ballena and the eventual construction of a small port at Punta Uvita for the exportation of Bauxite and other products. ALCOAs development plans were highly viewed as anti-patriotic and the pressure of Costa Rica’s largest student strike on April 24, 1970 combined with ecologist lead strikes helped lead to the ending of the projects.
Uvita in the 1980s
Later in 1980 the Hacienda was invaded by more than 90 families, the majority of them coming from the Aguirre county – Playa Matapalo to Quepos. Afterwards, the Institute of Agrarian Development, bought and parceled lands, which gave form to the community we know today as Uvita Bahia Ballena, Osa, Costa Rica with more than 800 inhabitants, and a student population of more than 200.