How does a road get fixed in Costa Rica? Not like it does in the states. In America, a pothole would cause great consternation. Phone calls would be placed to councilmen, complaints made to the city board, until it gets repaired. It would never occur to fix it ourselves—we pay a lot of taxes and want to see that money used in an appropriate way.
It’s different here. In Costa Rica, there is not a huge revenue of tax dollars to fix anything. Therefore, neighbors will get together and dump some dirt in a pothole until the authorities come around and fix it. They will even tie a white plastic bag to the top to alert oncoming traffic of the hazard.
But there is also Plan B. A plan that is the most effective and the Costa Ricans seem to welcome with open arms.
When a new project comes to town, there is a lot of excitement. Not only the possibility of jobs, but also the hope that it will improve the infrastructure in the area. This is exactly what is happening to the sleepy, dusty town of Potrero.
Rumor has it that a big developer is paving the roads. And rumors run wild in Costa Rica. Last year there was one that the Americans were going to invade because we wanted to steal their water. I tried to figure the logisitcs of that one, and I imagined one long bucket brigade stretching from California all the way to Costa Rica. Don’t get me wrong, Costa Rica water is really incredible, but it seemed like an awful lot of work to go through. I get thirsty just thinking about it.
However, the roads are getting fixed and I doubt the municipality has anything to do with it since they have really nice concrete gutters on the side—something I’ve never seen the Costa Rica government do. The gutters are so lovely, I want to hang out in one, prop my feet up, and read the paper.
I have mixed emotions about this. I love how this beach town has a sleepy vibe. How a dirt road will always be synonymous with adventure and exploration. But I also like progress, and it would be nice to drive on my scooter without ingesting a mouthful of dirt.
Things are really moving and shaking down here in Costa Rica. There’s a new sheriff in town and he wants a smooth ride to his development. If only he could do that for the rest of the country.