Costa Ballena is growing and with that comes a need for greater community security and essential services. Because development and infrastructure take time, it falls on the community itself to meet the most urgent needs. Since 2014, the private association, Guardavidas Costa Ballena Lifeguards, has rescued 300 tourists, residents and visitors, and attended over 100 medical situations on the beach, highway, and even private residences. It’s the most successful lifeguard program in the country and as a result, will be the model for an upcoming pilot run by the Red Cross and Ministry of Tourism.
SafeBeach and Ojos en la Calle are two other success stories. With initial development funds provided by the United Nations Development Programme, CRUSA and SOMOS Foundation, both community security programs are proven and ready to scale. SafeBeach provides crime prevention patrols, teams of young people trained by the police and lifeguards patrol our beaches and hotspots in town. In over six months of operation, zero crimes occurred where patrols were engaged. Ojos en la Calle is a free app for your smartphone that allows anyone to anonymously report crimes, incidents and suspicious behavior. In cases of emergency, the app notifies local police. Meanwhile, all report data is collected to help solve crimes, and give us the opportunity to challenge the government statistics. Please download it now at www.ojosenlacalle.com
These programs are unique since they are private initiatives partnered with the government, which means we have a stake and say in how they operate. To make this all work, however, the support of local businesses, residents, and our guests and clients is needed. Help make Costa Ballena the safest place in Costa Rica!
Perry Gladstone: President
CACOBA / Co-founder of SOMOS
CONTACT: Fundación SOMOS - www.somos.cr