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Topical Gar Festival (Festival del Gaspar) in Costa Rica

Costa Rica News & Events – Art, culture and fun will all take center place this weekend in Caño Negro de los Chiles, Alajuela, where enthusiasts will be celebrating the 8th annual Festival del Gaspar.

festival de gaspar costa rica 2014 1All the activities will be used to promote this area, which is now listed as a Rasmar site – an area of world importance in terms of nature and conservation.

The Festival del Gaspar will offer activities in the following categories: tourism, culture, the economy and the environment. This Saturday and Sunday (30th and 31st August), visitors can make the most of all sorts of entertainment in Caño Negro Park, just 30 metres from the refuge.

Alba Sequeira, one of the organisers, said that one of their main aims is to increase people’s awareness to help the conservation of garfish.

She added that for the locals of the Zone Norte, the yearly festival is always highly anticipated.

Rosa Iris Arguedas, another organiser, said that visitors will find traditional food, art competitions, home-made snacks and environmental talks, as well as a host of other things.

There will also be some exhibitions and artisan stalls available, as well as various boat trips and a talk about garfish.

The Caño Negro community can be found at the edge of the River Frío, as it passes through the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro. It is well-known across the country for its diversity and natural beauty.

Within its 10,171 hectares, the Refugio plays host to around a thousand different species of animal and is the principal hatching site for garfish. The hatching season takes place just once a year at the beginning of the rainy season (around May-June).

The area functions as a separate habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, as well as serving as a habitat for migratory species – many of which are in danger of extinction. This makes Caño Negro one of the most significant wetland areas in Central America.

The forests, meadows and marshes give shelter to animals at risk of extinction such as jaguars, tapirs, ocelots and peccaries.

The event will be livened up with music performed by bands from the local cantons of Guatuso, Upala and Los Chiles.

The main activities will take place in the area’s central park, which has recently undergone improvements thanks to an investment of more than ¢10 million.

To get here from San José, it’s recommended that visitors catch a bus to Los Chiles. Once you’ve arrived at the Alajuelan canton, you can then catch a second bus to Caño Negro.

Translated by Leah Hendre from La Nacion

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