The amusement park is one of the happiest places in Costa Rica, usually. This year, it’s closed, due to the pandemic. Just 23 employees keep everything up to date. They describe it as a sad year.
Workers used to get excited about their jobs there, noting that they would take the bus among families with children screaming of excitement from a few stops away when they saw the tops of the rides.
The park is now so silent you can hear the birds. The kiosks and restaurants are closed and the train is not running. The water slide and lake are dry. The rides are maintained every other week to keep them in good shape. Otherwise, the park is asleep, it seems.
It’s been like this for seven months and will stay this way indefinitely, until it is safe to reopen. There’s no goal or idea of when that might be, as it depends on how the covid-19 situation continues.
266 employment contracts were put on hold in March, at the start of the pandemic, and another 62 were put on hold more recently. Among those out of work are the six senior citizens who patiently took visitors on a train tour of the entire park, sharing their spark and experiences.
Each year, before the covid-19 pandemic, the park was able to donate approximately ₡120 million to the National Children’s Hospital. This year, there is no income and no funds to donate.
The management dreams of soon hearing joy fill the park and being able to share the earnings with the children’s hospital.