There are Olympic or semi-Olympic swimming pools in only 40% of Costa Rica’s 82 national cantons. 42% of these 74 pools are located in the capital. Of the 31 swimming pools in San Jose, they are distributed in 11 of the 20 cantons.
A group of swimmers from Liberia had to train in a river to compete in the National Games. A Special Olympics athlete also trained in a river.
Some wonder if this lack of pools in many areas may influence the amount of drowning that happens at beaches. In 2018, there were 149 deaths from water accidents, according to the Red Cross. Could some of these have been prevented if there were more local pools and swimming lessons?
There is at least one pool in each province but Limón and Puntarenas are the ones with the fewest. There are just 2 in the Caribbean and 1 in Puntarenas. They are private but allow the public to take classes.
Upala is a rural area with great swimmers but they all learn and practice in rivers. They could be even greater with a pool and an instructor.
A semi-Olympic pool costs at least ¢170 million plus maintenance.