Thursday, February 14, 2008

Costa Rica's Grand Papagayo hotel under microscope

By Dave Sherwood
Tico Times Staff

Officials began investigating the Hotel Occidental Grand Papagayo this week to determine whether the 169-room hotel is pumping wastewater into the ocean fronting a coral reef.

Eduardo Cespedes, director of Health in Carillo, said inspectors from the Health Ministry, the Liberia Prosecutors Office and the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute took seawater samples for testing Tuesday.

Results could be available as early as next week, he said.

Like the Allegro Papagayo, a neighboring hotel that was closed last week when it was discovered pumping sewage into an estuary, the Grand Papagayo has been accused by its neighbors of pumping wastewater into ocean waters fronting a coral reef near Playa Buena, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Both hotels are part of the government-run Papagayo Tourism Project, the largest such development in Central America.

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