Vicente Vargas, 54-years-old, has witnessed the constantly changing sea in the area currently occupied by Ballena Marine National Park. This park is located four hours away from San José, Costa Rica’s capital city.
“Yes, the beach has changed. The shoreline has moved up, more or less,150 meters closer. I know this because when I was nine, I used to go to a shop that was right there (pointing past the national park’s entrance). The owner had to move out because of the sea,” commented the man while carving a hole in a coconut — with a machete — for a tourist thirsty for coconut water.
Nobody disagrees with Vargas, not even José David Palacios, marine biologist and Keto Foundation researcher, a non-governmental organization that has been working in the area since 2009. They only disagree on the number of meters.
“In the ’80s, the National Geographic Institute placed boundary stones to outline the coastal area. Those boundary stones were placed 50 meters into dry land from the high tide line. Boundary stone 55 was planted in 1989 but currently goes underwater during high tide. Using this boundary stone as a reference, we then say that the sea has moved
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