Community involvement is at the heart of Costa Palmas’ mission. Together with local organizations, Costa Palmas has been actively involved in creating additional opportunities for local residents and their families through education, innovation and the updating of facilities for the past ten years. Recently, the La Ribera community installed a new Delegado, a representative of the people. We took a moment to learn more about Miguel Mijares Gonzalez, a life-long La Ribera resident.
Miguel attended primary school in La Ribera before moving to La Paz for technical school. There, he studied Business Administration and eventually the community of his youth compelled him to return to Los Barriles to work for a bank. In addition to working for more than a decade at the bank, Miguel also worked for Costa Palmas for three years in the security department. With a passion for politics and the people, Miguel then decided to pursue a political career as an Independent candidate in the November 2021 election. He won and was recently installed as the Delegado Municipal de La Ribera de Baja California Sur.
CP: What are the challenges you’ve faced since becoming Delegado?MMG: We continue to adjust to life in the post-pandemic stage. Much of our focus has been related to healthcare, either people sick with COVID and also the prevention of COVID. In general, the biggest challenge is the many deficiencies in maintenance and operation in town. We have to rehabilitate and renovate many things, starting from zero. During these past two years [of the pandemic] all maintenance was stopped.
CP: What are the immediate projects you are working on?MMG: The most important project is reactivation of our town physically, systemically and socially. Essentially, we have to start from scratch to reactivate life in town after the pandemic. The main services like trash collection, street cleaning and yard waste are immediate needs. In addition, we need to clean up and prepare the public spaces, like the plaza, the sports center and the park. We're also encouraging people to get out again and coexist in public spaces with the proper precautions and without fear.
CP: How will you inspire the community to get out of their homes?MMG: Right now, we are creating sports projects, like tournaments and training sessions. Active athletic options are fundamental to a community and really attract people. La Ribera is growing at a fast pace and sports have always been a support and refuge for youth. Rosita Castro, the Olympian from La Ribera (. The story of Rosita Castro), has greatly motivated the kids to participate in athletics, especially javelin and discus throwing. Our goal is to employ attractive opportunities that are athletics-based to keep kids occupied and away from potential vices.
CP: What are the other urgent needs of La Ribera?
MMG: We are changing from a little town to an urban center. So with that, we need to create an established plan of urbanization. We need to continue developing La Ribera: widening and paving the streets, expanding services like potable water and even the electric grid.
CP: Which projects are you collaborating with Costa Palmas?
MMG: Quite honestly, Costa Palmas is involved in almost all of our projects! Costa Palmas has worked with us in the past and has done so much for the community both with us and independently on children’s events, Christmas events, deliveries of blankets, donations, toys and more. Costa Palmas has also donated sports gear, like balls and uniforms, all of the things we need to resume sports activities. Currently, we are focusing together on issues of social interest.
We are also working on remodeling the park. It’s a central gathering place in the afternoons for kids. Our goal is to reactivate it so that it’s once again the heart of the community - for adults and children. We’re also planning on cleaning the streets, collecting trash and cleaning up yards.
We’re happy to be working with Costa Palmas and appreciate the enthusiasm the CP team always brings to every project. In addition, Costa Palmas has done so much for the people of La Ribera, from training to investing in the community. They have reignited the coastal economy and because of them, we have full-time employment options here for those who are seeking work.
CP: What future projects do you have in mind?
MMG: Based on the investment that Costa Palmas made in the Telebachillerato, we are working as a community to maintain a technical school so that the children do not have to travel to Santiago to finish school, thus limiting their exposure to potential traveling risks on the highway. The project will take about 2 or 3 years, but we are focused on it.
Costa Palmas is thankful to Miguel for the insight into his background and the vision for our shared community. We look forward to participating, hand in hand, with him and the citizens of La Ribera on upcoming projects. At present, we remain focused on the upcoming projects: the community park renovation to include palapas, playgrounds and benches for the people of La Ribera to proudly enjoy, the planting of more trees within the common areas of the community.
As Noemí Rosiles, Community PR Manager for Costa Palmas says, “We have created a great team and use great communication to carry out the projects. Miguel is truly a community facilitator and is genuinely interested in the development of the people - he cares about the people. And his vision for La Ribera matches our vision here at Costa Palmas.”
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