San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Promotes Cultural Night Amid Pandemic

By Lesber Quintero (La Prensa)

Screenshot of the San Juan del Sur city government’s Facebook page, promoting the activity.  Courtesy photo: La Prensa

HAVANA TIMES – The Mayor’s office of the seaside town of San Juan del Sur and the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute of the Ortega-Murillo government are promoting a festive activity this weekend, to be held on the boardwalk of this port city. 

The activity flies in the face of the public health emergency caused by the novel Coronavirus throughout the country and the calls of the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization to avoid crowds in order to reduce the curve of contagion and death in Nicaragua.

On the Facebook page of the San Juan del Sur’s mayor’s office, the activity is billed as a “Cultural Night on the Bay”. Under these words, there’s a poster with a photo of the musical group that will be playing at the event, set to begin at 5 pm on Saturday, June 27th.

The invitation has generated controversy on social media. In the comments, some assert that attending or staying home to protect oneself is a personal decision. Others, like businessman Eduardo Holmann, note that promoting this type of activity is irresponsible.

Holmann stated that people he knows in San Juan del Sur thought that the “Cultural Night” was a joke circulating in the social networks, “since everyone knows it runs counter to the elemental public health norms for avoiding as much as possible the spread of COVID-19.”

Using public money to promote contagion

Holmann recalled that in the more responsible countries there are restrictions about crowds, but in Nicaragua they’re being promoted and paid for with public money. “The worst thing [you can do] is to seek a way of spreading the virus.  Those youth later take it home with them. They don’t come out so badly, but, their parents or grandparents get it super-bad.”

A woman from the same business community, who preferred to withhold her name, specified that this is the first activity that the mayor’s office and the tourism institute have promoted in this city during the pandemic. She added that the invitation that’s been circulating on social media surprised many.

“It’s really unexpected given the situation we’re experiencing with the pandemic. It didn’t even occur during our normal town patron saint days of June 23-25. But to tell you the truth, going to the activity is left as an option for people, and on Saturday we’ll find out what the majority decided,” she concluded.