Tamarindo’s Integral Development Association (ADIT)
Filling even larger shoes since its inception just over a decade ago, Tamarindo’s Integral Development Association (ADIT) has become one of the most dynamic organizations of its kind in Costa Rica. Created in 2008 by a group of likeminded neighbors, ADIT has grown in size, stature and scope of activities benefiting the beach community and surrounding area.
Through collaboration with the municipality, government institutions, private sector and other interested entities, ADIs throughout the country aim to improve the social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions of their respective local populations. Efforts to stimulate cooperation and active participation in such projects have been so successful in Tamarindo that its ADI ranks among Costa Rica’s top three, according to the National Management of Community Development (DINADECO).
What does ADIT do?
ADIT works for the development of Tamarindo by managing many kinds of activities and projects. In some instances, they originate as small ideas and ultimately become permanent programs with a big impact. ADIT also plays a role in certain community infrastructure investments or programs and services initiated by other institutions.
Whether in a routine capacity or project-specific circumstances, ADIT typically performs multiple daily activities in coordination with other individuals and groups, always with the goal of making Tamarindo a desirable place to live and visit. Notable examples include the following.
No cases of drowned swimmers have occurred at Playa Tamarindo since 2015, when ADIT introduced a program that ensures two lifeguards are present per shift, seven days a week throughout the year. From 2016 to August 2019, 1,022 rescues were recorded, and the average number of rescues is 23 per month.
Last year it became possible to build a watchtower to improve the lifeguards’ working conditions as well as water safety. ADIT is grateful for the donations that help fund the lifeguard services, primarily Witch´s Rock Surf Camp.
Daily beach cleanup
Every day starting at 5 a.m., José Santos, better known as “Rorro,” makes his rounds through Tamarindo and Langosta to clean up the beach and main streets. The amount of garbage he collects can add up to 1,500 kilograms per month.
Rorro has been picking up trash for many years in Tamarindo’s public areas. He started doing it voluntarily but that changed in 2013. Thanks to ADIT’s collaboration with the Surf Rider Foundation it became possible to pay him a monthly salary ever since.
Kids soccer school
In the interest of social well being, ADIT established a free soccer training academy for boys and girls under age 14 from Tamarindo district communities. Every Saturday, a bus picks up the kids at home and takes them to the Tamarindo sports plaza, where their volunteer coaches, Wilfredo and Manuel, are waiting. Participants not only develop and strengthen their fútbol skills but also their soft skills by learning values such as solidarity, tolerance, respect, companionship and teamwork.
As one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 activities in Tamarindo, the weekly feria (farmers market) is a popular attraction managed by ADIT. Held every Saturday in a municipal public space, the market features a wide variety of local and international vendors from the area selling fresh vegetables and fruits, a wide range of other foods and beverages, as well as handicrafts, clothing, jewelry and other goods.
Environmental protection has always been a key focus of ADIT projects and activities, no less so after its recycling program was introduced in 2014. Currently, the following recyclables are accepted in Tamarindo on the first and third Tuesday of each month: paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, tetrapak, brass, aluminum and electronics. In addition, on-site collection is offered to those businesses that request it and provide a voluntary contribution.
Thanks to funding support from DINADECO, community member contributions and the volunteer efforts of many, Oneida Park is a public space for people in the Tamarindo area to enjoy sports and recreation. Individuals and businesses in the neighborhood do their part to take care of and maintain the park. Reconstruction of the original facility was completed in October 2019.
Other ADIT projects that are planned or in the early execution stage include:
public restrooms on the beach, currently in the design and permit phase, funded by Costa Rica’s Institute of Rural Development (INDER)
construction of a recycling center offering daily collection service
a bikeway and linear park connecting Tamarindo’s Garden Plaza with the center of the community
Coordination with institutions
ADIT sometimes plays a follow-up role when projects undertaken by other entities are being implemented. Examples include:
construction of a police station in Tamarindo, financed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT)
asphalt paving of the Tamarindo-Langosta road, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
In addition, ADIT routinely works with various government institutions and local groups to coordinate activities such as recovery of public spaces, wildlife management, tourism development, public road maintenance and much more.
With no government-funded operating budget, ADIT relies to a significant extent on the generosity of businesses and other members of the community for financial support. For this purpose, ADIT has created a donor program with categories corresponding to a monthly contribution amount:
In addition, it offers options for donations through Coopeguanacaste, Paypal, and automatic transfer from Banco Nacional accounts.
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