The American Embassy in San José de Costa Rica, wrote a series of now public diplomatic wires about reasons why the Central American nation does not live to its tourism paradise image.
“Travel brochures do not tell the entire story,” one of the leaked cables says. The subject line of the cable reads: “COSTA RICA NOT PARADISE-RAW SEWAGE EVERYWHERE”.
The communication goes on to describe Costa Rica as practically flooded in sewage due to lack of adequate wastewater treatment facilities; only 2.6 percent of human waste is treated, and waste goes directly to pollute the country’s rivers.
“Nationwide, Costa Rica currently treats only 2.6% of human waste generated, ranking Costa Rica amongst the five worst countries in Latin America. And the country is falling backward,” the cable says.
“While famous for its investment in “green” issues such as national parks and biodiversity protection, Costa Rica does not walk the talk when it comes to “brown” environmental issues such as sewage treatment. For a tourism-dependent country that relies upon its reputation as an environmental paradise and prime ecotourism destination, the nation’s use of its rivers in lieu of a modern sanitation system, as the conduit for dumping raw untreated waste onto its most convenient beaches and important fishing areas is a shocking revelation.”
Costa Rican officials have not yet spoken publically on the matter.