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Issue No.61
  • :0973-1156
  • :August
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 61, August 2020

CENTRAL AMERICA / COSTA RICA

Returning to land and sea

The harsh economic impact of the ongoing pandemic-related lockdown has spurred fisherwomen in Costa Rica to return to their traditional sources of livelihood


By María Suárez Toro (escuelabuceocaribesur@gmail.com) independent journalist and social activist, Costa Rica, edited and translated from Spanish by Sol Vals


Although there have been very few COVID-19 cases in the area, the suspension of tourism with the COVID -19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Until recently, tourism was the mainstay of the local economy in the coastal communities of Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Manzanillo and Cocles. However, the crisis has brought about a re-activation of traditional ancestral livelihoods where fishermen and women take to the sea in boats and kayaks bringing food to their families and communities.

Former fisherwoman, the 72-year-old elder, Cipriana Rocha, who had to stop fishing two years ago in Manzanillo, fulfilled a longtime dream to set up her own bakery. “The coconut has always been part of the fishing livelihood and now it