NP #106: Dr. Alvaro Salas Castro discusses behavioral economics for Nosara and explains why he’s living here to study Nosara’s people, economy, governmental relations, education, tourism, national and international investment, and much more. Part 1: 16 minutes

Dr. Alvaro Salas Castro is a behavioral scientist living and studying in Nosara. In this Nosara Podcast episode, he explains what he has learned so far and provides much insight into the challenges Nosara is facing and significant advantages of Nosara compared to other towns.

He explains how federal and local governments and the community organizations all often work separately in different directions and he believes Nosara has the opportunity to become the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Latin America. He thinks closing the beaches is ‘stupid’ and holds nothing back on his opinions.

There’s too much for one episode so we’ll break it up into parts plus Dr. Salas will be coming back each month for a while. It’s great having him here and we’ll get out more and more from him for you to see what he’s finding out about our community.

Here’s my notes from Part 1 with Dr. Alvaro:

  • What are our biggest challenges?
  • Difference in locals including nationally and internationally
  • Different region investors and local culture
  • 3 layers of misinformation and communication. federal government & local government and community organizations often separately active
  • Potential of Nosara
  • Is communication between Nosara and Nicoya and San Jose historically distant?
  • Unique blend of people here who care about the environment, lots of different people from different countries
  • People in Nosara really care. They don’t talk to government but do care about health, nature,
  • Accumulating good decisions is behavioral economics
  • benefits of here; turtles, fishing, surfing, local and international airports close, etc.
  • A new tamarindo in the negative way of saying that
  • Don’t lose the magic
  • Keeping Nosara Weird (shout out to Carl Wells)
  • Statistically crime is lower in Nosara than other towns Mal País Santa Teresa
  • Education system in Nosara incredible. Teachers from other countries are incredible educators and the ones coming to Nosara are differentiated from others
  • 5% of GDP is to education
  • affordable access to quality vegetables and greens and much exercise
  • He believes Nosara has potential to be silicon valley of Latin America
  • Previously was General Coordinator of task force to mitigate Covid 19 reporting to the President of the Social Security Roman Macaya
  • Business vs protection
  • Tension between cabinet members
  • What are other countries doing?
  • Closing beaches is stupid. He’s a scientist and there’s poor judgment happening
  • Erratic policies
  • unrest and famine are possibilities
  • Local leaders are exciting him. Communities that are healthy organize themselves.
  • What issues need government intervention?
  • How do we bridge the gap between the foreigners and the locals?
  • Coming back more for his research updates

Here’s his Linked In bio:

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Alvaro Salas Castro is a native of Costa Rica and has a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, from Syracuse University. He also has an MPA in Science, Technology, and Infrastructure from Cornell University in New York. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs, Bachelor of Arts in Law (UACA), and an MBA with a concentration in finance, economics and sustainable development from INCAE Business School as the recipient of the scholarship Leaders for Change. 

While at Cornell, he was the first Latin American to serve as President of the Cornell Public Affairs Society. He became a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of Presidency and Congress in Washington DC, was inducted into Phi Alpha Alpha national honor society for public affairs and management, and was the recipient of Cornell’s Adams Award for exemplary scholarship and service in the field of public affairs and honored as the 146th commencement banner bearer representing the graduated students. 

Mr. Salas served at Cornell University as Special Advisor of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy. He has previous experience as a business development officer in a corporate law firm, as a Vice President of an insurance company, as Special Advisor to the Government of Panama, Costa Rica, a political party in Honduras and as an academic consultant and researcher for the IDB, Grameen Creative Lab, a major Latin American private equity firm and the United Nations (UNDESA) in New York City, Division of Public Administration and Development Management assisting the Chief of Staff of the Division as a researcher for the e-government survey.

His work has been published in the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Latin America Report under Innovative Public-Private Partnerships for Inclusive Development, opinion pieces at the Huffington Post, the Morocco World News, the UN eGov survey (as a member of the research team), and the latest on a book about impact investment in the UK.

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