What’s happening in Nosara? Data from the community diagnosis


In a world where city life is often filled with individualism, noise, and disconnection, Nosara is a unique place that allows us to reconnect with our soul. It’s a place like few others in the world – where nature is within reach and we can feel freer. Right?

Until recently you would have affirmed that without hesitation, but today you might think twice. Many of us have noticed how things have changed in Nosara. At NCA we’ve noticed it too. How can we maintain the special quality of the place that has drawn us to be here?

After half a century of working in the community, one of the most important lessons we’ve learned is always to seek data before acting. That’s why in early 2023, we decided to hire a team of professionals who could help us answer that not-so-easy question: What’s happening in Nosara?

To answer it, the consulting team with decades of experience in development projects in Latin America, proposed a roadmap that included:

  • Analyzing previous research conducted in the area. (Nobody wanted to reinvent the wheel)
  • Interviews with 25 local leaders representing associations, community groups, the education sector, workers, and the private sector.
  • Field visits.
  • Consultation of government data (22 public institutions consulted)
  • Consultation of community data (More than 20 local organizations provided information)
  • Two workshops with the community to gather feedback, one in English and one in Spanish, with a total participation of almost 90 people.

They used a variety of tools to gather and process all of the information.

This extensive process took about nine months, and today we are ready to share with you the results of what we call The State of Nosara 2023. This is a living document that we will continue to update and will be available to local authorities and leaders to make the urgent decisions that Nosara requires.

The data and results: What’s happening in Nosara?

In general terms, the study concludes that Nosara is facing unprecedented growth, which has generated financial flows and economic wealth, but has also resulted in overcrowding, inequality, environmental degradation, and displacement of the community. Let’s see some of the most important results that better describe this phenomenon:

  • According to data from the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos (CFIA), between January and September 2020 and 2022, the total square meters processed in Nosara increased by 209%.
  • During this construction boom, mainly focused on housing, Nosara did not have a Regulatory Plan or Temporary Construction Regulation to mitigate and organize its growth.
  • In 2023, the 205 new construction projects generated $487,688 in revenue for the Municipality (3.34% of the total municipal income). In the same year, the Municipality budgeted about $700,000 in works in Nosara (mainly road improvements).
  • It is necessary to change the classification of the EBAIS in the community to convert it into a medical center with specialized personnel and better equipment.
  • Despite the construction boom, there is a significant gap in community infrastructure that affects people’s health (safe streets, sidewalks, recreation areas, etc.).
  • The Bocas de Nosara High School, where more than 500 students study (25% of the entire student population of the district), is at 180% of its capacity.
  • Nosara is the second district nationwide with the highest increase in homicides from 2022 to 2023; an increase of 300%, directly linked to organized crime. If we look at other crime data – robbery, theft, etc.,- 2023 would have been one of the safest years for Nosara.
  • Some ASADAS have faced a 270% growth in the number of subscribers.
  • The Boca del Río Nosara area has high levels of non-compliance with water quality standards.
  • From 2020 to 2023, there was a 360% increase in environmental complaints in Nosara.
  • Nosara has had a 47% increase in the granting of new municipal licenses in the last three years.
  • Nosara firefighters increased the cases attended by 219% since 2019.
  • Wildlife rescue environmental organizations have seen an increase of up to 300% in emergency calls they must attend.

Next Steps

The State of Nosara also points out the enormous opportunities that our district continues to have to handle this growth.

One of the main conclusions is that we have a very high potential to generate demonstrative projects that unify the community to seek solutions to each of these problems.

The large number of organizations working in the area is a powerful force, if we manage to coordinate our efforts. To maximize results, the Municipality, the private sector, and other institutional actors also need to be included in the mix.

We invite you to stay tuned to learn more about the efforts that the NCA will be making this year to continue improving our District.

To access the executive summary in English, follow this link!