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The Other Potrero


It was just over 30 years ago that a secret airstrip was discovered at another Potrero, known as Potrero-Grande, in what is now part of the Santa Rosa National Park. That discovery led to years of controversy between the USA and Costa Rica.

The airstrip played a part in the war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, although there was much debate as to the extent of it's use.

When the press brought it to light in September 1986, a mile-long secret runway built on a lonely tongue of land jutting into the Pacific Ocean just south of the Nicaraguan border became a major embarrassment for both U.S. and Costa Rican governments. It offered dramatic proof that the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan had been using Costa Rica to supply the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, running roughshod over both U.S. and Costa Rican law.

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