August 2nd , Virgin of Los Angeles Day in Costa Rica.

This devotion particularly took place in the village called “Puebla de Pardos”, situated at the outskirts of the capital Cartago, a village ethnically formed by descendants of blacks and indigenous people.
The story of Our Lady of the Angels, dating back to the first half of the seventeenth century, in the year of 1635, when a native, indigenous and poor girl, who was called Juana Pereira, found the statue of Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus in her arms on a rock and brought her back to her home (Los Angeles , Cartago today).

Night View of Basilica de los Angeles, Cartago

The next day the statue disappeared from her home and was found back on the same rock. The girl took it home again and the same events were repeated. Finally, the girl got fearful and she took the statue to the priest. The priest locked the statue and it went missing again. When discussed around it was known that a basilica was supposed to be built on the rock but its location was changed due to countless storms and earthquakes there. This incident was then taken as a sign that their patron wished the basilica to be built on the rock no matter what the dangers were. Her wish was granted and ever since the church has stood on the rock at Cartago.

La Negrita

The people of the town named “ La Negrita”(Black Maddona)  , the sculpture is  black color  and the Catholic Church  decided to put the title of Our Lady of  Los Angeles, because  it was  found on  August 2nd , when the Franciscan Order venerates as its patron Saint Mary of the Angels. The sculpture high is 20 cm, it has mestizo features, round face, slanting eyes, small nose and mouth, and is made of different materials such as jade, volcanic rock and graphite.

The church has since been restored and constitutes a unique mix of architectural styles from Byzantine  to baroque, with a dash of Gothic. The interior is even more striking, with a colorful tile floor, intricately painted, faux-finish wood columns, and lots of stained glass. The current building dates back to 1939. At the basilica they wash themselves and drink the water from the rock on which the statue was found. Scientists have since found this water to be safe to drink even though no filtration or chemicals are used to purify the water.

Pilgrims arriving to the Basilica

The basilica is open all day long and it is not uncommon to find several people stopping in for a prayer. In addition people will bring small silver medals shaped like body parts, where the shape represents the body part the pilgrim is concerned about. They leave them in front of “La Negrita” in hope that they will be cured. After a time, these medals are collected and stored. A selection of some of them can be seen in the Museum.

This holiday –August 2nd–  it is the focus of an annual pilgrimage to celebrate the appearance of La Negrita,  Costa Rica’s patron saint. To the left as you face the altar is a room decorated with amulets given in dedication to the virgin for her intercession in everything from triumphs over disease to triumphs on the soccer field.


Escuela de historia UCR:

Trejos, Alonso (1991). Geografía Ilustrada Costa Rica (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica: Trejos Editores. p. 128.


Guanacaste Day!! July 25

The Annexation of Guanacaste Day, celebrated on July 25, commemorates the annexation of the province of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1824 and celebrates Costa Rica’s core value of democracy.

The real History:

The meaning of the name of the celebration Annexation of Guanacaste Day is self-explanatory. This celebration occurs and originated in Liberia, which is the capital of the Guanacaste province. For  the year of 1800 was a province that belong to Spain , and Cortes of Cadiz in Spain  created the Province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which in 1820 was divided into seven parts: Costa Rica, El Realejo, Granada, León, Nicaragua (Rivas), El Partido de Nicoya and Nueva Segovia.

Prior to 1824, Guanacaste region was named El Partido de Nicoya  ; however, in 1824 Guanacaste asked to be annexed to Costa Rica rather than remain part of strife-torn Nicaragua . At that time, Partido de Nicoya had three populations: Nicoya, indigenous town, seat of the government and the towns of Santa Cruz and Guanacaste (Liberia), where lived spaniards and mestizos. Geographically, Nicoya and Santa Cruz  had strong economic ties with Costa Rica and the rising port of Puntarenas, in Guanacaste (Liberia) had strong ties to Nicaragua (Rivas) (The region west of the river Tempisque, Bagaces villages and Canas, belonged to Costa Rica from the sixteenth century and were never part of the Partido de Nicoya).

Image result for anexion de guanacaste day in costa rica

In early July 1824, while Nicaragua was plunged into civil war whose effects never reached to Nicoya, three towns of the Partido declined an invitation to them by the government of Costa Rica to join that state. However, Nicoya and Santa Cruz changed their minds, and July 25, 1824 decided to annex to Costa Rica, as recorded in the minutes of the City of Nicoya signed on that date by the political chief Junior Manuel Briceño and numerous neighbors.  Then in 1826 Liberia was added to Costa rica. The fact that Nicaragua was active in many civil wars at the time increased Guanacaste’s desire to be annexed to Costa Rica . The Central American Federation approved the annexation and thus Guanacaste became part of Costa Rica .

Guanacastans take great pride in being a part of Costa Rica and claim that in 1824, they joined Costa Rica by choice. Demonstrating their pride Guanacastans possess the slogan, De la Patria por Nuestro Voluntad. This phrase means part of the country by our own choice in Spanish. The fact that Guanacastans emphasize that they became a part of Costa Rica by choice, shows that democracy is valued. Therefore, Guanacaste Day is celebrated because Costa Rica highly values democratic ideals.

The celebrations:

The performance aspects of the celebration of Guanacaste Day consist of parades, folk dances and the playing of musical instruments, and bullfights.The parades mainly involve the children of the province. In the week leading up to July 25, all the schools, primary and secondary, have parades to the park at the center of town. The fact that children of this province are introduced to this celebration at a very young age demonstrates that this celebration is highly valued by Costa Rican society.

A biggest Costa Rican fiesta called Expo Liberia is  highlighted by rodeos, fireworks, Cimarronas,folkloric dances and music, parades, cattle shows, bullfights, concerts,  firecrackers (bombetas) and more traditions. This year will be 11 days from July 20th to July 31st,  full of Local spirit, culture expression and music.

Everybody is open invited to enjoy this celebration, many people from all Guanacaste and Costa Rica are ready to wear theirs cowboy boost and dance whith Marimba music; traditional music typically played by an elderly quartet on an old xylophone, and watching costumed girls performing the Punto Guanacasteco, the region’s folkloric dance that has become the national dance, the highlights of the Dia de Guanacaste lie firmly in the region’s ranching background.

Riding  a horse in a parade  with the heat of noon will be a great experience. Each day of the Expo, the entertainment kicks off with a tope, a horse parade full of several criollo horses and sabaneros (Costa Rican’s cowboys) dressing their finest steeds, showing off high-stepping staccato footwork as they clippity-clop all the way through town holding a cool beer or local guaro to avoid the heat . Try to be sober, the heat will kill , don’t forget your Hat.

Costa Rica's traditional dance-clothing
Costa Rica’s traditional dance-clothing

One of my favorite traditions in the celebratios is the  Diana (live traditional music played at dawn in the streets) every day at 5:00 am.

Also You should not miss the traditional bullfigtins called Toros  a la Tica or Corridas. No Fighting but doesn’t mean that you will not be hurt. This activity  will take a place in the arenas of the Expo, and it is complety different from the blood sport you find in Mexico and Spain,there are no profressional toreros. All the bullfighters are “improvisados” (amateurs) who run into the bull ring to taunt the bull with their jeers, jests, hands, etc., and then run like hell to avoid being horned by the bull.

Some useful information

Annexation Celebrations Schedule 

Where to Stay: You can Stay in affordable hotel in Liberia which probably will be full and expensive or decide to go at the beach and enjoy the beautiful Playas del Coco with your friends or family in Fully Furniture Condo

Festival de la Tortilla, Corralillo Nicoya

The students and staff of Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Corralillo, Nicoya are ready to perform the eighth edition of ¨Tortilla¨ Festival 2017, with main purpose to highlight this amazing culinary tradition to make with hands the tortillas –tortilla is daily bread – a flat, pancake-like disc made from masa harina Corn –, at the same time shown local customs, traditions and the real identity of “Being Guanacasteco”. 

Tortilla Festival 2017 will take a place in the Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Corralillo in Nicoya, it is scheduled to start on Saturday July 22 .  The big competition will be on July 25 with  participation of about 20 women from Nicoya who will test their skills to make tortillas “webbed air” (Palmeadas aire).

Wood-burning “mud furnace”(Hornillas) where the Torillas will be Cook. Pic CTP Corralillo

The final Tortilla Festival 2017 is scheduled for July 25, a day before the commemoration of the 193rd anniversary of the Annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica Free State.

The Tortilla Festival was declared of cultural interest (Ministry of Culture) and cantonal interest (Municipality of Nicoya).

Festival de la tortilla. Pic Periodico EL mensaje
Festival de la tortilla. Pic Periodico EL mensaje

Here is the schedule of the Event .

Be part of this culinary event and you will understand some of the reasons why Blue-Zoners live healthier, longer lives : Their diet, Inhabitants of Blue Zones tend to have diets high in nutrients and low in calories and to avoid heavily processed foods.

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So here you will find expert tortilla-shapers that will feed you with their amazing tortillas made in Corn. Juts to remark that Corn is a cancer fighter as well as a valuable source of vitamin C.

Also, if you are strong enought you can participate in  another interesting activity as a part of the festival . It called Rajada de Leña

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The Rajad de leña , it is a fun activity where men compete chopping logs with axes during a wood chopping competition. This competition will be held at the Palenque of  Colegio de Corralillo at 7 am on Saturday 22nd.

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March 20th. Battle of Santa Rosa

"Oleo de la época sobre la Batalla de Santa Rosa. Imagen suministrada por el Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría".
“Oleo de la época sobre la Batalla de Santa Rosa. Imagen suministrada por el Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría”.

The Battle of Santa Rosa was a battle between the forces of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Nicaragua forces were led by William Walker, a Soldier from Nashville, Tenessee, US that believed in Slavery and wanted to convert all of Central America into slaving territory.

It was one of the most important battles in the history of Costa Rica. The battle took place on March 20, 1856 at Hacienda Santa Rosa, Liberia, Costa Rica. Today is a historic old house preserved as a monument in center of a beautiful national park.

The fighting was caused by the arrival of William Walker in Nicaragua. He arrived to Realejo Port in Nicaragua with 57 soldiers. He convinced Patricio Rivas, the president of Nicaragua , to attack Costa Rica and extend his domain to all of Central America to make it a slave empire.

Imagen relacionada

The president of Costa Rica, Juan Rafael Mora Porras realized that Walker wanted to conquer them. On February 27, 1856, Mora declared the war against Walker and Nicaragua.
President Mora requested to all Costa Ricans between aged 15 and 50 to go to fight, because the army was very small. This brought together a group of ten thousand men ready to fight against Walker.

On March 4th, Joaquin Mora (brother of the president of Costa Rica) led the forces as they started their march towards Nicaragua, at the same time, the filibusteros made their way to Costa Rica and settled at Santa Rosa, in the province of Guanacaste.

On March 12th, they arrived in Liberia. There they join with Jose Maria Cañas and his battalion. On March 20th, the then thousand Costa Ricans walked to Hacienda Santa Rosa where the filibusters had formed their post at La Casona. At four o’clock, the Costa Rican battalions began the attack against the invaders.

After eighteen minutes, the Costa Rican forces won the battle. The few filibusters that had escaped went to Nicaragua. William Walker armed a new army. President Mora quickly moved on to Rivas with his 10000 men, and the Battle of Rivas started.


Source .

Version Espanol

October 31st Mascarada Puppet Days : The Tico Hallowen day.

Costa Ricans don’t celebrate Halloween as Familiar  but we adopted this day almost exclusively in communities with expats , this is a great opportutity for Local bars and Hotel to attract customers during the low tourism season with costumed parties.

This is Capitalist Celebreation…I invite you to Celebrate with your family and friends a very nice Tico tradition :  Mascaradas Puppets Day on October 31 st.

La Mascarada is a parade of giant masked figures. This tradition is originated as an adaption of Carnival. The Spaniards brought their costumed holiday, Carnival, and its masquerade dances to Central America. This cultural traditions had begun to fade away until 1996 when the Ministry of culture decided to establish an annual parade called the Dia de la Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense.

Parades celebrating this day are held throughout the country with many people wearing their large masks and dancing. Everyone danced with the puppets joining in. Kids enjoy it more than anybody.The music is provided by groups of musicians called Cimarronas-band of traditional Costa Rica Music. These bands have been an important part of all Costa Rican celebrations for years. The name comes from the Spanish word for wild, cimarrón, and was originally used to refer to the band made up of self-taught musicians.

Heads are made with craft paper  and newspapers with glue and Skilled by local artisans that spend weeks preparing the masquerade costumes. They are shaped and painted to look like characters from stories told long ago in the Costa Rican tradition or some funny character like  El Diablo, la Muerte, la Segua, la Llorona, la Giganta, el Polizonte, la Chingoleta, el Padre sin Cabeza and others.

The  clebration hels in the cities of Cartago, Escazu, Aserri and Barva . Escazu has a long tradition to manufacture Mascarada for festivals. The traditional Mascarada Festival in Escazu will be set from Octuber 29th to 31st. Here is the Scheduleof Activities 

October 12th Costa Rica Colombus Day: Día del Encuentro de las Culturas

October 12th Costa Rica celebrated el Dia del Encuentro de Las Culturas, otherwise known as Colombus Day in the United States, “Dia de la Raza” in many American countries, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, and “Dia de las Americas” in Uruguay. This holiday marks the anniversary of Christopher Colombus’s first journey to the Americas, and the merging of different cultures between Europe and the Americas.

He put his foot on America land that day in the year 1492,  on an island in the Bahamas, which he called San Salvador. He came to America with his three “Carabelas” ( Boats): La pinta, La Niña y La Santa Maria.

The existence of the American continent was ignored (by Europeans) for long time. But an expedition  by Columbus allowed its “discovery”, conquest and colonization by Europeans. The discovery was made on October 12, 1492. However, Columbus thought that  came to Asia coast, in India that’s why our native people were called “Indians”. In the moment that all the explorers penetrated in our  coasts, rivers, lands, they realized that it was actually a New World.

Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) landed on the Atlantic coast of a wild land, what is now the port city of Limón, on September 25, 1502 during his fourth voyage to the new world.

September 25, 1502 : Columbus arrived to Costa Rica:

The fourth and last voyage of Columbus was ten years after the first and it iss more important to Costa Ricans, as they came to the land of our country.

On this trip came 140 men in four ships called The Captain, Vizcaya, Santiago and Galicia. Columbus landed on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica on September 25, 1502 and rested on Cariay, now known as Puerto Limón. He visited the island called Quiribrí and gave it the name of La Huerta, now known as Uvita island.

He remained in Costa Rican territory 17 days during which enjoyed of the natural beauty of our land being impressed by it and by the gold ornaments worn by the natives.

La pinta, la niña y la Santamaria
La pinta, la niña y la Santamaria

The approvation of Cultures Day confirmed that the  roots of Costa Rica and   all  Latin American countries come from three interacting cultures since 1492: Spanish, native indigenous and African-Caribbean, who made us in a multicultural and multiethnic nation. The establishment of this celebration also help to recognize that, since the middle of last century, our country has benefited from European immigration, American, Asian, Hebrew and Arabic, and others.

Legacy of the Conquest:

In our timeline, this historic event has helped us to create a unique cultural identity and freedom as American. Let’s not forget that despite being discovered by a “civilized” culture , our colonization  was bloody where our ancestors were underwent a marginal slavery, violently, and cruel bondage.

The contact between Europeans and native indigenous had enormous impact in both cultures, such as:

New Diseases: Epidemics brought by the Conquerors caused the large Aboriginal population decline since the discovery and conquest.

The spread of plant and animal species: The Spanish brought from the Old World to America some native products for commercialization and to guarantee their usual food . Some of them were the sugarcane, who was brought by Cristóbal Colón in his second Journey, wheat, grapes, citrus and rice ( Originally of Asia). At the same time they had brought to the Old World  the native products such as corn, potatoes, cocoa, tomatoes and several varieties of chili and beans. Potato was very important, because it helped to alleviate the famines that periodically occurred in Europe and theTabacco  that expanded rapidly in Europe (used by Indigenous for ritual purposes).

Many different species of animals were introduced by Europeans, right in the third journey, Christopher Columbus brought cattle, pigs, horses, cows, sheep and chickens. Indigenous quickly learned to use animals for transportation as the horse which became a prized possession the Indians who lived in prairies of North America.

The environmental impact: It is not doubt that there was an impact on forests due to de-forestation to make room for the large plantations of snuff, sugar cane,  grazing and uncontrolled agricultural techniques. The exploitation and plunder of our GOLD bringing it almost the extinction of it caused also the extermination of whole tribes ”  in the Middle Ages, the price of A single bag of pepper was  more than  the life of a man, but gold and silver were the keys of the Renaissance and they were used to open the gates of paradise in heaven and the gates of the capitalist mercantilism in Earth “(E. Galeno).

Culture shock and Military: It was made thank to the Military victory of Europeans on American civilizations subjecting them to slavery and evangelism, economic exploitation of the vanquished and the introduction of European cultural patterns: language, customs, food, religion, etc.

The Indigenous lost a great deal of their knowledge when the Spanish Conquistadors ravaged the native nations.

The Conquest of Costa Rica:

The conquest of the present territory of Costa Rica, with exeption of Nicoya, was obtained too late, because it was not until the 1560s when the Spanish were able to penetrate into the interior of the country, after repeated failures.

By the mid-sixteenth century, the indigenous population of Nicaragua  was decimated , due to the export of slaves, epidemics and overwork. The need for new Indigenous labor and to find more riches (Gold and silver)  were the motives of Spanish that were living in nicaragua  that led to plan the conquest of Costa Rica. Juan de Cavallon expeditions to Costa Rica finally succeeded in 1569.

Whether better or bad, were conquered, my blood is Indigenous and Spanish, I am Mestiza, no more Spanish than Indigenous. I got the best of both worlds, the most enjoyable or attractive features of two different cultures.It depend of me if I keep the bad.  

In this month , I invite you to remember who we are and where we come from, appreciate what we have and where we live, I don’t envy the joys from Europe, there is much to learn here, here’s my heart. This is the month to celebrate our mestizaje, our culture , what we keep from our two Ancestral heritage .

“When you have to choose between two paths, ask yourself which of them has heart. Whoever chooses the path of the heart is never wrong.” (The Popol Vuh)


Article Zurqui from NaciónNewspaper

Book from UCR: Estudios Sociales Unidad 4: La Conquitas de America. 

Book: The Popol-Vuh

Book of  Eduardo Galeano: Las Venas Abiertas de Latinoamerica

Pablo Presbere Rebellion

In September 28,  1709, an uprising of indigenous groups led by Pablo Presbere known as “Pa Blu” or  “Rey Lapa” killed a number of Spanish in the mountains of the Talamanca region of Southern Costa Rica. Including also f the friars Pablo de Rebullida and Antonio de Andrade . This group of indigenous with 10 soldiers and one women burned 14 Catholic churches and forced to the Spanish people moved out from the area.

Resultado de imagen para talamanca indigenas

This rebellion effectively put an end to Spanish efforts to control this area during the colonial period.
Talamanca is one of the few Village who could not be conquered by the European invasion. Since the first Spanish arriving in 1540 , the warrior and the libertarian spirit manifested itself inhabitants of the region.  To understand Indigenous  act , we need to know why the constant and determinate resistance of the indigenous: 

The Encomenderos(Those with the right to receive Indigen tribute)  found it profitable to use Indian labor to farm and raise livestock. But from the Spanish point of View, the small dispersed Indian Villages made it difficult to efficiently exploit indigenous labor. Thus, Indias were concentrated were they could more easily be evangelized by Franciscan friars and made to work. At least, until 1610, Indians owed tribute in good as well as in service. They provided agricultural and household labor as well as products like cotton blankets, honey, wax, and ceramics. The sort of abuses to which the Indians were subject becomes clear in records of complaints they made to Spanish authorities. The Indians of Garabito, for instance, complained in 1590 that the Spanish governor had taken and sold corn that belonged to their village, and the Indians of Pacaca complained that the friar there forced them to spend all day long weaving mats and baskets, among other items, and the result was that the town went hungry because no men were available to work the cornfields (Solorzano Fonseca 2002)

Thus it was indigenous labor and the goods collected as tribute that constituted the first sustained economic activity in colonial Costa Rica. Later, markets for wheat, corn, and pack mules and other livestock opened up in the growing settlements of Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north and the encomenderos took advantage of these. In the arly years of the 17th century, the Spanish looked to the southeast, to the conquest of the Talamanca region, to gain new lands and more Indian labor. An Indian uprising of 1610, however, destroyed the new town of Santiago and forced the Spanish to flee back to Cartago.  The southern region was to remain unconquered, but the violence there gave the Spanish the excuse that needed to declare the Indians in open rebellion and to send military expeditions to forcibly capture Indians slave. Even with this, the encomienda as a source of labor was doomed. The population available to be distributed in encomienda rapidly dismissed.

Resultado de imagen para monumento pablo presbere

On July 1, 1710 Pablo Presbere was sentenced to die arcabuceado, since Costa Rica had no executioner to apply the cruel death.

At the begging of the 1700s, a final effort was made to subdue and evangelized the indigenous people of the Talamanca. By 1709, the Franciscan friars had established 14 missions in the region. However, the Bribri, Cabecarand Terbis Indians overcame their traditional rivalries to unite in a surprise attack under the leadership of Pablo Presbere in September 28, 1709. Almost immediately, the Spanish authorities in Cartago organized in expedition of 200 soldiers to punish the rebellious Indians. The Spanish captured Presbere and marched him and 700 of his followers back to the capital. Two hundred Indians died of fled along the way, and the remains 500 were divided up among the Spaniards who had participated in the expeditions.

Presbere was tried, condemned for treason, and executed in July 4th, 1710.Despite not knowing much about the life of Cacique Pablo Presbere or Suinsi, it is important to rescue his role in the Indian rebellion . He is a national hero by opposing the submission and destruction of indigenous culture by the Spanish . The goverment of  Costa Rica, declared  Paul Presbere “Defender of Indigenous People”  Day on  July 4th.  

Resultado de imagen para monumento pablo presbere

The memory of Pablo Presbere Lives on this monument to him in the city of Limon


Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook By Scott Pentzer

La Hazaña de Pablo Presbere (HÉROE NACIONAL) by Kathya Fallas Fallas