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).

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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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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 

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


Costa Rica Lantern Parade

The Latern parade ( Faroles) recalls the historic moment happened  1821, when the news of the country’s independence. It is mentioned that it was Maria Dolores Bedoya who bravely walked through the streets of Guatemala on the night of September 14th, 1821 with a lantern in her hand inviting people to meet at the plaza opposite to the town hall, where the provincial councils of Guatemala gathered including Chiapas, Honduras and El Salvador.

Their goal was to put pressure on politicians in order to sign the Declaration of Independence  “Viva la Patria”, “Viva la Libertad”. This tradition continued by decorating the houses with patriotic colors and making parades with faroles on every 14th of September at six in the evening in remembrance of the heroic act of Maria Dolores Bedoya. The night lights up with the remembrance of the news of freedom.

Here is a simple guide of how make a lantern with reusable materials.

September 15th, Costa Rica´s Independence Day

Sepamos ser libres no siervos menguados, derechos sagrados la Patria nos da.

Costa Rica is a nation governed in peace with a solid long-standing democracy from 1821 when we granted our independence from Spain, on the 15th of September in 1821.

Alicia Esquivel  de la escuela Buenaventura corrales foto Adrián Arias
Alicia Esquivel From Buenaventura Corrales School , Photo by Adrián Arias

Guatemala proclaimed independence from Spain for all  Central American provinces  on September 15, 1821. Costa Rica learned the news a month later. The first constitution, the Pacto de Concordia, was soon adopted. This led to the celebration of the first elections in December of 1821.

Independence Day, a day of celebration in our country,our heritage, our history, and patriotism. This day is the day of our release from Spanish rule and the beginning of re-finding our own national identity.

The Independence Day of Costa Rica is celebrated with much fun and merriment. The national holiday is marked by hoisting of the National flag, patriotic parades and performances by students in the community. The National anthem is also sung on the Independence Day of Costa Rica.


Celebration in whole the country will be placed in RED and BLUE colors. You will see “mascaradas” or clowns, cimarronas with loud music, Children and teenager dancing in lines with bands of drummers in typical outfits.

Costa Rica gave the responsibility in organization of the most important activities of the Celebration to the Students of School and High School of our Country, to teach them honor, values, patriotism, and respect to our land. To Learn the history, tradition and how be a good citizens.It will be a great day for the school because they will show their best performing.

Lantern Parade
Lanterns Parade/Desfile de Faroles 

We feel the spirit of the Independence from the moment that we decorate our homes with Patriotic Colors and we sing the National Hymne at 6:00 pm. when we walk with our kids in the night parade called Desfile de Faroles(The Lantern Parade) in remembrance of the actual eve of our independence when delegates arrived in Guatemala, sang of the freedom , lit lanterns and received the Independence Torch.

15 de Septiembre Parade  Photo by RedEstudiantil
15 de Septiembre Parade
Photo by RedEstudiantil

Also the students will have the honor to carry and run the lit Torch that is coming from Guatemala. The ‘Independence Torch’, a national symbol of freedom in Costa Rica, accompanied the delivery of the new of independence to the countries of Central American back in 1821. The Torch Run, a highlighted event throughout Central America, emulates this original historical event beginning with the lighting of the torch on the 9th of September in Guatemala and then making its way through Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica by foot and through the passing of hands as it did nearly two centuries ago. On the eve of Independence Day, the Independence Torch reaches its final destination in Cartago, Costa Rica, the capital of Costa Rica at the time of independence.The torch will arrive in Costa Rica september 15 and will be carried by the best honored  school/high school  students.

Students running with the Torch Photo La Nacion
Students running with the Torch Photo La Nacion

Very important to notice is government offices, banks and most businesses will be closed for the holiday, and some roads will be closed in major cities to accommodate the parades.