San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Guanacaste’s Annexation Celebrated 181 Years Later

ON Monday, businesses shut theirdoors, parades and celebrations filled thestreets in northern Pacific towns, andPresident Abel Pacheco promised to builda museum in honor of the day the countrywas celebrating: July 25, 1824, when thenorthwestern province of Guanacastevoted to go Tico.It was the 181st anniversary of thedecision, and, as in years past, it was anational holiday, a time to rememberwhen those golden beaches and cowboytowns were not always within CostaRica’s border, but formed part ofNicaragua.The province has become one of thecountry’s primary claims to a distinct culture.Guanacaste is rich with traditions,dance, costume and color of many kinds,placing it among the regions that carrythe country’s cultural banner.Pacheco traveled to Nicoya, a cityon the Pacific coast peninsula of thesame name, to announce the imminentconstruction of the Guanacaste Museum,wire service EFE reported. According tothe decree he signed, the museum willfoment the “research, promotion, publicityand conservation of the province’scultural and natural heritage,” in thehopes of “stimulating its people’sregional identity.”A statement from the office of legislatorLigia Zúñiga of Guanacaste said theday of her province’s annexation represents“the most important contributionCosta Rica has ever received to date, notonly in territory, but also in natural andcultural treasures. The annexation hasmeant a commitment of labor, loyalty andhonor from people who, by their ownwill, decided to live as Costa Ricans.”

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