OVER the past couple of months, Costa Ricans have been preparing their prized works for one of the country s richest holiday traditions: the annual Christmas Nativity scene contest.
The contest is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as part of its campaign of cultural programs, and is being organized for its eighth consecutive year by the José Figueres Ferrer Cultural Center in the coffee town of San Ramón, northwest of San José.
The community identifies with (the tradition), Liliana Solís, director of the cultural center and coordinator of the event, said in a statement. The people wait for it. They come up with great innovations and always come with new ideas every year.
The judges for the contest will be making their evaluations based on creativity, organization, use of traditional elements, style and degree of difficulty in the creation of the Nativity scene, according to the statement.
Interested Nativity scene architects can enter the contest until tomorrow by visiting the cultural center in San Ramón between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. To qualify for entry, participants must be residents or registered institutions in San Ramón, Palmares, Alfaro Ruiz and Naranjo, all north-west of San José.
Judges will visit participating homes and institutions Dec. 12-16. The awards ceremony will take place at the cultural center Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.
One winner will be chosen for each Nativity scene category: traditional, historic, artistic and institutional.
Each winner will receive a ¢50,000 ($100) prize.
For more info, call 447-2178.