San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Happy Annexation Day! (But Take July 28 Off)

Friday, July 25, is the 184th anniversary of the annexation of the Nicoya region, including the majority of what is today the Guanacaste area, to the then-province of Costa Rica.

The celebration is somewhat of a misnomer, as the Nicoya province itself voted in 1824 to secede from Nicaragua and join Costa Rica, although the issue is contentious with Nicaraguans, who claim political pressure was exerted. Notwithstanding, the province’s original seal read, “De la patria, por nuestra voluntad,” or “Part of the nation, by our own volition.”

Central America had declared independence from Spain only three years earlier in 1821, and the region’s nascent borders were in flux. While four different cities were vying for capital status in Nicaragua, Juan Mora Fernandez, Costa Rica’s first chief of state, was working on nation-building and invited Nicoya to join Costa Rica.

The federal holiday will be observed Monday, July 28. All government offices, including schools, and most private offices will be closed.


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