San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Guanacaste annexation celebrated

Guanacastecos celebrated the 184th anniversary of the annexation of their province to Costa Rica. From La Cruz to Jicaral in Guanacaste, which borders Panama in northwestern corner of the country, they celebrated the region´s decision to be part of Costa Rica.

On July 25, 1824, in the town of Nicoya, residents voted to make the Partido de Nicoya, today known as Guanacaste, part of Costa Rica. This year, Nicoyanos celebrated with 10 days of partying, July 18-27.

Friday was the culmination of the celebrations. “It´s a very memorable day for the people of Guanacaste,” said Miguel Guevaro, a Nicoya resident. “(This is) something very important.”

“Today, Nicoya is the capital of Costa Rica,” added Fabricio Sánchez, a local doctor.

President Oscar Arias presided over a special cabinet meeting in the city´s central park, where Nicoya Mayor Eduardo Gutiérrez, presented him with the key to the city as a packed crowd looked on. Vice President Laura Chinchilla and Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias also were in attendance.

Later, traditionally dressed youth performed folk dances during the “ Pasacalle de Guanacastequidad,” a colorful street parade. The dancers flapped their sashes and skirts and filled the otherwise overcast afternoon with resplendent purples, yellows, reds, greens and blues; then they interrupted each other brusquely to recite “bombas,” the staccato verses of traditional poems.

The festivities´ attendees dressed in white and red and munched on atoles, chorreadas, and elotes, all traditional corn-based Guanacaste food.

“Everyday of the fiestas has been beautiful,” Naty Toruño, who works at the Nicoya municipality. “So beautiful!”

As night fell, “trovadores,” performed trova, a Cuban guitar-based lyrical folk music that is symbolic of Costa Rica´s most western province, where cattle-herding cowboys on horseback routinely hold up traffic on highways. Musicians included Olman Briceño, Max Goldenberg and Luis Gabriel Loría, three iconic Costa Rican trova performers. They were accompanied by international trova stars Luis Enrique Mejía Gody, Alejandro Valdés, and Vicente Feliú.

Costa Ricans across the country will enjoy a three-day weekend. They officially celebrate the national holiday on Monday, July 28th.

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