Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe are among the dignitaries who will attend this weekend’s inauguration of Costa Rica’s first female president. In total, seven heads of state have confirmed their presence as well as representatives of 18 other countries around the world.
Inauguration events begin Friday at 4 p.m. with the presentation of credentials to foreign visitors, followed by a dinner at the National Theater hosted by outgoing President Oscar Arias and, later, with cocktails both at the CostaRicanArt Museum and at the Hotel Real InterContinental in Escazú.
On Saturday, the inauguration ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in La Sabana Park west of downtown San José, followed by several private lunch meetings in the afternoon and a 7 p.m. concert in the park, which is open to the public.
Laura Chinchilla was elected by a landslide Feb. 7, defeating her closest opponent by more than 20 percent of the vote. The former vice president served as legislator, justice minister and minister of security.
She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Costa Rica, then a master’s in public policy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and went on to work as a consultant in security and judicial affairs.
Her father, Rafael Angel Chinchilla, served as Costa Rica’s comptroller for many years, and it is from him that the 51-year-old mother developed her interest in public service.
Chinchilla is not the first female president in Latin America. She follows Nicaragua’s Violeta Chamorro (1990-1997), Ecuador’s Rosalía Arteaga Serrano (1997), Panama’s Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004), Chile’s Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010) and Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-present).
To find out more about this weekend’s traspaso de poderes visit www.costarica2010.cr/TRASPASO.
Inaugural Gala Concert at Parque La Sabana
Saturday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Invited artists include Rubén Blades, Malpaís, Editus, Son de Tikizia, Gandhi, Debi Nova, Iride Martínez, Perrozompopo, Pamela Robin, Guillermo Anderson and Mr. Peters