PHOTO STORY: Costa Rica’s annual Oxcart Parade
On Sunday, some 300 boyeros and their oxen filled the capital’s streets during a colorful oxcart parade along San José’s Paseo Colón and Avenida Segunda. This year, farmer and boyera Aída Sandí led the parade with an image of San José’s patron saint on her oxcart.
Costa Rica’s oxcart drivers have developed a special language to direct their oxen. In addition to using a prod, boyeros use terms like “gui” (pronounced “wee”), which makes the oxen go forward, and “jesa” (HAY-sah), which makes them stop.
Many popular Tico sayings involve the oxcart, such as: “Se montó en la carreta” (“He boarded the oxcart”). This saying originated from an inebriated oxcart driver, who after trying to numb the effects of a long journey with ample alcohol, would climb onto the back of an oxcart to sleep off the booze. The oxen knew the way home.
But the practice was penalized by the Oxcart Police with a ₡1 fine, for which the ticketing official would write: “Se montó en la carreta.”
You may be interested
Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, CanadaGustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017
My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…
Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto RicoJohn McPhaul - December 13, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…
Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impactJohn McPhaul - December 12, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…