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Published: July 28th 2017
On our last day in Costa Rica, we headed over to the local supermarket to buy a couple of snacks and souvenirs for the plane ride back to Toronto. We also bought some Salsa Lizano, to try our hands at making Gallo Pinto at home.
When we walked out of the supermarket, we were surprised to see a parade of people marching down the street. We asked our hotel concierge, what the parade was all about. Apparently, today was Juan Santamaria Day, a National Holiday in Costa Rica.
Juan Santamaria, was a poor drummer boy from Alajuela who helped prevent the U.S citizen William Walker and his mercenary army from turning Central America into a slave-trade empire. After Walker conquered Nicaragua, Costa Rica sent troops to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat.
The battle, turned in Costa Rica’s favour when the young Juan Santamaria set fire to a hostel where a number of Walker’s soldiers were staying. The fire led to the loss of many lives including Santamaria’s. His act of bravery, helped maintain Costa Rican sovereignty and thus, is celebrated every year.
The president of Costa Rica was even there, in Alajuela, to take part in the festivities. Unfortunately, Renata and I could not witness all the festivities. We had to head to the airport to catch our flight back to Toronto.
Sadly, our trip to Costa Rica has come to a conclusion. We had an incredible time in Costa Rica. Its lush jungles, abundant wildlife, friendly people, and thrilling excursions made for a memorably trip. I would definitely say, we had the PURA VIDA experience, during our time in Costa Rica.
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