Costa Rican Independence Day

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Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » San Ramon
September 15th 2008
Published: November 2nd 2008
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Today is Costa Rica Independence Day, a festive colorful celebration. San Ramon is rocking with parades, costumes, music and general festivities. On this day in 1821 Costa Rica declared it’s independence from Spain. It is a treat to live in a country that has used it’s independence to create a vibrant democracy with no military, national health care, and education for all. It is neither dominated by a super power nor dominating events in other parts of the world. Pura Vida!

The annual celebration began on Sunday night with a children’s parade. The kids dress up in adorable traditional dress and carry homemade candle lanterns throughout the town. This replicates the scene in 1821 of people walking with lanterns from the Central American capitol in Guatemala to spread the word to Costa Rica and beyond of the declared independence from Spain.

On Monday, there is a larger parade presented by the students to amplify the celebration. The whole town is in the streets which is a beautiful multigenerational scene. I’m sure the nighttime celebration will include lots of drinking, dancing, flirting and more. Ticos know how to party.

Costa Rica has always felt like a country with a lot of personal freedom compared to the USA. Policemen are my friends here whereas they seem more aggressive in the USA. The simple act of drinking a beer in the streets is totally natural here, but would get me arrested in my place of birth. As long as you’re not violent, pretty much anything goes here in terms of personal expression.

I feel very lucky to live in San Ramon, Costa Rica. After 8 years of Bush, it’s hard not to question the direction of the US government both at home and around the world. To go from being dominated to dominating others seems like a weird way to use power.

I wish everyone in the world felt the level of freedom ringing out in Costa Rica today.

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