Every 25th of July, Costa Rica comes together to celebrate one of the most important events of its history, and one of the greatest examples of democracy.
Back in the early 1820´s, the towns of Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Liberia (called Guanacaste by then) belonged to Nicaragua. These beautiful lands had a long and unstable political history, in which the territory was for different periods attached to Nicaragua, to Costa Rica and with periods of autonomy. On March 3, 1824 Costa Rica sends to Nicoya an official proposal inviting them to a voluntary coalescence. Three open counsels were called, the first one declined the invitation but on the second and third one, the annexation to Costa Rica was elected by majority vote of 77% to 23%. The reasons that led the people to join the neighboring state included the advantages in terms of trade; economic, administrative and public benefits; the creation of schools; and the security and quiet atmosphere, referring to the state of war that lived Nicaragua then and that tore apart the country for decades.
This decision is reflected in a famous slogan of the people of Guanacaste: “De la patria por nuestra voluntad” that means “part of the country by our own choice” that reflects the great pride of the historical event. However, the rest of the country also takes great satisfaction of calling Guanacaste part of the country not only because the event added miles of territory but it mainly gave the country a cultural heritage and invaluable natural beauty. To celebrate, the Guanacastecos organize a great range of events all over the province that you don´t want to miss.
If you are close to Liberia, the Expo Liberia stretches for over 9 days with event options for everyone. From the famous “Tope Nocturno” or Horse night parade to rodeo shows, bull exhibitions, concerts, a street fair with traditional food and drinks, beauty contests for kids, adults and much more.
Other head towns like Santa Cruz and Nicoya held their own festivities for this important holiday, full of folkloric dances and cultural activities.
As mentioned, a great part of Costa Rican culture comes from Guanacaste, our recommendation is to assist to one of these events, learn how to “Guipipía!”, eat a delicious “Gallo de carne”, have fun at the rodeo and dance with the unique rhythm of the “Cimarrona”.
If you are planning to visit Costa Rica or are already an adopted Tico, being part of this celebration is a great way to meet new people, have a blast and get to know more of the traditions and culture of our great country.