• Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Ricans prepare for Juan Santamaría Day, a national holiday, on Thursday

April 8, 2013

Juan Santamaría Day, held every year in April, commemorates the Costa Rican victory in the Battle of Rivas in 1856 against the U.S. citizen William Walker and his mercenary army. 

After overthrowing the government of Nicaragua, Walker began setting his sights on other Central American countries in hopes of developing a slave-trade empire. The Costa Rican government called on its citizens to head to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat.

Juan Santamaría, a poor drummer boy – now a legend – set fire to a hostel where a number of Walker’s soldiers were staying. The fire led to a heavy loss in troops for Walker’s army, but also killed Santamaría in the process. This act of heroism, which confirmed Costa Rica’s sovereignty, will be remembered with parades, civic programs and fireworks throughout the country on Thursday. Most businesses and government offices will be closed for the holiday, and parades may block some of the main streets in towns and cities throughout the country.

The country’s primary international airport in Alajuela, northwest of San José, is named after the hero.

The official celebration will start in Juan Santamaría Park in Alajuela at 9 a.m. and feature music, a parade and a speech by President Laura Chinchilla.

Follow ticotimes.net throughout the day for photos of the event.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population
Costa Rica
16 views
Costa Rica
16 views

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population

AFP and The Tico Times - October 15, 2019

Latin American authorities and specialists urged Tuesday in Costa Rica for countries to adopt strategies to eliminate the inequalities that…

Watch: Police chase interrupts video crew filming in San José
Costa Rica
168 views
Costa Rica
168 views

Watch: Police chase interrupts video crew filming in San José

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 15, 2019

A video shot at Costa Rica's Parque de la Democracia in San José has gone viral. If you haven't watched…

What’s the difference between a green alert and a yellow alert in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica
141 views
Costa Rica
141 views

What’s the difference between a green alert and a yellow alert in Costa Rica?

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 15, 2019

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) in Costa Rica frequently issues green and yellow alerts for parts or all of the…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!