Costa Rica Coffee Guide

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.

You may be interested

News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your Thursday
Costa Rica
1827 views
Costa Rica
1827 views

News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your Thursday

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 29, 2020

We hope you're reading this Costa Rica news while drinking a delicious  coffee and eating a traditional  gallo pinto. Here's the…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, October 28
Costa Rica
5952 views
Costa Rica
5952 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, October 28

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 28, 2020

Costa Rica announced 11 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,340, according to official data…

Nicaragua to impose jail time for spreading what government deems ‘false news’
Costa Rica
914 views
Costa Rica
914 views

Nicaragua to impose jail time for spreading what government deems ‘false news’

Blanca MOREL / AFP - October 28, 2020

The Nicaraguan congress approved on Tuesday a cybercrime law, baptized by the opposition as a "gag" law, which imposes jail…