• Costa Rica Real Estate
  • Costa Rica Coffee Guide

What is Juan Santamaría Day?

April 11, 2014

Costa Rica, lacking an army since 1948, doesn’t have many war heroes. The most notable exception is Juan Santamaría, a poor drummer boy from Alajuela. Santamaría helped thwart a notorious U.S. figure’s march through Central America during the mid-19th century.

Held every April, Juan Santamaría Day 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 set his sights on other Central American countries in hopes of developing a slave-trade empire. The Costa Rican government sent troops to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat.

It seemed unlikely that Costa Rica would win the battle until young Juan Santamaría 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. This act of heroism confirmed Costa Rica’s sovereignty and is celebrated every year with a parade and ceremony in Alajuela.

140410dancejuansantamaria

 

You may be interested

Costa Rican produces episode that wins first-ever Pulitzer Prize for audio journalism
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

Costa Rican produces episode that wins first-ever Pulitzer Prize for audio journalism

The Tico Times - May 25, 2020

An episode of the podcast This American Life produced by a Costa Rican has won the first-ever Pulitzer Prize for audio…

Costa Rica hours away from legalizing same-sex marriage
Costa Rica
1496 views
Costa Rica
1496 views

Costa Rica hours away from legalizing same-sex marriage

AFP and The Tico Times - May 25, 2020

Same-sex couples in Costa Rica will be able to marry as of May 26, when a judicial provision that authorizes…

BCR denies breach after cybercrime group claims to publish private data
Business
47 views
Business
47 views

BCR denies breach after cybercrime group claims to publish private data

The Tico Times - May 24, 2020

Ransomware group Maze says it has gained access to personal financial information from the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), though…