While Paris celebrated le Quatorze Juillet, or Bastille Day, with the traditional military parade that marches through Champs-Elysées each year, members of Costa Rica’s French community commemorated the French holiday with cultural activities and traditional cuisine.
July 14 marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison, which held political prisoners, in 1789 by the people of Paris. After this event, the French Revolution unfolded, putting an end to monarchic oppression.
French Ambassador to Costa Rica Jean-Paul Monchau and Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno delivered commemorative speeches during a July 14 reception Monchau held at the Costa Rica Country Club, in the western suburb of Escazú.
In his speech, Stagno praised the legacy of democratic ideas that France historically has promoted.
“We (Costa Rica) sincerely and authentically share these democratic ideals,” Stagno said, highlighting the two countries’ commitment to peace and the defense of human rights.
The reception brought together several hundred French citizens, diplomats and others who sang the French and Costa Rican national anthems and enjoyed a selection of French wine and cheese.
After the reception, activities continued in the evening at Multiplaza shopping mall in Escazú, where Monchau inaugurated a fair called “Celebrating France.”
An estimated 2,000 French citizens reside in Costa Rica.