Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Domo Arigato: Costa Rica fundraiser for Japan raises more than $50,000

March 20, 2011

Crowds of people surrounded booths where volunteers sold sushi and teriyaki burritos. They folded paper cranes and cheered on Costa Rican bands as the groups played in front of a Japanese flag.

The number of attendees at Sunday’s fundraiser for “Día Arigato: Ticos por Japón” (Day of Thanks, Ticos for Japan) surpassed all expectations by officials. With less than a week of planning, organizers managed to attract anywhere between an estimated 6,000 and 10,000 participants to the event for earthquake-ravaged Japan at downtown San José’s National Culture Center (CENAC).

“It’s much much more than we expected,”  said Tomoya Yamaguchi, the cultural events coordinator at Japan’s embassy in Costa Rica. “We expected almost 1,000 people. I think we had more than 10,000. Ten times more than [we expected]. It’s unbelievable.”

The event was created to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the island nation March 11, which has left approximately 18,000 people dead.

Entrance was free, but at times the line to go inside the CENAC wound around corners hundreds of meters away. Costa Rican Red Cross workers accepted donations at the entryway. Vendors sold Japanese food, books and even origami designs for small donations. Costa Rican musical mainstays like Federico Miranda and Editus played free shows. The event was also a showcase for Japanese culture. Groups screened anime (Japanese animation), displayed manga (comics) and demonstrated Japanese martial arts. A man dressed as a samurai posed for photos with event-goers. 

Yamaguchi said all proceeds from the event will go to disaster relief in Japan through the Red Cross. He said the embassy will know how much the fundraiser brought in by Wednesday.

You may be interested

Fired for criticizing government’s response to pandemic, Nicaraguan doctors remain on the front line
News
620 views
News
620 views

Fired for criticizing government’s response to pandemic, Nicaraguan doctors remain on the front line

AFP and The Tico Times - July 3, 2020

Unemployed and emotionally worn, Nicaraguan doctors fired from the public health system for criticizing the government's handling of the pandemic…

Costa Rica has reapplied measures. Here’s what’s open [updated]
Costa Rica
402 views
Costa Rica
402 views

Costa Rica has reapplied measures. Here’s what’s open [updated]

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 3, 2020

Costa Rica has reapplied restrictions in response to an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Here's what's open (and what…

Costa Rica expands vehicular restrictions, places much of GAM under orange alert
Costa Rica
20544 views
Costa Rica
20544 views

Costa Rica expands vehicular restrictions, places much of GAM under orange alert

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 2, 2020

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Thursday placed much of Costa Rica's Greater Metropolitan Area under an orange alert and…