Juan Santamaría Day to be celebrated Monday
Monday, April 11, is Juan Santamaría Day, a public holiday in Costa Rica that commemorates one of the country’s most famous national heroes.
In 1856, U.S. filibuster William Walker was waging war in Central America, aiming to take control of the region and establish a slave-trading empire. Costa Rica fought Walker and his army of mercenaries on April 11 at the Battle of Rivas in Rivas, Nicaragua. Juan Santamaría, a poor soldier from Alajuela, set fire to a hostel where the invading troops were staying, inflicting heavy losses on Walker’s troops, but was killed in the process (TT, April 4, 2008).
This act of heroism, which confirmed Costa Rica’s sovereignty, is remembered with parades, civic programs and fireworks throughout the country. 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 our hero.
You may be interested
Costa Rica the latest Latin American country facing corruption scandalDavid GOLDBERG / AFP - June 16, 2021
A large corruption investigation in Costa Rica, involving a presidential adviser and executives of construction firms, places the country onto…
Exacerbated by pandemic, Costa Ricans face long hospital wait timesAlejandro Zúñiga - June 16, 2021
The waiting time for a non-emergency surgery at Costa Rica's public hospitals has reached more than 520 days, up considerably…