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Giving Mom some love, Costa Rica-style

From the print edition

When it comes to honoring the woman who brought you into this world, made endless personal sacrifices on your behalf, patiently raised you through your childhood and adolescent years and continues to serve as a support system throughout your life, there is hardly a way to show sufficient appreciation. Mother’s Day provides an important opportunity to embrace not only your own mother, but also those you care about, including wives, grandmothers, partners, friends and others.

In Costa Rica, El Día de las Madres (Mother’s Day), takes place on Aug. 15, and typically includes a large household celebration with gifts, flowers, cards and special dinners. The holiday falls on the same day as the Catholic celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since it is a national holiday, many banks, schools and offices will be closed, while most stores and restaurants will stay open for business.

Although some argue that the holiday has been hijacked by commercialism, some Costa Ricans still prefer simple demonstrations of love to elaborate purchases.  They have many different ideas of the best way to celebrate their mothers, and this year, The Tico Times spoke with a few people around town about their family traditions and plans for Mother’s Day.

Fady Jailenne López

Age: 16

From: Heredia 

What mom means to López: “My favorite thing about my mom is the strength she has to resist every struggle we’ve faced, and her courage to rise above it all. Since we have been living in Costa Rica, our relationship has changed. We have become more united in taking care of each other.”

Mother’s Day plans: López is originally from Colombia but moved to Costa Rica with her mom and older brothers. Her father, who stayed behind for his job, will be coming to visit the family this month, and they are planning to spend Mother’s Day celebrating as a united family.

Juan Bautista Solano 

Age: 70

From: Tibás

What mom means to Solano: “She is my wife, my companion, a mother to my two children and the love of my life.”

Mother’s Day plans: Solano lives with his wife, and he has plans to treat her to a very special dinner for just the two of them.

Keria González 

Age: 22

From: Heredia

What mom means to González: “My mother means everything to me and through every struggle she has been my best friend.”

Mother’s Day plans: González, who has two siblings, is planning to buy a pair of shoes for her mother. Her family will be eating dinner together, and she also has been making plans to bake a special dessert.

Gabriela Chanto

Age: 27

From: San José

What mom means to Chanto: “She is incredibly important in my life and I love her because no matter what, my mother always puts her family first.”

Mother’s Day plans: Chanto will be making a lunch with her seven siblings. Additionally, they will each present little gifts to their mother and grandmother.

José Aurelio Durán 

Age: 18

From: Heredia

What mom means to Durán: “ She is a model to follow for her courage, and I am incredibly grateful for everything she has taught me.”

Mother’s Day plans: Duran lives with his mother and two siblings and they are planning to make their traditional family lunch for Mother’s Day.

Josette Reyes 

Age: 18

From: Heredia

What mom means to Reyes: “My mom is my everything. Since I don’t have a dad, she alwyas has served as a mother and father figure to me. I love her because she has always been there for me in my life.”

Mother’s Day Plans: Reyes, who lives with her two sisters, mother and grandmother, will give her mom china and prepare a special lunch.

Mother’s Day Events

Aug. 11 – Flamenco show in the National Theater.Pianist Laura de los Ángeles and dancers perform in a night of Spanish images, tastes, sounds and history. Call 8316-0587 or email ₡15,000 ($30). 7 p.m.

Aug. 12 – Musical Garden Tour. Learn about plants and butterflies over a delicious lunch and classical guitar performance in Else Kientzler Botanical Garden in Sarchí. For more info, visit ₡2,500 ($5) for residents, ₡6,600 ($13) non-residents. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Aug. 14-16 – “Las Mil Caras de María.” A comedic play put on in Jacó’s theater. ₡5,000 ($10) or ₡10,000 ($20) for VIP (includes two drinks). 8 p.m.

Aug. 15 – Pop Jazz. A live music event with a repertoire dedicated to women in Escazú’s Jazz Cafe. This entails a jazzy take on pop classics from the ’90s as well as jazz standards and Brazilian. For reservations call 2288-4740. ₡3,500 ($7). 9 p.m.

Aug. 19 – Hooping Workshop. A two-hour workshop at San José’s Downtown Yoga teaches participants the basics. For reservations, email ₡15,000 ($30) workshop only, ₡25,000 ($50) includes a hoop, ₡45,000 ($90) for a couple or mom-daughter duo; includes workshop, hulahoops, two free yoga classes and a video.

Aug. 10-Nov. 30 – Beach Resort Specials Villas Sol in Playa Hermosa. Sit and sip by the pool, hike the beach, ride through the jungle or get a massage. For info, visit


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