• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

They came to see the president

December 20, 2014

A little after 3 p.m. this afternoon, a crowd of a few hundred people began to gather on either side of Avenida 2 in downtown San José, where police hand lined the street with ropes in anticipation of U.S. President Barack Obama’s arrival.

Small children sat on their parents’ shoulders and short adults stood on tiptoes to try to catch a glimpse of the President’s vehicle – dubbed “the Beast” by secret service – as it sped past.

“I like him because he is so humble,” said Marling Pavón, a pregnant woman with young son by her side. “He came from nothing, and he is also very good-looking.”

A man named Eliecer Valverde had also come to the street to see Obama, and to him, the event was a kind of holiday for Costa Rica. For this visit, everyone had been given the day off, and the streets – empty as a ghost town earlier in the day – now crackled with energy. Valverde was particularly struck by how different things had been back in 1963, when John F. Kennedy visited.

“I have friends that shook Kennedy’s hand when he came, but that can’t happen now,” he said. “Look at all this security; the whole city is shut down.”

Across the street, a man who called himself “the Indian” was dancing around in army pants and a garbage bag wrapped around one foot. “I’m having dinner with the President tonight,” he said in slurred Spanish to no one in particular.

Although the word on the street had been that the President’s entourage would pass at around 4 p.m., the heavy black vehicles swept past nearly a half hour sooner.

Some in the crowd began calling out and swooning, while others seemed unaware that the moment had passed. It was decidedly anticlimactic, and everyone began to disperse. Still. They had been on the same street at President Barack Obama.

 

You may be interested

How 6 Exotic Animals in Costa Rica Got Their Names
Environment and Wildlife
6369 views
Environment and Wildlife
6369 views

How 6 Exotic Animals in Costa Rica Got Their Names

The Tico Times - March 7, 2021

When it comes to pointing out animals, some people in Costa Rican can be extremely unspecific. Sometimes it seems that…

Slothy Sunday: Restrictions are lifted, now what? See sloths, what else!
Sloth Sundays
2562 views
Sloth Sundays
2562 views

Slothy Sunday: Restrictions are lifted, now what? See sloths, what else!

Mariana Diaz / Toucan Rescue Ranch - March 7, 2021

This is officially the first week we are all allowed to drive again on both days of the weekend, how…

Sloths in Costa Rica: 11 Little Known Facts
Costa Rica wildlife
15424 views
Costa Rica wildlife
15424 views

Sloths in Costa Rica: 11 Little Known Facts

The Tico Times - March 7, 2021

Since they were first described by naturalists in the 1700s, sloths have been misunderstood. Early scientists described the slow-moving beasts…