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On Women’s Day, a former First Lady of Costa Rica nears a milestone

March 9, 2018

This week, a special Washington, DC screening of the documentary film “First Lady of the Revolution” honored the life of Henrietta Boggs, the U.S. citizen who became the first wife of legendary Costa Rican president José “Pepe” Figueres and went on to become the country’s First Lady.

The screening on Feb. 6 was part of the lead-up to the national public television broadcast of the documentary on March 25 – it will be broadcast at 9 pm on WORLD Channel as part of Reel South Season Three, according to a statement from Spark Media – and Boggs’ 100th birthday in May.

The documentary was screened before a sold-out crowd at the GALA Hispanic Theatre. Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States Roman Macaya hosted the VIP event, which was attended by many members of the diplomatic and international community in Washington, Spark Media indicated.

The film, from award-winning director Andrea Kalin, chronicles Boggs’ improbable and extraordinary journey from young visitor to Costa Rica, to the wife of a revolutionary in the making, to First Lady in 1948, as well as her role in reforms President Figueres oversaw including granting the right to vote to Costa Rican women and the abolition of the country’s armed forces.

“As a filmmaker I’ve witnessed the grizzly impact of war; from the refugee camps in Syria to gang-controlled barrios in Colombia,” said Kalin at the event. “Abolishing the army was a powerful and bold idea that changed the course of Costa Rica’s history and reshaped its identity. It’s an inspiration to people all over the world.”

Tuesday’s event was made possible by partners including the Embassy of Costa Rica in the United States, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Amigos of Costa Rica, Asociación Costa Rica, the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), Iniciativa Folclórica Costarricense, and the GALA Hispanic Theatre.

Take a deep dive into Henrietta’s fascinating story:

And watch the “First Lady” trailer:

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