This week, Costa Rica elected Carlos Alvarado as its 48th president in an unexpected landslide. As it has since 1958 (the first election after our founding in 1956), The Tico Times was there to capture the day in photos and text. However, this year, we also became the first media organization in Costa Rica to use 360 video in electoral coverage, giving our readers a way to take a front-row seat to the joys and heartbreak of the day.
Here’s a roundup of all the videos published this week. If you’re watching them on a phone, move it around to take in the scene; if you’re using a computer, drag and click to explore the images.
The scene at a polling station
This video shows the mob surrounding Carlos Alvarado at a San José polling place. The author of the video, journalist Alexander Villegas, would later write a heartfelt piece about how the journalists who clustered around the candidates all day, shutting out or even trampling voters hoping to meet the men for whom they’d voted, did a huge disservice to Costa Rican citizens.
Read Alexander Villegas’ reflection here.
The moment of truth in San Pedro…
At 8:05 pm, the Supreme Elections Tribunal calculated its first set of results, and announced them moments later. After weeks of polls showing, for the most part, a neck-and-neck race or a slight lead for Fabricio Alvarado, many voters, and certainly most of the crowd at the Carlos Alvarado gathering in San Pedro, east of San José, were braced for a long night or perhaps a disappointment. The reaction when the results were read was explosive. Video by Gabriela Brenes for The Tico Times.
And a sad realization on Paseo Colón
At the same moment across town, supporters of Fabricio Alvarado and the National Restoration Party (PRN) were shocked by the unexpected (and unexpectedly decisive) loss. Video by Alexander Villegas for The Tico Times.
Read more about Fabricio Alvarado’s concession speech, and watch our interviews with his supporters as they react to the news. Read our assistant edito’s reflection on her day spent with Fabricio’s team.
The new president makes his victory speech
Follow Fabricio Alvarado’s concession speech, the 48th president of Costa Rica and the youngest in modern Costa Rican history at 38 years old, took the stage for his victory speech. On the stage with him were future First Lady Claudia Dobles and Vice President-elect Epsy Campbell, the first Afro-descendent female vice president in the history of the Americas. Video by Gabriela Brenes for The Tico Times.
Gabriela Brenes is a multimedia journalist with diverse experience in immersive technologies and social media platforms. She works at Rise Up, by Fusion Media Group, and collaborates in VR projects with SeirenFilms. In a Venn diagram with digital strategy, social research and multimedia literacy, she’d be right where the circles overlap.
Born in the United States, raised in Costa Rica, and educated in Canada, Alexander Villegas is a freelance journalist and photographer focusing on under-reported issues across Latin America. Alexander’s stories and photographs have appeared in the Guardian, CBC, the Tyee, Bluff, Hakai Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, and others.
Read all of The Tico Times’ 2018 Election Coverage here.