• Costa Rica Real Estate

What is Juan Santamaría Day?

April 10, 2018

Costa Rica, lacking an army since 1948, doesn’t have many war heroes. The most notable exception is Juan Santamaría, a poor drummer boy from Alajuela. Santamaría helped thwart a notorious U.S. figure’s march through Central America during the mid-19th century.

Celebrated every year on April 11, Juan Santamaría Day commemorates the Costa Rican victory in the Battle of Rivas in 1856 against the U.S. citizen William Walker and his mercenary army.

After overthrowing the government of Nicaragua, Walker set his sights on other Central American countries in hopes of developing a slave-trade empire. The Costa Rican government sent troops to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat.

It seemed unlikely that Costa Rica would win the battle until young Juan Santamaría set fire to a hostel where a number of Walker’s soldiers were staying. The fire led to a heavy loss in troops for Walker’s army, but also killed Santamaría. This act of heroism confirmed Costa Rica’s sovereignty and is celebrated every year with a parade and ceremony in Alajuela.

140410dancejuansantamaria

Originally published on April 10, 2014.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Space Ticos: Astronaut Franklin Chang with Barack Obama in 2015
Newsletter
2831 views
Newsletter
2831 views

Space Ticos: Astronaut Franklin Chang with Barack Obama in 2015

The Tico Times - July 20, 2019

Saturday, July 20 marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 crew made their historic landing on the moon. To commemorate…

Update: Health Ministry suspects 19 deaths due to adulterated alcohol
Costa Rica
3887 views
Costa Rica
3887 views

Update: Health Ministry suspects 19 deaths due to adulterated alcohol

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 19, 2019

Costa Rica's Health Ministry last week issued a sanitary alert over liquor that has been sold to the public containing…

Costa Rica to renovate Limón cruise terminal
Costa Rica
568 views
Costa Rica
568 views

Costa Rica to renovate Limón cruise terminal

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 19, 2019

The 193,000 cruise passengers who arrive annually to Costa Rica’s Caribbean will soon enjoy renovated facilities. The Costa Rican government…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!